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Do you believe because of Fear





shadowozera
I am not religious, i was for 16 years, it was just to stressful for me. In my 16 years know, i know there were fakers but i also know that there were people who were only faithful because of fear. Fear of god. Is this considered ok in some religions?
Bluedoll
In just about everything there is fear. The carrot and the stick. I believe it is important to understand what fear means and not to associate what we feel (afraid) too closely with it. Fear is not being necessarily meaning being afraid but is a dread of an unknown (like our future).

In the bible, fear of God is referred to often. It can be a healthy fear however more attributed to respect and an observance to the fact that mortal man can not know everything. I think depending on the person (and what association they are connected with) it can be 'ok' depending on how they understand a particular religious fear or not ok for them if they disturbed by it.
Bikerman
[I put a comment here which was meant to be funny but obviously wasn't - I have removed it, since it was not meant to offend. Chris.]
The meaning of the word 'fear' is clear in normal use and it means exactly to be afraid, to be scared, to dread.
The trouble is that that sounds bad for some modern theists, because they don't want to say that you should be scared witless of the God you are supposed to love. Therefore theists have manage to subvert the word - but only as used in that one particular and specific sense of 'fearing God'. It doesn't apply in ANY other context*
So why did they translate the Greek as 'Fear' instead of 'Reverence' which is a closer match?
This is largely, of course, because the earlier Church DID want to use 'fear' in the normal sense. It was important to emphasise that God was a bad-ass in order to keep the peasants in order. Thus the emphasis, until comparatively recent times, was on Yaweh when it came to the Sunday sermon. Hellfire, brimstone, the Jealous and rapacious God ripping people apart....that should make anyone 'fear' God. In fact you often hear 'fear and trembling' used together, for that reason.

Nowadays the Church is more touchy-feely and therefore the word has to be softened to mean 'reverence' or 'respect' when it means nothing of the kind. So we even get dictionaries including that one specific usage in that one specific context (fear God). Damned confusing and a nuisance. Why don't theists just adopt 'reverence' and leave fear to mean what it has always meant?*

*Fear comes from the Old English word færan which means 'to terrify'.
Respect and fear are not interchangeable. Check for yourself - try making a sentence with 'dread' or 'fear' and then substitute 'respect' and see if it means the same thing (or even makes sense).
Thus -
I fear/dread visits to the Dentist becomes I respect visits to the Dentist. Nah, that isn't right at all....The two phrases clearly don't mean the same thing, and the same will apply to any sentence you try this with - ergo the words cannot be interchanges because they mean fundamentally different things.....except, of course, when talking about God. Many of the dictionaries carry this one single use of the word nowadays (they didn't until recent times).
All this so that the Theists can concentrate on the New Testament God and forget all about nasty Yaweh who would scare the crap out of anyone with half a brain. Smile
Bluedoll
This is how I would apply fear or dread of the dentist. Many people including myself at some point in time have had dread of going to the dentist.

I might not like going and fear the procedures. However looking after my problem would be paramount and when I went to this professional, I would still have respect and perhaps even trust and admiration or I might consider going to another dentist.

I would not shake in fear or that is be afraid of this man just because he is a dentist. Big difference. There is a distinction to be made here.

There are also distinctions to be made in reference to the bible. Not all language in it is exact and translations vary. How the writers of the time expressed themselves and how we also interrupt these words do vary, as well. There must also be some allowances made regarding the definitions of words. But all this is trivial regarding my posts.

You see, I can state what I believe and how I feel about God. I am not afraid of God. Nor will I be afraid to express it. I have so much love and respect for God.

___________________________________________________________


Portion of reply that was responding specifically to the offensive parts of Bikerman's post removed. When someone is being offensive like this, please report it, but ignore it, and don't make the problem worse by replying to it. I've PM'ed Bikerman about the original post and it should be changed very soon. -ocalhoun
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
There are also distinctions to be made in reference to the bible. Not all language in it is exact and translations vary. How the writers of the time expressed themselves and how we also interrupt these words do vary, as well. There must also be some allowances made regarding the definitions of words. But all this is trivial regarding my posts.
No, it's actually very important.
The new testament is mostly in Greek and the earliest parchments we have are in that language.
In Greek there are two words used in the NT for fear and dread (Phobo) and for respect/reverence (Timao). Clearly, then, we know what is meant by examining the words used.
So when we read in Luke (12:4-5)
Quote:
To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. I will tell you whom to fear; fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."
And we see that the word used is Phobo, notTimao, then we KNOW that the injunction is to fear/dread, not to revere/trust.
Likewise when we read in Isaiah (8:12)
Quote:
.Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.
The words are now in Hebrew (OT) but the same applies. Hebrew for dread/fear is 'yirah' whereas reverence/respect is 'kabad'. Kabad is used in some passages but here the word is yirah.
Likewise in Job (23:10)
Quote:
"But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me."

Likewise in Matthew 10:28
Quote:
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
Phobos, not Timao - dread not respect.

There are many many passages which repeat this theme. It is quite clear to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of th bible that the word 'fear' is the correct translation. To imagine that this is merely 'reverence' is to completely misunderstand both the language and the meaning....

So when you talk about how the writers expressed themselves and how this was translated, that is exactly correct - I agree completely.
Why, then, do you ignore it?
Bluedoll
Crying or Very sad
You you you you you you you! I told you time and time and time again you! Bikerman I do not have to answer to you! I can and will post what I wish, how I wish. What is not important to me is what you think. Have you never gotten this understanding?

Anyone, sincere in there questions I would answer sincerely, hoping to help someone in the process. Instead I see, you ask questions to mockery debate and nothing more. You continually discredit and denounce and ‘oppose’ God and then have the nerve to tell me I ignore passages which you dare quote? You do not use the bible for any good purpose, since yours is a quest of a butcher.

Nothing you can say will make me denounce God as you do. I do not have to prove anything to you nor debate with you nor answer to you. You are not important to me! I do not ignore the bible but I can ignore you.

____________________________________________________________


Anyone who wishes to read Luke 12 or Matthew 10 can see it is written about Jesus Christ and how he explains not to be fearful – not to be fearful of those that might be able to kill. They may be able to end a life in the material sense but these men can not kill a spirit. I am not afraid. I am not afraid of these men. I am not afraid of God. God I trust and respect. God I love. This I understand completely.

Of course, many times in the bible fear is mentioned in relation to God and so is respect. I am not afraid of God who is fearfully able to do things if it is God’s will do so. That is the same God in all of the bible. Those passages in the bible go on to say not to have any fear for I am worth more than many sparrows. God be with me and anyone seeking God’s love.

Very Happy
Bikerman
Quote:
What is not important to me is what you think. Have you never gotten this understanding?
Nope, I got it the first time, and as I said then : what you post is your business and nobody is stopping you or attempting to. If, however, you post things which are either untrue or appear to be claiming knowledge which you don't possess, then I'll use that same right to post what I want to say to point this out.

YOU were the one who raised the issue of translations of the bible and the meaning of the words used, but you don't appear to know anything about that subject.
Quote:
Anyone who wishes to read Luke 12 or Matthew 10 can see it is written about Jesus Christ and how he explains not to be fearful – not to be fearful of those that might be able to kill.
Really? Let's take a closer look then:
Quote:
“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:28-39
The meaning is clear (Luke is basically the same account, but in much less detail).
Here's what it says - I'll paraphrase it:
a) There is a battle coming which is going to be all-out and very nasty.
b) You need to choose your side and to help you I'll just say that you might think the Pharisees are scary, but they can only kill you. Yaweh can kill you and then roast you in heaven forever, so its Yaweh you need to be scared of.
c) If you sign up with me then you will be fine - Yaweh will look after you. So here's the choice - publicly announce your support for me and I'll put in a good word for you with Yaweh.
Alternatively if you don't, and you slag me off, then I'll tell Yaweh and you know what that means...
d) This is not going to be an easy battle. I'm going to stop at nothing to win, and I demand your absolute and unconditional loyalty to me personally. If I tell you to abandon your family then you had better do it, or else.

So yes, he is saying you don't need to be scared - but only if you join his gang and do exactly what he tells you to do, even if that means fighting against your family and friends. If you don't then you are going to roast.

It is a recruiting campaign that puts the 'hard' in hard-sell.
catscratches
Bluedoll wrote:
Crying or Very sad
You you you you you you you! I told you time and time and time again you! Bikerman I do not have to answer to you! I can and will post what I wish, how I wish.

Bluedoll wrote:
You continually discredit and denounce and ‘oppose’ God and then have the nerve to tell me I ignore passages which you dare quote? You do not use the bible for any good purpose, since yours is a quest of a butcher.
Just me smelling a huge dose of hypocricy in here?

Quote:
Of course, many times in the bible fear is mentioned in relation to God and so is respect.
Really? I used BibleGateway.com to search for 'respect'. All the results of the entire Bible (New International Version 2010) referred to respect for people, their deeds or positions of power, not a single one referred to God. The only result I found that you could possibly interpret as respect for Christ was:
Quote:
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. (Ephesians 6:5)
but as I see it, it doesn't say that you should respect Christ, only obey him.

I confirmed this in the King James version as well. There was however, one single passage which came very close to mentioning respect for God.
Quote:
At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
But if you examine it closely you'll see that it says "respect to", not "respect for". So it says that God shall respect his eyes if he looks to him, not the other way around.
Besides, even if you do interpret that as "respect for God", it's a single passage, compared to the ~400 ones that says you should fear God. (There were 501 hits for 'fear', I haven't checked all of them, this is merely a calculated estimate based on the ones I did check and the percentage of them that were clearly referring to fear for God.)

IF the Bible talks about respect towards God, it can't be doing so with the word 'respect'.
Bluedoll
I recent these two posters bikerman and catscratchers they are very annoying and little use to me. catscratchers taunts me, calling out hypocrisy. bikerman claims I am posting untrue things then paraphrases complete and terrible utter garbage. I do not want to read much more of what these men want to pick at.

The bible is often used improperly by many people.

____________________________________


Ok, I am going to rephrase this for the benefit of anyone that might stumble some day.

The question in this post is this - Do you believe because of Fear? The op goes on to describe a real world example of what a person observed in their life. There was a closing question. Is it ok?

I will answer this question again but rephrase it.




I am speaking for myself only. I can tell you what I believe in and how I feel about this.

The bible uses the word fear but I believe it is not understood the way it should be. I use the word respect because that is how I feel. That is the only thing, I need. How I feel about God! Fear to me is dread of the unknown. Certainly, no one knows the time when God will react. Even Jesus Christ said that he will not know the times but only God will know.

So we could worry and even dread something happening or we could earnestly approach God with sincerity in our hearts. That is a choice we have. We are not commanded or required to feel fear. However there will always be results for our actions and one of those results could be fear.

I have full trust in God and his purposes so if I choose to use the word respect. That is how I feel about it. I want to say I respect God as I want to say I respect Jesus Christ, so I will.
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
I recent these two posters bikerman and catscratchers they are very annoying and little use to me. catscratchers taunts me, calling out hypocrisy. bikerman claims I am posting untrue things then paraphrases complete and terrible utter garbage. I do not want to read much more of what these men want to pick at.
Utter garbage? I don't think so. I think the paraphrase is pretty accurate and conveys quite concisely the meaning in the text.

As for the truth of what you post - since you don't offer anything by way of support then all I can assume is that you think it is true, but the demonstrable fact is that you don't really know what the bible says - so you make it up to suit what you wish to believe. This is not uncommon amongst theists, unfortunately....

So when you say that:
Bluedoll wrote:
We are not commanded or required to feel fear.
then it simply means you have either not read or chosen to ignore many passages in the bible where you are indeed commanded to feel fear. Here's a small selection:
Quote:
Ps 34:11 (NEB) Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Luke 12:4-5 (Jer) "To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. I will tell you whom to fear; fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Ps 111:10 (NEB) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and they who live by it grow in understanding...
Prov 9:10 (NEB) The first step to wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Prov 8:13 (NIV) To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
Prov 16:6 (NEB) ...the fear of the Lord makes men turn from evil.
Job 28:28 (NEB) ..."The fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding."
Ps 25:12-14 (NEB) If there is any man who fears the Lord, he shall be shown the path that he should choose; he shall enjoy lasting prosperity, and his children after him shall inherit the land. The Lord confides his purposes to those who fear him, and his covenant is theirs to know.
Prov 14:26-27 (NIV) He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.
Ps 34:9 (NEB) Fear the Lord, all you his holy people; for those who fear him lack nothing.
Prov 19:23 (NEB) The fear of the Lord is life; he who is full of it will rest untouched by evil.

Bluedoll wrote:
The bible is often used improperly by many people.

Yes, it sure is.
ocalhoun
Just a little reminder for everybody, because I see the potential for problems:

This is the Faith forum, the one place in Frihost where "this is what I believe..." pretty much trumps everything else.

Probably best to leave the "but what you believe is wrong, because..." in other forums, however valid and accurate it may (or may not) be.

*edit*
Doh!
The post I was worried about was made while I was busy typing.
It isn't as bad as I was worried it could be though.

Still, this is the one forum where people's personal belief's should be respected, even if you think they are wrong.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
All this so that the Theists can concentrate on the New Testament God and forget all about nasty Yaweh who would scare the crap out of anyone with half a brain.


Removed a personal diatribe that would be better suited for a PM, being rather off-topic and personal. And, attempted to leave the original sentiment without the offensive parts.
Also, if you want your beliefs respected, you also need to respect the beliefs of others... even when those beliefs are 'Christians should believe what the Bible actually says, instead of interpreting it.'
Please keep to talking about your own beliefs and how they are better, not about other's beliefs and how they are worse. -ocalhoun
Bikerman
To return to the OP - yes, I believe that some religions rely on fear. Of course I am NOT saying that ALL Christian's fear God - I have no reason to believe that Bluedoll is being insincere in her own stance, and I know a lot of Christians who would reject or 'reinterpret' that particular aspect of the bible. That is actually quite normal. If you read Leviticus then there are lots of things which Christians (well, actually Jews, but Christians adopted it) are not supposed to do but which never get mentioned, because they are just silly. I see no problem with that, but I DO see a problem when Christians try to pretend they are living a 'biblical' life. The only people who get close to living according to the teachings of the Bible are Hassidic Jews, and even they don't stone adulterers and kill impertinent children anymore.

The fact remains, however, that fear is a very effective instrument of control - just look how Governments still use it when they are in trouble. Of course religion uses fear - all the Abrahamic religions use it at some stage. Often it is fear of the outsider, but at other times it is fear of the consequences of disobeying the particular rules of that religion. In any discussion with Christians it normally does not take too long before one will raise Pascal's wager* or something similar.

*Pascal's wager essentially says that believing in God has a big upside - avoiding eternal torment - and no significant downside, therefore it is a rational choice, even if you don't really believe in a God(s). It is wrong, of course, but I'll leave you to work out why.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
LittleBlackKitten
To the argument:
It's actually quite referring to both. We are to DREAD God when he is ANGRY and WRATHFUL, and revere Him as a God/Savior. It's not so simple, Chris.

Also, Bluedoll:
If you don't like what Chris is saying, ignore him; don't reply and give him MORE to tear apart. Chris operates on the small inconsistencies placed in a reply and attacks them like a shark for his own argument. If you ignore him, he is out of steam because you're not answering his assumptions and self-indulged "fact". If you learn HOW to talk with Chris rather than ARGUE with him, he actually is quite a good man with many pieces of knowledge and wisdom; and I KNOW you know how hard it would have been to admit that a couple months ago. Just take it in stride; just as we don't have to agree with him, HE doesn't have to agree with US or our GOD. Intolerance goes two ways, honey, and you're acting no better than him when you do this.

To the OP: Fear, as in afraid, is a part of Religion, as it is a part of parenting. If I child does not fear their parent, they believe they can get away with anything, and often do. Unruly children that have not learned the anger of their parents tend to misbehave lots, get into everything, and do not behave. But a child that knows their parents mean business and their behaviour could get them grounded, early bed time, or toys taken away (or whatever the parents use that works) are more respectful of the rules and obey. Course, that's not a rule of thumb, and it flexes and changes per situation - but generally speaking, a healthy FEAR of a larger being, be it a dog to its master, kids to their parents, or humanity to their God, is a good thing.

Fear, as in reverence, is also the obvious content of the meaning, and is clearly a part of every religion; otherwise, there would be no point.

I do not claim to know all the answers, nor do I act as if I do - but I do know fear, just like love, is a part of EVERY relationship, and if it is not, that relationship is not healthy, and is doomed.
Bikerman
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
To the argument:
It's actually quite referring to both. We are to DREAD God when he is ANGRY and WRATHFUL, and revere Him as a God/Savior. It's not so simple, Chris.
It is never that simple Smile
Yes, I agree to a point, but it isn't the whole story.
As the bible says (repeatedly) "Fear is the beginning of wisdom". ie Fear is good in itself, not just as a reaction to a vengeful God. Aquinas struggled with this in his 'Summa' and adopted an approach already used by earlier theologians - he divided 'fear' up into 'types'. Thus he defines 'filial', 'servile' and 'worldly' fear as distinct, and then considers each in detail.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/nature_grace.ix.ii.iii.vii.html

I find his arguments (like most theology) are entirely tautologous and largely artificial. His objective (again in common with most theology) is to justify the scriptures, starting from the standpoint that the scriptural passage is correct. He then twists and turns until a possible interpretation or re-definition of words can be made to apparently fit. It is a bit like a person setting out to prove that x=y and starting with the axiom that y=z and x=z (in other words it is true, within his terms of reference, but actually tells us nothing). He was a smart man, but, I believe, pretty misguided.
Quote:
Fear, as in reverence, is also the obvious content of the meaning, and is clearly a part of every religion; otherwise, there would be no point.
Obvious content of what meaning? As I said earlier, the only time fear is taken to mean reverence is when talking about Christianity. In no other context are they taken to be synonymous (unless you can provide me with an example, of course). You can have reverence for something without being scared or fearful of it. I have reverence for the compositions of Bach and Mozart - ie I stand in awe of their beauty and I hold them in very high regard/esteem. They don't scare me though....

As for fear being part of every religion - no I cannot agree with that. What was that maxim of the Bene Gesserit ?
Quote:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Smile
On a more serious note - many eastern religions do not rely on fear as a reason for belief. Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism and others do not have 'fear of God' in their teachings.
LittleBlackKitten
They may not teach fear but they teach death to self and respect for all - which is sort of the same but vastly larger - there is no need for fear where respect is dominant.
Bikerman
Huh? I think you are conflating 'Eastern religions' and 'Buddhism'. Yes, Buddhism (and Hinduism) has the notion of 'nirvana' which can be interpreted to mean the death of the 'self'. Sikhism doesn't, and nor do many other eastern religions. Neither is that the same as fear. Fear is regarded as a human trait to be overcome, not as a divine gift to be nurtured.
LittleBlackKitten
I wasn't referring to Nirvanna, band or state of mind, but rather the notion that personal wants and needs are lesser than the state of modesty, reverence, humbleness, and humility. When these four things are number one in the mind and person, there is no will to transgress others or disobey the word of God.
Bikerman
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I wasn't referring to Nirvanna, band or state of mind, but rather the notion that personal wants and needs are lesser than the state of modesty, reverence, humbleness, and humility. When these four things are number one in the mind and person, there is no will to transgress others or disobey the word of God.
How is that the same as 'death to self' ? It could be described as 'reduction of selfishness' but that is completely different to the notion of the 'death of self' which is embodied, as I said, in Buddhism and Hinduism. And I still don't see what it has to do with fear..
deanhills
I admire Bluedoll for her integrity and guts to stick to her guns. I may not agree with everything she says, but she is exercising her God given gift of freedom of speech. In spite of heavy censorship in both of these two Forums.

With regard to the topic of discussion, I agree with Bluedoll's point that the words referring to fear in the Bible not be taken literally. Those words were written by human beings anyway. And yes, Bikerman in a way is right that it was used to get people to obey and submit. But that was quite a long time ago. If we get into the present that is no longer applicable. It probably more like refers to the power of God and how powerful God is.
LittleBlackKitten
When one "dies to self", they let go of their own wants/needs/urges, and depends solely on God for their everything. They are walking pillars of God, His word, and the ideals of that religion. When one dies to self, one is NOT oneself. By dying to self, you let go of everything except the word of your religion. By doing this, the needs/wants/urges become useless, and pointless. The need for fear is destroyed, because there is no reason to sin or transgress, just as the need to correct the sin is destroyed, because there is no sin present. It is pointless to inspire fear in those that do not have to be afraid, if they already obey and revere, because of death to self.
Bikerman
No longer applicable? It is absolutely central to many branches of Christianity. You obviously haven't talked to many Evangelical Christians, or African Catholics, or watched many Televangelists....

http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2010/07/wired-by-god.html
http://blog.adw.org/2010/11/in-defense-of-provocative-preaching/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-5qwEni1zg
LittleBlackKitten
That's because I'm not of those factions. I am a celebrist.
Bikerman
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
That's because I'm not of those factions. I am a celebrist.

Sorry, our posts crossed in cyberspace - my reply was to Dean, not you.
He said
Quote:
And yes, Bikerman in a way is right that it was used to get people to obey and submit. But that was quite a long time ago. If we get into the present that is no longer applicable.

If only that were true.
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
... And yes, Bikerman in a way is right that it was used to get people to obey and submit. But that was quite a long time ago. If we get into the present that is no longer applicable. It probably more like refers to the power of God and how powerful God is.


Having married into a Southern Baptist family, I can say that you are absolutely wrong. Fear of God is a literal thing, and the fear of God's punishment is real. It is a tool that has been and still is used in many Christian denomonations.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... And yes, Bikerman in a way is right that it was used to get people to obey and submit. But that was quite a long time ago. If we get into the present that is no longer applicable. It probably more like refers to the power of God and how powerful God is.


Having married into a Southern Baptist family, I can say that you are absolutely wrong. Fear of God is a literal thing, and the fear of God's punishment is real. It is a tool that has been and still is used in many Christian denomonations.
Ankhanu, you can't stereotype religion. Different characters look at fear of God differently. You may be right in the example you quoted, but I know I am right in my own example, and so is Bluedoll.

I've known people of different religions and I can't recall the fear you mentioned above. Again, I'm sure it is real in your example. However, you can't judge millions of other people by that one example.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
I've known people of different religions and I can't recall the fear you mentioned above. Again, I'm sure it is real in your example. However, you can't judge millions of other people by that one example.

a) It isn't one example. It is widespread and systematic. Do you want a list?
b) You say you can't judge millions of people by one example, just after saying that the use of fear in the church is 'no longer applicable'. Do you see anything wrong with that I wonder?
watersoul
I have to admit that I'd be really surprised if anyone really and truly doubted the use of 'fear' by religious organisations to control their flock.

Fear of the God itself, fear of ex-communication, fear of ridicule - it's all an essential part of the armoury of any self respecting religious control system, and if I wanted to use that 'control' myself I would certainly use the same tactics, they've been proven to work many times throughout history.

*Edit* Just in case any militant types here think I'm making the case that it's ok to defend those control systems (because I didn't make a specific point of stating that I think it's disgraceful), I actually don't think it is ok, far from it, and it was all hypothetical (just for the record) Smile
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu, you can't stereotype religion. Different characters look at fear of God differently. You may be right in the example you quoted, but I know I am right in my own example, and so is Bluedoll.

I've known people of different religions and I can't recall the fear you mentioned above. Again, I'm sure it is real in your example. However, you can't judge millions of other people by that one example.


The example you quoted presented a broad overarching "fear is antiquated" approach, suggesting that it is no longer part of what is taught. You gave no qualifier for the statement only referring to certain groups or what have you, implying that you meant it across the board. My intent was to show that that was not the case. Fear is still a widespread tool of the Christian faith, from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron through Billy Graham, through entire populous sects of Christianity (ie. Southern Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, et al.). To say it is no longer in use is, simply, short sighted.

If it was not your intent to suggest that, widespread, fear is an antiquated tool of Christianity, you were not forthcoming with that stance; it was hidden behind generalized, broad stroke commentary.

I don't judge millions by the one example of my in-laws... though my in-laws belong to a denomination that numbers some 16 million followers, so it would be fair to do so. That's just one of the evangelical denominations, there are millions more who would also fit this bill in others, and within non-evangelicals that likewise make heavy use of the fear of God in their modern day teachings.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
If it was not your intent to suggest that, widespread, fear is an antiquated tool of Christianity, you were not forthcoming with that stance; it was hidden behind generalized, broad stroke commentary.
Apologies Ankhanu. You are right. I just read my first posting again, and it definitely looked as though I said that "it is no longer the case", which of course is completely wrong. There are still people who are fearful, so I probably need to qualify my statement to that most of your modern Christians are not as fearful of God as it may appear to be when one reads the Bible. It may have been the case earlier on but not today. The majority of Christians do not take the reference to God as to be feared literally. You are completely right that there has to be a great number too of people who practice their religion out of fear. That seems to be completely logical. This is not only applicable to religion as one finds it in all walks of life. There are those at work for example who barely have an opinion of their own because they are fearful of losing their jobs. After a while it gets into a case of sticking with the job as they fear they may never be employed again.
Bikerman
Quote:
The majority of Christians do not take the reference to God as to be feared literally.
And that is based on what?
I would say that the majority of African christians DO take it literally, since they are overwhelmingly evangelical/literalist. In the US, between 30% and 40% of Americans say they take the bible literally. In South America, evangelical Christianity is growing rapidly.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/27682/onethird-americans-believe-bible-literally-true.aspx
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
The majority of Christians do not take the reference to God as to be feared literally.
And that is based on what?
I would say that the majority of African christians DO take it literally, since they are overwhelmingly evangelical/literalist. In the US, between 30% and 40% of Americans say they take the bible literally. In South America, evangelical Christianity is growing rapidly.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/27682/onethird-americans-believe-bible-literally-true.aspx
The discussion was about fear of God, not about taking the Bible literally.
Bikerman
If you take the bible literally then it follows logically that you fear God, since the bible tells you to do so repeatedly.
Bluedoll
If you will receive the words of the bible not literally but treasure up the words as good council, if you pay attention to wisdom with your ear that you may incline your heart with intuition if moreover you call out to God for understanding itself and you give forth your voice for discernment itself, if you keep seeking for it like treasure . . in this case you will understand fear.

It all comes down to who you want to believe. Will you believe only some man in a forum or will you believe God and follow God’s teachings? We all fear something. God wants us to not fear men but to have the courage to say and seek what we wish to believe regardless if it is popular or not. Do not be afraid but have some faith in God. Learn what fear of God really means.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
If you take the bible literally then it follows logically that you fear God, since the bible tells you to do so repeatedly.
Good point. Quite a large number of Christians don't take the "fear God" portions of the Bible literally. I don't see them shivering in their boots or being fearful. More like a joy thing on the basis of hope, faith and love.

I agree with Ankhanu however that there are Christians who are fearful of God, and sermons in the church would probably be along the lines of judging, i.e. if Christians don't toe the line, they will certainly be punished heavily by God and may go to hell as a consequence.
Bluedoll
deanhills wrote:
I agree with Ankhanu however that there are Christians who are fearful of God, and sermons in the church would probably be along the lines of judging, i.e. if Christians don't toe the line, they will certainly be punished heavily by God and may go to hell as a consequence.
I understand how a church could have an on the surface view of what fear of God as punishment for sin means. I would say to this, fear rather that men do not pay attention to what is important and let the world will go to hell. Would it not make sense then to say fear this eventuality so to want it not to happen?

The greatest fear imaginable would be to reject God and take complete control of mankind’s demise he ends up making for himself. A father will always be the best illustration for this. Mankind can act like foul little children with very crude ideas but in the end fear follows. Why else would someone fear their own father?
Bikerman
But billions of people have always ignored the Christian God, and the world still spins, so what is there to fear in that?
watersoul
Bluedoll wrote:
A father will always be the best illustration for this. Mankind can act like foul little children with very crude ideas but in the end fear follows. Why else would someone fear their own father?


I understand the point you are trying to make there, but to me it doesn't work very well.

My son may well fear the potential anger/and or violence that I could employ if I wished whilst teaching him how to be a good person in life, but I actually choose never to display any emotion that would frighten him. Indeed, he once witnessed me knock a violent drug user out some years ago (who was assaulting him in the local park), so he's completely aware of my potential response in an emergency situation, but as far as him fearing me? Never, he absolutely knows that violence and anger (in my mind) is solely for defence only, not ever for punative punishment or retribution.

I have always totally nurtured and encouraged his empathy for others whenever he's messed up, softly asking "how would you feel if someone did that to you?" or "do you think that is a nice way to act" etc. Fear teaches you nothing apart from avoidance of the thing you fear - or in other words avoiding getting caught.
I remember being shouted at/beaten as a child and the deeper message of the incident was always lost through my fear/upset of the consequences.

I want my child to choose not to steal (or whatever) because he understands it's not a nice thing to do. I want him to respect my advice because he himself realises it's the most sensible option for us all to help create a kind society. He's always been praised for walking the path of goodness and invited into a discussion whenever he's made mistakes and chosen the wrong option. I don't ever want him to choose a good path solely because he fears the punishment, thats no lesson, it's just blind control. (akin to the methods of some religious groups)

And to swing this back to the OP, I'm convinced that there is certainly a section of Christianity which is ruled by this 'fear of Gods wrath' and some folk act not out of a true understanding and belief of 'what is the right thing to do' but more because the perceived consequences frighten them into compliance.
...such as the street robber who only complies because the CCTV camera is pointing his way?
Bluedoll
@Bikerman
Economic collapse, poverty, environmental disasters, terrorism, thermal nuclear war a product of mankind – a world spinning out of control. Believe what you like but that is something to fear if not for yourself but for the children of this world. Will you save it?

@Watersoul
In regards to the op I agree as well. There are some that will fear God in that way and some that will denounce God in that way. I do not. I believe that God will act as a loving father would just as you have explained. I am not afraid of God in the way fear is discribed. I fear displeasing. That is my own personal fear and not directed to a loving father.
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
@Bikerman
Economic collapse, poverty, environmental disasters, terrorism, thermal nuclear war a product of mankind – a world spinning out of control. Believe what you like but that is something to fear if not for yourself but for the children of this world. Will you save it?
Save it from what? The bad things that currently exist in the world are caused by your God, according to your beliefs (since God is omnipotent, it is not possible that such things could exist if God did not want them to).
If your God likes killing people then there is not much I can do about that....and I'm certainly not going to worship such a monster.
watersoul
@Bluedoll - I understand that and see where you're coming from now, obviously it's different to my vantage point in life but I do understand and respect your view in that specific regard...even if I disagree - faith is a powerful thing and however irrational it may seem to some it's a belief that certainly doesn't harm me in these discussions Smile
jeffryjon
Bikerman wrote:
As the bible says (repeatedly) "Fear is the beginning of wisdom". ie Fear is good in itself, not just as a reaction to a vengeful God. Aquinas struggled with this in his 'Summa' and adopted an approach already used by earlier theologians - he divided 'fear' up into 'types'. Thus he defines 'filial', 'servile' and 'worldly' fear as distinct, and then considers each in detail.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/nature_grace.ix.ii.iii.vii.html


Fear and reverence/respect can indeed be 2 sides of the same coin. As an example I can choose to fear the power of nature or to revere/respect it. It seems to me that all fears which are valid (and obviously to a religious believer God IS valid) can be converted into deep respect. In tha case of nature, the fear/reverence can steer people to building cities/infrastructure that fully acknowledges the power of nature and takes reasonable precautions as a form of protection. This could include not only ways to divert the damages sometimes caused by nature but also to hold them back, by example building in a way that protects the environment. In my mind, the same applies to God, though even for someone who doesn't believe in God, respect for the forests whose roots often hold a landmass together could seriously reduce some so-called natural disasters.

To use another example, if I remain fearful/respectful of another person's tendency to violence if directly confronted, i can adapt my behaviour to get what I want without pushing his buttons so much (unless of course, what I want is also an absolute necessity and I'm prepared to go to war) In the case of God, going to war would seem like a long and difficult road which would ultimately end in being defeated. (Allowing for the fact that someone can choose to believe God's non-existence, which isn't much of a war). In the sense of a young child who tries to rule the house due to having no respect for the parents, most of us are very aware of the consequences of the parents not drawing a line in the sand. If the child, no matter what, refuses to respect, revere, in any solid family, they will be taught to fear. obviously as societies evolve, we find far more ways to induce respect rather than raise children through fear, though the potential is always there.

I remember my first boss who was very old school, telling his new reports that he could be their best friend or their worst enemy. When I first worked for him, I felt this was used as a direct threat by a control freak, but as time progressed and rather less disciplined recruits came along, I realised he was much the opposite, but had to make his stance clear to prevent much larger problems happening with an unruly recruit. I never found myself fearing him, but respecting - there were a few cases where the respect was only there due to fear though.

Fear leading to respect is indeed the route to wisdom.

Bikerman wrote:
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I wasn't referring to Nirvanna, band or state of mind, but rather the notion that personal wants and needs are lesser than the state of modesty, reverence, humbleness, and humility. When these four things are number one in the mind and person, there is no will to transgress others or disobey the word of God.
How is that the same as 'death to self' ? It could be described as 'reduction of selfishness' but that is completely different to the notion of the 'death of self' which is embodied, as I said, in Buddhism and Hinduism. And I still don't see what it has to do with fear..


Death of the (sense of) self (as separate from the surrounding people and environment is to hold greater reverence/fear of the composite whole (some would phrase God). When we choose to give adequate reverence/respect/fear to the impact of our behaviours (mentally, physically, spiritually) upon the 'all that is' we learn to 'swim through the waters' in such a way that we can sustain our progress without upsetting the overall balance. When we learn this we're better equipped at avoiding making our own efforts futile.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
@Bikerman
Economic collapse, poverty, environmental disasters, terrorism, thermal nuclear war a product of mankind – a world spinning out of control. Believe what you like but that is something to fear if not for yourself but for the children of this world. Will you save it?
Save it from what? The bad things that currently exist in the world are caused by your God, according to your beliefs (since God is omnipotent, it is not possible that such things could exist if God did not want them to).
If your God likes killing people then there is not much I can do about that....and I'm certainly not going to worship such a monster.
Making an assertion here? Interesting word. The British, not God but the British, led by Harris acted as Hitler did? So the question is, does that make all British subjects monsters? Would this be as logical?

“Or did God cause fire to rain from the sky which murdered 8,000 children too?”

Is God to blame for this?

_______________________________


To all the victims of all wars, on all sides, of all nations, fear not what man can do for your spirit can not be destroyed. You are safe now with God but for those now living - fear your fate! Pray to be rescued from the insanity of war.

Reference:
http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/WW2/hamburg.htm
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
@Bikerman
Economic collapse, poverty, environmental disasters, terrorism, thermal nuclear war a product of mankind – a world spinning out of control. Believe what you like but that is something to fear if not for yourself but for the children of this world. Will you save it?
Save it from what? The bad things that currently exist in the world are caused by your God, according to your beliefs (since God is omnipotent, it is not possible that such things could exist if God did not want them to).
If your God likes killing people then there is not much I can do about that....and I'm certainly not going to worship such a monster.


Quote:

it is not possible that such things could exist if God did not allow them to

Fixed.

According to Christian beliefs as I understand them, things often happen that God doesn't want, but allows to give people the freedom to choose.
ie - God wants everybody to be saved, but he allows people to not be saved so that they have the freedom to make that choice themselves.
(Because he wants people, not puppets.)
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
@Bikerman
Economic collapse, poverty, environmental disasters, terrorism, thermal nuclear war a product of mankind – a world spinning out of control. Believe what you like but that is something to fear if not for yourself but for the children of this world. Will you save it?
Save it from what? The bad things that currently exist in the world are caused by your God, according to your beliefs (since God is omnipotent, it is not possible that such things could exist if God did not want them to).
If your God likes killing people then there is not much I can do about that....and I'm certainly not going to worship such a monster.
Making an assertion here? Interesting word. The British, not God but the British, led by Harris acted as Hitler did? So the question is, does that make all British subjects monsters? Would this be as logical?
That is a generalisation. I did not generalise. I didn't say that the actions of one particular God means that ALL Gods are evil. I say that the actions of one particular God make THAT GOD evil. People, and Gods, are responsible for their own actions.
Nor is it a particularly good analogy, since nobody claims that the British are 'entirely good', omniscient or omnipotent.
Bluedoll wrote:
“Or did God cause fire to rain from the sky which murdered 8,000 children too?”
Is God to blame for this?
Yes, of course he is. God is responsible for EVERYTHING since he already knows what will happen, has the power to prevent it, and doesn't. In law that makes him responsible - at least as an accessory, though in God's case the charge would be either conspiracy or incitement.
Ocalhoun wrote:
it is not possible that such things could exist if God did not allow them to
Fixed.
No it isn't. I chose my words carefully. I used 'want' and I mean 'want'.
It is not possible for anything to happen that God does not want to happen, because God knows it WILL happen and does nothing. God specifically created THIS universe and he knew, when doing so, that particular evil events would happen. He therefore didn't only ALLOW them to happen, he MADE them happen. He could, being omnipotent, have created an infinite number of alternative universes in which the event did NOT happen - in fact he could have created a universe in which evil COULD NOT happen.

Ocalhoun wrote:
According to Christian beliefs as I understand them, things often happen that God doesn't want, but allows to give people the freedom to choose.
ie - God wants everybody to be saved, but he allows people to not be saved so that they have the freedom to make that choice themselves.
(Because he wants people, not puppets.)
Yes, this is the standard Christian apologia. It doesn't work.
People's freedom is limited by God. We cannot choose to breathe underwater or fly or do many many things. (We can build technology to enable these things, but the basic design does not allow it).
God therefore could have restricted (by design) the human ability to do evil without removing freedom of choice. The argument also completely fails to address those 'evils' which are not caused by humans - children dying of disease or natural disasters being an example.
jeffryjon
Bikerman wrote:
Ocalhoun wrote:
According to Christian beliefs as I understand them, things often happen that God doesn't want, but allows to give people the freedom to choose.
ie - God wants everybody to be saved, but he allows people to not be saved so that they have the freedom to make that choice themselves.
(Because he wants people, not puppets.)
Yes, this is the standard Christian apologia. It doesn't work.
People's freedom is limited by God. We cannot choose to breathe underwater or fly or do many many things. (We can build technology to enable these things, but the basic design does not allow it).
God therefore could have restricted (by design) the human ability to do evil without removing freedom of choice. The argument also completely fails to address those 'evils' which are not caused by humans - children dying of disease or natural disasters being an example.


Death as far as we know has much more effect on those left behind. What the suffering of those who have died from the body is, if any is hard for us to determine. If we use the texts of the KJ Bible, then God was known to send beings to destroy that where the 'evil' was uncorrectable by any other means. I'm thinking of Sodom and Gomorrah here, as one example. When we see someone else suffer, there's a tendency to feel bad for that person, but judging that it's unfair from a snapshot of a very long story would at best be unwise.

Fear, provided it is not enough to completely debilitate or cause you to attack the source of the fear is a form of respect ( a very uncomfortable one at that). I remember something along the lines of it's better to lose and eye/hand etc than lose your soul (if that eye/hand leads you to things of evil). Such possibilities may actually assist in getting people on the right track if there's no other way. I'm sure as an ex-teacher, there must have been occasions where you wished your remit would have allowed you to take extreme action to correct a child to save that child from continuing on a road to a worthless and painful life.

It's rare to find examples where total annihilation has taken place, even in major disasters. There could be several reasons for that being the case. If a person is killed, it could be because that person was 'so far gone' that it was the only solution - equally it could be because that person has served his sentence in this cruel world you often speak of. For those who survive, it could be because they are good people or just that there's still hope for them to rethink their approach to life and maybe for the first time. If we allow reincarnation into the thread then such type of death could remove enough karma for a better life.

On 9/11 as it's become known, there were more than the usual people who hadn't attended at that time for a variety of reasons. I read just recently on the BBC website of a bus driver who'd been diverted on 7/7 because of the tube bombings. He'd tried to get everyone to leave his bus due to the delays and walk, resulting in over 50 people getting down just before a bomb killing 13 went off on his bus. No doubt before realising they'd been 'saved', many of those 50 would have felt more than a little disgruntled at the bus driver and the service in general.

I remember in another thread here talking about how we'd like to die - the most common indicated painlessly and without knowing much about it. For most there is some pain or discomfort before death but why not just get it over and done with in a few seconds or less?

To bring the post more inline with the OP; Fire is a wonderful and useful thing, though until having knowledge how best to interact with it, it's much safer to teach our children to be fearful and then gradually convert that into respect/reverence - I don't see why those who know God (and are speaking to an audience with various levels of understanding) shouldn't have done the same. There are after all, still a lot of people around who don't commit crimes like theft and murder purely because of the belief they'll be caught and punished.
Bikerman
Quote:
It's rare to find examples where total annihilation has taken place, even in major disasters.
That depends what you mean by total annihilation. Of course, statistically, people will survive even horrific events.
In the 2004 Tsunami 230,210 people died.
In the 1976 Tangshan earthquake 242,000 people died.
In the recent 2010 Haiti earthquake over 300,000 people died.
In the 1970 Bhola cyclone 500,000 people died.
In the 1931 China floods between 1.5 and 2.5 MILLION people died.

I find the suggestion that :
Quote:
If a person is killed, it could be because that person was 'so far gone' that it was the only solution
obscene and sickening, to be frank. If that is how the religious feel then that is argument enough against it.
jeffryjon
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
It's rare to find examples where total annihilation has taken place, even in major disasters.
That depends what you mean by total annihilation. Of course, statistically, people will survive even horrific events.
In the 2004 Tsunami 230,210 people died.
In the 1976 Tangshan earthquake 242,000 people died.
In the recent 2010 Haiti earthquake over 300,000 people died.
In the 1970 Bhola cyclone 500,000 people died.
In the 1931 China floods between 1.5 and 2.5 MILLION people died.

I find the suggestion that :
Quote:
If a person is killed, it could be because that person was 'so far gone' that it was the only solution
obscene and sickening, to be frank. If that is how the religious feel then that is argument enough against it.


There is no argument from me about anything in this case - I'm purely suggesting possibilities. Fact is, unless one of us IS God in the totality of being God, it's impossible to say whether something is or is not fair and/or even compassionate. When people die in large numbers, we tend to take more notice, yet the real suffering (and the only suffering we are capable of doing anything to relieve) is with those who are not killed. As for one part of the suggested possibilities being sickening, there are many states who still have laws regarding a death sentence. I believe in Britain it's reserved for anarchy these days and even in cases of terrorism, hasn't been enacted. Firstly, I will state, that I DON'T believe that all those who killed in a major disaster deserve such an incident to happen as a punishment. If I had any tendencies to that train of thought, I wouldn't be working in the field that I do (for the sake of any newcomers - disaster relief)

In the hopefully rare cases where I accept the possibility that God may decide to operate a cull, it's no more obscene and sickening than saying WE as a country (whoever that particular we may be), should go to war with THEY (some inhabitants of the planet with whom we disagree) knowing that we will cause the premature death of others in the process. In fact, if there is God/afterlife/reincarnation, it could be far less sickening than what Nations are doing regardless of God's existence and WE as inhabitants of those countries allow that status quo to remain.

I, like many others I'm sure, would like a world where ending another's life was no longer seen as necessary, though have to accept that in certain extreme situations, I would have to consider the possibility. The arguing of this is probably more suited to P&R than here though.

Fact is, since faith that a God exists, allows for God to know more than anyone or all of us together, then there may be situations where death of a particular body is necessary and if we allow for the continuation of life beyond the body, could even be the kindest thing to do. If there are people on the planet who behave in accordance with what we as a race (not individual religion) believe due to fear of reprisals, then so be it. For those of us more advanced, then behaving 'well' in the world may be more in accordance with "Do unto others as......" We all know though, that regardless of situations where control by fear is abused, there are still situations where fear can assist someone to be one of the 'fittest' (in the sense of best-fit) and therefore increase their chances of a long and prosperous life.
Bikerman
Quote:
I believe in Britain it's reserved for anarchy these days and even in cases of terrorism, hasn't been enacted.
Common myth. We don't have a death penalty for ANY offence.
Quote:
it's no more obscene and sickening than saying WE as a country (whoever that particular we may be), should go to war with THEY (some inhabitants of the planet with whom we disagree) knowing that we will cause the premature death of others in the process. In fact, if there is God/afterlife/reincarnation, it could be far less sickening than what Nations are doing regardless of God's existence and WE as inhabitants of those countries allow that status quo to remain.
It is WAY more sickening than that. We are fallible human beings. We screw-up, often face choices between two evils, and are powerless sometimes to help even if we wanted to. We have no claim to supreme 'goodness' and we don't have omniscience or omnipotence. We are human and most of us do the best we can. We don't claim to be perfect and we don't claim to be 'pure love'. We know we are human and fallible.
In fact God gets the blame here as well. He is ultimately responsible for the psychopath, who lacking any empathy or moral sense, tortures a child to death.

God has no excuses. He CHOSE to create a universe in which unborn children die as their mothers drown, trying to flee a huge tidal wave; where young children slowly die of AIDS after they have spent their few years of life caring for their mother who recently died of the same thing; where people die in unimaginable pain, crushed under buildings or slowly buried alive in mud.

The notion that this could be some sort of 'cull' is despicable. If God wanted to weed out the irredeemably evil then he could easily do so but instead he kills en-mass. The notion that 300,000 inhabitants of Haiti were evil beyond hope, or that 240,000 Indonesians were irreparably immoral is offensive crap, and the notion that this was really some kindness in the long run is so warped that I can't even find the words.
Bluedoll
I have this beautiful hope for a wonderful earth. I believe we are very close to seeing greatness happen, as God will intervene. Even if I died tomorrow I am not afraid. The things that sadden me is in the conditions of the world presently. I would never blame God for anything and if I were to think I needed to depend on men, to fix the problems of this world, I do believe it mean hopelessness. My fear of God is completely about respect.
Bikerman
We live longer, healthier lives than at any time in history. We are better-off, more comfortable, have more leisure time, and are safer than at any time in history. There is less bigotry and intolerance than at any time, women have almost achieved equality in most Western countries, control their own fertility and no longer have to look forward to a life of drudgery, shortened by the demands of giving birth to many children.

In short this is the 'best' time to be alive that there has ever been. This is, of course, largely due to science - ie mankind doing stuff for themselves rather than praying to a sky-fairy and hoping for the best.

If you find the present world situation worrying then you should thank that God of yours that you were not born at any other time.
jeffryjon
Chris, I stand corrected on the death penalty in Britain - according to Wikipedia it was finally dropped in 1998 - I was in the States at the time and if the law-change was publicly discussed, I must have missed it - so for 12 years my statement is no longer the case - thanks for correcting me. Smile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_United_Kingdom

Your view of God however (under the claim of not believing in God), seems pretty dismal. I can't help but notice, on the one hand you've previously argued nature is cruel and on the other that God is cruel. With or without God, you seem to see cruelty. I really can't find a suitable response.
Bikerman
Obviously I don't believe in God so I don't really believe that God is responsible for anything. I was merely following the logic of Christianity and assuming that there IS a God for the purposes of debate. Simply saying 'there is no God' would be against the spirit and TOS of this forum.

My anger is very real though. It seems to me that anyone who DOES believe in the Christian God, with the normal omnipotence, omniscience, all-loving characteristics, actually believes in a monster, and I find the 'justifications' and 'rationalisations' of the problem of evil to be genuinely stomach-churning. Someone dies in a natural disaster, therefore they must deserve it, in some unspecified manner.* I find that line of argument repugnant, offensive and deeply uncivilised.

There is no satisfactory answer to the problem of evil. The fact is that if there IS a God then that God created this universe knowing that uncountable numbers of people would suffer horrendously and die in pain, alone and scared. God didn't have to do that - he could have arranged it so that nobody had to die like that, but God chose not to. We have a word for people who deliberately inflict pain and suffering on others - Sadist.

'Nature' isn't cruel, it is completely indifferent. The life of an animal is certainly nasty brutish and normally short - but there is no 'nature' making it that way, just the logic of survival.
We make our own justice and it is up to us to try to make sure that suffering and pain is minimised for our fellow humans. Praising some deity for good things that happen and absolving them from responsibility for the evil seems to me to be both inconsistent and actually childish.

* Note - I am aware that you have not made that argument, but you have skirted around it, and I know many Christians who do make the argument quite openly.
Bluedoll
Quote:
Obviously I don't believe in God so I don't really believe that God is responsible for anything.
I was merely following the logic of Christianity and assuming that there IS a God for the purposes of debate. - bikerman
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Please keep to talking about your own beliefs and how they are better, not about other's beliefs and how they are worse. -ocalhoun
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Simply saying 'there is no God' would be against the spirit and TOS of this forum. - bikerman


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My anger is very real though. It seems to me that anyone who DOES believe in the Christian God, with the normal omnipotence, omniscience, all-loving characteristics, actually believes in a monster, and I find the 'justifications' and 'rationalisations' of the problem of evil to be genuinely stomach-churning. -bikerman


This is where I think most of the problems are. I was debating whether your anger was focused on God, Christians or the members that post on this board but I think the answer to that question is trivial because regardless of what you focus on - that anger is reflected in your posts anyway.

The sad part is because of your anger - the result is when you write about what another person believes in, by categorizing them into something, in this case it is ‘a Christian’ and then you declare what ‘they think’ based on your own thoughts instead of letting the person themself say what they think and feel and believe makes the post come across as hostile.

I do not believe in anything you state in the post except for you are really angry. That I do believe.


Quote:
There is no satisfactory answer to the problem of evil. The fact is that if there IS a God then that God created this universe knowing that uncountable numbers of people would suffer horrendously and die in pain, alone and scared. God didn't have to do that - he could have arranged it so that nobody had to die like that, but God chose not to. We have a word for people who deliberately inflict pain and suffering on others - Sadist. - bikerman


Well, the bible does say, pray for you enemies and I can certainly do this. I will pray for you Bikerman that perhaps someday you may put your anger aside long enough to see the light. You certainly take delight in calling on God only it is rather disrespectfully.


Forgive our trespass as we forgive those that trespass against us.
Bikerman
I don't tell anyone what they believe, I simply state what the various Christian churches SAY they believe. If you don't believe that God is omniscient and omnipotent then that is up to you.

Most theists are very confused about what they believe or don't believe. This is highlighted in many surveys and supported by many of the threads in the philosophy forum. Most Catholics, for example, don't know what transubstantiation is, never mind whether they believe it or not. The fact that it is a key part of Catholic dogma doesn't seem to bother people. Most Christians don't have coherent answers to the problems that their faith throws-up. For example, who goes to hell and who goes to heaven? Most Christians either cop-out completely or tie themselves in knots trying to avoid some of the more unpleasant implications of the scriptures on that matter.
It is actually quite amusing at times. Christians are often convinced that they are committed to Jesus and have accepted him as their saviour but can't even be bothered to read scripture properly and see what they have signed up for - or simply ignore the troubling parts altogether. That's up to them, of course, but when they start evangelising it quickly becomes apparent that they are presenting some halfwit nonsense which they don't understand, haven't thought through and is completely at odds with their holy book.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Obviously I don't believe in God so I don't really believe that God is responsible for anything. I was merely following the logic of Christianity and assuming that there IS a God for the purposes of debate. Simply saying 'there is no God' would be against the spirit and TOS of this forum.
Your logic is science based. That of Christianity faith based, so I cannot see how you would be able to follow their logic except from your own unique science based perspective.

Bikerman wrote:
Most theists are very confused about what they believe or don't believe.
So are most non-theists, atheists included and most people in general. None of us come with perfectly formed beliefs, and our beliefs seem to be changing all the time.

Bikerman wrote:
This is highlighted in many surveys and supported by many of the threads in the philosophy forum. Most Catholics, for example, don't know what transubstantiation is, never mind whether they believe it or not. The fact that it is a key part of Catholic dogma doesn't seem to bother people. Most Christians don't have coherent answers to the problems that their faith throws-up. For example, who goes to hell and who goes to heaven? Most Christians either cop-out completely or tie themselves in knots trying to avoid some of the more unpleasant implications of the scriptures on that matter.
Perhaps you are looking at this from a very narrow rational scientific perspective. Christians in general believe on the basis of faith, and most of them are therefore not focused on crossing their t's and dotting their i's.
Bikerman wrote:
It is actually quite amusing at times. Christians are often convinced that they are committed to Jesus and have accepted him as their saviour but can't even be bothered to read scripture properly and see what they have signed up for - or simply ignore the troubling parts altogether. That's up to them, of course, but when they start evangelising it quickly becomes apparent that they are presenting some halfwit nonsense which they don't understand, haven't thought through and is completely at odds with their holy book.
If your focus is primarly on evangelists, and on the negative of evangelists, then obviously that is not much different from the evangelists, is it? It is almost as narrowly focused as their focus is. Not all Christians are alike as much as that not all atheists are alike either.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Obviously I don't believe in God so I don't really believe that God is responsible for anything. I was merely following the logic of Christianity and assuming that there IS a God for the purposes of debate. Simply saying 'there is no God' would be against the spirit and TOS of this forum.
Your logic is science based. That of Christianity faith based, so I cannot see how you would be able to follow their logic except from your own unique science based perspective.
It has nothing to do with science. It is basic logic.
For example, if you believe that God is omnipotent then it follows (tautologically) that God can intervene in human affairs. If you believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient then it follows that you believe that when God created the universe he/she/it knew what would happen at every point in the timeline.
That has nothing to do with science, it is explicit in the belief.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
Most theists are very confused about what they believe or don't believe.
So are most non-theists, atheists included and most people in general. None of us come with perfectly formed beliefs, and our beliefs seem to be changing all the time.
Since atheists don't believe in a God then they are generally unlikely to be confused about it.
Quote:

Bikerman wrote:
This is highlighted in many surveys and supported by many of the threads in the philosophy forum. Most Catholics, for example, don't know what transubstantiation is, never mind whether they believe it or not. The fact that it is a key part of Catholic dogma doesn't seem to bother people. Most Christians don't have coherent answers to the problems that their faith throws-up. For example, who goes to hell and who goes to heaven? Most Christians either cop-out completely or tie themselves in knots trying to avoid some of the more unpleasant implications of the scriptures on that matter.
Perhaps you are looking at this from a very narrow rational scientific perspective. Christians in general believe on the basis of faith, and most of them are therefore not focused on crossing their t's and dotting their i's.
That makes no sense. Faith in what? They must have some basis for calling themselves Christians, otherwise why bother? There must, therefore, be some core beliefs - such as Jesus is Divine - otherwise, again, why use the word 'Christian'?
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
It is actually quite amusing at times. Christians are often convinced that they are committed to Jesus and have accepted him as their saviour but can't even be bothered to read scripture properly and see what they have signed up for - or simply ignore the troubling parts altogether. That's up to them, of course, but when they start evangelising it quickly becomes apparent that they are presenting some halfwit nonsense which they don't understand, haven't thought through and is completely at odds with their holy book.
If your focus is primarly on evangelists, and on the negative of evangelists, then obviously that is not much different from the evangelists, is it? It is almost as narrowly focused as their focus is. Not all Christians are alike as much as that not all atheists are alike either.
Nope - I mean nearly all christians who have posted here and nearly all Christians I know (quite a few). Most have some half-formed notion that Jesus is God and they love Jesus, and that's about it. Asked for specifics of what Jesus actually said and what it meant they often either don't know or completely misunderstand and have to go and ask someone. That isn't much of a belief system....
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Obviously I don't believe in God so I don't really believe that God is responsible for anything. I was merely following the logic of Christianity and assuming that there IS a God for the purposes of debate. Simply saying 'there is no God' would be against the spirit and TOS of this forum.
Your logic is science based. That of Christianity faith based, so I cannot see how you would be able to follow their logic except from your own unique science based perspective.
It has nothing to do with science. It is basic logic.
For example, if you believe that God is omnipotent then it follows (tautologically) that God can intervene in human affairs. If you believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient then it follows that you believe that when God created the universe he/she/it knew what would happen at every point in the timeline.
That has nothing to do with science, it is explicit in the belief.
Right, but if you read the criteria of the challenge it specifically said that all discussion has to be linked to actual evidence. It should be common sense by now that most Christians believe in a God that is omnipotent. It can be logically and rationally explained, but there is no scientific evidence of the kind Ankhanu is insisting upon to back this up. Ankhanu can correct me, but as far as I interpreted his criteria, the criteria does not want a rational or logical discussion that cannot be connected with real scientific evidence. If it is OK to present logical and rational discussion without physical evidence, then yes, we can fire away then.
Bikerman wrote:
Since atheists don't believe in a God then they are generally unlikely to be confused about it.
I'm sure there are a number of atheists who would differ on this.
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A LOST sheep has returned to the fold. One of the most renowned atheists of the past half century has changed his mind and decided that there is a God after all.

Antony Flew, 81, emeritus professor of philosophy at Reading University, whose arguments for atheism have influenced scholars around the world, has been converted to the view that some sort of deity created the universe.
Source: Sunday Times
Bikerman wrote:
That makes no sense. Faith in what? They must have some basis for calling themselves Christians, otherwise why bother? There must, therefore, be some core beliefs - such as Jesus is Divine - otherwise, again, why use the word 'Christian'?
You did not get the point. Your negative preoccupation with the limitations of Christians and "their God" are defining your limitations as well.
Bikerman wrote:
Nope - I mean nearly all christians who have posted here and nearly all Christians I know (quite a few). Most have some half-formed notion that Jesus is God and they love Jesus, and that's about it. Asked for specifics of what Jesus actually said and what it meant they often either don't know or completely misunderstand and have to go and ask someone. That isn't much of a belief system....
I explained before, theism is based on faith, more than reason, so you would find a large number of Christians not delving into factoids to have their ducks neatly in one row, just in case someone like you may cross their paths one day. There is nothing to prove as they believe in God on the basis of their faith. Some do plenty of Bible studies and find the subject as fascinating as you seem to find it, but perhaps they would rather devote their spare time on Bible Studies than posting in the Phil&Rel and Faith Forums at Frihost?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Right, but if you read the criteria of the challenge it specifically said that all discussion has to be linked to actual evidence. It should be common sense by now that most Christians believe in a God that is omnipotent. It can be logically and rationally explained, but there is no scientific evidence of the kind Ankhanu is insisting upon to back this up. Ankhanu can correct me, but as far as I interpreted his criteria, the criteria does not want a rational or logical discussion that cannot be connected with real scientific evidence. If it is OK to present logical and rational discussion without physical evidence, then yes, we can fire away then.
I don't know what you are talking about. What challenge? The OP is asking whether religion uses fear. It doesn't mention evidence.
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Bikerman wrote:
Since atheists don't believe in a God then they are generally unlikely to be confused about it.
I'm sure there are a number of atheists who would differ on this.
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A LOST sheep has returned to the fold. One of the most renowned atheists of the past half century has changed his mind and decided that there is a God after all.
Therefore he isn't an atheist - by definition.
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You did not get the point. Your negative preoccupation with the limitations of Christians and "their God" are defining your limitations as well.
I fail to see how. I am not limited to thinking about Christianity when I consider religion
Quote:
I explained before, theism is based on faith, more than reason, so you would find a large number of Christians not delving into factoids to have their ducks neatly in one row, just in case someone like you may cross their paths one day. There is nothing to prove as they believe in God on the basis of their faith. Some do plenty of Bible studies and find the subject as fascinating as you seem to find it, but perhaps they would rather devote their spare time on Bible Studies than posting in the Phil&Rel and Faith Forums at Frihost?
I didn't ask for proof, I merely observe that believing in something without first trying to understand what it is you are believing in seems like an odd thing to do. If a Christian believes that Jesus is God, yet doesn't know what Jesus is reported to have said and done, then that is a very strange basis for such a huge commitment of faith, and it implies to me that they are either extremely gullible or lazy or both.
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
Right, but if you read the criteria of the challenge it specifically said that all discussion has to be linked to actual evidence. It should be common sense by now that most Christians believe in a God that is omnipotent. It can be logically and rationally explained, but there is no scientific evidence of the kind Ankhanu is insisting upon to back this up. Ankhanu can correct me, but as far as I interpreted his criteria, the criteria does not want a rational or logical discussion that cannot be connected with real scientific evidence. If it is OK to present logical and rational discussion without physical evidence, then yes, we can fire away then.


My thread in the P&R forum has nothing to do with this thread.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Right, but if you read the criteria of the challenge it specifically said that all discussion has to be linked to actual evidence. It should be common sense by now that most Christians believe in a God that is omnipotent. It can be logically and rationally explained, but there is no scientific evidence of the kind Ankhanu is insisting upon to back this up. Ankhanu can correct me, but as far as I interpreted his criteria, the criteria does not want a rational or logical discussion that cannot be connected with real scientific evidence. If it is OK to present logical and rational discussion without physical evidence, then yes, we can fire away then.


My thread in the P&R forum has nothing to do with this thread.
Apologies. I seem to have got the two mixed up. Very Happy
Dialogist
Bluedoll wrote:
A father will always be the best illustration for this. Mankind can act like foul little children with very crude ideas but in the end fear follows. Why else would someone fear their own father?


Interesting point you raise here. I've always seen Freud's oedipal complex flawed in many areas as most people do but I have never seen it demonstrated so well as in the case of person's relationship with the supreme "father figure". It seems to have truisms of people of faith and those without. It occurred to me after reading about the lives of many great philosophers and thinkers, Freud himself included, that patterns would often emerge in relation to their upbringing, particularly the tempestuous or neglected relationships with their father and also, whether religion played a part in that upbringing to a very strict or otherwise overbearing extent. In most cases I noted a distinct presence of both in those who spoke out against a God and a lot less in those who spoke in favor of one. The results would vary due to there being a lot more non theists that have been fully and better documented, but the notable ones Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Russel etc fathers all seemed to have left them in tragic circumstances.

watersoul wrote:

Fear teaches you nothing apart from avoidance of the thing you fear - or in other words avoiding getting caught.


But caution and value are best friends. They are practically married. Fear can also make you reassess things of value, due the contemplation of what life would be like if they were no longer there. Fear, arguably, taught you that knocking out that drug user who was assaulting your son was the best action at that very minute? Isn't fear of something dear to you being tarnished not synonymous with how a person can humanly evaluate how much they truly love something? Dealing with three very basic instinct inert human emotions: Love, Hate and Fear. Do we not use all three to value and devalue everything? You made a point that you seemed very adamant about...

watersoul wrote:

but as far as him fearing me? Never


I take it that it has been made clear to him that this is because you believe passionately in this. So is this because you love him not fearing you? Is it because you hate him fearing you? Or is it because you fear him fearing you?
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
The results would vary due to there being a lot more non theists that have been fully and better documented, but the notable ones Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Russel etc fathers all seemed to have left them in tragic circumstances.
Don't forget Goethe .... Very Happy And his "Sturm und Drang" years.
watersoul
Dialogist wrote:

watersoul wrote:

Fear teaches you nothing apart from avoidance of the thing you fear - or in other words avoiding getting caught.


But caution and value are best friends. They are practically married. Fear can also make you reassess things of value, due the contemplation of what life would be like if they were no longer there. Fear, arguably, taught you that knocking out that drug user who was assaulting your son was the best action at that very minute? Isn't fear of something dear to you being tarnished not synonymous with how a person can humanly evaluate how much they truly love something? Dealing with three very basic instinct inert human emotions: Love, Hate and Fear. Do we not use all three to value and devalue everything?
Interesting points, and yes if we look closely enough at everything we'll find most of our choices are based on a mixture of love/hate/fear.

I choose to stay in employment because:
I love having money
I hate being poor
I fear being unable to provide for myself


As far as the fear which I don't want my son to have in relation to me, it's the fear of anger or physical/verbal/emotional attack. He might perhaps fear disappointing me if his standards fall short of the behaviour I think is important for a caring society, but he doesn't fear any punative attack/punishment/retribution.
I used that example earlier in a direct response to the 'fear' I think God (or whoever wrote the Bible) has attempted to use in the many scriptures which explain terrible punishments or even death if the 'rules' aren't followed or believed. And linking this to how I feel I should be as a human father compared to a godly/spiritual father it's pretty clear really, I want my child to choose a good path because they understand it's the right thing to do, not solely through the fear of punishment - akin to the many threats from God in the Bible to his 'children'.

Dialogist wrote:
You made a point that you seemed very adamant about...

watersoul wrote:

but as far as him fearing me? Never


I take it that it has been made clear to him that this is because you believe passionately in this. So is this because you love him not fearing you? Is it because you hate him fearing you? Or is it because you fear him fearing you?
Of course, we speak at length about these kind of things regularly and enjoy a deep, strong relationship full of trust and understanding as a result of these conversations.

In answer to the questions:

I love the fact that my son trusts that he can feel confident to discuss anything or even disagree with me if he feels a situation requires debate/negotiation. I love that he is not in a family ruled by domination and sheer control through fear of physical punishment, as he tells me many of his friends are. I love that he completely understands that violence, to me, is an absloute last resort saved for defense purposes only, even if a pre-emptive attack is required for said defence on occasion.

I would hate my perception of how I have performed at helping my son reach adulthood if I had used violence and/or the threat of violence to gain his compliance. I would also hate to damage his free-thinking mind and confidence through such controlling methods. I would hate to teach him the lesson that if a man can't win a debate then violence is the next resort.

I used to fear a situation of my son fearing me when I was new at being a parent, but as the years go by that fear is pretty non existant now and to be fair, I've got a lovely well balanced and confident son who cares for fellow man, enjoys life, and gets A grades mostly at school. None of this was developed through a life fearing me, and he tells me himself how glad he is compared to his mates at school who are forced to work hard, or punished disproportionately for bad grades etc - he works hard because he wants to, and he knows it's what will make him successful in the future.
Dialogist
I think there's two schools of thought on the discipline. I much prefer yours by the way, and you sound like a great dad. There was times when I received a clip around the ear when I was kid on occasion. I'm actually typing this with a grin (I have Irish heritage). It was only times when I had extremely pushed the envelope. I am grateful, in a lot of respects for the "short, sharp shock" philosophy. I mean of course, you display well that it is clearly not needed, but there's a thing of different environments (rougher area, more discipline needed to quell greater dangers?), different eras, like it's a terrible argument that I almost don't want to make but you've heard that old "Not in my day" thing? It has some truth when you view some of the little belligerent bast... haha. As for what you said about the father figure/Biblical punishment etc, you said you lost the "fear" aspect you had were new at being a parent, well that's an evolution in realization and understanding of what... 10 to 15 or something years? Hardly worth comparing to 2000 year old corporate or indeed, capital punishment. From reading your earlier posts in your thread about your earlier struggles and such, I have nothing but respect for you for approaching this so with so much positivity. Keep up the good work!

But give him a clout if he ever hits a girl. Wink
watersoul
Dialogist wrote:
I think there's two schools of thought on the discipline. I much prefer yours by the way, and you sound like a great dad. There was times when I received a clip around the ear when I was kid on occasion. I'm actually typing this with a grin (I have Irish heritage). It was only times when I had extremely pushed the envelope. I am grateful, in a lot of respects for the "short, sharp shock" philosophy. I mean of course, you display well that it is clearly not needed, but there's a thing of different environments (rougher area, more discipline needed to quell greater dangers?), different eras, like it's a terrible argument that I almost don't want to make but you've heard that old "Not in my day" thing? It has some truth when you view some of the little belligerent bast... haha. As for what you said about the father figure/Biblical punishment etc, you said you lost the "fear" aspect you had were new at being a parent, well that's an evolution in realization and understanding of what... 10 to 15 or something years? Hardly worth comparing to 2000 year old corporate or indeed, capital punishment. From reading your earlier posts in your thread about your earlier struggles and such, I have nothing but respect for you for approaching this so with so much positivity. Keep up the good work!

But give him a clout if he ever hits a girl. Wink


Cheers for the comments, appreciated.

Regarding the 'evolution in realization and understanding' bit though, I know what you mean but if God's word was literal and correct when first written, then without any later updated revisions sent from the heavens surely I would have to believe the original threats of punishment now, just as much as the messages of love? It's why I still believe there must be some who do believe or comply solely through fear of losing their place in heaven or whatever.

[edit]I also wonder if the OP should consider the number of folk who pretend to believe out of fear as well? I spent nearly 8 months on a strongly islamic island off Malaysia some years ago. Basically most of the lads in their 20's were getting up every day for the call to prayer and pretending to go through the motions because they 'had to'. If they didn't turn up the whole village would punish them, never mind the anger of the father/family. We would stay up partying regularly and as an 'infidel' I would drink alcohol, but they instead used drugs, amphet & pot mainly, because no-one could smell it at the mosque. Scratch away at a lot of organised religion and I wonder how much pretence there is in a 'flock' inspired by fear of not just God but their own peer group?

There was also a similar situation with my Catholic friends where I grew up in (non-sectarian) South Wales, hardly any of them cared or believed much in it themselves but would they miss a particularly important (boring) mass? No chance would they choose the fate that involved, so they turned up![/edit]

...oh and off topic, but yep, hitting girls is a no no, my son knows some stories of mine, one in particular where a psycho girlfriend grabbed the back of my head and latched onto my nose with her teeth Shocked
My blood-soaked reaction after this she-devil released her jaws was a calm line of 'be grateful that you are not a man because all I'll do now is walk away from you for ever". Though the funniest development was a couple of police officers who rushed over and after I'd explained to them that I would not stand in court and say she'd done it, they both shouted at her about how lucky she was a woman, because if it had been the other way around I'd have been having a beating in the back of the police van!
Only ever strike a girl if you're life is threatened or someone elses etc, otherwise just man up and smile at the attacking girl concerned and pretend it didn't hurt (which winds them up more) and retain the moral high ground of not resorting to violence. Wink
Dialogist
watersoul wrote:
It's why I still believe there must be some who do believe or comply solely through fear of losing their place in heaven or whatever.


Undoubtedly there is. But there's people who believe that the world ends next year too and some people called the Flat Earth Society who believe the earth is flat and the perception of gravity is just the flat world constantly floating upwards and we've showed them photos and said, no, look, it's round and they're like, nah. There's people who believe all kinds of things. But if the inclination to comply solely out of fear is such a credible and threatening one, why don't you believe?

watersoul wrote:

I would have to believe the original threats of punishment now, just as much as the messages of love?


If you did the crime would you not do the time? And do you believe in law and justice out of fear in losing your place in free society?

The way I view the Biblical punishments in a modern context which wasn't available to them: the goalposts; morally, culturally, sensitively, humanely, politically and intellectually have changed a lot since those men wrote those 66 individual books, written on 3 continents, in 3 different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years, by more than 40 authors who came from many walks of life 2000 year ago inexplicably sharing the exact same story. But divine intervention aside, I dare say the goalposts have been moved considerably in a lot of respects. So God updates, Jesus with an ipod, Moses on a hoverboard or whatever asides too; if you take the crime/sin of then, and translate it to the crime/sin now, the punishment follows suit. What people do is travel back into the ancient world and say wow, it sucks here. People stone you for stuff. God sucks.

Which punishment particularly are you referring to? Do you mean the punishment? Burning in hell? Because from my reading, the jury is still out on what that even means.

About the people who 'go through the motions' - this is where the term 'lip service' came from (I think)? I would speculate that everyone of my churchgoing friends and my friends from school find/found mass boring. Probably because it is. They need to do something with that. This all singing, all dancing church I saw in Mexico was awesome. I know from my friends though, that the 'duty' aspect is largely viewed as just that. If it was painful, they wouldn't go. The way I understand is this, one of those guys is kind of boring himself. I've known him all my life. I don't like to hang out with him that much but I do fairly often. Because he's my friend. Maybe that's why he goes. Maybe that's why he hangs out with me? Smile
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
This all singing, all dancing church I saw in Mexico was awesome. I know from my friends though, that the 'duty' aspect is largely viewed as just that. If it was painful, they wouldn't go.
Totally agreed. I had a choice of churches when I was a kid, and chose the church with a Minister who did sermons that were enjoyable and full of the good stuff. There was always something that I learned and made me feel good about myself. Contrast this with sermons that has a Minister wagging his finger at everyone that if they didn't repent that they will go to hell, was not my scene. I associate that with pain. I'd love to see this dancing church in Mexico, must have been really interesting to watch, or did you participate with dancing? Smile
Dialogist
There was a festival for a feast day or something with a lot of statues and flower parades. I heard the music from around the corner. Some of it was pouring out onto the street. I leaned my head in to see what the music was and it was just normal kind of church but when ever the priest read the things that have responses, the people where the altar boys normally are would sing and dance. They were like formally dressed versions of flamenco type dancers with castanets or maracas or whatever and would perform the responses to music and some of the people would join in. It was funny because you couldn't tell when they would break into music. It looked really entertaining. Definitely an improvement from the dutiful sullen lull of any mass I have seen. I didn't partake, no. I may be a lover but I ain't no dancer.

They also have Gospel music in southern baptist churches. What people had there was a hammond organ, drums, bass guitar and electric guitar. That's a full band. And lest we forget, some church goers had a young Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Beyonce Knowles, Evlis Presley etc. Not a bad set list.
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
They also have Gospel music in southern baptist churches. What people had there was a hammond organ, drums, bass guitar and electric guitar. That's a full band. And lest we forget, some church goers had a young Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Beyonce Knowles, Evlis Presley etc. Not a bad set list.
Right! I like the upbeat energy surrounding those. Sort of contagious. One can't help but feel entertained. The part of those I don't like however is when the congregation talks back in a form of an echo. Although, I guess that keeps every one awake in a way. Very Happy
c'tair
Since I'm not a believer, I'd say that I disbelieve because of fear. Why? The fear of being wrong outweighs the fear of punishment. If faith is supposed be pure and sure, then who would I be if I believed in something because of fear?
Pascal's wager comes to mind slightly.
jeffryjon
I'd be willing to lay a wager that most people couldn't tell you what Pascal's wager is without going google. Thing is - only in my personal experience - people are more likely to follow a belief because of fear than to not follow that same belief. Not just talking about the God thing here - it's belief in general.

Could be said that at any given time, many kids are being raised out there under some version of the 'better behave or the bogey man gonna getcha'. Stick a sign on yer garden gate saying 'Our Dog Bites' regardless of whether you have a dog or not and watch how cautiously people walk across to your house. How much media coverage in any part of the world is geared up to encourage you to fear the alternatives to the status quo in that country?

Fear's one of the easiest and most cruel ways to gain some level of control over the mind's of other human beings. I think it's worth doing a recheck every once in a while to root out any little fear-based belief systems running in the background. If you do it with any sincerity, your going to find a little 'rope as a snake' in there somewhere.
deanhills
c'tair wrote:
Since I'm not a believer, I'd say that I disbelieve because of fear. Why? The fear of being wrong outweighs the fear of punishment. If faith is supposed be pure and sure, then who would I be if I believed in something because of fear?
Pascal's wager comes to mind slightly.
How can one believe when one is fearful? I'm talking of true faith here. Not the lip service kind. It's the equivalent of trust. The moment someone says they trust me, then I wonder if they really do. Trust like faith goes deep, one does not even think about it, if it is genuine, it's just there. Because it is ..... just the same way faith is. In my experience the people with the most trust and the greatest capacity for faith, are usually those who don't even think about it. There is no question in their mind about it. It's usually the ones who question trust or faith who have real issues with faith. And one does not have to be a theist to have faith, in my opinion atheists also have faith, but in a non-theist way, i.e. no belief or faith in God/s.
jeffryjon
deanhills wrote:
In my experience the people with the most trust and the greatest capacity for faith, are usually those who don't even think about it. There is no question in their mind about it. It's usually the ones who question trust or faith who have real issues with faith. And one does not have to be a theist to have faith, in my opinion atheists also have faith, but in a non-theist way, i.e. no belief or faith in God/s.


Sheer faith is a strength in itself, though we're probably heading into a great new topic with this - well worth pursuing...
Dialogist
Faith without fear is like a ship without a rudder. Compare it to gravity. You accept it as fact when you lay down to sleep your life away. Of course you'd like to fly, but it takes faith to believe the Galapagos Finch ever felt the same way. It takes faith to believe it didn't. This element of doubt isn't present in gravity. When faith becomes insuperable fact it is not faith anymore. And for what its worth, I couldn't care less about gravity. It pulls rather than pushes, holds rather than releases. It's brave to be afraid. It's kept you from finding the easy way out for this long so why change a winning formula? You need faith in fear and fear in faith because faithful fear equals fearsome faith.
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
Faith without fear is like a ship without a rudder. Compare it to gravity. You accept it as fact when you lay down to sleep your life away. Of course you'd like to fly, but it takes faith to believe the Galapagos Finch ever felt the same way. It takes faith to believe it didn't. This element of doubt isn't present in gravity. When faith becomes insuperable fact it is not faith anymore. And for what its worth, I couldn't care less about gravity. It pulls rather than pushes, holds rather than releases. It's brave to be afraid. It's kept you from finding the easy way out for this long so why change a winning formula? You need faith in fear and fear in faith because faithful fear equals fearsome faith.
I'd rather apply fear to life. Fear is usually a survival mechanism. One can't be truly alive if one does not take risks. And faces one's fears head on. Opposite of faith would be doubt. So perhaps doubt would be like a rudder for keeping faith on the right track?
Dialogist
We are talking about organic human beings though, corporeal and non corporeal. He fears starvation just as much as he fears lack of love. The rudder is an example of a relatively small component, often beneath the water's surface that the good ship faith sinks without. Faith without doubt is useless in that sense. It is not faith anymore, it is just a fact. I think you need both fear and faith for doubt to exist also. Fear that its wrong/right or faith that it is wrong/right. Doubt is more serving of reason, yet doubt has faith in reason and also fears its wrath. I've never saw faith and doubt as diametrically opposing concepts. I think they are mutually exclusive and exhaustive. In that sense they are a dichotomy.



A is faith and B is doubt. You place one on top of the other, to form the overall human belief and you have a gray area (default). Some people use different colors. For example, black and red, or white and yellow.
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
I've never saw faith and doubt as diametrically opposing concepts. I think they are mutually exclusive and exhaustive. In that sense they are a dichotomy.
Neither have I faith and fear. Think the closest that I have come to fear in terms of faith, is fear of doubt. And then I passed that. It is normal to be doubtful. Fear is also normal, but I've never really felt that in terms of faith. Or maybe I have but am unaware of it. Faith to me has to do with hope and love. And love is absence of fear. So fear can't really feature in that for me.
sudipbanerjee
My parents are religious in nature. At my student I don't believe in God. But at present i have faith on God. I think one of the main reason behind this is fear.
Dialogist
deanhills wrote:

Neither have I faith and fear. Think the closest that I have come to fear in terms of faith, is fear of doubt. And then I passed that. It is normal to be doubtful. Fear is also normal, but I've never really felt that in terms of faith. Or maybe I have but am unaware of it. Faith to me has to do with hope and love. And love is absence of fear. So fear can't really feature in that for me.


I'm probably not qualified to speak myself, as I have reached the zenith nor nirvana of love or faith. I just recognize that faith without out doubt cannot be faith. I used the example of gravity to suggest that somebody sitting down has no faith in this action, its just taken for granted that the chair will receive you (ever experience that instant of helpless shock, mid-sit, when somebody pulled the chair away at school?)

I also, although it is just my opinion, find faith without doubt utterly useless. There's a contention in here too. For example, you loan some cash to a trustworthy, wealthy person who has been incredibly generous to you over the years who is at present unable to access their money right now but will be able to next week. It doesn't require faith to believe in that person as they have an extremely low level of questionable doubt. You more or less know that you'll recover that loan without any effort. Now, the faith is redundant due to extremely high probability of getting the money back due to that person's character. So the obvious question comes into play, if you have faith that God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, immovable, all-powerful, all-conquering and 100% pure goodness and love, how valuable is your "faith"? Isn't it then insulting? "I believe in you, God! I know you can do it!" like a soccer-mom on the sidelines? Gee, thanks, mere mortal. Whatever would I do without your questionable-doubt cheer leading?

But back to my original point:

Gandhi wrote:

Faith... Must be enforced by reason...When faith becomes blind it dies.


The fear that it is not known, the fear that there's doubt is what makes faith worth something. It makes faith, ironically, "reasonable" - Because faith is not reason. Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing. There's also a school of thought in modern times which understands that the more unworthy that the person, concept or thing is, the more the faith is valued by them or others (usually in hindsight). "My coach always believed in me, when nobody else would..." etc (pick a movie?)

deanhills wrote:

love is absence of fear.


I'm not sure I entirely agree with that either. Love is much more complex than faith but if one was to break it down to dictionary definitions or widely accepted psychobabble about the why, hows and wheres of love then we're still dealing with a great amount of fear involved.

Also there's one last point. What we call fear today is not what the Nigerians speak of when they say "God-fearing". It's not what Ecclesiastes speaks of. You will find a great many Christians (especially those in more fundamental circles and African countries) speaking of "fear of God" as a noble attribute. A virtue. I've seen many detractors attempt to explain this away by calling it intimidation of afterlife, brainwashing, totalitarianism, celestial dictatorships etc, which is not being entirely fair to it and moreover, often showing a deep ignorance by the revulsion to the fear of the word "fear" itself.

Wikipedia wrote:

That point is made throughout Ecclesiastes (3:14, 5:6-7, 7:18, 8:12), though often with a hint of doubt. Here, it is made quite emphatically, with the idea being that one should have the correct relationship with God, where human is subservient to the deity. To “fear God” means to “respect, honor, and worship the Lord.
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
The fear that it is not known, the fear that there's doubt is what makes faith worth something. It makes faith, ironically, "reasonable" - Because faith is not reason. Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing. There's also a school of thought in modern times which understands that the more unworthy that the person, concept or thing is, the more the faith is valued by them or others (usually in hindsight). "My coach always believed in me, when nobody else would..." etc (pick a movie?)
I still don't get how one can have faith when one is fearful though. There has to be absence of faith if one fears something? And when one conquers it, I can then see that it must make faith especially meaningful, but at the time of being fearful, there can't be total faith.

Dialogist wrote:
I'm not sure I entirely agree with that either. Love is much more complex than faith but if one was to break it down to dictionary definitions or widely accepted psychobabble about the why, hows and wheres of love then we're still dealing with a great amount of fear involved.
Children are great at loving as there is usually no fear around. I don't think love is complicated until we start to think about it and try to analyze it. It is something of deep trust and boundless faith.

Dialogist wrote:
Also there's one last point. What we call fear today is not what the Nigerians speak of when they say "God-fearing". It's not what Ecclesiastes speaks of. You will find a great many Christians (especially those in more fundamental circles and African countries) speaking of "fear of God" as a noble attribute. A virtue. I've seen many detractors attempt to explain this away by calling it intimidation of afterlife, brainwashing, totalitarianism, celestial dictatorships etc, which is not being entirely fair to it and moreover, often showing a deep ignorance by the revulsion to the fear of the word "fear" itself.

Wikipedia wrote:

That point is made throughout Ecclesiastes (3:14, 5:6-7, 7:18, 8:12), though often with a hint of doubt. Here, it is made quite emphatically, with the idea being that one should have the correct relationship with God, where human is subservient to the deity. To “fear God” means to “respect, honor, and worship the Lord.
Bluedoll also said some of the same (I can't remember which thread). She used a different word to "noble attribute" however, she used "respect" (wonder what has happened to her?). I would agree with "noble attribute" and that it is very well said.
Dialogist
deanhills wrote:

I still don't get how one can have faith when one is fearful though.


Because faith isn't knowing. It is believing and trusting. There has to be an element of doubt for that to be so. Avoiding contrare philosophical epistemological views (which I am a big fan of) You don't place trust and belief in facts. And I'm not talking in terms of scientific fact, theory or model even, I'm talking about the hand in front of your face. I mean even from an existentialist point of view, that requires no faith. What does require faith is areas of questionable doubt. Kierkegaard put his hands on it for me:

Kierkegaard wrote:

Certainty lurks at the door of faith and threatens to devour it.


Works both ways doesn't it? Those who rely on evidence pose a challenge to the faith bearer and those who rely too heavily on faith lose it by that faith becoming a certainty. If there's any true enemy or opposite of faith to be had, its not "fear" - it is certainty.

Or maybe Voltaire,

Voltaire wrote:

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.


But these are just pithy little aphorisms. They don't account for faith actually being more powerful and life affirming than any kind of reason, logic or evidence one could resign to. Reason being: Faith is infinite without constriction, rule or second opinion.

deanhills wrote:

There has to be absence of faith if one fears something?


Of course but you are talking percentages here, not absolutely. Faith by its very nature is not definite or irreducible. There's no, 'you either have it or you don't'. I don't believe that anyone lacks it in entirety. Faith and fear have one common ancestor - The unknown. I don't think they are even pole opposites, but if they were, and indeed a person was drenched in fear, this would still require pessimistic faith in those dangers ever manifesting.

deanhills wrote:

but at the time of being fearful, there can't be total faith.


"Fearful" is an incorrect superlative like "bestest" or "perfectest" in my opinion, as actually cognitively parsing the information of that which scares a person requires a whole other database of emotional faculties, not to mention the bargaining and justification battle that ensues with reason and faith that it first has to win to even unfold. "total faith" is another fairy story. And possibly even an oxymoron, depending on whether you agree with what I said above? "Faithful" would probably have to go to, if we were being really particular. But much like the word "Beautiful", its complete because it has elements of chaos. Beauty requires ugliness just as faith requires doubt.

deanhills wrote:

Children are great at loving as there is usually no fear around. I don't think love is complicated until we start to think about it and try to analyze it. It is something of deep trust and boundless faith.


Children are afraid of everything from the dark to the monsters under their bed. For some reason though, not motor-ways or adults six times their size. This is what I was saying about fear. There is different meanings. There's a respect aspect to it, knowing of a greater force than yourself. Its kept us all alive this long. Children often cannot determine this for themselves.

If you believe there's no fear in love then analyze the following:

Person who needed somebody and then became completely dependent on somebody wrote:
I love you so much. I don't know what I'd do without you.


Cynical of me?

deanhills wrote:

Bluedoll also said some of the same (I can't remember which thread). She used a different word to "noble attribute" however, she used "respect" (wonder what has happened to her?).


I think there's positive forms of fear. Self preservation shows us that this is true. Respect, modesty, humility and honor are all different things, but if you step out onto a busy road and see a huge truck headed in your direction, you take a step back again. This is not because you are brainwashed, stupid or weak-minded. This is because you are decisive, intelligent and capable. It's respecting something bigger and more powerful than you without question or reservation. I feel that level of respectful intimidation whenever I look at the ocean. By the same token, "God fearing" doesn't seem so hostile to me. It actually sounds wise.
deanhills
Dialogist wrote:
Because faith isn't knowing. It is believing and trusting. There has to be an element of doubt for that to be so.
That I completely get and believe, but where does fear come into it? Doubt is completely different from fear.
Dialogist wrote:
deanhills wrote:
There has to be absence of faith if one fears something?

Of course but you are talking percentages here, not absolutely. Faith by its very nature is not definite or irreducible. There's no, 'you either have it or you don't'. I don't believe that anyone lacks it in entirety. Faith and fear have one common ancestor - The unknown. I don't think they are even pole opposites, but if they were, and indeed a person was drenched in fear, this would still require pessimistic faith in those dangers ever manifesting.
I was not talking about either/or. How can one truly believe when one fears what one believes in? That nixes the faith for me.
Dialogist wrote:
Children are afraid of everything from the dark to the monsters under their bed. For some reason though, not motor-ways or adults six times their size. This is what I was saying about fear. There is different meanings. There's a respect aspect to it, knowing of a greater force than yourself. Its kept us all alive this long. Children often cannot determine this for themselves.
I don't think this fear has anything to do with their faith however. Their faith and trust are implicit. They don't think about it. Fear to me usually comes with rationalizing faith. Which seems to be futile as faith can never be rationalized. Our thinking may be in our own way in the end.
Dialogist wrote:
If you believe there's no fear in love then analyze the following:
Person who needed somebody and then became completely dependent on somebody wrote:
I love you so much. I don't know what I'd do without you.
That is just talk though, isn't it? the moment when we start to rationalize love along these lines, I can't see that as love. More like our own rational interpretation of what it is. Love is usually spontaneous, and it just IS. Almost like our dreams, when we try to recall them, they seem to disappear on us. If we try and "recall" love, then that also has a funny way of doing a disappearing act on us.

Dialogist wrote:
Cynical of me?
No, I think a mixture of being rational and playing devil's advocate. In a very thorough and well reasoned way. I think I can be cynical too, but my cynicism is more on the level of my thinking being in the way of stuff like faith and love. I live more in my head than in my heart, most of the time. I've been accused of that as well ..... Twisted Evil

Dialogist wrote:
I think there's positive forms of fear. Self preservation shows us that this is true. Respect, modesty, humility and honor are all different things, but if you step out onto a busy road and see a huge truck headed in your direction, you take a step back again. This is not because you are brainwashed, stupid or weak-minded. This is because you are decisive, intelligent and capable. It's respecting something bigger and more powerful than you without question or reservation. I feel that level of respectful intimidation whenever I look at the ocean. By the same token, "God fearing" doesn't seem so hostile to me. It actually sounds wise.
Now this I can understand very well. And you are right, it is a sign of wisdom, and also articulated very well. Very Happy
Dialogist
The opposite of fear is courage. Courage provides an almost perfect antithesis of doubt. Confidence is synonymous with courage. You could say that you have every confidence in someone or something, and that would mean you have faith in them. This is how doubt and fear are interlocked in terms of belief. My point is that doubt and fear are also interlocked to confidence and faith too. Being that either two sets are perversions of the other. If a person has doubt they have perverted their faith. If a person has fear they have perverted their confidence. And vice versa. If what you say about children being naturally faithful and trusting is true, then you have a precursor to pollute. It's my assumption that fear is the first thing any human experiences upon womb excommunication. So there's another precursor. I would have a hard time calling the 100% vacancy of doubt in the belief of a child anything more than naivety or even downright stupidity. They are protected by mindful adults in a sinful human world due to this. Their instant willingness to want to see that stranger's puppies is not any good example of the higher echelon of faith. It's ignorance, as innocent and pure as it may be, it holds no reason nor justification. The Pope has tremendous faith for example, yet still requires 6 inches of bulletproof glass on his Pope-Mobile. Why? Because he's a grown-up who knows people want him dead. Me jumping off of a high-rise building shouting "God will catch me" is not good faith. It's idiocy. So yes, I do think that love and faith need to be rationalized. One may do this by recognizing and appreciating the doubt or the fear. Respecting the whole framework of these emotions and beliefs. Because if there's no doubt, you may find yourself crashing planes into skyscrapers.

An example of somebody fearing what they truly believe in could be anything from somebody working on a cancer cure to a conservationist attending to injured bears or lions. You don't roll in all happy-ass Androcles to remove the thorn from its paw, you wear body armor, maybe take a tranquilizer gun. Beekeepers love bees, but they know what they need to wear. This is smart love. Smart faith in ones goals. Likewise, a believer in God should probably entertain an understanding of the sheer velocity of the power of the entity that they believe in. They should be God-fearing. They should think as much as they can about The Problem of Evil and come to terms with Chaos theory. If they believe God gave them free-will, they should be grateful and instrumental in its usage. If they believe God gave them intellect, they should show gratitude by utilizing it and questioning his motives. He didn't make meat robots. Part of this appreciation is recognizing and understanding the entire human spectrum of emotional experience. Fear and doubt are massive, essential components of this rationality. Just as the bygone tyrant is instrumental in bringing about modern peace. Just as Judas was chosen as an apostle. For Everything A Reason.

If you read Physiology views on Fear then you'll come across concepts that are universal to all organisms. One of the more popular ones is Dr. Cannon's "Fight-or-flight response". It speaks of the instinct to run or engage in battle. Faith/confidence and doubt/fear could be seen in similar mental battle. But it's not either/or in my reading. For example, a zebra sees a lion prowling, it craps in its pants and runs frantically and usually gets savaged. A gazelle on the other hand runs, but does so confidently, often zig-zagging and tiring the heavy lion out with abrupt turns of direction, because it knows it is super-quick. Muhammad Ali also adopted this tactic as his "Rope-a-dope". The fear was George Forman's power. The faith was just being a far better boxer. Fear and faith combined preserves homeostasis.

The balanced man must have both. All faith and no fear and he'll soon be dead. All fear and no faith and he's dead already. The cynicism that you admit to is part of your faith, is all I'm saying. I don't think the conflict is as important as the eventual teamwork of fear and faith. I also think the faith of a man who has grave doubts yet still overcomes it is worth a lot more. It's somewhat heroic. He's clearly not stupid or in denial or a dreamer. He's done the actuality tables and still come back telling you that mathematic truths cannot be scientifically proved and he's just looked inside courageously and asked himself how he feels about metaphysical response. And when all is said and proved, who better to have faith in, really? Because if you don't have confidence in yourself, how can you have confidence in your creator? And if you don't have confidence in your lack of confidence in yourself, how can you can you have confidence in your creator who provided the butterfly effect of lack of confidence so that you might actually put it to some good impetus? Nobody is brave without fearing the alternative and nobody has faith without questionable doubt. And if you see them as contributing benefactors, they are only as negative as an insulting critic who made you refine your entire approach. I mean this is the entire concept of education. Failing so that you might succeed. Rectum erratis disce!
Bikerman
They are not opposites. Courage is the conquest of fear. Without fear there is no courage. Neither is courage antithetical to doubt or synonymous with confidence.
On one scale you have fearful<->fearless and on a related but different axis you have courage<->cowardice.
Courage is acting inspite of one's fear(s) and cowardice is being controlled by those fears. In fact the two scales could be said to be complimentary. The greater the fear, the greater the courage required to overcome it.
Doubt is unrelated (one can be courageous yet doubtful, or fearful yet confident). Confidence could be seen as the opposite of doubt forming a scale from totally confident to totally doubtful.
bukaida
Actualy Fear, Love and Respect are different faces of the same coin. They are not disjoint entities but are somehow connected with each other.
ocalhoun
bukaida wrote:
Actualy Fear, Love and Respect are different faces of the same coin. They are not disjoint entities but are somehow connected with each other.


I'd say, not so much.
You can have any of those three alone without any of the others along with it.

(Well, okay, I guess fear does imply at least a little of certain types of respect.)
Bikerman
I respect Stephen Hawking. Fear doesn't even enter the scene, and nor does love. I fear extreme pain. I don't 'respect' it or 'love' it (or 'hate' it).
bukaida
Quote:
Well, okay, I guess fear does imply at least a little of certain types of respect


Absolutely , See any dictator(like my Boss), maximum shows respects for him is due to fear. Very Happy

Quote:
I respect Stephen Hawking. Fear doesn't even enter the scene, and nor does love. I fear extreme pain. I don't 'respect' it or 'love' it (or 'hate' it).


Well it is case specific.
I love my father and respect him.
People love their country and have respect for it.
Bikerman
If it is case specific, it is, by definition, not a 'rule' which can be 'generalised'. It follows that the three cannot be different aspects of each other.
bukaida
Bikerman wrote:
If it is case specific, it is, by definition, not a 'rule' which can be 'generalised'. It follows that the three cannot be different aspects of each other.


This forum is based on personal belief rather than rule or logic. However you are correct as per the definition of rule goes ( although there can be exceptions to any rule.). What I said is entirely my personal belief, not a rule. Sorry if the language beared any such intention.
Bikerman
This is why I despise faith.
You start with:
Quote:
Actualy Fear, Love and Respect are different faces of the same coin. They are not disjoint entities but are somehow connected with each other.

Now, I gave an example which, you admit, shows that this is not true in all cases - which in turn means it isn't true at all*. Yet the 'faithful' continue in their belief despite it being refuted. In other words, you continue to believe something which cannot be true, and which you KNOW cannot be true.
That is, to me, idiotic.

* The hypothesis that fear love and respect are aspects of the same thing can be likened to the hypothesis that 3 photographs are actually of the same building from different angles. If we show that just one of the photographs is NOT of the building then the whole hypothesis is clearly refuted.
bukaida
Again I like to humbly remind that this forum is not about law, rule or hypothesis, neither I tried to establish any of them. This forum is for believers ( idiots, in your language). It has more relation with heart and feelings rather than science & logic.
Bikerman
There is a difference between believing what might be true, and believing what you know is not true.

The first I can understand. The second is, I believe, an example of mental illness. In fact we have a name for it - Cognitive Dissonance.
ocalhoun
Before this gets any further... might I just make a note that I don't predict this exchange ending well.
Nobody has 'crossed the line' yet, but if it continues on in this pattern, somebody probably will.

Neither one of you is at all likely to change the other one's mind, so we might as well just make amends now, before things get out of hand.
bukaida
ocalhoun wrote:
Before this gets any further... might I just make a note that I don't predict this exchange ending well.
Nobody has 'crossed the line' yet, but if it continues on in this pattern, somebody probably will.

Neither one of you is at all likely to change the other one's mind, so we might as well just make amends now, before things get out of hand.


This is just a discussion and I have no intention to make it hot. Do not worry, as for my part, I am signing off from the topic Very Happy
LostOverThere
bukaida wrote:
This forum is for believers ( idiots, in your language)

Surely this forum is for the discussion of Faith, and not just for people of faith. It wouldn't be much of a discussion board if it were the latter.
loremar
Do I believe because of fear?
I might if that cause me so much brain damage.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Before this gets any further... might I just make a note that I don't predict this exchange ending well.
Nobody has 'crossed the line' yet, but if it continues on in this pattern, somebody probably will.

Neither one of you is at all likely to change the other one's mind, so we might as well just make amends now, before things get out of hand.

Amends? Wrong word I think, since nobody has done anything to 'amend'.

The observation that 'neither will change each other's mind' is a little like the statement that 'there are two sides to every story'. True but misleading. It implies that there are two valid points of view being debated.

The same tactic is used by many 'faithful' - be it faith in creationism, climate-change denial, or whatever. For example, the New York Times recently ran a double-page article titled 'Meteorologists Sceptical about Climate Change'. This is extremely misleading. Many people mistakenly believe that meteorologists are experts in climate and would, therefore, tend to attach significance to their views. They aren't anything of the sort. Most of the ones interviewed were the 'pretty faced' presenters of the weather forecast on various networked TV channels. Their views about climate change are no more based on expertise than mine are.

The same applies here. The implication that two valid points of view are being discussed is miseading. It implies that 'believing something that is known to be incorrect' is reasonable. It isn't.

Having said all that, I should make it clear that when I say 'idiotic' I am not calling anyone an idiot. I always try to avoid personalising any contribution and try to confine myself to the debate rather than the debator. When I say that, in my opinion, x is idiotic I am not saying that people who do/believe x are therefore idiots. Not being able to add 5 and 4 is, also in my opinion, an indicator of innumeracy. Earlier today I added 5 and 4 and got 8. I'm not innumerate, and I have certificates to prove it Smile
_AVG_
shadowozera wrote:
I am not religious, i was for 16 years, it was just to stressful for me. In my 16 years know, i know there were fakers but i also know that there were people who were only faithful because of fear. Fear of god. Is this considered ok in some religions?


Whether it is considered "ok" or not in religions, I'd like to tell you that whatever you do, whatever you think, whatever you say, whatever you believe, do it for true happiness, not out of fear ... because then, you end up doing something you don't want (miserably too) and you don't get happiness out of it.

I'm not telling you to be religious or anti-religious. I'm just saying do whatever it is that makes you happy. And spread happiness.
foumy6
honestly I think that that is really all the church does. Is really just put fear into people so that you follow every little thing that they tell you, and there are yet still people who will follow and do everything the church says. Then for some reason those people seen to get the idea that sense "god" loves them they can talk down to others that do not follow in their footsteps. I don't know honestly i think the us trys to put faith down our throats so that we may fear the all mighty and only do good which isnt gonna happen.
deanhills
foumy6 wrote:
honestly I think that that is really all the church does. Is really just put fear into people so that you follow every little thing that they tell you, and there are yet still people who will follow and do everything the church says. Then for some reason those people seen to get the idea that sense "god" loves them they can talk down to others that do not follow in their footsteps. I don't know honestly i think the us trys to put faith down our throats so that we may fear the all mighty and only do good which isnt gonna happen.
Depends what church you go to. I'm not an expert on all of the churches, but some of the churches they seem to be quite happy with singing and dancing. I know there are churches like the one you describe where they want people to be fearful, but there are also ministers who like to focus on love and hope messages.
williams_john
Yes its reality only fear of GOD is a key of success. I read in a book is there any man who is too much corrupted. But he fear from GOD,he advised his son when he died burn his dead body and after that fell all it into river. After that some one saw a dream ,he saw that man , the man is standing in front of GOD ,GOD asked why you do this advise to his son? Man replied because of the fear of GOD.so on doing this GOD forgive him
suzanstive
people who have no confidence on them or sure about of any thing in there life they fear or fear of god or boss or anything we can say. why we fear of god while we do something wrong then only we scare of result
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A has no emanative letter:
A soldier's rant
To the Christians, this is why I don't fear hell.
Interpretation: Threat and Fear of Hell
Is "Satan" really evil?
Bible, do you believe it?
Islamic article
Is it more logical to believe in God?
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