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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Town's Crier » Pope Pope I: The Religion Thread
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Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-18-19 08:43 PM CT (US)         
Believe it or not, I'm not actually talking about battleship thighs!

I think, within reason, we can have an honest--and civil--discussion about faith. Not about politics, or what have you... to actually discuss our beliefs and maybe answer genuine questions from people who want to know more. It might help us think about our beliefs in ways we hadn't before.

But some ground rules.
1. Please be civil. Please. This is a touchy subject.
2. Ask questions in good faith. Not, "Why do learned people subject themselves to stone age myths" or troll shit like that.
3. No holy wars. It's one thing to declare something a heresy. Another to try to launch an inquisition.
4. If you have nothing polite and constructive say, please don't say whatever's left over here.
5. All are welcome. To listen, to discuss... believer and non-believer and the just unsure.

And yes, Moff is actually fairly religious. It's a recent development, hence my very tentative approach here. And if we can't keep this a pleasant discussion, I will not hesitate to request this thread closed.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology

[This message has been edited by Kousoku Senkan Moffgou (edited 01-18-2019 @ 08:44 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-19-19 03:57 AM CT (US)     1 / 45       
Pope now away from the Vatican
Moff ownz it temporarily

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 01-19-19 04:14 AM CT (US)     2 / 45       
Ah, goody. I've had a number of thoughts in the context of faith in recent months, so I'll just dump them here to get a discussion rolling.


-A lot of stories and legends of religious origin seem to treat inexplicable, supernatural events as a sign of God. After all, only God could be powerful enough to defy the laws of nature at will. But at the same time, this does not make a lick of sense, does it? If God is the omnipotent being who made the universe, then that means that God is the one who wrote the laws of nature-- he is nature. And because God also supposedly knows everything, that should mean that the universe is exactly what God wanted it to be-- there should be no need to make on-the-spot adjustments to the universe in progress. God is not bound to a specific point in space-time like we are, so it would not make sense for God to "change his mind", as it were. Therefore, a true sign of God would not be nature being defied, but nature turning out exactly as God wants it. Of course, that also means there is no way for us to tell the difference between a world that was created by God's intention and a world that lacks the presence of such a being...

-I honestly do not know what is meant when religions like Christianity claim that humans were "shaped in God's image" or some such wording. God's image? What image? God is an omnipotent being. That means he is not bound to any shape; if he were to feel the need to attain a physical appearance, he could take any form he wishes. But even that seems ridiculous to me; as I've said just now, God should permeate through all of nature, meaning he is everything at once, and therefore shouldn't need to 'represent' himself in a dedicated physical form. In short, God does not "look like" anything. That is why I find movements that claim God is black or God is a woman interesting; not because it's true, of course, but because it challenges the cultural perception that God is an old white dude. (This is good because we really don't need any more old white dudes with God complexes. >_>)

-If there is such a thing as the Devil, then only as God's alt account. There is no way an omnipotent being that is the manifestation of good would allow a rebellious manifestation of evil to coexist-- unless that 'evil' was part of the plan all along. Human psychology requires distinct concepts of good and evil, however; 'Good' is desirable and 'evil' is repulsive. To believe and have faith in God, he needs to be good. But if one believes that evil is not just an absence of good, but a separate concept, then there must be a source for that too, and it can't be God as well, since he's already the 'good guy'.

-I cannot believe in a religion that says "If you don't participate in such-and-such tradition, you will not go to heaven". If I will be judged in the afterlife, I would want it to be for my thoughts and deeds. It just makes no sense to be the shining example of a good person your whole life, but to still go to hell/limbo because you weren't symbolically sprinkled with/dunked in holy water at any point in your life. I don't want to go to a heaven governed by such priorities. There's also the old conundrum of "So you expect me to abandon my ancestors, friends, and relatives who aren't going to/didn't go to heaven?" which makes the whole heaven system rather problematic. (Also, glad we figured out if dogs go to heaven, but do cockroaches? What if it's a really good cockroach blessed by holy water? Do tardigrades go to heaven? Do trees? Where does God draw the line for his exclusive good guys afterlife club?)

I guess that'll do for now. What do y'all think? Obviously my ideas are heavily shaped by Christianity and Western philosophy, so I guess there is still much to learn and nuance on the subject.

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 01-19-19 04:17 AM CT (US)     3 / 45       
Well, to put in my one post, my opinion is the following: personally I don't believe in god nor am I religious or otherwise superstitious, but I do think that religion has its place in the world and it does a lot of good for those that need it.

I'm an Evangelist-Lutheran, but only because I want a church wedding (if that ever happens) and a church burial/cremation. I basically just pay taxes for that, no spiritual effort expended Oh and the songs are nice.

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You, you... Finnish Barstool! - Enraged Popeychops
Major Helper: Helping AoE3H Housewives since 2008 - As_Saffah
I spent 3 months trying to convince a door that I was an intelligent life form and gave up. - TLM
Winner of "Nicest" (2012-2016), "Most Helpful" (2014) and "Best Moderator" (2015-2016) Forummer Awards
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Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-20-19 05:41 AM CT (US)     4 / 45       
So, if the name doesn't make it clear, I'm a devout Christian, and arguably have been since I signed up. However, my attitude has changed quite a lot over the past 12 years. I remember being particularly gung-ho in my early years on AoKH and I remember regretting it later.

I guess I've tried to make it a smaller part of my brand? But knowing me, I've replaced it with other gung-ho and caustic topics, like politics.

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Blatant
DoFH Seraph & Director of Seraphs
(id: blatant7)
posted 01-20-19 04:55 PM CT (US)     5 / 45       
I wasn't religious when growing up, but actually became so for a period of four or five years in my late teens. Now though, I've gone back to not believing. I still find it to be very plausible that there's some form of higher being or "otherness", but I just can't believe in the Christian god. Most of my friends are religious in one way or another and I'm 100% fine with others believing but it just isn't for me.
-I cannot believe in a religion that says "If you don't participate in such-and-such tradition, you will not go to heaven". If I will be judged in the afterlife, I would want it to be for my thoughts and deeds. It just makes no sense to be the shining example of a good person your whole life, but to still go to hell/limbo because you weren't symbolically sprinkled with/dunked in holy water at any point in your life. I don't want to go to a heaven governed by such priorities. There's also the old conundrum of "So you expect me to abandon my ancestors, friends, and relatives who aren't going to/didn't go to heaven?" which makes the whole heaven system rather problematic. (Also, glad we figured out if dogs go to heaven, but do cockroaches? What if it's a really good cockroach blessed by holy water? Do tardigrades go to heaven? Do trees? Where does God draw the line for his exclusive good guys afterlife club?)
+1 to this. The other biggest point to me is that I don't see any logical way for free will to exist alongside an omniscient God. If God is all-knowing and therefore knows everything we will ever do, then we don't have free will and we're just following a predetermined path. Does anyone have a response or counter to that? (I'm asking in a totally non-confrontational way, I genuinely want to know if there's something I'm missing or misinterpreting).

Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone. ~ Brandon Sanderson
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-20-19 05:55 PM CT (US)     6 / 45       
As I understand--and I do not purport at all to be an expert on this--that's essentially Calvinism in a nutshell.
-A lot of stories and legends of religious origin seem to treat inexplicable, supernatural events as a sign of God. After all, only God could be powerful enough to defy the laws of nature at will. But at the same time, this does not make a lick of sense, does it? If God is the omnipotent being who made the universe, then that means that God is the one who wrote the laws of nature-- he is nature. And because God also supposedly knows everything, that should mean that the universe is exactly what God wanted it to be-- there should be no need to make on-the-spot adjustments to the universe in progress. God is not bound to a specific point in space-time like we are, so it would not make sense for God to "change his mind", as it were. Therefore, a true sign of God would not be nature being defied, but nature turning out exactly as God wants it. Of course, that also means there is no way for us to tell the difference between a world that was created by God's intention and a world that lacks the presence of such a being...
I'm afraid I don't follow your line of inquiry here.
-I honestly do not know what is meant when religions like Christianity claim that humans were "shaped in God's image" or some such wording. God's image? What image? God is an omnipotent being. That means he is not bound to any shape; if he were to feel the need to attain a physical appearance, he could take any form he wishes. But even that seems ridiculous to me; as I've said just now, God should permeate through all of nature, meaning he is everything at once, and therefore shouldn't need to 'represent' himself in a dedicated physical form. In short, God does not "look like" anything. That is why I find movements that claim God is black or God is a woman interesting; not because it's true, of course, but because it challenges the cultural perception that God is an old white dude. (This is good because we really don't need any more old white dudes with God complexes. >_>)
Well, it does mean God is not a battleship girl. So that's a plus.

I don't really worry about whether the Almighty is a white-haired fellow or lady on a chair, or what specific skin tone He's supposed to have. Granted, depicting Jesus of Nazareth as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, long-faced German chap is a bit odd... I think the Shroud of Turin had some forensic reconstruction done which showed distinctly Near Eastern features.
Do tardigrades go to heaven?
Only in Star Trek. They're the gate keepers.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology

[This message has been edited by Kousoku Senkan Moffgou (edited 01-20-2019 @ 06:03 PM).]

Sinochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 01-20-19 11:40 PM CT (US)     7 / 45       
I honestly cannot believe in a God or some higher power. Most of all however, I don't expect that there's an afterlife. I'm firmly convinced that our consciousness will disappear with the death of the physical body and we will be returned to the nothingness we came from.

Sometimes I think about that and I find it depressing. Other times, I find it romantic. Our lives have no objective significance whatsoever and are over in a blip, having had no ultimate meaning at all. But in that time, we connect with other people in the same boat as us and to us those relationships are bursting with meaning and significance, however unimaginably negligible the space and time they occupy truly is. And would their subjective importance really be any greater were they validated by the existence of a higher being that grants them perpetuity? I don't think so. In fact, I would find them devalued.

The problem with atheism that I sometimes I have trouble with is the question whether there can be morality without a god. But then, even if there is a god, would his existence alone justify his position as a moral authority? After he created a world with so much suffering? Probably not.

[This message has been edited by Sinochud (edited 01-20-2019 @ 11:41 PM).]

Blatant
DoFH Seraph & Director of Seraphs
(id: blatant7)
posted 01-21-19 00:04 AM CT (US)     8 / 45       
The problem with atheism that I sometimes I have trouble with is the question whether there can be morality without a god.
Absolutely there can be. If you do something to help others that you feel is good, that's you choosing to act in a moral way because you want to. If there's no such thing as God then there isn't an objective morality, but a morality that you as an individual and we as a society generally agree on.

Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone. ~ Brandon Sanderson

[This message has been edited by Blatant (edited 01-21-2019 @ 00:04 AM).]

MawBTS
I ONCE PUT AN ENTIRE ORANGE INTO MY MOUTH
(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 01-21-19 03:24 AM CT (US)     9 / 45       
-A lot of stories and legends of religious origin seem to treat inexplicable, supernatural events as a sign of God. After all, only God could be powerful enough to defy the laws of nature at will. But at the same time, this does not make a lick of sense, does it? If God is the omnipotent being who made the universe, then that means that God is the one who wrote the laws of nature-- he is nature.
In Age of Empires II, the player wins by gathering resources, advancing ages, and building an army...or they can type "how do you turn this on" x 300 times and kill the enemy with Shelby Cobras. Both methods are perfectly legitimate uses of the game's code, so why is the second method considered cheating? Because it exists outside of the game's normal logic. You're not not supposed to win that way.

The supernatural is an IRL cheat code: it's something that can't be explained by the universe's internal logic. Maybe God controls natural events too, but for those we don't need God. We only need to consider Him when the rules break down.

BTW, I don't think it's sound theology to say that "God is nature". Some Eastern religions espouse a weird "everything is one" pantheism, but the Abrahamic faiths make it clear that creation is something separate from God. Watchmakers aren't watches, and AoE2 isn't Ensemble Studios.
-I honestly do not know what is meant when religions like Christianity claim that humans were "shaped in God's image" or some such wording. God's image? What image? God is an omnipotent being. That means he is not bound to any shape;
Like much of the Bible, this passage is opaque and difficult to interpret.

Maybe the intended sense is that we are God's representatives on Earth, dominating our planet to an extent that lesser lifeforms can't begin to understand (to my pet cat, I'm God).

Or maybe the shapelessness is the point - men are shapeless too! Sometimes we're passionate, calm, angry, kind, aggressive, reserved, etc, just like God. CS Lewis once said "It is a serious thing to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship."

Nonbelievers go with the more boring explanation: that ancient people literally believed God was shaped like a man. The oldest part of the Bible is probably the Song of the Sea in Exodus 15. Here, God is a mighty warrior, fighting on his people's behalf. He has arms, and hands, and a nose. Stand against him, and you get thrown into the sea. Only later did the concept of God as an intangible spirit emerge.
-If there is such a thing as the Devil, then only as God's alt account. There is no way an omnipotent being that is the manifestation of good would allow a rebellious manifestation of evil to coexist-- unless that 'evil' was part of the plan all along.
I don't believe in the Devil.

If I did, I'd probably say that God isn't allowing him to exist: his end is predestined, and so inevitable that it might as well have already happened. The idea of time being a directional arrow from the past into the future is a disputed one, in physics as well as religion. See Eternalism.
manifestation of evil
Is the Devil a manifestation of evil? I'm not sure. I don't want to talk about good vs evil, but I'll say this, most behavior is best described as programming, or sets of behavior meant to achieve a goal. It lacks any moral content.

Robot 1 wants to fill the world with carrots. Robot 2 wants to fill the world with zucchinis. Which is good? Which is evil? The idea is absurd - we can't even describe them that way. They just have different goals.

If the Devil exists, he doesn't see himself as evil. He's a rogue angel with goals that clash with God's. Knowledge is power. Freedom, forever. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Maybe humans would prefer one or the other for our own well-being, but I don't think we need to ascribe morality as a fundamental fact of the universe. Things work pretty well without it.
-I cannot believe in a religion that says "If you don't participate in such-and-such tradition, you will not go to heaven".
Nor can I. But is Christianity such a faith? There's passages of people being saved without any kind of tradition, with Luke 23:40 being a famous one.

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

edit:
If God is all-knowing and therefore knows everything we will ever do, then we don't have free will and we're just following a predetermined path.
Knowing the outcome of something isn't the same as restricting someone's choices.

If you give a kid a choice between playing Fortnite and reading WJ Sidis's 1926 opus Notes on the Collection of Transfers (widely considered the most boring and useless book ever written), you already know which one they'll pick. But it isn't like you're forcing the kid to play Fortnite at gunpoint. He still has a choice, even if you know what the choice will be.

[This message has been edited by MawBTS (edited 01-21-2019 @ 03:35 AM).]

Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 01-21-19 04:07 AM CT (US)     10 / 45       
As I understand--and I do not purport at all to be an expert on this--that's essentially Calvinism in a nutshell.
Ah, yes. This is the predestination issue, I believe. If there is an omniscient God who has a heaven/hell system set up, then does that mean we are fated to end up a certain way regardless of what we do? In my country's early days, there was a major conflict among two prominent theologians; Arminius and his remonstrants, and Gomarus and his contra-remonstrants. The former believed that people are 'elected' to go to heaven, as it were, but that this election is provisional and if one proves unworthy then you will be denied. (And vice-versa for being 'elected' to not go to heaven.) The latter held that since God knows everything, all is fated and there is nothing you can do to influence your outcome; if you're predestined for heaven or hell, then you're going there no matter what you do or think.

Taking the assumptions about the omniscient God and his heaven/hell system for now, I believe it's a combination of both. Yes, God knows whether you will go to heaven or hell. But that is because God knows how you will use your free will and has factored that in. If you're the kind of person to assume you are going to heaven and decide there's no point in doing any good on Earth because of that, then clearly you are not a good person and will not go to the heaven where good people supposedly go. Conversely, if you believe you are predestined for hell no matter what you do, but do good things (or at least, things God defines as 'good') regardless of that, then you are a good person and should go to heaven.

The long and short of it is that there is no way for mortals like us to know what God knows, so there is no sense in straining your mind over it. This is probably for the better; it'd be problematic if we did know.
I'm afraid I don't follow your line of inquiry here.
Let me try to rephrase it. If God is the one who created everything, then nature is as God willed it, and therefore an expression of his will. Yet in a lot of religious tales, things that cannot be explained by nature-- the supernatural-- are assumed to be signs of God's will. This seems contradictory to me. Especially when one factors in that God is supposed to be omniscient. Supernatural things in these stories are implied to happen because God is displeased with how events are unfolding and wishes to change it. But this contradicts the given notion that God already knew how events would unfold from the very beginning, when he created the universe. If he accepted this is how it would turn out back then, why would he be displeased now? "Then" and "now" should make no difference for God.
Our lives have no objective significance whatsoever and are over in a blip, having had no ultimate meaning at all. But in that time, we connect with other people in the same boat as us and to us those relationships are bursting with meaning and significance, however unimaginably negligible the space and time they occupy truly is.
This is how I look at it, too. Sure, we might not significantly alter the vast universe around us in our short existence. But why would that be 'meaningful'? If I could move planets, create galaxies, bend the laws of nature, would it 'mean' anything if I did? Meaning is relative to our existence. We do significantly change the lives of people who are just like us, and that is meaning enough for me.

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
Sinochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 01-21-19 08:47 AM CT (US)     11 / 45       
Absolutely there can be. If you do something to help others that you feel is good, that's you choosing to act in a moral way because you want to. If there's no such thing as God then there isn't an objective morality, but a morality that you as an individual and we as a society generally agree on.
If our is morality is merely based on a combination of our natural disposition as humans and our cultural values, where is there real authority?

It's also a human's natural inclination to try and reproduce, but not all humans make this decision, nor would that be always beneficial.

Ancient Hellenic culture accepted pederasty, but I can only condemn that by my own 21st Century Western values. Moral relativism sounds problematic to me.

Of course, my reservations about the nature of their foundation will not change the fact that certain moral values are ingrained in me and I hope that I would act in their defence. I believe in them fully on an emotional level.
Maybe the intended sense is that we are God's representatives on Earth, dominating our planet to an extent that lesser lifeforms can't begin to understand (to my pet cat, I'm God).
Somehow I doubt that you're God to your pet cat.

Also, if we are God's representatives on Earth, why have we only been around for such a tiny fraction of its history? Why does it look like we're on the path to wipe ourselves out in a few centuries or so?
Sure, we might not significantly alter the vast universe around us in our short existence. But why would that be 'meaningful'? If I could move planets, create galaxies, bend the laws of nature, would it 'mean' anything if I did? Meaning is relative to our existence. We do significantly change the lives of people who are just like us, and that is meaning enough for me.
Yeah, totally agree. A billion galaxies on the other side of the universe could be destroyed, but you probably wouldn't care as much about that as you would if your mother died.

[This message has been edited by Sinochud (edited 01-21-2019 @ 08:56 AM).]

Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-21-19 09:00 AM CT (US)     12 / 45       
Also, if we are God's representatives on Earth, why have we only been around for such a tiny fraction of its history?
Man did not come first in Creation. God prepared everything else for Man.
Why does it look like we're on the path to wipe ourselves out in a few centuries or so?
I'm sure the Romans thought the same, despite converting a scant century before.
This is how I look at it, too. Sure, we might not significantly alter the vast universe around us in our short existence. But why would that be 'meaningful'? If I could move planets, create galaxies, bend the laws of nature, would it 'mean' anything if I did? Meaning is relative to our existence. We do significantly change the lives of people who are just like us, and that is meaning enough for me.
Well, you're not God, so you don't need to worry about that.

It is more than enough that you have a positive impact on those around you. Like you do here. You don't need to pull a galaxy out of your butt unless you're actively trying to compete... in which case the raise is simply, "I'll see your smelly galaxy and raise you an entire universe."

The point of Christianity (I can't speak for any other belief system besides atheism, and we see how good I was at that) is not to be God. That's just megalomania.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology
Sinochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 01-21-19 09:05 AM CT (US)     13 / 45       
The point of Christianity (I can't speak for any other belief system besides atheism, and we see how good I was at that) is not to be God. That's just megalomania.
To me, the idea that God made us in his image and prepared Creation for our species is megalomania.
I'm sure the Romans thought the same, despite converting a scant century before.
The Romans didn't have the means. We're getting to the point where we do.

Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-21-19 09:58 AM CT (US)     14 / 45       
Pope now away from the Vatican
Moff ownz it temporarily
Let's get rid of all these depressing paintings of old dudes and people being martyred. Some nice KanColle wall scrolls will brighten up this drab old place.
To me, the idea that God made us in his image and prepared Creation for our species is megalomania.
*shrug* I do agree with some of the points that God is inscrutable. I mean, it's even in the Scriptures.

That He is sinister, though? No.
The Romans didn't have the means. We're getting to the point where we do.
We also have the means to prevent it, and even start to repair what we've done. We just lack the political will and more people have developed this twisted "we should die for our crimes against nature" mentality.

There are no bunnies on the Moon, Mars, or Ceres that will be hurt if we move mineral extraction there. But now we're getting into politics and that is another thread.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology

[This message has been edited by Kousoku Senkan Moffgou (edited 01-21-2019 @ 09:59 AM).]

Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-21-19 10:08 AM CT (US)     15 / 45       
Okay, the more I read Faddy's post the more I like it. It's a rational appeal to the same kid of spirituality I hold to. My spiritual life is deeply linked to my intellectual life, but it's separate from it. I don't hold my religious beliefs as a consequence of my scientific understanding, and I don't wield either as a stick with which to beat the other. The two have different purposes for my person and my life.

But I also don't hold to a "non-overlapping magisteria" interpretation. It's entirely correct in my view to say:
The supernatural is an IRL cheat code: it's something that can't be explained by the universe's internal logic. Maybe God controls natural events too, but for those we don't need God. We only need to consider Him when the rules break down.
The rules of the universe are perfect for describing the natural world. In English, the language used in that sentence is extremely elegant. "Natural", indeed, encompasses all that can be described, in nature, and of its nature. It is the description of things "as they are". If all that there is can be described by natural events, and a scientific understanding of natural law, there is no need for a God. Ockham's razor suggests that it is just science with an extra step for no advantage. So the argument that "God is nature", because God created nature, and therefore that God cannot exist, is itself a circular argument and I do not countenance it for itself.
BTW, I don't think it's sound theology to say that "God is nature". Some Eastern religions espouse a weird "everything is one" pantheism, but the Abrahamic faiths make it clear that creation is something separate from God. Watchmakers aren't watches, and AoE2 isn't Ensemble Studios.
This is the perfect continuation, and follows neatly from the themes about. I, again, do not countenance pantheism for one moment. There's no conversation I've had about religion that irritated me more than the time my sister-in-law told me that while she dislikes Christianity (due to the traditions some Christians adhere to), she liked Buddhism "because it is a way of life, rather than a religion". We all have surely heard similar statements from Western speakers at other times, and I don't like it one bit. It's not true. Buddhism is a religion and the word "deity" derives from the sanskrit word "deva", which describes supernatural divine beings venerated in Buddhism. It's a tautology to differentiate this from "god", when we talk about other beliefs like the Norse or Greek pantheons.

I think too often people criticise the establishment because they wish that their beliefs were as powerful as the established orthodoxy, not because they actually have adequate criticism of that orthodoxy. I see this in politics all the time. In some respects, I sympathise.




The most constructive thoughts I've ever had about religion have not involved the questions "what?", "who?" or "how?", but the question, "why?".

I know that light is described by Maxwell's equations. I know why through religion: because I believe in a God of perfect order, who in His omnipotence chose to create a universe that could be understood by rational observers. The most unintelligible thing about the universe is that it is intelligible.

And that's why my physics degree brought me closer to God than the church I attended during that time of my life, which brought me the closest to rejecting my faith that I've ever come. But that's a story for another time

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-21-19 10:16 AM CT (US)     16 / 45       
Oh, indeed. Seldom do I feel further from God than when I'm surrounded by people bleating about Him. My faith is something I have, until now, kept intensely private.

And like Popey said, I see no contradiction between my scientific training and the existence of the Abrahamic God. Yes, I know what Genesis says in literal translation. But I'm not a literalist for Genesis, and certainly not a Young Earth Creationist.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-21-19 10:20 AM CT (US)     17 / 45       
Knowing the outcome of something isn't the same as restricting someone's choices.
Oh, and absolutely this!

I hate the idiotic proclamation that a series of experiments on the timing of decision making "prove that free will does not exist" because decisions to activate muscles are made before a person consciously expresses what the decision will be.

The suggestion that supernatural knowledge of the future invalidates my choice in the present is utter poppycock. It's still me making all my decisions. I can choose to wiggle my fingers over the keyboard as I type this. Nobody forces me to do it. I invent the idea in order to prove that my capacity for invention exists.

And the timing of neurological activity measured by an MRI image of my brain cannot invalidate my philosophically free choice to do that. There is no fate but what we make. The idea that the future is set and the world is determined is just magical thinking. I know that I exist, and I trust that you exist. Perhaps I am the only real human, and you are all automata. I might not be ever able to test that. But I cannot be convinced that I am an automaton.

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-21-19 10:22 AM CT (US)     18 / 45       
Oh, indeed. Seldom do I feel further from God than when I'm surrounded by people bleating about Him. My faith is something I have, until now, kept intensely private.
I learned that I'm not a Calvinist at university. Unfortunately, I learned this by going to a church that taught a Calvinist systematic theology, and speaking to the Calvinist students there. It was profoundly upsetting and my reflexive hatred of any kind of determinism is a result of that.

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Sinochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 01-21-19 01:19 PM CT (US)     19 / 45       
The most unintelligible thing about the universe is that it is intelligible.

I disagree. I think you're saying the universe is intelligible because of how well it's ordered. If something is well-ordered, I guess we take that as the mark of an intelligent creator, as humans are those who organize. But if it's indeed the case that all of nature is well-organized if one only examines it closely then human behavior is not anything exceptional in that regard. So the argument that something must be deliberately created because it's well-ordered is founded on a questionable assumption. It could well be that a simple characteristic of nature that needs no explaining is that things are ordered the way they are. We don't have any reference points external to our universe by which we can call that unlikely.

[This message has been edited by Sinochud (edited 01-21-2019 @ 01:20 PM).]

Sinochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 01-21-19 01:23 PM CT (US)     20 / 45       
I know that I exist, and I trust that you exist. Perhaps I am the only real human, and you are all automata. I might not be ever able to test that.
Yeah, at the end of the day we've all got to have faith in certain truths.

Sinochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 01-21-19 01:48 PM CT (US)     21 / 45       
I learned that I'm not a Calvinist at university. Unfortunately, I learned this by going to a church that taught a Calvinist systematic theology, and speaking to the Calvinist students there. It was profoundly upsetting and my reflexive hatred of any kind of determinism is a result of that.
I'm curious. What kind of things did they tell you?

vainsten
Squire
posted 01-21-19 03:17 PM CT (US)     22 / 45       
...I don't believe what I'm seeing. This forum has changed and not for the better.
Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 01-21-19 03:25 PM CT (US)     23 / 45       
How many times have you said something to that effect? How many times are you gonna come back just to say it again?

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-21-19 03:30 PM CT (US)     24 / 45       
I disagree. I think you're saying the universe is intelligible because of how well it's ordered
But you see, not only can the expansion of the universe be described elegantly by the lambda-CDM model, our observations of the universe suggest that it's cosmologically "flat" (1.02+/-0.02!) Meaning it will juuuust about keep expanding forever. Why should that be the case?! There's no good reason. It's like the universe is telling us a joke.

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-21-19 03:42 PM CT (US)     25 / 45       
I'm curious. What kind of things did they tell you?
Calvinists believe in five basic points of faith, which they call "TULIP" as a mnemonic.

  • Total Depravity - all people are in a state of sin and a state of rejection to God. Nobody can choose to accept salvation.
  • Unconditional Election - God chooses a certain number of people to be saved, just 'cos. It's for no special reason, they do nothing to deserve it.
  • Limited Atonement - God's elect are the only people saved by Jesus' death on the cross.
  • Irresistable Grace - You cannot say "no" to God. If you are elected, you are in. If not, you're out. You have no say in the matter.
  • Perseverence of the Saints - If you are elected, you will not fail to keep the faith. Anyone who believes for a time, and then lapses in faith was never truly elected in the first place.

    I reject all five, for reasons I can justify with Bible verses (I won't get into that, let's just say that you can cherry-pick verses for either side of the argument). When it came up in conversation, another student(!) told me that I needed to go away and read my bible and that I wasn't a proper Christian. As a result, I stopped going to church, and spent the summer meeting frequently with the pastor of my parents' church to discuss my profound crisis of faith. I seriously considered chucking it all in the bin.

    So yeah, you never know the way words can affect you, even about something you feel is important to your whole life, something that you're passionate and certain about.

    Member of BlackForest Studios
    Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
    and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
    "Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
    "Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
    "You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
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