Re: virus: Faith vs Relig

Snow Leopard (
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 09:52:18 PST

>I guess when I say ‘religious’, I mean those who put whatever faith
>they have in their priest, the name of their church, or the
>traditions, rather than the God those things are supposed to point to.
>We come from profoundly different view points. When I say religious,
>I mean people who have spent the time to look into issues, spent the
>time to look into themselves -- those rare people who are in control
>of their own divinity. They are the phaithful, to use the new term.
>When I say "faithful", I mean those who ignore themselves and trust
>somebody else to make their decisions for them -- be it the priest,
>the church, the traditions, the bible, or whatever they think their
>God to be.
>The reason I come from this angle is that there are *many* religions,
>and members of them all have the potential to *be religious*; not
>with-standing the fact that some religions lack gods, and faith.

Great. I agree. Anyone can be religious. I religiously brush my teeth. Maybe we should come up with anoher word, like "relijious" or something. Anyhow, religions lack faith is what I've been saying all along. If I have the most phaith in the goodness of God, then I'm not going to kill someone for their beliefs, because God is good and killing is bad.

>The bare definition of the Christian faith is “Jesus Christ, the
>perfect Son of God is the only thing that can save us from our own
>wrongdoings. All you have to do is let him live through you,
>accepting him as Lord and Savior.”
>Well, you've summed up what *Paul* said Christianity was. Now do you
>care to find out what *Jesus* said it was? Or *James*?

I don't quite understand what you're getting at. Jesus said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Well, guess what? I agree, and this is a lovely fishing hole. I don't happen to have anything for James, but the pont is, it's one doctrine told diferent ways, like the light of a prism.

>Or how about -- horror of horrors -- what *you* personally have found
>of value in Christianity?

Personally? I've found that Christianity is, for me, a driving force. My time talking with all of the people who are don't have phaith in Christ, but have sharp intellects, is the best time I have. In a way, it's like military service- while I'm doing my duty to tell what I believe to be truth, to defend Christianity and uphold morality as best as I can (wish me luck) I get to see interesting things and look in on many fascinating perspectives.

>This argument is known as Pascal's Wager, after Blase Pascal, who
>first made it. There are many refutations available, but consider

>Calvin: Well. I've decided I do believe in Santa Claus, no matter
>how preposterous he sounds.
>Hobbes: What convinced you?
>Calvin: A simple risk analysis. I want presents. Lots of presents.
>Why risk not getting them over a matter of belief? Heck, I'll believe
>anything they want.
>Hobbes: How cynically enterprising of you.
>Calvin: It's the spirit of Christmas.
> -- Calvin & Hobbes comic by Bill Waterson

That's nice, but I can disprove Santa Claus a lot easier than you can disprove the God of the Bible.

>Pascal's Wager, although at first convincing, has some serious flaws,
>not the least of which is that it assumes one can *choose* to believe
>whatever one wants to. Next on the list is that Pascal's wager does
>not consider the fact that perhaps choosing to believe in the *wrong*
>God could have infinite negative consequences, balancing off the
>infinite positive consequences of belief in the correct god.

The right god? Pardon me, Eric, but it occurs to me that I may have the bases covered. I have a working set of beliefs, and in charity to whatever may be out there, I check out everything else. The funny thing is, every Biblical *discrepancy* I've heard of so far can be explained, if one looks though the Biblical world view. I challenge anyone reading this to point out a few, I'll show you what I mean. On the other hand, I have invested an incredible amount of time trying to understand the viewpoints of otherr religions. I see the discrepancies, ask around, and then the members of *whatever* think that I'm being spiteful. So, it looks like they're being sore losers. I keep checking. If God is not what I think he is, and he is powerful enoughto do anything, and caring enough to think of humans as more than giga-pets, then He'll make the truth known to me. He knows I'm listening. Get Your Private, Free Email at