A Post for my friend kermittheagnostic


I wanted to define these words here so we can reference them more easily

agnostic– someone who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God but does not deny the possibility that God exists.

knowledge– familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through *experience, or study; *this includes both empirical material and that derived by inference or interpretation.

faith– a confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

belief– the mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in a person or thing. Mental acceptance of or conviction in the truth or actuality of something.

Let me start off by asking you to give me sources that other religions  “love God and love man”. For example are there, Muslim missionaries groups (that aren’t militia groups)? Pro-life Buddhist groups fighting for the lives of unborn babies? Hindus against drunk drivers or Moonies divorce support groups? Theses are just some of the ways that Christ reaches out in a lost and dying world, using His people to serve other people. Yes, I know that non-Christians also have similar “programs” but there “end” is not nessesarrily the same.

By your title (kermittheagnostic) you reveal your belief that there is no proof of the existence of God, but not the possibility that He does exist. But you only site knowledge as tangible evidence, not experiential evidence. That is not “full” knowledge. Full knowledge is both of these things. This is where faith ties into knowledge. I experience God, so my knowledge of Him is empirical and then strengthened in me through His spirit, by His word. Faith is the realization of things hoped [waited] for and the evidence of things not seen. I can’t show you faith, unless I show you my life.

If I have only “book” (study) knowledge and not faith, what is that? I would be my own God, not relying on the One who knows all. My belief in God is my mental acceptance of who He says He is in MY experience.

Judging from what you’ve written in your responses, this is what you need: to experience God. You can not do this by study alone, (bible, history, etc..). You have to pray, seeking the truth. Attend church and worship your Creator. This takes an act of humility, something that those who seek “proof” of God have a hard time doing. It means admitting they don’t have/can’t have all the answers, but has to trust in “Someone” who does.

Thank you kermit, for helping me seek God more diligently in this matter. Some of these things I’ve taken for granted, and haven’t explained very well, for I haven’t understood them very well. But you provoked me to seek God in this matter, and I’d never tried to explain my faith without the Bible. I needed to do that. And as I grow in this grace and knowledge, hopefully I’ll become more proficient at it.

God bless.

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33 Responses

  1. good stuff… it’s an encouragement that you’re searching the word for this… besides… with the definition of your word agnostic, I can think of a alot of christians that fit that description… they believe that God does exist but they have not the experience with God to say he does

  2. Tim,

    I see you have found another ‘friend’. I read through the comments betwixt you and kermit. You forget to put the definition of ‘Atheist’ up there. Many of my friends are Agnostic because they believe they need proof. They ask me so many questions, and you know my personal views do not run hand in hand with The Church. I tell them I can not give them an answer if they can not be open minded and just ‘see’.
    Religion is man made, but Faith is the Greatest Gift. If Kermit questions, then either he is curious, in turmoil, or is a cyber bully. Otherwise, just ask him if he does right by people (The Golden Rule). Our Saviour was questioned of who He was during His Sermon, and he simply stated that if they do not believe in Him, than to believe in the work He does.
    If Kermit does not harm others, than God Speed to him. May his life be blessed and prosperous.
    Tim, The Good Shepard will go for his lost sheep. Do not worry. Accountability comes to all, whether in their early years or on their deathbed. My great-uncle was a Communist and on his deathbed, a Messenger came to Him and shortly after his visit, he asked for a priest to give him the Host. He died thereafter, at peace.

    Harlequin

  3. Harlequin,
    That is such a touching story of your great-uncle. Please share more of your experiences, they are a great testimony of God’s mercy and grace.

  4. I will try. There are so many family secrets. I will try to do one tonight.

  5. Okay, did one. I am glad you have put your comments in moderation. finally…

  6. Hello all!

    I just found this post. I am new to blogging so just am finding my way around.

    I am reading your message to me now. I love this oportunity to sharpen my thoughts thank you for not writing me off as a “blog bully” – I suppose there are some out there. I am not! I honestly seek the truth. And believe that all people do.

  7. Sorry I meant “cyber bully” not “blog bully”

    Still reading and thinking…

  8. I would roughly agree with your definitions. Knowledge is the tricky one though. There are competing theories as to what it means to “know” something. I am agnostic to the point of questioning my own existence and do not believe we can “know” without a doubt anything. Some things are just more probable than others.

    I looked up (Googled) knowledge and found:
    “Knowledge is defined (Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information or (iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Philosophical debates in general start with Plato’s formulation of knowledge as “justified true belief”. There is however no single agreed definition of knowledge presently, nor any prospect of one, and there remain numerous competing theories.”

    For empirical I found:
    “A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. Empirical data is data that is produced by experiment or observation.[1] It is usually differentiated from the philosophic usage of empiricism by the use of the adjective “empirical” or the adverb “empirically.” “Empirical” as an adjective or adverb is used in conjunction with both the natural and social sciences, and refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment. In this sense of the word, scientific statements are subject to and derived from our experiences or observations.”

    You ask me for examples of other religions that have “do-good” programs. Being in a predominantly Christian society I can’t name any without research but, as you state, I’m sure there are “similar ‘programs.’” However, I do know of the Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee, WI. And I can name dozens of non-religious help programs like the Red-Cross, etc. Thank goodness people seem to be willing to help each other regardless of religion. You said, “But their ‘end’ is not necessarily the same.” Certainly not! Some of them are simply and un-arguably there just to help people. Whereas many Christian organizations attempt to pick up converts along the way. I am not saying ALL do this but many do.

    You said:
    “By your title (kermittheagnostic) you reveal your belief that there is no proof of the existence of God, but not the possibility that He does exist. But you only site knowledge as tangible evidence, not experiential evidence. That is not “full” knowledge. Full knowledge is both of these things. This is where faith ties into knowledge. I experience God, so my knowledge of Him is empirical and then strengthened in me through His spirit, by His word. Faith is the realization of things hoped [waited] for and the evidence of things not seen. I can’t show you faith, unless I show you my life.”

    I am agnostic in that I don’t know if God exists. I fully admit he may. And there may be indeed be a theory that makes him more probable. But I have not seen it.

    “I experience God, so my knowledge of Him is empirical…” I think this is the key statement in this paragraph. If you look at the definition of empirical I don’t think it means personal experiential data. “Empirical data is data that is produced by experiment or observation.” I do not believe it is referring to personal experiences rather experiences observed by all, they cannot be subjective. The data you are calling empirical are subjective therefore not empirical. An example of empirical data would be feeling cold. If I present to you a theory that you feel cold because the door is open then feeling cold would be empirical data supporting the theory. It is something that is not subjective and is also experimentally testable by closing / opening the door, etc. We can test the theory and repeat the experiment. The experiential data you have for Gods existence simply does not suffice for empirical data. You said, “This is where faith ties into knowledge.” Nowhere does the definition of knowledge mention faith or faith mention knowledge. They are not tied into each other in any way. This is where faith departs from knowledge is a more true statement. Faith is different. I looked up the definition and it is almost synonymous with the word religion and one even says, “To believe without reason.” Even the bible says, “Blessed is he who believes but has not seen.” This insinuates that faith requires the abandonment of empirical data or proof.

    I notice you said “full” knowledge. Perhaps you are saying that there is a knowledge that is greater than regular knowledge. A knowledge that is made greater by faith. If this is what you mean then you are admitting that you do not ‘know” in the traditional sense of the word. Rather you know because you believe. This “full knowledge” is different from traditional knowledge in that is subjective and tied to your personal faith and experience. But is this not simply faith? To you it may seem like knowledge because you believe it so strongly that it is like delusional person who actually believes they are seeing people when in reality there is no one there. I am not saying you are delusional unless you do indeed see Jesus standing in front of you daily and he appears as real as anyone else. No, I do not mean to offend you in anyway. I am just trying to make the point that you fully realize you do not “know,” in the traditional sense of the word, that God exists. You have no empirical data and cannot show me proof. You have a thing you call “full knowledge” which, to you, is better than traditional knowledge. It is a knowledge you entwine with faith. But I argue it still is just faith and not knowledge. You have a desire to call it knowledge because knowledge is generally, but perhaps wrongly, thought of as belief in something that is true. When in fact knowledge is an understanding of things that are highly probable. No, we can never find true knowledge but we can find things that, when we investigate and scientifically test, appear to be true. The theory that God exists is not one of them.

    Sorry this got so long – I have more to add… Thanks for analyzing and thinking!

  9. “Nowhere does the definition of knowledge mention faith or faith mention knowledge. They are not tied into each other in any way.”

    Let’s look at the definitions again, these are not my own by the way, they are found in the American Heritage Dictionary:

    faith- a confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

    belief- the mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in a person or thing. Mental acceptance of or conviction in the truth or actuality of something.

    Faith has within it’s definition, the word belief. Belief is a “mental act” so that IS how faith ties together with knowledge and brings about a fuller understanding.

    Also from the AHD:
    empirical: Relying upon or derived from observation or experiment; Capable of proof or verification by means of observation or experiment.

    How does one observe the Spirit of God, or the spirit of man for that matter?
    Do I observe gravity? I don’t see it (gravity) but I see it’s effects (I fall down).
    The Spirit of God, changes a person from the inside, and manifests itself in the life of that changed person.

    And thanks for changing that post.

  10. This is an interesting paragraph:

    “If I have only “book” (study) knowledge and not faith, what is that? I would be my own God, not relying on the One who knows all. My belief in God is my mental acceptance of who He says He is in MY experience.”

    By this statement it sounds like you have come to know God through your study of the Bible and experience. This assumes that at first you did not know of God or Jesus. At some point you accepted that the Bible is the true word of God. So, first you studied then your faith followed. So, you, at one point, were like me, you did not “know” of the truth of the Bible. You studied it, experienced things in life, and made a decision that Christianity is the “true” religion. The key word here is “you.” YOU made the decision. You judged Christianity to be true and all other religions to be false. You made the decision alone. Unless you do not believe in free will. If you believe God led you to the decision then it was God who made the decision not you and you, therefore do not have free will. I think you accept free will as that is what the Bible teaches we have – is that correct?

    So, being of free will, you acted alone in your decision to accept the Bible as the true word of God. You have furthermore judged your experiences to be further evidence of the truth of this decision.

    In all this it is ultimately you that is the decision maker. It is in a sense like you ARE your own God. You alone have judged the content of the Bible and your experiences and have decided they are proof to you that Jesus is the Son of God. You said that without your faith you would not be “relying on the One who knows all” and therefore you ask, “what is that?” Insinuating that it would not be knowledge. I would argue that you have not relied on him at all in this matter for then it would be as if you had believed before you believed. You have relied on nothing more than yourself and your own ability to reason as to its truth. I do not see how you are relying on anything more than your own reasoning power. You are not relying on God at all.

    So, all you really do have is “book knowledge” and experience that you have reasoned is proof enough for you to believe. I don’t see how the act of accepting or believing in something brings you closer to knowledge of it. This would be like me saying that in order to understand evolution you must first accept it as truth and you must seek it as such and study it and then it will become clear. This is obviously absurd!

    – Kermit

  11. Hi Tim!

    The full AHD definition: (you conveniently left out part 2)
    faith – Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

    You said:
    “Faith has within it’s definition, the word belief. Belief is a “mental act” so that IS how faith ties together with knowledge and brings about a fuller understanding.”

    Yes, belief is a “mental act” but there are many kinds of belief. Some belief is based on faith. Some is based on scientific, experimentally proven data. The belief that knowledge is dependent on is not data gained through faith. Otherwise why would we have a separate word for it? If belief based on data gained though experiment is the same as data gained via faith then what is the difference? What you base your belief on is very important to the definition of knowledge.

    Actually, as I stated before, the debate as to what one means when they say “I know” is on-going. To you it obviously is OK to include faith as a tool to gain knowledge. To me it is not. Because why not just call all religious beliefs knowledge? The fact is that we do make the distinction between knowledge that is gained via scientific experiment and knowledge that is gained via faith. So, if you want to say that you know Jesus is the son of God because of your faith then you must accept it also as knowledge when a Buddhist says they know Buddha is God because they have faith in this just as you have faith in Jesus. So, is it the case that you would accept that a Buddhist also knows his religion is true?

    So to tie faith to knowledge is not a generally accepted thing to do. But we make the rules and I will accept this definition for the sake of argument if you wish.

    OK – You said:
    “How does one observe the Spirit of God, or the spirit of man for that matter? Do I observe gravity? I don’t see it (gravity) but I see it’s effects (I fall down). The Spirit of God, changes a person from the inside, and manifests itself in the life of that changed person.”

    Consider the 2 following statements:
    1 – “I know that God is actively working to make good things to happen to people.”

    2 – “I know Gravity is actively working to make material objects come together.”

    You are arguing, correct me if I am wrong, that because we cannot see something, in this case God or Gravity, we still know they exist because of their affect. Right? We fall down and good things happen to people. And you would say that I believe in gravity the same way you believe in God. And since I believe gravity exists I have now viable reason to question God exists.

    Alright consider this then:
    Suppose that I believe gravity is a purple dragon that exists at the center of the Sun and he is the creator of all. Now consider those statements again:

    1 – “I know that God is actively working to make good things to happen to people.”

    2 – “I know Gravity (The purple dragon creator of all) is actively working to make material objects come together.”

    Do you accept #2 now? I don’t think so. There is now no difference between these 2 statements. They both imply the same thing.

    And now to go the other route…

    If the word God meant nothing more than the force that causes good things to happen to people. That is if it were the word we use for when good things happen to people and nothing more. Not the creator of all, not a super natural being, etc. Then consider the statements again…

    1 – “I know that God (The force of good, not the creator of all, etc.) is actively working to make good things to happen to people.”

    2 – “I know Gravity is actively working to make material objects come together.”

    Do you accept # 1 now? I think you would because the statement is just repeating what is exactly the definition of the word god is in this case.

    The problem with comparing my belief in gravity to your belief in God is that God is not just a word we use for the force of good occurring to people. Whereas gravity is exactly the word we use for the observable phenomenon of objects coming together. And if you accept #1 then you must also accept #2 where Gravity is used to mean a purple dragon.

    And the reason you would believe #1 is because you are mistakenly accepting faith as proof of your knowledge. And so you must also accept the faith and knowledge of another who believes in the purple dragon.

    Anyway, thanks for listening again. I enjoy this opportunity to help you further understand you faith and those that do not share it.

    May Gravity bless you. 🙂
    -Kermit

    Oh, about that post. I see now. You noticed I copied the whole thing and posted it. That was a mistake. I was trying to save it somehow so I could read it and I saw my comments were still awaiting moderation. I was in no way trying to plagiarize. Thanks.

  12. One more thing on this:

    “How does one observe the Spirit of God, or the spirit of man for that matter? Do I observe gravity? I don’t see it (gravity) but I see it’s effects (I fall down). The Spirit of God, changes a person from the inside, and manifests itself in the life of that changed person.”

    It is a valid question whether the spirit of God or the spirit of man exist. Just as it is a valid question whether gravity exists. You say the spirit of God manifests itself in the life of changed person. All we really know is that people change on the inside and objects come together. What the cause is is up for debate.

    We happen to call the phenomenon of objects coming together gravity. The phenomenon of people changing we call exactly that, we say, “Wow, that person really got it together.” Or, “wow, did they change their attitude!” We don’t say, “man did that person find God!” If a person changes for the better why does it follow that God exists?

  13. Interesting article. Very well stated I think.

    What do you think?

  14. I like the following excerpt. I kind of hit home as to what we are talking about in this blog. You beg the question when you use the Bible to support the truth of the Bible or use the definition of God to support the existence of God.

    “Begging the Question

    Of course, we could answer all of these objections by proving that God is one, immutable, eternal, infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. It would then follow that he is the First Mover upon which all other motion depends, the Uncaused Cause that causes everything else, the necessary being that accounts for all other being, the perfection of all perfections, and the final cause of all actions.

    But in doing this, we assume what we have to prove. The divine attributes are delineated later on in the Summa, but these qualities are necessary in order to make the five ways hold water in the first place—that is, if we insist on using them as proofs. Therefore, in making the five ways into “five proofs,” we beg the question.”

  15. And this is interesting…

    “Nonetheless, we can piece together and paraphrase some of his other arguments in various writings to come up with a solid, irrefutable proof that not only does God exist, but he cannot not exist. That is, saying that God does not exist is a contradiction in terms. But that’s the subject of another article.”

    Now THAT is an article I’d like to read! Sounds like the author is saying that if you define God as that which cannot not exist then it makes no sense to say he does not exist. Sounds like Descatres’ ontological argument. He said that because it is possible to think of an all-powerful, omnipotent being it follows that he does exists otherwise how could you think of him? Or something to this affect, I can’t quite remember the details.

    This is of course absurd.

    What do you make of the article?

  16. Well, instead of kermit, you should call yourself “pitbull” cause you don’t let go, do you? 🙂

    Anyway….

    What the article brings to light, is that there is a presumption to be made that God is. Now your question to me was “How can I be sure the God of Christianity, is the true God?”
    The most compelling thing I’ve realized in this discussion is that none of the other “figures” or Phropets claimed to be God incarnate. Jesus did. Buddah didn’t, Mohammad claimed to be a prophet, not the Son of God. Jesus gave us a reason why it had to be done this way, to atone for humanities sins. He then calls us to a higher standard of living…loving one another. Though we haven’t done this in a “good” way throughout history, we have improved over the last 400 years or so.
    We seem to be agreeing on disagreeing here. Again, thanks for your input, but we are at an impass. You see things the way you choose to, and I see them mine. Good luck on your blog and your journey to “truth”.

  17. Ha! Yes, I guess I don’t let it go easy. You are not the first one to tell me this. But I don’t mean to be “pitbullish.” I really am just trying to understand how it is that you came to believe what you believe. I feel like I am missing something. And to just say “we are at an impasse” drives me to try even harder! Grrrrrrrr! 😉 When you say, “You see things the way you choose to, and I see them mine.” Begs the question even further! Why do we see things differently? It seems to me if you cannot say anything more than, “I just see it that way and you don’t” then it is like you are saying you don’t know and you are agreeing with me in that you do not know if Christianity is the true religion. You are simply gonna go ahead and believe it regardless.

    The fact that Jesus said he is God incarnate is not anymore compelling than my Purple Dragon proclaiming he is the creator of all things or Jews claiming Jesus was not God incarnate. My point is that all religions have things they proclaim and in this case the particular claim of being God incarnate does not, for me, make it somehow closer to “truth” than the Jewish claim that he is not.

    Notice I said “for me.” This brings up your point about you seeing things one way I seeing them another. It sounds like you are saying that your belief is based solely on what you believe in. In other words you base the truth of Christianity on the teachings of Christianity. I do not understand how this makes sense to you. How can you accept that and not accept someone saying that the truth of the Purple Dragon is based on the truth of the Purple Dragon’s teachings (assuming there are some.)??

    So, yes we are at an impasse if you are choosing to ignore this obvious flaw in thinking. As I once heard it said about competing religions, “Someone is wrong!” Unless you can tell me how it is that it makes sense to you that you have chosen the right religion I must assume you are like me in that you also do not know. You hope, yes, you want it to be true but in reality you do not know that Christianity is the true religion and the right one to follow.

    To just blow it off as just something you believe and I don’t makes it seem too hollow. How can you put such faith and belief in something that is of such great importance to you when it is based on something you just happen to believe and I don’t? I really trust you have better reasons for believing than that! How can I be doomed to an eternity in Hell and you in Heaven based on such weak, seemingly random beliefs?

    I don’t know, sorry to “pitbull” on but why is it I can’t let it go and you can? You have a strong belief in something yet you cannot explain it, defend it? What is it that you see but I don’t? You said it yourself when you said, “You see things the way you choose to, and I see them mine.” We “choose” – I have chosen based on reasons just as you have made a choice based on reasons. Those reasons should make sense otherwise why have them?

    -Peace to you. And thanks for yout thoughts!

    -Kermit The Pitbull Agnostic 😉

  18. I keep telling you over and over. History has proved “to me” the claims of Jesus and Christianity. But you don’t accept my answers. I don’t accept yours. You haven’t proved it isn’t true. You just don’t accept what history, scripture and the Christian faith say or have to offer. You are not the only one. I have faith in the God who led me to the Catholic Church as the Church He founded, based on the information I’ve gathered. If you don’t accept it, what else is there to say or discuss?

    Believe what you want to. It’s your decision.

    Maybe what you think is hollow I call faith…and I think that is what you are missing.

    No one has all the answers. We all accecpt what we believe with at least as much faith as logic.

    That’s it.

  19. WOW – I write too much – it just comes out. I hope you are not offended. Thanks for the oportunity to speak! And I appreciate your thoughts.

    It is amazing you said, “If you don’t accept it, what else is there to say or discuss?” I would think you would say the opposite, that is, “If you don’t accept it, then there is A LOT left to say and discuss!” For how do we come to accept something if not by discussion? Why does a preacher preach? You beg my question of how it is that you yourself came to accept Catholicism. Did you first randomly accept your faith?

    It is not the case that I “just don’t accept” it. I have reasons for not accepting it. This is why I am talking to you. I have not just randomly chosen to not believe anymore than you have randomly chosen to believe.

    You are making my points exactly. Which is that it is something you have indeed just accepted. The ‘proof’ you point to is ‘to me’ weak and yet you continue to use it as proof. You are correct; I do not accept your answers. The statement “History has proved ‘to me'” further backs up my claim that you don’t really know. You have had personal experiences that are exactly that. You do not want to prove them or analyze them because that is not how you came to the belief in the first place. You have made a decision that just believing in something, without proof is a good thing and, in fact, the Bible teaches it so you are even more OK with that. Faith, that is belief without reason, is what religion is for you. You value that. I understand completely.

    So, in the same respect, you say to me, “Believe what you want to. It’s your decision.” As if it is OK to for anyone to believe whatever they want. I can believe in my Purple Dragon and that is OK and you can believe in Jesus. No problem. So, you are making my point that there is nothing other than personal, non-provable, experiences behind religion. We are free to believe whatever crazy illogical thing we want. There is nothing anyone can say to prove or disprove it. All religions are equal in this respect and therefore it is difficult for a person whom is trying to find the right religion to find it. You are proving my point exactly. You are right, I have not proven it isn’t true and I never claimed to. I only claim that, as you say, no one has all the answers. And any single religion, because of it’s reliance on faith alone, stands an equal chance as any other religion of being true. And anything based on faith alone stands a less likely chance of being true than things based on demonstratable evidence.

    The reason I want to know what you think, and the reasons for it, is so that I can see if there is something I have missed. I don’t think there is. You say I am missing faith. But I perhaps have more than you because I do not follow a religion but yet I still believe God, if he exists, would credit me for thinking the way I do. Now THAT is faith! 🙂 (Tongue-in-cheek)

    You are correct in your last line. No one has all the answers. But I think you are wrong in thinking “we all accept what we believe with at least as much faith as logic.” We accept some things, like mathematics, based on demonstratable evidence. If math were not proven by experience then we would not accept it. One accepts the existence of the Purple Dragon totally on faith. We demand logic in most everything we believe in. And quickly abandon it if does not hold up to tests. Why is religion an exception to this? Imagine if it were the year 1807 and I told you to just have faith that pictures can be sent through the air (TV) Would you believe me? No, you’d want proof. And not just an explanation with diagrams would do. You’d want me to demonstrate it. Then you would believe. It would seem silly to believe me without such proof, right? But yet you would believe that Jesus is God incarnate based on faith and subjective experience? Why is one acceptance based on faith OK while the other not? That is the crux of what I do not understand. It IS “your decision” and you have decided that one un-provable thing is true but another is not. You said, ” I have faith in the God who led me to the Catholic Church as the Church He founded, based on the information I’ve gathered.” That is exactly what I am after; the “information you have gathered!”

    What I am trying to get across is the danger of accepting something totally on faith. I think it is dangerous to do this. It can lead to terrible things.

    It seems like you are saying no one knows but then you say you do know but it is based on faith and personal understanding.

    The difference between you and I is I do not use faith alone as proof of anything you do. So I do not think that it is OK to just believe what you want to. You should have good reasons for it.

    You know, God has led you to me too, for a reason?

    Thanks for listening. I hope you find it usefull to discuss. I do!

  20. I’d like to sum up the above with:

    I think you are correct, I do lack faith. I think you should only put your faith in things that stand a high likely-hood of being true. Putting your faith in the sun rising tomorrow is wise. Putting your faith in gravity pulling you to the ground is wise. Putting your faith in your friends is wise. Putting your faith in the Government can be wise but not always. Putting your faith in the President is risky. Putting your faith in a stranger that says they will give you 20 bucks if you give them 10 is not so wise. Putting your faith in a man that lives at the North Pole and brings us presents every year is impractical. Putting you faith in a man that lived 2000 years ago and a book that was written about him hundreds of years later and that was translated and edited multiple times is not so wise. Putting your faith in a purple dragon that lives at the center of the sun is down-right silly. Putting you faith in something that has no way of being proven or dis-proven is meaningless.

    I think faith is something that should be used wisely.

    -Kermit

  21. hmmm… no response. What does that mean?

  22. That means we’ve completed the circle and there is nothing more to say.

  23. kermit,

    I bowed out of all this because I felt it was leading no where… but I admire that you are at least seeking the truth. These things often become far too philosophical sometimes when they really don’t need to be.

    My faith, for the most part, is intellectual. I do not believe based on feelings… but, it’s not to say that I don’t EVER have feelings. No one can ever convince me that God does not exist because I see his work in even the smallest things: even the way a simple leaf is able to gain nourishment from the ground or the way a molecule is formed. The complexities of science tell me that something divine MUST be behind it all. It is too “perfect” to “just happen”. I then take this further when I see that we, as humans, have a moral compass… But there have been entire books written on this subject and it’s pretty deep stuff. And beyond the moral compass, we have a history of humanity that has recorded various “theories” about who we are, where we come from and what our purpose is. Based on all these things combined, the most logical belief system is the one that seems most consistent and that deals with morality and doesn’t deny the existence of a divine being I know (logically) must exist. This has led me to the Catholic faith, the fulfillment of Judaism (consistency in history)… and a high standard of morality. It just makes sense to me. I can’t tell you why or how… I can only tell you that it does. Period.

    I can only pray that you will one day see all the logic and beauty that I see in believing what to me is so obvious. That God exists and that He wants us to know Him, made evident by nature, morality and history. I think our world would be radically different if God existed but was not desiring to connect with us… if he was not a personal God.

    Have you read “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis? I highly recommend this book…

    Blessings…

    Amber

  24. Thanks for listening Tim! I appreciate it and respect your desire to not discuss it further. I will seek others.

    I do feel sad though, as though we are getting somewhere only to stop. But that is your prerogative. I just feel sad when people think there is nothing to be gained from further discussion. Religion came about by discussion and I think it can only make you stronger or change you for the better. To just stop seems you are saying, “I don’t want to think about this too deeply! I don’t want to learn and grow.”

    If you are done, Tim, then that is fine. I hope you have gained something from the discussions. I know I have!

    Anyway…
    Hi Amy! Nice to hear from you!

    How can discussions about something SO important lead no where? I think we need to slow down and analyze what it is that we think and why we think it. We owe the topic at least this because it has such and affect on so much!

    You say your faith is intellectual; is this not then what an intellect does? Namely thinks and discusses and analyzes and revises and learns and grows?

    I share with you the same awe of the incredible world we find ourselves in. Nature, morality, Love, friendship, religion, science are all amazing parts of this existence. I truly get up every day excited about what the day will bring! I do LOVE life! I have a wonderful family, great friends and am successful. There is no hollowness in my soul. No subtle emptiness. I love my neighbors and do good in the world (I am a United Way volunteer) because it is logical. I want to be treated well and I know that treating others well is the best way to achieve that. I want the world to be a good place for my children to live in.

    How then is it logical that because the world is fantastic therefore there is a God? How is that logic? Please explain the logic to this.

    Amber, I can only hope that one day you will see the logic and beauty that I see even if God does not exist. The beauty of the world exists in the pure excitement of not knowing what it is all about and eagerly going about the business of finding out. I am like a child on Christmas morning looking at the packaged surprises beneath the tree. Full of wonder and excitement about what I will see when I open them, fully open to accept what ever they may reveal.

    Wonderful complexity in the world only tells me the world is wonderfully complex. Nothing more logically follows. Why is it wonderfully complex is a wonderful question. What good does it do to say we know why it is this way when we don’t? What good does it do for the child to believe he knows what is in those Christmas presents? Isn’t he just setting himself up for disappointment when he finds out it is not what he expected? And furthermore he may be so disappointed that he will dismiss and be upset with the presents he did get.

    In fact this happens today with religion and evolution. Some people are so convinced that they know we did not evolve that they miss the incredible understanding evolution theory has allowed us to achieve regarding animal species as well as other areas of science like genetics and psychology. And so, blinded by faith, they dismiss one of the most amazing and powerful tools used to understand the wonderful complexity of the world. They are truly missing an amazing aspect of the world we live in.

    Thanks for the book suggestion! I will give it a look!

    Joy to you!

  25. What is your definition of G-D?

  26. Sorry Amber! I called you Amy. We just hired an Amy here at work! DOH! Sorry!

  27. Tim,

    I apologize for the long comments on your blog… and, I also thank you for posting them!

    Kermit,

    How can discussions about something SO important lead no where? I think we need to slow down and analyze what it is that we think and why we think it. We owe the topic at least this because it has such and affect on so much!

    You say your faith is intellectual; is this not then what an intellect does? Namely thinks and discusses and analyzes and revises and learns and grows?

    Let me begin by saying that I did not indicate that we should not discuss and analyze, etc. But, what often happens when such discussions take place is they either reach a point where they simply become circular or someone simply no longer finds any value in what is being discussed. I have faith in God and believe it is more logical than the lack of faith. You see it in reverse. Your arguments for such a belief are about as illogical to me as my arguments are to you… so, sometimes, such discussions become futile.

    I share with you the same awe of the incredible world we find ourselves in. Nature, morality, Love, friendship, religion, science are all amazing parts of this existence. I truly get up every day excited about what the day will bring! I do LOVE life! I have a wonderful family, great friends and am successful. There is no hollowness in my soul. No subtle emptiness. I love my neighbors and do good in the world (I am a United Way volunteer) because it is logical. I want to be treated well and I know that treating others well is the best way to achieve that. I want the world to be a good place for my children to live in.

    How then is it logical that because the world is fantastic therefore there is a God? How is that logic? Please explain the logic to this.

    Because of it’s complexity! I simply cannot, nor will I ever, be able to accept an idea that anything in existence exists solely by chance. It’s an absurd concept for me to think that there is not some divine creator that put all these wonders into motion. I see this kind of complexity in almost every single function in our world: how our eyes “see” and our brain is able to process this complex information, that we can even sit here in front of a computer screen and what we think in our mind flows out through our fingertips, or the necessity of a newborn to cry so that it’s lungs will fill with air permitting it to smoothly transition from breathing fluid to oxygen, never to be reversed without dire consequence. How can the existence of such complexity be explained by chance? What is the logic in that? How can even the tiniest of molecules merely exist with nothing or no one to set it into motion? Even the concept of time is a wonder!

    It’s wonderful that you’re excited about life and that you feel no hollowness in your soul… Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” There may come a time in your life when you do not feel as happy or fulfilled… And, though you don’t need or want him now, He is always waiting. I don’t always feel like I need God either. But now, when my world comes crashing in around me, I cannot imagine getting through it without my faith. I’ve tried that road and I hope to never experience it again.

    As a side note, by what measurement are you able to say that you do good in the world or that your volunteer work matters? What does it matter that you desire to be treated well? And why does it matter that we treat others well? Who cares what kind of a world your children live in? After all, there is no real purpose here, right? We just walk around living for a century and become dust… by accidental chance.

    Amber, I can only hope that one day you will see the logic and beauty that I see even if God does not exist. The beauty of the world exists in the pure excitement of not knowing what it is all about and eagerly going about the business of finding out. I am like a child on Christmas morning looking at the packaged surprises beneath the tree. Full of wonder and excitement about what I will see when I open them, fully open to accept what ever they may reveal.

    To me, it is logic and beauty because it is God-created and God-given. To remove God, removes the purpose behind the logic and beauty. To remove God makes this wonderfully beautiful life a complete and utter waste of time, especially when one considers that some suffer greatly in this world. Why bother even living at all if there is nothing to hope for beyond this life? So, it’s wonderful for 100 years… so what? Why would all this complex “matter” even bother to evolve, grow, change, exist?

    Wonderful complexity in the world only tells me the world is wonderfully complex. Nothing more logically follows.

    I disagree here… and I feel that, if this were true, I would rather cease to exist. My entire life as a daughter, sister, mother, friend, etc… would amount to absolutely nothing… because once I’m gone, who cares? Why care? Why even bother? Simply because it’s wonderful? Beautiful? Sometimes fulfilling? Sometimes successful? Rubbish!

    Why is it wonderfully complex is a wonderful question. What good does it do to say we know why it is this way when we don’t? What good does it do for the child to believe he knows what is in those Christmas presents? Isn’t he just setting himself up for disappointment when he finds out it is not what he expected? And furthermore he may be so disappointed that he will dismiss and be upset with the presents he did get.

    Well, I believe I do know why it is this way… and this is what makes it all worth the ride: the ups and downs, joys and sorrows… I also don’t believe I know what every present is, because I believe that life is so wondrously complex and has so many deep and meaningful levels, that I could hardly scratch the surface… And hope of something greater beyond this life, brings deeper meaning to the life I life as daughter, sister, mother and friend. I don’t need to know what is in all the presents. I only need to know that, in the end, I will NOT be disappointed. If God exists as I believe He does, I will be joyously living eternally in heaven with the one who created me. If God does not exist, what is the worst that will happen to me? If you are right and there is nothing or little beyond this existence, what have I got to lose by believing? Even if I’m deceived, what does it matter, since I only exist as a matter of accidental chance anyway? But see, I’d much rather believe and be wrong than not believe and be wrong. Believing gives me hope, strength, and purpose in THIS life and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I would stake my very life on my faith and belief in God. I cannot lose!

    In fact this happens today with religion and evolution. Some people are so convinced that they know we did not evolve that they miss the incredible understanding evolution theory has allowed us to achieve regarding animal species as well as other areas of science like genetics and psychology. And so, blinded by faith, they dismiss one of the most amazing and powerful tools used to understand the wonderful complexity of the world. They are truly missing an amazing aspect of the world we live in.

    See, that’s the beautiful thing about Catholicism. Nothing in my faith contradicts science. I can look at a theory, and I am free to believe it or not, just like everyone else. I can look at scientific fact, and I can do so with the confidence that it doesn’t contradict my faith. I am not a hard-core, young-earth creationist. And while I doubt some aspect of evolution (due the fact that it’s still a theory), I fully believe in the accuracy of what has been determined as fact. Even if I were to believe in evolution completely (despite the missing links), this does not contradict my faith because it still fits with the concept that, at one point, God infused a soul into man… beginning a humanity that was created in the image of God. This does not, in any way, negate the possibility of evolution. So, do not assume that my faith blinds me to the powerful tools of science… To deny science in the face of faith is completely illogical. If God is the Creator, then nothing in science will contradict the faith that He has given to us. Those who deny science do not understand how much this undermines the concept of God. This is also one among many reasons why I choose Catholicism above other Christian traditions.

    Thanks for the book suggestion! I will give it a look!
    Joy to you!

    Joy to you also…

  28. KermsBro,
    I am but His creation, how can I define Him?
    I guess the closest “definition” I could attempt to give is; agapao (love).

  29. This is from Amber:

    God = “the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship”

    Of course, this is a limited human understanding of God. God is so infinitely complex that we cannot possibly begin to adequately define Him.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06608a.htm

    I don’t know what happened to the original comment.

  30. “Your comments are welcomed, though if not edifying will be subject to removal. May the peace of Christ be yours.”

  31. Kerm’sBro,
    That’s right. This site is consecrated to God for teaching the scripture and sharing my personal testimony, not for on-going debate with ones who want to argue without seeking truth.
    I would suggest you start your own site, if this site doesn’t cater to your specific need.

  32. Hi all! Somehow I am just now see week old comments. hmmmm….

    Well I am new to this blogging stuff… Amber has been responding to my blog at:

    http://kermittheagnostic.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/is-it-wise-to-believe-something-that-is-unprovable/

    Amber – i am just now reading your long response to mine…

    Tim, how are you?! Be nice to my brother! 😉

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