A New Paradigm

Discussion in 'Theology' started by Thomas, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a tendency to pin a critique of the Abrahamic Tradition to the Jewish view of history, the idea of God engineering the fate of Israel in time and place. So when good things happen, God's pleased. When bad things happen, God's angry. Well that seems to me the patent retrofitting of God onto history. Israel's history is like a man playing chess with God, when he doesn't know all the rules, and tries to bend the rules he does. New Rule 1: I am equal to God. New Rule 38: I have a right to the land of Canaan. New Rule 64: We want a king ... that kind of thing.

    All he knows is some moves are disastrous, the response is Floods, Sodom and Gomorrah, enslavement by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, etc., or it progresses, through Red Seas and passed clues given on mountains, through the wildernesses towards 'the Promised Land'. He works out what the rules are by playing the game, hoping that God will, in the end, engineer his victory, because God is Good.

    It would be OK, if there wasn't so much bloody suffering.

    What's that Tom Cruise film where he fights the aliens, gets killed, pops back into the training camp? Goes back to carry on the fight, gets killed a bit later, pops back, trains more, lasts a bit longer ... It's like that. It's bloody horrific! Pat on the back for Tom Cruise, but look at the feckin cost!

    (BTW: It's everything wrong with reincarnation, in a nutshell.)

    Christianity, I suggest, calls not for a radically different view of God, but a radically different view of God in relation to history.

    Christ talks of God not only as Transcendent, but also of God as Immanent, and not of God 'working' history, but God 'working' man, not his Salvation in history, but his salvation from history, in that man continues to make the same fundamental mistake, in seeking to write history his way, to suit his own ends.

    Man can't. To do that infallibly, he would need to know his end. We would need to know the Alpha and the Omega. We patently don't.

    That's why Buddha said don't worry about getting God right, worry about getting history right. Leave the rest to God.

    'All you need', as the song goes, to proceed unerringly, 'is love'. Or, as Buddha would say, compassion. Same thing.

    I pin my thesis on Luke 13:1-5

    "And there were present, at that very time, some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answering, said to them: Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things?"
    That is, do you believe that these Galileans suffered because they had offended God more than you? That God was using Pilate to punish them for sins committed, like you see God as punishing Israel when they disobey, by using the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans to punish you?

    Or, by extension, that God uses you to punish the Canaanites? Or that God sends a Flood to punish the world, or plagues to punish Egypt, or angels to punish the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah? Or you to throw stones at an adulteress?

    "No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish."
    That is, unless you mend your ways of viewing history. You shall perish because you will repeat the same mistake of assuming history is the marker of God's favour, or disfavour ...

    "Or those eighteen upon whom the tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you, that they also were debtors above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem?"
    He repeats with another example to press His point.

    "No, I say to you; but except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish."
    That is, to repeat, unless you mend your ways of viewing history, you shall perish because you will repeat the same mistake of assuming history is yours for the making, and the marker of God's favour, or disfavour, as you go.

    (The common understanding of karma is exactly the same mistake in attribution. Karma is a moral determination, not a mindless mechanism. And it renders reincarnation as a punishment.)

    I think Our Lord is saying the world is what it is. The tower fell because it fell, not because God pushed it over. It's just the way of the world, like earthquakes or tsunamis or a car crashes or cancer.

    I think He is saying I am with you. I am for to you. You can talk to Me, and be with Me. I can walk with you if you allow, but I am not some fairy godmother or fetish object sprinkling good fortune in your path. Faith in Me will not determine your good health or prosperity. I do not increase or decrease your material happiness in relation to your faith. God is not a carrot and stick relationship. Nor an insurance policy. Nor Pascal's wager.

    Discuss.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Gotta break eggs to make an omelette....bad luck for the aborted chickens...but wait it ego...it is all about us...our suffering... our human suffering... hell with the chickens, the trees, the mountaintops...we need the coal to heat the water to turn the turbines to make our lights go on.

    We could give a crap about the suffering of others, or our planet...and I assume the sun, the bacteria, the moon, the trees, could give a crap about our suffering.
    I agree with so much, until it gets personal G!d as principle isn't caring or loving or give a crap.... throw a ball up...gravity brings it down. Doesn't matter if you are the Pope, the King, Warren Buffet, a pauper, or a serial killer. the rules are the same.

    Nobody to talk to, or walk with... no choice... in principle we live and breathe and move and have our being...

    Connection with G!d is not a choice.... like connection with a brick wall, we can walk along side it, away from it, around it, or try to run through it.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you clarify that for me? I think there might be a comma missing, which changes everything.

    Are you saying you read me as saying God doesn't give a crap, or
    Are you saying God doesn't give a crap?
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I agree with so much, until it gets personal, G!d as principle isn't caring or loving or give a crap....

    I am saying G!d doesn't give a crap. Not because G!d doesn't care, but because caring isn't something principle does...


    gravity is just gravity....

    It doesn't care what you throw into the air...it will affect it and return it to earth (in our case)

    Except while we can outrun gravity (escape velocity) I don't see the same with G!d.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK.

    I think that end's our discussion. I think God does give a crap. I don't see anywhere in Scripture that can be interpreted as God doesn't. No-one in the Abrahamic Tradition, to my knowledge, makes that claim, so I'm assuming it's your opinion.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Filmore's

    January 5, 1941: Luke 13:1-5

    INTERPRETATION
    What do the Galileans represent, and what metaphysical meaning attaches to Pilate's having mingled their blood with their sacrifices? The Galileans (circuit, circle) represent active life thoughts; Pilate (armed with a javelin) represents the ruling principle on the sense plane, the carnal will. The carnal will destroys the active life thoughts, even while they are engaged in the refining process (sacrifice) by which matter is made to ascend to mind and mind to Spirit.

    Are man's active life thoughts subject to the destructive action of the carnal will because of any error that is inherent in them? The error is inherent in the carnal will rather than in the thoughts of man, but until these thoughts are turned into constructive channels, they remain subject to the will of the lower or sense self.

    Luke 13 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation | TruthUnity
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK ...

    Does Filmore's metaphysic say that God doesn't give a crap?
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I don't know. I haven't seen it. He does say G!d doesn't love, G!d is love, G!d doesn't judge, you know, the we are not punished for our sins but by them.

    if you toss a ball in the air to someone else...we use what we know of gravity to give it enough force over and up for the arc to allow it to get close to their hand, our target...

    if we throw the ball up without concern for where it lands...it could bop us, or others on the head or land in Mom's petunia garden... Gravity don't care...gravity will do what gravity does...

    It is our doing...our choices.

    We give a crap...about things...often little things...thinking G!d gives a crap about anything is anthropomorphism...

    Which is as we know, handy in discussion, but once it is taken literally we move onto that old man in the sky...
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    If G!d is principle....G!d don't give a crap.

    This is not a negative.

    G!d also doesn't jump for joy when someone does a random act of kindness, or stop a war, or prevent an accident.

    Much of Abrahamic tradition revolves around the little child saying why and tugging at dad's robe...and trying to answer the unanswerable questions...to make folks feel better, safer, and resolved...

    (sure wish I had a tag line, always saying this is my opinion, always saying you mileage may vary)
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you reject that?

    I find it hard to reconcile the idea that 'God is love' (1 John 4:8) with the idea of 'God not giving a crap'.

    Is that how you see it.

    Yes, I rather think it does.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I'm saying G!d is not actively doing things...G!d doesn't 'do'.

    G!d is.

    G!d to me is again, principle. If I hit my head against a brick wall...it will hurt or break. The brick wall didn't 'do' that. The brick wall just is.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well then we're not talking about the God of the Bible at all.

    His is-ness is His act. Same as mine is mine. I am Thomas, that's what I do. You are Wil, that's what you do. God is God, that is what He does. God is love. Love is a dynamic act. If God was entirely indifferent, there wouldn't be a creation.

    I'm not denying that. I'm saying God's is a dynamic principle. More mileage.

    What has love and hitting your head against a wall got in common that gives the analogy any relevance?
     
  14. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    And the two of you have been going at each other since I've been here. And probably long before.

    Fact is that Wil does NOT see God as anything but a force in the universe. He does not view God any different than he views gravity. God to him is simply an unguided force which acts upon the universe.

    Wil, if I am getting this wrong I know you will speak up and straighten me out.

    Thomas, you see God as an entity with an identity and a consciousness. Again I'm using my words and I think that is, for my comments, a reasonable way of stating it.

    The two of you are NEVER going to be able to bridge this fundamental gap between your definitions of God.
     
  15. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I think He is saying I am with you. I am for to you. You can talk to Me, and be with Me. I can walk with you if you allow, but I am not some fairy godmother or fetish object sprinkling good fortune in your path. Faith in Me will not determine your good health or prosperity. I do not increase or decrease your material happiness in relation to your faith. God is not a carrot and stick relationship. Nor an insurance policy. Nor Pascal's wager. Thomas.

    If I believed in this God, I would agree that this statement is absolutely accurate of his position in relation to humans. It does raise one question for me though. Is prayer then a pointless exercise - IF the reason for the prayer is to have something happen in one's life? Can praying to God bring about an event one desires to have happen? Or does not want to happen?

    Example: One is sitting in an airplane at 30,000 feet when you hear a very loud bang! And the plane starts losing altitude. Does praying "Please Dear Lord do not let this plane crash" have any value whatsoever?

    P.s. I think you were awfully hard on reincarnation calling it a punishment to be reborn into a new body. That is a very slanted view of the topic!
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    But that is an orthodox view in Hinduism. I think Buddhism holds the same.

    The origin of the game 'snakes and ladders' is Hindu. Spiritual advancement is seen as climbing the ladder. A fall and you slip down the snake.

    But I don't see grace as absent from karma. I don't accept karma as blind justice. Sin is a moral act. It needs to be seen in the light of its intention. That's what separates sin from simple error. If the Buddha is Enlightened, it is to compassion.

    Marco Pallis, a Tibetan Buddhist for whom I have great admiration, sees the acceptance of grace in the Buddha sitting on a lotus leaf. The hand pointing downward signifies the world. The hand holding the begging bowl signifies the grateful receipt of the gifts of heaven.

    But it's 1am here and I'm flaking. I'll get back to the very good points you've raised tomorrow.
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I appreciate the concept of reincarnation...while I've no clue what the hereafter is...from what I am told of Heaven and various concepts of reincarnation..I'll take the latter if there is a choice.

    As to my views...I've repeated often I am a nontheistic (don't buy the G!d of my biblical youth), panentheist (see G!d in everything) Christian (his reported teachings are my lead guide) unitic (the metaphysical interpretations of new thought as by Filmore, Holmes, Emerson, Thoreau, Fox resonate with me)
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Wil and DA,

    I am glad you are supportive of the idea of reincarnation. Reincarnation is an important part of my belief system.

    DA, do you believe in reincarnation?
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Broad question. I'd have to answer that some people say yes, some no. I'd answer yes, but the jury is still out on that one ...

    I'd say yes, but not in preventing a crash.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, DA, I think the answer to your question about prayer is contained in the last paragraph of the original 'New Paradigm' thesis.
     

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