All's Quiet on the Western Front

muhammad_isa

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The East-West religious distinction, just as with the East-West culture distinction, and the implications that arise from it, is broad and not precise.

While many Western observers attempt to distinguish between Eastern philosophies and religions, this is a distinction that does not exist in some Eastern traditions.

Why are religion and politics often considered forbidden topics in polite conversation? The answer comes from Swift’s quote. Most of us believe what we believe because our parents believed it and we simply absorbed their views as we grew up. Reason played no part. They became our “truth.”

Some of us rebelled against our parents’ views and came to hold contradicting positions, but the truth of Swift’s insight still holds true. Very little of what we believe is based upon reason.

I'm not going to argue about it ;)
 

Cino

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A quote from the book of the same name, expressing maybe a similar sentiment:

We often made fun of them and played jokes on them, but in our hearts we trusted them. The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom. But the first death we saw shattered this belief. We had to recognize that our generation was more to be trusted than theirs. They surpassed us only in phrases and cleverness. The first bombardment showed us our mistake, and under it the world as they had taught it to us broke in pieces.
 

RJM

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Most of us believe what we believe because our parents believed it and we simply absorbed their views as we grew up. Reason played no part. They became our “truth.”
But does this apply to 'seekers' who spend most of their lives thinking about 'spiritual truth'? That would seem to include most of the people who come to these forums? Are most of them/us unreasoning believers in what we inherited from our parents and culture? Most here have spent many, many years of their lives exploring and questioning and reading about many faiths and belief systems other than just the one they were brought up with.

Nor arguing, just discussing :)
 
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Thomas

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I think Paul Ricoeur's "Critique and Conviction" – a collection of essays by one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers and an exploration of the relationship between philosophy and religion.

I think what is often overlooked is 'science' and 'religion' as practices are not opposed and should not be viewed as such, rather we as human should be seen as the middle ground ... we talk of 'opposites' which by nature exist at either end of a pole, and forget that we are the pole, that the answer rarely lies at the extremity but at the 'heart', with all that that term implies ...

I've got an image of a man standing with arms outstretched, holding a sledgehammer upright in either hand, both threatening to topple in and brain him!
 

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While many Western observers attempt to distinguish between Eastern philosophies and religions, this is a distinction that does not exist in some Eastern traditions.
Agreed, my studies in Sophia Perennis said as much. We in the west 'categorise' ad infinitum, more and more bifurcate, the east is more holistic?

Most of us believe what we believe because our parents believed it and we simply absorbed their views as we grew up. Reason played no part. They became our “truth.”
Again agreed, and I wonder if one could argue that while religionists get accused of such, the same applies to science, as the world becomes increasingly more secular, then its very secularity is 'absorbed' in growing up, and rarely is it 'reasoned'. Most folk accept science without question, and assume it's answers are the way it is without ever reasoning it themselves ...
 

muhammad_isa

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Nor arguing, just discussing :)

OK :)

Broadly speaking, there are two categories of views regarding the relationship between faith and rationality:
  1. Rationalism holds that truth should be determined by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma, tradition or religious teaching.
  2. Fideism holds that faith is necessary, and that beliefs may be held without any evidence or reason and even in conflict with evidence and reason.

I consider myself a rationalist, and consider the majority of Christians to be fideists.
I do not consider the main tenets of Orthodox Christianity to be rational.

However, I don't intend to get into a heated argument / debate about the trinity .. it has been
discussed to death, I would say.
 
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muhammad_isa

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Most folk accept science without question, and assume it's answers are the way it is without ever reasoning it themselves ...

I would agree that people often believe scientific "facts" without examining them more carefully.
..just as they do religious "facts".
 

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I consider myself a rationalist, and consider the majority of Christians to be fideists.
I do not consider the main tenets of Orthodox Christianity to be rational.
As discussed elsewhere, divine process may seem directly at odds with natural process. Quantum physics is far from rational or intuitive? In the end divine process is at some point revealed to man -- it cannot really be intuited or reasoned.

Then the question becomes in which revelation does a person put faith? As also discussed elsewhere: is there any more reason to believe that one revealed scripture is true, while another is not? Christians believe in a complex Jesus who is hardly revealed in the Quran. Many people who would like to dismiss the Christian faith, do not know much about it, and have not read its scriptures?

The fact is that most Christians seem quite happy to go on with their own religion, without the need constantly to 'attack' Islam. Whilst for Islam, the opposite seems true. It seems vital to Islam to devote much of its energy against Christian belief?

I am trying to call a spade a spade here, without getting argumentative about it.

If someone chooses to respond to this post, it would be best IMO to address the points, and not the person?
 
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muhammad_isa

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Christians believe in a complex Jesus who is hardly revealed in the Quran. Many people who would like to dismiss the Christian faith, do not know much about it, and have not read it's scriptures?

I find Orthodox Christianity to be irrational. I can only speak for myself.
Example
------------

The Son prays to the Father [ one part of God prays to another part ]
To explain this, one needs to develop a complicated theology.

Occam's Razor says no ;)
 

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The Son prays to the Father [ one part of God prays to another part ]
To explain this, one needs to develop a complicated theology.
There is no actual Father. It is the use of human words to try to convey to human minds the Plato's cave relationship between Spirit and nature. Most spiritual laws are far too complex to be expressed in simple human language. This is why symbols are often a better way of using the 'picture worth a thousand words' method of getting it across. The I Ching uses the broken and unbroken line combined in different ways to create an infinite chessboard symbolism of the yin-yang interaction between Heaven and earth that has occupied the contemplation of the greatest sages and thinkers.

The Quaballah uses the Tree of Life. Buddhism uses the Wheel of Life. Hinduism employs the symbolism of a plethora of sub-gods.

The symbolism of the Crucifixion shows Christ suspended between the heavens and the world, pinned on the horizontal axis where Spirit and nature meet. The contemplation of the life of Christ likewise has occupied the contemplation of very many people, from kings to beggars, and of the greatest philosophers and artists and thinkers. There is far, far more to it than can be said in a a few words.

You dismiss it. That is your right.
 
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muhammad_isa

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There is no actual Father..

Come off it ! :D

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
- 1 Corinthians 8:6 -

And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
- Matthew 23:9 -

The Father [ God ] is an eternal being, "He" was not created by definition.
..but Orthodox Christianity claims that Jesus is part-God and also an eternal being?
..no .. of course not .. not the human-part .. just the God-part.

We've all got an eternal God-part, haven't we?
 
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RJM

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Come off it ! :D

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
- 1 Corinthians 8:6 -

And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
- Matthew 23:9 -
Those are words. Words are symbols. God's a white haired old dude in the sky?
 

wil

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Yes .. they are used to communicate with each other.. ;)
sometimes?

More often they are used to repeat or previously expressed opinion louder.

Is there a difference between one who speaks in Russian and one who speaks in Italian?

Are the words of communication successful?

Is it the same difference between Christian, Muslim, Hindu? Do they speak the same language, have the same understanding of the words they use?

Do they use words to communicate? Or berate, insinuate and bloviate?
 

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... and consider the majority of Christians to be fideists.
To be fair, the most part of most of not all religious communities are fideist ... Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus ...

Every religious tradition nevertheless can explain itself reasonably and rationally to inquiry.

I do not consider the main tenets of Orthodox Christianity to be rational.
Well that's an opinion ... but then again, one might say that's the nature of Revelation, it isn't rational in the sense that it can be deduced from human reason and logic alone. In that sense the core beliefs of every religion are irrational.

Even 'enlightenment' in the Buddhist sense, is irrational.

To me, Revelation is meta-rational – God transcends the human intellect – The function of the intellect is to make sense and 'unpack' as we say, Revelation.

That's what those of an inquiring mind do, question and rationalise, as best they can. What matters to all us Abrahamics is we fulfil the obligations of our faith; theology (rationalising) etc. is all after the fact.

As someone (JP-II? Benedict? one or t'other) said, we don't need more theologians, we need more saints.
 
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muhammad_isa

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That's what those of an inquiring mind do, question and rationalise, as best they can..

Exactly.
Unfortunately, though, we all have our biases and prejudice.
We reject things that don't "suit us" .. we all do it.

Example
------------

A respectable sheikh says that smoking is strictly forbidden.
Those who smoke, however, seek the judgement of another, who judges it to be "disliked". :(

The same goes for creeds, imo. There's a lot more to it than "reason".
 

muhammad_isa

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Indeed. The leap of faith seems to come first. The reasoning is always after the fact, as far as I can tell.

That is how you see it.
I don't require "a leap of faith" to think that God exists [ who created and maintains the universe ]
I employ reason to conclude that there is no sense in a universe without a reason.

I require "a leap of faith" for believing in miracles though, whoever performed them :)

My point is, that mankind is free to choose. His choice is not always due to reason.
 

Cino

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employ reason to conclude that there is no sense in a universe without a reason.
It is in reason's best interests to have raison d'être, after all ;). But I do not presume to question your reasoning and faith.

My point is, that mankind is free to choose.

Within limits, I'd say, and that those limits are often psychological in nature and much tighter than we'd like to think. As I said, more often than not, we look for good reasons for our choices after the fact. This has been researched quite well.
 
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