Do you believe in God? - Page 12 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

View Poll Results: Do you believe in God?
Yes, sure 37 64.91%
No, never 18 31.58%
Can't decide 2 3.51%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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post #111 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 09:45 AM
jjl
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RE: Do you believe in God?

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GermanStar - 12/29/2005 2:57 PM

Not really. There's lots of entertaining fluff out there, but if you want to get down and dirty, there's really no way in without scraping your knuckles, I'm afraid. Most texts are pretty tiresome, IMO, but the Gateway series (1, 2, and 3) is my recommendation. Not the most entertaining fare, but informative and fairly concise.
You're a tough one GS. Maybe I'll take that particular plunge later. In the meantime, I've just ordered this:

Dhammapada (Oxford World's Classics) - John Carter

In the current holidays I've at last found some time to read more material outside science (I should get off this damn website though); although interesting, even research wears thin after a zillion (or is that a brazillion) formal papers. But the danger of visiting Amazon.com is that I always end up with stuff I never intended to buy - this time computer games.

Do you have any insight into Buddhism that can be expressed and shared in a few sentences? I recall reading that, like some strange version of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, any attempt to put into words such knowledge destroys it, which is something of an inconvenience.

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post #112 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 10:07 AM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

I believe you'll find that the Dhammapada is fine bathroom fare. Don't get me wrong, it's full of wonderful little insights into the heart of Buddhism, but the presentation is in the form of cute little one and two line sayings or verses. You're meant to read one or two, then ponder them for a while -- excellent bathroom reading if you see what I mean...

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post #113 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 10:13 AM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

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GermanStar - 12/29/2005 5:07 PM

I believe you'll find that the Dhammapada is fine bathroom fare. Don't get me wrong, it's full of wonderful little insights into the heart of Buddhism, but the presentation is in the form of cute little one and two line sayings or verses. You're meant to read one or two, then ponder them for a while -- excellent bathroom reading if you see what I mean...
I'm feeling a little flushed. Looks like I chose well, that's about my level in Buddhism - we all need to start somewhere, and I'll start in the bathroom. Many thanks, and may your happiness increase a thousandfold.
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post #114 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 12:28 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

I recently attended a different church than my normal, and the whole sermon was about tithes. The pastor continuously told the people there that if they did not give at least 10% they would go to hell. I forgot exactly why he said God wanted us to give at least 10%, but what in the world is God going to do with money? I never want to go to that church again.

I rarely ever go to church, considering I live in the bible belt of the USA, and most people actually go to church just to go to church. I see these people everyday, and everyday I have to hear about them sinning, and then I have to hear how they are very religious.

Few times a year I actually pray. Those are the times when I can no longer have an effect on the issue.

I do believe in God, I just don't know if I believe that he is the great being that he is perceived as. I am always wondering why everything exists, and I have not come to an answer that is satisfactory.

I have never read the bible, nor do I think I ever will. I know how to live my life the right way without being influenced by something else.

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post #115 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 12:29 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

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Ammonium - 12/29/2005 2:21 AM

Quote:
Marsden - 12/29/2005 12:54 AM

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jjl - 12/28/2005 10:19 PM
Sure, the OT and the Talmud describe warfare. But no-one takes it seriously. The difference in the case of the Judeo-Christian scripture is that no-one is using these texts as a battlecry and justification for murder.
I don't even believe you said that. How's that for a start?
Oh, no one used the OT as a battle cry and justification for murder? Better go back and read up on your history again...remember the crusades?
Note the little ol' two-letter word, "IS." When was the last Crusade?

JJL & I profoundly disagree concerning Iraq, but that is the extent of my disagreement with everything he said. I have read an awful lot about Islam and have read some of the Kuran. I am not a student of Islam and have absolutely no wish to be. But I have learned enough to form an educated opinion.

The Muslims in the USA are far more integrated than they are in Europe. But even here, the murderous strain of Islam taught in Arabia and Waziristan are are also taught here. It is only a question of when those God-mad bastards start in on us. I hope that they become as American as other religious groups have become.

Finally, I have no doubt that Islam can be practiced peaceful. It is the people who are murderous, crazed and dangerous. A religion is just like any other ideology in that regard. A book by Karl Marx never hurt anybody unless flung by a confused college student at his snoring roomate. It isn't the ideology, it's the fruitcakes who use them to oppress others.
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post #116 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 12:30 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

For quite a long time, I kept a copy of Zen Reflections in my bathroom. Just a cute little book full of two or three page parables. I really think that fluff like that is the way to go with Buddhism, as the real meat of it can be pretty dry stuff. More importantly, the deeper you go, the more open to interpretation, since translation is required from Eastern languages (some obscure, even extinct).

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post #117 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 02:43 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

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jjl - 12/27/2005 6:29 PM

Quote:
Tahloube - 12/28/2005 10:23 PM

If "I don't know, and I may never know why my world is the way it is" was unacceptable to pre-historic man, why would it be accepatble to 21st-century man?!

If there was a system that provides answers without contradicting itself and challenges human intellect to find a single 'mistake' in its scripture, then why reject it?

If this system is universal, simple, crystal-clear, no secrecy, no original sin and works wonders when put into practice, why ignore it?

This very system is more than 1400 years old, was brought to humans by an illeterate man who claims no divinity for himself, but calls for the worship of the Creator of the world Who knows well His creations and what best governs every possible aspect of their lives. This sytem satnds the test of time and never ceases to impress, from the Arabs who were stunned by the neither-poetry-nor-prose Words of the Quran , to millions of people voluntarily adopting a life style dictated by it, to modern-day discoveries that reaffirm facts humans first heard of 14 centuries ago and sometimes never fully understood until science, as we know it today, explained/proved it.

All I'm trying to say is.. most of you don't seem the shallow, reluctant-to-read type. So, why not read about Islam, the fastest growing religion (in number of followers), the one religion that attracts intellectuals from all corners of the globe, whose holy book was never changed, not a single word changed, and is still read the way it was read 14 centuries ago, and the religion that never under-valued human intellect, to the contrary, has always asked believers and disbeleivers to look and think.
It's worth it.
For those who are still not convinced after reading, they wouldn't have wasted their time. They'll know more about the 'enemy' than before.



I have read, in depth, about Islam - original sources, critiques and commentaries. To be perfectly honest I find it morally vacuous, violent from the beginning, intrinsically political like no other religion, a totalitarian repressive monolith without parallel, profoundly anti-intellectual, anti-scientific, misogynistic, and a committed enemy of virtually every hard fought for human right and freedom non-muslims hold dear. Islam originated in violence, was spread by violence and is maintained by violence (leaving Islam is not allowed - the penalty is death). It now threatens the non-muslim world like never before. The mass immigration of muslims into Europe is creating unparalled social conflict because, like no other ethnic group, they will not integrate. Muslim demands and political agitation to limit freedom of expression and implement sharia are increasing. Violence from within e.g. London massacre in July will most likely grow. Like our muslim friend doing his obligitory da'wa to earn religious brownie points, I also strongly encourage everyone to read about Islam and become informed. And finally, a word of advice - muslims are allowed to lie if it helps Islam, so beware greeks bearing gifts.
I couldn't agree more with your assesment of Islam, which is about the same as mine. A Reformed Islam, one that renounces it's Medievalism much like Christianity had to do during our Reformation is needed, and needed badly. Until then, Islam will be what it is, a religion for the uneducated, illiterate masses of the world who need a vengeful god to give their pitiful lives some sense of power. In that form, it is one of the most dangerous forms of fascism on the planet - in fact many of us see the real battle going on is between the Corporate Fascists led by Bush against the Islamo-Fascists of both the Sunni and Shiite flavors. We are all pawns in their global game. Some day the forces of freedom and democracy will smash them both, either by peaceful election in the US when the people of this country finally wake up to the huge screw job they have been getting, and unfortunately in the Muslim world by decades of continued violence - but those forces must come from within a people before it will flower and take hold.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #118 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 03:18 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

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jjl - 12/29/2005 8:46 AM

Quote:
Marsden - 12/29/2005 7:29 AM

And lest anyone think perhaps that attitude is an artifact of the distant past, allow me to present the favorite poster girl of the neocons, Miss Ann Coulter:

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm
Is that a quote from the NT? Coulter is an idiot, and speaks for no-one apart from the terminally ignorant.
AFAIK, Ann Coulter is not quoted in the NT. A better discussion than this would be NT vs OT, since NT is largely occupied with the message of Jesus Christ, one of kindness, redemption and forgiveness, while the OT (and Torah, Talmud, etc) is every bit as primitive as your conception of Islam.

Why are the NT and OT combined into the Christian "Bible"? When did it happen and why? Who did it? Jesus didn't do it. I'm not asking these questions rhetorically, because I actually don't know and haven't been able to find out.

The link (which I notice both you and Bot have studiously ignored) may not be perfect scholarship--what is--but it certainly gives many examples of "Christian" violence far more recent than the Middle Ages. But you both continue to beat your straw man.

I hold no brief for Islam, despite appearances. I consider it a primitive, hatemongering, susperstitious cult. My point is that the "my religion is better than your religion" attitude which appears to underlie the anti-moslem screeds from you and Bot is puerile at best. Your "Judeo-Christian" tradition is every bit as soaked in blood (and stupidity) as Islam is.

Switch to Zen Buddhism, OTOH, and then I'd actually agree with you.
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post #119 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 03:44 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

Quote:
Marsden - 12/30/2005 10:18 PM

Quote:
jjl - 12/29/2005 8:46 AM

Quote:
Marsden - 12/29/2005 7:29 AM

And lest anyone think perhaps that attitude is an artifact of the distant past, allow me to present the favorite poster girl of the neocons, Miss Ann Coulter:

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm
Is that a quote from the NT? Coulter is an idiot, and speaks for no-one apart from the terminally ignorant.
AFAIK, Ann Coulter is not quoted in the NT. A better discussion than this would be NT vs OT, since NT is largely occupied with the message of Jesus Christ, one of kindness, redemption and forgiveness, while the OT (and Torah, Talmud, etc) is every bit as primitive as your conception of Islam.

Why are the NT and OT combined into the Christian "Bible"? When did it happen and why? Who did it? Jesus didn't do it. I'm not asking these questions rhetorically, because I actually don't know and haven't been able to find out.

The link (which I notice both you and Bot have studiously ignored) may not be perfect scholarship--what is--but it certainly gives many examples of "Christian" violence far more recent than the Middle Ages. But you both continue to beat your straw man.

I hold no brief for Islam, despite appearances. I consider it a primitive, hatemongering, susperstitious cult. My point is that the "my religion is better than your religion" attitude which appears to underlie the anti-moslem screeds from you and Bot is puerile at best. Your "Judeo-Christian" tradition is every bit as soaked in blood (and stupidity) as Islam is.

Switch to Zen Buddhism, OTOH, and then I'd actually agree with you.
Assertion rather than argument - where is your evidence? Btw I am not a Christian.

Here's the analysis of that enemy of freedom, Winston Churchill, from a century ago.

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property‹either as a child, a wife, or a concubine‹must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science‹the science against which it had vainly struggled‹the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."


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post #120 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-29-2005, 03:47 PM
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RE: Do you believe in God?

You can do much, much better than that.

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