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Old 05-10-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
Astrotoy7
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Perceptions of God in various religions

Thread split from A religious problem I need help with. --Jae

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Source
Who said "The Christian Perception of God would be far more sensible"? I think you are pulling something out of somwehere. Lol...
As a Muslim, and a student of History in general...using the words "The Christian God" is something of an anathema.

Please look at the derivation of said Christianity to see that the monotheistic idiom expressed by it was something it hardly can claim as it own invention!

Jews and Muslims simply call the entity "God" in their respective languages(YHWH, Allah)....

It is only Christians who seem to like making God theirs. Ive even heard some (apparently uneducated) Christians say "The Jewish God" and "The Muslim God"... Neither Judaism nor Islam places such claims of association.

Despite the myriad political and social differences between Judaism and Islam, one thing there is a strong congruity on is that, as both communities perceiving themselves as of 'Children of Abraham', the notion of God they refer to is one and the same.

Adopting a notion of a "Christian God" is a simply wonderful illustration of the arrogance, and proselytistic ignorance of a zealot. (hence the suggestion that "Christian perception of God be far more sensible")

When it comes to religious discussion, it often is not about what people say, but rather the way they chose to say it. It adds an explosive and human element to the debate, making a difficult topic almost impossible to navigate.

mtfbwya


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Old 05-10-2008, 03:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
As a Muslim, and a student of History in general...using the words "The Christian God" is something of an anathema.

Please look at the derivation of said Christianity to see that the monotheistic idiom expressed by it was something it hardly can claim as it own invention!

Jews and Muslims simply call the entity "God" in their respective languages(YHWH, Allah)....

It is only Christians who seem to like making God theirs. Ive even heard some (apparently uneducated) Christians say "The Jewish God" and "The Muslim God"... Neither Judaism nor Islam places such claims of association.

Despite the myriad political and social differences between Judaism and Islam, one thing there is a strong congruity on is that, as both communities perceiving themselves as of 'Children of Abraham', the notion of God they refer to is one and the same.

Adopting a notion of a "Christian God" is a simply wonderful illustration of the arrogance, and proselytistic ignorance of a zealot. (hence the suggestion that "Christian perception of God be far more sensible")

When it comes to religious discussion, it often is not about what people say, but rather the way they chose to say it. It adds an explosive and human element to the debate, making a difficult topic almost impossible to navigate.
I never realized that. I'll have to remember that in order not to offend other Muslims.


Please feed the trolls. XD

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Old 05-10-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
As a Muslim, and a student of History in general...using the words "The Christian God" is something of an anathema.

Please look at the derivation of said Christianity to see that the monotheistic idiom expressed by it was something it hardly can claim as it own invention!

Jews and Muslims simply call the entity "God" in their respective languages(YHWH, Allah)....

It is only Christians who seem to like making God theirs. Ive even heard some (apparently uneducated) Christians say "The Jewish God" and "The Muslim God"... Neither Judaism nor Islam places such claims of association.

Despite the myriad political and social differences between Judaism and Islam, one thing there is a strong congruity on is that, as both communities perceiving themselves as of 'Children of Abraham', the notion of God they refer to is one and the same.

Adopting a notion of a "Christian God" is a simply wonderful illustration of the arrogance, and proselytistic ignorance of a zealot. (hence the suggestion that "Christian perception of God be far more sensible")

When it comes to religious discussion, it often is not about what people say, but rather the way they chose to say it. It adds an explosive and human element to the debate, making a difficult topic almost impossible to navigate.

mtfbwya
Or it's just a way of clarifying what exactly is meant by "God." As such a clarification it can hardly be making discussion "impossible to navigate" as you say; it's actually helping people to navigate - unless it's reasonable to think that amazing amounts of unstated assumptions help discussion. Perhaps it's not parochialism but rather an actual attempt to say something meaningful. Perhaps it's not a claim of ownership of any god but rather a claim of distinction between beliefs.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

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Old 05-13-2008, 02:08 PM   #4
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Religion threads in this forum have a tendancy to degenerate into the perennial 'theism vs. atheism' discussion. Any post related to theism vs. atheism issues will simply be deleted--we have a number of threads for that discussion already. This thread presumes that God exists and specifically addresses how people of different faiths view God in their religion and in other religions.

@topic--I think what Christians are trying to do by saying 'the Muslim God' or 'the Jewish God' is simply be politically correct--acknowledge that we have different faiths but try to be respectful of those faiths, and it might not be quite the right way to go about it. Most Christians will have some passing familiarity with some Jewish traditions from reading the Old Testament, so I really find it weird for Christians to differentiate 'Jewish God' from 'Christian God'. However, very few Christians are familiar with Islam other than what they see being promoted by Osama bin Ladin and Ahmadinejad. It's natural to think 'my faith's God promotes love, not the kind of hatred promoted by those other faiths' (and I'm not referring to just Christians here--insert faith of your choice in those spots since it could be easily said by someone of any faith). By extension they then call God the 'Christian God' or 'Muslim God' or 'X faith God(s)'.


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Old 05-13-2008, 02:30 PM   #5
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There are real and important differences between Chrisitanity, Islam, and Judaism. While Muslims do believe they believe in the same god as Christians and Jews, many Christans and Jews may disagree on that. In which case, the dispute on wheter Muslims actually believe in the same God...is going to be rather difficult.


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Old 05-13-2008, 02:48 PM   #6
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I think Astro's point in a nutshell is "God is God. Claiming God as solely your religion's God is the height of arrogance and offensive."

My questions are
a. Do non-Christians ever say things like 'Christian God/Muslim God/etc.'
b. Do others find it offensive and if so, why or why not?
c. Is it an artificial or real distinction?


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Old 05-13-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
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Saying "Jewish God" and "Muslim God" is a perfectly reasonable thing to say - they do not worship the same...Entities, that we do. Judaism does not believe Jesus was the Messiah, which is the cornerstone of Christianity, thus placing a barrier between our two faiths. We have a degree of kinship, but the fact remains that their rejection of Jesus Christ means that they do not worship the same God that we do. I don't pretend to understand all aspects of Judaic Belief, but I do know that they reject that Jesus is the Christ. As they do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, they do not worship him, and as they do not worship him, they do not worship the same God.

Islam, on the other hand, separates itself from Christianity and Judaism with a good healthy dose of calling us all liars who distorted the true Word of God for our own meaning. More importantly, they reject the Trinity utterly, thus splitting our faiths completely.

So, yes, using the terms "Christian God, Jewish God, and Muslim God" are all totally reasonable.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:04 PM   #8
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So, God can be contained in our little Christian box?


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Old 05-13-2008, 04:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Or it's just a way of clarifying what exactly is meant by "God." As such a clarification it can hardly be making discussion "impossible to navigate" as you say; it's actually helping people to navigate - unless it's reasonable to think that amazing amounts of unstated assumptions help discussion. Perhaps it's not parochialism but rather an actual attempt to say something meaningful. Perhaps it's not a claim of ownership of any god but rather a claim of distinction between beliefs.
QFT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Most Christians will have some passing familiarity with some Jewish traditions from reading the Old Testament, so I really find it weird for Christians to differentiate 'Jewish God' from 'Christian God'.
But don't many christians try to argue that each testament represents a different convenant? I know that I've encountered many claims that the god described in the NT is a god of love while the god described in the OT is clearly not.

In other words, it seems to me that christians do try to create distinctions between the concepts, so does it really seem so weird that they would differentiate this way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I think Astro's point in a nutshell is "God is God. Claiming God as solely your religion's God is the height of arrogance and offensive."

My questions are
a. Do non-Christians ever say things like 'Christian God/Muslim God/etc.'
b. Do others find it offensive and if so, why or why not?
c. Is it an artificial or real distinction?
a) Yes. I do it all the time.
b) I'd be interested in knowing this too.
c) Since we have no evidence for the existence of god, let alone any objectice criteria to determine which favored interpretation is "more correct" than the others, I would argue that it's very much an artificial distinction. The catch-22 is that anyone stating that there is a real distinction is claiming to know the nature of god (something that we are repeatedly told is not possible), however there do appear to be very real differences in how each religion describes his nature.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
a) Yes. I do it all the time.
Well, of course _you_ do. I suppose I should have been more careful to say 'Do people of faiths other than Christianity say things like....'

The God of justice in the OT and the God of love in the NT are not mutually exclusive, which is why I find the distinction weird. Other Christians may feel differently and not think it's weird.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Since we have no evidence for the existence of god
That discussion belongs in the Theism/Atheism thread(s). As I stated above, this thread assumes the existence of God.


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Old 05-13-2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
As I stated above, this thread assumes the existence of God.
Fair enough, however I simply wanted to point out that it's an unanswerable question (even if we assume that god does exist).
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #12
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The problem is always our concept of God. As stated in other threads, we've arrived to various conlusiosn for and agaisnt him in various different situations related o the logic by which we define God as having certain attributes.

May I ask this:

If any particular God wanted all people to beleive in him and follow his beleifs, why would he allow his beleifs to be corrupted over time, and allow them to have many contradictions and logical fallacies in relation to what God in the highest essence would be defined as?

I feel that is is important to respect people's beleifs, but the reason we question them and reject certain beleifs and beleive only one/reject all of them is not a matter of ignorance for one of logic and an educated mind, so what is ignorance? Seome peopel adhere to a beleif because it is all they know, and they have nothing else to hold onto, not knwoing all the facts- others use various fallacies in reasoning, but they don't allr ealize that. Some do, but we can't call someone ignorant for beleiving something unless if they know the true facts and don't have the strength to give up their faith.

For example, we go up to an uneducated native of a tribe in africa, who has been taught the basics of a religion. He/she has no knowledge of certain philosphies and truths, and when we tell them the truths, they label us ignorant, and then we label them as ignorant back. But what can you expect from them? They are basing their reactions only on what they beleive- they don't know any better- and therefore, it is ignorant to call certain people ignorant. Also, what if we are the ones who are ignroant? Maybe someone of a beleif could be right- and maybe we don't know any better than when we call them ignorant.


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Old 05-13-2008, 08:06 PM   #13
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I have no idea what you're trying to say there, Jae.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
When it comes to religious discussion, it often is not about what people say, but rather the way they chose to say it. It adds an explosive and human element to the debate, making a difficult topic almost impossible to navigate.

mtfbwya
"Religion is tied to the deepest feelings people have. The love that arises from that stewing pot is the sweetest and strongest, but the hate is the hottest, and the anger is the most violent."
-Orson Scott Card

I felt the need to include this.

@Topic:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae
I think Astro's point in a nutshell is "God is God. Claiming God as solely your religion's God is the height of arrogance and offensive."
Well, this is only true if the religion that we're referring to (the one claiming supremacy) acknowledges the belief that the other gods/the other perceptions of God exist. Otherwise, they just are following what they believe to be the truth.

What I'm trying to say is that I've heard radicals before say that the "Muslim" God is not God, thus offending any Muslim whether the Christian calls it the Muslim God or not. In order to not differentiate, you must believe something along the lines of that there is a divine power and that everyone reaches it in their own way.

As to the height of arrogance thing..... it kind of is a given. Like, how can you not be arrogant as to what faith you believe? You have to believe it more than any other faith, obviously, and in my Christian opinion that makes every other religion at least irrelevant to my personal one.

Believing that your religion is better, to me, is arrogance any way you cut it.
Which makes me an arrogant SOB .

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Old 05-14-2008, 12:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
I have no idea what you're trying to say there, Jae.
Well, I've said a lot of things--it might be helpful if you were just a little more specific?


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Old 05-14-2008, 12:52 AM   #16
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Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same god. To deny as much is ignorance of pure fact. Whether or not they got the message right is a matter to be debated further (or forever, as such a feat is arguable in itself.). Even if one does not believe in a deity they must recognize that all these "gods" are one in the same.

We all know a person in common, however we each have our distinct means of identifying someone. Our clues, key descriptive points. The things I would decide to use first to describe a person may be complete different than that you would use, especially if we get into the psychology. You may know a completely different side of a person, depending upon how they are with you. They may be really nice to you or around you, but mean as hell when I'm near.

If you're going to ascribe to the possibility of a deity having psychological traits, one must also believe that this entity can display patterns. Surely God has some habits he likes.


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Old 05-14-2008, 01:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
To deny as much is ignorance of pure fact.
Fact?
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
Even if one does not believe in a deity they must recognize that all these "gods" are one in the same.
Why is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
We all know a person in common, however we each have our distinct means of identifying someone. Our clues, key descriptive points. The things I would decide to use first to describe a person may be complete different than that you would use, especially if we get into the psychology. You may know a completely different side of a person, depending upon how they are with you. They may be really nice to you or around you, but mean as hell when I'm near.
While this is true, it seems highly speculative (at best) to attribute this sort of behavior to a deity that we are told repeatedly that we cannot know the nature of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
If you're going to ascribe to the possibility of a deity having psychological traits, one must also believe that this entity can display patterns. Surely God has some habits he likes.
Sounds good to me.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Fact?
Look at the writings, follow the origins. Story-wise, fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Why is that?
I think for one to make any decision they should know and weigh their options. You can't simply find any choice you make to be reasonable if you have no measure of either option.

Or perhaps I just like to believe everyone is interested in the world's history and wishes to learn from all aspects of it. Both the mistakes and the accomplishments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
While this is true, it seems highly speculative (at best) to attribute this sort of behavior to a deity that we are told repeatedly that we cannot know the nature of.
True, but if you've read any of his books you'd recognize he has distinct patterns in his reactions. They aren't always rational, but they do show consistency in reaction.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Sounds good to me.
I bet he's a two-pack a day kind of guy.


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Old 05-14-2008, 01:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
a. Do non-Christians ever say things like 'Christian God/Muslim God/etc.'
Well I guess they do if Achilles is an example of a non-Christian. As a Christian, I never use those terms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
b. Do others find it offensive and if so, why or why not?
No, I am not offended by someone using those terms. Why would I be offended by someone elses belief? I just believe there is one God and he/she is all of our God. That does not mean my belief is correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
c. Is it an artificial or real distinction?
No clue. Maybe I'll get a chance to ask him/her in the future. I pray Im given the chance.


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Old 05-14-2008, 02:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
So, God can be contained in our little Christian box?
I have no clue what you're trying to say here. What, precisely, is the 'Christian Box'?
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
Look at the writings, follow the origins. Story-wise, fact.
So long as we acknowledge that Harry Potter is a boy wizard as "fact" too, then I suppose I'll concede the point.

I guess I tend to interpret "facts" as things that have some measureable basis in reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
I think for one to make any decision they should know and weigh their options. You can't simply find any choice you make to be reasonable if you have no measure of either option.

Or perhaps I just like to believe everyone is interested in the world's history and wishes to learn from all aspects of it. Both the mistakes and the accomplishments.
I'm not sure how much this answers the question. This doesn't tell me why it is that I "must accept" that the all three monotheistic religions have the exact same god. I understand that they all come from a shared tradition, but I don't think it takes much to see that the similarities pretty much end there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
True, but if you've read any of his books you'd recognize he has distinct patterns in his reactions. They aren't always rational, but they do show consistency in reaction.
I'm not arguing that this isn't the case. I'm merely pointing out that his nature is either knowable or it isn't. If we're going to say that it isn't knowable, then we cannot place any weight behind what appear to be "patterns of behavior". If we are going to say that it is knowable, then there are a lot of questions that need to be answered regarding what it is that we seem to think that we know about him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
I bet he's a two-pack a day kind of guy.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I think Astro's point in a nutshell is "God is God. Claiming God as solely your religion's God is the height of arrogance and offensive."
The brilliant atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell remarks in his book Why I am not a Christian; I think all the great religions of the world-Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Communism-both untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true.

The Christian Stephen Gaukroger remarks To say All roads lead to God is as illogical as saying that a bus ride to the shops is much the same as taking a trip to the moon on a space shuttle. The route, mode of transport and destination are all completely different! (It Makes Sense, Scripture Union).

Given if one thinks one's religion is correct than it follows that one thinks, one's conception of God is correct, be careful not to go down there wrong line of pluralism. Do I think Islam, Judaism, Hinduism etc are incorrect? Yes. Am I here to judge? No, where you stand with God is his buisness, I can only give the message of salvation as I understand it. As I understand God in human form; Jesus, is blasphemy in Islam

Do Judaism, Islam and Christianity come from Abraham? Yes, and I will controversially add, that Islam and Judaism do have alot in common, the difference with Christianity, the sticking point if you will is Jesus.

A missionary friend of mine also asked me a very interesting question; some of my Muslim friends, really love God, and trust in him to get them to heaven, what happens to them? I do not have an answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae
My questions are
a. Do non-Christians ever say things like 'Christian God/Muslim God/etc.'
I would say in the Christian conception of God, In the Muslim conception of God etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae
b. Do others find it offensive and if so, why or why not?
I don't personally find it offensive, I was told by a Mormon yesterday, that 'my science and philosophy is false and no truth can be found there'. (Rather amusing considering this extremley interesting site, written by a very agreeable fellow, do have a read of his site if you have any interest in Mormons; http://trialsofascension.net/mormon/story.html)

I was amused by this Mormon; I pitied him but was not offended.

Are others offended by me? I'm not too bothered, I am to provoke thought, and most people are very logically incoherant. I don't aim to be offensive, but try to report what I think is truth... The truth is never affraid to listen; the truth is secure, all that someone really indicates when they get angry, is they are not secure in what they think/believe. If what I believe is truth, then I need not worry what others think, but I do worry myself and listen to others incase what I believe is not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae
c. Is it an artificial or real distinction?
Both, the truth cannot be arrogant, can the truth be offensive? Most people believe the are in possessionof truth, the problem often with religion is people will force that 'truth' on others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EW
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
I have no clue what you're trying to say here. What, precisely, is the 'Christian Box'?
Just an analogy.


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Old 05-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #24
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What a strange question this is. Do we? Our conceptions what is God are rather different. To use the term "the Christian God" seems to me to be the same as saying "the Christian understanding of monotheistic deity", as opposed, say, to Osiris Wennefer, Vishnu, or Iuppiter Optimus Maximus.



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Old 05-14-2008, 06:18 PM   #25
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It is only Christians who seem to like making God theirs. Ive even heard some (apparently uneducated) Christians say "The Jewish God" and "The Muslim God"... Neither Judaism nor Islam places such claims of association.

Adopting a notion of a "Christian God" is a simply wonderful illustration of the arrogance, and proselytistic ignorance of a zealot. (hence the suggestion that "Christian perception of God be far more sensible")
Surely you recognise that in Christianity - as in Judaism and Islam - God is supposed to have been Christian all along. Is it suddenly arrogant to believe that other religions are simply not true? In truth, I thought that was a major standing point of all world religions.

If one takes a story, then rewrites many major points of the plot; is it not in conclusion a different story to the original? Plagiarised, yes, but all the same different. "Christian God" is no different to "Allah" or "Yahweh", it is a different name for a different character in a different story: it's like dividing the character of Faust into "Marlowe's Doctor Faustus" and "Goethe's Faust". Would you argue that it is arrogant to divide the character of Faust so?

Edit: Thank you.


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Old 05-14-2008, 09:22 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nine.roses
If one takes a story, then rewrites many major points of the plot; is it not in conclusion a different story to the original? Plagiarised, yes, but all the same different. "Christian God" is no different to "Allah" or "Yahweh", it is a different name for a different character in a different story: it's like dividing the character of Faust into "Marlowe's Doctor Faustus" and "Goethe's Faust". Would you argue that it is arrogant to divide the character of Faust so?
Ooooh. Good analogy.



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Old 05-14-2008, 09:30 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nine.roses
Surely you recognise that in Christianity - as in Judaism and Islam - God is supposed to have been Christian all along. Is it suddenly arrogant to believe that other religions are simply not true? In truth, I thought that was a major standing point of all world religions.

If one takes a story, then rewrites many major points of the plot; is it not in conclusion a different story to the original? Plagiarised, yes, but all the same different. "Christian God" is no different to "Allah" or "Yahweh", it is a different name for a different character in a different story: it's like dividing the character of Faust into "Marlowe's Doctor Faustus" and "Goethe's Faust". Would you argue that it is arrogant to divide the character of Faust so?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EW
Ooooh.

Good analogy.



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Indeed, a very good post nine.roses, and infact all your posts in KC have been very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DI
What a strange question this is. Do we? Our conceptions what is God are rather different. To use the term "the Christian God" seems to me to be the same as saying "the Christian understanding of monotheistic deity", as opposed, say, to Osiris Wennefer, Vishnu, or Iuppiter Optimus Maximus.
Aye, which is why I had answered yes and no to Jae's point C question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
I have no clue what you're trying to say here. What, precisely, is the 'Christian Box'?
I think Jae (and I maybe wrong here) is trying to say Christians often put God in a nice box of what he can and can't do, and what he does and doesn't do. Which is all abit limited to their preconceptions and denominational spectrum, however it is written...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
That doesn't at least to me, seem the kind of God you can put in a box



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Old 05-14-2008, 09:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
Indeed, a very good post nine.roses, and infact all your posts in KC have been very good.
I concur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
I think Jae (and I maybe wrong here) is trying to say Christians often put God in a nice box of what he can and can't do, and what he does and doesn't do. Which is all abit limited to their preconceptions and denominational spectrum, however it is written...
Agreed. A nice little package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
That doesn't at least to me, seem the kind of God you can put in a box
But we both know that won't stop them from trying

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