[RD] Ask a Theologian V

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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  2. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    Critics!
     
  3. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Seeing as Christians also claim to be monotheist (meaning there is only one God, not three), the Muslims seem to be on the right track. Although, truthfully, Mulsims also have spirits and ghosts, but these obviously arent deities.
     
  4. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Well, the doctrine of the Trinity states that there's only one God too. Obviously the Muslim denial of Trinitarianism is more straightforwardly in line with monotheism, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible consistently to hold the doctrine of the Trinity and be a monotheist. I think the Cappadocians did a pretty good job of it, and so, arguably, did Jonathan Edwards. (Edwards has been regarded, variously, as both a tritheist and a modalist, which is normally a sign that someone's got the balance about right.)
     
  5. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    That's one thing I rate Islam over Christianity for, and most other religions. One god. And you only worship that god.

    Christians cant even make up their minds if god is his own father and son.

    Then in Hinduism, you get to worship other humans that for some reason are seen as spiritual holy babas. And a nice artistic colourful drawing of a chubby man with 6 arms and an elephants head.

    Which reminds me of the time I asked my mother how Ganesh got his elephants head. Her story went as follows:

    'One day Ganesh was at home with his mother. His mother was going for a bath and told ganesh not to open the door for anybody. While his mother was taking a bath, his father came home and knocked on the door, but good boy ganesh said 'mother told me not to open the door so I cannot!". Fuming, the father kept knocking (yet mother was so absorbed in her lovely bubble bath that she couldn't hear the knocking?). Much later, mother came downstairs from her bath and opened the door. Father was sooooo full of rage, he pulled out his trusty sharp scimitar and went 'SWORD GO CHOP, HEAD COME OFF' on ganesh. Ganesh was ded. After father cooled off he was sad - 'Oh no, what have I done, what have I done?'. But just then, at that very moment, there was an elephant in the back garden! So father said 'Aha! I have a plan ... SWORD GO CHOP, HEAD COME OFF ... PLONK, TWIST, SCREW .... LO AND BEHOLD, ITS A MIRACLE, MY BABY BOY GANESH IS REVIVED AS PART MAN, PART ELEPHANT!'.

    I believe that was the day I became an atheist. No offense intended, that's the literal story of how ganesh got his elephants head, taken from my mother.
     
  6. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    That's a story, not the story, of why Ganesh has an elephant's head. There are lots of different ones. I think the point of the iconography is what it represents spiritually (fidelity, wisdom, etc.) - these stories aren't meant to be taken literally.
     
  7. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Maybe not, but you wouldn't believe how many Hindus do take stuff like that seriously.
     
  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I'm sure. I don't think it's a very good reason to be an atheist, though.
     
  9. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    I dont need any reason to be an atheist other than knowing that there is no such thing as god.
     
  10. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I don't think anyone knows that there's no God. There might, in theory, be a proof of God's non-existence - if the concept of God can be shown to be inconsistent, for example - but I've never seen a convincing one, although I suspect that the concept of God may well actually be inconsistent. Fortunately you don't have to know that God doesn't exist in order to be an atheist, you need only believe it.
     
  11. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    I know in my mind that there isn't.
     
  12. lz14

    lz14 Prince

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    Plotinus, to what extend can humans know about God's plans.
    e.g. what's in the bible or the consensus that says what men can know and cannot / should not know. (in term of knowledge, not looking directly at God and see what he looks like and such)
     
  13. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Oh, and regarding that last post by Plotinus - To what extent can humans know that there is a god?
     
  14. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    I believe the Muslim objection is not so much with the Trinity as it is with the deification of Jesus, which Islam recognizes as one of the prophets.
     
  15. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Yes that is correct. The deification (I learned a new word!) of Jesus is the biggest reason why Muslims dislike Christianity, and they dislike Judaism for not having accepted Jesus as a prophet.
     
  16. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    The two are pretty strongly connected. The idea of the Trinity likely wouldn't exist if it didn't provide a framework to explain the Incarnation. And Muslims do tend to object to the Trinity pretty strongly, believing it to be a denial of monotheism. In the Koran itself, it seems said:
    Although what the Koran describes there is partialism rather than orthodox Triadology, but Muslims don't care for the Trinity regardless.
     
  17. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    It seems to me the Trinity woudn't exist if Christianity had not deified Jesus. (If Jesus is not God, then there is no Trinity; the one follows from the other.) It is interesting to note that there actually was a time when Christians did not believe Jesus is God.

    In fact they dislike Jews and Christians so much they are referred to as the people of the Book.
     
  18. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    It's more like "oh, you're Jewish/Christian, well, at least you aren't a Hindu or Zoroastrian."
     
  19. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    I feel once again obliged to point out that there are non-Trinitarian Christians - although most Christians believe in the Trinity, it makes no sense to make that the defining doctrine of the entire faith.
     
  20. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    Maybe. But Paul is the earliest Christian writer we have, and he definitely had some notion of the Incarnation (Philippians 2:5-7, off the top of my head. Colossians 1 also has a lot of material to that effect). But then that's not 100% clear from later parts of the New Testament. So perhaps it'd be more accurate to say that there was a time when some Christians did not believe Jesus is God. And as Eran noted, that's effectively how things are today.
     

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