Thursday, April 20, 2006

To Tom, a Response; or, Things That Make You Go Hmmm....

Tom is long-winded... No, really, he takes after my mother in this respect, as much as he might despise that fact. :D

You can read his lengthy comments on my "Faith Like a Child" post here. You can check out his not-been-updated-in-a-long-time blog, with teammate Kelly, here.
But without further ado, my response to Tom.

Hey Dude,

A. Yes, you're right, I would advertise your blog if you updated it every now and then. :D

B. There are no coincidences... Is that a coincidence? That there are none? Hmm...

C. Being human, yes, I generalize, and yes, I mostly generalize about the fundie, conservative, "religious" Christian who speaks loudly in all arena's of the United States culture today. I try not to, but alas, there it is. I do not, however, ever claim that this is all Christians, and I do hope no one ever takes it like that. I happen to know a few actual, truly good Christians on this Earth, and I think even they know to which sub-group of their religion I generalize about.

D. What was wrong with my hospital analogy? I'd truly like to know...

E. The faith of a child. It is true that the parent/child faith is different than the simple "faith of a child" over-reaching view that persists at most times. I have actually never considered it in the view of a parent/child scenario, and that will take some thinking... It may be something I never get to experience in actuality, but it doesn't mean one can't learn of it... everyone has a parent-figure in their lives, whether of blood or circumstance...

F. I don't believe the God of OT and the Jesus of NT are related... I think it was simply convenient at the time of the Council of Nicea to "marry" Yahweh and Christ to "fill in the gaps" as it were... but this is something I am also still working through, and that is, as you put it, a severely underdeveloped idea...

G. When it comes to the whole "don't hear the man" but "hear the teacher" thing... Obviously, man could never actually know the pure intentions of God, if he were to exist (and he might). But one thing you cannot escape is that everything you think you may know about the teacher was told or taught to you by a man... Whether conservative, liberal, Muslim, Jew or Irishman, man is only one of the two mediums through which you can experience or learn anything about the teacher to which you refer. Man, and your own personal experience with the teacher, whether that in turn be by his "spirit," or his "presence" or what-have-you. And still, you are Man, which brings us back to the first way you experience the teacher.

There is nothing you can learn about god or Jesus that doesn't include fallible, failing, yet striving-to-know-and-understand Man. So how does one come to rely on the teachings of a spiritual deity when all Man has is himself and other men? His senses and experiences, and those of his fellow man?

One could argue Creation, of course. Earth. Nature. The universe. But again, you are "sensing" or "concluding," as a Man, these things. It all filters through your Man's brain. And Dobson's. And Kerry's. And the small children on the banks of a stream. Every man, woman, and child. No one can look at something through pure objectivism. Even as a child, your views and naivete are influenced by things you can't even remember, like how often your were held, changed, fed, and such. Your perceptions today are even clouded, unknowingly, through pre-birth experiences of hormones, medications, foods and drinks of your mother... To reach a pure philosophy, a pure view of the teacher, is humanly impossible... And of course, your judgment and thinkings will always be clouded by the experiences you do remember.

But that doesn't mean man should stop trying by any means. But what it will always mean is that God will continue to change as man changes. God will evolve alongside us. Jesus may fall into myth and fable. God may move from Father, to Carbon Gas, to Black-hole, to Anti-plasmatic black matter subjugated into a cube smaller than a nano-bot. Who knows? You say this relates back to trusting the teacher to enlighten you, provide you with answers, knowledge through your faith, and testings of that faith.

Perhaps. I'm getting tired, and I think maybe getting off-point. I leave for Tennessee in less than six hours, so I will sign off, and possibly pick this back up later.

I continue to love and respect your views, Tom! A better brother I could not have requested personally!

And, if you do start up that blog of yours again, I will proudly link it to mine!

Have a great weekend everyone! Oh, and Kelly? This last part is for you!
BETHANY IS GONE!!!! BETHANY IS GONE!!!! YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!!!!!!! This has resulted in a very pleasant Thursday at work, much laughter, joy, and a lack of useless facts spilling over into every conversation not even remotely involving her...

Peace... is good!


terriamachine said...

"Tom is long-winded... No, really, he takes after my mother in this respect, as much as he might despise that fact. :D"

Now that's the pot calling the kettle black! Like you write these piddly little blogs that are succinct and terse and easy to read...

Ergo Sum said...


Hi! It's great to be able to read your blog again. I just wanted to point out something regarding your "Faith" post. You cited correctly the definition of faith as "firm belief in something for which there is no proof"

Yet, somewhere along your post, you seem to have forgotten the last part of the definition which says "NO PROOF", and mentally substituted it with "no knowledge". Thus, for the rest of the post, it seems to me that you function with the definition of faith as "no knowledge" - as given by the examples of the car starting, engine mechanics, atheist hoping the best for Phoebe, etc.

Just because I don't know how a car starts does not mean that I have faith in its mechanics that it will start everytime I turn the key.

You might be interested in investigating the Law of Identity - which, briefly stated, says that every existent has an identity (a nature of being) and that things will only behave according to their natures (law of causality). That has implications for your question on whether or not an Atheist has faith in his car (or whatever else).

Dar said...

Tom - You do seem quite long-winded, I'm not just saying that because my blog is advertised here.

Jason - If I ever write you a 3,000 word comment that all runs together and thoughts are all over the place, I will understand if you remove the link to Dar Alluding.

Jason Hughes said...

Tom: Oh, I know I'm long-winded, too. :D

Ergo: You're back on the blogosphere!! Contrats! I'm so glad you were able to get back online! I missed you! You make a good point, one never realized about my post--I guess my mind equated "knowing more" as "having proof," which, you are correct, are entirely different things... I will have to rethink a few things, maybe! :D Welcome back!

Dar: Usually you are succinct and right to the point, and ditto if I ever do the same to you! :D