Faith doesn't always suspend reason

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Letter writer Johnnie Poole ("Cartoon represented flat earth society," Aug. 23) stated, "My point is that faith requires the suspension of human reason, and by doing so, makes possible all the unreasonable horrors we see every day committed in the name of faith."

While I certainly agree that faith without reason has resulted in many horrors, faith does not require the suspension of reason. Many years ago, I studied the various religions and wondered what life was all about. During this study and reasoning, I was led to my faith in Jesus. Many people do not believe we should suspend our reason because of our faith, but believe both are important. Both were so important to Pope John Paul II that he wrote two important encyclicals about this topic: "Faith and Reason" (www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0216/_INDEX.HTM) and "Splendor of the Truth" (www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0222/_INDEX.HTM). Johnnie might want to read them.

By the way, what faith did Hitler, Stalin, Mao or the Khmer Rouge have when they committed their horrors?

Patrick Mongan, Evans

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shivas
2
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shivas 09/04/07 - 06:58 am
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You seem to be forgetting

You seem to be forgetting about the horrors of the Catholic Church throughout it's history. Crusades, Inquisitions, genocides in South America and molesting children just to name a few. Religion was created for political control of people, and continues in this vain today.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 09/04/07 - 07:19 am
0
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Religion was not created it

Religion was not created it evolved (even in the bible). Even the earliest of man's ancestors displayed ritual burial and evidence of spirituality. Given the global and cultural preponderance of faiths, I would say it is innate and biologically driven. The same "logic and reasoning" of mankind gave rise to theology and science. Think about it, as evolved creatures (pretty much a hairless chimp) our sound reasoning and logic gave rise to both so perhaps both are suspect. Faiths obviously serve an evolutionary function (meme) and our evolution has obviously been linked to these beliefs-both good and bad. The same can be said for science-good and bad. It is not neccessary for the beliefs to be real to have power. Joseph Cambell deals with the subject well in Power of Myth. Religions weren't initiated for political reasons but political influence evolved in religion.

patriciathomas
44
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patriciathomas 09/04/07 - 07:33 am
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Faith without reason is the

Faith without reason is the most common type of thinking today. Sometimes it's faith in the teachings of the Bible, sometimes it's faith in Al Gore, sometimes it's faith in Micheal Moore. Anytime there's faith without reason foolishness becomes common.

3M3T1B
60
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3M3T1B 09/04/07 - 10:44 am
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I have faith that one day

I have faith that one day patriciathomas will no longer have a connection to the internet.

drcptsr
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drcptsr 09/04/07 - 12:42 pm
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Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Both his mother and [step]father were direct descendents of King David. He grew up in Nazareth. He began his ministry at age 30. He was put to death by crucifixion. His body cannot be located. Many testified that he performed supernatural acts (miracles) and that he was seen for many days after his death. Although faith requires a belief which cannot be proven with empirical evidence, there is far more basis of fact about Jesus being God than for a Big Bang or for asteroids selectively killing all dinosaurs and little else.

gagirl40
197
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gagirl40 09/04/07 - 02:32 pm
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drcptsr...many believe Jesus

drcptsr...many believe Jesus in fact didn't die, but survived and was taken away for his own protection. They also believe he was married and had children. Which seems more plausible? Jesus died, was entombed, disappeared and arose to heaven or he didn't die and was taken out of his tomb and was hidden away until his actual death many years later? Religion has been the cause of atrocities all over the world. The letter writer uses a few non-religious tyrants to prove his point, but the religious ones are far more prevalent. Hitler for one, was Catholic. Mussolini was also Catholic. Gen. Francisco Franco, also Roman Catholic. Osama Bin Laden, Muslim. And groups? The KKK is Christian. Hezbollah, Muslim. The Taliban and Al Qaeda, Muslim. The Army of God, Christian. God's Army, a Christian terrorist group in Myanmar. Nagaland Rebels, Christian terrorist group in India. Gush Emunim Underground, Jewish. Kach and Kahane Chai, both also Jewish. The Lord's Resistance Army, a terrorist rebel guerrilla army in Uganda that wishes to establish a state based on the Ten Commandments. And the list goes on and on and on...

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/04/07 - 03:25 pm
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Such illiteracy and ignorance

Such illiteracy and ignorance about both history and religion, especially involving Christianity, are superceded in most of today's comments only by an obvious lack of critical thinking ability. It's revolting.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 09/04/07 - 03:32 pm
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Gagirl so Christians are no

Gagirl so Christians are no different than anyone else. Ya didn't know that. You can write a list of atheist who did horrible things. That is the point. It is human nature to be bad, immoral, sin, whatever you call it. As I wrote to Knave, you realize that you are in the minority on this planet as 98-96% of the planet are peoples of faiths. The faiths are evolved memes that obviously have some evolutionary advantage. The power of myth has nothing to do with whether it is true or real. The same logic and reason (we are limited by our biology least there is supernatural) evolved both religions and science, and both have good and bad aspects. I am curious why some people of no faith are so preoccupied with dissecting and dismissing faiths. You must not be content with your atheism, or is it God, or is it religion? For forty five years I could have cared less what a Buddhist, Christian, or any faith thought, and I am curious why the interest. It would seem your are trying to convince yourself you are correct in your beliefs. It reminds me of evangelicals who grab onto straws (strawmen) in attacking evolution.

The_Last_Word
2
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The_Last_Word 09/04/07 - 03:41 pm
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Many people claim to know

Many people claim to know Christ but that does not make them a believer. A believer is one who believes that Jesus was the messiah, that He died for our sins, and that He rose from the dead. When one believes, he is changed. For some this is a miraculous change that takes place in moments. For others it is more gradual. Believers still sin but as Christ takes over more of their lives they should sin less. Peter was a strong Christian, but he sinned by being hypocritical about the way his Judaism was judged by others. Many people confuse the West with being Christian or that if you are American, you are Christian. The Lord is the only One Who can make a real judgment on this - but you should see the "fruit of the Holy Spirit" in the life of a believer. Do you see any of this in Hitler, the KKK, priests that abuse children, etc? No, you do not. I think the reason most people want to beleive that "all Christians are hypocrites" is because it gives them an excuse not to evaluate the claims of Christ for themselves. I put off the decision for many years (half of my life). But when I read the Bible for myself, I saw that it was truth and brought me the peace that I had been seeking.

gagirl40
197
Points
gagirl40 09/04/07 - 03:52 pm
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Bizarro, why did you assume I

Bizarro, why did you assume I was an atheist? I am not. I believe in God. I don't have much use for religion, however. Especially religions that tell people it's okay to hate. Or the ones who tell those of other religions they are going to hell because they don't believe in "their" God. I have often wondered exactly what I would label myself as far as religion is concerned. I know many think I am going straight to hell because I don't bow down to the Christian philosophy that you must believe in Jesus Christ as Gods only son or you'll burn for eternity. I just will never believe innocent God loving people all over the world are doomed simply because they aren't Christian. It just seems arrogant to me. And when people claim evil happens because of the absence of religion it must be noted that evil also happens BECAUSE of religion. I am a theist. I pray to God every night and thank Him for everything He has given me. I pray for His protection of my family and I pray for the mess the world is in. As I said, I believe in God, I'm just not a blind, arrogant, hypocritical, bigoted believer.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 09/04/07 - 04:02 pm
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I understand and can

I understand and can appreciate your distaste and frustration with religions. I apologize if I was preaching at you or misjudged you. I can be a bonehead at times. I myself struggle with the concept of hell. The bible speaks of death and the lake of fire so I get the impression (like seventh day adventist) that death is final, the lack of eternal life, and separation from God. Eternal life is only promised to believers so adding an eternal hell is more eastern thought of everyone having a eternal life. I pray too.

gagirl40
197
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gagirl40 09/04/07 - 04:08 pm
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I was also raised in a

I was also raised in a Southern Baptist home across the street from the church we were members of. I grew up in church. I went three or four times a week, including Vacation Bible School in the summers. I know what real Christianity is, my loving spiritual grandmother taught me. And it isn't anything like the religious right of today. She would not claim them if she were still alive. This new "Born again, fundamentalist" Christianity is nothing like the Christianity I grew up with. It's hateful and seriously warped! And it has turned more people AGAINST religion than anything the Devil could do, trust me!

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 09/04/07 - 04:40 pm
0
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unless it's been made into a

unless it's been made into a movie it can't be true, conversely, if it is a movie it must be true. How else could it be recorded?

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/04/07 - 04:44 pm
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GAGIRL, while I applaud your

GAGIRL, while I applaud your deistic faith (not theistic) and the fact that you pray, every time you write about what you believe and how you understand Christianity, I just wish you hadn't. You need to operate on something more than your own opinion before calling other people bigots, because you, yourself, apparently have no systematic belief/theology by which to compare any other. You just don't appear to know very much about Christianity except the tiny little segment you have been exposed to, and what you describe definitely is NOT the whole picture. You, like so many others in our culture, want to define God to fit what you believe he "should' be, and reject anything (ie, concept, dogma, standard) that is not a comfortable fit specifically for you. That's certainly your right, but having nothing but your own opinions as the bedrock of your faith may prove pretty cold comfort when a genuine crisis rolls around. Sometimes it's useful to have something outside yourself to hang onto when you need some reality. The realization of the reality of hell can have a singular and compelling effect on changing someone's direction for the better.

Lysa
0
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Lysa 09/04/07 - 05:28 pm
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There so many religions out

There so many religions out there. With that, I am getting confused. How do you know which one is the right religion?

bone
24
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bone 09/04/07 - 05:41 pm
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ask your parents, lysa - best

ask your parents, lysa - best to get information like this from a trusted source than to solicit advice from posters on this page.

gagirl40
197
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gagirl40 09/04/07 - 06:23 pm
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bigot-One who is strongly

bigot-One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. WAOF-When you tell me your Christian view is the "right" one and mine is the wrong one you are being a bigot as defined in the dictionary. I am not telling you that your way is wrong. I am not telling you to believe what I believe. You are basically telling me what I believe is wrong. How do you know there is a hell? What proof do you have of the REALITY of hell? Have you been there? Have you seen it? How do you know what I believe isn't right? What "proof" do you have that you are right? The bible? That's not proof. I choose to believe in a good, loving, tolerant God. If your God isn't those things, well, you just live with your God and I'll live with mine. Your response was exactly what I was talking about in my last post. Thank you for showing me I was 100% RIGHT! BTW. DEIST: a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it. THEIST: one who believes in the existence of a god or gods. (I am the latter, thank you very much.) Good advice Bone. But how does she know her parents won't teach her WRONG like mine did?

Lysa
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Lysa 09/04/07 - 06:40 pm
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Gagirl, do not put words in

Gagirl, do not put words in my mouth. I never said that Christianity is wrong. I am a Christian myself and bone, I took your advice and my mom says I am not supposed to know everything about Christianity but she said if I believe in God, His word, and that He created the Heavens & the Universe, and that He is our Lord and Saviour, then thats how I know.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/04/07 - 06:45 pm
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It's called "faith" for a

It's called "faith" for a reason, GAGIRL, which is why you're in over your head, I think. I didn't tell you that what you believe is wrong; I said you don't appear to know very much about the "religious right" and probably Christianity itself, beyond what your Gramma, esteemed though she be, was able to show to you. I doubt that she was able to impart the full deposit of the Christian faith any more than I could, and I have a pretty extensive education on that particular subject. I also have an excellent education on other world religions. I don't require proof, GAGIRL, in order to believe, but my ability to think critically does help me to make my choices. If you believe God is nothing else but loving, good and tolerant, then you must not be much interested in virtues such as justice, holiness and self-control. Again, it's your choice. I believe God loves us all perfectly and made us to know, love and serve him, and wants us to be with him forever. I also believe he cannot tolerate evil and that deliberately choosing to do what he forbids or denies us/me is something that pushes him away, just as insulting a friend would cause a rift.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/04/07 - 06:51 pm
0
0
BTW, the difference between

BTW, the difference between "deism" and "theism" depends a lot on who is doing the defining. Perhaps you are a theist. Certainly, call yourself one if it pleases you.

thomastolson
1
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thomastolson 09/04/07 - 06:51 pm
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0
Maybe its just me, but I do

Maybe its just me, but I do not see the connection to religion and this acticle. What I read is mostly about FAITH ... and the use of reasoning. To have Faith in anything requires that we believe in something so much that we do not have to see it to believe in it. Reasoning is more scientific in that it require some proof for one to believe. Our belief in Christ is one of FAITH, because most have not visually seen Christ. How can religion, which we created be put in the same sentence as FAITH? In many cases the author, in my opinion has misused the word FAITH to make his point.

gagirl40
197
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gagirl40 09/04/07 - 06:54 pm
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Lysa honey, I never put words

Lysa honey, I never put words in your mouth. I wasn't talking to you, I was responding to WorriedAboutOurFuture. My only comment about you was to Bone when I said he gave you good advice. My comment was one of sarcasm since my parents taught me my religion and I am being told they were wrong and I am wrong. I'm sorry if you thought I was talking to you or about you, I assure you I wasn't.

gagirl40
197
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gagirl40 09/04/07 - 07:07 pm
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I know more about

I know more about Christianity than you think WAOF. I am not such a simpleton that I have a naive understanding of what the Bible says. I had a whole set of ideals and ideas about things when I was younger. I was a good Christian for most of my younger life. It's been life experiences through the years that have molded me into a different person. My realization that Christianity is stuck on the whole "if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you're not going to heaven" thing. After seeing the suffering of innocent children in other nations who don't know about Christianity, yet have their own religion which is just as important to them as Christianity is to us, and being told they were all going to hell. I decided I couldn't be a part of any religion that thought that way. That is why I abandoned it. Then when the religious right went after homosexuals who wish to have monogamous relationships and marry, well that just did it. I believe we have to be good, and live by the Ten Commandments. I just don't believe God punishes those who live good, law abiding, charitable lives. And I don't believe He ever punishes children, no matter what their religion!

samson737
33
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samson737 09/04/07 - 07:51 pm
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gagirl40...i am not going to

gagirl40...i am not going to say much on this matter but JESUS himself said in the gospel of john chapter 14 verse 6..." I AM the way,the truth and the life NO ONE comes to the Father except through me." now if you don't believe that YOU have called JESUS CHRIST a liar....suffering came into the world after sin came in so man is a responsible moral agent and the Bible once again states in romans 5:19...for as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners(adam) ,so also by one Mans obedience many will be made righteous(JESUS)..THEREFORE DO NOT BLAME GOD for the mess the world is in now...it is because of mans disobedience to GOD wanting to be like GOD read genesis chapter 3...anyway here is the bad news for you if you truely were saved at a young age you still are saved and still a Christian read john chapter 10 verses 27-29 ..you are just disobedient...have a great day in the Lord...! and as far a punishing GOOD people HE killed HIS OWN SON for you and me and HE WAS SINLESS..! also ask joshua and caleb they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and they gave the good account.... GOD does not care what you think..its what HE said..!

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 09/04/07 - 08:20 pm
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"There so many religions out

"There so many religions out there. With that, I am getting confused. How do you know which one is the right religion?"
An interesting question. Some seem indoctrinated into a religion, others have a "God" experience and then seek God finding it in many ways. I firmly believe that if you approach it open minded, exam all faiths, you will be led to Christ. I guess an apt analogy is it is like being homosexual. You just know it. Hee, hee. But it is true. We believe in a living God-the father, son, and holy spirit. A true Christian will have the Holy Spirit manifest in their lives and it will be apparent to all. You can tell them by their fruit and Word.

samson737
33
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samson737 09/04/07 - 08:54 pm
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bizarro..just want to give

bizarro..just want to give you this fact...in which other religion did GOD raise HIS SON from the dead..showing us that JESUS overcame death, sin and the grave..i want to follow the true GOD's belief..i do not want to follow some dead in the grave i can do nothing for you religious leader...i want to follow the living GOD and thats JESUS CHRIST..! HE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD NEVER TO DIE AGAIN..! let another religion match that and you know it had to be true otherwise the guards would not have lied about what happened..! matthew 28:11-15..positive evidence that HE rose from the dead..!

Lysa
0
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Lysa 09/04/07 - 09:10 pm
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I am sorry gagirl. I thought

I am sorry gagirl. I thought you were talking to me.

heffner
0
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heffner 09/04/07 - 09:35 pm
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gagirl, Actually,

gagirl, Actually, Christianity has nothing to do with what you do. It is totally based on what Jesus did. Little children who have not reached the age of accountabilty (no one knows what that age is - it could be as old as 20) are not sent to Hell but go directly to be with the Lord. Since God is a God of justice and love, He would have a plan for those in places that have not heard of Jesus or have been taught another way to please God. Believing that God is unjust, is a lie of the devil and is designed to keep people from coming to Jesus. The religious right has not "gone after homosexuals." There are some nuts who have but I would not classify them as brothers and sisters in Christ. What believers say about homosexuality is that it is a sin - like any other sin - that can be forgiven. But it must not be called "an alternate lifestyle" - it must be confessed as a sin and turned away from. Hundreds of former gays have done just that and found a new life in Christ. Believers love homosexuals enough to tell them the truth. Homosexuals are usually kind and gentle people who do not wish to harm anyone. Hating them will not win them to Christ.

samson737
33
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samson737 09/04/07 - 09:47 pm
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heffner....if you believe the

heffner....if you believe the way you do in another plan for those in places that have not heard..please explain to me romans 1:20...for since the creation of the world His invisable attributes are clearly seen, being understod by the things that are made,EVEN HIS ETERNAL POWER AND GODHEAD, so that they are without excuse... i dont think so...also read john 14:6...HE is a just GOD... i believe that also

samson737
33
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samson737 09/04/07 - 09:50 pm
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gagirl40..are you hiding..!

gagirl40..are you hiding..! come out ,come out ..where ever you are..!

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