Is the proof inside the book itself?  

Choozmi 51M
746 posts
6/9/2006 10:20 am

Last Read:
6/15/2006 11:30 pm

Is the proof inside the book itself?

I posted yesterday's blog on another site and received a comment from a gentlemen that provided some food for thought.

He provided some resources for further exploration of Catholic faith and I checked them out.

I did learn my catechism well. I attended Catholic school for six years as a child and have been active in and attending church most of my life.

It isn't that I feel neglected by the church or that I'm looking for stories of conversion. I know Catholicism and its teachings quite well. My trouble is that Catholicism has not offered me satisfactory answers.

Children ask questions and are sometimes satisfied by simplistic or authoritative responses: "Why can't I wear the green sweater instead of the blue one?" "Because I'm your mother, that's why." When I ask a question like "Is there a plan for my life or am I simply given a set of talents and personality traits and expected to sink or swim wholly on my own?" the pat answer found in Catholic teachings is of course: "Each of us has a place in God's plan. Free will was given to us so that we each may find our way to God on our own." I'm looking for answers beyond the simple.

I'll expand on that question a bit: If I truly have free will, how can there be a plan for me? What if my part in the plan for all of humankind is that of a sacrifice? In other words, what if my destiny is to be a Judas (traitor) or a Peter (denying Christ) or a Thomas (doubting Christ)? Has God programmed me for eventual failure so He/She can use me as an example for others? Isn't that cruel? Doesn't that go against the teachings of Christ? If on the other hand I have no set destiny but am being guided toward the good by God's many influences, will God punish me if I ignore His/Her will? Is that fair, to give someone free will but punish them for using it? I know that's how we raise children but eventually children reach a point where the most effective thing is not to punish them but to let them see for themselves the consequences of their actions.

One of my favorite sayings, which I made up myself, by the way, is: The Bible cannot be used as proof of its own veracity.

Pointing at the Bible and saying "I know this is God's word because it says so inside it" is not only childish but ridiculous. I'm sure followers of the Koran or the Torah could say the same thing about their sacred texts. I for one need evidence from other sources.

Is it the easier path to simply accept a set of rules as a life plan or should one question and test each rule before embracing it?

phoenix639 50F

6/9/2006 11:06 am

I dont belive in any God at all, i always think if theree are Gods why is there so much suffering at the hands of others! Is this the freewill thats spoken off or is it a test of faith?

Why if there are Gods are so many in poverty stricken countries so malnoursihed & fight daily just to survive.

If i was a God id never allow my children to suffer so.

I do believe in destiny & respect the faith people have but why do people believe in a God when He/She cannot be seen. There is no proof to each person of any such God.

If someone can prove to me there is a God i will believe, but id love to know what it is that people adhere to in these Gods & why they are devout believers when nothing can really be proven.

If there is a God surely my disbelief will anger that God & i will e punished!! Am i being punished or have i been punished in my past.

Or is it just the hand that fate dealt me....a choice of paths & i chose x not y.

What makes you believe?

rm_PurryKitty2 49M/51F
9753 posts
6/9/2006 11:09 am

I think in order to believe in it, you need to test it first

Purry {=}


2375 posts
6/9/2006 11:17 am

I'm agnostic, so I'm not sure what is true. However, keep in mind that the Bible was written by man, not God. I know it's supposed to be God's word, but how can we know? Who's to say it wasn't written in a biased way, or without total knowlege? Man has limitations and aren't all-knowing. I think we're all given choices, and we make our own fate by the way we choose.

rm_smosmof2 68M
3240 posts
6/9/2006 11:30 am

You are now at the crux of a dilemma I faced back in 1960... what makes any religion more right than another.

All of them are responses to their environments in attempting to explain "the mysteries of life". None strike me as any more valid than the mythologies of the Greeks and Norse were to them.

I ended up as an agnostic when I decided that man could not know.... it all depended on faith.

That said, I am quite fond of the description I've been given of the basic tenet of Hindu... God got bored and decided to fragment itself into an infinite number of pieces, each unaware of its true nature. Thus life becomes a combition of 1) a game of hide-and-seek--man looking for God, not knowing that he is God, and 2) a drama of all of the component pieces dealing with each other, having greater or lesser awarenesses of their own condition.

MaggiesWishes 61F

6/9/2006 1:29 pm

Question not, for your faith lies within your self.

If I had the answers to all this, I'd be a God-send Goddess!

Be well, my friend
Peace is what you make of it.

warm huggies 2ya

Choozmi 51M

6/9/2006 11:46 pm

Thanks everyone for stopping by. You've given me lots to think about.

The funny thing is, I'm not really struggling with my relationship with God. I believe God is on my side. I think I live a good life and I doubt any big punishment awaits me on the other side.

I'm struggling to integrate new knowledge and new experiences with what I already (think know about God. I don't think Catholicism holds all the answers. I don't think any faith holds all the answers, frankly.

One thing I should add is that as most people know the Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. The God of the Old Testament is an angry, vengeful, punishing God. The God of the New Testament -- which tells the story of Jesus -- is a much warmer, more loving and forgiving God. Side by side these two Gods don't make much sense. I tend to stick with Jesus' version of God.

I think the confusion over these two Gods in one book is at the heart of most people's anger with Christianity. I know it bugs ME.

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