Faith and "This I Believe."

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mischief, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #1
    Let me begin by saying that this is NOT my personal belief but expresses my distaste for dogma beautifully nonetheless. I believe that the expression of Faith is in the constant quest for it in every moment of every day.

    Penn Jillette: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557

     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #2
    I heard this on the radio the other day. Whether you agree with him or not, Penn Jillette is obviously a very clever guy.
     
  3. jimN macrumors 6502a

    jimN

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #3
    It's interesting what he says and well written but it is also dismissive of religions, this part in particular seems pretty ignorant:

    Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

    I don't think christians run around bashing one another knowing that they can be forgiven through repentance, they are encouraged (as are all religious followers) to live good lives with consideration for their fellow man.

    Similarly I don't think that many assume that all suffering in the world is inflicted but a malicious, omnipotent creator.

    The one thing i really envy believers for is their smug acceptance of life after death. Death can be very depressing when you realise that it really is the end - this is the real reason i bought more lights for my bike!
     
  4. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #4
    Didn't Christians used to buy themselves indulgences hundreds of years ago? Commit a sin and then pay some money to the church so they can zero it out.

    I think it's very well written. I like it. There's also a nod to objectivist philosophy (i.e. Ayn Rand) in that he believes in reality rather than the imaginary. One of the things I really like about objectivism is that it teaches that the world can be comprehended with your concious mind. That's where the "objective" in objectivist comes from - objective reasoning. Your brain is capable of solving problems and understanding the universe through reason. Religion, on the other hand, requires you to abandon your reason in order to understand the world, which implies that your logical and rational mind is inferior to blind faith.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #5
    I don't think this was Jillette's point. I think he is saying that the belief in having been proactively forgiven for your sins by a higher power is to be less concerned with being forgiven by your fellow human beings -- by definition, I should think. I'm not sure how many or most Christians take this business of being forgiven, but I do see some of the behavior Jillette implies, so in that sense I think he is correct.
     
  6. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #6
    That's not a Christian tenet so much as a Protestant one.
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #7
    Steady there.
     
  8. swindmill macrumors 6502a

    swindmill

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    KY
    #8
    The only thing in that statement that I have a problem with is that he professes an affirmative belief in the non-existence of a supernatural being. Atheism is far too often mistaken as a "belief that there isn't a god." This allows theists to turn around and say that it is ridiculous to claim knowledge that no god exists. Atheism should be properly understood as the lack of a belief in a god, rather than just another belief amongst many.

    I realize he never used the term atheist, but Penn is an atheist
     
  9. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #9
    Wow... A civil discussion...

    Okay, so sue me if I'm suprised.

    What I like most about this piece is that the emphasis is on compassion and striving towards an ever more refined presence. I've met a disturbing number of Fundamentalist Christians who skirt sociopathy by using their belief that simply acknowledging the Jesus-God-Redemption chain as true and sovreign.

    I prefer to think that even in a religion the basis of spiritual ascendency is based in compassion and an ever expanding awareness of one's impact on others more than in adherence to a dogmatic (and often somewhat jingoistic) formula espoused by one or another group. If I recall correctly nearly every prophet's message has been the same: Each person's path to salvation is unique and cannot be transferred from one to another, thusly each person's salvation can only be found through their own conscience.
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    just thought that needed highlighting.
     

Share This Page