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Faith today, faith yesterday

#1almasbabyPosted 1/29/2013 7:37:00 AM
I'm reading a book by Karen Armstrong called The History of God. I'm only a short way in, but I was struck by something she mentioned early on. Faith in ancient Israel wasn't a matter of God existing or not. It was a matter of believing if he was on your side or against you.

There was no question in the ancient mind that God existed. People of that time were quite certain he did, unlike the debate today which questions that. I wonder if we're really going forward as a result of this, or further from a truth that was once so apparent.
#2LastManStandingPosted 1/29/2013 7:51:38 AM
almasbaby posted...
I'm reading a book by Karen Armstrong called The History of God. I'm only a short way in, but I was struck by something she mentioned early on. Faith in ancient Israel wasn't a matter of God existing or not. It was a matter of believing if he was on your side or against you.

There was no question in the ancient mind that God existed. People of that time were quite certain he did, unlike the debate today which questions that. I wonder if we're really going forward as a result of this, or further from a truth that was once so apparent.


Humans beings are forsaken God in today's world.
Look how media is obstructing God, God is being removed from public eye. Some great Satanistic forces are at work to remove God from people, to limit the faith and eventually abolish faith of the people.
If you want a place where faith got banished look at Netherlands. A very scary place to live, especially when you hit the retirement age.
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#3OrangeWizardPosted 1/29/2013 8:05:04 AM
From: almasbaby | #001
People of that time were quite certain he did, unlike the debate today which questions that.


Well yeah. The 10 plagues, the pillar of cloud that led them to the red sea, the parting of the red sea, the manna, the quail, the water from nowhere, the impossible wars, the destruction of cities, the pillars of salt, etc.

Of course.
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#4lastheroPosted 1/29/2013 8:31:30 AM
There was no question in the ancient mind that God existed.


Slight correction.

There was no question in the ancient Hebrew mind that God existed.


There were people all over the world that God never saw fit to appear to for some reason, even in those ancient days. When he was - allegedly - making those pillars of salt and those ten plagues and everything, mankind had already spread across the continent and even into North America. He only showed his power to a relatively small fraction of them. There was PLENTY of question in the ancient mind that God existed, because there were plenty of people, even back then, that never saw the things that he did and plenty of people that worshiped other gods.
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#5GegengegengegenPosted 1/29/2013 8:56:23 AM
lasthero posted...
There was no question in the ancient mind that God existed.


Slight correction.

There was no question in the ancient Hebrew mind that God existed.


There were people all over the world that God never saw fit to appear to for some reason, even in those ancient days. When he was - allegedly - making those pillars of salt and those ten plagues and everything, mankind had already spread across the continent and even into North America. He only showed his power to a relatively small fraction of them. There was PLENTY of question in the ancient mind that God existed, because there were plenty of people, even back then, that never saw the things that he did and plenty of people that worshiped other gods.


Armstrong's point was that everyone believed in the supernatural. Atheism, was by and large, psychologically impossible up until the 17th-18th centuries.
#6JonWood007Posted 1/29/2013 9:03:13 AM
I think we have more reasoned arguments today. Our arguments and thought processes have evolved. They lived in a prescientific age that was highly superstititious.

God may or may not exist, but if he does, he does not show himself in a reliable way. What once was obvious isnt such anymore, and if you listen to people who think it is, they often commit fallacies, like severely underestimating the odds of something happening on its own.

The concept of God falls apart in a controlled, scientific setting. It relies on unlikely events happening in uncontrolled environments, and then people assigning meaning to these events. When you try to remove extraneous factors and control for natural explanations, the whole thing falls apart. Sure, people will say God doesn't like being tested, but God only acting in environments where natural factors and chance aren't accounted for creates a problem...how do we know it's actually God, and not one of these uncontrolled factors? The human mind likes to jump to conclusions, but these conclusions can be wrong under rigorous methods of finding out things. And this is why the God concept is less apparent than before.
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#7lastheroPosted 1/29/2013 9:04:27 AM
Gegengegengegen posted...
lasthero posted...
There was no question in the ancient mind that God existed.


Slight correction.

There was no question in the ancient Hebrew mind that God existed.


There were people all over the world that God never saw fit to appear to for some reason, even in those ancient days. When he was - allegedly - making those pillars of salt and those ten plagues and everything, mankind had already spread across the continent and even into North America. He only showed his power to a relatively small fraction of them. There was PLENTY of question in the ancient mind that God existed, because there were plenty of people, even back then, that never saw the things that he did and plenty of people that worshiped other gods.


Armstrong's point was that everyone believed in the supernatural. Atheism, was by and large, psychologically impossible up until the 17th-18th centuries.


Believing in the supernatural is not the same thing as believing in god, and certainly not the same thing as believing in God, so if that was her point, it was poorly made.
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#8Faust_8Posted 1/29/2013 9:21:49 AM
When you have an entire world full of forces and you can't explain ANY of it, of course theism is inevitable.

Once we started learning things, then atheism became possible. I don't see the significance of this, or how it's "new."
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#9kozlo100Posted 1/29/2013 9:51:50 AM
Gegengegengegen posted...
Armstrong's point was that everyone believed in the supernatural. Atheism, was by and large, psychologically impossible up until the 17th-18th centuries.


I've always kind of wondered about that.

I know the histories read that way, and the reasoning behind it is pretty sound, but at the same time history isn't going to write about me. Given that, I kind of wonder what a bunch of 'man on the street' type interviews with ancient people would've turned up.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#10GegengegengegenPosted 1/29/2013 11:35:52 AM
lasthero posted...
Gegengegengegen posted...
lasthero posted...
There was no question in the ancient mind that God existed.


Slight correction.

There was no question in the ancient Hebrew mind that God existed.


There were people all over the world that God never saw fit to appear to for some reason, even in those ancient days. When he was - allegedly - making those pillars of salt and those ten plagues and everything, mankind had already spread across the continent and even into North America. He only showed his power to a relatively small fraction of them. There was PLENTY of question in the ancient mind that God existed, because there were plenty of people, even back then, that never saw the things that he did and plenty of people that worshiped other gods.


Armstrong's point was that everyone believed in the supernatural. Atheism, was by and large, psychologically impossible up until the 17th-18th centuries.


Believing in the supernatural is not the same thing as believing in god, and certainly not the same thing as believing in God, so if that was her point, it was poorly made.


I thought she made it pretty clear in the book, honestly. And she did cite a more scholarly source for more information(Febvre's fantastic "The Problem of Unbelief in the 16th century)