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-God- without answer?
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Oriani



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 208
Location: Venezuela

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:14 am    Post subject: -God- without answer? Reply with quote

Hello people.. I know this thread can be repeated but I haven't been here so long so, Can you explain to me or give you opinion about the question below?

Hod do you think God appeared? Who made Him??? How does he have powers????????? How did he create everything?? Planents.. life.. etc...

Thanks.
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beancurdturtle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 1041
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: -God- without answer? Reply with quote

Oriani wrote:
Hello people.. I know this thread can be repeated but I haven't been here so long so, Can you explain to me or give you opinion about the question below?

Hod do you think God appeared? Who made Him??? How does he have powers????????? How did he create everything?? Planents.. life.. etc...

Thanks.

Well - as far as I am concerned.

God does not exist.

Furthermore, the question of whether or not God exists is irrelevant.

If anyone chooses to believe God exists, that's cool when the belief (faith in God) results in righteous living. Faith is a motivation for right living for many people.

If anyone chooses to believe their faith is better than another, or their faith gives them the right to kill people of other faiths, that's a deep perversion of the concept of God. Faith should not be used in service of personal bias and fear.
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“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
--Dr. Seuss
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eddfx



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Behind you!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe.

I look at God from a scientific viewpoint (mostly physics) and that is why I believe in “creationism” (a being that created the universe). Basic physics shows us time is linked to matter and space (thanks to Einstein’s theory). So time itself would have begun along with matter and space, in other words, the big bang. What this means is, God is outside the realm of time but his creation(s) are not.

Some believe the big bang is a wondrous coincidence or an accident. I personally believe it was put into place by something. As the beginning of time and then life itself, the system put into place is too beautifully organized to be by accident. The most logical explanation would be that it was made by an engineer and not by a clumsy mistake of circumstances.

I have been looking into Buddhism recently and I am finding it very hard to understand Buddhism’s view of God. Some Buddhist say there is no God, but all Buddhist talk about deities and exalted beings on numerous occasions. Siddhartha Guatama (Most call him Buddha) even had an encounter with a deity who tempted him before he became enlightened. How can there be no God(s) if Buddha was visited by one?

In Buddhism there is no beginning or end, instead there is an endless circle of birth and death, reincarnation. I have a problem with that theory because I believe that the universe (space and time) is around 4.5 billion years old. Our scientists today are proving more and more how the universe came to be and when. How can a system be in place since, well forever when the universe is only 4.5 billion years old?

There are flaws in all organized religions that twist truths and use faith as a profiting tool. That is why I put my faith in science and the most wondrous engineer that ever came before us. God.
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beancurdturtle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eddfx wrote:
God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe.

I see, then you are Panentheist. That's an interesting way to conceive of God.

I am philosophical Taoist, so I have no faith. Just a philosophy. Very Happy
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“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
--Dr. Seuss
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eddfx



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not a Panentheist. Too many contradictions in what I believe.

I am non-denomination believer of the Bible in a sense I use the Bible as a history book rather then a spiritual one and I am also a student of scientology because I like many of the theories that stem from scientology. It makes more sense to me.

I also know a little bit about Taoism. It is the primary religion here in Taiwan (about 80-85%), a branch off of Buddhism.
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beancurdturtle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eddfx wrote:
I also know a little bit about Taoism. It is the primary religion here in Taiwan (about 80-85%), a branch off of Buddhism.

The Daoism most practiced in Taiwan is Religious Daoism. It mixes Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism into a cross denominational religion. In fact, this synergistic Pan-Asian school of belief is evidenced in many Eastern religions. It is a great deal ritual and rules - of which the Dao de Jing (and Laozi) is critical.

Next most prevalent form of Daoism is Vital Taoism. This form believes the energy of the Dao can be formed and channeled to influence things, health, events. Chinese Medicine, Yi Ching, Tai Qi, and Chinese astrology come from the principals of Vital Daoism. Philosophical Daoists often utilize the "sciences" that are born from Vital Taoism - they are not in conflict with the philosophy.

Philosophical Daoism has nothing to do with religion, rituals, rules (dogma), like the Daoism practiced by most Taiwanese. This is not meant to be a criticism - because I believe Religious Daoism has as much credibility (maybe more) than many other widely practiced faiths.

Philosophical Daoism is about a right way of living with integrity and harmony. So ritual, rules, and dogma, are unnecessary. The philosophy comes nearly exclusively from the writings of Laozi and Zhuangzi. It's hard to find a good teacher of philosophical Daoism, because there's not much (if any at all) power, esteem, or money in it.

The way you describe your thinking, I think you would have a great appreciation for philosophical Daoism. The challenge would be to find someone who can teach you about it. That's a little paradoxical considering you live in Taiwan - isn't it? Wink
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“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
--Dr. Seuss
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eddfx



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Behind you!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am interested in your source of information on this subject beancurdturtle, because your source is a tad bit off.

I stand by my original statement that in Taiwan Taoism is the predominant religion. They may call themselves Buddhist, but they actually practice Taosim. Here is a brief introduction to Taiwan which explains in greater detail.

According to the website I linked to, Dao is the third most popular religion here, but I have never met anyone who practices this religion and have never seen any temples in the name of Yi Guan Dao. In fact, many people politely scoff at Daoism and don’t even call it a religion at all. On the other hand, some people call it a religion but do not practice it. I know you have said this already, but I am telling you what I heard from the mouths of Taiwanese.

The website I pointed out also said that there are 3,218 Yi Guan Dao temples. I have never seen one and I am in the third biggest city in Taiwan. I am sure they are here though, just not as obvious.

You seem to really want to put a religious label on me. Maybe it helps you to relate to me? If you want to put a label on me, you can say I practice EDDISM. Wink
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beancurdturtle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 1041
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eddfx wrote:
I am interested in your source of information on this subject beancurdturtle, because your source is a tad bit off.

I stand by my original statement that in Taiwan Taoism is the predominant religion. Here is a brief introduction to Taiwan which explains in greater detail.

According to the website I linked to, Dao is the third most popular religion here, but I have never met anyone who practices this religion and have never seen any temples in the name of Yi Guan Dao. In fact, many people politely scoff at Daoism and don’t even call it a religion at all. On the other hand, some people call it a religion but do not practice it. I know you have said this already, but I am telling you what I heard from the mouths of Taiwanese.

The website I pointed out also said that there are 3,218 Yi Guan Dao temples. I have never seen one and I am in the third biggest city in Taiwan.

Also, I would not be so quick to judge that most people do not practice it because it is not profitable. Any religion (except Atheism) is profitable.

On a personal note, though I am entertained by the philosophies of Eastern religions, I do not believe in Taoism, Buddhism and especially any teachings from Yi Guan Dao. Yi Guan Dao beliefs are almost exact opposite of mine.

I take great interest in the Taiwanese culture and that is why I know a little about this subject.

Ok eddfx, I don't mean to be argumentative here - but it wouldn't hurt if you would step off your high horse. I am not a "tad off" - in fact I am not off at all. Regardless of your link to a Taiwanese government website, your Taiwanese wife, the time you've spent in Taiwan, and the many Taiwanese mouths you have encountered - I know more than you about this issue. It's a simple fact - no boasting or pigheadedness in the statement.

But perhaps I was being unclear. I agree with you that Yi Guan Tao(一貫道) and Taoist Religion are the most predominant religions in Taiwan.

But you missed the critical point - Taoist Religion (especially Yi Guan Tao) has very little to do with Philosophical Taoism. And I am a Philosophical Taoist(受理古老道教).

My source is more than 20 years of study of Philosophical Taoism, visits with Philosophical Taoist Masters, comparative study of Eastern Religions (and Western as well), and more than 12 years of quite personal experience with friends who practice religious Taoism. I guarantee you that Philosophical Taoism is not Religious Taoism.

I know the "Taoism" of Taiwan. I have been to Yi Guan Tao temple - both in Taiwan and the US. I have studied Yi Guan Tao enough to know, it is not Philosophical Taoism. It is a Religion, it has temples, and rituals, and dogma, and gods, and near holy books. I have friends and even relatives who are Yi Guan Tao. It is not Philosophical Taoism.

Yi Guan Tao is to Philosophical Taoism in a similar way that Falun Gong is to Zen Buddhism. They are both religious sects popularized in the 20th century - full of ritual and dogma - claiming to be based in ancient philosophies.

I said it's hard to find a Master of Philosophical Taoism because there is no money in it. And most people don't practice Philosophical Taoism. Most "Taoists" are Religious Taoists and practice Yi Guan Tao or some Taoist Religion.

On a personal note, I too do not believe in any of the Eastern Religious schools of thought. I do not believe in any religious school of thought (including Scientology which I have also studied) - this is why I said "I have no faith."

Let me share something with you - something that usually leaves Religious Taoists without an explanation. It's the 38th Chapter of the Dao de Jing(道德经). Notice especially the highlighted part. This concept is core to Philosophical Taoism. Now compare that to the temples, rituals, dogma, gods and etc. of Yi Guan Tao and Religious Taoism. Now can you see that Religious Taoism has very little to do with Philosophical Taoism?

Laozi wrote:

Laozi: "Dao De Jing": 38th chapter
Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
Closely held beliefs are not easily released;
So ritual enthralls generation after generation.

Harmony does not care for harmony, and so is naturally attained;
But ritual is intent upon harmony, and so can not attain it.

Harmony neither acts nor reasons;
Love acts, but without reason;
Justice acts to serve reason;
But ritual acts to enforce reason.

When the Way is lost, there remains harmony;
When harmony is lost, there remains love;
When love is lost, there remains justice;
And when justice is lost, there remains ritual.

Ritual is the end of compassion and honesty,
The beginning of confusion;
Belief is a colourful hope or fear,
The beginning of folly.


The sage goes by harmony, not by hope;
He dwells in the fruit, not the flower;
He accepts substance, and ignores abstraction.

老子:「道德经」:第三十八章
上德不德,是以有德﹔
下德不失德,是以无德。

上德无为而无以为﹔
下德无为而有以为。

上仁为之而无以为﹔
上义为之而有以为。

上礼为之而莫之应,
则攘臂而扔之。

故失道而后德,失德而后仁,
失仁而后义,失义而后礼。

夫礼者,忠信之薄,而乱之首。

前识者,道之华,而愚之始。

是以大丈夫处其厚,不居其薄﹔
处其实,不居其华。故去彼取此。

(in Traditional Chinese for the Taiwanese folks)
上德不德,是以有德。
下德不失德,是以無德。

上德無為 而無以為,
下德為之 而有以為。

上仁為之而無以為,
上義為之 而有以為。

上禮為之而莫之應,
則攘臂而扔之。

故失道而後德,失德而後仁,
失仁而後義,
失義而後禮。

夫禮者,忠信之薄
而亂之首。

前識者,道之華而愚之始。

是以大丈夫處其厚,
不居其薄,
處其實,
不居其華。
故去彼取此。

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Daniel

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
--Dr. Seuss
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eddfx



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Behind you!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beancurdturtle,

You said, "The Daoism most practiced in Taiwan is Religious Daoism." Your information is false and that is why I said you were a tad off. I didn't say you were wrong. Unlike you I was being polite.

I would appreciate it if you keep rude remarks like, “It wouldn't hurt if you would step off your high horse” to yourself. They are not appreciated. You should know better and set a better example for our English learners.

I have not once belittled you for having an opinion even though in some of my post you have taken some pot shots at me. I was responding to the fact that Taoism is the number one religion in Taiwan and then you turn it into a personal vendetta against my beliefs and opinions.

Assuming I learned about eastern religion from my wife (very low class bringing my wife into it), government websites or Taiwanese people is pure ignorance on your part and I take offence to it.

To enlightened you so you do not assume about me, my wife or my Taiwanese friends, I learned about Buddhism from a UK professor in college and an American professor after college. You are very bold to stick your chest out at me and assume you know more about this subject then I do when you have no idea of who I am, what my interest are or what my background is. I would never say I know more about a subject then another person. It is a sign of insecurity.

I am here to help English learners, not to inflate your ego. I am sorry if you think I am stepping on your popularity toes here, but I am here to simply share opinions and experiences, not win a popularity contest.

If you disagree with my opinion that is fine, but I will not be bullied and insulted for the simple fact my opinion is different.

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and was in hopes that we could become friends here and work together as a team. Instead you have shown me nothing but a rude attitude.

For someone who claims to believe in your philosophy, you do not practice it very well. Mad
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beancurdturtle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 1041
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, as an educator, you should know that one of the best ways to learn a language is to observe or engage in spirited debate. In your way, your responses to me are contributing to the learning experience of the ESL community here.

You seem to be very sensitive and so defensive when I contradict your opinion. I'm not sure why you perceive the good natured exchange of ideas, and minor disagreements as potshots. I have not been offensive. I have not tried to prove how much more enlightened I am about Taiwanese culture than you are. I don't see the point. I only state facts - which sometimes differ from your opinions.

If you were not on your high horse, I would not have recommended dismounting. You peppered your post with anecdotes and statements with the intent of proving your credentials to refute me. It's not necessary, and it's damaging to your reputation - especially amongst those who know my understanding of Chinese culture and philosophy. But that's not really a big deal anyway now, is it?

And, dude! You're the one that used the fact that your wife is Taiwanese as a cudgel to attempt to prove your higher knowledge of Taiwanese culture. You brought your wife into the discussion. How can you assert that I am "low class" for responding to your personal confessions?

Now let's look at my statement, "The Daoism most practiced in Taiwan is Religious Daoism." This statement is true - 100% true. Why is it true? Because Yi Guan Tao is in the Religious branch of Taoism. Yet you still insist about my statement "Your information is false." What's up with that?

Then you plead your innocence and assert your politeness. You didn't say I was wrong, but any native English speaker can recognize there's a taint of sarcasm in this statement, "I am interested in your source of information on this subject beancurdturtle, because your source is a tad bit off."

You are the one giving websites, your wife's nationality, your friends mouth's and etc. as your source of credentials to tell me I am spouting falsehoods. How can you take offense when I mention them as well? Especially when I did not denigrate them.

You really don't need to enlighten me about Taoism. Really - you don't. And if your credentials for enlightening me about Taoism are "I learned about Buddhism from a UK professor in college and an American professor after college." then you really are unqualified to enlighten me about Taoism in any case. Am I wrong here as well?

Look, if you are really here to help English learners, then you can take comfort in the fact that you are doing so - very effectively - in a roundabout way by refuting the facts I have presented.

I am not disagreeing with your opinion. That would require that I have a different opinion - and I don't have a differing opinion. What I have are facts - facts are a different category of assertions than opinions. You are welcome to have all the opinions that you want, but when you offer your opinion in response to facts - and your opinion is wrong - I'm not required to ignore it.

I have not bullied or insulted you. However you have responded to me in carefully crafted sarcasm, you have insinuated that I am ignorant, you have hinted that I am insecure, and you have practically called me narcissistic. And every single one of these insinuations is false.

Lastly, I do not "believe" in a philosophy. I try to live my life in accordance with a philosophy - and I do alright. Taoist philosophy does not require that I sit idly by with an inscrutable smile and not respond to someone that challenges my statements - especially factual statements. Some of the most respected respected followers of Taoist Philosophy in ancient times were also warrior heroes. And though I am by no means a warrior hero - when I am right, I am allowed to stand my ground.
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“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
--Dr. Seuss
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eddfx



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Behind you!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beancurdturtle,

I am not even going to go into great detail and explain every mistake, lie and twisted truth you have put into your last couple of post. It would be a waste of time for me because it would fall on deaf ears. One word comes to mind though, Hypocrisy. You might want to go re-read your copy and paste job on respect and apply this faith you claim to hold so dear. Wink

But I will say...
Amusing you say you speak fact and I speak opinion and you tell me to get off my high horse. I think you should look in the mirror before you start pointing your angry finger at me. Especially when I live in Asia and you live in the States. Can you prove you have even stepped foot in Asia? I can prove I am in Asia right now. Eating at a Chinese place in the States is a little different then eating here.

You may have the English learners fooled here but I see right through you. To one American speaking to another, you are a rude person and uses fallacies to spew out his opinions and pass them out as facts.

I am not going to argue with you anymore. You have already made my first week here unpleasant. Go and be petty with someone else, your conversation is not welcome with me.

Goodbye beancurdturtle, you will not get anymore responses from me no matter how much you try to bait me with your Fallacies. Just remember, you insulted me multiple times first with your cowboy guns blazing. If you do not realize this, I am sorry that you are not cultured enough to even be polite to your own people. Very sad.

To all the English learners:
I apologize for me getting upset here, but beancurdturtle has offended me multiple times and I will not stand to be treated so rudely. Please do not think this type of English is polite or accepted in other situations. Please understand, anyone can use google and claim they know everything about your culture.

( you said "First, as an educator, you should know that one of the best ways to learn a language is to observe or engage in spirited debate." I disagree with your opinion 100%.)


Last edited by eddfx on Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:15 am; edited 4 times in total
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Oriani



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 208
Location: Venezuela

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow guys!! How great explanation you've given me.. Good writing.. Nice view point.. Wink
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eddfx



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Behind you!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oriani wrote:
Wow guys!! How great explanation you've given me.. Good writing.. Nice view point.. Wink


You are most welcome.

Thank you for being so open minded and accepting our opinions. It is very rare that someone appreciates another opinion. Very Happy
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Oriani



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 208
Location: Venezuela

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eddfx wrote:
beancurdturtle,

I am not even going to go into great detail and explain every mistake, lie and twisted truth you have put into your last couple of post. It would be a waste of time for me because it would fall on deaf ears.

But I will say...
Amusing you say you speak fact and I speak opinion and you tell me to get off my high horse. I think you should look in the mirror before you start pointing your angry finger at me. Especially when I live in Asia and you live in the States. Can you prove you have even stepped foot in Asia? I can prove I am in Asia right now. Eating at a Chinese place in the States is a little different then eating here.

You may have the English learners fooled here but I see right through you. To one American speaking to another, you are a rude person and uses fallacies to spew out his opinions and pass them out as facts.

I am not going to argue with you anymore. You have already made my first week here unpleasant. Go and be petty with someone else, your conversation is not welcome with me.

Goodbye beancurdturtle, you will not get anymore responses from me no matter how much you try to bait me with your Fallacies. Just remember, you insulted me multiple times first with your cowboy guns blazing. If you do not realize this, I am sorry that you are not cultured enough to even be polite to your own people. Very sad.

To all the English learners:
I apologize for me getting upset here, but beancurdturtle has offended me multiple times and I will not stand to be treated so rudely. Please do not think this type of English is polite or accepted in other situations. Please understand, anyone can use google and claim they know everything about your culture.

( you said "First, as an educator, you should know that one of the best ways to learn a language is to observe or engage in spirited debate." I disagree with your opinion 100%.)


Hey hey!! I'm here reading your post. I like what you wrote and what you're writing. For me it's interesting, even though our view points are kind of different but that is nice so that we can share "knowledge". That's the point.. or not??? In fact, I can see that both of you have a different ways to explain ( believeing or not in God, it's not my business) how God appeared, my question above... that's it Wink

I wish other could participate too. .. Wink
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Oriani



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 208
Location: Venezuela

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eddfx wrote:
Oriani wrote:
Wow guys!! How great explanation you've given me.. Good writing.. Nice view point.. Wink


You are most welcome.

Thank you for being so open minded and accepting our opinions. It is very rare that someone appreciates another opinion. Very Happy


Yes, because I believe that accepting others' opinios is one of the ways you can learn about the world.. gain knowledge! No problem for me. I'm Chrsitian and I didn't feel offended at all, in fact, I think it is very very important to know what others think about God. not beliefs maybe, but "thoughts".. Even I asked about a question that maybe it cannot be answered Wink Wink
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