"Slay God" and revert to mere survival. For without "God", what else is there?
Eventually, there is no Art. There is no other. There is no Why. There is no meaning.
All there is left is you and the needs of the flesh you reside within. ;)
Morality becomes relative to your respective situation and how you can 'get' whatever it is you are after.
For as long as you exist there is the precedent of (whatever it takes) filling the needs of the lowest rungs of Maslows pyramid and taking the fragments of other peoples beliefs and manipulating them so that they serve your self-same basic needs.
A Narcisisst. A sociopath. The modern barbarian. It is they who profess their 'religious' beliefs most loudly, those who are the wolves in the fold, who, through time, are identified by the telltales of who they are - at least for those who can ... perceive.
In this most unspiritual epoch (rather ironic, wouldn't you say?), you may not be aware of Gods' precence, but you surely would be aware of his absence when sitting in a room with one of these modern barbarians.
True, most Atheists/Agnostics have not decayed to that level, but if they work at purging themselves of all Deist imperfections (Christian, Hindu, Islamic etc... Dogma), they will eventually arrive at this dark and dead sea.
Once the Godhead has been removed, the inner decay begins (the nature of the person determines the speed of the decay):
Christianity ----> Secular Humanism ----> Atheism ----> Moral Relativity ----> Nihilism.
(Atheism and Moral Relativity can be switched, though the others seem to be the standard progression)
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
I find myself less and less willing to be drawn into these discussions anymore, Gerard. You are a more sturdy debater than I am. I have no patience nor do I care to try to convince anyone, after all, who am I? I simply respond by saying, "Of course there's a God. It must be you, because only you seem to be able to figure out what God should be like if He were ever to exist."
Our default human nature still seeks to either free ourselves from our dust, or kill other perceived threats by projecting our shortcomings on the Other and killing it. The study of the human need for a scapegoat is a key element of understanding blood sacrifice. You rightly note that we have not moved from this default.
To take Abraham and Ike out of the context of the long view and make it stand alone as a refutation of blood sacrifice is to torture it out of its plain meaning, and to in turn sacrifice a hard truth for the purpose of a desirable context.
Paul said that Abraham received Isaac as back from the dead. That speaks more plainly to the purpose and intent. God stayed a human hand that was willing to simply acknowledge that He who gave life where there was no possibility of life, (Sarah's barren womb) had the simple right to assume His ownership of that life, and require it again. In Abraham's duller understanding of obedience to a Greater, he would not have thought twice about the sacrifice and the story would be a lesson of brutish obedience; but Abe already had many years to think about where life came from. He fully understood that Isaac was not his own doing, and that was a new concept. THAT was the beginning of the Covenant. The Promise and the Gift from above, as echoed in the Nativity.
If Abraham, being the first of all who believe, was the first to value the Gift that was in the blood more than the blood itself, then it goes back to the visitation. God came to earth in human form to reveal what Abraham could have never guessed on His own. I can posit that Abraham fully believed that if God truly "required" again the life He had given, then it was no problem for Abraham to consider that God was not breaking His promise of an heir and a son, but would indeed raise up Isaac from the dead, if necessary.
I generally say something similar, Gerard: atheist, agnostic, believer, we all seem to agree on the mindblowingly awesome size of God. So given the size of God and the size of me . . . why exactly would you think I am the one in charge of whether or not I believe?
Although I have to say for me it was a two-step process. I have always found it easy to believe in God. When I was in the middle of what was supposed to be a fatal siege of ovarian cancer and had a couple of white-light experiences plus a powerful dream followed by my cancer disappearing--after that I came to the second, far more difficult step: persuading myself that God believed in me.
The unknowability of God is a chasm that can be bridged by God. And it has: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" -- John 14.9.
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends... (John 15:15).
Three letters put together that make such a troublesome, misused, misunderstood word.
The word that we use to describe so much, but in so many ways is also misused, misunderstood...
'Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. He who loveth has been born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is Love.' 1 John, 4:7-8
I'm not referring to romantic love, or holding some kind of concept of what love is out there on a pedestal as a false idol...and I believe using the Lord's name in vain is completely wrong, especially to try and get something out of someone ("you know baby, I Love you...now can we have sex?")
Love is to be lived, to be felt, to be shared.
Love is patient, kind.
Love, ultimately, is all-forgiving.
God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent...
Substitue the G.O.D. word with the L.O.V.E. word, and you have unlocked the mystery (at least that mystery that we as humans can comprehend, for ultimately we can understand Love, the emotion).
We are not God, but we have GOD (LOVE) within us, the infinte capacity to Love, to give Love freely, to be Loved, to Lovingly forgive...
I cringe when I hear people who speak of being a 'God-fearing' (fill in the religion here).
Why do you fear Love?
If we could overcome all of the implications of a three-letter word that people fear, and embrace LOVE, let LOVE flow through us...
I can truly worship Love, through living Love.
True Love is eternal.
Some good stuff here,
And mostly true,
But I'll stick with Leonard
When it comes to Hallelujah.
Amen Brother! This morning, over Indiana, I watched Orion the Hunter rise. Orion has been rising for thousands of years over mankind... Rising in a sky so vast and endless it cannot be thought about in pragmatic terms... So man ignores it. Proof of the Creator is over our heads! Oh, wait... I saw a study recently that says something can indeed come from nothing. Silly me! What was I thinking about? Poor little monkeys...
Some days it is very difficult to believe in God. Very hard.
Ah, Alexandra. Great cover.
The hardest thing for God ever had to do was give his enduring love away, for free. We fill the holes in our short lives with material nothings, to the exclusion of God's love for eternity.
I believe, Terry, that since Love is limitless, it is not a hard thing to give it away. It is there for one to receive, and if one decides, to reciprocate. The unconditional nature of Love does not diminish the power of Love. And the beauty of Love is that it is our freewill to accept Love or not, rather than be forced to 'submit' to it or fear it.