Author Topic: Is God's house a urinal?  (Read 4662 times)

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MusingMuso

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Is God's house a urinal?
« on: March 08, 2012, 02:04:19 AM »
God may have many mansions, but it would seem that the "organmutterers" forum only has urinals; these being one of the few constructions possible with only two corners.

Why isn't there an agnostic corner, on the basis that a room has a minimum of three corners?

I feel deprived!

As a Christian Agnostic, I would immediately dispute the belief that the Bible is the word of God, which probably consigns me to hell where all the interesting people go.

However, be that as it may, a thought occured to me as I was eating a BLT sandwich in a lay-by the other day.

If people believe in God, they START from the point of view of awe, wonder and reverence and work their way down the food-chain, until they reach the tiniest specks of life, molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles.

If people do not believe in God and know something about the building-blocks of the universe, they may readily START where believers end, by studying the sub-atomic particles and the cosmic-dust whence we all came. Working up from this to the atomic, the molecular, the simple and complex life-forms, to the orbit of earth and moon, out to the stars and galaxies and arriving at the infinity of the universe, they must finally come face to face with the awe and wonder of creation, and  have reverence for the things that are beyond undertanding.

Thus, at the very least, it is our humanity which binds us together, whatever our beliefs or lack of belief.

I believe that the greatest obstacle to religion is not a lack of faith, (which is quite different to belief), but an absence of humility.

Surely, it is perfectly easy for an athesit, an agnostic and a believer to share FAITH in the person of Jesus?

Isn't this exactly what Diterich Boenhoffer was saying 60 years ago?



AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 02:34:38 AM »
How can an atheist have any faith in a person whom they insist never existed? I also find your use of the word urinal in this context inappropriate (I'm not going to cry offensive since it's not personally offended me and I'm not a Daily Wail reader!).

John Leeming sends his regards, by the way...

organforumadmin

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 11:21:38 AM »
Dear MM

Firstly thank you for joining this forum and bringing both your sense of humour, exciting desire to shock, and stimulating thoughts to discussion.

Personally I'm not sure that as yet I understand your first proposition in its analogy entirely; perhaps it's better not to go there, but it's certainly a grabbing headline!

How serious is your assertion that we should have an agnostic area? Being a bit neither one thing nor another I'm not at all sure how exciting it might turn out to be.

Your analysis is certainly on the ball and in view of your starting at both the believing end and from the non-believing end and arriving at the same conclusion, is there really any room for the third corner of the forum that you propose?

Humility . . . obstacle to whatever you like to call it . . . no doubt many will feel that you are hitting the nail on the head.

Best wishes

Forum Admin


revtonynewnham

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 11:27:48 AM »
Hi

@AOC - there is plenty of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus - that's fact, regardless of your views on His divinity, etc.

Every Blessing

Tony

MusingMuso

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 01:43:09 PM »

I'm sorry if the only physical structure I could think of with only two corners was a urinal; though it has to be said that circular ones have none. I once worked in a swish office which had three corners; the building being a triangular one based on the idea of a Bedhuin
tent. It was lovely, but it did mean that the unfortunate cleaning-lady had to clean the corners prostrate, using just the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner. Corners are clearly more than turning points, I think.

Apologies if I credited Boenhoffer with an afterlife. He died over 70 years ago!

Now to answer the points raised in the replies, I am not very shocking by and large, unless you capture me trying to change a Renault Laguna cam-belt, when the language, (and my knuckles), turn an interesting shade of blue-purple very quickly.

Agnosticism is not, by its very nature, a belief system, but what it importantly reflects is the absolute fact that none of us know very much at all about almost anything. It is therefore a very useful "corner" in which to stand, for it permits us to acknowledge the fact
that we are largely ignorant, without being fearful of it. In essence, there is no such thing as provable belief or absolute faith, and the agnostic can therefore enjoy the luxury of admitting and proclaiming their limitations with the simple words, "I don't know." If we pretend otherwise, we are fooling ourselves and those around us.

Now it's actually quite interesting to contemplate how an atheist can have faith in Jesus, (or anything/anyone else), but then fail to believe that the said person ever existed.

Would Stephen Dawkin deny the goodness, the decency, the humility, the care, the love and the commitment of Jesus?

Of course he wouldn't, even if Jesus was only a concept or a figment of religious imagination.

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between faith and belief; faith being altogether more down to earth and practical....in fact, the very essence of Christology...."In imitato."

In reply to Tony Newham's assertion that there is evidence for the existence of Jesus, this is quite true, but there is far greater evidence to suggest that Adolf Hitler also existed, and actually, this has nothing whatsoever to do with faith, unless one happens to wear either a dog-collar or a swastika.

The real challenge of religion is in the "here and now," (to quote Boenhoffer), and it may be that ridding religion of absurdly speculative beliefs may benefit the process of faith.....what Boenhoffer summed up as "religionless Christianity."

This, I feel, is exactly why the atheist, the agnostic and the believer are able to share a common faith, but necessarily common beliefs.

Isn't that an exciting prospect?


PS: I saw a man with white hair and heard a mellow sound.

At first I thought it must be God and the voice of angels, but as I'm not ready to die just yet, it was quite a relief when it turned out to be John Leeming working on the Southampton Compton. My regards to him also...

AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 02:50:21 PM »
Hi

@AOC - there is plenty of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus - that's fact, regardless of your views on His divinity, etc.

Every Blessing

Tony

Of course. I am not and never have been an atheist. What I am saying is, how can one who IS an atheist have faith in someone they believe to have been just an ordinary Nazarene carpenter?

Oh yeah, I should warn the forum that it now has another resident petrolhead... MM used to work in Formula One motor-racing and told me an interesting tale of a ride across Yorkshire beside the late (also Colin) McRae in a a Metro 6R4...

MM, get an E39 5-series instead of that moneypit Laguna - they're lovely cars, easy to work on because the engine isn't mounted sideways, and just about bombproof.

Sadly, I think that your head must be spinning like a camshaft, as you referred to "Stephen Dawkin", clearly an amalgam of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking.

MM, have you got Richard Hills' new CD of Southampton Guildhall's Compton? Highly recommended. Peter Hammond (who produced the CD and restored the organ) is on here as "Peter H" and the guy you need to talk to about all things electrostatics and electrones, Lucien Nunes, who worked on the Melotone, is also on here under his real name.

MusingMuso

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 07:47:21 PM »

Irrespective of any beliefs in divinity, Jesus was rather more than a nice Jewish boy with a hammer. However, the important thing is that he was born Jewish and died Jewish, which may come as an uncomfortable truth to many. It begs the question as to whether Jesus ever intended to start a new religion, which of course happened long after his death. I would therefore suggest that even his followers would have regarded him as a Jew first and foremost. However, I think we are failing to make the distinction between belief and faith, which are not interchangeable. For instance, I believe that the moon may be made of cheese, but would I have the faith to travel there without a pot-noodle in my pocket?

Surely, it is the LIVING and ONGOING truth of Jesus which really matters, for were it otherwise, he would just have been another middle-eastern martyr among many.

We must ask ourselves if those truthes are valid to-day, and of course, they are; across a whole spectrum of beliefs and even religions.

I confess to being a petrol-head, as well as a diesel head; my favourite hobby being that of driving very large trucks. I even get paid to do it, which is just marvellous.

You're probably right about the Laguna Turbo. It's a complicated beast; not least electronically, which is where many of the problems occur.

I did, of course, mean Richard Dawkins. I'm surprised that I got it wrong, but I've now reached the age when I can put lapses of memory down to almost anything; from tiredness to full-blown dementia.

Yes, the Compton story is not an easy one; not least because all the company records perished in a fire. As I've stated elsewhere, it is a story of such complexity and significance, it possibly needs to either be co-authored or written to include the acknowledged input of electronic and electrical specialists. All the knowledge is there, but it needs to be combined into a readable entity, but not in the usual "time-line" style of organ-building biography and history. We're gently working towards it, and I sit on a huge pile of information.

I haven't yet got the Richard Hills CD, but I will in due course. Richard is a fine player, and as someone who enjoys both the light and classical aspects of organ-playing, I hold him in very high regard. I'm not sure how he fits in with or copes with the snobbery and inverted snobbery of the dual establishment, but ultimately, he has the last laugh; being capable of doing what most others cannot.

Of course, there were some interesting people who preceded him....Quentin MacLean, Osborne Peasgood, Norman Cocker, Dr.Toothill and numerous others, including a certain French organist by the name of Marcel Dupre.

pcnd5584

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 11:13:12 PM »


Of course. I am not and never have been an atheist. What I am saying is, how can one who IS an atheist have faith in someone they believe to have been just an ordinary Nazarene carpenter?

Oh yeah, I should warn the forum that it now has another resident petrolhead... MM used to work in Formula One motor-racing and told me an interesting tale of a ride across Yorkshire beside the late (also Colin) McRae in a a Metro 6R4...

MM, get an E39 5-series instead of that moneypit Laguna - they're lovely cars, easy to work on because the engine isn't mounted sideways, and just about bombproof.

Sadly, I think that your head must be spinning like a camshaft, as you referred to "Stephen Dawkin", clearly an amalgam of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking.

MM, have you got Richard Hills' new CD of Southampton Guildhall's Compton? Highly recommended. Peter Hammond (who produced the CD and restored the organ) is on here as "Peter H" and the guy you need to talk to about all things electrostatics and electrones, Lucien Nunes, who worked on the Melotone, is also on here under his real name.

Richard - most of this post would have been better sent to MM as a PM.

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David Pinnegar

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Re: Is God's house a urinal?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 11:40:04 PM »
What I am saying is, how can one who IS an atheist have faith in someone they believe to have been just an ordinary Nazarene carpenter?

:-) He was, as MM says, much more than merely a "Jew with a hammer". He was born with Divine Inspiration, "The Idea" . . . "God" . . . communicated by the Holy Spirit to Mary, who defined his brothers and sisters as sons and daughters of God who heard his father's word and did it . . . (Mark 3), thereby also defining himself.

With regard to the rest of the post, I am in complete agreement with PCND.

Best wishes

David P

David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

 


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