Poll

Do you believe in God?

Yes
58 (65.2%)
No
31 (34.8%)

Total Members Voted: 82

Voting closed: April 04, 2009, 03:05:22 PM

Author Topic: U2.... God... Believe...  (Read 30745 times)

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Offline m2

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #75 on: March 31, 2009, 12:44:15 AM »
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Nowadays, most of his religious-themed lyrics seem totally banal, and it makes it hard for me to accept that he is still a believer. He had more religious passion in 2 seconds of any Pop song, where he seemed at his least religious, or more-precisely his most doubtful, than the entirety of the song Yahweh.

So, are you suggesting that doubting/questioning God = passion, and that praising God = no passion? That's how it seems, like you're saying the only way to be a passionate Christian is to question/doubt God. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding?

Offline kboman

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #76 on: March 31, 2009, 05:48:32 AM »
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Nowadays, most of his religious-themed lyrics seem totally banal, and it makes it hard for me to accept that he is still a believer. He had more religious passion in 2 seconds of any Pop song, where he seemed at his least religious, or more-precisely his most doubtful, than the entirety of the song Yahweh.

So, are you suggesting that doubting/questioning God = passion, and that praising God = no passion? That's how it seems, like you're saying the only way to be a passionate Christian is to question/doubt God. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding?

To this outsider, doubt would be the mark of an honest christian.

Offline donvalley360

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #77 on: March 31, 2009, 06:11:37 AM »
I am an aetheist,there has been more war and atrocities committed in the name of one god or another,as a result i am very strongly anti-religion,but i love u2 for the music they make and how it makes me feel,i dont try and analyse lyrics and delve into the meanings,i leave that for more intelligent and thoughtful people than me,i know what i get from u2 music,and thats all that matters to me.

Offline Mystways

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #78 on: March 31, 2009, 07:01:41 AM »
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Let's not confuse evolution with faith, please. Evolution is the name given the process of biological change over time. It has several sizable mountain ranges of support and has been observed in action in repeatable experiments.

A scientific theory is not a guess.
Sorry if my wording was confusing. I didn't mean to call evolution a faith—that was in reference to the "God exists" side. What I meant to say, is that I think seeing either a higher power or evolution as 100% "provable" is an error.

Gotcha on the first part :)

Regarding the second part, the semantics make things seem different from what they are. Evolution is like gravity - it's there, whatever we feel about it. The "theory of evolution" is the scientific explanation of how and why it works as observed, just as the "theory of gravity" is. This is not something I personally find meaningful to invest faith in, it is what it is and only our explanation - the theory - changes as new research adds to/subtracts from it.

Belief in God also exists, whatever we feel about it. The existence of a theory doesn't necessarily make it true. (And that goes for religious as well as scientific theory).

Gravity is something we can personally measure and experience. If I drop the lid to the washing machine over my fingers, it will fall, and I'll go "ouch!". ;) Evolution, on the other hand, asks us to accept that research and evidence gathered through second-hand means support the idea that something began thousands of years ago, is still occurring, and will continue to occur until the world ends. 

For the record, I'm not ruling out the possibility that evolution (especially micro evolution) exists. But until we have thousands of years of humans-actually-there-and-recording-it research to back up the gradual change concept, I'll have a hard time buying into the idea that I am the descendant of an ape-like creature.


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No-one (unless you trust the Bible) recorded how the universe began (or what went on for a good while after that) and even if they had, many would still doubt the accuracy of their record. So we have to depend on a lot things that are second-hand information, no matter how reliable we think they may be. Because of that, I think it takes just as much trust to believe that everything happened by chance, as it does to believe it was designed by a higher power.

Another interesting discussion! And any sane scientist looking into this would cheerfully agree that no, we don't know how things got started. For me, this is a very attractive and comforting thought - partly because it's up to us to find out, not to be dictated to.
But the beginning of the universe has nothing to do with evolution. :)

By beginning of the universe, I meant how things were in our early history (not the Big Bang). If way back then our ancestors were little things swimming around in pools, or even the fore-runners of apes, and we could somehow watch them change into us, then that would be more than enough proof for evolution. In that case, it wouldn't even be a theory, but a proven fact, witnessed by us.

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As for a theory not being a guess—I'll have to disagree with you there, unless you mean it's an educated guess.

I did say "scientific theory", and that's about as educated as it gets :)
The scientific method is one of the distinctly great achievements of humanity in my opinion.

Okay. So we're on the same page, there. :)


Offline Mystways

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2009, 07:08:22 AM »
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As for a theory not being a guess—I'll have to disagree with you there, unless you mean it's an educated guess.

From Oxford American Dictionaries...

theory |ˈθēərē; ˈθi(ə)rē|
noun ( pl. -ries)
a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained : Darwin's theory of evolution.
• a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based : a theory of education | music theory.
• an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action : my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanaged.
• Mathematics a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject.

ORIGIN late 16th cent.(denoting a mental scheme of something to be done): via late Latin from Greek theōria ‘contemplation, speculation,’ from theōros ‘spectator.’

supposition |ˌsəpəˈzi sh ən|
noun
an uncertain belief : they were working on the supposition that his death was murder | their outrage was based on supposition and hearsay.
DERIVATIVES
suppositional |- sh ənl| adjective
ORIGIN late Middle English (as a term in scholastic logic): from Old French, or from late Latin suppositio(n-) (translating Greek hupothesis ‘hypothesis’ ), from the verb supponere (see suppose ).

Far be it from me to challenge the dictionary, but this is the first dictionary entry I've ever read that has used a word like 'supposition' as a synonym for 'theory' in the scientific context, which is the context that matters when discussing Evolution and The Big Bang.

I agree with everything in that definition after the word 'or'. A scientific theory is an explanatory framework. It is no more speculative than a scientific fact or law.

None of the other dictionaries I've used have described scientific theories as suppository or speculative. Notice how all of the following definitions describe scientific theories as explanatory frameworks of some kind:

Random House:

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A coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.

American Heritage:

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A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

Webster's:

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An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.

WordNet:

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a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"

American Heritage (again)

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In science, an explanation or model that covers a substantial group of occurrences in nature and has been confirmed by a substantial number of experiments and observations. A theory is more general and better verified than a hypothesis. (See Big Bang theory, evolution, and relativity.)

Of course, in daily speech, outside the context of Science, you hear the word "theory" used in place of "hypothesis" or "speculation" all the time. So, you will find those definitions in there too. But it's important, when choosing a definition, to choose the one that matters in context.

For example, if you were to call me a jerk, I wouldn't think that you were calling me a sudden movement. :p
I stand corrected, and as a lover of words, I appreciate your word accuracy. The point I was making is that even a very well-supported scientific theory may be mistaken, or even proven completely erroneous by later findings.

Offline kboman

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #80 on: March 31, 2009, 09:18:37 AM »
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I stand corrected, and as a lover of words, I appreciate your word accuracy. The point I was making is that even a very well-supported scientific theory may be mistaken, or even proven completely erroneous by later findings.

Surely this is a good and healthy thing? To hang on to an idea regardless of proof to back it up or conclusive proof against it is insanity. To expand one's knowledge, to learn, to be curious, to question, to reject what does not work - this is to move forward.

Offline theocean

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #81 on: March 31, 2009, 10:01:33 AM »
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whenever i doubt...music reconnects me with God. it is a force that cannot be physically seen but felt and heard. the power of music helps me understand there is something much bigger than us. music aligns me spiritually.


besides...it's boring and depressing to think otherwise.

Very well put!

Offline kboman

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #82 on: March 31, 2009, 10:15:29 AM »
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Belief in God also exists, whatever we feel about it. The existence of a theory doesn't necessarily make it true. (And that goes for religious as well as scientific theory).

Gravity is something we can personally measure and experience. If I drop the lid to the washing machine over my fingers, it will fall, and I'll go "ouch!". ;) Evolution, on the other hand, asks us to accept that research and evidence gathered through second-hand means support the idea that something began thousands of years ago, is still occurring, and will continue to occur until the world ends. 

Also evolution can be and has been observed "in action" in repeatable experiments, including speciation. It's there! The "theory of evolution" is our explanation of the process, not the process itself.

Belief in god/s certainly exists, but it is something intensely personally experienced, not repeatably measured.

Quote
For the record, I'm not ruling out the possibility that evolution (especially micro evolution) exists. But until we have thousands of years of humans-actually-there-and-recording-it research to back up the gradual change concept, I'll have a hard time buying into the idea that I am the descendant of an ape-like creature.

I could never accept a static universe, and all evidence up to and including my own existence tells me that the universe and everything in it is dynamic, in flux. Everything affects everything else - it's just a question of degree. In the specific case of biology, this change happens to be called evolution. There is no need beyond the personal for first hand observation over thousands of years to validate our explanations of how it works - there already exists an enormous amount of research, evidence and experimentation to support it. As an analogy, no one has actually seen the earth revolve around the sun, but we still accept it as fact.

I personally find the idea that life as we know it somehow plopped into existence "finished", and that it has not changed since, to be utterly absurd. This has been my stance since childhood I have found nothing to change it. It makes rational sense, can be observed, and it is immensely emotionally satisfying because it means that in the end, everything is the same and everything is connected and to me there is no more beautiful thought.

But that's me! I'm happy to discuss this with someone who is clearly a thinking human being :)

Quote
By beginning of the universe, I meant how things were in our early history (not the Big Bang). If way back then our ancestors were little things swimming around in pools, or even the fore-runners of apes, and we could somehow watch them change into us, then that would be more than enough proof for evolution. In that case, it wouldn't even be a theory, but a proven fact, witnessed by us.

Yes. But that is not possible (and if it were, it would profoundly change the outcome of the process*), so we must make do with what we have.


Quote
I did say "scientific theory", and that's about as educated as it gets :)
The scientific method is one of the distinctly great achievements of humanity in my opinion.
Okay. So we're on the same page, there. :)

:)


* To my chagrin, I can't remember who stated this. Popper seems likely but there is no mention of it on Wikipedia.

Offline CDProp

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #83 on: March 31, 2009, 10:37:57 AM »
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So, are you suggesting that doubting/questioning God = passion, and that praising God = no passion? That's how it seems, like you're saying the only way to be a passionate Christian is to question/doubt God. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding?

No sir, I did not mean to give that impression. While Pop is a passionate album full of doubts about God, I think Bono has, previous to Pop, written many a passionate and worshipful lyric about God. It's just that since Pop -- since those doubts -- his lyrics about God, which all seem very worshipful again, have not been very passionate, in my opinion. This leads me to speculate that he managed to bury his doubts somehow, but they're not really gone. Just camouflaged.

Edit: It's like I said in this reply:

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Exactly, and I would add that his lyrics from the the 80's and early 90's seem to be from a believer's standpoint, but they're much more powerful than his current lyrics. It really seems to me that he was a big believer all throughout the 80's and a bit of the 90's. In the late 90's, he had a crisis of faith, which he ultimately resolved, but not completely sincerely. On the surface, he believes, but deep down, there is something about the whole thing that bothers him. Maybe it's a sort of Problem of Evil sort of thing. His real passion right now is for Africa, and he can't help but feel that, as bad as Americans/Europeans are for standing by with buckets of water in hand while Africa burns, God is even worse. That's my speculative opinion.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 10:59:40 AM by CDProp »

Offline CDProp

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #84 on: March 31, 2009, 10:48:24 AM »
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I stand corrected, and as a lover of words, I appreciate your word accuracy. The point I was making is that even a very well-supported scientific theory may be mistaken, or even proven completely erroneous by later findings.

One thing I will say about scientific theories is that they're very broad, and therefore very fluid. A scientific law, by comparison, if very brief and can sometimes be expressed a single equation:

F = G( m1 * m2 / r^2 );

...which is Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. And even these scientific laws can be proven wrong. It turns out that Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation works very well enough for our purposes in 99% of all cases, but it doesn't correctly predict the orbit of Mercury! That's where Einstein's Theory of General Relativity comes in, which is a sort of rewrite of Netwon's law, but unlike Newton's law, it correctly predicts the orbit of Mercury.

And one thing that's really interesting about this is you have a situation where, not only was a law proven to be incorrect, but the law in question was supplanted by a theory!

Sorry, I love talking about this stuff. It's like metascience, or something.

Anyway, since theories are often so broad, one or two things about them can be disproved, but the theory as a whole remains relatively unchanged. This is in contrast to a law, where there usually is only one statement in the whole thing, and if you change that, you've changed everything. Take the Big Bang for instance. They looked at the cosmic background radiation, and it looked more homogeneous than they expected. So, this unexpected result requires some sort of explanation, and Inflation was devised as one possible explanation. However, the general idea that the Universe was once very small and very hot, and has since expanded and cooled considerably, remains unchanged.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 10:53:18 AM by CDProp »

andyt

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #85 on: March 31, 2009, 11:43:27 AM »

Enough of the God thing!

It's all superstition and storytelling - and the complete inhability of humans to realise they're really not important as a race.

Is there any evidence of a God? If so, does this God make the world a better place? Where is God when completely innocent people are raped and murdered. Am I to believe God prefers me beacuse I live in a relatively afluent and safe environment rather than being born as a starving chid in Africa? Does God support the presecution and war the Christian Church has meted out over the years? Or the Catholic Church? Does God hate homosexuals? Perhaps he thinks it's a good idea to fly planes into tall buildings?

God and religion are mostly a destructive force in humans.

We're all just cells and go back into the earth when we die in the great cycle of life. Like the dinosaurs, we'll die - either by our own hands or nature will take care of us.

Offline vertigo5000

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #86 on: March 31, 2009, 11:48:30 AM »
I agree with andyt I had enuff so I'm starting a petition;

Who says we should Kick kubokuk off the forum for starting this...?   :P

o.j     ;D

jimyjazz

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #87 on: March 31, 2009, 12:31:05 PM »
I go back and forth on the god(s) thing, but it is indisputable that the Catholic Church, historically, is one of if not the most evil institutions that has ever been created by man.  They put nazi/stalinist/khemer rouge atrocities to shame. Their sole desire has been to control and manipulate people for their own benefit.  Then the are the other monotheistic religions that aren't exactly constructive influences on the world. 

What I find to be interesting is that the Judeo-Christian religions are monotheistic when God refers to "himself" in the plural in many occasions.  Some times it's "I", others it's "our". 

Offline CDProp

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #88 on: March 31, 2009, 12:40:03 PM »
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What I find to be interesting is that the Judeo-Christian religions are monotheistic when God refers to "himself" in the plural in many occasions.  Some times it's "I", others it's "our". 

The interesting thing about this is that it is almost universally accepted amongst scholars that the ancient Hebrews were henotheistic, not monotheistic.

Offline Codywan24

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Re: U2.... God... Believe...
« Reply #89 on: March 31, 2009, 12:56:04 PM »
What I have always loved about U2, perhaps more than anything, is the completely universal nature of their music and songwriting. The songs are for the listener to discern as much as they are a direct product of the writer/s. I mean, songs like "One," "WOWY," even "...Still Haven't Found" and "Yahweh" CAN be about god if you the listener is feeling that aspect. I may know, or at least sense, that Bono's own intentions in a song have direct spiritual connotations, but he writes it in such a way that often encompasses all aspects of life and human thoughts and feelings, that it always works for me. In fact, there a certain songs that are able to take on multiple meanings and feelings. It just depends on what I need from it at a certain moment in time. I find that remarkable, and that has helped fuel my love for this band for these many years.

I'm not a religious person btw, not that it should matter much. I think the last thing that U2 would want is to inspire anything but respectful, understanding and interesting debates about life, god or what have you. Just my opinion, of course.