is it possible?

That we inadvertantly manufactured our faith.

If it were true that we were to enter into non-existance, our elevated sense of survival might cleaverly and inadvertanly manufacture a plan thwarting this truth.

The hypothesis is the following;

We did not intend to manufacture a God and a life everlasting. However being the creative and imaginative race we are, in time, as time progressed we tweaked stories; fables and legends mixed with truths;exaggerated these stories and ultimatley came up with a supposed tradition and book that supported this evolutionary story.

I think that this is certianly a possibility. I wonder about the old infamous game/exercise of sitting in a classroom where a story is passed on throughout the rows of students, and ultimatley, when the story reaches the last student, it has dramatically changed, might apply to our faith. If we wish something to be true, couldn’t we play a part in making it happen, albiet innocently? Could that not be the story of redeemtion?

That exercise only produces that result in modern, educated society.

Modern, educated societies with high literacy rates rely heavily on the written word to preserve an accurate account - we have become too “lazy” to memorize the message - we just write it down. As a society, we have forgotten how to faithfully memorize.

Most societies (including the ancient Christians and Jews) did not number many literate people among them. Memorization, not reading and writing, was taught to their children.

This is still true today in many societies. In these classrooms, you could pass a long, complicated story among 100 students, and the end result would be nearly word-for-word what it started out as. In a college class, it would be perfectly word-for-word. Americans - don’t try this at home. You’ve forgotten how. But people have been doing this for thousands of years.

Jewish Rabbis can quote the entire Torah and Talmud, word for word. Ever see “Fiddler on the Roof?” The part about the Rabbis and students who memorize everything? It’s not made-up; it’s expected.

Umm, no. It’s not.

And how exactly does “non-existence” trigger a survival-reflex? Considering, we’d have to be dead to experience said non-existence.

Unless you’re something of a strange solipsist. In which case I give you my word that I exist, but my word isn’t worth very much, is it?

Umm, but, no. Things just don’t work out without a God. Especially if there’s nothing, y’know, more than this.

Neither the Almighty nor we are accidents.


If anything, I’m the last person anyone should want to convince “there is no God”. I tell you truly, the Divine is the only thing that keeps things like me from burning this world to the ground. :shrug:


One can’t manufacture Truth. Outside of “We built a tower, there is the tower, the tower exists, this is true” it just can’t be done. Truth is more than us! Truth made us, not we it!

Every single person in the world could believe that by tying a red towel about their necks and jumping from the barn, they could fly, but would they? No, they would fall. Truth isn’t dependent upon consensus.


Nope, I find it impossible. Things don’t work without God. Nonexistence is what you have without Him. Or would you have even that? Could nothingness exist without God?


From whence does our creativity flow? Where did we get our imaginations? Would be fabricate anything were we ourselves not first made? Just funny chemicals, electrical currents, and past experience working all together to come up with an idea?

Information doesn’t spontaneously occur!


But, were you to apply your hypothesis to something other than GOD, I think it sound. Save that, I think, people will, in time at least, choose Truth over the lie, or legend. No matter how inconvenient the truth, or pleasant the lie, I’d like to think we’d choose reality over a fantasy.

And the reason there are any Christians today is because they have abandoned the lies, the legends, and the fantasies, and have accepted the Truth. Look at them! There very actions set them apart! Or at least, they should…:blush:


What hubris! To think that the Almighty is a creation of man’s!!! Too long, methinks, have you sat before idols and craven images. Too long before stone and wood and metal things, too long before the works of man!

Yes, that is possible.

The increasing exaggeration from the earlier written gospels to the later written gospels (mark->matthew->luke->john)suggests that a “chinese whispers” type scenario is likely.

Where is the symmetry in this? Look at the alternative view.

Is it possible that we inadvertently manufactured our own skepticism?

Clearly, the first generations of humans born of Adam and those in he wake of Noah’s Arc would have absolutely perfect faith. These all knew first hand about God and the fall and the punishments etc. How would this perfect knowledge of God come to pass from certainty to skepticism over the many centuries?

Was skepticism and doubt an unavoidable consequence of sin and a progressive depravity we suffer with moral decline?

Or is doubt more germane to human nature and why do we always doubt on the pessimistic side of things?

Are these thoughts the temptations of Satan or is pessimism somehow a survival mechanism? If the latter - how does doubt and skepticism improve the human condition?

What good can come from despair and who or what does despair serve or benefit?

:wink:
James

Anything’s possible, right? even Gallup only dares to say their margin or error is accurate 19/20 times. The real pertinent question is how much likelihood any scenario gets assigned. Specifically regarding the example of “the telephone game”, it doesn’t fit the 1st century culture, because in that time, information was not whispered to one person at a time, it was told in groups, and then told in other groups, often highly overlapping, so anyone could have corrected the teller.

I think I am suggesting that our optimism could innocently and inadvertantly tweak what may not be a “story” into one. We witness this all the time if we read differenet accounnts of current events from differing political perspectives (right and left) for example.

I feel a bit of a need to qualify here. I am not professing this and I hope I am as wrong as wrong can be. This hypothosis of mine is nothing more then my thoughts as I attempt to reconcile my faith to myself. So you will not find me arguing the point.

My thoughts come from (as an example) just how the New Testament was produced. There were many differing accounts of the Gospel. There are those who believe many different twists and turns of the account of Jesus life, death and resurrection. From these accounts few were chosen as inspired. How do we know it wasn’t our optimism of the promises made, the Good News (as opposed to okay news or bad news), that led us to choose the books we chose?

Scripture has been a selection process for thousands of years. Could we not have selected different books over that time frame that tell a much different story?

Well searching for Truth and truly accepting what we find, even if the findings are not what we hoped, is not necassarily despair I don’t think.

I meant the threat of death as an ultimate end.

Sure, we could have selected from among 250 or so clearly spurious works that were floating around in the first few hundred years after Christ that looked like they were written by children and which has self-contradictions through out. We could pick up copies of the Brother’s Grimm or Gean Roddenbury fictions and claim them inspired. But no one would listen since everyone knows these are fiction and few would be martyred for anything written therein.

As for OT - I suppose we could have kept the old Roman or Greek Gods - Zeus sounded rather interesting with his temper tantrums and sexual rendezvous with human women. Or we could look to the Egyptian gods - Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ra etc. These were the gods of the royalty who raised Moses. Hmm, why did Moses reject these gods and fall back to his Jewish roots and inner conviction for the God of Israel when all he knew as a youth was the training of Egyptian pagan religions?

Was Moses just a myth who never really existed? Would the stubborn Jews cling to traditions and myths and die for them for 2,000 years? I don’t think so…

What is peculiar about Christianity is that Jesus left absolutely no blood relatives behind to squabble about inheritances and who gets to take over. The Holy Family had no other children and all three (Jesus, Mary & Joseph) were celibate. How interesting!

Jesus selected outside of His blood family those who He wanted to be disciples.

James

Who on earth gave them the idea that death was an ultimate end?

First of all, who’s to say it’s so, since anyone who’s gone into nothingness hasn’t returned to preach about it!

Secondly, those who have returned from the dead have reported tales of much more than just “non-existence.”

No-one likes this world enough to endure for it alone.

The problem here is that believing in non-existent God or gods costs a lot. Faith costs time and talent and treasure and often lost offspring. All of that is counter-productive to survival. So you have to provide evidence that there are other aspects of faith that are even more productive to survival, and then you have to demonstrate that the only way these productive aspects could have been incorporated into the human species is by the very wasteful method of having them believe in non-existent beings.

And I’ve never seen anybody do that.

BTW, if humans really did evolve religiosity as a benefit to the species, then shouldn’t we all be fighting atheism as a threat to the species? :confused:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah (c. 700BC)

Good argument. Yes, it does seem like a very complex evolutionary process. And a process without much time to have evolved to the depth of our Catholic faith.

In other words I think everyone, athiests and religous alike believe man has only become civilized over relatively few generations (handful of thousands of years at best).

We’d have to know just which of the other “gospels” you’re talking about to really say, but the canonical Gospels pre-date the gnostics by at least a century.

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