Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Stoogehead

I thought I would take a look at how a Believer (or Traitor whichever you prefer) views the world. I think Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics can all agree that the Christian religion worships the same God as the Jews. The Jews are very specific that there is only one God and captures this notion in the fundamental prayer of the Jewish religion, the Shema:

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God! The LORD is One!”

Please note the triple exclamation marks. The Jews were very specific in the first 2,000 years of their history. One God. Period. Christians worship this God. They also worship Jesus. They also ask that the Holy Spirit come to them as well. Now we have a problem. We’ve gone from one God to three gods. What to do! God was very specific – one God…

This brings us to the concept of The Trinity. Borrowing from a Believer:
“There ARE 3 distinct beings/persons/objects/entities who are each uniquely God AND there is only 1 being who is God. There are three persons, each being God, in one being, who is God.”

Got it? God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (side note – I really do believe in the Holy Spirit, He can be found by ingesting multiple cans of Diet Mountain Dew or other highly caffeinated beverages) make up the Godhead. They are separate, equal, fully God, but together comprise our knowledge of God. So Christians are not polytheists because they worship the Godhead – one God.

Maybe I’m dense, but it still seems like they’re worshipping 3 gods. Let’s see what a Christian group has to say…

Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Trinity
“To try to comprehend unbegottenness (Father), begottenness (Son), or procession (Holy Spirit) leads to insanity, says the holy Gregory the Theologian, and so the Church approaches God in divine mystery, approaching God apophatically, being content to encounter God personally and yet realize the inadequacy of the human mind to comprehend Him.”

I feel much better now. According to the good folks over at orthodoxwiki, if I don’t understand it, it’s because it’s too complicated for my “inadequate” human mind. I’m not meant to understand the concept of the Godhead. All I need to do is repeat it over and over again. Cool!

Personally, I can’t subscribe to any thinking that requires me to say that I’m too dumb to get something. Ages ago, when I was in college, I was in a school that was on the semester system. I took Differential Equations and Linear Algebra in one class. I don’t believe in miracles, but let’s just say it was close to a miracle that I got a B in this class. I didn’t understand the material at all and kind of faked my way through it.

Later on, I transferred to a university that was on the quarter system. For whatever reason, the university decided to accept credit for Differential Equations but I had to retake Linear Algebra. I’d already been exposed to this material and somehow got through it, but when I took it for the second time, I actually got it. Everything made sense and I aced it.

The point being that in math and science one never says this is beyond comprehension and accepts it. If you keep studying and asking questions, the ability to “get it” is there. Can the same be said about religion?

I leave you with this thought inspired by The Trinity – it makes just about as much sense anyway. I am a fan of “The Three Stooges”, but I want to praise The One True Stooge. I believe The One True Stooge is comprised of three separate and equal stooges – Larry, Moe, and Curly (anyone who thinks that Shemp belongs in the Stoogehead is an idiot and does not deserve to know The One True Stooge). Anyone who watches the show can clearly see that the Stooges while individuals are really part of the Stoogehead. Offering praise to Larry actually praises the entire Stoogehead because they are part of the same entity. Got it?


Anonymous said...

You have to appreciate how clever the church has been to be able to say basically "Hey, you, yeah you, you're too stupid to understand god so quit asking question and put half of your weekly wage in the collection plate and pass it on!" And still have people rock up to church every Sunday, I don't know about you but I give credit where credit is due.

I think these types of things were intentionally made this complicated and incoherent by the political and religious hustlers of that time so most people (who probably weren't too bright as it was) would just swallow it.

It sounds so mystifying and deep doesn't it? It makes God, who is apparently already all powerful, seem 3 times more powerful, 3 times more wise, and 3 times more benevolent.

"The Holy Trinity", it has a great ring to it, even just rolls off of the tongue. Then you throw in some parables, a few 'miracles', 10 well meaning rules then you got yourself a great little religion.

Well, there is my piece of sarcasm for the night. Good little blog you posted there mate, I'll be keeping an eye on your blog :)

MasterJediDan said...

@ compl3x

No, most churches don't just say, "believe it and don't think about it because you are too dumb to understand it". The orthodoxwiki probably wasn't the best place for Atheistwager to look for an explanation. Despite what it says, the trinity can be understood. I'll give an analogy. An egg has three parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk. These three parts are different, yet together they comprise one egg. Just like the trinity, which is composed of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are different in some ways, and together they comprise one God. Just trying to help you out. :)

Miracle said...

Hey, wager I love your blog, but can we settle down with the name calling [traitor]. Of course,Its your blog your rules, I thought I'd ask as a loyal reader.

anyway about the post. It is possible for you to completely understand math, english, music, art and science. Most intelligent people can reason and grasp information that is tangible and in front of us. The problem with faith/spiritual/supernatural/God issues is its supposed to be beyond us. David Hume or Thomas Kant (I always get mixed up which one was the atheist) said you can't use reason to explain the supernatural, because it is beyond the natural order. Whether or not one believes in God, the claim that one can understand it cannot be considered. An object in a painting cannot determine its creator just as we are inside the work and do not have the complete knowledge beyond what is us.

This is not to justify the trinity. I do believe that our current understanding of Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Father is flawed. It has been boiled down to a sales pitch and not the complex process of its nature. It has too many different variables to justify that this sales pitch is the correct one.

Sorry for the long response

superzombie said...

I've heard the same argument that MasterJediDan used with the egg and also I've heard the equivalent argument used with an apple.

I take the stance that if one traitor's god is as simple to be compared with an egg for understanding, it doesn't say much for the godhead or his followers.

Also, I have the thinking when given the egg/apple argument, what about the tree or the chicken? They, respectively, produced the apple and the chicken. Maybe there was a farmer involved who watered the tree and fed the chicken. Point is, there are more than 3 "parts" to an egg, an apple and a godhead. Instead of a farmer growing a god, an author just created it.

Paul said...

Thank you for getting down to nuts and bolts. The places where you are lazy are very apparent. As much as you seem to despise religious dogma, the atheist dogma you have been taught shines through in several places.

I did criticize last time, so to open it up I will take the shining moment in this post and highlight that.

You say:
"The point being that in math and science one never says this is beyond comprehension and accepts it. If you keep studying and asking questions, the ability to “get it” is there. Can the same be said about religion?

The answer is yes. Simply and plainly, yes. Think about it.

MasterJediDan said...

@ superzombie

The point isn't how the egg or apple was created. The point is that you can have one thing made up of three parts. Is the chicken a part of the egg? No, you're not going to look at the egg and find a chicken inside (unless, of course, it is about to hatch :P). You're going to find three things: a yolk, an egg white, and the shell.

Panchovilla said...

Whether there are three parts or 100 none of them say like the "church" that they are the same. The yolk is not saying, "well I am an egg". But the holy spirit will say I am god the son of god will say I am god and god will say I am god.