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#25084 - 03/11/08 04:03 PM To all Atheists:
Kevat Shah Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
There are many questions Ive been wondering since I start believng God is not real. If any of you have wondered the same and come up with satisfactory answers, please let me know. Also, feel free to reply with a question of your own which I may think about/answer.

My questions:

1. If there is no God, and we are random creations, then what is the meaning of life? What do we plan to achieve while we are alive? Why even live, if life has no point?

2. What proof do you require in order to start believing in God? (What kind of events would need to happen for you to belive in him)

3. Are there any scientific way or ideas of experiments to prove or disprove god?


Edited by Amaranth Rose II (03/13/08 01:19 AM)
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#25088 - 03/11/08 04:52 PM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
1. a. We don't understand the nature of "random."
b. Evolution is not entirely random.
c. We have to ascribe our own meaning - there probably is no "cosmic meaning." Just because the universe doesn't care about or even notice us doesn't mean that we can or shouldn't care for ourselves.

2. Personal introduction. None of the fancy speeches, none of the emotional blathering, none of the pseudo-intellectual fake philosophizing.

3. Science is not capable of addressing the subject of God.

I reject the idea of god not because I have evidence there is no god, but mostly because the idea is silly to begin with.

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#25092 - 03/11/08 06:18 PM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
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1. Whatever you may feel about the randomness of our appearance in the cosmos, the meaning or lack thereof that one perceives in one's life is entirely personal. The absence of a god does not deprive life of meaning. All the realities remain intact. No less real are love and beauty and all of the other poetry of human experience, whether or not one ascribes them to a Zeus or Ptah or Indra or whoever. These realities are accepted for what they are by the many of us who see them as fully sufficient unto themselves. When you experience 'purpose', you don't need to give it a name, or dress it up in mythology.

Regarding the feeling of purpose: on a practical level, meditation is of great benefit to many people in becoming conscious of purpose - including atheist scientists.

2. There need be no search for proof of God.

3. Quote TFF: "Science is not capable of addressing the subject of God."
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#25093 - 03/11/08 06:23 PM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Kevat Shah Offline
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Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
On one hand, almost all the cultures which have thrived in the last 2000 - 5000 years have had a strong support of religous background. It is obvious from this that religion played a big role in uniting men and brining them under the lawfulness (I dont think thats a word, but it gets the point across) of society. Even today, it gives men moral standards to live by. On the other hand, aethists, such as you and me, know that god doesnt really exist and it is really silly (and hard) to believe in a relgion which is based on something fake. So..

Do you think men in general are better off without religion? Do you think YOU are better off without religion? Or would you rather have a religion which does not entail a God, but only a set of moral standards to live by? Why or why not?
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#25098 - 03/12/08 12:48 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Kevat wrote

Or would you rather have a religion which does not entail a God, but only a set of moral standards to live by? Why or why not?


There is no such thing as a religion that does not believe in something- whether a God or the divine. That is the meaning of "religion". There is no "only" with regard to moral standards. We all have them. Religions help to codify them, but it is possible to behave in a sociable way, that does not disgust other people or yourself, without any divine interference or adherence to any religion. Bear in mind however that some people have horrible anti-social moral standards and profess to be religious- though some in that situation do not. It's a matter for choice, and religion is as optional as anything else.

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#25100 - 03/12/08 01:47 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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KS: "religion played a big role in uniting men and brining them under the lawfulness...of society."

- Systems of ‘divine law’ such as sharia law still exist, but we can do very much better without them.

KS: "Even today, it gives men moral standards to live by."

- Manifestly, religion encourages not only ethical behaviour, but also incites extremely unethical behaviour. Human beings are capable of ethical behaviour without indulging in the superfluous fantasies of religion.

KS: "Do you think men in general are better off without religion?"

- Yes; but if you're interested in what's true rather than what's expedient, then the question is irrelevant.

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#25108 - 03/13/08 02:39 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: redewenur]
Mike Kremer Offline

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Registered: 10/16/04
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
KS: "religion played a big role in uniting men and brining them under the lawfulness...of society."

- Systems of ‘divine law’ such as sharia law still exist, but we can do very much better without them.

KS: "Even today, it gives men moral standards to live by."

- Manifestly, religion encourages not only ethical behaviour, but also incites extremely unethical behaviour. Human beings are capable of ethical behaviour without indulging in the superfluous fantasies of religion.

KS: "Do you think men in general are better off without religion?"

- Yes; but if you're interested in what's true rather than what's expedient, then the question is irrelevant.


KS:said "religion played a big role in uniting men and bringing them under the lawfulness...of society."
Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

Are you certain of that? I think Religion has played an even bigger part in causing wars, progroms, misery, and anihilations of peoples and tribes all over the World.
Religion has a powerful influence upon some people, but when in the hands of a despotic ruler, has caused untold misery.

The influence of religion upon people today, is very much less than before. Since the influence of rule, has largely been replaced by the democracy of Government.
Greed, Oil, and money can still cause misery, but hopefully migration and education will still allow one to live in relative comfort and peace.

Religions are not the Moral standard we believed we should live by, anymore. There are thousands of different beliefs, ways of life, and ideas in our modern world, they almost all practise at least some of the Ten Commandments,
The best human moral codes for living, ever invented.


Lets hope religion is kept Earthbound, if it ever gets to the Planets, or Stars, we are lost.
Any comments re last sentence?

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#25109 - 03/13/08 03:34 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Mike Kremer]
Kevat Shah Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
I agree it has caused wars in the wrong hands. But that should not take away from the fact that it united men in the beginning. I agree that you dont need religion for morality, but I think having it will help install morality at a better level. Take for example the following analogy:

We dont need schools to study. We can learn to read and write on our own, through our parents, just as we would learn moral values from them. But having an education system obviously improves our learning abilities. The way an education system affects learning is the same way in which religion affects morality.

Religion has a smaller role now, but it had a great role once. When it wasn't being misused, it lead to socities which still exist today after thousands of years. Like from the analogy beofre, you're not gonna be a bad person by not being religious. But having an organized method of teaching children morals (or even adults), specially aethists who have no means of doing so other than their parents and what they learn themselves, would prove much more advantageous.

I also agree that religions in wrong hands can cause a great deal of misery. If you notice, much of the misery actually comes from the NAME of your god rather than its values. Like you said, everyone practices, to some extent, a part of the ten commandments. What is different for most part is what they call their god. What I was getting at is this:

What if you had an organization, like a religion, which said nothing about God or what his name was, but simply how men should live, what should be important in our lives, what is right and what is wrong. This would reduce the wars over what God's name is (Allah? God? Krishna?) and also allow a STRUCTURED way for aethists to build their moral values without being forced to believe in something you know doesnt exist.

Let me know if that makes sense, or if I should explain it further. I hope you take this matter seriously, because this is something I have really thought about for years and am convinced is the right way for us to go.
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#25110 - 03/13/08 04:25 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
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Most religions are divisive. They teach that there are a god's rules to be obeyed. These rules then become the rules of the secular society, and will be also obeyed. There is no longer need for social reform, inequality and poverty are able exist, but that does not matter because in the sight of God (whichever one you are referring to) all of us are equal and we will all get our reward in the afterlife. This idea of reward AFTER death still is a powerful motivation for many people. I suppose when you are at the bottom of the heap any chance of redemption and paradise would be enticing. Religion stultifies social progress in every area, as questioning and change is frightening to those who are religious . When the fact of the overwhelming patriarchy of most of the powerful organised religions is also considered it is easy to see how alienating religious behaviour really is.

Religions are divisive in every area of life. Many preach that their religion is the only one that is right. Within each particular religions the religious heirarchy is superior to the rest of the congregation. Most religions have a male priesthood, some are so afraid of female contamination they have a celibate clergy advising women on the daily conduct of their lives, and they separate the men and women as much as possible, even in their place of worship. Some teach about 'sin', and condemn 'sinners' to wretched lives, not only now, but also throughout the eternity that they promise to believers. All religious priests will bless the soldiers of their country as they set off to fight and kill the children of their enemies. (who incidentally, are similarly blessed).

We pay a very high price when we allow someone else's invisible friend to dictate rules of conduct. There is only one real rule- it is-- "Treat others as you would have them treat you". It always works, without any divine inspiration.


KS wrote:
What if you had an organization, like a religion, which said nothing about God or what his name was, but simply how men should live, what should be important in our lives, what is right and what is wrong. This would reduce the wars over what God's name is (Allah? God? Krishna?) and also allow a STRUCTURED way for aethists to build their moral values without being forced to believe in something you know doesnt exist.


I am a bit worried by discussing this para:, however I will stick my neck out--here goes! Here in Australia we have a government, elected by us, that tries to do what you suggest. It makes secular laws, in Parliament, to help us all to live a happy and peaceful life, all of us, that is everyone who lives here -- Isn't that what is supposed to happen?

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#25112 - 03/13/08 04:53 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
KS: "What if you had an organization, like a religion, which said nothing about God or what his name was, but simply how men should live, what should be important in our lives, what is right and what is wrong."

- Sounds like Humanism to me:

http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/contentChapterView.asp?chapter=309

Which says a lot about those things, e.g. -

"Thus it is not humanist values that are parasitic on religious ones, but the reverse. True human values are rooted in our need to live fulfilling lives and to share them with others. These values are to be found at all periods of history and in all parts of the world. Unsurprisingly, they are also found in all the great world religions, but there they are always combined and overlaid with other values which are either absurd and trivial (such as insisting that everybody rests from work on the same day of the week or eats only certain kinds of meat) or actively pernicious (such as persecuting gays or stoning adulterers). The core, rational values are humanist ones."

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#25113 - 03/13/08 05:55 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: redewenur]
Kevat Shah Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
Damn it! I wanted to found humanism...j/k. On a more serious note though, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I didnt even know something like this existed. Thanks for the help red.

Ellis: The part of AFTERLIFE which works is that it gives men hope and something to live for. It kind of gives meaning to life, which otherswise would be pointless. There are other real meanings to life, such as quest for knowledge and happiness, and that is what religions should really offer instead of some fake belief in heavens that dont exist. If religions preached "Live and let Live" or like you said "Treat other like they treat you" then this world would be a MUCH better place. That is what a real religion should be doing in order to bring peace to this world.

As for the government, it does provide us with an outline of what we should do. But again, it would be like the Board of Education providing you with an outlineof class materials and saying, this is what you should know and learn. That is completely different from going to schools/universities where you learn through guidance and conversations. Thats the difference between government and the religion which I would like to see.
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#25115 - 03/13/08 07:57 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

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Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
KS "What if you had an organization, like a religion, which said nothing about God or what his name was, but simply how men should live, what should be important in our lives, what is right and what is wrong."

The basic tenets of Buddhism are that one should follow a moral life but it says nothing about god. Is that what you are trying to describe?
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#25118 - 03/14/08 03:12 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
KV wrote
Ellis: The part of AFTERLIFE which works is that it gives men hope and something to live for. It kind of gives meaning to life, which otherswise would be pointless. There are other real meanings to life, such as quest for knowledge and happiness, and that is what religions should really offer instead of some fake belief in heavens that dont exist. If religions preached "Live and let Live" or like you said "Treat other like they treat you" then this world would be a MUCH better place. That is what a real religion should be doing in order to bring peace to this world.


Life is not meaningless because there is no belief in an afterlife. In fact life seems to have more meaning if it is acknowledged that this is absolutely all there is ever going to be. We live on, if that is what we wish, in the memory of our family and friends- and if we are lucky enough to have children, in the lives of our descendants. The 'do as you would be done by' thing is at the original core of most religions, as well as the core thinking of any reasonable human. My point is that there is no need to ginger it up with silly rules, supposedly divinely inspired, but in reality supporting the idea of unchanging regulation. Religions always stifle change, even progressive change, and it is ironical to realise that the ideas of the founders of many of the successful religions were in fact revolutionary in their day.


Rose: Whilst I think that Buddhism has some attractive beliefs I have some difficulty with the idea of reincarnation and successive lives. One reason is that I think it is, well, actually really silly, and secondly, because I loath the idea of disease and misfortune being the result of personal sin -instead of a chance meeting with, for eg, a virus, or a speeding car. I especially hate the idea of the parents' sins being taken as the reason for children's illnesses and unexpected deaths. It's a horrible suggestion. I understand Buddhism is not alone in this doctrine.

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#25119 - 03/14/08 05:20 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Ellis]
Kevat Shah Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
Thanks for the reply Ellis. I think you and I are trying to say the same thing. You see, I figured this out when I was 11; the true meaning of life isn't to search for heaven, but live life happily cause you only live it once. At the same time, if you want anything you do to matter, then your deeds should be so great that they remembered and more importantly people (humans) must be alive to remember them. If mankind were to die out a few years from now, then I would certainly feel a sort of helplessness and futileness about life. Because I want things I do today to matter, saving man's future becomes the important task at hand, almost as if that was the meaning of my life. It seems as though you are going along the same path ("we live on...in the lives of our descendents").

The problem is not with you and me. We are intellectual enough to be discussing god on a science (or not-so-science) forum. They question is about people who may not be intellectually inclined enough to reach that conlcusion themselves, but at the same time are smart enough to see through religion and see the idea of God for what it really is. You've figured out that your memories will live on, and will sooner or later figure out mankind must live on for your memories to live on. But there are many out there who cannot figure that out. I am saying this, cause I know people who were like that, and I used to be like that myself. They are simply lost, cause they know God doesnt exist, but can't really answer the question of life themselves. Who's there to show them the way? No one really, they're left to figure it out on their own. People like you and me who understand the concepts of live and let live and the importance of living on through the lives of our dependants should be there helping others find the way as well. Maybe then people would see why spending money on science to protect our future makes more sense than spending money on a pointless war.

Rose: Buddhism was not what I was getting at for the exact reason Ellis said. Humanism is actually damn close to what I am trying to describe.


Edited by Kevat Shah (03/14/08 05:24 AM)
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#25122 - 03/14/08 11:06 AM Re: To all Aethists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
A few thoughts on Humanism and Buddhism.

Humanism may be described as a way if life and as a philosophy, i.e., a conclusion, devoid of metaphysics, with regard to perceived truth and values by which one tries to live. The same may be said of Buddhism, except that it's not entirely devoid of metaphysics. That is perhaps is the main difference between Humanism and Buddhism (generally speaking). Humanism is simpler and less encumbered. It has no dependence upon historical events and artefacts, nor upon sacred texts, canonical or otherwise. Nowhere is there to be found the worship of a god or of divinities. All of these are to be found within the various forms of Buddhism, either in the theory or the practice. Buddhism has been prone to significant modification by the various cultures into which it has been introduced. Thus there many and diverse beliefs and practices throughout its domain. The practices are less consequential, and no doubt beneficial, since they are concerned with harmless ritual which probably serves several purposes such as recollection of the 'truth' and promotion of fellowship within the community. The beliefs however, although perhaps mostly innocuous, are inevitably divisive. One therefore finds Theravada Buddhism (The Lesser Vehicle) and many versions of Mahayana Buddhism (The Greater Vehicle) having mutually exclusive beliefs.

I should add that the eastern philosophy with which I can most identify is that held by the Dalai Lama who, quite typically, said that if there's any dispute between science and Buddhism, then science wins. Humanism, however, appears to have totally shed all the inherited paraphernalia of religion, and takes a fresh look at reality from a truly scientific, yet human, perspective.

As I said, those are just a few thoughts, and I would be interested to read the thoughts of anyone else on the comparison of Humanism with Buddhism.
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#25182 - 03/25/08 04:44 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Revlgking Offline
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KS, please define what you mean when you write "God".
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#25191 - 03/27/08 03:21 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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KS, or for that matter any sceptic: Tell us what you have in mind when you write "God". This will help provide a basis for helpful dialogue.

BTW, I accept that all sincerely-held beliefs are valid. So are opinions. Meanwhile keep in mind: For me, GØD is a far greater concept that a personal being who looks somewhat like a super human-like male being.
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#25193 - 03/27/08 02:59 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
did you know that there is a midget living in the center of the earth? what??? don't believe me? its so obvious!! why ele would the earth be spinning? there MUST be a midget living there... plus, what evidence do you have to disprove this?

classic... need i say more?
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#25195 - 03/27/08 06:20 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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BFP, so you are backing the dogma that there is "midget living at the center of the earth" as your definition of "God".

BTW, he is not a midget. The "True Faith" declares that He is a GIANT. But, because we believe He is a friendly and loving Giant, you have no need to fear that we will harm you because of you do not have the True "faith", yet. For your edification, we do not require proof, one way or the other--just unquestioning belief. laugh

No doubt you have heard of Bertrand Russell's pararable of the celestial tea pot orbiting between the Earth and Mars. See pages 51-52 of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. After a brief period of agnosticism he and all his followers became a-teapotists. Sad, eh? laugh
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#25196 - 03/27/08 08:18 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Kevat Shah Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
God, from what I gather, represents any entity which makes the universe work. Often, God is also associated with creating the universe and everything in it. A majority of the people who believe in god, also believe that god has some control over their life and can make things happen if God so wishes. The idea of God is almost always coupled with the idea of afterlife. Often, people who believe in God also believe that their life right now is just a passage into the afterlife. This gives more meaning to their lives and makes them behave appropriately (try to commit less sins in order to get into heaven, for example). That is what I have in mind when I say God.
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#25198 - 03/28/08 08:28 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
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THANKS FOR THE DIALOGUE
=======================
Originally Posted By: Kevat Shah
God, from what I gather, represents any entity which makes the universe work. Often, God is also associated with creating the universe and everything in it....
KS, if this is what you believe thanks for taking the opportunity to dialogue about it.

Your name and the things you write about leads me to assume you are a follower of Islam. What branch? BTW, the wife--BTW, she is a great person--of my only son, and the mother of our only three grandchildren is from Iran. What a wonderful combination of genes they have. She follows the Islamic path known as Suffism. From what I have read about Suffism (the Suffi poet Rumi, who is often quoted by Depak Chopra, comes to mind), it is on the same wave length as what I call unitheism--similar to panentheism. Check in Wikipedia and check how I sign my posts.

Culturally, I was raised a very inclusive Christian church--the United Church of Canada, which was formed in 1925. It is a liberal mix of Presbyterianism, Methodism, Congregationalism and a number of other denominations.

"Presbyterian" means that each person is his/her own priest before God. Presbyterian leaders are strong advocates of education and democracy--government of the people, by the people and for the people (John Knox). Princeton University was founded by the Presbyterian church. Lincoln was a Presbyterian. This is why he quoted this in his famous Gettysburg Address.

Methodism--originally used as an insulting epithet--grew out of the Church of England (the Anglican Church) under the leadership of the Wesley family--especially the mother, Susanna, and her three three sons, John, Charles and Thomas--all loyal Anglican ministers. The Methodists were, and still are, keen on bringing about social justice for all, especially the poor. The Salvation Army grew out of Methodism. So did what we call public education. Boston University--I did two years of postgraduate work there--was founded by the Methodist church.

Congregationalism. Harvard University was founded by the Congregationalists. Congregationalism avoids hierarchical rule. The congregation, the minister and the board make the rules.

===========================
redewenur, You say, "I should add that the eastern philosophy with which I can most identify is that held by the Dalai Lama who, quite typically, said that if there's any dispute between science and Buddhism, then science wins."

I like the inclusive non-theist kind of Buddhism,the kind I presume is preached by the DL. The great inventor, Nicola Tesla, who gave us alternating current was very interested in understanding the nature and role of human spirituality (His father was a minister). He called for Christians and Buddhists to get together. I agree. I am not a traditional and dogmatic Christian, and I don't think that Jesus was. He was a Jew who set out to reform Judaism and make it more inclusive and universal.

BTW, did you hear the saying: "Any dispute between the imagination and reason, imagination tends to dominate." This perhaps explains why many intelligent and imaginative people often do that which is irrational.
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#25199 - 03/28/08 12:12 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Kevat Shah Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
I am actually Hindu and from India. Thanks for the information about the different churches. But you still don't seem to have answered many of the questions I put forth. First of all, do you believe in God? If so, what is your definition of God?


Edited by Kevat Shah (03/28/08 12:12 PM)
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#25201 - 03/28/08 02:36 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
PROCESS THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
================================
Check out the work of the mathematician and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
In his thinking about "God" he was an advocate of panentheism--what I call unitheism
http://www.unitheist.org/whatis.html

As I write elsewhere and indicate in my signature, for me, GØD is not just a being to whom I can point and say: There is GØD. But rather, GØD is the One--the total, the universal all-encompassing and all-inclusive, everywhere-present Spirit. In my opinion, GØD is that which is in through and around you, me, others; in through and around every atom and atomic particle, the planets, the galaxies and the Cosmos.
Given the above definition of GØD, like Carl Jung, I say I know and experience GØD, not just believe in a god.

Notice the special way I write the Divine name. I use all capitals and Ø (null--in maths, the set without numbers).
I presume this refers to the infinitely small and/or infinitely large. Orthodox Jews do a similar thing. They write G-d.

The - and/or the Ø refers to the mystery of it all, beyond what our science can measure. In my opinion, all scientific measurements are approximate. There is no exact science.


Edited by Revlgking (03/28/08 05:03 PM)
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#25202 - 03/28/08 03:26 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"The - refers to the mystery of it all, beyond what our science can measure."
I do not see the utility of it - and as I've said previously any term like this is laden with baggage that it destined to mislead.

"In my opinion, all scientific measurements are approximate. There is no exact science."
Your opinion on this corresponds to the facts. Measurements are never exact. Note that the use of the null symbol to denote the empty set applies to counting (which can be exact) and not measuring (which cannot).

One could even argue that counting is always exact and if it is not exact it is called estimating.

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#25203 - 03/28/08 05:23 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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TFF writes: "...the empty set applies to counting (which can be exact) and not measuring (which cannot)." Counting can be exact?
Are astronomers capable of counting all the galaxies, not to mention the stars and the planets, in the cosmos?

BTW, TFF, I presume you write as an agnostic. Did you ever belong to a religion? If so, when did you change your mind? And what caused you to do so?

When you refer to the dash, that is, the '-' (As used by Orthodox Jews) as "laden with baggage": Describe what you mean by baggage.
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#25204 - 03/28/08 05:47 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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THIS FROM TODAY'S SCIENCE NEWS
==============================
TFF, talking about measuring and counting, take note of the following:
Quote:
12 March 2008
Epigenetic Changes Found In Schizophrenics
by Kate Melville

For the first time, scientists from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have discovered epigenetic changes (chemical changes to a gene that do not alter the DNA sequence) in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The findings may be a significant step on the way to fully understanding major psychosis.

CAMH's Dr. Arturas Petronis studied 12,000 locations on the genome using an epigenomic profiling technology and found that approximately one in every two hundred of these genes showed an epigenetic difference in the brains of psychiatric patients. Significantly, these changes were noted on genes involved in neurotransmission (the exchange of chemical messages within the brain) and brain development.

It's possible that these epigenetic changes may be the missing link in understanding what causes an illness."

=============================================
I have long suspected that there is a connection between the kind of pneumatological beings, or spiritual beings, we are and the kind of genetic make up we have. In other words, there are spiritual genes, which are not necessarily fixed in place--they are subject to being changed. This could mean that we can--using meditation and the like--influence, for good or ill, our spiritual, mental and physical states of being.

Dare we assume that we are truly responsible for everything we experience? And that, using our spiritual natures, we can do something about it? We are who we choose to be?

Pneumatology--the study of the Spirit--is not quite a science, yet. But it seems it is getting there.



Edited by Revlgking (03/28/08 05:51 PM)
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#25208 - 03/28/08 10:04 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"Counting can be exact?"
Yes. It *can* be. Some people would say that it *must* be. AND that what astronomers do when "counting" galaxies is actually "estimating." In either case, it at least *can* be exact as when I count the number of people in a room or the number of marbles in a sack.

baggage = assumptions about what a thing is or what properties it manifests that aren't explicit in the revised definition. These assumptions are due to the natural tendency of a person to conflate the properties of things that are similarly named. You do this when, for example, you think of the universe as everything and then use it only to describe those things which are desirable.



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#25210 - 03/28/08 10:15 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
big fat pig Offline
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i'm ok with people believing in odd things, having weird fears etc etc... just as long as they don't try to convince me that they are better than i and that i should try to be more like them...
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#25217 - 03/29/08 03:25 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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TFF writes: "baggage = assumptions about what a thing is or what properties it manifests that aren't explicit in the revised definition..."
This is why I feel that when we dialogue about complex ideas--For example "God"--I like for people to given me their definition, not just the one in the dictionary.

You go on: "...for example, you think of the universe as everything and then use it only to describe those things which are desirable." If you mean me, I accept the Universe, warts and all. But I choose to avoid the warts and work on processing the all good. BTW, for those who find the word God, or the word I use in my signature, has too much baggage, I am comfortable with calling the "ground of all being" Nature, or Universe.

I am all about the moral, ethical and loving use of GOD, Nature, or the Universe, not about creeds--certainly not about imposed ones. I like to refer to deeds, not creeds--unless they motivate me to be more loving.
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#25219 - 03/29/08 04:02 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"This is why I feel that when we dialogue about complex ideas"
Finding out what they mean is not less important than finding out what YOU mean. You define a term one way and then you implicitly narrow it down as if it only meant part of that. That narrowing is part of the baggage in the term.


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#25224 - 03/29/08 03:55 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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TFF:
Quote:
You (RevLGK) define a term one way and then you implicitly narrow it down as if it only meant part of that. That narrowing is part of the baggage in the term.
TFF, if you expect me to understand you and give a rational response, you might try giving me a "for example".

BTW, in http://www.brainmeta.com/ there is a brilliant scientist and an agnostic, Rick. Recently he wrote: "Can we get away from calling it gee oh dee? That would help dialog a lot."

He wants us to drop the name "God" and use "nature, or universe".
I am not sure, yet, what he has in mind. Pantheism? I will find out. Then I will make up my mind whether dialogue is of any real value and to any real purpose.

When it come to accepting the ideas, beliefs, the culture, whatever, of others, I am usually very accommodating. However, I refuse to accept that as human beings we are nothing more than physical objects--cosmic accidents "created" by a physical cosmos, just mechanical robots which simply appear to be human beings (a meaningless term, in the context). As human-like robots, we a nothing more than computerize robots equipped with futuristic artificial intelligence. Therefore, we are disposable and devoid of anything that can be described as spiritual (another meaningless term, in the context)--in tune with the infinite and the eternal.

BTW, if physicalism--check out http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/
--is the truth: that all life ends at death, the bad news is: Even if the physical cosmos survives, ad infinitum, as such, no one alive before us, and alive now, will ever know. When one considers that all pain and suffering for such will be over this is not all that bad news. But the fact remains: We will not know.
I feel this is a bummer.

This means that no physicalist reading my posts will ever get the pleasure of reminding me: What a fool you were to believe in such nonsense you called unitheism, panentheism http://plato.stanford.edu/search/searcher.py?query=panentheism:
And look at the time you wasted advocating pneumatology--the scientific study of spirituality.

However, if there is life after our personal deaths, think of the fun I will have. I quickly add: I promise not to gloat if any of you find yourselves in purgatory. Or, heaven forbid: in hell.

My definition of purgatory? Reincarnation, in one form or another. I accept the teachings of Buddhism here.
My definition of hell? Physicalism's non existence. I do not accept the traditional definition that hell is place of eternal suffering and pain.
My definition of heaven? The opportunity to continue the work I
am currently doing. I do not accept the traditional teaching that it a place where the TRUE BELIEVERS will rest in peace, forever. I do not want rest. I want the energy, courage and strength to keep on living according to the principle of the Golden Rule--LOVE in action.




Edited by Revlgking (03/29/08 08:59 PM)

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#25225 - 03/29/08 04:07 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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BFPig--Rather an odd name, eh?--: You speak of being tolerant of people who believe in, "...odd things, having weird fears etc etc..." Is this your impression of me: One who believes in odd things and is filled with weird fears? Tell me: What are some of my odd ideas and weird fears?

BTW, "odd" is a very relative appellation, don't you agree? Atheists in a Muslim nation are obviously ones with the odd ideas. So are theists in a strictly secular country.

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#25229 - 03/29/08 09:06 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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#25230 - 03/29/08 09:35 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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TFF, GØD just led me to this:
Quote:
Wed Feb 20 2008 09:10 AM Re: Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism [Re: deiscovery]
TheFallibleFiend TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar (How did you get this accolade, TFF. smile

I am an atheist. I disagree with those who maintain that science disproves God. More than that, I think science cannot address the subject of God. That said, the more one learns about science, the less inclined one feels the need to look for explanations of things outside of nature.


My hope is: Science will address the claims of panentheism. Or as I prefer to name it, unitheism, which sees G0D as inside nature. And I welcome, and offer to assist, any scientist (pneumatologist or theologist) with the patience to do so.

Question: If the natural cosmos is expanding, into what is it expanding?

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#25237 - 03/30/08 01:59 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rev asks--
Question: If the natural cosmos is expanding, into what is it expanding?

I think it is expanding into--- whatever is there--or, to look at it another way-- whatever is there after it is expanded into and thus it is recognised as being there by being expanded into.

(Please remember I am not a scientist). (That's obvious eh?)

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#25241 - 03/30/08 04:35 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, I think of a scientist as anyone, not necessarily with a university education--but it helps--who is willing to take a scientific approach to any field of knowledge; one who has a thirst for new knowledge, is willing to challenge old ideas that no longer work, and drop them when they don't. Also, he is willing to do experiments to prove his claims and in the discovery of new principles or laws.

I have two postgraduate degrees in the history of ideas, including philosophy/psychology and theology (mta.Ca, the Atlantic School of Theology and Boston University). Interestingly, Darwin's only degree was a bachelor of theology from Cambridge. Edison had little formal education. Would he or Edison get a job in a modern research lab? smile Not likely. But who would be the loser?

THEOLOGY AND PNEUMATOLOGY--the serious study of God and Spirit
==============================================================
BTW, I agree with atheists who says that the claims, especially the extraordinary ones, made by all the religions ought to be challenged. They ought to be challenged to come up with statistics and other forms of extraordinary evidence.

If I had the financial resources I would love to set up a lab in which research experiments would be done on the claims of the religions, on prayer, meditation and the like. I abhor blind faith and equate it to superstition.

Take note that in Jesus day, what we call wind, air, breath and the atmosphere which surrounds the earth--then thought of as flat--was looked on as extraordinary. For the ancients it was as extraordinary as what we today call the space--the vacuum--into which the cosmos is expanding.

The New Testament Greek for SPIRIT is PNEUMA (from which we get words like pneumatology, pneumatic and pneumonia). It translates the Hebrew, RUAH, the Aramaic (the language of Jesus) ROOKA, the Latin SPIRITUS (from which we get spirit, Holy Spirit (of God) and the Arabic RUH. All these words refer to the mystery and emptiness of space, including the vacuum. In John 4:24, Jesus equates Pneuma with Theos (God). From theos we get theology.


Edited by Revlgking (03/30/08 04:38 AM)
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#25243 - 03/30/08 01:51 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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LET ME PUT WHAT I SAID ABOVE, ABOUT RESEARCH, IN OTHER WORDS
============================================================
I accept that there is a place for sincere faith--that is, believing without having to have absolute and concrete evidence.
Faith is a powerful spiritual quality which can be used for good or ill. Much of what we do is based on faith, including what happens in the sciences, the arts and the marketplace.

All religions say: We must have faith. So do political demagogues, and sincere candidates for office. But I ask, what kind? Sure faith can go beyond reason, should it ever contradict it? I think not.

If I had the financial resources I would love to set up a lab and have a research program for the purpose of examining the nature and function of faith, and claims made for it by the religions. Keep in mind: I abhor blind faith, no matter what the source, and equate it to superstition.

For example, with the help of the media I would love to explore the following questions: What is going on in the world of radio and TV evangelism? Is it just so much fraud? Are their claims of miraculous healings for real? Or are such claims just a whole lot of fraud without any foundation of truth?

Some research has already been done, but I would also like to see more of it done, on the nature, function and effectiveness of prayer and meditation. Are they of any practical value?


Edited by Revlgking (03/30/08 01:55 PM)

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#25258 - 03/31/08 07:41 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
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Revl,
Good to see you back from "Spring Break," and hope all is well.
I enjoy this question so much; it really pushes the limits of imagination, and hurts the brain a little bit.
Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rev asks--
Question: If the natural cosmos is expanding, into what is it expanding?

I think it is expanding into--- whatever is there--or, to look at it another way-- whatever is there after it is expanded into and thus it is recognised as being there by being expanded into.

(Please remember I am not a scientist). (That's obvious eh?)
...and thank you Ellis for a worthy answer. Scientists do no better or worse, I think.

Now that I've passed the dreaded post number, maybe I'll try a comment on this topic. The server only went down for a couple of hours after I hit that repetitive number this time.

I figure what is "out there" is the higher dimensions, which inform and direct our spatio-temporal universe.
...String Theories... E-8 Lie Group + 3D + Time = 11 dimensions total... or whatever.

"Out there" is some E-8 unmoved mover;
Preceding and transcending time and space;
Omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent;
Filled with unnameable dimensions, beyond comprehension.

What can we call something such as this; the Flying Spaghetti Monster? smile

Whatever we call it, it is easy enough to translate into our own terms when we hear it.

Whether you call it "God's Plan" or "The Big Picture of Evolution," they are both inscrutable; but we have faith that the imperative is to continue, to be sustainable.
wink



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#25269 - 04/02/08 12:57 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Sounds good Sam. It seems to me that the bottom line is this: My role in life is to adopt an attitude of LOVE towards everyone and all things, and stop resisting what it is that G0D has in store for me.
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#25275 - 04/02/08 06:34 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rev: it would be churlish to argue with that! However may I suggest you substitute LIFE for GOD- then I'll agree with you completely?

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#25278 - 04/02/08 07:35 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
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Originally Posted By: previous page

Revl. "It seems to me that the bottom line is this: My role in life is to adopt an attitude of LOVE towards everyone and all things, and stop resisting what it is that G0D has in store for me."

Ellis: "Rev: it would be churlish to argue with that! However may I suggest you substitute LIFE for GOD- then I'll agree with you completely? "


"Whatever we call it, it is easy enough to translate into our own terms when we hear it." -#25258

Our culture and upbringing lead us to use different terminology for these grand concepts, but I think ultimately (with way too much analysis) we mean the same thing (though too often folks are loathe to admit it).

...or words to that effect.
smile


Edited by samwik (04/02/08 07:41 AM)
Edit Reason: add quoted
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#25285 - 04/02/08 09:09 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, as I understand you, you like the ideas I expressed above. Thanks! However, what you have a problem with is the nomenclature I use.

May I suggest a compromise?: In your dialogue with me I have no problem with you using LIFE--and I will use it back to you.
However, when I dialogue with others--for example, theists and atheists--may I continue to use GØD?
I realize that it has become controversial. But. for me it is--like the Orthodox-Jewish term, G-d--a gender-free and non-anthropomorphic term. This why I use it in my signature.


Edited by Revlgking (04/02/08 09:14 PM)
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#25289 - 04/03/08 06:08 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Sam- Whilst I agree with much that you say, the trouble with calling that which fills us with incomprehensible awe GOD, or any other name which seems to indicate a supernatural source, is that I do not recognise that the supernatural exists. It would be easy to say that we mean the same thing, but I do not think we do. I have no difficulty with living my life excluding the possibility that the divine, the supernatural or GOD exists. I agree that those grand concepts you speak of exist- indeed they often make life worthwhile- but I do not take the next step and attribute them to a god or other para-normal origin. I understand that others do--but I do not recognise the need to believe that 'the divine', in any form, guides our lives.


Edited by Ellis (04/03/08 06:11 AM)
Edit Reason: Grammar

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#25291 - 04/03/08 07:20 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, I have no problem thinking of GØD/LIFE as being quite super and very natural--not unlike the quantum and super computers being created by Seth Lloyd.

As I have already mentioned:For me, GØD=shortform, or way of saying "super quantum computer at our service. But it is up to us to make the connection and keep on doing so." I do it moment by moment--just like I do with my PC--even when I am going through a viral infection. I just rose above it, this AM.

THE UNIVERSE AS A SUPER AND QUANTUM COMPUTER
============================================
I have the strong feeling that Lloyd is on the right track: The universe is a super quantum computer with which we have the potential to connect (In Aramaic, the word for 'pray' means to connect.)I feel guided by everything I experience. And it is not a god separate and apart from nature.

THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
=====================
This approach helps anyone learn about and use the law of attraction. Specifically, the attraction of good things.

Did I mention the narrow escape my wife and I had in Florida? Pardon me if this is a repeat. Put it down to my age: I was making what I felt was a safe entrance into a line of traffic. Out of nowhere came a car, speeding. My wife yelled, "Look out for that car...or words to that effect..." All I know is, without any conscious thought on my part, the other driver and I did the right thing and a crash was avoided by less than 6 feet.

Coincidence? Maybe. But what I know is: The more connected I keep with GØD'LIFE, the more positive coincidences keep happening. smile
And it is free to anyone willing to make the choice to stay connected. Keep in mind that this process has nothing to with having to belong to a dogmatic, imposing and formal religion...........



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#25292 - 04/03/08 08:58 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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IS THE FOLLOWING ANOTHER "COINCIDENCE"?
=====================================
Out of the blue (or, was it from GØD?) I got the following communication. It is from a writer who describes himself as a quantum physicist:
http://www.believeandmanifest.net/1/bam/law-of-attraction-report.php
Whoever sent this, it sure ties in with what I have been studying and with how practical quantum physics can be in with demonstrating the law of attraction.
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#25293 - 04/03/08 09:33 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Kevat Shah Offline
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Doesnt seem like a coincidence, seems more like a sales pitch about his new book. I only have one question about this entity which you called god. What makes you believe something like that exists? Is it only coincidences like these and that time you almost got into a car accident? I agree with a lot of the things like we should all live in peace with each other. But I fail to see how any of this ties into the type of God which exists everywhere. Care to explain what the connection between the two is?
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#25294 - 04/03/08 10:11 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Kevat Shah]
Revlgking Offline
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KS, thanks for your interesting comments and questions. BTW, I have a great deal of respect for atheists who find it possible to be happy, moral, ethical and loving people under all circumstances.

It prompts me to ask: What is it that gives you the strength and moral courage to do it, seemingly, without any invisible means of support?

Keep in mind that GØD, in my humble opinion, is not "an" entity--a personal being separate and apart from all that IS-- It is my short form for all that IS. If you have another way of defining this, I am all ears.

You ask: "Care to explain what the connection between the two is?"

The two? The two what?

KS, before you answer, keep in mind that at my age, I am full of stories, which I often use to answer sincere questions.

Now, how do you respond to my questions?


Edited by Revlgking (04/03/08 10:16 PM)

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#25295 - 04/03/08 11:29 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rev wrote:

"I have a great deal of respect for atheists who find it possible to be happy, moral, ethical and loving people under all circumstances."

Oh come on Rev--ALL circumstances-- it would take Jesus Christ, Buddha, The Dalai Lama (possibly!) and Mother Theresa to be nice under ALL circumstances. And now I come to think of it Jesus had a bit of a temper tantrum in the Temple at the money changers.

Kevat-- I think the need to believe is summed up by Rev here----

"It prompts me to ask: What is it that gives you the strength and moral courage to do it, seemingly, without any invisible means of support?"

Many people seem to need to have a support on which they can depend as a reason or excuse for their moral behaviour. This was cruelly mocked by some comedian or other as "the devil made me do it"! Add a system that promises life after death in some form or other and it becomes very attractive to believe.

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#25297 - 04/04/08 01:31 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Kevat Shah Offline
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Rev - What gives me strength is the pursuit of truth. If we keep trying to find what is true, only then can we come up with the right answer. This leads me to question:
"What is the connection between the two"
What I mean by that was, what is the connection between these coincidences and an ever present god? How do these coincidences provide support for your idea of a God (which is simply all that is). It seems to me like you are saying that everything exists in a harmony (hence the universe being a quantum computer). How does this idea of everything in the universe being god relate to these coincidences? Are you saying that the universe, or some part of it made these coincidences happen to prove a point?

Ellis - What I meant by "What makes you believe..." is not why someone needs to believe in god, but why someone would believe in something they cannot see or hear.
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#25309 - 04/04/08 07:56 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ellis
This was cruelly mocked by some comedian or other as "the devil made me do it"!
You're thinking of the late Flip Wilson. Interestingly, we get our word 'devil' from the Greek, diabolos (hence, diabolic). It literally means that which splits us from the good (God), within ourselves, others and in the universe. The inner self is also the location of the so-called 'devil'--green (envy) and red (anger) variety smile

Speaking of the universe: As a unitheist, I experience the universe as being made of all kinds of qualities, which are both visible and invisible. Isn't much of the light spectrum "invisible" to the naked eye? But who would argue that it is of little consequence to us.

ARE WE HERE TO CONVERT OTHERS?
=============================
BTW, It not my desire to convert atheists--or for that matter anyone--and have them become unitheists?

My goal with any other human being is the same as it is with my son's wife, a Sufi Muslim--the mother of my only three wonderful
grandchildren. What I want--and am having with my family--is to have healthy relationship so that we can work together to make the world a place of prosperity, justice, joy and peace, for all people.

This is what we are making the basis of our weekly fellowship http://www.pathwayschurch.ca It is based entirely on the non-sectarian principle of the Golden Rule.


Edited by Revlgking (04/04/08 08:01 PM)

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#25313 - 04/04/08 11:48 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Loc: Australia
Ref-- I think your theory has much to do with animism, in that animism suggests that the divine is in everything and we can see evidence for it in all of nature and natural forms/phenomena. Have you a comment?

Thanks for reminding me regarding the name of Flip Wilson. I just could not recall it (oh dear-another senior moment!)

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#25323 - 04/05/08 05:38 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, I have always been interested in how the divine force of faith--IMO, a non-sectarian quality--works in and through all that is.

Because, even as a student, of my interest in psychology, religion and healing, many of my early sermons (beginning in the 1950's--focussed on the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus. IMO, he was a psychotherapist--I prefer to use 'pneumatherapist'--long before the idea was invented.

In the winter of 1964--I was 34 that January--I was urged on, by a member of the church (Toronto east) I then served, to offer a series of lectures in which I could give more details about what I felt was the role of the spirit (pneuma) in helping to heal the mind (psyche) and the body (soma).

He told me: "I like the drift that you are taking in your morning sermons. So do a lot of my friends. If you will do a series of lectures on healing on a Sunday evening, I will helped get it organized. In the lecture series you will have the opportunity to go into more details about what you have in mind."

He did. And the series was a great success.

The lectures were based on the book, PRAYER CAN CHANGES YOUR LIFE (Prentice Hall, 1957) by the psychologist, Dr. William Parker with the help of Elaine St. Johns, writer.

Based on the story of how he recovered from his own serious illness, Dr. Parker--a WW 2 vet--tells the story of a real experiment carried out over a year. It involved three groups of 15 people each: One used traditional prayer; one used psychotherapy, and one used a combination, which he called "prayer therapy".

The results of the experiment demonstrated that the combined use of meditative prayer and psychology helped a lot more people get well a lot faster than either psychology or traditional prayer did on their own.
===================================
The first series of healing lectures, which I called PRAYER THERAPY attracted a large group of people. So did a second series, and a third, a forth, etc. I began using the non-sectarian title, PNEUMATOLOGY--the study of the human spirit.
Because there was a wide interest in the connection between faith, suggestion, hypnosis and the like the series attracted the interest of the all the media. There was even a front page story.
Naturally, there were attacks by the traditional religionists. This was good publicity for us.

PNEUMATOLOGY GREW
=================
When I moved to North Toronto (1966), so did the series. There, until I retired in 1994, it evolved, grew and gave rise to a number of weekly programs and experiments, including the Family Life Foundation http://www.flfcanada.com And, as they: the rest is history--and ongoing.

_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25325 - 04/05/08 09:41 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, you and others may be interested in what I just wrote to a widely-read National Post columnist (Canada), Robert Fulford--a great communicator--the following communication:
=======================
Robert:

Thanks for your National Post article, today, on THINKING ABOUT FUNDAMENTALISM.

Interestingly, every Tuesday, over breakfast (7:00 AM), I meet for dialogue--it is not a debate--with a group of evangelical fundamentalists. Because we agree to disagree, agreeably, it is usually an enjoyable and lively experience. We usually discuss certain Bible passages and how they relate to what it going on in the media.

The leader, a fairly bright lawyer, is a friend of mine.

CHARLES TEMPLETON
=================
BTW, in your column you mentioned the late (2001) Charles Templeton. I first met him after he stopped being a well-known Christian evangelist and, eventually, wrote his book, Farewell To God, which I have and read.

I first met Charles in the early 1960's, in the presence of Allen Spraggett, then the religion editor of the Toronto Star, and himself a former evangelist. We became friends. Now in his seventies, he is retired and lives in Aurora. I think Charles was the editor of the Star at the time. We met at a social gathering at his home.

I remember him challenging me: Lindsay, like me, you will not remain part of the organized church, for long. You think too much.

Several times following this, I had encounters with Charles, including one on a TV talk show. Last going off, I had several phone conversations with him, which, with his permission, I recorded. They are still part of a collection I keep. He was amazed when I told him that I was still doing my stuff--thinking outside the box--and within the United Church.

AS OF 2008
==========
I now belong to a fellowship http://pathwayschurch.ca which I helped get started (2005) here in Markham. Interestingly, it is officially part of the UC of Canada and encourages thinking outside the box. Charles would be most welcome here and, I feel, comfortable in such an open and inclusive fellowship which encourages critical analysis and thinking. We are not required to check our brains before our sacred gatherings.

Questions I often ask, to any one of the disparate collection of fundamentalists I meet, are as follows: If God is one, which one of the several fundamentalist churches is His? Can there be more than one kind of fundamentalism?

BTW, how come God avoids being part of the Internet? One infallible website would be very convenient, don't you think? If God needs a base, I invite Him, any time He chooses, to become part of the Family Life page.

Robert, one final point: I call myself a unitheist. How aware are you of what I call unitheism? (panentheism) It is based on the ideas of Alfred North Whitehead--process philosophy and theology. For details check out the work of the Rev. Charles Hartshorne, who popularized Whitehead's work.

For the work of Whitehead, check out http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/

Thanks for your most interesting writing,

Lindsay G. King
(905) 764-1125


Edited by Revlgking (04/05/08 09:41 PM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25326 - 04/05/08 10:42 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
....I remember him challenging me: Lindsay, like me, you will not remain part of the organized church, for long. You think too much.
Good one! LOL Thanks for sharing.

...some thoughts on this past week's posts.
Translating these terms such as God/Nature, or "God's Plan" & "Evolution," shouldn't focus on equating certain attributes of the juxtaposed definitions.

The Effect that each unique understanding has On a person (which each person creates from these different definitions) is what should be translated.

A definition's effect on a person is what should be acceptingly comprehended.

Some easily translated qualities that are fulfilled in a person by their varying definitions (of loosely, science/religion) are:
IMHO
providing comfort, joy, and exaltation; as well as refuge, solace, and resilience:
inspiring wonder, motivation, and responsibility:
endowing relevance, integrative understanding, and inspiration:
providing interpretative power, integrative explanations, and predictive power:
facilitating interaction, language and jargon, a sense of community, and support systems.


One may see another's definitions as insufficient, but that is often within one's own terms of relevance.
It often depends on the purposes for which one needs understanding in their life, that affects their choice of framework or worldview.

For instance, when we speak of the supernatural, it is only in reference to the extant of "natural" currently understood. To me, the "natural," material universe only composes about 5% of the known universe (other 95% is dark matter or energy); and that doesn't even address the higher dimensions from which our spacetime is derived.

I certainly don't know of anything persuasive, but I allow for possibilities that something "supernatural" may in fact be natural in the end.
It's a quantum, relativistic worldview, in which all possibilities exist; but depending on circumstances, certain possibilities decohere and (are translated to) become "real" enough for that time. (ala Seth Lloyd?)

I'm not advocating that we drop all standards of concordance between "personalized" definitions, but I don't think we should get hung up on the details of natural/supernatural, personal/impartial, animist/theist/deist, or if something is "all-pervasive," "within & through," "informed by,' or simply "all there is."

My purpose in trying to be accepting of other's definitions is to try and include these "anti-science" folks in the "scientific" efforts to rescue the biosphere here on Earth.
Many Evangelicals are now seeing stewardship as important. I just don't want to alienate them when they come asking for advice.
Being humble isn't just a good value for religious people. Scientifists would do the world a great service by avoiding, especially in unfamiliar circumstances, sounding self-righteous.

An experienced farmer may achieve better outcomes, using his 5 senses to evaluate the soil, than an experienced scientist could by using the best available technology. Don't alienate the farmers!
smile
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#25332 - 04/06/08 12:11 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Sam, it seems to me what you are saying is this: We need to look on differences of race, language, culture and religion, whatever, not as divisive ones, but as enriching differences. IMO. if someone happens to speak a different language the opportunity is to find the best translation, not to use it as an excuse to develop a feeling of alienation.


Edited by Revlgking (04/06/08 12:12 PM)

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#25336 - 04/06/08 09:09 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
BTW, Sam, have you heard of the work of
http://www.conversationswithgod.org/

Currently, I am reading the book, Conversations With God, whiich was given to me by a friend.
Later, I will give my opinion.


Edited by Revlgking (04/07/08 02:46 AM)

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#25337 - 04/07/08 03:03 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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The basic thrust of the book, CwG--very unitheistic, BTW--is not a new idea to me.

I realize that writers need to be paid for their efforts, but I feel that this is an attempt by the writer to do what all leaders of religion do: They commercialize things. In return for cash, they offer to supply the need that some people have for some guru, or leader of a movement, to tell them ... Well, let us leave it there, for now.


Edited by Revlgking (04/07/08 03:03 AM)

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#25343 - 04/07/08 03:57 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
SUMMARY OF THE BOOK: Whether we realize it or not each of us is involved in--through the use of our feelings, (the language of the soul --having an on-going state of communication with God. In addition to our feelings, God also communicates with us through our thoughts and experiences

Atheists take note: You may call it what you will, but the author states that God is the essential self (the Spirit GOD) in each and all of us. Is there any denying the "essential self"?

HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN GOD IS COMMUNICATING?
God communicates and says, mine is always your Highest thoughts, your Clearest Words, your Grandest Feelings. Anything less is from another source. Listen for communications filled with feelings of joy, truth and love.

WHAT ABOUT PRAYER?
Is it okay to ask God to send you joy, truth and love. The best attitude is one of gratitude, of appreciation, not supplication, or begging. Never beg or supplicate. Appreciate. Stop resisting, get your ego out of the way and the things of joy, truth and love will come.

In the beginning, we human beings were the first and only things created by God. All else--that is, all others things--is the creation of our egos, which are dominated by the feeling of fear.
Keep in mind that every human action is based on either love or fear--all other ideas are but derivatives of these two.

COMPARING LOVE WITH FEAR:

Love expands, reveals, shares, heals and attracts the things loved. It is willing the best, under all circumstances. It is our experience of God. By the way, God is not a human-like being with a gender, but the ultimate reality, the all.

It is our soul purpose to remember that we can be loving. We are here to know this, experience this and to be loving. Being itself then becomes bliss.

Fear contracts, runs, hides, hoards, harms and attracts the things feared. It is the main cause of pain and suffering, including disease, all those dreadful wars and why the world is in the shape it is in.

Keep in mind: we have the power to choose loving, or fearing. (to page 33)


Edited by Revlgking (04/07/08 04:05 PM)

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#25345 - 04/08/08 03:30 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Loc: Australia
Rev quoted:

Atheists take note: You may call it what you will, but the author states that God is the essential self (the Spirit GOD) in each and all of us. Is there any denying the "essential self"?

That is such a copout!!! Religious people do this all the time! Of course you can deny that the warm fuzzies ( or whatever is being discussed at the time as a defining aspect of the divine) are god. If they are in fact the "essential self", what's wrong with that? My essential self is me, myself and I and has nothing to do with god.

Similarly I acknowledge and am glad for the existence of love, but I do not then make the sweeping statement that experiencing love is experiencing god. It isn't- it's experiencing love, as fear is experiencing fear.

And you have not loved if sometimes that loving has not lead to unexpected pain and suffering.


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#25348 - 04/08/08 03:57 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Thanks for the "fireworks" from your "essential self", Ellis.

You sound like the bird which was asked: Do you believe in air? "Air?" asked the bird, "What's air?" laugh

Ah, the communication of ideas is not all that easy. Let me assure you that I am not sure that I take all the ideas in the book, CwG, at face value. But I do agree with the general thrust of the book: The ultimate goal of the "all" is the Highest Good (Love) of all that is.


Edited by Revlgking (04/08/08 04:08 PM)

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#25349 - 04/08/08 08:23 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
Rev,
You sound like the guy who referred to smiley faces as fairy dust. How can you possibly deny the existence of fairy dust? You see smiley faces! Right?

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#25351 - 04/09/08 03:32 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Haven't been posting lately, but perusal of the very literate and informed comments on this topic was inspiration to join in.

Been an atheist in the past, and depending on definition of theism might still be considered that by some fundamentalist-types at least, but consider myself a unitheist.

Was raised Methodist, then Presbyterian, then could no longer recite the Apostle's Creed, so made myself scarce (Dad's still an active lay minister and slightly worried about me).

While not a supernaturalist I see a non-being-like ultimate reality in the world, in my spirit, and in the minds of others.

What is not explainable by natural means might be called crypto-natural (natural but not yet understood) rather than supernatural. Mary Baker Eddy was a crytonaturalist but didn't use that term to describe herself.

Been busy trying to work through issues of meaning, purpose, etc. mostly at the unitheist fellowship site, which BTW Rev. King wrote a good article for, "What is Unitheism?" (a little lite horn-tooting, hope you don't mind RLK smile

I'm still reading, learning, and pondering though, as well as writing.

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#25352 - 04/09/08 06:02 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Warren]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Rev-- When the little bird discovered that he breathed in air someone was then able to prove to the curious little fellow that he was breathing in a mixture of measurable gases. Whilst I am not sure how the chirpy little creature felt about that at least his answer was a totally satisfying proven scientific fact, as opposed to love being god- because I said so- that's why.

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#25353 - 04/09/08 04:44 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Welcome, Warren and fellow unitheist! We haven't chatted in some time. I do check out your site now and then:
http://www.unitheist.org/

BTW, While I was in Florida a few weeks ago I heard the news about the wind, rain and flooding in the Paducah, Ohio-valley area. How was it in your area?
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25354 - 04/09/08 06:08 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Glad you're still checking out the site, Rev.

I like to think of it as an alternative for those who while can't believe in a being-type God believe in something more than what science has heretofore discovered, and/or are interested in questions beyond the realm of science-- life purpose, etc.

We just grapple with those issues as much or more than claim to answer them.

We had flooding in the area but Paducah did not have to start putting in floodgates-- my house is on high ground smile

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#25356 - 04/09/08 07:14 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
Quote:
BFPig--Rather an odd name, eh?--: You speak of being tolerant of people who believe in, "...odd things, having weird fears etc etc..." Is this your impression of me: One who believes in odd things and is filled with weird fears? Tell me: What are some of my odd ideas and weird fears?


rev i don't know what your fears and beliefs are, but what i had in mind was the religious/superstitious beliefs & fears; ie, afraid of going to hell, afraid of death, believe that there is some kind of ultimate justice etc etc... these are odd/weird beliefs/fears in my mind.

and my name; chosen as a joke and as a trap for judgmental folk; insult my name and label yourself a judgmental pig lol
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#25361 - 04/10/08 11:41 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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BFP. You inquire as to what are my fears. If life is eternally meaningful, what is there to fear? May I ask: What are yours?

As for me, I prefer to pay attention to that which I believe to be true. In the words of Longfellow, the poet: Life is real, life is earnest, and our death is not the goal; Dust thou art and dust returnest was not written of the soul.

I have faith, hope and love that life, no matter what, is eternal.

I am interested in knowing: What is the "faith" of atheists?
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25368 - 04/11/08 05:24 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
i don't believe that life is eternal. i really wouldn't want to live forever either. life is meaningless on a cosmic scale. fears? i cant think of any.

i have a question; do you remember what it was like before being born; i mean; before you came into existance? how did it feel?

"what is the faith of atheists" i assume that you're asking me...

i don't know, i'm not an atheist, nor am i religious. i prefer to ignore those battle grounds; call it rational ignorance; a waste of attention.
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#25369 - 04/11/08 06:46 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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BFP asks
Quote:
i have a question; do you remember what it was like before being born; i mean; before you came into existance? how did it feel?
Some people, like my daughter, do have this ability. I can only imagine it.

You say, "... i'm not an atheist, nor am i religious. i prefer to ignore those battle grounds; call it rational ignorance; a waste of attention."

I do not mean this as a put-down, but to me you seem to have chosen as your life's role simply to be a clever animal. smile I hope you are well-trained, kind and have a master who loves you laugh

BTW, I accept the possibility that there is re-incarnation and that animals and things do go on into the eternal now, which we call the future. For me, there is only NOW. Future and past are illusions.

I also accept all sincerely held beliefs.

I think of G0D--all goodness, order and design--as the "essential self" within and beyond me--the collective consciousness. I can think of this "ES" as being like Seth Lloyd's quantum computer with which I can carry on an on-going conversation and seek guidance for life.
I am amazed, daily, at the practical and helpful results I get.

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#25371 - 04/11/08 08:16 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
"I do not mean this as a put-down, but to me you seem to have chosen as your life's role simply to be a clever animal. \:\) I hope you are well-trained, kind and have a master who loves you \:D"

hahaha i see that you have chosen the same life-role @ clever animal

i used to have the same opinions about god as you do; i was raised in a Christian family and became disenchanted as i learned about science and history. though i call myself an agnostic when religious/potentially religious folk ask... in reality im just a clever animal haha


i wont argue about religion. when you challenge someone's beliefs they become hostile, if it's unnecessary don't do it.
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#25374 - 04/11/08 09:58 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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BFP, as a human being, I have the power to chose never to be hostile. I can chose to have a civilized dialogue about religion. It is much more fun than having an argument about it.

You say that you are not religious and that you are an agnostic.

What does this mean?

To me, it sounds that you are much more than just a clever animal.

I AM RELIGIOUS
==============
When I say, "I am religious" here is what I mean to say: I mean that I am a human being. As such I have the power to choose to be a moral, ethical and loving person, under all circumstances. I am not just an animal, trapped in my instincts, or even a clever animal, governed by my training.


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#25375 - 04/11/08 10:32 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
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Posts: 97
i tell people that im agnostic to avoid discrimination/judgment, although that hasn't been the case recently; i've started answering these questions with questions.

if someone is going to call themselves Christian or Hindi or Muslim or put any kind of religious label on themselves, you'd expect them to follow their teachings; yet that is rarely the case. are you a religious leader? well keep your followers in check and realize that fanatics repel newcomers rather than attract them.
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#25376 - 04/12/08 03:38 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Incidentally, there are many things that we, as human beings, do not know. Therefore, to this extent we are all agnostic. What I try to avoid is being a cynical and apathetic agnostic--one who says, "I don't know; don't want to know, and I don't care for those who do or don't."

Am I a religious leader? you ask.

Born in 1930, I retired from the pastoral ministry in 1994. My work was not just with church members. It involved community building and social work. I never demanded that people be devout Christians before they were offered help.

Now that I have retired, because I prefer to wear out and not just rust out, I do volunteer work in a non-sectarian charity--The Family Life Foundation, which I helped found in 1973, while I was still an active pastoral minister.

BTW, the FLF just took on a new program. It has to do with helping a young-adult couple, both of whom are enthusiastic people who are recovered addicts. They connect with troubled youth in schools and on the street and offer help. There are a lot of hurting people out there.
The FLF is connected with http://www.pathwayschurch.ca It is non-sectarian. Check out the online forum.


Edited by Revlgking (04/12/08 03:42 AM)

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#25377 - 04/12/08 04:36 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Loc: Australia
Rev asks--What is the "faith" of atheists?

Atheists have no "faith"- which I take to mean no belief in the love of god, the all-encompassing presence, the manifestation of the divine or indeed the strict adherence to dogma required in some religions. Atheists do not believe that there is a divine entity of any sort, however spelled.

I know you find this hard to comprehend Rev. You have asked this question before. I will repeat-- an atheist has no "faith".

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#25379 - 04/12/08 04:30 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, while I welcome, even enjoy, your "butting in" smile --it shows that you have a lively interest in dialogue--my recent dialogue is with BFP.

Because BFP is new to this thread my questions were to him, to get his thinking on things. For example, I found out that he is an agnostic.

Meanwhile, thanks for expanding your thoughts on atheism. While we are at it, let me ask a few questions.

You say,
Quote:
Atheists have no "faith"

I ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN THE SPIRIT OF DIALOGUE AND WITH RESPECT:

NO faith? Ellis, is this your personal dogma (teaching), your certainty?
Or, is there a pope of atheism who speaks for all atheists?
Is there only one denomination of atheism?
If atheist have no "faith" does this mean that they are certain of all things?
Do all atheists believe that human beings are simply clever animals?
Are we simply one of the accidents of evolution?
Do you feel it is possible for atheists, theists, unitheists, deists, agnostics, whatever to live in a kind of harmony?

Or do you take the position of Dawkins and Hitchins that all religion is evil and needs to eradicated?

Since atheists have NO faith, what is their dogma regarding good and evil, and life beyond the death of the body?

I am sure there are altruistic atheists, but if death is the end of all life, what would motivate an atheist to give his life to save the lives of others? I recently saw a movie, based on facts, about a man--an explosives expert who diffused a bomb on a train full of explosives. Following prayers, he risked his life to save the community.

BTW, over the years I have had at least three near-death experiences--one in Labrador (a storm on a lake)--which involved saving the lives of others.

Anyone. Feel free to butt in. laugh


Edited by Revlgking (04/12/08 04:38 PM)

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#25380 - 04/12/08 04:34 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
everyone rejects the integrity of some faith system(must i name some?), so likewise; to an extent; everyone is an atheist.

it seems that you're unhappy with the fact that i choose to ignore the playing grounds of atheism and theism. please understand that i've 'been there' im not a stranger to your ideology. i feel that arguing on matters on the basis of speculation, culture, social upbringing which neither understands is a waste of attention.
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#25381 - 04/12/08 04:49 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
big fat pig Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
"Since atheists have NO faith, what is their dogma regarding good and evil, and life beyond the death of the body?"

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. [Albert Einstein]"

"what would motivate an atheist to give his life to save the lives of others?"

love, altruism, understanding, logic...
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#25384 - 04/12/08 08:26 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: big fat pig

..."what would motivate an atheist to give his life to save the lives of others?"

love, altruism, understanding, logic...

LOVE IS THE CENTRAL THEME OF THE GOSPELS
=========================================
In I John 4:8 we read, "GOD IS LOVE."
The same theme is repeated in Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34 and Luke 10: 25-28. This is followed by the parable of the Good Samaritan, the theme of which indicates that this Love is a universal kind of Love, not a parochial one. I am glad to see that at least one atheist agrees. Or is it agnostic?

Keep in mind: The Gospels commend people for their actions, not just what they say they believe--deeds are the real worth, not just creeds.


Edited by Revlgking (04/12/08 08:29 PM)

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#25385 - 04/12/08 09:55 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
RicS Offline
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Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day,

I find this discussion fascinating. I don't quite see how being an atheist means a person has no faith. Since there is a great deal of systems for the universe that are not understood, to accept any system as possible or likely is to exercise faith.

I always thought the definition of an atheist is that they did not believe that there was a powerful conscious entity that somehow controlled their lives or the lives of man in general.

I thought Agnostic meant that the person considers that it is possible that there is a powerful conscious entity but that, if that entity did exist, it is so removed from their day-to-day life, that it was not relevant to them at all.

I am an atheist, I think. Nevertheless, I also have a strong sense of faith. I think that man is basically good rather than evil. That is a tenant of faith since it is not provable; at least to me it is not. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, King Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, etc managed to cause the deaths of tens of thousands to tens of millions of people and so logically evil seems to have the upper hand. Yet, it seems that such evil is on a grand scale.

Most primates use violence to keep the clan in line. The Banobo uses sex but this seems to be the exception. Gorillas can be quite violent and even commit murder. Chimpanzees seem to be extremely violent and murder, including infanticide is very common. Yet humans in tribal units seem to be much less violent. I read a study that suggested the "bully" impulse has slowly been removed from humans by the simple expedient of the females of human troops getting together and killing bullies.

It is only when you have interaction between different tribes that bloodshed seems to be more common and even then, it seems that various mechanisms have been developed to reduce the actual harm caused in such encounters.

There appears to be a genetic imperative to protect other humans. Firstly, there is a very strong imperative to protect one's offsprings, followed closely by those of your community. However, that does not really explain those that risk their lives sometimes to save enemies. A man that runs into a burning glider to rescue trapped soldiers of the opposite army suggests something else is at work here rather than just the protection of those we know.

I do not wish to big note myself at all but have rescued others in my life, very often total strangers, and sometimes people who were very unpleasant and had been abusive. Any fire fighter can provide similar stories. As a police officer called out to tragedies and the first attenders to fires, road accidents and such, rescuing others was just part of the job. You might argue that as an atheist the imperative there was that I needed to demonstrate to my fellow officers that I would do my duty however often I was alone.

I have met many people in my life who state clearly they are atheists yet take huge risks for themselves to attempt to save others in peril.

Some religious people argue that they are not atheists then but I believe that is a cop out. A way of saying that if you don't agree with me then you just are not being honest.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. [Albert Einstein]"

With that I agree completely but there is nothing to say that people are good because they either fear punishment or hope for a reward. That argument could be used for those that believe in a vengeful God along the lines of Allah or the Old Testament God. These people may only be being good because of the fear of their God. What an appalling reason for doing good works.

The reason I believe that people are basically good? I suffer terribly from a medical condition. My wife remains by my side regardless of the terrible conditions she must cope with. Strangers have gone out of their way to assist me when I have come to harm, their concern, clearly etched on their faces only for the wellbeing of others, not for some abstract notion of doing good to score brownie points with some deity. And finally, to the occasions when I do good, whether it be something very minor or something life altering. It makes me feel better, good even. Why? Not because I've read the Bible. I worry terribly about any literal interpretation of that book. It includes such appalling commands as to kill a child who is disobedient. Not because I've read the Koran. It directs the devout that they can never be friends with a Jew or a Christian and that's one of the tamer sections. Or other religious texts. Buddhism is often touted as the religion that preaches tolerance etc but by the concept of reincarnation it obliges people to be good or the consequences can be you will come back as a snail (I exaggerate to make the point).

It seems that humans separated themselves from the rest of the animal kingdom when they became self-aware. This seems to have happened about 70,000 years ago. At that time, there was no Allah, Jehovah, God, or whatever. If we say it is only from this point that humans became real humans it still means that religion such as the Christian religion has been around for only a tiny fraction of the time of humans. I've always been fascinated in the religious persons' perspective of what happens to those that just did not have a God to pray to, let alone Ten Commandments, the Songs of the Koran or whatever. These people would often have done extremely good works. We know that humans cared for other humans often for years even though they were not productive members of their society. There are skeletons of humans that would have been incapable of caring for themselves for as many as seven years before their deaths. There are a great many skeletons that show periods of two years or so. For a people that were lucky to live to 35 and where life was extremely harsh, such aid and comfort would only have been possible at great personal discomfort and suffering. Do these people not deserve a place in Heaven because they simply didn't know about it?

As far as I know, I have never helped anyone for personal reward. On the very rare occasion, my actions were recognised all it caused was acute embarrassment. Funnily enough, such feting of "good works" did not make me feel good at all. As an atheist that sort of suggests that I did not take the action because I feared punishment or a hope for reward.

As someone that is suffering a debilitating condition that has destroyed my ability to be employed, caused the loss of my house, meant that I cannot help my children or even play with them, I still haven't change to believe I automatically deserve special treatment. I will fight to receive benefits that my Government says is owing to those with disabilities and for their children but have never for a second thought to contact anyone that I may have helped in the past to ask for a handout. A couple of people that I did assist are actually very wealthy and so I guess I could have approached them. After all, what's a few hundred thousand to someone who has many millions? But I just don't have the ability to make such an approach. I don't even know why. I do know I would feel bad if I did such a thing and once a person on a site that dealt with medical problems which I was moderating sent me money to help out a problem I had. She was a very wealthy person and yet it caused acute embarrassment and it was only that the woman became very offended when I tried to return the money accusing me of denying her the right to help my family who she had grown to greatly care about over the years of our posts that I accepted the offer. I still feel guilt about it believe it or not.

From all of that I could suggest that an Atheist does not necessarily do something for fear of punishment or the desire for reward. I've been told by others in similar situations to me who do not have any religious faith that they have had similar feelings.

Therefore, my FAITH, as an atheist is that people are capable of great good, to those that are not family or even part of their community. That is not to say that people are not capable of great evil. The amount of rapes that occur in our so call-civilised society suggests that there is a lot wrong with a great many people.

As my life winds down towards its conclusion, all I can conclude is that love conquers all and: "In the end only kindness matters."

With Love to all that Believe in Kindness


Regards

Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#25386 - 04/13/08 01:18 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: RicS]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Apparently this is an exclusive topic and I am redundant!

BFG- Good points! Fear is NOT a good foundation for a humane belief system.

And Richard, nice arguments. This is very true:-

"...... my FAITH, as an atheist is that people are capable of great good, to those that are not family or even part of their community."

I think kindness is often found where and when we least expect it. We experience the goodness in people much more often than the evil. As you imply, it helps if you assume people prefer to be nice,( in fact it actually makes them happy, few prefer to be mean). I really enjoyed that post. You and your wife are examples of what I was trying to say about kindness, support and love..

Now I'd better go away before Rev catches me posting!




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#25387 - 04/13/08 01:37 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: RicS]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: RicS
G'day,

I find this discussion fascinating. I don't quite see how being an atheist means a person has no faith....

... As my life winds down towards its conclusion, all I can conclude is that love conquers all and: "In the end only kindness matters."

With Love to all that Believe in Kindness. Regards, Richard
Richard, as a unitheist, I write: you are my kind of atheist and I offer all the kind of kindness I can muster.
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#25388 - 04/13/08 02:17 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Ellis, you write,
Quote:
Now I'd better go away before Rev catches me posting!
I presume your intention is to make a joke. Okay, I am amused.
Now, let us put our mind to the question: What can we as a community of posters do to be of practical help to people like Richard?--one of us. As one who believes that we are all ONE in the ONE, I BELIEVE that there is a solution.

Richard, how open are you to suggestions?
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#25389 - 04/13/08 03:29 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Anonymous
Unregistered


A atheist is a person who has no god. Probably most atheists have no faith either. It isn't necessary for one to have "faith" in science to use it.

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#25390 - 04/13/08 04:51 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
RicS, I know your post wasn't meant to 'impress' - it's nonetheless very impressive. Very well said.
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#25392 - 04/13/08 06:04 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: redewenur]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
RicS- I am sure you know that I did not mean an atheist has no faith-- we all have faith in various things--- I meant an atheist has no "faith" (as defined by Rev).

Rev- Do not belabour the point. I chose to make light of a rather uncivil comment of yours, after all "a soft answer turneth away wrath."

Anon- An atheist is one who has no belief (faith) in a god. There is no such thing as the divine (gods) unless there is belief. It is impossible to prove belief however, just as it is impossible to prove or indeed disprove that the divine/god exists. If you are a believer that does not matter because you do not need proof-- you have faith and believe. It is the faith/ belief that creates the god/divine not the other way round.

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#25393 - 04/13/08 12:26 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
Anon- An atheist is one who has no belief (faith) in a god. There is no such thing as the divine (gods)...
Ellis writes.

AS A HUMANE BEING
=================
Anon, welcome. I have said this before: As a humane being and as a unitheist, without claiming to understand it all, I accept the unity (the holos) of all that is.

Here is where I agree with moral, ethical and loving atheists: Like them I find it impossible to imagine and do not believe that there is 'a' three-dimensional god, or gods, anymore than I believe there is 'a' physical Santa Claus living at the north pole. I have the feeling that most educated theists think the same way. Let me explain it as I understand it.

'TRINITY' COMES FROM TRI-UNITY
=============================
By the way, as I understand it: when theologians--and I have read widely in theology--speak of "God in three persons", they are not using the word 'person' in the same way that the average person uses it.

The Latin 'persona' (literally meaning 'to sound through') refers to the mask worn by actors--masks of the drama. Do we not all wear our 'personalities' like masks?

For educated theists God wears an infinite number of masks, which science is uncovering even as we read. However, according to the teaching about the tri-unity, God wears at least three masks: Creator (Father), Creation (the universe and us) and the Spirit (life in all its mystery).

Many people, especially those with a linear mind, find it difficult to think in the old metaphors. Therefore,

IMO, WE NEED NEW METAPHORS
========================
Here is mine: The god-concept that I have in my mind is as real to me as the physical, mental and spiritual cosmos of which I am--as we all are--an essential part.

But keep in mind: only the physical universe is concrete, three-dimensional, and capable of being explored by the hard sciences. I see the physical universe as being filled, at least potentially, with goodness (G), order (Ø) and design (D). This is why I like using GØD as the over-all symbol. This symbol, for me, carries over into the universe as mind and spirit. This is the realm of philosophy and religion with potential ad infinitum.

The important question for me is: Now that I am here in the universe, in GØD, what is the meaning and purpose of it all?




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#25395 - 04/13/08 05:09 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
One may live his or her life an atheist and enjoy some of the fruits many of us believers have declined. But that last few moments of life if you are privilidged to have that, that time when the last breath will leave your lungs and you are wondering what is next. Will I see that entity I have heard of all these years known as God, or is everything just goint to turn black and quiet with no recolection of anything. Are there really any atheist on the death bed? If you compare your life to a dot in a
line that never ends it is really stupid not to believe in a divine entity. When you gamble don't consider what you will gain, ask what you may lose. If you can't afford to lose don't gamble. think about it .
odin1
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People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
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#25398 - 04/13/08 05:53 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
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Odin,
Pascal's wager is based on faulty logic. There are an infinite number of conceivable deities. Some of them might punish a person severely for being gullible enough to believe in the others. Once one begins calculating probabilities that are inherently outside the realm of science, one is just making stuff up.

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#25400 - 04/13/08 05:57 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day odin1,

Ah, the old "there are no atheists in a foxhole approach". Sorry to burst your bubble but I know of a great many people who became atheists as a result of being in a foxhole. The brutality of war often causes people to lose faith rather than to gain it, in my experience. I have lived a rather full life. That included being in the Army, the Navy and two different Police Forces.

I would suggest that your reasoning for being religious is seriously warped. No personal offence meant by this by the way. You simply are suggesting that why take the risk? A truly compassionate greater being would not care whether you believed in Him/Her, only that you were a good person and a really compassionate greater being would forgive those that were not even good people on the basis that the cards may have been stacked terribly against them, or through some quirck of nature they have too many dopomine recepters in their brain and prone to become addicts and not be able to escape from the addiction or whatever.

And if you are basing the worth of being religious on escaping endless nothingness then just what God should you choose? Each tend to be mutually exclusive. I rather like the appalllingly immoral sidekick in the Mummy movie where he, faced with a demigod, gets out a huge array of religious artifacts and says the appropriate prayer for each religion to them. In your world, hey presto, if he managed to prey to the right one and then was killed he would be saved. Of course, his repentance may not have been sincere and he might have to face the wrath of God for such insincerity. Funnily enough he does pray to the "right" God, by offering a Hebrew prayer and the Mummy spares his life. So at least in the movies it actually works!

You ask are their really any atheist on the death bed? I can speak only for myself and answer yes, they most certainly are. I've "died" twice and lost consciousness believing that I would not survive a couple of other times. I can clearly remember my thoughts just prior to unconsciousness and in none of these incidents did I repent, prey to any God, or do anything that would suggest that I might not be an atheist after all.

Now, you'd have to know my rather complicated medical history to understand that someone could even reach the stage where this sort of thing could happen to them and more than once, and perhaps by now you believe I'm making things up to score points.

I'm not by the way but you will have to take that on faith, because I am just not going to offer proof on a public forum such as this.

Here I am at 3.30am typing on this post deciding whether I should call an ambulance. I have a raging infection that has dramatically increased in the last several hours and now have chills and fevers. I tried a long time ago, when I was terribly depressed, suffering from unremitting pain and had just been accussed of being a drug addict and malinger and refused treatment at a major hospital, to commit suicide. As it turned out my condition was so bad I had no resources to do it aside from rolling into the path of a car. I considered this for a moment and then rejected it because the last thing I wanted was someone else to carry the quilt of killing someone, whether it was their fault or not. I had seen just how destructive such situations could be and was not prepared to cause such harm.

I thought I was doing the right thing, protecting my family from endless debts and pain upon pain. It is not just those that suffer a serious disability that feel pain. The pain and anguish this can cause to their family can actually be worse. The next day it was found out that a procedure had been stuffed up by a doctor destroying a number of spinal nerves and causing very high pain levels and over three weeks the pain at least was dialed back. My pyschiatrist saw me the next day and abused hell out of me. He did this for almost four hours. He really laid into me about how selfish I was and how much damage I would have done. He went into enormous detail of just how much damage a daughter suffers from a suiciding Dad when they are of the age of my youngest daughter, of the therapy they often need even when they are 50, and of the harm that a wife suffers and the very high potential for a second suicide because of guilt or the inability to ever relate to others again.

So suicide has never been an option for me after that, no matter how bad my condition gets or what setbacks occur. I'm not sure I have the strength to go on if my wife could no longer cope but otherwise I have kept my promise to my doctor.

But dying from my condition. That is completely different. If I go to the hospital right now they will probably save me from dying but not improve the infection I have by much at all or the underlying cause. What they will do is just make it harder for my wife to cope. The condition is likely to cause amputation in the near future and I've had enough operations to last several lifetimes. So while the fever worsens I'm writing this post rather than calling an ambulance. I personally believe this completely proves my point. I haven't for a moment thought that I should repent and prey to anyone.

Since we were served with eviction last week and only have electricity because we have a "no disconnection" order on our property, it is rather hard for me to see how our plight is going to improve any time soon.

But my family's certainly might. The current infection is due to very clear medical negligence. Legal experts have already been retained. My wife has a reasonably wealthy mother who would have no trouble providing housing for her. She wouldn't for me as well but she never did like me much and thinks I'm a lousy provider. She's actually quite right with that assessment. So sometimes doing nothing isn't a bad thing.

Because I worry so much about my wife, I'll probably call the ambulance eventually. I don't want to. But sometimes you have to do what you would rather not. Score another point for an atheist choosing to be good for no better reason than to limit harm to others.

Whether this post stays here or I remove it, I'll see. This is a painful post written while rational thought is perhaps not working very well.

It will certainly be the last post I make to this thread. I've said what I wanted to say and made the point that I believe in, mostly in my first post. There are a couple of people who know my actual identity on this site. DO NOT abuse that knowledge please.

Have faith. Do good. Be Happy.


Richard

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#25402 - 04/13/08 08:00 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: RicS]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello Richard,

First let me say I never said an atheist was a bad person. There is no doubt in my mind many atheist are good people that make their marks everyday on the world. the good thing about God is this, he believes in Democracy because he gives us a choice. I choose to believe, because I don't think we are an accident or fluke of nature. You have had your experiences and I respect them and your situation right now. I have never laid on my death bed, but I know people that have. Their story was different than yours. For what reason I don't know. I never ask someone if they are a christian. I feel religion is a personal thing, none of my business. However, I don't think it really matters if you call God "Jehova or Ali" that I feel is a cultural thing. I don't think god cares what we call him or what we think he looks like. So, I don't get angry at God because of the ignorance and clannish ways of the human race. The message he brings is the important thing. I have never seen God that I know of. I live on faith that one day when I leave this world I will go to a place where people don't attack you because you don't think like they do. I hope like hell mankind is not the superion being in this universe. I will stick to my faith. I hope everything gets better for you and I wish you the best.
Best Regards
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25403 - 04/13/08 08:12 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello FallibleFiend

There is no doubt religion is confusing, I will be the first to admit it. As I told Richard, I feel religion is a personal thing. There are those in all religions that damn you to torment if you don't dance to their version of the fiddle of religion. But remember, these are "human beings" condeming you with their warped opinions of the scriptures whatever religion. If you remember prior to Martin Luther in Germany the church dictated what the Bible said. When it was printed in German and put in print the average person could read the bible and interpret it for theirselves. Each of us is responsible for ourselves don't worry about what other people say. Don't throw away the message because you don't like the messenger.

Best Regards
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25410 - 04/13/08 10:35 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Odin1, welcome. Thanks for your thoughtful posts. Tell us more about your faith journey. Perhaps we need a thread where posters will answer the question: Who are you? Or do you prefer to remain unknown?
BTW, what is your opinion of reincarnation?

Me? I do not look on reincarnation as a reward, but rather a form of discipline. IMO, if I do harm to others here, I will need to face discipline in the next life in this dimension.

Personally, I hope to avoid it and move on to higher spiritual realms and............

_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25411 - 04/13/08 11:29 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello Revlgking,

Good to hear from you. I am no one special. I live in the outskirts of a small town, raised as a southern baptist. I am no saint, all the saints are in heaven, but I do believe in a divine entity and I feel the world would be a better place if all the major religions (which basically preach the same thing)would practice what they preach ! I can understand why some people have lost faith, the church has in a lot of ways let many people down. But as I said earlier, religion is a personal thing and despite the drawbacks it is man that should be blamed not the creator.

You ask if I believe in reincarnation. That is a good question.
Who knows how many times we return to this earth and I have never seen anything in the bible or heard anything preached that reincarnation does not occur. And in my humble opionion, I really don't think it matters to god if we believe we will be reborn in another life or go to heaven. I think these are minor infractions we squabble about. I think god wants us to prepare ourselve for his service in his kingdom and that may include living several lifes. After all, he is god he can do whatever he wants! Until, i read some of the bible myself I never had a
clear understanding of what it was trying to say. As I said before, Martin Luther made it possible for the common man to read the word and grasp it for himself.

I will accept whatever it will be, another body in another time or walking through the gates of heaven. I wish I could give you a better answer, but I gave you an honest answer. Stay in touch.

Best Regards,
odin1

_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25412 - 04/13/08 11:51 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
My apologies; I'm a week behind, but:

I ran across this recently, and wanted to share.

http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9096&SectionName=&PlayMedia=No
Originally Posted By: cspan's BookTV
Cardinal Schönborn argues that science and religion are not incompatible and that dogmatism on either side is unsupportable. He spoke at an event hosted by the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California.

As a part of the presentation, Alex García-Rivera, author of “Endless Forms most Beautiful,” actually mentions pneumatology!

~brb cool
_________________________
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#25415 - 04/14/08 01:25 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Ric- Stay with us as long as possible. I do not know who you are, but you sound very clear headed in a situation which would rob others of their spirit. You also seek to take care of your wife. I do not presume to offer advice but in fact I am married to someone with a relenting disease which has taken away most of his great abilities. However his intelligence and personality are still there and I remember him in the 'before' as well as the 'now'. I also know that if things were different he would have supported me, as he indeed did and still does. Incidently odin, he too shares my ideas regarding god.

I previously explained the moment when I realised I didn't think there was anything 'out there'. There was no great drama. I was near death and realised after it was resolved that I had not once called on god. I was just determined to see my new little daughter, which thanks to excellent medical care, I did. So I don't believe that 'everyone is a believer on their deathbed'. Some embrace god but others, like Ric and me, do not.

And odin, both Ric and I live in Australia- and here your religion is NOT important. No one would ever ask another person what their religion was or if they attended church. 21 members of our parliament affirmed their oath of office rather than swear on a bible recently, and did this without comment. It's a different atmosphere- not necessarily better- but certainly different.

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#25417 - 04/14/08 02:41 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
The atmosphere here in the USA concerning religion is a little different. This country was settled for religious freedom. We have separation of church and state, which right now is causing a great debate in this country. If you read your history Henry the VIII started the church of England because he got mad at the pope. The pope would not allow a divorce for the King. So, Henry started the church of England which was government sponsored church. You were a member of that or catholic. Separation of church and state means government can't sponsor church, it does not mean that you can't hang the 10 commandments in a Federal building. I mean, lets be real, even if you don't believe in God what is wrong with "thou shalt not kill"? What I am getting to is this, the trouble between atheism and christianity in this country is the atheist want their beliefs crammed down everyones throat. And I understand christianity has done the same in areas -it is a two sided sword. But no one has to go to church on Sunday if they don't want to, and I feel that if I were an athiest and really believed that there were no god, no afterlife that 10 commandments posted on the wall in a building or a manger scene at christmas in a store window would really upset the balance of the universe, because who would care? I could talk to you for hours about the wrongs done in the name of christianity, but not by christianity. No one has ever said heaven is here on earth, and people have their own interpretation of things. Again, religion is a personal thing
imagine what the world would be like if no one believed in nothing, again I believe and repect your right not to.

I would like to tell you something funny though. I have a friend from Germany that moved here years ago. In Germany you pay a tax for the religion or church you are a member and the government gives the money to the church. He had a cousin that thought he was going to get out of paying church taxes so he registered as an atheist. To his surprise there was an atheist tax ! No way to win.

Best Regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25420 - 04/14/08 04:03 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Odin1 writes
Quote:
Who knows how many times we return to this earth and I have never seen anything in the bible or heard anything preached that reincarnation does not occur.
BTW, I am not dogmatic about the idea of reincarnation. I just accept that it is okay to dialogue about it as one of the possibilities life has to offer. I also am impressed that it is so widely accepted by so many people--Buddhists and Hindus--in the east.

THE BIBLE AND REINCARNATION
===========================
The book of Job 33:15...--especially verses 29,30--implies the concept of reincarnation. Also, check out Matthew 17: 10-13. Many modern Jews believe that Jeremiah will return and introduce the Messiah.
BTW, while I will often quote the Bible as a reference, I find it of little value to prove a point, or to use as a book of rules.

Some of the rules make sense, but some do not. For example, read Deuteronomy 21: 18-21. How many Bible believers think that rebellious teenagers ought to be stoned to death, in public?

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
========================
Speaking with tongue-in-cheek, I wonder if it would cure the problem? If it would, maybe we ought to give it a try smile

Or how about this: Start off by pelting the offender with small stones. If the youth repents and vows to stop being offensive, before you get to the medium and larger ones, then its a win/win, eh?

It is obvious that all Bible believers pick and choose the Bible verses they want to take seriously.


Edited by Revlgking (04/14/08 04:11 AM)

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#25423 - 04/14/08 06:23 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Tim Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
Well at the time those maybe have been effective, or even necessary, laws...but they have all but been out-dated in today's post-modern society.
I dont wanna be stoned!

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#25424 - 04/14/08 06:46 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Tim]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
odin- The Church of England was not founded so that Henry VIII could get a divorce. The was much unrest at the time within the church (which at the time was administered from Rome). Many of the more educated members of the churches wished to read the Bible for themselves and make up their own minds regarding the doctrines of the church. There were many of these people all over Europe (I notice you mention Martin Luther) protesting about the power of the Roman Catholic Church, so they were called protestants. There were such movements in Britain too, and it was therefore easy for the king to appropriate them and announce that he was the Defender of the Faith in Britain. In actual fact Henry was a very learned and intelligent monarch, with a strong religious faith, who went a bit off the rails and got greedy! He went with the spirit of the times though, many people were glad to see the end of the power of the church as it existed then.

That is a much simplified account of Henry and the dissolution of the monasteries, but it is a bigger simplification to assume that Henry merely wanted to marry Anne Boleyn (in spite of the movies and TV!)

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#25425 - 04/14/08 07:48 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Again, my apologies for not being caught up.

...but for the past week....

http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=25326#Post25326
post re: definitions, supernatural

p.s. Revl: Thanks for the summary of "conservations-with-god."
I've got it on my Kindle "wish list."

http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=25332#Post25332
Originally Posted By: Revl.
Sam, it seems to me what you are saying is this: We need to look on differences of race, language, culture and religion, whatever, not as divisive ones, but as enriching differences. IMO. if someone happens to speak a different language the opportunity is to find the best translation, not to use it as an excuse to develop a feeling of alienation.

This sounds hard to argue with, but let me try. smile

...not enriching differences; but perhaps, enrichingly different expression of a fundamental sameness.

...or not to find the best translation; but perhaps, to only know that a translation is possible while leaving the details vague.

Originally Posted By: 25326
A definition's effect on a person is what should be acceptingly comprehended (or translated).
...avoiding the quality of details ...or perception of many differences.

As Ellis point out, this is a bit of a cop-out. smile
...but,
Originally Posted By: Ellis#25345
...or whatever is being discussed at the time as a defining aspect of the divine
"as a defining aspect" is the point where we need to be able to translate on a different level; assuming concordance to begin with, and adding reservations only as needed.

I still think it's a 'best starting point,' from which to see how much cooperation can be achieved, before finding too much difference in the details.

As an example, in that 'Cardinal Schönborn thing,'
http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9096&SectionName=&PlayMedia=No
he refers to another source:

"In the Beginning" is an annotated version of a 4-homily series delivered by Joseph Ratzinger (now the Pope) in Munich (1981). Subtitled A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, the book was published in Germany in 1985 and is now available in English translation.

Schönborn says Ratzinger talks about "Divine Intervention and Evolution," suggesting that it is incorrect to see intervention as some "extrinsic" factor or agent; but that it must be understood as intrinsic to every step of creation and evolution.

See? I mean... c'mon, y'know; it's like, well -gee. How can, wait- I know... if you what? ...define intrinsic...
[Hey, that's the word you need in your signature, Revl!]

Okay, so if you're defining an intervention as not extrinsic, then what is the difference between divine intervention and the laws of physics (intrinsic to evolution).
No wonder the Catholics accept evolution. smile

...meanwhile, continuing along the past week....
I liked Warren's term, crypto-natural!
& "...issues of meaning, purpose, etc...."
...to evolve; to save the Creation so others may too evolve?
...or to express God's love?
...what's the difference?


Originally Posted By: 25361
Revl. you ask, "I am interested in knowing: What is the "faith" of atheists?"
Would it be faith that the material world is all that exists.
...of course, ...guess it's depending on how you define 'material' and 'exists.' smile


Originally Posted By: 25379
...a lot of fun questions... including: ...inspired by bfp:
Do all atheists believe that human beings are simply clever animals?
Are we simply one of the accidents of evolution?
Is there any "simple" difference between animals, if G0d is intrinsic? Are there accidents in evolution, if G0d is intrinsic? Whether defined as an accident or a culmination, the result is the same.


Originally Posted By: 25385-Richard!
Since there is a great deal of systems for the universe that are not understood, to accept any system as possible or likely is to exercise faith. Good one!
...also, re: your comments:
Michael Shermer, "Mind of the Market" (on my Kindle), argues for the natural evolution of altruism.
...but apparently infanticide was much more common throughout human history (and even currently) than is commonly recognized.


LOL Richard,"I still feel guilt about it believe it or not;" but think how good you made her feel. smile


...and how do we define "faith?"
Originally Posted By: #25389, Anon
It isn't necessary for one to have "faith" in science to use it.
Very Good Point!


Originally Posted By: #25392, Ellis
...I meant an atheist has no "faith" (as defined by Rev).
...no comment (it's just too late?)tired

-END- April 12, 2008

...and I'm still not caught up!
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#25429 - 04/14/08 03:40 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Sam, doesn't it give you, as it does me, a kind of quiet joy to see the flurry of interest there is in discussing theology and pneumatology--and philosophy in general--here in this forum? Meanwhile, we can trustingly, we hope, leave it to our well-motivated scientists--some of whom are also people of faith--to get on with exploring somatology, all created things (GOD in visible form to our senses).
==================================
And how good it is to see several new participants--all of whom seem to be willing to do so openly, without rancour, even lovingly and in the spirit of dialogue. What a pleasure and joy it is.


WHAT GOD IS
I remind posters that, for me, GOD may be in persons--which is the basic theme of the book, Conversations with God--but is GOD more than just that: GOD is Love, Light, Power, Wisdom, Truth, Infinity, Eternity, Spirit. If you can imagine it, GOD is this, and more.

Atheists, like you, I do not think of GOD as 'a' human-like person occupying space and time. If this is the 'god' you deny, I have no quarrel with you. I say the same thing to Dawkins and Hitchins: I have no trouble denying the 'God' you deny. So what's the big deal?

Now, try denying Love ... Spirit. If you choose so to do, I will await your evidence.


GOD IS SPIRIT
Because I accept the reality of Spirit--which may not be so for some--for me it is evidence that GOD is. Check out what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4:24: "GOD IS SPIRIT..." He refused to localize GOD.

Jesus gave his definition of GOD (as Spirit) in response to her comment. It indicated to him that she believed in a localized concept of GOD--which, in my opinion, is a false and unsophisticated concept. I got rid of this concept when I got a brain large enough to understand the Santa Claus myth.

I FEEL THE NEED TO TELL THE TRUTH AS FAR AS I KNOW IT
BTW, I accept that myths, as a myths--not as literal facts--can have some value and can be used to teach spiritual truths.

This is how I taught my own children and grandchildren to handle the myths of religions, including Christmas and Easter and the myths of Islam--the mother of my grandchildren is a Sufi Muslim. Therefore, now that they are grown they have learned to think for themselves--to separate facts from fantasies. It is great to see them enjoy the Spirit of Christmas and other festivals. I feel that telling them the truth has made their joy greater.

BTW: Do atheists have any myths?


Edited by Revlgking (04/14/08 04:04 PM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25437 - 04/14/08 11:26 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello Ellis,

You known they say Ms. Boleyn was a real looker! Helen launched a thousand ships, why couldn't Ms. Boleyn encourage a kinder, gentler church?

Best Regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25439 - 04/15/08 04:09 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
The gossips of the day agreed Mary, her sister, was prettier, but Anne had learnt a lot about 'charm' from the French court where she was during her teenage years. And she used it! Henry didn't know what had hit him, and I'll agree English history might have been changed had Elizabeth been a son, (or indeed had Mary, his first daughter, been a boy).


Edited by Ellis (04/15/08 04:10 AM)
Edit Reason: punctuation.

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#25440 - 04/15/08 04:19 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Sam: Is it widely believed that one cannot be a scientist as well as religious? I would have thought that the discoveries (I'm thinking especially but not exclusively, of the mind-blowing stuff of physics for example) would extend a person's belief in the possibility of a god. Or at least a "watchmaker"? I would be able to think of the universe as the Mind of God, it's a very satisfying concept,.....but I can't accept it.

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#25462 - 04/16/08 01:20 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
IS RICHARD DAWKINS A HUMANE BEING?
At the following site Richard Dawkins gives a review of the film EXPELLED, which he pans:
http://richarddawkins.net/article,2394,Lying-for-Jesus,Richard-Dawkins
I found this interesting comment on natural selection by Richard Dawkins
Quote:
... natural selection is a good object lesson in how NOT to organize a society. As I have often said before, as a scientist I am a passionate Darwinian.

But as a citizen and a human being, I want to construct a society which is about as un-Darwinian as we can make it. I approve of looking after the poor (very un-Darwinian). I approve of universal medical care (very un-Darwinian). It is one of the classic philosophical fallacies to derive an 'ought' from an 'is'. Stein (or whoever wrote his script for him) is implying that Hitler committed that fallacy with respect to Darwinism.

If we look at more recent history, the closest representatives you'll find to Darwinian politics are uncompassionate conservatives like Margaret Thatcher, George W Bush, or Ben Stein's own hero, Richard Nixon. Maybe all these people, along with the Social Darwinists from Herbert Spencer to John D Rockefeller, committed the is/ought fallacy and justified their unpleasant social views by invoking garbled Darwinism.

Anyone who thinks that has any bearing whatsoever on the truth or falsity of Darwin's theory of evolution is either an unreasoning fool or a cynical manipulator of unreasoning fools. I will not speculate as to which category includes Ben Stein and Mark Mathis.

By the way, I think of the physical universe as the unconscious body of GOD. When we human beings become HUMANE beings we are the consciousness of GOD. I have a strong feeling that Richard Dawkins is a humane being. And such we are all called to be.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25488 - 04/17/08 08:00 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
in 100 years we're all gonna be dead, gone for good and probably forgotten. does this scare you?

"Sam: Is it widely believed that one cannot be a scientist as well as religious? I would have thought that the discoveries (I'm thinking especially but not exclusively, of the mind-blowing stuff of physics for example) would extend a person's belief in the possibility of a god. Or at least a "watchmaker"? I would be able to think of the universe as the Mind of God, it's a very satisfying concept,.....but I can't accept it. "

sorry to butt in, but have you ever studied neurology/cognative science? these fields of research seem to indicate the opposite of what you said, not mind blowing but rather depressing for those who think they are 'something more'
_________________________
seize the day

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#25493 - 04/18/08 02:12 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
BFP, I trust you have taken note that, speaking about the future, Dawkins writes
Quote:
But as a citizen and a human being, I want to construct a society which is about as un-Darwinian as we can make it.
In my opinion, here Dawkins is writing as a humane being, not just a human being--some of whom can be damned inhumane.

Obviously, he is optimistic about the future. If we are all dead, it will not matter, will it?

I look at it this way: If there is no life after death no atheist will every have the pleasure of reminding me of how gullible I was. But if there is life after death, think of the fun I will have. laugh Meanwhile, I have the pleasure of living optimistically.

BTW, I fear fire and all natural dangers--only fools have no such fears--and I do my best to avoid them. If there is no future I have nothing to fear.

Meanwhile, the joy of living, and working humanely along with Dawkins and the like, as though there will be is enough for me.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25497 - 04/18/08 04:42 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
bfp--I said I did NOT accept the 'mind of god analogy'. I said it is an attractive idea because I think it is. It is romantic, elegant and artistically satisfying, but regrettably really quite silly.

So where will I be in 100 years? .. I'll be very very dead! Still remembered maybe--( I remember my great-granny!) No it doesn't scare me. Why should it? Death is part of life.


Edited by Ellis (04/18/08 04:46 AM)
Edit Reason: Thought of a slightly more sensible reply!

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#25500 - 04/18/08 04:33 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
" In my opinion, here Dawkins is writing as a humane being, not just a human being--some of whom can be damned inhumane.

Obviously, he is optimistic about the future. If we are all dead, it will not matter, will it?"

how do you define someone as being inhumane? when we're all dead it wont matter to US, who are dead, but those still alive will be suffering or enjoying that which we've left behind

ellis, sorry i didn't mean it that way, i just wanted to point out that new discoveries do not always support a person's belief in a higher power; discoveries in neurology and cognitive science both seem to strongly support materialism.
_________________________
seize the day

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#25506 - 04/18/08 09:53 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Ellis writes
Quote:
So where will I be in 100 years? .. I'll be very very dead! Still remembered maybe--( I remember my great-granny!) No it doesn't scare me. Why should it? Death is part of life.
Ellis, I am glad you are thinking about such things. To me it indicates that you have a sense of being a spiritual being, a HUMANE being.

BTW, your interesting comment prompts me to ask:
When you say, "I'll be very dead!" it prompts me to ask"
Is this just your belief?
Or is it your hope? Something you look forward to being, dead?
Perhaps you are you certain that you will be dead and there is nothing you can do about it, anyway?
====================================
Me?
I have a strong feeling, even a belief and a hope, that a very powerful spiritual law applies to our lives.

THE LAW OF KARMA--all actions produce results, eventually
========================================================
The law, as stated, by Paul, in Galatians 6:7, is this: A person will reap exactly as he sows. The Law of Karma is not just a teaching of Buddhism and Hinduism.

This law may not scare me, but as Hamlet said, it: "...gives us pause..."

IMO, science does not guarantee that, in the future, we will all be "very, very dead".

BTW, BFP, you ask: "How do you define someone as being inhumane?"

Check your dictionary. Being humane is clearly defined. It sounds a lot like the same as being a good Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, whatever.

I want all of us to be humane beings, not just human beings.
How about you? Are you humane? I hope you are. smile




Edited by Revlgking (04/18/08 09:54 PM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25512 - 04/18/08 11:42 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
i was wondering why you would call some people "inhumane" when healthy humans are all naturally humane.

imo karma is just wishful thinking, and death will be just be absolute annihilation of consciousness; eternal sleep.

Occam's razor; there has been no concrete evidence that there is consciousness after death, creating a fancy theory to fit your beliefs rather than the facts is called fabrication.
_________________________
seize the day

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#25517 - 04/19/08 01:34 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
bfp:
Dictionary def. 'humane '

1a. marked by compassion or consideration for other human beings or animals.
1b. causing the minimum pain possible.
2. characterised by broad humanistic culture; liberal.

So I don't think all human beings can be described as 'humane', whereas all human beings are 'human'. Health has nothing to do with it for either of them.

Do you believe that to die is to sleep. I certainly don't, because to sleep is to dream and then to waken. That's not death. Death, for me, is nothingness, the end, but also a part of the continuation of the cycle of lIfe. If there were no death there would be no life! And rev. I do not want to be dead. I don't fear it though.

I totally reject the idea of Karma. I find the whole idea of inherited sin repugnant and reject it completely. We do not reap what we sow. Many loathsome and criminal people live a life of ease and prosperity. Meanwhile people who lack even the basic necessities of life are ignored as it is their karma to expiate either their own (or even their relatives') sins in a previous existence (!) or the sins they may have incurred through their own actions. What a lovely excuse to never reform conditions or pass laws which offer help to these unfortunate people. And as for the suggestion that disease or an accident is a punishment for sin--- well that is cruel and a disgusting thought, though if you believe in divine retribution you will probably be less likely to help people suffering either. You will look the other way and say it is god's will, or fate, that misfortune has happened.



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#25523 - 04/19/08 04:11 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Ellis, re karma:

I'm with you there, Ellis. I knew nurses who believed that their patients deserved their suffering because such was their karma. It seems that such nurses carry out their work with a less than duly compassionate heart, apparently more motivated by a self-centred desire to increase their own karmic stock (merit). It's a way of thinking that clearly lacks the compassion attributed to Buddha.

As for punishment for sin - very much like the allegedly natural law of karma, but via the personal touch of 'God' - a classic example was of the violently ranting bishop who proclaimed that AIDS was his God's punishment for homosexuality.

I'll stop there. It's all been said so many times before.

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#25536 - 04/19/08 03:54 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: big fat pig
... there has been no concrete evidence that there is consciousness after death, creating a fancy theory to fit your beliefs rather than the facts is called fabrication.

BFP, wow, quite a statement! I respect your opinion, but keep in mind: Your statement is an opinion, nothing more. Unless you have facts to prove otherwise. Opinions, like the theories of science, are valuable for the purpose of dialogue, but they are not fixed laws.

If you have any concrete facts, let us have them. I am all eyes and ears.

Keep in mind: I am not a fixed-position thinker. Therefore, I keep my options open. If you can convince me that physicalism is the end-all-and-be all of existence, I simply ask, in the spirit of dialogue: Where are your facts?

PNEUMATOLOGY--The study of spiritual phenomena. BTW, psychology grew out of pneumatology.
==============================================
As a pneumatologist, I take a scientific attitude towards understanding all things, including spiritual things.

Therefore, in the spirit of dialogue, I am willing to theorize about, study, research and explore spiritual phenomena in the same way I am willing to explore physical and mental phenomena. Since my student days I have been calling for the integration of somatology, psychology and pneumatology.

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#25537 - 04/19/08 04:30 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: Ellis
bfp:
Dictionary def. 'humane '

1a. marked by compassion or consideration for other human beings or animals.
1b. causing the minimum pain possible.
2. characterised by broad humanistic culture; liberal.
Thanks for this, Ellis. Perhaps we need to add: Being humane is being able to appreciate the value of what Aristotle called the Golden Mean--a balance between that which is truly liberal and truly conservative--living in a state of cooperation, not in one of conflict.

Then you add: "I totally reject the idea of Karma. I find the whole idea of inherited sin repugnant and reject it completely."

As a pneumatologist may I ask, in the spirit of dialogue: Where have you read that those who believe in karma all say that sin is something we inherit?

THE NATURE OF SIN
=================
The New Testament Greek for sin is 'amartia--deliberately missing the target, or mark.

There are two kinds sin:
Sins of commission--deliberately doing things which are inhumane, painful and hurtful to others, the world around us and myself.

There are also sins of omission--deliberately avoiding to do that which is humane, loving and helpful to others, the world around us and myself.

Sin is any evil, even any attitude of the human spirit, which I consciously choose to do in the now. In my opinion, past and future are mentally created illusions. NOW is the one reality.

For example, when someone annoys me by making what I think is a foolish and stupid statement I am tempted to accuse that person, now, of being a stupid fool. This is a sin.

Or, I may just think that that person is a stupid fool, and keep it to myself. In either case--even if the person is actually a stupid fool--thinking of that person in this way, is, in my opinion a sin, a blot on my soul (pneuma), which I will carry with me, in the now, until I, consciously, remove it by acknowledging that it is a sin.

How can I get rid of it, in the now? By asking for forgiveness, and resolving to be more humane from now on. If I did the sin years ago it is in the now that it causes pain and must be handled.

BTW, IMO, even thinking of myself in this judgemental way is a sin. It seems to me that the world is in great need of more and more people willing to think of the essential self in all of us as truly humane. This does not mean that we need to close our eyes to the fact that we do do some awful things--especially when we forget who we really are: humane beings.


Edited by Revlgking (04/19/08 05:44 PM)

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#25539 - 04/19/08 08:20 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I do not believe in Karma. I don't believe our lives are prearranged we all have choices, sometimes and perhaps most of the time we make the wrong choice and I'm speaking from experience. The difference in man and animal is our ability to reason. You take the facts, decide for you what is right or wrong based on your beliefs and go for it. If you decide to try to beat the train at the intersection and you don't, that was a stupid move, it wasn't karma. I would like to go a bit further, I can't say God is going to punish us for everything we do. The ancient Greeks looked at their gods as constantly sitting around waiting for someone to really mess up so Zeus could throw a lightning bolt at him or give him canker sores. Some christians and Muslems believe literally the same thing. I think that is one thing that really turns some people away from religion. The old "I am going to heaven and you are going to Hell", belief that I have heard many times in not the exact words, but the same meaning. It is not mans duty or does he have the authority
to judge the morality of another human being. We should enjoy this world and all the company we have in it. I think the major religions preach a good sermon, but some of the messengers are tainted. Man has always been successful in rationalizing and twisting things around to fit his wants and needs. It is our nature.
odin1
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#25542 - 04/19/08 11:04 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
"BFP, wow, quite a statement! I respect your opinion, but keep in mind: Your statement is an opinion, nothing more. Unless you have facts to prove otherwise. Opinions, like the theories of science, are valuable for the purpose of dialogue, but they are not fixed laws.

If you have any concrete facts, let us have them. I am all eyes and ears.

Keep in mind: I am not a fixed-position thinker. Therefore, I keep my options open. If you can convince me that physicalism is the end-all-and-be all of existence, I simply ask, in the spirit of dialogue: Where are your facts?"

Occam's razor: The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible

using your reasoning: your opinion on the statement is duly noted, nothing but an opinion.

'cognitive dissonance' - 'the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes'
as an example; free energy fanatics often resort to making personal attacks on those who disagree with their beliefs; often insulting their competence

'burden of proof'- he who makes a claim must provide proof for the claim

you claim that there is life/consciousness after death, yet you provide no proof. i added by saying that you couldn't make a proof, because there is no concrete evidence on consciousness after death.
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#25549 - 04/20/08 02:03 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
BFP
Quote:
burden of proof'- he who makes a claim must provide proof for the claim
Okay, BFP: You make the claim that your life will end at your death. Now, prove it. smile

I claim that there is enough evidence, at least for me and millions of others--may not be for you--to believe that it is possible that the mind (psyche) and the soul/spirit (pneuma) survive death of the body (soma).

FAITH DOES HAVE A VALUE
=======================
Keep in mind: I think of this as a possibility, not an actuality. For me, this makes eternal life worth thinking about, believing in and taking the effort to find out more about by the study of pneumatology.

Because I find this whole way of thinking enjoyable, I find it has a present value. If I am wrong I will never know; neither will you. But if you are wrong ... Think about it.

BTW, I do not believe that honest doubt and agnosticism are sins to be punished. If we doubt and/or just don't know, we will just need to stay after school and do a bit more homework to get caught up with those who know how to get on with life. smile


Edited by Revlgking (04/20/08 05:25 PM)
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#25551 - 04/20/08 08:17 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
you simply stated the inverse of what i said, no, you're the one who made the claim, if there is so much proof, point me toward some, id like to believe the same way you do.

and pascal's wager assumes that the god/afterlife you believe in is the only one that could exist. i present to you... behold: spaghetti's wager! If I am wrong I will never know; neither will you. But if you are wrong ... Think about it, you could end up boiling with macaroni.
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#25552 - 04/20/08 09:40 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Good dialogue, BFP. Thanks!

Now consider: What is it that I claim?

Or, let me put it this way: What is it that you feel that I claim?
Let us start from this point, okay?

Keep in mind that I respect the work of honest somatologists--those (mathematicians, chemists and physicists) who explore the hard sciences.

I also respect honest psychologists--those who, philosophically, explore the more-soft sciences--human behaviour, sociology and the like.

BTW, at university, I majored in psychology, way back. I still consider myself to be a student of this important subject. I consider it to complement my interest in

THEOLOGY AND PNEUMATOLOGY
=========================
As I approach the end of this physical life, I find that I am focussing more and more of my attention on theology and pneumatology. I assume you can understand why.


Edited by Revlgking (04/20/08 09:55 PM)
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#25559 - 04/21/08 03:05 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
What is it that you feel that I claim?

you DID claim that there's life/consciousness after death. while there is no good evidence to support this
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#25561 - 04/21/08 02:59 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
One doesn't need to disprove that humans have immortal souls in order to reject them as scientific concepts. OTOH, not everything has to be scientific.

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#25562 - 04/21/08 03:52 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: big fat pig
... you DID claim that there's life/consciousness after death. while there is no good evidence to support this
Look again, BFP: Find one sentence where I wrote: I KNOW and have evidence that there is life after death. I have never talked to, or seen, a spirit, or even a zombi. Mind you, I have seen some so-called humans who appear to be trapped in zombi-like and harmful trances.

As a young minister--one with some training in philosophy and psychology--out of curiosity, I explored the claims of spiritualism, which is similar to voodooism. I was then living in the very interesting and multi-cultural city of Montreal.

I spent many hours reading about Spiritualism. I attended quite a number of Sunday-evening services at a Spiritualist church. The result. Despite the claims, I found no evidence that the dead can speak to the living. I found that some of the "leaders" of spiritualism were out and out scam artists. Actually, at some personal risk, I exposed more than one of them, and I even discussed what I found in the media.

I found that many of the ordinary believers in "Spiritualism" were unsophisticated people easily capable of being deluded. When I became familiar with the story of animal magnetism (Dr. Franz A. Mesmer), mesmerism, hypnotism (The work of Dr. James Braid), the trance phenomenon (Dr. Milton Erickson) and the like, I began to get a handle on what was going on.

Through the use of pneumatherapy--talk therapy, without the hocus pocus, which I developed--I was actually able to help some people free themselves from their delusions.

Needless to say, those who profited from keeping gullible people under their "spell", and under their power and control, were not pleased with my work and became bitter enemies.

I was even attacked by traditional religionists who, without actually exploring what I was doing to expose frauds, accused me of being part of what they labelled "the occult".

Keep in mind, I am well aware that any religion--even of the traditional kind--can be a form of superstition, which can even cause much harm to mentally unbalanced people.Have I clarified this for you? The late Dr. Scott Peck--the psychiatrist who wrote THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED--used to say: Many of my patients are guilt-ridden and fear-ridden traditional Christians and Jews.

===============================================================
It is important to understand that believing in and having faith that a thing is possible and worth looking into is not the same as KNOWING. As we read in Hebrews 11--a letter in the NT, supposedly written by Paul: "Faith is the substance of things hope for..." Faith is a precursor to knowledge, but knowledge does away with the need for faith.

For example, certain scientists (not all), prior to 1969, believed that one day we would land people on the moon. Since then, we all know than it can be done.

BTW, I don't remember one apology by the naysayers.

THE EXPLORATION OF OUTER SPACE
=============================
Many scientists today--plus those of us interested in science--believe that it is possible that there could be life, in any numbers of forms, out there in outer space. Based on this, no one that I know of--at least among the ones who are thinkers--says it is a waste of time and money to explore what is going on in outer space.

THE EXPLORATION OF INNER SPACE
=============================
But what about inner space?

This brings us to the importance of psychology, the study of the mind in animals and human beings, and to pneumatology,the study of spirituality, which, IMO, is peculiar to human, especially humane, beings.

I make no apologies for advocating the exploration of what is going on in the psyche (mind) of man and animals, and the human pneuma (the spirit).

IMO, understanding what is going on in the "inner space" of the unconscious and conscious mind could help us avoid the mistakes made by the early explorers of earth. Virtually all, including the so-called Christians, were motivated by pride and the greed for power and wealth. This made them immoral and unethical colonizers who looked on the "lesser breeds, without the law" as fair fame for conquest and converts to the one TRUE Faith. To this very day many are still feeling the pain and suffering caused by the sinful and evil natures of our ancestors.

DO WE REALLY WANT TO BE TRULY HUMANE BEINGS?
============================================
The more we understand who we are, for better or for worse; and understand why we do what we do--whether it be good or evil--the more control we will have in achieving what I feel ought to be the goal of all human beings: our becoming kind, honest, loving, just, moral and ethical humane beings.

BFP, please, be fair and try not to put your spin on my words. I will do my best to do the same for you.


Edited by Revlgking (04/21/08 03:56 PM)

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#25564 - 04/21/08 04:57 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
I claim that there is enough evidence, at least for me and millions of others--may not be for you--to believe that it is possible that the mind (psyche) and the soul/spirit (pneuma) survive death of the body (soma).


i believe that most of the 'paranormal' phenomena that exists can be explained using existing scientific knowledge.


Edited by big fat pig (04/21/08 04:58 PM)
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#25566 - 04/21/08 06:19 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Zig Zag Wanderer
Unregistered


What a pleasure it's been reading this discussion. I found this site completely by accident today and I've spent a good few hours reading all the points made - I'll need to think it all over before I decide if I have anything to add to the debate.

I really just wanted to say that I'd given up on finding an internet forum where people debate civilly and genuinely consider other people's point of view before submitting a reply - and that goes for any topic you care to mention. For the subject to be one as (usually) provocative as atheism makes my surprise all the greater.

Thank you all - you've made my day!

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#25577 - 04/21/08 08:43 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: ]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
ZZ-W. welcome! And what an intellectual pleasure it is to meet such as you.

Welcome to a group of posters of whom I am very proud. I have the highest regard for all of my fellow posters. No flaming, at all. It seems that we all agree to disagree, agreeably--even lovingly.

For example, if I ever feel negative about a response I always ask the poster: What did you REALLY mean by what you wrote? Did you really mean to say such and so and so?


Edited by Revlgking (04/21/08 08:47 PM)

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#25581 - 04/21/08 08:52 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: big fat pig
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
I claim that there is enough evidence, at least for me and millions of others--may not be for you--to believe that it is possible that the mind (psyche) and the soul/spirit (pneuma) survive death of the body (soma).


i believe that most of the 'paranormal' phenomena that exists can be explained using existing scientific knowledge.
BFP, note that I used the term 'believe'. I also said: IT IS POSSIBLE...
I did not say that it is a FACT.

Good try! laugh

BTW, I respect your opinion about 'paranormal' phenomena.

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#25584 - 04/21/08 09:57 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: ]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Zig Zag Wanderer
What a pleasure it's been reading this discussion. I found this site completely by accident today and I've spent a good few hours reading all the points made - I'll need to think it all over before I decide if I have anything to add to the debate.

I really just wanted to say that I'd given up on finding an internet forum where people debate civilly and genuinely consider other people's point of view before submitting a reply - and that goes for any topic you care to mention. For the subject to be one as (usually) provocative as atheism makes my surprise all the greater.

Thank you all - you've made my day!

Welcome Wanderer...
...and still a wonderful discussion:

Again, I'm catching up....

I'm quite surprised to see the discussion of Karma.
I must say that I agree with all that has been said: no divine retribution, predestination, inherited sin, punished criminals or rewarded pious, etc....

But I feel this picture of Karma is too personalized and immediate, according to how I learned it back in my philosophy classes.

It would much easier translate karma into "the big picture of evolution" or simply, "god's plan...."
Karma, like evolution, exists whether you believe in it or not. madsmirk

...nor can we be aware of how Karma affects us, except within the smallest of karmic cycles.
...nor can we see how the small karmic cycles affect the criminals or the pious.

As one small example of how our "sins" do visit our descendants, look at epigenetics....
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/310/5755/1760?ck=nck
grin

...btw
It is more the revelations of physics that gives me hope for a more metaphysical side to the universe.
Cognitive and neuro-sciences are studies of the biochemistry which is already derivative to the physics behind it all, so they would not be expected to reveal anything metaphysical.
smile
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#25586 - 04/21/08 10:39 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: big fat pig
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
I claim that there is enough evidence, at least for me and millions of others--may not be for you--to believe that it is possible that the mind (psyche) and the soul/spirit (pneuma) survive death of the body (soma).


i believe that most of the 'paranormal' phenomena that exists can be explained using existing scientific knowledge.
BFP, note that I used the term 'believe'. I also said: IT IS POSSIBLE...
I did not say that it is a FACT.

Good try! laugh

BTW, I respect your opinion about 'paranormal' phenomena.

actually...

define: evidence - facts that indicate whether or not something is true; proof.

so when presenting evidence, you are basically presenting proof that a belief is actually fact... now you said:

"I claim that there is enough evidence... to believe that it is possible that the mind (psyche) and the soul/spirit (pneuma) survive death of the body (soma)."

rereading this quote several times, I'm confused now: it makes no sense; you don't need evidence to believe something, so why did you say there is enough evidence to allow for belief?

but regardless; i want to know what/where this evidence is...?
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#25590 - 04/22/08 12:13 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
BFP: I have no idea what you are trying, so hard, to prove.

Does anyone else?

If you want to prove that it wrong for anyone to have a belief, or opinion, say so. Then present your evidence.

Keep in mind: Nowhere did I say: I have scientific evidence that life after death is a FACT.

Why do you keep on insisting that I do?

Is it because you are confused? As you admit about yourself: "I'm confused now..."


Edited by Revlgking (04/22/08 12:26 AM)

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#25591 - 04/22/08 12:37 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: big fat pig

rereading this quote several times... it makes no sense; you don't need evidence to believe something, so why did you say there is enough evidence to allow for belief?

but regardless; i want to know what/where this evidence is...?


I think bfp has the upper hand here, semantically.

But this all comes down to how we define evidence; scientifically -material evidence is one thing, while evidence of the metaphysical is uhhh, metaphysical?

To paraphrase TFF....
...belief of evidence is not evidence of belief.
...but I'm just being cute here; not trying to make a point, though... "allowing for belief...."
smile
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#25599 - 04/22/08 01:59 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Sam, right on! We must never confuse belief with actuality.
Atheists believe that all life ends at death. But belief is not evidence. It is belief.


Edited by Revlgking (04/22/08 02:01 AM)

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#25603 - 04/22/08 03:06 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
BFP: I have no idea what you are trying, so hard, to prove.

Does anyone else?

If you want to prove that it wrong for anyone to have a belief, or opinion, say so. Then present your evidence.

Keep in mind: Nowhere did I say: I have scientific evidence that life after death is a FACT.

Why do you keep on insisting that I do?

Is it because you are confused? As you admit about yourself: "I'm confused now..."


i'm not trying to prove anything, im just interested as to what the evidence is that you mentioned;
"I claim that there is enough evidence..."
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#25612 - 04/22/08 04:39 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Religion is "faith based". You believe or you don't. I believe through faith. But if you want to look at it scientifically just look at conciousness as energy and when the body dies conciousness goes somewhere else. I can't prove it with a picture or mathematical formula. But neither can anyone prove the contrary. If they could, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. I will say this and I am through with the religion discussion.
1) I don't believe we are a mistake
2) I don't believe we "evolved" from apes-maybe a helping hand from a divine source, but too many flaws in the fossil record.
Man has a habit of making lines out of dots.
3) You don't destroy energy-so if conciousness is energy--------
4) If you read the Bible there are things phophesized that I just don't think were lucky guesses

We will all find out in due time

odin1
_________________________
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#25624 - 04/22/08 05:55 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
consciousness isn't energy; its a functional state of the mind, kind of like mental visualization. there is nothing special about it, all animals are conscious on different levels. just because we're better at introspection than every other animal it doesn't make us capable of 'life after death'. life after death is an just a superstition.

if you read the Vedas you will see that they aren't just myths wink and Ron Hubbard's book of Scientology, not just myths too wink

its all fair game when it comes to 'which religion is right' plus; as far as prophesies go, Nostradamus didn't make any predictions at all; it was all so arbitrary and ambiguous that it could have described any event in history. as for any other prophesies; there haven't been any particular prophesies which came true.
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#25630 - 04/22/08 09:10 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Odin1, as you write:
Quote:
Religion is "faith based".
I agree. It is also a very personal thing. This is why I prefer to dialogue, not debate, dictate or indoctrinate. I am fond of using expressions such as, "In my opinion (IMO)..."

ABOUT GOD--THEISM
=================
BTW, about God. In English, the name 'God' is used by millions of people in all religions. They use it--I used to use it--to refer to the one who they think of as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving and everywhere-present being, up and/or out there.

The Bible speaks of God as if He is a male-like, three-dimensional, and super being who wills, speaks and acts with absolute authority.

As I understand it, those who do not believe in God call themselves atheists--from the Greek for God, Theos.

As a unitheist, I have a different concept of the one powerful and good idea. For me, GØD is not some kind of a three-dimensional and masculine-like being who will this, that and the other thing. Thus I use the acronym 'GØD'--goodness, order and design.

I BELIEVE that the universe, potentially speaking, can be filled with moral and ethical goodness, with mathematical precision and order, and with beauty and artistic design. In other words: If we so choose, with and attitude of Love (GØD is Love), we can be one with GØD, forever and ever.

How real is GØD? For me GØD is as real as space/time and as the next breath I take (GØD is Spirit). GØD is self-evident being, itself. It can be for anyone who so chooses.

Why would anyone choose otherwise--non being?


Edited by Revlgking (04/22/08 09:15 PM)
_________________________
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#25631 - 04/22/08 10:35 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Odin1, as you write:
Quote:
Religion is "faith based".
I agree. It is also a very personal thing. This is why I prefer to dialogue, not debate, dictate or indoctrinate. I am fond of using expressions such as, "In my opinion (IMO)..."

ABOUT GOD--THEISM
=================
BTW, about God. In English, the name 'God' is used by millions of people in all religions. They use it--I used to use it--to refer to the one who they think of as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving and everywhere-present being, up and/or out there.

The Bible speaks of God as if He is a male-like, three-dimensional, and super being who wills, speaks and acts with absolute authority.

As I understand it, those who do not believe in God call themselves atheists--from the Greek for God, Theos.

As a unitheist, I have a different concept of the one powerful and good idea. For me, GØD is not some kind of a three-dimensional and masculine-like being who will this, that and the other thing. Thus I use the acronym 'GØD'--goodness, order and design.

I BELIEVE that the universe, potentially speaking, can be filled with moral and ethical goodness, with mathematical precision and order, and with beauty and artistic design. In other words: If we so choose, with and attitude of Love (GØD is Love), we can be one with GØD, forever and ever.

How real is GØD? For me GØD is as real as space/time and as the next breath I take (GØD is Spirit). GØD is self-evident being, itself. It can be for anyone who so chooses.

Why would anyone choose otherwise--non being?
_________________________
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#25633 - 04/22/08 10:48 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello Revlgking,

Good to hear from you. I said I was not going to get involved anymore in this forum on religion in a previous post I made, but you said an interesting thing that I agree completely with:

"This is why I prefer to dialogue, not debate, dictate or indoctrinate. I am fond of using expressions such as, "In my opinion (IMO)..."

I think sometimes, and I have came to his conclusion by listening to those that don't believe, that they are not angry at religion - but the radicalism of some christians, muslems, or whatever religion they come in contact with. I will say this, I have known some athiest that are more christian than some of the christians I know, and I don't mean that as a slur or sarcasm to anyone. I respect people for their actions not who they pray to on Sunday. Religion is a personal thing-I encourage everyone to believe, but that is a choice we have to take.

Thanks Revlgking,
odin1
_________________________
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#25635 - 04/23/08 01:07 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hmm...Personally I think that people use religion as an excuse because they can't face the fact that we're just here. What else is there to live for if you don't know why you're here, don't understand the world, and don't get seem to fit in? It's not a bad thing, I mean it's fine to believe in something if it makes you happy, except it creats wars that people seem to can't get in their heads its not even worth it. I think god is the world, which is nature and everything we've ever known. Instead of gods will or god's miricle, it is ours, we did it whether physically or mentally. We make our own paths.

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#25636 - 04/23/08 01:54 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Anon, you write
Quote:
I think god is the world, which is nature and everything we've ever known. Instead of gods will or god's miracle, it is ours, we did it whether physically or mentally. We make our own paths.
I like it! Now, let us see where this takes us from here.

BTW: Good post, Odin1!


Edited by Revlgking (04/23/08 01:55 AM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25638 - 04/23/08 02:38 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Anon,

Yes, religion has been the reason for many hideous wars and crimes. The crusades, the Norman Conquest was a type of crusade for William the Great to take the throne of England from Harold. The knights Templar were declared heretics and burned at the stake, all this done in the name of religion, I can go on and on.
However, this was mans interpretation of and rationalizing of religion for personal gain. We all carry our demons but can we control them and I think this is the goal of most religions. Religion is like a tool. You can take it and make beautiful things and improve the world, or you can hit someone in the head with it. We have always been the demons.

Best Regards,
odin1

_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25647 - 04/23/08 05:36 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
odin --- you do not need to go back so far. Recently the original speech regarding the War on Terror used the word 'crusade' in the perceived context of a just war. This war was also portrayed using the religious and subjective terms of 'Good' and 'Evil'.

I do not believe we are demons, we are just humans.


PS> The Norman Conquest was not a crusade due to religion at all. William, at the time the Duke of Normandy, felt he had a greater claim to the throne because Harold had promised it to him under duress. William's problem was further complicated by the fact that he was illegitimate, and his claim was week, relying on a promise made by Edward the Confessor. He invaded England anyway and won. He turned out to be a really good administrator, but he was never 'the Great' in Britain!

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#25653 - 04/23/08 01:08 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Ellis]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello Ellis,

This is true, but William could not convince some of the Barons to invade England unless he spiced it up a bit and made it a holy crusade. He needed their support to pull this off. He promised the pope to build churches and ect. in England. Some of the Saxons were still worshiping the old diety's not many but some. When he had the pope's blessing the undecided Barons deicided to cross the channel. And it is true William started out as "William the [censored]" and wound up "William the Conqueror". This is not often metioned, but William had a hell of a time getting to Hastings, some history books have simplified it.

Best Regards,
odin1





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#25655 - 04/23/08 01:59 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Again Ellis,

I do not mean to emply we are demons, I meant it to be a metaphor. Also, William is not one of my favorite people in history.

odin1


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#25659 - 04/23/08 05:09 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
Yes, religion has been the reason for many hideous wars and crimes.
Odin1 writes.

Odin1, it is my opinion that evil perpetrated by hypocrites--pretenders--is SIN at it most heinous. This is just one of the reasons I happen to feel that it is possible and only logical that life does not end at death is.

WITHOUT THE CONTINUITY OF LIFE THERE IS NO JUSTICE
=================================================
I have a strong feeling that, sometime in the future, I will have to give an account for what I did, or didn't do, with my life. Without this, life really is unfair and unjust, nothing more than a "tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing." (Shakespeare). It is a "...dirty trick." (Hemmingway).

Now, to be fair: We need to tally up the good that spiritually-minded and gracious people--religious and non-religious--have done.

BTW, my wife, Jean, and I belong to what we think of as an "un-organized" religion--skeptics, agnostics and atheists, welcome.

http://www.Pathwayschurch.ca

We meet, weekly, in an informal way. There is little or no ritual and/or doctrinaire teaching. As I understand it, there is only one rule: the Golden Rule. That is, we are asked, to the best of our abilities to love, be kind and serve one another.


Edited by Revlgking (04/23/08 10:09 PM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25660 - 04/23/08 09:18 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello Rev,

absolutely, to be fair christianity has done more in my opinion good, which is it's intent. I have a problem with hypocrits, which is what I am attacking. I will be the first to tell you, I am no saint. But, I am humbled by a higher power that I feel exist. Lets not forget to wrong, so we can do better.

odin1

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#25662 - 04/23/08 09:56 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
Anonymous
Unregistered


apples and oranges.

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#25663 - 04/23/08 10:16 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Anonymous]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
As I said
Quote:
BTW, my wife, Jean, and I belong to what we think of as an "un-organized" religion--skeptics, agnostics and atheists, welcome.

http://www.Pathwayschurch.ca

We meet, weekly, in an informal way. There is little or no ritual and/or doctrinaire teaching. As I understand it, there is only one rule: the Golden Rule. That is, we are asked, to the best of our abilities to love, be kind and serve one another.
If you do not have a fellowship, which is helpful to you, feel free to participate, via the WWW. No fees. Need help getting help? Let us know what you need.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25664 - 04/23/08 10:27 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Ellis,

Here is a link that you might want to read concerning the involvement with the church to Duke William. It is not the best I've read but confirms earlier post concerning the Norman Conquest.

http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/3532/1066Euro.htm


Edited by odin1 (04/23/08 10:30 PM)
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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