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#25429 - 04/14/08 03:40 PM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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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)
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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 !
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#25439 - 04/15/08 04:09 AM Re: To all Atheists: [Re: odin1]
Ellis Offline
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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
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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'
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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.
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#25506 - 04/18/08 09:53 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, ...
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)
_________________________
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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.
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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
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
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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
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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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