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COMPARING HUMAN AND ANIMAL BEINGS
=================================
2. Human beings have the conscious ability to make physical, mental and spiritual choices. We can choose to evolve in any number of ways. Though influenced by what drives us, we are not just puppets on the strings of our heredity and our environment--our nature and nurture, eros (sensual love) and philia (intellect to intellect love). We have the power to will to do--to nasty people and in tough circumstances--that which is beautiful, good and true even when we do not feel like doing it it. This agape love.

3. We also have the power to will and to do harm, or evil, to self and others, including animals and the ecology. This is sin.

4. We can choose to repent--changes our minds. The French say, "repense".

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TT- you say that people are reluctant to admit to believing in a god-figure/state of existence or whatever. Why would this be so? I am not talking about any particular religion here, and I must admit I am assuming you (and the others) would not need to worship in a dark secret place for fear of persecution. I am not worried about saying I have no belief in god, why should a sincerely held belief not be acknowledged? I have many whom I know who are devout and caring believers, and a similar number who are still gentle and caring but have no religion. Sometimes I don't know, and I never ask. I have to say it is usually the religious who ask me if I go to church, not the other way round!

So we are discussing sin again Rev!!! I think we, as a society, have made rules against our most worrying instinctive behaviours which we see to be 'sin'. We certainly can make choices (so-called 'correct choices') but so can my dog as he struggles with whether to chase our cat or not. This is not a trivial choice for him. We are about 50/50 between nature and nurture at the moment, but that's a great improvement. Of course human sins can go well beyond the most frenzied imagination of most of us into terrible depravity, but ultimately we have the same choice as my dog. The choice is sometimes very easy to do, but sometimes it is very difficult indeed.

And believe me my little dog does repent! In fact he does repentance very, very well indeed, as do many erring humans. Practice makes perfect I suspect.

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Quote:

TT- you say that people are reluctant to admit to believing in a god-figure/state of existence or whatever. Why would this be so?

No, that is not what I said.
I said, "There are people who believe in God who do not consider themselves religious."
Religion is a word and it applies to those who identify with the word and its connotations.
I would rather focus on God than religion, and they are not the same thing.

Last edited by Tutor Turtle; 07/07/08 03:59 AM.

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def religion....
3. a cause, principle,etc held to with ardour and faith, something considered to be of supreme importance.

def religious....
2. pious or devout
3. scrupulously and conscientiously faithful.

with these as definitions of 'religious' I cannot understand why there would be any objection to disclosing one's devotion to a belief held with ardour and faith. If the term religious is rejected, what else do you call it?

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Religious
Synonyms 2. reverent. Religious, devout, pious indicate a spirit of reverence toward God. Religious is a general word, applying to whatever pertains to faith or worship: a religious ceremony. Devout indicates a fervent spirit, usually genuine and often independent of outward observances: a deeply devout though unorthodox church member. Pious implies constant attention to, and extreme conformity with, outward observances. It can also suggest sham or hypocrisy: a pious hypocrite. 3. devoted, unswerving, meticulous.

Pious
pi·ous
adj.

1. Having or exhibiting religious reverence; earnestly compliant in the observance of religion; devout. See Synonyms at religious.
2.
1. Marked by conspicuous devoutness: a pious and holy observation.
2. Marked by false devoutness; solemnly hypocritical: a pious fraud.
3. Devotional: pious readings.
4. Professing or exhibiting a strict, traditional sense of virtue and morality; high-minded.
5. Commendable; worthy: a pious effort.

Devotion
de·vo·tion /dɪˈvoʊʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-voh-shuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc.: the devotion of one's wealth and time to scientific advancement.
4. Often, devotions. Ecclesiastical. religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use.

Ardour
ar·dor /ˈɑrdər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ahr-der] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. great warmth of feeling; fervor; passion: She spoke persuasively and with ardor.
2. intense devotion, eagerness, or enthusiasm; zeal: his well-known ardor for Chinese art.
3. burning heat.

Faith
faith Audio Help /feɪθ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[feyth] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
—Idiom
9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.

Quote:
with these as definitions of 'religious' I cannot understand why there would be any objection to disclosing one's devotion to a belief held with ardour and faith. If the term religious is rejected, what else do you call it?

With or without those definitions there might not be any objection to disclosing the principles behind ones focus and attention on anything.
Having an objection to disclosure is a personal thing and has nothing to do with the association of the word religion to ones principles of attention in life.

Devotion, ardour and faith, can be applied to anything, a dog, a car, humanity in general.
Beliefs change, and in applying devotion ardour and faith to the whimsical meanderings of the mind as it changes its points of reference in definitions of reality, is not a solid foundation to stand or move outward into creativity in the hopes of establishing anything permanent.
In the definition of faith, it says a system of beliefs such as in Christian faith, Jewish faith or..... and one that is not based on proof. Also the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

God doesn't make promises, and beliefs that are imagined or founded not in personal experience but an idea, are not much more than superstitious illusions.
As I said there are many who focus on god and not religion. Religion is a word and it has many connotations, not necessarily one that is associated with secrecy or disclosure.

If you wish to call anything associated with the word God,or Faith, as religious and you seek to define God or Faith by the dictionary then God becomes a subject of definitions.
To me, the worship of definitions, or faith in definitions, or love of definitions is not just superstitious belief, but delusional.


Last edited by Tutor Turtle; 07/07/08 05:02 PM.

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TT - actually I believe, as you do, that too much defining is what causes the schisms that are a feature of churches everywhere. Individuals come to a knowledge of their personal interpretation of god through their own beliefs and faith. Surely a passionately held belief and faith in god is more important to an individual than the dogma of others. I do however hold to my own belief that belief in god is religious

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Again, what is important to someone when it is related to belief, is a changing proposition.
If you can't take it with you then whatever you believe in is only temporary.

Those that experience God within themselves, which is unchanging and impervious to belief, is what great sages have spoken about since man has first come to know God. That God, has remained unchanged for eternity. What has changed, is the ego's projections and labeling based on definitions and beliefs.
The ego is always trying to fit God into an image.
Tho one cannot contain God in any kind of experience, it is possible to experience a reflection of God and one that is a constant within change.


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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
COMPARING HUMAN AND ANIMAL BEINGS
=================================
2. Human beings have the conscious ability to make physical, mental and spiritual choices. We can choose to evolve in any number of ways. Though influenced by what drives us, we are not just puppets on the strings of our heredity and our environment--our nature and nurture, eros (sensual love) and philia (intellect to intellect love). We have the power to will to do--to nasty people and in tough circumstances--that which is beautiful, good and true even when we do not feel like doing it it. This agape love.

3. We also have the power to will and to do harm, or evil, to self and others, including animals and the ecology. This is sin.

4. We can choose to repent--that is, we can change our minds by simple act of will. The French say, "repense" (re-think). Animals do not have this ability. They have no sense of guilt,shame, or sin.

5. It also seems to me that animals are incapable of having faith and hope, or agape love, they simply act on how they feel, in the moment.
Note that I have discovered how to re-edit an older post. Simply quote and reply to it, as I have done above.

BTW, TT, it is my opinion that while faith can go beyond reason, unlike blind faith, sighted faith does not go contrary to it.

Last edited by Revlgking; 07/08/08 03:35 AM.
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How do I pick out a little bit though Rev? Well done with the quote bit, I shall be trying it!

REV wrote: (obviously I am still doing the old way!)
BTW, TT, it is my opinion that while faith can go beyond reason, unlike blind faith, sighted faith does not go contrary to it.

Because I think I understand what you mean by sighted faith, I think this is an interesting observation. Too often faith is given as a reason for unreasonable happenings.


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The heart knows no reason.....


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Originally Posted By: Ellis
How do I pick out a little bit though Rev? Well done with the quote bit, I shall be trying it!

Ellis, once you bring up the whole piece, you can edit it to your heart's content. You can even repent smile for any dumb thing you may have said. And, note the way I am using colour here, within this quote.

REV wrote: (obviously I am still doing the old way!What am I (LGK, or is it Ellis?) doing the old way)

BTW, TT, it is my opinion that while faith can go beyond reason, unlike blind faith, sighted faith does not go contrary to it.

"Because I (Ellis) think I understand what you mean by sighted faith..."
Ellis, by sighted faith I mean faith that is wide open to science and does not take doctrine, or dogma--including those of science--for granted. Blind faith is a blind leap in the dark. Sighted faith is a careful walk in the light (knowledge, experience, etc.) that I have,
BTW, now I will preview this post and send it on.

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Rev.....What a show off!!! COLOUR no less!!! I am impressed.

It was me still plodding the old way, and that was a very badly composed sentence of mine! Very bad grammar indeed. I apologise.

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Originally Posted By: Ellis
"Rev.....What a show off!!! COLOUR no less!!! I am impressed."

Thanks, Ellis. Credit the PNEUMA factor--the source of our human imagination. I think it was Einstein who said: Imagination is more important than knowledge. I will add: No need to apologize for a sincere effort.


Note: RED, YELLOW , & BLUE-- are the three primary colours. They stand for BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT.

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BTW, just a reminder about what I said about COMPARING HUMAN AND ANIMAL BEINGS. Here is the # 1 point I made:
1. Animals do not destroy most of the nutrients of their foods by cooking them.
============
Ellis, you mentioned that your dog does repent, and very well.
Of course! And, to him/her, you are a god. smile Tell him/her to read the second commandment. It is a sin to worship idols. laugh

But seriously, sin is a complex concept. Let me speak only for myself: I sin when I consciously choose to do things which I know will harm others--sins of commission. Often, but not always, this can get me in trouble with the law.

But there is a more subtle kind of sinning, and it is this: I sin when I think about the ways I would like to get revenge against another. There is no law against my wanting to take revenge; but it is a sin. There is strong evidence that this kind of sinning can do serious damage--I call it pneuma-psychosomatic damage--to ones health. Feelings of malice, lust an greed can also lead to serious crimes.

For me, sin is not just going against a bunch of rules and regulations set up by organized religions.

Then there are sins of omission--the kind I do too often. Such sins involve my failure to take action and do the good I know and feel I ought to do--for my neighbour, my community and beyond. I often ask my self: How many people are being hurt, right now, because of my lack of care, concern and action.

This is one of the reasons I like belonging to a fellowship--like a church. A good leader motivates me to do better. Can anyone think of any public institution--schools, hospitals, universities, banks (yes, banks--including food banks--started in temples)--that did not start in a church of some kind? Maybe jails. Even sports activities started out as ways of giving glory to the gods.

Sure I agree that the most socially useful thing one can do is to take care of oneself, physically, mentally and spiritually. Much social damage and cost is the result of people who, for whatever dumb reason, fail to help themselves the good things of life, including total health. But what about the social damage I do because I want more than I need? And when does need become greed?

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Rev-- I do not think that my dog regards me as a god. As a pack animal my dog is part of my pack. This particular little dog is very much a follower. He seeks out a leader amongst dogs and humans. He is great with the submissive behaviour, but is still a confident and non-cringing animal I'm happy to say. I am his boss dog! He is our 4th dog and they have all had different personalities, including a wonderful animal, an alpha male dog, who was the most devoted animal I have ever met. He adored our children, played with them, put up with dreadful indignities from them and made us all feel safe, (easy for him, he was 1/2 staghound!). He was easy to train and was also a pack member in our family--humans were boss.

Forgive this long lead in, I have a point. You ask what is the status of human v animal. There is a temptation to interpret animal behaviour in terms of human behaviour but his is to take an anthropomorphic attitude. The other point of view that I would take is to suggest that the behaviour of animals differs only slightly from humans, if at all. Dogs (pack animals like us) seek a leader, chimps use tools, elephants grieve when their friends die, whales seek to communicate with other whales, often over long distances.... and so on. We are not different in many ways from other mammals... we are warm blooded, we have live young whom we nurture for a long time, we have hair/fur, and so on. There is much more that is similar than different. Our brain is the most advanced in the animal kingdom, and we have used it to maximum effect, but we are a puny creature otherwise.

You see, because I do not believe either that god made me in his/her image, or I was created by some supernatural act, or anything else that gives humanity a special place in the order of things, I do not have to believe I am anything but a natural outcome of life on this planet. I am of the mammalian species-- that's way better than being krill, but who knows, maybe not as useful.

Last edited by Ellis; 07/10/08 01:34 AM. Reason: grammar
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Ellis, you write: "You see, because I do not believe either that god made me in his/her image ... by some supernatural act..."

Neither do I. And I, too, feel I "am of the mammalian species."

BTW, you mention "my pack". What is it like? My pack is a fellowship of human beings, including my family, who seek to live by the moral, ethical and loving principles which are part of the Golden Rule.







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My immediate 'pack' is my family. We all fit in somewhere I think. Except for the cat...who is convinced everything is for him! Because of the dog's habit of chasing the cat the latter is fed 'up high'. He appreciates this, and each evening I approach, suitably humble, with his meal and drink. He then will graciously allow me to stroke him, and start to eat (or not if I have attempted to slip in some cheap cat-food instead of his preferred top-price stuff). So, like the human pack throughout its history there is room for all sorts here. It is unfortunate that often this is not always acknowledged.

I equate the human 'pack' with anything defined as community or even state. It can encompass a large area as well as small, and for our packs (of whatever size ) to function properly, they require cooperation and goodwill. And maybe it would work better if, like the dog, the chimp and the baboon we were not so seduced by the Alpha animal!

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Ellis, it seems that you think of your human 'pack' as being quite open and inclusive.

However, are there some things which you do exclude? For example, it seems to me that you no longer include yourself as being a pack member of any kind of organized religion, right? Were you at any time involved? If so, what led you to choose otherwise?

"...seduced by the Alpha animal!" What do you mean?

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Rev: No I am not religious, never ever was, and as a child I used to wonder why others were. I have 2 friends from 50 years ago who both are church goers and we are all very fond of each other. I do not jeer at their faith, they do not comment on my disbelief. They, and their families are very much part of my pack. Incidentally one of them married an atheist 45 years ago!

"seduced by the alpha animal"....Have you not studied politics? Of course the history of alpha figures used to be male--- then along came Mrs Thatcher!! Now we have Hillary Clinton. Not all politicians fall into this category, but the combination of charisma and power is as obvious as it is perilous. And we, the public, love it!!

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Not all of we...


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