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#33891 - 04/08/10 05:08 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Revlgking Offline
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Welcome back, Warren!

You mention the importance of thinking. Does any person who is a serious thinker deny the mystery of life? That what we call nature, or reality, is filled with, and animated by, a unified mystery called life, soul or spirit?

We know it has a connection with all the elements--including those in water--but especially with to the element, oxygen, which is in the wind and the very air we breathe--the breath of life. Every few seconds we must breathe, in and out, in and out, or there is no life. I know and affirm the reality of this life, this air, this spirit with every breath I take.

Want to teach children how important this idea of the breath of life is? Tell them to take a deep breath and see how long they can live without taking in the next one. As a child, this object lesson--the relating of breath, life and spirit--was a profound one. Since then, I think of every breath as what I call a meta-prayer--bringing the beyond within.

The Greek for air, wind and breath is pneuma. From it we get pneumatic, pneumonia and pneumatology. The Hebrew is ruach, the Arabic is ruh, and the Latin is spirito--and all include the god-idea. It is from the Latin we get the English word, spirit. If you don't like the word 'God', Spirit will do.

It is not by accident that sophisticated ancient philosophers, like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, had a similar view of life and spirit. They related it to the powerful idea behind all life--which, to avoid making an idol with my mind, I like to call GOD (an acronym, not a noun).

For me, this gets rid of the baggage connected with words like god, gods and God. Jewish writers write 'G-d' for the same reason. Because in ancient HEBREW all letters were capitals, ancient writers used the plural, ELOHIM (all the power there is), to make this special point.
YHWH --referring to GOD as spiritual power and consciousness within us--was so sacred that they refused to say it out loud. Modern Orthodox Jews carry on this tradition to this day.

Of course, ancient thinkers denied the existence of gods who lived on mountains, in idols, planets and stars--the kind of gods believed in by those who were non-thinkers and who were superstitious. Keep in mind that one of the reasons Socrates was executed was because he was accused of being an atheist.


GOD AND THE PHILOSOPHERS
http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/athenians.html


Here is a quote from the above:

"According to Plato, the phenomenal world strives to become ideal, perfect, complete. Ideals are, in that sense, a motivating force. In fact, he identifies the ideal with God and perfect goodness.

"God creates the world out of "materia" (raw material, matter) and shapes it according to his “plan” or “blueprint” -- ideas or the ideal. If the world is not perfect, it is not because of God or the ideals, but because the raw materials were not perfect."
=========================================================

I think you can see why the early Christian church made Plato an honorary Christian, even though he died three and a half centuries before Christ!


Plato's thinking applies the same dichotomy to human beings: There’s the body, which is material, mortal, and “moved”--a victim of causation. Then there’s the soul, which is ideal, immortal, and “unmoved”--enjoying freedom of the will.


"The soul includes reason, of course, as well as self-awareness and moral sense. Plato says the soul will always choose to do good, if it recognizes what is good."
=======================================================

This is a similar conception of good and bad as the Buddhists have: Rather than bad being sin, it is considered a matter of ignorance. So, someone who does something bad requires education, not punishment.

I TRY TO AVOID BEING RIGID IN MATTERS OF THE SPIRIT
========================================================
Eastern religions--most of which are non-theistic--teach that the soul is drawn to the good, the ideal--what I call GOD--all that is good, orderly and desirable. And I have no opposition to believing that it is possible that we gradually move closer and closer to GOD through reincarnation, as well as in our individual lives.

Our ethical goal in life is resemblance to that which is GOD-like--good, orderly and desirable--that which is the pure world of ideas and ideals. The more this happens, the more we liberate ourselves from matter, time, and space, and become real in this deeper sense of the word. Our goal is, in other words, what some call self-realization.

Are your interested in being a good, moral and loving person but not comfortable with god-talk? Call it Reality, Nature, or make up your own word, or words--one for every day of the year. Have fun with matters of the Spirit--ultimate freedom.


Edited by Revlgking (04/08/10 05:37 AM)
Edit Reason: Always helps to clarify things
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#33911 - 04/12/10 03:08 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Warren Offline
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There is another topic thread on this forum called "Evidence For God" and this could go there, except it hadn't been posted on recently.

I don't believe in supernatural-type evidence or even in the "how else could everything have started" kind of evidence, just evidence via the natural world that we evolved in and now live in.

So instead of trying to prove "God" we can simply define "God" or Being as the beingness that we associate with existence itself. That way deity doesn't have to be proved. The way I look at it, it never successfully has or can be. If you think of God as creator and even sustainer it is still a separation of sorts, and being or beingness is so better, whether given the name God or not.

What is called religious naturalism is about where I am, though I prefer spiritual naturalism because the word religion too has so much baggage.

I wrote a short article for unitheist.org on "Why Does Anything Exist?" and what I came up with might be unsatisfactory in a way but hope it worked on these ideas. Rev. King you might have already read it, but I have edited it and for others it is here-- http://www.unitheist.org/cosmogony.html

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#33917 - 04/12/10 06:47 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Warren
There is another topic thread on this forum called "Evidence For God" and this could go there, except it hadn't been posted on recently.
Well.. if you did put it there, it would easily apply to that thread and it would have been posted on recently, and you wouldn't have to make an excuse for posting this here...
Originally Posted By: Warren

I don't believe in supernatural-type evidence or even in the "how else could everything have started" kind of evidence, just evidence via the natural world that we evolved in and now live in.

So instead of trying to prove "God" we can simply define "God" or Being as the beingness that we associate with existence itself.

I see.. God only exists in the world you evidence and as you define God. Anything above and beyond what you believe and evidence is supernatural and something you do not believe in? Do you think you might evidence God as an experience and do you think your experience could change or do you think you have GOD neatly boxed up in a definition based on your individuality that is what you call being?
What is being? Is it your being, my being, his being? Or is being synonymous with God and not individuality and the subsequent boxes created thru individual belief and opinion. Would your being be synonymous with the being of a lemming?
Originally Posted By: Warren

That way deity doesn't have to be proved. The way I look at it, it never successfully has or can be.
That would lead to the idea that it cannot be experienced and as such never justified as anything other than a fantasy or a delusion. Much like the way the reverend looks at belief and opinion as a valid approach to the reality of God worship. Whatever you think is real kinda thinking is God. My God, Your God, everywhere everyone has a God kinda God...
Originally Posted By: Warren
If you think of God as creator and even sustainer it is still a separation of sorts, and being or beingness is so better, whether given the name God or not.

It would be separate if you had no actual experience of God within creation and the sustaining presence of God within every thought feeling and action, regardless of where your awareness is placed. Everything about God, even your own ideas could be separate from you because they would be ever changing and fleeting, never permanent. Thoughts/beliefs or opinions and definitions that are only experienced as fleeting and changing, thoughts without any substance or permanence within the contexts of thinking feeling and action, create nothing permanent and reflect nothing permanent other than Change. Now they are there with you, and after your gone, so are the thoughts feelings and actions of individual perspectives and so is the God that was defined by you.
Originally Posted By: Warren

What is called religious naturalism is about where I am, though I prefer spiritual naturalism because the word religion too has so much baggage.

I think where you are, is within the baggage of belief and changing opinion which you call being.
Originally Posted By: Warren

I wrote a short article for unitheist.org on "Why Does Anything Exist?" and what I came up with might be unsatisfactory in a way but hope it worked on these ideas. Rev. King you might have already read it, but I have edited it and for others it is here-- http://www.unitheist.org/cosmogony.html


I'm sure he has. Both of you have advertised yourselves, and your works upon the placard of Unitheist.org. One could assume the both of you have some commonality in your interests to recruit others to peruse the website and your scripts of Godly definitions.
_________________________
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!





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#33949 - 04/15/10 06:08 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Revlgking Offline
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Warren, thanks from your essay from which I quote
Originally Posted By: Warren
...Actually we do know there was not--nor is, an exclusive, eternal nothingness--a complete and absolute nothingness, which is void of energy or change, time or space. Such a nothingness would have precluded our existence. There must have been something more. The problem is where did existence come from? ...
Pardon my edit of your quote. http://www.unitheist.org/cosmogony.html

Warren, could it be that the answer to your question is: It is a creation of the ego?
Meanwhile, GØd in me salutes GØd in you and in all that is.

Together we can experience GOD--that which is around, in and through all that IS, which we call 'existence'.

Note that I use the Ø (zero) when I write about god, in me. When I write about god, in the All that IS, I use O.


By the way, recently, I talked about this way of communicating the god-concept--minus the baggage--with an imam (a Muslim cleric), who I heard give a lecture to a group of us at the church I attend, who are interested in understanding Islam. He teaches a course in comparative religion at a university near Toronto.

I was very pleased when he said: "May I use your idea in my lectures? I like what it communicates--of course I will give you credit."

I now find that I no longer need to say: I believe in GØd (in me), or in GOD (beyond me). Belief implies doubt. The god-concept is as real to me as is my own existence within existence. Carl Jung, in a famous BBC YouTube clip was asked if he believed in God. He said: "I do not believe in God; I know God is..."

BTW, like the child-like question: If God made everything, who made God? your question: Where did existence come from? is not really a proper question. It is like asking: Where do lanes go when the road sign reads: THIS LANE ENDS? Or: Do cars know how fast they are going?

IMO, a most important question is: What are the practical implications of knowing that GOD and reality are one and the same?


Edited by Revlgking (04/15/10 06:12 AM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#33971 - 04/16/10 06:37 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Revlgking

IMO, a most important question is: What are the practical implications of knowing that GOD and reality are one and the same?
Nice touch in trolling for interest in the .org website again.

But to respond to your question. Who's reality are we speaking of?
_________________________
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!





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#34129 - 04/28/10 09:59 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tutor Turtle]
Revlgking Offline
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BTW, Warren, I forgot to ask: As an artist, do you have any problem thinking of GOD, and the reality which you are experiencing, through the use of all your senses, as being one and the same.

Maybe we need to discuss: What reality is all about. For me, reality is what I experience, through the use of ALL my senses. How could it be otherwise?

Any suggestions, from you? Or from others?




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

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#34236 - 05/07/10 08:43 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Warren Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
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Thank you TT and Rev. King for the thoughtful replies! I will check the notify button so am alerted to posts and thus reply quicker.

I do believe naturalism is sufficient to explain everything, so I guess you could say that in regard to supernaturalism I am an agnostic. By the law of parsimony I could, if naturalism is sufficient, choose to disbelieve in supernaturalism altogether and do believe it is unlikely, but since much in unknown one cannot prove that something does not exist anywhere.

Rev. King you mentioned reality itself as a divine expression. A dictionary definition of God is ultimate reality. Since I think of being as reality and maybe beingness as ultimate reality we're on the same track. And yes I do connect the divine with experience, such as the experience of creating art. I do feel more connected at times than others, but always at least somewhat.

However as to ego, if we came from ego where did ego come from? If you say ego is eternal it seems to conflict with reality in that our egos started with our birth. Do you yourself believe in the ego thing as an uncaused cause/ eternal sustaining force or was that just an idea to get me thinking?

Been writing these new articles to help myself work through my own thoughts on divine being and how they agree or disagree with the thoughts of others. A newly-posted article on miracles is an example, though I hope to write a more general one soon on inspired naturalism and how it fits into a broader concept of unitheism.

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#34237 - 05/07/10 09:02 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tutor Turtle]
Warren Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
Originally Posted By: Warren
...So instead of trying to prove "God" we can simply define "God" or Being as the beingness that we associate with existence itself.

I see.. God only exists in the world you evidence and as you define God. Anything above and beyond what you believe and evidence is supernatural and something you do not believe in? Do you think you might evidence God as an experience and do you think your experience could change or do you think you have GOD neatly boxed up in a definition based on your individuality that is what you call being?
What is being? Is it your being, my being, his being? Or is being synonymous with God and not individuality and the subsequent boxes created thru individual belief and opinion. Would your being be synonymous with the being of a lemming?
Originally Posted By: Warren

That way deity doesn't have to be proved. The way I look at it, it never successfully has or can be.
That would lead to the idea that it cannot be experienced and as such never justified as anything other than a fantasy or a delusion...


Yes I could certainly evidence divine nature as experience, some experience more than others but all more or less. That's what I would call being and do mean everyone's being, not just mine. Anything above and beyond what I or we experience as sentient beings (above the level of lemmings) could be anything, but am just saying that since naturalism should be sufficient to explain it there would be (by the law of parsimony) no need to believe in supernaturalism except perhaps as a term for naturalism that is not yet understood, which some have called cryptonaturalism.

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#34242 - 05/07/10 04:31 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Warren


Yes I could certainly evidence divine nature as experience, some experience more than others but all more or less. That's what I would call being and do mean everyone's being, not just mine.
You could and by an association to the claim assume since everyone has an experience that God is evidenced in experiences.
The experience of poverty, fear, isolation from family and friends, the experience of depression, these are not evidence of God to one who seeks God in all things and where one measures God in the experience as more or less God within the experience. Anyone can claim to have a God like experience but then if it does not remain with them and within every other experience as God regardless of the experience and the feelings that come and go, then it is by the belief, opinion and psychological association to a personal idea that God becomes attuned to ones mind as something personal and as a thought or feeling only.
Since God cannot be contained in any experience why would you assume God can be evidenced in an experience rather than in ones own heart?
Isn't divine nature by measure really a projection of your own ideals upon the experience when you say there is more divine nature in some experiences than others? How do you measure God or the nature of God?
Originally Posted By: Warren

Anything above and beyond what I or we experience as sentient beings (above the level of lemmings) could be anything, but am just saying that since naturalism should be sufficient to explain it there would be (by the law of parsimony) no need to believe in supernaturalism except perhaps as a term for naturalism that is not yet understood, which some have called cryptonaturalism.

Something not experienced which leaves evidence lacking and inspires doubt.
_________________________
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#34251 - 05/08/10 02:32 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Tutor Turtle]
Warren Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
...The experience of poverty, fear, isolation from family and friends, the experience of depression, these are not evidence of God to one who seeks God in all things and where one measures God in the experience as more or less God within the experience. Anyone can claim to have a God like experience but then if it does not remain with them and within every other experience as God regardless of the experience and the feelings that come and go, then it is by the belief, opinion and psychological association to a personal idea that God becomes attuned to ones mind as something personal and as a thought or feeling only.
Since God cannot be contained in any experience why would you assume God can be evidenced in an experience rather than in ones own heart?
Isn't divine nature by measure really a projection of your own ideals upon the experience when you say there is more divine nature in some experiences than others? How do you measure God or the nature of God?


Yes experience does include feeling (of the heart) as well as intellect and that, to the extent it is positive, is connecting to the divine. All experience/feeling has some positive feeling (hopefulness/faith) and negative (hopelessness/despair).

That is how I would measure closeness to the divine nature, or being. But we are never entirely apart from divine creativity. Guess you could call it my ideals, but life goodness (quality/quantity for the maximum number— utilitarian) seems self-evident.

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#34263 - 05/08/10 10:57 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Revlgking Offline
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Warren writes
Quote:
That is how I would measure closeness to the divine nature, or being. But we are never entirely apart from divine creativity. Guess you could call it my ideals, but life goodness (quality/quantity for the maximum number— utilitarian) seems self-evident.
Sounds good--GOD-like--to me!
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#34265 - 05/09/10 06:07 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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If we allow for the sake of argument that human beings want or even need to have a belief in god then why should not the god that is manifested to each and everyone of us not be the same manifestation for each of us. Allowing for differences allows the issue of personal belief to be more important than the actual divinity. Our beliefs are allowed to be fragmented and personal in nature and this diversity leads to argument about the 'true' nature of belief. Wars have been fought about this, and certainly 'believers' have killed 'non-believes' in the name of their respective divine beliefs.

How can we be sure that the 'divine' was there before our beliefs and is not merely the result of our need for belief? And if the 'divine' was there to be discovered as the true 'divinity' then would it not necessarily be the same for everyone? I suggest the differences are due to the personal interpretation of the nature of god by each individual, and it is due more to individual choice than 'divine' revelation. In other words god is a human construct.

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#34267 - 05/09/10 07:35 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Warren


Yes experience does include feeling (of the heart) as well as intellect and that, to the extent it is positive, is connecting to the divine. All experience/feeling has some positive feeling (hopefulness/faith) and negative (hopelessness/despair).

If you are going by feelings then God becomes relative to what one decides is good for themselves and for all. Some people who have in the past decided for the masses what is good for the soul, have a reputation of being less than interested in what everyone gets out of ones personal ideals and agenda. Then there are those who live a life of sacrifice without the need to feel good and think suffering is the high road to God.
Originally Posted By: Warren

That is how I would measure closeness to the divine nature, or being. But we are never entirely apart from divine creativity. Guess you could call it my ideals, but life goodness (quality/quantity for the maximum number— utilitarian) seems self-evident.
Goodness for someone on an evolutionary path includes all that is complete to experience and knowledge. Knowing both the experience of what is described and felt as good and bad. The divine nature then being in both, and equally God, requires a greater objectivity in awareness to be observant of the divine in both, and not bound by the qualities of either aspects or any of the conditions of duality.
If you are going to measure God by your good feelings then you will naturally discount anything you don't like and label it as counter to God. Appreciation of those things that expand the intellect and nervous system are ignored by the attachment to good feelings even tho we know that not all that creates growth is pleasant to the attachments of ego.
This idealism is what drives awareness into systems of belief and dogma, away from absolutes and toward illusion.
Then you have trouble when you measure yours against another, and unity becomes elusive as well as reclusive because of differing opinions.

Then as Ellis says. God becomes a human construct. As people go to war over their ideal feelings they assume God is on their side because they feel good about themselves and their fight.

Before you decided what God is, God already was, and will extend itself by its nature beyond any containment or feeling you want to measure God by, even after your attachments to your ideals are outlived by your mortal beliefs in death. People have feelings but they are not their feelings. Neither is God. Spirit is beyond feeling good or bad.
_________________________
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#34270 - 05/09/10 12:06 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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GOD/G0d the "same for everyone" Ellis?
Ellis, we are not robots. We are part of an infinite variety of things. Are snowflakes all the same shape and form? Or all are grains of sand? Please, use your GOD-like imagination!
Quote:
In other words god is a human construct.
BTW, in what way are you using the word 'construct'? Meanwhile, I ask:

Does Reason Know What It Is Missing?
-----------------------------------------------
Check out the highly regarded German philosopher and sociologist, Jurgen Habermas, a former agnostic who now, in his 80's, sees the value of sound and healthy religion:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/does-reason-know-what-it-is-missing/?pagemode=print


Edited by Revlgking (05/09/10 02:06 PM)
_________________________
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#34276 - 05/10/10 12:00 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Definition time;

Dictionary "The Penguin English Dictionary.

construct..1. to build or erect
2. to build up (a theory or hypothesis) from pieces of evidence.

I was obviously using the noun, but the verb could possibly do just as well.

No we are not robots but if god is the all-knowing, all-enveloping life force that we are told it is, then it seems to me, that logically there would only be room for one such entity. Indeed that point of view is the one that has started the numerous wars that have religion as the cause. We just can't agree which one knows the truth! Even branches of the same brand are willing to kill each other because they know they know the "truth".

And although snowflakes all differ from each other, in fact they are all, every one of the little individualists that they are, just little bits of the same frozen water!

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#34292 - 05/10/10 05:50 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Warren Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
While beliefs can differ on the nature of ultimate reality based on personal experience and interpretation, the consistency of the similar quality of being should tend to unite people as they mature in their individual faiths—

Quote:
As truth is encompassing, universality of knowledge is a function of enlightenment... In the same way scientific laws are consistent throughout the universe, so are spiritual truths. Peoples of faith in the universe, to the extent they honestly seek truth, will gravitate toward universal spiritual laws, tending to unite on at least the basics.


These would be recognized as consistent based on the goodness and quality of life.

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#34293 - 05/10/10 06:02 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Warren Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
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Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Ellis
...although snowflakes all differ from each other, in fact they are all, every one of the little individualists that they are, just little bits of the same frozen water!


Like that, and speaking of bits of water recently wrote about "A Drop of Humanity" (water, fact check) and have a thread going on that here in the General Science Talk forum. If you want to check it out give me your verdict on it there.

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#34294 - 05/10/10 06:53 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Ellis Offline
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Warren wrote:
"These would be recognized as consistent based on the goodness and quality of life."

There is no problem if the believer has a life that allows for consistency, goodness and quality. However for a person struggling to live a life of brutality, poverty and sorrow the beliefs or promises that would appeal most would be those that would offer exclusive rights to an afterworld of luxury and a god who will reward the believer for the devotion of a life lived in his/her service. If the god required death then so be it. The hurt of living would be ended and eternity with the god would be the reward. People have always felt that gods (the divine) requires sacrifice.

To me it doesn't make much sense.

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#34295 - 05/10/10 06:57 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Ellis Offline
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Warren: I will look up the "water" post, but may not post anything! They are all very scientific in that forum!

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#34296 - 05/10/10 07:44 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Warren]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Quote:
As truth is encompassing, universality of knowledge is a function of enlightenment... In the same way scientific laws are consistent throughout the universe, so are spiritual truths. Peoples of faith in the universe, to the extent they honestly seek truth, will gravitate toward universal spiritual laws, tending to unite on at least the basics.


This is a fact. However enlightenment is not a projection of a belief regardless of the faith one has in their belief. It (enlightenment) is much more stable and real than any belief. Until then the mind seeks to unite beliefs in faith that it will change the world. But that hasn't ever worked. The effect of change is hidden under belief and emits itself thru the unconscious desires of humanity that are overshadowed by belief and projections of enlightenment and heaven.
As they gravitate toward something that always will exist in all multidimensional realities missing it by the projection of belief, man will discover heaven and enlightenment when he has put all ideas about it down, once and for all. This is how enlightenment reveals itself.

Enlightenment does not come to man, man has always had everything within his grasp. Self realization comes with the realization of Self as it has always been and always will be.
_________________________
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!





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