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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
However, atheists usually walk away from challenging those who write about panentheism/unitheism, because they do not find it so easy to answer the ideas of process theology as expressed by Alfred North Whitehead and expounded by the Rev. Charles Hartshorne--very progressive kinds of theologians.


You probably didn't notice their answers. I've told you why your idea is no more right than any other god or idol. I've shown you self-inconsistencies within you idea that make it not only wrong, but impossible, even conceptually.

Somehow your process of reconsidering religion seems to have come to a halt with this GOD idea. Perhaps because you came to that conclusion yourself you have an emotional attachment which prevents you from moving forward in understanding.

Still no answer to what justice means? No examples? No idea how the behavior of carnivorous animals relates to GOD? No examples of any (conceivable) connection between GOD and people? No explanation of how an undetectable thing (the part of GOD outside the universe) can interact with things in the universe? No idea why a non-thinking, non-conscious, non-humanlike GOD would be have any influence on high-level human decisions? No explanation why it doesn't influence non-believers, despite them being part of it?

Maybe you have an outdated view of conventional Christians. None I've met ever claimed that God was a physical being floating up in the sky. They say things like he's within us all, and he inspires us without directly controlling us. Roughly the same as what you say. Any distinction seems only academic and nitpicky.

Some extremists talk about heaven and hell, but those are typically the street evangelists, not the normal people, in my experience.

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Originally Posted By: K
Still no answer to what justice means? No examples? No idea how the behavior of carnivorous animals relates to GOD? No examples of any (conceivable) connection between GOD and people? No explanation of how an undetectable thing (the part of GOD outside the universe) can interact with things in the universe? No idea why a non-thinking, non-conscious, non-humanlike GOD would be have any influence on high-level human decisions? No explanation why it doesn't influence non-believers, despite them being part of it?


Are you seriously expecting definitive answers to these questions? This is the sort of discussion that can go round in circles for generations. Indeed, it has done just that.

What is justice? It's a human concept, and may have no meaning beyond that.

As for God and carnivores, this is a red herring. Carnivores have a place in the economy of nature, and if God was responsible for this, the problem is simply one of anthropomorphism.

No connection between God and people? People are God.

Part of God outside the universe? How do you define the universe in this context?

As for a "non-thinking, non-conscious, non-humanlike GOD"; if everything is God, then God is thinking, conscious and humanlike, without being a daddy in the sky.

No explanation why it doesn't influence non-believers? Who says it doesn't influence non-believers? I don't think panentheism precludes the concept of free will.

The fact that I could turn each of these arguments on its head (without waiting for you to do it), simply underlines the fact that as long as there are people with ideas and beliefs there will be no conclusion.


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Wow! Rabbiting, or what?

Answers the question as to why these Religious/philosophical threads run to so many pages, doesn't it?


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Try anything once. smile

God created the Universe in two halves which were perfectly balanced. (See "The Divided Universe").

Satan caused one half to be hidden so that people would think God had made a mess of things.

If that doesn't bring a response, I give up.


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.

Are you seriously expecting definitive answers to these questions? This is the sort of discussion that can go round in circles for generations. Indeed, it has done just that.

No, but if Rev can't provide answers that shows his idea is empty. In the past he's dodged my questions with word games, so I had to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't understand what I meant or something.

Quote:

What is justice? It's a human concept, and may have no meaning beyond that.

Yes, but not according to Rev. Unless I misunderstood him again.

Quote:

As for God and carnivores, this is a red herring. Carnivores have a place in the economy of nature, and if God was responsible for this, the problem is simply one of anthropomorphism.

Black slavery also has a place in the economy of nature. No actual answer shows that Rev's GOD isn't providing any insight to justice, as Rev claims it is.

Quote:

No connection between God and people? People are God.

People are only part of GOD. There are other parts which are apparently required.


Quote:

No explanation why it doesn't influence non-believers? Who says it doesn't influence non-believers? I don't think

Rev implied that by saying that his GOD influences the behavior of believers. Not controls, just quietly provides guidance.

Quote:

the fact that as long as there are people with ideas and beliefs there will be no conclusion.

Yea, that's why belief is a bad idea in the first place. Ideas are great, but if they're not vulnerable to criticism then they're just empty beliefs.

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Originally Posted By: K
People are only part of GOD. There are other parts which are apparently required.


This could take us back to discussing the nature of infinity, you might not want that. smile


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Originally Posted By: K
Originally Posted By: BillS
What is justice? It's a human concept, and may have no meaning beyond that.
Yes, but not according to Rev. Unless I misunderstood him again.


It's not difficult to misunderstand Rev, he's a master of exuberant verbosity.


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: K
Originally Posted By: BillS
What is justice? It's a human concept, and may have no meaning beyond that.
Yes, but not according to Rev. Unless I misunderstood him again.


It's not difficult to misunderstand Rev, he's a master of exuberant verbosity.
Bill, being away for a week I missed your comment about my being "a master of exuberant verbosity". If you feel I need help here, please feel free to offer it.

BTW, do I ever come across as being a demagogue? I hope not. I also hope I never give the impression that I require and I expect that my fellow posters to agree with me. This is why, rather than debating, I prefer having a dialogue.

DOES GOD HAVE RELATIVES?
=======================
Using the dialogue method is how I try to explore the question, by Socratus: Where and who is God? I say "explore" because, for me, the question has no meaningful answer. It is like asking me: Who were the parents (grandparents, great grandparents, etc.,) of God? How many brothers and sisters does he have? Where do they live? Where do his descendants live, now?

As a unitheist, I find it impossible to think of a god who is a who-kind of being--one with dimensions and who occupies a fixed address.


Last edited by Revlgking; 05/23/11 03:26 AM. Reason: Always a good idea!

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Originally Posted By: Rev
Bill, being away for a week I missed your comment about my being "a master of exuberant verbosity". If you feel I need help here, please feel free to offer it.


Absolutely no criticism intended. I enjoy your linguistic style.

Help? How could I hope to offer it to a master? smile

Hope you went somewhere interesting for your week away.


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Bill S: Thanks! I think of you as a real mensch, if you know what I mean, eh?


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
... Hope you went somewhere interesting for your week away.
As a matter of fact, I did: I drove I drove 1,700 kilometers to Sackville, N.B. in the Maritimes, Canada.
http://www.sackville.com/ the home of my Alma Mater www.mta.ca I graduated from there in 1961, so this is my 60th. Jean had her 60th last year.
later, in 1951 I went to a seminary in Halifax, N.S. http://www.smu.ca/academic/ast/ for three years
In 1954/55 I spent two years in the school of theology at Boston, Mass.
http://www.bu.edu/sth/
Martin Luther King graduated as a minister just before I arrived.


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Correction: My graduation year was 1951. Jean's was in 1950.


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Originally Posted By: kallog
Originally Posted By: Bill S.

Are you seriously expecting definitive answers to these questions? This is the sort of discussion that can go round in circles for generations. Indeed, it has done just that.

No, but if Rev can't provide answers that shows his idea is empty. In the past he's dodged my questions with word games, so I had to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't understand what I meant or something...


Kallog, you mean: I wont agree to give you the answers which you want me to give--ones that agree with your beliefs and ideas. You keep talking about "Rev's GOD" as one who "isn't providing any insight to justice, as Rev claims it is."

I admit that unitheism is a new idea, a new concept.Is it wrong to have new ideas, new theories? And is it really all that difficult for anyone to understand my thoughts when I say GOD?

GOD for me, is not an object to be possessed, a box-like thing, or a person, or an idol with measurable dimensions--a god (God) that can be put in another and bigger box.

If I accepted that idea of GOD, I too would be an atheist, not the unitheist that I am. I do not blame people who reject the powerless God of theism for being atheists. I am not one to condemn humane atheists to eternal damnation. I have learned a lot from the questions and challenges offered by sincere and moral atheists. I am willing to work with all humane beings interested in making the world a better place. I am even willing to work with theists. I only wish they did not have such a small God.

Pay attention, scientists: As the great astronomer, Sir James Jeans (1877-1946) put it in his great book THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE: "The universe is beginning to look more like a great thought than a machine." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hopwood_Jeans[/quote]

BTW, Austine Cline, the atheist who controls the religion sections of ABOUT.COM, takes the same position. After asking me to define what I mean when I say GOD, he has for over a year now censored my comments--even the brief ones.



Last edited by Revlgking; 06/05/11 08:15 PM. Reason: Always good to do

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Hello Rev.

Are you not using the God word (or a variation thereof) merely as a linguistic pigeon hole for a basket of emotions, ethics and morality, and saying that all that you call God will be found therein? Concise clarification in your own words, without recourse to references and quotes from others, would be very much appreciated.


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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Hello Rev.

Are you not using the God word (or a variation thereof) merely as a linguistic pigeon hole for a basket of emotions, ethics and morality, and saying that all that you call God will be found therein? ...
The short answer is, yes! Thanks for the question.

In my opinion, which is all I have to offer: I find it impossible to think of anything outside GOD. I can connect with but cannot visualize anything outside GOD. I mean, what can possibly be beyond infinity and eternity? BTW, do atheists deny the concepts of infinity and eternity?


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Rev wrote
BTW, do I ever come across as being a demagogue? I hope not. I also hope I never give the impression that I require and I expect that my fellow posters to agree with me. This is why, rather than debating, I prefer having a dialogue.

No, not a demagogue Rev, more like the user of a technique I was taught in a course which included behavioural management of awkward students. It's called "Broken Record" and is just what it says. You have to keep repeating the same thing over and over in a calm unthreatening manner until you wear the miscreant down (or possibly send them a bit crazy). It actually is brilliant, works very well on teenagers and toddlers, and also on me too apparently, as I have not posted here for ages! -- I'm still a happy atheist, and no I don't deny infinity and eternity, though I do deny divinity.

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: redewenur
Hello Rev.

Are you not using the God word (or a variation thereof) merely as a linguistic pigeon hole for a basket of emotions, ethics and morality, and saying that all that you call God will be found therein? ...
The short answer is, yes! Thanks for the question.

In my opinion, which is all I have to offer: I find it impossible to think of anything outside GOD. I can connect with but cannot visualize anything outside GOD. I mean, what can possibly be beyond infinity and eternity? BTW, do atheists deny the concepts of infinity and eternity?

You answer my question in the affirmative, but then state that you find it impossible to think of anything outside of 'GOD'. This would appear to be contradictory.

Whether or not I'm an atheist may be a matter of opinion, but I can say that I'm compelled to see the totality of all things as infinite and eternal.


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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Quote:
You answer my question in the affirmative, but then state that you find it impossible to think of anything outside of 'GOD'. This would appear to be contradictory.
Contradictory, Redewenur? Sure I can think of the concept of infinity and eternity, but as an artist, I can't paint a picture of it, take a picture of it or, other than to call it a mystery, describe it in writing.

I use the acronym, GOD, to refer to and include everything that we as human beings know and, also, do not know--that which is meaningful and ultimately true.

SICK RELIGION
The sign of a sick religion is one ruled by willfully-blind and obscurantist leaders with sheep-like followers. For example, Christianity before the Reformation, which led to the rise of the sciences, was very ill. The so called "Age of Faith" was really an age of blind faith.

HEALTHY RELIGION
As an advocate of healthy religion, I strongly believe it is OK for science to do the kind of research which, at the moment, may appear to be useless. It OK to explore what we now call mysteries. When anything of concrete value and of practical use is found then that mystery is no longer a mystery.

Yes the FAMILY LIFE FOUNDATION wants people to be healthy
======================
BTW, take a look at www.familyfoundation.ca let me know what you think. Are the fantastic claims made for ProArgi9 by Synergy.com based on science and worthy of our trust?



Last edited by Revlgking; 06/06/11 06:58 PM. Reason: Always a good idea!

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Justice is really very simple. Refer to the "golden rule"

If you made a mistake, how would you want someone to treat you? If someone makes a mistake you should be just as forgiving as you would want them to be.

And guess what? That is the teaching of Jesus. Forgive us our debts AS we forgiver our debtors.

The bible is full of examples of this karma like reap what you sow eye for an eye or forgiveness for forgiveness concept.

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Everything is no more than a "human concept" The golden rule satisfies the God construct of Justice. I eluded to the Lords Prayer In my last message. Think about this. If you do something you believe is wrong, you might be able to justify doing it with excuses, but deep down you still know it was wrong. The punishment for your "sin" is lowering of self esteem because you know you are not the good person you should be. We see such extreme examples of how low self esteem can lead to a life of hell. I heard a psychologist once say that 80% of people suffer some kind of psychosis because we are constantly doing things we know we should not do. The TRUTH shall set you free if you do what you know is truly the right thing to do. Or you can suffer the consequences of trying to justify doing what you know you should not do.

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