Philosophy of Religion-all religions, including...

Posted by: Revlgking

Philosophy of Religion-all religions, including... - 06/18/09 04:11 AM

For some time now, I have been trying, without success, to access the following thread, which I started--how long ago?--using my wife's family name, Turner--also my son's name. Out of curiosity, I ask: Am I the only one who can't access it? I get a ERROR response.

Meanwhile, I repost it here.

Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including... 1007 posts 1,001,184 clicks.

I am amazed that just recently, this thread has gone over 1000 responses and has received over one million clicks.

I believe in the essential unity of all the great religions, which are built on a moral and ethical foundation and have leaders who have a humane desire to promote peace, justice and the physical, mental and spiritual well being of all people everywhere. I prefer religions without too much dogma--more interested in doing good deeds, than in having the right creeds.

Anyone, if you would like to add a comment here--critical or otherwise--feel free to do so.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, including... - 06/19/09 05:05 PM

Thanks Ellis! for helping me navigate to the old thread. Here, in the new thread with the same name, I will write about the latest book by Terry Eagleton, which I mentioned.
Santi Tafarella’s blog on books, culture, and politics
DITCHKINS: A Book Review of Terry Eagleton’s “Reason, Faith, and Revelation: Reflections on the God Debate” (Yale, 2009)

with 2 comments

Literary critic Terry Eagleton, who is, insofar as I can tell, an atheist himself, nevertheless engages in a nuanced take-down of some of the pretenses associated with contemporary atheism. He focuses in particular on the two most articulate writers within the neo-atheist movement—Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. For purposes of convenience (since Dawkins and Hitchens, in numerous instances, offer similar arguments) Eagleton amusingly conflates their names into a singular entity that he calls “Ditchkins.”

Eagleton sees the neo-atheist movement as a reaction to the resurgence of Islamic and Christian fundamentalism after 9-11, and he sees that reaction as largely obtuse, both intellectually and psychologically. Eagleton, for example, sees real value in the Bible, and in the story of Jesus in particular, and what it can teach us about life and social change. Eagleton’s readings of the Ten Commandments and the story of Jesus are especially dazzling, and illustrate his point that one needn’t throw the religious/mythic babies out with the fundamentalist bathwater.

Eagleton is also an unreconstructed Marxist, which I think is a rather dubious intellectual position itself. Nevertheless, it gives him a vantage for making sharp and astute critiques of Ditchkins’s complacency with regard to the role that capitalism and Modernism have played in creating a world of religious fundamentalist reactionaries. Eagleton sees fundamentalism as the West’s psychological shadow—and points us to Euripides’s Bakkhai as a play we would do well to study. In that play, King Pentheus treats Dionysus, who inhabits the borders of his realm, with enormous arrogance and without self-critical awareness, and the result is his own destruction. In this part of the book, Eagleton is rehashing material that he dealt with in more detail in a previous book (Holy Terror).

Eagleton’s book is strongest in its first half. The first chapter is especially thought provoking, for in it Eagleton offers a brilliant aesthetic defense of God’s existence that could (almost) make me a believer. Eagleton’s argument is a reversal of Liebnitz-like utility, in which God must do everything perfectly—and this must be “the best of all possible worlds.” To the contrary, Eagleton suggests that God may have made the universe for a very different purpose. The universe may be (if we are to attribute it to God) a contingent art project, utterly inefficient and without utility—an act of freedom, not necessity. This, of course, has its own problems, but Eagleton has nevertheless offered a clever retort to traditional theodicy.

Why did Eagleton write this book? If I may engage in a bit of armchair psychoanalysis, I think it is because Eagleton perceives the universal acid of reductionist rationalism heading his way. It’s coming after religion now, but it’s coming after poetry, literature, and Marxism later. In other words, Eagleton’s book is, at one level at least, a battle against an obtuse utilitarianism which sees the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I see Eagleton’s (perhaps unconscious) motive leaping from page 34 of his book, in which he writes: “That a great deal of [religion] is indeed repulsive . . . is not a bone of contention between us. But I speak here partly in defense of my own forebears, against the charge that the creed to which they dedicated their lives is worthless and void.”

In some sense, this book is Eagleton (as a Marxist critic) fighting for his own life—defending the importance of nuance and measured judgment against the crassest forms of reductionist cynicism—and making a case for the value of some form of hope for POETIC JUSTICE in the future.

Eagleton’s book can be found at Amazon here.

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

* When Grace Arrives Unannounced

Written by santitafarella

March 29, 2009 at 10:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, atheist, Christianity, Christopher Hitchens, ditchkins, Jesus, philosophy, religion, Richard Dawkins, Terry Eagleton
Posted by: Kyra M

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, including... - 07/12/09 03:02 AM

That review is brilliantly written, Rev!
I loved the line:"Eagleton’s readings of the Ten Commandments and the story of Jesus are especially dazzling, and illustrate his point that one needn’t throw the religious/mythic babies out with the fundamentalist bathwater."

Mm... an artistic project gone wrong? Where exactly, I wonder, does Eagleton think it has gone wrong? Do you believe we have to stop thinking that the earth and 'we' (humans) are the centre of physical creation? I do.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/12/09 12:28 PM

"Do you believe we have to stop thinking that the earth and 'we' (humans) are the centre of physical creation? I do."

I agree. However, if we are NOT at the centre, we are moved to ask, where are we? And is there any such thing as A centre?

BTW, I give ST the credit for much of the above.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/12/09 07:40 PM

To understand what it means to be fully human we need to study
As human beings we are, like all animal beings, limited by our somatological, or physical, natures, which we have inherited from our male and female ancestors. Like animals we are made of matter--genes, chromosomes, and DNA which make up the billions of cells of our physical organs and bodies as a whole. Like animals, sometimes we can get physically ill. Depending on circumstances we sometimes recover, and, sometimes we die. And always there is pain and suffering.

Similarly, like animals we are psychological, or mental, beings. This means we are capable of being mentally stressed, which can affect how we feel, somatically. Both animals and humans can become victims of what is called psychosomatic diseases.

For example, in 1904, Pavlov, the great Russian physiologist--a spiritually-minded scientist--won a Noble prize for demonstrating how dogs can be conditioned, by human trainers, to salivate at the sound of a bell with a low pitch, and wince in pain at the sound of a bell with a high pitch. Furthermore, he demonstrated that, by adding confusion to the mix--by varying the pitches of the bells--dogs can also be conditioned, or trained, to have a nervous breakdown. Yes, trainers can, later, reverse this condition.

But keep in mind that, unlike human, or pneumatological, beings animals would never think of doing experiments on one another and give themselves, or others, psychosomatic conditions like nervous breakdowns. Neither are they capable of helping themselves recover when given such conditions by us.

We human beings, on the other hand--especially when we fail to be fully human--are quite capable of making ourselves, and others, spiritually sick with dire consequences on the mind and the body.

Because our the pneumatological part of our nature, we are capable of, consciously, and/or unconsciously, of doing this to ourselves, and to others, almost on a daily basis. Researchers tell us that 75 percent, or more, of the physical and mental pains we suffer arise because of this sickness of spirit--sometimes called a "broken Heart".

Without, in any way, denying the value of the natural sciences--the ones
having to do with understanding the nature and function the psyche and soma factors (the mind and the body) this thread is about the philosophy behind pneumatology. It is about advocating that we be as serious about the study of the spirit (pneuma) as we are about studying the soma and psyche.

Kyra, as I understand it, all the sciences began as a result of the impulse we call religion. Our ancestors were filled with awe and "fear" (serious respect, not just terror) of what they saw happening in nature.

In the curious, this gave rise to wonder--the basis of all philosophy. Every curious child is a natural philosopher. Later came the sciences, and later still came the technologies, and then the arts. I visualize that this--since the 1960's--is what is happening under name pneumatology.

BTW, it would be interesting to know: What is your faith background? If you wish, feel free to send me a PM, or email.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/13/09 12:35 AM

Rev wrote: Our ancestors were filled with awe and "fear" (serious respect, not just terror) of what they saw happening in nature.

It would be good if we still treated 'happenings in nature' with a lot more 'serious respect' than we do. It should still be possible to explore the space we live in with respect and scientific curiosity.

Nice to see your posts all sparky again Rev. I have been battling flu (not the swine variety apparently) and have been very miserable, along with half the population! On the mend now though.
Posted by: Kyra M

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/13/09 02:50 AM

When I say, 'centre' I don't mean that in a physical sense but more of an emotional one as: "Gee, you were the centre of attention tonight!"
I do know what you mean though - I think in the vastness of forever anywhere 'you' are could be the centre.

Hi Ellis, yes it is nice to see Rev's posts being answered, he does have some very interesting points, as have you. Glad you are on the mend. And I agree with you. We should treat happenings in nature with a lot more 'serious respect'. I went through the Ash Wednesday (Aus Feb 83) fires. It did seem 'they' - the powers that be, hadn't learned from that terrible time. But in light of the recent Victorian (Aus) fires I think the policy of stay and defend versus evacuate, is being seriously looked into.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/13/09 10:45 AM

Ellis and Kyra, here let me add to what I said above about our ancestors and the origins of religion--a common word even scholars find difficult to define. A google search will uncover numerous examples demonstrating that this is so.

With this as a given, it seems that in common with our animal cousins our ancestors must have felt a similar kind of fear and terror when they experienced death-dealing winds, earthquakes, fires and diseases.

However, from a modern perspective--including, our observation of the difference between animal versus human behaviour in the face of danger--it is safe to assume that our ancient ancestors, unlike animals, did more than just react in the moment and then, with only a casual concern for the injured, the dead and the dying members of the family and tribe, get on with the business of living. There is archaeological evidence that in paleolithic times--90,000 years ago, Homo sapiens buried their dead in caves in Israel (Qafzeh). The act of burying the dead, scholars tell us, marks the beginning of the religious consciousness and the beginning of the concept that there are human-like gods who live in a life after death.

Archeology tells us that, "The earliest evidence of religious thought is based on the ritual treatment of the dead. Most animals display only a casual interest in the dead of their own species. Ritual burial thus represents a significant advancement in human behavior. Ritual burial represent an awareness of life and death and a possible belief in the afterlife. Philip Lieberman states "burials with grave goods clearly signify religious practices and concern for the dead that transcends daily life."

And take a look at this: "The earliest evidence for treatment of the dead comes from Atapuerca in Spain. At this location the bones of 30 individuals believed to be Homo heidelbergensis have been found in a pit. Neanderthals are also contenders for the first hominids to intentionally bury the dead. They may have placed corpses into shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. The presence of these grave goods may indicate an emotional connection with the deceased and possibly a belief in the afterlife. Neanderthal burial sites include Shanidar in Iraq and Krapina in Croatia and Kebara Cave in Israel."

So our ancestors were not only filled with awe and "fear" (serious respect for, not just terror) of what they saw happening in nature, they obviously wondered, questioned, and tried to do something about it. Later, with the development of language, and especially writing, they passed on a record of their wonderment and actions--religion as an art, an action. Thus, in this simple act of burial, was laid the foundation of religion out of which came philosophy--out of which came the modern sciences and arts.

The roots of organized religion came later--in the neolithic revolution that began 11,000 years ago in the Near East. Keep in mind that roots may have occurred independently in several other locations around the world.

Historians tell us that with the invention of agriculture human societies were transformed from a hunter gatherer lifestyle to a more sedentary one. The consequences of the neolithic revolution included a population explosion and an acceleration in the pace of technological development. The transition from foraging bands to states and empires precipitated more specialized and developed forms of religion that reflected the new social and political environment.

While bands and small tribes possess supernatural beliefs, these beliefs do not serve to justify a central authority, justify transfer of wealth or maintain peace between unrelated individuals. Organized religion emerged as a means of providing social and economic stability through the following ways:

* Justifying the central authority, which in turn possessed the right to collect taxes in return for providing social and security services to the state.

* Bands and tribes consist of small number of related individuals. However states and nations are composed of thousands of unrelated individuals. Jared Diamond argues that organized religion served to provide a bond between unrelated individuals who would otherwise be more prone to enmity. He argues that the leading cause of death among hunter gatherer societies is murder.

* Religions that revolved around moralizing gods may have facilitated the rise of large, cooperative groups of unrelated individuals.

The states born out of the Neolithic revolution, such as those of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, were theocracies with chiefs, kings and emperors playing dual roles of political and spiritual leaders. Anthropologists have found that virtually all state societies and chiefdoms from around the world have been found to justify political power through divine authority.

As recently as 1649, Charles I of England was convicted of treason and beheaded because he insisted on having divine authority over parliament, the British people and the colonies.

Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/13/09 05:58 PM

PITRIS. -- It is generally believed that the Hindu term Pitris means the spirits of our direct ancestors; of disembodied people. The Pitris are not the ancestors of the present living men, but those of the human kind or Adamic race; the spirits of human races which, on the great scale of descending evolution, preceded our races of men, and were physically, as well as spiritually, far superior to our modern mental pigmies (present man). In Manava-Dharma-Sastra they are called the Lunar ancestors.

The history of religion in terms of materialism is based on stories that are of belief and theory rather than from the oral traditions of direct experience. The Fear of god is a two sided story. Fear meaning respect in one sense and superstitious ignorance in another. In the first, the respect was from the knowledge that what is real outlasts and is superior to that which is illusion. The spirit being real and connected to everything, and the material being illusion and temporary as in the allegory of Plato's cave.


Book VII of The Republic

The Allegory of the Cave
Here's a little story from Plato's most famous book, The Republic. Socrates is talking to a young follower of his named Glaucon, and is telling him this fable to illustrate what it's like to be a philosopher -- a lover of wisdom: Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more! It's true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don't care. Once you've tasted the truth, you won't ever want to go back to being ignorant!

[Socrates is speaking with Glaucon]

[Socrates:] And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

[Glaucon:] I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.

You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

Very true.

And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?

No question, he replied.

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

That is certain.

And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -- will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

Far truer.

And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?

True, he said.

And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he 's forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.

Not all in a moment, he said.

He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?


Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.


He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold?

Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about him.

And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?

Certainly, he would.

And if they were in the habit of conferring honours among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honours and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer,
Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?

Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.

Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?

To be sure, he said.

And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

No question, he said.

This entire allegory, I said, you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.

The Allegory of the Cave

1. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.
2. The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.
3. In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. Here is an illustration of Plato's Cave:

From Great Dialogues of Plato: Complete Texts of the Republic, Apology, Crito Phaido, Ion, and Meno, Vol. 1. (Warmington and Rouse, eds.) New York, Signet Classics: 1999. p. 316.

4. Such prisoners would mistake appearance for reality. They would think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) were real; they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.
5. So when the prisoners talk, what are they talking about? If an object (a book, let us say) is carried past behind them, and it casts a shadow on the wall, and a prisoner says "I see a book," what is he talking about?

He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow. But he uses the word "book." What does that refer to?
6. Plato gives his answer at line (515b2). The text here has puzzled many editors, and it has been frequently emended. The translation in Grube/Reeve gets the point correctly:

"And if they could talk to one another, don't you think they'd suppose that the names they used applied to the things they see passing before them?"

7. Plato's point is that the prisoners would be mistaken. For they would be taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than (as is correct, in Plato's view) to the real things that cast the shadows.

If a prisoner says "That's a book" he thinks that the word "book" refers to the very thing he is looking at. But he would be wrong. He's only looking at a shadow. The real referent of the word "book" he cannot see. To see it, he would have to turn his head around.
8. Plato's point: the general terms of our language are not "names" of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind.
9. When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects. Then they realize their error. What can we do that is analogous to turning our heads and seeing the causes of the shadows? We can come to grasp the Forms with our minds.
10. Plato's aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve this reflective understanding. But even without it, it remains true that our very ability to think and to speak depends on the Forms. For the terms of the language we use get their meaning by "naming" the Forms that the objects we perceive participate in.
11. The prisoners may learn what a book is by their experience with shadows of books. But they would be mistaken if they thought that the word "book" refers to something that any of them has ever seen.

Likewise, we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive.

SOMA. -- This Hindu sacred beverage answers to the Greek ambrosia or nectar, drunk by the gods of Olympus. A cup of kykeon was also quaffed by the mysta at the Eleusinian initiation. He who drinks it easily reaches Bradhna, or place of splendor (Heaven). The soma-drink known to Europeans is not the genuine beverage, but its substitute; for the initiated priests alone can taste of the real soma; and even kings and rajas, when sacrificing, receive the substitute. Haug shows by his own confession, in his Aytareya Brahmanan, that it was not the Soma that he tasted and found nasty, but the juice from the roots of the Nyagradha, a plant or bush which grows on the hills of Poona. We were positively informed that the majority of the sacrificial priests of the Dekkan have lost the secret of the true soma. It can be found neither in the ritual books nor through oral information. The true followers of the primitive Vedic religion are very few; these are the alleged descendants from the Rishis, the real Agnihotris, the initiates of the great Mysteries. The soma-drink is also commemorated in the Hindu Pantheon, for it is called the King-Soma. He who drinks of it is made to participate in the heavenly king, because he becomes filled with it, as the Christian apostles and their converts became filled with the Holy Ghost, and purified of their sins. The soma makes a new man of the initiate; he is reborn and transformed, and his spiritual nature overcomes the physical; it gives the divine power of inspiration, and develops the clairvoyant faculty to the utmost. According to the exoteric explanation the soma is a plant, but, at the same time it is an angel. It forcibly connects the inner, highest "spirit" of man, which spirit is an angel like the mystical soma, with his "irrational soul," or astral body, and thus united by the power of the magic drink, they soar together above physical nature, and participate during life in the beatitude and ineffable glories of Heaven.

Thus the Hindu soma is mystically, and in all respects the same that the Eucharistic supper is to the Christian. The idea is similar. By
means of the sacrificial prayers -- the mantras -- this liquor is supposed to be transformed on the spot into real soma -- or the angel, and even into Brahma himself. Some missionaries have expressed themselves very indignantly about this ceremony, the more so, that, generally speaking, the Brahmans use a kind of spirituous liquor as a substitute. But do the Christians believe less fervently in the transubstantiation of the communion-wine into the blood of Christ, because this wine happens to be more or less spirituous? Is not the idea of the symbol attached to it the same? But the missionaries say that this hour of soma-drinking is the golden hour of Satan, who lurks at the bottom of the Hindu sacrificial cup.*
Soma is also called "The Glue of the Universe" it is in effect a molecule produced by the body in expanded states of consciousness, and it binds the subtle realms of the soul to the intellectual senses of the material world bringing greater awareness to those things which are spoken of in scripture that unite God the Father with the Son of God creating what is called unified consciousness or Christed Consiousness.
[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------

* In their turn, the heathen may well ask the missionaries what sort of a spirit lurks at the bottom of the sacrificial beer-bottle. That evangelical New York journal, the "Independent," says: "A late English traveller found a simple-minded Baptist mission church, in far-off Burmah, using for the communion service, and we doubt not with God's blessing, Bass's pale ale instead of wine." Circumstances alter cases, it seems!

SPIRIT. -- The lack of any mutual agreement between writers in the use of this word has resulted in dire confusion. It is commonly made synonymous with soul; and the lexicographers countenance the usage. This is the natural result of our ignorance of the other word, and repudiation of the classification adopted by the ancients. Elsewhere we attempt to make clear the distinction between the terms "spirit" and "soul." There are no more important passages in this work. Meanwhile, we will only add that "spirit" is the [[nous]] of Plato, the immortal, immaterial, and purely divine principle in man -- the crown of the human Triad; whereas,

SOUL is the [[psuche]], or the nephesh of the Bible; the vital principle, or the breath of life, which every animal, down to the infusoria, shares with man. In the translated Bible it stands indifferently for life, blood, and soul. "Let us not kill his nephesh," says the original text: "let us not kill him," translate the Christians (Genesis xxxvii. 21), and so on.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/13/09 10:26 PM

Ellis and Kyra, I much appreciate the recent comments which both of you have made to me. My ego is very pleased, indeed!!!!!!! laugh

I realize that there RE times when I am too long-winded, too philosophical, and say things which fail to communicate. That is, I say things which--and I do not blame you--you could find boring and which, perhaps, do not make sense to you.

PuhLEEEEEEZEEEEEE! Do me a favour; tell me how you feel!

The last thing I want to do is to bore you wonderful people to death.

I hope that, by now, I am wise enough to know that brevity "is the soul of wit". Please feel free to remind me and I will do my best to keep to the point and be brief.
Posted by: Kyra M

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/14/09 02:36 AM

I feel everyone who comes into my life (in any capacity, be it physically or electronically!) does so for a reason or at least I can make a reason out of it.
Most people posting on this forum, you Rev and Ellis and Tutor Turtle (BTW TT great story from Plato, thanks) are doing so because they have something to say, something to share and they are hoping, that in some small way, it will enrich and enlighten their readers. Or/and make them question. We always need to question I think. But we do have to understand we will never find definite answers - ie those which can categorically be said to be the complete 'Truth". For now we only have the language of the 'shadows'.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/14/09 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Kyra M
I feel everyone who comes into my life (in any capacity, be it physically or electronically!) does so for a reason or at least I can make a reason out of it.
That would be a good way to look at things. What reason do you give to this?
Originally Posted By: Kyra M
But we do have to understand we will never find definite answers - ie those which can categorically be said to be the complete 'Truth". For now we only have the language of the 'shadows'.
Never is a long time. There are natural laws which support the manifest Universe and that which supports those natural laws. It is not impossible to know these things, it just becomes a stretch to the intellect that tries to imagine an end or finality to the creation and experience of the Universe. Cause and effect is simple enough to understand, but even easier if one has an experience of the Supreme in its Being or the "Supreme Being."

The following was widely distributed for a while with a note at the end saying the student was Albert Einstein, but there is no real validity to that claim in my understanding.

Did God create everything that exists?

The university professor challenged his students with this question.
"Did God create everything that exists?"
A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!"
"God created everything?" The professor asked
"Yes sir", the student replied.
The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are, then God is evil".
The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor, quite Pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?"
Of course", replied the professor.
The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"
“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question.
The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to The laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.
Absolute zero (-460° F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist.
We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."
The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"
The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not Exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a
certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."
Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"
Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."
To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
The professor sat down.

The words that I remember from my childhood still are true.
That there's none so blind as those that will not see and those who lack the courage and say its dangerous to try.
Well they just don't know that love eternal will not be denied

-Justin Hayward-(The Moody Blues)

The Truth needs no defense. If anyone remembers that there is Eternal Truth or not is irrelevant; fortunately, truth is not democratic.
Once, everyone was convinced that the earth was flat and the sun rotated around it, but no change in the orbit of our daystar ever occurred because of mankind's beliefs. Nor did our spherical globe contract to a plane to align with ignorant humans.
Similarly, for more that two thousand years, most of our race have believed that the Absolute "One" (Truth) was a myth or inaccessible to all but a fortunate few who were reclusive monks or nuns or somehow different or special - those who have renounced everything of the world in order to devote their entire lives to the realization of the Eternal Truth.
In the absence of knowledge of the effortless path of growth of consciousness, any strange belief about the difficulty of growth of consciousness has been taken for the truth. But the Truth has never changed. It has remained crystalline, pure, forever isolated from the strange mutations of space and time, patiently waiting for the forgetful children to remember. And as soon as even one remembers, the Truth is there, Wholly and completely, in all its radiant Glory, for the Truth also permeates every particle of the created worlds, the Truth is everywhere, always.

The Self Aware have undying Love for humanity. Like good parents, they save the best presents for those that are ready to accept it.
Our race has matured greatly in the last five thousand years. This is not to say there is not still a great deal of work to do; there obviously is. This is not to say that we have yet healed the Earth's problems, created by human ignorance and greed; we obviously have a long war ahead.
But the fact is that more and more people today are dedicating themselves to love and the healing of humanity; once a certain threshold is passed, once there are sufficient members of fully enlightened people walking the Earth, the entire planet and the entire human race are going to experience a phase transition of consciousness. ( some call it the Singularity others call it the Rapture)
Those who wish to continue to destroy will no longer be able to do so; those who wish to create in expanding immortality will receive unlimited support from the infinite One. Every desire of theirs will be fulfilled, from the slightest to the greatest.
Those who have learned to align their hearts with one-pointed faith will find that there are no limits to their eager, numinous minds. There are no restrictions of time or space that do not bow to the will of the fully realized human.
Like good parents the Masters of Knowledge in Truth have always saved the highest teachings for a moment in the evolution of the Human race where Man comes of age to see beyond the limits of his material world and his beliefs in the limits of physical existence, to discover the Universal mind and its order in all things.

The pathway to culturing Eternal Freedom in every moment of Now is not difficult or hard to follow. Indeed, it is present everywhere at each and every moment of created time. Built into the fabric of Creation are certain ascending pathways; these 108 primary channels are found throughout the structure of all of existence, inside every cell, inside every nervous system, throughout every planet, every sun, every galaxy, every particle from the smallest to the largest of Creation.
These 108 channels lead one directly to the experience of the Absolute (Truth); when one has opened ones heart to innocence and ones mind to one-pointedness, the infinite light of the One floods through the human soul, bringing completion to the otherwise endless dance of the Ego, bringing fulfillment to every Human's age old quest for perfection. The dawn of complete enlightenment is inevitable once one innocently treads down even a single ascending pathway.

Once one has discovered the road to Truth and is systematically opening to the 108 passageways, there are certain additional processes which can accelerate growth. There are certain foods that assist Enlightenment, there are others that hinder it; there are certain behavior patterns that further growth, and there are others that retard it; there are certain exercises that speed development of consciousness, there are others that slow it down.
The fundamental principal is this: the earth is not world of unlimited choices. Rather the earth is a world of unlimited choices, but not all choices available lead to enlightenment or the Truth.
In fact, reviewing the rather pathetic condition of modern humanity, we have to conclude that most choices lead to suffering and death.
If someone wishes, therefore, to think, It matters not what I do; I can do anything I please, this of course is that someone's choice. But if the end result of such thinking is sickness and death, that is precisely the philosophy that has killed every one of our ancestors; do you really want it to be yours?

The wisdom of Truth offers another way. Adopt a useful series of boundaries to gain unbounded freedom.
This might sound contradictory: How can boundaries lead to the Unbounded? Even a moments reflection reveals that there is no other way. Perfect invincibility is born from perfect harmlessness. Invulnerability comes from mastering the art of non-violence.
That this flies in the face of traditional thinking and belief is a good sign of the Truth of these words. Rather, it can be such a sign, if one has the necessary humility to analyze honestly the nature of Creation. With perfect fluidity of Grace and utter economy of effort, the Universe continues along the path of least resistance.
Water is ultimately soft, and yet its persistence wears away mountains.
There are no limits to the expanding glory of the human mind, but the way to attain this Reality is through adopting a useful series of limitations, to culture life to realize the Eternal Freedom of perfect Union with the will or Nature of the Absolute or of "God" as it is often called.

What must one give up to realize Truth? Absolutely nothing. What must one be willing to give up to realize Truth?
Absolutely everything.
It is the attachments that cripple the growth of consciousness. Where your treasure lies, there will be your heart also.
If you are more attached to your home or your family or your job or your status than to the Truth, you will have your home and your family and your job and your status until death comes knocking on your door and you will not have the Truth.
If, on the other hand, you seek first the Truth, you will have your home and your family and your job and your status, but you will have them all fully for the first time in your life. Instead of a life of compromise, you will have a life dedicated to the healing of humanity -- which is always and forever based in the healing of your own soul.
Those who wish to oppose you in this transformation -- and for the present, at least, we have to assume that there will be those that try to oppose you -- will find that their words and actions have less and less of an impact on you as you become more and more filled with the pure joy of alignment with the Truth.

The experience of Truth is that as one becomes more successful, as one who realizes within themelves the truth and directly impacts more people to align with their true hearts desire to realize the Eternal Absolute One (Truth), the violence of the frustrated ego in others that do not so desire to structure full enlightenment screams more loudly.
The absurd and bizarre stories about this way of approach increase in volume and ferocity as those accomplish this within themselves and alternately approach the task to heal the Earth. This is predictable and understandable; if it is inevitable that it continues indefinitely or not remains to be seen. One continues, one-pointedly, marching to the goal; those who wish to join in the noblest of tasks will do so with joy and harmony; those that do not will go their own way, cursing the others perhaps as they walk out the door.
How can one dare to offer to help someone break attachments and be free? How dare someone offer an alternative to a painful and short life by offering one something counter to one own personal opinions and ones own beliefs!

A statistic from an MD, a Dr, Joel Wallach: the average life expectancy of an MD in the U.S. is 58 years.
The ego worships allopathic medicine as God. This is true because modern medicine will kill you if you practice it religiously.
Belief in sickness is hypnotic and modern medicine advertises prevention against everything that there is to worry about. If you did not worry so and were more attuned to the natural flow of innocent behavior where there was no stress to the mind and body, you would be much healthier and live much longer than if you put stress into both the body and the mind.
The Ego fears and hates Truth because it will kill the identification and attachments to personal opinion and the needs of the Ego if you immerse yourself in it. Truth will dissolve the Stresses of fear and belief that constrict and invade the human nervous system.There is no reason you must live in a world of theory and disclaimers afraid of impending threat, hiding behind laws and governments that create threat and then limit your freedoms to protect you from those threats. These things are all created from being separate from Truth.

Life is supremely simple, but we tend to make it complicated. A life of compromise leads to death, quickly, painfully.
A life dedicated to Truth leads to Eternal Freedom.
Posted by: Kyra M

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/15/09 03:57 AM

Hi TT,

Thanks for all that. I can see where you are going with this.

Mm, so what do I say? Anything I like I guess.

Well, as humans I don't believe we can understand the 'entire' reality, or Truth.
I guess 'Truth' is a misleading word as it seems to denote right or pure. But my meaning is closer to 'Reality'. And there are many Realities. eg: On a simple level, I really don't think we have the capacity to grasp what it is like for a microbe, an insect or even a dog whose sense of smell is far greater than ours. We can 'imagine' what it would be like. And think of this, their truth/reality is as real to them as ours is to us ie: Dogs 'see' their landscape in smells.

But if my theory is vaguely correct (and at the best that's all it would be) and we do become aware of being the Whole (see The Concept of the Whole and Threadism) we will understand the entire reality/s. But I think never in this human capacity. That's not to say you are wrong, TT. But I believe that's what Plato meant when he said we only see the shadows of things. The questions we are then asking, are of these shadows, so truth or the understanding of reality resulting from these cannot exist.

I believe we can only turn around completely (we can understand some reality/truth if we seek it) or become fully enlightened, when we awake to the Whole.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/15/09 06:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Kyra M
Hi TT,

Thanks for all that. I can see where you are going with this.

Then being human is intuitive.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M

Well, as humans I don't believe we can understand the 'entire' reality, or Truth.
If being human is limited to the flesh and then being non-existent after the flesh dies, then you would not extend your belief of being human beyond a limited experience of the flesh. It would be difficult to imagine a whole when you are fragmented by the limitations of a single identity of human individuality within such a short space of time.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M

I guess 'Truth' is a misleading word as it seems to denote right or pure.

No it points a finger beyond those restrictions of right or pure, beyond the duality of right and pure and their opposites of wrong and impure. You can blame a word for the limited interpretation of the human intellect, but is it really the fault of the word when it is the mind that takes something and makes it real, right, wrong, inferior, misleading etc...when it is not in fact something that eludes the intellect of another?
Originally Posted By: Kyra M
But my meaning is closer to 'Reality'.

You mean your meaning of Truth is closer to your belief and your experience. Truth not necessarily being limited by your meaning, or your limited belief and experiences, nor being a product of democracy.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M
And there are many Realities.

Actually only One, with the beliefs or projections of belief that are the many interpretations/experiences of it.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M
eg: On a simple level, I really don't think we have the capacity to grasp what it is like for a microbe, an insect or even a dog whose sense of smell is far greater than ours.
Without knowing the extent of human capability I would imagine you could imagine all sorts of thoughts and beliefs.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M
We can 'imagine' what it would be like. And think of this, their truth/reality is as real to them as ours is to us ie: Dogs 'see' their landscape in smells.
You think landscape is a dog concept or that a dog relates to landscapes? Yes you can imagine anything but when it comes down to experiencing reality that is more stable than imagination of reality, then the capacity of the human is far superior to any animal.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M

But if my theory is vaguely correct (and at the best that's all it would be) and we do become aware of being the Whole (see The Concept of the Whole and Threadism) we will understand the entire reality/s.
As long as you or anyone limits the Self/Consciousness to the human experience of the ego that is the constantly shifting imagination and belief, then the following statement is your mantra.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M
I think never in this human capacity.

Originally Posted By: Kyra M
That's not to say you are wrong, TT. But I believe that's what Plato meant when he said we only see the shadows of things. The questions we are then asking, are of these shadows, so truth or the understanding of reality resulting from these cannot exist.

Plato was speaking of the human ego and its fixation on the material world which are shadows of belief. He also had the capacity to see beyond the shadows as others have or he wouldn't and couldn't have made a point to emphasize the illusions of belief without knowing of something other.
Originally Posted By: Kyra M

I believe we can only turn around completely (we can understand some reality/truth if we seek it) or become fully enlightened, when we awake to the Whole.
And so what do you imagine or believe it will take to become fully enlightened, or do you think you could imagine the experience without having the actual experience?
Posted by: Kyra M

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/16/09 03:43 AM

Gee, thanks for going to so much trouble TT, I really appreciate the time it took you to dissect all of what I wrote and come up with your understanding of what I meant. I'm pleased and I must admit a little bemused that you have put so much effort into it.
I will read Plato's story again.

The following is a true ditty: How so?

(I didn't write this, it a came up in an exam paper)

I met a man who had no eyes
who went outside to view the skies
he saw a tree with apples on
he took no apples off
but left no apples on.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/16/09 04:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Kyra M

The following is a true ditty: How so?

(I didn't write this, it a came up in an exam paper)

I met a man who had no eyes
who went outside to view the skies
he saw a tree with apples on
he took no apples off
but left no apples on.

The man had only one eye and he was looking at a billboard or a painting of an apple tree.
Posted by: Kyra M

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/16/09 06:05 AM

That's pretty good, TT.
The answer I was given was: The man had one eye and he saw a tree with two apples on and he took one apple off and left one apple on.
Same question, slightly different answer - we are both not wrong.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 07/16/09 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Kyra M
That's pretty good, TT.
The answer I was given was: The man had one eye and he saw a tree with two apples on and he took one apple off and left one apple on.
Same question, slightly different answer - we are both not wrong.
Not making it about right or wrong, the answer using a real tree stands out as a symbol to a greater reality using the words in the riddle than a picture of a tree.

In Vedic (Sanskrit) scripture as well as the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the authors words were tantamount to the idea or description of the Teaching of Jesus and One-ness of the absolute in Union with the manifest world, especially the Christed individual or Conscious/Enlightened man.
Sanskrit words can have as many as 10 different meanings but you would have to know the content of the message in order to place the right meaning to the word.
Similarly when translating the biblical references to One-ness in the descriptions of Unity of the Absolute/Truth and Man/the physical universe in conscious awareness, One word in either language (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) may not have an equal in another.

I don't know if you have ever used an electronic translator such as are available on the web to translate one idea or sentence to another language but the literal translation of words when you do not already know the context of the message is often vastly different.

For example: Using a free translator at applied I translated the sentence:
Truth is the essence of the Universe and got this: حقيقة الجوهر من الكون(Sorry this media doesn't support the Arabic font) . When you translate that back into English you get this:
Truth of the essence from the universe

Obviously if you take any word out of a sentence and translate it using a dictionary of any language you could say the translation of the words was right. But when it comes to conveying the essence of the original statement you could not exactly say they are the same.

The problems of translation when it comes to words used in Scripture by those who are speaking of their direct experience of One-ness such as in the Spiritual teachings of the past and present:
1. Hinduism--the most ancient.

2. The Hebrew religion.

3. Buddhism.

4. The Confucian teachings.

5. The Taoist beliefs.

6. Zoroastrianism.

7. Shinto.

8. Jainism.

9. Christianity.

10. Islam.

11. Sikhism--the most recent.

If one is not themselves having experiences of the same One-ness the descriptions would appear misleading, when in fact the descriptions are as accurate to the experience as one can get by trying to fit the infinite into a quart jar.

Have you ever heard of Gematria? Today it is labeled as a type of numerology but it was much more than that.

When in the example of the Teacher describing evil was used, the student described that darkness was a word that was given to the absence of light, but in fact darkness could not be measured because darkness was not real.
It was a word which referenced an immesurable absence of something that was real.
In regard to the early youth of Jesus there is a story of Jesus having an encounter with one of his School Teachers. It describes a disagreement between Jesus and his Teacher at the local school.
The Teacher is describing the meaning of scripture (words of Truth or the Absolute as passed on from the fully enlightened) and Jesus scolds his teacher for not having a clue to their origins and their true meanings.
The Teacher attempts to beat the child Jesus, and his hand withers and becomes useless.
Well the rest of the story speaks of the resonance of each word and that each word tells its own story.
Just as different frequencies of light are still light but have different qualities so do words have a certain resonance when written in the ancient languages of the Sanskrit, Hebrew and Aramaic.
In fact the manifest reality can be felt and intuited in its vibrational qualities.
Darkness, or the absence of the light of love has a dense vibrational resonance to it and we can feel it when we are in an atmosphere that contains either.
When there is joy and love in a room along side of dark moods such as anger and violent hatred a person can feel it, or sense it.

There was a film of a woman and her child playing hide and seek in a room. It was filmed with some kind of special apparatus or film which showed a variance in color when the moods changed with the people in the film similar to the kinds of color changes you get with kirlian photography. Anyway the room had a slight pinkish tint to it in the beginning but when the mother found the child in the course of the game and the child was giggling, the room color became a bright pink which was a definite contrast to the original mood and color when the child was hiding.
Point being that all matter vibrates at a certain frequency, and the human who also vibrates with his varying moods and states of consciousness, is capable of sensing on subtle levels, frequencies of matter that are both expanding and contracting.

When you get into the study of ancient cultures such as those of Egypt, Atlantis etc on a the spiritual level, those like Plato Jesus, Melchizedek etc. are hinting toward something much greater than surface appearances which we attune our senses to at the level of the ego of belief and opinion being the dominant indicator.

Science uses instruments that are built at the level of current comprehension and belief in the universe as it exists in a material sense, but few approach the universe at any other level such as those who know and experience it at those levels beyond the gross and dense level of belief.

If you were to take a power source, a broadcasting transmitter and a receiver back in time, to say the day of Jesus and demonstrated it to the people of that time, they would not understand the principle of the apparatus. They would probably destroy it and the demonstrator, claiming it was evil and of the devil or Satan being as superstitious as they were.

Some who call themselves scientists are of the same mind, when you start speaking of things that fall outside of democratic theory and the instrumentation of peer review based on their level of commitment and values, they become abusive and destructive rather than open to possibility other than that which falls within their own beliefs.

We as a civilization have come a long way, but superstition and disbelief still exists in the form of human intolerance.
We as a humanity hold to our pride in understanding the universe and ourselves and let little if anything new into our awareness and belief if it does not come from some given authority.
Unfortunately we have allowed our authority to be democratic according to peer review at the level of belief and programming that is current with uniformity or consensus that theory may stand as the rule even if that theory is wrong or incorrect.
Instead of refining the human instrument we have allowed the instrument of human invention (no matter at what level of belief it was created) to replace our intuition and subtle senses and to tell us what is real and what is not. This is dogmatism, not that different in how the church has become a corrupt institution, no longer attuned to the message of which it was formed around.

This is not unlike using a dictionary to literally translate our surroundings into meanings that are far from the essence in which they are created.
So in a sense we allow ourselves to wander in imagination by de-tuning our senses and awareness to a radio that plays only one kind of music or program. The program of strict materialism and belief determined by a dictionary that cannot tell you what the sentences mean but offer tell you what a word might mean in a sentence. From there you might get an idea in and amongst a thousand ideas where democratically you might say you are all right, but emotionally someone is going to fight for their righteousness and even kill to protect it. If what is right for one can be threatened by what is right for another, One-ness cannot be that everyone can be right when it threatens the personality or belief. It has to be something much more substantial than a painting or an idea, it would have to be absolute.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religion-all religions, includin - 08/02/09 09:47 PM

New posters, feel free to get involved in all the lively threads you read here.