Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including,

Posted by: Turner

Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 02/03/07 01:40 AM

Not much room for naming a real title that makes sense. Why the limitation, I wonder? In other forums there seems to be lots of room to spell out a title. How come the rationing, here?

What I would like to know is: What is your philosophy of religion, including atheism?

Regarding this topic, I may choose to just sit back and read. But I will read, and listen. Meanwhile, I will add to the other and current thread, as is appropriate.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 02/03/07 03:45 AM

Philosophy of religion?

My philosophy is that there are two types of religion. One in which people have personal belief systems both moral/ethical and with respect to the nature of reality and their environment and the good sense and culture to treasure them as personal beliefs.

And then there are those who are self-annointed, self-righteous hypocrites that use people's inate "need" to know the answers to life's big questions to parasitize them for their personal financial gain.

Just once I'd like to find someone publicly proclaiming they have all of the answers with one hand who isn't holding out the other hand asking for money and the power to offer up advice on how you could improve yourself if you just did what they want you to do.

Let me give you a perfect example. We have a troll here in this group selling fuzzy thinking and vague ideas, on subjects of which he is truly as ignorant as my cat. He tries to quote authorless scripture he has never read with one hand while asking for money with the other.

And anyone who actually looks into the so-called Reverend's background quickly discovers that his actual skill set is as a hypnotherapist (well if that doesn't qualify him to speak about and for god I can't imagine what would).
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 02/03/07 05:20 AM

I'm a bit scared to post really!!! But here goes.

Atheism is not a religion. It is not a faith. It is not a belief. It's a recognition of fact.

Many people get comfort and strength from religion. I am not one of them but I repect their belief in a supernatural being and do not characterise their belief as undesirable because I do not share it. Neither do I characterise their deeply felt conviction of the reality of the existence of a god as a deluded belief, when in fact it is for many their reason for living- the meaning of life. I just don't share it because I approach this topic differently.

I assume there is no god. Simple. As I said in the other post-no one can prove there is, I can't prove there isn't--but to me it seems infinitely more likely that I am completely right on this one. I simply don't have any reason to think that the supernatural world exists and I cannot understand why anyone has difficulty understanding that. Why tie yourselves up in knots and get angry about this? God had a good go- he/she/it failed to convince some people of his/her/ its existence. You who believe know I'm wrong, so tell me why you think I'm wrong. Prove it to me if it means so much to you and why does it mean so much to you that I "believe" in something.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 02/03/07 05:48 AM

THANK, ELLIS, FOR AGREEING TO GET INVOLVED
Ellis, fear not, I respect your approach to the subject at hand. On the one hand, I am not an atheist. However, on the other hand I am not a traditional theist. Therefore, I respect, and have no quarrel with those who have problems with the traditional concept of god as a personal and super being, separate and apart from us human beings.

May I also add that, unless it can demonstrate to me that it does contribute to the public good, I am not a fan of any organized and institutional religion which claims it has a hot line to God.



Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/03/07 03:23 PM

Well done Ellis. When speaking intelligently, thoughtfully, and precisely, there is never a reason to fear.

Even were I to disagree with you I would respect you. Whereas the self-annointed reverend has yet to do anything other than layer fuzzy thinking over vague nonsense. If he was correct, even if I were to agree with him, his lack of mental self-discipline would be unworthy of respect. Let me give you an example. Suppose someone writes:

"We should stop torturing people because the invisible purple rhinoceros says so."

I would agree with the concept of stopping torture. But the author, having justified it with an imbecility, would still be unworthy of respect.

There is no god, provable, because were there one the universe would be no different than it is today.

I have to howl at those who watch a tornado rip through town tearing down houses of the rich, the poor, good citizen and bad, businesses, schools, and churches with an equal lack of regard. If their invisible purple rhino actually existed ... just once ... he'd have left the church standing: He never, ever, does!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/03/07 07:59 PM

If anyone can make logical sense out of the totally fuzzy post, above, will you please let me know what sense it does make.

And who is the "self-annointed reverend" who believes in an "invisible purple rhinoceros" (IPR). Is it DAM? I think I read that he said he believes in the IPR. smile
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/03/07 09:29 PM

"Sir, I have found you an explanation,
but I am not obliged to find you an understanding."
~ Samuel Johnson

"Ministers say that they teach charity.
That is natural.
They live on hand-outs.
All beggars teach that others should give."
~ Robert Ingersoll
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/03/07 09:56 PM

St. Anonymous wrote:
Quote:
I love having a battle of wits; however, I never attack people who are only half-armed.
laugh

Interestingly, most atheists I have met are usually positive, kind and caring--at least those at brainmeta.com are--thank G?D! And they usually stay on topic.

Moderator: BTW, I will be happy to start a KNOCK-THE-REV THREAD, for those who are addicted to knocking Revs and Religions. And I am serious. We all love a good fight.

Then we can save this thread for those of us who enjoy the serious discussion of the philosophy/psychology and art of religion. Lurkers, wade in!!!!

However, I do not mind a good laugh, now and then.

Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/03/07 10:48 PM

Can't blame the saint for wishing to stay anonymous.

But lets see if we can summarize what has happened so far:

1. You've never once discuss science at a science website.
2. You've never once posted a link to anything related to science.
3. You've quoted books with no author that you have never actually read.
4. You claim to be a reverend and do not have a Doctorate of Divinity
5. You only survive on the charity of others
6. You expect others to pay taxes to subsidize you

This is Kate's site and if she sees value in allowing this nonsense that is her right and privilege. I find it morally and ethically untenable to let the fuzzy thinking of a parasite stand unopposed in the marketplace of ideas.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/04/07 03:42 AM

DAM, your personal comments about me and questions to me belong in the "Knock-Revs-and-Religions thread. I will answer them there. OK? Meanwhile let us keep this section for philosophy and art.
===============================================================To
to illustrate my philosophy of religion, I offer the following story:

There was once a brilliant computer scientist and technologist, who also happened to be a sincere and reluctant theological skeptic. He developed what he believed was a powerful, voice-activated computer, which he claimed was also infallible.

INFALLIBLE COMPUTER
He told his friends, "My computer is capable of answering any question about physical, mental and spiritual matters any human being is capable of asking."

One of his female friends was a theologian. So he invited her over, along with a few other friends and experts, to be among the first to put his infallible computer to the test.

At the meeting, first the experts in the arts and the sciences asked their questions. No matter what question was asked, the computer responded, verbally, and with precision. It was able to answer every physical and mental raised, in detail.

Everyone present was amazed and very impressed.

Then it was the theologian's turn. First, she asked some very tricky questions about the Bible, church history and about the religions of the world. Again, the computer had no problem giving the correct answers.

THE ULTIMATE QUESTON
Then she said, "If you truly are an infallible computer, I assume that you already know that I have my doubts as to the existence of God."

"Therefore, I have one more question.

"Is it true that there is only ONE True God?"

First, there was a period of silence. Then, suddenly, out of the silence, the computer became a beautiful pink cloud, which filled the whole room.

Out of the pink cloud came a powerful and resonant voice which said:

"THERE IS, NOW!" smile
========================
THINK ABOUT IT: If we really did have an infallible computer which knew the answer to all our questions, we would have G?D.

PART OF MY PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION IS AS FOLLOWS
Practically speaking, I believe that we actually DO invent and/or discover the kind of god who we use to serve our purposes. This is why we have numerous religions.

However, beyond this there is still G?D, the ultimate uncreated creator.
--------------------------0000000000000000000--------------------
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/04/07 08:52 AM

Ellis wrote:

"when in fact it is for many their reason for living- the meaning of life."

Now I'd be surprised if even atheists don't have ideas they accept but cannot prove that serve exactly this purpose. I say we could call this religion. This doesn't at all mean atheism is a religion. Simply that most humans have some beliefs that might be called religious. Perhaps this is what Turner is trying to explore on this thread.

DA agrees with part of his own quote:

"We should stop torturing people because the invisible purple rhinoceros says so."

Why do you believe we should stop torturing people, DA? Can you provide a sound scientific reason, or is it because of your religious beliefs?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/04/07 05:42 PM

An excellent question TNZ. In the interest of intellectual integrity I must acknowledge that there is no reason grounded in scientific principles. It is just a personal preference somewhat of the order of I prefer lamb to chicken or I prefer Thai curries to Indian curries.

I think we should stop torture for several reasons.

First and most important to protect myself and those I care about. (if I am anything it is brutally honest)

Second because it has been proven by history that all torture does is beget more torture.

Third because it has proven totally unreliable in providing substantive information.

But back to religion ... one might note that almost all torture in history has been done in the name of nationalism or religion.
People, except the very sickest, don't commit torture unless they have a prop onto which they can justify their actions by appealing to a so-called higher good.

My feeling is that if god doesn't like what I am doing ... he can damn well get off his fat behind and stop me.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/04/07 10:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
THINK ABOUT IT: If we really did have an infallible computer which knew the answer to all our questions, we would have G?D.


I disagree. We would have a computer that is omniscient. That's all. Not omnipotent or anything else that appears in the job description for the post of God.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/04/07 10:54 PM

Good point, Blacknad. But keep in mind: I am not being a literalist, here. My story is like a parable. Omnscience is all-inclusive. It could lead me to all-power, etc. NOT in me, or you, but in all that is, okay?

Let's dialogue until we understand one another, okay?

For example, what is your concept of God? How flexible are you?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 03:59 AM

DA wrote:

"But back to religion ... one might note that almost all torture in history has been done in the name of nationalism or religion."

Perhaps, therefore, we should regard nationalism as a religion? As Blacknad pointed out some time ago a great deal of destruction was wrought by Fascism and Communism last century. Perhaps they too should be regarded as religions? We could then blame all destruction on religion, by definition.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 06:16 AM

TNZ wrote:
"Perhaps, therefore, we should regard nationalism as a religion?"

I do. I think they are just different manifestations of the same desire to belong, to have some alpha make decisions for us, and to be able to justify that which otherwise we would need to wear around our necks as unforgiveable.

I really doesn't matter whether you blame it on religion, nationalism, school spirit, or whatever. That which appeals to the human spirit to proclaim itself important by virtue of membership rather than virtue itself is a crutch more dangerous than heroin and crack cocaine.

Blacknad ... any civilization more than 100 years more advanced than us in terms of technology would be perceived as magic: Omnipotent and omniscient.

Why are you feeding the troll? He has no interest in science? He has no interest in any serious discussion. He is just here to hijack Kate's site to sell his brand of snake oil. Just another charlatan with a collar.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
People, except the very sickest, don't commit torture unless they have a prop onto which they can justify their actions by appealing to a so-called higher good.


We are in broad agreement.

However, Sam Harris, the USA's leading atheist who argues that 'humanity can only survive the next few centuries by renouncing religion altogether', also defends the use of torture.

"I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror."
- Sam Harris.

Its a complex, subjective, funny old world.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 10:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Good point, Blacknad. But keep in mind: I am not being a literalist, here. My story is like a parable.


Revlgking,

When I exhibit any fuzzy or unsubstantiated thinking, I expect to be cut down, and often have been.

There is no room for parables on this site.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 07:29 PM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
DA wrote:...Perhaps they too should be regarded as religions? We could then blame all destruction on religion, by definition.
TNZ, if this is how you think, allow me to ask:

What about the destruction caused by diabolic and evil scientists? Does this make all science evil?

No doubt there are diabolic and sick leaders of sick religions, but does this mean that all religion--the kind, for example, exhibited by people like Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa--is evil?

BTW, I try to carefully avoid judging, without evidence, and offering vague generalizations based on misinformation and prejudice. IMO opinion such actions are problematic.

Is condemnation, without real evidence, ever acceptable? And what about vague generalizations based on prejudice? Look where this kind of thinking landed the Bush administration.

Well, I await your opinion.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 09:42 PM

Blacknad wrote:
"However, Sam Harris, the USA's leading atheist who argues that 'humanity can only survive the next few centuries by renouncing religion altogether', also defends the use of torture."

My feeling about Sam Harris is the same as my feeling about Albert Einstein or Charles Darwin: One man's opinion. No more or less valid except when it applies to science where it must be peer reviewed and validated. Thai curry vs. Indian curry is a matter of opinion. The boiling point of water is not.

I've as much use for Sam Harris as I do for any other self-anointed zealot. Who elected Sam Harris to represent anything or anyone? Why he did of course.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/05/07 11:48 PM

Revlgking wrote:
"What about the destruction caused by diabolic and evil scientists? Does this make all science evil?"

Name one?

Let me preempt this idiocy by naming Dr. Teller whose is probably in line to dribble from your lips. How many people did Dr. Teller kill with his own hands or by means of decree to other who carried out the bloody work?

Now lets ask the same question of those who claim moral and ethical superiority because they wear a collar and claim to worship the "Prince of Peace." And let me remind you of the Crusades, the Hundred Years War, and a few thousand other memorable events recorded in history books.

Is condemnation without real information ever acceptable no. But condemnation must be for real acts of commission ... not the hypocritical rants of a troll who has hypnotized himself into believing he has anything of substance to say.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/06/07 09:15 AM

Revlgking wrote:

"What about the destruction caused by diabolic and evil scientists? Does this make all science evil?"

Are you thinking of any specific scientists, or are you thinking of the uses to which their work has been put? I was really just making an obscure joke when I said that by manipulating our definition of religion we would be able to blame everything bad on it. Which reminds me, we still haven't defined God or even what religion is.

Blacknad quotes Sam Harris:

"I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror."

Ah. The war to promote terror. Shows atheists can be as ignorant of what the terror directed at some countries in the western world is all about as are the leaders of those countries, most of whom claim to believe in this God business.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/06/07 01:43 PM

TNZ comments
Quote:
Which reminds me, we still haven't defined God or even what religion is.
When I was very young, and still believed in Santa Claus, perhaps was the only time I believed in a god called God who took care of everything. I soon found out that "He" did not.

BACKGROUND
Because, by the time I was five, there were three deaths in my immediate family, including my mother, I grew up, fast, in third-world conditions--the seventh of eighth children. My father, and oldest brothers, went to work while they were still just children. They fished on the "cruel sea" and digged in the iron ore mines (1895-1966) in a time when labourers were paid .10 cents an hour. The Bell Island mines--there were six--were then the largest in the British Empire.

As a curious teenager, I got very interested in studying high school science and thinking about mining engineering. I became very agnostic. However, at 15/16, inspired by a heroic kind of minister--an outdoorsman who went back to school late in life and became a minister--I became an uncomfortable and reluctant theist. Churches were the social centres of the community of 10,000 people.

At 17, I started theological studies, beginning with a B.A (psychology/philosophy). I took my B.A. with the understanding that I would only continue on and be ordained if I found a rational kind of theology that did not require a blind approach to faith. Another mentor--he became head of the theological department the year I entered http://www.mta.ca His words still ring in my inner-mind: "I do not want you to hang up you brains, with your hat, when you enter my classes". He taught Greek, Hebrew and other studies realted to the Bible and history.

MY CONCEPT OF GOD WAS FREE TO GROW
Because of this, I have never had a fixed-postioned philosophy of of thinking, theologically. I hope I am still growing. IMHO, there is no such thing as THE ONE TRUE RELIGION. Dogmatic religions, even the good ones, tend to be diabolic and divide us.
As I have said before, Devil=equals 'slanderer' the spirit of division.

Beginning in the 1960's I began the development of the kind of theology I now call unitheism, panentheism, I do not even object to non-theism, which is not the same thing as atheism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheism Buddhism is a non-theistic religion. I did not reject theism--still don't for those who find it satisfying--I simply grew out of it.

SCIENCE AND GOD
Interestingly, Nicola Tesla--the genius who went up against Thomas Edison, and gave us AC electricity--was a fairly devout Orthodox Christian. His father was an Orthodox priest. He advocated a religion based on a combination of the Christian and the Buddhist religions. He was student of yoga.

http://www.frank.germano.com/the_complete_tesla.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1018_041018_science_religion.html

RELIGION?
For me, my religion is simply the art of doing my philosophy and theology, in my home, my church, my community and my world. Am I a Christian, that is, behave like a decent person? Ask my neighbour.

For me, creeds may have real value, but only if they are flexible enough to inspire me to be moral and ethical in my thoughts, words and deeds, the kind which really do make the world a better place. And there is more, much more. Names like Marcus Borg, Karen Armstrong, Elaine Pagels, Bishop John Spong, etc. come to mind.....

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/06/07 03:12 PM


"SCIENCE AND GOD"

Some scientists believe in god, therefore everyone should believe in god.

Some scientists are racists, therefore everyone should be a racist.

I'm familiar with Tesla. Brilliant guy. Very kooky. But a brilliant guy. He was afraid of pearls. Maybe we should ban them.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/06/07 05:18 PM

TFF, when you write: "Some scientists believe in god, therefore everyone should believe in god." Is this your logic? It is certainly not mine.

I presume that you realize that this is not an argument I would make. I quote intelligent people, who I admire, from all walks of life, and who have the courage to tell us what they believe. It is nice to know that science and faith can coexist in the same person.

PARAPSYCHOLOGY. To what extent is it a science? Duke University took it seriously. BTW, I came across the following:
Quote:
Tesla as a clairvoyant

It is evident that Tesla knew the phenomenon that we call parapsychology. As told above, the method Tesla used to make his discoveries work in the laboratory has no analogues in all the history of science.

There are more that 150,000 documents in the Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, but he didn't leave any description of his scientific method, which is comparable only with states experienced by yogis or with things known by saints. Now few people consider Tesla to be a philosopher or a spiritual man. They do think he was a man who inspired physics, technology and science.

Finally, he founded a basis of a new millennium civilization with all his life's work. Though now his influence on the modern tendencies in science is minimal, his role heeds overestimation. Only the future will give a real explanation of Tesla as a phenomenon, because he went far ahead and he stands higher than the methods accepted currently.

A well-known Indian philosopher Vivekananda, one of the members of Ramakrishna mission, who was sent to the West to find out a possibility to join all existing religions, visited Tesla in his New York laboratory in 1906 and immediately sent a letter to his Indian colleague Alasingh. He rapturously described his meeting with Tesla: "This man is different from other western people. He showed his experiments with electricity.

His attitude to electricity looks like an attitude to a living being. He speaks with it and gives orders to it. I speak about the highest degree of spiritual person. It is no doubt that he has a spirituality of the highest level and can call all our gods. In his electrical multicolored lights, I saw all our gods: Vishnu, Shiva? and I felt the presence of Brahma himself".
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/06/07 06:17 PM



Parapsychology is pseudoscience. Duke made a mistake. Sometimes otherwise smart people do stupid things.

Yes, faith and science can "coexist in the same person." I
It is VERY few people maintain otherwise. However, the scientists who are any good do us the courtesy of distinguishing their scientific opinions from their religious convictions.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/06/07 09:40 PM

To quote our very own Uncle Al:
======================================================
Religion and science are orthogonal - they have nothing
in common and do not overlap in any way. Religion is based
upon faith and is destroyed by empirical proof. Science is
based upon empirical proof and is rendered inoperative by
faith.

Who wins if the two camps are opposed? India has 5000
years of philosophy, 30 crores of gods, and 1 million
flush toilets for 1.1 billion indigenous Indians. (1
crore = 10 million). Boulder, Colorado has more flush
toilets than that. did you ever smell India?

Believe what you want but hire engineers to design
your plumbing. Physical reality doesn't care what you
think. Think of it as evolution in action.
~ Uncle Al

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/07/07 05:04 PM

In case it's not obvious, while Tesla was undoubtedly brilliant:

Not every statement or belief of brilliant people is brilliant.

There is no evidence to suggest anything supernatural in Tesla's genius. His intellectual process sounds similar to the claims I've heard of Mozart and Beethoven. Tesla's existence is not evidence of parapsychology. Tesla's abilities are not evidence of parapsychology. That other people saw Tesla and were astounded is not evidence of parapsychology. I'm not aware that Tesla himself even believed in it, but even if he did THAT is no evidence of parapsychology. Those "witnesses" describe him as "unique" only because they don't know much about other brilliant scientists. There are a number of people whose brilliance seems magical to even other scientists - Feynman, Gauss, Ramanujan, Mozart, da Vinci.

Tesla was amazingly brilliant. Most people involved in electrical science - even those like myself who are involved only remotely - know that very well. Tesla was kooky and quirky. That doesn't diminish his many accomplishments, but it is an accurate description. His unique way of doing his work is one reason why it took some time for his contemporaries to realize his brilliance. Maybe we still don't know exactly how brilliant he was. And even our ignorance is not evidence of parapsychology.



Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/12/07 04:12 AM

Recently, I wrote Mark Thomas, an atheist.

I thanked him for his very interesting site
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/WhyAtheism.htm

He begins his essay by saying that, "Life is a process ? not a design. It requires an explanation ? not an intelligent designer." I told him that I agree. Then I went on to write:

Quote:
WELCOME TO PROTHEISM and to G?D as Love
Like you, I do not believe in gods, or a god called God. But I am not
an atheist. That is, I am not one who is against the concept of 'god'
consciousness, properly understood. Therefore, I feel comfortable
calling myself a protheist. That is, I see all things--even those
which are apparently evil--as parts of a process which can,
eventually, become total goodness, order and design, for which I use
a special word I coined, G?D. I do it for the same reason Orthodox Jews write G-d., to avoid making divine being an object.

ALL THINGS ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BEING
I say this because I have a strong feeling that, backed by a rational
faith and a reasonable hope, all things, including humanity, are in
the process of becoming fully realized.

Furthermore, I also choose to
have this faith and hope. In addition, I choose to have a strong and personal will (love)
that it be so. Because of this, I think I now understand why John
wrote: Ho theos agape--God is love (1 John 4:16).

Agape/love, in my opinion, is not just a feeling, one which depends on
physical, mental and spiritual circumstances, on others, or on our
heredity and/or environment. It is an act of pure will, originating in
the spirit--our consciousness of self.

I CHOOSE TO BE A PROTHEIST
Based on this, at this point, until otherwise convinced, I choose to
think of myself as a protheist--that is, one who aagrees with you and
believes there is an explanation for all of nature. It begins with
believing in, and acting on the premise that G?D, as Love, is that
which is total, infinite, eternal, all-encompassing and universal.

LOVE IS THE GOOD NEWS
You conclude your article by letting us know, "... the bad news ...
and the good news." You say that, "The bad news is that there is no
god to watch over and care for us. The good news is that there is no
hell, and we can all love and care for each other ? if we so choose."

Ah yes! the power to choose and to value the highest good. Obviously
you and John have something in common: You both choose and value the
highest good, love.

Thanks, again, for your stimulating essay.

Yours in the spirit of the highest good--agape/love...


Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/12/07 05:57 AM

So do you not believe in The Plan and The Designer because if you do not, and it seems to me that that is what you are saying, then you believe in chaos. Although in your usual "having a bet each way" I see you refer to the "process of being realised" as the goal of existence ie love. So existence =divine love (agape). Makes as much sense as anything else, perhaps a bit less than some. I can never understand why people who believe in their god have to bring the issue of its divinity down to mundane terms which we can all understand. Enjoy the mystery, puff the scented smoke, that's part of it. Really chaos provides all the explanation we need however.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/12/07 11:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Turner
Ellis, Thanks! I find your comments quite thought provoking.
Quote:
So do you not believe in The Plan and The Designer...


Ellis, keep in mind: When I write, G?D, I write it to refer to everything--physical, mental and spiritual.

As I understand most theologies, G?D cannot be god and be less than everything. And everything includes chaos. G?D, also, includes what we think of as evil--pain, suffering and death. Does this surprise you?

PROTHEISM BELIEVES
However, as a protheist, as long as I am free to choose, I choose to have faith, hope and Love--notice that I capitalize it--to experience G?D as operating within, not exterior to, the plan and the design of everything.

As a protheist, I think of G?D not as the planner and designer, out there, but as part of the total process--the planner and designer from within, including you and me. G?D helps us bring order out of evil and the chaos, as we use the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love--the highest good. In the light of this, what does atheism have to offer.

I repeat: WHAT DOES ATHEISM HAVE TO OFFER?
BTW, are there any who are willing to answer this question?
I hear most atheists say: In the long run faith, hope and love are tools used by those who wish to delude themselves.

IMHO, ATHEISM SHOULD ACTUALLY BE CALLED CONTHEISM.

When you write [quote]I can never understand why people who believe in their god have to bring the issue of its divinity down to mundane terms which we can all understand.

Enjoy the mystery, puff the scented smoke, that's part of it. Really chaos provides all the explanation we need however.
may I call you a contheist?

CONTHEISM, A DEFINITION
Since I just coined the term, I define it as follows: A 'contheist' is one who believes that chaos is the only reality.

WHAT CONTHEISM ACCOMPLISHES
Contheists believe that by the power of reason, science and a lot hard work, it is possible for human beings to create a kind of temporary form of order and design out of the chaos, for a certain select few at the top. This is called history.:)

AND THE ULTIMATE END?
However, at the end of all our conscious striving, there is nothing but oblivion--all that is, no matter how beautiful, wonderful good and true, will be entirely forgotten by any who survive, if any do.

No wonder, one of the characters in a Hemminway novel calls life: "A dirty trick".

Is this was contheists actually believe; that conscious life is nothing more than a "dirty trick"?

I await your response.


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/12/07 11:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Turner
Ellis, Thanks! I find your comments very helpful. They are quite thought provoking.
Quote:
So do you not believe in The Plan and The Designer...


Ellis, read my lips. Keep in mind: When I write, G?D, I write it to refer to everything--and I mean everything, physical, mental and spiritual.

As I understand most theologies, G?D cannot be GOD and, at any time, be less than everything. And everything includes chaos. G?D, also, includes what we think of as evil--that is, pain, suffering and death.

Does this surprise you?

TRADITIONAL THEISM AND THE DEVIL
Traditional theism solved the problem of evil by "inventing" the Devil, who traditional theists speak of as an agent of God. Read the book of Job. In Job, God allows the Devil, as his agent, to do his worst, with certain limits.

BTW, check out Job 32: THE SPEECHES OF ELIHU (MEANING GOD IS GOD)
IMHO, Elihu, the youth, is the central character of the "movie" of Job--a fact overlooked by most bible commentators.

PROTHEISM BELIEVES
However, as a protheist, as long as I am free to choose, I choose to have faith, hope and Love--notice that I capitalize it--to experience G?D as operating within, not exterior to, the plan and the design of everything.

As a protheist, I think of G?D not as the planner and designer, out there, but as part of the total process--the planner and designer from within, including you and me. G?D helps us bring order out of evil and the chaos, as we use the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love--the highest good. In the light of this, what does atheism have to offer.

I repeat: WHAT DOES ATHEISM HAVE TO OFFER?
BTW, are there any who are willing to answer this question?
I hear most atheists say: In the long run faith, hope and love are tools used by those who wish to delude themselves.

IMHO, ATHEISM SHOULD ACTUALLY BE CALLED CONTHEISM.

When you write [quote]I can never understand why people who believe in their god have to bring the issue of its divinity down to mundane terms which we can all understand.

Enjoy the mystery, puff the scented smoke, that's part of it. Really chaos provides all the explanation we need however.
may I call you a contheist?

CONTHEISM, A DEFINITION
Since I just coined the term, I define it as follows: A 'contheist' is one who believes that chaos, ending in nothingness, is the only reality.

WHAT CONTHEISM ACCOMPLISHES
Contheists believe that by the power of reason, science and a lot hard work, it is possible for human beings to create a kind of temporary form of order and design out of the chaos, for a certain select few at the top. This is called history.smile

AND THE ULTIMATE END?
However, at the end of all our conscious striving, there is nothing but oblivion--all that is, no matter how beautiful, wonderful good and true, will be entirely forgotten by any who survive, if any do.

No wonder, one of the characters in a Hemminway novel calls life: "A dirty trick".

Is this what contheists actually believe; that conscious life is nothing more than a "dirty trick"?

No wonder that Hemmingway killed himself!

I await your response.


Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/15/07 03:26 AM

No Rev you may NOT call me a contheist.

Incidentally look up pantheism--- that's what ( if I were as polite as you ) I would ask permission to call you), and it's nothing new! You have just made up a funny name for it.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/15/07 07:48 AM

Ellis,

What would distinguish you from a Contheist? Apart from the fact that the term is nonsense?

But in terms of the belief in chaos ending in nothingness.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/16/07 10:03 PM

KEEP IN MIND: I respect all forms of beliefs, sincerely held, including atheism.

When Julian Huxley first coined the term 'agnostic' it was nonsense; until he explained what he meant. Now, I have no problem admitting that I am agnostic about a host of things.

I call myself a pro-theist--Here I include the '-' to make myself clearer--because I believe that in all things, including chaos, there is a spiritual power, or consciousness, at work.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think of an atheist as one who is contra theism--thus con-theism--that is, contra spirituality, of all kinds. I repeat: feel free to correct me.

BTW, I have no objection to being called a pantheist, especially the kind of which Tennyson writes in his poem HIGHER PANTHEISM--
http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/britlit/tenn/highpan.html
I also like panentheism, and unitheism--both indicating that there is more to believe in than the localized, personal, out-there-and-separate-from-us, God of theism.

The bottom line for me is: In what way does what I believe help me be an empathetic, moral, ethical, just and loving human being.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/17/07 03:22 AM

I'm just not an anything Blackie!!

I have no belief in the supernatural at all. I can't see the point. There's enough that is really real that is hard to believe without adding invisible friends with lots of baggage! And Rev wants to hang a nice big label on everyone. I don't believe in gods, the afterlife or the divine right of kings. I do believe that I neither need a label nor to have to justify why I don't.

I do not BELIEVE in Atheism. It would not be possible to believe in a non belief. I am not a theist.

PS However____I am REALLY chuffed that someone has to coin a new word to describe my non-belief---Oh! frabjus day!!
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ *DELETED* - 02/17/07 03:22 AM

Post deleted by Amaranth Rose II
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/17/07 04:03 AM

Ellis, there is an old saying; One who stands for nothing will fall for anything! laugh

But seriously, how do you feel about being empathetic, just, moral, loving and ethical in your behaviour towards your fellow human beings?

My bottom line has to do with deeds, not creeds.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/17/07 09:24 AM

Revlgking asked:

"I repeat: WHAT DOES ATHEISM HAVE TO OFFER?"

This is off topic Rev but did you realise that the term atheist refered originally to Christians? They didn't believe in the gods that had made Rome what it was.

But to answer your question to some extent I'll quote you again:

"But seriously, how do you feel about being empathetic, just, moral, loving and ethical in your behaviour towards your fellow human beings?"

All this has nothing to do with whether you're atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim or pantheist. It depends on the success or otherwise of your socialisation as you were growing up. All human beings have to be socialised into their tribe. If the process is not successful we call them psycopaths. Now, what does atheism offer? I'd say a realistic view of existence.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/17/07 08:26 PM

Terry--and feel free to call me Linds, short for Lindsay--you mention: "... did you realise that the term atheist refered originally to Christians?"

Yes, Socrates (469?-499 B.C.E.) too, was called an atheist, because he did not believe in the gods on Mount olympus.
In my opinion, Socrates simply offered a concept of god which differed from that of the dominant one of the day.


BTW, by some, I have been called an atheist simply because I question traditional theism.

http://www.wku.edu/~jan.garrett/pgods.htm is an excellent site on the theology of Socrates. Here is a quote from it:
Quote:
"Socrates is guilty of believing in deities of his own invention instead of the gods recognized by the city." (Apol. 24b) In effect, then, Socrates is accused of teaching new gods.

This point is often lost sight of because during the trial, when Socrates actually confronts his accuser, Meletus shifts his ground and accuses Socrates not of teaching new gods, but of not believing in any gods at all. Yet the charge that Socrates taught new gods was probably in the original indictment."


THEOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS
Interestingly, the Greek word for "I run" is the?; and the Greek word for god is "theos."

They saw the gods as, coursing, or running, across the sky--the heavens (Ouranos), above mother earth (Gaia).

He (Socrates) was, apparently, quite willing to pay his respects to the traditional gods, Zeus, Athena, etc.; all evidence points to him being a polytheist. He agreed with Homer and Hesiod that these gods had bodies and would never die. However, the gods of Homer were human-like and lived by their passions; the gods of Socrates behave more...well, more god-like...idealistically
===================================
http://www.wku.edu/~jan.garrett/philvws.htm#Hartshor

One of the most important contemporary philosophers to try this approach is Charles Hartshorne. You might be attracted to Hartshorne's view if you find that the idea of a mind existing completely independent of a body makes no sense to you.

For Hartshorne, God is both immanent and transcendent. That is to say, God's divine mind is present in the physical universe as a whole but also transcends or surpasses it. Hartshorne's view is that the universe is in God, or as it is sometimes called, "panentheism" (from Greek pan (all) + en (in) + theos (god))... nothing is outside of Hartshorne's God; for the whole physical universe, including our bodies, is His body.

I like what Hartshorne writes, theologically.
========================================================
Terry, in answer to my question,"What does atheism offer?" You answered,"I'd say a realistic view of existence."

I respond: Good! As a pro-theist/unitheist/panentheist I am all for being realistic. It fits in very well with what I mean when I write G?D, as in my signature.



Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 12:56 AM

Rev- I stand for many things, (mostly nicely defined by terry in his excellent post). I just don't believe in the supernatural. I don't see gods etc in everything. That does not mean I do not wonder at things, and celebrate the fact that life exists and is amazing---I just don't see why it is necessary to think that any divinity has anything to do with it. Actually, to steal from terry, I'd call that a realistic view of existence,-and I'll stand by it.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 12:56 AM

Rev- I stand for many things, (mostly nicely defined by terry in his excellent post). I just don't believe in the supernatural. I don't see gods etc in everything. That does not mean I do not wonder at things, and celebrate the fact that life exists and is amazing---I just don't see why it is necessary to think that any divinity has anything to do with it. Actually, to steal from terry, I'd call that a realistic view of existence,-and I'll stand by it.
Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 03:15 AM

As the one who started this thread may I say: I find it very interesting. Each of you have made an excellent contribution, and you have done so while respecting the views of all involved. Good for you.

Keep on wondering, Ellis, it is the beginning of wisdom. It is how all children face life. I did. Like the Rev. I see the natural as being very super, especially the part of it I have not discovered, as yet.

BTW, let me ask the Rev. a question: Are you saying that you have discovered the only way to truth and that it has to be one that is supernatural?

I do not think you think this way, but I just want you to clarify what you mean, okay?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 05:49 AM

Turner, you are right. The natural is supernatural enough for me.

Recently (Feb. 12, 07), The http://www.globeandmail.com (Canada's daily paper) carried the story of Harvard professor Nima Arkani-Hamed. BTW, Dr. Arkani-Hamed began his education in maths and physics in a high school in North Toronto, not far from where I live.

The G&M reported that he, recently, gave a mind-bending lecture at Waterloo University, Waterloo, Ontario, on The Future of Fundamental physics. He and a group of like-minded mavericks are saying things like: "The scientific community is on the brink of a real revolution in the understanding of physics...Our entire universe could be this tiny, miniscule speck of nothing in this giant multiverse...our vast universe may be but one of billions, each governed by its own physical laws."

THE SPIRIT OF MATH

Interestingly, Charles Ledger, the math teacher who started Professor Arkani-Hamed on this creative approach to problem solving was present at the lecture. Years ago, he dubbed the program, not found in the regular texts, Spirit of Math.

The Spirit of Math inspires students to seek answers on their own, not by rote, and is clearly achieving positive results. It stretches the imagination, of those who want to be involved, to the limits.

For some of the practical applications of this kind of maverick thinking check out information of the:

LARGE HARDON COLLIDER mentioned in the G&M story.

http://www.interactions.org/LHC/what/index.html

May I suggest that this is the kind of approach we need to take to all kinds of human problems, including political, economic and social/spiritual problems, which need to be solved.







Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 02:23 PM

IT IS WRONG TO IMPOSE BELIEFS
BTW, I forgot to mention, just as teacher Charles Ledger discovered, we all tend to be subject to what I call the law of spiritual inertia.
Every thinker tends to remain in the same state of thinking unless forced to think otherwise from within their own mind.

This is why Charles Ledger had to move his math program outside the regular school program.

As the old saying goes: One convinced against one's will is of the same opinion still.

I would add to this: It is wrong for anyone with strong beliefs and opinions to impose them, dogmatically, on others. Even valid beliefs and opinions are false if they are dogmatically imposed on others.



Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 10:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
...It is wrong for anyone with strong beliefs and opinions to impose them, dogmatically, on others...

I don't seriously dispute the point, of course, but where do you draw the line? How would you feel about intervening to prevent human sacrifice, for example. Yes, I know it's extreme. I'm just testing the argument.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/18/07 10:55 PM

IMHO, witnessing, to others, what one's moral and ethical values are, is not the same thing as imposing them on others.

I have this strong feeling as to what is morally and ethically good for me; but I will leave it to you, as long as it does not impinge on my freedom, to choose what is good for you.

For example, as they were growing and developing, my wife and I gave our children--now with their own grown children--our witness as to what we held to be moral and ethical values concerning this that and the other thing; but, at no time, did we impose our values on them.

BTW, redewenwur, where did you get your name?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/19/07 08:13 PM

I should restate my question with a little scenario: You're deep in the Brazilian jungle and you encounter a small, previously unknown aboriginal tribe. They are peaceful and well-disposed to you but, in accordance with their religion, they are about to sacrifice a young girl to their god of fertility. Do you attempt to impose your own beliefs upon them in an effort to prevent the sacrifice?

My name? I once used 'fredsolo', simply because of the convenient location of the keys on the keyboard. I found that on some forums, young ladies sometimes got the wrong message! I changed it to redewenur (ready when you are) without much forethought - and it's probably even worse! lol.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/19/07 10:34 PM

Lindsay. You wrote:

"The Spirit of Math inspires students to seek answers on their own, not by rote, and is clearly achieving positive results. It stretches the imagination, of those who want to be involved, to the limits."

I gather this sums up your belief that religion is a personal thing. I agree. But, in relation to your threads on economics, unfortunately people seem remarkably ready to follow all sorts of gurus out to make money off them. Dan's recent comments on the Exxon bribes thread gives us some idea why.


Redewenur. You wrote:

"Do you attempt to impose your own beliefs upon them in an effort to prevent the sacrifice?"

I'd say not. You might point out that in your society it's not done and perhaps explain philosophical reasons why not. But by attempting to impose your own beliefs you might finish up with two sacrifices. By the way, I imagined your name was Thai!
Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/20/07 01:03 AM

Speaking to the Rev, you write, "I gather this sums up your belief that religion is a personal thing." and you add, "I agree."

BTW, the Rev and I particiapte in the forum at http://www.brainmeta.com We seem to be on the same wave length there.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/20/07 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
Redewenur. You wrote:

"Do you attempt to impose your own beliefs upon them in an effort to prevent the sacrifice?"

I'd say not. You might point out that in your society it's not done and perhaps explain philosophical reasons why not. But by attempting to impose your own beliefs you might finish up with two sacrifices. By the way, I imagined your name was Thai!

Interesting. Let's pursue it a bit: You happened to bring with you a well armed platoon, and have the requisite force to remove the girl from danger, set yourself up as the new village leader, and impose your will.

Now what do you do?

No, I'm not Thai. I'm an ex-pat cockney Eastender from London E.17. smile
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/21/07 02:44 AM

Ah! the Cortez option---well yes I'd charge in backed up by my trusty platoon, and rescue the fair maiden. Whereas, if I were on my own and I would like to think that I would attempt to stop the sacrifice, I really probably wouldn't. Nothing to do with belief, more to do with "Might is Right" in the first instance and and self-preservation in the second.

However I don't think that respect for another person's culture or religion should allow them to harm their fellow citizens in the name of tradition or cultural pracice. And having stated that caveat I would not expect anyone to embrace my beliefs and culture because only I know the truth. I just don't support human sacrifice!
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/21/07 03:57 AM

Redewenur. A Pom. You do pose an interesting ethical problem. I suppose with an army you can impose any rule you want, including banning human sacrifice. But without an army it usually pays to be diplomatic. As I said you could become a second sacrifice. In case you're worried, no, I don't support human sacrifice. Mind you, I've never tried it.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/21/07 05:40 PM

Ellis & terrytnewzealand: Yes, in reality we tend to take the pragmatic approach; we try to ensure that business is conducted the way we see fit, and that others cooperate with our own view of what's ethically right and wrong, but only to a limited extent. With regard to behaviour that we see as 'wrong', we generally ignore the trivia as being unworthy of our intervention, giving ourselves a pat on the back for being fair, tolerant, and broadminded. On more serious matters, we are often prepared to take action, and sometimes drastic action.

The reason I posed the question -

"You're deep in the Brazilian jungle and you encounter a small, previously unknown aboriginal tribe. They are peaceful and well-disposed to you but, in accordance with their religion, they are about to sacrifice a young girl to their god of fertility. Do you attempt to impose your own beliefs upon them in an effort to prevent the sacrifice?"

- was to try to illicit a response in relation to Revlgking's comment:

"It is wrong for anyone with strong beliefs and opinions to impose them, dogmatically, on others"

The members of the tribe have very strong religious beliefs. They believe that their very existence depends on human sacrifice. They do not believe that it's wrong. For them, not only is it right, but their god demands it.

Along you come with the power to impose, with impunity, your own very strong beliefs, i.e. "Thou shalt not kill", or something to that effect.

How does Revlgking's comment stand up to the situation?

Why am I asking the question? Because, I think given ever increasing opposition to our beliefs/convictions, the point in time comes at which we confront that opposition - given the power to do so; at what point that occurs depends on personality, strength of convictions, emotional involvement etc.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/21/07 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Turner
Redewenur....In case you're worried, no, I don't support human sacrifice. Mind you, I've never tried it.
How about canibalism? I once tried eating a clown, but I didn't like the funny taste in my mouth!!!! laugh laugh
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/21/07 11:29 PM

Red (Incidentally I have recently started to do cryptic crosswords and I nearly fell off my chair when I worked out your nom-de-plume!) To return to the Cortez example---the Incas + others didn't do too well after they were stopped from carving hearts out of living human sacrifices, so maybe there is something in it. On the plus side the New Guinea tribe which ate their catives' brains no longer get the prion disease, Kure, so banning cannibalism has had a good outcome.


Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/07 05:22 PM

I think, Ellis, you mean Kuru. And you're right, putting a stop to cannibalism stopped the spread of Kuru.

Amaranth
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/07 06:39 PM

Yes, yes, quite so, but you fellows are evading the philosophical point! Would you, or would you not, impose your beliefs on others, if you believed that the good results of doing so would outweigh the bad?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/07 09:58 PM

RedE, you write: "Along you come with the power to impose, with impunity, your own very strong beliefs, i.e. "Thou shalt not kill", or something to that effect."

Interestingly, if you read Exodus you will soon discover that Moses was a warlord; he killed people, regularly. The commandment was a prohibition against murder--the killing of innocent people for no reason other than personal gain.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/07 10:33 PM


"Yes, yes, quite so, but you fellows are evading the philosophical point! Would you, or would you not, impose your beliefs on others, if you believed that the good results of doing so would outweigh the bad? "

The problem with philosophy is that invariably its practitioners begin thinking its results are equivalent to knowledge gained through science. We innately believe that what we value has some significance external to us - that it's fixed, and understandable, and that our formulaic principles must always stay in tact. This is because we like to know. We don't like to think or believe or suspect. We like to KNOW. And when we don't know, we make stuff up.

People want to have ready-made "knowledge" and ready-made ethics that could hypothetically be encoded in an expert system. "What should I do in this situation?" Then the expert system asks you a whole bunch of questions and spits out a defensible answer.

But I don't believe human ethics is that simple. We might say, "Always this" or "Always that," but we should realize - consciously - that those are heuristics.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/23/07 02:13 AM

Revlgking wrote:

"Interestingly, if you read Exodus you will soon discover that Moses was a warlord; he killed people, regularly."

Two things spring immediately to mind. Firstly, on what grounds do you accept Moses actually existed and is not just a mythical figure? Secondly, on what grounds do you believe God ordered him to kill people? Isn't it simply the case that the stories of his exploits were used simply to justify later killing sprees by the followers of Yaweh? There is certainly no prohibition in the Old Testament against slaughtering innocent people. Quite encouraged in fact.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/23/07 03:13 AM

Thanks for correcting me Amaranth Rose, I also meant captives too!

I agree FFriend, that we cannot say how we will react in such a situation---I am a pacifist, I do not believe in taking another's life under any circumstances. I have been asked if I would kill someone if they were torturing my mother or harming my child, and the only answer is that maybe I would try to kill or hurt them, preferably very painfully, if I could. But that does not make it right. I would prefer to think that I would be able to avoid an awful thing such as I have described from happening, and I certainly hope I could forgive, even if not forget. But I don't know. Hate is a powerful emotion and an odd thing to be discussing on a rational site like this.

To return to the dilemma. I would like to think that I would help the person under threat, but self-preservation would mean I probably wouldn't. If the beliefs include human sacrifice then I would try to change them as I think that none of us has the right to kill someone else. The tribe would soon discover that life would run extremely smoothly without the sacrifice being necessary. The priests would be upset, but the potential sacrificial victims would have a more relaxed view of the future!

You are right--we have no answer in this situation, but I feel that the bottom line in any such debate has to be that the result should always aim to cause as little harm as possible. For example-- reducing another country to a pile of rubble in the pious hope it will become a beacon for democracy is never going to work.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/23/07 05:23 AM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
...on what grounds do you accept Moses actually existed and is not just a mythical figure?
I agree, there is little evidence that Moses was a historical figure. I was merely making the point that the Commandent is about "murder" not about killing per se.

When it comes to reading the Bible, I am not a literalist. I read it as literature. Indeed, Yahweh, the Lord of Host was a god of war. The OT has several different kinds of concepts regarding the nature of Elohim, and Yahweh.


Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/23/07 11:35 AM

TheFallibleFiend: you said "We innately believe that what we value has some significance external to us - that it's fixed, and understandable, and that our formulaic principles must always stay in tact. This is because we like to know...And when we don't know, we make stuff up."

and "People want to have ready-made "knowledge" and ready-made ethics that could hypothetically be encoded in an expert system. "What should I do in this situation?" Then the expert system asks you a whole bunch of questions and spits out a defensible answer."

These are generalisations, as I'm sure you are aware. Does it apply to you, for example?

and "But I don't believe human ethics is that simple. We might say, "Always this" or "Always that," but we should realize - consciously - that those are heuristics."

My point exactly. That's what I've been trying to extract from this!

Whilst I go along with the idea that imposing your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) on others can be counterproductive, situations arise in which we acknowledge the need to do so. Put another way, in general I agree with Revlgking's comment: "It is wrong for anyone with strong beliefs and opinions to impose them, dogmatically, on others" - but in many particalar instances, and dependent upon our personal evaluation, it doesn't apply. There's a sliding "ethical" scale in operation.

Ellis, you said: "I do not believe in taking another's life under any circumstances." and "If the beliefs include human sacrifice then I would try to change them as I think that none of us has the right to kill someone else."

Thank you, Ellis - a straight answer to a straight question. A hypothetical circumstance in which you would impose your beliefs on others if at all possible.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/25/07 06:10 AM

It's a clash of beliefs--there is no answer to this dilemma that does not require someone to accommodate another's belief. The evil of corporal (and capital) punishment is that the act itself corrupts. The act of human sacrifice is repugnant, but its eradication will need someone to compromise their beliefs in individual freedom. The latter is desirable but not as much as is the abolition of sacificial killing. I have said tht I am against all killing of fellow humans, however I have also stated that I can see where this stance would be hard to maintain. As these instances are extreme and very unlikely to occur in my life I am able to delude myself that I would rush to someone's help, or perhaps defend their freedom to believe that killing with a religious purpose is OK.

Rede- We all impose our will/beliefs on others every day of our lives. I was a teacher and am a parent of adults---boy! have I done some imposing!!!!
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/25/07 07:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rede- We all impose our will/beliefs on others every day of our lives. I was a teacher and am a parent of adults---boy! have I done some imposing!!!!

Yes, Ellis, absolutely. I've been a teacher too, and have raised a family, so I fully appreciate what you're saying.

The subject has been focused on religious beliefs and deep ethical conviction, and I think it's clear that it's not so often a case of black and white but rather shades of grey - and shifting shades, at that! In some cases one might see it as more right than wrong to impose ones beliefs, and in other cases vice versa.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/25/07 08:01 AM


"These are generalisations, as I'm sure you are aware. Does it apply to you, for example?"

How could they not? We always like to know. We always like to have certainty. I am no exception.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/25/07 02:29 PM

'G?D' is the name I use to designate that of which I am relatively certain, the cosmos, and all that we will discover it to be--an eternal and joyful, for me, quest. "The joy of understand in the noblest joy of all." Lenoardo
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/26/07 05:42 AM

We cannot have certainty though. We, as humans, constantly have to reaffirm our own ethical standards, and we shift and compromise until an agreement is reached.

I think that often it is the promise of that same certainty that attracts people to a religion, especially a religion that has strict behavioural rules and perhaps a distinctive drees standard. Usually the philosophy of most religions is basically kind and considerate, providing you keep their rigid rules, and it's often easier to do that than work the rules for your own conduct for yourself. Religions offer gods, also angels and the prospect of Paradise or future bliss after death as rewards for keeping the rules. There is also often some sort of punishment eg Hell, for anyone who plays up a bit. All that and more, plus certainty now and in the future.

Ultimately though I think the independent way is more satisfying, and no less ethical, moral or satisfying. Although no human is omnipotent, they are very interesting indeed!! Shifting shades of grey can be fascinating.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/26/07 06:35 AM

I like to think of myself as an independent thinker. This is why I like the following site:
http://www.progressivechristianity.ca/
=======================================

If you are searching for the security of rigid answers to the BIG questions of life, this isn't the right site for you. Many other sites can offer you traditional, absolute, and dogmatic formulas for faith.

What you will find here is a safe place to explore those questions with others who, like you, are willing to brave the unknown--a place where every idea, concept, ritual, and belief can be examined, where that which keeps us from living life freely and fully can be set aside, and where that which is worthy of our highest ideals can be upheld and celebrated.

Welcome to the journey, friend. Welcome.


Our 8 Points
=======================================
Be sure and check out the 8 points.
The Gathering I attend is at:
http://www.pathwayschurch.ca
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/26/07 09:10 AM

Actually, TFF, I don't disagree that we prefer to have some kind of common standard reference manual; maybe that's a requirement of a stable society. I do think, though, that reality is probably too complex and chaotic to for all of the rules to be written in stone (no insinuation intended).
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/26/07 10:21 PM

Philosophy, whether it be philosophy of the many religions, the sciences, or the arts is, IMHO, about wondering and questioning and being curious about life.

Therefore, it seems to me, children, if parents, grandparents and other adult role models are wise enough to just to observe and listen to them, are great philosophers.

Currently, my wife and I are the grandparents of three grandchildren--two granddaughters (18 and 15) and one grandson (11). The 18 year old is in her first year university (science studies). Interesting.

The father is our son (a musician and teacher) and the mother is a Sufi Muslim (an early childhood teacher) and they live twenty minutes drive from us. Since their birth, we have had a wonderful time watching the three children grow and develop. Whether we have succeeded or not, we have made a conscious attmept not to be overbearing grandparents.

ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE, NOT ABOUT BIBLE PUSHING
I don't want to push the Bible at you, but may I say: read from a certain perspective, and as literature, THE bible is a very childlike collection of documents. It certainly is not a book in the conventional sense of the word. No wonder some scholars refer to it as the book(s) of life--life with all its ramifications. And, at times--even from the very beginning--it is about life in the raw.

EARLY FAILURES
As Genesis, which I do not think of as history, plainly shows, the first attempt at establishing an ideal family, in an ideal garden--Eden means a pleasant place--is not all that successful. Jealousy results in murder. Neither is the second attempt--the story of Noah and his family.

THE THIRD ATTEMPT
The third attempt to establish the ideal family is what Christians call the New Testament. It begins with the birth of a child; that child, Jesus, grew up to be interested in philosophy (Luke 2:52).

Although there is no record in the NT that Jesus ever got married, he clearly evaluated children and family life, highly: See Mark 9:33-37. In Mark 10: 13-16, he used childhood to define entrance requirements for getting into the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 11:25 he speaks of the wisdom of the unsophisticated, and he put children at the centre of his message.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/27/07 12:53 AM

Ellis, I totally agree:

"Shifting shades of grey can be fascinating."

I think the shifting shades are more threatening the later in life you have been exposed to them. If you grow up believing God did everything it's a bit frightening to consider later in life that he may not have.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 03/01/07 01:10 PM

"If you grow up believing God did everything it's a bit frightening to consider later in life that he may not have."
Good point, Terry. This is why I prefer to believe that G?D IS everything, warts and all.

Several times, I have been asked: What gives you the right to use your special word for the god-concept? Why don't you stick with the one in the dictionaries?

1. Dictionaries are not infallible and fixed documents written in stone. Even they recognize that languages grow and that new ideas/concepts need new words.

2. I do not not tell scientists: You have no right to create new symbols to express your new ideas. When I first read that a mathematician had come up with the idea of there being a "set without numbers" and then created the symbol ? to represent it, I did not say: He has no right to do this. I asked: what is the meaning of the concept? What is its function?

Interestingly, I came up with the symbol ? before I had ever read about the "no set" or "set without numbers" theory. It was Rick in brainmeta who showed me how to get in on my computer page.

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 03/04/07 08:37 AM

It's not a question of your "right" to do it. The question is the intention and the sensibleness of using such a laden term. In the other fora you've already demonstrated that a remarkable tendency towards definition creep.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 03/04/07 03:12 PM

"Creep"? How "laden" is this term? smile And who with any sense intends not to sensible? "Very laden", eh?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ *DELETED* - 03/04/07 03:12 PM

Post deleted by Revlgking
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 03/04/07 07:58 PM

Please don't be coy. We all know the various meanings ascribed to the term 'god'. Changing the middle letter to a null symbol doesn't make the term or intent of the term any less recognizeable.

You start out saying god is everything, then you say god is just the good things, and now you are imputing characters that require "intent" (such as compassion) to this term.

If you do even half the things in your community that your web page indicates then you are a remarkable and good man. I applaud you.

But you do those things because you are fundamentally decent and not because your thinking or expression is clear.
You are a very nice and a very confused (and a very confusing) man.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/11/07 06:56 PM

TFF you write:"You start out saying god is everything, then you say god is just the good things, and now you are imputing characters that require "intent" (such as compassion) to this term."

I clarify: In my opinion--and, by the way, what I believe is not offered as dogma for you or anyone else to believe without question; it is MY opinion, as indicated in my signature:

EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING--PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL
G?D is Spirit (both good and evil) and Love, in and through All the Cosmos--warts and all. When I say "all" I mean all that is total, universal and all-encompassing.

THE PROCESS THEOLOGY OF WHITEHEAD
This process theology, as proposed by the mathematician, scientist and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead (b.1861 - d.1947), works for me. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
ANW gives us a lot to think about.

People who want to believe in the traditional concept of God, the almighty and loving heavenly father--the one they were taught to pray to and bow before in Sunday School--should stay away. If this fulfills your need, believe this. However, it did not fulfill my need for a rational faith.

Process theology requires deep thinking. Without it I would probably be a positive atheist.


Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/11/07 09:43 PM

Now we're getting somewhere. Revlgking wrote:
"G?D is Spirit (both good and evil) and Love"

Clearly and unambiguously define the following words:
"spirit"
"good"
"evil"
"love"

PS: IFF. My information from Canadian friends is that there is the website and there is the reality. And never the twain doth meet.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 02:13 AM

WORDS AND MEANINGs ARE ALWAYS RELATIVE AND OPEN TO INTERPRETATION
As I have already written: Dictionaries, IMO, are not infallible and fixed documents written in stone. Even they recognize that languages need to be free to grow and that new ideas/concepts need new words.

"spirit" "good" "evil" "love" are all complex terms.

Generally speaking, I agree with the way these comlex terms are defined in the standard dictionaries. However, because they arecomplex we need to allow individuals to be free to offer their own interpretation.

SPIRIT
For example, chemists will use the term to refer to any of various mordant (corrosive, biting) solutions, usually prepared from tin salts (tannic acids), in dyeing. Christian Science teachers capitalize the term and write 'Spirit' as a doublet for God. I use it to refer to anything that cannot be weighed or measuered in the usual way.

GOOD
It comes from the Old English, god, with a long o. Generally speaking, I like what the dictionary tells us it means--that which has the right and excellent qualities for most people. But I realize that relative values apply. What is good for one is not alway good for another. This is one of the reasons I have difficulty believing in a personal god who is anxious to communicate with His creatures.

EVIL
Another complex and relative term. I think of evil as being like chaos, it is good in the making. Pain and suffering can be redemptive. And redemption can begin when we understand the nature and function of love.

LOVE
Love is another and extremely complex term. It can be a noun or a verb. It can mean anything, from a strong affection for a person of the opposite sex, a close member of the family--parent, sibling--ones true friend, ones country, a hero, a movie star, alma mater, to a doublet for God, as it is in Christian Science.

Love can include feels of warm and tender attachment, but it can also mean the ability to give good will without such conditions. This is the root meaning of the Greek term agape, the one used 140 times in the Greek New Testament.

http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CP07Cor1.htm

CHAPTER 13 of First Corinthians

Christian love - the highest and best gift
The Greek here is not eros (sensual love); not philia (love for a trusted friend), it is agape--love without conditions; the kind respect and fairness one can give even to an enemy.

13:1-3 - If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.

13:4 - This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

13:5-6 - Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.

13:7-8a - Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

All gifts except love will be superseded one day

13:8b-10 - For if there are prophecies they will be fulfilled and done with, if there are "tongues" the need for them will disappear, if there is knowledge it will be swallowed up in truth. For our knowledge is always incomplete and our prophecy is always incomplete, and when the complete comes, that is the end of the incomplete.

13:11 - When I was a little child I talked and felt and thought like a little child. Now that I am a man my childish speech and feeling and thought have no further significance for me.

13:12 - At present we are men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror. The time will come when we shall see reality whole and face to face! At present all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me!

13:13 - In this life we have three great lasting qualities - faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 02:38 AM

Revlgking wrote, as a definition of spirit:

"I use it to refer to anything that cannot be weighed or measuered in the usual way."

Well that's handy. The other day a survey was quoted on TV that said over 50% of people claim to be "spiritual". I wondered at the time what on earth that meant. Now I know. They can't be weighed or measured in any way.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 03:22 AM

Certainly not their IQs
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 03:15 PM

WHY WE USE HEART AS A METAPHOR FOR SPIRIT
==========================================
Out of the human heart, or spirit can come much good, or much evil. Will anyone deny with this?

It is self-evident that the human spirituality, which has no mass and does not occupy space or time, is capable of creating great works of art--physical and measureable things--or great wars of death and destruction.

Out of the human spirit also come what we call thoughts and words. If we choose negative words we can destroy the reputations of others by the use of slander and/or libel. This is what can be measured. The cost of doing so can also be costly to us, in term of dollars and cents.

THE PNEUMA FACTOR
Interestingly, the ancients equated air, wind and breath--the Greek word for which is 'pneuma'--with the spirit of God or the gods. To them air was a mysterious NO-thing. They reasoned that every time human beings take a breath it goes into the heart, the centre of all consciousness--the spirit within. Over and over again Jesus uses this term, in the Gospel of John--known as the Gospel of the Spirit. For example, see John 2 and 3.

Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 08:22 PM

"The loving human heart, or spirit, however, can be the source of much good"

And all we have to do is look back at history to see all of that love.

I suggest we start in Darfur and Rwanda. Then we can take a leisurely stroll into Bosnia. Visiting the victims of napalm, land mines, and cluster bombs we can hear the heartwarming stories of WWII, WWI, the Armenian Genocide, The Hundred Years War, the Inquisition, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Is my list too short? Perhaps you can add a few tens of thousands of others.

I hear there was a real tragedy up in Canada a couple of weeks ago. They ice melted by global warming caused the drowning of tens of thousands of seals so they couldn't be clubbed to death.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 08:34 PM

Just a minute ago I finished writing the following:

Out of the human heart, or spirit can come much good, or much evil. Will anyone deny this to be true?

It is self-evident that the human spirituality, which has no mass and does not occupy space or time, is capable of creating great works of art--physical and measureable things--or great wars of death and destruction.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand

Now I know. They can't be weighed, or measured, in any way.
O yes, they can: They can be measured by whether or not they produce good or evil.
BTW, sarcasm used to make things worse than they are, does no one any good. Therefore, it is evil.

If you don't agree, let me know, why.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 09:36 PM

Terry, you quote me as saying: "They (spiritual qualities) can't be weighed or measured in any way."

Keep in mind, what I am saying is this:

Spirituality, like G?D is not something which can be measured in the same way we can measure physical property.

In the spirit of dialoguing, if this is not clear, ask questions which will help me to be clear.

In my opinion, intended sarcasm (stiping off the flesh), even when amusing, will not help anyone. If you are totally committed to materialism and find that anything to do with spirituality is totally irrational, please say so. If you prefer to debate, say so. Because it involves a win/win outcome, I prefer to dialogue. smile

Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/12/07 09:52 PM

Revlgking wrote:
"Spirituality, like G?D is not something which can be measured in the same way we can measure physical property."

Is that done in kilograms or ergs or in lives wasted pursuing the tooth fairy?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 02:07 AM

OK rev. I'll bite. What do people actually mean when they claim to be "spiritual"?
Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 02:13 AM

This thread now sounds interesting.

Didn't someone try to have this thread killed smile I wonder why? Was it because of certain verbal bullies? I trust they have left the room. smile
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 02:57 AM

I'll answer for him. It is code for condescension.

It means being superior to those of us who are not believers of whatever fiction is being sold.

It means not having to actually go out and do anything or make an effort because one is above doing real work.

It means having time to pr?sletyze and time to spend contemplating how spelling a word with a contrivance rather than actually leaving the house.

Going to a science website and talking about science requires actual work. So much easier to talk about love and spirits and g?ds and the t??th fairy.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 02:59 AM

I tried to get this thread killed Turner ... because it has zero value.

Why do I continue to be here then you might ask?

Because to quote Edmund Burke for the second time this evening:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 05:03 AM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
OK rev. I'll bite. What do people actually mean when they claim to be "spiritual"?
Thanks for the question. As one who enjoys being a spiritual being I can only answer for myself.

I like what I find in:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

Here is a taste:
Quote:
Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. The spiritual, involving (as it may) perceived eternal verities regarding humankind's ultimate nature, often contrasts with the temporal, with the material, or with the worldly.

A sense of connection forms a central defining characteristic of spirituality ? connection to something "greater" than oneself, which includes an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence.

Equally importantly, spirituality relates to matters of sanity and of psychological health. Like some forms of religion, spirituality often focuses on personal experience (see mysticism).

Spirituality may involve perceiving or wishing to perceive life as more important ("higher"), more complex or more integrated with one's world view; as contrasted with the merely sensual.



I also like what I read in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I love and respect nature and especially members of the animal kingdom. As a human being I think of myself as an animal being who has evolved to the point where I now have the ability to ask questions to myself, and others, about the nature and meaning of life. If I were just an animal--or an immature child--I would not ask the following:

1. Who am I? Especially as I relate to others?
2. What is the meaning and purpose of life--mine and others?
3. Is there more to life than can be perceived with the senses?
4. Is this experience temporary? Or eternal?
5. Am I a spiritual being with a mind and a body?
6. Or am I a body with a mind and a spirit?
7. If I am the result of evolution, now that I have evolved to consciousness, am I able to choose to play a role as to where I want to evolve in the future?
8. Or is the whole idea of spirituality and evolving into the future one big absurdity?
9. Are there human animals who look like conscious human beings who really do not have any interest in asking themselves, or anyone, the above questions?
10. If there are spiritual beings, as referred to in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit are some evil as well as good?

Can anyone think of other questions?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 09:03 AM

Revlgking. The expression 'connection to something "greater" than oneself' may best sum up what you are getting at. Rastafarians believe we are all connected. They refer to "I and I" although there is a theory this developed from the Roman numeral in "Ras Tafari I".

It seems the concept is relatively new. I picked this up from your link:

"In the wake of the Nietzschean announcement of the "death of God" in 1882, people unpersuaded by scientific rationalism turned increasingly to the idea of spirituality as an alternative both to materialism and to traditional religious dogma."

From the site re spirit I extracted this:

"This concept of the individual spirit is common among traditional peoples."

Maori believed we each have what we could call a god looking after us. They called it the "wairua". You might like to use that term.

It seems most, if not all, of us always need something beyond ourselves to believe in.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 05:01 PM

Definitely not all of us TNZ.

I gave that up shortly after puberty.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 10:35 PM

I made a boo boo on my post. It's not Ras Tafari I, its Haile Selassie I. Silly me.

I found this which I'd be interested in having Revlgking comment on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jah

Mix of OT and other spiritual ideas.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 11:05 PM

Meanwhile, TNZ, take a look at the following story:
CATHERINE'S STORY OF HOW SHE HELPED HEAL HERSELF
=====================================================
The following first-person story is on the record and in the anthology: EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES?Personal accounts of the para-normal in Canada, by John R. Colombo, a skeptic and an agnostic (1989).

The Endless Power of the Human Spirit

John R. Colombo is no one's fool. I met with him on more than one occasion, including participating with him on media panels. This anthology, which is a gold mine of well-researched stories was brought together by this well-known anthologist (See also Colombo's Quotations) in 1989. The facts in the story were examined by many people, including the religion editor of the Toronto Star.

In the winter of 1963-1964 my eight-year-old daughter, Catherine (Born April 1, 1956) ?ailing since she was two and a half?was seriously ill with her fifth bout of pneumonia that winter. Doctors at Children's Hospital, Toronto, told our doctor and my wife and me: "Catherine's lung problem is extremely serious. One more bout of pneumonia could kill her. Her lungs are extremely scarred. What she needs is new set of lungs." And since this was in the day before lung transplantation, all that was recommended was more of the same ineffective treatment.

ENTER PNEUMATHERAPY
The basic story in the anthology is about my interest, since my student days, in the relation between religion, faith, science and healing. Early on, I was influenced by the writings of religious psychologists such as Dr. William Parker and Elaine St. John (Prayer Can Change Your Life) and The Rev. and doctor, Leslie D. Weatherhead (Psychology, Religion and Healing) and others.

In my thirties at the time, with the help of, Allen Spraggett, then religion editor of the Toronto Star, I met the following great thinkers who were then on the cutting edge of research in science, faith and religion. I invited those I met to speak at the church I served, in what is now east Toronto. I followed their work, closely.

I remember meeting the researcher, The Rev. Dr. Frankiln Loehr. I invited him and his wife to my church and my home. I heard, first hand, from him how his experiments were conducted with close attention to details and the keeping of careful statistics.

I also met and studied with the Rev. Harold Crump, who visited and lectured in Toronto more than once, over the years. He was in his 80's, when I met him, and he was still dynamically alive and well.

Crump, a methodist minister, was actually trained as an electronics engineer. He had worked with the brilliant Charles P. Setinmetz--the wizzard of General Electric.
http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/~eugeniik/history/steinmetz.html
Crump taught a spiritual/science philosophy which is still being taught. He was whiz at hypnosis. The program he taught is called Concept Therapy. I have much of the concept therapy literature.
http://www.concept-therapy.org/

WHAT I LEARNED FROM FATHER JOE HELPED SAVE MY DAUGHTER'S LIFE
Then I met the one who really helped me help my daughter, Catherine, recover from a potentially fatal disease. Now in the hereafter, Father Joe was then an American Episcopalian canon and priest. The Rev. Canon Joseph Wittkofski, Charleroi, Pa., told me that he had been drummed out of the Roman Catholic faith, by a narrow-minded bishop of his, because of his (Father Joe's ) "weird" ideas. However, he became a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA?an open-minded religion, not unlike the United Church of Canada.

From him I took several private studies. Later, with a group of twenty students, I arranged to have him come and give a week-long?over thirty hours?seminar Following the seminar, he went back to his own church in Charleroi, Pa.

Before he left, I told him of my daughter's problem. His words to me, as he left for his home, were: "You now know how to use hypnotherapy within the context of spiritual, or faith healing. You can help your daughter, better that I can. Go to work. Because of the dumb law you have here in Ontario against non-medical therapists using hypnosis, it would be wise for you to speak to your family doctor. I would like to see you and your group get the law reformed."

With this knowledge, I approached our family doctor, Dr. Harold Hutchins. I told him about Father Joe's work, and what I had learned from him. Then I loaned him a copy of the book, by Father Joe: THE PASTORAL USE OF HYPNOTIC TECHNIQUE. Also, I told him that Father Joe was now back in Pa., but was willing to keep in touch, by phone.

Our doctor readily admitted to me that he was not skilled in hypnosis. Was I ever happy when he told me: "You will get no hassle from me. I happen to think that the law is a bad one. I have no objection to your following Canon Wittkofski's suggestion. Give hypnosis a try. I will be interested in what results you get.?

Then he added, "Anything you can do to help your daughter's immune system, to kick in, is okay with me. In the light of Children's Hospital prognosis, we have nothing to lose. The law, as I understand it, is toothless. I think it was brought into being for the convenience of a certain few with a vested interest in keeping control. I will not report you, and I will monitor your daughter's condition, as needed."

[BTW, years later, a group of us lobbied the provincial department of health. The law was reformed. Hypnosis is no longer considered a medical procedure. Thank GOD!]

Encouraged by this, and the desperate condition of Catherine, I went ahead. The details of what I said are in the anthology.

I used what now I call pneumatherapy?the spiritual application of hypnotic technique?hypnosis without the hype and the hocus pocus. It is similar to what is now called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). One of the early developers of NLP was the father of North American hypnosis, psychiatrist Dr. Milton Erickson. In my opinion, Dr. Erickson was practicing what I now call pneumatherapy.

Wittkofski, who was also trained in biology, taught me that hypnotic suggestion can influence the will and the imagination of individuals. This guides the mind and the body to awaken the extremely valuable auto-immune system.

A FULL RECOVERY TOOK PLACE
To the amazement of all involved, overnight, Catherine, began to recover from a disease that had been poised to kill her. The doctor was as good as his word. He kept a close watch on, and monitored, her condition. Within a very short time, Catherine was well enough to go back to school. She was never bed-ridden again.

BTW, sometime later (in the early 1970's), it was discovered that the full-spectrum anti-biotic, prescribed by her doctors to fight Catherine's pneumonias, was quietly removed from general usage. It was discovered that it had a very negative effect on kidney functions and the immune systems all patients. Interesting.
==============================================================
THE SEQUEL
As Catherine began to get stronger and stronger, physically, I experienced the following internal dialogue. I asked myself: Why don't you work with your daughter and see if you can find out what is the root cause her illness? Maybe, there is a spiritual dimension to her illness.

When Catherine recovered sufficiently from her serious death-threatening somatic illness I explained to her the nature and function of the trance state and what I felt had happened, which helped her harness her own immune system.

Then I asked her: Catherine, how do you feel about exploring the root cause of what caused you to be so ill in the first place? She agreed to the exploration.

Within seconds, she went into the same kind of deep trance state into which she had gone when I first spoke to her about her physical illness and the problem with her lungs.

Then I told her: "Go back, in your memory, to a time in your present
life which you feel is of importance to you."

After a short period of silence, she started describing the time that we lived in Pointe Claire, Quebec, west of Dorval. She was about two and a half. She said: "We are at the shopping centre. I am asleep in my stroller, which you left just outside one of the stores. You and mom are inside the store. It is a sunny and warm day. I am asleep.

"I see myself being suddenly awakened by a rather large dog, which jumped up and looked at me in the stroller. At this point, all I see was a head, and the dog's paws. Not understanding what was happening, I felt terrified.

"Then, a woman appeared. She hit the dog with her purse... 'Get away, you nasty dogs. Leave that child alone...''

I started to howl. At that point you appeared and took control of things.

Interestingly, at Children's Hospital, Catherine was diagnosed as being very allergic to animals, birds, cats and, especially, dogs. This was my cue to suggest to her, while she was in the trance state: "Do not blame the dog. It was simply having fun. Birds and animals, in general, are there for you to enjoy. Be careful, but do not allow yourself to be be filled with fear."

From then, on, she was no longer allergic to animals, including dogs. From then on, we had birds and cats, and she associated, freely, with the neighbor's dogs. Since she married she had two beloved dogs, cats, and even hens.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 11:13 PM

I suspect that the cynics will pooh pooh the above story. But what else in new? It is to be expected. And I will.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/13/07 11:26 PM

Which poses some important questions such as: How does one do science and take a scientific approach to what is being proposed in a chat room such as this?

It is certainly not possible to conduct experiments, right?
What do we do then, do we just ask protagonists to tell stories to be accepted as true or false, and leave it at that?
How do we really go about it?
What are your suggestions?

Turner, this thread, thanks to you is a great one in which to discuss such questions. Thanks!
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/14/07 03:38 AM

"The Endless Power of the Human Spirit"

A phrase totally devoid of meaning.

Roughly the equivalent of "my favorite color is green" except that in the later case it might just be true.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/14/07 07:13 PM

THE EFFECT OF PRAYER ON PLANTS, AND OTHER THINGS
In the 1960's and 1970's I was a close friend--still am--of the then Religion Editor of the Toronto Star, Allen Spraggett--a careful student of philosophy, psychology, theology and all the religions. He was very interested in the role played psychology, psychic phenomena, parapsychology in religion and faith healing, and the like.

It was with his help that I first met the Rev. Dr. Franklin Loehr--minister and researcher regarding the claims of religion--in 1963. Then, in cooperation with the Toronto Star, I invited him and his wife to my church and my home. He spoke to my whole congregation on a Sunday and to a special group interested in faith and healing, later. He spoke of his carefully controlled experiments on the nature and effect of prayer on seeds and plant life.
===============================
Does prayer effect plant seeds?
===============================

He told us that the objective of his controlled experiments was to see what effect prayer had over living and seemingly non-living matter.

In one experiment--covered in detail is his book, with pictures--his research team took three pans of various types of seeds. One was the control pan. One pan received positive prayer, and the other received negative prayer.

Time after time, the results indicated that prayer helped speed germination and produced more vigorous plants. Prayers of negation actually halted germination in some plants and suppressed growth in others.

In another experiment two bottles of spring water were purchased. One container was used as a control, receiving no prayer; a group prayed for the second.

The water was then used on pans of corn seeds layered in cotton, with one pan receiving the prayer water and the other receiving the control water. The pan receiving the prayer water sprouted a day earlier than seeds in the other pan. The prayer seeds had a higher germination and growth rate. The experiment was repeated with the same result each time.

MY DAUGHTER'S EXPERIMENT--on the power of focussed imagination, affirmitive and meditative prayer
As I have written above, my daughter, a child in the 1963, was very ill at that time of Dr. Loehr's visit. But what I learned from him and others helped, later, to restore her to health.

Years later, when she was a healthy Grade 9 student in junior high, my daughter became very interested in understanding more about the power, which had been of so much help to her. Thus she read the book of which she heard me speak, The Power of Prayer on Plants, by Dr. Loehr. I still have it in my library.

Inspired by this, and with her science teacher's permission and supervision, she decided to do an experiment. I still have her hand-written document on file in which she tells about what she did and what happened as a result of her experiment. She used tomato seeds.

HERE IS A SUMMARY
She planted three containers of fifteen tomatoe seeds each, all with the same kind of soil and each received the same amount of watering.

Container #1, the control group, was set aside and left to grow, naturally, on its own, with no attention other than watering.

Container #2 was placed next to container #3. Using her imagination and a focussed and meditative kind of prayer, she prayed over #3.

The seeds in the container #3 sprouted quickly and grew quite well.

Meanwhile the seeds in container #2 sprouted and grew as expected and in pace with the control group.

At this point, my daughter did something unusual. She focussed on the healthy plants in container #3. She sent them negative prayer-thoughts. Soon, they stopped growing and began to die.

Then she focussed on the slow-growing container #2. Rapidly the plants developed and surpassed the plants in # 3, which continued to wither. Then they all died. Meanwhile, #2 container progressed, rapidly.

I FOUND THE FOLLOWING EXPERIMENT TRULY AMAZING: She brought the healthy plants home--the ones in #2 container--and put them in the freezer long enough to freeze them. Then she took them out; focussed on them her postive imagination and warm prayer thoughts. They survived the freezing and continued their growth as healthy plants.

That summer I had the best tomatoes I ever had.

Her supervising teacher gave her top marks for the project.

My daughter, now an accomplished artist, and her artist husband now live in a floating home, and a floating garden as part of it, near Tofino, British Columbia. It covers over one quarter of an acre. There, they do their art and grow all the vegetables they need. Check out:
http://www.wildretreat.com/
This will give you some idea of what the Tofino area looks like. My daughter said: "This place time came to me as a result of focussed meditative praying."

Her mother and I have visited there, often. It is a work of art in progress, which is at a new creative stage each time we see it.

================================
http://www.plim.org/PrayerDeb.htm
=================================
For three years, beginning in 1952, Dr. Loehr conducted a double-locked laboratory experiment, using 156 people to determine if prayer could have an effect on the growth of plants.

THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF PRAYING
Loehr's book documents the astounding results of these experiments, proving not only that prayer is effective, but he also isolated four different types of prayer. He found that to be effective we need to do more than just petition God, or gods. We must at least use our imaginations. Here are the steps:

First of all, use your imagination; to this add how you feel about plants, whatever; then do not be afraid to call on friends you know who are in the realm of spirit. Finally, connect with the divine in an through all things. In summary, use your:

1. Imagination
2. add feeling
3. then ask for spiritual assistance
4. and connect with the divine mind in and through all that is.

The book, The Power of Prayer on Plants, originally published in 1959, by Doubleday, brought Dr. Loehr on a lecture tour that carried him all over the United States, Canada and also to lecture at Cambridge in England. 1969. 127 pages.
=================================================
ABOUT DR.LOEHR http://www.answers.com/Franklin%20Davison%20Loehr
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/14/07 08:42 PM

That work with prayer was totally bogus and has been refuted numerous times in the scientific literature.

For example:
http://ece.colorado.edu/~ecen3070/Spr05Projects.pdf

It should probably also be noted that with cardiac patients, when people prayed for them, they were more likely to die than those who did not received the 'benefit' of prayer.

But heck this is a science forum. Why let science interfere with a good fairy tale.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/14/07 09:42 PM

This thread is about philosophy, the mother of science. Mother knows best, eh?

BTW, those who died went to heaven; those who lived remained in hell, with the cynics!!! laugh

BEWARE, SOME SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE NOT TO BE TRUSTED.
As the New York Times remind us:
Global Trend: More Science, More Fraud
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/20/scienc...nyt&emc=rss
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 02:59 AM

DA, I wouldn't knee-jerk write-off the possibility that Prayer could influence the growth of plants. I grew up on a vegetable farm, and my Dad often experimented with his crops. One year we planted our spices in a North-South orientation. Everything else was planted East-West. Planting east-west gave us shorter, more manageable rows. My dad wanted to see if the fact that the plants were growing in each others shade would slow their growth. With herbs and spices, slower growth equals better quality. What we saw came as a surprise. The spices grew faster than ever before. Dad figured that maybe the plants were atuned to the Earth's Magnetic Field. Whatever. The next year we planted everything BUT the spices and herbs North-South. Everything grew faster and was more prolific than ever before, except the spice which slowed down again. We never went back to East-West rowing.

Rev, I just read that your daughter lives in Tofino. Samll World, I've visited there. We had some friends, through Track and Field, who lived in Port Alberni. We flew into Tofino on their private plane. It's literally at the "end of the road on Vancouver Island. Rain, rain and more rain. And cold. It seems to be one of those little enclaves that you come across now and again ( like Ukaiah, California, Far North Queensland, Maui and Kauai) where Hippies have gone to escape "The Man" and drop out of Society. You have my condolences.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 03:31 AM

BTW, serious moral and ethical researchers in the effectiveness of what I called MAP--meditation and affirmative prayer incorporating the use of the imagination--are just as serious about doing it right--replication and all that--as are all good researchers.

Serious researchers are well aware that some kinds of praying--consisting mostly of petitions--are nothing more than wishful thinking. I AM ALL IN FAVOUR of putting this kind of praying to the test.

But research costs money. Anyone willing to put up the money to get it done?

Interestingly, in the well-researched book, Second Opinion--What's Wrong with Canada's Health Care System and How to Fix it (ISBN: 0002156784) Dr. Mirhael Rachlis, Michael and Carol Kushner, point out that over 70% of all medical procedures have never been put to the double-blind testing.

We all need to be aware of the limits of medical science as written about in:
Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis - The Expropriation of Health (Paperback) by Ivan Illich (Author)
=====================================
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
One year we planted our spices in a North-South orientation. Everything else was planted East-West. Planting east-west gave us shorter, more manageable rows. My dad wanted to see if the fact that the plants were growing in each others shade would slow their growth. With herbs and spices, slower growth equals better quality. What we saw came as a surprise. The spices grew faster than ever before. Dad figured that maybe the plants were atuned to the Earth's Magnetic Field.

Plants use red light more efficiently than blue light, so here's another theory: in a north-south row orientation they receive more red light when the sun is lower in the sky.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 09:21 AM

Excellent observation, Ready, I never made that connection. We lived just south of Vancouver, extremely long sunrises and sunsets at that lattitude, a lot of "filtered" sunlight.
My Dad is an ethnic Gypsy, I always thought that "Magnetic Field" hypothesis struck of the Supernatural.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 01:41 PM

Your assumption is incorrect.

The fact that the light seems redder does not mean there is more red light than in the noon day sun. It means there is a lot less yellow, green, blue, and violet.

And a lot less red too for that matter.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 01:48 PM

As illustrated by the above useful dialogue, what I call MAP--meditation and affirmative prayer incorporating the use of the imagination, even when it is not formalized, can result in all kinds of helpful information. MAP is an attitude, not dogma or ritual. smile
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 01:55 PM

My post: "in a north-south row orientation they receive more red light when the sun is lower in the sky."

DA: Your assumption is incorrect...The fact that the light seems redder does not mean there is more red light than in the noon day sun. It means there is a lot less yellow, green, blue, and violet."

Nothing wrong with my assumption, only my ambiguous wording. Let me rephrase to make my meaning clear. My meaning is that, due to the north-south row orientation, each plant receives increased exposure to light during the early and late hours of daylight, and that the extra light, although of lower energy due Rayleigh scattering/filtration, retains the longer wavelengths by which photosynthesis is most efficient.

Better? <g>
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 04:58 PM

revlgking wrote:
"can result in all kinds of helpful information"

Which obviously explains why those people that engage in this activity have been demonstrated to be better, happier, and healthier people than those who don't by peer reviewed research studies.

Care to enlighten us with references:
University, Author, Journal, Volume, and Page?

Or is this just more woo-woo feel-good follow-the-leader tooth fairy fluff?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 05:02 PM

redewenur:

Much. <g>
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 10:27 PM

I repeat: MAP--meditation and affirmitive prayer--is an attitude, not a dogma, or a ritual written in stone. One will not find much about this in professional journals. I wonder why.

BTW, what are we to make of it when posters write that a concept is to be thought of as so much, "woo-woo feel-good follow-the-leader tooth fairy fluff?"

Is this meant to be serious and sarcastic ridicule? Or, when they have little else to do, is this just a way for simple, and forgiveable, minds to have a little fun? If the latter, I understand, and forgive. smile

Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/15/07 11:08 PM

revlgking wrote yet again:
"is an attitude, not a dogma"

So is a smile on your face.

The difference is that a smile works and no one asks for financial donations.

All you have ever posted here is feel-good new-age woo-woo touchy-feely tooth fairy fluff.

Remember science? You know that topic that scares you more than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick?

Find us a paper in a peer reviewed journal that establishes meditation and affirmative prayer do more than a smile?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/16/07 05:15 AM

I find MAP, in my experience, a very effective and pragmatic--therefore, scientific--way of creating smiles and even laughter. I get no fun whatsoever out of being cynical and playing the soul-destroying, argumentive-ad-hominem game.

And talking about the practical and scientific value of smiles and laughter: I am reminded of the great book ANATOMY OF AN ILLNESS, by Norman Cousins
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Cousins

He was a man of FAITH (Unitarian) as well as literature and science
http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/cousins.html

Late in life Cousins was diagnosed with what was called ankylosing Spondylitis, related to severe arthritis. His struggle with this illness is detailed in a movie, Anatomy of an Illness, based on his book.

Later, this led him to being appointed as Adjunct Professor of Medical Humanities for the School of Medicine at the University of California, where he taught and did research on the biochemistry of human emotions, which he long-believed were the key to human beings? success in fighting illness.

His great book, HEAD FIRST--The Biology of Hope gives the details of the work he did at UCLA. The real title of the book is :SPIRIT FIRST--The Biology of Faith Hope and Love.

Interestigly, Chapter 12 is about MESMER, HYPNOTISM AND THE POWERS OF THE MIND. He points out that this power can be used destructively. Ignorance of what it is and how it works is especially dangerous. Also of interest: He tells us of Benjamin Franklin's interest in what in his day was called mesmerism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Mesmer

Cousins battled for health on all fronts, including the use of micro-nutrients for the body. In his battle he convinced his doctor, a personal friend, to feed him massive doses of Vitamin C, intervienously, and, according to book, by training himself to laugh.

He wrote a collection of best-selling non-fiction books on illness and healing, as well as a 1980 autobiographical memoir, Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook.

Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 12:39 AM

revlgking wrote:
"I find MAP, in my experience, a very effective and pragmatic--therefore, scientific--way"

I knew there was a problem and finally you have elucidated it. The problem is that you are misusing the word science.

So let me use this opportunity to educate you as to what the word means in the English language. To do so I will use materials from the University of Rochester: A well respected institute of learning.

You will find the full text at:
http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html

After you have read it perhaps you would do us the courtesy of no longer misusing the word.

Thank you.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 06:48 AM

Science. Knowledge of facts and laws arranged in an orderly system. The search for truth. Skill, technique. From the Latin, scire, to know. (World Book Dictionary)

Yes, I read that site from rochester, long ago.
Epistimology. Yes, quite a study. Not sure that I understand all the details. Therefore, I offer a disclaimer:

I don't claim to be an absolute expert on all such matters, but, IMHO, as I read process philosophy and theology and the work done by A.N. Whitehead, Hartshorne, etc., I was impressed that they began with a rational theory not a dogma and did not base their work on blind faith.

The same is true with practical work of Norman Cousins, Dr. Franklin Loehr (Power of Prayer on Plants) Dr. William Parker and Elaine St. Johns, Prayer Can Change Your Life, and others...all worked in harmony with principles which are basically rational and open to basic rule of research--open to questions and challenges.

Is there anything in the work mentioned above that contradicts the principles of science?

I agree that there are many things of which I am ignorant, but
why do I have the kind of feeling that I am being patronized; that someone is trying to set me up, here, and to make it appear that I am stupid?

Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 11:57 AM

revlgking wrote:
"I agree that there are many things of which I am ignorant, but
why do I have the kind of feeling that I am being patronized;"

I don't know. Could it be that you have yet to discern the difference between the posts of almost everyone else here, with real science related content, and what you post which is fluff?

Not a single person on this forum knew you, or anything about you, when you first showed up. Every impression we have of you is one you have generated. Take responsibility for what you have done and continue to do. It is the first step toward healing yourself.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 06:12 PM

DA writes and offers:
Quote:
It is the first step toward healing yourself.

Thanks for your concern, DA. Are we into diagnosis, now? By internet? Interesting. What are the fees? BTW, the FLF does not charge fees.

DA, I realize that you are busy in the real SCIENCE part of the forum, but I do hope you will continue--and I am serious--to read and continue your comments in the "Not Quite Science" section of SAGG.

Healthy controversy does make it interesting for readers and boost the ratings, right? Stick around, DA, we need you. However, it would be helpful if you checked your facts before you judged other posters.

QUESTIONS:
Are you still in the work-a-day world? Or, are you re-directed (don't like 'retired') like me?

HARD SCIENCES, SOFT SCIENCES?--I find the following helpful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_science
==========================================
I assume that the hard sciences are like physics, chemistry, mathematics, cybernetics, geography, geology, botany, biology, genetics, nedicine, chiropractics, neurology, geriatrics, gynecology, are REAL sciences. What are some other examples?

Are anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science, and the like, REAL sciences?

What about pneumatology, theology, cosmology?

What are examples of the pseudo-sciences? Astrology? Scientology?
Christian Science?


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 07:44 PM

What about economics? Is it a hard or soft science? Speaking of which, I find the following interesting about getting rid of the
THE LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=518015

BTW, DA, I promise not to campaign to get rid of you...I mean any of your threads...or have you certified as....??????

BTW 2: Credit the LAW OF CHRISTIAN LOVE for Christians being willing to be this way. As Paul puts it in his great poem about love, I Corinthians 13: Love looks for a way of being constructive...not possessive...has good manners...not selfish, not touchy...does not gloat over the sins and evil of others and the hell they insist on making for themselves and others...glad with all, (especially scientists) when truth prevails...it endures, trusts, hopes...suffers long and is kind....

Faith and hope are great and lasting qualities...but love is the greatest.
With thanks for the help of the JB Phillip's translation.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 07:54 PM

Political Science, a hard science?
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=B889944762A8A7DFE26C6182AC43DA7E.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=134485#
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/17/07 11:12 PM

No we are not into diagnose. We are into pointing out hypocrisy.

That done YOYO!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 12:34 AM

Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
No we are not into diagnose. We are into pointing out hypocrisy.

That done YOYO!
As one who has asked quite a few questions about the nature and function of science--of which I know so little--I was kinda hoping we were into education, if there is any available. Is there????

Perhaps some people are more qualified to teach us about the nature and function of hypocrisy, eh? smile
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 12:59 AM

revlgking wrote:
"I was kinda hoping we were into education"

were ... past tense.

You wasted your opportunity and your sincerity rating here is 0.

I am marking you *** Ignore *** and hope others do too.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 01:29 AM

My son called earlier today, it's my 55th birthday. We talked for close to an hour and in the course of our conversation he asked me how the fishing went this year. I got a few Billfish and plenty of Skipjacks, but not a single Bigeye Tuna. We used to pull in close to 50 in a season. If the fish are starting to get scarce way out here in the vast South Pacific, we've really screwed things up. He used a term that I thought was very insightful. The "Arrogance of Man", is to blame for how we've treated our planet.
And now, perusing these postings on religion, it strikes me - how much more "arrogant" can you get than to think that a Diety created us in his image?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 07:54 AM

No doubt T. rex thought the same thing.

Our time is coming too if we don't do a lot better.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 09:14 AM

A brief digression:

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
...not a single Bigeye Tuna. We used to pull in close to 50 in a season.

A link re overfishing of Bigeye tuna -
http://www.bigmarinefish.com/bigeye_tuna.html

The chart (Fig 8) was created a few years ago, and shows a projection, coincidentally, to the present. From what you say, the dotted line (medium projection) was much too optimistic, and the lowest projection is what your local catches suggest.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 10:26 AM

Rede, that's a very eye-opening chart. If those guys are taking little wee tuna, 3.2 kg, the fish don't stand a chance of procreating. The lures that we use around here will only attract bites from fish weighing 15 lbs. and up. The dark red flesh of the Bigeye is excellent as sushi, the Japanese go crazy for it.

I doubt that Climatic change affects the Bigeye, they're very deep swimming fish.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 02:09 PM


Hiya Wolfy,

I’m sure you’re not looking for a long response to a single comment but here goes anyway smile

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
...how much more "arrogant" can you get than to think that a Deity created us in his image?


On one level it could be seen that way, but what are the implications of being created in the image of a god?

1. The idea of being created in a creator’s image is simply saying that we have the capacity to love, to reason, to understand morality and to have a desire to create.

2. On the other hand, the idea of there being a creator that is all knowing (we are not), all powerful (we are not), eternal and uncreated (we are not), places us in a position where it is difficult to be arrogant. Christian scriptures also warn of us not thinking of ourselves as ‘little gods’, but to have a realistic understanding of who we are.

3. Being created means that we are answerable to something else besides our own whims and desires. It means we are not entirely autonomous and we have responsibilities that extend outwards from ourselves. Again there is no room for arrogance here.

4. We are told that whilst we are created in a creator’s image, we live here only for a period and that we are held responsible for the legacy we leave behind on this planet. We are told that the planet is a gift and that we will collectively hand it back. The inference is that we should return it in as good a condition as we received it. We are STEWARDS of its resources and are accountable. Again this precludes us arrogantly squandering what we have.

For me personally, the idea that we have been created does not lead to arrogance but to humility.

If you think it’s always the province of the religious to show arrogance then I would remind you of the many non-religious dictators that have shown unbelievable levels of arrogance in their belief that they and they alone, know what is best for entire nations, including what sections of society they should liquidate.

Blacknad.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 08:20 PM

Wolfman wrote:
"I doubt that Climatic change affects the Bigeye, they're very deep swimming fish."

You may well be correct in your conclusion but not for the reason you cite.

Almost all marine life starts at the surface: The sole exception, of which I am aware, being life fueled by undersea thermal activity.

If warming is affecting the surface then changes will percolate downward eventually affecting all lifeforms in some manner.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/07 08:22 PM

Lets be honest here.

The word "image" as used in the text can be interpreted in multiple ways by multiple people to mean any darned thing they want.

It is roughly the equivalent of saying A is like B.

Yeah? In what way?

Like almost all theological writing it has no substance. And I don't think that is accidental.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/19/07 01:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Blacknad

Hiya Wolfy,

I’m sure you’re not looking for a long response to a single comment but here goes anyway smile....Blacknad.
Blacknad, lots of good thought in this post to Wolfy.

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/19/07 02:10 AM

Blacknad wrote:

"4. We are told that whilst we are created in a creator’s image, we live here only for a period and that we are held responsible for the legacy we leave behind on this planet. We are told that the planet is a gift and that we will collectively hand it back. The inference is that we should return it in as good a condition as we received it. We are STEWARDS of its resources and are accountable. Again this precludes us arrogantly squandering what we have."

Now Blacky, I'd like to believe you but the evidence seems to indicate that many religious people believe their God is going to return some time soon and, like their parents used to do, clean up any mess they make. This means they feel no responsibility for the condition they leave the earth in. It doesn't matter. Good old God's gonna clean it all up.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/23/07 09:39 PM

TerryNZ, when you write: "Good old God's gonna clean it all up."

What do you have in mind?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/23/07 11:03 PM

Genocide and a flood. Same thing done on previous occasions.

The monster only has one solution to any problem: Blood.

II Kings 2:24
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LØrd. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

What a lovely heart warming story. I wonder why they don't read this to the kiddies in Sunday school any more?
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 12:05 AM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
Now Blacky, I'd like to believe you but the evidence seems to indicate that many religious people believe their God is going to return some time soon and, like their parents used to do, clean up any mess they make. This means they feel no responsibility for the condition they leave the earth in. It doesn't matter. Good old God's gonna clean it all up.


Terry,

What evidence is that? Most Christians I know feel a keen responsibility to take ecological issues seriously. Is there evidence for the contrary? And is there any evidence that they care less than your average Joe?

Blacky.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 12:45 AM

Blacknad
I have to support TNZ on this one (at least a little). In America (maybe uniquely) SOME fundy's feel the "Rapture" is all that matters; and they think the war in the middle east is a good thing (sign of impending rapture). Several Halloween's ago I was walking with my son's friend's mom and I was talking about global warming. I got the same answer (doesn't matter; the rapture....)!
I think most mainstream Christians feel the call of stewardship more strongly, but the attitude that "Good old God's gonna clean it all up," is out there to some extent.

~SA
P.S. ohhh, and thanks for expaining the 42 reference, Terry!
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 02:16 AM

Yes Samwik. Someone in the US admin is actually on record as saying that. I forget who but someone here may recall and find a link. I'll do my best.

As soon as I'd logged off I remembered it was during Reagan admin. I'm none the wiser who it was but it narrows the search.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 03:45 AM

Blacknad wrote:
"Most Christians I know feel a keen responsibility to take ecological issues seriously."

My goodness you really do need to take a trip over here to the colonies.

The good Christians George W. Bush has appointed are willing to sell this planet to the highest bidder in exchange for quarterly profits.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 04:23 AM

Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
...The good Christians George W. Bush has appointed are willing to sell this planet to the highest bidder in exchange for quarterly profits.
Interesting. Does this really mean what it says? Is it certain that the Bush administration is made up, totally, of "good" Christians? What evidence do we have of this? Sounds like the same kind of prejudice we used to hear out of Berlin before 1945, and aimed at Jews.

There is such a thing as fair comment: SOME Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists...and even Atheists, are hypocrites.

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 08:05 AM

James Watt. His statement isn't really as bad as what I'd been led to believe. From that great source, wikipedia:

when asked whether he believed that natural resources should be preserved for future generations, he replied, "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations."

More at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_G._Watt
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/24/07 12:00 PM

James Watt. One of the dimmest, self-serving, bulbs in this country.

Then check out these links:
http://www.ncccusa.org/news/04bushonair.html
http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/

Take a good look at the relative percentage of harm being caused by various countries. I live in the worst, self-centered, country of them all.

And despite having recently awakened to the fact that Bush is leading us down the path of destruction. They still don't get it.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/25/07 09:58 AM

Dan. From your first link:

"The private use of creation’s bounty must serve the needs of all God’s children. Yet we are concerned that powerful corporate interests have had disproportionate influence in shaping and reaping benefits from a clean air program which should serve the common good."

Hey. We'd better stop knocking those people! The second link is a bit more alarming.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/25/07 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
Genocide and a flood. Same thing done on previous occasions.

The monster (God?) only has one solution to any problem: Blood.

II Kings 2:24
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LØrd. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

...I wonder why they don't read this to the kiddies in Sunday school any more?
In addition to the above, check out Deuteronomy 20--ABOUT WAR. It tells about 1300 BCE, when God ordered his chosen people to take over the land He promised them. Take especial note of verses 16-20. Here the Lord God advocates, "...kill everyone." The prophet Isaiah (the 8th. Century, BCE) tells us how the struggle continued then. In Isaiah 13, it is recorded that God advocated an all-out Holy War against Babylon, Persia (Irag/Iran, today). He promised a total destruction of the place and that it would be turned into a desert. Chapter 14 promises more destruction and that the Gentiles, "...will serve Israel as slaves."

Interestingly, if they had actually been able to do what they were told to do, with God's help, there would be no Palestinians and others to fight today. In addition, what we today call Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, and most of Arabia was included as "the Promised land".

As a minister, I read many of these stories from the Bible to my congregation. I gave my opinion of them: They tell us of the vicious cruelty of the times. I alway added: "This is not the word of God, as I understand the concept".

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/07 04:15 AM

So we're all agreed then. Any belief in the God of the Old Testament should be punished by stoning.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/07 04:31 AM

People who believe, literally, in the God of the OT and/or the God of traditional theism are probably already stoned. laugh

Now you will proably understand why I insist that we forget about God and start thinking about GØD. smile
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/07 04:38 AM

Good point Rev. Mind you many who don't believe are probably also stoned.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/07 09:45 PM

In the thread on, Is Science the answer? Blacknad writes
Quote:
I am responding to a quote by redwener in another thread and thought it might generate some debate.

Originally Posted By: redewenur
"Science, through its objectivity, has the potential to unify humanity. Ignorance has the potential to destroy it."


This is where science clearly steps over into the realm of faith. This is Scientism.

Blacknad asks: "What evidence do you have that science will unite all humanity?

What evidence do you have that, in real terms, science is all that objective?

To say that it is interested in objective knowledge is certainly not the same as saying it is always objective in its application. It is clearly not. Especially when you get close to the societal issues affecting humanity. It becomes a minefield of subjective belief.
It is my humble opinion that, if it truly is our goal to unite humanity, we need to look at philosophy (the major religions), all the sciences, including pneumatology--the study of the spirit, and the arts, including engineering and technology.

BTW, the story is told that an engineer once claimed: "Engineering is the original profession; because, long before the surgeon helped God make Eve, it was an engineer who helped God bring order out of chaos."

On hearing this, God spoke up and said: "The truth is, the politicans were here before the engineers. They were the ones who created chaos..." laugh
Posted by: bgmark

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/18/07 12:32 PM

Yes but before the rapture there is also predicted in the Bible a nuclear war, and america is the 'land of unwalled villages' that will be invaded. This rapture occurs after the war, and with all american cities having no exits they will be easy targets. This will instantly vapourise people in the immediate vacinity of the blast, but further out they will suffer third, second and first degree burns.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/18/07 09:56 PM

A beautiful picture you paint Bgmark. Is that why Gorse W Bush was so keen to start another war in the Middle East? And I thought it was oil. Silly me.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/18/07 11:36 PM

Originally Posted By: bgmark
Yes but before the rapture there is also predicted in the Bible a nuclear war, and america is the 'land of unwalled villages' that will be invaded.


Can you give references for this?

Blacknad.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/19/07 06:43 AM

Here in the land of Oz we do not often meet up with the Rapture and it is not usually given as a reason for the Iraq War. Could someone explain to me-what it is, and--why it is relevant here even in the Relgious Philosophy topic (itself an interesting choice for a science forum, but we have already argued that), ---and do ordinary people anywhere really think that this idea gives them the right to trash the planet?

I too will be interested in the references.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/19/07 06:52 AM

The late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University has the vague viewpoint that Global Warming is a giant hoax designed to foster [evil] globalization. "...or something crazy like that," I said incredulously. smile

There is a whole 'nother branch of Evangelicals which believe 'stewardship' is a good thing (and GW is real and worrying).

At least I think I've heard that on the news.

smile
~Samwik
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/19/07 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: samwik
There is a whole 'nother branch of Evangelicals which believe 'stewardship' is a good thing (and GW is real and worrying).


Need to be wary of generalizations. The views you refer to above (need to be good stewards etc.) are held by the majority of Christians as far as I am aware. Of course, the fundy nutters are always the most vocal so their views are most likely to be seen as representative of Christianity in general.

My church for instance has as far as I can remember been very hot on environmental and world resource issues. I have moved from driving a 2.0 liter estate to a small 1.6 hatchback and do as much as I can to lower my carbon footprint. It is the same for many others in my church.

Boy do we get a bad press - there's so much criticism of us that I'm almost believing it and feeling that perhaps I really am evil and the cause of most of the world's woes. Maybe they're right - maybe I do need to be wiped out so that humanity can progress.

Regards,

Blacky.
Posted by: bgmark

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/20/07 01:08 AM

iraq has little to do with it...but russia is the northern gog in the Bible, not iraq or iran

Ezekiel 38
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14 ¶ Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
Posted by: bgmark

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/20/07 01:19 AM

Iran would be at least 10 years away from building thermo nuclear warheads, and at least 15 years away from making rockects that can hit the US, who could destroy iran with one sub. How could this cause a final battle as written in revelations 6, where people hide in caves. here is an alternative movie to algores http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4boaEbtjByU
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/20/07 01:32 AM

bgmark, if you'll excuse what may turn out to be a stupid question, what philosophical point are you making?

(I would have checked out the link, but we don't have access youtube.com in these parts)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/20/07 01:58 AM

RedE, I will second your question. Bgmark, don't be shy: Tell us. we can always agree to disagree, agreably. smile
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/20/07 06:12 AM

Originally Posted By: bgmark
Yes but before the rapture there is also predicted in the Bible a nuclear war, and america is the 'land of unwalled villages' that will be invaded. This rapture occurs after the war, and with all american cities having no exits they will be easy targets. This will instantly vapourise people in the immediate vacinity of the blast, but further out they will suffer third, second and first degree burns.


Hiya bgmark,

Still waiting for you to substantiate what you have said.

This is what is said about the land of unwalled villages:

"I will invade a land of unwalled villages, I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without gates and bars."

'Peaceful', 'unsuspecting'? Do you really think that could be describing America?

1. How do you know that your references are talking about some time soon?

2 How do you know it is talking about a nuclear war?

3 How do you know that America is involved?

Have you really thought this through or are you just going on what someone has told you?

Blacknad.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/21/07 12:39 AM

Russia = gog? Please explain...
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/23/07 06:21 AM

We've just shifted so, no doubt to everyone's relief, I've been unable to pass comment. Now, bgmark, supposing prophecy is possible don't your quotes from Ezekiel fit the Mongol invasion quite well? Perhaps the prophecy has already been fullfilled.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/23/07 08:20 AM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
supposing prophecy is possible

That's a key point. I claim (with sound reason) that foreknowledge is possible, so I want to avoid saying something hypocritical here; but does one believe that the Bible makes this kind of prophesy? If so, then maybe it's a free-for-all regarding the interpretations.

Where's the science in it?

If it's devoid of science, what spiritual value does it have?

If it's devoid of spiritual value, what other value does it have?
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/24/07 01:07 AM

So it has come to this. We are discussing prophesy!!!!! (Foreknowledge is often, even unconsciously based on known data, prophesy is the result of divination etc, often aided by hallucenogenic substances.)

Prophesy cannot be proved until after the event prophesied has happened, so we cannot prove the worth or truth of a prophesy and we should probably not base a country's foreign policy on it, even if it does come from the Bible.

Perhaps we should have a Nostradamus thread (and please, before anyone takes that up, I am being deeply cynical!!)

PS I have only ever heard of Gog and Magog (mythical giants), never a "gog". What is it? Can't find it in a dictionary?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/24/07 01:40 AM

Ellis: "So it has come to this. We are discussing prophesy!!!!!"

Yes. That resembles my initial reaction, too; but it's a legitimate aspect of the philosophy of religion, since a large number of religious people believe that there have been prophets and that the Bible contains prophesies, and this belief appears to influence their world view. bgmark is entitled to express his view and I hope he will respond to our queries.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/24/07 01:54 AM

One of my old teachers told my class a quote that went something like this

"Why not follow a religion, if you follow one and there is not a God, when you die you wont know. But if you don't follow a religion and their is a God your screwed" Author Unknown

(the actual quote used a word more sophisticated that screwed but i think it gets the point across)

I think this philosphy is logic at its finest. ( i personally follow my religion for other reasons but to me this logic seems undeniable )
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/24/07 02:13 AM

Ellis: "PS I have only ever heard of Gog and Magog (mythical giants), never a "gog". What is it? Can't find it in a dictionary?"

In the quoted book of Ezekiel, Gog was from the land of Magog, which was ruled by Satan. In later times, Gog and Magog became the symbols for any force opposed to religion or its adherents.

J294: "I think this philosophy is logic at its finest."

It appears logical until you introduce truth, sincerity and honesty into the equation - it then becomes fraudulent and hypocritical.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/25/07 01:13 AM

To go back to all religions, try this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070524/ap_on_re_us/atheist_authors

It is entitled "Angry Atheists are Hot Authors" on the Yahoo news link. Some of you may have already seen it.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/25/07 02:54 AM

Good link, Terry.

From the link: The Rev. Douglas Wilson says,

"It sort of dawned on the secular establishment that they might lose here," said Wilson, who is debating [Essayist Christopher] Hitchens on christianity today.com and has written the book "Letter from a Christian Citizen" in response to Harris. "All of this is happening precisely because there's a significant force that they have to deal with."

It certainly is; but in terms of the negative effects of faith and belief, I don't see God as the problem (quite the reverse). The problem lies in the excess baggage. Science, education, technology, social evolution are all threatened by many believers' dogmatic, irrational, false descriptions of the physical universe. More broadly, mankind is threatened by - and surely we have it all in these threads by now - the pretext for extreme aggression inspired by one religion against another. The atheist has also been the victim. Can spirituality never be recognised unless it's encumbered by the paraphernalia of religion?
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/25/07 05:20 AM

Originally Posted By: redewenur
Good link, Terry.

More broadly, mankind is threatened by - and surely we have it all in these threads by now - the pretext for extreme aggression inspired by one religion against another.


If I might make a slightly tounge-in-cheek comment.
This applies across the board; not just with religions, but with any situation where there are two "camps."
For instance, global warming.
smile

Great summation rede:
"Can spirituality never be recognised unless it's encumbered by the paraphernalia of religion?" -R.

~SA
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/25/07 10:23 PM

Redewenur wrote:

"I don't see God as the problem (quite the reverse)."

I wouldn't have agreed with that when I first joined SAGG but I certainly do now. Thanks to Blacknad especially but Sam, Rede and others have opened my eyes in that regard. Like you, Rede, I now accept that the "the excess baggage" associated with the Judeo-Christ-Islam genus of religions is the problem. Interestingly there are few books actually criticising this baggage. I guess most here accept Adam and Eve, the flood, tower of Babel etc. as myths. But try to find books dealing with the problems of evidencce for Abraham, Moses, Solomon, a mighty ancient Judean kingdom, etc. I've done my own research on the subject but can any of you name any books on the subject? Are authors afraid to tackle the beliefs? The stories were all myths developed mainly to justify taking over tracts of land. Maori myths in NZ served much the same purpose. Regarding these myths as a true and accurate history and using them to justify actions today is the problem with religion. That's probably the element we should be attacking.

Samwik wrote:

"This applies across the board; not just with religions"

I made a comment on another thread ages ago that atheists may fall into the same trap. Let's hope not.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/27/07 06:21 AM

J294-Thanks for the gog explation. Still doesn't seem to make much sense even in context.

Your quote:

"Why not follow a religion, if you follow one and there is not a God, when you die you wont know. But if you don't follow a religion and their is a God your screwed" Author Unknown

....is one of the most cynical reasons I have ever heard for accepting the teachings of Jesus as the Risen Lord and Saviour and spending the rest of one's life giving lip service to God. Do you not believe that He may prefer the honest atheist?... After all, being omnipotent He would be able to judge the falsity of the persons' belief and possibly be a bit cross. Do not forget Jesus did not like hypocrites!

Re Prophesy!!!
I really think that it comes into the realm of problematic things terry refers to, that ahere to ancient religions, like slapping children, killing and pillaging, waging war, executing people who are of different faiths, all the myths (yes they are just that, myths), the attitude to women, gays, foreigners, and heaps more that we ignore or deny everyday. Really it's not even Not-Quite-Science!! And nowadays it's probably illegal too given the means used to achieve the trances and visions in Ancient Times.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/29/07 04:32 AM

Quote:
"Why not follow a religion, if you follow one and there is not a God, when you die you wont know. But if you don't follow a religion and their is a God your screwed"
Author Unknown.

It is obvious that Author is not good at spelling smile

BTW, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager
Pascal made a similar argument.

In my personal opinion, I believe in doing good for its own sake. Tomorrow, if we all agreed to simply keep the Golden Rule--My version is: Love others as they need to be loved--the world would become heavenly, and GØD--goodness, order and design would be the order of the day.

Would I like for all people to practice this simple kind of religion? You betcha. Why? Because each and all of us would be better off. No organized religion would be needed for this to happen. Fellowship groups like the kind to which I belong, maybe, could help. But they are not absolutely necessary.
Check out http://www.pathwayschurch.ca Join th forum.

Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 03:50 AM

Goodness, order and design should be part of anyone's aspirations regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof.

It is good manners- not religion.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 04:30 AM

Yes, but manners have to be taught.

...and apparently, if you don't have an institution to pass these on, they seem to fade away within a couple of generations.

I don't think the "institutional" answer (religion) is the best way to go; but without it, what else is left?

~SA
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 05:10 AM

Samwik. I firmly believe that ethics and behaviour should be school subjects. Separate them from religion. They're simply survival mechanisms.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 05:32 AM

samwik: "Yes, but manners have to be taught."

To a degree, yes, but I think that they are 'learned' as much as 'taught', in the same way that a child learns its mother tongue.

samwik: "if you don't have an institution to pass these on, they seem to fade away within a couple of generations...I don't think the "institutional" answer (religion) is the best way to go; but without it, what else is left?"

We do have other institutions (and in my opinion far more important ones), the most important being the home and family, followed closely by school. Society as a whole, however, determines what is "mannerly". Conformity is promoted and enforced, as mentioned, within the home and educational institutions; but society, in general, encourages the maintenance and perpetuation of good manners by social-pressure. People are rewarded and punished for their behaviour from day to day. For example, successful interpersonal relationships, and often one's livelihood, depend upon one's ability to comply with a socially acceptable code of mannerly conduct. This is part of the matrix of social structure, in which religion may or may not play a significant role. If religious institutions were to vanish altogether from English culture, I wouldn't be concerned about the future of good manners.
______

Terry, I just saw your post.

I agree, except that I think it's important to differentiate between manners and ethics, which overlap but are not the same.

To recap on what we already know: "manners" includes rituals that have no intrinsic ethical value, and the rituals can differ between cultures. They often signal recognition of status, rather in the way that a dog will lower its head to acknowledge the dominance of another dog. Among humans the system can be quite complex and good knowledge of the local social “pecking order” is sometimes a distinct social advantage.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 07:06 AM

Manners are much underrated. In fact they "oil the wheels" of everyday behaviour and make it possible for people to exchange ideas etc. in a cooperative environment, and allow for dissent.

Personally I would be happy to see the end of institutionalised religions of all sorts. Many religious customs have grown to include condoning extremely bad manners, and sometimes have encouraged dodgy ethics too.

The Golden Rule, as I have said before, covers most situations. That is--do as you would be done by.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 07:25 AM

Ellis: "That is--do as you would be done by."

That's what my ol' dad (he was an agnostic) used to repeat to me when I was knee high to a grasshopper. It was reflected in the sentence often heard in the school playground: "How would you like it?" - which is fine unless you're talking to a masochist! grin
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 07:26 AM

I agree about the Golden Rule (also as Revl. says); it seems to be the basis of social sustainability.

I didn't mean to "conflate" manners with religion quite as much as it came out. smile

But it seems to me that without something stronger (and more standardized) than an individual's family and school, there is not enough self-sustaining momentum for respect, civility, manners, whatever we call it (that which allows us to connect progressively).

...speaking about "What are the schools teaching...?"

I guess I should think more about this at home too; I shouldn't be relying on the schools! cry

~SA
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 07:46 AM

samwik: "But it seems to me that without something stronger (and more standardized) than an individual's family and school, there is not enough self-sustaining momentum for respect, civility, manners, whatever we call it (that which allows us to connect progressively)."

If you come up with that "something stronger" you'll convince me.

Meanwhile, I think we learn the manners of the culture from our interaction with society as a whole, and mostly from those parts of it with which we have most contact, usually family and school.

Ethics is a deeper issue which benefits from a good deal more consideration. As for the much vaunted guidance of religion, it cannot be relied upon as a source of inspiration or example.

I would return to Ellis' "Golden Rule". Thinking on that frequently, meditating on it, and practicing it, would no doubt be of far more worth than paying credulous and absent-minded attention to the speeches and sermons of dubious wise men and preachers. It probably doesn't have the same "feel good factor", though; nor does it provide the illusion of belonging to a righteous and morally elite club.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/30/07 12:03 PM

As I wrote above, we need to love others as they need to be loved. Then the world would become heavenly, and GØD--goodness, order and design would be the order of the day.

To the above I will add: And the role of family leaders, especially parents, the lay and clergy leaders of churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other communities--which really represent nothing more than enlarged families--is to teach our children, and to encourage everyone in the family and the community, to work together in a healthy-kind of cooperation.

THE GOAL OF A LOVING, POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
A healthy, loving and positive mental attitude is the key to our building healthy families and communities. It will help us find meaningful, and socially-useful employment--the cure for poverty and a great preventative for war.

We are not here to be selfish and greedy war-mongers; to make life miserable for one another. We are here to help make the world a safer place in which all classes and creeds can to live in peace and harmony. When we are ready to go, we will leave the world a better place than we found it.

The loving attitude encourage families, and those who gather in enlarged families (the churches, etc.) to keep up the good work. Constructive criticism can always be of help, but being hyper-critical does no one any good.

Keep in mind that spiritual love (agape) in not just about sexual attraction (eros, okay in the right context), not just about sentimentality and superficial friendships (philia, very good when sincere). With this in mind think about this question:

How, in what ways, do YOU love (that is, choose to be) to be loved? For example, there are times when I just want to be left alone and make my own mistakes; I do not want to be "should" upon, constantly, by others. smile

Perhaps this is why moralizing and dogmatic parents and clergy often do more harm than good.

Sermonizing, that is, telling people: "You should, you must you ought, and if you don't God will let the devil punish you...", just doesn't cut it anymore.


Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/31/07 12:36 AM

Ellis wrote:

"do as you would be done by."

I've just read Charles Kingsley's "The Water Babies" again. The fairies are Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid. Quite a good tale really. Probably where your father got the name.

Rede. I agree totally with your comment, "we learn the manners of the culture from our interaction with society as a whole, and mostly from those parts of it with which we have most contact, usually family and school." Especially family.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/31/07 07:39 AM

"...and other communities--which really represent nothing more than enlarged families...to work together in a healthy-kind of cooperation." -Revl.

I am reminded of how, in the 1960's & 70's, we rejected organized religions because we could see the hypocracy and negative consequences; while we explored Eastern mysticism, tried to "see God," and dreamed of communes.
:wistfully:

Terry...great minds.... wink

"...we learn the manners of the culture from our interaction with society as a whole, and mostly from those parts of it with which we have most contact, usually family and school." -rede.

I don't want to be the only one speaking for the US, but family structure has been getting a pretty bad reputation around here lately (and rightly so). Lots of problems to point out (not that there's anything wrong with any individual's circumstance, but...); divorce, single parent families, blending families, welfare families, tired families, working parents families, rich families, and nanny families.

I'd argue that media is a major influence on socializing kids these days. Taken together with "Peers," which mainly amplify the media influences, and which have become a larger part of the "School" experience, media and peers may be a larger influence than "family & old-school," these days (at least in some areas [in many areas] wink ).

~SA
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/31/07 11:08 AM

samwik: Re: manners, ethics and socialization:-

Sounds like you're saying that, for the majority of kids in the US: -

(1) Life circumstances preclude sufficient interaction with their parents/guardians.

(2) The adult element of the school environment, i.e. teachers, and the school curriculum, are insignificant influences.

(3) The predominant sources of role models for manners, ethics and social behaviour are:
---(a) the media
---(b) other kids

Is that right, or not quite?
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/07 12:24 AM

Yes, good summary, rede.
I don't want to say this is exclusively what's going on, but symptoms can be seen (the general coarsening of the media, each successive movie having bigger explosions or bloodier scenes, etc.).

There's plenty of good wholesome stuff too.

But it's a struggle....
(...as life should be?)

more Later,
~SA
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/07 06:30 AM

samwik, I think you're right. The huge growth of electronic information technology, the simultaneous decline in face-to-face human interaction, and the diminished role of 'significant' adults in the lives of many children and adolescents (for the reasons that you gave), must surely result in a shift of influence. The only debatable points that I can see are the degree of the shift and the extent of its effect.
Posted by: Jareb

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/07 08:45 AM

Hello Revlgking,
You do realize that the "parable" you quoted is actually a short story called "The Last Question", written by Issac Asimov, in 1956 don't you?
Posted by: Jareb

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/07 08:46 AM

Sorry, I spelled "Isaac" wrong in that last post.
Posted by: Jareb

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/07 09:00 AM

OK, maybe my memory is faulty and Isaac wrote a different story, but the fact remains that there is an identical story: Answer’ by Fredric Brown. ©1954, Angels and Spaceships

I need to check my sources a bit more before I post, I guess.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/07 09:29 AM

Hi Jareb. Welcome!

Info: -

You can use the edit button to correct errors (which I have to do frequently!), and to avoid multiple posting.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/02/07 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Jareb
OK, maybe my memory is faulty and Isaac wrote a different story, but the fact remains that there is an identical story: Answer’ by Fredric Brown. ©1954, Angels and Spaceships....
Yes, and here is the source: http://www.alteich.com/oldsite/answer.htm Answer’ by Fredric Brown. ©1954, Angels and Spaceships. Thanks. Google (the infallible? source smile ) found it for me.

When I wrote my story, and used it in a sermon, I had no idea where I got the idea, or where I got the punch line, "There IS now!" I read very little science fiction.

Here's a thought: Perhaps I could expand on my version by adding:

"There IS now..." There was a long minute of silence.

"And I am pleased to tell you that what you and your son have done is this: Guided by the love--the sumum bonum, the highest good--and respect you have for one another's enriching differences, and for all the truth the sciences are capable of uncovering, you have succeeded in getting in touch with the ever growing and all-knowing source of all knowledge, wisdom and power that is deep within the heart of all humanity, collectively speaking.

THE COLLECTIVE WE
NOW, listen closely. From this point we will use the collective "we". We are ONE with YOU and ALL that is: Depending on what we human beings choose--We are free to love or to hate; to can say yes, or no, to life--we can use this knowledge and power to destroy, or to create. When we choose the destruction things and of others. However, beware, in doing so, we choose self-destruction.

THE AFFIRMATIVE APPROACH
One final thought. And we will put it, affirmatively: We will always practice the art of mindfulness. We will be mindful of that which divides us and of that which unites us. We are especially mindful to be careful not to use words which divide us.

In all things, we choose to work for that which does not divide and separate us from the good of all of us. Instead, we choose that which creates the highest good for all. All each individual needs to do is to provide the will-power, we will provide the do-power. Any questions or comments?
===============================================================
Here we can add you more affirmations:..........................



Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/02/07 08:19 PM

AGAPØ--All goodness and providence, everywhere present--Love.
============================================================
Among the famous sayings from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 9: 14-17, Mark 2: 18-22 and Luke 5:38-39) have to do with what a waste of good effort it is to destroy a new coat to fix an old one. "Nor does anyone pour new wine into old wine skins" he said.

It is for this reason that I feel that there are times--especially when I feel the old words have lost their true meaning--when I need to coin new words.

GØD is AGAPØ
As I have said elsewhere, the Greek for "I love you" is agapo; the noun is agape. Now I take this word, spell it with capitals and get AGAPØ, as an acronym for "all goodness and providence everywhere present". Now when I read in John 4:8, "God is love" it makes sense to me.

Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/03/07 12:21 AM

Thanks for reminding me what your symbol (lazy theta?) means.
"Everywhere present," I'm assuming is....

Similar to simply, "God is."

Happy Sunday Revl.
Feel the building Zeitgeist!

~SA
smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/03/07 12:09 PM

Ø, is a mathematical symbol for the set without elements, or numbers, or the empty set.
Maybe some mathematician can answer: Does this mean that, mathematically speaking, there is such a "thing" as a point without dimensions? That there is a nowhere? Or a circumference that is without limits? There is an everywhere? HMMMmmmm!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_mathematical_symbols

"God is" indeed!

As I understand it: The verb 'to be' is the only verb which I can apply to God. I find it unacceptable to think of God as an objective being who sees, hears, tastes, touches, smells walks, talks, whatever. I like to think of God as the no-thing and the every-thing. I like to think that we have time and space so that everything doesn't happen at once, and everywhere, at the same time. smile

BTW, I have no objection to who people feel the need to think of God as a loving Heavenly Father, as long as this helps them be moral, ethical and loving people who do not impose, with dire threats, their concept of God on others.


Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/03/07 04:37 PM

Yes, I would agree with Revlgking about that one.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/04/07 12:51 AM

Although the Golden Rule is mentioned in The Water Babies, (it was a sentiment much in favour in Victorian Times), the saying itself is very much older and forms the basis for honourable conduct for most, perhaps all, organised religions. Now that's a word not often used today--honourable! It pre-supposes honesty and fairness, both much in decline I feel.

Wow! that sounds like a grumpy old woman, but of course a well-mannered one!

Rev wrote:
BTW, I have no objection to who people feel the need to think of God as a loving Heavenly Father, as long as this helps them be moral, ethical and loving people who do not impose, with dire threats, their concept of God on others.

I never thought it would happen--but I fully agree with this sentiment,Rev--from the other side of course!

Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/04/07 04:57 AM

I think somewhere along the way someone needs to remind the fundamentalists that freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. It is possible to be moral and ethical and loving without trying to ram it down someone else's throat. I agree with Ellis. Having had my son introduced to theology, courtesy of a head start program, I find it repugnant to have people cramming their idea of religion down a young child's throat with no thought of the damage they're doing. He came home from head start, scared shitless, wanting to know if God the father was going to find him and hurt him like his own daddy had. He'd been molested by his own father at the age of three, and whoever the nice lady was then told him about God the father, I hope she rots in hell for what she put my son through.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/04/07 05:32 AM

Thank you for that, Rose. You arouse a great deal of compassion. I agree, it's possible to be moral, ethical and loving while just shutting up and getting on with it. That ought to be enough to make the world go around.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/04/07 08:34 AM

Ellis wrote:

"the saying itself is very much older and forms the basis for honourable conduct for most, perhaps all, organised religions."

And science. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I agree with you. We don't need to believe in God to "be moral, ethical and loving people". I posted somewhere a news item from NZ about a religious group protesting about a government move to stress we have no state religion. Religious tolerance? Not when it comes to recognising a right to no religion thank you.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/04/07 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Amaranth Rose II
I think somewhere along the way someone needs to remind the fundamentalists that freedom of religion also means freedom from religion....
I heartily agree.
BTW, this I why I coined the acronym GØD--goodness, order and design (regardless of the source). I did it to help myself get away from the god-ideas as spread by all the fundamentalism--and there are numerous forms. I now find it impossible to think of GØD as a father or a mother.

Think of these questions: Is there anything beyond the physical edge of the cosmos (the macro)? If so, what is it? I believe there IS, and I call it GØD.
Is there something at the very heart and center of the atom (the micro)? I believe there IS. I call it GØD.

A brilliant scientist I dialogue with (at Brainmeta.com ) who abhors organized religion--I prefer to say, sick religions--but does not want to call himself an atheist, calls it Nature. I have no problem with this. We have dialogued for years. No problem. He is the one who told me about the math-symbol Ø I use it to symbolize that in and through all things there seems to be a divine order which is ours to explore (the role of science), uncover and put to good moral. use

We always need to keep in mind that children, before they reach the age where they can think rationally, and people with child-like minds tend to think objectively, literally. This is why some children will ask questions like: Who made? Or, how big is God?

IN MY 30's I BEGAN QUESTIONING TRADITIONAL THEISM
Years ago--trying to explain to my five-year old son (now 47) something about the idea of God I said: God is in all of us. A few minutes later, he asked: "Dad, if I cut you open, would I find God inside you?" laugh We had a great laugh, and a good talk, about that question. Soon he was on the road to thinking rationally. As Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, puts it: "When I was a child I thought and spoke like a child..."

This kind of child-like thinking is not necessarily a bad thing in its place, as long as we recognize the limitations of this kind of thinking and can help ourselves and our children mature.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/06/07 03:25 PM

I repeat: It is my experience that children, before they reach the age where they can think rationally, and people with child-like minds tend to think objectively, that is, literally.

Keep in mind: I have all the respect in the world for children and for people with humble and childlike-minds. Children and people who think this way will ask such questions like: Who made God? Or, how big is God? Where is he? Can he see and hear what I am doing right now? Does he know everything that I have ever done and ever will do?

EXAMPLES OF THE CHILD-LIKE MIND
Quote:
A child was over heard saying his prayers: "Dear God, please take care of my daddy, mommy, sister, brother, my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything ever happens to you, we're gonna be in a big mess.
=========================================================
A six-year-old boy told his minister: "My mother always say
a prayer of thanks about me every night."

"Very interesting" said the minister, "What does she say?".

The boy replied, "She always thanks God that I am in bed."
==========================================================
Johny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer.

"Fine", said the pleased mother. "If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you." "Oh, I didn't ask
Him to help me not misbehave," said Johnny. "I asked Him to help you put up with me."
===============================================================
A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if You can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am!"
==============================================================
A ten-year old was asked by a Sunday School teacher: Who decides who marries who? The child responded: "No person really decides, before they grow up, who they're going to marry. God decides it all, way before you get to find out later who you're stuck with.


Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/07 11:05 PM

Okay, Rev., here is what I understand you are trying to say: You want your readers to understand that, while it is cute, and mostly acceptable, to be child-like in our thinking, it is a limited kind of thinking.

Please feel free to correct me if I am on the wrong track, but it is my understanding that you want people to be free and to think for themselves. You want people to have a concept of God that is compatible with their maturity.

For example, as a child I thought of God as being like my father. It so happened that my father was a good and strong person. I was fortunate. However, can you imagine what would have happened if my father was otherwise?

LET US BE CLEAR AS TO WHAT WE MEAN
Like the Rev., I want to know what it is that people have in mind when they use the term 'god', or 'God'.

Therefore, I ask atheists: What do you have in mind when you hear, or use, the term 'God', or 'god'?.

Keep in mind that, like the Rev., I do not think of God as a personal being, out there, separate and apart from all that is, including the physical universe.




Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/24/07 12:22 PM

Check out the work of David Sloan Wilson: Though he is an atheist he does see the value of and role for religion.
http://darwinianconservatism.blogspot.com/2007/06/david-sloan-wilsons-evolution-for.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Sloan_Wilson

IMO, David Sloan Wilson is a panentheist/unitheist. His "atheism", I believe is because of the premise of theism. Most theists, but not all, speak of God as if he is a personal and male being, who wills, acts, senses, sees, hears and rules all nature as if He were a loving heavenly Father. They think of nature as just a collection of material things. Wilson rejects this.

As a unitheist, so do I.

For the sake of new readers I need to summarize: As a unitheist I think of GØD being itself to which only the verb "to be" applies.
GØD simply IS: that which is in and through all that is, all nature--physically, menatlly and spiritually. Nature, IMO, is more than a collection of bits and pieces.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 12:42 AM

Rev, you keep referring to "God" as though it actually exists. If it DOES exist, does it give a STUFF about how we conduct our affairs, and if so, why should it?
Please keep your response, if any, to less that 100 words.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 12:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
Rev, you keep referring to "God" as though it actually exists. If it DOES exist, does it give a STUFF about how we conduct our affairs, and if so, why should it?
Please keep your response, if any, to less that 100 words.


What mortal can know the mind of an infinite being? Consider the butterfly effect over millennia.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 12:57 AM

Scpg02 wrote:

"What mortal can know the mind of an infinite being?"

Or even if such a thing exists.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 01:03 AM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
Scpg02 wrote:

"What mortal can know the mind of an infinite being?"

Or even if such a thing exists.


I have had personal experiences that prove to me that one does exist. Beyond that it would be a matter of faith.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 01:28 AM

Scpg02 wrote:

"I have had personal experiences that prove to me that one does exist".

I'm sure what you meant to say was, "I have had personal experiences that prove to me that something I cannot explain occurred".

Same here. Several times. But I didn't jump to the conclusion it was the work of an Infinite Being. Mind you I was never taught that such a being existed when I was a child. I consider I was fortunate in that respect.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 01:30 AM

I said what I meant.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 01:57 AM

And what "Infinite Being" would give a stuff about Mortal Men?
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 02:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
And what "Infinite Being" would give a stuff about Mortal Men?


You obviously have never read the Dune series.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 03:10 AM

No. I didn't, Herbert was too "dry" for my liking, sorry about that. Or were you being facetious? In this type of communication, it's so hard to tell.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 03:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
No. I didn't, Herbert was too "dry" for my liking, sorry about that. Or were you being facetious? In this type of communication, it's so hard to tell.


Yeah that's why I like using my smilies. They add something to the message.

The last three books deal with an extremely long lived God like figure who is able to see not just the future but all possibilities. With this knowledge he can mold civilization into what he wants it to be.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 03:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Wolfman
Rev, you keep referring to "God" as though it actually exists. If it DOES exist, does it give a STUFF about how we conduct our affairs, and if so, why should it?
Please keep your response, if any, to less that 100 words.
Wolfman, have you read my STUFF. If so, you obviously misunderstand my STUFF.

IMO, GOD does NOT exist as a being; GOD is existence as I experience it, and is as real as our next breath (The Bible uses air as a metaphor for spirit). Take note of the air we breathe. Let us try living without taking our next breath. I find it impossible. How about you? Can you live, physically, without breathing?

Now define the god you think I believe in.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 04:51 AM

Rev, it sounds as though you're infatuated with some nameless, formless "entity" that doesn't belong being discussed in a Science Forum.
If you don't mind my saying.


Try this Forum - "The-Face-On-Mars-Is-Keanu-Reeves.com"
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 10:31 AM

scpg02

"The last three books deal with an extremely long lived God like figure who is able to see not just the future but all possibilities. With this knowledge he can mold civilization into what he wants it to be."

This is a god-like figure that evolved as a "child" of the cosmos, subject to the laws of physics, rather that the 'purpose' behind the cosmos. Which do you think you experienced? - or would your description be different?
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 01:00 PM

I think my experience would fit into the purpose behind the cosmos category.

I've also had what I would call past life memories though I don't believe in reincarnation. Go figure.

As for the Spirit of God that has been mentioned, I have no problem reconciling that with the Chinese concept of Chi or even the fictional "force" in Star Wars.

I also enjoy concepts such as a quantum hologram.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: scpg02
I think my experience would fit into the purpose behind the cosmos category.

Yes, purpose. It's the experience that tells you that it all means something. Something wonderful.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 07:22 PM

ScpgO2, and Rede, do I take it that, unlike Wolfman, you are not just materialists, or atheists. That is, you are not among those who see the material world as the untimate reality.

Wolfman, feel free to correct me if I misread your stuff. And don't misunderstand me: I love the natural world, especially when it is behaving itself and giving us of it beauty and bounty. I am an advocate of ecology. I think of Nature as the body of GØD. BTW, Wikipedia has quite an article on Ø. It is common in Scandanavian languages. Check out what it says about its role in maths. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%98

In my humble opinion, before there was the primordial ball, which became the BIG bang, there was what I call the Ø--the no-thing. That is, GØD in the micro. Compare it with the string theory.

Outside the billions of galaxies which we call the cosmos, the result of the big bang--15 billions of years ago--and subject of all the studies by all the sciences, there is also that which I call the Ø. But here it stands for the-everything--GØD in the macro; that which is beyond measure; and which boggles the human mind just to think about it.

BTW, Wolfman, I assume you are a happy, moral and positive atheist.
If so, why do atheists always avoid defining for me what they mean when they use the term 'God'?
What do you think I have in mind when I write, G Ø D?
I certainly do not have an objective male or female being in mind, one out there separate and apart from us.
BTW, why do atheists try to get unitheists to stop posting here?
Do we challenge atheism and materialism too much? After all, I see all of nature as part of GØD.

Again I ask: Can we live, physically, without breathing in the spiritual breath of life?
===============000000000000=================

GØD is The One
---------------------------------------
I find myself at one with ALL around me.
I'm one with mother earth, with sky and sea.
I find myself at one with space and time,
And one with all pervasive gravity.

I feel GØD's power in every tiny atom;
I see GØD's face in galaxies above;
But best of all, I feel GØD's power within me,
The power of GØD's unifying love.


Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 07:30 PM

Quote:
before there was the primordial ball, which became the BIG bang,
I like M theroy better.

I am a full fledged believer in God. As for ecology being the body of God, we were put on Earth to worship God and tend the garden. I would no sooner worship the Earth itself then I would the sun.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 07:36 PM

Yes, I would agree with Revlgking when he said, "GOD does NOT exist as a being; GOD is existence as I experience it, and is as real as our next breath (The Bible uses air as a metaphor for spirit)."
Perhaps everyone's definition of God is different. For some he is the one sitting on a throne with long hair looking down upon us, others is the world itself, others is a baseball, others is nothing, and everything. Perhaps not existing in the physical realm, but there is something else surely out there. Active or passive, wise or foolish, omnisicient or unskilled, he is there. And he is not there. He is, he is not.
And yes, this could go in a science forum because we are trying to know or discern something, as the route of the latin word we get science means.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 07:56 PM

Quote:
before there was the primordial ball, which became the BIG bang,


Nah. Even though if you ask me I will tell you that I am Christian and believe full body in the Bible it goes beyond that and is worthy of discussion on a science forum.

Take M theory. That says there are 11 dimensions? God is that which exists on all dimensions simultaneously. What's that theory about time, that all choices that can be made are made in parallel universes? I don't believe that idea is correct but for me God is that which can see all possibilities and directs life to his desire. Forever the artist painting the picture of life. The creator did not just throw the bucket of paint on the wall and say perfect. Creation was not just a singular process but life itself.

Let there be light! Not a magician’s trick, now you see it, now you don’t. Creation was birthed out of a tremendous force of will. God’s will. And we were created in God’s image. Not a being of two legs and two arms etc but creators of life. Eternal beings that are a part of the very fabric of existence changing the very nature of that existence though our force of will. Observing the particle changes it.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 09:59 PM

Thanks. Above, there is lots of grist for the mill of thought. Thanks for agreeing to offer your sincere thoughts. This is fun when we agree to dialogue and to disagree, agreeably. smile

scpg02, what is M theory?
You say you agree to "tend the garden", right? I agree; it is a good idea.

Where did I say: We are here to worship the garden, ecologically? Please, do not put doctrines in my head which I do not offer. smile Ecology is about: Tending the garden. Got it? laugh

Tim: I like the way you put things.

Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 10:13 PM

M-theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In physics, M-theory (sometimes also called U-theory) is a proposed "master theory" that unifies the five superstring theories. Drawing on the work from a number of string theorists (including Chris Hull, Paul Townsend, Ashoke Sen, Michael Duff and John H. Schwarz), Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study suggested its existence at a conference at USC in 1995, and used M-theory to explain a number of previously observed dualities, sparking a flurry of new research in string theory called the second superstring revolution.

In the early 1990s, it was shown that the various superstring theories were related by dualities, which allow physicists to relate the description of an object in one string theory to the description of a different object in another theory. These relationships imply that each of the string theories is a different aspect of a single underlying theory, proposed by Witten, and named "M-theory".

M-theory is not yet complete; however it can be applied in many situations (usually by exploiting string theoretic dualities). The theory of electromagnetism was also in such a state in the mid-19th century; there were separate theories for electricity and magnetism and, although they were known to be related, the exact relationship was not clear until James Clerk Maxwell published his equations, in his 1864 paper A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field. Witten has suggested that a general formulation of M-theory will probably require the development of new mathematical language. However, some scientists have questioned the tangible successes of M-theory given its current incompleteness, and limited predictive power, even after so many years of intense research.

Introduction to M-theory
Essier read.

If I recall correctly without going back and rereading all of this, instead of the singularity of the big bang you have to membranes that ripple. Where they touch is where you get your "big bang" or a universe. This allows for multiple universes as well as the membranes would touch in more than one spot.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 10:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

Where did I say: We are here to worship the garden, ecologically? Please, do not put doctrines in my head which I do not offer. smile Ecology is about: Tending the garden. Got it? laugh


I am an advocate of ecology. I think of Nature as the body of GØD.- Revlgking Post #22393
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 10:20 PM

Sounds interesting, to me. I always keep my mind open to the latest findings of moral, ethical, loving and well-motivated scientists.

Keep in mind: I believe in education, not in indoctrination. In the face of new evidence I am not afraid to change my mind. smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 10:30 PM

Originally Posted By: scpg02
Originally Posted By: Revlgking

Where did I say: We are here to worship the garden, ecologically? Please, do not put doctrines in my head which I do not offer. smile Ecology is about: Tending the garden. Got it? laugh


I am an advocate of being ecological in our approach to nature. I think of Nature as the body of GØD.- Revlgking Post #22393

What is your point?

Are you implying that nature is foreign to the one you call God? Note this: I did not say: Nature IS God. That is pantheism. I am a unitheist, or panentheist. Check it out in Wikepedia.

BTW, did you know that our word 'worship' is simply a contraction of our words 'worth' and 'ship'?
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/07 10:38 PM

Quote:
Are you implying that nature is foreign to the one you call God? Note this: I did not say: Nature is God.


You said nature was the body of God therefor implying that nature is God. Nature, is God's creation not God.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 03:52 AM

My body is not me; I have a body, but it is only a reflection of who I am. IMHO--I always like to use this expression to try to avoid being dogmatic about these difficult concepts--

--God (I'll use your spelling) has a body. As you put it: it is his creation. Even Jesus referred to "bread"(part of nature) as: "This is my body..."
IMO, God ecompasses ALL things, including nature.I always point this out in dialogues I have with atheists when they ask me for evidence of God. I always say: Open your senses, see, hear, take a breath (spirit). The Psalmist puts it: "The heavens declare the glory (the splendid character) of God..." Isn't the earth, and all nature on it, part of the heavens?

BTW, It is perfectly okay to disagree with me, just as long as we treat one another according to 1 Corinthians 13---"Love is kind..."
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 04:22 AM

ABOUT PANENTHEISM, OR UNITHEISM, AS I LIKE TO CALL IT

Quote:
The German philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) seeking to reconcile monotheism and pantheism, coined the term panentheism (all in God) in 1828.

This conception of God influenced New England transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. The term was popularized by Charles Hartshorne in his development of process theology and has also been adopted by proponents of various New Thought beliefs. However despite formalization of this term in the west as late as the 18th century, the formal analysis of panentheism is not new and multiple philosophical treatises have been written in Hinduism for many millennia.

Beginning in the 1940s, Hartshorne examined numerous conceptions of God. He reviewed and discarded pantheism, deism, and pandeism in favor of panentheism, finding that "panentheistic doctrine contains all of deism and pandeism except their arbitrary negations".

Hartshorne formulated God as necessarily being able to become 'more perfect', contending that God had absolute perfection in categories for which absolute perfection was possible, and relative perfection (i.e. was superior to all others) in categories for which perfection can not be precisely determined...


Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 09:10 AM

Revlgking asked:

"why do atheists always avoid defining for me what they mean when they use the term 'God'"?

Hang on Rev. How do you expect us to define something we don't believe exists? Even people who do accept there is a God can't agree on a definition. As Tim said, "everyone's definition of God is different. For some he is the one sitting on a throne with long hair looking down upon us, others is the world itself, others is a baseball, others is nothing, and everything. Perhaps not existing in the physical realm".

Which of these definitions would you like us atheists to define as being the one we don't believe in?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 03:26 PM

TerryN: Recently, over the CBC (Canada's public radio) I heard Richard Dawkins, Author of, "The God Delusion" discuss what he hoped to accomplish by writing his book.

He gave an excellent and detailed interview about his latest thinking and sounded quite calm and rational. Not once was he nearly as strident as he came off in his book.

Others who responded to his comments noted this. He said: "I would love to sit down and have a calm dialogue with clergy and lay monotheists and discuss what we all mean when we discuss the god-concept..."

He must have had some idea of god in mind, or he would not have bothered raising the issue. Not once did he say: "Discussing theology and people's concept of God is a waste of time; I can't be bothered talking about such nonsense. It is like talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin." BTW, the latter was Bertrand Russell's position. Is this yours?

You say you don't believe God exists. Agreed?

Is it too much for me to ask you: Define what you mean by "exists". In what way does God NOT exist? Are you thinking strickly in three-dimensional terms, or what? What is existence?

Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 05:40 PM

There is documentation for a precognitive collective consciousness. I can’t remember what it was they were measuring but it changes dramatically right before events such as 9/11.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 06:00 PM

Revlgking wrote: "I believe in education, not in indoctrination."
So do I. Being educated would seem to imply learning something without dogmatism and propoganda while presenting something as most likely the truth. Sadly in the public schools of America, this not done. Now I realize this is tangent.
But to answer Revlgking's question:
Yes, I beleive in a God, although I have not the authority to say he "exists" in three dimensions. Perhaps he does, perhaps not. Perhaps he is everything, perhaps nothing. None of us knwows, and we should not pretend that we do due to "scientific" explanations and such. We simply do not know all that there is lurking in this vast void we call the universe. And to me that seems a rational and irrational explanation of the matter depending on your point of view.
Posted by: scpg02

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 06:04 PM

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 08:30 PM

"He must have had some idea of god in mind, or he would not have bothered raising the issue. Not once did he say: "Discussing theology and people's concept of God is a waste of time; I can't be bothered talking about such nonsense. It is like talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

Notice, however, that the discussion is taking place in a broadcasting station and not in the pages of IEEE Spectrum or Nature or Home and Gardening, for that matter.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 08:35 PM

"why do atheists always avoid defining for me what they mean when they use the term 'God'"?
Because that is potentially an endless subject.
"Well, what if god had blue eyes?"
No, I don't believe such a god exists.
"Well ... what if God had red eyes and a blue tongue."
No.
"What if god had no god or corporeal form?"
no.
"What if god was EVERYTHING?"
Why use such a loaded term as god to describe a common concept?
"But what if god is just the good stuff?"
and so on...
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 09:34 PM

Tim
Subject: Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, include...

Tim, writes
Quote:
Revlgking wrote: "I believe in education, not in indoctrination." So do I...

Excellent!

Quote:
But to answer Revlgking's question:
Yes, I believe in a God, although I have not the authority to say he "exists" in three dimensions. Perhaps he does, perhaps not. Perhaps he is everything, perhaps nothing...
Tim, in allowing for the mystery in all of nature, it looks like you and I are on the same wave length.

IMHO--my humble opinion--there is more to GOD than three-dimensional and material nature (3DN) but surely, if GOD includes all things, GOD is at least that.

GOD AS A DIAMOND WITH AN INFINITE NUMBER OF FACETS
Think of GOD as a diamond with an infinite number of facets capable of reflecting light and colour in an infinite variety of forms and colours, including that which is visible, and invisible, to the naked eye. It is not by accident that the Bible speaks of God as the source of all light.

Without being able to see all the facets and all the colours of the diamond, at the same time, I know that the whole diamond is there, because of the outline and the few facets that I can see.

Or think of the world's oceans. I have only travelled in two of them--the Atlantic and the Pacific. Of these two, I only know very little. But I know the whole oceans are there, because of the small area I do know.

GOD is such an inclusive concept, I am convinced that GOD even includes those who say I do not believe in GOD. After all, do birds have to believe in air to take flight? Do fish have to believe in water to swim? IMHO, air and water, like light are facets of GOD.

AIR, LIKE LIGHT, IS A FACET OF GOD
This is why I usually ask atheists: If you really don't believe in the breath of life--IMHO, another facet of GOD--why do you keep on breathing the pneuma (Spirit) of GOD.

In John 4:24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman, "God is Spirit'. The NT Greek for Spirit is 'pneuma', which also means air, wind or breath. From 'pneuma' we get words like pneumatic, pneumonia and pneumatology--the study of air, wind, breath and spirit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatology

Keep in mind that materialism is fairly modern phenomena. The ancient thinkers made little or no division between body, mind and spirit. Perhaps modern physicists are bringing us back to this way of thinking--LIFE AS A UNIFIED FIELD. And life, for me, is another facet of GOD.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 10:26 PM

TFF, I presume you write as an atheist. However, you say the following with which I agree:
Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
GOD is "an endless subject" and fun to talk about. GOD is "EVERYTHING"--physical mental and spiritual, "a common concept" and all "good stuff", mostly.
smile I presume you are having fun with the rest of your nonsense comments, which I hope we can agree makes about as much sense as does the Bible when it tells us that God "walked in the Garden of Eden" and that he made a talking snake (Genesis 3:1) which Eve blamed for tricking her into disobeying God. laugh

BTW, I try not to objectify or to localize the GOD-concept, in any way shape or form. As GOD includes breath and life, how's your breathing and living going? smile
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/07 11:38 PM

Revlgking wrote:

'Define what you mean by "exists"'.

Now, the one thing we can be sure of, however you wish define God as being today, we are not talking about the God of the Old Testament. We both agree with this idea because you write it 'makes about as much sense as does the Bible when it tells us that God "walked in the Garden of Eden" and that he made a talking snake (Genesis 3:1) which Eve blamed for tricking her into disobeying God'.

And yet the Old Testament is what most people in the West rely on for their definition of "God". I'm on your side if you simply wish to wean people off this definition. As far as I'm concerned you can call anything you like "God" after you've done that as long as you don't use this idea to justify unethical political decisions.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/28/07 12:42 AM

"I presume you are having fun with the rest of your nonsense comments"
Of course I was having fun. Everything that exists is god. Nonsense exists. Therefore god is nonsense.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/28/07 05:09 AM

ABOUT THE DANGER OF TAKING THE BIBLE LITERALLY, AND AS A RULE BOOK
TFF, Recently, I got an item published in the National Post--one of our two national dailies here in Canada.

It had to do with the controversial question regarding whether or not the churches should accept gay clergy and the marriage of gay couples.

In a letter to the editor, one reader, who did not indicate his/her gender, argued that the Bible, especially Paul's letter to the Romans, makes it clear in no way should the church ordain practicing homosexuals as clergy and bless gay marriages.

I pointed out:

As a matter of fact, in Romans 1: 26 to 28--The Good News Version--Paul does lists sexual "unnatural acts" as sins worthy of death. But he also includes sins like jealousy, malice and gossip, boasting, pride, failing to show pity and kindness for others, and even the failing to keep promises. Politicians, beware!

If this list is taken as definitive of who among us should be put to death, there wouldn't be very many people left alive to sit in church pews.

In addition to the above, the Bible also recommends, ethnic cleansing and slavery (Deuteronomy 20), Holy Wars (Isaiah 13) and the public stoning to death of all sex offenders and even disobedient children.

Also, read what Paul says about women in general. In 1 Timothy 1:8 to 15 he writes, "Women should learn in silence and in all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authoirty over men; they must keep quiet..."

Let me assure readers that, IMO, the Bible contains many beautiful, true and good passages worthy of praise. But much of it is dull and boring reading, often silly and sometimes downright dangerous.

The above are just a few--I could add hundreds of more verses--of the reasons why I am very careful not to assume that all the rules set forth in the Bible are to be taken literally and followed as the law of the land, or even of the church.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/28/07 09:18 PM

TFF, you write: "And yet the Old Testament is what most people in the West rely on for their definition of "God".

Thanks for pointing this out, TFF. For years I have refused to believe in the "God" as described in much of the Bible. Because of this stand, some "Christians", with judgement in their voices, over the years have called me an atheist.

When this accusation is made I simply respond: I believe in what John said about God. And it is in the Bible. He said, "God is LOVE". If you refuse to accept this, I hope we can at least agree to disagree, agreeably." smile

TFF, thanks, also, for the following comment: "I'm on your side if you simply wish to wean people off this definition."

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HOPE TO DO...I hope to get people to stop thinking of God in the same way that young children think of Santa Claus. I want people to grow up and think as rational grown ups.

Then you add: "As far as I'm concerned you can call anything you like "God". After you've done that, as long as you don't use this idea to justify unethical political decisions."

Please expand on your last comment. What do you mean by "this idea"?

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/28/07 09:31 PM

I don't recall writing any of those things.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/28/07 11:24 PM

I apologize. It was TerryNZ, in his post #22459 - Yesterday at 04:38.
LGK
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/07 01:41 AM

Revlgking wrote:
"Because of this stand, some "Christians", with judgement in their voices, over the years have called me an atheist."
Well I dont.
But I disagree with your implination when you wrote: "Paul does lists sexual "unnatural acts" as sins worthy of death. But he also includes sins like jealousy, malice and gossip, boasting, pride, failing to show pity and kindness for others, and even the failing to keep promises. Politicians, beware!"
Well everyone does those things, and everyone dies. Simple as that, perhaps our society is different than Paul's, or he just went too far. And do you mean the Bible promotes a holy war in the sense of Islamic jihad? Curious how Ive never noticed that.
But anyway, "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HOPE TO DO...I hope to get people to stop thinking of God in the same way that young children think of Santa Claus. I want people to grow up and think as rational grown ups." is wisdom, indeed. So many people are deceived that religion is just faith but no rationality. Well, to me it seems it is not exclusively that. God could be anything or nothing, as I have said. You dont have to beleive in Him or think you do, but surely there is something you beleive exists? Perhaps he is not Jesus of the Bible, or God of the Old Testament, but perhaps the hand of nature, or your TV, or something. Perhaps He could be different to everyone else, or perhaps not. You decide, and as Revlgking said, lets agree to disagree, because that seems the most rational agreement (techinically disagreement, oh no a paradox!).


Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/07 02:03 AM

Tim.. Please believe me... it is not necessary to believe in the divine or the existence of any other supernatural phenomena. People who need faith will, hopefully, form their faith from exploring their own beliefs and not solely the direction of others- just as you are presently doing. This form of self exploration, whilst it is encouraged in some of the teachings of Jesus, is not usually a feature of the God of the Old Testament and is often lacking in estabished church dogma as you have found.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/07 05:03 AM

TheFallibleFiend wrote:

"I don't recall writing any of those things".

But feel free to claim them if you wish.

Revlgking wrote:

"Please expand on your last comment. What do you mean by this idea"?

Well, first of all there's no fullstop between "God" and after in my original comment. Lets just look at most of the trouble spots in the world. Belief in a god is used to justify everything from occupation of territory to the acts of terrorism committed in response. Sure, the basic causes may be the economic advantage of certain small groups but they gather support for their cause by claining they have their own god on their side. The phenomenon is not new. States in ancient Sumeria, the Middle East and and Egypt adopted the same tactic.

Tim wrote:

"do you mean the Bible promotes a holy war in the sense of Islamic jihad"?

Fraid so. That's how most of the rest of the world sees it anyway. All you Christians, Muslims and Jews fighting over which sub-sect worships the one true G$D.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/07 09:02 PM

"Belief in a god is used to justify everything from occupation of territory to the acts of terrorism committed in response." comments TerryNZ

Terry, keep in mind, evil people, including evil theists and atheists, will use anything to justify their actions.

Tim: About "Holy War", check out Isaiah 13:1-5--King James version--and tell us what you think it means.

BTW, THE LIVING BIBLE--a version approved by most fundamentalists--talks about the "Lord of Hosts" (God as the field marshall of a massive righteous army) destroying the whole land of Babylon, modern Iran. Sounds like a holy war to me.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/07 10:10 PM

Revlgking wrote:

"evil people, including evil theists and atheists, will use anything to justify their actions."

Yes. But it's much easier to raise allies if you claim supernatural support. I can't imagine anything atheists might be able to use as a substitute.

Regarding the Bible and Holy War. Tell me again of the noble deeds Joshua and his partners in genocide justified by claiming their god commanded them to do it. Perfect alibi. Mind you there's a great deal of evidence it never actually happened anyway.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/07 02:09 AM

TNZ, I see you agree that evil is evil, regardless of the source. Good for you! It seems you, also, agree that atheists have no supernatural substitute for their cause. In other words, they have no invisible means of support. smile Sad, eh?

But seriously: As I understand it, individual atheists believe that they have no future beyond their personal deaths. I presume that you, also, believe this to be true for all atheists, collectively speaking, right?

If this IS true, what does atheism have to offer anyone about the future?

Nothing, just a dead end.

If atheism is a fact, the reward to those who live short and miserable lives is even less. It seems to me that atheism is a hopeless philosophy of life. Not much fun, if you ask me.

In addition, if atheism is a fact, there is no reason to blame atheists who become criminals and who decide to look after number by taking advantage of others in order to get the most out of life for themselves, now. What have aatheists got to lose by being immoral?

On the other hand, unitheism/panentheism, and other forms of theism, may prove to be false; but if they are false, no one, not even they, will ever know, right?

However, if they are proved true, think of the fun believers are going to have with non-believers, in any future life there happens to be.

BTW, if there really is a life in the future, I hope to see many atheists there. Seriously, I promise to accept you as you are, and not make fun of your lack of optimistic faith, okay? smile
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/07 02:57 AM

Yes, I read Isaiah 13:1-5
To me that doesnt seem like its promoting a holy war, although it is fine propoganda. It is merely poetry (Isaiah is a mighty fine poet, one of the best in my eyes, and in some of my poems I have adopted his style). It is a poem or revelation; "the oracle...whcih Isaiah the son of Amoz saw." (13:1)
But beleive me, it is not promoting extremists armed with bombs to attack citizens nor use any force on others.

"It seems to me that atheism is a hopeless philosophy of life." I would disagree with that statement although myself not an atheist, i can see where they come from by acceptence. There is hope for all, regardless of worldview.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/07 04:46 AM

"In addition, if atheism is a fact, there is no reason to blame atheists who become criminals and who decide to look after number by taking advantage of others in order to get the most out of life for themselves, now. What have aatheists got to lose by being immoral?"

Well, at least you didn't make the common and stupid statement, "Atheists can't be moral." It depends on what one means by 'blame'. With no god there is no 'goodness' in the universe. That doesn't mean we can't individually and collectively define what we will consider acceptable behavior. We can make very rules that promote some agenda that we agree to or we can make rules orthogonal to any agenda, i.e. stupid rules.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/07 09:58 PM

As I wrote: "In addition, if atheism is a fact, there is no reason to blame atheists..."

Let me put this another way by asking a question: Other than virtue--moral excellence--being its own reward, what motivates atheists to be virtuous?

I presume rational atheists and theists, have a fear of breaking the law of the land and facing punishment in this life.. But only theists have a fear of facing some kind of judgement after death.

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/07 03:33 AM

Revlgking wrote:

"if atheism is a fact, there is no reason to blame atheists who become criminals and who decide to look after number by taking advantage of others in order to get the most out of life for themselves, now'.

I suspect that in general atheists are less likely to become criminals. They don't rely on fear of future divine punishment to make them honest now. You ask, "what motivates atheists to be virtuous?" Being virtuous makes life a lot easier. You're not looking over your shoulder all the time to see if you've got away with something. Besides I have said elsewhere that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Most religions have the same idea but phrase it differently.

The problem we all have is that it's as difficult for someone who believes in God to see the world through atheist's eyes as it is for an atheist to see the world through a god-believer's eyes.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/07 05:46 AM

TerryNZ writes:"The problem we all have is that it's as difficult for someone who believes in God to see the world through atheist's eyes as it is for an atheist to see the world through a god-believer's eyes." Indeed true.

Terry you speak of atheists and theists seeing the world. Indeed, we not only see the world, we sense it, and experience it, with all our senses.

Atheists, like most theists keep talking about God, as if he is someone, separate and apart from us and the universe, in whom we either believe, or don't believe.

I wonder how many atheists are willing to accept that there is another option--a god-concept which, like process theology (Wikipedia), includes all of nature: Unitheists/panENtheists, not only sense the physical universe, we accept that it is the outward and visible sign, or being, of GØD as invisible being in and through all natural things. This is that which imprints upon our souls and motivates us, those of us who are willing, to be loving and virtuous beings.

Belief can lead us to knowledge, which is MORE THAN JUST A BELIEF, it is fact.

In a famous BBC TV broadcast, FACE TO FACE, IN 1959--I think I remember hearing a clip from it over the CBC--the great Carl Jung, whose father, BTW, was a minister in Switzerland, was asked: "Do you believe in God?" he replied, "I do not need to believe in God, I KNOW." He was inundated with letters asking him what he meant by "God" anyway.

The January 21, 1960 edition of the LISTENER--the BBC newsletter--he wrote a detailed letter outlining what he mean when he said that he had a 'knowledge of God'. In another post I will expand on what he said.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/07 09:06 PM

TerryNZ, you say that, "Being virtuous makes life a lot easier."

Perhaps this is true, for all of us, especially those of us who have a sensitive conscience. But surely you are not suggesting that being virtuous always makes life easier on this earthly plane.

I know that I feel very guilty, even when I do things, which are not necessarily against any law.

For example, as a minister, there were times when I felt guilty when I held back from visiting parishoners who I found boring. In the church-trade these are called "sins" of omission--failing to do the things we feel we ought to do. It is not against any law to avoid such people, but clergy often feel badly for not wanting to put up with them

In addition, keep in mind: There are times when "being virtuous" can present us with all kinds of problems. For example, it caused Moses, Socrates, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Joan of Arc, Mohatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and numerous other great leaders, a lot of physical and mental pain. For some it even caused their deaths.

You say, "You're not looking over your shoulder (to see if God is watching you?) all the time to see if you've got away with something." You are talking about the God of theism, right?

But, keep in mind that the real world is filled with more than imagined angels, demons and gods. There are real vilains out to there, ready to take revenge on us, especially if we have the courage to expose their vilainy. With or without God, being virtuous can sometime be very costly, don't you think?

You say: "Besides, I have said elsewhere that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Most religions have the same idea but phrase it differently."

Is this latter--the law of karma--part of your atheist philosophy (religion)? BTW, tt is mentioned in Galatians 5--the writings of St. Paul, in the New Testament.


Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/07 11:45 PM

I still maintain that atheists see the world with wonder and delight, whilst living a 'good' life. They just don't see the need for 'invisible means of support'. ;-)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 02:44 AM

Good for you, Ellis? Theists and unitheists agree with you about the way you see the world.

BTW, from your last sentence, I take it you only accept that part of the light spectrum which is visible to the naked eye, eh? smile
What are the dimensions of wonder and delight? And the imagination? Faith? Hope? And Love? And how much do they weigh?

And here's a question: If Jesus, just before he was arrested and sentenced to death, had become convinced that there was no life beyond the grave, would he have given up his life for the sake of others? Why would anyone expect him, or anyone, to do so?

Keep in mind: I would not blame an atheist for refusing to sacrifice his one and only precious life.

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 01:33 PM

First let me say that I don't speak for all atheists. Second, I reiterate that none of this has anything remotely to do with science.

"Other than virtue--moral excellence--being its own reward, what motivates atheists to be virtuous?"

I guess I think that's enough for atheists.

"I presume rational atheists and theists, have a fear of breaking the law of the land and facing punishment in this life.. But only theists have a fear of facing some kind of judgement after death."

All true. Here's the thing: neither punishment in this life nor the next is entirely sufficient to keep people from doing evil. Of course, in my view 'evil' is a human perspective - and because of the law of unintended consequences we need to be very careful how we apply the term.

There is a sense, however, in which this stuff (minus the mystical junk) could eventually be amenable to some scientific analysis - and that could very well be an outgrowth of economic theory. Econ started out as a (very) soft science, but has really made dramatic progress in the last few decades. Nowadays there exists a body of theory that might permit analysis using techniques from my own chosen field of science, complex adaptive systems (CAS).

There is some interesting work that has been done to examine the effect that rules and policies have on organizations.
Check out the first four paragraphs of this Scientific American article: http://people.icoserver.com/users/eric/hbr_swarm.pdf

Also, the first 3 paragraphs of the following Harvard Business Review article:
http://people.icoserver.com/users/eric/hbr_unpredictable.pdf

I met Dr. Bonabeau when he came to speak at a CAS group I started at work. He's brilliant, but he's not the only person doing first rate research in this subject. I've fixated on his articles only because 1) they don't have a lot of the mathematical baggage of a lot of the CAS work that gets done and 2) they clearly convey the sense that these techniques (agent-based modeling and genetic algorithms) are getting to the point where they're able to support experimentation into 'higher level' problems (i.e. policy).

The potential linkage to ethics is pure intuition at this point. I'm looking at the possibility that some of these ideas might be applicable to examining policy issues or organizations a bit larger than corporations: government agencies or entire governments. I'm attempting to develop a research program for examining these issues, but it's a bit of a hard sell.



Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 03:24 PM

As you write TFF: "There is a sense, however, in which this stuff (minus the mystical junk) could eventually be amenable to some scientific analysis - and that could very well be an outgrowth of economic theory."

Under the general heading of pneumatology--the study of the human spirit--it is, IMHO, already amenable to analysis.

PNEUMATOLOGY--a soft science. IMO, the use of it is of great value to understanding sociology and economics. Without faith (confidence) what is money worth? Who would invest in the markets, without faith?

MEASURING FAITH
For example, give me 100 people, or more, and, within a few minutes, I can--using what I call pneumatherapy technique--demonstrate who of the group will be among the 20% of the population who make good "trance subjects" and have the ability to demonstrate great faith, in good, evil, or just plain nonsense.

IMHO, faith, like hope and love, is a pneumatological tool, originating in the human spirit (pneuma). It has been used by autocratic tyrants like Hitler to destroy freedom, and by democratic statesmen like Washington to establish it.

Aldous Huxley, in his 1962 novel, Island, calls attention to the social significance of understanding the nature and function, for good or ill, of the normal human ability to go in and out of the trance state.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_(novel)

THE FOLLOWING IS VERY SIGNIFICANT
In a foreword written twenty years after the original publication of Brave New World, Huxley wrote:

Quote:
If I were now to rewrite the book, I would offer the Savage a third alternative. Between the Utopian and primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of sanity...In this community economics would be decentralist and Henry-Georgian, politics Kropotkinesque co-operative. Science and technology would be used as though, like the Sabbath, they had been made for man, not, (as at present and still more so in the Brave New World) as though man were to be adapted and enslaved to them. Religion would be the conscious and intelligent pursuit of man's Final End, the unitive knowledge of immanent Tao or Logos, the transcendent Godhead or Brahman. And the prevailing philosophy of life would be a kind of Higher Utilitarianism, in which the Greatest Happiness principle would be secondary to the Final End principle–the first question to be asked and answered in every contingency of life being: "How will this thought or action contribute to, or interfere with, the achievement, by me and the greatest possible number of other individuals, of man's Final End?"
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 04:36 PM

"Under the general heading of pneumatology--the study of the human spirit--it is, IMHO, already amenable to analysis."

There is no reason whatever to think that such a thing as "spirit" exists as anything other than a metaphor for one aspect of the human mind. The example you give, even granting that such a thing as "trance" exists, is clearly an application of psychology. Just because astrology and astronomy both concern stars doesn't mean that every advance made in astronomy is evidence for astrology or that astrologers have a contribution to make to astronomy.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 05:41 PM

I found that quote by Huxley very interesting, although I dont get how Brave New World got into the conversation (one of my favorite books).

"Science and technology would be used as though, like the Sabbath, they had been made for man, not, (as at present and still more so in the Brave New World) as though man were to be adapted and enslaved to them."

Curious, how the science in that society (cloning, hyptnotism, worshipping the car manufacturer, drugs, and in a sense stem cells) destroys it and lets no room for personal freedom. Is this the direction our science is moving in? As opposed to Orwell's 1984, Brave New World envisions a world based not on hate and opressive dictatorships, but on "love" and laziness, in a sense. For the people, using their total freedom choose to have it taken away by making everyone the same or using drugs when upset. Could this be the way our country is headed under science for the people?
It is worthy to note that the characters in Brave New World, under love and freedom, end up as the same as in the culture of 1984, based on hate and tyranny.
Just a thought.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 06:56 PM

It has been a long time since I read BNW; however, I think one of the major themes of it is that the the pursuit of trivial "happiness" can result in a form of slavery.

Also, BNW is an oppressive dictatorship:
1) people are genetically bred to do certain things - epsilons are not alphas;
2) people are conditioned to act in certain ways.

It's important to realize that due to bad eyesight, Huxley was stymied in his pursuit of being a doctor. He could not participate in science the way his famous brother and grandfather did. He advocated the use of hallucinogens.

One thing that a great writer can do - and Aldous was certainly that - is create contrived scenarios to illustrate their opinion, regardless of how that opinion stands in relation to the facts or to good sense.

Another example is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who created Sherlock Holmes. Doyle's absolute mastery of the language could create in the mind of the reader the inescapable illusion that Holmes was being logical. Doyle was a vastly better writer than he was a logician. So was Aldous Huxley.


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 08:29 PM

"The example you give, even granting that such a thing as "trance" exists, is clearly an application of psychology." TFF

Are you sure of what you speak? IMHO, the trance experience--of which I have had practical experience--is very much a part of the traditions of religion and the prophetic tradition--As WS Kroger, in his great book, Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, makes abundantly clear. Prophetic visions, including the Koran, came out of the trance state.

BTW, when I majored in psychology in the 1950's www.mta.ca it was then under the department of philosophy. I have been a student of the philosophies and the psychologies all my life.

This prompts me to say: There is so thing one singular field called "psychology"; there are schools of psychology--for example, there is behaviourism--Watson and Skinner-- which is contra to the analytical schools like that Freud, Jung, Adler, etc., Then there is structuralism like that of William James.
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=psychology&fulltext=Search

YOU SEE I TEND TO BE PRAGMATIC IN MY APPROACH TO PSYCHOLOGY--as I do with religion.
One of the early advocates of pragmatism was William James, Harvard. He wrote the classic,
THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE--A Study in Human Nature:
===============================================================
It is a book that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 1901 and 1902.

"Scientific theories are organically conditioned just as much as religious emotions are; and if we only knew the facts intimately enough, we should doubtless see 'the liver' determining the dicta of the sturdy atheist as decisively as it does those of the Methodist under conviction anxious about his soul. When it alters in one way the blood that percolates it, we get the Methodist, when in another way, we get the atheist form of mind."

These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century. James would go on to develop his philosophy of pragmatism, and there are already many overlapping ideas in Varieties and his 1907 book, Pragmatism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=psychology&fulltext=Search

I later discovered that the achaic term for psychology was pneumatology.

By the way, one of my other intellectual heroes is Carl Jung, who I believe was more of a pneumatologist than a psychologist. I also love the ideas and work of Milton Erickson, MD, father of North American hypnosis, and one of the founders of neurolinguistic programming (NLP)--a very practical and effective form of what I call pneumatherapy--healing of the self, or self-actualization, holistically--body, mind and spirit.

I respect the animal kingdom, but IF WE WERE JUST ANIMALS would we be having this interesting dialogue?

In MHO, we are spiritual beings who happen to have a mind and a body. We differ from animals in that they are mind and body beings. If anyone can demonstrate otherwise I will keep an open mind, and spirit. smile

Also, check out the work of Abraham Maslow http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html
...and Victor Frankl, logotherapy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logotherapy

As you can see, I am very pragmatic and eclectic in my approach.
Yes, I am in favour of useful medicines, especially those found in good foods.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 09:04 PM

If there really is such a thing as a "trance" and that is a huge "if", imo, how could it not be a subject of psychological study?

I do not think it is obvious that such a thing exists or not - only because I have not studied it in any depth. I can easily imagine, though, that there are many 'facts' about trances and altered states of consciousness which are widely known and a lot less widely refuted.

It is not clear to me the extent to which Jung's work constitutes actual science.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 09:57 PM

TFF, a healthy skepticism, in MHO, is a healthy thing. Congratulations! I began my student-life as skeptic. I still think of myself as one.

However, When I observed the trance phenomenon save my daughter's life when she was seven and one-half years of age, I began to take it seriously. Since then, I have seen it work in thousands of cases, including major dental-surgery. I had major dental surgery done a few years ago.

At my request, and without any anesthesia, my dentist did fixed-bridge surgery on me to replace two missing teeth. After the surgery. he declared: "I am amazed..."

BTW, going into trance does not, necessarily, involve going into a state of unconsciousness. I was completely alert during the surgery on my teeth.

Since the experiences that I actually had with my daughter's health, my personal health and that of many others, I have become less and less skeptical regarding the power of the mind over the body. All this is prompted by, what all forms of theism, call the spirit.

BTW, there is no rule which says that you have to accept that you are a spiritual being, who happens to have a mind and a body. The choice, spiritually speaking, is, exclusively, yours.

If you so wish, you are perfectly free to conclude that you are nothing more than a clever animal with no conscious future as a human being. smile

BTW, I presume you have no objection to those of us who are inclined to choose otherwise. Agreed?

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/07 10:14 PM

I could add: If we who believe that we will survive to live in the future are WRONG, who will ever know and be able to make fun of and ridicule us?

But if we are on the money, think of the fun we will have.
Be assured, I will not ridicule anyone; I plan just to have fun, okay? laugh
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/03/07 12:18 AM

I have no objection to those who are inclined to believe in spirits, souls etc., so long as they do not attempt to masuerade their personal convictions as science.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/03/07 05:04 AM

I am glad you agree that it is okay to have personal convictions. After all, perhaps all that we call the sciences, today, got their beginning when someone started with a personal conviction that such and such could be possible. Too bad many of the early scientists--some of them clergy--for example, Copernicus--had to suffer, and not just ridicule, for their convictions.

I like the saying, which I think Will R. Durant uses in is his great STORY OF PHILOSOPHY: All science begins as a philosophy and ends as an art. This is why I believe we always need to make room for the "not quite sciences", yet.

BTW, who here is willing to actually say: "I am not a spiritual and human being. I am not a soul, a free and unique individual--one who has some self-awareness that I am me and not someone else. I am simply a clever, domesticated animal.

Any time someone more clever than I chooses, they are free to own and use me. I hope to be lucky enough to be someone's pet. I hope I will at least get a rich owner who is willing to feed me well and take me for my daily walk." smile laugh
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/03/07 07:05 AM

Y'know, I think it's just the semantics of how the word "spirit" is used, that is making this seem like a discussion from two different sides. Whether "spirit" is quantifiable, objective, or extant in whatever mode, shouldn't be the source of a disagreement. The effects of "spirit," what we see as manifested in a person that can be attributed to "spirit," or how a person relates to the world around them (motivated by what one might call spirit), is the same for both "sides" of this discussion.

Hey, I wrote this (above) after TFF's 11:56 AM response. It still seems like a good point. My issue now, is with the semantics of the word "animal," as Revl uses it. There seems to be a big difference between the spiritual human and the domesticated animal.

I think that there is a big difference in their (our) respective levels of complexity, but not so much of a difference in the respective content of "spirit." I could even argue that other animals have more spirit than humans (of course, depending on how you define spirit).

I find myself seeing both points of view as valid and equatable; but needing a bit of interpretation, or translation, based on the semantics of the word, "spirit," or the word "animal." It's mostly in the objective/subjective point-of-view area that I see the difference of opinion. Ultimately, I think there is very close agreement here (except for the semantics).

We're all just trying to understand and classify the world as best we can. If that is evolution's goal, then we should cetainly appreciate the differences in points-of-view that contribute to the evolution of understanding.

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
BTW, who here is willing to actually say: "I am not a spiritual and human being. I am not a soul, a free and unique individual--one who has some self-awareness that I am me and not someone else. I am simply a clever, domesticated animal.

Any time someone more clever than I chooses, they are free to own and use me. I hope to be lucky enough to be someone's pet. I hope I will at least get a rich owner who is willing to feed me well and take me for my daily walk." smile laugh -Revl.
Hey Revl, I remember as a kid, going to school in the mornings, being very jealous of our dog laying in the sunlit patch on the rug.


I might be willing to raise my hand here, but I'd like to qualify the perspective from which I am agreeing to be called a domesticated animal. From the perspective of both BNW and 1984, aren't we all already kind of at that point?
*_*

But now I'll go back to deluding myself into thinking I'm unique, etc., and be happy again. wink

~SA
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/03/07 03:33 PM

Good stuff, SA! Now sit! And give me your paw! And I'll give you your treat. smile
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/03/07 03:46 PM


What we believe we are may hold no relation to what we actually are. I am an animal. For the most part I am domesticated. So are you. You act like that is a small accomplishment. I'm baffled that anyone could not see the wonder in it.

There is no evidence whatever to suggest that souls or spirits exist as anything other than metaphors or artifacts of the mind.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/03/07 11:57 PM

"There is no evidence whatever to suggest that souls or spirits exist as anything other than metaphors or artifacts of the mind."
Yes, there is. Hence my disagreement with you in your assertion that there is no souls or spirits. It could be a result of our evolutionary instincts passed down through the ages, which gives us reason and logic. For that is the best way to survive, as man tries to subjugate beast, and has found that fit to pass down. I was just reading Doyle's "The Lost World" and have found that in the book, how the "indians" defeat the hominids through superior brainpower and tame the dinosaurs.
We have a spirit. That is how I am thinking and typing this at this very moment. How else would we be able to do this?
"I think, therefore I am," as Descartes said.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 02:46 AM

There is no credible evidence for souls. There is plenty of imagination and tin-like.

If reason and logic were the best things to help us survive, I suspect we'd be a lot at it than we are. The problem is that the world around us is changing. And we're getting to the point where that actually might be true.

As I said in another thread, Doyle was an irrationalist - a far better writer than he was a thinker.

Thinking is also what the brain does. There is no credible evidence that mind or spirit or soul exists separate from brains. Furthermore, damage to the brain CAN affect the effect that is called spirit or soul. A reasonable conclusion without all the mystical mumbo-jumbo is that soul is just another name for what the brain does.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 03:55 AM

Some thoughts on the above conversation:

The discussion is about experiences of the mind - experiences that require consciousness. In this context, I would expand the meaning of consciousness to include the experiences of dreams and dreamlike states, in which we are aware of phenomena that are not exclusively related to immediate sensory input.

We all experience consciousness. We don't deny that there is such a phenomenon. Yet no one knows what consciousness is. The brain is a biological device from which consciousness appears to emerge. Since we don't know the nature consciousness, we should be cautious about making assumptions or claims that suggest that we do.

There is room for speculation as a basis for scientific enquiry. The brain may not be the only environment from which consciousness can emerge. There may a 'large scale' consciousness that exists beyond the confines of the localised biological apparatus. As yet there is no proof, and it is wrong to make claims without evidence - but, as Carl Sagan said, absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

We may reserve judgement, pending the results of research; but experiential evidence makes a significant, and often over-riding, contribution to the understanding of the experiencer. Scientists are sometimes inclined toward dogmatic denial, when in fact they should be prepared to say "there may be truth in that - let's try to find out".
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 06:03 PM

"Scientists are sometimes inclined toward dogmatic denial, when in fact they should be prepared to say "there may be truth in that - let's try to find out"."

Sounds good to me. after all, science, IMHO, in not just about demonstrating what we know to be true, or false; it is also about exploring the whole of nature--physical, mental and spiritual--and our being willing to experiment in order to uncover new truths, or improve on old ones.

This question just came to mind: Are animals capable of being moral and human-like beings? Or are they dominated strictly by their instincts?

BTW, I plan to start a thread about "ethics"--the science of moral and human behaviour.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 07:59 PM

To say that we don't know some things is not the same as saying we don't know anything. We do not know that biochemical processes are necessary for consciousness, but we do know that that is the only place we have ever observed it. I exclude, of course, people who have talked to clocks or bananas during LSD trips.

There's always room for speculation, but most of what's been said is not speculation. Instead it's been assertion and assumption. There's even room for scientific inquiry (by which I mean actual scientific inquiry and not the pretend stuff) if consciousness, soul, mind, are indeed by-products of the brain or some other physical system instead of some mystical "force" or "energy" ("force" and "energy" being the favorite words that non-scientists use when they want to pretend they're saying something scientific).

There are other animals on this earth right now that can be said to think. There may well be aliens who think. There is some reason to think that machines might some day 'think'. But we have no reason whatever to believe that rocks think or vacuums or toaster ovens.

And, Rev, ethics is not a "science" of anything.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 10:34 PM

Yes, I agree with what you're saying, TFF (almost completely). The semantics might be an obstacle. Are thought and consciousness one and the same?



Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 10:43 PM

"The semantics might be an obstacle."

I agree: It sure is!

But surely not for those who affirm that all sciences are "hard" sciences?

Now, let us have the "hard" evidence that ethics is not a soft science?
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 10:44 PM

Originally Posted By: coberst
the traditional Anglo-American cognitive paradigm of AI (Artificial Intelligence), i.e. symbol manipulation.

This research indicates that the neurological structures associated with sensorimotor activity are mapped directly to the higher cortical brain structures to form the foundation for subjective conceptualization in the human brain. In other words, our abstract ideas are constructed with copies of sensorimotor neurological structures as a foundation. “It is the rule of thumb among cognitive scientists that unconscious thought is 95 percent of all thought—and that may be a serious underestimate.”
Thanks coberst [General Sci]

So the point here is:
Well I can't take the time now, but....

AI:
Shouldn't we be able to construct AS {artificial spirit}.
Based on my thoughts about AI {cite that} ummmm... AS should almost be a necessity to achieve true AI.

...and this is just another way of pointing out that both Revl. and TFF are saying about the same thing, but just with different personal definitions of the basic words like "spirit." Differing definitions are based on differences in the objectivity/subjectivity spectrum.

...and thanks Tim for proving the point about how important our definitions are to seeing the truth. That one can read and write, or master the dinosaurs (or domesticate animals), is defined as proof of a spirited nature.

Happy Fourth!
~Later

p.s.
Originally Posted By: last post on last page
Yes, I agree with what you're saying, TFF (almost completely). The semantics might be an obstacle. Are thought and consciousness one and the same? -rediwenur
...nice question!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 10:55 PM

As a Canadian, with numerous American cousins--BTW, I did postgrad studies at Boston U and Harvard in 1954/1955--I love all you American cousins. Happy Fourth!

Here, we just had a happy first--July 1867 was the day of our birth. What a continent!--NORTH AMERICA. Let us build it into...just use your imagination, okay?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/04/07 11:11 PM

samwik: "thanks Tim for proving the point about how important our definitions are to seeing the truth"

Very often, even our most carefully worded definitions can be nothing more than hazy representations of our understanding or experience. Short of telepathy, we can only hint at what we mean by using various symbols, metaphors and analogies. At the end of a conversation we may feel that we've succeeded in conveying a message accurately, only to discover later that we failed completely.

As a teenager, I was just getting into classical music in a big way. At that age, your hearing is at its best, so real 'listening' can take you to other worlds. Anyway, I would sometimes be experiencing one of these abstract 'other worlds' when one of my family would enter the room and say something like "ooh, that's nice, it makes you think of the Himalayas". I don't know why I should have been so exasperated, but I was. Maybe because my personal experience seemed to me to be several orders of magnitude better than any mundane vision. The point is, we just can't assume that everything that's going on in the world outside of our minds is interpreted in remotely the same way in the minds of others.

It's hard isn't it. No wonder some people like mathematics. When we say 2 + 2 = 4, no one asks us what we mean by "2"!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/05/07 12:16 PM

ATHEISM AND TESTOSTERONE?
Recently, I had the following interesting question raised in brainmeta.com http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15585&st=30&#entry80392

One member, Cybert, told the forum that he had been castrated and the zero testosterone in his body helped him confirm his atheism and anti-mysticism.

Quote:
lucid_dream' date='Sep 14, 2006, quotes:'Cybert' (Sep 14, 2006)"...it has made me much more atheist"

That's rich. God is a sex hormone-induced delusion. Maybe there's some truth to that. I wonder what Lindsay would think about that!


I responded: Browsing, I just happened to catch this question posted some time ago.
GØD, G-d, or God, IMHO, isn't anything, objectively real, or subjectively imagined. Like all that we call nature--the cosmos and the ineffable vacuum, that in which the cosmos has its being--GØD simply is...No other verb than the verb "to be" applies when speaking of GØD, which, IMO is the absolute and unique wholly other.

I have no objection to child-like thinkers who imagine GØD as being as one (usually masculine) who is like a benevolent heavenly father. But for mature and rational people to create a god, even mentally, is just as much idolatry as creating a physical object. If this is what Cybert is against, he is simply anti-idolatry, not an atheist.

In order for anyone to be an absolute atheist one would need to say: "I do not consciously exist, and there is no such thing as existence.Existence, whether real or imagined, temporary or eternal, is an absurd concept, so contrary to reason that it is a laughable; foolish and ridiculous."


I trust that, once and for all, I have made it clear what I mean when I write the unique symbol of existence, real and absolute,"GØD". While it is possible to say that, existence, real and absolute, is absurd, it is logically impossible to deny that existence (GØD) IS. Do you disagree? Okay, try doing it, now.
==================
BTW, later today, my wife and I leave for a trip to the east coast of Canada. We will be visiting New Brunswick and our alma mater, www.mta.ca
Be back in about two weeks.


Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/06/07 05:08 AM

Samwik quoted Coberst:

"our abstract ideas are constructed with copies of sensorimotor neurological structures as a foundation".

Good point. That's probably why many humans are so convinced someone or something made the earth and the universe. Wqe can only conceive of a God in relation to what we do and how we act. We're usually fascinated to make things when we are children (many of us don't ever lose that fascination).

Anyway, are we all agreed that, whatever we want to accept God as being, the Old Testament provides not one shred of evidence as to what this God thing is? We can safely ignore anything it says on the subject.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/06/07 05:18 AM

"We can safely ignore anything it says on the subject"

Yep. Unless were living next door to fundamentalists...
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/09/07 08:42 AM

Okay, I had a little epiphany today (several actually) while I was going thru my regular Sunday morning rituals.

"Spirit!" What does it matter what it is, or even if it is? We all know its effects when we see those effects in a person (or ourselves). I'm not trying to say we all have the same experience of "spirit," but that we all can relate to a something that enlivens us, motivates us, and makes us feel guilt, empathize, and feel joy and oneness. Number 3 in the dictionary says, "Life, will, consciousness, thought {re: redi's question; but I digress}; and the dictionary mentions, among many others, "intention" -which I usually include in a list such as this.

The point being (from above -coberst's reference) that the big hangup is in how we define the word, "spirit." Whether "spirit" is 21 grams of dark matter, or "-it" is just a meta-artifact of the meta-meta-cognition of our complex, representational, survival-based neural system, "spirit" has an effect that we are interested in.
Spirit makes both Intellectual Injustice and Economic Injustice an affront that deserves our attention.

I had the brief thought of trying to define "atheist" as a person who is keenly interested in spirited aspects of life, but just as strongly repelled by the word, "spirit." Of course it is the perceived definition of the word, "spirit," that is raising alarms in the atheist; but the point is the same. It is the definition of the word, regardless of the reality, that is problematic.

For the word, "spirit," I try to keep a number of definitions concurrently in mind; and consider it okay to translate what I think others mean into one of my reserve definitions. We surely do this implicitly, so we might as well do it explicitly; and having multiple definitions (like the dictionary) makes it much easier.

Not committing to one specific definition could be problematic too. Certainly someone devoting their life to a particular worldview would be rewarded by being more specific in choosing a definition; but if one wants to reach across worldviews, the ability to translate definitions is also rewarding.

I don't know how to define it, but I'm happy when I see it [...and that characterizes both "spirit" and porn!]. smile
I should add that this little essay above also applies to words like G0d, Love, and Universe. It is possible to compare and contrast the differing definitions; but often it is not necessary if a discussion using these words is focused on some other goal. The goal can be missed if we're stuck on the definitions.

*_*

Although this above is a continuation of ongoing thoughts, it also came about more specifically after catching the Q&A section of a talk by Jeffrey Feldman on his book, Framing the Debate. Thanks BookTV.

Well worth a look, at:
www.frameshopisopen.com

~SA
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/09/07 09:07 AM

Samwik wrote:

"The goal can be missed if we're stuck on the definitions".

And I think many times in this not-quite-science forum we suffer from this. No-one has adequately defined what they mean by God. As you say though, "Certainly someone devoting their life to a particular worldview would be rewarded by being more specific in choosing a definition". We had the ridiculous debate in some parts of the US when they first invaded Iraq as to whether Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God. How's that for arguing over a definition?
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/09/07 04:28 PM

"We had the ridiculous debate in some parts of the US when they first invaded Iraq as to whether Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God."
Apparently I must have been asleep for those debates. Were you watching it on the news in New Zealand then? Because I never heard about that.

"The goal can be missed if we're stuck on the definitions". Reminded me of something C.S. Lewis once said, in a book he wrote, I think.

"No-one has adequately defined what they mean by God."
Okay, when i say God, I mean something so vast, so obscure, that it is impossible to put a definition upon. For He is different to all. Creator, Jesus, dark matter (or is it anti-matter, i forget, one of those), the evolutionary process, Zeus, gardening, celebrities, etc. The list goes on, for God Is, therefore being something. And that something is so infinitely higher than ourselves that we cannot even begin to describe it. Perhaps you are right, perhaps I, or all of us. Thus, my definition of God is that there is no definition.
Perhaps I was not making myself clear, and this just intensifies this debate. Sorry if that is the case, for my point is for all to have their own view of God, for He is all, in peace.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/09/07 11:37 PM

Tim asked:

"Were you watching it on the news in New Zealand then?"

Certainly was. And in the newspapers. Perhaps it was only a minority of fundy-mentalists in the Bible Belt and perhaps news services here may have picked it up because they found it amusing. There seemed to be no argument as to whether Jews and Christians worshipped the same God but those two religions seem to have now united against their common enemy. But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it? Unless they worship nothing. Even people who claim to be atheist get their kicks from something. I like music for example. For me, therefore, God is music.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/10/07 04:15 AM

"There seemed to be no argument as to whether Jews and Christians worshipped the same God but those two religions seem to have now united against their common enemy."
Let's be rational here, do you actually beleive that?

"But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it?"
Again, this is in fact a science forum, not some pointing-fingers forum upon the cons of religion.

"I like music for example. For me, therefore, God is music."
Now we're getting somewhere. If it wasn't for that statement, that post would have nothing based on credible evidence. Sorry thbat I was so harsh, but that demonstates in my eyes a lack of reason that people would think as such.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/10/07 05:46 AM

The debate, which I remember too, was about the fact that Jews, Christians and Muslims evolved from the same original faith- that is from the 'sons of Abraham'. Jesus and Mohammed are recognised as prophets in the teaching of Islam, but Jesus is not the Messiah. I am not sure of this, but I think that the Messiah is still to come in the Islamic faith, as he (not she in this instance I feel) is still to come in the Jewish faith.

So the God of each of these religions is, if not the same, at least closely connected.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/10/07 05:49 AM

Some interesting points above.

Terry: "There seemed to be no argument as to whether Jews and Christians worshipped the same God but those two religions seem to have now united against their common enemy."

Tim: "Let's be rational here, do you actually believe that?... ...nothing based on credible evidence"

- I believe that those three religions are supposed to be about the "one true God", the "God of Love" etc, and I also believe that their professed adherents have hardly ever stopped murdering each other in the name of their God. Right now, the current major bout of insanity is between the Muslim fundamentalist zealots and the infidels. Sure, we all know that the killers are a small minority, but they have a great deal of implicit support. On one side there are the Muslim suicide bombers, butcher/kidnappers and multifarious militia. On the other side there are (mostly) the "clean", "just", "Gods on our side" Christian USA and UK committing legalised genocide and leaving hundreds of thousands to a lifetime of maimed misery. As for the Jews, one need not question their alignment.

Tim, do you disbelieve that, or do you think it's irrational? Do you believe that it's not based on credible evidence?
____

Terry: "But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it?"

Tim: Again, this is in fact a science forum, not some pointing-fingers forum upon the cons of religion.

- Tim, please elaborate on your view that the sentence above is finger-pointing. It's a logical question; scientifically speaking, either God is everything or God is not everything. After all, you seem to agree that if God is everything, then music must be God. If God is not everything, then what kinds of thing are not God?

Science thrives through its theories being subjected to experiment, review, criticism, modification and so on. Do you believe that religion should be exempt from such review and criticism?
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/10/07 04:33 PM

Regarding redewenur's first question:
"I believe that those three religions are supposed to be about the "one true God", the "God of Love" etc, and I also believe that their professed adherents have hardly ever stopped murdering each other in the name of their God."
Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God? Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same. Man naturally is in conflict with his brother; this is the result of millions of years of passing down the dominant traits (survival of the fittest). This in turn creates different points of view, so to speak, for different areas, as well as fighting. Now to say that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same God would be irrational for an evolutionist to say, for that would go against evolutionary teachings. DA Morgan once said something about our conditioning in our local area a while back.

"Terry: "But if God is everything how can anyone be accused of not worshipping it?"

Tim: Again, this is in fact a science forum, not some pointing-fingers forum upon the cons of religion."

At its base it is not finger pointing, but its implinations are. Perhpas Muslims and Jews as well as Christians worship different gods, but God is All.

"Science thrives through its theories being subjected to experiment, review, criticism, modification and so on. Do you believe that religion should be exempt from such review and criticism?"
Of course not. Personally, I think all religions (Christianity including) should be critizised and "changed". Yet if that is done publicly, then i am taking away their rights and conditioned practises, therefore taking away their god. It is a fine line. For man does not like upheavel. History shows us that. For example; the French revolution, where the whole culture was up-turned. He bourg and sans-couluttes (sp?) and peasants revolted and took down the aristcrats, and to fill the void the Committe for Public Safety (a misnomer, to say the least) filled the void, headed by Napoleon. Within a generation, everything had been lost, and France was in ruins, only to have a handful more republics in the next century.
Perhaps a gradual progress is better than a swift modification would work better, as is happening already.

"So the God of each of these religions is, if not the same, at least closely connected."
No, not really. Hence the centuries of "fighting".
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/10/07 05:00 PM

"Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same."
Obviously they ARE the same God. They just believe different things about that god.


"...for that would go against evolutionary teachings"
No, it wouldn't.

Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/10/07 06:42 PM

Tim: "Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God? Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same."

- OK, so what you are saying is that the God of your religion is the one true God, and the God of the other religions is not. Have I got that right?
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/11/07 03:56 PM

No.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/11/07 04:36 PM

OK, Tim, thanks.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/12/07 12:01 AM

Tim wrote:

"Let's be rational here, do you actually believe that?"

Yes, I do. Of course the alliance has been used to mobilise support for an imperialistic war but that doesn't alter the way things are perceived through most of the world. "Money doesn't talk, it swears" as a famous Jew once said.

Tim also wrote:

"this is in fact a science forum"

No it's not. It's a not-quite-science forum.

Redewenur wrote:

"Right now, the current major bout of insanity is between the Muslim fundamentalist zealots and the infidels."

Aren't you forgetting the insanity that allows extremists of one religion to believe their God gave them a piece of land and the previous inhabitants can just go somewhere else? Mind you the same thing happened previously in America, Australia and to some extent in New Zealand.

Tim wrote:

"Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God?"

Now, if God is everything how is it possible for anyone to worship a different God?

You also wrote:

"Perhaps a gradual progress is better than a swift modification would work better".

I agree 100% with that comment.

Lastly I look forward to your answer to Redewenur's question:

"If God is not everything, then what kinds of thing are not God?"
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/12/07 12:41 AM

So now there is only One True Church (that's the Popes' one ie Roman Catholic)according to the Popes' message this morning ---

So for people who enjoy fighting and not cooperating we can all go back to burning catholics and/ or protestants depending on the flavour of your religion. The Orthodox churches are apparently wounded (!), but sort of OK-- but all those fundies, well you're all on the way to Hell! Perhaps now we can stop fighting crusades and go back to the usual enemies. Am I alone in thinking that this is irrelevant rubbish.? But then I thought the crusades were over in the thirteenth century and here we are still fighting one.

What is your take on this Tim? Only one true god? So is he/she the Popes' one?
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/12/07 01:27 AM

Anybody see that old animated film "South Park" several years ago? There was a scene in there that made as much sense as anything you'll see posted here.

After Armeggedon, upon reaching Hell, Satan advised that everyone present was there becasue they had followed the "Wrong Church". When asked "what WAS the RIGHT Church?", Satan responded, in the manner of a TV Game Show Host, "The correct answer is 'Mor-mons'. Yes, the answer we were looking for is 'Mor-mons'" Hilarious.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/12/07 03:09 AM

Terry: "Aren't you forgetting the insanity that allows extremists of one religion to believe their God gave them a piece of land and the previous inhabitants can just go somewhere else? Mind you the same thing happened previously in America, Australia and to some extent in New Zealand."

No, I wasn't forgetting, and in that case it's not just a few the extremists. In the UK I knew a medical consultant who, despite appearing perfectly rational in all other respects, was a bitterly anti-arab Zionist.

The insanity of religion has no bounds.

Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/12/07 07:35 PM

"The insanity of religion has no bounds."
The insanity of everything has no bounds.

Regarding the Pope's statement: I wish he could take that back, for it takes other people's rights away. For example, he alluded that Protestantism wasn't routed in the true Rock of which Peter started, therefore invalid. I would disagree because that not only creates internal divisions, but also other denominations to go against that, for they think they are the Church. What my personal philosophy is, is that you should not judge others, but love them. Perhaps Mormonism fits one person, and Lutheranism another, and Islam still another. But they should keep that to themselves, and not try to the point of bombings to convert, for that goes against libertarianism. God Is. He is all, everything; now I am not a pantheist, dont get me wrong. But everyone has a different point of view of God. When one gets too zealous of something (and not just religion, but also science, or cars, to use a few examples) they take away other people's given rights. That should not be so.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/13/07 12:24 AM

Tim- I think you can take comfort from the fact that Jesus said something along the lines of "where 2 or 3 are gathered together in My name, I will be there among them". Maybe going back to the source is easier, and ignore the later frilly add-ons! (I wonder if the Pope will ban the non-Latin bibles next).

PS And Tim- not everything is insane. It all starts to make sense when your grandchildren are born!!!

Wolfman- Have you seen the Rowan Atkinson sktech where he is the Devil sorting the dead in Hell. They are grouped according to type- and one lot are atheists. "Bet you're all feeling silly now!" gloats Atkinson. Makes me laugh every time! (I think I may have mentioned this one before, so forgive me if I have).
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/13/07 02:13 AM

Let me tell you this; religion is one way for man to express himself. When it gets too far, and he demands others to convert to his, then it becomes out of hand. Last night I was watching Beauty and the Beast, and I realized something. Belle redeems the Beast by in effect redeeming herself. It is a tale of salvation. It is not a tale of Calvinists, nor Catholics, nor agnostics, nor Buddhist, but rather humanity itself. Religion if used incorrectly, is as bad as anything else, but it could also be good. Man is evil, but contains some good. There is something within him giving him at times some sense of nobility and honour, which might be masked otherwise.
"Maybe going back to the source is easier, and ignore the later frilly add-ons!"
Yes, exactly.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/13/07 08:48 AM

Tim wrote:

"religion is one way for man to express himself. When it gets too far, and he demands others to convert to his, then it becomes out of hand."

I doubt if anyone here would disagree with that statement. As TheFallibleFiend wrote earlier:

"Obviously they ARE the same God. They just believe different things about that god."

I've said for many years religion is like a pie. Each religion has part of the pie but they all believe they have the whole pie.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/13/07 04:38 PM

"I've said for many years religion is like a pie. Each religion has part of the pie but they all believe they have the whole pie."

Yes, Ive heard a story about four blind men, who are told to touch an elephant. The first touches the tail, and thinks an elephant is like a snake. The second touches a leg, and thinks an elephant is like a tree trunk. The third touches a tusk, and thinks an elephant is like a horn. The fourth touches its ear, and thinks an elephant is like a giant butterfly.
Now, this story is with faults, but it demonstrates that people could misjudge something based on their limited view. We see but a pin-prick in this cosmic universe, and yet we think that we know all or close to everything.

Job said:
"He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing,
he wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.
he has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
At the boundary of light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble
And are amazed at his rebuke
He quieted the sea with His power,
And by His understanding He shattered Rahab.
By His breath the heavens are cleared;
His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.
Behold, these are the fringes of His ways;
And how faint a word we hear of HIm!
But His mighty thunder, who can understand?"
(Job 26:7-14)

Yet today religion is claiming they have all the answers, with five different churches on a single street all with various creeds. What happened to "how faint a word we hear of Him!" Now perhaps that selection is not "scientifically accurate" but it is poetry from primitives Isaraelites (one of the best poetry, taken for what it is, and not dogma).

Perhaps we were created by a God, perhaps we were not. Scientifically, we do not know, which is why there is still so much debate surfacing around the subject. It is my thinking that tells me I was, that I was created in the image of my Creator. Does everyone think this way? No. Should they think this way? In some cases, if that is what is noble for them to do, and if does not harm them. They should not be forced, though. Freedom and love require a choice. That each of us should make personally, whether it be a Muslim, or Atheist, or Weslyan. We all see a piece of the large pie. The fact that there is such pluarlism in our culture -the culture of humanity- shows our small scope of knowledge. If we knew everything we would be robots, and there would be no room for freedom, and we would in fact know nothing, therefore (a paradox). Yet we do not, creating opinion scoured off unproven "fact". Yet we are conscious of the world around us. Able to choose, which none can take away from us. It lies deep within our surface, not measurable nor empirical, that serves as a guiding force.
"I think, therefore I am."
We do not know, we think. We think we know. Yet if we would know, we would not know. A paradox, our race. It is what creates Love and Freedom. Two of our most noble traits, which tower above all the rest. Hope.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/13/07 06:59 PM

Some very good points, Tim. I like your discussion regarding claims to knowing absolute truth.

"It lies deep within our surface, not measurable nor empirical, that serves as a guiding force"

- But it's empirical enough to the one who experiences it, wouldn't you say?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/13/07 11:02 PM

Tim. I agree with much of what you say, but your comment, "I was created in the image of my Creator" raises a series of questions in my mind. Is your skin brown, black or white? Is your nose large or relatively small? Are you tall or short? Can you see the problems your statement raises? Can people who don't look like you accept their God looks like them? Reminds me of the story of the Klu Klux Clansman at a seance. His friend appears from the after-life and says, "I've got good news and bad. Good news is I've seen God. Bad news is she's black".
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/14/07 03:48 PM

"But it's empirical enough to the one who experiences it, wouldn't you say?"
Possibly, for some.
What I mean by in the Image of my Creator is that humans could have been designed with certain traits that our Creator would have bestowed on us, i.e. the capacity for truth and honor, and for less noble traits. It is not so much, "I'm white, so all who are not white are not like God." I am talking more than the mere physical realm.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/14/07 04:41 PM

Tim: "What I mean by in the Image of my Creator is..."

I understand that your personal, considered interpretation is not a fundamantalist/literalist one. Looking at it in Christian terms, I can imagine that if you strip away all the downside of human nature, what you might have left would be the wholesome, or "holy" part - the essence that is in the image of God. Is that, in your mind, the same as what you said?

Then, of course, there are the theological views regarding the downside - but that's another matter.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/15/07 05:16 AM

That downside is part of human nature, we would not be human without it, so our divinity which created us in his/her image should have had the opportunity to create us 'all good' but couldn't,----- because we reflect the nature of our god ???
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/15/07 06:52 AM

Ellis

"That downside is part of human nature, we would not be human without it"

Some say that we'll never be fully human 'with it'.

"our divinity which created us in his/her image should have had the opportunity to create us 'all good' but couldn't"

Yes, a popular argument says "If God is perfect, omniscient, omnipresent etc., why, with the benefit of perfect foreknowledge, create a flawed species then punish the pathetic beings with unspeakable suffering for getting things wrong?"




Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/15/07 09:07 PM

For Love, for Freedom of choice.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/16/07 12:32 AM

Ellis: "our divinity which created us in his/her image should have had the opportunity to create us 'all good' but couldn't"

redewenur: "why, with the benefit of perfect foreknowledge, create a flawed species then punish the pathetic beings with unspeakable suffering for getting things wrong?"

Tim: "For Love, for Freedom of choice."

This is, supposedly, a God of infinite power that, whilst it was able to create a species with a 'knowledge of good and evil' could NOT endow it with the capacity to always choose good.

OK, Tim if that's you're God. As Dauglas Adams' Vogon said, "Resistance is useless" grin

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/16/07 09:11 AM

But Tim, you've introduced another philosophical problem. Your comment:

"humans could have been designed with certain traits that our Creator would have bestowed on us, i.e. the capacity for truth and honor, and for less noble traits".

Am I to take it you accept your God exhibits these "less noble traits"? Or are we not actually made in God's image?

Perhaps, as Redewenur wrote:

'OK, Tim if that's you're God. As Douglas Adams' Vogon said, "Resistance is useless"'.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/16/07 07:48 PM

"Am I to take it you accept your God exhibits these "less noble traits"? Or are we not actually made in God's image?"

No, He could not because we are given the Freedom of choice, which can elevate or de-elevate (if thats a word) us, according to our actions. But that is my God. For me, saying that I am in the image of Him does not mean that I am Him. I am merely somewhat related. There are glimpses of humanity's greatness through noble and honorable actions, is there not? Self-sacrifice, caring for others? To me, those are the rare times when man looks behind the veil and sees his Creator. When he rises up above this cosmic void, and gives it meaning. But I do not expect you to have the same views of God as I do.
"Resistance is useless." Now perhaps I am misinterpreting that statement but in my eyes I am not condemning others for their view of God, or if they think mine does not make sense. My point is that I am not resisting other's opinions about myself, and that I am letting freedom of choice and pluarlism which most do not ahold to.

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/16/07 10:03 PM

Tim wrote:

"I am merely somewhat related".

More or less closely related than are chimpanzees, humans and gorillas? The other two species also engage in "Self-sacrifice, caring for others" on occassions.

The resistance is useless comment comes from "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The Vogon utters the words as he is taking Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect to be thrown into deep space. I presume Redewenur was suggesting that nothing is likely to change your belief. I don't have a problem with that as you are prepared to accept freedom of choice and pluralism in others of us. It's when belief in the supernatural influences decisions which greatly affect others that I have a problem. But of course our beliefs always influence our actions.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/16/07 11:22 PM

Tim

"Resistance is useless" - as Terry said, you have your faith; it would be futile and presumptuous to argue that you should change it. This kind of topic tends to become a little 'heavy' at times, especially when it's related to the horrors of fundamentalism. Right now, that's not the issue, and we have good reason to lighten up a bit.

Firstly, you are clearly a well balanced person with respectable ethics; so, my position is that it's of no serious consequence how your beliefs differ from my own.

Secondly, being a member of SAGG, you probably have a keen interest in science - in the objective realities of the material world. That, I would think, would be sufficient to stand you in good stead in sifting the wheat from the chaff regarding theological world views.

From THE GREAT LEARNING [500BC], by Confucius, translated by James Legge [1893]

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states.
Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families.
Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.
Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.
Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts.
Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge.
Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/17/07 01:24 AM

"The resistance is useless comment comes from "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The Vogon utters the words as he is taking Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect to be thrown into deep space. I presume Redewenur was suggesting that nothing is likely to change your belief. I don't have a problem with that as you are prepared to accept freedom of choice and pluralism in others of us. It's when belief in the supernatural influences decisions which greatly affect others that I have a problem. But of course our beliefs always influence our actions."
I agree with that 100%. Oh, it must have been a while since I've seen the Guide, since I dont remember that part.

"especially when it's related to the horrors of fundamentalism."
Good, because I'm not a fundamentalist.

Yes, I enjoy learning about science, as you suspected. Interesting quote by Confucius, makes sense though.

"More or less closely related than are chimpanzees, humans and gorillas? The other two species also engage in "Self-sacrifice, caring for others" on occassions."
Yes, that is what I was implying, actually. Somewhere along the evolutionary line something came giving less dominant traits. Something that gives them the ability to distinguish friends and those in need of help, and extend yourself to them. To me, that is among the most honorable and noble deeds a man can do. In a sense -and if I'm unclear in this, tell me and I'll explain- he is surpassing his past of constant struggles. Instead of letting go and acting upon instinct, he jumps in front of the bullet to protect his brother. The movie V For Vendetta (one of my favorites) expresses this: for when Evey is (or at least she thinks she is) being interrigated, she doesn't give up. They could take every inch of her, every inch except one, her Freedom which is largely masked inside our race. Such qualities in man do not demonstrate weakness or meekness, but show our capacity for love and kindness.

The story (myth) of the Fall of Adam and Eve illustrates this, as does evolution in my point of view.
The Bible Myth (i do not beleive that it physically happened)- God created two humans, put them in a Paradise, and let them choose their fate. They failed, ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From this, they are largely wicked. But still, they are granted Freedom of Choice. In this view, Jesus fulfilled the gap lost at the Fall, and through recognizing Him they acheive eternal life. (At the end of the book of Revelation it shows the Tree of Life [which was present in the Paradise in the Garden of Eden in which God said they could not eat] given to them. In a sense, their choice of going away from the pack (active resistence as opposed to passive) will give them Love and Freedom.
Perhaps that is just a myth, as you (and I) think. It probably did not actually happen, and what I said there is not strictly my view, but that is what Christian beleive.

The Evolutionary Process, at its core, has a similar theme/message, I think. On the surface, they would seem opposites, but perhaps not. Search deeper, climb higher, and tell me. Does evolution have a Redemptive theme?
Evolution literally means "to roll out." When I hear that word, I think of a cone, starting at the point and getting larger, out-rolling. Progress. Homo sapiens coming from single-celled organisms.

Do you agree with that or not? Keep in mind that I am writing this with an open mind. Is it cynical in any way? My point is for pluarlism for one's God is different from anothers (who might not have any, he says).
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/17/07 01:42 AM

Tim: "Does evolution have a Redemptive theme?"

1) Redemption from what, Tim?

2) Evolution has a had a consistent tendency toward producing ever more complex organisms. On this planet, it appears that at the apex of that complexity is the human brain. Do you see a redemptive theme in that?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/17/07 01:56 AM

Tim wrote:

"it must have been a while since I've seen the Guide, since I dont remember that part".

I sincerely hope you're not referring to the Hollywood movie of the same name! I actually can't remember if that movie has the scene in it. But if you haven't seen the British TV series try to catch a look, or, better still read the first few books in the series. Douglas Adams' viewpoint is very funny. The Hollywood version was spoiled, in my opinion, by the need to have a happy ending.

Redewenur. It's good to have an Eastern perspective in SAGG. I agree the quote from Confucius was great. And Tim, I agree that myths are a very important part of our lives. However I think the standard view of evolution, based on industrial revolution ideas of progress, contributes to the damage we inflict on our planet. We have to think of more than just "Homo sapiens coming from single-celled organisms". Perhaps you can come up with a story based on human evolution that has a redemptive theme.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/17/07 09:39 PM

Hello, again, all. My wife and I got back, last evening, from visiting the Fredericton and Woodstock area of New Brunswick, north east of Ontario. The Alumni meeting with old friends at http://www.mta.ca made for a very happy weekend.

The area is about 1300 kilometers from Toronto. From Toronto, this takes us about 13 hours of driving, at 100 Km's (about 70 mph)--mostly four-laned highway. We stayed, going and coming, at Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers, Quebec), which is half way. The weather was an excellent. It was just the right amount of warm rain--the whole 12 days.
=============================================================
I see that there has been a lot of quite interesting posts over the last 12 days. Good reading, too.

DEFINING GOD
TerryNZ comments: "And I think many times in this not-quite-science forum we suffer from this. No-one has adequately defined what they mean by God."

TBZ, have you read the way I sign some of my posts?

As has been pointed out, it is not easy for some of us to define "God": How can we humans, using what I feel are very limited human senses, define that which is ineffable--too great to be expressed in words? This is why I always ask atheists: "Tell me, what comes to your mind when you hear theists--and there is more than one kind--speak of God--and I will tell you whether I believe it or not?

I supsect that most atheists make the mistake of thinking that theists are all idolaters--that is, those who think of God as an objective being, out there.

Obviously primitive polytheists--and many are still with us in the modern world--think of the gods as objective beings who can control the lives of us mere human beings. Polythiests worship objective forms we call idols, as if they are gods. Unsophisticated ancient Greeks believed that such super human-like gods actually lived on Mount Olympus.

Let me simplify things by telling you what I do NOT believe: As I have said, often, I do NOT believe in a god who is an objective person or being who exists in any three-dimensional sense of the word. This is why I use the special symbol found in my signature. Take a look.

Physically speaking, I sense GOD in all of nature, in at least five ways: To my sight GOD is light, in all its forms; to my hearing GOD is sound, and to my touch, GOD is all that I feel. In addition, I taste GOD and smell the GOD in all that I call nature. Who would say that this is impossible?

Later, I will add how I experience GOD in my intellect and spirit, as part of the mix.


Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/17/07 11:43 PM

I will add to the above as I write:
GØD AS INTELLECT
Intellectually speaking, I think of GØD as all that I know, now. GØD is all that I know and all that I will ever know, now and in the future.

GOD AS SPIRIT
Spiritually speaking, IMHO, GØD is all that IS in all of nature. In other words, GØD is all that we call the conscious mind--in the micro and the macro.

GØD, also includes that which we call the very helpful and computer-like unconscious mind. Google on the work of Seth Lloyd, MIT--See his book, THE UNIVERSE AS A COMPUTER.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 03:00 PM

Last evening, I talked with Turner, a teacher and a pro musician, at his place. Theologically and philosophically speaking, he and I, obviously, see eye to eye, even heart to heart. With his approval, I posted the above from his 'puter.

GØD includes everything we sense with our senses; everything we think about, mentally and intellectually, and everything we relate to culturally and spiritually. GØD is the source of all creative faith, hope and love, within, around, below, above.

Atheists are free to reject and to choose not to relate to this GØD-concept, as defined above, but as one writer in the brainmeta.com forum puts it:

"...it is probably not possible to refute the existence of God, since the existence of anything and everything proves that God exists.

If God is defined as a Creator separate from his creation, then there is little or no scientific support for this claim. So whether God exists, or not, comes down to how we define God."

Atheistic existentialists have been known to say that the whole idea of existence and our consciousness of it is simply "absurd". No wonder many have lived lives filled with despair ending in suicide.


Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 06:30 PM

"...it is probably not possible to refute the existence of God, since the existence of anything and everything proves that God exists. "
It's probably not possible to refute the existence of God, but this "argument" is drivel, regardless.

"No wonder many have lived lives filled with despair ending in suicide. "
Yea ... there were tons of us at Jonestown.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 07:11 PM

Hiya Revl.
Welcome back.
Me too! Isn't summer wonderful! Almost daily I marvel that it is all still limping along (Nature/our ecosystem, biosphere, etc.).

re: "Atheistic existentialists have been known to say that the whole idea of existence and our consciousness of it is simply "absurd"." -Revl.

My thought was that it depends on how you define absurd.
...and y'know, it's not just a simple definition that matters, but how we inculcate the word.
Am I using that word right?
I mean how we take the word in and what it "means" to us individually.

We all define G0d into, or out of, existence. What bothers me is that even if I define G0d into existence, I may still have the wrong definition.

Anyway....
I'm reading E.O. Wilson's 2006 book, The Creation, and thought his take on religion was interesting. He points out that from an evolutionary standpoint religion (belief in overarching principles based on external powers or motives)(~my quick definition)... religion is a fairly recent development.
Hmmmm... I'm losing the point here.
Religion is maybe 30,000 yr. old, but science is only 300 years old (depending on how you gauge science).
That alone deserves some pondering, but....

I like his point that science is "The invention of this remarkable engine of testable learning...." -E.O.Wilson

...and after pointing out that our "learning" has doubled roughly every 15 years for the past 350 years, he goes on to conclude...

This "learning" has led us to a worldview or "image [that] has subsumed religious rivalries and reduced them to intertribal conflict." -E.O.W.

...well, I guess not all of "us." ...and I mean worldwide, not "us" here, personally.

...and I'm only halfway throught the book. More later.

Lately I've been thinking that Religion might be the answer (to climate change), since governments clearly won't be saving us.
This is basically the thrust of this book also.
Save the Creation.

~~SA smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
"...it is probably not possible to refute the existence of God, since the existence of anything and everything proves that God exists..." This "argument" is drivel, regardless.
Come now, TFF, you must have a better rebuttal that that. Now tell me the god-concept you think I have in mind.

You write: "Yea ... there were tons of us at Jonestown." US? You mean atheists?

BTW, Jim Jones and his followers were not any kind of spiritual theists. Obviously, along with their leader, they were mentally ill and worshipped an idol, a material being, in the physical form of Jim Jones, as if he were God.

BTW, I am curious: Do not atheists think of matter as the highest good possible? If not, what is the highest good for atheists?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 08:29 PM

SA, about 'absurd'. That which is plainly not true or sensible; so contrary to reason that it laughable, foolish, ridiculous.

There is obviously more than one kind of atheism. BTW, I like to think it is possible work with positive and rational atheists for the greater good.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 08:47 PM

If I may....

Jonestown = sarcasm.
...and "drivel" is valid, because it all depends on our definitions.

I think you and I agree much more than most on the "nature" of G0d, and I like your descriptions and definitions; but I would use different words. I still have a different "definition."

So what does that matter?
What does matter is the result of our definitions, not the particular semantics of a definition.

The results of our various definitions are pretty much the same. We want peace and harmony, social and economic justice, sustainability and evolution. Things matter.

...and speaking of matter.... I think space is the highest good, as it generates both matter and energy. It's what's "behind" reality, as G0d is behind everything.

Later... smile
~SA
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 09:22 PM

Rev, almost every question you ask is nonsense, b/c of the implicit assumptions. But first things first.

"...it is probably not possible to refute the existence of God, since the existence of anything and everything proves that God exists..."

This is a stupid argument. It takes the form "(Probably Y since X)" or "(X probably implies Y) and X." (it's a little more complicated than that, but it's not worth going into more detail, the argument is so utterly stupid) Using his pseudologic, it is not probably impossible to refute the existence of god, it IS impossible to refute the existence of god, b/c it's given that God is proved.

I know what your definition of God is. It means whatever you elect to have it mean at the moment. God is all things. God is everything. God is the spiritual. God is all things that exist; some things clearly exist; therefore god exists. I get your argument. It's as uncomplicated as it is unenlightening. But that definition of God is nonsense. It's not wrong. It's not right. It's just nonsense. There is a lot of baggage associated with the word God. Why use the word God to describe "all things" unless you are attempting to deceive. You are deceiving yourself and you are attempting to deceive others. Your every post on the subject conveys this. First god is everything. Then god is only the good stuff. It's a definition of terms that is intended to conflate and confuse what is being said. No surprise there, as you use the word "science" also in a way that attempt to deceive.

I didn't say that JJ's group were spiritual. But they weren't atheists either.

"Do not atheists think of matter as the highest good possible?"
That is possibly the most ridiculous thing ever posted on this forum.

Atheists have different views about what might be the highest possible good. Some of us possibly don't even believe in the highest possible good. I'm agnostic on the subject. But I'm pretty the set of atheists who think that "matter" is the greatest possible good is empty.

Atheism is not a system of ethics, nor does it subsume a system of ethics. The ways that atheists develop their ethics is either through adopting some additional philosophy (humanism, randian objectivism, what have you) or by instantiating a system of personal ethics (which may be transmitted by tradition).

I'm not even sure that atheism qualifies as a philosophy by itself. (In fact, I'm not even sure I care.)


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 10:54 PM

TFF, believe me, I am sincere when I say that I like what you wrote in response to my comments. You dialogued. You expressed how you feel about things, your feelings.

Jean just called me to a very important and material phenomenon: "DINNER...!"

I hope we will continue to dialogue on this important issue. Maybe, we can invite SA in, as a referee, on what we write to one another, okay?

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/18/07 11:49 PM

Rev. I agree with TFF. Your definition of God changes with the comment you are trying to combat. You said:

"To my sight GOD is light, in all its forms; to my hearing GOD is sound, and to my touch, GOD is all that I feel. In addition, I taste GOD and smell the GOD in all that I call nature".

In other posts you have claimed God is a word for all there is. But now you seem to be saying God is not dark. Anything you can't hear, touch, feel, taste or smell is not God. What controls all these things; the Devil, Satan, Ahriman? Of course it's not possible to disprove any sort of God exists if we keep changing the definition of what that God is, especially if we make the prior assumption there is a God in the first place. As TFF says it sounds like you accept God can be anything we want it to be. This idea has always ultimately led to the belief that once we have decided what our God is we can then try to exterminate others who don't accept our definition.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 01:07 AM

Rev. So you are back. I hope you had a nice break.

You miss the point about atheism-- it is that no matter what you define as G -strangeO- D is rejected by those who do not believe that the definitions are any sort of manifestation of divinity. I agree they may exist, I just reject the suggestion that they are evidence for G-srrangeO- D and are merely natural phenomena or part of the human condition. No god, no angels, no invisible friends, no sum of all existence- just humans trying to get on with it all. Why do you find that simple fact so confronting?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 04:29 AM

TFF writes: "I'm not even sure that atheism qualifies as a philosophy, by itself. (In fact, I'm not even sure I care.)"

Now this expresses what I feel is the essential nature and true essence of atheism; not being sure of the value of caring. Thanks for pointing this out to us.

John writes: GOD IS LOVE. Now Love is all about caring, and being willing to care.
==================================================
TerryNZ asks: "Anything you can't hear, touch, feel, taste or smell is not God."?

No. IMHO, God includes what we call evil. Isaiah 65 makes this point. However, I think of evil as being like chaos; it is good in the making. Creation (I prefer to think in terms of emanation) is about bringing order out of chaos.

You ask: "What controls all these things; the Devil, Satan, Ahriman?"

I am not a dualist, nor a fundamentalist. BTW, 'devil'--The Greek is 'diabolos', from which we get 'diabolic'-- literally means that which splits and divides us from our good.

TNZ, even my short signature makes it clear: in my opinion, GØD includes everything, even atheists. It even includes the right of atheists not to be included. smile

TNZ comments: "As TFF says it sounds like you accept God can be anything we want it to be."

If this is a question my answer is: GØD is, like all self-evident existence, self-evident.

GØD IS THE TOTAL PROCESS OF LIFE--part of the philosophy of the great mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/

Of course I like existing. I readily admit that I want to go on and on existing, ad infinitum, and growing as part of the eternal process of life, within self-evident existence, GØD, which I find it impossible to deny.

I see no advantage in denying that which is self-evident, do you? If so tell me what it is.

TNZ: "This idea has always ultimately led to the belief that once we have decided what our God is we can then try to exterminate others who don't accept our definition."

"Exterminate others?" Where did I say this? Quite the opposite. It is my firm hope that others will choose NOT to reject the opportunity to live on and on by exterminating their souls.

HELL IS NON-BEING
BTW, this is my definition of "hell"--non-being.
As Hamlet put it, the choice is, "To be, or not to be..."
I see atheism as choosing not to be. Correct me, if I am wrong. If atheists choose not to be, tell me, why would anyone make such a choice? It boggles the mind.

If death is followed by non being, none of us will ever know. But if there is being beyond death think of the fun those who believe are going to have with their atheist friends. smile

BTW, Ellis, I agree with you: "getting on with it all..." is what it is all about, if you agree to add: morally and ethically. I also happen to believe that there is an option: this "getting on" is without end.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 07:00 AM

TFF: "I'm not even sure that atheism qualifies as a philosophy by itself. (In fact, I'm not even sure I care.)"

You can be sure, TFF, that by itself, the rejection of a god-concept is no more a philosophy than the rejection of astrology, but why, indeed, should you care? In either case it's hardly a fact that's worthy of a second thought, unless you happen to be someone intent on repeating to the world, ad nauseam, how wonderful it is not be an atheist, and instead to be a member of the species who has a proper grasp of the value of "caring".

Have you good people got the message yet?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 12:23 PM

"not being sure of the value of caring"
That's far too general a statement. I'm not sure I care about whether atheism is a full-fledged philosophy. That doesn't mean I'm not sure I care about anything.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 12:26 PM

I see no advantage in conflating distinct ideas.
I see no advantage in misrepresenting reality or to drawing incorrect inferences.
I see no advantage to asserting that something is self-evident when it is not.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 01:06 PM

But, TFF, those tools are central to the rhetoric. Now, according to the above, you've evidently chosen "not to be" and are therefore in "hell", so just be a good atheist and admit to your spiritual, moral and ethical inferiority. That's the proposition, is it not? - or perhaps I misunderstand the condescending, self-righteous, holier-than-thou forum preachers.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 01:40 PM

Please keep in mind, I am not here to "confront", or to convert, anyone; I am here to DIALOGUE--to share thoughts and ideas which in themselves may be poles apart from one another, in the spirit of good will (Agape Love).

BTW, over the years, I have never taken a fixed-position on matters of faith and belief. Sure, I have taken positions, but I have always kept my options open. Circumstances do alter cases.

For example, because of the way I was raised, I used to refer to God as, "You", "He" and "Him", "The Heavenly Father of Jesus"--a kind of masculine and super-being.

Now you all are witnesses to the new way I write the divine name, in my signature. I do this to avoid concretizing GØD. With the help of a scientist, it happened about a year ago. Over the years I have changed my mind about several things, and I probably will make more changes in the future.

If I ever become convinced that all life ends at death--and I am now 77--and that eternal life is a meaningless dream, or vision, I will become an atheist. But I will need to see the hard evidence. Has anyone got any?

Until then I am sure you will grant me the right to believe, to have faith, in what I, in the company of billions of others, feel is a real possibility--that life does extend into the future beyond death.

Of course, atheists have the right to believe otherwise. But, surely, without evidence does it not have to be admitted that it is a matter of BELIEF, OR FAITH? Are atheists able to avoid matters of faith and belief?

Who was it who said: "Consistency is the bugbear of the small mind." smile The Bible says that even God repented, changed his mind.

ABOUT GOOD AND EVIL
CORRECTION: Instead of Isaiah 64:7, it is Isaiah 45:7 where the prophet writes: "I form light and create darkness, I make weal and and create woe, I am the Lord who do all these things." (Revised Standard version. The King James version says, "I create evil..." (I am not a Bible thumper who thinks of it as infallible. I quote it like I would any document.)

THE CHOICE IS OUR TO ACCEPT OR REJECT
We are free to accept or reject the theology that follows:
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have the same theology of the universe. All three believe there is an ultimate unity to the universe. To this ultimate unity they give the name which we translate as God. I call it GØD.

As my twelve-volume INTERPRETER'S BIBLE (Abingdon) Vol. 5, page 524 puts it: "God is the chief factor in everything that happens, favourable or unfavourable."..."The evil which God creates is not moral but physical, like disaster (cf. Amos 3:6 and 41:23. "Do good or evil.")"

Thankful that I am free to add my own thoughts and to put the above in my own words, generally speaking, because I reject any kind of dualism--Zoroastrian, Greek, whatever--I accept the total unity of the universe, or the cosmos--warts and all.
BTW, in THE REPUBLIC, II, p.379, Plato wrote as a dualist when he said, "God, if he is good, is not the author of all things...of the evil, other causes have to be discovered."

IMHO, dualists, like many theists, (including atheists)--not all--make the error of thinking of what I call GØD as an objective and personal being, separate and apart from us and the cosmos.

The Process Philosophy and Theology of Alfred North Whitehead, and others, IMO, have solved this problem. GØD is in the process of all existence. Human and thinking persons, collectively, are the personal expressions (sons and daughters), if they so choose, of GØD. Jesus declared, "I and the Father (creative power) are one..." In John 17:20, when he said, "That all may be one..." he goes on make known that oneness with God is goal of all humanity, if we choose.
========================00000000000000000=======================
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 05:32 PM

Ready writes--I presume with tongue in cheek: "But, TFF, those tools are central to the rhetoric. Now, according to the above, you've evidently chosen "not to be" and are therefore in "hell", so just be a good atheist and admit to your spiritual, moral and ethical inferiority.

That's the proposition, is it not? - or perhaps I misunderstand the condescending, self-righteous, holier-than-thou forum preachers."

If you are referring to me, yes, you do, misunderstand. I do not think of myself as one of, "...the condescending, self-righteous, holier-than-thou forum preachers" any more than I think all atheists are immoral, closed-minded and dogmatic bigots.

Questions:
BTW, where did I write, or even imply, that atheists are morally and ethically inferior to me? Or that I am a holier-than-thou preacher?

===========================================
To any atheist: With the understanding that you have the right to remain silent, let's clarify things above by asking the following:

In my opinion life is about making choices.
Atheists, I presume you choose "to be" and to live in the now, okay?

But what is your choice regarding living beyond the death of your body?

If, around the time of your death, you were given the choice, would you actually prefer eternal death--that is, non-existence, an eternal dreamless and visionless unconsciousness of the self, and oblivion in the minds of others?

Or, would you choose something else? Given the opportunity, would you like to go on consciously exploring future possibilities? Would you like to be around in the year 3000, and beyond?

THE HELL OF DANTE'S INFERNO IS NOT MY IDEA OF HELL.
BTW, I do not think of "hell" as a place of eternal punishment. I suspect that many people are living in a kind of hell, right now, on this earth. I am willing to do all I can, to help people get out of this kind of hell. And I am willing to work with moral and ethical atheists. I have no time for cynics and hypocrits, of whatever brand.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 05:52 PM

I can't remember who first said it, but
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality by not dying."

If it helps you to sleep better or gives you comfort to imagine that "you" as an individual will transcend your own death, that's great. It hasn't got anything to do with science. It's not a scientific opinion - it's not even scientifically relevant.

But I wish you happiness, the same as I wish for everyone else and if that's what it takes, then great.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 06:49 PM

Revlgking

As TFF said, "If it helps you to sleep better or gives you comfort to imagine that "you" as an individual will transcend your own death, that's great."

If your dialogues on SAGG are part of what it takes, then so be it. I'll refrain from further comment.
______

TFF
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality by not dying."
That was Woody Allen.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 09:50 PM

Woody Allen also said about dying: "...I just don't want to be there when it happens." smile

BTW, Some us may die, like what happened at birth, without being aware of what is happening, but, for surely, we will be there. Agreed?

I have done the funeral of quite a few people who died in their sleep--BTW, a good way, to go, IMO, and one, if I had the choice, I would choose.

MY PERSONAL STORY
BTW 2, I grew up, virtually, in third-world conditions, surrounded by the deaths of several family members caused by TB. Until WW 2, which, ironically brought a modicum of prosperity to Newfoundland, most of the people on Bell Island--a mining and fishing town http://www.bellisland.net --lived on the economic edge, especially when the mines layed off workers.

For the record, my oldest brother, born in 1905, died at 25 leaving a daughter my age, now dead. Close to him in age to him, my oldest sister, her husband and her two young children all died. I was about 2 and 1/2. But I remember them. My mother nursed all three, caught TB, and she died when I was 5. My father became ill, not long after that. He died when I was 14, 1944. Health care for the poor, in the days before medicare, was virtually non-existent.

My older six surviving siblings helped raise my sister and me. We were the only two to get an education. The second oldest brother--the head of the family died two years ago. He was 92. My younger sister and I are the only ones left.

I tell these stories to point out that I grew up under no illusion that life is easy and that there is a god who makes life easy for us, automatically.

In 1942, during WW 2,--because of its iron-ore mines--Bell Island was attacked by enemy subs. Sixty-nine young merchant seamen lost their lives, when four iron-ore carriers were sunk near the loading piers and one of the piers was hit by torpedos. After both attacks, I was there and watched many of the bodies brought ashore. I was 12.

IMO, my experiences helped shape what I later came to believe: We have to accept life as it is and take personal responsibility for making it better. There is much more I could say about this, but I will leave it there, for now.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 11:18 PM

Revlgking: "I tell these stories to point out that I grew up under no illusion that life is easy and that there is a god who makes life easy for us, automatically."

Thank you for a very interesting post. It's often helpful in a discussion to have a broader view of the participants. The lack of such insight is, perhaps, the greatest obstacle to constructive forum debates, and cyber communication in general.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/19/07 11:28 PM

My mothers 3 oldest siblings died in infancy. My grandmother who lived to 90 never quit grieving for them. Our lives are much improved in many ways, but when life sucks, it sucks.

The good news for those to whom life is unbearable is that it's only temporary. I do not rejoice at the thought of my own death which will probably not be so many years off. I simply try not to think about it. I understand completely that after my death my body will decay, that my molecules will disperse, and everything that makes a "me" will vanish from existence. I am not my molecules. Nor am I my "energy." Rather, I am a particular complex organization. When the organization is gone, I am no longer.

Fortunately, my greatest hope for my life is nearly achieved. My kids know how to fend for themselves. They have each learned nearly all I have to teach them. They will go out into the world and they will work hard, play fair, spread joy, experience, learn, pay attention, think carefully, act responsibly - and if the time comes, they will not let one day pass that they do not let their own children know how much they are loved.

It will be a nice thing to see them do this. Maybe for a while.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:00 AM

Ready, needless to say, I, too, found your comment, following, most interesting:

"It's often helpful in a discussion to have a broader view of the participants. The lack of such insight is, perhaps, the greatest obstacle to constructive forum debates, and cyber communication in general"

Your post, and the post following, by TFF, begs a very important question: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR US PARTICIPANTS IN FORUMS SUCH AS THIS TO HAVE A TRULY PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE?

With this is mind, may I ask: Where do you feel we can go from here?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:01 AM

Within the physical realm, I defend the scientific method against all comers. It's the only reliable way to deal with the material universe. There is, of course, vastly more to the universe than can be grasped by our fledgling science, and there's reason to suspect that will always be so, no matter how wonderful future science may become. Well, that's science and its ability to answer the 'how' questions about our home - the universe, the multiverse, whatever it is. What science does not address is the question 'why'.

I've had my own objectively unproveable experiences which have told me, as clearly as any scientific experiment, that there's very much more to spacetime and consciousness than usually meets our awareness. Though such claims may be refuted, that's of no account. I know. That's sufficient.

My limited contribution, for what it's worth, is my unverifiable claim that (1) consciousness, information - can transcend the normally recognised limitations of time and space and that may or may not relate to personal existence beyond the demise of the physical body. (2) Through consciousness itself, without any analysis, there can be glimpsed an infinitely greater 'reality', with profound meaning and purpose. For the moment, I'll borrow Rev's technique and supply a label, i.e. "".

"" is the answer to the question "why".

"" is, eternally. From our perspective, "" encompasses all that has been, is, and ever will be, through the infinity of dimensions and the infinity of universes - and it includes in every detail, every part of you and me, physically and spiritually, eternally.

Perhaps "" is Rev's GØD.

There are, of course, problems involved in any discussion of such things (especially on a science forum!), so it isn't my intention to get into a prolonged and circular debate about it. Mine is yet another rambling interpretation to add to the long list, to categorise, pigeon-hole, and reject. We're only human. We cannot adequately describe that which is ineffable.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:16 AM

Ready, you mention: "Rev's GØD".

Keep in mind: I do not feel that I possess GØD, or the cosmos; I feel that I am possessed by it, if you get my drift.

I think of GØD as a concept of being in which I live and move, not as an object of being, separate from me.

How else can I say it so that I am understood? Any suggestions?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:26 AM

TFF, do you have any knowledge as to what way your grandmother's tragic experience affected her, and other members of the family. Did she go to any church?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:29 AM

In saying "Rev's GØD", I refer to your concept. It's like referring to Ptolemy's universe, without implying that it belonged to him.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:33 AM

Ready, thanks!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:43 AM

Ready comments: "What science does not address is the question 'why'. "

Ah yes! The why, the meaning and the purpose for being.

Such is my primary concern. My secondary concern is this: HOW we can make this meaning practical, in the NOW!
BTW, I am an enthusiastic fan of the scientific method--physically, mentally and spiritually.
==============================================
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 02:53 AM

"TFF, do you have any knowledge as to what way your grandmother's tragic experience affected her, and other members of the family. Did she go to any church? "
She spoke about it, always with tears in her eyes. She cried sometimes. She was a Methodist and attended church every Sunday. She and grandpa gave a lot of money to their church. I liked and respected their pastor who came to my assistance on several occasions when grandma could not take "I don't believe" as an answer. She was sometimes bitchy and manipulative, but down deep she was a truly loving and caring person and most of the time she lived up to the principles she aspired to.

Very often, when I am about to waken, I forget where I am and what has happened. I get up and think to myself, "Boy, these kids of mine are SO amazing! I gotta call grandma and grampa and tell 'em!" Sometimes I'm happy and humming to myself halfway into my shower before it hits me.

I miss them both so badly and yet I know that they are gone. I will never see them again, except in pictures; never talk to them, argue with them; never taste grandma's potato salad or fried liver; never hear grandpa another of his silly jokes or sing one of his hymns.

My rejection of a belief in their immortality is not due to any feeling of malice or that I just don't care. I often *LONG* for this belief and wish that it could be justified intellectually.
I feel happy, though, or at least relieved that my mother is comforted by such a belief, this belief that I am not capable of having. I do not think my mother is an idiot or a weakling because of her belief. I don't even think her belief is unjustified - it's just not justified by correct reasoning or evidence.


Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 03:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
My secondary concern is this: HOW we can make this meaning practical, in the NOW!

I see the basis for the solution as being at once simple and hard: meditation. Thoughts, words and deeds proceding from that will be the practical expression of the meaning.
_________

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
"I don't even think her belief is unjustified - it's just not justified by correct reasoning or evidence.

It seems most likely that she has the required correct evidence within herself. That would provide reason and justification in full measure.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/20/07 04:40 AM

TFF wrote..
My rejection of a belief in their immortality is not due to any feeling of malice or that I just don't care. I often *LONG* for this belief and wish that it could be justified intellectually.
I feel happy, though, or at least relieved that my mother is comforted by such a belief, this belief that I am not capable of having. I do not think my mother is an idiot or a weakling because of her belief. I don't even think her belief is unjustified - it's just not justified by correct reasoning or evidence.

TFF-My own mother, a person with little religious convinction, but no animosity, now at the age of 95 finds great comfort in the ritual of worship. This is her privilege I suppose-- I asked her why she started this a few years ago, after not going to church for most of her adult life, and she said that though she did not think it did any good really the familiar ritual gave her comfort, and the people were friendly! Seems reasonable I suppose, but scarcely the stuff of convinced conversion. Maybe at what is the end of a busy life well lived she is having a bet each way, and I have your attitude that it is her business and I think no less of her and would not presume to convince her otherwise.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/21/07 04:26 AM

Revlgking wrote:

"over the years, I have never taken a fixed-position on matters of faith and belief'.

I've noticed. Often adopting different positions within the same post. I remember posting somewhere (I looked but can't find it) something to the effect we're all agreed the Old Testament tells us nothing about any entity that could be called a God. I even remeber you agreed, yet here you go quoting from it.

I've consistently found that the main weapon used by supporters of religion is to keep shifting the goalposts. You can't hold them to anything that they may not be able to squirm out of once the going gets tough.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/21/07 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
...I've consistently found that the main weapon used by supporters of religion is to keep shifting the goalposts. You can't hold them to anything that they may not be able to squirm out of once the going gets tough.
I take no pleasure out of putting anyone in the position where they feel they have to squirm. That would be too mean, don't you agree?

BTW, as I understand it, honest scientists do NOT work from fixed-theories either, right? It seems to me that they always keep their options open for new information. Only dishonest ones fudge the facts to make them fit in with their theory.

BTW 2, you forgot to acknowledge that I did say I DO take positions on certain things. For example, blatant immoral and unethical behaviour is never an option, for me.

ANTHROPOMORPHISMS ARE, ALSO, NOT FOR ME
Until someone one can present me with the evidence--and I am willing to keep an open mind--I refuse to think of GØD anthropomorphically--that is, I refuse to attribute human forms or qualities to GØD, God, gods or things. Very few thinking religionists--Ffrom all the world religions--really think of God in a human-like form. Such is a form of idolatry. Perhaps atheists make the mistake of thinking that all theists believe in physical or mental idols. Do you?

BTW 3, there are many statements in the Old Testament, about God, which indicate that some of the Old Testament writers thought anthropomorphically. For example, Genesis describes "Him" as walking in the Garden of Eden and talking to Adam and Eve.

Check out Exodus 32:14."So the Lord changed his mind and did NOT bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." In 1 Samuel 15:11 God said to Samuel, "I am sorry that I made Saul king; he turned away from me and disobeyed my commands."

BTW 4, just because I quote the OT does not mean that I take it literally. Much of the Bible is metaphoric.

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/22/07 05:54 AM

"BTW, as I understand it, honest scientists do NOT work from fixed-theories either, right?"

There's a difference between being open-minded and being stupid. Honest scientists know the difference between conclusions derived from their scientific principles and methods and those that are personal opinions.

The part relating to "fixed-theories" is ambiguous. Scientists are open to new ideas and new data, if not as individuals, then as a collective. That doesn't mean that every stupid pseudo-theory is considered likely.
Posted by: tapion

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/22/07 09:55 AM

"Wouldn't that support that they don't worship the same God? Yes, it is their gods, but obviously not the same. Man naturally is in conflict with his brother; this is the result of millions of years of passing down the dominant traits (survival of the fittest). This in turn creates different points of view, so to speak, for different areas, as well as fighting. Now to say that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same God would be irrational for an evolutionist to say, for that would go against evolutionary teachings. DA Morgan once said something about our conditioning in our local area a while back."

The problem lies in that all three religions have gained misconceptions over the years. I've actually read the sacred texts (well, not all of the Qur'an, but most of it) for the three Abrahamic religions, and yes, they worship the same God. To say that they don't worship the same God is to say that they deviated from their scriptures. Allah is Yahweh is God. Although, I have my own opinions as to the true nature of the guy. He did some pretty bad stuff... And he sounds a heck of a lot like that other guy, Zeus, when you compare them objectively...... Both had courts of law on a mountain... Both were views as being in control of lightning... They have the exact same physical portrayal... And, when when you trace back the etymology... Jove, Jahhehvahhe, Jehovah... One thing I'd like to point out is that the OT deity, Yahweh, is never, not once, referred to in the New Testament. This isn't apparent if you're reading an English translation. They translate it all as LORD or God. But if you read the original versions, you'll see that YHWH (phrased as Yahweh so as not to be offensive) is used where the English LORD is, but YHWH doesn't appear in the NT (they never translated LORD in the NT). They used a different name... Thus a different deity... Think about it...
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/22/07 10:27 AM

Tapion. And that's why I always specify I'm refering to the Old Testament as distinct from the New. There are problems with the New Testament, of course, but they are different to those in the Old. You may find it interesting to refer back to a thread called "Arabic and Aramaic". I pointed out there that a word often used for God in the OT is actually plural, "Gods", and there has been no effort to dispute the conclusion I offered there.

Try this to get there quicker if you're interested:

http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=2&page=5
Posted by: tapion

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/22/07 10:41 AM

To bring the topic to this thread, the purported reason given by some is that the Jews made it plural to show importance. The Jews did do this, occasionally, but there is no record that they ever did it with that word for God. But, The Muslims, who did not pluralize select nouns to show importance, record the same stories and often have near identical usage, and it's plural there too, in the Qur'an. My personal opinion is that there were seven, including Yahweh, and they were the last generation of full deities describe in Greco-Roman lore. Whether they actually existed is a point of debate, and what they actually were (deities or egotistical powermongers, I usually go with the latter) is another debatable point too. Where they would have come from depends on the answers of the rest of those points... I tend to think that they were higher beings, but not divine in that they did not create, and were subject to evil deeds as well as good... Of course, I sometimes tend to think they didn't exist at all. It depends on my mood.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/22/07 10:45 AM

I think they all come from the mixing of beliefs that occurred over the long period humans have been running around the world trying to understand their existence. This explains the similarity of names found across different cultures. Most Gods may have originally been mighty men (sorry, or women) but none have ever been supernatural. Some working mums may be nearly so.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/22/07 12:03 PM

TFF, in your post, yesterday, page 18, I am sure you are not saying that are all scientists have always behaved morally, ethically and with infallible wisdom. In other words, "There is no bad science." Is this what you're saying? smile

I HAVE NOT EXPLORED ALL THE FOLLOWING, YET, but they do look interesting:
http://www.badscience.net/?page_id=4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Goldacre
http://badreligion.com/
http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/003229.php
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 01:15 AM

Obviously that's not what I was saying. Nor is it a reasonable inference from anything I've ever said or written. There is bad science and there is non-science.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 01:40 AM

tapion:
"Allah is Yahweh is God."
How exactly? Is that reasonalbe?

And yes, Yahweh is not named in the New Testament of the Bible mainly because......(are you ready for this?) it was written in a different language than Hebrew where the Old Testament was written in. Surely you would notice that!

"There is bad science and there is non-science."

"I think they all come from the mixing of beliefs that occurred over the long period humans have been running around the world trying to understand their existence. This explains the similarity of names found across different cultures. Most Gods may have originally been mighty men."
Yes, that's a good oberservation. But should you critize those same primitive people who could only percieve the world as so? No, of course not! For they set the stage for the current time, slowly but surely. If it were not for the Bible, this would not have happened; if it were not for the Quaran, this would not have happened; if it were not for the ancient Indian folklore, this would not have happened. Thus, it is not for us to critize them, but look upon the ancients with a different perspective. For it took away part of the wonder of the world about them by describing it with supernatural explanations.
Yeah, thats true.


Posted by: tapion

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 02:16 AM

"How exactly? Is that reasonalbe?

And yes, Yahweh is not named in the New Testament of the Bible mainly because......(are you ready for this?) it was written in a different language than Hebrew where the Old Testament was written in. Surely you would notice that!"

It's reasonable because all three of them worship the being described in the Old Testament, Yahweh. The Christians believe that the NT deity is the same as the OT... The Jews were the original worshipers... And the Muslims were an offshoot of the Jews, their stories in the Qur'an are exactly the same as the OT. If you've ever read the Qur'an, it's ignorant to say that they don't worship the same deity, especially just because you don't want them to be worshiping the same person, as most Americans who say they don't think the Muslims worship the same God (though they wouldn't say it like that) use as a reason. Yes, it was Aramaic in some parts. Despite the language change, the same name would have been used and adapted to Aramaic. It wasn't. However, even in the Greek, they have a different name in the NT than the Septuagint. Not to mention, the personalities are vastly different between OT and NT, and, the deity Yahweh is said to actually be there in the OT; not so in the NT.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 09:43 AM

Tim asked:

"But should you critize those same primitive people who could only percieve the world as so?"

Most certainly not. In fact I have a great deal of respect for the traditional Maori view of existence. Some of their ideas are difficult for me to accept of course. The difference between their beliefs and the ones you mention is that they had no writing. The Abrahamic religions have become locked into beliefs that were ossified 3000 years ago. At least traditional beliefs are able to evolve and adapt more readily. But in spite of that Christianity has evolved during its existence. Over the years Jesus has been portrayed as everything from a warrior to a hippy, depending on the mythology religious leaders of the time required.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 12:29 PM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
Obviously that's not what I was saying. Nor is it a reasonable inference from anything I've ever said or written. There is bad science and there is non-science.

I am glad we agree on that. I suppose that we can also agree that there is "science fiction" smile
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
Obviously that's not what I was saying. Nor is it a reasonable inference from anything I've ever said or written. There is bad science and there is non-science.

I am glad we agree on that. I suppose that we can also agree that there is "science fiction" smile


Certainly. And there are some people who are unable to distinguish between them.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 05:07 PM

"But in spite of that Christianity has evolved during its existence. Over the years Jesus has been portrayed as everything from a warrior to a hippy, depending on the mythology religious leaders of the time required."

Yes, yes it has. And I could agree that there is science fiction.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 07:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim
...Yes, yes it has. And I could agree that there is science fiction.
Yes, Tim. And I have no objection to thinking of theology and pneumatology as being science fiction.

I am reminded of Jules Verne (1828--1905)
Predictions

Quote:
Jules Verne's novels have been noted for being startlingly accurate descriptions of modern times. "Paris in the 20th Century" is an often cited example of this as it describes air conditioning, automobiles, the internet, television, and other modern conveniences very similar to their real world counterparts.

Another good example is "From the Earth to the Moon", which is uncannily similar to the real Apollo Program, as three astronauts are launched from the Florida peninsula and recovered through a splash landing.


I have a question for atheists: How do scientists who study such things as space/time account for the void, the theorized nothingness out of which all physical elements came ? Is there a scientific equation which covers this?
Thinking of this, recently, I wrote the following:

Gød, One With The Eternal Now
by: Rev. Lindsay G King
===============================
GØD is the one and all that is;
The one with cosmos, earth, sky, sea;
The one with time, the eternal now,
And all pervasive gravity.

GØD's one in faith and hope and love;
The one with knowledge, wisdom, power;
As goodness, order and design,
And present with us hour by hour.

GØD's in each living breath I take,
The root of justice and of peace,
The source of life, of health and wealth,
Producing joys which ne'er will cease.
================000000000================
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 07:44 PM


Once again, you start out that God is everything and then narrow it down to just the good things. If god is order, then god is also chaos and randomness. If it is justice, it is also injustice.

There's a line from Pope's Essay on Man
"All nature is but art unknown to thee,
all discord harmony not understood,
all partial evil, universal good,
and spite of pride in erring reason's spite,
one truth stands clear: whatever is, is right."

--
If you're in to that sort of thing, consider the following, penned by Jacob Bronowski, in his Science and Human Values:

I, having built a house, reject
The feud of eye and intellect,
And find in my experience proof,
One pleasure runs from root to roof,
One thrust along a streamline arches
The sudden star, the budding larches.
The force that makes the winter grow
Its feathered hexagons of snow,
And drives the bee to match at home,
Their calculated honeycomb,
Is abacus and rose combined.
An icy sweetness fills my mind,
A sense that under thing and wing,
Lies, taut yet living, coiled, the spring.

---

"How do scientists who study such things as space/time account for the void, the theorized nothingness out of which all physical elements came ? Is there a scientific equation which covers this?"

It could be that physicists have some idea - I do not. However, I don't think that just because scientists do not know is a good reason to assume some lesser idea is true.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/23/07 07:47 PM

Quote:
It could be that physicists have some idea - I do not...
writes TFF.

Professor (Oxford) Antony Flew may not be a physicist, but I am sure he must be aware of what many physicists at Oxford are saying. He was an atheist until 2004, when the evidence convinced him to become a deist--God is beyond good and evil as we know them.

I DO ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF EVIL AND/or CHAOS
As a unitheist, I acknowledge the reality of evil and/or chaos. However, I see them as that which is in the process of becoming good. Love is the one power capable of redeeming all evil. All who try it find that it works.

Professor Antony Garrard Newton Flew (born February 11, 1923) is a British philosopher. Known for several decades as a prominent atheist, Flew first publicly expressed deist views in 2004.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Flew

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 02:24 AM

Sometimes people loose their minds in their old age.
Also, being 'aware' and understanding are not the same things.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 03:17 AM

Revlgking

"How do scientists who study such things as space/time account for the void, the theorized nothingness out of which all physical elements came ?"

"Professor (Oxford) Antony Flew...was an atheist until 2004, when the evidence convinced him to become a deist"

I take the opportunity to repeat what I think has been said on the forum many times before in some form or another:

Science deals with the nature of the cosmos and the relatedness of its parts. It may determine, with a high degree of certainty, the causal origin of spacetime. It may, eventually, even indicate a 'unity' as a 'prime cause'. It doesn't, however, provide an answer to the metaphysical question, "why". This is for the individual mind to answer for itself, in its own terms. The individual mind is not accountable to others in this respect.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 12:53 PM

THANKS "ReadyWhenYouAre" for your patience and for repeating yourself. We need to keep in mind that new readers are coming on line even as we speak. This is why I like posters to state their position as we dialogue. It helps guests jump in. Perhaps we need to have a thread where we give a summary of the story of this dialogue thus far.

Hey, Anony, don't be quiet as a mouse, give us a groan, or a grunt now and then. smile

RWYA, HERE IS YOUR REPEAT:
Quote:
Science deals with the nature of the cosmos and the relatedness of its parts. It may determine, with a high degree of certainty, the causal origin of spacetime. It may, eventually, even indicate a 'unity' as a 'prime cause'.

QUESTIONS
1.Presuming you have a science background, may I ask, what is your branch of science?

UNDERSTANDING THE X-FACTOR OF BEING
2.If you are a scientist, is it your opinion that we delude ourselves in even trying to think about, let alone understand, what the void, the vacuum, the nothingness into which the universe is expanding, the space between atomic particles, the absolute within and beyond things, is?
3. Are physicists who propose the string theory physicists? Or are they theologians/philosophers?

Quote:
It doesn't, however, provide an answer to the metaphysical question, "why".

4. In your opinion, is the study of metayphysics, including the study of the meaning, purpose and why of things, a waste of time?
Quote:
This is for the individual mind to answer for itself, in its own terms. The individual mind is not accountable to others in this respect.

5. "Not accountable to others"? Surely you are not saying that it does not matter what one believes?
6. What about the collective mind? Is it of no consequence?
7. Are scientists nothing more than clever computer-like mechanics?
8. Do scientists have any moral obligations?
9. Are you familiar with the work of Nikola Tesla?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

FROM THE PART ON HIS PERSONALITY--and what a brilliant and complex personality he was. He had a dark side as well as a good one.
Quote:
Shortly before Edison died, he said that his biggest mistake he had made was in trying to develop directed current, rather than the vastly superior alternating current system that Tesla had put within his grasp.[11]:19

Tesla was good friends with Robert Underwood Johnson. He had amicable relations with Francis Marion Crawford, Stanford White, Fritz Lowenstein, George Scherff, and Kenneth Swezey. Tesla made his first million at the age of forty, but gave away nearly all his royalties on future innovations. Tesla was rather financially inept, but he was almost entirely unconcerned with material wealth. He ripped up a Westinghouse contract that would have made him the world's first billionaire, in part because of the implications it would have on his future vision of free power, and in part because it would run Westinghouse out of business, and Tesla had no desire to deal with the creditors.

What a brilliant and complex personality

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 12:57 PM

RWYA, I have numbered my questions to make it easy for you to respond. You have the right to say, I pass, to any question. smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 01:07 PM

TESLA, EINSTEIN AND GOD--Very interesting
=======================
[A BIT OF AN ANTI-SEMITE] Tesla was critical of Einstein's relativity work, calling it:
“ ...[a] magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king..., its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists...[69] ”

Tesla also argued:
“ I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties.

[WHAT TESLA SAYS ABOUT GOD IS MOST INTERESTING]
It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.[70] ”

Tesla, also believed that much of Albert Einstein's relativity theory had already been proposed by Ru&#273;er Boškovi&#263;, stating in an unpublished interview:
“ ...the relativity theory, by the way, is much older than its present proponents. It was advanced over 200 years ago by my illustrious countryman Ru&#273;er Boškovi&#263;, the great philosopher, who, not withstanding other and multifold obligations, wrote a thousand volumes of excellent literature on a vast variety of subjects. Boškovi&#263; dealt with relativity, including the so-called time-space continuum...'.
[THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I HAVE READ THIS INFORMATION. ANYONE ELSE HEARD ABOUT THIS?]
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 01:20 PM

TESLA, THE SON OF A CLERGYMAN, is remembered by his church
Quote:
The parochial church of St. Peter and Paul, where Tesla's father had held services, was renovated as well. The museum and multimedia center are filled with replicas of Tesla's work. The museum has collected almost all of the papers ever published by, and about, Nikola Tesla; most of these provided by Ljubo Vujovic from the Tesla Memorial Society[91] in New York. Alongside Tesla's house, a monument created by sculptor Mile Blazevic has been erected.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 01:30 PM

"What a brilliant and complex personality"
Dear god. You actually contributed something parts of which were interesting and relevant to a science forum. Congratulations on finally achieving an SNR greater than zero.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 03:05 PM

"1.Presuming you have a science background, may I ask, what is your branch of science?"

I'm a non-scientist, Rev. I'm not exactly a 'Jack of all Trades', either; rather a '7 or 8 of also rans' grin

Like a good many others, I've spent a great part of my life attempting to skim the surface of human knowledge. Had I felt that I could have skilfully plumbed the depths, then I would have been eager to do so. I know sufficient to recognise the awe inspiring potential of the human intellect as it expresses itself in the few, and I place a very high value on their methodology and assiduous dedication to the advancement of science. At this stage in our history, the survival and progress of our species, and the sustainability of this small planet's biosphere depend very largely upon their continuing efforts.

"2.If you are a scientist, is it your opinion that we delude ourselves in even trying to think about, let alone understand, what the void, the vacuum, the nothingness into which the universe is expanding, the space between atomic particles, the absolute within and beyond things, is?

As I said, I'm not a scientist; but I'll offer an opinion if you like.

"3. Are physicists who propose the string theory physicists? Or are they theologians/philosophers?"

My understanding is that they are best described as mathematical physicists. That is they make profound statements and create far reaching hypotheses about the physical world using the rigorous language of very advanced and abstruse mathematics. This requires neither theology nor philosophy, but that in itself doesn't preclude theologians and philosophers from being string theorists. smile

"4. In your opinion, is the study of metaphysics, including the study of the meaning, purpose and why of things, a waste of time?"

Speaking for myself, "study" in relation to "metaphysics, including the study of the meaning, purpose and why of things", is not an applicable word. I don't consider contemplation and meditation to be a waste of time. However, the insight and understanding involved is not directly communicable, and is inaccessible via objective study.

"5. "Not accountable to others"? Surely you are not saying that it does not matter what one believes?"

When a mind has discovered an answer to the fundamental metaphysical question, "why", that mind does not need to account to others for how that answer was derived. That is quite a different matter from "belief", which so often appears to involve insincerity, delusion and a distortion of objective reality that results in conflict and suffering.

"6. What about the collective mind? Is it of no consequence?"

It may be of enormous consequence.

"7. Are scientists nothing more than clever computer-like mechanics?"

Scientists are people.

"8. Do scientists have any moral obligations?"

No less than others.

"9. Are you familiar with the work of Nikola Tesla?"

Some of it.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 03:37 PM


".. [do] we delude ourselves in even trying to think about, let alone understand, what the void, the vacuum, the nothingness into which the universe is expanding, the space between atomic particles, the absolute within and beyond things, is?"

What many people mean when they say "think about" is to come to some firm, intellectually unjustified opinion and give it the same status as an opinion that's actually supported by evidence.

We can try to figure things out or we can play tin-like. Some times the best one can say is, "I don't know" rather than to just make things up. This is a form of anti-knowledge.


Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 06:05 PM

"What many people mean when they say "think about" is to come to some firm, intellectually unjustified opinion and give it the same status as an opinion that's actually supported by evidence.

"We can try to figure things out or we can play tin-like. Some times the best one can say is, "I don't know" rather than to just make things up. This is a form of anti-knowledge."

I would mostly agree with that. We see but a piece of all that is around us, and some can pompously proclaim, "I have the truth!". I have said this before, but in the Bible (Job 26), Job says something along the lines of "I know but the fringes of God's power." (I forget the exact quote, but you get the point). And then, thousands of years later, there are five different churches on a street proclaiming, "I have the answer, come here to my church!" It is also in the academic community; "I have the best equipment up to date, including a new observatory, come here!" In effect, there are so many variations of every theory and
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 06:11 PM

Whoops! Accidently pushed the submit button in the middle of my rant!

Let me continue:
In effect, there are so many variations of every theory, agenda, philosophy, beleif, denomination, creed, politics that it is hard to distinguish any truth from deceit. They all want you to come; perhaps this is a behaviour passed down through the generations to have the best to thrive in your situation. But nevertheless, we never just say, "I don't know," to something, and instead make use a (as TFF said) anti-knowledge statement in its place.
Taking that aside would help us as human beings discover ourselves and our surroundings. We might realize it's not about us, or that we need to adapt to survive something coming at us. From that "I don't know," comes forth a truer knowledge to figure that out which is not known instead of beleiving the half-lies and lies designed implant certain emotions in us. Then we could truly learn about ourselves instead of making stuff up which has not been proven.
Am I right?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 10:37 PM

Tim, IMO, you seem to have a sincere and gracious attitude. For me this counts for a lot. We are called to gracious, faithful, true and loving, not to be right--the kind of right which makes others wrong.

BTW, grace--the beauty of manners, the being pleasant, kindly and courteous and making allowances for others to be themselves--is an importance concept in my religion.

Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/24/07 11:12 PM

Tim: "From that "I don't know," comes forth a truer knowledge"

Well said. A "truer knowledge" comes forth when the 'god-of-the-gaps' has been dispensed with.

A creationist when asked by one of his fellows, "How were the dinosaurs rounded up for Noah's Ark?" replies: "God did it". And so it has been with so much of religion through the ages. What is worse, the mythology is enshrined as sacred 'truth' that forbids contradiction and preserves ignorance.

At a meeting of scientists entitled "Beyond Belief 2006", one young fellow said that he very much disliked not knowing; to which many responded that they very much liked not knowing. - Two ways of expressing the same essential point, that 'not knowing' is what drives the advancement of knowledge.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 01:48 AM

Tim, understanding takes effort. It seldom just falls in your lap. That's not something we're really good at. There will always be people who mislead through greed, self-aggrandizement, general dumbness, or just plain being mistaken. Science doesn't guarantee us The Truth. It just gives us a glimmer of hope for finding the way out of our mistakes.

Rev, I am not ungracious, but I don't have infinite patience either. I really only have one virtue - I can respect and admire people for what they are and not what I expect them to be. I admire the fact that you help other people and that you try to make the world a better place. I think there is a link between philosophy and ethics and science. They are immutably linked together - all I say is that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING and the conclusions of the first two should not be given the same kind of weight as the conclusions of the other. They can all inform and to some extent guide each other, but they are not equivalent.

To put the scientific seal of approval on ethics is downright dangerous. (But that doesn't mean science can't tell us something about ethics or help us refine or understanding of them.)

You don't understand science very well and so you don't see any problem lumping everything together. One sign of a well-adjusted individual is how well they have assimilated their disparate pieces of knowledge into a coherent web of understanding: but part of that understanding needs to be that things that things that aren't even subject to scientific analysis don't get the scientific seal of approval.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 04:24 AM

MORE ON NIKOLA TESLA--who, in his time, was one of a number of brilliant scientists--and there are still many with us--who did not avoid thinking about God and religion:
===========================================================
Interestingly, Tesla suggested that Judaeo/Christianity and Buddhism could come together and form a very good and non-dogmatic philosophy of life--open to agnostics--on which to build a better and safer community, now and in the future.

To the mix I would add any moral, ethical and love-advocating religion, including the moderate kinds of Islam, like Suffism, and other eastern religions. Avoiding cynicism, fatalism, determinism and judgmentalism, great unity can be found in the love of variety.

WHAT OF THE FUTURE?
It seems to me that many theists and atheists have this in common: They both talk about a God who, IMO, seems to be very limited. Just look at the evil and sin, pain and suffering, He allows to go and on without redress in this world. Theists have a blind faith in Him. Without evidence, they tell us that He will get around to redressing things, eventually.

Atheists, addressing the same god-concept of theism, have a blind faith that there is no Him. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

Until theists and atheists come up with the evidence that what they believe to be true, I choose go with what numerous process-theologians and philosophers, including scientists, are saying.

I see process-theologians as unitheists/panentheists. I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists. I am sure there is a vast number of professional and lay theologians who think along such lines. ==========================================================
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 04:43 AM

Revlgking

"I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists. I am sure there is a vast number of professional and lay theologians who think along such lines."

(1) What do see as the significance of that?
(2) Does it influence you?
(3) Does it help you in your choice of what to believe?

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 05:56 AM

1. Process thinkers are neither theists, nor atheists.
2. Yes.
3. As I once heard Bishop John Shelby Spong say: "Theologically speaking, there are more than two options--theism or atheism. Buddhism, for example, is a non-theistic religion." I prefer unitheism/panentheism to non-theism.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 06:20 AM

Revlgking

Re: (1) - You have listed people of noteworthy reasoning power. Are you making the point that this is a significant fact?

Re: (2) - In what way does it influence you?

Re: (3) - When you say that you prefer unitheism/panentheism to non-theism, are you saying that this represents your personal insight and understanding, or are you saying that appears, to you, a more reasonable view?
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 06:20 AM

Rede wrote
"5. "Not accountable to others"? Surely you are not saying that it does not matter what one believes?"

When a mind has discovered an answer to the fundamental metaphysical question, "why", that mind does not need to account to others for how that answer was derived. That is quite a different matter from "belief", which so often appears to involve insincerity, delusion and a distortion of objective reality that results in conflict and suffering.

This is such a clear distinction. It is possible to just "know" the answer. That knowledge is independent of others' beliefs or convictions or opposition and needs no explanation or justification.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/25/07 07:35 PM

Ellis, in your last post, are you talking about what is sometimes referred to as self-evident truths?

BTW, when I say that I like to refer to myself as a unitheist/panentheist I am not saying that non-theists and atheists are wrong. Being pragmatic, like William James, I believe in sticking with what works for me. When it fails to work, I will look elsewhere.

I respect non-theists and atheists. I also respect their right to use any term they prefer to describe themselves.

I repeat: I am here to dialogue, not to debate.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/26/07 12:52 AM

That's very good, Rev.

You seem to have overlooked two earlier questions. If you prefer to pass on them, that's fine smile

"I see process-theologians as unitheists/panentheists. I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists. I am sure there is a vast number of professional and lay theologians who think along such lines."

Re: (1) - You have listed people of noteworthy reasoning power. Are you making the point that this is a significant fact?

Re: (2) - In what way does it influence you?

I think you've answered the third:

Re: (3) - When you say that you prefer unitheism/panentheism to non-theism, are you saying that this represents your personal insight and understanding, or are you saying that appears, to you, a more reasonable view?

"I believe in sticking with what works for me. When it fails to work, I will look elsewhere."

- So, what you are saying is that unitheism/panentheism are hypotheses that work for you. That's very scientific smile
Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/26/07 01:44 AM

From LGKing, using my son's 'puter.

1. I enjoy people of high intellect, as s long as the are sincere, and of good moral and ethical character. Generally speaking, I value moral, ethic and sincere people regardless of their intellect.

I enjoy a good laugh, and I respect sincere emotinos in others, but I try to avoid emotionalism, in my personal behaviour.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/26/07 03:13 AM

" I think of thinkers like Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, Anthony Flew and scores of other scientists."

I don't know what you mean by "process thinker." However, I recommend the book "Enigmas of Chance" (by Kac) to you. He refers to Einstein and Kurt GÖdel as fundamentalists, because they were examining the fundamentals. While he did not mention Tesla, I (having read a bit about Tesla in previous years) consider Tesla to be much like that.

These kinds of fundamentalist thinkers might include also Newton, Archimedes, Hooke, Galileo and many others. If such a way of thinking applies to philosophers, perhaps John Dewey would be among their number.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/26/07 09:03 AM

John Dewey came up with a few interesting ideas. I hadn't heard of him until I did teacher training a couple of years ago. Don't really know much about him. Ideas? anyone?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/26/07 12:31 PM

I've only read one of his books, "How We Think" which defined the various kinds of "thought," with "reflective thought" being the most important and the one he discusses in the rest of the book.

In addition to talking about the steps of thinking and the steps of addressing a problem, he also gives insights into teaching. I don't agree with all of it, but I think it should probably be a must-read for teachers.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/27/07 10:51 PM

Thanks Fallible.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/07/07 01:22 AM

Terry/NZ, you asked about John Dewey. I trust you will find the following helpful:

http://www.vusst.hr/ENCYCLOPAEDIA/john_dewey.htm

IMHO, he was a great thinker. I respect and love his appoach to knowledge.

BTW, He died the year I was married, 1952--This Sept., will be the 55th year of marriage for Jean and me.

BTW, I finished my studies for the ministry of the United Church of Canada, in 1953, and was ordained. That July, Jean and I were assigned to go to a squatter's town, Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Labrador. Quite a story!!!!
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/08/07 05:08 AM

Thanks Rev. I now remember I've read "Democracy and Education". I was impressed.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/10/07 02:51 AM

TerryNZ: What was it, about this essay by Dewey, that impressed you?

BTW, realizing that you are not an American, I ask the following question: As one who has numerous cousins in the USA, I ask: To what extent do you think the USA is, presently, a democracy?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/10/07 08:25 AM

I'll answer your last question first. There is no way you can have democracy if a primary consideration for office is immense personal wealth. But this link gives me hope:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070809/us_nm/usa_politics_grassroots_dc

I am one of the many who think Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama are just Bush-lite. Nothing will change whoever wins.

As for John Dewey. Several comments from your link give the idea: "Dewey’s deeply ingrained sense of social justice". "He recognized that freedom implies both negative freedom, or freedom from constraint, as well as positive freedom, or freedom for something". "Darwinian thinking greatly influenced Dewey’s philosophy. It was where he first acquired the notion that a human being or community is like a highly complex natural organism that must function within its environment". "Dewey explicitly rejected "Social Darwinism" with its self-serving and antidemocratic rhetoric about the survival of the fittest. The question is always, fit for what? Dewey learned from Huxley that even laissez faire economists must weed their garden if they want lovely flowers". "We can create a world where everyone is fit to survive and thrive, not just those who excel at crude capitalism". "As a neo-Darwinian, Dewey knows the key to survival is diversity not homogeneity".
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/12/07 04:39 AM

This is interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_of_the_fittest

Survival of the fittest is a phrase which is a shorthand for a concept relating to competition for survival or predominance.

Originally applied by Herbert Spencer in his Principles of Biology of 1864, Spencer drew parallels to his ideas of economics with Charles Darwin's theories of evolution by what Darwin termed natural selection.

The phrase is a metaphor, not a scientific description; and it is not generally used by biologists, who almost exclusively prefer to use the phrase "natural selection".
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/13/07 10:08 PM

Terry/NZ,I presume that you quote with greement: "...the key to survival is diversity not homogeneity".

Permit me to put it this way: "As one who believes in progress, not just survival, I believe the key to progress is for us to welcome, and love, enriching differences, not just boring uniformity.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/15/07 08:13 AM

Revlgking wrote:

"Survival of the fittest is a phrase which is a shorthand for a concept relating to competition for survival or predominance".

As you say first used in economics and should have stayed there. Much misused in support of supremacist ideas. If it is true in economics it obviously leads eventually to monopolies, something most free market advocates keep quiet about. The phrase is meaningless in biological evolution. Individuals simply survive and pass on their genes. Not necessarily just the fittest, whatever that means in this context.

Rev. I certainly agree that diversity is the key to survival but I'm not sure what you mean by "progress".
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/17/07 03:38 AM

"The phrase is meaningless in biological evolution. Individuals simply survive and pass on their genes. Not necessarily just the fittest, whatever that means in this context."

Never thought of it that way, good point. Before I beleived in Evolution, i thought "how come there are still apes if we are more 'fit' and survied down the tree of evolution?" But it is much more random and controlled, I have found.

Anyways, earlier today, I was at the library reading a biography of Darwin by his great-great grandson. (I forget his name, something Keynes or something to that extent). He argues, through Darwin family records and notes, that Darwin was largely influenced and conformed his theory after his daughter Annie died of sickness when she was ten (by then he had already been on the Beagle, but that sweetened the deal, says the biographer). It was his problem of pain that led him to develop his system of evolution. So perhaps Darwin himself beleived in "survival of the fittest."

Would that be a correct assertion anybody?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/17/07 01:31 PM

Evolutionary 'progress' (that's not exactly the right term, but I'll go with it) depends on diversity AND a ruthless process of winnowing.

More importantly, however, adaptability and even survival depend on diversity.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/17/07 06:31 PM

"More importantly, however, adaptability and even survival depend on diversity."

Yeah, but unfortunately politics is different.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/17/07 08:38 PM

Tim pondered:

'So perhaps Darwin himself beleived in "survival of the fittest."'

My guess is that he almost certainly did. He was a product of his time and class. At the time (the Industrial Revolution) most people believed that technological progress at least was inevitable. The highest form of biological progress was considered "man", especially English Man. Women didn't come into for some strange reason although a moment's thought would have revealed they are essential for biological progress.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/17/07 09:33 PM

"My guess is that he almost certainly did. "
Could very well be. Darwin said he was influence by Malthus. It's a short read which I recommend it.

"Yeah, but unfortunately politics is different. "
I'm not sure that politics is different. Evolution is an exemplar, an archetype really, of complex adaptive systems - nonlinear systems where there are every component of every system has some effect on the other systems and on itself. There is not universal positive. Everything is an interplay between positives and negatives.

Which is better adapted - a lion or a penguin? It depends.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/18/07 12:22 AM

"Rev. I certainly agree that diversity is the key to survival, but I'm not sure what you mean by "progress"." TerryNZ comments.

TNZ, IMHO, by "progress" I mean that life, for me. is a progressive process. I like to think that all who choose can be involved in an eternal adventure in an infinite space.

I find it difficult to think of life as having a final destiny, a resting place, a place where all good people will all be together in one perfect, static and happy state of being--the usual Christian idea of heaven.

I admit that I could be wrong, but I like to think of the future life, not as a place of being where I will be at rest, but as a state of being where I will have all the energy I need to get things done.

How about you?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/19/07 05:20 AM

Excuse the digression from the conversation, but I found an article of interest.

I would have been pleased to have written this article myself, so to save myself the time, here it is:

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/do_science_and_rationality_support_atheism/
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/19/07 08:40 AM

Rede. Well, yes but. I agree with comments a couple of people made on the link. I hate jimmy page (I don't actually mind him) wrote:

"To the practical atheist, it doesn’t matter if God exists. It only matters if God has any kind of influence on our lives. So far, it just seems to be a bunch of old books. That’s not much of a real influence".

And the reasoning really just adds yet another question. Quote from Patrick:

"If God created the universe, the same question still stands. Why is there a God rather than no god?"

Now to Revlgking. I think you're talking about the evolution of the individual rather than the evolution of the species. They are quite different.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/19/07 08:54 AM

Terry

(i) A 'God hypothesis' can be as viable the 'no God hypothesis'

(ii) A God hypothesis clearly does matter to vast numbers of people because it does, equally clearly, have a very great influence on their lives.

(iii) The answer to "Why is there a God rather than no God?" is evident to many.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/19/07 09:30 PM

TFF wrote "Which is better adapted - a lion or a penguin? It depends."

I see where your'e going with that, but to validly answer that you would need some type of device to measure their adaptation 'rating' of sort. But I would agree with your reasoning.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/20/07 08:17 AM

Terry

At the risk of going round in ever decreasing circles, more thoughts on the question: "If God created the universe, the same question still stands. Why is there a God rather than no god?"

This is, of course, a conceptual issue and, as we know well enough, views of God are many and varied, and so discussions of the subject tend to be fraught with mutual misunderstanding and confusion. However, based on the proviso that one cannot present objective proof one way or the other, this, in regard to one kind of concept, which for the sake of this post I'll call 'Fredism' (I trust that Fred won't mind): -

Atheism has it that the universe is the way it is because the laws of physics are such as they are, and the laws of physics are such possibly because of a previous scientifically explicable cause, and so on, possibly ad infinitum.

Fredism has it that, ultimately, a first cause underlies all of existence, be that a multiverse or whatever, and this first cause does indeed 'precede' all by 'infinite regression', being the 'absolute' infinity beyond all infinities.

Atheists tend to find Fredism uninteresting because it gets them no closer to understanding the first cause. This is a scientifically valid perspective which leads them to declare of Fredism, incredulously, "Wow, that's useful!"

In fact, people do find Fred useful. It allows them to conceptualise - based upon their experience, and however vaguely - an actual first cause, lying at the 'point' of infinite regression , i.e. in absolute transcendence, that necessarily determines the purpose of all else. They therefore have what one might call a specific and ultimate spiritual 'location' or 'being' for all that they see as having real value.

So for many, that's why there is a God. For them, Fredism is the only truly rational concept of life, the universe and everything.

Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/20/07 09:15 AM

Rede. The problem remains that even Fredism doesn't actually explain anything. We don't know how it all started except to say that, "Fred did it". And as far as we know Fred has "no kind of influence on our lives" except in our imagination. Sure we may be more comfortable believing Fred "determines the purpose of all else" but it's a bit like passing the buck. Of course I agree that a God hypothesis can be as valid as a no God hypothesis or even Dan Morgan's invisible purple rhinoceros hypothesis.

Regarding another point you make. "A God hypothesis clearly does matter to vast numbers of people because it does, equally clearly, have a very great influence on their lives". Is that statement correct? I suspect the God hypothesis affects individuals less that what you believe. May give them an excuse to stop drinking or such but doesn't alter the type of person they are. They are still the same people, a product of their upbringing and genes. A God hypothesis may provide some meaning to their life personally but probably hardly alters it from any external perspective.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/20/07 12:14 PM

Terry

"The problem remains that even Fredism doesn't actually explain anything. We don't know how it all started except to say that, "Fred did it".

- Yes, you're repeating what I said: "Atheists tend to find Fredism uninteresting because it gets them no closer to understanding the first cause. This is a scientifically valid perspective which leads them to declare of Fredism, incredulously, "Wow, that's useful!" "

To which I reply that Fredism, unlike science, does not seek an answer about "how" it all started, and the concept of an all-pervading unity and purpose makes the objection irrelevant to the Fredist:

"It allows them to conceptualise - based upon their experience, and however vaguely - an actual first cause, lying at the 'point' of infinite regression , i.e. in absolute transcendence, that necessarily determines the purpose of all else. They therefore have what one might call a specific and ultimate spiritual 'location' or 'being' for all that they see as having real value."

The objection is raised from the scientific sphere. However, as stated, Fredism is not about how it all started in scientifically explicable terms - that, I maintain, will never be known. Fredism is 'intangible' to science, yet although a metaphysical hypothesis, it conforms to scientific reality. The only deviation is faith. The faith exists in the belief that the hypothesis is true.

"Regarding another point you make. "A God hypothesis clearly does matter to vast numbers of people because it does, equally clearly, have a very great influence on their lives". Is that statement correct?"

- Well, I think so (it's most noticeable in fundamentalism), but what kind of influence will of course depend, among other things, upon what kind of hypothesis they hold.

"A God hypothesis may provide some meaning to their life..."
- For many people, I think it most certainly does. There is certainly a huge database for scientific investigation on the subject. But, there are so many hypotheses, and I'm trying to stick to Fredism here.

"...but probably hardly alters it from any external perspective."
- I think that's both a matter of conjecture and a generalisation that would be hard to substantiate.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/27/07 05:23 AM


"A God hypothesis may provide some meaning to their life..."

Why would a God hypothesis give a meaning to life that was more relevant than the fact of life itself? For the atheist the rejection is of the supernatural invisible 'other'- whether it is called Fred, God, The Invisible Rhinoserus or any other manifestation of the divine- is life affirming, because all life is it's own reason for being.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/27/07 06:17 AM

RECENT FRONT-PAGE NEWS ABOUT MOTHER TERESA'S LOST OF FAITH
=========================================================
I wrote the editor the following item:
======================================
Regarding your front-page story (Saturday, August 25) about mother Teresa's
self-confessed lack of faith, which is only now coming to the light of
day:

Keep in mind that, despite the billions of prayers offered by her, the
Pope, and the millions of Christians and other religions, we all
continue to be surrounded by much poverty, pain, suffering and death.
No wonder she developed feelings of despair. It is quite
understandable. For similar reasons, I , the seventh child in a family
of eight (five boys and three girls) went through a similar crisis of
faith, in my early teens.

THE CAUSE OF MY CRISIS OF FAITH
===============================.
The cause? By the time I was five, I had experienced the death of my
eldest brother, my sister, her husband, her two children and my
mother. My father died when I was fourteen,, leaving my younger
sister and I in the care of four older siblings. Many other families
in our mining town, of over ten thousand people, suffered similar
losses. I remember that one mine-explosion killed twenty miners. It
seems that none of the many prayers offered in the many funeral
services, and church services, petitioning God for help did much good.

In addition to the above, Bell Island was directly involved in World
War II. In 1942, enemy U Boats attacked our island, twice, and sank
four ore carriers, causing a heavy loss of life. In addition, the
church-operated school, which I attended, burned to the ground when I
was fifteen; Even when, in 1945, an uncertain peace finally came,
stories of the holocaust, and other dreadful stories of what went on
during the war came to the surface. There was also the fear of more
wars breaking out.

As I matured enough to ask questions, the above, plus the knowledge
which I was got from my high school studies, influenced me to question
the teachings I got about there being an all-powerful and all-loving
God and Heavenly Father ready and willing to answer all our prayers
for help and "deliver us from evil". I kept asking, when?

Looking back, I remember that for a short time I almost did become an
atheist. I ask myself: What was it that prevented me from doing so? My
explanation is this: Around the time I was old enough to think, I came
under the influence of a caring minister, teachers at the school, and
a wise Sunday-school teacher. When I expressed my concerns, not one
ever told us to fear God and keep silent. All encouraged me and others
to think for ourselves, keep on asking questions and to accept that
there is nothing wrong with honest doubt, as long as we did not give
in to a bitter cynicism. It was with this frame of mind that I went
off to university at seventeen.

I LEARNED TO BE FREE TO BELIEVE THAT WHICH IS RATIONAL
=====================================================
Again, in university I, fortunately, met some wise teachers. In the
major studies of philosophy, psychology, theology, etc., we were
taught that it was not necessary to have a blind, fixed and dogmatic
faith in a human-like God dwelling in a distant Heavenly Kingdom.
Instead, we were encouraged to have a pragmatic, science-based and
sighted faith--one which, while it may go beyond reason, need never go
contrary to it. I learned that a blind faith is not worth believing;
that it is possible to think of God, not as a three-dimensional being,
but as that which is in and through all things, including the
microcosm (atoms and molecules) and the macrocosm (the cosmos).

BEYOND THEISM and ON TO PROCESS THEOLOGY
===========================================
Later research led me to the discover process philosophy and theology.
It was the work of the great mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead
(1861 - 1947). http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
His theology led me to what some thinkers call 'panentheism' (not to
be confused with pantheism).

GØD AS GOODNESS, ORDER AND DESIGN
To avoid confusion, I like to call it 'unitheism', which sees GØD
(Note the way I spell God.) not as a being, but as the oneness of all
being--total, universal and all-encompassing, in which all that is,
including us, exists. We may not understand it all; but how can we
doubt our own being within being itself? Emulating Descartes: We
think, therefore, we are.

THE CAUSE OF MOTHER TERESA'S DESPAIR WAS A BAD THEOLOGY
===========================================================
I suspect that Mother Teresa's despair was no fault of hers. It was
the result of her being taught a bad theology--one that dogmatically
advocated she have a blind faith in traditional theism. She was enough
of a thinker not to accept the belief in an objective,
three-dimensional and personal god with a subjective mind. The despair
came because there was a conflict between her desire to please he
"superiors" and, at the same time, use her rational mind.

In the light of the above, what can we hope? As one who accepts the
principles of process theology, I believe that it is possible that
there is life beyond the physical death of the body. Because of this,
I also believe there will be the opportunity for all of us, including
people like Mother Teresa, to, sooner or later, develop a rational and
sighted faith and live with peace of mind. I am very thankful that my
opportunity came sooner.

Rev. L. G. King
================
PS ABOUT, Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith:
Check out http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655415,00.html?cnn=yes
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/27/07 06:19 AM

Ellis:

"Why would a God hypothesis give a meaning to life that was more relevant than the fact of life itself?...all life is it's own reason for being."

From the fact that life for you and me is "it's own reason for living" it doesn't follow that it is so for everyone, as you'll no doubt have noticed. It's very easy, surrounded by all the best material comforts and amenities that 21st century science and technology have to offer, to forget that there are more than a few others in the world whose view of certain harsh realities is less obscured.

Furthermore, very many people in the rich west also appear to find life without God to be an intolerable concept. Who are we, truthfully, to take a superior and frequently contemptuous tone in asserting that they are wrong and we are right?

I should point out that I'm refering to the unadorned 'Fred' concept here, not a system of beliefs involving blatant contradiction to established, provable fact.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/27/07 09:28 PM

Redewenur wrote:

"Furthermore, very many people in the rich west also appear to find life without God to be an intolerable concept. Who are we, truthfully, to take a superior and frequently contemptuous tone in asserting that they are wrong and we are right?"

Rede, it's not only in the rich west that people "find life without God to be an intolerable concept". In fact it's interesting to see you are so sympathetic to fundamentalist Islam! What's sauce for the goose is surely for the gander as well. I refer specifically to the second sentence of your quoted comment. Also as far as I'm aware Islam no more involves "blatant contradiction to established, provable fact" than does Christianity.

Revlgking. I note from your brief biography that you (and Mother Tersa) are both examples of people raised with a particular belief finding it impossible to discard that belief. I have no trouble accepting that. I hope you can.

My gripe with the influence of religions is that I believe we cannot make rational decisions concerning our future until we have a rational view of our past. Religion often serves to hamper that rational view.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/28/07 03:38 AM

Terry: "Rede, it's not only in the rich west that people "find life without God to be an intolerable concept"."

"Furthermore, very many people in the rich west also...". Note the word "also". Seems you missed the point of the previous paragraph:

"From the fact that life for you and me is "it's own reason for living" it doesn't follow that it is so for everyone, as you'll no doubt have noticed. It's very easy, surrounded by all the best material comforts and amenities that 21st century science and technology have to offer, to forget that there are more than a few others in the world whose view of certain harsh realities is less obscured."

Terry: "In fact it's interesting to see you are so sympathetic to fundamentalist Islam!"

Please, Terry! If I thought I didn't know you better...but you know better than that. You also missed the point of my last paragraph:

"I should point out that I'm referring to the unadorned 'Fred' concept here, not a system of beliefs involving blatant contradiction to established, provable fact."

Get you mind off of the fundamentalist track for a moment, Terry. The contempt to which I refer, which should be clear enough from that post and from my previous posts, is of many atheists toward the very principle of theism in even its most "unadorned" form (which, note, I did specify).

Terry: "Also as far as I'm aware Islam no more involves "blatant contradiction to established, provable fact" than does Christianity."

As far as I'm aware, you're right, but what point are you making? Nowhere did I mention religion, but it should be clear that I share your view of it. It's in religion, not in Fredism, that we find that "blatant contradiction to established, provable fact", as you observe:

(Terry) "My gripe with the influence of religions is that I believe we cannot make rational decisions concerning our future until we have a rational view of our past. Religion often serves to hamper that rational view."

This is very true. It has everything to do with religion, and nothing to do with Fredism. The current passionate objections to 'belief in God' have little or nothing to do with Fredism. They are almost entirely objections to religion, and triggered by Islamic terrorism and Christian fundamentalism.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/28/07 04:44 AM

Since we got Rev's biography here is my 'moment' of recognition. I was extremely ill after my first child was born and she and I were both for a while close to death. Luckily because I live in a first world country I recovered, as did she, unharmed. It was after I recovered that I realised that at no time had I called on God to save her or me, I did not pray, I did not promise I'd be really good for the rest of my life if God would spare me. I did none of the things that are traditionally how people are supposed to react to significant danger of death. When I tried too work out why, I realised that I had thought it would be a waste of time because I did not believe in God and I had to acknowledge I was indeed an atheist! I have heard Christians declare that in danger everyone calls on God,.. I didn't.

It was this experience that coloured my view about the belief in God adding meaning to life--maybe it does, and that's good. I do not feel superior, I just get the meaning of my life from the fact of life itself. And Rede, not a spectacular life just a very ordinary 'being alive', it's a great feeling.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/28/07 05:29 AM

Ellis

"...I just get the meaning of my life from the fact of life itself. And Rede, not a spectacular life just a very ordinary 'being alive', it's a great feeling."

Yes, I'm in the fortunate position of being able to agree. But let's remember that having particular opinions regarding the metaphysical give no one exclusive claims to truth beyond the evidence of science. Fred may or may not be behind all that exists. Some say yes, some say no. Science has nothing to say.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/28/07 10:57 PM

We are then in agreement Rede. My personal experienence should not and does not influence others, but this attitude is not shared by those who seek to spread their faith. Often I envy their absolute conviction that they have the story on the meaning of life, and somethng other than themselves to blame for bad fortune, but I cannot share it--- and apparently neither did Mother Theresa for a substantial portion of her life. Fred is just another comforting proposition, even I recoil from the acknowledgemant of the truth- that it is just random chance that anything exists anywhere!
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/29/07 01:14 AM

Ellis: "even I recoil from the acknowledgemant of the truth- that it is just random chance that anything exists anywhere!"

Truth? Are you sure? If so so then we are not in agreement that "Fred may or may not be behind all that exists". Not that it matters if we agree, but it's interesting to resolve the viewpoints.


Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/29/07 06:58 AM

OK I noticed that and thought you may let me sneak it through!!!

Maybe I could write---Likely truth? Probable reality?

Truth-- no of course I'm not sure,... but Fred seems like God/Lite. And, you are right, it doesn't matter- though I thought we were agreeing on something!! Hooray!!

Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/29/07 08:10 AM

God/Lite! That's a good one, Ellis...well, OK, if you think so. But I think it's unassailable. However one rates the probabilities, there can never be a jot of valid scientific argument either for or against it. So much for the atheist v theist conflict.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/30/07 04:33 AM

Further to Rev. L. G. King's post "RECENT FRONT-PAGE NEWS ABOUT MOTHER TERESA'S LOST OF FAITH" (#23273 - 2007-08-27, above)

Rev: "THE CAUSE OF MOTHER TERESA'S DESPAIR WAS A BAD THEOLOGY"

Quite possibly - or perhaps it was melancholia (endogenous depression), which doesn't appear to require any external trigger. That's certainly enough to take the joy out of life, faith or no faith.

Here's an article by Sam Harris that includes related comments:
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/sam_harris/2007/08/the_sacrifice_of_reason.html
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/30/07 10:27 PM

Ready-When-You-Are: You mention, "melancholia (endogenous depression)"

You have raised what I consider to be a very important topic; one in which I am very interested. Depression has been called the "common cold" of mental disease. Would you like to start a thread on the topic? Or could we discuss it here?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/31/07 01:10 AM

Rev, off the the top of my head, I don't have content lined up. If you do, then by all means go ahead and start a thread. Since it would be medical science\psychiatry\depression\melancholia, I'd suggest the General Discussion forum.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 08/31/07 09:28 PM

Ready, keep in mind that I happen to feel, and believe that: Most diseases, especially mental diseases, are rooted in what I call the pneuma, or human, factor. That is, the spiritual or self-awareness we happen to have.

INHO, we are the only animal-like beings who give ourselves nervous breakdowns. Have you ever pondered: How come? and, Why?

BTW, refresh my memory: What is your stand on theism?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/01/07 04:12 AM

Rev, if you wish to discuss 'health and healing in relation to the pneuma', then perhaps NQS would be suitable; though SAGG may arguably be the wrong place altogether, but that's a Mod issue.

I'm a Fredist, through intuition.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/01/07 10:07 PM

Fredist? Is Fred related to Wilbur, of "Blame it on Wilbur" fame? (WW 2). Years ago, we could also sing, "Place the blame on Mame..." smile

Regarding the importance of "pneuma"--an essential component of human nature: IMHO, there can be no healthy soma component, and psyche component without a healthy pneuma.
=========================================
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v5/templates/hub?searchText=+Anne+Mcilroy&searchVideo=false&searchDatePreset=all&searchDateType=searchDateRange&FromDay=01&FromMonth=01&FromYear=2000&ToDay=26&ToMonth=08&ToYear=2007&sort=sortdate%2Csorttime&x=15&y=9&hub=Search&searchType=Advanced&from_date=&to_date=&start_row=1&current_row=1&start_row_offset1=0 PAGE A1, August 26, 2007:
NEED HELP GETTING OUTSIDE YOURSELF? Researcher replicates out-of-the-body in the lab.

Dr. Henrik Ehrsson, using electronics and working at the University of London, has found a way to deliberately induce the out-of-body sensation. People actually feel that they are standing behind themselves and watching their own backs.

Surveys suggest that as many as one in ten have had a similar experience. People who have this experience usually report that it happened as part of a traumatic and sometimes painful event, such as a car accident. I remember having one. It was when I was a child, and very ill. I call this human ability--this ability to go outside the body and the mind--the spiritual, or pneumatological, ability.

The important point of this post is this: If we can believe it, certain serious researchers are now demonstrating that this phenomenon can be duplicated, electronically.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/02/07 01:26 AM

If you have a traumatic event and are near death it is likely that you will be under the influence of medical procedures- drugs, anaethetics or perhaps electronics and the euphoric effects of extreme pain. An 'out of body' experience would not be uncommon in these circumstances I would think. It is not 'spiritual' however, but induced by the agents above, though I understand how a religious person could explain it as a mystic experience.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/02/07 01:42 AM

Quote:
An 'out of body' experience would not be uncommon in these circumstances I would think.

It is not 'spiritual' however, but induced by the agents above, though I understand how a religious person could explain it as a mystic experience.

So you say! Now, tell us: How do you define spiritual?

I happen to feel that spiritual and material natures are closely related and components of an integrated whole. smile Okay?

Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/02/07 04:14 AM

Fine by me Rev. I don't.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/02/07 04:47 AM

When it comes to matters of a controversial nature, while it is not always necessary to have absolute agreement, it is always pleasant to have a relative harmony and consensus.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/03/07 08:54 AM

Redewenur. Sorry for misinterpreting your comments.

You say, "I'm a Fredist, through intuition." Many years ago in NZ someone tried to market a non-alcoholic whisky. Why is beyond me. It was called "Claytons" and their advertising slogan was, "The whisky you have when you're not having a whiskey". This gave rise to a useful expression and Fredism seems to be a Claytons God. Even though Revlgking spells it differently his version is still a Claytons God. So the question arises: even if Fred started it all off has he had any interest in us over the time of our evolution from apes? And if so when did this interest first manifest itself?

Perhaps Revlgking has some ideas on the topic?
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/03/07 11:56 AM

Terry

I like the whisky story. In a way, it's a very good analogy since Fred has just about nothing to do with what appear to be the God(s) of most people - to whom I suppose Fred would therefore be as disappointing as a non-alcoholic whisky to an alcoholic.

Terry: "even if Fred started it all off has he had any interest in us over the time of our evolution from apes?"

These are meaningless concepts in Fredism.

OK Terry, I'll stick my neck out and say it the way I see it:

Fredism is about ultimate purpose. What that purpose may be, not even the two heads of Zaphod Beeblebrox could have guessed. Nonetheless, there is the sense of ultimate purpose. Each and every one of the most fundamental units of matter/energy, each moment and every motion, are an essential aspect of the indivisible oneness of all that is, and of its purpose.

I can say only that I have faith in the purpose, and that the purpose is supremely wonderful beyond all imagining.

This is a personal faith, so call it what you like - purposism or something - it makes no difference, and it is independent of approval.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/03/07 09:53 PM

TerryNZ, writes:"Even though Revlgking spells it differently his version is still a Clayton's God".

TNZ, perhaps I (LGK) need to the speak to the topic, WHAT, FOR ME, GØD IS NOT:

1. For me, GØD is not an object, a subject, a person, or anything that can be possessed as such, not even mentally.

2. This means I never use the expression, "My GØD..."

3. This also means I never refer to GØD as a "He", or try to point to "Him".

4. Nor will I say, "GØD hears me, speaks to me, or does this that or the other thing for me, or to me."

CHECK OUT PANENTHEISM. For short I use UNITHEISM
================================================
In my humble opinion, I am ONE with GØD. My theology, unitheism, is not one that is top-down.

While I respect people who think otherwise, for me, there is no father figure, up or out there. I think of GØD simply as the source of all creative knowledge, wisdom and power, which is everywhere present in, through and around the mystery we call the cosmos.

At the same time, my theology is not a a bottom-up one. In my humble opinion, it seems to me that this is the "theology" of materialists, that is, those who think of matter as the ultimate reality. I am reminded of the words of the poet, Swinburne, who wrote: "Glory to man in the highest, for man is the measure of things."

This reminds me of the kind of theology which does value the role of humanity. It is called process theology.

PROCESS PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY AND THE MYSTERY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
================================================================
Consciousness. It is the ability which we, as self-conscious human beings all have when we say, "I am...".

For me, this plays a major role in my theological thinking. IMO, this means that I can be part of all the processes of life and being, including how we will evlove in the future.

As a self-aware being, I am free to choose to connect with GØD as self-evident being and as all-pervasive as gravity. Others are free to choose otherwise. Others are free to believe in God as a heavenly father, or even as a Fred.

As you write: "So the question arises: even if Fred started it all off has he had any interest in us over the time of our evolution from apes? And if so when did this interest first manifest itself?

Perhaps Revlgking has some ideas on the topic?"

Thanks for asking, TNZ.

BTW, IMHO, since GØD already is everything we can possibly imagine-- that is, everything physical, mental and spiritual--GØD did not need to start anything.

As I understand things, it is simply up to me (including us) to come to the consciousness that everything already IS. This means that, if we choose to be moral, ethical and loving persons, we can thus become qualified to become partners in the creative process. What am opportunity!

BTW, we are also free to choose otherwise.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/27/07 12:28 AM

What is Clayton's God?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/27/07 03:19 AM

It's the God you have when you're not having a God. Refer to the whisky story above.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/27/07 05:24 AM

Great remembering terry. I remember those ads!!

But why do we even need a Clayton's god?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/28/07 12:33 PM

Genreally speaking, IMO, a god is anything which one feels is of the utmost significance most of the time. There are physical gods, gods of the intellect and, of course, there is, IMO, GØD--the all-encompassing spirituality, which includes that which is physically and intellectually significant at all times, for me.

Perhaps we could ask ourselves the question: Who, what, where, when is most significant for us? Why? And, how does this affect the way we live our lives?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/29/07 08:37 PM

OVER 42,000 CLICKS
==================
Over 42,000 clicks on this thread. Interesting. Obviously a lot of readers are interested in a non-doctrinaire and philosophical approach to religion, theology and the like.

It is my understanding the Sophia, the spouse of It includes 'pneumatology'--the study of the human spirit.

WE ARE PNUEMATOLICAL BEINGS
===========================
As human beings we are not just somatological, that is, physical beings. Nor are we just psychological, that is, mental/intellectual beings--something we share with the animal kingdom, which I respect, greatly. We are also spiritual, or what I like to call, pneumatological beings.

That is, we have the ability to be self-reflective. As pneumatological beings we are capable of being aware of self and others. As such, we are capable of making choices. If we allow the ego--dominated by instincts and feelings--to rule us, the result can be great evil. However, if we choose to join our egos with that of others and seek the greater good for all of us, the result can be great good, for all.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 09/30/07 10:51 PM

ABOUT SOPHIA
http://www.angelfire.com/va/goddesses/soph.html
===============================================
The following needs editing:"It is my understanding the Sophia, the spouse of It includes 'pneumatology'--the study of the human spirit."

I like what I found in angelfire
Quote:
Sophia (pronounced sew-fee'ah) in Greek, Hohkma in Hebrew, Sapientia in Latin, all mean wisdom. The Judeo-Christian God's female soul, source of his true power is Sophia. As Goddess of wisdom, her faces are many: Black Goddess, Divine Feminine, Mother of God. The Gnostic Christians, Sophia was the Mother of Creation; her consort and assistant was Jehovah. Her sacred shrine, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, is one of the seven wonders of the world. Her symbol, the dove, represents spirit; she is crowned by stars, a Middle Eastern icon, to indicate her absolute divinity.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/01/07 01:54 PM

GØD is useless as a subject of scientific inquiry.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/03/07 04:15 AM

TFF, you opine:"GØD is useless as a subject of scientific inquiry." I am interrested in know what you mean. Please continue with the dialogue.


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/14/07 11:46 PM

IMO, TFF, if you will agree with me that GØD is beyond all we can possibly think or imagine, I agree with you when you say, what I feel and think that you are saying: GØD--infinity and eternity--is not an object of scientific study. Science is only interested in that which is measureable.

BTW, this post comes to you from Grande Cache, Alberta. Today is a beautiful, bright and warm October-day, at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. Here, I am visiting my younger sister and family.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/17/07 08:36 PM

Currently, the Kings are visiting family members who live in the oil-rich city of Edmonton. We will be flying to Toronto later today. I am pleasantly surprised that most of the adult members of the family are very interested in things spiritual in a metaphysical way which goes beyond the dogmas of most narrow religions.

Currently, I am also reading a book "The DISAPPEARANCE of the UNIVERSE" by Gary R. Renard. It is based on the controversial "Course In Miracles", which I studied in the 1970's. Who of you have you heard of it?

Interestingly, it says that the universe as it appears to us human beings was not created by God, but by us. It is an illusion created by our collective ego.

At this point, I am not sure that I understand all that is involved, but I kind of agree with this point about the nature and creation of things. It fits in with how I conceive of GØD.

Apropos the above, the following news item about the actor, Brad Pitt, was on MSN this AM:
==========================================================

- Brad Pitt shunned religion because "it seemed to be about ego".
==========================================
The 'Ocean's Thirteen' star was brought up a Southern Baptist by his parents in Missouri, but abandoned his faith when he started college and "discovered himself".

Brad told Parade magazine: "I didn't understand this idea of a God who says, 'You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I'm the best, and then I'll give you eternal happiness. If you won't, then you don't get it!'

"It seemed to be about ego. I can't see God operating from ego, so it made no sense to me.

"When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self."

...."Whoever said all men are born equal never left his own backyard. I see people everywhere without opportunity. I want to help level the playing field."

The 'Se7en' star is now father to three adopted children, Maddox, six, Pax, three and Zahara, two as well as 16-month-old daughter Shiloh with Angelina.

Posted by: Warren

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/20/07 07:41 AM

This thread should be published as a book. Insightful and provocative on everyone's part.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/20/07 09:25 PM

Thanks, Warren.

If I remember correctly, you are an artist, right? And speaking of artists, have you heard that this is how Norman Mailer describes GØD? Check out:

http://nymag.com/nymag/features/38961/
======================================
Here is a quote:
THE RISE OF MAILERISM
========================
Norman Mailer’s God, not surprisingly, is a great artist, who created mankind and all the plants and other animals, and could reincarnate them according to his whim. But he was not all-powerful. Because there was the Devil—and the Devil had technology. And lately, the Devil seems to be winning…

* By Norman Mailer & Michael Lennon

In a six-decade career, Norman Mailer has written thirteen novels, nineteen works of nonfiction, two poetry collections, and one play. He’s directed four movies. He ran for mayor of New York, and in the living room of his Brooklyn Heights home, he built, in three weeks, with two friends, a vast Lego city, incorporating some 15,000 pieces, known as the city of the future, seeming to take as much pride in it as in any of his other creations. But even at 84, he has a vast ambition. And now he has created something like a religion. In a new book, On God, a dialogue with one of his literary executors, Michael Lennon, he lays out his highly personal vision of what the universe’s higher truths might look like, if we were in a position to know them. But his theology is not theoretical to him. After eight decades, it is what he believes to be true. He expects no adherents, and does not profess to be a prophet, but he has worked to forge his beliefs into a coherent catechism.

Mailer’s deity is much like Mailer. He or she is an artist—with the stipulation that God is the greatest artist—concerned most particularly with the human soul, but with much else besides. God takes great pleasure in his creations. God is constantly experimenting, and highly fallible. God is far from all-powerful, but is learning along with us. God is in constant struggle with his own fallibility, and also with evil—with the devil—and is not certain whether good will triumph in the end. We are God’s creations, but we are not at all times part of his plan—God may not even be cognizant of all that we do. And if God needs our love, the question Mailer insists has to be answered is, Why?...(There are 7 pages)


Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/20/07 11:12 PM

"When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self."

Yeah, I remember reading that Parade article (a few weeks ago, I forget when, but pretty it was pretty recent).
Now that could easily be taken the wrong way, though.

So is there anyone on this thread that would consider themselves 'religious'?

It seems that the term has a negative connotation in some (many?) circles, especially among the high-school and college level. Its 'cool' not to do that kind of stuff in our advanced 21st-century society.
Everything, all past successes, are blamed on something; some idealogy, or religious affiliation, or something. Like the Christian crusades, or the end-of-mideival-time-period religious wars in Europe.
Yes, religion has done good, and yes, it has done bad. Our modernist society focuses on the bad (though perhaps correct) aspects of things, and as a result, we as a culture have lost any sense of mechanical or spiritual or religious unity.

Now is this good, or bad?

*end rant*
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/20/07 11:17 PM

I just finished reading Michael Lennon's conversation with Norman Mailer--the New York Times. In it he asked Mailer questions regarding his views on God, creation, Intelligent Design, the Devil (Satan) as possibly being equal to God, the dark side of life, religion, good, evil, angels, heaven, hell, purgatory, reincarnation, existentialism, and nihilism.

Michael asked Mailer about God's needing us, about the value of ethics, about God's ultimate purpose for his creation.

He asked: Why is it that it seems that God seems to want--not unlike most actors and athletes, crazy military leaders, authors, mad kings, politcians and greed-bag tycoons--to be glorified? Isn't it a dire thing to have an excessive vanity? Is this what God wants?

Mailer suggested: "Maybe we can change "glorified" to "loved". God wants to be loved...God, like us, is doing the best that can be done under the circumstances."

Michael's final comment was: If we are created in God's image and we are potentially good but then choose evil, perhaps we were evil all along.

My (LGK) comment is this: This implies that, as agreed by Mailer: God and the Devil are at war within us.

Here I (LGK) will give Mailer the final word: "...we are here as God's work, here to influence His future as well as ours."

Interesting.
=============
My main critique of Mailer's theology is this: He writes of God, the absolute being, as if he is an anthropomorphic being, a male/female person who is separate and apart from us. For me, this is problematic. GØD, IMO, is not an objective being with a subjective mind.

UNITHEISM/PANENTHEISM
IMHO, I avoid thinking of GØD in this way by using my personal way--feel free to use your own way--of referring to absolute being. I use the term GØD.

GØD refers to that which is total, universal and all-inclusive. At the same time GØD also interpenetrates that which we think of as three-dimensional in nature. To express this same concept, Orthodox Jews use the term G-d. If you have other suggestions they could be just as valid.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/20/07 11:26 PM

"If we are created in God's image and we are potentially good but then choose evil, perhaps we were evil all along."

Hum, that view could be problematic, too.
But maybe it doesnt matter, because we can't go back and choose the un-evil, whatever that is. That does not mean we were evil all along, it could have been just at that point in time; before we couldnt have been choosing that evil, nor after.

"God" and "the devil" could not be at war within us, even the Christian religion does not say that. I dont know much about Dualism, other than it says something like that, but is ultimatley flawed.


Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/20/07 11:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim
"If we are created in God's image and we are potentially good but then choose evil, perhaps we were evil all along."



The corollary of that is-

"If we are not created in God' image and we are potentially bad
but then choose good, prehaps we were blessed with a set of brains.

P.S What exactly is Dualism?

Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/21/07 12:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Tim
"If we are created in God's image and we are potentially good but then choose evil, perhaps we were evil all along."

Hum, that view could be problematic, too.
But maybe it doesnt matter, because we can't go back and choose the un-evil, whatever that is. That does not mean we were evil all along, it could have been just at that point in time; before we couldnt have been choosing that evil, nor after.

"God" and "the devil" could not be at war within us, even the Christian religion does not say that. I dont know much about Dualism, other than it says something like that, but is ultimatley flawed.



I can NEVER seem to reply to these posts, as I can never find to tack on to the end.
It just dos'nt work. Or may be its me? Having posted a reply to Tim (this post)My reply comes out at post No 23989, on another sheet. Why?

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/21/07 02:08 AM

Tim, Mike, I think I see where Mailer is going. For much of the way what he says--the idea of the artistry of GØD, one with the creative and eternal process--makes sense, but I am inclined to feel that all the way we are ONE with GØD, in the process. IMO, There is no kind of separation, no GØD out there, or up there, no dualism.

What is dualism? Dualism is the view that two fundamental concepts exist, such as good and evil, light and dark, or male and female. Often, they oppose each other. The word's origin is the Latin dualis, meaning "two" (as an adjective).Check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/22/07 06:54 AM

Revlgking wrote:

"Dualism is the view that two fundamental concepts exist, such as good and evil, light and dark, or male and female. Often, they oppose each other. The word's origin is the Latin dualis, meaning "two" (as an adjective)."

The word's origin might be Latin but the belief is Zoroastrian. Cyrus was Zoroastrian and from his time it seems to enter Jewish belief. From that it entered Christianity, probably via Mithraism.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/23/07 05:51 AM

But dualism should be able to exist without beiing allied to the belief in a Diety. In any proposal or concept there will have to be at least two opposing points of view. Or does duality only allow for and against. Duality, the word, does imply this, which seems to be an over simplification to me.

I thought Zoroastrianism was bigger than duality- (good and evil), -as it suggests the existence of order and chaos throughout the entire universe- not a code of morality.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/25/07 09:30 PM

Ellis, theologically speaking, theistic dualism teaches, by implication, that there are two divine beings, God and the Devil, competing for the souls of people. Even most theists reject that this is true. Process theology sees evil as good in the making.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/26/07 12:36 AM

Thanks for the explanation Rev. Obviously Dualism has a narrower appilication than I had assumed, and equally obviously I cannot agree with it at all. However I do warm to the idea of evil ( whatever that is) being good in the making. A nice optimistic religious idea!!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/26/07 03:28 AM

I like to think of the GØD-like spirit in us as that which helps us act like engineers and artists. Thus we bring order out of chaos and beauty out if ugliness. The book of Genesis speaks of the spirit of God bringing light and order out of the darkness of the deep--the chaos.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/27/07 01:24 AM

Well we must both be mellowing I think as I agree with the idea of order out of chaos---but not because of god---just spontaneous evolving of the situation. It could have turned out very differently and probably has, and maybe is, elsewhere in the universe.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/27/07 01:28 AM

PS. Where did the cute little person come from, and why is mine SO HAPPY!!? Everyone else's looks asleep!!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/27/07 05:16 PM

Ellis writes:
Quote:
Well we must both be mellowing I think as I agree with the idea of order out of chaos---but not because of god---
Ellis, I do not use the term GØD to indicate a personal being who causes creation and evolution. Therefore I never say, because GØD, or God, willed this, or that, so and so came about. For me, GØD is in, through and around the whole process we call existence, which is yet to become complete.

BTW, regarding dualism, check out:
http://moebius.psy.ed.ac.uk/~dualism/papers/brains.html
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/27/07 05:46 PM

Parapsychology and dualism:
http://moebius.psy.ed.ac.uk/
Arthur Koestler and his interest in parapsychology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Koestler#Paranormal_and_scientific_interests
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/28/07 08:12 PM

The work of Abraham Maslow and what he called, "Peak Experiences". Here is some information:

Quote:
The psychologist Abraham Maslow, who was a pioneer in studying the positive aspects of human psychology, defined them. He wrote, "These moments were of pure, positive happiness, when all doubts, all fears, all inhibitions, all tensions, all weaknesses were left behind. Now self-consciousness was lost. All separateness and distance from the world disappeared..." These experiences are rare, but can come at any unpredictable time and completely transform life. People have adopted whole new belief systems from one single taste beyond the veil of the senses. These experiences have a curative power.

This kind of perfect harmony in brain wave patterns is also found in small infants when they are nursing, in pets when they are being petted and in adults when they are experiencing expansion of consciousness. What is being measured is a mind that is still, a mind that is in the present moment, not caught by regret for the past or worry for the future.

A mind that is working like this is creating a healthy body. Your body is already spewing out millions of chemical reactions every second. When your mind is tense, anxious, nervous, your body responds by producing tense, anxious, nervous molecules like adrenaline and noradrenaline. When your mind is calm and peaceful, your body produces calm and peaceful molecules like Valium. Your body is already producing chemicals similar to any that your friendly neighborhood pharmacist will give you, but without the side effects. When your body produces Valium, it makes you feel tranquil but without also making you feel like a zombie. When your body produces anti-cancer drugs or anti-bacteria drugs, these drugs have no side effects.

The body does this absolutely naturally, in the right amount at the right time, ideally suited for the correct target organ, and all the instructions are included in the packaging. Your body does this completely spontaneously for you when it is not stressed.

How do we unstress the body? How do we keep new stresses from accumulating? How do we learn to maintain inner peace and tranquility in the face of the hectic pace of the modern world? How do we learn to stop undermining ourselves with destructive internal programs? How do we learn to expand our minds to our full potential?

This is the introduction to Meditation techniques such as Transcendental Meditiation and Ascension. Yoga is meditation or the joining of the body and mind in a neutral space such as the absolute. Yoga asanas are physical postures but without the ability to take the mind inward naturally if there is any effort at all in maintaining the physical position.

There has been research of the brain wave activity to determine the affects of meditation . Hooking electroencephalographic leads onto the brain, onto the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the left and right hemispheres, when one is awake in normal activity the brainwaves are chaotic and random.
In contrast to this, during certain types of meditation such as TM or Ascension, the entire surface of the cortex becomes completely coherent.

The body and mind settles into a deep state of rest, the body heals itself by throwing off toxins and accumulated physical stress as it does in sleep but does not take 6 hours to reach a state to begin the process. As one continues to make a practice of meditation the state of coherence becomes the natural state of mind rather than that of the random brain wave patterns before meditation.

IMO, Maslow, because of his interest in the nature of the human spirit at its best, was more of a pneumatologist than a psychologist.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/28/07 11:42 PM

Rev, do you feel that these moments are evidence of god, or do you see it as part of the oneness of god in everything? Or are they both the same?

Incidently I feel that the nursing baby example is a two way thing. There is powerful pure happines in nuturing a contented baby.

I do agree that these states can be reached, and I like the inclusion of pet animals. If I ever rule the world I will ensure that every child has a pet to care for! Such moments of happiness need not be rare if we use contentment as our benchmark, and not aspiration.

However I am always wary of any proposition that states we can think ourselves healthy. We can think ourselves happy, content, even euphoric, but for some of us life can be a struggle and it is wrong of us who are not so affected to think that even positive thinking can cure disease or defects. The person invoved can be optimistic, happy etc. but they will still have the disease or defect, thinking does not make it go away. It has to be dealt with in the knowledge that improvement may not happen and in fact deterioration may be the only future.

One of my personal pet hates (and I do not often use the word hate) is the saying-- "a heathy mind means a healthy body." Tell that to a child born with spina bifida or muscular dystrophy, and it is only a short step to--" it is your fault you are not healthy because you must have done something wrong and are being punished (by god)", which is a belief in many cultures.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 10/29/07 08:52 PM

Ellis asks
Quote:
Rev, do you feel that these moments are evidence of god, or do you see it as part of the oneness of god in everything? Or are they both the same?
I see existence in all its moods as evidence for god. Keep in mind that I think of physical and mental existence as being within god, which I think of as spiritual and immeasurable being.
Quote:
One of my personal pet hates (and I do not often use the word hate) is the saying-- "a heathy mind means a healthy body."
I think of it this way: A healthy mind, or spirit, can help us have a healthier body, if that is possible. However, if fully health is not possible--I have a hearing problem--a healthy mind can give us the patience and courage to live with that we have.

BTW, I do believe the time will come when all, regardless of religious faith, will have the opportunity to live as whole beings without the limititations of pain and suffering. I abhor sectarianism.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/03/07 12:13 AM


Rev said: BTW, I do believe the time will come when all, regardless of religious faith, will have the opportunity to live as whole beings without the limititations of pain and suffering.

That is a lovely thought. Though I do not share it, I can see how it would be comforting to believe that, and gain strength from such belief.
Posted by: Ea Nassir

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 11/03/07 06:19 AM


In case you see a house with a door, windows, a kitchen, a w.c., a living room, a store, many other rooms, furniture, electric power, ventilation; and it is painted and decorated; will you say this house has been spontaneously built without any builder or owner?
And in case you go to the court and the judge asks you, will you say to him this house has been spontaneously constructed without any builder or owner?
But man is more complex than that house, and he includes more complex systems and organs created with wisdom, and arranged systematically in perfect harmony; how can anyone deny the Creator?

eanassir
http://universeandquran.741.com
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 11/03/07 06:24 AM

Houses are not reproducing organisms. Perceived complexity is irrelevant. Evolution is known to create order and complexity.
Posted by: Ea Nassir

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 11/03/07 06:41 AM

Reproducing organisms are more to the side of the Wise Creator. Atheists will not respond to any logical and certain proof; here is the plain example.
But they may say whatever they want to say and insist on their atheism and association; they will die and encounter the chastisement there in the next world of souls immediately following their imminent death; and Hell [when they will see it on the Judgment Day] will they then deny?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 11/03/07 06:46 AM

Atheists are presented with "proofs" which are called "strong" and "certain" by people who themselves have very weak logical faculties. Threats from your the imaginary being of your cult are not evidence. Your proofs are non-existent.

Reproducing organisms are not a prior evidence of any kind of creator, wise or otherwise. Like many religionists, you make assertions without justification. This is a science forum. Your cult's handbook is irrelevant except in psychiatric discussions of mass delusion. Certainly it has nothing intelligent to contribute to the subject of origins or, as is painfully obvious to anyone reading your garbage, about comets.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, including, - 11/04/07 12:24 AM

The smallest single cell is more complex than a house for us to create, but it is not evidence of god or any supernatural being, any more than it is proof of the existence of a soul.

Souls and gods exist because people believe in them, without belief they are nothing.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/04/07 05:41 AM

About my belief in a future free from suffering and pain, let me add:I believe that this will only come about with the help of the divine tools such as faith, hope, love--the human power to will good--plus science and evolution.

Ellis, you comment
Quote:
That is a lovely thought...I can see how it would be comforting to believe that, and gain strength from such belief.

If you think it is a "lovely thought..." then I presume you would like it to be so, okay?

If this is true you do not need to add: "Though I do not share it." All you need add is your gift of will power. I like to say, if anything is to be, it is up to me.

You say, "Souls and gods exist because people believe in them, without belief they are nothing." Right on!

Faith, hope and love are powerful GØD-like spiritual tools.
I would feel I had joined the fools if I refused to use such tools: laugh Pardon the doggerel!
Posted by: Socrates2007

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/04/07 12:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Ellis
The smallest single cell is more complex than a house for us to create, but it is not evidence of god or any supernatural being, any more than it is proof of the existence of a soul.


This is because you have been conditioned to believe that the universe can be created and fine tuned to produce incredible complexity and mind out of inanimate matter by UTTER CHANCE.

On the other hand, Anthony Flew, after being a leading atheist for 50 years has decided that current scientific knowledge presents an overwhelming case that what we see could only have arisen as the result of a guiding intelligence.

His very lucid book, 'There is a God' sets out his journey.

In an interview he recently said -

Wiker: You say in 'There is a God', that "it may well be that no one is as surprised as I am that my exploration of the Divine has after all these years turned from denial…to discovery." Everyone else was certainly very surprised as well, perhaps all the more so since on our end, it seemed so sudden. But in There is a God, we find that it was actually a very gradual process—a "two decade migration," as you call it. God was the conclusion of a rather long argument, then. But wasn't there a point in the "argument" where you found yourself suddenly surprised by the realization that "There is a God" after all? So that, in some sense, you really did "hear a Voice that says" in the evidence itself " 'Can you hear me now?'"

Flew: "There were two factors in particular that were decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe. The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a "lucky chance." If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion."


So much for the atheist argument that science leads to atheistic materialism. It is only Dawkins, Dennett, Harris & Hitchens who are so dogmatic and fundamental in their seething anger that they cannot see where the evidence is truly leading.

The great deception of the Twentieth Century was that we can get mind from mud. The Twenty-First Century will show how much of a fantasy the idea is.


THE GAME IS OVER FOR ATHEISTS AND WE ARE SEEING THE DECLINE OF ATHEISM AS AN INTELLECTUALLY COHERENT EXPLANATION OF LIFE.

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/04/07 12:39 PM

I'm guessing you are unaware that Flew recanted his recantation and admitted that he based his initial switch on erroneous views he had read.

OTOH, I didn't realize that it was an atheist argument that science leads to atheistic materialism, at least not necessarily. That is irrelevant to abiogenesis and evolution. The Bible itself says that mind comes from mud - mixed with a little pixie dust. Science is just making the pixie dust unnecessary.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/04/07 10:23 PM

Socrates---Science does not lead to atheism. Independent thinking does.



Rev, you commented---If you think it is a "lovely thought..." then I presume you would like it to be so, okay?

But for it to be so I would have to believe in the after life, and I most unambiguously do not.
Posted by: Socrates2007

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/04/07 11:07 PM

Your comments answered here:

http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=24152#Post24152

and:

TFF, Leading scientists claim exactly that science and evolution in particular disposes of God - Dawkins goes further. A recent conference with Dawkins, Harris etc. stated that it was sciences job to destroy religion.

We can all use terms like pixie dust to ridicule an argument...most modern Christians have a more sophisticated view of things...you misrepresent.

Ellis, How So? Is Flew not an independent thinker?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/05/07 12:51 AM

1. What things have I misrepresented?

2. I'd like to see what the exact quote is from Dawkins, Harris. Regardless, it doesn't mean I agree with them - or that they speak for all atheists, or all scientists.

3. Flew may or may not be an independent thinker. That doesn't make him right.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/05/07 01:26 AM

OK Socrates, lets all concede for now "that current scientific knowledge presents an overwhelming case that what we see could only have arisen as the result of a guiding intelligence."

How has this guiding intelligence operated? What can the idea tell us about the Old Testament, the Qran, the Torah, Buddhist beliefs, animism, or any other religious belief? Surely their varying interpretations of the "guiding intelligence" are incompatible with each other, and with the evidence.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/05/07 03:34 AM

Socrates asked--Is Flew not an independent thinker?

I have to admit to not being familiar with Flew's work however I can, and I will, generalise on this point of view as it is not unique to Mr Flew! I feel that maybe Flew (and others of his ilk) may present as independent thinkers, but to me they appear to be more like dependent believers.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/07/07 07:10 AM

More than once I have asked atheists: If you are an atheist--which philosophy I respect--define for me the kind of God you think theists have in mind.

While you are at it, define the kind of GØD you think I have in mind, the kind I affirm.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/07/07 03:28 PM

1. Atheism is not a philosophy, per se. It is a component of philosophy. It can be a derivative of a philosophy or it can be a (partial) basis for a philosophy. It can be an ancillary or ad hoc portion of a philosophy, but it isn't a philosophy unto itself.

2. Atheists may or may not mean the same thing by the term 'atheism' that you do when you use the term.

3. I have always acknowledged that there are multiple definitions of 'god'; however, those definitions are can be categorized or grouped. I have expressed my opinion on a number of different views here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgtoaVACidw

Of course, most people who have religious beliefs resist having their beliefs categorized, because their views are obviously correct and more sophisticated than the others in the category.

"See, those OTHER guys, they argue over whether god wears a BLUE shirt or a RED shirt, but we sophisticates realize that god doesn't even WEAR a shirt!"
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/07/07 05:58 PM

TFF, there is something wrong with my 'puter, all voices sound like chipmunks laugh. Maybe God does not want me to hear your words laugh.

However, I presume you are an atheist. Could you give me a summary of what you said?

You say. "Of course, most people who have religious beliefs resist having their beliefs categorized, because their views are obviously correct and more sophisticated than the others in the category."

As a unitheist, I am prepared to accept atheism anytime anyone can convince me that I do not exist within existence, which is, IMO, a self-evident and eternal process within the infinity of space and time we call now.

As an individual, I consciously choose to believe--with only self-evident proof--that there is, if we choose it, more and more life and consciousness. I believe that it will be filled with meaning, purpose and an infinite variety of things to do.

IMO, atheists, without any proof, seem to believe that, purely by accident, we individuals came from nothing and will, on death will go back to it. IMO, such a belief requires a ton of faith.

If atheists are right, no one will ever know. We will all RIP. Not a bad deal, really. But, as one who does not want to RIP, I prefer to WWW (work, with a will) and with the knowledge and power to be truly loving.

However, if theists/unitheists/panentheists etc., are right, think of the fun we will have with our atheist friends: "TFF, are you having fun, yet? Or do you find that angelic a bit choir boring?" laugh

BTW, I am not fond of choirs going on and on, either. I hope Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, etc., will be on hand. I love Strauss waltzes, Newfie, Irish and country music, the Beetles, the 40's...lots of variety.

Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/07/07 08:53 PM

God is the sum of all goldfish. Everyone acknowledges that goldfish exist. Therefore god exists.

Here's something that may be unfathomable to you: I do not care whether you accept atheism. However, I do care when people misrepresent science or conflate scientific ideas with the counterfeits from philosophy/religion.

I've heard of "self-evidence proof," of God, but I've never actually seen any, except insofar as God as defined as something intended to confuse.

Atheists do not claim that individuals came from nothing. While caricatures of atheism may require faith, the actual article does not.

You actually believe that your "philosophy" enables you to be truly loving, the implication being that atheists are incapable of same. Too bad it doesn't enable humility.

If Ralph the cabbage god exists, we'll all have great fun as well. Unlimited beer and pretzels, all women have IQ's of 180 and perfectly sized and toned mammalian protruberances. Guys have IQs of 150 and enormous reproductive appendages. Of course that has no relevance to science. But then again ...



Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/07/07 11:10 PM

She's actually Raelene the cabbage god-- but you got the IQ distribution right!


FF said: Here's something that may be unfathomable to you: I do not care whether you accept atheism. However, I do care when people misrepresent science or conflate scientific ideas with the counterfeits from philosophy/religion.

So true!!

And I would add that I have no desire to convert people to my way of thinking. I do not believe in the supernatural in any manifestation, others do. That's OK with me. Why is it not so with them? What is it about my lack of belief that so upsets, and sometimes enrages, people? Even to the extent of questioning my ability to love?
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/08/07 02:52 AM

*Random Rant by Tim*

Has it ever occured to you that perhaps there is not The Way, or a single truth or law that would be true for everything. Even time is relevant. It may be true that scientists are searching for a theory for everything, but how could they do that?!

The idea of Freud was of the id, ego, and supergo. One (I think the Id) is the culture's perspective of things, aka what is morally acceptable or the general outline of a society. Another (I think the ego) was what you personally thought about something. And the blending of these represented our superego (unless I've switched the terms, I always forget which) which is what we decide to do based on those two, sometimes conflicting, choices.

In other words, what is true for someone, might not be true for another.

My philosophy on life, and religion, and science, is undoubtedly different from yours. That is because I am not the same person, living half a globe away, in a different generation, or in a different socio-economic class. Some natives in Africa who have never heard of Jesus act different than the Christianized (yet oftentimes secular) Western world.

So I have different opinons than you. And that's okay. The fact that some of you will disagree with my logic proves that we have different opinions.

*End rant, I have to do my "The Great Gatsby" project and I've procrastinated enough*
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/08/07 03:14 AM

Fallible. I agree with comments on your youtube video. However, as a musician and music teacher I'm aware that you should never apologise for your performance in advance. And what's this about not believing in Thor?

Rev. How come a belief in any sort of God immediately confers a life after death for the believer? Have you any evidence for any connection?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/08/07 04:15 AM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
God is the sum of all goldfish. Everyone acknowledges that goldfish exist. Therefore god exists.

So, now we know what atheists believe.
Quote:
Here's something that may be unfathomable to you: I do not care whether you accept atheism.
We also know that they do not care.
But then, they do care
Quote:
However, I do care when people misrepresent science or conflate scientific ideas with the counterfeits from philosophy/religion.

Confusing, eh?
as you demonstrate by saying
Quote:
I've heard of "self-evidence proof," of God, but I've never actually seen any, except insofar as God as defined as something intended to confuse.

Quote:
Atheists do not claim that individuals came from nothing.
Okay. Then where did we come from?
Quote:
While caricatures of atheism may require faith, the actual article does not.
Okay, now prove that existence does not exist.
Quote:
You actually believe that your "philosophy" enables you to be truly loving, the implication being that atheists are incapable of same. Too bad it doesn't enable humility.
You admit to being loving, good on you! I will admit that I need to be more humble.

BTW, when you write:
Quote:
If Ralph the cabbage god exists, we'll all have great fun as well. Unlimited beer and pretzels, all women have IQ's of 180 and perfectly sized and toned mammalian protruberances. Guys have IQs of 150 and enormous reproductive appendages. Of course that has no relevance to science. But then again ...
Are you Taliban-like? You do seem to have a sense of humour.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/08/07 04:24 AM

Quote:
The idea of Freud was of the id, ego, and supergo....I always forget which) which is what we decide to do based on those two, sometimes conflicting, choices.
Tim comments.

Tim: Here is the scoop on Freud, who, BTW. was an atheist. As such he no concept of sin, as such:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego

I ALSO LIKE THE FOLLOWING SUMMARY
=================================
There was a little kind who had a little id,
Right in the middle of her ego.
When she was good, 'twas because she was understood;
but when she was bad, 'twas her libido. laugh

According to Freud, we are not personally responsible for the evil we do. It is not our fault, it is the result of our heredity and environment--our parents and our conditioning are the problem.

In my humble opinion, Freud was very wrong.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/08/07 04:54 AM

Quote:
Rev. How come a belief in any sort of God immediately confers a life after death for the believer? Have you any evidence for any connection?
TerryNZ asks.
Without any proof whatever I offer the following opinion--and it is just that, an opinion: Everyone will survive death, including atheists and agnostics. Those who helped make life hell here will inherit hell there. We will reap what we sow. Similar to Buddhists, I do believe we get the opportunity to reincarnate and have another go at living better lives.

I AM NOT A TYPICAL THEIST WHO BELIEVES IN BEING JUDGEMENTAL
===========================================================
I call myself a unitheist (panentheist). That is, right now, with the help of GØD (in and through us all)--not a personal god, or God--I am doing my best to make a heaven on earth.
I invite sincere moral, ethical and loving atheists and agnostics to do the same, if they wish. Do you?
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/08/07 04:24 PM

Ref, I like your little poem. It's cute. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/09/07 04:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

So, now we know what atheists believe.

I know what some atheists believe, but not all. I doubt you know much of what any atheists actually believe. The logic I employed was identical to that you employ - and no more sensical.

I wasn't speaking for atheists. I was speaking for myself. I care about some things and not about others.

The question of where individuals come from is ambiguous. "I don't know" is a far superior answer to just making stuff up.

I've never met any atheists who denied being loving, or who claimed they themselves were particularly loving or unloving.

I do not know what heaven is and I'm not sure its something desirable to bring about here on Earth. I live my life to be a better person, a better father, a better citizen. As when I go to the park, I hope to leave it a little cleaner than when I came, so too I hope to leave the Earth a little better than I found it. I have no grand wish. Just a simple one.


Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/09/07 09:44 PM

"... I hope to leave the Earth a little better than I found it. ..."

My sentiments exactly. I could not have said it better. Thanks for sharing that. Now I know I'm not the only one who thinks that way.
Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 01:19 AM

TFF, you write,
Quote:
I've never met any atheists who denied being loving, or who claimed they themselves were particularly loving or unloving.
IMO, atheists, agnostics, theists, Christians , Jews, etc., whoever, will be judged by how they live day by day, not by what they claim, verbally. Deeds, not creeds, are what is important to me How about you?
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 03:50 AM

Turner wrote;
IMO, atheists, agnostics, theists, Christians , Jews, etc., whoever, will be judged by how they live day by day, not by what they claim, verbally. Deeds, not creeds, are what is important to me How about you?

Sounds inocuous enough--- but what is this 'judging' and who is doing it?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 06:32 PM

I happen to know Turner. We share a similar philosophy of life. When I am at his place I use his 'puter.

ABOUT THE CONCEPT, JUDGEMENT
============================
Judge, is from the Latin jus, law + dicere, say. We all accept that there are laws of science. We cannot break the law of gravity without suffering the consequences. It is said that it is impossible for us to break the law of gravity without it breaking us.

I also happen to believe that there are mental and spiritual laws. Just laws are good for us; they are not about being judgemental. Just as I want to know the laws of science so that I will live better physically, I want to know the mental and spiritual laws so that I will live better mentally and spiritually.

We know we are breaking the laws of science when we have physical disease, suffering and pain. We know we are breaking the moral laws when there is no peace of mind and joy of spirit--probably caused when we fail to love ourselves and to show love, mercy and justice to others--KEEPING THE GOLDEN LAW--including our enemies.
BTW, I believe that the GL, or rule, is found in all the great religions and philosophies.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 07:45 PM

Rev wrote:

"I believe that the GL, or rule, is found in all the great religions and philosophies".

And science. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But your comments don't answer Ellis' question.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 11:00 PM

Yeah, Rev, your comments don't really accomplish anything nor do they answer the question, sorry if that sounds harsh laugh

Yeah, how would we get judged, and by whom?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 11:01 PM

"We know we are breaking the laws of science when we have physical disease, suffering and pain. "

Rev, if the laws of science can be broken, they are not laws.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 11:07 PM

TerryNZ, you mean: "...but what is this 'judging' and who is doing it?"

If this is not a rhetorical question, my answer is: There is no "who". IMO, we reap in the future what we sew in the present. The spiritual law of karma makes a lot of sense, to me.

BTW, there is also what I call "the brass knuckles" rule: Do others, before they do you!

I do not recommend it as a good rule to follow, as it builds up a load of bad karma.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 11:17 PM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
...
Rev, if the laws of science can be broken, they are not laws.
Are you sure? Please give us an example of what you mean.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/10/07 11:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim
Yeah, Rev, your comments don't really accomplish anything nor do they answer the question, sorry if that sounds harsh laugh
I respect all comments--even critical ones--especially when I learn something from them. Thanks for your comments and your question.

Tim, you ask
Quote:
Yeah, how would we get judged, and by whom?
Tim, let us dialogue, not just debate, about this. I understand that you are a Christian. What are your thoughts about the nature of judgement?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/11/07 01:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
...
Rev, if the laws of science can be broken, they are not laws.
Are you sure? Please give us an example of what you mean.


If the 2nd law of thermodynamics were actually violated, it would no longer be a law of science. Can you give an example of a law of science that was violated and remained a law?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/11/07 05:36 AM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
[quote=Revlgking][quote=TheFallibleFiend]...
...If the 2nd law of thermodynamics were actually violated, it would no longer be a law of science. Can you give an example of a law of science that was violated and remained a law?

Obviously we are not communicating, which is so important.

If I jump off a 100 foot building--no matter how much I pray and hope--I will not float to the ground. I am subject to the law of gravity. It will break me, if I break it. Knowing the law of gravity and paying attention to it keeps me safe.

Are we communicating, yet?

BTW, I believe the same is true for moral laws. If I kill someone, I believe that I will pay for it, in one way or another, even if I am not caught by "the law", so called, of the land. Not all laws of the land are truly moral ones, IMO. Twisting the law and getting criminals "free" and some innocent convicted is what gives many lawyers bad reputations.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/11/07 07:05 AM

Rev wrote: We know we are breaking the laws of science when we have physical disease, suffering and pain.

Do we? Maybe the laws of science allow microbes, genes and other disease vectors the same discretion as they allow we humans. I find it repugnant to suggest that those unfortunate enough to suffer from disease should be regarded as law breakers of science law. There is no sense in that notion at all.

And I still ask the question 'Who is the judge?' There is talk of judgement--who is judging? What is the text? If the laws of science are the foundation laws, who is to be on the Defence team barracking for the microbes?---which by any natural law have a set of laws which grant them the right to exist too.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/11/07 05:14 PM

Rev says, "Tim, let us dialogue, not just debate, about this. I understand that you are a Christian. What are your thoughts about the nature of judgement?"

Just for clarification, I would say that religiously, I do not know what I am. I am very tolerant. I beleive somewhat in relativism. I beleive people should do what is best, and that is based on two major principles: what they think and what people around them thinks. If there is a God, he would not have one specific thing that he would require every person to fulfill. A woman living in Africa is different than a Generation Me teen in southern California.

Even the concept of judgment seems to contradict itself. Or at least in our courts it does. We tell people not to judge others yet the Christian viewpoint is oftentimes, "Your'e bad because you drink," or something.

My philosophy is: MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. That is something universal. Romans living two-thousand years ago could have helped fulfill this, Chinese traders during the medeival period could have done this, the French could have done this. And they did. And they still are. And it needs to still be done.

I do not have an answer for who this 'judge' is.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/11/07 11:32 PM

"It will break me, if I break it."
Regarding the "law of gravity." You have not broken the law of gravity. Nor has anyone else. If you or anyone else had "broken it," then it would not be a law in the scientific sense.

Now there may be laws against committing suicide by jumping of buildings (or other means). If you break those laws, you will probably be broken. But what you have broken are the laws of man, not the laws of Nature, which she, as a friend of mine once said, zealously guards.

I think there may be a very rough analogy at play here, but one should not confuse rough analogy. In no sense are moral "laws" like scientific "laws" and in no sense are they objective, verifiable or falsifiable (except, possibly, in regard to some specific goal).
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 04:23 AM

UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING OF THE CONCEPT OF LAW
As I have discovered, even after just a brief study of the nature and function of law, it is not all that easy a topic to understand and I make now claim that all is clear to me. Check out:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/laws-of-nature/
http://www.iep.utm.edu/l/lawofnat.htm
From which I offer this short quote
Quote:
The term "natural law" is ambiguous. It refers to a type of moral theory, as well as to a type of legal theory, but the core claims of the two kinds of theory are logically independent. It does not refer to the laws of nature, the laws that science aims to describe.

According to natural law ethical theory, the moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings. According to natural law legal theory, the authority of at least some legal standards necessarily derives, at least in part, from considerations having to do with the moral merit of those standards.

There are a number of different kinds of natural law theories of law, differing from each other with respect to the role that morality plays in determining the authority of legal norms.


Some philosophers even argue that there is a differnce between the "laws of nature" and the "laws of science".
http://www.iep.utm.edu/l/lawofnat.htm#H1
I offer the following quote
Quote:
1. LAWS OF NATURE vs. LAWS OF SCIENCE

In 1959, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Michael Scriven read a paper that implicitly distinguished between Laws of Nature and Laws of Science. Laws of Science (what he at that time called "physical laws") – with few exceptions – are inaccurate, are at best approximations of the truth, and are of limited range of application. The theme has since been picked up and advanced by Nancy Cartwright.

If scientific laws are inaccurate, then – presumably – there must be some other laws (statements, propositions, principles), doubtless more complex, which are accurate, which are not approximation to the truth but are literally true.


SOME EXPERTS EVEN SUGGEST THE LAWS OF NATURE ARE CHANGING WITH TIME. Check out:
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/17200
Even certain fundamental constants are changing:
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/17200/1/pwweb1_04-03
===============================================
The only point I am trying to make is that the laws of life, known or unknown, consciously, or unconsciously, kept or broken bring consequences--for good or ill. Some judgements are for good.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 05:22 AM


From the section you quoted:
"It (natural law) does not refer to the laws of nature, the laws that science aims to describe. "
When moralists use the term "natural law" they are not (or should not) conflate what they are saying with science.


All "laws of science" are inaccurate and doomed to be at least potentially subsumed by some grander law.

From your 1st physicsworld link:
"WHAT do we mean by "the laws of nature"? The phrase evokes a set of divine and unchanging rules that transcend the "here and now" to apply everywhere and at all times in the universe. The reality is not so grand. When we refer to the laws of nature, what we are really talking about is a particular set of ideas that are striking in their simplicity, that appear to be universal and have been verified by experiment. It is thus human beings who declare that a scientific theory is a law of nature and human beings are quite often wrong."

Nevertheless, if a law is actually broken, it is no longer a law.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 05:23 AM

I agree that actions have consequences.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 05:33 AM

TFF comments
Quote:
Nevertheless, if a law is actually broken, it is no longer a law.


So all you and I have to do to get rid of the laws against against killing and stealing is to go out and break the laws against them?

Does TFF's statement make sense to anyone? I don't think I will put this to any kind of test, soon. laugh
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 08:24 AM

Rev asked:

"So all you and I have to do to get rid of the laws against against killing and stealing is to go out and break the laws against them?"

Rev, you are still confusing human laws with scientific laws. Scientific laws are, by definition, absolute and it's impossible to break them no matter how hard we try. If it appears on some occasion someone has broken a scientific law it means the law is incorrect and we have made a mistake. It's not a law. There is no scientific law against killing and stealing. In fact some cultures encourage both these activities.

Tom wrote:

"My philosophy is: MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE." I'm pleased to hear that. I seem to remember when you joined SAGG you were a bit of a Bible basher. I also note with pleasure your realisation that "And they did. And they still are. And it needs to still be done." An understanding that our history is and accumulation of ideas is important. I hope there are many more young people like you. But I'm sure there are. And I'm sure you are enlightening your friends.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 01:38 PM

TFF, I don't plan to break the law of gravity either. In my dictionary "breaking" a law means going against it.

If, as you say, the laws of science are absolute then I presume you think the following is wrong:
Quote:
In 1959, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Michael Scriven read a paper that implicitly distinguished between Laws of Nature and Laws of Science. Laws of Science (what he at that time called "physical laws") – with few exceptions – are inaccurate, are at best approximations of the truth, and are of limited range of application. The theme has since been picked up and advanced by Nancy Cartwright.

I read somewhere that even the "absolutely" constant meter, kept in Paris is not absolutely constant. Perhaps we need to be humble enough to keep in mind there is only one absolute, GØD.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
TFF comments
Originally Posted By: Fiend
Nevertheless, if a law is actually broken, it is no longer a law.


So all you and I have to do to get rid of the laws against against killing and stealing is to go out and break the laws against them?


No. I'm not sure whether you actually do not understand or are just yanking my chain. Actual Laws of Nature (not to be confused with "Natural Law" of moral philosophy) cannot be violated. If they are violated, then they ought never to have been laws to begin with. Laws of Man can, and often ARE, broken. The laws remain - usually - but they are capable of being violated. They are not fundamental constraints of the cosmos.

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

Does TFF's statement make sense to anyone? I don't think I will put this to any kind of test, soon. laugh


I'm going to guess that most people on here clearly understand my intent, even if they disagree with it. If I seriously thought otherwise, I'd need to find a different hangout.

I do not advocate violating any human laws, but the fact remains that they CAN be broken, while physical laws cannot, even by those who would choose to do so. We are all prisoners to the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, to Newton's laws of motion, to relativity and QM.


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 01:58 PM

GØD, I find the following very interesting:
"Conservative estimates indicate that there are 18 basic physical laws in the universe":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laws_in_science

Even then, in quantum physics there is talk of the "law of uncertainty"
Quote:
Quantum Mechanics

* Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - Uncertainty in position multiplied by uncertainty in momentum is equal to or greater than Dirac's constant divided by 2.

\Delta x \Delta p \ge \frac{\hbar}{2}



Tim, BTW, I hope that if there is, for certain, a person called "God" that He has a sense of humour, eh? smile

In my humble opinion, GØD is in and through our sense of humour.
My humble guess is that that the uncertainty principle (law) is there--right at the heart of philosophy, art and science--to keep arrogant scientists, including psychologists and pneumatologists, humble--that is, loving, flexible, open, respectful with even those with whom we may disagree.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
GØD, I find the following very interesting:
"Conservative estimates indicate that there are 18 basic physical laws in the universe":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laws_in_science

That is a good link. Note that Kepler's laws, even though they were discovered before Newton's, are derivative of same. Newton's laws broadened and explained Kepler's laws.

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

Even then, in quantum physics there is talk of the "law of uncertainty"
Quote:
Quantum Mechanics

* Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - Uncertainty in position multiplied by uncertainty in momentum is equal to or greater than Dirac's constant divided by 2.

\Delta x \Delta p \ge \frac{\hbar}{2}



I'm quite familiar with HUP. There are two ways of viewing this: as a fundamental limit on what we can know AND as an expression of intrinsic indeterminism in the universe (i.e. the Copenhagen Interpretation). I don't follow how this is relevant to our discussion, but there's some interesting stuff you should know.

Scientists once believed that if we could know the fundamental principles of the universe and it's state at any given time, called t0, then we could compute the next states. A number of developments crushed this idea:
1) Relativity destroyed the IMPLICIT assumption of simultaneity and a Euclidean universe.
2) QM showed that we could NEVER describe a state of even a single particle with high precision, because measuring the momentum would screw up the position calculation (and vice versa).
3) Gödel's incompleteness theorem proved that even if we could know the know the initial states, there are in any mathematical (logical) system at least powerful enough to represent basic arithmetic, there are true statements that cannot be proven to be true!
4) Cantor proved that there are infinities larger than the set of integers. Infinities bigger than, well ... infinity? Yes!
5) Experimental psychology (as separate from the rest of psychology, the vast amount of which is pretend science) has shown that experimenters bring biases into an experiment - and sometimes we need "double blind" experiments.

In the last 200 years, science has undergone a staggering amount of introspection, self-awareness, self-criticism, revision, and rejuvenation - unlike the stagnant, authoritative and yet puerile ramblings of the pseudosciences and philosophers, science has progressed, even though much of the progress is understanding its own limitations.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 05:30 PM

TFF comments
Quote:
...science has undergone a staggering amount of introspection, self-awareness---science has progressed, even though much of the progress is understanding its own limitation.
Thank GØD!

BTW, as a pneumatologist--a student of self-awareness, of the nature and function of the human spirit, and of the GØD-concept--I have no fear of hard-nosed research into such concepts.
You mention
Quote:
...stagnant, authoritative and yet puerile ramblings of the pseudosciences and philosophers...

Is it not possible that many such scientists and philosophers have PhD's and responsible positions in the research field?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 05:49 PM

"Is it not possible that many such scientists and philosophers have PhD's and responsible positions in the research field?"

Many pseudoscientists have PhDs and some have responsible positions in "research." I'm not impressed by a PhD alone and being in a responsible position means you know the right person, not that you're a good researcher. The more important questions are 1) what is the quality of the persons thinking, 2) what contributions has the person made to the field, 3) is the person identifying good questions, 4) does the person's work reflect a clear understanding of the subject area, 5) has the person produced something that others can build on? "Scientists" don't get a bye just because they're "scientists."

One of the hallmarks of the pseudoscientists is that they point to such and such a doctor somebody with 3 PhDs - so he just MUST be right. Curiously, they unfailingly miss the fact that their hero's 3 PhDs haven't resulted in his generating any actual results.

As for philosophers, I'm sure there are a great many intelligent and clear-thinking individuals among them, and I suspect those brilliant souls have the darnedest time trying to get their opinions noticed in a din of vociferous stupidity.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 06:31 PM

TFF, now you are talking what I call "pneumatologically"--that is, from the human Spirit (pneuma) from the heart of truth.
You mentioned "stupidity". The difference between stupidity and ignorance is: the latter is curable. laugh


BTW, it would be interesting to know how many great scientific minds of the past were not actually formally educated in science.
JUST A FEW EXAMPLES
Copernicus was a monk.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernicus

William Herschel, the great astronomer, was a musician
Quote:
Discovery of Uranus
Herschel's music led him to an interest in mathematics, and hence to astronomy. This interest grew stronger after 1773, and he built some telescopes and made the acquaintance of Nevil Maskelyne. He observed the Moon, measuring the heights of lunar mountains, and also worked on a catalog of double stars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Herschel


Charles Darwin's education? He had a BA in theology from Cambridge.
Quote:
In 1827, his father, unhappy at his younger son's lack of progress, shrewdly enrolled him in a Bachelor of Arts course at Christ's College, Cambridge to qualify as a clergyman, expecting him to get a good income as an Anglican parson.[15] However, Darwin preferred riding and shooting to studying.[16] Along with his cousin William Darwin Fox, he became engrossed in the craze at the time for the competitive collecting of beetles... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin#Early_life

Thomas Edison had little formal education
Quote:
In school, the young Edison's mind often wandered, and his teacher the Reverend Engle was overheard calling him "addled." This ended Edison's three months of official schooling. He recalled later, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint." His mother then home schooled him.[2] Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison

And so it goes.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 08:17 PM

There is a huge difference between schooling and education. The conflation of these two related, but very different things is perhaps one of the greatest impediments to improvement in the US education system.

I'd trade a dozen PhDs for one Darwin any day.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 09:46 PM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
There is a huge difference between schooling and education. The conflation of these two related, but very different things is perhaps one of the greatest impediments to improvement in the US education system.

I'd trade a dozen PhDs for one Darwin any day.
Tell us more: What are some of the differences between schooling--I presume you mean the spoon-feeding approach--and education.

What's your beef with Darwin?

What do you feel about my opinion: Education (literally means 'to draw out) happens when a creative teacher draws out the creative spirit already in the student. That is, when the teachers succeeds in inspiring the student to love the art of learning.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 10:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
There is a huge difference between schooling and education. The conflation of these two related, but very different things is perhaps one of the greatest impediments to improvement in the US education system.

I'd trade a dozen PhDs for one Darwin any day.
Tell us more: What are some of the differences between schooling--I presume you mean the spoon-feeding approach--and education.


Schooling is what gets done to you; education is what you do for yourself. Schooling happens "in a school" or "in a room" or in some other place "out there," while education has always occurred in only one place - a student's yearning mind. S and E are interfering functions. Sometimes their interference is constructive and at other times it is destructive; they can even cancel each other out! Schooling ends when school is not in session, but education never has to end. One major purpose of schooling should be to help students understand what education is and appreciate their own responsibilities in regard to its development.

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

What's your beef with Darwin?

No beef. Were it not for my fear of being accused of hyperbole, I should have made him the equal to several hundred or a thousand biologists.

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

What do you feel about my opinion: Education (literally means 'to draw out) happens when a creative teacher draws out the creative spirit already in the student. That is, when the teachers succeeds in inspiring the student to love the art of learning.

I think it's in line with what I have said. It's only part of it, but probably the most important part. Students need to get motivated to take responsibility for their own education - of course they will not do this if they can see no value in it.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 11:17 PM

In my post, above, I asked you: What's your beef with Darwin?

Now you respond: "No beef. Were it not for my fear of being accused of hyperbole, I should have made him the equal to several hundred or a thousand biologists."
=================================

The above illustrates an important point about the value of really communicating, pneumatologically: I came to the wrong conclusion. I thought that you were knocking Darwin. Now I understand that you were actually extolling him. I am glad I put my response in the form of a question.
====================================
Now you comment, "... Students need to get motivated to take responsibility for their own education - of course they will not do this if they can see no value in it."

I agree. This is what I call the pneumatological, or the personal-responsibility approach.

It seems to me that controlling, schooling and training have more to do with psychological and/or somatological factors, not pneumatological ones. Even animals deserve better.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 11:28 PM

FF said this:
Schooling is what gets done to you; education is what you do for yourself. Schooling happens "in a school" or "in a room" or in some other place "out there," while education has always occurred in only one place - a student's yearning mind. S and E are interfering functions. Sometimes their interference is constructive and at other times it is destructive; they can even cancel each other out! Schooling ends when school is not in session, but education never has to end. One major purpose of schooling should be to help students understand what education is and appreciate their own responsibilities in regard to its development.

Well said FF.

There is also the point that I remember hearing when I was very young and trying to be a teacher!!-- Just because you have taught something it does not mean that anyone has learned anything! Very true indeed!
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/12/07 11:32 PM

Rev- you still do not answer my observation that twice now you have referred to disease as the result of something breaking the law of science. Do you believe in a judgment or arbitration of use these laws--with god as judge or not?
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/13/07 12:35 AM

Revlgking,
I think TFF was referring to laws of nature being broken. If a law of Nature is broken, it is no longer a law.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/13/07 03:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Amaranth Rose II
Revlgking,
I think TFF was referring to laws of nature being broken.If a law of Nature is broken, it is no longer a law.
Thanks AR, I welcome your presence as a moderator--that is, as an arbitrator, or a mediator. The role of a moderator, as I understand it is to promote dialogue until there is communication among all concerned.

MORE ON THE ROLE OF MODERATOR
=============================
BTW, AR, keep in mind that the "leader" of the United Church of Canada, in office for a limited period of time, is called 'Moderator'. He/she is not a bishop, cardinal, or a pope--or any kind of an infallible dictator in any way shape or form.

ABROGATING THE LAW IS NOT THE SAME AS BREAKING THE LAW
======================================================
With this is mind, keep in mind that I do not now, nor have I ever advocated that is it okay, without just cause, to call for the abrogation of any established law--physical, mental or spiritual.

At this point, all I say is this: If we choose to go against, that is, to ignore, any established law we have to be prepared, until it is abrogated, to accept that there are consequences.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/13/07 03:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rev-you still do not answer my observation that twice now you have referred to disease as the result of something breaking the law of science. Do you believe in a judgment or arbitration of use these laws--with god as judge or not?

Ellis, take note of the response that I gave to Amaranth Rose:

I do not advocate the abrogation of any law, without just and due cause. I agree that water freezes at 0 degrees celsius, or 32 degrees F. I also agree that there are any number of physical, mental and spiritual laws, some yet to be discovered.

Am I making my position clear?

I addition to this, as a unitheist, I do not believe in a god who goes around making arbitrary laws. How about you?
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/13/07 05:29 AM

Rev- I did not suggest that you advocate the breaking of laws. I merely commented on a curious notion that you have stated twice and then not responded to my querying you about. On both occasions you made the statement that disease is the result of breaking a law of science. I remember that in the first instance there was a suggestion of blame for the one with a disease. I reject the notion of disease as a punishment for sin, law breaking, or indeed anything. Disease comes in many ways, none of which are the consequence of breaking laws, science or otherwise, but are the result of encountering a disease vector, usually by chance. It can and does happen to any of us, any time and anywhere. Being 'good' will not assure us we avoid disease!

Since you do not believe in a god who makes arbritary laws do you believe in a god who makes just laws?

(I do not believe in any sort of god at all.)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/13/07 06:00 PM

One can go against or break a law (a principle) knowingly, or out of ignorance. But as I said above: "If we choose to go against, that is, to ignore, any established law, or principle, we have to be prepared...to accept that there are consequences."

For example, modern biochemists "discovered" Vitamin C in the early 1930's.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Glen_King
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#Discovery_of_ascorbic_acid

This discovery only proved what many--including so called shamans--long before this already "knew"--without calling it a vitamin. It is a fact of history that an native shaman help save Cartier's men from scurvy by giving them a drink made out of pine needles.
The principle is: Human beings must ingest foods which contain Vitamin C. Unlike most animals, we cannot make it within the body.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/13/07 08:26 PM

A DIALOGUE ON THE HUMAN PREDICAMENT & THE HOPED-FOR HUMAN DESTINY
=================================================================
A few weeks ago, a http://www.pathwayschurch.ca I had the opportunity to have a DIALOGUE--It was not a debate--with an atheist/humanist. We agreed to the following
RULES OF THE DIALOGUE as we shared ideas:
========================================
1. Maintain our sense of humour througout the whole process
2. Express beliefs/opinions without putdowns, or flaming
3. Make no claim that we have THE Truth
4. No attempt to convert one another
5. Use respected sources--encyclopedias, dictionaries
6. Agree to disagree, agreeably

The following is a summary of what was said:
===========================================
As I understand it, Christians who call themselves progressive thinkers can be found in most Christian denominations. They are the kind of Christians who want to embrace:

1. an affirmative and sighted faith, powered by hope and love, that affirms the sacredness and interconnectedness of all life. The affirm the inherent and equal worth of all persons, and the supremacy of love expressed actively in our lives as compassion and social justice. Progressive Christian thinkers are willing to communicate with others without

2. neglecting the roots of all Christian heritage and traditions. They are not afraid to

3. embrace the freedom and responsibility to examine all Christian traditions, practices and beliefs. They acknowledge that religions are very human organizations. In the light of conscience and contemporary philosophy, the sciences and the arts, they are willing, when it is needed, to be open to reform. In doing so, they are willing to

4. draw from diverse sources of knowledge and wisdom, accepting that all human expressions are fallible and need to be evaluated, constantly. Progressive thinkers look on life as a journey, not a destiny. Therefore, they

5. find more meaning in the search for understanding than in the arrival at certainty. They accept that any answers found probably will inspire more questions. What they hope to do is

6. encourage inclusive, non-discriminatory, non-hierarchical and democratic community building where our common humanity is honoured in a trusting atmosphere of mutual respect and support;

7. promote forms of individual and community celebration, study, meditation and affirmative prayer which use understandable, inclusive, holistic, non-dogmatic, value-based language by which people of religious, skeptical, or secular backgrounds may be nurtured and challenged to grow morally and ethically mature. Finally, using imagination as well as intellect, progressive thinkers are those who are willing to

8. commit to journeying together with honesty, integrity, openness, transparency, respect, intellectual rigor, courage, leading to on-going creativity.
==========
Then Michael Schulman offered his point of view
==============================
MS's central point was, "Humanists have no interest whatsoever, in any philosophy which is NOT based on the hard evidence which the sciences can provide. Furthermore, we believe those who advocate any kind of supernatural god who lives in a supernatural heavenly kingdom aare wrong. However, we can respect those who believe in the supernatural, without having any respect for their beliefs in the supernatural.

"Having said this, we also believe that this does not mean that we are not willing to work with any philosophy, or religion, interested in working together for the greater good of society."

ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH
While we are open to any kind of new evidence, humanists believe that death of the physical body and brain means the death of consciousness. "I as an individual will not survive the death of my body and brain."
==================
Of course, the above is but a summary. For more details:
http://www.pathwayschurch.ca/forum/showthread.php?tid=103
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/16/07 12:05 AM

Rev-- Let's make this question more personal. What law of science has a baby born with an aggressive cancer broken? Or a positive lovely person,with a family, who develops Motor Neurone disease at 40? Or a gentle, brilliant elderly person who is gradually losing their mind to Senile Dementia?


Also I notice in your questions all the lovely positive flowery attributes (esp. no. 8!!!) are with the god believers and the atheists are hard and nasty! And yes I do believe this is 'IT'. No eternal life, heaven or other get-out clause. So I try to make my time meaningful, and I hope I may be remembered fondly by a few people. Death, as I see it, is as natural as life.

PS- Atheists/Humanists CAN do number 8 (as well as most of the others too!!!)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/16/07 07:10 AM

Ellis comments: "PS- Atheists/Humanists CAN do number 8 (as well as most of the others too!!!)" Of course they can, if they choose to be moral, ethical, just, humane and loving.
=============================================
BTW, in my opinion, I do not insist that one must adhere to a formal religion, or creeds. We can each go our own way, as long as this does not mean that it is okay to be immoral, unethical and un-loving. The process, as Jesus taught, has to do with being human, and doing humane things, not with spouting set creeds. Loners, atheists and agnostic welcome. I am a unitheist because I admit that I need a little help, the fellowship of others and some invisible means of support.
IT IS ALL ABOUT DEEDS, NOT CREEDS
=================================
For me believing in GOD involves accepting that there is what I call the "invisible/spiritual/god-like" means of support. Surely those who reject this miss out on a great deal of help. I can't for the life of me figure out, why people would be so hard on themselves. I need all the help I can get. And I willingly accept it.

ABOUT THE MEANING OF THE VERB "TO BREAK"
Ellis. it is obvious that you put a different spin on the meaning the word "break" than I do. I think of it as "going against". I avoid going against the laws of science because I respect that they ARE constant, even if we go against them in our ignorance.

When you ask: "What law of science has a baby born with an aggressive cancer broken?" This is a rhetorical question.

It implies that you know the answer I should give. It is something like asking me: Who do YOU think you ARE? Or, when did you stop beating your wife? As you know, such questions are not even allowed in a court of law.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/16/07 07:14 AM

Where did I write that atheists and agnostics are hard and nasty?
Point it out and I will ask that the moderator remove it and slap my wrists.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/17/07 02:22 AM

"IT IS ALL ABOUT DEEDS, NOT CREEDS."
Nice observation. Yeah, where did Rev write or even imply that atheists/agnostics are less moral/hard and nasty?

We live in a world far surpassing any other historical culture in terms of technology, knowledge, and technology. We live in a post-modern world, as it is called. Dogmatic religion of the Medieval time period is outmoded. Romanticism has lost its spirit. Deism and the Enlightenment have been found to be good starting points, but far from the truth. The Ptolemic system, and the Caprinican system, are false. Early Darwinism had been based on the presumption that we were far less complicated than the 21st century molecular observations show.

What is my point? Well actually, I dont know, I guess I was just ranting.

But the new thing in our culture is relativism, which implies tolerance to others who don't beleive as we do. Now actually this would be a paradox, because if an African tribe has a mythology about some bird-creator, and a series of creations, we know it is false. But we learn something from them. Even though it is not 'right' for us, in our highly technical and PC world.

Okay, I still don't really have a point, but whatever, make this as you will. Im not here to force my opinions onto you, I just have some (developing) world-views.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/17/07 05:42 AM

Tim: Read the first couple of chapters of the letter of James--the brother of Jesus. Certainly James must have had a pretty good idea of the basic message of his brother, Jesus.

James put it bluntly,"Faith without works is nothing". In other words, faith without action is hypocrisy.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/19/07 05:03 PM

Tim about your comment and question:
Quote:
"IT IS ALL ABOUT DEEDS, NOT CREEDS." Nice observation. Yeah, where did Rev write or even imply that atheists/agnostics are less moral/hard and nasty?
Wouldn't it be nice if we had an answer to your question, and mine?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/19/07 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Tim about your comment and question:
Quote:
"IT IS ALL ABOUT DEEDS, NOT CREEDS." Nice observation. Yeah, where did Rev write or even imply that atheists/agnostics are less moral/hard and nasty?
Wouldn't it be nice if we had an answer to your question, and mine?


Perhaps it was an implication of something you said in the past. Earlier you were writing about your particular religion and the awareness of your incarnation of god and then you said:
"As I understand things, it is simply up to me (including us) to come to the consciousness that everything already IS. This means that, if we choose to be moral, ethical and loving persons, we can thus become qualified to become partners in the creative process."

The juxtaposition of these two sentences ties 'morality' to 'consciousness' (of god). The implication is that those who do not attained the level of your glorious consciousness might be unethical and unloving, or at least less ethical and loving.




Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/19/07 08:24 PM

Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend

.... Perhaps it was an implication of something you said in the past. Earlier you were writing about your particular religion and the awareness of your incarnation of god and then you said:

"As I understand things, it is simply up to me (including us) to come to the consciousness that everything already IS. This means that, if we choose to be moral, ethical and loving persons, we can thus become qualified to become partners in the creative process."

The juxtaposition of these two sentences ties 'morality' to 'consciousness' (of god). The implication is that those who do not attain the level of your glorious consciousness might be unethical and unloving, or at least less ethical and loving.
Thanks TFF, for your response. I presume you are a moral, ethical and loving person.

This prompts me to ask: Regardless of your theological beliefs, do you believe that you have a Spirit which will survive the death of your body? If not, wouldn't be nice if you did get this opportunity?

I happen to believe that if there IS life after death, and that no one, or thing, will be excluded. In my opinion it will simply be a continuation of the kind of life we have started here. This is why I do my best--with all the help I can get from anyone, including atheists, visible and invisible--to lay the best possible foundation I can.

IMO, Atheists who build firm moral, ethical and loving foundations now will, IMO, get the same opportunity all will.

My question to atheists is: Do you, as atheists, find it easy to build such foundations all by yourselves as atheists?

What about immoral, unethical and unloving people, including hypocritical religionists?

IMO, I believe they will get will get the same opportunity to build on the hellish foundation they laid here.

REINCARNATION, ANYONE?
However, I do believe that there is such a thing as a second, and third, and even more chances. Yes, I believe that reincarnation is possible. But this is another story.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/19/07 11:46 PM

Rev writes;
IMO, Atheists who build firm moral, ethical and loving foundations now will, IMO, get the same opportunity all will.

I reply;

?????????????????????????????????

You just do not understand what I am trying to explain to you. I am a normal (ish!), happy person. I try hard to be "nice". I obey laws. I adore my family (especially my lovely grandchildren) and I have nice friends. I am possibly overkind to animals and I enjoy being alive. But one day I am going to die. I do not want or need the get-out clause of eternal life, I do not believe it and I don't need the opportunity to enjoy it, so this option is totally meaningless to me. There are many like me. We don't build what you call foundations in order to access eternal life, we build them because we are human, and it's what we humans do. And no, it is not difficult to do. Why would you think it was?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/20/07 06:10 AM

Ellis: Good for you. Carry on, and best wishes.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/28/07 09:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim
"IT IS ALL ABOUT DEEDS, NOT CREEDS."
... I guess I was just ranting.
...Okay, I still don't really have a point, but whatever, make this as you will. Im not here to force my opinions onto you, I just have some (developing) world-views.
Tim, have I missed your latest rant? How are your "world-views" developing?
Did you check out The Letter oF James? If so, did you note what he said about "faith without works" of action?

BTW (by the way), did you notice how many clicks there have been on this thread. Nearly 75,000. WOW! Obviously there is a lot of interest out there about what people write about matters of belief. Now, lurkers, get rid of being shy and get involved, eh?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/29/07 10:55 PM

Tim: In case you missed it:

The reality of GØD--as I understand the concept--for me is as follows:

LET THERE BE LIGHT
In Genesis 1:3 we read: "Let there be light."
In my humble opinion, here we are talking about light, physically, mentally and spiritually. Metaphorically speaking, light, in all its form, helps bring order out of chaos.

GØD is the light (of many colours).
I experience light as a fact.
GØD is sound (many sounds). I feel and enjoy the positive effects of all that beautiful sounds, especially music.
GØD is all philosophy--the love of wisdom and understanding.

IMO, this means that GØD is all science (knowledge, wisdom and truth).
As such. I experience, and enjoy, all of them.
Philosophy and science lead to GØD, as the art of living.
Thus I enjoy all the creative arts.

Getting practical:
GØD is Spirit (breath), so I breathe. Can an atheist live without taking breath?
GØD is the one, powerful and good idea, in which I live, move and have my being.
Thus I think positive and powerful thoughts.
GØD is Love, so I love.

I refuse to embrace the faith of atheism, until it comes up with better evidence, and value, than it now has.

BTW, if the battle of atheism is against superstition--false religious faith--I agree to join such a battle.
_________________________
GØD=Love in persons, the Cosmos, in all things-physical/mental/spiritual-past/present/future.
===================================================
The above is the basic philosophy of:
The Family Life Foundation--A volunteer-operated and non-sectarian registered charity, #888 762 663 RR0001. Founded in 1973, by the Rev. Lindsay G. King and friends, it is about promoting holistic (physical, mental and spiritual) health with the help of science, faith and the arts integrated by the human imagination. http://www.flfcanada.com
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/30/07 06:02 AM

Atheism is not a faith.

I too believe light exists.

I do not believe light is god.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/30/07 04:38 PM

I agree with Ellis.

Atheism is not a faith.

Atheism does not embody values.

Atheism does not reject (most) values.

Religion is not science.

Rhetoric is not critical analysis.

I'm glad that you believe in doing good things. I'm gladder still that you may actually be doing the good things in which you believe. I'm still waiting to hear you say anything that is even remotely related to science.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/30/07 10:23 PM

TFF, you comment, "I'm still waiting to hear you say anything that is even remotely related to science."

Thanks for your interest and patient attentiveness. It keeps lurkers clicking in.

The following is not dogma, it simply expresses my personal belief, about which I reserve the right to be wrong. Here goes: All philosophies, all sciences, all arts--in all their hard and soft forms--are (that is, have their being), IMO, within GØD.

I will let atheists speak for themselves, but, as a unitheist, I affirm my belief that GØD is about hard science with each physical breath of hard-scientific air (the source of phyical life) I take.

This is NOT QUITE SCIENCE, isn't it?
====================================
BTW, it is my understanding that this part of the forum is about
"not quite science". This is why I include reference to philosophy and art. I think of philosophy as the mother of the sciences and grandmother of the arts, including the technologies.

Interestingly, our word 'technology' comes from the Greek, technos, meaning carpenter. One of the titles of Jesus is, "the carpenter". I would call this a very "hard" science-based art, wouldn't you?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 11/30/07 10:38 PM

BTW, I do not say that GØD is light. But I could be persuaded that light emanates--note the term--from, and is evidence of, GØD, the primary source of all that IS, as I indicate in my signature.

BTW, about your interesting comment: "Rhetoric is not critical analysis." I agree.

If I have used it, I apologise. And as I would like to avoid doing so in the future, could you give me an example of where I have done so?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 12/01/07 11:17 PM

This exciting new information:
Check out BLACK MASS--Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, the latest book by John Gray
=======================================================
About the British academic, philosopher, professor, writer, social critic, and a broad-brush skeptic, John Gray. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_N._Gray

He, a self-described skeptic, calls this age as, "an age of the crusading atheists..."

He refers to Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and others like them, "as evangelists for atheism...secular believers with faiith in their own set of creeds and myths...They are militant, vehement, dogmatic...which point to the religious origin of their faith." His words, not mine.

RELIGION
========
Keep in mind, the root meaning of religion comes from the word 'ligament'. Ligaments hold the physical body together. Philosophically speaking, religion is that which can hold people together as a community, or group.

Broadly speaking, any social institution that includes a set of commonly held beliefs can be called a religion, even when, like superstition, such beliefs are contra to common sense and reason.

BTW, there is, also, such a thing as a non-theistic religion. For example, Buddhism is a non-theistic religion.

Theologically speaking, religion, as it is commonly understood, is based on a fixed set of theological beliefs--in a god, or gods--as set forth, by a founder, and/or in a book or in a collections of sayings, and passed on to disciples and followers. Christians and Jews have what we call the Bible. Muslims have the Koran. The practice of such religions usually involves prayer, ritual, ethics and morality--laws of personal behaviour.

Religion can encompass ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experiences. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared convictions.

THE DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM OF, AND FREEDOM FROM, RELIGION
=======================================================
Personally speaking, as one who believes in democracy, I even refuse to impose any fixed-position kind of religion on myself. I want to be free to thnk, at all times. Therefore, I feel that no society should ever have the right to impose religion on any other individual.

FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM
=========================
You and I must have the freedom of religion and freedom from religion, if we so choose. I will write more on this. Meanwhile, your input will be welcome.

Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 12/01/07 11:59 PM

"You and I must have the freedom of religion and freedom from religion, if we so choose. I will write more on this. Meanwhile, your input will be welcome."

Yep, just like anything else. Good quote.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 12/03/07 05:37 PM

Lots of people claim to be one sort of thing when they are, in fact, another. I do not know about John Gray, but the fact that he calls himself a skeptic might mean that he is an actual skeptic or it might mean that he wants the bona fides of one who is an objective observer.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 12/05/07 12:39 AM

FF- Do you think a sceptic is objective? I would have thought that a sceptic would approach a situation by being sceptical of its desired outcome and thus in fact making a decision based on his/her own opinion, therefore he/she is subjective. Do you agree?


PSRev- If a religion is defined by connection and social cohesion then atheism, which has none of the above, is definitely NOT a religion.

An interesting item of little importance.
To those who feel only christians have enough social conscience to run for office and govern the country, creating and upholding the law, I will point out that of the new Australian Cabinet sworn in last week 19 took an oath of office swearing by God whilst holding a bible ( the new PM was one)- and 22 affirmed their oath on their own cognisance, without any help from the supernatural. There are places where this behaviour could not happen without lots of fuss I am beginning to think. There has been absolutely no reaction for or against.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 12/05/07 03:40 AM

Yes of course we all can do no more than make decisions "based on his/her own opinion, therefore he/she is subjective". Perhaps we should bear this in mind more often.

Very pleased to hear the news about the swearing in. Mind you the cabinel haven't yet proved they "have enough social conscience to run for office and govern the country, creating and upholding the law". Shall we reserve decision?

Congratulations on getting rid of Johny Boy though. As I've written elsewhere today I feel sorry for USA citizens. Looks like the choice will be between Hillary (Bush-lite) and Rudolph (Bush-heavy). We're very lucky to live in this part of the world, but don't tell too many others.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/11/08 05:56 AM

Any one know what happened to the last few pages of this thread?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/12/08 05:49 PM

I found out, from reading Samwik, what happened. This thread had 170,000 clicks. Because of the loss of posts, it now has 80,000 listed.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/15/08 10:27 PM

Ellis comments
Quote:
PSRev: If a religion is defined by connection and social cohesion then atheism, which has none of the above, is definitely NOT a religion.
Ellis, in the spirit of dialogue, I trust that we can agree to disagree, agreeably. In this spirit I offer the following opinion:

First, I am not sure what you mean by, "religion is defined by connection and social cohesion".

I agree that atheism (agodism--a new word I just coined) is not a religion in the usual sense of the word: That is, it is not a belief in God or gods, including physical and man-made things. It is not the worship of a God or gods according to a set of rituals as part of a well-organized and particular system. It is not like the well-organized Jewish, Christian, Moslem, etc., religions.

OTHER FORMS OF RELIGION
=======================
However, my World Book Dictionary says that any matter of conscience can be a religion. As I understand this, this means that if one chooses to live as a hermit and as an atheist, theist, deist, unitheist, whatever, this is his/her form of religion.

BEWARE OF RELIGIONISM, INCLUDING ATHEISM
========================================
My WBD also points out that we need to keep in mind that there is such a thing as "religionism--an excessive inclination toward religion".

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS SICK RELIGION--WAY OF LIVING
=====================================================
I would add that religionism is what leads to so much anti-social behaviour, to bigotry (by-god-tri), fanaticism, jihadism, terrorism, martyrism, etc. All are sick forms of religion, which inspire followers to be intolerant of any differences of opinion.

What about superstition?--irrational religion. Some forms can be harmless and amusing. However, some forms--the kind which inspires you to neglect professional wisdom--can be very harmful.

THE ANTIDOTE TO SICK RELIGION IS NOT: NO RELIGION AT ALL
========================================================
The antidote to a sick religion is to work on developing a healthy one.

The floor is open. Let us dialogue on the questions:
1. What, in your opinion, makes for a healthy and helpful religion, or way of living?
2. What makes for an unhealthy, or harmful, religion?
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/15/08 10:53 PM

my opinion on religion and all belief systems:

faith in unrealistic stories or in an ultimate higher power allows people to escape from the depressing truths of reality giving them a feeling of security in times of turmoil...

so when you poke at someone's religious beliefs you are poking at their insecurities, which explains why you often get a passionate, aggressive response when you express your doubts...

i think that people should avoid arguing with religious folk, because its kind of cruel if you look at it from my perspective...

but it angers me that children are always being brainwashed into adopting ~
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/16/08 04:54 AM

I have learned not to debate or argue about many things, including religion. However, I love to dialogue and to learn from others.
============================================================
The following can be sung to Snow Bird, a song made famous by Anne Murray:
=======
FATHER SKY AND MOTHER EARTH--THE SOURCE OF EVERY HUMAN BIRTH
=============================================

We're one with Father Sky and Mother Earth;
With GØD the source of all there is, of every human birth.
We vibrate with the planets 'round the sun;
Within the stars and galaxies, we move in GØD as one.

We love you, GØD, in all there is to see;
At one with cosmos, and with space, and one with gravity.
We love you GØD in all there is to hear,
At one in the eternal now, beyond all guilt and fear.

In GØD we live and move and have our being;
The source of knowledge, wisdom, power and things that are not seen.
The root of justice and eternal peace,
The soil of life, of health and wealth and joys which ne'er need cease.
=====
Chorus:
GØD is at one with all that is;
With earth, and sky, and sea;
GØD is at one with cosmic space,
And all pervasive gravity.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/16/08 05:33 AM

Rev: I like these sentiments,especially this line:

We vibrate with the planets 'round the sun; (that's nice)

However I do not understand why it is then necessary to assign all things to GØD (or god for that matter.) Why can't it just BE?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/18/08 11:05 PM

Okay, Ellis, I have no problem with you using "BE".

However, in the spirit of dialogue I ask: How would you go about using 'BE' in everyday language?
================================================================
I LOVE THE VERB 'TO BE', and not TO BE.:)
======================================
BTW, it is my opinion that the verb "to be" is the only verb which I feel comfortable using when I speak of GØD.

For example, I feel comfortable saying: GØD "is" light. However, I do not feel comfortable saying: GØD sends light--as if he is person holding a torch.

More examples: GØD is love (very Biblical, BTW); He does not send us love.

In my opinion, GØD is will. That is, he is not a person who does this that, or the other thing, to us or for us.

Do you get my drift?
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/18/08 11:09 PM

according to modern psychology, consciousness is just a functional state of the brain... no room for god or afterlife or souls or anything....
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 01/19/08 03:12 AM

Yeah! BFP, GØD IS consciousness--the thing which makes us human and thinking persons. Sounds okay to me.

Which reminds me: In Exodus 3:14, where Moses asks GØD: Who are you? the response is: I AM, WHO I AM...

In Hebrew: Jehovah shuah--from which we get the contracted form Joshua, and the Greek form, Jesus--which means "I am is saving us".

It now makes sense that when Jesus said: "I am the way..." He wasn't saying: I "Jesus" am the way..." But: the consciousness in all of us is the way.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/08/08 08:42 PM

WOW!!!!! Over 103,000 clicks on this thread, again. How come so much interest in this topic? Anyone remember what it was before the problem? I recall...was it 170,000?

It would be interesting to know: How many posters here are traditional theists? How many righteous atheists, like Dawkins and Hitchins? Any otherwise? How many are what I call unitheists? Deists? Non-theists, like Buddhism?

BTW, I could coin a new word,like, neotheists. Anyone with a unique concept of "god"? What about agnostics?

Warren Farr are working on
http://unitheist.org/
Check it out and let us know--here, if you will--what you think.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/19/08 09:53 PM

"Yeah! BFP, GØD IS consciousness--the thing which makes us human and thinking persons. Sounds okay to me."

you quote exodus, i quote Einstein:

If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him? [Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), p. 27.]
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/20/08 12:40 AM

Before I would dare comment on the quote from Einstein, I would like the context of this quote.

I have the feeling he is being sarcastic. smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/21/08 03:37 PM

This quote, in a revised form, is from another thread.
Originally Posted By: Ellis
Deiscovery- It is impossible to prove a negative---as Spock would say-- it is illogical.
I agree, Ellis.

In my opinion, trying to prove a negative is also counter productive, uncreative and a waste of time. Spending one's valuable time trying--like Hitchens and Dawkins--to, arrogantly, prove others wrong is certainly not the loving thing to do.

This is why I prefer to dialogue with, rather than debate, others. Debating others just to prove how wrong they are is the devil's game--if there is a (d)evil. It is a zero-sum game, one in which there are too many losers.

LET'S ALWAYS BE ON GUARD REGARDING THE DANGER OF FALSE PRIDE--
the root of much evil, including terrorism.
==============================================
I repeat something I have said beofre: Speaking of (d)evil (Interestingly, "devil" literally means that which splits us, from ourselves and others): We are all quite good at allowing false pride--the root of much evil--take over our thoughts and lives. Evil-based thoughts lead to cruel words and violent actions, family violence, crime, war, and you name it. False pride, or arrogance, provides is the very best kind of spiritual soil--in the negative sense of the word--in which evil can grow.

Therefore, IN THE SPIRIT OF DIALOGUE, I am into affirming the productive and positive things of life. I want to offer readers what I think, feel and know and will help make the world a better place. I want to learn from agnostics and atheists, not judge or condemn them.

For details on what I believe about GOD, my theology, check out the details of this thread.--now well over 110,000 clicks, which was started by Turner, my son.

BTW, both my children are, like my wife and I, unitheists/panentheists. Turner is married to a Muslim, and has three children. He is 49.

Catherine (married to an artist, with two grown children) is 52.
Both my children are well-educated artists and teachers-- Do a search--Wiki/Google--on unitheism/panentheism, and you will discover what we mean by GOD.

The part of GOD that we know, like the air (pneuma) we breathe, is self evident. Jesus told the Samaritan woman: GOD is Pneuma. We get our word 'Spirit' from the Latin translation. It is self evident--no double-blind study necessary--that one cannot live without taking the next breath.

PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE AND THE ARTS
Using philosophy, the sciences plus technology, the King family explores Nature/GOD; using the arts we apply what we discover to get useful, beautiful and good things done.

BTW, starting from nothing in 1991, my daughter and her artist husband--both GOD-connected people--have built a floating property, including floating gardens (where they grow most of their food), which covers more than a quarter of an acre. They got over half the materials using the the tradeBUX system
http://www.universalbartergroup.com.
The property is now worth well over one million dollars. All the media have given this project excellent coverage.

Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/08 04:21 AM

Rev, I can't get your link to come up. Is it on a limited daily time setup?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/08 07:42 AM

AR, I have tried it too, without success. It was OK a day or two ago.

http://www.universalbartergroup.com

The link may be down for maintenance. I will give them a call and find out.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/08 09:36 PM

A Rose, I just tried it. And it was okay.

BTW, the over-all group is www.barterworld.com

Information regarding first historic transaction from BarterWorld:
CHARITY DONATION CLIENT'S INFORMATION FOR RECEIPT ISSUING FROM
==============================================================
BARTER-WORLD
============
I just got paper-work from Barter World HQ confirming that,
from just two companies, the Family Life Foundation now has available, for spending, $51,500.00 of value in tradeBUX.

As a registered charity, we will issue receipts to the donor companies for the appropriate value, which the two companies will apply to their tax-returns for 2007.

This is a perfect example of how businesses, governments and charities can work together for the good of the whole community.
This is something which the FLF has been advocating since 1973.

RIFKIN, ON THE NEW APPROACH TO ECONOMICS
========================================
In his 1989 book, The End of Work, Jeremy Rifkin strongly advocated bringing the three sectors--business, government and charities--together.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Rifkin

Keep in mind that "Rifkin became one of the first major critics of the nascent biotechnology industry with the 1977 publication of his book, Who Should Play God? His 1995 book, The End of Work, an international best seller, is credited by some with helping shape the current global debate on technology displacement, corporate downsizing and the future of jobs. His 1998 book, The Biotech Century, addresses the many critical issues accompanying the new era of genetic commerce."

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/08 10:01 PM

The Family Life Foundation (FLF) is listed here.
http://www.universalbartergroup.com./charity_workingwithcharity.aspx

Now, with your help, the FLF is ready to inform families what we can all do to help make for better families, better communities, locally and world wide--physically, mentally and spiritually.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/22/08 11:33 PM

sarcasm? i doubt it:

http://www.celebatheists.com/index.php?title=Albert_Einstein

lots more Einstein quotes of the same context
Posted by: Turner

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/23/08 01:27 AM

Both my father, LgKing, and I, like the following:
-------------------------------------------------
Quote:
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism.... [Albert Einstein]

The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events... He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. [Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions]

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings. [Albert Einstein, in a letter to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein]
Interestingly, Einstein speaks of the value of Buddhism. The great inventor, Nicola Tesla, called for a combination of Christianity and Buddhism.

IMO, they were talking about what my father and I call unitheism
Google on it, and panentheism.

Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/23/08 01:29 AM

Nice link, pig, thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/25/08 02:54 AM

Amaranth, did you get my link to www.barterworld.com
and www.universalbartergroup.com ???
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 02/25/08 06:58 AM

Yes, Rev, they both worked just fine. Interesting to see how bartering is becoming the upscale thing.

Have you ever heard of time-dollars?

http://www.timebanks.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-based_currency

http://www.transaction.net/money/timedollars/

This last one links to Toronto dollars. I have not followed that link, but I know a little about Toronto Dollars, and it sounds like an interesting proposition.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 03/22/08 06:51 AM

Since the late 1960's I have been writing about and promoting what I now call CCC--complementary and community currency.

It could also be called creative community capitalism. IMO, this is the answer to the kind of debt-based disaster-capitalism which has destroyed the happiness of so many people who dreamed of owning their homes. It could also be a way of helping those who lose their homes in natural disasters not covered by insurance.
BTW, check our the work of Toronto author, Naomi Klein.
http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine
THIS IS POWERFUL STUFF:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka3Pb_StJn4
Check out her dialogue with Milton Friedman.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 03/22/08 02:08 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka3Pb_StJn4
=============================================
At the above I found quite a numbers of audio and visual quotes on economics. For example, Milton Friedman presents his case for what he calls the "free" market. He also uses the term, "competitive capitalism".

BTW, in his comments he admitted that capitalism is not a "sufficient" cause of democracy. "But" he says, "capitalism is a necessary part of any democracy." Friedman, a strong advocate of monetarism admitted that both communism and national socialism used a form of capitalism.

MONETARISM--A definition
========================
http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=com.mandriva:en-US:official&hs=1U3&defl=en&q=define:MONETARISM&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title
Monetarism, a right wing approach, tends to say: Leave the economy to the market place and things will right themselves.

KEYNESIANISM--offers a left wing approach.
============
http://www.history-ontheweb.co.uk/concepts/keynesianism51.htm
The key propositions of Keynesianism?--named after John Maynard Keynes: Here is an example:

1 of 6: There is no natural tendency for capitalist market economies, which now dominate world economies, to correct economic shocks and maintain an equilibrium at full employment. Before Keynes it was well known that there was a regular pattern of boom and slump but it was assumed that economies quickly righted themselves without government intervention. Keynes denied this.

MY PERSONAL APPROACH?: As I have indicated elsewhere, as an intuitive economist, I take what I call "a feathers approach" to the political economy, not just a left wing or right wing one. After all, feathers are essential to the welfare of the whole bird.

And don't forget the essential tail feathers. Without them, wings--indeed the whole bird--could not function. Without tail feathers flight is impossible no matter how strong the wings happen to be. They balance the wings and enable birds keep on course in those long migratory flight in search of food.

Take note that tail feathers are, humbly, located right over the anus--another essential part of the bird.

COOPERATIVE AND COMMUNITY CAPITALISM
====================================
Perhaps this is the essential function of democratic government:
Be humble tail feathers and promote a democratic form of capitalism, what I call cooperative and community capitalism (CCC). Help keep the wings in a state of balance and thus help the head (made up of all social leaders, including educators, spiritual leaders, business leaders, whoever) do that which is needed by the body of the whole bird, including the smallest feathers (our precious youth).
FOR MORE ON THIS, see the thread on economics: Money, too much or too little, started by Ellis.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/07/08 09:08 PM

With the way so many people have been hurt by our badly run monetary and economic system how come there is so little interest in discussing ways and means of fixing things?
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/08/08 03:07 PM

Because in our arrogance we assume that the free market system which we have is the best of all possible worlds. ;-)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/08/08 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Amaranth Rose II
Because in our arrogance we assume that the free market system which we have is the best of all possible worlds. ;-)
May I be so bold as to assume: You agree with those who say that the so-called "free" market is not free, it is one that is very much manipulated.
For those interested in what is going on, the following is a must read by a respected British economist:
THE POLITICS OF MONEY
By Hazel Henderson
http://www.hazelhenderson.com/editorials/politics_of_money.html
==============================================================
Professor Bernard Lietaer--formerly with the World Bank
http://www.transaction.net
My first contact with BL was in 1997.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/11/08 06:59 PM

JANE JACOBS--a self-educated urban planner and economist
========================================================
There is no rule which says that we have to leave urban planning and the economy to the so-called professionals.

A case in point is the work of the late Jane Jacobs--a New Yorker who moved to Toronto in 1968 who, by the way, accepted the idea of community and complementary currency (CCC)
Very interesting information about Jane and her work:

http://bss.sfsu.edu/pamuk/urban/

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/18/08 11:04 PM

I repeat the following quote: "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism.... [Albert Einstein]

Interestingly, Einstein speaks of the value of Buddhism. The great inventor, Nicola Tesla, called for a combination of Christianity and Buddhism.

I, Turner's father, using his 'puter, agree.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/25/08 09:46 PM

Readers of this thread, including those who prefer to remain anonymous, I am curious: What is it about this thread which attracts so many readers and so few who choose to respond?

Are you shy about offerings comments, including constructive criticisms? What about questions? Do you have any questions?
Posted by: odin1

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/08 12:12 AM

Hello Revlgking,

I noticed also there are a lot of viewers at this thread. Seems the subject may be of some interest to some.
Best Regards,
odin1
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/08 05:08 AM

probably because this is such a controversial topic, I am guessing.
it seems we are naturally drawn to this kind of stuff. rather than the dry and boring posts that are not debatable.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/08 05:30 AM

Waiting to see if anything interesting is posted. So far, it's old stuff.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/08 07:00 AM

If our household trash were recycled as effectively as this stuff is recycled, the world would certainly be a better place.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/08 04:04 PM

Anon 1: Interesting? It is a very relative term, isn't it? For example, I am interested in things--and not just what I write about here--which others would find very boring. If you are interested in knowing smile I will be glad to tell you.

BTW 1, what are your great interests? And, I am interested in knowing: What do you consider to be "old stuff"?

BTW 2, regarding a philosophy of education: I accept that it is important for children to realize that life is not all interesting fun and games. I acknowledge that learning the basics, even by using boring drill, is sometimes necessary, but I believe that we would have a much better education system if we designed early-childhood education programs, as much as possible, around that which grabs the interests of young students.

Anon 2, I am interested in knowing: What is it that you are really trying to say? I am not sure how to take it.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/26/08 04:09 PM

im not sure if anyone has mentioned it before... but has everyone seen zeitgeist? in the film it was claimed that every religious movement held striking similarities; specifically it described how each religion was based on astrology; worshiping the sun and preparing for the next 'astrological era.' (that's part one, part two is about a government conspiracy theory and should be disregarded imo)
it's all quite interesting, i'm uncertain about its absolute integrity although i've looked up some of the claims made and they seemed to hold true... so what do you think?
Posted by: odin1

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 12:31 AM

Hello bfp,

religion has been around as long as man has walked the earth, I don't know of any civilization or even tribes of individuals that did not believe in some diety. Man has a willingness to look for a higher power. Old habits are hard to break and religion is a very complex and complicated thing to understand much less to explain. When catolic monks went into Britton it their task was to convert the celts to christianity. The celts didn't like that they liked the old gods, they had worked in the past and surely were going to work in the future. So the pope told them, if you see them worshiping a tree, bless the tree and tell them to meet there again. What I am saying is a lot of the old habits were incorporated into christianity to win over the "pagan". This may sound like trickery, and I guess it is. But sometimes we get hung up in the "ritural" and historic aspects of christianity instead of accepting the message it gives. That was the problem Jesus had with the scribes. He told them and I am paraphrasing , that the rituals were not important, what was important was the teachings and following those teachings as good as one could. Like I said in an earlier post I can understand why this really ticks some people off about religion or "christianity". I had a preacher get really ticked at me one time because he didn't like my view of what I thought God looked like. What difference does it make? But he was raised to believe that god is an old white haired man setting on a throne surrouned by heavenly host. And he may be, But I don't think it matters, and I don't think I am going to burn in an eternal lake of fire because I don't believe that.
Yes, I believe all religions were based originally on stimuli that affected each group (religion). Didn't mean to write a book. Hope I made some sense.

Thanks,
odin1
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 12:46 AM

I know there have been countless religions which worshipped false Gods in the past, but I'm certain this one is the right religion. smile

Trust me on that!
Posted by: odin1

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 12:53 AM

Hey Rallem,

I guess you mean christianity, and if that is what you mean, sure, I'll trust you on that.

odin1
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 01:00 AM

I did not specify, but I am a Christian.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 03:36 AM

tbh, i used to call myself Christian and i read the scriptures every day looking for answers, it seemed to present more questions to me than answers, slowly realizing this i eventually just stopped... i started looking at the philosophies of other religions and came to the conclusion that faith systems were simply there to give people hope/security when reality got too rough... now i call myself a nihilist, there is no ultimate truth except that all is vanity, ultimately, on a cosmic scale, everything is meaningless and purposeless. you might say 'why live then?' i am at peace with the fact that i am merely human and that i probably won't leave a huge impact on society or on this universe; i don't desire higher power or special honors, i want my life to be meaningful to the ones i care about and leave this place knowing that i've made some kind of contribution to our species.
Posted by: odin1

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 04:12 AM

Like I said in an earlier post pig, we all have our demons but can we control them- I think that is what "christianity" and other religions are trying to get across. All this other stuff such as ritualism and "religious ignorance" is rudamentary. Hey, I never go to church, I should, but I don't. Does that make me a bad person? No. Am I a saint-hell no. But I think I have what you said in your post-you want you life to be meaningful to the ones you care about. I think that says it all. Pig there are over 4X10 9th people on this earth. If most everyone thought that way, we would all live in a better place.

Best regards,
odin1
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By: big fat pig
tbh, i used to call myself Christian... now i call myself a nihilist, there is no ultimate truth except that all is vanity, ultimately, on a cosmic scale, everything is meaningless and purposeless....
BFP, I presume you are a moral, ethical, loving--that is, charitable and kind--and humane being who lives by the Golden Rule. I also presume you desire to leave the world a better place than you found it. If so you, you would find yourself welcome at http://www.pathwayschurch.ca where I, a unitheist Christian, attend.

BTW, I presume you agree that nihilism is based on faith, like all dogmatic religions. Is there any evidence that life is meaningless?

With the help of all my senses, this I know: I am, and I am conscious that I exist within a magnificent and awesome physical universe, which appears to be expanding into infinity. It also appears that it will continue to do this for eternity.

BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
Furthermore, because I feel that I am not just a physical object, but, with others, I have evolved into being a mental and a spiritual being, I have a strong desire to be, along with my fellow humane--and I mean humane--beings, part of this wonderful god-like experiment.

GROUNDED ON FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
As a unitheist, other than my faith, hope and love, I have no evidence that what was, and is, will continue to be. But until nihilists come up with evidence that existence is meaningless I will continue to believe--and I see nothing but good will result in believing that existence is, and is meaningful.

We are one with all that is;
One with earth, moon, sun and galaxy.
We are one with the vast, expanding cosmos,
And all pervasive gravity.
If people will allow me, and though it may seem odd,
I like to give a name to all that is;
All goodness, order and design:
And the name I give is GØD. smile
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 06:00 PM

"BTW, I presume you agree that nihilism is based on faith, like all dogmatic religions. Is there any evidence that life is meaningless?"

using that reasoning would you assume then that everything is based on faith? i highly doubt that. is there evidence that life has an ultimate purpose? all claims are empty and meaningless until credible facts are presented to support the claim. many claim that life on earth has an ultimate cosmic purpose, yet none can support it. the question of ultimate meaning and purpose remains unanswered; the efforts of humanity to answer this question throughout all of history... yielded nothing.

lets ask this innocent question: "what makes us ask?"
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: big fat pig
...using that reasoning would you assume then that everything is based on faith?

Yes, a definition of "faith" is key to understanding that view.

Originally Posted By: big fat pig
...lets ask this innocent question: "what makes us ask?"

Answering this may provide the key to developing "Artificial Intelligence."
IMHO
I'd point out that the "search for meaning" (in order to maintain homeostasis) is the only function of our brains, ultimately.

p.s. I've taken several leaps in logic here; if anyone is curious, I'll expound a bit). Happy Sunday smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 08:18 PM

Sam points out:
Quote:
Yes, a definition of "faith" is key to understanding that view.
Of course, Sam. Look what happens to governments when voters lose faith in them. Look what happens to the economy, the markets, whatever, when people lose faith in them.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 08:29 PM

this question comes directly from the ego. people like to believe that they are special, when someone begins to ask themselves 'so what makes me special? why do i feel special?' and the general form of this question arises: 'what is the ultimate purpose/meaning of life?' and this is why people get stumped; they wish to believe that there IS some kind of ultimate purpose; that their existance is meaningful on a cosmic scale. and nobody has ever provided a universally satisfying answer to this question because there isn't one.

there is no universal meaning of existance or metaphysical explanation that will meet the cultural, social and psychological demands of every human being. this is why there are so many different belief systems(by belief systems i mean those who serve in a way to answer 'the ultimate question' and indoctrinate a 'special' purpose into the minds of followers) -and why there has never been, and never will be a single belief system to dominate the minds of all human beings. these ideas tend to be disenchanting to the mystic; such ideas are incompatible with spiritual faith.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 08:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Sam points out:
Quote:
Yes, a definition of "faith" is key to understanding that view.
Of course, Sam. Look what happens to governments when voters lose faith in them. Look what happens to the economy, the markets, whatever, when people lose faith in them.


i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' which still, is not the same as 'faith in one's perception/understanding.'
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 09:19 PM

Quote:
i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' ...
BFP, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this, okay? As humane beings we can always give each other the right to do so, in good faith. You have your reason for believing that life is meaningless; I and others have our reasons for believing otherwise: Whichever way it ends, life is an awesome and god-like experiment. I believe we are inventing the future.

Take note: It seems to me that all inventions got their start when some inventor said: I wonder if it is possible that...I hope it is possible that ... I believe that it is possible that... Therefore, I will experiment and see what I can make of it.

Only then did the inventor get to know. I don't think that sceptics, pessimists and cynics make good inventors. How about nihilists?

It is said that what we call the grains--wheat, rye, millet, and the like, all became part of our food supply when someone saw good in certain weeds; that certain "weeds", properly cultivated could be of use as food.

BTW, thanks for the tough comments and questions. Honest doubt by sincere sceptics stimulates the brain to think. In the spirit of dialogue, keep them coming.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/27/08 09:27 PM

BFP,
I sure know what you mean about cultural universality, but....

I'd argue that the is nothing but information in the universe.
Meaning is everywhere (if Life chooses to create it out of the information available).

Meaning to maintain homeostatis and evolve, maximizing entropy.
smile
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 03:49 AM

I would describe nihilism as a philosophy rather than a faith. I will allow it may be a belief, I just don't think it's a faith.

However my confusion may be due to a shift in meaning- here in Australia no one refers much to faith outside of its religious meaning and, reading the presidential candidates' speeches and the commentators etc, I think the word faith really means something entirely different to Americans, and perhaps religious people. Maybe it's like the quote- "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"- it all depends on your point of view.

cultural universality-- Also not sure of the meaning, but it sounds rather boring!!
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 04:57 AM

This is just a revision (for clarity) of the post from earlier this afternoon.

Originally Posted By: samwik
BFP,
You state: "there is no universal meaning of existance or metaphysical explanation that will meet the cultural, social and psychological demands of every human being." -bfp
I sure know what you mean about cultural universality, but....

...but devolving from your original question, 'why ask?' you write:
"...and the general form of this question arises: 'what is the ultimate purpose/meaning of life?" -bfp


I'd argue that there is nothing but Information in the universe.
Meaning is everywhere (as life chooses to create it out of the Information available).

Finding "Meaning" allows life to maintain homeostatis and evolve, while maximizing entropy.
smile

p.s. ...also bfp writes: "i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' which still, is not the same as 'faith in one's perception/understanding.' "
...yep; can't argue with that.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 12:09 PM

Quote:
p.s. ...also bfp writes: "i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' which still, is not the same as 'faith in one's perception/understanding.' "
...yep; can't argue with that.
IMO, faith and belief are one and the same. When I say that I have faith, or a belief, I am simply saying that I am willing and ready to act, without having all the evidence and proof beforehand. I may have some, but not all.

For example, every day people take the step to get married, start a business, invest in the business of others, make friends, whatever--without having all the evidence, or proof, that the action will be a good and successful one.

BLIND FAITH AND IGNORANCE
Keep in mind I am not talking about having a blind faith. Blind faith combined with ignorance is a noxious mix. It is like taking a leap in the dark off a dangerous precipice.

SIGHTED FAITH = KNOWLEDGE PLUS REASON
Sighted faith--the kind I like--is like a careful walk accompanied by reason and in the light (knowledge) that we have. Sighted faith is flexible; it is not based on fixed-position thinking--the root cause of all unnecessary conflict, including war.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 12:44 PM

Revl,
In case you didn't see the Semantics thread....

faith: (Old French, feid, feit; Latin, fides)
1.) Belief in God; revelation, or the like; as soundness of faith; esp., orthodoxy in theology; in a practical religious sense, trust in God.
2.) Fidelity to one's promises, or allegiance to duty, or to a person; loyalty.
3.) That which is believed; esp., a system of religious beliefs.
4.) Complete confidence, esp. in someone or something open to question or suspicion.

"Faith," comes after "fairy tale" in Mr. Webster's book.
smile

belief: (Anglo-Saxon, geleafa, or unknown; -[believe] -belefan, belifan)
1.) The state or habit of mind of one who believes; faith; confidence; trust... as belief in God.
2.) A conviction or persuasion of truth; intellectual assent... as claims unworthy of belief.
3.) The thing believed; specif., a tenet, or the body of tenets; doctrine; creed....
4.) Ecclesiastical creed....

Belief comes after belie (another Anglo-Saxon word; hmmm... re: origins?)....
Belief comes before belittle... in Webster's.... smile

Faith (#4) and Belief (#2) seem linked by the see-saw of "evidence vs. lack of evidence."
Faith is like belief, but without the need for evidence.
smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 03:39 PM

Sam, then there is the Latin, "fiducia". It adds the element of trust and being willing to act. In the movie, Mary Poppins there is a song about the "fiduciary bank".

But even then, there is the element of risk. People will, sometimes, betray a trust.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: samwik
I'd argue that there is nothing but Information in the universe.
Meaning is everywhere (as life chooses to create it out of the Information available).

Finding "Meaning" allows life to maintain homeostatis and evolve, while maximizing entropy.

Just ignore the entropy part;
but what do you think of this?

For social creatures, a lot of cooperation, trust, empathy, and altruism devolves from the need to evolve and maintain homeostasis.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 06:04 PM

Quote:
For social creatures, a lot of cooperation, trust, empathy, and altruism devolves (Sam. Do you mean 'is passed on'?) from the need to evolve and maintain homeostasis.
Give a for-example!
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 06:16 PM

hmmmm
Devolves means "follows from" or "as a consequencs of," I think; but not in a genetic way.

Webster says:...to transfer, hand down, pass on by... succession.

Agriculture, money, families, dogs (working), specialization in careers... as examples?
smile
p.s. Basically this is just saying, in order to be comfortable, we invent these examples of trust and cooperation.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 07:19 PM

Sam, I am glad to see you mentioned money and the specialization in careers as things which we have invented to make life more enjoyable for the whole of the community. This brings us, once again to one of my favourite topics:

THE NATURE AND FUNCTION OF MONEY
As you know I am so interested in understanding the nature, power and function of money--the root of much good when understood and used to help us keep the Golden Rule.

Money, and what we do to earn it, is the way we transfer, hand down and pass on, to others, things we do not immediately need to consume for our own purposes. I realize we have a thread on money, but I will ask the following question here:

I wonder how many have really taken the time to check out http://www.universalbartergroup.com and
http://www.barterworld.com

If so, did it get your interest? Or did you just dismiss it as an impractical idea.

If we are well off and have all the employment, and money you need, then we can afford not to bother any further about this.

But, if we are one of the ones, or if we have relatives and/or friends, who have been hit by the current financial crisis that is growing more serious by the day--or if we would just like to help those who have been--we need to take this seriously.

THERE ARE, BASICALLY, TWO KINDS OF CURRENCY--The national and debt-based fiat currency, controlled by the market place and the banks, and there is the local and community-based currency which comes into play when we barter with one another and help one another in families and communities.

The problem is: Our debt-based and fiat money system is currently in control and it is broken and full of flaws. It gives us our booms and busts, which only serves the purposes of greedy manipulators.

Perhaps we are rich enough and don't need any help. Or we are too apathetic and don't care about the needs of others. Perhaps we are cynical and don't see that there is any problem. Or is it that we are filled with despair and feel that there is no solution. In which category are we?

FIXING THE PROBLEM
The solution is here. http://www.flfcanada.com has been working on it since 1973. Now all we need to do is to get seriously involved by agreeing to become part of the growing barter movement and link up with the Golden-Rule kind of monetized-barter systems already out there. If anyone is seriously interested, the FLF can show you how.
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/28/08 10:50 PM

Originally Posted By: big fat pig
tbh, i used to call myself Christian and i read the scriptures every day looking for answers, it seemed to present more questions to me than answers, slowly realizing this i eventually just stopped... i started looking at the philosophies of other religions and came to the conclusion that faith systems were simply there to give people hope/security when reality got too rough... now i call myself a nihilist, there is no ultimate truth except that all is vanity, ultimately, on a cosmic scale, everything is meaningless and purposeless. you might say 'why live then?' i am at peace with the fact that i am merely human and that i probably won't leave a huge impact on society or on this universe; i don't desire higher power or special honors, i want my life to be meaningful to the ones i care about and leave this place knowing that i've made some kind of contribution to our species.


I have been a Christian all my life but growing up I rarely went to Church and I only went a few times while serving in the Army and afterwards. While in College I read a few books which were left out of the Bible or were altered before putting them in the Bible and from that I stopped looking to outside sources other than direct prayer to God for philosophical answers.

I cannot remember all of the books I read for my Civilization Class but two writings that are sticking with me are,

In Genesis God made all of the animal forms and then showed Adam all of them and asked him to choose his form, when Adam looked to God and said that he wanted God’s form. As a child the Genesis story I read said that God made man in his image, but that is not entirely true. The lesson I got from this was that all of us can be what ever we want to be.

The second piece I read which hung heavy on my consciousness was a line from Jesus stating that we do not need the Church to go to Heaven and all we really need is the Spirit of Christ in our hearts. To me, that means anyone can get to Heaven, even a bush man from deepest Africa who may not have even heard of Jesus Christ as long as the spirit of Christ is in his heart. It also means to me that Church is not all that important to me, but I do understand that it may be important to others and therefore it is important.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 04/29/08 02:43 AM

Rallem: Thanks for you comments. Note that the Bible says the God made us "male and female" (Genesis 1:27) in his image, not just in the male gender. Take note of my signature: It is an acronym--goodness, order and design. It is a not a noun, depicting any one gender.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/01/08 01:14 AM

Rallem, I ask you, or anyone, in the spirit of dialogue: How do you conceptualize God? In your opinion, is He a masculine person, an objective and three-dimensional being? Or What?
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/01/08 11:51 AM

"Rallem, I ask you, or anyone, in the spirit of dialogue: How do you conceptualize God? In your opinion, is He a masculine person, an objective and three-dimensional being? Or What?"

i think that personifying god is putting limits on the idea's majesty, religions(those believe in a supreme power) differ from one another solely by the way in which they personify the idea of a 'god' the moral and ethical teachings seem to remain constant throughout; 'love, unity and respect'
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/01/08 09:54 PM

BFP, you comment: "i think that personifying god is putting limits on the idea's majesty..." I agree.

Have you read anything about the process of 'emanationism'?
I think of it as the bridge, even the balance, between creationism and evolutionism. IMO, emanation is an inclusive concept.

EMANATIONISM

Quote:
Emanationism is a component in the cosmology, or cosmogony, of certain religious or philosophical systems that argue a sentient, self-aware Supreme Being did not create the physical universe.

Instead an insentient Absolute emanated lower and lower spiritual modalities and lastly matter as the resultant efflux of the Absolute.

The only lasting place where the totality of emanationism is still observed is by Neoplatonists and some Advaita Vedantists.


BTW, check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanationism
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/09/08 08:12 PM

THE CONTROVERSIAL CANADIAN, THE REV. GRETTA VOSPER
==================================================
She has written a controversial book: WITH OR WITHOUT GOD--Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe.

http://progressivechristianity.ca/ccpc/i...t&task=view

Check out her personal messages to be found on her site.
Check out http://warmplace.ca/

Recently, there were two major articles about her, in the Globe (Taking Christ Out of Christianity), and National Post (Christianity Without Christ), and the numerous letters--mostly negative and critical of her theological and biblical position--in the media, including the Observer.

BTW, I just got word from the National Post that they will be publishing the following letter, which I wrote in response to one of the letters in the NP:

Jean Seager, an 85-years-old who admits she is sceptical of all religion, wrote a letter in which she expressed her feeling that all religion is dead and worthy of being dissected. In response I wrote:

Editor:
Re: ... but do we even need religion? (Tuesday, May 6)

As a 78-year-old, I just got around to reading the letter by the 85-year-old, Jean Seager, in which she praises Greta Vosper's dissection of religion. I would like to ask Jean: Do you mean all religions? Are you saying that all religions are dead, are based on useless rituals and primitive fairy tales and need to be dissected to see what killed them? I don't think Greta Vosper thinks this is so. Why would she care about and stay with a dead religion?

Sure, some systems of religion were--and some still are--doctrinaire, triumphalist, fundamentalist, fanatic and even sick unto death in their approach to the practice of religion. In addition, even some good religions have their share of hypocrites. Jesus pointed this out in his day. But the same can be said of all social systems, including governments, families, the way we educate our children, the justice system, health care, the media, whatever.

I had the good fortune to be raised in a healthy kind of religion--one with a broad and inclusive approach to life. My clergy and teachers taught me to be moral, ethical, kind, good and loving--to others, myself, all classes, races and creeds, including sceptics and cynics, not out of fear of an angry god who would send me to hell, but because it is the right thing to do. They also taught me to take personal responsibility for my life and circumstances. I am sorry to hear that you did not have the same good fortune I had.

Yes, Jean, if you will take the time to look around, I feel certain that you will find--in all the great religions--there are leaders and teachers who do practice what they preach. There are fellowships which are built on the foundation of a living faith, a joy-filled hope and on creative love. Filled with sincere people willing to offer constructive criticism and give generous service, like I hope you are, such religions will stay healthy and have no need to be dissected.
=======================
Mary, did you take note of what the Rev. Vosper says about petitionary prayers?
Slaha, the Aramaic for prayer simply means "to connect with, or to tune into...".
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/10/08 02:09 AM

Rev- Recently we heard of the death of a much read, discussed and even loved Australian journalist, Pamela Bone. She was an avowed atheist, a fierce feminist and a brilliant writer. She stirred up lots of controversy every time she put pen to paper! Everyone knew she was dying of cancer, indeed she wrote a book about it titled (with her usual wit) 'Bad Hair Days'. After she died there was still discussion and perhaps controversy as she had chosen to be buried with Christian rites. Because she knew people would wonder why, she wrote an article in the form of a letter to explain. In it she wrote that she loved the sacred music, the words and the ritual and it would also give special comfort to some of her friends and relatives who were believers. In her letter she stated she absolutely still did not believe in any god or the idea of an afterlife-- but she felt that there is such a thing as 'Cultural Christianity' where the form can be observed without the belief, where the message can be recognised without having to commit and where the liturgical rituals and traditional music can be appreciated by anyone. I think that this is similar what many people are describing here on this site.

So Rev do you think 'Cultural Christianity' is possible?
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/10/08 07:25 AM

Ellis,
Thanks for that post. As I read through and got (conveniently at the end of a line) to the phrase, "where the message can be recognised," my brain shouted, 'that's the "translation" thing!' (I've been talking about).
So, ...thanks for recognizing....

It's ...Seeing the meaning behind the message.
However, the common "one way" dogmatism sure causes problems; as does the dogmatism's flip side, that 'other ways' are evil.
I'm sure that is why Revl. is so excited about "pathways." I appreciate his feeling.
It is one of the evolutionary steps we need to take in order to achieve that "Type I" status. IMHO
smile

p.s. re:
Quote:
So Rev do you think 'Cultural Christianity' is possible?
I live (and was raised) very non-religiously; but I avail myself of both Catholic or Protestant services and resources on rare, but much appreciated occasions.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/10/08 02:36 PM

In connection with the previous few posts, Humanistic Judaism offers, I think, a rational and ethical perspective.

"Humanistic Judaism is a movement within Judaism that emphasizes Jewish culture and history - rather than belief in God - as the sources of Jewish identity. Its rituals and ceremonies do not include prayer or any invocation of a deity. Its philosophical outlook is derived from Humanism or Secular Humanism, and its beliefs may be summarized as follows..."

"Ethics and morality should serve human needs, and choices should be based upon consideration of the consequences of actions rather than pre-ordained rules or commandments"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanistic_Judaism

Surely there are a great many people from other religious cultures with similar 'Humanistic' perspectives. Well, at least, I like to think so.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/11/08 01:16 AM

The more I think about it, the more I like the word 'humane'. I like to think of myself as a humane (kind, merciful and compassionate) being, not just a human one.

I also like to think that I appreciate being 'cultured'--refined in feelings, thoughts, tastes manners, and the like.

Let's see what happens when we combine the two: I like to think and feel that I am a cultured and humane being, who happens to been born a Christian. As such I offer love and respect to all other humane beings, no matter what they happen to be, culturally.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/11/08 08:48 AM

Originally Posted By: redewenur
Surely there are a great many people from other religious cultures with similar 'Humanistic' perspectives. Well, at least, I like to think so.

Revl.
This was sort of "off topic" over there, so I thought I'd quote and respond over here....
In response to my post:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=25998#Post25998
you wrote:
Originally Posted By: Revl.
Samwik, you have given us some very heady stuff to think about. Much of it is new information to me. I only wish I had enough science to understand, in simple terms, what it means, in detail; and to be able to explain, in simple and practical terms, what it implies for our known universe.

The Chaos, Solitons & Fractals Abstract mentions, "the stochastic underpinning of the universe itself."
Stochastic? Does this mean, having to do with random and variable processes. If so, it certainly helps me understand what the great mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead was trying to say when he wrote about process philosophy and theology.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_North_Whitehead
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/#WPI
Out of his work came panENtheism, which, to avoid confusions with pantheism, I call unitheism.

I hope you catch my post on "stochastics" over on Semantics....
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26012#Post26012

I was thinking that "to be able to explain, in simple and practical terms, what it implies for our known universe," one need only look to the great religious literature, Vedas, Bible, etc.

From stochastic, the phrase "self-similar processes" came up and reminded me of the metaphor 'we are made in G0d's image' (or something like that).
There's a lot of language in religious texts that can be understood in terms of the "physics of cosmology."
Dharma, the true reality, is distinguished from Maya, that illusion we call the material world.

Of Maya: Bhagavad Gita Ch.7, Verse 6. "Know these two- my higher and lower natures- as the womb of all beings. Therefore, I am the source and dissolution of the whole universe."

Of Dharma: "Verily, that which is Dharma is truth." -(Brh. Upanishad, 1.4.14)

For Sikhs, "Dharma" means the "path of righteousness".
Other important aspects of a Sikh's life include Sewa
(dedication to the service of God's creation)
Thanks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

p.s. I studied Whitehead's Metaphysics back in the 1980's. No wonder we think alike!
smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/11/08 05:05 PM

Sam: I have the feeling that, if they knew about, the vast majority of those who are staying away from the organized, tradition-bound and ritualized religions would respect the philosophy and theology (unitheist) of Alfred North Whitehead.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/11/08 11:57 PM

The idea of cultural christianity is unusual because unlike your quotes sam, it requires no conscious adoption or understanding of the faith in any way. This acculturation is the result of being alive within a particular society and appreciating what matters to them, and, it seems to me appreciating it without reference to personal belief or culture. An extreme example could be the adoption of Christmas and Easter in SE Asian countries where the result is often very unusual to our eyes. It is arguable that many people adopt religious dogma for the comfort it brings, or even a perceived social advancement rather than belief and I am not talking about that. I am still pondering an avowed (even on her death bed), atheist wanting the music and ritual she loved, whilst remaining untouched by anything else the church had to offer. I can understand it. The possibility of being sent off to the sound of Bach's sacred music or a beautiful gregorian chant has great appeal!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/12/08 02:41 AM

Sam and Ellis: I assume that both of you are, by now, well aware that my wife and I belong to a fellowship--a new group (Pathwayschurch.ca since Jan. 2006). Though it is sponsored by the more traditional, but open-minded, United Church of Canada--it is made up of members who not bound to accept doctrines, liturgies, rituals and the like just because someone says they should. Our fellowship also believes that faith need never be contrary to science and reason.

THE UNITED CHURCH OBSERVER--Our national magazine.
Check out the current issue
http://www.ucobserver.org/
Note what the editor, David Wilson, says about
Why a faith-based magazine feels it's important to sponsor a museum exhibit on Charles Darwin.

Non-Christians, agnostics, non-theists, and even atheists are welcome. We come together as pilgrims, walking in the light we have, in the journey we call life. We are here to be of holistic (body, mind and spirit) service to one another and for the good of the total community, including the secular one. My wife and I have no desire to belong to a religion that is in any way judgemental; or one that is so heavenly minded that it of no earthly good.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/12/08 06:30 AM

Rev wrote:
My wife and I have no desire to belong to a religion ....... that is so heavenly minded that it of no earthly good.

That's a great thought!!! It certainly made me smile.... True too.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/12/08 07:38 AM

are theists welcome?
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/12/08 04:43 PM

Anon,
Are theists welcome to do what? Post about science? Don't judge the whole site by a single thread.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/12/08 07:51 PM

Anon, you ask: Are theists welcome? Of course, NOT!!! When I was one, I was too heavenly minded. ... laugh

Yes, I presumed you were joking. I like to joke too. Now, let's dialogue about the numerous theisms. It is fun to do.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/13/08 01:26 AM

Rev wrote......let's dialogue about the numerous theisms. It is fun to do.

I thought we were already doing that, plus the anti-theists get a go too!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/13/08 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rev wrote......let's dialogue about the numerous theisms. It is fun to do.

I thought we were already doing that, plus the anti-theists get a go too!
Of course you are right, Ellis.

BTW, it is interesting to note that, despite all the variety we have found--and still finding--in life, there are still many people who assume their is only one way think. And, of course, it is their way. When it comes to theology, even most fundamentalists cannot agree on the same list of fundamentals.

Not long before his death, the sceptic and atheist, Bertrand Russell said: "I have no desire to die for my beliefs, because I could be wrong." smile


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/13/08 04:32 PM

THIS IS INTERESTING
Re: The New Militant Atheism
http://reddingloavesandfishes.com/forum/index.php?topic=916.0
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/13/08 05:04 PM

I keep hearing about how nasty the new atheists are, but every time I actually look up what they have said in their own words, it sounds imminently reasonable. Moreover it is hardly ever recognizable as the same view that religionists have imputed to them.

Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/13/08 09:56 PM

I've always found it hard to define myself as either an atheist or a theist; now I'll have to find out what "new atheists" are defined as. Are there "new theists" too? ...Revl...?

...busy week, but this came up as I turned on the computer. ...wanted to be first....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24598856/?GT1=43001
Quote:
LONDON - Albert Einstein: arch rationalist or scientist with a spiritual core?
A letter being auctioned in London this week adds more fuel to the long-simmering debate....


As I read that first sentence, I thought 'why does that have to be an "or" statement; can't one be both?'
My next thought came as I read "...expressed complex and arguably contradictory views on faith, perceiving a universe suffused with spirituality while rejecting organized religion;" and again it was basically the same: 'Where is the contradiction?'

Quote:
John Brooke, emeritus professor of science and religion at Oxford University, said the letter lends weight to the notion that "Einstein was not a conventional theist" — although he was not an atheist, either.
"Like many great scientists of the past, he is rather quirky about religion, and not always consistent from one period to another," Brooke said.
...or 'not consistent from one context to another,' perhaps?
....Translating and/or emphasizing things differently, depending on context.

Maybe there is something to learn here; but either way... this is a good quote:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Well, it's a nice little article. I've seen Isaacson speak about his book before [thanks BookTV] and he includes many of his best points: ("Einstein was no Einstein"), etc., in this obnoxious (but short) video interview.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24579466#24579466
video of Einstein on NBC interview: "May 12: Walter Isaacson, author of "Albert Einstein: His Life and Universe," takes Mika Brzezinski and Chris Matthews inside the mind of the genius who was able to combine intelligence and creativity."
I liked his answer to Pat Buchanan's (if i recognized the voice right) "question" about Intel. Design.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/14/08 01:45 AM

TFF comments
Quote:
I keep hearing about how nasty the new atheists are

Nasty? You mean: disgustingly dirty? Morally filthy and vile?
Surely, you exaggerate. You have certainly not heard me describe atheists as "nasty", have you?.

BTW, the very title of Dawkins' book, The GOD Delusion, implies that all theists are "deluded"--mentally ill?.

Hitchins goes even further. Have you checked out what he proposes? Scary, eh?

I agree that there are extremists on both sides. I say, let us not allow the them to keep us from exploring common values.



Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/14/08 02:58 AM

Rev: re the New Militant Atheists:

There is a curious statement made in the article you posted. It is that anti-theism (atheism) will lead to the spread of Islam and the overthrow of the world as we know it (or something). I would like to point out that atheism would be as much opposed to Islam as it is to any religion that requires a belief in the supernatural --ie a god/being/presence by any name. Why should it be assumed that Islam, Buddhism or any other religion is more robust than Christianity? Personally I feel that there is a groundswell of feeling against organised religion in the various Western cultures. This can be seen in the interest many people have in the formerly fringe religions with a far more flexible dogma that encourages individuals to search for 'the meaning of life' for themselves.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/14/08 03:10 AM

Sam I have just read your Einstein quote and it was exactly what I was trying to say in the post above!!!! Now I feel very clever and will need a week to get over it!

I don't agree with it though. bfp ( I think it was) wrote somewhere that he felt that the things that we don't understand today are not necessarily evidence of the supernatural. One day we humans will understand, and with the rational explanation will come understanding. So if the result is that what we now call the supernatural is explained by our own reasoning, it will obviously no longer be beyond our comprehension.

PS On the other hand maybe Einstein knew better than I do, just how much we don't know!
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/14/08 07:42 PM

Ellis, you ask
Quote:
Why should it be assumed that Islam ... is more robust than Christianity?
The thing that concerns me about Islam is this: Certain Islamic leaders--by no means in the majority--have a fascist and theocratic approach to government. They actually believe that it is the will of Allah or Islam to impose itself on all people.

Before the Reformation, most Christian leaders had the same idea.The motto of the "one true faith" was "One Lord, one faith, one baptism". Even to this day certain Christians--Roman Catholic and Protestant--actually believe that Jesus Christ, the true Messiah, will return soon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Coming
Quote:
Second Coming: In Christianity, the Second Coming is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from heaven to earth, an event that will fulfill aspects of Messianic prophecy, such as the general resurrection of the dead, the last judgment of the dead and the living and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (also called the "Reign of God"), including the Messianic Age. Views about the nature of this return vary among Christian denominations. The original Greek of the New Testament uses the term Parousia (&#960;&#945;&#961;&#959;&#965;&#963;&#943;&#945;), the "appearance and subsequent presence with" (in the ancient world referring to official visits by royalty). The Second Coming is also referred to as the Second Advent, from the Latin term "adventus," for "coming." Teachings about the last days comprise Christian eschatology.


You add: "Personally I feel that there is a groundswell of feeling against organised religion in the various Western cultures."

I kinda hope you are right. I am much in favour of, "fringe religion with a far more flexible dogma that encourages individuals to search for 'the meaning of life' for themselves."
========================
BELOW is a site about: The Church Of God. It is an example--and there are any number like it--of what are called adventist Christians.
Under Herbert W. Armstrong, it broke away from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, way back. HWA said that he would live to see Christ's return. He did not. His son broke away and formed his own church. Others did the same thing.
It always amazes me how gullible many people are.

http://www.cog-pkg.org/
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/14/08 08:57 PM

About Einstein's view of religion. From what I have heard and read he was not a follower of any doctrinaire religion. He had little time for what I call the bunk uttered by certain religionists--the ones who speak of God as if he is a three-dimensional being.

His "religion" was expressed by the way he lived his daily life and the awe he had for the creative nature of the universe. I wonder if he was aware of the work of A.N. Whitehead and process theology? IMO he was more of a panENtheist/unitheist--GOD in and through all that IS--than either a theist or deist.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/15/08 12:50 PM

I haven't read much Hitchens and none in years, so I don't know what he says. I agree with Dawkins that God is a delusion, although I have not read his book. Being delusional doesn't mean a person is crazy.

I only recently found out who Sam Harris is and haven't read his books.

I tried to read Daniel Dennett and I'm sure he's brilliant, but I go turned off in chapter one of his "Consciousness Explained," so I don't know what he says either.

Of these 4 horsemen, I know very little. I hear about how they are very extreme in their views. Maybe they are - but to the extent I have read and heard their actual words, I haven't found a lot to disagree with. (Except the 1st chapter of Dennett, which was just dumb.)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/16/08 11:06 PM

TFF, you say that God--the human-like god of monotheism--is an illusion. So does Dawkins. You may be surprised to hear me say: I agree with both of you.

However, when I speak about GØD keep in mind that I speak of a new concept. Your questions, please.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/17/08 01:57 PM

After reading Dawkins, Hitchens and other modern
atheists--BTW, I read Ingersol, Bertrand Russell, Freud and others, decades ago--I have come to the conclusion that the big problem is one of semantics and has much to do with how we define words like God, the Bible, heaven, hell and other theological concepts.

When I read what atheists say about God and tell us about the god they have in mind--the god of the literally minded--I have little
difficulty denying the kind of god about whom they write. Because I find atheism an impossible concept to accept this led me to come up with my own way of looking at the ground of all being and to my concocting my own word for it.

BTW, I agree with those who say--and there is now a book with this as title--"I do not have enough faith to be an atheist".
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/17/08 05:37 PM

"I find atheism an impossible concept to accept"

so what is the paradox, or the 'conflict of facts' which makes atheism an impossible concept?

rev, why dont you call yourself an agnostic; you do believe all of the same things that an agnostic does...

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/17/08 09:30 PM

Originally Posted By: big fat pig
"I find atheism an impossible concept to accept"

so what is the paradox, or the 'conflict of facts' which makes atheism an impossible concept?

Rev, why don't you call yourself an agnostic; you do believe all of the same things that an agnostic does...
Thanks for your excellent question, BFP. Happily, I answer: I AM agnostic--about many things. For example, I am agnostic about the furniture of heaven and the temperature of hell. smile

BFP, I am not an atheist for a very simple reason: Most atheists are, like most theists, too doctrinaire. They appear to be saying: I KNOW that there is no god in any way shape or form. OK, I say: If this is your claim, convince me. If you cannot, then feel free to join the rest of us agnostics, who, I feel happen to be in the majority.

Seriously: Most of us are agnostic about most things. If we were truly humble enough we would admit it. Then we could, with the help of the honest use of science, move on to more and more KNOWLEDGE.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/18/08 02:33 AM

Rev I cannot believe that everyone who acknowledges the possible existence of god (or the supernatural) KNOWS that this is true.

What happened to: Lord-- I believe, help thou my unbelief.

And while I am grumping on-- I am a little annoyed at the way atheists are portrayed as denying the existence of a personal god (you now the one with a beard sitting on a cloud) when in fact many people have taken it further, both on this site and in the general public. Arguments against the existence of a god include consideration of the supernatural, the "presence", reincarnation,nature of outer space, the afterlife --- there would be more but I haven't time to list them all. And atheists see no reason to believe in any of them, which I think is a hair split away from saying disbelieve them all, --- we get back to the nature of individual faith, without which communal belief cannot exist.


Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/18/08 01:59 PM

Dialogue with Ellis
Quote:
Rev I cannot believe that everyone who acknowledges the possible existence of god (or the supernatural) KNOWS that this is true.
I know that what I call GOD--goodness, order and design--is true, for me. I like to think of the "supernatural" as that part of the natural which we have not, with the help of a humble science, discovered as yet.

BTW, compared to what my parents, and certainly my grandparents, experienced, I am living in a supernatural world.

You ask
Quote:
What happened to: Lord-- I believe, help thou my unbelief.
This question by Thomas is still there and asked by many.

Quote:
... I am a little annoyed at the way atheists are portrayed as denying the existence of a personal god (you now the one with a beard sitting on a cloud)
Don't atheist deny the existence of a personal god?
What I want to ask atheists is: Do you also deny the existence of persons as spiritual beings?--that is, persons who could possibly be capable of surviving physical death of the physical biody and go on experiencing an awesome kind of existence in other and GOD-like dimensions. Which is what I believe: We are evolving from physical, through mental to spiritual.

You mention
Quote:
... the nature of individual faith, without which communal belief cannot exist.
I readily admit that what I predict is based on what I believe, what I have faith it.

My understanding is that most atheists--perhaps not all--are nihilists. Without malice or prejudice, I caution--those especially to use their "faith" as an excuse to do evil: Nihilists, take care of what you believe in; you may get that in which you appear to believe.

BTW, if you are right you will never have the satisfaction of saying, "I told you so..." But think of the fun I will have with the moral, ethical and loving atheists who I feel will live to live another day. My definition of hell is life without hope.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/18/08 09:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: Ellis
... I am a little annoyed at the way atheists are portrayed as denying the existence of a personal god (you now the one with a beard sitting on a cloud)
Don't atheist deny the existence of a personal god?
I think Ellis was emphasizing the WAY atheists.... Not that atheists are portrayed AS
IMHO smile
....But a good answer Revl.
... & after reading the past weeks stuff....

This seems to be a lot of word wrangling over definitions. Theist, Deist, Atheist; is there an Adeist?
I never liked Agnostic (without knowledge of), but it is the most appropriate, as Revl. points out.
We are "without knowledge of," but we are not without the desire for knowledge of....

In our desire for knowledge (that fruit), we too easily reify our understanding.

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kauffman06/kauffman06_index.html
TheFallibleFiend provided this great link.

I think it provides that bridge in understanding which takes us beyond these conceptual stumbling blocks, reifications, and labels (and opposition to labels).

http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26073#Post26073
[quote]"This emerging view finds a natural scientific place for value and ethics, and places us as co-creators of the enormous web of emerging complexity that is the evolving biosphere and human economics and culture."

I loved his direction; to apply this [definition of "God"] to "the evolving biosphere and human economics and culture."

I think this deserves a second and third look....
smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/19/08 02:40 AM

Sam comments
Quote:
We are "without knowledge of," but we are not without the desire for knowledge of....

In our desire for knowledge (that fruit), we too easily reify (you mean 'deify'?) our understanding.
Good points, Sam. I will comment more, later. IMO, the more willingly we dialogue with others, the more we will understand, and know.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/19/08 06:40 AM

Reify: "To convert (an abstraction or mental construction) into a supposed real thing; to attribute substantiality to; to hypostatize (to assume as a reality). ~Webster's

...IMHO
A word describing a concrete, fixed definition or idea of something that is an indefinably complex conception.
Climate, war, politics, the public, and God are examples of reified concepts.
...notice that each person develops their own concrete, fixed definition (or image) for each of these complex concepts; although we all use the same word to refer to any given complex concept.
smile
~samwik

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/19/08 03:26 PM

Reify. I have learned a new word, thanks.

We do this, that is, we reify a lot, don't we? It is certainly true that some of us do see our God as the one and only true, real and glorious god, worthy of worship. Some of us label all other gods as false and, depending on the level of civilization, we see the people who worship them as being worthy of death and hell.

Still others see all gods as a figments of the human imagination.

I see the whole god-concept as something which, in every generation, needs to be redefined--re-invented, as Kauffman points out--even given a new name. This is why I value having a dialogue about such concepts, rather than a debate.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 05/27/08 09:35 AM

In addition to the philosophy of....
What about the consequences of religion; what effect does it....

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Sam comments
Quote:
We are "without knowledge of," but we are not without the desire for knowledge of....
In our desire for knowledge (that fruit), we too easily reify ...our understanding.
Good points, Sam. I will comment more, later. IMO, the more willingly we dialogue with others, the more we will understand, and know.


http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26223#Post26223
Originally Posted By: redewenur

Learning would then be not only a useful occupation, but also a moral and religious duty.


Wow, I wonder if that sentence has ever been uttered before.
It certainly deserves to be immortalized in the firmament somehow.


Despite the "fictional" origin of this sentence above, it actually stopped me from reading any more (for a while) as I had to go pace and think about all the stuff that idea inspired.

As I recall now, it was the image of the apple, the symbolic fruit of knowledge, that had me thinking that maybe that's the point of all religions. "Taking the bite" is about the first action in the story, after the scenery is described.
And of course we need forgiveness because it takes a lot of learning (trial & error) to use the knowledge wisely. To keep striving for that perfection or the wisest of applications (best of deeds?) must have some metaphors in the biblical story also.

Well, it just struck me that religion was the first attempt to codify, or parametize, the proper use of knowledge in order to maintain a social balance or equilibrium.
I've been ruminating on that phrase about "having dominion over all the...."
Much of the rest of the story is about how to wisely administer that dominion as stewards to benefit all.

Well, thanks rede- for the inspiration on these metaphors.

Hey! Deja Vu....
...
p.s.
...it was somebody ...talking about "the apple," "the garden" ... and metaphors.
Amaranth Rose, I think you participated in that thread. Ring any bells?

....and then I just found this:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=23423#Post23423
somewhat tangentially related, eh?
smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/01/08 03:57 AM

ABOUT KNOWLEDGE, GUILT AND HAVING A CONSCIENCE
==============================================
In my opinion, as long as we avoid going to extremes and sincerely intend to take positive actions to improve things, a guilty conscience is a sign of a healthy spirit. When I have a guilty conscience I don't blame my conscience; it is just doing it job. People without consciences are psychopaths (people with sick minds), and what I call pneumatopaths (people with sick spirits).
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/02/08 10:08 PM

I mostly agree. The point being, Guilt is a product of a psyche trying to find sense and meaning in an irrational, shattered world of News. In a way, guilt is a by-product of language, which attempts to represent reality with concepts, and of course these concepts of language barely touch the underlying reality which they try to describe. Contamination of language is one thing, but our personal brains/psyches associate different things and ideas to words and concepts, thus there is confusion, thus there is disagreement, thus there is judgement and guilt. Eckhart Tolle's "Power of Now" digs the reeking graves of guilt so deep i hope everyone reads it. Guilt may have evolutionary purposes, but as individuals it is something we must overcome.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/03/08 02:22 AM

Anon, you say, "I mostly agree."

With what?

BTW, my daughter gave me a copy of, "Eckhart Tolle's "Power of Now."

You say it, "...digs the reeking graves of guilt so deep i hope everyone reads it. Guilt may have evolutionary purposes, but as individuals it is something we must overcome."

Give us a bit of a summary, please!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/04/08 10:01 PM

I just found this today. It caught my eye because I am a scientist and I follow a spiritual/mystic path. I'm very interested in both topics. There was a moment of excitement when I saw the title: Phil.of all Religions, as I love a good, spirited and passionate discussion.
Then I read a page or two of posts, OK, 4 pages, in the interest of accuracy.
I think you might want to change the title.
It's misleading.

Namaste.
Posted by: odin1

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/05/08 03:28 AM

Hello Namaste,

What would you recommend? And misleading in what way?
Just curious.

best regards,
odin1
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/05/08 09:34 PM

Namaste. I understand that this is the Sanskrit word for: I bow to you, honour you, and respect you. In other words, the god in me looks for the god in you.
BTW, at http://www.pathwayschurch.ca the church I attend, we use 'namaste', every time we meet.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 01:30 AM

LOOK AT THAT!!! 271,000, and more, clicks on this thread. Amazing. I wonder how much of this is spam?

Lurkers, fear not! Take part and give us a grunt, even if you do so anonymously. Tell us, what is the appeal of this topic? Your opinion is of real value.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 01:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
I just found this today. It caught my eye because I am a scientist and I follow a spiritual/mystic path. I'm very interested in both topics. There was a moment of excitement when I saw the title: Phil.of all Religions, as I love a good, spirited and passionate discussion.
Then I read a page or two of posts, OK, 4 pages, in the interest of accuracy.
I think you might want to change the title.
It's misleading.

Namaste.


Someone should create a "Table of Contents" for this thread.
It doesn't have to be fancy, formal, or even consistent.
Just look, for example, at:
http://hypography.com/forums/terra-preta/14448-contents-t-p-parent-thread-started.html

Some of the great evolution of wisdom, created at certain times over the course of this thread, will be easily missed by just reading a few pages here or there.

Hint, hint, Revl.

Cheers,
~SA
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 04:22 AM

Originally Posted By: samwik
[quote=Anonymous]
... Some of the great evolution of wisdom, created at certain times over the course of this thread, will be easily missed by just reading a few pages here or there.

Hint, hint, Revl.~SA
What do you mean by the., "hint..."
Sam?
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 05:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: samwik
Hint, hint, Revl.~SA
What do you mean by the., "hint..."
Sam?


confused
Someone (hint) should create a "Table of Contents" for this thread.
? smile
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 06:06 AM

How about it Rev? A Table of Contents!

And sincere congratulations to you for
a) starting this thread
b) sticking with it (in spite of types like me)
c) and maintaining your own unwavering commitment throughout.

Here's to your NEXT 217,000!

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 01:01 PM

Guilt is simply the result of us doing something that is bad for us or for someone else. There is no difference. We share neurotransmitters with each other constantly on the most basic level and following a higher way of thinking, we all occupy this dimension so everything we do affects everything else: a single thread- the emotions you feel produce hormones that wash off your skin and go into the ground and into the plants that grow and we eat.

To feel guilt is to mourn for this negative affect we have produced.

Guilt is not a product of evolution. Evolution theory is obsolete. Every 200,000 years the magenetic poles flip and everything is wiped out. You think that in this short chapter of geological life man has developed guilt as a means of survival?
If anything wouldn't man lose the instinct for guilt?

Evolution is just a ridiculous concept made up to convince man that they should turn against each other and fight like wild dogs.

The strength of future generations is based on love- the strength of the family unit, of social ties, of letting each other eat (many people still haven't learnt to share well into their 50's), of mental and physical stability independant of artificial chemical poisoning. A man in love does not need caffeine to stay awake or weed to relax. And his children will benefit. The frequencies produced by human empathy and love can override any form of depression or agression. The magnetic field that we live within is very senstive to human emotions and negative emotions feed this '2012' phenomenena.

Guilt is the voice telling us to fix up- for your own benefit and for that of everything and everyone else. We conduct the light of life and to ignore a terrible feeling means that we only do so to our own detriment.

Who is this fool telling people to overcome guilt? Why not overcome the rubbish we have to deal with that makes us feel guilt then there is the beginning of a solution. Seems like this person doesn't really care about mankind at all. Anyone who tell you to ignore it when you feel bad usually has their own agenda or is the person making you feel that way in the first place.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 01:19 PM

Very true!

God helps those who he wills. All of us who feel guilt are blessed because we have been given the intelligence to understand the consequence of our actions. This is a blessing because we are shown mercy in that we are given the choice whether to change our course of action or remain on a path of destruction.

Seems pretty obviously but how many people do something that feels so wrong but only to get used to it even though it hurts them and those they love? The guilt they lose is the connection they had with with themselves.

If a person has no sense of guilt then he is truly of those lost.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 02:13 PM

Evolution Theory is not obsolete. It is on firmer footing now than it ever has ever been.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/09/08 05:12 PM

Anons, one and two, I repeat what I said about conscience, above: In my opinion, as long as we avoid going to extremes and we sincerely intend to take positive actions to improve things, a guilty conscience is a sign of a healthy spirit. When I have a guilty conscience I don't blame my conscience; it is just doing it job. People without consciences are psychopaths (people with sick minds), and what I call pneumatopaths (people with sick spirits)'
==============================================================
Are you both born-again Christians? If so: Why does an all-powerful, loving and personal God allow so much horrible and, IMO, meaningless pain and suffering?
Keep in mind: I am not talking about the kind of acceptable pain which produces gain.
=====================
Sam and Ellis, about a table of contents. If I knew where to start--any suggestions?--I would.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/16/08 05:19 PM

I wonder why there has been no response from Anons 2?
Why does an all powerful, all loving and personal God allow so much horrible and, IMO, meaningless pain and suffering?

I would love to have a dialogue about this.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/16/08 07:47 PM

Guilt is the attachment to dogma. Social standards based on being separate from God, or the experience of not being united with God.
"I and my Father are one" was not an iconic statement made by Jesus from a belief but from the actual experience of communion with omnipresence and omniscience.
If you were to feel guilty about something and then later were to discover that something was perfectly played out so that you could better understand the nature of yourself and reality you wouldn't feel guilty.

There's a book written by Neale Walsh called
The Little Soul and the Sun. It describes the pre-incarnation experience of two angels who are going to earth to experience what feels like to be violated by someone. One is to be a thief and the other a victim to the thief. In their conversation they agree to remember each other and to not take it personally.
The premise of the story is that in order to know light one must experience darkness, and the idea that Earthlife is the experience of creation, and perceptions of creation, based on levels of understanding. Full understanding comes with objectivity and people who suffer with conscious guilt are those who live in the hell of ignorance which is the ignorance of the omnipresent, omniscient mind, or the mind that is fully in contact with the source of all of creation and all of human interaction.
A guilty mind is often at odds with reality and as such acts in desperation, due to the fact that sufficient guidance was not present when one was learning about themselves and their relationship with the world.

Basically we are taught by parents and peers who learn from books that are generally ten years old, and by the current media which is based on sensationalism and dramatizes the success of humanity as wealth in forms of money, sex, position, age, etc.
When someone grows up without a true understanding of reality their system of self measure leaves them struggling for a point of reference that keeps withdrawing and changing before their eyes. Trying to live up to our parents or our peers expectations implies we are guilty before we can be without guilt.
This is the same twisted scenario created by ignorant interpretations of religion where we are born in sin and have to prove ourselves worthy before a God that will,(If we prove ourselves) absolve us from our predetermined inferiority and lack of self worth.
Guilt is a misunderstanding, and those who hold people in contempt have no real compassion, for they do not see God in everyone but those they favor so that their private universe can remain intact.

There is no such thing as someone without a conscience. There are different levels of experience and those who decide how consciousness should be according to their levels of consciousness. But everyone plays a part on Earth and there are no such things as victims unless you do not experience God or yourself in everything.

The Earth is more akin to a giant classroom with every possible course being taught according to the needs of human experience.
A friend once said life is like an arrow, and it first must be drawn back before it can be propelled forward.
This is not a rule but it is also not a false analogy. If we remain victims to creation we always will be separate from it and will fear it. There is a bigger part of ourselves that lives without the clothing of personality and individuality and some are awakening to it quicker than others. Those that are slow to come around are the most dogmatic about their beliefs in their individuality,their accomplishments, and their judgment towards others.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/16/08 11:19 PM

Anon wrote:

"But everyone plays a part on Earth and there are no such things as victims unless you do not experience God or yourself in everything."

Please could you explain this statement in more detail?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 03:20 AM

The manifestation of experience is initiated by desire. Desire comes in many forms, mostly we recognize it in the ideas of wants and needs. However wants and needs are not the only energies that create. Subconscious thought patterns create ripple effects in the fabric of time and space and as such have just as much of an impact on our creation as one pointed desire to achieve a goal.

We don't consciously realize that we are the cause of reality due to the beliefs and levels of perception, instead it is easier for us to believe it is the cause of some God or some random occurrence, but the universe is too well organized and structured to be an accident or a random occurrence. And tho the majority of humanity believes in God it doesn't universally accept a God that rules over humanity as omnipresent, in that it would exist in everything. Omniscient and create a mistake such as a human life that is flawed or created in sin from the lack if planning on God's part. Nor do we intuitively accept a God that is Omnipotent but needs to be worshiped.

God is absolute in nature and it is not something that can be Isolated in form or definition tho it is present in form and definition. We are a reflection rather than a part of the ongoing expansion of Gods consciousness.

We can use simple examples. Duality is necessary to create experience. Light doesn't exist without its opposite which is darkness, or light and heavy determining a measure of weight. Black and white are a kind of opposite and good cannot be determined without evil. Without a negative a positive cannot be a positive, it can only be.
Humanity exists with the potential to feel and experience both Good and evil, to do so good and evil would have to exist for those senses to be activated. If the mechanisms of perception weren't there, then whatever was created wouldn't be perceived.

A greater wonder is that with the mechanism in place all it takes is a vibratory activation of thought to create a ripple effect in the fabric to make experience. Just as sound is generated in waves that travel through both air and a vacuum, so do thought patterns.
Where thought patterns are received is in intuition, if amplified it is in the manifestation of activity. With 6 billion transmitters the resonance of belief in reality creates a pretty solid feeling stage of events.
Within that collective are all the dreams, hopes, anxieties or stresses of humanity and they directly affect everything from personal experience in growth and expansion of consciousness in evolution, to something as far removed from the idea of control as the weather.
The mind is a translator of energetic thought waves and a receiver of the impressions created by those waves.
While the mind is actively engaged in beliefs at a gross level of reality it sees itself as separate from it all in its relationship to personal creation and living in random occurrences that it has little or no control over. The ego is the image of collected experience and beliefs. Like a computer that is programmed it functions according to the software it has installed. And like a computer that functions at a basic level it has little awareness of its creator or its programmer.

When one rises above the ego, consciousness reflects a much larger image of itself that goes beyond the limitations of the earthbound experiences that are the ego and its construct.

It is not that much different than the Matrix movie only the creator of the matrix is not a machine with a need to survive but an omnipresent consciousness that by its very nature reflects itself in the images of human endeavor and beliefs in limitation as easily as it reflects itself in the miracles we think are commonplace but once believed impossible in the past.

The earth is like a stage and everyone is an actor. The human parts are like a change of clothes and the consciousness within humanity lives long after one act ends and another begins.
The generations of superconscious masters have always guided humanity towards self realization, while the preachers of religion have tried to make the ego feel better about its place in limitation and individuality and to reassure itself that there is some kind of Loving order to things. But the consciousness of Churchianity is based on ego love, or love based on good feelings or conscience of agreement, rather than unconditional love that supports the child regardless of its choices.

In every war, where each side claims God is on their side, it would be hard to imagine a God that could take a side, but it is even more difficult to imagine that God is actually on both sides, giving each side what they want in the choice to fight for their difference of opinion and their beliefs in righteousness. But it is literally true. God will give you what you want in that regard, the ability to make a choice and to act according to your hearts desire. Never mind if you heart is buried in hate and fear, if it takes you a thousand lifetimes to get through the crap surrounding your true nature and to expand beyond such trivial pursuits, so be it.

It isn't difficult to experience the nature of consciousness or the unity of consciousness that exists in humanity and God. One merely needs to find a useful tool to take the mind inward and beyond the limited boundaries of the attached sensory ideals.
No human is born with the intention to be bad, for the idea isn't even programmed into the mind or the psyche, yet the body is well equipped to accept the programming and even to act out the ideas of duality that are bad and Good.
Basically the newborn is wide open and begins to accept what it is told in relationship to who or what it is and who and what has control over its welfare until that authority releases it into its own cognizant being.
Based on which kind of programs it has accepted, it experiences its self worth and relationship to the world. Remove the programming and the mind lives in the perfect now, without any influence of the past or the projections of some possible future.

We all experience the mood changes in those who we are close to.
If someone we love comes home and has a good or bad day they radiate a vibrational resonance that we are intuitively connected to.
In the cellular makeup of the human body each cell has a way of communicating using neuropeptides and receiver sites. The body is literally a thinking machine with every cell communicating every thought and feeling. The human psyche is tuned into this in ones own self and is capable of sensing it in others. We are no different than the cells in a body only on a level that is much greater and our conscious awareness is much more expanded in that we can become self aware and even think independently.
This is how we are made in the image of God. We can become self aware of ourselves. Based on where we draw the boundary line is where ego limits the self. If one allows themselves to drift beyond the boundaries of ego the absolute God is experienced in the reflection of infinity.

Some have literally been changed after an experience of this. Abraham Maslow who was a psychologist did many studies on this kind of experience and called it a peak experience. It is the kind of experience one has when reaching the top of a mountain after a climb, or standing at the shore of an ocean, or giving birth, or even jogging. The mind temporarily leaves behind the programs of the ego and experiences a potential that is not contained by fear based programs of limitation.
When one develops this into a permanent state of awareness God or the absolute expanse of potential exists in everything and the one who experiences this exists in unison with it, in everything and in everyone at the same time.

For those that have experienced near death experiences and have felt their life unfold before them, the ego death is similar and a rebirth of conscious awareness leaves one at a new level of experiencing life. One begins to feel and experience life unfold from ones own ideas and beliefs, the reflection of energies is not unlike dropping pebbles into a clear pond. Each pebble is like a thought and as it ripples outward and reaches the shore of manifest reality it becomes a pure reflection of that desire or thought.

The typical waking state mind thinks some 60,000 thoughts per day according to study by Stanford University. Instead of individual thoughts being dropped into the pond coherently the mind that is preoccupied with past and future events, self worth and stress from judgment and fear, is dropping handfuls of pebbles into the pond creating chop with some thoughts canceling other thoughts out. Subconscious programs of negativity often clash with new positive ideas making it difficult to maintain a particular thought or desire. But when the mind is stilled into this "Peak Experience" as Maslow termed it, the mind becomes perfectly coherent. This has even been measured by attaching the leads of an electroencephalograph to the parietal and occipital lobes of the brain. During normal activity the left and right hemispheres register incoherent patterns that are different than each other, but when one experiences a "Peak Experience" they begin to reflect each other in perfect coherence.
This is the normal brain activity of expanding consciousness.

God is neither Good nor Bad, God is. As such We being made in the image of God are the image of isness and that image is a reflection that some see good, some see separateness, and some see perfection.
The absolute is a perfect mirror for whatever we wish to see or whatever we want to believe is real.
When one ascends the limitations of ego and its identifiers, conscience that is relative to duality is superseded. Until then a conscience is a reflection of ones own judgment and ones belief of ones place in separation of reality.
Without the experience of Truth Conscience becomes the voice of reason and the reason that is generated from lack of knowledge is reason that is founded in illusions of reality, not reality nor the Truth of ones own being.
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 04:44 AM

Hey; isn't this the thread talking about guilt? Guilt is something evident in all primates (and I think all mammals).
...oh, sorry; that was last week....

meanwhile....

"Without the experience of Truth, Conscience becomes the voice of reason and the reason that is generated from lack of knowledge is reason that is founded in illusions of reality, not reality nor the Truth of one's own being." -I added the first comma....

When I have a free hour or two, I'm sure I'll enjoy reading this deep wisdom above (...judging by the last part).
Until then, ...I read the last paragraph and was immediately struck by the reference to "reason." Of course, I'm reading Stuart Kauffman's, Reinventing the Sacred [on my Kindle wink ] and his whole argument is based on the inadequacy of reason alone to structure a worldview around. [...or words to that effect.]

"Today the schism between faith and reason finds voice in the sometimes vehement disagreements...." -S.K.
"Emergence... is but one part of the new scientific worldview I shall discuss." -S. Kauffman

~more later
smile
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 05:24 AM

Anon wrote:

"but the universe is too well organized and structured to be an accident or a random occurrence."

To which I can only reply - no it isn't.

Anon also wrote at length on the nature of god- what it is or isn't- and examined the link between reason and truth. At least I think he/she did. Maybe not. I did read it all- but I got lost when the Matrix was mentioned. I DID NOT like that movie at all!! and also I am not sure exactly what is meant by the experience of truth. (The comma helped-- Thanks Sam). Surely the truth of one's own being may be flawed without our knowledge- we can never know everything and can only do our best and try not to hurt others, something which happens all too often when we feel we know the one true answer.

Sam--Ah guilt-- what would we do without it! (Be happy probably!)
Posted by: samwik

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 05:33 AM

I feel appropriately guilty (I hope),
but I try not to let it bother me too much (I suspect).

smile

p.s. re: my previous reply to anon. Here's a link to the Stuart Kauffman thread:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26073#Post26073
Reinventing the Sacred
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 05:19 PM

Quote:
God is neither Good nor Bad, God is. As such, We being made in the image of God, are the image of isness and that image is a reflection that some see good, some see separateness, and some see perfection.
I like this point, Anon.
This is why I prefer to use an acronym: GØD, GOD--all that is good, orderly and well designed.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: samwik
I feel appropriately guilty (I hope),
but I try not to let it bother me too much (I suspect).:)...
I like this quote from Erich Fromm, a well know social psychologist and writer, for a few years ago:
"Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve." (1947)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 05:47 PM

Speaking of arguments..
I thought this was pretty cool.
http://cloudtenpictures.com/301StartlingProofs_Prophecies1-FINISHED-optimized_final.pdf
Except for the ending where they throw this at you..

Perhaps you were a die-hard atheist, or a strong skeptic. But now you believe
that God does really exist. And you may now be willing to believe that everything God
says in His word, the Bible, has come true just as He said, and will come true just as He
prophesied. Jesus died for the sins of all mankind. The only thing you have to do is
recognize that you are one of the sinners who needs to be saved from sins. And you need
to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, to come into your life, and to give you eternal
salvation just as He promised. It’s as simple as that. If you are ready to accept this in
your heart, you can say this simple prayer to God:
Dear Father in heaven, I realize that I am a sinner and worthy of the fires of hell. At this
moment I confess my sins and ask You to forgive me for my rebellion against You and my
refusal to accept the love of Christ. I accept the sacrifice that Your Son Jesus made for
me on Calvary’s cross. I believe that You raised Him from the dead. I confess with my
mouth that Jesus is my Lord. Thank You for hearing this prayer and accepting me into
the family of God because for the blood of Christ that covers my sins. And I know that
from this moment on I am saved. Thank You, Lord.


Personally I don't subscribe to the idea that one accept sin as being so simple, and then being automatically absolved by simply saying your guilty and asking for forgiveness.
This would be something similar to having worked all your life as a plumber and then having someone come along to say, "you're better suited to raise chickens." And as a result you respond by saying "Yes your right," and automatically you are a chicken farmer.
Simply saying you believe and asking for forgiveness does not automatically connect you to the experience of God. It may connect you to a network of believers who say things and believe things but their individual experiences will only be united in commonality of interest rather than commonality of life purpose and the experience of God being in everything, including every thought feeling and action.

People in general have allowed the outside authority to take away their intuitive intelligence, which in itself has had no nurturing in any public school and rarely in any family.

Rather than learning about ourselves from others who have mastered themselves, we surrender all definitions to scientific diatribe which is based not on totality but on relative percentages in speculation and theory.

Trust has developed into mass hypnosis or the support of majorities rather than cognition. Facts and figures that will change, become the template for beliefs.
Spirituality was really meant to lead to greater intelligence rather than a herd mentality.

Obviously winning an argument doesn't mean you are intelligent.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 06:08 PM

Quote:
Anon wrote:

"but the universe is too well organized and structured to be an accident or a random occurrence."

To which I can only reply - no it isn't.

To which I will reply. Of course it is.... whistle
Quote:
God is neither Good nor Bad, God is. As such, We being made in the image of God, are the image of isness and that image is a reflection that some see good, some see separateness, and some see perfection.
I like this point, Anon.
This is why I prefer to use an acronym: GØD, GOD--all that is good, orderly and well designed.

Isn't that special for you. I do this I do that, it all has some special meaning for you and you would like it to be just as special to others so that you can feel good about yourself.
God is a word and everyone attaches their specialness to the word and as a result worship themselves and their special iconic relationship to God rather than actually letting go of the specialness that keeps them bound to their individuality.

What would really be amazing is if you could find the same "experience,"in every spelling of God, rather than the one you worship. You might actually get closer to God in all forms. Your fascination for symbolism, hoping that it might reflect your unique intelligence and individuality actually reveals your ignorance of something that goes far beyond individual specialness and the acronyms that are created to polish the ego.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
...What would really be amazing is if you could find the same "experience,"in every spelling of God, rather than the one you worship. You might actually get closer to God in all forms. Your fascination for symbolism, hoping that it might reflect your unique intelligence and individuality actually reveals your ignorance of something that goes far beyond individual specialness and the acronyms that are created to polish the ego.
Ah, but I do "find the same experience". Thus I do not insist that anyone use my words. This is why I respect, without making any kind of judgment about their egos, how others speak of their 'god'. For example, Orthodox Jews use 'G-d'.

BTW, thanks for the dialogue. We have a lot to explore. I understand that, in love, it OK to disagree.

As Jesus told us not to judge, I have no judgment of them, or of theists, or deists (Both have quite different kinds of theology) when they use the same word, God.

BTW 2, how is it that so many Christians are so different from one another and, yet, they say that they believe in the same God? This is even true for a lot of born-again Christians. If God is a singular person, why does he not come to us, directly, and make it clear to all, willing to listen, what is the truth. Even an atheist will tell us: "I do not believe in God." I always ask, "Which God is it that you find unbelievable?"

May I suggest: It seems to me that a personal god would have a personal URL. Why doesn't God? It could be the NOW Bible.

Based on Matthew 18:19-20, I will, gladly, in prayer, ask him: "God, please feel free to join us... Anyone care to join me?

UNITHEISM
Unitheism does not have this problem.

How come, you may ask?

Because GOD--or GØD--for a unitheist is not a concrete, human-like person, or three-D super being. But rather that which is universal--in and through all that is--and all encompassing. Read John 10:34 and John 17: 20-24. "That all may be one..."

CHECK OUT PROCESS THEOLOGY
==========================
http://www.process-theology.org/
Quote:
Process Theology is an acknowledgement that contemporary understanding of God and God's expression through creation, including human beings, is always in "process" and never complete. That is to say that Process Theology is unlike traditional theologies in that it is not static. The idea that our understanding of God should be "the same yesterday, today, and forever" is thus rejected in Process theology. It recognizes that our understanding of truth, especially as it relates to concepts of God and human beings, is in need of progressive growth. It embraces the idea that the best of human nature is continually being nudged in the direction of growth and improvement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_theology
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/17/08 10:45 PM

Quote:
Ah, but I do "find the same experience".


Ah but you don't! You made it abundantly clear that you have chosen your symbol because of the meaning you gave to it.
Quote:
This is why I prefer to use an acronym: GØD, GOD--all that is good, orderly and well designed.

Obviously you have spoken to the effect of your choice and its meaning to you. You did not say all spellings have this meaning to you, only this particular acronym.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/18/08 02:28 AM

There are other options rather than theism and atheism,or scientism. Taoism,Buddhism are non theistic. That is a personal God is not even a relevant thing to argue.
Why? Because both Science and the Judeo Christina tradition are linear,which requires linear causation.
Taoist perspective and the Buddhist Doctrine of interdependent orgination see linear causality as an illusion derived form epistimology the limits of the perceiver. Kind of like the Quantum Enigma.Materialism has a problem with the very basic nature of its constituent parts which exhibit nonlinear,non temporal superposition,entanglement and other issues.
Strident Atheism is really a pathology not a philosophy as it puts so much emotion and energy to dispute logically that whihc it f it does exist al all is Trans logical.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/18/08 03:57 AM

HWAYEN, CURRENTLY, I am reading QI GONG--For Total Wellness by, Dr. Baolin Wu &Jessica Eckstein. Very interesting.Have you heard of it?

Tao=the way. Yeshuah, the Hebrew and Aramaic translation for the Greek, Jesus=the I am, which is the healing way. Jesus spoke "the way".

Let the dialogue continue. We can learn a lot when we are willing respect all sincerely held beliefs.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/18/08 06:00 PM

AT-ONE-MENT with GØD
The following words, which came to me
this AM, fit the tune,
HOMECOMING, by Haygood Hardie
================================
We are one with mother earth;
One with the land the skies and seas;
One with the source of human birth;
We are one...nnn in GØD.

We are one with father sky;
One with the sun, moon, planets, stars;
One with the galaxies on high;
We are one...nnn, in GØD.

With the Golden Rule in mind,
We work for justice and for peace;
With all our fellow human kind,
We work with GØD.

Some ending notes..........
With GaaaØD...innn GaaaØD...in GaaaØD, thuhhh ONE.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/18/08 06:57 PM

This just came to me while reading your last post Rev.

Jesus loves me, How'd I know???
Well somebody told me so..
Yass Jesus Loves me...
Yass Jesus Loves me...
Yass Jesus Loves meeeeee
'Causes someone told meeee soooooooo. whistle

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/18/08 10:11 PM

Anon, an excellent response.

Because I respect all sincerely held beliefs--and once benefited from the concepts of theism--I think I understand, and I respect, your sentiment. All such feelings are valid. I am serious. No sarcasm intended.

Now, feel free to stop being anonymous. Then let us have a sincere dialogue about such matters--agreeing to disagree, in Christian agape-love.

BTW, without being dogmatic, I consider myself to be born-again. That is, I am at the age where I know I could die; and I am preparing to do so.

I wonder: How many of us have taken the pause to ask ourselves: How do you feel about your own mortality?

POSTERS: How do you feel about your own mortality?
BTW, I have been warned by my doctor, and a specialist: "At your age, you are facing several risk factors such as ..."

Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 04:14 PM

"'but the universe is too well organized and structured to be an accident or a random occurrence.'

To which I can only reply - no it isn't." -ellis

how so? you just say that without any evidence, or have I over-looked that?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 05:24 PM

Nope, you didn't overlook it. It was a blanket statement.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 05:31 PM

Exactly. And what evidence do we have- either to show that our universe is the result of random breeding, or designed? I would say not much: for we only see the fringes of all that is within this place. We may be learning more, but not nearly enough in either direction to make dogmatic conclusions (not to say you all on here are being dogmatic, I respect all your opinions) about what is out there, and more importantly, why it is out there, and how. Yeah?
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 05:40 PM


Quote:

Exactly. And what evidence do we have- either to show that our universe is the result of random breeding, or designed?

I believe that was eluded to in this link, previously posted
http://cloudtenpictures.com/301StartlingProofs_Prophecies1-FINISHED-optimized_final.pdf
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 06:29 PM

I haven't even looked at the link, but I bet the evidence has been eluded.

An allusion to an illusion doesn't prove anything, in general.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 06:33 PM

I bet the evidence has been eluded too!

Sorry, ...couldn't resist.

~K
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 06:52 PM

Well proof is relative. There is no guarantee that anyone will believe something if it is stated as a proof, and science isn't exact.
Society in general pretty much believes everything it is taught in school, told and shown on mainstream media, even if it isn't someones personal experience.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 07:12 PM

Originally Posted By: the cloudten link
What we will attempt to do in the first part of this book, in down-to-earth language, is demonstrate that the theory of creationism, contrary to popular belief, does not lineup with scientific discoveries today.
Really?
Does that mean:
The populace believes creationism does "lineup with scientific discoveries today?"

~K
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/19/08 11:36 PM

What I intended to imply was that the origin of universe is just as easily explained as the result of a random event, action or chaos, as the possibility that it was planned by a divine planner of some sort, or indeed by the unlikely planned behaviour of otherwise chaotic events. I am, as I have often stated, not a scientist, but I see no more reason for believing the whole greater universe of which our world is a tiny portion, was 'made' to a plan rather than that it appeared as a result of blind chance.

Are not scientists among the most sceptical of we humans? They constantly test their hypotheses and are usually eager to research for the foundation of beliefs and conclusions, something not always so in the case of people with a religious background.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 12:45 AM

TT, and others: Keep in mind, IMO, this is not a debate; it is a dialogue--the sharing of ideas. Don't be shy. Share your thoughts about your religion, or lack of it, with us. Then we can take it for there. I want to understand you, not judge you.

I would like to explore the question: How inclusive is it possible for us to be, okay?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 01:06 AM

Quote:
Are not scientists among the most skeptical of we humans? They constantly test their hypotheses and are usually eager to research for the foundation of beliefs and conclusions, something not always so in the case of people with a religious background.
Ellis, I am sure you are aware that some of the great scientists and philosophers of history--Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Chardin, Whitehead, Tesla, Planck, Priestly, Kant, Hegel ...even Einstein, were open to the idea of spirituality.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 02:16 AM

Yes, I know that some scientists are believers in the divine. I do not subscribe to the theory that being a scientist precludes the acceptance of god/spirituality. Faith/belief in that area is a personal choice, one which, as you know I do not have. Thus my statement that I think the universe may be the result of blind chance seems reasonable to me.

However I will acknowledge that the scope and range of the known universe (and the possibilities of the unknown) are awe-inspiring!
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 02:43 AM

I liked the idea of blind chance or chaos theory of the big bang compared to taking the materials for a building and blowing them up with dynamite and ending up with a completed building.

Quote:
Really?
Does that mean:
The populace believes creationism does "lineup with scientific discoveries today?"

Do you normally think this way or are just sarcastic because your bored?

Scientists can be skeptical but then the majority of the population aren't skeptical enough to closely examine the things that are labeled as scientific, and often act like lemmings, following a lead even if it ends up at the bottom of a ravine after a long fall over a cliff.

Quote:
TT, and others: Keep in mind, IMO, this is not a debate; it is a dialogue--the sharing of ideas

Which part of expressing feelings or opinions falls outside of the definition of dialogue? If you don't want to judge others then just don't. That'd be a choice.

Quote:
Thus my statement that I think the universe may be the result of blind chance seems reasonable to me.

Seems totally idiotic to me
crazy
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 03:15 AM

Ellis, you say
Quote:
However I will acknowledge that the scope and range of the known universe (and the possibilities of the unknown) are awe-inspiring!
If you add the readiness to be a humane--loving, moral, and ethical--being to this. Now,tell me: What is the difference between this and being a spiritual one?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 04:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
Originally Posted By: anon~K
Really?
Does that mean:
The populace believes creationism does "lineup with scientific discoveries today?"

Do you normally think this way or are just sarcastic because your bored?

Scientists can be skeptical but then the majority of the population aren't skeptical enough to closely examine the things that are labeled as scientific, and often act like lemmings, following a lead even if it ends up at the bottom of a ravine after a long fall over a cliff.


Hiya TT,
It's a sad comment I suppose, but I do normally think this way.
blush
I wrote that above, fully in the "spirit of dialogue;" but it's nice to know a hint of sarcasm can come across. smile
I like to think that I make people think.

I'd wondered if the 'cloudten' text had yet to be edited; it so surprised me by saying the opposite of what I'd expected.

Was it ~300 points to prove... ...and this is about ID, correct?
Is there a particular point, or family of points that you feel are especially strong and compelling?
I'd be happy to share a scientific wonk-type perspective, or give a critique, if you'd be interested.

~K
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 05:16 AM

Quote:

Was it ~300 points to prove... ...and this is about ID, correct?
Is there a particular point, or family of points that you feel are especially strong and compelling?

I thought all of them were good points.

Basically I think that people have a tendency to think within boundaries, and without being aware of it never challenge themselves to see beyond their own beliefs. Most would rather spend time defending their beliefs because of the devastating affects it would have on the personality to accept that maybe everything one thinks they know may be false.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/20/08 06:00 AM

Didn't I post something from "cloudten" about Blackwater here?
Was it censored?
It was subversive, I suppose.
~K
p.s. Should I try again?
confused
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/21/08 07:56 PM

Hmmm...
Haven't gotten around to registering, as I was sent a link from someone. Just so that I'm not really "anon," this is Cassox.

Yes, I spent the time to go through all of the posts. Quite long.
The problem as I see it, is that each person is using a subjective
definition for ideas. Going back to the first page, we have someone
saying that a omniscient computer would be God. Yes, the statement was retracted to an extent, but its a good launching point.

What are the qualities of God? Basic Abrahamic approach is that he's Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Benevolent. This is the first problem I have. Most people here are familiar with "the problem
of evil," so I won't even bother to explain it. My point is that if God has these three attributes, then his existence is not logical. Yes, according to human logic I mean. So if God can't be
comprehended by humans, how can one even attempt to discuss his attributes? Unless we make certain assumptions, how can we possibly identify any form of truth?

These are my assumptions:
1. God, if greater than human, would exhibit greater maturity and tolerance than any human.

Do we see this? No, of course not. First of, if omniscient, god
knew each soul that would be condemned. He set up the environmental influences that caused their "fall." Thus he is directly responsible. Problem, is he still punishes. Wouldn't god be above entrapment?

Also, why the secrecy? If the point of god creating the world was to be glorified, why does he need to hide away? It's a weak arguement to say," God is all around you, but you refuse to see."
An omnipotent god would have the power to make it damn clear to everyone. Where a person to choose sin then, its really sin. For a person, who reasons it out differently, to make a decision such as "not stoning their children" or "to eat shellfish" against old testament proclemations, really shouldn't be punished. People in general really do want to do whats right. The problem is, god has
not made that clear at all. Those who follow the "good book" are often the most hateful, and the most loving and supporting often
lack religious affiliation.

I think its fair to say, that if a child experiances and associateds a christian as mean hearted, and then is punished with eternal damnation for not being christian, then "god" is not
just.

Finally, creation itself is the biggest arrogance I can imagine! Billions of souls created to burn for all eternity, and why? For glory? Glory!?! That is sickness. Worse than any Hitler...
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/21/08 08:01 PM

Sorry so long! I can definitely provide other assumption arguments, but don't want to just rant endlessly. My question, for Christians, is why do you feel your god is worthy of worship?

If great men, such as Buddha, Gandhi, Bucky Fuller, etc. are capable of tolerance and compassion, then shouldn't god be?



Now this line of argument can't really be applied to non-literalists. If one doesn't believe that the bible is the 100% accurate word of God, then its easy to banter away such questions. If someone says, "I don't beleive in hell," then hey, problem solved.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/22/08 01:04 AM

Anon wrote:
If great men, such as Buddha, Gandhi, Bucky Fuller, etc. are capable of tolerance and compassion, then shouldn't god be.

If you decide that the god you believe in has these characteristics then he/she/it will have.

However could you not make a similar argument that powerful people like Hitler, Genghis Khan,etc. are capable of terror and tyranny, therefore god, who is also powerful, would be too.

Also can we indeed endow god with human characteristics? Surely god must be divine and his/her/its actions will be beyond our limited human understanding. Isn't that the usual get-out clause?



To Rev:
I wrote:
However I will acknowledge that the scope and range of the known universe (and the possibilities of the unknown) are awe-inspiring!

Rev replied:
If you add the readiness to be a humane--loving, moral, and ethical--being to this. Now,tell me: What is the difference between this and being a spiritual one?

The difference is that I do not believe in god. I think that the awe, and being a moral, loving and ethical person (I hope!) are because I am human, not because I believe in God. Every human is born with the possibility for good.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/22/08 02:50 AM

(Cassox)
That's exactly my point. If I give "god" such a loose definition that it absolutely any anthropomorphism, then of course he/it exists. I guess my question, is whats the argument then?

This is only wordy bantering. What are you saying exists? Is it the
Christian ver. of god or what?

Are we talking about just the concept of a god, or God?
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/22/08 05:57 AM

Quote:

What are the qualities of God? Basic Abrahamic approach is that he's Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Benevolent. This is the first problem I have. Most people here are familiar with "the problem
of evil," so I won't even bother to explain it. My point is that if God has these three attributes, then his existence is not logical. Yes, according to human logic I mean. So if God can't be
comprehended by humans, how can one even attempt to discuss his attributes? Unless we make certain assumptions, how can we possibly identify any form of truth?

God has no qualities other than those we give to God. Since God is not contained in an individual but the individual is made in the image of God we become tantamount to the reflection of God.
We evolve and as we haven't reached an end to evolution then either has our ability to reflect God.
God is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent. Benevolent enough to allow anyone to choose their reflection of God and as one evolves the intellect begins to sharpen the image to greater possibilities.
The experiential world is the world of duality, it exists to placate the development of choice based on sensory appreciation.
Obviously an adult has the ability to appreciate things on a larger or more expanded scale than a two year old. But then after puberty the ego begins to take a foothold in the personality and lock potential into form and function based on past experience and begins to project itself into probable futures by relegating all thought to the past.
If certain influences created by stress infect thought, then the projected futures contain the stresses that remain due to the attachment ego has to identification with memories that hinder innocence and potential.
Some would like to blame this on God but the reality is God is the creation of an absolute that has no attachment to what choice is made. The absolute simply supports all thought.
Ego has a tendency to limit itself to the tiny universe of personal opinion and belief. If one could tear down ego and put it in its proper perspective as the servant to consciousness rather than the master of it in lower states of intellectual evolutionary development, a greater world would exist.
On a positive note. God loves stupid people and gives them enough chances or lifetimes to grow up before removing the rug beneath creativity and starting all over.

Raising conscious awareness so that one does not live superstitiously requires a certain level of spiritual evolution to take place at a soul level.
Just like most people don't give their 3 year old the keys to the car, neither do certain universal laws provide energies to allow ignorant people to raise the dead or heal the sick.
Without knowing the consequences of interfering with the development of spiritual evolution every one with good intentions would be trying to create the perfect world without knowing what someone actually needs to learn about themselves and how to refine the awareness in sense of self and intellectual choice.

Quote:
These are my assumptions:
1. God, if greater than human, would exhibit greater maturity and tolerance than any human.

Do we see this? No, of course not. First of, if omniscient, god
knew each soul that would be condemned. He set up the environmental influences that caused their "fall." Thus he is directly responsible. Problem, is he still punishes. Wouldn't god be above entrapment?


Humans wouldn't be free to evolve or to choose if God intervened in every thing humans did.
Ever tried to teach a child how to live by making all of the choices so he wouldn't make mistakes? Treating someone like they are stupid and can't learn anything doesn't inspire maturity. It breeds insecurity and low self esteem.
Besides we don't approve of slavery anymore than God does.

The soul itself never suffers. There is no condemnation that takes place at the soul level only at the level of the ego and belief that is manifest due to cause and effect.
What we believe and initiate through our beliefs creates the foundation for our lives. Where we leave off at death with the momentum of thoughts and energies of actions paves the portals for future lives.
Basically we become addicted to habits that drive us outward in sensory experience rather than inward toward the soul and conscious awareness of the soul.
It's a matter of simple mechanics. What you focus on grows. The ego is addicted to sensory addictions and instant gratification.
It tries to manipulate the outside world to achieve what it desires and push away what it doesn't like. The universe is an energy web that doesn't hear negatives. It takes thought and translates it into experience. We create experience either consciously or unconsciously.
For those who think God is some guy or being, and heaven is some location that exists on an ethereal plane that can only be reached after good living and a following death, God is a belief.
For those who transcend the ego, God is as if a void of infinite potential and energy and it lives in every experience as a silent still absolute presence that is very tangible to all the senses.
Superstitious beliefs of separation from God and the resultant experience sees the universe as something foreign that happens to the individual.
In Unity of body mind and spirit, God is experienced within ones self and creation moving outward from consciousness that is inside rather than outside of ones self.
The Eastern spiritual Teachings of Yoga or Union are all about the universal laws of God and the absolute.
The Christian roots that are the Teachings of Jesus are based on these same universal laws.
It is man who has translated the teachings into dogma, superstition and Churchianity.
In every age there have always been great sages or seers of truth who have shared the greater truths of God that are not the superstitious beliefs of religious ignorance, but for the most part man has already made up his mind about God and expects this God to counter his thoughts and feelings with something more powerful so that he may be removed from everything that he sees as evil.
God will do no such thing for it is man who is responsible for all of his evils and sufferings, and by mans own defiance toward good and the change required to quit masturbating both physically and mentally, he resists God in favor of his ego.

Quote:

Also, why the secrecy? If the point of god creating the world was to be glorified, why does he need to hide away? It's a weak arguement to say," God is all around you, but you refuse to see."

It is a weak argument if you don't know God, but the fact is, if you are blinded by your own ignorance and can't see the greater part of yourself and it is not the fault of your senses, it has to be the way you use your senses.
Anybody can learn to play a piano but not everyone does. The reason being is that not everyone wants to learn nor wants to invest themselves in the discipline it takes to learn to play.
Seeing God is the same. Not everyone is really wanting to see God and the God they want to see is what they imagine God is rather than the real God.
Ever hear the song, "Lookin for love in all the wrong places"?
Well if you're looking south when you should be looking north you're not going to see what is happening north are you?
Very few want to give up their precious attachments to their suffering to really know God. And suffering is the attachment to lifestyle and living in belief. Anytime that lifestyle is disturbed and the belief threatened, suffering occurs.
People deluded by ego hate change, and as such are resistant to opening themselves to God.
People will bargain with God.. Give me this and I'll do that...etc. etc. But will they put down everything to experience a life that is different? Not unless it is ripped from their hands, and then they will resent losing what they had. There is no room in most peoples lives because they are too preoccupied with their thoughts and feelings to notice God.
60,000 thoughts per day according to a Stanford research study. That's how many thoughts a normal person thinks per day.
The mind is too caught up in the drama of personal chaos to be cognizant of anything other than egoic personal drama.

Quote:
An omnipotent god would have the power to make it damn clear to everyone. Where a person to choose sin then, its really sin. For a person, who reasons it out differently, to make a decision such as "not stoning their children" or "to eat shellfish" against old testament proclemations, really shouldn't be punished. People in general really do want to do whats right. The problem is, god has
not made that clear at all. Those who follow the "good book" are often the most hateful, and the most loving and supporting often
lack religious affiliation.


It is blatantly clear. Sin is misdirected thought, belief in separation and attachment to physical appearances and mental imaginings that are belief. It results in a few years of experience and physical death. It doesn't get much clearer than that.

Quote:
I think its fair to say, that if a child experiances and associateds a christian as mean hearted, and then is punished with eternal damnation for not being christian, then "god" is not
just.

If a child experiences ignorance and by lack of better experience fails to become enlightened, it would be seen by the ego as circumstantial. But to the enlightened, the child who lives through the experience of ignorance expands his comprehension of life by learning and living first hand, ignorance. By this experience he/she will at some level comprehend a greater option and by his/her own judgments and retention of experience, set in motion the wheels of karma to create a more expanded experience of himself or herself.

Quote:

Finally, creation itself is the biggest arrogance I can imagine! Billions of souls created to burn for all eternity, and why? For glory? Glory!?! That is sickness. Worse than any Hitler...

For anyone who experiences a sewer there can be no words to express the filth and the smell, but above ground civilization would be swimming in its own filth if the sewers were not created to remove the waste that they create.
As such the universe is very accommodating when it comes to the greed and the lust humans focus on. We will kill for our right to lust.

Personally, I have experienced a much brighter side to humanity. Earth is one small planetary sphere in the universe of over 400 billion galaxies and for some planetary civilizations, in comparison, Earth is a toilet, and to others a paradise.
This is reflected in our own neighborhoods. There are people who have no homes and no income to buy food, and then there are those with food and shelter who could care less about the ones who are without food. We are a perfect example of choice and of the intelligence that exists within creation and choice. We reflect ourselves and our ability to evolve perfectly.

Quote:

If great men, such as Buddha, Gandhi, Bucky Fuller, etc. are capable of tolerance and compassion, then shouldn't god be?

It is because God is, that these men are what they are.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/22/08 09:40 PM

Ok, my first post actually pointed out that this doesn't apply to interpretationalists. Basically, nothing said really makes any sense. Your operating on an entirely subjective set of points. Of course if I paint my own beleifs and decide to beleive them, I would think they make sense. Unfortunately, they really don't.

The fact that you think that you've answered the prob of evil, with a quick email reply, when its been a major philosophical quandry for generations says it all. The majority of people here really have no want to discuss, but rather to force feed their own little gods on others. You did'nt really answer even one of my questions.

""Humans wouldn't be free to evolve or to choose if God intervened in every thing humans did."" Obviously a very poor arguement. Its more difficult for people to evolve and choose, when they are burning in hell for all eternity. God isn't punishing to teach, but to cause suffering. This is directly biblical. You don't teach a dog not to pee on the carpet by beating them to death.



"" Anybody can learn to play a piano but not everyone does. The reason being is that not everyone wants to learn nor wants to invest themselves in the discipline it takes to learn to play.""

Also an incredibly egocentric statement. So, the reason I don't beleive in god is because I lack discipline, or don't want to? How about I've spent years in pursuit. I've praid, fasted, meditated, waited, chanted, and put myself through many painful ascetic practices in pursuit of god. I've tried harder than most christians ever do. I'm sure that I understand both the contents and the history of the Bible better than most here, with some exceptions. Still isn't a logically sound, nor moral way to live.
Your just repeating the same old, same olds, mixed up with a few new ager terms.
I have a new question. Why? Why do you beleive these things?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/22/08 10:10 PM

Anonymous:
Are you a moral, ethical and loving human being, like are all humane theists, and atheists?

If so, what is the problem?

BTW, Anon, I have little idea as to what you mean when you write:
Quote:
Still isn't a logically sound, nor moral way to live.
Your just repeating the same old, same olds, mixed up with a few new ager terms.

I have a new question. Why? Why do you believe these things?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/22/08 10:14 PM

TT:
Please, summarize your last post. Or is it possible?
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/23/08 01:40 AM

Quote:
Ok, my first post actually pointed out that this doesn't apply to interpretationalists.

My answer isn't supposed to appeal to fantasy, nor is God realized in the same way as word association or a Rorschach excercise.
Quote:
Basically, nothing said really makes any sense.

Not my fault, maybe you aren't really listening.
Quote:
Your operating on an entirely subjective set of points.
No I'm not, tho I can use subjective analogies to point in a direction.
Quote:
Of course if I paint my own beleifs and decide to beleive them, I would think they make sense. Unfortunately, they really don't.

Then obviously your beliefs need to change.
Quote:
The fact that you think that you've answered the prob of evil, with a quick email reply, when its been a major philosophical quandry for generations says it all. The majority of people here really have no want to discuss, but rather to force feed their own little gods on others. You did'nt really answer even one of my questions.

I probably didn't meet your expectations which is not a priority for me. But I did comment to the subjects and even the questions.
Evil is an illusion.
Quote:

""Humans wouldn't be free to evolve or to choose if God intervened in every thing humans did."" Obviously a very poor arguement. Its more difficult for people to evolve and choose, when they are burning in hell for all eternity.

There are no humans burning in hell for eternity. You are being dramatic. And I'm not trying to make an argument for the truth, but if you want to argue against my points then it will be wasted energy.
Quote:
God isn't punishing to teach, but to cause suffering. This is directly biblical. You don't teach a dog not to pee on the carpet by beating them to death.
If that, is Biblical, it is misinterpreted and mistranslated from its original meaning.

Quote:

"" Anybody can learn to play a piano but not everyone does. The reason being is that not everyone wants to learn nor wants to invest themselves in the discipline it takes to learn to play.""

Also an incredibly egocentric statement. So, the reason I don't beleive in god is because I lack discipline, or don't want to?

Yes and no. If you want to know God, you have placed something in front of you first to learn about, before you can appreciate the fullness of God. If I was to make a guess I would say it was arrogance.
Quote:
How about I've spent years in pursuit. I've praid, fasted, meditated, waited, chanted, and put myself through many painful ascetic practices in pursuit of god.

So self flagellation is a reason you should experience God?
Quote:
I've tried harder than most christians ever do. I'm sure that I understand both the contents and the history of the Bible better than most here, with some exceptions. Still isn't a logically sound, nor moral way to live.

If you haven't gained the experience of God you haven't understood the Bible. You understand it in terms of your beliefs maybe, but not in the way it was taught by the person who was quoted in the scripture.
Quote:
Your just repeating the same old, same olds, mixed up with a few new ager terms.

Isn't it amazing how truth can be spoken without understanding? The New Agers, not unlike the dogmatists who spout scripture have words at their disposal but their level of conscious awareness does not change by chanting scripture of mantras without an experience of God. The only thing they have to surrender to is their imagination which is locked in illusions of the ego.
Quote:

I have a new question. Why? Why do you beleive these things?

Beliefs change. What I experience (as experience) also changes. What it is that inspires me and supports me doesn't.
There is a constant behind the experiences and the beliefs.
One can easily recognize the difference between heaven and hell from the realization of Truth which is not relative but a constant.

Oh and Reverend. What specifically did you want summarized?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/23/08 03:41 AM

Ellis writes:
Quote:
The difference is that I do not believe in god. I think that the awe, and being a moral, loving and ethical person (I hope!) are because I am human, not because I believe in God. Every human is born with the possibility for good.
Ellis, I think I have said this before: I do not believe in a god out there, either. However, I know GOD as being in and through the here-and-now I know. Perhaps we are saying the same thing. The important point is for us to: Be and live as humane being, not just animal-like humans.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/23/08 07:00 PM

how exactly do you propose that all of this came to be, if not by Something (that some call god, but has been called many, many more). and even more importantly, how have we come to have developed this sense even of knowing what being 'ethical' or 'humane beings' are, and what the difference is between 'good' and 'bad' (regardless of whether those terms are subjective or objective)?
what theory do you have, or what theory is there, to explain this?

(sorry to change the subject, but this relates to the essence of this thread)
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/23/08 10:14 PM

I presume that most of the readers of this thread are reading the companion thread: What Would We Choose To Do If... a thread about life after death.

It includes dialogue--BTW, it is non-judgmental and there is no dogma--about what we believe, and don't believe, about life after death, including what we think of REINCARNATION. Feel free to join us there, or add your comments in this thread.
===================================================
With an open mind regarding reincarnation, I told a story--and it is a story, not a history--about the kind of life I feel, intuitively, that I lived before this one. Then I concluded by relating it to the kind of life I have lived in this present time.

My recent comments are as follows: Thus I was born, Jan.14--it was a cold and crisp day--1930. We were in the midst of depression and on the verge of a world war in which, in 1940, We became part of the Battle of the Atlantic until 1945.

I was the seventh child of a family which had to live without many of the common comforts of life. My family was one which did not need another child to feed and care for at that time.

But I wasn't the last in the family. Number eight, a sister, was born in 1932. But it wasn't all a negative experience. I imagine that Life in the outdoors, during the depression, was much better than life in some crowded city was. We had one luxury which many other many out-port Newfoundlanders did not have: Courtesy the DOSCO mining company, we had electricity (just the basics: lights and radio). The privileged few had phones.

Courtesy the churches (Roman Catholic and Protestant), there were two movies houses. Interestingly, St. Patrick's Theater gave us the B Movies--the Cowboy movies (Gene Autrey, Roy Rogers and the like. Also, there were the serials. The Princess Theater, run by the Protestants, gave us the A movies--Mutiny On The Bounty, Gone With the Wind and the like.

THE USE? OF WAR
===============
World War II brought full employment to Bell Island. Before 1939, because of frequent slowdowns and layoffs, most of the 10,000 people (including 2,100 miners) on http://www.bellisland.net were forced to live in third-world conditions. We survived by our wits.

Guess what? Because we were smarter than the average salmon, cod, lobster and other ocean delicacies, we were "forced" to survive at their expense. And we had fun doing it. But red meat and pork, including the heavily salted kind, were considered luxuries.

Believe it or not: In the spring, my older brothers and I, used to hunt young sea gulls. If one liked the fish-like taste, the stews were great. The Kings did own a family-built boat. The brother who helped raise my younger sister and I--he died at 92 in 2004--knew a lot about a boat building. Frequently, I was called on to help. Ours had a five horsepower in-board motor. Many in the community shared the use of that boat.

At times, if we could afford the ammunition, there were wild rabbits to hunt. When ammunition was scarce we often snared them. It was expected that I do my share skinning the rabbits and the gulls. Also there were ducks and other species.

Over the years, the King family kept goats, pigs and hens as part of the food supply. I realized that it was necessary to kill these animals for food, but because I never had the instincts of a hunter, I alway dreaded it. For me, it was a cruel necessity.

I am not sure why; perhaps it was a matter of being able to afford the costs involved, but our family never owned a horse, a cow, a bicycle, or a car. A few others did. Milk, butter (we called margarine, butter) cream, cheese, and the like, were considered to be luxuries.

Looking back, my sister-- one and one-half years younger than I--and I agree: We both had fun growing up because of the help we got from our older siblings, after our parents died. Our oldest brother and sister died in their 20's.

I was the fifth son in our family. Our next older brother was ten years older than me, and our sister was older still. Both of us acknowledge that in our older siblings we had good teachers who showed us the art of surviving in tough times. My sister and I lost our parents while we were still children. We both appreciate our good fortune in having older siblings who kept the family together until we were old enough to look after ourselves.

It would be interesting to hear the story of others.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/24/08 02:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Tim
how exactly do you propose that all of this came to be, if not by Something (that some call god...?)....What theory do you have, or what theory is there, to explain this?
Tim, if you are asking me--and let me presume you are--I respond by asking: If you have a concept of a god, or of God, how would you answer a curious 12 year old who asked you, "Who is God?"

Let me assure you, I am a unitheist (panentheist), not an atheist. Note my signature. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/24/08 04:37 PM

I never said or implied that you were an athiest, i have been reading (and used to participate on this thread a while ago) and know that.
But I must admit, your question is hard to answer. If it were me specficially, i would say that God is the one who created all this around us and gives us the ability to think about it (i.e., the abilitiy to understand that we are here and ask 'who is God?' in the first place), and that as a result he is worthy to be commended for that.
I dont know if that brings us anywhere but still. And that aforementioned statement is a direct result of my religious influences, and i know that somewhere else in the world a different perspective of 'God' is taught.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/24/08 07:22 PM

Tim, you say that, for you
Quote:
God is the one who created all this around us and gives us the ability to think about it (i.e., the ability to understand that we are here and ask 'who is God?' in the first place, and that as a result he is worthy to be commended for that. And that aforementioned statement is a direct result of (the way I was raised)
Tim, I accept your definition of God for what it is: Your sincerely-held belief. I will never tell you that you are wrong.

I am sure you realize that what you believe in is the kind of God you were taught to believe in. Without any concrete evidence, you imply that, based on faith alone, you accept that God is a super, all knowing, all powerful, everywhere-present and all loving human-like masculine being, who is in control of all things, past, present and future, and that we are simply creatures of his will. This basic belief is known as theism.

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THEISM
=========================
Christian theists say that the Bible is the word of God. For theists, the Bible (BOOK) contains the true story of how God created the earth, sun, moon, stars--the universe (in six days). This creation happened, according to theists, in 4004, B.C. It seems that, "In the beginning", God intended to set up a perfect kingdom on earth. However, because God gave our first parents--Adam and Eve--that is, Man and the Mother of all--the ability to make a choice, plans changed. Eve chose not to listen to God's command. Adam chose to go with Eve. This got them expelled from Eden.

Following the expulsion of Adam and Eve, from the Garden of Eden (The Pleasant place), things got so bad--despite God's warnings--that he had to send the Great Flood.
Only Noah, his wife, unnamed daughters, and his three sons--Shem Ham and Japheth--survived.

I will avoid going into detail, here. I will simply say: Despite God's personal involvement in the story of the times, history repeated itself and things, over the generations, went from bad to worse.

I remind you: THE ABOVE, AND FOLLOWING, IS THE POINT OF VIEW OF CHRISTIAN THEISM. It is not my view.
================================================================
According to theism, about 2000 years ago God, himself, decided to visit earth and to save all of us--that is, those who wanted salvation--from sin and death.

On what we call "Christmas", God came down in the form of his "only son", Jesus, and, literally, he later agreed to die for our sins. After which he rose from the dead, and made his final preparations for his next move. Before he took off and went back to heaven, he promised that he would come back and finally get rid of all, evil, sin, suffering and pain.

So here we are, today. While Christian theists--that is, thousands of different denominations of same--are waiting for the second coming, many pious Jewish theists--again many different kinds--are waiting for the first coming of THE Messiah.

ISLAMIC THEISM
==============
What about Islam? In 622, Islamic theism was born. Islam, too, has a book, the Koran--meaning the Recitation. It is really a long poem, and was created by its prophet, Mohamed. Tradition tells us that he received it while he was in a trance--self-imposed hypnosis? Because he was illiterate, others wrote down what he recited. Though Islam has one prophet and one book, it, too, has several kinds of Muslims.

Meanwhile there are Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., plus numerous other religion-based philosophies, also with ideas of gods, god and religion. Within all these there are, of course, agnostics and atheists--devotees of secularism.

We are aware that, recently, a certain few--For example Richard Dawkins & Christopher Hitchins-- who have made it known that it is their enthusiastic desire to get rid of all religion. They look on it as an evil and socially dangerous and destructive thing. They write and "preach" that it be replace with science-based secularism.

UNITHEISM
=========
Me? As a unitheist I want to avoid intolerant extremes--the kind of faith which is intolerant of all other faiths. Certain authorities in Theocracies like Saudi Arabia say: "We allow no dissent from the established and one true religion, and political system. We tolerate one, and only one, true system--the one we proclaim."

CHECK OUT http://www.pathwayschurch.ca a congregation of the United Church of Canada
http://www.united-church.ca/
http://www.ucobserver.org/
====================================
Based on the Golden Rule, I seek to find ways to respect a wide variety of faith positions, including Islam--the kinds of faiths which have a rational foundation and a respect for democracy and the sciences. I like to think of myself as openly, purposefully and lovingly, even radically, inclusive.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/24/08 11:54 PM

Tim.-- You ask the nature of the difference between good and bad. Surprisingly this can be difficult to answer as cultural and ethnic differences can often collide, sometimes violently. However I agree with Rev when he says that the Golden Rule sums up the universal position that is sometimes swamped by dogma- that is 'treat others as you would like them to treat you.'
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/25/08 01:32 PM

BTW, as one who is very interested in exploring and finding the best way to have families, communities and nations where individuals are free to be happy and live in harmony, unity and peace, this just came to me. Let me know how you feel about this:

The surest way, it seems to me, to create disunity, disharmony and a hostile, unhappy attitude in a family, community, or a nation, is for any individual, or a group of non-democratic and authoritarian individuals, to try to impose their philosophy of what makes for unity, harmony and peace, on others without consulting them and getting their consent.

For example, authoritarian parents will almost always raise a family of unhappy, dysfunctional children who will either become co-dependent wimps, or rebel.

What happened to the once powerful community of Sparta and other similar city states; to the "pax Romana", to the Church of Rome, and to all the nations, since then, dominated by Fascism/Nazism? What modern nations are heading in this direction? How are Canada and the USA faring?
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/25/08 05:57 PM

Unity exists in and amongst appearances of disharmony, chaos, democracy, and relative social agreements that are unity of belief.

Only ones failure to recognize unity creates disharmony in ones self and their beliefs about the world.

I'll use this as an example:
Quote:
I use the symbol, GØD, to refer to the entire physical COSMOS and beyond. GØD encompasses and interpenetrates all "things"--physical, mental and spiritual.


If one knows God, and God is good, then its all God/Good.
If one makes this a belief, then the words do not reflect the inner reality of the person who believes it, because he/she looks for ways to improve God on the outside due to ones tendency to see something other than God and that which is other than good.
Unity then becomes an issue of creating alignment of thought and belief.

Psychologically speaking it would be difficult to imagine that anyone could maintain a thought indefinitely without moving away from the thought, or changing their beliefs about the thought. People tend to move around objects and as they do so they get different perspectives of the object. As they understand it better they evolve in both the knowledge of the object, and (if they are aware) themselves.

In the Bhagavadgita, Krisna (God) is teaching Arjuna of reality. In and amidst the warring factions and families, (of which Arjuna's family is split down the middle, fighting and killing each other) Krisna is dancing in and amongst the chaos singing "God God God everywhere is God."
Krisna explains that God is everything and that in order to experience God in everything, one must find God in themselves. Only then will one who has God in themselves see God in others.
Then depending on the currents of the river of life, one is moved to go here, or there, depending on the nature of the moment.That is the nature of surrendering to God.

In the world man tries to make the river stand still or to control its direction so that he can make the world in his own image. Often this results in man expending his energies to move against the currents of life rather than with them. This is what causes aging and sickness. Eventually the man who tries to control the world ages, gets sick and dies.
When a man realizes God within he begins to move with God on the outside. When man reaches this kind of spiritual union aging slows and health is maximum.

Humanity is like a developing forest. Some of its plants have prickly thorns and others are smooth. Some plants are fragrant and others not so much. Some plants by their nature tend to choke other plants out but nature has a way of creating conditions so that all plants grow and evolve according to their nature and nature seems to know best what each plant needs, and when to thin the forest, and when to plant.
Man who is not in the flow with nature doesn't understand nature and tries to manipulate nature at a level of understanding that is without knowledge and understanding of the evolutionary process of the forest.

Man has tried to create unity since man has existed and man has always been like a forest of different plants with no understanding of its nature. Different needs and the lack of awareness of God within has created a lack of unity in mans life.
Man forever seeks to find on the outside, in the appearances of diversity, and the nature of change that is an appearance of God, a non changing stable point of reference, which only exists inside all things.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/25/08 06:26 PM

I do not claim that I understand the full meaning of all the above, but what I do understand sounds OK to me.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/25/08 06:35 PM

What don'tcha understand?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/25/08 08:04 PM

It is not clear whether you are adding on to what I have said about unitheism/panentheism, or critiquing it.

BTW, not one to impose my personal beliefs--about which I am open, flexible and inclusive--I never assume that there ought to be uniformity of agreement with me.

Are you a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist...?
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/25/08 09:36 PM

Quote:

It is not clear whether you are adding on to what I have said about unitheism/panentheism, or critiquing it.

I wasn't referring to unitheism/panentheism, I was referring to a different state of conscious awareness rather than an ism.

Quote:
BTW, not one to impose my personal beliefs--about which I am open, flexible and inclusive--I never assume that there ought to be uniformity of agreement with me.

Then I'd be interested in how you experience Unity?
Quote:


Are you a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist...?

Yes and No.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/08 04:05 AM

ABOUT UNITY:
============
I wrote the following words to fit the tune,
THE HOMECOMING, by Haygood Hardy
http://youtube.com/watch?v=DfwonNQlFPI&feature=related
===============================
We are one with mother earth;
With the land the skies and seas;
One with the source of human birth;
We're one...with GØD.

We are one with father sky;
With the sun, moon, planets, stars;
One with the galaxies on high;
We're one...in GØD.

With the Golden Rule in mind,
We're for justice and for peace;
And with all of human kind,
We work...with GØD.

I feel at one with Christians, Jews,
And want to build a better world;
With Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus
I choose to live ... in GØD
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/08 07:31 AM

Quote:
I feel at one with Christians, Jews,
And want to build a better world;
With Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus
I choose to live ... in GØD

Being one with God; I'm just making an observation, that God is not satisfied with the world and as such is moving through you to correct it, by building it better.
Since the world is always in fluctuation, and if it is evolving, where you leave off, someone will assume the responsibility to build a better world than you, and someone will want to build a better world than the one who succeeds you and so forth and so on.
Do you suppose God will just be sensitive for eternity to the dysfunctional aspects of its creativity by continually trying to do it better?

Is this your experience of Unity?
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/08 11:35 AM

Quote:
Is this your experience of Unity?
Let's dialogue. TT, if this is a rhetorical question, please feel free to give it a go and tell us what you think.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/08 04:41 PM

Ya can't dialogue if you make assumptions and avoid the questions.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/08 08:13 PM

Did I make a dumb assumption? How silly of me! If so, I certainly apologize. Now to your question about unity--and any others you might have.

I LOOK FOR UNITY WITHOUT THE IMPOSITION OF UNIFORMITY
=====================================================
For me, the kind of unity and harmony which leads to happiness is one which consciously seeks to understand and accept variety. I look for, and often find, enriching differences.

For example, the mother of my only three grandchildren, Farah, the wife of my son, is a Sufi Muslim. She was born in Teran. My son, a musician and a teacher, met her while attending York University, Toronto.

Within the family, we dialogue about religion, often and happily.
Do we always agree? No! But we always agree to disagree, agreeably.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/26/08 10:14 PM

I see, so your experience of Unity is determined, rather than universal and inherent.
Unity of God in everything depends on how God meets your limits of perception.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/08 07:47 PM

Quote:
Philosophy of determinism

It is a popular misconception that determinism necessarily entails that humanity or individual humans have no influence on the future and its events (a position known as Fatalism); however, determinists believe that the level to which human beings have influence over their future is itself dependent on present and past.

Causal determinism is associated with, and relies upon, the ideas of Materialism and Causality. Some of the philosophers who have dealt with this issue are Steven M. Cahn, Omar Khayyám, Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, David Hume, Baron d'Holbach (Paul Heinrich Dietrich), Pierre-Simon Laplace, Arthur Schopenhauer, William James, Friedrich Nietzsche and, more recently, John Searle, Ted Honderich, and Daniel Dennett.

Mecca Chiesa notes that the probabilistic or selectionistic determinism of B.F. Skinner comprised a wholly separate conception of determinism that was not mechanistic at all. A mechanistic determinism would assume that every event has an unbroken chain of prior occurrences, but a selectionistic or probabilistic model does not.
Check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism
I like to think that I am not the object of mechanistic determinism.

Of course there are somatologiocal (physical) factors; and there are also psychological (the influences of others, and of circumstances). However, there is, also, what I call the pneumatological factor. I am not just a puppet dangling on the strings, of nature and nurture, of my heredity and/or environment. I believe there is what I call pneumature. As a spiritual, or a pneumatological being, I have the power to choose how I will let the soma and the psyche factors affect me.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/27/08 08:13 PM

Quote:
I like to think that I am not the object of mechanistic determinism.

Yeah well, good intentions don't always mean good results.

I like to think I have great things to say, while others feel I'm a bit verbose. wink
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/08 01:37 AM

Perhaps it has been determined that, for some readers, you are verbose.

But what are your intentions?

Me? If I find post have lots of good and interesting content, regardless of their verbosity, I will read them, with interest--and respond. If not, I am determined not to read them. laugh
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/08 02:52 AM

I believe that you have determined that I am verbose. You made mention of it at brain-meta.
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=18644&hl=
Quote:
Lindsay
post Jun 26, 2008, 08:45 PM

BTW, Science-agogo is about the sciences, and NOT-QUITE-SCIENCE:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthrea...26877#Post26877

To the Golden-Rule post, Ellis, a lady from England responded:

"Nice Golden Rule video Rev, though I would not include the American oath thing myself as it includes a reference to the Creator. I think the only one to do so. Isn't it amazing that since humans have been able to communicate philosophical thoughts this one idea has had such resonance. It really must seriously mean something basic for all of us. Well, I can hope so!"
Tutor Turtle, a verbose poster from Oregon added:
"The reference to the creator or to God, has a rather huge resonance also
...."


What are my intentions?
Purely to enjoy myself.
Not to label or pass judgment on people by habit of self made systems of measure, is just the byproduct of my demeanor.

By the way, I think you pass judgment rather easily, and by doing so miss the content of a lot of what is said.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/08 04:39 AM

Quote:
What would you like them to be?

As "Brevity is the soul of wit..." I would like them stated briefly. If any finds them interesting, I am confident that we will invite expansion... smile
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/08 06:41 AM

I see.
Well, briefly stated, some things just don't fit in a box.
Tho I could possibly satisfy your desire, I may not be able to be contained by it.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/08 12:43 PM

TT, BTW, if you feel offended by my use of the word 'verbose' in brainmeta, I have edit-control of all my posts there. I am more than willing to change it, or even delete it, and apologize. I presume you noted that I didquote the kernel of your comment, which I thought was valid.

BTW 2: What on earth are, "... self made systems of measure"?
BTW 3: I readily admit that I, especially in conversation, tend to be verbose...and LOUD, as my wife often reminds me.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/29/08 04:36 PM

Quote:
TT, BTW, if you feel offended by my use of the word 'verbose' in brainmeta, I have edit-control of all my posts there. I am more than willing to change it, or even delete it, and apologize. I presume you noted that I did quote the kernel of your comment, which I thought was valid.

No I don't feel offended. I was simply narrowing your statement that "some may feel I am verbose," to you feel I am verbose, which is more to the point of your statement. What others feel should in no way influence us in the way we feel. That would mean that we had no freedom of choice or the will to be cognizant of our own feelings. Simply following the herd tends to atrophy the intellect, and some people tend to hide behind others and make excuses for their own feelings and projections.

Quote:

BTW 2: What on earth are, "... self made systems of measure"?
Personal beliefs and egoic projections that are unique to the individual personality. Every individual sets personal standards. No two think exactly alike or feel exactly alike about anything. There may be similarities in beliefs and ideas but even twins are not exact mirrors of each other.

Quote:
BTW 3: I readily admit that I, especially in conversation, tend to be verbose...and LOUD, as my wife often reminds me.
That might explain the tag on my post. Psychologically we tend to judge the things we judge about ourselves, if we are not unconditionally accepting of everything.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 12:26 AM

I'll be picky again, and yes I agree it doesn't matter but I did not start it! I'm not a Pom, I am an Aussie-- and there are those who would say there are no ladies here, only girls and old girls. I'm one of the latter.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 03:47 AM

TT, and Ellis, Old Girl: Do the latest interchanges among us perhaps indicate that we are now more willing to take enough of a risk to get to know each other a little better? If so, it is OK by me.

TT, you say to me, "I think you pass judgment rather easily." In the light of your comment above, does this mean that you, too, are judgmental?

May I add: anytime you feel that I am passing, "judgment rather easily" feel free to make me aware of it. I will try to avoid doing so by confining my comments to what you say, not at who you are. I am a great believer in the building of community by trying to avoid personal attacks and flaming. Speaking of community building, please CHECK OUT
Quote:
Scott Peck Model
"Community Building" also refers to a group process developed by Dr. M. Scott Peck. This practice brings together individuals to go through the four basic psychological stages that typify the formation of a cohesive group that has established trust and a deep sense of connection. As described in his book "The Different Drum", these four stages are known as "pseudo-community", "Chaos", "Emptiness" and "Community". Individuals within the group may be at different stages at different times, and may move back and forth through the stages.

According to Peck, moving into "organisation", forming rules for the group, disrupts the process and prevents community.

Pseudo community is where people are guarded but polite, talking of less important things and giving little away about themselves. Chaos is conflict. In Emptiness, participants "empty" themselves of their requirements and desires for the process and the other participants, enabling them to reach Community, in which they appreciate the process and other participants, and themselves, for who they are.

The group "Community Building in Britain" organizes group sessions using this process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_building


Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 06:27 AM

Quote:


TT, you say to me, "I think you pass judgment rather easily." In the light of your comment above, does this mean that you, too, are judgmental?

No it doesn't. I practice svadhaya ( study of the self). In the union of God and manifestation there is no part of me that is separate. In that, everyone is a reflection of me. Just as creation is a reflection of God.
It is not the surface appearances that reflect God but the active transcendental energy within the layered appearances of reality that are God.
What we see in subjective living is a mirror to the substantial ideas we hold in place that make up the ego.
Once one has the ongoing expanding experience of the absolute God it can be applied to every experience and to every object of perception.
This objectivity allows one to move through subjective ideas instantly rather than to linger in them.
Quote:
May I add: anytime you feel that I am passing, "judgment rather easily" feel free to make me aware of it. I will try to avoid doing so by confining my comments to what you say, not at who you are. I am a great believer in the building of community by trying to avoid personal attacks and flaming.
I would rather you found the freedom to express feelings without attaching them to judgment. Holding back energy only creates a backup of emotional stress in the nervous system making one more reactive than objective.
The tendency to be proper is not in itself a bad idea but it can't be done when one has no freedom or does not live the experience of unconditional acceptance.
A person can restrain themselves and literally choke themselves to death, because of the judgments they carry about feelings and expressions.
In any conversation that becomes an argument it always takes two to argue. If one can be objective the other can move through whatever feelings they are having and quickly return to reason and objectivity. If that freedom is suppressed it becomes reactive like a steam boiler without a safety valve. I personally have taken an objective stand to study God in everything without detaching it from myself and my creation.
It's called choice.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 02:46 PM

Quote:
I practice svadhaya ( study of the self).
I study, and practice what I find to be true in, pneumatology--the study of the spirit (the self) in all its manifestations.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: TT
Just as creation is a reflection of God.

What a wonderful sentiment! I especially like the word "creation" because it can be read (translated) both as a noun and a verb. I enjoy thinking about both interpretations; however viewing creation as "action" fits nicely with Process Philosophy and Kauffman's Creativity Perspective.

~K
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
Originally Posted By: TT
Just as creation is a reflection of God.

... viewing creation as "action" fits nicely with Process Philosophy and Kauffman's Creativity Perspective. ~K
Welcome fellow student of the process theology/philosophy of A.N. Whitehead. BTW, I call panentheism, unitheism. www.unitheism.org
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 04:16 PM

Quote:
I study, and practice what I find to be true in, pneumatology--the study of the spirit (the self) in all its manifestations.
The self in the act of Svadhaya is the consciousness that underlies individuality rather than the individual soul. The soul is a reflection of God in individual expression.

Since God will not be contained in any image, it is only reflected in the images of creation. We as individuals are made in the image of God as stated in scripture.
There is another translation of the bible where Moses is speaking to God and after 40 years of contemplating the name of God Moses asks God "What do I call you?" God replies with "Tell your people I am becoming"
Being that reflections continually change there is no single image or reflection that contains the entirety of God. The universe with its billions of galaxies and lifeforms emulate the infinite expression of God.
Religions tend to isolate a few thoughts concerning the nature of God and God's creation and as such place man as a significant part in God's creation. It is in fact not man the image but humanity in its essence. The soul and free will is what humanity is, the images are more like clothing one puts on to immerse ones self in the sense of activity.
Morals are created and fixed to the images of the clothing rather than the eternal soul or consciousness itself which is the underlying nature of everything.

"I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.
Split a piece of wood; I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."


Consciousness can be found in everything that is living and not living. Some only believe consciousness is found in living things but that is because they do not experience consciousness, they only have an idea about it.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 05:24 PM

ABOUT SVADHYAYA---
Quote:
Svadhyaya
Self-education, education of the Self

Svadhyaya is the fourth of the five niyamas (observances towards ourselves). Sva means “self” and adhyaya means “investigation, inquiry, or education.” TKV Desikachar defines svadhyaya as “Self-inquiry; any study that helps you understand yourself; the study of sacred texts.” These definitions all offer us different paths towards educating ourselves.

Self-inquiry is a beautiful benefit of yoga, even if we aren’t expecting it. Asana practice (doing yoga postures) is largely a process of being quiet with ourselves, and observing our bodies, breath, and thoughts. As the body focuses its purpose with each asana, we have a chance to see how the breath and emotions have responded. Gradually, we learn more about who we are – the bodies we live in, the emotional habits we have adopted, and our reactions to challenge and to stillness. This information can be of tremendous value to our relationships with our selves, and with all the people in our lives. ...

The above is from the following interesting link:
http://www.yogawithamey.com/svadhyaya.html
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 06:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
Since God will not be contained in any image, it is only reflected in the images of creation.

So often people speak of God being "in" everything, which might seem to conflict with the above statement; but this is reconciled by realizing that the four dimensional world that we perceive is an artifact -the illusion, Maya- of a more fundamental process, ...IMHO.

Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
....speaking to God and after 40 years of contemplating the name of God Moses asks God "What do I call you?" God replies with "Tell your people I am becoming"
Wow! Thanks, I'd not heard that; but it's a good one to remember. [I'd appreciate a citation for that; if convenient?]
===

Consciousness in all things reminds me of Bergson (1859 - 1941). Something he said about... becoming one with something to truely perceive it... I think.
I think the last quote most closely matches what I was looking for; but still, not quite.

http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Henri_Bergson/
"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."
~Henri Bergson quote
"There is no greater joy than of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation."
~Henri Bergson quote


http://thinkexist.com/quotes/henri_bergson/
“Some other faculty than the intellect is necessary for the apprehension of reality.”
~Henri Bergson quote
“To perceive means to immobilize. We seize, in the act of perception, something which outruns perception itself.”
~Henri Bergson quote
“The essential function of the universe, which is a machine for making gods”
~Henri Bergson quote
“Spirit borrows from matter the perceptions on which it feeds and restores them to matter in the form of movements which it has stamped with its own freedom.”
~Henri Bergson quote
“When we make the cerebral state the beginning of an action, and in no sense the condition of a perception, we place the perceived images of things outside the image of our body, and thus replace perception within the things themselves.”
~Henri Bergson quote

I'm not even sure how to interpret that last quote, out of context, I think.

.
.
.
...or was that James; ...or Huxley, talking about becoming one with something, to experience the consciousness within that thing? ~K

smile
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 07:13 PM

THIS LOOKS INTERESTING
Quote:
Svadhyaya: Study of the Self, The Entryway to the Cosmos

By Swami Shraddhananda

Continuing with our series on the eight limbs of yoga, we come to the fourth observance, or niyama, which is svadhyaya, or the study of the self. At first glance, self-study may appear to be self-absorption or selfishness. But with some exploration, we learn how our culture, belief systems and superficial education on how the world works all contribute to a distorted view of the real Self.

To study oneself is to uncover one’s blind spots, ignorance, attachments and aversions. We soon discover that svadhyaya has nothing to do with selfishness and everything to do with the depth of human spiritual reality.
http://www.yogachicago.com/sep04/dolan.shtml
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 07:39 PM

Anon, here is the citation you asked for: It is in Exodus 3:14. Moses asks God "What do I call you?" God replies with "Tell your people I am becoming".

The King James version is: "I am that I am." The 1952 Revised standard version is: "I am who I am."

The literal Hebrew--which, BTW, has no future tense, is: "I am becoming who I am becoming.".

Interestingly, the name Jesus--the Latin and Greek form--in Hebrew is Joshua, or more fully yehoshuah. It can be translated as "I amness is what saves us". Perhaps it needs be said that it is our use of consciousness--our I amness--which saves or destroys.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 08:59 PM

At this God said to Moses: "I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE." And he added: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, "I SHALL PROVE TO BE has sent me to YOU."

Ex, 3:14; New World Translation, 1984.
(Jehovah's Witnesses)

I like the "becoming" version better; but just fyi... an odd rendering above, eh? One could ponder on "prove" for quite a while, I think; but still, ...a process!

Thanks Rev.
~K
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 06/30/08 10:24 PM

Question: Who really believes that the JW's are the one true witnesses to God. laugh

Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 12:09 AM

Maybe they are true witnesses (or interpreters ) of biblical truth as they see it, and thus their 'proof' will follow those guidelines very closely.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 01:12 AM

Of course as they see it... but no one has the patent on worship or communion in spirituality.
Anyone can actually achieve a state of enlightened perspective using a committed practice. However not all roads lead to Heaven.
If they did choice wouldn't matter.

Most of the JW's that I have known insist there is no path other than theirs that is the righteous path.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 03:34 AM

"Make me one, with everything." said the mystic, when he order a hot dog. laugh
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 04:19 AM

TT said- Most of the JW's that I have known insist there is no path other than theirs that is the righteous path.

That's the problem exactly. Nothing wrong with anyone assuming that they know the answer to the meaning of life and death and the nature of god's relationship with the universe, or whatever they believe, just so long as they do not expect me to believe it too. I do not think that coercion produces true belief, it is just a power play.

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 01:09 PM

AGAPE/LOVE USES NO COERCION
Quote:
I do not think that coercion produces true belief, it is just a power play.
Wise words Ellis.

This is precisely the temptation faced by all religions, including Christianity, especially when, in the fourth century, C.E. (our common era), like the cults of emperor worship already in vogue, it became Churchianity. Under Constantine the Great (lover of power and control) it became just another power-playing institution, another instrument of the state forcing people to bow to the rich and powerful regardless of their true merit.

THE MESSAGE OF JESUS WAS "LOVE (AGAPE) ONE ANOTHER"
The single message of New Testament Christianity--from the story of Christmas, the gospel (good news) actions of Jesus, to the story of Easter--was, and is, based on the idea that "God is love". God is not a celestial emperor, a king or lord, dispensing an arbitrary kind of justice and peace on his terms.

THE REASON WE NEED A NEW WORD--AGAPE
Similar to our term 'god', 'love' has lost any kind of precise meaning. Not only is it possible to love ones parents, spouse, family and God, whatever; it is possible to love killing one parents, spouse, family, God, even ones self. [BTW, This is why I like to use the acronym in my signature--or even just GOD--that which is good, orderly and desirably designed.]

For this reason, without coercing anyone else to do so, when I speak of, or write about, the highest good I prefer to use 'agape', or 'agapo', or even agape/love. By the way, the Greek NT uses this term 140 times. The 'o', or the omega, on the end of Greek words serves the same purpose as our 'I'.

'Philia'--the common term for brotherly love, or friendship, is used once; 'eros', the common term for sensual love is not used at all. It is my opinion that, under the wings of 'agape', 'eros' and 'philia' can also be beautiful and good for all using them.

Without agape/love--the kind Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13, the kind which humane and loving fathers and mothers ought to give to each other, their families, their community and to God--eros and philia tend to deteriorate into the kind of game and power-playing, which is the very basis of dysfunctional families and communities. In my opinion the absence of agape/love is the very root cause of all crime and evil, crimes of honour, jealousy, hate, the desire for revenge, and suicide.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 04:58 PM

New words do not always inspire understanding. The great masters of this earth did not struggle to fit their Truth into the limited realm of the ego but to draw the spirit of man forth from the ego by the resonance of Truth. If the fruit on a tree isn't ripe, you don't pick it, you water and fertilize the tree until the fruit ripens.
As such the words of truth do no lose their value or meaning due to the masters inability to express the divine within.
The ego is always attempting to do a better job than God by reinventing God in its own image, and trying to hasten the ripening process only because of the need and attachment of words to meaning that the individual has, and to the urgency that is created to build the perfect house.
Posted by: Tim

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 07:06 PM

"In my opinion the absence of agape/love is the very root cause of all crime and evil, crimes of honour, jealousy, hate, the desire for revenge, and suicide."
Great words, I would agree with you, Rev. That today 'love' is plastered everywhere and has lost its true meaning. It is not an unconditional practice anymore, for the most part. And youre right, it said that God is Love; that is, God is everything good and above all cares for us.
That was the message of Jesus: it wasnt to force religion or a way of beliefs down somebody's throat...which it has unfortunately came to be today for the most part.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/01/08 08:46 PM

Tim, thanks! I have a feeling we are on the same beam and speak a similar language. smile

TT, you sound like the poster, Joesus, at Brainmeta. Have you ever read him? Forgive me for saying this: But like much of what he writes, I find many of your ideas obscure. Often, I really don't get the point as to what you are trying to say--and I do want to.

Why don't you italicize your main points or BOLD them? Then you expand on them if you wish. If--as it appears--you have some kind of "secret knowledge" or "hot" line to God, keep the message simple. Perhaps you could do what Jesus did: Tell us a parable. There was a guy who knew how to communicate. smile

BTW, you down play the value of new words. Where would the new sciences and new discoveries be without new words like: psychosomatic, X-ray, radar, astrophysics, ipod, radio, television and the like?
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 12:08 AM

Actually TT, 'agape' is a very very old word. An example of an oldie and a goodie.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 03:57 AM

Ellis, old girl,thanks for that goodie comment! laugh

BTW, I forgot to mention 'pneuma-psychosomatic'. I coined the term to refer to self-inflicted stress, pain and suffering--for which the treatment is 'pneumatherapy'. It is a term I coined to replace the misnomer, 'self-hypnosis'. Hypnosis is about going to sleep. Pneuma (spirit) is about awakening ourselves to the power the human spirit and becoming aware its role as the guiding power of the mind/intellect and the body.
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 04:34 AM

Quote:
Often, I really don't get the point as to what you are trying to say--and I do want to.
Why don't you italicize your main points or BOLD them? Then you expand on them if you wish. If--as it appears--you have some kind of "secret knowledge" or "hot" line to God, keep the message simple. Perhaps you could do what Jesus did: Tell us a parable. There was a guy who knew how to communicate.

Jesus used to tell his stories or parables in such a fashion, that his disciples asked him why he didn't explain things in a more simple fashion to fit the intellect of the simple man.
He used to say let those who have the ears to hear and the eyes to see, hear and see. He also made the statement "cast ye no pearls before swine."
Now, he wasn't a judgmental person and he had no feelings of resentment toward anyone, so why call someone who could not take truth and make use of it swine, or to state that his words were only for those who could understand the word of God and not for those who could not see or hear the words as he gave them?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 07:57 AM

LOL TT,
Very subtle, but I enjoy your composition and excellent mechanics and structure too.
===

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Anon, here is the citation you asked for: It is in Exodus 3:14. Moses asks God "What do I call you?" God replies with "Tell your people I am becoming".

The King James version is: "I am that I am." The 1952 Revised standard version is: "I am who I am."

The literal Hebrew--which, BTW, has no future tense, is: "I am becoming who I am becoming.".

Interestingly, the name Jesus--the Latin and Greek form--in Hebrew is Joshua, or more fully yehoshuah. It can be translated as "I amness is what saves us". Perhaps it needs be said that it is our use of consciousness--our I amness--which saves or destroys.
Originally Posted By: ~K
At this God said to Moses: "I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE." And he added: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, "I SHALL PROVE TO BE has sent me to YOU."
Ex, 3:14; New World Translation, 1984.(Jehovah's Witnesses)
I like the "becoming" version better; but just fyi... an odd rendering above, eh? One could ponder on "prove" for quite a while, I think; but still, ...a process! Thanks Rev.
~K

Funny story: A couple of weeks ago I was wanting a Bible, to look for stewardship quotes.
A week later I got a visit from the JW's (they seem to find me about once per decade), and eventually I did get a Bible out of the deal; but before that....
I was shocked to learn that they didn't know what the word "stewardship" meant; just had not seemed to have heard the word before. frown
They are a very "insulated" people.
===

Later, I've realized I could get a version of a Bible (for just 2.95), on one of those Kindle e-books.

King James Bible; Kindle Format, Mecum (2008).
Exodus, 3:14
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel,
I AM hath sent me unto you.

Hey! Wasn't that Popeye's line? ...Oh.... ...No, that was "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam...."
smile
==
I suspect I AM, or I WILL PROVE TO BE, are translated from a single word that conveys the concept.
...something like yehosh, ...or I'mness....
~K
smile

Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 04:21 PM

I seem to remember someone who signs their name "K" from another web board. You wouldn't happen to have posted under that name a couple years back would you? It would have been in the content of expanding consciousness/God etc.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 07:42 PM

Nope; sorry....

The K is for Kindle, the amazon.com, e-book thingy.
No subscription, ...and it's always online.

But it's not a wonderful platform for browsing deeply into multiple webpages (most forums).

However it is a wonderful platform for browsing ScienceAGoGo
(as well as all the other neat things it does -books, newspapers, magazines, wikipedia, google, mail, blogs and more).

...then entering a reply is much easier on a real computer; but that happens only rarely during the day.

~K
...is for Kindler
smile

Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/02/08 08:06 PM

Quote:
I was shocked to learn that they didn't know what the word "stewardship" meant; just had not seemed to have heard the word before.
That is odd. I happen to have a Greek/English, inter-linear--New Testament, which was published by the JW's in 1942. I can read Greek, slowly. The Greek for 'steward' is OIKONOMON--sounds like our English word, economics.

It literally means 'the manager of house and property. The JW NT does use 'steward' (Luke 16)--from English: keeper (warden) of the animal stys.
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/06/08 10:16 PM

Anon, I am surprised you give give no response to my last post? How much do you know about the JW's?
Posted by: Tutor Turtle

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/09/08 04:56 AM



Quote:
Anon, I am surprised you give give no response to my last post?

I'm not. You never responded to mine..
#26966 - 07/01/08 09:34 PM
Posted by: Revlgking

Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ - 07/09/08 06:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle

Jesus used to tell his stories or parables in such a fashion, that his disciples asked him why he didn't explain things in a more simple fashion to fit the intellect of the simple man.

TT, when he was asked why he spoke in parables, I take it that his response was pure sarcasm. In effect he was saying: You ask a dumb question, I give you a dumb answer. Yes, Jesus had a sense of humour, IMO.


He used t