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God still with me 2008

Slag 30 Jan 08 - 05:02 PM
Slag 30 Jan 08 - 05:04 PM
Barry Finn 30 Jan 08 - 05:05 PM
Wesley S 30 Jan 08 - 05:10 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jan 08 - 05:29 PM
Georgiansilver 30 Jan 08 - 06:04 PM
Bill D 30 Jan 08 - 06:15 PM
Arkie 30 Jan 08 - 06:27 PM
michaelr 30 Jan 08 - 06:39 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jan 08 - 06:41 PM
Bill D 30 Jan 08 - 07:49 PM
Slag 30 Jan 08 - 08:58 PM
michaelr 30 Jan 08 - 10:57 PM
M.Ted 30 Jan 08 - 11:28 PM
Georgiansilver 31 Jan 08 - 02:53 AM
Georgiansilver 31 Jan 08 - 02:55 AM
Amos 31 Jan 08 - 03:28 AM
Slag 31 Jan 08 - 04:46 AM
Georgiansilver 31 Jan 08 - 04:55 AM
Ron Davies 31 Jan 08 - 07:17 AM
M.Ted 31 Jan 08 - 08:34 AM
Mr Happy 31 Jan 08 - 08:38 AM
M.Ted 31 Jan 08 - 09:06 AM
Mrrzy 31 Jan 08 - 09:15 AM
Georgiansilver 31 Jan 08 - 09:38 AM
M.Ted 31 Jan 08 - 09:58 AM
Amos 31 Jan 08 - 10:08 AM
Wesley S 31 Jan 08 - 10:18 AM
M.Ted 31 Jan 08 - 10:33 AM
katlaughing 31 Jan 08 - 10:58 AM
Wesley S 31 Jan 08 - 11:12 AM
Riginslinger 31 Jan 08 - 11:18 AM
Amos 31 Jan 08 - 11:21 AM
Wesley S 31 Jan 08 - 11:26 AM
Amos 31 Jan 08 - 11:48 AM
Mrrzy 31 Jan 08 - 11:51 AM
Wesley S 31 Jan 08 - 11:54 AM
Mr Happy 31 Jan 08 - 12:09 PM
katlaughing 31 Jan 08 - 12:29 PM
Mrrzy 31 Jan 08 - 02:39 PM
Amos 31 Jan 08 - 02:44 PM
Slag 31 Jan 08 - 06:13 PM
Nickhere 31 Jan 08 - 06:35 PM
Nickhere 31 Jan 08 - 06:53 PM
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Nickhere 31 Jan 08 - 08:04 PM
katlaughing 31 Jan 08 - 08:29 PM
Riginslinger 31 Jan 08 - 08:42 PM
Amos 31 Jan 08 - 10:30 PM
katlaughing 01 Feb 08 - 12:50 AM
Georgiansilver 01 Feb 08 - 02:45 AM
Slag 01 Feb 08 - 05:23 AM
Shaneo 01 Feb 08 - 09:58 AM
Amos 01 Feb 08 - 10:19 AM
Mrrzy 01 Feb 08 - 11:09 AM
katlaughing 01 Feb 08 - 11:36 AM
Bee 01 Feb 08 - 12:47 PM
Mrrzy 01 Feb 08 - 01:00 PM
Amos 01 Feb 08 - 01:40 PM
M.Ted 01 Feb 08 - 01:46 PM
Wesley S 01 Feb 08 - 01:50 PM
Bill D 01 Feb 08 - 03:39 PM
Nickhere 01 Feb 08 - 07:29 PM
Amos 01 Feb 08 - 07:54 PM
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Amos 02 Feb 08 - 12:21 AM
Slag 02 Feb 08 - 02:24 AM
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Amos 02 Feb 08 - 08:49 AM
Mrrzy 02 Feb 08 - 11:15 AM
Amos 02 Feb 08 - 12:04 PM
Georgiansilver 02 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM
Stringsinger 03 Feb 08 - 03:14 PM
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Amos 03 Feb 08 - 03:52 PM
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Greg F. 03 Feb 08 - 06:33 PM
Mrrzy 04 Feb 08 - 02:06 PM
katlaughing 04 Feb 08 - 03:12 PM
Slag 04 Feb 08 - 10:27 PM
Amos 04 Feb 08 - 11:26 PM
Bill D 04 Feb 08 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,PMB 05 Feb 08 - 06:37 AM
Mrrzy 05 Feb 08 - 08:55 AM
Wesley S 05 Feb 08 - 09:13 AM
Amos 05 Feb 08 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,PMB 05 Feb 08 - 10:33 AM
katlaughing 05 Feb 08 - 10:45 AM
Wesley S 05 Feb 08 - 11:08 AM
Bob Pacquin 05 Feb 08 - 11:12 AM
Mrrzy 05 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM
Wesley S 05 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM
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Bill D 05 Feb 08 - 12:35 PM
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Amos 05 Feb 08 - 01:44 PM
Wesley S 05 Feb 08 - 01:56 PM
Amos 05 Feb 08 - 02:04 PM
Wesley S 05 Feb 08 - 02:13 PM
katlaughing 05 Feb 08 - 02:18 PM
Amos 05 Feb 08 - 02:40 PM
Mrrzy 05 Feb 08 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,sinky 06 Feb 08 - 03:37 PM
Slag 06 Feb 08 - 06:25 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 08 - 07:13 PM
Mrrzy 07 Feb 08 - 09:34 AM
Amos 07 Feb 08 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,PMB 07 Feb 08 - 10:30 AM
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Mrrzy 07 Feb 08 - 01:56 PM
Bob Pacquin 07 Feb 08 - 02:33 PM
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Joe Offer 07 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM
Bob Pacquin 07 Feb 08 - 06:47 PM
Slag 07 Feb 08 - 07:49 PM
Bob Pacquin 07 Feb 08 - 08:16 PM
Amos 07 Feb 08 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,PMB 08 Feb 08 - 03:18 AM
Mr Happy 08 Feb 08 - 05:55 AM
theleveller 08 Feb 08 - 07:52 AM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 08:43 AM
Bob Pacquin 08 Feb 08 - 09:11 AM
Mrrzy 08 Feb 08 - 09:57 AM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 10:09 AM
Georgiansilver 08 Feb 08 - 10:29 AM
theleveller 08 Feb 08 - 10:48 AM
M.Ted 08 Feb 08 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,PMB 08 Feb 08 - 11:57 AM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 01:01 PM
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M.Ted 08 Feb 08 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Pseudolus at Work 08 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM
Stringsinger 08 Feb 08 - 03:34 PM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM
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Mrrzy 08 Feb 08 - 04:06 PM
Bill D 08 Feb 08 - 04:32 PM
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Mrrzy 08 Feb 08 - 05:01 PM
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Mrrzy 08 Feb 08 - 05:16 PM
Georgiansilver 08 Feb 08 - 06:10 PM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 07:43 PM
Slag 08 Feb 08 - 09:35 PM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Pseudolus at Home 08 Feb 08 - 10:19 PM
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Slag 09 Feb 08 - 01:13 AM
Mrrzy 09 Feb 08 - 01:43 PM
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Riginslinger 09 Feb 08 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,petr 09 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM
Slag 10 Feb 08 - 04:00 AM
Mrrzy 10 Feb 08 - 12:54 PM
Riginslinger 10 Feb 08 - 02:06 PM
Georgiansilver 10 Feb 08 - 03:26 PM
Stringsinger 10 Feb 08 - 03:34 PM
Mrrzy 10 Feb 08 - 06:07 PM
Slag 10 Feb 08 - 06:24 PM
Amos 10 Feb 08 - 06:49 PM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 08 - 08:53 AM
Riginslinger 11 Feb 08 - 09:01 AM
theleveller 11 Feb 08 - 09:02 AM
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Mr Happy 11 Feb 08 - 11:52 AM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM
Amos 11 Feb 08 - 12:29 PM
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Amos 11 Feb 08 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Pseudolus at Work 11 Feb 08 - 04:31 PM
Stringsinger 11 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 08 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Pseudolus at Home 11 Feb 08 - 08:59 PM
Amos 11 Feb 08 - 11:17 PM
Slag 11 Feb 08 - 11:31 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 08 - 12:12 AM
theleveller 12 Feb 08 - 03:30 AM
Pseudolus 12 Feb 08 - 08:20 AM
Amos 12 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Pseudolus at Work 12 Feb 08 - 02:24 PM
Amos 12 Feb 08 - 02:33 PM
Stringsinger 12 Feb 08 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Pseudolus at Work 12 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM
Nickhere 12 Feb 08 - 04:00 PM
Riginslinger 12 Feb 08 - 04:13 PM
Amos 12 Feb 08 - 04:21 PM
Bill D 12 Feb 08 - 05:54 PM
Mrrzy 12 Feb 08 - 06:41 PM
Nickhere 12 Feb 08 - 07:41 PM
Mrrzy 12 Feb 08 - 09:20 PM
M.Ted 12 Feb 08 - 09:45 PM
M.Ted 12 Feb 08 - 09:46 PM
Amos 12 Feb 08 - 10:52 PM
Mrrzy 13 Feb 08 - 10:45 AM
M.Ted 13 Feb 08 - 12:15 PM
Amos 13 Feb 08 - 12:21 PM
Mrrzy 13 Feb 08 - 02:49 PM
M.Ted 13 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM
Mrrzy 13 Feb 08 - 06:05 PM
Mrrzy 13 Feb 08 - 06:09 PM
Amos 13 Feb 08 - 06:14 PM
Bill D 13 Feb 08 - 06:44 PM
Bill D 13 Feb 08 - 06:54 PM
M.Ted 13 Feb 08 - 08:26 PM
Amos 13 Feb 08 - 08:40 PM
Nickhere 14 Feb 08 - 12:11 AM
Amos 14 Feb 08 - 01:40 AM
Mrrzy 14 Feb 08 - 08:40 AM
Amos 14 Feb 08 - 09:19 AM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 08 - 10:26 AM
Mrrzy 14 Feb 08 - 10:47 AM
Nickhere 14 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM
Amos 14 Feb 08 - 11:50 AM
M.Ted 14 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM
Mrrzy 14 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM
Slag 14 Feb 08 - 03:16 PM
Nickhere 14 Feb 08 - 06:02 PM
M.Ted 14 Feb 08 - 06:20 PM
Donuel 15 Feb 08 - 04:18 PM
goatfell 16 Feb 08 - 10:12 AM
Slag 18 Feb 08 - 03:43 PM
Ebbie 18 Feb 08 - 03:47 PM
M.Ted 18 Feb 08 - 07:33 PM
Bill D 18 Feb 08 - 08:30 PM
Mrrzy 18 Feb 08 - 09:07 PM
Slag 18 Feb 08 - 09:22 PM
theleveller 19 Feb 08 - 04:05 AM
M.Ted 19 Feb 08 - 12:13 PM
Slag 19 Feb 08 - 04:08 PM
Ebbie 19 Feb 08 - 04:56 PM
M.Ted 19 Feb 08 - 08:48 PM
Riginslinger 20 Feb 08 - 10:42 AM
Mrrzy 20 Feb 08 - 08:06 PM
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Mrrzy 21 Feb 08 - 08:30 AM
TheSnail 21 Feb 08 - 08:38 AM
Amos 21 Feb 08 - 09:18 AM
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Subject: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:02 PM

Jesus said " I will never leave you or forsake you." God is ever faithful to His Word. Some folks who would be hard pressed to prove their own existence philosophically, using the rules of logic, seem to me, Hell-bent on disproving God's existence. I have all the proof I need. He utterly changed my life in 1967. Rather He GAVE me life in 1967! True to His promise He gave me His Holy Spirit Who lives in my soul, at my request I might add. I can say with the Apostle Paul "For I know in Whom I have believed and I am persuaded the He is able to keep that (i.e. my soul) which I have committed unto Him against that day ( of judgement)." II Timothy 1:12 Parentheticals mine.

God offers no proof which must pass the judgement of Man. God is not judged of Man. If that were so only people of high intellect would be saved. God makes salvation available to all so that even a child or an adult of limited understanding can come to Him. All that it takes is faith and the proof is by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. If that offends you or your sense of, what? rationality? Then so be it. I didn't make up the rules!

Mary Shelly grappled with this assault on human reason in her classic novel "Frankenstein" in which the imperfect creation confronts his imperfect creator. Same theme in the classic movie "Blade Runner" which again was based upon Philip K. Dick's short story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (Nice hidden redundancy in that title). But the Scripture asks the question "...O Man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed (it), 'Why hast thou made me thus?'" Romans 9:20. God, being God, is unassailable.

We all have opinions. Some are just that, opinions, some considered, some otherwise and that is our right as free human beings. Even the not-so-free have opinions even though they are suppressed. I have respect for God's opinion as expressed in His Scripture, the Holy Bible. That's my right. You may disagree with me and you may disagree with the Scriptures, in whole or in part. That too, is your right. You have the right to be wrong, as do I. Jesus said "For the Son of man ( i.e. Jesus) is come to save that which was lost." If you are not lost, well, don't worry about it.

That last sounds kind of confrontive but it's not. I was making a statement I felt would forestall endless debate which is currently going on in a couple of other threads. This is a statement of belief. Of course, comment if you like. And know that Jesus is much more loving and kind than I am, though I AM trying to be. He invites all to come to Him and gives His assurance that He will reject no one who does come to Him.


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Subject: RE: God still with ne 2008
From: Slag
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:04 PM

Oops! Sorry guys! Goes below the line, if you would please.


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Subject: RE: God still with ne 2008
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:05 PM

God will put it there

Barry


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Subject: RE: God still with ne 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:10 PM

Yup - you can expect a lot of trash talk from the usual suspects.


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Subject: RE: God still with ne 2008
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:29 PM

The worst habit of the human ego is that of constantly, obsessively trying to make everyone else in the world adopt its own favorite beliefs, ideas, and prejudices...(whatever those may be)


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Subject: RE: God still with ne 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:04 PM

By the fruits of the Spirit shall followers of Jesus Christ be known. Like you Slag, I was very up-front with my Faith when I first joined the 'Cat' but found that being confrontationally bold only drew out the flamers and trolls who did not share my faith. I come here now mainly for information and mostly on the music threads but I do come below the line for a bit of lighthearted banter or to make a joke or two. My life too was changed utterly by coming to know the Lord but I have learned that being a living example to people is preferable to trying to win them with strong words.
May God truly Bless you with wisdom and understanding friend.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:15 PM

There's really nothing to argue with or debate here. Slag has simply stated his belief. He is not debating 'proof'...just accepting the 'word' as he sees it.

I don't see why he thought it necessary to proclaim it in this way, but everything *I* have had to say, I have said elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Arkie
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:27 PM

Good post Slag. You testify to what you know and feel. Jesus came to heal that which is broken and to help us be the best we can be in every aspect of our lives. Following Jesus is living by the promises, example and inspiration. One think it does not do is make moral principles into laws.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:39 PM

Good for you, an imaginary friend.

Religious faith is a form of mental illness.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:41 PM

So is faith in the political party of your choice. ;-)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 07:49 PM

no, michaelr....that's NOT what it is. And that sort of provocation is counter-productive.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 08:58 PM

Michaelr, the same has been said about "liberalism" but then I question the guy's balance who wrote that book.

Yes, Jesus is my friend but He is so much more than I could have ever imagined!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 10:57 PM

Provocation? Just stating an opinion.

I could be wrong. My problem with the faithful is that they can't.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 11:28 PM

We don't really need any of this right now. It's been beaten to death over the last two months. Everyone, please, just let it go.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:53 AM

michaelr..until you 'experience' something for yourself perhaps you may not believe in anything....... Like slag, I have experienced having Jesus Christ in my life in many forms...some of which ..if I told you you would probably not believe anyway....seek the truth for yourself if you have the time...who knows..you might find something bigger than you.
Best wishes, Mike.
PS...some of my experience is on view on my website:-
My website..a Christian one...your choice!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:55 AM

Almost forgot....take a particular look at 'Mikes Testimony' and 'Mikes Healing'
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 03:28 AM

I am about as interested in your religious experiences as I am in the details of WYZ; wardrobe management with its myriad, highly complex problems and details. The cleverness of it all.

I don't mind what you believe in or do not. But it is more than a little off-putting to have you pouring out your particular cult's views in these threads. Views which are, by their nature, espousing a one-sided cultural bias.

In case you've never studied the phenomena, ALL cults provide their followers with "so much more than I ever imagined". This interesting fact tells me that none of them are the actual source of the uplift being reported, but it comes, as even Jesus said, from within themselves.

But even if your exultations were not swept up in the grip of a mis-identified source, it strikes me as most unseemly to go on about it in this self-congratulatory way.

I really do wish you the best of luck with these matters, but I dearly wish you would not hang it out for public view, because it smacks of show-offery, which is very much at odds with the received word of JC himself, you may recall. It is immodest and unbecoming and in poor taste.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 04:46 AM

If that be the case, Amos, then it seems to me "off-putting, to say the least, to have massive threads asserting that there is no God, not even Jesus. That's OK? Just so long as it agrees with your opinion? Show-Off?-ery? I did NOTHING to be saved except accepting the extended hand. That's why "salvation" is the term used since the time of Christ and before. He did the saving and it is NOT an exclusive club.

More over I said nothing about a Christian culture. There are many different cultures which claim Christ as their inspiration. Some even appeal to me but that is not what my post was about.

If, under the good graces of Mudcat, someone has the right to assert that there is no God, not even Jesus, a sense of fair play, free speech should be obvious to you that I have the same measured right to assert otherwise and give a reason or two, don't you think? Don't you think?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 04:55 AM

The problem with ones personal 'Christian' experience is that it does not offer definitive proof to the sceptic. For instance Amos...if you read 'Mikes Healing' on my website you would suggest either I was lieing or there was an incredible coincidence...it could not be God...it would have to be either some ordinary happening or something not quite right with me or I was misled......well maybe I am alright and maybe my experience of a miracle was real.....everyone has a choice of what they believe...


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 07:17 AM

As a totally non-religious person, I think this is a great title for a thread--if nothing else it begins to counter the "Still No Gods" etc. threads we've been honored with for the past umpty-ump weeks. Here's hoping this one will also have hundreds of entries--just to slightly begin to address the imbalance.

And since there's no way anybody will ever convince anybody else on this topic, it all depends, as usual, on how much time people have to waste. Just as the others did.

So please have at it.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 08:34 AM

I understand and admire the sentiment, Ron--my concern, and the reason that I "wasted" a lot of time and energy on the other(and on similar) threads, is simply that I am concerned that these prolonged, and vituperative battles will start to define what Mudcat is--though maybe it is too late for that--


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mr Happy
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 08:38 AM

..........as Ringo Starr once sang 'Back off, Boogaloo!'

Says it all really?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 09:06 AM

Depending on what is meant by "Boogaloo"--


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 09:15 AM

Can you point to a single datum, as in a verifiable and definable phenomenon, that supports your beliefs? No... which is why you call it Faith. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you understand that it is irrational, and counter to demonstrable reality.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 09:38 AM

Mrrzy..take a look at 'Mikes Healing' as suggested above (follow the link to my website) What happened there really happened....as have many other things. The guy who prayed for healing for me went on to become part of a World Ministry for healing...but he doesn't do the healing..he just asks God for it. Perhaps you could explain to me why prayer for instant healing works...I know it does...not only for my healing but as witness to others, as well as some I have prayed for in other people. As I said before.....most people are sceptical so you are in a majority....doesn't necessarily mean you are right.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 09:58 AM

Mrzzy is here, so the battle can begin. By the way, Mrz--do you know about this? Famous Atheist Now Believes in God


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 10:08 AM

Perhaps it was not intended, but the whole blurb smacks of smugness and conceit.

I did not start the "No Gods" thread, and I think the person who did was equally in bad taste. In that thread, the counter-viewpoints were thoroughly trotted out and the debate went on for some time.

If all you are trying to do is balance the presence of the title of a thread you find offensive, this is not the most efficient way to do it.

I have various opinions about the nature of your religious experiences, in particular and in general, but it is not meet and civil to stick them in an argy-bargy thread, and to what end? Who am I to define another's experience?

But, as I said, IMHO the whole thing is in poor taste, justifications or no.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 10:18 AM

It boils down to there is a very small but vocal minority that just doesn't want to see anything of a spiritual basis here if it involves a higher power. Hundreds of posts about nonthism is perfectly acceptable - but to have some balance and talk about God? Ewwww - no way. Freedom of speech - only if we agree with your views.

But who am I to define another's experience?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 10:33 AM

I am completely with you on this, Amos--two wrongs don't make a right--they make a fight.
And that's what we've got here. Nothing more or less than a common, ordinary, street brawl.

Bottom line is, you've all got chips on your shoulder, and you're all just daring the other guy to knock it off. When they won't you escalate the level of provocation--to be blunt, you're not being good Christians, not being good Scientists, you are being assholes.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 10:58 AM

I took this to be a mostly Christian thread, so didn't come look at it until now, and that was as a joe clone to check for nasties. I am surprised it is not worse.

As just a Mudcatter, I understand the desire for such a thread, but not the need, no more than I did the no god ones, which I did not read nor post to. They both seem like someone knocking on my front door trying to convince me of whatever.

Oh, and it is too late for Mudcat. The BS section isn't much fun any more and the nastiness has carried over to the music section; just check out any thread about specific artists and you will find plenty.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:12 AM

It's not like we have a lot of "god" threads here at all. So when two threads go on for about 1000 posts about the nonexistence of a higher power it shouldn't be suprising that another viewpoint is offered. And from what I read in the original post there was no attempt to convert anyone to any point of view. Just someone saying "This is what I believe". So what's the harm of offering a viewpoint?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:18 AM

Have you thought about exorcism?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:21 AM

SLag,

Don't get me wrong. I am delighted you had such wonderful experiences at a high, mystic level.

But in rattling them off, sprinkled with Authoritative Capital LEtters in Command Words (like god, holy, scripture) you are walking right into the biggest error of testifying. Either you are just preaching to the choir, or you are not really trying very hard to get understood by those who aren't in the choir, because you are waving red flags in every sentence.

Why? Because you are proclaiming and invoking AUhtority which others do not recognize, and freighting your language in ways that implies that authority is, or should be, irrefutable.

This, of course, pushes the buttons of anyone who values their independence of mind. You sound like the kind of person who would want to send each of us who are more skeptical to the Pricipal's Office for disciplining.

I would suggest an alternative approach. Try embodying the enlightenment you have experienced into your acts, and not your words. Use ordinary languiage to show kindness, compassion, and inspiration, instead of citing institutionalized, authoritarian categorical power-buttons at people. It would, oddly enough, not only be more effective communication, it would be far more Christian in the deepest and best sense of the word.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:26 AM

The thread was titled "God Still with me 2008" NOT ""Free tickets to Pete Seegar's next concert". It was plainly marked - so anyone offended by the thread came here with the intention of being offended. Anyone who doesn't want to hear about the topic has the choice of NOT opening the thread. What could be easier?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:48 AM

Ya know, Wes, you're right. I shoulda never opened the thread, but I am an elephant of insatiable curiousity. I apologize for jumping in and handing out opinions.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:51 AM

Prayer has actually been demonstrated NOT to work. THe most recent study involved patients who were prayed for and didn't know it, patients who were prayed for and knew it, and patients who were not prayed for. The only difference was that the ones who knew they were being prayed for got worse. There was no advantage of the prayed-for over the not-prayed-for.

Some people may well get better from prayer - the same reason people get better from good thoughts, or the placebo effect. The human mind can do wonders - but there is no need for any god hypotheses.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:54 AM

That's OK. I've learned not to open any of the threads about Swedish fiddle music. Or offer opinions about it either.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mr Happy
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 12:09 PM

Mebbe thet weren't preying hard enough or lied about what they really prayed for


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 12:29 PM

Mrrzy, did you not read: The thread was titled "God Still with me 2008" NOT ""Free tickets to Pete Seegar's next concert". It was plainly marked - so anyone offended by the thread came here with the intention of being offended. Anyone who doesn't want to hear about the topic has the choice of NOT opening the thread. What could be easier?

Perhaps you could show some respect and go post elsewhere?

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:39 PM

? I am not being disrespectful. I am, as is everybody else, invited to post here, and I have. I was asked a question, and I answered it, without meanness, pettiness, or insult. I am surprised at you.

And, what is that about Pete Seeger? I must be missing something.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:44 PM

There are other studies, documented in books by Larry Dossey, for example, where the reverse is true, Mrrz. Obviously, there are ambiguous or only partially understood vectors in play.

The placebo effect, sometimes used as a shorthand dismissal of sudden remediation of some apparently physical condition, is one of the most under-estimated bits of phenomena outt here. While it is simple and easy, and maybe accurate, to say "it's the mind", that's a bit like saying that gravity and EMF are "the ether". It offers no explanation which can open the door to understanding, just providing an obfuscatory box to stick things in to defer further insight.

To be able to understand what the mind actually IS, and how it can engage whole physical systems in extreme measures of disruption OR palliation, would be a major piece of work. As to whether it would open the door to unknown elements such as the cognitive and the spiritual, there is no saying at this point. No sense getting all superstitious, but neither should we embrace willfully ignorant conculsions.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 06:13 PM

Good grief. Such animosity. Amos, the caps I only intend as an honorific to my deity, er, uh, Deity! There's some historic tradition for that. Honest, I was only seeking to balance out assertions to the contrary as noted by the presence of those other threads. I found THOSE assertions to be provocative. I might have even found them offensive but the offense is not to me.

As noted above, reality is, philosophically and logically a difficult thing to prove even though we all, to some degree ( a little humor there), participate in it. We pretty much take our world as given, on faith. We believe it because in our experience, it works. My faith in Christ worked great changes for me. More over it is His claim in the book which portrays Him, that He will do the same for anyone who truly turns to Him. Not my claim. His claim. I just happen to believe it.

As for the direction of the 'Cat, well, we are all people and free people have the right or perhaps even the duty to differ on things. That's how you can tell if you are still free. In a society that has only one voice you may believe that you are entirely free, IF you happen to agree with that voice. Everything is hunky dory! But if you should happen to voice an idea that runs counter to the bias, What happens? Is that idea tolerated? Is the person shouted down? Exiled? Eliminated?   Brr. While I have disagreed, and at times, vociferously disagreed with some assertions I have always tolerated the same. I have sought points of common ground and have related to mindsets outside of my own experiences. I have a great appreciation for Zen and Buddhism in general. Hinduism, Jainism have a high intellectual capacity as some aspects offer much wisdom. I have studied many of the religions of the world as a means to understanding my own. I have been a student of philosophy, physics, life sciences, astronomy, I struggle with calculus but really appreciate its abilities to define the reality of the physical world. A there are many more directions I have taken in order to understand my life and my world. I have sought to understand, to appreciate the thing level.

And too, I have sought to understand the psyche, the conscious mind/brain connection. What is consciousness??? You know it exists. I presume you probably all have one (if "one" is the right word!) and yet I take that on faith also, as you can't weigh it or measure it in a physical way. And yet most all of us spend 99% of our waking hours dealing with matters and constructs of the mind and personalities. What is the soul? Some would say that it doesn't exist or that it is just a biochemical manifestation. Prove it or prove it not. It is entirely subjective. But what is the object? What is the subject? It questions existence itself which is a really cool thing to contemplate. To me it is amazing how we fill a physical niche in the living world and yet the world cannot contain the mind or the heart of Man ( uh, sorry about the cap and the gender thing there, Amos!).

I won't write a book here and that should be kept in mind by all posters to not get too serious about anything that appears here below the line. It is a bull session. Period. There is no need for anger or provocation to anger. My take is that anything goes but don't go overboard. As for keeping the integrity of above-the-line entries, I agree, reign those in and keep them on topic. A few asides and anecdotes hurt nothing but if that is all that the thread becomes, then move it or file it.

As a little hint, check out the informal fallacies of logic. To attack the person proves nothing.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 06:35 PM

Mrrzy: "Nothing wrong with that, as long as you understand that it is irrational"

Having faith is not irrational, Mrrz. Irrational behaviour is, roughly speaking, going against what you know in spite of knowing it. For you right now, for example, that might mean believing in God, since it seems to fly in the face of what you know empirically and based in science. For me, it would mean not beleiving in God, as it would fly in the face of my own experience.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 06:53 PM

For those of you interested in some 'proof' more concrete than just the say-so of belivers, I came across these interesting examples recently. They relate to the Divine Mercy, a devotion by Catholics to the divine mercy of God.

The first concerns a guy called Ugo Festa who was born in Vicenza, Italy in 1951. He got multiple sclerosis early on. By age 39 he had sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy. By 1990 his spine was distorted and he was getting daily seizures. All kinds of doctors and consultants looked at him and decided in the end there was nothing they could do for him. He decided the onlything left was prayer.

He went to Rome in 1990 and was invited to go with a group to a Divine Mercy centre, but refused. The group went without him but left him with a picture of the Divine Mercy (it shows a depiction of Jesus with two streams of light coming from His heart and side). At St.Peter's he met with the Pope (John Paul II) and asked him to bless the picture. He told the Pope he felt very despondent. The Pope replied 'how can you feel despondent with the Divine Mercy in your arms?"

Ugo decided to go to the Divine Mercy centre after all. A few days later he was praying at the centre when he suddenly noticed the arms of Jesus in the picture outstretched towards him and a tremendous warmth flowing into him. He found himself standing on his feet and loudly praising God. He heard Jesus say 'rise up and walk'. He began to walk. At that moment his ailments were cured (remember what they were? He was at this time, wheelchair bound). He was more physically perfect than he'd ever been in his life before. In August 1990 Ugo returned to the Vatican and met with the Pope again, telling (this time standing on his feet) what had happened to him. He now devotes his life to spreading the message of the Divine Mercy.

Then there was Maureen Digan who at age 15 got a slow progressive disease caleld Lymphedmia. This disease does not respond to medictaion and does not go into remission. Over 10 years she had 50 operations and stays in hospital of up to a year at a time in length. Friends asked her to put her trust in God, but unsurprisingly she wouldn't asking why God had let her suffer like that. She lost her faith completely. Her husband eventually persuaded her to visit the tomb of the nun in Poland who had first had the revelations about the Divine Mercy (Sister Faustina). Thus in 1981 Maureen went to confession for the first time since she'd been a young girl. At the nun's tomb she said to herself 'ok, Faustina, I came a long way now do something". She heard (in her heart) the nun reply 'if you ask for my help I will give it to you". Suddenly she felt as if she was having a nervous breakdown - all the pian seemed to drain out of her body and her swollen leg which was due to be amputated shortly went back to its normal size. She was examined by five independent doctors who came to the conclsuion she was healed completely and had medical explanation for the sudden healing of this incurable disease.

There is a site www.divinemercy.com but it's currently under construction. If interested in knowing more, get the Divine Mercy booklet ISBN 1872276 15 6


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 07:14 PM

I think it would be stretching the case too far to ascribe either of the above two cases to placebo effect. I can understand it helping someone slowly recover from a more minor ailment, but we're talking about a whole rapid PHSYICAL change here, the suddne and dramatic reversal of years of physically distortion


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 07:55 PM

Amos "I would suggest an alternative approach. Try embodying the enlightenment you have experienced into your acts, and not your words. Use ordinary languiage to show kindness, compassion, and inspiration, instead of citing institutionalized, authoritarian categorical power-buttons at people. It would, oddly enough, not only be more effective communication, it would be far more Christian in the deepest and best sense of the word"

I understand what you're saying..... I agree a good Christian should show their faith by acts, but how is someone supposed to demonstrate their faith by ACTS on an internet forum like Mudcat?

Now, language, of course that's another matter. But I think Slag was using ordinary words, and just telling it as he sees it and understands it. At least the words he was using were ordinary enough for other believers. I know non-believers might have a problem with words like 'God' and 'bible' and so on. But the organised churches have already shown the futility of diluting God's word to attract bigger congregations - using hip hop terms etc, which ends up with no-one taking them seriously anyway.

And there are some neighbourhoods in the city where I live where ANY of the words over one syllable we used on this forum to discuss philosophy science and religion would gaurantee us a good beating. So we can't keep everyone happy all the time!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 08:04 PM

Nickhere: "She was examined by five independent doctors who came to the conclsuion she was healed completely and had medical explanation for the sudden healing of this incurable disease"

Obviously that sentence should have read "...no medical explanation for..."


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 08:29 PM

*Sigh* I knew better!

Mrzzy...your post denigrated the beliefs of other, perhaps not in a mean way, but in a done-deal kind of way...it's a tit-for-tat thing I see on the Mudcat so much these days. If you don't agree with them, why muck up a thread they obviously wanted to have to themselves? Oops, I forgot, it's the Mudcat Way...and has been for years, now. Get shot down often enough and ya stop starting threads on anything metaphysical, anything wiccan, anything about purple people eaters, you name it, you will get contention. If that is NOT what you meant, my apologies, but that's the way it reads.

katgettingouthertenfootpole


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 08:42 PM

"And, what is that about Pete Seeger? I must be missing something."


                        Pete Seeger was one of those people who was always really rational about religion.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 10:30 PM

Hey guys, if you wish to p[lace your faith in the person of Christ and the representation of God he represents, more power to you, and I wish you great delight in it.

It's none of my business which school of metaphysics you subscribe to, or which paper you read, either.

I respectfully withdraw from the conversation.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:50 AM

You know, Amos, sometimes you are a pure gentleman and a beacon of Light.:-)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 02:45 AM

Respect Amos respect! You are a gentleman of sensitive nature.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:23 AM

And that is the beauty of free speech. If you don't want to hear it, don't listen. Drag up your own soap box ( read "thread") and have at it. God knows one size does NOT fit all. We should know the same. I think you are a good man, Amos, honest at any rate and I'd be willing to bet we have a lot more in common than not.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Shaneo
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:58 AM

Thank God there are still a few Christians here, I check in here most days to see whats going on but the two other threads put me off everytime, even posting on the music threads,


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:19 AM

You know, Amos, sometimes you are a pure gentleman and a beacon of Light.:-)

Only under the most extreme circumstances, madame; but thank you very much indeed.



A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 11:09 AM

Well, faith is irrational by definition, kat - if it weren't, it would be a conclusion from replicable data. The whole point of faith is belief without knowledge. If it were from knowledge, it wouldn't be belief.

As a separate item, the problem with "person who" arguments (as in, you say that height and weight are correlated, well I know a Person Who is tall and skinny so you must be wrong) is that they ignore statistics - there are indeed tall thin people, and short fat people, but that doesn't change the fact that height and weight are correlated. So sure, there are people who "mind over matter" themselves into amazing things - think of old ladies picking cars up off of their little grandkids, and other oddities. And no, calling it "mind" is not just labelling about explaining. Actually, quite a lot is known about mind these days, and we're learning more and more from neuropsychology.

Sure, there are cures that defy current explanation. These are not, however, evidence of the supernatural. Just because what we know now of the natural world as learned through science can't explain something does not mean that the answer has to be supernatural. That's the argument the Intelligent Design people have tried, and it doesn't hold water.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 11:36 AM

Still doing it, I see.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bee
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:47 PM

I just looked in here myself, as I also thought, having initially just read first post: thread for Christians, fine, leave 'em to it. I do the same for the pagan/Wiccan/whatever religion threads here - I note no one's gone into the Imbolc thread and told the people there it's all nonsense.

The other thread was designed for debate - I did not consider this one was.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:00 PM

Ah, perhaps I am mistaken then. I thought the phrase "of course, comment if you like" invited commentary.

Amos, please come back.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:40 PM

MRrz, do not despair. I am with you in spirit. ;>))


And also on the other thread.



A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:46 PM

Whatever you may think is true, and whatever you may know, Mrrzy, you've been repeating the same things without reasoning, without logic, and without evidence to back them up.

In the common parlance, ranting and raving...

Granted, everyone does it from time to time, but it isn't much use in bolstering the case for science and reason-- and it pretty much keeps the thread at a "Jerry Springer" level--Entertaining as it is to some, it is fatiguing to a lot of others. More to the point, the negativity spreads to all the other active threads in the forum. Do you understand this at all?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:50 PM

"I note no one's gone into the Imbolc thread and told the people there it's all nonsense."

I've noticed that too. Why do they get a pass? It seems like when it comes to the religions that must be rejected and objected to that Christianity tops the list. Anyone for fair play?

Or better yet - maybe we shouldn't trash ANYONES religious or nonreligious beliefs. Naaaa - that's too hard.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:39 PM

"Thank God there are still a few Christians here.."

Am I the only one who sees the tautology in that? Seems like if God had full control over it all, there'd be more....or maybe more Muslims or Jainists - who knows?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 07:29 PM

Mrr: " The whole point of faith is belief without knowledge. If it were from knowledge, it wouldn't be belief"

I think you are confusing the term 'knowledge' with the term 'empirical data' or using them interchangeably.

Someone may have 'knowledge' of God or of the metaphysical world without that knowledge necessarily being demonstrable according to current scientific empirical standards. It should be obvious that this does not make it knowledge any the less.

You also say "Sure, there are cures that defy current explanation. These are not, however, evidence of the supernatural. Just because what we know now of the natural world as learned through science can't explain something does not mean that the answer has to be supernatural"

Of course. But both the circumstances and the dramatic nature of the cures against all medical and scientific odds defintiely demands our closer attention. These were not just common colds cleared up by the power of positive thinking. Something much more dramatic has occured here. In both cases the subjects were also sceptics who demanded, half in scepticism, that God act and interevene. They did not spend hours in thoughtful prayer or build up to the cure over months of religious preparation. And in both cases in the very moment when the two subjects challenged God to act, something physical did indeed occur.

The general reasoning of your post seems to be that one distant day empirical science will be able to explain everything that currently is classed as supernatural. It may have done so in many cases, but there's no guarantee it will be able to do so in all cases.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 07:54 PM

Well, is God natural or not?

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 08:15 PM

Hmm. Good question Amos. If by 'natural' you mean the visible, quantifiable empirical world, then I suppose the answer must be 'No' since God (as we understand Him) supersedes all that. That would make Him supernatural ('beyond/above nature')

This would also explain why God cannot be explained or measured by science: science is a system designed to explain the only natural world.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 08:21 PM

However the physical world may contain clues of the supernatural presence of a guiding and sentient God. You know, the way distant planets are not discovered by being observed directly but due to their effects on the light coming from distant stars. We know they are there by inference though we cannot see them directly (no equipment powerful enough).


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 08:50 PM

Has anyone here ever experienced precognition? Many have at one time or another as well as experiences that defy explanation. The cause? I don't know. I can't even guess why. Maybe God, maybe something wholly other. But science cannot explain it either. Does that mean it is not real?

Here is one small example, again, my own experience. At my place of employment, some years ago, there was a coffee machine that had poker hands stamped on the cups. I almost always brought my own coffee so seldom used the machine but one day I walked in the break room and told the guys standing around that I was going to hit four aces on the coffee machine. I somehow knew it. Any of you epistemologists want to have a crack at what constitutes human "knowing" go ahead. I'd love for someone to explain it to me. I dropped my coins in, down dropped the cup and in went the coffee (if you could call it that). I lifted the cup over my head and sure enough 4 aces. You should have seen the looks I got from everyone. They told me to go buy a lottery ticket! What did it mean? I have know idea. Why did it happen? Don't know. What difference did it make in the world? None that I can tell. Could science explain it? Not really. The only explanation science could offer involves probability but it was the absolute spontaneous knowledge of the event before it happened that is the amazing feature of the incident.

I include this little story to this thread to demonstrate that science has it limitations. The human mind has its limitations. The human brain is part and parcel of time/space and is thus limited. The soul and the spirit are something else though I couldn't begin to delineate where the mind/body leave off and the purely soul/spirit begin. It is too well integrated to make such a clear distinction analytically. Yet in my experience there are moments where one stands out completely from the other.

Is this thread drift? Don't make the Poker Gods angry!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 08:52 PM

Hmmm. God not being natural raises some important challenges. It imposes a duality on existence which flies the face of human reason, even human spiritual reason. I think the division is artificial, actually, and that all nature being of God's nature, he is the sum of it all. As far as words allow such a concept anyway. If that is the correct picture of existence, than you and Mrrzy are both on the same Quest, just riding different steeds.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:02 PM

Amos "all nature being of God's nature, he is the sum of it all"

I'm not quite sure what you have in mind here, but it sounds like pantheism? The Christian view is that God is not simply the sum of visible nature in the same way as the potter is not simply the sum of all the cups, plates and bowls he produces, though we can see something of his personality stamped on the things he made.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:13 PM

Slag - yes, I have had many strange examples of pre-cognition in my life. Some of these i attribute to my direct call on God. Others are a bit more odd.

One of the oddest, and most pointless concerns a time I went mountain walking with some friends. This is a favourite hobby of mine. Well on the day in question we'd arrived at a ridge up at around 800 metres and a strong wind was blowing straight towards us over the ridge. The wind was gusting at around 50 mph at times. We sat with our backs to some rocks and had a few sandwiches. One of my friends gave my wife his spare gortex waterproof pants to sit on as the grass was wet. As she stood up for one moment to reach for soemthing a sudden gust whipped the pants away off to the east. As they sailed away into the distance my friend gasped "there goes 70 quid worth of pants". Hardly even realising I was saying it I blurted out "Oh, they'll be back!" Having travelled several hundred yards they did indeed suddenly turn and head straight back towards us! They stopped at the ridge where we were sitting and suddenly shot 50 feet straight up in the air as they were hanging on a clothes line. The legs swang wildly like some kind of crazy Riverdance and as we stared open mouthed the pants suddenly dropped down on teh ground about a metre from where they'd taken off from. Of course we quickly grabbed them!

Now atmospheric conditions and the topography can easily explain why the pants came back (if one knows enough meteorology) but I still can't explain just how I knew without question the pants would return!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:16 PM

correction "....as IF they were hanging on a clothes line..."


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 12:21 AM

That's a great story, man.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 02:24 AM

Yes indeed. It's things like that that make you really wonder abouot this existence. You know that might make another good thread. Less argumentative: Incredibile, Credible Incidence!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 03:39 AM

And how can we explain deja-vu...I went on a school exchange scheme when I was a tender 14 yrs of age and was sat in the school of the lad I would stay with..with all the other pupils from my school who were on the same trip. I suddenly felt I knew where I was and what would happen next. I turned to a lad galled Gary and said "A woman will walk through that door and acroos to the other door and say "Bonjour mes garcons"...which less than a half minute later she did".....I have no idea why this happened....did it happen before....did I know it would happen as part of my untapped brain is already pre-programmed to receive it?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 08:49 AM

These tales do not, for me, point to divine intercession, but to the intense spiritual capabilities that lie within the individual, should he choose to use them.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 11:15 AM

Deja vu is well-explained in the neuro literature.

M.Ted, what have I said "without reasoning, without logic, and without evidence?" I'm pretty sure I have data behind my conclusions.

I have had several dreams that then came true. They are always about something completely trivial, like dreaming that my Style section was torn, and then Sunday, my Style section is torn. Once I dreamt that, coming back from an upcountry trip in Africa, my parents would have moved the night of the ministers' dinner party and we'd come back in the middle of it, filthy and stinking, and we did. I have not taken any of these as evidence for the supernatural, personally, but I can see how one might. Especially if I would have dreamed something important, like my Dad being killed by terrorists or something... but I never do.

And I haven't had one of those since adolescence...


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 12:04 PM

Actually, GS' story goes beyond deja vue and is not covered in neuro literature, as he explicitly and objectively made an accurate prediction to someone. So it was not a falsifying feedback loop. It was a genuine precognition, or an excellent guess.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM

The whole episode was strange inasmuch as I felt I recognised the surroundings which included a wall of pale green glass tiles which had strong light from the sun shining through...I knew the woman was coming through the door...and I knew what she looked like before she did.......I must add to that I had not seen her go into the room beforehand. I guess at 14 yrs of age it was quite scary and I was ...and maybe still am..... a little bemused by it.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 03:14 PM

Preaching on Mudcat? Who would think of such a thing. :)

Keep your god, Slag as long as you keep him out of the public square. Keep him away from politics if you please.

You are entitled to your opinions as long as I have the right to question their validity.

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 03:30 PM

Stringsinger.....sorry you don't obviously know God personally..you don't know what you're missing! He's your God too.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 03:52 PM

GS:

That remark is exactly the sort of sanctimony that gets you in trouble. It is condescending and sanctimonious. I am sorry if this is hard to hear, or hard to see, but I assure you, lad, 'tis so.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 05:04 PM

LOL sorry Amos...just light hearted banter you know.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 06:33 PM

I don't see why he thought it necessary to proclaim it

That's one of the more annoying traits of "believers', isn't it? They are apparently compelled to do so, most usually at inappropriate and inconvenient times.

... repeating the same things without reasoning, without logic, and without evidence to back them up.

I don't think I've ever seen a better short definition of religion than this!

Cheers-


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 02:06 PM

Thanks, GregF!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 03:12 PM

If you want it to be seen as "lighhearted banter", GS, you'd be better of f using an emoticon, i.e. :-) to indicate since we cannot see any gestures or facial expressions. I agree with Amos's take on it.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 10:27 PM

Yes, all welcome but blac---, er I mean Christians! You can hold any opinion as long as it doesn't involve Jesus Christ. All others welcome! Put Him in the closet and keep Him there. The light that He shines can bring no good! He's so divisive.

You can see so well that you will help us poor unenlightened conservatives to see the TRUE political path which is firmly rooted in a liberal, or rather, progressive mind set ( which rejects God and asserts the Man has the highest truth and awareness and that human reason trumps everything).

The first lie of Satan as recorded in the Genesis story was that "...ye shall be as gods!" Yet, there it is. You reject God and assert yourselves as God. You can look at the story as a fable, as the words of men and dismiss it but the truth is still there and that's what you really don't want to hear.

But, you know, that's the nature of Christianity. It flies in the face of everything the world asserts is good. To the Greek foolishness, to the Jew a stumbling block. Paul's word, not mine. The traits of Christianity and its demeanor read like a list from "opposites day". The first shall be last and the last shall be first. The greatest among you must be servant to all. He who seek to save his life shall lose it but he who shall lose his life for my sake that same shall find it. I did not come to call the righteous unto repentance but sinners. Perhaps the ultimate affront to human pride is the assertion "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes unto the father except by me." Paul iterates this in Acts (4:12b)"...for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." The Gospel IS offensive. This is a well known and well stated fact in Christian theology. In fact it becomes a real issue in Christian churches which have compromised their message in trying to please the world, the lost.

Becoming a Christian is humiliating but whoever humbles themselves in the sight of the Lord shall be exalted. Some more of that "opposite stuff. The imperative of the Gospel is that there IS a Heaven and a Hell and whoever's name does not appear in the Book of Life will go to Hell and eternal torment. And I have been so close to that that I cannot begin to describe the utter terror that it brings to mind. It's real. It is the reality that I believe everyone tries to deny and run away from either consciously or subconsciously. That's the part that really stinks to the unsaved. "Hey, I'm a good person. I don't need your God. Don't tell me I'm going to Hell. How dare you!

If you have ever really read the Bible through you would know that this is the reason why Christ was hated and his disciples and the apostles were hated and beaten and jailed and killed. He told the Pharisees (the Republicans or conservative of that day) that their righteousness was as filthy as a rag used to wipe one's self with as far as God was concerned. The Sadducees (the liberals of the day) didn't fair any better. His truth was that ALL had sinned and come short of the glory of God. ALL. The simple part of this is that God still loves us, with an obsession you might say. So much that He was willing to send His anointed one to die a miserable death and suffer the Hell we deserve as a means for us of escaping His righteous sentence which was also enumerated in the Genesis account. The fact is, there is nothing a person can do to save himself from the grave and Hell. Rather salvation is a gift from God and received by acknowledging Jesus as His Son and our Saviour (John 3:16). Sermon? Maybe in topic but no more preachment than I have read in many of these threads in Mudcat.

That is certainly not light hearted banter from me but the harsh critics of my belief statement have no problem with a serious a scathing criticism of my belief so in terms of fair play, there you have it.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:26 PM

The first lie of Satan as recorded in the Genesis story was that "...ye shall be as gods!" Slag

Greater things than I have done, ye shall do. Jesus

For verily I say unto you, the kingdom of heaven is within you. Jesus


Hellfire and brimstone. Who ya gonna believe around here?



A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:48 PM

I've said very little so far, and what I have said has tried to be calm & concilitary conciliatory....but man!

"The imperative of the Gospel is that there IS a Heaven and a Hell and whoever's name does not appear in the Book of Life will go to Hell and eternal torment."

Well...it comes out. I had not seen it stated so bluntly here before. Fear & panic & authority are the guiding principles.

Ok, Slag...there's little discussion to be had when one side is totally sure that 2000 years of ambiguous interpretations of dubious translations of random collections of old parchments STILL is "truth" and that my eternal soul (whatever that might be) is doomed because *I* am not willing to buy into all that.

Slag....it's been a few years since I had to say this to anyone here, but....please...this is NOT the place for preaching and proselytizing.
We know you are a dedicated, believing Christian...and you know some of us are not. Posts like your last one are statements which allow no discussion, and raise the hackles of those who do not accept your basic assumptions about the nature of reality.
It's time to move on.....


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 06:37 AM

If Jesus maintains a torture chamber for those who cross him, Jesus is as bad as any human being and those who worship him are no better than those who worship any human dictator.

I bet you don't really believe that, it's just another of those little "mysteries" that it doesn't pay to probe too much.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:55 AM

I've always thought that if we could just forget our petty differences, we WOULD be "as" gods.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:13 AM

I can see both sides here. Slag - I don't think you can say that these people reject God. It would be like saying that you reject unicorns. You can't reject what you don't believe. So a lot of what you say just doesn't apply.

But Bill - when you say "....please...this is NOT the place for preaching and proselytizing." I have to disagree. The thread is clearly marked - look at the title again. This IS the place when someone should preach if they are so inclined. You chose to open this clearly marked thread. If Slag had said some of the same things in any of the music, political or Shatner threads I'd agree with you.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 10:06 AM

An Altar Beyond Olympus for a Deity Predating Zeus

PHILADELPHIA — Before Zeus hurled his first thunderbolt from Olympus, the pre-Greek people occupying the land presumably paid homage and offered sacrifices to their own gods and goddesses, whose nature and identities are unknown to scholars today.

But archaeologists say they have now found the ashes, bones and other evidence of animal sacrifices to some pre-Zeus deity on the summit of Mount Lykaion, in the region of Greece known as Arcadia. The remains were uncovered last summer at an altar later devoted to Zeus.

Fragments of a coarse, undecorated pottery in the debris indicated that the sacrifices might have been made as early as 3000 B.C., the archaeologists concluded. That was about 900 years before Greek-speaking people arrived, probably from the north in the Balkans, and brought their religion with them.
...


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 10:33 AM

The fact is, there is nothing a person can do to save himself from the grave and Hell. Rather salvation is a gift from God and received by acknowledging Jesus as His Son and our Saviour (John 3:16).

So... this god person.... decides whether he's going to save you or not, and if he decides not to... punishes you with eternal torture? Because it's your fault that he decided not to perhaps?

Come off it, if you believe that's good, you mean something completely different by the word good. I'd call the god's mind psychopathic and his worshippers despicable sycophants.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 10:45 AM

I won't even mention the totally literal translation which is being touted here. Just among Christians, THAT is up for a lot of debate, let alone the rest of us.

Slag, since preaching is this thread, I would suggest you get a copy of the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary by James Dillet Freeman and read it, carefully. Much different story when you understand the actual ancient language meanings of the Bible writings.

Remember "God is Love" and that is all that really needs to be said, imo. I've always felt that people who go on and on about being saved, sinning, wrath of god, etc., doth protest too much...it's as though they are constantly having to reassure themselves through badgering the rest of us. Just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 11:08 AM

Along with Kats book another one that may be of interest is Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman

Any literalist should take a stab at it. I'm like PBM in that I don't believe in the Holy Crap Shoot. I don't believe in hell - I don't think God gives up on us. That's ascribing human traits to God - and I don't think that works.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bob Pacquin
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 11:12 AM

Well, Old Bob saw this apocalypse coming. All kind folks of Mudcat have opened the door to the Devil, and, being the kind and welcoming, tolerant types that they are, didn't even make him take his shoes off at the security gate. If you had, you'd have seen the cloven hoof.

The Devil is real, and now you know it,because he has possessed Slag, who is now spitting the nastiest, most sulphurous pea soup that you can get without a prescription. You weakly little mortals should have known better than summon him up with that cute christian tweaking chatter, because now he's pretty much going to eat you alive, and no one can save you.

Bob can tell you a fair amount about religion, because he had the great fortune to grow up smack dab in the middle of the Dutch Reformed Triangle, where no one has smiled for one hundred years, because it betrays a lack of piety.

And the Bobmeister learned the hard way that the bitter, woodenshoed Calvinists are masters logic and argumentation. They can argue seven ways from Sunday on the smallest, most obscure point of doctrine. And even if you take good notes, you'll never be able to figure out how one side differs from the other.

Why do they do this? After years of contemplation, Old Bob has come to the conclusion that they do it because they are cheapskates.

The Dutch Reformed folks never go to the movies, or shopping, or even the ball game. They say it is a sin, but really, the reason is that it costs money. Theological arguements are free, and they last longer that a twi-night double header that goes into extra innings.

As a young man, your friend here had an enquiring mind, and read through the bible cover to cover. After that, he was very confused, because try as he might, when he looked at how the God-fearing, Bible-waving Calvinists around him lived, he just couldn't see what it had to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Bob told his Maiden Aunt that on reflection, he felt that "God's People" were really a bunch of backbiting, cheapskate hypocrites, and that, except for the Tulip Festival, they had nothing on anyone else.

She said, "When you were born, I could see that God had marked you for eternal damnation. I'm going to call the FBI."

So he grabbed his banjo, and his girlfriend and they left.

But as they were leaving, she turned around to look back. No, she wasn't turned into a Pillar of Salt, but even today, you can still find her standing near the windmill in Zeeland, Michigan, where she wears wooden shoes, a bonnet, and an apron, and sells Fudge.

This is why, in his home town, at least, Bob is still called, "Bob the Atheist". This is actual a contraction of "Bob,the Atheistic Communist Bastard", which is too long to write out on an envelope.

But it is also where Old Bob learned to stay out of religious discussions. He knows that they are just a cheapskate trick to avoid ponying up for a movie or a ballgame.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM

Amos - interesting. My personal theory is that faith preceded intelligence in our evolution, so I would expect that any discovery of a known religion, if you dug deeper, would be over top of some earlier, forgotten belief.
Kind of like the early anthropologists in North America, who would dig down to the Clovis layer and then stop, because they already *knew* that the Clovis people were the first ones here. It wasn't until somebody thought to keep digging that earlier settlements were found.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM

Theory ??? And here I thought you only dealt in empirical evidence :}:}:}


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM

Praise the Lord. 100 !!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 12:35 PM

I dunno, Wesley S., when I say this is not a good place for preaching, I am being inspired by such interesting items as your statement, " I don't believe in hell - I don't think God gives up on us. That's ascribing human traits to God - and I don't think that works."

Yet Slag clearly does believe in Hell...and he has more history and shared belief for his view than you do for yours! Now...why isn't he right? Why do you get to just *shrug* and dis-believe in Hell?
This is why discussion is one thing, but flat statements couched in absolute, flowery language like Slag just used is quite another. He is simply stating that both you & I are wrong....me, more than you obviously...but wrong, nevertheless.
What good can such language do in a forum like this? It is meant for situations where a group OF believers is gathered, as in a conservative church where everyone accepts the preacher's word, and the preacher is simply reminding the congregation, in graphic detail, of what they all have agreed to.

   Saying I can "choose not to open" a thread like this is true, of course, but trivially true, since it is like the proverbial "red flag in front of a bull" ...someone is GOING to respond. There is no reason for religious 'witnessing' except to challenge others to look at and ultimately, accept, your viwepoint. If someone wants religious support and to share the fervor & intensity of their religious beliefs, there are many places, both RT & virtual to find this. WYSIWYG often notes places for 'prayer chains' and other Christian help....but has refrained from DOING the praying here in the threads....and I have no problem with that!

   Simply...it is one thing to make it clear that one is a believer in a particular faith...and quite another to explicitly assert that all those who do not agree are damned. THAT is just begging for reaction.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:31 PM

Yes - Slag and I believe different things. If you get 1,000 people together you're going to find they have 1,000 different opinions too. So who cares? Those opinions will go away as soon as the computer gets turned off. I think it's great that you, Slag and I all get to voice our opinions. What I don't want to see is folks trying to supress those opinions - even the ones I disagree with.

As I said - who cares? I have no idea but it wouldn't suprise me to hear that Slag lives hundreds or even thousands of miles away from you. So why care about his { or my } opinion. My opinion has NO influence on your day to day life. None - Zip. Now if I showed up at your front door some Sunday morning and dragged you by the short hairs to the church of my choice then I could see why you would have something to object to. Unless Slag comes and takes all of the school books out of your childs classroom that teach evolution - who gives a flip?

Do you see what I'm getting at?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:44 PM

Wesley:

The point is not that anyone cares about Slags personal beliefs. The point is that this is an open forum for all comers, and some of us do not care to be handed dictatorial decrees about the nature of Universe based on one zealous point of view, because it smacks of spiritual fascism and absolutism. SO while he is free tos ay what he believes, he is not being encouraged to assert those beliefs as facts binding on those who do not so subscribe.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:56 PM

And what y'all are doing is so totally different?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:04 PM

Aw, sweet Jaysus, Wes. Yes, it is so totally different. Do we need to go around the whole damn loop again? Demonstrable fact does not constitute enforcing beliefs because it is TESTABLE. I do not enforce atheism on Slag; he does not enforce theism on me.




Sheeshe.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:13 PM

Amos - I can see you have waaaaaaay more invested in this than I do. I just don't want to see people told what opinions they can and can not express. And I've seen enough of that here. If it means that much to you - you can have it.

Demonstrate away.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:18 PM

Wesley, it's a matter of rhetoric. I think, after some particularly ugly fights around here on the healing threads, etc., most of us started posting our beliefs with a caveat., i.e. in my opinion or, may your god etc. so that we weren't seen to be pushy about our beliefs and so that most folks would not feel as though they were being attacked for not agreeing to same. Heck, even some self-described aethists started posting to the "good thoughts needed" threads and we worked it out.

This isn't just happening in the god/no god threads. The ugliness about beliefs/opinions is rampant throughout Mudcat, sadly, even in the music threads.

This will not change as long as folks continue to post edicts such as Slag has done.

Everyone please take a deep breath and cool off a little, okay?

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:40 PM

Ok, ok. I knew I should have stayed out of this. I apologize for getting rasty again. I think there is a big difference between testimony and sanctimony and the latter really makes me mad.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:24 PM

LOL, WesleyS! Yes, indeed it is funny when the creationists decry the "theory" of evolution, as I assume you are being satirical (satyrical?) about!

And thank you, katquiet!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,sinky
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:37 PM

god is santa for grown ups,your on your own dear friends


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:25 PM

Sanctimony? Feigned righteousness? Self-righteousness masquerading as true piety? Where have I claimed my own righteousness?

Edicts? If there are edicts they are the ones from Scripture. I didn't invent Christianity. Authority? Only the authority of the Scriptures. What we know of Christ, we know from the Scripture and that is why I recognize the Bible as authoritative.

Misquote? Show me where I have misquoted. Context? The context is there for anyone to see, that is, unless you would like me to cut and paste large portions of the Testaments to this thread. And If you want I can give you the Biblia Hebraica text, the Septuagint, the Hellenic with all the historic textual variants, if you like.

Nor am I trying to proselytize anyone. However, if I were, there is scriptural imperative to do so (Jn 20:21, Lk 24:47, Mk 16:15, Mt. 28:19,20. among others). I firmly and absolutely believe in the right of every person to follow their own conscience. You are only responsible for the light you may have.

I have stated that I believe in the case put forth for the deity of Jesus Christ and I believe that His teachings are true. There are many points where some people may disagree with regards to any single passage or even doctrinal teachings in Scripture. Each case must stand on its own merits. Denominationalism attests to this truth. Rather, I am speaking in basic terms to the most basic truths claimed in the Bible.

Before I met Jesus I had read the Bible. I could tie Christians up in knots about the Bible. I was a real smart aleck among other things. I didn't know the Author. But when I surrendered my life to Jesus I got a whole new light on the subject. It was no longer the words of men. It was the Word of God. I knew the truth because I now knew the Truth ( not a tautology ). He and the truth He bears witness to was impressed upon my mind and heart. This may be grounds for a discussion on epistemology but I know what I know.

If I began talking about someone you knew personally, quoting them and giving opinions about them though I had never met them or maybe asserting that they really didn't exist, you might think " Oh boy. Do I have this guy!" And you'd be right. Well, I'm telling you about someone I have met. I am not trying to sandbag you or best you in an argument. It is really not an argument. It is a statement of faith. I now have a personal relationship with Jesus. Anyone can have this relationship. In the Bible is an open invitation to any and all. It is not an exclusive club. Whosoever means just that. Anyone.

I am not righteous. I stand in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I did nothing to deserve God's favor. If anything, I deserved just the opposite. I don't really know why God loves us. He does. It's His nature. But He is also a righteous God and He has established His law. Jesus said "I came not to destroy the Law but to establish it". I would love to digress here. So many directions, but time and space do not allow. I am attempting to set forth some of the basic facts as given in Scripture. These basic things are quite clear and are available to anyone who wants to read what the book has to say. Again, the Book of John is a good place to begin.

I do not claim to know everything but the things I know, I know. Other things I take on faith because I know Him and trust Him.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 07:13 PM

I guess I have to say I'm tired of all this. I believe in God, and that belief brings a depth to my life that I wouldn't have otherwise. Other people don't believe in God, and a forced belief would make them shallow.

All of these words that have been fired back and forth end up saying the same thing:
  • Some believers think nonbelievers are awful, and also feel persecuted by nonbelievers
  • Some nonbelievers think believers are awful, and also feel persecuted by believers
  • Some people think all of this is really silly. People have a right to their own beliefs and ideas, and should be respected for that.
I have been asked to close this thread because of all the acrimony expressed. I'm unwilling to do that, but I would hope that most Mudcatters fall in the third category. I guess the rest of you in categories one and two are going to continue to duke it out, whether I close this thread or not. So, fight on - but remember that a number of us think you are really quite stupid to be fighting about this.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 09:34 AM

Thanks, Joe, for not closing the thead. This fight is, to those of us fighting it, critically important.

Let people think we're silly - that's fine, after all, most atheists think believers are silly.

But many of us also know that *blind* faith is also very, very dangerous. And many, many of us think that the time for "respecting" dangerous ideas is past - this includes speaking up when you hear remarks that are racist / sexist / homophobic or promoting other cruelties and bigotries explicitly permitted if not deliberately encouraged by Scripture / disbelieving of demonstratable reality when such demonstrations conflict with their personal faith / and so on.

The reason we laugh at these foolish faithful, which is NOT everybody with faith so untwist your knickers, you others, is that the effects of such foolishness are so very, very tragic.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 10:06 AM

Slag:

God bless you for your devoutness and your transcendant experiences.

The point where your te4stimony becomes condescending is very distinct, and it is the point in your rhetoric where you shift from your own uplifting to referring to the substance of that experience as though it were universal, and binding on others.

If you had gone on an acid trip and discovered the PErfect Truth that all human hearts are flowers, say blue ones, and tha this insight was the key to the universe, no-one here (I think) would get mad at you for saying what you had perceived. But when you began to cite Universal FLower Law as the guidelines that others should follwo, and began writing the Holy Book of Heart Flowers as dictated by the Infinite Pansy, why you'd begin to step across the boundary into others' universes. You'd be evaluating for others.

The fact that you believe your God is universal does not really justify using language in dialogue which directly or indirectly requires others to adjust their views to yours; but when you inject terms which by their very definition imply global claims, mandated by divinity, this is what you are doing.

Your relationship with God is your business, pal. But I think it is ill-advised to imply that it is in some way superior (as a world view)or binidng on others. And like it or not, that is what your language seems to do even if you do not think it does. At least, that's my take on it.

I wish you all the luck in the world developing your own relationship with Jesus and God. I would request, though, that when you come out here to the commons, that you leave that vocabulary at your own house.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 10:30 AM

We're pretty lucky here in the UK; we don't suffer from evangelicals a lot, since the Church of England adopted rational religion two hundred and fifty years ago. It's sad for Slag; he really believes what he's saying, and one of the requirements is that he's got to "bear witness". Like many other emotionally convinced people, he can't tell real conviction fromn a bad dose of bellyache, and hasn't the courage to consider that there's a possibility that he could be mistaken.

It would be nice if we could have a conversation with him; I've asked him why he thinks an arbitrary and capricious God is good, but he hasn't come up with an answer yet. He can't of course; Calvinists tried half a millennium ago and failed. And no, I don't hate God and I'm not angry with him, any more than I'm angry with the monster under the bed.

I find it sad when religion leads to the blank refusal to entertain rationality, not because I want everyone to be converted to something, but because it's dangerous. The Aztecs who tore the hearts out of thousands of living victims were only doing what they truly believed their religion demanded of them. The Carthaginians who sacrificed their firstborn children; the iconoclasts who destroyed religious works of art in old Byzantium; the Inquisitors who racked suspects to save their souls; the Moslems who killed themselves to destroy the enemies of God; all were, according to their own beliefs, doing good.

In which context I see our current stupid trump of an Archbishop of Canterbury has called for sharia law to be introduced to Britain. Idiot, but he has a seat in the House of Lords by right of his job.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bob Pacquin
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 12:56 PM

Since there are some that refer to this jovial correspondent as "Bob, the Atheist", you know where my sympathies lie. But there are a couple point you young folks have missed.

Mrrzy, you say you laugh at the "foolish faithful". Well, it is good to laugh at at human folly of any sort (as long as you chuckle at your own follies, as well). But when one laughs at the dangerous ones, one often fail to take them seriously. Huckabee's name may be funny, but the power and money behind him isn't.

It's the "true believer" that's the real threat here, no matter what the cause. The cause can be religion, politics, science, pseudoscience, or traditional folk music. The gleam in the eyes and the derranged laugh is the same.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:56 PM

I agree, Bob Pacquin, but ridicule may be our only weapon. I don't laugh at the things they DO that are so dangerous, just at THEM. Hope that makes sense.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bob Pacquin
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:33 PM

Dear, Dear, Sweet Mrrzy, Beware!! You're falling into a trap that they've set for you.

Old Bob has grown up among the the worst of them, and they like nothing better than to be ridiculed by folks like us. It gives them an opening to start pumping out rhetoric, for one thing, but more important, it gives them a chance to give a knowing nod to the gathered multitudes and say, "You see? I told you that Satan was out there. Now write out a big check, so I can really lay into him with both hands." And the money rolls in.

One thing to remember is that these "Evangelicals" are great at arguementation and masters of logic and rhetoric--they've got long, reasoned, and logically consistant statements about everything. They may not convince you or me of anything, but even when they debate with us, they aren't really talking to us, they are selling to the multitudes.

And for those of you our there who are "believers", even though Old Bob may not agree with you, he respects you, and loves you a lot. He is just telling you that some of these Bible-thumping stump Evangelists are trying to separate you from whatever they can by scaring you away from the rest of humanity, then shaking you down when they've got you alone.

And before you go off, Mrrzy, Old Bob knows you've got one last question--and the answer is, "Live right, and show people that you're happy, and you can beat them." Folks prefer happy and accepting to contentious and judgemental.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 03:49 PM

Sure, but where does unhappy/accepting or happy/judgmental fall?

And if it were just me, I would agree with you, to a certain extent. However, the harm being done by fanatics *of any demonstrably-false belief system* has become intolerable, and what some Christians, in particular, are doing to the American school system, which is already lousy enough, should be beyond belief. It is certainly beyond acceptable.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM

People may think this odd, but one reason I sent my kids to Catholic school was that I believe the Catholic schools are usually less influenced by the forces of religious fundamentalism. In a Catholic school, teachers can usually teach evolution and comparative religion without arousing the ire of parents.

But at a Catholic school meeting this week, I heard a parent complain about her eighth-grade child being required to do a paper on Buddhism, since the mother considered this a thread to the child's Catholic faith. I certainly hope the school doesn't give in to that complaint.

The forces of fundamentalism are frightening.

-Joe, strangely drawn to alliteration-


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bob Pacquin
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:47 PM

Your point is not a bad one--and maybe the Unhappy/accepting people are the ones who are really on the line. But Mrrzy, it seems like on one hand, your big issue is the evolution/creation thing, and on the other, you are hesitant to lay it out on the table. Why?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 07:49 PM

OK, shortly, by the numbers.
1. Mrrzy, I agree completely with you, blind faith IS dangerous. It is used by some to manipulate and lead people into doing horrendous things. Evidence Jones town, Aryanism, Kamikaze and radical Islam among others. But foolish faith? Wherein lies YOUR faith? Or do you have any? The first evidence of susceptibility is denial.

2.PMB, England adopted "rational religion"? You don't explain what that means. Does it mean that England dictates what you are to believe and that makes it better or right or correct? A transcendent religion may not base its ultimate reality in a purely rational system of thought but does that mean it is "irrational"? Why not super-rational? Isn't it bigoted to condemn what you may not understand?

And yes, a lot of evil has been perpetrated under the name of God and Christ and Buddha and Mohammad, etc. This says something about the nature of certain men and mankind in general. It also says something about ignorance and prejudice. You make the fallacy of attributing what may be true of the part to the whole. Isn't it true that misinformed or half-informed people can be led to run amok regardless of the chants' name(s)?

3. Amos, did I invent Christianity? Was I taking dope when I had an encounter with Christ? Were you there? Straw man. And don't you at least see a historical context for Christianity and a history of Christian thought? You do violence, verbally, not to just myself but many millions of believers who may worship under differing chapel names but all under the name of Jesus Christ.

4. Bob cautions Mrrzy to not fall into the trap THEY'VE set for you? I have become a "THEY"? Is not this too, prejudice? Fallacy of the hasty generalization. Ridicule is your only weapon? Not reason? Not education? Not honest examination?

5. And Joe, the forces of fundamentalism? Don't you mean to use a capital "F"? Fundament, foundations, fundamentals, basic structures upon which to erect something? Virtually everything in this world has a foundation or it does not stand. It will not last. Christianity has been around for almost 2000 years and its well-spring, Judaism another 1500 years at least and most probably a lot longer. Yes, I believe in certain fundamental principles and percepts upon which I base my beliefs. You find this frightening or is it just the label for all your boogeymen?

Some of you are very adept at trotting out your straw men and your preconceived ideas or just plain fallacious thinking and attacking the same. It lowers the level of discussion or eliminates it altogether. It begins to sound to me like magpies sitting on a wire squawking: a lot of noise but no substance.

Mrzzy trots out buzz words like "homophobic", "sexist" and "racist", why? Has she proved that I am these things or does she (I assume you are a "she") just want to taint me by their juxtaposition? Or is it easier to attack your known evils?

And one more and one last time I want to ask Amos why, pal, it is alright that a thread in the public forum, "There are no gods, not even Jesus Christ" and "Still no Gods in 2008" is fine and dandy but to counter the same is somehow offensive? That my beliefs are better left home? You all demonstrate the lie that you believe in equality and that you are fair and just. Utter hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bob Pacquin
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 08:16 PM

Well, Slag, Old Bob didn't mean to imply that you'd set a trap for anyone. He admires you for your pluckiness.

"They" are the professional evangelists who single out the gawky kids in the room, and scream in their face, "Have you accepted JEEZUS as your personal savior?" and when they gasp in embarassment, go on to scream,"You hesitate, and in that instant, betray SATAN AT WORK." and proceed to make an "example" out of every gesture and sputtered response. And it's nothing personal, they've just puttin' on the style.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 11:39 PM

I do violence by suggesting you don't have the right to tell others what their metaphysics should be?

That's a twist.

I suggest f there is any violence done, it is the intellectual violence of, among others:

1. Forcing an innocent person to belief in his innate guilt.
2. Forcing someone to look for "forgiveness" for guilt which was place don him only by the acts of others, and requiring he turn to a source which he has not personally experienced and may very well not experience and has no reason to consider as the appropriate authority except because he is tyold so by others.
3. Requiring children to try to communicate to, and pretend to communicate to, an entity whose location they cannot know and from whom they receive no answers.
4. Insisting to all those outside the circle of your faith that you are in touch with the Source of the Whole Universe and they are not, unless they come over and line up with your fellow adherents, submit to the interpretative powers of wrinkled old men with dubious sexual habits, and walk and talk their way through bizarre rituals of no inherent merit.

This is just a list of a few items off the top of my head, and I would offer that they constitute intellectual violence next to which my rastiness is a walk in the park.





A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:18 AM

Still no answer Slag:

You claimed that there is a god that:

(1) Creates people with full knowledge of their fate
(2) Decides whether or not to give them the grace to save them
(4) Gives them no other means by which their own efforts can save them
(3) Condemns the ones he didn't decide to save to torture

Why is such a god good?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 05:55 AM

......indeed, fight the good fight with all thy might, onward christian soldiers!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 07:52 AM

From Amos:
"3. Requiring children to try to communicate to, and pretend to communicate to, an entity whose location they cannot know and from whom they receive no answers."

I agree. Believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny is much more logical - at least they get something demonstrable to reinforce the belief.

The sad thing is that they grow out of these beliefs whilst belief in an almighty deity can continue into adult life - surely a case of stunted mental development.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 08:43 AM

I do not think the Still No Gods threads were a good idea, Slag, and I apologize for the discomfort they caused, even though I did not start them.

However, there is a difference between saying "I disagree, and I maintain my own faith for my own reasons", versus invoking and naming all the attributes of you personal set of divinities in Capitals, and calling out their infinite qualities, invoking their sacred Books, and so on, just as though you were discussing members of the government or the NFL.   

The difference in between respecting the neutrality of the commons, or not.

Religion is a private matter even according to Jesus Christ. I don't think trumpeting for it or against it is consistent with a mutual respect for the commons and the mutual efforts of survival, and that includes making a public dramatization out of it.

Whatever religion does or doesn't do in the unmapped spaces of the individual heart, that's where it lives and belongs. It has no business in the commons and betrays its own best nature when it gets injected there..


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bob Pacquin
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:11 AM

"3. Requiring children to try to communicate to, and pretend to communicate to, an entity whose location they cannot know and from whom they receive no answers."

Old Bob just spoke with a neighborhood Mom who says that their school librarian is no longer allowed to read stories--it's electronic now--can't help but think that this is the same thing--


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:57 AM

1. Mrrzy, I agree completely with you, blind faith IS dangerous. It is used by some to manipulate and lead people into doing horrendous things. Evidence Jones town, Aryanism, Kamikaze and radical Islam among others. But foolish faith? Wherein lies YOUR faith? Or do you have any? The first evidence of susceptibility is denial.
I guess you could say I have no faith. I certainly don't believe that anything supernatural exists or is real. What I think is foolish is clinging (blindly) to faith AND denying the reality of what is really demonstrated. I guess foolish, in this case, was a polite (?) term for Blind. I do believe things, and hope for things, but I wouldn't say I have "faith" in anything, since that would require believing in the absence of evidence. For example, I believe in Australia, even though I have never experienced it. But I don't have FAITH in Australia.
Mrzzy trots out buzz words like "homophobic", "sexist" and "racist", why? Has she proved that I am these things or does she just want to taint me by their juxtaposition? Or is it easier to attack your known evils?
I was not saying that anybody in particular, and certainly not you, Slag, IS racist/sexist/bigoted. I used those of examples of things people believe which not tolerated by me, not respected by me, and which I really think should not be tolerated by anybody. What I mean is, if it's OK not to respect someone for holding bigoted beliefs, why isn't it OK not to respect someone for holding demonstrably stupid beliefs, like that evolution of the human race is not a fact?

I am also going to comment on a question to Amos:
You do violence, verbally, not to just myself but many millions of believers who may worship under differing chapel names but all under the name of Jesus Christ.
Saying we don't agree with you is NOT doing violence. It is talking. Saying things you don't like is not doing violence. Even insulting you by saying Belief in Jesus is Stupid isn't violence. That's the whole point of talking about stuff, arguing about stuff even shouting at each other about stuff - it isn't hitting people.

And I would like M.Ted to answer my earlier questions, please.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:09 AM

Why on earth would they forbid a librarian to read books to children?


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:29 AM

theleveller you suggest:- In reply to Amos:-
>>>>>I agree. Believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny is much more logical - at least they get something demonstrable to reinforce the belief.

The sad thing is that they grow out of these beliefs whilst belief in an almighty deity can continue into adult life - surely a case of stunted mental development.<<<<<

Believing in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny is much more logical??????? only because people choose to decieve their children into believing in them...not logical at all just plain and simple untruth and demonstrably reinforced by those deceptive parents and other adults.
At least those Christians who teach their children the Gospels and the reason for Jesus coming are believers themselves that it is the truth. My belief in the almighty deity came at 43 yrs of age...not as some continuation into adult life but I believe that stunted development belongs to people who do not understand something.....not to those who have grown with a belief in something/someone which cannot be disproved.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:48 AM

"Believing in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny is much more logical??????? only because people choose to decieve their children into believing in them..."

Sounds pretty much the same as telling them they have to believe in god - only with presents/money/chocolate. All they get with religion is guilt and paranoia.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:51 AM

Mrzzy,

You can ask me any questions you want about playing the guitar, or chord progressions to songs, or about music theory, and such things. I will be happy to answer them to the best of my ability, and even to do a little research or calculating, if need be.

As to this thread, and this issue, I feel that it's tone has been inappropriate from the beginning. I think that you, and others, have behaved badly, and I have asked you, and others, to stop, because I felt that the ill feelings were spilling out into the broader forum.

You made the following statement:

"Even insulting you by saying Belief in Jesus is Stupid isn't violence. That's the whole point of talking about stuff, arguing about stuff even shouting at each other about stuff - it isn't hitting people."

My response to that is simply that verbal abuse is a form of violence, too. If the verbal abuse concerns the religious beliefs of an individual, or are directed at an individual because they are a member of a religious group, that violence can rise to the level of a hate crime.

I am not suggesting this to accuse you, or anyone else who has participated in this thread of a hate crime. I bring it up to show you what the stakes are when the passions rise in a discussion
on this subject.

I think that this thread, and threads like it, hurt Mudcat, because they strain relationships between people who share music on-line, as well as in sessions, folk clubs, and a lot of other situations. I also think that the harm far outweighs any good that they might do.

You may not believe me, but that's all.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:57 AM

If that's so, did Slag transgress by giving in to the sudden urge to Bear Witness for 2008 in a forum about folk music?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:01 PM

I think both sides of this discussion have been a bit pointy, Ted. The rationalists, or whatedver you call them, have the adevantage of empiricism on their side, and along with that they have a trained attitude of perpetual doubt. Whatever it is that you and Slag have experienced (assuming it is even the same thing, which it may well not be) has the advantage of personal conviction and clarity, a kind of certainty that often is ill-fitted for empirical dialogue and debate.

My believe then, is that it would have been wiser not to start this second branch just to rebut the "Still No..." thread, no matter how compelling the urge. Because it is compelling in a totally different language, not suited to rebut the hard-nosed empricists. It really is a different sand-box, so to speak, or a radically different system of phenomenology.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:43 PM

the leveller...either you misread my post or chose to ignore the crux of it. You know, the bit about Christians telling their children about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit etc. The children...in my experience are not told they have to to believe in God...they make the choice that everyone has if they want it when in full possession of what we believe to be the truth. In fact a lot of children from Christian backgrounds move away from Christianity for various reasons but many of them come back to it.
You state:->>>>>>>>Sounds pretty much the same as telling them they have to believe in god - only with presents/money/chocolate. All they get with religion is guilt and paranoia.<<<<<<< .
How many Christian children do you personally know with guilt and paranoia or who only believe because of presents/money/chocolate?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:52 PM

Amos,

You don't get it. I've been quite clear that both sides have been over the top. I don't take issue with what anyone believes, or even what their right to express it. It's all about how they say it. If there had been a thread that said, "Atheists are garbage", I would have come charging in defense of their right to be at Mudcat without being insulted.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at Work
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM

This thread embodies the problem with Mudcat. I used to post a LOT and over time I have stopped or at least slowed way down. I come by often enough but I am seldom tempted to get into a discussion. And this is why.

Let me start this by saying that EVERYTHING that follows can have the phrase "In my opinion..." in front of it rather than typing it over and over...

People have been allowed to rant and rave about every subject under, around and over the sun but when Slag comes in here, without any false advertising to get anyone into this thread, and lays out there his opinions and beliefs, he is attacked. this is typical here. He is told that his opinions leave no room for discussion. How much room is there for discussion when we are told that it's ok if we want to believe in our imaginary friend? The problem is that with many of you, it's not enough to simply disagree, the poster in question has to be berated, his or her God called an imaginary friend and that their beliefs are akin to mental illness! I do believe in a God that is a loving God and that He is everyone's God whether they believe in Him or not. I do believe that the key to Heaven is through Jesus Christ and I believe that I am a better husband, father, brother and friend than I was before I accepted that belief. I believe that it is wrong to judge people's intelligence because their beliefs are different from yours but that happens here on Mudcat and it happens all the time.

I have been hanging around here for a long time. I have gotten comfort from many of you when I was in need. When my sons were in the NICU because they were both under three pounds I came here and found kind words from kind people. I get that same comfort from prayer. To some of you, that makes me crazy. OK, so I'm crazy...but to be honest, I think that says a lot more about you than it does me. Because you see, I believe that it makes us different, simply with different opinions and beliefs, you have decided that I am flawed in some way. Not all of you, but clearly there are many.

This site has gone from a place I regularly visited and contributed to, to a place that I visit when I want to see if anyone's posted any good jokes to the latest joke thread. And that's sad for me, because I used to love this place. Don't get me wrong, it's not just the religious thing, it doesn't take a discussion of religion to bring out the ugliness of the comments, judgements and accusations. As was stated before me, it even happens in the music discussions.

So that's my opinion...for what it's worth,
Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:34 PM

Not sure where this thread is going but it's beginning to sound like a sermon.

Georgiansilver I can assure you that your god is not mine.

My beliefs have little relevance to the nature of this conversation which is emerging
as more of a diatribe.

I suspect a kind of religious intolerance in the guise of asking everyone to believe the way you do.

I see a defensiveness creeping into Mudcat on the part of those theists who are protecting their turf and the non-believers like me who feel that my views should not be dismissed.

This may be a futile effort. There is no real discussion here but a plethora of adamant opinions which serve little enlightenment.

Keep in going if you must but my view is that what I have read here doesn't amount to much.

When someone decides to pray for me, I assume that they are being patronizing and consider themselves more worthy of looking down on what they deem is a "poor sinner".
It's this sanctimony that spawns a reaction.

At the same time, people ought to be able to express their views with the caveat that
they may be challenged at any time.

Your god is not with me in 2008 or any time.

If you wish to discuss this furthur, I'm happy to oblige but I will make my position
very clear. If that steps on your religious toes, to use a religious term "amen" or "so be it".

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM

Ted:

I understand what you are saying. Some thoughts:

Here's the deal. Begin insulting, and stand into the danger of being insulted in kind. That's a general certainty.

To post a thread stating "there are no gods whatsoever" is stupid, but not personally insulting. Well, I guess, if you took your religious beliefs quite seriously, you could be insulted.

To post a thread stating "I am heir to the Truth of the One God" is equally stupid, from some points of view, and, actually a little more insulting in that it lays claim to a Grand Truth rather than merely an interim opinion -- a Grand Truth some of us don't hold to, and therefore are cast in the role of being less than enlightened and incapable of seeing what is right in front of us. Maybe not exactly insulting but certain untactful.

I've been trying to get my wits around why this sometimes produces such a raising of hackles, and I think part of the reason is that monotheism asserts the universality of a single, incomparable bit of information (in the person of the Deity). Regardless of which all-powerful Deity, the same attribute holds -- it is a single "thing" which governs the whole of existence.

Most people who practice thinking are aware that to assess or evaluate anything, you have to begin by comparing it to something else. This means that even space itself must have some datum against which to compare it, or there would be no way to get a view of it that had any meaning. Meaning, generally, comes from these comparisons, no matter on what scale.

So a certain cognitive dissonance, to put it mildly, is set up when assertions are made about the attributes of Infinite Godhood. By its nature, it offers no datum of comparabel magnitude with which it (or S/He) can be understood; therefore it comes across as incomprehensible.

By extension, it is at least a little agrravatin' to have these precepts being communicated at one with vehemence and great importance attached to them, at the same time as they seem (on their own terms) incomprehensible as intended. It leaves the listener feeling a bit dulled, stupid or lambasted. OR even stupid. And no one wants to feel stupid, especially if they have demonstrated good intelligence in other areas.

The very title of this thread, from the view of someone who has not, himself, postulated a referent for the word God, is an example of this.

I do not write this to be hard on anyone. I am trying to get my arms around why this eternal brouhaha keeps surfacing.




A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 04:05 PM

Because someone believes in God does not necessarily mean He exists....because someone does not believe in God does not mean He does not exist...MMMMMM. I recognise God as being an integral part of my existence....without Him I struggled through life and upset/hurt/damaged a lot of people both mentally and physically. Before becoming a Christian at the tender age of 43yrs I was thought of as a thug. I was a drinker/fighter/womaniser/swearer/gambler and most of my so called friends were my friends only because it was better to be on my good side than my bad. Someone once said of me that I was the most balanced man they had ever met...I had a chip on both shoulders!!!! That hurt at the time but did not change my attitudes. Becoming a Christian did!
When people say they have a relationship with Jesus/God/Holy Spirit, they are met with an aggressive attitude from many who don't believe. Do they actually believe that Christians...and I talk of true Christians, born of water and the Spirit...born again believers who try...with the help of the Holy Spirit...to live a good Christian life by following the path and words of Jesus, are living a lie?.
There can never be a level of understanding on this thread as there is a definitive rift between believers and non-believers.
We all have an opinion of some sort but at least let's be tolerant of each other and accept each other for who we are...whether Christian or non-Christian.
Best wishes, Mike.
PS. There are some non-Christians on this thread who I admire for their tolerance...even understanding.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 04:06 PM

OK, let me ask y'all this:

Let's say person A hates gays because they think that homosexuality is a sin. Let's say person B hates gays because they think that homosexuality is disgusting.

It appears to me, from the tone of both this and the God Is thread, as if one has to respect person A's bigotry but not person B's, since A is exercising their religious freedom, and B is just prejudiced.

First, is that y'all's understanding? I'm asking both theists and atheists who are posting here.

If so, am I the only one to find that distinction frightening? I believe that both A and B are intolerable and unrespectable bigots, and that just because one person's opinion is faith-based does NOT protect them from that negative opinion of them.

I think that is the best illustration of why I don't respect "blind" faith that I've come up with yet, actually.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 04:32 PM

Mrrzy..You will soon hear from Christians saying they DO NOT 'hate' the person, but only the actions. And in that, they are correct....at least in the case of homosexuality. Neither A nor B needs to DO anything they find sinful OR disgusting.

Perhaps some other example?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 04:33 PM

From a Christian point of view..we are commanded to love everyone whatever their persuasion or beliefs...but not to accept the sin. I am not homophobic but I cannot accept a man lying with another man as he would a woman as it is scripturally not acceptable. Hate...
Mrrzy is a strong word..I hate no-one but I hate sin. Hopefully that might answer your question.
Can I also say that my Faith is not 'blind' to me...only to some non-Christians.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 04:37 PM

I rest my case.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 05:01 PM

OK, be that way (wry smile). I mean, you can quibble about "hate" and not answer the issue if you want to, but that is specious, I think the word is.

Let's rephrase:

Person A believes homosexuality is a sin and a bad thing. (I'm not going to go into how awful it is that Christianity makes *everybody* into a sinner. Let's pretend this person isn't Christian necessarily, thinks well of other people, but not of gays because their god(s) say(s) it's a bad thing.) Meanwhile, Person B believes homosexuality is gross and a bad thing.

Same issue (repeating from above): It appears to me, from the tone of both this and the God Is thread, as if one has to respect person A's bigotry but not person B's, since A is exercising their religious freedom, and B is just prejudiced.

Would you say that both A and B are intolerable and unrespectable bigots? Or, would you claim that because Person A's negative view of homosexuality is faith-based, it should be respected, and they are immune from being bigots on the issue of homosexuality - while at the same time agreeing that Person B is bigoted against gays?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 05:09 PM

Homosexuality, imo, is a non-issue, biblical or otherwise. My guess is that the Bible speaks just as disapprovingly and perhaps as frequently, of 'gossip and false witness'. And gossip hurts a lot more people, imo.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 05:16 PM

Georgiansilver - not talking about YOU, but as a general question, what would you answer?

Ebbie - pick a different bigotry, then, the question still stands.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 06:10 PM

....gossip and false witness...and homosexuality, in its sexual form (and I say that because I love all men...ooops and women)...and murder...and theft..and etc etc and many other things are unacceptable to Christians. We still have to love the people, whoever they are or whatever their persuasion. To do that we have to forgive.... and forgiveness is not letting people off as such...it is 'fore' giving.....it is giving away all the bad feelings for anyone no matter what they do to us, even before they do it. I would like to think I would forgive anyone anything before they do it to me or mine or whoever...Jesus did...so should I not do so too? If I live with the hurt other people have caused me.....as an entity at the front or back of my mind.....they still hurt me! If I forgive them..if I give away those feelings..they can hurt me no more!
Every one of us was thrust into this sad world and not by our own choice...we all try to make our own way through it 'as best we can' and of course we mess up! again and again. I mess up less since I have had God in my life....that is a fact!...I even like myself now which I didn't until 1991....so I couldn't like others let alone love them. Whether you believe in God or not...whether you believe my words or not is not important. What is important is that you seek the truth of life and find your own destiny...whatever you perceive it to be.
If you do not find God...the God I know...then be happy being the person you are with your beliefs, whatever they be.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 07:43 PM

It is completely plain to me that both fall under the same social requirements. It makes no difference why they feel as they do. If one of them spouts harmful slander because God told him to, he is actionable for social harm as much as the other doing it for purely Freudian reasons. ;>) In other words they are both assholes, regardless of their rationalizations, and if they act on those assholeries, then they are equally criminals.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:35 PM

Amos said:

"Still no answer Slag:

You claimed that there is a god that:

(1) Creates people with full knowledge of their fate
(2) Decides whether or not to give them the grace to save them
(4) Gives them no other means by which their own efforts can save them
(3) Condemns the ones he didn't decide to save to torture

Why is such a god good? "

1. I never said God created people with full knowledge of their fate. Those are YOUR words. Rather I said that people are responsible for the light that they do have. Do you mean "fate" as future indicative? I would not use that word either. That is the language of determinism to which I don't subscribe except in a very limited sense. Determinism is the antithesis of freewill.

2. I very explicitly stated that God gives His grace to All. Again, you are making straw men and attacking the same. Don't you take time to actually read what has been written? A smart boxer doesn't just flail away at his opponent. He studies and analyses what is going on and looks for weaknesses and openings. You are flailing.

4. (Number order, yours) True. That IS the message of Christianity. either Jesus was an insane ego maniac or he was God incarnate. That has ALWAYS been the question since his advent (small letter pronouns because that IS the question).

Sin and guilt has been around to plague Mankind for a long time. The problem is undeniable. Christianity offers its solution as does psychiatry, volunteerism, masochism, suicide, Hinduism, personal wealth, alcohol, etc. "You pays yer money and you makes yer choices."

3. What an absolutely erroneous misstatement, misquote! I offered just one little book of the Bible; the Book of St. John, the 4th Gospel. Takes about an hour to read, if that, so you could at least sound like you knew what you were talking about. If you had read it you would have not made such an outlandish statement in all honesty. By just the third chapter you would have read, beginning with verse 17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world (Greek word here is "Kosmos" which means Mankind) through him might be saved. vs 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the only begotten Son of God. vs 19. And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. vs 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light lest his deeds should be reproved. vs 21. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

I believe that. And apparently you don't. That is your right and privilege. Again, God came in human form to SAVE sinners. If you have no need for a Savior, great! The message is not for you! What I can't understand is why such hostility if I proclaim that I believe it and it changed my life? That it works for me? Again, I do not believe in determinism (or Calvinism) but in FREEWILL!

With regards to eternal torment it is my conjecture that the words used to describe it are an attempt to warn everyone away from it. It is a physical description of, perhaps a spiritual condition. Again, it is my belief that the torment of Hell is a continuance of consciousness in the utter aloneness separated from God. It's like this: If in the face that all God has done to save you from that awful place or state of being, you reject Him, that is the one limit He has set over which He will not pass, your free will. All of your sins HAVE BEEN forgiven, past tense, for your entire life. You ARE FORGIVEN! Period. All a person has to do is accept God's free gift. That sounds like a pretty good God to me. We create our own places of torment and torture. God is ever present, waiting to fish you out of your mess. You can throw a drowning man a rope but if he doesn't believe he is drowning or that he can save himself, you can't really make him take the rope, can you? That's free will. All you can do is point out that it might be a good idea if he took what was being offered. The decision is his. The witness's responsibility is just to make sure he knows what is available.

And as an aside, I think to PBJ or Mrrzy, I too have little use to those who accost folks and harangue them with "Jesus" in public places. It truly does, I believe, turn more people away from the cause of Christ that win then over. There is a lot of ignorance and bad behavior for which some people excuse themselves because "they are Christians". I've gotten screwed over in business deals by the so-called "brethren". I have had trespassers tell me that it was OK that they were illegally on my land because they "were Christians". Well, I could tell you many stories and I am sure you have your own and maybe they are even the reason for your current attitudes, I don't know. but I can understand. But none of that negates the reality of Christ in my life.

Ultimately, if you believe you have a better plan or explanation, fine. Go for it. Just don't deny me the right to have my say. That's all I am asking.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:14 PM

Um, Slag, ole buddy. I don't think it was I who misquoted you -- the post you are battling just above here is not mine!!


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at Home
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:19 PM

I think that frankly it's a trap question. If we answer one way, we're not following the bible that is at the heart of the religion we believe in. If we answer the other way, then we are hating, disliking, disapproving, whatever of someone else which also would be against our religion. why don't you ask if god is so powerful, can he create a rock that even he can not lift? the question has no answer. The plain truth is that we can try as we might to interpret the bible and the teachings of Christianity but none of us knows what heaven looks like and none of us will until we get there. None of us knows for sure if someone who is gay will be denied Heaven for being gay. If I was a betting man I would like the chances of a gay man with character over a man who hates him because he is gay. All of this is like saying, "So you believe in Jesus? well prove that he exists." but that's the beauty of it, because I don't have to. I believe what I've already stated in this thread and when my time comes, there will be no one here on Mudcat or anywhere else that will get a vote as to whether I get into Heaven or not.

I have never complained or put anyone down for not believing the same thing I do, it's simply not my place to do so. But here on this site, the comments are constant that are there either to berate or degrade me. My intelligence is questioned. I may not be singled out but I am a Christian and therefore I am included. I'm responsible for my actions and for my words, attack me when they offend you. If my opinions and beliefs offend you, there's nothing I can do about that.

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:23 PM

Frank:

I honor the comfort you find in prayer, and I offer any comfort I can by being kind -- when I AM being kind. Which is less constant than it should be, I admit.

The line I draw is not against any person's beliefs, but against the need to impose them. OVertly, the way Jehovah's Witnesses try to do, or covertly, which is done (in one way) by selecting terminology intended to be overpowering, freighted with towering meanings, but which for many of us are without experiential or discoverable referents.   

Whatever God may be I am pretty darned sure he is not the maelstrom maker of the Old Testament, or the old man with beard drawn by Michaelangelo, or anything male or embodied in any dimension with a form. So my hackles go up at this assertive, insistant vocabulary and the invisible but telling consequences, intellectually, of taking it on.

But I wish you and Slag and Ted all the blessings that can be had, and the joy of your own personal truths.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 01:13 AM

Amos! My apologies! There, proof that I am only a fallible human. Gee, I COULD be wrong! The response was, of course, for Guest PMB.

In regards to Christian jargon it can be quite off-putting. But just about every specialized endeavor develops its own jargon which the insiders share and that creates a we/them thing. Sailors, miners, military, mathematicians, physicists, doctors, lawyers, all of them. Some do tend to be esoteric or Byzantine, arcane, convoluted (you can stop me at any point along here...)or incomprehensible. The Christian religion has been around so long and is so often quoted that it comes across cliche' and the fact that many do not want to stray from the Word, it becomes limited.

The best sermons I have heard very seldom quote Scripture but expound upon the same in such a way that one may think he has been listening to Scripture, but again, that's just me. You don't have to listen. You don't have to read it or this. There is no "force" about it.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 01:43 PM

Georgiansilver, please see the other thread. You aren't answering my question, but telling me why it doesn't apply to you. I wasn't TALKING about you. I was posing a hypothetical. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 01:44 PM

Also, why isn't this thread BS?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 04:58 PM

It is. It's just labled wrong.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM

the only comment I have is the woman from California who was interviewed after she had survived the tsunami couple of years ago..
she said 'I believe we were blessed by God'...
(too bad about the 250,000 others who weren't)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 04:00 AM

Everyone dies of something. In that respect, all of life is a tragedy. "It is appointed once unto Man to die..."


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 12:54 PM

Life isn't the tragedy. Life is the COMEDY.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 02:06 PM

And it gets even funnier every time somebody says, "goD is still with me."

                But if this is a condition that has been going on for an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to look into surgery. It might be the only way to recover.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 03:26 PM

Riginslinger...having God in my life is immeasurably rewarding.... so your suggestion of surgery..which is something I might need on bits of my body and not my brain is a little juvenile to say the least. I am so blessed having God in my life and you have your choices but please desist from trying to ridicule something you don't really understand. If you have some insight to disclose then please feel free.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 03:34 PM

Amos asks why threads like this persist.

I think there is a natural reaction on the part of people to not want to be sold on religion of any sort. I think it's fine for people to state what they believe and for people like me to
criticize or analyze statements that they make.

I believe that any god is a myth. I believe myths and memes exist. I believe that gurus are a form of humanizing gods as myths.

I don't think people are very accurate in defining their beliefs however. What one person defines as a god, another disputes or introduces contradictory material.

I think this discussion is important, however, because how many of us believe has an affect on how we vote, what we support socially, how we treat others and how we deal with dogma that results in abberations such as "faith-based initiatives".

To make a claim and not back it up with evidence is begging the question.

There is no scientific evidence that supports a notion of a god. The emotion of spirituality is there and has been defined by Einstein in his pursuits in science.

Organized religion is one of the leading causes of war in the world. It has a violent history and many of its leading historical figures have been witch-burners, dictators, torturers,
book-burners, and murderers. This is why this thread keeps coming up.

Today, many scientific breakthroughs are being opposed by organized religious leaders.
Stem cell research, safe pregnancy terminations, solutions to the AIDS epidemic, opposition to psychaitry and psychology advances, promotion of evolution as a tested scientifically validated experiement, carbon-dating, and even the scientific testing of the nature of religion itself.

This thread will keep coming up as long as these concerns need to be answered.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 06:07 PM

And continuing to discuss something so important is a good thing.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 06:24 PM

So Stringsinger et al, assert that "science" is the ultimate arbiter of all things. And why not science? I works. It provides all the miracles of modern life; medicine, entertainment, insights into the nature of atoms and the universe. And how does science proceed? Incrementally, phenomenon, hypothesis, experiment, analysis, synthesis. Science uses inductive thought, a preponderance of evidence rather that the deductive method of conclusions drawn from premises. Why not?

Except science has a lousy track record in some fields that do not lend themselves to empirical investigation and those fields are often the things most dear to people; matters of love, religion, politics, things of heart and soul. Science cannot know about these things. Sure, it can analyze the human brain and tell you which areas look blue or green when you are thinking of dear old Mom. It can theorize as to why but it misses the essence of human existence. What science cannot perceive does not exist!? Is that right? Have you ever met a scientist who claims to know everything? That would be unscientific, wouldn't it? If anything, science is a quest for knowledge using a particular method of thought processes.

Theories are conjectures of the human mind. Proven theory we call fact but many theories are in various states of limbo (irony intended)and the history of science has a pretty substantial trash heap of discarded theories. The point is that every age of man claims to have ultimate or at least, penultimate grasp of the TRUTH.

Science and religion (not corporate, organized ritual) part company in the realm of transcendence, that area where the human minds perceives of something beyond this physical plane. I'm not talking about imagination, from which, incidentally, science immensely benefits. In fact science could not advance at all, if not FOR imagination. I am talking about the perception that something is missing in a person's spiritual life. I assert that there is an "emptiness of being" which most honest folks have had to come to terms with in one way or another. What you fill that emptiness with is your business. Somethings work fine for some folks. Jesus works fine for me. He fills my every longing, give encouragement and meaning to my life and much more. As stated in a post above, some folks try to fill that need with wealth, fame, money, friends, folk music, alcohol, suicide, thrills, sex, you name it. We are all trying to fill that need. Some even use science to fill the need. Hey, if it works for you, I won't question it but don't use your human endeavors of "science" (from the Greek for "knowledge") to attempt to deny the reality of what I know to be true. Scientific knowledge is NOT the only type of knowledge accessible to humans.

In addition to the miracles mentioned above which bless our lives remember that science has provided us with genetic engineering, bigger and better machine guns, atom bombs, pollution, nerve gas, etc., etc. If I were God-shopping I don't believe "Science" would be my first choice nor would I turn to it as the ultimate arbiter of my spiritual well being.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 06:49 PM

Science cannot know about these things.

Slag,

That was a very fine essay you wrote there.

I would offer a couple of counterpoints, though.

Science is a way of knowing. It has not troubled to reach very much into any area of non-materiality, because mostly of inertia and habit. But a well trained scientific mind, once it comes to terms with the differences in the universes, will have no trouble sorting out the whats and the whos in the world of thought qua thought and spirit.

Second, the unrest and emptiness you describe does not necessarily lead to "God-shopping", by any means at all. Many, many people resort to contemplation, meditation, and find their own spiritual sides, and fulfillment and peace, by what you might call "Self-shopping" -- in other words, clearing the clutter of false version of who they are until they arrive at a truer center from which to view and be in the worlds.

The argument of the universal center which is God, to many, could equally well be applied to the higher reaches of that Self. Thou art God, if you can grok it.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 08:53 AM

The human mind does not perceive *anything* beyond the physical plane. if's it's not physical, it can't be perceived. It can be imagined, thought about, dreamed about - but not perceived. If you feel that something is missing from your life if you limit it to reality, you are not perceiving a true lack, you are imagining one. And not only does not everybody have such a need, but if they don't, it is not necessary to invent one, to paraphrase Voltaire.

I agree that many, maybe even most, people long for something besides reality. That doesn't mean there is anything actually *there* beside reality. Inventing gods to fill the void may allow for the imaginary void to be imaginarily filled, which may well satisfy those longings, still doesn't make the gods real, any more than it's the medicine that makes the placebo effect work.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 09:01 AM

"Riginslinger... your suggestion of surgery..which is something I might need on bits of my body and not my brain is a little juvenile to say the least."


                      Sorry! Just trying to help.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 09:02 AM

Georgiansilver asks:
"How many Christian children do you personally know with guilt and paranoia "

I know several within my own family. I also know more who have managed to escape tha damage - such as two well-balanced girls whose father, married to my cousin, boasted (yes, boasted) that he used to drag his children to church by their hair. Not an isolated ocurrence, in my experience. I think more children have been screwed up by a christain upbringing that any other factor. Seems to be an excuse for sadism and brutality (read James Joyce, Samuel Butler or Deuteronomy).


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 11:11 AM

The human mind does not perceive *anything* beyond the physical plane.

Oh, fie, Mrzz!! We have both chastised the religious believers in these threads for using freighted words to make statements which are self-proving, and now you are doing it your own self!

It may well be true that the human body does not perceive anything beyond the physical plane. But in your assertion you are embedding the very freighted proposition that all human minds are only of the body, and have no means of awareness that is not physical. This is a lot of embe4dded freight. And if those assumptions were to be explicated, they would have a lot of debate arou8nd them.

There are at least three general kinds of definitions of the word mind.

1. Brain and central nervous system, exclusively.
2. Constructs of pictures (such as memories, vocabularies, etc.) used by the viewpoint to pose and resolve problems in the physical or any other universe.
3. Consciousness in all its aspects taken collectively as a cosmic ingredient.


Either 2 or 3, allowed as possible definitions, would falsify your proposition excerpted above.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 11:52 AM

A reasonably reasoned? argument here:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=G5JtxrR6msg


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM

Amos, you can think about justice, justice is real, but what you *perceive* is only the physical aspects thereof, like the prisoner at the bar...


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 12:29 PM

I find that quite un-so, dear Mrrz.

I doubt that a genuine and original sense of justice can be found in any chemical-electronic system. It can be emulated, to a poor degree, but that is not the same thing.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 01:42 PM

Non-human animals have a sense of justice. Ever seen a prairie dog finding a hidden stash? Or am I misunderstanding what you're talking about?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 01:50 PM

Well, I am not reserving the sense to humans. I suspect life animates thoughts of various kinds and degrees all down the food chain. I've met racoons smarter than my brother.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at Work
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 04:31 PM

OK, let's review, since I was last here we have now been called mentally Ill, we're unable to live in reality, we're sadists and brutal and it's only of value to know who we are because it may have an effect on how we vote. Clearly because some idiot dragged his/her kids to church by the hair, ALL Christians do that because after all, we're taught that in Cult 101. The person who did that has a lot of other attributes, maybe white , black, asian, tall, short, fat, hairy, bald...etc. Insert any of those into this sentence. "All xxx people are sadists and brutal". If I did, you'd call me a bigot. but if the xxx is Christians, it flies here at the cat. Lovely place.....lovely...

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM

Slag,

You have said, "Except science has a lousy track record in some fields that do not lend themselves to empirical investigation and those fields are often the things most dear to people; matters of love, religion, politics, things of heart and soul."

I can't agree. Science has tested some of these fields and has not been found wanting.
Politics can be tested and examined for its validity in social engineering. Love is in the province of psychology and there are numerous scientific approaches regarding it.
There are different forms of love and psychological viewpoints toward the subject.
Things of heart and soul requires that one believes in a soul. I don't think I do.
The heart is a vital organ but when we speak of love, we speak more of the brain and its functions.

As to religion, this needs to be tested far more vigorously for your assertions to carry any weight. There has been a prohibition on the part of religionists to subject their beliefs to scientific inquiry. I think this is a lousy track record.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 08:10 PM

Psudolus, nobody said *all* religious people are abusive, just that religion facilitates abuse, and here are some examples. I wouldn't expect to fine anybody who posts here, um, religiously, to be that far out of touch, although all of us probably know people who are, none of whom are atheists. The atheists I know tend to live in the real world.

Of course, that real world being defined through its rational investigation, much of which was through what we term science...


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at Home
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 08:59 PM

Religion facilitates abuse? I am no more likely to be abusive as a Christian than any atheist. But when it's put into the context of a religious discussion it indicts all of us. If I was to say that I have a brother in law who is an atheist who has been abusive to his kids while discussing this same subject, I would be telling you that only religious people are capable of taking care of the kids properly because without God in their lives, they tend to be abusive. It would be inaccurate, unsupported and just plain wrong. A lot has been made of how things are being said in this thread. If you don't think that this thread has been full of attacks and generalizations, I think you may need to read it again.

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 11:17 PM

Religion CAN facilitate abuse, but it is not the source. Any group, identity or fixed idea which one elects as a substitute for his own responsibility and his own ownership of his view can do the same. Hell, Darwinism was the facilitating excuse for all kinds of abuse under the label of eugenics and social darwinism. Not a very good application of Darwinism, sure, but then there are many variants of Christianity which are far crueler than any reading of Christ could justify.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 11:31 PM

Mrrzy states:

    "The human mind does not perceive *anything* beyond the physical plane. if's (sic) it's not physical, it can't be perceived."

If you want to win an argument just redefine the terms to fit your conclusion. Perception means to become aware of. Period. Again, you enter the realm of epistemology. What is "knowing"? Are there different types of knowing? It is your assertion that physical existence is the only reality and that nothing else has reality or validity. Beside being tautological it's just flat our wrong. We can "grasp" (which is what the suffix "-cept" means) ideas, taxonomies, extrapolations, intuitions, nuances, etc. a whole host of things that do not exist in a physical, i.e. sensual plane.

The fact that this is a BS forum everyone here must concede to generalities. I just finished rereading Bertram Russell's papers on defining the perception of a thing physical. It runs on for almost 20 pages and it is really just a sketch written for scientists not necessarily involved in the philosophical aspect of their chosen profession. And other philosophers have disagreed with Russell prompting more books. Libraries are filled with such discussions. Interesting reading if you have the patience and stomach for it. However I think we could all agree that no one here is going to "prove" anything, one way or the other. Have your say and be done with it. I am about at that point in this thread myself. It does get tedious after a while. The thing that prompts me to jump back in is when I see an outlandish unsupported statement asserted as known fact. It flies in the face of logic. If it's your opinion, admit it. Opinions are like elbows, everybody has a couple. A CONSIDERED opinion is one that is supported by fact and reasonable argument. And the word "argument" doesn't necessarily mean an emotional set to. It means to make a case for or against something.


Stringsinger states:

" I can't agree. Science has tested some of these fields and has not been found wanting.
Politics can be tested and examined for its validity in social engineering. Love is in the province of psychology and there are numerous scientific approaches regarding it.
There are different forms of love and psychological viewpoints toward the subject.
Things of heart and soul requires that one believes in a soul. I don't think I do.
The heart is a vital organ but when we speak of love, we speak more of the brain and its functions."

Yes, you are correct in part. Science does make an attempt to quantify and measure certain ASPECTS of these phenomena but it is limited in various ways. Consider intelligence quotient (IQ), all the rage thirty or forty years ago. Science had quantified "smarts" and it was a hallmark for the art, er, science of psychology ( a word which means "the study of the 'psyche' or soul, spirit, interesting indeed ). We were told that the IQ of a person never really changes unless there is some physical alteration of the brain.

Unfortunately this doesn't sit well with the PC crowd as it makes distinctions which seem to predetermine that some will succeed in life and some will never do well. Could an intellectual triage be far away??? The practitioners of science measured the cranial capacity of black folks and found that there is a significant statistical difference between the white race and the black!!! Now THERE is something that is quantifiable! What does it mean? Are black people inferior to white people? It's true! It's science!

Science CANNOT measure the essence of a person. It cannot determine character or the WILL to succeed. I have known incredibly intelligent people who have done little with their lives and I have known "plodders" who plod on and do quite well because of other intangibles that make up their personality. Race and cranial capacity play no identifiable role in a person's intelligence. I recall seeing a special on PBS about the human brain and one Japanese person was missing over two thirds of his brain. Only his right occipital lobe functioned but he had an extraordinary and intelligent mind.   Science can get at some things but it is those "intangibles" that make all the difference.

And then we come to the language itself. Soul, spirit, "pneuma", nephesh. Does the language reflect the ignorance of the past or does it retain some of the mystery that still raises questions with physical science? Words are the building blocks of thought and of science. How do we define terms and how do we convey meaning? If I use the word "spirit" what does this mean to you? Epistemology is the study or rather the philosophy of "knowing". How do we know things? What determines truth? Is it social, conventional? Emotional? Psychological? Where does the seat of the emotions lie? In the west we say "the heart". In times past, the liver was credited with being the center of being. The Bible talks about the "bowels" of compassion. There are reasons for each of these metaphors and I am sure you can deduce why they are. One Greek philosopher ( I don't recall, it may have been Aristotle) believed the brain was a cooler for the blood because the head was hotter that the rest of the body most of the time and that was how the body got rid of heat. This too, was the conventional wisdom (science) of the day.

A child asks where something comes from and it begins a game of endless regression that usually terminate with God when the adult wearies from the game. Is that one of the functions of "God"? Where did God come from, Daddy? God is. He just is. Or if you don't believe in God you might throw in the Big Bang without really knowing what the Big Bang was/is. "Well, where did the Big Bang come from Daddy?" It just is. It just happened. Does anyone here see a similarity? I do. But maybe, that's just me.

Since there is not a chapter in the Bible entitled "How I Did It" by God, I am perfectly happy to let science do its thing. I'm all for it. I love science and follow it as much as I can and I employ its methods in just about any way I can to whatever situation is at hand. I appreciate John Stewart Mills, Pascal, Newton, Bacon, Mach, Einstein, Heisenberg, Pauling, Dirac, Poincare', Gell-Mann, Schrodinger (and his cat!), Greene, and Hawking, to name but a few, and I have read from each, some more than others. But science is not the "know-all, end-all".


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 12:12 AM

For Mrrzy--

Definition: perception

Search dictionary for

Source: WordNet (r) 1.7

perception
    n 1: the representation of what is perceived; basic component in
          the formation of a concept [syn: percept, perceptual
          experience]
    2: a way of conceiving something; "Luther had a new perception
       of the Bible"
    3: the process of perceiving
    4: knowledge gained by perceiving; "a man admired for the depth
       of his perception"
    5: becoming aware of something via the senses [syn: sensing]



Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Perception \Per*cep"tion\, n. [L. perceptio: cf. F. perception.
   See Perceive.]
   1. The act of perceiving; cognizance by the senses or
      intellect; apperhension by the bodily organs, or by the
      mind, of what is presented to them; discernment;
      apperhension; cognition.

   2. (Metaph.) The faculty of perceiving; the faculty, or
      peculiar part, of man's constitution by which he has
      knowledge through the medium or instrumentality of the
      bodily organs; the act of apperhending material objects or
      qualities through the senses; -- distinguished from
      conception. --Sir W. Hamilton.

            Matter hath no life nor perception, and is not
            conscious of its own existence.       --Bentley.

   3. The quality, state, or capability, of being affected by
      something external; sensation; sensibility. [Obs.]

            This experiment discovereth perception in plants.
                                                 --Bacon.

   4. An idea; a notion. [Obs.] --Sir M. Hale.

   Note: ``The word perception is, in the language of
         philosophers previous to Reid, used in a very extensive
         signification. By Descartes, Malebranche, Locke,
         Leibnitz, and others, it is employed in a sense almost
         as unexclusive as consciousness, in its widest
         signification. By Reid this word was limited to our
         faculty acquisitive of knowledge, and to that branch of
         this faculty whereby, through the senses, we obtain a
         knowledge of the external world. But his limitation did
         not stop here. In the act of external perception he
         distinguished two elements, to which he gave the names
         of perception and sensation. He ought perhaps to have
         called these perception proper and sensation proper,
         when employed in his special meaning.'' --Sir W.
         Hamilton.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 03:30 AM

"Clearly because some idiot dragged his/her kids to church by the hair, ALL Christians do that because after all, we're taught that in Cult 101"

Oh, grow up Pseudolus; nobody is saying that at all. Just stop perverting other people's posts; it does your argument no good. Georgiansilver asked me a question. I answered it. I am talking of my personal experience of someone who thought that his religious beliefs meant he could behave in this way - nothing to do with his other attributes, just his convistion that god gave him the right to do this and that he should be applauded for it. I suppose we should be grateful that he didn't take them to the edge of the village and stone them to death as is advocated in the bible.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Pseudolus
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 08:20 AM

Amos, I'm not sure where you're coming from on that one but my faith is not a susstitute for responsibility. to say so without knowing me is, well, irresponsible.

theleveller, there are a lot of generalizations going on in this thread and to bring up an example of a christian capapble of abuse is either indicting the group or it is stating the obvious that it can happen in any group.

My statement was a reaction to the attacks in general in the thread, if I am guilty of anything it is resorting to sarcasm, which I truly apologize for, the sentiment I stand behind...

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM

Pseudolus:

(You are right, i don't know if these things are part of your beliefs or not, and I was not addressing you individually). As long as a person considers himself a creation instead of a creator, endowed with innate sin instead of capable of unlimited goodness, he is constraining himself with limitations to his responsibility and ownership, as a general proposition, IMHO.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at Work
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 02:24 PM

If what you are talking about is that as a Christian I believe that I am a creation, ok, I do. endowed with innate sin? Well, I believe that no one is perfect and that I will make mistakes. OK, I agree there too. "instead of capable of unlimited goodness"? Why does it have to be a choice between the two? We are all capable of unlimited goodness, As a christian it is what I strive for. The fact that I believe I will be forgiven for my faults and mistakes is not (as it has been portrayed in this thread) a license to do whatever I want. And the fact that I am human and will make mistakes does not eliminate me from being capable of unlimited goodness.

   The point I am trying to make is this, you have made the comment about how Slag used terminology...here is the quote...

"The line I draw is not against any person's beliefs, but against the need to impose them. OVertly, the way Jehovah's Witnesses try to do, or covertly, which is done (in one way) by selecting terminology intended to be overpowering, freighted with towering meanings, but which for many of us are without experiential or discoverable referents. "

    There is a fine line between stating a fact and stating a belief. Stating a belief as a fact is imposing YOU beliefs on the people who you are talking to. So if I said to you that if someone doesn't believe in God, it is because he is limiting his responsibility because then he will have no one to answer to, what kind of reaction would I get? Whether I believe that is possible or not, to say that as a fact would be wrong. It doesn't eliminate it as a possibility, but it certainly can not be made a hard and fast rule. While I am certainly willing to believe that what you are saying is possible, it can not in fairness be considered a rule of thumb.

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 02:33 PM

The answer, clearly, is that he would answer to himself, an ethical proposition with which I have no problem. You don't need a "boss" to be ethical, you need your own conscience.

The belief I was referring to, which may not be one of yours, is held by some Chroistians and states, roughly, that the natur eof man is that he is born as a sinner, if by Original Sin only, and that he cannot avoid this condition and must expiate it by catering to The God in various ways.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 03:08 PM

Hi Mrrzy,

"Science CANNOT measure the essence of a person. It cannot determine character or the WILL to succeed."

I think it can and does. There are forces in environment, psychology and behavior that can be measured and certain predictions can be made. As for "essence", this is a concept unsupportable by physical or scientific means and as a result it is also questionable that
it exists.

" I have known incredibly intelligent people who have done little with their lives and I have known "plodders" who plod on and do quite well because of other intangibles that make up their personality."

Yes, but these characteristics can be explained by sociology and psychology. These are no t necessarilly unpredictable.

" Race and cranial capacity play no identifiable role in a person's intelligence."

1. This is determined by scientific means.
2. There are different kinds of intelligence. IQ's are only one form.

" I recall seeing a special on PBS about the human brain and one Japanese person was missing over two thirds of his brain. Only his right occipital lobe functioned but he had an extraordinary and intelligent mind.   Science can get at some things but it is those "intangibles" that make all the difference."

I remember that special. They did state a plausible reason for this having to do with the
firing of available neurons. Research on this issue is now taking place.

When talking about undefinable terms such as "essence" or even "intelligence", they are
so vague as to question whether they exist at all. There are many forms of intelligence that are measurable. "Essence" is a vague term but if we define it as being something that is felt by others in an individual, this is also measurable in psychological reactions.

You state previously:

"Unfortunately this doesn't sit well with the PC crowd as it makes distinctions which seem to predetermine that some will succeed in life and some will never do well."

We have to ask what "succeed in life" means. Succeed on whose terms? These questions are answerable and science can play a role in this.

" Could an intellectual triage be far away??? The practitioners of science measured the cranial capacity of black folks and found that there is a significant statistical difference between the white race and the black!!! Now THERE is something that is quantifiable! What does it mean? Are black people inferior to white people? It's true! It's science!"

The conclusion doesn't support the supposition. You stated the cranial capacity may not have anything to do with intelligence even with a statistical difference. This can be
verifiable by scientific means and undoubtably has been. When you say "inferior" we need to know what you mean. Inferior in what way? I maintain that there are individual differences between every individual that can be measured in a scientific manner.
Cranial capacity may only be one variable if it is shown to be one at all. There is an argument suggested by some anthropologists that the notion of "race" is perhaps
a misnomer. The common characteristics associated with race have been questioned
as to whether there really is a distinct caucasion or negroid or (?) race. These questions which have always assumed to be true are being questioned by science today and new conclusions are being drawn.

There is nothing mystical or supernatural about the conclusions we draw of human behavior and psychology. This is measurable by science. Science is not a religion.
It maintains a flexibility always in light of new information. Religion tends toward dogma
but science must reject dogma to progress.

"Essences", "spirits","souls" and other vague metaphysical terms are up for grabs as being valid when subject to scientific scrutiny.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at Work
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM

"The answer, clearly, is that he would answer to himself, an ethical proposition with which I have no problem. You don't need a "boss" to be ethical, you need your own conscience."

I totally agree with that statement. You don't need a boss to be ethical, nor do you need to be a Christian to be moral, caring, a good parent, a good sibling or a friend. None of these things come as a bundle for Christians any more than they do for anyone else. Add to the list mentally ill, abusive and cult member and these too do not come as a bundle for Christians.

It's a lot easier to have these kinds of discussions when they are attack free and I want you to know that I appreciate that we are capable of having, dare I say, an intelligent discussion on the subject.

Frank


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 04:00 PM

Are there any scientists out there who can answer these questions?

1) what is 'goodness'?
2) what is 'evil'?
3) How do we distinguish between them?
4) Is there any empirical proof of either?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 04:13 PM

1. Soft music
2. Rush Limbaugh
3. One is loud and obnoxious, the other is not
4. Stuff a sock in Rush Limbaugh and stop global warming. That will prove it!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 04:21 PM

Well, no--because they are alike considerations imposed on subdivisions of existence. We generally like to say that goodness is an attribute which forwards the continuity of our self-structures, our families and groups, and our species, and the world in general -- with its creatures. But that is just a preference; there is nothing inherently more good about surviving, except that the consideration of it makes it so.

None of which is essentially scientific, although it could be measured what choices prolong life, increase the financial success or longevity of marriages and families, and make for long-lived prosperous groups. Scads of books have been written about all of these, but only some are "science". Most are anecdotal, if persuasive.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 05:54 PM

"Are there any scientists out there who can answer these questions?"

In so far as they try, they are not BEING scientists. Everyone can wear multiple hats, and everyone can have an opinion on moral & religious matters.

The point is that in matters moral & religious, NO ONE can prove any particular idea, so no one should claim any ultimate answers.

This does NOT mean that the legal system cannot attempt to define certain behaviors as detrimental to society. This does not always clarify 'morality', but only what happens when laws are broken.

Yep...it DOES get awkward when folks try to slip personal ideas of morality in as legal principles and affect private considerations.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 06:41 PM

Hi, you got ""Science CANNOT measure the essence of a person. It cannot determine character or the WILL to succeed" from something Slag said, not me. I am all offended (not!) that you would think something like that of me, ha ha!

Nickhere: in the real world, Good is that which nature has us motivated towards: food, comfort, shelter, sex. This is done by providing pleasure as a consequence of committing acts that foster survival in the animal. Yes, the pathways are mapped.

Bad (or in religious terms, evil) is that which nature has us motivated away from, usually through the medium of pain.
Human animals' perceptions include the emotions of others as communicated through facial expression, gesture and (recently) language.

Thus what we are motivated towards (one amygdala) and away from (the other amygdala) includes a different kind of learning through experience, such that the psychic pain of others is generally bad but rug burns on your knees might be OK in some situations.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:41 PM

Mrrzy - but why are these things 'good'? Why should food, shelter, comfort and sex be 'good'? What makes them 'good' and other things 'bad'? Then there are permutations - where we move towards food - by grabbing it off our neighbour. Is the food still 'good'? Is our actions to get it 'good'?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:20 PM

What makes them good is the same thing that made us - nature. And in the human case, the mental pain of one's self or of others is bad, since we live in the world of information about our own and others' feelings. Pain is bad. That's why it's what you feel when you need to move your hand off the hot stove. Pleasure is good, which is why it's what you feel when you've done something nice.

Is our children learning? (That's supposed to be funny.)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:45 PM

Mrzzy, is roughly referencing Abraham Maslow's famous Hierarchy of Needs, which starts out with physiological needs(breathing, food, etc),, then to safety(protecting yourself etc), love/belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization(Mrzzy's favorite, because it includes "acceptance of facts"), the higher needs coming into play only after the lower ones are fullfilled--

The pinnacle of the pyramid was "Playing the Ukulele", which was important to humanistic psychologists back in those days, perhaps because they hadn't entirely gotten past Freud;-)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:46 PM

I've never done this, but does 200 count for anything?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 10:52 PM

No. We have to differentiate between "goodness" and survival. In the real world, the broadest measure of success is survival because that is what all organisms organize around -- bringing themselves in to the future as individuals, families, colonies, sub-species, species, and en masse.

However, on closer inspection, we survive, for example, at the expense of cows and fish and pigs, carrots and rhubarb. So there is a complex interacting matrix of collisisons of survival and not-survival going on.

Most organisms seem to strive for their own survival, and for reproduction and protection of their own offspring, and for their own herd, tribe, etc. They therefore have more affection for actions which aid those efforts, and deem them (if they have language with which to do so) "good".

But "good" in the abstract sense is a judgement value, and there is nothing inherently "good" about survival of one or another species, or all of them, or none of them. Except to the degree that life forms such opinions. The extreme example of this is the German army's slogan in WW II -- "Gott Mitt Uns", or "God is With Us". A judgement about what is good that most of the civilized world disagreed with. But it was a judgement of good from the perspective of those whose survival depended on that Army doing well.

Abstractly, good and bad are opinions which have no other basis.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 10:45 AM

It's good for the *urvivors*to survive... of course good and bad have no abstract meaning, nothing does, the universe is without sense. What we evolved into notions of good and bad, though, are based on our ancestry and our nature. Pain is bad. Pleasure is good. Nothing fancy about it. Nothing is inherently anything. It's not a "judgment" to go with nature hath wrought. It's just natural.

The wolf keep the caribou strong.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 12:15 PM

Good and bad are abstractions. You seem to mean that they are not absolutes. Since some people like strong, black, coffee, and others can't stand it without lots of cream and sugar--I would say that that is not a profound insight.

Beyond that, if you believe "It's not a "judgment" to go with nature hath wrought. It's just natural." and "the universe is without sense." Then you claim that science is impossible, and reject technology because it is violates "nature".

Or maybe you just like to toss aphorisms at innocent bystanders.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 12:21 PM

Well, we tend to believe, we humans, that we can see and aspire to a more refined order than simply responding to our natural impulses to avoid pain, eat, multiply and such. There are plenty of instances where an ethical choice includes taking pain on, in exchange for some benefit, such as throwing yourself on a grenade to save several colleagues in war. We have invented expressions like "higher purpose" and "greatest good". My point was that while these may be elegant and aesthetic, they are just elegant judgements and opinions. Some people may consider them inherent in the system. For example, the "goodness" of following the dictates of a given scripture, or a given guru, even if it is contradictory and unclear. No inherent virtue to it except int he opinion that it will lead somewhere "better".


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 02:49 PM

? Who thinks science is impossible? Not the same person who posted about the Universe being without sense... that was me.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM

To claim that the universe makes no sense, is to say that it has no meaning, that it is not logical, and that it lacks reason.   This would mean that it is not knowable.

And science is:a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena--

If the unverse makes no sense, then there would be no general truths or laws--and science would, logically, be impossible. Of course, if the universe makes no sense, then logic would be impossible, as well, so it would be a moot point.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:05 PM

Things that aren't logical are known all the time - see these threads (*BG*)! But the Universe *is* without reason. That doesn't make it unstudiable. Nobody understands quantum theory, said Feynman. Yet it's used in technology all the time.

I guess I should have worded it better, especially here, where people are being so careful. Sorry. I guess I mean it has no *purpose* - no reason as in no excuse, perhaps, rather than as in no rhyme.

Science is the best way known, so far, for investigating nature. It doesn't speak to anything else. And there ARE no "general" truths outside of that. I guess we *discover* more truths than we *invent* - I consider calculus and algebra, for example, to be discoveries of the way numbers work. To digress slightly, I loved math class because you could be really RIGHT, in that 2+2 *does* =4. In base anything bigger than 4, that is, where it =10. (I have a Tshirt that says There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary, and those who don't.)

So I mean, just because it has no reason (as in purpose), doesn't mean it can't make sense, as in, follow natural laws which we can discover (like physics and chemistry).

Also, humans are a part of nature. What we've invented is as natural as a weaver bird's nest. Our dams aren't unnatural and the beavers' natural - they are both natural phenomena for this planet.

The trick is, we don't HAVE to go with our nature, because we have free will. That's why we can have voluntary sex and all other mammals have to go into heat before either sex is interested (bonobos are the closest to having recreational sex but what they really do is rub vulvas all the time with everybody; it isn't so much the males and I don't think they [the males] ejaculate. And the females don't have orgasms, that is ours alone, aren't we special).

So yes, we can throw ourselves in front of various dangers to save others, and we can abstain from sex or from speech or from other natural acts. And all this can be studied! I am So madly in love with fMRI if it had been around I would never, ever have let them give me a doctorate and make me leave grad school!

(Off to research bonobos and ejaculation...)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:09 PM

Right. Bobobos do a lot of frottage (with great terms like Penis Fencing) but no intromissive, ejaculatory, voluntary recreational sex. So they are like the other mammals, but may provide information on how the female orgasm might have evolved.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:14 PM

I think the key to this aspect is that life does not come with any particular "meaning"; all meaning is attributed to the universe and its phenomena by viewpoints making considerations.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:44 PM

what Amos said is: any organism with enough brain to be concerned assigns meaning to its life....food, shelter, sex, play...and eventually 'causes'


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:54 PM

a fairly well-known old remark says: "In the beginning, man created God in his own image."

It has a certain ring to it.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 08:26 PM

No time to read all these responses--but I am seeing references to "Frottage" and "finding meaning"--is this really what philosophy comes down to?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 08:40 PM

Bill D:

I said "viewpoints", not "organism". Viva la difference.



A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 12:11 AM

Mrrzy, you don't seem to have fully grasped what M.Ted said about science and the universe. He is quite correct - if the universe makes no sense, science could not study it. If there was no order in it there would be no discoverable 'laws'. Therefore the universe must have both sense and order. I do see however that you say "Science is the best way known, so far, for investigating nature. It doesn't speak to anything else" which is an admission that science is of no use in addressing questions of supernatural and abstractions like morality.
On another thread you posted "And science *can* speak to what ought to be - for instance, there are no clear-cut biological distinctions among the races, which supports the idea that there ought not to be racism. (But if there were such biological divisions, racism would still be wrong, so then again, maybe not. Maybe it's SCIENTISTS who can speak to the right/wrong thingie)"

That sounds a bit confused to me - on the one hand you're saying science can guide us morally (the example of races) on what ought to be: racism is wrong since science can find no clear-cut biological differences between races. But on the other hand you say that even if it could find such clear-cut differences, racial discrimination would still be wrong. This tells me that a) you're not too sure yourself whether or not science can be a moral guide and that b) you have a strong sense or indeed conviction that morality (i.e right and wrong) are considertaions that transcend whatever empirical data science gives us. To be fair, you acknowledge as much, but this still leaves the question of where to go from there.

This means we are at last starting to sing from the same hymn-sheet. I hold that morality is not something that can be based simply on empirical scientific data alone (though science can help give an empirical basis to our rationale for morality, as in the case of 'human from conception') but must be based on something science alone can't address.

When you say 'maybe scientists can speak to the right / wrong thingie' I'm interested, but we'd have to see on what basis scientists are going to do this - clearly not from the basis of empirical science alone. We have already seen that science gives the empirical data, it requires something beyond science to make value judgements about the data and what should be done about same.

In short, science should stick to doing what science is good at - namely describing the natural world - and morality should come from some other source.

But morality should have supersedence over science when scientific activity conflicts with morality (e.g the Nazis' experiments on people in a dozen fields of research)

Bill D, Amos, thanks for your replies to my question - I more-or-less agree with a number of the things you're saying. But no time to go into same in detail here.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 01:40 AM

Morality can be based on lots of empirical things -- social prosperity, survival values in various spheres. Above all else, without respect t science as such, it can be based on the individual's sense of right action.

None of which requires a higher power, and least of all, a higher power which dictates.


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 08:40 AM

I *did* grasp - but he was arguing with something he thought *I* had said, so I was correcting his misapprehension.

Of course if things make no sense then there is no sense to be made from them. But that isn't what I meant, nor is it actually what I said.

I meant that the universe has no PURPOSE - and in that sense, makes no sense.

Nobody sensible, I think, is arguing that there are no laws of nature which can be discovered through research.

Like the sign on Daddy's office wall - I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 09:19 AM

The sense of the universe is entirely in the eye of the discoverer of it. Science is an embodiment of the Discoverer's Club, working out the agreements of what that sense is. :D

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 10:26 AM

Lent sure is a busy time of year for some of us.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 10:47 AM

(Can one give up religion for Lent?)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM

"Morality... can be based on the individual's sense of right action"

Yes, Amos, but I suppose the key question here is, what informs the individual's sense of right action?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 11:50 AM

Well, Nick, I submit that is the provenance of the being him/herself, an innate capability.

If your belief system includes the strange (to me) idea that you, as a spiritual being, were created by Someone Else, then you can feed that into your circular argument that this ability is God-given.

If you take complete responsibility for your own spiritual nature, then it works just fine by itself as an inherent ability of life.

Now, don't get too busy writing admonitions and such, or you'll miss your fast for Lent, and you will have to re-Lent. Fast.

A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM

Nickhere,

Mrzzy thinks she knows what Christians think. Christians know that Mrzzy thinks she knows what they think. But they also know that what she thinks they think and what they know that they think are not the same thing at all.

Here is something that a Christian thinks about the Bible, Homosexuality and Science, that is not what Mrzzy thinks that a Christian thinks. The Bible and Being Gay


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM

I don't say I know what Christians think. I say that Christianity is just as incorrect as, say, the ancient Greek mythology. So are all other theisms.
And since I haven't harangued all Christians, I doubt that the ones I haven't talked to know what I think I think.
But it's an interesting link nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 03:16 PM

Some may appreciate this: John 3:16


    For God so lo V ed the world
          That He g A ve
                His on L y
                Begott E n
                      So N
                           T hat whosoever
             Believes I n Him
               Should N ot perish,
            But have E verlasting life.

Happy St. Valentine's Day.

Tom


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Nickhere
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 06:02 PM

Nice one, Tom, I really like that. God's valentine to the world!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 06:20 PM

Mrzzy, I think you know that I don't think you know what anyone thinks.


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Subject: Dear God, an open letter from Don Hakman
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 08 - 04:18 PM

Dear God,
Since you are seemingly not bound by the same limitations of time as I, I need you to pass along certain questions to all the living people I share this planet with. I am not asking for answers. As a creator you may have an opinion or not. I can not presume to know either way.
We are in created in your image and are creators and destroyers at our own specific level and as such, we are respondsible for our own questions.

My first question is what will the unborn say to our current disregard of global warning. The yet unborn for centuries to come have no say, but if they could, what would they say.
What would they say regarding our fishing the oceans to extinction by killing and dumping 20 tons of fish to keep one ton of the most profitable fish?
What would the unborn say about funding death machines and defense contractors with 70 cents of every dollar made or borrowed.

Right now I think the unborn will remain unborn if pursue the preent course.

So God, could you at least pass these questions along to the religious zealots who worship for profit? they have been distracted by political corporate machine that stirred their emotions but raped their soul. I am sure they will still care and work to right the wrongs that could be the end for all the unborn forever.

PS since most if not many of their preachers are gay, as well as being of different faiths, could you help them get over the whole hate thy neighbor thing once and for all?

Please, don't answer, just do it or pass it on.




yeah yeah I know it is ..with whom I share this planet, but comon thats not the way we talk.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: goatfell
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 10:12 AM

I'm a Christian however I believe in Christ and if don't then you will need to answer to your 'god' and I will answer to my one.

God bless you all.

I just like some relgions but not all, I like the Shike one.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 03:43 PM

"Abraham Lincoln was a backwoodsman who rose from humble beginnings to the heights of political power. During the dark days of the US Civil War, he served as a compassionate and resolute president. Depression and mental pain were his frequent companions. Yet the terrible emotional suffering he endured drove him to receive Jesus Christ by faith.

Lincoln told a crowd in his home town in Illinois: "When I left Springfield, I asked people to pray for me; I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I saw the graves of thousands of soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. I do love Jesus."

Life's most painful tragedies can bring us to a deeper understanding of the Savior.

When two men walked the road to Emmaus, they were dumbfounded by the senseless murder of Jesus of Nazareth. Then a stranger joined them and gave scriptural insight about the suffering Messiah (Luke 24:26-27). The stranger was Jesus Himself, and His ministry to them brought comfort.

Heartache has a way of pointing us to the Lord Jesus, who has shared in our sufferings and can bring meaning to seemingly senseless pain."

-by Dennis Fisher_ copyright 2007 RBC Ministries Vol. 52, Numbers 9,10,11.

Just wanted to share that on this day, Presidents' Day.

No, we are NOT a Christian nation but we ARE a nation made up of many Christians and have greatly benefited from their ideas, ideals and character.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 03:47 PM

"Lincoln told a crowd in his home town in Illinois: "When I left Springfield, I asked people to pray for me; I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I saw the graves of thousands of soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. I do love Jesus."

Slag, where do you find this quote? It does not appear to be the language of Abraham Lincoln.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 07:33 PM

Lincoln was a Deist, and was never documented to have spoken anything that contradicted that position. Abraham Lincoln, Deist and Admirer of Thomas Paine Here's a little story from there about the Great Man and religion.


In 1846, when he was a candidate for Congress against a Methodist minister, the Rev. Peter Cartwright, his opponent openly accused him of being an unbeliever, and Lincoln never denied it. A story is told of Mr. Cartwright's holding a revival meeting while the campaign was in progress, during which Lincoln stepped into one of his meetings. When Cartwright asked the audience, "Will all who want to go to heaven stand up?" all arose except Lincoln. When he asked, "Now, will all who want to go to hell stand up?" Lincoln still remained in his seat. Mr. Cartwright then said, "All have stood up for one place or the other except Mr. Lincoln, and we would like to know where he expects to go." Lincoln arose and quietly said, "I am going to Congress," and there he went.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 08:30 PM

Here is another page discussing Lincoln's beliefs It seems to indicate that there is much doubt as to his actual beliefs.
   The quote about Gettysburg was not a speech, but supposedly a remark to someone, and not a direct quote. It seems to stand alone as a specific claim that he 'committed to Christianity'.

from the above link:

"In the suppressed biography entitled The Life of Lincoln, by William H. Herndon, who was "for Twenty Years His Friend and Partner," we find the following description of the sixteenth President:

Lincoln was a deep-grounded infidel. He disliked and despised churches. He never entered a church except to scoff and ridicule. On coming from a church he would mimic the preacher. Before running for any office he wrote a book against Christianity and the Bible. He showed it to some friends and read extracts. A man named Hill was greatly shocked and urged Lincoln not to publish it. Urged it would kill him politically. Hill got this book in his hands, opened the stove door, and it went up in flames and ashes. After that, Lincoln became more discreet, and when running for office often used words and phrases to make it appear that he was a Christian. He never changed on this subject. He lived and died a deep-grounded infidel.(23)"

so..much divided opinion.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 09:07 PM

I"m glad to see this thread back without my resurrecting it! But Lincoln is pretty well-documented as being an atheist. He also had Marfan's Syndrome which made him even more interesting.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for the input. I will look into my source. I, too, have heard much pro and con on the issue. If Mr. Lincoln was a believer, he certainly had his own ideas and was NOT a conventional Christian. But, then again, Christ was not a conventional person either.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 04:05 AM

Words from a man who spent his life searching for God.....

"We have seen the highest circle of spiraling powers. We have
named this circle God. We might have given it any other name
we wished: Abyss, Mystery, Absolute Darkness, Absolute Light,
Matter, Spirit, Ultimate Hope, Ultimate Despair, Silence.

We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life. "

Nikos Kazantzakis, 'The Saviours of God'.

...and in the end wrote:

"Ihope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free."

Kazntzaki's epitaph. He was interred in the walls of Heraklion, Crete, as the Greek Orthodox Church refused burial in a cemtery. His book, 'The Last Temptation of Christ' was also suppressed and banned by the Catholic Church, yet few writers I have come across thought more deeply or more comprehensively about religion. His reply to the Vatican was: "You gave me a curse, Holy fathers, I give you a blessing: may your conscience be as clear as mine and may you be as moral and religious as I"


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 12:13 PM

The Lincoln/Jesus quote was one of a number of stories recounted, mostly after his death, that perhaps were intended to soften his unreligiousness. One is inclined to think that many writers were inclined to elevate him to the status of a saint, and being that sainthood is a bit at odds with atheism, they tried to smooth it over.

Also, let us not forget that Lincoln was in attendance at Ford's Theatre on Good Friday, which was regarded by many as a blasphemous act, and there was a natural effort to counteract the nasty gossip with stories about his religiousness--


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Slag
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 04:08 PM

A packed house of blasphemers! SRO! LOL


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 04:56 PM

Slag, I'd say: a houseful of questioning minds, hardly blasphemers. (Thanks for your light touch- you make questioning a joy.)


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: M.Ted
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:48 PM

Mostly, a house full of people who wanted to watch Lincoln and General Grant watch a play. Grant's wife apparently wanted to go to country instead, so he was a no show.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 10:42 AM

"-Nikos Kazantzakis-"


             One of the few really honest people who ever walked the face of the planet.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 08:06 PM

You sure you don't mean the kallikanzaroi?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 09:57 PM

That's really excellent scholarship, Mrrzy. I had to look it up, and you would make a good point by suggesting it bears looking into.
                   Personally, I was talking about the man. He really looked into the the problem(s) we have been discussing here. Like Dostoevsky, he made an in depth investigation into things, and, in the end, in my estimation, he jumped the wrong way. But he recorded the details of his search, so mankind has better mileposts to find his way.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:30 AM

Actually, Riginslinger, I was talking about the Zelazny book, This Immortal... not to burst my own bubble or anything (*BG*)!


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: TheSnail
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:38 AM

Scientific search for the soul?


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 09:18 AM

"Our results demonstrate a correlation between pineal activation and religious meditation which might have profound implications in physiological understanding of the intrinsic awareness."

Intersting. But to me it seems a bit like tracing the phone line out to the nearest switchboard and then reporting "I think we have found out where all those voices you keep hearing at dinner are coming from."



A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 09:42 PM

You've got to wonder if that ever occurred to Edgar Cayce.


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:17 PM

Cayce's abilities kinda transcended the phone network, doncherknow... :D

kallikanzaroi:
mischievous satyrs who exist to irritate both the human and the divine


A


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Subject: RE: God still with me 2008
From: Riginslinger
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:52 AM

"RE: God still with me 2008..."


                      If everything else has failed, you might try a powder wedge.


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