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Fenris Vs Falco: Theologys examined


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#1    Fenris

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:31 AM

As per the title this topic is mostly ment to be between Myself and Falco, examining, contrasting and compairing our two theological standpoints. Its not ment as a proper debate as for the most part we probably won't be on opposing sides and there won't be an argument, however there will, hopefully, be an examination of the internal logical coherency of both PoV's

Whilst occassional 'peanuts from the gallery' are welcome on matters of logic (Not YOUR logic, but rather does each of the participents statements have an internal logic that holds with what they have posted to date in this thread! Feel free to point out contradictions if the other person misses it). Also this is an examination of the theological views of the two protaganists, for the perpouses of this thread YOUR theology is of no interest.... you want to push your theological position? Do so elsewhere. If you want to discuss a point raised here from your PoV feel free to start a second thread (I'm hoping there will be several such general open threads generated during this), THIS thread is predominantly concerned with the PoV's of Falco and myself.

So, how to kick this off? Falco, I suggest we both give a general overview of what brought us to our current position followed by a description in broad terms of the nature of our theological stance..... ending with a "How do you explain 'X' in regard to your PoV" question for the other side.

Being mostly raised in the Catholic area's of Glasgow I was basicaly 'force fed' that belief system from day one. However there where aspects of it that didn't sit right and also experiences that weren't explained by their doctrins. Age seven became a turning point, the blatent hypocracy of the church was simply too much.

A friends father was a drunkard and a wife beater, each Saturday he'd go to confession, admit his 'sins', say his hail marys and be absolved of the responcibility for his actions.... then go to the pub, get tanked, go home and beat his wife and kids black and blue again...... I knew the church was well aware of it, but he was a good catholic and didn't need to change his ways because each week they would absolve him of it and he had no reason to change... why when he would be 'forgiven' regardless!

Even at age seven, this was beyond the amount of hypocracy I could stomach, I decided there was something fundamentaly flawed in such a system and turned my back on the church..... This caused somewhat a theological void, I had questions but no longer accepted the dogma I was brought up with as an answer.... So I began the search for my own answers.

First point of call was science and to this day I have and abiding interest, especialy quantum physics..... however I was still having experiences that science couldn't (And still can't) answer. Over the thirty or so years since then I've walked a number of paths, both eastern and western, discounting those parts which are unscientific whilst examining the rest. Where I've found something I couldn't explain I've studied it to the point I could understand from my own PoV how its working (Sometimes thats accepting that paths viewpoint on it, sometimes working out how I believe it to be functioning)

I've walked many paths Buhdist, Taoist, Druid, even was a sanyasin for a while (Their active meditation techniques where a great help). Looked into but not followed others OTO, Golden Dawn, Satanism, Spiritualism. And underwent three formal initiations Shaman, Wiccan, Cabbalist.... No single path has given me all the answers and all the organised forms of 'worship' tend to have the same drawback.... where you have an organisation, people are drawn to it for the apparent power over others that an organisation automaticaly brings.

So here I am, rapidly aproaching the big Four oh-oh and walking no-ones path but my own. I do use the lable 'Pagan' in its loosest and most generalised form as its close enough in situations where going into great detail isn't an option.

In broad terms, theology isn't about dogma or rhetoric or following some book written 10K years ago/ 2K years ago/Early 1960's/yesterday nor following what someone else tells you to follow. Theology is about your relationship with the divine in whatever form you touch it, the answers aren't out here, if you are looking out here then you are getting it wrong, the answers are already there you just have to look long enough and deep enough inside yourself in order to find them.

And finaly, If I'm going to be asking the first question, lets make it the big one......

Falco, please explain in the terms of your theology the nature of the Divine (God, gaea, energy of the universe, However you percieve it)

In the dead of night
A shimmewin' wight
Gweem of a bwade
And dah devew was paid
When dah axe comes down
A chiwin' sound
Steel hits da head
Anothaw wabbit's dead
I'm a wabbit swayer
A guitaw pwayaw
With a nasty habbit

Kill dah wabbit!!! (hah hah hah)
AhhhaahooOhhh

I'm a mean mistweetah
A wabbit feastah
And I pwedict
A bwoody Eastaw
A scuwowing shadow
And dah shadow was dis wabbit
And dah night air echoes
Kill dah wabbit!!!
Kill dah wabbit!!!
.........................

#2    Ozmeister

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 08:12 AM

Keep walking your own path, Fenris.

You're like me....we're both about the same age.....I've never subscribed to Christianity's (or for that matter, any religion's) dogmas, right from the time I was a small child. Anyway, for a start, I asked too many pointed (and embarassing) questions grin2.gif . I may have a certain affinity to various aspects of a belief system, but I don't subscribe to any religion in particular. I can think for myself, I don't need someone else to do it for me, plus I'm intelligent enough (I hope) to be able to find the answers I seek.

The logic of your path will come from your journey along it.....it may not fit anyone else's logic.....it may even offend some people's belief systems, but that's their problem, not yours. They will need to deal with it themselves.

So long as you find those answers you're seeking, that is all that's required. If anyone else becomes interested in your personal philosophies, good.....if not, then that's good as well. Each person has their own path to follow. Even if it's not a good path and they get led up the "garden path", so to speak. We all learn from our experiences (hopefully).



#3    Falco Rex

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:19 AM

I guess I preface my answer with a brief introduction since it ties in with what I believe. I was raised in a home where religion was of minimal importance. My Father was a Baptist that never really got any answers to his questions about Theology from the church, so in his adulthood he has become lapsed. My Mother is Jewish and German and a Holocaust survivor. Although she's never been forthcoming about what she experienced there whatever happened altered her view on religion forever..
Thusly, I was raised without being forced to go to church or without any preconceived notions of what God might be. I too have tried various Religions, the two main ones for me being Evangelical Christianity and Judaism.
Although I enjoyed both of them to an extent they both felt somehow incomplete for me. Mostly it was the fact that to be accepted in them you are forced to fight scientific fact that bears itself out in laboratory conditions. Why would a sensible school of thought argue with things that are known to be true? That bothered me to quite a bit. If they want me to believe that,what other falsehoods might I be forced to swallow?
Although disillusioned with various religions I find that I still believe in a higher power. So for the past few years I've tried to examine my thoughts and beliefs on what God might be. Although my thoughts are by no means fully formed here's how I perceive God as of today...
I believe there is one God who is an energy or force that is the embodiment of sentient thought in the universe. God represents the something more we always refer to when we speak of conscience or the soul or higher thoughts. I believe there is only one God but that he has worn many faces throughout time. Whether it was Marduk or Athena or El it seems that something was performing miracles and giving signs long before the Worlds' current dominant theology was locked into place. I doubt highly that a God or whole Pantheon of them would just dissappear because the state didn't allow them to be worshipped. Rather I believe that the Gods of old and God as he currently exists are just an aspect of the total Divine Force and that God can be thought of or worshipped in whatever form that people can best comprehend him in. The Ancient Romans had a term for it. Divine Genius. I think that term sums it up best for me. God is more of a Spiritual Force or energy for me than a physical being.
That's merely a bare skeleton of my belief but I think it's enough of a frame work to begin with..
So Fenris, I would ask of you the same question. What is God to You?


#4    Fenris

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:41 AM

Hmmmm we are not so far apart on this, there are diffrences but far more points of simularity.

Here is 'divinity' from my PoV..........

There is an energy out there that for want of a better lable I think of as 'divinity', it isn't inteligent in the way we recognise inteligence, it isn't some kind of omnipotent puppetmaster, nor is it a celestial 'father figure' who can pat us on the head and take away the responsibility for having done negative crap. It doesn't 'love' us or try to 'look after us' in any way we would recognise, not in its base form. It is simply a force of nature that follows its own set of rules (That we haven't figured all of them out) much like a storm is a force of nature that follows rules.

however, that divine energy can be used/molded by the will of inteligent beings (All life is ALSO part of that energy!). This is the root of all the myriad gods and goddesses that human beings have interacted with throughout the ages. When the first caveman tried to understand the world around him and decided there where forces beyond his reach... that first metaphysical thought started the first god archetype. Another caveman contemplated and tried to understand the concept and in some places he agreed, in others he disagreed (And possibly clubbed the first guy over the head with a rock for being a heritic *g*).... and so on through the ages, those things that agree making the archetypes stronger and those that don't agree, if enough people believe then a new archetype evolves.

Those archetypes are the basis of all the gods, goddesses, etc that we have interacted with, but it isn't until we personaly interact with them that they become 'real'. No longer just an archetype, but an archetype viewed through who we are and how we understand the world. A mix of ourselves and what has gone before.

That doesn't detract from their value though, divinity as an energy is infinate and as finite beings we can never truely understand anything infinate except in the most abstract of terms, its just too big, it doesn't fit into our finite understanding. So breaking it down into chunks that we CAN relate to, anthropomorphising bits so we can interact and communicate, helps us not only understand bits of divinity but also (Because what we deal with is formed through who we are as well as the archetypal template) helps us understand ourselves. The danger comes when we forget the limitations of 'god' and get bogged down in dogma and ignorance, letting others tell us what we 'should believe' rather than learning who we are and where we fit into the whole.

OK, basing the next question on what you have there.......
Given we both recognise the multi-faceted nature of the divine, in which of its forms do you personalty relate to it and in what manner do you do so? do you 'worship' it? Use it as a kind of tool? Treat it like "Buddy Divinity" just another aspect of you life? Totaly ignore it? Point your fingre and laugh at it? What?


In the dead of night
A shimmewin' wight
Gweem of a bwade
And dah devew was paid
When dah axe comes down
A chiwin' sound
Steel hits da head
Anothaw wabbit's dead
I'm a wabbit swayer
A guitaw pwayaw
With a nasty habbit

Kill dah wabbit!!! (hah hah hah)
AhhhaahooOhhh

I'm a mean mistweetah
A wabbit feastah
And I pwedict
A bwoody Eastaw
A scuwowing shadow
And dah shadow was dis wabbit
And dah night air echoes
Kill dah wabbit!!!
Kill dah wabbit!!!
.........................

#5    Chauncy

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 04:19 PM

Wow what a great thread......why wasn't I invited.  crying.gif .....jjk

After reading these Pov's so far I can't help but come away feeling that what is being described by each of you gentlemen is the power or force of nature. This is how I percieve this power.....I personally do not like to use the human invented word 'God'.....for I feel these Gods are a personification of this nature force.

Specific examples of Gods in many cultures in my opinion may represent 'visitors' of some kind.

It makes me feel good to see that neither of you gemtlemen subscribe to a final Judgement or damnation or salvation as reward or punishment.

I was wondering if these concepts enter into your beliefs or not?

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
Julius Robert Oppenheimer. (1904-1967)
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#6    Falco Rex

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:54 PM

I guess the short answer is that I don't relate to it on a day to day basis.It's enough for me just know that it's there. I don't engage in regular active worship the way most would recognize it. On occasion, when I have a quiet moment I like to meditate on the nature of God Him/Her?Itself, and hope that by reaching a higher level of understanding that I will grow closer to God myself. Although I never pray to ask for anything or follow a set prayer routine.
I've already been given free will and sentient thought, to ask for more than that seems selfish somehow..
Every once in a while I'll throw a friendly greeting into my meditation routine. It may sound silly, but it can't hurt to be nice.. wink2.gif
However there have been times when it seems that force has chosen to interact with me. I don't mean I have visions or speak with Angels or anything like that. But every single time in my life that events have been totally out of control and everything was about to hit the wall, I've been saved at the last minute by something or other. And it's usually something I've had nothing to do with. This has happened far too many times for me to chalk it up to good luck..
I'm also aware that this may just be Hubris on my part, but It just doesn't feel like it...
I still wouldn't take this to mean God loves me, at least not in the way we humans define it. Insofar as I can understand the nature of it at all, I think Gods' version of emotional response would be far different than ours. It would have to be if you were omnipotent pure energy. I definitely don't see God as my buddy. If I'm really being saved, I'm sure it's to some end I can only guess at. Or maybe for no purpose at all but random interference to bolster my beliefs..

I hate to sound like a Parrot, but Your question was a good one, so I'll send it back to you..
Also you mentioned that you believe Gods' energy can be influenced by beings with intelligent thought. You seem to mean mean that our thoughts turn God into physical beings for us. But do you believe it possible that we can use some of Gods' energy for ourselves personally? And if so, how? I'm wondering because there are some who have claimed to have worked miracles in Gods name. I'm wondering how miraculous healing and such fits into your theology.

Edited by Falco Rex, 09 June 2004 - 07:59 PM.


#7    Falco Rex

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 08:32 PM

To respond to Chauncy. No I don't believe in final judgement of the soul or final reward. At least not at this basic a level of existence. I think we simply move on to something else. People speak of the afterlife, but who can say that it's the only one? There may well be levels of existence even beyond that..
Perhaps eventually there's a Final of some sort but I don't think it happens at the end of this life..


#8    Chauncy

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 03:07 AM

I can definitely say with confidence that the PoVís so far are very indicative of humans that are in tune with the world and what it means to be human.

When I ponder the ultimate power or force of nature I do not connect it to the idea of a God personified as such, I ponder it as an energy or frequency. Unfortunately the persona of a ĎGodí , regardless of culture, has become for me a lazy depiction. Where as the mind set one submits to in order to put faith in this persona, actually prevents one from seeing the intricacies of this force and thus never becoming in tune with it.

This nature force in my opinion is universal and Earth and all her inhabitants are but a small example of the wonders it has instigated. Our seemingly inescapable isolation in this universe has allowed us to become complacent where many think that humans are the universal standard.

As far as death is concerned I believe we still exist in this universal scheme of things. We develop an energy during our existence. This energy continues after death in what ever manner it did here, where as someone of a negative nature will continue as such, as with a positive person.

This positive/negative scheme of things exists in nature right down to the very atoms. I know we were spawned from the same force that spawned atoms, so logically I conclude that we follow the same pattern, in life and in death.

I have felt the good/positive energy in life, Iíve maintained this energy throughout my years hear, and Iím confident in knowing that I will continue in this positive/good energy state when I die. Therefore I accept death and anticipate the opportunity to maintain my positive energy in the natural scheme of things.

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
Julius Robert Oppenheimer. (1904-1967)
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#9    Venomshocker

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 03:54 AM

QUOTE
The viewpoints encompassed within the pantheistic community are necessarily diverse, but the central ideas of the universe being an all-encompassing unity, a common purpose, and the sanctity of both nature and its natural laws are found throughout.

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

Sounds to me Fenris, Falco Rex and Chauncy you all believe in some form of pantheism, is that correct?(and i dont mean the hindu kind)

Edited by Venomshocker, 10 June 2004 - 04:13 AM.

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#10    Fenris

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 07:17 AM

Nice addition to the question there Falco, that makes for a VERY big question (especialy given I'm going to answer both Chauncy and Venomshocker here also as, to me, the three questions are closely linked). So grab a coffee, this could get long and convoluted  cool.gif

Firstly, Venomshocker. The answer to that is both yes and no! On one level ALL the gods from those of the first proto thologic caveman (Who tended to focus on natural events.... thunder became personified because they couldn't understand/explain it any other way and so on through an ever increacing pantheon) through Sumarian, Greek, Egyptian... right upto The Christian god, Allah ect... all exist, in that enough people have believed in them to create an archetype of that diety which has a form of existance in isolation. Any of these archetypes can be accessed and worked with by someone with an affinity for that particular one. I have worked with MANY such archetypes and accnowledge that they all do indeed come from the same source.... thats the yes bit!

However, I accnowledge them as constructs. Before there was sentient life that needed to impose such mechanisms onto the energy of the universe in an attempt to understand it (And to understand themselves) there was nothing that any of us could have called a god. Just the basic, non-sentient energy. It doesn't make them any less real to those interacting with them, but it does limit them... there is no such thing as omnipitence or omnipowerful and they are created by finite minds.... anything finite will always have some limits (Else it wouldn't be finite!)

So whilst I can access a pantheistic range of diety forms in my search for understanding, I am always aware that they are not the totality of the divine and that the true nature of the divine is just energy and whilst respected is not something to be 'worshiped'. You don't worship a hurricane or a bolt of lightning.... divine energy is just as natural as those.

Falco, as you no doubt see, part of the answer to you is in the above and don't worry about sounding silly. There is always going to be some folks that consider your PoV silly simply because it disagrees with theirs. Thats why I stated what I did in the initial post, this thread is examining OUR silly ideas.... they can take their silly idea's to another thread wink2.gif

But to elaborate. Whilst I acknowledge that the truth of divinity is nothing more than energy, energy is difficult to relate to, you can't ask it things and it can't respond..... So I do use the anthropomorphic archetypes and work with 'god/dess' forms. Not to 'worship' as stated its a bit pointless 'worshiping' energy. Mostly I use the forms meditationaly in examinig aspects of myself to better undertand me... Invoking an archetype which typifies the aspect of myself and trying to understand it.... basicaly useing the archetype to better communicate with my subconsious. No they don't manifest physicaly and good, can you imagine having to get the shovel out to clear up after a ganesha invokation (Ganesh - Indian Elephant headed diety)  wink2.gif  tongue.gif  But they can sometimes have a phyical effect. I've had several people that have been in the same building whilst I've been working claim to have felt the aspects presence.... some only generic 'something' but several have been able to identify the exact aspect I was working with at the time.

Your addition of "But do you believe it possible that we can use some of Gods' energy for ourselves personally?" Opens up another big can of worms.... that of magic or miricals.

and the basic answer is that yes we can, most of us do every day. Its natural and anyone can do it... in fact everyone DOES do it, even those who don't believe in magic. Before people start jumping on their high horse over this I best explain how I see it as working.

It involves the 'arrow of time' (CF Stephen Hawkins) Now is the point of action, the past is a single fixed line, the future splays out like a web, each set of possibilitys leading off from the now..... The point of now moves forward and as it reaches each set of possibilitys, one of the happens and is set into the line of the past as now moves forward again, the other possibilitys being lost..... 'Now' is the point where we open the box to find if the cat is alive!

Where magic comes in is in making certain of those possibilitys more or less likely to be the one realised. The universe itself is not sentient, it doesn't care if it rain now or if it waits the ten minutes whilst you walk home.... you care and you have WILL, your will, if focused, CAN make it more likely that you get the outcome you want (In that case, reaching home without getting soaked)

As you can see, magic would be just about impossible to 'proove' as ANY individual occurance COULD simply be co-incidence. All 'I' say is that I tried X, Y happened and that X and Y may or may not be related...... however, the reason for my belief is in the question "How many co-incidences does it take to stop being a co-incidence?". Apart from in one aspect of my health I am considered 'lucky', if I need something it usualy turns up.... short of money... sudden tax refund. Looking for something in particular.... find the last one in the shop misplaced and behind something else... quite often at a budget price.... all co-incidences  thumbsup.gif

People around me, co-incidentaly, tend to recover from illness or operations rather quickly too...... none of this is proof, but it does lead to belief!

Thats all it takes, applied will. We all do that every day.... in the form of 'working magic', prayer or even simple hope... it all can have a bearing on which possibility is actualised.

Phew! Hope that rable made sense laugh.gif

Finaly to Chauncy. From reading what I've written so far it should be obvious that I don't believe in the existance of anything that COULD pass 'final judgement' unless you count passing judgement on yourself.

Falco, you touch on how you view "miraculous healing and such" as you put it but could you clarify a bit. You seem to believe you have something of the like at work in your life but wheren't clear on the matter.

As for the actual next question, I'm going to bounce of Chauncy's one and ask....
We are born, we live our life, we die..... In your theological PoV... what next (If anything)?

Edited by Fenris, 10 June 2004 - 07:54 AM.

In the dead of night
A shimmewin' wight
Gweem of a bwade
And dah devew was paid
When dah axe comes down
A chiwin' sound
Steel hits da head
Anothaw wabbit's dead
I'm a wabbit swayer
A guitaw pwayaw
With a nasty habbit

Kill dah wabbit!!! (hah hah hah)
AhhhaahooOhhh

I'm a mean mistweetah
A wabbit feastah
And I pwedict
A bwoody Eastaw
A scuwowing shadow
And dah shadow was dis wabbit
And dah night air echoes
Kill dah wabbit!!!
Kill dah wabbit!!!
.........................

#11    Fenris

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 08:01 AM

QUOTE (Chauncy @ Jun 9 2004, 05:19 PM)
Wow what a great thread......why wasn't I invited.  crying.gif .....jjk


Oh and Chauncy....

This thread happened because I spotted a few things Falco said about his beliefs and thought he'd be an interesting person to discuss theology with, nothing stopping you approaching someone and starting a similar thread. I just find it workes best with two main protaganists (And the occassional peanut from the gallery besides) but would enjoy if several pairs of people started such threads in a similar constructive vein rather than the typical level of "But the bible says...." answered by "Your an idiot!". If such other threads do start then I'll enjoy reading and, where appropriate, will throw a few 'peanuts' myself  cool.gif  

In the dead of night
A shimmewin' wight
Gweem of a bwade
And dah devew was paid
When dah axe comes down
A chiwin' sound
Steel hits da head
Anothaw wabbit's dead
I'm a wabbit swayer
A guitaw pwayaw
With a nasty habbit

Kill dah wabbit!!! (hah hah hah)
AhhhaahooOhhh

I'm a mean mistweetah
A wabbit feastah
And I pwedict
A bwoody Eastaw
A scuwowing shadow
And dah shadow was dis wabbit
And dah night air echoes
Kill dah wabbit!!!
Kill dah wabbit!!!
.........................

#12    Falco Rex

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 04:43 PM

Actually I wanted Chauncy to post his view on God here. He asked me about a day before you did to start the same basic thread as we have. I was unsure at the time whether I wanted to put my views out there for everyone to see, but after some thought I was ready to do so and so accepted your challenge. Given that, I asked him to post his view here, since I didn't want to start a seperate thread with him going over the same things I'm saying here..
About 20 minutes after that, Snuffypuffer started his God thread and I felt very foolish..
The fault was mine and I apologize to you Fenris if it went against what you wanted to see here..
So, in my next post, I'll get back to the business at hand and answer your questions, but what happens after Death is one of the most difficult questions ever, and it will take a few hours to think how to word my reply...


#13    Chauncy

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 04:55 PM

Falco and Fenris I posted some of my beliefs in the post above Venomshocker's.

I can and will elaborate more per any questions. I'm enjoying this thread very much. thumbsup.gif

I also took the oppurtunity to post on the newly formed God thread.


Have edited so below and see Im's that I have sent thumbsup.gif  

Edited by Celti, 10 June 2004 - 06:27 PM.

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
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#14    Venomshocker

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 05:07 PM

Chauncy and Venomshocker I have sent you both Im's about these last number of posts...

This is a debate.... not and flame war or an I did/ you didn't if you feel the need to talk about it start another thread...

Thanks for listening thumbsup.gif


Edited by Celti, 10 June 2004 - 06:19 PM.

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#15    Falco Rex

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 06:19 PM

Please let's not threadjack in the name of Semantics. It's not really the name of something that's important here. If the ideas expressed here resemble Pantheism in some form that's fine. I've never bothered to really put a name to what I believe myself..





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