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Sherapy

2+2=4 equates a certainty of god

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Sherapy
Hmmmm . . . . to move away from the structure of organized religion and integrate God into daily life and contact with all people . . . . to discard traditional religious dates like Easter or Christmas . . . . to celebrate church services in silence with the belief that the Holy Spirit will bring inspiration . . . .and to be pacifists in a modern world of continued violence . . . . and all that with no indoctrination?

Perhaps you see indoctrination as a regimen . . . . I see it as a social experience.

I concur Ex....

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IamsSon
Right, thats why our government is areligious. Not atheistic, but, like science, our Government should not take 'God' into consideration either way, whether he exists or does not. The government should just govern. There is no reason to add theism or atheism into the equation. When it comes to spiritual beliefs, the government is (supposed to be) neutral.
What government are you talking about church? The U.S. Government? The U.S. government merely represents the will of the American people, as a representative democracy it represents mainly the views of the majority. If the majority think that there should be laws regulating the entry of non-citizens into our country, then we will have immigration laws. If the majority thinks it is important for people to prove their ability and capacity to drive a vehicle safely then we will have laws requiring driving tests and licensing for drivers, etc. It happens that the majority of U.S. citizens consider themselves Christian--although the majority of them rarely go to church or read the Bible or pray--and have a vague idea of what "Christian" values should be and they vote according to those ideas. As long as American citizens are free to choose, there is nothing which can legally limit what values and ideals they use in the exercise of their political duties.

Why do you disagree with it? Honestly Iams, if people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell were given reigns of this country, what would happen to people like me? Thats definitely something I would seriously worry about if our country became a 'Christian' nation instead of a 'United' nation. On the same hand, shouldn't you be worried about what would happen if people like Richard Dawkins called the shots? Of course. But see, we reach a happy medium in the government when all we can say about religious views is 'you go your way, and I'll go my way, and that is that.' Lt. Ripley is right, if you don't want an abortion, don't get one. Personally I am neutral on the subject as I am a male, young, and haven't knocked anyone up, but my moral code dictates to me that it probably isn't a good idea to have my girlfriend run out to the clinic if I knocked her up. I made my mess, now I have to clean it. But, with that, I also have to take into consideration what is good for other people too. Is it my responsibility to tell people what they can or cannot do with regards to their own bodies? No, of course not, as it is THEIR body, not MINE. If you don't want to hear about religion, then don't go to church. I go to church with my mom because it makes her happy, but if she didn't care then I wouldn't. The issue goes to both sides, theistic and atheistic, if the theist does not wish to partake of all the rights given to us, such as an abortion, then they shouldn't get one. If an atheist doesn't want to go to church, then he/she shouldn't have to. End of story.
Because the majority of people, even us fundamentalist Christians don't buy everything Robertson and Falwell stand for, the likelihood that anyone like that would ever be in position of power is fairly small. It's nice to say, "You do your thing and I'll do mine and everything will be cool," but that doesn't really work too well, at least not in a republic.

Would Jesus want to impose his views on others? According to the Bible, he gave us the option to accept him or not. Why don't you?
You have every opportunity to accept Him or not church, and I am not forcing you to in any way. It happens that the majority of people in the U.S. have certain views and opinions and they are being, for the most part represented by the laws of our country, which is as they should be in a Republic. Your beef is not with Christians, or "the church" your beef is with the republican form of government.

What about when your values impose on mine? As long as your values don't take away my rights, I really don't care. If you, for instance, said that you thought it was immoral for me to drink or smoke, then, well, thats your opinion, but should you be able to take away my right to drink and smoke? No. Now, whether I choose to drink or smoke is up to me, because it is my right to abstain or indulge, don't you see? We are given rights, and those rights are not to be infringed on by any party, no matter how insistent they are that they represent the wishes of God (which I don't think ANYONE does).
Here we go wit the whole "impose your views" BS. This is a republic. The government is not a being, it is merely the tool by which the citizens of this nation organize themselves, and it reflects the views and values of the majority. That's the way it is, it's a republic where the majority of the people hold to certain moral values, and as long as those people continue to be the majority, then the laws of this country will continue to represent their morals and values, that's the way a republic works.

What you are espousing would require limiting the rights of all Americans, and I can't support that.

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MissMelsWell
Hmmmm . . . . to move away from the structure of organized religion and integrate God into daily life and contact with all people . . . . to discard traditional religious dates like Easter or Christmas . . . . to celebrate church services in silence with the belief that the Holy Spirit will bring inspiration . . . .and to be pacifists in a modern world of continued violence . . . . and all that with no indoctrination?

Perhaps you see indoctrination as a regimen . . . . I see it as a social experience.

Honey, the only way you can indoctrinate someone is through the use of actual doctrine, creeds, and statements, which Friends have never had...

Do I believe in the lifestyle? Yes, but you got some of it wrong in your dissertation up there. Friends don't necessarily discard religious dates like Easter and Christmas. We have no set belief one way or another in them--if you want to celebrate them, have it. I am actually one of the few I know who don't celebrate them, but not because I'm Friend, but because I never celebrated them. (trust me, I was raised by granola eating quasi-hindu hippies) Yes, our services are silent or semi-silent. Ya, we're pacifists in a modern world of violence... I sure as heck have no interest in continuing any violence, do you? I think you mistake what it means to me to "integrate God" into my daily life... I certainly don't integrate it into other peoples life; that would be horrifying to me. I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of people I know have no clue that I even subscribe to a faith and lifestyle. Except that they wonder why I don't have more crap than I do. I take the simplicity aspect of the faith fairly seriously. Not because it glorifys something or another, but becaues it makes sense. Use less, waste less, preserve environment, pay my bills on time, try not to use credit, do a hard days work for fair pay, try to keep myself and my family healthy, make every effort to make my community a better place to live for ALL (ALL) people.

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brave_new_world

Let it also be noted that because Quakers have no creeds , that in general amongst The Quakers there are as many different spiritual/philosophical opinions as their are members. At my meeting house there is one woman in particular who is completely Buddhist in her outlook. One young student girl passing through from america who was raised a quaker was an atheist (but enjoyed the meetings nonetheless). I myself go to Quaker meetings and believe in a more advaita/Vedanta outlook on metaphysics. Others are very Christian based and others anything but.

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brave_new_world
Hmmmm . . . . to move away from the structure of organized religion and integrate God into daily life and contact with all people . . . . to discard traditional religious dates like Easter or Christmas . . . . to celebrate church services in silence with the belief that the Holy Spirit will bring inspiration . . . .and to be pacifists in a modern world of continued violence . . . . and all that with no indoctrination?

Perhaps you see indoctrination as a regimen . . . . I see it as a social experience.

One Quaker member I know of at our meeting house isnt a Pacifist, (I am however), he actually believed in sending over UN troops over during the Bosnian or kosovo war. Many of the quakers at our meeting house also celebrate christmas and easter. What are the binding quaker creeds that create indoctrination are you referring to?

As for the silence (which is what attracted me to quakerism in the first place), it isnt absolute. People can stand up (or remain seated) and speak noisy ministry. Some of our quakers are atheists and therefore dont believe a 'spirit' is going to move them. Yet their ministry is just as valuable as anyone elses (if it comes from the heart).

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Dr. D

Honey, the only way you can indoctrinate someone is through the use of actual doctrine, creeds, and statements, which Friends have never had...

I doubt this statement seriously. Literally millions of people have been indoctrinated into belief systems without the use of creeds, doctrines or statements. Subliminal indoctrination became so flagrant that it was addressed by the United Nations that condemned its use. George W. Bush used subliminal messages in campaign advertisements in 2000.

Any alteration of a lifestyle requires some form of indoctrination. I doubt that you independently decided one day to experience a silent worship service and that coincidentally was what the rest of the Friends did. I equally doubt that you are a pacifist by some genetic quirk.

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Dr. D
One Quaker member I know of at our meeting house isnt a Pacifist, (I am however), he actually believed in sending over UN troops over during the Bosnian or kosovo war. Many of the quakers at our meeting house also celebrate christmas and easter. What are the binding quaker creeds that create indoctrination are you referring to?

As for the silence (which is what attracted me to quakerism in the first place), it isnt absolute. People can stand up (or remain seated) and speak noisy ministry. Some of our quakers are atheists and therefore dont believe a 'spirit' is going to move them. Yet their ministry is just as valuable as anyone elses (if it comes from the heart).

Whatever attracted you to the Quaker faith . . . . one of the things in your case was the silent worship . . . . requires a basic change from prior conduct and in the strict sense of the word, that becomes indoctrination.

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brave_new_world
Any alteration of a lifestyle requires some form of indoctrination.

So then religious/philosophical insight that is contemplated over and realized (personally) to be truth and put into practice is indoctrination?

I doubt that you independently decided one day to experience a silent worship service and that coincidentally was what the rest of the Friends did. I equally doubt that you are a pacifist by some genetic quirk.

I am a Quaker and was inspired into non-violence first through John Lennon and then had it more refined and articulated via the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Also silence is a universal language of all great religions and more or less of poets. What does 'silence' tell us to believe in?

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brave_new_world
Whatever attracted you to the Quaker faith . . . . one of the things in your case was the silent worship . . . . requires a basic change from prior conduct and in the strict sense of the word, that becomes indoctrination.

It doesnt pay to assume too much when you dont (I make this mistake myself all the time). I actually enjoyed my silent bushwalks in australia and my silent meditations before I went to a quaker meeting.

When me and my girlfriend went to our first quaker meeting about 7 or eight months ago (we did a thread about it), we had no idea that it was going to be silent worship. We expected a priest (quakers have none). When no priest came and no ministry was spoken we were both delighted. We both appreciated silence before hand and because of this could appreciate the quaker meetings. We didnt have to change anything prior because we already both believed that silence was the greatest of all teachings via various different religious/philosophy books.

So how is it then that we had to make a basic change from prior conduct?

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Dr. D

So then religious/philosophical insight that is contemplated over and realized (personally) to be truth and put into practice is indoctrination?

If done independently and without affiliation, perhaps not. But if it is a basic alteration of prior behavior that becomes aligned with standard practices of a particular faith, then yes.

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brave_new_world
So then religious/philosophical insight that is contemplated over and realized (personally) to be truth and put into practice is indoctrination?

If done independently and without affiliation, perhaps not. But if it is a basic alteration of prior behavior that becomes aligned with standard practices of a particular faith, then yes.

Therefore affiliation doesnt have to happen with a religious body or movement. It could be from boy scouts or the army or one's atheist religious parents.

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Dr. D
Therefore affiliation doesnt have to happen with a religious body or movement. It could be from boy scouts or the army or one's atheist religious parents.

Since you referred to a "religious/philosophical insight" and I replied with a qualified "with standard practices of a particular faith," your point would be valid only if you consider the Boy Scouts, the Army or athiest parents to be a religion or faith.

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brave_new_world
Since you referred to a "religious/philosophical insight" and I replied with a qualified "with standard practices of a particular faith," your point would be valid only if you consider the Boy Scouts, the Army or athiest parents to be a religion or faith.

depends on your personal definition of religion. There are about as many definitions as there are people. In North Korea soldiers who act humane towards prisoners at camps get punished for doing so. Now their prior behaviour was to act humane but it had to change to suit the desires of the state. People are forced to have 'faith' in the state and if they speak out they are killed or sent to prison. No supernatural belief there but a doctrine nevertheless that is pushed onto people in the name of their pseduo-democracy or the dictator.

My girlfriend's father is a fanatical atheist who refuses to believe the latest psychological findings that meditation can help with stress (even though he thinks he is scientific). He accuses my girlfriend of being a religious fanatic because she is vegetarian. He wants her to change her prior views to suit his because he thinks they are better. Again there is no supernatural belief involved at all.

Also in case you didnt notice I wrote another post in response to you about how I came by the quaker silence and how I didnt have to change my prior behaviour. :)

Too my discredit I used boy scouts. I shouldnt have because I dont know anything about them other that they are an organization. I guess I meant that as an organization (and a good for at that for showing children good skills) they have at least the potential to ask that their members change prior behaviour to be part of it no matter how non-religious it may be.

Edited by brave_new_world

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Dr. D
depends on your personal definition of religion. There are about as many definitions as there are people. In North Korea soldiers who act humane towards prisoners at camps get punished for doing so. Now their prior behaviour was to act humane but it had to change to suit the desires of the state. People are forced to have 'faith' in the state and if they speak out they are killed or sent to prison. No supernatural belief there but a doctrine nevertheless that is pushed onto people in the name of their pseduo-democracy or the dictator.

My girlfriend's father is a fanatical atheist who refuses to believe the latest psychological findings that meditation can help with stress (even though he thinks he is scientific). He accuses my girlfriend of being a religious fanatic because she is vegetarian. He wants her to change her prior views to suit his because he thinks they are better. Again there is no supernatural belief involved at all.

Also in case you didnt notice I wrote another post in response to you about how I came by the quaker silence and how I didnt have to change my prior behaviour. :)

Too my discredit I used boy scouts. I shouldnt have because I dont know anything about them other that they are an organization. I guess I meant that as an organization (and a good for at that for showing children good skills) they have at least the potential to ask that their members change prior behaviour to be part of it no matter how non-religious it may be.

The Korean soldier does not see his superior officer as a divine entity. Rather than say that there are multiple forms to interpret religion, I sugges that faith is the one needing definition.

In the Old Testament the word faith appears less than five times and refers generally to a son's need to have faith in his father. In the New Testament, however, the word appears multiple times to offer an alternative to the inexplicable. The same word with polarized meanings.

Perhaps you worshipped in silence prior to becoming a Quaker and perhaps in your particular group that is not a requirement. I know, however, of Quaker groups that do demand silence in worship services. In those cases whether the person did not change his method of worship, it was not a requirement before but becomes one and that is indoctrination.

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MissMelsWell

Expat.. all I took exception to was calling me "heavily indoctrinated" when it comes to the context of the original post which had to do with religion and a belief in God.

If you want to call the lifestyle an indoctrination, you can do that (and I'd be happy to be called indoctrinated into a lifestyle, that's fine, it's an indoctrination I'm proud of I believe it to be socially responsible), but don't confuse it with an indoctrination into a religion. There is none in the RSOF--it would be quite impossible since there is no one specific doctrine, no creed, and no statement of faith. Like BNW brought up, there are also Atheists and Agnostics at my Meeting, not because they're religious, but because they believe in the lifestyle and social commitment. And well, maybe because they like potluck. LOL

And it's true, not all Quakers are pacifists, we have a couple of military men at my meeting, and you might be familier with the phrase "Fighting Quakers" ... another term for Free Quakers who do believe in military force as a last resort. Nathaniel Green of the US Revolutionary war was a Free Quaker, as was Betsy Ross.

It's a very personal belief system, it has no rules, except ones that help keep meetings respectful. Unlike BNW, we have very few noisy ministers at my meeting, my First Day meetings can go for months without anyone saying a darned thing. Monthly business meetings can get noisier which is to be expected. I haven't been to a business meeting in quite some time though (middle of the week, in mid-afternoon... pffft)

Perhaps what you really didn't like was my use of the word "ability" I'll rethink using that specific word again, I can see it clearly rubbed you the wrong way. You felt that I implied that someone with no ability was less than. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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ShaunZero
I'll restate what I said, though try in different terms.

For Christians, we don't "believe" God exists. for us, it is a fact of life (yes, we understand that not all people believe God exists, and for those that do, not all believe in the same God). But that is quite irrelevant. The point is that for a Christian God does exist. It is a solid fact.

Mathematics is also a solid fact. 2+2=4 is a known fact.

So when a Christian refers to both of these, what we mean is that to our own personal worldviews, the existence of God is as real as the facts of mathematics. It is an analogy to express to other people that what we believe (God) is not just "belief) but solid fact.

I don't think any Christian would say 2+2=4 and therefore God exists, but that is what I think you are trying to imply, is it Sheri?

What prerequisits did God meet in order for you to have considered him a fact?

I'd also have to say, that it does indeed sound sort of... illogical to say it is pure fact, even from a believers stand point. God is a fact to you, as much as leprechauns are a FACT to a person who believes they experienced one. That's put it more in a proper perspective in my opinion.

Edited by ShaunZero

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danielost
Because what the founding fathers wanted and penned is more in line with what Ripley just said than the stuff you come up with?

Pretty important matter.

I will be blunt. You cant have it the religious rights way. Wont happen. If it were up to them, this country would be just a different flavor of Iran. The same type religious zealots in control, the same hatred, the same evil in a different suit.

The founding fathers were smart enough to know that and created documentation to avoid that. To the unending consternation of falwell, robertson and the like...

Freedom is a two way street, the religious right wants a one way street with them as the traffic cops. Never going to happen.

I just thought of this. If you really want to know what the founding fathers wanted just look at the congress. The house of reps. Represents the majority of people. The senate represents the minorty the state. The founding fathers wanted both represented majority and minorty. But futher examination shows that almost everything in the house requires a majority vote. Where as almost everything in the senate requires a super majority vote. Then further to add to that list on the bill of rights it requires a super majority vote of the states themselves.

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Mr Walker
name='Lt_Ripley' date='Jul 13 2008, 01:20 AM' post='2390463']

it's not impossible . it just takes religion to keep it's nose out of government and stop thinking it has any right to it.

But of course, it does have a right to it, just like any other value system and any other social organisatiohn. Thats the thing about democracies, they are inclusive of all opinions and beliefs

I want my values seen in Government - like honor and honesty but yet haven't seen much of that in the last 20 years.

I can commiserate entirely but would go even further and say i have not seen much true morality or ethical basis to many govt decisions or many politicians. There are notable exceptions.

for example - you may not want abortion. that is your religious view / your values..... but then guess what ? don't have one. you have no right to dictate what someone else does ! it's that simple.

Again you are wrong .Govts dictate to people al lthe time. Where and when you can't drink. When and where you can carry a weapon. How much taxes you have to pay, and what those taxes will be used for. In a complex society the govt dictates most things for us. Its just that weve become so used to the system, and the benefits it provides, that we accept it.

A govt can ban abortions or allow them ,the same as it can ban gay marriages or allow them. It can even ban or allow the public consumption of alcohol

In a democracy those laws are passed with the consent of a majority and they are usually workable if a majority supports them physically and conceptually.

As you pointed out the best that may be offered is some protection to minorities but even this is conditional on public opinion.Two centuries ago it was normal legal and publically acceptable for women to be married and having kids at puberty(in some countries it still is) Today any man involved in such a marriage would face the full disapporoval of both the law and of society as a paedophile. Times, opinions and values change. People in any one time usually think there way is the best ever but history shows us things change. Even the united states constitution is subject to democratic change through due process.

you may not like gays ( or rather the sex they have ) well don't have gay s*e*x ! but you have no right to decide what 2 adults do and the right of marriage , Don't like gays getting married ? don't marry one.
As ive just pointed out society not only has a right to decide questions of morality it always does so. Sex is of particular interest to humans and so one of the most legislated and debated aspects of any society.

I don't like bible thumpers preaching ........... so I don't go to those services . problem solved. They fill up Sunday airwaves ......... I change the channel.

Now that is one difference between america and iran, and i agree wholeheartedly Tv puts on a lot of stuff i would never watch. Ichoose not to watch it but i dont begrudge them putting it on. However, if you were to suggest removing the religious programmes, i would object . I would also object if you removed programmes simply becuase they were explicitly sexual. Of course if they degraded, endangered or abused anyone in the making, of either type of programme, you have a different ball game

the way to get a government free of relgious bias is maybe enact a law against it ? make it criminal ? Judges , good ones anyway , put aside their personal beliefs and rule solely by law ................ and that is how government should be handled. Can't do that ? then you lose your job.

While you can build in some systemic safe guards you can't do this in practice.First because you cant actually identify bias, from logical opinion, and secondly because you will never know what is in the heart of a person. When a judge makes a decision you can not know what they are basing it on, and there is no way to find out.

And of course you nominate religious bias, but what about sexual bias, racial bias, age bias, education bias., athletic bias, ability to control temper bias, physical good looks bias, intelligence bias. All of these operate the same way as "religious bias". A lot of our beliefs are strongly held, yet subconscious.

And what is bias anyway.? Is it actually bias to employ a good looking young person in a sales job, if this will increase your sales potential. Is it biased not to want to employ a person on a team if they have trouble holding their temper? Is it biased wanting to get the most intelligent person for a job which requires this ability.

What ya gonna do? Sack everyone?

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Mr Walker
LOL, America is a fundamentalist christian country ruled and run by some neo conservatives, with a christian agenda of bringing about the second coming. As for being like Iran, you already are, you have president who is the public face, and behind him you have a the supreme leaders, the shadow goverment. Iran has a public president and ruled in reality by mullahs, like Khomeni, your both very similar.

If america became a fundamentalist christian country, I dont think it would be exporting, or making a lot of the TV programmes it presently does. I dont think gay marriages or abortions would be allowed. So whatever your fears, i dont think you can realistically argue that america is a fundi country ,just yet.

If you look at the demographics and social structure of america there is certainly a strong fundamentalist christian influence in central america and pockets of the east coast. However, the expanding population areas, and in particular the west coast, balance and out weigh, the fundamentalist christians, both in numbers and in influence.

A lot of the nominal christians in America are not strongly practicing christians, and certainly not fundamentalists, also.

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Mr Walker
I am not dowing the whole american nation, just the majority who would point at Australia and say lets bomb Iran now.

God, i sincerely hope not.

Never mind, even if your public and some politicians are that uneducated, i know your military personnel, and navigators in particular, are almost as good as aussie ones, so i still feel safe.

(Im sure they know the difference between iran and australia)

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brave_new_world
The Korean soldier does not see his superior officer as a divine entity. Rather than say that there are multiple forms to interpret religion, I sugges that faith is the one needing definition.

Kim Jong-il's official biography [1] states that he was born in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain (백두산) in northern Korea on February 16, 1942[2]. Official biographers claim that his birth at Baekdu Mountain was foretold by a swallow, and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain and a new star in the heavens. However, Soviet records show he was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, in 1941[3] where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles.

Kim Jong-il's mother, Kim Jong-suk, was Kim Il-sung's first wife. During his youth in the Soviet Union, Kim Jong-il was known as Yuri Irsenovich Kim (Юрий Ирсенович Ким), taking his patronymic from his father's Russified name, Ir-sen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il#Birth

Young Yuri’s birthday was pushed up a year to 1942 to coincide with the anniversary of his father’s 30th birthday. As Soviet birth was incompatible with eventual deification, Yuri’s birthplace was relocated to Mount Paektu, in northern Korea. And lo! A swallow foretold the birth of baby Kim Jong-il, and a double rainbow appeared over Mount Paektu (despite the fact that this was the dead of winter), and a new star adorned the heavens. Eventually, the humble log cabin in which Kim Jong-il was born was located. Long-lost trees were found which had slogans carved into them at the time of Kim Jong-il’s birth, proclaiming that he was destined to be his father’s successor. Deification of the rotund heir-apparent had begun in earnest.

http://www.pajamadeen.com/foreign-policy/n...nary-fairy-tale

Heaven forbid the poor soldier that may speak against this divine seeming birth of their leader. . . . :)

In the Old Testament the word faith appears less than five times and refers generally to a son's need to have faith in his father. In the New Testament, however, the word appears multiple times to offer an alternative to the inexplicable. The same word with polarized meanings.

Perhaps you worshipped in silence prior to becoming a Quaker and perhaps in your particular group that is not a requirement. I know, however, of Quaker groups that do demand silence in worship services.

I doubt there are any groups that demand absolute silence and dont make room for inspired ministry. And yes I did worship in silence before becoming a quaker and you dont have to believe in this way of worship to commune with them. One could speak their piece and leave if they wanted too. My point to you is that you cannot make blanket statements about religions you dont understand.

In those cases whether the person did not change his method of worship, it was not a requirement before but becomes one and that is indoctrination.

On this technicality though we can say that obeying the law is indoctrination because it requires me to change behaviour and social conduct. How it isnt indoctrination (pending on the government though) in the strong sense of inducing communism or the nicene creed. School likewise is indoctrination as it requires children to change many of their ways. A belief or doctrine doesnt have to be religious to be a belief or doctrine. In fact a doctrine can be anti-religious and be used to indoctrinate people. Like in red china for an example. People are liable to be killed, sent to prison or tortured etc if they are caught with a picture of the Dalai Lama in their house.

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Mr Walker
name='Expatriate' date='Jul 13 2008, 07:27 AM' post='2390807']

First, no need to apologize. I certainly recognize how difficult it sometimes is to remember who said what.

And they tell me it gets worse from here on, but it annoyed me because i usually check more carefully.

But doesn't this posture ignore the distinct possibility that a person could be extremely receptive but not perceive the source as the God you believe in? The very idea that God would only speak with those religiously connected with him defies the greater teachings of Jesus.

Perhaps i made it sound this way, but no i was referring to people who simply say "these things are impossible" I believe/know "god" is all around us (literally and physicallly) and i believe he should be accessible by all. It just seems that in practice there are categories of people, including some incapable of hearing him.

Certainly t i believe that god/the universe is constantly "speaking" and speaking to all who can/will listen and no you do not have to either believe in him at all or tobelieve in one version of him to experience him. I was a confirmed athiest/ active non believer when he forced his presence physically upon me,so i would never argue you have to believe to experience/hear god.

All will hear god in different ways, but if they hear him, they will pursue him in their own ways. Some might ignore his presence, but this does not explain those who claim never, ever, to have experienced the inexplicable.

[

b]I also try to respect others views. The only people i really have no time for are those who say, basically. "Your experiences are impossible, my experiences prove this."[/b]

Believe me, I would never make such a claim but I do conclude that there are alternatives to the black and white, God and No God posture.

Could you please explain such an alternative (or do you mean as i have already pointed out, that while real, and with all the attributes of a god, what i and other humans have experienced may not actually be a god?

If so, i fall back to my position that if you have a giraffe in your house, why waste time tring to convince people its actually a hippopotamus. People who experience the reality of this entity (even today) define it as god because of its powers and its interest in humanity. I might as well try to change the social/dictionary definiton of god as argue that it is not really a god.

Could this possibily be a fact that you have discovered in your life rather than an all encompassing fact of all life?

Im not entirely sure what you mean by this.

If there is actually a giraffe in my house, then it exists there as part of the universal reality, whether or not anyone else ever sees it or if they believe me or not.

However if the giraffe is merely a delusion/hallucination etc then it does not exist as part of the universal reality. In my case it is the former(and if you dont believe me, tough ive presented the many evidences too many times before)

However your point suggests something esle. What if im mistaken and it is not actually a giraffe but a hippo (or perhaps some other entity)This is always possible, but in practical terms irrelevantIf its a giraffe you dneed to extend your rof line, if its a hippo you need to get a bigger bath. ie you respond to the nature of the entity, not its nomenaclature.

And not perceiving God as you do . . . . yet not being a committed sinner of sorts . . . . I have been extremely blessed by whatever power that guides and protects me. I have achieved virtually all of the dreams of my life and an encompassed with a sense of contentment. I live very comfortably in a place of my choice. My professional life was extremely rewarding. With all of this "physical warmth and physical protection" and yet not perceiving God as do you, I am at a loss to understand the exclusive nature of your comment.

I get all that, but i get the physical interest and protection of god as well. He actually physically intervenes (changes the nature of matter and energy, physically materialises matter and energy into the real physical world, in order to make a difference.) ie he performs physical miracles like those in the bible and other religious texts.

This is the point at which other people either fail to comprehend what im talking abou,t or simply say. That is impossible.

But you see, it is not impossible. It is very real , and it is those experiences, and only those experiences multiplied many times, over many decades, which forced me to the realisation and accceptance of the physical reality of god. Once he had broken through my disbelief, it becan a lot easier and now we rub along fairly well,. But i KNOW that god has, and probably will continue to, warn me not only of specific dangers in the future, but also physically intervene to protect me from them (if that is what he wants)

By now if he chooses to let me die it doesnt matter because i would be dead many times, starting from specific memory/awareness at about 18 and on the last occasion about a year ago at the age of 56

I do not believe my experiences are exclusive, In fact i suspect that these same experiences are not only what so many texts like the bible are built around, as peple do their best to explain them in terms and concepts they can understand. but that god is doing exactly this for many peolpe right round the world today, and will continue to do so. Many people wisely keep their mouths shut. Others try to relate their experiences and are simply disbelieved

I do not even know if this is god, but as ive said many times if it has the powers abilities and interests of a god then it is safest sanest and most logical to treat it as if it is a god.

I am delighted to see this phrase and thank you for it.

Given my experiences how could i express my self any other way?

[Exactly what experiences are need to be led to God? Near death? Been there, done that . . . . purple hearts, Vietnam. Maybe events bringing extreme sadness or despair . . . . been there. Some spiritual awakening coming from a mysterious source? Hell, each time I walk on the beach or through the deep forests . . . .

I meant specifically, experiencing the physical reality of god. Particularly when it is experienced in a variety of forms, such as angels, miracles, and specific accurate visions of the future. Other experiences can shape belief, but those shape knowledge.

And exactly what "long contact record" does God have with humanity?

If/once the physical reality of "god" is established, one can look back at hthe history of humanity in a different light. Instead of just saying that humanity has been constructing god since we develped sentience, one can see another possibility. That god has been manifesting to man since sentience developed From cromagnon man to present man. Cultures of similar nature see/ interpret these manifestations in similar ways, so for example all the abrahamic sightings are described quite similarly. Othe rcultures experience/ interpret manifestations differently although light and beingsof light is common.

(Personally i think light is the easiest form of physical material to manipulate. Photons are the only material humans have so far managed to send through a matter transmitter, for example, so perhaps god finds this an efficient use of energy, and also an almost universally cuturally accepted symbol(light has long been a positive symbol in human history)

[Well, I have to confess that I have seen babies with their guts swollen from hunger . . . . I have seen man's unfathomable inhumanity . . . . I have seen African villages disappear within ten years because of AIDS. . . . I have seen 12-year-olds in Brasilia cut off their fingers so that people will give them more money when they beg . . . .

ANd what does this actually prove/ illustrate? You can provide as many example for the non existence of god as you like, but logically one simple proof of existence negates them. because you simply cant prove the non existence of anything.

Of course i appreciate that your concern is more with the nature of god, and why. if he exists, he does not do away with all ills. There are many possible answers to this, from the theological. to the philosophical. to the practical.. What it does do for me. is to inform me aboout the nature of god. and his relationship with humanity. Because i already know he exists, it cannot illustrate that he does not exist

And I am not particularly interested in hearing about how God works in mysterious ways. The truth is that I haven't seen him do much at all. It is pretty much like when Voltaire was planting a garden and the priest passed and said what a wonderful job Voltaire had done with the help of God. Voltiaire replied, "You should have seen this place when God had it to himself."

Thats very nteresting. You can take the quote in two ways. i originally thought voltaire was saying that in nature god had created a garden far surpassing anything he could create. Then i realised that neither fit voltaire's nature nor the point you were trying to make.

I then realised voltaire must have beeen trying to say that he had improved on god's design to make this beautiful garden. In fact, of course, this second idea also says a lot about the hubris of man in thinking an artificial creation is better than a natural one (either from god or from evolution)

It also says something about what man finds attractive, and why a controlled and landscaped form may appeal more than a natural one (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) Would voltaire still have found his garden more beautiful, i wonder, if he had the beauty of eden to compare it with?

I dont hink it was the best example for you to use to prove your point, especially when you talk about finding peace and beauty in the natural wonders of the world

Its not so much that they are mysterious(although in some ways that is a fair interpretation) There are many possible reasons. We do not know them for sure, although we can extrapolate possibilities from what god had said in various texts, and from how god acts.

Once you acknowledge the reality of god, then you have more time to explore the more intriguing questions about his form, functions, amd motivatins.

In my own life i "judge god"by how he treats me on a wider level I judge him by what the wise men and women of history have told us about him, as well as comparing the world he created (the one you admire so much) with the one man has created ( the one which causes you so much despair)

I dont want to sound like daniel, too much, but when you compare the two, you get a better idea of the relative natures of both god and man

But originally it was not meant to be like that. We were meant to be as god created us and nature.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Sherapy
depends on your personal definition of religion. There are about as many definitions as there are people. In North Korea soldiers who act humane towards prisoners at camps get punished for doing so. Now their prior behaviour was to act humane but it had to change to suit the desires of the state. People are forced to have 'faith' in the state and if they speak out they are killed or sent to prison. No supernatural belief there but a doctrine nevertheless that is pushed onto people in the name of their pseduo-democracy or the dictator.

My girlfriend's father is a fanatical atheist who refuses to believe the latest psychological findings that meditation can help with stress (even though he thinks he is scientific). He accuses my girlfriend of being a religious fanatic because she is vegetarian. He wants her to change her prior views to suit his because he thinks they are better. Again there is no supernatural belief involved at all.

Also in case you didnt notice I wrote another post in response to you about how I came by the quaker silence and how I didnt have to change my prior behaviour. :)

Too my discredit I used boy scouts. I shouldnt have because I dont know anything about them other that they are an organization. I guess I meant that as an organization (and a good for at that for showing children good skills) they have at least the potential to ask that their members change prior behaviour to be part of it no matter how non-religious it may be.

well if you consider homophobia a good skill for a child....*shrugs*

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brave_new_world
well if you consider homophobia a good skill for a child....*shrugs*

I didnt know boy scouts teach that. I just meant in general teaching kids how to survive in the woods and stuff.

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Sherapy
And they tell me it gets worse from here on, but it annoyed me because i usually check more carefully.

Perhaps i made it sound this way, but no i was referring to people who simply say "these things are impossible" I believe/know "god" is all around us (literally and physicallly) and i believe he should be accessible by all. It just seems that in practice there are categories of people, including some incapable of hearing him.

Certainly t i believe that god/the universe is constantly "speaking" and speaking to all who can/will listen and no you do not have to either believe in him at all or tobelieve in one version of him to experience him. I was a confirmed athiest/ active non believer when he forced his presence physically upon me,so i would never argue you have to believe to experience/hear god.

All will hear god in different ways, but if they hear him, they will pursue him in their own ways. Some might ignore his presence, but this does not explain those who claim never, ever, to have experienced the inexplicable.

[

Could you please explain such an alternative (or do you mean as i have already pointed out, that while real, and with all the attributes of a god, what i and other humans have experienced may not actually be a god?

If so, i fall back to my position that if you have a giraffe in your house, why waste time tring to convince people its actually a hippopotamus. People who experience the reality of this entity (even today) define it as god because of its powers and its interest in humanity. I might as well try to change the social/dictionary definiton of god as argue that it is not really a god.

Im not entirely sure what you mean by this.

If there is actually a giraffe in my house, then it exists there as part of the universal reality, whether or not anyone else ever sees it or if they believe me or not.

However if the giraffe is merely a delusion/hallucination etc then it does not exist as part of the universal reality. In my case it is the former(and if you dont believe me, tough ive presented the many evidences too many times before)

However your point suggests something esle. What if im mistaken and it is not actually a giraffe but a hippo (or perhaps some other entity)This is always possible, but in practical terms irrelevantIf its a giraffe you dneed to extend your rof line, if its a hippo you need to get a bigger bath. ie you respond to the nature of the entity, not its nomenaclature.

I get all that, but i get the physical interest and protection of god as well. He actually physically intervenes (changes the nature of matter and energy, physically materialises matter and energy into the real physical world, in order to make a difference.) ie he performs physical miracles like those in the bible and other religious texts.

This is the point at which other people either fail to comprehend what im talking abou,t or simply say. That is impossible.

But you see, it is not impossible. It is very real , and it is those experiences, and only those experiences multiplied many times, over many decades, which forced me to the realisation and accceptance of the physical reality of god. Once he had broken through my disbelief, it becan a lot easier and now we rub along fairly well,. But i KNOW that god has, and probably will continue to, warn me not only of specific dangers in the future, but also physically intervene to protect me from them (if that is what he wants)

By now if he chooses to let me die it doesnt matter because i would be dead many times, starting from specific memory/awareness at about 18 and on the last occasion about a year ago at the age of 56

I do not believe my experiences are exclusive, In fact i suspect that these same experiences are not only what so many texts like the bible are built around, as peple do their best to explain them in terms and concepts they can understand. but that god is doing exactly this for many peolpe right round the world today, and will continue to do so. Many people wisely keep their mouths shut. Others try to relate their experiences and are simply disbelieved

Given my experiences how could i express my self any other way?

I meant specifically, experiencing the physical reality of god. Particularly when it is experienced in a variety of forms, such as angels, miracles, and specific accurate visions of the future. Other experiences can shape belief, but those shape knowledge.

If/once the physical reality of "god" is established, one can look back at hthe history of humanity in a different light. Instead of just saying that humanity has been constructing god since we develped sentience, one can see another possibility. That god has been manifesting to man since sentience developed From cromagnon man to present man. Cultures of similar nature see/ interpret these manifestations in similar ways, so for example all the abrahamic sightings are described quite similarly. Othe rcultures experience/ interpret manifestations differently although light and beingsof light is common.

(Personally i think light is the easiest form of physical material to manipulate. Photons are the only material humans have so far managed to send through a matter transmitter, for example, so perhaps god finds this an efficient use of energy, and also an almost universally cuturally accepted symbol(light has long been a positive symbol in human history)

ANd what does this actually prove/ illustrate? You can provide as many example for the non existence of god as you like, but logically one simple proof of existence negates them. because you simply cant prove the non existence of anything.

Of course i appreciate that your concern is more with the nature of god, and why. if he exists, he does not do away with all ills. There are many possible answers to this, from the theological. to the philosophical. to the practical.. What it does do for me. is to inform me aboout the nature of god. and his relationship with humanity. Because i already know he exists, it cannot illustrate that he does not exist

Thats very nteresting. You can take the quote in two ways. i originally thought voltaire was saying that in nature god had created a garden far surpassing anything he could create. Then i realised that neither fit voltaire's nature nor the point you were trying to make.

I then realised voltaire must have beeen trying to say that he had improved on god's design to make this beautiful garden. In fact, of course, this second idea also says a lot about the hubris of man in thinking an artificial creation is better than a natural one (either from god or from evolution)

It also says something about what man finds attractive, and why a controlled and landscaped form may appeal more than a natural one (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) Would voltaire still have found his garden more beautiful, i wonder, if he had the beauty of eden to compare it with?

I dont hink it was the best example for you to use to prove your point, especially when you talk about finding peace and beauty in the natural wonders of the world

Its not so much that they are mysterious(although in some ways that is a fair interpretation) There are many possible reasons. We do not know them for sure, although we can extrapolate possibilities from what god had said in various texts, and from how god acts.

Once you acknowledge the reality of god, then you have more time to explore the more intriguing questions about his form, functions, amd motivatins.

In my own life i "judge god"by how he treats me on a wider level I judge him by what the wise men and women of history have told us about him, as well as comparing the world he created (the one you admire so much) with the one man has created ( the one which causes you so much despair)

I dont want to sound like daniel, too much, but when you compare the two, you get a better idea of the relative natures of both god and man

But originally it was not meant to be like that. We were meant to be as god created us and nature.

MW, I think Ex. is pointing out that how does one determine that one is experincing god and one isn't .....its a very valid inquiry and one that is worth the investigation......

for all this talk of keeping ones mind open i am not seeing evidence of this....its being imposed that one is sensitive to a certain feature of ones enviornment if it behaves differently according to the presence or absence of the feature ( most god theories follow this line) .....as soon as we pass beyond the simplistic answer and question phase the definition of possessing a certain knowledge via a specified behavior demands the consideration of 'purpose' and 'intent"....

as Ex is addressing....

IMO, If we are completely certain of a proposition we do not seek a ground to support our beleif ..if its so self evident as it seems that god sightings are touted in the alleged beleif , what we imply is that doubt has crept in and that our self evident proposal has not wholly resisted the assaults of skeptisism .....

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