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I Lost (faith) and Found (reality)

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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 9:06:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2012 9:19:42 PM PDT
paethos says:
I did not claim that morals are either subjective or objective; I claimed that the description WORSE is subjective, as in these morals are WORSE than those morals. You should read more carefully; it may help if you calm down.

No, it was not clear that you were speaking of first world morals, as it was you, after all, who introduced North Korea into the forum. North Korea is not a first world country the last time I checked. And whether or not the morals of the first world today are infinitely superior to those of the Bible is an opinion. Would you claim that it was morally superior for the first world to either participate, or stand by and watch, as the "coalition of the willing" leveled the country of Iraq based on obvious lies, than it was for any leveling of any particular tribe or people in the Bible? Please explain how the first world acted, in this instance, in a morally superior way to the Jewish people who slaughtered all the tribes they found occupying the Promised Land. Again, to claim that first world morals (whatever you think those may be, as I see no evidence to suggest that the members of the first world agree on what is morally right or wrong; the death penalty comes to mind as something that the members of the first world disagree on the morality of) is self-serving, if you do, indeed, agree with the morals of the first world.

Are you asking a question or making a statement when you type "god doesn't have to do anything". Either way, this seems to be the point of my original question: why do you believe that God is obligated to do anything for anyone? You want to keep bringing the question back to whether or not God is amoral, immoral, or a sociopath; yet none of these descriptions have anything to do with whether or not God is obligated to do anything for anyone. That you want to believe that God, which is boundless, is capable of morality, at all, is a personal choice. It is also a personal choice to get angry at God for not being what you want God to be, which is bounded by human standards, which God is not.

I also would be interested to see which evidence of the Universe it is that shows us that God does not exist. As far as I can tell, it is the atheists who keep insisting that they cannot be expected to prove God not to exist (which they can't, by the way), but that it is the theists who are expected to prove that God does exist. Does not the belief that the evidence of the Universe shows that God does not exist, in relation with the claim that such evidence cannot be supplied as it is impossible to prove that something does not exist, demonstrate that your belief that God does not exist is merely an idealogical position?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 9:32:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2012 9:34:42 PM PDT
TN says:
<<Dr H says:
Tn sez:
Muslims slit infidels' throat with glee. And are proud to show such scenes on videos, with their faces hidden of course.
As opposed to Christians who are happy to murder people in public, with their faces exposed?>>

Murderers can't possibly be a Christian. A CINO perhaps.

Honestly, due to your above statement, your self-professed title "Dr." lost all its honorific meaning. Any person who can't apply properly a simple definition (Christian = follower of Christ AKA Jesus) or who twists meaning of words, loses all his credibility with me. Observe that I didn't care enough to rebutt other trivial posts, but that one above was the last straw.

Disclosure: I'm far from being a xian. I think of myself as a philosopher, a person looking for knowledge.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 10:30:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2012 3:42:17 PM PDT
Dr H
you said: "I have, however, spent a great deal of time conversing with people who claim to be concerned with my spiritual well-being, who desire to steer me into everything from "a personal relationship with Jesus" to "a realization of Higher Self." I am (I think, understandably) leary of such approaches, and that combined with a naturally sarcastic nature sometimes makes it appear that I am out to shred someone when, really, all I am asking them to do is explain themselves more clearly.

Probably you have caught some of this flack from me, but don't worry: it's non-lethal."

Hmm, let me be clear I am not attempting to "take care" of you or "fix" you. You are in your own stage in life's development and I do not wish to interfere with that. I have enough stuff over here to be focusing on. That said, that doesn't mean I'm not concerned with your "spiritual well-being", but it's also not "my job". I do understand that you are leary. I am very similar in regards to those who profess to know it all in regard to the "Truth". I do, however, believe that human beings vary so much that what is mysterious or absurd to one is undeniable to another.

you also said: You associate your depression with meditation?

Yes and no. I had always been so busy and constantly distracting myself before "meditating" (just sitting down and watching my breath at first) that I was able to suppress parts of my psyche. Meditation just opened a lot of "stuff" up. It's been 5 years and I'm still working on this stuff. I may, to some degree, for my whole life. But the benefits far outweigh ignoring and suppressing the broken and self-destructive parts of one's psyche. Contrary to how many are raised to live.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 11:22:06 PM PDT
brunumb says:
paethos: "You are, the same as Andre, anthropormorphizing God, and expecting God the be bound by the same morals, traditions, and laws that humans have created."

Well, he did allegedly create us in his image.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 11:27:08 PM PDT
brunumb says:
All the attributes of your God have been provided by you. There is nothing, repeat nothing, to show that any being with any of the attributes you describe actually exists. Inventing gods with superpowers is easy. People have been doing it for millennia.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 12:09:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2012 12:10:01 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
p: It is you who failed to read for comprehension. I brought in N Korea as an example of the kind of TYRANNY that is at the heart of religion.

Further, that some areas of international politics, a notoriously amoral field, isn't to your liking, well, there's always a few exceptions that prove the rule. Consider how many rare such events are, relative to the times when religions held sway, and wars went on for decades without end. We've come a long way, bay-bee, and religion fought each step of progress. That is additional evidence that religion = BAD morals.

When I said 'god doesn't have to do anything', I was using that as a starting point to explore what such a passivity would mean. Choices carry consequences, even for a claimed deity. A deity with power and knowledge to stop genocides, and which chose not to help, would EARN the consequence of being rightly viewed as being itself amoral. IOW, NOT a good role model for anyone wishing to live with GOOD morals.

No one can make a case for a deity being a role model for morals, and which sits by and does nothing to help millions, even billions of victims of evil.
Such a deity would be a callous monster.

As for the Universe, the more we learn, the more UNNECESSARY a deity figure is. There is literally no evidence that one exists, none that it did anything, and again, were one to be real, this would speak mightily to the amorality and evil of such a deity, one that chose to hide it's existence.

Until believers can pony up some positive evidence that their deity exists, such claims are 100% dismissable for being of zero basis of fact. That is also why you reject Zeus and Odin.

-I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.-

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 5:36:44 AM PDT
A customer says:
Philip. :-)

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 5:58:03 AM PDT
Rubedo says:
"Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know." - Alan Watts

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 7:13:56 AM PDT
A customer says:
Jeremy, the only foundation is Love and when you are in Love then you see it flowing through all of Life.

We may say God is Love and Jesus is God, and that's all fine. In that sense I'm a believer in Jesus, God, etc. I also believe in you. I truly do. But when we make Love into a belief system, the image of a person, when we mould Love into an image that cannot be reached besides through a belief system then we have strayed from the heart center and moved to the head...or at the very least we remain a two-headed beast, a divided kingdom as you may prefer, when we live that way.

The Kingdom of God isn't within believers and non-believers, but rather in ALL of us. Some of us have strayed further from our Father's house (and we have all been the wayward son), venturing deep into our self-created miserable hells, but there has never been any judgment by the Father, just as the Sun ever shines down on us "unconditionally".

All we need is Love. "Without Love You are Nothing".

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 7:26:17 AM PDT
Nancy, how do you know there is a "lower self" and a "higher self"?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 7:27:11 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
Jeremy, I know because I've experienced it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 8:15:47 AM PDT
You believe because you've experienced it. Your experiences are what you measure reality by. You have faith in yourself.

Several questions follow:
Are your experiences trustworthy?
How did you decided that they ARE trustworthy?
How do you know that such IS the best way to determine that said experiences ARE trustworthy?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 8:34:20 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
Jeremy, when you've experienced something you don't have to believe it, you know it. You're absolutely right, I have faith in myself and in my own experiences. Your point?

To answer your questions, I have learned to observe, to watch my responses and to recognize patterns. Through that process I have come to have confidence in my experiences, to trust my responses to them. It's not the experiences, it's how I use them, how I see them, that counts.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 10:56:16 AM PDT
AxeGrrl says:
Jeremy Crockett wrote: "Are your experiences trustworthy?
How did you decided that they ARE trustworthy?
How do you know that such IS the best way to determine that said experiences ARE trustworthy?"

Have you ever posed those questions to people who claim to have had an 'experience' with God, Jeremy?

Since they'd be _equally_ apt in those situations.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 12:30:40 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Sophie :

I would put the breakdown of academies down to economic decline. While there is demand, there will be education, and they had no trouble going on in the Eastern Roman Empire but in less pagan form.

I am not too concerned about pagan temples. If there had been historical preservation societies, they would undoubtedly have fared better. But a lot of people were scandalized by Hermes' hard-ons, so maybe his stuff would not have done so well.

Christian Franks were not too worried about their souls to stop the Moors. I think the internal rot of the Roman Empire has to be traced to other sources, such as the legitimacy problem and the general degree of struggle for the spoils of holding title in the empire, not to mention the problem of a slavery-based economy in finding growth. There are some arguments that Christianity undermined the Empire, but I am not aware of evidence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 1:59:40 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
AxeGrrl -

"does anyone know _why_ the animal being conscious-while-slaughtered is one of the 'rules'?"

Just guessing, to cut down on sale of meat from sick animals. These days it would be better to allow some sort of anesthetization, if it can be done without chemical contamination, because trauma is not really so good for the state of the meat. Too much adrenaline in the meat. And then there is the cruelty issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 11:13:46 AM PDT
AG -- Have you ever posed those questions to people who claim to have had an 'experience' with God, Jeremy?

Absolutely. We all need to ask those questions. They're not "Christian questions" in the sense that they're questions which Christians are "supposed" to ask, they're just reasonable questions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 3:50:32 PM PDT
For many years. I sought to believe in god, but had trouble with every group I tried. My main reason was a disagreement I had with God. Everyone says when someone dies that God took them. god felt he shoud kill my father when I was two, and as I grew, I felt he was wrong so we did not speak. I had an empty spot deep inside me I could not fill. At various times, I was Southern Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodise, Free Methodist and even Roman Catholic. I have the equivalent of a degree in Comparative Religion. Finally, I found Wicca. It was like coming home. I have known many wonderful neo-pagans who consider you part of a huge family. They do not glad hand you on Sunday morning and ignore you or look down on you the other six days. NO comic book character in a red suit controls me, and no peacenik is going to protect me. I am totally responsible for my life and actions. Why to the Christ gang want to deny us what they demand for themselves, the right to worship as we believe? Blessed Be and Merry Met.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 7:59:26 PM PDT
How I lost my faith...I honestly wonder if I ever had it. I used to question the "wisdom" of my ministers all the time. I understood even as a 6 year old that yes, they had a lot of training. I did not understand, however, why they could not tell me why there were so few women "heroes" in the bible, that men were the only focus. That always bothered me. They couldn't adequately explain why eating a piece of fruit was bad, or why snakes took the blame, especially since I always adored snakes. Or why....woman was the one considered the weak one. So, I asked why women were considered less important than men. They would say the bible didn't say that. But, it did.

Then I got older. I witnessed the popular kids picking on a mentally handicapped girl, someone who was very sweet if a bit slow. The pervert youth minister (I'll get to him in a minute) would do nothing, nor would the other "adult chaperons". I was forced by mother to take a hell trip to Atlanta in 1994 for some stupid Lutheran gathering...where again I witnessed "christians" making fun of others who were at all different. Again, my church "chaperons" refused to stop them. So much for "loving faith" or "acceptance".

Then, in 1995, my pervert youth minister got arrested for sleeping with a 14 year old prostitute in Florida. I told mother she could kick me out, but I was finished with church. I'd lost faith in the establishment years before....but this made it official. I learned that the christian god wasn't watching his priests. The scandals started heating up a few years later with the Catholic church....and I was glad to finally see them outed for their evil. Rape is evil.

I was once asked by a bible thumping divinity school attendee to define evil. I said "Why should I bother, you will attempt to define it as going against the wishes of 3000 year old, dead, perverted, mushroom eating men". He did not like that answer. I then told him rape was evil. Genocide was evil. Slavery was evil. Murder was evil. He said those were acts, and could not define evil. I said...."Yes...they do define evil" and I stand by that statement.

I have seen a lot of evil and a lot of good, oddly enough sometimes from the same person. I never did wander back to the sheepfold. I am no sheep...I am a goat....stubborn and need to be led. I've read the bible and I found it disgusting, not educational. It condones murder, incest and slavery, as well as keeping women in the inferior place. No thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 8:05:34 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Jennifer, as one goat to another, welcome to this discussion. I've never aspired (is that the right word?) to be a sheep, because I don't bow to authority and I don't want to be protected from the world. I am my own authority, and I'll create my own path to the mountain top, but no sheepfolds for me! Maybe I'll see you on the way up?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 5:28:26 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
Hi Jennifer. I think for many of us it was never a question of "losing faith" as much as finally getting to a point where we realize that continuing to pretend to believe something is an exercise in futility.

Your experiences represent so much of the hypocritical nature of organized religion. That so many continue to follow the doctrines of these structures, I used to find amazing. But when taken in view of all the other nonsensical things that people manage to believe, I suppose it should not be considered so outlandish.

I will join you and Nancy at the goat party. Probably a little mule thrown in.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 11:14:06 AM PDT
Dr H says:
D. Robinson sez:
How can there be good outside of the Creator Himself?
How can there not be?

Life is not worth living without GOD,
I dunno, it's been pretty good for me, so far.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 11:33:52 AM PDT
Dr H says:
AxeGrrl sez:
I'm curious.....does anyone know _why_ the animal being conscious-while-slaughtered is one of the 'rules'?

Nancy Davison sez:
I have no idea. I don't even know who to ask about such a thing.
Well, I asked a Rabbi. He referred me to this article:

The key part is this:

"These methods are contrary to Jewish law, because an animal intended for food must be healthy and uninjured at the time of shechita. The above stunning methods injure the animal, making it treifa (non-kosher and thus prohibited). If the stunning kills the animal it makes it neveila (an animal which has not been shechted) and is forbidden as food for Jews."

IOW, if the animal is not conscious, it is more difficult to tell if the animal is uninjured (or already dead), and it therefore can't be guaranteed to be kosher.

In context, this makes sense to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 11:38:28 AM PDT
Dr H says:
Jeremy Crockett sez:
Astral projection is self-hypnosis and spiritual counterfeiting.
I''ll buy the "self-hypnosis" part.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 11:40:53 AM PDT
Dr H says:
Jeremy Crockett sez:
That is the problem of any religion.
It's good that we can agree on that point,

We need to build our faith upon the only true rock there is; Jesus Christ Himself. All others are deceptive paths that lead to destruction.
... because we're never going to agree on that one.
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