Bryan & Anthony, Seventh Day Adventists… Kinda |404|

#61
David wrote:
"Like you, I left Christianity early on, and I certainly don't intend to return, but yes - we seem to have lost our way without it. For example, without the authority of Christianity, we have vested enormous authority in science, and a few other institutions, that have proved totally corruptible."


Exactly. Since a scientific explanation for Creation continues to elude us, this was the very reason I have returned to the notion of the existance of an accessible all powerful Creator Being. The instructions for gaining access and getting no less than sometimes miraculous results for remedying needs or problems I could find only in the Gospels of Jesus. Well, there might be a way to fix a problem via the occult but I refuse to trade possible eternal Spiritual salvation for anything that might be offered by the Darkness.
 
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#62
David wrote:
"Like you, I left Christianity early on, and I certainly don't intend to return, but yes - we seem to have lost our way without it. For example, without the authority of Christianity, we have vested enormous authority in science, and a few other institutions, that have proved totally corruptible."


Exactly. Since a scientific explanation for Creation continues to elude us, this was the very reason I have returned to the notion of the existance of an accessible all powerful Creator Being. The instructions for gaining access and getting no less than sometimes miraculous results for remedying needs or problems I could find only in the Gospels of Jesus. Well, there might be a way to fix a problem via the occult but I refuse to trade possible eternal Spiritual salvation for anything that might be offered by the Darkness.
Well look, if you have gained contentment from Christianity, I don't want to disturb you (so click Alt-F4 now) , but honestly, I don't agree.

To me, the greatest satisfaction comes from trying to be as honest as possible with incomplete information. Therefore remaining open to various possibilities is important - which is certainly what Skeptiko provides! I mean, even talking about a trade off between different beliefs seems to miss the point. The problem is that you can postulate anything - including an "accessible all powerful Creator Being" - and even they come in a whole variety of flavors (and I am not trying to be flippant). The fact is that the NDE evidence only males a rough match with Christianity, and other evidence such as the reincarnation evidence - which seems rather strong - moves us in a whole new direction, which seems to make more sense. I mean why does an infinitgely powerful being ned to test people on earth - people who he is supposed to have made - and then find some wanting. If you look at that story with clear eyes - does it sound realistic?

My view is that believing anything, unless you have overwhelming evidence, is a mistake. Why would anyone want to believe in a God that sent people to earth to experience an incredible range of possible lives, and then subject them to hell if they didn't come up to scratch? It really is more like something from a fantasy comic :(

David
 
#63
Well look, if you have gained contentment from Christianity, I don't want to disturb you (so click Alt-F4 now) , but honestly, I don't agree.

To me, the greatest satisfaction comes from trying to be as honest as possible with incomplete information. Therefore remaining open to various possibilities is important - which is certainly what Skeptiko provides! I mean, even talking about a trade off between different beliefs seems to miss the point. The problem is that you can postulate anything - including an "accessible all powerful Creator Being" - and even they come in a whole variety of flavors (and I am not trying to be flippant). The fact is that the NDE evidence only males a rough match with Christianity, and other evidence such as the reincarnation evidence - which seems rather strong - moves us in a whole new direction, which seems to make more sense. I mean why does an infinitgely powerful being ned to test people on earth - people who he is supposed to have made - and then find some wanting. If you look at that story with clear eyes - does it sound realistic?

My view is that believing anything, unless you have overwhelming evidence, is a mistake. Why would anyone want to believe in a God that sent people to earth to experience an incredible range of possible lives, and then subject them to hell if they didn't come up to scratch? It really is more like something from a fantasy comic :(

David
Actually David, I think we are in Hell. I don't believe it gets worse than here on Earth except maybe for a very evil few. I'll bet most people during some overwhelming episode in their lives have contemplated suicide, myself included. But a tearful consultation with the Eternal One brought me to control of myself as the realization of the importance of my survival for the sake of my children dawned on me. I thank God for me having been there to provide my kids with the finances for their education and eventual qualification for good jobs. And a chance to get to know four beautiful and thank God anatomically complete and normal grandchildren. I believe I was blessed David, for we know the thousands of misfortunes that are possible. A bit of Faith is helpful along the path of life, I believe.
 
#64
Here’s the issue with that imo. Yes people seem to experience Jesus during NDEs, but there’s a lot to consider regarding this.

1) A Christian may have an NDE and encounter a being of light or other human looking entity, feel some love, and conclude that it MUST be Jesus. Then they tell everybody that they met Jesus.

2) That said, some people do report seeing a being which actually looks like our conception of Jesus. And some may actually be told (I don’t know) that they are encountering Jesus. I’m not going to sit here and say that I know that these people aren’t actually encountering the spirit of Jesus (whatever that means), perhaps they are. But this only occurs in Western societies, or if it occurs in somebody in the East, that person had been exposed to Christianity in the past. At least according to my research, this is the case. If more thorough academic research comes out which shows this wrong, I’m happy to ammend my position on it.

3) Here on Earth we know through quantum physics, the placebo effect, and the psi research that our thoughts affect matter here. However, what NDErs and Astral travelers tell us is that when we visit other realms free from our body, our ability to manipulate our surroundings is enhanced majorly. Jurgen Ziewe likens our nervous system to a container which holds all of our subconscious thoughts in a container. We can allow some thoughts out of the container if we want. But when we go to some of these other NDE/OBE realms, it seems that the container is gone and that our consciousness and subconsciousness spills into our surroundings, and can help shape our reality. This helps explain why there are so many cultural differences in NDEs, despite the similarities.

For these reasons, I’m wary of people using Jesus in NDEs as evidence backing Christianity. But I have to be honest and say that it doesn’t hurt their case. But the fact that Easterners don’t seem to experience Jesus doesn’t help their case much at all. Neither does some of the other points I raised above.

I also think it’s possible that Jesus was/is spiritually advanced or powerful and that all of this consensual conscious focus on him has made the experiences of him more powerful (wild speculation here), and that people are actually encountering him, but this doesn’t make all of the Bible true.
Jesus is an archetype, so when nders see Jesus it's an energy signature manifesting to how that person sees and likens Jesus.
 
#65
I think it is better to see that human imagination crafts the divine as it can. The potter will shape the clay as he will, but it will always be clay. Its the substance and not the form that matters. If we imagine the divine poorly what we end up with has limited value. So if we imagine a God with needs and attributes that we desire it to have then they become the filters through which the divine will flow.

However it is not correct to say that "deities are made from man's imaginations". It is better to say that 'deities are formed in man's imaginations' - but, even so, that is still not wholly accurate. There are fundamental aspects of the divine that have their own relative 'wholeness' - they are of the One, not as the One. Their actual nature is beyond the capacity of human imagination - so to the extent that we can know them we can imagine only pale imitations (imaginations) that are crafted from what we know.

And in the absence of 'rational' knowledge of the gods we tell myths so that intuition and inspiration can fuse with imagination to give us something that has meaning - even if scantily comprehended. We aid that weak understanding by making rituals and rites that intensify our engagement. We tell moral tales that denote our idealised engagement with the sacred - and when that goes awry.

The advent of humanistic atheism and materialism disrupted that natural human process. But, now, as scientific thought is progressively recognising a trans-rational component of our reality, we are moving back toward acknowledging mythos as a valid and essential element of our psyches. This is reflected in the themes of movies, for example. We hunger for a medium by which we can know the divine and the sacred.

We need a capacity to imagine the divine in ways that are harmonious with the sacred, rather than reflective of the human ego. But that is always a problem -balancing ego and yearning for the divine. That's why religion has a bad name in our culture - the balance is out of whack. In the abandonment of religion we imagined that there was no higher expression of intelligence than human intellect. Unfortunately that sublime hubris mingled with a native instinct for religion and bred the idiocy that dominates our culture. It will pass, eventually.
I mostly agree it's obvious you delved in magick and the occult. You mentioned it before I believe? I'm noticing the fan favorite archetype lately is lucifer, the energy that represents light, intellect, reason and rebellion. It's my favorite archetype personally. Just seen a post from a least expecting source post a few passages about lucifer.
 
#66
Actually David, I think we are in Hell. I don't believe it gets worse than here on Earth except maybe for a very evil few. I'll bet most people during some overwhelming episode in their lives have contemplated suicide, myself included. But a tearful consultation with the Eternal One brought me to control of myself as the realization of the importance of my survival for the sake of my children dawned on me. I thank God for me having been there to provide my kids with the finances for their education and eventual qualification for good jobs. And a chance to get to know four beautiful and thank God anatomically complete and normal grandchildren. I believe I was blessed David, for we know the thousands of misfortunes that are possible. A bit of Faith is helpful along the path of life, I believe.
Well I'd be happy to take my chances with a reincarnation when my time comes!

The problem is, that you can't really thank God for your own good fortune, when you know full well there are fervent Christians who have suffered all sorts of misfortunes (not least having their kids abused by priests).

I guess Skeptiko is about taking a more grown up view of life. I don't know why we are here - though I am pretty sure that the 'why' question has an ultimate answer - we are not just accidents.

Relating back to what you have written, one of the persistent messages from those who have had a glimpse beyond, is that we create our own lives to a much greater degree than we think. Thus your "tearful consultation with the Eternal One" may have stopped a destructive process within you, and helped you, regardless of what exactly that experience was. You need to remember that there are more religions on Earth than Christianity, and there have been plenty of people leave Christianity for totally ethical reasons - not least the pedophilia and attempts to cover it up.

So look, I don't want to dismiss or belittle the experience that turned your life around, but you need to realise that the truth is more complex than that. As I said before, this forum is obviously about exploring all sorts of spiritual ideas, and I am not sure if that is right for everyone.

David
 
#67
Maybe we should organize society round a set of stories - such as Hamlet - that tell us something important. The stories would have to have been enjoyed as pieces of fiction - not contrived to make moral points.
Turn your telly on and go to movies. For the most part our stories tell us important things - sadly they are embedded in so much crap the virtuous elements are barely worth the suffering. But, then, there are some great stories too - just not a lot in an age when accountants and focus groups decide what gets released.

I love movies of the 50s and earlier when violence was brief, chases were short and sex was merely hinted at. That left time for decent dialogue and an interesting and engaging story. These days violence is interminable and graphic, chases are elaborate and interminable, and sex is graphic elaborate and interminable. The plot seems like ad breaks in an orgy of pointless sensuality - and it sonly function is to string the sensationalistic episodes together.

I am tempted to say that I would prefer a contrived moral point - indeed any point that's not a weapon, vehicle or penis.
 
#68
Like you, I left Christianity early on, and I certainly don't intend to return, but yes - we seem to have lost our way without it. For example, without the authority of Christianity, we have vested enormous authority in science, and a few other institutions, that have proved totally corruptible.
Once you take moral authority out of the cosmos you are left with self-interest in all its permutations. William Gairdner's The Book of Absolutes is the best antidote I have come across. Its not an easy read, but I know of no other comparable argument against moral relativism. I finished the book and had no clue at all what Gairdner's religious thought might be. That was a damned fine achievement.

We exited God and put human intellect at the apex of evolution. You need only a scant appreciation of philosophy, religion and science to get how idiotically perilous that act was. Of course it was going to end horribly.

I am no fan of the Christian notion of God. I use the word only because it excites familiarity and I do not want quibble about words and meaning pointlessly.
 
#69
but christianity is an especially interesting case study.
Whether we like it or not, Christianity is the bedrock of Western culture. But whether it is the cause or the vehicle of evolutionary change (and not in a Darwinian way) is another matter. We can't understand our history without understanding Christianity. And we can't understand Christianity without understanding religion - and almost nobody does. That's a problem.
 
#70
Well, there might be a way to fix a problem via the occult but I refuse to trade possible eternal Spiritual salvation for anything that might be offered by the Darkness.
I don't know what you mean by 'the occult' here. If you mean the usual hatchet job done by Christian apologists you have a choice between being fair minded and using misleading doctrine as a shield from an non-existent enemy.

I think we all need to find a safe place on which to stand - and from which we can project moral and intellectual character. What we find as our safe place should not be subject to criticism from others. They are not us.

From that safe place we can inquire freely. That is how so many great scientific discoveries have been made - by men of deep faith exploring beyond the city walls of dogma and propaganda. That takes a certain trust in your spiritual protection. For me, that trust is discouraged by faith traditions that engender fear and suspicion of ideas that are different and contradictory - and which threaten the authority of those who presume authority and power and status.

The 'occult' isn't a thing a part. The word means 'hidden' and denotes knowledge not rely available. That includes the very essence of Christianity. If you don't have the ears to hear or the eyes to see then what you can't discern is 'occulted'. The word has come to mean a whole bunch of lurid stuff - much of which is complete fiction - shameless lies and utter misrepresentation. But it also includes dark and immoral things no right minded person should engage with.

The 'Occult' has suffered on two fronts. The doctrinaire aversions of Christianity that are rooted in the slandering of paganism as the Church strove to distinguish itself from the cultures in which it was developing. It adopted elements it needed and condemned the rest. Maintaining that distinction been the aim of the Church because without it, its authority would be weakened. The Church called Jesus's acts 'miracles', but in other cultures the same acts were magic. So the distinction was crafted - miracles came from God and magic from the Devil. That is not true, but it created the divide the Church needed.

The second front was materialistic science. It had no truck with the 'Occult' at all and under any circumstances and bagged it out at every opportunity. So the whole subtle side of nature went underground.

In a strange way two apparent enemies - religion and science - ganged up on a third way of knowing - fusion of both.

There are moral issues with the 'Occult' as there are moral issues with everything - eating, driving, sex, business, politics and on and on. In everything there are the sins and the virtues.

Its one thing to find your safe place and establish a presence there. Its another to put a blanket over your head and pretend the only good place is under the blanket.
 
#71
I don't know what you mean by 'the occult' here. If you mean the usual hatchet job done by Christian apologists you have a choice between being fair minded and using misleading doctrine as a shield from an non-existent enemy.
Actually, I have reason to believe the enemy does exist, Micheal; and I have seen what "It" can do to a person under it's influence. and it's effect on that person when he or she from time to time relinquishes their body to that hateful entity. Even St. Peter could fall under it's influence. Please see: Matthew 16:23. In fact anyone can become subject. No doubt you've heard the phrase, "I don't know what got into me..." as they regret a fit of rage, a lie, a murder or other act that was harmful or hurtful and is often irreparable.
 
#72
Turn your telly on and go to movies. For the most part our stories tell us important things - sadly they are embedded in so much crap the virtuous elements are barely worth the suffering. But, then, there are some great stories too - just not a lot in an age when accountants and focus groups decide what gets released.

I love movies of the 50s and earlier when violence was brief, chases were short and sex was merely hinted at. That left time for decent dialogue and an interesting and engaging story. These days violence is interminable and graphic, chases are elaborate and interminable, and sex is graphic elaborate and interminable. The plot seems like ad breaks in an orgy of pointless sensuality - and it sonly function is to string the sensationalistic episodes together.

I am tempted to say that I would prefer a contrived moral point - indeed any point that's not a weapon, vehicle or penis.
I basically agree - and I also find most modern films way too intense. I watch one on TV, and after a while, I get sick of the sense that I am just being manipulated. I think I only dislike sex scenes that aren't a depiction of joyous coupling - where the joy of sex has been curdled.
Once you take moral authority out of the cosmos you are left with self-interest in all its permutations. William Gairdner's The Book of Absolutes is the best antidote I have come across. Its not an easy read, but I know of no other comparable argument against moral relativism. I finished the book and had no clue at all what Gairdner's religious thought might be. That was a damned fine achievement.

We exited God and put human intellect at the apex of evolution. You need only a scant appreciation of philosophy, religion and science to get how idiotically perilous that act was. Of course it was going to end horribly.
Yes, but I see no evidence that we have access to an absolute moral standard - none!

Actually I think that smallish groups of people, left to themselves, do seem to develop a reasonable cooperative society. It is the injection of one of the big religions that wrecks this.

David
 
#73
Actually, I have reason to believe the enemy does exist, Micheal; and I have seen what "It" can do to a person under it's influence. and it's effect on that person when he or she from time to time relinquishes their body to that hateful entity. Even St. Peter could fall under it's influence. Please see: Matthew 16:23. In fact anyone can become subject. No doubt you've heard the phrase, "I don't know what got into me..." as they regret a fit of rage, a lie, a murder or other act that was harmful or hurtful and is often irreparable.
Does it have to be the enemy, or might it simply be one of a number of unpleasant spirits?

Likewise, does Intelligent Design (which I think is real) have to be the work of one intelligence, or could it be several?

David
 
#74
Does it have to be the enemy, or might it simply be one of a number of unpleasant spirits?

Likewise, does Intelligent Design (which I think is real) have to be the work of one intelligence, or could it be several?

David
I've read there are "millions and millions" of demons, so I guess maybe enough for each of us to entertain the company of one of them if we should feel so inclined. On the other hand each of us may also request the company and protection of a guardian Angel. I have yet to understand how we acquire our angel, whether it was by baptism as was the case with Jesus as he was baptised by John The Baptist or if it happens by way of an act of God as at Pentecost when the Apostles received the Holy Spirit. Or do we all get an Angel at our birth and it is then up to us to be aware of It's presence throughout our lives and It's willingness and ability to help us by simple request? If we consider the Universe to be, "an Illusion," as Albert Einstein suggested, then I think Intelligent Design must be incorporated into the illusion somehow as it originates and emanates from that one great Consciousness.
 
#75
Like yourself, David, I think intelligent design is real. Take for instance the common bat. Here is a creature that either flies or it does not. You cannot "half evolve" wings. It has to be a dramatic one time event that enables this creature to snatch insects on the wing in darkness. Echo location of it's insect prey also has to work, otherwise it might as well have remained on the ground gathering it's food on the ground.
 
#76
Like yourself, David, I think intelligent design is real. Take for instance the common bat. Here is a creature that either flies or it does not. You cannot "half evolve" wings. It has to be a dramatic one time event that enables this creature to snatch insects on the wing in darkness. Echo location of it's insect prey also has to work, otherwise it might as well have remained on the ground gathering it's food on the ground.
Well Darwinists would argue that you could evolve an ineffective wing, and then improve it. However, I tend to agree with you. However the real killer is that genes make proteins, and the genes are long strings of effectively digitally coded information, that specify the long strings of amino acid residues that make up a protein. You simply can't plausibly evolve digitally coded information.

David
 
#77
You simply can't plausibly evolve digitally coded information.
I think that the null hypothesis suitably is, that such can happen - given enough stimulated diversity, culling feedback and iterations. What would render this question moot however, is demonstrating an aspect of that coding which bears no precedent from which to evolve. In other words a stark absence of stimulated diversity, culling and iteration.

Then we have the essence of falsification of the null. We got to the door of this as science, and then said 'Uh ohhh...' and just quit. No one wants to ruin their career by opening that door.
 
#78
I think that the null hypothesis suitably is, that such can happen - given enough stimulated diversity, culling feedback and iterations. What would render this question moot however, is demonstrating an aspect of that coding which bears no precedent from which to evolve. In other words a stark absence of stimulated diversity, culling and iteration.

Then we have the essence of falsification of the null. We got to the door of this as science, and then said 'Uh ohhh...' and just quit. No one wants to ruin their career by opening that door.
Well of course, it isn't always helpful to regurgitate everything related to a question as a response to every query.

If someone wants to understand why Darwin's theory of natural selection doesn't work, they should read:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darwin-Dev..._encoding=UTF8&qid=1552382360&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

However I think the stark truth about a digital code, is that if you change it slightly, you get either little or no change (e.g. changing a codon to a synonym) or you trash it. After you trash it, you have to make a substantial series of random changes that happen to go in a particular direction (duplicate the DNA for an existing protein , and then change that to make a new useful protein) in order to reach some sort of improvement. There are no intermediate fitness gradients for NS to exploit. In addition, if you are talking about the initial creation of life, there is no population of reproducing organisms to select from! Also if you popped a piece of DNA that coded for a library of useful proteins into the pre-life sludge - what would happen? Obviously absolutely nothing - it would just degrade into junk. It seems to me that people wave their hands in the air, but there really isn't any good conventional answer - nor any prospect of one turning up. It is like the nature of consciousness, science wrestles and wrestles with it, but can never come to grips with it.

David
 
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#79
Coincidentally, I am reading a fascinating new book about the severe problems associated with Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection:
@Alex I ultimately had to send my email to the Discovery Institute, requesting that it be passed on to Behe. I once wrote to someone else at the DI, and that method worked. However, since he hasn't replied yet, I am going to start a new thread entitled "Behe's argument in Darwin Devolved".

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/behes-argument-in-darwin-devolved.4317/post-128576

I hope some of you join in the discussion there (rather than responding here and taking this discussion off topic).

David
 
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