"Degrading Love" by TheraminTrees [VIDEO]

#21
To me the real problem with the 'God' concept, is that hardly anyone can keep the concept abstract. For those in the Christian West, the concept always seems to collapse into something awfully like the Christian god. This is a far more specific idea that fails Occam's Razor in discussions of this sort.
Perhaps the problem with making sense of the concept of God is similar to that which we have defining what we mean by consciousness. We can quite readily say what it isn't - wheels, levers and springs, or their electronic equivalent, don't make any sense, to just give one example of what consciousness is not. But to say what it is - well, personally I can only approach consciousness by some of what I consider its properties, such as, first and most important, the ability to simply be. There are other characteristics which I can think of, but I won't go into that right now.

Some have suggested that God is simply all consciousnesses. In that respect, it would be impossible for there ever to be a separate entity called God, since each of our consciousnesses would form a part of that which we choose to label 'God'. It is important to clarify at this stage - I don't just refer to humans, nor just to those who inhabit a physical body, nor just to those who happen to be close to this particular planet. Nor indeed do I refer only to our idea of space-time. Whatever it is, consciousness seems independent of all these things, at least in the way we ordinarily understand them.
 
#23
Perhaps the problem with making sense of the concept of God is similar to that which we have defining what we mean by consciousness. We can quite readily say what it isn't - wheels, levers and springs, or their electronic equivalent, don't make any sense, to just give one example of what consciousness is not. But to say what it is - well, personally I can only approach consciousness by some of what I consider its properties, such as, first and most important, the ability to simply be. There are other characteristics which I can think of, but I won't go into that right now.

Some have suggested that God is simply all consciousnesses. In that respect, it would be impossible for there ever to be a separate entity called God, since each of our consciousnesses would form a part of that which we choose to label 'God'. It is important to clarify at this stage - I don't just refer to humans, nor just to those who inhabit a physical body, nor just to those who happen to be close to this particular planet. Nor indeed do I refer only to our idea of space-time. Whatever it is, consciousness seems independent of all these things, at least in the way we ordinarily understand them.
I think this is exactly why I don't use the word - other than to explain why I don't use the word!

David
 
#24
I asked some believers about the Abraham story and they told me "But God intervened and his son was not killed" - but that's not the point, is it!! The point is that that "test of faith" was sadistic and deranged, an utter contradiction in terms for a supposed benevolent deity!
The bible also contains a similar story in which the sacrifice went ahead.

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Jephthah-8217-s-Daughter

I wonder how often a priest selects this passage for the Old Testament reading!

David
 
#25
The bible also contains a similar story in which the sacrifice went ahead.

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Jephthah-8217-s-Daughter

I wonder how often a priest selects this passage for the Old Testament reading!

David
I grew up as a fundamentalist Christian and I have never heard this story from the pulpit. Ever. And as a father of only one daughter... I am offended by this story. Thankfully... it is just a story in which it has absolutely no value whatsoever.
 
#26
I was planning a lot longer and more in depth reply but I just don't have the time to write it right now so I'll try for a short version.

Anyone who participates in sport, has the experience of trying to do something imperfectly, and then maybe discussing it with a coach, and repeating that experience - often endlessly. Each bout of activity is only weakly coupled with the previous one. The concept of reincarnations does make some basic sense, I think.
I have very serious doubts that it's all as neutral as this in all cases given....

The thing I find puzzling about the 'everything is love' story, is that it sounds a bit like a diet of ice cream - it might be good for a bit, but then it would be absolutely horrible! Some reports of non-material consciousness do seem to imply that there are other activities, but the picture is vague.
You'd think these people would know that too, yet that's the narrative that's pushed. So either A: we're just dumb mortals who can't possibly concieve of their reasoning or B: they're wrong. Whether they're attempting to decieve people directly, whether they themselves are dogmatic, who knows?

I spend my days doing little more than studying and developing magic and I've learned a thing or two from it. Such as how to induce a shared dream with someone and then gamemaster it. I've learned it's totally possible to do things like induce feelings, visions, and even full sensory experiences into people. Pull people out of their bodies, put them back in, physically injure people via astral projection, and much more. I've attained a level of technical knowledge that previously only belonged to spirits. I can understand the underlying mechanisms of how someone would give someone else a life review or preview along with pretty much all the other stuff reported in NDE's to the degree that with a little more practice I could probably do them to other people myself.

So for me I see a lot of disconnect between the stated intentions of spirits and the actual methodologies. That combined with the less than stellar encounters I've had when I've tried asking spirits these questions directly is why I see no difference between the lightworker cult and other religions. I know that it's completely possible for psychics to lie to each other. As a good example, a full 50% of combat "up there" is encrypting your thoughts so that your opponent can't literally read your moves. I know this from personal experience.

So I don't see it just as someone who wants to play a game and get better at it but someone who wants to play a game because they've been told that it's not just a game and that there's a certain way to "win" and that way is "love" which could mean anything. And this is being told to them by someone with a level of technical ability far beyond their own whom they don't really have much choice but to trust, much like a parent. The possibility for abuse is incredible.

Once again this is why I am attempting to train magic so that I can get it to a plainly obvious demonstratable level so I can teach it to others because I've witnessed the abuse firsthand. The only reason that abuse is possible is because people have no idea how any of this stuff works and thus no reliable ability to fact check anything let alone defend themselves if they needed to.

::EDIT::

I know this post is pretty much devoid of logic and is just a bunch of claims that I can't possibly verify for anyone but that's what it boils down to and it's all I've got for the moment.
 
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#27
The bible also contains a similar story in which the sacrifice went ahead.

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Jephthah-8217-s-Daughter

I wonder how often a priest selects this passage for the Old Testament reading!

David
I was happily unaware of this horrific story and I now blame you for making it become part of my consciousness David :). Seriously - this is obviously appalling and proves once again that this idea of God as an entity "who is always right", is "good even when s/he is bad", has to be appeased and requires worship and bloodshed is a primitive, extremely dangerous concept which is barely tolerable only to the extent that those who subscribe to it do not "act it out" in the real world (tragically, Islamist terrorists are still doing so in our time and age).

Incidentally, in the Abraham story, the moral thing to do on the part of God would have been to punish Abraham for his stupid, blind obedience. If God (which I will refer to as IT) had really been a God of Love, of course it would not have come up with such a disturbing test in the first place (as I said in my previous post), but, crucially, even if it had, it would have punished Abraham for even contemplating carrying out the extremely "unloving action" (murder) which it had supposedly instructed him to carry out. I mean, if I had been Abraham that would have been my spontaneous reaction! "You, supposedly a loving God, are asking me to murder someone to please you? Then BY DEFINITION you cannot be a loving God but rather a demon, so f**k right off". Incredible that the Christian tradition does not see it this way!!! I honestly, sincerely do not understand how these people think !!! Basically, I think they DON'T think. And having a religion which tells them that God is always right saves them from working out for themselves what is right or wrong.

Problem is, Christians are required to "buy the whole package" i.e., Old and New Testament (incidentally, I am not an expert but I have been told that according to the Bible apparently Jesus endorsed the Old Testament, too, which would make this character in the official New Testament highly objectionable, too). I guess most Christians are not aware of these horrible passages, and/or they choose to ignore them or downplay them ("it's only a story" - even so? What would be its twisted moral purpose, exactly???), or they simply close their eyes and brains and go on living with this cognitive (and moral) dissonance. Which is not even the only one required by this (and plenty more) religions.

This is a general problem with mankind (and it's not necessarily a question of education, really) - the refusal or the inability to think things through, including ethically. But you know, at the end of the day, if people are good-hearted and do not harm others, I don't really care anymore. I've come to the conclusion that it's a waste of time arguing with people who have massive blind spots (because by definition they do not see them) and moreover are already convinced that their beliefs are the Ultimate Truth.

Ah, and with reference to your other post about God -- indeed, it's always a problem to use that word because, conveniently, it means all things to all believers, and in the West it does conjure up images of the Christian God. In general, in order to talk about God we should first be clear whether such an entity is separate from us or not. New Agers/ "love and light people" conveniently switch perspective so that when something is "bad" it's "us causing it because we have moved away from God/because it's our ego doing this", while when something is good (love etc) it's "God". This is a very typical, manipulative method to make you feel inferior and "wrong" while obviously if you are a creature of this God how can it be your fault that you can fall? Who gave an ego that can (allegedly) damage you so much? You were clearly designed to make this possible. If you design a product deliberately making it possible for it to malfunction, how can it be the product's fault? Of course, it must have been the maker who was not perfect. That makes sense to me. But 99.9% believers insist that God is perfect and wonderful and almighty. But so why are his products so flawed, if not deliberately?

I can actually say that I, too, believe in "God" if this means believing in a flawed or indifferent "Ground of Being" giving rise to this messy reality, including good and bad spiritual entities - but I doubt I and a Christian would be speaking about the same God, based on this definition, so what's the point in using this utterly confusing word? When I speak with Christians I say "your God" (as defined by the books and doctrine they subscribe to -- of course there are differences among Catholics, Protestants etc but that just proves my point: this word means different things to different people, so it's not a useful concept, really)
 
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#28
I guess the problem is that an explanation may sound good because it is vague, or uses concepts that don't really make sense.
I think any ultimate explanation comes up against mystery - for example if God kicked everything off, where did he come from
That's the point: mystery. We know that the mystery of existence can't be solved in materialistic/physicalist terms - because neither a universe with an origin of/in time that springs out of literally nothing, nor an eternal past, are rationally tenable - but in the vagueness of the mystery of God, there is potential for a real solution. Whether we could understand that solution is a different matter. (And without at all taking away from your reasonable question: "if God kicked everything off, where did he come from" - just saying that at least in a "vague" concept of God there is hope of an ultimate solution - a solution which is unavailable in other worldviews).

assuming the hellish NDE's represent some transient problem associated with passnig over
I'm not sure that this is a safe assumption - the reverse could easily be assumed: that encounters with a being of light are fakeries organised by the darkness to "bind us" (with apologies to Tolkein).

Perhaps the ultimate answer lies in a different conception of time.
Quite probably, I would say.

A little acknowledgement re "vagueness" though. I think there are three roles for a God/Devil: (1) Creator (2) Ultimate Good (3) Ultimate Evil. It seems natural that two of these (#1 and either #2 or #3) are played by the same character, but it's hard to work out which, and I find myself assuming (in a less than desirable+consistent way) that it's #1 and #2. This, I think, is my main metaphysical confusion right now.
 
#29
"What would be its twisted moral purpose, exactly???"

Presumably to elicit exactly the kind of reactions/responses that are given on this forum. That is, not to act as a model of how to behave, but to show what NOT to do.
 
#30
"What would be its twisted moral purpose, exactly???"

Presumably to elicit exactly the kind of reactions/responses that are given on this forum. That is, not to act as a model of how to behave, but to show what NOT to do.
Ah but how come the Christian religion interpreted the story precisely in the opposite way, as meaning that we must trust God and do what he says even when we don't understand, and he will intervene to "fix things" (save the child) if need be? Is this not exactly the opposite of what I was saying? Abraham is REWARDED for having almost killed his son!
 
#31
Just to play devil's (God's) advocate here: if righteousness in (the Christian) God's eyes is (1) to be "a soldier for God" (and thus to do what one's superior officer tells you, no matter what), and (2) to hold and keep one's word as sacred, then these tales have an instructive and moral (given these 2 principles) purpose.
 
#32
Just to play devil's (God's) advocate here: if righteousness in (the Christian) God's eyes is (1) to be "a soldier for God" (and thus to do what one's superior officer tells you, no matter what), and (2) to hold and keep one's word as sacred, then these tales have an instructive and moral (given these 2 principles) purpose.
So let me get this right, Laird: you would have killed a child, if you had been Abraham, JUST because your "superior officer" told you to do it??
Do you realise that Hitler managed to turn (almost) a whole nation into a destruction machine precisely because of unquestioning obedience?
 
#33
So let me get this right, Laird: you would have killed a child, if you had been Abraham, JUST because your "superior officer" told you to do it??
I wouldn't have done it, no. I'm just putting myself in the shoes of a true Christian (/Jewish) believer to make sense of these stories.

Do you realise that Hitler managed to turn (almost) a whole nation into a destruction machine precisely because of unquestioning obedience?
And what about the forces who opposed Hitler? Could they have done so effectively had each soldier ignored his superior officer's orders?

The point about (the Christian) God is that He knows what's best - ultimately - and His subjects don't. That's why obedience is important in that worldview.

N.B. I am not an orthodox Christian believer, so this point of view is not mine, but I think this thread needs some balance and some "walking in the shoes of others" w.r.t. these stories.
 
#34
I wouldn't have done it, no. I'm just putting myself in the shoes of a true Christian (/Jewish) believer to make sense of these stories.

And what about the forces who opposed Hitler? Could they have done so effectively had each soldier ignored his superior officer's orders?

.
Laird, we are talking about A CHILD here.

Honestly. You are really playing DEVIL'S advocate here....
 
#35
Laird, we are talking about A CHILD here.
Yes, I know. And I told you: I wouldn't have done it either. I'm playing devil's advocate.

For all Abraham knew, his son would have grown up to be Hitler's precursor, and that's why God (would have - as it turns out, He didn't) wanted him dead.

And maybe, if Jephtath hadn't kept his word, his abrogation of integrity would have had even worse consequences for both he and his daughter.

Honestly. You are really playing DEVIL'S advocate here....
Maybe we could say that I'm playing "Yahweh's advocate".
 
#36
Yes, I know. And I told you: I wouldn't have done it either. I'm playing devil's advocate.

For all Abraham knew, his son would have grown up to be Hitler's precursor, and that's why God (would have - as it turns out, He didn't) wanted him dead.

And maybe, if Jephtath hadn't kept his word, his abrogation of integrity would have had even worse consequences for both he and his daughter.



Maybe we could say that I'm playing "Yahweh's advocate".
This is completely fanciful, especially because with that kind of "explanation" (God told me to do it, and he knows best) you can justify ANY immoral act whatsoever, including the sacrifice of innocent children on an altar, as in this case. Basically, you would be just a puppet of this God, trying to do exactly what it wants (and especially, constantly second-guessing that this is what it wants ), no matter how horrific, but in that case you cannot purport that you are serving a loving God because for him the end ("killing Hitler's precursor") would justify the means (killing a child). Wouldn't a truly loving God have made it impossible for someone to develop into a Hitler in the first place? What's the added (ethical) value of all these murders??

In any case what you wrote above is exactly how religious fundamentalists think: MY God knows best (and they also think they know what he wants). And we see the consequences of this dangerous blind faith.
 
#37
"Wouldn't a truly loving God have made it impossible for someone to develop into a Hitler in the first place?"

Ho would we reconcile this requirement with that of having free will? Take away free will and we become robots blindly forced to obey.
 
#38
"Wouldn't a truly loving God have made it impossible for someone to develop into a Hitler in the first place?"

Ho would we reconcile this requirement with that of having free will? Take away free will and we become robots blindly forced to obey.
Here we go again.......I would gladly give up the part of my free will that could turn me into a child murderer. Do you cherish that part of your free will? Is it necessary? To whom? Maybe to a God who is an amused spectator of this mess we call material existence, so that he can be entertained by the splatter movie. Not to the murdered child!

Oh but I give up, you are once again looking for a bolt hole in order to put the blame on us for misusing free will, rather than on a (Christian concept of) God who being almighty voluntarily DESIGNED us as being capable of utter evil, as if it was a great thing to do! You are changing the subject anyway. Why are you not replying to my question about how, strangely, Abraham gets rewarded for his blind obedience rather than reprimanded.
 
#39
This is completely fanciful, especially because with that kind of "explanation" (God told me to do it, and he knows best) you can justify ANY immoral act whatsoever
True. And I take your, and Mediochre's, point that this principle of obedience can be abused to trick others into making bad choices, and to holding it over them, but...

...maybe I can distill a point out of my "advocacy for Yahweh". Ultimately, we can't know what is true. It could be (and, in my opinion, probably is) true that this reality in which we find ourselves presents an appearance which hides something utterly horrific. If you found somebody who did know, but for whatever reason couldn't share with you, just what sordid truth lies behind the veil, and what needs to be done about it, and who was courageous and loving, then you would follow them unquestioningly, no?

Now, of course, there is the problem of how to know that this being could be trusted - and by (the above) definition this is impossible - but let's say you take a leap of faith, and let's say you have what you consider to be a sound basis for making this leap. Let's say this being shows you all sorts of strange twists in our reality that turn what we normally consider to be good and bad on their heads: into unintuitive realities due to the sordidness at the heart of our universe.

Then it might be understandable why a person might obey unquestioningly, no? Note: I am not saying that you have to agree that you would put yourself in this position, just that it is an understandable one. And, of course, we have gotten away from the Christian religion, since a tri-omni God would never put people into such an awful position to begin with, especially in terms of hiding the truth from them, and of allowing sordidness at the heart of the universe.

I suppose then that my "Yahweh's advocacy" has turned into a musing on that which might play out under a genuinely dualistic reality - one with the confusion of a subtle spiritual war. I hope you will forgive me for my "bait and switch", and I thank you for allowing me to ponder in a safe environment!
 
#40
Now, of course, there is the problem of how to know that this being could be trusted - and by (the above) definition this is impossible - but let's say you take a leap of faith, and let's say you have what you consider to be a sound basis for making this leap. Let's say this being shows you all sorts of strange twists in our reality that turn what we normally consider to be good and bad on their heads: into unintuitive realities due to the sordidness at the heart of our universe.

Then it might be understandable why a person might obey unquestioningly, no? Note: I am not saying that you have to agree that you would put yourself in this position, just that it is an understandable one. And, of course, we have gotten away from the Christian religion, since a tri-omni God would never put people into such an awful position to begin with, especially in terms of hiding the truth from them, and of allowing sordidness at the heart of the universe.

I suppose then that my "Yahweh's advocacy" has turned into a musing on that which might play out under a genuinely dualistic reality - one with the confusion of a subtle spiritual war. I hope you will forgive me for my "bait and switch", and I thank you for allowing me to ponder in a safe environment!
Well, it's technically not possible to disprove what you hint at (the confusion of a subtle spiritual war) but, CRUCIALLY, I would still refuse to kill a child, even if supposedly asked by this "being " you refer to, so no, it would still NOT be understandable to me why a person might obey unquestioningly.

And thankfully most people on this planet would agree with me on this one! :)
 
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