The Scientific Proof That God Exists!!

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by TruthSeeker, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. Taken Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    599
    It puzzles me that non-believers are so turned off by and gripe so much about believers being close-minded and set in there ways and ideas...and yet when addressing a reasonable person of faith, a non-believer acts in exactly the same fashion.

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    If someone has found a basis for self-improvement and spiritual evolution in the teachings of the Bible and they use it to the benefit of others as opposed to the offense of others...why would anyone of any belief, or un-belief not encourage their personal choice?

    We all need to question our positions, it is good to grow. But I do not think that conversion or discouragement from a particular faith should be an agenda.

    That is like the equivalent of me telling a Pagan, or an athiest they are delusional, or brain washed or clinging to fantasy. Much like most here condemn Tony for doing.
    But have we ever noticed how often non-believers make those assertions and accusations at the believers, even those who are not being derogatory or disrespectfull to them?

    As devils advocate...Tony can atleast say God told me to do it, or the devil made me do it. But for a non-believer there is no one to pin it on, it's just disrespectfullness with out cause.

    Any way, just an observation.
    Peace.
     
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Bambi,

    Ah but you've set a high standard and I'm having trouble keeping up.

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  5. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Taken,

    A good point, but remember I’m responding not initiating. When a believer posts something that says unambiguously that their way is the correct way and that I should do as they suggest then what would you have me do?

    My approach, and I believe consistent approach is to point out where I think they have made an error and provide alternatives.

    What you won’t find me doing is going up to complete strangers and trying to convince them that I have something they need.

    We must also recognize the medium we are using here. These are debates, where each member is to a large extent trying to convince others of the correctness of their perspective. If someone doesn’t want a response then they should not state their ideas as if no one will have anything contrary to say.

    The non-believer’s position is very very simple and is ample justification for their actions – believers have made extraordinary claims about all powerful supernatural entities, but can offer absolutely no evidence. If these were offered as speculative hypotheses then that would be acceptable, but they don’t, instead they state quite unambiguously that these things are absolutely true.

    To the unbeliever such claims are incredulous and reek of fantasies, delusions, ignorance, close-mindedness, and often sheer stupidity.

    We aren’t being disrespectful but are simply stating our observations. Now I admit there are those on both sides that can become very hostile in both their tone and words. And I feel uncomfortable with those posters, and I do my best to avoid that technique. But I’m not entirely sure that a hostile approach is entirely out of place, since that is the best way that many people find to express themselves.

    So I think a good rule is ‘if you can’t stand the heat then stay out of the fire’.

    Cris
     
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  7. Taken Registered Senior Member

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    True...very true.
    But if it is not polite for me to discount your ideas by saying you are possesed by and controlled by the devil...then to what end does one tell me that I am brainwashed by the church?

    I mean, if nothing else, overlooking the idea that the devil is imagined as a supernatural force that renders you utterly helpless to him, and the church is just meare mortal men...which is the greater insult?

    We are all free thinking, able minded people and our choices are made by our own needs and personal experiences and one is not exclusively the right way for anyone at any point in their life. On that I know we already agree.

    But I felt it would do no harm to point out to some here that they have become what they swear not to be.
     
  8. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    Taken,

    Evidence, evidence, evidence.

    Don’t overlook the issue that your position is a lot more difficult than mine. Believers have made claims and the onus is on them to prove their claims. As an atheist I need do nothing more than destroy any evidence you might attempt provide, if I can. If your evidence can withstand intense scrutiny then you may have a case. I’m not the one making the claims; I’m simply stating a disbelief.

    In a legal trial it is up to the prosecutor to prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt, in this scenario you are the prosecutor. Prove your case.

    If you think I am delusional then show your evidence. I believe you are delusional because you cannot show any factual basis for your beliefs. That isn’t being derogatory on my part, just technically correct. For you to show that I am delusional you must demonstrate my alleged delusional beliefs. But that will be difficult because I am not claiming a belief but just a disbelief in your claims.

    Yes Ok since I have been a Christian and I valued that experience because it aids me now, however, at the time I would have appreciated better guidance that would perhaps have saved me many years of mental torture, regardless of the final value.

    And yes there is some truth to that. But the boundary is a very fine line with such a controversial and heated subject.

    Take care
    Cris
     
  9. Bambi itinerant smartass Registered Senior Member

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    309
    Brainwashing...

    I can only speak for myself, of course, but from my perspective anyone who alludes to authority as their sole argument is brainwashed.

    Personally, and again I can only speak for myself, I don't come here to learn what a particular holy book has to say (though it's one of the side-effects of talking to religionists). Rather, I'm more interested in why a given religionist actually chooses a particular holy book as their source of truth and as the foundation for their view of the universe and everything in it. I also harbor vague hopes of maybe at least convincing a couple religionists to consider my world-view as an alternative. I also hope to maybe exchange ideas with likeminded individuals. And sometimes I'm here to vent about the sheer idiocy of certain public policies (hey, everyone needs a release of some sort.)
     
  10. Taken Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    599
    "Yes Ok since I have been a Christian and I valued that experience because it aids me now, however, at the time I would have appreciated better guidance that would perhaps have saved me many years of mental torture, regardless of the final value. "


    But it was THE experience that has aided you. Had you not had it you would have gained nothing from it. So it is not necesarily a help to keep someone from exploring all the possibilitys and discovering their truth for themselves.

    You can not however justify that it is ok for an atheist to discount a Christian and not visa-versa. I have not attempted to prove God to you, have statedly clearly that I can not. And you have yet to prove to me any other solid explanation for my experiences. You have given me some theorys, I have given you some...but no one is one up on an air tight case here. And respect from both sides should be mutual.

    I have a very cordial dialogue with most people here, Christian, Pagan and atheist. BUT there are in fact more tyranical posters on your side than there are on mine at the present.

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    Given that Tony was like haveing 4 or 5...but he isn't around this week and now the other side has gotten a bit huffy.
    I wonder if even Loone were to leave, if some would not find some way to attack and persecute me or one of the other well mannered christians here, just for need of haveing a witch to burn at the stake for all the wrongs they feel the church has done them in life. (Forgive the witch illiteration...I know it is kinda being used to defend the wrong side.) But you get my point.
     
  11. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    373
    Taken,

    Just a little food for thought.

    If this is how some of the comments or posts of the non-believers are coming across to you, it certainly doesn't hurt to hear back how some of us sound in your ears; however, Cris has made some very valid points.

    Your comment:

    ...is the type of comment that leads to the kind of explanation Cris has given you. And that I would have too, had he not beaten me to it. So, I'll put it this way...

    What believers often ask atheist to do is something that is not their job to do. It is not our job to explain to you your own experiences. (bear with me here...) But some of us will object to the explanations or claims offered by believers because the underlying purposes of their offering said explanations in the first place is, ultimately, to convert the non-believer, to insult, or to stir up unproductive controversy. At the very least, the believer is spreading a "message" that is not rational in the mind of the non-believer.

    There is also, unquestionably, a lot of ignorance mixed in with some of the posts offered by some believers. Ignorance is dangerous and should not be ignored on any grounds. Persistent ignorance requires a persistent and particularly firm response. Such may not be justifiable in the minds of all readers, but I certainly wouldn't hang around if it weren't dealt with--and pronto.

    That said, I next wonder about your purpose for posting here. And whether or not you've been treated too poorly. In the end, doesn't it come down to how you choose to interpret the posts you read? (Do you have a choice about how'll you'll interpret what you read?) Are you addressing the individuals you think most need to be addressed on this issue of "insulting?" (I've reminded Ardena of his/her blatant attempts to insult not because I'm personally insulted, but because the quality of these discussions are reduced by that kind of input, and some would-be valuable posters turn away from it.)

    Not questions you have to answer, but stuff to think about.

    I'll grant you, I won't win any prizes for always being clear in my posts, but are you as clear and direct as you could be? Are you coming across as you think you are? How much benefit of the doubt is being given to you?

    Otherwise, and as for me, I hear ya when you say that you have a different view of things, but do you wish to talk about religion here? And if so, why? No? Just want to share your view? Nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time. But perhaps you're sending mixed messages yourself?

    (Notice the simple and correct usage of question marks can make a post sound "demanding" when my speaking tone would not come near to sounding like that.)

    If you dispute what a non-believer says, then they will most likely tell you where they think you are in error... and in no uncertain terms. I'd also prefer that the intentional "snide-swiping" cease, but I'm a realist.

    ~~~

    Peace,

    Counterbalance
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2002
  12. Taken Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    599
    "What believers often ask atheist to do is something that is not their job to do. It is not our job to explain to you your own experiences. (bear with me here...) But some of us will object to the explanations or claims offered by believers because the underlying purposes of their offering said explanations in the first place is, ultimately, to convert the non-believer, to insult, or to stir up unproductive controversy. At the very least, the believer is spreading a "message" that is not rational in the mind of the non-believer."

    I have no more ask you to believe me than you have ask me to believe you.
    It is also not my job to explain or justify my beliefs but we are expected to have proof. Why should we accept you as rational? Have we all proven to be any less?


    "There is also, unquestionably, a lot of ignorance mixed in with some of the posts offered by some believers. Ignorance is dangerous and should not be ignored on any grounds. Persistent ignorance requires persistent and particular firmness. Such may not be justifiable in the minds of all readers, but I certainly wouldn't hang around if it weren't dealt with--and pronto. "

    Thank You...and I was just pointing out that the ignorance is comeing from both sides. It isn't just the believers who are being close minded and abusive to others beliefs and ideas.


    I haven't been treated poorly...not beyond what is expected in any exchange between conflicting interests. I was pointing out some agression that is being shown by a few at a few and seems to be escalating in the abscense of Tony to take it out on.

    My purpose for posting here is to gain insight, understanding and some challenging new ideas to explore...and hopefully share a few as well.


    As for interpretation...my gripe is with the intentional discreditting of someones beliefs and ideas as unworthy of consideration. It quite simply is not misinterpretation when someone is trying to explain their thoughts in a calm and polite way to tell them they are void of thought process or brain washed. I didn't like it when Tony did it, and I don't like it when nonbelievers do it either. It negates people and they have a right to their own ideas.
     
  13. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    12,112
     
  14. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

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    373
    On this, we agree. There are those in both camps who do this with impunity, and some who are more subtle.

    My point is that there are layers upon layers of reasons for why this is happening. Some of these reasons, the simple and the not-so-simple, have been clearly explained by Cris and others, and I hope by myself--at least sometimes--and yet this reasoning is largely ignored by many believers. Reasoning that is not intended to prove the existence or not of a god even, just ordinary common sense. Flat-out ignored. What the non-believers offer, and often without sarcasm, has been discounted or glossed over for a long, long while.... Tony1 may be absent for now, and perhaps we should allow for a period of adjustment. Takes time to shake off some types of the battle mindset.

    The bottom line though, as I read it, is that yes, there is some blatant "sniping" going on, and no, there isn't any justification for most of it. I've pointed it out in the past, and now so have you. Here we will part paths again if you choose to have faith that the situation will improve, and I choose to have a little unconditional hope

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    You are asked for and/or are expected to provide proof because you and your fellow believers come here making claims of experiences, explaining your views/insights, asking intentionally provoking questions, (in some cases), issuing challenges and more. What is then often offered as proof by the believer (asked for or not) is simply not acceptable by even everyday standards. Stuff you wouldn't believe no matter what it pertained to, and no matter who told it to ya. It's plain ol' nonsense.

    If the believers are not here to be believed, or to convince others to see things their way, then it might be helpful for them to pay more attention to how they "share" their views as well. If you are an exception, then you are an exception, but you have brought up the issue in a general context as well, so I address it as such.

    And inasmuch as I know of you through the posts I've read, you come across as more of a problem-solver. Perhaps you've contributed to solving a problem with your posts here tonight. If you and I can understand this much about it each other, it seems reasonable to think that others can take away the intended message as well. We have a point, and we've made it, but there is going to be heat in the kitchen, regardless of how good of a cook 'we' are, and regardless of the examples 'we' set for others. Some have the fighting "spirit" and they're going to take advantage of it in a place that is intended for debate as well as discussion. Perhaps they'll give these "insights" some thought and wield their words more carefully in the future.

    As for me, I'm heading for bed.

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    ~~~

    Counterbalance
     
  15. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    12,112
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Bambi...

    Me, for one.

    Then how do you know He doesn’t exist?

    If you really believed that God existed, you wouldn't waste your time arguing the subject matter.

    Why not?
    He is the greatest subject matter.
    Thats why we are talking about Him.


    Prove it.
    Read and understand any bona-fide religious scripture, especially Bhagavad Gita as it is.

    You must have real problems with archaeology and modern dating.
    I have no problems with them, I understand perfectly well that they are speculative.

    On the other hand, with respect to all of your claims above, "Prove it".
    Read and understand any bona- fide rel……….

    Already done. See this post for the start of it and read forward through my posts on that thread.
    If you accept that as proof, then you might as well try to understand who God is just to see if your speculation is correct.

    Lack of belief and denial are two very different things.
    Not when it comes to God.

    The part you're missing is how ridiculous all the religions look from that perspective. You have no idea how comical you are.
    That is a relative statement, the part you are missing is understanding the essence of all bona-fide religions.

    Well indeed, what has anyting to do with believing in God.
    You've got a point there. The belief is utterly baseless, meaningless and pointeless.


    How do you know?
    You have no understanding of Him.

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
     
  16. LIGHTBEING Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    639
    "God" is not a "He". Why would you worship a "He"
     
  17. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    12,112
    Precisely, Jan. You may very well term “religion” as something others do not. The fact that you do does not make your definition more correct or more acceptable.

    If you read the context that was said in, you would realise what I meant.
    Bambi asked, why religion was being taught all over the world.
    In my school years I was taught religious education, this included the history of the catholic and christian church as laid out by the curriculum. We were taught certain stories out of the bible, mainly, if not all, about Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Moses. We were taught that Christ was born on christmas day and the whole nativety scene. We were also taught hymns, which were generally penned by 19th-20th century writers. Today I understand that they are teaching in the same style various religions of the world, so that there may be tolerance among the different peoples of the world.
    At no point did they explain the meaning of the words of Jesus.
    Jesus’ word was the whole point, he travelled to certain parts of the globe to preach the gospel. In India for example, there are manuscripts which chart his pilgrimage throughout India, where he taught mainly to the ‘shudra class’ as the so-called brahmins wanted to kill him when he brought to light their hypocracy.
    He travelled to Eygpt where he underwent austere penances and was anointed ‘Christ’ by the high priest.
    He travelled and taught in Greece.
    None of this was ever taught in school, but yet it was part of the whole picture of what we call religion.
    How then can you say that religion is being taught all over the world, when the basic principle of religion is not being taught.

    To basically understand religion as it is, you need only look at the scripture, if what I say is not expounded by scripture then what you say is correct.

    Beyond that, these are your opinions, assertions, assumptions based on...what?

    Based on religious scripture.
    Just as your opinions, assertions etc are based on whatever your source is.
    The human being learns basically about life through various sources and mediums, and then starts to develop his/her own understanding based on what they know through experience.
    That is why education is so important, especially to people of power and ill intent.
    Doesn’t it make you wonder why the bible was tampered with so much. If it was written by unsroupolous people to brainwash mankind, why didn’t they write it without those edited parts in the first place.

    On what has been taught to you?

    It hasn’t been taught to me, this is what I am trying to tell you, the opposite has been taught
    Religion ecompasses everything including history, names, characters etc, just like in the curriculum, but the essence is missing.
    Its like being told you can’t do this, you can’t do that, but not being explained the reason behind it so that you understand, this is why there is a massive revolt against it now, because all people see are rules and regulations and if you don’t adhere you will burn in hell forever more.
    But that is not what religion is.

    How is it that what is right for you is necessarily right for everyone else?

    There are lots of instances where this statement can be proven.
    For example its right for me to eat and for everyone else.
    Self-realisation is not religious, it is something like total common-sense. It allows you to see things as they really are. It is not a simple feat, it demands a lot of intelligence, I’m by no means saying I am self-realised, but I am beginning to understand.

    Do you actually know what that person knows? What they understand?

    No, I don ‘t, but there is such a thing as human nature, which guides every living being. We, as human beings have limitations, that is what modern day science is attempting to push back the boundaries.
    In some vedic literatures it explains these limitations in detail, and you can if you were prepared, relate these limitations not only to yourself but to other living beings as well.

    Science is very cautious about claiming to have a thorough understanding of what goes on in the hearts and minds of the mentally ill, and appropriately so.

    I understand, but the Creator has no problems with that at all.

    And this is what all religions will claim in one way or another: That until those who don’t agree with you do agree with you, then they don’t “understand” and they lack “superior understanding.”

    I can understand where you are coming from, but if you read any scripture you will find this is not the case. As I said earlier the base point reference of any religion, has to be its scripture. If it is being violated then the people are to blame not the scripture. It is also imperitive to understand the essence/point of that particular scripture, otherwise it leaves it open to be violated and misreprisentative, as we are currently seeing.

    Never going to be enough for any truly rational person.

    Now whose being insulting!

    It seems to me that you lack the ability to comprehend anything about atheism beyond this basic definition

    Well, I would sincerely like to hear your definition, because beyond that basic definition, I fail, in all honesty, to see what more there is.
    It has been mentioned, that Buddists are atheist, which I believe that to be correct. Is your understanding more along those lines?

    Self-deception is the evil, and well you know. Even though you deny.

    I do no such thing, I agree with you.
    In fact I’ll add to it, deception of any kind is an evil.

    Actually, I can agree with this. There are a lot of people who are like this.

    But not all.


    At least we can both agree on something.

    You are aware of ALL that Cris realizes? (You are simply astounding.)

    No, but he does make his deepest thoughts known, directly or indirectly.

    Regardless of whether or not you intend to insult anyone here by making all the assumptions you do, an insult is in the mind or eye of the insulted.

    I tend to treat people how they treat me and they don’t often like the results.


    what comes off the tip of your typing fingers, are true marks of wisdom, understanding and maturity. Deny it if you want, but there is plenty of evidence to support this.

    This should apply to ‘almost’ everyone, including myself and yourself.
    Agreed.

    Human beings are not cows.

    Try telling a few of my mates that LOL

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
     
  18. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

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    373
    Ahhh... much better, Jan.

    Dropped in for a quick visit and came across your latest posts. I don't have time to linger (now) but wanted to go ahead and acknowledge your seeming effort to continue and improve communication.

    So now the challenge, I think, is to see who cares to respond to your remarks in a thoughtful, productive and unsarcastic manner. You've made the effort, and for the time being I'm willing to interpret it as an honest effort; to take this much from you at "face" value. (We won't call it faith; we'll say nothing ventured, nothing gained

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    )As for me, I still have the last half of a busy day to attend to, but I'll drop in later to give a more appropriate reply. Really don't know if anyone else is that interested at this point, but it's their call either way.

    Thx,

    Counterbalance
     
  19. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

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    373
    Jan, let’s try a different approach here. Let’s put aside past comments for a moment and take these statements as they are presented here.

    “You would realize what I meant.”

    I don’t think this is strictly true. Anticipated realization may not occur. Plus, if a reader doesn’t ‘realize’ what is ‘meant,’ it doesn’t necessarily follow that the reader, or the writer, is to blame. Not in every, or even many, instances. Interpretation, somewhat like beauty, is in the mind-eye of the beholder. Because of various reasons, a single word or arrangement of words in a written sentence can throw off the reader’s perceptions and the author’s intended meaning is lost. Cultural background, individual experiences, general ignorance, (as in a lack of knowledge), current emotional state, personal goal/agendas of various sorts--just to name a few factors--can influence how a statement is written and interpreted.

    Where Internet forums are concerned, we can also factor in the likelihood that not all readers take the time to read carefully, while others will pick a post apart word for word. Often depends upon the level of interest a reader has in a given topic or an author. It’s like an unspoken understanding that much of what anyone writes will go in one of a reader’s cyber ears and out the other. Part of the reason why some don’t spend a lot of time on the composition of their posts. The effort is seldom justifiable for busy people, or for those with more exacting standards.

    I don’t think we ever have a guarantee that what we write will be taken as we intended the first time around, or even after several more perusals. And this where “facilitating a better understanding” can be extremely helpful... for those who truly wish to do so.

    Just curious, but what (more specifically) has given you the understanding that “religion” is being taught this way in order to facilitate more tolerance in the world?

    Okay, it seems that this may have been put to Bambi only, but I’ll submit this much.

    I, and many of those I’ve known or have had contact with here in the United States, were, or are being, taught about Christ’s life, his journeys, his “message” and anything he encountered or imparted along the way to martyrdom. Not so much in our youngest years, but as we entered our teenage years, and later. Besides ordinary Sunday school lessons or worship service sermons, there have been made available via numerous churches and affiliated organizations a considerable variety of bible study classes. Adult bible study groups are, relatively speaking, quite popular in the U.S., and many of these were/are devoted to teaching and learning about the life of Christ in particular.

    So perhaps such in-depth studies are not necessarily uncommon. American Methodist and Episcopalian churches, for example, don’t shy away from looking deeper, and with what they would call objectivity. In my own experience, and based on what others tell me, the words of Christ are very important to many modern day Christians.

    Which reminds me.... regarding ‘objectivity...’ This past Christmas I heard someone relate the story of the birth of Christ at a family gathering, and for the first time ever in my recollection the storyteller departed from reading only scripture and paused to briefly discuss the long held belief that Christ had been born on December 25th, and the possibility that that might not be true, and why it might not be true. For some of the larger Christian denominations, a search for deeper understanding appears to be being encouraged in a general sense.

    Again, I’ll differ because I think we are using the term “religion” differently. To understand [the] scriptures, you need to look at [the] scriptures--from whatever source.

    To understand “religion” we would do well to clarify when we’re speaking of it as an institution, or when we’re referencing someone’s own personalized definition. All the more so if one has a highly personalized or uncommon definition in mind and has not been successful in conveying what the term means yet.

    In contrast, and by and large, what many atheist are interested in debating/discussing is the topic of religion as an “institution,” --or that which supports their ideas or disputes with the pro-religion folk over how Man does not need such an institution, and why.

    To have a meaningful exchange of ideas on such weighty topics truly requires that time, thought and effort be put into the “offerings” from both sides. When too little effort is made, the result is what we so often read (or skip over) here on these threads. People are often talking about different things (some know it, and some don’t) and the whole process is basically a waste of time for anyone interested in doing more than just venting.

    Yes, even according to you, some of your assertions, etc., are based on religious scripture, and your interpretation of the scriptures ...and other’s interpretations of them. Whether or not it’s a careful interpretation on anyone’s part is only so significant. And yes, like every human, you learn about life from a variety of experiences. Even your own physical make-up can play a significant role in your world-view. We are truly, each of us, individuals.

    And as individuals--through thought, or a lack of it, through action or a lack of it--we are just as capable of corrupting (or aiding and abetting corruption) a given set of scriptures, as we are of writing them in the first place. Man can create, and Man can distort. For this we have plenty of evidence, but lack what would amount to generally acceptable evidence that the world’s collection of religious scriptures are all that some would claim they are.

    “Essence” is missing from what is being taught because “essence” is something that is far too loosely defined by most of the world‘s main religions and their teachers--or in some cases, far too narrowly defined. This is so because such a term and it’s definition are wide open to interpretation. You, me, anyone can say that it shouldn’t be thought of this way, but it is--because it is. The “essence,‘ because of it’s vague nature is not easy to teach. And some of us, after our own explorations, have a clearer understanding about why this is so.

    I’ll certainly agree that many who teach or preach religion focus on the rules and on the consequences of not following the rules. This is often done because the claimed and/or assumed “understanding” is... that everyone has their own relationship with their chosen “creator” or the universe, etc... and much about exploring or discerning individual “spirituality” is left up to the individual to work out as best they can. The degree of influential input or guidance from teachers or others depends on many variables.

    The individual is encouraged to make interpretations, yet at the same time, it is generally expected that the individual’s interpretations will fall in line with what the “church political” claims is correct--when pressed. Another view is that “Religion” can’t address the “essence” because the “essence” is impossible to define anyway, and all the more so for those who have little or no use for faith-based ideologies or proof based on highly subjective interpretation. When dealing with literature of any kind, subjectivity always has the upper hand. (Just look at the difficulty experienced here when readers try to understand/interpret each other’s posts.)

    Well, sure. But the discussion (or most of ’em around here) is not about whether or not it’s right for all to eat for the sake of physical nourishment. It’s about whether or not your ideas and beliefs, which you profess to be true, and claim to be above most other’s understanding, are something that should be presented in the manner in which you and others continually present them. Inadequately presented in many instances--and presented as THE truth.

    Many people are quite content to let you believe what you like. But when you insist that others should accept your understanding as the right understanding for all... it just ain’t gonna happen. Is there anything more basic to know than this about our human nature? It is required by rational-thinking people to be given something that makes sense in their minds and/or hearts before they‘ll agree with you or change their view, their life, the prospects for their future, etc... You don’t pay $1000.00 for a lead pencil. (Or most of us wouldn’t) And if someone should insist that you do so without ever giving you a satisfactory reason for why you should... you don’t, typically, just say: “Okay. Whatever. I’ll shell out the grand because you say I should.”

    The debate about whether or not the existence of God can be proven, or whether or not an atheist has any proof against such a claim of an existence, is actually a separate debate. Closely related and very important, but separate. In order to really achieve a better understanding between believers and non-believers, I think it would be best to settle these issues one at a time.

    The issue here: what is right for you--in your judgment--and in regard to accepting any kind of faith in any kind of “religion”-- is not going to be right for all.

    If you disagree, and if you desire to convince others (whether they’re open to it or not) that your ideas and beliefs are right for all, then it is now required of you to give the non-believers (those open to conversion) compelling reasons to first, listen further to what you have to say, and then to offer more than what has been offered and rejected a million times before--and rejected for reasons that are scarcely different from why we don’t pay $1000.00 for an ordinary lead pencil.

    This also requires that the would-be converter have a very good understanding of where the non-believer is coming from--which means avoiding making intentionally insulting assumptions, and too many assumptions, period. Who wants to listen to a guy who tells others what they really think or feel? ...Who by doing so is suggesting that the observed and judged individual is either lying, clueless about themselves, or both. We know that such private knowledge of someone’s inner most convictions or wonderings is impossible to claim. If someone comes along later and proves this to be wrong, fine. We’ll cross that bridge then. But for now, I’m not going publicly claim (or privately believe) that I know so much about what goes on in the head of Jan Ardena. Wouldn’t blame anyone for distrusting me if I claimed that I did, or behaved as though I did.

    That’s a nice way of putting it, Jan. And I can agree that “self-realization” is not “religious.” Not for me it isn’t. However, there are plenty of others who do see it as a kind of religious experience or journey. Many, many ways to define and interpret these concepts and experiences.

    We are close to agreement again, I think. Human nature is predictable to a degree, yet it’s also a very complex “thing.” If I lived to be 400 years old, my educated guess is that I’d still be learning something new about human nature every day. Humans are full of surprises.

    As for vedic literature, and really for all literature that attempts to explain Man and his ’ways,’ what is written is an interpretation, and what the reader takes away from it is also an interpretation. And interpretations such as these, simply, are not reliable when it comes to understanding all that there is to understand about Man and his human nature. Some insight, even a lot of insight, can be gained. I say that cautiously because it very much depends on the content and the application, on the “educational” source, as well as the individual doing the interpreting.

    If this is what you choose to believe, that’s groovy by me. But as long as you assert it as a given truth, as something above question, then your very human brothers are going to feel the temptation to question your authority--and in my opinion, rightly so.

    Let it stand for the record that Counterbalance has read mucho scripture.

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    Sorry. Can’t agree so much here. Those who’ve authored the scripture bear some responsibility for that which is intentionally false and misleading. While you are free to believe that certain collections of scripture are true and divinely inspired --or were even penned by the hand of a god-- to assert that this is true is no different than what I’ve mentioned above. You are asking for others to question your authority. They will question it, and some will demand that you provide proof of your claims--if you are actively trying to impose your beliefs onto others, and into their lives, and particularly when they don’t want you to... and particularly if you’re doing it in an obnoxious or hard to understand manner.

    For anyone who has a doubt about whether or not God (or a creator) exists... who wishes to explore the claims of religionists or of various of the faithful... and if they wish to be objective on these or similar quests... then yes. Yes, they should try looking deep, they should seek to understand whatever it is you or others wish to have understood-- what many of you claim to be important.

    For those who have already made the quests, or for any who don’t want to make the quest for whatever reasons, and for those who see the scriptures as being the fabrication of men, and men only... then these kinds of insistences hold little or no water.

    Not intentionally, I assure you. But I’m quite willing to concede that I also fail to make my point as well as I would like sometimes. When I use a term like “rational” I’m typically not suggesting (in a subtle counter-suggestion) the opposite of “sane” --which is how the term often has been used in these types of discussions, and so often that it’s become difficult to know when someone is suggesting insanity or not. Quite easy to misinterpret a word like “rational.” At the same time, it’s the proper word to describe precisely what is meant by “having or exercising the ability to reason; logical.”

    (But what’s logical for one is not logical for another! I can hear the choir in the background.

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    )

    True. As with “proof” ... “logic” is another point to debate once some of the basics are understood and/or agreed upon.

    My point is that too many assumptions have been made about the atheists’ true mindset, their purposes in life, and the rationale behind why they are non-believers; their demeanor, the type of lives they have, the way they raise families, they way they view everyone else, including all people of faith... Atheist are not cold-hearted, cold-blooded, one-dimensional, thick-headed (okay, not all

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    ) and are not inflexible or unwilling to be spontaneous, to learn, to embrace joy and all manner of good things...

    For every type of erroneous misconception that can be made against an individual or a group, the non-believers have been as misunderstood and maligned as have the believers. And actually... for a far longer time when we consider how religion has behaved toward those who have resisted embracing it throughout our history.

    I think we would find that we agree on plenty of things if we ever cared to find out. However, it isn’t critical to me that you or others agree with everything I think is true or right--except when you propose that I should accept your version of truth as my own, and when Religion--in general--or a group of religionists--oversteps its/their “right” to dabble in my personal life--politically, socially, pyschologically, financially, you-name-it... “Religion” can quest for truth all it likes, but it can do so out of our public schools, and out of government, and it can release the hold it attempts to have, and would to love have, on my morals. It could also accept the truth that it has, in fact, overstepped it’s boundaries, and is long overdue to change its nature toward Man.

    That’s an opinion that I wish to share for the sake of facilitating a better understanding of my view--for any who are (ever) interested--and is not expressed for the purpose of converting anyone to my way of thinking. I’m content to take my own journey, in my own time, and without company. I’m also equally aware that my view may be of no interest whatsoever to others. Makes no difference to me. I “share” because *I* want to share. Doing so is part of who I am. Others will read or not, think or not. The choice is theirs.

    I think we all give glimpses of the multiple facets of our personality by the things we say, do, (or write), but how much of that can we take and call hard knowledge about any one person?

    For any little snippet of insight I think I might have gleaned from reading Jan Ardena’s posts, I am also acutely aware that this knowledge is limited at best, and that I might well insult Jan Ardena if I play too fast and free with what I “speculate” that I might know about him/her--as well as undermine any of Jan‘s, my, or other‘s attempts to really communicate. I have to remember my priorities. At least I try to.

    Again, depending on what you value and on the priorities you have, there might be a better way to bring about understanding, and to be understood.

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    Good that we can agree on something so basic. I was willing to make a private bet with myself that Jan Ardena would understand a comment like that quick enough--a bet placed on hope rather than faith--and because I really don‘t think you are a fool.

    Reincarnation? (uh-oh)

    Naw, we’ll let that lie for now.

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    ~~~

    Peace,

    Counterbalance
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2002
  20. Teg Unknown Citizen Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    672
    Those who survived concentration camps claim also to have gained insight into the human situation. Should we then all experience from that directly? The plight of one often serves as a lesson to all. Exposure to pain is a neccessity to be sure, but remember well that we too have been exposed at least in that sense to religion in one way or another. I attended as a boy and quickly outgrew it. I doubt that too many here can be accused of being close-minded (Sir. Loone and Tony1 being notable exceptions).
    In debate we do have allowances for posturing and cheap tactics, but generally all play by the same rule: stick to the facts. That way we cannot go wrong.
    I am willing. So long as you don't claim that dinosaurs existed less than 6,000 years ago, I am willing to hear you out. I do not preclude the existence of a god. I do not presume to know the truth, so let the conversation continue. Ignore the prattle and we can have it. I know you are affraid that we will use you in some sort of replacement effect due to Loone and Tony1's absence (Ever notice that they ussually dissapear around the same time?). You want respect and I am willing. Let's talk about something interesting and get out of this he said she said, cutthroat positioning. Let's go back to what we were talking about before the combative atmoshpere.
     
  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    Just curious, but what (more specifically) has given you the understanding that “religion” is being taught this way in order to facilitate more tolerance in the world?

    Why else would Islam be introduced into the curriculum, only in the last 20 years, in the UK anyways.
    Why else has there been a new bill passed in British parliament which says that it is now illegal to discriminate against people of different religions. Why was it not illegal before.
    Apart from that, I know teachers who teach religious education, who says that is precisely the reason why, and who also states that the essence of religion, is not being addressed. And further more, you are not allowed to teach this.
    Some universities dabble in the philosophy of religion, but it has to be from an atheistic veiwpoint, which to me defeats the object of religious education, unless of course you are planning to construct a new religion.

    With regards your point that in America today, religion is being taught on a more deeper basis than what I originally mentioned, I fail to understand why they are not taught about the his (Jesus’) life from 12 to 32, where he travelled and taught. This is the most enlightening part of his purpose and is well documented in these locations. But for some reason or other, they are not taken seriously by so-called religious scholars. It makes me wonder what their actual scholarship entails.

    I think the problem with understanding scripture, is that people try to interpret it, it reminds me of a little story of Dr. Frog.

    Dr. Frog lived and worked in a well, and one day was visited by his friend, who informed him of a vast body of water called an ocean, which he had seen on his travels.
    Dr. Frog inquired from his friend, if this ocean was bigger than his well.
    His friend said oh yes it is much bigger.
    Dr. Frog continued; “What 10 times bigger”
    His friend; “No much bigger”
    Dr. Frog continued; “A 100 times, a 1000 times, million times…”
    To this is friend kept reply, no.
    You see Froggy would not admit to himself that he had no idea, he was too proud of his small position.
    He died while still trying to calculate the difference and therefore wasted his life, perhaps he should have taken his mates word for it eh!
    Or maybe he left his theories behind so other frogs could carry on where he left off.
    Who knows?
    The point of the story is that we cannot fathom the size, scale, magnitude and dimensions of this universe what to speak of inumerable universes. How on earth can we interpret God and His religion with our puny little brains.

    You say essence is missing because it is too largely defined by most of the worlds religions and teachers.
    Here I disagree.
    The essence of every bona-fide religion is God.
    How do I know?
    Because it says so.
    This is the danger of interpretation by someone who does not live his life perfectly in accordance with scripture as put forth by God.
    How we live our life is part and parcel of religion or non-religion.

    appologies if it appears I am speaking from the point of veiw that I am correct, but it is non different than any of the views of one who believes wholeheartedly that God does not exist. I am not trying to convert you, only you can do that, I am merely speaking as I see. I hope you can appreciate that.

    If you wish to become a scientist, then you have to associate with learned scientists, this is how it works. That means you have to prepare your body, mind and lifestyle to get the best results.
    It is imperative you give the appropriate respect to your teachers and other great scientists who are both living and dead.
    That is religious, but not religion.

    This is what makes me bite sometimes, because even though atheists don’t or can’t have any respect for God or His teachers, they should refrain from their put-downs and on a lot of occasions complete profanity, for the sake of those who have respect for them on this board.
    I have yet to see any believer of God on this forum, show that form of behaviour concerning great scientists who are respected especially by the science community.

    I’ll leave it there for now, in the hope (not faith) that we can discuss on a more rational basis. I know you think I’m irrational, but I think you’re irrational also, so we only cancel each other out, which we both know is non-productive.

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
     
  22. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    373
    Well, actually, Jan... there could be other reasons.

    A new bill passed in British parliament will have something to do with the public and private agendas of the politicians who strove to get the bill passed. That’s just one of the possible factors in play here.

    The teachers who say this may be sharing some informed opinions, or they may just be opinions. They may also be quite biased opinions.

    Depends on where you live, but if a private university (not funded by public monies) wishes to offer courses on religion, then they are “free” (relatively speaking) to offer courses that highlight, propose and explain the stuff from any kind of viewpoint, as well as to hire teachers who will “teach” these proposals and explanations in ways that the university concurs with--if the university cares much about it--and typically, they do. “Religion” is a touchy subject, and those who hold the purse strings of such a university will have some say about what courses are taught, or even how they are taught.

    Perhaps you’d like to re-read my post. I think you may have misunderstood me.

    I really don’t know which group of teachers you’re talking about, or where they are all located. However, the reasons teachers in general are not teaching about Christ’s life in a way you deem proper could stem from fundamental differences in opinions about what is important to be taught. This is hardly surprising given the nature of the “course material” in question. The material itself is to be interpreted--we can’t escape this, Jan--by human readers and their teachers. Further, the importance of the subject being taught is relative--as it will always be when a collection of “ideas” and supposed historical “facts” are what’s being taught and/or actively pushed onto a world’s population.

    One main reason why scripture is not considered as you would (seemingly) like for it to be is that so much of what it is...is like the story you’ve presented above. You, yourself, after offering a story, have just supplied the reader with some possible interpretations of what Dr. Frog was doing and why. No offense Jan, but you don’t seem to understand something that is really quite obvious.

    Actually, you help to prove my point, Jan. You have a differing opinion from mine and other people. You may claim that you are correct. In your mind and heart you can believe it. You can be sure you are right. You can know you are right...

    But what do you really know? You know what Jan Ardena has concluded is correct--by Jan Ardena’s reasoning, by Jan Ardena‘s standards--and even by the standards of Jan’s friends, relatives, etc... but... the fact that you are sure you are correct about this kind of “thing” does not mean you actually are any more correct than others are who would insist that they are also right when trying to outline an appropriate “approach” to understanding that which isn’t even meant to be understood in the first place--as various scriptures, the world over, will tell us.

    When this is the case--and it is the case in many people’s minds where religion and it’s teachings are concerned--then the next step is to seek for proof to support the beliefs/interpretations one claims should not be questioned. If we all saw it the same way, and if “religion” had not caused so much grief for Mankind, then none of this would be an issue.

    I appreciate anyone’s efforts to improve mutual understanding when trying to communicate something that is important. I don’t expect that what I think is “right” will be accepted by everyone, even as I’m aware that it may sound as though I do. If I can understand this much about myself, I hope I can also understand something about where others are coming from.

    Well, this takes us back to some of what’s been discussed with Taken and others just previously on this thread. I agree that put-downs are generally counter-productive, and are more prone to be taken in the wrong way in an Internet forum that’s visited by people the world over. What’s humorous to one isn’t humorous to another, and often for reasons that can’t be overcome without delving into yet more deep discussions, etc...

    As for respect being shown by “any believer of God on this forum...” Perception, Jan. And there have been some believers who have been, in fact, quite disrespectful, though they often have shown this disrespect in ways that tend to be overlooked by other believers. Just knowing that debates over religion go on in this place is enough to make most reserve judgment about who’s really slinging mud and who isn’t. What’s mud to you may not be mud to someone else. Perception. Interpretation. It never ends...

    But Jan.... I AM discussing this with you in a rational manner.

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    And I also “get it” that you don’t think that I am.

    However, dear Jan... you don’t have the power to cancel me out. Not in my mind or heart where it really matters. Only I can do that.

    ~~~

    Peace,

    Counterbalance
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2002
  23. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    Well, actually, Jan... there could be other reasons.

    Your right, but time is of the essence.

    A new bill passed in British parliament will have something to do with the public and private agendas of the politicians who strove to get the bill passed. That’s just one of the possible factors in play here.

    True, and mine could be another factor.

    The teachers who say this may be sharing some informed opinions, or they may just be opinions. They may also be quite biased opinions.

    They may also be correct.

    Using a private university could be one way of being taught exactly what you want, but that privilege, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your awareness level, does not extend itself to the whole world.

    However, the reasons teachers in general are not teaching about Christ’s life in a way you deem proper could stem from fundamental differences in opinions about what is important to be taught.

    The difference could easily be overcome by teaching what Christ taught, which is already set out.

    The material itself is to be interpreted--we can’t escape this, Jan--by human readers and their teachers.

    Some of the material, especially for the general consciousness of today, does need to be interpreted, but it should not be interpreted by people who do not live only to serve God and His servants, or people who don’t believe in Christ. This is the way to enlightenment of God, as prescribed in all religions, including Buddists. And even in materialistic peoples consciousness, they follow the leader. In fact lets go the whole nine yards, even dogs.

    Further, the importance of the subject being taught is relative--as it will always be when a collection of “ideas” and supposed historical “facts” are what’s being taught and/or actively pushed onto a world’s population.

    That is a secular way of looking at it, but it does not enlighten the student.
    Its like a lot of parents from 25 years ago, vowed they are not going to bring there children up the way they were brought up, no strickness, give the child what it wants when it wants, no religion and no matter what my child is right. 20 years on and we are beginning to understand what chaos is really all about.

    One main reason why scripture is not considered as you would (seemingly) like for it to be is that so much of what it is...is like the story you’ve presented above.

    No I have to disagree.
    In the story Dr. Frog did not believe in the statement of his friend who had the qualification of experience.
    He demanded that the vast ocean was only within the realm of what he could either see with his eyes or imagine. He failed to realise that all these wonderful aspects of his being were limited and that something like this could only be explained by a superior knowledge, which had to come from outside his perceived world. This type of mentality fits the modern day theoretical scientists. The scripture tells, from all angles, how this world was created, but they are still trying to calculate, like Dr. Frog.

    But what do you really know?

    That is a good question. I, like everybody else, knows what it is important to know for my well-being, according to the level of my consciousness, so I would say, the real question is what is the state of my consciousness.
    To answer this, one would have to study my actions, the result of which would tell exactly where I am at, irregardless of what I think.


    You know what Jan Ardena has concluded is correct--by Jan Ardena’s reasoning, by Jan Ardena‘s standards--and even by the standards of Jan’s friends, relatives, etc... but... the fact that you are sure you are correct about this kind of “thing” does not mean you actually are any more correct than others…

    But that is not the point. If I am trying to convince you of something, (which I am not) by stating that I am right and you are wrong, then ultimately I am wrong, even if what I say is right.
    On this board people state that God does not exist.
    That’s fine, because I state that he does exist. That is a fair response IMO.
    As I said before, I try to give out what I get, so if someone gives a reason why there is no God, then I give a reason why there is a God.


    When this is the case--and it is the case in many people’s minds where religion and it’s teachings are concerned--then the next step is to seek for proof to support the beliefs/interpretations one claims should not be questioned.

    That’s very nice, but you only accept proof on your terms, which basically means, you want to see it with your eyes. Our eyes are weak, even compared with other life forms, how can anything, purely spiritual, be seen with these eyes, we have to learn to understand with all our senses, hearing especially. We cannot even see air, so what chance is there of seeing spirit. But we can, if we train ourselves, hear the spirirtual essence, far more easily than seeing it. Its not impossible to see it, but one has to prepare themself. This is the essence of religion, as stated in all scripture.

    If we all saw it the same way, and if “religion” had not caused so much grief for Mankind, then none of this would be an issue.

    Real religion has nothing to do with material life as we know it. It is concerned, purley with the soul, the essence of the body.
    When we see Israel pounding Palestine, and Palestine flying into Israeli buildings, that is not religion, they say it is in the name of their particular strand of religion. But what they are doing, has nothing to do with pure religion. But God knows that there are these classes of men, especially at this time, so he acts to protect His devoted followers.
    I could easily say that atheism is based on fascism and natzi-ism based on the fact that hitler did not believe in a supreme being, he saw himself as a possible candidate, which is IMO, is atheism at its very worst. But that would not be a true statement.

    Perception, Jan. And there have been some believers who have been, in fact, quite disrespectful…

    Quite disrespectful is a tad different, than some of the profanity which has been exhibited.
    But if that’s how one feels, that’s fair enough, but why the….. “right then! seeing as you don't see it my way, its my ball and I’m taking it home, complex”……. Which is constantly displayed by certain posters.
    This a poster board, isn't it? LOL.

    However, dear Jan... you don’t have the power to cancel me out. Not in my mind or heart where it really matters. Only I can do that.

    Of course I don’t.
    And I wouldn’t want to.

    Love.

    Jan Ardena.
     

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