Worship

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wesmorris, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Enthralling the first time, but because of the uniqueness of the experience. But the actual show itself, I think would be boring. Mine mostly is and I think out of the box more than most people I meet. The bulk is still the mutterings of some minor character in a TV soap opera.

    We do harm people all the time despite consciences. Also our experience of our 'being in the moment' is tainted by the fact that we are under conscience's thumb all the time. I need to see a real double blind study where other factors are removed, if you get my drift. Worth exploring. I mean people walk around with this assumption that they must be split, psychically, one part judging and controlling the other. Why? because it must be so that we cannot be ethical beings without this. Seems like some skepticism about this assumption is sorely lacking.

    And capable of worse crimes than other mammals. Insects manage to hit our scale of violence and cruelty, but nobody else does. And how do we do this: ideas. Jews are subhuman. Muslims hate our freedom. They we throw images at these 'minds with consciences' and the killing begins. All we need to do to fully disrupt this 'conscience' is play its game or have it played by others. And they do this well. Nevertheless we leave this mechanism in place. Like an invitation for fascism and genocide.

    Actually I am positive. Which I why I am pushing at something that is negative in the extreme: this idea that I need an inner cop, judge and jury.

    Guess what happens to children if you raise them this way.
    I can't speak for others but I know this is not true for me. The more I have dissolved conscience the more empathetic and kind I am. I am also much more likely to protect myself from cruelty better. I have very little conscience left.

    See what we do with a conscience is we send an ongoing message that the self is not to be trusted. Guess what : this does not lead to happy campers. Instead of noticing how other people feel and how this is important to us, we follow rules and fear our own inner punishment. But I can't be sure other people are like me. I know some are, and most of those who are my friends are busy eliminating 'conscience' also. Some are empathetic enough to not really have ever needed it. It faded away like the Marxist state a long time ago. Only it did unlike the Marxist state. If only we could all be so lucky.

    An internalized deity, however secular we think we are, leaves little room for looking down on theists.

    Notice how your responses presume Original Sin.
     
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  3. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Wes,

    Notice how your responses presume Original Sin.
    I see the modern atheist agnostic as a direct child of the monotheists. They have internalized the dynamic, but it rests on the same view of humans. Your psyche is Christian, even if your beliefs about what is out there are not.

    Enthralling the first time, but because of the uniqueness of the experience. But the actual show itself, I think would be boring. Mine mostly is and I think out of the box more than most people I meet. The bulk is still the mutterings of some minor character in a TV soap opera.

    We do harm people all the time despite consciences. Also our experience of our 'being in the moment' is tainted by the fact that we are under conscience's thumb all the time. I need to see a real double blind study where other factors are removed, if you get my drift. Worth exploring. I mean people walk around with this assumption that they must be split, psychically, one part judging and controlling the other. Why? because it must be so that we cannot be ethical beings without this. Seems like some skepticism about this assumption is sorely lacking.

    And capable of worse crimes than other mammals. Insects manage to hit our scale of violence and cruelty, but nobody else does. And how do we do this: ideas. Jews are subhuman. Muslims hate our freedom. They we throw images at these 'minds with consciences' and the killing begins. All we need to do to fully disrupt this 'conscience' is play its game or have it played by others. And they do this well. Nevertheless we leave this mechanism in place. Like an invitation for fascism and genocide.

    Actually I am positive. Which I why I am pushing at something that is negative in the extreme: this idea that I need an inner cop, judge and jury.

    Guess what happens to children if you raise them this way.
    I can't speak for others but I know this is not true for me. The more I have dissolved conscience the more empathetic and kind I am. I am also much more likely to protect myself from cruelty better. I have very little conscience left.

    See what we do with a conscience is we send an ongoing message that the self is not to be trusted. Guess what : this does not lead to happy campers. Instead of noticing how other people feel and how this is important to us, we follow rules and fear our own inner punishment. But I can't be sure other people are like me. I know some are, and most of those who are my friends are busy eliminating 'conscience' also. Some are empathetic enough to not really have ever needed it. It faded away like the Marxist state a long time ago. Only it did unlike the Marxist state. If only we could all be so lucky.

    An internalized deity, however secular we think we are, leaves little room for looking down on theists.
     
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  5. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    It really doesn't. What you mistake for it is probably something from my personal life that had a great impact on me as a youth. I discovered at one point, a bounty of endless rage wherein I realized I could - if in a particular state of mind brought on by violence against me - really, REALLY harm people. I was quite young at the time, around 8 I think and it scared the living shit out of me because well, I'm pretty empathic in generally and "what I could do" to others in the wrong state of mind made me think a thousand times before acting. Luckily, I've never actually done that stuff - but feeling it, knowing it was there... it was intense and frightening. Occasionally it still bothers me.

    So you say. I think not, but can't really not be me to objectively assess it. I'm pretty sure though, not. I do not view humans as subject to "original sin" or anything related to it. I view us as complicated apes, abstracted animals who do what they do and use whatever is convenient to their perspective to justify those actions retrospectively.

    Hmm.. I doubt it but who knows. I just really admire and relate to the variations of humanity that I experience. I find it wondrous for the most part.

    Well that's a tough statement I suppose depending on what you think constitutes harm. Is pruning a bush harming it? Well, yes and no. I'm sure you see the analogy I'm shooting for. I was however specifically talking about intentional harm.

    Probably so sure, but I'm not under it's thumb "all the time". I doubt many are. I'd so mostly only in social interactions? Hrmm.

    I disagree. I don't think people walk around with the assumption. I think it's just something that happened to them be it via conditioning or self-imposed from trauma, etc. I don't necessarily see it as a split either, but a system of checks and balances. My own "conscience" if you will, is me. It's not some other voice. It's me, wondering about what I'm really doing. It's easy not to notice.

    I think you're applying some arc typical ethos to all this, when it's more nuts and bolts. Maybe I've overlooked something, or maybe it's just the only way it's made sense to you so far.

    Hmm.. again I think that's overly complicated but maybe I'm overly simplistic. It seems to me from the dawn of time there has been competition for resources, one very popular resource being control of the others of our species. It turns out some of our species tend to not want to harm others, and some are more willing to do so naturally, just statistics there. However, if you're a "power broker" you'll find a convenient tool at your disposal: propaganda. Propagandists will take advantage of easy mind exploits. If you project your own humanity onto others who seem human, you probably won't want to harm them. If instead, you can dehumanize the other humans, they can be slaughtered like sheep with no downside like crippling guilt. The structure and power of belief regarding the propaganda provide a scaffolding to keep the minions from falling into the pit of despair in knowing what they did.

    There's no need to respond seriously to a joking comment damn you. But since you have, I think you're making more of it than it is. "inner cop, judge and jury" is quite grandiose to me. "self check" suffices, but again perhaps I'm too simplistic.

    I'm not sure how I could raise them that way.

    I'm just empathic and kind by nature, it's just a feeling I've had as long as I can remember. I remember as a youngster having a powerful dream of me standing by a lake looking into the eyes of another who was me too, but not. Maybe your conscience was just an evil bastard and not what it is to at least some other people. Maybe it wasn't "conscience" at all, but some complex that took you forever to begin purging... dunno of course.

    Hmm. Not sure what to say about that. I hardly ever feel the object of cruelty. I can't remember the last time I felt it directed at me for real. I suppose some arguments with someone here at sci sort of felt that way, but it's all disembodied crap that I don't think is really possible to be cruel to someone you've never actually encountered and have no direct impact upon besides characters on a monitor.

    It doesn't necessarily lead anywhere, depending on how you look at "trust". For instance, if I go to someone's house and fix up their shit all sweet and stuff, but business has been slow and I'm sort of desperate for money - I know I'll have a propensity to want to charge more because I'm sort of desperate. It's not exactly that I don't trust me, it's that I know me. So I tend to check myself more in that scenario than if I'm busy as hell. All in all I feel much better than I DO check myself for obvious reasons. I don't feel guilty about that shit at all because I check myself before doing something I'd consider unfair/mean.

    Okay maybe that's how it worked for you and in that case, I'm glad you're working on cutting that shit out. Sounds rather unhealthy and crappy. Maybe it works that way for others too. I've never really felt that way at all. I don't fear me, I trust me. I know me. I'm worthy of my trust, partially at least though because I have little checks for situations that change my general propensity for being fair. I also readily admit potential fallibility and will willingly double check if so motivated.

    Did you grow up in a religious environment? (I didn't)

    That sounds like something pounded into you, rather than something that developed as a natural reaction to yourself.
     
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  7. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    If you equate worship with love, respect and admiration then I can relate. I don't really though.

    She's a human too damnit.

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    She's not above you man - she's with you... which is IMO, far more valuable and beautiful.
     
  8. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    My apologies but I have no idea what you're trying to get at. Sounds like irrelevant gibberish to me, no offence intended for real.
     
  9. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Way to stereotype! Bastard! (no I'm not a republican, but know lots that are great people, and know lots of dems that are great too). I personally have strong distaste for either "party". They're a ruse. And please don't take "bastard" seriously. Just ribbing you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  10. Grim_Reaper I Am Death Destroyer of Worlds Registered Senior Member

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    Again well said
     
  11. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I wasn't 'accusing' you of being a republican. Check the context. I was responding to a post that was, I assume, speaking about worship of an OT God. So I brought in Republicans since they have tended, more than Dems, to worship war mongerers - Reagen Bushes. Just wanted to remind people that an atheist, which many neo cons are, can worship a secular version of the OT God.

    Often I will take a jab at both parties or ask people to choose their hated concept or person from the other party to bolster my argument. Here I felt Republicans were a better mark for the jibe.
     
  12. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I think quite a few people can find this in themselves. I certainly have. I found that I could move through it and find its roots. I believed for a long time I needed to have a deputy guarding the jail cell. Then I let the guy out and listened to him fully express for quite a while. I found that after that he could be free on his own recognances.


    Would this include, possibly, the installation of the internal jailer?

    Funny I have used the metaphor of Bonzai trees for how people often self-relate. Our minds work similarly even if the conclusions are not the same.

    But if you ask people if people could be good without conscience or guilt, even, they tend to say NO. I am not saying they even consciously hear that voice most of the time, but the belief that it is necessary is widespread.

    Generally the propagandists appeal to the conscience. 'Are you going to support our troops?' "Do you love the fatherland?' Their approach is to find a way to use the conscience to get people to perform and accept what we like to call unconscionable acts? Ironically. Once you have trained people to listen to the internal cop, rather than focus on their connections to other people for their reactions, the door is open for 'logic' to sway them anywhere. And it is also strong minds. Intellectuals, many of them, liked Hitler and other more modern fascists.


    Sorry, missed the joke on that one. I think the system is so effective that we do not consider 'not listening' to the inner voice. When we don't the self-evaluations are quite harsh. I look around and see this having powerful effects in anything from bulimia to the kinds of employer treatment we accept - even when the threat of being fired is not on the table - to plastic surgery, to depression and so on.

    Oh, I knew that.

    Could be, but most people I get to know seem to have a similar complex.

    I wasn't thinking of the internet.

    If it is really just checking then we are talking about two different things.

    Not really.

    I am putting it in the strongest terms, certainly. I think most people behave, so the voice is generally quiet. It only needs to drop hints. Often you can see the power and cruelty of that voice when people are in stress situations: break ups, around sexual issues, public exposure situations, etc. When what we avoid cannot be avoided or when deep self-esteem issues come up. Or when we feel a strong urge to do something different, or a strong urge in general.
    But I see people appeasing the voice regularly even in 'calm' periods. And I am not talking about formally religious people, since I am not social with them, for the most part.

    But I'll leave this tangent here. 1 it's a tangent, 2 I think we've each said our piece and will repeat for the most part here.
     
  13. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry to jump in on a conversation in progress . It's been quite fascinating. I had a few thoughts.

    My initial reaction to the notion of worship is similar but I think perhaps it's due the lamentable attitude that most religions have towards the individual which twists our understanding of the word. I have to question term "sacrifice" as well since quite often what is meant by this is something taken from another by force or coerced by the threat of force.

    Worship seems to be mostly about servility, abasement, and sycophantic pleading(1). This seems to be what is demanded by some religions and it does seem to render the equation pointless; what value is there in praise from one who is worthless?

    I think (giving him the benefit of the doubt) that perhaps Gandhi was working under a different definition than what we commonly think of. In stating that worship is lacking without sacrifice I offer that perhaps he was saying that the individual must invest of themselves something of value. It's easy enough to speak about love for ones fellow man while sitting in the front pew, getting your hands dirty and lifting someone up from the gutter costs something.

    As to conscience and:
    Beautifully stated. I fear, however, that it's a bit more insidious than this. Though certainly religious morality and its influence of social values and behaviors plays its part. Conscience, I'll proffer, stands as the arbitrator of values in the individual. This process of self-correction is intrinsic and perhaps necessary to the process of socialization. We are taught from birth to adjust our behavior from what is purely "natural" and to behave by the rules and values of our society.

    I believe however, the voice becomes louder the more conflicted these rules and values are. Aggression, for example, is in opposition to compassion. The individual can become locked in a state of continual dilemma, having to choose between value sets. We can find dilemma once again in the valuation of the self, simultaneously under-valuing and over-valuing the individual (in much of western society at least). One can proceed towards dissolving ones conscience by moving towards self-awareness and aligning ones values.

    And here maybe I can nudge the themes together, as they both come to a point of ethics. Both "worship" and indeed "sacrifice" seem to stand out as questionable values. But perhaps we can draw them in line with the rest of the list . If we elevate and maintain the value of the individual, worship and sacrifice are no longer about abasement and force, but about respect and giving. A worthy offering of self, given freely for something you believe in.

    The problem with worship then, as with most things religious, is not in original intent but with the way it is perverted. Since I seem to be in a python sort of mood, I'll quote John Cleese, "What is absurd is not the teachings of the founders of religion, it's what followers subsequently make of it."

    ~Raithere

    P.S. Regarding studies about conscience. Surprisingly, economics is a rich field for this. The nature of altruism and peoples' related behavior under a variety of settings for example.


    (1) I always think of this scene in "Meaning of Life":

    Chaplain: Let us praise God. O Lord...
    Congregation: O Lord...
    Chaplain: ...Ooh, You are so big...
    Congregation: ...ooh, You are so big...
    Chaplain: ...So absolutely huge.
    Congregation: ...So absolutely huge.
    Chaplain: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
    Congregation: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
    Chaplain: Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...
    Congregation: And barefaced flattery.
    Chaplain: But You are so strong and, well, just so super.
    Congregation: Fantastic.
    Humphrey: Amen.
    Congregation: Amen.
     
  14. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    holy fuck, raith. WOW long time no see dude, holy shit.
     
  15. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Okay.. now that I got that out of my system (shakes your hand, warm greetings, much respect, etc)

    Well put sah!

    I admitted up front that I took the man out of context!

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    I do think you're right though, as you've framed it "worship with no sacrifice" is indeed not worship at all.

    I can see though, how worship even WITH sacrifice could be even worse. hehe..

    (i mean if all that's purported as self is a writhing semblance of blind obedience)
     
  16. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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    Good to see you too. Been quite busy so I haven't been around much for a while.

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    I'm not sure that's the case. Gandhi, being a folk hero now, is painted rather more brightly than then the life-and-blood person who had questionable behaviors and beliefs. That he could commit some glaring errors is more likely than not. Still there's wisdom in much of what he says in that list and perhaps it's helpful to tweak it a bit and give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Seems to me it's a central problem with every religion, indeed every belief system that relies upon blind faith and dogma. I wonder if any static morality can remain truly ethical.

    ~Raithere
     
  17. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    still, i invite you to consider posts #33, 34, an 35. sure, i'm playing devil's advocate a bit myself here--but i've almost convinced myself...

    this (and i'll reiterate that "giving him the benefit of the doubt" bit) seems a possibility:

    and this:

    even given a lifetime removed from such, one can not so easily shed one's cultural inheritance. conscience? guilt? the notion of a "pure" secular atheist agnostic is a myth, lest one was reared by wolves at a considerable remove from civilization. miscegenation (in the broad sense) is the rule and perhaps the traces can fade away, but they can never be fully erased.

    so worship and sacrifice? probably not so alien a notion as you might think, methinks it lerxst (spelling intended) somewhere back there in the far recesses of that thing you call "mind."
     
  18. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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    And certainly this is exactly what we see and hear much of the time. It's a central tenet of the largest religions that either we are unworthy or that life is a state we should wish to be rid of.

    Unfortunate choice of terms but from the nature of the list it's obvious he was trying to be concise and thought provoking rather than give a thorough treatment of the ideas behind the phrases. Interpretation is necessary.

    As to the purity of thought or belief being a myth, well yes, we are all mirrors of our cultures. I don't think that such "purity" would be commendable even if it existed. It's not that the concepts are alien, it's that I have an ethical objection to many of the values and behaviors associated with them. But I strive move beyond my initial rejection and see if I can find value there rather than belabor the worst examples I can think of. It's more productive and gives me a common ground from which to work.

    The problem that remains is that these concepts can be so easily and so completely corrupted into instruments of control. This, IMO, is the primary failure of religion. Indeed all ideologies are prone to it.

    ~Raithere
     
  19. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Well actually I didn't respond to you before besides to dismiss because I wasn't really considering the context in which the term "worship" was delivered when I posted. What happened was, I was stumbling (stumbleupon.com) and came across the Gandhi thing. I scanned down it and found it sort of good until I came across the term "worship", which sent ME on a completely different tangent. In a way I regret even posting the context in which it came into my mind... but at the time I was just regurgitating the process that led to my question.

    I took the term from his context into a human context in where it often seems expected that one worship some deity, person or object. Then of course I wondered if it's mostly a social thing or if there's a propensity to do it either way (which I think there is, but not entirely pervasive). Then I wondered if people wonder why they do it, or if it seems like breathing to them so I thought I'd pose the question because I was in the mood.

    I'm not really that interested in what Gandhi was saying. He seems okay and stuff but I see myself as rather independent in terms of philosophy and unless something strikes me as particularly profound I'm sort of "meh", which I was about his assertions there.

    Honestly I'm generally not that interested in "the works of philosophy" so to speak. I'm interesting in interacting with others to discover shit, not reading about what some other jackasses discovered unless I happen to know them or can pick their brains about it directly. Meh, so as I say, wasn't really that interested in what he meant.. but more interested in what the fuck is worship anyway, and why the shit does anyone sucker for it? Seems sort of dumb to me on one hand, but then on the other I see it as an evolutionary tool for mind control, basically - which is probably when considering the fate of the species as a whole, a good thing - at least up until recent times in which I'm not as sure.

    Perhaps you can understand why I still fail to indulge you completely on this topic? I don't necessarily think you're wrong, I just don't care much what Gandhi meant. No offence intended of course.

    Regardless of Gandhi, I've decided I dig the "cut of your jib" if you will.
     
  20. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    ahhh, "stumble upon"--my preferred method.

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    the bolded part is interesting and something i often wonder about (and even wander about). what decons and i were getting at with our similar reading of "sacrifice": offering oneself, offering one's whole self. but then, mightn't this "self" prove a hindrance to the endeavor of "worship"?

    prana, atma, ruach, nephesh (hebrew): all words pertaining to the self, the soul, or the spirit; but also, all relating to breath and breathing.

    is worship natural, i.e. in the sense that eating, sleeping, defecating are natural? or is it somehow contrived? and just how mindful (sacrifice) ought one to be--can you go overboard? i mean, perhaps by thinking to oneself, "alright, i'm really going to give this my all--110 percent," one might be denigrating, or even sabotaging, the endeavor.

    yeah, gandhi was a "great man" and all that, but frankly his writing just doesn't do it for me. it's just kinda boring. funnily, i believe that i read his (auto?)biography at around the same time i was reading paramahansa yogananda's autobiography of a yogi, and i'm getting them confused. though yogananda wins hands down in the "compelling literature" department.

    bah! philosophy texts can make for great reading, just don't bother with any of those anglo-analytic types (save wittgenstein, who doesn't properly fall into this tradition anyways)! as for the western world, the french, germans, and italians have long seemed to have a flair, an they rightly poke fun at the english speakers' tendency to be rattled by ambiguity. as jim rose, of the jim rose circus, said (in an episode of the x-files): "nature abhors normality."

    worship is indeed a peculiar notion--i mean, meditation seems perfectly "natural" and "normal"; and for me, i believe it is in fact my "default" state. even formalized, systematic meditation "makes sense." but worship? i'm still not entirely clear as to what it is, and whether the liberties taken by decons, myself, and perhaps gandhi in "defining" it are warranted. in short, it's a slippery one.
     
  21. TheShadow Registered Member

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    Worship suggests that the perfect Deity needs it. Hardly. A God would be far above that human characterstic. This deity would be he perfect communcator, we would have one religion. Prayer is a form of begging that would not be needed, God would have eliminated the need for it. Funny how much of what we assign to God are humans creating God in our own image.
     
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    or alternatively, that the worshipper needs it.

    hence being human places one in a potentially perilous situation

    Perfect communication requires two parties to be on par, not one.
    assuming that god doesn't have a role to play outside of a cosmic vending machine and the living entity doesn't have a role to play outside of being a constant source of impossible want.

    Funny how much criticism of god is based on using humanity as a yardstick for determining how he can and cannot be.
     
  23. TheShadow Registered Member

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    A communicator needs only an audience. What is potentially perilous about being human. Mortality and health are a given. Were you referring to something spiritual? I am not criticizing God, no one knows if there is one.
     

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