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> Rick Asks About Unitarians and Unitheism, Are They Similar? If So, In What Ways?--FREEDOM & FAITH IN ACTION
Lindsay
post Dec 14, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Rick, I have a great respect for the Unitarian philosophy of religion: Here is a brief outline. Perhaps we could invite a unitarian to join the dialogue here.

http://web.mac.com/mgienke/iWeb/BSEUnitari...%20beliefs.html

BTW, over the years, I have been invited to speak at several Unitarian churches in the Toronto area. I usually use the topic: WHY I COULD BE A UNITARIAN, BUT I AM NOT.

My short answer is: Because the United Church of Canada is so inclusive in matters of theology and faith that I have all the freedom of belief I need within it. The UCC is more into orthopraxy (the practice of agape/Christian/Love--Like the Democrats are supposed to be, Rick) than in orthodoxy
=======================================================

Meanwhile, Check out: http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthrea...32917#Post32917

There I am carrying on a lively dialogue with several atheists/agnostics in a thread by Socratus. I think he is a physicist and a Russian Orthodox. The following is the latest post I made to his thread.

QUOTE(socratus)
Where and Who is God ? .......
Good dialogue, everyone. If the following comment on the topic is a repeat, I apologize:

Socratus, I know you mean well in raising this question, but, for me, it is a question that I, as a unitheist, would never ask. http://www.unitheist.org

IMO, GOD is not a some 'who' who exists some 'where', like you and I exist. For me, to think of divine Being, the infinite and eternal Now in this way, is to create an idol with the mind.

When Richard Dawkins asks theists: "What and where is your evidence for 'God'" he is asking the same kind of question we have as the title of this topic. In effect he is asking: "Who is, and where is, your God? Introduce me!"

If he asked me this, my answer would be: "Richard your question is like that asked by very young children: 'Daddy! Mommy! If God made us and the world, who made God?'

"Children need to be more mature before they can even ask mature questions and understand mature answers. I trust you are mature and know what I mean when I say: GOD, like the whole of Nature, or Reality, is the every Who and the every Where in which you and I exist.

"Now, as a mature thinkers, surely we can turn on all our physical, mental and spiritual senses. Therefore, to you I say relax, enjoy--and as the scientist you are--continue to help all of us explore this self-evident panentheistic truth. If you prefer to call this truth Nature and/or Reality, go ahead. In addition, I like to use the succinct term GOD. I give you the same freedom of the use of language that I ask of you." smile.gif
========================================================================

If anyone has Richard Dawkins e-mail, I would love to hear his response to the above.
BTW, I firmly feel that we all have the right to define GOD, God , god, whatever, ion our own terms.
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maximus242
post Dec 15, 2009, 01:49 AM
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Ah I think Richard Dawkins would tear that response into pieces in about 2 seconds.

#1. Spiritual senses? What evidence of spiritual senses are there? What scientific tests have been conducted and replicated under double blind conditions showing the existence of spiritual senses.

#2. What you are basically referring to is that God is all of matter. In which case God is simply another word for everything which exists in the universe. Which has no bearing on any divine, religious or omnipotent figure. You are essentially saying god is everything, which doesnt really mean anything.

To suppose a divine intelligence and then to say that it is everything would suppose that we ourselves are god. If this is true then we should have divine capabilities seeing as we are in fact -- part of god.

#3. If god is an idol within the mind then essentially your saying god is your imaginary friend.

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Hey Hey
post Dec 15, 2009, 03:57 AM
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From Sheldrake's review of Dennet's book 'Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon":

The central message of this book is that religion is a product of evolutionary psychology, based on aspects of human nature favoured by natural selection over many thousands of years. Dennett proposes a variety of theories:

First, "sweet tooth" theories. We have evolved a receptor system for sweet things, and in a similar way we might have a "god centre" in our brains. Such a centre might depend on a "mystical gene" that was favoured by natural selection because people with it tended to survive better.

Second, religions might be memes that infect our brains. They are not necessarily parasitic, but could be symbiotic, conferring advantages on those who are infected.

Third, religion might be favoured in sexual selection by females. For example, women might have preferred men who demonstrated sensitivity to music and ceremony, thus spreading genes for religious behaviour within the population.

Fourth, religions may be cultural artifacts, like money. They could have evolved because they make social life more harmonious, secure and efficient. Or else they could have evolved because they enable an elite to prey upon the ill-informed and powerless.

Fifth, religions may be rather like pearls, beautiful byproducts that arose in response to irritants, which then captivated human beings for no good reason.

These theories are evidence-free and wildly speculative. By several criteria, they are pseudoscience. Or they are intellectual games. In any case, Dennett goes on to speculate further. For example, in shamanic cultures, there might have been natural selection for a "hypnotizability gene" that affected brain chemistry, making people more prone to suggestion by shamans, and hence more likely to survive ill health because of a greater placebo response.

He also proposes that we have inherited an evolved capacity for romantic love that has been exploited by religious memes, which could "get people to think that it was actually honourable to take offence, to attack all skeptics with fury, to lash out wildly and without concern for their own safety."
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Rick
post Dec 15, 2009, 09:01 AM
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So Unitarianism, as a dogma that eschews all dogma, is a bit like a non-religious social club. Why not just call it a social club for those interested in spiritual feeling?
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post Dec 15, 2009, 09:22 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 15, 2009, 09:01 AM) *

Why not just call it a social club for those interested in spiritual feeling?

That would make them phonier than they want to appear. We have a church without religion around here. That's more like what you're talking about:
http://www.hcof.org/
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maximus242
post Dec 15, 2009, 09:51 AM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Dec 15, 2009, 04:57 AM) *

From Sheldrake's review of Dennet's book 'Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon":

The central message of this book is that religion is a product of evolutionary psychology, based on aspects of human nature favoured by natural selection over many thousands of years. Dennett proposes a variety of theories:

First, "sweet tooth" theories. We have evolved a receptor system for sweet things, and in a similar way we might have a "god centre" in our brains. Such a centre might depend on a "mystical gene" that was favoured by natural selection because people with it tended to survive better.

Second, religions might be memes that infect our brains. They are not necessarily parasitic, but could be symbiotic, conferring advantages on those who are infected.

Third, religion might be favoured in sexual selection by females. For example, women might have preferred men who demonstrated sensitivity to music and ceremony, thus spreading genes for religious behaviour within the population.

Fourth, religions may be cultural artifacts, like money. They could have evolved because they make social life more harmonious, secure and efficient. Or else they could have evolved because they enable an elite to prey upon the ill-informed and powerless.

Fifth, religions may be rather like pearls, beautiful byproducts that arose in response to irritants, which then captivated human beings for no good reason.

These theories are evidence-free and wildly speculative. By several criteria, they are pseudoscience. Or they are intellectual games. In any case, Dennett goes on to speculate further. For example, in shamanic cultures, there might have been natural selection for a "hypnotizability gene" that affected brain chemistry, making people more prone to suggestion by shamans, and hence more likely to survive ill health because of a greater placebo response.

He also proposes that we have inherited an evolved capacity for romantic love that has been exploited by religious memes, which could "get people to think that it was actually honourable to take offence, to attack all skeptics with fury, to lash out wildly and without concern for their own safety."


From what I understand its speculated to have evolved as

A. A way of explaining the world, a precursor to science.
B. A way of causing maturity and whats known as high character in people to create a better functioning society.
C. Psychological relief

I would not say its naturally that people have a greater disposition to religion via evolutionary biology. I think you can make anyone into a religious zealot by surrounding him/her in an environment that strongly promotes it from an early age. Likewise I think you can make someone very scientifically oriented by doing the same. The reason why some people dont believe in religion is more to do with critical thinking and philosophy than it is genes.

People question, questions reveal inconsistencies, inconsistencies create doubt. Those who do not question, do not doubt.
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Rick
post Dec 15, 2009, 12:05 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Dec 15, 2009, 09:22 AM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 15, 2009, 09:01 AM) *

Why not just call it a social club for those interested in spiritual feeling?

That would make them phonier than they want to appear. We have a church without religion around here. That's more like what you're talking about:
http://www.hcof.org/

What a great idea! All the benefits of a social club and all the tax-free status of a church!
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post Dec 15, 2009, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 15, 2009, 12:05 PM) *

QUOTE(code buttons @ Dec 15, 2009, 09:22 AM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 15, 2009, 09:01 AM) *

Why not just call it a social club for those interested in spiritual feeling?

That would make them phonier than they want to appear. We have a church without religion around here. That's more like what you're talking about:
http://www.hcof.org/

What a great idea! All the benefits of a social club and all the tax-free status of a church!

Haha! Well, you should start one there where you're at, then! But, joking aside, that's not the reason why I looked them up. The concept is really groovy, and I found them by googleling "Church without religion in Houston". The social aspect of the church community is one thing that I miss dearly from my years growing-up a christian.
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Rick
post Dec 15, 2009, 05:49 PM
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"... start one there where you're at ..."

Might just do that.
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Lindsay
post Dec 17, 2009, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Dec 15, 2009, 04:49 AM) *
Ah I think Richard Dawkins would tear that response into pieces in about 2 seconds. ...
Max, is this a hope? Or a fear? If he is too busy to give it a try, why don't you have a go?

ABOUT DAWKINS AND ATHEISM

Nothing I have read that he wrote in his book on, The GOD Delusion, or I have heard him say in interviews, which I have heard him give over our CBC radio, threatens any of the truths theologians that I know and respect find worth of believing in, living by and dying for.

The same is true for ALL the comments I have heard from any number of atheists/agnostics at www.about.com with whom I have been dialogging for a number of weeks.

I got involved hoping to hear something challenging. Having learned very little of worth, I am just about finished my dialog there.

From Dawkins, and the atheists at about.com here is what I have learned:

We only live once. Of course, short though it be, life ought to be lived meaningfully and morally. But each of us will only live for as long as we live. Had all of us, here and now, died before birth, or at birth, that would be it. Period. We have never lived before now, and there is no life after this one. Having faith in, hope for and love of any kind of life in the future is simply a waste of time.

Above all, unitheists are not afraid to admit:

We could be wrong. Correct me, if I am--and I hope that I am--but here is what I hear the atheists/agnostics, to whom I communicate, saying:

According to atheists: The goal of conscious life is DEATH! The best one can hope for is: Death will be swift and painless.

I repeat: Atheists, if I have misunderstood what I have read and what I have been told: Please let me know.

Do you really mean that: The idea that human beings are destined, by Nature, to have the power to live more than once, even forever, is a meaningless fantasy, is not even worthy of exploration.


BTW, I am glad that Dawkins, in the title of his book, has the good sense of using capitals when he speaks of all Being as GOD smile.gif

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maximus242
post Dec 17, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Ah I did have a go at it Lindsay. If you look at the rest of the post you gave it gives three major points I see as problems in your hypothesis. It is not a hope or a fear, it is a predictable course of action Dawkins has followed many times before when a set of ideas is flimsy. It simply requires application of logic and critical thinking, it does not take dawkins to do it, any skeptic is capable of accomplishing such.

Atheists are not all alike. I dont actually know what to call myself per se. I acknowledge the possibility of some omnipotent type of being is possible assuming intelligence and life is capable in forms different than what we know.

I just havent seen any evidence of a divine being, I have not seen proof. So while I acknowledge that the knowledge of human beings is limited, I have not seen, within my limited scope of information available, proof of a divine force. Therefore until I have seen such I remain open to the possibility but really I have no conclusion as to whether or not such a being exists.

To determine so would require absolute knowledge which I do not posses. So I remain open to the possibility, undecided and neither for or against such a thing. Honestly it would be great if it were true, I have just yet to see proof. Why wouldnt I want a god who loves me and cares for me? I just refuse to delude myself into having a bigger version of Santa Claus. Why should I believe the words of some men who thousands of years ago heard voices in their heads and decided to tell everyone about it. For all I know they could just be a bunch of quacks who were mentally unstable or schizophrenics. That is the more likely explanation.

Atheists are not in favour of death. They view embracing this world as all their is enables a person to live as fully and completely as one can. Instead of delaying the joys of life until after death, they believe in embracing life for all it has to offer now. Instead of trying to get into heaven, they seek to make this world a heaven of its own. Instead of looking to a god to solve their problems, they empower themselves to solve them. Instead of looking to a god to give them strength, they look within.

The goal of life is not death. The goal of life is whatever you want it to be. Meaning is something which exists in the minds of men. Nobody stumbles over a hunk of meaning while going for a walk. Life means whatever you want it to mean, and nobody, certainly not atheists, all agree on what it is. Whatever gives you meaning and for whatever purpose you believe you exist, then it is so.

We make our own meaning.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 17, 2009, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 17, 2009, 11:50 PM) *

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Dec 15, 2009, 04:49 AM) *
Ah I think Richard Dawkins would tear that response into pieces in about 2 seconds. ...
Max, is this a hope? Or a fear? If he is too busy to give it a try, why don't you have a go?

ABOUT DAWKINS AND ATHEISM

Nothing I have read that he wrote in his book on 'The GOD Delusion, or have heard him say in interviews, which I have heard him give over our CBC radio, threatens any of the truths theologians that I know and respect find worth believing in, living by and dying for.

The same is true for ALL the comments I have heard from any number of atheists/agnostics at www.about.com with whom I have been dialogging for a number of weeks.

I got involved hoping to hear something challenging. Having learned very little of worth, I am just about finished my dialog there.

From Dawkins, and the atheists at about.com here is what I have learned:

We only live once. Of course, short though it be, life ought to be lived meaningfully and morally. But each of us will only live for as long as we live. Had all of us, here and now, died before birth, or at birth, that would be it. Period. We have never lived before now, and there is no life after this one. Having faith in, hope for and love of any kind of life in the future is simply a waste of time.

Above all, unitheists are not afraid to admit:

We could be wrong. Correct me, if I am--and I hope that I am--but here is what I hear the atheists/agnostics, to whom I communicate, saying:

The goal of conscious life is DEATH! The best one can hope for is: Death will be swift and painless.

I repeat: Atheists, if I have misunderstood what I have read and what I have been told: Please let me know.

Do you really me: "The idea that human beings are destined, by Nature, to have the power designed to live more than once, even forever, is a meaningless fantasy. It is not even worthy of exploration."


BTW, I am glad that Dawkins, in the title of his book, has the good sense of using capitals when he speaks of Beving being as GOD smile.gif
You're treading very close to resurrection, Lindsay. And, I sense you're getting rather irritated of late, maybe as you don't seem to be able to gain many converts here.
QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 17, 2009, 11:50 PM) *
(I may need ot re-edit the above.)
That is not a very helpful trick to play, in that future readers could be mislead by responses to 'changed' posts of yours, giving them the impression possibly that replies are indequate, irrelevant or incorrect. It's a very dubious way of contributing, and very reminiscent of politics. Please refrain from doing it and just add further posts, so that temporal integrity is maintained.


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Hey Hey
post Dec 17, 2009, 05:31 PM
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Here's some light reading for you Lindsay, to take your mind off the dwindling congregations:

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/200...now_youre_1.php
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Lindsay
post Dec 17, 2009, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Dec 17, 2009, 08:17 PM) *
... That is not a very helpful trick to play, in that future readers could be mislead by responses to 'changed' posts of yours, giving them the impression possibly that replies are indequate, irrelevant or incorrect. It's a very dubious way of contributing, and very reminiscent of politics. Please refrain from doing it and just add further posts, so that temporal integrity is maintained.
No trick, at all!!! If you will check my post you will note that I made no change in what I meant to say. All I did was correct a couple of obvious mistakes I knew I had made and, as I was in a hurry to do an errand, I did not have time to correct at the time.
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Lindsay
post Dec 17, 2009, 09:51 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Dec 17, 2009, 08:31 PM) *
Here's some light reading for you Lindsay, to take your mind off the dwindling congregations:

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/200...now_youre_1.php
Dwindling congregations? Not the one I attend. My long experience is as follows: I have found that churches with ministers who have something inspiring and challenging to say, where the music is enjoyable and the programs reach out to serve the whole community are well attended.

Those with dull dogmatic preachers, with services filled with nothing more than meaningless rituals and with no programs of public service deserve to dwindle. If this describes your church, sorry to hear this. If you don't attend church, how would you know which is which?


BTW, I have no problem, not believing in the 'god' Dawkins describes on page 21: "...
a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it including us."

I gave up believing this when I discovered that my father was both Santa Claus and the Devil--depending on his mood. Thank GOD, he was mostly in a good mood. smile.gif

BTW 2, reading Dawkins makes me wonder if he has ever glanced at the great work of the process philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead who was also a process theologian, and a panentheist--God as one in the whole process of evolving.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
====================================

In his intro to this great Forum, Shawn puts it thus:

Philosophical Motivation
The world is our creation, it is a thing created by mind, it is a mental construct. This is what BrainMeta seeks to communicate to others, so that they may open their eyes to this fact, so that they may go on to create something more than what is, and to instill the world with new and greater meaning. Too many today do not appreciate the essentially 'constructive nature' of reality. It is all a mental construct. We are deceived by the fact that we are humans with human consciousness.... we rarely venture outside the realms of our human consciousness, and thus we see the world with human eyes. Naturally, the vast majority of people are blind to this because humans are predisposed and 'programmed' to construct the world in human terms.
================================

In thinking about how to define God, I see that, in a way, it's like defining Truth..... it's one of those nebulous concepts that can easily elude one's intellect and it's mode of verbal communication.

Spinoza's God: one substance, whose essence necessarily involves existence, and who has infinitely many attributes and modes (of which consciousness and extension are but two modes). Spinoza's God is the God that Einstein professed to believe in (though Einstein's authority alone should not be sufficient grounds for accepting Spinoza's God). Spinoza's God is not an anthropomorphic-conception, but rather constitutes a physical/metaphysical Totality of which everything that exists, or can exist, must be a part of.....

.... It is this notion of God as Totality that I believe in. Not only does it satisfy my intellect, but also satisfies my more spiritual side. Whether this Totality is a Totality of Being, a Quantum Mechanical Totality, a Totality of Consciousness (or Absolute Mind), or any other Totality, is rather a moot point. Evidently, consciousness comprises at least part (and is probably involved with all) of that Totality.

Through the experience of transcendental/mystical/expanded states of consciousness, we enter into higher modes of Being and into a more complete Totality.... thus do we obtain knowledge of the divine firsthand, by entering into it, by becoming it.

Those lacking such divine experiences usually try to explain them away as hallucinations or delusions.

Those having such experiences require no further explanation and already know where I'm coming from.

This vast immeasurable Totality, we are all a part of it. We do not yet see or experience this Totality in it's entirety, but there is a time for that.... or at least that is one of the ideals I aspire to. ...
===========================================================

To the above, and more, I say: AMEN!!!

WANT TO READ MORE OF WHAT SHAWN SAYS

http://brainmeta.com/index.php?p=god

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Hey Hey
post Dec 18, 2009, 03:24 AM
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Lindsay, you seem to be have been reconverted! Did the Jehovahs Witnesses overcome you? Never mind, you might be able to escape when they're not looking. God is good (stolen).
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maximus242
post Dec 18, 2009, 09:45 AM
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In other words Lindsay, the emotional "feeling" that you have about an experience is proof that it is divine. Because you had a "divine" experience and it "feels" divine, therefore it must BE divine.

However, emotions are neurological reactions, they are not divine guidance as to what is right and wrong, nor are they indicators of what is correct or not correct. If your emotions were correct in guiding you what to do, everytime you thought, felt or had the emotion of hurting someone then that means you should have done it.

So whenever someone makes you angry then you should attack them right? No. Of course not. Same thing is true with emotional feelings of rightness. Just because you feel something is right doesnt make anymore difference than because you feel something makes you angry.

Just because it feels like its divine doesnt mean its proof that is or that you should believe it it. Just because you feel angry doesnt mean you should go on the attack. Emotions measure our judgement of an experience, from the cerebral cortex where it interprets something to the medulla ablangada which is responsible for fight/flight response.

If you percieve something as dangerous the perception is sent to the medulla ablangada which triggers the fear or anger response taking over many different systems of the brain. If you dont perceive it as dangerous then the response is not triggered. Emotions are caused by our perceptions of things. If you perceive something as right you will feel that it is right.

If you percieve it as divine then you will feel that it is divine. Two people can have the identical experience and have vastly different judgements of it. Its no coincidence that divine experiences always seem to happen to those who believe strongly in the divine. Belief affects our perception of things. Go talk to someone who is highly paranoid, you will notice a VASTLY different interpretation of reality compared to yours.

And once again, if God is everything, then thats the same as saying god is all things in the universe, which really doesnt mean anything. Also how do you know this is true?
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Lindsay
post Dec 18, 2009, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Dec 18, 2009, 12:45 PM) *
In other words Lindsay, the emotional "feeling" that you have about an experience is proof that it is divine. Because you had a "divine" experience and it "feels" divine, therefore it must BE divine. ...

... And once again, if God is everything, then thats the same as saying god is all things in the universe, which really doesn't mean anything. Also how do you know this is true?
Max, who are you talking to? Yourself? Certainly not to me. Try to get your mind around the panentheism--not to be confused with pantheism--of A.N. Whitehead and his interpreter, Charles Hartshorne.

As one who is a spiritual Being (Spirit, Pneuma), who lives in the Now, with awareness of Being, the ALL that is--my short form for all of this is GOD--I know what my emotions are. My emotions, which can go all the way from depression to joy, are biochemical. I have a brain, a nervous system, a mind and body. They serve me well. So does the GOD hypothesis.

I repeat: On page 31 of his book, The GOD Delusion, Dawkins describes the God of theism as a
"superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us."

No wonder he is an atheist. If what he says is so, I could be a Dawkins-kind of atheist too, but I am not. I am a unitheist--one who feels at one with the cosmos as Being--GOD, not a god--in the process of evolving, becoming ad infinitum. Speaking of process, he makes no mention of process theology and of whitehead in his book. Is he just ignorant? Or has he chosen to ignore it?

Search on A.N. Whitehead, the great mathematician, process philosopher and theologian.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
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post Dec 19, 2009, 01:31 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 19, 2009, 05:58 AM) *

As one who is a spiritual Being (Spirit, Pneuma), who lives in the Now, with awareness of Being, the ALL that is--my short form for all of this is GOD--I know what my emotions are. My emotions, which can go all the way from depression to joy, are biochemical. I have a brain, a nervous system, a mind and body. They serve me well. So does the GOD hypothesis.
I am a unitheist--one who feels at one with the cosmos as Being--GOD.

Acknowledging self serving biochemical feelings as the reason you are one with God is simply a claim that what you believe and feel works for you. That's nice, but not so impressive to someone who has different feelings that serve them well enough to be satisfied with their determination that your feelings have no meaning for them.

Feelings serve everyone to a point, until they become addictive and habit forming. Why should the chemical reactions noted as feelings be associated with the awareness of reality.? Are you saying awareness of God is a feeling or chemical reaction in the body?
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maximus242
post Dec 19, 2009, 10:19 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 18, 2009, 10:58 PM) *

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Dec 18, 2009, 12:45 PM) *
In other words Lindsay, the emotional "feeling" that you have about an experience is proof that it is divine. Because you had a "divine" experience and it "feels" divine, therefore it must BE divine. ...

... And once again, if God is everything, then thats the same as saying god is all things in the universe, which really doesn't mean anything. Also how do you know this is true?
Max, who are you talking to? Yourself? Certainly not to me. Try to get your mind around the panentheism--not to be confused with pantheism--of A.N. Whitehead and his interpreter, Charles Hartshorne.

As one who is a spiritual Being (Spirit, Pneuma), who lives in the Now, with awareness of Being, the ALL that is--my short form for all of this is GOD--I know what my emotions are. My emotions, which can go all the way from depression to joy, are biochemical. I have a brain, a nervous system, a mind and body. They serve me well. So does the GOD hypothesis.

I repeat: On page 31 of his book, The GOD Delusion, Dawkins describes the God of theism as a
"superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us."

No wonder he is an atheist. If what he says is so, I could be a Dawkins-kind of atheist too, but I am not. I am a unitheist--one who feels at one with the cosmos as Being--GOD, not a god--in the process of evolving, becoming ad infinitum. Speaking of process, he makes no mention of process theology and of whitehead in his book. Is he just ignorant? Or has he chosen to ignore it?

Search on A.N. Whitehead, the great mathematician, process philosopher and theologian.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/


ONCE again. I have looked at his work, it is defining God as all things in the universe and all potentials of all things in the universe, as a constantly flowing process. In other words, everything and anything in the universe that could be or is -- is God. AND that means, absolutely nothing. It is saying God is simply universe. Which means absolutely nothing.

Its just taking the semantic label known as God and sticking it as "everything in the universe" and then somehow believing that this validates God. You just replace the word universe with God, that is the sum of what is being done. Then add in a bunch of strange conclusions and allness definitions and you have his work. I also find the logic in his work very weak.

I feel the urge to smack myself in the head while reading his work due to the endless open loops and flimsy conclusions.

All this does is apply an allness frame to the definition of God, similar to what traditional religions do, adds in a few new concepts and presupposes intelligence will emerge from everything.

There are so, so many problem with his theory that it would take hours to desconstruct them all. Richard Dawkins probably didnt put this in because oh I dono he doesnt have 800 years to deconstruct every religious philosophy that has ever existed.

Once again Lindsay, how do you know the ideas by AN Whitehead are true?
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post Dec 19, 2009, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 19, 2009, 05:58 AM) *

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Dec 18, 2009, 12:45 PM) *
In other words Lindsay, the emotional "feeling" that you have about an experience is proof that it is divine. Because you had a "divine" experience and it "feels" divine, therefore it must BE divine. ...

... And once again, if God is everything, then thats the same as saying god is all things in the universe, which really doesn't mean anything. Also how do you know this is true?
Max, who are you talking to? Yourself? Certainly not to me. Try to get your mind around the panentheism--not to be confused with pantheism--of A.N. Whitehead and his interpreter, Charles Hartshorne.

As one who is a spiritual Being (Spirit, Pneuma), who lives in the Now, with awareness of Being, the ALL that is--my short form for all of this is GOD--I know what my emotions are. My emotions, which can go all the way from depression to joy, are biochemical. I have a brain, a nervous system, a mind and body. They serve me well. So does the GOD hypothesis.

I repeat: On page 31 of his book, The GOD Delusion, Dawkins describes the God of theism as a
"superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us."

No wonder he is an atheist. If what he says is so, I could be a Dawkins-kind of atheist too, but I am not. I am a unitheist--one who feels at one with the cosmos as Being--GOD, not a god--in the process of evolving, becoming ad infinitum. Speaking of process, he makes no mention of process theology and of whitehead in his book. Is he just ignorant? Or has he chosen to ignore it?

Search on A.N. Whitehead, the great mathematician, process philosopher and theologian.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
The thing that gets to me about you, Lindsay, is that you now try to renege on the preaching of your whole professional life, when you spent decades trying to convert new members to the "god" fold and fortify the stronghold of those already established as believers. And then you try and divert attention from this with semantics and, more recently, insulting trivia to justify your new found emancipation and tenuously found understanding that fairy stories are for the feeble-minded. You have not become sufficiently qualified to patronise members here. At this time of year I wonder how you discuss 'Christmas' with your old friends, neighbours and colleagues. And how they feel about your turn around and rejection of your previous life. But you could tell us any old rubbish. I wouldn't believe a word you say nowadays.
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Lindsay
post Dec 19, 2009, 09:24 PM
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BTW, my 'puter is playing tricks, again: Only the FASTREPLY button works
========================
Max says:
QUOTE
... ONCE again. I have looked at his--I assume you mean Whitehead--work, it is defining God as all things in the universe and all potentials of all things in the universe, as a constantly flowing process. ... AND that means, absolutely nothing. It is saying God is simply universe. Which means absolutely nothing.

Max, my dictionary says that 'everything' means 'all things', not absolutely nothing. Makes sense to me.

For me, GOD is all things. I addition, GOD is in, through and around all things--visible and invisible.

Disagree with this definition, if you wish. Make up your own, if you wish. I will take a look at it. If I disagree, I will say so, politely of course.

Meanwhile, I have no reason to accept Dawkins' definition. And neither he, nor any atheist, has a right to define GOD for me.

You say: " Richard Dawkins probably didn't put this in because oh I dono he doesnt have 800 years to deconstruct every religious philosophy that has ever existed."

But Dawkins did not quote ONE reputable theologian, not one. Nor did he mention one book, by a theologian, or philosopher, in his bibliography. Not even the one by David Hume: Treatise of Human Nature---( 1734) He questioned the existence of God.

I would never write about atheism and not quote one reputable atheist, or book by one. Would you?

Once again Lindsay, how do you know the ideas by AN Whitehead are true? We could ask the same question about any writer, including Dawkins.
=============================================================
You say: "It-- it? I presume you mean process theology--is saying God is simply the universe. Which means absolutely nothing." BTW, Charles Hartshorne is easier to read than Whitehead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hartshorne

The UNIVERSE means nothing? That's an odd thing to say. Millions of philosophers, and theologians and scientists have spent their time thinking, writing, studying and researching nothing? Personally, I find the universe very meaningful.

BTW, when we were just a single cell, were we not meaningful? Even as dead bodies we are meaningful, as matter. However, we are much more meaningful with life in us.

I think of the universe as matter coming alive. Filled with GOD (life), surrounded by GOD, and ever evolving it is becoming more and more meaningful, for me.
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post Dec 19, 2009, 10:30 PM
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"But you could tell us any old rubbish. I wouldn't believe a word you say nowadays." HH

Put this "liar" on your ignore list, HH. As one who believes in the Golden Rule, I will be happy to return the favour.

BTW, The United Church of Canada allows its ministers to preach in freedom and according to their conscience.

People who do not like how a minister ministers usually vote with their feet. Any ministers that I know of who have lost their jobs it was because they broke one of the social laws, or they were too lazy and too boring to gather a following.

No one has ever lost their job for challenging the people to think. They usually fill their churches, like the one I am now attending.
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maximus242
post Dec 20, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Lindsay what I am saying is that the definition of God for which you ascribe to is rather pointless. There are many implication type questions which arise from this definition.

Such as if god is everything that could be then could god also not be god, if so then what would god be. If it is everything - however it is also all potential, then it has the potential to be not everything which therefore can make it nothing and not god. Therefore, god must also be not god. Which makes it, nothing.

If god is everything that was, is, could be, will be, etc. Then why do you pray to this thing which is all? In fact lindsay when you are praying, by definition, you pray to the rocks, to the bench you sit on, you pray to the guy shooting people, you pray to every bad and evil person who ever was and who ever will be or ever could be.

Naturally you also pray to all the good ones, but does the thought of praying to Hitler make sense? However by definition, Hitler would therefore be a part of god. So then, is this god evil? Good? Why do pray to a thing which does both good and evil, is it not as likely to bestow upon you hardship and pain as it is pleasure and joy?

It has proven that it deals out both without hesitation, the universe that is, which you refer to as god. Also, why must the universe have consciousness?

And you didnt answer my question, you simply redirected it. We are discussing unitheism not atheism. Which I am actually not a part of, I am not really anything, simply a thinker.

"Once again Lindsay, how do you know the ideas by AN Whitehead are true? We could ask the same question about any writer, including Dawkins."

Once again, that is not an answer, its a redirect without providing substance. I will however tell you how we know that Dawkins ideas have a strong measurable likelihood of being at least fairly accurate. Its called the scientific method.

We observe the world, come up with hypothesis based off of it, from this hypothesis we create tests to determine its accuracy, then we observe the results and continue to refine the hypothesis until it is put forward as a theory.

Then this theory is reviewed and tested by hundreds of other people and critically thought about to devise any holes or weak points in the theory. New theories and hypothesis are continually tested as we observe the world around us and work to draw accurate conclusions based off of observation and testing.

This is how Dawkins has arrived at many of his conclusions, it is the basis for his work, while he may not be perfect, his work is founded based on science and is one of the few explanations of origins of the universe which is not based off of someone hearing voices in their head. Or just making it up as they go along for whatever they feel like.

This is why Dawkins and other scientifically grounded theorists should be taken more seriously than those who are not. The scientists use a tested and proven method which is responsible for everything from your computer to the heat which is keeping you warm, a method which has consistently worked for as long as it has existed.

it is this method, which is the basis for the ideas and is the reason why his work should be given a level of certainty greater than those which have not had the same demanding criteria required of them.

Also, I did not say the universe does not mean anything, I said, saying god is all things aka universe is essentially not saying anything. You are just switching the words god with universe, you could simply say you pray to the universe as a dynamic process instead of to god which implies consciousness emerging from everything. Which in itself has many logical fallacies.

For instance, how does consciousness emerging from everything observe anything when it is everything? Then in the observing does it change itself? How does this consciousness emerge and why does it exist? Poses many questions. Im not so much against the idea as a possibility as I am the blind and dogmatic belief in such things without carefully considering all the possibilities -- something which religions strongly avoid and scientists demand.

It is not so much that a consciousness could not emerge as it is there is no real proof or solid hypothesis for this. AN Whiteheads theories are not solid hypotheses, they are quackery. There is no proof, no explanation, just a bunch of vague generalities that somehow presuppose that he is simply write and thats all there is to it LIKE ALL OTHER RELIGIONS.

You could, perhaps work to come up with an actual hypothesis about consciousness emerging from the dynamic process of the universe, then base it off of scientific understanding, then place tests for determining how accurate the hypothesis is. Its not something that sounds impossible, I mean we are talking a massively complex hypothesis involving very, very complicated mathematics and quantum mechanics on about as sophisticated levels of abstraction as you can get but then perhaps you would have a real theory instead AN Whitehead just saying "believe me because I say so".

But once again most religious people believe in their religion not because they care about whether its accurate or not but because it makes them feel good. Also, the above is not me saying that I believe this idea about the universe is correct, I am simply saying, this is perhaps possible, who knows, so use the scientific method and sound logic to evaluate it. If you dont like science then I suggest you go live in a cave because practically everything you posses is a result of the scientific method.

So for the third time, how do you know the ideas by AN Whitehead are correct?
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post Dec 20, 2009, 07:00 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 06:30 AM) *
Put this "liar" on your ignore list, HH. As one who believes in the Golden Rule, I will be happy to return the favour.
Too hot to handle, eh? I rest my case!
QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 06:30 AM) *
No one has ever lost their job for challenging the people to think.
Unbeliever' priest defiant to the end
Priest sacked after backing Khodorkovsky
Brisbane priest sacked over Catholic feud
Muslim-Christian priest sacked
Mathura: Hindu priest sacked for dressing Krishna in jeans

Human rights infringement?:
Priest sacked for affair takes Catholic Church to tribunal
QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 06:30 AM) *
They usually fill their churches, like the one I am now attending.
Attending, but keeping quiet at?
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post Dec 20, 2009, 12:02 PM
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QUOTE
(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 06:30 AM) *
Put this "liar" on your ignore list, HH. As one who believes in the Golden Rule, I will be happy to return the favour.


Too hot to handle, eh? I rest my case!
===============================
Again: only my FASTREPLY, and EDIT buttons works. When this happens, it would be convenient, with your permission, for me to use EDIT, go inside and handle things from there.
===========
Back to the question: Who is too hot to handle? You? Or me?
If it is you you mean; and you do not trust what I say, why would you want to talk to someone you imply is a liar?
====================
BTW 1: Did any of the cases you dug up happen in a liberal and reformed denomination? If not, now you know why we had the Reformation.
BTW 2: Ministers in my church are allowed to have a union to help defend them against lay bullies and bureaucratic clergy supervisors.
BTW 3: Do all atheists behave like prosecuting attorneys? I rest my defense! smile.gif

BTW 4: The Rev. Anthony Freeman, when he says: "'There is nothing out there or, if there is, we can have no knowledge of it.'
God had no external existence but was a creation of the human heart and mind, a sum-total of all that was good in the world" sounds somewhat like a unitheist and lives in GOD. Some Anglican bishops are quite liberal. I have a feeling he did get a job. I have no comment on the other cases you quote.
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post Dec 20, 2009, 12:09 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 08:02 PM) *
When this happens, it would be convenient, with your permission, for me to use EDIT, go inside and handle things from there.
Just use the 'quote' button, Lindsay.
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post Dec 20, 2009, 12:33 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 08:02 PM) *

Back to the question: Who is too hot to handle? You? Or me?

I think that was a what not a who..
QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 08:02 PM) *

BTW1: Did any of the cases you dug up happen in a liberal and reformed denomination? If not, now you know why we had the Reformation.
BTW 2: Ministers in my church are allowed to have a union to help defend them against lay bullies and bureaucratic clergy supervisors.


God which is all that is (thru your claim to fame), evidently is represented by ministers in your church, who create unions to protect themselves from God on the outside. That is a fascinating creative aspect of God representing itself in the ministry don'tcha think?
QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 20, 2009, 08:02 PM) *

BTW 3: Do all atheists behave like prosecuting attorneys? I rest my defense! smile.gif

This defensive posture against that which you say, you experience as God, is curious, as well as entertaining. wink.gif
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post Dec 20, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Dear Max The Thinker:

You say you are a thinker. It is good to dialogue with a thinker. I, too, like to think of myself as a thinker.

With this in mind, before we go further, can we agree on the following:

1. We are not here to win a debate with a view to converting one another to The Truth, or The One True Religion, or Faith. Religion can be, but it is not necessarily a dirty word. The same if true for atheism and agnosticism.

2. While respecting the scientific approach, we make no claim to having access to The Infallible Truth.

3. We agree that, without overdoing it, it is OK, now and then, to quote authors and their books and to give links, as long as we do not use them as clubs to bash one another. Flaming, shaming and blaming is definitely out.

4. We agree to have a Socratic kind of dialogue with no ad hominems--no personal attacks. We agree to stick to the issues.

5. We agree to be flexible and to give one another the right to be wrong. We will respect the beliefs, opinions and definitions of one another.

6. We agree that it is OK to change ones mind, to agree to disagree, agreeably, and to have a sense of humour about all issues, no matter how serious.

Feel free to revise the above and let me know how you feel. I just read the above to Jean, my wife. She approves. Therefore, it must be The Truth biggrin.gif

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post Dec 20, 2009, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE
Just use the 'quote' button, Lindsay.
HH

HH: QUOTE, has never been of any use, to me.
In the Now, only FAST REPLY works.
Is this system influenced by diabolos ??? Me thinks it is. laugh.gif
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