Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 10:16 pm
@Cyracuz,
Okay, playing devil's advocate here for a bit, what actuallydoes set you or me apart from all other animals on the planet? Are we in fact different than any other creature other than via our unique inate abilities that we are born with. But every creature is born with unique inate abilities.

If humans have greater reasoning power and ability to use it, few human could construct a dam with twigs and small branches in a rapidly moving stream as efficiently as a few beaver can do that. We cannot take basic materials from the earth and our own bodies to construct a honey comb or wasp's nest as efficiently as certain insects can do so. We are not as strong as a bear nor are we as fast as a horse or a cheetah while we might have more sustained endurance than either. We do not have a built in sense of direction as does a whale or a dog or a cat or a migrating bird but we can discern the presence of a north star or a north pole that they cannot.

Despite our evolved brain that allows us ability to compute and reason and make and use tools in myriad and creative ways as no other creature can do, every other creature on earth can do at least something that we cannot do.

So why are we so special? As you point out, the fact that we do question and can and do transcend the natural reactions of our instinctive selves is what sets us apart from all others. And what allows that other than our spirituality? But is that spirtuality technically tangible, or is it something larger than our mere mortal selves?

You see spirituality as self contained within the human. If it is, then I think it would be more of that inate instinctive ability that we were born with, and you see to see it as something more than that. Please correct me if I am interpreting that wrongly.

For me, spirituality is that part of me that is conscious of something bigger, wiser, more important, more powerful, and/or different from our physical selves. I believe it is our spiritual selves that communicate spiritually and I believe our spiritual selves are both part of and separate from our human bodies.

As I said, the language we have developed is not really sufficient to adequately describe it. I'm still trying to figure out how to write down the question on my list of questions that I want to take with me to the next life. Smile

Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 04:44 am
@Foxfyre,
I don't disagree on any particular point except perhaps one.

You say that I see spirituality as self contained within the human, and that is a truth with modifications. I simply mean the the spiritual isn't something supernatural. I do not believe that humans are distinct from the rest of nature anywhere else than in our minds. Our physical selves make it seem the distinction is clear, so obvious that we take it for granted. But spiritually the lines between self and "not self" aren't so clear.

This may seem to contradict my last post, but in that post I was merely trying to point out that there are things humans do every day, and that are competely accepted as part of our reality, that cannot be assigned to any physical attribuets we possess.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 01:42 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:

You say that I see spirituality as self contained within the human, and that is a truth with modifications. I simply mean the the spiritual isn't something supernatural. I do not believe that humans are distinct from the rest of nature anywhere else than in our minds. Our physical selves make it seem the distinction is clear, so obvious that we take it for granted. But spiritually the lines between self and "not self" aren't so clear.


I agree.
I'm agnostic as to whether the concept is 'otherwordly' but I think this assumed link often discredits the profundity of the concept.
0 Replies
 
Philis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 01:15 am
As religion has taken over the true worship and desire to know God there is a scripture that fulfills what God requires of man in his spirit. It is not religion with basic teaching , true spiritual learning is getting to know god even as he has created all things including what the hubble telescope has shown us.

But the hour is coming, AND IS NOW!, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23.

Spiritual knowledge originates from God. He sends his Holy spirit to interpret and give you knowledge so that when you go about or read scripture things come forward as truth. The Holy Spirit gives in your mind confirmation of wrong/right. Safe/unsafe/ true/false.

John 14:17
even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.

I can tell you Holy Spirit is real, so if you ask God for it he will not give you a stone but will give you what you request if your heart is honest in your request.

John 16:13
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Yeshua just speaks it and it is done/finished/complete.
Cyracuz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 09:09 am
@Philis,
Quote:
But the hour is coming, AND IS NOW!, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23.


That bodes ill for christianity, if truth is to be worshiped... Wink
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:09 pm
@Philis,
Yeah, and LITERALLY, why do believers still quote the Bible at non-believers??? After all the arguments I have become embroiled in. After all this A2K-ing time? Grrrrr.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:13 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I've often wondered why non-believers so often quote the Bible to believers after all this A2K time and after all the arguments engaged. That happens to me a whole lot more than believers quoting Bible at me.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:26 pm
@Foxfyre,
Well, to believers it makes a difference, to non-believers it does not.
Therefore, surely we only quote it at you to prove a point/dictate a message in which YOU should be following.
Basically, if you conform to those words/rules (which as a christian you should) it is easy to check you against them.

Believers often quote it at non-believers as if it were tantamount to a logical/scientifically proven argument. It is this I find to be a problem.
You can't reason with people whose beliefs are not founded upon reason, but you can check that peoples beliefs are in accordance with a system/text.
I 'believe' this to be your answer.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:34 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
You should know Queenie that reason was blown out of the water in the 18th century by numerous philosophers.
Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:36 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Ah but you fail to see the double standard you just applied. If you can quote Bible as your opinion of what I should be doing, then there is nothing wrong with the believer quoting Bible as his/her opinion of what you should be doing.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 04:51 am
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

You should know Queenie that reason was blown out of the water in the 18th century by numerous philosophers.


Yeah I know, that was a side-point.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 04:54 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

Ah but you fail to see the double standard you just applied. If you can quote Bible as your opinion of what I should be doing, then there is nothing wrong with the believer quoting Bible as his/her opinion of what you should be doing.


But I'm not quoting it as MY opinion, but as what should be your opinion/belief.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 10:33 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
And the person of faith quotes it as HIS/HER opinion as to what should be YOUR opinion/belief.

He/she may think you are wrong because you reject it. You may think he/she is wrong because s/he professes it and isn't living up to it in your opinion. Either way, both could be seen as being critical of the other and presuming to judge the other, and both of you could be right or wrong in your individual interpretations of the scripture.

It is the same phenomenon expressed for different reasons.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 03:34 pm
@Foxfyre,
Quote:
And the person of faith quotes it as HIS/HER opinion as to what should be YOUR opinion/belief.


But it goes 'past' opinion really though, doesn't it.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 03:45 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Does it? How does his/her opinion about what is right to believe and his/her expression of that opinion go any further than your opinion about what is right to believe and your expression of that opinion?
The Pentacle Queen
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 04:07 pm
@Foxfyre,
Well, I don't know now Fox, this is interesting.
It seems I might have gauged the religious perspective incorrectly.

I am agnostic, and although I obviously have some tendencies towards some opinions and aversions to others due to my mental narrative and current philosophical state, I envisaged my agnosticism as allowing some freedom to kind of fabricate arguments from different sets of evidence/thought and follow them at a whim to try and deconstruct different situations and view the world through different prisms. (Well, that's the intention anyway).

Quoting the Bible at a christian may be an example of this, as may noticing a logical fallacy in someone trying to present a logical argument etc. (This sounds a bit pompous- I'm not claiming to be GOOD at any of this, just stating that this is what I thought I was doing)

Anyway. I guessed I gauged the nature of belief wrong. The point I'm trying to make, is that I only consider my opinion 'right/correct' in a certain frame if criteria that makes it correct. E.g. 2+2=4 within the framework of traditional mathematics.
I'm pretty happy to admit I'm wrong, which is what I am potentially doing here. (Uncomfortable as it is).
I have always considered religious opinion as different to this type of opinion- because to you your opinion is actually TRUE.
I'm a bit skeptical when christians play the 'Well, my belief is only my opinion, I could be wrong' type card. Is this not tantamount to doubt? It looks a bit like you're trying to appear more modest/open minded to non-christians than you actually are, because surely the point of your belief is that your opinion IS actually right, there is only ONE perspective, and this is true.
Your notion of an omnicient God encompasses the problem of the plurality of opinions anyway.

Hope I've explained that ok, I'm really tired.

Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 04:37 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I don't think you were/are wrong, nor do I think you explained yourself badly at all. I just think you are now seeing an additional perspective and this is expanding your point of view somewhat. And I think it speaks well for your maturity that you are able to see and understand a concept beyond your own prejudices. So many of us are unable to do that.

When it comes to religious debate, there really is no measurable difference between the believer in a deity or religious principle who expresses his/her opinion about that and the agnostic or Atheist who does not believe in a deity or religious principle and expresses his/her opinion about that.

Nor, as a factor in the debate, does it matter what principles or external forces or experiences that created a belief within the respective parties. The Atheist can no more prove the validity of his conviction to another party than can the believer. So we are stuck with subjective principles. The believer may point to the Bible while the nonbeliever points to science or whatever, but ultimately each is left with his/her own convictions and is unable to defend them with anything other than his/her own experience.

When we argue a principle of faith or other subjective (unprovable) concept, we may be sincerely attempting to convince the other person for his/her benefit - or - we may be expressing resentment that the other person presumes to lecture us on what we should believe - or - we may actually be trying to convince ourselves of our own convictions.

In any case, I don't think the phenomenon is all that different regardless of which side of the argument a person might be.

The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 04:53 am
@Foxfyre,
Yes, well I entirely agree, but I expected that to be MY perspective, not yours. (A believers).

Quote:
In any case, I don't think the phenomenon is all that different regardless of which side of the argument a person might be.


But in this case, if you comprehend the nature of conflicting opinion, and the subjectivity of belief, then what actually makes you correct?
It seems bizarre to me that we can have this conversation but at the end of the day your belief will dictate that you have to turn round and say (if only to yourself) 'But I'm actually right, Jesus is the son of god etc.'

It can't be just opinion. What is the difference between belief and opinion? It seems ridiculous to 'have the opinion' that Jesus is the Son of God. Where did you get that opinion from? How do you know? How did you arrive at that conclusion?
It makes much more sense to have a belief in something like that. Beliefs are more easily taken as unquestionable. This is what gets Dawkins so hot under the collar. 'Opinion' makes it look as if you've weighed up a load of evidence or something, you haven't really, you've accepted a system.

Quote:
I don't think you were/are wrong, nor do I think you explained yourself badly at all. I just think you are now seeing an additional perspective and this is expanding your point of view somewhat. And I think it speaks well for your maturity that you are able to see and understand a concept beyond your own prejudices. So many of us are unable to do that.


Thanks.
I was a christian (very serious christian) until I was 13, which may sound quite young, but I'm glad I was since it gave me the insight of what it is like to 'conform' to a set of beliefs (and really believe in them).

There's approximately 6,706,993,000 people in the world. If I was the one with the 'correct' opinion it would be all to convenient. Laughably so.

That's my main argument against religious belief in general- there have been millions of religious /belief systems through the ages. It is all too convenient that the one you were raised with/stepped into just happened to be the 'correct' one, and all the others are false.
(My dad, (the bloody Calvinist) always quips back 'Ah! But do we choose religion, or does religion choose us?' Which kind of solves the problem though some back-handed type of argument, but I still think that's all too convenient.)

Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 07:32 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

Yes, well I entirely agree, but I expected that to be MY perspective, not yours. (A believers).

Quote:
In any case, I don't think the phenomenon is all that different regardless of which side of the argument a person might be.


But in this case, if you comprehend the nature of conflicting opinion, and the subjectivity of belief, then what actually makes you correct?
It seems bizarre to me that we can have this conversation but at the end of the day your belief will dictate that you have to turn round and say (if only to yourself) 'But I'm actually right, Jesus is the son of god etc.'


But of course at the end of the day I will say that I'm right, Jesus is the Son of God. If I didn't think that, I would not be Christian. Just as at the end of the day you will say that you are right, if there was a Jesus at all, he was just another guy, and the whole Christian thing is one big bunch of baloney. If you did not think that, you would not be agnostic or Atheist.

Quote:
It can't be just opinion. What is the difference between belief and opinion? It seems ridiculous to 'have the opinion' that Jesus is the Son of God. Where did you get that opinion from? How do you know? How did you arrive at that conclusion?


I know some of it because I have spent a substantial chunk of my now quite lengthy adult life researching and studying the history, archeaology, geology, mythology, etc. surrounding the JudeoChristian stories and myths, and while I believe many of the 'myths' are symbolism or allegory to illustrate larger truths, I find the core of the belief to be plausible despite intense effort on my part to reject it. I arrived at that conclusion because of the verifiable evidence and I know Jesus is the Son of God because of my personal and very real relationship with that Being.

What evidence do you have that there is no such Being? How do you know? How did you arrive at that conclusion?

Quote:
It makes much more sense to have a belief in something like that. Beliefs are more easily taken as unquestionable. This is what gets Dawkins so hot under the collar. 'Opinion' makes it look as if you've weighed up a load of evidence or something, you haven't really, you've accepted a system.


That would depend on what you mean by 'accepting a system'. If you mean the trappings, hymnology, ritual, routine, disciplines, expectations, doctrine, and dogma of the Church, all are entirely extraneous to and unnecessary to my 'beliefs'. I have been quite ecumenical for a very long time now and long ago gave up the notion that God requires any particular set of words or routines or rituals in order for us to be acceptable. The rituals and doctrine are comforting and meaningful for many, and for that reason I respect them and even participate in them when worshipping with this group or that group, Christian and non-Christian alike. But they are external trappings, and I think Christians err when they almost or in effect make the rituals, trappings, and certain words objects of worship rather than focusing on the living Christ.

Quote:
I don't think you were/are wrong, nor do I think you explained yourself badly at all. I just think you are now seeing an additional perspective and this is expanding your point of view somewhat. And I think it speaks well for your maturity that you are able to see and understand a concept beyond your own prejudices. So many of us are unable to do that.


Quote:
Thanks.
I was a christian (very serious christian) until I was 13, which may sound quite young, but I'm glad I was since it gave me the insight of what it is like to 'conform' to a set of beliefs (and really believe in them).

There's approximately 6,706,993,000 people in the world. If I was the one with the 'correct' opinion it would be all to convenient. Laughably so.


I think the very first step to getting closer to the truth is acknowledging how little of it we actually have.

Quote:
That's my main argument against religious belief in general- there have been millions of religious /belief systems through the ages. It is all too convenient that the one you were raised with/stepped into just happened to be the 'correct' one, and all the others are false.
(My dad, (the bloody Calvinist) always quips back 'Ah! But do we choose religion, or does religion choose us?' Which kind of solves the problem though some back-handed type of argument, but I still think that's all too convenient.)


That's why my personal doctrine is to take the admonition to not judge quite seriously. I know my relationship with God is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I have seen such relationships transform whole families and groups into happier, more productive, more gentle, more kind people. And I have seen the worst that religion can be too, and the hatefulness, judgmentalism, and arrogance when people presume that religion can be demanded, required, imposed and/or any who do not adhere to the doctrine are inferior or damned. That phenomenon is not much different from politics when a particular ideology is promoted as the only acceptable one and any who do not adhere to it are judged inferior or damned.

I have often wondered if anybody ever came to know and love Jesus by being told he or she was going to hell. I have wondered if anybody ever changed parties by being told they were selfish, hateful, bigoted, racist, corrupt or whatever because they belonged to another political party. And I think sometimes our prejudices, resentments, and rejection of heavy handed dictates and opinions of others, whether religious or political, can in themselves become a kind of dogmatic religion that prohibits us from seeking higher truths. And I think such negative phenomenon makes the world a much less pleasant place than it otherwise would be.

For me spirituality is awareness of power and presence that is larger than we mortals. It can be experienced in the course of, but is not dependent on the rituals and routines of religion or religious labels.





spendius
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 01:49 pm
@Foxfyre,
You're a heretic really Foxy.

Quote:
If you mean the trappings, hymnology, ritual, routine, disciplines, expectations, doctrine, and dogma of the Church, all are entirely extraneous to and unnecessary to my 'beliefs'.


That's heretical. And for good reason. You are inventing your own bespoke religion which leads to schism and religion is a binding force. And all the more heretical for being expressed and the moreso for being expressed so stylishly.

Someone less polite than myself might say that avoiding the rituals is a mere cost effective way of being virtuous, which I'm sure you are. Like bottled fruit in the pantry on which there is no storage charge. It is something for nothing isn't it. Imagine if everybody had your words with which to convince themselves that the trappings, hymnology, ritual, routine, disciplines, expectations, doctrine, and dogma of the Church, were entirely extraneous to and unnecessary to their 'beliefs'. There would be no Church in short order and Jesus's message would have to be passed around by word of mouth and you can imagine what that would lead to I hope.

Had it not been for the trappings, hymnology, ritual, routine, disciplines, expectations, doctrine, and dogma of the Church there would be no Church and thus no Jesus for you to believe in. And who knows what you would believe in then? Moon worship possibly.
 

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