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God in the imperfect

 
EN
 
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EN
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Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
26 March 2017 15:01
 
MrRon - 26 March 2017 09:55 AM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Hi EN. As I asked Magda, if you base faith on personal experience, does that mean that faith can lead someone to one conclusion and someone else to an opposite conclusion (depending on their own experiences)?

Thanks,
Ron

Yes, but if all those with those experiences sit and talk about it, they usually find some common ground.  Remember, people can also look at hard evidence and come to different conclusions.

 
jdrnd
 
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jdrnd
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26 March 2017 15:04
 
EN - 26 March 2017 02:58 PM
Skipshot - 26 March 2017 07:43 AM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Faith based on personal experience is OK with me as long as it is kept personal and out of public policy.

I have no problem with keeping religion of every sort out of public policy.

We agree here.


...but what do you do about that people that feel so strongly about their beliefs, they want other people to have them too.

or worse, they feel other people should have them.

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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26 March 2017 15:39
 
Brother Mario - 26 March 2017 12:44 PM

So, let’s see ...

Magda wants God to be a poetic being.

Skep wants God to stay out of politics.

Jan wants God to be almost God.

jd wants God to accept his 5ct. request and give him a $1,000,000 gift.

Ron wants God to pet kittens and not allow them to die.

GAD wants God to appear to his kids in plain sight.

Cheshire Cat wants God to not be an LSD trip.

burt wants God to write a book that he can read and then tell everyone about.

EN wants God hid behind his personal faith.
.

If you knew what the term “Strawman Fallacy” meant, you wouldn’t make these foolish posts. And if you could actually defend your positions you would answer my questions instead of run away from them. Your silence on those questions speaks volumes.

Ron

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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26 March 2017 16:04
 
EN - 26 March 2017 03:01 PM
MrRon - 26 March 2017 09:55 AM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Hi EN. As I asked Magda, if you base faith on personal experience, does that mean that faith can lead someone to one conclusion and someone else to an opposite conclusion (depending on their own experiences)?

Thanks,
Ron

Yes, but if all those with those experiences sit and talk about it, they usually find some common ground.  Remember, people can also look at hard evidence and come to different conclusions.

“Usually”? “Common ground”? What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that if Muslims, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, etc. just sit and talk about their personal religious experiences, they will all (usually) come to the same conclusions? Will they all agree on the number of Gods? Will they all agree on whether or not Jesus is divine? Will they all agree on God’s character and how he wants us to conduct our lives?

By “hard evidence” do you mean objective evidence (as opposed to personal subjective evidence)?

Thanks EN.

Ron

 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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26 March 2017 16:27
 
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Every evangelical Christian I knew had a personal experience. Not so with Catholics, they were more cultural, less experiential.

 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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26 March 2017 16:54
 
hannahtoo - 26 March 2017 02:46 PM

Just because we can find hope or beauty or deep meaning through suffering doesn’t mean there is a God.  I don’t believe pain is any more important than joy.  Both define our lives.

The meme - mainly religious - that one can find deep meaning through pain and suffering is what underpins self deprivation, fasting, and practices like self-flagellation, wearing a cilice, et cetera. I find the idea that suffering is somehow noble, to be a very self-absorbed and vainglorious thing.

 
burt
 
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burt
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26 March 2017 17:03
 
Brother Mario - 26 March 2017 12:44 PM

So, let’s see ...

Magda wants God to be a poetic being.

Skep wants God to stay out of politics.

Jan wants God to be almost God.

jd wants God to accept his 5ct. request and give him a $1,000,000 gift.

Ron wants God to pet kittens and not allow them to die.

GAD wants God to appear to his kids in plain sight.

Cheshire Cat wants God to not be an LSD trip.

burt wants God to write a book that he can read and then tell everyone about.

EN wants God hid behind his personal faith.

...

Gee, I wonder why none of you has a love of God based upon deep respect, gratitude, and experience. (Well, EN says he does.)

You’re looking in the right places, are sacrificing so much, and have personalities that God would certainly like to hang out with.

I can’t understand it.

...

A few questions:

Do all of you make up for this aloof evil God we may or may not have by donating a portion of your monies, every month directly out of your checkbooks, to help dying children, abused animals, wounded soldiers, and the like?

I mean, some of you are so incredulous at God’s horrible plan for us, you must do everything you can to alleviate the horrible suffering that our asshole God, if he really exists, allows, right?

And when you contemplate the end of your life, do you arrive at the conclusion that if it is indeed true that you will live forever with those you love growing ever closer to an omnipotent loving God, no amount of suffering you endured would be worth it?

And when you hear a theist, such as I, tell you that our sufferings and struggles make us who we are more than our comforts do, do you shake your head and judge that it is in our happy moments alone that we are truly human?

And when you come to this forum to discuss the evidence for God’s existence, do you really expect you will be swayed to search for God within yourself, the place God is found, because someone wrote a sentence that gave to you a reason to not be the skeptic atheist you take intellectual pride in being?

...

Now ... I think you people have created a superficial existence for yourselves that does not allow you to look within yourselves any deeper than the thoughts off the top of your heads.

So I’m not anxiously awaiting your answers. Trust me on this one.

Mario wants everybody to accept his view of God because he doesn’t understand that all experience is unique and all interpretation of ultimate experiences is conditioned by background. He keeps looking at the finger rather than the moon and believes that because his fingers held up at night seem to grasp the moon he can actually hold it in his hand. If we believe Mario’s comments about the quality of his life (and there is no reason to doubt) then we can conclude that his view of God has done him good service, but some day the vehicle will need to be left behind.

That world brought to being in our mind
A day will come to leave it all behind.
And who is it will say
On that final day
This world is good, and lovingly designed.

 
EN
 
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EN
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26 March 2017 17:09
 
jdrnd - 26 March 2017 03:04 PM
EN - 26 March 2017 02:58 PM
Skipshot - 26 March 2017 07:43 AM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Faith based on personal experience is OK with me as long as it is kept personal and out of public policy.

I have no problem with keeping religion of every sort out of public policy.

We agree here.


...but what do you do about that people that feel so strongly about their beliefs, they want other people to have them too.

or worse, they feel other people should have them.

Disregard them. If they force you, fight.

 
EN
 
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EN
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26 March 2017 17:11
 

Mario, please keep me out of your discussion.  I’m not criticizing you - please refrain from criticizing me.

 
EN
 
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EN
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26 March 2017 17:19
 
MrRon - 26 March 2017 04:04 PM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:01 PM
MrRon - 26 March 2017 09:55 AM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Hi EN. As I asked Magda, if you base faith on personal experience, does that mean that faith can lead someone to one conclusion and someone else to an opposite conclusion (depending on their own experiences)?

Thanks,
Ron

Yes, but if all those with those experiences sit and talk about it, they usually find some common ground.  Remember, people can also look at hard evidence and come to different conclusions.

“Usually”? “Common ground”? What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that if Muslims, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, etc. just sit and talk about their personal religious experiences, they will all (usually) come to the same conclusions? Will they all agree on the number of Gods? Will they all agree on whether or not Jesus is divine? Will they all agree on God’s character and how he wants us to conduct our lives?

By “hard evidence” do you mean objective evidence (as opposed to personal subjective evidence)?

Thanks EN.

Ron

Yes hard evidence is objective evidence.  For those who have experiences, if they talk and listen, they will find common ground.  For example, they generally agree that God exists and that we should treat others well.  Again, I’m talking about people who have personal experiences, not just religionists.

 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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26 March 2017 19:13
 
proximacentauri - 26 March 2017 04:54 PM

The meme - mainly religious - that one can find deep meaning through pain and suffering is what underpins self deprivation, fasting, and practices like self-flagellation, wearing a cilice, et cetera. I find the idea that suffering is somehow noble, to be a very self-absorbed and vainglorious thing.


I think the original idea behind such practices is not suffering for suffering’s sake, but rather that 1) Suffering is ultimately the only thing that will cause us, in any consistent way, to try and better our circumstances (arguably any achievement of mankind reduces down to this motivation, ultimately)  2) What looks like suffering to an outside observer can actually be deep training in equanimity and ‘non-identification’ with sensory experience to the person going through it (an ascetic life can be about training to overcome one’s immediate impulses and sensory desires, for example.)


That said, I think of course that original intent tends to get lost over time, in the realm of ritual. I still don’t eat sweets during Lent, not really because I choose to, but because in some ways I couldn’t if I wanted to. I’ve heard others say the same thing - that while they impulsively break diet after diet, during Lent it’s different, they simply can’t eat whatever they promised not to eat. It feels like breaking the law or something.


On evidence for God - for me personally (others may have very different experiences,) I’ve found it’s a paradox because the more ‘spiritual’ a situation feels, the less semantic labels seem to matter. I think it may be more helpful to try and describe the attributes of such experiences themselves vs. asking whether they confirm specific labels.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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26 March 2017 19:59
 

I do pine for the real and hard conversation about god. It’s usually impossible. Perfection within imperfection is as a good a segue as I can think of. A lot to think about. I can’t really interject except to say that I feel the gravity of the issue and will meditate on your points.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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26 March 2017 20:27
 

We put trust in our perception first. It is an inescapable act of faith whether it is the internal experience we believe we have had or the external evidence we believe we see.

If someone’s faith in God is based on personal ‘internal’ experience, than external evidence need not apply. If another has no personal experiences, that is considered evidence that others do not actually have them either.

There are declarations here that God does or does not exist based on the sole authority and primacy of one’s perception.

Once declared, one becomes evidence to other people. Bro Mo attempts to use personal testimony and stylish italics to express that he himself is the evidence that others should believe in God.

Others, like Jeff… (okay, I just mean Jeff) offer an opposite but equal argument that provides only a presumption of an impeccable perception for others to examine.

Why would a position based on personal experience be swayed by external evidence or a lack thereof? If it is your experience, or lack thereof, that sustains your argument, then being an admirable Pillar of Perception in All Matters would go a long way toward inspiring faith in others for your particular perceptions. That means demonstrating an impecible grip on reality and a consistent vice-like grasp of what is going on. That should include forum discussions.

Posters should take care if attempting to present themselves as evidence of their argument. One slip up, like being a conversational buffoon or leaving the impression that an experience with God sure brought out your horrible side, can turn your testimony into a counter-argument.

Personally, any decision I might make on the matter would exclude both positions and be based on other considerations.

 
 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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27 March 2017 03:29
 
EN - 26 March 2017 05:19 PM
MrRon - 26 March 2017 04:04 PM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:01 PM
MrRon - 26 March 2017 09:55 AM
EN - 26 March 2017 03:28 AM

Thanks, Magda.  For those of us who base faith on personal experience, your post made sense. Hard evidence leads to knowledge, not faith.  Experience leads to other worlds.  I’ll be interested to read the responses.

Hi EN. As I asked Magda, if you base faith on personal experience, does that mean that faith can lead someone to one conclusion and someone else to an opposite conclusion (depending on their own experiences)?

Thanks,
Ron

Yes, but if all those with those experiences sit and talk about it, they usually find some common ground.  Remember, people can also look at hard evidence and come to different conclusions.

“Usually”? “Common ground”? What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that if Muslims, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, etc. just sit and talk about their personal religious experiences, they will all (usually) come to the same conclusions? Will they all agree on the number of Gods? Will they all agree on whether or not Jesus is divine? Will they all agree on God’s character and how he wants us to conduct our lives?

By “hard evidence” do you mean objective evidence (as opposed to personal subjective evidence)?

Thanks EN.

Ron

Yes hard evidence is objective evidence.

Then if something is truly objective, how can rational people reach different conclusions (understanding that there will always be a small fringe that will deny even the most obvious - e.g., flat earthers)? What makes objectivity any different than subjectivity?

For those who have experiences, if they talk and listen, they will find common ground.  For example, they generally agree that God exists and that we should treat others well.  Again, I’m talking about people who have personal experiences, not just religionists.

Is it possible that one person can claim a genuine experience that directly contradicts another person’s experience? For example, can a Muslim claim a revelation that Jesus is NOT divine while a Christian claims a revelation that Jesus IS divine?

And if you’re not just talking religionists, many people have sincerely claimed UFO abduction experiences. Do you believe their claims?

Thanks.
Ron

 
Brother Mario
 
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Brother Mario
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27 March 2017 04:26
 

EN, when you agree with Skep that God should be taken out of public policy, are you including the Holy Spirit that lives and breathes in the hearts and minds of human beings in positions of power, whether or not they realize the Holy Spirit is the power that gives to them the goodness and justice and etc. that motivates them?

Will Trump’s intellect lead us into another World War, or will his worldly spirit of greed and selfishness and et.?

I’m talking directly to you here because only you on this forum has an opening for truth to enter, rather than the closed systems of superficial ignorance that is crippling the skeptic’s mind.

Skep doesn’t have a clue how superficially ignorant he is by limiting God to the thinking of religious people. And when you support him you are supporting this ignorance.

And there is another person above who showed up to add how dangerous any thoughts of God are, to the agreement of everyone else.

Really?

Giving gratitude to God is dangerous?

Falling in love with God is dangerous?

Knowing God is dangerous?

...

I understand that skeptics are on the right track when they criticize religious fundamentalists who shroud their spirituality in doctrines of their particular religion.

But I also understand that skeptics are on the wrong track when they uphold secularism as the solution to humanity’s problems.

...

Only God is good, and therefore we are good because God’s spirit is in us, not because we are “just another animal”, as skeptics truly believe and promote.

...

I’m not criticizing you, EN, just telling you that you are their only hope, even though this hope is miniscule.

 
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