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MathExtremist
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December 9th, 2011 at 4:52:50 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

What I am trying to say is that I cannot envision believing one thing very strongly and doing another. ... To be a moral, loving, and selfless person when a persistent thought is constantly bearing down in my head that it ultimately doesn't matter if you are good or not, life has no purpose, I and all around me is random accidents, death and nothingness await us all, blah, blah would be tough if not impossible.


I think you're projecting the fact that you have a strongly-held belief system onto everyone and assuming that everyone else's beliefs, whatever they are, must also be strongly-held. I think the reality is much more nuanced; it seems likely that most people simply don't care nearly as much as you do, regardless of whether they believe in God. I know lots of people of varying degrees of faith (or dismissal thereof), and I don't know anyone who experiences a "persistent thought [that] is constantly bearing down in my head that it ultimately doesn't matter if you are good or not." Most people go through their day not caring about whether they're good or not, or even whether it matters whether they're good or not. They're too busy dealing with irate clients, watching the stock market gyrate, trying to pick up the cute girl at the other end of the bar, or placing the 6 and 8 for 12 each. In other words, they're living their lives without constantly introspecting on them.

What I don't really understand is why you're having trouble with the idea that people can exhibit good behavior irrespective of their beliefs in divinity. The evidence that people do good deeds is everywhere, in every culture, even those without strong beliefs in your particular theology. On the other hand, if you're re-defining what it means to do good, such that only those who share your particular brand of faith can do "good" (or even be good), then you're just talking past everyone. I'm generally a good person, I do far more good deeds than bad ones, but I'm not particularly religious and I definitely don't share your particular theology. Yet I maintain that there is no respectable theology under which I or my behavior should be classified as "evil" or "bad".
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
EvenBob
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December 9th, 2011 at 5:39:53 PM permalink
FrG is starting to remind me of a guy I knew
20 years ago who collected old bottles. His
favorite thing was to go on somebodies farm
and probe around till he found where the
old outhouse used to be a hundred years ago.
Then he'd dig for treasure. People often threw
their old bottles into the outhouse hole. He
loved his hobby so much he couldn't understand
why everybody wasn't collecting bottles like
him. It made him happy as a clam, its all he
talked about. He called it 'The Hobby' and was
always trying to get people interested in it so
they could be as happy as him.

FrG can't seem to comprehend how anybody
could be happy or get along without believing
exactly as he does. Maybe he should try collecting
old bottles, it might give him perspective..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 9th, 2011 at 7:57:53 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

So you're only good because you have to be, thats what
you're saying. What so honorable and respectable about that.
I much more respect someone who is good and moral because
he chooses to be of his own accord. And are you really that shallow
and vacuous that you couldn't have a purpose to your life outside
the church? Thats pretty pitiful, padre. It sounds like you cling to
your religion like its a life preserver and you'd drown without
it.



I'm having a hard time understanding how you reach some of your conclusions about me and my motivation for doing good, but I guess it is fair to say I'm having a hard time understanding your motivation too. I don't see how it follows that because I choose to believe in God that I am forced to be good, somedays I wish that was the case for me and for some of my fellow priests. I've always tried to be good and moral even before I took my faith seriously, but for the life of me I couldn't imagine myself either as not good or not believing in God.

I'm sorry you see it as pitiful or shallow but you are correct I cannot see myself with any other purpose outside my faith, Church, or the one who founded both. Don't get me wrong though I obviously like to do other things, even visit a casino on occasion, but there is no doubt I feel the purpose of my life is to cling to God and throw a few life preservers out to others who feel like they are drowning.
FrGamble
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December 9th, 2011 at 8:33:11 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist


What I don't really understand is why you're having trouble with the idea that people can exhibit good behavior irrespective of their beliefs in divinity. The evidence that people do good deeds is everywhere, in every culture, even those without strong beliefs in your particular theology. On the other hand, if you're re-defining what it means to do good, such that only those who share your particular brand of faith can do "good" (or even be good), then you're just talking past everyone. I'm generally a good person, I do far more good deeds than bad ones, but I'm not particularly religious and I definitely don't share your particular theology. Yet I maintain that there is no respectable theology under which I or my behavior should be classified as "evil" or "bad".



Face mentioned something similar and I do need to be very clear that I do see that atheism (or any other belief on the spectrum of relgious faith) and goodness are not mutually exclusive. There are obviously many good, moral, and smart people on this forum and around the world that do not believe in God or have a very different theological understanding than I do.

I think it is becoming clear to me that when discussing atheism I cannot look at it as the polar opposite of my view of God. It doesn't seem to reach the same level of passion and conviction that my faith in God does. As someone mentioned something about hobbies, athesim seems like it fits more as something someone discovers that they think has value so they put it on the shelf and take it down every once and a while to look at it or talk about it if someone asks why is that thing valuable to you. Gambling is a hobby for me. Let me assure you my faith in God, my Catholicism, is NOT a hobby. It is everything to me, it is my life! Let me close with a little prayer that says what I am trying to say about my spirituality:

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
- Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ
zippyboy
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December 9th, 2011 at 8:43:20 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

I much more respect someone who is good and moral because
he chooses to be of his own accord.


Yep, that's called Integrity. And not everyone has it.
"Poker sure is an easy game to beat if you have the roll to keep rebuying."
rxwine
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December 10th, 2011 at 12:44:59 AM permalink
Billboard campaign hopes to dispel atheist stereotypes


Interesting stat from the article:

Quote:

From 1990 to 2008, the number of adults in the U.S. who identified as having no religion increased from 14 million to 34 million, according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, which questioned about 54,000 adults in the continental U.S.

The national survey by researchers at Trinity College in Connecticut tracks adult Americans’ identification with religion.



I assume they are extrapolating the millions from sample size, but not sure why they didn't use a percentage increase. Could be author misinterpretation.
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
HotBlonde
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December 10th, 2011 at 10:08:51 AM permalink
Well I was happy to see this blog up and eager to start reading through the comments. I recently got in an accident and have been recovering. I am on a pain killer and muscle relaxer. Due to that it's hard for my mind to concentrate and follow all these comments. I started reading through these a couple days ago but my brain is too wobbly at the time.

Anyway, since I have had a lot of down time, I have been watching a lot of Hulu. I literally just started watching a documentary on here called "Lord Save Us From Your Followers" (2010). I'm going to watch it now. If anyone else is interested in watching it too along with me go to Hulu.com and you can find it there to watch free of charge.
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
FrGamble
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December 10th, 2011 at 12:53:57 PM permalink
Good recommendation HotBlonde. I never had even heard of the movie before but I had a little time today and I watched it. I really liked it. I have to admit I cried a couple of times, sometimes because of the beauty of what was going on and sometimes because it reminded me of how some Christians and even myself at times have acted. I liked his bumpersticker suit and it reminded me that everything we do on this forum is like exchanging long and not so funny bumperstickers. We should have a WoV religion sit down someplace sometime and a lot more would get accomplished.

Some other brief observations about the movie:
I thought it was very interesting the mixed reviews the people on the street gave when asked to describe Christians, some good some very bad. Then when the same people were asked to describe Jesus it was 100% positive. That was sad and it makes sense that many see Christians as hypocrites. Ironically if we were more Christian we would be more effective and more respected. The key to evangelization is to be more Christ like not less.

I loved the quote from Bono when he said that every religion and ideology agrees..."God is with the vulnerable and the poor..." Bono goes on to poetically describe instances where we know God is present and he ends by saying, "God is with us if we are with them [the vulnerable and the poor]."

Hope your recovery goes well and thanks again for the movie suggestion.
EvenBob
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December 10th, 2011 at 1:07:02 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

We should have a WoV religion sit down someplace sometime and a lot more would get accomplished.



'Accomplished'? Thats an odd choice of words. Whats there to
accomplish? If you're talking about converting people to your
way of thinking, you have the wrong crowd. Most atheists have
moved past organized religion, they aren't moving towards it.
They've already thought out their positions, they aren't wandering
around looking for guidence. You feel sorry for us because you
think we missed the boat, when in actuality many of us feel sorry
for you because you're still caught in the trap that religion so
cleverly sets for the unsuspecting.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
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December 10th, 2011 at 1:08:01 PM permalink
"Why is the gospel of love dividing America?"

Damn good question.
A falling knife has no handle.
DorothyGale
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December 10th, 2011 at 2:21:26 PM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde

... literally ...

"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
Face
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December 10th, 2011 at 2:30:27 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I don't see how it follows that because I choose to believe in God that I am forced to be good,...


Quote: FrGamble

I've always tried to be good and moral even before I took my faith seriously,...



Ah, here we are. Just expand on this the tiniest bit and you'll have understanding. Just as you are not "forced to be good" as a believer, neither is a non believer forced to be bad. Or encouraged. Or free to act so. You even say you yearned to be good even before you took your faith seriously. Go back to that point, that time in your life when you took that fork in the road that brought you to your faith. Do you think that your desire to be good would simply dry up and disappear had you chosen a non-theist path? I'm sure your faith has helped, and has encouraged, but is it the ONLY reason you choose to be good? I wouldn't think so, rather I think you're just a good person (that may struggle, as do we all), and faith HELPS you to be better, just as my non-theist ideas HELP this already good guy to be better.

Quote: FrGamble

I think it is becoming clear to me that when discussing atheism I cannot look at it as the polar opposite of my view of God. It doesn't seem to reach the same level of passion and conviction that my faith in God does. As someone mentioned something about hobbies, athesim seems like it fits more as something someone discovers that they think has value so they put it on the shelf and take it down every once and a while to look at it or talk about it if someone asks why is that thing valuable to you.



I'm not sure this is entirely accurate. I'll try to explain, but I'm flying by the seat of my pants with this one. Athieists and Religious are not so different. Thoughts on morality, our purpose, the meaning of life, how we came to be, are all HUMAN traits. Religion claims to be a guide book, an instruction manual, a blueprint, on these answers to life. For some, they can look at these instructions and think "that makes sense, I believe that to be true", so they go with it. While you as a Christian may not understand the entirety of the Bible or some of the less obvious lessons within, overall it makes sense to you and feels true, no? I'm sure the same can be said for Hindis, Jews, Iroqousi Longhouse, or any other religion. For Athieists, none of these ideas ring as true. The thought of a Creator doesn't make sense, so that thought is not held. That is it not to say Athieists don't question morality, our purpose, the meaning of life, or how we came to be, it's just that we don't believe the source is Divine. We're exactly the same, and (what I find to be funny and somewhat sad) we just disagree on the "how" and the "why" of it all.

And much like your Christianity, I'm sure there are varying levels of passion. Mosca has said he rarely thinks about it, he just goes on living his life and trying to be good. Someone like me has spent a lot of time thinking about it, enough to make my own "Natural" theory I shared in part with you earlier. Nareed likewise seems like she has spent a not insignificant time thinking on the subject and creating her beliefs. Some go off the deep end and start picketing the Pledge of Allegiance (I kid, kind of =/) So are Athieists dispassionate? Yup. Are some passionate? Yup. Are Christians dispassionate? Yup. Are some passionate? Yup. We're all the same.

Change ONE word in your poem, and it takes on a form I can understand. Change one word, and the message gets through. Perhaps you feel losing that word removes its spiritual point, I see it as revealing its human message. In the end, we'd be arguing the "why" and missing the point. This poem affects us both, because we are the same.

Quote: FrGamble

Nothing is more practical than
finding yourself, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

The opinions of this moderator are for entertainment purposes only.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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December 10th, 2011 at 3:55:07 PM permalink
Quote: Face

Change ONE word in your poem, and it takes on a form I can understand. Change one word, and the message gets through. Perhaps you feel losing that word removes its spiritual point, I see it as revealing its human message. In the end, we'd be arguing the "why" and missing the point. This poem affects us both, because we are the same.

Quote: FrGamble

Nothing is more practical than
finding yourself,



But finding oneself is a lot more difficult than finding God. It is easy to give oneself over to religion and to behave according to a predefined code of conduct. "Islam" literally (sorry Dorothy) means "to surrender the will to Allah". It is much harder, and requires quite a bit more thought, to determine for oneself what conduct is appropriate without relying on someone else to tell you what to think or how to act.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
DorothyGale
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December 10th, 2011 at 4:08:29 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

"Islam" literally (sorry Dorothy) means "to surrender the will to Allah".

Do you use the word "literally" for every word you define? Every definition is "literal," n'est-ce pas? Your sentence reads more powerfully without the reductive addition ...

God is literally God ... Literal is Godly literal ... is God literally literal?

And if God is Love, is God literally Love? Of course, the latter implying that "Love" is a super-set of God, which makes it really easy ...

Consciousness is so much more complex and interesting without these palliative God-like things humans create ...

--Ms. D.
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
FrGamble
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December 10th, 2011 at 4:34:47 PM permalink
Face thanks for your good post. It is a good question about what would have happened to my desire to do good and be virtuous if I had chosen a non-theist path. I'd like to think that I like yourself and many other non-theists here would continue to do good and be moral individuals. What I am still struggling with is how these non-theist ideas would HELP me to be a better person?

Specifically I think to myself what is the logical conclusion that atheism leads us towards? In all the other religious traditions you mentioned their conclusion leads to some purpose, meaning, nirvana, what have you. In denying God or some form of divinity the only conclusion I can see is eventually a cold meaningless death. Now everybody screams at me that this is not necessarily so, but if there is no creator or at least no intelligent or divine creator (obviously stuff had to come from somewhere) then eventually it seems to me that you have to run into this cold hard truth - eternal death and nothingness. How does this help me or anyone? I really want to understand if I am missing something and look forward to an explanation.

One explanation I have heard is that atheism makes your time here on earth more precious because it is all you have. To me that seems a little based on fear, you better enjoy your life because there is nothing after this (that sounds like the bad religious teacher who says you better do good just to avoid hell). I also fail to see how this would motivate me to do good. I definitely see how it would make me avoid suffering at any cost. Based solely on the ideas of atheism what would stop me from cheating if I knew I could get away with it? This idea also seems to make every second extraordinarily weighed down with meaning; if I really thought this I would hate to sleep and I would never watch TV, every commercial would take 30 precious never to have again seconds away from my one shot of life.

I understand very well that religious and non-theists have many varied levels of passion when it comes to holding their beliefs. It just seems to me that religious people get more and more encouragement and motivation to do good as they become more and more passionate about their faith. Atheism seems to cause more and more logical and intellectual problems for moral living as it is more and more passionately lived.

Please continue to help me understand.
EvenBob
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December 10th, 2011 at 4:47:42 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

In denying God or some form of divinity the only conclusion I can see is eventually a cold meaningless death.



As opposed to a warm meaningful death? Why does everything
have to be so black and white with you. If its not one way, it
has to be the complete opposite. Is there no gray area? Atheism
is not a hardcore religion, its not a hardcore anything. Death for
an atheist is the same as death for a Christian, whatever happens,
it happens to everybody. Only to you, there's some kind of reward
for playing the Parker Bros board game called 'Christianity', and
atheists are under no such delusion.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Face
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Face
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December 10th, 2011 at 4:57:36 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

But finding oneself is a lot more difficult than finding God. It is easy to give oneself over to religion and to behave according to a predefined code of conduct. "Islam" literally (sorry Dorothy) means "to surrender the will to Allah". It is much harder, and requires quite a bit more thought, to determine for oneself what conduct is appropriate without relying on someone else to tell you what to think or how to act.



I tend to agree. Having no beacon, no shining light to lead me, in the pursuit of my own self was difficult. IS difficult. And in the course I became lost, got beat up, felt defeat, experienced despair. At times I STILL do. Sometimes I take pride in the thought that I did it alone, without a "crutch", without a benevolent Father cheering me on from the above. But I also realize those feelings are subjective and biased.

FrGamble, before these last few weeks of discussion, might well have thought athieism is easy. Just do what you want, whenever you feel like it. Kind of sounds like heaven, but we know it to be different. As a result of seeing his error in thinking, I don't feel it's fair to label religion as "taking the easy way out", especially when I have a hard time understanding it and therefore cannot empathize, cannot judge it fairly. I could be making the error I just saw him make. I imagine they, too, must struggle within their own beliefs, to find meaning, to connect the dots.

So we talk. We all feel our individual struggles are the worst and our accomplishments the most rewarding. And we're all right. We could argue over opinions, and we will, it's almost irresistable. But prioritizing arguing over sharing and contemplation seems kind of disservicing to ourselves. These recent discussions seem much more of the sharing and contemplation type, as opposed to the arguing type of whether or not there is a God. I like these ones better, for there is little to learn from the unknowable.
The opinions of this moderator are for entertainment purposes only.
belleepoque
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December 10th, 2011 at 4:59:32 PM permalink
That was hysterical. Im buying his book tomorrow...
FrGamble
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December 10th, 2011 at 5:07:30 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Atheism is not a hardcore religion, its not a hardcore anything. Death for
an atheist is the same as death for a Christian,...



This part of your answer actually helps. Remember I am purposely drawing things out to their furthest conclusions where only the hardcore are going to want to go. Again I think my mistake is that I am thought atheists hold their positions as strongly as hardcore religious freaks like me, but I am beginning to see that this would be very hard for an atheist to do.

My friend, death couldn't be more different for an atheist and a Christian. For a Christian life is not ended it is changed as we are warmly embraced by God for all eternity. For a hardcore atheist life is an end and that is all.
EvenBob
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December 10th, 2011 at 5:25:32 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

My friend, death couldn't be more different for an atheist and a Christian.



Please don't state your beliefs as hardcore facts. You hope
its different, you have no proof of anything. Belief without
proof is the cement that holds your religion together. The
true 'believers' get rewarded. If it was as clear as turing on
a light bulb, what would be the point of having the religion
at all. There's nobody going around trying to make people
believe in electricity, we can all plainly see it exists.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
MrV
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December 10th, 2011 at 5:38:26 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

"Why is the gospel of love dividing America?"



Because it is now, and always has been, politicized.
"What, me worry?"
Nareed
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December 10th, 2011 at 6:11:23 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

One explanation I have heard is that atheism makes your time here on earth more precious because it is all you have. To me that seems a little based on fear, you better enjoy your life because there is nothing after this



I fail to see fear involved at all. You should just not waste your time and make the most of every opportunity.

Quote:

I also fail to see how this would motivate me to do good.



It doesn't. it's just a fact. The fact that Uranium has an atomic number of 92 won't motivate you to do good, either.

Quote:

I definitely see how it would make me avoid suffering at any cost.



And I don't. What if you wanted something that involved some suffering in order to get it? Then it would depend on what you value, wouldn't it? But then I fail to see how believing in god should draw anyone to suffer. Nor is suffering ever a good thing.

Here's an example. If you have cancer, you will suffer a great deal of pain, discomfort, nausea, and other effects from treatment. but only if you want to keep on living. Since your continued life is undeniably a desirable value, then undergoing such suffering in order to get better is obviously logical.

Quote:

Based solely on the ideas of atheism what would stop me from cheating if I knew I could get away with it?



You should stop implying there are ideas inherent to atheism. But if you want a non-theological reason to avoid "sin," there are many. For example, if you cheat at, say, a race, do you actually accomplish anything useful for your self-esteem, for your pride, for your sense of self-worth? You can fool other people, but it's hard to fool yourself.

Quote:

This idea also seems to make every second extraordinarily weighed down with meaning; if I really thought this I would hate to sleep and I would never watch TV, every commercial would take 30 precious never to have again seconds away from my one shot of life.



You're being obsessive. I dare say on purpose, drawing on a reductio ad absurdum kind of argument. Sleeping is both necessary and pleasurable. TV commercials allow you to enjoy nearly free entertainment (money-free; you pay in time what you don't pay in money). If you go through life worrying you're missing out on something and resenting every little setback, you won't enjoy a minute of it.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Face
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December 10th, 2011 at 6:25:40 PM permalink
You're welcome FrGamble. Before we go any further, I just want to make a disclaimer/reminder. Unlike theism, atheism doesn't follow a script or doctrine. About the only thing you can safely assume about athieists is that they share the belief that there is no god. The specific beliefs I'm giving you are mine. Some may share them, but some may not feel this way at all. Take them how you will.

An example of how mine helps is believing I am my own man. There is no higher power that will save me or give me mercy should I just believe hard enough or happen to earn his favor. If I want a job, I must put all my eggs in the hard work basket, since there is no divinity that will see to me getting it. That mindset pervades throughout much of what I do. I can't expect to win my hockey playoffs because I pray about it, I have to work my tail off. I can't expect divine protection for my son from the ills of the world because I ask for it, I must be vigilant in his upbringing. In other words, it doesn't allow me to leave much to chance, other than that which exists naturally in the world. These traits - hardworking, vigilant, protective, I see in part as a result of my beliefs.

I also feel it's allowed me to be more open minded. Some things are, without question, frowned upon by the church. I was kind of a country jock, if you had to pigeon hole me. In college, a few of my closest friends were gay. I spent many a night with them singing acapella (Glee didn't have s#%@ on us ;)), going to musicals, listening to Ani DiFranco, what have you. It opened my eyes to different cultures and lifestyles and was truely a precious memory I carry to this day. That breakdown of preconceived notions taught me a valuable lesson, one about prejudice, acceptance, and appreciation, that I feel I wouldn't have if I was religious, since I probably couldn't have befriended them. In and of itself, that time was a very small part of my history, but it marked a beginning, an awareness of the world outside of my little village I grew up in, and shaped the person I became.

This "cold, hard truth of eternal death and nothingness" is a tough concept. I have 1) chosen a way to look at it, and 2) defined an afterlife for myself. For #1, I have a life. I exist. From the dawn of time until 1980, I was already in eternal nothingness. I don't remember caring. From, oh I dunno, 2050 until the end of time, I will again be in eternal nothingness. Since I didn't care before, I've no reason to suspect I'll care again. In other words, I don't worry much about it. It's not sad, it's not scary, it just IS. All I can/should care about is the time in between, the 1980-2050ish, because it is but an eyeblink in eternity that I am existing, and should make the most of it. That may sound kind of flat, so comes #2 and the afterlife. I believe that "I am what I repeatedly do". I also believe that "I am my parents", and as such, so will my child be me. I must live a life of good to be good (we are what we repeatedly do) and to instill these habits into my son. If I am so lucky, he will grow up to be good and instill these habits into his children. Sometime after that I should die, and his children will have children and hopefully instill the same habits into theirs. In part, these habits, this SPIRIT, will be me, and as such, I will live on after death. I do feel that if I were a scoundrel and a skallywag, that I would be damning my family not just in the present, but in the after.

Hopefully that helps with explaining in how my beliefs, my athieist beliefs, motivate me to do good, or why I may not swipe an unattended purse or what have you. And of course, it's hard to put down an entire belief system in a few paragraphs, so I imagine this may have caused more questions that provided answers. But I will admit something... I AM incredibly anal with my time. I've never thought of it as a direct result of my athieism, but I recognize that I have some of these habits. I hate the thought of time wasted sleeping and eating. I'm not a "daily chores" type of person, I'm more of a "wait until it piles up and knock it out in one fell swoop" person. I don't go shopping when I need something, I go when I need a lot of somethings and can get em all at once. I even tried to get out of my free, paid trip to Vegas because it fell during hockey playoffs and I thought "it may just be a game, but it's a game that I'll never get back and I only have so many left".

I'm not sure if it's an athieist thing, or just a guy that prefers fun over chores ;)
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FrGamble
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December 10th, 2011 at 8:31:17 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

...you have no proof of anything....If it was as clear as turing on
a light bulb, what would be the point of having the religion
at all. There's nobody going around trying to make people
believe in electricity, we can all plainly see it exists.



Actually you don't see electricity but you see the results of it, much like God. I have seen what happens when people plug into the divine. This unseen power in their lives turns on lights and activiates powers in us as human beings that go beyond ourselves and our limitations. There is no need to go around telling these people to believe in God, we can all plainly see He exists.
EvenBob
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December 10th, 2011 at 8:41:22 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Actually you don't see electricity



Ever see lightening?

Quote: FrGamble

There is no need to go around telling these people to believe in God, we can all plainly see He exists.



But you wear those special 'god glasses' that only you and other
members of your cult are allowed to wear.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 10th, 2011 at 9:01:25 PM permalink
Thanks again Face your last post comes the closest I have heard to trying to express how the ideas, varied as they are, of atheism are of a help to you. I'd like to point out that where you have arrived is very similar to what Christianity would teach us. To be hardworking, vigilant, and protective are all values taught by Christ and early on the Church rejected the heresy of quietism, which is the idea that we just sit around and let God find us a job and score the hat trick for us. Your openness and acceptance of others is also a very Christ like value, if only it was more of a Christian value. Such ideas as love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you are radical ideas today as they were in Christ's time. I find it interesting that you lived the example of Christ who did not stay distant from people but befriended them and ate dinner, and yes even sang with people who were looked down on by the culture of the day. Finally you come up with a nice way of saying that your actions have consequences beyond your life here on earth.

Let me go back to something you said earlier:
Quote: Face

I tend to agree. Having no beacon, no shining light to lead me, in the pursuit of my own self was difficult. IS difficult. And in the course I became lost, got beat up, felt defeat, experienced despair. At times I STILL do. Sometimes I take pride in the thought that I did it alone, without a "crutch", without a benevolent Father cheering me on from the above. But I also realize those feelings are subjective and biased.

FrGamble, before these last few weeks of discussion, might well have thought athieism is easy. Just do what you want, whenever you feel like it. Kind of sounds like heaven, but we know it to be different. As a result of seeing his error in thinking, I don't feel it's fair to label religion as "taking the easy way out", especially when I have a hard time understanding it and therefore cannot empathize, cannot judge it fairly. I could be making the error I just saw him make. I imagine they, too, must struggle within their own beliefs, to find meaning, to connect the dots.



I actually admire how difficult it must be to arrive at these truths you have discovered without a beacon or shining light to guide you. At the same time I feel a little sorry for you. The analogy, and I hope it is not offensive, is of a guy who is limping along and obviously needs a crutch but he simply will not take it. I don't know why he won't accept the help and again you kind of admire the strength to say I want to do this on my own. However, since we arrive at the same place eventually and because not everyone is as determined and gifted as you, I really wish we as humans could be a little more humble and recognize that we need help, the help of each other, and divine assistance.

Anyway we seem to have arrived at similar places and I am very happy for that. It makes me think that ultimately we are all trying to live the best way we know how and to be good and moral people. I believe God and specifically Christianity is the best way to get there and you are advocating for a non-theist way. I thank you again for your attempt to show me how you use those atheist ideas to help you.

One last quick story. A friend took me to see "Tuesdays with Morrie" a while ago. It is a moving story where Morrie through many hard experiences in life learns some profound truths which he passes on to us in the movie. My friend was saying how profound and wise these thoughts arrived at by Morrie at the very end of his life through much pain and suffering were and I have to agree, they are very beautiful and moving. However, I came out of the movie thinking poor Morrie could have learned all these truths by attending my Cathechism class. Now I don't know if that would be less suffering but the point is that if we are going to the same place of goodness and morality why crawl through the brambles and mud when Christ offers you a crutch to help you stand tall and more surely and safely arrive at the same safe harbor.
EvenBob
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December 10th, 2011 at 9:11:30 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Christ offers you a crutch to help you stand tall



Some people love and need crutches, you do get it after all.

Look forward to the day when you can walk tall without one..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
DorothyGale
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December 10th, 2011 at 9:37:50 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Look forward to the day when you can walk tall without one ...

I gotta say, I've blocked you, but after this one maybe you should be unblocked ... kapow!!!
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
FrGamble
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December 10th, 2011 at 9:59:15 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Some people love and need crutches, you do get it after all.

Look forward to the day when you can walk tall without one.



Jesus said to them in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners." (Luke 5:31-32)

I look forward to the day you get it.
MathExtremist
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December 10th, 2011 at 9:59:35 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I feel a little sorry for you. The analogy, and I hope it is not offensive, is of a guy who is limping along and obviously needs a crutch but he simply will not take it. I don't know why he won't accept the help and again you kind of admire the strength to say I want to do this on my own. However, since we arrive at the same place eventually and because not everyone is as determined and gifted as you, I really wish we as humans could be a little more humble and recognize that we need help, the help of each other, and divine assistance.


Sadly, history is full of powerful men who felt so sorry for the limping guy that they offered him the choice between taking the crutch and being put out of his misery -- denying him the option to keep on limping.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
EvenBob
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December 10th, 2011 at 10:02:55 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Jesus said to them in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do..



So he gave out the crutches to the weak and infirm.
I wonder if he meant for you to use them forever.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Face
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December 11th, 2011 at 2:16:04 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I'd like to point out that where you have arrived is very similar to what Christianity would teach us.



See? We're not so different =)

Quote: FrGamble

I actually admire how difficult it must be to arrive at these truths you have discovered without a beacon or shining light to guide you. At the same time I feel a little sorry for you. The analogy, and I hope it is not offensive, is of a guy who is limping along and obviously needs a crutch but he simply will not take it. I don't know why he won't accept the help and again you kind of admire the strength to say I want to do this on my own. However, since we arrive at the same place eventually and because not everyone is as determined and gifted as you, I really wish we as humans could be a little more humble and recognize that we need help, the help of each other, and divine assistance.



I thank you for the compliment, but let me go further with your analogy. I, as a crippled man, struggle along through life. You, as a loving Christian, offer me a "crutch". You explain what it is, how it has helped you and how it can help me, and direct me on how to reach you so that I may receive it. But when we meet, I find that the "crutch" is a typical crutch, and my disability is that I have no arms. It's not that I deny the outstretched hand, it's just that I'm being offered a gift I cannot use.

It makes your gesture no less appreciated, your intentions no less pure, but it simply cannot be of help to me because of the way I am. I think a lot of the problems we see when discussing or promoting religion with athiests is that some theists don't offer the crutch, they almost force it, and tell you that very, very bad things will become of you if you don't take it. That'd be like me sharing my beliefs with you, all the while reminding you that you're going to die and rot and all of your life's work is a complete waste of what little time you have. Both stances are hurtful and only serve to drive wedges between people.

Somehow, in all of these very long conversations with each other, we've avoided that. We were able to discuss unproven, opposing beliefs as fact and not get caught up in the b.s., and it turned into a nice, educating experience. Shouldn't that be the goal of all beliefs, regardless of their source or denomination?

And I thank you for your pity, but I assure you it is not needed. It would be no different than me feeling sorry for you for all that you have given up, for all your sacrifice, for all the work you do in your church. You probably look at your work with pride; it is no different for me. I've surely struggled in my journey, and I'm sure many of our admitted athieists here have as well, but we've found or are finding our way. Wouldn't you say you have struggled, as do the multitudes of your flock, in your search of, or desire to be like, Christ? We're much the same, only different in the hook in which we've decided to hang our hats.
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HotBlonde
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December 11th, 2011 at 9:15:11 PM permalink
Well I am glad to have found someone interested in watching the documentary along with me. As I was watching I was curious if anybody had joined me in watching it as well. Sadly, I have not yet finished it. I was watching it and a friend came by and I have not yet completed watching it. To be honest with you, FrGamble, I was surprised that you were someone who would be interested in watching it, just from its title alone.

I also do need to comment on the comment you made about someone who is limping and in need and how you offer him a crutch and yet he does not accept it. This, along with another comment you wrote somewhere before that comment, really struck me. I have to say that your crutch comment was extremely conceited. You're basically saying that you have the answer and that you give this answer or solution to someone in need and how stupid that it seems that someone could so easily pass up on the correct or right answer to his solutions. I'm surprised you would be so bold and so blunt to say something like that. And that's something that I've encountered in my 4 short years in the Christian church. The conceit that comes with thinking that this way, the Christian way, is the ONLY way. If you personally in your heart believe it's the truth then that's as far as it could ever go: being just YOUR belief. If others join you in that belief that's great but it is conceited to think that ANY belief is the correct belief, whether we're talking religion or anything for that matter. Your way is the right way FOR YOU, father. I have to say that when I left the Christian faith it was a hard transition. I remember crying in my therapist's office about it. It was scary on the one hand because I was facing the possibility that I could go to hell for my decision to not believe any more. It was also scary cuz there really IS a wonderful comfort in being a part of the church. To be a part of a community of people who have the same beliefs you have, people who you've come to know and even love. And in the other hand you're leaving the security that the church an it's doctrine gives you, from believing, as you've just demonstrated, that you have the answers and that you can sleep at night knowing that all is understood.

And actually in writing this I actually pat my self on the back and commend people like Face and others like him as well who pursue the truth of life in this pool of confusion that we live in on this planet.

I love Byron Katie. Until I found her 2 or more so years ago I was terribly confused and aimless. I find comfort in her teachings. In a nutshell she teaches about beliefs in general. If I am feeling strife or some sort of negative emotion it is only and always because I am BELIEVING a thought that isn't right for me. When you say that you've seen "God's" work in other people's lives (which I think is another conceited thing to say) could itbe possible that their BELIEF in God was what caused or contributed to the change you see in their lives? So maybe it wasn't god at all. If I believe Mickey Mouse will do good things in my life and then good things happen, was it really Mickey Mouse that made things happen or could it possibly have something to do with my belief that he had something to do with it? See, I could just as easily run to you and say, "See, father, Mickey Mouse really DOES exist! Look at what he's done in my life! See, that must mean that he really DOES exist!!" To say that God really does exist cuz you've seen what he's done in people's lives just a story. A nice one, but a fake one nonetheless.
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rxwine
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December 11th, 2011 at 10:09:42 PM permalink
Perhaps we can link God to events?
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
FrGamble
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December 11th, 2011 at 11:10:22 PM permalink
HB, I think if you go back and take a look I was indeed commending Face for his pursuit of truth in the pool of confusion we live in. He and I were also pointing out that in the examples he gave concerning moral living his heroic pursuit of truth led him to very similar conclusions that Christ led me to. I think this makes sense because as you might remember the Scriptures say Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. I do believe this with all my heart to be true. I hope you don't blame me for saying that I think Christ can best help us navigate through the confusion and is the greatest solution to our problems. In fact I rarely have been so blunt or so bold in my presentation of Jesus as you have been in your presentation of relativism. Please don't push your belief that there is no objective truth on me, just because relativism works for you that is the right way FOR YOU and not for me.

By the way if you said Mickey Mouse had really changed your life I would first ask how? How does Mickey inspire you, make you feel secure, give your comfort, and help you sleep at night? If you came up with an answer I might then ask has anyone else been helped in the same way? Even if you said billions and billions of people have experienced the same help you have had with Mickey Mouse, it would remind me of Jesus, but I would not say then that this MUST mean he exists because that is a logical fallacy. If you really experienced something amazing with Mickey Mouse I imagine you would want to tell me about him, and I wouldn't blame you or get mad at you for doing so, you are just trying to help. Then if I believed you and looked into the thousands of years of history and into the rich traditons and teachings about Mickey Mouse I might want to find out if it is all true and attend services with you and meet your community or your friends. Eventually I may come to believe he exists but not because you told me so, not because of overwhelming testimony about him, not because of beautiful teachings, all these things would help, but ultimately because I experienced Mickey for myself. I say God exists cuz I've not only seen what He's done in people's lives, and all the other evidence and proof, but it is also and ultimately what He has done in my own. It is a nice story and it is true.
ncfatcat
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December 11th, 2011 at 11:35:46 PM permalink
From my experience in life I have come to Voltaire's conclusion that if there is no God it will be necessary for man to invent him. The human mind needs the concept of a higher power to function with the correct amount of awe and humility to prevent destructive self absorbtion.
Gambling is a metaphor for life. Hang around long enough and it's all gone.
HotBlonde
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December 12th, 2011 at 2:26:09 PM permalink
I just think any religion is too complicated. I think it's nice, FrGamble, that you attribute these wonderful things that happen in your life and other people's lives as being acts from the hand of God. But just because you are saying these are things attributable to God doesn't mean that they are. It's just your belief that they are. But it's funny the excuses people make when "bad" things happen like natural disasters and results from violent human conduct and etc. I just like simplicity. Even in the movie "CONTACT", I don't remember the exact dialogue, but when they were discussing whether the existance of God was real or not, Jodie Foster brings up Ockham's Razor, where Wikipedia describes it in this way: "The principle is often summarized as "simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones." The Bible is long and complicated, pages and pages of stories and rules and morals and guidelines. And then there are the many different interpretations of the Bible (not to mention the other books of other relgions). Did you know that in the Bible, I think it was somewhere in the New Testament, there is a command that when you fellowship with other Christians that you are to "greet them with a holy kiss". But you don't see Christians meeting and greeting each other with kisses. But yet it says in the Bible to do so. When I asked one of the pastors at the church I went to about this, of course, I was given another flimsy excuse as to why Christians don't really have to follow this rule.

Anyway, I think life really is as simple as the moment we're in. I'm learning about meditation and really learning the practice of being aware of the present moment. All else is commentary. It's simple stuff.

And even Byron Katie talks about God. But not God as the creator of everything, or this massively powerful force in the universe. She simply looks at God as reality. Here's and excerpt from her book "A Thousand Names For Joy", page 58:
"I have a word for God: reality. I call reality "God" because it rules. It is what it is, and it's so physical - it's a table, a chair, it's the shoe on your foot, it's your hair. I love God. It's so clear, so solid; it's completely dependable. You don't get a vote in what it does, and it doesn't wait for your opinion or your permission. You can trust it completely."

So to me when I identify myself as an atheist in my definition it is someone who does not believe in an image of God as in a way that most religions paint "him". The whole "God in the sky" image.

I hope the Wizard doesn't get mad at me for sharing a part of Katie's book but you can see I am giving full credit here to her. This is something she wrote in her same book "A Thousand Names For Joy", this is from pages 239-240:

Quote: Byron Katie

"A Christian asked me if I had ever met Jesus. I'm a lover of God - in other words, a lover of reality. I like to meet you there, which is here, now.
I don't know much about Jesus, except that he loved God. He was a man with a wonderful way that worked for him - someone who truly lived it. I know what that is. I found a wonderful way, too, and I live it. And, of course, that's not true. "I" didn't find the way, it found me, when there wasn't even a me to find. The way is simply what is. It doesn't bend to what anyone thinks it should be, it is its own integrity, it is infinitely intelligent and kind. To my mind, if Jesus is the way, I meet him in everyone, because the way is nothing more than a mirror image of my own thinking.
Christians say they love Jesus, but that's easy to believe when things are going your way. If Jesus walked into this room, everyone would love him, some would even fall at his feet and worship him, until he said something that threatened their religion, which is the concept they're attached to in the moment. Then he'd become an enemy. "He's a radical. He's not what I thought he'd be. He hangs out with the wrong people. A spiritual teacher shouldn't be political. He's contradicting the scriptures. His head's in the clouds. He doesn't understand." People will write off even the clearest, most loving person in the world when he opposes their belief system. They will invalidate him, negate him, obliterate him, prove that he's wrong, he's a fraud, he's dangerous to society, so that they can protect what they really believe is important. They'd rather be right than free.
When you revere a spiritual teacher, it's yourself that you're revering, because you can't project anything but yourself. And as long as there is something unhealed in you, you have to attach that to the teacher when you don't get your way or when your belief system is threatened. He says something, you put meaning onto it, you think that he's wrong or lacking, and you move out of reverence. What you're reacting to is not what he said, but what you heard. It's a fine thing to love Jesus, but until you can love the monster, the terrorist, the child molester, until you can meet your worst enemy without defense or justification, your reverence for Jesus isn't real, because each of these is just another of his forms. That's how you know when you are truly revering your spiritual teacher: when your reverence goes across the board.
If you think you're devoted to a spiritual teacher, that's a wonderful beginning; you get to see how your devotion could look when it's directed to all of us. Whatever disrespect, invalidation, or fear you project onto an enemy - sooner or later you'll project it onto your spiritual teacher. Everyone is your teacher, and the most powerful spiritual practice is to hang out with the people who criticize you. You don't even have to do that physically, since they live right here in your head. And when you think that you've grown beyond all your defensiveness and justifications, then hang out with your enemies physically, and see how lighthearted you are when they trash you. That's the real test.
To become aware without any spiritual teacher, without any scripture or tradition or authority, is to meet the teacher where you are. For me, the truth was right under my nose. Most amazing. It was sweet and simple, with nothing complicated about it. If it hadn't been so simple, I would never have found it."


I've viewed basically every single video she has online (and I'm talking about hours and hours of materials), I've seen her speak online and in person, I've read 3 of her books, and she seems to be a person who depicts true love and peace. Even looking at her picture, can you tell me that she looks like a woman who is supposed to go to hell? I mean honestly!

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EvenBob
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December 12th, 2011 at 4:22:50 PM permalink
FrG has what I call the Jesus Filter. He takes everything
he hears and first runs it thru the Jesus Filter, which tells
him what his thoughts and opinions will be on any subject.

This is not uncommon for religious people. Many Muslims
do it for their religion. Zealotry in any religion requires a
filter be in place at all times, to stop you from being confused,
and to keep you on the straight and narrow. Its also called
'drinking the Koolaid'..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Garnabby
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December 12th, 2011 at 4:54:54 PM permalink
Well, for a lot of authors who claimed to agree to disagree, they're actually "agreeing to continue to disagree". Some sort of attempt to, yes, "mediate" the others to each's static position.
Quote: JB

The message being, how can good exist unless evil also exists.

Similarly logically, the question can not exist without the answer. Eg, one of the basic tenets of Game Theory is to "assume your opponent(s) play(s) well" or optimally (, without any reliable history about them.) Ie, that that knowledge is available to every one. Including to some god as an actual entity; or even as a concept, or perspective, of one. What is available at that limit becomes embedded in how it is read.
Quote: Mosca

I've never thought of a lack of belief in a god as an admission of banality; to me it's the exact opposite. A god is too simple an answer for such a magnificent existence.

Don't forget that this "magnificent existence" is slowly grinding each of us back to "dust". I prefer not to give up so easily, and to hope for something a bit more than magnificent.
Quote: Mosca

Religion is about finite answers. Science is about infinite questions. The two will never reconcile.

There are as many, and levels, of infinities of religion, as finities of science?
Why bet at all, if you can be sure? Anyway, what constitutes a "good bet"? - The best slots-game in town; a sucker's edge; or some gray-area blackjack-stunts? (P.S. God doesn't even have to exist to be God.)
Garnabby
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December 12th, 2011 at 4:57:58 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

... the Jesus Filter, which tells him what his thoughts and opinions will be on any subject.


Isn't that an example of a mixed metaphor? Doesn't make sense, and isn't worth the effort to sort it out.
Why bet at all, if you can be sure? Anyway, what constitutes a "good bet"? - The best slots-game in town; a sucker's edge; or some gray-area blackjack-stunts? (P.S. God doesn't even have to exist to be God.)
EvenBob
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December 12th, 2011 at 5:28:04 PM permalink
Quote: Garnabby

Isn't that an example of a mixed metaphor?



How can it be a mixed metaphor, when Jesus Filter isn't
a metaphor to begin with.

"A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image or story to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea."

A Jesus Filter is an actual thing. Its a set of ideas and beliefs
that people use to filter out all the things that might be offensive,
or lead them down the wrong path. It tells them what to think
and how to behave.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
thecesspit
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December 12th, 2011 at 5:36:37 PM permalink
I'm reminded by EvenBob's Jesus Filter of the theory of the bicameral mind, which states that the human brain was once split into two halves : a part that spoke and commanded, and a part that listened and obeyed. This theory also states that conciousness is very recent (3000 years or so ago), based on evidence of introspection in various items of literature.

The part that spoke was viewed almost as a personal God, giving the human commands.

Julian Jaynes' book on the subject is quite an interesting read, even if it's still a controversial theory (rather than having been completely debunked).
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 12th, 2011 at 5:51:51 PM permalink
Quote: thecesspit

and a part that listened and obeyed. .



When my wife speaks, the listen and obey part is
the only thing functioning.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
Mosca
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December 12th, 2011 at 5:59:46 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

FrG has what I call the Jesus Filter. He takes everything
he hears and first runs it thru the Jesus Filter, which tells
him what his thoughts and opinions will be on any subject.

This is not uncommon for religious people. Many Muslims
do it for their religion. Zealotry in any religion requires a
filter be in place at all times, to stop you from being confused,
and to keep you on the straight and narrow. Its also called
'drinking the Koolaid'..




Well, he IS a Catholic priest. I kind of expect that, in all honesty.
A falling knife has no handle.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 12th, 2011 at 7:03:17 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Well, he IS a Catholic priest. I kind of expect that, in all honesty.



But it makes everything he says very predictable. Its
called toeing the company line.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Garnabby
Garnabby
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December 12th, 2011 at 7:14:08 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

How can it be a mixed metaphor, when Jesus Filter isn't a metaphor to begin with.


"Lunde really zeros in on Jesus, especially focusing in on his relationship to the law, using three metaphors: Jesus the filter, Jesus the lens, and Jesus the prism. When examining Jesus as filter, Lunde looks at the question of continuity and discontinuity between the Mosaic Law and the New Covenant. What is found is that while some laws aren't to be literally observed by us in the New Covenant, often Jesus reinterprets them in a new way that heightens their requirement for obedience (e.g., food laws). The chapter on Jesus as lens explores how, with some laws, Jesus peeled back the tradition so that the original intent of individual laws and the OT as a whole could be seen and recovered (e.g., Jesus recovery of the emphasis on mercy). The lens provides clarity. Finally, Jesus is the prism because law the law travels in a different direction after interpreted by him. Some laws, like the law against adultery, are moved to a higher plane. Their demands are heightened. Because Jesus is the King, it is to him and his demands that we must render our obedience." ( http://zetountes.blogspot.com/2011/04/book-review-following-jesus-servant.html . And likely from other links.)

It's the stuff you tag onto it that seems to make it all so mentally incongruent, nay, strident.
Why bet at all, if you can be sure? Anyway, what constitutes a "good bet"? - The best slots-game in town; a sucker's edge; or some gray-area blackjack-stunts? (P.S. God doesn't even have to exist to be God.)
MrV
MrV
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December 12th, 2011 at 7:19:24 PM permalink
There is no god.

There are idiots, dolts and morons such as those in Saudi Arabia who execute heretics in the name of god, under the mantle of enforcing the law.

see ... "sorceress"killedbyragheadeddouchebags
"What, me worry?"
HotBlonde
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December 12th, 2011 at 7:22:13 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Well, he IS a Catholic priest. I kind of expect that, in all honesty.

I've mentioned before in another related blog about the idea of whether or not someone as dedvout as a priest, pastor, etc. would ever be strong enough to swallow their pride and to profess a change of heart in regards to their faith. I mean think about it. If you are a priest, for example, and after much contemplation and soul-searching you've decided that the religion and doctrine that you've preached about for so long is actually not what makes sense to you any more, would you ever be so bold as to actually admit to the world and your church patrons that you no longer believe in what you've preached about all these years? To your family, your friends, church attendees, etc? The extremely religious make their religion so much a part of their identity that I would say that the fear of embarrassment and the kick to their pride would keep them from ever even be willing to be open enough to accept the idea that they were wrong all along. Pride is a hard thing for humans, and I believe even harder for men.

I do give props to that Father on television who was found to be having a relationship with a woman from his congregation (who is now his wife) for saying that he fell in love with this woman and was doing only what felt right to him, regardless of what his church said he should or shouldn't do as a priest. Kudos to him.

But I personally understand how hard it can be to admit that your beliefs have changed. For a while I was a vegan and people always put this vegan identity on me. I was even proud of it, and would share with others my nutritional and animal knowledge and why I lived and ate as I did. I am no longer a vegan but the transition was hard on my ego because I didn't like thinking about what others would think about me for having changed my way of life in such a big way. But in the end I was true to myself. And that's the only person you ever have to answer to.

But I do agree with EvenBob's idea that FrG, as well as any religious zealot, has a Jesus Filter with which he sorts through any idea or information. I can say from my own experience of being involved for several years in the church that I was not encouraged to think for myself as I was not to "let the Devil get a foothold", but to trust (blindly) the Bible and the "word of God" and to let them and the doctrine and the church do my thinking for me, since I, like all people, was merely a lost sheep that could not trust myself but needed a shepard to guide me. Sounds so silly, doesn't it? Thank God (pun intended) I'm not involved in the church any more and actually think for myself, exercising one of the most wonderful qualities I have as a human being.
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 12th, 2011 at 7:36:45 PM permalink
Quote: Garnabby

"Lunde really zeros in on Jesus.



But I wasn't using it as a metaphor, thats the difference.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 12th, 2011 at 8:27:05 PM permalink
I disagree strongly with the thought that my Jesus filter through which I view everything blocks out things that would be challenging or uncomfortable for my faith. In fact I don't have anyone blocked and am happy to listen to all of the many arguments against God, often perdictable, tired, false, and old as they are.

I also resent the implication that I am not able to think for myself or change my mind. I am not a robot answering these questions or making these comments if you don't believe me:
1100011001000001010101010000101101010011001001110001010101010101000011111100101010101110101000010101
0100101101001001001011110110010101001010001010110010100010101001010000000001011111010010100101001010
010000101010100100101001001100100010101111100100101101010101

That should clear things up.
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