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Author Topic:   Conversations with God
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8593
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 271 of 530 (885065)
03-20-2021 7:16 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by Mercury
03-20-2021 6:17 PM


Re: Why You People Think The Way You Do
How can you understand Jesus if you do not understand the Essenes? How can you understand the Essenes if you do not understand Judaism?
Would that help him in his understanding of reality? Seems to me that just layering another body of superstitions over his present ones (or under them, however that works) doesn’t sound like it would be all that enlightening.
Don’t get me wrong, studying other cultures and religions can be very instructive into how and why societies are as they are. But your motives seem more sinister. Are you trying to strengthen his delusions?
As an intellectual exercise, to see the various crap the different religions concoct to explain their own existence and claims to power, other cultures can be fascinating.
I don’t think that’s what you had in mind, though. But, it might be just my lunch.

Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by Mercury, posted 03-20-2021 6:17 PM Mercury has seen this message but not replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 498 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(2)
Message 272 of 530 (885088)
03-22-2021 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by Phat
03-20-2021 3:40 PM


Re: Why You People Think The Way You Do
Phat writes:
For the record, I don't believe in Flat Earth.
You might as well. You scoff at evidence and even thinking. If you "believe" in a round earth, it's most likely a religious belief rather than a scientific conclusion.
Phat writes:
But how can (or could) you test God?
Same way as we test anything else. Your claim that there "can not" be evidence of God has no basis. It's just a convenient cop-out.
Phat writes:
How can or could you test whether Jesus existed...
Same way we test whether Napoleon existed.
Phat writes:
... and why if so, He should be treated no differently than any other human?
If you think he should be treated differently, the onus is on you to provide the reasoning and evidence why he should.
Phat writes:
At best I see a gallery of skeptics.
You remind me of the guy on Evolution Fairy Tale who called me a "Skeptic!" with a sneer. He might as well have been calling me an asshole.
"Gallery of skeptics" is a compliment. Most of us here would be glad to be included in that gallery, I think. It doesn't need to get any better than that.
Phat writes:
And why do you insist I claim infallibility?
Because you do. You claim that your interpretation of your "experiences" can't possibly be wrong.
Phat writes:
All that I claim is rationality within the context of my experience.
Rationality implies that you have reasons but you claim you don't need reasons to believe. Belief is not rational.
Phat writes:
And the fact that many people claim the same thing gives me a reasonable assurance that I am not crazy or delusional.
On the contrary, the fact that many other people (Mormons, Raelians, etc.) have contradictory claims indicates that somebody's claims must be wrong.
Phat writes:
Only you and your colleagues make that accusation.
It's not an 'accusation". It's an observation based on the facts.
Phat writes:
Personally, I would be careful before so casually tossing God out with the eggshells.
But that's exactly what you do. You throw out Zeus and Thor. You only preserve your one favorite eggshell.
Phat writes:
I would ask myself why I had no need for the product.
Do that then. Ask yourself why you have need for one eggshell and not the others.
Of course there are millions of products in the world that you don't need. The real question is whether you need an ivory back-scratcher at all.
Phat writes:
I'm not simply going to doubt my personal experience due to some idea that it "can't happen"...
And I have never said you should. But it certainly makes more sense to consider the explanations that could happen.
Phat writes:
... or that rational science shows otherwise.
Well, it does. Rational science (the only kind of science we have) does provide rational explanations for experiences like yours. But you irrationally choose to reject them.
Phat writes:
First, a lot of people have had similar experience.
As I have told you, I have had similar experiences - but I don't jump to the conclusion of demons.
Phat writes:
Second, I know what I have experienced.
You really don't. Remember the story i told you about the thief/non-thief in the black/blue/red coat? What your mind perceived is not an accurate depiction of what your senses sensed - and what you remember is not an accurate record of what your mind perceived.
A fellow named Edward de Bono proposed a demonstration of how memory works: 1. Make some jello in a shallow pan. 2. Set one end of the pan on a book. 3. Drip hot watter at the high end and watch it trickle down to the low end.
Guess what? The water will find the channels that are already there and deepen them - i. e. what's already in your memory will be reinforced by everything new that enters it. The more often you remember something, the stronger the memory becomes - but it might not be an accurate memory at all.
Phat writes:
... for now I wont challenge your hypothesis...i'm just asking why you are so set on it.
And I keep telling you, I'm so set on it because it matches reality. In reality, you are not infallible. Your pre-conceived ideas, based on your religious beliefs, do not trump evidence.
Phat writes:
Finally, there are many scientists such as Dr.John Lennox who are also believers.
Why would a mathematician know anything about how the mind works?
And what about the scientists from other religions who disagree with your interpretation?
Phat writes:
You need to ask yourself why you have such a zeal to attempt to falsify belief...
You need to ask yourself why you think I do.
Phat writes:
... and also why you think that there is only one proper way to think, reason, and conclude.
Why do you think logic has rules? Why do we have a whole list of fallacies? There certainly are right and wrong ways to think.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by Phat, posted 03-20-2021 3:40 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
robertleva
Member (Idle past 1150 days)
Posts: 35
From: Seminole
Joined: 04-23-2021


(1)
Message 273 of 530 (885745)
04-25-2021 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
12-31-2006 12:51 PM


This is a reply to the OP.
Here is how I pray most often: I start by asking forgiveness for my sins in the name of Jesus. I like to get clean before addressing the Holy Father. Then I pray for whomever has triggered this need in the first place. For example, if I see a homeless person that I cannot directly go out and help, I try to at least say a prayer for them.
When I feel the Lord's presence I get an overwhelming feeling that nearly instantly brings tears. It's a complex feeling, a combination of joy, relief and awe and it is very powerful.
I have often wondered if others feel the same way, I will read through the thread now to see. Nice topic, as a new member I am heartened to see a lot of great discussions here. God bless.
Edited by robertleva, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 12-31-2006 12:51 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by dwise1, posted 04-25-2021 2:55 PM robertleva has replied
 Message 317 by Phat, posted 04-27-2021 3:40 PM robertleva has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5974
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 274 of 530 (885753)
04-25-2021 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 273 by robertleva
04-25-2021 10:46 AM


I immediately thought of that scene in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". Too much background info to catch you up (but I will if you ask), but the master of the house returns home to a new "maid" who informs him that while her body is his her heart belongs to someone else. That arrangement doesn't bother him in the least and he looks up to the gods and says "Thank you." and adds "Whichever one of you is responsible for this."
But more seriously, what you describe is what I feel that Christianity should be about, caring for and trying to help the least among us.
I am an atheist. On my last singles dance cruise on the Mexican Riviera I was bunked up with an "evangelical" ex-Mormon Christian. Not wanting to cause unnecessary tension with my bunkie, I stayed mum but my willingness to discuss religious matters led him to assume that I was of like mind to him (I actually saw the moment he made that decision). Everything I said to him was was truthful and meaningful. Believers must be truthful and honest. Believers must always think about what they believe, even question what they believe in order to root out error in their own thinking. But by thinking about and questioning what they believe, they are actively working through and actively thinking about their beliefs which is vital to spiritual growth.
Religion is meaningless unless you are actively engaged. Your statement says to me that you are actively engaged. That is a good thing. A very good thing.
Also, please do not assume the worst about atheists. We are among the few who actually think about religion.
Edited by dwise1, : added "singles" to the dance cruise

This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by robertleva, posted 04-25-2021 10:46 AM robertleva has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 10:04 AM dwise1 has replied
 Message 289 by Phat, posted 04-26-2021 3:36 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
robertleva
Member (Idle past 1150 days)
Posts: 35
From: Seminole
Joined: 04-23-2021


Message 275 of 530 (885772)
04-26-2021 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 274 by dwise1
04-25-2021 2:55 PM


Thanks for the reply. You mention how important it is to constantly think about what you believe and even question it. As a scientifically minded atheist I ask you this one very important question:
Do you leave room for the possibility that you could be wrong?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by dwise1, posted 04-25-2021 2:55 PM dwise1 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by Phat, posted 04-26-2021 10:19 AM robertleva has replied
 Message 280 by dwise1, posted 04-26-2021 2:40 PM robertleva has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18389
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 276 of 530 (885773)
04-26-2021 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 275 by robertleva
04-26-2021 10:04 AM


robertleva writes:
You mention how important it is to constantly think about what you believe and even question it. As a scientifically minded atheist I ask you this one very important question:
Do you leave room for the possibility that you could be wrong?
That question can haunt me. At this point in time, I believe very strongly that GOD is real, Jesus and/or the holy Spirit is real and is presnt with me and I belive all of us. With us. Not IN us. Now, if somehow there was proof that what happened to me when I got saved was somehow a trick or delusional, it would give me pause to think and it would likely plunge me into a major depression. God is ALL I have that I can always relate with and rely on.
In addition, I feel I have witnessed just enough unexplained events that are more than coincidences that I can be confidant in my core belief. Many have not seen such stuff.
That being said, I also believe that much of the church has no more of a clue than the non-believers. Go figure. I will be back in a couple of hours I have to go run an errand.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 10:04 AM robertleva has replied

Replies to this message:
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robertleva
Member (Idle past 1150 days)
Posts: 35
From: Seminole
Joined: 04-23-2021


Message 277 of 530 (885778)
04-26-2021 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 276 by Phat
04-26-2021 10:19 AM


The question needn't haunt you brother. To have doubts is part of being human and our faith overcomes these doubts. Embrace the times when you have doubts as an opportunity to recognize them as the enemy's lies and deny them, thus making your faith even stronger.
Do not be hard on yourself for having doubts! Making you feel bad about yourself is yet another tool of the enemy. He loves to make us feel shame for our faith. Deny that liar and laugh it him when he tries to make you feel shame as you reaffirm your salvation in almighty God. The enemy is not even a spec of dust before Jesus Christ and the Holy Father. And he will burn in the pit of fire for eternity. God bless you brother.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by Phat, posted 04-26-2021 10:19 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 279 by ringo, posted 04-26-2021 2:39 PM robertleva has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 278 of 530 (885779)
04-26-2021 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 277 by robertleva
04-26-2021 2:27 PM


quote:
To have doubts is part of being human and our faith overcomes these doubts. Embrace the times when you have doubts as an opportunity to recognize them as the enemy's lies and deny them, thus making your faith even stronger.
So you obviously refuse to consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 277 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 2:27 PM robertleva has not replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 498 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 279 of 530 (885781)
04-26-2021 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 277 by robertleva
04-26-2021 2:27 PM


robertleva writes:
The enemy is not even a spec of dust before Jesus Christ and the Holy Father. And he will burn in the pit of fire for eternity.
Got your marshmallows ready?
Edited by ringo, : Corrected attribution in quote.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 277 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 2:27 PM robertleva has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 281 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 2:41 PM ringo has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5974
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 280 of 530 (885782)
04-26-2021 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by robertleva
04-26-2021 10:04 AM


Do you leave room for the possibility that you could be wrong?
Always. That is how we learn.
For example, I couldn't believe it when I read Dawkins' description of how rapidly his WEASEL program converged onto a solution (by the end of lunch time, though using a slow BASIC interpreter instead of a compiled program) by using cumulative selection (which is based on how evolution actually works) instead of the typical creationist misconceived choice of single-step selection (which has nothing at all to do with how evolution works) which I've calculated would take many thousands of times longer than the estimated age of the universe.
Since Dawkins did not provide a program listing, I used his description of his thought experiment as my specification and wrote my own WEASEL program which I called MONKEY -- on a page which collected various WEASEL programs, mine was cited as being the best reconstruction of the original. Written in a compiled language, Pascal, it converged on its solution in less than a minute (usually in about 30 seconds, depending on population size), but that was when PCs were still slow; now it converges in less than a second, appearing to do so instantaneously.
Not even able to accept my own results, I analyzed the probabilities involved, resulting in my MONKEY Probabilties page. Once I understood why it worked so well I could finally accept my results.
So by leaving room for the possibility that something was wrong, I was free and motivated to question what I had read which in turn led to learning so much more.
 
I should inform you that I have eyes to see and ears to hear, so I can see where you're trying to lead me. During my association with the Jesus Freak Movement at what's supposed to have been "Ground Zero" (ie, Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel, "Costa Mesa" -- even though it has always been in Santa Ana to my knowledge -- around 1970), I read their proselytizing training materials and learned their techniques. Since then I've had half a century of experience with many proselytizers, so I've seen just about all the tricks. At least it has been quite a long time since I've seen anyone present a new one.
And if you are going to try dressing up Pascal's Wager with something like a car insurance analogy (which I have called After-Life Insurance, then you will need to review the problems with that argument which I present on that page. Basically, if you want to maneuver me to accept the possibility that a god could exist, then you must realize that there is no reason to assume that it's necessarily your god with your associated theology (because even choosing the right god but the wrong theology is just as literally damning as choosing the wrong god or no god as per Pascal's Wager -- BTW, since Pascal was a Catholic and you are most likely a heretic Protestant, you have lost the wager yourself).
BTW, yes, that is the same Pascal as the programming language was named after. Blaise Pascal's (1623-1662) contribution to computer science was inventing a mechanical calculator for his father, a tax collector.
My exposure to "creation science" was rather cursory at that time in 1970 and the major claim presented to me, that a NASA computer discovered Joshua's "Lost Day", was very clearly bogus so I wrote creationism off as bogus. When I encountered creationist claims again in 1981, I was surprised that it was still around. Assuming that meant that there might be something to it after all, I wanted to see what their "scientific evidence for creation" was. To see what their case is.
It did not take me long to discover that they didn't have anything. All they did was to misrepresent the science and what their "scientific sources" actually said. All they presented was lies and deception. The claim that you have led off with, trying to isolate natural selection as the only process of evolution, is just one example of that misrepresentation. The wide range of young-earth claims are others. In the four decades since I started studying "creation science", I do not recall ever encountering a valid creationist claim or argument. Four decades.
Rather, I did encounter a long procession of creationists ready and zealously willing to commit any dishonesty deemed necessary to support their theology and to serve their god.
 
And that only serves to prove their religion to be a false religion -- BTW, their religion is not necessarily the same as actual Christianity. And that's not just my own opinion, but rather the opinion of Jesus in the Matthew 7:20 Test: by their fruits you will know them.
So if you want to try to convert me, I already know that your tree is a wicked tree because it bears wicked fruit. In Jesus' opinion, it should be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Why would I ever want to become part of that?
 
Do you leave room for the possibility that you could be wrong?
Do you?
Have you ever tested and verified any of the creationist claims you have made? Or do you just blindly regurgitate what they have fed you?
Have you ever gone to the library and looked up a scientific source that one of your creationist sources "cites"? I put that in scare quotes, because most creationists simply borrow other creationists' claims whole, bibliography and all. As a result, creationists claim to use scientific sources when in truth they had never seen those sources themselves. They had never verified the claims themselves. And for each claim with "cites" a scientific source, how many generations has that claim gone through since that "cited" source had actually been read?
 
Case in point. When I saw leading creationist Dr. Henry Morris in a 1985 debate make the moon dust claim citing a "1976" NASA document, written "well into the space age" (required intonation for this creationist claim), I followed up by writing to the ICR for the source. Then while browsing through the document stacks at the university library, I found that "1976" NASA document, pulled it off the shelf, and looked at the cover. It was indeed the cited document, but it was a collection of papers from a 1965 conference which was printed in 1967.
You can read the entire story with all the gory details on my page, MOON DUST. Basically, Morris had gotten that claim from Harold Slusher (Slusher's letter making that claim linked to through that page) and Slusher in turn must have gotten it from yet another unmentioned creationist in hand-written form. That original creationist must have switched the digits changing "1967" to "1976". Slusher never bothered to look up that NASA document himself (he was teaching at a university at the time, so it should have been easily available) and just repeated that dyslexic error when he "cited" that source as his own. Dr. Morris in turn did the exact same thing, claiming Slusher's "source" as his own without ever bothering to look up that source himself. I know that, because just looking at the front cover exposes that error.
If you have a copy of Dr. Henry Morris' book, Scientific Creationism (2nd ed), he presented that claim in a footnote on page 152. In large part from my research and some astronomers' research into this claim, the ICR backed away almost completely from this claim, but since Morris has died there is no chance that his book, still being sold to new creationists, will ever be corrected.
Always verify. Especially when you're going to use creationist materials.
Edited by dwise1, : Forgot to turn the question around. Oversight corrected now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 10:04 AM robertleva has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 283 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 3:00 PM dwise1 has replied

  
robertleva
Member (Idle past 1150 days)
Posts: 35
From: Seminole
Joined: 04-23-2021


Message 281 of 530 (885783)
04-26-2021 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 279 by ringo
04-26-2021 2:39 PM


I see you in there and I deny you. You will never have me. My faith is in Jesus Christ.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by ringo, posted 04-26-2021 2:39 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 282 by ringo, posted 04-26-2021 2:45 PM robertleva has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 498 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 282 of 530 (885784)
04-26-2021 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 281 by robertleva
04-26-2021 2:41 PM


robertleva writes:
I see you in there and I deny you. You will never have me. My faith is in Jesus Christ.
The condescension is strong in this one.
Edited by ringo, : Spoelling.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 2:41 PM robertleva has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 284 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 3:02 PM ringo has replied

  
robertleva
Member (Idle past 1150 days)
Posts: 35
From: Seminole
Joined: 04-23-2021


Message 283 of 530 (885785)
04-26-2021 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by dwise1
04-26-2021 2:40 PM


You mistake me brother. I only wanted to know if you were capable of being truly honest and objective about your own views. You clearly are because you leave room for the possibility you could be wrong abotu all of this.
So you do have faith you see. You have faith that there is no God, over what ever miniscule doubt that you harbor that you could in fact be wrong and that God does exist.
I am sure this point is nothing new to you, if you have had many folks try to "convert" you (whatever that means). I am not trying to do that at all, simply pointing out for all to see that atheism is faith based at it's very core. Naturalism is the euphemized term for it these days, but call it what ever you want atheism requires some amount of faith like every other "religion".
I resent the notion that somehow atheism is above reproach. It isn't. It deserves the exact same scrutiny we give any faith. You are one of the smart ones that is willing to question themselves. For now, that is enough for me.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by dwise1, posted 04-26-2021 2:40 PM dwise1 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by dwise1, posted 04-26-2021 3:32 PM robertleva has replied
 Message 291 by Phat, posted 04-26-2021 3:51 PM robertleva has replied
 Message 293 by PaulK, posted 04-26-2021 4:13 PM robertleva has not replied

  
robertleva
Member (Idle past 1150 days)
Posts: 35
From: Seminole
Joined: 04-23-2021


Message 284 of 530 (885786)
04-26-2021 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 282 by ringo
04-26-2021 2:45 PM


Same answer. You won't have me.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 282 by ringo, posted 04-26-2021 2:45 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 285 by ringo, posted 04-26-2021 3:12 PM robertleva has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 498 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 285 of 530 (885787)
04-26-2021 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by robertleva
04-26-2021 3:02 PM


robertleva writes:
Same answer.
It wasn't a question.
robertleva writes:
You won't have me.
What makes you think I (or my Infernal Master) would want you?

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 3:02 PM robertleva has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 286 by robertleva, posted 04-26-2021 3:26 PM ringo has replied

  
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