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Let’s Have a Dialog—ie., a Conversation, not a debate—About the god-hypothesis
Posted: 23 February 2012 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Linds, there are at least two things about your approach that are very interesting, in a way that makes me re-think my own assumptions. One is the way you approach topics. The same language that you use would come with more set conclusions than you seem to have; once I know that about you, I have to step back and re-think. An example of that is in our first exchange.

Some people will find this frustrating. But then if I did that, I would be contradicting the point that I made to you in the first place.

Second, while many others say they want dialogue, you seem to be more sincere about it than the average bear. I get the feeling that you’ve gained enough wisdom over the years to appreciate the value of asking questions. Probably there are other things but those are the most prominent.

That said, I’m thrown off by questions such as your latest about why some people suffer more than others. The answer to that seems obvious: it’s exactly what I would expect in a world governed by the blind forces of nature. So in the end I’m not sure how productive our dialogue might be – not that I’m dismissing it, I’m still trying to figure out what assumptions you’re bringing to the table: because no matter how open-minded we try to be, we all come to the table with a framework, which includes a set of assumptions.

You asked about my signature statement. In my view, the current leadership at CFI has made some debilitating mis-steps. Those were a great disappointment because CFI’s mission statement is excellent. If you want to know more about that, you could explore CFI’s history on this site, or write me privately.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 23 February 2012 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Linds, I second PlaClair’s observation that you a have at agreeable way of presenting your views. As I said before, philosophically we seem to be on parallel tracks in may respects.

Linds,
But, interestingly, at times I felt angry and asked a lot of questions, but at no time did I feel like a hopeless victim.

Being a little younger I did experience some of the horrors of WWII and saw friends killed in front of my eyes.

Linds,
And this is what I don’t really know, but would like to know: Around that time I began to experience all the luck in the world ... And I often wonder: How come? Was it just luck?

My family, all atheists, have had an extraordinary amount of luck. Family members falling from three story buildings and walking away without even a limp, being run over ny a truck and suffering a minor rib fracture. A massive tree falling on my mother, not a single scratch. We have all experienced serious traumatic events in our lives and be able to carry on after a brief moment of reflection. OTOH in really mundane situations as driving into a completely filled supermarket parking and someone leaving the parking spot closest to the entrance the moment we arrived, and untold small events which seemed to favor us with a moment of luckiness (a deepity?).

My father had councelled me once that if you want something that you feel will complete a part of your essence, you need not search for it, eventually it will come to you.
As a boy I always wanted to have a sailboat, but never could afford one. Then 40 years later, driving my car, reflecting that I was never able to get that boat, I looked into a side street and saw the boat of my dreams standing there with a For Sale sign. The owner was a student and needed the money desperately and sold me this boat at a ridiculously low price. The list of little lucky moments goes on.

There is an expression in our family of “the Rigter luck”. I have often thought about this, wondering if we don’t have a “guardian angel” which protects.

One thing my family had in common was an unbounded optimism about life and the future. I often wondered if this positive mental attitude may not well influence an interaction with others and create a certain charisma (potential), which gathers a positive momentum and function in the physical world. 

You have not responded yet to my paradigm of Potential posted previously.  Do you believe that your concept G-0-D has Potential?

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Posted: 24 February 2012 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Write4U - 23 February 2012 04:49 PM

Linds, I second PlaClair’s observation that you a have at agreeable way of presenting your views. As I said before, philosophically we seem to be on parallel tracks in may respects.

Thanks, again. BTW, W4U, it took a lot of practice to be the “sweet” and cool smile me that I hope I am.  LOL 

You say

... There is an expression in our family of “the Rigter luck”. I have often thought about this, wondering if we don’t have a “guardian angel” which protects.

All I need say is, keep on thinking—not unlike what I call META-tating, even meta-praying. The Arabic and Hebrew words (shalom, salaam, Sl-ha, hence Islam) for this process is best translated as “tune in”—as in,  “Tune in the radio”; “Turn on, connect with” as in, “Turn on the ‘puter and connect with the Internet.” 

One thing my family had in common was an unbounded optimism about life and the future. I often wondered if this positive mental attitude may not well influence an interaction with others and create a certain charisma (potential), which gathers a positive momentum and function in the physical world. 

You have not responded yet to my paradigm of Potential posted previously.  Do you believe that your concept G-0-D has Potential?

Right there, I just had an example of ... We could call it luck, but I will add: Let’s call it “good fortune”: I suppose you realize that you are making my case for me? And here is my case: The concept wrapped up in, involved in the acronym G-0-D is not the same as the one we associate with gods, fairies, demons, angels, Bertrand Russells’ Tea Pot orbiting the earth, or God—whether of monotheism, monodeism, whatever. In another post, I will give a little more of the story of how I “lucked-out” in my teens.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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It doesn’t matter, but I don’t like G-O-D for the same reason I would not like R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N or F-A-G. I don’t understand why people who want to shy away from the typical meaning of a thing use that thing to identify themselves. It’s like godhead; give me a break.

Since it is an acronym for generates Good, organizes all that is Opportune and delivers that which Delights, why not D-O-G? Why not The Organization of Good Delights? Why mislead with G-O-D?

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Posted: 24 February 2012 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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G-0-D is god for people with brains. If I had a tendency to be religious (and a brain), I would be embarrassed too, and try to hide it as much as possible.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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George - 24 February 2012 08:53 AM

G-0-D is god for people with brains. If I had a tendency to be religious (and a brain), I would be embarrassed too, and try to hide it as much as possible.

Then hiding it as much as possible would not include spelling out G-O-D.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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You still need those three letters there somewhere. That is, if you want to make a living on it and/or be able justify to yourself that that “spiritual sense” you are feeling is not a mental disorder.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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George - 24 February 2012 11:39 AM

You still need those three letters there somewhere. That is, if you want to make a living on it and/or be able justify to yourself that that “spiritual sense” you are feeling is not a mental disorder.

Well, I don’t see how any “spiritual sense” can be had without someone questioning your grasp on reality. But if you want to make a living at it, you should preach the Holy Spirit and Hell-fire, and sell religious trinkets/videos. In fact you can find a free video of exactly how to do that - it’s the Marjoe video.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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RevLGKing” date=“1330111023”]

Write4U - 23 February 2012 04:49 PM

Linds, I second PlaClair’s observation that you a have at agreeable way of presenting your views. As I said before, philosophically we seem to be on parallel tracks in may respects.

Thanks, again. BTW, W4U, it took a lot of practice to be the “sweet” and cool smile me that I hope I am.  LOL 

You say

... There is an expression in our family of “the Rigter luck”. I have often thought about this, wondering if we don’t have a “guardian angel” which protects.

All I need say is, keep on thinking—not unlike what I call META-tating, even meta-praying. The Arabic and Hebrew words (shalom, salaam, Sl-ha, hence Islam) for this process is best translated as “tune in”—as in,  “Tune in the radio”; “Turn on, connect with” as in, “Turn on the ‘puter and connect with the Internet.” 

One thing my family had in common was an unbounded optimism about life and the future. I often wondered if this positive mental attitude may not well influence an interaction with others and create a certain charisma (potential), which gathers a positive momentum and function in the physical world. 

You have not responded yet to my paradigm of Potential posted previously.  Do you believe that your concept G-0-D has Potential?

Right there, I just had an example of ... We could call it luck, but I will add: Let’s call it “good fortune”: I suppose you realize that you are making my case for me? And here is my case: The concept wrapped up in, involved in the acronym G-0-D is not the same as the one we associate with gods, fairies, demons, angels, Bertrand Russells’ Tea Pot orbiting the earth, or God—whether of monotheism, monodeism, whatever. In another post, I will give a little more of the story of how I “lucked-out” in my teens.

Except that I am a devout Atheist. If our “luck” is attributable to a “power of positive thinking”, then why the need for any acronym other than Potential, which is a universally acceptable term?  If you were to say that we can somehow tap into the Universal Potential (UP), we need not have to deal with any form of perceived mysticism.

[ Edited: 24 February 2012 03:00 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 February 2012 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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George - 24 February 2012 11:39 AM

You still need those three letters there somewhere. That is, if you want to make a living on it and/or be able justify to yourself that that “spiritual sense” you are feeling is not a mental disorder.

George, you mention “making a living”. I am curious: What do you do to “justify to yourself” ?

Or, like me, perhaps you are re-directed (retired). If so, cool smile
BTW, After nine years of university, including two years of postgraduate work (Boston University), I had several options other than the pastoral ministry—e.g., teaching, chaplaincy in the armed forces, counseling etc.—to which I felt drawn. I mean the ministry which included a lot of counseling. As counseling was thought of as part of my pastoral work, the clients were covered by what they gave, according to their ability, to the regular offerings.

Let me assure you: most pastorates are not rich. They are made up of, and supported by, the hard-working middle classes and the working poor. Most of the rich and powerful have little need for religion. Their golf and social clubs seem to serve the purpose. To be fair, not all rich and powerful people have abandoned religion.

FEEL FREE TO LET ME KNOW WHEN I DODDER AND REPEAT MYSELF
Did I mention that my first pastorate was in Labrador, Happy Valley-Goosebay? It involved helping to organize a squatters town of 115 families, now a municipality of of nearly 9,000. Quite a story. At the time, my wife—a teacher who did her share of pastoral work—and I were both 23 (1953). She, the wife of a United Church minister (me) was responsible for 52 children—grades 1,2,3—part of a two-room school built by the Anglican Church.

Our (Jean and Lindsay) first mission was not an easy one. In an often bitterly-cold and volatile climate, we had more than one life-threatening experience—both on the water and on land, with dangerous huskie-dogs, and the like. Without going into detail, one day I had the privilege of saving the life of a driver who was in the process of being attacked by his team of dogs. They mistook him for lunch! I don’t think they were good Christians. Later, we found out that they were “agnostics”—not bright enough to be atheists, eh?  rolleyes 

Thank G-0-D we were young and “foolish” enough at the time to take the risk—a leap of faith. Yes FAITH! As an atheist, you may have to look up the meaning of that word, eh?  LOL

[ Edited: 24 February 2012 04:48 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 24 February 2012 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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I am not criticizing you for making money on selling snake oil (sorry, but that’s what selling fake hope is). I was only trying to understand why somebody of your intellect would believe and say such nonsense. Any person with an IQ above 100 who believes in a deity of any kind (no matter how they spell it) is a great mystery to me. Just like your passion may be spirituality, mine is human nature.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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George - 24 February 2012 06:02 PM

... Any person with an IQ above 100 who believes in a deity of any kind (no matter how they spell it) is a great mystery to me. Just like your passion may be spirituality, mine is human nature.

Where did I ever write that I believe in a god, or the God of monotheism? BTW, unitheism very much accepts the integration of body, mind, spirit and nature.

[ Edited: 24 February 2012 09:40 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 25 February 2012 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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I already told you, Lynds, I am not going to play this game with you. Your game has no rules and I doubt even you know what it is you exactly believe. What does “integration of body, mind, spirit and nature” even mean? Sure, you can make something up after which it’ll take me half an hour to figure out what you actually mean and then another half an hour to explain why in fact there is no evidence for such thing. You will then respond with another deepity and round and round we go. Not playing.

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Posted: 25 February 2012 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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George - 25 February 2012 08:30 AM

I already told you, Lynds, I am not going to play this game with you. Your game has no rules and I doubt even you know what it is you exactly believe. What does “integration of body, mind, spirit and nature” even mean? Sure, you can make something up after which it’ll take me half an hour to figure out what you actually mean and then another half an hour to explain why in fact there is no evidence for such thing. You will then respond with another deepity and round and round we go. Not playing.

Game? A good game can be fun. However, the usually-positive word can often be twisted to mean a tricky plan, or mean-spirited scheme. Do you seriously think, and feel, that I am playing that kind of game? If so, we have a problem in need of a solution. What’s yours question  I always see conversations as opportunities to practice agape grin

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Posted: 25 February 2012 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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I don’t enjoy religion debates. Many others here do, but I don’t. I am afraid I can’t take your position seriously.

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