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“Evil” does not exist?
Posted: 08 August 2013 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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LilySmith - 08 August 2013 01:11 PM
DarronS - 08 August 2013 12:57 PM

If you believe something without evidence you are free to believe anything you wish, no matter how preposterous, such as a supernatural creator of the universe sending his only son to die for our sins.

What is your evidence that there is no God?  What is your evidence that he did not justify man through his Anointed One?  You too can believe whatever you wish without evidence, and you do.  Like mine, your stance is by faith.

You are the one making the positive claim so it is your obligation to provide evidence to back your claim. All I claim is there is no evidence for a supernatural creator.

I notice you ignored my other questions. There are 100 billion galaxies in this universe, each with 100 billion or more stars. Are we the only planet with life anointed by God to have souls?

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Posted: 08 August 2013 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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DarronS - 08 August 2013 01:15 PM

You are the one making the positive claim so it is your obligation to provide evidence to back your claim. All I claim is there is no evidence for a supernatural creator.

I have no obligation to provide any evidence to you.  I’m saying what I believe.  You’re telling me what you believe.  Neither of us has proof.  Both our positions are by faith.  I reject the idea that you have no thought on the matter therefore I’m making a claim I’m obligated to prove.  Nonsense.  You hold a position and you have no proof for your position.  It’s as easy as that.

I notice you ignored my other questions. There are 100 billion galaxies in this universe, each with 100 billion or more stars. Are we the only planet with life anointed by God to have souls?

I have no idea.  I have no idea if there’s life on other planets, and if there is I have no idea what kind of soul they may have, if any.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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I see. You’d rather just believe in your myth than have to think.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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LilySmith - 08 August 2013 12:50 PM
Scott Mayers - 07 August 2013 01:59 PM

Imagine for the moment that I had a definite proof that no God exists in my pocket.

The reality is, however, that you have no such proof.  You continue to talk as if that proof exists, but it is only your faith that you rely on.  ...

How do you define, “faith”?

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Posted: 09 August 2013 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Scott Mayers - 08 August 2013 05:01 PM

How do you define, “faith”?

Perhaps faith, like evil, has taken on a greater meaning than it originally had and that causes confusion.  In the bible, both faith and belief are translations of the same ancient Greek word, “pistis.” It is the conviction of the truth of something.  It means faith, belief, creed, loyalty to.  In Christianity, we have faith or belief in the truth of something specific.  It is not simply faith for the sake of faith.  Whenever there is an opinion about something that isn’t proven, then that is a belief, it is by faith—a conviction that your opinion is true.

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Posted: 09 August 2013 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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LilySmith - 08 August 2013 01:02 PM
brmckay - 07 August 2013 02:42 PM

Not “made from”, but rather, “not different from”. 

I note the correction.

This is an important point to concede.  The rest of my logic hangs on it.

The “I Am” emergent from the essential Infinity, as the infinitude of “Otherness”, remains unchanged.  God. The Entirety.

Or, the I Am is a God separate and distinct from this temporal creation.

Saying “a God” leaves room for something else. Another god or many versions of God.  This can not, in Truth, be.  It is also plays into the “strawman” type attack frequently used by our friends at CFI.

I prefer something like “God as primordial Self Awareness, seemingly distinct from temporal creation”. I’ll refer back to the “not different from”  concession at this point.  Embracing the Paradox of our only seeming separateness, is an ancient Wisdom.  Predating Christianity.  I am of the mindset that Jesus did not negate it, but illuminated it.

The confusion of identity that we experience as “self” in relation to “other”, living in this hall of mirrors, extended in time, is what you would call “sin”.  I call it ignorance.

Unless we are each individuals with our own will, and this is not a hall of mirrors, but a reality in which we each reveal our hearts in the actions we pursue.  When the temporal ends, the eternal will be seen and each one; each self, will be judged for it’s worthiness to enter the eternal existence of I Am.

We have a difference in what we emphasize.  I do not like to reinforce what will ultimately turn out to be a false perception.

When I said in an earlier post, talking about Free Will, that “I’d describe it as the infinite ‘freedom’ of God expressed in the ‘finite’ as us.”, You liked it.  Has anything changed?

This “temporal ending” is an interesting thought.  Would it be the result of a collective awakening?  Your way of describing it, makes it seem like it precedes, the “judgement” and subsequent entering into “the eternal existence of I Am.”  I would say that time is “the hall of mirrors”. 

This seems like a variation in out metaphors that ultimately points to the same thing.

Judgement for me translates into the Law of Karma. (for CFI folks, this is not supernatural but represents a physics that deals with “sentience” more like “electromagnetic radiation”.) 

If God is outside of Creation, a shadow is cast, suddenly there is a Devil in the mix.  What sustains this?

All that exists is allowed by God to exist for His purpose.  Satan gives us choice.  God is good.  Satan is evil.  Man has free will and can chose between the two paths.  In doing so in the temporal, he reveals himself to all creation and God’s judgments will be seen as just when he judges who will enter the eternal.

If you orient to a God that is “good” but not “evil”,  you open the door to other gods.  This in it’s self would require a “choice”.  Who is the author of that?

I agree with you, though, that choosing is required for the big change;  To see through the illusion of otherness and regain true Freedom.  Or, to stay in it’s orbit, and through the inertia of actions, perpetuate the illusion. Probably increasing the chaos, and thus degrading our potential to get Free of it. (sound like Hell?).

“I and the Father are one.”  Means you and me.  Not just Jesus of Nazareth.

We are included if in fact we are one with God and his Christ in purpose and heart, not in what we are “not different from.”

If we are “one with God” in purpose and heart this is “Christ”.  So, yes!

Truth is though, that ultimately, we have always been “not different from”. No matter how lost in the hall of mirrors.

When he says, “None come to the Father but by me.”, this is the “I Am”, the singularity of “Self”, the Christ.  Not the carpenter.

He is speaking of himself as the High Priest of God who justified those who believe in Him through his death and resurrection for the cleansing of man’s sins.  This is evident in the teachings of the text in its context.

I can let you have this (i.e. don’t need to quibble).  Religion shares the same genius that manifests in our dreams. And, as with the miracle of evolution, it is born from the eternal now!

[ Edited: 09 August 2013 11:08 AM by brmckay ]
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Posted: 10 August 2013 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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LilySmith - 09 August 2013 08:44 AM
Scott Mayers - 08 August 2013 05:01 PM

How do you define, “faith”?

Perhaps faith, like evil, has taken on a greater meaning than it originally had and that causes confusion.  In the bible, both faith and belief are translations of the same ancient Greek word, “pistis.” It is the conviction of the truth of something.  It means faith, belief, creed, loyalty to.  In Christianity, we have faith or belief in the truth of something specific.  It is not simply faith for the sake of faith.  Whenever there is an opinion about something that isn’t proven, then that is a belief, it is by faith—a conviction that your opinion is true.

If I know something, is it necessary that I believe it? On the other hand, if I believe something, does it assure that I know it?
You define “faith” as a conviction that your opinion is true. This seems fair. So does faith require comparable status to “knowledge” or “belief”? Or does it make better sense to think of faith as a non-status (non-static) condition of behavior motivated by both knowledge or belief? That is, does faith as a conviction necessitate action?

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Posted: 11 August 2013 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Scott Mayers - 10 August 2013 11:51 AM

If I know something, is it necessary that I believe it? On the other hand, if I believe something, does it assure that I know it?
You define “faith” as a conviction that your opinion is true. This seems fair. So does faith require comparable status to “knowledge” or “belief”? Or does it make better sense to think of faith as a non-status (non-static) condition of behavior motivated by both knowledge or belief? That is, does faith as a conviction necessitate action?

You’ve added a new element—knowledge.  Knowledge can be of something that is a known fact.  Belief and faith are the acceptance of something that is not proven; not a fact.  For example, I have knowledge of what Christianity teaches and that knowledge is factual.  However, the idea that what Christianity teaches is true is based on belief, or faith.  You know for certain that atheists don’t believe in God.  That’s a fact.  But the belief that God does not exist is based on faith since it cannot be proven.  That’s my understanding.

When we have the conviction that what we have faith in is true, it should be seen in our actions.  For example, if your wife came in and told you the house was on fire and you believed her even though you didn’t see it for yourself, the conviction that your wife was telling you the truth would spur you towards action.  If a Christian truly believes in the message of Christ, that should be seen in his actions—his behavior.  If an atheist truly doesn’t believe in God, that too should be seen in the way he lives his life.

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Posted: 11 August 2013 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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brmckay - 09 August 2013 10:08 AM

This is an important point to concede.  The rest of my logic hangs on it.

I understand.  Our basic belief about God or the belief that there is no God determines what we logically conclude from that point on. 

Saying “a God” leaves room for something else. Another god or many versions of God.  This can not, in Truth, be.  It is also plays into the “strawman” type attack frequently used by our friends at CFI.

I didn’t mean to imply that.  I’ll have to watch it so that no one infers that from my comments. 

I do disagree that Jesus taught pantheism, or panentheism of any kind.  His teaching was based on the Hebrew Scriptures which taught that the universe was a creation of God, not just seemingly distinct, but actually distinct.  That’s why Jesus came as the Way to the Father.  Man could not be reconciled to his Creator until his sins were forgiven and he was provided with the righteousness necessary to stand in the presence of a righteous God.  The problem I have with making the world God/The Entirety, is that all the evil, or bad, done is done by that Entirety since we are not different from.  Calling it ignorant is to say that the Entirety is ignorant on some level, and I have always wondered how Eastern Philosophies figure that we got into this mess.  Why did man become ignorant and his existence a hall of mirrors?

Since I believe in God who is separate and distinct from this temporal creation, I do believe in a judgment to come.  With the idea of Karma, that requires multiple lives to be paid back for the bad done in one lifetime.  Otherwise there is no justice.  I don’t believe in multiple lives, but in one life that will end in judgment of the things done while in the temporal world.  The problem I have with Karma is the fact that when a person experiences something bad in his life, the conclusion is he must have done something in this life or a previous one to deserve what he is getting.  We see this taken to a sad level in the Caste system of India.  I understand that if you want mercy in your life, you will be merciful to others, but when Karmic retribution is there to teach someone a lesson, who are you to interfere?  Do you see the problem?

In Christianity we are one with God in purpose and heart when we come to him through Christ—the Messiah—who is a man who came from God to reconcile us to God.  I understand what you’re saying based on your belief that creation is God and we are not different from it.  But that is not my basis of belief and that’s why using the same words we come to very different conclusions.  For that reason we are always going to talk past each other.  I will hope someday you meet Christ in a personal way and are reconcile to God.  You will hope that someday I get rid of my ignorance and become one with The Entirety instead of wallowing in SELF.  Until that’s resolved we will just have to get along anyway.

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Posted: 11 August 2013 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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LilySmith - 08 August 2013 03:38 PM
DarronS - 08 August 2013 01:15 PM

You are the one making the positive claim so it is your obligation to provide evidence to back your claim. All I claim is there is no evidence for a supernatural creator.

I have no obligation to provide any evidence to you.  I’m saying what I believe.  You’re telling me what you believe.  Neither of us has proof.  Both our positions are by faith.  I reject the idea that you have no thought on the matter therefore I’m making a claim I’m obligated to prove.  Nonsense.  You hold a position and you have no proof for your position.  It’s as easy as that.

I notice you ignored my other questions. There are 100 billion galaxies in this universe, each with 100 billion or more stars. Are we the only planet with life anointed by God to have souls?

I have no idea.  I have no idea if there’s life on other planets, and if there is I have no idea what kind of soul they may have, if any.

You also have no idea whether there is a god, but that doesn’t stop you from believing in one. 

Lois

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Posted: 11 August 2013 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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LilySmith - 11 August 2013 01:38 PM
Scott Mayers - 10 August 2013 11:51 AM

If I know something, is it necessary that I believe it? On the other hand, if I believe something, does it assure that I know it?
You define “faith” as a conviction that your opinion is true. This seems fair. So does faith require comparable status to “knowledge” or “belief”? Or does it make better sense to think of faith as a non-status (non-static) condition of behavior motivated by both knowledge or belief? That is, does faith as a conviction necessitate action?

You’ve added a new element—knowledge.  Knowledge can be of something that is a known fact.  Belief and faith are the acceptance of something that is not proven; not a fact.  For example, I have knowledge of what Christianity teaches and that knowledge is factual.  However, the idea that what Christianity teaches is true is based on belief, or faith.  You know for certain that atheists don’t believe in God.  That’s a fact.  But the belief that God does not exist is based on faith since it cannot be proven.  That’s my understanding.

When we have the conviction that what we have faith in is true, it should be seen in our actions.  For example, if your wife came in and told you the house was on fire and you believed her even though you didn’t see it for yourself, the conviction that your wife was telling you the truth would spur you towards action.  If a Christian truly believes in the message of Christ, that should be seen in his actions—his behavior.  If an atheist truly doesn’t believe in God, that too should be seen in the way he lives his life.

It certainly does show. Atheists are underrepresented in the prison population and Christians are overrepresented.  That has to tell you something about how believers and atheists live their lives.  Atheists have a much lower divorce rate, too. I guess it’s just a coincidence.

Lois

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Posted: 11 August 2013 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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This thread has meandered away from the original title, and I haven’t been posting so I’ll respond to that first.
Of course evil exists.  I get a kick out of how people who don’t like a concept try to attack the word describing it.  We can come up with many reasons for destructive behavior, but it’s semantic nitpicking to attack the generic idea described by the word.  It’s sort of like saying that light doesn’t exist; what we perceive as light is really a stream of particle/waves.  So what???  Should we delete the word and substitute all the things that are the basis for the phenomenon?

Of course, if my wife came in and told me the house was on fire, I’d run to try to put it out and also leave the house.  However, if she did that a number of times and I found there was no fire, I’d decide she was a crackpot and ignore her.  Similarly, when people fed me religious junk when I was a kid, it didn’t take too long to see that it was all fairytales and that they were crackpots.

It seems rational to recognize that whatever ethics a person has will guide his/her life.  The basis for my ethics is: Help whenever I can, and avoid hurting if possible.  That is completely separate from my lack of belief in the existence of any god.

Occam

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Posted: 12 August 2013 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Occam - “... Similarly, when people fed me religious junk when I was a kid, it didn’t take too long to see that it was all fairytales and that they were crackpots.”

I personally find that “skill” and “wisdom” come into play in the presentation of both scientific as well theological/philosophical concepts.

Giving credence to “crackpots” will only make me one.  Looking for the best teachers, combined with a personal aptitude and enthusiasm, will give more viable results.

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Posted: 12 August 2013 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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LilySmith - 08 August 2013 03:38 PM
DarronS - 08 August 2013 01:15 PM

You are the one making the positive claim so it is your obligation to provide evidence to back your claim. All I claim is there is no evidence for a supernatural creator.

I have no obligation to provide any evidence to you.  I’m saying what I believe.  You’re telling me what you believe.  Neither of us has proof.  Both our positions are by faith.  I reject the idea that you have no thought on the matter therefore I’m making a claim I’m obligated to prove.  Nonsense.  You hold a position and you have no proof for your position.  It’s as easy as that.

I notice you ignored my other questions. There are 100 billion galaxies in this universe, each with 100 billion or more stars. Are we the only planet with life anointed by God to have souls?

I have no idea.  I have no idea if there’s life on other planets, and if there is I have no idea what kind of soul they may have, if any.

You do have a putative obligation to support your contention if you state publicy that there is a god. That means you are making a claim and when you make a claim the burden is on you to support it.  It doesn’t matter that you insert the word believe. If you really don’t want to be challenged, don’t make your beliefs public, especially don’t state them on a freethinker forum. .  When atheists challenge your stated belief they are not stating their belief.  Atheists have no belief to state.  They are rejecting your claim because you have failed to support it. Most atheists don’t say there is no god. When you catch one saying that demand support for his claim.

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Posted: 12 August 2013 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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LilySmith - I do disagree that Jesus taught pantheism, or panentheism of any kind.

What does “I and the Father are One” mean?  Does the Son have qualities that differ from the Father?  Does the Father have qualities that differ from the Son?  Are we to remain outside of Christ, like Creation is outside of the Creator?  Isn’t this just a way of describing the “Hall of Mirrors”.

His teaching was based on the Hebrew Scriptures which taught that the universe was a creation of God, not just seemingly distinct, but actually distinct.  That’s why Jesus came as the Way to the Father.  Man could not be reconciled to his Creator until his sins were forgiven and he was provided with the righteousness necessary to stand in the presence of a righteous God.  The problem I have with making the world God/The Entirety, is that all the evil, or bad, done is done by that Entirety since we are not different from.  Calling it ignorant is to say that the Entirety is ignorant on some level, and I have always wondered how Eastern Philosophies figure that we got into this mess.  Why did man become ignorant and his existence a hall of mirrors?

My understanding is that it is God that experiences the finite in the form of us.

“Good” and “Evil” are only relevant in the realm of Maya. (The illusion of otherness, Life “after the Fall”).  The Entirety is not in any way affected.  This is “Righteousness”.

The Buddha would say, ‘Don’t worry about how, why or by whom we have been shot by the arrow of suffering.  Just pull it out.”.

I would say, that ‘this is what Infinite Potentiality Expressing, inevitably looks and feels like’.  The nature of a finite expression as it wends it’s way through the labyrinth of evolution. Self returning to Self.

You emphasize the distinction.  I prefer not to, preferring the paradox.

Since I believe in God who is separate and distinct from this temporal creation, I do believe in a judgment to come.  With the idea of Karma, that requires multiple lives to be paid back for the bad done in one lifetime.  Otherwise there is no justice.  I don’t believe in multiple lives, but in one life that will end in judgment of the things done while in the temporal world.  The problem I have with Karma is the fact that when a person experiences something bad in his life, the conclusion is he must have done something in this life or a previous one to deserve what he is getting.  We see this taken to a sad level in the Caste system of India.  I understand that if you want mercy in your life, you will be merciful to others, but when Karmic retribution is there to teach someone a lesson, who are you to interfere?  Do you see the problem?

People who are not use to working with the concept of Karma always think in terms of Bad behaviour.

Karma means “action” or “work” in the context of the relative and finite.  Cause and Effect.  If our actions are ‘self serving’ their effect is to further entangle us in the web of otherness.  If our actions are “Self Seeking”, their effect creates circumstances more favorable to enlightenment.  (more filled with “Grace”).  Evolution, rather than static oscillation, or even devolution.

“Judgement” and “retribution” are particularly, but not exclusively, Christian concepts in regards to our relation to God.  The Karmic view of that relationship described above, is the result of my own work and that of those who inspire me. It is a work in progress and gets refined as I go. Others might not paint the same picture.

In Christianity we are one with God in purpose and heart when we come to him through Christ—the Messiah—who is a man who came from God to reconcile us to God.  I understand what you’re saying based on your belief that creation is God and we are not different from it.  But that is not my basis of belief and that’s why using the same words we come to very different conclusions.  For that reason we are always going to talk past each other.  I will hope someday you meet Christ in a personal way and are reconcile to God.  You will hope that someday I get rid of my ignorance and become one with The Entirety instead of wallowing in SELF.  Until that’s resolved we will just have to get along anyway.

Talking past each other is a waste of time and is unnecessary.  No matter how any of us, including our atheistic friends, approximate the Big Picture; The Ultimate Truth remains as it is. The Real…Infinite Potential expressing as a singularity.  The eternal NOW.

How we relate to it, is the expression of innate freedom.  A true collaboration.  A huge responsibility.

[ Edited: 13 August 2013 01:16 PM by brmckay ]
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