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Care to engage in intellectual religious conversation? (A rational, real-world Christian’s perspective)
Posted: 16 December 2009 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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fotobits - 16 December 2009 01:41 PM
WeeDie - 16 December 2009 01:29 PM

I’ve not tried to pass any of the cosmik debris off as enlightenment. I’ve simply pointed to entheogens as a portal to the divine dimension.

Hold it right there, don’t you waste your time on me.

Portal to the divine dimension? Give me a break. You’re talking about recreational drugs. One thing I learned a long time ago is the revelations that seemed so profound at midnight look insignificant by noon. There is a major difference between drug-induced profundity and reality.

Neither did I advertise my use of entheogens. All I did was post a website in my profile ( which I had completely forgotten about), and someone brought it up.

Your web site is an advertisement for hallucinogens.

What is the brain really? What is matter? What is mind? These are questions that I intend to find the answer to.

You won’t find the answers in a hallucinogenic stupor. Many people get college degrees and devote their lives to answering these questions. If you truly want answers you should do the same.

I’m sorry you’ve wasted a good part of your life with recreational drugs, but there is a big difference you see, from using entheogens in a religious context, and using drugs for recreation.
But I agree with you, I’m not advocating drugs as a way to find lasting revelations about life. But used responsibly, on special occasion under special circumstance, as a remedy, they may produce new perspectives and a new relationship to life - sober life.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 16 December 2009 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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fotobits - 16 December 2009 01:41 PM
WeeDie - 16 December 2009 01:29 PM

I’ve not tried to pass any of the cosmik debris off as enlightenment. I’ve simply pointed to entheogens as a portal to the divine dimension.

Hold it right there, don’t you waste your time on me.

Portal to the divine dimension? Give me a break. You’re talking about recreational drugs. One thing I learned a long time ago is the revelations that seemed so profound at midnight look insignificant by noon. There is a major difference between drug-induced profundity and reality.

Neither did I advertise my use of entheogens. All I did was post a website in my profile ( which I had completely forgotten about), and someone brought it up.

Your web site is an advertisement for hallucinogens.

What is the brain really? What is matter? What is mind? These are questions that I intend to find the answer to.

You won’t find the answers in a hallucinogenic stupor. Many people get college degrees and devote their lives to answering these questions. If you truly want answers you should do the same.

That’s twice now Foto. From the same album. I doubt anyone else is catching your “conceptual continuity”. cool smile

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Posted: 16 December 2009 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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WeeDie - 16 December 2009 01:50 PM

I find your answer rather dogmatic. How do you know what study may produce the answer? Get off your high horse please.

I know based on history as well as on the structure of the study in question. Meditation and drugs have been in use for millennia. They have not revealed anything at all about matter or the brain, and have only revealed a tantalizingly small amount about the mind. OTOH neuroscience and cognitive psychology has revealed an enormous amount about the brain and mind respectively, and of course physics, chemistry and biology have revealed an enormous amount about matter.

The reason? Because these sciences are objective in nature: their experiments are designed to be independent of the beliefs and desires of the operator. They are repeatable. The results have to undergo peer review by antagonistic scientists. All of that works to burn away the illusions produced by the wants and beliefs of the scientists involved. And of course we know the results are good because they then enable more refined and accurate predictions of future events.

Very little of that is true of insight meditation or hallucinogenic drugs.

To put it another way, it might be that insight meditation or hallucinogenic drug-taking will reveal something profound about matter, the brain or the mind. But we will only know it is so by doing the appropriate scientific experiments by way of verification.

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Posted: 16 December 2009 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Johnny,

It is refreshing to see a post like yours coming from a theist. Welcome to the forums grin

I agree with Fotobits and others that say that it’s probably better to start with why anyone should believe in a “God(s)” at all.

Regarding morality, it sounds like you would have to agree with “God’s” morality, whatever that might be. For instance, if god said that it was righteous to rape and torture children on Fridays, your argument could very well say the same thing, couldn’t it? That we can’t compare our limited moral standards to a being that is all knowing(?).

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Posted: 16 December 2009 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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dougsmith - 16 December 2009 01:59 PM
WeeDie - 16 December 2009 01:50 PM

I find your answer rather dogmatic. How do you know what study may produce the answer? Get off your high horse please.

I know based on history as well as on the structure of the study in question. Meditation and drugs have been in use for millennia. They have not revealed anything at all about matter or the brain, and have only revealed a tantalizingly small amount about the mind. OTOH neuroscience and cognitive psychology has revealed an enormous amount about the brain and mind respectively, and of course physics, chemistry and biology have revealed an enormous amount about matter.

The reason? Because these sciences are objective in nature: their experiments are designed to be independent of the beliefs and desires of the operator. They are repeatable. The results have to undergo peer review by antagonistic scientists. All of that works to burn away the illusions produced by the wants and beliefs of the scientists involved. And of course we know the results are good because they then enable more refined and accurate predictions of future events.

Very little of that is true of insight meditation or hallucinogenic drugs.

To put it another way, it might be that insight meditation or hallucinogenic drug-taking will reveal something profound about matter, the brain or the mind. But we will only know it is so by doing the appropriate scientific experiments by way of verification.

Everyone makes their own journey. What I’m doing is very much objective, even though it is private in nature. Not all knowledge is gained by repeatable experiments upon matter. If you want to study consciousness you will have to do some inner science. Check this out.

[ Edited: 16 December 2009 02:27 PM by WeeDie ]
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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 16 December 2009 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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WeeDie - 16 December 2009 02:14 PM

Everyone makes their own journey. What I’m doing is very much objective, even though it is private in nature. Not all knowledge is gained by repeatable experiments upon matter. If you want to study consciousness you will have to do some inner science. Check this out.

Broken link.

I am very familiar with Buddhism and Buddhist meditation techniques, and have done meditation, and indeed found it enjoyable and worthwhile. But not as a means to telling me about the true nature of reality. It tells me more about what’s going on in my own brain, at a particular level of consciousness. It’s also good for relaxation.

It is not a science, though.

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Posted: 16 December 2009 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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I believe insight meditation is very much a science. Somehow I couldn’t post the link, but here it is: http://www.interactivebuddha.com/Mastering Adobe Version.pdf . It’s well worth the read.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 16 December 2009 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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WeeDie - 16 December 2009 02:29 PM

I believe insight meditation is very much a science. Somehow I couldn’t post the link, but here it is: http://www.interactivebuddha.com/Mastering Adobe Version.pdf . It’s well worth the read.

Care to explain in what way it would qualify as a science?

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Posted: 16 December 2009 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Thank you, Fotobits.  I have to say, WeeDie, that you’ve been rather disingenuous by avoiding answering my query about your “entheogens”.  It’s a nice word to hide that fact that they are drugs that give hallucinations.  I think it’s pretty generally recognized that our minds, when unconscious, can come up with pretty strange scenarios.  However, we’ve learned that what we dream ooccured when we were asleep and not related to reality.  However, when we take a drug, we appear to remain awake so when we have these hallucinations, we have a harder time separating them from reality, especially when one’s basic grip on reality happens to be tenuous.

My one experience with these (hashish) allowed me to see a log burning in a campfire as a perfect representation of a Chinese dragon.  The next morning, when I saw the ashes of that log, I could have believed that I had been visited by the god of some religion indigenous to China and have converted to that.  However, my comment was, “Wow, those things screw up one’s mind, don’t they.  I think I’ll stick with a couple of glasses of wine or a margarita from now on.” 

Now that I know the definition of that word and its place in your posts, I can understand the source and depth of you belief.  As such, it’s not productive for either of us to continue discussing this because there can be no common ground for our thinking.

Occam

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Posted: 16 December 2009 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 December 2009 01:57 PM
fotobits - 16 December 2009 01:41 PM
WeeDie - 16 December 2009 01:29 PM

I’ve not tried to pass any of the cosmik debris off as enlightenment. I’ve simply pointed to entheogens as a portal to the divine dimension.

Hold it right there, don’t you waste your time on me.

That’s twice now Foto. From the same album. I doubt anyone else is catching your “conceptual continuity”. cool smile

What can I say? Art is sometimes hard to understand.  LOL

I’m glad you caught it.

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Posted: 16 December 2009 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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This is more interesting than the rest of the discussion. Thanks you two….

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Posted: 16 December 2009 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Jackson - 16 December 2009 06:41 PM

This is more interesting than the rest of the discussion. Thanks you two….

Wait until we start on the Oil of Aphrodite and the Dust of the Grand Wazoo. This could get very entertaining.

Johnny, if you’re still paying attention I’m sorry your thread got derailed when the Mystery Man showed up jivin’ us with his Cosmik Debris. Maybe we can get back to the regularly scheduled discussion.

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“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
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Posted: 16 December 2009 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Johnny, in order to discuss the merits of your theology with you, I would need to know more about it. There are many varieties of Christianity.

Having grown up a Roman Catholic, I am well familiar with many Christian teachings. Literally interpreted, Christianity is fundamentally flawed in ways that even most of my fellow secularists overlook. The story of Jesus’ supposed death and resurrection, for example, is premised on the existence of a hell to be saved from. This is a concept so abhorrent that I am shocked anyone believes it. Take it away and the entire narrative collapses completely.

Maybe you interpret the Christian narrative symbolically only but that is not the tenor I get from your opening post. If you are still interested in discussing it, I can expand on my reasons for rejecting literally interpreted Christianity.

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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: 17 December 2009 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Occam - 16 December 2009 06:11 PM

Thank you, Fotobits.  I have to say, WeeDie, that you’ve been rather disingenuous by avoiding answering my query about your “entheogens”.  It’s a nice word to hide that fact that they are drugs that give hallucinations.  I think it’s pretty generally recognized that our minds, when unconscious, can come up with pretty strange scenarios.  However, we’ve learned that what we dream ooccured when we were asleep and not related to reality.  However, when we take a drug, we appear to remain awake so when we have these hallucinations, we have a harder time separating them from reality, especially when one’s basic grip on reality happens to be tenuous.

My one experience with these (hashish) allowed me to see a log burning in a campfire as a perfect representation of a Chinese dragon.  The next morning, when I saw the ashes of that log, I could have believed that I had been visited by the god of some religion indigenous to China and have converted to that.  However, my comment was, “Wow, those things screw up one’s mind, don’t they.  I think I’ll stick with a couple of glasses of wine or a margarita from now on.” 

Now that I know the definition of that word and its place in your posts, I can understand the source and depth of you belief.  As such, it’s not productive for either of us to continue discussing this because there can be no common ground for our thinking.

Occam

Yes, these things really screw with the mind, but more so they screw with the sense of who and what you are. Hashish is a very mild substance compared to a good dose of ayahuasca. It is first when you’ve become something else that you can begin to understand the divine dimension, for that is the effect the divine dimension has on you. A religious experience is profound in the way it changes you. However, I didn’t come here to talk about drugs, I only mentioned it because someone remarked on my website. I use the word “entheogen” because the effect of these “drugs” are very different depending on what context they are used, and what expectations one go in with. I wouldn’t advocate it if I didn’t consider their use to be safe under the right preparations. These plants directly effect consciousness in way that are very profound, and of interest to anyone with serious inquiry into the science of mind. To learn more you could check out some of the books here. I’m sure we can find common ground in thinking, but for us not to be in conflict you would have to accept the reality of the mystical experience. It does not matter how you interpret the mystical experience, but you would have to have first hand knowledge about it for me to take you seriously.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 17 December 2009 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Kaizen - 16 December 2009 05:10 PM
WeeDie - 16 December 2009 02:29 PM

I believe insight meditation is very much a science. Somehow I couldn’t post the link, but here it is: http://www.interactivebuddha.com/Mastering Adobe Version.pdf . It’s well worth the read.

Care to explain in what way it would qualify as a science?

There are exact methods which you practice, to arrive at repeatable results.
The only difference between material science and the science of mind or contemplative science, is that it is an individual journey, and the results can be confirmed by you only. It is completely experiential in nature.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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