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#848814 - 04/03/05 12:03 AM Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
After overcoming the inconvenience of losing the email that contained my password, I'm happy to be posting again.


Judith Hayes
(The Skeptical Review)
http://www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/index.shtml

Not only Christianity, but most religions, urge prayer. Prayer is a practice that cannot survive the harsh spotlight of logic.

The three most often cited reasons for prayer are worship, confession, and petition. (Differences exist. Choose your experts.)

The most popular form of prayer, petition, poses some complicated problems. At first glance, asking a god to do something or other seems perfectly logical. Who better to ask? But the only way that such asking makes sense is if there is a chance that you might receive a positive response. What would be the point of having billions of prayers offered beseechingly to a god who never intended at any time to answer a single one of them?

A more pointless, time-wasting, soul-draining exercise is difficult to imagine, and a god who would demand such a practice would have to be sadistic. Such bait-and-switch tactics are difficult to attribute to any god, even the one who sent the Flood. On the other hand, if prayer is encouraged because there is a chance that requests will be granted, you run headlong into the unavoidable requirement to explain the seemingly capricious nature of some of these boons.

For example, a high-school student prays that he will pass a math exam even though he hasn't studied for it, and when he does pass, he attributes this to God's intervention. Most religious leaders would agree with this. (Differences exist. Choose your experts.) But if it is true, we are faced with a god who answers a single petition from a single person in the matter of a 10th-grade algebra test, but who chose to ignore the millions of prayers for liberation from concentration camps during World War II. There is a selection process at work here that is extremely difficult to grasp.

According to the "Lord's Prayer," people are supposed to ask, "Give us this day our daily bread." Why? If you ask, will it be done? If it won't be done, why should you ask? Since war and famine have brought death by starvation to many True Believers, this asking for daily bread seems pointless. If starvation happens to those who ask as well as to those who don't, then the explanation for starvation must lie in factors wholly unrelated to the asking. In other words, asking God for your daily bread has nothing to do with whether or not you'll get it. So why are you supposed to ask for it?

Likewise, prayers of thanksgiving intrinsically impute to God complete control over your well-being. If you thank God for the food on your table, you are saying that he put it there. A necessary component of this premise, the other side of this coin, is that if there is no food on your table, God is responsible for that, too. The power to give necessarily includes the power to withhold. When you thank someone for a gift, it is because you understand that he or she had the choice of not giving it to you but chose to do so anyway. Thanking God for your food, then, is the same as saying thank you for not withholding food. You are offering thanks for not being allowed to starve.

Just as it would make no sense to thank your neighbors for a much needed rain shower, since they could not have played any role in producing the rain, so it would make no sense to thank God for the food on your table unless he definitely plays a role in getting that food to your table. And if he does, we are presented with the vexing question of just how he chooses to feed some while starving others. If the choice to put food on your table is God's, then the choice not to put food on someone else's table is also God's. So, then, why doesn't God feed all of us?

Starving babies are an awkward consideration on Thanksgiving Day, as we sit down to sumptuous turkey dinners, but if God puts the turkey on your table, he withholds it from countless others. Why? If God feeds only "his own," that would mean that the babies of those other than his own could starve without his caring, a heartless proposition. It would also mean that his own have never starved, which is certainly not true. Nor can it be said that all atheists starve

So how does God decide whom to feed? This question of God's priorities cannot be sidestepped if his participation in daily events is posited. If God has the power to feed all of us but chooses not to, his reluctance must be explained in a way that is compatible with his purported omnipotence (all-powerfulness) and omnibenevolence (all-goodness). No one has yet managed to proffer such an explanation.

Trying to explain starvation by saying that "God helps those who help themselves" is a cruel, callous way to regard victims of crop failures from floods, drought, or pestilence. And what about the babies? How can babies help themselves?

Likewise, trying to explain starvation by saying that we just can't understand the ways of God is a contradiction of all the rest of Christian doctrine. Christians claim to know precisely how God wants his "children" to worship, how they should pray, how they should dress, what they should eat, how they should address their elders and so on, implying quite clearly that God's ways are indeed understood. But questions about the terrible reality of starved-to-death babies are met with vague shrugs as if such trivia did not need to be understood.

But someone must accept responsibility for the haunting specter of starving children. If food production and distribution on this earth are solely the result of human activities, with no participation by God, then giving thanks to God for food is a misplaced, meaningless gesture. He has done nothing to deserve thanks, and we alone must answer for the cruel inequities. If, on the other hand, God does participate in the process, then you should give thanks to him for your chocolate bars and imported cheeses, and he has a lot of starving babies to answer for.

All this talk of starvation is of course representative of and interchangeable with all human conditions. Whether you are considering illness, injury, persecution or whatever, if you pray for deliverance from any of them, the results will be the same as with starvation--random and inexplicable.

So let's consider again prayers of supplication. Ending world hunger, a most admirable request, has yet to become a reality, in spite of countless prayers. So people are encouraged to pray, instead, for more easily achieved goals, like having Aunt Helen get over her cold soon, or for the kids to do well in school, or whatever. Football players actually get on their knees and thank God for touchdowns. In a world that contains starvation, disease, murder, and rape, such mundane considerations trivialize the role of a supposedly omnipotent god. For every "miraculous" recovery by a seriously ill person that is attributed to God, there is a seriously ill person who is prayed for but dies anyway. Soldiers are prayed for and die, and soldiers are not prayed for but live. Bad things happen to good, prayed-for people, bad things happen to bad people, good things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. In other words, the laws of probabilities are quite clearly in control here.

All things are not made well for those who trust in God, and life can be very pleasant for those who do not. If judged only by the results that challenge the laws of probabilities, then the power of prayer is nil.

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#848815 - 04/03/05 12:10 AM Re: Let Us Pray
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Good post yhabpo.
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Visit us at:
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#848816 - 04/03/05 01:39 AM Re: Let Us Pray
ycul Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 1402
Loc: U.K.
Excellent post yhabpo.

What are your religous affiliations btw?
_________________________
How now, brown cow.

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#848817 - 04/03/05 03:47 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Sweep88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Ohio
And the reason for this post is?? What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
_________________________
I try to live, love and laugh as much as I can every day, because every day may be my last

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#848818 - 04/03/05 06:18 AM Re: Let Us Pray
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Good post, Yhabpo.

This is an excellent question, which has been raised many times (not surprisingly), and the author of this article has provided many articulate points.

I'm going to think this over.
_________________________
Sam

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#848819 - 04/04/05 01:01 PM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
A spiritual life comes from recognizing that life may not provide all that a person requires.

we pray for wisdom and strength beyond our own.

We pray to give thanks - not so that we may garner more, but so that we appreciate what we have - even if things are taken from us. Our asking for daily bread is thanks as much as petition.

We pray that others may be given God's wisdom and grace.

We pray that we may be an instrument of God's will - not that we can control God's will which seems to be a supposition of the author above.

Back when Christianity was in its infancy, people did not pray that punishments such as starvation or murder would not come to them - but prayed only that they might be worthy of such - that their suffering was redemptive.

I'm not a worthy teacher, practioner or even writer - all I can say, is prayer comes from faith. As C.S. Lewis noted, "I pray because I cannot help myself."

K

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#848820 - 04/04/05 01:04 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1131
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Let us pray for some GOOD news for a change - I am sick to death of these interminable death watches...

Thanks...

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#848821 - 04/04/05 01:54 PM Re: Let Us Pray
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina
"Let Us Pray", that trolls whatever their motive for invading us will go away before Jolly does his "there are no athiests in a fox hole" line.

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#848822 - 04/04/05 01:59 PM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
\:D
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848823 - 04/04/05 04:13 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Sweep88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Ohio
Yhabpo.....I'll ask again...what EXACTLY do you want from this post? You did it for a reason. Whats the bottom line here?? WHAT EXACTLY are you hoping to accomplish??
_________________________
I try to live, love and laugh as much as I can every day, because every day may be my last

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#848824 - 04/04/05 04:29 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
You silly person, the motive is "deconversion." I hate to see wasted brains.

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#848825 - 04/04/05 04:45 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sweep88:
Yhabpo.....I'll ask again...what EXACTLY do you want from this post? You did it for a reason. Whats the bottom line here?? WHAT EXACTLY are you hoping to accomplish?? [/b]
Yhabpo wants to show us how easy it is to know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

The whole piece misses the true value of faith. It's not about food or clothes or things of any sort-- as a matter of fact the main message of JP II was just the opposite of Y's post. Faith doesn't make you rich or full or even happy. Suffering is a vital part of faith.

But faith gives you the joy of life everlasting, which is quite different than anything mentioned in the article.

Thanks Yhabpo, your post was a sad piece of writing as I have ever read.

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#848826 - 04/04/05 04:48 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Wow, that post was so articulate...

It was like... articulate and stuff.

I think most first year philosophy students have tackled more complicated concepts than God's Will and Free Will.
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#848827 - 04/04/05 06:01 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Troyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Ct
 Quote:
After overcoming the inconvenience of losing the email that contained my password, I'm happy to be posting again.

... Prayer is a practice that cannot survive the harsh spotlight of logic.
...sigh... I was initially optimistic about my recent appeals to our Creator, but perhaps the author is correct; as hard as I prayed, Boston lost to the Yankees in the season opener, and now you've found your password.

All part of my "...brutal re-education", Yablo?
_________________________
go Red Sox!

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#848828 - 04/04/05 06:06 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
 Quote:
But faith gives you the joy of life everlasting
It doesn't.


 Quote:
Wow, that post was so articulate...
I saw some cult-like ritual where the head declared, "let us pray," and the rest answered, "we're praying." I found the masses' exercise in brainwashed liturgy to be quite disturbing, thus I did a Google search for an appropriate article. I agree that the article is a bit juvenile, considering the "starving babies" and all, but I approved it for the Piano World audience. Philosophy students need not decry, KlavierBauer.

 Quote:
All part of my "...brutal re-education", Yablo?
I'm joyed that I am "reaching" people.

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#848829 - 04/04/05 06:11 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by yhabpo:
You silly person, the motive is "deconversion." I hate to see wasted brains. [/b]
Son, you're a waste of bandwidth.
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#848830 - 04/04/05 06:12 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Your admission that it was indeed juvenile is all I and the others needed to see.

Speaks volumes actually.
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#848831 - 04/04/05 06:19 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
Enough of him.

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#848832 - 04/04/05 06:23 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Troyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Ct
 Quote:
Enough of him.
Amen.
\:D
_________________________
go Red Sox!

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#848833 - 04/05/05 03:27 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Sweep88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Ohio
yhapbo...

Is that what you're going to say to Jesus Christ before he casts you into the lake of fire? You're walking on SERIOUS eggshells my friend. It's not too late for you to claim your own salvation. I say this as a caring warning.

"Those professing themselves to be wise become fools"......Jesus Christ
_________________________
I try to live, love and laugh as much as I can every day, because every day may be my last

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#848834 - 04/05/05 08:50 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
 Quote:
Originally posted by yhabpo:
You silly person, the motive is "deconversion." I hate to see wasted brains. [/b]
I'll pray for you.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#848835 - 04/05/05 08:58 AM Re: Let Us Pray
sarah_blueparrot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 808
Loc: Bristol, England
I quite like his posts, actually. They give an in-depth point of view that is different from most others' around here.
_________________________
Every time you play a funeral march, the devil grabs a soul.

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#848836 - 04/05/05 09:01 AM Re: Let Us Pray
ycul Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 1402
Loc: U.K.
Same here Sarah. There's nothing I like seeing more than a few good reasons for the non-existence of a compassionate God aswell.

Edit: You forgot to answer my question Yhab.
_________________________
How now, brown cow.

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#848837 - 04/05/05 09:04 AM Re: Let Us Pray
sarah_blueparrot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 808
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by ycul:
Same here Sarah. There's nothing I like seeing more than a few good reasons for the non-existance of a compassionate God aswell. [/b]
Exactly, at least it's a different argument than the evolutionary one of atheists :rolleyes:
_________________________
Every time you play a funeral march, the devil grabs a soul.

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#848838 - 04/05/05 09:13 AM Re: Let Us Pray
tcmod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 862
Loc: NC
The irony is that his post would inspire a true Christian to pray for his soul and that he would find God.

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#848839 - 04/05/05 09:16 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
yeah, that article was so in depth with such profound logic as:
"God doesn't exist because I prayed and it didn't happen".

I'm surprised that in so many millenia nobody's stumbled onto this truth yet!
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#848840 - 04/05/05 09:19 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
 Quote:
Originally posted by sarah_blueparrot:
I quite like his posts, actually. They give an in-depth point of view that is different from most others' around here. [/b]
No argument. Yhapbo is different - grew up in a different world than most of us. I would like to understand how his views were formed.

Ken

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#848841 - 04/05/05 09:41 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
ahhh, I secretly like his/her posts as well.

While we may not agree on a lot, he is typically fairly articulate and well thought out.
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#848842 - 04/05/05 12:55 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

yeah, that article was so in depth with such profound logic as:
"God doesn't exist because I prayed and it didn't happen".

I'm surprised that in so many millenia nobody's stumbled onto this truth yet!
I'm afraid your man appears to be made of straw.
_________________________
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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#848843 - 04/05/05 12:59 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
*vigorous nod*
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#848844 - 04/05/05 01:15 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
yeah, that article was so in depth with such profound logic as:
"God doesn't exist because I prayed and it didn't happen".

[/b]
Not that I defend such logic on the author's part, but we have many many times seen on this forum: "God does exist because I prayed and it DID happen." and "Proof of God is all around you. Who do you think made these beautiful flowers?"

I believe you yourself, KlavierBauer, once got in my face saying you "know" God exists (even tho you cant prove it) because of your personal experiences. How is that different?
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848845 - 04/05/05 02:24 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
well, it's very different.

My burden of proof has been met, and as I said last time you brought this up, I'm sorry I wasn't able to bottle it up or take a picture to prove to you as well. I still genuinely feel that if you seek proof, you will find it. Physical proof, not metaphor thereof.

I have never used my feelings about whether God did or did not do what I wanted to justify His existence.... so don't throw that in my face.

My comments aren't specific to my beliefs, but a critique of the writing as a whole, which you agreed with.

I would critique anyone who used the same sort of poo-poo logic to prove the existence of God.
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#848846 - 04/05/05 02:38 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
No, its impossible to prove. I wont find proof regardless of how much I seek. But I dont want another rehash of what "prove" and "know" means. Clearly, we're using different dictionaries.

And I didnt throw anything of the sort in your face. I said you used your personal (subjective) experiences as proof of his existence. You must have read wrong.

And I didnt agree with anything you said. You must have read wrong.

Actually, I never saw you critique those who used this poo poo logic to prove the existence of God. There have been many opportunities. Maybe I missed those posts. I dont read them all.

Edit: and please DO present the physical proof of God you speak of. I would be eternally grateful. As would all of humankind. If its proof and its physical...lets have it!
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848847 - 04/05/05 02:43 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
Atheist, ycul. Atheism is the only universal belief.

Remember people: liking me is irrelevant. Believing me is important.

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#848848 - 04/05/05 02:50 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
I agree. However, I am hard pressed to do either one.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848849 - 04/05/05 02:54 PM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by yhabpo:
Atheism is the only universal belief.

[/b]
It's a disbelief - Atheism is a disbelief... Just like Agonism

According to Bernard's t- shirt... If you don't think then you are not.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848850 - 04/05/05 03:48 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
apple: "It's a disbelief - Atheism is a disbelief..."

Well, not really. There are so many "spiritual" viewpoints to not believe - Zoroastrianism, belief in wood sprites, fairies and goblins, Mormonism, Catholicism, Judaism, a few hundred types of Protestantism, Hinduism, Islam, Raelianism, reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism, various shamanistic or animistic beliefs in Latin America and Africa, voodoo, etc.

If you believe in one of them, you disbelieve in all the rest. Remember, you are someone else's unbeliever, whatever you believe.

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#848851 - 04/05/05 03:52 PM Re: Let Us Pray
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
 Quote:
Raelianism
Does that have something to do with a Lamb in NYC? ;\)
_________________________
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#848852 - 04/05/05 03:55 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Another thought: yby's article was not argued in any theoretical depth, but it did touch on good points about the confusions of petitionary prayer and the problem of evil. While one-sided, it was no more so that the recent silly story in PW of the young man who got cancer and "found God", which everyone gushed over, despite it's being one-sided and deeply patronizing to the atheistic viewpoint. yby's article is no worse than the cancer story, probably better. Admittedly, both fall short of rigorous argumentation.

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#848853 - 04/05/05 03:58 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
 Quote:
Originally posted by yhabpo:
Remember people: liking me is irrelevant. Believing me is important. [/b]
You're either the reincarnation of Moses or a two bit soapbox demagogue. I'll go with the latter.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#848854 - 04/05/05 04:03 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
Here's something. I believe in God--he's been good to me. Really, I don't know much about business. I never have and never will. You look at my answers in the "hay you financial geniuses" threads--and mine come across as pretty dufus. I really don't know business.

But, I bet you can roll all the financial geniuses together and I can easily buy and sell them.

I never was much good with girls, No girlfriends in HS, one in college. Then my wife--babe of all time, Yale, Columbia, georgous, and all that. Did pantyhose ads for Hanes stockings. Good Catholic to boot.

The kids--not the time to get into it, but gifts. Two gifts.

All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good.

God has blessed me. And I'm thankful.

There is a God.
And why--I don't know. But, I know I'm not that good and he's blessed me.

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#848855 - 04/05/05 04:26 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
 Quote:
I said you used your personal (subjective) experiences as proof of his existence. You must have read wrong.
Sidd, by your logic any personal experience is totally subjective and therebye dismissed?
What about the personal experiences of Newton, Descart, Leibniz?
You have no basis to comment on my personal experiences and their validity in anything including religion.
I have not dismissed your beliefs, rather I have commented that I think you would find if you only looked. I am not however telling you that your personal experiences are false.

 Quote:
And I didnt agree with anything you said. You must have read wrong.
...
...

 Quote:
Not that I defend such logic on the author's part
Why did you bring "such logic" up if it is not there? Or is it there, and you were agreeing with me and my observation of it??

I just want to know how you can tell me that my proof isn't "proof" in your book, and that we must have different definitions of the words we're using.
Are you saying it's impossible that God came down and sat with me yesterday and told me the secrets of the Universe?
If this isn't impossible, and might have occurred, would that not count as proof for me, even though you didn't witness it?

I told you last time you asked to see my proof that I hadn't bottled it up for you. I have not mentioned having proof as some way of getting you to join me. I have clearly stated that you must find your own, and I feel you will if you look for it. You have already decided (not very scientifically I might add) that such proof can't possibly exist, and is therefore not worth searching for in any way.
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#848856 - 04/05/05 04:48 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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I have searched for proof. Very extensively. Why would you assume otherwise. Because my findings differ from yours? heh.

Proof is something that demonstrates truth for one and all. As I understand it. Again, we seem to have different definitions.

Yes, if god came down and sat with you and spilled the secrets, that would be proof for you that could not be demonstrated for me. But, I dont believe that has occured. First, there is a huge difference between such a thing happening, and you believing such a thing is happening. Millions of children believe in Santa Claus because he came down, sat with them, and shared secrets. They believed that occured because they experienced it and thus had proof. It did not occur, however. What they were experiencing (seemingly) is not at all what was happening. We humans are funny that way.

Human experience is indeed subjective. But dont put words in my mouth. That doesnt mean we cant agree on things like math and science systems and methodologies as an effort to objectify the universe so we can interact with it productively. There is still subjectivity involved in those systems, but the manner in which the subjectivity varies from person to person does not (often) change the results of the system. sometimes it does, however.

Also, (this is pure opinion on my part, and I present it as nothing more), if god came down and sat with you and shared secrets, i believe you would be elevated to such a state of joy and enlightenment that transcends this world that I dont believe you would be prone to tedious, unpleasant arguments defending your beliefs on a web board. Just my opinion.
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#848857 - 04/05/05 05:20 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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my arguments are tedious and unpleasant? ouch... I guess I'll shut up then. I thought we enjoyed discussing with each other.

 Quote:
Why would you assume otherwise. Because my findings differ from yours?
No, because you said this:
 Quote:
No, its impossible to prove. I wont find proof regardless of how much I seek.
As for dictionaries, I think we're reading the same ones, and I think we have the same definitions of "proof" and "know". But clearly we don't agree (read: you don't agree with me) about how I understand those two words.

 Quote:
But dont put words in my mouth. That doesnt mean we cant agree on things like math and science systems and methodologies as an effort to objectify the universe so we can interact with it productively. There is still subjectivity involved in those systems, but the manner in which the subjectivity varies from person to person does not (often) change the results of the system. sometimes it does, however.
I apologize if it appears I have put words in your mouth. I agree with the above statement, and don't wish to contradict it. I guess I thought you were saying that because my experience was only personal and not public, it was not really valid.
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#848858 - 04/05/05 05:41 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Tedious yes (we have often disintegrated into arguing semantics); unpleasant, I meant for you, you seem to be upset and at times caustic in these dialogues. I'm not judging, I have those experiences as well.

Through my searches, I've come to believe that looking for proof in this context is futile. Actually, I've come to the conclusion that the question is irrelevant, but thats harder to explain, and much more abstract.

As for public vs private experience, I actually find private experience to be the most valid, and actually spiritual experiences have a necessarily private aspect to them. I too have experienced spiritual ecstacy, both in the context of an organized religious system, and without that context. What metaphors I choose to characterize those experiences are a very private matter, and I dont presume that they are appropriate for anyone else but me. It just so happens that the Roman Catholic context and metaphors have many subscribers, so my experiences there were easy to quantize to that mindset, and share with people. As I had experiences outside of that context, I lost the need to impose such imagery onto my experiences. So I'm not prone toward accepting others project them onto my experiences.
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#848859 - 04/05/05 07:47 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Sweep88 Offline
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yhapbo....WHY are you ignoring my posts?? Did the word of God stab you so deep you dont know how to respond? He loves you and is ALWAYS reaching out to you no matter what you say. That is until of course you pass to the other side.... Wow...I wouldnt want to be you....
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#848860 - 04/05/05 08:09 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
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Sweep: "I wouldnt want to be you...."

If I may be allowed to speak for yby, I am sure the feeling is mutual.

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#848861 - 04/05/05 08:30 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Jeffrey, what is it about God that you fear so much you devote most of your waking thoughts to disproving him?
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#848862 - 04/05/05 08:35 PM Re: Let Us Pray
markjpcs Offline


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I thought believers were supposed to fear God.

Hmmm, was I taught wrong yet again?
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#848863 - 04/05/05 08:52 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
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DT 6:5, MT 22:37, MK 12:30, LK 10:27 Love God.
DT 6:13, PS 33:8, 34:9, 111:10, 115:13, 128:1, 147:11, PR 8:13, 16:6, 19:23, 22:4, IS 8:13, LK 12:5, 1PE 2:17 Fear God.
1JN 4:18 There is no fear in love.

I can understand how people can get confused about that issue.


...
Sorry to sound condescending, Sweep88, but you write as if you read too many Chick Tracts as a child.

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#848864 - 04/05/05 08:57 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom--K:
Here's something. I believe in God--he's been good to me. Really, I don't know much about business. I never have and never will. You look at my answers in the "hay you financial geniuses" threads--and mine come across as pretty dufus. I really don't know business.

But, I bet you can roll all the financial geniuses together and I can easily buy and sell them.

I never was much good with girls, No girlfriends in HS, one in college. Then my wife--babe of all time, Yale, Columbia, georgous, and all that. Did pantyhose ads for Hanes stockings. Good Catholic to boot.

The kids--not the time to get into it, but gifts. Two gifts.

All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good.

God has blessed me. And I'm thankful.

There is a God.
And why--I don't know. But, I know I'm not that good and he's blessed me. [/b]
Tom, you magnificent bastard, you have said it all. Unfortunately, most here will never figure it out because they take themselves far too seriously.
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#848865 - 04/05/05 08:58 PM Re: Let Us Pray
gryphon Offline
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#848866 - 04/05/05 09:04 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
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#848867 - 04/05/05 09:13 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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I search in vain for any ray of light emanating from your posts, yabpho. I see derision and sneering condescension but nothing positive or even enlightening in any way. Is this your proposed alternative to those who think it is really f***ing great to be alive (with apologies to Frank Zappa and the Necessities)? Sounds like a tough sell to me. I would be inclined to let you wither in the darkness as you seem to have chosen. I am, of course, speaking as someone who does not profess to be part of any organized religion but does not see the fact that people derive hope and meaning from such as a bad thing. Quite the contrary, actually.
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#848868 - 04/05/05 09:18 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom--K:
Here's something. I believe in God--he's been good to me. Really, I don't know much about business. I never have and never will. You look at my answers in the "hay you financial geniuses" threads--and mine come across as pretty dufus. I really don't know business.

But, I bet you can roll all the financial geniuses together and I can easily buy and sell them.

I never was much good with girls, No girlfriends in HS, one in college. Then my wife--babe of all time, Yale, Columbia, georgous, and all that. Did pantyhose ads for Hanes stockings. Good Catholic to boot.

The kids--not the time to get into it, but gifts. Two gifts.

All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good.

God has blessed me. And I'm thankful.

There is a God.
And why--I don't know. But, I know I'm not that good and he's blessed me. [/b]
Is this different from "There is a God, because I prayed and it DID happen"? If not, I believe Mr. KlavierBauer had some things he wanted to say about that logic.
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#848869 - 04/05/05 09:24 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Thank you for proving my point. \:\)
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#848870 - 04/05/05 09:27 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
Thank you for proving my point. \:\) [/b]
How pedestrian. :rolleyes:
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#848871 - 04/05/05 09:32 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
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Posts: 489
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
I search in vain for any ray of light emanating from your posts, yabpho. I see derision and sneering condescension but nothing positive or even enlightening in any way. Is this your proposed alternative to those who think it is really f***ing great to be alive (with apologies to Frank Zappa and the Necessities)? Sounds like a tough sell to me. I would be inclined to let you wither in the darkness as you seem to have chosen. I am, of course, speaking as someone who does not profess to be part of any organized religion but does not see the fact that people derive hope and meaning from such as a bad thing. Quite the contrary, actually. [/b]
The latest bout of "derision and sneering condescension" came as a result of the disgusting behaviour of the religious groups over the Schiavo fiasco. Hitler enjoyed his reign, JBryan. Was it wrong for people to halt him?

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#848872 - 04/06/05 04:00 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Loc: Oklahoma City
Ah, the Hitler punt. How lame. And how well your response proves my point.
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#848873 - 04/06/05 04:19 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
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Loc: New York
TK: "All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good."

I think it has to do with your high ability to psychologically analyze people on the spot. It is what makes for a good salesperson. A bit like the guy in The Iceman Cometh ... \:\)

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#848874 - 04/06/05 11:06 PM Re: Let Us Pray
bruceee Offline
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Interesting post, Yhabpo.

Suppose a million people prayed for Terri and another million for the Pope. Probably conservative guesses. If we suppose that one person praying for another has at least a small effect on the outcome, then a million people praying for the same thing should have a rather larger effect. Instead, what did we find:

Terri died in a manner which is typical of other PVS cases. If God had wanted or been able to work a miracle, here was a golden opportunity -- and while the world was watching. Could have made believers out of a lot of people, me included.

The Pope's death seems to be typical of an 84-year old in failing health. Not a pleasant death, but again typical. Could not God have at least called for his faithful servant while he (the Pope) was asleep? It seems very little to ask -- and many people would have been praying for a lot more than that.

In these two cases, it seems that all those prayers went unanswered. There are some possible reasons for this: God does not exist, God does not care, God does not interfere. But whatever the reason, I have to conclude that the power of prayer is indeed a fiction. Nature took its course, just as it does when there is no praying.

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#848875 - 04/07/05 08:44 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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Loc: Boulder, Colorado
*rolls eyes*

More of this "God can't possibly exist because when given the opportunity to do something, my narrow perception[/b] is that he did nothing.


Sidd,
no Tom's post is not displaying that kind of logic. Why don't you read the whole thread and put his post into context?
I don't think Tom says anywhere: "God MUST exist, because I prayed and my wishes came true!" I know from years of discussion with Tom that he has a much better understanding of things than that.
your post worked though.... you effected a response from me.
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#848876 - 04/07/05 08:47 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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I've seen supposed studies that claim to have shown the effectiveness of prayer. Needless to say, the methodology was severely questionable. But I'm not necessarily one to claim prayer does nothing. Prayer is a form of meditation, which is shown to have measurable effects on the practitioner. Whether there is a connectedness between people that can also be effected by similar mental focus, I dont know, but sounds plausible to me.

The part about religious prayer that confuses me (at least the petition variety) is it suggests god is indecisive. As if he were on the fence about "his plan" but, hark, there's a multitude of lowly humans pleading for something. "Oh all right, you caught me in a good mood. I'll grant it. maybe I was a bit hasty with my plan."....?!?! It just doesnt make sense that that "god" would entertain suggestions from mankind. It totally invalidates his omniscience and omnipotence.
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#848877 - 04/07/05 08:50 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
*rolls eyes*

More of this "God can't possibly exist because when given the opportunity to do something, my narrow perception[/b] is that he did nothing.


Sidd,
no Tom's post is not displaying that kind of logic. Why don't you read the whole thread and put his post into context?
I don't think Tom says anywhere: "God MUST exist, because I prayed and my wishes came true!" I know from years of discussion with Tom that he has a much better understanding of things than that.
your post worked though.... you effected a response from me. [/b]
Then educate me on how to interpret Tom's post. His post said "There is a God" presented as the conclusion to a list of blessings in his life that he cant attribute to any other source. help me out. seems pretty straight forward to me.
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#848878 - 04/07/05 09:12 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
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Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Everything seems straight forward to you because choose it to be so.

I DID educate you as to why your synopsis of Tom's post was false. I'm sorry you haven't been here that long, and maybe don't know more about what makes Tom who he is, but I have been, and do know.

Tom's understanding of God, or what he thinks is God goes a lot deeper than "I asked and it happened, therefore he exists".
Tom mentions being blessed a lot, which is much different than petitioning and asking God to do you favors. That in itself demonstrates a completely different understanding of things than the sort of thing I said I would comment on.
Tom understand what it means to be blessed, and happy, and because of those things, and a whole host of other reasons Tom understands that there is someone looking over him. This is totally different than Tom coming to the conclusion that someone's looking over him, because he asked not to be eaten by tigers today... and wasn't.
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#848879 - 04/07/05 09:23 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
Everything seems straight forward to you because choose it to be so.[/b]
Now this is just silly. What do you know about how EVERYTHING seems to me? Actually, my thoughts on these subjects are very complex and abstract. Such assessments by you of this sort is just parading foolishness.

 Quote:

I DID educate you as to why your synopsis of Tom's post was false. I'm sorry you haven't been here that long, and maybe don't know more about what makes Tom who he is, but I have been, and do know.

Tom's understanding of God, or what he thinks is God goes a lot deeper than "I asked and it happened, therefore he exists".
Tom mentions being blessed a lot, which is much different than petitioning and asking God to do you favors. That in itself demonstrates a completely different understanding of things than the sort of thing I said I would comment on.
Tom understand what it means to be blessed, and happy, and because of those things, and a whole host of other reasons Tom understands that there is someone looking over him. This is totally different than Tom coming to the conclusion that someone's looking over him, because he asked not to be eaten by tigers today... and wasn't. [/b]
Well, the only difference between his post and "I asked and it happened, therefore he exists" is that he doesnt mention having asked for these specific blessings, although he often mentions praying for things. So if that little technicality is what changes the whole fundamental nature of it for you, I guess we've come to the tedious part again.

As for not reading Tom's posts for years like you have, I'm sorry, my bad. Obviously you know him better, thats fine. How arrogant of me to respond to the content of a current post rather than track the man longitudinally before offering any remarks. I hang my head in shame. :rolleyes:
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#848880 - 04/07/05 09:35 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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I can't imagine life without God. God has been so good to me. I've experienced my share of tragedy and may have to experience more some day. I can't imagine going through life without God. Through the good times and the bad times God is always there whether it's to comfort or help celebrate. I just can't imagine it. And God knows I get mad at Him and believe at times He's nothing but a practical joker raining sick jokes on me. But those are the times I need Him most.
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#848881 - 04/07/05 09:39 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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Loc: Boulder, Colorado
 Quote:
As for not reading Tom's posts for years like you have, I'm sorry, my bad. Obviously you know him better, thats fine. How arrogant of me to respond to the content of a current post rather than track the man longitudinally before offering any remarks. I hang my head in shame.
You joke...
But look at what you did. You wanted to get into a debate with me about something I said yesterday, and attacked Tom's post to make an example out of it.
Then it backfired, because you don't understand what you're talking about (when it comes to belief in God I mean... you're more than intelligent about most other things).
Then you try to dissect what I've said, and say that I'm parading around like a fool.
Anyone reading this knows I wasn't hinging the whole subject on one technicality. That is simply one obvious difference between Tom's logic and the logic I commented on yesterday.

It is almost as if you just have it in for me. You're not even paying attention to the discussion you and I are having, which is that I said I would hold people to the same standard on both sides of the fence regarding juvenile understandings of complex subject matter. That's what you responded to, and that is the context of this discussion. But rather than approach it that way, you simply want to dissect and critique each part of my posts to make me appear foolish.
Kudos... you've succeeded. I am a complete fool for all of Piano World to see.
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#848882 - 04/07/05 10:01 AM Re: Let Us Pray
tcmod Offline
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So will Tom hold God accountable if anything horrible befalls his family or financial kingdom? If he and others pay such tribute to God for their good fortune, than surely God must be to blame for the ill as well. He is a cruel jokester, that God.

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#848883 - 04/07/05 10:11 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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I don't think "blame" is the right word.

do you "blame" your parents for hurting you if when they let go of the back of your bike for the first time, you fall?

Again, this thinking demonstrates a very narrow understanding of the entire concept of the Christian God.
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#848884 - 04/07/05 10:15 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by tcmod:
So will Tom hold God accountable if anything horrible befalls his family or financial kingdom? If he and others pay such tribute to God for their good fortune, than surely God must be to blame for the ill as well. He is a cruel jokester, that God. [/b]
IMHO (and I hesitate to speak for others) that it's during those times when something *horrible befalls* us that we need God the most. IMHO Tom would probably turn and become closer to God than he already is. It's during the horrible times that we are humbled. JMHO of course.
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#848885 - 04/07/05 10:15 AM Re: Let Us Pray
tcmod Offline
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Whether or not the word is to your liking the sentiment is the same. If one attributes all that is good in one's life to God.....where do you point the finger when it hits the fan? Come on, either God wasn't watching when (insert disaster here) or it was His will or Satan won this one. HOw can you give all glory to God for the good stuff, but shrug off the bad stuff? Enlighten me.

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#848886 - 04/07/05 10:16 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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Loc: Englewood, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by tcmod:
Whether or not the word is to your liking the sentiment is the same. If one attributes all that is good in one's life to God.....where do you point the finger when it hits the fan? Come on, either God wasn't watching when (insert disaster here) or it was His will or Satan won this one. HOw can you give all glory to God for the good stuff, but shrug off the bad stuff? Enlighten me. [/b]
There can be beauty in tragedy.
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#848887 - 04/07/05 10:24 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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tcmod,
As I said, this demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the nature of God.
I mean, do you really want to understand God, or do you want me to share your lack of understanding? Are you trying to prove me wrong, or are you genuinely trying to understand God's nature?

If you are truly seeking understanding, it's easy enough to find. This issue is one that is covered extensively.
Any study of God's character will show that God loves his creation, desires the best for them, and yet still allows them to make their own decisions. That works on a situational basis (good decision vs. bad decision), but also works on a global basis. God created a perfect world where "bad" didn't exist. Man chose to have knowledge of "good" and "bad". Man chose to do a lot of things, and was allowed to.
Now a bit further down the timeline, the whole "painting" is "smeared". Bad things happen all the time, not because God is some causal part of every second that passes, but because we've asked to be left alone, and to be able to do things ourselves regardless of the consequences.
Why would be blame God for the bad things? Why wouldn't we assume that there might be consequences for our (humans in general, not individuals) actions? I differentiate between self and whole because the next logical argument is "what about a person who loses their child in a tragic accident... did they deserve that?"... of course not. I think it's possible that one person's actions can affect another person. And that can cause disappointment, even tragedy for someone who seemingly doesn't "have it coming". But that does not speak to God's callousness... at least not to me. I guess I'm looking at the whole thing a bit deeper than that.
Again, would you blame your parents, and accuse them of deliberately hurting you for letting you ride your shiny new two-wheel bike, and crash it? After all, they had the power to keep you from riding that bike and falling. They had the power to protect you, and didn't.
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#848888 - 04/07/05 10:50 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
 Quote:
As for not reading Tom's posts for years like you have, I'm sorry, my bad. Obviously you know him better, thats fine. How arrogant of me to respond to the content of a current post rather than track the man longitudinally before offering any remarks. I hang my head in shame.
You joke...
But look at what you did. You wanted to get into a debate with me about something I said yesterday, and attacked Tom's post to make an example out of it.
Then it backfired, because you don't understand what you're talking about (when it comes to belief in God I mean... you're more than intelligent about most other things).
Then you try to dissect what I've said, and say that I'm parading around like a fool.
Anyone reading this knows I wasn't hinging the whole subject on one technicality. That is simply one obvious difference between Tom's logic and the logic I commented on yesterday.

It is almost as if you just have it in for me. You're not even paying attention to the discussion you and I are having, which is that I said I would hold people to the same standard on both sides of the fence regarding juvenile understandings of complex subject matter. That's what you responded to, and that is the context of this discussion. But rather than approach it that way, you simply want to dissect and critique each part of my posts to make me appear foolish.
Kudos... you've succeeded. I am a complete fool for all of Piano World to see. [/b]
I believe I have been paying attention to this discussion, and I dont see how I've departed from that. And I believe I've approached it exactly that way. You said you'd fault someone for a certain type of logic, I offered an example, and now you're throwing a tantrum and not saying how my example is in error. If it is, just show me how. Tantrums dont help.

And you dont find it the slightest bit arrogant to say I dont know what I'm talking about in respect to belief in god? Why would you make that assumption. I have been exactly where you are. Why do you assume your experience is more valid than mine? Especially since you just criticized me for not knowing all of Tom, so I dont have the right to comment on him, yet you have the right to make these huge assessments about me and my life? Yes, that is parading foolishness.

And calling me a joke...is that your christian response? Is that the way Jesus talked to people?

No, I dont have it in for you. But when you throw tantrums and call me names rather than speak to my points, what response would you expect from me?
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#848889 - 04/07/05 10:53 AM Re: Let Us Pray
tcmod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 862
Loc: NC
kb...first of all please dispense with your insults. It makes reading the rest of your well written post very difficult. I posed a very simple question that has been asked many times and deserves to be answered. Many people state that God is with them every second of every day bestowing upon them things they are not capable of achieving themselves. Knowledge of good and bad, the existence of free will do not cover all of the disasters that we as a whole suffer on a daily basis. You simply can't trace the cause of every bad thing to a bad decision made in the past. A butterfly in the Amazon may cause a hurricane someplace else, but that doesn't work when it comes to Susie's inoperable brain tumor. By the way, I am not trying to prove you wrong or anything else. Just having some discourse about the way some people choose to worship. Yes I would blame my parents if they let the bike go before I was ready. If I suffered a subdural hematoma and died on the spot it would indeed be their fault and not the fault of God.

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#848890 - 04/07/05 10:58 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
LOL I didn't call you a joke sidd... Joke is a verb in this case, not a noun....

And tantrum? ... I fail to see where I've had a tantrum.

You asked me to point out where you were in error, and I did... refer to earlier posts, I'm too lazy to copy/paste it all. You disagreed, that's fine, but don't tell me I haven't pointed out where your assumptions were false.

As for your right to believe as you wish, and the validity of said beliefs...
Your beliefs are valid, and I'm sure sincere. You have the right to comment on whatever you want, but that does not mean I do not have the right of rebuttal. I simply disagree with you on a number of things, but I still think your viewpoints are valid.
You have said some things however, that display a lack of understanding and/or experience. That is not calling names or condemnation, it is simply an observation. You have told me I am wrong in that assumption, and I concede, I don't know your life, or your history. But I would expect that if you really had intimate experience with religion ... any religion... that you wouldn't argue on such basic points and principles.
It's not that I'm judging your experience or life, I'm simply going by what you've displayed, which is not a very complex understanding of God's character. I don't mean that to be insulting in any way, it is simply an observation. As I stated earlier, I consider you to be very articulate in most cases, and extremely intelligent.
I do feel though, as if you "have it in" for me sometimes.
As to speaking to your points, I feel I have. I feel as though I have addressed everything you've brought up, and while I have become heated, I have not called you names (I typically don't as you know). That was simply a misunderstanding addressed in the first line of this post.
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#848891 - 04/07/05 11:09 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
tcmod, I haven't insulted you (?) Or at least have not tried to.

If my "lack of understanding" comment is considered insulting, why are you asking the question? I would think that any question demonstrates a lack of understanding at some level for said subject matter. I didn't mean to insult you.

The question has been answered I think many times when it has been brought up. I don't know what else I can tell you.
I think millennia upon millennia of man's inability to make good decisions has tainted a lot of the world. I think that the world has gotten progressively worse as man has moved away from God in the spiritual sense, and away from creation (read: perfection) in the linear/time-line sense.
But we don't agree on those items as even being real, so how can I use that as a basis to answer your question?
I can't... but lo it is the answer... so we are at an impasse.
I think Man can be blessed by God. Not as a reward, but because he loves us, and because he knows his plan for ours, and for others' lives. I also think bad things can happen to Man, and be allowed to happen. I don't see this as punishment, nor is it taught to be so. I think such an understanding of "good" and "bad" is to dismiss much of the complexity of God's Love.

Read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for more on this subject. I clearly don't have the ability to communicate what I want to in an articulate fashion, and seem to be insulting people left and right when I'm trying only to have a logical discussion. Lewis does a much better job of explaining these concepts, and why they are not indicative of an uncaring God.
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#848892 - 04/07/05 11:21 AM Re: Let Us Pray
tcmod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 862
Loc: NC
 Quote:
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
tcmod,
As I said, this demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the nature of God.
I mean, do you really want to understand God, or do you want me to share your lack of understanding? Are you trying to prove me wrong, or are you genuinely trying to understand God's nature? [/b]
Kb this was hardly friendly. In any case we agree on more than you realize. I have read CS Lewis and others and am very comfortable with God and his role in my life and in other's lives. But when I read someone being a bit of a braggart and going on about how God has chosen to bless him more than others I can't help myself. God loves us all and to propose that He blesses some more than others and plays favorites does more harm than good. It doesn't do much to further the cause of Christianity to suggest that God might just not like you.

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#848893 - 04/07/05 11:29 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
KB, Well you say my beliefs are valid but also say I dont know what I'm talking about in respect to belief in god. I dont see how those remarks are compatible.

I think it might behoove you to accept that some people have different understandings than you do and that is not the same as "lack" of understanding.

As for arguing basic points and principles, with religion, the devil is in the details (interesting pun). Its the mechanics of religious systems that zealots wave around and foist on others, and its those very mechanics that are so easily dismantled. So if you or someone else is going to wave a point or principle in my face, yes I will argue its transparency.

I am much more exhilarated by discussing the higher order of the topic, as in why is religion here, what does it represent, why so many flavors, how is it an effective device or not, how does the concept of god relate to the human condition. In my opinion, answers to these questions are just as glorious and exciting as the experiences people have within the different systems. These arent at all straightforward, they are very abstract and complicated, but thats where I live, contrary to your earlier assessment of me.

I dont expect you would be inclined to discuss those topics as they cant really coexist with with the platform you speak from. So as long as you offer religious dogma for me to swallow, I will respond with my reasons for gagging. Not for a minute do I suggest that you shouldnt believe, or that you're not happy, or that your beliefs are inappropriate for you. My problem comes when these things are proclaimed to be absolutes for one and all. They are not. My further problem comes when there is an associated hostility/condescension/ridicule toward "nonbelievers" from "believers" (speaking in general now, not you specifically). That demonstrates for me that there is a lot of hate and fear involved. These things are not glorious or exciting.
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#848894 - 04/07/05 12:45 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

There can be beauty in tragedy.
Strangely, the victims never see it.
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#848895 - 04/07/05 12:50 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
 Quote:
My further problem comes when there is an associated hostility/condescension/ridicule toward "nonbelievers" from "believers" (speaking in general now, not you specifically). That demonstrates for me that there is a lot of hate and fear involved. These things are not glorious or exciting.
I agree completely.

I apologize that I have kept using the words "lack of understanding". I guess in my mind when speaking those words to myself I was thinking them very logically, as in we clearly have different understandings, and that your understanding is lacking something that is within mine, just as my understanding is lacking something that is within yours. I don't mean to invalidate your feelings or beliefs. This statement is applicable to tcmod as well...

I am sorry that I am not always a concise thinker. I get very heated sometimes when I feel someone is questioning something only to be antagonistic, with no real desire to understand the answer, and I apologize for that.

I wrote all of that at least an hour ago... sorry I got stuck doing some work.

I just want to be clear that I enjoy these discussions, even if I'm not the most skilled at having them. I think it's nice to discuss opposing view points, and to discuss difficult concepts and ideas that people have come to different conclusions about.

I apologize if because of my "no edit" style of posting, and a mild case of ADD I get caught in a line of reasoning that becomes seemingly insluting or intolerant.
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#848896 - 04/07/05 01:00 PM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
 Quote:

There can be beauty in tragedy.
Strangely, the victims never see it. [/b]
It's not easy to see. I'll admit to that. I'm sure you could cite examples where they never see it and I could cite examples where they do. I believe having God in my life helps to find and see beauty when I feel lost. As I said above I can't imagine life without God. I say this humbly.
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#848897 - 04/07/05 01:07 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom--K:
Here's something. I believe in God--he's been good to me. Really, I don't know much about business. I never have and never will. You look at my answers in the "hay you financial geniuses" threads--and mine come across as pretty dufus. I really don't know business.

But, I bet you can roll all the financial geniuses together and I can easily buy and sell them.

I never was much good with girls, No girlfriends in HS, one in college. Then my wife--babe of all time, Yale, Columbia, georgous, and all that. Did pantyhose ads for Hanes stockings. Good Catholic to boot.

The kids--not the time to get into it, but gifts. Two gifts.

All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good.

God has blessed me. And I'm thankful.

There is a God.
And why--I don't know. But, I know I'm not that good and he's blessed me. [/b]
Tom, you magnificent bastard, you have said it all. Unfortunately, most here will never figure it out because they take themselves far too seriously. [/b]
Best post and response in this laborious sucker ...
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#848898 - 04/07/05 01:11 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

If you are truly seeking understanding, it's easy enough to find. This issue is one that is covered extensively.
Any study of God's character will show that God loves his creation, desires the best for them, and yet still allows them to make their own decisions. That works on a situational basis (good decision vs. bad decision), but also works on a global basis. God created a perfect world where "bad" didn't exist. Man chose to have knowledge of "good" and "bad". Man chose to do a lot of things, and was allowed to.
Now a bit further down the timeline, the whole "painting" is "smeared". Bad things happen all the time, not because God is some causal part of every second that passes, but because we've asked to be left alone, and to be able to do things ourselves regardless of the consequences.
Why would be blame God for the bad things? Why wouldn't we assume that there might be consequences for our (humans in general, not individuals) actions? I differentiate between self and whole because the next logical argument is "what about a person who loses their child in a tragic accident... did they deserve that?"... of course not. I think it's possible that one person's actions can affect another person. And that can cause disappointment, even tragedy for someone who seemingly doesn't "have it coming". But that does not speak to God's callousness... at least not to me. I guess I'm looking at the whole thing a bit deeper than that.
God built the world, God made the rules, viruses infect, earthquakes demolish, volcanoes burn, all dancing to the laws of physics, laws chosen by God.

Many of the events known as "natural disasters" occur on other planets, occured on our planet prior to man's occupancy, and in many instances are very well understood in terms of the underlying physics. Surely given that, it is beyond doubt that there are causal factors outside of man's influence?
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#848899 - 04/07/05 01:15 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
 Quote:
God built the world, God made the rules, viruses infect, earthquakes demolish, volcanoes burn, all dancing to the laws of physics, laws chosen by God.

Many of the events known as "natural disasters" occur on other planets, occured on our planet prior to man's occupancy, and in many instances are very well understood in terms of the underlying physics. Surely given that, it is beyond doubt that there are causal factors outside of man's influence?
Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'm quick enough to know exactly what you mean by this.
Are you saying that it's clear that these things don't happy to ruin man's life, but happen because of the system they're a part of?
If so, I think that's a good point
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#848900 - 04/07/05 01:31 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'm quick enough to know exactly what you mean by this.
Are you saying that it's clear that these things don't happy to ruin man's life, but happen because of the system they're a part of?
If so, I think that's a good point
From your post it seemed like you were placing blame for natural disasters at man's feet: We chose to be able to do bad things, we have ended up in a world where bad things happen. But, we didn't alter the laws of physics, that is presumeably Gods domain, and natural disasters emerge from the laws of physics, Earthquakes happen because of the structure of planets, so it would seem Earthquakes are God's 'fault', for whatever reason he's chosen to create a natural world where Earthquakes occur, knowing that doing so would inevitably cause suffering.
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#848901 - 04/07/05 01:47 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

It's not easy to see. I'll admit to that. I'm sure you could cite examples where they never see it and I could cite examples where they do.
I mean no disrespect, but to suggest beauty in the suffering of others seems to somehow trivialise that suffering. I see no beauty in those in poverty dying of AIDs, or the tsunami victims who have lost their children.

For me atleast the kind of suffering described above is the very essense of uglyness.

 Quote:

I believe having God in my life helps to find and see beauty when I feel lost. As I said above I can't imagine life without God. I say this humbly.
I think the ability to see beauty when lost is a true strength, i hope it always stays with you.
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#848902 - 04/07/05 02:13 PM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
 Quote:

It's not easy to see. I'll admit to that. I'm sure you could cite examples where they never see it and I could cite examples where they do.
I mean no disrespect, but to suggest beauty in the suffering of others seems to somehow trivialise that suffering. I see no beauty in those in poverty dying of AIDs, or the tsunami victims who have lost their children.

For me atleast the kind of suffering described above is the very essense of uglyness.

 Quote:

I believe having God in my life helps to find and see beauty when I feel lost. As I said above I can't imagine life without God. I say this humbly.
I think the ability to see beauty when lost is a true strength, i hope it always stays with you. [/b]
I understand and certainly would never want to trivialize someone's pain and suffering. My cousin died of AIDS. I believe he's in a better place and finally at peace. That's his beauty. He's no longer in pain emotionally and physically. As to the tsunami victims I'm doing my best to find something beautiful resulting from such a tragedy.

Where I fail to find beauty is in evil. Pure evil. Where people hurt others intentionally for their own pleasure. I fail to find beauty in pedophiles and rapists for example. Where's the beauty in that?

Or racism? where's the beauty in racism? Sorry to go on.
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#848903 - 04/07/05 02:57 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2790
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I need to echo Jolly's sentiment that this is a laborious sucker, 4 pages and no end in sight. What we have here is discussion between the logical aetheists and believers. Both are convinced they're right and the other is off the wall. Well I found something today that will agree with neither of you. I offer this link for your pleasure of agreement. You'll all probably think this is nuts and perhaps it is, or maybe this guy's right and you're all only seeing part of the picture;

http://www.kryon.com/k_chanelhowbig.html

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#848904 - 04/07/05 04:24 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
thanks for sharing steve! \:\)


These people are certainly tapping into something very powerful and meaningful to them.
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#848905 - 04/07/05 04:44 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Chandler:

http://www.kryon.com/k_chanelhowbig.html [/b]
I found that to be a beautiful metaphor. Although some of his articulation I found a bit rough around the edges (for me), but shares much with my conception of "god" and the human condition.

Also powerful in that text is the notion of the naive limitations of religious imageries that limit themselves to only the capacity of "the glass". That is right on the money with what I've attempted to articulate many times here, not as successfully as he has tho.
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#848906 - 04/07/05 06:12 PM Re: Let Us Pray
kathyk Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 6971
Loc: Maine
I would like to know who you are Yhap. A while back you were posing as a Muslim from the middle east who was living in Canada, chastising American women for showing skin and branding some of us "infidels." If you believe the article you posted here, you are obviously one big infidel yourself. So what gives? Whose socky are you?

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#848907 - 04/07/05 06:14 PM Re: Let Us Pray
kathyk Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 6971
Loc: Maine
I would like to know who you are Yhap. A while back you were posing as a Muslim from the middle east who was living in Canada, chastising American women for showing skin and branding some of us "infidels." If you believe the article you posted here, you are obviously one big infidel yourself. So what gives? Whose socky are you?

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#848908 - 04/07/05 07:37 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Larry: "Jeffrey, what is it about God that you fear so much you devote most of your waking thoughts to disproving him?"

There isn't much to disprove. A better question is why I devote waking hours to the Coffee Room.

If the threads stop revolving around religious right attempts to take over America, I will happily post on some other topic. If the Hindus try to take over the laws of our country, I will be posting polemics against militant Hinduism. If people who believe in goblins and tree spirits try to run our country, I will post against them as well. \:\)

I have no problem with you living by your personal values, just stop trying to impose them on others (abortion, gay rights, Shiavo, stem cells, etc.)

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#848909 - 04/07/05 07:40 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
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Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York

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#848910 - 04/07/05 07:41 PM Re: Let Us Pray
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:

A better question is why I devote waking hours to the Coffee Room.
[/b]
AMEN!
Brother I HEARD That!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I"m addicted to this crack too.

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#848911 - 04/07/05 07:42 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
 Quote:
posing as a Muslim
Keep your stereotypes at bay, Kathy. Don't brand me as a Muslim only because I don't agree with your ultra-feminist views.

 Quote:
branding some of us "infidels."
Infidels of logical thought.

 Quote:
one big infidel
Quite untrue. I would have to disbelieve what is true, thus I am not.

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#848912 - 04/07/05 07:44 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
 Quote:
If the threads stop revolving around religious right attempts to take over America, I will happily post on some other topic. If the Hindus try to take over the laws of our country, I will be posting polemics against militant Hinduism. If people who believe in goblins and tree spirits try to run our country, I will post against them as well.

I have no problem with you living by your personal values, just stop trying to impose them on others (abortion, gay rights, Shiavo, stem cells, etc.)
Well said. I agree completely.

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#848913 - 04/07/05 08:01 PM Re: Let Us Pray
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Very well put Jeffrey.

My sentiments exactly, but words only you could craft.

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#848914 - 04/07/05 08:50 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
If the threads stop revolving around religious right attempts to take over America, I will happily post on some other topic. If the Hindus try to take over the laws of our country, I will be posting polemics against militant Hinduism. If people who believe in goblins and tree spirits try to run our country, I will post against them as well.

I have no problem with you living by your personal values, just stop trying to impose them on others (abortion, gay rights, Shiavo, stem cells, etc.)[/b]

The "religious right" isn't trying to take over America, Jeffrey. They are simply fighting back against the attempts to take over America that's coming from the left. Atheism is a religion, and you are one of its disciples. That's fine, if that's what you want. But the simple fact is, a thread could start talking about fishing and you would somehow manage to inject an attack on religion into the thread. You are obsessed with it.

If God was something you simply didn't believe in, you'd just not bother with it. But that's not what you do. You focus on it, obsess over it, find every opportunity to bring it up just so you can once again tell everyone there isn't one. If I personally didn't believe in the existence of God, I wouldn't feel the slightest bit compelled to refute it. It wouldn't threaten me. You are threatened by it.

I am not trying to impose my religious views on you, or anyone else. I have never said the first negative thing about homosexuals, in fact I said what I wanted to say on the subject *once* - to say that it is not my place to judge anyone. I apparently did a pretty good job of stating my view - one of our other members, Derick, was moved by it so much that he sent it in to some of his friends in the Log Cabin Republicans to see if they'd print it in their newsletter (or something like that, he can tell you better than I). Abortion is not a religious issue to me. It's an issue of morality. Or are you of the opinion that only religious people have morals? Schiavo is also an issue of morals, not religion. Stem cells - you don't know *what* my opinion is regarding stem cells.

The ones stuffing their religion down people's throats Jeffrey, are those who hold minority religious views but demand the country push their collective religious views aside to make room for yours. Better than 90% of the people in the world say they believe in a higher power. That means that less than 10% hold your opinion. Yet every day, the majority of Americans have to give up another inch to your 10%.

Jeffrey, I mean you no harm. You can believe whatever you want to believe. But don't be so arrogant as to belittle the 90+% of the world as simple minded. Far greater minds than yours or mine have made the same journey for truth, and walked away convinced God is. Likewise, far greater minds than your's or mine have walked away convinced God *isn't*. My point - it is a fool's game to belittle the side you disagree with and dismiss them as idiots, on par with people who believe in tree sprites, or some other mocking put down. When you do that, the only person to walk away looking like a fool is you. I do not question the intelligence of an atheist just because he's an atheist.

You think with only your head, Jeffrey. You put all your faith in man, in yourself, and defend that by talking about science. You will never know *anything* Jeffrey, by limiting your knowledge to what man is capable of knowing. As vast as that may seem to you, it is a mere speck of sand. Some things are too big for science, Jeffrey.

God is, Jeffrey. Whether you accept that or not is up to you, not me. But you will search and search, and never find him, Jeffrey. You'll never find him because in spite of all your intellect and all your education, you don't know where to look. And you aren't open to anyone telling you where to look. But it's a journey that only you can make, Jeffrey. I can't convince you to listen, and it isn't my job anyway. Nor is it your job to tell me how to walk *my* journey.
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#848915 - 04/07/05 08:52 PM Re: Let Us Pray
The 89th Key Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 2400
Loc: Northern Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
If the threads stop revolving around religious right attempts to take over America,[/b]
Attempts? ;\)

Sorry bud, no attempt needed. Already done. \:D
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#848916 - 04/07/05 09:05 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
Excellent post, Larry.
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#848917 - 04/07/05 09:07 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I dont wanna step in between you 2 on this. But Larry, there is a very blatant questioning of the intelligence of atheists in these exchanges. And it is just as arrogant and condescending as that you identify with Jeffrey. Even the rest of your post goes on to remark on what you consider to be his limited capacity to address the issue fully.

Other peoples posts use language like "they'll never get it." "It cant be explained to them" "If you look, you'll find it, I know you will". All these belittle their target and suggest limited intelligence. Dont think its only one way.

And personally, that's what offends me and gets my mouth moving. I dont care what anyone believes for their own lives, and if they've found joy with god, I actually envy their peace and happiness, and I often find a beauty in hearing that happiness expressed in some posts here. But its the condescension as if the religious folks have experienced some premium exposure to the human condition that aetheists havent and thus understand the inside track. That is belittling, arrogant, condescending, and rude. Just like what you're finding offensive. We're all given the same tools.
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#848918 - 04/07/05 09:09 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
None of these posts suggest limited intelligence; Only limited understanding.
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Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848919 - 04/07/05 09:10 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Thank you, JB.
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#848920 - 04/07/05 09:12 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
None of these posts suggest limited intelligence; Only limited understanding. [/b]
Games with rhetoric (and not true). Its belittling and condescending.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848921 - 04/07/05 09:12 PM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
it is very easy to logically defend atheism. Spirituality is 'on another plain' so to speak.

I've a question for atheists.

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why?
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848922 - 04/07/05 09:13 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
Because Santa Claus is coming to town?
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Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848923 - 04/07/05 09:16 PM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
good answer!

You could be on family feud.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848924 - 04/07/05 09:18 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Even the rest of your post goes on to remark on what you consider to be his limited capacity to address the issue fully.[/b]

You misunderstand me. I wasn't talking about only Jeffrey's limited capacity to understand, I was talking about man in general.
_________________________
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#848925 - 04/07/05 09:23 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
None of these posts suggest limited intelligence; Only limited understanding. [/b]
Games with rhetoric (and not true). Its belittling and condescending. [/b]
Is this your only style of response? "pedestrian", "belittling", "condescending"? Games with rhetoric?

Go look in a mirror.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848926 - 04/07/05 09:25 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:

I've a question for atheists.

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why? [/b]
I dont self classify as an aetheist, but I'll remark that I'm motivated to be good because I feel bad if I'm not. I believe the only criterion for being good is not hurting people. And if I hurt people, it makes me feel like crap. I feel empathy for their injury, and I wouldnt want to be treated that way, and dont feel I have the right to impose. None of that comes anywhere close to a god issue. And I find it a rather curious implication that having a moral judgement from a god would be the only thing keeping someone in line, for fear of reprisal. Seems like anyone who would NEED that holy policing to keep them in line is someone of questionable character and morals. I know I'm going past the content of your post, there's just a weird between the lines thing there.

And other than not hurting people. I have no motivation to be "good" in terms of religious definitions. I dont think I'm being 'bad' for having premarital sex, or drinking, or what not, so I'm not inclined to moderate those behaviors "for goodness sake". If anything, I'd increase their practice "for goodness sake". So I depart there from the religious practice of being good.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848927 - 04/07/05 09:26 PM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Do you help people altruistically?
_________________________
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848928 - 04/07/05 09:29 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
None of these posts suggest limited intelligence; Only limited understanding. [/b]
Games with rhetoric (and not true). Its belittling and condescending. [/b]
Is this your only style of response? "pedestrian", "belittling", "condescending"? Games with rhetoric?

Go look in a mirror. [/b]
My only style? Apparently you've missed 99% of my posts. Maybe that's all I've been saying to you. Gosh, I wonder why?

"go look in a mirror"? Isnt that from the same book as "I'm rubber, your glue..." I see I'm up against a real Algonquin round table here.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848929 - 04/07/05 09:36 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
Do you help people altruistically? [/b]
Yes, I have. I dont know that I could say I "do". It has happened, it will happen again. Its not something I schedule into my life, however.

I can accept that its motivated by feeling good about myself afterwards. Ayn Rand was big on that, there is no altruism, and selfishness is a virtue. One only helps oneself, but that can include seemingly selfless acts, but indeed provides a self reward afterall. An interesting philosophy that I dont dispute and do contemplate.

The Dali Lama spoke of this in a talk I attended once. That selfless acts nourish ones own life. Not in the concept of altruism, but in the [meta]physical dynamics of the universe, just like throwing a rock in water returns a splash, giving to others returns benefits inkind. Not from judgement or reward, but from the mechanics of the universe.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848930 - 04/07/05 09:41 PM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
My only style? Apparently you've missed 99% of my posts. Maybe that's all I've been saying to you. Gosh, I wonder why?

[/b]
Maybe it's that lack of understanding thing I spoke of.

However, continue to hold forth as though the majesty of creation shines through the 99% you spoke of. Perhaps, someday, your wisdom, humility and capacity for not taking yourself too seriously will match your (obvious) intellect for at least the other 1%.

Now, go back and read what I quoted from you above and tell me which part is not "belittling" or "condescending". Call it a homework assignment if you wish. \:\)
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#848931 - 04/07/05 09:52 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:

Now, go back and read what I quoted from you above and tell me which part is not "belittling" or "condescending". Call it a homework assignment if you wish. \:\) [/b]
Yes, I was being condescending and belittling. Never did I deny that. My post (if you read it, your homework) was telling Larry it comes from both sides, not just the one.

And since you couldnt even figure that out, I'm afraid you require me to continue the belittling your intelligence.

And I dont know what this "take yourself too seriously" thing is about. You keep coming back to that. Its just rhetoric you throw in that means nothing to this thread. You dont seem to be interested in discussion, you seem interested in opening your mouth and trying to score insult points. I have yet to see you post to this thread anything that offers an idea rather than just siding with someone or trying to put down "one of them".

grow up.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#848932 - 04/07/05 09:57 PM Re: Let Us Pray
The 89th Key Offline
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Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 2400
Loc: Northern Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
I've a question for atheists.

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why? [/b]
Correct me if I'm way off apple, but you are sort of getting at that question I had a few months ago about what's the meaning of life if you're an atheist. I know that sounds really harsh, but I think you know what I mean. Basically, if we turn into dust in the end and are all part of a random burst of energy...why would it matter at all if we just all just commit suicide? Because it might hurt an intangible feeling which is nothing more than a few sparks of electricity in the old noodle signalling a mortal emotion from others? Basically so you wont sadden others via your death? Whats the point of living if you're an atheist? I just dont see any. Nothing matters. That's an honest question.

Sorry again apple if I'm way off...feel free to slap me! ;\)
_________________________
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www.thecollegecritic.com
--- Integrity | Loyalty | Simplicity ---[/b]

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#848933 - 04/07/05 09:58 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
Even the rest of your post goes on to remark on what you consider to be his limited capacity to address the issue fully.[/b]

You misunderstand me. I wasn't talking about only Jeffrey's limited capacity to understand, I was talking about man in general. [/b]
Maybe I did misunderstand then. But if you feel that man has this limited capacity to understand, you're still asserting that you had the ability to break free of that limitation, whereas Jeffrey hasnt/cant. Correct? Arent those just different words to say the same thing?
_________________________
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#848934 - 04/08/05 03:37 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why?
Incentive, as in reward? There seems to be a contradiction in the question, if there is incentive then surely it is no longer good for sake of goodness.

Presumably an ethical atheist is truly someone who is "good for the sake of goodness". A Theist may be good for the sake of God, or good for the sake of their own afterlife, atheists have no such motivation.
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#848935 - 04/08/05 03:58 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Whats the point of living if you're an atheist? I just dont see any. Nothing matters. That's an honest question.
What is the point of art? What is the point of music?

I find myself in a world astonishing beyond all description, i am a small aware piece of the universe, 24 years ago my eyes opened and in a few decades they will close again, but for the tiny sliver of time that they are open i get to experience and try to understand reality, that is its own reward.

You ask what is the point, what is my function, what is my purpose? I reject the validity of the question: I do not require a cosmic function, art transcends simple ideas of function and life is art.
_________________________
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#848936 - 04/08/05 04:42 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6186
You're all wrong![/b]

Being an atheist, a theist, or a deist does not give your life any meaning or any purpose.

The only true meaning of life is THE FORCE.
The only valid purpose of life is THE FORCE.

If you do not live by THE FORCE, your life is pointless.

Let us chant unto each other:

May THE FORCE be with you.[/b]
_________________________
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#848937 - 04/08/05 04:52 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:

Now, go back and read what I quoted from you above and tell me which part is not "belittling" or "condescending". Call it a homework assignment if you wish. \:\) [/b]
Yes, I was being condescending and belittling. Never did I deny that. My post (if you read it, your homework) was telling Larry it comes from both sides, not just the one.

And since you couldnt even figure that out, I'm afraid you require me to continue the belittling your intelligence.

And I dont know what this "take yourself too seriously" thing is about. You keep coming back to that. Its just rhetoric you throw in that means nothing to this thread. You dont seem to be interested in discussion, you seem interested in opening your mouth and trying to score insult points. I have yet to see you post to this thread anything that offers an idea rather than just siding with someone or trying to put down "one of them".

grow up. [/b]
An interesting tirade from one who calls himself "Siddhartha". You need look no farther than this for a clue to my "taking yourself too seriously" comment.

Just some more "empty rhetoric" from my feeble intellect. \:\)
_________________________
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#848938 - 04/08/05 06:01 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Maybe I did misunderstand then. But if you feel that man has this limited capacity to understand, you're still asserting that you had the ability to break free of that limitation, whereas Jeffrey hasnt/cant. Correct? Arent those just different words to say the same thing?[/b]

No, that's not it, and no it's not just different wording to say the same thing. The fact that I don't have any more (or any less, which is an important point to things) capacity to understand is the whole point. It's not that I have a greater capacity to understand, it's that I acknowledge man's limited capacity, and Jeffrey doesn't. He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist.
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#848939 - 04/08/05 06:24 AM Re: Let Us Pray
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
In agreement with Larry's point, all you have to think about is what we 'knew' 100, 200 or 500 years ago, versus what we 'know' today. How much of what we have 'scientifically' proven today will turn out to be plain old false, grossly misinterpreted or only the small, small tip of the iceberg?

The one thing that has been consistent about man and his viewpoint is hubris, to be convinced that he is the pinnacle of creation.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#848940 - 04/08/05 06:26 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kathyk Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 6971
Loc: Maine
 Quote:
Originally posted by yhabpo:
 Quote:
posing as a Muslim
Keep your stereotypes at bay, Kathy. Don't brand me as a Muslim only because I don't agree with your ultra-feminist views.

 Quote:
branding some of us "infidels."
Infidels of logical thought.

 Quote:
one big infidel
Quite untrue. I would have to disbelieve what is true, thus I am not. [/b]
Cop out. You have clearly given the impression that you come from an Islamic background. Please, don't make me go digging through your old posts. If you are, that's fine. I actually have appreciated your perspectives on this forum (if not your ascerbic tongue). If you're not, then excuse me for my "stereo-typing." I didn't intend to come across as derisive and apologize if I did.

As to me being ultra-feminist: now who's stereo-typing?

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#848941 - 04/08/05 06:44 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2790
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
it is very easy to logically defend atheism. Spirituality is 'on another plain' so to speak.

I've a question for atheists.

Do you have any incentive to be good for goodness's sake, and if you do, why? [/b]
I'm not an aetheist (far from it), but I see the whole Hell thing a little differently. You see fear is one of the lowest of human emotions. If your only reason for being good is because you fear the devil you aren't really committed to being good. You're avoiding the bad. Have you ever read any near death experiences? Most of the ones I've read have a life review, where you relive your life, but you feel the effect of your thoughts, words and deeds on everyone whose life you touched. There is no judgment, just the experience, there is no Hell, no Devil, no river Styx. Here's a near death experience that's quite incredible, check it out.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation04.html

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#848942 - 04/08/05 06:44 AM Re: Let Us Pray
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
Do you help people altruistically? [/b]
Why should I?
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#848943 - 04/08/05 06:55 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
Maybe I did misunderstand then. But if you feel that man has this limited capacity to understand, you're still asserting that you had the ability to break free of that limitation, whereas Jeffrey hasnt/cant. Correct? Arent those just different words to say the same thing?[/b]

No, that's not it, and no it's not just different wording to say the same thing. The fact that I don't have any more (or any less, which is an important point to things) capacity to understand is the whole point. It's not that I have a greater capacity to understand, it's that I acknowledge man's limited capacity, and Jeffrey doesn't. He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist. [/b]
Science is a wonderful tool but becomes a vehicle for self-delusion when it is accepted as a proxy for that which it is most useful in investigating. That is, reality.
_________________________
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#848944 - 04/08/05 07:00 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
IMHO people can be good for the sake of goodness. I have very close friends who are atheists but are probably more ethical and moral than many Believers. We've had countless arguments about God. They feel for me because they think I'm being duped. I feel for them because I feel they are missing out or for any bad experiences they may have had. Bottom line is we accept each other for who we are. They don't set out to change me and I don't try and save them. They're adults and they're not stupid.

Goodness is innate IMHO.
_________________________
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#848945 - 04/08/05 07:00 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

It's not that I have a greater capacity to understand, it's that I acknowledge man's limited capacity, and Jeffrey doesn't. He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist.
Ironically every aspect of science acknowledges man's limitations, the scientific method itself is designed around them. It's success is because of it's error correcting machinery.

Infact science can overcome even our conceptual limitations because it has access to an abstract language that is not bound by them: mathematics.

We may or may not be able to model every aspect of the universe, but the only chance we have at truth is squandered if we turn our backs on reason.
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#848946 - 04/08/05 07:09 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Goodness is innate IMHO.
Ah you've hit upon something there, we all like to interpret our actions in light of our views, a monotheist may believe that he is not killing others because he is adhering to his concept of God, the same is true for many other rationals for ethics. I justify my ethics through utilitarian principles, but really at a fundamental level these explanations cannot be the truth, because at our core we all have similar ideas, how can it be that numerous cultures with completely different theoretical concepts have very similar core ethics? Clearly something else is going on. At some level core-ethics or atleast the propensity to follow core ethics is hardwired.

If you look at our behaviour in an objective light you can provide explanations in terms of social and biological evolution, ethics exist because it benefits us to live in society. Our nature has evolved to include ethics because doing so benefits us. (One can interpret that inlight of a God guiding evolution if one wishes).
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#848947 - 04/08/05 07:17 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
Just some more "empty rhetoric" from my feeble intellect. \:\) [/b]
At least your clear on that point.
_________________________
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#848948 - 04/08/05 07:21 AM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
you're ;\)
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848949 - 04/08/05 07:22 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
He thinks man can figure out the answer to everything, that science and man's mind is all that's needed, and if it doesn't pass this test it can't possibly be real - a far more arrogant point of view than admitting that man, and science, has limited capacity to prove, understand, or explain every single thing and opening my mind to the possibility that something beyond man's or science's understanding might exist. [/b]
That's not at all what I get from Jeffrey. I think he very clearly understands man's limited capacity and accepts that we dont comprehend everything. Thats a very basic tenat of all science. My impression is that his objection is in believing in made up fairy tales in lieu of a true understanding. But I dont presume to speak for him. But I think you're projecting attitudes onto him that arent there.
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#848950 - 04/08/05 07:25 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
We may or may not be able to model every aspect of the universe, but the only chance we have at truth is squandered if we turn our backs on reason.[/b]

Where do you get the idea that understanding and accepting the limitations of man and science is turning one's back on reason? Hardly so - it is in fact turning one's back on reason to refuse to accept the obvious, which is that the further science and man goes, the more one realizes just how little is actually known.

Evolution, for example. I readily accept the fact that all things adapt and change - "evolve" if you like that word. I do *not* accept the extremes of evolutional thought however, that says man used to be a monkey, which used to be a fish, which used to be a virus. *Reason* says it isn't possible, and science has yet to prove it. Take your feet for example.... if we evolved from something else in a process of survival of the fittest, each "version" of man improving over eons - why do you need shoes?

*Reason* is a word that can be used like a double edged sword. An atheist might say a person who believes in a higher power isn't using reason and is therefore a simple minded fool. The person who believes in a higher power can also make the case that the atheist has tossed reason out the window, because reason won't square with the science they view as the end of the discussion. Ultimately, *both* views come down to faith, both views constitute religion, and reason can be used for and against both views.
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#848951 - 04/08/05 07:28 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
Ever think about why we listen to music - pretty senseless if one thinks about it. Sounds of different frequencies that cause pleasurable feelings?

Uh huh...what if a friend says that music is a waste of time?

You explain that music has the ability to make you feel really good - a really special place - that you value music and it is an important part of your life. You say that it uplifts you and that you feel that your enjoyment of music is a gift - one you appreciate.

The other person says you're getting high and mighty with him - that you're condescending and preachie about music. They think you're putting on "airs" - trying to sound sophisticated and above them.

When she met me, my "ex-wife" thought it was wonderful that I liked classical music - because in her mind that was a "classy" thing. She liked the concept better than the reality. She actually hated classical music and hated more that I spent time with it - that it was a part of my life and not hers.

God (or fate or whatever) has given each of us different gifts - love of music, a heightened sense of curiosity, a greater propensity for spirtuality - or sometimes different flavors of spirtuality.

When any of us speak of those things that are closest to us - our "gifts" or "blessings" - it can be easy for others to feel looked down upon.

I rarely think this is the case.

I think in most instances this is just someone being grateful for the "gift" or "blessing" of music, of feeling a sense of grace or sense of wonder. I think those who have something they feel special in their life - wish that others could have the same joy that they do.

Am I "better than you" if I really love music? Of course not...but I still feel "blessed" or having a gift that someone else may not have. I would not look down on someone for not feeling as I do towards music. If anything, it makes me feel more grateful that I do have a love of music.

K

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#848952 - 04/08/05 07:28 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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sorry for double post

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#848953 - 04/08/05 07:31 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
My impression is that his objection is in believing in made up fairy tales in lieu of a true understanding. But I dont presume to speak for him. But I think you're projecting attitudes onto him that arent there.[/b]

But for him to dismiss God as nothing but a made up fairy tale is *Jeffrey* showing a lack of capacity to understand, and is arrogance on *his* part. That is my whole point. We're right back to where we started.
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#848954 - 04/08/05 07:32 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by kluurs:
sorry for double post [/b]
it was a good post.
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#848955 - 04/08/05 07:47 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Where do you get the idea that understanding and accepting the limitations of man and science is turning one's back on reason? Hardly so - it is in fact turning one's back on reason to refuse to accept the obvious, which is that the further science and man goes, the more one realizes just how little is actually known.
Oh i don't, i mean i accept the limitations of man, and the possible limitations of science but i do not think that provides justification for accepting religious ideas.

 Quote:

Evolution, for example. I readily accept the fact that all things adapt and change - "evolve" if you like that word. I do *not* accept the extremes of evolutional thought however, that says man used to be a monkey, which used to be a fish, which used to be a virus. *Reason* says it isn't possible, and science has yet to prove it. Take your feet for example.... if we evolved from something else in a process of survival of the fittest, each "version" of man improving over eons - why do you need shoes?
You see my friend this demonstrates your lack of understanding of evolutionary theory and the supporting evidence rather than any problem with it.

Reason in terms of providing a rational argument is entirely behind evolution. Infact evolution is _logically inevitable_ given the properties of DNA, the enormous evidence is simply the icing on the cake.

Why do i need shoes? Well, I don't, but having used them for 20 odd years it would take a while to get used to not wearing them. And my feet would get dirty which isn't exactly socially acceptable these days.

 Quote:

*Reason* is a word that can be used like a double edged sword. An atheist might say a person who believes in a higher power isn't using reason and is therefore a simple minded fool. The person who believes in a higher power can also make the case that the atheist has tossed reason out the window, because reason won't square with the science they view as the end of the discussion.
Not using reason in a specific context does not make one simple minded, it is very human to do so. It simply means that in that specific context you aren't likely to get anywhere near the truth.

Also, your usage here of "reason" seems to be very vague, what you mean by it. When i say reason i simply mean logical deduction, the method used to determine the validity of a hypothesis.

 Quote:

Ultimately, *both* views come down to faith, both views constitute religion, and reason can be used for and against both views.
You are mistaken, faith can be present in both views, or faith can present in neither. I hold no faith, none what-so-ever, i consider the entire concept of faith intellectually worthless, i appreciate some people feel it enriches their lives, but in terms of finding the truth, faith is a complete waste of time as it can be used to justify anything at all. One can have faith that evolution did not occur, or faith that the world will end next year, faith that the Earth is flat or faith that mice are the most intelligent organisms on the Earth (that one's true btw), etc. etc.

Deduction and the available evidence is the only guide to the best bet when it comes to truth. There is no need for faith when one has (this form of) reason.
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#848956 - 04/08/05 08:02 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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A few years ago, I injured my back. I was unable to stand for more than a few seconds - and if you looked at me, you would think that I was a cripple.

I saw countless doctors, therapists, etc. I was drugged and surgery was spoken of.

I went to all kinds of people - and finally a friend suggested something called "cranial sacral therapy."

I went to a woman who practiced this.

As I lay upon the table, she gently touched my scalp. Every few seconds, she changed her position. I was a very gentle touch.

She's explaining all this "nonsense" about energies in the body. I'm thinking, "oh god, I'm seeing one of those people who is into crystals and candles and carp."

Then, I started thinking about what a waste of time this was - and what a bunch of nonsense.

Meanwhile she was gently moving her hand under my back as she's explaining this nonsense theory to me.

I'm thinking, "waste of money, waste of time."

But at least she wasn't doing anything painful - everything was gentle, relaxing and actually quite pleasant - though a waste of time.

After an hour of being with this silly woman and her silly ideas, I stood up for the first time in a month - without pain...

I thought it was funny. Here, I disparage everything she believes in. I had no faith in her - and yet, voila, I'm a whole human being again.

Some of us are more like engineers. We like to deal in reality - things that are proveable, repeatable, etc. I understand that. But every once in a while I like it when I'm wrong - better yet when I'm wrong and someone who believes in the Easter Bunny is right.

If you haven't seen "Being there" - do...

Ken

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#848957 - 04/08/05 08:12 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Some of us are more like engineers. We like to deal in reality - things that are proveable, repeatable, etc. I understand that. But every once in a while I like it when I'm wrong - better yet when I'm wrong and someone who believes in the Easter Bunny is right.
Oh i'd love to be wrong about quite a lot of things, the question is how do we determine when we are wrong? You changed your mind based on evidence, (though i might question the strenght of that evidence), i think possibly the most important aspect when constructing our ideas is that they be falsifiable, infact, that is one of the reasons i discount many religious ideas, they lack of that key property.
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#848958 - 04/08/05 08:12 AM Re: Let Us Pray
JBryan Offline
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Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
Just some more "empty rhetoric" from my feeble intellect. \:\) [/b]
At least your clear on that point. [/b]
Just the response I expected. You demonstrate projection quite well.
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#848959 - 04/08/05 08:16 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
My impression is that his objection is in believing in made up fairy tales in lieu of a true understanding. But I dont presume to speak for him. But I think you're projecting attitudes onto him that arent there.[/b]

But for him to dismiss God as nothing but a made up fairy tale is *Jeffrey* showing a lack of capacity to understand, and is arrogance on *his* part. That is my whole point. We're right back to where we started. [/b]
Ok first, let me shift the focus to be speaking for me, now, because this is slipping into speaking for jeffrey.

The fairy tales I refer to are the religious myths that have the same quantitative and qualitative elements of what we know to be mythology. (And when I say fairy tales, I mean that as mythology, just with a little punch of condescension \:\) ) "God" itself I separate from the mythology, although linked, there are differences.

But I'm not following how coming to a conclusion about religion being mythology is demonstrating a lack of capacity to understand. It clearly shows the understanding of its academic similarities to mythology. There is no misunderstanding about that. The only thing that is lacking is a belief or faith in the system. Not an understanding.

And to your earlier posts about this limited capacity thing, saying science cant know everything, yes that is true. But what I find most puzzling in this exchange is all the remarks of how people KNOW there is a God. What happened to man's limited capacity to 'know'? You say Jeffrey cant know the absolute about our universe because he's just a man, then you and others say they DO know the absolute about our universe and it is God. Seems a contradiction.
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#848960 - 04/08/05 08:40 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
 Quote:

Some of us are more like engineers. We like to deal in reality - things that are proveable, repeatable, etc. I understand that. But every once in a while I like it when I'm wrong - better yet when I'm wrong and someone who believes in the Easter Bunny is right.
Oh i'd love to be wrong about quite a lot of things, the question is how do we determine when we are wrong? You changed your mind based on evidence, (though i might question the strenght of that evidence), i think possibly the most important aspect when constructing our ideas is that they be falsifiable, infact, that is one of the reasons i discount many religious ideas, they lack of that key property. [/b]
Actually, I didn't change my mind about the therapist's notions of "energies" and so forth. I just assumed that "something" she did helped me - and when you're in excruciating pain, you really get down to a very binary way of seeing things - helps - doesn't help. She helped. I was happy. I didn't care about her theories.

As for risk/benefit analysis. Did you ever see the film, Lilies of the Field? The underlying premise is that if you are right and there is no God - and this is all there is fine. If "they" are right and there is a God, and you've denied him, you have an eternity to spend in a damnable place. Seems prudent to do a few good works "just in case." ;\)

A relationship with God, Tao, or that cute woman you met at the recital - eventually come to a point - "am I a better person for having known this person?"

As for Christianity, it has many dark stains upon its history. And belief in a higher being has lead to horrendous evils - from human sacrifice to war to torture, etc. This is sad but true...the greatest evil often assumes the cloak of good.

- to be honest, my greatest crises of faith came at an early age. There was a young boy on my block who was shy but friendly. He was hurt in an accident. After that, his personality changed radically. What was once a gentle child, became an angry and violent person. I wondered - how does God judge the behavior of someone who has less control than I have? If you will, we're all dealt different cards - different strengths and weaknesses - different personalities.

How can we be judged the same?

The answer is we are not God. We are not the judge.

K

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#848961 - 04/08/05 09:03 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Actually, I didn't change my mind about the therapist's notions of "energies" and so forth. I just assumed that "something" she did helped me - and when you're in excruciating pain, you really get down to a very binary way of seeing things - helps - doesn't help. She helped. I was happy. I didn't care about her theories.
Ah ok, understood.

 Quote:

As for risk/benefit analysis. Did you ever see the film, Lilies of the Field? The underlying premise is that if you are right and there is no God - and this is all there is fine. If "they" are right and there is a God, and you've denied him, you have an eternity to spend in a damnable place. Seems prudent to do a few good works "just in case."
That is Pascal's wager, i'm afraid it fails because it assumes only two possibilities when infact there are many.

I judge the God's of every religion (and indeed theoretical God's that are not part of any religion) as equally unlikely so there is no way of maximising my chances if there is after-life.

Say i worship/believe in the Christian God, but it turns out that actually it's the Muslim God [infact even limited to those two brackets there are numerous different ideas of God] that exists, i burn anyway. Perhaps instead there is an "anti" Christian God that burns the belivers and rewards the non, there are an infinite number of hypothetical possibilities.

 Quote:

A relationship with God, Tao, or that cute woman you met at the recital - eventually come to a point - "am I a better person for having known this person?"
If it makes you a better person then i am happy for you.

For me however to have a relationship with someone it's reasonably important to believe they exist \:\) . I could create a relationship with an imaginary God whilst knowing he didn't really exist, a kind of pretend, many children have relationships with imaginary friends whilst in a strange sense knowing they are not real, but i do not wish it, i want truth, i want to know reality, and every step i take down that path shows me more and more that religion and all the ideas that flow from it are purely the workings of man. I don't expect you to believe that is true, i just thought i'd take the opportunity to explain an aspect of my views on the subject.
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#848962 - 04/08/05 09:11 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
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Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
That is Pascal's wager, i'm afraid it fails because it assumes only two possibilities when infact there are many.

[/b]
Yes, and it also is impractical in that it presupposes that belief in a god is a choice. It is not. I can not choose to believe in god anymore than I can choose to believe in Santa Claus. I suppose one can systematically undergo a self-brainwashing to the point a belief becomes genuine, but thats not what is being offered by Pascal. He is suggesting that one should consider stepping thru the motions of belief just to cover one's a$$ in the afterlife. And jsut stepping thru the motions makes no sense from either side of the coin.
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#848963 - 04/08/05 09:17 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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No one should be brainwashed - but perhaps open to possibilities...

K

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#848964 - 04/08/05 09:20 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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My life has been a series of goofy, usually embarassing moments strung together to keep me humble...very humble...extraordinarily humble.

I doubt that the universe could have strung these gaffes and awkward moments together via a randomn method.

God has a sense of humor. I am but a pawn...

K

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#848965 - 04/08/05 09:26 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by kluurs:
No one should be brainwashed - but perhaps open to possibilities...

K [/b]
Oh I agree. And that is my biggest problem with the religious advocates. It is them that I see not open to possibilites. There is such an infinite realm that obviously exceeds man's capacity to comprehend, yet religions are so stuck on painting these myths onto the unknown that are so obviously of earthly origin, totally undermining the gloriousness of what actually is out there.

The link posted on Kryon's lecture does a great job with this point. No one in the glass of water can see the ocean, so they assume god and the universe is defined within the context of the glass. Myths are about limiting possibilites, not about being open to them.
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#848966 - 04/08/05 09:38 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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Anything that man can screw up, he will.

Doctrines are the provence of organized religions.

Christ would not be entirely happy with what has been done in his name any more than Mohammed, Abraham or Buddha.

In fact, some would argue that none of these people wished to found a religion as much as they demonstrated a way to live one's life.

Ken

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#848967 - 04/08/05 09:39 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Dapper50 Offline
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Registered: 08/27/03
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Loc: Rockville, MD
How does one scientifically prove the existence of God? If one accepts (for the sake of this discussion) that God is indeed omniscient and omnipresent, how can this be demonstrated? Given the apparently hard and fast limit to the rate at which information can be transmitted (light speed), for God to be omniscient would require simultaneous presence in all locations at the same time. How does one then demonstrate the presence of something that is everywhere simultaneously? Given the difficulties in imagining such a presence using standard physical concepts, what would one look for? As a Christian, I have been asked for my proof of God scientifically. I state that I cannot do so, nor would I attempt to do so. It is something I sense. Evolution? There is little doubt that it operates at the micro scale, and although there is more doubt about it at the macro scale, I have never considered the theory of evolution to be in conflict with the possibility of the existence of God, for who am I to place limitations on how God operates?

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#848968 - 04/08/05 09:45 AM Re: Let Us Pray
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
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Loc: Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by kluurs:
In fact, some would argue that none of these people wished to found a religion as much as they demonstrated a way to live one's life.

Ken [/b]
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#848969 - 04/08/05 09:50 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

How does one scientifically prove the existence of God?
There is no such thing as scientific proof, it's basically an oxymoron. Nothing in science is ever proved except in the sense of proof beyond reasonable doubt (which is just equal to lots of evidence/derived theory).

Strong evidence for God is hypothetically quite straight forward, some physical structure that bore a message no human could possibly know, a mathmatical proof well beyond our current maths, grand unified theory, a future prediction for a large chaotic system etc.

Or perhaps prayer could actually work in a easily observeably manner, to build a plane you use physics, if you could use prayer instead that would be pretty strong evidence for something God-like.

 Quote:

the apparently hard and fast limit to the rate at which information can be transmitted (light speed), for God to be omniscient would require simultaneous presence in all locations at the same time. How does one then demonstrate the presence of something that is everywhere simultaneously?
With hypothesis, prediction, experiment. But you seem to be limiting your tri-omni God to within the sphere of physics, many would disagree with that.

 Quote:

Given the difficulties in imagining such a presence using standard physical concepts, what would one look for?
Physical concepts are not as limited by imagination as you might think, that is somewhat irrelevent. But first one would demonstrate that there is something God like, some cosmic style intelligence with great power, then you would further examine it's properties. If suddenly anyone who prayed and believed could make an object float, that would be pretty strong.

 Quote:

Evolution? There is little doubt that it operates at the micro scale, and although there is more doubt about it at the macro scale
There really really isn't. But that's kind of another topic.
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#848970 - 04/08/05 09:54 AM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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Loc: Chicago
I should clarify. Organized religion does provide many good things - from a way to join other like minded individuals in sharing fellowship and gratitude for one's blessings to aid in crises to providing a spiritual family, etc.

Just, wherever man is involved, a mess will follow.

Prayer, meditation, humility, gratitude, empathy, compassion - are tools of a spiritual life.

Companions on the journey can help.

Ken

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#848971 - 04/08/05 10:19 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Dapper50 Offline
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Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 50
Loc: Rockville, MD
Moonbat:

Very interesting response-thank you!

As for There is no such thing as scientific proof, it's basically an oxymoron, I would suggest that mathematical proofs might possibly enter into the realm of science, other wise I agree.

But you seem to be limiting your tri-omni God to within the sphere of physics, many would disagree with that.

I had hopefully indicated in my last sentence that I in fact do not apply such limits. However, to provide a proof to humans would, IMHO, require evidence within the realm of observable physics.

Physical concepts are not as limited by imagination as you might think, that is somewhat irrelevant.

I am aware that the imagination should have essentially limitless reach (11 dimensional string theory, anyone?). My concern is given such possibilities, which might be taken as proof of God?

a future prediction for a large chaotic system etc.

It is doubtful that a full prediction of a truly chaotic system would ever be possible, given the inherent unpredictability of such a system.

There really really isn't. But that's kind of another topic.

Actually, there is doubt, even among those with training in the biological sciences, but as I stated, I dont see the validity or lack of same to the theory to be an impediment (mind you, I am not a fundamentalist).

Again, thanks for the thoughtful comments.

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#848972 - 04/08/05 10:37 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

I would suggest that mathematical proofs might possibly enter into the realm of science, other wise I agree
That's true, but a mathematical proof is only a proof with regard to the maths, not with regards to what the maths says about the world we live in.

 Quote:

I had hopefully indicated in my last sentence that I in fact do not apply such limits. However, to provide a proof to humans would, IMHO, require evidence within the realm of observable physics
I'm not sure that's true, God could break laws of physics and doing so could constitute strong evidence: like prayer powered planes that defied Bernoulli.

 Quote:

It is doubtful that a full prediction of a truly chaotic system would ever be possible, given the inherent unpredictability of such a system.
That's kind of my point, we couldn't do it, but God could, which is why it would be strong evidence.

 Quote:

Actually, there is doubt, even among those with training in the biological sciences.
I think you are mistaken my friend, i live and breathe science, and whenever i speak to biologists they either sit back and laugh hysterically or become irritated when we speak of the public debate regarding common descent.

There are questions regarding the specific form evolution takes, the relevence of neutral mutations, how much of an impact mechanisms for large change like punctuated equilibrium are etc. but the fundamental ideas are rock solid. They are not beyond doubt in the sense that they could be falsified, but they are comparable to say the theory heliocentricity or the germ based theory of disease, that is they are "proved" beyond reasonable doubt.

There are of course individuals who doubt evolution, like Behe, but there are individuals who doubt anything and everything, but when taken as a whole an overwhelming majority of scientists view common descent as fact.

 Quote:

Again, thanks for the thoughtful comments.
Any time \:\) .
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#848973 - 04/08/05 10:56 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Dapper50 Offline
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Loc: Rockville, MD
Moonbat:

Again, thank you for your response.

That's true, but a mathematical proof is only a proof with regard to the maths, not with regards to what the maths says about the world we live in.

But can one claim to understand science unless it can be expressed in the language of mathematics?

I'm not sure that's true, God could break laws of physics and doing so could constitute strong evidence: like prayer powered planes that defied Bernoulli.

Perhaps God could do so, but why? To prove something to us?

That's kind of my point, we couldn't do it, but God could, which is why it would be strong evidence.

See above.

I think you are mistaken my friend, i live and breathe science, and whenever i speak to biologists they either sit back and laugh hysterically or become irritated when we speak the public debate regarding common descent.

I too am a scientist, with a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Zoologyclearly an institution strongly supportive of evolutionary theory. I have not stated that I hold substantial reservations about the theory. My concern is this, however: Peer pressure applies not merely to the ignorant masses, but to those who have been inculcated with a particular mindset. It would take enormous personal strength, perhaps to the point of career/graduate degree suicide, to speak out against the dogma (again, the dogma may well be true). The majority opinion may not be correct, but clearly only time will tell. Perhaps those few who do not laugh or get irritated may have a point or two worthy of consideration.

By the way, what are you studying over there in Merry Ol England?

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#848974 - 04/08/05 10:58 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
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Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dapper50:
How does one then demonstrate the presence of something that is everywhere simultaneously? Given the difficulties in imagining such a presence using standard physical concepts, what would one look for? [/b]
Well, I understand the thought experiment you're engaging in here, but just as a tangent, its not at all inconceivable to be "everywhere" at once. Given the notion of higher dimensions to our universe (the fourth is accepted, string theory predicts eleven), limitations of our 3D world are not considered a constraint. Even in current physics, quarks for instance are known to be in 2 different positions at the same time. I havent quite digested that yet, but its accepted.
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#848975 - 04/08/05 11:09 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:

Strong evidence for God is hypothetically quite straight forward, some physical structure that bore a message no human could possibly know, a mathmatical proof well beyond our current maths, grand unified theory, a future prediction for a large chaotic system etc.

[/b]
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here, but these things would not be strong evidence for God. They would only be strong evidence for intelligence beyond our own. Which is by no means necessarily God.

I LOVED the treatment Star Trek TNG did on this. When they were hiding in a duck blind to observe a primitive proto-vulcan society, and they were discovered. All their technology made them appear like God to the primitive people. Praise the Picard! they said. And then ofcoure started killing each other to try to please the Picard. Well done, TNG. My favorite line, Ryker:"Its worse than we thought, they're starting to believe in a God".
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#848976 - 04/08/05 11:35 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

But can one claim to understand science unless it can be expressed in the language of mathematics?
Well in many instances perhaps not, but the mathematical proof only takes you from a certain number of starting assumptions to a derived result, it does not prove that those starting assumptions are correct. Hence it does not proove that the result actually applies to the real world. That afterall is why we need experiment.

 Quote:

Perhaps God could do so, but why? To prove something to us?
Well my point was not whether God would choose to do so, merely that it would constitute strong evidence if he chose to do so.

 Quote:

I too am a scientist, with a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Zoologyclearly an institution strongly supportive of evolutionary theory. I have not stated that I hold substantial reservations about the theory.
Ah you are a scientist, i am merely a student (though i would like to believe a reasonably gifted one). Because i took a lot longer than i should have done (damn my health) many of my undergraduate companions are now finishing PhDs.

Please do not take any offense in my comments i will happily bow to your superior knowledge of many things, i simply am putting forward the way i see things.

 Quote:

My concern is this, however: Peer pressure applies not merely to the ignorant masses, but to those who have been inculcated with a particular mindset. It would take enormous personal strength, perhaps to the point of career/graduate degree suicide, to speak out against the dogma (again, the dogma may well be true). The majority opinion may not be correct, but clearly only time will tell. Perhaps those few who do not laugh or get irritated may have a point or two worthy of consideration.
I agree with you wholeheartedly, they are certainly worthy of consideration one should _never_ discount an idea merely because it is unfashionable but the upside is that if one is going to challenge accepted theory one needs a strong argument. The closest i have seen to a strong argument against evolution is the intelligent design movement specifically the irreducable complexity as championed by Dembski and Behe, but that seems to have been completely refuted, genetic algorithms created electronics that demonstrated examples of irreducable complexity, many of the building blocks of seemingly irreducable complex structures like flagella are seen within other biological systems (like the immune system). Overall the concept that evolution can co-opt systems that are already present seems to knock the irreducable complexity argument to pieces.

Going back to your point regarding peer pressure, science is conservative but if there is a strong argument and good evidence based on a sound method then revolutions happen, revolutionary ideas do penetrate peer review IF they are methodologically sound. And yet the literature appears entirely barren when you look for proposals opposing common descent.

Perhaps it is simply bias in the peer review system but then other revolutionary papers in other subject are published, there are papers questioning the tennents of quantum theory and other highly established theories, there was a paper published in a chemistry journal that claimed that if you extract all the gas from a water then it will mix with oil, that is complete heresy, it suggests that almost all of our understanding of forces in fluids is wrong yet it was published (and then AFAIK refuted).

Even if we accept that for some reason biologists are more biased than other scientists, when we examine the arguments put forward in the creationist literature we don't find anything that has not already been knocked to pieces. There seem to be no new academic arguments, only the old arguments that have been answered.

Like all of science evolution is falsifiable but it just seems to me well beyond reasonable doubt, a view that appears to be echoed within the scientific community.

 Quote:

By the way, what are you studying over there in Merry Ol England?
I graduated from Bristol with a degree in Chemistry last year and next year i do a masters in Nanomaterials at Imperial. After that a PhD though i have no idea what it will be in. I want to know it all, but i must choose a narrow speciality, such a dilemma.
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#848977 - 04/08/05 11:38 AM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
I wish Chickgrand were here. I think he would truly enjoy a conversation with you, Moonbat.
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#848978 - 04/08/05 11:42 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here, but these things would not be strong evidence for God. They would only be strong evidence for intelligence beyond our own. Which is by no means necessarily God.
Well it depends on how one defines God. Prayer powered planes would be good evidence of a an intelligence capable of reading thoughts and bending the laws of physics to their own whim. That fits some of the definitions of God.

An answer written in the sky in burning flames for grand unified theory, with a few verses from various religious texts, and big booming voice explaining that this was our creator calling to say hi. Would be fairly good to.

 Quote:

I LOVED the treatment Star Trek TNG did on this. When they were hiding in a duck blind to observe a primitive proto-vulcan society, and they were discovered. All their technology made them appear like God to the primitive people. Praise the Picard! they said. And then ofcoure started killing each other to try to please the Picard. Well done, TNG. My favorite line, Ryker:"Its worse than we thought, they're starting to believe in a God".
That was a good episode \:\) .

 Quote:

Even in current physics, quarks for instance are known to be in 2 different positions at the same time. I havent quite digested that yet, but its accepted.
In a sense electrons (and presumably quarks) are in an infinite number of positions at the same time. Two electrons can also be in the same place and the same time. Bizarre things fundamental particles \:\) .
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#848979 - 04/08/05 11:56 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Dapper50 Offline
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Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 50
Loc: Rockville, MD
Moonbat:

Once again, thank you for your well-considered response.

Please do not take any offense in my comments i will happily bow to your superior knowledge of many things, i simply am putting forward the way i see things.

If there is anything I have learned, it is that presuming superiority in any given subject is a sure way to end the learning process. I find it extremely difficult to learn if my mouth is always flapping, and my ears closed! You should bow to no one, especially not to one who pretends to speak from a position of intellectual authority. Frankly, given how long it has been since I was a graduate student, or even a practicing scientist (I am a director of excellent scientists), I highly doubt that my current scientific knowledge is equal to yours. Over the years, I have learned that scientists often have a propensity for putting on blinders to approaches they deem nonscientific. Moreover, aspects now considered to be metaphysical nature at present may enter the realm of the physical later. I believe it is appropriate to always question, even matters considered resolved. For example, elevated serum cholesterol was often considered highly correlated to increased risk of heart disease. Recent evidence is beginning to cast doubt on that notion, perhaps such that the correlation may not be tightly linked to causality (correlation versus regression).

Incidentally, I also took a leisurely route to my Ph.D. I actually spent two years as a public school teacher prior to returning to school. Sometimes I envy those who are still in school, but as I like to indicate to those willing to listen, learning should never stop, nor should humility, for no matter how much we may think we know, it amounts to only a smidgen of the universe of knowledge, and that which we may so believe to be true may over the course of time be shown not to be.

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#848980 - 04/08/05 12:40 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moonbat:
Well it depends on how one defines God. Prayer powered planes would be good evidence of a an intelligence capable of reading thoughts and bending the laws of physics to their own whim. That fits some of the definitions of God.

An answer written in the sky in burning flames for grand unified theory, with a few verses from various religious texts, and big booming voice explaining that this was our creator calling to say hi. Would be fairly good to.
[/b]
I still dont agree. These are incidents of superior technology, propogating arbitrary messages contrived at the whim of the perpetrator. Picard could have had Jeordi write such a message in the sky with phasers, fully convincing the pointy eared people. But as he quite clearly insisted, he was not thier god. (I love how he refused to go down there with a set of commandments to get them to stop killing each other in his name)

But anyway, that doesnt show god in the traditional religious sense. However, god as a mythological construct used as an icon for that which the people fear, awe, and dont understand, then yes, that is sufficient evidence for that notion of god.
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#848981 - 04/08/05 12:50 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

Over the years, I have learned that scientists often have a propensity for putting on blinders to approaches they deem nonscientific. Moreover, aspects now considered to be metaphysical nature at present may enter the realm of the physical later. I believe it is appropriate to always question, even matters considered resolved.
 Quote:

learning should never stop, nor should humility, for no matter how much we may think we know, it amounts to only a smidgen of the universe of knowledge, and that which we may so believe to be true may over the course of time be shown not to be.
Thank you for your comments, i think they constitute excellent advice. Thanks for the interesting discussion.
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#848982 - 04/08/05 12:55 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Dapper50 Offline
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Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 50
Loc: Rockville, MD
Moonbat:

"Thank you for your comments, i think they constitute excellent advice. Thanks for the interesting discussion."

You are welcome. If I may quote a wise young person:

"Any time"

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#848983 - 04/08/05 01:21 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
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Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:

Over the years, I have learned that scientists often have a propensity for putting on blinders to approaches they deem nonscientific. Moreover, aspects now considered to be metaphysical nature at present may enter the realm of the physical later. I believe it is appropriate to always question, even matters considered resolved.
 Quote:

learning should never stop, nor should humility, for no matter how much we may think we know, it amounts to only a smidgen of the universe of knowledge, and that which we may so believe to be true may over the course of time be shown not to be.
I like these too. I find that the limitations of science are what make life most exciting. What I mean by that is that anything outside of explainable physics always has and always will appear to be magic. And that allows us to experience these phenomena with the wide eyed wonderment of a child. As a kid, I was in love with Big Foot, Nessie, UFOs, etc. As I've grown, my taste for such things has become more sophisticated, but anything that is gonna require an expansion of the box to accomodate is the most exhilirating aspect of the human condition. imho of course.

Edit: let me add, that expanding the box to demystify the phenomena and explain it, is equally as glorious. Its this exploration and discovery of the universe on all levels that allows one to be a perpetual kid.
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#848984 - 04/08/05 02:43 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Moonbat Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Bristol, England
 Quote:

I still dont agree. These are incidents of superior technology, propogating arbitrary messages contrived at the whim of the perpetrator. Picard could have had Jeordi write such a message in the sky with phasers, fully convincing the pointy eared people. But as he quite clearly insisted, he was not thier god
Technology can only operate within the laws of physics not outside them. Now granted we have limited knowledge, so you could interpret prayer powered planes (and prayer powered other things) as being somehow operated by an advanced alien race, who can read our thoughts have some kind of magic levitating technology based on physics we don't know, and wish to fool us into believeing there is a diety.

But to me given the above scenario there is a more obvious explanation, that there is some kind of cosmic intelligence capable of changing the laws that govern the universe.

In the fantasy books i often read there are various clerics and who through prayer to their various Gods/Godesses (who also turn up now and again) can do all manner of things, if i lived in such a world i would believe in those Gods/goddesses. One can propose alternative explanations, one can _always_ propose alternative explanations, we could be brains in jars living in a virtual world rather than experiencing reality. It just seems to me that there are scenarios where the most obvious explanations is some kind of cosmic intelligence.
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#848985 - 04/08/05 03:27 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Horace Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 505
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom--K:
Here's something. I believe in God--he's been good to me. Really, I don't know much about business. I never have and never will. You look at my answers in the "hay you financial geniuses" threads--and mine come across as pretty dufus. I really don't know business.

But, I bet you can roll all the financial geniuses together and I can easily buy and sell them.

I never was much good with girls, No girlfriends in HS, one in college. Then my wife--babe of all time, Yale, Columbia, georgous, and all that. Did pantyhose ads for Hanes stockings. Good Catholic to boot.

The kids--not the time to get into it, but gifts. Two gifts.

All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good.

God has blessed me. And I'm thankful.

There is a God.
And why--I don't know. But, I know I'm not that good and he's blessed me. [/b]
Tom, you magnificent bastard, you have said it all. Unfortunately, most here will never figure it out because they take themselves far too seriously. [/b]
Allow me to paraphrase:

"God has chosen ME to make a lot of money and have sex with a beautiful woman and have wonderful offspring! I am God's chosen!"

"How refreshing it is to see someone who doesn't take himself seriously!"

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#848986 - 04/08/05 03:43 PM Re: Let Us Pray
kluurs Offline
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Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
I heard TomK say... I am amazed at my blessings and thankful for them. I know that it is not through my doings that I possess these things, but through the hand of another.

Do you still see arrogance?

K

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#848987 - 04/08/05 03:46 PM Re: Let Us Pray
justme Offline
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Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horace:
Allow me to paraphrase:

"God has chosen ME to make a lot of money and have sex with a beautiful woman and have wonderful offspring! I am God's chosen!"

"How refreshing it is to see someone who doesn't take himself seriously!" [/b]
That's not how I read it at all. Wow!
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#848988 - 04/08/05 03:56 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Horace Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 505
Yeah you're right. It's not TomK that takes TomK seriously. It's *God* that takes TomK seriously (in TomK's view). That's *much* better and surely the sign of a centered and humble sense of ego and self. He's just like the rest of us, except for the Divine Intervention that's maximized his worldly pleasure in this life and which will guarantee him eternal salvation in the next.

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#848989 - 04/08/05 04:03 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horace:
Yeah you're right. It's not TomK that takes TomK seriously. It's *God* that takes TomK seriously (in TomK's view). That's *much* better and surely the sign of a centered and humble sense of ego and self. He's just like the rest of us, except for the Divine Intervention that's maximized his worldly pleasure in this life and which will guarantee him eternal salvation in the next. [/b]
I know, I know. God rewards those he loves both in the hither and the yan...And the rest of you you're plan "B". \:\(

Sigh, I'm a just old line Calvinist at heart. \:\)

Who says I'm not a Troll? \:D \:D \:D

Seriously, if God isn't being good to me--then I'm utterly FANTASTIC.

It's either one or the other.

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#848990 - 04/08/05 04:58 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Horace Offline
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Posts: 505
Just own it. You're an egomaniac who's not satisfied with having "everything", you also need to rub everybody else's nose in the fact that you have it. You can try to assuage your guilt over your egomania by attributing everything to God, but you're not gonna fool those of us with an objective view of human nature.

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#848991 - 04/08/05 05:05 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horace:
Just own it. You're an egomaniac who's not satisfied with having "everything", you also need to rub everybody else's nose in the fact that you have it. You can try to assuage your guilt over your egomania by attributing everything to God, but you're not gonna fool those of us with an objective view of human nature. [/b]
Fine, I'm an egomaniac, everybody knows that. But you haven't answered my question. Am I that good or does God love me that much?

So Horace, what to you think? \:D

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#848992 - 04/08/05 05:12 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Horace Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 505
I think you have a particular set of skills, desires, and circumstances that have led you to your particular position in life. I think you are very intelligent and creative. It's up to you to consider that as "fantastic", "lucky", "Divinely chosen", or whatever. I'll consider it "inevitable", given the billions of people in the world, all but one of which I am not.

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#848993 - 04/08/05 05:27 PM Re: Let Us Pray
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
time could tell..... the important thing is how much Tom loves God, not vice versa.

Remember the story of Job? .... the rich man who was blest with camels and sheep and riches and lands...who still loved God after he lost all that he had including his health..
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#848994 - 04/08/05 06:39 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
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Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
TomK: "I'm a just old line Calvinist at heart."

So how does this Calvinist thing really work? I mean, if nothing we do can possibly make us deserve salvation, then I have as good a chance as any, right?

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#848995 - 04/08/05 06:44 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
Horace,

The answer is:

Tom--K as I created the on line "personality" is bit of an egomaniac, not too much, but just enough to be a bit grating, or at least that's the way he was intended. (These things do take on a life of their own!) He likes to get on his high horse about things. On the other hand he has a glimpse of self knowledge, not too much, but just a bit to be vulnerable at the most unexpected times. It's one of the things that gives a bit of edge to the character.

All the best--

Bill \:\)

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#848996 - 04/08/05 07:03 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
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Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
apple: "Do you help people altruistically?"

This is a very interesting question. A quick response would be to point out that religion doesn't really give a reason for acting altruistically. If the idea is that God rewards me for being good by sending me to Heaven, and punishes me for being bad by sending me to Hell, then I am not really acting altruistically when I help someone else, I am only acting in my own long-term self interest. Buddhist arguments for "altruistic" behavior have the same form: altruistic actions help my future re-incarnations.

More later on secular approaches to the "Why be moral?" question, from Plato to the present. (My doctoral dissertation was on moral philosophy, including questions like this.) I must now go feed the baby, who is being a little fussy right now.

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#848997 - 04/08/05 10:11 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
If the idea is that God rewards me for being good by sending me to Heaven, and punishes me for being bad by sending me to Hell[/b]

This is not what Christianity teaches. Not even close.
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#848998 - 04/09/05 11:36 AM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Thank you Larry.

I dropped out of this thread because I was offending people by talking about lack of understanding.
I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, because I don't mean it like that. But as you can see there are some huge misconceptions about basic tenants of Christianity.

How can I have communicate what I want to if someone's understanding of God is: I do good, I am rewarded. I do bad, I am punished.
I hope I can learn to better articulate what I'm thinking, so that I can share understanding without insulting.
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#848999 - 04/09/05 02:37 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Dwain Lee Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horace:
Just own it. You're an egomaniac who's not satisfied with having "everything", you also need to rub everybody else's nose in the fact that you have it. You can try to assuage your guilt over your egomania by attributing everything to God, but you're not gonna fool those of us with an objective view of human nature. [/b]
Well, that was certainly objective, and spot-on.

:rolleyes:

This real-live Calvinist, whom I'm sure Tom could buy & sell multiple times over, understood perfectly what he meant. Of course, I'm probably not being objective.

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#849000 - 04/09/05 02:41 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
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Posts: 5934
Dwain, I was only being arch about the Calvinist thing--please forgive me. I was teasing a bit.

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#849001 - 04/09/05 02:47 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Dwain Lee Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
Why, did you think that offended me? I laughed at that line, bud! Sheesh, everyone's so worried about offending everyone else around here; you'd think we were walking around on a college campus or something. \:\)

The "arch"-itect,

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#849002 - 04/09/05 03:13 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Horace Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 505
Ok. God spends His time making sure TomK has billions of dollars. Praise be to Him. Now that we've established that He has no problem affecting material things here on Earth, I can only be awed at what must be the complexity and inscrutibility of His plan, what with all the murder and disease and war and cruelty and then the one rich guy in America.

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#849003 - 04/09/05 03:14 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dwain Lee:
Why, did you think that offended me? I laughed at that line, bud! Sheesh, everyone's so worried about offending everyone else around here; you'd think we were walking around on a college campus or something. \:\)

The "arch"-itect, [/b]
Dwain--we have MODERATORS around here. We have to be nice! You don't have to worry you're that way already--but this is a whole new thing for me. \:D

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#849004 - 04/09/05 03:23 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Dwain Lee Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
No Tom, you're wrong on that count. See, you're not the only one that screens his true character online. You created a TomK to be more in-your-face and ornery than the real one is in person. I just created a Dwain Lee that was nice. \:\)

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#849005 - 04/09/05 03:24 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Jeffrey Offline
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Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Larry: "I do *not* accept the extremes of evolutional thought however, that says man used to be a monkey, which used to be a fish, which used to be a virus."

That's not what evolution teaches, not even close. Look up the word "cladistics" and then we can talk.

At any rate if people don't want to admit that ministers and Sunday schools around the land teach that those who don't follow God's word and sin go to hell, while heaven is for those who follow the straight and narrow, then well, we might as well argue over whether white is black, or up is down. No point in debating someone who won't accept plain facts into evidence.

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#849006 - 04/09/05 03:45 PM Re: Let Us Pray
KlavierBauer Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
please display said facts...
And please if you're going to include the whole Christian Church in what's "being taught" then please give forth examples for each branch.
For example, I am an Orthodox Christian, please show me some branch of Orthodoxy (Russian, OCA, Greek, Antiochian) that teaches in the "pulpit" and in Sunday School that people doing good go to Heaven while people doing bad go to Hell.

This is just totally false.

Yes, one or more of the the ~10,000 (source: David A. Barretts World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World A.D. 19002000) Protestant denominations may teach this, or snake handling, or any of a number of heretical teachings. But this is not a tenant of the Early Church, and to my knowledge is not a standard teaching of any of the "early" branches of the Church (Catholic or Eastern Churches in communion with Rome, or Orthodox).

More than anything it makes me sad that there are Christians out there giving you the idea that this is normal teaching.
I'm very sorry that there are professed Christians out there thinking this is sound Theology. It is clearly not what Christ taught, nor what his Apostles taught.

Perhaps this is the basis for much of our misunderstanding.

EDIT:
For Protestants out there I want to be clear that I'm not dismissing Protestant teachings... I grew up in a Presbyterian Church. I'm just using the early Church as some sort of standard or baseline for what is "Christian" - not dismissing everything that isn't "Early Church".
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#849007 - 04/09/05 03:49 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dwain Lee:
No Tom, you're wrong on that count. See, you're not the only one that screens his true character online. You created a TomK to be more in-your-face and ornery than the real one is in person. I just created a Dwain Lee that was nice. \:\) [/b]
:D \:D \:D

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#849008 - 04/09/05 09:25 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Larry Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
At any rate if people don't want to admit that ministers and Sunday schools around the land teach that those who don't follow God's word and sin go to hell, while heaven is for those who follow the straight and narrow, then well, we might as well argue over whether white is black, or up is down. No point in debating someone who won't accept plain facts into evidence.[/b]


No offense Jeffrey, but if sinning kept people out of heaven, the place would be empty. That's the whole point of it - we *all* are going to sin. *None* of us can walk the straight and narrow good enough to get there. Both of these views are man trying to get to heaven by their own efforts, and that is completely contradictory to the teachings of Christianity.

There is only one way to get there, Jeffrey. Walking the straight and narrow won't do it. Not sinning won't do it. Both are impossible tasks. But the way to do it is simple Jeffrey, so simple you could do it in less time than it took you to read this. You don't even have to get out of your chair.
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#849009 - 04/09/05 09:39 PM Re: Let Us Pray
yhabpo Offline
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Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 489
 Quote:
There is only one way to get there, Jeffrey. Walking the straight and narrow won't do it. Not sinning won't do it. Both are impossible tasks. But the way to do it is simple Jeffrey, so simple you could do it in less time than it took you to read this. You don't even have to get out of your chair.
Why didn't you say it? Are you ashamed? Were you self-conscious of the fact that the evangelical preaching is too embarrassing to come out of your mouth?

You are insubstantial.

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#849010 - 04/09/05 11:49 PM Re: Let Us Pray
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
There is only one way to get there, Jeffrey. Walking the straight and narrow won't do it. Not sinning won't do it. Both are impossible tasks. But the way to do it is simple Jeffrey, so simple you could do it in less time than it took you to read this. You don't even have to get out of your chair. [/b]
I find it not simple, nay, borders on impossible, to believe, accept, and invest faith in notions that seem utterly ludicrous. I'd have to get out of a lot more than my chair to accomplish that.
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#849011 - 04/10/05 12:15 AM Re: Let Us Pray
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6186
Live by THE FORCE.

THE FORCE is the only true path.

May THE FORCE be with you.[/b]
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