Burner Impressions of Christianity

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:21 pm

Why this topic bugs the shit out of me, Im not sure, except that the title "Impressions" is beyond lame, the original poster who was promoting an incredibly dense academically masturbatory thesis hasn't posted in ages, and religion is like the weather. Everybody talks about it but still it persists and nothing ever gets done about it.

I need a vacation I s'pose

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itwazed
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Post by itwazed » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:34 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:Why this topic bugs the shit out of me, Im not sure, except that the title "Impressions" is beyond lame, the original poster who was promoting an incredibly dense academically masturbatory thesis hasn't posted in ages, and religion is like the weather. Everybody talks about it but still it persists and nothing ever gets done about it.

I need a vacation I s'pose
Well you could always just decide to ignore it (as burners were usually pretty good at tuning out whatever we dont wanna listen to). For me its a very interesting and valid topic and Ive had some fun with some my fellow posters but hey if it makes you happy maybe we could make it about next years theme...Im def in support of a EB's idea (posted in another thread) of "Donky fucking" anyone else with me.
Fly Fat ASS!!! FLY!!!!!
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dana
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Post by dana » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:26 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote: religion is like the weather. Everybody talks about it but still it persists and nothing ever gets done about it.
yeah that's probably what they were thinking when they started fire-bombing churches.....

Which reminds me - Why should you never piss off a Unitarian?








They might burn a question mark into your front lawn.



(realized my first post was way too dicey!)

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:39 pm

I don't think Tibetan buddhists see it that way.
Restoring temples has run into unusual conflicts because they are considered to be operational buildings.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Post by dana » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:09 pm

gyre wrote:I don't think Tibetan buddhists see it that way.
Restoring temples has run into unusual conflicts because they are considered to be operational buildings.
Interesting that you would bring that up on a thread about christianity.

The Jews have generally been castigated because they were said to have sold out Jesus and the act of dying on the cross transformed into "dying for your sins". But historically cruxifixon was exclusively used by the Romans as a means to put political instigators to death.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:35 pm

dana wrote:
gyre wrote:I don't think Tibetan buddhists see it that way.
Restoring temples has run into unusual conflicts because they are considered to be operational buildings.
Interesting that you would bring that up on a thread about christianity.
I thought a lot of the discussion was about religion and faith in general.
I missed the next page so maybe it wasn't clear I was referring to the faith discussion.
I was making a reference to christianity anyway.
Just because some people have decided christianity works a certain way doesn't preclude other frames of reference.

I have relatives who tell me you have to be born again to be saved, whatever that means.
It makes no more sense to me than obligatory faith.
It's a cultural assumption, that's all.
Most people never think about why.

Why do you think so many people think christianity is an exclusionary religion, while buddhists think everyone is included, including christians?
Perhaps that belief is better for the church, rather than for the individuals involved, that faith is a requirement?

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:08 pm

dana wrote:The Jews have generally been castigated because they were said to have sold out Jesus and the act of dying on the cross transformed into "dying for your sins". But historically cruxifixon was exclusively used by the Romans as a means to put political instigators to death.
Is this really the general feeling anywhere?
Christianity is a splinter group of Judaism after all.
Every church I have been to has embraced the connection to Judaism and Israel, some more than others.

There was a national meeting of evangelical christians that regard Israel and the jews as part of the endgame for their religion.
The Israeli ambassador was there.
He was asked if it disturbed him that there were contradictions between their two points of view, especially relating to the fate of the world and jews.
He said we are both waiting for the messiah.
When he arrives, we will ask him if he is returning or just arriving.
Then we will know which of us is to convert.

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Post by dana » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:31 pm

gyre wrote:
dana wrote:The Jews have generally been castigated because they were said to have sold out Jesus and the act of dying on the cross transformed into "dying for your sins". But historically cruxifixon was exclusively used by the Romans as a means to put political instigators to death.
Is this really the general feeling anywhere?
You've never heard that before? The whole bit about Pilate washing his hands? Its almost become a bizarre assumption that some people think explains the endless persecution of jews.

My point was something along the lines that oppressors (the Roman conquerors or even Chinese) will tend to look for the religious leaders to persecute or kill when they want to subdue a population. But that act can end up feeding into what I think is one of the worst parts of religion - the elevation of martyrs. For the Romans it was simply political expediency, but it got turned into dying for all of our sins - an elevated death. There are christians who would still love to have the chance to suffer in the name of christ. Certain Pentecostals really get into it, with actual self flogging or a few actually nailing themselves up. Bhuddists, (even though I generally really admire their approach and wonderful natures!) are not completely immune. You remember the priests self-emulating themselves during the Viet Nam war?

All of this stuff ends up filtering into our cultural consciousness. Some people think they have to suffer to show their love.
Part of what I'm saying is that I totally disagree with Teo's stance of "Well Religion is bizarre so let's just ignore it" or something along those lines? Those ideas end up really ingrained in our culture and I think it bears examination. I do think we're at a transition period. The more I think about it, the more I like what itwazed and Sam are doing. They're like subversives in the Christian faith, helping to gradually tweak it in new directions.

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Post by Me2 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:50 pm

jaycerochester wrote:If I may use the same condescending tone, you think there is an all-powerful deity because you can't get your limited mind around the concept of a universe that has simply existed for all time and that there is no such thing as an all-powerful deity.
TOUCHE!

It was not my intention to be condescending but inquisitive. I apologize for any misunderstanding.
In other words, faith can't be argued.
I agree. You either have it or you don't. It's a choice you make.
So in the end, how is there any way to tell that God is all-powerful and unwilling, or very powerful but not all-powerful? Now we're back to faith. I say it doesn't matter -- unwilling or unable, my world is no different.
I have known ppl who have used this sort of circular agument to explain their 'superior' god to me before. It pisses me off! (Not u, I'm agreeing with u)
One underlying assumption here is that having faith is a good thing
Wow! I'd never thought of that before. Thanks. I love it when ppl through stuff at me that really makes me grapple with my own understanding of systems.
Likewise, we're like cells in a body. We do stuff and seemingly random things happen in the world. Yet there's a kind of order to it all -- there are rules that govern how things work.

This system of rules -- the whole of it all -- all the trees and air and stars and beers -- is everything we are aware of able to know what it is? We're just a part of a bunch of stuff, and we can't tell whether there's something bigger out there.

In the end, maybe there is, and maybe there isn't. There's just no way to tell.
Thanks. Now I ge it! We're all interconnected. We can only see the 'Tapestry' from underneath, not the finished work. Therefore, things that appear unconnected in the universe may in fact be intimately related.

I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

Thank you for challenging me.
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Me2
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Post by Me2 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:23 pm

Flon wrote:
Me2 wrote:If you can have faith that the post man will deliver your mail, why can't u have faith in a God u can't see.
I think you are comparing two concepts that differ wildly while, due to the ambiguity of language, sharing the same word ("faith"). The first is a prediction that something will happen based on informal analysis of past statistics - "The postman almost always delivers my mail so I have faith he will deliver it today. The second is a belief that something exists because you were told it exists or want it to exist, even though there is no empirical evidence supporting that belief (and, in fact, there CAN NOT be evidence - see my next point) - "I have faith in God because the Bible tells me he exists". These two concepts don't seem equivalent at all.
You're right. In hindsight I should have used a better example. (scratches head and can't think of one right now.....)
I think you have it right that science and religion are not at odds with each other, but that is because neither can touch on the other's realm without destroying itself. If you use religious belief to explain natural phenomenon, you are no longer engaged in science; and if you use scientific method to prove religious belief, you will either fail or remove that belief from the realm of religion.
I wasn't really thinking of natural phenomena per say but just the original Divine creation that we call Earth. S/He got the ball rolling, so to speak, and scientists poke, prod, study, examine and dismember it in an effort to comprehend the intricacies of it.
Let me clarify that last point with a thought experiment: Suppose a god dropped down from heaven, manifested himself, and preformed undeniable miracles (such as parting a major sea or making something intelligent come out of Paris Hilton's mouth) , all while under strict experimental conditions. Belief in this being is no longer a religion, its common sense. Theology departments are transferred from the humanities division to the science division at universities (of course having their budgets triple and faculty salaries double). Scientists begin searching for the fundamental particle of religious belief (the theon?) only to find that attempts to observe and measure it result in it transmuting into another particle (the skepton) because of the "Deification Uncertainty Principle". A powerful congressman from Texas manages to get the $5 billion "super-believing super-prayer" sited in his district to study this particle. If it happens to be one of those petty control-freak gods who will smite you if you eat the wrong meat, don't cover your entire body with potato sacks, or poke your member into the wrong orifice, then spurning that meat, sack-wearing, and member control no longer are religious practices. Like not wearing your sheet over your head in Harlem or not getting out of your car to dance "Swan Lake" on the freeway, these things are just things you do to stay healthy.
This is a very witty satire. I enjoyed it immensely. And your point...??
The point is, religion *IS* faith, and removing it from faith makes it no longer religion
No, I'm sorry but I will have to disagree with you on this one. religion is most definately NOT faith. Religion is a mechanism invented by man primarily to keep ppl under control and steal their money. Faith is a thing of untouchable beauty held gently within us and manifesting itself in outward actions of love towards our fellow man.
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Post by Zhust » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:14 am

Me2 wrote:
One underlying assumption here is that having faith is a good thing
Wow! I'd never thought of that before. Thanks. I love it when ppl through stuff at me that really makes me grapple with my own understanding of systems.
I think I have an answer to my own question of faith and goodness. It goes back to my post about transrationalism: if something is proven rationally then it makes no sense to have faith in the opposite.

So "perfect" faith is having faith in that which is proven unprovable. I think we've proven with logic that from our vantagepoint, it is impossible to determine whether there is a god that is all-powerful or not, so it makes sense to have faith in that one way or another. Likewise, you can only have faith in the outcome of the roll of a die for it's provable that the outcome cannot be predicted (unless you're cheating).

"Bastardized" faith is having faith in that which is already proven, especially the opposite. Can we agree that standing on train tracks and letting a train hit you at full speed will result in severe injuries or death? -- and if we do agree, then does everyone also agree that having faith that one can do that and be saved by God from all injuries would be a foolish belief?

Between those extremes lies the bulk of human existence, though. Is global warming real and is it caused by man? If you can demonstrate evolutionary changes in fruit flies in a lab, or show how over generations, moths camouflage colors change in the presence of pollution: does that necessarily mean that is nature's mechanism for the existence of species? Are words written in a history book at all related to the events that happened in the time being discussed? How can talking convey ideas and why can we do it so much better than other animals?

So to me, the words "faith" and "belief" are largely interchangeable. I find that "faith" refers closer to what I was saying was "perfect faith" than "belief". Also, what one believes can be changed by new evidence while faith is less mutable.
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dana
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Post by dana » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:21 am

Jaycer, I thought I might use BB Sue's quote to answer your points on faith and belief.

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:[Where you get into trouble is removing the possibilities because it falls outside one's "beliefs", be they theistic or athestic. What if... it's *all* correct?
What she's talking about is one of the classic mindfucks of phenomenology. The experience of reality that you end up with depends on what "measuring device" you use. Science and empiric observation is only one form of "measuring device". Belief and individual experience is another.

I realized that my points about the difference between faith and belief may still be too vague or you simply dissagree? Faith is more of an intellectual exercise, a kind of model for how people might imagine that reality may be constructed beyond what is obvious. It can never be proven and it will never be experienced.
Belief will be experienced. You used the example of people wanting to have faith in God and that faith possibly protecting them from what would appear to be imminent death. Faith will not provide protection but belief can. Why? Partly because it is an actual decision on how reality will function. There are multiple incidents which people report all the time about experiencing a "miraculous" cure or survival of what should be a fatal accident. (Having had it happen to me and hearing about those situations in others, it seems a valid belief that is quite beyond the explanations of science.)
I'll use one of those as an example. A freind was rock climbing and cratered out head first from 20 feet up - a ground fall onto rocks. He should have sustained a subdural, cranial fracture, laceration or died - one or more of those. Nothing more than a bump. Out of that he developed a belief that "there is more out there that can't be explained logically." (based on experience) From that point he embraced faith - he became a Christian.

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Post by Zhust » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:05 am

dana wrote:
Bay Bridge Sue wrote:[Where you get into trouble is removing the possibilities because it falls outside one's "beliefs", be they theistic or athestic. What if... it's *all* correct?
What she's talking about is one of the classic mindfucks of phenomenology. The experience of reality that you end up with depends on what "measuring device" you use. Science and empiric observation is only one form of "measuring device". Belief and individual experience is another.
However, that which is being measured -- reality -- is absolute.

Empirical observation is an excellent tool for predicting how the physical world will behave. As a bonus, science and experimentation ... er ... good science and good experimentation produce results that measure how accurately and how reliably their predictive abilities are. Newton's observations about gravity are imperfect but quite accurate and extremely reliable. Doctors' abilities to predict cancer survivability are statistically accurate but -- for individuals -- not particularly reliable.
dana wrote:I realized that my points about the difference between faith and belief may still be too vague or you simply dissagree? Faith is more of an intellectual exercise, a kind of model for how people might imagine that reality may be constructed beyond what is obvious. It can never be proven and it will never be experienced. Belief will be experienced.
I don't mean to be condescending but that which can never be proven and will never be experienced is what I call "imaginary". It makes me think, though ...

My first thought was to compare, "I imagined that I went to a place in another dimension and communicated with other people" versus the same statement, replacing "imagined" with "have faith". The difference is that by having faith, one is professing knowledge of an actual event. The experience is the same, though.

I remember a friend of mine saying she went to another realm and visited one of her friends. At the time he was going through some tough things mentally and she was unable to help him. After visiting him in this other realm, things improved between them. She [believes/has faith] that this non-physical meeting was real and helped whereas I [believe/have faith] that this was in her mind that allowed her to find the door to the empathy she needed to really listen without judgment.

My second thought was that of predicting how things will go. I'd like for this year's Burning Man to be like most years: hot in the day with wind and cool at night -- certainly not rainy nor really cold in the day. If I have faith in that, I won't bother planning for the latter. Because I don't, I'll have some contingencies in place. In the end, it probably will be like most years -- and for those who had faith, this will affirm that faith whereas I think they just got lucky with poor planning.

Dare I say that an affirmation of faith is equivalent getting lucky with poor planning?
dana wrote:Faith will not provide protection but belief can. Why? Partly because it is an actual decision on how reality will function. There are multiple incidents which people report all the time about experiencing a "miraculous" cure or survival of what should be a fatal accident.
This is just people mixing up statistics. Being the kind of OCD planner I am, I fantasize that someday I'll be driving and a meteorite or an airplane will fall out of the sky, just missing me. When interviewed by the news, I already know my pithy response when they say, "you are so lucky": "I'm not lucky, I'm just not profoundly unlucky." In other words, it's not lucky that this thing just missed me, it's just that I'm not so unlucky that such a rare event would cause catastrophe in my life.

As for people with miraculous stories, of course that happens. If it didn't, then there would be no need for cancer treatment or emergency services. If it were certain that somebody would die, then they would be dead. No EMT starts CPR on a corpse with their head separated from their body (for a humorous twist: confuse the subject of the qualifying clause!) The reason they dig through rubble looking for survivors is because, statistically, there are survivors.

To say that belief shapes reality is putting the cart before the horse. You can believe all you want, but you will die if you cut your head off. If you deliberately put yourself in a situation of risk on the belief that it shapes reality -- if you happen to win, then perhaps it was just getting lucky with poor planning.

Dare I say now that perhaps "belief" is equivalent to "faith"?
dana wrote:A freind was rock climbing and cratered out head first from 20 feet up - a ground fall onto rocks. He should have sustained a subdural, cranial fracture, laceration or died - one or more of those. Nothing more than a bump. Out of that he developed a belief that "there is more out there that can't be explained logically." (based on experience) From that point he embraced faith - he became a Christian.
Sometimes people do survive like that and he was just not profoundly unlucky. If he were lucky, he'd not have fallen.

Regardless, it doesn't bode well for Christianity that getting conked on the head lead him to Christ. :lol:
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Post by dana » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:39 am

jaycerochester wrote:To say that belief shapes reality is putting the cart before the horse.
Exactly. Maybe you're catching on? (I'm not trying to imply that this is an easy concept that will lend itself readily to mere intellectualizing.)

As far as your friend goes, she started with an idea that was more faith than belief but she started with the definite belief that "there's more going on, I believe this is possible." Then she had the experience. She is now supporting a new belief.
Until you can measure, quantify, or otherwise determine the exact workings of the subconscious mind, you would not be able to say she is full of shit (as you seem to think about your friend.)

Here's a little challenge for you Jaycer. Can you think of any time when you completely changed a belief? Do you know what the circumstances were that allowed you to change that belief? (You will probably tend to link the change to events which challenged the old belief. But can you find those changes in your thoughts and feelings that provided an environment which would foster the new belief?)

As far as my friend goes, it really says nothing about Christianity. He could have gone in any direction after developing that new belief. Christianity for him was merely an easy and readily available avenue. He met a pretty cool woman that was a Christian!

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Post by dana » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:00 am

jaycerochester wrote: However, that which is being measured -- reality -- is absolute.

. Doctors' abilities to predict cancer survivability are statistically accurate but -- for individuals -- not particularly reliable.
As for people with miraculous stories, of course that happens. If it didn't, then there would be no need for cancer treatment or emergency services. If it were certain that somebody would die, then they would be dead.
Jaycer, I thought I should also respond to these ideas as well.

Do you believe you or anyone is capable of "measuring" all of reality? That would be quite something!!

Do you know what determines a major part of why one person survives a disease and another doesn't? Belief.
You've heard of placebo effect? Belief.


You could decide to loosen up your belief thresholds a little. But then you probably think that would lead to "fuzzy thinking"? Can't have that!!

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Post by Me2 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:08 pm

:if something is proven rationally then it makes no sense to have faith in the opposite.
Unless, that is, one considers that rationality to be flawed. Take for example The Theory of Evolution. There are more than a few ppl in the world who consider the Theory to have major flaws in terms of evidence, time-line and feasibility. Therefore, even though it has been 'rationally' proven by some, others still choose to believe in Creation based on a lack a belief in Evolutionary theory.
So "perfect" faith is having faith in that which is proven unprovable.


Perhaps; though isn't it a common occurrance for ppl to make the evidence fit their 'faith'. If someone is cured from a terminal cancer is that the result of someones blind faith, a 'medical miracle', a random and unexplainable occurance. It can be all of the above based on the perspective you choose to view it from.....Therefore, doesn't it come right back down to phenomenology and lived experience/reality??
"Bastardized" faith is having faith in that which is already proven, especially the opposite. Can we agree that standing on train tracks and letting a train hit you at full speed will result in severe injuries or death? -- and if we do agree, then does everyone also agree that having faith that one can do that and be saved by God from all injuries would be a foolish belief?
Didn't ppl in Jesus day flock to be with Him because He had already proven that He could perform miracles of healing?? Was that "bastardized" faith?

So far as the train goes, yes you'd have to be a complete moron. But I'm pretty sure that's called "presuming God's grace" and a big no no.
Between those extremes lies the bulk of human existence, though. Is global warming real and is it caused by man? If you can demonstrate evolutionary changes in fruit flies in a lab, or show how over generations, moths camouflage colors change in the presence of pollution: does that necessarily mean that is nature's mechanism for the existence of species? Are words written in a history book at all related to the events that happened in the time being discussed? How can talking convey ideas and why can we do it so much better than other animals?
Yes...and I'm not convinced.
Not necessarily.
History is written by the victors (...and always men).
Due to a shared system of meaning, and who said we do it better than animals. Perhaps animals are intelligent enough to not want/need to communicate with us.
what one believes can be changed by new evidence while faith is less mutable
I have to agree with u there. :)
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Post by Green Wood » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:24 pm

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... &start=300

from AZ's "GODs" thread:

I wouldn't walk up to people and say 'Hey, you want to join Adolph Hitler, you want to join a hate group, you to want to worship Adolph Hitler?" When I came to your community I didn't pull out the swastikas. I pulled out the Bible.

AZ's got a point about how christainity draws you in a seductive way praying on people pains and hungers.

And in the end it's about more about satan and hell.

Do you guys believe in this Satan and Hell thing?
I might be green, but I can burn brite with the help of my playa friends!

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Post by spectabillis » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:40 am

well, we build an effigy of a man and burn the fuck out of him.

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Post by Teo del Fuego » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:44 am

dana wrote:yeah that's probably what they were thinking when they started fire-bombing churches.....
No one here advocates that, certainly not me.

I think Buddhism (which I do not consider a religion but more of a philosophical approach) has come closest to what I intuit about existence. I don't need the esthetic trappings of Buddhism but the major tenants are beautiful.

I think the Big Three (J, C, and I, in order of appearance) are all extraordinarily fear-based negative religions baked in the same harsh and brutal desert sands of the Middle East. Hundreds of years ago when distances and mountain ranges kept us from bumping into each other so easily, it was not as much of a problem to worship vengeful exclusionary gods. Now, it is leading to the unraveling of the fabric of our civilisation.

I do not beleive there is a God who is personally involved in our lives. If there is, he or she is an incredibly callous egotistical and negligent god, particularly when you remember that one of the 911 planes was filled full of children returning from a field trip. I bet a whole lot of innocents were praying their asses off on that plane. Yeah,m I know, the beleivers will rejoin that this was part of a bigger plan we cannot see. I don't care. I refuse to worship a god who allegedly is omnipotent, omniscient, and allows innocents to burn alive.

Oh well, I haven't said anything here novel or profound, just re-hashing the same old same old. I think it is high time for people to find the courage to stand up and speak the truth about what is going on in the world today. But we are, as a civilisation, cowering in fear under brutality.

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Post by dana » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:22 am

Teo del Fuego wrote:[I do not beleive there is a God who is personally involved in our lives. If there is, he or she is an incredibly callous egotistical and negligent god, particularly when you remember that one of the 911 planes was filled full of children returning from a field trip. I bet a whole lot of innocents were praying their asses off on that plane. Yeah,m I know, the beleivers will rejoin that this was part of a bigger plan we cannot see. I don't care. I refuse to worship a god who allegedly is omnipotent, omniscient, and allows innocents to burn alive.
(My other comment was meant as more tangential ironic bad humor than directed at you.)

OK, I see that thought I quoted above a lot and I think its part of the old religion that needs to be weeded out. It is this idea that God creates it all for us and we're simply passive recipients of "God's Will".

If you read the links that Heyzeus posted, one of them had a section about what distinguishes modern (new age) theology from the old religious thoughts about how God "works". Bay B Sue touched on this as well - the idea that God and ourselves are both all part of a continuum of consciousness that imbues everything. Hard-line Christians hate that idea (because it implies responsibility and choice is part of the equation??)
"Free will universe" means that God will not interfere.

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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:46 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:Yeah,m I know, the believers will rejoin that this was part of a bigger plan we cannot see.
God has told me that he sent the big plan back to be re-scripted.

We are now on the short plan!

Teo del Fuego wrote:I refuse to worship a god who allegedly is omnipotent, omniscient,
Or so you would rather worship a God that's importent?

Sort of on a psedo-viagra relationship with your God!

"Dear God, I sacrifice this little blue pill so I may be granted so and so!"

Puns aside, Teo del Fuego do you or could you worship a god that was not omnipotent and omniscient. A God or Gods that were created like all forms of life and that they too must conform to those greater laws- the laws of Nature?

I do. It is the most profound essence of my religion.
dana wrote:(My other comment was meant as more tangential ironic bad humor than directed at you.)
other then the tangential ironically bad humor directed to you!
dana wrote:OK, I see that thought I quoted above a lot and I think its part of the old religion that needs to be weeded out. It is this idea that God creates it all for us and we're simply passive recipients of "God's Will"..
Sadly, you can't weed it out of religion, not once you put it in a book that is. That was the main reason behind the Council of Nicea where the homogenization of Christianity took place and it’s ties to Judaism were severed. Those Christian leaders know quite well what they were there to do. Once the book or torah had been written it couldn’t ever be changed again. All the different gospels were heading on different “tangentsâ€

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Green Wood
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Post by Green Wood » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:38 pm

Apollonaris Zeus wrote:
Here is my question. Who can answer it?

Why did the God of Abraham kill Abel?

AIIZ
To get to the other side of the wormhole?

and I believe That's, Pse"u"do, AZ.

Hey, AZ! so much for that dialog these christians were speaking about, kinda makes you feel like Jesus on the night he was arested by the Romans.

"Jesus, Jesus Who?"Oh that guy, he said something about all you can eat fish and wine dinner, that's why i'm here" Sorry officer, I guess I'll just be going"
I might be green, but I can burn brite with the help of my playa friends!

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itwazed
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Post by itwazed » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:55 pm

Just a lil note since its been pointed out us christians are holding up our end of the dialouge..it may have something to do with the fact that having a discussion on this topic in this forum has turned into something akin to beating my head against a concrete wall ( im hard headed and all but come on).

God didnt kill Abel, Cain did

And I dont find my religon fear based for this reason "the fisrt commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and the second is unto it Love your neighbor as yourself; on this hang ALL THE LAWS AND THE PROPHETS"

This means that for me if a church doctrine does not fit this commandement its not valid, hence bigotry towards gays, attacks on abortion clinics, intolerence of diffrent faiths etc, etc, etc....

I rejoice and celebrate my faith and beliefs and if you havent figured that out from the many times ive posted here then just point me to the concrete wall.
Fly Fat ASS!!! FLY!!!!!
He smoked a phat cronic blunt.

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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:16 am

Apollonaris Zeus wrote:Or so you would rather worship a God that's importent? Sort of on a psedo-viagra relationship with your God!
AIIZ: you're spelling is consistently so bad, it often is hard to follow your thoughts. If you have something worth saying, it might also be worth reading once for spelling.

Omnipotent is a word meaning: having unlimited authority or power. Importent is, according to my dictionary, a word that does not exist outside of text on bathroom stalls. You quoted half of my sentence.

Here's the old thought exercise:

God cannot be all three of these at once:

1. omnipotent
2. omniscient
3. all-loving

AND tragedies such as 911 still occur. IF God knew in advance of the hi-jacking, and truly loved those aboard the planes, then he should have used his almighty power to stop the slaughter. Since he didn't we are left to wonder whether God is truly omniscient or truly all-loving, or truly all-powerful.

Christians will respond with the same old side-step, "We'll it is beyond us to know His plans for us." Then why do you pray to God? On a results-oriented analysis, praying to God is a crap shoot at best. What are the other reasons to pray? Elevation of God's ego? Perhaps the only valid reason to pray is to thank the creator and rejoice in His creation. But if He is really omniscient, he knows this already. If He is all loving, you dont need to thank him.

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Post by DJmoYst » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:51 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote: God cannot be all three of these at once:

1. omnipotent
2. omniscient
3. all-loving
Why? Your logic makes no sense. Having the ability and acting on the knowledge the ability tells are two different things. Are you saying that God dose not act. Well... look up the definition of free will mr. dictionary. God granted you and i the ability to make our own decisions.
AND tragedies such as 911 still occur. IF God knew in advance of the hi-jacking, and truly loved those aboard the planes, then he should have used his almighty power to stop the slaughter. Since he didn't we are left to wonder whether God is truly omniscient or truly all-loving, or truly all-powerful.
your argument is valid... i will elaborate why in a second.
Christians will respond with the same old side-step, "We'll it is beyond us to know His plans for us." Then why do you pray to God? On a results-oriented analysis, praying to God is a crap shoot at best. What are the other reasons to pray? Elevation of God's ego? Perhaps the only valid reason to pray is to thank the creator and rejoice in His creation. But if He is really omniscient, he knows this already. If He is all loving, you dont need to thank him.
I pray because it's a way i strengthening my relationship with God. Sometimes they're answered in the way i want, and sometimes the total opposite. But, They are always answered. And yes i do thank him for his creation. But when you do a good job on something at work don't you like to get some recognition for it regardless the fact that you know you did a great job. Or do you want an ego boost?

So back to 911. my only answer to that is- we have free will, it is one of the gifts i believe he grants us. What we choose to do with that free will is, well, our free will. This is something i truly struggle with too, but it comes back our ability to act, do and say what ever we want.
DJ MoYst aka S-DOT-K ~ Peace Love & Drum 'N' Bass

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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:30 pm

DJmoYst wrote:mr. dictionary
hmmm, mighty Christ-like.

Your post contradicts itself. At first you say I make no sense, then you seem to agree with me. Then you "explain" by missing the point.

The point has absolutely nothing to do with mankind's free-will. It has to do with a God who is purportedly able to see the future, powerful enough to stop things from happening, and full of love for all of his creation. My point, and it may seem meager to some, is that one of those three attributes is falsely ascribed to God. You cannot love the children on Flight 105 who were prayin' their little behinds off not to die in a crash, know that the crash is about to happen, have the power to prevent it, and sit back and do nothing. That's either not love, or it's a God caught unawares, or a God who cannot stop some of the bad things that happen.

Your comment about ego is an interesting lead into Buddhism. The biggest impediment to enlightment is the ego. The ego is that which makes us see ourselves separate from one another, separate from the other living things on this planet, unique from the rest of creation. Transcending the ego, which I certainly cannot profess to do but for very brief moments, causes fear to cease. It allows one to see the connections...it stops the fear that propels one to insist that there is no way but a particular religion's way.

If you want to be a practicing Christian, more power to you. It's not my cup of tea anymore, but if you turn the other cheek, love your neighbor as yourself, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you, then you are going to be a positive contribution to this world.

I just think the big three religions were effective means of imposing some sort of order on mankind--through fear of hell-fire--that has grown obsolete. We can impose order on civilisation through hope and respect for law.

But we still need something to plug the gaps in our knowledge concerning why we are here in the first place and what occurs after we die. Some still need religion for that. To me, those two questions matter not.

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:57 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:
AIIZ: you're spelling is consistently so bad, it often is hard to follow your thoughts. If you have something worth saying, it might also be worth reading once for spelling.

Omnipotent is a word meaning: having unlimited authority or power. Importent is, according to my dictionary, a word that does not exist outside of text on bathroom stalls. You quoted half of my sentence.

Here's the old thought exercise:

God cannot be all three of these at once:

1. omnipotent
2. omniscient
3. all-loving

AND tragedies such as 911 still occur. IF God knew in advance of the hi-jacking, and truly loved those aboard the planes, then he should have used his almighty power to stop the slaughter. Since he didn't we are left to wonder whether God is truly omniscient or truly all-loving, or truly all-powerful.

Christians will respond with the same old side-step, "We'll it is beyond us to know His plans for us." Then why do you pray to God? On a results-oriented analysis, praying to God is a crap shoot at best. What are the other reasons to pray? Elevation of God's ego? Perhaps the only valid reason to pray is to thank the creator and rejoice in His creation. But if He is really omniscient, he knows this already. If He is all loving, you dont need to thank him.
Teo, what’s up with “dontâ€

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Post by Green Wood » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:04 pm

Hey, Say Ooz, I was only joking about your misspelling.

I knew exactly what you meant.

Not like that other idiot hanging here.
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Post by itwazed » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:58 pm

Weve now gotten to my favorite part of this whole argument about the Divine; if God knows everything why does he not act to stop it; there are several theological arguments for this, my brother touched on the main one free will...as humans we have the divine spark in us and thus the free will to act as we see fit, some use this to perpertrate great evils, i.e. Stalin, Hitler, Attila the Hun, the 9/11 hijackers, some use this to great good Martin Luther King Jr, Gahndi, and in the greatest example for me Jesus himself.

Its also just a cheap cop out "well if God existed hes stop all bad things from happening", and then why would we even live life....theyre would be no point to exisitence if all it was sunshine and fairytales, the trials and tribulations of life are what create the good. to loosely quote the Tao Teh Ching " Rejoice in hardships for think how joyous youll be when they end" (sorry I know its a really bad loose quote but i dont want to look up the verse right now)

now if youll excuse me Ill go back to banging my head against previously stated wall.
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He smoked a phat cronic blunt.

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Post by dana » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:08 am

itwazed wrote: now if youll excuse me Ill go back to banging my head against previously stated wall.
Now now. Don't be that way itwazed. This discussion thread is really pretty damn good for this kind of subject on eplaya. If you don't believe me take a peek at the Why are you an atheist? thread.
Earlier in this thread I made the point that one thing that I like about some Christians is an eagerness to confront their understanding of their faith. (Bhuddists also do this in a rather raucous format.) There is the assumption that when you post on eplaya, you are putting your ideas up for review, consideration and possible dissagreement. (sometimes the dissagreement seems damn silly!) I think of the good dissagreements as an oppurtunity to lay out your understanding, not necessarily to convince someone, but because its a fun challenge. On the other hand, I've had to come to peace with the fact that a lot of people feel like they simply know what they know, it seems to work for them but there is no way in hell they are ever going to be able to explain it to me. This is especially true when it comes to spirituality. But I still think we should try.

Misspellings happen. sometimes they're amusing in the new meaning.


I'm building up to a sermon, soon. Busy right now. (studying spirituality of course!!)

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