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Old 02-10-2013, 21:04   #26
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Originally Posted by SIGlock View Post
You may not be a Christian....but you are still a sinner. So much for perfection. So, learn to forgive and get move on.
Considering that sin is a Christian/religious concept, how can someone who is not Christian/religious be a sinner?
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Old 02-10-2013, 21:15   #27
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Originally Posted by SIGlock View Post
Wow, all the eight years of experience there right under your belt. Smart boy. Knows it all.

Now, let's get back to the real deal. Let me tell you a little secret: The Bible is written mostly for the Saved. This book is not written mostly for the Lost to understand.

There is a secret for you to unlock it. Then you will understand. But there is a choice you have to make.
How old were you when you first believed in your god?
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Old 02-10-2013, 21:36   #28
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Originally Posted by SIGlock View Post
Wow, all the eight years of experience there right under your belt. Smart boy. Knows it all.

Now, let's get back to the real deal. Let me tell you a little secret: The Bible is written mostly for the Saved. This book is not written mostly for the Lost to understand.

There is a secret for you to unlock it. Then you will understand. But there is a choice you have to make.
I was in my 30s and already a believer when I chose to study the bible in an organized academic setting at a christian university. The experience dispelled the notion that the bible contained any sort of infallible truth and I came out the other side an atheist.

That secret you think you hold to unlocking its meaning is just a psychological defense mechanism that you've developed to avoid dealing with your own internal cognitive dissonance over the many contradictions contained in the bible.
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Old 02-10-2013, 23:08   #29
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:33   #30
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Originally Posted by SIGlock View Post
Wow, all the eight years of experience there right under your belt. Smart boy. Knows it all.
You obviously have insecurity issues about your intellect.

Quote:
Now, let's get back to the real deal. Let me tell you a little secret: The Bible is written mostly for the Saved. This book is not written mostly for the Lost to understand.
You are going to find that the non-believers in this forum understand the bible better than most believers you'll ever meet.

Quote:
There is a secret for you to unlock it. Then you will understand. But there is a choice you have to make.
By unlock it... I'm gonna assume you mean forcing yourself to believe in nonsense even though your brain tells you it's nonsense.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:18   #31
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:13   #32
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Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
I was in my 30s and already a believer when I chose to study the bible in an organized academic setting at a christian university. The experience dispelled the notion that the bible contained any sort of infallible truth and I came out the other side an atheist.

That secret you think you hold to unlocking its meaning is just a psychological defense mechanism that you've developed to avoid dealing with your own internal cognitive dissonance over the many contradictions contained in the bible.
An interesting book I recently read was, "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander, M.D. In chapter 33, "The Enigma of Consciousness", he wrote, "When I fell into my coma, I was a secular doctor who had spent his entire career in some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world, trying to understand the connections between the human brain and consciousness. It wasn't that I didn't believe in consciousness. I was simply more aware than most people of the staggering mechanical unlikelihood that it existed - at all!"..."On the subatomic level...(the) universe of separate objects turns out to be a complete illusion...no objects...only vibrations of energy, and relationships...it is impossible to pursue the core reality of the universe without using consciousness. Far from being an unimportant by-product of physical processes (as I had thought before my experience), consciousness is not only very real - it's actually more real than the rest of physical existence, and most likely the basis of it all...as of yet there is no unified 'theory of everything' that can combine the laws of quantum mechanics with those of relativity in a way that begins to incorporate consciousness.

"The ascendance of the scientific method based solely on the physical realm over the past 400 years presents a major problem: we have lost touch with the deep mystery at the center of our existence - our consciousness. It was (under different names and expressed through different world-views) something known well and held close by pre-modern religions...our focus on exponential progress in science and technology has left many of us... bereft in the realm of meaning and joy, and of knowing how our lives fit into the grand scheme of existence for all eternity."

"We have been seduced into thinking that the scientific world-view...(leaves not much) room for our soul, or spirit, or for Heaven, and God. My journey deep into coma, outside of this lowly physical realm and into the loftiest dwelling place of the almighty Creator, revealed the indescribably immense chasm between human knowledge and the awe-inspiring realm of God."

Later in the book, he says, "I'm still a scientist, I'm still a doctor, and as such I have 2 essential duties: to honor truth and to help heal..." He believes, and I suspect he's correct, that his experience broke the back "of the last efforts of reductive science to tell the world that the material realm is all that exists, and that consciousness, or spirit - yours and mine - is not the great and central mystery of the universe".

His was not the only NDE (Near Death Experience), there have been countless others well-documented. I believe he is correct in saying that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:28   #33
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I do not know where my soul came from before I was concieved.

I do not know where it will go, or even if it will continue at all, after I die.

Further, I do not believe that anyone else truly knows where the soul comes from/goes to either!

And that includes a literate sheepherder named Abraham, a failed Egyptian Prince named Moses who hijacked an entire nation, a pedophile/carvan raider named Mohammed, nor anyone else, now living or now dead, who says that "God talked to them directly" and who purports, or purported, "to know what God wants from each and all of us".

Religious leaders are politicians and con men.

Religion at it's worst is Theocratic Dictatorial Government, and at it's best a con game.

What did religion do to me?

It was more a matter of what religion did to my father, and as a result, what happened to our family.

Dad took the "turn the other cheek" BS to the point where he would not stand up for himself at all.

He let just about everyone manipulate him and then use religion as the excuse for having no spine.

I learned more about how to be a man from my mother.

He dutifully tithed the 10% family income to the scam, ...er, "church", when our family really, really, needed the money more than the con man....er, "Preacher" did.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:57   #34
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Originally Posted by Comrade Bork View Post
Religious leaders are politicians and con men.
The truly sad part is that politicians are frequently more honest than religious leaders.
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Old 02-11-2013, 13:05   #35
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"We have been seduced into thinking that the scientific world-view...(leaves not much) room for our soul, or spirit, or for Heaven, and God. My journey deep into coma, outside of this lowly physical realm and into the loftiest dwelling place of the almighty Creator, revealed the indescribably immense chasm between human knowledge and the awe-inspiring realm of God."
There are plenty of people that have taken LSD and had similar experiences. If the consciousness (or "soul" if you prefer) is a tangible thing that lies beyond our "physical realm" then why can it so easily be manipulated by psychoactive drugs, neural electrical implants and other sources of stimuli? I would submit that this doctor is simply no longer objective on the topic having experienced powerful hallucinations during a deep coma.
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Old 02-11-2013, 14:06   #36
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Originally Posted by FriarTuck View Post
An interesting book I recently read was, "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander, M.D. In chapter 33, "The Enigma of Consciousness", he wrote, "When I fell into my coma, I was a secular doctor who had spent his entire career in some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world, trying to understand the connections between the human brain and consciousness. It wasn't that I didn't believe in consciousness. I was simply more aware than most people of the staggering mechanical unlikelihood that it existed - at all!"..."On the subatomic level...(the) universe of separate objects turns out to be a complete illusion...no objects...only vibrations of energy, and relationships...it is impossible to pursue the core reality of the universe without using consciousness. Far from being an unimportant by-product of physical processes (as I had thought before my experience), consciousness is not only very real - it's actually more real than the rest of physical existence, and most likely the basis of it all...as of yet there is no unified 'theory of everything' that can combine the laws of quantum mechanics with those of relativity in a way that begins to incorporate consciousness.

"The ascendance of the scientific method based solely on the physical realm over the past 400 years presents a major problem: we have lost touch with the deep mystery at the center of our existence - our consciousness. It was (under different names and expressed through different world-views) something known well and held close by pre-modern religions...our focus on exponential progress in science and technology has left many of us... bereft in the realm of meaning and joy, and of knowing how our lives fit into the grand scheme of existence for all eternity."

"We have been seduced into thinking that the scientific world-view...(leaves not much) room for our soul, or spirit, or for Heaven, and God. My journey deep into coma, outside of this lowly physical realm and into the loftiest dwelling place of the almighty Creator, revealed the indescribably immense chasm between human knowledge and the awe-inspiring realm of God."

Later in the book, he says, "I'm still a scientist, I'm still a doctor, and as such I have 2 essential duties: to honor truth and to help heal..." He believes, and I suspect he's correct, that his experience broke the back "of the last efforts of reductive science to tell the world that the material realm is all that exists, and that consciousness, or spirit - yours and mine - is not the great and central mystery of the universe".

His was not the only NDE (Near Death Experience), there have been countless others well-documented. I believe he is correct in saying that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
So, long story short, doctor is an atheist, suffers some brain damage and comes out of it a theist. Not very compelling evidence. There are very experienced pilots that have seen UFOs. I don't find that to be very compelling evidence of aliens. After watching Cav Doc fail to grasp the simplest of concepts across numerous threads I'm convinced that being able to pass yourself off as a medical professional is definitely no indicator that one is more qualified to say anything about natural vs. supernatural world.

Also, "the last efforts of reductive science to tell the world that the material realm is all that exists, and that consciousness, or spirit - yours and mine - is not the great and central mystery of the universe".

Really? What scientific doctrine or theory or anything you can site says that the material realm is all that exists? Where does science say anything about god or Santa or bigfoot or any of that nonsense? This is always a very amusing process that you fellas have.

1. Perpetuate a myth with claims carefully imagined to be undetectable by science, (a la Russel's Teapot)

2. Complain when scientists don't take you seriously even though you nor they could come up with any ways to test your imagined scenario... given that it was designed to be untestable.

3. Bring legitimate science into question as if you had given it every chance to test your non-existent claims by means that even you can't describe (because they don't exist).

4. Seek people who want to agree with you badly enough that they'll join you in criticizing science for not being able to do what you have no clue that it can't do.


Show me a scientist that has ever said, "The material realm is all that exists and I'll show you somebody that doesn't understand the scope of science.
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Old 02-11-2013, 14:16   #37
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1. Perpetuate a myth with claims carefully imagined to be undetectable by science, (a la Russel's Teapot)
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Old 02-11-2013, 23:50   #38
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I found out that most, if not all important characters in the Bible were NOT perfect. People are all born sinners...except for Jesus.

I have a message for Gunhaver: If no one was perfect in the Bible (as Christians).....,may be you shouldn't going around expecting perfect "christians" in your own life and when they done you wrong.....you walk around with a chip on your shoulder.

You may not be a Christian....but you are still a sinner. So much for perfection. So, learn to forgive and get move on.
I was not born a sinner and I have never sinned.
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Old 02-12-2013, 00:09   #39
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I found out that most, if not all important characters in the Bible were NOT perfect. People are all born sinners...except for Jesus.

I have a message for Gunhaver: If no one was perfect in the Bible (as Christians).....,may be you shouldn't going around expecting perfect "christians" in your own life and when they done you wrong.....you walk around with a chip on your shoulder.

You may not be a Christian....but you are still a sinner. So much for perfection. So, learn to forgive and get move on.
What a lame ass response.
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Old 02-12-2013, 00:15   #40
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Wow, all the eight years of experience there right under your belt. Smart boy. Knows it all.

Now, let's get back to the real deal. Let me tell you a little secret: The Bible is written mostly for the Saved. This book is not written mostly for the Lost to understand.

There is a secret for you to unlock it. Then you will understand. But there is a choice you have to make.
What's the choice I have to make? To believe it before I even read it? How convenient.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:02   #41
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My worst experience was realizing that I had wasted 41 years of my time, energy, and money believing and supporting a lie. I'll never get any of that back. I assumed the Bible made sense but I just didn't understand it well enough to understand it. The more I studied it, the less sense it made. The more I learned about the life and times of Christ and the Roman Empire, the more evident it became that modern Christianity was invented by the Emperor of Rome to suit his needs. Without him Christianity would be a foot note in history. Pre-Roman Christianity was was even less believable than post-Roman Christianity. What a waste.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:25   #42
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What's the choice I have to make? To believe it before I even read it? How convenient.
There is a reason why most people that convert to christianity do so when they are emotionally vulnerable for one reason or another. There seems to be two types of christians, those that were raised in it and those that converted during a time of turmoil in their lives.
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Last edited by Geko45; 02-12-2013 at 07:25..
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:37   #43
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There is a reason why most people that convert to christianity do so when they are emotionally vulnerable for one reason or another. There seems to be two types of christians, those that were raised in it and those that converted during a time of turmoil in their lives.
That's why a lot of people with drug and alcohol problems get religion when they start trying to dry out. They go from "get drunk and be somebody" to "go to church and be somebody". They jump from one unrealistic world view to another without passing through reality. In some ways being a religious fanatic fanatic is better than being a drunk. You drive better. The problem is that religious fanatics can be incredibly cruel because they're sure they're right. Since they're doing God's will, how could it be otherwise.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:41   #44
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That's why a lot of people with drug and alcohol problems get religion when they start trying to dry out. They go from "get drunk and be somebody" to "go to church and be somebody". They jump from one unrealistic world view to another without passing through reality. In some ways being a religious fanatic fanatic is better than being a drunk. You drive better. The problem is that religious fanatics can be incredibly cruel because they're sure they're right. Since they're doing God's will, how could it be otherwise.
AA Actually encourages people to convert to some kind of religion. I think one of the 12 steps is to give it up to a higher power.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:48   #45
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I am a believer. And I have had many bad experiences with the church via organized religion.

You see, I do not believe the true Church, as started and loved by Christ is in " working order" today, and the posts here are just more proof of that.

Judgmental attitudes have replaced love for the people. Somehow, the church has become a non issue in the world today. Possibly due to it's lack of love and outreach to all people.

It is not our place to judge, your belief, or non belief. It is not our job to bring anyone under conviction, thats what God does through his power.

Yet, the world of organized religion, confuses people, with so many different denominational beliefs and rules. This causes division, judgement, and weakness.

A simple message, to believe, to love each other, and your neighbor, has been drowned out and complicated with denominational divide.
I had years of difficulty dealing with this. I do something's some churches condemn. I use tobacco, and occasionally have a beer.

But I am thankful, someone was sent in my direction to make me understand finally, it's a heart thing. If we take the bible as our standard of belief, then this becomes very clear. Everyone must work out this for themselves. It's about a personal relationship between you and God. Not between the religious bylaws of a denomination.

Atheists? I'm not sure I believe there is a such thing in the purest extent. I think some people have been hurt, or are searching for something to believe in. Bit I'll still extend my hand to you, and not cast judgement on your lack of belief.
Everyone has a choice, a free will, and I cannot judge how you use yours.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:33   #46
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I appreciate the comment by an earlier poster that atheism is a religion...an observation with which I agree and for which I am usually ignored.

Agnosticism is in my view a more even handed view of the great unknowns of life, as it admits that "I just don't know".

Anyone read Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" and if so how (if at all) did it influence your views on religion, atheism, and agnosticism?


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Old 02-12-2013, 08:35   #47
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FWIW paragraphs no longer seem to work here, as my above post was written with paragraphs and appeared all run together.


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Old 02-12-2013, 08:52   #48
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AA Actually encourages people to convert to some kind of religion. I think one of the 12 steps is to give it up to a higher power.
In my experience as a Drug & Alcohol counselor, I had to attend 50 AA meetings (and another 50 *A meetings) during the course of my training at the Naval Drug & Alcohol Counselor School. The Higher Power issue comes up a lot. Generally, its considered to be anything an individual gives up their will and control to. Often, that becomes the particular AA group, various religions etc., but I've also seen people choose their family, job, dog, and various other entities. There's criticism of the spiritual component of AA from both sides of the isle on this. If I come across a person that wants to turn it over to God specifically, I'll refer them to a religion based group such as Celebrate Recovery. If a person specifically doesn't want a religious group, I'll refer them to a secular one like SMART Recovery. Middle of the roaders get referred to AA, with encouragement to attend both a secular and non-secular group to see if it fits with their needs. It's far more important to me that they get with a group of like-minded people with similar goals than a specific group that I may endorse.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:28   #49
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I appreciate the comment by an earlier poster that atheism is a religion...an observation with which I agree and for which I am usually ignored.

Agnosticism is in my view a more even handed view of the great unknowns of life, as it admits that "I just don't know".
These arguments are nothing but word games that give some people the warm fuzzies. "I don't believe you" is not a religion any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby.

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Anyone read Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" and if so how (if at all) did it influence your views on religion, atheism, and agnosticism?
I read it shortly after it came out. I was still a serious Christian at the time. It has a New Age bent to it that could easily suck impressionable people in. The idea that no one dies, they just go to the end of the line and start over, is very appealing.

World War Z sucked me in as well. Well written fiction does that. People who read a lot of fiction realize this, and no matter how good the writing is, they always understand that it is fiction. It's not real and never will be. The Bible is the same way. Unfortunately, it is the only well written fiction some people ever read so they think it is real. The idea that no matter how miserable you might be, you're special because God loves you, and that when you die you will be rewarded for your belief is very appealing. Unfortunately, it's no more true than Stranger in a Strange Land.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:37   #50
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Agnosticism is in my view a more even handed view of the great unknowns of life, as it admits that "I just don't know".
I don't know from personally investigating the entire moon that Mormon church leaders were wrong about people inhabiting the moon http://www.challengemin.org/moon.html so rather than consider it bs I suppose I should keep an open mind.

I don't know for certain that Atlas is not holding the earth up so rather than consider that story to be bs I will just keep an open mind.

I don't know for certain that Balaam's donkey didn't talk to him so I had better keep that possibility open as well. After all I watched Mr Ed tv show and some Francis The Talking Mule movies when I was a young boy and those animals talked so that provides some empirical evidence to suggest that perhaps the Balaam story really happened.

I don't know with 100% certainty that Maui didn't pull a big fish out of the water and somehow convert that mass of organic material into the rocky North Island of New Zealand so I should probably leave that possibility open.

I don't know for certain that Don Genaro (from the Carlos Castaneda books) wasn't able to make giant farts that would physically push people backwards with a foul wind so I should just consider that reported occurrence as a reasonable possibility as well.

You just never can tell.
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