Friday, October 27, 2006

Yelling Fire in the Theater of Dreams

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

No, I shouldn’t say that. That’s a bit histrionic. I’m not Andrew Sullivan.

But it was awful. The irony is that the all-day seminar I attended yesterday was entitled Spirituality and Mental Health: New Horizons, New Directions. I’ll be honest. Within about 30 minutes into it, I began sympathizing with the atheists--not the obnoxious and/or crazy ones who enjoy my blog, but the indifferent and or mildly contemptuous (but not mean-spirited) ones. It was so tedious that, as I predicted, it brought back immediate flashbacks of my school days, which were like having to sit in an airport for 16 years (I’m including undergraduate work).

So, anything interesting happen in my absence?

Well, nothing that couldn't have been predicted. I’m not going to respond to all the tomtrollery, because that would simply invite another round of angry atheistic fanaticism, but there are a couple mischaracterizations of my position that I should address.

First, it is a willful misunderstanding--apparently motivated by a desire to take offense--to suggest that I in any way believe that atheists are “infrahuman.” I specifically stated that there are different kinds of atheists, and that I do not regard “negative” atheism in the same way I do “positive” atheism--the certitude that God does not exist. Furthermore, I will reiterate that atheism is by definition an infrahuman philosophy (meaning that it ignores what it presumes to explain qua humans), not that its adherents are de facto infrahuman. Some are, some aren’t, but one can obviously say the same thing about many theists.

In a way, it is similar to my views on homosexuality. As soon as you say that homosexuality is sometimes an illness, the activists want to call you homophobic and stop jumping down your throat. But modern psychoanalysis does not so much view sexuality in a binary hetero- vs. homosexual manner, but in a vertical, developmental manner. In other words, I am strictly concerned with the maturity of the sex drive, not its object. While I believe there are a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that make the achievement of this maturity more of a challenge for the homosexual, that is a separate issue. And I always--always--draw a sharp distinction between the individual homosexual and what I regard as the destructive aims of homosexual activists.

Some recent commenters have demonstrated that to touch certain varieties of atheism is to touch pitch. However, as I mentioned last week, my baby’s godparents are both liberal and generally atheistic. But they are also, needless to say, among the finest people I know. For one thing, they are very open minded and very slow to take offense, even around the most explosive issues. I am not offended by their rejection of God, nor are they offended by my acceptance. And if we weren’t separated by distance, I believe I could eventually pound my point of view into them, but that is only because they are already rational and open-minded people, which is ninety percent of the battle. Should I croak, my only request would be that they expose the boy to my writings once he is emotionally and intellectually mature enough to comprehend religion. “What was my daddy like?” “Er, hard to explain. Here. Read this. The comments too. Discern the light, then go toward it.” That’s it.

Not to re-belabor the point, but the existence of God can be proved with metaphysical certitude. However, the atheists are correct in asserting that this alone does not prove that God is good, that Brahma or Jehovah is the “real” God, or that God cares about us. Furthermore, while the jnani can prove the existence of God with pure metaphysics, this is cold comfort to the bhakta or raja yogi, who take the next step of loving or knowing (and therefore being loved or known by) God. One can actually prove that God--the necessary being--is necessarily good, but I don’t want to go there, for we’ll both just get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

This is another way of saying that you can easily prove the existence of God to yourself--as billions have--but not to others who are not inclined to believe the evidence and who are not gifted with the intellect of the jnani. (By the way, another willful mischaracterization of my view. This is not to say that atheists are not “intellectual”--which they generally are--or that I am not impressed by the triple-digit IQ of the semitic lover of pork products. I use the word intellect in its traditional sense as that which may comprehend higher knowledge with metaphysical certitude, i.e., the nous, buddhi, or psychic being [in Aurobindo’s terminology]).

On to yesterday’s conference. As a way of dealing with the tedium, I took copious notes throughout, which should be good for several posts. Let me start with the good, because there were a few interesting points. You may have known that 96% of Americans believe in God. But perhaps you did not know that 87% are aware of a need for personal spiritual growth, and that 49% have experienced God’s presence in the past 24 hours.

Did you also know that 82% of psychologists say that religion is beneficial to mental health, and that they are right? There is a very high correlation between religion and mental health, just as there is a high correlation between mental illness--especially substance abuse--and an absence of involvement in religion or spiritual practice. (It is a truism that substance abuse is an illness from which one may usually only be saved by a spiritual experience.) It has been empirically proven again and again that the presence of religion is a “protective” factor and that its absence is a risk factor for mental illness (which demolishes the outmoded Freudian view that religion is somehow an escape into fantasy, since if that were true, we would see more general pathological processes in believers). For that matter, it has also been empirically proven that the absence of religion has serious health consequences, in that religious people live longer and healthier lives in general.

There was also some interesting information on what is called in the literature Quantum Change. As someone with a psychoanalytic background, I can tell you that this kind of sudden, dramatic, and permanent change--which happens all the time--is something that traditional psychological models can in no way account for. I would guess that most of my readers, like me, have been vouchsafed at least one of these “peak experiences” (which are also peek experiences, in that they involve a lifting of the veil and a peek into the larger reality from which we had been previously alienated). These experiences--documented ad nauseam in books such as Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism or William James Varieties of Religious Experience--are always accompanied by a powerful, instantaneous, and unchallengeable recognition of their truth.

Interestingly, individuals who have had these mystical experience are not proselytizers. Often they tell no one, or just a few people, about them. For one thing, as I warned at the outset of our recent little unsolicited debate, doing so is absolutely fruitless. As Petey always says, it is pointless to butt heads with a butthead. I re-re-repeat: I have no desire whatsoever to convince the person who is at peace with either his God or godlessness. My blog is generally for two types, 1) people who are already religious but want to get more out of it, and 2) skeptical but open-minded people who would like to gain a point of entry into a form of religiosity that they can intellectually respect and wrap their minds around.

One of the most famous “quantum conversions” was that of Pascal, which vividly demonstrates the difference between the jnani “God of the philosophers” and the God that shatters all of our little cognitive containers like a cheap birthday suit, whatever that means. Perhaps I was thinking of the fact that Pascal transcribed the event while it was happening in real time, and for the rest of his life kept it sewn into the breast of his coat. It was one of many inspirations for the ecstatic conclusion of my book. Some excerpts:

In the year of grace 1654
Monday, 23 November, Feast of St. Clement,
Pope and Martyr,
From about half past ten in the evening
Until half past midnight,

FIRE!

Not the god of the philosophers and scholars.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace....

Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except God....
Greatness of the Human Soul.
"Righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee, but I have known Thee."
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy....

Let me not be separated from Him eternally.
"This is eternal life.”

Renunciation, total and sweet....
Eternally in joy for a day's training on earth
.

The atheist says, “I feel no heat, nor do I see light. Show me this fire!”

How, exactly?

Cosmonight, cosmonaught. Unfearing allahpeering darkness within darkness, benighting the way brightly. Wu, full frontal nullity!

All-embracing secret center of depth, the meaning of Within, the realization of Being, O first and last truth of Self, knowing without knowledge all that can be unKnown: existence to the end of the beginning....

A drop embraced by the sea held within the drop. Unborn body of the bodiless one, dark rays shining from a midnight sun, your phase before you were bearthed & begaialed, empty tomb of a deathlaz child.

The body, an ephemeral harmelody of adams forged from within stars, our life, a fugitive dream within the deathless, sleeping what’s his G-d name.

A Divine child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin’ yes.

Shut my mouth! Enough bull, it’s eneffable. Stop prehending. The blankety-blank hole affear is over: not a thought but the absence of thought, luminous presence, all-negating Void Supreme, immobile, self-rapt, timeless, solitary, the El Supremo at the top of the stairs, a Starman waiting in the sky, tip-toppermost of the poppermost Man on a Flaming Pie.


Same flames. Same fire. Less talent.

108 Comments:

Blogger Dan Spomer said...

I rarely post here, but the past few days here on the blog have certainly been interesting, to say the least!

I run boats for a living, and many times have to operate in the fog. Certainly I use instruments and electronics to navigate, but I also play a little game where I try to discern the direction of certain landmarks without looking at the instruments, using only my senses and instincts.

So when I'm asked "where's the shore?", I like to amuse the folks aboard by immediately pointing into the fog without so much as a glance at the instruments. Calling my shot! Spirited arguments ensue: "no way, it's that direction," "prove it!" and so forth.

Invariably, we all come to the same conclusion: without using instruments, I can't prove it. But I know exactly where it is, and I know it's there.

So then we all take a glance at the instruments, and yup... I'm right. Each and every time.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled troll feeding.

10/27/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

"Not to re-belabor the point, but the existence of God can be proved with metaphysical certitude"

Er.... how?

I've been reading your book, but it's slow work for four reasons:

1. I've recently picked up an addicted to Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
2. CONSTANT need of a dictionary or google to figure out what the Hell you're talking about.
3. Nose bleeds
4. I too am forced to waste time at professional continuing education- legal. So insulting. I look up the current law for a living, I don't need some bored retired judge to do it for me.

Anyway... like I asked, er... how?

Ben

10/27/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.

- John Newton, Former Slave Trader

10/27/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I like that description, Dan. I teach a new kind of walking/moving class and the shoes that I wear for them have a naturally unstable three dimensional surface under the heel. This means that each heel strike can be different due to the unstable surface. It encourages upright alignment because it is training the body to react instantaneously and encourages spine elongation to lift up. In fact, if you are physically looking down at your feet to see what the surface is like underneath, it ruins the alignment of the head and spine. The head can be a heavy weight/burden to the spine. I encourage people to look ahead, not down and let your body feel the surface and react up.

10/27/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ben--

I could direct you to various books, but they're much more difficult than mine.

10/27/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About BEAJ, I see he's now taken to simply misstating fact about the history/evidence of the life of Christ. Which evidence is actually overwhelming, should one want to research the bulk of that era's history plus a couple hundred or more years forward.

Naturally, coupling this with an IQ of 130 adds up to the evidence that's he's proved himself right in his own mind and there, consequently, is no God. No matter, if we don't know It all yet, we will and It'll conform predictably, or so says BEAJ, and that including the Origin of origins, the Big Spark of the Big Bang.

I must say I cannot recall the last time I saw such a display of self-contradiction; ignorant but proud.

Even my 143 IQ can see right through it, and I am usually found walking around, muttering, quite convinced the average American is quite a lot smarter then I am.

Anyway, I'm not going to get into it except to counter his mere assertion with one of my own: The evidence for the life of an individual who shook the Empire from one end to the other, commencing not long after, well, 1 AD, is common in non-biblical histories, letters, accounts, and yes, even eyewitness encounters recorded at and immediately following the time. The veracity of all is confirmed by detective-like methods that would make CSI proud.

Proof! I say. Proof that BEAJ's "God" is alive (and still wears that white beard and swings that big two-dimensional stick from under BEAJ's childhood bed.)

In fact, there's a research program run by a philosophy professor in my town (of 300k) at the local state U that would pretty much blow Mr BEAJ's closed mind about such things. It did mine, but I'm no Einstein.

Oh well. May the games begin.

10/27/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Ben,

I found the stuff written by William James to be very helpful and a lot easier to digest at first. I don't know if I would have understood Bob's stuff back when I discovered William James. And as far as I recall, WJ wrote the first psychology textbook and was a Harvard professor. I also read his biography and he was an extreme seeker. (Never cared all that much for his brother, the novelist Henry James, tho).

10/27/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally, Gagdad, speaking hypothetically, if I were to profess a conversion from childhood phantoms and then bolster my limited views on existential matters with proclamations of my lofty atheistic intelligence in order to loudly project philosophical intolerance and scientific closedmindedness about any Power Higher than my own, approximately what sort of diagnosis should I expect?

I'm thinking of taking this up but want to know if I'll clear the front psychological desk first.

10/27/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anonymous--

Hard to pin down an exact diagnosis, but whatever is, it would involve a lot of "vertical splitting" in the unconscious--one part of the mind at war with another part, or possibly even dissociated from one another.

10/27/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And then projected externally.

10/27/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

i.e., MIND PARASITES!

10/27/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous ben usn (ret) said...

Good point Dan.
I haven't the foggiest idea (OK, I do, but I needed to use the word foggiest) why some atheists choose to close their minds off to even the possibility that God exists.
As Bob points out, it's a prioridrawn conclusion on their part.
Some want proof, on their terms, of the existance of God whom they have already concluded
doesn't exist.
Is that not a sign of insecureness in their prioribelief or what?
Then, they have a...need, to tell those of us who do know that God exists, that they don't believe.
OK...we get it.
I don't believe in Loki, but I have no compelling desire to find believers of Norse mythology to tell them that, nor to curse them with vile and nasty insults.
I don't hate them or their gods, and I'm secure enough in my own beliefs that I do not have an irrational fear
of their beliefs.
Some of the atheists we had here yesterday think it is fun to bash Christians.
Fun? That's their idea of fun?
Clearly, a sadistic streak in them, implicating severe mental distress if I ever saw one (and I have).
I'm not surprised at the stats concerning higher incidents of mental illness among those who believe in absolute nada.
Good post Bob!

10/27/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Ben,
For legal continuing ed, for me, and some others I know, it is sufficient to show up and sign in, and tjohen have a nice breakfast.

10/27/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Ben, I wouldn't worry too much about what you should read, etc., or what kind of impediments you have to deal with. If you are sincere in your spiritual quest, just go with the flow, let things come to you, and take them as being part of the "lesson". Eventually you will find your metaphysical certitude.

Read Bob's book anyway.

10/27/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Ben, I wouldn't worry too much about what you should read, etc., or what kind of impediments you have to deal with. If you are sincere in your spiritual quest, just go with the flow, let things come to you, and take them as being part of the "lesson". Eventually you will find your metaphysical certitude.

Finish Bob's book anyway. There will be questions.

10/27/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said... "Read Bob's book anyway." to which I would add you're doing it the right way Ben,- slowly. Reading it briskly as if it were standard prose will cause you to miss out on many a bearthed, begaialed & harmelody's and the additional meanings they help you to tie into.
It is slow going, but FUN!

10/27/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous fergus the cat said...

I guess that was so important he had to say it twice.

10/27/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Dan Spomer said... "I rarely post here", which is a shame - I enjoyed your comment.

10/27/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

vu ja-Dei

10/27/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger HV said...

Agree that William James' Varieties is an excellent intro to the subject of religious experience. A key concept of his is the "habitual centre of his (a person's) personal energy" (Lecture 9, Conversion), and the "quantum" shift thereof.

10/27/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Vile Blasphemer said...

Along the same lines of "mind parasites", you're one of those psychologists who believe demons cause mental affliction... aren't you...

10/27/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

OK folks. Here it is as promised- JWM's harrowing narrative. Please forgive the length.

My sense of time is still wrecked. I know that today is Thursday, and that this whole thing went down on Monday, but all the time between is either compressed or expanded beyond recognition. It's easier to think in terms of distance. Colima Road, Whittier Boulevard, and Hacienda Boulevard form a triangle over steep hills that would make a great all day hike. I noticed it was 9:11 when I left the house heading west down Whittier Boulevard toward Colima. Whittier hospital is on Colima Road about a mile and a half from my house, and I was about half way there when I started feeling tightness in my chest. Under normal circumstances three quarters of a mile is not much distance, but within a hundred yards the first sensation of pressure turned to pain. It began to hurt. Bad. Angina was cranking up like feedback from a loudspeaker. Everything went into slow motion. I was walking in a cloud of pain that grew thicker and heavier with every step. I could see the ER across the parking lot receding like one of those weird nightmares where you want to run but you're mired in glue and can't move. All I could do was stay fixed on that goal and force my legs to keep going. I don't know how I made it up the steps and through the door. Somehow I just couldn't get enough air. "I think I'm having heart trouble here", I said, and collapsed into a chair in the waiting room.
Suddenly I was in the hands of people whose business is to save lives. I was poked with needles, stuck with patches, clipped to wires, and hooked to incomprehensibly sophisticated machines. I was processed, admitted, and wheeled upstairs. In the next forty eight hours I'd get to see high tech magic worthy of a science fiction novel. But mostly I lay on my back and waited and wondered what would happen next.
Doctors came and went. I found myself sleepless at three in the morning watching the sign of the cross form in the ceiling tiles. Holy cow, I thought, this is straight out of some some cornball religious testamonial. I should expect to see an angel any minute. But there was no epiphany, no luminous moment. Nor did I feel inclined to bargain with God- get me through this and I promise to reform my wayward ways. I tried to get a prayer out, but I couldn't concentrate. The best I could do was- "It's in your hands. Whatever you want. I'm OK with it." or something like that. The next day was the stress test which had me howling with pain in just over four minutes. Six hours later I had the angiogram, and the cardiologist put a stainless steel stent in one of the coronary arteries. It was 95% blocked. Five percent more and I wouldn't be writing this. There was no damage to my heart. Much to be grateful for.
I got home Wednesday afternoon. I've noticed this before in times of crisis. There's a weird giddiness- an almost surreal euphoria that kicks in to sustain you through the worst. That euphoria was draining off fast, and exhaustion was rushing in to take its place. My wife picked up the pills I'll be taking for the rest of my life. Four hundred bucks. It struck me then that we are now pretty much ruined financially. We got take out Chinese food for dinner. I climbed into bed with my wife, held on to her, and only then did it hit me what had happened. I broke down and bawled like a little kid. But it's Friday morning now. Now I'm OK, and I know that somehow this will all work out. I said a while back that there was no epiphany, no luminous moment, but I don't mean to imply that nothing happened. Only now does it occur to me that maybe I didn't need one. I guess I really have acquired some faith. Throughout the whole thing I was scared, but not terrified. I knew if I didn't make it I'd still be OK.

JWM

10/27/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous ben usn (ret) said...

JWM:
Thanks for sharing!
Sometimes the best epiphany is that calm reassurance that everything is going to be OK.
No fireworks, no fanfare, but you are there and you know that you know.
I'm glad you're back home, and still with us.
Your voice adds to the conversation.
God bless you.

10/27/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Darby said...

I've often thought that whenever someone asks what God is (or where), we should answer: God is an experience. The ultimate experience.

Referring to God as an experience has the benefit of avoiding all discussions assuming that God is a "thing" in a world of "things." This means — as of course yoga masters and mystics have always maintained — that God can't be defined, explained, categorized, or known from the outside.

You also can't argue about whose side God is on or what God has told you to do. How can an experience be on one side or another? And while an experience can influence you do to one thing versus another, you are still the one who chooses. The experience doesn't tell you to perform an act.

So there's no understanding God or obeying God. You can only decide whether it's worth the time and effort to re-tune your consciousness so that, if the mystics are right, sooner or later you have the experience of God.

I thought my blog was saturated with word play, but it isn't a patch on yours. Is it true that compulsive punning is an early warning sign of schizophrenia?

10/27/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

JWM, very glad you are still around to participate in the online festivities here in The OC. Your narrative sound like mine for July of last year, except that mine involved searing lower abdominal pain, a 911 call on a cell phone whose display showed that it had NO BATTERY LEFT,an ambulance ride down a bumpy street, an MRI, a diagnosis of diverticulitis with perforation, 5 hours of waiting for an available OR, waking up in no pain but with so many tubes I felt like a Borg, 10 days in the hospital, and 6 months of having to wear my own s*** next to my belly (a colostomy appliance). I had that same sense of euphoria when i got out of that sterile hospital into my own living room, but it too wore off as the realities of adjusting to the colostomy and how close to death I came hit me. All through it I could feel the "Still Small Voice" of God assuring me that all was in order despite what I was experiencing in the temporal, and the many visits and cards I recieved reminded me of how lucky and loved I really was. My Big, Bad, Capitalistic, Evil insurance company covered ALL EXPENSES too, which amounted to $140,000.00.

So dude, I highly relate, and I am glad you came through. I guess that both of our continued existences is the proof that Sir Francis Bacon-Eater was looking for, except that he may be too blind to see that.

10/27/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

JWM, I'm glad you're okay and thanks for sharing. Your wife and cat still need you. ;)

10/27/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger AngloAmerican said...

I have always believed that Atheism should not be for general consumption. Like homosexuality it should be regarded as uncommon and in a way an affliction that poses challenges that can be noble. It’s not for the common man who wouldn’t know a Buddha from an Olympian. Real Atheists need to have a good understanding of religion and its origins. Real Atheists have journeyed through the landscape of the Divine and rejected it because of what they perceive as callous cruelty and frankly monstrous gods. Ironically the Atheist struggles with God and then realizes that he is struggling against something that has no intelligence, no morals, no sympathy and no substance. This realization is another milestone on the journey to the end of the Way. Not for nothing is Buddhism sometimes described as an atheistic religion.

Enlightenment is approached upon realizing that omnipotence is not what it is superficially supposed to be but almost it’s very opposite. The Infinite is not cruel or kind - it is indifferent to suffering and unaware of its creativity yet it created kindness. God is absolutely an ideal and can only be ‘seen’ reflected through the mind of man and nothing else. The Bible alludes to this when it states, “we peer through a glass darkly.” The mind of man is the only mirror through which absolutes can be defined and this helps to make man himself divine.

Notions of divinity, gods and demons, exist in the imagination of man. There is the world, to be sure, but more real than the world itself with all its animate and inanimate objects is the landscape of the human mind – here monsters and gods dwell, in our dreams and nightmares and our waking moments, ready to leap from one mind to another.

10/27/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

jwm - that's plenty harrowing enough for me. Glad to have you still here - your powers of description surely haven't lost their zing.

In my own experiences, the most "luminous" ones have been, in retrospect, the most plain and sober.

10/27/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Bob, the Quantum Conversions and Joy experience you speak of remind me of what CS Lewis describes several times in his book "Joy", or the somewhat more mystical experiences told by Madame Guyon in "Union with God" and Brother Lawrence in "Praticing His Presence". Words cannot define the experience; the experience can only be defined in the larger context of God, as a kind of opening of a door into the heavenlies for just an all-too-brief moment.

The atheist might say that the same kind of experience can be had by taking LSD or Peyote, but that is simply an example of a person trying to take a short cut to God by opening a door that no person should open. Life is full of things that are useful but should not be played with or opened, such as matches, dynamite, enriched uranium and Ebola virus. Ancient history and mythology have these too: Pandora's Box, The Tree of Knowledge, the Ark of the Covenant, certain Egyptian tombs, certain sacred mountains, etc., as does literature (The Ring of Power, The Chamber of Secrets). I have always believed that the consumption of hallucinogens opens doors in the mind to the realms of pure spirit, which the human mind, without guidance, cannot safely be exposed to without severe damage. Religion shows us the proper and safe passageways into those realms, and gives us a proper introduction to the One who dwells there.

10/27/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Golem14 said...

Bob:

Thanks for posting Pascal's 'confession'; I still get chills up my spine when I read it. Ironically, Pascal was the kind of person who-- according to certain atheists at least-- shouldn't be able to exist: a scientific and mathematical genius, a wit, a philosopher, a man with an independent mind... all the things a religious person supposedly can't be.

BTW, your blog has inspired me to get my Schuon books out of storage again (I'm preparing to move, so most of my books are boxed away)...

10/27/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes to the sufferers.

So, you might ask, why is someone here who takes the bible literally (at least within the limits of hermeneutics)? -- Because where there are good hearts, good thinking, good conversation, and good wine (I wish), there go I. Wholesome creativity makes for good eatin'!

GB - Thanks for the truth and poetry...oh yeah, and the Aramaic.

NoMo

10/27/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Nevermind. This morning I saw a picture of Jessica Alba in a swimsuit. There MUST be a GOD! AND HE MUST LOVE US!

Ben

10/27/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tsebring:

What you said at the end of your post reminds me of a book called "Doors of the Mind" by Michael Bentine. Bentine was a British comedian who co-founded "The Goon Show", but his father was a Spiritualist and Michael was deeply interested in psychic phenomena and its relationship with spirituality. He finally concluded that the mind has doors that it's best not to open (especially not by force) because they can't be closed again afterwards without 'blood sacrifice' (his term). I don't know if it always goes that far, but I think Bentine would agree with your last paragraph.

10/27/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Golem14 said...

I was the one who posted the Bentine message; forgot to add my nic.

10/27/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Rick, I must gently disagree with your take on God. Though God certainly can't be defined in totality by the limited faculties of our human minds, the God that I know is more than a mere experience, but a being, an entity, a person if you will. When I say "person", forget the human definition of "person" or the idea of "person" as an organic being. I mean the divine, transcendant idea of "person", i.e., an entity that is sentient and has a consciousness, and posesses the same capacity for love, passion and emotion that we do, but to an infinitely greater degree because this entity is in and of himself defined by these attributes (i.e., he IS Love, he IS Passion, etc). To believe that there is a God is to admit that we are created by him; the fact that we are even able to comprehend him or have a concept of him shows that we are unique among all created beings on earth. This uniqueness confirms, to the one who is honest, that we are indeed made in his image, since we, even as hard as we strive, cannot reach that perfection that we nonetheless know exists. That God-longing within us longs for more than just a super-logical V-ger type being (see Star Trek: The Motion Picture). We need to be loved, we need to be protected, we need to be nurtured, not just as children, but as adults, beyond what our human caretakers and agencies can supply. In short, we need a FATHER. The God of the Hebrew/Christian/Islamic scriptures is just that: the different words that the OT uses to describe him translate into words and phrases like "The Provider", "The Breasty One" (not in the feminine sense, but the food one), and others that I can't remember now. Jesus himself refers to him as "Abba", which does not just mean "Father", but "Daddy", as a child would say. It is LOVE, beyond any attribute, that defines the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; not just the PHILOS or EROS forms of it that we humans are so familiar with, but the AGAPE form of it that is divine in origin, and that we are not capable of in and of ourselves, without knowing him who is its author.

This is the God that I know; a God who knows me and cares for me (i.e., my hospital experience), and is not just an experience, but is the author of experiences, all of which point to him. Can I prove any of this, as Sir Francis Bacon-Eater no doubt would demand of me? Not at all, any more than I can prove that Existence itself is real, except by looking at myself and saying "here I am". I am compelled to go beyond mind intellect into the kind of Spiritual Intellect that Bob speaks of to apprehend these things.

"I LOVE, THEREFORE HE IS".

10/27/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Ben - speaking of things that should not be played with or opened - tsk tsk :):):)

10/27/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

BTW, when I said "we need a Father", why did I not say "Mother?" There are many liberal Christians who insist that God is just as likely to be female as male. I only say Father because that is what the scriptures refer to him as - male, not female, and the scriptures are necessarily my best point of reference when speaking of God and his attributes. Folks are free to believe what they would, of course, but a person who insists that God is female is deviating from the scriptures. Sorry, Bacon, but I can't prove this either.

10/27/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Darby said...

Tsebring,

Thanks for taking the time for your commentary on my note.

No ordinary words are adequate to the exalted level of God's existence. I understand that you don't mean "person" in the ordinary sense, but I also don't mean "experience" in any ordinary sense. I prefer to speak and think of God as an experience because it helps me get away from the idea that he or it rewards and punishes, issues orders, or must be placated.

It also puts the emphasis where I believe it needs to be: on self-transformation. What Aldous Huxley called the Perennial Philosophy, or "minimum working hypothesis," suggests that an individual's moral and psychological development is the key to divine knowledge. And however difficult that may be, it's something I can relate to better than the idea of getting in touch with an all-wise, all-knowing, all-loving "person."

If your word or concept works for you, I'd be the last to try to persuade you otherwise.

10/27/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Camille Paglia's core beliefs are nearly 180 degrees off mine, but I always enjoy reading her, as she is disarmingly honest and engaging. She has an uncanny way of throwing a logical spotlight on all sides of an issue. So she's one athiest I don't throw out with the used bacon grease. Her Salon piece yesterday was a good example; here's a bite (in reference to a weakness in the Democratic platform):

"But religion is absolutely central to this country in ways that Europe's secularized intellectuals fail to understand. I'm speaking here as an atheist who studies religion and respects it enormously. In the history of mankind, the benefits that religion has brought to society in shaping behavior and moral choice are overwhelming in comparison to the negatives, which anyone can list -- like religious wars and bigotry. Without religion, we'd have anarchy.

Religion is also a metaphysical system that honors the largeness of the universe. It's that sense of largeness, which my generation used to call cosmic consciousness, that is missing in the cynical ideologies promoted by the elite universities -- like post-structuralism, which is obsessed with politics and language and has a depressingly debased view of human experience. Post-structuralism doesn't see the stars or the enormity of nature, which for religious people symbolizes God's power. So I think that the constant sniping at religion coming from liberal Democrats is really a dead end."

Granted, she's talking about the benefits of religious systems and not necessarily about the real source of spiritual power (the living God), but she is proof that intelligent civility is a virtue and not a weakness.

Link to the full piece: Paglia

10/27/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

JWM...

Glad to hear you are recovering, and my prayers are with you. Be of good cheer and strong faith!

10/27/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, tsebring, beautifully put. I'm about to bust out in song...

OK, that's a little over the top even for me.

Thanks all for the tasty chow. Be back at snack time.

NoMo

10/27/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then I check the headlines at Drudge...

Iran Doubles Nuke Enrichment Capacity

Ahhhh.....

NoMo

10/27/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gaude said...

just dropping in...
JWM - prayers for you and yours. Please get, and stay, well.

10/27/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

JWM

"This is your heart speaking. Welcome to AARP!"

Seriously, you might check out their website, because I believe they can get you a better deal on pharmaceuticals. I should check it out myself, as my diabetic supplies cost a small fortune, but I'm too proud. In any event, be sure and price out different pharmacies. I go to Costco, which is significantly cheaper. I'm only so proud.

You're very lucky. Just pretend you already died and that from here on in it's added stanzas. Bonus frames. Extra innings. Plus heart disease can be totally reversed at this age. There's so much you can do with diet, exercise, medication, and various mind-body things. You can also turn it into a spiritual positive, as I have done with my diabetes. Yama, the god of death, is my constant tutor. What lessons he has to impart!

Meanwhile, you're in my prayers and meditations, just in case you feel a buzzing sensation around your heart chakra.

10/27/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Anon. I came to my understanding that there is no historical evidence that Jesus exists long after I became an Atheist.

It took an open mind to find that there was no evidence or need to believe in God. You people have it assbackwards here.

Back to Anon:
I see he's now taken to simply misstating fact about the history/evidence of the life of Christ. Which evidence is actually overwhelming, should one want to research the bulk of that era's history plus a couple hundred or more years forward.
**************************
Please share on piece of historical evidence that Jesus existed. I'm waiting.

Since when is Jesus needed to believe in God of the big bang?

10/27/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Gagdad bob went from God is easily proven, to God is easily proven metaphysically, to I can point you to some books that are very hard to understand in order for you to understand what I mean.

10/27/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Rick,
understood, bro; I certainly agree that God is an experience in the sense that a true epiphany from him can be truly mind and life-altering, in a way that an atheist can't begin to understand. I won't go into my own ideas about self-transformation and reward/punishment, except to say that I rely on the scriptures and what my own spiritual intuition tells me for wisdom on those points. God as the Ultimate Experience works for you, and that is fine by me. It's just too incomplete for me.

10/27/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

A wonderful interview. If you don't want your faith shaken, don't listen to it. I'm sure most of you won't.

10/27/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joseph, Card's are up 4-2, looking good!

10/27/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Ahh, Sir Francis, at last we meet! I would direct you to the writings of Josephus, particularly as analyzed in the book "Josephus and the New Testament"; he was an eyewitness to the events of the New Testament. Another Roman writer who wrote about Jesus was Tacitus - he having even less reason than Josephus to make up any of what he related.

10/27/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

How predictable TSE. I'm talking historical contemporary proof. Josephus and Tacitus are second or third hand. They observed Christianity. And my thesis is that Paul invented Jesus, and Paul's followers bought his crapola hook line and sinker.

Most of Josephus' references to Jesus, except one, are most likely forgeries, while the other one is just an observation of Christianity, which I'm not doubting. Just like there were Mormons after Joe Smith sucked in his flock with a bs story.

When I say contemporary account, I'm talking about something that I know doesn't exist. A historical piece from 1-35 AD. There were 42 known historians who wrote in that region and not one word was written about the mythological son of God.

10/27/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cosanostradamus said... It seems like I haven't heard form Paglia in years, but I remember her as having a pretty good head on her shoulders.
Fortunately there are far more of her type here than ...um, the canadian bacon variety.

10/27/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Furthermore, to understand that there is in fact no evidence that Jesus existed, and an explanation on how Christians and Jews were had, read this piece called The Bible and Christianity:The Historical Origins

I'm sure some of the rhetorical scholars who help make this site laughable will be able to read and understand the piece.

10/27/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

HEY JOSEPH!!!! CARDINALS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(sorry Bob)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10/27/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

anonymous:
About BEAJ, I see he's now taken to simply misstating fact about the history/evidence of the life of Christ. Which evidence is actually overwhelming, should one want to research the bulk of that era's history plus a couple hundred or more years forward.
Strangely enough, it was my research into the bible that convinced me it was indeed dreck and drang, & my investigation into the alleged 'historical' records that has convinced me that jesus didn't exist.

ben:
Some want proof, on their terms, of the existance of God whom they have already concluded
doesn't exist.

That isn't true.
Simply put, your deity should know what is required to convince me.
Is that not a sign of insecureness in their prioribelief or what?
Pardon moi, mon ami, there are many multiple factors involved in the whole shooting match. Such as we are the least trusted minority in the US, there's a consistent effort to theocratize the US, & by far & away, our blogs are heavily visited by 'trolls'.
Then, they have a...need, to tell those of us who do know that God exists, that they don't believe.
OK...we get it.

I honestly don't think you do.
I don't believe in Loki, but I have no compelling desire to find believers of Norse mythology to tell them that, nor to curse them with vile and nasty insults.
Trust you me, to quote your book of fables, 'you sow what you reap'.
(Since there is no rulebook as to what an atheist can or cannot do, or say, I choose this in order to make a point).
I don't hate them or their gods, and I'm secure enough in my own beliefs that I do not have an irrational fear of their beliefs.
Fear? Hell yes, I fear your beliefs. They lead you folks to do irrational things. On a regular basis, no less.
Some of the atheists we had here yesterday think it is fun to bash Christians.
Ahem, both BEAJ & I came & made our presences known. Neither of us are meek individuals, so I doubt very much that either of us will approach a discussion w/heads bowed down, or kowtow.
Immediately, upon reception of dissenting opinions, it very quickly became Lord of the Flies. Small wonder indeed that we returned your ugly commentaries w/a few of our own.
What is it your book says? Oh yeah: "Love thy neighbor."
Howdy...neighbor.
Unlike the majority here, I welcome the dissenting opinion at my blog. I am by far more open-minded than many here have claimed based on little more than a snapshot.

In short, I welcome intellectual discussion. But I am quite up front about where I stand. On the proviso, of course, that posters behave in a semi-rational manner. & of course, that they don't have thin skins.

10/27/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I was wondering when Satans' spawn would show, had to wait for the sun to set.
Hey ka, thanks again for the laughs, buddy!

10/27/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Notice how Bacon Boy's compulsive blasphemy is simply another form of praising God. He cannot stop.
*************
What you call compulsive blasphemy, I call real historical evidence and fact.

Still no proof that Jesus existed? I knew that, because none exists.

10/27/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ok Bacon boy, lets try this again. Unlike you, most of the people here know what a book is, and they do read them.

Most intelligent people (they probably only aspire to your 130iq, but still pretty smart) realized long ago, that what Religious people believe in is not dependent on narrative fact, but the Spiritual Truth they find in their religion as a whole.

No one ever has, or ever will convert someone into or out of a religious belief, based on some self important twit reciting their fact list to them. If you take a close look at the stories of those people who have entered or exited a religion after discovering certain facts - you will find that their minds were already prepared for that moment, and the Facts were a convenient fit for them.

You don't understand that because you don't want to understand it. This is not a situation where people are going to read your next scintillating comment and be stunned upright in their seats and say "Wow! Tacitus wasn't there to see it happen! That Bacon boy and his trusty dog spot really ARE smarter than I am! Wow! Where can I toss my silly beliefs to?! It's all so clear now!"

The only thing you're proving here is that you are rude, crude and have a bad attitude. That and that a 130 I.Q. isn't worth a whole heck of a lot without the sense to use it.

10/27/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Sometimes it just comes down to people pointing in the wrong direction in the fog. You can't prove it, and neither can they. It's a matter of faith.

Leave it alone, people. This man is convinced the coastline doesn't exist. And there is nothing you or I can do about it.

But God does love him, just the same. And some day he will see that. That, too, is a matter of faith.

10/27/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Van, you are a major hypocrite. And too much of an assmonkey to realize it.

You have attacked me since I came here, with nothing but rhetoric. You are projecting now. It is quite funny, and if you weren't so stunned you would be laughing at yourself too.

Also, the fact that someone mentioned Tacitus or Josephus as proof means they were unprepared.

I know I'm not going to convert any of the faithful here. I'm defending what I'm stating though. You should try it sometimes.

It is funny that you believe things like I don't read books because it suits your inane ramblings. My blog isn't the bible, there is room for interpretation.

You know why I go to theist sites though. It is to convert those on the fence, to convert the lurkers. Heck, I didn't even know that Jesus didn't exist until I started looking into a comment on a blog. And since then, I've probably researched it and read as much material as I could on the subject as I possibly could up until now.

Obviously Van, you are too far gone. You've turned into nothing but mindless troll. I understand completely your need to have God in your life.

10/27/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

"...I used to be a believer.

The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail


A FOX caught in a trap escaped, but in so doing lost his tail.
Thereafter, feeling his life a burden from the shame and ridicule
to which he was exposed, he schemed to convince all the other
Foxes that being tailless was much more attractive, thus making
up for his own deprivation. He assembled a good many Foxes and
publicly advised them to cut off their tails, saying that they
would not only look much better without them, but that they would
get rid of the weight of the brush, which was a very great
inconvenience. One of them interrupting him said, "If you had
not yourself lost your tail, my friend, you would not thus
counsel us."

application: misery loves company

Difference is, BEAJ, you can get a new tail if you just ask politely.
Got humility?

JWM

10/27/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I'm signing off. Thank you all so much for the kind words. You folks rock.

JWM

10/27/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

JWM, I hope you a full recovery. And I also acknowledge that your faith and knowing people are praying for you will most likely help you rather than hinder you, even though y'all are praying to an imaginary being.

Oh yeah, I'd like to see a source for the original post here that claims that 96% of Americans believe in God.
Unless you are lowballing Atheists and not including Agnostics, that percentage doesn't exist either.

10/27/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

PS- I am deeply offended. I have not been called an assmonkey all day. This is an intolerable situation. I may have to call either my shrink or my lawyer.

JWM, sleep well. You are in our prayers and our thoughts.

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew (Pork Be Upon Him), have a great night. It should comfort you to know that God loves you and he always will. Do not dismiss that love lightly, as it is your salvation. And give that doggie an extra big hug tonight. :)

10/27/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Bacon boy said..."You have attacked me since I came here, with nothing but rhetoric."
You rudely butted in here for the sole purpose of attacking peoples beliefs. I'm not a turn the cheek kind of guy (I know there are several here who wish I'd start... I'll get bored with these guys soon, I promise), rude people disgust and rile me up. It's a character flaw, what can I say.

"It is funny that you believe things like I don't read books because it suits your inane ramblings. " BB, I took that pearl from your Profile. Apparently unlike you, I look at people’s profiles and blogs before responding to them. Sometimes people are just in a bad mood, or misunderstood something, I don't want to rip into them for an out of character blunder, so I take some time and look into them. Didn't help you out at all. And maybe it's dangerous to assume, but usually people put things they believe about themselves to be true in their profile. Sorry for taking you at your word.

And since you do claim to read books now, try looking up rhetoric and reasoning although close together in the dictionary, they have slightly different meanings.

While we're on the subject of Bulls in china shops (or swine as the case may be):

Ka, when you made your classy entrance the other day, you labeled yourself as "As a leftie, liberal atheist, ", and on your site you claim "I am not, repeat, AM NOT a neo-Marxist. Capitalist, born and bred."

What principles and beliefs do you misunderstand or distort in order to claim to be a leftie and a Capitalist?

10/27/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dan, the shore exists. So does the boat. The rest you do on instinct, and familiarity.

God doesn't enter the equation.

I can't call you an assmonkey, because you are not insulting, and you where your faith on your sleeve.

And you are not making excuses for believing, you do so because you choose to, it is all about faith.

Even though that faith is baseless in reality.

10/27/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Dan Spomer, Your profile picture fits you so well!
;-)

10/27/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Van, I know you took it from my profile, and I gave an explanation that you fell for my humor. Again, not too bright, but you don't get a lot.

I came here not looking to come down on believers, but defend what Professor Rhetoric stated about Atheists. You attacked me from day one. You are nothing but a revisionist assmonkey. And if you don't believe me, look back at my entrance four posts ago.

I'm done with you btw. You are only mock material.

10/27/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

The historical proof of the existence of a man called Jesus is irrelevant to the existence of "God".

10/27/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Do not presume that you know the base on which my faith rests. It is something that at this point you can not even fathom.

10/27/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Bacon boy said... "You are nothing but a revisionist assmonkey. And if you don't believe me, look back at my entrance four posts ago."

Ah. I looked. Well. Looks like "rhetorical revisionist assmonkey" is about as good as your reasoning is going to get I guess.

Ok, I'm bored now. Good night all.

10/27/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Van, I believe I should rilt that fedora a tad bit to the right, no? Maybe straighten the tie? ;)

Have a great night, all.

10/27/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger ppab said...

BEAJ:

Re: "baseless in reality"

That's no doubt a powerful characterization. How do we know its appropriate to apply in regards religion?

10/27/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

JWM, you will be in my prayers too. G-d bless, and take good care of yourself.

As for the ongoing atheist/believer discussion on this thread. . . can't you just feel the love from the Leftist unbelieving crowd? The tolerance? The compassion?

10/27/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger ppab said...

Anyone here read Cormac McCarthy's "The Sunset Limited?"

It would seem a very appopriate (and quick) read given recent topics here. It has all the subversiveness, bluster and shots across bows as here, but its simply far more concise, consisting of only two characters hashing out what they can.

Amazon link

I'd love to hear what anyone has to think.

10/27/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

I don't mean to be dismissive to the trolls, but I've been revolving around the sun some years now, and I've been involved in the answering questions for a good while. Being bombarded with questions every day, I've learned a sort of economy about filtering questions, because I have better things to do. No, really!

Rule one: the inquiry needs to have arisen from genuine curiosity. The inquirer must demonstrate that the answer will provide sought-after, life-changing insight heretofore not considered, or will supply vital information about the location of the nearest hospital.

Rule two: any other question is chalked up to a few pat answers:
.You don't really want to know.
.It's none of your business.
.Buy low, sell high.
.How'd you get in here?
.Shhh...The grown-ups are talking.

10/28/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

van:
Ka, when you made your classy entrance the other day, you labeled yourself as "As a leftie, liberal atheist, ", and on your site you claim "I am not, repeat, AM NOT a neo-Marxist. Capitalist, born and bred."
I'm guessing here, but no matter what I say, or how I say it, you scientologists will twist it to suit your purposes.
What principles and beliefs do you misunderstand or distort in order to claim to be a leftie and a Capitalist?
Round peg in a square hole. I can't be both? Says who? I'll not play your little label games, junior. You have the debating skills of an adolescent, w/the attitude & mouth as well.
I wonder if your bravado would be as pronounced in person as it is online?
you will find that their minds were already prepared for that moment, and the Facts were a convenient fit for them.
That was well-said - I did the research BEFORE choosing, & that, as Frost said, made all the difference.

talkinkamel:
As for the ongoing atheist/believer discussion on this thread. . . can't you just feel the love from the Leftist unbelieving crowd? The tolerance? The compassion?
To which I reply, "Tu quoque?"
As usual, y'all talk purty, but when the crunch hits, y'all become atavisms in about a heartbeat.
I have tested people here, & found them wanting. There's a slim few who seem okay, but for the most part, the majority is a bunch of chimps in cheerleading outfits flinging feces.
None so blind as those who won't listen (hehehehe).
Adieu

10/28/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ka-boom said ... "... claim to be a leftie and a Capitalist? Round peg in a square hole. I can't be both?"

No, you can't, not while maintaining and upholding any principles... but I geuss that's where the 'leftie' kicks in.

"Says who?" Reality.

With this" I'll not play your little label games, junior. You have the debating skills of an adolescent, w/the attitude & mouth as well.", followed by this "I wonder if your bravado would be as pronounced in person as it is online?" surely this is that self parody?
"a bunch of chimps in cheerleading outfits flinging feces."

Ah, no, I geuss not.

I get it Joan, I'm done.

10/28/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ka-boom said ... "... claim to be a leftie and a Capitalist? Round peg in a square hole. I can't be both?"

No, you can't, not while maintaining and upholding any principles... but I geuss that's where the 'leftie' kicks in.

"Says who?" Reality.

With this" I'll not play your little label games, junior. You have the debating skills of an adolescent, w/the attitude & mouth as well.", followed by this "I wonder if your bravado would be as pronounced in person as it is online?" surely this is that self parody?

"a bunch of chimps in cheerleading outfits flinging feces."

Ah, no, I geuss not.

I get it Joan, I'm done.

10/28/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's keep the horse before the cart, BEAJ. From there you can easily take a trip out west and I'll personally introduce you to that body of historical data.

But what morosely intrigues me about you, as I've hinted, is your expertise in contradicting yourself with illogic. And irony.

For example:

"Since when is Jesus needed to believe in God of the big bang?"

Since you tied the one to the other, BEAJ, some comments ago. In other words, since you made the same mistake "Christians" do, and implied that the Christian myth, should you wish to refer to it as such, has in it a tacit proof God does or doesn't exist.

I see you stacking a lot of wood on the Christ-debate. I am not, because I believe in Christ as transcendant prophet, part of the same superhighway of infinite-to-finite called this universe.

Defining Christ has to be one of the more amusing existential exercises I've ever seen. Doing that is akin to defining life, matter, energy, God, origins, and the universe.

So why can't you detach the one from the other? I wonder if your dogmatic athiestic discomfort applies as much to an anti-christian personal crusade born from a childhood disappointment as it does to a reality-based, spiritual admission that you (and I and the next guy) are simply not what you already so precisely know us all to be.

Excepting for the part we don't yet know, but you assure us your science will. In a way you want it to. Had you ever heard that we make our own realities? Hmmm.

So if I understand you, you'll do us all the favor of borrowing and applying that "scientific" Definition before it Exists -- the trajectory you see in the "science" of 2006 surely must point solely to your exclusive view ... of that personal "science", right? I'm no psychologist but I do smile at irony when I see it.

And you want me to post up a few hundred pages of historical proof for the life of Christ as a counterpoint to such an assertion that you understand the All?

My God. ;o)

So, my offer stands. Disproving your negative isn't something anyone's going to do for you in a Blogger comment box. Buy that ticket, okay? And start considering that science, such as yours may be, isn't able, prepared, intentioned, designed, or equipped to hunt for God.

Surely God has a sense of humor as well, and as your fingertips graze Its garments in that dark closet of science of yours, It smiles too.

10/28/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Anon, a lot of talk, you say you have lots of proof Jesus existed, but again failed to even mention one. And I don't care for you to define Jesus as a lord or whatever. Just proof he walked the earth. I want your best proof. I'll read it.

Belief in God and belief in Jesus are two separate issues. I never believed that Jesus was anything but a mortal person my whole life and up until two years ago when I was intrigued by someone who posted he didn't exist, I found out there was no evidence that he ever existed. Now I very much doubt he was even a mortal man.

I assumed God existed until my late teens when I became officially agnostic, and then later on I became an Atheist.

There are scientific theories out there right now regarding the beginning of the universe and abiogenesis, this is why I am certain that in the future they will become airtight. And the God of the holes philosophy is passe.

The sun went up and down in biblical days. Godidit

The earth is the center of the universe. Godidit.

Man was created as man. Godidit.

Science eventually fills every hole.

There is no evidence or reason to believe in God. Jesus most likely never existed. The Exodus never happened. And the Ark story is crapola in a laughable way.

10/28/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BEAJ, if going on again about fundamental American Christianity vents your spleen, consider editing the item at Wikipedia called The Historicity of Jesus.

Demanding that I convert you from an extremist point of view is as useful as ... ending your last post with another rant against myth. And it's bloody arrogant.

I don't recall seeing where this blog was dedicated to mere Christianese, do you?

10/28/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

van:
No, you can't, not while maintaining and upholding any principles... but I geuss that's where the 'leftie' kicks in.
What a subjective declaration.
Reality.
Which will eventually erode your pithy self-indulgence.
-SIGH- Prepare to be proven wrong:
http://www.answers.com/topic/left-wing-politics
"The left-wing attribution is very broadly employed as a political descriptor, and a single definition is elusive. For example, the use of the phrase in the democratic West is quite distinct from the usage in most Communist states - where the term has connotations associated with Bukharin and the democratization of all human activities (see also deviationism)."
surely this is that self parody?
Any time you want to do an FTF, you let me know.
Unlike yourself, I walk the way I talk.
Ah, no, I geuss not.
As per most of your epistemology - guesswork all.
I get it Joan, I'm done.
Done before you began, I'd say.

10/28/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The entire universe is full of meaning — a meaning that can never be defined, for mere words are utterly unequal to the task. It is the heart that recognizes meaning. The intellect, when not balanced by feeling, is incapable of such insight. Meaning can be experienced, but it can never be reduced to a formula. It is relative, yes, but it is by no means chaotic. Nor, therefore, is truth a matter of mere opinion. Indeed, the very relativity of meaning is directional. Our understanding of it develops experientially, like a mountain goat leaping upward from crag to crag. This directionality, while not absolute, is universal. It becomes absolute when individual consciousness merges in Absolute Consciousness.

"Meaninglessness, therefore, which modern intellectuals have paraded as a new "truth," is seen to be no challenge to true values at all, but the merest of vagrant superstitions.

"To someone, then, who is sincerely seeking truth, the question comes at last: How could matters possibly be otherwise? The very analysis of which those intellectuals are so proud has no essential meaning. Since it is purely intellectual, it is wholly without love or joy. Lacking these, can they really expect to find meaning in anything?"

-J. Donald Walters; "Out of the Labyrinth -- For those who want to believe but can't."

Failing that, BEAJ, you may want to pause your anti-christianity and pull a copy of the Bhagavad Gita from the shelf. And start all over again.

10/28/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Anon, I just read the historicity of Jesus at Wikipedia, and there is nothing there that is even close to evidence that Jesus lived. Nada. Read the part of him being a Myth there. It wouldn't be there if a historical Jesus could even be close to proved.

But I knew that already, btw having read that particular page a few months ago.

Anon 2, look up rhetoric. What do those eloquent words prove? Nada, nothing. Only that some other dudes think God exist because they think God is needed to explain the universe, and then wrote it in a poetic way.

10/28/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BEAJ, you can't prove Abraham Linclon existed. Using your sensory perception, your only evident yardstick, Abe was a fiction.

In fact, I don't know you exist. And you, I.

And on that note, "those eloquent words" amply illustrate just how devoid of meaning you are...

10/28/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and while I'm wasting time pulling the wool up from over your eyes, how about a mental experiment:

IF God existed, and IF God birthed and evolved a universe where only the heart could know It, and IF such a heart wrote about it, how can you "prove" the words wouldn't perfectly emulate mine? Or Gagdad's? Or Christs? Or the corner grocer's? Or your mom's?

As I've said to you before in this thread and elsewhere, you have to have stood on the mountaintop to say precisely what it DOESN'T feel like too. Your limited senses constitute all knowledge? All "proof"?

Please explain to me how this universe then evolved consciousnesses as ours, the purpose of which in that dimensionless Darwinian stew somehow became to, at this moment, debate the Impossible?

You say you can or will soon explain Everything. Does Everything allow for breaking out of It and looking at It from an entirely a-sensory, and therefore, to you, entirely unnatural perspective?

You contradict yourself with every post, friend. But you don't have the perspective to know it. Yet. Choice and courage are the other ingredients. And that may lead us back to other un-Darwinian abstracts such as free choice and destiny and wisdom and yes, even soul.

Explain the human soul in the context of Darwin, BEAJ. Try to do it without telling the world such a thing doesn't exist just because you cannot weight it on a scale. Try to do it acknowledging that the word, as Walters says and you willfully ignore, has meaning.

Why did your flat, physical, sensory universe evolve such intensely unsensory concepts, BEAJ?

10/28/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Anon, what a ramble. Abraham Lincoln existed because there were contemporary eye witness accounts, writings by him of him, written at a time when he existed. Pictures, paintings drawn while he was alive, and a tomb with his bones to top it off. What a stupid comparison.

Soul? What is a soul? Consciousness? An ape has consciousness, so does my dog. It evolved in mankind.

I'm not contradicting myself, you have just exposed yourself as a moron.

Now where is your proof that Jesus existed.

You have none. And I know it.

10/28/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really, BEAJ. You have second hand evidence of a host of characters, and Lincoln is only one. The difference between Christ and Lincoln (or Christ and Buddha or Christ and the first biped to cross the landbridge) is obviously interpretive and therefore must be called, to one degree or another, faith.

The evidence for a Christ is vast. It is your narrow FAITH that pigeonholes YOUR proofs over against YOUR myths. The fact YOU labeled Christ a myth just to disprove your former Santa Claus God demonstrates your restricted field of vision. It doesn't strike you oddly that you're demanding that the physical life of Christ be essentially linked with the very existence of a God and I, a Christian of some stripe, am not?

You can't even define whom such a Christ IS, much less allow for how I could.

You simply cannot prove anything you do not experience with your own five senses, BEAJ, and the truth of that essence of your existence obviously escapes you. You, sir, are hoist by your own petard. You cannot "prove" China exists unless you visit (at which point you'll have to accept on faith that the soil under your feet is "real" when it's very matter is actually probability, composed of nothing but subatomic abstracts...)

You'll readily accept a Grand Unifying Theory or a Small Force or a Large Force in order to explain atomic attraction or gravity or natural constants when absolutely nothing "below" or outside of them makes a dime's worth of sense, but you refuse to accept that the very characteristics that make you human have an interaction or even a definition so amazing as to force you to question why. You THINK you know How (a How based on faith) but you no more how than you can so much as admit The Why exists! Or that Why has meaning, cause, effect, transcendance, and determination.

Why exactly does Why exist, BEAJ?

Face it, to one substantial degree or another, you must accept on faith the great majority of what you, indeed, believe. Delicious irony.

Your mind deceives you, friend. And you demand others take up the slack. Amazing.

10/28/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yes, BEAJ, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, that was a "ramble". I get that and got that from your first or second post. Must be my superior IQ...

But the point lies there: In perspective.

So, one of us must be mad. After all, you are certain of the certainty, from even before it exists.

I, on the other hand, am uncertain of the uncertainty (but certain of that.) I suspect that, according to your prior admission, you are quite uncertain of your certainty...but certain it will prove to be certain.

I can't follow your LOGICAL rambling. Can you?

10/28/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Wow, what gibberish. Still no proof that Jesus existed. None. And for the at least third time, I didn't bring up the fact that Jesus is a myth to give my Atheism extra points. Jesus existing or not has no bearing on if God exists.


However, you can't get past the fact that God is a man made being who was created by man to try to give our lives meaning.
If you can't find meaning without God, too bad. You need God to give your life meaning. Well that doesn't cut it. We die. We have to deal with our mortality. I wish we didn't die or experience death but we do. I can deal with reality.

Pretend you don't believe in God, and try to come up with evidence he exists. I'll bet you can't. Because you are too brainwashed.

Lucky for you, Jim Jones didn't get a hold of you, or you would have drank the Kool Aid.

But I would watch Godwin, he could be dangerous.

10/28/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

There is lots of reasons to believe in gravity, although gravity is invisible.

There is no reason to believe in God other than the majority of the earths population has culturally evolved the concept in their brains and in their teachings.

There is evidence that gravity exists.
There is no evidence that God exists.

We have evolved what you call soul or conciousness. Our brains evolved. It was needed as our species line went up the evolution ladder to help us cope/adapt and survive. And it took millions of years to get to this point. God is not needed in the equation.

10/28/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

I found some proofs that God exists:

TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT, a.k.a. PRESUPPOSITIONALIST (I)
(1) If reason exists then God exists.
(2) Reason exists.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(1) If I say something must have a cause, it has a cause.
(2) I say the universe must have a cause.
(3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) I define God to be X.
(2) Since I can conceive of X, X must exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) I can conceive of a perfect God.
(2) One of the qualities of perfection is existence.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn't it complex?
(2) Only God could have made them so complex.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM BEAUTY, a.k.a. TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) Isn't that baby/sunset/flower/tree beautiful?
(2) Only God could have made them so beautiful.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES
(1) My aunt had cancer.
(2) The doctors gave her all these horrible treatments.
(3) My aunt prayed to God and now she doesn't have cancer.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

# MORAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Person X, a well-known Atheist, was morally inferior to the rest of us.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

# MORAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) In my younger days I was a cursing, drinking, smoking, gambling, child-molesting, thieving, murdering, bed-wetting bastard.
(2) That all changed once I became religious.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM CREATION, a.k.a. ARGUMENT FROM PERSONAL INCREDULITY (I)
(1) If evolution is false, then creationism is true, and therefore God exists.
(2) Evolution can't be true, since I lack the mental capacity to understand it; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM FEAR
(1) If there is no God then we're all going to die.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM THE BIBLE
(1) [arbitrary passage from OT]
(2) [arbitrary passage from NT]
(3) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENCE
(1) Look, there's really no point in me trying to explain the whole thing to you stupid Atheists — it's too complicated for you to understand. God exists whether you like it or not.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM UNINTELLIGENCE
(1) Okay, I don't pretend to be as intelligent as you guys — you're obviously very well read. But I read the Bible, and nothing you say can convince me that God does not exist. I feel him in my heart, and you can feel him too, if you'll just ask him into your life. "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish from the earth." John 3:16.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM BELIEF
(1) If God exists, then I should believe in Him.
(2) I believe in God.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

# PARENTAL ARGUMENT
(1) My mommy and daddy told me that God exists.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM NUMBERS
(1) Millions and millions of people believe in God.
(2) They can't all be wrong, can they?
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM INTERNET AUTHORITY
(1) There is a website that successfully argues for the existence of God.
(2) Here is the URL.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

MORE

10/28/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Bacon Guy, I'm gonna say an extra prayer for you tonight.

10/28/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Pray for me after you watch this short video on prayer.

It is safe.

10/28/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wow, what gibberish."

This from the guy who gets lost in his own semantics.

"Still no proof that Jesus existed."

By your own methods and expectations, still no proof YOU exist. Still lots of equitable "proof" Jesus existed.

"None."

Plenty.

"And for the at least third time, I didn't bring up the fact that Jesus is a myth to give my Atheism extra points. Jesus existing or not has no bearing on if God exists."

Lovely. Progress. The IMAGE of Christ, at the least, points to the trajectory of the enlightened soul, something one can only know by posessing it. Or would you "disprove" enlightment too? After all, I cannot "prove" it ... and you have no apparent cause to.


"However, you can't get past the fact that God is a man made being who was created by man to try to give our lives meaning."

Wrong. You cannot categorize either your own myths or "proofs." For the third time, that onus is not on me.

"If you can't find meaning without God, too bad. You need God to give your life meaning."

Is that so? Is that so when I cannot define God, that being one of Its essential characteristics?

"Well that doesn't cut it. We die. We have to deal with our mortality. I wish we didn't die or experience death but we do. I can deal with reality."

Talk about gibberish: You conflate natural death with MY need to conjure a security blanket. And I'M a moron. Hmmm.

"Pretend you don't believe in God, and try to come up with evidence he exists. I'll bet you can't. Because you are too brainwashed."

Amusing how you connect things, BEAJ. You assume I cannot conceive of a Godless state of affairs and then, assertion in place, that I'm brainwashed. Actually I can and have.

Yet I'm not sure what gives you that notion except that same thing that has you so certain of uncertainty, namely your own massive biases and preconceptions -- to your hammer, the whole world's a nail. Again, your grasp on basic logic is weak; I'll leave it at that. For the third time.

"Lucky for you, Jim Jones didn't get a hold of you, or you would have drank the Kool Aid."

Ah yes, that rhetoric you condemn in others. Humorous. Winning a debate on appealing to the crowd or on merits, BEAJ?

"But I would watch Godwin, he could be dangerous."

Oh, he is, at least from what I've seen. Quite ...

10/28/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pray for me after you watch this short video on prayer.

Just can't let go of that Sunday School "God", can you, BEAJ? Over and over He comes up as your atheistic cornerstone -- that Old Testament "God".

As objectively as I can put this, to me, "He's" only your anger and fear talking. Why would I perceive you that way, I wonder?

10/28/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

I'm not angry or scared.

I'm actually laughing at how the brainwashed spin and spin and ignore.

I really am feeling good. But you people are starting to bore me.

As far as proof goes. I am talking about tangible evidence. Evidence that can be touched is the best, evidence that can be tested scientifically is great too. An event that can be backed up by scientific testing is also acceptable.

Jesus falls in none of those categories.

Lincoln fits all three, so does China, so does my existence.

And there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO BELIEVE IN GOD. NONE WHATSOEVER. AND NO EVIDENCE THAT HE HAS EVER EXISTED. NONE. NADA.

Where is that proof that Jesus existed again?

10/28/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT, a.k.a. PRESUPPOSITIONALIST (I)
(1) If reason exists then God doesn't exists.
(2) Reason exists.
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(1) If I say something must have a cause, it has a cause.
(2) I say the universe doesn't have a cause.
(3) Therefore, the universe doesn't have a cause.
(4) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) I can't define God to be X.
(2) Since I conceive of Y, X must not exist.
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) I can't conceive of a perfect God.
(2) One of the qualities of perfection is existence.
(3) Therefore, God can't exist.

TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn't it complex?
(2) Only Void could have made them so complex.
(3) Therefore, Void exists. But God does not. And I'm not engaging in wordplay.

ARGUMENT FROM BEAUTY, a.k.a. TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) Isn't that baby/sunset/flower/tree beautiful?
(2) Only Void could have made them so beautiful.
(3) Therefore, Void exists.

ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES
(1) My aunt had cancer.
(2) The doctors gave her all these horrible treatments.
(3) My aunt prayed to God and now she doesn't have cancer.
(4) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# MORAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Person X, a well-known Atheist, was morally inferior to the rest of us.
(2) Therefore, principle exists but God does not.

# MORAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) In my younger days s/he was a cursing, drinking, smoking, gambling, child-molesting, thieving, murdering, bed-wetting bastard.
(2) That all changed once s/he became religious.
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# ARGUMENT FROM CREATION, a.k.a. ARGUMENT FROM PERSONAL INCREDULITY (I)
(1) If evolution is false, then creationism is true, and therefore God exists.
(2) Evolution can't be false, solely since I possess the mental capacity to understand its unanswered questions; moreover, not to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable.
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# ARGUMENT FROM FEAR
(1) If there is no God then we're all going to die.
(2) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# ARGUMENT NOT FROM THE BIBLE
(1) [arbitrary passage from OT]
(2) [arbitrary passage from NT]
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENCE
(1) Look, there's really no point in me trying to explain the whole thing to you stupid Believers — it's too complicated for you to understand, although I accept what I cannot see/feel/hear/etc. Routinely. Void (and pre-Void) exists whether you like it or not.
(2) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# ARGUMENT FROM UNINTELLIGENCE
(1) Okay, I don't pretend to be as intelligent as you guys — you're obviously very well read. But I read the Bible, and nothing you say can convince me that God exists. I can't feel him in my heart, and you can't really feel him either, if you'll just be an atheist like me. "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish from the earth." John 3:16.
(2) Therefore, only your God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM BELIEF
(1) If God doesn't exist, then I shouldn't believe in Him.
(2) I don't believe in God.
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# PARENTAL ARGUMENT
(1) My mommy and daddy told me that God exists.
(2) Therefore, God doesn't exist.

# ARGUMENT FROM NUMBERS
(1) Millions and millions of people don't believe in God.
(2) They can't all be wrong, can they?
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exists.

ARGUMENT FROM INTERNET AUTHORITY
(1) There is a website (like this one) that successfully argues against the existence of God. I'll post it at One Cosmos
(2) Here is the URL.
(3) Therefore, God doesn't exist ... and I'm not angry about it.

10/28/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This is my understanding. The world is as it is, if there is a God and he created it, then he put his signature in every atomic valence and into the hypotenuse of a Triangle. Its existence won't be altered one quark by our claims that it is other than it is. His creation doesn't depend on our current ability to decipher and understand it. To pin your faith and soul on your ability to say for sure how old the universe is, or how DNA was created... you are greater gamblers than I.

It doesn't say where there are no corroborating facts the people perish, it says where there is no Vision, the people perish.

Take a look at the trap you are setting for yourselves.

Are you seriously willing to say that your soul, your relationship with it, has any dependence on whether or not you have facts to back up the message that gives you life?

It's the meaning, the poetry that gives you access to the vertical - it is the One Cosmos of a Religion's poetic entirety which gives you entrance into your spirit - not whether or not someone can turn up a signature from Jesus or Buddha or Lao Tzu or Homer in a local B&B.

If you think it important to find tracks in the horizontal dust in order to realize the vertical truths you live by - or that not finding those tracks can invalidate those truths, then they were only dust to you to begin with.

IMHO to attempt to literalize religion as if it were the farmers almanac, is to let all it has to say to you sit dead upon its pages. If you attempt to pull the vertical down from its soaring heights and pin it to the horizontal plane, then it will only exist in the horizontal plane, and be in peril to the next bean counter who comes along with a sharper calculator.

If you are willing to pin your souls to the 'answers' available in wikipedia or answers.com - then you should be prepared for an immense fall. Note our new visitors as cases in point.

If I am wrong in this then I have misunderstood everything Gagdad has been trying to communicate.

Now that was my attempt at Rhetorical Poetics, and as Aristotle said, its value is far superior to mere factual history, for it attempts to teach how things should have been and ought to be, not merely how they were. For those whom it is intended for, I hope it has meaning; for those who it is not - I couldn't care less.

10/28/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as proof goes. I am talking about tangible evidence. Evidence that can be touched is the best, evidence that can be tested scientifically is great too. An event that can be backed up by scientific testing is also acceptable.

Tangible or sensory, BEAJ? And from that, how would you define a "scientific" proof of the time before time? Of the weightless soul? Of Love? Of perception?

If those decidely non-physical entities exist (we know they do because while we cannot scientifically prove them, we can relate to them and even to others possessing them as well!) then how would you prove them?

Have at it, BEAJ: Using your tangible five scientific senses, prove that my love exists.

Further, what tangible evidence do you have that, say, somebody crossed that landbridge I spoke of earlier and began populating the Western Hemisphere? You have nothing but tangible proof it happened, hundreds of millions of them, in fact.

But you only have scant sensory proof, and further, you only have scant sensory second-hand "proof" that Lincoln or Buddha or Socrates or Lucy existed, to one degree or another.

About Christ, it can be said that he discovered perhaps the most essential, purest, loveliest, truist, most beautiful thread to The Eternal that ever occured.

So, to my previous question, one of the many you stack up in the corner.

How/why is/was that?

Christ as a bag of water and bones is irrelevant, no? At least to the point that a believed Ascention occured ... and in that event, a supernatural event took place, not unlike, well, the Big Bang.

It being -- along with love, principle, justice, joy, beauty, and humanness itself -- super natural. Entirely outside of your view of a entirely mechanical universe. Or do I have that wrong?

That's the Why you run away from every chance you get.

Enough with your partial How's and filled-in assumptions about eternity, pre-time, post time, and yes, soul (and it's not consciousness.)

Deal with the why of why and why it conceived of soul in a Universe you simply demand not honor one.

10/28/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world is as it is, if there is a God and he created it, then he put his signature in every atomic valence and into the hypotenuse of a Triangle.

And there we have it: The entire Universe simply is because it is. Reducing it down into the sub-atomic only reveals it's faithful Is-ness, the utter lack of a foundational principle of operation based in BEAJ's "scientific reality".

Spiritually speaking, BEAJ's still using Newtonian thought to define quantum thought.

So God doesn't exist because BEAJ (1) defines God for others, and (2) can't force It to reveal itself. In this universe!

Meanwhile, we know particles do what they do because they do! This is a tenant the oldest religions grasped intuitively, yet the BEAJ's of the world constantly define God as an artifact of a modern religious Western superstition.

BEAJ already knows that the Unknown is known. BEAJ knows that science -- that physical realm of "tangible" partial-realities -- will soon explain everything, presumably what came before Everything and what comes after Everything!

Even if the entirety of abstract human concepts, ideals, and notions -- like the material abstracts such as atoms and sub atomic particles the entire physical universe is based on -- are all nothing more than perception.

The atom is an abstract and its universe is therefore structured Is-ness, meaning that "reality" is as much faith and perception as it ever could be the delusion of matter and finite "science". So knew the ancients; so knows the spirit that stands on that mountaintop.

But BEAJ has a slide rule and microscope and simply knows better.

10/28/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Thanks for finally admitting you have no proof Jesus ever existed.

Love might be measured with a physiological measurement device. I'm not sure, but I can't see why not.
Other than that, it is completely subjective.

There is mounds of archaeological evidence that the land bridge was crosses. And I consider fossils as first hand proof. Since the fossil record is falsifiable it fits as science.

And to let you know, because science hasn't given a satisfactory answer for pretime yet for example, that still doesn't mean Godidit.

Using that logic, 1000 years ago you could have said that since we don't know why the sun revolves around the earth, God must exist.

Science fills in the gaps pretty good, and especially over the last 140 years. It has kicked the myth of God in the groin, and I don't see God's groin healing. Maybe you should say a prayer for him.

10/28/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

I'm not defining God in any manner. If someone gives God characteristics, I can refute his existence.

My basic hypothesis is that God (any God) is a man made concept. Nothing more and nothing less. There is no evidence he needs to exist, or has ever existed. None.

And by the replies I see here, my hypothesis is correct.

We have evolved the need to believe in God. It is the strong who can figure out how a belief in God has no merit when it comes to reality.

And I'm not calling believers weak, I'm saying that Atheists are stronger.

I used to believe. I used to pray. I used to assume a vast God of the universe. But I grew out of it.

10/28/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sum and substance of your POV then, BEAJ, seems to be that you can assert almost with the best of them. You can run logical circles with the middle of the pack. And you can completely avoid a level you can conceive of not at all.

Your anti-God POV depends on the crudest myths in order that you can disprove them. You have indeed created your own reality, and that is the point.

What "proofs" you have about reality are arbitrary, vague, and naturally limited. Your reasoning is sloppy and your methods seem self-serving. Your tone is frequently arrogant, always fragmented, and occasionally quite juvenile. You pick over the debate like a fussy child, refusing the carrots of what doesn't fit your model, endulging in the candy and ice cream of a literal faith in physical reality.

You have little respect for others who see more than you do, or, therefore, for the inherent mystery of your own being. You degrade what you admit you don't understand, like my faith in Spirit. Meanwhile, you can't yet see your own Faith in a physical model you appear to know little about.

That irony escapes you because you lack that vision -- you'd make me base my God on an incompletely understood universe but accept that your own existence is perfectly understood because of, well, the same flawed model of physical reality.

I suspect your perspective on the sheer faithfulness of quantum bahavior is as limited as that on the "quantum" Spirit is. You won't touch that topic with a ten foot crucifix.

(Well, you shouldn't know much about the physical Universe, BEAJ, I'll give you that. Because you cannot. It's all emptiness between the abstracts and probabilities at some reductionist point, isn't it?)

When you finally "get" all that, then your journey will begin. When your ego gives way to it's own actual reality, ironically enough.

And, sadly, you fail to respect that Christianity, to use your favorite whipping boy, isn't a question of God's form following man's invented function, it's the reverse: Every single tenant of pure, functional Christianity and pure, functional selfless religion all hew to The Principle, whether you call it God or dish soap (although God has a certain rightness to it, wouldn't you agree, that dish soap doesn't.)

Principle is religion's architecture -- the principles we have words for like redemption, accountability, love, principle, grace, and a thousand more -- they are its symptom.

Similarly, your Jesus campaign is symptomatic of your lack of faith, and not a reflection of reality, and it is so largely because you yourself cannot define the Divine -- you can't conceive of it. Because, BEAJ, in a way you're right: Man wasn't created for the Sabboth. Universal, definable, tangible Principle was created for man's existence. Your physical universe is very obviously its matrix. As sure as we're talking about it.

You may have progressed from an impacted Christianese but please don't stop there. Don't back down another dark alley even blacker than the one you rightly emerged from.

Don't forget Who you are. Better souls than I will pray for you. You should thank them. Thank them because they have a far more authentic grasp on whatever this thing we call reality is than, apparently, either you or I do. They have indeed tapped in...

10/28/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Wow again Anon. Lots of words, and nothing but crapola. Do you read my posts. I used to be delusional like every believer on this blog, but I grew out of it, just like I stopped believing in other things my parents told me to believe in like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. I used to think Moses was divine in a sense, so I can conceptualize what you conceptualize, but I grew out of it. I started asking questions, and the answers that made sense had nothing to do with having to have a God in the equation.

Again, I asked for proof that Jesus existed, and got nothing. But I knew I would.

Your leader posted that God is easily provable too but he then moved the goal posts when asked to back up that statement.

Yes, I too could prove God existed when I was 12 years old. But I then found out I had dick all when it came to evidence.

I'm done here. BTW, there are quite a few people lurking here and laughing at the posts you theists are coming up with.

You are only fooling yourselves.

But I'm done with you fools.

You peeps are all bark and no bite.

10/28/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous chom fa said...

"How predictable TSE. I'm talking historical contemporary proof. Josephus and Tacitus are second or third hand. They observed Christianity. And my thesis is that Paul invented Jesus, and Paul's followers bought his crapola hook line and sinker."



BEAJ -
No fanfare when Christ emerged, none when he left. He was not on that page, you see. Chicken/egg?
(Something about "Horizontal/Vertical" springs to mind)
The furor that offends you erupted "post partum".
Josephus and the other big-noters of the time should evidence him?! Why?
As historians, they were after the big players,nu? The big picture.
As people who were not "affected" by the message, again, why would they note him? He was, apparently, not much higher than a common criminal, as evidenced by those he was executed with. Worth a passing note, not much more - a bit of "fleshing out" the backdrop of that wretched province of Jews and the interminable problem they presented. Lets exterminate them, Fellow Romans!!
Thus, (or perhaps not 'thus'), it REALLY makes sense for Paul to "invent" Christ. What a master-stroke for a fraudster!
"I know - I'll invent a religion around a known criminal, one who is completely "with-out" the sanction of the powers-that-be, one who is, furthermore, outside the countenance/tolerance of the people I wish to reach!
Can't fail - we'll be rounded up and executed within a year and, voila!, we will reap the Hinn/Schwagert-esque cash bonanza of a new religion.....from our graves!"
BEAJ- You demand people cite similar to the Josephus' and Tacitus', as though they were somehow "Gospel", when they were, after all is said and done, scribblers of the times, and poorly (inadequately) informed at that. Their acknowledgement of Jesus would prove what? That they, too, didn't believe.
And....what was in it for the early followers of Christ? Bloody, violent, meaningless, ignoble, pointless death.....a great attractant, unless.......
(So sorry my IQ is humble)

10/30/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous chom fa said...

JWM - "Now I'm OK, and I know that somehow this will all work out. I said a while back that there was no epiphany, no luminous moment, but I don't mean to imply that nothing happened. Only now does it occur to me that maybe I didn't need one. I guess I really have acquired some faith. Throughout the whole thing I was scared, but not terrified. I knew if I didn't make it I'd still be OK."


I lost my "working" faith (for a time)whilst doing Missionary work in Thailand all through the 90's, but not my theoretical, if that makes sense. (Ever mindful of James!)
In 2000 I was involved in a very serious motor-cycle accident on the outskirts of Bangkok.
I spent 7 weeks in a Thai Hospital, and was then returned to Oztraya, where my left leg was amputated "through knee".

Spiritually, there are few darker places than a Thai Hospital. I didn't see the cross forming on the tiles, I saw the demons of the Thai pantheon. The Thai have NO doubt of these realities, and nor do I. They sought me.
I also knew they could not touch me, and that not through my doing.
When one is "in extremis" - such as we both were - fake doesn't cut it, hey?
I wish people like BEAJ/ka could know that solace, that ineffable peace, of "knowing".
I knew I was pretty-well fucked. I knew I was never going to "walk away from it". I knew life, as I had known it, was over. At 49, that is a horrendous reality.
None of "that" penetrated into my serious, deep reflections - it was all so ho-bloody-hum, because I "knew" that my God was ever with me, and the only assurances I needed were those He provided, not those of the medical people, good as they were. At the crunch, everything else is just Kant. It's "Am I saved?".
Yes - I am. The mountain looks like a safe haven.

10/30/2006 11:18:00 AM  

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