What interactions with theists say about God

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by wynn, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

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    this is funny. how do you know what god is and isn't? you don't.

    what you are describing is what you feel or think god is or basically it's like describing a certain type of mentality or feeling such as a positive feeling, state or image.

    that is real in itself as a concept or state of personal being but to attribute that is god is a personal interpretation or belief. everyone has a different idea of what god or spirit is. even if one thought a god existed which was evil, that still doesn't stop them from focusing on or appreciating what is good, positive or beneficial either mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically.

    there is also evil as well, so this is a very large conundrum that we all wonder about and there are only speculations at a certain point.
     
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  3. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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  5. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

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    most of what lori believes,i believe also, and what i believe is independent of what lori believes, this goes for the testimonies of other believers as well, it is through that common denominator that validates the existence of God,it is akin to science, a result is not fact unless it can be verified by other independent sources.(it is not like science in the sense that the word 'reproducible' doesn't apply in this context)

    i do not always agree with how she communicates such,but the core of her beliefs line up with my own.
     
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  7. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Then I'd imagine that you believe that the commonalities that exist in the many accounts of supposed alien abductions validate the existence of a race of extra-terrestrials who like to abduct and study human beings, and that they look like this:

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  8. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    There are almost 7 billion people in the world , and only 66 books in the Bible. You don't think the claim that one of the books (letters) of the New Testament was addressed to you specifically is a fantastic claim?

    Don't misunderstand my reasons. Your witnessing doesn't threaten me (as you believe it does many contributors here), it's just an irritating disruption to what could otherwise be more interesting discussion. But more than that, it's a violation of the forum rules, as are the insults you've been obsessively leveling at Signal for a while now.

    Anyway, it's convenient that you've summed up your own motivations here, in your own words. You're not here for intellectual discussion, you're here to preach. Should come in handy for the purposes of characterizing your true intentions next time you derail a thread in the manner in which you so often do.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I was just talking about the images and concepts of this 'God' character that interactions with theists create in my mind. I also wrote that it's hard for me to generalize about that, since theists say so many different, and sometimes inconsistent, things about their 'God'.

    That was my response to Signal's question. It's hard for me to identify any single concrete meaning when I hear the word 'God'. It basically seems to mean a generic conception of something ultimate, cosmic and perhaps felt as 'holy' in some emotional sense, at which ideas like 'Bible', 'person', 'power', 'Yahweh', 'first-cause', 'Vishnu', 'Koran', 'devotion', 'Vedas', 'law', 'sacrifice', 'final-cause', 'commandment', 'incarnation', 'love', 'wrath', 'creator', 'designer', 'judgement', 'prayer' and 'beatific vision'... are thrown, in hopes that something might stick.

    That's my general impression of theistic claims, I guess. I perceive those making them as taking different collections of ideas from out of their own particular religious traditions and then throwing them at the sky, so to speak.

    What I said was that the idea that religion's 'God' character might be described as evil didn't enter my head until after self-appointed evangelists had preached hell-fire and damnation at me a few times. I was suggesting that some forms of evangelism might be seriously counter-productive and disfunctional when it comes to influencing non-theists like myself.

    The way that some religious evangelists present their deity to other people does make 'God' morally indistinguishable from the mythical 'Satan' character. When things are presented that way, I frankly prefer Satan since he comes across as the more sympathetic, principled and heroic of the two.

    Obviously not all religious people behave like those hell-fire evangelists. Not all of them transmit the same kind of message. I can truthfully say that many of the most compassionate, moral and arguably spiritual people that I've ever met have been Christians. Those are people that have influenced me tremendously. People that I love deeply.

    Like I said, theists are all over the map and it's hard for me to form a single impression that applies to all of them at once or to the God that they say that they worship.
     
  10. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

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    i would not dismiss those accounts just because i do not believe in aliens.
    (btw is that an Asguard?)
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Off-topic -
    That's not exactly true. I never said my feelings were hurt, and they were not. I only expressed some concerns about your behavior and how I might respond to it. I have offered you opportunities to talk things over, and you refused.


    /Resume On topic
     
  12. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I don't completely dismiss them either. It's certainly not beyond the realm of all possibility that aliens do exist, that they are indeed abducting some of us occasionally, and that the photo above is a reasonable likeness of them. But my point was that the existence of commonality between accounts of certain phenomena doesn't validate the actual existence of said phenomena as an ontological entity existing independently of our own imaginations. It is after all only natural for ideas to crystallize into something more consistent and universal after being processed by the collaborative and corroborative collective that is the human race. We can see evidence of this everywhere. Mythical creatures are a perfect example. Consider the unicorn, or the dragon, or the fairy, or the elf, or the vampire. Although there is occasionally a little debate about some of the more specific characteristics, for the most part we are all in agreement about what these things are, yet they are not widely believed to exist at all.

    Not specifically, but it looks like one, sure.
     
  13. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    no. i think that every one of those 7 billion people could very well identify with a book, or several books in the bible, for a wide variety of reasons, and all of those reasons be legit.



    i didn't suggest or assume that my witnessing threatened you. my point is that, i really don't think signal is interested at all in answers. after all, as you've pointed out, he refutes every single one given, repeatedly. i think signal is quite content just asking rhetorical (insincere) questions ad infinitum, which is exactly what i've called him out on, no more obsessively than he has perpetuated these behaviors.

    i don't preach. i do however answer direct questions that are asked of me within these threads. and much to the dismay of some, finding god is not an intellectual endeavor really. finding god is much more a matter of the heart. it takes honesty and humility and some basic common sense. the common sense may not even be required, but the sincerity definitely is. the reason signal doesn't have his answer is because signal is not sincere. it doesn't take 1000 questions on a forum to get to god; it takes one sincere plea to god himself. i know that from experience. i'm tempted to think that perhaps signal is hoping that all of this questioning here on the forum will cover his ass in the end when it comes to god, and i know it won't.
     
  14. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    god isn't an idea; god is an entity that actually interacts with people, and through this interaction can be observed. now of course when different people observe or interact with anything, different experiences will be had and different perceptions will be formed depending on the circumstances. but the entity itself is the same.
     
  15. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    whatever someone is asking about. i mean, there's usually a question presented in the op.

    people don't ask me about god really. i guess most either don't believe god exists in the first place, or don't want to know what he's like if he does. :shrug:

    what do you want to know?
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I didn't know what to make of Signal when I first arrived. I even sort of suspected that he was a rather sophisticated Christian evangelical posing as a non-theist so that atheist knees wouldn't jerk, and so that he could present theistic arguments from the perspective of 'they say...'.

    But I soon realized that I was mistaken.

    Signal continues to think in what sometimes look to me like theistic ways. Perhaps he's somebody who lost his childhood faith and wants desperately to find some credible and convincing way to get something like it back.

    Maybe he's seeking something that mortal human beings like ourselves can never attain. But I respect Signal, I have great interest in his quest and where it leads, I've come to consider him a friend and I wish him well.

    I kind of imagine Signal as Sciforums' Grail-Knight, bravely and honorably embarked on what may well turn out to be an impossible quest.

    In the meantime, he's definitely interesting and thought provoking here on Sciforums, that's for sure. I enjoy his posts.

    Lori likes being the center of everyone's attention.
     
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you!

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    I'm a she, actually. Except for Gustav, nobody asked me, but instead just assumed that I am male. I never took issue with it, because I think that it generally doesn't and shouldn't matter in most discussions.
    It's been interesting to observe how people can jump to conclusions.
    Most importantly, it has been a very liberating experience to post in what I experienced as a gender-neutral style, as I have not been constrained by typical gender expectations.

    That said, I continue to be determined to find (out about) The Absolute Truth!
    If my pace and methods bother some people, then I am reminding them that Rome wasn't built in one day, and that anger and contempt are neither the way to make friends nor to help people.
     
  18. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

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    without a clue as to gender it is usually acceptable to defer to a generic 'he' just as it is acceptable to call our collective race 'Man',

    it should not be used as a point of contention unless one knows that it is a 'she' and specifically states 'he' to get a rise out of said 'she'.
     
  19. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    You are disingenuously playing it down now. What you're describing is a far cry from the claim that one of the books of the NT was addressed to you specifically.

    Signal isn't doing anything wrong with regard to the intended purpose of this forum. You are.

    Prove it. So far you've accused him of trolling, lying and now again of being insincere. It might not offend him that much, and indeed he has typically tried to maintain the initial tone of the discussion in spite of your attacks, but it actually offends me on his behalf.

    In spite of whatever I may think with regard to what may or may not exist outside of your own head, I'm obliged to respect the fact that you have indeed had the experiences you've had, because I'm that kind of person. However you have to understand that your own personal testimony is all but completely useless when it comes to trying to establish the truth of something to another rational human being. What you know from experience is knowledge to you, but to you only. To many other people, the idea that it only takes a sincere plea to God to find him is interpreted as it only takes a desire to believe what you want to believe to believe it. I mean seriously, even if one does hear voices, and even if those voices seem to contain knowledge and wisdom that one can't believe could be attributable to the information processing that occurs in one's own subconscious mind (which can indeed operate in such a way) doesn't mean that those voices are actually coming from somewhere else instead. It shouldn't even convince you, and it certainly wont convince anyone else.

    I think it's more likely that Signal, while having the soul of a theist in the sense that he believes there must be some ultimate and bigger truth beyond everything we see, is unwittingly modulated by his own rational "god given" mind. It's not that he denies the existence of God (in fact he very often argues for such) it's just that he has trouble getting from A (God possibly exists) to B (exactly what God wants). The is the same problem the entire fucking world seems to have had since the beginning of recorded history (at least). What you want Signal to do is to solve it simply by shutting the fuck up and opening his heart to God.

    But what if God requires more than that? What if you're supposed to abstain from certain things? What if you need to be baptized in a particular way? What if you're supposed to be attached to a fellowship? What if you can't really come to know the fullness of God (and therefore can't ultimately escape this mundane existence) without proper discipleship? Different religions teach different things, and many of them require what are considered to be essential and specific things from their adherents lest they be in danger of not being "right" with God. But you don't give a fuck about all that, because you have your voices and your emotions. To you, if it feels right, if you experience it, it's gotta be true. But how the fuck do you really genuinely know? And assuming that God is indeed real, what right do you have to demand that Signal should just dive head first into whatever feels right to him when it may, in fact, be an eternally fatal mistake, as many religions do indeed teach that such things can be? I mean honestly Lori, many Christian fundamentalists would condemn you to hell. They'd call you one of the lukewarm that Jesus wants to spit out of his mouth, or one of the people who will grovel at God's feet on the day of judgment and insist that they were doing the right thing by him.

    Of course to me, it seems far more likely that absolutely everyone has got it wrong, and that the "ultimate truth" (if there is such a thing) is probably something completely different to any of the ridiculously anthropomorphic human conceptions that have been floating around. But my arguments above have been made from within someone else's shoes.
     
  20. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    You'll have to forgive me if I can't even be bothered editing my most recent post to fix the pronoun situation. I'm tired :/
     
  21. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    i don't think that anyone who knows me would say that. since you don't know me, how in the world would you know what i like?
     
  22. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    what happened to me (particularly the circumstance) was indeed weird. enough to cause me a lot of distress actually. but that book is addressed to somebody. why is it so fantastic that it's me? particularly, as i've stated before, when you consider that the entire book is filled with accounts of the holy spirit speaking to everyday people, and calling them to do unusual things.



    trolling is against the forum rules, and signal is absolutely trolling.



    it's written down in black and white rav; what more do you want? all you have to do is read more than one of her posts, or her posts in more than one thread. the initial tone of the discussion is entirely insincere and she is evasive if questioned.



    common sense and basic logic should tell you and anyone else that god (being what it is) shouldn't have any problem convincing anyone who sincerely wants to know. think about it...it's god. my opinion always has been that if god can't or won't do that for someone who sincerely wants to know, then he's not worth knowing or worrying about. what's the point?



    what do you think might be the best way to find out what god really wants? from you in particular? and considering the problem the entire fucking world has had, since you mentioned it?

    yes, some would call me "lukewarm" because i'm not just like them, and some would say i'm possessed by demons because i'm not just like them, when you know as well as i do that most of them are obnoxious liars who are putting on a horrible show. the bottom line is that i didn't seek god to appease other people, and my relationship with god isn't about them. it's not being submitted for their approval; that's not what it's for. my relationship with god is for accomplishing a work in me, and if it accomplishes more than that it's because people have been witnesses to it, and because it means something.

    what you've said gives me the impression that you think this counsel from and interaction with the spirit has been some big warm fuzzy peace, love, and light thing, and wow, that couldn't be more wrong. while i'm certainly not emotionally disconnected from the experience, it has never been about making me feel good.

    based on my experience, i would agree with you.
     
  23. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Everything you know.
     

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