Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 17, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide





Paul Robeson: A Life


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Arts and Culture

Troy Jollimore on Karen Armstrong’s ‘The Case for God’

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Dec 4, 2009
bookcover

By Troy Jollimore

“We are talking far too much about God these days,” writes Karen Armstrong, author of “The Battle for God,” “Visions of God,” “The Changing Face of God” and “A History of God,” at the outset of her new book, “The Case for God.” Funny, I was just thinking the same thing.

Still, I think I understand: If the rest of us are suffering from a touch of God Fatigue, surely Armstrong, whose readable, literate books on particular religions and religion in general have earned her a respectable reputation, might well be sick to death of the topic.

But there is no avoiding the topic of God: It’s all the rage these days. God is under attack, and God’s attackers under counterattack, everywhere you look. Anyway, Armstrong’s real complaint is not that we are talking too much about God, but that there is too much talk of the wrong sort. We have misunderstood the very concept of God, and as a result “what we say [about God] is often facile.” She isn’t referring only to the so-called new atheists here—well, primarily she is referring to the new atheists, because they are the ones that really get her goat, but she is careful to assure us that the central modern misunderstanding of religion, which is to see it primarily as a matter of belief, is one shared by most religious adherents, and isn’t just a creation of their critics.

The complaint that the new atheists (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, etc.) are theologically incompetent, and that a subtler appreciation for the finer points of theology would expose the shallowness of their attacks, is by now a common one. But few defenders of religion attempt actually to spell out the theological details; and the results of those attempts that have been made are, in my experience, deeply unsatisfying.

 

book cover

 

The Case for God

 

By Karen Armstrong

 

Knopf, 432 pages

 

Buy the book

Can Armstrong’s ambitious survey of the history of Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious thought do better? She is entirely correct that atheistic critiques aimed at naive strict literalist readings of holy texts can take us only so far. Mocking the angry, cruel, unjust deity of the Old Testament, or reminding literalists that the world is considerably more than 4,000 years old, has little force against the moderate, nonfundamentalist faithful. More powerful skeptical critiques, though, do not presuppose Scriptural literalism. They rely on the Darwinian view of how complex life evolved on this planet, or the existence of serious evil and injustice—things that are well-established and pretty much impossible reasonably to deny and, at the same time, extraordinarily difficult to reconcile with any view of God-as-designer/caretaker, or with any other traditional form of theistic belief.

Pointing out that sacred texts are not meant to be read literally, then, is not enough. Armstrong’s more radical strategy is to de-emphasize the role of belief in religious life altogether: Practice, she writes, is more important than belief, and we misunderstand references to “belief” in the Bible, the Quran and elsewhere if we interpret them in accordance with our modern understanding of belief. (The correct sense, she writes, has more to do with “ ‘trust,’ ‘loyalty,’ ‘engagement,’ and ‘commitment.’ ”) Critics who focus on the absurdity or implausibility of so many religious beliefs, then, or on the fact that religion encourages people to accept these beliefs uncritically and to hold them in the face of any countervailing evidence, are missing the point: It isn’t believing certain things but rather living a certain sort of life that makes a person religious.

To see long excerpts from “The Case for God,” click here.

One might well worry, though, that it is not as easy as Armstrong assumes to separate belief from action or practice. Indeed all intentional voluntary action presupposes some set of beliefs. Armstrong may perhaps make a plausible claim in asserting that faith, as understood by mainstream religious traditions before the advent of modernity, involved more than “mere” belief in the modern sense; but if the problem with religious life is that it encourages false, absurd, unjustified beliefs, showing that it does other things as well is not sufficient. What must be shown is that religion does not involve belief, and not merely that it involves other things in addition to belief. So long as religious worldviews differ in certain important ways from that held by the nonreligious, one can still complain that that worldview is poorly founded and, to a large degree, implausible. (Of course, it is open to the faithful to attempt to formulate a worldview that is both plausible and recognizably religious in a meaningful sense. Again, though, reassurances that such a picture can be articulated are far more often encountered than are actual and convincing attempts at doing so.)

Throughout the book Armstrong frequently indicates an attraction to apophaticism, which she sees as promising a response to this worry. Apophaticism, as she understands it, claims that God is ineffable and that talk about God literally has no content at all. Since God transcends all human attempts at understanding, humans cannot think or say anything meaningful about God:

The idea of God is merely a symbol of indescribable transcendence and has been interpreted in many different ways over the centuries. The modern God—conceived as a powerful creator, first cause, supernatural personality realistically understood and rationally demonstrable—is a recent phenomenon. It was born in a more optimistic time than our own and reflects the firm expectation that scientific rationality could bring the apparently inexplicable aspects of life under the control of reason. […] We have seen too much evil in recent years to indulge in a facile theology that says—as some have tried to say—that God knows what he is doing, that he has a secret plan that we cannot fathom, or that suffering gives men and women the opportunity to practice heroic virtue. A modern theology must look unflinchingly into the heart of a great darkness and be prepared, perhaps, to enter the cloud of unknowing.

This rejection of the theistic God, and acknowledgment that the problem of evil cannot be swept away through theodicy, might sound like music to atheists’ ears. And what could any skeptic find objectionable about revelation once we accept Maximus’ view that “[p]aradoxical as it might sound, the purpose of revelation was to tell us that we knew nothing about God”? Surely if this view were widely accepted the most serious problems with religion would simply dissipate. Would people who admitted that they “knew nothing about” God’s will support laws to prevent “unholy” same-sex marriages? Would people who saw God as “that mystery, which defies description” be moved to reject Darwinian views of evolution, contra all the available evidence?


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Your post came through this time Tom!  Sometimes when the Internet spigot
gets too clogged some things get lost or don’t get posted for a long time. 
Then we think it hasn’t been posted when all of a sudden, at a little later time,
three copies show up of the same post!  It can be a hoot.  Not to worry.  I think
it has happened to everyone once or twice.

So cool, the Australian language.  It is different from American English.  Now
the US has blue people too, who live in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky.  See the
article at http://scienceray.com/biology/human-biology/the-blue-people-of-
troublesome-creek-ky/

Maybe that is not what you meant by Ginger people? 
Now listen here Tom, that looking on the bright side should ‘they’ figure out
how to do a Big Bank that would have to be in anticipation of total repeating
annihilation?  Right?  A common literary and philosophical theme, this idea
strongly reminds me of Nietzsche’s Eternal Return, or the Hindu Karma and
Buddha’s Reincarnation. And last but not least popculture configuration, The
Matrix.

Report this

By Tom Edgar, February 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Shenon
..
This is my third attempt. It seems I am not being published.

Chooks are adult Hens. Chicks are in Oz Chickens.
Ginger people are “Blue.” No one knows why. Many of our terms have gone the American way, sadly. Money used to be a zack, a dinar, and trey, i.e sixpence, a shilling and a threepence.

Don’t imagine our health delivery system is perfect, it is not, just better than yours. I am led to believe it is not as good as in France or Scandinavia.
In Britain, an American Tourist who had the misfortune to need hospital treatment, when discharged went to the Almoner’s office to pay the bill , which hadn’t been presented anyway, but was told “We don’t ACCEPT money, we are only here to PAY.”  Seems they will assist those who haven’t the fare home, or need financial assistance with medication. We haven’t gone that far.

If “They” do reproduce the Big Bang look on the bright side. We’ll know not a thing.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Generally speaking, pantheists don’t make a distinction between God and
Nature.  Modern pantheism doesn’t believe in a god in the ordinary sense. 
Redefinition of the words God and pantheism or adoption of other words to
describe the belief system might be necessary to reconcile differing naturalistic
beliefs about cause and purpose of the universe.  When used as a qualifying
suffix, theism presents an important definitional problem in its association with
a transcendental personal god in western consciousness for pantheists and
atheists as well. 

Tao de Ching does this excellently well, never referring to a deity or personal
god.  There are a couple of core concepts that would need arbitrated.  If such a
system is naturalistic in conception, what is the conflict with beliefs of
scientific discipline.  I don’t and I don’t think atheists should criticize anyone
who held this kind of a view.  Some timid persons simply need an organization
to feel safe in this hostile world.  I don’t belong to any humanist organizations
because I don’t feel the need to be surrounded by yeasayers, yeaprayers. But it
seems freethinkers and humanist organizations do some people good just as
some are benefitted by religious organizations.  Since science claims to be
open ended and does not make claims of absolute knowledge about anything, it
seems it cannot help but take on the mantle of agnosticism.  Most scientists
who take an atheist position simply say there is no evidence justifying a belief
in a supernatural being.  However, if such a being were an identification with
natural phenomena instead of say Accident, as a reified kind of cause, which a
physics explanation might easily propose, where particles just happen to veer
close to one another and join up, then that sort of naturalism is hardly
reprehensible.  There would not necessarily be, then, any determination, and
yet no satisfactory explanation of how it all got started say at the Big Bang or
prior has been forthwith coming.  While I tend to accept the scientific view,
there doesn’t seem to be final justification on that side either except for its
saying everything is dependent on future results, a provisional status. 

As long as there is mutual respect, I don’t see why a plethora of different views
about existence cannot coexist harmoniously.  I just get very worried at those
groups who want to convert everyone to their myopic way of thinking and
would kill to have it that way.

I don’t know why exactly, Night-Gaunt, but I really like the nomen Great God
Bang and its minons electrons and positrons.  It makes me laugh.  It reminds
me slightly of Leefeller’s Great Goddess Unyun, as least I remember it as being
a goddess.  Oh m’gosh.  Leefeller will have to let us know.  I never saw Beneath
the POTA.  I will have to rent it for entertainment this weekend.  The first one
was a hoot.  But Bang has a kind of happy ring to it.  hahaha Please forgive my
tickled hysteria.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, February 11, 2010 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

As long as they don’t create a perfect vacuum or a black hole larger than a nuclear particle we should be fine. But then if they awaken Azathoth, the blind idiot god of nuclear chaos in the center of our galaxy then it is lights out! [Sorry I just had to drop the Lovecraft reference.]

So far I haven’t heard anything except that the last form of sabotage was a sandwich in a sensitive part of the massive machine—a 17 mile circular nuclear accelerator, the largest machine and experiment on planet earth and we almost had it in Texas!

As for worshiping such things is just a refined kind of Pantheism, I think. “All hail the great god Bang and all the minions like electron and positron!” Maybe in the far future. Remember “Beneath The Planet of the Apes” film with the underground nuclear survivors made prayers to the ultimate nuclear weapon, one with a cobalt casing that incinerated the earth—-ignited the atmosphere in 2375 or so. The creator is also the destroyer after all isn’t it?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 11, 2010 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

Good morning Night-Gaunt.  I try to keep up with what is reported to go on at
CERN and FERMI, etc.  I have a nagging question.  Once they can reproduce what
happened seconds after the Big Bang, they certainly would try to reproduce A BIG
BANG, then what?  Does the universe start all over again?  And is that what has
happened over and over and over and over again infinitely over again?  Are the
scientists the Puppetmeisters?  Seems like a good basis for a new religion?  Want
to get it started?  There could be a buck in it.  Laugh laugh.  Well maybe I ought
not to laugh and maybe if I did, I’d turn into a Night-Ought?  laugh some more.  I
mean one just has to laugh, for what else is there left to do says Ho Tai?  Have a
nice hopefully no snow day.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, February 11, 2010 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

We wait for CERN to bring forth its strange particles of the just post primordial recreation after the Big Bang event. Sleep calls.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

What is the probability that they do, Dr. Dickie Doo….?  And if they do you
wouldn’t mind explaining it all to us what the implication is if they do.  And
what is the implication that they are subject to probability at all?  You would
not want just a couple of us to do all the work would you? 

While not trained as a physicist I am more than just fascinated in all aspects of
the nature of the universe I live in.  Inasmuch as quantum physics is something
Feynman said no one understands, we might correctly say it is a complex
subject.  We might have to agree that electrons stabilize atoms because of the
electron’s motion, and hence an atom’s balancing negative charge resides in
that orbiting electron and it remains stable because of two equal but opposite
forces (centrifugal and centripetal). 

However I am more interested in pre-atomic free floating subatomic particles
and their behavior.  For instance, a point particle electron when it is accelerated
can absorb or radiate energy in the form of photons.  Given we are limited by
the Laws of Thermodynamics, there has to be a give and take at the same time. 
Muons it is said when they decay, they decay into an electron, a neutrino and an
antineutrino.  Seems like the last two can cancel each other out, if they come in
contact with each other.  So that is one way electrons are generated.  Then we
have to ask how are muons created?  Seems like the jury is out on whether
energy and matter are the same thing at different speeds, actually there are
huge arguments being waged among scientists as we breathe.  So the question
is however particles are created, once they are, what happens to them?  How do
they go about their business in the universe?  Some in the field want to go only
to the atomic level, some want to go back to the Big Bang, some want to go
back before the Big Bang, some want to go to some god for an answer.  I just
want to know what happens right now.  At the present, I am more interested in
the chemical model rather than the physics model.  I will take a break and hope
to be back tomorrow.  Life calls.

Report this

By Dr. Dickie Doo & The Don'ts, February 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“At the quantum level it is said particles do not have choice but do spin around and about their space willy nilly at high speed meaning they don’t have a determined path..”


Don’t particles (electrons) have a probability, though, of occupying a certain orbit at certain energy levels?

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, February 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Well put Shenonymous, I will add just a little more for clarity for those who communicate at the lengths of twitter. Science measures what comes the closest to something and Religions are based on absolutes. About the only place they might conceivably overlap is in the hypothesis stage. Where ideas exist without proof. I agree with the late, great Dr. Steven J. Gould on this concerning majesters.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Even though it is still theoretical, unlike religion, science mainly relies on cause
and effect and amassing data through experimentation of “highly” likely facts
from which they make provisional conclusions. At the quantum level it is said
particles do not have choice but do spin around and about their space willy nilly
at high speed meaning they don’t have a determined path, meaning they don’t
have predictability, except to become entangled, i.e., bonded with other
particles that have a compatibility, i.e., able to join one another as bounded by
opposite charges (positive/negative) to create atoms, and the number of
species of particles that combine determines what kind of atom is “created.” 
They “meet up” accidentally and through no determination, intention or choice,
but their magnetism will attract one to another if their random trajectory takes
them close enough to each other.  A notion is extrapolated from subatomic
particles that they do not have free will and apply it to humans not having free
will.

It is a fallacy to think they are congruent domains.  At any rate there might be
an incident of choice even at the subatomic level in using the structure of the
brain as an example.  It consists of more than a thousand neurones each of
which has thousands of connections that have both excitatatory and inhibitory
capability, one scientist likens them to voting machines. In their interactions
the neurones must use voting mechanisms to deliver outcomes.  Several of
these systems are available for the brain to use which can produce different
results.  The variation provides the necessary indeterminancy which provides
freedom from rigid deterministic structure.  When a brain is sufficiently
complex, and when faced with an indeterminancy, it becomes aware that it has
to make a choice to get a particular desired result.  And it takes the
opportunity to make a choice, freely, depending on what it want to do at the
time.  Scientist Philip Welsby compares the theory of indeterminancy to
mysticism.  We don’t have to explain how mysticism relies only on the inventive
mind of the mystic, do we?

Because every choice has a consequence does not nullify it as being free.
Making choices inherently has the expectation of a consequence.  The question
of its not being free is rhetorical at best and has no intrinsic meaning. 

I’m very glad you are in better physical shape than I had imagined, Tom Edgar. 
I don’t know what Chooks are, but I do have a large compost bin I built last
summer and can appreciate anyone else who does.

Sounds like your son is a brave man who is enjoying whatever life he has the
way he wants to.  He has my admiration.  You do too for loving him so much! 
Australia has such a wonderful health care system.  I am amazed at your
description.  The United States would do well to look at Australia for a model. 
It is incredibly humanistic. 
 
He who calls others fools must know from personal experience what it means
to be a fool.

Can one ask for enlightenment if one doesn’t know one is in a dark vast wine
barrel?

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, February 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Christian 96,

Doesn’t it also say that to call others fools you will be identified as such a fool yourself? Who has called themselves “intellectuals” here on this forum? You are the only one, calling others that. Cerebrum envy perhaps? Fear not for we are just like you—-in most cases.

Religionists can only think in that way that is why they force their paradigm onto us. Otherwise it does not compute for them. The same with Atheists, but I am more forgiving in that and do not attack them. It is foolish and wrong to do so. We must reach a concord and agree that we must take care of this planet and all that exists upon it without war & strife and attacking one anothers differences. Now that is primitive and self destructive.

Report this

By garth, February 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

The next time you run into the God of Abraham, tell him or her or it, that I said “Hi”  and pass on this message:


It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why,
It don’t matter, anyhow
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why,
If you don’t know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light,
That light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light,
I’m on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name,
Like you never did before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name,
I can’t hear you any more
I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ walkin’ down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road,
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word,
So I’ll just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

Are you happy Sodium?

Report this

By Tom Edgar, February 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

Christian 96

how do you explain the creation of a God?

Influence on little children? Yikes shades of St Augustine.  How evil of us to counter the brainwashing from the cradle,later in life, when they can think for themselves, even then only if they wish to search for themselves. We have NO Church billboards. No evangelising radio stations, and no damned atheist preachers door knocking. You can walk across Times Square or California Boulevard and never have an atheist tract thrust in your face.

Religious crackpots everywhere try to identify Einstein with THEM. regardless of the fact that although he read the Bible finding snippets of interest he did NOT believe in a central Creative God, nor in any organised religion.  He did FEEL that there could be some mysterious POWER, but had no idea what it was.  Probably a remnant of his Jewish heritage.

Identifying with the great thinkers and scientists is virtually a holy grail for the pathetically poorly educated fundamentalist religionists. Allying one’s self with the intellectual elite doesn’t impart knowledge. It is like rubbing along a brick wall hoping the dust is gold but unfortunately it is still cement and clay.

Report this

By christian96, February 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

For you atheists God calls you a fool.  Can you
imagine?  People calling themselves intellectuals
when they are fools.  As for food God said to eat
fruit, vegetables, clean meat and drink water.  He
even said a little wine is good for the stomach.
A LITTLE WINE.  How does an atheist explain the
creation of an atom, rose, and universe?  Albert
Einstein was considered by most scientists to be
the brightest human on earth during the 20th century.
In a book titled “Ideas and Opinions” Einstein said
if we would remove all the additions by priest over the years to the teachings
of Jesus we would have teachings which would lay
the foundation for world peace.  Einstein was a very
bright man.  He must have read the teachings of
Jesus to arrive at that conclusion.  Yet, so-called
intellectuals have become their own God and not only
reject the teachings of Einstein but also Jesus.
Wow.  They must be legends in their own minds. What’s
really sad is these so-called intellectuals may have
had an influence on other people especially children.
Hopefully, when the children reach the capability
for abstract reasonings they will recognize for
themselves the folly of the fools.

Report this

By Tom Edgar, February 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

OOOOH!  Shenon I really don’t think I’m portly.
carry flab where once muscle resided.  I usually do fifteen minutes of exercise each morning.  I hate that it is a chore, where once it was a pleasure,  I persist.
I use 5 kilo dumbbells where I would have once used 25k.  Most of my aches and pains are from my previous sporting activities so I blame my own stupidity instead of the ravages of a long life.

My BEST weight was around 150lbs (in training) so in old age 168lbs is no great thing but I would like to be trimmer but then I would also like to be 25 again.

Waste food, or should that be waist food? Doesn’t happen here. If we can’t eat it then the Chooks will, and if not then into the worm box to turn it into compost.

Eating smaller meals sometimes is difficult. I have a son with terminal cancer living with me.  So far he shows no sign of impending departure in spite of going past his given use by date, however he eats frugally and I inevitably eat what should have been his.  I must be turning into a “Mother.” Maybe his cancer is in regression because I make up the Budwig formula which we both take.  He is still buying and renovating motorbikes and plans on going to a “Meet” in October.
Maybe it is also that living here we have clean untreated water, air and food. Eat a lot of fruit. We live in a fruit and vegetable growing area.
The State pension is sufficient and the Medical expenses for Pensioners (Age or invalid) is free.  Medication is a maximum of $4.50 per prescription.  My son has had four major operations plus ongoing treatments and has not had to pay a cent.
Outpatient treatment is a four hour trip away by bus, and the fares and accommodation in a private hotel are paid for by the State, so a lot of stress is avoided.

He has my sense of humour.  Above the hospital bed the whiteboard has a space for “Religion” If you put “None”, generally the pests will avoid you.  If there is nothing there, the odd JW will try their luck.  He asked to have “ALL” written.  settled for none.  My wife once, after being hospitalised by a goat butting her knee said “Quaker.” but wondered why I burst out laughing, as they had written “Quacker.” Yep! it isn’t only Americans who can’t spell.

My dearest friend, now dead, was a Church of the Nazarene Pastor in Brisbane.  Here it is a family of SDA with the father the Senior Elder.Funny beliefs, nice people. Hope they think the same of me.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 8, 2010 at 3:56 am Link to this comment

So Tom Edgar, you are on the portly side but it doesn’t strike me you are obese. 
You are correctamento about the salt and sugar.  These are two bad hombres
on heart and the Isles of Langerhans.  There are now low sodium and no sugar
added foods, especially canned foods, but your gardening gives at least two
good bonuses.  You get to exercise outdoors and you get to eat fresh
vegetables!  I can’t see any fault in your lifestyle.  Aye the computer is a
fattening piece of technology.  It also adds to leg and feet problem if they are
not elevated.  The veins start not wanting to work.  And legs and feet swell from
the inactivity.  It is all bad stuff.  I try to limit my sitting at the computer to a
few brief times a day or evening of not too long a duration.  But 5 yups for the
health value of learning how to push food away.  Even if it means throwing
good food way, or better yet as that would be a travesty, just put half of it in
the fridge and have it for lunch or dinner the next day.  You must be getting
your fall there in Australia as we are getting our spring.  Is that right? 

Yes, reading is a blessed pastime and yes it can be dangerous…to ignorance,
or it can add to it if the content of the reading is faulty.  Thanks to you I now
have the two good Hector Hawton books and am reading them with great
pleasure.  I think I must have gotten the last two copies left on earth!  What a
sensible and graceful mind that man had.  Not a professional philosopher but a
very fine thinker nonetheless.  Even though you are in Australia and I am in
America I do believe we run with the same herd.  I cannot boast too many
others in my family who could even understand what the word atheist means. 

There are all types of atheists.  We are not all alike.  For myself, I am not a
militant atheist and do not ever consider enjoining others to become atheist.  I
believe each must come to their own perception of reality.  I do not like
evangelism of any stripe and think it is an outrageous displacement of mind. 
I’ve always thought missionaries did more harm than good in the world.  While
I don’t shrink from vigorous conversation about belief in transcendent beings, I
would never proselytize the humanist, freethinking perspective.  There are a
great many good and kind religious people who go about their lives carrying
their beliefs and living the tenets of their faith.  But there are also a great many
hypocrites.  On the other hand there are a great many non-believers who
similarly are good and humanistic and some who have been dreadful.  All
religions are misogynist to some degree and for women even one degree is one
degree too much.  It only worries me that a religion would use their power to
harm unbelievers, or the reverse.  I think the Internet will be instrumental in
changing the world and diminish the power of religions over the next century. 
That, however, won’t stop wars because there will always be greed and those
who need to have authority over others, the tyrant-minded.  I don’t believe in
absolute socialism either because for me the individual has as equal worth as
society and it stifles aesthetic creativity.  I don’t know,  humans will work it out
as the eons happen.  It will be messy, probably, but eventually, like water,
egalitarian society will find its own level.  That is optimistic, don’t you think?

Report this

By Tom Edgar, February 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Shenon.

I read back a bit, should have done that before the other letter.

You food consumption makes me wonder if you have been following me around.  Only wish my figure was lean and trim.  I blame the eighty pus years but really that is no excuse.

At five foot six, and shrinking, I was up to 180lbs but have reduced to 168. I’ve never been a great pedestrian and am not about to become one. If you think that is high it is well to remember that in my youth my best weight and at my fittest I weighed in at 152/4. I shudder to think what I would be like if I ever consumed “Fast Food”. One of the objections, and this includes the occasional pizza, is that most manufactured foods contain too much salt, and often enough excessive sugar.

Actually “Fast Food” can’t be totally blamed for your nation and mine’s obesity problem.  It is quite simply too much in and not enough out. Sitting at this bloody computer isn’t helping either so I am out to my vegetable patch to kill some weeds.

Report this

By Tom Edgar, February 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

The fruit of my loinings first.  Bananas. There is a bag, I too have never tried it.  But if you place them in the frig vegetable container the skin will turn black but the fruit will last longer.  This I have done.  generally at the height I live 3000 feet) and the comparative coolness I can buy weekly without loss.

Enlightenment Shenon is there for the asking. Unfortunately most neither seek nor wish to depart from the ways of their forbears or contemporaries.

Reading is a very dangerous past time.  According to a doting mother I was reading by three years of age, would read bottle labels if nothing else availed.I read the Bible, I’ve even tried the Koran, and found it more boring, if that is possible.  My personal emancipation came from having a skeptical father plus the writings of Hector Hawton (Thinkers Handbook). It was a gradual withdrawal and from vague memory completed before fourteen years.  Not being American made it easier as there was neither persecution nor ostracism.  I was not only joining a different herd but one of considerable proportions, many, I would add, of varying commitment.  Most of the non believers in Britain and Australia are not evangelical atheists but of the variety of. “I neither think nor care about religion.” Only 25% of Australians are regular church goers, and I believe in Britain even less.  Americans, because of the different religious attitudes, have atheists who must be either outspoken or alternatively hide. A great pity and doesn’t say much for the vaunted “Freedoms”.

If one doesn’t read(or write),for the sheer pleasure of it, there is less likelihood of learning, but there is the danger that in the learning you will discover certain accepted behavioural patterns acquired in upbringing “Ain’t necessarily So.”

Why or how does one change?  My brother died as a very weak believer, never attended a church other than at Weddings or Baptisms and Burials, his own included.  My sister is a strong atheist but doesn’t pursue it as do I. She was married to an atheist, fisherman, carpenter.  At his funeral they had a civil ceremony, where everyone poured little buckets of sawdust on the coffin and then played Bing Crosby singing “Gone Fishing.”

I guess the change is always twice (or more) One is born an atheist and invariably indoctrinated in the ways of the world surrounding, when intelligent enough to make up one’s own mind, coupled with learning, then the direction for life is invariably made.  There is no reason to be an atheist, to my way of thinking, other than just plain common sense

Report this
Clash's avatar

By Clash, February 7, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Good morning Shenonymous

To whom would it matter? If one is not in the forest does one here the tree fall?  If the talking monkey decides to end himself in the blinding light of his own stupidity and arrogance, will it have mattered? I think not.

Was the spirit in Hatti before, after or the cause of the earthquake? Are its effects a punishment on the people or those that caused the disaster?

We learn free choice after we give up caring what mom and dad think after we no longer can be persuaded by the dominant culture, after we understand we are alone always and when we understand those choices ,even the smallest of them may come at a high cost, but you are correct that the environment we are surrounded by does tame the instinct and affect those choices. What would motivate one to think and make choices beyond their indoctrination? An answer to that question might get you the brass ring.

As for the bananas, I think they got a special bag or something to keep stuff fresh. Haven’t tried it myself so I have no empirical evidence.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 7, 2010 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

And when matter and anti-matter Clash, it will be as if neither ever existed and
it will not have mattered.  Right?

The Holy Ghost gets far too little press, christian96 (so does that ghost in the
machine).  While the other two parts can go jump off the Golden Gate Bridge,
the Holy Smoker is my favorite part of the trinity (that is the part that smothers
people with its invisible cloak).  You know, the way it just kind of hovers around
not being seen, not doing anything, and not making any demands unless Big
Daddy says to do sumpum.  Thugs need love too, you know.  Now if someone
could just figure a way to keep bananas greenish a little longer than 5 days in
the kitchen, then this life would have been worth it.

Hiya Tom…you already know I agree with most of what you say, but to butt in a
little punning humor for a Sunday morning, and before a cup of coffee, if I may
be so bold to ask, from your years of getting wisdom, how does one sort out
the garbage from the good stuff after being indoctrinated by mom and dad? 
And the mixed up society you might find yourself in?  If one’s opinions have
been so corrupted by mom, dad, and society, just how much free choice does
one really have?  Maybe there is a buck in this somewhere, Tom?  Maybe there
can be an Institute created that, for a small fee, one could go to be detoxed
from all those unfree-choices one learned in their lifetime, then come out and
deal with a very hostile world?  We can call it The Institute for Learning Really
Free-Choices.  The IFLRFC. 

Who said old TD forums never die, they don’t fade away either?

Report this

By Tom Edgar, February 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

To C96 and others.  Stuffing your body with junk food isn’t very much different to stuffing your head with garbage.  Both activities are, generally, learned from parents.

The exercise of free choice always has accompanying outcomes.  It is still free. One must presume the outcomes are expected so it changes nothing. Most people acknowledge that whatever they do will lead to an expected ending. Some care, others don’t. For good or bad it is still a free choice.

DZX3. I’m no expert on carbon dating.  I had enough trouble girl dating.  But as you refute most of the world’s geological scientific findings in this area may I be told when you will be having this expose published in our Scientific Journals, along with your evidence, and your personal research? Or did you just lift this from a “Creation (pseudo) Science”
magazine?

Report this
Clash's avatar

By Clash, February 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Having arrived here at the cave just yesterday in the rain, after an extended ride to blow out the cobwebs, a trip which took quite a bit longer than I had planned, but was well worth the time spent, I fired up the home fires and today I am just now getting a chance to sit for awhile at the contraption. After looking through the mail here I see that quite a few words were laid down. After reading the posts I and reflecting on the time spent far from the modern comforts with people who have not changed their way of life much in 150 years these words I will add.

To those of the science of religion, your beliefs are the anti thesis of life and nature, your judgments on that what is good and evil, moral or virtuous are only in your minds, chemical reactions to memory’s and circumstances. I for one have been judged by many of your ilk to be both good and then evil, moral and immoral, a person of virtue and then of vice, to you and your god this is my truth I am a man I choose and then pay for those choices, I will strengthen my instincts instead of being tamed, I will seek knowledge in my own fashion, and persuade wisdom to prevail when possible. I will not use faith in nothingness, or hope for reward in death as a crutch to avoid my responsibilities to my fellow humans and non humans that surround me. I will not surrender to the stasis of a god who if exists and is omnipresent requires this stasis of non existence for acceptance.
For those who say they just know some how, that there is one spirit, the one way I say that there are many visions and who are you to subjugate, or judge that vision that does not bring you comfort.

To those of the religion of science, time and space in the apparent world is perceived only in the minds eye and they to are only chemically induced. What is real? Out on the desert one can through the mind change the perceptions of time and space and in the moment stop time see the universe and were one fits in it at that moment. Strong minds have even envisioned mutable realities. I have no doubt that science has contributed to and is the reason for our exacting knowledge of the natural world. I would also say that we have paid a very high price for what ever we have gained. Knowledge without strong instinct to provide wisdom for its use has more times than not lead to disastrous and unintended consequences. For every problem science and technology has solved it has created that many more. Is it this we aspire to, a never ending cycle of solution until the problems created defy their solution? It is the mind, that is were the answers dwell, not the never ending litany of facts waiting to be consumed. Balance brought by instinct so that knowledge might be balanced by wisdom.

Just a ghost in the machine.

Report this

By christian96, January 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—-It appears you have mastered the task
of selecting and consuming nutritous food.  Now if
you can find a way to transfer that ability to our
less fortunate obese population it would definitely
be a feather in your bonnet. I like “nutritionally
healthy bodies are next to Godliness.” The Bible has
basically stated the same thing.  It tells us to
care for our bodies because they are the temple of
the Holy Spirit.  This article begins with, “We are
talking far too much about God these days.” Actually
the opposite is true.  We hear people talking about
various forms of Gods but there is a dearth of talk
about the true principles of Christianity, i.e, love,
forgiveness, meekness, kindness, etc.  The book of
Amos in the Bible predicted this exact situation.
It predicts in the last days there will not be a
famine for food but a famine for hearing the true
words of God.  Nutrition is only one facet of life
most people, especially children, know very little
about.  Even those somewhat familiar with proper
nutrition still lack the will to comply with their
knowledge.  Your comment about the “earth” correcting
population explosion through famine and nutrition
is interesting.  Do you think the “earth” has a will?
I like your idea of taxing the food industry to feed
those starving.  However, instead of just feeding
them we should also teach them the skills to grow
their own nutritous food.  Let us use the military
aircraft from all nations and transfer these people
to an area conducive to growning nutritous food.
Hopefully, we are approaching the era when people
will recycle military equipment into farming equipment as predicted in the 2nd chapter of Isaiah.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 1, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Good morning - christian96, yours is an excellent wish for humanity.
What are you doing to keep yourself from stuffing your mouth with food?  Are
you happy with the shape you are in?

I totally agree with you that there are too many obese people, and children, in
the world.  Even one is too many.  I often note that strangley among the very
poor the number of obese is as staggering as those with no flesh on their
bones.  But when they can get food, their diets usually consist of high starch
foods.  Lean meat is only a fantasy and healthy vegetables forgotten.  Most
habitats have edible vegetation, or am I wrong?  Seems like social scientists
are constantly and have constantly been trying to get food to the abject poor
ever since I can remember.  Always trying to find ways to feed the starving.  I
sometimes wonder if the governments of those places don’t collude with forces
to keep their people starving.  I wonder why the prepared food industry, i.e.,
chain restaurants, don’t donate a dime of each food sold to feeding the
starving of the world.  Of course that won’t end the problem of obesity.  But it
might add to the collective consciousness the idea of healthy diet.  What better
way is there to promote the welfare of all humans, except for eliminating war?

I can only perversely imagine the food industry does not want people to eat
healthy for that would cut into their profits.  Also, an even more perverse
thought, obesity and starvation are conditions the earth itself uses to control
population.  I’ve always maintained that the earth will take care of itself as it
really has no attachment to any species, and humans are not exempt.  Beyond a
united effort to change the eating habits of [all] humans that is your mission,
what do you think?

I boast a trim and lean figure by not eating very much starchy foods, i.e., rarely
potatoes, little rice and bread, very little pasta, no snacks after dinner and for
the rest of the night! little fatty milk products, drink only nonfat milk, no sugar
especially on cereals, in coffee, in tea, etc., reasonable servings of meat, lots of
fruits, lots and lots of fresh fruit, and green and orange vegetables, watch the
dressing on salads!  But still I have a tasty diet.  The Big No list is easy to write
up and easy to follow.  Desserts need to be experimented for both pleasure and
calorie count (always noted on packaging).  Most stews, roasts, etc., are healthy
except for cream based which have to be served only by a cupful.  I rarely eat
out and can’t remember the last time.  I find commercially prepared food
dreadful for the most part.  Keeping a good diet just takes “common” sense. 
But it seems there is only a small quantity of that found among the population. 
The tape measure is a good tool so maybe we could get the manufacturers of
tape measures to distribute them, free of course, to the public?  Teaching the
mantra word to be repeated at every meal or snack, “Enough!” could at least
keep the notion of eating to live instead of living to eat.  Loving the Self more
than food could also be a good therapy.

Seems like those who can need to declare a war on obesity since to be at war
seems to be a genetic trait of human beings.  If my hypothesis is true, then the
strategies of war could be used as a motif to solve the problem?

Instead of the proverb “cleanliness is next to godliness,” wouldn’t it be better to
repeat worldwide, “nutritionally healthy bodies are next to godliness?”

You do know it will take a great deal of money to change the kinds and
amounts of food people stuff in their mouths, don’t you?

Report this

By christian96, January 1, 2010 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

It is a waste of time and energy trying to compute
the age of the earth or universe.  All Christian
scientist accept the fact that the earth is older
than 6,000 years.  The Bible states one day with
man is like 1,000 years with God(I believe I got
that right. I don’t want to go get my Bible to be
specific).  In others words, as Einstein stated,
time is relative.  Instead of wasting your time and
energy debating the age of earth use your intellect
to try to correct extant problems on earth.  For
example, how can we correct obesity by changing the
kinds and amounts of food people stuff in their
mouths?

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 31, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

“Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years old. The technique was developed by Willard Libby and his colleagues in 1949[7] during his tenure as a professor at the University of Chicago. Libby estimated that the radioactivity of exchangeable carbon-14 would be about 14 disintegrations per minute (dpm) per gram. In 1960, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work. One of the frequent uses of the technique is to date organic remains from archaeological sites. Plants fix atmospheric carbon during photosynthesis, so the level of 14C in plants and animals when they die approximately equals the level of 14C in the atmosphere at that time. However, it decreases thereafter from radioactive decay, allowing the date of death or fixation to be estimated. The initial 14C level for the calculation can either be estimated, or else directly compared with known year-by-year data from tree-ring data (dendrochronology) to 10,000 years ago, or from cave deposits (speleothems), to about 45,000 years of age. A calculation or (more accurately) a direct comparison with tree ring or cave-deposit carbon-14 levels, gives the wood or animal sample age-from-formation. The technique has limitations within the modern industrial era, due to fossil fuel carbon (which has little carbon-14) being released into the atmosphere in large quantities, in the past few centuries.” Wikipedia

Your position that magnetic fluxes could influence it seems wanting here or did I misread it and you?

So radio carbon dating wouldn’t work past 60,000 years but luckily for us there are many more methods to wrangle out probable dates of age. But to you it is young earth isn’t it DaveZx3? Totally unworkable. But to you this fiction fits whatever “facts” you gained from the Bible or your own epiphiny. Did all those animals and plants in their own layers actually exist then or are they artful fakes from Samma-el or God? Because if they had existed in that mythical time before the flood how could they all exist on the earth at once? No room for all of them at the same time. None at all. But then I am reiterating to you on this for you who simply ignored it the last time. How old is the earth? The tough questions usually do.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 31, 2009 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, the below dissertation on Carbon dating was meant for

Night-Gaunt, December 31, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

As for the ratio of C14 to C12 how does the earth’s magnetic fluctuations affect the decay rate? How often the reversals? Much less buried under the earth and crystallized in fossils. It doesn’t change the fact of their age as seen by the seeds, plants, other animals are also used to identify the probable age.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 31, 2009 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

C14 is formed in the upper atmosphere as a byproduct of cosmic radiation when a nitrogen atom (7/7)reforms as a carbon atom (6/8).  The extra two neutrons make it very unstable, and it will breakdown back to nitrogen at a rate of a 5700+ year half life.

All plants absorb CO2, and according to the ratio in the upper atmosphere, some of it is C14 atoms which have reacted with oxygen to form the CO2, just like normal C12 atoms have done the same.  All absorbed by plants.  Animals eat plants or eat animals which have eaten plants, thus all organisms have CO2 with both C14 and C12 atoms. 

IF the ratio of C12 to C14 is known at the time of death of the organism (when no new CO2 is absorbed)then at a much later time, the new ratio can be measured, and based on the rate of decay of the C14, the time that has passed can be determined.  Simple enough.

I only say all the above so we can be on the same wavelength.

So how do we know what the ratio of C12 to C14 was at the time of death of the organism?  If you can’t determine that, then carbon dating is another wishful scientific delusion.

Well they say that C14 production is constant and stable in the upper atmosphere.  WRONG!!

For it to be constant and stable, the cosmic radiation entering the upper atmosphere would have to be constant and stable, which they say it is, but it is not.  And the reason is because of the drastic changes in the Earths magnetic field.

Magnetic anomolies cause the field to drop as low as 10% of average at times.  This is because hot spots in the earths crust move around based on magma flow and other heating and cooling issues.  This causes movement of the magnetic poles, periodically switching them completely.  There are periods when there are two magnetic north poles, and sometimes even four.  When this happens the strength of the magnetic field is broken up and minimized greatly.  Periods of a few thousand years can go by where the field is only a fraction of its average strength.

How does this affect C14 production?  C14 relying on cosmic radiation to blast into nitrogen atoms, is greatly reduced when the magnetic field is at high strengths because the magnetic field acts like a shield to radiation, keeping it from entering the atmosphere.  When the field is at high strength C14 production is low.  When the field is at low strength, C14 production is high. 

So if an organism lives and dies during a period of very high magnetic field strength, it will have absorbed few C14 atoms making it look much older based on the presumption that the C14 was present but decayed.  500 years later the magnetic field may break up and weaken to where very large numbers of C14 atoms are absorbed.  These organisms could date tens of thousands of years apart, where they were actually only 500 years apart.

This is only one of the reasons that there is no way to determine the amount of C14 that has been absorbed during the life of an organism, but I don’t have the time or space to go into the other right now. 

Needless to say, I place no validity on anything dated further back than about 20k to 30k years and little valididty to anything younger than that. Even with their calibration techniques, it is all based on too much guesswork. 

To say something is 200K years old based on C14 dating is totally meaningless. 

The tiny initial amount of C14, the relatively rapid rate of decay (the half-life of C14 is currently about 5700 years) and the ease with which samples can become contaminated make radiocarbon dating results for samples “older” than about 50,000 years effectively meaningless. This limit is currently accepted by nearly all radiocarbon dating practitioners. It follows that the older a date is, even within this ‘limit’, the greater are the doubts about the date’s accuracy.

Report this

By christian96, December 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

So, how do we get people to “stop” stuffing their
mouths with junk food and reduce the consequences
of obesity, poor health, increased medical bills,
poor self image, etc?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Screen names are used for various reasons, one is for personal safety.  It is best
to keep discussion with strangers on an impersonal level.

Free-will has implications.  There cannot be ‘absolute’ free-will.  To have
‘absolute’ free-will would disenfranchise life as we know it.  It means that at
the cellular level no organization would be possible.  There are physical laws
governing the combination of cells, they internally divide and combine with
materials, nutrients, to grow.  One’s will is free in the exact sense of ‘free from
external determination’ can never be free of constraint completely.  However,
free-will does not mean and cannot mean that the environment and genetic
factors confine our actions entirely either.  For to be a particular thing, to be a
human being, is to be a contained thing physically, a whole body.  Individual
minds are also closed systems proven by the fact that we each have our “own”
minds.  If there were no determined constraints on what you are, you would
not be anything at all.  You would be unbounded and made of no particular
material (the chemical elements that go into human bodies, etc.), and would
have no particular shape, hence would not exist.  We have built in constraints,
due to the “survival” instinct, desires that we are not free to change, desires for
particular kinds of foods that promote the health, desires for sex that promote
continuation of the species, desire for safety to protect integrity of the species. 

So the wisest outlook is to recognize that while there is a certain amount of
determinism where some actions are not choices, it is not absolute and that
choice does not exist, else we could not be influenced to make good, or bad,
moral choices.  While complete determinism cannot be disproved, the
existence of chance events and the notion that the operations of the mind may
not be entirely dependent on genetic and environmental factors, does offer
room for the existence of a degree of authentic free will. And only some degree
is enough to assign self-responsibility for engaging in the values that manifest
in behavior.

Consider that causality is circular - causes can influence themselves.  For
instance, the genome (the order of DNA sequencing, in this case a human
being) is like an information processing computer that takes useful information
from the results of natural selection (meaning the pool of genes gets stronger
because the weaker elements begin to disappear and stronger genes are left to
combine) and incorporates that information into its designs. Because evolution
is so slow at processing the incoming data (environmental effects), taking
several generations for every change, until the weak genes are completely
eliminated and the new trait seen in the stronger genes are all that is left.
However, the genome invented a faster machine, the brain, that simply works
faster making the assimilation of new information almost instantaneous.  But
you protest, there was no choice because the brain was grown, not made,
therefore, it is directed by the genes, so no choice is involved.  Not so, genes
react to each other, to the environment, and to chance events, and whatever
grows is subjected to a whole spectrum of experiences, and after trillions of
different modifications and a unique brain is produced, the stimulus response
action actually makes choice possible on the incorporated knowledge of past
experience.  Scientist Matt Ridley writes that almost all of the instinctive units
in the brain has been shown to develop according to their own timetable.  That
means on their own volition they select from among alternatives.  It is a matter
of genes recognizing that external and genetic influences interaction causes
changes and taking a particular way, making choices to go that particular way. 
This is one explanation.  DaveZx3’s is another.  It is your choice as to which one
appeals to your sensibilities

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 31, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

garth, December 31 at 3:31 pm #

How do you define free choice?  Are you a fatalist?

No, I am not a fatalist.  Hopefully my earlier post to elisalouisa clears a little of this up.

If God created robotic beings, it could not be written of Lucifer that he was “perfect in all his ways until inequity was found in him.”  So this is clear that created beings can go from perfect to evil based on their free will.  And they can go from evil to righteous by repentance, forgiveness and grace. 

So, in the end, the choice that all will have to make is to choose between living with God or without God.  This whole process is about preparing to make this choice, and it is a free, fully informed choice.

So how can God know what your choice is before you make it without it being a fatalistic system?

It is a mystery, which can be somewhat understood by the fact that time only exists in the natural realm where matter and space also exist.  The spiritual realm is devoid of time, space and matter. 

A being is perceived in the spiritual realm not in relation to a timeline consisting of events, but more in relation to the characteristics of the being with every characteristic being perceived instantaneously.  Definitely not understood by anyone I know.

Report this

By Tom Edgar, December 31, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

May I ask why you use “Screen” names?  Why do you hide your identity?

Christian.. In Australia we already have that tax. Good and Services Tax. This does not apply to basic unprocessed food.  All manufactured and restaurant items get 10%. Hasn’t stopped the munchies.  Tobacco products have an even higher impost.  Additional to the G S T is the “Revenue” tax consequently a pack of 20 is, I believe, between $20/25. (I have never smoked) This has reduced, but nowhere eliminated, consumption, amongst the very young it is actually rising. Our gasoline is, currently, about the $1.30c a litre. i.e is about $5.20 a U S Gallon. (In the city)  It is considerably higher in the “Outback” Hasn’t reduced travelling.

Medical Practitioners are advocating doubling the price of tobacco. When one considers that increasing the cost of “Fast Food” would, disproportionately,
affect the poor and poorly educated, those two are invariably synonymous, it would hardly be a vote gainer. Taxes are always a balancing act.  How much can Politicians get away with without losing their jobs, and what is the right thing.  Needless to say the former is the primary consideration. 

I NEVER buy frozen cooked foods. I’ve never patronised a McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried, or similar place.  I’ll be off in moment to cook for my son and myself marinaded venison chops, courtesy of a hunter friend,  Freshly picked potatoes, beans, courgettes and carrots,  I bought the onions. I’ll cook them on a wood burning stove the wood, some bought in, but largely felled, cut, and split right here. I’m in my eighties and my son reckons I’m putting on too much blubber. Oh well next load o0f firewood will fix that.

Obesity is down to one thing, and one thing only, regardless of all the excuses so called experts find.
Energy in. Energy out. Just like Mr McCawber’s dictum. If they are equal then equilibrium maintained.  So Fatsos.. Get moving. Burn off more fuel than you stoke in,  and the fire becomes smaller.

Report this

By christian96, December 31, 2009 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

I made the comment “all choices have consequences”
and many responses related to religion.  Perhaps
because my screen name is Christian96.  I just left
McDonalds about an hour ago.  It was packed with
many of the people being grossly obese.  They have
chosen to eat fast food and there will be a consequence.  Driving home, as a Psychologist, I was
thinking about reducing the behavior of people eating
fast foods.  We have been educating them for years,
including a movie by Michael Moore, yet they continue
to eat the fast foods.  Obviously education is not
the answer.  Congress is not going to outlaw fast
food because there is too much money in it for them.
I came up with an idea.  Congress should put a pricing freeze on fast foods and then tax each item
25 cents.  Even if that didn’t work at least there
would be money for congress to do positive things.
It’s a sin tax sort of like with the tobacco industry
except this approach would freeze prices.  If 25 cents doesn’t work keep increasing the tax until
people, especially children, stop purchasing the
killer foods.  Back to consequences.  Can you think
of any choice that doesn’t have a consequence.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 31, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa, December 31 at 3:23 pm #

You are absolutely right.  People have been deceived since day one, which makes it virtually impossible to make an informed decision. 

Many people today seem to understand that they are in a type of spiritual bondage.  It has always been said that you cannot be freed from something until you aknowledge that it has enslaved you.

And many worry about being judged for committing so-called sin while in this state of bondage.  But I would say, if there is a God who would do that to you, why worry about him and his rules, as they are a type of bondage in themselves.

But then I would encourage anyone to just keep diligently seeking truth, and it will come to you when you least expect it.  And don’t worry if it doesn’t, because this is not the time for the truth to be made manifest clearly.  Obviously I am talking about spiritual truth, here.

But when the time does come, the truth will be made manifest clearly for all to see and experience.  All who have died will have been resurrected during this period.  All will clearly see the truth.

This period has more than one name.  It has been called the Millenium, Judgement Day, and the Day of the Lord.  It is a literal thousand year period which should start somewhere in the next 200 years (+/-). 

Truth and justice will reign and virtually all will choose it to be the perpetual state on Earth, at which time all transgressions are forgiven and a state of peace will never end.  But you will have a choice to reject it if you desire, so no one is forcing you into anything. 

Of course this was the short, short story.  There is much more to it obviously.  But this is the story that I have come to know as truth after 26 years of seeking.  I spent the first 4+ decades of my life as a casual atheist. 

I was not born into religion, nor do I practice any religion.  I do know that Jesus Christ was who he said he was, and I do hold his teachings as a kind of holy truth. 

Within religion, there are honest, truthful people who understand truth, and there are others, with all different objectives.  Just as there are both types outside of religion.  Religion is not the diviner of truth. 

I only speak for the reality of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom I have come to know, not fully, by any means, but with the same sense of reality that exists when one knows a moose is passing through his yard because he sees the moose poops and the moose prints.  (and having lived in northern New England, I have had moose pass through my yard). 

And I write about these things not for the purpose of proselytizing, but for the purposes of speaking up for truth and encouraging those who are worried.

And I am always asked, “how do you know this”?  And I can only say that the words that are written “God rewards those who diligently seek him” are absolutely true.  The truth becomes irrefutable, but not transferable. 

I have no way to give my experiences to you as truth.  I can show you evidence which enhances my experiences, but it is not compelling.  You can believe me or not believe me, and I have nothing to gain or lose either way.

But thanks for listening and have a very happy, healthy and properous new years.

PS:  Sorry for making so many of my posts so long.  Once I get going I can’t seem to stop.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 31, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

“What is this nonsense I am reading about “free
choice?”  Every choice has a consequence.  How
free is that?”
By christian96, December 31 at 5:44 am #

In your god’s way he makes the choices then you chose. If you chose wrongly Hell is there—think the “Saw” movies only worse, you never die. Kind to the last that beneficent immortal he is. So the choice given is free to you but the outcome isn’t. That is the difference. It is the difference btwn having sex freely and laws against paying for it, and the kinds you engage in (with consenting adults.)

We are free to make choices within limits. Limited situation, limited abilities etc. We have a certain amount of it some more than others. Ignoring Nature is a solipsistic habit of humanity and Nature is all around us and in fact sustains us.

As for the ratio of C14 to C12 how does the earth’s magnetic fluctuations affect the decay rate? How often the reversals? Much less buried under the earth and crystallized in fossils. It doesn’t change the fact of their age as seen by the seeds, plants, other animals are also used to identify the probable age.

The fact that humanity has migrated out of Africa twice and that explains why our genetic drift isn’t as much as predicted. There was an extinction event about 70,000 years ago changed the climate for hundreds of years when the super volcano “Toba” erupted in what is now Indonesia. [All that remains is a huge lake 60mi long and 20mi wide and a mile deep.] Is that mentioned in your Bible?

Yes humans rely on Nature to get what we need to survive from food to clothing to medicines. However your “healing God” isn’t very active or consistent so don’t go to your church or hospital to be healed with any certainty. [There are no Holy Cross Hospitals where god heals anyone who believes. Too bad it would be a good selling point!]

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 31, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

christian96 and DaveZx3 your notions are deterministic that there is no such
thing as free will or free choice.  While I am a skeptic, I am actually neutral
towards standing on the “ladder” of whether there is or there is not free
will/free choice.  Not all skeptics are humanist religionist although I have seen
groups who have formed for such purposes.  I do not belong to any of those
organizations, having felt all my self-conscious life that all organized religion
is based on faulty beliefs.

But as a skeptic more than I am a humanist, though there is more humanism
than a smidgen in my thought since I do believe in the self-responsibility of
humanity, and not to genuflect towards a deity to define my morals,the
following is a consequence of holding there is no free will.  If you will consider
this:  if it can be said that wealthy people do not deserve their wealth (as many
leftist liberals do) then they also cannot be held responsible for not voluntarily
redistributing it.  Furthermore, if we are only what our circumstances make us
and all our actions are predetermined, elitism is most certainly impossible, and
economic egalitarianism become unintelligible.  The elites are no less affected
by causal determinants than anybody else.  However, they exist beyond the
scope of what can be controlled, or if not suggests the elites can control the
determinants of their own behavior, which is self-contradictory.  If that is the
case, no amount of ranting or intentional socializing has any traction since
whatever the state of affairs of the wealthy, their existence is inevitable.  It is all
foreordained.  There are worse consequences in holding that there is
absolutely no free-will. Which I will cover next time.

Report this

By garth, December 31, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Davex3z,

Your citation of the following:
“What is this nonsense I am reading about “free
choice?”  Every choice has a consequence.  How
free is that”?

Brilliant point!
—————————————————————-
How do you define free choice?  Are you a fatalist?

My screeen froze on one your posts about the how women are portrayed in the Bible.  It was in response to Shenonymous, and I was impressed.  I thought for a moment that I should really go back and re read this exchange.
I half-heartedly agree with you but not with vehemence.  Jesus taught humility, meekness, he didn’t say I am right and to hell with the rest of you.  He preached something quite different.
His personhood led to Christianity and in the beginning it looked away fromm the “reality” as put forth by the Roman Empire and said that there is something far more important within.  Look there.

I like your arguments, but the stridency and the costs at stake in turning against Science when its depths have still been unexplored, leads me to the conclusion that Christianity and the Bible have been waylaid by a group of fundamentalists.  Much the same as they say about Islam.

Heal thyself.

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 31, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3
His job(spirit/demon of ‘choice’) is to be the PR front for the memetic delusion
that humans, being the highest authority, are free to choose any course of
personal action without moral consequence.
**********
That is not quite what I was taught Dave. Under “free will” same as free choice???
you have the freedom to choose a course of action and then the consequence is of
your making. I do not believe most people are “free to choose”. They are in
bondage according to what they have been taught (brainwashed?). We are also in
bondage as to generations past. Very few people have the capacity to choose
freely. Just look at what Fox news does. Few are able to make choices freely. If
truth be told we are all in bondage, one way or the other.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 31, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

christian96, December 31 at 5:44 am #

“What is this nonsense I am reading about “free
choice?”  Every choice has a consequence.  How
free is that”?

Brilliant point!

The spirit/demon of “choice” has been promoted up the ladder, and he has become one of the primary gods of the humanist religion.

His job is to be the PR front for the memetic delusion that humans, being the highest authority, are free to choose any course of personal action without moral consequence.  This story was first told in the garden by the chief deceiver. 

It irritates the hell out of the humanists when the consequences of God/Nature inerfere with their choices.  On the one hand, they are seen to curse God because of the consequences, and on the other hand, they deny God and also deny the fact that these are truly consequences as a result of poor moral choices. 

While Christ healed instantly and completely by the power of the Holy Spirit, (without deductible and coinsurance) the humanists must rely on scouring the globe for natural substances with medicinal powers, which they can patent as pharmaceuticals to bring about an illusion of healing. 

As can can be easily shown, most medicine concerns itself with hiding the symptoms, rather than addressing the cause of disease, which humanists cannot admit to, and are powerless to cure.  Their system just replaces one symptom with another, one disease for another in an ongoing cycle of futility, illusiion, and delusion, with new diseases popping up regularly. 

Science, education and medicine are three of the institutions humanists use in the process of hiding and denying consequences and the God who prescribes them.

Humanists desperately seek scientific advances brought about, they hope, by highly educating their best and brightest, whom they then worship and endlessly quote.

Two points illustrating weaknesses in the humanists position:

1.  Money is running out. The scientific process costs a fortune, and their only source of big bucks is a secular government which steals from its citizens and redistributes according to the humanists plans.  They might have a chance in a robust economy, but the left’s hatred of capitalism and the rich, drives the money sources out of the economy.  Since the humanists have pretty much completed the rape and pillaging of the western world, humanists will be seen strengthening other alliances with deep pockets resources and ideologies which they may be barely able to tolerate, whoever these may be. Possibly only China being a legitimate candidate.

2. Time is running out.  Scientific methods do not work well under deadlines.  The prophesied end draws near, and there will be seen a type of desperation to continue to conceal the truth of God’s declared consequences.  This desperation is alluded to in Rev 12:12.  This desperation will result in more fudging of evidence, as we have seen occur in climate and anthropoligical sciences, as well as others.  Since their desired result is not necessarily truth, but only an illusion of truth, they are free to use whatever methods they want to “create” evidence and theories, until caught. 

To Night-Gaunt:  Regarding the age of the Adamic race.  Adam was the first of his specific race, and the Jews started their calendar based on the geneologies of the Adamic line.  Whatever year it is in the Jewish calendar is the age of Adam (+/-) some minor inconsistencies which I cannot get into now.  The geneologies are crucial to understanding God’s plan for redemption.

C12/C14 are only useful if you ignore the severe swings of Earth’s magnetic field which shields the electromagnetic radiation required to produce the unstable C14.  Science has made a big mistake in assuming that C14 production is a constant.  The relationship between the Earth’s magnetic field, solar wind, solar radiation and the earth’s temperature are just now starting to be understood.

Report this

By garth, December 31, 2009 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

It’s gr8 here in Solipsistiana!  You should join me here. The world alone. 
I was in no way casting aspersions on your nephew.  It is my predilection to judge things in the up-down paradigm of status, age, education, etc.  My failure.
If “thought” means only that one exists, then how do I account for that car parked in my spot after I shovelled it out in the last snow-storm?
If “thought” were constantly encircled with philosopical argument, who’s to say, “What if?”
Reminds me of my parents.  As a teenager when I wanted to borrow the car to drive to Boston, they’d respond, “You’ll get a flat.  You’ll got lost.”
I took that as a “No”  But I should’ve said, “What if I make it to the concert and make it home all right?  Does that possibility exist in the mix.
Of course, the above is all bull shit.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 31, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Christian96 you are a comic.  Yup free choice is just a dream.  Well maybe partly
just a dream.  I didn’t say we can choose freely, that was Jean-Paul.  But I am left
with a question does having a consequence preclude “free” choice?  Seems only
logical that a choice has a consequence.  What is the value then of your question?

I ‘laugh’ with you, garth.  The comparison with number one favorite nephew was
not a put down in the least.  But then there is no way you could know that in an
objective sense.  I should have to ask by what measure are you knowing you exist,
solipsistically or not?  From what would a solipsist draw inferences?  What could
the world of the solipsist be like?

Report this

By garth, December 31, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

That “hahahaha” at the end of your last post got me.  Are you laughing at me or laughing with me?  You too remind me of someone—my first wife.  She was also Italian and had an IQ of 161, or so she said.  I came to believe it.
The age difference between me and your nephew also aroused my curiosity.  Is that what age does to you?
I remember my father’s death.  He was in his 80s in the hospital but they sent him home.  Not just to die among family but because he got a hard-on and made a turn for the nurse.  They did not want to put up with him.
I thought, “Hmmmmm, maybe that’s the last thing to go, the sex drive.”  If that is tru, then I can, therefore, look forward to my last days.

But your, seemingly, put down of comparing me with your nephew, although you portray him in a positive light, negates my wanting to divulge to you the answer to Descartes logical problem of solipsism. But I can’t resist.
If I know I exist by thinking but I cannot prove that others exist, then that very characteristic of “thinking” means that I can draw inference, make implications, assume, extrapolate .etc.  Would one of the first thoughts of the “Thinker” be, “Am I alone?”  Can I extrapolate that others exist?  and the answer is [drum roll please]

Shenonymous this your cue.

Report this

By christian96, December 31, 2009 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

What is this nonsense I am reading about “free
choice?”  Every choice has a consequence.  How
free is that?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

You remind me, garth, of my favorite nephew.  He is either your age or older,
probably older, but just as testy and feisty as you and he too I think likes to
type and is a musician occasionally.  There is a certain similitude between
typing and playing the piano.  To making some meaning is the intention of
both activities.  I love his emails.  He has an interesting intellect as you also
have shown, is proud of his auntie, and like you, has a very tolerant wife, my
niece, who really is a saint.  I call him my favorite but he really is my only.

I have no non-religious conviction against having a happy new year.  Based on
the bummer this year has been for the nation, the world.  I can only hope 20
ten will be propitious for us all.  How shall we make it so?  I resolve to do my
best. 

It is lonely at the top so I hope you do not withdraw from climbing the ladder,
hahahaha.

Report this

By garth, December 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

“Oh, really?” said he in a shrieky voice reminiscent of Larry of the Three Stooges.
Jealous of what?  The observable fact that you are well-educated, knowledgeable, and conversant in a free-flowing manner in many different, interesting subjects, I rather doubt it.
But there you go.

Happy New Year, if that is your preference.
I find it hard to end trying to communicate with you.  So in that sense, jealousy might enter into it, but I think it goes beyond that.  I think it’s my need to type.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Your jealousy showeth, gartheth.

Report this

By garth, December 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

How’d you know about Dollar Store? I was just thinking of the one in the mall across the way.
I’ve noticed that you never miss an opportunity to show your facilility with the language no matter how insensitive you are.  I am hurt.  I am self-conscious about my small pee pee.  All nine inches of it.  It made me self conscious in the high school shower.
About the size of brains:
Doctors from Harvard did a x-rays of my brain about 40 years ago and remarked at how large it was.
Since then I have demonstrated that if you don’t have a large wallet, a large brain, a large pee-pee, or anything else of those societal norms of acceptance, you’re SOL.  (I think those who sold drugs in the 70s proved me wrong.)
So far all you’ve demonstrated is that you can type and drive an argument right into the ground.

Donate to Truthdig!

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Oh I see, garth, you are playing the game of “gotcha.”  Have fun, as it is a petty
way of finding enjoyment.  I always heard the bigger the feet the bigger the
penis.  Hmmmmm, interesting you put feet and brains together.  Must really
then be the bigger the penis the bigger the brain, hence little penises mean
little brains.  5 Yups for that one for you admitted to being lesser endowed.  As
usual you use a Staples select button to take arcane snipes at me.  Hmmmm???
?  again.  Must be you are bored.  Or rather boring.  You need to point out
exactly to what you are referring, i.e., “About your [my] out down about having
having a small appendage relating to the size of one’s brain.”  I might have said
something like that but unless you are simply making it up (rather incoherently
at any rate) in order to engage me in some sort of perverted argument, duh! 
What can anyone say?  I would ask you, and Professor Cory, all that
notwithstanding, to prove we are “resoundingly” here.  And what do you
mean by “we?”
  What exactly are you using as a measure?  The small
appendage?  Are you just smarting yet from Dec. 22 from my rhetorical
question about the small endowed?  Aha! a delayed reaction.  More yups.

Your sniping tactics are right out of a Dollar Store, garth.

Report this

By garth, December 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Oh Yes, Shenonymous.  About your out down about having having a small appendage relating to the size of one’s brain, I think you have it upside down.  The size of that organ relates to, as so many think,  the size of one’s feet.  To put it in the words of my polite ironic Irish Catholic friend Kevin O’Neill, “The bigger the feet, the bigger the shoes.”  Gotcha!

Report this

By garth, December 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Night-Gaunt for your answers,

But…
I know a man who works down the street in a chicken market, and every day he goes to work and slits the throats of about 5 or 10 chickens.  He was asked in an interview by a reporter from the local paper, “Do the chickens know that they are about to be slaughtered?”  He said, “I think so. When I come in dressed in rubber covering and wielding a sharp knife, they start to make a lot of noise. ”
I see this man on a daily basis buying lottery tickets and he still has blood stains on his clothes in the afternoon.

I affirm that we are not alone by any means.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

“To be able to choose, freely, is the height of man’s nature.  There are echoes of Nietzsche’s affirming nihilism in these ideas as well.”Shenonymous

Nietzsche was against nihilism and did everything he could to prepare those who would not be lost in it should they be without a god to “guide” them.Not all samuri can adjust to being a ronin. Robots with their own programming? How can this be? Because we can that is why. [It is indeed a scary thing and most shirk from it at the first chance.]

Elisalouisa they why can be answered in the sciences but that isn’t the why you want. We think therefor we see ourselves as ourselves. Self awareness something most other life on this planet are blind to and therefor they are optimally integrated with the Natural process. Because of it we can ignore Nature and it is perilous considering we have so little power over it beyond destroying it. Does that help? Anything else is just theosophy and philosophy.

Report this

By garth, December 30, 2009 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous cites elisalouisa:

“elisalouisa asked the question why we are here?”

Professor Irwin Cory answers the question most succinctly.  He says, “It is two part question.  The question “Why?” has been put forward by philosphers and theologians for centuries, and for that question to be answered here is beyond the scope of the space provided.
For the second part, “Are we here?”  the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 30, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

We can all choose philosophers and/or religious leaders who are borderline
philosophers that we most agree with and then quote what they have said. I
choose not to do this. Because the debate would go on and on. There will always
be a thought/action and a contrary thought/action to nullify the first thought/
action. That is where we are in the universe. Our choices are few and freedom is
just a word.My questions were rhetorical and have been asked through the ages
with no clear cut answers. Perhaps there are no clear cut answers at least in this
realm.
May the New Year bring more understanding.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa asked the question why we are here?  It is answered in more than
one way and whatever suits one’s interests is the answer that will be accepted. 
If you are religious you will not want to hear the reason given by an atheist
such as scientist Richard Dawkins.  If you are atheist you will not want to hear
reasons given by theists, religionists.

Some say that one can answer the question of why “we” are here by finding
one’s BuddhaNature.  That means, to find one’s essence and to be that to its
fullest extent.  Anything less is a denial of one’s true being.  Everything has a
buddhanature.  Everything exists to its fullest when it is what it is to its fullest. 
For instance, what is the buddhanature of a clock?  Or what is the
buddhanature of an artist?

Jean-Paul Sartre gave a similar answer using the example of a papercutter. 
Using it as something that is manufactured:  he said the papercutter is an
object that was made by an artisan whose inspiration came from a concept. 
This “concept” defines the object’s essence. It tells us, and the artisan, what it
is that he is producing.  The paper-cutter then is simultaneously an object
produced in a certain way and, on the other hand, also something having a
specific use or meaning or purpose.  A paper-cutter is an object which cuts
paper. “This” is what it “is.” Since it is this being, its meaning in existence is to
cut paper. (or in the other system, that is its buddhanature).??Now there are
some implications to Sartre’s understanding which, from a particular point of
view, can be problematic. The first is that objects which have an essence “are”
something, and thus has a purpose, but they cannot be, at the same time, free
beings.  Because something is what it is, it cannot choose to be something
else.  There is, then, a conflict between the ideas of “being something that has
a purpose” and what we think of as “freedom.”  For Sartre,  Man is a freedom,
so it follows that he is not a being and if he is not then Man is a “no-thing”.  It
also followed from this, for Sartre, that Man’s life is meaningless, without
purpose.  But, and most importantly, it is this “lacking” of being and meaning
which creates both the possibility for us to choose ourselves and the meaning
of our lives.  To be able to choose, freely, is the height of man’s nature.  There
are echoes of Nietzsche’s affirming nihilism in these ideas as well.

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

As to whether there is a higher source by whatever name is the wrong question. The real question(s) is What is it all about? Why are we here? Another question that I take seriously, Is
there karma and if there is what is the measuring stick by which there is
retribution? If karma is eternal then the cause/affect can be a cycle that goes on
life after life as worlds are created and also destroyed.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Actually DaveZx3 the so-called Adamic race has been around some 250,000-200,000 years* so where do you get your numbers? The Bible in one slippery passage about one year equals 1,000 for JHVH.

*The C14/C12 in the bones show their age. There is also a way of calculating genetic change as a kind of biochronometer if they can find and reconstruct their DNA. [It has been done with our relative the Neanderthal—where do they fit in?]

Then look to the skies for on April 13 (Friday),2029 an asteroid named “Apophis” (after the Egyptian monster god of the Underworld) will swing passed very close. Could even hit some of our satellites in orbit! Depending on what it does it will return on April 13 (Friday),2036 and could collide with the earth! Where does that figure in to how you read prophecy? Would that be “Wormwood” it speaks of?

“Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”  (words of truth)<i>

Um, don’t they already know those words? So unless it slays them like a sword why would it be of any effect? Or are these the armor clad soldiers of the north i.e. the new Mongol hordes coming down in their 200 million with their flag colors of yellow as sulfur, blue as sapphire and red of brimstone on their chests, riding monsters shaped like horses with the heads of lions and the tails with poisonous serpent heads. The fire from the lion heads is very destructive and will be the killer of a third of Mankind. It takes only angels lead by a belligerent Joshuah slaying them with a sword in his hand and one of his tongue to finish the mess first started by his father. JHVH creates and controls all things so nothing escapes his all seeing eye or manipulating hand. Does it?

<i>“Christ will not start war, but when he ushers in the millenium, those who hate him will escalate their efforts to destroy him.”-DaveZx3

Then I looked & I heard an eagle that was flying high in the air say in the loud voice,‘Oh horror!horror! How horrible it will be for all who live on the earth when the sound comes from the trumpets that the other 3 angels must blow!’”
(Rev. 8:13)

How will you know he is the real deal? Isn’t the main Anti-Christ supposed to be one too? A peace maker and wanting to join the world into one whole? (I am one of the numerous “anti-christs” because I don’t believe. I have nothing against him but he does with me. So who will be destroying whom in this gore festival?)

I for one do not like dictatorships whether by a cruel one or a kind one who will be cruel if one disagrees with it strongly enough. But then I will have my new body and it will be put to the test in Sheol or what is now called by the Scandinavian pagan word “Hell” but it will be filled with many interesting people being torture for eternity by a benevolent immortal psychopathic-narcissist.

Welcome to the new year which will be very much like the last one but with even more deaths and more murder perpetrated in our name, mostly over seas.

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 29, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

For the eyes of DaveZx3 only:.I commend you for following through in your efforts to defend and explain your views.There is a higher source that has set this universe into motion. Just look at the seasons of the year. Have you ever looked at a leaf? First Spring and the leaf emerges from the tree to provide shade for the fruit the tree will bear. At harvest time its work is done and in a multitude of colors it falls from the tree and is a blanket protecting the earth against the winter wind and cold. Now is that a miracle or is it not? That all this happened by chance is something I cannot believe. Yet people say this and expect me to defend my stand and if I do not attack me for not wishing to respond. I do not have to respond. It would be useless for they are in the debate for the sake of the debate, more specifically to outwit you. Yes, some truths are obvious but most people and governments have blinders on and do not see that taking oil, land, mineral and water from others who cannot defend themselves is indeed stealing. What about those who gain knowingly and indirectly from such action? What about all the health professionals that pad their Medicare bills? What about Wall Street and the shenanigans they pull, not to mention our own government? Truth is not that obvious to some and a spin makes lies and deception truth. Organized religion does this, also government. Just think of all the innocent people our drones have murdered. Not a peep from our American people. I could go on and on, but of course you know all this.

Ah but I digress Dave. Thank you for your efforts to educate TD followers, that is a difficult take as to our Creator. Have a wonderful New Year.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 29, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

“So we are told though unfortunately he is very late and many generations have passed. Now what?”

He is not late.  It is the significance of the 7 day week.  6 days for man to do his thing and the 7th day is for God.  A day is as a thousand years to God.
6 thousand years under Luciferian rule and the 7th millenium is the return of God as Christ.  The timing started with the creation of the Adamic race with approximately 5,800 years having passed so far.
In about 200 years I would be looking for the start of the 7th millenium.  The time running up to that event is supposed to be very, very bad, and we can see it building up presently.

“I come not to bring peace but a sword.—Jesus/Joshuah (Note this was during Roman occupation of Palestine.)”

Sword is a metaphor for “tongue” in these passages.

Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.  (words of truth)

Christ will not start war, but when he ushers in the millenium, those who hate him will escalate their efforts to destroy him. 

By that time, most humans, having been freed (the worlds religions will be destroyed by truth) from the deceptions of Lucifer, will not be fighting against Christ.  Only evil elements will continue the fight and be destroyed. 

Regarding the literal use of the sword, Christ said, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Christ never advocated the killing of “flesh and blood” but he was about freeing humans from their bondage and deceptions.  Only truly evil beings should feel threatened by the teaching of Jesus Christ.

All cultures apparently have versions of biblical events and prophecies.  There are hundreds of similar stories in different cultures.  Obviously these stories are not exact, having been passed word of mouth for centuries.  Some have been changed on purpose by those wishing to deceive. 

Spiritual truth is discerned by spiritual means, so languages, words, letters and differences in culture will never impede the seeker of truth, and all will end in the same place eventually.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

So we are told though unfortunately he is very late and many generations have passed. Now what? Quetzalcatl is to return as well on a white horse coming out of a cenote (a deep well) to return Azatlan to the people. Don’t even get me started on the quake that will shake the world and the tzizimines who will come down from the sky to devour the survivors. Already had that quake but no deamons from the sky. Oh well maybe another apocalypse from some other mythos will happen or not. So many of them have saviors who will come during a time of great strife to save a certain number of survivors.]

Sure they all promote themselves as truth and the “only way” as you do and declaim all others as apostates as you do. The problem is that the Bible is hardly clear an many matters and can easily promote and empire, like Constantine to have Holy Roman Soldiers to make war to have peace. [The visions, or sightings of “flaming crosses” convinced him to lay claim to that underground cult and to make it the law of the land and official over all others.]

Paulian Christianity is what we see here in the USA that is muscular, violent, male oriented and the body of the enemy is nothing so whatever you do to it is inconsequential next to “saving their souls.” [We saw the same with the Crusaders and Inquisition; something that our new founding fathers of the coming theocracy see as the “true Christianity.”]

I can’t claim direct contact with any intelligence outside my own so no epiphany for me just my old gray matter at work.

“I come not to bring peace but a sword.—Jesus/Joshuah (Note this was during Roman occupation of Palestine.)

How will you emulate Jesus in this matter DaveZx3?

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 28, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, December 27 at 4:34 pm #

“One of the problems of pointing out the “obvious” is that if it were so it wouldn’t take a few brilliant people to do so, then it is obvious to any who care to look”

Yeah, but one of the reasons for pointing out the “obvious,” as I tried to do in my post to Shenonymous just a few minutes ago, is to end false presumptions. 

Everything does not need to be debated.  Many ideas are obviously true, and can be debated logically and rationally.

And I say that much of the teaching of Christ is obviously true, and mandatory for followers. 

But those who hold words to be cheap, as they have obviously become, and lying to be acceptable, even at the presidential level, would allow someone who would kill another, in war or otherwise, to call himself a follower of Christ. 

This is ignorance.  True Christians do not participate in or start wars.  And this does not say that people who believe they are Christians, but do not follow the teachings of Christ, are not deceived and in need of a change in attitude.

Christ is not the enemy of humanity, he is the savior of humanity.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 28, 2009 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, December 26 at 4:49 pm #

My “obvious truths” assertions were directed at just that.  Ideas which virtually no logical and sane person would argue against. 

An obvious exmple would be “You should not kill” 
Few would say that is not a true statement.  It is true in civic law, it is true in Judaeo/Christian law, and it is true in most all other religions. 

Christ also taught, “love your enemies”  and “turn your other cheek”  and “my followers are those who follow my teaching”

This being said, I say that people who kill their enemy cannot legitimately say they are following the teaching of Christ, and so are not to be considered Christian.  They are to be considered anti-Christian, doing the opposite of what is required.

Therefore those that say the Christian followers are responsible for starting wars are absolutely wrong.  The followers of the enemy of Christ are responsible for starting wars. 

This is logical and obviously true.  You cannot just say you are a member of XXX, but you also have to do at least the main things required of XXX to be considered a true member, especially when the leader of XXX says that is so. 

And it does not matter how many false memebers of XXX there are, that does not mean they suddenly become true members just because they are a majority.

People are what they do.  You can know them by their fruits.  People who lie, war and kill are memebers of that great, heavily populated false church, referred to in many verses and called the Synagogue of Satan.

True followers of Christ do not participate in or start wars. Period.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

One of the problems of pointing out the “obvious” is that if it were so it wouldn’t take a few brilliant people to do so, then it is obvious to any who care to look. And when they do not all or even most will take it to heart. Indeed they may attack such a person for saying things that are “blasphemous” or “against god” or against something that is established and sacrosanct. In science it is an arduous process and is instantly met with in some cases derision but if the majority are open minded and the procedures of the scientific method are held to it could come to be accepted as proven. Like Continental Drift and the Big Bang or even Evolution! (Morphogenetic fields have not so far.)

It is easy to denigrate humanity to not be able to stand up to a super idealized concept like a god/theoi and humans continue to invoke at as the reason to disagree without content. The Black Box of religion with its masked motivations and cryptic actions that gives answers that aren’t answers. “God works in mysterious ways.”

In my capacity as a animadvert, being in a tiny minority, I should think it would be good for those of you who do believe to exercise your intellect and knowledge and feelings as DaveZx3 has without one bit of vituperation. I relish the competition myself as a form of mental exercise. Hope all of you don’t mind.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Guess “we” all are not too busy.  Regardless of his leaving, taking DaveZx3’s
comments as if they expressed a common belief, I will give a reply since what
is said goes to some basic common views that we have been discussing ever so
long on this forum and ought not to be dumped simply because one makes
pronouncements of taking a powder.  The impulse to simply shout one’s own
opinion when a question is asked and not really answer the question but
instead to strut one’s own myopic view is about par for the course on TD.  It is
a species of preaching.  And demonstrates the hit and run strategy of
participation.  Hiss booo

The “obvious” truths are not so obvious if the majority of the people in the
world do not behave according to the spoken commands.  If man (in the
collective sense as DaveZ puts it) would rather make the truth a mystery
because of a hatred for the truth, then mustn’t those things held to be true be
questioned further?  What is the attraction for lip service?  Too simple of
answers are given for deep principles of life.  Is it really the need for the details
of alleged truth that prevents moral behavior, or is it more a tactic of delay so
that truth can be swept under the moral carpet?  The morals of a society are
created by that society.  The obviousness of the simple important truths is
obvious only to those who think they know what those are.  No discussion
about them, only patriarchal pronouncements.  To give up on the search for
truth is falling into a trap of lazy complacency and the conceited belief that one
knows.  It is a fallacy to think one knows the world by the measure of oneself. 
It is not hard to remember that it is man who is responsible for acts of evil and
deception.  And it must also be remembered it is also man who is responsible
for goodness and honesty.  Tack up your simple truthful principles like Luther. 
Then what if interpretation of those principles do not have matches in the
world?  Would you shoot the dissenters?  Behead them?  Cut out their tongues?

Comparing God to rearing parents attributes actions to a God that can only be
inventions of wishful thinking since what that God provides is unknown and
cannot be known.  Or if you think you know the mind and actions of God,
please say where you got your esoteric information.  There are imagined
outcomes, and the illumination of truth may not be like a blazing sun, which
would burn the flesh off of human bones.  It is very patronistic to say what “we”
all like to do in order to exercise free will, whatever that could be, and it is very
patronistic to say “we,” as in the all, pretend that truth can be made by anyone. 
Truth is the way things are, nothing more and nothing less.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 26, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

“So whose truth ought to be believed DaveZx3?  Yours?  Mine?  How about simply teaching to seek for truth and it will be found.”

Truth is like a blazing summer sun.  You don’t have to search too hard to find the most important aspects of it. 

How about “you shouldn’t kill”?  How about “you shouldn’t steal”?  How about “you shouldn’t lie”? How about “love your enemy”?  How about “love your neighbor as yourself”?  How about Love Period.  These are a few obvious truths, and they are not hidden.

But man would rather make the truth a mystery because I think they must hate the truth.  They do like to give lip service to truth.  And they do have this idea that unless they can find every single element of truth, there is little use in following the parts that are obvious. 

The most important truths are very simple and very obvious. 

You can go right on and keep searching for your truth, but I’m all set, thanks.  Just trying to follow truthful principles such as those above keeps me busy.
 
And please try to remember, truth is not responsible for the acts of the the evil and deceived, nor is it responsible for the acts of false religions, because these evil or deceived people do not follow simple truthful principles.  They follow someone or something else.

And you asked, “why did God make Earth if he already knew the outcome”? 

Like bringing up kids, you must help them through their rebellious years.  God provided for grace and forgiveness so that all would know the outcome of everyone who accepts and follows the truth.  There will be a positive outcome, and all who seem lost will be redeemed, because in the end, the truth will shine out like the blazing sun for all to see and accept.  But until then we all like to exercise every ounce of our free will, and pretend that we ourselves make truth.  Sounds like my ten year old grandaughter. 

If I missed anything, it was not intentional.  It will be a very busy time for the next 5 days.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 26, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Good morning DaveZx3.  You took a good long time to post your interpretation
of the Scripture.  Your passion is understandable.  You and I are both foolish in
trying to circumscribe the race of women.  Women and their character fall into
either side and it is stereotyping to force all of them into any particular caption
of virtue or lack thereof.  Setting that aside for now, I couldn’t agree with you
more when you say, “People are wrong when they think it is their job to convert
the world to their version of religion.”  Any religion. 

1.
Although the Christians have their bloody past, theirs is not the only religion to
boast a gory practice, but bloody it was in their mission to convert the world,
not just in the marauding and slaughtering crusades, lest we forget the
Children’s Crusades! and I have posted elsewhere how many it is calculated
were killed as a result of that Pope Urban II’s zeal, lest we not forget the
infallibility of Popes who often called for bloodbaths.  Ah, do not forget the
Inquisitions in Spain.  And we cannot forget all those primitives in Africa, South
America, and North America, Europe killed in the name of divinely anointed
kings and queens by the name of their god.  So Christians are not exempt from
mass killing because of a belief in their religion and using the Bible as authority
to do so.  And in modern times how many so-called religious zealots have
hung and burned people out of racism and sexism, as in the burning of women
identified by some derangement of divination calling them witches.  How utterly
stupid.  Yes, Christians are not exempt who will defile homosexuals by brutal
murder as in the shining example of Matthew Shepard.  Or murder Dr. George
Tiller because there is a difference of opinion, difference in belief in a woman’s
right to choose to have an abortion.  That is the Christians.  But Islam has a
history of war in the name of Allah, guilty of apostasy, killing those who would
dare to leave Islam, of brutality against women, all by authority of their Qu’ran. 
Their history of warmongering fills a library of books.  As well, the Hindus
excuse their murder of Muslims and any foreign invaders, i.e., the English, and
just as in the Muslims practice, Hindu women are murdered if they marry
outside their religion, as in Haryana or Bhagalpur.  It is called euphemistically
culture killings now but all assume original authority comes from their
scriptures as well. 

So yes you are correct that people are wrong to impose their religion.  It is all a
messy business this religion stuff.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 26, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

2.
Religion is a controlling factor to control the animal nature and has worked
within cultures to control the larceny that exists in the hearts of men.  So it can
have a value.  But to get that control fear has to be cultivated, utter fear and
what is more fearful than an invisible god’s wrath?  The promise of “a better life”
after this putrid one in an invented pure heaven.  All such a crock.  Why invent
an earth to begin with if it is already known by an omniscient god the path to
perdition it will take?  Why invent a putrid world?  At least that is how it
appears to me.  Oh indeed, I remember being cautioned over and over as a
child to not commit some infraction because even though mommy or daddy
don’t see it, God sees everything and keeps a book on your behavior, and I will
be punished by God who punishment is much harder than mommy and daddy. 
Bull crap.  Watch where you step.  I think you, DaveZx3, need to rewrite the
Bible.  Then get all your brethren to believe you, not the old scriptures. Or if
that is too arduous, just revise the one in circulation and excise all the bad and
nasty parts.  I assure you, you will wind up with a very thin book.  The golden
rule you cited is not Judeo/Christian in origin.  It is as old as ancient Egypt,
ancient Greece, Buddhism, is found in Taoism.  You know, I learned a long time
ago that if you want to introduce an idea into a culture, one must assimilate
first, become one of the society and work changes within.  Adopting rules of
conduct from other cultures when there might be resistance is done through
assimilation, which avoids the resentment that comes with war.

Truth is arrived at through one’s own efforts.  One does not need the cloak of a
religion, for as you say, truth is not found in written words, nor spoken by self-
appointed evangelists, but through learning to see the world as it is and as
humans as they are.  Human rights need to be respected because that is the
way civilized humans behave.  But whose definition of rights is right?

So whose truth ought to be believed DaveZx3?  Yours?  Mine?  How about
simply teaching to seek for truth and it will be found. I think your final
paragraph in Post III shows the same insight.  But what version of the Spirit of
Truth is the right one?  For my part, the spirit is what is found in each heart
and that is all needed to motivate to find truth.  It is what I call the Hands Off
Policy of Finding Truth.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 26, 2009 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

PART I & II

Shenonymous, you have found the virtuous woman to be a dullard slave to her husband and characterized by medieval values of womanhood.  I won’t argue with you on that, but personally, I see her lot differently. 

First of all, the word virtuous in this passage is a confusing issue.  Most would have it defined as in more modern usage, which is:  morally excellent, righteous, chaste.  I won’t argue with that either, at least in reference to the outer image of this woman. 

But that is the shell, the image, the deception.  What makes this woman really tick is an earlier usage of the word virtuous.  This would be more in line with the passage in the NT where the sick woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, and he felt “virtue” flow out of himself.  Virtue in this respect means “power.”  Potent or efficacious as the dictionary has it.

The virtuous woman is, in fact, a powerful woman.  She is efficacious, being powerful enough to produce the desired effect.  She is potent, wielding force, authority and influence.  But most importantly, her power comes from herself.  “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms”  not as in weightlifting, but “arm” in the deeper sense of this word.  She relies on her own power, which actually dominates her husband, while she is still careful to cultivate the image of the righteous wife, as defined by the current culture.  (you may update her characteristics to reflect 21st century values, and my points will not change) 

Almost every line of Proverbs 31 indicts this woman as a phony, but the most telling line of all is: 

Pro 31:21   She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet.  (KJV)

Another one of those totally absurd statements which always wave big red flags to me. 

Why would someone in ancient Israel be afraid of snow.  If it even snows there, it melts within a few hours.  Snow is not fearful, even in the North where I live.  It is a pain, but not fearful. 

But lets say it is terribly fearful, and you have to take significant measures to counter it.  What would you do?  Get boots.  Get some warm, loose fitting clothing worn in layers.  Get some earmuffs and hats.  Reasonable actions, I would think.

But would you worry about the color of these warm clothes?  I don’t think so.  What has “scarlet” got to do with keeping warm?  Nothing.  Black would be the warmest color as far as absorbing light and heat. 

This is why the Bible can’t be read literally.  It teaches spiritual truths with material and literal absurdities.  It is also the problem with reading translations, which do not carry exact wording.  A modern translator might discern the passage to be about keeping warm, and translate the passage as:  “She does not fear the cold, but buys warm clothing for her family. 

But anyone who reads Pro 31:21 and thinks it is about keeping her household warm is totally mistaken.  To find the real meaning of Pro 31:21, you must first see the absurdity of the statements, meaning it is probably a spiritual meaning, and then seek the spiritual meaning, at which point you would probably be directed to:

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

And now you would start to understand that Pro 31:21 is really about redemption, ie: being made white as snow, (or forgiven of all transgressions)

But the virtuous/powerful woman, being deceived,  is not afraid (worried) about being made white as snow.  She would sooner be clothed, along with her household, in scarlet.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 26, 2009 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

PART III

There are other examples of woman being clothed in scarlet.  See the woman of Revelation.  Now this is not sexism.  In prophetic writings, the woman is symbolic of the concept of “church”,  either the true church (clothed in white) or the false church (clothed in scarlet) 

Within the false church, there are deceived (not necessarily evil) people.  They are portrayed somewhere in the NT as being those:  “having a form of godliness, but denying the power”.  Also within the false church are truly evil ones.

I only bring all this up to show the difficulty in reading the bible as a literal, chronological writing.  It is a spiritual book, and must be understood spiritually. 
 
I wonder if the writer of Pro 31:21 actually understood that he was writing about sin or if he thought he was writing about keeping warm.  Solomon was wise, but he could have easily been described as the “virtuous man”.

So, in fact, Pro 31 is a writing about the deception of the false church, and the fact that they rely on their own money and power, rather than defering to the power of God.  This is not any particular denomination, but anyone claiming belief in God but believes the power is within themselves to take action.  Ie:  Christians who go to war, Muslims who go to war, Jews who go to war.  War, as well as all other matters they seem to take into their own hands, which is not the teachings/will of God.  The true church following the will of God is a “patient waiter”, more than a “busy doer”.  People are wrong when they think it is their job to convert the world to their version of religion.  (most would disagree with me on this)

It is written to do the work of an evangelist, which means “messenger of life”.  This means it is ok to say that God is in charge, and he is going to save us all, at least all of us who choose to be saved at that time in the millenium when they are given the choice after seing reality.  This is the gospel,  or “good news,” meaning that we will eventually have real life, not this absurd pseudo-life that you see in front of you now. 

It is very important to remember the writing:  “Our enemies are not flesh and blood, but principalities in high places.”  It is not the man who is evil, but the spirit that lies and deceives man.  If man would wake up and recognize this deception, all men could be set free without any further tribulation.  Instead of focusing on the truth of the teachings of the Christ, they focus on the person of Jesus, and turn him into a political, religious figure, one to be ignored and belittled. 

It is the teachings which are the spiritual element and which must be acknowledged and “worshipped”.  It is the spirit of Love.  It is the spirit of ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, which must be acknowledged and actually followed.
This is the spirit of God.  This is the Truth that people must gather around to be saved.  Christ said he was the Truth, and none could come to the father, except through him.  He did not mean the material man of Jesus.  He meant the spirit of Truth must be acknowledged and followed to be able to come to the father. 

The deceivers are scared to death of this concept, and must insist that we focus on the political, material man of Jesus and the false church of virtuous people.  In this way, we will reject Truth, to the benefit of those who would hold the lie to be their spiritual god. 

And thus, I realize the futility of words.  The constant quoting of the words of mis-guided, deceived and deluded men is useless.  Without the spirit of Truth, everything is just another version of BS.  Choose your version, quote your favorite “wise men,” fools that they are.  They don’t even agree with each other, and are growing more and more diverse, essentially “babelized”.  Words have become cheap, but the Spirit of Truth is eternal.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 24, 2009 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Well the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is contrasted with the voluptuous
woman as described in the first nine chapters of Proverbs and personally I
would rather have been the latter, though expressly not at 7:14, and I certainly
am not cheap, and while I have lively lips I do have a life, and I wouldn’t say I
killed any victims as I don’t have victims. But the rest I wouldn’t mind being
compared.  As for the virtuous woman, she is a dullard slave who will die
young and sentimentalized by the man who wrote the verse.  The exhaustive
laundry list is quite medieval:  her hands are not idle, obsessively works them
to the bone, she strengthens her arms, a real weight lifter, she spindles the
fibers into yarn, like the merchants’ ships goes and gets food from a distance!
oh boy.  She rises while it is yet night, a woman’s work is never done yada yada
yada, she stretches out her hand to the poor, poor woman, she makes her own
coverings for her household, and when it snows, she is not afraid because she
knows everyone she loves will be cozy, cozy, she looks well to the ways of her
household, the upstairs and downstairs maid, she buys and sells real-estate,
that is she buys fields that look good so she can be the slave farmer and
vintner, also, she does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life
and such a slave is worth more than rubies.  All this just for praise.  And her
name is, Allthathecouldeverwantinaslave (aka Stupid).

Snore….

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

I give up.  You are the winner of the “shame on you contest”.  Not due to a fault with my posts, but due to the energy it takes to keep up with it all. 

I think all my definitions were reasonable, and were common usages of the words.  But I am not going to belabor that point either.  As a younger man in another forum, I would have kept up, loving every minute of it.  But of late, it seems so tedious. 

I never claimed that the bible was literally true.
It is spiritually true.  Remember when I said “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life”?  Don’t take the bible literally, it will eat your lunch and your dinner. 

The Adamic race is 5780 years old (+/-)  The Earth is, I can’t remember, 3.5 billion or something?  The Earth was a busy place well before Adam.  Read in Genesis where God said to Adam and Eve “go forth and replenish the Earth”  The same command given to Noah after the flood. 

The 1000 year imprisonment of Satan begins just after the epic battle at Jezreel Valley.  The tribulation period resulted in the return of Christ, and along with 144,000 of his recently resurrected followers, he defeats Satan and his armies at Jezreel and ushers in the Millenium, or 1000 years of peace.  Satan is imprisoned for this period, but when his sentence is up, he comes back to continue the rebellion and is defeated for the 3rd and final time.  Him and all his angels get sent up for “life” which is a long time for a spiiritual being.

Since Adamic man was given 6000 years to “do his thing” I would guess that Christ would be returning somewhere in the next 200 to 250 years, but don’t hold me to that, as he does not own an alarm clock and loves to do everything in his own time. 

The seventh millenium, is the thousand years of peace, and this is the significance of the 7 day week ending in the holy sabbath.  Man has 6 days to do his thing, but the 7th day is for doing the things of God, which is peace and truth.

The Catholics changed the holy day to the first day of the week, and this was blasphemy of the truth of God.  Most so-called Christians continue this blasphemy.  (I probably just offended a lot of people) 

He that changed the holy days also wears a hat with the name “VICAR OF CHRIST”  which just happens to add up to 666 when correctly translated to a language that has letters which equal numbers, such as Greek and Latin.  I am not saying that this means anything, of course.  I have not checked that in a long time, maybe it is not true.  I would check that out before accepting it.  I do know that the concept of a “vicar of Christ” is a blasphemy.  I denies and belittles the renting of the veil. 

Here is a biblical question to you.  Tell me who the “Virtuous Woman” of Proverbs is. 

Then we have to put an end to this thread, because as Karen A wrote, “We are talking far too much about God these days,”  How about them mutilated cows?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Shame back again at you DaveZx3.  How funny we are having a shame on you
contest!  laugh laugh Are your ‘simple’ words so easily confused?  What I
provided is so elemenary that no confusion should be felt!  I hope I do not have
to think of you as a hit and run artist, DaveZx3.  Your renditions of the defined
words, belief, need, want, desire, etc. are idiosyncratic to be sure.  My
definitions came right out of well accepted published dictionaries for which I
even gave the website for the very lazy of mind.  You wish to cherry pick a
definition that only suits your beliefs.  Okay, but here are all the definitions
that Merriam-Webster publishes:
1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some
person or thing the one you picked but notice, no justification for such
beliefs are included. 
2: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a
group i.e., the dogma of a religion
3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being
or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence this is
the one I would choose
because the reality then would be evidential,
justified truth, nothing of which you stated qualifies.

Those who believe the Bible literally are a hoot.  Sorry, I do not intend to
demean anyone’s beliefs but trading fables, allegories, and tropes for the
reality of justified belief is for the very uneducated.  Veritability of the stories of
the Bible are hugely disputed not by me or atheists, but by theologists!  People
who have studied religion a lot better than you have.  Yours is like the kind of
mind that believe the superheroes of comicbook fame are real entities who go
about fighting crime!

There are many passages in the Bible that are morally instructive.  Humans
need such instruction to counteract their beastly selfish nature.  But every
single bit of it is an invention by clever men for many practical reasons not the
least of which was political and is nothing but excellent storytelling for no one
but the most naive.  The Jews were superb storytellers and do not forget the
original Christians were Jews.  Most Christians who participate in the
persecution of Jews would like to sweep that fact under the perennial carpet of
lies.  The best I could say of the Bible is that, even though there are debates
among Jews and other researchers today what the reality was, it provides some
history of the Jews’ struggle against persecution which they still suffer today. 

The nonsensicals you posted twice today are too numerous to bother even
taking issue with.  Have a good whatever and I know you will be happy in your
delusions. 

So here is a Biblical question.  After the Garden incident, God supposedly
cursed the devil for a thousand years (Rev. 20:2).  Now when did the thousand
years begin and surely it has ended by now since even the erroneous Bible says
the world was created about 4004 years ago.  So that would mean da debble
was unbounded about 3000 years ago.  Hmmmmm does that mean, Biblically
speaking, that da debble was forgiven and freed?  Did da debble and God make
peace?  If not, why not?  And who has been going around masquerading as da
debble for the last 3000 years?

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 24, 2009 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Shame right back on you Shenonymous for trying to confuse my simple words. 

The meaning of “belief” is very simple and definitely does not require reduction to empirical fact.  How about straight out of Merriam Webster #1.  “Belief:  1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing”.

That is the definition I intended. 

The meaning of “want”  as a synonym of “desire” is also pretty straightforward.  1 : “to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for”.  I could have used desire if I thought I was going to be challenged, but I thought that everyone would agree with a common use of the word want. 

My usage of want and need was as follows:  “I need food but I want a Cadillac Escalade”  No need to confuse the issues, my intent was as simple as that.  Very common usage of these two simple words.

When I talked about the God/Nature food delivery system, I was referring to planting seeds and growing food.  I was not talking about pizza delivery.  I was referring to the fact that we all believe in the idea of planting seeds and growing food.  I would have thought that would have been easily understood in my writing.  I went to great lengths to make it understandable.

Regarding Lilith:  If one has one ounce of spiritual discernment, they would understand that Lilith was one of very many pre-Adamic women, and she had become possessed by one of the original demon beings who inhabited this Earth.  As a woman, Lilith died, but the demonic being lived on to inhabit whatsoever else it liked to inhabit, including other women and owls.  Spiritual beings have no sex, nor do they have any physical existence except for that which they can occupy or possess.  They are not man or woman,  but they can possess all beings, including snakes and owls and men and women. 

When a natural women takes on witchcraft, her familiars can be small animals inhabited by demons to serve her, such as the black cat or an owl.  In the New Testament the demons inhabited pigs, among other things. 

I am being kind to Lilith stating that she was not a witch, as I do not believe she would have been based on the stories I have read, assuming there is any truth at all to them anyway.  I think she was a natural pre-Adamic women possesed by a demon for the intent of destroying the new race created by God.  Lucifer, with the same intent, was responsible, through lying and deception, for the “fall from grace”.  I am sure if one wanted to sift through the ancient texts, they would find ample evidence for the acts of the demons, but the bible mostly refers to their CEO, Lucifer. 

I do know of the pre-Adamic humans, scientists have uncovered many of the bones.  But the Adamic race is only just less than 6000 years old. 

Also, I do know of the original “bad angels” or demons numbering 1/3 of the beings of “heaven” who were expelled for rebellion. 

These demons know God well, and they go to great lengths to make sure humans do not obey God.  They are the deceiving force behind most of the world’s religions.  Remember the idea that their CEO poses as an angel of light, so it is easy to be deceived by him.  Of course he loves wars, the more people who die the better. 

This is about as unconventional as I can write in these forums, as Night-Gaunt will change his mind.  Besides, I do not want to blow my cover.  I hope Tom Edgar is not reading this, I will be answering all weekend.  You do realize how writing like this can put a burden on your time having to answer the critics. 

Wish I could write more, but have to go.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Looking at the various sources of ancient myths we see that they have many similar stories or at least start at the beginning of things in familiar ways. For us concerning Christianity as it is now, generally within the USA, we can see that Adam(u) & Eve were experimental subjects. Before Eve there was Lilith the first liberated woman—-she didn’t need the bite of the date or fig from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil (one of the two traits of a god the other was of Immortality, darn missed that one) and of course she was vilified and punished for it. She is my kind of woman. Eve for her transgression as Samma-El in the body of a snake convinced her to eat and be enlightened and then do the same for Adam(u). So she was punished twice—-painful childbirth and remain an appendage of her husband. A form of slavery. After the expulsion from the Heaven on Earth (Eden) they had to work for a living and feel pain along with their pleasure—-mostly pain. And that is how the world came to be for humans. A back story with a message. It is no coincidence that the closer it came to the present (for them) the more normal life spans were reported. [Note many other such beliefs were extant before and widely separated from Judaism.] I bet that JHVH would have tried enough times JHVH would have found two humans who wouldn’t have been fooled by the serpent/Angel of Light tempter.] Too bad It decided to do it once and blame all of us who came after as being equally damned. But then without that there would be no point for the whole opera of war & slaughter and redemption now would there?

Again I can live with others looking at the world differently—-just don’t make your religion the law of the land. Everyone must be respected or it will not work.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 24, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Shame on you DaveZ not to trust your own mind, which is all Hoffer, Wolpert,
and Siewert, et al, (meaning all the multitude of those who petition humans
with discriminating minds) do.  Surely you have, and have on occasion
demonstrated you have, some powers of verifiable premised logic.  Other times
though, I swear there is something smelly effused in what has been said!  I
understand the powerful resistance of those indoctrinated with religion against
Humanism, particularly if Humanism is seen as just another religion.  It isn’t.  It
isn’t a religion at all, just as atheism is not a religion.  Those who attempt to
make them “organized” also misunderstand the intention of requiring
justification for beliefs.  True humanism holds human beings are responsible
for their moral behavior.  Humanists care about other human beings’ well-
being, humanists care about the longevity of their planet and to keep it as
healthy as possible from destruction by human hands, humanists believe
integrity is the highest virtue and will guide all the others.

The nature of belief is any cognitive content that is held as true.  Cognitive
means conscious intellectual activity, such as thinking, reasoning, remembering
and is capable of being reduced to empirical fact.  Empirical means verifiable or
disproved belief based on experiential observation.

The definition of want is to be needy or destitute, to desire, and is synonymous
with desire.  To desire means to crave and crave means to need.  Even
abbreviated dictionaries will give all the definitions I have here provided, and
for convenience sake all the online dictionaries may be accessed at
http://www.onelook.com/?w=cognitive&last=cognitivef&loc=spell1
It is you who are taking narrow and dogma-driven definitions.

Yes, belief is transient if it is believed new information will “move” its content
from wrong to a less wrong, meaning closer to right, closer to the truth. 
However, indoctrinations about religious belief are never up for revision, such
as you demonstrate.  Believing food will be delivered when no human agent has
been contacted to do so will lead you with all certainty to starve.  The system
that delivers your food may not have let you down, you are safe in your
American home, but there are millions of starving people in the world where all
the belief in the universe will not bring them food.  Call it the mindlessness of
Mother Nature, or call it the failure to notice by your god.

Let it be known that when the alleged first woman, Lilith, dared to brave her
own mind, the Main Man’s, de Debble, influence is the blame.  Bull crap, the
same crap since the Scriptures were crafted that you men are stepping in.  Now
I can get passionate about that!  Don’t you guys just feel so self-satisfied about
denigrating a woman and demonizing her because she dared to defy the
misogynist god?  Is it feel good time, is it?  What a crock!  And OMG bring on
the owls!  Hysterical.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, December 22 at 3:57 pm #

Garth said you should be Knight-Gaunt, and I would have to second that.  Your efforts in calling out more than a few of those who do not back up their statements has not gone unnoticed.  You are obviously a gentlemen and a credit to TruthDig. 

Re;  Lilith.  The Bible mostly attributes evil to the leader, Lucifer, and rarely, if ever, mentions the individual demons by name.  However they are alluded to on many occasions, and Lilith is as well, though I can’t remember where, I believe it was as an owl. 

There were probably thousands of (snakes) crawling around in the garden, and only a few acts are mentioned.  I think that, in the end, the Pentateuch (first five books) are going to be understood as primarily a comprehensive prophecy rather than a comprehensive history.  As a chronological history, it is fairly useless.

Though you call me conventional, it is mostly due to an uneasiness in spitting out my innermost understandings, as you have probably figured out already. 

Suffice it to say, I think that many races of human beings and many types of animals inhabited the earth long before the Adamic race.  And that is not taking into account that very large number of spiritual inmates who have probably inhabited this penal colony since day one.  But that is a conversation for another day.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 24, 2009 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, December 21 at 2:22 pm

“The human need to believe in something beyond oneself is primitive.  Not just a few cerebral men have written about the need for belief” 

“It is thought one possible explanation is that a belief satisfies an emotional need that is stronger than the need for the truth”

I have to object to the humanist position that “belief” in something larger than oneself is somehow a primitive, childish need which supersedes truth. 

Shame on these so-called cerebral men.  They have made big mistakes in understanding belief.  The need of humanists and atheists to marginalize the word belief, and say it is a primitive need, and an outmoded concept is wearing thin. 

It is not true to say there is a NEED to believe.  There is a WANT to believe.  This want is to believe in the various systems, institutions and people who we rely on to meet our needs, as outlined in Maslow’s hierarchy. 

Belief is NOT one of the needs in the hierarchy, but is related and applicable to all the levels of need, as well as all the individual needs.

I have physiological needs, and I want to believe that they will be met.  I want to believe that my safety needs will be met.  I want to believe that all of my needs will be met.

The need may be for food, but the belief or faith is in the system that delivers food. 

I have a need for food, and I want to believe the supermarket will have some on the shelves.  The need is for the food and the belief or faith is in the supermarket.  If there is no food in the supermarket, I can still meet my need. I will go to the convenience store.  But I have lost faith or belief in the supermarket.

If the system, institution or person breaches the trust, and it does not deliver the food, belief in it ends, and needs are met elsewhere. 

Belief is transient.  It will move to wherever needs are being met.  But it is not a need itself. 

So far the system which delivers our food has not let us down, and we retain belief and faith in it.  At its basic level the food system which we believe in is initiated by the idea that you plant a seed, water it and let the sun shine on it, and food comes out of the ground.  We all believe in that system because it continues to work.

We want to continue to believe in the system that delivers food, and we all still do believe in it.  We just have different names for it.  You call it Mother Nature. I call it God. 

Belief in the God/Mother Nature food system is universal, not based on need, but based on the fact that the system continues to deliver that which we need - food. 

Some arrogant men will claim that this food growing system is not beyond themselves, because they have come to understand many of its functions.  They might be able to modify seeds, but they cannot create light and water and soil unilaterally to make the process work. 

There is absolutely nothing primitive about WANTING to believe and trust and have faith in something beyond ourself, and we will continue to do so if it continues to meet our need. 

Even atheists believe in systems beyond themselves.  And others may believe in a system which does not work for them personally, but they believe others who say it works for them. 

Belief in the God system would not persist unless it worked for those who believe it will work.  Of course many do not believe it works, because it does not work for them, in their opinion. 

But I would have to say that if you don’t go to the supermarket, and utilize the supermarket system in the process, you may not ever know if there is any food there or not.  But there is always the convenience store. 

What tribulation does is remove all the convenience stores, until the true source of food is revealed, and at that point we will all be unified.

Report this

By garth, December 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Since my last two posts have failed to register, I’ll try this.

Thank you Night-Gaunt, you should be Knight-Gaunt.  Honesty always rings true.

She, Thanks for the reference.  I’ll read Eric with an open mind.

As Tug McGraw said, “You gotta believe.”  He didn’t mean you’ve got to be fooled.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 23, 2009 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

I wonder how many women must please themselves even if they have a partner? Size is less important than its usage isn’t it? I admit that as a social outcast (due to a deficiency in the non-verbal response department of the brain) I have little experience beyond the hypothetical but alas was unable to breech the barrier of social intercourse before ever approaching anything more intimate, sensual and carnal.(If you met me I dare say that within a short time my awkwardness and such would make you want to move on. I think it helped to keep the bullies away. They don’t like strange. [It may be Asperger’s Syndrome—undiagnosed.]

Just a notation for you Shenonymous but the rich elites tried to take over our country in 1934. They failed but they weren’t punished at all. Now since 1980 they have made their move again. Long term and using the available greed and corruption have gutted our gov’t even while taking over too much of how it operates. The ultimate goal is to get back to the past for their future. Before the New Deal. Actually before the Constitution even. (“The Shock Doctrine” talks about how the corporate creep has weakened our gov’t operations.)

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Are the small endowed little endowed in more than one way?  Yeah, sure,
longshoreman Hoffer was a right-wing plant!  Get a grip, garth.  You are falling
into the the cult of the conspiratorists.  Ho hum.  In the 50s there was no such
thing as right-wing nuts (Hoffer’s era).  Nor over the edge leftist-wing nuts. 
Liberal and conservatives were decades into the future probably before you were
born but nevertheless decades.  You might read The True Believer and learn
something.  It is a very small book and shouldn’t take too much time to read. 
Course you might be afraid it makes too much sense.

Night-Gaunt doesn’t need any help.  He does excellently well from his own
erudition.

Report this

By garth, December 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

(“God” isn’t a deity, theoi is, it simply means to call for one to come to you in the old Indo-European language of which it came from.)
__________________________________

At first blush, and in many cases if not all, this is true.  But isn’t this an indication that homo sapiens have always, historically at least, reached out for something more?  I know it’s a poor choice of words, but what can I say?
The myths are interesting and I appreciate your decription of Lilith.  Since this the anonynmous internet, I am a man of small penis and I appreciated when the woman got on top.  She was responsible for her own climax. Does that mean that well endowed Men have dictated history?  Maybe so, but from my vantage point, it matters little.

Which gets us back to Sex.  Understanding Sex.  Not in the terms of some sex craved think tank scientists but in some realistic terms of a person who is willing to get on the bottom and compare notes.

Report this

By garth, December 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

I and here I thought f’sure you’d continue with Night-Gaunt’s erudition.
I feel honored to have such a wealth of information at my fingertips.  But don’t let my appreciation from the peanut gallery stop you.
Hoffer was a right wing-plant.  A completely made-up pesonna to fill the needs of the Reagan Republican Myth.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

“Hoffer as been debunked as somewhat of BS Artiste - Debunked by who,
garth?  He is respected by all sociologists I know.  M. Lamar Keene, former
phony psychic who got into exposing religious racketeering, i.e., phony faith
healers, psychics, channelers, televangelists miracle workers, etc., coined the
descriptive term True-Believer.  I can’t find out why Keene decided to reveal
the fraud in such mystic practices but his book The Psychic Mafia could provide
an interesting read for those wanting more insight.  But because people
desperately need to believe in forces beyond their own minds, Keene’s work
seems to be of little avail.  Psychologists Barry Singer and Victor Benassi
showed the will to believe in psychic powers in the fact of contrary evidence,
using a performing magician into four intro psych classes which demonstrated
an interesting outcome that even when the magician pretended to read minds
the students believed he was psychic anyway.  Even when told he was
pretending 55% continued to believe he had extrasensory power.  The will to
believe apparently overrides the ability to think rationally and critically about
evidence for or against a belief.  It is called the true-believer syndrome.  Hoffer
described one type of True-Believer as irrationally committed to a cause like
terrorist attacks on civilians, murdering doctors who perform abortions, or
following a guru like Jim Jones even to the point of murder or suicide. 

It is thought one possible explanation is that a belief satisfies an emotional
need that is stronger than the need for the truth and is called cognitive
dissonance.  Besides wanting to give all personal responsibility for their beliefs
and actions and wanting to be liberated from the weight of freedom, Hoffer
seemed to think the True Believer’s grip on his beliefs had to do with
insecurity.  He wrote, “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for
his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his
religion, his race or his holy cause….??A man is likely to mind his own business
when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own
meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business….
The fanatic is perpetually incomplete and insecure. He cannot generate self-
assurance out of his individual resources—out of his rejected self—but finds
it only by clinging passionately to whatever support he happens to embrace.
This passionate attachment is the essence of his blind devotion and religiosity,
and he sees in it the source of all virtue and strength…. He easily sees himself
as the supporter and defender of the holy cause to which he clings. And he is
ready to sacrifice his life.”

His belief, after many years of observation, that the less justified a man is in
claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all
excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause, seems to be
definitive of the fanatic. But the notion I like the best from his thoughts is that
a man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is
not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other
people’s business.  Since he more or less blew apart many of the dogmatic
beliefs of most mass movements, religious ones as well as political such as
Marxism and Nazism, he has been highly criticized by proponents of those
organizations.  That does not diminish his insights nor his judgments.

Your cheerleading for DaveZ to give me a run for my money is very curious and
might be worth some self-reflection, garth.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 22, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

And what of Lilith*, the first companion to Adam(u)? She wanted to be on top during sexual intercourse and Adam(u) didn’t like it and complained to JHVH. She wanted nee demanded to be equal in all things. JHVH sent three angels to persuade her but she would have none of it. She ran off to have sex with fallen angels [demons] and it didn’t go so well. Suffice it to say, depending on the story—she was cast out into the desert wastes to live among the jackals. Then to rectify the error, a piece of Adam(u)‘s rib was taken so that that the new model Eve would be subservient to him. That still failed as many a feminist will tell you. (“God” isn’t a deity, theoi is, it simply means to call for one to come to you in the old Indo-European language of which it came from.)

DaveZx3 you are so conventional! Humanism isn’t a religion, there is no worship, there is nothing to worship (except for narcissists) and there are no churches. But I do like libraries though. I try not to be in one too long. Search for the truth is for all of us no matter what persuasion we are.

I’m not a Pagan but I like some of the pro-human and Nature affirming aspects of it. From sexuality and nudity to working in harmony with the ecosphere for it is what sustains us. Though I do not worship anything. [Disclaimer; I know of no Pagans or are friends with any.]

*Lilith is a night demon known for killing and eating children—her inability to have normal ones is one explanation, another is she has revenge on her mind against the entire human race because her children don’t last more than 24 hours and are feral monsters. King Solomon was reputed to have had dealings with her and cast her out into the desert too. Her familiars are the owl and the hyena. The Akkadians called her Lilitu and Sumerians Lilu. She is a vampire and seductress as well. In some stories she is the Mother of all Vampires sending them to plague the earth with her spawn. JHVH punished her by scattering her children around the world for her transgressions against Adam(u). As DaveZx3 will say Lilith didn’t make it into the canonical Bible but her stories persist and are ancient in the writings of the Hebrews “Talmud” and with the Akkad, Sumer, Babylon & Assyr texts too. Very old stories but interesting.

For a good read take Whitley Strieber‘s “2012” much better than the simple disaster fest of the film of the same title. [One can’t copy write titles.]

Report this

By garth, December 22, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

She,

Gracias for your explanation, and gain for your references:

“The human need to believe in something beyond oneself is primitive.  Not just a few cerebral men have written about the need for belief.  But to name a few of the most respected, Eric Hoffer is the giant, with his classic, True Believer,
dealt with the need to join movements both political and religious, Lewis Wolpert and his Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast considers the origins of
belief, and Charles Siewert in his The Significance of Consciousness examines the phenomenon of belief within the entire human experience of consciousness.”

Although, I do believe Hoffer as been debunked as somewhat of BS Artiste.

Dave, I appreciate your posts and I appreciate your agreement.  Someone’s gotta give Shenonymous the intellectual run for her money. 
Here’s to you and She and Night-Gaunt and Tom!

Season’s cheers!

I might not be Chtonic, but these ripostes keep from being catatonic.  I thank you, deeply.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 22, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Garth,

Very good point.  Maybe it was the spine.  That would certainly explain much of what we see in the human animal today.

Very good point.  Thank you.  I will remember that.

Report this

By garth, December 22, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Dave,

You write,

“Re:  Rib of Adam.  It is sometimes absurd statements like this that lend more creedence to the Geneis tales.  Who would bother to make up such an outrageous claim that God would need to extract a rib to create a woman.  It adds nothing to the story, and almost belittles the notion of God, that he needs a source of DNA which he should certainly know how to get otherwise.  Besides Tom, if a rib was taken, that does not mean that all the offspring would be missing a rib also, as you seemed to insinuate.
——————————————————————————Methinks that God took the spine.  Now that might be metaphysically verifiable.  I know that since the the millienium I have sat in a slouched position.  Maybe that has to do with Bush’s appointment to the throne.  Maybe not.  To cover any and all possibilities, I refer to the adage that, “God works in strange ways.”

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 22, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Far too many issues which need to be commented on.  And totally impossible in this type forum to address them all. 

If I have left any one hanging, I apologize. 

Re:  Strange lights.  I am happy to say that there is no doubt that the Brown Mountain lights have a very natural explanation.

Re:  Rib of Adam.  It is sometimes absurd statements like this that lend more creedence to the Geneis tales.  Who would bother to make up such an outrageous claim that God would need to extract a rib to create a woman.  It adds nothing to the story, and almost belittles the notion of God, that he needs a source of DNA which he should certainly know how to get otherwise.  Besides Tom, if a rib was taken, that does not mean that all the offspring would be missing a rib also, as you seemed to insinuate.  Surprised no one called you on that one.

re:  Broad definiton of god.  Merriam Webster #3, #4.
I differentiate between Capital-G God and small-g god, as do many others. 

re:  Humanism is religion.  Way too much to write about that, but, again, the definiton is debated between humanists themselves, and more humanists than not claim to be religious humanists.
I stick to the idea that humanism is definied by the central “theory” that there is no moral authority higher than man.  Religion is not excluded, and a subservient god is not excluded, but God is excluded.
Actually, maybe deism could be included in the humanist umbrella, as long as their God does not actually get involved with anything of man. 

re:  ufo and et’s.  Anyone who wants to explain the cattle mutilation situation, please do.  I have observed cows that were obviously dropped from altitude after having multiple organs removed with laser type surgical equipment.  I have interviewed groups of very poor, no-agenda type people who claim to have seen cows levitated up into the clouds.  The organ removal seems to be indicative of the monitoring of types of disease conditions, which I have commented on earlier,  Do human authorities levitate cows?  Do they have to in order monitor disease around the world?  I think not, though, who knows why they do half of what they do. 

I just throw this out there to state that there are thousands of mysterious things going on, some explained, some not.  Brown Mountain is easy.  Cows falling from the clouds seem more difficult.  UFOs coming out of the earth in large numbers between the Tectonic plate seams between the Chinese and Indian border areas (around that mysterious so-called Crystal Mountain)may or may not be an easy one. 

How about those pictures of what looks like a city under the Mediterranean?  I have not had the time to look into that yet, having just seen them posted very recently.

But, what can be more exciting than looking into these types of things?  I can’t attest for the type of report Christian96 brings back from his conference, but I withold judgment until I personally look into things as much as I can given my resources and time available.

I have found that ancient writing always has an element of truth to it.  Writing fiction for money is a relatively new phenomenon.  Writing took a long time to accomplish, at a time when time was better spent at other more practical concerns.  For someone to commit to paper the ideas of the bible brought them no compensation, and often death.  There is always an element of truth, and it must be dug out to see it. 

That is why I was attracted to TruthDig.  I erroneously thought it was about people seeking truth, not people rationalizing their intellectual beliefs and politics.  But it is addictive, and I have come to enjoy it. 

As Shenonymous has noted, Christmas is a marriage of Paganism and Christianity to make Christianity more acceptable to the Romans.  But it has none-the-less become part of our culture.  So from an old guy who has a hard time saying Happy Solstice, I say (culturally speaking only) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 22, 2009 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

As a chthonic, creature of the earth, I admitted as much earlier, but not a
Pagan in the least, I find solstices important moments in the year for a number
of practical reasons, for farmers especially. I like the solstices because I find it
fascinating how they mark the shortest and longest day of the year and clues
us into the orbit the earth takes around the sun.  I think the Winter solstice was
most likely highly important because communities were not certain of living
through the winter and had to prepare during the previous nine months to
make stores for the winter. Starvation was very common in winter in the
northern regions particularly between January and April, known as the famine
months.  And it seems animals get it on starting with winter solstice, their
rituals of propagation, and human animals were also part of that impulse, cozy
time. 

I don’t take the rest of the celebration all too seriously.  The religion called
Paganism, practiced by the Wiccans, especially in Britain that I find is the usual
reach for something incredible in which to stand in awe as a collective, as
humans love company in their beliefs, as they do in any other religion.  These
folks celebrate solstices as feasts.  The winter solstice, known as Yule, actually
is the origin of the winter Christmas holiday as the west knows it, and is the
oldest winter celebrations in the world.  Biblists theorize Jesus was born in
September, the 11th to be exact, as found in Luke starting with Elizabeth’s
pregnancy from 1:5 through 1:56.  December 25 was first celebrated in 336AD
under Constantine and it was Pope Julius I who officially declared that date to
be The Date. Saturnalia was a concurrent Roman festival usually highlighted by
“much foolish behavior where slaves got to be masters and the massas got ta
be slaves!  How fun!  But since the Romans were running the Middle East at the
time it is reasonable to think their holiday and festivals would be combined into
the local ceremonies.  Of course we have to wonder what exactly winter or its
solstice meant to the hot climate of the Middle East.  Maybe someone here can
shed some light?

The human need to believe in something beyond oneself is primitive.  Not just
a few cerebral men have written about the need for belief.  But to name a few
of the most respected, Eric Hoffer is the giant, with his classic, True Believer,
dealt with the need to join movements both political and religious, Lewis
Wolpert and his Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast considers the origins of
belief, and Charles Siewert in his The Significance of Consciousness examines
the phenomenon of belief within the entire human experience of
consciousness.

As christian96 joyfully reminds us, (and we did miss you christian96 but knew
you were having a good time) we now have all the fabulous electronic media to
help us entertain ourselves.  ETs UFOs now really! You are sooooo funny Tom
Edgar.  5 yups for that one.  Does this site attract religious maniacs?  Just a
few.  And some who are not really maniacal.  And some who are neutral about
religion.  Now which Frank Gardner would that be?  The artist, the sports
psychologist, or the Brit journalist?

Report this

By Tom Edgar, December 22, 2009 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

Checking up on weird lights.  E T’s U F O’s
Shenonymous how can you mix with such people?
I’m amazed they can actually operate keyboard.

I should have known, this is after all a site that attracts the religious maniacs, so why should I expect it would only be religious ones.

Ta Ta. I blame frank Gardner.  He sent me here.

Report this

By Tom Edgar, December 22, 2009 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

Checking up on weird lights.  E T’s U F O’s
Shenonymous how can you mix with such people?
I’m amazed they can actually operate keyboard.

I should have known, this is after all a site that attracts the religious maniacs, so why would I expect it would only be the religious ones.

Ta Ta. I blame frank Gardner.  He sent me here.

Report this

By christian96, December 21, 2009 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

I know you people have missed me.  I spent the last
three days at a Christian conference.  I’ve got all
the answers.  The minds of politicians are being
manipulated by extraterrestrials in UFO’s.  In
Genesis 6 they are called Nephilim(fallen angels).
The UFO’s work outside the law of physics in our
dimension.  They can appear and disappear at will.
If you remember the UFO’s where sited over Washington, D.C. in 1952.  The next year President
Eisenhower warned us to “beware of the industrial-
military complex.”  Did we heed the warning?  Of
course not.  Now we have a monster on our hands.
That monster is threatening to overtake earth. Within the last few decades the ET’s from the UFO’s
have brought about the computer age.  We have
welcomed it with open arms.  Now the global system
is being established to require a mark in your right hand or forehead before you can buy or sell.  Don’t
take the mark!  If you do you will be cast into a
lake of fire.  If you don’t take it you will have
your head cut off.  Who cuts off heads?  Arabs.
Who has the oil money? Arabs. Beware of what is
coming upon earth!  SOON!

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 21, 2009 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

I meant the Storm God of the Hebrews. Where Noah met in the clouded summits of whatever mountain it was. Can’t remember which. The angels couldn’t look upon its “glory” with such a preternatural brightness that even their angel eyes could not gaze upon it. “No one looks on the gorgon and lives.”

Real fishers use their teeth! Same with hunters use your hands and feet then kill as hunters do. Lions, tigers and hyenas oh yeah! Otherwise you are all simply poseurs an wannabes. Don’t forget to eat your kill with your teeth and hands raw and bloody as Nature intended.


Now if we could just bring back the reason for the season—-Saturnalia! Don’t forget all those couples in the fallow fields to “energize” the soil with their sexual energy with the first hint of Spring!

Report this

By garth, December 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

“Gone shoppin’, got enuf fishin’ poles. 

Happy New Winter Solstice!”

I hope you practice catch-and-release.  The true sportsman I know do.

Or does life begin and end where you say it does?

Look forward to a new enlightenment but hold on to those ancient tales of sky watching, solstices, etc.
Who knows where it will lead?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Gone shoppin’, got enuf fishin’ poles. 

Happy New Winter Solstice!

Report this

By garth, December 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Are you asking me if two men cannot be wrong?

If you re-read not oly your comments but the ones that came before, you’d see that I might, just might, be referring to others.
So, yes, your comments sem to be internalized but they are directed to the nature of the commentary in general.
You might take relief in the old AA warning that, Yes, there is a God, but you are not She.
Again I claim that your ease in using other’s beliefs in nonparareil.

Stick to thy lasts.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Good old Bertie said, “It is desirable to believe a proposition when there is no
ground whatever for supposing it is true.”

Do I have any solid ground when I say M’thinks your skin is thinner than tissue
paper, garth?  Directness, yes, indignation, no.  Morally justified, yes, anger,
no. 

To which the new customer replied back, “Why not Eumenides?”

Seems like you wish to illustrate me as disgruntled, grumpy, and angry.  It
remains to be fathomed why you feel the need to do that since there is none of
that in my psyche let alone in my comments.  I am a happy, moral,
intellectually satisfied, and well-balanced [at least according to those I know]
atheist.  But to cajole you, let’s say you are right and that I think I am the
center of the Universe, I don’t, but please prove that I am not.

Francis Bacon once said, “For what a man had rather be true he more readily
believes.”

And Terence - a Roman playwright said “You believe that which you hope for
earnestly.”

Seems like these two gents essentially said the same thing.  If a thing is
thought to be true by different men unknown to each other and in different
centuries, could it then be true?

Report this

By garth, December 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

“The argument of whether the world is one or many is as ancient as man’s ability to question his world.  The western paradigms are Parmenides (existence is
one, promoting the idea of permanence) and Heraclitus (existence is process, it is at least two, he saw the unity of opposites, meaning opposites cannot exist without each other, all is in flux roaming between two poles, he introduced the
idea of impermanence).”

An old Athenian tailor encounter a new customer who said,
“Eumenides?
to which the tailor replied, “Why Euripides?


Methinks, you thinks you are the center of the Universe.

I loved your references to the old Greeks and the meanings of their beliefs expressed in everyday terms.

Maybe you got up out of the wrong side of the bed, but your directness and indignation was as expressed was felt.

Keep ‘em coming.

Selah!

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 21, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

On occasion I have ranted, it is true garth, but I would like to see it where it
was not in the company of personal friends.  There are times when I have
defended my integrity from being called innocuous names and denigrated for a
dislike of my middle-of-the road views.  Oh, yeah, I have a book of those
names and denigrations!  Many of them are great fun.  I have my views because
I have come to understand that all positions are tenable, even mine, with the
exception that they are tenable.  All knowledge is subject to displacement by
better knowledge.  I practice being rational.  So with that said, I have found
those who are serious about learning something about the world and
themselves do not start their “intellectual arguments” with the opinion “You are
all full of shit!”  That felt view is in my mind exceedingly defensive due to some
self-consciousness about one’s own deficiencies. 

Having been in the company of Krishnamurti at Ojai, California on occasion, I
came to fairly much the same conclusion you have not because I knew his
biography though, but because of what he preached.  While I have studied
eastern thought philosophies, I do not subscribe to what I consider a
misconception that the world is illusion.  The world is real, and we veil our
minds with poor teachings and short vision.  I think that is essentially what the
Buddha taught.  But I am loathe to follow anyone who claims to know.  My
personal philosophy is that is it my responsibility to find out what life is, what it
is for, and why it is the way I have discovered it to be.  I do not blame anyone
for my life or the vicissitudes I have encountered.  I do believe I am also
responsible to make the world as good a place as I can within the scope of my
resources both my by my physical being and external resources.  I believe this
because to the degree I can be instrumental to make the world better the world
becomes better for myself.  So essentially it is out of self-interest that my
altruism is born.

The argument of whether the world is one or many is as ancient as man’s ability
to question his world.  The western paradigms are Parmenides (existence is
one, promoting the idea of permanence) and Heraclitus (existence is process, it
is at least two, he saw the unity of opposites, meaning opposites cannot exist
without each other, all is in flux roaming between two poles, he introduced the
idea of impermanence).

I am familiar with Mary baker Eddy but more important I am familiar with the
herculean efforts of women since the alleged Fall have had to make to become
accomplished in anything.

No, I did not say I was the center of the universe.  My response, and you
should check things out for misunderstanding before making claims about
what someone said, was about where in the universe the galaxy is located if
the universe is expanding a certain way by DaveZx3, and I agreed with his
conclusion but with a modification that if the universe is infinite, which was
another conjecture, then it wouldn’t matter where one, or a galaxy, was it
would be the center of the universe.  Hardly narcissistic, don’t you think?

Report this

By garth, December 21, 2009 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

It’s interesting (now, there’s a milquetoast word) to note on TD that a lot of intellectual arguments begin with a phrase something like, “You’re all full o’ shit.”
No doubt, the historicity of the Bible is at least in question, but still I can state without trying to be outspoken that it is one of the most widely read books.
I used to feel somewhat lessened by the Transcendentalist who said that all was one, the world can be seen in a Lotus or something to that effect.  Then I listened to an interview with a guy named Krishnamurti.  He countered every interviewer’s question with harsh, sometimes belittling rebukes.  Then I read up a little on Krishnamurti.  He was the son of a wealthy man in India who spent his life travelling the world.  I can guess that ennui set in somewhere along the line.  I began to imagine that maybe we are not All One, and that these guys might nearing the “F” on the Shit meter.

And therein lies the beauty.  The energy of these arguments and ideas could cause them to go on forever.  Even until death calls and you have to drop what you doing and answer the call.

She, I noticed you picked up on, without calling me out on it, the use of ideas from Christian Science.  I knew I was tipping my hand, but nonetheless, I find the ideas as a helpful starting poing to meditation.  For your amusement, I recommend a scholarly biography on Mary Baker Eddy written by a professor named Gillian.  It brings out the extra-ordianry efforts that women had to make in this country to accomplish anything.  She was attacked by Mark Twain and Joseph Pulitzer, relentlessly.  I am not advocating her religious beliefs just the story of her life as written by an impartial scholar.  It’s quite a read.
I do attest to the words of an heretofore unheralded philosopher, Daniel B. Witwer, who said, “Life is Simple” and he lived his life fully to the age of 81 adhering to that principle despite WWII and familial disappointments.  It’s one thing to be a proud parent, but when reality comes to call in the debt and you see your seed going to spoil, it can be quite saddening.

And She, your posts where you so fluidly vamp on such soaring ideas remind me of the line from Mr. Tamboutine Man:

“To dance beneath the diamond skies with one hand waving free.”

One a recent Sunday, I think you came out and stated using Xeno’s something or other that you were the center of Universe.  Well, to turn the tables, I might be solipsistic, but you are narcissistic, no?
I hope you go on a rant.

Report this

By Tom Edgar, December 21, 2009 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

I shouldn’t be surprised at the, close to a Politicians art, the method chosen by religionists to obfuscate or avoid answering salient points.

Whenever it is quoted, the Bible is always the verbatim word of God.  If a ridiculous phrase, sentence, or story is mentioned it is then allegory or a parable meaning something entirely different, even though the Bible never says so.
Are you extending that to the imaginary being blowing his breath onto a pile of dirt to make a man.
Followed by extracting a rib to make a woman who, crazily, happens to have, to this day, an equal number of ribs to a male.

Dave you ignored completely that I said humanist ideas could well have existed in the minds of very isolated individuals over all time.  You were attacking “Humanism” as an entity, and that, along with atheism, are recent arrivals.  You ignored that most wars, even those involving territorial acquisition, over millenia have, in practically every instance, been religiously motivated or inspired, occurring before the two organisations
as entities came into being.

You then, arrogantly, make an accusation that we, who deny the possibility of any God,  have Gods of our own.  You must have a very much broader definition of a Deity than do I, or any theist that I know. Atheists would also have a much narrower definition.

Report this

Page 4 of 7 pages « First  <  2 3 4 5 6 >  Last »

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.