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  2. Thormas ... I must admit for me this was way too long and if I may say so flowery. To me this seems like rhetorical question about your beliefs. Choice about love? Absolutely none - at least free choice. Could it be otherwise? I don't see how. But generally I disagree with the premise preceding. See 3 Why do we exist? Teleology! What evidence do we have of a purpose or intent for our existence? More teleology ... not necessary in my opinion. What causes love? ... the properties of matter. The same that causes hate, lust, greed, fear, jealousy, etc .. you get the picture. Already answered. More teleology. More teleology More teleology It just might be a more accurate description of existence. Anyway my answers.
  3. August 20, 2017 Matthew 15:10-28 10-11 He then called the crowd together and said, “Listen, and take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up.” 12 Later his disciples came and told him, “Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?” 13-14 Jesus shrugged it off. “Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” 15 Peter said, “I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.” 16-20 Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.” Healing the People 21-22 From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.” 23 Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.” 24 Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.” 26 He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.” 27 She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.” 28 Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well.
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  5. No thanks Rom, I'm not the site summarizer-in-chief or even a deputy and they were discussion points. Yeah, you do want things only your way - so, right, fair enough. The discussion point are there and I would appreciate if you read what you suggested I include for ..........wait for it..............discussion :+}
  6. Actually I have mentioned to Joseph (in the past and before your time here) I am not a fan long posts. I prefer to have more of a discussion. So if you see it as snarkiness aimed at you fair enough. But I would appreciate it if you could summarize the points you want me to address.
  7. Sorry Rom, you suggested and I took the time to respond to that request. There for the reading, hardly a wall of text, appreciate the snakiness but still a dodge. Turn about is still fair play: don't start asking even more questions - respond or not!
  8. Rom, I agree they appear to be chaotic possibly because of lack of understanding at the present in an extremely complex universe but i believe it is not. I 'see' an unseen order in everything that someday even science may verify. I would not argue the point since i can offer no proof of my view. PS. I have read this "Considering the "Laws" and orderly forces within the Universe I would suggest Orderly over Chaotic, Even Quantum mechanics works within it's own laws. Nothing is truly Chaotic especialy anythinig adhering to cause and effect. "Reference
  9. Just following this thread from afar. Just happen to be reading a book on how poetry can transform and there was a quote from the journals of Gerard Manley Hopkins, where he was describing, amongst other things, the drift of snow, shaped by the wind, and then observes "chance left free to act falls into an order as well as purpose". Just seemed appropriate, but who knows? One little note from the book I added to my Notebook....."A work of art is not a piece of fruit lifted from a tree branch; it is a ripening collaboration of artist, receiver, and world." (Jane Hirshfield, "Ten Windows")
  10. If I want a wall of text I normally pick up a book. What is (or are) the questions you would like to be answered. One that comes to mind how we measure accuracy which I answered already. What were the others.
  11. Sorry, should have been more clear. I reject happenstance as the reason for being, for creation. I totally accept happenstance in the sense that 'stuff' happens for which we are not responsible. Sort of reminiscent of Kushner's 'When Bad Things Happen To Good People.' As for the rest, a nice dodge especially when you suggest the topic. Besides, turn about is fair play: you ask and ask and ask (like above) but when asked...................nada.
  12. I pick just one aspect of your reply ... in that there I find much that does not make sense and is off topic and not make discussion too unwieldy. This is a 'positive' claim in a philosophical sense. What is your corroborative evidence for rejecting happenstance?
  13. If by perpetrator you mean proximate cause ... then I agree. There are a whole bunch of causes (seen and unseen) supporting you being a perp. If there was true order then my pointing could be spot on. While we can see order in the rotation of the moon about the Earth which rotates about the Sun ... these are in fact chaotic. Or at least the evidence points that way. Evolution is chaotic, the molecules around us are chaotic, the very fabric of matter appears to be chaotic. Yes we can pick out pockets of order.
  14. If you say so, who am I to disagree :+} But it could be an illusion - but on whose part??????
  15. You seem to know and understand my position better than i. I'm OK with that.
  16. Actually and sadly Joseph, you don't see the consequences of your own position for others. Your position, that you have no position on whether people deserve or don't deserve the tremendous suffering they endure, is an acknowledgement that some people, maybe everybody deserves suffering. If's just don't know. Amazingly, you double down: the abused Nazi prisoner can refuse to accept his situation as reality? This is absurd on its face but even if, for the sake of argument, we go with it, what does this mean for an infant or a small child (maybe even a child through mid-teenage years) or a severely mentally handicapped person of any age? If the little girl repeatedly raped or the small boy beaten daily by a drunk, abusive father or any of the others only accepted 'what is' things would be 'mentally' bearable? Even as their bodies are abused beyond limits, their spirit destroyed by an inhumanity that overwhelms them, you would advise each, so young or incapacitated that could not possibly understand your advise, to accept what is and adjust their subjective mental constructs? Yet this position is not insensitive? I understand all too well - to my utter amazement! Now you give definitions? One worries because they are capable of and are compassionate. That worry leads to action, to caring for others. Merely imagine the worry you might have for a spouse, a best friend, a child - does this have any connection to caring for and extending care to them? Context Joseph, context. Jesus: most people understand this to mean that Love does not yet Reign (as one does in a Kingdom) in humanity, thus in this world as it now is. But, it should be remembered that for Jesus, the Kingdom was not another world, it was this world in which the Kingdom would be established, in which Love/God would be all. Things do change but there is no illusion: the caterpillar is real, it transforms and turns into a butterfly. This is not illusion, this really happens - ask a child. Most human being recognize the changing nature of things, but that is the nature of things, that is also their nature which they witness through childhood to adulthood, to middle age to old age and to death. It's not an illusion, it really happens, every day - ask a person. Paul: Paul also 'worried' and wrote about knowing the good and not doing the good, not having the strength to do it by himself. He saw that he didn't always do the good (how human is this insight?) - he desired the good, not that which was not good, i.e. evil/sin (in which he too often found himself part of). And Jesus himself is said to have opposed the evil (as opposed to good) temptations by Satan (don't take the story literally); he actively opposed and 'righted' what was considered evil (not good) by others of his day: he cured the blind, the lame, the 'possessed', the sick and the dead. Regardless, you need to finish Paul's quote: "If your brother is distressed by what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother, for whom Christ died.…" Wasn't there an issue in Paul's time whether one had to be Jewish - and accept all practices, including dietary restrictions - to be Christian? No Joseph, words never disturb me but how those words are used, how they influence or impact others, the tone or understanding they put forth in an entirely different issue. And your words and their context are quite clear. it seems you are disturbed by another questioning them. We don't know definitively, but there is a literal world of difference between the immediate, experiential knowing that the world is real and the intellectual construct that all is illusion. Pretty much ask any everyday (or even intellectuals) person.
  17. Thomas, Sorry but I think you read too much into my posts. I have no position on deserve or not deserve whether it be suffering or blessings. I make no distinction nor do I feel a requirement to do so. Personally, you can take any position you want on what is deserving or Not deserving of what and that's fine with me. I choose to take neither side of the coin. The guy who you place in the Nazi camp and is abused can refuse to accept his situation as reality or not. Refusing to accept 'what is ' in my view , only mentally makes the situation more unbearable. I'm not insensensitive to his position but rather saying mentally refusing to accept his position creates internal turmoil. I don't think you understand what I am really saying. As far as worry goes perhaps it would be good to look up the definition. You will see it has little to nothing to do with effective caring for others. Jesus himself is recorded saying. You are in the world but you are not of the world. And again my kingdom is not of this world . Things are constantly changing. Their appearance may seem real enough and permanent but that is an illusion. Paul is recorded saying. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. I think you could say the same about good and evil . Anyway, I will end my communication here as it seems the word illusion disturbs you and is not being grasped in context or by definition . Also the dream thing was only a perhaps or alternate example to say we don't know , so why should we judge who deserves or doesn't deserve what from a place of ignorance or subjective conditioned reality. Do what you can to make this what seems to you a better world as i also do but perhaps it is wise to remember we really don't know. ps what is real
  18. Rom, I didn't start a separate thread but did make comments on this. Thoughts?
  19. Joseph, by saying you can't (because of your subjective view) say whether or not people deserve the suffering they must endure, you are suggesting that some suffering might be deserved. Your position owns this. I am saying no one 'deserves' such suffering - not the mother dead in childbirth, the Nazi camp woman continually raped, the child abused, the wife beaten, the hurricane victim, the cancer victim and on and on. Whether you characterize it as a mental construct or illusion, you are telling people their suffering, in some cases their unrelenting agony, is not real. That if they only get their 'preconditions' in order, there would be no suffering. They not only suffer but you lay the responsibility at their door. A suffering free world is illusion of the worst kind, it is not reality. That the world suffers is an acknowledgement and acceptance of reality as presented. Going the illusion route ignores reality, blames those most in need and has no benefit. It is amazingly insensitive to state that "if one chooses to not accept what is - that seems to me to be a choice of no benefit. But each to his or her own choice." if the slave or Nazi death camp prisoner beaten to a pulp, castrated and maimed, only 'accepted,' only had the right precondition, it would be a great benefit ........but, hey, it's his choice. You use a Jesus quote and turn it so he advises us to not worry and care for his Father's people? Worry becomes 'what God (truly) prefers:' love. Your peace is not the Peace of Jesus. Joseph, you have moved from illusion to dreams. Now, it's all a dream? The rape of a child is no illusion, it is not a bad dream or a undigested morsel (as Scrooge suggests in the Christmas Carol) of food; it is real. This is just one example of totally undeserved suffering and depending on the age of the girl, she is not yet able to set the right preconditions would would have benefited her during the rape. Really? Sometimes we dream, hopefully we get the rest we need, then we wake to what is real, what needs our attention. The dream of MLK is much more valuable: what he called evil was evil and resulted in real suffering, it was no mental construct, no illusion, no dream - evil is real. I asked what kind of God is attached with this belief. You write of a God in whom I believe but your conclusions are not those I share or find in Christianity. I believe God is in whom we have our being and these things (evil, suffering, sin) do exist, are real. I do 'attribute' these things to God (see my post to Rom). I believe they are a necessary and a tragic consequence of the Love's creation of a creation 'other' then God, which then is and must be free (if God is love). But then we part ways: creation is real, the consequences, including great and undeserved suffering are real and God really is present in and through humanity to extend compassion, provide mercy, heal and enhance life amidst the very real suffering and joy of existence. Christianity accepts that 'this' is real; it is neither illusion or dream. The Christian story tells of this God, who so continually loves, that his modus operandi is incarnation, present in men and women (most evident in Christ) to be his presence in this real world. God is not an illusionist, this is no dream: God is real and creation is real. I take this as it is, your belief and I respect it as such. However, it neither resonate or makes sense to me; it does not resonate within the history of Christianity; and, it doesn't resonate with most of humanity. Simply, most people do not believe this is a mere dream.
  20. Suggesting no such thing .... just saying i can't say because of my limited subjective view of absolute reality. The God of all things in and through all things in whom we have our being. If these things you speak of exist and this God exists then why would you attribute these things to any other? Perhaps there is a better answer similar to those such as i have suggested at the end of my last post? I said good and evil were mental constructs and some would even say illusions and i would not disagree but perhaps you do not understand the meaning of illusion as i clarified as meaning "not what they seem to be". Suffering i defined above as mental anguish which is different than pain. Its cause, if one wishes to call it cause, (i call it precondition) is mental resistance to what is. Well, frankly that seems to me not reality for you (a suffering free world) and so many others so it might be wise to accept reality as is and try working from there. Perhaps you will find a benefit from that advice? It seems to me all things are possible but if one chooses to not accept "what is" that is understandable but seems to me to be a choice of no benefit. But each to his or her own choice. One must worry? Seems to me Jesus is recorded giving some good advice "Let not your heart be troubled" . Worrying i have found gives way to anxiety and away from peace and i have found i seem to work better when i am worry free. How do you know this? When i dream, my dreams seem real enough, til i wake up. Perhaps after many of these dreams you will wake up from this dream from which all seemed most real. We call this the wake state and the other the dream state and then when all time and images cease we call it deep sleep. Deep sleep is devoid of images and time and a place of unspeakable peace . To me, the 3rd state is closer to reality, the unconditioned , the unmanifest. Howbeit while there, I am, and am able to bring back Life to the wake state with me? PS Illusion - a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. Most all what people call opposites are mere illusions.
  21. Really Joseph? You do know that by saying 'how can we judge' you are suggesting that people might indeed deserve the horrible suffering they experience be it caused by natural disasters, sickness or the evil of men. And you rationalize it with a claim of a limited view of our impermanence? Even if we admit we don't know it all, to even think sickness is deserved, or death by drowning or black slavery in the US is more than harsh. And what kind of God is attached with this belief? Of course we can judge - people don't ever deserve the Dante like suffering they experience in life. One could say the smoker is partially responsible for their emphysema, but do they deserve it? Even great swimmers can drown and the list goes on. If brought to its logical end, how could we ever demand justice - people might really deserve all that befalls them? Again, really, suffering is an illusion, It sure feels like suffering, sure feels like agony, like fear unto death. How are they addressed from the place of peace, you lost me there? But isn' that place also an illusion? And love? And peace? Joseph, some people are in such pain, such fear, such inhuman conditions that the suffering (mental anguish) never ends. It is the mental anguish that kills them before death comes. Nice comment on your pain or joy but most people would decide for joy and it might not matter when you're dead but it matters in the now. Please find me a human being that says I'll have the pain please (not as a sacrifice, not for another, just as a preference over joy or mere happiness). I do enjoy your poetic touch (a vapor) but but most of us would rather have our vapors suffering free. I have no issue with your, me or the next guy accepting an aliment that might eventually take us. However, it should be recognized that for some an aliment that causes agony beyond bearing, misery piled on misery, is beyond compare; some things are impossible to accept, impossible with which to deal - you are robbed of yourself, there is, in some real way, nothing left of you. I suggest again that for the slave, for the continually raped girl, the broken boy in the Nazi camps - the peace which should abide in all humans has been, in some real way, destroyed. No mental construct, no illusion, no vapors, no abiding peace - rather the real tragedy inherent in creation itself: a rupture in creation. One must worry about all who can't find peace (at least in their corner of the world). What God prefers is not God, it is love and we are only about the Father's business if we are worried for the other. This is both trust in God and love. In all my years, including teaching, my trust in God (or my peace) has never been at risk in the service of others. If not given, if hoarded, then and only then can it be lost. And sure they are in man's hands, we are the hands of God if we trust, if we love. And one must be attached to the world, to the living children of God but the attachment is made through love. What good is "joy and peace' if it does not have love; and, in deed, something is lost and something found. You have misunderstood me on undeserved suffering and judgement: simply horrific suffering is undeserved. We differ on trust in God. This is no dream, there is no pretend: I am real, you are real, he, she, it is real and it is no illusion :+}
  22. Ok thomas, real suffering to the carnal mind but deserved or undeserved how can we say or judge such with our limited view observing in the ignorance of impermanence. I say seemingly real to humanity but yes, they are mental constructs (good and evil). Some would even say illusions and i would not disagree. Illusions meaning not what they seem to be. They are addressed because that is what comes forth from the place of peace where abides compassion / love. When one mentally accepts their Cancer, hunger or whatever it is that is painful or dreaded, the pain or condition may stay but suffering (mental anguish) is ended. I have passed the ripe age of 70 and whether i was in extreme pain for those years or extreme joy will make little difference in a relatively short time when the body expires. Life here is like a vapor that appears and then shortly vanishes away as the dew in the morning. I am at peace with that. I am blind on my left side and i am at peace with that. I may come down with Cancer or some other ailment that will take my body or not. What difference does it make if i accept that which i am dealt? I have found it makes much difference as i watch my life unfold with whatever it brings from a place of internal peace which seems to me to abide in all humans though not necessarily experienced by most very much. It seems to me, one can't worry about those who can't find peace or one might lose it him/her self. You can minister, teach and love the best of your ability but the results are not in your hands. So yes, we feed the hungry, minister to those seemingly less fortunate, and work to make this world more peaceful and livable but remember to not get too attached less one allow it to rob ones internal joy and peace. You speak again of deserved and undeserved levels of suffering. I can not say that nor will i judge such. You either trust in God or you don't. You question and understandably so what appears as innocence victims and their plight. Help if i can i will and am. Judge i will not. Perhaps one may wake up and find this life here is as a dream, howbeit a very vivid and convincing one yet no one really gets hurt or killed? Perhaps you have assumed a role as a character in a movie and are now so caught up in the emotions of your part that you forgot you are only playing a part, are lost in it, and experiencing it as real?
  23. Really, I'm sure it is more than mere figments to most people, especially those who suffer. Further, it seems a denial of people's suffering.
  24. Joseph , it is not what I deem evil but what is indeed evil or if you prefer that which causes real and in many cases undeserved tragic suffering. And you can't have it both ways: subjective mental constructs one day, and the next acknowledging that suffering and/or evil is real and you do not wish to say it is not (real). Are they real to humanity or are they individual mental constructs and, if the latter, how can another empathize with what is someone's subjective construct? If they are 'subjective' constructs and not objective reality crashing down around their heads, why do they have to be addressed at all? And, some people are in so much pain they are incapable of addressing anything from a place of peace and Love; that ability has been lost. If someone is racked with cancer reminding themselves that life is temporal and we are travelers does nothing for their pain, isn't that similar to the 'old time religion' that had people keep their eye on heaven and not this world? You also seem to attempt to separate the death of the body from the 'real' person and suggest it might be wise to not attach themselves to subjective mental constructs. When the Nazis destroyed the Jews, when a tsunami killed helpless vacationers and villagers, when ISIS rapes the girls of a village they conquer - these are mental constructs? Most would and have said, this is reality and suffering run amok. Further, what mental construct make extermination worse? What mental construct make a mother's death in childbirth or the birth of a child without a brain, worse? What construct could make Hiroshima's suffering worse? We can do what we can, what we are willing to do to make better the world, but still (in spite of these efforts) how many millions of our fellow humans beings experience, in the world and throughout history, undeserved horrific suffering that robs them of their humanity before death ever comes? Sure some can come through the other side of suffering, some too can 'learn' from suffering - but not all, not nearly. Not all, not nearly all people can remain at peace with 'what we are dealt." For some/many, the short time allowed is a living hell, an unrelenting hell. In the examples I cite above, who are 'so-called victims,' who are the perpetrators? How can the people of natural disasters ( kid walking by the sea), of unexpected illness (even hitting the girl who lived the healthiest lifestyle), of terrorism, a simple family of 7) not be innocent? And who are the perpetrators of natural disasters and sickness? And how can a murderer or rapist be justified? There is beauty in creation and, at times and for some, it is a wonderful dance, yet not for all. For too many, there is totally undeserved tragic levels of suffering; for too many the universe does not dance in an orderly and balanced fashion. I am intensely curious about your position.
  25. Rom, I beat my wife up yesterday ...... she is the victim ...... i am the perpetrator. joking but hope you get the idea of my words as used. PS Perfectly alright with me if you see chaos where i see order. Also ok to name me whatever vowels and consonants you wish to put together for me. You might point close but you'll never get there.
  26. What I do see is a chaotic universe in which there are pockets of what appears to be order; the ticking universe can be described by what we call laws, ultimately these descriptions are not accurate in an absolute way, but can be pretty darn good. I suppose I could call this balanced. This I think I can justify. I can see action and reaction, cause and effect. I fail to see a perpetrator; though I can imagine one. I am seeing the same universe as you Joseph. Now not knowing you can justify the perpetrator you see is what I would call faith. But understanding that you know you do not know you can justify this is (I would argue) agnosticism. So in the nomenclature of the topic that would make you an agnostic theist. I know we may not like descriptors, but they do facilitate discussion.
  27. Good and evil ... ultimately figments of our imagination.
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