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PaulS last won the day on September 7 2017

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    Mandurah Western Australia

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  1. Tim Keller tweets on evolution

    Consider away I say if that's what tickles your fancy, but why not consider if humanity is evolving 'away' from God or indeed, is evolving without any concept of God whatsoever? Why are a minority of the human species so hell-bent on being convinced there is something behind the scenes pulling the strings? Is it for the same evolutionary reasons that many are scared of the dark, or is is just the hangover of superstition that developed when we first started to walk upright? I doubt Tim Keller is genuinely asking a question and I doubt he would be genuinely be interested in any of those comments that don't include God in the picture. There is nothing 'mere' about evolution and if Tim really doesn't know why we should object to powerful people oppressing marginalised ones without some God being part of the equation, then I'd be concerned that his education was severely lacking in that societal dept.
  2. Welcome back Tom, even if just for a visit. Labels are an interesting thing - we seem to like to apply them to help us organise things nice and neatly, yet most of the time these labels get blurred, crossover, or update to more fitting ones. Whatever the case, you are you, whether you wear a label or not. Sometimes labels do help communicate our position/beliefs/opinions, and sometimes they confuse. To me 'God' seems to be the ultimate label of confusion and one that is always held tightly by small likeminded groups who want to be 'right'. I probably wear bits and pieces of dozens of labels, none of which probably fit precisely with somebody else's opinion of what that label should mean. Who cares. Whatever it is you are struggling with, just keep breathing and smile. You'll come out the other side eventually. Enjoy the love you have and share with your friends. That is all that matters. Take care. Paul
  3. If we were able to answer this conclusively Rom, we would probably be worth a lot of money! Far greater chemical reactions than mine are at work on this question! But I do think it is our chemistry driving us. This chemistry has evolved over millennia and is currently at a point where it drives us the way it does.
  4. I don't think consciousness is an illusion but rather simply a product of the chemical reactions of our brain. I would suggest we don't recall pre-birth consciousness because our brains haven't developed yet. As we age our brains develop and so our 'consciousness' refines its process and becomes more and more. I think there are people who genuinely believe they have lived before, but I think that is just what their brain is telling them due to the way it has connected its neurons during life's experiences. I think our brains have evolved to a point that consciousness, intuition, memory, imagination, soul etc are all simply products of this functioning brain. I think because we are yet to fully understand our brains we tend to think that soul and consciousness are somehow something outside of our physical brain. When we die and the oxygen and blood ceases travelling to the brain the brain stops working and that is the end of our so-called soul, consciousness, and mental existence.
  5. Deleting 'god'

    Member Davidsun has been blocked from posting for a one-week period (until Saturday 10 March) as an administrative measure to discourage uncompassionate posts. What is an uncompassionate post?– see below. There IS an etiquette and guidelines to abide by here so that all members may participate in discussion threads without being called names or insulted or other derogatory comments made about their beliefs. We don’t all agree all the time and vigorous discussion often does ensue, but everyone has a right to their beliefs here without being insulted. It is a fine line sometimes and this decision is not taken lightly. I have only implemented a one-week period in this instance, but I think it is necessary for maintaining our forum for all who wish to participate in accordance with the guidelines established for this forum. Paul (As Alternate Administrator)
  6. But you were right and I initially didn't think to list my previous strongly held belief of heaven and hell. Neither of those places exist for me now which does actually bother me a little - I won't be able to give the bird to those who have given me the willies in this life!
  7. I still believe in an afterlife - after we die we enter an eternal, dreamless, sleep
  8. I wonder if anyone would care to share what beliefs they may have once firmly held, that have since changed and are no longer a belief for them? My point in doing so is to have us consider that no matter how strongly we have all once held beliefs - the introduction of new information, different interpretations and life experiences has often seen those firmly held beliefs change. I could be wrong but I doubt if anybody here has NEVER had a belief change, even though at one point they were CERTAIN that belief was TRUE and could not be changed. That doesn't mean beliefs are right or wrong but simply that they do change and as unswervingly certain we are that our beliefs are right, I'd bet London to a brick that at some point in time we have all had 'guaranteed' beliefs, change. So why is anyone utterly convinced that what they believe is true right at this point now, can NEVER possibly change with new information, new understanding, or new life experiences? As a fairly well known Progressive Christian (Marcus Borg) once said: "believing something to be true has nothing to do with whether it is true.” Some beliefs that I previously held unalienable certainty in (until they changed) include: Santa Claus (plus the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy). I was thoroughly convinced they existed. A loving, father-like, deity (an Abba) who would see the majority of his children tortured for all eternity if they didn't do what He said (or if they didn't properly understand what He said) People who weren't Christian 'chose' not to follow Jesus because they wanted to live apart from God That I had a duty to said God to convince others they needed to know this God the way I knew him, for their own sake That gay people were depraved sinners who wanted to wallow in their depravity That Jesus was God incarnated, who knew of his existence in Heaven prior to physically 'coming' to earth, to die as a sacrifice for our sin, which as luck would have it was an automatic curse simply for being born human That the words of the Bible are an exact copy of what was originally written That the only way to live a meaningful life was to believe all of the above (except for the fictional characters - you can decide which ones are fictional for you) I don't make these points to aggravate or debate their value, but merely to demonstrate that beliefs do change and hopefully encourage some discussion about how our unchangeable beliefs are often one day challenged, and changed. Anyone else prepared to admit/discuss such experiences?
  9. Deleting 'god'

    Your narrow definition of the 8 Points and your assumptions about the teachings of Jesus are your personal opinion. People like myself regard themselves as in agreement with the 8 Points although I have different opinions to you about Jesus' teachings and what they may mean. Your 'recognition' and 'acceptance' of the 'fact' that I do not belong to Progressive Christianity is misplaced. You are entitled to an opinion David but I would suggest you keep it to yourself when you want to put others down because you feel you hold the only interpretation of the truth. A little bit of meekness as Jesus would say probably wouldn't go astray. And as for you not understanding 'for the life of you' how Thormas may hold similar interpretations or agreement about me being pleasantly surprised, again I would say that you possibly need to reconsider what Jesus was teaching. Or not, after all it is really just opinion. Your voice is not unusual and I have heard most of it before - "I know the truth, I'm right - you're wrong'. As we have seen so far in our interchanges, that approach very quickly ends any discussion. Which is fine if what you are seeking is not discussion and sharing alternate views, but wanting to be agreed with.
  10. Name your Poison

    It is down the cheaper end in Australia Rom - about $9 or $10 a bottle - and it is probably looked at as not our finest export. Probably like Fosters beer which nobody drinks in Australia but which I think is just about the only Australian beer known in the US & Canada. It's all personal taste but I think price is roughly aligned with quality and I know for myself that there is definitely something more to shiraz's in the $40-$60 category than what Yellowtail presents. But as evidenced by my preparedness to drink homemade rhubarb wine, I hope you understand that I am no wine snob.
  11. Name your Poison

    I don't have suitable wine storage in my house either so I utilise my neighbours wine cellar and have about 150 bottles in there. An unintended but beneficial consequence is they seem to last longer over there than they would of they were here at my fingertips! I tend to age them and select them more for occasions than just run of the mill quaffing.
  12. Why I Am Not a Progressive Christian

    The error checking mechanism I was referring to is simply what works for you. You are free to apply whatever principle you want to make you feel like you have found the right answer. Ultimately, somebody else will probably disagree with that - so is your error checking mechanism faulty or accurate? Where does it stop in determining when an error is found or not? I'm not saying not to have such a mechanism, we all do by default, and they are all usually different to one another's in some way, I'm just saying there isn't a right answer. The right answer is what works for you and you alone. That's how I see it currently anyway.
  13. Deleting 'god'

    Cheers Tom. I think we have had our run. My 'more' is this life and what I don't know about it. It's my children, my wife, my friends, my work, my experiences. I step away from all that knowing (in my head) that one day the lights will go out and I will cease to have any sort of consciousness. All i can say is that does not translate into meaninglessness for me. Clearly it does for you and so you need to find whatever it is that gives your life meaning. All power to you and the ancient greek myths! Clearly this has been a conundrum for humans ever since our brains evolved to this point. Maybe one day they will evolve past this point too. Peace & goodwill Paul
  14. Why I Am Not a Progressive Christian

    I'm not sure we need to error check or determine what results we should be striving for. Just be and do.
  15. Why I Am Not a Progressive Christian

    "Posting what one does not believe is a waste of space." You know what you are doing.