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PaulS

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Everything posted by PaulS

  1. PaulS

    Suicide

    Just wanted to put this out there so anybody participating in the forum or scanning its contents, who might be feeling depressed and suicidal, might find this helpful in some way. In Australia we have a pretty big push about discussing suicide openly and trying to move away from the practice of hushing it up or being ashamed of suicide. Also, there have been a couple of guys from work suicide in the last couple of months and we are entering the Christmas season where typically (at least in Australia) suicide rates jump for this period. In my previous work policing I attended numerous suicides - hangings, drownings, car exhausts, people jumping in front of trains, and many more graphic and imaginative examples. I always used to wonder if these people were brave or weak. Now I realise that they were neither brave or weak, but rather they simply got to a state where they felt that the only way to end their pain was to suicide. It's like sitting at the bottom of a deep hole and the only way you can see yourself getting out is to end your life. So whilst I am not anti-suicide, I think most people don't make this decision in a healthy state of mind. Having been in a similar hole myself, but thankfully not quite prepared at that time to kill myself, I want to let others know that if you just keep breathing, just keep pushing through it, you will get out of that hole in the end. Talking to others, telling them how you feel, telling them even that you are thinking of killing yourself, will help. Just keep breathing, putting one foot in front of the other, going through the motions - you will come out the other side eventually. Talking to a professional psych and/or medication may be helpful, but even then it can still be hard. But just know that it will not last forever. You will come out of this. I really think talking to somebody is the key, so please, if you are in this state then at the very least, what do you have to lose by talking to somebody first. Here are a few numbers: Australia - Lifeline 13 11 14 USA - Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK UK - 0800 068 4141 For other numbers just Google 'suicide help' in your home country. Cheers Paul
  2. PaulS

    Communion Experiences

    Sorry, not having participated in any Episcopalian traditions I'm not sure what the rules are for that type of Church. Like Burl suggested, I would speak with the priest and clarify. Whether you should care about communion or not is a personal matter I guess, although when I check out the Episcopalian Church's position on transubstantiation, I see that they don't particularly embrace it either, see https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/transubstantiation : The belief that the substance (essence) of Christ's body and blood replaces the substance of the eucharistic bread and wine, although the appearances (known as "accidents" or "species") of the bread and wine continue outwardly unchanged. This eucharistic theology is based on the philosophical categories of Aristotle, elaborated at length by medieval Latin theologians, and regarded as definitive in the Roman Catholic tradition. The term is derived from the Latin trans "across" or "over," and substantia, "substance." The classical explanation of transubstantiation was presented by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica. Transubstantiation was also defended by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Article XXVIII of the Articles of Religion rejected transubstantiation as "repugnant" and unscriptural, asserting instead that Christ is present in the eucharist in a "heavenly and spiritual manner" (BCP, p. 873). The English Test Act of 1673 required a Declaration Against Transubstantiation by all persons holding civil or military office. Some nineteenth-century Tractarians, such as John Henry Newman, found transubstantiation to be compatible with their understanding of the eucharist. But the concept of transubstantiation has generally been avoided and excluded from Anglican theologies of the Real Presence of Christ's body and blood in the eucharist. See Real Presence; see Receptionism. Hope it works out for you whatever way. Cheers Paul
  3. I raised in a different thread that in certain ways there are things in common between delusional psychopathy and religious belief. Now that may seem offensive and aggravating to some, but would anyone care to rationally discuss the point? I don't mean to offend, but rather the words, definitions and experiences we have around these words seems to point to some similarities in some ways (in my opinion) so I would like to discuss it further and flesh it out more with others. I would really appreciate people coming to this argument with a calm and open mind. What makes somebody a delusional psychopath? Firstly, let's consider the definition of delusion: "A delusion is a fixed, false belief. It's “an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.” Seems pretty straight forward initially, but let's probe a bit. What do we mean when we say fixed, false belief? How do we verify if a belief is false or not? Should we be able to verify our beliefs? If we can't verify our beliefs, does that make our belief false or true? What if generally accepted as reality is wrong, like when people were so certain the earth was flat and that the sun rotated around the earth? What about opposing beliefs? If one belief is that we should kill our enemies and another beliefs is to not to, which belief is false? Personally, I think it depends on which camp you sit in, but I would like to hear other opinions. Now a psychopath is defined as a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour. We have no problem in saying that a person who murders because they hear voices telling them to murder or because they know that's what God wants them to do, has a mental disorder. It sems to me thought that what may be abnormal or violent social behaviour could in other societies be seen as quite normal (see below example). But let me ask you this - is a true-believing, God-faithful, jihadist ISIS member who wishes to slit the throats of as many infidels as they can because they truly believe their God wants them to do this (the evidence is there - just ask them), a delusional psychopath, a religious believer, or both, or neither? Is there any comparison, in certain ways? If our definitions require us to determine whether beliefs are false or true, do we need to validate our beliefs in order to prove whether they are false or true? Or do we accept majority rule and say that because the majority of our society think something is true (or rather the majority is not particularly offended by the belief that some have) we will uphold that belief as true (or least offensive) even when it contradicts what the majority of another society may consider the truth?
  4. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Wow! Monumental leap in your insults, assumptions and bias. Keep working on becoming that fully human ideal you think has been achieved. Clearly this is going nowhere, so I will finish it for me. Out.
  5. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    So you say. Again. I wouldn't say to no avail - you presented a view on the fig tree that I considered. I'm not hung up on the fig tree and I only mentioned it initially with a raft of other 'questions' pertaining to the character of Jesus. I'm not arguing that Jesus did or didn't curse the fig tree but am trying to demonstrate to you that somebody thought this was a valid action of the loving Jesus. Why? And if they think this was part of how to be fully human, how in turn would it affect how they behave? I never said all opinion was equal, but even scholarly opinion is sometime 'opinion'. If two professionals disagree I would imagine you would say one was wrong, one was right, or they were both wrong. They can't have different opinions and both be right can they? Same with scholars - some scholars may be right, some may be wrong, and some we cannot validate. That's all I'm saying. You seem to place a serious trust in 'scholars' but I am certain you don't feel the same about every scholar, do you? I don't understand what you're asking. Do I research? Okay.
  6. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I don't see it as a paradox at all. I do see myself as being fully human loving my kids a lot of the time and I see myself as fully human when I don't perform so well. You on the other hand have declared Jesus as fully human and have said that we can be that too - but you seem to think that fully human is some version of complete love all the time. What does that actually mean? That is the devil in the detail that you don't seem to be able to explain. How do I get to that state of fully love/fully human? Do I chastise my kids, do I hit them, if I hit them how hard, do I ground them instead, what parenting style demonstrates pure love? etc etc. This 'love' is a completely subjective term so being 'fully love/fully human' has to be subjective too. We can agree on some basics about love but I have no doubt that at some point either we, or others, will disagree on some finer points of what constitutes love. This is my point - fully human seems to be an aspiration, but that aspiration will differ between individuals. Hence why to claim fully human status one should be able to detail what that status actually entails and how to get to that point. Again, this is opinion. Different cultures have different takes on what is proper character/behaviour and what isn't. Yet you say there is one ideal of being fully/truly human - which you cannot precisely describe. It's not a paradox - one is either whole or they are not. My measure of whole is you are a human being that does good stuff and bad stuff and both types of stuff are fully human and what makes us whole. You seem to pick the good bits out and say they're whole (not the bad bits) and when we can transform all those micro seconds into only the good bits then we become fully human. I don't see the good bits in isolation as any kind of 'whole'. Love is a word we use to describe a wide range of actions and emotions. Some would consider it love to physically hurt their child to teach them a lesson. Some would consider it love to let their child do whatever they want so that they don't feel bad. Some probably once thought it was out of love for their God that they would bash the heads of babies from opposing tribes against rocks too. Even the dictionary offers several different definitions of the word love. To say love is 'simply', is rather simple in my opinion. When you say fully human is living love like Jesus, similarly you open up the definition to all sorts of interpretations as to what actual constitutes Jesus love. So when you say fully human is an expression of this complete love, it's not unreasonable to ask - demonstrate how that should be and how to get there. It only matters if I am trying to tell somebody else what they are not and what they need to be. But even though I could do this, it will only be my opinion, even if I do base it on some pretty good books about parenting and psychology.
  7. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    It's not too much to ask, it just doesn't make sense as far as any parameters go concerning making a statement and then not being able to support it with anything other than religious belief. If you're religious, perhaps the argument makes some sense, for the non religious, clearly it doesn't. Again, I'm not demanding anything, I am simply asking you to support what you say with some evidence. You now admit that you cannot. Okay then. I would be very careful saying that you can substantiate what is in the biblical text from credible scholarly works to present, for the very reason you mention - i.e. that it is the 'most likely' interpretation. So a couple of key things there that you note - 'most likely' is not certainty and 'interpretation' is just that, interpretation, again not certainty. So we end up believing what we think is the right belief, until something else comes along that convinces us to change that way of thinking, as has clearly happened throughout the history of Christianity. No doubt you will say the 'main principles' haven't changed, but really, what's the point of going down that path. I think we have done this to death. Or fully. But that is a personal interpretation of fully so please don't ask me to substantiate it. You may have looked critically at some of the writings and there may be theories as to why they should or should not be discounted, but much of it is opinion, whether scholarly or not. That is fact. I have read a number of works by scholars concerning all sorts of speculation and discussion around the NT and some of the Old. I am sure nowhere near as much as the work you have put in. But the one thing I am 100% certain of, and I am sure you will agree, there is no 100% consensus on all that is precisely accurate and what is not when it comes to the bible.. There is no undeniable evidence that the 'less than love' bits mentioned about Jesus are off the mark, or rather, which ones are less accurate than others. Even having done all of that work and after thousands of years of tradition and inclusion in the Jesus story, only now are they being doubted by some. Not a big vote of confidence for me in all verses that could possibly portray Jesus as less than 100% love. We do agree though that Jesus was fully human, just for different reasons. A shame it may be that we don't find common ground on your personal belief which cannot be substantiated, but I don't think my position or effort are lacking completely.
  8. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I think we are at a point where we are just regurgitating our points and talking back past one another. I think to be fully and truly something means there is a target to be established and reached. Otherwise, how can one ever know if they are being fully or truly that thing. You seem to be now arguing that fully or truly is only a partial state of being and that one can never actually achieve that state of being fully or truly human. We can in our moments, and we may do this forever, but we might not reach that point of actually being full or true. You say that in religious belief as in some philosophies, words are stretched or taken out of the 'normal usage. Whilst you say truly or fully human is a becoming, a process, an achieving, an actualization, you then go on to say that the point is to try to 'string those moments together into a whole. So how do you determine what that 'whole' actually is? When do you know you have met this whole? How is whole actually demonstrated? Can you spell it out clearly what that whole consists of? If you think there is a whole then surely you must be able to measure it and determine when that whole has become the sum of its parts. My issue with this way of looking at 'wholeness' is that it is fine for you, but if somebody else's fully and truly is slightly different, how does anyone verify what the correct fully and truly actually is? It seems it can't be done because neither seems to be able to produce any specifications about what this truly or fully consists of. For you, it seems to be this term 'love'. But what is love precisely? You say no-selfishness = love, and when we are broadly talking of course we can see that self-centredness can harm. But where do you draw the line between love and self-centredness precisely? I'm sitting here typing a response to you - is that self-centredness because I could be out helping the homeless? I will eat fairly well tonight at home - is that self-centred because I could be giving half of my food to the starving or less well nourished. I would say the devil is in the detail, so when you are making broad statements like God is love or Jesus was fully human, one normally has to articulate what that standard is to indeed be considered that thing. You don't seem to be able to do this.
  9. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Rather than 'demanding', I am simply debating the belief that you raised in discussion. It's pretty normal in a discussion to substantiate claims when asked. To fall back on 'religious belief' as some disclaimer to not being able to produce such substantiation or evidence, naturally ends the discussion. All power to you in your religious belief in working towards becoming fully human. I have no problem with that. Just don't harm others along the way. Peace and goodwill.
  10. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Hence why I would say you are fully human as you are, Rom ! And I have no issue with people emulating pedestal Jesus either (generally not a bad thing), in fact I actually do remind myself of pedestal Jesus from time to time concerning my behaviour and actions (I expect largely that is because it's a tradition and culture I grew up in and am familiar with). My concern is when an understanding of exactly who Jesus was and what he stood for becomes 'certain', then we potentially can start entering dangerous territory, as history has shown. WWJD if he was in on this discussion? (rhetorical). That does seem to be a sticking point. I think Thormas thinks he is explaining it to us, but both you and I can see that that explanation is lacking completely. I'm not sure we're going to get any better an answer though.
  11. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    You just can't see it, can you. You said Jesus WAS fully human. He made it to fully human, and we can to. So when do you get there? You just keep saying never. That makes no sense . In any normal use of the word full, we mean complete. No filling, no journeying, not 'becoming' but rather we use it in the context of completeness. But it seems you are not going to address this aspect but rather you maintain your assertion that fully human is just a trip and not a destination. I guess you can never be fully human then, as much as you might like to be. Nobody ever can. Except Jesus, he made it to fully human, apparently.
  12. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    You still miss the point - I am not ignoring your good God, I'm just saying one can't only take the 'good bits' and ignore that 'bad bits'. Well, it appears they can, but what I am trying to have you establish is exactly which image of God is precisely the correct one. The one that includes savage God, the one that excludes savage God, or some other shade in between? You have made your choice, that much is clear, I'm just trying to demonstrate that clearly millions of people have millions of different images of God, largely based on their cultural and societal context. Jews 2500 years ago held a different view than you today. You seem to say they were wrong in that view (when the wrote about savage God) and leave it at that. So when you say 'fully human' is a reflection of God, the circle seems to go on and on.
  13. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I simply don't think you can see the figs for the trees. Whether it be the fig tree, or the temple incident, or the name calling (you vipers, you fools, Jesus referring to Canaanites as dogs, etc) what I am demonstrating to you is that some people reported this as behaviour of Jesus. So naturally, millions of Christians today see this as a reflection of Jesus and to varying degrees interpret this as to how they think Jesus expects them to behave (What Would Jesus Do?). For you, your interpretation of Jesus achieving fully human status (he did it!) pushes these things to the side conveniently because clearly, they don't seem to be the traits of somebody who should embody love itself. And you are entitled to that opinion. But your 'truly human' argument just doesn't seem to stand up with any substance. Terrific that you want to better yourself and/or be the best human you can be, but you still cannot tell me what fully human is. In fact, you seem to even dodge the question which I have asked repeatedly - If Jesus achieved fully human status, how do you measure that? If you cannot measure it and demonstrate it, how can you say he achieved fully human status? It seems a nonsense phrase.
  14. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    It's not narrow because I am not saying this is the only way to look at God. I acknowledge that God was considered in positive and loving ways also. I was simply pointing out that any 'image' of God is susceptible to how one views said God, as this is clearly demonstrated in the OT in many different ways. But you seem to want to ignore these uncomfortable versions of God, perhaps because they conflict with your view of an all loving, fully human, God. Actually, rather than ignoring Judaism and the Jewishness of Jesus, my view is bringing up some of those uncomfortable bits, the bits that don't fit with your picture about image of God and being fully human. Now you are saying there is no end point, no end to becoming fully human, that it is an ongoing process. You seem to have swung away from your earlier view that it is an 'achievement', a 'standard' that Jesus met. You said previously that Jesus made salvation (wholeness or fulfillment of Human Beings) certain: indeed, it is certain because one like us, a mere man, did it. This would seem to indicate an achievement, an end point of reaching fully human status. It may well be ongoing, but you are clearly saying that at some point Jesus actually became fully human and that now you should too.- So what I have been asking all along that you have not yet answered is what is this standard, how does one demonstrate they have reached being fully human. You have not answered that at all other than to say, be like 'Jesus'. Unfortunately, 'be like Jesus' is open to wide interpretation as we all know. I accept you're happy with your version of Jesus, as are most Christians I'm sure, even when their version is different to yours. It is something that is open to interpretation, just as any 'image of God' is open to people's interpretation.
  15. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    You have formed a view of who Jesus was and how he behaved. You get this from the bible and tradition. So when you say Jesus was fully human you must have a picture in mind of what that 'fully human' looks like. So my question is what do you do with the stuff that is said about Jesus that seems to take away from that view of being fully human. It would seem you ignore it.
  16. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    So can you just explain to me how getting angry and aggressive at legal traders, calling people fools, and cursing a fig tree etc, which are all things the Gospels attribute to Jesus, should these be considered fully human traits we should aspire to? What about not getting married - an aspiration to follow like Jesus' example or not? I'm not demanding you agree, I'm just asking you to put forward a coherent argument for this thing you say we are not - i.e 'fully human'. For me so far, you are not answering it and so I keep trying to understand it from different angles. Still to no avail. Okay, so this includes the behaviours outlined above? That's how we should behave also to be fully human?
  17. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    We agree religious thought has changed throughout time. But when I said that "where we differ is that a religious person first needs to determine what God is in order to determine what a likeness of God and an image of God actually looks like..." you said "Really not that difficult for the major religions that cover millions the world over. For the Christian, it was presented in Jewish history, lived in Jesus and stated in John: God is Love". My point was that Jewish history presents a God who is vengeful, wrathful, and jealous, amongst other things. So I fail to see how Jewish history of God supports your notion that it's not that hard to determine what an image of God is like, unless of course you mean 'ignore that stuff'. Clearly you must think that this historical Jewish God is much different to what you believe is Jesus' version of the same God, so how come you cite a Jewish historical perspective as so clearly obvious a notion that supports a God of love? I'm not ignoring it at all, I am trying to demonstrate that views of God change over time depending on culture. Presently, you have a view of God vastly different to that of pre-Jesus Jews. I'm sure we agree on that. But as for precisely what the God of Jesus meant and represents and is, you seem better positioned to know that precisely than I do, based on the small amount we know of what Jesus said and did. You have developed a certain opinion of God based on what you believe Jesus was. I am referring to every 'process philosopher' that ever existed - some include Heraclitus, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Alfred Korzybski, R. G. Collingwood, Alan Watts, Robert M. Pirsig, Charles Hartshorne, Arran Gare, Nicholas Rescher, Colin Wilson, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze. None of them, NONE, defines what fully human actually means to anybody in any real, practical sense. They all talk about 'process'. You raised the term actualisation, so I was pointing out that no process philosopher actually defines what this 'actualisation' actually is. It seems you agree, but then argue anyway. If I am mistaken I ask again, name one process philosopher that defines what 'fully human' actually means to anybody in any real, practical sense (by saying it is a process - a process to what. Surely there must be an end point if one is ever to reach 'fully human', otherwise it is just a nonsense phrase that doesn't have any real meaning. Fully means complete/entire. So how do we recognise one that is complete/entire? So, you can't be wrong? No, it's what it mans to be a human that we prefer to see in our current society. Once upon a time, say in Moses' day, we may have considered a person who would dash the heads of his enemies babies against rocks as truly human (i.e. one who was being an identical example of that time's understanding of God). So it's good (to me) that we don't see that anymore as 'fully human' (if we ever did). But still my point remains - this term 'fully human' seems nonsensical in that it cannot be defined. At best, trying to be 'fully human' seems to depend on one's understanding of God at that time. Your understanding today is different to somebody elses' both in this time and in time past. To me you argue that the level of 'fully human' exists and is something that can be achieved, but then seem to alternate and refer to it as more a process rather than an end point. If you consider it a process, then I would still say you are no more or less fully human as you are now, but really it seems to be a bit of an argument of words rather than substance.
  18. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Personally, I don't think Christians can accurately know enough about Jesus to make these statements, but that's religion for you. If you know that Jesus was fully human then you should be able to outline for me precisely what makes one fully human. But you don't seem prepared to do that other than some loose references back to Jesus being fully human and therefore that's the answer. Truth seems to be the inconvenience for your position, I would say. The truth is, opinions about God and what God is/stands for/represents/desires are wide and varied. You seem to have narrowed it down to a certain degree by declaring that a fully human version of us is achievable if we are the same as Jesus, yet fail to articulate how that fully human version actually can be measured. I would say it can't be measured because it is not objective. You are yet to make it clear how one could be ultimately considered to be fully human. I ask again - when does one reach the point of fully human? You have made the claim that it is achievable. Please elaborate precisely how and when one can recognise that somebody has become fully human? Evolution of religious understanding is not inconvenient for me either. I agree that views about God and religion have changed throughout the ages. Conveniently for you they seem to have 'improved'. For me, they are simply aligned with cultural and societal understanding of the day. This seems clearly demonstrated when we consider the barbaric, desert tribe view of God 2500 years ago compared to the view some hold about God today, and all of the other measures in between. Who knows how Jesus saw the God of the Covenant precisely. Jesus didn't mind cursing a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season. Jesus didn't mind getting angry at lawful traders and upturning their tables because he felt they dishonoured his God. Jesus didn't mind calling people 'fools'. Are these all traits of being fully human, or do the writers misunderstand, again. Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who believed the end was nigh. How interesting then that 2000 years later without such a nigh end not having eventuated we now think that we can all be fully human like Jesus. No?
  19. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Yet your present day take on God is not to be mistaken - You have arrived at the ultimate truth and understanding of God and what it takes and means to be fully human?
  20. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I think at best one can say that historically, there were other subjective viewpoints. So still subjective, but historically existent. You seem to expect mankind to adopt the traits of Jesus and to try and become fully human - you prviosuly said "To me that great glory is that a man, like other men, like us - in all ways- responded to God (faith), even at death's door, to Live and Be fully Human. He has done it, it is possible, it is certainly possible - now it is ours to do. If there is no expectation anywhere, why is this now 'ours to do'? I think Rom is making some very valid points about your circular argument here and rather than dismiss them with a joke, I would really like you to try and work through this and demonstrate how you are not being circular. It certainly seems like you are.
  21. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Except for the bits where they understood God wrongly (when he was a genocidal killer for instance). Those bits of centuries long perspective were clearly mistaken?
  22. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    So don't rely on the history of Jewish belief in God as supportive of present day notions of God as though they are the same. Clearly, the millions of people throughout history who held these beliefs of God as a killer don't see 'God as love' the same as you. Their version of 'fully human' would be vastly different than your version is today. Perhaps in 2000 years time, whatever sort of religious person exists then will look down at your version of fully human also, happily congratulating themselves that the evolution of religious thinking has arrived at a superior place.
  23. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    It's precisely this evolution of religious thinking and acknowledgement that the Bible is human opinion that I am trying to point out to you when you try and support modern day God by citing historical references to belief in God as support for your argument. You said "Really not that difficult for the major religions that cover millions the world over. For the Christian, it was presented in Jewish history, lived in Jesus and stated in John", yet too conveniently you ignore that this 'God' of Jewish history was understood terribly differently than modern day opinions about the same God. Exactly my argument when it comes to your understanding of what makes one fully human - you are suggesting that you now hold the correct view of God compared to what those ancient biblical authors did. I refer to all process philosophers - please point one out to me that defines what fully human actually means to anybody in any real, practical sense. Can you name one person, apart from your version of Jesus, that has reached fully human status? And I am simply saying Hitler was truly a human being, but we didn't like his actions because of the harm they caused. Whereas we might like the actions of say a Mother Theresa or a Ghandi, so we see them as better examples of how we prefer all human beings to behave. There is no fully, truly or less than - they are all complete human beings, warts and all. Again, no. Hitler had everything that makes us truly human, he just exhibited some major bits of being fully human that we, as a society, don't want exhibited because of the harm it causes to our community. If Hitler had been an obnoxious teenager that had and only killed one person, is he less fully human than the Hitler that killed millions? Where do you draw the line on when one is fully human and when one is not?
  24. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Evolution in religious understanding doesn't seem to reflect a consistency of understanding God as love. Of course I would be one of them if I thought they were right - that is precisely my point. One's view is based on one's own perception and the influences upon them. I doubt it has taken 2000 years for us to wake up to the fact that hating gays is in no way living the great commandments. Rather, it is a reflection of our culture outside of religious influence that has broken down the barriers finally to a point that religion has had to change its tune concerning the 'abomination' that is homosexuality. You have grown up in this culture and society and so have been influenced by it - a good thing in my opinion. But it just goes to show that these are not universal concepts understood for all time but rather they are cultural and societal attitudes that have changed over time. So what I am pointing out is your view of what makes one 'fully human' differs from what others regard as fully human because of societal and culture influences. It's not a case of they are wrong because they are missing the mark on love, but rather they are wrong because the rest of us have started to develop our cultures to a point where we say we don't want gay people treated as less than heteros (well, most of us do, a lot still don't).
  25. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    And when one doesn't 'love' God back as in the days of Moses, look out for the vengeful, jealous, wrathful God, that Moses and his mates saw as love? The God who wanted babies killed, women raped, genocide committed and slavery institutionalised, all conducted in that God of love's name. Yet, we don't think like that today, so I think the consistency is not there at all.
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