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stopman last won the day on February 20 2013

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About stopman

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  1. Paul: Thanks for your message. I am having a lot of trouble, but I am not going to commit suicide. I think about it a lot, but I can't anyway, because I have family. I hope I am not polluting this message board too much with my problems, but I am grateful for my online friends here and always look forward to having people to discuss ideas with. Don't worry about my safety - I will be alright. In the meantime, you seem like a very nice person, and I hope to get to know you better here. Thanks so much for your concern! Oh yes... and yes, I do have mental health professionals who are giving me treatment, plus I take drugs for schizophrenia.
  2. BoundSacrifice and BillM: I sure did enjoy your posts. Very nice writing and ideas.
  3. To all posters of this thread - I read your concerns and I am praying for you. May God send to you all the blessings you desire. As for myself, my life has been devastated by schizophrenia. I stare at the walls all day long everyday feeling afraid and not having any interest in any of the things I once loved to do. I know my life will never change now, but please pray for me anyway. I need relief so badly.
  4. To traditional Christians, it's all about believing Jesus rose from the dead and going to heavan. To me, a progressive Christian, it's all about good works. It's about community service and helping the poor and the disadvantaged. It's about how we treat each other - with mutual respect and love. It's all about accepting others as they really are, as they really believe, instead of trying to force ideas into their heads that don't seem to be true to their life experiences. Everyone's life experience is different. What is important to one person isn't necessarily important to another. How ridiculous traditional Christians are to oppress the vast majority of people who believe that truth can be found in many places... not just the Bible. The word secular humanism comes to mind, though I'm not sure I entirely understand what that word means.
  5. To me, spirituality is like exercise of the imagination. We do physical exercise to make our physical being healthy. In the spiritual world, we do good things for others (spiritual exercise) to make our spiritual being healthy and happy, and to make the spiritual beings of others healthy and happy. Spirituality is NOT an expression based on the physical laws of the universe. The physical laws seem to bind us to pain and suffering and limitations on what we can accomplish. Instead, the spiritual side of life is an expression of the way we WANT the world to be - a place of kindess, peace, abundance, mercy and justice. The physical laws are all about the harsh reality of cruelty, sickness, bondage, and death. Spiritual activities are all the things we do to unravel those physical laws and to release each other from their harsh tyranny. Spirituality is the medical science we work hard to develop in order to free us from cancer, the charitable organizations we create to free us from poverty, the humane society we set up to release animals from bondage and cruel treatment, the smiles we give each other to surround our existences with love and kindness. In other words, "spirituality" is a word that is very similar to the word "imagination", or "psychology". It is not so much the world, and not even so much our perception of the world, but rather how we can IMAGINE the world to be, how we can TRANSFORM the world, and given our power to transform the world, what type of world we would create if we could succeed in transforming it. I started a thread on animal rights a few days ago. If I could transform the world, I would have all humans and all animals living happily, free of bondage, free of fear from predators, free of pain, sickness, and death. I think someday, 1,000 years from now, this vision will become reality through some kind of high-tech, science fiction magic. But this vision will NOT come true without spiritual beings to long for it, imagine it, work for it, and sacrifice for it. I guess I am agreeing with PaulS somewhat, when he said "my spirit is the software that gives my hardware meaning". Except I am saying my spirit is the software that gives not only my hardware (my body) meaning, but also it gives all of the hardware that makes up the whole universe meaning.
  6. God made animals to be eaten for food, so he doesn't care about them? Didn't God let humans be born with physical handicaps and disease? Does this mean he doesn't love humans? For whatever reason, God made a world where ALL of us suffer. I think we have been put here on this earth to overcome this suffering as best we can, and the only way to do that is to help each other since we cannot rise above suffering through our own single-handed efforts. We need to help each other, and yes, that means eliminating needless suffering of animals. I too eat meat, but I want the animals I eat to have a good life and to be killed in the most humane way possible.
  7. What about the right to be free of needless suffering? Factory farms crowd chickens into cages so tightly they have to sear off their beaks with a hotwire to prevent them from pecking each other to death. I wouldn't mind eating chicken, but I won't eat a chicken that has been treated like this. There is so much needless suffering we inflict on animals, and I don't think God looks favorably on us when we do this. The point is that animals have feelings just like we do. They suffer just like we do. Shouldn't we do everything in our power to alleviate any of their suffering that we have the ability to alleviate?
  8. The mighty human doesn't give rights to animals because he is so much more intelligent and powerful than animals. Doesn't it follow that the mighty God doesn't care much about humans because he is so much more intelligent and powerful than we humans? Well no... most of us think that God loves us and cares about each and every one of our hardships and about all of our suffering, in spite of the fact that he is so much more powerful than we are. But I think that if this is true, then God must care just as much about the suffering of animals. I can't believe he likes any creature here on earth any more than any of the other creatures. I think he put us here to help each other rise above misery and suffering, and I think giving rights to animals is one of the most important tasks we have been put on this earth to accomplish.
  9. It has been a long time since I've had the opportunity to attend a UU church. I would like to attend, but there just aren't any near where I live. But my memory of UU is that they define themselves too much as being NOT traditional Christian. I think they should be more aggressive about asserting who they are, rather than who they are not. My own preference would be to spend a lot of time with community service, helping the needy, and philisophical discussions centering around goodness as defined by words like truth, justice, kindness, honesty, mercy, and so on.
  10. "...I am looking to discuss how people view the argument for gay acceptance because homosexuality is a natural sexual orientation and not a choice, in light that paedophile sexual orientation is possibly natural and not a choice." I have a problem with the word "natural". It's too arbitrary. If people would be more effective with 5 fingers on a hand instead of 4, then does it follow that having 4 fingers is an unnatural handicap. From this perspective, everything is natural. The desire to love, the desire to murder, the desire to have sex with a member of the opposite sex or with a member of the same sex. For this reason, I think it's pointless to argue about whether something is natural or not. Instead, we can only argue about whether something hurts another person, as in the case of an adult having sex with a child, or whether it is a good thing, as is the case with two people of the same sex who love each other and who find satisfaction with each other. My concept of God and goodness is truth, justice, mercy, kindness, love, honesty, and all the other "good" words I can think of. I don't really want to argue about what's in the Bible or how God made us. I only want to argue about what adheres to these good words and what doesn't. God made some people like children, some like members of the opposite sex, some like members of the same sex, some with horrible deformities and diseases, some with almost supernatural intelligence, some with a hateful heart, some with a loving heart. I don't think we can determine what is right and what is wrong, or what is good and what is bad, by looking at the way God made us in order to determine whether he really made us that way or not. Because yes... however we are, good or bad, he really did make us that way.
  11. I don't think it is up to us to define whether sexual feelings toward children are agression, love, mental illness, or anything else. Regardless of how you define it, two things will remain. 1) You and I do not have deal with these kinds of thoughts because we don't have these kinds of thoughts. 2) The would be pedophil must somehow make peace with these desires, and must do so in a way that does not harm children. So rather than talking only about what we expect of a person who has feelings for children - that he resist his sexual desires - let's also talk about what is expected of US. He has the heavy burden to bear, not us. I think the least we can do is to treat him like a child of God who is loved just like all the rest of us are loved, to let him know that he has our support in his struggle. This is no less than what we would do for someone who is stuggling with disease, a physical handicap, etc. The reason I am writing all this is that I too often get the impression that people hate adults who have sexual desires for children. And from this perspective I think it's important to distinguish between the desire and the act. A person cannot control their desires, they can only control the way they behave under the influence of those desires. We must not condemn a person for the feelings they have, though we may condemn them for their actions. As for the feelings, we need to do our part and help them in their struggle with these feelings. Just as we expect them to be responsible for the welfare of children, we need to do out part to be responsible for the welfare of children. This means doing everything we can to help people with those feelings live a life of celibacy such that they feel happy, cherished, and valued by the rest of us.
  12. one situation involves love and relationship, the other involves only selfish sexual satisfaction I'm not sure I'd agree with this. I think it's possible some grownups have feelings of love toward children. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that acting on those feelings hurts children, and that it is wrong to act on those feelings for that reason. But I don't think that would be pedophils who do not act on their sexual desires are bad people. I just think they are cursed with a sexual desire for children... a very heavy burden to bear. And I think they need our love, support, and encouragement to help them bear the burden of celibacy for a lifetime.
  13. I'm all for distancing ourselves from those Gods and putting love, compassion and peace (God) first. Well said Paul... I agree.
  14. Dear Skyseeker: I was surprised to see this thread, because I also suffer from schizophrenia, though I wasn't planning on admiting it here. And I also have fears about God persecuting me and hating me. But I have decided that I don't believe in following scripture. Instead, I follow ideals of love and mercy that are generally espoused by modern enlightened people, like the ones on this forum. I try to think of all the words and qualities that would describe a good God: love, forgiveness, mercy, truth, justice, kindness, helping others, not being deceitful, fairness and so on. I try to meditate on those words, and find ways to make them a part of my life every day. I find that the best defense against fear and paranoia is to seek out others who share this outlook, and celebrate the opportunity we share to be good to others every day. I try to make other people feel good about themselves, and I try to do something concrete to help them... like maybe working in the soup line or for some other charity. It is that brotherhood that calms me and comforts me. Sometimes I have to overlook the hellfire. For example, one soup line I work for is run by fundamentalist Christians who preach the hellfire. I just ignore it, and focus on the brotherhood of helping hungry people. Or I come here and talk to people like you. I want you to know that I care about you skyseeker, and I hope you know that you can always find a friend in me here and in others here to share your fears and your worries. I will say a prayer for you today!
  15. Actually, people really have no choice but to follow their own leaders, because otherwise they could not function. Trying to prevent people from following their own leaders would be like trying to prevent them from speaking their own language. The world just doesn't operate like that. And when you try to prevent a person from speaking her own language, what is the reaction? She tries to prevent you from speaking yours, and chaos ensues. This is not the will of a loving, fair, and compassionate God.
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