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Everything posted by Burl

  1. Not wrong, but not profound either. Think of development as an attraction to a future, irresistible teleos and events as mere souveniers and delusions of control. Trees may bend in the wind, but bending trees does not put up a breeze. The goal is to discern and cooperate with this controlling force.
  2. Teleology is why a seed becomes a cypress tree and not a date palm. The environment can provide a minor, shaping influence but the fundamental life of the organism is predetermined.
  3. There are many kinds of dreams, and I think most would find keeping a dream journal enriching. I had lucid dreams frequently in the past and they were always marvelous experiences. I had two distinct dreams in my agnostic period; one of heaven and one of hell. Hell was peculiar. A large, desolated beachside picnic area with no other people but plenty of abandoned 60's style hibachi grills. I was always tripping over them or stepping on odd coals. Heaven was a huge park and formal garden where everyone was engaged in conversation.
  4. 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.
  5. The lectionary is a collection of important Bible verses. They are arranged one per Sunday in a three year rotating cycle. Many pastors use this use this as inspiration for their sermons. This way people are exposed to a well-rounded subsample from Scripture. For this week: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 13:1 Let mutual love continue. 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 13:3 Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." 13:6 So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" 13:7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 13:15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
  6. Just to note that evil and good are not opposites, just as rust is not the opposite of refining metal.
  7. Homer: The Idiot and Theodicy.
  8. I would say faith is believing your wife is not having an affair even though there is evdence that she is.
  9. August 13, 2017 Matthew 14:22-33 Walking on the Water 22-23 As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. 24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. 27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” 29-30 He said, “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” 31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” 32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
  10. When conscious contact is continual, repetitive and unchanging perception turns off. An orienting/analytical response is only useful in changing circumstances. Live near train tracks or an airport and after a short time they will not wake you at night. People to habituate to the presence of God in the same way. It takes an active effort to avoid that habituation. Some people have God running through their thoughts like a Montana coal train and deny God even exists.
  11. The evidence for God is a sense of incompleteness and incomprehensibility. This is why we respond to archetypal metanarratives, and why we are different from all other animals.
  12. Belief is a cognitive attribution of conscious contact with God. God exists, and one's experience of God may be attributed to many things or not attributed at all. Belief is little more than the souvenier one chooses to remember the divine encounter. Some beliefs discount the importance of the encounter, and others enrich it and preserve the memory.
  13. Well done. We are not aware of things which we definitively know or have mastered. Our nose is in our visual range, but we are not cognitively aware of it because cognition is unnecessary so the brain habituates to it and deletes itbfrom perception. We can drive for miles without thinking about it, and muscle memory works without cognition. Autonomic functions, reactions, dreams, and archetypal structures are also subconscious. The very presence of consciousness indicates someting unknown or unfamiliar.
  14. August 6, 2017 Matthew 14:13-21 Supper for Five Thousand 13-14 When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick. 15 Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.” 16 But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.” 17 “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said. 18-21 Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
  15. Thanks. When I read the Bible it seems clear to me that God has a sense of humor.
  16. The original Heathens! Topic was lost in the last software upgrade.
  17. Divine inspiration.
  18. Not a policy. Just a tweet. Barely worth mentioning.
  19. July 30, 2017 Matthew 13:31-52 31-32 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests in it.” 33 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises.” 34-35 All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon. His storytelling fulfilled the prophecy: I will open my mouth and tell stories; I will bring out into the open things hidden since the world’s first day. The Curtain of History 36 Jesus dismissed the congregation and went into the house. His disciples came in and said, “Explain to us that story of the thistles in the field.” 37-39 So he explained. “The farmer who sows the pure seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the pure seeds are subjects of the kingdom, the thistles are subjects of the Devil, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, the curtain of history. The harvest hands are angels. 40-43 “The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen. At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father. “Are you listening to this? Really listening? 44 “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. 45-46 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it. 47-50 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a fishnet cast into the sea, catching all kinds of fish. When it is full, it is hauled onto the beach. The good fish are picked out and put in a tub; those unfit to eat are thrown away. That’s how it will be when the curtain comes down on history. The angels will come and cull the bad fish and throw them in the garbage. There will be a lot of desperate complaining, but it won’t do any good.” 51 Jesus asked, “Are you starting to get a handle on all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.”
  20. It takes more than six months for our government to even draw up an RFP! Maybe we should do like Australia and just ship illegal immigrants to an offshore desert island surrounded by racist sharks.
  21. Illegal immigration is down 70%. Trump IS the wall. Obamacare has not been "revoked" at all. It is failing rapidly, but it is still there. How many bills I do not know, but number of bills passed is an irrelevant statistic. Trump is an independent with little support at all in our corrupted legislature, so I'm very surprised he passed more bills than Obama. The Eurasian Trade Zone is the new economic reality. No more free money for the US as we lose reserve currency status. Pensions are now failing and entire municipalities are bankrupt. I predict a new US dollar devalued to 75¢ within a year, and dropping to a quarter soon after. The US is irrevocably sliding into third world status. The Bush/Obama/Clinton team delayed this by starting wars and stealing oil and gold, but those were only short-term solutions. The best we can hope for now is to not get sucked into international fascism. There is nothing anyone can do to fix this. Trump or no Trump it really makes little difference.
  22. Respectfully Paul, you seem to be getting a low info version of US political news over there. The big issue in world politics is the Eurasian Trade Zone and the upcoming GCR and dollar collapse. Everything else is a footnote.