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thormas last won the day on August 9

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About thormas

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  1. I did love not wrong but not profound either. For me, the 'development' of the human being or, better, to a truly human being, is an attraction and response to God (for simplicity sake), so the future. There is that which attracts but there must be a 'decision' to respond; there must be discernment and cooperation. However, it follows, with this admission, that the 'force' is not controlling.
  2. So a human being will not become an elephant but unlike that creature, his/her fundamental life is not 'predetermined?'
  3. My understanding is that teleology when it pertains to theology (or religion) is concerned with the purpose and design of the world. Believe mine is therefore on record.
  4. Rom - I must admit for me this was way too short and if I may say so the garden was barren: could have used more flowers. So much for serious dialogue..................oh well.
  5. Rom, Early Sunday: will read a bit later. As for flowery - eye of the beholder.
  6. 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 :+}
  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. 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.
  9. If you say so, who am I to disagree :+} But it could be an illusion - but on whose part??????
  10. 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.
  11. Rom, I didn't start a separate thread but did make comments on this. Thoughts?
  12. 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.
  13. 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 :+}
  14. 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.
  15. 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.