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Mystictrek, great quote............................................Right on the spot.

 

DavidK, We accept there is only one Supreme God who is abstract, who has no form, no beginning and no end. We , being finite human beings with a material mind need something to identify with so we follow our own religion. A Hindu which you brought up thinks of Krishna as the personal link to the infinite God the same as a Christian thinks of Jesus. No religion talks ill of another religion. We only waste time if we think about the whys and whats of the contradictions, because , first of all we do not know all the teachings of all these religions. We can live and let live within our small circles, ;only this is possible. It is impractical to try to change these contradictions. Why try to erase other circles because if one knows God created everything than it is accepted.

 

We can change our lives by becoming aware of our unity with an infinite God and the infinite possibilities that await us, but first, every new stage in life requires us to part from the previous one. Childhood gives rise to youth as it develops into adulthood. After a temporary stay our minds expand doing away with ignorance in order to approach God where the only medium between our minds and God is our thoughts. As we bring ourselves to a greater consciousness, positive life affirming beliefs are accepted and negative thoughts and problems disappear as we express more love, peace, joy, wisdom and harmony with everything that flows unceasingly from God, but many hesitate to venture into the unknown. They tend to cling to the familiar in life, even if they are not happy. This clinging tries to negate others.

 

DavidK, I have only one question for you. If Jesus came to you and asked you to do one favor for him would you do it?

 

Remember Jesus died for us.

 

God does not ask easy questions so would you do Jesus a favor?

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DavidK - I think that Russ' thoughts give good answer to your quest. Sometimes in the quest for knowledge and understanding (been there!! :lol: ) we lose track of what we really want. God is ineffable, you'll never fully understand the nature of the universe - sorry!!! ;)I think that stepping back from the need to know and taking a season for experience may be helpful.

 

This has been my experience as well, and I think this idea is the essence of the Rilke quote above, at least as I read it - not that we should literally cease to try to think rationally about these things, but that we should remember to experience and trust that answers will come to us as we live. If that makes any sense :blink:

 

Personally speaking - for the last few years, I have been very interested in religion, but for the majority of that time I have spent a lot of time intellectually seeking the truth. It kind of wore me out. I think in the past few months I have managed to find a good balance between seeking the truth while at the same time knowing that I'm still young and have much to experience, and therefore trusting God to lead me to my answers if I follow my heart as well as my brain. I've found I've learned a lot about God by just living with Him day to day.

 

So, anyway, I agree with what Cynthia said (much more concisely :D ) about "taking a season for experience" being helpful, at least for me :)

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Everyone has their own world view, philosophy if you will. Something they know and believe in by which they live and operate. We are all philosophers. Philosophy from the very beginning have sought to answer questions of the universe and man as they exist in reality. We all make explanations for each particular part we see. But Philosophy, rather than focus on all of the limitless particulars, makes great effort to find the simple universal truths that will encompass all of the particulars. We should understand that the three basic areas of philosphy are as they always have been.

 

In answering the question of existence (the first basic area), we must first of all know that we really do exist. Knowing that, there are only 2 choices:

 

1. There is no logical, rational answer. This is theoretical and cannot be held in practice, but it is the first choice.

 

2. There is a logical and rational answer, and it can be communicated and discussed, not only with oneself but with others as well.

 

Since early on this message board chose #2. I'll go on with it. Curiously enough, there are only 3 basic possibilities;

 

2a. Everything that exists came out of absolutely nothing; no mass, no space, no time, and certainly no personality. This notion has never been sustained, for it is unthinkable that all now is came from utter nothing.

 

2b. All that now is had an impersonal beginning. That is only mass, time and space, all equally impersonal. The problem is it finds no significance for any individual factor or thing, any of the seperate parts of the whole, including man. There is no meaning for diversity, morality, or freedom since everthing is reduced to equality. So, beginning with the impersonal+time+chance, no one has ever been able to demonstrate how the diversity of the universe, let alone the personality of man, was ever produced. This leaves us with some sort of reductionism and its definition of personality as a form of complexity. In reductionism, the naturalistic, scientific, social, and psychological world, man is reduced to the impersonal+complexity, but there is no real difference. "We are Borg".

 

2c. That which is personal began everything. In this case, man, being personal, does have meaning. It is not abstract. We can then understand that man's aspiration for personality has a possible answer.

 

Now, considering the personal beginning, we have another choice to make; is it God or gods? Plato realized this fact, when his limited gods were not a sufficient refence point for absolutes or ideals to meet the need. The only meaningful reference for a finite being must be an infinite point.

 

Let's digest that for a bit, before we go on to completion.

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Everyone has their own world view, philosophy if you will. Something they know and believe in by which they live and operate. We are all philosophers. Philosophy from the very beginning have sought to answer questions of the universe and man as they exist in reality. We all make explanations for each particular part we see. But Philosophy, rather than focus on all of the limitless particulars, makes great effort to find the simple universal truths that will encompass all of the particulars. We should understand that the three basic areas of philosphy are as they always have been.

 

In answering the question of existence (the first basic area), we must first of all know that we really do exist. Knowing that, there are only 2 choices:

 

1. There is no logical, rational answer. This is theoretical and cannot be held in practice, but it is the first choice.

 

2. There is a logical and rational answer, and it can be communicated and discussed, not only with oneself but with others as well.

 

Since early on this message board chose #2. I'll go on with it. Curiously enough, there are only 3 basic possibilities;

 

2a. Everything that exists came out of absolutely nothing; no mass, no space, no time, and certainly no personality. This notion has never been sustained, for it is unthinkable that all now is came from utter nothing.

 

2b. All that now is had an impersonal beginning. That is only mass, time and space, all equally impersonal. The problem is it finds no significance for any individual factor or thing, any of the seperate parts of the whole, including man. There is no meaning for diversity, morality, or freedom since everthing is reduced to equality. So, beginning with the impersonal+time+chance, no one has ever been able to demonstrate how the diversity of the universe, let alone the personality of man, was ever produced. This leaves us with some sort of reductionism and its definition of personality as a form of complexity. In reductionism, the naturalistic, scientific, social, and psychological world, man is reduced to the impersonal+complexity, but there is no real difference. "We are Borg".

 

2c. That which is personal began everything. In this case, man, being personal, does have meaning. It is not abstract. We can then understand that man's aspiration for personality has a possible answer.

 

Now, considering the personal beginning, we have another choice to make; is it God or gods? Plato realized this fact, when his limited gods were not a sufficient refence point for absolutes or ideals to meet the need. The only meaningful reference for a finite being must be an infinite point.

 

Let's digest that for a bit, before we go on to completion.

 

Who are you addressing this to (and why on this thread)?

 

2b as a philosophy is probably most clearly seen in Sartre's works (or at least he contradicted everything said in 2c, as I'm sure you know). Borg is nothing like Sartre. I have no clue why you put him there?

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DavidK, Simple question do you believe in one God or not? If you believe in one God why do you keep bringing up other gods? If one believes in one God that person would focus on that infinite and not create lesser gods for sake of debate.

 

Second simple question, if Jesus personally asked you a question. "Would you do me one favor," would you do what Jesus asked?

 

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so that we could be in relationship with Him. Others on this site have given you very good advice. They are saying get to know God better. You believe in one God, but it seems you don't know God personally. Know God and you won't have to prove to us or yourself that there is one true God. You will live it, know it and believe it. You will see God everywhere. Enjoy God everywhere and have nothing to prove.

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Completely off topic for where this thread is right now, but going back to the topic of ecumenism, I thought this was interesting.

 

I download the Emergent Podcast on my iTunes account, and last fall there was a great series put out by them in five parts - the "2007 Theological-Philosophical Conversation." (If you get a chance to download and listen to it, it was really quite interesting.) In the last section, which I listened to today, the topic kept coming up of the uniqueness of Christianity, and how that was important to affirm at the same time that it was also important to affirm the unique traits of other religions. The main players in the discussion - Jack Caputo and Richard Kearney - seemed to agree that as Christians it is very important for us to affirm the truths of Christianity, its uniqueness, etc. but at the same time to really listen with an open heart and mind to other religions. Caputo at least (maybe Kearney too, I can't remember) seemed to express the same sentiment that many here have expressed, that all religions ultimately point to the same ultimate God (although there are of course some false religions put out there by people who are looking for personal gain or for other reasons). Thus they were essentially saying that it is essential for Christians to affirm what is unique about Christianity, to live our Christian faith, to let it consume us entirely, but at the same time to remember the inclusive call of Jesus, and to remember that God and Truth lie at the heart of every great religion.

 

One point made by...I think it was Kearney...was that he truly believed that if Jesus and Buddha were to meet today, they wouldn't try to convert each other or say "you're wrong" - they'd listen to each other. He said he thought Jesus might say "come follow me," but that Buddha would say the same thing, and there would be a sort of mutual respect, because they wouldn't need to convert each other - they'd understand each other.

 

Anyway, the conversation as a whole was really interesting, check it out if you can :)

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McKenna - sounds interesting! I just found the emergent podcast website - awesome!!! Thanks for the info!

 

Re: the Borg comment by DavidK, I think he meant the one mind race of the Borg in Star Trek, rather than Marcus. :lol:

 

Re: Jesus and Buddha, Marcus Borg wrote a great book of quotes from Jesus and Buddha - on opposing pages - very interesting how similar it all is. If you can overcome the hearsay of The Gospel of Thomas (you can find it on Beliefnet.com), the collection of quotes it contains all sound rather Eastern as well.

 

Just to throw in another discomfort.... In Islam, one of the morning prayers is, "Only God is God". So very true, so very comforting. Like Soma said - just immerse yourself in God, or aspects of God if you prefer multiple names, and enjoy.

 

Yeah, Soma - I'd do Jesus a favor. ;) That's sort of how I think of Lent... doing something that inconveniences me to remind me of all that God does for me all the time.

 

Godspeed cyber friends!

Edited by Cynthia

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McKenna - sounds interesting! I just found the emergent podcast website - awesome!!! Thanks for the info!

 

Re: the Borg comment by DavidK, I think he meant the one mind race of the Borg in Star Trek, rather than Marcus. :lol:

 

Re: Jesus and Buddha, Marcus Borg wrote a great book of quotes from Jesus and Buddha - on opposing pages - very interesting how similar it all is. If you can overcome the hearsay of The Gospel of Thomas (you can find it on Beliefnet.com), the collection of quotes it contains all sound rather Eastern as well.

 

Just to throw in another discomfort.... In Islam, one of the morning prayers is, "Only God is God". So very true, so very comforting. Like Soma said - just immerse yourself in God, or aspects of God if you prefer multiple names, and enjoy.

 

Yeah, Soma - I'd do Jesus a favor. ;) That's sort of how I think of Lent... doing something that inconveniences me to remind me of all that God does for me all the time.

 

Godspeed cyber friends!

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DavidK, Simple question do you believe in one God or not?

 

Second simple question, if Jesus personally asked you a question. "Would you do me one favor," would you do what Jesus asked?

 

I believe in the one triune God.

 

I don't think Jesus has ever asked anyone to do Him a favor. Nor do I think He would ever need to. So, theoretically if He did, I would say, "yes".

-------------

Now you. I have a lot of questions for you, here's 3, and #3 is just a clarification of a term you used.

 

1. If Jesus "...was not interested in converting people to his way of thinking.", why would he say,"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My Word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death unto life." ( this is conversion) and , "...he who does not believe has been judged already,..."? (this is the result of not converting)

 

2. If everything is God, why would Jesus have to die? If everthing were God, where is sin? Is God sin? ( those last two were rhetorical unless you want to use them!)

 

3. When you say "intuition", do you mean: coming to direct knowledge or certainty without reasoning. Or do you mean; immediate cognizance and conviction without rational thought; or, the power or faculty to attaining direct knowledge or cognition without rational thought and inference?

--------------------------------------------

 

An ecumenical question: I'm confused. Pluralism is used quite a bit here and the application seems fairly broad. Could someone explain what is you mean by pluralism. Is it intended to mean that: there is more than one kind of ultimate reality; or, more than one independent spiritual entity (dualism as opposed to monism)? Or, the concept of diverse autonomous ethnic or religious groups participating to develop their own cultures within the confines of a common civilization?

 

Could anyone please explain where or when Jesus advocated pluralism?

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David:

How does one say there is no uncreated being and believe God is the creator without Him being the uncreated (beginning)?

 

You also proposed, "Certainly if one agrees with your definition of God then you appear to have the ability to make reasonable deductive conclusions. However that is like saying if one believes in Santa Claus then one can reasonably expect to see presents at Christmas."

I believe you have completely misdiagnosed because you didn't understand what presupposition means. I was never asking for agreement on the definition of God. I was offering a basic logical presupposition. That is: IF the subject were true then the predicate would also be true.

 

Your Santa Claus statement is illogical. It should be constructed properly, as follows. If Santa Claus is real then one could certainly expect to see presents at Christmas. That makes it logically consistant. That is more to the point. Besides, I am not certain what your position on God is, so how could I disagree or say you have none ?

 

Mckenna:

I am more than a little concerned. We really need to have a firm place to stand. Uncertainty about what is real and true when it counts only leads us to confusion. God does not want you confused, He wants you to know for sure! That is why facts do matter.

 

Russ:

SOMA said "No religion talks ill of another religion." Then later called some he disagrees with as arrogant and authoritarian. Your comment on the "old religion" could be considered bickering even after you condemned it. I am far from perfect, and we should not set boundaries if we can't live within them.

 

I am not in any way, at this time, saying whether I think you are incorrect or not. I ask only you defend your faith in a way that can be understandably communicated, and not rely on the unverifiable.

 

Would you consider our faith as coming from God?

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DavidK , you say God is Infinite. I agree with that God is Infinite and One, but the problem is after that you limit God or you put Him in a box as others tried to tell you in a subtle way. To define the infinite, therefore, is to make it definite, and no longer infinite, yes you put Him in a box and didn't even get the subtle comments to the fact. In fact, to say anything at all of the Infinite, is to actually say nothing about the true Infinite. Like the Tao, the Infinite that can be named is not the true Infinite.

 

God cannot be defined or represented in rational terms, it is nevertheless profoundly meaningful. God is a spiritual reality that has flooded the human mind with awe and inspiration for thousands of years. Throughout history, the intuition of God or the Infinite has been known by equally profound terms: the Absolute, the One, the Unconditioned, the Unlimited, the Indivisible, and the Indefinite.

 

You then talk how important a personal relationship with Jesus, but you give a rational argument why you will not do him a favor. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his first son and not substitute a ram instead. In his relationship he would do what ever God asked, not make excuses. He passed the test.

 

He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. {30} But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:29-31)

 

DavidK you doubt so you don't listen to precious advice from devote devotees of Our Lord.

 

If Jesus asked you to become Buddhist would you do it? God Bless

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To bring this thread back to topic Ecumenalism.

 

(John 17:21) King James Bible

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

 

As Christian we are blessed with Christ, The love Our Father has for His Son, should be in the disciples. They should enter into the consciousness of love. It is love and joy that we are called to, the enjoyment in this world is the love which Christ knew. His Father’s love was His delight. In John 17 Lord Jesus has identified us with Himself. He shows us identity of spirit. "that they may be one as we" (John 17:11). He shows us identity in separation: "they are not of the world even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14).

 

There can be peace and love in life and this world through the elimination of fear and tension in the individual. Our life as Christians is our unity with Christ's consciousness of love and its expression is our Divinity. I like the idea of pluralism in Ecumenalism. In the infinite ocean there are different levels. The ocean is warmer at the top and colder as one goes deeper in the infinite. In the different religions there are different levels of understanding God, this infinite ocean. It seems at a deeper level the different religions are uniting in love, and unity in one God while at the shallow levels the ice separates the understanding. We have suicide bombers, KKK, and radicals ready to kill and condemn in a moment. In the individual lives we have tensions growing in some while material comforts increase and love and relaxation growing in others who open their hearts and mind. These individuals are not restricted by boundaries or their bodies. They love and communicate at all levels. May we all find our potentials as we descend to the depths in the infinite ocean of love.

 

As a Christian who loves Christ, the only way I could not accept another person's religion is if I didn't know Jesus, didn't love Jesus or didn't follow his teachings. With that in mind if I can help a Muslim become a better Muslim. I should help him go to a deeper level of understanding. May we all love and serve God the best we can.

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David:

How does one say there is no uncreated being and believe God is the creator without Him being the uncreated (beginning)?

 

You also proposed, "Certainly if one agrees with your definition of God then you appear to have the ability to make reasonable deductive conclusions. However that is like saying if one believes in Santa Claus then one can reasonably expect to see presents at Christmas."

I believe you have completely misdiagnosed because you didn't understand what presupposition means. I was never asking for agreement on the definition of God. I was offering a basic logical presupposition. That is: IF the subject were true then the predicate would also be true.

 

Your Santa Claus statement is illogical. It should be constructed properly, as follows. If Santa Claus is real then one could certainly expect to see presents at Christmas. That makes it logically consistant. That is more to the point. Besides, I am not certain what your position on God is, so how could I disagree or say you have none ?

 

DavidK,

 

Epistemologically what is the difference between saying you believe in Santa Claus and saying that Santa Claus is “real”? How you answer this question may flesh out your opinion as to what is “subjective” and what is “objective”? Obviously there is a parallel question on how you know God.

 

Epistemologically all of your theology starts with an assumption or a presupposition as you call it. There is no epistemological basis to create a division between the “created” and the “uncreated”. That again is derivative of your theological assumption/presupposition. God as “before” or “separate from” the universe is based upon a god as some kind of super/separate being. There is no epistemological basis for this understanding. To say that I can not understand God without creating a division between the “created” and the “uncreated” is a circular argument—it presupposes the answer with the question.

Edited by David

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I agree with that God is Infinite and One,...

 

You sound pretty definite about the infinite God! And only "one"? That's a small box, soma. And the rest of your comments never got Him out.

 

"God cannot be defined or represented in rational terms..." Therefore, one can define and represent God in irrational terms. That certainly explains the rest of your message.

 

My dear Soma, you are not able to live within your own arguments.

 

Your position makes ecumenalism futile since no one could discuss God, rationally, anyway. ( Wouldn't that be sight to see?)

 

Oh, never mind! "to say anything at all of the Infinite, is to actually say nothing about the true Infinite." - SOMA

So, whatever you say now about "...God is Infinite..." is really nothing and irrational.

------------------

 

About the favor. Thanks for saying it was rational. However you may have anticipated a 'no', I actually said "YES". On that topic, did God ask a favor, or give a command? The same with Peter?

 

 

It was insightful of you to reason Jesus is God during the Abraham comment.

 

And you have some questions unanswered.

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David:

 

I'll try to simplify a little more;

A child may believe in Santa Claus, but that belief does not make Santa real. So, regardless of belief, 'IF Santa were real, expect presents!' The statement, while logically 'true', still does not make Santa real. This is pretty elementary.

 

-----------

 

I suppose we must come to what and who is God. I'll go first.

 

Number one: God is the creator.

I sense this may be where we depart. But, far be it for me to assume our differences. Do you believe; God is the creator. This would undoubtedly summise all else would be the created. This is based on knowing a universe is there as opposed to its not being there.

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DavidK,

 

I am interested in your epistemology, not your theology. Theology is related to epistemology if you are talking about "knowing" in relationship to God. You have stated that belief in Santa does not make Santa "real". I assume you will also state that belief in a god dependent on a split between the "created" and the "uncreated" does not make that god "real".So tell me how you know something is "real"? I am interested in how you think you know (not what you think you know).

 

David

Edited by David

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Our knowledge and perception are both limited, so how can we understand an infinite God that is unlimited? We purify our minds, become aware of Christ consciousness and love God and one another. Love and unity set us free from our selfish desires and show us the way, away form moral condemnation. Ecumenalism and religion serves this purpose. Re and ligio, religious re=again and ligio latin for connect. To reconnect and come into life from the inside, human spirit. Religion and Eumenalism provide us with a discipline of bringing people in rather than leaving them out. The nonverbal arts heal from within a communion with the depth of the infinite ocean. Christians are reasonably literate in the verbal arts, but division seems to grow with injustice and social suffering the result. These our the handicaps of the shallow areas in the infinite ocean, an autism and hysteria that gives some Chrsitians an inability to respond, connect and experience the world of all beings. The spiritual awakening and healing must come from within. It is the spirit that has the capacity to relate to all things and all beings, not just self interests. Ecumenalism is a tool to work with these symptoms of separation, power, and domination so we can understand our physical and spiritual ecology to develop, learn and evolve as an individual, a religion and a society. We need to rekindle the sense of community, a community that opens the spirit and minds with a deeper communion with the infinite. Ecumenalism is the vehicle to humane, heart-awakening, mind-expanding wisdom away from a sentimental denial and mental dullness. We are not separate beings, but human beings with love venturing forth affirming the greatest good as part of our Christian experience. The concept of love is taught in the Bible as well as in other writings, but one does not learn how to love from reading, one only gains the spiritual inspiration to love. Ecumenalism is one way to help spread that love.

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McKenna - sounds interesting! I just found the emergent podcast website - awesome!!! Thanks for the info!

 

:)

 

Re: the Borg comment by DavidK, I think he meant the one mind race of the Borg in Star Trek, rather than Marcus. :lol:

 

Hahaha oops! :lol: Guess that's what I get for never watching Star Trek...

 

Re: Jesus and Buddha, Marcus Borg wrote a great book of quotes from Jesus and Buddha - on opposing pages - very interesting how similar it all is.

 

I love that book! I should reread it sometime...

 

Mckenna:

I am more than a little concerned. We really need to have a firm place to stand. Uncertainty about what is real and true when it counts only leads us to confusion. God does not want you confused, He wants you to know for sure! That is why facts do matter.

 

I never said facts don't matter. I'm a fairly rationally-minded person, which is why I do think facts matter (and why, for example, in the evolution debate, I come down decidedly on the side of evolution). And the only religious fact I've been able to come up with in my time of studying religion, using my rationality (as you've urged me to do), is that there really is no religious fact. Or, well, there is, but it's unprovable from a finite, human perspective.

 

Of course uncertainty leads to confusion; believe me, I know. I'm just not so sure that's such a terrible thing and from my POV it's the most honest perspective.

 

In terms of rationality, I've heard persuasive arguments from people of practically every religion, in addition to atheists and agnostics. Furthermore I've heard (in person or via forums) of conversions of people from practically every religion to practically every religion, and these are smart people who often had searched for a long time, so it's not like one religion holds the key to rationality. So really rationality can only get us so far and that's why I think everyone just needs to follow their own heart, be honest with themselves, and be respectful, and I try to trust people that they believe what they do for good reason (although I may still argue with them, I hope I do so respectfully).

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The Borg were the ultimate in human unification. :ph34r: The individual was meaningless. Sort of like what Soma said today,

 

We are not separate beings,...

Jan 16 2008

...it really doesn't matter if certain events are factual.

Now this, I agree with:

Our knowledge and perception are both limited,...

 

Let me add; that does not make them any less true.

 

To repeat your quote from before; "to say anything at all of the Infinite, is to actually say nothing about the true Infinite." To be honest in your position why do you continue to talk about the infinite? By your own words you are not saying anything.

 

First, by observation we know that the universe is there as opposed to its not being there. That is as simple as I can state it.

 

A thorough epistemological discussion really requires more room than available here. But, if you review my post (#78), and you cannot consider 2c as an option (the only option that does not dehumanize man or ignore the facts about what man knows about man), then you have come to a dead end, where man is meaningless, along with all else, and no amount of epistemological reasoning would make any sense to you.

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The Borg were the ultimate in human unification. :ph34r: The individual was meaningless. Sort of like what Soma said today,

Jan 16 2008

 

Now this, I agree with:

 

Let me add; that does not make them any less true.

 

To repeat your quote from before; "to say anything at all of the Infinite, is to actually say nothing about the true Infinite." To be honest in your position why do you continue to talk about the infinite? By your own words you are not saying anything.

 

First, by observation we know that the universe is there as opposed to its not being there. That is as simple as I can state it.

 

A thorough epistemological discussion really requires more room than available here. But, if you review my post (#78), and you cannot consider 2c as an option (the only option that does not dehumanize man or ignore the facts about what man knows about man), then you have come to a dead end, where man is meaningless, along with all else, and no amount of epistemological reasoning would make any sense to you.

 

So to summarize your position:

 

Your basic epistemological position is based upon “observation” as the way you know what you think you know. Based upon this way of knowing you have concluded that “that which is personal began everything”. And furthermore, if I can not agree with this then I must think that life has no meaning. Finally, you evidently have the ability to bring very complicated theological discussions to this message board but you are not able to deal with epistemology here.

 

I will let you return to that theological discussion without explaining how you know what you think you know. Good luck with that.

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Jan 16 2008

QUOTE(McKenna)

...it really doesn't matter if certain events are factual.

 

(It was post #23 if anyone wants to look.)

 

You took that out of context. I meant that from my perspective, the Mormon faith (or at least the historical aspects of it) is not "true" because I don't believe it matches up with factual history - which is why I'm not a Mormon and could never be one. But from my perspective looking at my friend's faith, it doesn't matter, because she believes they're true and that belief isn't harming anyone.

 

Please don't try to twist my words by taking them out of context. In fact earlier in that post I had said:

 

Yes, certain religious beliefs can be factually "right" or "wrong" if they depend on historical events (which is really only the western religions, as far as I can tell). And I will argue against someone's beliefs if I believe they are harmful.

 

---

 

In other cases, events don't have to be factual because they can be read in a metaphorical light anyway. That's why I still absolutely adore the first few chapters of Genesis even though I can't rationally believe it to be a factual account of the Creation.

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David:

Let's be accurate. The basic groundwork for knowledge is that something really exists. And it is, first of all, observable.

 

Epistemology; the study of the method and grounds of knowledge esp. with reference to its limits and validity.

 

Jean Paul Sartre said the basic philosphic question is that something is there rather than that nothing is there.

I listed all the logical positions from there(with some editorial comment) in the discussion of existence (post #78) of which 2c is one of the three logical positions.

The second basic philosophical question is mans dilemma, morality. Again, as Sartre put it, if a finite point does not have an infinite reference point, it is meaningless and absurd.

The third is Epistemology. Let's go further back in time to Plato, who said the basic problem of knowledge, as in morals, is there must be more than particulars (any individual thing) if there is to be meaning. That is universals, absolutes. (see Sarte's position on mans dilemma).

 

In order to discuss epistemology one needs to answer the first two in order to develop the proper groundwork and methods to even approach the third. We need to establish those in order to give epistemology validity.

 

I did not mean to imply you thought life had no meaning. But the philosphical position, whether it's yours or not, could not rationally justify any meaning to life. This is not a personal attack, it's a discussion of philosophical and logical positions. If you disagree, Where's your why?

 

What is the groundwork or method from which your epistemology arises?

 

McKenna:

A finite, human perspective cannot be expected to know everything. But in what limited knowledge we have, we can be certain if it is true.

I'm befuddled. You followed up with, "...events don't have to be factual..." I'm trying to understand.

 

 

Soma:

I owe you an apology. I fired a comment at you about your not living by your own rules. When I realized by saying what I did and how I did. I was not living by mine. Will you forgive me?

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The finite cannot describe the infinite, but we can have fun trying. An example are the three blind men describing the elephant. I am not going to get into who is right or wrong we can go around and around about that like hamsters in a wheel.

 

In our efforts to describe God and gain knowledge of love, Spirit ect, we use and need concepts and expressions that are beyond our reach. These terms are used to help us reach our goal, to become a better Christian, a better person, or come closer to God. To be born again. A true description of God, for our limited minds in only an attempt to describe God's infinite attributes. He is exalted above all concepts coined and fashioned by the human mind.

 

Nicodemus was a religious leader in his day who lived a morally upright life. He went to Jesus seeking to fill something in his life that was missing.

Jesus got right to the point. He told him he needed to start life all over again so he could see the kingdom of God. He had to be born again to get a new nature that was totally different from his current one. Jesus said, "You must be born from above" (John 3:3). An action must be taken by God in heaven that is directed to the rebirth of your soul before you can even see God's kingdom. Even though you are a deeply religious, morally upright person, you must be born again."

 

We all need to be born again. Everyday, every minute. DavidK others here gave this advice to you sincerely. The people here share insights and encourage each mind to see a new life in Spirit, not words. I see and feel it in their writings. It seems you are fighting and swinging everywhere so you don't have to change or budge from a position that is not worth defending with you soul. It is hard to give or receive when both hands are in a fist. Open you mind and heart and your eyes will see. It is all within you.

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DavidK no need for apology. I posted before I read your last post and was impressed by your opening. Nice to see we are talking together and not at each other.

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David:

Let's be accurate. The basic groundwork for knowledge is that something really exists. And it is, first of all, observable.

 

Epistemology; the study of the method and grounds of knowledge esp. with reference to its limits and validity.

 

Jean Paul Sartre said the basic philosphic question is that something is there rather than that nothing is there.

I listed all the logical positions from there(with some editorial comment) in the discussion of existence (post #78) of which 2c is one of the three logical positions.

The second basic philosophical question is mans dilemma, morality. Again, as Sartre put it, if a finite point does not have an infinite reference point, it is meaningless and absurd.

The third is Epistemology. Let's go further back in time to Plato, who said the basic problem of knowledge, as in morals, is there must be more than particulars (any individual thing) if there is to be meaning. That is universals, absolutes. (see Sarte's position on mans dilemma).

 

In order to discuss epistemology one needs to answer the first two in order to develop the proper groundwork and methods to even approach the third. We need to establish those in order to give epistemology validity.

 

I did not mean to imply you thought life had no meaning. But the philosphical position, whether it's yours or not, could not rationally justify any meaning to life. This is not a personal attack, it's a discussion of philosophical and logical positions. If you disagree, Where's your why?

 

What is the groundwork or method from which your epistemology arises?

 

You have the cart before the horse. You argue that you should base your epistemology upon your philosophy. That means that you are saying that you base "how you know what you know" based upon "what you know". So my method would differ from yours in that I would try to begin thinking about "how I know what I know" and try to relate that to "what I know". If "what I know" does not seem to correspond with "how I know" then I would suggest that you rethink "what you know" which implies to me that you think about epistemology first and not base it on your philosophy (sort of like saying don't say the Bible is true because my theology says it is true---think about how any writing is "true" and then apply that epistemology to the Bible).

 

The basic epistemological questions are not based upon conclusions about "why do we exist?" or "does god exist?". The "grounding of beliefs" has to do with the sources of knowing such as perception, introspection and the possiblity of a priori intuition. Discussions such as inductive versus deductive are appropriate.

 

Knowledge through observation is a well established epistemological method. It is open however to subjective points of view. So what is "objective" and what is "subjective" is an important epistemological question that you should think about before you make statements that imply that you know what is True beyond your point of view.

 

Obviously you are correct that the subject is too broad for a comprehensive review in this kind of medium. So is theology. I have grown tired of trying to communicate with you in this medium. Good luck on your spiritual journey.

Edited by David

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