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PaulS

Jesus As An Extra Dimensional Being And Confirmation Bias

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PaulS    111

Moved from progressive Christianity based on possible debate and debatable issues (JosephM)

 

 

Jesus was an extra-dimensional being who enabled a bridge between His divine spiritual dimension and mankind (the Holy Spirit). Christianity will never make any sense if you ignore Jesus' divinity.

To the contrary, Christianity makes a lot more sense to me if I remove Jesus' alleged divinity and understand him as a simple (and purely) human being. I would go so far as to say Christianity robbed Jesus of his real identity and replaced it with what *Christianity wanted to promote.

 

*Christianity of the type that promotes Jesus and God as extra dimensional.

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Burl    3

To the contrary, Christianity makes a lot more sense to me if I remove Jesus' alleged divinity and understand him as a simple (and purely) human being. I would go so far as to say Christianity robbed Jesus of his real identity and replaced it with what *Christianity wanted to promote.

 

*Christianity of the type that promotes Jesus and God as extra dimensional.

A perfect example of confirmation bias. Simply reject anything which does not fit your preconception.

 

If Jesus died, was resurrected in an etherial body, and proved the existence of life after death by letting you put your fingers into his wounds I think you would disbelieve your own experience.

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PaulS    111

A perfect example of confirmation bias. Simply reject anything which does not fit your preconception.

 

If Jesus died, was resurrected in an etherial body, and proved the existence of life after death by letting you put your fingers into his wounds I think you would disbelieve your own experience.

It would only be confirmation bias if I believed Jesus wasn't divine and then interpreted everything else to fit.

 

Whereas the reality is that I came to this conclusion from what I consider to be the evidence and then the rest of it started to make sense to me when I saw it that way.

 

The fact that over 2000 years ago Jesus didn't ask me to stick my fingers in his wounds, if that even actually occurred, certainly doesn't help me in any way.

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tariki    101

As I see it, there is one dimension only. Each uniquely exists within it.

 

Jesus as uniquely unique?

 

No.

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JosephM    0

I think i understand what confirmation bias is. Perhaps we are all a bit moved by it. However i don't yet see a clear division that only one of the opposing statements made above indicates confirmation bias is being used. I would be interested in understanding why one is not considered confirmation bias while the other is , if that is the case.

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thormas    20

Jesus as an extra-dimensional being? I have no idea what that could even mean. But it seems to be beyond the 'witness' of Christianity: Christianity believes in the immanence of God, that means God is 'with us' or in the only dimension we know.

 

I agree that he is 'simply and purely a human being' but I also think one can only be truly human if they 'become' or incarnate Love, i.e. God. This is not incarnation in the traditional theistic understanding. Further, I don't think Christianity robbed or intentionally robbed Jesus of 'his real identity' or wanted to promote anything nefarious. They were trying to get their minds and hands around who he was, what it meant, how it worked. They were limited by their world view and their philosophy. Us, not so much...but still.

 

On the other hand, ".....resurrected in an etherial body, and proved the existence of life after death ...." seems to assume too much for me. First, faith does not deal in proofs and, although I believe that Jesus is 'with and exalted by God" I acknowledge that the disciples' experience of the resurrected Jesus is beyond the limits of human expression. So whether it was an ethereal body, a vision, an insight.......?????

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Burl    3

It would only be confirmation bias if I believed Jesus wasn't divine and then interpreted everything else to fit.

 

Whereas the reality is that I came to this conclusion from what I consider to be the evidence and then the rest of it started to make sense to me when I saw it that way.

Exactly my point. You do not even consider evidence which would challenge your preconceptions.

 

How long has it been since you made a significant addition to your belief system, and what was it? My guess is that your belief system is not growing, but rather becoming smaller, harder and tighter.

Edited by Burl
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Burl    3

Jesus as an extra-dimensional being? I have no idea what that could even mean. But it seems to be beyond the 'witness' of Christianity: Christianity believes in the immanence of God, that means God is 'with us' or in the only dimension we know.

 

I agree that he is 'simply and purely a human being' but I also think one can only be truly human if they 'become' or incarnate Love, i.e. God. This is not incarnation in the traditional theistic understanding. Further, I don't think Christianity robbed or intentionally robbed Jesus of 'his real identity' or wanted to promote anything nefarious. They were trying to get their minds and hands around who he was, what it meant, how it worked. They were limited by their world view and their philosophy. Us, not so much...but still.

 

On the other hand, ".....resurrected in an etherial body, and proved the existence of life after death ...." seems to assume too much for me. First, faith does not deal in proofs and, although I believe that Jesus is 'with and exalted by God" I acknowledge that the disciples' experience of the resurrected Jesus is beyond the limits of human expression. So whether it was an ethereal body, a vision, an insight.......?????

According to the gospel Jesus did eat after the resurrection.

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thormas    20

According to the gospel Jesus did eat after the resurrection.

 

But that is written how long after his death? The earlier writings do not go into such detail. Look at Paul, look at Mark. For me he is 'risen,' exalted by God: I have no idea what that experience was like for Jesus since it is beyond history (after death) but I do acknowledge "resurrection' given the Christian movement. But again, be it a spiritual body, vision or insight - I recognize the later stories are apologetics.

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JosephM    0

Burl,

While i was originally taught and accepted as gospel many Christian tenets of the church system, my personal experience from being open and challenged by study and personal experiences has led me to deconstruction of much dogma and doctrine that once was taught and believed. I don't see how i could consider that as confirmation bias by definition.

 

It was a painful time and i found it hard to go against established Christian thinking and 4 years of training. The rejection from friends and relatives make it very difficult to change beliefs as new evidence and experience continually challenges our existing preconceptions. It seems to me it is confirmation bias that holds us to the confines of our first position when new data or experience is present for the viewing.

 

Paul will have to speak for himself as we are all at different points in our journey, but from what i have discerned from his years here is that his belief system has indeed changed rather than using past bias to re-enforce his old beliefs.

 

Just sayin,....

Joseph

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PaulS    111

Exactly my point. You do not even consider evidence which would challenge your preconceptions.

 

How long has it been since you made a significant addition to your belief system, and what was it? My guess is that your belief system is not growing, but rather becoming smaller, harder and tighter.

Again to the contrary, I do consider evidence that challenges my preconceptions (except I think what you should be referring to are my current conceptions which are a result of challenges to my old preconceptions and the eventual abandonment of those). If I don't agree with you it's because your evidence isn't convincing to me. You may be convinced by it, I think you're wrong - life goes on.

 

I don't think a day goes by without my 'belief system' growing (whatever that is precisely - can one narrowly define in a few sentences what their belief system for life is?). Unless I lived in total isolation and did not expose myself to the world and failed to engage my brain, then I fail to see how it couldn't grow. Smaller, harder and tighter? Far from it. Would you prefer to have a belief system that grows larger, softer and more loose?

 

I don't think one can understand the life-changing challenges that go with leaving your old beliefs behind when you are challenged with new ones, unless you have walked that walk.

I lost friends, family, my mental stability for a while there, an entire way of life for me, when I moved away from believing in a divine, Theistic God and Jesus as some sort of 'extra-dimensional' God/Man. I didn't choose to not believe anymore. The answers to my questions and the evidence I discovered left me no choice. I could not stop my unbelief if I wanted to (and believe me, I wanted to, so many times).

 

It shook my world to the deepest core and whilst I could be upset at those people who just think I'm being lazy for not considering their 'evidence' of the 'truth', I really just feel sorry for them that they don't have the comprehension of what insults like that can mean to people who have lived through these changes.

 

Trust me, there were times I wish I could have believed what some people do - it would have made my life a whole lot easier. You misunderstand that the challenge wasn't to consider the evidence that went against the new beliefs I had formed - I wholeheartedly considered and studied it. The real challenge was to believe it and I simply couldn't. It made no sense to me.

Edited by PaulS

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tariki    101

My second attempt to respond here. My first collection of pearls of wisdom disappeared into cyber-space........perhaps back into emptiness...... :D

 

Joseph had already suggested that perhaps we all are susceptible to confirmation bias. I would agree. The old Catholic warhorse G K Chesterton once said the world is just as we would expect it to be if Christianity is "true." Well, yes, that is the way it works. As I see it, if we come to know two different cosmologies, two sets of doctrines, ways and means, two Faiths intimately, ​then we may well be able to go beyond such "confirmation". I think that this is in part what the Christian theologian John Dunne was seeking to say in his book "The Way of All the Earth", about "passing over" into the world view of others and then to "come back" and see with new eyes. (I tended to pass over and never came back......... :) )

 

Another few words I have mentioned before are from the Harlequinade by Wei Wu Wei.......

 

Perhaps our most serious handicap is that we start on the wrong foot. In the end this is likely to be fatal, and, I fear, generally is. We have a basic conditioning, probably in some form of Christian religion, of which little remains today but its ethical content, or in one of the modern psychologies, that of Freud, Adler, or Jung, or in some scientific discipline, all of which are fundamentally and implacably dualist. Then the urge manifests, and we start reading.

 

Every time we happen on a statement or sentiment that fits in with our conditioned notions we adopt it, perhaps with enthusiasm, at the same time ignoring, as though they did not exist, the statements or sentiments which either we did not like or did not understand.

 

Is that the way it works? We build up our little persona and use it as the base of building a "self" worthy of "salvation"? For me pure grace cuts the ground from under any such pursuit - being accepted just as we are, from all eternity.

 

"Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die". Buddhism, like Christianity, speaks of selflessness. Anatta, not-self, of which it has been said that not to understand this central teaching is to risk not understanding anything at all about Buddhism.

 

Anyway, I ended my previous post (now lost) with a quote from Dogen. I think it still fits here.......

 

That you carry yourself forward and experience the myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forward and experience themselves is awakening.

 

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Burl    3

I am not trying to convince anyone of anything.

 

Either I have successfully explained my belief or I have not.

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JosephM    0

Burl wrote,

I am not trying to convince anyone of anything.


Either I have successfully explained my belief or I have not.

 

Fair enough Burl,

I find nothing argumentative in expressing or explaining your point of view.

I only moved it here because the below quote you made seems argumentative/debatable in my estimation. You seem to me, to be accusing Paul of not considering evidence which would challenge his preconceptions which seems to be a personal judgement on your part if i am understanding it correctly.

 

Your second paragraph seems to insinuate his belief system is not growing. Why? because he disagrees with you?

 

Exactly my point. You do not even consider evidence which would challenge your preconceptions.

How long has it been since you made a significant addition to your belief system, and what was it? My guess is that your belief system is not growing, but rather becoming smaller, harder and tighter.

 

Anyway, that comment in my view, would seem not to have been necessary to explain your belief but perhaps we all push the envelope a bit when we seem to be challenged?

Joseph

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Burl    3

An essential point of reason is the need for evidence which is external to the self.

 

Disbelief is an uninteresting nothingburger. Which is still better than a tautological belief in the product of one's own mind, which is delusion.

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JosephM    0

Interesting....

An essential point of reason is the need for evidence which is external to the self.

Disbelief is an uninteresting nothingburger. Which is still better than a tautological belief in the product of one's own mind, which is delusion.

 

Disbelief = inability or refusal to accept that something is true.

Which begs the question ... (But is it really true just because it is external to self? )

 

I would ask many fundamental Christians.... What is true about God. Usually they answer... The Bible

the usual conversation follows........

 

Me: Why is the Bible true?

Other: Because the Bible is infallible.
Me: Why is it infallible?
Other: Because the Bible is the word of God.
Me: How do you know it’s the word of God?
Other: Because the bible says it is the word of God.
Me: But how do you know that it’s telling you the truth?
Other: Because the Bible is infallible.

 

Now to me that is tautological belief even though the Bible is external to self. It becomes a product of ones own mind and is capable of infecting other minds when passed down by tradition and repetitive teachings without sufficient evidence.

 

Follow up questions such as :

Is Jesus God?

Is the "Rapture" physical and real?

Is Sin Sin like Black is Black and White is White?

Are Heaven and Hell physical eternal places?

etc.

 

Well the Bible says so... :wacko:

I agree with you.. disbelief is more interesting than tautologies. :rolleyes:

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PaulS    111

An essential point of reason is the need for evidence which is external to the self.

 

Disbelief is an uninteresting nothingburger. Which is still better than a tautological belief in the product of one's own mind, which is delusion.

 

Disbelief is uninteresting? Wow Burl, you are missing out on so much if you simply write disbelief off so easily. There is so much behind 'disbelief' that it would seem you haven't even begun to consider. You possibly view disbelief as the opposite to belief, yet I would suggest it is much more multi dimensional than that simple comparison.

 

Not sure what you mean by 'tautological belief in the product of one's own mind', but from where I sit, insults like that could be thrown from 'either' side with neither providing any more evidence than their own theories/interpretation.

 

If by 'delusion' you mean coming to a conclusion without evidence to support such, then I would suggest pretty much every religion, and most religious people, would fall into that category.

Edited by PaulS
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Burl    3

Spiritual progress has demonstrable effects. Increased socialization and creativity. Humility and concern for others. Decreased worry about self and death. Heighted intuition and understanding. A charismatic and attractive personality. Lots more; all observable by others.

 

Intellectual self satisfaction decreases as one develops new questions, interests and desires. A person who is spiritually dead in the water has all the answers and no questions.

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romansh    39

Disbelief is uninteresting? Wow Burl, you are missing out on so much if you simply write disbelief off so easily.

 

Disbelief is considered a positive belief (philosophically speaking) ... ie someone might say I believe god does not exist.

And saying I don't believe is a negative belief again philosophically speaking.

 

So not believing in pandimensional white mice is fine agnostically speaking. Though who knows, they may exist in some universe, but I have my doubts about this one.

 

If disbelieving in pandimensional white mice is an uninteresting nothingburgerso be it. But believing in things that make no sense is fun too.

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thormas    20

Spiritual progress has demonstrable effects. Increased socialization and creativity. Humility and concern for others. Decreased worry about self and death. Heighted intuition and understanding. A charismatic and attractive personality. Lots more; all observable by others.

 

Intellectual self satisfaction decreases as one develops new questions, interests and desires. A person who is spiritually dead in the water has all the answers and no questions.

 

For some it might have demonstrable effects then there are others........ I do like the idea of an attractive personality and probably extremely good looking - these have a ring of truth :+}

 

Self satisfaction does not decrease with new questions - if one is still passionately interested in trying to discern the answers. And what about the spiritually dead? Most agnostics (I know) seems rather content and/or they can tread water.

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PaulS    111

Spiritual progress has demonstrable effects. Increased socialization and creativity. Humility and concern for others. Decreased worry about self and death. Heighted intuition and understanding. A charismatic and attractive personality. Lots more; all observable by others.

 

Intellectual self satisfaction decreases as one develops new questions, interests and desires. A person who is spiritually dead in the water has all the answers and no questions.

 

If by 'spirituality' you mean simply living an engaging and mindful life, then i would thoroughly agree with your first paragraph. If you are referring to a narrower sense of spirituality, such as focus on a particular God or God-story, then I would disagree.

 

I think intellectual self-satisfaction only decreases with more questions, interest and desires if one sees the end result as needing to have all the answers. I can't think of anything more stimulating and satisfying than seeking answers to new questions and exposing myself to new interests and desires. I can't understand anyone who wouldn't want to open up and live life like that (well I can understand, but that's really a different debate topic).

 

Maybe some people want the security of answers, whilst others relish the challenge of more questions to be answered?

Edited by PaulS

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Burl    3

My point is that there is present, outside evidence of spiritual progress. One cannot rely simply on internal dialog.

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JosephM    0

My point is that there is present, outside evidence of spiritual progress. One cannot rely simply on internal dialog.

 

Point taken. Yet Internal dialog to me is a most important aspect of progress. In my experience, one can learn quite a bit just watching (being the witness of) ones own thinking mind internal dialog. From it we can see and feel what would otherwise be a form of unconscious and programmed actions, thus giving us the opportunity of alternative choices viewing from 'outside the box' so to speak.

 

Can we rely on internal dialog? In my view, of course not. But we can learn a lot about our nature and tendencies from paying attention or being mindful of the dialog and feelings which i personally view as highly conducive to spiritual progress. (whatever that is)

Edited by JosephM
added ()

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SteveS55    24

I don’t particularly like the term “spiritual progress”. It is a bit vague to me, and if approached as a “goal” to achieve “spiritual progress”, I think it can lead to dare I say, “Spiritual Materialism”, and a lack of authenticity.

I know people who don’t abide by any particular “spiritual” program, but do seem to exhibit those qualities that Burl enumerated. Their “outer” virtues (for lack of a better word) seem to correspond to an inner peace and confidence as well as gratitude. For some, this may just be natural, uncontrived maturity. Who knows how and why these things manifest? Perhaps it is our natural state when our minds are not obscured by mental chatter and emotional turmoil.

 

So, perhaps the “inner” is manifested in the “outer”, or perhaps there is no difference whatsoever! Just my paltry 2 cents.

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