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PaulS

Have ANY of your beliefs ever changed?

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Good Lord,

Thank you for gracious response Thormas

So in summary:

Your belief in after life of purgatory and heaven has changed to something more new  age-ish where consciousness somehow persists after death.

Thanks again

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Thank you for gracious response Thormas

So in summary:

Your belief in after life of purgatory and heaven has changed to something more new  age-ish where consciousness somehow persists after death.

Thanks again

They have changed. Not sure what you mean by new age so we will leave that on the side and no idea if it is (only) consciousness, something different or something more.

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On ‎2018‎-‎03‎-‎01 at 5:01 PM, thormas said:
2 hours ago, thormas said:

no idea if it is (only) consciousness

or a 'deepening' of consciousness

I too have no idea.


 

Quote

 

Afterlife and Salvation

The New Age movement understands death and the afterlife in a multitude of ways, but all forms of the New Age uphold belief in the continuation of the individual after death.

 

 

Edited by romansh

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

I too have no idea.

Finally - agreement :+}

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

The New Age movement understands death and the afterlife in a multitude of ways, but all forms of the New Age uphold belief in the continuation of the individual after death

I read theology not new age so it's not my cup of tea. when time permits will look at the link.

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13 hours ago, thormas said:

Finally - agreement :+}

I am not sure I agree with this, even though it is supposed to be amusing. It would appear you have some sort of belief in an afterlife, though you are not clear what that belief is. When I asked for clarification earlier on you gave me a hard time (with your Good Lord) post for asking for more detail. So this is something (or at least would appear) that you have not thought through thoroughly and yet have formed a new belief around.

The afterlife is not a belief I recall ever having in any form. Even as a child I dismissed heaven and hell as stories, plus I did not have parents that try to inculcate such myths or at least not much. As an adult I understand to maintain a consciousness will require a constant input into that consciousness to maintain it. I can see this energy input when in human form, but I can't see the energy input into some immaterial form. And the moment I could see it, it will cease to be immaterial.

I need a coherent framework (some evidence) before I go around believing stuff or changing my beliefs, or at least so I have found. Now my framework/evidence around my belief is likely a confabulation, but that is OK.

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3 hours ago, romansh said:

I am not sure I agree

Way to ruin a special moment Rom :=)  And, much was meant to be amusing, including references to the Lord.

One, at least not this one, is never fully finished 'thinking through' particular issues, this one included. But you are correct when you said, in spite of that, I have formed new beliefs. I am reminded of something Spong wrote in that sometimes you have to say what is not (deconstruct) before you attempt to say what something (might be) is (i.e. construct). So, in that spirit, long ago, and for various reasons, I made a decision against certain traditional, theistic, Christian beliefs about the 'afterlife - in line with other new beliefs I had come to. So, I know what I don't believe (previously listed above) and have some new notions but I honestly don't spend much time on it because other issues (example theodicy, incarnation, human actualization, etc.) are more interesting/intriguing at this time. Besides, I know what I believe about "God' - so I leave the details of the 'afterlife' to 'him' and occasionally return to it when time permits or something I read makes a connection and I explore it further.

I was never a deist (as you were) so I don't know what deism might believe about life after death. And, I, too, didn't have parents who tried to inculcate such myths: they (the myths, the beliefs) were merely part of the landscape of a Catholic childhood. We believed them but nobody was delving into them, especially kids and teenagers - as we were busy with our lives. However, as I grew, studied philosophy and then theology, along with other subjects - I did become intrigued and delved into them. In part, I wanted to do - simply I was curious (that's what great professors did for me: they piqued my curiosity and enabled me to satiate it) and, also, it was my job - I was a theology teacher (before going into business) and you never know a subject as well as you do when you have to present it to others (in my and many teachers opinions). 

I agree with the 'constant energy input' but, for me, the human encompasses or is part of the so called 'immaterial.' It is all of a piece.

I need a framework also (that is what systematic theology is about) but, and here is our difference, I don't need evidence or proof. Rather there is an openness to this sort of 'thing' and it 'makes sense' or resonates with me (my experience) - then I try to find ways to think and talk about it (for my self but also) for others who might be open - so it might become (more) reasonable and might 'speak' to them - and then they can take it and do with it what they will.

Edited by thormas

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On 28/02/2018 at 8:39 PM, PaulS said:

I wonder if anyone would care to share what beliefs they may have once firmly held, that have since changed and are no longer a belief for them?

My point in doing so is to have us consider that no matter how strongly we have all once held beliefs -  the introduction of new information, different interpretations and life experiences has often seen those firmly held beliefs change.  I could be wrong but I doubt if anybody here has NEVER had a belief change, even though at one point they were CERTAIN that belief was TRUE and could not be changed.

That doesn't mean beliefs are right or wrong but simply that they do change and as unswervingly certain we are that our beliefs are right, I'd bet London to a brick that at some point in time we have all had 'guaranteed' beliefs, change.  So why is anyone utterly convinced that what they believe is true right at this point now, can NEVER possibly change with new information, new understanding, or new life experiences?

As a fairly well known Progressive Christian (Marcus Borg) once said: "believing something to be true has nothing to do with whether it is true.”

Some beliefs that I previously held unalienable certainty in (until they changed) include:

  • Santa Claus (plus the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy).  I was thoroughly convinced they existed.
  • A loving, father-like, deity (an Abba) who would see the majority of his children tortured for all eternity if they didn't do what He said (or if they didn't properly understand what He said)
  • People who weren't Christian 'chose' not to follow Jesus because they wanted to live apart from God
  • That I had a duty to said God to convince others they needed to know this God the way I knew him, for their own sake
  • That gay people were depraved sinners who wanted to wallow in their depravity
  • That Jesus was God incarnated, who knew of his existence in Heaven prior to physically 'coming' to earth, to die as a sacrifice for our sin, which as luck would have it was an automatic curse simply for being born human
  • That the words of the Bible are an exact copy of what was originally written
  • That the only way to live a meaningful life was to believe all of the above (except for the fictional characters - you can decide which ones are fictional for you)

I don't make these points to aggravate or debate their value, but merely to demonstrate that beliefs do change and hopefully encourage some discussion about how our unchangeable beliefs are often one day challenged, and changed.

Anyone else prepared to admit/discuss such experiences?

 

Absolutely. Started my faith journey in 1982, at a very low point in my life which had collapsed. For the first 15 years of my journey I was a fundamentalist Charismatic embedded in the faith movement.  My faith started changing in 1997 when I started asking different questions, which seemed obvious to me but apparently a real problem to other believers as they would have been to me just a few years earlier. 

Understanding that the scriptures were never written to be literally interpreted changed almost everything for me. Bishop John Shelby Spong has been a huge source of encouragement for me. My faith is now in my Father in heaven and not the words of the Bible.  

 

 

 

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Yes, Bishop Spong’s books, talks and general profile have really helped many (including me) better understand scripture and Christianity.

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