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18 minutes ago, thormas said:

All I have reported is that "even this 'evidence' (of anaesthetics for materialism) is questioned in the (scientific and philosophical) community.

Just to be clear is anaesthetics evidence in support of materialism, although some might contest it?

13 minutes ago, thormas said:

God who is referred to as I AM,

OK I don't recall this one. But I'll let it pass.

So you have no evidence for this I AM, but you believe it anyway? I agree beliefs and traditions exist, but these are not Gods by any stretch of the imagination as the word is commonly used.

Just out of interest what is your evidence to say Roman gods never existed and we can state it as a fact?

Are you claiming materialism is not verifiable … if this an opinion what is it based on? How much evidence in support of materialism would you require? And if you are asking the reverse of me … how the consciousness manipulates matter would be a good place to start. 

If you were to argue the pantheist position I would agree there is plenty of evidence for the universe, and by tradition we could say this is god, but we would still have a debate on the properties of the universe.

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2 hours ago, romansh said:

So you have no evidence for this I AM, but you believe it anyway? I agree beliefs and traditions exist, but these are not Gods by any stretch of the imagination as the word is commonly used.

Just out of interest what is your evidence to say Roman gods never existed and we can state it as a fact?

Are you claiming materialism is not verifiable … if this an opinion what is it based on? How much evidence in support of materialism would you require? And if you are asking the reverse of me … how the consciousness manipulates matter would be a good place to start. 

If you were to argue the pantheist position I would agree there is plenty of evidence for the universe, and by tradition we could say this is god, but we would still have a debate on the properties of the universe.

Yes and this has been said previously: belief but no evidence. To say "there are not Gods..." is an opinion or a belief statement, also without evidence. As for the "word as commonly used" that, for some, is the point and the word has been redefined, i.e. theism to panentheism. 

Pantheism never resonated with me because I don't believe that the physical universe is God and, also, I believe God or Being is 'personal' although not a person, supreme or otherwise. "There is plenty of evidence for the universe" but that the universe is God is a belief. Seemingly, in pantheism, the property of the universe is god. Isn't it pretty cut and dry? If one talks about the properties of the universe in pantheism, aren't they bring to define god?

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16 hours ago, thormas said:

Yes and this has been said previously: belief but no evidence.

OK just to be clear some believe in things that we have no evidence for. 

16 hours ago, thormas said:

To say "there are not Gods..." is an opinion or a belief statement, also without evidence.

Very few people even amongst atheists actually say this. They may disavow literal Abrahamic Gods much in the same way most of us do not believe in Roman Gods etc.

17 hours ago, thormas said:

but that the universe is God is a belief.

Yes, but it is a coherent belief … no extras needed.

17 hours ago, thormas said:

If one talks about the properties of the universe in pantheism, aren't they bring to define god?

Exactly

20 hours ago, romansh said:

Just out of interest what is your evidence to say Roman gods never existed and we can state it as a fact?

Any thoughts?

20 hours ago, romansh said:

Are you claiming materialism is not verifiable … if this an opinion what is it based on?

????

And I still don't have a clear sense of whether you think anaesthetics are evidence for materialism, and if not why not?

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

OK just to be clear some believe in things that we have no evidence for. 

18 hours ago, thormas said:

Well, it depends on what you mean by evidence. I am associating it with proof or at least leading to proof and, therefore, there is no proof, no overriding evidence, perhaps no evidence at all, that can either establish the existence or non-existence of God or establish what God is, so to speak. There is a rational element or there can be, in this. However, ultimately, reason takes one so far, the experience and insight of the religious community and the theology takes one so far and, eventually, comes the decision: to believe or to not believe (the faith commitment).

1 hour ago, romansh said:

"To say 'there are not Gods...' is an opinion or a belief statement, also without evidence." Very few people even amongst atheists actually say this. They may disavow literal Abrahamic Gods much in the same way most of us do not believe in Roman Gods etc.

 If you are talking about the Abrahamic God (I AM (story of Moses), Abba, Allah - different names for the same 'experienced' Reality) - then what I said above holds. My point is that whether God IS or Is not is beyond evidence. This goes back to the idea that Being or God is not an object or thing (among other things). Not sure what you mean by Abrahamic gods - since in each of the great western religions, there is only God (not gods). I have seen atheism defined as either a-theist or atheist: the former is primarily against the theistic take on God, the latter is against any and all notions of God (God is not), so not sure what you mean by "even amongst atheists."

1 hour ago, romansh said:

Yes, but it is a coherent belief … no extras needed.

Perhaps for some, simply not for me and not for all/most who accept the Abrahamic faiths.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

" Just out of interest what is your evidence to say Roman gods never existed and we can state it as a fact?" Any thoughts?

First, it would be a belief statement since I don't buy into multiple gods who do use humans as playthings. I always took this as a developing stage to monotheism but 'evidence' would seem to be going to Mt. Olympus (Greek gods) and seeing if we can find evidence that the gods once lived there - an archeological expedition. 

1 hour ago, romansh said:

Are you claiming materialism is not verifiable … if this an opinion what is it based on?

What I have seen (Sheldrake, Egnor, D B Hart) suggests that what is verifiable for one, is not for another. Or, the interpretation is disputed and thus verification is questionable. 

 

Edited by thormas

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On 6/13/2019 at 9:41 AM, thormas said:

Not sure I know what you mean by information. That is (in large part) what a traditional understanding of revelation has been: that God provides information to select individuals of his choosing. If, however, you are saying there is an experience and then, upon reflection, one articulates their insight, based out of that experience, I basically agree. However, even that articulation and that experience is provisional as they are the acts of finite beings.

As to God as one's deeper self, I hedge. I find my best/deepest self in God and God as Being (so to speak) is 'my deepest self' but I still experience/understand God as Creator where I am creature, as Fullness in which I participate. as Love by which I become. My experience is not that God is me - is that what you mean and experience? I read the mystics as 'finding themselves in God' as akin to one 'lost' or found in love (analogous to human falling in love) but not as the other. This gets a little murky because I do believe that if God is Love, we literally 'do God' in a finite way and thus become our best/deepest self (or at least begin that journey in this incarnation). We indeed become the image and likeness but it is the image and likeness of the Other who IS (whereas I become).

It seems to be that it is as created, embodied beings who have a life story and mental activity, that we come to God and live. Otherwise, why are we embodied in nature? 

I find this topic important and fascinating, so again, thanks.

 

Thormas,

What makes you believe that "God  provides information to select individuals of his choosing" ? In my view, i do not see God as a respecter of persons. All of creation seems to me to be acceptable to that which creates and sustains it. The potential is in and through All.

If in God you have your 'being'  and God is in and through all things, and you are aware of such....  then in that sense,  one could say as Jesus is recorded saying ...  "I and my Father are one."  It seems to me, the part of you that is created will surely perish along with your unique story and the rest of the earth in the concept we refer to as time. Only that which is not created is eternal and remains. There are a multitude of stories but in my view of reality there is only God. Joseph is destined to die as his life is an illusion of the thinking mind.

In my view, and in many religions including Christianity, we come as embodied beings who have a life story and mental activity as you say, but not to live as thus but to die to that self that we may again live in God as One. Otherwise, Why are we embodied in nature? you ask. In my experience, find your deeper Self and the question will disappear.

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1 hour ago, JosephM said:

Thormas,

What makes you believe that "God  provides information to select individuals of his choosing" ? In my view, i do not see God as a respecter of persons. All of creation seems to me to be acceptable to that which creates and sustains it. The potential is in and through All.

If in God you have your 'being'  and God is in and through all things, and you are aware of such....  then in that sense,  one could say as Jesus is recorded saying ...  "I and my Father are one."  It seems to me, the part of you that is created will surely perish along with your unique story and the rest of the earth in the concept we refer to as time. Only that which is not created is eternal and remains. There are a multitude of stories but in my view of reality there is only God. Joseph is destined to die as his life is an illusion of the thinking mind.

In my view, and in many religions including Christianity, we come as embodied beings who have a life story and mental activity as you say, but not to live as thus but to die to that self that we may again live in God as One. Otherwise, Why are we embodied in nature? you ask. In my experience, find your deeper Self and the question will disappear.

That's just it: I don't. That (above) is a traditional take on revelation that I haven't bought into for decades upon decades. And, God doesn't select individuals to be the recipients of this (non existent) revealed information. 

I think it's up for discussion exactly what Jesus meant (assuming he actually said this). For some it could be an ethical oneness: if God is Love and Jesus loves all, then he and the Father are love. Others, might thing more along ontological lines that their being is the same. Yet it could also be that the two are one. It is interesting in all this though that this same Jesus also prayed to his God (twoness?).

I have no idea what will perish and what continues. However, I also allow that it is equally valid to supposed that what makes one unique might continue. If the gift of life is given, and one is seemingly 'called' on to become (and for some thinkers, this journey continues after this incarnation) 'like' God, then it seems as if that uniqueness is valued and highly cherished because  the gift was used and a unique individual(s) became 'Christ.' There is, I believe, a Oneness but I cannot forego Whitehead's idea that the coming together of the many is a higher Beauty that the coming together (if it can be called such) of one.

There is only God but God has 'gifted' being to another: now, there is many in the One. Does God take back what has been given? And if there is only God (so to speak) what is the point if the created is not real, if it was illusion? What was the purpose of all the unique stories, did the Mind of God, did God, need to come to know Itself? And once known, discard the many? So, it was all about God?

I agree that Christianity and other religions speak of a death to self and living in God (as One) but that death is not merely our physical demise. That death is death to selfishness (sin) and finding one's self in God/Love (selflessness) and having Life. We are embodied in nature because, as created being, as Irenaeus and others believed, we are in the 'process of creation' and this existence is the locus of our 'soul making' process. 

It is 'in' our life story (and mental activity) that we die, not to our self but, to our selfishness, our self-centeredness. Again, why create the many if it is merely to dismiss their uniqueness - which includes their response to the One - in order that there be One - which there already was........'in the beginning?" This, again, makes it all about God, which seems to be the opposite of what we profess about Love.

This is interesting and consequential stuff, Joseph 

Edited by thormas

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On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

Well, it depends on what you mean by evidence.

Well I mean data that supports a particular position.

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

I am associating it with proof or at least leading to proof

Proof does not exist in my opinion, and it is a nonsensical misdirection for those arguing that it exists or does not. With the exception of courtroom proceedings, mathematical proofs, logic proofs and alcoholic proofs.

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

perhaps no evidence at all, that can either establish the existence or non-existence of God

Then why do you believe in a god so to speak?

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

However, ultimately, reason takes one so far

Did you use reason for this or is it just made up? I agree when we don't have evidence then some caution is warranted. But then again if we agreed with Pascal's wager we would all be Catholics. But we can use reason to pick apart Pascal's wager and find the flaw(s) in his assumptions.

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

My point is that whether God IS or Is not is beyond evidence

Not sure what you mean by God IS, but it is clear you do not have any evidence for this God IS. What causes you to believe it?

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

I have seen atheism defined as either a-theist or atheist: the former is primarily against the theistic take on God

In older dictionaries we tend to find atheism defined as an active (or positive) disbelief in god and in more modern use it is a lack of belief (negative) or the positive version. 

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

Perhaps for some, simply not for me and not for all/most who accept the Abrahamic faiths.

What is the incoherent bit that God and the universe are one?

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

I always took this as a developing stage to monotheism but 'evidence' would seem to be going to Mt. Olympus (Greek gods) and seeing if we can find evidence that the gods once lived there - an archeological expedition. 

Ah but those Greek Gods work in mysterious ways. 

On 6/17/2019 at 4:05 PM, thormas said:

What I have seen (Sheldrake, Egnor, D B Hart) suggests that what is verifiable for one, is not for another. Or, the interpretation is disputed and thus verification is questionable. 

So when people tried to look seriously at Sheldrake's morphic resonance they could not find the predicted effects. What would you take away from this? After all scientists are still looking at things like relativity and find the appropriate responses for various bits of this universe? 

I'll be out of town for a month or so

Edited by romansh

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Proof does not exist in my opinion, and it is a nonsensical misdirection for those arguing that it exists or does not. With the exception of courtroom proceedings, mathematical proofs, logic proofs and alcoholic proofs.

We are again dealing with opinion. That proof doesn't exist or that you belief it is a nonsensical misdirection is ............opinion. And others disagree. So this gets us nowhere.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

Then why do you believe in a god so to speak?

Already answered.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

Did you use reason for this or is it just made up? 

I use reason daily.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

............ it is clear you do not have any evidence for this God IS. 

Obviously, that is the point.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

What is the incoherent bit that God and the universe are one?

I simply said that pantheism is not for people of faith.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

Ah but those Greek Gods work in mysterious ways. 

Well they do in your opinion, so we will not disturb you.

1 hour ago, romansh said:

I'll be out of town for a month or so

Rest up.........

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5 hours ago, thormas said:

And others disagree. So this gets us nowhere.

Is it an opinion that others disagree? What actually gets us nowhere is simply saying others disagree therefore it can be considered not worthy of further examination. For example do you think what I said is accurate and what are the reasons for you thinking so? 

If I wanted this apocryphal other's opinion I would speak to this other.

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5 hours ago, thormas said:
6 hours ago, romansh said:

Did you use reason for this or is it just made up?

I use reason daily.

I am sure you do but you did not answer my question.

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10 hours ago, romansh said:

(using reason daily) I am sure you do 

Then, your question is answered:+}

 

Edited by thormas

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11 hours ago, romansh said:

Is it an opinion that others disagree? What actually gets us nowhere is simply saying others disagree therefore it can be considered not worthy of further examination. For example do you think what I said is accurate and what are the reasons for you thinking so? 

If I wanted this apocryphal other's opinion I would speak to this other.

There is such evidence that human beings disagree on various issues that it is evident.

Simply because there is a recognition that religious beliefs are opinions, there is nothing to prevent one from presenting their belief and no one is saying the opinions of others (example, pantheism, Oneness, unique stories perishing, God is love, etc.) are unworthy of discussion and examination. However, regarding pantheism it is simply a fact that theists and panentheists disagree with that position. I have no desire to initiate an examination of pantheism (since I don't believe in it), but you may feel free to do so.

 

Edited by thormas

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Jesus existed

Opinion

1 hour ago, thormas said:

(not belief but fact)

Opinion likely false

1 hour ago, thormas said:

 he is believed to be the one true Messia ... 

Opinion, but supported by evidence

1 hour ago, thormas said:

What PC would believe that God's Messiah had to be crucified and atone for sins in order for the Kingdom to begin, or to be established?  That is not a progressive stance.

Opinion, but is simply a definitional issue. So this may well be accepted by most Progressive Christians.

1 hour ago, thormas said:

So a Christian can say that Jesus was the Messiah and also, given a new worldview and a 21st C (progressive) Christology/Theology have a very different or deeper insight into who Jesus was as Messiah. 

Opinion …  depends on how rigid is one's view of a Messiah. It could be argued Buddha beat modern progressive theology to it by two and half millennia. 

 

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Actually, the evidence that Jesus actually existed is overwhelming and presented by experts. I'll stick with the experts who.............are experts. It seems you are a mythicist which is fine but the evidence against this position makes the opinion of the mythicist pale in comparison. You are expressing an opinion whereas I am, and have in the past, presented experts in the field. 

Given progressive Christianity, by definition, atonement is no longer the accepted explanation for salvation or how salvation was won and we don't even think it terms of the need to be saved. Thus, the question can be posed if one still buys into atonement are they progressive? Not so much in terms of their Christology and theology. 

You have  made the point: if one has a so called rigid view of Jesus's Messiahship, it is not a PC view - if by rigid you mean an older conservative or evangelical theistic understanding. PC works from a different worldview and has a Christiology and theology that reflects modern insights. That's it what PC is actually about and doing: listen to Plumer, see Spong.

 

We're not talking about Buddha and who he might have beat, whether he did or did not is not the issue. 

 

You seem to want to be considered a PC while at the same time admitting that you don't share their view and thus, it seems that you try to redefine PC  or suggest that PC maintains 'rigid' older theistic views - which it really doesn't. I get that some on PC.org might be in transition and 'caught' between an older more conservative or establishment understanding but PC, as known, defined, practiced, taught and written about in their books and articles, by its leaders and spokespeople are light years from this traditional understanding and some in transition are simply still on the way. 

Atonement and a rigid Messiahship, just to name two positions, are simply not progressive Christian positions. 

 

Edited by thormas

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

Actually, the evidence that Jesus actually existed is overwhelming and presented by experts. I'll stick with the experts who.............are experts. It seems you are a mythicist which is fine but the evidence against this position makes the opinion of the mythicist pale in comparison. You are expressing an opinion whereas I am, and have in the past, presented experts in the field. 

Given progressive Christianity, by definition, atonement is no longer the accepted explanation for salvation or how salvation was won and we don't even think it terms of the need to be saved. Thus, the question can be posed if one still buys into atonement are they progressive? Not so much in terms of their Christology and theology. 

You have  made the point: if one has a so called rigid view of Jesus's Messiahship, it is not a PC view - if by rigid you mean an older conservative or evangelical theistic understanding. PC works from a different worldview and has a Christiology and theology that reflects modern insights. That's it what PC is actually about and doing: listen to Plumer, see Spong.

 

We're not talking about Buddha and who he might have beat, whether he did or did not is not the issue. 

 

You seem to want to be considered a PC while at the same time admitting that you don't share their view and thus, it seems that you try to redefine PC  or suggest that PC maintains 'rigid' older theistic views - which it really doesn't. I get that some on PC.org might be in transition and 'caught' between an older more conservative or establishment understanding but PC, as known, defined, practiced, taught and written about in their books and articles, by its leaders and spokespeople are light years from this traditional understanding and some in transition are simply still on the way. 

Atonement and a rigid Messiahship, just to name two positions, are simply not progressive Christian positions. 

 

PC really has no positions, knowledge or insight to offer.  It is only a strictly bounded discussion space.

The need to strictly enforce the 8 judgmental boundaries and shun those who do not conform is evidence of a hypocritical intolerance.

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10 hours ago, Burl said:

PC really has no positions, knowledge or insight to offer.  It is only a strictly bounded discussion space.

The need to strictly enforce the 8 judgmental boundaries and shun those who do not conform is evidence of a hypocritical intolerance.

Well it seems obvious that progressive sites like this are primarily for discussion among many people who have an interest in or actually consider themselves progressive and Christian. The same can be said of Spong's old site (and the main PC.org site) however there are a number of active pastors on that site and there seems to be a focus on bringing progressive insights to community and worship. That such sites are discussion spaces seems both obvious and fine - and what they were intended to be.

It also seems obvious that PC sites and PC as an organization does indeed have positions, knowledge and insight to offer. Spong is the most obvious example and in the wake of his retirement many others have come forward and they include authors, pastors, speakers, and ordinary people who consider themselves both progressive and Christian. As an example, I have had both on-line and one on one email discussions with Matthew Fox, a well known author. The knowledge is there for the taking and it is obvious that many who are in transition, many who are thirsty for more are observers and even participants in the conversations.

The only strict boundary is mutual respect and general agreement with the principles. But again, if one doesn't agree with the points or the general 'direction' of PC, or they are not Christian or not progressive, why would they even be interested? 

People are not shunned. I'm not so much aware of a Progressive Christianity in the same way as there is a Catholic Christianity. Rather it is a philosophy or perspective that different communities and individuals like and bring to their communities. There might be more to it in some communities but that is an area outside of my interest and experience.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Well, one could define themselves as a cat or a chipmunk, and get to be defining for themselves who they are.

Seems to me there are limits to this sort of thing, in order to remain in the parameters of commonly understood language and concepts.

Well this was sort of my point in the a/ignostic thread. Of course it is only an opinion that the Nazis who self identified as Christian are not Christian in actual fact. But I hope you see the contradiction in your two positions you have stated. Who is the censor that limits definitions?

And more for Joseph than you Elen, if I were to express the opinion that may Germans had succumbed to a nonsense belief that Arians are somehow a master race and better than say Slavs or Jews, would that be inappropriate? After all it is just an opinion.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, romansh said:

.......... it is only an opinion that the Nazis who self identified as Christian are not Christian in actual fact. But I hope you see the contradiction in your two positions you have stated. Who is the censor that limits definitions?

Yes and no: actually to be a Christian is more that accepting certain beliefs or professing 'faith' - most importantly it is being Christ or Love in the world. The case can be made that a Nazi who exterminated other human beings has failed. If they 'sinned' and are lost, then repenting means stopping the 'sinful' action. If not, they are not. 

Edited by thormas

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42 minutes ago, thormas said:

Yes and no: actually to be a Christian is more that accepting certain beliefs or professing 'faith' - most importantly it is being Christ or Love in the world. The case can be made that a Nazi who exterminated other human beings has failed. If they 'sinned' and are lost, then repenting means stopping the 'sinful' action. If not, they are not. 

When I brought up Germans I was trying to express how the Nazi government corrupted and perverted the Christian citizenry.

Sin, vice and evil have a spreading nature.  Like rust, small bits are inevitable but without constant maintenance the rust runs invisibly under the paint and subtly destroys whatever it touches.

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16 hours ago, romansh said:

Well this was sort of my point in the a/ignostic thread. Of course it is only an opinion that the Nazis who self identified as Christian are not Christian in actual fact. But I hope you see the contradiction in your two positions you have stated. Who is the censor that limits definitions?

And more for Joseph than you Elen, if I were to express the opinion that may Germans had succumbed to a nonsense belief that Arians are somehow a master race and better than say Slavs or Jews, would that be inappropriate? After all it is just an opinion.

Well, if someone self identified as a squirrel or a chipmunk, I might say to them, no, you are not a squirrel or a chipmunk. I could list all the things that squirrels and chipmunks are and all the difference between them and the squirrels and chipmunks and the differences would be pretty plain and understood by everyone, (perhaps unless they are mentally challenged).

Whether we are talking about the Nazis or the Spanish Inquisition here, I could list all the things that Christianity is and is not and make it plain that there is no support for what they did in Christianity, either in the texts or in practice or in people who have the faith and spirit of Christ within them. In fact the things they did are denounced and decried in Christianity. 

Now a person could still say they are a squirrel or a chipmunk of a "Christian", but that doesn't make them one.

Concerning your last paragraph and sentences, I would say that that is more than just an opinion.

Coming from a tradition myself that states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all people are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among them being the right to life, liberty ….". Maybe I don't get why other people don't see this as self-evident either. 

3 hours ago, Burl said:

When I brought up Germans I was trying to express how the Nazi government corrupted and perverted the Christian citizenry.

Sin, vice and evil have a spreading nature.  Like rust, small bits are inevitable but without constant maintenance the rust runs invisibly under the paint and subtly destroys whatever it touches.

I like your last paragraph there. Thanks for posting it.

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