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DavidD last won the day on July 31 2013

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About DavidD

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  1. "Quantum" refers to how at a very small, building-block level, energy comes in steps. It's not a continuous variable. That's it. It's not at all mystical. That there are spooky things like quantum entanglement of co-created particles is intriguing, but there's no way the whole universe is entangled this way, even if all our heavier atoms came from the same supernova. That's not co-created enough. That's the science. To a neuroscientist, "conscious" means ordinarily awake, as I am typing this. It's also not at all mystical. It's just phenomenology. When someone uses a term like "quantum
  2. It so happens my undergraduate degree was in physics, almost 40 years ago but with an A+ in quantum mechanics. Then I went into neuroscience. Quantum physics in no way denies a boundary around self nor denies a reality beyond that self. The Uncertainty Principle just means that the smallest details of reality are fuzzy, not reality as a whole. People leave out important words when they correctly say that our brain creates a mind that is its own reality. Our brain is a mirror. Our mind is the image in that mirror. The image in that mirror is a virtual reality of the material world plus
  3. Who is more worth following, the historical Jesus or the gospel Jesus? If it's the former, there are many authors who vary on who that was. How do you pick one to believe? It might be the latter, no matter how far the authors of the gospels went to construct words and events. What does God intend for us? If that's nothing, then what difference does it make? According to Borg and Crossan, Paul was received best by the Gentiles who attended synagogues, but hadn't converted fully. It wasn't Paul who chose the Gentiles as much as the other way around. Also Paul claimed to have been told by the
  4. The message of Jesus was love God, love neighbors, including Samaritans, and love enemies. The gospels present this clearly. Love gets obscured not by debate for the sake of debate, but because many have an agenda beyond the above, such as propping up other things in the Bible or making an idol of the unborn child that isn't in the Bible at all. It's not progressives who condemn their enemies in this to hell or otherwise try to hurt them.
  5. My favorite book on the historical Jesus was the one John Dominic Crossan wrote some years ago. He pointed out the difficulties for deciding which parts of Jesus' cultural context were the most important to his actual life. It's too bad this is so speculative. I guess the Jesus Seminar took this as far as one can in voting how strongly they thought any Gospel verse was actually said by Jesus. That got them mostly hate from conservatives, but mostly shoulder shrugs from those like me who agree with them. The easy answers aren't likely to be right.
  6. I was a member of a UU in the eighties. It wasn't a burden. You'd be more likely called upon for church projects and retreats. If you want to be in the church with both feet, it won't really be a difference. I left UU because I was changing to be explicitly Christian. Mostly I've gone to UMC churches since then. I never joined. There I would wonder about joining some who are more conservative than I am. Last year's vote in the governing body of UMC was 61-39 against same-sex marriage. I'd rather they join me than I join them, but that's not an option.
  7. There is an advantage in Christianity's external focus, At a minimum there is a culture out there to help us, people who have been my way before. That is far from perfect, but it's definite. It includes advice to look within (Mt. 7:1-5). Getting help non-physically is not so definite, internally or externally.
  8. Rhino, I agree with your original post that you don't control this. No one made up the issue of whether the Bible is being used as an idol. People are either very right or very wrong in what they're doing about this. Sometimes it couldn't be more extreme, such as Mike Huckabee saying that anyone who votes for Obama is going to hell. What amazes me is that no one from Huckabee's side criticized such extremism, as far as I heard. How can people hear that either side may be carrying their beliefs to the point of idolatry and not take a step back to look at that? I agree that all we can do
  9. Bill, you point out something else that is frustrating about this. Love and truth don't go along well in individuals. If the Spirit sanctifies us, shouldn't we be improving at both? Or does the Spirit have other priorities?<br /><br />It is as you write that people believe what they believe. I am pacified by that when it comes to people who trust apologetics to say there is no problem with biblical inerrancy. What amazes me is how easy it would be for those with some exposure to science to know better. If you do the calculation to suggest that the current drop in magnetic field can
  10. I live not far from the creationist museum in Santee, CA. Recently I was listening to a Christian radio station and the museum had an ad on. It included an invitation to an exhibit that presented 10 reasons why the Earth is no more than 20,000 years old. I was intrigued enough to see what their website said about this. Most of their denial of geology and evolution was vague and subjective. Some claims they make must be false, such as their claim that both carbon dating and argon dating are on their side, but it would be a lot of work to track down their references as to why. One clai
  11. One can be called Christian who thinks Jesus was utterly flesh and a good teacher, same as Buddhist and some other labels. I think the meaning of "liberal" or "progressive" Christianity reasonably goes that far, unlike "Bible-believing" Christian or something else more specific. "Christian atheist" would make sense to me, though I don't hear that from those who believe Jesus to be a good teacher. If there is no God and no Spirit, wouldn't a good teacher know that, ruling out Jesus? The question for me is how much more than a good teacher is Jesus, a thoroughly mystical issue unfortun
  12. I noticed a quote from Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptists in the Wikipedia article on the CPC. In 2003 he wrote a commentary on being tolerant of other religions and of sexuality. He summarized his disapproval by labeling this "the basic hatred of biblical truth that drives those on the theological left." I haven't seen such a drive. I've seen many people searching for integrative truths, often with some understandable confusion. The hatred I see is more often from someone like Mike Huckabee proclaiming that everyone who votes for Obama is going to hell. I don't see that on the left.
  13. I also am Christian because I was raised that way, in an Episcopal church. I suspect if I had been raised in a different religion, I would be pursuing a life of love and truth that way, but I don't know the details of how to do that compared to following Jesus. Something had to support me in being progressive, however. I tried out more conservative churches from 1992 - 2004, as they seem more serious about following Jesus, but there is so much hypocrisy and ignorance there. Scientific truth cannot be waved away by one hand in the 21st century, whether that's evolution or archeology.
  14. I have heard from God in words for 24 years, since I was 34. It was very exciting at first, but I quickly learned I could not trust every word. Whether one hears words or has a feeling that one put into words, even silence, they are our words. I hear my particular version of English, with innumerable concepts attached that I have learned. I never hear facts I didn't already know. It's not hard to imagine why different people hear different things from God. The experience is necessarily a cooperative effort, and who can say how much of God is in any of it. I think it's a mistake to sa
  15. Jen – I’m going to strongly challenge what you’ve written. It’s not because I hate you. I have considerable sympathy for anyone willing to work on a direct relationship with God. I’ve written for some time that this is the only way that makes sense to me. All religions are false to some degree, including atheism. They all have elements of fantasy to fill in what they don’t actually know. Even atheists are this way as they dismiss all spiritual experiences as meaningless imagination, despite that neuroscience knows very little about what imagination is and isn’t. No neuroscientist can write out
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