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DrDon last won the day on January 17 2013

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About DrDon

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  1. Having gone through the usual stages of separation from my traditional Christian upbringing, I find myself in a calm place. Whew!

    I struggle with the 'GOD IS___________________________' concept because it assumes an authority none of us have. Better to lean toward a greater honesty with "I choose to believe that God is _____________________". It is rather immediately felt that the latter lacks punch and authority.

    Having taught the Historical/Critical Christian Bible for a number of years now, I have developed this:

    Every 5 years, the International Dragon Experts Convention meets in major world cities. The convention lasts a full 5 days during which presentations on new references in Dragon Lore (ancient texts, artwork and current contributions...) are eagerly attended by all. Discussions are always lively and, sometimes being quite heated. The metallic scales group hotly debates with the more boney/leathery scales contingent. The mechanism for fire breathing, in all of it's various possibilities. Mortal vulnerabilities or lack thereof as well as the discussion of speech abilities a la Sean Connery are all areas of often extreme stance. In each and every point of discussion and disagreement there remains the one thing that binds each delegate with the other.

    None of them have EVER SEEN A DRAGON.

    Whether books containing libraries of ancient and not so ancient texts can be claimed as supernatural or magical is merely a choice. We can argue endlessly over our 'dragons' like dogs chasing their tails. Our choices of belief are nothing more than that. We are each left with our own 'NOW' and what we believe that contains.

    Lastly, it is ALWAYS in focusing upon our differences that we pick up our knives to do damage. It is ONLY in focusing on our commonality that we put those weapons (and the destruction that goes with them) down again.  

    1. romansh


      Welcome DrDon

      I am not sure of the context this message Don. So I will reply a little tentatively. A little bit of disclosure: I was never deeply into religion and even this shallow end was a little more than a puddle on a very flat pavement on a sunny day. I am by nature a devout agnostic; in that I don't think I can be 100% sure of anything. Having said I am forced into action, whether it be sit and do nothing, advocate for something, quietly listen and try and understand or perhaps question (my favourite).

      Yes I understand your dragon analogy. I have no Dragon. Some forms of dragon make sense, ie lizards that have been mistaken for dragons, Perhaps some fossilized dinosaur that was mistaken for a dragon? But a loving, divine or omnipresent dragon I am not so sure of. I will await some evidence.

      Regarding the now ...  true, but I can't help thinking the now is shaped (to some degree) by our perception of the past and the future. We are not mini-first-cause generators wandering around on this planet.

      Regarding differences ... focussing on anything exclusively may be a problem. But from my point of view differences are our communal strength and weakness; depending on whether we at are "accepting" or not. Similarly commonality can be perceived as a strength and a weakness. So long as commonality does not lead to fossilization it should be good.

      Thank you for your thoughts and if you are interested in agnosticism I can recommend www.agnosticsinternational.org ... I am on the admin team there.


  2. Dear Soma- Thank you for your last entry. It was good to read centering words. I have a justice problem (I'm not alone in this) and still put myself through the ridiculous astonishment that has so long ago lost the right to do so. It is an indulgence, on my part, to carry this on. I would venture to say that having been brutally judged and found wanting has left me with a desire to return the favor. I'm not proud of that. It doesn't say much about my capacity for compassion nor my own inner conviction. Soma, you are a voice of light and lightness. Living love is more than enough. Such
  3. Something that comes to mind is the absence of power over others when 'belief' becomes personal. Without a 'tribal god' that loves only us and rejects all others, we cannot lever our beliefs into justification of violence and manipulation. Basically, there's 'No Money' in love, compassion, respect and tolerance. It is too individual, too personal. My Literal/Evangelical Christian friend holds firm that, through 'God's Word', there is irrefutable proof that her way of thinking leads to salvation from hell. I know I'm not saying anything new here but I wanted to state that salvation, accordi
  4. PaulS!!! Exactly! This little shift (not so little) reintroduces the 'Us and Them' of the Pharisaic mindset. Inclusivity just can't be manipulated if left alone. Redefine the whole enchilada, especially with the use of extra-biblical terminology like 'inerrant and infallible' and you have handles to steer the movement.
  5. Creating a viable and cohesive body of writings would certainly require the elimination of the extreme. A Gospel in which two angelic beings exited the tomb and whose height was nearly to the sky, followed by a risen Jesus whose height was higher still with this procession completed by an also heightened and mobile singing cross; such a scene could not be admitted and therefore the Gospel it self was not included. The existing Canon contains significant extremes as they are. Birth stories are unique only to Matthew and Luke. The Jesus in Mark is absent in the Christ of John. Paul, the earliest
  6. Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism (Spong)-- Terrific read. David and Solomon (Finkelstein & Silberman)
  7. Soma- You bring up an interesting point when you speak of 'worshiping' the bible. I have been told very clearly that holding the bible to be inerrant... is a prerequisite to being a christian. Is this a form of idolatry? Donald
  8. Joseph- So sorry you are struggling with memory issues. If it is an aging thing, I'm with you. If it is an illness issue, my heart is with you. I have never felt pushed by your perspective in our encounters. You have always been most gentlemanly to me. For that I truly thank you. Our perspectives have been consistant, always a good thing! Wishing you all the very best. Donald
  9. Joseph- Not the first time we have sat at this point! I appreciate fully that you find the assurance and satisfaction you do. It does not lend the same to me and, obviously, I stand with my own. Each are sufficient to their adherents! As always, I wish you well in your journey! Donald
  10. Paul- I do agree with you. There is a particular honesty and honor in the Agnostic. Hardly the wimps that they are often accused of being, they avoid the emotional positions of their Atheist or Religious counterparts. I believe what I do because I choose to. It suits me. If I decide that what I choose to believe is the universal truth for everyone, I have abandoned the honesty that keeps me grounded and sane. We must avoid losing touch with our 'inner agnostic'. To do so can easily lead to the enmity that has been ever-present in human history. I cannot prove God exists. I ac
  11. And that, Kaykuck, is the really important issue. God is way, way bigger than any of us can imagine or, especially, put into words. Those with a proficiency (self-assigned) at representing God in any detail have managed to shrink God, generally, into their own image. Those who go to great and authoritative lengths to share with others the nature of God's being, mind, personality, wants, limitations... even where God 'lives', actually ignore the scripture itself in their imaginations. If 'Scripture' is indeed the inerrant and infallible, holy spirit inspired, word of god then those who believe
  12. Over the past week I've had a lengthy dialog with a very passionate literal/evangelical christian acquaintance of mine. As a progressive christian I drive her crazy. We have little, if nothing, in common with regard to our separate faiths. The central issue stems from our differing opinion on the status of the bible. She believes, utterly, that the christian bible, 'Old Testament' and Canon, is the inerrant and infallible, holy spirit inspired, word of god. I do not. She claims that one cannot be a christian if one does not believe in a supernatural status of the 66 books contained in the chri
  13. This is my point in sticking to the reality of the unproven. By it's very nature it does not carry a universal value, and certainly cannot move forward into further and further defined 'attributes'. The courage of the agnostic really stands here. It is, by no means, a form of wishy-washy cowardice. It is not fraught with the all-to-common baggage of the atheist's rejection. It does shine a clear light upon myself. I believe in my God construct, because I want to. The spun out nature, after that fact, is but a continuation of that desire, that want. It serves my emotional and self-created spiri
  14. BillM- "...this raises the question, DrDon, of what you mean by "God"? What is the God-model that you are using? I'll be honest and say that my God-model is a reasoning Mind behind and in the universe that has lead to life and consciousness...I don't require 100% absolute ontological, scientific truth before I have faith. If I did, I would never have faith." I agree fully. I have 'fleshed' out my concept of 'God' in my own way, that serves my mind and, therefore, my needs. I'm not sure if you are truly asking me to offer that up. Others in this topic have seen my thoughts on that wa
  15. It is always surprising to me to read, see or hear well-known Evangelical Christians describing the way that 'God' thinks, feels and acts. I am astonished that such men and women are so privileged as to have the inside scoop on such things. I believe that responsible and mature faith must begin with the honest and unemotional reality that God has left us absolutely nothing by way of proof to His/Her/Its/Their existence. We would love to hang onto emotional concepts that circumvent this but, in the end, we cannot. In my opinion, it is thus that Faith has a grounded and clean foundation.
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