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John Hunt

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Everything posted by John Hunt

  1. To come clean, the company I work with publishes some books that say otherwise (along with a load of gibberish, sure). One guy we publish for instance is Bernardo Kastrup- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bernardo-Kastrup/e/B004OFGCA4?ref_=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000 https://www.essentiafoundation.org/about/ He's a lot brighter than I am. I dunno. I try to figure out what I think by putting words down on a page, to see how they look. Talk to other people, see what they think. Sometimes even end up publishing the damn stuff.
  2. I'm not wholly convinced by the "it all ends when we die" scenario - the question of whether consciousness is entirely dependent on brain activity I think is to some extent at least open. Equally, I wouldn't bet on it, either way. The traditional Christian picture of heaven and hell doesn’t work any longer, and we haven’t found anything else to replace it. We don’t even ask the question any more. We’re afraid to ask it; we’ll hopefully be remembered, sure, by family and friends, but we know there is not going to be a shrine, or a tomb, where we’re spoken to, prayed for, as still happens i
  3. I think that sums it up. Prayer works, across all traditions. I think of life crudely like a soap bubble. It materializes out of space-time foam and floats free, like a feather on the breath of God. For a fleeting second, threads of biology, history, culture are knitted together by personality. We have this microscopic moment to enjoy, and through a few simple actions hope to leave the world a fraction better than we found it. The actions are hopefully defined by love, which represents the fullest form of self-awareness that we know of. Developing this is cultivating a state of mind
  4. Got the email notification for this, thanks....
  5. Thanks Paul, sorry to be so dumb. John
  6. By that, Paul, you mean a notification on the site? I haven't had an email notification from the site, prompting me to look at something....just wondered if that kind of thing was possible. Without, it's something I just don't remember to do (looking at the site to see what's come in, and if there's anything specific to me).
  7. Interesting, pretty basic stuff. It's easy enough to say "different sources, different perspectives," which rather begs the question of why we should think either source/perspective is actually talking about something vaguely historical. You can find numerous contradictions in the story of Noah's Ark, for instance (two pairs of animals in one instance, 7 clean and 1 unclean in another; the 40 days or 150, etc..). And no doubt you can explain why there are two versions of the story there. But it doesn't alter the fact that a worldwide extinction-level flood within the last few thousand years is
  8. This looks like an old thread, and without some notification that there's an answer up here it seems very unlikely that the person concerned is going to see it. Is there some way of getting a notification system up here when a response comes in?
  9. Great letters. I'm not sure I've got the hang of the site yet (incompetent in all this stuff). Is there a way of getting an email when a reply has been made to a topic you've logged into? Out of interest - anyone come across the Essentia Foundation? I think it's just been set up. Seem to be some serious people there, talking not from a religious perspective, but a "mind before matter" one.
  10. Still is. Ironic how it parallels history. All we need now is for the Americans to buy Greenland, invade Mexico....
  11. "There are real world costs that need to be taken into account. I for one, would have no issue with an annual fee of $10USD. " Paul - I haven't quite figured my way around the site yet, a bit dumb at this.... I've spent a lot of time on Quora over the last couple of months, and was thinking of suggesting that you should just migrate there - you can set your own parameters, what you approve to go on the site etc...and there are vastly more people on it, some of who might come across a Progressive Christianity section... And maybe that's worth doing anyway. But there's a downside,
  12. Used to be my favorite game. I always used to try and get Australia, if I could, as a base, to expand from. Yakutsk was one of those "waste of time" places - it was too difficult to get Asia - too many borders.
  13. I think mainstream Christianity, uniquely today amongst the major faiths, is it does teach that humankind is basically lost, damned, in original sin. We’re condemned from the time we’re born, unless we accept God through His Son by faith (for Protestants), or through the sacraments (for Catholics). The logic is inevitable. If there’s no original sin then no savior is needed, no sacrifice by God to save humankind, no need for a literal resurrection. Conservatives are right in that once you start to pick the thread it all unravels – maybe God doesn’t live up in the sky any more, but then why did
  14. I have two kids (well, adults now), they're good people, I love them very much. I'd do anything to stop them having to spend a minute in Hell/burning lake of fire. The idea that there is a loving God who would condemn the vast majority of the 100 billion or people who have lived on the earth to trillions of years/eternity of torture because they haven't accepted His son as their savior - I just think that of all the teachings,of all the world's religions, this is the absolute worst.
  15. Wish I'd spent my life doing something useful like farming...
  16. I used to be heavily involved as a teenager with an evangelical para-church organization called the Navigators. For a confused adolescent, it supplied context, comradeship, direction, much like being a member of a street gang, or the Hitler Youth. We were the shock troops of God’s Army. The military analogies were often made explicit. I remember a week-long Bible study and leadership conference where the climax at the end was an all-night prayer session, in the manner that a medieval squire underwent in church before taking his vows the next day and being knighted. Praying for a few minutes, o
  17. Seems to me that that's the main commandment; Jesus sums up his teaching in Matthew 22: 35-40 (and elsewhere). Apart from loving God (and who knows who God is - I see Him/Her as in everything, it's existence itself) the commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (and that's not just the person next door).
  18. Totally agree with that. And everything else said here. A bit envious of the "speaking in tongues" bit. OK, I know in some respects it's a "New age" (or Old Age") aspect of Christianity that's come back to the forefront in the last century or two, in the charismatic communities, the ecstatic experience where you're at your happiest dancing in the aisles/whatever....but it never happened for me. Even when very senior members of the Full Gospel Business Mens' Fellowship laid their hands on me and prayed for the Spirit to enter me (that was a very long time ago). The notion of "sin",
  19. The Aztecs thought of hell as a period of time rather than a place, a belief they adopted from the Mayans. Their survivors dated it from 1519 when the Christians arrived.
  20. Agree with irreverance, and I liked that post, hadn't come across "stages of Faith" before. You can argue till the cows come home as to what the pros and cons have been historically. In my own lifetime though, the most Christian nations on earth today, those with the highest proportion of churchgoers, have had some of the worst records, being amongst the most racist (South Africa and apartheid), the most genocidal (Rwanda – the home of the great East African Revival in the early decades of the twentieth century), the most tribal and murderous (Northern Ireland), the most nationalis
  21. Wouldn't argue with the gist of that, I think people are pretty much the same everywhere, agree they can be/are racist and insular. But I do think they're better at "taking care of their own." Their societies work better for the people in them.
  22. There's a lot of terrible stuff out there, bigotry and so on...I've come across it. I think you have to see it, sigh, move on. Do what you can to reduce the amount of bigotry in the world, personally. But it doesn't help to focus on each individual example of it - there's too much, you go nuts.....
  23. For another spin on the complexity of the issue - I have many relatives in Norway, consistently ranks high on the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report They're virtually all atheist. Churchgoing in all the Nordic countries is very low. A couple of generations ago, they were all Christian. I do think, though, that as societies they've somehow managed to absorb the best of the Christian teaching, like creating decent social support structures, minimizing inequality, focusing on what's best for everyone, whilst rejecting the worst. Particularly the kind of fundamen
  24. Agree with all this....what I find concerning is that in recent years this kind of homophobia and racism seems to have become more acceptable, in the USA at least - I think (perhaps overly-optimistically) that it's still largely declining in the UK and much of Western (not so much Eastern) Europe.
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