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Religion, Scripture and logical thinking

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posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 08:36 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
In any case, it is just easier to be agnostic. You are never wrong.


Or you could choose to simply ignore all you think you know about god, and try to honestly experience it for yourself.

Because in the end, all the information we have about God came from people who claimed to have been into contact with that transcendent reality. And then you would be able to make an informed judgement, not one based on the claims of others.


It's like if I never felt the feeling that people call love. I could try two things to know about it.

I could spend my time reading romance novels, analyzing the hormonal changes occurring when people bond or become parents, watch lovers walk hand in hand and analyze their behavior. I could do all that and try to assemble it as a picture, a model, a system in my mind or on paper, and stick a label "love" to it.


Or I could try to find someone or something that makes me experience it myself.



Most agnostics and atheists think it's not worth their time to try the second route. That it would be the road to self deception to try to experience the divine themselves rather than observing traces of it from the safety of the cold and logical analysis.

It could be true.

All the people who experienced this common transcendent presence could simply be sharing a common delusion, a symptom of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Well yes, it could be. And if so, what of it?

Is knowing love is guided by genetic necessity and the result of hormonal changes, a reason for people to stop seeking love? Of course not. They don't care if love is a chemical reaction, the feeling they get from it is real to them.

We are dealing with subjective concepts, you can't entirely approach them from afar. You have to experience them personally to understand fully the whole extent of their spectrum. You have to immerse yourself in them if you truly wish to determine how "real" they are.


Humanity always had a longing for transcendence. There is no shame in acknowledging it, and to check for yourself if that transcendence is worth experiencing, if you can learn and grow from it as a person, or if it's simply a fake paradise like some drugs can be, providing nothing but an illusion of relief and a false sense of security, that maybe someone greater than I is in control.

If that is how you picture God, don't waste your time trying to figure out if it's real or not. I can already answer you:

God doesn't bring comfort. God doesn't realize wishes. God isn't the one at the helm of our lives. We are.


To desire to know God requires to go out of the comfort zone, towards others and inside your heart, to vast unknown shores where danger lurks and treasures await.

And if you tell me you can do all this without the objective to "know God", that you don't need a vague concept to become better or wiser, I will tell you you are right. Knowing God doesn't make someone better or wiser. It doesn't even make things easier.


So why looking for it you could ask me? Like I said. The only thing that matter is; "do you really want to know what is God?"


Because if you truly do, there's only one way to know what it is.
edit on 29-1-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: JUhrman

I can dig what you're saying but I do have a question or two.

Which God?

If not one of the claimed Gods, could you elaborate?

Thanks.



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
a reply to: JUhrman

I can dig what you're saying but I do have a question or two.

Which God?

If not one of the claimed Gods, could you elaborate?

Thanks.



The only God that is at the root of all religions and spiritual experiences. The one that emerges when you start comparing them to find the uniting principle giving common sense to all these different stories, symbols, allegories and mythologies.

The one that has no name and all names.

Of course I'm vague and cryptic, how could it be otherwise? The Ineffable and Infinite cannot be bound by words only. It can only be approached from different sides to have different views of it.

I know it sounds like bulls**t and I'm sorry for it. But like I said, imagine describing the feeling of love to someone who never experienced it? You can only use allegories, comparisons, clumsy attempts to describe what is inherently a personal experience.

I'm talking of the eternal God, the one that the first humans were already looking for around them, trying to make sense of a world that seems to have none, trying to understand their place in a system where they were only a cog. Sometimes they made it into countless avatars, sometimes they made it into a single reality, but in the end, they were always looking for the same thing.

Just like individual cells become, when working together, a new level of experience through the animal, while retaining their individuality.
Just like humans become a new level of experience when living along through the city, the culture, while retaining their individuality.

Some people feel deep down that a higher level of experience must exist above the biosphere, and even higher, above the whole cosmos. The largest organism that could ever exist. The cause and the manifestation. The seed and the tree. The beginning and the end. The Α and the Ω.
The Absolute.
The ultimate non-dual experience, because nothing exists out of it.


That is the God I and (I believe) the people who experienced it talk about.



This thing above. Also known as:

The Monad
The Source
The Center
The One
The Arche
The Mystery
The Ultimate
The Logos
Anu
Dingir
Netjer
Teotl
Hunab Ku
Dieus Phyter
Zeus
Taidi
Tao
Wujin
Parabrahman
Brahman
Adibuddha
Ein Sof
Allah
God
Gudan
Wotan
Rod

and many other names




I'm sorry I wish I could have given you a shorter answer, but eh, you asked for it, asking me to tell the Infinite with words




As Blue Mule says below, one cannot honestly and fully grasp the universal concept of God if one refuses to study the history of religions and myths.
It doesn't matter your personal beliefs, refusing the read works on the history and philosophy of religions almost automatically disqualify someone from having an informed opinion on the subject. Just like on cannot make a correct representation of an atom if he ignores the latest findings of particle physics, no matter what is intuition is telling him.
edit on 29-1-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 09:32 AM
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originally posted by: JUhrman

The only God that is at the root of all religions and spiritual experiences. The one that emerges when you start comparing them to find the uniting principle giving common sense to all these different stories, symbols, allegories and mythologies.


Yes indeed, the God that emerges from the critical study of religion as a modern mystical tradition.

"The origins of the discipline of religious studies in nineteenth-century Europe are not primary mystical or even religious. A highly developed secular sense is a sine qua non of the discipline and its social sustainability anywhere on the planet (hence its virtual absense outside the Western academy). I would like, though, to make a restricted and heterodox case that regarding the discipline as a modern mystical tradition could be useful in approaching the constructive tasks being explored in these reflections. In this, I am not suggesting that the discipline must or even should be read in this way.

Rather, I wish only to make the much more restricted, but no less unorthodox, case that some of the discipline's practices and practitioners (that is, those capable of forging a tensive mystical-critical practice out of the discipline's dual Romantic/Enlightenment heritage) can be read in such a way, and that, moreover, such a mystical-critical rereading of the discipline might be useful for the constructive tasks under discussion here, namely, the cross-cultural influence of religious systems toward a safer, more humane, and more religiously satisfying world.

Scholars of religion, it turns out, often have profound religious experiences reading and interpreting the texts they critically study, and these events have consequences for the methods and models they develop, the conclusions they come to, and even for the traditions they study." -Jeffrey Kripal

👣


edit on 689ThursdayuAmerica/ChicagoJanuThursdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 11:22 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: StalkerSolent

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

Correction: The opposite USED to be true, but then science came along and showed that oral retellings AREN'T trustworthy. You can't trump science with ancient beliefs.


I'm pretty sure the science you are thinking of is based on modern studies, which cannot evaluate the accuracy of retellings in a culture where that was a major method of transmission. It may be the case that they are less trustworthy, but comparing apples to oranges is bad science.


That would be true if you could produce the evidence that says that human thinking was different back in those days than it is today. I see no reason why that would be the case, therefore modern studies should be applicable to analyzing ancient human minds.

All it takes is misremembering one detail in one retelling, then misremembering another detail in another retelling. Eventually these missed details add up and the story changes. And missed details occur within the first retelling.


We know that societies (like the Greeks, for instance) had oral traditions that probably kept people telling the same story for generations.

My point isn't to comment on the ability of people to make bad observations, please note, which has also been studied. I'm simply pointing out that societies with long traditions of oral retelling probably were better at relating stories without making errors, the same way people that lived two hundred years ago were probably better at cursive.

edit on 29-1-2015 by StalkerSolent because: Probably...



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: StalkerSolent

That may be the case, but it still doesn't make the fantastical and supernatural claims from back then any more true. We also know that people back then were VERY superstitious, so how much of their superstitions did they also work into their oral retellings?



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 04:59 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: StalkerSolent

That may be the case, but it still doesn't make the fantastical and supernatural claims from back then any more true. We also know that people back then were VERY superstitious, so how much of their superstitions did they also work into their oral retellings?


Oh, sure! It simply makes a story, once started, slightly more likely to stay the same as it is transmitted throughout the centuries.

I'm actually a little dubious as to your claim that people "back then" were very superstitious compared to today; many, if not most people worldwide are superstitious today, and I get the impression that the Romans and Greeks got less and less superstitious as time went on.
edit on 29-1-2015 by StalkerSolent because: Clarify: relative to the present



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 05:18 PM
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originally posted by: JUhrman
I'm sorry I wish I could have given you a shorter answer, but eh, you asked for it, asking me to tell the Infinite with words


Short answers to deep questions suck! You're all good.


I am more open minded to this concept of a God than others.

There are some issues I find though.



That is the God I and (I believe) the people who experienced it talk about.

Those experiences aren't always positive. Take practically the whole Old Testament and many of the spiritual experiences people like Abraham or Moses had (not that they necessarily existed). I probably don't need to point out to you the horrible commandments and punishments that supposedly came from God himself. While Christianity is the religion I am most familiar with, I know there are similar things in other religions. Maybe not all of them. But I come back to a point I was trying to make in a post to another user.


originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
You can have all the subjective experiences you want (I had some too) but that isn't evidence to anyone but yourself and like minded individuals. Those experiences are often reflected on through a personal bias and reenforced through the same. What about the subjective experiences of people in religions other than Christianity? Can you say without doubt that the Muslim who believes Allah is telling him to blow himself up isn't really hearing the voice of God (same in regards to positive religious experiences Muslims have)?

So all over the planet we have people having various experiences of one kind or another that reenforce their belief or prove to them that this or that set of beliefs is universal truth. Now what? How am I supposed to figure out which religion has the truth, or at least, the most of it? It's at this point where it comes back around to personal relationships and subjective experiences.

You say God is one of those things you have to experience. People of all faiths experience their God. As would be expected, those experiences only serve to reenforce their positions. How are their experiences and versions of God any more or less true and accurate than yours?

And seriously, how do you account for the negative stuff. This is one of my biggest issues. Positive, life changing experiences are one thing. Truly believing you hear the voice of Allah telling you to explode in a crowd of people is another. Truly believing God is sending you on a genocidal war path to clear out your promised land is another..

How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

It always seems to come down to "just knowing" and powerful personal experiences.

So while there may be a real God hidden behind all the crap man has drummed up and attached to it in our various religions, there is no way to ever actually know because human beings are fallible.


edit on 1-29-2015 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs




Elisha had a 'double-portion'? Of WHAT? The Spirit and Anointing. So - that's great evidence that the 'spirit' can (and does) return, and can even be within more than one human at the same time!


Okay, so who reincarnated and became Cain and Abel?



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

I am certain I never 100% put this in stone writing, educated guesswork, what the Bible is



posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: shauny

Oh I understand that, no worries.

When I said, "I am not sure of the credibility of these claims." I meant in general. Not that you were making them as if they were facts. Just interesting things to talk about and consider.



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 01:33 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

I agree there are different kind of subjective experiences and not all are good.

For example, to me, hearing voices in your head isn't the experience I'm referring to and I would worry if anyone told me that God talked to him. I know that is sometimes said in the Bible but I don't take the words in any religious text literally. It's always open to interpretation and critique. For example what could described in those cases could be some form of inspiration some artists define as unexplained.

What I described specifically is the experience of absolute non duality.

That experience can be found similarly in mystical and religious text from all over the world. It's the one I'm talking about because it is universal and beyond cultural differences.


Hearing voices, seeing angels, speaking in tongues or making prophecies, for all I know it could be schizophrenia.



You will note I never said religions are good. I only claim that at the heart of most religions is a mystical tradition.

I also said knowing god isn't easy. It is dangerous and full of trials, but should you overcome them and you will be free from the shackles of your ego.

These trials can be (among many): delusions of grandeur, psychosis, physical exhaustion, depression.

Yes, trying to make the experience of the Infinite with a finite brain isn't without risk, but my response is to those claiming you can never know if God is real.

I never said God is all flowers and candies, it can also be as fierce aa nature and as cold as the night.


Hopefully mystical traditions are also familiar with all this. They know how to prevent it or how to help overcoming it. They know the difference between the real experience of non duality and what could be delusion. I can't explain it but if you had this experience and hear someone else sharing his, you can easily tell if he is saying the truth.
edit on 30-1-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 02:39 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko Did you just say Atheism is a position of faith?



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 02:56 AM
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originally posted by: NOTurTypical
a reply to: BuzzyWigs




Elisha had a 'double-portion'? Of WHAT? The Spirit and Anointing. So - that's great evidence that the 'spirit' can (and does) return, and can even be within more than one human at the same time!


Okay, so who reincarnated and became Cain and Abel?



Silly question wouldn't you say...

Consider how vast the universe is... You keep on about your extensive knowledge of math...

How many places in this universe could life exist?

and don't even bother saying just here... that is a naïve approach

Intelligent live is all over the universe... Thus the question is ridiculous

And if one considers the possibility of other universes which is a well known theory in such fields... the question just becomes illogical

Only God knows where the spirit of a person comes from, and where it goes


edit on 30-1-2015 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 02:59 AM
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i view all ancient texts as history books. they verify one another, quite often. for example, once you learn the etymology between neighboring cultures, you can follow the histories across borders.



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 04:51 AM
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a reply to: Akragon




Consider how vast the universe is... You keep on about your extensive knowledge of math... How many places in this universe could life exist?


You can't prove your argument by corroborating it with arbitrary conjectures. This started with Jesus, John the Baptist and Elijah. So let's take it to it's logical beginning. Adam and Eve were direct creations of God, we can assume they were the first souls.

So who's reincarnated soul was in Cain and Abel?

Edit: And please don't mock me. I've spoken only twice out of 20,000 posts about advanced mathematics and that making the doctrine of the Trinity not hard for me to conceptualize.





edit on 30-1-2015 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 05:45 AM
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a reply to: JUhrman

Thanks for your informative reply.

Not much I can say about it to be honest.

I understand but know I will never be in a position to gauge for myself whether or not there is something to it. I think I ask to many questions. So many questions and so many what ifs. So many things to analyze and consider. I seriously take hours to fall asleep because I can't stop thinking about all sorts of things. In the last phase of my Christianity I had resigned myself to Hell because I couldn't just take things on faith. At this time any powerful spiritual experiences I had had were distant memories and I was in a transition of realizing I couldn't honestly believe this stuff (for various reasons ofc) and to lie to myself about it would be a waste of energy.

So how would I set out on this path to discover what you describe?

I honestly don't know and don't know that I would be convinced.

Too many what ifs. Like what if it's all in my head? What if this what if that. My inner dialogue and analytical mind never stops.



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 06:03 AM
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originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
I had resigned myself to Hell


Hell is a state of mind we voluntarily put ourselves into. God has nothing to do with it but the fact that we willingly refuse to be part of it. Even the Catechism is clear on that. No need to be so harsh on yourself


Whether you agree with me is of little matter. As Pope Francis said (at least something similar I think) it's better to be an atheist living a life with moral standards, than a believer who doesn't walk the talk.


P.S. : we never ask too many questions and I enjoyed exchanging with you and will continue to do so if you want to

edit on 30-1-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 06:18 AM
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originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
So how would I set out on this path to discover what you describe?

I honestly don't know and don't know that I would be convinced.

Too many what ifs. Like what if it's all in my head? What if this what if that. My inner dialogue and analytical mind never stops.


Like Blue Mule suggested, reading on these topics (religion history, religion philosophy, mystic traditions) is a good starting point. Not reading from the religious texts themselves, but analysis made by scholars.

This book is recognized as a classic on Western mysticism, which will be more familiar to you. I recommend it:
www.amazon.com...
(it should also be in the free domain now if you have a kindle or a tablet)

But honestly it's never a guarantee of having a mystical experience yourself, nor does it mean all answers will be given. It wasn't the path I was on. Also I still have questions, but I approach life differently. For example, it seems like there is a void in me that is now filled, so I don't feel that much the need to know all, to possess more, to be loved, nor do I fear death anymore.

It was never an objective, it's just the result of a path, and I'm pretty sure anyone could reach the same state without having a "mystical" experience or reading about the philosophy of religions. It seems the same can be achieved by meditation, by selfless actions, and even by accident, through life transforming experiences like NDEs and other spiritual crisis.

Each path is unique. I guess a good starting point for you would be to reflect on why you have so many questions, could it be because of something you fear or that worries you?

edit on 30-1-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 06:55 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko The atheist position is not one of certainty. Atheists dont KNOW god doesn't exist, but we BELIEVE he doesn't(As theists BELIEVE he does) based on logic and reason, and also because claimants have absolutely no credible evidence. I cant say for certainty that unicorns dont exist, but I can however say I don't believe in unicorns, based on logic and reason.



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