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The Absolute TRAP of Belief Versus Disbelief in God

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posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:50 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: enlightenedservant

Ah, thank you. You are maybe the second person I've seen to have reached the same conclusion I've had for a long time now who has articulated it (I'm sure others have gotten there too). The problem is simply human nature. No matter who we say we are or what we say we follow, each of us has the same flawed nature, and each of us is susceptible to the same range of temptations.

What makes the measure of a person is how we rise to that challenge. Do we master ourselves or are we mastered?

I suspect that you think that same as I on what happens when you let yourself be mastered by your nature.

God gives us the strength to see our way through and master ourselves. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree with this. Maybe not.



I definitely agree. I've seen enough of this world to realize that all people are just people. Every culture has virtues & vices, strengths & weaknesses. Singling out any lifestyle, culture, religion, or ideology misses the point that it's human nature itself that causes our bonds & conflicts.

That's why I don't believe in racism or bigotry, because they simply don't make sense. People of any kind can be horrific or honorable. What matters the most is whether we strive to overcome our vices or become consumed by them, like you stated.

My personal relationship with God is what saved me. But I openly acknowledge that my path isn't for everyone. Some people find their inner peace through meditation, their jobs, martial arts, hobbies, or even by being out in nature. Others find it through religion. So that's why I can't understand how people can lump organized religion into some evil category. Because even if all religions disappeared, we'd still have the same crimes, vices, bonds & conflicts.




posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:55 PM
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originally posted by: gottaknow
a reply to: pthena

No problem at all. I consider myself an anti-theist as well and appreciate the sentiments.
I understand how as atheists, we've only recently had a voice whatsoever in human history whereas even a hundred years ago(or less) we'd be considered heathenistic and all sorts of shaming/worse that goes along with that.

Even now, our voice is small, but because we now have one, we're shamed into being some sort of bully for speaking up or considered a "religion" of our own, which is preposterous in many ways. It's pretty awful, really.

At least it appears the tide is finally turning and people are starting to think for themselves. It's very refreshing.

Also, I realize you do not consider yourself an atheist at this time. My post didn't come off as showing that.


I don't understand, are you anti-theist against every single religion, are you atheist because you choose to not believe theist ideas?

I am not criticizing, I just was wondering.

Sometimes I think people are atheist because it is currently popular, but historically there have always been religions.

Do you have trouble in your mind about why people remain theists even in this modern era? Do you have trouble reconciling faith as a very real phenomenon, and expressed even by atheists who propose faith in humanity?

I have no faith in humanity, it is screwed up. It isn't because of religions, but because they don't really live according to their belief systems. But there is a difference in faith and belief system.

I am an unOrthodox Christian, but exposed to the same information as you. Why do you suppose some religious people become atheist and why some atheists become religious?

It is because our brains are hardwired to believe in something. Brains hardwired for faith

But you can disagree with that scientist, but he was working through the University of Pennsylvania. Perhaps your brain may have not evolved with that?

Now we know, you will attempt to disprove his credentials and call it pseudoscience ( a catchphrase for any scientist one doesn't agree with their experiments and conclusions). But they found something going on in the brain, I think it is ok to research if this is really going on.

It would not be scientific for a knee jerk reaction and automatically dismiss it, after all, those of us on this side of the fence are asked to look at scientific evidence, so just to be fair, your side of the fence should do so as well.

That being said, I was just wondering why you are atheist and anti-theist. Maybe your brain didn't develop it?



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 06:25 PM
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Perfectly fair question.
The link you provide is actually one of the many, many things I digested in my progression toward atheism. There are some studies that show there are more than one area that contribute to believing and acceptance of abstract ideas as fact. There are other studies that suggest it's pseudoscience. I tend to accept it as I very much feel that I have the same parts of my brain that are wired for belief and they have been and continue to be an aspect that needs to be contested on a fairly regular basis. Either way, my choices were far from based on that alone.

As a side note, I've speculated that my sister, previously fairly un-religious developed a strong affinity of belief after an (inactive?)aneurysm was found in her brain. I can't say if this was directly a result of pressure/whatnot, or a fear of death that led her to her born-again demeanor, but it's not something I'm likely to discuss with her either for obvious reasons.

I am an atheist due to my Christian-based upbringing causing me to challenge the faith and doctrines laid down by the churches in general that I was exposed to. Those being the Catholic church and The Worldwide Church of God(similar to JW). I did a lot of research that began my path away from belief. Not surprisingly, I chose Wicca, an almost directly opposing belief system as my own for a time; appreciating it's lack of dogma and general pleasantness as preferable to the laws put forth by Christianity. It's a beautiful religion really, but it didn't take too many years to discover it was also lacking in truth. Eventually, I moved toward a general New Age way of thought, focusing on Reincarnation and developed my own particular belief system that was even less rigid and ties in with other NA beliefs somewhat. More study led to more discovery, the internet blossomed and self examination brought me to agnosticism and finally atheism.

I'm anti-theist primarily against the big boys that like to push people around, proselytize and all the myriad of bad things that they do/have done. Buddhism, the Jewish faith and many of the pagan religions don't bother me as they keep to themselves and actually tend to follow paths of kindness. I really don't know enough about Hinduism to take a stance, but from here, they don't seem too bad.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:25 PM
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originally posted by: IAmPhoenix7
So lets go back to the title of this thread. What really is the absolute trap of belief vs disbelief in God?


It's the futility, the lack of any real change, the endless back-and-forth, spinning the wheels in neutral, going nowhere etc. I realize no one can be MADE to desire an end to the secrecy-based model of governments, to desire to reveal and learn as much as possible from the intelligently unseen (IU) that is outside preconceptions -- religious and atheistic -- and/or to otherwise solve problems and unnecessary mysteries like reasonably intelligent and mature beings. Apparently only a few of us, or relatively few at best, are already in that spiritual, political, emotional-psychological etc. place, and those aren't simply AREN'T and can never be FORCED into it, I realize. I just wanted to voice where I stand, and hopefully have made enough sense to at least a few.
edit on 17-4-2015 by Lightworth because: clarity



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: WarminIndy



That being said, I was just wondering why you are atheist and anti-theist. Maybe your brain didn't develop it?


This question, taken in conjunction with the article you linked to:


Are humans hard-wired
The frontal lobe, the area right behind our foreheads, helps us focus our attention in prayer and meditation.

The parietal lobe, located near the backs of our skulls, is the seat of our sensory information. Newberg says it's involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than oneself.

The limbic system, nestled deep in the center, regulates our emotions and is responsible for feelings of awe and joy.

remind me of the old 70s evangelistic tracts that I used to carry around, depicting a hole in the heart that only "god" can fill . . . etc.

I am closely acquainted with a real honest to gods atheist. After several conversations on the subject with her, I have concluded that the supposed hole in the heart theory just doesn't hold up. Some people just plain don't feel any need for any connection to unseen entities. It isn't that they reject some "visitor at the doorstep" (so to speak), but rather, there just plain isn't any one there. That's my personal definition of an atheist: the person for whom there is no deity with whom to interact with or not. It isn't a matter of choice.

The intense feeling of joy, awe, connectedness to something greater. These three. These disqualify me from being able to be an atheist by my own definition.

Who can say whether many people who claim to have a god are actually lying about that in order to fit in with their social group. If there is a hard-wired need for connectedness, then isn't some one sacrificing honesty in order to "feel" this connection and sense of belonging to their peers?

On the other hand, if some one did feel a connectedness unrelated to any organized, or even known of, religion; wouldn't it be equally as dishonest to ascribe those feelings to a known of religion or named deity?

It used to be acceptable for someone to respond when asked, "My beliefs are personal and I don't discuss them." For the sake of honesty, we may just have to learn to accept that as a perfectly legitimate answer.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: pthena

Interesting take on that.
While I don't have a need to feel a connection to unseen entities, I have experienced the connectivity with my various belief pursuits and then came to the realization that those feelings weren't real. I cannot think of a good way for me to describe that to you. I certainly felt feelings of awe and joy, but again those were more projections I was placing there.

As an atheist, I do feel a connection to other atheists/non-believers as well as agnostics. We have a common understanding. I feel a real sense of awe in the world and science. I feel the joy of finally being free of the chains of dogma and belief. I feel the freedom to revel in my life without shame and guilt brought onto me by religion.
I am not going to a Hell. No one is.
I am not going to an afterlife. No one is.
I do not have a soul. No one does.
There is nothing that I can do beyond harm to others that is wrong. There is nothing anyone can do beyond harm to others that is wrong. Harming nature can be considered in that to a degree because whatever harm is done to nature may very well harm others eventually.
My life is my own. Your life is your own. Live it. There's only one go around.

These are all very freeing concepts although you may see them as the opposite at first and quite possibly scary. It is a little terrifying initially to consider that this time on the planet is all you get. Especially if your life is halfway over or more. And then you deal with your current lot in life and the many things that seem unfair. But that perspective changes over time as you understand it's now your responsibility to make it better or worse and it's incredibly enriching.

While there's a peacefulness in the thought of everyone keeping their beliefs to themselves, it's never really happened for a lot of people. It's still acceptable. You don't need to tell anyone what you believe in and I would never bother someone who kept it that way and meant it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where there's a great deal of people that do the opposite of that. And that's why I don't mind affronting them back.

Atheists need a voice because we've never really had one. For centuries, it would be a very bad idea to declare that you do not believe in god/s. It still is in some areas. So I will use my voice as I can.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 11:32 PM
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originally posted by: WarminIndy

originally posted by: Subaeruginosa
a reply to: Lightworth

Yeah well, in my experience it is exactly the opposite.

Not just with religion within itself. It seems to me the more obsessed (on the surface) a person appears to be with religion and/or conservative vs liberal belief structures, the more morally unethical they actually are in reality.

MSM religion really must attract morally unethical people like a magnet to metal. Since it teaches that you can basically spend your life being a cold hearted arse-hole and treat others however you please, just so long as you pray at the end of the day, all will be forgiven........Apparently.



Do you think that is possible? On another thread they were remembering the fall of Pnom Phen, I seem to recall Pol Phot was exactly nice either. So maybe both of those men could find grace within atheism to forgive their trespasses against humanity?


Hmmm, what would people who like to defend MSM religious beliefs as ethically infallible and atheists as all being immoral by definition, do without Starlin or Pol Phot? Anyway, I did mention in my post that hardcore 'team based' political beliefs were just as bad.

I don't think its a logical argument to say the leaders you mentioned did what they did simply because they didn't have fundamental religious beliefs, since I could type out a whole list of leaders who used there religious beliefs to justify mass murder, right though history until present day.

EDIT; btw, I'm not saying religious people can't be genuinely good people, or vise versa with atheists. Just that fundamental belief structures are to often used by people be to cruel, cold and petty well pretending to be all righteous.
edit on 17-4-2015 by Subaeruginosa because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 12:38 AM
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originally posted by: DeadSeraph
a reply to: Lightworth

Without firsthand personal experience (which is a valid reason to have one's opinion swayed either way), Agnosticism is the most rational position on the issue, bar none.
When you can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, the obvious conclusion is to leave the subject open to exploration.


The cowards way out is what you are saying (undecided). You have already given up bothering to do the spiritual/intellectual work required; as you think "Firsthand Personal Experience" is GIVIN; God is supposed to appear before you and proclaim itself? Why would it do that; or care if you are so proclaimed to be 'undecided' OF NO FAITH (did you create yourself) and if so how did you manage it without help? You want God to prove ITS existence to you. YOU ARE actually THE PROOF God exists as it created you.
edit on 18-4-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 01:46 AM
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a reply to: gottaknow



I have experienced the connectivity with my various belief pursuits and then came to the realization that those feelings weren't real.

That CNN article would seem to indicate that they are as real as any other chemical and psychological activity in the brain. Yes, I see, projection could account for that. An analogy could very well fit here:

An anecdote: Years ago, when I was gainfully employed, I was at a job site, whereat some one had the radio tuned in to a Christian music station. As I listened to these songs being played which had won GMA Dove awards, it struck me that so many of them could have started their lives as regular love songs, which for some reason or disappointment were never delivered as originally intended; change a couple of words, throw in a name here and there and voila! A new hit Christian single! What more fitting than to direct your hopes and desires and trust toward a personal imaginary friend who can never disappoint or betray! Just something that I contemplated at the time.




There is nothing that I can do beyond harm to others that is wrong. There is nothing anyone can do beyond harm to others that is wrong.

Sounds like a paraphrase of Wiccan ethics. I usually fall back on Epicurean ethics. Epicurus was polytheistic deist, in that the gods had no desire to intervene in human affairs since they had lives of their own to live and needed not the drama that humans so crave at times.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 02:02 AM
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There is nothing that I can do beyond harm to others that is wrong. There is nothing anyone can do beyond harm to others that is wrong.

Sounds like a paraphrase of Wiccan ethics. I usually fall back on Epicurean ethics. Epicurus was polytheistic deist, in that the gods had no desire to intervene in human affairs since they had lives of their own to live and needed not the drama that humans so crave at times.

A little bit. It's just a good moral code to live by though.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: gottaknow


I think that you made truth statements because you said


I am not going to a Hell. No one is.
I am not going to an afterlife. No one is.
I do not have a soul. No one does.


Those are truth statements, and as such would need evidence. You cannot say that no one is going to hell anymore than I can say they are.

We don't know if there is an afterlife, but throughout history every civilization and culture had some type of belief in an afterlife.

As far as not having a soul, you would have to agree that there is something within the human that does make them connected to the spiritual realm. You have indicated such.

Perhaps you could have said instead that you hold to the view of those statements, because to say that in the way you have indicates a truth statement, that would require evidence for.

I think in the objectivity of fairness, as we are asked on this side continually for evidence for truth statements, your side should also be required for evidence.

After all, the discussion is always about evidence. So for fairness, can you provide evidence that no one is going to hell, that there is no afterlife, and that man does not have a soul?

I don't want this to descend into fighting, but it is fair to ask you to provide evidence. If there is no evidence then as you say to us, it is your own personal belief.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 04:46 PM
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originally posted by: vethumanbeing
The cowards way out is what you are saying (undecided). You have already given up bothering to do the spiritual/intellectual work required; as you think "Firsthand Personal Experience" is GIVIN; God is supposed to appear before you and proclaim itself? Why would it do that; or care if you are so proclaimed to be 'undecided' OF NO FAITH (did you create yourself) and if so how did you manage it without help? You want God to prove ITS existence to you. YOU ARE actually THE PROOF God exists as it created you.


A few people have said something similar to this about being undecided. But it may take time to discover what the actual truth is, and during this time one IS undecided. When you are being open to whatever the reality of this appearance is, one must not have any pre-conceived notions - so one is temporarily agnostic.

So to jump to the conclusion that an agnostic is a coward is unfair - especially if they are in the process of determining what is truth.

If they just are being lazy, and just like the label "agnostic" because they still don't know, then that is another matter - one in which the individual is minimally being lazy and settling for the status quo. I don't know if I would say they are being a coward in that case - but being lazy and foolish, perhaps.

There is such a force to just buy the local pattern ("matrix") that is happening because it seems real. So it makes us lazy about this great matter - and yet, it is really the most important matter. This is what must be fully considered until one can come to a real informed decision, and then on, live according to what you discovered is Reality.

edit on 4/18/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 06:24 PM
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a reply to: WarminIndy

Nice try, but those were meant to be taken as concepts as I mentioned below those statements. The could all have been preceded by "there's no such thing as" but I just left it out because that could have come across as pompous or create more trouble.

I'm sorry that I'm not more brushed up in my knowledge of logic terms. They might be considered "synthetic truths" or maybe simply "logical conclusions" might be a better term. If I were agnostic, they could be called "probable truths" but in my choice to not believe, I must stand by the conclusion. You, do not require justification to believe what you like. I, on the other hand, do not believe without the justification.

Either way, no the burden of proof remains on the person who believes something exists rather than not believing which is where atheism stands.

It makes no sense to attempt to prove or to demand proof that unicorns do not exist. If someone believes in unicorns, it's up to them to convince the others that they are real.

There is 0 evidence for an afterlife, souls or hell based on all of humanity's existence from what I have seen and read. I'll give you a head start: Dr. Ian Stevenson and Robert Lanza are probably the closest anyone has come for a win in the belief side. And they're both heavily refuted by skeptics. NDEs and OOBEs both have scientific explanations, not that those who have experienced them want to hear it. If evidence truly existed for those things, our scientific focus would be considerably different. As it is, we are making consistent and amazing discoveries about the basis of life and the universe that do not include those beliefs.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: gottaknow

You said


Either way, no the burden of proof remains on the person who believes something exists rather than not believing which is where atheism stands.


The burden of proof remains on you because you made the statements. You believe there is no hell, that man does not have a soul..etc. etc.

Your statement, "there is no hell" is actually a logical thought, you concede that there just might be a hell, but you don't actually believe it.

Apologies for you not knowing debate terms, but I am sure that many people on here would be kind enough to enlighten you. But here is what I offer Redundancy Theory

The redundancy theory holds that there is no property of truth at all, and appearances of the expression ‘true’ in our sentences are redundant, having no effect on what we express.


As you indicate, you believe there is no truth to hell, the afterlife or a soul. And because you expressed it in a sentence, one made of belief, then you made a truth statement.

You cannot logically say there is no hell, no afterlife or no soul if there is any possibility for there to be. Then it is reduced to your own personal belief.

What is Debate


Debate and Democracy Debate is not a forum for asserting absolute truths, but rather a means of making and evaluating arguments that allows debaters to better understand their own and others’ positions.


You made a truth statement, therefore requiring evidence. Had you simply said "in my worldview, I do not believe there is hell, an afterlife or soul", then it would not be incumbent upon you to provide evidence.

So my question is, are you absolutely sure that there is absolutely no hell, no afterlife and no soul?


When the assertion to prove is a negative claim, the burden takes the form of a negative proof, proof of impossibility, or mere evidence of absence. If this negative assertion is in response to a claim made by another party in a debate, asserting the falsehood of the positive claim shifts the burden of proof from the party making the first claim to the one asserting its falsehood, as the position "I do not believe that X is true" is different from the explicit denial "I believe that X is false".[


I was merely challenging your word usage, that was all. After all, I did say that I could not prove the afterlife any more than you can disprove it, I said that there must be something that connects us to the spiritual, and I never defined hell. Therefore, the burden of proof is not on me, because I did not make an absolute truth statement.

I understand you don't believe in those things, but I was just trying to caution you on word usage. Don't make absolute truth statements if you have no evidence. Because the burden of proof is on the one who does make the absolute truth statements. See?



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 06:58 PM
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While I do get what you mean and I fully understand how that conclusion could have been made from my posting, again, I must say that you took those "statements" out of context. Those are the concepts I live by. They were written to exemplify why I feel freedom from my lack of belief. Not to make claims upon the world. Those are the conclusions I (and many other atheists) have come to that express why I feel the way I do in an answer to pthena's question of "Why am I an atheist?"

Context is so hard to deliver in writing sometimes.

Still, I was tempted to blast this post with a dozen or more articles refuting the existence of all those things for fun.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 07:10 PM
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originally posted by: gottaknow
While I do get what you mean and I fully understand how that conclusion could have been made from my posting, again, I must say that you took those "statements" out of context. Those are the concepts I live by. They were written to exemplify why I feel freedom from my lack of belief. Not to make claims upon the world. Those are the conclusions I (and many other atheists) have come to that express why I feel the way I do in an answer to pthena's question of "Why am I an atheist?"

Context is so hard to deliver in writing sometimes.

Still, I was tempted to blast this post with a dozen or more articles refuting the existence of all those things for fun.


LOL. Well, we have that straightened out now.

There are some people who would not have been as nice as I to explain what I meant.

I can accept that you say you do not believe in those things, just remember though, there are a lot of people who would love to debate and it might have descended into another fight. As long as you say that is what you think, then no problem.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 09:15 PM
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originally posted by: bb23108
originally posted by: veteranhumanbeing

Vhb: The cowards way out is what you are saying (undecided). You have already given up bothering to do the spiritual/intellectual work required; as you think "Firsthand Personal Experience" is GIVIN; God is supposed to appear before you and proclaim itself? Why would it do that; or care if you are so proclaimed to be 'undecided' OF NO FAITH (did you create yourself) and if so how did you manage it without help? You want God to prove ITS existence to you. YOU ARE actually THE PROOF God exists as it created you.



bb23108: A few people have said something similar to this about being undecided. But it may take time to discover what the actual truth is, and during this time one IS undecided. When you are being open to whatever the reality of this appearance is, one must not have any pre-conceived notions - so one is temporarily agnostic.

I see; at the programed/appointed time of bodily death ones eternal spirit will leave its vessel and still not know why its individuality stays intact, never to be extinguished. This simple logic. Those that are Agnostic do not realize they have an eternal soul otherwise would question FIRST the reasoning as to why it MAY exist. Its the animating force of the body. In exact; does the Agnostic say to itself "WHY AM I HERE"?


bb28108: So to jump to the conclusion that an agnostic is a coward is unfair - especially if they are in the process of determining what is truth.

My conclusion was they are not thinking logically or lazy or don't care.


bb28108: If they just are being lazy, and just like the label "agnostic" because they still don't know, then that is another matter - one in which the individual is minimally being lazy and settling for the status quo. I don't know if I would say they are being a coward in that case - but being lazy and foolish, perhaps.

Yes, I concede to this as is reasonable/ most likely a truism.

bb28108: There is such a force to just buy the local pattern ("matrix") that is happening because it seems real. So it makes us lazy about this great matter - and yet, it is really the most important matter. This is what must be fully considered until one can come to a real informed decision, and then on, live according to what you discovered is Reality.

Local pattern Matrixing is designed to keep us far to busy to contemplate deeper truths (earn a living/daily distractions). What seems to be real is not real at all (this worldly existence) as is a carnival ride to accelerate the souls progression. The major point of incarnation is to figure this out while IN BODY (in just a few short days or decades) otherwise one has failed the REAL challenge [figure this out before you loose your vessel]. Thank you bb; for your response.

edit on 18-4-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 10:11 PM
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originally posted by: vethumanbeing
Local pattern Matrixing is designed to keep us far to busy to contemplate deeper truths (earn a living/daily distractions). What seems to be real is not real at all (this worldly existence) as is a carnival ride to accelerate the souls progression. The major point of incarnation is to figure this out while IN BODY (in just a few short days or decades) otherwise one has failed the REAL challenge [figure this out before you loose your vessel]. Thank you bb; for your response.

Well said, vhb.


edit on 4/18/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Apr, 27 2015 @ 02:29 AM
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a reply to: WarminIndy




I said that there must be something that connects us to the spiritual
, and I never defined hell. Therefore, the burden of proof is not on me, because I did not make an absolute truth statement. 


The burden of proof is on you as you as you made a claim, the requirement of an 'absolute truth statement' is a creation of your own making.....




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