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Christians, Jews and Muslims - A Simple Question

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posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 11:22 AM
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Re Seed76

Your initial post:

"Hmm...I will try to answer your question differently.

If Theists are wrong, and Non-Theists are right, then Theists have nothing to loose. If Non-Theists are wrong and Theists are right, what then??"

And now:

" Well, in case you didn´t noticed my own intial contribution was a question. Nothing more and nothing less"

So you answered OP with a question, to which I responded. What is your point with all these semantic shufflings not leading anywhere? Divert the thread?

Quote: "The scientific tools, that we have are useless, when it comes to prove God."

Ofcourse. And the religious tools are equally uselss, when it comes to prove 'god'. Again, what's your purpose in pointing out the obvious?

And that the thread is about 'faith and belief' is said in the OP: The relationship between faith and contemporary 'natural' knowledge (which I take to mean scientific knowledge). Are you out to show off some 'wisdom' by telling us, that the answer is, that faith and science are different, as if practically everybody didn't know that already.

If I had been an atheist and had formulated the OP, it would have been to 'test' or challenge faith. Now I'm not an atheist, so instead I suggested common points for further communication.

Safe me from people misusing Krishnamurti for twisted semantic.




posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


bogomil, i think you're the only person excluding a few others who actually understood my OP.

Peace
edit on 20/12/10 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 06:30 AM
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Re A&A

It's sad, but obviously necessary, that OP's have to be clarified and redrawn (by the initial contributor) in the course of a thread to neutralize deflectionary maneuvers from the real issues.

It's getting an increasingly dirty game; deflecting, 'divide and conquer' (profiling supposed 'enemies' as an excuse) and recently a new trend I've noticed: Not playing with true colours, but acting from a false ideological identity/position.

It seems, that some people will stoop to anything to 'win'. The traditional power-game with no rules and no ethics.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Without reference to the doctrine of your religion; how would you go about proving your SPECIFIC God to someone, using only nature itself from what raw materials and knowledge we currently have an understanding of?

The key word is "SPECIFIC"



The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


It can't be done. You can't prove something like that to someone else anymore than you can prove to someone else that your spouse (or mother - whatever) loves you, or maybe even more accurately, that you love them. It may be true. You may know it. You may be able to provide all sorts of evidence to support it. But you can't prove it to someone else, unless they have a fairly low threshold for proof and will accept your anecdotal evidence.

And that's the other variable. We all have different thresholds for belief, depending upon the subject. These aren't scientific, mathematical proofs and it's a huge error in judgment to try to conflate the concept of scientific "proof" with spiritual things.

There are three ways you can know something.

Reason
Authority
Experience

You can't logically "reason" your way to understand the spiritual. If authority did it for you, you'd already be there.

That leaves experience, which by definition, is personal. You can't "give" someone else your experience and unless you fall into the Authority category, your relaying it isn't going to be proof.

The whole thing is a personal process. You either have it, or you don't.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

edit on 12/21/2010 by yeahright because: Clarity



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:02 AM
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Re Yeahright

This is one of the most sensible posts, I've read for a long time. Independent of whether you and I disagree in the end on some points.

I will only add one comment, so as not to end up with total relativism or even solipsism:

Your quote:

"You can't "give" someone else your experience and unless you fall into the Authority category, your relaying it isn't going to be proof."

No, but you can present an inspirational option, free to choose or not, concerning the existing accumulated human knowledge. If every individual had to rediscover fire, the wheel and mathematics on his/her own, it would ofcourse be completely free of any indoctrination (="I'll 'share' this with you, or you have it coming"), but not very practical.

Just learning a language, or offering an option, is already a nudge towards a semantic or ideological trap. We need to find a functional point between the ideologically unsullied taoist sage and the invasive ideologue.

Concerning the dichotomy reason-faith-the 'spiritual' the meeting-point is a reality at the social level. And that's where most of the troubles start. Not in academesia.

Abstract tolerance is rather easy, the practical situation requires its own special handling and methodology.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by bogomil
No, but you can present an inspirational option, free to choose or not, concerning the existing accumulated human knowledge. If every individual had to rediscover fire, the wheel and mathematics on his/her own, it would ofcourse be completely free of any indoctrination (="I'll 'share' this with you, or you have it coming"), but not very practical.


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Very true. But with the spiritual, we're talking about things that aren't easily replicated, or substantiated by anything other than personal experience. No reasonable person disputes the existence of fire, the wheel, or mathematics.

The reason these discussions occur about religion, faith and spirituality, is because there isn't a common universal frame of reference for the experience. My proposition is that you can't prove the spiritual to someone else, like math. They have to prove it to themselves because it's an internal process.

Once someone makes the request - "Prove to me" about a spiritual topic, that's a road to nowhere.
In my opinion. Depending of course, on who the request is directed to
. And for the casual observer, what I mean is, the entity to whom the request should be directed likely won't be responding in this thread. If that happens in a verifiable, undisputed manner, we have a scoop.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by yeahright
 



Very true. But with the spiritual, we're talking about things that aren't easily replicated, or substantiated by anything other than personal experience. No reasonable person disputes the existence of fire, the wheel, or mathematics.


No one doubts these things, our forefathers bears the knowledge, we stand on their shoulders with their experience and venture out gathering more knowledge (science, bushcraft or whatever it is)

But imagine if you were to be raised in solitary confinement, or by a pack of wolves; you wouldn't know of the existence of fire, you wouldn't automatically discover the idea of mathematics, these things take years to build up knowledge.

God is not knowledge, it's myth, an idea - thought of by man. The very word "GOD" was imagined by man, without proper evidence. They used to think hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes were "GOD" - now we know it's because we live on a heating and cooling "planet".

In the same way, there is no information or knowledge in regards to the "GOD" organised religion speaks of.

Here's one of my favourite examples:

Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?"

Priest: "No, not if you did not know."

Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"”
edit on 21/12/10 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware

In the same way, there is no information or knowledge in regards to the "GOD" organised religion speaks of.


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


That you have experienced.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


Have you? What personal experience have you had? What you accept as God, i may not. Has he "talked" to you? I really find it hard to understand, maybe i'm ignorant?

What empircal evidence is there for "GOD", especially the GOD in the holy doctrines?

It is clear there is critical evidence in regards to fire, mathematics and technology, now what about religion?



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I'm obviously not making myself clear, which is a bit surprising, since it sure seemed plain enough to me when I typed it. I can't make it any plainer than I already have. If you've read my posts above and you still don't understand what I'm saying, then there isn't much sense in my repeating it.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


I think i do, "you can't prove spiritual experiences" Another unfalsifiable hypothesis that does nothing for ultimate truth of reality or debate here. Personal experiences are no help here, they are bankrupt - (I may have seen a unicorn on '___') (I saw a U.F.O, was a spacecraft!) (Jesus came back from the dead and talked to me)

You can't prove "Mediums" can't talk to dead people either. What i find remarkable is that so far most have been unwilling to be tested under controlled conditions in order prove their "powers".

I appreciate your point though, I just wonder if i was to "experience" something, what it would take for me to renounce my Atheism, Would i be able to trust my own mind? I certainly wouldn't like to guess without evidence.

Peace
edit on 21/12/10 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Another unfalsifiable hypothesis that does nothing for ultimate truth of reality or debate here.


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


And that's my ultimate point. The entire subject is undebatable. What is proof to an individual about spiritual things isn't transferable to someone else. If you're looking for verifiable proof "out here", you're looking in the wrong place. No one else can give it to you. If it's to be found, you find it yourself, within yourself.

Don't drop your bucket in a dry well and expect it to be filled with water when you pull it up, unless you're prepared for disappointment.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 03:30 PM
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This is taking an interesting turn, and I would have loved to jump into the deep end of epistemology. Only I have noticed, that every time I take that direction, a silence as deep as nirvana follows.

Not from a will to please, but rather because I do think, that there are (some) ways and means to quantify the 'spiritual' experience (honestly, the word spiritual is rather horrible, but it has become common usage), I'll outline my thoughts on this.

Like with the 'soft' social sciences, most observations, data or information on the 'spiritual (or the anomaleous) can't be dissected or put under a microscope, much of it isn't empirical in the terms of old 'scientism' and it isn't repeatable on order.

These shortcomings (seen from a hard-science perspective) don't make the social sciences some kind of enfant terrible, because there are decent alternatives for evaluation, which can give pragmatically significant results. Besides it's occasionally possible to find areas, where hard science actually can be referred to (for confirmation or rejection).

It's also possible to 'start' from specific assumptions (as in hard science), use a specific methodology etc. An extended definition of 'empirical' is also possible, something even contemporary hard science needs strongly and would benefit from.

But the main tools of soft sciences and the evaluation of 'spiritual' experiences are with statistical and comparative analyses. And while many practitisioners of the 'spiritual' may object to such quantification, it's still useful for those who want to see a syncretistic relationship between the rational and what's somewhat and sometimes 'outside' the rational.

On another thread I have speculated on the 'invisible' world as being a relative reality (just as the observed physical world is). Both modern science and spiritual experience agree on the existence of such an existence-level. As none of them can give any conclusive answers to what the 'invisible' really is, there's actually no need for any disputes about it.

Sometimes the 'spiritual' experience gives an insight in the wider pattern of the cosmos mankind experiences (+the scientifically described cosmos). Some of these 'spiritual' experiences are in total contradiction with hard science, some fit rather well.

If, like in clinical experiments, the parameters of the 'spiritual' experince are kept 'stable' (i.e. if there is a doctrinal background for the 'spiritual' this is important. The methodology, as meditation or prayer etc, is also a parameter to consider. The experience of the supervisor/guide/guru/whatever plays a role), the outcome can show promising uniform results.

It's also possible to make comparisons on a global or trans-cultural basis, where complete independent 'systems' have basic similarities in methodology and where the observed results thus can be compared.

Sorry, maybe my jargon is too convoluted for public use, can't help it though. But if this post gets any response at all, I would like later to refer to a very interesting experiment made by an indian 'guru' (believe it was Ramakrishna, but not sure) which presents a practical example of less lofty abstractions.

This post isn't meant to be a justification for any kind of 'spiritual' experience or doctrine people can cook up, and I still have a very critical attitude to most claims in that direction.
edit on 21-12-2010 by bogomil because: spelling



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Are you familiar with Persinger's God helmet? More good info here.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



edit on 12/21/2010 by yeahright because: add link



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 04:46 PM
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Hi Yeahright

Thanks for the interesting (and for me new) info.

I live in Europe, so local time here is late. Answer tomorrow.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


The God Helmet is pretty interesting. There was an article several years ago in Scientific American Mind on this. I'm trying to find an old copy of it.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:24 AM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


That's kindof like asking for proof that God exists after muting him and tossing out his own explanation. Atheists get mad when people use their religious texts as evidence for their claims saying it is circuitous logic. Tell me, how would God relay his existance to man without talking to him? Unless they have a deist mindset, theists believe that God has personal dealings with men and doesn't need to inscribe MADE IN HEAVEN TM on our DNA. Perhaps you don't hear God or feel his presence as many strong theists do. If God is an all powerful, incoporeal presence as the Abragamic faiths believe, then we are exposed to God our whole lives. If we are exposed to a sensation long enough we become desensitized to it unless the sensation is strengthened. This is the purpose of spiritual growth and denying complacency.

But this isn't what you asked for. There are plenty of fantastic things in the universe, strange things in our past left unexplained (like giants, which ancient semitic faiths like Judaism explain rather well), and intricacies in nature that point to a designer. This is where athiests hit a road block, because they say all of these things happened by accident without having been there.

The issue here is that self contained mindset "bubbles" such as theism and atheism have an answer for everything when you tread into their territory. Atheists will try to pick apart the Bible and apologists have an answer to every criticism. A theist will try to prove God through secular science and the atheist scientist has an answer to everything. So the eternal battle between Theist vs. Atheist will rage on until we are all dead and know the truth or know nothing. The strange thing is that it's very rarely Theists as a whole versus atheists, it's usually just the Abrahamic faiths being called out. Then it's usually the much maligned "x-tians" who must represent theism as a whole. Why is that?
edit on 22-12-2010 by kallisti36 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Re Kallisti

You wrote:

"The strange thing is that it's very rarely Theists as a whole versus atheists, it's usually just the Abrahamic faiths being called out. Then it's usually the much maligned "x-tians" who must represent theism as a whole. Why is that?"

Your post contains some very valid points, especially concerning a structuring of the essential questions in the theist/atheist controversy. Personally I can agree to much of it (as my former posts on the subjects show).

But in my opinion, you're not quite there, because you're stuck with doctrines instead of the direct, un-manipulated experience. That's a weighty atheist argument in general. A creator/god, an expression of ultimate reality or 'truth' can, as 'Yeahright' wrote, be approached through various means, amongst them authority. And doctrines are authoritative, not the direct untainted experience. There's a feed-back mechanism in authority, where pre-arranged expectations (or carefully chosen methodology) already have the 'answers' baked into the questions and methods.

In such a situation, it's highly debatable if the doctrinal religionist is 'moving' towards 'truth' instead of away from it. That religionists in actual life don't seem to agree on much (except a non-mundane level of existence) strengthen the argument, that doctrinal religion is practically worthless.

At least the atheist alternatively materialist alternatively hard science position is clear and uniform, when it comes to describing their own 'bubble'. It's a good and reliable 'map' inside its peri/para-meters, whereas the religious doctrinal maps are confused, selfcontradictory and manifold to the degree and diversity, that doctrinalists kill each other.

But to return to the quote above. If my memory doesn't fail me, you (it could be some other christian though) recently tried to push the christian self-pity ploy, by mentioning christian missionaries being killed in muslim countries, when they were only 'sharing' the (my sarcastic comment: Ultimate?) truth of christianity.

When christians start talking about 'sharing', critics of christianity start thinking about inquisition, genocide, rape, blod and gore, and the rhetoric sugar-coating and twisting only emphasizes the impression of a group, you can't trust. So sorry, a lot of us consider your lot (the missionary type) sneaky, unreliable and violent, far from being so 'noble' as your propaganda implies (Yea, yea...I know you are unworthy sinners, but it doesn't prevent an impressionm of selfsatisfied megalomania: "I'm holier than you, I'm meeker than you, I'm a bigger sinner than you").

That your prolonged ideological war with islam, from non-christian perspective is considered one of the most stupid and senseless conflicts mankind knows of, hasn't passed through the filters of your selfrighteousness.You have the nerve and arrogance to demand our sympathy and support, when you're one part in a totally insane conflict between two sets of madmen. And then you whine about persecution etc, because you don't get the support of your aggressions, that you feel you're entitled to. For my sake christian missionaries and jihadists can blow each other out of existence, and I won't shed a tear (it would probably even enhance mankind's chances of survival).

There's my answer. And I refuse to be enlisted in your usual black/white arrangements: "If not for me, you're against me". You have ONLY yourself to blame. Go out and do some soup-kitchening instead, if you don't like to be opposed.

edit on 22-12-2010 by bogomil because: syntax



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by peacevic
 


Can't find the whole article, but here's part of it. It's a great magazine!
Scientific American Mind magazine - God Helmet

edit on 22-12-2010 by peacevic because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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Re Yeahright

Read the article you linked to.

While far from identical, I've for years used the somewhat similar system (at least similar in principle) of Robert A. Monroe: Hemi-synch.
By auditive stimulation, the brain hemispheres are expected to work in tandem.

The whole situation around this 'mind-technology' and the 'god helmet'-version shows many common points. I've lent my hemi-synch material to many people, but on an approximation I would say, that only ten percent of them had the same benefits from the system as I did.

Similarly: In the pro/contra experiments described in your linked article, I can only recognize some of the problems, I brought up in my earlier post. Many of the clinical parameters used or argumented either way are too imprecise or un-researched, and consequently decessive conclusions can't be reached.

To stay on safe ground, I would like to refer to my own speculations on the system I've used. At least as a methodology evaluation it's valid.

The basic induced state of the system I use is the alpha brainwave frequency, tested and accepted as being associated with a relaxed, slightly hypnagogic state (but with full potential of cognition and decission making if wanted). This state is naturally experienced by most people in the transition between sleep sleep (as in the night, no symbolism implied) and daily 'awareness'. Successful meditators experience it also.

My character is high-strung, I can be lazy and I used to be easily bored (people tell me, that I do have a few good points also). So this easily accessed alpha-state fitted me perfectly and gave e.g. my meditation an enormous boost. Those friends of mine not experiencing any special benefits, probably didn't have the mindset, the motivation or the need for such. Possibly some completely different method could have been of value for them.

As the wiki article mentioned, there's a whole series of factors involved: The already existing individual mindset imprints, the technical application of a method, the knowledge/data/information in the subject and the expectations of the specific experiment.

Exactly the same conditions which will be a part of any approach to the 'spiritual' (be it doctrinal, induced experienced or the spontaneous evaluated by reasoning) and the whole scene of the 'spiritual' or anomaleous will be a mess, if it's one facet of it related to another facet of it.

1000 monkeys with typewriters and some billion years may write a Shakespear piece. But that random situation isn't necessary as a kind of passive resignation: "Well, religion is subjective". Hypothetically the universe contains options of determinism as well as indeterminism. Those parts which follow deterministic order are quantifiable, and sorting that out would probably reduce inter-religious quibblings to a few percent of what it has been or can be. Leaving the REAL issue, experience of possible higher or extra-mundane levels.
edit on 22-12-2010 by bogomil because: spelling

edit on 22-12-2010 by bogomil because: (no reason given)



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