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  3. ordination

    An update on my ordination certificate debacle: The Modesto database is still down. An IT guy is supposed to be there now, fixing the problem. I will call back Monday or Tuesday to see if it is fixed and see if my ordination did in fact come from Modesto. I believe it did, because I believe I remember one or two of the signatures being from someone I recognized from ULC.
  4. Enemies

    I try pacifism in most situations. I think confrontation is most often a lose - lose situation. It is only when it is obvious that pacifism is not going to resolve a situation that I will respond. Like the old adage, it isn't much help to bring a knife to a gunfight. If someone is bent on physical altercation, we are faced with the fight or flight reflex. What is doing right in the light of pacifism going to help if someone is physically harming you or your family? That is when the nice guy is subdued by Billy Badass, and I resort to whatever means is necessary to prevail. I think of it like this also: If the perp in question gets away with physically assaulting someone and I could have prevented it, I am complicit in his future actions against others.
  5. Enemies

    I need to work on myself a bit - making sure not to provoke anger from people. Being headstrong is not always a good idea. I resolve to helping keep the boat aright.
  6. It is amazing - I have looked at the species you mention, and have found them to be gorgeous also. The blue swallowtail is common in The South, and I agree, beautiful.
  7. Last week
  8. Does the human soul exist?

    I believe it does- but can't prove it empirically! (Which is fine.)
  9. Does the human soul exist?

    I'm getting dizzy. The simple answer is -- I don't know.
  10. Does the human soul exist?

    Now...really? The first response above says that I originally made the claim in order to defeat it myself, as in straw man(false, by the way. Look at my original question and tell me where I did that). Then the very next response from you is this...which states that I asked for proof of a claim. Isn't that a little contradictory to what you wrote directly above it? You are correct. I asked for proof of the claim that a soul exists. Someone asked in this topic for the claim to be defined, so I defined it as I understood it. Let me see. First for you, is making sure I understand what is meant by a soul. So I was asked for definition of soul, told it wasn't definable, etc...then I went to the dictionary definition as a general neutral definition. SO that step is covered, yes? Second for you, determine how observable phenomenon would be effected if THE claim were true(not my claim). Well, if the claim that a soul, as defined by the dictionary, is true...it would alter my world view significantly because I would be facing evidence that intangible energies exist in a state that I did not previously believe possible. Check. Got that step down. Unless you mean how a soul would affect the world in which we live? Then we need to figure out from the definition how a soul would affect the world, and how that effect would be observable. At this time, I cannot conceive of a manner in which that would be the case. Does that mean the claim is null? Third for you, determine if observable phenomenon are effected in that way. I don't grasp that one, mererdog. Somewhere you missed a step, I believe. You forgot the proof part? I cannot determine if observable phenomenon are effected without evidence. Maybe you mean that if a soul exists it would have some impact on the physical world that we should be able to observe? The definition of soul is that it is immaterial. I do not grasp how a soul would have a material, observable impact on the world we live in. Again, does that make the claim null? Fourth, draw conclusions about the veracity of the claim. Well, from my observances(or lack of observances) on how a soul affects the world, I conclude it does not exist. That is my belief, not a statement of fact.
  11. Does the human soul exist?

    If WE were going to claim that...or you? I don't claim that a soul doesn't exist. I claim that I don't believe in a soul. Big difference.
  12. Does the human soul exist?

    Evidently, it is possible.
  13. Does the human soul exist?

    You asked for proof of a claim. If you define the parameters of the claim, and those parameters do not match those used by the people who made the claim, you are engaging in the straw man fallacy. You are asking, in other words, for proof of a claim that no one actually made. If I claim there is a soul, the first step in investigating my claim is to make sure you understand what I mean by a soul, to ensure you understand what I am claiming. The second step is to determine how observable phenomenon would be effected if my claim were true. The third step is to determine if observable phenomenon are effected in that way. The fourth step is to draw conclusions about the veracity of the claim. Skip any step, and the investigation is fatally flawed.
  14. Does the human soul exist?

    Yes. If we are going to claim that the soul does not exist, by any definition of the word, I will need evidence to base the claim on. I know what an elephant is and what effect an elephant has on the world around it. I know an elephant casts a shadow and that it has weight. I know a living elephant gives off heat and makes at least some small amount of noise. These are observable phenomenon that must necessarily be present if there is an elephant in the room. Since light passes unobstructed across the room, there is no elephant standing behind me. Since there are no footprints in the butter, there are no elephants in the fridge.
  15. Does the human soul exist?

    There is also understanding, and you don't always need verifiable evidence to gain knowledge.. If you lived hundreds of years ago and someone explained how a gasoline engine could pull a wagon instead of a horse, you might accept that as a fact, based on understanding alone, despite having never seen a gas engine run. Likewise, belief can also be substantiated via understanding, which is why I'm convinced the bible is precisely what it says of itself. I know what it says, and my understanding is that it's a supernatural book of, what must be, divine origin. No way any man, or any conspiracy of men, could have put this book together. It's just not possible! So just like the gasoline engine, its possible to have knowledge of a truth through understanding, without the necessity of verifiable evidence... jmo
  16. Blessings

    Welcome to the forum! Thank you for sharing about the positive going on. This crossed my path at just the perfect time.
  17. It is a blessing when the God/Spirit you serve is moving in your life!! its motivating.
  18. Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers, This is an interesting question indeed. In a Christian context, each person who claims to follow Christ is a full-time minister, in so far as we are called to live our lives as Christ taught 24/7. Now in my view, a distinction does need to be made in how terms are used. Typically a Christian would not use the term "full-time" to describe their lifestyle. It is part and parcel of being a follower of Jesus. Even when we don't live the faith as best as we can, someone who really feels the call of Christ in their lives will try their best to live their faith on a full time basis, acknowledging that while we may be trying to go onto Christian perfection, we are generally still a long way off. I think though that many people confuse the word "Minister" with "Pastor" or "Clergy". These are really not the same things. All Christians are ministers. Pastors and clergy in general though are different. Not better than the regular minister, but having a very specific function in the church. They lead worship, administer the sacraments, preach, teach, and in general are the people who are paid to lead the church as specialists in their field. In many churches, this is their paid jobs, and in the sense that I believe the term "full time" is used, this is their full-time job. In solidarity, Rev. Calli
  19. I'm a minister because I want to support the ULC. I have no intention of using my ordination for anything other than proof of membership, if that makes any sense. I might ordain someone if they asked but that's as far as it would go. I try to be a good person, though I haven't thought about the church doctrine while making day to day decisions.
  20. Does the human soul exist?

    With objective, verifiable evidence, there is knowledge. Without objective, verifiable evidence, there is belief, which is a fancy word for opinion. In real life, we do the best we can with what we have.
  21. i have to agree with jonathan on this one.that is the way i would describe myself,only less wordy.
  22. Therapeutic Touch

    The conceptual framework -- the underlying ideas -- are very different. As to the actual healing process, I'm not sure that they are different. I would need to do a specific side by side comparison. Even then, I might not know. So much in life is cultural interpretation. Just because it's what I do, does not make it the best.
  23. Does the human soul exist?

    Then it boils down to belief- which was pretty much what I saw comin' on this thread anyway.
  24. Does the human soul exist?

    Yes! That!
  25. Does the human soul exist?

    My personal bias here. If someone wishes to make a claim of objective, verifiable evidence -- no matter what it is -- I would start with the evidence. Then, I would worry about the classification of the results. In the same way, if someone actually produces a Big Foot -- dead or alive -- then we can let the zoologists classify it. I have no objection to let the definition follow the objective results. As yet, we have nothing, either way. The soul could still exist. We don't have convincing evidence.
  26. Does the human soul exist?

    Perhaps we could take the reliability of the witness into account.
  27. Does the human soul exist?

    I think that's totally OK, too- you don't have to believe anything, or you can believe everything. I think most of us are in-between, one way or another. I'll admit, my bias usually tends to be against anyone who declares that they have all of the answers, or the only "right" way of doing any given thing, very much including spiritual doings and religion. Or those who demand cash, to get those answers. Especially those! And it's OK to call crazy, well, crazy.
  28. Does the human soul exist?

    I don't believe most of them. I suppose I am the opposite of your spectrum There was a member on this forum that insisted they talked to demons, angels, jesus, god...all the time. I wrote down a bible verse and set it down on my end table and asked him to ask them what verse I had written. It got ugly from there, on their part. That's my usual reaction, when I try to gauge some claim with verifiable evidence. I don't doubt that many of these people actually believe what they say, but they cannot under any circumstance reproduce their claim or verify it in any measurable manner, which makes the claim useless.
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