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Everything posted by VonNoble

  1. Interesting. One time when I was a small child...we were in a restaurant when two men came in and indicated they had weapons (never seen)(presumed to be handguns) in their jacket pockets. Our family was sitting in a curved booth at the far end of the restaurant with mom on one end of the very large booth & dad on the other. It was rare for us to get to eat anywhere but home - so 1) we were on our best behavior 2) we were so engrossed if the big platter of French fries (another rare treat) that none of us kids even knew what was happening till it was over. We were NOT traumatized...we never missed a French fry While the incident was in progress the woman in the next booth leaned over and told my mom to “ put her diamond ring in her shoe” to avoid having to give it to the thieves presumed to want such thing in a minute or two. There was no robbery. The would-be theived got spooked and ran out without getting anything and everyone went back to eating. We kids never stopped When told to hide her diamond my mother had replied. “No.” After the fact the lady next to us walked around the table to question my mom....and mom explained....1) look at this table....I invest in the future...look at this herd of kids-there is no money for diamonds 2) if I did have a diamond I would have given it freely to them Mom’s reasoning is they might well be desperate ( we always had enough...JUST BARELY enough...sometimes we were hungry but never got long)... and material things should never matter enough to cause harm (she was big on letting go of things always) ....and lastly she said allowing a person to wear the label of “thief” would follow not just this person but the next three generations to follow...so no ring is worth that ripple. I have nothing to add other than my mom was rather unique with her teachable moments. von
  2. THANK YOU....very helpful to me and I am rowing in the boat with you on much of this....von
  3. Please elaborate....you have strength over those who don’t get it... Does compassion for them factor into your world view? von
  4. I am not sure it can be characterized that way. it is true and I agree we assess everything around as friend or foe.... useful or not.... but those things are more survival based decisions. Those choices keep us from drinking poison or playing with fire. Those are more experienced based. With faith we are not dealing with a tangible. There is not a measurable cause-effect (fire = burn) (poison drinking = death)...... so the conclusions are less certain. The reason applied far less straightforward. Making a choice to believe without evidence is asking g someone to believe without knowing. You allow that that is NOT really a choice for some. So here we can agree it is not a choice. It is a “holding” position. Allowing 1) they do not know 2) they are continuing to explore 3) allowing new information could move the needle 4) until new information is available.....it is not a choice Hmmmm....undecided does not seem to be “lost” in my view. That has a value judgement. How does actively searching for new information and being fully engaged equality with being idle or stagnated? Help me to understand. von
  5. I enjoyed your very well organized response. I am continuing to sort through it .... it is helpful. von
  6. BRILLIANT! I actually did this experiment. I got a couple of other people to try it as well. EXCELLENT thought experiment. Thank you you for this. von
  7. Thank you for all of this. As a follow up.... in this morning’s newspaper there was a lengthy editorial noting .....that thinking about belief, by definition ....isn’t belief. He continued that “faith” is also not belief. Faith...in his view was the result of emotionally driven need ( psyching ones to articulate a belief based impart or in whole by rationalization).....and should not be linked to belief. The writer was a career military man. I would be interested in your opinion of that editorial. I am still trying to sort out his assertions in my mind. Thx. von
  8. ONE SIDE.... holds FAITH is a choice. If you want it you can have it..... just choose it. (a secondary group in that camp holds that all you have to do is pray or ask and you shall receive ...after all that is a WELL KNOWN quote from the Bible...knock and the door will be opened...) - therefore if you do not have faith it is a choice. THE OTHER SIDE....does not see - that there is a choice. it is an ongoing process. You don't choose.....you accept that life shaped you and this is who and where you are....today (a secondary......Hundreds of groups claiming they and they alone represent God. ) Each pointing to others and claiming we...we are right ...not them...not those over there - they got it wrong ...... if there is a choice - it is impossible to choose between them...... To the world at large - there is no noticeable difference in the behavior of a faith-filled person of integrity... from a non-believer..... Is faith a choice? Is lack of faith simply a byproduct of life's journey...it is an unintended (not chosen) landing spot? Is faith or lack of it - a choice (if it is a choice) that matters to humanity in practical terms of survival? Can we accept that persons of faith choose that path to find peace? Can we accept that persons of no faith arrive at peace too ? von (adjust the content so you are able to join in - you can take the puzzle pieces and make them work for you)
  9. ...that reminded me about two different hospice facilities run by Catholics that were exceptionally places... Is St. Jude Hospital a Catholic place? (I dunno it sounds like it....) von
  10. I have no fear of hell. Not knowing thst God exists .....denies me dreaming about heaven’s rewards and eliminates hell’s damnation. So pressure off there. So being good to avoid burning is not necessary. I choose good because my life is easier that way. von
  11. Faith in God....is (to a believer in God) ...viewed as a gift. At least that has always been my understanding of that process. So my position is to accept that line of reasoning. Therefore, if GOD CHOOSES to give me that gift....I will accept. That way me and any earthly reps can both agree to trust God. I accept God knows how and where to find me. God knows I am open to a meet up. Until God makes a date to sign me up .... I am allowed to be a free agent..... doing what good I can ...where I can - to the best of my abilities. So far God has not objected to that arrangement. Von
  12. Oh.....I often say the prayer of St Francis.... so he was pretty cool .... oh and Mother Teresa was inspiring.... others? von
  13. Sometimes we forget to say a few good words to those of a different belief than our own. My my father was a devout Catholic. He saw Imperfections in the church (and plenty of not perfect clergy)..., but he believed the dogma completely and totally. He prayed openly. He went to confession often. He never failed to share whatever we had. Anyone could get a meal in our home. He never tired anyone away... so a FULL plate of food was not a guarantee growing up .... but we always had enough. He lived a good life and was a fine example to his kids. So while only one of my siblings followed his choice...in joining dad as a Catholic...I was exposed to some good things from my Catholic father. Hows about some positive comments about Catholics.... it seems over due Add on to the list...positive comments only please... ..... education ....the times I opted (it was a choice with my parents who encouraged us to try lots of things)...when I chose to go to a Catholic high school.... I definitely learned some good stuff.... Latin has come in handy a surprising number of times. .... after Hurricane Katrina ....Catholic Social Services was the first outside assistance we saw.... and they gave TO ALL without ever once asking our beliefs...preaching ....or mention God other than to quietly say.... God Bless New Orleans (or you) depending on who was there.... many said nothing but worked in horrible conditions to offer US comfort the Pope.... the current one...seems pretty okay to me so far .....join in.... von
  14. ReverendDaveULC, With complete respect offered to your beliefs.... the only question I noted in your posting was :who do you want to believe. It seems you have found both comfort and inspiration in the Bible. I am happy that is so. I have not only only read the book (all the way thru) (more than once)...but also studied it. I can see many valuable and in some cases beautifully written ideas. I agree with the notion of pausing in our busy lives for spiritual refreshment..... Again with respect offered to you....so far I have not been given the gift of faith. So my point of view is naturally different. So to answer your question.... I believe that which.... like you.....allows comfort and inspiration. That is not, for me, The Bible as guidebook for living my life. Keeping ALL days holy is an approach that works more easily for me....and for me...it does not include visiting a church almost ever....(although I have in the past ....still do on now rare occasion).... it does include quiet reflection several times each day.....with an incredibly grateful heart that I have so much. And frequent daily pause (at least a half dozen times a day) as a reminder to give back.... as I have far more than any human needs. I am reminded I have be generously treated with kindness by others when I did not deserve it...and often did not know I was in need of it..... and I realize several times a day...I ought to pay it forward because the world is nicer when we choose to act that way.... and I am fortunate I am still able to be of use....some of the time. Again thanks for sharing your insights von
  15. I am technologically challenged.... so I M useless in this regard..... however the FORUM ADMIN TEAM IS AMAZING....contact any of them and they will help...... cannot praise them enough.
  16. I look forward to your next thread.... new ideas help us be better von
  17. ReverendDaveULC, if you will will allow me to step into your private conversation for just a moment....I have enjoyed many topics intoduced by cuchulain over the years.....also I have been assisted and supported by cuchulain often. Based on those many years of experience... I would suggest your conclusions may not be accurate entirely. You are certainly free to have them and hold them... I respect your opinion might differ from mine. Over a number of years of experience... I would have to say that cuchulain is quite the opposite of much of your observations. I thank you for not taking offense as surely neither of us would intentionally offer hostilities. Again I thank you for your responses. You have taught both direct and indirect lessons. ULC , in general, appreciated all manner of lessons and teachers more often than not. To my friend cuchulain- Please do not ever change.... you are quite valuable AS IS... von
  18. Well just so I can understand.... why did Jesus speak in parables? I do not get this at all. For non- Christians this is really confusing (and maybe in Christian world it is so unimportant it is a silly question)..... but why not just say it directly and eliminate the guesswork? If God intended for all believers to set an example ..... a good enough example that the Agape love of Christians ..... as THE WAY.... the truth etc..... I just don’t get why the message is so confusing.... If we want people to be wary of evil.... then why not call evildoers our by name? In the book. Why not list the bad guys by name? Why so complicated we need people to interpret it for us? How do you get to “ know God” if you have to have a middle man constantly helping you? And how do I know this middle man is getting it right?... cuz that others dudes over there....with the same exact book.... tells me he is more right? it seems God has a bunch of free agents? I do not mean that in a problematic way. If God exists .... I have met some great human beings who served as ambassadors for generosity, and forgiveness and kindness..... operating wearing his uniform....but they taught by offering unconditional goodness even when others did not deserve it at all. Hiw does someone trust the message of the messenger with so much conflict in the process? why doesn’t God just assign one clear to understand spokesperson? I sort of thought that was the job of Jesus. But there isn’t much agreement amongst the zillion offshoots of Christian to get s clear consensus. Sorry if any any of this is somehow offensive. I REALLY AM just trying to understand. von
  19. Oops....equivocation....sorry just notice I really messed up the spelling above....oops, oops, oops.... von
  20. PastorDave1974, Thank you for the prompt and equvication free explanation von