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Posts posted by kokigami

  1. On 1/30/2018 at 5:40 AM, Key said:

    No. Didn't know about it. Would like to see that, myself.

    Wasn't great, and less to do with the lost years than the post crucifixion years, based upon the theory that he travelled to the far east during the lost years. Back to regularly scheduled program.


  2. On 1/16/2018 at 12:02 PM, Dan56 said:


    Its unconditional in the sense that you can't pay for it and you can't earn it.. Its conditional because you must receive it.. If you were drowning and someone threw you a life preserver, the only condition to saving your life is your willingness to accept it. That's the essence of John 3:16, everlasting life is promised to whosoever believeth. An unconditional offer to any who will receive it.



    A hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another, its knowing what's right but going the opposite direction. God doesn't forgive hypocrites until they repent, and neither should we... jmo

    Not really what unconditional means. I think the more accurate analogy is someone offering to throw a life preserver, if you promise fealty, but withholding it if you don't. Once a life preserver is in the water, it doesn't matter what one thinks of the the thrower. 

    On 1/27/2018 at 2:05 PM, micha_el said:

    I can't claim to have done any scholarly research but I have always understood that debt and sin are used meaning the same thing. some translations of the Lord's prayer say " forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" and another says " forgive us our transgressions as we forgive our transgressors". it could also be expressed as "forgive us our injuries as we forgive those who injure us" etc. there are many ways to say that same thing. so it's my belief that Jesus full well meant sin and not financial obligations. however do keep in mind that He also taught that we should "give to Caesar what is Caesar's' , that we must be charitable, that if we are sued for our coat we should give our shirt also, etc. so forgiving others of their financial debt to us would seem to be a very pleasing thing in the sight of our Lord. as to salvation being a free gift I think Luke chapter 14 explains that it is a reward rather than a free gift. Jesus states the "cost of being his disciple" and I think that shows that it is a reward for our faithful following of Him and that it's not at all a gift. Jesus taught in parables so I'm not sure if He meant this as verbatim literal or if He was trying to give us pause to stop and take a good hard look at what we would have to endure as His followers. but I am certain that He was stating again that we would have to deny ourselves and give up our lives; that we would have to seek Him and not the things of this world. as I said before I am certainly no scholar and am submitting my opinion based upon my understanding. I may full well be wrong.

    Praise be to our Lord and King for revealing Himself to us and may we gain in knowledge and wisdom of His will.

    As we have pretty scant info on what Jesus taught, and that, a bit conflicted, I am led to wonder if he actually taught in parables, or if he was so oft mis represented that parables are the best we can make of it.


    On a side note, anyone see the BBC doc on Jesus lost years? It is on my to do list.


    • Like 1
  3. On 1/6/2018 at 3:12 AM, Dan56 said:


    Imo, yes, sins are debts, meaning shortcomings in the service to God. While debt and sin are different words, debts used figuratively can refer to sin. In fact where Matthew 6:12 uses "And forgive us our debts" , Luke 11:4 says; "And forgive us our sins". 

    to me, it looks like they are using the words interchangeably. It is interesting, since popular scholarship sets the dates for those two gospels as being about the same time. 

  4. 2 hours ago, Dan56 said:


    Imo, a bunch of bologna... Debt has a double meaning, debt as used in the Lords Prayer has nothing to do with financial indebtedness, but is related to transgressions against God. Being guilty of sin is a debt. Jesus didn't die for monetary debt, but paid the price for our sins, which are moral and spiritual transgressions against the law, and its these sinful debts that are wiped clean. This is completely different from a Jubilee, where monetary debts are erased.

    so, first point, are the words the same?  I ask because, if I recall, you are one of the people who learned a bit of the ancient tongues in your quest. 

  5. I am hoping this is the appropriate place to post this. I know some here have done a bit more scholarly research into the historical language of the Christian Texts than I, so I am curious as to the take on this. It is, I am afraid, kinda vague and short of details. I suspect that is, in part, because the professor is trying to flog his upcoming book. Still, what of the basic premise.

    In summary , Prof. Hudson (U of MO, KC) is arguing that Jesus Message was about debt not about "sin" as we think of it today. And that the modern view of "Sin" as tied to the fleshy desires, was a redirect by the oligarchs of past to protect the Oligarchy. Now, I am not asking here to get opinions on whether debt forgiveness (a major theme of his argument) is a a good or bad policy. Just whether his historical grounding is solid enough to warrant further research, or if his is standing on mud and if so, how wet is  it.
    LInky here.

  6. Curiouser and curiouser. The choice would not, and could not emenate from any other than the one who made it. Others may have made a similar choice, given similar starting conditions, but, no two things/people can occupy the same space/time nor share the same speed and trajectory in space time, and so, the choices of each are unique. Therefore, the person is the choice. And, perhaps, neither is to blame. 

    Of course, it may all rest on the existence or non existence of free will. I am, (and I am sure others are getting tired of hearing it) doubtful on the topic.I think the idea of free will is an evolutionary feedback loop that allows society to manage individual anti social behaviors in a way that can reinforce socially beneficial causal forces.  But, then, perhaps the question is moot.


  7. On 9/5/2017 at 9:56 AM, the Hearthwitch said:

    Absolutely! Having babies is a little bit like taking LSD, only the effects are much longer-lasting. ;)

    Thank you for understanding...it may not be a perfect understanding, but it's good enough! Nice to meet you, Kokigami. :)

    nice to meet you to. I have been, of late, an infrequent and unpredictable member of the community. I retire in a month. We shall see how that changes my world view.


    • Like 1
  8. On 8/31/2017 at 7:21 AM, cuchulain said:

    There is often a misunderstanding, sometimes deliberate I think, that other people cannot understand something without being a part of it.  What is human empathy for if not to try to understand the position of others?

    I don't have to be a father to understand how a father might respond to his child being threatened.  I don't have to be homosexual to understand how a homosexual person might feel being persecuted by others.  I don't have to be...well, you get the picture I am sure.

    The bottom line for me is my own conscience.  I would try my best not to harm another individual, period, because I would feel bad about myself for not having been capable of finding a better alternative.  I don't say I will never harm another person, but I will strive my best not to fail at that.

    I think perfect understanding of any other person is impossible, because of differences in experience. However, empathy can make for proximal understanding, which is a good, but imperfect tool. We must acknowlege that it is an imperfect tool to use it well. I can attempt to be empathetic to a homosexual on the subject of persecution, but, as I am not homosexual, that individuals personal response will considerably different than mine. That is not even accounting for all the other differences. So, assuming my empathy gets me more than a tiny bit closer to understanding is going to lead to very unpredictable success rates. I tend to think it works better on less specific issues, and broader generalizations, but I could be wrong..

    On 8/31/2017 at 7:35 PM, the Hearthwitch said:

    I would normally agree with you, but not on this one. I'll be honest, Cuchulain- it really is different, for me at least. I had the strength of a number of convictions, some of which I have since done a complete 180 on, before having kids. I was far less concerned with the world at large, and definitely with people in general...very different worldview altogether. I was pretty nihilistic, and had a pretty negative view of the world. Pregnancy, birth, and parenthood changed me emotionally, mentally, and physically. (It did not turn me into a Republican, though, as someone told me it would! LOL)

    All joking aside, though, this is one where I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. 

    It changed the definition of your tribe. The process also bathed your brain in unfamiliar chemicals. That alone could change your world view, as acid has for many people. Human Babies benefit from mothers with strong bonds and there is a lot of evolutionary engineering to achieve that goal.


  9. On 9/2/2017 at 4:56 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    They are similar.  I think when I use the agnostic label, I get sucked into fewer silly arguments.  Except for the extremists.   I have had to leave a few atheist sites on Facebook.  I made the mistake of saying agnostic there.  It wasn't pretty.  It's amazing how quickly they gang up.  

    humans are tribal. I find that I often want to correct people about the "real" ULC. I suspect it is because i have come to feel a member of the tribe ULC and the ULCM is not that tribe.

    As to the original question.. I identify as Agnostic. I lean Athiest, but the term is not consistently understood, so using it often leads to misconceptions. Agnostic is not even well known, so it allows a chance to explain. I suppose I could say "questarian" and define it as I like.


  10. On 7/17/2017 at 8:24 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    I still don't know why I had to suffer through any of it.  Even then, nobody gave me a reason regarding real application to anything.

    I once felt that way, but I have come to the conclusion that, those who understand math rule the world. I do regret ignoring it in my academic career. In part because now, as I consider turning a two year degree into a four year degree, I am being blocked by my innumeracy. And in part because data crunching is about math, and data crunching is how one comes to understand truth.

    12 hours ago, cuchulain said:

    That's a real boring science class, but an easy a.  "Now kids, how did trees begin?  God did it.  Now kids, how does it rain?  God did it..." Of course, for those who don't believe, they simply fail I suppose.  At least, if they give an honest answer.

    There is an arguement to be made that, for most peoples lives, these answers are accurate enough, just as many believe that knowing only basic math is enough. I don't agree with those arguements, but I can see them.

  11. On 6/28/2017 at 3:05 AM, mererdog said:

    I think in words. You?

    Honestly, I hadn't though about it. Probably, mostly. When I do, I think in terms of words with specific commonly known definitions. (if people are gonna get all chatty, I am going have to start logging in more often.)


    On 7/1/2017 at 9:55 AM, Seeker said:

    Interesting tangent. I'm mostly a conceptual thinker. There is a sort of conceptual "space" involved, and I can often sense where two ideas don't "fit", but I don't "see" it as such. I have to translate when I want words, or pictures or actions. Music is probably my most direct form of output, bu even there, there is some post-processing involved.


    Back to PC.


    Firstly I agree that there have been a variety of ideas referenced under the term. Some with quite good intentions, others less so. I hear it most often used as a set of rules for not referring to anything which causes dissent. As such, I am strongly opposed to political correctness.


    An ex-forces friend of mine told a story about the Falklands war. An officer had overheard the men calling the locals "Bennies", a reference to a special needs (PC) character in a British soap opera. He considered this unacceptable, and issued an order to the effect that the term should not be used. A while later, he became aware that the locals were now called "stills". When the men were pressed for an explanation, they said "well sir, begging your pardon, but they're still Bennies."


    The point I take from this is that it is the attitude, not the terminology which is the problem. Excessive zeal in the policing of language can be counter-productive, in that it makes it hard to even refer to a topic, let alone get to grips with the underlying problems.


    I understand the need for courtesy and consideration, and I will try not to be gratuitously offensive. On the other hand, if a subject needs to be talked about and I have to use an occasional "bad" word or phrase to do so, then full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes!

    This is the most common reason for words to be deemed unacceptable. People are jerks.

    On 7/1/2017 at 0:21 PM, Brother Kaman said:

    I remember when those who make the rules decided that crippled people (yes, shame on me for saying crippled) would here after be referred to as handicapped. Then that word seemed to have dark, demeaning connotations so the rule makers decided that handicapable was the new buzz word. That was all well and good, I suppose, but many of these "handicapable" folks still felt as though they were handicapped. Didn't seem like the various state governments had any desire to change their parking placards, either.

    Handicapable was an attempt, I suspect, to create a term that would be difficult to use pejoratively. And to an extent, it worked, because it is too awkward a term to toss off as an insult, and makes little sense abbreviated. However, it is awkward all the time, so not really a solution.

    On 7/3/2017 at 9:49 AM, mererdog said:

    Most of the time, I don't believe it is really well meant, nor that it is really about protecting anyone. If it were about protecting people, basic "No harm? No foul" rules would apply. Instead, you just end up with a list of words that can never be said, regardless of context or impact. That tells me it is really about prejudice against people who are seen as prejudiced, and a desire to punish them. 

    Brother Kaman used the word "crippled." I can use that as proof that he is prejudiced against the differently abled, and use that to justify treating him badly. I can impugn his character, his upbringing, his family, or even his entire culture, all while sitting on a throne built out of assumed moral superiority. Its intoxicating stuff...

    I like to think that most often it is intended to protect, but it becomes the tool for classifying people as jerks, sometimes unjustly. This reminds me of the scene in Clerks II about the term Porch Monkey. The usage and meaning of words changes, unless we calcify them.


    On 7/4/2017 at 8:56 AM, mererdog said:

    It would be hypocritical in the extreme for me to complain about that. So I will probably do it eventually.

    Anyway, the natural order has each individual fighting tooth and nail for his piece of the pie. Even where animals of the same pack or hive share with one another, they do not share with outsiders. To say that ownership causes strife ignores this.

    What ownership actually does is create a moral obligation. That moral obligation, in turn,  provides motive to be less grasping and less violent. It is not a panacea, of course, so people still act on the instinct to simply take what they want and fight anyone who tries to stop them. But it does lessen the problem.


    On 7/4/2017 at 3:00 PM, RevBogovac said:

    On a different, and more scientific, note; Gilad Feldman, Huiwen Lian, Michal Kosinski, David Stillwell. Frankly, we do give a damn: The relationship between profanity and honesty. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2017 


    !Spoiler alert! [they] found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level and with higher integrity at the society level.

    Others have addressed the weakness of a single study. I will point out that honesty does not always improve a situation.

  12. On 6/19/2017 at 8:01 AM, mererdog said:

    Well, sure. My argument is really a semantic one. I am basically just drawing a line regarding what does and does not qualify as "political correctness". Have you ever considered the concept of a "useful pejorative"? My thinking is that labeling something as politically correct is a way to highlight a fairly thin, but immensely important, ethical line.


    I am not saying that it is wrong to avoid saying certain things. I am saying that specific motives for that avoidance are harmful. It is good to be compassionate, or even just diplomatic. I consider the term "political correctness to apply exclusively to where we are ostensibly motivated that way, but where the broader social context shows more sinister (for lack of a better word) motives at play.

    funny, you seem the only one I quoted for replies.. 

    I can certainly see this point. I don't agree, because I don't agree with your definition of the term. In that, however, I did some elementary research ( I googled for 5 minutes) and found the term has a much more complex history than I had known. I think a measurable share of the culture wars may have to do with competing definitions of the term PC. I tend to see the term most often as a pejorative against compassion. 


    On 6/21/2017 at 3:37 PM, mererdog said:

    Not really. Trademark concerns asside, noone owns a word. As such, noone has exclusive right to dictate use of a word. The Pope does not get to define "Catholic" for anyone who does not willingly accept his authority on the subject. He doesn't get to define it for the Baptists, the atheists, or even all the Catholics. Likewise, I don't get to define atheism for you, and you don't have final say on who is and is not a Jew.

    We each get to adopt the usages that make sense to us. And while we will undoubtedly disagree on some terms, none of us will really be wrong. 

    This is central to Freedom of Speech, which is central to Freedom of Religion. You don't have to accept me as a "real minister," any more than I have to accept the Pope as "infallible." We are entitled to our own opinions. This does mean, of course, that our opinions will be welcomed. Freedom is messy stuff and bound to cause more than a little discomfort. Its totally worth it, though.

    Mostly agreed. Everyone has slightly different definitions of most abstract words, and some can be quite unique. But, failure to achieve some consensus on definitions pretty much hamstrings communications - at least the kind that is intended to achieve understanding. For the kind that is completely self expression, well, why use words at all?

    On 6/23/2017 at 6:05 AM, mererdog said:

    I know. I rarely stick to Standard English. I am trying to put together a punctuational system that fits modern conversational rhythms. I prefer being oblique to being direct. I use slang that stopped being cool when I was in elementary school. I make bad jokes without warning anyone. I think run on sentences are fun and hyphenation is mosty decorative. I put prepositions where ever they seem useful and I occassionally use ellipses like a four year-old uses finger paint. And my spell chek is turned off.

    I enjoy the process, though. Which is the whole point, no? Because when I stop enjoying it, I'll stop doing it.

    I am now wishing I had quoted the original post, but it was long, and long ago, so I will address the original question. 


    But in the spirit of being positive toward each other and trying to honestly educate or share points of view, does it do any rational good to find the worst way to interpret something someone says and focus on that?  That is my question.  

    I try to assume human error without specific evidence of malignant intent. However, we all have raw nerves from time to time, and some are perpetually inflamed. I don't think interpreting things in the worst way has a rational good, but I don't think it tends to be a rational process at work. 

  13. On 4/3/2017 at 11:42 PM, Dan56 said:

    There's really not a burden to convince anyone of anything. The gospel is what it is, and every individual chooses to believe it or not. A person who believes in God can no more convince a non-believer to believe than a nonbeliever can convince a believer that there is no God. The existence or nonexistence of God can not be definitively established in the absence of direct tangible evidence, so no sales pitch is persuasive. A person who believes doesn't feel burdened to convince others, but rather an obligation to share what they believe, especially when they're questioned about it. We all choose to believe something, even if its nothing.

    And thus we get back to the question of free will. It's always out there, begging to be reconsidered.. 

    1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    I hold the truths of these statements to be self evident.  Along the lines of -- Fire is hot.  Ice is cold.

    And yet, hot and cold are relative terms. 

  14. On 3/15/2017 at 2:27 PM, mererdog said:

    Yes. I was being flippant. A more honest answer is that I don't really define violence so much as recognize it. Remember, I'm going by feelings as much as anything else.

    The Aikido knowledge question, I will dodge. This is at least the third time, so it is becoming fun.

    Has everyone Googled kokigami's name yet? Good. I'm tired of being the only one with that in his head.

    As for what is ruled out, it's really more about motive than action or outcome. Motive forms the fundamental difference between an accident and an attack, and between a surgery and a stabbing. Important stuff. But stuff that is inherently subjective.

    well played. And you were never the only one. I have that in my head as well. 

    It seems to me that one can prepare for violent encounters without preparing to become violent. Part of that is preparing to be injured, but also preparing strategies for avoiding injury. I wouldn't call myself a pacifist, because I am not to the level that I feel I could stick to that philosophy, in a crunch. However, it is generally my goal. 


  15. harm can mean a lot of things. Do you know the principals of Aikido? Specifically, Seidokan. Aikido technique can be violent action, but, it can also be non harmful. Or, at worst, it can be argued that the aggressor has harmed themselves, when harm happens. Is this kind of thing ruled out by your pacifism?

  16. 15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    I don't do mantras.  Too religious for my taste.  I do breath work.  It's good stress relief.  Much better and safer than drugs.

    I'm not a Buddhist.  I have been influenced by some Buddhist ideas.  In particular, letting go.  It's useful.

    For my taste, Buddhism also has weaknesses.  A key point of Buddhism is that it's a path of enlightenment for everyone.  It's been 3,000 years.  Where are all the Buddhas?  By this time, they should be everywhere.  

    I also question the value of Buddhist influence on society.  Japan has certainly been under Buddhist influence.  Is Japan a model of superior spiritual development?  

    Buddha said to be objective.



    well, there is me. But I am the only one going to the meeting, so... 


  17. 34 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

    Greetings to you my brother,

    An interesting view.  I thank you for sharing!  It does lead me to one question, asked only for clarification.  When you reach out to assist others, do you find yourself more inclined to help individuals on a one on one level, or giving of your time and money to groups that help multiple people, like the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?  

    One of the current debates among the clergy, at least in Milwaukee, is how do we best help people who come to us asking for financial assistance.  There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  They  ( my clergy brothers and sisters) believe that the limited financial resources we have are better spent on programs that benefit the most people, like the different meal programs and shelters around our city, and that people who come to us asking for assistance are best served by directing them to places that can provide long-term assistance.

    Then there are those who try to help each individual who comes to their door by providing what small financial assistance they have available, feeling that direct aid is the best, most biblical approach.  The thought process behind that being that as Christ also gave freely, so should we.  I realize of course that you do not share a faith in Christ, but as a non-Christian, in your own giving, what do you find to be the best approach?

    In solidarity,

    Rev. Calli

     a bit off topic, but on the subject of your local debate. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/welfare-reform-direct-cash-poor/407236/


  18. 2 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

    I disagree.. I wasn't saying that you have no compassion, just that a person is not as incentivized to be good when there's no punishment for being bad. My motivation is not to burn in hell, but nonbelievers don't worry about that. The reason you don't steal a car is because there's a law against it and you'll go to jail (punishment). That's normal..

    I meant that the majority of people believe in something beyond the here and now, so they have more of an incentive to do good. Agnosticism assigns no penalty for being incompassionate, so the downside presents no long term repercussions for them. 

    The punishment for being uncompassionate is lacking compassion. It is far worse than hell.


  19. Hi, Rev Callie. 

    Pleased to see you active on here again. When I drifted off, it seemed you had gone dormant. 

    Drive by posting, this is. Most of you haven't seen my ugly mug about here for a long time. I may try to start being a thorn here again, but, I also got's stuff, so we shall see. As to the question in the original post.. 

    My belief is that we are in what is probably an existential crisis for the country and possibly the world. I don't view Trump as Hitler. I think he is a bit more like Caligula. Bit Trump is a puppet, so none of that matters.

    My belief system is agnostic, but, even so, there are a few things I am finding hard to doubt. First is that there is probably no such thing as free will, and second is that humans are an extinction level event for planet earth. Those seem Nihilistic, I suppose. They certainly don't, as beliefs, compel me to any specific action or inaction. And yet, despite those beliefs I feel compelled, nonetheless. (which tends to support my contention on free will.) So, I must resist the destruction of the the rule of law and the constitution that underpins that law. I kinda doubt it will help..




  20. On 4/6/2016 at 9:56 AM, mererdog said:

    Only if we lack the basic humility that allows us to accept that we might be wrong.

    then you haven't accepted it as objectively moral. Just probably moral. And in that doubt, I agree, there is hope.