cuchulain

Does the human soul exist?

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On 7/5/2017 at 3:15 AM, Dan56 said:

 

Its not known, it is believed.... If the bible stories are true, then a spiritual world exist (Matthew 17: 1-9). If the stories are fabricated, then its anyone's guess.

 

I personally choose to  recognize that a creation demands the existence of a Creator. Our physical surroundings are evidence of an intelligent Designer. God's divine nature is clearly understood by the visible things that God has made (Romans 1:20). Even a purely secular mind knows the consequences of good and evil (right & wrong). I think that  a God-given awareness, a consciousness, of His existence, is instilled in everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not. 

 

"Mankind has been gifted with an awareness of God's existence. Like most things in life, this awareness must be confirmed, developed, and lived by in greater detail, but the proofs of God's existence are readily available through an honest observation of the creation. The evidence is so obvious that, in God's judgment, it leaves humanity without justification for not knowing of His existence. What is really difficult is proving God does not exist!

Most people merely accept His existence as a fact, but few appear to make it foundational to their way of life. On the other extreme are those who utterly reject it because they have faith only in what they call “science.” That faith is an impossibility because they have no scientific answer to where life came from in the first place."

 

 

 

Just so.  A strongly held opinion.  Worth no more and no less than any other opinion.  Opinions are like ass holes.  Everybody has one.  

 

:mellow:

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Dan56   
On 7/5/2017 at 1:40 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

That is a big If.  I am making different assumptions and finding different answers.     :rolleyes:

 

On this point, I am certain.  You are mistaken.      :mellow:     

 

One more detail.  Even if you could prove an intelligent designer -- you have not done so -- it still would not be proof of your god.  

 

Your answers are also assumptions, so there's a strong likelihood that you are also mistaken. You can be certain of nothing, the foundation of what you believe ( agnosticism ) is based on God being unknowable.. And I stated why I believe in an intelligent designer, the complexity of human DNA being beyond random, etc. But your correct, God cannot be definitively proven.

 

21 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Just so.  A strongly held opinion.  Worth no more and no less than any other opinion.  Opinions are like ass holes.  Everybody has one.  

 

:mellow:

 

Yes, that would appear to be self-evident. ;)

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mererdog   
3 hours ago, Dan56 said:

Yes, that would appear to be self-evident. ;)

Never trust the self-evident. "Imperforate anus."

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mark 45   

had to look that up.yes it is a congenital birth defect,and from the description,deadly if not treated. 

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AmberLF   
On 7/11/2017 at 2:26 PM, Key said:

That is certainly one way to look at it. Most tend to see "skeptics" as debunkers or bullheaded non-believers, in my experience. They do have that right, but it also misrepresents the word to me. I think along the lines as you just expressed.

Skeptics are just truth seekers, or theory testers, if you will.

Yes, I've run across some pretty hard skeptics too. Thing is that people area ll different in levels of belief or disbelief in any subject of plausibility. To paint a thick, clear line between believers and skeptics can completely disregard those who can be persuaded given enough evidence... and what kind.

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I don't know if I believe in Therapeutic touch myself.  I haven't examined the evidence for or against, but either way I wouldn't see that as a reason to start clobbering.  At most I would simply state my skepticism about it, then examine the evidence to come to my own conclusion.  

But I do know what you mean about the hardliners.  I think we probably have all had encounters with the extremist skeptics.

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5 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I don't know if I believe in Therapeutic touch myself.  I haven't examined the evidence for or against, but either way I wouldn't see that as a reason to start clobbering.  At most I would simply state my skepticism about it, then examine the evidence to come to my own conclusion.  

But I do know what you mean about the hardliners.  I think we probably have all had encounters with the extremist skeptics.

 

Something similar happened to me in a few Atheist groups.  I said "Agnostic".  Next thing I new, they were piling on.  They thought I needed "educating."  Such snide, condescending, rude,  know-it-alls.  I left.  

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On 7/13/2017 at 4:20 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Something similar happened to me in a few Atheist groups.  I said "Agnostic".  Next thing I new, they were piling on.  They thought I needed "educating."  Such snide, condescending, rude,  know-it-alls.  I left.  

Greetings to you my brother,

 

There are two groups I try to avoid if at all possible.  One:  Hard core atheists.  Two:  Hard core fundamentalists of ANY religious persuasion.  No one is so self righteous as those who believe that they and they only have the absolute truth.  

 

While I hope it is obvious to everyone who knows me that I'm a pretty committed Christian, I have come to understand that the way I understand my faith is not necessarily the only way it could be understood.  And I have also come to the view that perhaps, just perhaps, there are other paths to God besides standard Christianity.  And to cap it all off, I know that there are many people who have very good reason to be, at the very least, skeptical of the whole idea of God.  

 

It is not for me to judge or condemn.  All I can do is share my faith as best I can, hoping that some will find my faith helping them to discover their own path to God.  For those who choose a different path or no path at all, I know that God still loves them as much as God loves me, and they will still be my brothers and sisters.  

 

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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3 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

 

There are two groups I try to avoid if at all possible.  One:  Hard core atheists.  Two:  Hard core fundamentalists of ANY religious persuasion.  No one is so self righteous as those who believe that they and they only have the absolute truth.  

 

While I hope it is obvious to everyone who knows me that I'm a pretty committed Christian, I have come to understand that the way I understand my faith is not necessarily the only way it could be understood.  And I have also come to the view that perhaps, just perhaps, there are other paths to God besides standard Christianity.  And to cap it all off, I know that there are many people who have very good reason to be, at the very least, skeptical of the whole idea of God.  

 

It is not for me to judge or condemn.  All I can do is share my faith as best I can, hoping that some will find my faith helping them to discover their own path to God.  For those who choose a different path or no path at all, I know that God still loves them as much as God loves me, and they will still be my brothers and sisters.  

 

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

 

Thank you.  I take kind thoughts where I find them.  

 

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mererdog   
14 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

 No one is so self righteous as those who believe that they and they only have the absolute truth.

 

14 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:
It is not for me to judge or condemn.  

Do you see a disconnect there? I think that if we are honest with ourselves, we find that there are many things that we believe are absolute truth. Things that we are so certain about that we cannot seriously entertain the notion that we may be wrong about them.

If someone disagrees with us about these things, we cannot help but assume it must be due to a fault on their end.

The Earth is round. I cannot fly. Death is inevitable. There is no excuse for rape. I hold these truths to be self-evident, but others deny that they are true.

And while I pride myself on a skeptical outlook and open mind, I know that, on these subjects, my mind is closed and I am not really going to take new evidence on the issues seriously. This is not a character flaw, just a survival trait necessary for me to be able to make choices and navigate the world I live in.

But to those who espouse differing views on the subjects and find that I am dismissive or even insulting in response, I am sure that it seems I have earned all sorts of unflattering labels.

Edited by mererdog

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

 

Do you see a disconnect there? I think that if we are honest with ourselves, we find that there are many things that we believe are absolute truth. Things that we are so certain about that we cannot seriously entertain the notion that we may be wrong about them.

If someone disagrees with us about these things, we cannot help but assume it must be due to a fault on their end.

The Earth is round. I cannot fly. Death is inevitable. There is no excuse for rape. I hold these truths to be self-evident, but others deny that they are true.

And while I pride myself on a skeptical outlook and open mind, I know that, on these subjects, my mind is closed and I am not really going to take new evidence on the issues seriously. This is not a character flaw, just a survival trait necessary for me to be able to make choices and navigate the world I live in.

But to those who espouse differing views on the subjects and find that I am dismissive or even insulting in response, I am sure that it seems I have earned all sorts of unflattering labels.

Greetings to you my brother,

 

Certainly, there are many things that I hold as absolute truth.  I wouldn't be able to be effective in the Christian ministry if I didn't.  For me tho, the issue is not about what is truth and what is not, the issue is about judging people to be condemned by God for holding beliefs that are contrary to what I understand the basic Christian beliefs, or for performing actions that go against what I see are the teachings of Christ.

 

Typically, hard core Christian fundamentalists take the view that if you do not accept their understanding of what you must believe to legitimately call yourself a Christian, then you do not have faith and are therefore damned by God for all eternity.  Hardcore Atheists typically think Christians or followers of any faith system that ultimately worships a Supreme being are superstitious ignorant fools worthy of scorn, and have no trouble at all heaping that scorn toward anyone who suggests that there is something good about having a belief or at at least grudging acceptance of the idea of a supreme being.  

 

Faith is not science.  I cannot go to a Lab, run experiments, and proclaim that there is or isn't a God, or that my understanding of Christianity is any truer than someone elses.  Nor could I prove that God does not exist.  All I can do is say this is what I believe, and this is why.  I do that in hope that those who find themselves longing for a relationship with God (what in the UMC we call Prevenient Grace) are able to find their way to that relationship with my help,

 

But if they don't, it doesn't mean that they are evil sinners, held over a pit of fire in the hands of an angry God.  The cultures we grew up in, our life experiences, the disconnects we have seen between what people of faith say, and what they actually do can easily turn people away from God.  But that doesn't mean that God turns away from them.  I am reminded of this passage from the Gospel of Luke:

 

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." 
(Luke 23:39-43 NRSV)
 

This is the only instance in the New Testament where anyone is promised salvation by Jesus himself.  It wasn't to one of his disciples, or a Rabbi, or anyone who society would normally think about as being worthy of salvation.  It was promised to a con, an outcast, who by his own admission deserved what was happening to him   Only God can see into our hearts, and only God can judge.  That is why I cannot, will not condemn someone whose religious view is different from mine.  Of course, I will point out where I disagree, and if someone is being especially obnoxious I may be a little sarcastic and even annoyed.  But I will not use that disagreement to see them as anything less than a Child of God.

 

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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Dan56   
On 7/14/2017 at 8:34 PM, Rev. Calli said:

Two:  Hard core fundamentalists of ANY religious persuasion.  No one is so self righteous as those who believe that they and they only have the absolute truth.

 

Jesus said; "I am the Truth"?. If a fundamentalist believes that, are they self-righteous?

 

On 7/14/2017 at 8:34 PM, Rev. Calli said:

And I have also come to the view that perhaps, just perhaps, there are other paths to God besides standard Christianity.

 

Again, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6). If this is true, then a Christian can't possibly believe that there are other paths around Christ that lead to God.. Just a fundamentalist opinion. :)

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6 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

Jesus said; "I am the Truth"?. If a fundamentalist believes that, are they self-righteous?

 

 

Again, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6). If this is true, then a Christian can't possibly believe that there are other paths around Christ that lead to God.. Just a fundamentalist opinion. :)

 

There are many ways to be self righteous.  It is not limited to one passage.  Even here, Jesus does not say that he is the only source of truth.

 

It depends on the source of that statement.  Was it Jesus the man speaking?  Or the enlightend state within him?

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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6 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

Jesus said; "I am the Truth"?. If a fundamentalist believes that, are they self-righteous?

 

 

Again, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6). If this is true, then a Christian can't possibly believe that there are other paths around Christ that lead to God.. Just a fundamentalist opinion. :)

Greetings to you my brother,

 

The issue isn't having the belief.  The issue is how it plays out in a Chrisians interactions with others.  Do we who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior look down our noses at those who have not, considering ourselves as special somehow like the Scribes and Pharisees of the time of Christ dud, or do we acknowledge that our God is a God of Grace who loves all people?  Also, must we insist that every word in Scripture must be accepted at face value, without acknowleding that there are many things, especially in the Old Testement, that are wonderful stories that while they were attempts to explaine sime great truths, are just not factually accurate.  It's absurd to insist in a world where we know full well how the world and humanity evolved that a Christian must take the tale of creation in Genisis literally.

 

Sure it is important that we share our faith.  But running around telling people they are damned to hell if the don't belive is not the way to help people come to live Christ and accept him as their own.  The better way is to share the words of live and hope he gave, and live out the teachings by our actions.  

 

In Christ's service,

Rev. Calli

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53 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

 

The issue isn't having the belief.  The issue is how it plays out in a Chrisians interactions with others.  Do we who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior look down our noses at those who have not, considering ourselves as special somehow like the Scribes and Pharisees of the time of Christ dud, or do we acknowledge that our God is a God of Grace who loves all people?  Also, must we insist that every word in Scripture must be accepted at face value, without acknowleding that there are many things, especially in the Old Testement, that are wonderful stories that while they were attempts to explaine sime great truths, are just not factually accurate.  It's absurd to insist in a world where we know full well how the world and humanity evolved that a Christian must take the tale of creation in Genisis literally.

 

Sure it is important that we share our faith.  But running around telling people they are damned to hell if the don't belive is not the way to help people come to live Christ and accept him as their own.  The better way is to share the words of live and hope he gave, and live out the teachings by our actions.  

 

In Christ's service,

Rev. Calli

 

The problem is that once "the Word" becomes the printed word -- it's all there and it doesn't go away.  Over time, an oral tradition can be self correcting.  The Bible is now frozen in time.

 

Traditional Orthodox Judaism has it's own way of dealing with this.  It's the Talmudic system.  In each generation, a layer of interpretation is added, so that a rabbi can say -- "I know what the text seems to say.  Here is what it actually means."

 

More recently, we have Humanistic Judaism.  The foundation book for this movement is "Judaism beyond God".  The theme here, is that Jews have changed over the past 5,000 years -- and the past does not control the present.  That includes 5,000 year old ideas about God.  Things change.  

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On 7/13/2017 at 0:02 PM, cuchulain said:

I don't know if I believe in Therapeutic touch myself.  I haven't examined the evidence for or against, but either way I wouldn't see that as a reason to start clobbering.  At most I would simply state my skepticism about it, then examine the evidence to come to my own conclusion.  

But I do know what you mean about the hardliners.  I think we probably have all had encounters with the extremist skeptics.

 

No therapy is perfect for all conditions, in all people, at all times.  I find Therapeutic Touch useful for stress relief and pain reduction.  If we want it to cure cancer or diabetes or Parkinson's -- it will disappoint.  It's not everything.  It's also not nothing.  

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23 hours ago, mererdog said:

 

Do you see a disconnect there? I think that if we are honest with ourselves, we find that there are many things that we believe are absolute truth. Things that we are so certain about that we cannot seriously entertain the notion that we may be wrong about them.

If someone disagrees with us about these things, we cannot help but assume it must be due to a fault on their end.

The Earth is round. I cannot fly. Death is inevitable. There is no excuse for rape. I hold these truths to be self-evident, but others deny that they are true.

And while I pride myself on a skeptical outlook and open mind, I know that, on these subjects, my mind is closed and I am not really going to take new evidence on the issues seriously. This is not a character flaw, just a survival trait necessary for me to be able to make choices and navigate the world I live in.

But to those who espouse differing views on the subjects and find that I am dismissive or even insulting in response, I am sure that it seems I have earned all sorts of unflattering labels.

 

 

A claim that I have seen over the years -- is that the Earth is not a perfect sphere.  It is egg shaped.  I remember the term as "Obloid Sphere".  If we have an argument between a Flat Earther; and someone who insists that the Earth is a perfect sphere, We end up with a false binary.  

 

This should appeal to your sense of humor.  Sometimes, all the extremists are mistaken.   :lol:

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AmberLF   
22 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

The problem is that once "the Word" becomes the printed word -- it's all there and it doesn't go away.  Over time, an oral tradition can be self correcting.  The Bible is now frozen in time.

If that were the case wouldn't it still be in Hebrew and Aramaic? Wouldn't there only be one version? A little digging has different versions using different words in some places. In addition just when each book was written and what region also affects the tone in earlier versions. The most popular version used in the Americas is the King James version or one derived from it which smooths out some of the tone but it has also been found to have a few drastic changes made according to his version of what it should be.

 

22 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Traditional Orthodox Judaism has it's own way of dealing with this.  It's the Talmudic system.  In each generation, a layer of interpretation is added, so that a rabbi can say -- "I know what the text seems to say.  Here is what it actually means."

 

More recently, we have Humanistic Judaism.  The foundation book for this movement is "Judaism beyond God".  The theme here, is that Jews have changed over the past 5,000 years -- and the past does not control the present.  That includes 5,000 year old ideas about God.  Things change.  

I think this is probably true for many religions. Humanism seems to be the base for this era.

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AmberLF   
On 7/13/2017 at 0:02 PM, cuchulain said:

I don't know if I believe in Therapeutic touch myself.  I haven't examined the evidence for or against, but either way I wouldn't see that as a reason to start clobbering.  At most I would simply state my skepticism about it, then examine the evidence to come to my own conclusion.  

But I do know what you mean about the hardliners.  I think we probably have all had encounters with the extremist skeptics.

There is enough evidence in studies that support it helps. There is a pretty strong mind-body connection that indicates stress can complicate or slow healing if not dealt with in healthy ways. There is also plenty of evidence that massage and other touch therapies can help relieve the stresses, stimulate muscle and nerve responses, help with blood circulation, and allow the body to heal. Is it an end all, be all method of healing to be used alone? I would say no. But if it helps and the person in need welcomes such a therapy, it does seem to help quite a bit. 

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