Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

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11 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

I, as an "agnostic orthodox christian" - for one, would like to try to "persuade" you back into being that "liberal Christian" again: first let me differentiate between Christianity, the "organisation", which I do not feel a lot (of positivity) for; Christianity the philosophy which I like very much (but you have to be careful to differentiate between the "teachings of Christ"  (whereupon a lot of our modern society is based on: equality, democracy, compassion et cetera) and I am quite grateful for (and see the Old Testament and most things "after good Friday" as the previously mentioned "moralising story-books"); and, Christian "society", which - in the end - "we" (here in the "West") are (still!) part of (but I do see changing in the future, somewhere...).

 

I applaud your being open minded in being any version of agnostic as, of course nothing 

can be proved - so that seems reasonable and logical. 

 

You are in good company as Thomas Jefferson agreed with you regarding the teachings of Christ.

The Jeffersonian Bible is ONLY the actual quotes of Christ. 

 

Philosophically, I see very little difference between Christianity and many positive religions.

  For example I see a pretty significant overlap between the MESSAGE of Christ and the message of Buddha.  

 

It is a full time job to live up what is asked of any of us to choose on either Buddhist or

Christian  as a philosophical way of life.     We have ZERO occasion to (or time to) judge others.

 

I have a full time job cleaning up my own self.      We all do. 

 

So what is the point of limiting the affiliation with a label?  

(that part I am serious about) - - I have no problem with anyone doing so.

I respect that decision.  I just don't understand it. 

 

Thanks in advance if you can help me understand .

You have done well up to now helping me along. 

 

von

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18 hours ago, mererdog said:

"Note: No group is excluded from posting a reply in any area. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate everywhere. Others who do not study the same practice are welcomed to add comments and questions to compare, contrast and learn."

 

Thanks, I was also unaware of any rules that prohibited Christians from certain topics.

 

16 hours ago, Pete said:

I apologise to the forum and Dan. It was an emotional outburst.  I wanted to speak to other agnostics and atheists because I hope someone could help me with my struggle with my own mind. Jonathan has been helpful but I did not want this as an excuse to discuss someone elses religious agenda and hence my emotional outburst. Perhaps in hind sight I would have best been served by an email but then I would have not have got the experience of others. I am sorry. 

 

No problem, I understand that I represent the very thing your running from, and I was the last person you probably wanted to hear from.. But my post was not responding to you, it was simply stating that I don't regard all people of faith to be closed-minded, although some certainly are.. It was also not my intent to push my beliefs at all.. I can relate to your angst against Christianity, I was an atheist for the first 15 years of my life myself, and I'm still put-off by religion.

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I am confused Dan. You say your put off by religion but at the same time defend it to the hilt. It is because your not open to anything but your religion.  So many conversations with you tell me your far from a free thinker. Every time we talk it always comes around to talking about your religion.  I just wanted to talk free from you defending your religion . It is the reason I have not been on the forum for a while.

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13 minutes ago, Pete said:

I am confused Dan. You say your put off by religion but at the same time defend it to the hilt. It is because your not open to anything but your religion.  So many conversations with you tell me your far from a free thinker. Every time we talk it always comes around to talking about your religion.  I just wanted to talk free from you defending your religion . It is the reason I have not been on the forum for a while.

 

If you want to go private, I'm here for you.  

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Pete, 

Thank you!   Thank you very much for allowing this open dialogue

which in my opinion is a very good thing FOR ALL OF US.

 

I really, really admire your strength. 

 

von

 

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12 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 

I applaud your being open minded in being any version of agnostic as, of course nothing 

can be proved - so that seems reasonable and logical. 

 

You are in good company as Thomas Jefferson agreed with you regarding the teachings of Christ.

The Jeffersonian Bible is ONLY the actual quotes of Christ. 

 

Philosophically, I see very little difference between Christianity and many positive religions.

  For example I see a pretty significant overlap between the MESSAGE of Christ and the message of Buddha.  

 

It is a full time job to live up what is asked of any of us to choose on either Buddhist or

Christian  as a philosophical way of life.     We have ZERO occasion to (or time to) judge others.

 

I have a full time job cleaning up my own self.      We all do. 

 

So what is the point of limiting the affiliation with a label?  

(that part I am serious about) - - I have no problem with anyone doing so.

I respect that decision.  I just don't understand it. 

 

Thanks in advance if you can help me understand .

You have done well up to now helping me along. 

 

von

 

Thank you, and yes; as a martial arts practitioner I have learnt a lot about Buddhism too and have taken a lot from it. But I still "label" myself a "christian" (agnostic, but still with that "label". It's as I said:

 

On 10/3/2017 at 4:12 PM, RevBogovac said:

[...] Christian "society", which - in the end - "we" (here in the "West") are (still!) part of (but I do see changing in the future, somewhere...).

 

So it's just "easy", "safe", "clear" et cetera... The world still "thinks" in labels. we can be all "above that" and all, but in the end, that's how it still works... we all use "labels". I'm open to shedding them, certainly... but they're not gone yet.

 

And as you say: improve the world, start with yourself! (Or, as Mahatma Gandhi said it: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

When a Fundamentalist tells me, that he has chosen to believe, on faith alone, and that no evidence can possibly shake that belief -- I tend to take them at their word. 

Why? Is it your experience that you can pick and choose what to believe? In my experience, it simply does not work that way- and the science seems to back up my experience.

All the empirical evidence I have seen suggests that anyone claiming they chose to believe something is simply wrong. It further suggests that anyone who claims to be able to know whether or not they can be swayed by evidence is also wrong. The reason is simple: belief does not seem to be produced by a conscious, rational process, but rather by a subconscious process that is largely emotionally-driven.

 

Now, for the record, the agnostic "party line" does not welcome evidence. When we declare something "unknowable" we are saying that we arent going to bother to look at new evidence, because we have already decided that new evidence will not lead to new knowledge. And while not all self-described agnostics make the "unknowable" declaration, it has historically been a key component of the common definitions of the term. The whole "I don't know, but neither does anybody else" thing is not really an indicator of an open mind, in my opinion...

Edited by mererdog
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I remember Richard Bandler being told by a group of scientists that personality and behavour was fixed by the age of 5. Richard pulled out a gun and pointed it at the scientists and ask would this change your behaviour.  The point is many beliefs are held but changed when stress, trauma or cognative dissonance forces them to adapt and behaviour is reassessed and choices are made.

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34 minutes ago, RevBogovac said:

 

So it's just "easy", "safe", "clear" et cetera... The world still "thinks" in labels. we can be all "above that" and all, but in the end, that's how it still works... we all use "labels". I'm open to shedding them, certainly... but they're not gone yet.

 

And as you say: improve the world, start with yourself! (Or, as Mahatma Gandhi said it: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”)

 

 

Bravo!  I agree (with Mahatma)....and better understand the penchant use of labels 

in discussing religion a bit better.   It makes sense.    I can also better understand

why you chose a hybrid label....considering your reasoning that is a good choice

 

Thx. 

 

von

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18 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Why? Is it your experience that you can pick and choose what to believe? In my experience, it simply does not work that way- and the science seems to back up my experience.

All the empirical evidence I have seen suggests that anyone claiming they chose to believe something is simply wrong. It further suggests that anyone who claims to be able to know whether or not they can be swayed by evidence is also wrong. The reason is simple: belief does not seem to be produced by a conscious, rational process, but rather by a subconscious process that is largely emotionally-driven.

 

This is VERY interesting. 

So are you saying ( I have a decent command of the language but sometimes new ideas 

get stuck running thru my brain) - are we sort of wired to be believe as we do? 

(or since it might be emotional and or subconscious ...maybe HOTwired is a better choice

of words) 

 

THAT is a big newsflash to my brain.

 

von

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Pete said:

I remember Richard Bandler being told by a group of scientists that personality and behavour was fixed by the age of 5. Richard pulled out a gun and pointed it at the scientists and ask would this change your behaviour.  The point is many beliefs are held but changed when stress, trauma or cognative dissonance forces them to adapt and behaviour is reassessed and choices are made.

First a great laugh - as I DID NOT see the gun coming in that discussion. 

Thanks for that. 

 

Second - this entire idea that "how church makes us feel" sort of (I may not be getting this but if I am) it sure as

heck clears up (or starts to clear) up quite a bit of cloudiness in understanding all this. 

 

von

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2 hours ago, Pete said:

I am confused Dan. You say your put off by religion but at the same time defend it to the hilt. It is because your not open to anything but your religion.  So many conversations with you tell me your far from a free thinker. Every time we talk it always comes around to talking about your religion.  I just wanted to talk free from you defending your religion . It is the reason I have not been on the forum for a while.

 

When I say that I'm put-off by religion, I simply mean that I oppose Catholicism, Pentecostalism, etc.. I simply agree and believe with what Christ taught, and that doesn't need defending.. I don't know why that angers you? From my pov, whether a person loves what Christ taught or hates everything he stood for, doesn't make them closed minded. But I can understand why you think that a person who commits themselves to a certain belief, cannot be open minded.. Its kind of like getting married, after accepting and committing yourself to one woman, your no longer permitted to freely consider another one. So in that respect, I found what I was looking for, and am content.

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1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

are we sort of wired to be believe as we do? 

(or since it might be emotional and or subconscious ...maybe HOTwired is a better choice

of words)

Think about humor.

You don't make a decision to find things funny, you simply react to things, finding some things to be funny. Those reactions are largely shaped by your prior experiences, on a level well below the conscious- and also by the hormones that shape your mood. This is why we often laugh when we don't want to, or even when doing so is inconvenient or even dangerous. Belief seems to be very similar.

We don't seem to be wired to believe certain ways, our beliefs just seem to be more or less beyond our control. Something that happens to us rather than something we do. We "become convinced" rather than "deciding to be convinced." If this is true, it means it is as patently unfair to fault someone for a bad belief as it is to fault someone for having a broken leg. It also means that avoiding bad beliefs is reason to feel fortunate, not reason to brag.

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28 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Think about humor.

You don't make a decision to find things funny, you simply react to things, finding some things to be funny. Those reactions are largely shaped by your prior experiences, on a level well below the conscious- and also by the hormones that shape your mood. This is why we often laugh when we don't want to, or even when doing so is inconvenient or even dangerous. Belief seems to be very similar.

We don't seem to be wired to believe certain ways, our beliefs just seem to be more or less beyond our control. Something that happens to us rather than something we do. We "become convinced" rather than "deciding to be convinced." If this is true, it means it is as patently unfair to fault someone for a bad belief as it is to fault someone for having a broken leg. It also means that avoiding bad beliefs is reason to feel fortunate, not reason to brag.

EXCELLENT... totally new-to-me concept.... but amazingly rich... clears up more than a couple of issues I have pondered over for years ... btw.... REALLY good explanation 

 

Since I am currently enrolled at the university..and obviously did not get anywhere near these concepts my last two stints in college...would this fall into 

psychology ( I am lining up my course load for next semester) ( I am enjoying taking courses completely new to me)

 

I am dazzled with this concept 

thx 

von 

 

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40 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Think about humor.

You don't make a decision to find things funny, you simply react to things, finding some things to be funny. Those reactions are largely shaped by your prior experiences, on a level well below the conscious- and also by the hormones that shape your mood. This is why we often laugh when we don't want to, or even when doing so is inconvenient or even dangerous. Belief seems to be very similar.

We don't seem to be wired to believe certain ways, our beliefs just seem to be more or less beyond our control. Something that happens to us rather than something we do. We "become convinced" rather than "deciding to be convinced." If this is true, it means it is as patently unfair to fault someone for a bad belief as it is to fault someone for having a broken leg. It also means that avoiding bad beliefs is reason to feel fortunate, not reason to brag.

Seems we are moving to a free will dicussion.

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2 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

When I say that I'm put-off by religion, I simply mean that I oppose Catholicism, Pentecostalism, etc.. I simply agree and believe with what Christ taught, and that doesn't need defending.. I don't know why that angers you? 

Pete is articulate and needs no help from me... and I think wisely walked away.

 

I will address this only for myself.

 

i have long believed Jesus would not approve of many churches carrying his name.   They are not anywhere close to the message if Jesus.

 

Many people are hurt horribly by trust given to authority and they leave feeling betrayed.  (I am not referring to Pete or myself)... but it is real and damaging ( and not unique to Christianity)

 

your premise that the message of Christ 

needs no defense doesn't go too far with the multitudes who have lived thru atrocities brought upon them by the good bringers of Christ's message.

 

i served on the Board of a batted womens shelter for years... there were plenty of horrors inflicted in Christs name by clergy for example including ....their need to submit to the beatings... the rape within the confines of marriage as they had " no right" to deny their husband.... or to take the beatings cuz the deserved them.

 

You may not agree with one of those things.... however IS it that difficult to understand why your love of Christ might cause them a little angst?

 

You can say whatever you like but their experience with the representatives of Christ are going to face lots of distrust

 

talk is cheap

... I never get why people with labels do not see they will be viewed in terms of the least of their brothers... by people hurt lots of times in lots of ways ....As a Christian you are part of them and not speaking independently.... it defines your life decisions... your values

 

it might be be helpful to just accept that they were hurt and start there... you will always be judged by the other ....by THEIR understanding of your label

 

ONE Of MY " gay" friends ( only for quick reference I would never use that qualifier in real life) railed about people's response to him being gay.... I can't help but wonder why he felt the need to stick that into the mix.... he might NOT need to put that out there as the most important part of getting to know about him... then gripe because he got all the baggage that comes with that

Hope it helps in some way

von

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I will chat with Johnathan.  I do have an issue of conflict but this is difficult to talk about. Thanks everyone.  It is to do with grief and loved ones.

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I have known a lot of people who justified their racism with stories of how black people had done bad things in the past. Often, legitimate trauma had been intentionally inflicted upon them. But while the trauma explained their racism it could never justify it.

 

Being in pain does not justify inflicting pain upon others. Holding the innocent accountable for the misdeeds of the guilty is unreasonable, unfair, and unjust.

 

Religious intolerance and religious discrimination are ugly things. They help no one and harm many. It is important that this is stated clearly and in unequivocal terms.

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2 hours ago, VonNoble said:

...would this fall into 

psychology ( I am lining up my course load for next semester) ( I am enjoying taking courses completely new to me)

Part psychology and part neuroscience. It spills over into economics and computer science. A lot of disciplines are trying to get to the root of why we think the way we do.

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