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Posts posted by scottedward

  1. On 4/22/2018 at 6:50 PM, Geordon said:

    I'm in the process of reading his Universal Life in the 21st Century right now and I can only say that more than a few ULC ministers these days would call him a heretic and are about as far from his vision as can be.


    He was not well educated, and that comes through in this book, though he was a leader (though unrecognized) in the realm of spiritual evolution... And more than a few ministers of the ULC probably don't even realize it.



    I wonder who you think would call him a heretic, and in what context.  Am I supposed to read the book to find out?

  2. On 9/13/2017 at 8:59 AM, VonNoble said:

    Every human at some point has learned the value of cooperation.

    Each by adulthood has also endured more than a few misunderstandings. 


    OFTEN these are simple communication errors. 

    We thought they said this or that - and we heard it incorrectly.


    THEY intended something completely different than our conclusion. 

    WE did not communicate our idea clearly.


    Both sides did not ask enough questions. 

    Both sides jumped to conclusions. 


    IF any or even most of that is true - why is it we spend so little time 

    cultivating communications skills?    Why do we not incorporate that

    as part of everyone's formal education?   How do parents better their

    own skills in order to teach their children?  How DO they teach such

    things to kids?    Without some formal "learning" in this area how do we

    get feedback to know if we are effective as the sender or the receiver?


    Hummmmm......I need to work on this even though I HAVE HAD the 

    benefit of formal training.


    Did we lose something when we stopped having some old school, boring, 

    social conventions?    Like how do we all agree introductions should

    take place?   How do we interact (a bit more formally) in the first

    few minutes of a conversation?  Did polite society have some conventions

    that had worth we are now lacking?


    Pick and choose on this seems worthy of discussion to me. 




    I think (or believe) our communication problems begin in the United States with capitalism. Too many parents work too long and too hard to care for families they allow X-Box to babysit for them.  I think a national educational system is preferable to state run, since states often go broke, and yet our nation is the richest country in the world.

  3. On 2/7/2017 at 9:34 AM, mererdog said:

    My opinions on this subject are inextricably linked to my pacifism, so I suppose I should start there...

    First, it is important to understand that I did not decide to become a pacifist. I was not persuaded to the position by evidence or argument. I simply came to a point where I had to acknowledge a truth about myself, namely that whenever I intentionally try to harm someone I end up feeling guilty about it. Unraveling the is/ought knot in the back of my head, I realized that, regardless of what reason might tell me I should believe, I was handicapping myself if I failed to be honest about what I actually believed. And my reactions make it clear that I believe violence to be unjustifiable.
    On the one hand, my pacifism prevents me from being anyone's enemy, because there is no one I really wish to harm. On the other hand, my pacifism limits my problem-solving options when dealing with those who would act as my enemy. It isn't that I love my enemy, just that I want to keep my commitment to do only right, even if everyone else seems to be doing wrong.
    So that's basically where I am on the subject. I have no scripture that I fall back on and no authority I look to for guidance. I'm just trying to use my conscience as a guide. But we all do things differently, which brings me to some questions for everyone....
    How do you handle enemies? Why do you do that? Do you think it is the right way to do it? Have you given it much thought?

    Enemies begin through difference of opinion, does it not?

  4. On 6/24/2017 at 8:16 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    Persuading people that religion is not important --  at least, not worth fighting over --  might be a hard sell.  People who have the one true God, and the one true path, and the one true Scripture, don't like to compromise.  


    On 6/24/2017 at 8:53 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    There is one other problem.  If "we" have the "true" path -- then "they" must have a "false" path.  It's a built in binary.  




    I wouldn't think to argue either point.  :D

  5. On 3/25/2017 at 7:45 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    I think this is a simple enough impulse.  The followers of each path want to feel Special and Unique and part of the Elite.  Just like everybody else.  If the others are calling their path religion -- the special path needs to be understood differently.  As in, the chosen.  Of course, they choose themselves.


     I think it is the wish of others to feel special, unique, or of the elite that causes about 96% of the world's problems (as relating to religious intolerance or disagreements)


    If nobody cared what others believed, we'd have less cause to fight over it.

  6. 47 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

    I agree in the sense that a person should always wonder, always ponder, and always question what's true.  I'm not skeptical about what I've chosen to believe, but its healthy to always wonder, because we stop learning when we stop questioning. Skepticism is what we're left with at the end of our knowledge, and growth stops where the facts end. 

    However, is it a healthy practice to deliberately voice rejection or disbelief when none of it can be proved, regardless?  There's a difference between constructive feedback (even from a non-believer) and blatant negativity. Regardless of what was really meant, telling an atheist they believe in 'nothing' usually doesn't end with flowers, children, rainbows, and happy puppies belching sunshine.

  7. 7 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    In the best of all possible worlds, it would be enough.  I find that when I am open minded in an exchange, I am often the only open minded one present.  Just for one example, since we are using Dan as an example -- I have lost all track of the times that Dan has insisted that "Atheists believe in nothing."  I know.  It's small of me.  I lose equanimity.

    I don't think it small, and Dan can rub a few people the wrong way. He has that gift.
    I might have been one of them, but I can't honestly recall. Here's the thing. A person 100% secure with their convictions shouldn't need to debate whether or not the belief of others is true. If they're belief is absolute in their minds and heart, they'd feel secure enough to have room for additional ideas. They'd be comfortable discussing other beliefs without verbally expressing their skepticism.      

  8. On 4/8/2017 at 6:35 PM, cuchulain said:

    So I have explored the topic of extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims.  I decided maybe a touch on levels of belief.  Do different things require different levels of belief?  Dan would say he is wholeheartedly Christian, and I would probably agree with that assessment even though it really isn't my place to tell him whether he is or not.  It seems to me that that particular level of belief is very strong.  If my kid came home from school and told me he had been in a fight that the other kid started entirely, I would investigate.  Not that I would immediately disbelieve my kid, he's usually pretty honest with me so far as I can tell, but there are some things that it just seems like you investigate a little more.  I guess that would be middling belief?  Then there are claims that are just so far fetched as to be ludicrous on the face of it.  I was in jail one time with a guy.  He had a different story about everything.  He was a ninja.  Said so himself.  Now that's one of those that I just straight out didn't believe.  

    I guess with this topic I am looking into insights into what people might believe, and why, and what level of belief there is.  I mean, some things just aren't worth pursuing for proof, like if I said I had a peanut butter sandwich I doubt many people would choose to quibble about it, although they might.  But what general level of belief would there be in something like that, that wasn't investigated further to prove?  Middling, low, strong?  Non existent even?  I hear occasionally that I just "need to believe"...but do I really?  And what level of belief should I have?  If someone tells me that Zeus sometimes wanders around Earth in disguise and he takes vengeance on those who displease him, but often grants a boon to those who he likes, why should I just believe that?  I mean, it's well documented from ancient sources after all.  It's written down, and it's not like anyone can come along and prove otherwise....on the same note, someone tells me I need to believe in Jesus, he's coming back and burning his enemies in hell and the only way to righteousness is by following him.  Again, it's well documented, it's written down in ancient sources, and nobody can come along and prove otherwise, right?  Both stories, they are along the same lines with the exception that one was believed while the other wasn't.  What's the real difference though?

    I know that others believe what they claim. Shouldn't that be enough?

  9. On 3/31/2017 at 7:44 PM, Rev. Calli said:

    Greetings to you my brother,

    While I do believe that there are many valid ways to seek a relationship with God, I am very weary of any religious system that finds the need to trademark their scriptures and keep their core beliefs hidden from all but those who can afford to pay for the privilege of being enlightened.

    In Solidarity,

    Rev. Calli

    i agree with you. It very much seems to me that the church of Scientology has become a money-making machine, and I've very little patience for any practice that utilizes belief to make a profit. 

  10. 5 hours ago, mererdog said:

    Hey, sorry, but I missed your response before.  

    I do not disagree with your point here, but my feeling is that there is a difference of scope, even if not of type. I would say that Scientology and Mormonism are in a league all their own on this one. The number of conspiracy theories surrounding just those two groups is kind of insane. The only other organization that really compares is Freemasonry.

    I'm not entirely sure if the differences of scope or type should matter, if any of us are able to question motives. 

  11. On 3/29/2017 at 3:58 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    That is true.  Meditation is an excellent practice.  I participate myself.  However, that is not what I was refering to.

    Transcendental Meditation is pushed as a secular practice.  To not see the religious elements, including an initiation ceremony, for what they are requires willful blindness.

    I don't have an issue with Vedic  religious meditation.  It works and works well.  People who want help for their blood preassure are getting it.  However -- False advertising bothers me.  Deceit bothers me.  BS bothers me.  TM is truly full of it.

    In life, remaining positive and both avoiding and limiting exposure to willful deceit is a good thing, regardless of what our practices might be.  I'd avoid it all together if it bothers you so deeply.

  12. 8 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    It had nothing to do with my High School.  I mention this only to place the incident in time.  They had street corner people handing out "invitations" to an auditing.  I accepted to see what they were about.  I came, I saw, I walked out shaking.  

    No involvement.

    In my misbegotten youth, I also attended the public lectures of the Unification Church.  Also not what you would call involvement.  I sized them up and decided that they were crazy.

    I also investigated the Jews for Jesus.  There are amazing things in New York City.

    And the Process Church of the Final Judgement.

    And the Hare Krishna people - ISCKCON - International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

    I came by my Atheism honestly.  Yes.  I know.  Not the point.

    Nope, but I appreciate the necessary clarification. 
    The depth with which you've looked into various religions should be admired.

    • Like 1
  13. 1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    Not disdain.  At least, not my disdain.  My fear.  They discomfort me as few things have.

    The first time I encountered them, I was in High School.  They suggested I take an introductory class.  I declined.  I was sent to a supervisor for persuading.  Then on to his supervisor.  And on for a few more layers.  There was something wrong with their eyes.  Something behind their eyes.  Every step up the ladder, that something wrong with their eyes was worse.  It was very creepy.  I have not been back.  All those years, the memory lingers.

    We speak lightly about eyes being the windows of the soul.  When I encounter true madness, it's not funny.  Just scary.  

    You weren't a legal adult in high school, so how did the school push you into seeing a Scientology supervisor, or attend their introductory class without peeving off your parents? I apologize, but you're not making any sense. I don't think you could have gone so deeply into the church or their organization without being taken in at least partly? 

    Regardless, it wasn't the Church of Scientology I was wishing to acknowledge. It was its followers that have since been discarded.

  14. 24 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    Over the years, I have looked briefly into Scientology.  I mean briefly.  They have always creeped me out.  I have always wanted to go home and take a shower.

    That's understandable.
    While I feel the same way, i don't think it's about the religion.  I've never practiced, so I won't pretend I understand it.  I think the primary source of disdain that we feel should be more for the church and the way it's treated its followers.

  15. 56 minutes ago, mererdog said:

    I suggest Googling the term "suppressive person" if you want to know more... 

    Personally, I take everything I hear about Scientology with a grain of salt or fifty. Their church has both a lot of secrecy and a lot of enemies. That leaves a lot of room for slander against it, but also a lot of room in the closet for skeletons.

    You just described most of our religions.