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> Interview: Daniel Dennett's New Book, Dissecting God
Hey Hey
post Jun 13, 2006, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Jun 14, 02:35 AM) *

QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jun 13, 03:04 PM) *
....
Lindsay, what do you think to this idea of religion as an insidious notion that has somehow enabled its own replication through generations - i.e. a viral meme?
Before I respond I will need to know: What do you mean by "this idea of religion"?

Lindsay, essentially I mean as given in the Susan Blackmore quote:

... “copy-me” instruction backed up with threats and promises. Religions have a similar structure ...

Meaning the passing on from generation to generation like a meme (a unit replicator of cultural information). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme. The threats and promises are intended as an inducement to take up and pass on the religion(s).
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Lindsay
post Jun 14, 2006, 11:30 AM
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QUOTE
'Hey Hey' date='Jun 13, 07:25 PM'
Lindsay, essentially I mean as given in the Susan Blackmore quote:

... “copy-me” instruction backed up with threats and promises. Religions have a similar structure ...The threats and promises are intended as an inducement to take up and pass on the religion(s).
I have long suspected that there are spiritual (pneumatic) and/or mental genes--as I called them--in the same way as that there are physical genes.

However, IMO, spiritual genes need not necessarily be insidious--that is, wily, sly, crafty, trick, treacherous. Or do you disagree?

Furthermore, it seems to me that, spirituality, by its very nature enables us to stand outside ourselves, and see ourselves as others see us. It is possible for insidious people to repent--to rethink their behaviour, change their minds and/or spirits. It IS possible for people with sick souls/spirits to develop healthy ones. Is it not?

This is why I am a strong advocate of look at pneumatology, not just somatology and/or psychology. Holism requires an integrated approach to the human predicament. We must not allow the spirit of evil to keep us from all the sources of health. Keep in mind, our word 'devil' literally stands for that which divides us.
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Lindsay
post Jun 14, 2006, 12:11 PM
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BTW, have you read any of the stuff I have mentioned about PATHWAYS? I mention it here to add to what I said above.

BASED ON DOING GOOD DEEDS, NOT ON HAVING CORRECT CREEDS
Pathways is made up of a group of people who, while acknowledging the value of the great traditions of religions, and accept that many religions have done much that is good, are willing to take a critical and analytical look at what it means ot to be spiritual and religious in the 21st Century.

The experiment--and, IMO, this is what it is, an experiment, of which I am proud to be a part--continues. Two weeks ago, Pathways, which started on January 6, moved into its permanent quarters in the heart of old Unionville, Markham. For details, see our site:
http://www.pathwayschurch.ca/

MAP AND DIRECTIONS available at the site above.

Heritage Centre
17 Anna Russell Way
Markham, Ontario

Between Warden Ave. and Kennedy Rd. on Hwy. 7
From Toronto:
Follow Hwy 404 to Hwy 7 E. and continue for 5 km. Turn north at Eureka (hard to see) St. and turn left at Anna Russell Way.

IF YOU WANT AN OPIATE-KIND OF RELIGION , STAY AWAY
The "sermons" delivered by the Rev. Mary Joseph are...What can I say? Something else. They are not at all like the typically preachy-type of sermon delivered with a holy drone and designed to put listeners to sleep. They are truly interesting. Agree, or disagree with what she says, as a dynamic speaker, she knows how to communicate.

And the topics? They follow the prescribed lectionary readings from the Bible which are used in all Christian churches on any particjular Sunday. For next Sunday's Bible readings check out http://www.textweek.com/
But don't expect a dry reading of these texts. You will be truly surprised at the way she makes these texts, and her comments on them, relevant to living in the NOW.
Also, expect the opportunity to dialogue with her, and others, following her opening comments. Most of us get so involved in the discussion that we want the service to go on and on. The lively chatter continues at an informal reception following the "service".
===============================================================
And NOW for something COMPLETELY different: There is NO...I repeat, NO formal offering. I am smile smile.gif to report that this a real opportunity to have a cash-free spiritual feast, not just lunch.
===============================================================
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Rick
post Jun 14, 2006, 01:10 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jun 13, 04:04 PM) *

Rick's entry above reminded me of Susan Blackmore ... but without the academic standing. ...

Hey, Hey Hey, it's Oxford that granted her the PhD. How can you argue with that? You know what I like about her work? That she went into it trying to prove the existence of supernatural stuff and ended up proving the opposite. She advanced science enornously in doing so. Her conclusions, independent from my own, allow me additional confidence in my own philosophical positions.
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Hey Hey
post Jun 14, 2006, 05:26 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jun 14, 07:10 PM) *

Hey, Hey Hey, it's Oxford that granted her the PhD. How can you argue with that?

The details I posted:

PhD in Parapsychology, University of Surrey, 1980
Thesis entitled "Extrasensory Perception as a Cognitive Process"

were from her own CV.

In fact she gained a BA Hons in Psychology and Physiology from the University of Oxford, St Hilda’s College, 1973. I almost always find that those quoting BA Hons didn't do that well. Those that quote 1st class hons tend to have done better.
QUOTE(Rick @ Jun 14, 07:10 PM) *

That she went into it trying to prove the existence of supernatural stuff and ended up proving the opposite. She advanced science enornously in doing so. Her conclusions, independent from my own, allow me additional confidence in my own philosophical positions.

Took her long enough to become convinced. For example:

Society for Psychical Research (Member of Research Committee and Council member until 1996)
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (Fellow, and Member of Executive Committee until 1996)
Blackmore, S. and Hart-Davis, A. 1995 Test Your Psychic Powers London, Thorsons, ISBN 1-85538-441-8; and 1997 New York, Sterling, ISBN 0-8069-9669-2.
Blackmore, S. 1996 In Search of the Light: The Adventures of a Parapsychologist, Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, ISBN1-57392-061-4.
Blackmore, S. 1993 Dying to Live: Science and the Near Death Experience, London, Grafton, ISBN 0 586 09212 9 and Dying to Live: Near Death Experiences. Buffalo, N.Y., Prometheus, ISBN 087975 870 8
Blackmore, S. 1982/1992 Beyond the Body: An investigation into out-of-body experiences
1992 (with new postscript), Chicago, Academy Chicago, ISBN 0 89733 344 6. First published in 1982, London, Heinemann, ISBN 434 07470 5; and paperback 1983 London, Paladin, ISBN 0 586 08428 2. Translations
Blackmore, S. 1986 The Adventures of a Parapsychologist
Buffalo, New York, Prometheus, ISBN 0 87975 360 9
Blackmore, S. 1978 Parapsychology and out-of-the-body Experiences
1978, Society for Psychical Research, London; and Transpersonal Books, Hove, ISBN 0906326 01X
Blackmore,S.J. (2005) Out-of-body experiences. In Parapsychology: Research into Exceptional Experiences, Ed. J.Henry, London, Routledge, 188-195
Blackmore,S.J. (2005) Near-death experiences. In Parapsychology: Research into Exceptional Experiences, Ed. J.Henry, London, Routledge, 196-203
Blackmore, S.J. (2004) Extrasensory perception, Oxford Companion to the Mind, Ed. R.L. Gregory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 322-4
Blackmore, S.J. (2004) Out-of-body experience, Oxford Companion to the Mind, Ed. R.L. Gregory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 683-5
Blackmore, S.J. (2002) Near-death experiences: In or out of the body? In Joseph, R. (Ed) NeuroTheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience, University Press, California, 361-369 (reprinted from Skeptical Inquirer 1991)
See also a note on NeuroTheology.
Blackmore, S.J. (2002) Near-death experiences. In M. Shermer (Ed) The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Santa Barbara, CA., ABC-Clio, 152-157
Blackmore, S.J. (2002) Out-of-body experiences. In M. Shermer (Ed) The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Santa Barbara, CA., ABC-Clio, 164-169
Blackmore,S.J. (2001) Ectoplasm. In C.Blakemore and S. Jennett (Eds) Oxford Companion to the Body, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 236
Blackmore,S.J. (2001) Near-death experiences. In C.Blakemore and S. Jennett (Eds) Oxford Companion to the Body, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 491-492
Blackmore,S.J. 1999 Some advice on questionnaire research. In A Brief Manual for Work in Parapsychology, NY, Parapsychology Foundation, 67-82 (reprint of 1985b)
Blackmore,S.J. 1998 Psychic experiences: psychic illusions. In Frazier,K. (Ed) Encounters with the Paranormal: Science, Knowledge and Belief, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY. 201-211 (reprint of article in Skeptical Inquirer 1992)
Blackmore,S.J. 1998 Near-death experiences. In Frazier,K. (Ed) Encounters with the Paranormal: Science, Knowledge and Belief, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY. 273-284 (reprint of article in Skeptical Inquirer 1991)
Blackmore,S.J. 1998 Lucid dreams. In Frazier,K. (Ed) Encounters with the Paranormal: Science, Knowledge and Belief, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY. 285-293 (reprint of 1991)
Blackmore,S.J. 1996 Out-of-body Experiences. In Encyclopedia of the Paranormal, Ed. G. Stein, Buffalo, N.Y. Prometheus. 471-483
Blackmore,S.J. 1996 Near-death Experiences: In or out of the body?The Near-Death Experience: A Reader, Ed. L.W.Bailey and J.Yates, New York and London, Routledge. 281-297 (reprint of Blackmore,S.J. 1991)
Blackmore,S.J. 1996 Near-Death Experiences.In Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Ed. G. Stein, Buffalo, N.Y. Prometheus. 425-441
Blackmore,S.J. 1996 Beinahe tot. (translation of 1991d) Der Hundertste Affe, Ed. G. von Randow, Hamburg, Rowohlt
Blackmore,S.J. 1995 Parapsychology. In Controversies in Psychology, London, Longman Essential Psychology, 1-20 (reprint of 1994).
Blackmore,S.J. 1994 Women skeptics. In L.Coly and R.A.White (Eds), Women and Parapsychology N.Y. Parapsychology Foundation, 234-236.
Blackmore,S.J. 1994 Are women more sheepish?: Gender differences in belief in the paranormal. In L.Coly and R.A.White (Eds) Women and Parapsychology N.Y. Parapsychology Foundation, 68-89.
Blackmore,S.J. 1994 The lure of the paranormal. In: Taking Sides: Clashing views on controversial psychological issues. 8th edition. Ed. B.Slife. Guilford, Conn; Dushkin (1994) (Reprint of 1990b)
Blackmore,S.J. 1994 Parapsychology. In: Companion Encyclopedia of Psychology, Ed. A. Colman, London, Routledge. 971-990 (1994)
Blackmore,S.J. 1993 Psychische Illusionene. In Mein Paranormales Fahrrad und andere Anlasse zur Skepsis, entdeckt im "Skeptical Inquirer" Ed. G. von Randow. Hamburg; Rowohlt. 1993, 131-139 (reprint of 1992b)
Blackmore,S.J. 1993 Beinahe Tot. In Mein Paranormales Fahrrad und andere Anlasse zur Skepsis, entdeckt im "Skeptical Inquirer" Ed. G. von Randow. Hamburg; Rowohlt. 1993, 115-129 (reprint of 1991d)
Blackmore,S.J. 1992 Det flygtige abne sind: Ti ars negativ forskning i parapsykologi. In: Er Der Mere Mellem Himmel og Jord? Ed. I Ulbaek and L.P.Jepsen, Copenhagen, Gyldendal 105-120, 1992, (reprint of 1987c)
Blackmore,S.J. 1991 The Elusive Open Mind. In: The Hundredth Monkey and other Paradigms of the Paranormal Ed. K.Frazier Buffalo, NY Prometheus 1991 125-135 (Reprint of 1987c)
Blackmore,S.J. 1991 Beyond the Self: The Escape from Reincarnation. In: Buddhism and Psychology In Reincarnation: Fact or Fable? Ed. Berger,A.S. and Berger,J. Aquarian 1991 117-129
Blackmore,S.J. 1990 The lure of the paranormal. In Het Paranormale ter Discussie Utrecht, Studium Generale van de Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht, (Reprint of 1990b)
Blackmore,S.J. 1990 Minds, Brains and Death. In: Frontiers of Science Ed. A.Scott Oxford, Basil Blackwell 1990 36-49
Blackmore,S.J. 1990 Mental Models and Mystical Experience. In: Space in Mind Ed. J.Crook and D.Fontana, Shaftesbury, Dorset, Element 1990 66-75
Blackmore,S.J. 1989 Confessions of a Parapsychologist. In: The Fringes of Reason Ed. T.Schultz New York, Harmony 1989 70-74

Then:

Blackmore,S.J. (2001) Why I have given up. In P. Kurtz (Ed) Skeptical Odysseys: Personal Accounts by the World’s Leading Paranormal Inquirers, Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, 85-94

And, of course, there were several thousand papers that she must have read by other authors on similar topics.

I think what irritates me about her is that she has gone from a short mediocre academic career in a pseudoscientific area straight to a media-related position, on the backs of people who really know what they are talking about, such as Richard Dawkins, David Chalmers, Richard Brodie and Roger Penrose. She seems to have a great distance from Richard Dawkins in terms of intellect and understanding of philosophy (of course he IS from Oxford [hee, hee]). Dawkins actual academic role is to act as an ambassador for science on behalf of Oxford University and not to act as some weirdo converted parapsycologist who couldn't cut it in academia. I think she would be more at home with Zandra Rhodes than science.

Attached Image to Attached Image to Attached Image as media involvement expanded.

But I'm willing to watch her proceed and see if she can manage to include some real science of her own rather than simply "present" the work of others in the future.
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Rick
post Jun 14, 2006, 05:39 PM
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Did Albert Einstein graduate with first class honors?

"Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (Fellow, and Member of Executive Committee until 1996)": CSICOP is anti-paranormal. The Amazing Randi (debunker of magic) is a member. I used to take their newsletter.

Also, "Blackmore,S.J. 1989 Confessions of a Parapsychologist. In: The Fringes of Reason Ed. T.Schultz New York, Harmony 1989 70-74" seems to be summing up of the reversal. You have to give her credit for integrity for reversing 1989-1973=16 years of research in the paranormal.

Also consider how many mainstream scientists believe in the supernatural (God). Too many. I think Sue Blackmore's overall contribution is beneficial to society.
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Guest
post Jun 14, 2006, 09:39 PM
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"Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind."

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

Albert Einstein
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Hey Hey
post Jun 14, 2006, 10:42 PM
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See Rick, that's what comes of not getting a 1st!

But I do like the second line you cite, Guest.
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Lindsay
post Jun 15, 2006, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE(Guest @ Jun 14, 06:39 PM) *

..."The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."...Albert Einstein
Ya, HH, I like that, too.
===================
In my Boomer chat room, just today, I had the following duel with an atheist. He loves getting on my case, and I enjoy his doing so.:
QUOTE
lgk....I'm sure I'm not the only one here that is fed up with you constantly...
To which I responded:

And [ Here I go bragging again! laugh. laugh.gif ] Dennis, you are not the only one, here, thank GØD! constantly reading my stuff....Just Joe King...[As the last of five brothers, I do this, every now and then...I am sure he doen't mind...in memory of my late, and oldest, brother. If he had lived, he would be 100 years old. There were, also, three sisters. My youngest sister, 75, is still around. But, who cares? Eh?]

BTW, I apologize that you find my presence, here--and my pension, and what you say I imply--offensive. Is that my problem? If so, what should I do about my addiction to writng, to living well, and to bragging? smile.gif
=====================================
THE PRINCIPLE OF CERTAINTY OF MYSTERY
But seriously: In what way does what we believe actually affect how we behave? If it makes no difference, why bother? BTW, way back, when I believed in God in the traditional sense of the word, I often said that I believed, in God, but that I had my doubts. And I often said so in my sermons. But then I went on to make the appeal to faith--an appeal often used, even here--which was, and still is, acceptable in the traditional religions, which I most certainly respect, including those who, sincerely, think this way. Interestingly, as long as one says, "I believe..." not any church I know of will throw anyone out. Church authorities love sinners, especially repententant ones. It is people who want to think for themselves that most churches don't particularly want around. What I LOVE about Pathways, the new fellowship to which I belong, is: No one there is telling anyone what to think.

BEYOND BELIEF
But in recent years--and I speak only for me--I have become--like Carl Jung and others have witnessed--as certain of the presence of GØD as I am of the mystery of life and existence itself. I respect those who depend on faith like I once did, but what a joy it is to be free from doubt! Again, I speak only for me. Please think for yourself.

Keep in mind, I readily admit that my interest in science--and particularly the science of particle physics--has helped here. And this is why--and I apologize if what I say, next, offends anyone--this is why I just had to come up with this odd way of symbolizing the principle of the certainty of mystery. I now understand why Orthodox Jews use the symbol 'G-d' to express what I think is the same concept, and I thank them for this. And I do not require that they must use GØD, roll over, bark, and/or become born-again Christians. I say the same thing to atheists, agnostics, whoever.

Perhaps this certainty of the reality of existence--whether it be conscious, unconscious, superconscious, whatever it is--is what motivates loving, positive, moral and ethical atheists to be...Well, I will let any loving, moral and ethical atheists, who may be reading this stuff, to speak for themselves and their behaviour.

However, I find it difficult to imagine that atheists can bring themselves to be certain that existence is one big accidental and practical joke. But then, who knows for certain what some human beings are capable of...? When it comes to understanding the full nature of human nature, here I remain uncertain and fallible. I readily admit: Only GØD is...infallible?
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rhymer
post Jun 15, 2006, 05:47 AM
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Hello Lindsay,

I am very surprised that you write, "In what way does what we believe actually affect how we behave"?

That which follows belief is sometimes action to demonstrate or relieve concerns caused by such belief !!!!

What about Terrorists of a fundamental nature who practice their beliefs ?????

Having Faith can be one of the most dangerous activities of human beings.

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Lindsay
post Jun 15, 2006, 10:04 AM
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QUOTE(rhymer @ Jun 15, 02:47 AM) *

......Having Faith can be one of the most dangerous activities of human beings.
You are right, of course! Hitler had lots of faith--arrogant, stupid, immoral, unethical and blind faith. He and most of the "Christian" chaplains of his armed forces were very, very, wrong. They also had faith in the wrong God--the god with too much baggage.

Perhaps, now people will realize why I am distancing myself from this kind of dumb faith and using the very different nomenclature, GØD, to refer to the highest and best one can imagine.
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Rick
post Jun 15, 2006, 12:25 PM
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At last we put our finger on the real problem: worshiping the wrong god! To be sure one never does that, don't worship gods!
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Hey Hey
post Jun 15, 2006, 01:41 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Jun 13, 06:27 AM) *

World Book Dictionary points ot that 'worthship' is actually a contraction of 'worth' and 'ship'. Makes sense to

QUOTE(Rick @ Jun 15, 06:25 PM) *

To be sure one never does that, don't worhip gods!

Come on now Rick, we can't go on contracting worth and ship forever! wink.gif
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Hey Hey
post Jun 15, 2006, 01:45 PM
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious praise, honour, or devotion, typically directed to a supernatural being such as a god or goddess. It is the informal term in English for what sociologists of religion call cultus, the body of practices and traditions that correspond to theology.

I think we all know what religious worship means. I hold with my previous statement that worship devalues humans.
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Rick
post Jun 15, 2006, 01:59 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jun 15, 11:41 AM) *
Come on now Rick, we can't go on contracting worth and ship forever! wink.gif

Yeah, like you've never made a typo.
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Hey Hey
post Jun 15, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Who me? Cheek! (Hee Hee).
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Lindsay
post Jun 15, 2006, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE
'Lindsay' date='Jun 15, 07:04 AM' post='66179'] Revised version:
Obviously, Hitler was in touch with the wrong god. So were most of the so-called "Christian" Protestant and Catholic chaplains of his armed forces. All were very, very, wrong. It is, also, apparent that they had faith in the wrong God. This is the kind of god I have in mind when I speak of God as having, "too much baggage".

To those who believe that God is a personal being, who hears and answers our personal prayers, I ask: How come He failed to get in touch with Hitler and the chaplains of his armed forces and tell them how wrong they were? Why was he silent?

Perhaps, now people will realize why I am distancing myself from this dumb kind of faith. This why I use this very new and different nomenclature, GØD, to refer to the highest and best one can imagine.

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Guest
post Jun 16, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Lindsay,
When You speak of God as having "too much baggage", when You say G-D, do You understand the deeper implication, the deeper meaning of the difference ?
Do You understand that Reality is vibration, the world of sounds in which each sound, each vibration, has its significance ?
That sound is the language which communicates physical, psychic and spiritual energy ? That each sound is the vibratory counterpart of a transcendental significance on the physical plane ?
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Lindsay
post Jun 16, 2006, 11:15 AM
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QUOTE(Guest @ Jun 16, 06:44 AM) *

Lindsay,
When You speak of God as having "too much baggage", when You say G-D, do You understand the deeper implication, the deeper meaning of the difference?...
Tell us more. But keep in mind, I use, GØD, not G-D. Perhaps I should also speak of the GØD principle.

BTW, for me, using this method solves the gender problem surroounding the writing of the divine name. For example, when I want write a pronoun for GØD, instead of referring to He/She, I can use G.
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post Jun 17, 2006, 07:16 AM
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GOD
G -- Generator
O -- Operator
D -- Destructor
The same as TRIMURTI: Brahm-Vishnu-Shiva
Brahm -- Generator
Vishnu -- Operator
Shiva -- Destructor

The triple principle -- three in one, like in Trinity

As to the significance and creative power of sounds ... this is beyond the causal plane ...

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Lindsay
post Jun 18, 2006, 09:51 PM
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INteresting essay questioning Dennett's book:
=================================
http://www.stnews.org/books-2847.htm

The spell of the meme: Dennett just doesn’t get it

Alister McGrath says Dennett’s Breaking the Spell doesn’t understand religion — never mind explain it

By Alister McGrath
(June 2, 2006)

The first point that got me nodding in agreement comes very early in Breaking the Spell, the new book by Daniel C. Dennett: People sometimes get defensive about religion.

Religious people often get the most defensive when challenged about the basis of their beliefs, which hinders any serious debate about the nature of their faith, Dennett says. I know what he means. The issue, I suspect, is that a challenge to faith often threatens to pull the rug from under the values and beliefs that have sustained someone’s life. But this is a general problem with any significant worldview, not just religion.

I gave a lecture last year on the religious views of Richard Dawkins, England’s best-known atheist. It was pretty standard stuff. I simply demonstrated how Dawkins’ atheism was not adequately grounded in argument or evidence and represented a highly skewed reading of the natural sciences. Afterward, I was confronted by an angry man who told me that I had destroyed his faith. His atheism rested on the authority of Dawkins. Now, part of me felt that this was just too bad and he ought to be more critical about evaluating evidence. But another part of me noted that some beliefs — not all, but some — matter so much to us that we base our lives upon them. We all need to examine our beliefs, especially if we are naive enough to think that we don’t have any. [And there is more...]

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Lindsay
post Jun 19, 2006, 04:21 PM
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God
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HERE IS A DIALOGUE I HAD, RECENTLY, WITH AN ATHEIST
================================================
BTW, guests and atheists: I would like to know which atheist, or guest, is which. IMO, for me, it would help a lot if "guests" and "atheists" would at least give themselves a number so that I would have some idea who is saying what. Is this not a reasonable request?

At this point, does anyone even know the answer to: How many guests, or how many atheists, do we really have in this forum?
Hey, if you don't like a number system, why not give the name of your town. As an example of this, I am going to dub the atheist of the following quote as, Atheist da Vinci, who writes
QUOTE(atheist @ Jun 19 2006, 11:11 AM)

I have no idea why you need to add god to your experience of living. It adds nothing that I can see.
*


Dear A da V: I can understand why you want to avoid adding "god" to your experience of living because I also avoid adding "god". Nowhere do I say that "god is as real as your next breath."

What I am "really saying" is: GØD, not a god, is as real, for me, as my next breath. You say
QUOTE
It doesn't make any sense to me, but then most religionists don't make sense to me.
and then you say to me
QUOTE
You say you don't believe in a god separate from the universe.
That is correct. But keep in mind: I don't even believe in GØD. Let me explain.

Instead, I say that I know and experience GØD--as did Carl Jung, by the way--now, as the total and universal, all-encompassing universe--physically, mentally and spiritually speaking.

GØD, as the absolute and the relative, can be rejected, but G cannot be logically denied. If a fish had consciousness could it deny that it exists and lives within water? If a bird had consciousness could it reject that it exists and is surrounded by air? similarly, how can I deny that I exist within GØD--totality? A da V: You add:
QUOTE
In other words you have, again for a reason not known to me, restated the universe as god. I see no need to do so. Whatever it is I get to know about the universe it is about the universe I am learning and not some kind of add on thingee you call god.
GØD, like your "universe" is NOT an "add on thingee". BTW, do I understand that you do you see the universe as total universal and all-encompassing (TUAE) to which nothing can be added that isn't already there? If you do, I do not care that you call it the "universe". Go on calling IT the "universe", if that makes you feel more comfortable. Meanwhile, will you allow me to call it GØD? If not, why not?

You add
QUOTE
I can breathe without having to believe in a god.
So can I. However, I KNOW that my body WILL die, physically, if I fail, for any number of reasons, to take my next breath. I take that breath within what I call GØD.

GØD AND THE FUTURE
Now where does faith come in? In partnership with hope and love--very important human qualities--it has to do with the future. I am very curious about what will happen, after I take my last breath, which, for sure, I will...and I am fairly certain, we all will...one day.

BTW, I do not fear death, but I sure do respect the reality of the fact and that it is coming. I have no proof, yet, so I say: I believe that there is life after death. I am, also, fairly certain that, if there is no life beyond that last breath, none of us will ever know. Will we?

However, if there IS life beyond the last breath of physical life, think of the fun those of us who made the right guess will have with those who made the wrong one.

Incidentally, I do not believe in GØD as one who takes revenge by sending questioners to hell. All questioners will probably have to spend a long time in some monastery smile.gif For me, life after death will be, I think, simply another opportunity to get on with the kind of life I am trying to live, in the now. Currently, I am with those who say: We create our own heavens and hells.

You go on
QUOTE
I can learn without having to believe in god. I can wonder without having to believe in god. I can be a decent person without having to believe in god. I can have a meaningful and purposeful life without having to believe in god. The god hypothesis as stated by king would add nothing at to my life, beyond a different word to name experience.
I agree.

QUOTE
BTW, am I the only one who sees how absurd...Proof? Forget it. It all comes down to personal experience.
says Atheist da Vinci

I see nothing absurd about you saying that you experience the "universe" as the ultimate reality? If this is what you are saying. Is it? If not, what is the ultimate reality, for you?

Meanwhile, I see nothing absurd about have two different words for the one and the same ultimate reality. Some writers, for example, use cosmos and universe interchangeably, don't they? I like to call what is ultimately real, for me, GØD. If you prefer universe, go ahead.
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