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  1. #31
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    I wonder if monotheistic religions with their elaborate and unambiguous stories were created by the first schizophrenics (most likely schizotypal for they can still be talked to) who claimed that they had seen the true path, the true deity, or the true enlightenment. Polytheistic religions seem to have arisen from a more sane perspective of naming deities that reign over certain things, such as Zeus and Thor's wrath/anger for lightning and thunder. However, pagan and polytheistic myths are just as assuming as their monotheistic counterparts. I would honestly prefer religions that were ambiguous and abstract rather than direct and concrete. For example, Christianity versus Judaism. Christianity is known for being an imposing religion, one that teaches its followers of the history of the world based on the perspective of a text that is deemed concrete, undoubtedly accurate, and paramount to society. Judaism on the other hand, actually encourages its followers to ask questions. For example, if a student of Judaism were to show his or her Rabbi a differing thesis on the plagues of Egypt, such as a volcanic eruption being the cause of the various plagues rather than God directly, the Rabbi would most likely agree with the student and conclude that perhaps (ambiguously) God caused the volcano to erupt to create the plagues of Egypt. Juxtaposing the Christian counterpart which is more inclined to debase external theorems rather than mold their framework to accept them (Not all Christians do this, but a majority do, and not all Jews conform to external information but a majority do).
    And yes, it was Israeli archeologists who discovered there were no Jews in Egypt under the Pharoh and that the Exodus didn't occur.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Cop out. You should be able to explain why you believe in god and why it's ok to do so. You don't need to have all the answers to do this. You're basically saying, "yes, I see the appearance of tyranny and astounding injustice, but god knows better than me." The question is, why are you afraid to demand answers? You have the ability to reason. You don't just have to fatalistically say "I don't know" and passively watch this world be an awful shit hole. How can you be expected to believe without proof? Why should you have to suffer without a decent explanation for it, especially when it appears to be so unnecessary? I mean, can you explain why god wouldn't just create heaven and populate it with people to live a joyous existence? Don't you think you have the right to ask that sort of question? But you believe god went ahead and created us with the capacity for evil so some of us would wind up in hell forever. Nice god.
    I don't work in the bitter cold under these demanding conditions. May I have a pretty please with cherries on top?

  3. #33
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny-Love View Post
    I don't work in the bitter cold under these demanding conditions. May I have a pretty please with cherries on top?
    Hey if you can give me one good reason to believe in god I'll give you all the cherries you want.

    Even more snappy edit: Or will god give you all the cherries you want? You aren't Islamic are you?

  4. #34
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    And yes, it was Israeli archeologists who discovered there were no Jews in Egypt under the Pharoh and that the Exodus didn't occur.
    Did I miss a post or something? I didn't mention the Jews never being in Egypt, but nevertheless you have intrigued me, where did you find this information?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    Did I miss a post or something? I didn't mention the Jews never being in Egypt, but nevertheless you have intrigued me, where did you find this information?
    The Israeli archeologists went public some years ago and it was published in The Australian newspaper.

    Of course it was a great tribute to the intellectual integrity of the Israeli archeologists as the Exodus forms one of the pillars of Judaism.

  6. #36
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    No atheists in foxholes, so it's been said.

    Ranger friend of mine told me there were no atheists in his unit, and if there were, it didn't show in pre-mission prayer.

    The propensity for religious experience is hardwired in all; the energy diverted from such experience in the mind of a more 'rational' type does not simply disappear, it manifests itself as a wide range of aberrations.

    Misoneism is a neat subject, something I may have odds with myself.

  7. #37
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Perhaps it is time to do a 180 here. This religious feeling @superunknown speaks of, I feel tonight as I sit alone and ponder the coming singularity. Story time.........

    ~~~

    It was a summer night in 2008. I was a curious 22 year old chemistry enthusiast, and being aware that the active ingredient in robitussin, dextromethorphan, could cause hallucinations, I went and got some and consumed the whole bottle. Then I smoked some weed, turned out the lights, and closed my eyes.

    What happened next was definitely the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. If you've never been nuked on a psychedelic before, you have no capacity to comprehend a statement like that, but it's true. The birth of my first child will not compare to this experience--not even close.

    The visions of the incident are jumbled to me now. I can't remember anything I saw, because as I came up on the drug, I began to see things that must have come from an alien world or the future or something. Incomprehensible shapes, colors, and foreign objects passed through my field of vision. It began to occur to me that these visions must have been getting transmitted to me from some force beyond myself, because they were things I simply could never have thought of on my own.

    A booming voice began to speak. The only thing I remember it saying was "RANDOM" over and over. In the face of this vast force, I found myself screaming in awe and terror. Uncontrollably. I found myself on my knees with my head pressed to the ground in submission, surrender; I'll do anything you want! I'll do anything you waaaaaaaaaaant!!!!!!!!

    It was scary, yes, but I trusted this force, and I let go of everything--my life-- in that moment. Suddenly the intensity ceased and unspeakable vastness remained. I was no longer a person, with a name and an age and a sex. I had expanded to the size of darkness.

    And I can remember no more. All I can say is that it was like being given a tour of the universe. I reckon the first part was perhaps the only part I was supposed to remember. The rest were secrets for the dead. As the drug wore off an hour or two later, I envisioned myself being washed to shore by waves of the ocean, trying to hang onto a couple of insights, like desperately trying to clutch onto 1 or 2 precious shells while being tossed around in the surf.

    I could only remember 2, and I was a bit disappointed because they were, in the grand scheme of the trip, pathetic: zen is a joke, and nothing matters. Alas these insights weren't mean to apply to my life as a human being at that point. Life went back to normal and I have since been utterly bewildered and haunted by this experience.

    That is... until now. The machines are coming. The machines of our dreams... coming to take us all away. Am I writing metaphorically? No, I'm actually not. I think the age of spirituality is near. What will happen when there is no longer a line between virtual and real reality? This is a COMING event, and the implications aren't difficult to ascertain if you really sit down and allow yourself to think about it with an open mind. The internet has already shown us a new, bigger, and more diverse world.

    We have access to so much more now than ever. We pour our minds into the screen every time we explore it. We aren't even separate from it. My--your--mind IS the internet. The Almighty, Vast internet. Its abundance, definition, and sheer realism will only increase exponentially over time. As soon as you think of something, there it will be. You'll begin to think of more things. You already have. Where did we come up with all of these crazy memes? Could we have ever conceived of even a weekly fail compilation video on youtube just 20 years ago? Or how about the ocean of instant information that is wikipedia at our fingertips? No, the possibilities didn't exist. Now we witness.

    What once took a car trip to the library's card catalog now takes a thought--a mere thought. We are far richer than we realize at this point. We just don't believe yet because we refuse to accept it. We place undue importance on the tradition of our physical presence, whose features are rapidly falling away like leaves on a tree in early October. We are entering the world of mind. Of pure, unrestrained imagination. Let go.

    What can you imagine? What WILL you imagine?

    Such is my life, the way I see things. If God doesn't exist yet, he will soon. And he looks like love.

    ~~~

    That said, I am still an atheist dammit. And I always will be. There IS NO supernatural. There is no EXTERNAL god. But nonetheless, I am not my body. I am not my age. I am something much, much larger... perhaps trapped in those things. The person in the mirror, that's not me. I have experience.. aliveness. I'm vast, yet elusive. I'm hiding everywhere.

    Ah, 3 AM musings. And no I'm not high right now -_-

  8. #38
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    At the end of the day we are all believers, even if what we believe in is rationality or aetheism. I'm not denying the human propensity and desire to believe in something other than the self. To believe yourself to be the pinnacle of all that is, is a major let down. I certainly dont want to discover that humanity really does influence the world as much as it thinks it does. Humanity is ridiculously stupid, I don't want it to be a major force.

    I am a collection of beliefs and the majority of my makeup is the belief that there is more to life than I can presently see. To believe in my smallness, my blindness is also to believe that my salvation also exists. I don't want to be limited in the way that I presently am, I want to expand and grow and become more than I am.

  9. #39
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Well there are so many levels to both being and experience, it is hard to avoid a sense of almost divine wonderment. To an ant I am like a god. Intelligence itself is an incredible power. To an ancient Mayan I am like a god, too, with inconceivable powers. And I'm sure that my current self is still very small in comparison to what can and will be. VERY small indeed. To call a futuristic human's powers godlike feels quite appropriate. On the purely experiential level, my imagination is vast, whatever technology I have or don't have. The right mood alone can hint at an experience of god, but when it wears off there's really nothing that can be said about it other than it being a neurological experience. Drugs of course can offer that experience in multiplied brilliance.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Perhaps it is time to do a 180 here. This religious feeling @superunknown speaks of, I feel tonight as I sit alone and ponder the coming singularity. Story time.........

    ~~~

    It was a summer night in 2008. I was a curious 22 year old chemistry enthusiast, and being aware that the active ingredient in robitussin, dextromethorphan, could cause hallucinations, I went and got some and consumed the whole bottle. Then I smoked some weed, turned out the lights, and closed my eyes.

    What happened next was definitely the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. If you've never been nuked on a psychedelic before, you have no capacity to comprehend a statement like that, but it's true. The birth of my first child will not compare to this experience--not even close.

    The visions of the incident are jumbled to me now. I can't remember anything I saw, because as I came up on the drug, I began to see things that must have come from an alien world or the future or something. Incomprehensible shapes, colors, and foreign objects passed through my field of vision. It began to occur to me that these visions must have been getting transmitted to me from some force beyond myself, because they were things I simply could never have thought of on my own.

    A booming voice began to speak. The only thing I remember it saying was "RANDOM" over and over. In the face of this vast force, I found myself screaming in awe and terror. Uncontrollably. I found myself on my knees with my head pressed to the ground in submission, surrender; I'll do anything you want! I'll do anything you waaaaaaaaaaant!!!!!!!!

    It was scary, yes, but I trusted this force, and I let go of everything--my life-- in that moment. Suddenly the intensity ceased and unspeakable vastness remained. I was no longer a person, with a name and an age and a sex. I had expanded to the size of darkness.

    And I can remember no more. All I can say is that it was like being given a tour of the universe. I reckon the first part was perhaps the only part I was supposed to remember. The rest were secrets for the dead. As the drug wore off an hour or two later, I envisioned myself being washed to shore by waves of the ocean, trying to hang onto a couple of insights, like desperately trying to clutch onto 1 or 2 precious shells while being tossed around in the surf.

    I could only remember 2, and I was a bit disappointed because they were, in the grand scheme of the trip, pathetic: zen is a joke, and nothing matters. Alas these insights weren't mean to apply to my life as a human being at that point. Life went back to normal and I have since been utterly bewildered and haunted by this experience.

    That is... until now. The machines are coming. The machines of our dreams... coming to take us all away. Am I writing metaphorically? No, I'm actually not. I think the age of spirituality is near. What will happen when there is no longer a line between virtual and real reality? This is a COMING event, and the implications aren't difficult to ascertain if you really sit down and allow yourself to think about it with an open mind. The internet has already shown us a new, bigger, and more diverse world.

    We have access to so much more now than ever. We pour our minds into the screen every time we explore it. We aren't even separate from it. My--your--mind IS the internet. The Almighty, Vast internet. Its abundance, definition, and sheer realism will only increase exponentially over time. As soon as you think of something, there it will be. You'll begin to think of more things. You already have. Where did we come up with all of these crazy memes? Could we have ever conceived of even a weekly fail compilation video on youtube just 20 years ago? Or how about the ocean of instant information that is wikipedia at our fingertips? No, the possibilities didn't exist. Now we witness.

    What once took a car trip to the library's card catalog now takes a thought--a mere thought. We are far richer than we realize at this point. We just don't believe yet because we refuse to accept it. We place undue importance on the tradition of our physical presence, whose features are rapidly falling away like leaves on a tree in early October. We are entering the world of mind. Of pure, unrestrained imagination. Let go.

    What can you imagine? What WILL you imagine?

    Such is my life, the way I see things. If God doesn't exist yet, he will soon. And he looks like love.

    ~~~

    That said, I am still an atheist dammit. And I always will be. There IS NO supernatural. There is no EXTERNAL god. But nonetheless, I am not my body. I am not my age. I am something much, much larger... perhaps trapped in those things. The person in the mirror, that's not me. I have experience.. aliveness. I'm vast, yet elusive. I'm hiding everywhere.

    Ah, 3 AM musings. And no I'm not high right now -_-
    Intriguing.

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