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Author Topic:   No One Sees God
Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 1 of 18 (717390)
01-26-2014 5:58 PM


I have just began reading a book titled No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers by Michael Novak

(Please Post in The Book Nook)
If there is already a topic on this book please let me know.

I am not sure what to make of it so far. I bought the book to see what he says about the Intelligent Design Debate. So far I am not impressed. His book is very well written in some ways but his reasoning ability is lacking. Like other Christian thinkers he often frames topics with the word hate. Why do Atheist "hate" design for example. I will post more on here as I get through more of his book.
Here is a sample below

VI. CHAPTER SIX: NOTHING IS BY DESIGN, EVERYTHING IS BY CHANCE 203
1. Why Do Atheists Hate Design?
2. On Darwin
3. A Final Query

My main interest besides the ID debate is to understand how Christians think so that the book I am writing will not offend Christians so much that they think I have no compassion or respect for them.This is a bit hard for me because I have little respect for how Christianity was created out of other peoples myths historically and used to repress and conquer nonbelievers for a political agenda. Using historical data I can show that Christianity is based on Judaism which was based around Tribal Deities of the Canaanites and Babylonians. This is sort of an impasse for me having a dialogue with believers.

If you read this book "No One Sees God" you will see why. Michael Novak addresses the historical fact of the Philosophers God being with us very far back into history. But he fails to address the problems this raises. He seems to think along with many other Christians that this supports Theology of Christianity.

Richard Dawkins made it very clear he respects men like Einstein using metaphors to point to at least an appearance of intelligence behind the universe. But he also made it very clear that at best Einstein was talking about a sort of Pantheism. That is we are seeing a conscious universe because we are conscious and we project our intelligence onto the universe.

I think that Einstein really was a Pantheist just not one that used Pantheism to justify Jewish or Christian beliefs. Einstein was influenced by the writings of Spinoza who saw God as the Universe. But Spinoza tried to reconcile Pantheism with a Judeo personal God outside the Universe and a Pantheistic God that was the Universe and failed. I bring this up because in No One Sees God Michael Novak tries to use man's awareness of the Universe being more than stars and planets and random events to conclude that a Christian God directly follows from pure reasoning.

This is a problem because a Christian concept of a God man sacrificing himself to himself as a sort of blood offering doesn't directly follow from the Jewish Concept of God let alone from Pantheism. In point of fact no religion including Judaism directly follows or is anyway connected to Pantheism in any way. And to support this you will find that most Pantheist are actually Atheist.

Anyway I do not mind if you want to make comments on what I posted so far. But what I am really interested in is what anyone has to say after reading this book. What do you think of this book No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers by Michael Novak

Anyone?


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AdminPhat
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Message 2 of 18 (717392)
01-27-2014 12:29 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the No One Sees God thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Raphael
Member
Posts: 133
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 3 of 18 (717466)
01-27-2014 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Spiritual Anarchist
01-26-2014 5:58 PM


Hi there!

You have made quite a few interesting statements here. I will give this book a look and get back to you once I am more informed. Looking forward to discussion.

- Raph


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 01-26-2014 5:58 PM Spiritual Anarchist has not yet responded

  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 133
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 4 of 18 (717480)
01-28-2014 4:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Spiritual Anarchist
01-26-2014 5:58 PM


Commonality
Alright. So I have not read the whole book, nor even a majority of it, but I did look into it quite extensively and read up on Michael Novak.

I am, of course, in no position to judge you. But I find much what you say here to be quite interesting. It sounds, looking at your overall theme, you have failed to understand the purpose of this book.

From my reading, I get the impression that Novak approaches this entire topic with a tone of humility and non-bias, going so far as to write in the preface that those who laugh at his beliefs may in fact be "right at the end of all things." This area of writing, at least from the Christian perspective, is often plagued with polemic and defensiveness and yet Novak writes in a completely contrary manner.

On page xxiiii Novak makes his thesis clear: "nonbelievers and believers alike need to learn a new habit of reasoned and mutually respectable conversation."

Throughout the book, it appears that Novak is trying to exhort both sides of the equation by finding commonality between the two, mainly human suffering.

You wrote:

Spiritual Anarchist writes:

My main interest besides the ID debate is to understand how Christians think so that the book I am writing will not offend Christians so much that they think I have no compassion or respect for them.This is a bit hard for me because I have little respect for how Christianity was created out of other peoples myths historically and used to repress and conquer nonbelievers for a political agenda. Using historical data I can show that Christianity is based on Judaism which was based around Tribal Deities of the Canaanites and Babylonians. This is sort of an impasse for me having a dialogue with believers.

Here you have clearly demonstrated that you are unwilling to work towards commonality and mutual respect between different sides of this debate simply because of an assumption made on your part.

.This is a bit hard for me because I have little respect for how Christianity was created out of other peoples myths historically and used to repress and conquer nonbelievers for a political agenda.

While this may be true, you have not proven it thus, therefore your reasoning for rejecting Novak's proposal for community and respect is faulty. If you had proven that Christianity was created out of other peoples myths historically before making your assumption, it would be a conclusion instead of an assumption.

I say none of this because I specifically disagree with you, although I basically do I just hope that in everything surrounding this dialogue both sides of the ID debate can approach one another with respect and to knock a respected writer's appeal for commonality simply because of an assumption you had previously made doesn't really seem fair. Just some thoughts

Regards!

- Raph


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 01-26-2014 5:58 PM Spiritual Anarchist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 02-02-2014 1:35 AM Raphael has not yet responded
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Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 5 of 18 (717835)
02-02-2014 1:35 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Raphael
01-28-2014 4:33 AM


Re: Commonality
Sorry I haven't replied yet. My apt flooded and I had to take up furniture and shut everything down temporarily. I will read your whole post tomorrow and try to respond.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Raphael, posted 01-28-2014 4:33 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 6 of 18 (718146)
02-05-2014 12:16 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Raphael
01-28-2014 4:33 AM


Re: Commonality
Here you have clearly demonstrated that you are unwilling to work towards commonality and mutual respect between different sides of this debate simply because of an assumption made on your part.

I am not sure I follow you. This is not a personal assumption on my part.

Spiritual Anarchist writes:

My main interest besides the ID debate is to understand how Christians think so that the book I am writing will not offend Christians so much that they think I have no compassion or respect for them.This is a bit hard for me because I have little respect for how Christianity was created out of other peoples myths historically and used to repress and conquer nonbelievers for a political agenda. Using historical data I can show that Christianity is based on Judaism which was based around Tribal Deities of the Canaanites and Babylonians. This is sort of an impasse for me having a dialogue with believers.

Judaism is the basis of Christianity and The Epic of Gilgamesh is a Babylonian Myth that is the basis of Genesis. From this the and other historical data everything else follows. But I can see why a Christian might have a problem with this. Now the rest of my conclusions come from knowledge of the Council of Nicea as well as the historical facts surrounding the Inquisitions and Crusades.

But my main point is not that I want to settle once and for all that Christianity is based on other peoples mythologies or the fact that historically other view points were repressed.

Although it is impossible to avoid the implications of a religion created for political reasons my main point is what follows.

That is if Christianity is not a true account of man's relation to God or the nature of reality then should people conclude that Atheism is the only alternative? In otherwords what if I did prove to you that Christianity was in fact a false doctrine ? Would you conclude that Atheism was the only alternative?

In my book I am just as hard on Atheist who do draw the basic conclusion that if all religions were based on false assumptions both historically and metaphysically that therefore this is no spiritual dimension to reality. Atheist assume that if God is not a personal God that gets angry and has human emotions like jealousy etc If God is not a person that created the Universe the way a person designs a car with a plan and purpose for the finished product ..that we must conclude that the Universe just is and human beings are simply animals that just happened to evolve intelligence.

They further conclude that God must be supernatural and that the soul is a ghost in the machine. So basically I must be a monotheist or I have no basis to think I have a soul or that there is any form of awareness/intelligence behind the Universe I live in.

I am just not getting it when both Theist and Atheist provide me with only two alternatives. As if there is no other way out of Nihilism/Materialism except to buy into one of the Major Religions.

Far from being biased against God or the Soul , I am actually very aware that I do in fact have a soul and that God does relate to some deeper level of reality.

The Theist assumes that if I reject Organized Religion that I completely side with Atheist. That I believe that I am just another form of animal and consciousness is simply a process of my brain that has formed for some sort of evolutionary advantage. If I do not believe that God is a person that has human emotions like Jealousy and Anger and deals out Justice then I could not possibly have any real connection to or awareness of God. That I live by my egos desires and have no knowledge of my soul on an intimate basis. And basically that I reject all spiritual experiences of religious people.

The Atheist assumes that if I believe that the Universe is God or that I have a soul that I live in a world of woo. Whatever that is. That I must believe in the Supernatural. And that I think a God person of some kind who has personal plan for me etc. That basically I will believe anything I read without critical thinking as long as it makes me feel good.

So in conclusion I do not think it is me making the assumptions. I will never understand completely why Christians think any questions about the historical nature of how Christianity came to be along with a doubting of a personal God that gets jealous and angry ... is an actual attack on people with these beliefs on a personal level.

I do not know if you believe in UFOs or Big Foot. But if you find these ideas foolish and without evidence..if you know of a history of hoaxes then it is true that when someone comes to you justifying these beliefs/ideas that you may launch a personal attack on these people's gullibility...

...but in reality although there may be some bias involved on your part ultimately you are not launching an attack on the person expressing the beliefs you are simply challenging the beliefs themselves based on a lack of evidence.

While this may be true, you have not proven it thus, therefore your reasoning for rejecting Novak's proposal for community and respect is faulty. If you had proven that Christianity was created out of other peoples myths historically before making your assumption, it would be a conclusion instead of an assumption.

Talk about assumptions. Where do you get the idea that I reject Novak's proposal for community and respect?

First of all I do not reject Atheist and Christians getting along. Second of all I do not see much honest respect for Atheist from Novak. He seems to treat Atheist as Disillusioned Christians. He talks condescendingly to Atheist about their lack of belief. He claims to have respect for Atheist not seeing God or religion as true but then goes on to paint Atheist as fools to don't see the Obvious superior view of Theology. Novak is very strange to me in accepting the Existential absurdity and meaninglessness of suffering and pain and concluded that Christianity somehow answers this.

The Atheist Existentialist accepts the random absurd futility of life evolving from chance with no purpose beyond survival long enough to procreate then die accomplishing nothing except to create more life to suffer in order to procreate and die. But the Atheist chooses to use our ability to create and be conscious to create a meaning that fulfills their spirit personally and hopefully enriches the lives of others with the little precious time they have.

Adding to this a human like God that sacrifices himself to himself in payment for our inherent animal nature so that if we accept human sacrifice we can live forever on a cloud worshiping said deity doesn't really add to our meaning as human beings. Putting a man in the sky that cares about what we do doesn't really fix anything. But it doesn't really matter if it did because we have no evidence for this being true.

It is delusional to think that we know for a fact that one of the religions on Earth explains anything about our existence or the ultimate purpose of life both because there is no evidence that any religion is true and because there is plenty of evidence that all religions are completely man made for the political purpose of enslaving mankind. Yes I know I haven't provided evidence here. But would it really matter if I did?

Theist believe in God and that is that. If I could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to you that the whole Genesis story is plagiarism from the Polytheist Cultures and no more a real account of creation of our world then The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh you would not conclude that God is not real. All you would conclude was that God is real but unfortunately man has no record of how the world was really created.

In other words there are actually Christians that would agree with me about Genesis not being a true account of how our world came to be and would admit that Genesis was originally a pagan polytheist story that was simply copied from other peoples myths. But the Christian scholars that could validate that the Creation Mythology and Flood Myths of the Bible are in no way different then any other myths have not let these facts in anyway effect their belief in a personal God or being "saved" by Jesus.

Atheist are just as delusional in thinking that we are just soulless meat puppets with no freewill living on a dust ball for no more purpose than evolution and amusing ourselves until we die.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Raphael, posted 01-28-2014 4:33 AM Raphael has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Raphael, posted 02-06-2014 3:08 PM Spiritual Anarchist has responded

  
Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 7 of 18 (718236)
02-05-2014 5:47 PM


Achilles Heel?
Achilles' heel

Meaning

A weak or vulnerable factor.

Origin

The legend of Achilles has it that he was dipped into the river Styx by his mother Thetis in order to make him invulnerable. His heel wasn't covered by the water and he was later killed by an arrow wound to his heel.

Although the legend is ancient, the phrase wasn't picked up in English until the 19th century. It is used as a metaphor for vulnerability, as in this early citation, an essay by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Friend; a literary, moral and political weekly paper, 1810

I am beginning to wonder if the Christians on this board realize that Creationism that is often revealed by many members is the Achilles Heel of Intelligent Design.

It is true that I brought up the flaws of the Bible in my original post. And it is also true that I have very little interest in debating the veracity of the Bible on Genesis or the obvious plagiarism from other Creation Myths (Along with Flood Myths) .

But consider this. Most of the discussions I have been having on this board are in debates that are related to Atheism versus Intelligent Design.

As I stated in my original post Novak wrote a book called "No One Sees God" and has specific chapters addressing Atheist and Design. I even posted samples of chapters.

VI. CHAPTER SIX: NOTHING IS BY DESIGN, EVERYTHING IS BY CHANCE 203
1. Why Do Atheists Hate Design?
2. On Darwin
3. A Final Query

So although I brought up the Bibles Mythical History I should point out that many Atheist have rightly pointed out that Intelligent Design is just Creationism retooled.

Michael Behe was quoted as saying that Intelligent Design is in no way dependent on Christianity and that ID does not dispute Evolution as a brute fact.

"Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions at the beginning of the book. Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism. As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. I greatly respect the work of my colleagues who study the development and behavior of organisms within an evolutionary framework, and I think that evolutionary biologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the world. Although Darwin's mechanism – natural selection working on variation – might explain many things, however, I do not believe it explains molecular life. I also do not think it surprising that the new science of the very small might change the way we view the less small." Darwin's Black Box, pp 5-6.
"For example, both humans and chimps have a broken copy of a gene that in other mammals helps make vitamin C. ... It's hard to imagine how there could be stronger evidence for common ancestry of chimps and humans. ... Despite some remaining puzzles, there’s no reason to doubt that Darwin had this point right, that all creatures on earth are biological relatives.” The Edge of Evolution, pp 71-2.

My point being that Intelligent Design advocates support Evolution over Creationism. So it should follow that when I read authors like Behe or Novak that I am reading men with who do not accept a literal translation of Genesis or Noahs Flood any more than Atheist do.

So when I find people here debating Geological evidence for "The Flood" or debating me on whether the Bibles Creation Myths are unique I am quite taken aback and I have to conclude that the Atheist are right that the ID movement not only attracts Creationist but is probably Creationism in disguise with no authentic scientific research behind it or any sincere attempt to identify the truth.

A complete lack of integrity is demonstrated when one sees Christians still promoting Creationism of Genesis while paying lip service to pursuing the Scientific Basis for Intelligent Design.

This is your Achilles Heel.

This is why I am currently reading Novak's book. Because I think he is misrepresenting Atheism blowing out of proportion the Significance of Christianity on our Civilization. Even if Christianity could be proven to have helped us progress more then hold us back historically ...it would not prove that there is any philosophical reason to accept any doctrines or beliefs as true let alone any scientific basis for such conclusions.

Historically I think we are at a stalemate here. The Inquisitions and the Crusades were not fringe movements outside of mainstream Christianity at the time but were the fundamental basis for Christianity as it existed then and therefore what it has evolved to today. In fact historically the Church has opposed progress on all levels . And it is only because of Atheist and Christian Heretics or other Freethinkers that we have any freedom or happiness at all.

I am not sure what kind of dialogue can occur between fundamentalist christians and the new atheist. Which is why I want to reach out to more progressive Christians who do not need any of the Bible to be true and to Spiritual Atheist who reject Nihilism and Materialism along with Organized Religion. My book is for the "Spiritual but Not Religious" crowd and I am trying to start a movement for us to take back our voice from the Liberal Elite and Religious Right as the only choice to be heard or represented as American Citizens.

I am also trying to reestablish Philosophy as a real pursuit of truth and wisdom. Instead of the farce it currently is because most of todays most prominent philosophers side with Fundamentalism or Religion as Science or Scientism which present Science as a Philosophy but in reality is an empty New Religion based on Materialism and Nihilism. Both sides funded for debates by think tanks pushing Liberal Elitism or Conservative Fundamentalism.

There is a such thing as real philosophy. And the fundamental nature of reality is not based on the Metaphysics of Demopublican values.


  
Raphael
Member
Posts: 133
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 8 of 18 (718407)
02-06-2014 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Spiritual Anarchist
02-05-2014 12:16 AM


Re: Commonality
In everything you have written, I have appreciated your quest to appeal to both sides of this debate and the respect by which you have done so.

It is super refreshing to see somebody who does not see things as black and white, and asking questions that are difficult for both sides to answer. All too often we get so caught up in the debate we forget there are certain things we can agree about not understanding. I respect your fair treatment of both sides. So thank you

But I stil do have a problem with some assumptions.

Spiritual Anarchist writes:

his is not a personal assumption on my part.

When I say assumption, I mean statements like these

- ...a human like God that sacrifices himself to himself in payment for our inherent animal nature so that if we accept human sacrifice we can live forever on a cloud worshiping said deity

- If I could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to you that the whole Genesis story is plagiarism from the Polytheist Cultures and no more a real account of creation of our world then The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh you would not conclude that God is not real

- The Theist assumes that if I reject Organized Religion that I completely side with Atheist.

- And it is only because of Atheist and Christian Heretics or other Freethinkers that we have any freedom or happiness at all.

- It is delusional to think that we know for a fact that one of the religions on Earth explains anything about our existence or the ultimate purpose of life both because there is no evidence that any religion is true and because there is plenty of evidence that all religions are completely man made for the political purpose of enslaving mankind

- They further conclude that God must be supernatural and that the soul is a ghost in the machine

Statements like these are assumptions, based on presuppositions. These presuppositions may prove to be true, and you may be able to do that here, but to state them as truth doesn't really make sense, you know?

I cannot speak from the atheistic perspective, since that has not been my journey, but I will attempt to speak from the Theist one.

I'm sure you have done legitimate research to back up your positions, and feel confidant that what you have assumed to be true about Creationists is true, but I can confidently state that I believe none of the things you have pegged on to Creationism and I am a Creationist in the traditional, literal interpretation sense.

Further, all your assumptions are common misconceptions and I would not be so quick to peg them as assumptions if they were not so common. Let's take the third one listed^ above.

The Theist assumes that if I reject Organized Religion that I completely side with Atheist.

Again, I am a traditional Theist. I believe in a personal God, ONE who created the earth in 6 literal days, answers prayers, and reveals himself in the world today. I am a part of a church community and am in my last undergraduate year studying to be a minister within the organization of the church. And I would never make such an assumption. In fact, Organized Religion is, often, the worst misrepresentation of Jesus on this earth. The church today is nothing like its beginnings. But sadly, humanity is self-centered and the church has become the same way. So, in short, if you reject Organized Religion, personally, I would side with you in favor of healing the sick, clothing the naked, and setting the oppressed free. That's what Jesus taught and if I'm a "Christian" that's what it means; to follow the way of Christ.

Personally, I think a lot of the misunderstanding comes from a fundamental misconception about the other side's position. Take this one, for example:

They further conclude that God must be supernatural and that the soul is a ghost in the machine

This is an intricate one, almost a double misconception. The first one is from the atheistic side, assuming the position of Scripture is that the human has an immortal soul. It may be the position of traditional evangelical christianity, but it is not the position of scripture. I may be begging my own question, but for the sake of the argument let's say that it's true. The second, is, when you come to the atheistic position that they reject the "ghost in the machine," you see them as unreasonable, when that is a misconception on the atheistic side of things.

So all I'm saying is a better tactic for us to be able to dialogue would be to properly understand the position of the other side.

Let's take this last one here:

It is delusional to think that we know for a fact that one of the religions on Earth explains anything about our existence or the ultimate purpose of life both because there is no evidence that any religion is true and because there is plenty of evidence that all religions are completely man made for the political purpose of enslaving mankind

This one is the most abrasive for me. It is abrasive because, in spite of your unique "middle ground" approach, it is altogether a common argument. I do not disagree that religion, for the most part, is completely man made with the political purpose of enslaving mankind. Religion is good at that. Christianity however, is the complete opposite. Or at least was in its inception. While many (not all) religions are based on how humanity can get to God/gods Christianity tells the story of how God came to humanity. Now while many different religious groups have stories of gods/god who comes to earth, the fundamental difference is that they still end up in a state of having to do specific things to unlock and interact with the supernatural. The biggest difference that I see, is that Christianity, in its truest sense, was a group dedicated to the way of their martyr, who began a wholeistic, sharing, socialistic society in response to witnessing that martyrs resurrection. It was not a created system endorsed politically but actually just kind of a Way that grew, as Christ's followers did all they could do further the cause they had been given. That's where I'm not quite understanding you I guess.

So there are some of my views. I would like to affirm you though, I really appreciated this:

A complete lack of integrity is demonstrated when one sees Christians still promoting Creationism of Genesis while paying lip service to pursuing the Scientific Basis for Intelligent Design.

I appreciate this because it is exactly what the problem is with the Creationist side of the ID issue. Creationism, at its core, is the belief in a great "other," some supernatural element, referred to by most theists as "God," who created the universe. The trouble is when Creationists try to use science to prove Biblical Creation. Science, by it's nature, cannot observe something that is outside the natural realm. It simply cannot speak on anything outside of what is observable and testable. Not that it should, it just doesn't need to. Therefore, God (the creator for most Christian theists) really does not need us to prove him with science. There are other ways to prove his existence, but science cannot be one of them. That's just working on the non-believer's terms. I find it interesting that so many creationists (many on this forum) attempt to try and prove Creationism with science only to be totally shut down by opponents and turn to frustration, insults, and behaviour altogether unfortunate for believers in the Way of Christ.

All in all, thanks for being so open minded and I look forward to more discussion as you read more of the book!

- Raph


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 02-05-2014 12:16 AM Spiritual Anarchist has responded

Replies to this message:
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Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 9 of 18 (719052)
02-10-2014 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Raphael
02-06-2014 3:08 PM


Re: Commonality
I am reading over your new reply and I will reply soon. But I want to maker a few things clear first. I am not a Christian. I have no interest in converting to Christianity. Nor is my intention to convert Christians to Buddhism or make them abandon their beliefs. That being said I do not wear kids gloves. My problem is not with Christians or God or even Jesus. My problem is Christianity itself and organized religions which are false religions based on ancient Polytheism being converted to Monotheism by mis-translation of words like Elohim which actually means Gods.(Many places in the Bible God refers to himself in plural and says we do not want them to become like us. I think there is even a psalm that mentions the Council of the Gods {This is what happens when you copy other peoples myths and change words sort of like when the documents were found showing The Discovery Institute changed Creationism in a Creationist Text Book to Intelligent Design a hundred times. The same was done with Elohim WHICH MEANS gods changed to God})

The Jewish people cover this up by trying to use all kinds of rationalization about Hebrew female words or even the plural we of Monarchy. But the whole bible is political and justifies Tyrants by calling God KING and emphasizing his power and ability to judge and rule like a king. The Christians try to cover up the Polytheism of the Bible by the council of Nicaea declaring a Trinity. Then calling this a mystery. If I gave you a thesis and proved it point by point with research and references I have no doubt what'so ever you would find a way around this.

And so the problem is I bring up topics on this board to use as research for my book. That is I do not want to make Richard Dawkins mistake of saying he did not need to study Theology to debunk it. To say Theology is empty because it talks about God. And any talk about God is meaningless because of this is to appear to assume your conclusion. I do not have a degree in Theology but I have studied Theology and even did a little studying with a real Theologian who knew Hebrew. He did not believe that God of the Bible admitted that we have no freewill and that he created Evil. So I made him look up the passage in Hebrew and the word in Hebrew whatever it was did translate to "Evil" not calamity or some such other word.

I have heard Christians claim that this passage was referring only to some particular historical passage and others try to rationalize that it wasn't the word Evil or meant something like disaster etc But in this passage the biblical God says that he creates everything and makes clear that nothing is done that is not by him including Evil.You can not specify a particular type of Evil is meant like disasters or explain Evil away with a Theodicy based on Freewill because this passage says there is NOTHING not done by him and that everything is his will. That means man has no Freewill and God is all powerful and nothing good or Evil is done that is not done by God. Again religious people will jump through an insane number of hoops to avoid the obvious. But there it is.

My book can't claim that Christianity is wrong 100% with absolute certainty and then claim to lay down the evidence point by point until religion is annihilated. Even if religion is 100% Bullshit no religious person will ever admit this short of God himself coming down and telling them this. But even if God did come down and tell us this personally we would just hang him on a cross and then change his words so that future people would believe what benefits us. So the reason why I do not live to get my degree and prove things in scientific or historical documents is because I know even if I was successful it would prove to be futile in changing peoples minds. For those that do not believe in freewill this a crushing blow against determinism.

The fact that people can "choose" to believe anything they want based on what they want to believe and people can make sane rational decisions based only on facts all day long then choose to ignore facts and reality when choosing what to believe in relation to politics/religion etc or other "emotionally charged" issues proves that we have freewill. If issues are emotionally charged then that means that people do not think rationally about them. That means instead of objectively weighing the facts or observing reality as it is they are choosing on pure will power to believe.

Even if such beliefs are proven to them as irrational or otherwise causing them harm they do a cost benefit analysis and decide that X is true based on what they can get out of believing this.

Even Atheist do this . Read Sam Harris on freewill. His strongest argument is that we will benefit as a society if we give up believing in freewill! Of course we need to have freewill in order to choose what we believe, Which all Atheist and Christians deny we have in relation to what we believe. Yet they both have a compatibilist doctrine (hypocritically) when it comes to us having freewill in relation to morality.

The Atheist claim that they can not "choose" to become Christian because the evidence is overwhelming against religion being true. And the Christians claim they can not "choose" to be Atheist because the evidence is overwhelming in favor of God and specifically Jesus as a savior.

Now the Atheist claims that he can not choose because he is biologically determined and the Christian claims that all is Gods will so this is theological determinism and no better.

Now both forms of determinism can not be true. So the only alternatives is that only one is true or both is false. The problem is that if Biological Determinism is true then everything is determined by genetics including belief in God or Atheism.

From this we would get that either there is no God or that if there is a God we can not "choose" to believe in him. Either way religion is negated and is therefore proven false.

Now if Theological Determinism is true then Christians believe in God because God wills this and Atheist are Atheist because God wills this. No one has a choice. Then if the Atheist lives a "good" life or pleases God then God can choose that the Atheist will see him/find faith etc. This is known in Theology as grace. But since Monotheism is a false teaching based on misinterpreting words from other peoples myths and we have no freewill under Scientism or Theology then it is my conclusion that it is human nature to be delusional.

But ironically I think that human nature is a mix of genetics and environment and a lack of awareness this promulgates ignorance as wisdom or truth.

But the truth does not need to be interpreted because it is self evident. And wisdom is hard won not easy. Religion and science offers easy answers to the deepest questions and both disciplines require endless gathering of data and interpreting the results.

So what you end up with is almost infinite pile of facts and half truths and interpretations based on human emotion and confirmation bias to get the conclusion you already started with. For inventing new ways of Social Engineering and Advancing Technology by building on what we know religion and science delivers in spades.

But if you want truth and want to know if there is a meaning to life beyond our egos imagination you have to be willing to go deeper than what you think you know based on what people have been repeating to each other with modifications for our entire history. God is a person and he gets jealous and angry. Humans are animals and animals have no souls.

Many ask me for evidence and try to use words like assumption but if you watch some of these "Intelligent Design/Creation/Evolution Debates" all you will see is assumptions like God is a person and he gets jealous and angry. Humans are animals and animals have no souls etc with little or no evidence for these so called facts. So what my research is geared to is not in proving Christianity wrong beyond a shadow of the doubt or that Atheist are Ignorant/Fools/Nihilist and science/facts/or true knowledge is against them.

My goals is to get people to question their assumptions and understand that we are all delusional if we think we are in any way capable of reasoning our way to truth or getting to truth based on faith in dead religions. We must do what Descartes lied about doing.

We must look within and began to doubt everything. Everything we have been taught then everything we believe then doubt everything we know.

We must do this until Nihilism is true and pure truth and undeniable because their is nothing left to think. Then we must look deep inside that and and doubt Nihilism by seeing the absurdity of Nihilism. Once everything is completely absurd and you can not take any thought seriously you will be left with the bare essence of your soul.

When thoughts and emotions are seen for what they are
...Delusions

...you will slowly become aware and as your awareness expands you will achieve what is called Discriminating Awareness. With this new level of thinking/emoting you will see clearly.

Of course if you give up delusional thinking and everyone around you is delusional you will become like me and have to choose between not being able to really talk to anyone or ...you will have to dip a toe in the poisoned water in order to socialize and risk falling back in and drowning... every time you open your mouth to speak/write (communicate) with other people.

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : Clarification

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : Typos

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : Typos/Clarification

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : No reason given.

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : Typo

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Raphael, posted 02-06-2014 3:08 PM Raphael has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Stile, posted 02-11-2014 11:52 AM Spiritual Anarchist has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2964
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 10 of 18 (719102)
02-11-2014 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Spiritual Anarchist
02-10-2014 9:01 PM


Re: Commonality
Spiritual Anarchist writes:

My goals is to get people to question their assumptions and understand that we are all delusional if we think we are in any way capable of reasoning our way to truth or getting to truth based on faith in dead religions.

A very noble goal.
You seem to speak a lot about what "Christians" and what "Atheists" believe.
It should be noted that there are many Christians and Atheists that do not believe as you say they do... and that they do accept your goal already. Not everyone is a fundamentalist (Christian or Atheist).

Once everything is completely absurd and you can not take any thought seriously you will be left with the bare essence of your soul.

Maybe.
Maybe not.
Maybe this is something that only works for you.
Maybe this is another delusion that you have simply fooled yourself into believing.

Of course if you give up delusional thinking and everyone around you is delusional you will become like me and have to choose between not being able to really talk to anyone or ...you will have to dip a toe in the poisoned water in order to socialize and risk falling back in and drowning... every time you open your mouth to speak/write (communicate) with other people.

How do you know that what you describe here isn't just yourself rationalizing the strangeness of your own delusion?

It is, afterall, rather easy to say "give up delusional thinking."
It's another to objectively know that you actually have done this.

How do you tell the difference?
Is it possible to tell the difference?

Not everyone who is "not able to really talk to anyone" is in some sort of delusion-invincible state. In fact, many of them are in some of the deepest of delusions themselves.

If you have, however, found some inner-peace for yourself. Do continue. Such a thing can be difficult to achieve and there would have to be a very high priority reason to abandon it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 02-10-2014 9:01 PM Spiritual Anarchist has not yet responded

    
Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 11 of 18 (719689)
02-16-2014 3:50 PM


In Response
Spiritual Anarchist writes:

My goals is to get people to question their assumptions and understand that we are all delusional if we think we are in any way capable of reasoning our way to truth or getting to truth based on faith in dead religions.

Raphael Writes
A very noble goal.
You seem to speak a lot about what "Christians" and what "Atheists" believe.
It should be noted that there are many Christians and Atheists that do not believe as you say they do... and that they do accept your goal already. Not everyone is a fundamentalist (Christian or Atheist).

This is a very good thing. And I agree. That is why I am trying to give them a voice. That is why I am posting on here and John Shelby Spong's Board.
The Delusional Christians and Atheist I am referring to are the current Authors in the Intelligent Design Debate such as Sam Harris, Dembski and Dennett and Behe. I am involved in several discussions now with Progressive Christians and Spiritual Atheist and other Freethinkers for precisely this purpose.

Currently I am trapped in the "All or Nothing Trap". When I talk to most atheist if I mention a soul they assume that I am a Christian or Religious ..and that anything that is not material is Supernatural. When I talk to most Christians they assume that if I have no religious beliefs and doubt any religion is true that I do not believe in a soul or God or anything spiritual. If I tell them I do believe in God they assume that I am talking about a personal deity and are confused as to why I do not believe in a saviour of some kind.

And that is just on a personal level.

For the purpose of my book I am trying to leave all the personal level out and focus on the actual debate between people like Dawkins and Behe. On the other hand I do not want my book to be too impersonal. So I do mention my parents influence and run ins with neighbors trying to convert me.

Once everything is completely absurd and you can not take any thought seriously you will be left with the bare essence of your soul.

Raphael Writes
Maybe.
Maybe not.
Maybe this is something that only works for you.
Maybe this is another delusion that you have simply fooled yourself into believing.

I am not talking here about beliefs. I am talking about the absurd. Novak himself refers to the absurd in his book. I am saying that the bare essence of your soul can only be felt completely when you let go of your ego. I am not describing a belief I got to through reasoning or some kind of emotional epiphany but an actual experience through observation.

Of course if you give up delusional thinking and everyone around you is delusional you will become like me and have to choose between not being able to really talk to anyone or ...you will have to dip a toe in the poisoned water in order to socialize and risk falling back in and drowning... every time you open your mouth to speak/write (communicate) with other people.

Raphael Writes
How do you know that what you describe here isn't just yourself rationalizing the strangeness of your own delusion?

It is, afterall, rather easy to say "give up delusional thinking."
It's another to objectively know that you actually have done this.

How do you tell the difference?
Is it possible to tell the difference?

Not everyone who is "not able to really talk to anyone" is in some sort of delusion-invincible state. In fact, many of them are in some of the deepest of delusions themselves.

I am not rationalizing the strangeness of my delusion I am accepting delusional thinking as human nature. Sure there are people that have social anxiety and are not good at talking with people. That is not what I am referring to. If you accept the premise that it is human nature to have delusional thinking. (See The Righteous Mind a book reviewed here as an example) ..and you accept that it is possible to overcome delusional thinking... Then all I am saying in conclusion is that when you are in these higher states it is hard to hold conversations with the average person.

If you can not accept the first two premises fine. But if you do then you have to admit that my conclusion isn't that unbelievable.

To answer your last question you can not give up delusional thinking because by nature thinking creates delusions. So if you are thinking there is probably some aspect of delusion to your thinking.

When Descartes said I think therefore I am he could not have been more wrong. It would have been more correct to say I think therefore I am delusional.

Now if he had started with "I Am" we would have gotten somewhere. But thinking is not the key to understanding "I Am" . Awareness is the key.
This Awareness is what I am talking about when I refer to the bare essence of your soul.

Raphael Writes If you have, however, found some inner-peace for yourself. Do continue. Such a thing can be difficult to achieve and there would have to be a very high priority reason to abandon it.

I agree yet I could not imagine any reason for abandoning inner peace unless it wasn't really peace by just some sort of comfort zone for the ego. As for sharing inner peace my heart longs to do this. But it is "inner" peace so can not be easily shared directly. All I can do is "be" peace and hope like Thich Naht Hanh I inspire others to pursue the same.


Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Stile, posted 02-18-2014 3:43 PM Spiritual Anarchist has responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3949
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 12 of 18 (719739)
02-17-2014 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Raphael
02-06-2014 3:08 PM


Re: Commonality
The first one is from the atheistic side, assuming the position of Scripture is that the human has an immortal soul. It may be the position of traditional evangelical christianity, but it is not the position of scripture.

How do you square that with the Bible(KJV1611)?

Jesus writes:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ezekiel 18:4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

All the best.

Edited by Larni, : No reason given.

Edited by Larni, : mind you own business!


The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.
-Attributed to Buzsaw Message 53

The explain to them any scientific investigation that explains the existence of things qualifies as science and as an explanation
-Attributed to Dawn Bertot Message 286

Does a query (thats a question Stile) that uses this physical reality, to look for an answer to its existence and properties become theoretical, considering its deductive conclusions are based against objective verifiable realities.
-Attributed to Dawn Bertot Message 134


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Raphael, posted 02-06-2014 3:08 PM Raphael has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Raphael, posted 02-24-2014 11:33 AM Larni has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 2964
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 13 of 18 (719836)
02-18-2014 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Spiritual Anarchist
02-16-2014 3:50 PM


Re: In Response
Spiritual Anarchist writes:

I am saying that the bare essence of your soul can only be felt completely when you let go of your ego.

I understand what you're saying.
My point is that there's no reason to believe that what you say is actually true.

People can say a lot of things.
So far you have said a lot of things.

How much of it can you show to be valid?

Perhaps you made a mistake. Maybe what you thought was "the bare essence of your soul" was just a delusional feeling.
How can you tell you didn't make a mistake?

I am not describing a belief I got to through reasoning or some kind of emotional epiphany but an actual experience through observation.

This does nothing to show that what you say is actually true.
What experiences? What observations?
Did you record these observations?
Can other people replicate your methods and observations and results?

If no one else is capable of replicating your results... how can you tell the difference between you finding "the bare essence of your soul" and you just finding another delusion?

Isn't that what a delusion is? Something that only you see?
If you're the only one who sees "the bare essence of your soul"... how do you know this isn't a delusion itself?

But thinking is not the key to understanding "I Am" . Awareness is the key.

Maybe it is.
Maybe it isn't.

Again... you're just making claims. Can you support any of the claims you make?
Can you explain how "awareness" is different from "thinking"?

As for sharing inner peace my heart longs to do this. But it is "inner" peace so can not be easily shared directly. All I can do is "be" peace and hope like Thich Naht Hanh I inspire others to pursue the same.

Exactly.

quote:
Nhat Hanh is active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict[4] and he is also refraining from animal product consumption as means of non-violence towards non-human animals.

This guy does stuff. Things that are different from people without his version of "inner peace."
What do you do?

At a minimum... you could use your intellect to imagine scenarios. Scenarios where you do something differently because of your inner-peace then what you see most other people doing.
Then you could explain (in these certain scenarios) how acting your way provides different results that are "better" than what other people seem to get.

Does understanding the essence of your soul allow you to act differently than other people?
-if so... then you should be able to explain scenarios where this can be identified

Does being "aware" instead of "thinking" allow you to act differently than other people?
-if so... then you should be able to explain scenarios where this can be identified

Does having your "inner peace" allow you to act differently than other people?
-if so... then you should be able to explain scenarios where this can be identified

If all the things you talk about do not allow you to act different from other people, even in imaginary scenarios... then I might suggest that you are actually under a delusion and that there is no real benefit to all the claims you make.

If you are not under a delusion, and there actually is a difference... then once you identify it people can make up their own minds to see if it's something beneficial for them or not (like Nhat Hanh does).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 02-16-2014 3:50 PM Spiritual Anarchist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 02-23-2014 11:36 PM Stile has responded

    
Spiritual Anarchist
Member (Idle past 1082 days)
Posts: 70
From: Raleigh NC
Joined: 01-27-2013


Message 14 of 18 (720451)
02-23-2014 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Stile
02-18-2014 3:43 PM


Re: In Response
I understand what you're saying.
My point is that there's no reason to believe that what you say is actually true.

Of course there is not a reason to believe. I'm not here selling beliefs.

People can say a lot of things.
So far you have said a lot of things.

How much of it can you show to be valid?

Can I show that thinking leads to delusion? Yes I can. I do not simply say things so I can hear what those words sound like in a sentence. Nor do I say things to "convince" you to "believe" something. The validity of desire causes suffering is self evident. People either have attachment to how they want things to be or aversion to how things should not be.

I am not sure if this is what you asking me.

I feel like this is turning into a lesson on Buddhism. Why ? ...because when I talk about the teachings about delusional thinking I am simply giving Buddhas teachings.

I have practiced these teachings and found that Buddhas observations on suffering and delusional thinking ring true based on my experience. Is this only my own subjective experience? No. Could you or any one try these teachings to achieve the same results or realizations ? Yes . Buddha taught to test his teachings. If you do not get the result that he predicted then those teachings are falsified. Buddhism is very scientific.

Perhaps you made a mistake. Maybe what you thought was "the bare essence of your soul" was just a delusional feeling.
How can you tell you didn't make a mistake?

When you are aware that you are sitting here reading what I have to write how can you know that you are not making a mistake? How do you know anything you are experiencing right now is real? How do you know you have a soul? How do you know if you are even aware? Perhaps that is a delusion? This is the path to Nihilism. And Nihilism negates itself. If being aware of who I am is mistaken and delusional then perhaps that realization that I am delusional to think I know who I am is delusional? And perhaps that is delusional etc adinfinitum. To me this not clear reasoning. It seems to me that there are honest questions from those who want an actual true realization of reality as it is...and there are people that just question to question. It is not a true philosopher that simply finds a way to put a question mark at the end of every sentence.

If you are only willing to ask me these questions you are not an honest seeker or true philosopher. If you are truly being sincere then you will ask yourself these questions without assuming an answer. You will not assume that I am wrong on anything anymore then you would assume that I am right on anything. You wouldn't ask questions in an attempt to stump me to make yourself feel bigger. You would only ask questions that you actually want the answer to and only questions you have thought about without trying to win an argument or prove a point.

You have stated that me simply saying things doesn't prove anything. And I will counter that simply asking questions doesn't prove anything either.

I am not describing a belief I got to through reasoning or some kind of emotional epiphany but an actual experience through observation.

This does nothing to show that what you say is actually true.
What experiences? What observations?
Did you record these observations?
Can other people replicate your methods and observations and results?

The answer is yes. Other people can meditate and watch their thoughts. Other people can observe reality being affected by awareness. The question is do they? The answer is no. Most people do not meditate day after day year after year and observe the results. It is like exercise as a cause of weight loss. If exercise causes weight loss and better health then why are so many Americans overweight and unhealthy? The answer is because most people do not exercise or eat right.

The same can be said of delusional thinking. Most people do not meditate or dedicate their lives to being mindful. So most people are not at peace with themselves and find that applying compassion only plays a small part in their lives in the form of pity or trying to get sympathy or even results in apathy and Nihilistic thinking.

If no one else is capable of replicating your results... how can you tell the difference between you finding "the bare essence of your soul" and you just finding another delusion?

Anyone can replicate theses results. The basic teachings of living in the now and being mindful and generating compassion is very easy. That is doing may not be easy just as exercise may start out hard for those out of shape. But the actual practices are easy.

My main point is I am not claiming to have developed these methods or claiming that only I have had good results from them. That seems to be what your whole post implies that I am saying. Nor am I the only one that has experienced levels of Enlightenment or escape from delusional thinking.

There are many that have achieved higher levels of Enlightenment than me and are even less delusional in their thinking. Pema Chodron,Thich Naht Hanh, Rupert Spira, Ken Wilber etc And these are only the well known ones. I am sure there are plenty more who nobody has even heard of.

I do not feel like I am a fool because I am so obviously wrong and you called me on it. Because this simply isn't true.

I feel foolish because what is so obvious to me in my practice I stated as a psychological fact that has been documented and proven in Psychology Journals.

I did not actually say this but I am sure I must have implied this judging by your reaction.

And although it is true certain aspects have in fact been documented and proven in Psychology Journals on both Meditation and Mindfulness I wasn't really trying to get into scientific evidence for how I see things as much as I was just commenting on human nature and aspects of delusional thinking.

One aspect in particular that fascinates me was confirmation bias.But the other aspect was based on the findings in the book The Righteous Mind.
The really embarrassing thing for me in all this was that I was trying to start a discussion on Michael Novak and his book "No One Sees God" . But when I look at all the post on this topic my mind seems so focused on what I learned from "The Righteous Mind" that for some reason this discussion on "No One Sees God" never really got off the ground.

I have not seen one post on Michael Novak or his book after the first couple of post.

Perhaps I should go to the topic Book Nook The Righteous Mind" and get out all my ideas there and come back to this post later to see if anyone addresses Michael Novak or his book here. Because that is the OP of this thread. Not a class on Metaphysics versus Buddhist teachings on Delusional thinking.

Edited by Spiritual Anarchist, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Stile, posted 02-18-2014 3:43 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
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Raphael
Member
Posts: 133
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 15 of 18 (720495)
02-24-2014 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Larni
02-17-2014 9:57 AM


Re: Commonality
Larni writes:

How do you square that with the Bible(KJV1611)?

Jesus writes:
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ezekiel 18:4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Hi there! This is an incredibly complicated topic and I fear I cannot do it justice in a single post here. But in short, all the texts you quoted are illustrations in scripture on the destructible nature of the soul, not it's immortality. This may be an...odd thing to say given the mainstream nature of the belief in an inherently immortal soul.

But take Jesus' words in Matthew:

Matthew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Jesus speaking to the apostles, encouraging them in the fact that this world is not our home. They had no need to fear those who can kill the body, because only God can destroy both body and soul.

Ezekiel

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Throughout the Old Testament particularly, the language used on the soul is so very wholistic in its nature. Here we have an example of the writer referring to a human as a soul, I. E. "the soul the sinneth, it shall die." This type of thing, referring to a person as a living soul is very common throughout; we can even see it in verses like Genesis 2:7, Leviticus 21:1, Number 9:6, Lam. 3:25, and others. The point is not that there is no soul/spirit in humanity, but rather that the soul is from God, breathed into Adam at creation. So it makes perfect sense for God to say things like "all souls are mine" because they literally are. Nowhere in scripture does the soul have an existence independant from the body.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

New Testament texts like this are a little more complicated, taking into account the views of the writer and popular beliefs of the time, but those things aside, this text is in harmony with the view that the soul is not inherently immortal. If the soul/spirit can be lost, then it is not inherently immortal, because it would have to go on existing somewhere somehow.

I hope this explains my views! Perhaps one of these days I will have time to start a thread on this topic, but I'm swamped with homework these days! Haha. Regards!

- Raph


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