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Author Topic:   Conversations with God
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1166 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(4)
Message 31 of 82 (709994)
10-31-2013 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Straggler
10-31-2013 1:14 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
On this basis prayer sounds like meditation with some unnecessary theistic stuff thrown on top.

That's almost exactly what it is. "Prayer" is talking to oneself - there is nobody else listening. But the meditative process and self-reflection, verbalizing mistakes and goals, has its own value. Psychiatrists and self-help gurus will often tell people to do essentially the same things.

The problem of prayer is that people actually believe that it's some sort of conversation...or worse, a magic spell that will actually directly affect the world simply by making the request. I could pray for my uncle all day long, and he would still have died from his lung cancer. I will not win the lottery through prayer. Heartfelt words to imaginary friends will not land me a better job.

But I still meditate on occasion. And it would be more mentally healthy if I were to spend more time in peaceful self-reflection, identifying the mistakes I've made, anything I should feel guilty for, absolving myself or resolving to make amends, and clarifying my personal goals through verbalization. Those things all have their own intrinsic value.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 11625
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 32 of 82 (710737)
11-09-2013 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Rahvin
10-31-2013 1:48 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
"Prayer" is talking to oneself - there is nobody else listening.
How do you know?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Rahvin, posted 10-31-2013 1:48 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

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 Message 33 by Theodoric, posted 11-09-2013 6:04 PM Phat has responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5777
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


(1)
Message 33 of 82 (710739)
11-09-2013 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Phat
11-09-2013 5:14 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
Evidence.

Must we rehash this in every topic?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Phat, posted 11-09-2013 5:14 PM Phat has responded

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Phat
Member
Posts: 11625
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 34 of 82 (710745)
11-10-2013 2:14 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Theodoric
11-09-2013 6:04 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
when it comes to God, absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence. Far too many people have subjective evidence.

Granted, Christianity has many con men and many hyper-emotional followers.

There are far too many sane people that believe for me to dismiss it all as wishful thinking...in fact, the Bible says that you (and the likes of you) already have evidence that you choose to ignore and rationalize away.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by AZPaul3, posted 11-10-2013 7:08 AM Phat has responded
 Message 40 by ramoss, posted 11-10-2013 2:24 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 52 by ringo, posted 11-12-2013 12:29 PM Phat has responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3530
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


(1)
Message 35 of 82 (710750)
11-10-2013 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Phat
11-10-2013 2:14 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
Far too many people have subjective evidence.

The problem with this piece of "evidence" is that literally millions of people have "subjective evidence" of every competing religion on the planet. In the past there was plenty of this personal emotional "subjective evidence" for religions that no longer exist. This type of evidence is not evidence at all and that is not a rationalization but a fact.

when it comes to God, absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence.

Well, thank you ,Carl, for that excellent sound bite that down through the decades has meant absolutely nothing.

The "absence of evidence" here is the lack of positive evidence showing the existance of such a thing. There is plenty of negative evidence against the existance of your god.

We don't really need to rehash this negative evidence here since these forums are chuck full of it, but I'll summarize.

Other than the emotionally subjective evidence in which you are so enamored above the only other evidence you can point to is your bible.

Yet we know as real hard fact, not rationalization, that the majority of the books of the OT began life as oral tales passed down the generations with embellishments until they were finally written down about 3500 years ago. Further that these same books, and later ones, went through major re-writes and amendment after the release from Babylon when the priests were desperate to win back the hearts, minds and purses of the people.

We know that the books of the NT were written many decades after the period of the events, not by their purported authors, but by anonymous others who never witnessed said events. And that one misogynistic self-appointed "disciple" a century afterword reformed the progenitor of your religion in his own image around the embellished myths popular in his time.

We know for fact, not rationalization, that the divinity of your savior was not from the books but from a vote of gathered clerics, and a close one at that, more than three centuries on.

We know that your canon was formed by political accommodation excising all books that did not meet the gathered tribal patriarchs' self-serving views, after expelling those who lost on the divinity question, especially anything showing equality and power of women and anything that challenged a formal male dominated hierarchy for the church.

Under these circumstances your bible, as a piece of evidence, is suspect at best and constitutes no evidence at all.

Finally, we have from history and from observation, seen the formation and demise of numerous religions. We know, as fact not as rationalization, how and why religions form and why and how their followers come to faith in their beliefs. And none of it has to do with any power of whatever deity is being proposed but is the product of social and peer pressures and youthful acculturation.

These are the hard facts we know. They rationalize nothing and only ignore the confusing of articles of faith for facts.

The philosophical difference here, phat, is that religionists accept non-fact and emotional faith as proofs of their position ignoring or rationalizing away all contrary facts where, in western empiricism, to ignore the facts and hold steadfast to positions contrary to the facts is not just illogical but is intellectually dishonest.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 2:14 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 9:27 AM AZPaul3 has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11625
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 36 of 82 (710752)
11-10-2013 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by AZPaul3
11-10-2013 7:08 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
Im not fully convinced by your so-called "facts." I have heard other rationally minded people explain the origins in different ways from the ones you have put forth.

One example is this man--(an attorney, by the way)

Bible On Trial Of course, my point is that these issues are far from settled in the court of public inquiry. For instance,

quote:
We know that the books of the NT were written many decades after the period of the events, not by their purported authors, but by anonymous others who never witnessed said events. And that one misogynistic self-appointed "disciple" a century afterword reformed the progenitor of your religion in his own image around the embellished myths popular in his time.
No...no we don't know this.

The so-called (and self proclaimed) "experts" from Internet Infidels are not impressive....on the contrary, they are on a mission to deify human wisdom. (Go ahead...test the spirits)

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by AZPaul3, posted 11-10-2013 7:08 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by jar, posted 11-10-2013 9:38 AM Phat has responded
 Message 45 by AZPaul3, posted 11-11-2013 7:55 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 37 of 82 (710753)
11-10-2013 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Phat
11-10-2013 9:27 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
An attorney by definition, by the way, is not a good resource when looking for the truth of a matter. An attorney is trained to support the clients position and to present only that evidence that supports the clients position.

Also, as you might know, we do not debate by video links. If there is some supporting evidence presented then bring it here so it can be discussed.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 9:27 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 10:30 AM jar has responded
 Message 41 by NoNukes, posted 11-10-2013 3:32 PM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11625
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 38 of 82 (710756)
11-10-2013 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by jar
11-10-2013 9:38 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
Ok to start with...how do we know that the books of the NT were not written by their purported authors? And even if this can be proven, can we prove the intent of the writings?

(I dont see evidence...but I see scholarly disagreements over the authors)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by jar, posted 11-10-2013 9:38 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by jar, posted 11-10-2013 11:00 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 39 of 82 (710758)
11-10-2013 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Phat
11-10-2013 10:30 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
Well yes, there are methods of determining not actual authorship but rather whether or not the author could possibly the purported author. Some things used as indicators would be language style, indicators of original language, mention of things that would have been after the purported author would have been dead, anachronisms. If we look at early copies of the three books purported to be by a "John" we can see that they were three different authors and several editors or redactors.

We can also be pretty sure of intent as well. For example the author of the Gospel of John had the intent of completely revising the thrust and nature of the Jesus character found in the synoptic Gospels. Like wise epistles attributed to Paul did have specific intent just as the intent of any interoffice memo. Other examples of intent would be the rationalization that Jesus was not going to return in the lifetime of the disciples or even the apostles and so the intent was to try to explain away the discrepancy.

This is not just a matter of the New Testament, it is also common to Old Testament stories as well.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 10:30 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3090
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 40 of 82 (710761)
11-10-2013 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Phat
11-10-2013 2:14 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
When it comes to God, the absence of evidence IS exactly the evidence of absence, at least when it comes to the man made concept of a personal God. That would include Islam, the vast majority of Christian concepts, a good majority of Jewish concepts , and probably most of the hindu concepts too (I am not familiar enough to say for sure). I would include the theistic forms of Buddhism in that.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 2:14 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 82 (710763)
11-10-2013 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by jar
11-10-2013 9:38 AM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
An attorney by definition, by the way, is not a good resource when looking for the truth of a matter. An attorney is trained to support the clients position and to present only that evidence that supports the clients position.

Quite bogus. Yes there are times when attorneys advocate for a client. But that does not make them trained liars.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by jar, posted 11-10-2013 9:38 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by jar, posted 11-10-2013 3:38 PM NoNukes has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 42 of 82 (710764)
11-10-2013 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by NoNukes
11-10-2013 3:32 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
Too funny.

You do know that I did not say they were trained liars, simply that by profession they are biased.

Why I've even known lawyers I'd be seen with in public although back when I was in retail we did have a company rule that we did not do business with doctors or lawyers.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by NoNukes, posted 11-10-2013 3:32 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by NoNukes, posted 11-10-2013 4:57 PM jar has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 82 (710765)
11-10-2013 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by jar
11-10-2013 3:38 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
You do know that I did not say they were trained liars, simply that by profession they are biased.

The idiotic thing that you actually said was that by definition, lawyers were not a "good source" when looking for the truth of a matter.

You further said that they were trained to only present evidence favoring their side. Neither of those statements are correct, and a lawyer who performed in the way you suggest would be a poor lawyer who was not following his training.

A lawyer is no more and no less than anyone else a source of information regarding a religious matter, your nonsense comment notwithstanding.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by jar, posted 11-10-2013 3:38 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 44 of 82 (710769)
11-10-2013 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by NoNukes
11-10-2013 4:57 PM


Re: Prayer: Listening, Talking, or Both?
You are free to hold that belief.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by NoNukes, posted 11-10-2013 4:57 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3530
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 45 of 82 (710790)
11-11-2013 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Phat
11-10-2013 9:27 AM


If a lawyer's lips are moving you know he's lying.
Bible On Trial Of course, my point is that these issues are far from settled in the court of public inquiry. For instance,

quote:
We know that the books of the NT were written many decades after the period of the events, not by their purported authors, but by anonymous others who never witnessed said events. And that one misogynistic self-appointed "disciple" a century afterword reformed the progenitor of your religion in his own image around the embellished myths popular in his time.


No...no we don't know this.

I sat through you lawyer's video's (all of them) and he does exactly what a lawyer is supposed to do. He presents his positive evidence, and only his positive evidence, in the most positive way possible. Not once was any of the abundant contrary evidence mentioned let alone discussed or refuted.

Right from the git-go he just assumes the 4 gospels were written by their titled authors. Never even questions the possibility this may not be correct. The majority consensus of biblical scholars disagree, for each of the 4 gospels, and they present compelling evidence that the titled authors could not have written these books. This evidence, this controversy over authorship, is not addressed in your lawyer's case. His case is biased in the one direction only and is not based on impartial evidence, but on the scraps of evidence with tangential relationships to the articles of faith at the base. It fails.

If you look at the scholarship of biblical researchers you will find that the majority are bible-believing religious people. Again the consensus of these scholars is that the 4 gospels were not written by their titled authors but by others yet unidentified.

And as for Paul, there isn't any doubt that his letters, his philosophy, his emotions, his prejudices, his interpretations of the oral stories he heard (the gospels not having been written yet) are the base upon which all of christianity is built. Your Jesus is secondary.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Phat, posted 11-10-2013 9:27 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Phat, posted 11-11-2013 10:38 AM AZPaul3 has responded

  
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