Re: What are they selling?



You have no first hand knowledge of black holes or Japanese architecture, yet you believe they exist. It's like that.
Either you believe, don't believe or believe that you haven't enough information to formulate a belief. I'm in the last camp and the other campers are welcome to the bunk beds of their choosing.
R
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Don wrote:

They don't need to, and might even be laughing to themselves every time someone asks such a question.

Hohoho.
Being a priest is or was a plum job... with fringe benefits.

If you don't believe, the priest's job is lost.

See what a vacuum-cleaner salesperson says about your beliefs in rugs and carpets.

Ya, right... I'm at a cafe that's playing the little drummer boy. I think I'll wrap it up.
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[ snip ]

THe thing is this: if it's true that (1) God knows what's in out hearts even better than we ourselves know, (2) God creates us, in some manner "directs" our conceoption, development, and birth, and (3) is capable of infinite love an dinfinite forgiveness,
then the logical conclusion is that, if you're basically good at heart, you can be forgiven for what you've done that was wrong. I mean, they yap about how even someone like Gacy could be forgiven, so it's at best illogical, but more accurately nastily manipulative, to turn around and claim that you "cannot" be forgiven, and will be eternally damned to hell, because your rationality (which, remember, God supposedly gave you) would lead you to reject religion.
That is just one of the very many discrepancies and/or outright hypocrisies of religion.
I figured that one out back when I was 10 yrs old and they decided to bundle me off to catechism. During one of these "lessons", the indoctronatress told the class that "only Catholics can go to Heaven". Well, up pops my hand, and I ask, "What about other Christians?" - "no, they go to Purgatory." Popup again: "What about people in Russia and CHina ((I remember the Berlin wall going up, so that's where that came from)) who never hear about beign Catholic?" - "No, no, because everyone has at least some ability to learn about Jesus." - popup again: "What about people who were good, but lived and died for all those years befire Jesus even lived?" - "No, no, they go to Purgatory".
At that early age, I suddenly realized that EITHER (1) God was all-loving, and the Church was lying to us, OR (2) God is a stupid, vindictive asshole.
Since I couldn't see how God could be even stupider than I was, I realized that option (1) was the fundamental truth. ANd ever since then, I've been unable to take seriously people who jump up'n'down screaming about how this person is going to hell and that person is going to hell, because it was completely clear to me that they didn't know what they were talking about. This became even more clear with additional learning, experience, and thought.
Some religious people are actually evil, but II think the majority are misguided, or misunderstanding. WHat I hate is when someone is basically decent, yet *led into* hatred or worse, violent action, because some "preacher" says it's condoned or even recommended. THat is in opposition to what their supposed Guiding Light actually preached, which is most revealing.
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There was one guy, when I was a kid, who went to Confession twice a week, always received Communion, and was otherwise a "devout Catholic", but was also known to beat the stuffings out of his wife and kids on a regular basis. Oh, but he was "forgiven". Even tho' he refused to try to change. It was a running joke in town. I personally found it to be more disgusting than funny that it was basically OK to harm, in that way, poeple who couldn't fight back. Meanwhile, my one sister had missed confession for a month because she'd been severely ill, and the priest yelled at her at teh top of his lungs, and told her she was going to hell and so on and so forth - she came home sobbing violently (she was about 13 at the time).
Jerks.

One thing that nobody ever thinks about is the fact that firstly, Leviticus comdemns "lying with a MAN as with a women", but later on, in the story of David and Goliath, David is desxcribed as being 16, and therfore NOT YET A MAN. But there is *nothing* which condemns having sex with chidren.
So what nobody wants to realize is that one can use the Bible and Biblical law (or in this case, the lack thereof) to condone having sex with children. Given how cagey the church can be about how "lay people cannot properly interpret the Bible", well.......
So just think about THAT the next time someone starts blithering about how "we need to get back to Blblical law and Blblical values".

I think it also matter what's in the "heart" so to speak. If someone does something but at the time, doesn't realize it was wrong, but later regrets having done it, I think the regret counts. Also, sometimes one does something harmful when that was not what had been intended - or also, accidents happen. ANd differnt people have different capabilities. Some things obviously are just wrong no matter what, but the hting is that nobody is perfect, nobody can be perfect all the time, so I think that intention plays a part. But that's different than this nonsense of being a total sh*t, and then saying "I'm sorry" because one gets to a point where one begins to fear the potential punishment.
It's like the way some jackasses commit a murder or vehicular homicide or rape or some other act they *chose*, and then stand up in court and get weepy and say "I'm sorry", as tho' that is supposed to make it all better. YEESH. They're not sorry, they're only sorry they got caught and they want to wriggle out of getting their just comeuppance.
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Yeah when I say behavior, it is more to say thoughts or ideas, actions, and intentions. These are the things that truly matter.
The other thing I don't understand at all is this fear of God thing. That has never made any sense to me, even as a young kid growing up. Anyone I have grown to fear, I have usually also grown to hate and avoid. That is the connotation that fear has for me, not one of love and forgiveness, and certainly not one of goodness and understanding.
In the end if there is a God, he gave us a brain and it is insulting to the creator of all things that we would toss it aside in favor of dogma, and not actually use it in any useful sense. But the creator of all things doesn't sound right to me either, more like the one common thread running through all things and all of existence. We are it and it is us.
--
Edgar



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Yeah, I jsut have a compulsion fo radding caveats <G!> Seriously, tho', too often, "behavior" refers to only the most shallow aspects of action (or inaction). It's too common for people to behave in ways that makes others think they're wonderfull, when all they're doing is being manipulative.

You don't fear someone if your relationship is one of love, or heck, even friendship. THe only thing you actually fear is doing something that would destroy that relationship. So I agree with you, it makes no sense to talk about loving God, or about God's love, and then the next instant, go on about being in terror of wrathand fire and brimstone and the rest of it.

What's scary is that i've been saying almost th eexact same thing for many years. We have a mind (intellect), *and* a heart (emotions), *and* a spirit, and it makes no sense to accept that on epart or the other "must" be excised, annihilated - all that is is partial suicide.
Science, art, and spirituality are different things - yet, they're all connected, like mountain lakes connected by a hidden aquifer, and what that aquifer is, is the Human urge to understand the universe and our place in it.

God is God, God is part of all created Beings and things, and all creqted Beings and things are part of God. Sort of a symbiosis. I personally use "Creator" because it is not a religiously-charged word.
IT occurred to me, re: the article you (I think it was you) had linked to, about the origin of physical laws. Although theose laws governe this universe, it's been suggested that they are teh only laws, at least the only we know of, that would lead to a stable universe capable of supporting life, So in that sense, maybe that, too, is part of what the Creator is...? But that's a book-length topic...
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Well it's one thing to deal with actions and intentions of another person, and a whole other thing to deal with your own actions and intention, at least to me, with regards to your own spirituality. What I mean is that your absolutely right that actions are the end all be all when it comes to other people, but within yourself, and your own growth/learning, intentions can mean a lot.
People should never be let off for their actions, but I think intentions will lead the person who did the wrong thing to either live up to what they did and take their punishment, or else try to weasel out of them. And in the end, to your own spirituality, living up to your ideas and intentions, and in the course, taking the right actions (i.e. take your punishment like a man) are again, to me the only thing that really matters in the end.
I guess what it really means in the end is that only you know if you are an honorable person or not, and lying to yourself isn't going to help one bit.
--
Edgar



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Good points and well put - I actually have nothing to add, if oyu can imagine that ;)
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In this particular casde, it relates to the idea of Final Judgement and not so much to human justice. At teh same time, intent does play a part there as well - if one does something stupid, or something that turns out all wrong, the reactions of others will often take intent into consideration. That doesn't mean that some sort of correction won't be dealt out, but it does influence the severity of the correction/punishment.
FOr many actions, of course, intent has little to do with it - if a persongets drunk out of thier skull, and plows into a daycare centerand kills a bunch of kids, the fact ia that they chose to get drunk, and then to get behind the wheel.
As for diving the intentions of others - well, I can't offer anyone any guidance in that area - that's part of my "problem", that lack of instinct about people. Theoretically, I know all sorts fo psychological, sociological, emotional, and etc., reasons, drives, instigators, and so on. A lot fo people have found that helpful - but I have absolutely no ability whatsoever to apply any of it to personal situations, ones wherein I am directly involved. So, regarding that whole topic (knowing other poeple's intentions), all I can offer is theory - any practical application is up to the other person...
At the same time, as I have gotten older, and realized how often (and how badly!) my own intentions have been, and are, misconstrued, I've also gotten a bit mroe generous when dealing directly with others, because I realize (with age) that I *don't* know their intentions, and i realize (with age) that some of the goofiest things are done with the best intentions. So I've ended up being something of a "diplomat" in the quibbles of others, because I can point out that such-and-such an action or word was done with good intentions but a lack of understanding.
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