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.
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,
(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
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).
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
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.
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.
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
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
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...
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.
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
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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