"This place is dangerous for trying to find truth"

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Avi

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Besides wil, most of the other strong theists seem to have disappeared as well. All that is left here is the mutual admiration club of Tao; Avi and Citizenzen. Very onesided..I am sorry that I haven't posted more but I have argued postmodernity vs modernity until I am blue in the face and at times get weary of the snide sarcastic responses that are thrown around.

Hi Janz, I totally agree, I like to consider myself a rationalist with a twist of theism, but you are right, it looks as if all the theists have left the board. Perhaps you could encourage Brian to un-ban a certain German Christian theist with strong Lutheran beliefs (named Ludvig :D).
 

Dream

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Janz, I also am sorry when a poster leaves or goes dormant. I don't like it when I make a post and see my name up there for too many days in a row, either. I am not sure what makes a post attractive besides its outlandishness. I've read clever posts that nobody including me would want to respond to. I've seen well researched points of view that nobody cared for but also chicken scratch that got everyone wanting to jump in on. Its like when you're having a meeting: its more successful if somebody brings bagels.

You know, the strongest theist we ever had was a character called Mee, and Mee kept a lot of otherwise dead threads going. Mee had this interesting way of responding that really ticked people off, and all the rest of us were able to appear comparatively rational. When I first got here, the trinity was a discussion that seemed endless. It was like an engine with an infinite hot and cold sync, and most of the actual posts (and the friendships) on the forum were made over scuffles in the Abrahamic forum. Everything connected to topics like predestination, 3-in-1, heaven & hell. It made for lots of lively conversation, only Mee got tired of being the life of the party.

Snoopy on the other hand seems a little mysterious. Snoopy is opinionated yet not nearly so outlandishly impervious. I'd say that me and Snoopy did not have much to discuss as we almost did not speak the same language. (I could say the same for most of the Islamic posters as well.) One big thing snoopy had going was his pointed disagreements with Vajradhara. Those can make interesting reading twice in a row. I also could never figure out why snoopy wouldn't use a Snoopy avatar. I thought that was just absolutely unforgiveable, but that is just me. I liked Snoopy's OO7ishness.

Posters are people, so it is really an honor to meet so many different ones on the net. Probably lots of different posters are on the way, will revisit, and/or will leave. They are all a little bit like the breeze. I doubt the conversation is over.
 

Avi

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@Avi,
I have a few Reformed Jewish friends who are atheists and agnostics. What camp do you favor?

Hi again Janz, I would consider myself a rationalist. Not a big fan of mysticism, like Hasidism or Kabbalah. I am seeking to understand the modern Jewish movements more deeply, Reconstructionism and Renewal. I am not sure I will fall into any one camp, I think it makes more sense to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each movement and assemble a set of ideas which best fits my own views.

When I was younger there was discussion that one could not be an atheist if they were Jewish, I am not sure this is still the case, but I am also not sure the label really matters too much.

You also seem pretty unaligned and I think you like to look at each position individually, where do you consider yourself on the liberal / conservative Christian spectrum (is that even the right question ?).
 

Paladin

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Maybe he was just scared. We are lucky, we have access to all the thinking since then and the foundation that has been built for us to stand on is easily overlooked. I think from what I have read in bits and pieces over the years he was scared. He was given ultimatums and threatened grievously. I think it an irrelevant question whether or not he was an atheist for in his day there were no actual atheists. Everybody thought in terms of their quest as being to understand the nature of god. It was actually not possible to write as we do in modern terms, they did not have the vocabulary. What Spinoza did was trigger an explosion in vocabulary. I think the pantheists/panantheists have to attribute him as their founding father but my ~feel~ for his work is that they would still be making something of it that he himself did not.
From wiki...
The consequences of Spinoza's system also envisages a God that does not rule over the universe by providence, but a God which itself is the deterministic system of which everything in nature is a part. Thus, according to this understanding of Spinoza's system, God would be the natural world and have no personality.


It is this that sets Spinoza as a part and that created first the enlightenment then modern atheism. He is a pivotal character and Avi included him entirely justly.




Like this one? :D

Helgeland Bridge


Really? I'm sorry David I have to strongly disagree. A thorough reading of Spinoza's Ethics makes me feel otherwise and even the wiki blurb shows me something other than simple atheism. Spinoza was often accused of atheism which blinded many people to what was actually being said. Sad really.

I'm surprised CZ didn't spot the zen flavor in the little wiki quote.
 

Janz

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Hi again Janz, I would consider myself a rationalist. Not a big fan of mysticism, like Hasidism or Kabbalah. I am seeking to understand the modern Jewish movements more deeply, Reconstructionism and Renewal. I am not sure I will fall into any one camp, I think it makes more sense to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each movement and assemble a set of ideas which best fits my own views.

When I was younger there was discussion that one could not be an atheist if they were Jewish, I am not sure this is still the case, but I am also not sure the label really matters too much.

You also seem pretty unaligned and I think you like to look at each position individually, where do you consider yourself on the liberal / conservative Christian spectrum (is that even the right question ?).

Ha..I am a Universalist..a postmodernist who believes that all paths are going to the same place(that includes atheists even tho they may not know it yet); to me, that place is Union with the Divine. Yes, I do believe we are electrical energy as well as physical matter. Most conservative Christians do not consider me a Christian; although, I have a very deep theological understanding of their position. Lunamoth and path of one are two posters that I feel represent quite a few of my beliefs.

I have no faith in rationalism and consider myself a mystic. As I have said before, I have flashes of understanding and from those intuitive moments, I know what I know to be true for me. However, that doesn't mean that I dismiss research as I tend to then look for others who think the same way or NOT.
 

Paladin

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That's what I love about you CZ, always a surprise, never predictable :)

David, maybe a reading from Wei Wu Wei, before you delve into Spinoza would illustrate my perspective better...

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread... ;0
 

Mike Maybury

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Truth.
After being brought up and educated in Christian (C of E) schools, I came across other religions as a 15 year old. Soon after that the label 'seeker after Truth' might have been applied, as I practised Yoga and investigated Theosophy, Vedanta and Buddhism among other ideas.
Luckily, at the same time I came across Gandhian ideas of non-violence and vegetarianism. These practical ideas formed a solid grounding for living, albeit making me one of a rather small minority.
As the years have passed I have tended to become more and more sceptical of any people who claim to have the Truth, particularly if they believe that it resides in a holy book or organisation.
For some years now I find that atheism and secular thinking, though rather boring at times (the people in particular!) seems to be a sound way to look at the world and its problems. To await some fancy future after death does seem very peculiar. There are so many visions of this future, and only one can be right! To waste time, while we are on this earth, thinking of such things does seem rather a waste of time.
Having said that, Vedanta, with the all encompassing idea of Brahman and the individual Atman, does seem to be more all encompassing than atheism or secularism which remain earthbound!
 

Raksha

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Here's the thing, though Avi. Because you're bound to defend your own corner of speculation you wind up having to defend all the other corners- even if you're pretty sure they're utter crap. You're forced to make bedfellows of cranks and idiots and follow along silently while they make you look like a nimrod by association. Doesn't that get tiring?

Chris,

Yes, it definitely gets tiring!

--Linda
 

Avi

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Quote: Chris
Here's the thing, though Avi. Because you're bound to defend your own corner of speculation you wind up having to defend all the other corners- even if you're pretty sure they're utter crap. You're forced to make bedfellows of cranks and idiots and follow along silently while they make you look like a nimrod by association. Doesn't that get tiring?

Chris,
Yes, it definitely gets tiring!
--Linda

Ut oh, they are starting to gang up on me now :eek: !!

Ok folks, since my views are tiring you out, I will start to be more direct in my exploration and criticism of some of the posters irrationality, lets start with you two, I think a see a fount of opportunities, it should be pretty easy for me to deal with. ;) Perhaps you find it tiring to deal with the rigor of rational analysis, hummm ??:D. You might have to tax those little brain cells ??

Neither of you have either bothered to argue with any of my points, you are just making a personal attack. At least have the courtesy to say what points you are disagreeing with me on :cool:.

And Linda, I am really upset with you :p, I have tried to defend you against that big mean BB, and look how you treat me now :p !!
 

Raksha

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I think this may relate to some here but only a minority who are shouted down by some very belligerent and ignorant individuals. So I'll tidy up my personal conversations and be on my way with thanks to those who have been helpful in the last few weeks.

Breeze,

Please don't leave! You're such a nice person and very intelligent too. There's no reason you have to participate, or continue to participate, in discussions that seem to be taking an overly negative or combative tone.

Blessed Be,
Linda
 

Tao_Equus

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That's what I love about you CZ, always a surprise, never predictable :)

David, maybe a reading from Wei Wu Wei, before you delve into Spinoza would illustrate my perspective better...

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread... ;0

I have not read Ethica, my view of Spinoza being entirely derived from references to him. Perhaps reading it would be worthwhile given his status in the history of philosophy.

I liked this about Terence Gray, your Taoist old Etonian,:

The writer of these lines has nothing whatsoever to teach anyone; his words are just his contribution to our common discussion of what must inevitably be for us the most important subject which could be discussed by sentient beings.
 

nativeastral

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Truth.
After being brought up and educated in Christian (C of E) schools, I came across other religions as a 15 year old. Soon after that the label 'seeker after Truth' might have been applied, as I practised Yoga and investigated Theosophy, Vedanta and Buddhism among other ideas.
Luckily, at the same time I came across Gandhian ideas of non-violence and vegetarianism. These practical ideas formed a solid grounding for living, albeit making me one of a rather small minority.
As the years have passed I have tended to become more and more sceptical of any people who claim to have the Truth, particularly if they believe that it resides in a holy book or organisation.
For some years now I find that atheism and secular thinking, though rather boring at times (the people in particular!) seems to be a sound way to look at the world and its problems. To await some fancy future after death does seem very peculiar. There are so many visions of this future, and only one can be right! To waste time, while we are on this earth, thinking of such things does seem rather a waste of time.
Having said that, Vedanta, with the all encompassing idea of Brahman and the individual Atman, does seem to be more all encompassing than atheism or secularism which remain earthbound!

Hi Mike and welcome to Interfroth! I agree with your line of thinking totally; knowing I am connected even to the stars above is as unsecular as you can get!

Wanted to post this rather long essay of Paul Brunton who you may be familiar with, straddling east and west thinking, from a seemingly new philosophy site which emphasises that different realities [or 'Truths'] stem from different cultures/concepts.

Paul is putting forward what Spinoza would concur with [an idealism or acosmism as much as a materialism or substance theory]. And fits in with the continental/existential model of the inseparability of self/not self or dasein [being there]/or external world . After all it was Spinoza who coined 'determination is a negation', later developed by Kants antimonies/Hegels antitheses [in the west]. He also pointed out the Principle of sufficient Reason for All that is [and was not given credence to the evolutionary thought of his definition of conatus or the self preservatory nature/taking a stand]. Don't think Brunton is as deterministic as Spinoza though!

''We may deal with the admittedly hard problem of world existence in two ways; we may either shelve it or solve it. The materialistic theory pushes it behind an unknown and unknowable 'matter' and thus merely shelves it, whereas the mentalistic theory actually solves it. Remove thought and you remove things; annihilate mind and you annihilate matter.''

Hyponoetics - Philosophy of Mind, Paul Brunton
 

Avi

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Ha..I am a Universalist..a postmodernist who believes that all paths are going to the same place(that includes atheists even tho they may not know it yet); to me, that place is Union with the Divine. Yes, I do believe we are electrical energy as well as physical matter. Most conservative Christians do not consider me a Christian; although, I have a very deep theological understanding of their position. Lunamoth and path of one are two posters that I feel represent quite a few of my beliefs.

That is interesting Janz, I have heard alot about UU, I have heard that they do not necessarily accept the Trinity, is that true ? I tried to find that on wiki, but could not do so. I also know they are very accepting of other faiths, and I think that is great.

I also agree with you that Poo especially, brought many interesting points out with a wonderful writing style, which I very much enjoyed. I miss reading her posts.

I have no faith in rationalism

This is a very interesting choice of words :). I think one of the key features of rationalism is that no faith is required (sort of like no instructions are required in building some machines). Do you need any faith that the time it takes for a rock to fall a certain distance only depends on its mass and the acceleration of gravity ? I do not mean to use a physics analogy to make the example more complex. I think rationality answers many questions which religion has dealt with, poorly, for many years, such as the age of the earth and evolution of humans.


and consider myself a mystic. As I have said before, I have flashes of understanding and from those intuitive moments, I know what I know to be true for me. However, that doesn't mean that I dismiss research as I tend to then look for others who think the same way or NOT.

Having said that I am primarily a rationalist, I do respect people who have mystical inclinations. I think it can be very rewarding for them. :)
 
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Ut oh, they are starting to gang up on me now :eek: !!

Ok folks, since my views are tiring you out, I will start to be more direct in my exploration and criticism of some of the posters irrationality, lets start with you two, I think a see a fount of opportunities, it should be pretty easy for me to deal with. ;) Perhaps you find it tiring to deal with the rigor of rational analysis, hummm ??:D. You might have to tax those little brain cells ??

Neither of you have either bothered to argue with any of my points, you are just making a personal attack. At least have the courtesy to say what points you are disagreeing with me on :cool:.

And Linda, I am really upset with you :p, I have tried to defend you against that big mean BB, and look how you treat me now :p !!

I don't generally argue, I riff off what others say. It seemed to me that you were defending Tradition in general. A lot of goofy, superstitious sh** falls under the category of Tradition. Do you find all of that Tradition equally valuable, or do you find that you can't really rip on certain things without destroying your factional support base here on the forum?

For example: Zionists need the support of whacko evagelicals. For that reason they can't really bust on their goofball theology even though they know that the Christian fundies just want them to keep the seat warm for them until Armageddon, and have no real interest a homeland for Jews. (Think of Joe Leiberman Uncle Tom-ing at Rev. Hagee's convention.)

Chris
 
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I actually have the same problem. I'm not supposed to rip on Obama around Righties, and I'm supposed to toe the atheist line since there's so few of us here.

Chris
 

nativeastral

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Hi Mike and welcome to Interfroth! I agree with your line of thinking totally; knowing I am connected even to the stars above is as unsecular as you can get!

Wanted to post this rather long essay of Paul Brunton who you may be familiar with, straddling east and west thinking, from a seemingly new philosophy site which emphasises that different realities [or 'Truths'] stem from different cultures/concepts.

Paul is putting forward what Spinoza would concur with [an idealism or acosmism as much as a materialism or substance theory]. And fits in with the continental/existential model of the inseparability of self/not self or dasein [being there]/or external world . After all it was Spinoza who coined 'determination is a negation', later developed by Kants antimonies/Hegels antitheses [in the west]. He also pointed out the Principle of sufficient Reason for All that is [and was not given credence to the evolutionary thought of his definition of conatus or the self preservatory nature/taking a stand]. Don't think Brunton is as deterministic as Spinoza though!

''We may deal with the admittedly hard problem of world existence in two ways; we may either shelve it or solve it. The materialistic theory pushes it behind an unknown and unknowable 'matter' and thus merely shelves it, whereas the mentalistic theory actually solves it. Remove thought and you remove things; annihilate mind and you annihilate matter.''

Hyponoetics - Philosophy of Mind, Paul Brunton

sorry, Paul's writing is under 'mentalism' on that site!
 

Avi

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I don't generally argue, I riff off what others say. It seemed to me that you were defending Tradition in general.

Chris, no problem, when I read this I realize that you have no idea at all where I am coming from. That is ok, I do not know your perspective either, so we are coming from the same place.

I am a Reform Jew, I am on the very liberal end of the spectrum of reform Judaism. The last thing I do is defend Tradition.


A lot of goofy, superstitious sh** falls under the category of Tradition. Do you find all of that Tradition equally valuable, or do you find that you can't really rip on certain things without destroying your factional support base here on the forum?

:D, are you serious ? My "factional support base here on the forum" ? Are you talking about BB, Dauer, and Linda ? Read our posts, we are about as far apart as the Conservative Christians and UU's.

As I mentioned, I disagree with most of traditional Judaism.

For example: Zionists need the support of whacko evagelicals.

And why is that ? I do not need the support of anyone in my views about Zionism. And my views about Zionism have little to do with tradition. They are primarily related to the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East.


For that reason they can't really bust on their goofball theology even though they know that the Christian fundies just want them to keep the seat warm for them until Armageddon, and have no real interest a homeland for Jews.
Chris

Interesting that you should bring this issue up. I have heard this view expressed before. I think it is a sad perspective, especially from an interfaith perspective. And I am not sure this is really the view even of Conservative Christians, at least I hope it is not.
 

Janz

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That is interesting Janz, I have heard alot about UU, I have heard that they do not necessarily accept the Trinity, is that true ? I tried to find that on wiki, but could not do so. I also know they are very accepting of other faiths, and I think that is great!

No I am not a member of the Unitarian Universalist church. I tried that cuppa tea and I find them a bit intolerant of Mystics. My faith is my own path and I tend not to align myself with any institution. My husband was a Physics Major in college and is now a Scientific Computer Engineer; however, he is a fan of The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.

Having said that I am primarily a rationalist, I do respect people who have mystical inclinations. I think it can be very rewarding for them. :)
Physicist Stephen Hawking remarked that mysticism is for those who can't do the math and the Reverend Doctor George Cairns retorted that "Mystics are people who don't need to do the math. They have direct experience!" :D

For more info on Cairns: Bio: Rev. Dr. George Cairns, Chairman of the Board - Turtle Island Project: Respecting First Nations peoples and the Environment | Reznet News
 
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