The Urantia Book

Cino

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Thanks for that overview, I think I have a better picture of the Urantia Book in relation to the Christian Bible now, @Norm.

So, with the additional revelations in the Urantia book, what's the plan? Do individual adherents work towards a greater acceptance of this message, or is it expected to spread on its own merits - is there a sense of a mission within the community? Initiatives like the publishing venture you mentioned seem to not have had universal support within your group?

What is an individual expected to do with the revelation?
 
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Norm

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Cino wrote: >"Yes. It seems to assume the authenticity of the gospel accounts in their entirety as a foundation."

I think the revelators do that because WE do that. If they want to connect with us, they have to try to connect with the prevailing religious beliefs on the planet. Part IV of the book, the last 700 pages or so, about 1/3 of the total text of the book, is "The Life and Teachings of Jesus." It's not about Paul, as the Christian "New Testament' is. And of course in the New Testament, the only part of it that's exclusively about Jesus is the four "gospels" of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And that's what Part IV of The Urantia Book is all about as well. Aside from those four gospel books, the rest of the New Testament is pretty much by Paul about Paul, a man Jesus never heard of.

>"I find it quaint and naive actually."

LOL. I understand, but once you read the book and put it in perspective with the Christian texts and the universe you get used to it and get over it. After that, it all seems perfectly normal. New things always seem strange at first until they become mainstream. As Gandhi said:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Haha.

>"It's certainly not beyond the ability of an imaginative hunan writer to produce, imo""

Yeah, perhaps. I know that's the way it seems t the untrained eye, to the great unwashed. But if you read the entire text, that idea fades away. And if you start today and read 10 pages a day, you'll be done in six months and we can the better talk about it then. For me, there's not a day goes by that if I read the book that I can't find a paragraph that makes me say, "That certainly wasn't written by any man." So, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. And as we say, "You have to read it to believe it." How could it be elsewise? (I like that word, "elsewise".)
 
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Norm

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Gotta post this here as I can't find the original:


Thanks for that overview, I think I have a better picture of the Urantia Book in relation to the Christian Bible now, @Norm.

So, with the additional revelations in the Urantia book, what's the plan?

Good question. Well, for many years because of custom and the copyright, the movement was under the de facto control of Urantia Foundation (UF) and for better or worse their policy was ultra conservative, "slow growth" "person to person" stuff, no full page ads in TIME magazine, etc. So that put the stifle on early exuberance and evangelizing and it's been hard for the movement to shed that early philosophy. There really is no "plan" as such but most of us try to spread the knowledge of The Urantia Book in our own ways. Maybe that's a plan after all. As it is, I think there's over a million bound Urantia Books in the world an it's been translated into quite a few other languages and the text is freely available online. It's infiltrating the world quietly. I used to send books to people for free for a long time but I found out that if people have their own money in it, they take it more seriously and they want to get their money's worth and are more likely to read it if they bought it. So I send them to Amazon.

Do individual adherents work towards a greater acceptance of this message,

No. That is, not for me. Yes, probably for others though. I try NOT to overtly "work towards a greater acceptance of this message." That is, I am NOT in the convincing business. That's what Christians do, they try to convince, try to sell, they cajole and browbeat and so on. I don't do that and most "Urantians" don't do that. I try to tell people about the availability of the book, like leading a horse to water, you can't make it drink. What I want to do is say, "look for yourself." "Come and see" as Philip said to Nathaniel:

John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, "Come and see." (John 1:46)

or is it expected to spread on its own merits -

Yes, probably. If you can get people to read it. Thar's the rub. But the size of the book and the indoctrination of most Christians presents a stumbling block to all but the most serious seekers of truth.

is there a sense of a mission within the community?

Yes, I think so and the mission is to make the people AWARE of this new revelation. After that, it's on them.

Initiatives like the publishing venture you mentioned seem to not have had universal support within your group?

I'm not sure what you're referring to. There are two groups currently publishing the book, Urantia Foundation and The Urantia Book Fellowship.

What is an individual expected to do with the revelation?

Read it and believe it, if it rings their truth bell, I'd say.
 

Ella S.

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"...What is objectively right"? How does that work?

We adapted moral intuition and a sense of purpose because it was naturally selected for to improve our species' continued survival. The meta-purpose of purpose is to keep our genome alive. It is the natural and ultimate purpose written on our genetic code.

All other purposes are measured by that one. Our moral intuitions are imperfect because they only had to be "good enough" to keep our species alive, but we also evolved reason and a sense of purpose in order to correct these intuitions. It's quite easy to derive our natural purpose this way.

Aristotle wrote about something quite similar in ancient Greece, called a "natural teleology." He described how we can tell whether a human is good in the same way we can tell whether a clock is good, and how this does not require any sort of supernatural intervention. He rested the concept on an idea called one's "nature," which today we understand as genetic and written in our DNA.

Really? Are you an atheist?

Indeed.

Maybe they can and maybe they can't.

Who says it can't be erased?

It's not a matter of "maybe they can be productive members of society." It's a matter of the fact that they're sentient beings. Their survival contributes to the total survival of our species, regardless of how much you might want to dehumanize them, because they're still living, sentient beings.

Society decides if it matters or not.

No, it doesn't. Society has no power to redefine morality. It's objective.

What special treatment are you talking about? Do you mean the idea that society is not obligated to provide free room and board to heinous criminals for the rest of their lives?

I don't really want to kill anyone. It's society we're talking about not me. And how is dealing just punishment as determined by societies any more inefficient than many other things humans do, like waging war?

There is no such thing as "just punishment." All retributive punishment does is subtract from the total well-being of a society. It is almost always wrong. No human is worth more or less than another one. We all contribute to the total well-being equally as individuals.

Why have you chosen to go ad hominem, making it personal? I had said, "giving heinous criminals free room and board for their life certainly harms society, it drags it down, it puts an unnecessary burden on the citizens." I said it harms society, not that it harms me, the way you said it.

I doubt that your concern is really with society. I think you just don't like the idea of your taxes being used to help people you dislike. There's nothing noble in that.

Otherwise, tell me what this "burden" is that they actually place on society and how it has a negative effect on the health of anyone. Then demonstrate that these negative effects caused by keeping "heinous criminals" alive is more than what we would get from killing them,

That sounds like an opinion. In any case, society decides if it's worth it or not, not you.

No, it's not an opinion; it is object fact. Society has no say on the matter.

Regardless of whether you believe we "should" use utility or democracy as a measure of morality, utility itself can be objectively measured.

So you say. But society may disagree with you and society does the deciding about keeping heinous criminals alive or not.

I've deleted the small part of what was left, mainly because I don't know who wrote it, I don't know who "ETA" is. Is that another person in the conversation?

Bye for now.

Society has also supported numerous atrocities in the past and different societies have different values. What "society" agrees about is nothing more than Argumentum ad Populum, which is a logical fallacy, and your particular form has a great deal of in-group bias and presentism, to boot.

Your whole argument is illogical.
 
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seattlegal

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We adapted moral intuition and a sense of purpose because it was naturally selected for to improve our species' continued survival. The meta-purpose of purpose is to keep our genome alive. It is the natural and ultimate purpose written on our genetic code.

All other purposes are measured by that one. Our moral intuitions are imperfect because they only had to be "good enough" to keep our species alive, but we also evolved reason and a sense of purpose in order to correct these intuitions. It's quite easy to derive our natural purpose this way.

<...>

Society has also supported numerous atrocities in the past and different societies have different values. What "society" agrees about is nothing more than Argumentum ad Populum, which is a logical fallacy, and your particular form has a great deal of in-group bias and presentism, to boot.

Your whole argument is illogical.
Argumentum ad Populum may be a pragmatic application of the meta-purpose to keep the genome alive within a warmongering population. Within such a population, "who would win if we fought to the death?" would be favored over "love your enemies."
 

Ella S.

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Argumentum ad Populum may be a pragmatic application of the meta-purpose to keep the genome alive within a warmongering population. Within such a population, "who would win if we fought to the death?" would be favored over "love your enemies."

I think that's irrelevant. It doesn't make that meta-purpose correct.

ETA: To elaborate, I'm not denying what you're saying here. It could be the case that it's better to adhere to some form of democracy and that the benefits of doing so outweigh the harm that said democracy causes. It could be the most pragmatic approach.

That wouldn't necessarily be an Argumentum ad Populum and could be a logical argument in favor of following what people vote for.

I'm not really concerned with that, though, because I have no power over how our system is run. I'm more concerned with whether specific actions are ethical or not. I could argue that it would still be more ethical if we, as a society, voted against capital punishment, making the arguments for democracy sort of ancillary.

Now if we genuinely had to choose between not having capital punishment and having a true democracy, that would be a different dichotomy. I'm skeptical that this really reflects reality, though.
 
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RJM

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Norm has requested that his account be terminated
 

seattlegal

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He did specifically come here to tangle with me over a 10-year-old post where I called the Urantia Book a "channeled work." So blame me, if you need to blame anyone. *shrugs*
 

RabbiO

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If you do a web search you’ll find some interesting info on our former member.
 

Cino

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He did specifically come here to tangle with me over a 10-year-old post where I called the Urantia Book a "channeled work." So blame me, if you need to blame anyone. *shrugs*
No need.
 

LuisMarco

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The Urantia Papers (its original title), aka The Urantia Book (1955, Chicago, US, original language: English): it being the self-proclaimed fifth (of five, so far) epochal, divine revelation to us humanity, authored by invisible, celestial, beings; Urantia being the name of our world, which meaning is found immediately at the front page of this Urantia-related website: https://UBannotated.com/

but please hold on, before you dismiss the Urantia Revelation (because you may even decide, at some point, to peruse the whole book, of almost 2100 pages long and divided into four parts), URANTIA has a thoroughly historically documented story of its own origins, and not only online, there are actual physical documents related to this.

URANTIA's very first paragraph, from its first Foreword paper (of 197 papers in total):
Paper:section.paragraph (page.paragraph)
0:0.1 (1.1) IN THE MINDS of the mortals of Urantia—that being the name of your world—there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity. Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the relationships of the divine personalities designated by these numerous appellations. Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this introductory statement in explanation of the meanings which should be attached to certain word symbols as they may be hereinafter used in those papers which the Orvonton corps of truth revealers have been authorized to translate into the English language of Urantia.
however, there are several more passages within URANTIA speaking of itself and of the celestial beings themselves who authored it, too; and here's one of the most important ones without doubt (emphasis in the original URANTIA text):
92:4.4 (1007.4) There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:

92:4.5 (1007.5) 1. The Dalamatian teachings. The true concept of the First Source and Center was first promulgated on Urantia by the one hundred corporeal members of Prince Caligastia’s staff. This expanding revelation of Deity went on for more than three hundred thousand years until it was suddenly terminated by the planetary secession and the disruption of the teaching regime. Except for the work of Van, the influence of the Dalamatian revelation was practically lost to the whole world. Even the Nodites had forgotten this truth by the time of Adam’s arrival. Of all who received the teachings of the one hundred, the red men held them longest, but the idea of the Great Spirit was but a hazy concept in Amerindian religion when contact with Christianity greatly clarified and strengthened it.

92:4.6 (1007.6) 2. The Edenic teachings. Adam and Eve again portrayed the concept of the Father of all to the evolutionary peoples. The disruption of the first Eden halted the course of the Adamic revelation before it had ever fully started. But the aborted teachings of Adam were carried on by the Sethite priests, and some of these truths have never been entirely lost to the world. The entire trend of Levantine religious evolution was modified by the teachings of the Sethites. But by 2500 b.c. mankind had largely lost sight of the revelation sponsored in the days of Eden.

92:4.7 (1007.7) 3. Melchizedek of Salem. This emergency Son of Nebadon inaugurated the third revelation of truth on Urantia. The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith. He taught trust in the omnipotent beneficence of God and proclaimed that faith was the act by which men earned God’s favor. His teachings gradually commingled with the beliefs and practices of various evolutionary religions and finally developed into those theologic systems present on Urantia at the opening of the first millennium after Christ.

92:4.8 (1008.1) 4. Jesus of Nazareth. Christ Michael presented for the fourth time to Urantia the concept of God as the Universal Father, and this teaching has generally persisted ever since. The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.

92:4.9 (1008.2) 5. The Urantia Papers. The papers, of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia.​

URANTIA was and is meant for all of course, so its text is online for free reading and downloading; and it's also in the public domain of its English text since the decade of the 2000's.

URANTIA validates the Intelligent Design theory, although of course it is not its main focus or revelation (encompassing countless revelations!), but yes it says many places within it that the universe was created by GOD our Paradise Universal Father and there being a one and only Paradise Trinity, all and every person being One, etc, and yes GOD being ONE and the First Cause and Center Personality, and the uncaused CAUSE of ALL.

speaking of the intelligent design discovered in general, by the midwayers or midway creatures, resident in our planet (midway between we humans and the angels):
58:2.3 (665.6) And yet some of the less imaginative of your mortal mechanists insist on viewing material creation and human evolution as an accident. The Urantia midwayers have assembled over fifty thousand facts of physics and chemistry which they deem to be incompatible with the laws of accidental chance, and which they contend unmistakably demonstrate the presence of intelligent purpose in the material creation. And all of this takes no account of their catalogue of more than one hundred thousand findings outside the domain of physics and chemistry which they maintain prove the presence of mind in the planning, creation, and maintenance of the material cosmos.​
 
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