Religious Thread [8] - CLOSED

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Message 417895 - Posted: 9 Sep 2006, 16:20:05 UTC - in response to Message 417871.  

My Hyland,

I don't think anyone can prove that God (or aliens) doesn't exist. You cannot prove a negative. You can only prove that they DO exist.

Regards,
Susan.


1. I can do that....

2. I can disprove your notions if you define your god this and that way.......
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Message 417913 - Posted: 9 Sep 2006, 17:09:43 UTC

I cannot define God any more than I can define E.T.
'No one can make you inferior without your consent.'
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Message 417967 - Posted: 9 Sep 2006, 21:02:33 UTC

Mr Hyland,
I would like to offer another thought of my own. I don't really have a faith. Yet my inablity to perceive a God might be more to do with my own limited perception and understanding.
I have heard of mystics who spent many years in contemplative prayer in order to discipline the mind. These practitioners have reported remarkable experiences. They often say they can experience another level of god-centred reality which appears to be just as real to them as perhaps my experience of colour is to me. I believe St John of the Cross was one such mystic?
This seems to me that IF there is a God of some sort, he can only be experienced, not defined by language or proved by orthodox science. Just because I cannot define a colour or a scent - or my subjective thoughts and experiences, doesn't mean they are not there. Logic seems to dictate that they are.
I will continue to keep an open mind on the subject because it is so interesting to me. I will probably need to do a bit more reading on it as well, but whatever God is, it/he might exist where we can't find him/it.

Regards,
Susan.
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Message 418032 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 2:08:08 UTC - in response to Message 417967.  

Mr Hyland,
I would like to offer another thought of my own. I don't really have a faith. Yet my inablity to perceive a God might be more to do with my own limited perception and understanding.
I have heard of mystics who spent many years in contemplative prayer in order to discipline the mind. These practitioners have reported remarkable experiences. They often say they can experience another level of god-centred reality which appears to be just as real to them as perhaps my experience of colour is to me. I believe St John of the Cross was one such mystic?
This seems to me that IF there is a God of some sort, he can only be experienced, not defined by language or proved by orthodox science. Just because I cannot define a colour or a scent - or my subjective thoughts and experiences, doesn't mean they are not there. Logic seems to dictate that they are.
I will continue to keep an open mind on the subject because it is so interesting to me. I will probably need to do a bit more reading on it as well, but whatever God is, it/he might exist where we can't find him/it.

Regards,
Susan.


Susan:
I do not and will not attempt to prove the existance of God. As I understand it, the human brain is wired to experience the mystic experiences you spoke about, but it is extraordinarily difficult to achieve. Monks of various flavors (Buddhist, Vaishnava and others) train their minds for years to get to the point where they can enter the altered state at will.

The difficulty of this training is the primary reason that many of these orders of monks train their bodies in martial arts. Extended periods of meditation require a strong, healthy body to sustain.

On the western side of the world, prayer & privation used to be the most common method of achieving the same end.

Robert:
If you can grant that the human brain appears to be wired to enjoy (or not)the mystical experience, I posit that the trait enhances the chance of survival on the personal level. Otherwise the trait would not be so common.
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Message 418131 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 8:22:47 UTC
Last modified: 10 Sep 2006, 8:31:46 UTC

My Hyland,
You say, 'I posit that the trait enhances the chance of survival on the personal level.'
This is not totally clear to me, but I believe that those people who have obtained some degree of heightened 'awareness' or 'integration' of the human faculties (to put it another way) often display a change in personality or attitude towards others - or the world in general.
I was fortunate enough to attend a Catholic seminar some years ago on contemplative prayer (or meditation to use another phrase) and I purchased a very good book by Thomas Keating, called 'Open Heart, Open Mind - The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel.' It seemed to be saying very much the same thing, that a change in consciousness can bring benefits to the individual. Keating took the reader through every stage of the ' meditative path' to final 'Union' as he put it. Thomas Keating is also a mytic I believe. However, his book argues from a Christian perspective.

Regards,
Susan.
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Message 418134 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 8:37:25 UTC
Last modified: 10 Sep 2006, 8:39:11 UTC

I think this is a dangerous argument..there are lots of things that the brain is wired to do and we can only guess at the reason for it. Also to say that we have evolved to be recpetive to mystical experiences does not mean that those experiences are genuine even if they do have a value for the survival of the species.
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Message 418142 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 9:29:52 UTC - in response to Message 418134.  

I think this is a dangerous argument..there are lots of things that the brain is wired to do and we can only guess at the reason for it. Also to say that we have evolved to be recpetive to mystical experiences does not mean that those experiences are genuine even if they do have a value for the survival of the species.

Define genuine in this context, please.
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Message 418144 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 9:34:42 UTC - in response to Message 418142.  

I think this is a dangerous argument..there are lots of things that the brain is wired to do and we can only guess at the reason for it. Also to say that we have evolved to be recpetive to mystical experiences does not mean that those experiences are genuine even if they do have a value for the survival of the species.

Define genuine in this context, please.

Genuine as in having an existence separate from the users brain.
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Message 418184 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 12:13:26 UTC
Last modified: 10 Sep 2006, 12:16:15 UTC

Es99,
Can I just interrupt a moment in response to your reply.
Whether these experiences are 'genuine' or not, if they have a survival value for the species then perhaps they are more likely to be benefitial rather than harmful. People who have had them have reported positive changes in their lives. (This appears to be the very opposite of what mind-altering drugs seem to do, who's effects appear to be more often negative). I think, that if a given mental state has positive benefits, then it INCREASES its chances of being genuine. But I would not say, conclusively that it IS genuine.

Sue.
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Message 418190 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 12:40:46 UTC - in response to Message 418184.  

Es99,
Can I just interrupt a moment in response to your reply.
Whether these experiences are 'genuine' or not, if they have a survival value for the species then perhaps they are more likely to be benefitial rather than harmful. People who have had them have reported positive changes in their lives. (This appears to be the very opposite of what mind-altering drugs seem to do, who's effects appear to be more often negative). I think, that if a given mental state has positive benefits, then it INCREASES its chances of being genuine. But I would not say, conclusively that it IS genuine.

Sue.

I think you are making an assumption of what their purpose is in a species and exactly what the benefit derived is. To use your drug analogy ..the brain has receptors in it that drugs like marijuana can take advantage of. Those receptors obviously have benefit to the species, but whether they were designed for drug use or another purpose is something else.

So there is something in our brains that makes us susceptible to religious experience. Is it the religious experience itself beneficial or is it a side effect of some other process?

It is true that there are many people who derive benefit from using religion, but there are just as many who suffer from it. To say it has positive benefits and therefore it must be genuine makes no sense to me. Dreaming has positive benefits on the brain, but most people accept that dreams are not real.
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Message 418200 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 13:55:39 UTC

Es99,
It's interesting you should say that. Apparently there are some people who have had 'mystical' experiences or other insights but they have never been near religion in their lives.

Sue.
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Message 418202 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 14:11:13 UTC - in response to Message 418200.  

Es99,
It's interesting you should say that. Apparently there are some people who have had 'mystical' experiences or other insights but they have never been near religion in their lives.

Sue.

LSD can have that effect...schizophrenia...having a hole drilled in your skull...

I think they even induced it in people by using certain sound frequencies.
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Message 418214 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 15:14:57 UTC

Es99
Well I hope it has some benefit in those people's lives too. Actually, if these experiences are just brain processes, what's the point in spending years in a monastery meditating? Or years in contemplation?
The seminar I went to a few years ago, they called it 'centering' that is finding your centre where God was supposed to dwell. Why don't I just drink a few glasses of wine? I would 'centre' beautifully in a fraction of the amount of time.(Laugh).

Sue.
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Message 418221 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 15:34:08 UTC

I am not sure whether this theory reflects SETI views but pretty probable:

Um Ma Ni Bad Me Hum - it is very Buddhist phrase like Amen or Blessing in Christian religion.

They say Um [u-m] is gods universe highest of all I guess superintellegent ET's.

Ma [m-a] is what we call heaven.

Ni [n-i] is us.

Bad [b-a-d] is animal world.

Me [m-i] another lower world ones who eat and consume but never feel full.

Hum [h-u-m] is hell.

So I guess in buddhist view they crunched six different ET worlds by now. Or these are some paralell universe classifications I am not sure. But still it really classifies some universes.
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Message 418225 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 15:42:04 UTC

Orqil,
I don't understand, are you a Buddhist. Buddhists don't believe in God do they?

Sue.
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Message 418229 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 15:52:35 UTC
Last modified: 10 Sep 2006, 15:56:34 UTC

Well I am from Buddhist culture and some beleiver.

the above phrase is their main phrase I guess in your way it is like god save us, something closer but the description talks about some universe classifaction.

it is actually from hinduism and now many of their fancy words like guru, mantra, karma, yoga are pretty well practiced in the west.

Buddhism has many different gods almost like christianity. Or maybe we are observing same thing from two different angle :) .
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Message 418234 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 15:58:36 UTC

Orqil,
MMMMM, let me see if I know the meaning of some of those. 'Guru' means a spiritual teacher, like Siddhartha Guatama, right? 'Mantra' is like a word you repeat over and over during meditation. Yoga is a system of bodily and mental self-discipline designed to bring about 'integration' or 'yoking.' And 'karma' is to do with the law of cause and effect in the moral world. Am I right?

Sue.
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Message 418235 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 15:59:28 UTC - in response to Message 418225.  
Last modified: 10 Sep 2006, 16:00:01 UTC

Orqil,
I don't understand, are you a Buddhist. Buddhists don't believe in God do they?

Sue.

According to the Buddha the moral order rests on each individual and not on any divine being
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Message 418241 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 16:03:48 UTC

Susan that is right.
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Message 418243 - Posted: 10 Sep 2006, 16:04:48 UTC

Captain Avatar,
So we have to take personal responsibility for our own spiritual growth, according to Buddha? No saviour, just the individual. Right?

Sue.
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Message boards : Politics : Religious Thread [8] - CLOSED


 
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