This relates to veganism, i promise :P.....I'm an atheist and a big fan of the Hitch (Christopher Hitchens) and his book 'god is not great' hence the tittle. anyway, by looking at religious books and just the world around us, if there was a god, it would mean humans in general are more compassionate than him/her/it ( or the people that forged these religions). If people believe in a god that would send a person to hell to eternal damnation, or a god that answers your prayers, but leaves people starving, or a god that asks for animal sacrifice, especialy if this is the message many people are giving to impressionable children. how do they justify their compassion for animals (or say that its even necessary) and belief in god at the same time? i don't feel they can go together, because i don't believe god is compassionate. And that religion teaches that humans are worthless servants. also take this verse in leviticus for instance talking about sacrificing a live dove . Leviticus, 1:12
“And he shall cut it into pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall lay them in order upon the wood that is on the fire upon the altar.”
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you are the universe there and now just like the wave is the ocean.
Beautiful. Interestingly, this is an analogy used in several religious texts, particularly Buddhist and Vedantic. But like you say, one needs to "break free of dogma" - then the analogy can be revealed for what it truly means.
now if you call the universe god...then you are god too. see the universe without you is not the universe anymore, it's incomplete.
So very true, and not just a poetic statement, but one of profound philosophic accuracy :)
I'm not the universe, Ben. God created me a special person. Each of us is special. Interesting concept.
There is no freedom with God? That is the lie that satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. Look at the mess we are in.
I guess I see it different. But then I am basing my views on the Bible. I respect your views. We each have the right to choose what we want to believe.
That is the lie that satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. Look at the mess we are in.
There was no lie. Only an offering. The offering was to "eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" - i.e. the offering was to become self-conscious with mind and reason, through which alone true choice can be made (and therefore free-will).
Also, consider that Lucifer means "Light Bearer" or "Light Bringer" - i.e. the light of consciousness, the flame of mind, or whichever other terms we wish to use, from any number of religious traditions. These ideas are not solely found in Christianity.
The main idea underlying the story of eden is the development of Man (humanity) from auto-conscious beings (i.e. from living in the garden of eden, wherein what we might call 'instinct' alone operates) to self-conscious beings (i.e. out of the garden of eden with self-conscious recognition and the ability to reason - to 'eat of the tree of knowledge').
This is also a story told in dozens of the world's most popular religious traditions, and is not solely a Christian story. There is much more to these stories than the dogma taught by a handful of priests. When the stories are approached using that gift of self-conscious reasoning they come to life with incredible depth of meaning.
The "mess we are in" is the same "mess" a child goes through while learning to walk. They trip and fall many times; they might even injure themselves many times. But we would never say that it is better to avoid these trips by remaining a helpless infant forever. In Christian language, we might say that "God wants us to grow up, even if it is painful and difficult to do so, and he 'uses' the mixture of light and dark in order to provide the essentials we need to grow".
If the Christian theology is to be understood at all, one must see that there is a cooperation between what we so ignorantly label as "light and dark" - it is the age-old idea of cooperation between 'spirit' and 'matter' (or for the scientists out there, energy and matter), which is necessary for the growth and maturity of "God's children" (or "beings in the universe"). Just as scientists now recognize that energy-matter is one and the same, so too must religious folk recognize that dark-light are also one and the same, and our journey through light-dark is what causes us to grow and blossom forth as self-conscious, thinking beings with conscience!
Another view of the Christian allegory for you to consider.
I respect your thoughts. I just honestly in my heart can't agree. But I still value you as a person.
Certainly, and I respect you as well.
Interesting thing is that we do not seem so far apart to me. Earlier you said:
"It is my belief that from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation - is the story of God working with humans (and their free choice) and his trying to help us desire something better and see His love. At the end of Revelation all things are made new. There will be no more pain, for animals or humans and we will all live together in peace.
I believe God is trying to get us to live closer and closer to the way things were in Eden."
If from beginning to end God is working with humans, then why is it far-fetched that Lucifer and the eating of the symbolic apple from the tree of knowledge be part of that effort?
Thing is, because of our growth and experience, when we "return to Eden" it will be with the addition of self-knowledge; we will be even "closer to God" due to our coming to understand "him" better. And "knowledge" plays a significant role in that - just as knowledge of "good and evil" or "health and not-health" led us to 811 :D
So, instead of living in Eden unconsciously, we can come to live in it consciously, wisely.
So, instead of living in Eden unconsciously, we can come to live in it consciously, wisely.
since you mentioned eden jon, it is time again for one of my fav quotes by percy bridgman who thought that through an honest pursuit of knowledge humanity really will improve and acquire a "courageous nobility":
"And in the end, when man has fully partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, there will be this difference between the first Eden and the last, that man will not become as a god, but remain forever humble".
Beautiful quote Prad! This idea that we begin "unconsciously" and rise, through the acquirement of "reason", to one day wisely live in harmony with all that is... this is part of every major world religion, so long as we're willing to look for it. It is also completely in-line with evolution - the two are not at odds.
And surely veganism and animal rights are part of this learning to live wisely. :)
Lucifer means "Light Bearer" or "Light Bringer"
cool! wasn't he the guy with the horns? cool!
I respect you views too seeing that you truly are sincere.
And I'm always open to different philosophies of life.
And I hope you are too, including studying other religions.
Diversity is the spice of life.
And being open and understanding many different cultural views on life really brings you joy.
Then you can separate fake dogma from the real stuff, dogma that was imagined to make sheeple and ideas that were imagined for the benefit of making us the best that we can be and free. Sparking our creativity.
Love and Peace,
Ben, Thank you for sharing. I understand what you are saying. Please know it's not about being closed minded. There are just some lessons, I don't have to keep learning over and over. For instance, I've learned the lesson that low fat vegan - whole plant foods is the healthiest. I honestly can't keep my mind open to experiment with animal products or coke or drugs etc. I guess, I have run down enough paths in other areas of life too and reading the Bible and choosing to believe it has transformed my life and so I am not open to believing that it is not truth. I honestly respect others however. I hope this makes sense.
The modern Christian interpretation of God is completely bunk. They believe that God is only responsible for good, and Satan is responsible for Evil - which means they do not believe God is benevolent/omniscient/etc. If God were truly all-powerful, "Satan" would be completely under his control. Since modern Christians cannot bring themselves to believe that God willed the holocaust to happen and God wills every death and evil deed, they contradict themselves - they say "God is all-powerful" then they say that "Satan does all the evil stuff though."
"Good" and "Evil" are relative/subjective.Good and evil are illusory dualistic concepts created and enforced by the reptilian portion of our brain, which automatically tries to assign "Good" or "evil" labels to anything, and respond with either joy or fear. There is no such thing as "good" or "evil." Everything just happens. It can seem good in a certain context or through a certain lense, or it can seem bad, but through no lense and with the entire universe and all of time as context, there is no good or bad. It just happened, and other things happened because of it.
So you say "i don't believe god is compassionate." But only modern Christianity believes that god is "Good." "God," if she/they existed (the original hebrew word is feminine and plural) would be neither compassionate nor evil, becuase those concepts are meaningless except to our primitive amygdala and linear left brain which is not capable of seeing the "big picture".
if god existed he would be apathetic yes, and yes i was focusing on the christian god. but on morality, can we agree that suffering is bad, therefore, reducing suffering is better. what of a god that supposedly has the power to reduce suffering, but does not, and actually increases it (punishment). or sits back and does nothing at all. do you not agree with me that it is evil, to let, or watch someone suffer knowing fully well the situation, and that there is nothing stopping you from helping.