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Survey says: importance of bible study varies (Debate in Progress)

Posted by 1minionsopinion on October 23, 2009

Not exactly an article that begs entry into the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, but a recent survey has discovered (like so many others) that interest in biblical learning is pretty minimal in the minds of young people, compared with old farts who like nothing better than thumping bibles and complaining about young people.

Ninety percent of people 64 and over, which Barna terms as Elders, and people between 45 and 63 (Boomers) believe the Bible is sacred. That drops dramatically to 67 percent among Mosaics (age 18-25). Similarly only 30 percent of Mosaics believe the Bible is completely accurate in its teachings. That compare to 46 percent of Boomers and 58 percent of Elders who defend biblical perfection.

A majority of Mosaics also see the Bible as just one of any number of religious or spiritual texts pointing to a similar set of ethics and morality.

Fifty-six percent of Mosaics are willing to lump the Bible in with other writings, while only 40 percent of Busters and 33 percent of Elders agree.

I’m not a biblical scholar, but I took a comparative religions course in university and I’ve done a lot reading on my own time since then. One thing I can say with absolute certainty: the world is old.

The world is very old, in fact, and there still could be remains of civilizations under the dirt and rocks that rose and fell and remain forgotten because we have no way to prove they ever lived. And, when we do have proof, like Etruscan tablets, the proof is only as good as our ability to understand it.

I’m big into the ideas of connection and community right now and while I don’t know much about the archeological aspects, or anthropological findings, I still feel I can state with assurance that they traded with other cultures at the time. They befriended, they clashed, they loved, they died. We also know what gods they worshiped, because we (as in scholars) can decipher the language enough to compare their writing with other writing from around that time. We’d know a lot more if some goombah hadn’t lost Emperor Claudius’ 20 books worth of work on the subject. And we only know those existed because other writers referenced them, and we still have those writings.

To quote from that Etruscan site:

The origin of the Etruscan alphabet is not in doubt. The first alphabet was invented by Semitic-speakers in the ancient Near East, though the Caananite and later Phoenician alphabets had only consonants, and no vowels. The Greeks derived their alphabet from the Phoenicians and added vowels, producing the first true alphabet. A western variety of the Greek alphabet was carried by the Euboean Greeks to Italy, and the Etruscans acquired the alphabet from them. The Etruscans in turn passed on the alphabet to the Romans.

See how everything connects? Now think about the bible. It’s a loosely connected group of books and every one of them was written at a different time than the rest. At least 400 years separates the start from the finish. They were only pulled together later to become one big fun volume in two parts. 400 years leaves a lot of room for lost history.

I think it’s also fair to say the bible is a hybrid, built from the histories and traditions of a lot of different kinds of cultures that existed when the stories were first told, and when those books were finally written down. Every culture would have had its own ideals, and beliefs and attitudes that meshed or clashed with the neighbours once in a while but worked for them at the time. Like those sweet folks who pounded out the rules in Leviticus.

A quick wiki trip reminds me that the book exists as rules and ordinances for Levite priests for use by Levite priests back when Levite priests existed and cared about these things. These things like:

20:9 If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.
20:10 If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death.

What do the Levite priests and their rules have to do with us today? Very little — oh, except for 20:13. The anti-gay establishment loves that one. And I bet they’d do more of the death stuff if they thought they could get away with it. Until that day they pray for comes, they can only shout about burning in hell and wave poorly written signs and both annoy and terrify us.

My point (finally) – I don’t think people should be reading the bible as if god himself got carpal tunnel syndrome putting it together. I do think having some awareness of how it was created, and how long it took to become what it is today is more important, especially when it comes time to deal with the people who want to think today’s version is the way it’s always been, the way it’s always been interpreted. It’s not.

For an extra-curricular activity, take your favourite bible verse, and type it into Bible Gateway and see how many translations it’ll list that are somehow supposed to represent the inerrant word of god, yet don’t look at all like what you provided. The variations can get bizarre so feel free to post your verse and results below.

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116 Responses to “Survey says: importance of bible study varies (Debate in Progress)”

  1. Yes, the world is very old in human terms, and sometimes we do find traces of civilizations previously unknown to us. I am encouraged that with greater communication and access to information (the internet) the younger people of today are realizing that the Bible and other spiritual teachings possibly point to the same teaching, but expressed different ways for different cultures and times.
    That is my personal opinion as well.

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  2. Those hateful verses in Leviticus are NOT the same teaching I’m talking about btw. I’m referring to the central idea, the core message of all spiritual teachings throughout history, that there is a higher or deeper awareness or consciousness that creates or manifests the universe and is within each of us, and that there are ways to experience union with this awareness or bring oneself into accord with it the way Buddha and Jesus did.

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  3. The limitations of language have cursed this teaching several ways. For example, in trying to communicate his experience to the others of his time and place, Jesus was limited to using the terms of his culture, which was a patriarchal society (hence God the Father). Once his communication was shared and written down, others interpret what they read in the context of what associations they have for whichever words they are reading, so even with people of that time and place the words do NOT necessarily mean the same thing to the reader as they did to the writer. Multiply that by great distance in time and space, great differences in the lifestyles, etc., and getting the true meaning of what is being said becomes even more difficult.

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  4. Yeah I know, some will say God Himself dictated or at least inspired what was to be written in the Bible, and God Himself will guide one to understanding its verses if one sincerely prays for such guidance. That may be so. My take on it is perhaps God expresses Himself through humans, that each of us is a manifestation of divine consciousness.

    So yes, humans wrote the Bible (and other spiritual teachings!) because they have divine consciousness within them, and humans can get guidance from the Bible (and other spiritual teachings!) because they have divine consciousness within them. Of course I could be wrong, and I freely and cheerfully admit it!

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  5. 1minionsopinion said

    You were busy. heh. And I agree with what you’re getting at. Part of the reason these “Mosaics” have a different view of the Word is because they’ve grown up with a different view of the world.

    Newspapers have been around since writing got figured out, probably, and the radio is only a hundred years old, give or take, but television only got popular and affordable after WWII. Not every home had electricity by that time either. And cable, satellite feeds, internet – still really new and almost completely within the lifetime of these “Mosaics.”

    The ability to access the world and what’s important in the world seems to improve every day. Debates about how important reality TV is can be left to others, but I think kids these days are learning to approach issues from every direction, and probably have never thought they’d have to limit themselves to what comes from a local radio announcer or town rag.

    If this gives them a better idea of how common beliefs are, how similar ideals of spirituality and goodness can exist across faiths, across philosophies, they’re way better off than their parents and their grandparents might be. More open to new ways to think, to work, to build communities. It’s all going to make a difference in the future.

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  6. Princessxxx said

    yes, i saw something on the history channel the other night where psalms 104 was written in stone in reference to a previous egyptian god some 600 yrs prior to it being written by the jews. word for word.

    i think moses probably plagerized a lot of the egyptians religious beliefs.

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  7. Many Jewish stories were adaptations of earlier myths from neighboring peoples, such as the flood story of Gilgamesh possibly inspiring the story of Noah. This is not an unusual practice. Even the Babylonians copied from the earlier Akkadians, for example, in later adding the flood story from the epic of Atra-Hasis to the Gilgamesh story.

    As for the Christians, there are many stories of crucified saviors that predate Jesus. Sometimes the list of details is amazing, born of a virgin, etc. which just goes to show that the story is told with such details to signify that it IS a myth.
    And yes, there are details from Egyptian mythology that are rephrased in Christian terms, Osiris etc.

    A myth is NOT a lie. It is a metaphor to teach us something about the human condition.

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  8. Princessxxx said

    skeptic’s annotated bible.
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

    this link shows all of the flaws in the bible.

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  9. The official Christian defense is that Satan traveled BACK in time to plant evidence of these stories in other cultures BEFORE the Christian sources to trick us into going to hell. Another Christian explanation is that these are foreign corrupted copies of their stories, even though these foreign sources came first so far as archaeological evidence goes.

    This is similar to the idea that fossils are planted by Satan to trick us into believing evolution happens. I haven’t heard that excuse given much lately, but it was used by Christians as an explanation of the fossil record. If Satan is that powerful, maybe we should worship him instead.

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  10. I’m not saying we should worship Satan. I also am not saying that Christianity isn’t true. I don’t believe the Bible to be literally true as fundies do because there are too many inconsistencies and contradictions within itself and between it and the evidence of the world if one takes that style of interpretation. I for one can no longer believe in something that is clearly falsified by evidence. However, on a symbolic level, the Bible has many deep truths indeed. But, it is not the ONLY spiritual teaching that has these deep truths.

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  11. Yes, Jesus is the ONLY way, but a Jesus by any other name still saves you IF you really are answering the knock at the door to your heart that is Him knocking. If you’re from another culture that calls Jesus something different, and you sincerely want to have union or be in accord with your ground of being, you can by the grace of God.

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  12. 1minionsopinion said

    Jesus is NOT the only way, which is the point. There is Buddhism, there is Hinduism, there is paganism, there is sufism, Taoism, Sihkism, atheism. It’s silly to try and claim Jesus is the only answer to everything in the universe. It’s not a case of jesus by another name. It’s other gods, or spirits in nature, or chi or a personal desire to be a better human being regardless of religous background.

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  13. kayms said

    Well, why not TBG… since there is no such thing as sin, what difference would it make if you worshipped him or God?

    I think there is a strong link between the decline in Bible study and the decline in moral values in this country and thru out the world. There is also a strong link between the spread of liberalism and moral decline also. And I’m not talking about the blatant issues like abortion and sexual immorality but the simpler issues like dishonesty and lying… look at Obama… he’s been caught in so many lies already… all in the name of liberalism (for the good of the people). What a bunch of crap.

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  14. kayms said

    If you’ve heard about Jesus, He is the only way. That’s the Christian philosophy and it’s simple and without flaw.

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  15. dorian said

    of all the isms making the rounds these days, i hope humanism is not forgotten. i can do without the rest if given a choice..

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  16. What I mean is that Jesus identified himself with the “I AM” within each of us, that divine consciousness that each of us is a manifestation of. It doesn’t matter if you reach that “I AM” within you by means of Buddhism, Sufism, or even Fundie Christianity.

    Even atheists have that spark within them, attributed to nature or to no cause at all. Atheists aren’t the cause of many problems in the world though, nearly as much as fundies are of different religions, the ones who insist their way is the TRUTH and everyone else is wrong. If only they could see that their religion teaches the same truth as other religions when you look at the core message, perhaps they would be a bit more tolerant and less hateful. Oh well, the fundy style is necessary for village idiots. There sure are a lot of them!

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  17. Thanks for sharing that link, Princessxxx. Anyone who claims the Bible to be inerrant and literally true needs to check it out and then ask themselves, am I really that crazy?

    skeptic’s annotated bible.
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

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  18. Of course I could be wrong. I am just as human as the most rabid fundies. However, there are subjects about which I have great reason to doubt a fundy interpretation of the Bible, such as evolution, and since I can see evidence they are wrong about some things I can check it makes me doubt more their position on other matters of faith that don’t have such evidence as proof.

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  19. kay~ms said

    TBG said: “Oh well, the fundy style is necessary for village idiots. There sure are a lot of them!”

    and also: “Of course I could be wrong.”

    So, if someone believes that there is one truth (unlike your belief that all beliefs are true) then they are “village idiots” (and intolerant; which is extremely hypocritical). And then you go on to say that you could be wrong… you don’t make any sense TBG. You “could be wrong” yet.. anyone who doesn’t agree with your philosophy is a “village idiot”… got it. Is this more of that Liberal “truth”?

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  20. I call fundies village idiots for their apparent inability to comprehend metaphors, taking such stories literally instead. It is as if they can only see the details of an envelope a letter comes in, and can’t open it up to read the message inside.

    Fundies also demonstrate they aren’t too bright in other ways. A clear example of this is their denial of the fact that evolution happens in spite of overwhelming evidence that it does.

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  21. I am tolerant of fundies. What I am intolerant of is THEIR being intolerant of others. They can believe whatever nonsense they want to believe, and teach their children that same nonsense (even though that could be considered to be child abuse). What motivated me to post all this stuff is the fundies trying to dumb down children in science classrooms of American public schools.

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  22. kay~ms said

    Who are you to decide that those things didn’t happen literally? Since our very existence goes against logic… someone’s belief that God created everything in the manner described in the Bible is just as valid as relying on “evidence” that is very subjective. God could have spoke everything into existance in the advanced state. You think that’s “crazy”? So is our existence… so is the universe that goes on and on and on… and AGAINST logic. Unless you have some secret inside information, you are wrong to call others “village idiots” for not believing what you deem to be the truth.

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  23. Princessxxx said

    oh, those succulent humanists.
    (did i say succulent? i meant secular….
    as i wipe the blood from my lips)

    hahahahahahahah.

    hey does anyone know the name of the indian (dothead) god/goddess with all of those arms and that lovely shade of periwinkle blue?
    well, apparently her high priests stand around in the village square in diapers and smoke pot all day and paint their faces.
    then they smoke pot all nite, and no one bothers them because they are considered holy.

    now that is the career path i should be on.
    (oh, did i say career path? i meant spiritual journey.)

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  24. Yes, God could have created the universe with the appearance of age. God could have created fossils and DNA that show we evolved from apes even if we didn’t. That is another Christian explanation of the fossil record. It is called the Omphalos hypothesis.

    But WHY would you want to believe in a God that tries so hard to trick us? And where do you get off saying our existence goes against logic? It is illogical to say that, since we are here! Start a universe, create stars, have those stars age and some of them blow up, make new stars and planets from some of the dust of the earlier generations of stars, put those chemicals together in the right combinations under the right conditions, wait four billion years, and POOF! you have humans! (From God’s recipe book)

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  25. I think you’re referring to Kali. I don’t know about the priests in diapers bit. It’s no more ridiculous than any other established religion though.

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  26. Also, the information I base my opinion on about evolution is not hidden or inside information. It is available to everyone and plainly visible. The fundies deny that the evidence is there. When they do admit some evidence exists, they go to extraordinary distortions of truth to try to fit that evidence into their Bronze Age worldview.

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  27. If you’re willing to consider that God could have spoke everything into existence in an advanced state, why are you so close-minded about the possibility of God using evolution as a tool of creation? Could it be you’re too proud to admit you’re related to a monkey? Don’t forget pride is one of the seven deadly sins. (Those last two lines are from my Evolution song.)

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  28. 1minionsopinion said

    In response to kay at #14: “if you’ve heard about Jesus, He is the only way. That’s the Christian philosophy and it’s simple and without flaw.”

    The only way for those who wish to be Christian. I don’t wish to be Christian. I don’t want to follow any religions.

    I’d never say all beliefs are true. I’m certainly not going to say Christianity is completely true. It’s pretty easy to see how it varies from church to church, and if there’s one true way, then which church has it?

    I think a lot of beliefs have roots in mythology, and the feeling that there must be something bigger out there to explain what’s down here. Human beings are little and (currently) alone in the universe. It seems inevitable that we’d wind up hoping and wishing and praying that something has an eye out to make sure we we’re doing okay.

    As to the comments about Obama lying – what president hasn’t? What person hasn’t at some point declared a false thing knowing (or at least suspecting) it was false?

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  29. dorian said

    the thing about lies is that it’s okay for the holy righteous ones to lie because they are forgiven, they only have to say the name of the one and only saviour. it’s the godless, the heretics, the infidels and everyone espousing liberal views that must not be forgiven if they lie.

    we don’t know if gandhi lied but it doesn’t matter. he cannot enter heaven on the merit of his kind deeds because he did not accept Jesus as his saviour and thta’s the truth, according to the fundies.

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  30. princessxxx said

    kay, W0721_TN

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  31. 1minionsopinion said

    I have to go to the observatory now to see what a telescope looks like. Hooray for Galilean Nights!

    Hooray also to you lot for writings lots in here today. I never get response like this back “home!” har har.

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  32. dorian said

    kay i hope you find it in your heart to forgive the liberals already.
    …’tis blessed to forgive. to err is human, to forgive divine. turn the other cheek. a christian who does not forgive can reap bitterness and the loss of eternal rewards. forgive one another. etc.,etc.
    the bible is replete with forgiveness scripture. it’s in matthew, romans, etc., etc. i forgive fox news for lying. i hope i’m forgiven for laughing at glenn beck everytime and waiting for him to spontaneously combust.

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  33. dorian said

    wait minion…take me!!please?!

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  34. kay~ms said

    Dorian, there is no need for me to forgive the liberals… it’s not me that they are committing wrongs against. I’m just pointing out the wrongs according to the Bible. And it really is just one wrong… not loving God and putting Him first. Acknowledging His will based on the only source we have (the Bible) which is centered on our Saviour, (who gave us the most important commandment… love God with all our heart, soul and mind), who died for us on the cross and rose on the 3rd day, which is documented by eye witnesses, many of whom gave their lives for Him because of their unfailing faith and belief. This is the theology that makes the most sense in this world. And it has a documented history. Of coure there are those who want to claim that it was all made up but this theory does NOT make sense when all of the information / documentation is taken into account.

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  35. kay~ms said

    1minion…That 1st commandment is the only “church” we need.. those other churches or denominations are insignificant. We won’t be condemned or saved because of the church we chose to attend. It will be soley on our faith in God and accepting what He has done for us. Anything else that any Christian church / denomination has to teach will lead to this. And if it doesn’t, then it most definitely leads to man’s pride and ego instead and is clearly the wrong church to be attending. No church is every going to get it right 100% but the point is… are they/ we putting God first?

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  36. And if someone in another culture, say India, also loves God above all else but calls their God Kali, they can achieve union with the divine or accord with it just as Jesus did even if they don’t belong to any of the Christian denominations.

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  37. kay~ms said

    TBG… you asked: ” WHY would you want to believe in a God that tries so hard to trick us? ”

    I already explained this… It’s all about what you want to believe. “Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened”. If you are looking for a particular answer.. that is what you are going to find… that is what you are going to see. That’s why your evidence is not proof and never will be. It will only be enough to give a person the answer that THEY want.
    It’s very sensible to think that our Creator would want us to seek Him. After all, if He just wanted a bunch of mindless followers then that is what He would have created.. right?

    Just like our existence… all of those scientists trying to figure out how the big bang happened or whatever other idea that’s circulating at the present… that “evidence” gives them what THEY want… just enough to support their ignorance. That’s what they are looking for and that is what they will find.

    You said: “And where do you get off saying our existence goes against logic? It is illogical to say that, since we are here!”

    Exactly… we ARE here!… but can you even begin to scientifically explain how we got here??

    You said: “Start a universe, create stars, have those stars age and some of them blow up, make new stars and planets from some of the dust of the earlier generations of stars, put those chemicals together in the right combinations under the right conditions, wait four billion years, and POOF! you have humans! (From God’s recipe book)”

    This is where I start to laugh..again. TBG.. you convieniently skipped over a very significant part…”start a universe”. Just go back from there…how did the universe get started? How did the stars get started? What EVER your answer is, I’m going to apply the same question, just so you know. Please explain how our existence is logical. I’ll just wait for your answer.

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  38. The Bible is not the only source of God’s will. The Upanishads are another. I can’t read the Hindu scriptures in the original Sanskrit, but from what I’ve read and heard of their teachings they also have deep truths that have been verified by the direct experience of many people. And that is all anyone can say, that it works for them. To insist that YOUR way is the ONLY way for EVERYONE might not be correct.

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  39. Based on what we know of science, you put the right ingredients together in the right combinations under the right conditions and they will react in certain ways. Carbon is unique in the variety of bonds it can form with other atoms because on its size and electron configuration.

    Now whoever or whatever started the universe (or if it started itself!) once the universe started, some energy condensed from natural forces such as gravity to form stars, enough pressure and fusion reactions start converting hydrogen to helium, some of the stars exploded if they were a certain size and age, new stars and planets formed fron that dust, a solar system with a star of certain composition matched to a planet of certain composition at a certain distance from that star, well, science cannot explain exactly HOW yet life arose from non-life but that is a spectrum, not a black and white change.

    However life started, once it did start, it adapted to its environment, grew and diversified into many species over time, or perished. Most species that have ever lived have perished, but enough survived long enough to leave offspring to where we see the diversity of species extant today. THAT is what the evidence of the world shows that creationists are so ridiculous to deny.

    If people honestly seek God, they will find Him, or HER (Kali). And there can never be enough evidence to convince anyone evolution happens if their minds are closed to truth. I heard it myself at a creation versus evolution debate back in the 1980s.

    Question from the audience: “If enough evidence were presented to you that you are wrong, would you change your mind?”

    Answer from scientists: “Yes, of course.”

    Answer from creationists: “No, absolutely not.”

    So who is open to truth and facts here?

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  40. This reminds me of that joke. God and a scientist are going to create life from dirt. God takes a handful of dirt, spits on it, makes a little man, and breathes life into its nostrils. The scientist reaches down to get some dirt to put into a test tube and God says, “Make your own dirt.”

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  41. Well, if you are going to insist on a literal fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, why aren’t you arguing that the sun goes around the earth instead of what SCIENCE has discovered about how God made the solar system? For that matter, to be truly consistent with a literal interpretation of the Bible you should be angry anytime anyone says the earth isn’t flat, because the Bible clearly teaches the earth is flat!

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  42. kay~ms said

    If they have been taught about Christ and what He has done for us and they reject Him, then nothing else they do will matter… and that also goes for Gandhi.

    It’s all about acknowledging our sins (which I know that you convieniently don’t believe exists), understanding that we cannot be with God in our sinful state, accepting His plan that redeems us (His gift of salvation) and thru our love and gratitude, devoting our lives to Him (putting Him first). And of course, reaping the benefits that He bestows on us for dedicating our lives to Him.

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  43. IF the fundies were to keep their denial of the reality of evolution in churches, there would be no problem. But when they try to go against the U.S. Constitution and force their way into public school science classrooms, they bring down a whole lot of hurt on themselves. This is why young evangelicals are leaving their churches in droves.

    Again, I would have more respect for evangelical fundamentalist Christians if they admitted the evidence makes it LOOK like we evolved from apes but that they choose not to accept it. I could respect that. That takes guts. But to claim that the evidence ISN’T there when I KNOW it is, that is either ignorance, stupidity, insanity, wickedness or some combination of the above.

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  44. kay~ms said

    oh, here we go again.. TBG, I didn’t ask about the process of the evolving of the universe, I asked about where that first cell came from that all of existence evolved from. (this is a perfect example of someone seeing only what they want to see)… I asked you to argue against my claim that our existence is illogical. You didn’t do that and you can’t do that. Based on science and logic, our existence isn’t logical. This is my main argument for the existence of a Supreme Being.

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  45. Scientists are motivated by wanting to know the TRUTH, even if it conflicts with what they want to believe or with what is comfortable for them. They’re not out to disprove God, and even if they were, that is beyond science and they couldn’t do it anyway! They seek TRUTH. Now would your God plant false evidence to deceive them when they are honestly seeking truth? What kind of God do you believe in?

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  46. Just because science can’t explain how the universe began or how life began does NOT mean that science cannot explain many things about how the universe and life have developed since they started.

    And it is illogical to say that our existence is illogical! Since we ARE here, our existence is NOT illogical!

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  47. Kay the Black Knight says: “Based on science and logic, our existence isn’t logical. This is my main argument for the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    that is a God of the Gaps theory, invoking God to explain what science cannot yet explain. That is very WEAK theology by the way! There are some Christians who accept the fact of evolution just as they accept the earth going around the sun, and for the same reasons (the evidence clearly shows this is how God made things work).

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  48. The first cell, as in living cell? It came from the ingredients on the primeval earth, organic compounds in a chemical soup bathed by UV radiation and lightning strikes, combining the way they do because of their nature: their energy and charge distribution in space and time. A likely scenario is that some clay on a beach had a crystal structure such that the clay formed a template for some organic molecules, helping them to bind together in such a way to form self-replicating molecules. The origin of lipid membranes that would eventually form the boundaries of the cell is also explicable in terms of chemistry and physics.

    Now it was God that made the chemicals to have such distributions of energy and charge density. It was God that made the clay that had such a crystal structure, etc. So even if life arose from non-life and evolved from there, doesn’t mean God is out of the picture. God is outside the realm of science, but to believe in God mainly because science can’t explain everything yet is a very weak reason to believe in God. Well, if it works for you…

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  49. I found the following interesting statement from God of the Gaps – Theopedia

    [the “God of the Gaps” theology] denies, in effect, the Christian view of science, which is that science is “thinking God’s thoughts after him”; it does this by suggesting that we can only see God in the areas of nature which we do not understand, rather than seeing him most clearly in those which we do understand.

    Another thing to consider, mentioned near the end of the page this quotation came from, is the speculation by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time: “So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place then, for a creator?”

    Now this would pose problems for Christians, at least for fundies, but is completely in accord with Hindu teachings. For whatever it’s worth, take it for what you will, the findings of modern science seem to confirm the ancient Hindu world view and seem to discredit the literal fundie Christian world view. Again I ask, would God lie to those who are honestly seeking truth? Would God plant false evidence to make it LOOK like we evolved from apes if we didn’t?

    The Omphalos theory might as well be extended to “Last Thursdayism”, where the universe and all its beings was created only last Thursday with memories implanted of lives never actually lived. Or we might be living in a Matrix world like the movie, electrodes to our brains feeding us images of a false reality, or we could be butterflies dreaming we are men who dreamt last night of being a butterfly.

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  50. kay~ms said

    It’s not so much that I believe in God, as a “default” as you want to put it, because science is unable to explain our existence, it’s more a matter of understanding the obvious…our place in the big picture. That the big picture is so big and incredible and especially ILLOGICAL that we are clearly not meant to get the answers and more specifically, we are not equiped to get the answers. The knowledge is beyond our comprehension. You can’t say it’s logical for us to be here because we’re here. The fact that we’re here goes against science as we know it. You cannot get something from nothing… and please don’t try to explain how you can because you will ALWAYS have to use something in order to explain how we can get something from nothing… it’s already been tried here. It can’t be done. So, as a result of my acceptence of this fact, I can humble myself and acknowledge that it is God’s will that we will not obtain this knowledge.

    I still find it so interesting that in the field of medicine, doctors are also know as practitioners. They PRACTICE medicine.. it’s not an exact science. Nearly everyday, new information comes forth that counters what they previously thought was true. We still can’t even figure out our own bodies, we only know (and I use that term loosely) a small percentage of what there is to know… how could we ever expect to figure out the universe?

    And I never said science can’t explain the developement of our existence.. yes, the evolution of our existence. And as I’ve stated many times, God used science (logic) when creating the universe. But I believe that it is just way beyond our comprehension. Our minds are not capable of grasping it. And that is one of the many ways that God is telling us that He exists.

    And by the way… there is evidence that the universe is expanding and if that is the case, then logic says that it had to have had a starting point. So that kind of blows Hawkin’s theory out the window.

    You say that there are scientists that are truly searching for the truth? I’m sure there are, but from what I’ve found, most of these guys have huge egos and just cannot accept the idea of a Supreme Being and the fact that they are not in control.

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  51. O Kay, so you surrender to ignorance and claim it’s God’s will. Fine for you. There are some of us who want to use the brains God gave us.

    Just because this instance of the universe may have had a starting point doesn’t necessarily mean it was the ONLY starting point. It could have started, gone through a universe’s life cycle, ended, then started again.

    The universe may have always existed. There may have been many “Big Bangs” in cycles of time as the Hindus teach. In such a case it is not a case of getting something from nothing, as something always existed.

    Words fail again to convey what I mean directly, so I’ll try to expound a bit. something is misleading, because in the real universe there are no things at all. “Things” are units of thought used to talk about bits of the universe, rather like putting a net over the wiggly universe the way calculus is used to describe the area under a curve or motion of a body. The real universe is one big happening, with local patterns of energy vibrating various frequencies and interacting with other patterns of energy, with everything interconnected and mutually interdependent.

    Regardless of the origins of the universe or the origins of life, the FACT is that there is overwhelming evidence of many different types that only make sense if evolution happens. There is no other explanation that can account for the evidence in a logical consistent manner (since you’re so big on logic).

    By the way, logic has it’s limitations. Goedel showed that no formal system can be proven to be consistent within itself. Self reference invites paradox. One must invent meta-rules to explain the rules, then meta-meta-rules to explain the meta-rules, ad infinitum. Science has its limitations too in that it only deals with can be observed and measured. Language has even more limitations, being so subjective and easily misunderstood. Direct experience is the best. That’s what I like about Buddhism.

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  52. Let me ask you questions similar to what the creationists were asked at that debate I attended:

    Is there any amount of evidence that could convince you humans evolved from non-humans, that macroevolution happens?

    If so, what would it take? How much more evidence would you require beyond what has already been shared with you?

    Does your faith in salvation through Jesus Christ require that macroevolution didn’t happen?

    Are you humble enough to admit that you MIGHT be wrong even on this subject?

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  53. princessxxx said

    kay said, “It’s very sensible to think that our Creator would want us to seek Him. After all, if He just wanted a bunch of mindless followers then that is what He would have created.. right?”

    i thought that is what he created,….mindless followers….right?

    that is what you are saying kay, follow him blindly..no mater what.

    what i would like to know, why would a supreme being need to create something so he can be worshipped and adored.
    feelings of loneliness? low self esteem?

    anyway, the main point, without satan, god could not exist.
    i think those two should kiss and make up and cut the rest of us some slack.

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  54. princessxxx said

    i found this at 1minionsopinion’s blog
    THE TOP TEN SIGNS THAT YOU ARE A FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN:

    http://1minionsopinion.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/i-dont-take-credit-for-this-list-so-dont-blame-me-either/

    good read.

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  55. kay~ms said

    TBG said: “O Kay, so you surrender to ignorance and claim it’s God’s will. Fine for you. There are some of us who want to use the brains God gave us.”

    That’s funny because I truly see you as the one who is stuck in ignorance. As you demonstrate once again here…

    “Words fail again to convey what I mean directly, so I’ll try to expound a bit. something is misleading, because in the real universe there are no things at all. “Things” are units of thought used to talk about bits of the universe, rather like putting a net over the wiggly universe the way calculus is used to describe the area under a curve or motion of a body. The real universe is one big happening, with local patterns of energy vibrating various frequencies and interacting with other patterns of energy, with everything interconnected and mutually interdependent.”

    What?? I’m sorry but this makes no sense at all. This is science? and philosophy all mixed up together to say nothing… “there are no things at all”? “things are units of thought”?
    This is you wallowing in ignorance…. stubornly refusing to accept the obvious.
    After all of your talking, I still don’t honestly know if you are an atheist or a believe, I don’t know what exactly you believe in, you say Jesus never existed but you’ve also said that you believe that He saves your soul…. you are no different than a Joseph Smith or L.Ron Hubbard.
    That is honestly what I see. When is your book coming out? Sorry… I just think you are going down a long long wrong path. When you could be going down a short RIGHT path to get the peace that you want. But first you must acknowledge that sin exists. That was probably your first mistake that took you down this wrong path. It’s also known as denial. Denial is what takes many people with too much pride down the wrong path to all of these silly philosophies. These philosophies are a dime a dozen and all rooted in personal pride and ego. I’m not saying not to use the brains that God gave us… just don’t use them to try to eliminate God. Don’t be ruled by your ego. No doubt the biggest of the 7 deadly sins.

    You still have not acknowledged that our existence is illogical. You have tried several times now to explain our existence… the last one being the most ridiculous of all…. “there are no things at all”. Where’s the science in that? That is you bypassing God (the most logical answer) and coming up with “no things at all” and ” In such a case it is not a case of getting something from nothing, as something always existed.” That makes no sense at all… again.. it’s just more Denial. How are you any different here than the people you claim ignore macroevolution?

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  56. Things are units of thought just as inches are units of length. In reality, there are no separate things. That you think there are shows your ignorance of the nature of the physical world.

    The universe is one big blob of dancing energy, with areas of local patterns interacting with other areas, all interconnected. If you can’t see this even after it is pointed out to you, well, whatever. This reinforces the “village idiot” stereotype. Perhaps fundamentalism IS the only way for you.

    Hindus recognize that there are different paths for different people. They acknowledge Christianity as a bhakti yoga that is appropriate for the people it can reach, but realize that there are other paths for people who are at different levels of awareness or who have different learning styles.

    And for you to talk about me being in Denial, when you deny the physical evidence that shows macroevolution happens, well, again, it reinforces the “village idiot” stereotype. Wow.

    To get back to the idea of no things at all, this again is a case of fundies confusing the map with the territory. Things are the ideas or concepts people have to describe bits of the universe that in reality are not separate from each other but are in fact interconnected. This isn’t against science or against God.

    HEY ANYONE ELSE BESIDES KAY, AM I TALKING NONSENSE HERE? DOES ANYONE BESIDES KAY HAVE A CLUE WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, BECAUSE SHE IS OBVIOUSLY A VILLAGE IDIOT THROUGH AND THROUGH.

    Like I said in another thread, someday, hopefully there will be a medical treatment for fundamentalism. It is a mental defect akin to retardation.

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  57. I also note that Kay did not answer ANY of the questions I asked her. What’s up with that? She isn’t as humble as she pretends to be.

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  58. kayms said

    You are saying that the pen that I hold in my hand is not a thing.. it’s an idea or concept? That the earth is not a thing… it’s an idea or concept? And I’m the one with a mental defect?? yeah.. ok.

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  59. kayms said

    52.The Bicycling Guitarist said
    October 24, 2009 at Saturday, October 24, 2009
    Let me ask you questions similar to what the creationists were asked at that debate I attended:

    Is there any amount of evidence that could convince you humans evolved from non-humans, that macroevolution happens?

    If so, what would it take? How much more evidence would you require beyond what has already been shared with you?

    Does your faith in salvation through Jesus Christ require that macroevolution didn’t happen?

    Are you humble enough to admit that you MIGHT be wrong even on this subject?

    1st question… that is a good one… I do see your point. But that really just supports my point that there will never be solid proof that eliminates subjectivity and that is God’s intention (whether you like it or not). It gives people in denial enough to support what they are looking for and still allows believers to hold onto what they are looking for. You’ve found what you are looking for and so have I.

    My faith in Jesus allows me to not worry about the whys and hows. It’s not necessary in the big picture. by the way… what is the hindu belief concerning the afterlife? Do they / you believe in it?

    And I’ve already acknowledged that I am not 100% sure that I am right, that no one can be 100% sure of their beliefs until they are standing before God. But this is my belief.

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  60. That pen you hold in your hand is not separate from the rest of the universe. It is connected to everything and everything connects to it. The word pen is an idea or a concept, but the pen is what it is no matter what word you call it.

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  61. The pen is a temporary local pattern of energy, like a whirlpool in a stream, as are we all. The energy that is part of the pen now used to be part of a different pattern, but always connected to the rest of the universe, never separate no matter what pattern it is in at the time.

    Thanks for answering the questions. You make it clear that your mind is closed to truth because of your stubborn pride. Oh well.

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  62. Scratch that very last sentence. You did say you’re not 100% sure if you’re right or wrong about macroevolution.

    You did also say though that it is your opinion that God made the universe in such a way that we can never understand how it is made. That may be so, but if there are regularities (sometimes called natural laws, although regularities is a better word because laws imply they can be broken and that there are legal consequences) then we poor dumb humans should be able to notice some of those regularities.

    It is the western model of the universe that thinks of it as a construct, as something made that is separate from the Creator. Alan Watts calls this the “ceramic model” of the universe because of the analogies to a potter working with clay. In India, one thinks of the universe as the Creator manifesting the universe (what Watts calls the “dramatic model”), and in China one thinks of the universe as something that grows rather than something that is made, that it is alive (the “organic model”).

    I see each of these models as reflecting the culture they are in, and not necessarily conflicting with each other.

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  63. kayms said

    Ok.. now lets make that pen a knife… and someone gets stabbed and killed… who gives a crap what you want to make it out to be… it doesn’t matter!!! What matters is what is going to happen to the person who is now dead. That is what matters. That is the only TRUTH THAT MATTERS! You are such a waster of time and energy with your ridiculous thoughts. Sorry, but that is how I see it.

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  64. Kay said she didn’t think there’d ever be any solid proof for macroevolution. Well then, Kay, do you believe the earth is flat or spherical? Do you believe the sun goes around the earth or the earth goes around the sun? If you accept the latter cases as facts, why not evolution? What makes that different when there is as much evidence (if not MORE) that it happens as there is for the other descriptions of the physical world?

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  65. I could as well say that you also are a waster of time and energy, Kay. The difference with me is I am defending the teaching of truth to children in the science classrooms of American public schools, and you are part of the loony fringe trying to dumb down kids to the level of Bronze Age understanding of science. I am defending truth and you are defending ignorance that you THINK is truth when it is only your opinion based on misinformation because you have been LIED to by sources that try to tell you the evidence for evolution isn’t there.

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  66. ANYONE ELSE WEIGH IN ON THIS?
    I guess the regulars have had their fill of trying to reason with you, Kay. It’s like talking to a wall. What a closed mind! Wow.

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  67. kayms said

    Aren’t you going to answer my question from comment #59…” by the way… what is the hindu belief concerning the afterlife? Do they / you believe in it?”

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  68. dorian said

    actually TBG, you are the one that went the longest distance. i’m impressed by your resiliency, just as i’m impressed by kay’s relentlessness. we’ve all had our time with kay. good thing about her is that she’s always ready to debate. consistent that way. i’m actively seeking another conservative to join us, to team up with kay. trying to balance things out. kay doesn’t seem to mind taking everybody on, though. carries a big bat. love ya, kay! TBG – mind the whooosh!

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  69. According to you, Kay, it doesn’t matter what the Hindus believe. They are WRONG WRONG WRONG! la la la la la

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  70. dorian said

    i’m also interested in learning about the hindu beliefs on the afterlife. i’d like to share my theory on that, abridged version. would be great to get everybody’s thoughts on this too.

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  71. dorian said

    well TBG, it could be the start of a new debate topic – i’m sure everybody has their own theory on the afterlife. i can tell you now that i share (with some variations, i’m sure) edgar cayce’s theory on reincarnation.

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  72. 1minionsopinion said

    It was at 54 the last time I looked. Moly hosies! I’m also trying to figure out what I could add.

    Looking way back to 56: “Hindus recognize that there are different paths for different people. They acknowledge Christianity as a bhakti yoga that is appropriate for the people it can reach, but realize that there are other paths for people who are at different levels of awareness or who have different learning styles.”

    The path thing is a favourite thing of mine. There is always that assumption that the end has only one beginning, one direction. Even if you want to look at life as a river and we’re all traveling downstream, we also have our own speed and path heading that way. Some of us seem to zip around like leaves on the surface with no anchor and no way to steer or see upcoming dangers. Others proceed like spawning fish, trying to go against the flow in a desperate attempt to get back to something basic, either younger days, or just the misremembered qualities of it. You can’t stop the stream, you can’t stop the passage of time either. Others figure out a way to swim or build a boat that can be navigated a little.

    I had to look up Bhakti Yoga, but maybe it’s worth reminding that there are people who consider yoga to be one step away from devil worship, so calling Christianity a yoga is incredibly funny to me.

    Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to try yoga…

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  73. Jesus taught yoga. He said to take His yoke and learn from Him. The etymology of the word Yoga means “union, yoking.”

    In other words, Jesus said take his YOGA and learn from Him.

    That’s what gets me. I read the same Bible the Christians do, and I clearly see Jesus teaching Hindu and Buddhist teachings.
    Instead of listening to his message, the realization of divine Sonship, Christians put Jesus on a pedestal and say only this one, and nobody else, is divine. They worship the messenger and ignore the message!

    What does it mean to anyone else that I can understand where Kay is coming from, but she doesn’t have a clue where I’m coming from even after repeated attempts at explanation? One possibility is that my beliefs contradict themselves and aren’t coherent. I explained a couple weeks back in another post how someone can appear to contradict himself when replying to different messages in different contexts, but that in the big picture the apparent contradictions disappear.

    Another possibility is that words cannot communicate spiritual truths, no matter how many words are used. They can only point to them, give hints. Another possibility is that Kay has closed her mind to any alternate ways of thinking. What are you afraid of, Kay?

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  74. There are many branches of Hinduism.

    In general though, Hindus believe that the universe and everything and everyone in it is the Self (big “S” self) manifesting itself in all these forms.

    When we die, we can achieve union with the divine consciousness IF we can let go of our ego (as every spiritual teaching throughout history tells us). If not, we may come back in another form for another shot. Buddhists, especially Zen Buddhists, don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation though.

    To put it into scientific terms, each of us is a function of what the whole universe is doing at a point called here and now. In effect, each of us IS the whole universe looking at itself through our eyes. The energy of which we are composed doesn’t stay in us. It is flowing in, through and out of us all the time. Our bodies are patterns through which the energy flows, similar to the pattern of a whirlpool in a stream. The whirlpool doesn’t have any water that stays in it in one place for very long. The patterns change over time and eventually dissipate, but the energy is eternal.

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  75. dorian said

    TBG – the wrath of God list is enough to put fear in any believer’s heart, don’t you think?

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  76. 1minionsopinion said

    I think Jesus as a philosophy does have a lot in common with the meditative faiths too. It’s all Paul’s fault that things got ballyhoo’d. He made up some assumptions and the whole world wound up going along with it.

    How many sects existed in tandem with the Pauline version before getting choked out?

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  77. The more educated someone is, the more likely they won’t hold fundamentalist views. The fundie opinion is that this is from atheistic brainwashing. Could it be though, perhaps, that it is the FUNDIES that do brainwashing and education is a cure, hmmm?

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  78. 1minionsopinion said

    Quoting kay this time from #37: “It’s all about what you want to believe. “Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened”. If you are looking for a particular answer.. that is what you are going to find… that is what you are going to see. That’s why your evidence is not proof and never will be. It will only be enough to give a person the answer that THEY want.”

    That works for some things. It certainly works in cases of pareidolia where people look at a tree stump and see the virgin Mary in it, or Jesus in their toast. They see a blotch, attribute the blotch to some preconceived notion and run with it because they want to believe it’s a sign from God. Why god would have to sign food is anyone’s guess, but whatever.

    Ever come across the the history of Iguanodon discoveries before? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguanodon

    They sure had a lot of theories as to what it was, what it should be, whether it ate plants or meat, how it should be put together. At one point they put a claw on its head instead of on its hand and that illustration was in books for years before anyone realized the mistake. They all had particular answers in mind while looking at the bones and teeth and many of them turned out to be flat out wrong. And a decent scientist is more than willing to admit when a mistake has happened. Uncovering a bad conclusion means being a little bit closer to a better conclusion.

    Can scientific research be biased toward a specific result? Sure. Look at all the research companies pay for. When a company sponsors research, the results will always lean in the company’s favour. It is so easy to build questions that lead respondents to the preferred answer, too. It’s all in the phrasing. And statistics can always be tweaked to look better (or worse) than they are, depending on how they’re presented. Being aware of that is the first step to seeing through it.

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  79. kayms said

    I’m just wondering why it took scientists over 40 years to figure out that Piltdown man was a fake.

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  80. kayms said

    TBG said: “The difference with me is I am defending the teaching of truth to children in the science classrooms of American public schools, and you are part of the loony fringe trying to dumb down kids to the level of Bronze Age understanding of science. I am defending truth and you are defending ignorance that you THINK is truth when it is only your opinion based on misinformation because you have been LIED to by sources that try to tell you the evidence for evolution isn’t there.”

    Once again, I have to correct you on this. I never said I don’t want the theory of evolution taught in schools. I just don’t want it to be taught as fact. Let the students decide for themselves. For one simple reason that it is not known for sure where theory ends and fact begins, or the reverse. It’s all debatable. Don’t tell children something is fact only later to have to tell them it is not.

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  81. kay~ms said

    I have a comment in moderation.

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  82. kay~ms said

    TBG, you said: “That’s what gets me. I read the same Bible the Christians do, and I clearly see Jesus teaching Hindu and Buddhist teachings.
    Instead of listening to his message, the realization of divine Sonship, Christians put Jesus on a pedestal and say only this one, and nobody else, is divine. They worship the messenger and ignore the message!”

    Could you please elaborate? Exactly what passages are you reading that tell you this? And also, where do you read that Jesus taught yoga?

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  83. kay~ms said

    You said: “When we die, we can achieve union with the divine consciousness IF we can let go of our ego (as every spiritual teaching throughout history tells us). If not, we may come back in another form for another shot. ”

    Who is overseeing this? Who is deciding if we have let go of our ego and can then achieve union with the “Divine consciousness”? What is the “Divine Consciousness”? What is our form in the afterlife if we do achieve this? What other form do we come back as if we haven’t let go of our ego? What if we are holding onto just a tiny tiny miniscule amount of our ego? Can we still “get in”?

    This is reminding me of the Mormon doctrine that says…

    “”For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23.)”

    So what happens if we don’t manage to do “all” that we can do? We didn’t give enough money to the hungry… we could have given the money that we just spent at the movies to someone who doesn’t have any food.. and we didn’t, so I guess we’re out.

    What happens to someone like Hitler? Do they get another chance? Do their victims get any sort of justice? Do these evil people get what they deserve? Do they receive any form of punishment for what they’ve done?

    Please enlighten us on Hinduism.

    And in plain english please, not in a way where it can only be understood under the influence of an illegal substance or a lengthy fast.

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  84. Science is self-correcting. Anything that is a hoax will be exposed sooner or later. The main reason it took so long for the Piltdown Man fraud to be exposed was that the type of test that finally exposed it wasn’t available until very near the time it was exposed. It could have been caught earlier except for some errors of procedure, and it was by no means accepted uncritically as some suggest. Such a fraud wouldn’t last anywhere near as long today before being caught.

    Piltdown Man is a good article with many references that explains the history of this hoax.

    I think it bears repeating that even if we had NO fossils at all of anything, there is enough evidence of macroevolution from other means to indicate common ancestry of related species.

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  85. Either you let go of your ego or you don’t. The ego will try to trick itself into thinking it is acting unselfishly, but it is impossible to be truly unselfish as long as one has the idea of oneself as a separate being trapped inside a bag of skin.

    To be a Hindu really involves living in India. It is a culture as much as a belief system. When one takes away the parts that are tied to cultural behavior, what is left is essentially Buddhism. Buddhism can be thought of as Hinduism stripped for export.

    I wrote a page called the essence of Buddhism about this. No, it’s not a perfume, but that might be a good idea!

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  86. There is much more to Hinduism than I am qualified to talk about. Part of their philosophy is the bhava chakra or the “wheel of becoming” that has six divisions. This is a basic part of their worldview and is shared by Buddhism.

    At the top are the supreme spiritual successes, the devas. At the bottom are the spiritual failures, the naraka.

    Going down from the devas are the asura or angry spirits. Next down is the pretas or hungry ghosts. These have huge appetites but tiny mouths. Then the Naraka. Then going back up are animals, then humans who are considered to be balanced, then back up to devas.

    Now these don’t have to necessarily be thought of as literal the way fundies like to take things. They can be thought of as modalities of the human mind. When you are dereliously happy, you are in the deva world. When you are tormented, you are in the naraka world. When you are frustrated, you are in the preta world. When dumb, the animal world, and when angry in the asura world.

    When you do good, you tie yourself to the wheel with gold chains. When you do bad, you tie yourself to the wheel with red-hot iron chains. But you can only go so far in the good direction before you start going back down again, as when you sharpen a knife too much to where it starts wearing away.

    A Buddha is nowhere on the wheel, unless possibly on the center. The idea of moksha (liberation) in Hinduism is to free oneself from the cycle of birth and death.

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  87. Modern science tends to support the Hindu world view of nothing truly being separate from anything else. What you see as a separate object (a rock, a person, a cat) is a local pocket of reality where the energy is more dense.

    This makes sense when one realizes that ALL the world’s religions teach us to “let go our ego.” The ego is a social construct we are conditioned into believing. To let go your ego is to realize that you are part of everything and everything is part of you, to cease thinking of yourself as being separate from the rest of the universe. One way to think of this is to think of your skin not as separating you from the rest of the universe, but as joining you to it.

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  88. So the Hindus also teach us to “let go and let God” just as the Christians do, and the Hindus are offended when people like the Southern Baptists print a prayer guide that claims the Hindus are all under the power of Satan.

    Hinduism is a henotheistic system. They believe in one supreme deity, Brahman, that manifests sometimes in different forms for different purposes, as in putting on different hats for different jobs. They don’t require anyone to believe in any particular deity. Usually Hinduism is quite tolerant. There was a time in quite recent history though where FUNDIES got into power in the politics of India and there was some anti-Christian sentiment expressed. It’s better now that the FUNDIES are out of power.

    FUNDAMENTALISM is one of the greatest problems facing humanity today. It isn’t confined to any particular religion. Basically, the village idiots of any society are the ones who embrace this style of interpretation, because it is the only one they can understand and they’re too dumb to realize there might be other ways. It is marked by extreme ignorance, arrogance and intolerance of other viewpoints.

    Someday there might be a medical treatment for fundamentalism. Education helps and might be all that’s necessary. IF enough people worldwide get access to the internet to check information for themselves instead of taking anything blindly on faith, perhaps fundamentalism will go the way of the dinosaurs. If not, God help us all.

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  89. My explanation of the bhava chakra in post #84 is paraphrased from memory of talks given by the late “spiritual entertainer” Alan Watts. I don’t agree with everything he’s said on every subject, but I have learned more from him about these matters than from any other single source of information. I recommend anyone interested in spiritual matters to get some of his audio seminars. He wrote several books too, but those seem quite dry compared to his live presentations. He is a very good talker and studied extensively on these subjects. He was a Christian minister at one time in his career, but is most famous for explaining eastern philosophies to western audiences in the 1960s and early 1970s until his death in 1973.

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  90. It is possible to fool oneself. The ego plays tricks on itself.

    When I said: “To let go your ego is to realize that you are part of everything and everything is part of you, to cease thinking of yourself as being separate from the rest of the universe.”

    I can see where an ego self can grab onto that idea and run with it, thinking that it can still be an ego self and be the whole universe. That isn’t what I meant at all! What I’m talking about is becoming aware of the awareness at our ground of being, deeper than thoughts, words or feelings, what cannot be expressed in concepts. It’s hard to explain but once done, it is so simple that one wonders what all the fuss was about!

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  91. kay~ms said

    TBG said: “FUNDAMENTALISM is one of the greatest problems facing humanity today. It isn’t confined to any particular religion. Basically, the village idiots of any society are the ones who embrace this style of interpretation, because it is the only one they can understand and they’re too dumb to realize there might be other ways. It is marked by extreme ignorance, arrogance and intolerance of other viewpoints. ”

    This cracks me up. I can’t believe you made such an ignorant comment: “Basically, the village idiots of any society are the ones who embrace this style of interpretation, because it is the only one they can understand and they’re too dumb to realize there might be other ways.”

    And then you go on to say this: “It is marked by extreme ignorance, arrogance and intolerance of other viewpoints. ”

    This is EXTREME HYPOCRISY!

    I’ve tried to explain this to you before… I’ll try again anyway. You are insisting that everyone believe YOUR way. You are insisting that it is wrong to believe in just one way. And you are calling people ignorant when they don’t believe YOUR way, that all beliefs are true. You are making ignorant assumptions that Christians have no knowledge of any kind about other religions. And if by chance they do, and reject it, then they are ignorant, arrogant and intolerant. Please, I’m going to say this again, DO NOT tell me or anyone how we should believe. That we are wrong to believe in just one religion. This is ignorance on your part. And this is hypocrisy. And you are also wrong to say that “fundamentalists” are causing the problems in the world. You are confused…. it’s the people who don’t respect other’s rights to believe what they want and resort to violence or hinder anothers right to vote, choose and/ or worship how they want ( as long as they are not causing harm to others.) That is the problem… not “fundamentalism”… please. YOU have a problem with fundamental Christianity… not the world. The world has a problem with people who don’t respect the rights of others… (and try to tell them how they should practice religion… the insistance that we must accept all faiths as valid.. it’s not even possible or logical!!). Talk about arrogance, ignorance and intolerance!!

    Oh, I believe you would like a pill that everyone could take so they would think like you… how scary is that. Get in line behind all the communists, marxists and socialists… and liberals of course.

    Like

  92. kayms said

    I have a comment in moderation.

    Like

  93. princessxxx said

    kay, you always have a comment in moderation. i think the filter senses your hostilities and ..i dunno…goes into panic mode or something.

    and who is this piltdown man you keep talking about?
    is that your new boyfriend?

    Like

  94. No Kay. I don’t insist everyone believe my way. I accept that there are different paths for different people. And it is true that fundies are a major source of problems. Look at 9/11. Look at the village idiots trying to outlaw the teaching of evolution in our public school science classrooms. Not to mention the hateful right wing spreading lies and distortion about Obama when he is the best thing that’s happened to this country in a long time.

    And the funny thing is, when you say it is wrong to believe in just one religion, I really do see clearly that there really is just one religion, and all these people are squabbling over their INTERPRETATIONS that create differences. I have no problem at all with anyone believing anything they want to believe, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else. Blowing up skyscrapers or dumbing down children in public schools is wrong though.

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  95. Anytime fundies of any religion get in power anywhere, human rights go out the window. That’s the intolerance I’m talking about. It isn’t Christianity I have a problem with. It is fundamentalism of ANY religion. And I don’t have a problem with anyone believing that way. The problem is that people who believe that way cause problems for others when they get into power.

    Like

  96. kayms said

    TBG.. I’ll post again what you said: ” “FUNDAMENTALISM is one of the greatest problems facing humanity today. It isn’t confined to any particular religion. Basically, the village idiots of any society are the ones who embrace this style of interpretation, because it is the only one they can understand and they’re too dumb to realize there might be other ways. It is marked by extreme ignorance, arrogance and intolerance of other viewpoints. ”

    What did you mean by “this style of interpretation”? It’s clear that you mean if a person believes in one way only. You have repeatedly insisted that there are many ways (or all ways are the same way or whatever).. that is your belief..and you are intitled to it. Where you are WRONG is when you accuse others of “extreme ignorance, arrogance and intolerance of other viewpoints” because they don’t agree with your philosophy that there are many ways. This is extreme ignorance on your part of another’s right to decide for themselves what they want to believe. And then you make it worse by calling “fundies” stupid and incapable of understanding YOUR way (the “right” way). This is arrogance and hypocrisy.

    And to correct you once again, fundamentalism does NOT equal terrorism or extremism. Again, you are confusing the two. And also the “fundies” that want to eliminate the theory of evolution from schools. Most sensible people do not want to eliminate honest scientific research from schools. You like to focus so much on the minority because it justifies your views. Well the minority in this sense justifies pretty much everyone’s views. No one agrees with the terrorists and extremists who don’t respect the rights of others. Which again, is where the problems are. Not with those “stupid, ignorant, destructive” people who choose to put their faith in the Bible, that you happen to not like or agree with. And by the way.. are NOT the ones responsible for 911 or any other terrorist activities.

    Like

  97. kay~ms said

    And here we go with yet another contradiction…

    You said: ” Not to mention the hateful right wing spreading lies and distortion about Obama when he is the best thing that’s happened to this country in a long time.”

    And then you say: “Anytime fundies of any religion get in power anywhere, human rights go out the window. That’s the intolerance I’m talking about.”

    If you’ve been watching Fox news, you’d know that it’s Obama who has no tolerance for anyone who disagrees with his policies and choices. He’s very active at this very moment in trying to pass legislation that will silence his critics.

    TBG… can you please tell me specifically what lies and distortions are being spread about Obama?

    And also what you are basing your assesment on that he is the “best thing” to happen to this country?

    I can’t believe how blind and naive you are showing yourself to be here. You really should be watching Fox news like the rest of the world is… you aren’t learning anything if you are watching the All Barrack Channel (ABC) or the similar MSNBC.

    Like

  98. Anonymous said

    I have a comment in moderation.

    Like

  99. kay~ms said

    And could you please give some examples of where the Christian “fundies” have violated human rights. And again, I’m not talking about the fringe radical, extremist minority.

    Like

  100. dorian said

    kay -you know fox news is a rightwing cable news program with an exclusive rightwing conservative audience. certainly not the whole nation, much less the whole world, watches fox news. try cnn and others like bbc for news, to get unbiased news reports. if you say every media channel is liberally biased distorted news, ask yourself how is it that what you hear in fox is the opposite of what everyone else is reporting?? i go to fox news just to check how far their news version is spun around. incredible.

    here is a spin compilation:

    Like

  101. By fundamentalism, I mean those who take a strict literal interpretation of sacred writings. There are many reasons why this is silly.

    The biggest problem is that spiritual teachings are by their nature ineffable. They cannot be communicated, at least not with words. Words can be used to paint a picture, create an image, that hints at what the meaning of the message is. This image is called a metaphor, and for some reason those who subscribe to fundie interpretations have difficulty in understanding these.

    Fundies will accept some images as metaphors when the evidence is so obvious that a literal interpretation is wrong that they have to, but they pick and choose. When a fundy interpretation is applied to the Bible, for example, there are MANY MANY places within the Bible itself that plainly contradict each other. So the fundies claim these must have been errors of translation, that in the original texts there were no errors. Right. Uh huh.

    Even when there are no errors of translation, fundies seem to forget that these stories were written as MYTHS to teach us things. They weren’t written as science or history. Sure there are some historical accounts, but that isn’t the main purpose of spiritual writings. A myth is not a lie. It is a metaphor.

    Perhaps the same mental defect that makes it only possible for some to take spiritual writings literally also is responsible for their being so insecure in their faith that they must believe theirs is the ONLY way for EVERYONE, that everybody else is wrong.

    Like

  102. Apparently Kay, you receive most of your information from biased sources that reinforce your point of view. I commend you for participating in this blog. ADKOB is wonderful to have people of different viewpoints participate.

    Like

  103. Kay said: “If you’ve been watching Fox news,”

    Let me finish that statement to make it more accurate.

    …you’re getting incredibly biased distorted inaccurate news of what’s really going on.

    Like

  104. Princessxxx said

    thanks a lot kay.
    me and some of my buddies were having a drinking game,
    where everytime you say “ignorant and arrogant”,
    we all have to do a shot of tequila.

    now all of my friends are dead from alcohol poisoning…
    and it’s all your fault.

    Like

  105. Princessxxx said

    and this legislation you speak of,
    the one where obama is getting ready to sign it to take away free speech.
    is that a house bill or a senate bill or an executive order?

    post a link to that,
    i’d like to see some facts from you for a change.
    and not one from world net daily.
    or one of keller’s dullvotionals.

    Like

  106. 1minionsopinion said

    kay at 79 said: “I’m just wondering why it took scientists over 40 years to figure out that Piltdown man was a fake.”

    Why were both Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle fleeced by a couple girls with fairy cutouts?

    When you want to believe bad enough, you’ll believe anything, no matter how unlikely. I suspect it’s the human condition. I don’t know how gullibility becomes a survival trait. Tied into trust? Got to trust people at some point in order for cooperation (or manipulation) to work.

    (Where have I been all day you ask? How I Met Your Mother Season 4 was really really good… watched the whole thing!)

    Like

  107. princessxxx said

    and kay, i’m still waiting on your “evidence” that obama is getting ready to sign away your right to call dorian ignorant & arrogant.

    (and what have i been doing all day?
    playing “batman/arkham asylum”.)

    Like

  108. dorian said

    P- i’m glad i wasn’t in your drinking game.

    you know i ‘d feel unloved if kay isn’t able to use her terms of endearment. obama, don’t do it!

    (and what have i been doing all day? going on a junk food binge. and trying not to play “21”.)

    Like

  109. kay~ms said

    TGB says: “Kay said: “If you’ve been watching Fox news,”

    Let me finish that statement to make it more accurate.

    …you’re getting incredibly biased distorted inaccurate news of what’s really going on.”

    Dorian says: “kay -you know fox news is a rightwing cable news program with an exclusive rightwing conservative audience. certainly not the whole nation, much less the whole world, watches fox news. try cnn and others like bbc for news, to get unbiased news reports. if you say every media channel is liberally biased distorted news, ask yourself how is it that what you hear in fox is the opposite of what everyone else is reporting?? i go to fox news just to check how far their news version is spun around. incredible.”

    Oh, you mean Dorian, like when Fox news was the only one reporting on Van Jones and Acorn? The other “unbiased” news channels weren’t mentioning it at all for awile there.

    You wouldn’t happen to have any examples of their spin that you could share would you? And TBG, could you share some examples also?… I’d really like to know if Fox is reporting “incredibly biased distorted inaccurate news of what’s really going on”.

    I don’t blame you all for not wanting to watch Fox News… you all voted for Obama.

    Like

  110. princessxxx said

    kay, where is that link?,
    where is your proof about Obama legislating free speech?.
    i want to see it.
    you said it, now prove it.

    YOU CAN NEVER BACK UP YOUR ARGUMENTS.

    Like

  111. princessxxx said

    kay, i watch fox news,
    your getting this ‘obama is legislating free speech’ from fox news innuendo and lies.

    obama administration has just as much right to diss fox for what it is. republican opinion sans facts.

    they have done nothing to shut them up.

    sleazy journalism has been around for a long long time.

    as long as there have been suckers like you to swallow it.

    NOW PROVE YOUR ARGUMENT THAT OBAMA IS PASSING LEGISLATION TO SILENCE FREE SPEECH,
    I WANT TO SEE IT AND I’M SURE EVERY OTHER BLOGGER HERE AS WELL.

    Like

  112. Princessxxx said

    and kay,, don’t feel bad for not having a grasp on reality, it is common for fundamentalist such as yourself.

    i’m glad to have corrected you on that.

    Like

  113. Conservatives deserve their own news station, so they hear what they want to hear. However, for Fox News to claim it is “fair and balanced” is a load of crap. That FALSE claim is typical of the right wing bias their “news” consists of. Fox takes every opportunity to insert OPINION into news stories to give it that right wing flavor, and most of their contributors are right wing to begin with. Where’s the “balanced” part?

    Like

  114. If people such as Kay rely on Fox News and Bill Keller for most of their information regarding the world, they are missing a LOT of what is REALLY going on. I’m not saying that any mass media can be trusted, but some are obviously slanted way more than others, and Fox is one of the, if not THE, most biased sources out there. It is more like a cheap tabloid than a respectable news organization. It really is nothing more than 24/7 Republican propaganda.

    Like

  115. dorian said

    it’s a shame that fox show such blatant hypocrisy or maybe it’s just self-delusion – “fair and balanced” haahahahaha
    what was van jones’ crime? that he had a commie affiliation in the past, that he said “a..hole??” he did good notable work with the environment. oh, that’s right, at that time, the flavor of the month for the neocons was the commie scare. the revival of their saint joe mccarthy doctrines.

    faux news examples? i just don’t have to time to give the many samples. besides i wouldn’t know where to start! i think we’ve all posted a lot of videos with the distorted news. so a lot of it here already. i’ll cut and paste when i have time. or not.

    Like

  116. If people honestly seek God, they will find Him, or HER (Kali). And there can never be enough evidence to convince anyone evolution happens if their minds are closed to truth.

    Like

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