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Atheists Need Not Respond
04-11-2011, 01:26 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2011 01:41 PM by WhiteNova.)
Post: #1
Atheists Need Not Respond
Whew. I think I finally have most of the atheists here ignoring me. It’s not that I dislike atheists; it just that when it comes to religion, they generally don’t have anything relevant to say. In this thread, I want to deal with my religious path, not the silly superstition that God is necessarily a being alongside other beings like a chair, table or “flying spaghetti monster.”

Bear in mind that “the God-knowing man describes his spiritual experiences, not to convince unbelievers, but for the edification and mutual satisfaction of believers.” I think my fellow believers will, for the most part, also agree that “It matters little what idea of the Father you may entertain as long as you are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature.” (FYI, both quotes are from The Urantia Book.)

Unity is the core concept of both science and religion. For me, science precedes religion. It was science, not religion, that revealed to me that this is a participatory universe; that we are intimately part of the whole. The “one” in “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” is not the integer followed by , two, three, etc., but a truth far more profound. The “One” revealed here is Infinity as perceived by the finite; our experience of all-encompassing Unity.

God — Infinity — has no perceptible image. But that means God must not be thought of as an idea, since ideas are built of images stored within our brains. How, then, does one imagine or relate to an imageless “absolute”? Faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Contrary to the superstitious claims of most atheists and, sadly, even many believers, faith is not about belief-claims. Faith shapes the mode of living in direction of something unseen — unconceived; religion is the mode of living. Ideas are merely the vehicle of communication.

Some of my “vehicle” may sound too pantheistic for some. That’s okay. I’m trying to convey my own religious experience, not to convince anyone that it is the Truth. I don’t consider my religion pantheistic because in spite of man’s ultimate oneness with God, I make a strong distinction between the corporeal nature of man and the spiritual nature of God. Indeed, my understanding of self-consciousness depends heavily on it. Self-consciousness is in essence a communal consciousness: God and man, Father and son, Creator and creature. It is a reality, not an illusion. The illusion is separateness. Self-consciousness constitutes the foundation of the human soul, and the soul is that part of man which represents the survival-value of human experience. (Any atheist who has managed to read this far is probably gagging on “Where’s the evidence?” by now.)

What science calls decoherence is the manifestation of the discontinuity between spirit and matter. At the same time, their ultimate oneness and continuity is incontrovertible. Not incontrovertible in the biblical sense, perhaps, but remember that while my religious experience supersedes science, for me, the vehicle was my interest in science rather than my religious upbringing. For those who might have missed my tirade against atheism, here’s some of what was said:

“The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.” — Richard Conn Henry, Professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy

Needless to say, this was immediately rejected as the mental meanderings or meaningless speculations of a scientist. I also quoted Albert Einstein, who was convinced that quantum mechanics was incomplete: “There is no place in this new kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality” and Erwin Schrödinger, most famous now for using a cat to illustrate the absurdity of quantum mechanics, who said, “Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown. There is only one thing, and that which seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception, the Indian maya, as in a gallery of mirrors.” I could have quoted many other prominent scientists with the same results: “They could be wrong; they have no evidence.”

There comes a point where skepticism looks a lot like foolishness or just plain stupidity.

Science cannot observe, measure or detect in any way what transpires between observations. If a transcendent reality exists, it is there, between observations. If we go further and define the living God as “the divine light whose interruptions constitute the creation shadows of all space” (102:6.2), the question then becomes not whether God exists, but the nature and characteristics thereof. The only reasonable rejoinder for a skeptic is to argue that there is nothing to suggest there is anything “living” or “divine” about it. (Of course, that is exactly what was done.) For, so defined, the “interruptions” that “constitute the creation shadows” and what science calls “decoherence” are one and the same.

But if one and the same, it affirms that the “first cause” of science and religion’s God of salvation are one and the same Deity. It was science, not the Bible, church or any scripture that made me realize God is both imageless and of supreme value to myself and for all mankind. Science is the raft that took me to a distant shore. But having reached that shore, does it make any sense to burden myself with the raft?

Religion is first an inner or personal adjustment to the full range of human experience. It should be obvious by now that science is a big part of that for me. Only later does it become a matter of social service, group adjustment and interpretative beliefs. Here, I am just beginning. I fully realize it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience and journey. Maybe mine is more unique than most, I don’t know. It sure feels like it at times. But forgetting science for the moment, here are some quotes from a “revelation” that many religionists consider blasphemous: The Urantia Book.

Quote:[C]ults are formed, not to discover truth, but rather to promulgate their creeds

Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists.

You can know the truth, and you can live the truth; you can experience the growth of truth in the soul and enjoy the liberty of its enlightenment in the mind, but you cannot imprison truth in formulas, codes, creeds, or intellectual patterns of human conduct. When you undertake the human formulation of divine truth, it speedily dies.

Let the term “faith” stand for the individual’s relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude.

I’m interested in what my fellow believers think about these statements. Atheists need not respond.

"By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never." (author unknown)
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04-11-2011, 01:29 PM
Post: #2
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
The universe is non-distinct. All of those things that you mention are but masks of the underlying harmony that are palatable to man's understanding.
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04-11-2011, 02:00 PM
Post: #3
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
(04-11-2011 01:29 PM)IMtM Wrote:  The universe is non-distinct. All of those things that you mention are but masks of the underlying harmony that are palatable to man's understanding.
I'm not sure of what you are saying here, but I will respond with this: In my experience-journey, to deny the mechanism of the finite creation is to deny fact and to disregard reality -- even if its appearance is just a mask. No doubt that under the "mask," there is indeed an underlying harmony, and it is that harmony to which faith, unencumbered by ideas, aspires.

"By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never." (author unknown)
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04-11-2011, 02:05 PM
Post: #4
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
(04-11-2011 02:00 PM)WhiteNova Wrote:  to deny the mechanism of the finite creation is to deny fact and to disregard reality -- even if its appearance is just a mask.
And you will have no denying from me. I preach the apotheosis of the material world. See it as God! It is perspective which distinguishes the spiritual seeker from the materialist. Seek ye sex and money and fame, those things can be as spiritual as the Communion of the Christian. It is PERSPECTIVE which is the difference. All is as it ever was. Perspective.
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04-11-2011, 02:35 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2011 02:36 PM by WhiteNova.)
Post: #5
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
(04-11-2011 02:05 PM)IMtM Wrote:  And you will have no denying from me. I preach the apotheosis of the material world. See it as God! It is perspective which distinguishes the spiritual seeker from the materialist. Seek ye sex and money and fame, those things can be as spiritual as the Communion of the Christian. It is PERSPECTIVE which is the difference. All is as it ever was. Perspective.
I think I see what you mean now. My perspective differs because I see the material universe not as God, but as a manifestation of God, howbeit only partial and unfinished.

Maybe seeking "sex and money and fame" can be spiritual, but that does not necessarily mean it is conducive to the advancement of social harmony and conformity with either the cosmos or the underlying harmony. Experience tells me it is not.

"By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never." (author unknown)
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04-11-2011, 02:42 PM
Post: #6
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
(04-11-2011 02:35 PM)WhiteNova Wrote:  I think I see what you mean now. My perspective differs because I see the material universe not as God, but as a manifestation of God, howbeit only partial and unfinished.
Again: Perspective. You can believe that God is the wind, trees, smoke, WTF ever. You can believe that God does not exist; period! All is as it ever was. As above, so below.

Quote:Maybe seeking "sex and money and fame" can be spiritual, but that does not necessarily mean it is conducive to the advancement of social harmony and conformity with either the cosmos or the underlying harmony. Experience tells me it is not.
Which is good. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Shame and guilt are the enemy of modern spiritual progression. In people who respect others that thought holds much weight. In idiots who seek to hamper the rights of another human being, I say to them, "you are the [censored] of the earth, go [censored] yourself!."
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04-11-2011, 02:55 PM
Post: #7
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
lol, no we are not all ignoring you.....

If everyone was thinking the same thing, then no one would be thinking at all.
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04-11-2011, 05:58 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2011 06:00 PM by WhiteNova.)
Post: #8
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
(04-11-2011 02:42 PM)IMtM Wrote:  Again: Perspective. You can believe that God is the wind, trees, smoke, WTF ever. You can believe that God does not exist; period! All is as it ever was. As above, so below.

Which is good. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Shame and guilt are the enemy of modern spiritual progression. In people who respect others that thought holds much weight. In idiots who seek to hamper the rights of another human being, I say to them, "you are the [censored] of the earth, go [censored] yourself!."
Nevertheless, undisciplined self-indulgence is disastrous and no more a viable alternative than relativism. Every society in the history of the world has taken the liberty to set standards. The struggle has always been, and will always be, to strike the right balance between personal liberty and the rights of society.

"By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never." (author unknown)
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04-11-2011, 08:13 PM
Post: #9
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
(04-11-2011 05:58 PM)WhiteNova Wrote:  Nevertheless, undisciplined self-indulgence is disastrous and no more a viable alternative than relativism.
Agreed. Direction is key.

Quote: Every society in the history of the world has taken the liberty to set standards. The struggle has always been, and will always be, to strike the right balance between personal liberty and the rights of society.
The systems break down due to desire. The desires of one body do not embody the desires of everyone.
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04-11-2011, 08:29 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2011 08:30 PM by Aingeal.)
Post: #10
RE: Atheists Need Not Respond
Quote:The God-knowing man describes his spiritual experiences, not to convince unbelievers, but for the edification and mutual satisfaction of believers.

I think both those reasons are silly and self-centered.

Quote:It matters little what idea of the Father you may entertain as long as you are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature.

So basically you want monotheist's opinions, yes?

Quote:Unity is the core concept of both science and religion.

What science and what religion?

Quote:God — Infinity — has no perceptible image. But that means God must not be thought of as an idea, since ideas are built of images stored within our brains. How, then, does one imagine or relate to an imageless “absolute”? Faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Contrary to the superstitious claims of most atheists and, sadly, even many believers, faith is not about belief-claims. Faith shapes the mode of living in direction of something unseen — unconceived; religion is the mode of living. Ideas are merely the vehicle of communication.

I think a singular god in any form makes absolutely no sense. Nothing is infinite, not the universe, not existence, not time.

Quote:That’s okay. I’m trying to convey my own religious experience, not to convince anyone that it is the Truth.

Good. Big Grin

I think your faith is interesting, but everything you've stated is contrary to both what I've believed and my own experiences, both spiritually and scientifically. Feel free to dismiss this, but that's my opinion.

Quote:Nevertheless, undisciplined self-indulgence is disastrous and no more a viable alternative than relativism.

That's a big statement. Have evidence?
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