Check this out. It's interesting - ignore the quality and age and listen to what it says.
Check this out. It's interesting - ignore the quality and age and listen to what it says.
Something strikes me as interesting in this diverse social world we live in. I found it in myself. Its a spirit of debate. It's an immense desire to be right; to be validated. Anyone who reads this blog has a very likely similar desire within them. It's why people don't let other people be. It's why a select group of extremist followers of Islam terrorize. It's why Christians convert and preach. It's why conflict occurs. It's the why behind alot of things in this world.
Let me clarify what "it" is, and what I mean. We all come in a process of maturation to need validation, to need a sense of security. We put solution of this in others. You can see often that when something anti-Christian comes out many Christians respond with haste, and usually throw in a bunch of arguments for God. The same is true for pro-religion vs. agnostic & atheism. Why?
Why do Atheist's throw in their two cents?
Why do Agnostics?
Why do the religious?
Few of these people engage in discussion to change their own minds. To develop their own beliefs. Most arguments are of passion and emotion. They come out as attacks. They call names. They criticize. Why try to change someone else's mind? Why does this matter?
A religious one might call it a desire to show others "the path." I would at first call this a lie before a truth. It's an insincere justification for tossing out what they think and believe. We all have this desire to have others think what we think, and do what we do for it to be validated. We need this to feel right. I will admit that it may be true that some people legitimately are looking out for other souls, but I would say it is usually an outcry or a feeling that saying what we believe to others and then defending it creates stability and validation in our "side" and in our beliefs.
I believe most people at a point in their maturity are insecure about what they know. They don't want to admit they are wrong to others...or themselves. They want to know that they have made the right choice and that they are right, and so if anything to the contrary comes up, they have to stomp it out. They have to respond with something that shows they "win." When they "win" they believe that this insures the integrity of what they think and believe. People base the validation and integrity of their beliefs in others. Now I will say that they in the previous sentences refers to most all of us.
This almost always arises in religious debates. There is always a fundamental set of arguments that results, and people begin vesting emotions into it. As soon as you start mixing emotion with your expression of ideas and thoughts with controversial discussions you tend to begin to be guilty of this. Every time you call someone a name, your attempting to write them off instead of considering the actual idea that they said. We protect our ideals and beliefs by deceiving ourselves. It's sort of like hiding or running when anything touches what we hold sacred, but in doing this one becomes a creature of ignorance and if is public about it, typically a creature of conflict and anger.
Too many think everyone has to think what they think, look at yourself it's very possible it's true with you too. It was with me. Only in recognizing it and dealing with these deceptions can you make any conscious choices in what you think in this area. When I say look at yourself, I mean really look at yourself. Think about your thoughts and emotions inside when religion comes up. Do you get happier or angry when someone say there is a God? What about when someone says there is no God? If yes to either of these then I think you are guilty of letting others create the validity for your beliefs from the insecurity (lack of integrity) of your beliefs that you have. This isn't saying you should believe a certain way. Simply that if you do this, then you should step back, and take a look at yourself and what you believe. I don't think you should need others to create the validity and integrity for what you think and believe. That should come from yourself.
You don't need others to think what you think or do what you do to think what you think and do what you do.
This is an amazing article, on skepticism and beliefs, reality, etc. I can't really describe it, but it is a really good article. This article developed some really interesting ideas for me so I thought I would post it here.
Dec 14, 2008
I encountered a few things over the past week that caused me to reconsider my entire understanding of spirituality. They caused me to re-examine myself.
Beginning and Preface
In the beginning around age 7 or 8, life was simple but there was always something in the back of my mind. Something that was always echoing in my mind between thoughts. What is this? What does Me in this world mean? Am I needing a purpose?
So in sixth grade I encountered one of the most amazing teachers in my life. I had a fairly natural aptitude for computers and my teacher encouraged me in this pursuit. This gave me an "identity." Something that defined what I was, yet I would still look in the mirror and ask who I was at really was. My focus in computers at the time gave me something to do and think about until mid-high school. At age 14, I began asking myself the questions of life in more detail. Who am I? What is my purpose? Do I need a purpose? The who question bothered me greatly. I felt like a carbon copy of others. An empty shell.
Over one summer, I believe at age 16 I had a discussion with a friend of mine. We somehow ended up talked about personal identity. I discovered many of her questions and conclusions were similar to mine. We managed to help each other unlock the first pieces of the "puzzle." We decided that choices define who we are,as well as a couple other things. This answer was satisfactory enough to lay the main "who am I" question to rest for a while. This discussion changed my life and started my spiritual journey.
At the age of 17 I began to seek. I searched for an answer as to weather there really was a God, and if there was what it meant. I looked for God for a long time. My other blog posts cover the decision specifically so I will omit the middle-story here, but I decided that I would choose to believe in God. After I decided to believe in God, I looked at religions. I am rebellious when it comes to religion. I don't like what it creates - the walls that it builds. Still I searched. I looked at many up to now. I have decided to follow no specific religious doctrine, but to follow what I can accept and believe in my heart. This is where I concluded a relationship with God (atleast in my P.O.V.) was best developed personally between God and myself - not through someone else.
I struggled for a long time after accepting God. I finally decided to choose to accept Jesus, and ask for forgiveness for the wrongs I have committed. I felt confident in my choices of faith and belief in God and Jesus. I looked further. I read teachings of many religions. Hinduism and Buddhism resonated well with me. for me they offered a very direct logical view on life. The teachings were clear and were more tolerant, than some others in the attitudes of portrayal.
As you can see from a previous post, I decided that as for my primary belief on what takes one into Gods home, it is tolerance. I found tolerance to make sense. I found it to fit with the world, and it echoed what I wanted to hear.
My Blindness and Ignorance
I secretly had great pleasure in choosing tolerance as a tool of judgment in my belief. I have this hatred of structured religion. More so than the others - of traditional Christianity. It infuriated me, when followers of Christ were lashing out against others in the world for believing other things (Oprah in particular - her belief that there are many paths to God and people lashing out at her for having this belief). People act out in such anger and hatred in God's and Jesus' name. They seemed to be intolerant of anything that wasn't what they saw. My hatred and anger of these people was no better. I was committing against my own belief. I saw these religious "zealots" as different people because of their actions based on their beliefs. I was disgusted by them. I was blind. I should not judge them on their beliefs even if their beliefs seem to infringe on others. I shouldn't judge them, because what they believe shouldn't matter in weather I love them or hate them. This time and reflection has revealed to me.
Refraction - A Different Picture
Recently I have started to be concerned more and more with the "other side." What if God isn't who I think he is? What if when judgment comes I am wrong? What if I make the biggest mistake of eternity in my choices of beliefs?
I don't want to go-to hell. I started looking into theology. The 7 deadly sins is one of the things that arose to me (Catholic based - Envy, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, Wrath.) These sins are hell bound things from a Catholic perspective. I had apathy towards them, before my recent considerations of what a mis-perspective of God could mean.
I have a problem. What do I accept? What do I reject? How do I decide what is truth and what is misinformation and what is outright lies? I can't allow my heart to place my soul in the hands of someone else. I can't assert that what someone tells me is right because they say they are an authority in it. I cannot assert that because it is in a book it is divine and true. These are things that I believe with all that I know and all my heart right now.
So how do I decide?
This is where an enlightenment occurred.
I shouldn't be considering where information, beliefs, or ideas come from. I should be considering the information itself. I should seek to filter not sources of beliefs and information, but the information itself. Applying this to the Catholic Seven Deadly Sins, I don't want those things in my life. They are not what I desire. So weather or not my soul's placement is based on them, I choose to do all that I can to avoid committing them.
My desire is to live a life of goodness, happiness, and love. I want to have joy. I want to take every present moment and lose myself in it's beauty. I want these things. These things that many religions say followers must follow to go-to heaven. I don't want them because of the "spiritual authorities." I don't want them, because it is catholic, Mormon, satanic, or protestant. I want them because they are aspects of what I believe is an ingredient for a good man. Things that will help me make the world better, and actually live. They are things that temper my mind. That train me to make choices and do what it takes to secure my destination.
There is one small conflict or problem, but at the time it does not weigh heavily upon me. There are some things that I may choose apathy towards or reject. These are things of religious ceremony. Things like confessions, penitence, or sacrament for the Catholics or things like marriage for eternity required to be in a Morman temple, things like going to Sunday school everyday or paying tithe. These things I can't evaluate. There isn't a clear "this is something I want because it is an aspect of who I choose to be." It is more of a "formality."
Alot of these ideas, I would have outright rejected a couple years ago. I resented things because of who said them or where they came from. Things that meant nothing to me a year ago, I suddenly find amazing beauty and quality in. Things that seemed obvious before have upon a second look revealed some of the greatest secrets of life. This spiritual puzzle has an amazing beauty to it, even if it turns out nothing beyond this world exists.
I understand some of why some people may act the way they do in the name of religion. When you believe so strongly that in order not to goto hell certain things must be abided by and someone comes and tells your friends and family something different. It's significant. To you they are misguiding your loved ones. They are sending them to a place of pain and suffering. For most people it seems to be an insecurity, however - "Everything different has to be squelched because if my view is the only one on the table it's an easy choice on what it is right." There is a great conflict for those that have loved ones and firmly believe something different, that what a loved one does. At least don't hate each other because of the difference in belief, remember why you care about others - I don't think it should be because of what they believe.
Dec 10, 2008
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear; and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
by Christian D. Larson, 1912
The Optimist's Creed
Dec 3, 2008
Posted by Joshua Enfield at 3:21 PM
Said by Venlafaxine at the whirlpool AU forums:
It couldn't be any more ironic then that "Think for yourself, question authority" speech. The last thing people need is more people telling them what to do. So, the irony is, "don't do what people tell you to do", but unfortunately then you'd be doing what I told you to do. But, the most ironic thing is, watching a documentory on revolution. You have an uprising against authority, and that uprising becomes the authority, and then another uprising occurs again replacing that current authority.
We are a society that refuses to think. We need to be told how to think and feel. We need to be told how to be successful. And children are raised to be robots, whilst kids that have any real free-thinking, are bullied and squashed.
Pasted from http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=770362&r=12157365#r12157365
I feel what this person said to have something of value so I posted it here.
Look at a tree.
What defines the tree to you?
What defines the reality of the tree?
Touch, Taste, Sight, Sound, Smell - these things define our reality.
What are these things?
Let me propose a provocative question, what is a thought to you? Is it also a sensation?
Is the thought of a tree, a creation of the tree in your mind any different than the actual tree?
What is different between the thought or visualization of a tree in your mind, and one you can experience in the world?
From your brains point of view is there much of a difference, outside of the lack of some of us to visualize as vividly as the real world?
I used to believe feelings were subtlety manipulative. From my first posts you can see an analyzation of the idea of real control of life being the ability to override emotions and feelings when they aren't in correspondence with what I want. I use to believe the "will" to take control, is how to create a life of contentment success, and one of fulfilled dreams. Recently however I ran across the idea that feelings are a feedback response. A feedback to our thoughts. The feelings don't control us. We create them. This idea says we create the direction and the feelings respond to this.
The thoughts you have in your mind affect you this is undeniable. Could thoughts have more power that you initially feel they do? Is controlling your thought the key to control of your life?
If a thought is real, thoughts are a major portion in the creation of your reality. A thought can change your world and your experience of it. This would be mean, since feelings are considered a feedback mechanism here, that affirmative thoughts create good feelings. So a "happy" life can be attained through affirmative thoughts. Conversely, this also means depressing, unfufilling, negative thoughts create negative feelings and emotions.
So you probably already were kind of aware of this idea. However, considering the above thought creates our reality. So the thoughts I choose to passionately focus on are creating my experience and view of my reality, and in some considerations the reality itself.
In a metaphorical sense the above concludes that if I emphasize "bad" things in my home then my home will be a bad place. If I emphasize "good" things in my home then my home will be a good place.
We must be careful in our considerations of this. this is not saying "bad" thoughts should be ignored or censored. It is saying what we embrace passionately is important. At the moment most of us passionately chase the things we are not...things we do not have...things where we have failed. This creates a negative feedback in our emotions & feelings. This sends us in a downward spiral into depression.
The idea of contentment here requires a small amount of work and effort, but only a little. It requires that we frequently create thoughts or think of the things that create good feelings.
There is a book & movie I have looked at recommended and advertised heavily by Oprah. "The Secret" - It's advertising and thematic elements are very entertaining and make it a good watch. "The Secret" echoes the law of attraction. In a nutshell, it says you attract what you are passionate about, and that if you passionantly believe in something the "universe" (or I suppose God if you prefer here) will gravitate or attract to you. The action in this work is in correspondance with some of my considerations so I felt it was worth a mention. I recommend watching the video.
It wreaks of propaganda and new age self-help schemes, but nonetheless it is a very interesting watch.
A skeptical side and a cross-examination of this "Secret" is well represented here in a very good discussion:
I don't accept or reject the "Secret" idea mentioned above. It relates to what I'm talking about and is entertaining so I figured it was worth a reference.
So enjoy life. Think of the good things in your life. Think of the good things you want. Create a good life from passion exercised on what you love.
Passion, Ambiton, Declaration;
I feel these in my heart,
I take a step,
Sometimes almost one more,
Soon I lose my passion,
Soon I lose my ambition,
Soon I lose my declaration,
I look for them,
I call for them.
Where did they go?
My heart dies.
My life loses direction.
I lose my balance,
I fall back,
Into a familiar indention,
With a history of many previous falls in the sand,
I rise back up.
They find their way into my heart again and give me life,
but as before I soon lose them just after one step.
I won't give up.
I will learn to walk, and then to run.
I will learn to keep my heart alive.
I will never give up.
Just one more step.
That is all it takes.
The next step is my mountain to climb,
It is the step only I can take.
So I continue to fall,
Hoping and trying to find a way...
To just walk.
Nov 16, 2008
This post is a bit of a deviation, from the traditional topics I blog about, but I find it to be a topic of interest.
I am NOT qualified to analyze this. This is from light research and I plan to edit\fix this over the next few days. This should provide some overview on the situation, but treat this as possible misinformation for the moment. Please comment with fixes to the analysis, and I am writing this to help clarify it to myself and provide some understanding as to what this mess we are in is. This is simply food for thought.
The Economic "Crisis"
The year is 1998, we want to stimulate the economy so Mr. Greenspan lowers interest rates. This stimulates buying. Great! Consumer spending! So people go out and buy houses, but few can actually pay for the entire house so they get a loan\mortgage. Times are great, so banks decide to start "sub prime lending." Sub prime lending is when a lender gives a loan to a customer with a higher than normal chance of default. then you have a mortgage crisis. Suddenly many of these borrowers default on their houses; because they are not able to pay for them, and they cannot turn a profit\sell the house to pay it back since the value of the houses has fallen from oversupply of real-estate and over purchasing by buyers. This creates a cascade of effects.
"Liquidity Puts" and (Securitization)
Banks use securities. What does this mean in relation to mortgages? Well basically what banks did is collected all these mortgages and loans together in a package. This package was called a C.D.O. (Credit debt obligation). They then let investors invest in these packages, this is the aspect of what the securitization of the mortgages\loans is.
Now the risk of the loans and mortgage are distributed amongst the bank and the investors in the C.D.O. (collection of the mortgages and loans). Then some banks decided to guarantee the money of the investors, this is called a "liquidy put". This allowed the banks to hand out more mortgages and loans at lower rates, and increase sub-prime lending practices. Well as you can see this isn't what we would call a stable practice.
Now you have a situation where the borrowers are defaulting, so the C.D.O is not a very attractive option for investors. So what investors do is pull out. They take advantage of the "liquidy put" options and suddenly banks have borrowers who do not pay, and investors who are pulling out their money. This leaves banks with a bunch of debt and no one willing to buy the C.D.O. This is where the federal bailout comes in. The government buys these securities, and provides banks with stability where as otherwise the bank would collapse.
Consumer spending and Business
Now we have creditors who are calling in their money, and holding what they have. The puts a crunch on many consumers and affects businesses with loans. The consumers now have more trouble getting good loans for items. This means less demand. Less cars, less optional things. So now we have stores like Circuit City getting in severe trouble, because of falling\negative profit margins. Car makers get hit harder. The Detroit Three (GM, Ford, Chrysler) feel a strangle as the market struggles to regain stability. GM now needs federal assistance. If GM fails many of the parts factories the other companies benefit from will also fall. This creates a problem for Ford and Chrysler who are already in trouble. GM's failure would cause unemployment rates to soar several percent.
Federal Bailout - Where does the money come from?
The money for the bailout is paid in part by taxes, and in part through bonds. A bond is a loan from a party to the government. The government then pays the bond plus some interest back at a later date. Many of these bonds are bought by the PRC. Peoples Republic of China. This is where "our children will pay for it." originates from, since it is them who will be paying for the bonds. The fact China is buying these is not a bad thing is some respect. We offer China's economy a lot of benefit from all the products we buy from them. If we suffer they suffer. It is in China's interest for our economy to do well.
If federal assistance is not offered to the companies it is possible a large portion of several industries would collapse. Unemployment rates would soar, not to mention another cascade of effects. So this is why out government decides to intervene in the economy; which is controversial, because it brings forth the question of how involved the government should get.
These ideas and thoughts are an opinion. They are subject to change. If you see a problem anywhere post a comment, and I will do my best to ammend\address it.
The world is changing.
Unimpaired, unadulterated, or genuine state; entire correspondence with an original condition; purity.
I see Integrity as representing a purity of information. After the recent election of Obama, I observed some very interesting effects in people. There is a great hatred from many for Obama. I observed as people began to boil their views on Obama. A few things caught my eye. One person's citation for Obama included that he did not say the pledge of allegiance, and was un-American and a terrorist.
The pledge of allegiance part; I believe resulted from a chain email. There is another part referring to a terrorist rumor:
The point I am trying to make is not for or against Obama. It is that if the majority of the people in this world are accepting information as pure without question we have a problem.
Many people are deciding who to put in leadership of the most powerful country in the world, based on rumors, flyers, and chain emails. We are in a different world. It is one full of lies, trickery, and deceit when it comes to information. As consumerism becomes more and more the focus of the world, we are innovating more and more ways to put information into peoples hands. We are also creating ways to do this in extremely convincing ways.
My point is we are becoming more ignorant because of this. There seems to be a ever growing amount of people who accept everything they see. There are people who accept stereotypes as fact, some very close to me i.e. Muslims going to build bombs in mosques. This is sad. When you combine this ignorance with intolerance...Intolerance is amplified.
It is amplified because you have everyone believing different things from all of these sources of information. With these differing beliefs we now have an initial setup. Once we add in arguments and emotions tensions rise. If intolerance is included here, we now have a recipe for instability. As time continues and information becomes more and more dispersed and developed, differing beliefs increase in number. If tolerance is not an attribute of the people, we now have conflict as people fight to resolve that they are in fact right. Conflict increases anger triggers hate and begins the emotional process of mutual destruction. Yea I am beating a dead horse, with this tolerance stuff, however is seems to make so much sense. (At least to me)
Bad information doesn't come in a shady looking box with a warning label. It comes as a delicious entree, mixed with truth, gibberish, and delight.
There is another balancing factor here that is to ensure Integrity in information. Don't assert that everything you see and hear is fact. Learn to ensure integrity with what you choose to base your choices, stances, and beliefs on. If you don't your choices, stances, and beliefs are on a foundation of sand, that will either wash your ideals away or swallow you in your ignorance. Build them on a foundation of rock; a foundation of integrity.
If things don't change or continue to get worse, we may very well be approaching a limit.
Nov 5, 2008
This is a religiously biased post under the presupposition that God exists. So it is food for thought under that view, and is only objective under that condition, and not the condition that he exists.
Perhaps God does not reveal himself directly, because of what doing so would result in. Imagine what would happen to the world if God stepped into a clearly physical form and started dancing around. This changes so much. I think the general idea is if we can still be a good tolerant people, regardless of belief, ideas, knowledge or thought as things are. God prancing around, might produce a result where we would all start being "good." However, for some of this it would only be an act, a lie, we would hide our feelings, everything we feel and did if it wasn't in conformance with what we perceive as "good." Lets face it though "good" is a perception. It is only as good as the code is built around. I don't think God would want us faking so much of ourselves. We do it enough as it is. He wants to see that we develop a good nature not because of him, but because it is a path we choose regardless of his influence - he wants us to have a choice by our own conclusions - proving his existence directly pretty much tilts the table in such a way that all the chips fall into one hole. It is true, many people are "good" and do some things, under the context that is because of and for God, I don't know whether to call this insincere to their nature or not, but I think they may just be fanatical a little bit and misplacing credit. They are good people because they like being good people. They believe in God because they choose too. Under this view he wants us to have a free choice, where anything that might not be his path is a possible reasonable option for us to choose.
Nov 3, 2008
This post is a personal journal entry for myself, but you might find it interesting.
I have never really run for any reason other than the occasional spurt to get healthy. Tonight I ran. I ran for a different reason. I ran to get out. To escape.
There is this constant noise of things that develop into my mind. It is a chaos. It is an oscillation amongst finances, school (homework), ability to attain focus, spirituality, schedules, my life goal and God. It creates a fog. These things cloud my mind. They cause me to lose focus and to stress. From an attempt to simply comprehend and contemplate all these problems I become blinded to any possible progress to any ends. Focus and concentration is the solution this is one thing I can see. However, doing this is so difficult. There is such a powerful tornado of thoughts. Meditation works, but only for so long.
So tonight I ran. I ran until I was tired. Then I ran some more. I ran to feel. I ran, because I have become numb. I ran to feel something, even if it is the pain of my muscles as they secumb to fatigue. The night is so peaceful. The more I ran the more I yielded to my present experience. My thoughts cleared as my senses grew stronger. My sweat doing its best to cool me, heat increasing, muscles growing more tired, and the repeating footsteps of my feet as they echoed on the concrete. I experienced the world as it was for that short time. After the run, I find it much easier to direct my thoughts. This all occurred around 2:00 am in the morning - the run lasted about an hour (constant running). The campus is so quiet. The sky is of stars. It is a run of solitude. A run which is invaluable, and I believe I will continue in the future. A run which leaves me very receptive and very much un-blinded.
Oct 20, 2008
This was an email reply to someone I recently met. I felt it conveyed some new things very well, so I decided to post it here for preponderance.
This post I do not mean to preach. Change views or convert. It is as much for myself as it is for you. Please read objectively. I worried I came across a little preachy in the beginning - just keep reading though) I jumped gears a couple times so do your best to follow.
Zhac, your view of this is a realistic one. I have not encountered Nihilism before. It makes sense to strictly act on what we know. It does not leave room for faith because it does not need faith to solve the world's problems, faith is irrelevant here. I think I have followed that line of thinking many times. I have often wondered if an agnostic view is ideal (I do not want to put words in your mouth, but I am assuming you are not concluding either way as to the existence of something more than the physical world.) You are right, we don't acknowledge ourselves as much as should be as something special or rare.
It bothers me when people thank God for providing the food on the table almost robotically every meal. What is special of this food that warrants a special ear of God to hear? Why thank him for something man did the work to harvest and grow? This almost seems insincere, you did something for yourself don't misplace credit, but at the same time too much concern for yourself is almost destructive. God made the rules, and he may live within everything, but I think people go to far and drift into fanaticism sometimes - and attribute way to much to him. People have there own damn minds, they make their own choices. Bad things happen not because God allows them to, but because people make bad things happen. This is not to say I think thanking God for something is wrong. I just believe followers of God need to put more thought into what they are actually saying to him and what they are actually appreciative for - speaking to him passionately and honestly. I have a lot of different thoughts and views.
I will admit I do choose to believe in God, and in Jesus. I choose to do this, because I do have a choice. God may or may not exist. A world without him, without something more greatly scares me though. This is where a very intelligent person would tell me I am creating my desire for God our of fear out of a need for a greater protection, this is where someone would tell me I am acting out of a fundamental human weakness - using God as a construct to explain what I deny. This is not of direct logic or reason. These statements may be true, but if I take the supposition of the consequence of the opposite - No greater power existing. Life becomes almost worthless. This is where your Nihilism becomes interesting, because while it allows for either outcome (God or no God), it theorizes a life without meaning. What you and I believe matters not, however. We are all just speculating. What matters is in the actions that result.
You are right in saying 100% certainty is a dangerous thing. This is true for less traditional things as well. Very little in this world is 100% certainty, most of it is very high probability theory. For example we cannot know with 100% certainty that the world around us "exists" as a physical entity. We could all be in a simulation for the senses....this is ridiculous from experience, for we have no reason to conclude this nor could we really know if we were. This creates a uncertainty in these principles, that we often treat as certain. So from that perspective what do we really know? This isn't really an argument for God rather an argument of realism. We can't know for certain much of anything. There are some principles that may be arguably certain (2+2=4, I see that apple), but these are self manifested truths of certainty (They are certain because we make them so.)
My point is that debating the arguments of the ages is entertaining, but really is almost irrelevant - because its all speculation. I believe eventually one could conclude that walking the walk is where things really matter. This is the fulfillment of the results of theory (the talk.) The really interesting thing is the "walk" can be equivalent with many different views, and the walk has real world effects and consequences. It is what it is.
Theory might change how one goes about the action and create conflictions, but this is where tolerance really shines. You can't have any great change without a lot of tolerance. Action has shade of Grey. Sometimes it works a little, sometimes a lot. Actions are not right or wrong all the time, they just work better or worse than other actions. The point I am trying to drive is that we can have different beliefs, but similar goals. We can conclude the same actions. This is where if there is a God, I believe he would understand. We can only do our best with what we experience and what we know, I believe in my perspective of God that he would be understanding of this. This makes theory irrelevant, but action very relevant.
Assuming God Exists:
My perspective of God is that he is understanding, all seeing, and merciful. He loves his children as a father loves his family. He cares greatly about them. My perspective is that in this view, God would understand believing differently from your brothers. He would understand children disagreeing on weather a log is brown or black. He would understand disagreements on life. The thing a father does not like to see is hate, fighting, and divide. Those who create it may have to be sent away for the peace of the family.
This is where I might conclude that God cares not what I see, what I believe, or what I think you should believe. What he cares about is that we can still communicate and care about each other through these differences. What he cares about is that we don't destroy each other out of the jealousy of being right or wrong. What he cares about is tolerance.What he cares about is what is in you heart, and what actions you take based on your heart.
Thus it is no longer about weather God exists or does not exist. It is how we act, and how well we "play" together. This is a valid path for many religions, beliefs, philosophies, and ideas. Simply good actions. Actions that unify, and not divide. Actions with foresight and understanding. Actions with tolerance. Actions that improve the world. That feed the hungry. That remove the hate. That remove the genocide. That give the abused\ill\ignored\poor children the life they should have.~ Actions that change the world.
I believe regardless of religion or faith, following the actions in this way, are of benefit. If God is watching I am sure they are heaven bound actions as well :)
These thoughts are not really very heavily developed. I spoke them and thought them as I typed. So I aplogize if what I have said is conveyed wrong or incorrectly. Please ask or propose a clarification if something is not clear. (my disclaimer)
Oct 15, 2008
-----This is one of my religious views and it will be carried under religious context. This is written mainly with Christians in mind, though is relevent to all cultures, religions, and peoples. So please don't take this as preaching or zealotry - I am merely proposing this as thought.-------
There are a-lot of Christians who are sure they will go-to heaven. They believe if they are deeply (and pridefully) religious and as long as they accept Jesus as their Savior they have a near sure shot "into heaven." Suppose that these objectives were wrong. Suppose judgment was not passed on what we traditionally believe. After all the people before the flood probably thought hey we aren't bad people.
Tradition could agree that people who go-to hell primarily do so because they are sinners. A Christian would take this two steps farther and add lack of repentance and failure to accept Jesus as their savior, but what if we got this all wrong.
Suppose Judgment is passed based on Intolerance.
The Sin is a result. This is why we can repent for it. There is something subtle a tier below Sin. Something that causes a great amount of sin, and with it hatred, divide, and war. This is Intolerance. Intolerance subtlety creeps in and makes even the most loving brothers turn against one another.
To make sure I am clear let me define intolerance.
1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.
Intolerance sneaks in. If you look around you, if you look at common discussion, if you look at people; intolerance makes a showing nearly all the time. There is so much intolerance in this world. It spawns hate which is not defined traditionally as a sin, but hate divides and creates sin. My opinion is that God would not want this in Heaven. Sin is an effect. God would likely look at the cause.
Here is the real kicker:
Many of you hardcore Christians under this model - are not heaven bound. You create hatred and divide in the world without even realizing it. You blind yourselves in your fanaticism. You say everyone else is wrong. You say there are no other paths. You create divisions. You build walls. This is not the way of life the man your religion was founded on, carried. Jesus embraced this. He had understanding, love, and care regardless of division of belief, he didn't seek to build walls in exclusion and forced acceptance of belief or all is lost. It was simple. Have tolerance for your fellow man. Understand that while you believe different things it is ok. Simply don't spawn hatred and division because of it, because this I believe will send one to hell, and so many of you Christians are doing this! Most every deeply Christian person I know is guilty of this.
Jesus' original teachings do not echo these views of intolerance. This world is becoming extremely intolerant as a whole, and this I am curious is a possible cause for the end of our times - not a world of sin, but one of intolerance. Christians are not the only ones guilty of this, but we are as a whole some of the most push-ful in the choose us or go-to hell methodology - possibly to much irony.
1 Tolerance is the fruit of
judgment. The whole world
before thee is as a little grain of the
balance, and envy is an unequal
measure of the LORD's way.
An amazing site. I suggest reading it all if you are a religious person, believing in God. This is a Christian man, but a different one than most Christians - one I believe sees, his words seem of the heart.
Oct 9, 2008
I want to fix the world.
I want to change it.
I want show people the way.
I want this world to be happy.
I cry for this world and I do not mean this metaphorically.
Genocide, child abuse, intolerance, racism, rape, child soldiers, corruption, greed, power, envy, homicide, hate, ignorance, discrimination, poverty, sickness - this can be changed.
This enrages my soul.
Inside I scream, I yell, as I find my way these things torture my soul ever more.
I want to change it.
Help me change it.
Please don't let me become a dark Shepard.
Please don't let me become a lost Sheep.
Please don't let me lose my way.
Oct 8, 2008
I don't know how or why. This site has affected me profoundly. It came along just when I needed it. It touched a soul tempered with reason, logic, and confusion. Thank you. I hear your message.
Posted by Joshua Enfield at 5:20 AM
I want to help the child in Darfur who is about to be a victim to genocide.
I want to be fully in control and able to provide for my future wife and kids.
I want to be on the right path spiritually.
I want to change the world for the better.
I want to be wise.
I want to ease the suffering of a family in poverty.
I want to save the death of a love because of a loss of means to provide.
I want everyone to have the same minimum standard of life.
But the children in Darfur are so far away, and the child soldiers in Congo are not to be forgotten.
But the emotions and chaos in my mind hold me back in pursuit of an education to do so,
But there are so many views and conflicts to resolve in the path to what is right.
But the road to hell is paved in good intentions.
But the fool believes he is wise.
But I have not the means to ease my own family's suffering.
But I have not the means to ease my own family's suffering.
But I am lost is in the chaos of the world, unable to undertake such a task.
So I have a goal...
...to become a man of education
...to become a leader.
...to gain motivation from other's weakness.
...to be a jack of all trades.
...to query my soul with every breath.
...to do hard work now when it is here for me to do.
...to sacrifice some of my means to provide life to others.
...to find clarity and focus in times of chaos.
...have said this before.
...have undertaken this.
...have become corrupt.
...have forgotten who they are.
...have become infactuated with the material.
...have lost themselves to chaos.
And so I do my best. Looking for answers. Asking God to help guide me, knowing that I must walk these steps or another set of steps and that I have a choice. I must find a way. It is my choice to continue this path, and I will continue it.
Sep 21, 2008
I look at my window it is so dirty.
I look again, and see something else.
Oh the world is so beautiful.
I see a tree.
I see a sky.
I see a cloud.
They are all so simple.
They are all part of this world.
They are all components of a very complex whole.
They seem so content.
They do not worry.
I look out my window and don't see any dirt.
Sep 18, 2008
This will probably be a post of irony.
1. People get bored with over-explanation - Communication
You might think initially explaining information thoroughly definitely is not a bad thing, but do you like the food after your not hungry anymore? Feed others information, but keep it brief. There is no need to be redundant. The less time you take, chances are you will hit the critical points and people fill the rest in themselves. I find experience with this in college lectures. The professors that cover twice as much material, surprisingly I find easier to learn from. The one's that spend an entire lecture on simple concepts tend to become quite boring - and hence attention is lost and very little professor student guidance occurs, making the class much more difficult. Cover more information in less time, but with a dose of salt. Allow a quick recap, and make sure to take feedback on the "empty" spots your communication "ukae" may have.
2. Never Forgot Who Makes You What You Are
If you are a leader it is because others make you one. Greed will destroy you. People invest in you and look to you, because you are a person they can believe in. they invest belief in you because you value them over all else.
3. Invest in Karma
You might get handed leadership and power from another person, but it will not last unless you invest in karma. You must give to receive.
4. Before You Lead, Follow
Before you are a leader you are a follower. You follow your followers. You are there because every individual makes you so. You should expect to provide service for the individual.
5. A Good Leader
A leader can grant his\her followers victory and success; be respected and trusted. A good leader can lead his people to failure and have his followers 100% committed with heart and soul to following him to whatever end.
6. Give Up the Material
Materialism is a system designed for failure. For all of time there will be those who will do everything it takes to attain materialistic power. Accumulation of money, and material beyond those of even the most generous of wants, is investment in self, and misuse of power. This does not sit well with a follower. Wealth and materialism is ok, but you must be as ready to give it away, as to receive it.
7. Value service and good relationships over everything.
A good relationship will do more for you than money ever can. I call this integrity, and in a leader it is his most important attribute. Integrity is remembering that real power is from those that defend you, and fight for you. Falling on money and leverage for power is a sure way to attain followers that betray you, and followers who fight you for desire of your possessions.
8. Power is a term carrying more than one connotation.
Power based on leverage and money can be taken, and received in the flash of a second. Power based on relationship is power that is not easily forfeit.
So how do you make this practical?
Do good things for others, help them out, service everyone in your local sphere of existence. Release your desire for money. Invest in others. The connections for the basis for a group. A group which will support you and build you.
I am fairly confident you will get almost nothing from reading the above, it is more or less a formatted bouncing board for myself. These things are all impractical for most people. For any of it to matter you must feel it at the heart, and that my friend only comes from your own experience, but perhaps this might remove a couple obstacles.
Sep 17, 2008
This is not mine, but I found it interesting.
Song of Storms
~It's rain, it's a storm,
falling across the land,
drowning all your souls,
leaving it alone,
all the thunder and the rain clash into the heaven skys,
taking all your dreams away....~
~A clouded sky,A troubled past
Good things never come to last
Love followed by pain,
Winds followed by rain,
Despite the storms, live for life
A smile can conquer pain and strife
After every storm, Shines light~
Quite a few have claimed authorship of these lines (or many aliases) so I cannot tell you the original writer.
Aug 18, 2008
You may detect a few commonalities in this post shared with something else which I will note.
I recommend reading This ("Musings of Self") first to get the foundation of thought this post predicates.
The world I see today is different from the world yesterday. The world has not changed. It is my perspective of it. It's crazy how understanding just a few more fundamental things about yourself and everyone else can make everything seem to make so much more sense. What is even more incredible is where unbelievably provocative implicative ideas, logic, and enlightenments come from. I am not talking of a shallow view of the world when I speak of it in this way. Inversely I am talking about the process of the entire world of humanity as a perfectly reflected image of the individual. The ever so a-like individuals....so predictable. One may ask if humans are so predictable why not predict the future. The problem with seeing the predictability is we cannot see past choices we do not understand (Not enough information to predict it). With enough knowledge about a situation and a person, I propose it would be seemingly obvious as to the ends of the person. Our actions as a group are a reflection of the rash actions of individuals. Certain traits of individuals in a group are exemplified in a group. These traits are not favorable to choice, thought, and free will, but rather these traits are favorable to causality (Cause-and-Effect, Action-Reaction). This concept in itself is fascinating if it is indeed true. I say "indeed true" because at this stage in my development I cannot say I am seeing the real picture, for as before I may be falling to the blindness of ignorance to certain missing concepts. These concepts are fundamental truths of human behavior. I can say with reasonability that most humans if not all are victim to the instinctual effects of causality. As an extension of this Government is also affected by this causality with effects much more exemplified. This I believe may be our end. Life seems to have a natural balance. Things seem to have an auto-correct. I believe it is the causality that promotes this self balancing mechanism (cause-effect, action-reaction.) The anomaly to this balance is a second mechanism that ultimately unbalances this, but is not usually capable of always being expressed. This second mechanism is choice.
This post is an extension of "Musings of Self" and to provide a brief conclusion I believe humans are slaves to the comfortability and autonomy of our emotions and feelings which express causality at its fullest (cause-effect, action-reaction). The other part of that posts concludes that we have do have the power to ultimately control out choices and decisions with our self-will which is weak and usually just passes control to causality instead of careful evaluation and thought of the consequences (which should produce an over-ride of our feelings to do something with a choice to do something we actually want to do.)
Once (if we even can) we learn to control ourselves, think, evaluate, and execute choices, instead of blindly navigating life, it is likely decisions as a group will follow with wise decisions. This would allow the unbalance created by choice to be rebalanced by other choices. This means Goverments and the world in general would fall victim to stability, instead of to a world of imbalances constantly getting slightly more imbalanced.
Choice may not be an unbalance to the self balancing mechanisms of the world, it may just be a problem with causality itself. I have not fully associated Choice as an anomaly in the sense of self balancement. I do believe Choice in itself is an anomaly to the world of predictability and Causality. It is inevitable that if the scale tips too far, a catastrophic recalibration may be required. The larger our species grows the more unstable it becomes, the more sophisticated its action-reactions become - the more the unforeseen consequences are expressed. The main thought that comes to mind as an unforeseen consequence of this nature is Pollution. It is a little known fact that the ocean is every day absorbing more carbon dioxide to balance the earth's atmosphere. The chain consequence of this is that the ocean is becoming more acidic at accelerating rates. There is now a giant trash gyre in the Pacific ocean as well. There is a break point we are approaching where all reefs will die, and the shells of "shelled" fish will dissolve. Algae prevails in such environments. Once an overly massive amount has been absorbed too quickly, it is possible the ocean would also release the absorbed carbon dioxide all at once producing severe effects on the very atmosphere that is vital to our survival. A change of this magnitude would have drastic effects on our life, and may contribute to its end. Our natural resources are running out at the same time. We are nearing the end of the stage where action can have any effect at all. I see this all as a consequence of choices blinded by feelings and autonomy rather than thought-through choices.
"Already, I can see...an emotion that is already blinding you from the... truth...and there is nothing you can do to stop it. "
"I can see the chain reaction - the chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason".
"I'm unplugged, apparently free. But appearances can be deceiving"
"The only real truth: Causality... Choice is an illusion"
"We cannot see past the choices we do not understand."
" Because you didn't come here to make a choice, you've already made it. You're here to try to understand why you made it."
The popular movie trilogy the Matrix actually introduced me to some of the concepts I used in this post. These thoughts are written on a whim after a time of thinking and are more to help myself work through this to another chain of concepts\ideas\views. These views are probably inconsistent in many ways or only in some. Please post constructive criticisms and I will note them as such.
The above quotes are from the Matrix Trilogy. (Yes its a sci-fi movie but you will find it has much deeper roots if you research it (some of which are in the vedas).)
"Autonomy, emotions, and feelings are the tools of fate. Choice is the tool of fulfilled dreams."
Aug 10, 2008
Will Grows Weak
Self Destruction Prevails
The material held higher than life
Build the walls
Everyone is an enemy
The heart grows cold
A glint of hope remains
In small amounts the warmth of hope hides inside,
Suppressed evermore in time.
Walls ever higher
The power of will failing evermore.
Aug 9, 2008
Please take the following personal discussion as an opinion, and please address it as so with constructive criticism. Please do not mix personal feelings with your arguments if you choose to disagree. I do know this debate is controversial.
This is written with a religious point of view in mind.
The Evolution Debate
In my opinion the contemplation and thoughts of the questions provide a much deeper answer, but not a conflicting answer with the general religious answers. They do not conflict because it is equivocal to viewing the problem from two different views. This is where my problems with people arguing the legitimacy of evolution vs. creationism comes in. God's acts in general are naturalistic in means, and aren't "Pull the rabbit out of the hat." Some find conflictancies in the Adam and Eve story and evolution, but again this doesn't really argue evolution directly but instead argues the starting point. Evolution is in itself a process. Creationalism is a starting point . Scientific and religious views are two sides of the same coin when it comes to looking at things with both views from a religious side. Yes perhaps the sun rises because God made it to, but the mechanisms he designed to make this work are what science explains (religious point of view). Scientific analysis explains in depth how things work. There is increasing evidence for evolution, and I do not see any reason why both can't exist together - because one is a process and one is a starting point. As for consolidation of the starting point of it all I think arguing the intricacies is useless since many people will interpret it differently. Literal interpretation is what some may argue, but the problem with this is in the bible literal interpretation can end up in some very extreme scenarios, stoning the kids probably isn't something very many would condone. Context and interpretation are important things that also must be considered as well as symbolism. With all the possibility for slight personal variance depending on interpretations I don't believe it at all constructive to argue the starting point. I would like to query reader's as to why it's important to argue this minute point. From my opinion the lesson and reason behind the story is more important than the literal story itself. Literal interpretations in the bible don't seem to work all the time, so in my opinion you must take from it what they are trying to actually "say" rather than the literal words. Reading the resurrection stories side by side you will see what I mean, all the accounts of the four describe the small points differently sometimes in direct conflict with each other (how many were present, who showed up, What the tomb was like upon arrival, the presence of the guards, etc. ) These stories were written later and what was meant to be preserved was the stories, ideas, and lessons behind the words for because the words are written with human hands years after small details may vary. Arguing the Creationalism vs. Evolution debate from the point of view of where things started is seemingly pointless. Conclusion? Evolution is a process and creationalism is an initial setup. Evolution is something you can see in real effect as well (as a process.) The physical differences of people in different locations alone is evidence of such. Adaptations occur and things change. Crossbreeding has occasionally produced new "species" as well (Ex: Ligers.) These two arguments alone allow for evolution as a process.
As for the teaching of creationalism in schools - I can honestly say in my opinion this makes absolutely no sense. Evolution is taught as a theory, which has undergone scientific process. Creationalism is purely religious, and teaching creationalism joins church and state which violates the foundations and principles of our country. Teaching creationalism in public schools would by inference produce many more extreme issues. Schools would then by the principle of equality be forced to teach every religions version of "the beginning." Dismissing evolution as an exception is paramount to dismissing all scientific process and denying the existence of everything science shows and produces. The teaching of creationalism would also be capable of expanding religious views of all types into the other areas of science.
One last note, arguing for creationalism in schools, would also mean extreme religions such as Scientology could be taught as feasible as well. I believe this to be completely fair and in my opinion high schoolers should be shown all of their religious options so they can find what they believe in rather than being ignorant of everything else (outside of a school setting in my opinion), I believe many parents would have an objectionable albeit hypocritical view on their children being taught Scientology in school, which is what teaching creationalism in schools is arguing for at the same time.
|"Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth’s history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts."|
—Science, Evolution, and Creationism, National Academy of Sciences
I realize this is controversial, and without doubt I probably have something wrong or inconsistent logic. Please point these out, and I will note\address\credit as such.
Your sphere of existence; touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. We don't usually live outside of what we immediately effect. We see a very localized scope. You see your routine. You see your life. You see the halls you goto school in. You see the buildings you pass every day you goto work. You see your living partners. When thinking, living, and planning you are in the immediate "sphere" of existence with all of these things. These things all affect you and you simply by being there effect them. This is where it stops. You affect these things and your considerations stop there. You must realize that your effects go much further. You produce consequences that you do not usually foresee. These consequences are produced equally by you and everyone else in one giant sum of created effects we call the world. As we roll through time we are losing more and more of any foresight we might once have had. We are changing the world at exponentially accelerating rates. Everyone hides in their bubble. Do you actually expect those you see as over you to fully appreciate anything outside of their own sphere of existence? Put yourself in someone else's shoes, any random person can you see sight outside of their bubble? Can you look past their small world? It's not unexpected to see only our sphere of existence. This is what we live in every day. It is what our life is. The effects in our small sphere are the internal effects. We could care less about what what the external effects are right? Someone else will deal with it. Problem is everyone has the same view as you. Now as our spheres of existence are getting affected quick fixes are being applied. Yet we are still blindly doing things that are ever more affecting our existence, and in the future even threatening it. We do this on a personal scale too. You drink one more even though you won't know what happens between now and when you end up in a ditch. You forgo doing your work now even though there is no reason to. You buy those shoes even though you can't afford them. You buy that car you can't keep collateral on. You reply in rash anger at someone who has slighted you with the possible consequences resulting in your end. You receive an angry assault and make it your immediate vow to destroy everything they are even if it results in your own destruction. See what I did there? We are becoming more and more of a self-destructive species even on the personal levels. Take a look at your own bubble. Then look at someone else's. Stop hiding. See things as they are and don't be blinded by emotions. Remove how you feel in every decision you make. Evaluate it thoroughly.
Aug 6, 2008
It is going to fail.
It is going to hurt.
It will be fun while it lasts.
It is a new feeling everytime.
It cure's the pain inside and turns it to joy.
It's like living for the first time.
It falls apart.
It leaves my soul in pieces.
It finds me again
I let it inside again, even though it's going to fail.
I was raised in a Mormon family. My grandparents were strongly "religious" from the standpoint that they went to church every Sunday and attended many meetings and gatherings outside of the Sunday mass. In my teen years I went to a few Baptist mass' as well. The older I grew the more repulsed I was about religion. To be honest I am still repulsed by many institutions of religions. A -lot of people do not know why they believe what they do. They don't stand on any ground with what they believe. A common religious folk song talks of the foolish man building his house upon the sand and the wise man building his house upon the rock. This is a symbolic lyric. Blind faith is I am sorry to say ignorance. Faith is a thing I do believe in, but I need a reason to have the faith. Otherwise it is equivocal to placing my beliefs in almost anything. Just because I grew up in a religion is not a reason to believe it. My beliefs must stand up to criticism, and I must not be afraid to be the one doing the criticizing. I struggled for years with what was right to believe when it comes to life after death. The problem is that growing up in a religion doesn't make it right. A fellow human saying "this is the right way...." doesn't make him right. There is just over twenty major religions in the world. Christianity is one of the few that is mutually exclusive, and is also one of the newest (You goto hell if you don't believe it.) Every religion has its devout followers willing to die for their beliefs. Every religion has books and works from long ago in history. So how can I know what is right? I pained over this for a long time. My heart just told me to do my best and carry things as far as I could being as objective in my research and evaluation of religions as possible. I prayed, I agonized and thought about it for long periods of time. Introspection into myself actually carried me the closest to God, rather than an external source. The fact is the world is a complex place and if you have to make a mutually exclusive decision in your choice of religion your odds of the right one are low. I was then given a book from a friend at the college who I had some religious discussion with. "The Case for Christ" was a like a wave washing away all my unanswered questions about Christianity's "inconsistencies" and authenticity. The book initially showed me that the bible had authentic origins and also pointed out some very key things like the medical descriptions of Jesus death and that Christianity unlike the second largest religion Muslim had 12 sources verifying the story, with no motive and risk of persecution. There was much much more and I won't go into detail but it basically laid my questions about the inconsistencies of the religion to rest. However, this was short lived. After reading the book, I immediately checked criticisms and reviews of the book. Apologetics were very supportive of it. Scholarly criticisms unfortunately tore the case the book built apart. After reading the cross examination - the book actually pushed me away from God; for I had all my questions at rest, but now there were more fundamental problems. I was forced to contemplate that there may be no God. I pained trying to come up with something to believe in one way over another. The book did make a good point about Islam's Origins being on one founder (Muhammad), which makes it possible to founded on some questionable origins. Christianity did have independent 12 stories going for it, however arguably these can be consolidated down depending on who you listen to on who wrote the accounts with information from whom (The accounts were not written at the time of Jesus but many years later, and possibly with influences from on another making multiple sources one source.) Christianity is the largest religion. It does have alot going for it. It is also one of the few with exclusion (non-believers are treated worse). I still wasn't sure what to believe. I just didn't know. The answer actually came coincidently one day from a great philosopher by the name of Immanuel Kant.
"Kant asserted that, because of the limitations of argumentation in the absence of irrefutable evidence, no one could really know whether there is a God and an afterlife or not, and, conversely, that no one could really know that there is no God and no afterlife. For the sake of society and morality, Kant asserted, people are reasonably justified in believing in them, even though they could never know for sure whether they are real or not. He explained:
All the preparations of reason, therefore, in what may be called pure philosophy, are in reality directed to those three problems only [God, the soul, and freedom]. However, these three elements in themselves still hold independent, proportional, objective weight individually. Moreover, in a collective relational context; namely, to know what ought to be done: if the will is free, if there is a God, and if there is a future world. As this concerns our actions with reference to the highest aims of life, we see that the ultimate intention of nature in her wise provision was really, in the constitution of our reason, directed to moral interests only.
The sense of an enlightened approach and the critical method required that "If one cannot prove that a thing is, he may try to prove that it is not. And if he succeeds in doing neither (as often occurs), he may still ask whether it is in his interest to accept one or the other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the practical point of view. Hence the question no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its being real." The presupposition of God, soul, and freedom was then a practical concern, for "Morality, by itself, constitutes a system, but happiness does not, unless it is distributed in exact proportion to morality. This, however, is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler. Reason compels us to admit such a ruler, together with life in such a world, which we must consider as future life, or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams… ."
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant>
The key part lies in:
"If one cannot prove that a thing is, he may try to prove that it is not. And if he succeeds in doing neither (as often occurs), he may still ask whether it is in his interest to accept one or the other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the practical point of view. Hence the question no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its being real."["
I can't prove that Jesus is, and I can't prove that he is not what Christianity claims. So i have not succeeded in proving one way or another. It is definitely in my interest to accept him. With Christianity being one of the only major religions that is mutually exclusive to a large extent. It is in my interest to accept it over the others. I am giving credibility to the fact of Christianity being the largest religion, in my conclusion. I was worried about this being insincere belief. However, a little introspection revealed to me that I really can choose what I want to believe. For the information I have this was the best I can do. I choose to believe in Jesus. I also have reasonable ground to stand on, to believe this and I believe my core reasons for belief stands to criticism. Alot of people would cite religious experiences, feelings, or aid in times of need as reasons for belief. This is better than completely blind faith but it is also flawed. A-lot of religious followers of every religion share the same experiences, so you can apply those reasons to any following if that happens to be the thing you would have been following at the time.
I don't believe going to church every Sunday secures you a spot with God. I also get a little sad when I see followers of Christ pushing others away with their religious zealotry and pride. I have my reasons for belief and the rest is on faith.
I don' t want to preach. I don't care if you join a religion or not. I don't like religious zealots and I would not like to become one. This post is not to convince you. Though I hope it does aid you in your journey to whatever end you do decide to choose. I think a lot of followers today are blinded by themselves, and i think they need to go back to the foundations of their beliefs and evaluate what exists if anything and make sure it stands to their own criticisms, and make sure they actually believe the teachings they have attended as part of the beliefs they follow.
Please leave comment with suggested corrections if there is any error in my statement(s.) This is something I hold on a high priority when it comes to ensuring integrity, and is also the first time I've posted this. Peace.
Often quotations and movies expressing a related situation can provide comfort when life gets less than simple.
"A life lived of choice is a life of conscious action. A life lived of chance is a life of unconscious creation."
- Neale Donald Walsch
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
“Retire into yourself as much as possible. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one. People learn as they teach.”
“When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine
"Most true happiness comes from one's inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is difficult to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.One of the greatest moments in any body's developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is."
- William L Shirer
1. V for Vendetta
-Amazing movie on the chain effect one person can instigate.
2. American Beauty
-Great symbolism and brilliant movie, about life, contentment, and happiness.
3. Requiem for a Dream
-About addictions and dreams - very different and very good.
4. Fight Club
-Great movie lots of themes about who you really are.
5. American History X
-Racism and stereotypes. Great movie.
I'd also like to add a special spot for Bruce Almighty. While it is a comedy it's underlying point is something that should resonate in the soul of all. You are capable of doing almost everything in life yourself. Don't abuse offered help, and don't toss everything on his shoulders.
-Amazing movie on the chain effects of one's actions.
I ask myself often why I can't grab control of life. Why can't I do what I want? I want to succeed. I want to take life and make it my own. In order to do this I want to do well in my educational career. I want to complete tasks as they come up. I want to excel. Yet I waste time - why? My mind is of two parts. My soul or me as I am if you prefer, and my other half my emotions, my current desires, and the "autopilot" of my life. When I say "I", I will be referring to me as I am stripped clear of all my emotions and desires. My emotions and feelings convince me on the spur of the moment to take a path of autonomy. I am like the boss in the factory, with a team (my feelings\emotions) recommending minimalistic easy paths.
I have the final decision on what I do. Yet often I let this other part of me decide for me. I let it take control. I fall asleep inside. I wander through life day in and day out, waiting to awaken inside, while this other part of me takes what I am given and reacts. I am making a choice every time I release control. I am responsible for this choice. I cannot claim ignorance of my doings due to the autonomy of my current life. It is I who pass the final decisions on what I do. It is my will that I am talking about. My will is not strong. Resolutions fall under the whim of a feeling of desire to do something. My will releases control and my feelings and emotions take control. I get lost in the tornado of thoughts in my head. I undergo constant analyzation of everything in my life. I feel anxiety. I feel stressed riding the roller coaster of contentment and repression in life. So what is the answer to control? Some would resort to religion to answer this question, but I believe God allows us our own journey in discovery of this purpose, and I believe it to be one of the major purposes of life itself for it is the value of a man.
The answer is I need to wake up.
I need to remember what I have and forget what I don't.
I need to think about decisions and choices, I need to recognize when I make them, rather than making them without thought.
I need to make decisions to make a life I want, rather than accepting a life that is thrown upon me by life and living in autonomy.
I need to recognize that my problems, and my faults are my own fault and my responsibility.
I need to recognize that a choice today has consequences tomorrow and what those consequences are.
Most of all I simply need to say no to the feelings and desires. Sometimes they coincide with what I want. Sometimes they don't. I need to step up and take control and lead myself.
I must realize I am my own worst enemy.