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November 27, 2013

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This seems a little much coming on the heels of the argument that atheism isn't a belief.

I'm reminded of a bumper sticker I saw recently. "Militant Agnostic: I don't know and neither do you." Happily applying to both sides of the God debate, it seems to me to be a lot closer to the truth.

Ty, you seem to be making a "50-50" argument. But this only applies in the case of complete uncertainty, like when a coin is flipped and it could come up heads or tails.

Actually, we know a lot about this hypothesis called "God."

We know that evidence for God's existence is virtually nonexistent.

We know that religions and other Godly belief systems don't agree on God's nature/characteristics. Holy books and holy teachings are all over the map in this regard.

We know that people who claim to know what God is like don't agree on their descriptions.

We know that people all over the world fear death/suffering and embrace beliefs that claim a Father or Mother figure watches over them and cares about them.

We know about the laws of evolution/biology, cosmology/physics, and other natural laws that do a good job of explaining why the world is as it is.

Of course, not all questions have been answered. So if you had said, "Militant Agnostic: I don't know everything about the cosmos, and neither do you," I'd agree with you.

I'm just saying that we shouldn't pretend we don't know things that we actually do. We do know a lot about this entity called "God."

But since so many people desperately want to believe without evidence, they ignore the knowing that they have.

...both sides of the God debate...

You can't debate about whether something exists or not - you can only consider the evidence, and believers claim that the evidence can't be shown because it must be "experienced".

The believer embraces faith and abjures doubt, and the reasonable person, seeing the fallacy of this approach, tries to help the believer understand why one must not only allow for doubt, but welcome it if one is to be receptive to new information and open to learning. But this is anathema to the believing mind because it is too dazzled with fanciful notions of what should be to take an interest in the complexity of what actually is.

Thanks, Brian, for the excellent post.

I just read the original Psychology Today article "You Can Prove a Negative" also.

I found another article by the same author titled "Pseudoprofundity" both relevant and equally intriguing.

Just felt like sharing the same:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/believing-bull/201106/pseudoprofundity

cc wrote:
The believer embraces faith and abjures doubt, and the reasonable person, seeing the fallacy of this approach, tries to help the believer understand why one must not only allow for doubt, but welcome it if one is to be receptive to new information and open to learning.

cc, this may be the case with many 'religions' and 'faiths'. However it is not the case with all 'spiritual paths'. Take as one example Osho. Osho says "I want to destroy all belief systems - deprogram them"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWEhqST0Dyk

If you start with a label on all 'spiritual paths' you will generalize all of them without examining them.

Osho's entire work was about discovering truth - not believing. In fact he insists on doubt as a prerequisite to discovering the truth.

Here's also another interesting video i just came across called "Turek vs Hitchens Debate: Does God Exist?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7WBEJJlYWU

If a jet plane passes over in the sky one cant see the plane, only the trail it leaves, that is the proof of its passing. What kind of plane where it comes from and where its going... That is another matter.

quote Osho Robbins

Osho says "I want to destroy all belief systems - deprogram them"

Osho Robbins,
I think to deprogram the belief systems in our brains we don't need - again - another guru/leader to listen/follow, because then --- it is the same thing, just pigmented in another colour.

Have you noticed that the number of UFO sightings has decreased with the advent of the video camera?

One definition of atheism: "A person who finds no credible evidence for the existence of God, or a God, or any God." According to this definition, everyone who has ever lived is an atheist.

If there was credible evidence for the existence of God, or a God, or any God, there would be no need for faith.

You wrote: "At some point common sense rules. If there is no demonstrable evidence that something with characteristics X,Y,Z exists outside of a human mind that believes it is real, we say "it doesn't exist." Ditto if the evidence is so shaky and minimal, the probability of the thing's existence is exceedingly low.."

Again, the existence of God is about faith. Probability would tell us, indicate clearly, that God does not exist.

We tend to live under the bell shaped curve. Probabilities that are within the first, and maybe the second standard deviation, are easy to accept. It's those things that fall way outside that are so easily attributed to the supernatural - luck, fate, karma, a god.

Play 5 card stud (poker) with a table of strangers and randomly (honestly) deal yourself a Royal Flush. Everyone will know 'for a fact' that you cheated.

Flip a coin and if it comes up heads 67 times in a row, everyone will know that something is causing that outcome, even though it is possible to do by random chance.

LOL. There's almost a zero probability for the existence of God, therefore, there must be a God. Yes, this is the quintessential religious argument.

It is possible to prove God does not exist. But then, for religious believers, proof is not in the pudding. It's the image of the Virgin Mary on the pudding that is significant.

Thank you for the article.

Gene

sandra wrote:
"I think to deprogram the belief systems in our brains we don't need - again - another guru/leader to listen/follow, because then --- it is the same thing, just pigmented in another colour."

The issue with this answer is that you cannot de-programme yourself because you don't realize how deep 'programminng' is. It runs your whole life. Secondly all 'gurus' do not perform the same function.

The buddha said "there is no external saviour - not even me." Some gurus and some religions (christianity, Islam, Hinduism, sikhism, Sant mat paths) give you a belief system and a method. (jesus died for you, pray 5 times a day, bathe in the ganges, recite 5 scriptures, meditate 2 hours a day).
Others do the opposite and do not give you a belief. Their purpose is to free you from the prison of your mind. Like Zen, Sufism, Osho to name a few. They do not give you any rituals. They take them away.

A major part of our programming is "I am right" and "I know"

Werner Erhand had a training called est and now it has become landmark training. In est it took him 6 hours of intense training to get the audience to understand just one thing:
"The way I have figured life all out - the conclusions I have made - the beliefs I have acquired - are all fiction. Life is not the way I have figured it in my head. The way life really is has no relationship to the way I figured it"
The statement can be made in 1 minute. To 'Get it' takes 6 hours. Why? because it is the conditioning and programming that keeps us in our fixed paradigm. In effect, we are already dead - just going through the motions of being alive. We are not running our life - the conclusions and beliefs are.

Take a child of 1-2 years. The child is alive. He has not yet become programmed. He does not live in his head. After the social conditioning phase - the same child will become a function. He will be living his beliefs - not life.
there are 2 things
(1) Life as you THINK it is, the way you figured it, your beliefs, your conclusions
(2) Life as it REALLY IS.
The two are UNRELATED. However, you think that (2) is the same as (1). You think you are RIGHT. You are convinced you are right and you will do anything to PROVE you are right. But you're not. You are wrong.
The insistence in being right ensures and guarantees you will never break free. If you are right - you feel you figured it out correctly.

The first taste of freedom comes when you realise you have been living in your mind but thinking you was living in the world.

In NLP terms this is called "Mistaking the map for the territory". You mistake thinking for doing. You mistake the menu for the food. There is a book called "do not mistake a memo for reality".

once you acquire a belief - the belief now runs your life while you take a back seat. The belief appears to be the truth. You live your life AS IF it IS the truth. You fight anyone who denies your belief. You are no longer living your life - the belief is living it instead.

For example any follower of RSSB has certain beliefs: (1) the master is GIHF so listen to him and don't fucking argue. (2) eating meat is BAD and EVIL - so don't fucking do it. (3) have a high moral fucking standard and don't associate with bad people, (e.g. people who swear). (4) meditate 2 hours a day (5) do seva

The person who follows RSSB is no longer free - but he will think he is. He cannot step outside the prison he has created. He THINKS he is free. Ask him to eat meat and he will say "I CAN! I am free - but I choose not to!" So now say "Prove it." He will INSIST he CAN eat meat but will not. Why, because he CANNOT! The only proof is inn the DOING. And the belief will not let him DO! So who is running his life - HIM or the BELIEF?
The answer: the belief is running his life - but he thinks HE is!
Osho says "My purpose is not to HELP you - but to chop your head off" Help means to stay with your beliefs but to chop your head means to drop all beliefs and not replace them with some new ones.

The non-existence of God cannot be proven, but the non-existence of evidence of God is proof that belief in God is more emotional than rational; more desperate and delusional than dispassionate.

Osho Robbins, thanks for your lenghty explanation. Some 25 years ago I lived with a devotee of Osho Shree Rajneesh for several years. So, I know what I am talking about. Osho Shree Rajneesh deprogrammed (“brainwashed”) his followers and then programmed them for his own benefit.

And please, Osho Robbins, don’t tell me that we always need leaders in our lives that think for us and tell us how to live, and what to believe.

Gee wiss cc Do you really live without passion. Read some poetry. Maybe it will help.

Gee wiss, June, learn English.

dis·pas·sion·ate
disˈpaSHənit/Submit
adjective
1.
not influenced by strong emotion, and so able to be rational and impartial.
"she dealt with life's disasters in a calm, dispassionate way"

cc (Ya well no fine) slang here in SA. Don't know the quote but how about Wordsworths Ode on Immortality. :To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that often lie too deep for tears. Or maybe just let , Your heart leap up when you behold a rainbow in the sky. Or perhaps Hafiz can do it for you. :You have actually waltzed with tremendous style, O my sweet crushed angel: But I guess that's to soppy for you.

Osho,

I fully agree with Sandra when she says:

"Osho Shree Rajneesh deprogrammed (“brainwashed”) his followers and then programmed them for his own benefit."

In fact, IMO all religious leaders try to do exactly that.

1. Do you believe that Osho Shree Rajneesh was also enlightened/realized etc. etc. just like the other "true master" you had met in 2000?

2. Is the name you use for yourself (at least on this blog) i.e. Osho Robbins also your real name? Was the name in some way inspired by the Osho Shree Rajneesh's name?

And please, Osho Robbins, don’t tell me that we always need leaders in our lives that think for us and tell us how to live, and what to believe.

Absolutely! Agree with you there, the world could do without these fake Gurus, just follow your own inner intuition, we all have our own path in life.
However, if Faqir Chand was still around, I would follow him very closely.

"Osho Shree Rajneesh deprogrammed (“brainwashed”) his followers and then programmed them for his own benefit."

Sandra, you then follow this with an even more bizarre statement:

"And please, Osho Robbins, don’t tell me that we always need leaders in our lives that think for us and tell us how to live, and what to believe."

All I can say is: You must be talking about a different Osho. Because take a look at any of his videos or read any of his books and you will see he is not trying to think for you. Neither is he interested in being a leader - or telling you how to live. And what to 'believe'? He is the last person to tell you what to believe.

Just see the videos below and tell me if you can still make those statements.

How exactly do you firstly deprogramme people and then get them to believe in you? If he did that - then it would mean he did not do a good job of deprogramming people. Also what was the "benefit" to him?

on this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SblHY5mn59I
he clearly says he does not believe and he does not advocate belief. So how then can he ask you to believe in him? He says God is the greatest fiction man has ever created.

Does this sound like a man who is asking you to believe? His whole path was about taking your beliefs away and leaving you without any beliefs so you can see life as it is.

Many people did not understand Osho because they mistakenly thought he was a guru, and the image of a guru is someone who wants you to believe in his philosophy. Osho said many times that "I have no teaching and no philosophy."

Watch this video and tell me if this looks like a man who is trying to get you to believe in anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otGQqO2TYMI

Osho was not a 'spiritual leader' in the normal sense of the phrase. For example at min 3:00 in this video, Osho is saying how the pope claims a special connection with God. Osho does not claim any such connection or claim to be GIHF or any such nonsense. He says "I am not your saviour. I am not going to help you to enter into the kingdom of God. God is a dead word - a dirty word"

At 5:30 he says:
"I am free to be funny, shocking. I don't even bother about contradicting myself. It seems to me a man who remains consistent all his whole life must be an idiot."

at 9:50: "I don't want anyone to be a slave. Out of freedom they have come to me - out of freedom they should go."

His style is: he has a laugh and a joke and is having a good time. He is not a serious man and he has no message. He is not asking you to meditate and save your soul or any such nonsense. His concept of what he calls 'meditation' is not what you might think of as meditation.

Osho Robbins,
Thanks again for your explanations.
Osho (the former Bhagwan) - I think we are talking about the same person - has been very much a leader for many gullible people all around the globe. His tactic was provocation at any cost: Very clever. Always saying the opposite of what the mainstream or the common sense is telling. Always against the conventions. Very attractive for a lot of people who are fed up with established standards.
IMO some of his statements are undoubtedly useful and practicable, and inspiring.

But - oh yes, he w a s thinking for so many people who adored (and still adore) him. You find him fascinating too, Osho Robbins, so, to a certain extent you let Osho think for you.
He w a s a guru for many hundredthousands of people.
And a clever businessman too. He would have been dumb if he did not make use of his imposingness. And you think there was no “benefit” for him?

Osho didn't have a message. No, not at all. He just wrote a shit-ton of books including an auto biography about his beliefs on enlightenment and how enlightened he is, bought a huge plot of land where he invited people to come live with the intention of living with him to learn about him and all of his awesomeness,traveled all over to give talks and answer questions about his approach to life and opened up ashrams in his name.

But, he had no message. No intentions either. He was just like anyone else and by him saying "I don't want anyone to be a slave" this is all proven.

Are you kidding, Osho Robbins? Do you really take everything so simplistically and at face value?

Australian critic Clive James called him [Osho] "Bagwash", comparing listening to one of his discourses to sitting in a laundrette and watching "your tattered underwear revolve soggily for hours while exuding grey suds. The Bagwash talks the way that looks". James concluded by saying that Rajneesh, although a "fairly benign example of his type," was a "rebarbative dingbat who manipulates the manipulable into manipulating one another". Responding to an enthusiastic review of one of Osho's talks by Bernard Levin in The Times, Dominik Wujastyk (also in The Times) expressed his opinion that the talk he heard when visiting the Pune ashram was of a very low standard, wearyingly repetitive and often factually wrong; he was disturbed by the personality cult surrounding Osho.

from Wikipedia

http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/rajneesh.html

Provides a detailed and balanced view on Rajneesh and his teachings.

Some excerpts:

"In the late 1980s, India's so-called "Bhagwan" or "Blessed One" Rajneesh (née Rajneesh Mohan Chandra Jain, 1931-1990), back once again at his old ashram in Poona, India, tried to make himself and his religious movement more marketable to suit his longstanding global ambitions for this "first true religion", all other religious movements having been "false", "sick", "failures" in his view."

"(A really thorough examination of all the crimes committed by a group of over 30 Rajneesh insiders, starting with his chief-of-staff Sheela whom he empowered to help run his religion from 1981 to 1985, along with many other unsavory details about the Rajneesh movement from the 1970s onward, is The Oregonian newspaper's voluminous 20-part series in mid-1985 by Les Zaitz et al., "For Love & Money," and their 7-part followup in Dec. 1985, "On the Road Again," plus their updated 5-part series in April 2011, "Rajneeshees in Oregon—The Untold Story," all articles archived at www.oregonlive.com/rajneesh/.)"

"He was/is remarkably interesting as a sensual ecstatic, intuitive mystic, unlicensed psychotherapist of en masse primal scream-cry-laugh "dynamic meditation" therapy, rebellious social-political-religious provocateur, successful self-promoter, cosmic joker, and relentless iconoclast who simultaneously lured his emotionally-dependent followers into making a big icon out of himself. Though numerous Rajneeshees will claim, using vague or dubious criteria, that their guru was "fully enlightened" (Rajneesh certainly claimed this for himself) and that he enlightened them, too, with his counsels and his "special energy," the bulk evidence indicates that Rajneesh/Osho left a mixed or even tragic legacy."


"...... a slew of lies about himself and his movement, dozens of glaring errors in his discussions of world religions and other subjects, personal role-modeling of voracious materialist greed and conniving ambition for fame and power, narcissistic ego-inflation along with authoritarian power-plays and lack of empathy, intellectual dishonesty and petty oneupsmanship tactics, a hypocritical inability to live what he preached (e.g., telling everyone to "go beyond the mind" while talking for tens of thousands of hours from a heavily opinionated and error-prone mind; preaching that the enlightened one lives in tension-free ease viewing life as a play while he himself frequently used laughing gas/nitrous oxide and valium to the point of incoherence, said some of his closest people), a penchant by Rajneesh and his appointed leaders for deceitful spinning or rationalizing nearly every time they were confronted on anything of importance, heavy solicitations and numerous scams by his appointed leaders to fleece his followers and their families of as much of their money and possessions as possible (especially from 1980 onward), crushing work-loads for exploited disciples (routinely 15-18 hours, 7 days a week, at the Oregon ranch in USA from 1981-5), a commune at Poona, India and then one in Oregon often buzzing with ecstatic excitement and groovy sensuality but also debauched by wanton sex (and countless venereal diseases), a several-year period of violence at Poona and branch-communes worldwide (resulting in bruises, blood, even broken bones and rapes) until it was banned by the Rajneesh Foundation in 1979, and diverse criminal activity from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s in both India and Oregon."

"The crimes, as recounted by former disciples, included drug running, swindling and prostitution by many ashramites to pay for their lengthy stays in India or funnel money to the commune; extensive immigration fraud and tax fraud conducted by Rajneesh and Foundation leaders in India and then the USA; currency and gold smuggling when they moved to the USA in 1981; a slew of frivolous lawsuits launched to harass and intimidate local Oregon citizens from 1982-1985; failing to pay many of their loans in the USA; arson (one incident in India to defraud an insurance company, another arson attack in USA to destroy county records), racketeering, burglary, assault, conspiracy and illegal electronic surveillance (the largest such wiretapping-bugging operation ever uncovered); criminal bioterrorism sickenings of some 750 Oregonians and attempted assassinations of select outsiders and insiders in 1984-1985 by some of Rajneesh's top circle of people, led by his authorized lieutenant, Ma Sheela; and intermittent poisonings of scores if not hundreds of Rajneesh sannyasins from the late 1970s until Sheela and her "Dr. Mengele" Ma Puja left in 1985. In all, just assessing the illegal activity in the USA from 1981-1985 (not to mention earlier crimes in India), 32 Rajneeshees were charged with crimes in Oregon; 23 pleaded guilty; 2 were convicted at trial; 4 still remain fugitives; 8 served prison time.

The Rajneesh legacy also includes deliberately divided and broken families, serial noncommittal relationships, sham marriages to defy immigration laws, mass abortions and sterilizations of women (many suffering from surgical complications) and vasectomies for men all ordered by the guru, a few thousand neglected children, and, for too many periods of time, neglect by Rajneesh of the spiritual welfare and bodily-emotional-financial welfare of tens of thousands of young adults and older disciples who had given to this mesmerizing little man so much of their lives—their souls, minds, energy, money and years of labor. The majority of these disciples never or only rarely complained, having been brainwashed to regard all the manipulation, neglect and/or abuse as a "test," a "game," a "big joke" by the Bhagwan and his elites.

ALL QUESTIONS SEEM TO BE POINTLESS. ONLY THE ANSWERLESS QUESTION OF LIFE REMAINS.

It is so. All questions not only SEEM to be pointless, THEY ARE! In your mind there is still a lurking doubt. Hence you say:
ALL QUESTIONS SEEM TO BE POINTLESS.

It is not a question that they seem, that they appear – they are! The moment you understand that they are pointless, even the answerless question of life will not remain. Then there is mystery – no questions, no answers. Then there is tremendous mystery. One is not trying to solve it because it is not a problem. One is not seeking for any answer because it is not a question. One starts living it. And the day you start living life as a mystery you have entered into God.

Life understood as a question creates science; life understood as a mystery creates religion.

And you say: ONLY THE ANSWERLESS QUESTION OF LIFE REMAINS.

If it is answerless, how can it be a question? A question is always a question in reference to an answer; an answer is only an answer in reference to a question. They are together, halves of one whole. If one really disappears, the other disappears automatically.

That's why I say there is a lurking doubt in you: "Maybe there is some question which is not pointless. Maybe I have still to find it. Maybe my questions are pointless, maybe the questions that I know are pointless, but who knows? – there may be a valid question, a real question."
There is none.

When this becomes a trust in you and no lurking doubt remains...because it is doubt that creates the question, it is doubt that becomes a question. When there is no doubt left, when you know that nothing can be known, that knowledge is impossible; when you come to the same understanding as happened to Socrates – "I know only one thing, that I know nothing" – if that innocence happens to you, then nothing is left, not even an answerless question. The very word 'question' becomes irrelevant.

A silence is left, a deep silence and a great joy, a benediction is left. Life flows through you, passes through you, not creating any question. You simply live it.

======================
The above is a quote from Osho. This is not the style of someone who is trying to create a new belief system. He is saying - Life is a mystery - Live it. He doesn't say "Come to me - I am your salvation".
So where is the brain-washing?

Religion & Governments use fear and guilt to get compliance. That is brain-washing. Religions say "If you don't do ......., then you will never get to heaven." RSSB says you must meditate..... etc

Osho did not say any of this. He says my purpose is to set you free. He had no teaching in the sense that he did not say "If you don't ........., you will not get to heaven." No doctrine, No dogmas, No belief systems.

He claims no status or standard. He always said "I am no Jesus, or son of God. I am simply me!" If he took drugs, so what - that is not against any of his rules - he doesn't have any! Some poeple take drugs sometimes. Some people eat meat. That too was not in his 'not to do' list because he never had such a list.

The issue is that when a person is so programmed - he sees even deprogramming as programming. read what he wrote and decide from that.

So things went 'wrong' with his organisation. So what? Does that invalidate everything he did? Anyone who makes that kind of huge impact on the world is bound to be controversial also. Osho was definitely controversial and didn't care to get good press. This is seen by his flippant answers to the press. He doesn't care for approval.

if you want to know what he was doing - hear it from the man himself! "The Birth of a New Man"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiwMhH5uHA4

check this video out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpDufCOAdZE

His name is Miranda, and claims Jesus met him and integrated into him.

What makes this man get millions of followers - whereas another saying what he says would be laughed at and ridiculed.

RSSB has been going to six generations - whereas this guy has just started.

I remember a story I read: A man saw an empty building and put a sign outside: BANK.
eventually a few people came and deposited money and then more came. Soon the guy thought his bank was so good that he went to his own bank and withdrew all his money and banked it in his own bank.
Yet he knew he was not a real bank - but a lie perpetrated for some time appears to be the truth.
Governments have done this with money. Paper money (dollars, rupees, pound sterling, euros etc) are not money - they are just a receipt for the underlying gold. It even states on the notes "I promise to pay the bearer on demand...." - so it's a receipt.

But then the governments dropped and gold standard and said - the dollar/pound is now money. It's nonsense - a piece of paper cannot be money - it can only represent it. yet everyone now believes it is money. Governments just print it and people accept that inflation is a natural phenomena.

Is this not brain-washing? The USA has now built a debt of $17.5 Trillion. It's going to end with a collapse of the dollar and the average person will lose all their wealth.

This is how conditioned we are as humans. We believe even the impossible. That we can just carry on borrowing money.

I came across a youtube video about it - they put the figures into household terms:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE

Osho Robbins,

I've altered your message to make more sense.


"Metal money (gold,silver,copper) are not money - they are just a receipt for the underlying shells/grains. then the governments dropped and shell/grains standard and said - the gold is now money. It's nonsense - a piece of gold cannot be money - it can only represent it. yet everyone now believes it is money. Governments just mine it and people accept that inflation is a natural phenomena."


You don't seem to know anything about economics (I don't either) but you do recite Peter Schiff/Libertarian economist talking points almost well.

As for the debt, I have a book from 1971 which states that the $500 billion of debt at that time is unsustainable and that a crash which will end the world as we know it is inevitable within 5 years. It's been over 40 years now. 40 is more than 5. I'm waiting.

Large numbers alone don't mean anything. Everyone keeps rambling on about "17 trillion in debt!" but they never consider any of the thousands of other factors which influence this debt scenario. 17 tril is what percentage of GDP? What is the inflation rate of the other countries who own our debt? How much money do they print? What are all the relative trade surpluses in this web of exchange?

A lot of smart money has still been long the dollar during this supposedly horrible time for the dollar. If you are so smart, short tons of dollars against whatever currency you think is strong on margin. See how rich you get.

Or buy bitcoins, bro.

End the fed!


Jesse Pauyelleschiffernanke

That's true. Gold only has value because people think it does. I mean, you can't eat it, keep warm with it, or seek shelter inside it. I have thought for years the U.S. debt was unsustainable and the economy would surely have imploded by now. Since reading Howard Ruff's "Ruff Times" in 1979 I have kept some gold/silver as a hedge against that event. But, like bitcoins, as long as people believe fiat currencies like the Dollar are worth something, I guess they are. Someday they will no longer believe. I have given up trying to guess when that will be.

Hi Jesse,

thank you for your comments.

GDP for 2012 was $15.7 Tillion (rounded up)

so current deficit is 110% of GDP

Jesse:
"A lot of smart money has still been long the dollar during this supposedly horrible time for the dollar. If you are so smart, short tons of dollars against whatever currency you think is strong on margin. See how rich you get."

The USD has declined since 2000 against the major currencies.
here are the charts for your reference

http://dollardecline.blogspot.co.uk/

The smart money is not long the dollar anymore. Jim Rogers has moved to asia to protect himself because he believes the dollar collapse will end up in civil unrest, perhaps even large scale riots as millions of Americans wake up to the reality that the USA government can't just keep on printing USD and hope everything will be just fine.

On this site - we have all been talking about subjective things and we pretty much agreed that you are not going to be able to prove the subjective in the objective world. However - economics and finance is firmly in the objective world. Yet there is so much disagreement on what the facts are and what works and doesn't.

Even on a topic like finances and deficits - there is huge disagreement because people get conditioned into thinking that things will just carry on forever - even though the figures don't add up.

In 1987 one of the contributing factors for the stock market crash was that the USA deficit had reached a total of 1 Trillion. Japan and other countries told America to stop running such huge deficits. Now USA adda 1.8 Trillion in a YEAR!

The total deficit accumulated in 1940 - 1987 was 1 Trillion. Now it goes up by 1.8 Trillion in a year! And most people think things will just carry on as normal.

When a govt shuts down for a few weeks because they are running out of money - that is a major warning sign. If you went to your local Wal-Mart and it said "Sorry - Shutdown while we try to borrow some more money" you would know it was in serious trouble.

"End the Fed" - Jesse
If only it was that easy. President Kennedy tried it - and was shot dead. Since then no US president stands up against the fed.

My opinion is that this is going to end in the biggest financial collapse in the whole of known history.

In 1927 - 1929 the stock market declined by 90%. Can you Imagine what will happen if the Dow drops 90% ?

Not only that - back then the gold standard was in place - so world currencies didn't collapse. This time - it's going to be triggered by the currency collapse. Then the interest rates will be raised to 5%, or 8% or higher to try to preserve some value in the dollar. This will result in foreclosures at a rate never seen before.

So people will lose their real estate, pensions, investments and cash. What's left?


USA is adding 1.8 Trillion a year to the current 17.2 Trillion.

Osho Robbins,

You, like a lot of people, repeat platitudes and then call those platitudes "objectivity" or "reason."

Going back a decade and seeing that two currencies have slowly altered in relative value alone isn't an absolute sign of an economies weakness. Also, notice in the last year every one of those currency pairs was dollar bullish.

USD/CHF from .70 to .95 that's up.

USD/CAD .925 to 1.06 that's up.


And why does EVERY economic "doomer" mention Jim Rogers? One man moved out of the US because of his belief that economic hardship was coming. One rich man. Meanwhile, a hundred super rich moved into the US. None of that means anything.

Markets move. That's the nature of them and why we have them. In currencies, there are tons of reasons why they move and what the implications of those movements are. Having an extremely strong currency isn't always the best thing for all circumstances.

And again, you think big numbers are meaningful in and of themselves. Trillion doesn't mean anything. Go further back in history. The debt was in the millions. OH MY GOD WE INCREASE DEBT BY MILLIONS IN SECONDS NOW!!!

Simply put, you have no idea what you're talking about and you have read a one sided review on the topic over and over,yet you deny that you are conditioned to think these things. I know you have been because your talking points are literally repeated verbatim all across the internet.

If the DOW drops 90% you'd better be prepared to find value fast and start buying. Not sure what that has to do with currency devaluation, though.

By the way, interest rates in the 1980's were double digits. Mortgages were often sold with 12-14% interest rates. It wasn't the apocalypse. My dad bought his house then and survived.

Stop being so religious about money.Someone like you should be asking a lot more questions instead of making so many declarations of truth and predictions.

A crash of some sort will come. It's the nature of markets. When or why? That's a completely different story.

Gold won't stop that. Crashes happen in gold standard economies as well. Gold is just metal. Only valuable because we say so. I'll repeat- markets move. It is why they exist. Overvalued things find an equilibrium.

Jesse

A proof of anything will just be more "mind stuff", the same applies to any definition of what God is. A fundamental idea of Sant Mat is that the soul and God are transcendental to mere "mind stuff" (or any machination of the mind) therefore can't really be subject to any form of analysis. The only way the theory can be verified is from one's own personal experience via meditation. Inner experiences are a different world altogether when compared to outward observations.

Jesse wrote:
"By the way, interest rates in the 1980's were double digits. Mortgages were often sold with 12-14% interest rates. It wasn't the apocalypse. My dad bought his house then and survived."

Are you serious or living in a dream world?

People are barely getting by - we are in a recession - with interest rates a record lows. I personally know many real estate investors - all are barely getting by. If rates rise by 3% - they are finished. They are just head above water now. These are people who own 50+ properties. It is their full time business.

Yes - I agree historically interest rates were much higher - the average is about 7%.

But we are not living in that economy. Right now - we are in a deep recession. Why do you think the fed cut interest rates so sharply?

It's normally a 0.25% cut at a time. That was in 2007 - and it was followed by a 50% drop in the stock market. You think these are just random events? The 2008 50% decline in the stock market was no random event. It was predictable, and so was the recession.

and so is the coming stock market crash and currency collapse. You think Jim Rogers is the only person who is saying this? Forget about who is say what. Use your own brain. When a country shuts down the government because it can't raise the debt ceiling - at the very least it's not a sign of a healthy economy. Do you know what would have happened if the debt ceiling was not raised? And all that's happened is it's been postponed to feb 2014. There is a reason why the debt ceiling cannot be raised continuously. Who is going to pay?

I don't think you saw the video I posted above.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE

it relates the figures to numbers we can understand.
earnings $23,000
spending $38,000
debt increasing at $15000 a year
total debt accumulated $172,000
and now you go to the bank to increase your overdraft limit?
the bank is going to say NO!
The countries that buy US bonds are going to say no too - the only reason they buy them now is to save USA collapsing and they have too much invested to let that happen - not because they are a good investment.

Already countries are taking steps to not be so dependent on the USD as the reserve currency.

Jesse wrote:
"Gold won't stop that. Crashes happen in gold standard economies as well. Gold is just metal. Only valuable because we say so."

You don;t get the point. You can't PRINT gold - you have to buy it or mine it - it stops governments just printing money. That is why we are in this debt situation now. And it enables govt to steal from the people without them having a clue. Most people don't understand that inflation is not a natural phenomena or a way of life. It is caused be printing money which means the money is worth less. it is an invisible tax.

check out this video for a simple explanation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mII9NZ8MMVM


Osho,

I'm aware of all your talking points.

They've been in circulation for decades.

Jesse

You can't because it's so easy to proof mathematically that God exists

I wrote this before but do it again
with simpler words :


The chance to win the lottery
is 50 Billion : 50 000 000 000

10 zeros

This is a small chance - so you will almost never win


The chance that you exist is smaller
so the number of zeros is greater

How much more ZEROS

Place a big Gray computer
on each quark in the universe
and let them produce zeros
during the total lifetime of this big bang 13.7 Billion years

And the resulting number of zeros will not
be big enough

So
that chance ( that you exists) is so tiny
that it's impossible that you exist


So
You do not exist !

You must be a fabrication of a very able 'doer' who gave himself in you lots of amnesia

Like Brian said
a World of One

or Solopism
and nothing else exists

ps
nothing else,. . . if the God
hadn't done this a xillion other times ON HIMSELF

777

Jesse you wrote:

"Osho,

I'm aware of all your talking points.

They've been in circulation for decades."

--That's a rather curt dismissal of Osho's cogent remarks that he took the time to write. Kind of a cop-out on your part, imo.

One problem that is not mentioned often is that there is not enough gold to cover all the trillions of dollars, euros, yens and yuans out there. When this rooster comes home to roost it will do so with a resounding THUD. All this paper wealth is just a concept that banks and governments trade in debt instruments and pay back with another concept known as derivatives. There is nothing real there. Nothing actual. No real commodity. One day, somebody is going to say, "I don't want your paper anymore. I want bulldozers, steel, copper, weapons, food. No more BS." Then the house of cards will collapse.

It is interesting that the topic of this thread, if anyone remembers, is "It's possible to prove God does not exist."

Well, there's your proof. Look how screwed up the world is. If there was a God would it allow things to go on this way? Or, maybe she likes it like this..untidy and challenging. "Let's see if they can figure a way out of this mess."

Personally, I agree with 777's post above. If I understand it correctly. Life is but a dream and God is playing a game of hide and seek with itself and you're IT!

Tucson,

Nothing real there other than the entire civilization in front of your eyes. Why is the aggregate value of all the commodities in the world combined with all the services considered less in value than a yellow softish metal?

Is it possible to prove that predicting the future based on assumptions of previously held value systems and economic theories isn't a vain attempt at godhood?

Well, jesse I don't disagree with you. I am not a gold bug although I have a little (especially in my teeth) on hand, just in case. Sort of like I have some food stored just in case as well.

Also, I agree that forecasting economic events is pretty hard to do. But it does seem to me that the current value system is sure to be sorely tested sooner or later for reasons Osho Robbins pointed out, even if you dismiss them as "talking points".

We need a new paradigm, a shift in values and consciousness. I don't know what its form will be, but we will find out as circumstances force it upon us.

""One problem that is not mentioned often is that there is not enough gold to cover all the trillions of dollars, euros, yens and yuans out there.""

There is if it goes 50 million p/ ounce

Same for bitcoins although this NSA operation lacks solidity !
Can be shut off and the algoritm known


777

In my honest opinion, markets are the closest thing to god that exist. They represent the work,values,lack of values,desires,abilities and every other aspect of humanity and everything that happens on earth.

Market forces are beyond any individuals comprehension and often times markets predict events through price, though we consider prices only reactive.

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