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August 02, 2006

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To make matters more complex, there seems to be some kind of spiritual contract against showing supernatural evidence of God, even hypothetically speaking.

Yes, Ben. Exactly. That's one of the points I was trying to make (not as clearly as you did).

If there is something beyond the physical, is it possible to bring evidence of it back into the physical?

Logic argues "No." So does the evidence of recorded history.

Thus we're left with mystery. Uncertainty. Not-knowing.

If you know, you can't share your knowing with anyone else. If you don't know, you can't rely on someone else's knowing.

For me, all this points to churchlessness. For billions of others, it points to a substitute "knowing" through holy books, holy people, holy places, and so on.

I'd rather have nothing, and seek the real thing, than be content with a false substitute.

Still, I understand the appeal of religion, because it's damn tough (and humbling) to accept the truth that God is a mystery and you're clueless about what, if anything, lies beyond the physical universe.

Well, religion *is* the opiate of the masses......at least until television.

I find it interesting that if someone had (or I suppose has) any "uncanny ability" the church would immediately say that that the person was a witch and, by the very notion, an instrument of the devil. The very notion referring to the church, of course, not for people who understand that Wicca is a legitimate religion in itself. Whatever "legitimate religion" means.

Here's the puzzle: you "know" that no one can prove what they know about God, yet the mere suggestion that they do, in fact, "know" drives you crazy.

When my children go on at length about the activities of the imaginary characters made of light that they observe everyday, I don't go tilt, and demand that they prove the existence of this or that idol. I smile and indulge them, and even try to make up my own experiences with the unseen, because it is FUN.

I am not particularly invested in their belief, even when they literally fight over ascendencies of their favorite cartoon.

I am not invested in whether or not Father Raj O'Guru knows God's cell phone number. Or suffers each day because he misplaced it. I guess I regard the so called "objectively real" in the way you regard the evanescent "belief": It makes for great conversation, but afterall, there's no proof.

"No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a
communication if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that
something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other
person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second
person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a
revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and
hearsay to every other, and, consequently, they are not obliged to believe it.
It is a contradiction in terms and ideas to call anything a revelation that
comes to us at second hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is
necessarily limited to the first communication. After this, it is only an
account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and
though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me
to believe it in the same manner, for it was not a revelation made to me, and I
have only his word for it that it was made to him."--Thomas Paine

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