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May 23, 2007

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Brian,
Alright, but before I list my evidence, I want to make something clear. Though I can prove he existed, I can't prove he is the Son of God with physical evidence.

Cornelius Tacitus: Cornelius was a Roman historian and has been named the greatest Roman historian. In one of his histories, he not only writes that a man named Jesus was executed by Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, he actually describes the death of Jesus! Now he could have made this all up if he believed in Jesus. But, in the same paragraph where he describes Jesus death, he attacks Christianity and calls it ridiculous. Why would he write about a mythical man and still hate Jesus' religion? It's simple, though he didn't like Jesus he wrote about him because he couldn't betray history.

Thallus and Phlegon: Both were ancient historians and DESCRIBED the land going dark when Jesus was crucified. That means they were present at his death and saw him!

Josephus: A Jewish historian who described Jesus as a wise man, and also stated that Jesus was killed and rose from the dead.

There you have. No Bible proof but proof from historians even outside the Christian faith.

Note: Most of that information comes from www.sowhataboutjesus.com

Adam,
Christianity is not a cultural condition. According to Usborne Encyclopedia on Religion, there are 1 billion Christians in the world. There are Christians not just in America, but in Europe, Central America, Australia, South America and other places. It is not a culutural religion.

As for the the statement about believing in Jesus when I have no proof. The only proof that I can base my faith on is the fact that God says we believe in him by faith, and faith alone. Atheists (I'm not talking about you Adam) may attack me, but Atheists also must have faith in their theory of evolution. IT'S a THEORY, NOT A PROVEN FACT! Therefore, it takes faith to believe in that theory, just as it takes faith for a Christian to believe in God, a Muslim to believe in Allah a Daoist to believe in Yin and Yang etc.

The truth of the matter is, nobody knows everything about this world. I don't know everything, YOU GUYS don't know everything, NOBODY knows everything. But what I know, that I know, that I know, THAT I KNOW is that MY GOD LIVES AND THAT NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY THE PEACE AND JOY I HAVE BY FOLLOWING HIM. As Martin Luther once said as he stood before the Council of Wurms "HERE I STAND! GOD HELP!"

Please do not call me close-minded for I am not. I gladly listen to all your posts, and I read with interest. I may disagree, but I still want to learn other theories. But from what I've seen, nothing can take the place of the loving, merciful, perfect God I feel as I write these very words. It is by Him, and Him alone that I find strength to go through life. And the love I feel is indescribable.

As written in the song "In Christ Alone", these words are true for me and every body else.

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;

C said: "If you look at some of my first posts midway through this page, you'll see a story of a man who prayed and was answered."

Response: A farmer prays to Jesus for a good crop. No rains. Bad crop. He figured Jesus didn't want him to have a good crop.

The next year he again prays to Jesus for a good crop. This time it rains and his crop is good. He thanks Jesus for this.

How does either scenario prove Jesus had anything to do with them?

C wrote: "I don't believe Buddha, Mohammad, and those other people you listed, existed? I believe they existed, they're historical figures! But they taught untrue doctrines,"

Response: How do you know their doctrines are untrue? How do you know Jesus' doctrine is true as opposed to theirs?

You are not being attacked by the various commenters here. You are being challenged to think logically.

Let's cut to the chase. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that you do not KNOW Jesus was the son of God, answers your prayers, etc. You simply BELIEVE this. That's OK. Just be clear that it is a belief, your faith, and not a fact.

There is nothing you can do to prove the validity of Jesus and nothing I can do to prove his invalidity.

You choose to believe. I do not.



C,
Let me be clear about two things. 1) you write:
"Christianity is not a cultural condition. According to Usborne Encyclopedia on Religion, there are 1 billion Christians in the world. There are Christians not just in America, but in Europe, Central America, Australia, South America and other places. It is not a culutural religion."

The fact that it is practiced worldwide doesn't make it any less of a cultural condition. Christianity has a long, and often bloody history of missionary conquest, crusades, etc. Christianity did not simply spontaneously sprout up. Just because Coca-Cola is consumed all over the world does not make it any less manufactured.

Point 2: You write about the peace and joy you get from Christ. I do not wish to take this peace and joy away from you at all, but instead wish to argue with you and claim that this feeling is not dependent on your belief, but is more an inherent part f the very core of who you are. Next time you feel like this, explore where your attention is, how still your mind is, what kind of thoughts you have had. Perhaps thinking of Christ fills you with loving thoughts, but I believe that those same loving intentions, without the storyline of Christ would give you a similar feeling. Perhaps you cannot really hear this after years and years of repeating to yourself that Christ is your savior.

Adam,
Question: How do you know Jesus' doctrines are true?

Response: Because Jesus is the Son of God. There's my answer, plain and simple.

I would also just want to make it clear that I'm not forcing this religion onto you. I'm merely showing what I believe.

One thing I'd like to hear you admit is that evolution and the big bang are theories, they are not facts, and that it takes just as much faith to believe in that as it takes for me to believe in Christ. If you have a different view point, please post it. You may choose to believe it, that's your choice, but what I want to know is whether or not you believe what I've said above about evolution and the big bang.

By the way everybody, I suggest you all read "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. In that book there're answers to your questions on Jesus' existence and resurrection.

C,

"Why do you not believe Jesus existed?"
---never said I didn't. Belief is Belief.

"Please give your evidence on why Jesus didn't exist."
---never stated that I have evidence that Jesus didn't exist.

"If you believe Jesus once lived but is not the Son of God, please explain why."
---Belief that Jesus lived and is the Son of God is ok. Again belief is belief.


"One thing I'd like to hear you admit is that evolution and the big bang are theories, they are not facts, and that it takes just as much faith to believe in that as it takes for me to believe in Christ."

---Evolution and Big Bang are theories. Both theories are interesting, nothing more.

My question,

What does "C" stand for?

I wish tAo were still around...

C writes:

"Question: How do you know Jesus' doctrines are true?

Response: Because Jesus is the Son of God. There's my answer, plain and simple."

C, you may write, say, or believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Perhaps you even believe he is the "only begotten Son of God." That is a belief, as Roger points out. But there is no way you can know that for sure.

Let us back up a little bit.
If you are able to, please define the term "Son of God." Then please describe on what basis (besides your belief) that you know Jesus was said "Son of God." Please do not say "because it says in the Bible." I want real evidence. Perhaps you cannot give it, and maybe you still wish to believe in this concept. Fine, but at least you must admit it is only a belief and a concept, as Roger points out, nothing more.

Lastly. why do you assume I care about the evolution vs. creationism debate? I don't care in the least about this debate. Creationists care much more deeply about this, because their salvation depends upon proving evolution wrong. I have a more open approach--if the evidence points towards evolution, I tend to believe it, until the evidence points another direction. I don't have an emotional or spiritual investment in how long the earth has been here.

Roger,
I'll now withraw all the questions I wrote on my first post.

Question: What does C stand for?
Answer: I stand for truth.

Adam,
Yes, I too wish tao was around. Also, your question about
"Give me proof Jesus is the Son of God without stating 'It's in the Bible" is hard to answer. It's like an evolutionist having to prove evolution without using Darwin's books.

I believe the Bible is true, especially the 4 gospels. These men couldn't have made up this story, for if they did why did they die for it if they knew it was false?

C,

so here we arrive. Your belief in Christ is clearly based on your belief that the Bible is true. This is where you and I differ.
Also, you didn't answer my question asking you to define "Son of God."

Let me also offer that while I may find many of Jesus' ideas ad teachings, as they are presented in the Bible, to be wonderful suggestions for how to live, as a Buddhist might say, skillfully and humanely, where I become annoyed with religious people is the assertion that this teaching is exclusive and that one must accept it to be saved.

Don't you think if God exists, he/she/it must be more timeless than the bible and Christ? Imagine a human waking up on the earth in a culture, like an Amazon tribe, where there's little or no chance, nor any need to hear the teachings of Christ. Their society functions just fine without these teachings. Would you really say that contact with the Bible---a book with words in it--is necessary for such a person to find a connection to god?

C,

--What does C, the letter, stand for? Clark or Cliff?

--Does, "I believe and I know" have the same meaning?

--What happened to Tucson? I miss Tao too.

"Answer: I stand for truth."
--what's wrong with sitting down for the truth? Try it, you will love it.

"But what I know, that I know, that I know, THAT I KNOW is that MY GOD LIVES AND THAT NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY THE PEACE AND JOY I HAVE BY FOLLOWING HIM."
---Who is trying to take away your peace and joy?
I think you should keep what is yours.

So...

Three months ago, C "interrupted" and posted something to the attention of Edward. I just read that, and the rest of the posts here. (Did you see that Leona Helmsley posted something? WOW!)

I just wanted to thank all of you for being Edward while I was distracted. I think that everything that was written reflects what Edward thinks pretty precisely. Excellent exercise!

One very surprising thing that I found was that there is an assumption going around that people can actualy exist without having an experience of "God," (you know what I mean: source, life, spirit, higher power, etc.) That does not seem possible, in the sense that everything is, um, everything.

Well, tally-ho.

Well said Edward. I hope they (you) get it, including me.

C, you betray an ignorance about how science works and what a "theory" is. There's a huge amount of evidence that supports the big bang and evolution theories.

Way more, way way more, than supports the theory that Jesus was the son of God and died for our sins.

In science, nothing is certain. But some things are more certain than others, depending on how much evidence there is for them.

There's a whole lot of experimental, observational, and theoretical evidence in support of the idea that our universe began with a big bang, and that life on earth has come to be as it is through evolution.

Those are facts. I respect your faith in Jesus. You need to similarly respect the facts of science.

Brian,
I just want to first start off by thanking you for respecting my faith in Jesus. Please forgive if I've sounded rude, it's just that I've been thinking whether or not you guys (don't take this the wrong way) would respond to me like tao use to do. However, you are very different from tao. Once again, I tip my hat of to you.

Now let me just tell you right now that though I may not believe in evolution, doesn't mean I wish it to be banned. I respect your thoughts and ideas just as much as you respect mine. I'm sorry if in my last posts I've sounded like I never want to hear about evolution. On the opposite, I believe learning both sides of a story is great.

I also understand what a theory is, even God is a theory.

Just to close, could you please just show me the tons of evidence evolution has? I'm not asking this sarcastically, I'd just like to see the evidence that you speak of and that I've never heard. Thanks.

P.S. Please don't send me links, not that I'm being ignorant. I just like hearing it better from learned people like yourself.

Hi there my friends. Just popping in for a brief moment... mostly because I just got a message on my psychic hot-line that I was being paged by some of my uhh admirers out here in blog-land.

I hope you all are doing well and keeping up the faith of un-faith.

Anyhow, after purusing the various comments above, especially the same old religious bullshit game being played by C, I must say that on issues such as these, I have less than no interest at all.

In other words, why should I give a damn about the utter foolishness of some fictious character that was purported to have made a minor ruckus in the primitive society of Palestine some 2000 fucking years ago?

I mean seriously y'all, wake up and get real. Your own unique and glorious life is all happening RIGHT NOW... so to hell with some supposed Biblical character who cannot even be proven to exist and nothing to do with your living YOUR OWN unique present life.

My life is happening right here and right now, so why should I waste even a moment thinking and/or believing in some ridiculous 2000 year old character who is likely merely a religious myth?

Whether the man now referred to as "Jesus" actually once existed or not, has absolutely nothing to do with my own very real and present existence. And even if that guy did actually live at one time thousands of years ago, who the hell even cares?

Billions and billions of people have come and gone over the millenia. None of them have anything to do with my own life here and now... except maybe for the few who discovered or invented things and technology which makes my present life easier and better and healthier.

So it's simply ridiculous to waste any time at all thinking or speculating about some one infintesimal little guy that cannnot be proven to have ever even existd, and/or who has done absoultely nothing to make my own present and very real life, any better.

So what's the friggin point? The entire issue is incredibly stupid. If people wish to foolishly believe in some guy who supposedly wandered around in the dust of primitive Palestine thousands of years ago, then that's their problem. I hope they wake up before they waste the rest of their precious lives believing and babbling about religious nonsense.

I feel sorry for such foolish people. But thats life you know - survival of the fittest and all. If someone is so stupid as to make their real life revolve around some ridiculous myth, some character who has done and added absoultely to the quality of their lives, then that's really sad.

So I feel sorry for such misguided folks like C. My advice to everyone is not to waste time speculating about all that Jesus jive.

Anyhow... thats all for now folks. I've got to get back to my own life divine. So please don't ask me any questions, as I won't be around to answer them.


C,

Here's a link. No proof. Just evidence. A piece of the puzzle:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080709/sc_nm/fish_fossils_dc

Arthur,
Thank you for the link.

In this post, I will adress tao's post and explain what I think of it.

I would first of all like to point out that tao sounds like a CLOSE MINDED PERSON! I'm not calling anybody else close minded, but tao sounds like one. Allow me to explain. I'm not calling him close minded because he doesn't believe in God or Jesus. That's his choice, he has freewill to choose what he believes in. But what's wrong for him to say is that Jesus never existed and yet refuses to learn Jesus' story and look up the evidence. If he knew the story and had the evidence, THEN he could rebut the existence of Jesus. But if he doesn't know the story then he shouldn't rebut it until he learns more about it. Now don't use that last sentence against me, I rebut evolution but I want to learn about it. I am not attacking his beliefs, again, he can believe whatever he wants to believe. But it is ignorant to say, "I don't believe in him so I won't learn about him. But I'll still say he's a myth." That's like me saying, "I don't believe in evolution, so I'll just ignore it and not study it. But I will continue to disapprove it and say it's false."

It is further wrong for him to attack people for their thoughts. Am I hear to attack your thoughts arthur, brian, tao and everbody else? No! I'm here to learn both sides of the argument of creation and the existence of God. I'm also here to learn what atheists think. THAT'S IT! It is wrong for tao to call myself and all other Christians stupid for believing in God and Jesus. Again, he doesn't have to agree with us but he shouldn't attack us that way. It is wrong, Immature, and again BEING CLOSE MINDED!

Another thing, if tao doesn't care about anything that
"makes my life better and healthier"
then why does he care about evolution and the big bang! Again, I'm not attacking his or anybody else' beliefs, I'm simple asking tao to think a little more when he writes stuff like that statement.

In conclusion, I hope I haven't roused any tempers. Tao may be angry, but I hope he gets my point. I'll still be around to learn more from you guys.

Hopefully, Jesus was immersed in direct communication with GOD. This direct communication, likewise, would be absolutely truthful. This direct and absolute communication is all that should matter. Again, hopefully this is what Jesus was all about, and, his mission was to immerse everyone into this direct and absolute communication. Assuming this is true, all other issues should become secondary. These secondary issues would be;
belief, faith, proof, evidence that points in a direction, using water to baptize, evolution, the big band stuff, teaching exercises, book sales, positive or negative comments, et. al. The need to compare beliefs seems like a cheap substitute for the real thing.

Hello C. I know a little about the "Jesus Story".

Such as:

1) There are more than four gospels. The Nag Hammadi library was discovered in Egypt in 1945 and contains over 50 texts including the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and so forth. The reason that only four gospels made it into the bible is because the bible was edited to make sure that only one point of view was available to the early Christian community. As the bible has been edited to represent a certain point of view then it is not a set of impartial eyewitness accounts. I’ve added the link below so that you can research this for yourself.

http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

2) Out of the four gospels that made it into the bible, 3 are called the Synoptic gospels.

They are called this because they roughly follow the same timeline, have roughly the same parables and roughly the same cast of characters which means they all came from a similar source of information.

It also means that not only is the original source not written down, but that those who did write it down changed the stories here and there. If you don’t believe this, just compare the genealogies of Jesus’ ancestry in Matthew and Luke as they are completely different (Mark doesn’t contain a genealogy at all).

The gospel according to John however has a different timeline/cast of characters/parables.

This means that either the synoptic gospels or the gospel of John is just a story: they can’t all be true if they all tell different stories. I’ve added the link below so you can compare for yourself how different John’s gospel is to the others.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_john.htm


3) Talking of stories, there is a thing called “narrative”. All cultures form “narratives”, or ways of telling stories, such as opening the story with “Once upon a time…”.

When telling stories of holy men the formula of describing their birth has lead to many miraculous birth stories, particularly in Jewish texts. So Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah and Mary all have miraculous births because they all give birth to special men.

In other religions there are miraculous births, some of them virgin: the Buddha’s mother was a virgin, the God Krishna was conceived without sexual contact bewteen his parents, the God Mithras was the son of a virgin, a dead father conceived the God Horus on the body of the virgin Isis. So virgin birth is not unique to Jesus.

The point of the miracle birth story is to let the reader know that the story is about someone special, not that the miracle is meant to be believed as literally true.
http://culturalvision.net/html/merry_mithras.html

4) Staying with stories and how we tell them, the idea of death and resurrection is also a way to tell a story. It happens to the God Osiris, the God Mithras, and the God Dyonisus (who also has a Last Supper with 12 disciples).

Also, the synoptic gosples all carry different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and you will find a comparison of the differences in the link below.
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rsposse/rescomptable.htm

I am also providing a link to a recent archaeological discovery which covers the topic of story telling. A large stone covered in text includes a resurrection account prior to Jesus’ ministry.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/world/middleeast/06stone.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

So to recap, it seems that:

1) the virgin birth story is not unique to the story of Jesus: therefore you must either accept ALL miracle birth stories of various Gods as true OR none at all.

2) the resurrection story is not unique to Jesus: therefore you must either accept ALL resurrection stories as true or none at all.

3) the gospel stories do not match each other

4) as the gospel stories do not match each other they cannot be literally true.

It seems to me C that you have a couple of choices. You can pretend that the bible stories do match (which will make you a liar) or accept that the bible is a collection of stories written and edited by persons unknown for reasons unknown. And you can pretend that the stories about Jesus prove that he is the son of God but then you would have to accept Mithras and Dyonisus as the sons of God too.

Lastly, I'd like to comment on what you say to Tao:
*But what's wrong for him to say is that Jesus never existed and yet refuses to learn Jesus' story and look up the evidence. If he knew the story and had the evidence, THEN he could rebut the existence of Jesus.*

YOU haven’t provided any evidence for the existence of Jesus at all. YOU do not know how your bible has been put together because you have simply accepted what it says without questioning or researching who wrote it or why they wrote it, and furthermore expect us to accept what you believe on nothing more than your say-so.


Dear Roger,

"Hopefully...." "...would be...." "...what Jesus was all about...." "...his mission...." "Assuming this is true...."

Excuse me, but I do reject your preference in assumptions.

I have been "compar[ing]...beliefs" for quite a long time. Most seem idiosyncratically premised, and their bases only rarely correspond to my own (critically assessed) experience(s). Your calling this (so-called) "need" on my part "a cheap substitute for the real thing" does not correspond to the rather costly process that this activity has led me through. But this process, nevertheless, has led me to recognize the poorly based nature of the founding beliefs upon which many I have encountered (in one way or another) have endeavored to tell me how I should live my life, and what I should believe. My rejection of many beliefs has been hard won and rather costly. I reject your assessment.

To you (and C) I commend Bart Ehrmann's recently published _God's Problem_. I have also found several other of Ehrmann's recent books to be most solidly based, reasoned, and presented. (I differ from him in his opinion about the reliability of the Two Source hypothesis.) I suggest the possibility/probability that informing yourself by reading several of Ehrmann's expositions would be of helpful benefit in your reassessing some of your own premises.

I urge: REPENT! ..... which most basically means: think about it again. (And, of course, I further suggest that several of those who post remarks in Brian's blog might likewise pursue further thought - and further exposure to information and critical reassessments - in some of their own reconsiderations.

Whether you might choose to follow my suggestion - or not - is (as you say) "no big deal" to me. Do as you so choose. I rest assured that you (all) will, in any case.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, the assumptions in my above comment, were placed there for a reason. The direct and absolute communication idea, comes from the assumption that Jesus and God are the all of all. I don't know Jesus and God. In addition, I don't have the immersion in direct and absolute communication. I am only commenting for myself. I was not commenting for what you need to do.
Nothing wrong with beliefs, faith, theories, proof and evidence. I'm just not obsessed with the concepts. They play a role, just not an almighty role. Finally, I'm not sure I understand what your comment was trying to say. However, your affairs are yours.

Alright, I'd like to adress that article someone wrote with the comic next to the first paragraph.

I would like to say that that comic is ridiculous! Who said I'm "ignorant" or not believing the truth? Hello, the author and you guys admit evolution and the big bang are theories! There is a difference between theory and truth, that's why it's called a theory.

Finally, to claim I'm being ignorant is just as bad as what tao use to say! I'm not saying the word ignorant should never be used, but in this case it's wrong to use it. Even if I called you guys ignorant, that would be wrong too. All you guys can testify that I'm not ignorant because I WANT to learn both sides! I would be ignorant and close minded if I refuse to learn both sides.

Other than that the article wasn't bad. The person wrote in a calm tone and adressed the point well. Other than for the comic, it was an interesting article.

Diana (26 May),
There’s more to belief in God than just stories in a traditional book. There’s also the findings of reason and the evidence of experience. Whenever tradition refuses to work with reason and experience, fundamentalism results.

Brian –
Your initial post wanted to know who created God. Here’s what I think about that.

It’s often asked: “If everything comes from God, where does God come from?” and “If God created everything, who created God?” Notice those two FAQs follow from an acknowledged relationship between God and Everything. Thorough answers to them will, therefore, require ideas of “Everything” to be complete.

The complete idea of Everything must be all-inclusive. It must comprise everyone and everywhere and every-when as well as every individual thing. Everything must include all things and lives and minds and forces and places and times, without anything omitted whatsoever. If a notion of Everything exempts anything from inclusion, then that notion isn’t complete and won’t be adequate to answer the FAQs.

Since Everything includes everything except God, it follows that there isn’t anything to consider other than Everything and God. With the complete idea of Everything in mind, it makes no sense to seek a “who” and a “where” that exist before God does but aren’t part of Everything. Thus, the two FAQs actually rely on incomplete notions of Everything.

If you’re seriously seeking answers to questions about God, then look for what completes your notion of Everything; and that way you’ll find where God comes from and who created God.

Hi Nick,
Are you thinking in the direction of
"God's Debris" by Scott Adams?
I like your post
Obed

Edward,

I truely believe that you are wearing a wig. I have much faith in its reality. I am still confused, "What role does wig wearing play in the Big Bang and Evolutionary theory?" Please respect my feelings on this matter, I have a true desire to learn.

Brian,

Please place my above comment in the Repent. Believe in science thread.
Thanks....Roger

Nick, why does "God" have to be added to "Everything"? This is an unnecessary humancentric duality, a product of theological conceptualizing, not reality.

Nature is equivalent to Everything. So is Cosmos. These terms point to what is actually observable, Everything. Yet they have the advantage of not positing something unobserved and hypothetical: God.

Now, maybe this is the point of your comment. I couldn't tell. If so, I agree with you that taking Everything, there's no need to add anything to it.

So there's no need for God.

Nick,

"If you’re seriously seeking answers to questions about God, then look for what completes your notion of Everything; and that way you’ll find where God comes from and who created God."

---nice statement. Is there someone that has, "completed their notion of Everything?"
Could that person write a comment as to where they found where God comes from and who created God?


What with all this talk of a creator god, let’s not forget about good old Mother Nature doing her wonderous creative work. If we don’t have rituals and worship for her, why should we for only a theoretical higher god.

Because some people want there to be a higher god, they have gone about trying to prove its existence with dubious proofs. Attributing the mystery of life and the universe to Mother Nature isn’t enough for them. They want there to be an even higher mysterious deity. The more mysterious, the more unprovable and faith based it has to be, which is how they like it. A normal human characteristic I suppose. Kids believe in fairy tales but at least they are able to grow out of them.

As for human values and aspiring to live an enlightened life, where does that come from? It comes from us mere mortals. We don’t need a god for that.

Brian,
You say: “Nature is equivalent to Everything. So is Cosmos. These terms point to what is actually observable, Everything.”

You may be right. Depends on what you mean. Are you speaking intelligibly or empirically?

I would agree that Everything (i.e. the complex-unity of the Plotinian “Nous”) is known directly by intuitive insight into the transcendent unity of all things simultaneously. Everything is observable, in that intelligible sense, because our inner eye/I is wide open.

But I wouldn’t say that Everything is observable to the physical eye alone. Intangible realities (e.g. meanings, purposes, memories, anticipations, the processes of consciousness, and the innate activity of the mind itself) cannot be seen in any physical or empirical sense.

Once we see with the intelligible vision of our inner eye/I, however, we can observe intangible realities in the spiritual life of our own mind. Our inner eye/I also sees the ideas we have of physical things in the world.

The aim of the Platonic Zen exercises is to open the inner eye/I and get comfortable with seeing things in the world and thoughts in the mind simultaneously.

Seeing Everything from that point of view, we realise that there’s no need to add the simple-unity of God because it’s already present giving existence and location to Everything – otherwise there wouldn’t be anything to observe or anyone to observe it.

Roger,
Thanks for your comment and your two fair questions.

Virtually everyone has an idea of Everything. The name they give it doesn’t much matter. Whether they call it Cosmos, universe, world, Nature, or something else – the point is that they have an idea of Everything. In my opinion, most of those ideas are incomplete for one and the same reason which I’ll get to in a moment. First, if you don’t mind, try this thought exercise. Imagine you’re given a pencil and sheet of paper and sent into a room to write a complete inventory of everything the room contains. You look around inside and all you see is an empty wooden box and a dog-eared book. What would you write on the paper? Think about it for a moment.

There’s a good chance that your initial inventory of everything in the room would consist only of a box and a book. But that inventory is incomplete because it doesn’t list everything in the room. Think about it. You’re looking round the room which is empty apart from the box and the book that you have already taken note of. Can you see what’s missing?

Maybe you’ve got it already. A complete inventory of everything would obviously include the box and the book. Subtly, it might also include the pencil and sheet of paper you’re holding, the clothes you’re wearing and the air you’re breathing. But more subtly still and most importantly of all, in addition to those observable objects, a complete inventory must include yourself as the subject of the exercise. If you weren’t in the room, the inventory of everything wouldn’t even be started.

So, a complete inventory of everything in the room is an analogy for an idea of Everything without anything omitted whatsoever. The point of the analogy is that most people omit themselves from their idea of Everything. They unintentionally limit their thinking to visible objects and overlook the intangible realities – e.g. values, meanings, purposes, memories, dreams, reflections, the processes of consciousness, the innate activity of the mind itself, etc – that actually constitute the most important parts of real human experience.

If all we notice are objects in the outer world and we are unaware of our inner activity as subjects, then we are living with an incomplete consciousness of the conditions of our own experience. For there is no experience without a first-personal subject to select ideas in mind and direct attention towards things in the world.

Most of us, most of the time, are only partly conscious of who we are and where we are and what we are experiencing. We’re looking out at the physical world and dreaming it’s reality. If we’re serious about wanting to find where God comes from and who created God, then we need to awaken our inner eye/I and look within the spontaneous activity of the mind itself.

The “Platonic Zen exercises” that Brian kindly posted on this site aim to facilitate that awakening of spiritual consciousness.

Nick,

Thanks for your reply,

you mentioned,

"If we’re serious about wanting to find where God comes from and who created God, then we need to awaken our inner eye/I and look within the spontaneous activity of the mind itself." and,

"The “Platonic Zen exercises” that Brian kindly posted on this site aim to facilitate that awakening of spiritual consciousness."

---Where God comes from and who created God?
Again, from the "Platonic Zen" exercises
that One has immersed in, write a comment that gives some kind of answer to the above questions that you posed.

Nick, smooth talkers are a dime a dozen. Anyone can talk and talk, and say nothing.
If One is a follower, your style of talk would make One want to dance with joy.

Obed,

Sorry, I missed your comment.

Actually, I’ve not heard of "God's Debris" by Scott Adams. But I’ll certainly keep an eye out for it. And it'll probably turn up. You know how those things go!

Roger,
As often as not, we see what we’re led to expect.

For example: have you seen the movie “The Crying Game”? It ends with a marvellous twist. If I tell you the twist before you see the film, however, your whole viewing pleasure may be diminished by knowing the end in advance.

To avoid a similar trap, none of the “Platonic Zen exercises” include descriptions of what the practitioner is likely to experience.

The point is to practice each exercise in turn, make your own discovery, and then proceed onto the next exercise. That’s why they’re called ‘graduated exercises’.

In that way, practitioners are encouraged to “sit down and work out their own Enlightenment, with diligence” (which is Gautama Buddha’s suggestion).

When all the smooth talking is done, if we don’t have any informed experience of our own to consult, what other measure do we use for assessing the believability of what anyone says?

Nevertheless, let’s assume you’ve tried the practice of Innate Joy, at least. After recollecting occasions of happiness in the past, do you notice that some of the happiness lingers to enrich your enjoyment of the present?

That transference of Joy is a subtle thing, to be sure. Yet subtleties are only difficult to see at first. With practice, consciousness transforms and subtleties get more obvious.

As we go deeper, however, things only become even more subtle than that. So if you haven’t yet developed subtle awareness of the first practice, I don’t have anything believable to say about realisations that come from the third practice.

So: a serious search for answers to questions about the origin of God, according to my best advice, starts with finding your own experience of Innate Joy. When you’ve found it, look into it – seriously.

But maybe you’ve already noticed the transference of Joy. Let’s hope. Have you noticed, yet, the ways your consciousness and life-experience begin to alter with the increased presence of Joy? Can you tell me about those changes?

Moreover, have you discovered the original source of the Joy? Furthermore, have you found the final purpose of the Joy, do you think?

There's a bit to go through, I guess. But a serious search, which makes a substantial difference in one's life and mind here-now and here-after, isn't really likely to be as easy as 1, 2, 3.


For those who may be interested
Below is a link to a wikipedia article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God's_Debris

There is a free e-book at
http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/
Here is the introduction at the wikipedia article

God's Debris: A Thought Experiment (ISBN 0-7407-4787-8) is a 2001 novella by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

God's Debris creates a philosophy based on the idea that the simplest explanation tends to be the best (a corruption of Occam's Razor). It surmises that an omnipotent God annihilated himself in the Big Bang, because an omniscient God would already know everything possible except his own lack of existence, and exists now as the smallest units of matter and the law of probability, or "God's debris", hence the title.

Nick,

Thanks again for your reply,

You mentioned,
"As often as not, we see what we’re led to expect."
---I wasn't expecting anything. Your answer is your answer. Assessing the believability of your answer is not important. Nothing wrong with stating, "I don't know."

However, maybe, you did answer,
"I don’t have anything believable to say about realisations that come from the third practice."
--Nothing wrong with that statement. I am beginning to feel the joy and the happiness.

Obed,
Thanks for the information and links on “God’s Debris”.

I’ve down-loaded the e-book and look forward to reading it.

Meanwhile, I glanced at the Wiki entry on “God’s Debris” and that was quite interesting. Indeed, I saw straightaway how my comment on “Everything” might have reminded you of Adams’ philosophy.

In the Introduction Adams’ writes: “The central character in God’s Debris knows everything. Literally everything.”

Well, I think that “everything” is a concept or idea that each of us produces for ourselves. A four year-old child’s idea of everything certainly includes everything the child can imagine, but a forty year-old’s idea would be somewhat more detailed and comprehensive. Yet, for each of them, what they have in mind is their idea of everything.

The Wiki says “the mind is a delusion-generating machine” and quotes George Lakoff as saying: “Our ordinary conceptual system…is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.” I agree with those ideas.

But I think we also have another way of knowing what’s going on – a non-conceptual way of thinking – that gives us access to non-delusional experience of everything.

I believe that every individual mind has a subconscious connection to one universal consciousness, so the ordinary person can live an extraordinary life.

Here’s a link to an article about the “Global Consciousness Project” which (apparently) is a scientific attempt to ‘detect whether all of humanity shares a single subconscious mind that we can all tap into without realising.


http://www.redorbit.com/news/display/?id=126649


Nick thanks very much.
Regards
Obed

Hello again to all.

Thanks goes to Charles for his astute comment that I found to be very much along the lines of my own perspectives.

---------------------------------

As for C's basically absurd and grossly mistaken conclusions, I have little to say. There is just really no point in me wasting my time on someone who could not understand the gist and simple meaning of my previous posted comment. C's response was incredibly off the mark. And so C seems awfully immature intellectually and philosophically.

But here goes anyway:

C stated:

"I will adress tao's post and explain what I think of it."

"I would first of all like to point out that tao sounds like a CLOSE MINDED PERSON!"

-- I simply have no need for useless myths like Jesus. That's certainly not close-minded.

"But what's wrong for him to say is that Jesus never existed and yet refuses to learn Jesus' story and look up the evidence."

-- I did not say either way. And I don't need to learn about it... because I already know far too much about all of it.

"If he knew the story and had the evidence, THEN he could rebut the existence of Jesus. But if he doesn't know the story then he shouldn't rebut it until he learns more about it."

-- I know the story... and I see no value in it and have no use for it.

"I am not attacking his beliefs, again, he can believe whatever he wants to believe."

-- I don't believe anything, and C is obviously a hypocrite.

"But it is ignorant to say, I don't believe in him (Jesus) so I won't learn about him."

-- C is grossly mistaken again. I did not say any such thing.

"It is further wrong for him to attack people for their thoughts."

-- I have attacked no one, and I have no obligation to agree with C's delusions.

"I'm here to learn both sides of the argument of creation and the existence of God. I'm also here to learn what atheists think."

-- C is not here to "learn" anything. C is here to proseltyze about a thousand year old religious myth called Jesus.

"It is wrong for tao to call myself and all other Christians stupid for believing in God and Jesus."

-- C is stupid simply because C has no clue what my point was.

"he doesn't have to agree with us but he shouldn't attack us that way. It is wrong, Immature, and again BEING CLOSE MINDED!"

-- I did not "attack" anyone... I simply bluntly stated my opinions... which is something far too difficult for C's apparently limited intellect to comprehend.

"if tao doesn't care about anything that
"makes my life better and healthier"
then why does he care about evolution and the big bang!"

-- Wrong again. I said that I only care about people and things which do make my life better. But I don't care about the "big-bang" because it is just an idea and has absolutely nothing to do with my life here and now.

"I'm not attacking his or anybody else' beliefs, I'm simple asking tao to think a little more when he writes stuff like that statement."

-- I don't need to think about any such thing. And your beliefs are your problem.

"Tao may be angry, but I hope he gets my point."

-- The only point is this.... that C does not know what the hell the point is. And "hope" is less than worthless.


Hi Nick,
I just finished reading the article about
“Global Consciousness Project”.
Is this possible proof of a "Global Soul"?
Maybe Gaia is real?

thanks to tao for trying to unravel some of C's misconceptions, though I suspect it is effort wasted.

C, the problem is that your whole framework is misconceived. Here are a few of your mistaken assumptions:

1) that creationism vs. evolution is a real dialectic,

2) that atheists, and others on this site are "for evolution,"

3) that people on this site are "atheists"

4) whatever you think an "atheist" is

C, have you ever thought that you might not only be the content of your mind, and have you ever seriously questioned where the content of your mind (i.e. your beliefs about Christ, but also all of your desires, likes, dislikes) comes from?

Hello Obed,

Your question about the 'reality' of Gaia got my old fond memories flowing! Thanks.

There are very clear & definite 'inner' experiences, extremely profound and transformative, of identifying with what I guess others have labelled 'Gaia'. In these experiences 'you' become like the 'soul' of the planet; the plants, trees, oceans, rocks, animals etc, all as ONE undivisable whole. It really cannot be described unless you have that experience, truely amazing and stunning, really.

I am guessing, hardly knowing a thing about conceptions 'Gaia', that this is what those experiences are?

I was left with 2 insights that remained from those experiences. 1) If 'I' can be the 'soul' of an entire planet, then what does that say about our so-called individual 'soul', when we can identify with the 'souls' of others, or even millions of 'souls' at once in a 'higher' order of unfoldment? Imo, individuality is an illusion. 2) How connected we all are.

PS, the only books I am aware of which have personal recollections/descriptions of these kind of experiences are by Stanislav Grof, 'The aAdventure of Self Discovery' being rather excellent.

Cheerio.

PPS, thanks Brian for clarifying about the forum. It is a shame there isn't more activity :o(

PPPS (:-), I kinda gotta sheepishly add, that during those experiences, I witnessed great climactic changes. And that our constant usage of oil is the cause of many of humanities ills, not only climactic, but also expressed through political troubles. I distinctly witnessed/understood oil as a POISON. (this was some 8-12 years ago, cannot remember, some time before the currenct world hoo-haa about oil and climate-change etc)

The sheepish part being, that I am aware this is purely nonsensical and stands up to absolutely no logical or rational scrutiny whatsoever, so please pay absolutely no heed to this! Just telling it how it was, even if I don't believe it myself :-)

Manjit,

I too have had "Gaia" experiences and I also "saw" that oil and this civilization was "sick" but that it was all part of an unfoldment that was right on course and exactly as it should be. Everything at any moment is exactly as it should be and fine just as it is.

Thanks for your comments Arthur.

Out of sincere interest, are you able in any way to elaborate on your experiences?

Also, what do you think these expeirences are 'unfolding' to?

Lastly, and this is a question I ask myself, how do you/we know these experiences aren't just entirely mental creations with no relation to consensual reality (haven't mystics been foretelling armageddon scenarious for millenia?), complete and utter experiential profundity, awe and amazement aside?

Thanks.

Manjit inquired: "Out of sincere interest, are you able in any way to elaborate on your experiences?"

--It is difficult to elaborate without distorting the "wholeness" of it and just raising more questions.

"Also, what do you think these expeirences are 'unfolding' to?"

--The experiences are not unfolding. Life is. It's like a brilliant flower of endless interwoven petals kaleidoscopically infinitely blooming. Nothing is out of place. There. I said it.

"Lastly, and this is a question I ask myself, how do you/we know these experiences aren't just entirely mental creations with no relation to consensual reality (haven't mystics been foretelling armageddon scenarious for millenia?), complete and utter experiential profundity, awe and amazement aside?"

--I hear you and I have no answer except to say that it APPEARS that these experiences are real. When people predict earthchanges, polar shifts, armageddon, etc. they may be tapping into this greater Gaia consciousness and seeing the unfoldment of what may take a long time in relativity condensed into a flash of intuition.

Maybe it is just a temporary alteration of brain chemistry ala LSD. However, immersed in it, there is no doubt of its validity.



Dear Everyone,
I generally am not a great believer in
Near Death Experiences.So I leave the following
quote to Brian to decide if he wishes this quote
to appear on his blog.
this is the url of the NDE
http://www.nderf.org/anita_m's_nde.htm
below is some of what she believes

NDERF: Can you expand on what you mean by people’s attachments to beliefs and an unwillingness to let go of them may be holding us back as a mass consciousness.

It feels to me now that our "physical" lives have been built around things seeming to be a certain way. Bear in mind, though, that people depend on things being a certain way. Livelihoods depend on it. Our health, wellbeing and safety depend on it.

People's lives are "built" on certain beliefs and their lives work within the framework of everyone around them believing that these things are true. If everyone around you believes in something, you are inclined to believe it too, and think of it as being true. And your life evolves, as a mass consciousness, based on these seeming "truths". This way of being has been going on for a long time. It has the feel of being solid, with solid foundations. In that 4D state, it felt like, this is how we created this present physical reality - this "illusion". By everybody believing in the same things. That, in itself, makes it true for the mass consciousness.

If we, as a mass consciousness, believed in something completely different, then the world would be a culmination of that collective belief. From that perspective, it really felt like our collective belief created this "illusion" of truth.

I want to add here, though, that perhaps the way the world is structured right now, it's just not ready to know the whole truth. Humankind is not ready for the "illusion" to be shattered. Everything is held in place by everyone believing and thinking a certain way.

So if someone came along who is able to see beyond this "illusion", it is much easier for those still living within the illusion to "shoot" the messenger than to alter this "illusion". It would cause too much uncertainty and chaos. It can't be done overnight. Human collective unconsciousness is not able to come to terms with it. EVERYTHING would have to be looked at differently if people saw through the illusion overnight, and it would cause CHAOS, not peace and love (which those who see beyond the illusion are trying to bring in). Our medical systems, our judicial systems, our education systems, our religious systems would have to be COMPLETELY overhauled and re-evaluated. And it can't be done overnight.

However, those who see through the illusion, see this. And those who see this, become focused in creating a reality for themselves based on their own truths, rather than what has been created by the collective unconsciousness.

The universe is changing at the pace that it is capable of changing, that's why those who see beyond the illusion are able to see the perfection in things being "just so". The so called "strife" that goes on, the wars, the disparity between rich and poor, the contradictions in religion and sciences, this could be just a natural occurrence of a consciousness that is waking up and starting to see through this man made illusion of collective unconsciousness.

Everything is happening at a pace which is perfect for our fragile collective to handle. The way our world is right now, it is not geared up to deal with the REAL TRUTH. The collective does not yet seem fully ready to handle it. Maybe it never will be. Maybe while we are here, we are meant to deal with things at this level. However, to me, it certainly feels like this ability (to live beyond the illusion) is something that is attainable by the individual, should they choose to do so.

NDERF: If there was a message or lesson from your NDE that you wish everyone could know or understand, something that you wish you could shout out from the rooftops, what would that be?

I would want EVERYONE to know that every part of you is magnificent. Your ego. Your mind. Your intellect. Your body. Your spirit. Your soul. It’s who you are. A beautiful product of this universe’s creation. Every part of you is perfect. There is nothing to let go. Nothing to forgive. Nothing to attain. You already are everything you need to be. We make it so complicated. But it’s not.

If a religion makes you feel lesser than God, then you have either misinterpreted it, or it’s not doing a good job of teaching you the truth. If a Guru or Teacher or Master makes you feel that you are not “yet” enlightened, and still have more to “learn”, “release” or “let go of” before getting there, then they are not doing a good job of teaching you who you are, or you are misinterpreting them.

Most of our suffering stems from us feeling “less than”. We are not LESS THAN ANYTHING OR ANYONE!! We are complete!

The ONLY THING you need to learn is that you already ARE what you are seeking to attain!!


Just express your uniqueness with abandon!! That’s why you are made the way you are, and that’s why you are here in the physical world!!

Obed,
Nice quote from the NDE person. I particularly like the bit that says: "this ability (to live beyond the illusion) is something that is attainable by the individual, should they choose to do so.

I certainly agree we're always free to wake up from the believable illusion of the ordinary world. Although it’s easier said than done. The illusion is, after all, so believable!


As to your earlier comment. Yes, I’ve heard of Gaia and, yes, have often thought that the World has a Soul of its own.


Manjit,
You mention the “Gaia experience”. That’s an interesting expression I’ve not heard before. It sounds pretty special – like actually seeing everything, including yourself, from all possible viewpoints simultaneously.


You asked Arthur: "how do you/we know these experiences aren't just entirely mental creations with no relation to consensual reality?"

Hopefully you won't mind if I respond. True spiritual experiences are self-authenticating. They have a more comprehensive degree of unity that includes who we are and what we know in the actual experience of knowing. In that integrated state, doubt isn't an option.

Once we fall out of that unity into the divided experience of consensual reality, subjects and objects and sensations all seem to be separate things and it's hard to know what to believe.

___________________________________________


Although I’ve not had time yet to read “God’s Debris, the Wiki summary says one of its ideas is that “an omniscient God would already know everything possible except his own lack of existence.” That gave me an interesting thought.

What if Adams’ God self-disintegrates to learn what his own non-existence is like?
Maybe to find out the God lodged a spark of his all-knowing consciousness in each bit of primal matter. The sparks would function like a soul, giving life and mind to matter – which is how come it behaves in probabilistic ways. When the bits evolve into thinking organisms that are aware of their own existence, they can choose to become conscious of the spark within themselves and all other things and lives and minds.

One mind in all things, seeing itself everywhere as everything. God evolving towards self-realisation through the world of space, time and physical things as a whole.

Hi Nick,
I think you are onto something,with regard to your
ideas of "Adams' God.In fact a God that is and knows
everything is probably quite capable of constantly
recreating itself totally or in part.
Thanks for the idea
Obed

I read most of everyones comments. Here everyone one is right, everyone is wrong and some of you came close to the truth, but just couldn't find the last puzzle piece. Helen's comment was excellent. Here she found two different lineages of Joseph in the bible by my two different writers. This really should not be dismissed. That is because the bible is a mixture pagan beliefs and the word of God. Man put his own hand in the bible. It is all mixed up. Don't get me wrong. God does exist. He came and talked to me so I have proof. God is very real. Most of the time he keeps his mouth shut and lets you hash it all out in your own head. We can't stop talking, but he can be very quiet. So quiet you don't know he is around. I know cause suddenly he was everywhere then just as fast he was no where to be found.
I will answer one question that was put out here by one blogger here. "Where did God come from"? My answer is that God also has parents just like we do. My thought on this is that there is always a higher God to answer to. You have to answer to this God. God answers to a higher God. At one point in our Gods evolution he could have been human just like you. Mel Steffor

To Nick,
I can not figure out where you are at on this. You seem to be tangled up in words. A concept where God even questions his own existance? Where did you get that from?
Trying to figure out who God is and what God is made from, is beyond imagination. It is not even conceivably possible to imagine the invisible world in which he exists.
Another point is that Jesus did not ascend up to Heaven in his Body. No one has a human body in Heaven. I recently found out that this is what the Church is teaching people. That is all wrong. Your old body is throw away, tossed out after you die. It's now trash. I don't like having my body thrown away either, but that is what happens. You get a new body in your Fathers House. I hope this clears up a few mis-conceptions.

Obed,
Your idea of a God “constantly recreating itself totally or in part” is an interesting notion. There’s a novel called “The Lord of Light” by Roger Zelanzy which works with such a theme. An eternal God becomes human from time to time in order to keep the whole equation of time and eternity in balance. Fascinating thought.


Mel Steffor,
You seem to have mis-read the quotation I posted from the Wikipedia summary of Scott Adams’ book “God’s Debris”. I quoted Wiki as saying that Adams’ idea is that “an omniscient God would already know everything possible except his own lack of existence.”

Maybe Adams’ idea can be interpreted as God exploring the extent of his existence. That's a worthwhile possibility to consider.

But you're asking about, "A concept where God even questions his own existance?" If by "questions" you mean DOUBTS, then I agree that's a tangled idea.

Yet, it wasn’t me who introduced that idea, Mel. It seems to arise from your mis-reading of the Wiki quote.


Further, you say, “Trying to figure out who God is and what God is made from, is beyond imagination. It is not even conceivably possible to imagine the invisible world in which he exists.” Well, I reckon that depends on the scope of one’s imagination. Maybe people who have spent a lifetime practising spiritual exercises, contemplating spiritual ideas and living in the spiritual presence of God might be able to imagine what other people can’t conceive. Do you think that’s a possibility?

You also say, “God does exist. He came and talked to me so I have proof.” From your own experience, then, you no doubt have some ideas about “who God is and what God is made from” and about “the invisible world in which he exists.” If you can have your experiences and ideas about such divine things, why can’t other people also be graced to have their experiences and ideas about those same divine things?


Hi Nick,
Thanks.I bought Zelanzy's book for $1 at Abebooks.
I have always enjoyed science fiction.
About Gaia maybe all us spirits who are living here on earth in physical form,actually made the earth so
we could express all our potentialities in concrete
form.Perhaps one day we will hit it just right and then we will have heaven on earth.

Nick,

You ask “What if Adams’ God self-disintegrates to learn what his own non-existence is like?” If this happens, would not God cease to exist? And if God already exists in every possible way, God already knows of its non-existence. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

And “Maybe to find out….” about his non-existence, “…the God lodged a spark of his all-knowing consciousness in each bit of primal matter.” Then the all-knowing consciousness would also cease to exist. So where does that leave us? Without a God? I would suggest that God’s existence matters not to God. Otherwise it implies that just like us, God is questioning its existence, having thoughts as we do, and we are seeing God very much in our own likeness and limitations.

It all comes down to how we see God, and naturally enough it is mostly through “humancentric” eyes, as Brian put it.

Still, it is a fascinating intellectual exercise to bring God down to our level so that we may see a God that is understandable to us on our terms. But we must be careful as to where that may lead us in our beliefs.

I have not read Adams’ work so I don’t know how what he has said is meant to be taken.

Hi Peter,
Below is the introduction to Scott Adams' book.It may provide a partial answer for you.

Introduction

This is not a Dilbert book. It contains no humor. I call it a
132-page thought experiment wrapped in a fictional story.
I’ll explain the thought experiment part later.
God’s Debris doesn’t fit into normal publishing cubby-
holes. There is even disagreement about whether the mate-
rial is fiction or nonfiction. I contend that it is fiction because
the characters don’t exist. Some people contend that it is
nonfiction because the opinions and philosophies of the char-
acters might have lasting impact on the reader.
The story contains no violence, no sexual content, and
no offensive language. But the ideas expressed by the char-
acters are inappropriate for young minds. People under the
age of fourteen should not read it.
The target audience for God’s Debris is people who
enjoy having their brains spun around inside their skulls.

After a certain age most people are uncomfortable with new
ideas. That certain age varies by person, but if you’re over
fifty-five (mentally) you probably won’t enjoy this thought
experiment. If you’re eighty going on thirty-five, you might
like it. If you’re twenty-three, your odds of liking it are very
good.
The story’s central character has a view about God that
you’ve probably never heard before. If you think you would
be offended by a fictional character’s untraditional view of
God, please don’t read this.
The opinions and philosophies expressed by the charac-
ters are not my own, except by coincidence in a few spots
not worth mentioning. Please don’t write me with passion-
ate explanations of why my views are wrong. You won’t dis-
cover my opinions by reading my fiction.
The central character in God’s Debris knows everything.
Literally everything. This presented a challenge to me as a
writer. When you consider all of the things that can be
known, I don’t know much. My solution was to create
smart-sounding answers using the skeptic’s creed:
The simplest explanation is usually right.
My experience tells me that in this complicated world the simplest explanation is usually dead wrong. But I’ve noticed
that the simplest explanation usually sounds right and is far
more convincing than any complicated explanation could
hope to be. That’s good enough for my purposes here.
The simplest-explanation approach turned out to be
more provocative than I expected. The simplest explana-
tions for the Big Questions ended up connecting paths that
don’t normally get connected. The description of reality in
God’s Debris isn’t true, as far as I know, but it’s oddly com-
pelling. Therein lies the thought experiment:
Try to figure out what’s wrong with the
simplest explanations.
The central character states a number of scientific “facts.”
Some of his weirdest statements are consistent with what scien-
tists generally believe. Some of what he says is creative baloney
designed to sound true. See if you can tell the difference.
You might love this thought experiment wrapped in a
story. Or you might hate it. But you won’t easily get it out
of your mind. For maximum enjoyment, share God’s Debris
with a smart friend and then discuss it while enjoying a tasty
beverage.

Dear Brian,
I have posted two rather lengthy posts here viz.
Anita-M's NDE
and Scott Adams introduction
I apologize about this and if you wish to delete
them in a few days or when ever you wish it is
fine with me.
Thanks for your patience

Obed,
Thanks for the Adams’ intro. It appears I got carried away and missed the importance of Nick’s question and follow-on “What if Adams’ God…..” Nick was only further speculating on Adams’ speculative fictional story.

Nick,
Sorry about my carelessness. No need to respond to my post, if you were going to.

Mel,

Could you prepare a transcript of your last conversation with God? Sounds like it would be a fascinating read.

Hi Nick, You asked me this question:
"If you can have your experiences and ideas about such divine things, why can’t other people also be graced to have their experiences and ideas about those same divine things?"
Graced is not the word for what God did to me. This has not been good for me. He set me up and then dropped in on me. Destiny! He planned this before I was born, I say that because of the names of the towns here and the names of the people that live here are all part of his message. Example: The town called Pompey has meaning. Go look up (google) the name Pompey, all of the sudden your in Jerusalem. God does that over and over again with the names of the towns here. So much so it is no longer a coincidence. Then each dream matches up to one of the towns. So I had to do a lot of research on the internet to figure out just what God was trying to tell me. God talks in symbols and opposites.
Last I wish he would talk to some one else besides me. He wouldn't do that for me. Then he does talk to other people but they don't know it. He does not let it be known to them what he is doing.

Hi Roger, you asked this question:
Could you prepare a transcript of your last conversation with God? Sounds like it would be a fascinating read.

I did write everything down. I am not going to put it out on the Internet or on the Market for some time to come. Maybe after I am dead. Because I don't want to be bothered by people with conflicting views. Especially Church people, they can be the worst. There is always someone out there with an equal and opposite point of view.

The only thing that God told with right out without all of his symbols is:
"We each die in succession, then we are born on the same say."
And I think he did that cause there was no way I could figure that message out from the symbols he was showing me. The symbols were, Mike Douglas died on his Birthday. Merv Griffin dies the day after Mike. Merv and Nancy Reagan are born on the same day.

I wrote that wrong above:
We each die in succession, then we are born on the same day.
Now that is correct.

Mel's supernatural god is nothing more than a figment of his imagination.

Mel's imagined conversations and/or symbolic messages that he claims comes from his supernatural god (ie: his imagination) are delusional, and therfore are as meaningless as any other fiction.

Mel is clearly suffering from a serious psychiatric condition (psychoses) and he should definitely seek out qualified professional psychiatric treatment and counseling.

To better illustrate this fact to Mel as well as other readers, here below are the assembled claims that Mel has written that clearly reveal his delusional psychoses:


"...what God did to me."

"He set me up and then dropped in on me."

"He planned this before I was born"

"the names of the towns here and the names of the people that live here are all part of his message."

"God does that over and over again with the names of the towns"

"so it is no longer a coincidence."

"I had to do a lot of research on the internet to figure out just what God was trying to tell me."

"God talks in symbols and opposites."

"I wish he would talk to some one else besides me."

"He wouldn't do that for me."

"he does talk to other people but they don't know it."

"He does not let it be known to them what he is doing."

"I am not going to put it out on the Internet or on the Market for some time to come. I don't want to be bothered by people with conflicting views."

"There is always someone out there with an equal and opposite point of view."

"The only thing that God told with right out without all of his symbols is"

"he did that cause there was no way I could figure that message out from the symbols he was showing me."

"The symbols were, Mike Douglas died" .... "Merv Griffin dies the day after" .... "Merv and Nancy Reagan are born on the same day."


[The above statements within quotations were posted by Mel Steffor.]


Tao is the very reason I don't put everything out on the Internet. This is a quote from Tao:
Mel is clearly suffering from a serious psychiatric condition (psychoses) and he should definitely seek out qualified professional psychiatric treatment and counseling.
Really who needs to read crap like that. Here is some one that is unable discuss opinions or understand other peoples point of view, because he thinks he is right on all issues. Tao, you really need to understand that it is possible for you to be wrong on a few things. You can't go around shooting people cause they don't agree with you.

Tao,
Where do mean people go when they die? That is probably a long time from now since I am guessing your some one young. I guarantee you that it will happen when day. On your death bed I bet like anything you are going to be asking God to forgive you. In fact I know you will, quaranteed. I am not trying to prey on any superstitious beliefs you might have by saying that. I'll bet on that. Know why, cause you don't know everything, do you?

Tao,
Where is your proof that God does not exist? Your proof only exists only in your head. Cause I don't see it anywhere.

Tao,

One positive that came from Mel's comments is that it created an opportunity for you to jump back in this blog and write your weekly comments. Hopefully, your back to being a weekly regular. Your comments are fun to read.

Roger,

Thanks for your friendly appreciative smile my old friend. Don't worry Bro, I'm still surfing around now and then, even though I don't make the big waves as I used to. I've been spending my retirement lounging on my yacht sipping champagne with some very sexy bikini-clad babes.

--------------------------------

Mel,

The real reason you don't put anything out on the Internet, is because you ain't got nothin to put out.

And for you to think that I am actually "some one that is unable discuss opinions or understand other peoples point of view", shows just how far up your ass you've got your head stuck. Go back and read the archives little grasshopper.

Mel, "you really need to understand that it is possible for you to be wrong" about everything. And you just can't go around disagreeing with people just because they shoot at you.

Mel asked: "Where do mean people go when they die?"

Answer: The same place nice people go - nowhere.

Mel guesses: "I am guessing your some one young."

Answer: Well seems you may have guessed wrong. I'm now retired and in my mid 60's... but I can still rock and roll and bang the hot chicks just as hard as I did when I was in my much younger mid 20's and 30's. I'm also a serious weight-lifter, a yachtsman, ride a Harley, hold a Doctorate, and I'd already traveled the globe several times over and had climbed the Himalayas long before you even came of age.

Mel then rather foolishly asserts: "On your death bed I bet like anything you are going to be asking God to forgive you. In fact I know you will, quaranteed."

Ahh the folly of those who bet blindly. Btw, I have no fear of death. Death is simply part of life. part of the whole. So I have no need to be "asking God to forgive" me. If there is any so-called "God", then this God is simply Totality. So in as much as no one can be separate or apart from Totality, why would anyone ever need something like forgivness from the absolute, from Totality?

As for "superstitious beliefs", those all belong to you Mel.

Then poor Mel says again: "I'll bet on that". Mel fumbles on: "...cause you don't know everything, do you?"

I don't about "everything" Mel, as "everything" is far too abstract. But I do know enough to know that you evidence signs of delusional and magical thinking.

Mel then asked: "Where is your proof that God does not exist?"

That's funny, as I am not required to provide proof that God does not exist, since there isn't any evidence anywhere that God does exist. Furthermore, I have never said that God does not exist, or vice versa. So Mel, your challenge is nearly as foolish as those delusions that "exists only in your head".

In conclusion, I would have to say that if you are going to attempt to play with the big boys in the big league Mel, then you really ought to go and seriously acquaint yourself with the basics of the whole spectrum of Philosophy, both eastern and western. Otherwise, you are simply making a fool of yourself here with such trite inanities and obvious mental delusions. And for that, you really should seek some kind of professional psychiatric treatment.

I am not against you Mel. I just don't support or encourage the kind of 'messages from God' nonsense that you have espoused here. I wish you the best.


Obed,
Well done finding “Lord of Light”. If you enjoy that story of Sam you might like “VALIS” by Philip K. Dick. It draws together a variety of themes (Gnostic religion, pagan philosophy, conspiracy theory, subjective experience) and weaves them all into a Vast Active Living Intelligence System, which gives the book its title.

Obed,
An after-thought.

Reading VALIS got me wondering about all the many different thoughts that were spinning in my head at that time. I wanted to get my ideas together. That set me thinking along the line of one single thought that actually includes all possible thoughts. I’m still thinking about that one all-inclusive thought.

Cheers,

Mel,
Thanks for responding to my question about spiritual matters.

Thanks also for sharing some of your own experiences. It's a brave thing to do. Especially considering the unkindnesses that people can inflict upon one another.

I only get a glimmer of the personal space you describe. Frankly, that's enough for me.

The spirit of God, as I know it, doesn’t push in that direction. Our own reactions can ricochet us off into unfortunate places.

But that’s something we do to ourselves for some reason which you might want to look into at some stage.

Best wishes on you're journey.

Hi Nick,
One single thought thats all inclusive?
How about "I"

Arthur - thanks for your comments :o) I much agree with most all you said.

Nick - thanks too, again I much agree. However, envirnomental changes is most definitely a 'dualistic' issue, not one for the 'non-dual', so if it's 'true' (dualistically speaking), it's true. I wasn't discussing the subjective or experiential

sorry, didn't finish!

I wasn't discussing the subjective or experiential impact of these experiences (I hold THAT particular meaning close to my heart, it IS subjective and experiential after-all ;-), I was precisely discussing HOW or IF these experiences bear any connection to the consensual reality we appear to inhabit.

But I feels ya.

Manjit,
Thanks for the clarification.

Maybe Gaia experiences are connected to our consensual reality in a way similar to how a breath-taking sunset lights up the entire sky and shines a lovely beam through our window into the loungeroom where we're otherwise totally engrossed in watching some third-rate TV show :-)))

Tao,
I see u responded to my post. You ARE CLEARLY GOING AGAINST YOUR PREVIOUS POSTS! Throughout this ENTIRE blog you have continued to call myself and any believer "foolish, stupid, immature..etc."I don't understand why you call me those names when I in response don't call u names for what u believe!

I would like to also say that U are misunderstanding my posts! Where in my posts was I hypocritical? If I was hypocritical, I would trying to force u guys in Christianity and be calling u guys stupid! On the other hand, I have respected ur views, called u NO names, and tried to talk to you (tao) in a nice manner.

YOU CAN BELIEVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE! But you have no right to call ME or anybody else names for what we believe. THAT is rude, mean, and IMMATURE! All I am asking is that you lighten up and be a little more nicer.

C,

You said: "I in response don't call u names for what u believe!"

-- I don't care what you call me, but you are mistaken about one important thing... I don't "believe" anything.

By the way tao, if you don't believe Jesus ever existed, I suggest you rent a documentary titled "The Case for Christ." In it, top scholars discuss all the evidence pointing to Jesus' existence, death & ressurection.

And by the way, (this is just a random comment)Diana Nelson (I say this with all do respect) said a comment I disagree with.

She stated that the bible is written by an unknown author. Wrong! The bible is written by MANY authors whose names we DO know!

Oh come on, what "top" scholars? I have for myself done quite a bit of research in these matters and there is no proof that he existed and even if there was proof of his existence there is absolutely no proof of his resurection.
And I like Jesus :)

We don't know the names of the authors of the bible, anyone who has done any serious research about the matter knows that we don't know.

I however am always open to evidence.

And if I seem to be offensive towards christianity that is hardly the case as I have the deepest respect for some authors in the christian tradition.

Amaranth,
I'd like to tell you a story of a man named Lee Strobel. Strobel is just like YOU. He didn't want to be a Christian unless he had facts. So, he researched the existence of Christ and all the other questions asked about him. In the end, he found so much evidence, that he became a believer. If you would like to see the scholars and all the evidence for Christ's existence, watch a DVD called "The Case for Christ." It answers many of the questions (if not all) on Jesus Christ.

P.S.
We also know he existed (this is mentioned in the DVD) because of reliable historians who wrote about him. One man, who's writings have been accepted to be reliable by scholars, is Josephus. Josephus wrote a history of the Jews and mentions a man named Jesus of Nazareth who performed miracles!

Shut up C... no one is interested in your faulty Jesus & Bible jive. This is not Christian blog-site. So why do you continue to repeatedly preach Jesus dogma here?

And btw are you intellectually lame? I have already told you: I don't BELIEVE in anything... period. So that goes for all your Bible bullshit too. I simply have no need of, and no use for... belief.

And Brian also pointed this out nicely in his most recent article.


Wow C!
How do you know that Strobel is just like me? Do you know me? Nope! This is what I find annoying about religious people. Not that they have faith in something as clearly that is their business,but that they assume that everything is simply the way they think it is. Talk about not being humble! Do you think that you know more than God when you completely define everybody through your way of reasoning? You know nothing about my stance on Christianity which is in many cases very symphatetic and I would even say that I have a strong Christian faith. But this faith of mine does not care if Jesus existed or not, it does not care if God exists or not for that matter, why? Because when one realises that he knows nothing about teological matters ( nothing can really be known about God ) then one develops true faith of accepting reality as it is not as he thinks it is. And the only truly Christian thing he can do in this position is to develop love for God ( by God I mean reality, that which is ) through which he sees particular things as God. This is the source of Christian ethics, this is the greatest thing Christianity ever achieved, not the stories of Jesus and his disciples ( eventhough some of them can be very inspiring in the same way that,say,Plato's Apology is also very inspiring ) but the way of surrendering yourself to reality through the way of love.

In regards to Jesus performing miracles, Empedocles is also said to have performed them, does that make you want to worship him as a son of god and our savior?

Tao,
There you go again! All I ask is for you to be a little nicer (and still say what you want to say) and you come up and use bad language! I'm not saying you don't have the right to question and attack me, but I'm just asking for you to be a little nicer! That's all I want!

Amaranth, you said in the post where you questioned me on the scholars in the Case for Christ dvd, that you are always open to evidence. That is what I mean when I say you were like Lee Strobel. He was open to evidence...that's the only way how he is like you from what I know.

Also, if you want answers to questions, or if you want to hear the evidence for Christ, just watch the DVD! You'll find plenty of answers to your questions. And if it doesn't help, then okay.

Tao,
I've already acknowledged you don't believe in anything! Nowhere in the post where I adressed Amaranth did I mention you believing anything!

And if you don't believe in God, that's fine because you don't believe in anything. But as for me, I willingly choose to believe in God! I choose to believe in HIM not just because of the evidence, but because when I believe in HIM and I read the Bible...I find peace. You may call me all these names, but even if you called me every bad name in the world and rebuked me over and over, I would still stand by God! Because I don't find this much peace in anything else! That's the wonderful thing about God! You feel loved, and cared for...you feel amazing! It is that feeling that makes me and many Christians stand by God. It is not just a religion...it is a ticket to happiness.

You may continue to persecute me...but you (tao) can never...ever... take away the joy I find in HIM.

Hi C,

tAo is not "persecuting you." Please take a minute and try to understand what he is saying, because it is of great value. Let me put it into much nicer words.

Let's say you are looking at a red apple. You might "believe" it is an apple. Someone else might "believe" it is an orange. This belief will surely color the experience the looker is having...but it doesn't fundamentally effect the fact that of looking at the apple. Take away the concepts of apple and orange and you are still looking at a thing. Take away the concept of red, and there is still an experience happening. The reason tAo doesn't "believe anything" is not because he chooses to "reject god" or to "persecute you," but instead because he feels now that belief is not necessary to be with experience, and even further, that belief gets in the way of the aliveness of the present moment. To bank on Amaranth's points, I would add that there are many beautiful aspects to Jesus' teachings, but that believing something is irrelevant. The beauty in Jesus' teachings is about relationship. How to relate to each other in a nonviolent, loving manner. How to seek the kingdom of god within oneself, etc., etc. One need not believe in anything to practice these types of actions, thoughts, way of living. What one DOES is far more important than what one believes. Take our president, W, for example. Doesn't he "believe" in Christ? Yet was starting the war in Iraq "turning the other cheek"? Was it escalating violence or sowing seeds for future peace? The main point I want to make is that saying "I believe this" or "I believe that" is highly irrelevant to the fact that whatever exists IS right now whether we call IT apples or oranges.

Hello C. You write: *Josephus wrote a history of the Jews and mentions a man named Jesus of Nazareth who performed miracles*

Since the 17th century, scholarship has able to prove that the writings are forgeries. Josephus therefore didn't write about Jesus at all. So your basis for belief is Anonymously edited gospels and Anonymously plagarised Josephus.

You also write: *She stated that the bible is written by an unknown author. Wrong! The bible is written by MANY authors whose names we DO know!*

Can you please provide us with their names and verifiable proof of their authorship? (By the way: it would be prudent of you not to fall for believing Moses as the author of the first 5 books of the bible, because I'll be able to quote chapter and verse to prove it aint so.)

As for Lee Strobel: in his Case for Christ, he does not interview anyone who is not already a commited christian: ergo, his "experts" are biased in favour of finding for Christ. Any study that has bias is automatically prejudiced and unscientfic. I suggest you read *Challenging the Verdict: A cross examination of Lee Strobel's Case for Christ" by Earl Doherty.

Finally you say: *But as for me, I willingly choose to believe in God! I choose to believe in HIM .... because when I believe in HIM and I read the Bible...I find peace.You may call me all these names, but even if you called me every bad name in the world and rebuked me over and over, I would still stand by God! Because I don't find this much peace in anything else! That's the wonderful thing about God! You feel loved, and cared for...you feel amazing! It is that feeling that makes me and many Christians stand by God. It is not just a religion...it is a ticket to happiness.

You may continue to persecute me...but you (tao) can never...ever... take away the joy I find in HIM.*

Now read that again with a little editing:*

But as for me, I willingly choose to believe in heroin! I choose to believe in heroin .... because when I believe in heroin and I shoot up...I find peace.You may call me all these names, but even if you called me every bad name in the world and rebuked me over and over, I would still stand heroin! Because I don't find this much peace in anything else! That's the wonderful thing about drugs! You feel loved, and cared for...you feel amazing! It is that feeling that makes me and many drug addicts stand by heroin. It is not just a drug...it is a ticket to happiness.

You may continue to persecute me...but you (tao) can never...ever... take away the joy I find in getting absolutely shitfaced.*

Now grow up and get off that harmful substance.


Tao,

Could please write something that is a little nicer? Take one of your harshest, roughest comments, then, rewrite a version that is a little nicer. I shall examine the two and make a judgement for myself.
I expect this version to be just a little nicer, nothing more!!!
Thanks for your nicer reply,
Roger

One last comment C; you write about being persecuted. No one here has persecuted you for your beliefs because no one has made you share those beliefs. Far from it in fact, as you've actually been asked NOT to share them. And as far as I know, no one wishes to deprive you of your beliefs, so your worries are unfounded at best and paranoid at worst.

What has happened is that people have disagreed with your assesment of reality. Disagreeing with you is not persecution. Asking you to verify your "truth" is not persecution, its simply asking for proof. Ridcule is not persecution: it's a tool for exposing the ridiculous.

Persecution is depriving people of the amenities of life, the denial of human rights, facing death for belonging to a gender/race/ethnicity/non-ability that someone else wants to dispose of. Until your life is in danger C you CANNOT claim to have been persecuted, because by claiming to be persectuted by website is to trivialise the very real sufferings that thousands experience on a daily basis. All you are C is a little bit miffed.

Adam,
Thanks very much for explaining tao's comments in a better matter.

Helen,
I know you, Roger and the others aren't persecuting me. I didn't say you guys were persecuting me. Tao is persecuting me by calling me names for what I believe. If I called you guys names for not believing in Jesus, then I would be persecuting you guys! That's all

Now as for the authors of the Bible..here's a list.
Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians,Colossians,Titus,1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy and Philemon were all books written by Paul (several were written by him and Timothy too). And how do we know he wrote these books? Because in all these books, Paul indentifies himself has the author in the 1st verse of all these books. But there's more!

1&2 Peter...once again, the 1st verse of these books indentifies the author as the apostle Peter.

The Book of James, 1st verse indentifies the author as James.

The Book of Jude, first 1st verse indentifies the author as Jude.

The Book of Revelation, beginning in the 4th verse, the author is identified as John, and is identified 3 more times throughout the book.

In the Old Testament:
The Book of Daniel, the author is identified as Daniel first in chapt 9 verse 2 and secondly in chapter 10 verse 2.

The Book of Jeremiah, the 1st verse identifies the author.

The Book of Isaiah: It is all about Isaiah and was written by him, for throughout the book he says I..such as in the verse "Here am I Lord, send me."

Ecclesiastes: In the 1st verse, it mentions "The words of the teacher, son of David." The son of David was Solomon.

Proverbs: The first verse identifies the author by saying "The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel."

Nehemiah: 1st verse states, "The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

So you see Helen, we do know the authors of many books in the Bible. There are more books in the Bible with known authors that I left it out for you to check if you want.

When you respond to this post, could you please answer me one question as well? In that cross examination of Lee Strobel's book..does the guy interview Christians as well as non Christians? Or does he just interview non-christians?

C,

Avoid cookbooking your way through important things. Search within, and find some kind of guidance there. The authors of biblical stories is no big deal. Biblical stories are nice, nothing more.
Again, avoid cookbooking your way..........

Hu? The books that have identified their authors are not just story books...in fact almost all of them are nothing but teachings. The New Testament books are the ones where the apostles are spreading Christ's teachings.

C previously wrote:

By the way tao, if you don't believe Jesus ever existed, I suggest you rent a documentary titled "The Case for Christ." In it, top scholars discuss all the evidence pointing to Jesus' existence, death & ressurection.

Posted by: C | September 01, 2008 at 06:00 AM


And then later on C wrote:

Tao,
I've already acknowledged you don't believe in anything! Nowhere in the post where I adressed Amaranth did I mention you believing anything!

Posted by: C | September 01, 2008 at 06:00 AM


-- So it is clear that C is apparently not cognizant of what she has said previously, and then later on denies it when confronted. Therefore C, you are just so full of shit. You say you don't like "shit"? ... Well then don't post shit.

C, you did not "acknowledge" anything. And the fact of the matter is that YOU DID SAY THIS:

"By the way tao, if you don't believe Jesus ever existed, I suggest you rent a documentary titled..."

AND THEN LATER ON YOU CONTRADICT YOURSELF BY SAYING:

"Nowhere in the post where I adressed Amaranth did I mention you believing anything!"

And oh btw C, I also don't have to "be nice" to people like you who repeatedly spew their self-righteous religious crap out in this blog forum, and then stupidly contradict themselves, and then try to lie about it. Wake up sister. You want "nice"? ...then cut out all the phony Jesus/Bible bullshit and just be a down-to-earth real person. If you want to preach Jesus, then go do it elsewhere. just because I find your Jesus jive annoying, does not mean that I am "persecuting" you. You pseudo-christian jesus freaks are all the same... you play on your persecution complex. Grow up and be a mature adult why don't you.

And my friend Roger... I don't tell you HOW to express yourself or WHAT to say or not say, so don't try to tell me how to express myself, or that I should change how I express myself. You are wasting your time and its none of your damn business. I rather like you Roger... just don't try to tell me how I should speak, or how not to speak.


yo tAo,
I believe Roger was making a joke. I laughed anyway.

Hello again C.

*When you respond to this post, could you please answer me one question as well? In that cross examination of Lee Strobel's book..does the guy interview Christians as well as non Christians? Or does he just interview non-christians?*

You are missing the point C. Lee Strobel et al have an agenda to prove that Christ existed, just like you have. Doherty et al don't have an agenda to prove or disprove Christ existed, just like the people on this board. Only Christians care about all this stuff, no one else gives a damn. Let me try and be really really clear on this: EVEN IF YOU COULD PROVE CONCLUSIVELY THAT CHRIST HAD EXISTED IT DOESN'T PROVE HE WAS THE SON OF GOD. That is a matter of belief. I have given reasons why I personally don't believe which you don't wish to accept. And I have no interest in converting you to my point of view.

You, C, are the only one on this board to whom all this questioning and answering, proof and evidence matters. If you believe in Strobel, go ahead. If you believe that someone called Jeremiah wrote the book of Jeremiah, go ahead. If you believe in Jesus as the son of god, go ahead. I personally don't care what you believe.

But then ask yourself why you need all this proof. Your religion, like all religions, requires faith. Faith in unprovable propositions, described by Saint Paul (Heb 11:1)Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Personally I think that the reason you keep trying to prove all this stuff to an uninterested audience is because YOU have serious doubts about all of it. Perhaps you think that if you can convince one of us then maybe it's all true and you can feel better about it all. Because believing in the unbelievable can cause terrible cognitive dissonance which is not a pretty thing to live with.

And there is the rub. You can't prove your case and not only that, but you will never be able to prove your case because there is no proof. C, you will simply have to get used to living a life of faith or find a new way to live.

As for myself, the subject has become too tedious to to continue.

Best wishes C.

Helen,
Forgive me Helen if it looks like I'm trying to force you in my direction. I never meant to force it because first of all, forcing a religion is wrong. I respect your belief that there is no Jesus. As for me doubting, I don't doubt one bit that Jesus is my Saviour and the Son of God. But that's me. As for you, I thank you for discussing these matters with me. I've always wanted to have a sort of debate with a non-christian. Listening to your comments were very interesting even if they didn't change my thoughts.

As for the book that cross examines Strobel, the only reason I asked if the guy interviewed Christians as well as non-christians, was because I wanted to know. It's not that I would only pay attention to the Christians,but because I wanted to know if it's just like Strobel's book from a negative side (with nonchristians).

Anyway, it seems I must leave now. You've all been very interesting to listen to. As for tao, if you read this post, let me just say one thing. I know we have our differences, but I hope you live a good live. It's been quite hard to read through all the bad words, but in the end it was good talking to you. So long everybody.

P.S. Helen,
God is not like heroine. First off, He's good for my health. And secondly, He doesn't destroy my life.

Adam,

Thanks for finding the humor in my comment. That is what I was atempting to do. A little harmless sarcasm, mixed with some comic relief. Humor is one avenue to communication.

Taking one of Tao's harshest comments and making it a little nicer, would be kinda funny thing to read. Would there be much detectable difference?

Tao,

I still luv ya. However, shame on you for not looking at the humor in my comment. I would never try to tell someone, "how to express themself or what to say or not say."

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