« Creation of the universe | Main | Grumpy Old Atheists »

December 27, 2006

Comments

Nadine

Amen Ian, I didn't hear that interview on Rhema but now I remind and encourage others reading here Today. God bless you as you work to give glory to our Lord.

david

It is quite wrong to presume that ethical behaviour and standards are the sole preserve of christianity. It is too easy,even arrogant to be dismissive of those of genuine and contrary belief especially if only to bolster one`s own supposed comfort zone. Atheists and agnostics can be equally passionate about their beliefs for a better world here and now the only difference,unlike the addicted gambler,they do not hedge bets between two worlds thereby compromising the real one.At the same time remaining true to their intellectual honesty. You,in your chosen cocoon,would say what a price to pay.My answer would be what value should we put on honesty.Here we engage in paradoxical and philosophical questions. When considering your injunctions arriving on tablets of stone -consider the universalities beyond religious tenets- JUDAISM - What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man.(Talmud) TAOISM - Regard your neighbour`s gain as your own gain and regard your neighbour`s loss as your own loss.(Tài Shang Kan Ying Pìen) HINDUISM- Do nought to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.(Mahabaharaka 5:15-17) BUDDHISM- Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.(Udanavarga 5;18) Here we have a simple beautiful rule from which all the corollaries flow --anymore is sophistry.We don`t have to be confused by diametrically opposed feelings suggested by a ruthless,jealous god as depicted in numerous passages in the Old Testament too numerous to quote here..Even the New Testament,despite it`s exquisite poetry ,at times,yields to vengeance a vice not countenance in Buddhism in it`s sheer maturity.eg. MATHEW 13,40-42 (Jesus speaking) The son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend them into a furnace of fire -there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. LUKE 19:27 But those mine enemies ,which would that I should not reign over them,bring hither and slay before me.(follows parable of the talents-not often quoted by the church) This all reminds me of a beautiful homily---We sometimes meet an original gentleman ,who, if good manners had not existed he would have invented them , All rather simple isn`t it? ,And what a nice note/thought on which to conclude a subject that has literally tied the world up in knots since time immemorial with dreadful cost.

Mike

David, you misuse the luke 19:27 scripture I've put a commentary from www.blueletterbible.com for you to see. Mike

5. (27) Judgment day comes for the master's enemies

a. The servants all had to answer for their work in the master's absence; but at least none of them were guilty of treason

b. Here, the master deals with the rebellious citizens mentioned in verse 14, those who hated him and said We will not have this man to reign over us

i. They could try and deny the reign of the master as much as they pleased, but it would get them nowhere. He would rule over them one way or another

c. The application is clear: do you want Jesus to reign over you? He will, one way or another. And if you are already His servant, are you doing the business He told you to do?

i. Verse 27 seems so severe - we might even think that Jesus is compelling us to a life or death decision. And indeed He is.

ian wishart

David, perhaps...but you overlook one major point: only Christianity has the entire moral code in one place. Other religions have good points, but only Christ had them all. A religion that is 70% there is still 30% wrong, and if Christianity is right then even a one percent deviation from salvational faith is a killer, literally.

David

Thank you for your prompt reply. Just as Einstein`s vast range of thought and enquiry was condensed in his equation E =MC2 perhaps analogous to C.P Snow`s "The Search" when he wrote "I saw a medley of haphazard facts fall into line and order. "But it`s true, I said to myself, it`s very beautiful and it`s true ".So too", many know ultimate answers to special questions will be exquisitely simple in their explanation.

Almost in the same context that, the greatest power is the most modest in it`s expression and never without a touch of humility. The ultimate of paradoxes. So ,when considering the human condition in any scheme of things,if there be such a prospect,one has to first establish what or who we are.

While I do not readily go along with Sir Francis Crick`s proposition when he,in effect, said--You,your joys,sorrows,memories,-your ambitions and sense of personal identity and free will are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells. Yet we do know that our emotions are triggered by a smorgasbord of up to 60 neuropeptides (amino acids)circulating within the body seeking compatible receptors to suffuse the consciousness with that particular emotion, as opposed to any rival candidate emotion.

We also know that our mind, or sense of awareness, is resident not only in the brain but also is experienced in the flow of neurocommunications throughout the glands and immune system. The stomach is also a participant. Hence the expression "Gut feeling ".

One may well ask ."Why this pre-amble?" The answer is ,that before we examine any question of religion, we must first see our context as human becomings in that question. The ego self is a point of internal reference,a kind of nexus created in the mind by the mind to organise the input of experience and thereby preserve the subjective realm allowing the body to function in a useful way.

We can see what a fragile and evolving human construct is that sense of self.

We live each moment on the edge of eternity. That is the terrible price nature exacts of us for the privilege of consciousness.The human psyche is only too aware of this fact.Hence the evolution of the Negative Feed Back Loop ,a psychological equivalent of the engineering principle of the thermostat that works so effectively in crisis situations.

Religious pursuit is one result of that adjustment.Without that shield of religious "reassurance" the psyche of those more vulnerable, or susceptible to fears,anxieties and other forms of neuroses would be life inhibiting.

My conclusion--Religion forms an admirable role within society as a "glue "( from the Latin derivation "ligo" to hold together)to hold that society together.

It is at this point that Einstein would quietly intervene --as when he said "It is by a process of differentiation that we separate ourselves one from another.This is an artificial delusion of consciousness and creates a kind of prison for ourselves.We see this in religious differences(formation of sects and special interest groups)racial and pschological prejudice and class distinction".

As a result we see a world of lonely and divided people walking the streets. Religion,as defined by Einstein, is no innocent to this accusation.A perhaps facile but true statement so I will not elaborate. "But if everyone would see the light and recognise that our path is the one true way -then we would all be one ". I will not reply to this hypothetical request either.The testimony of the last two thousand years is overwhelming !

The line between psychosis and extreme religiosity is difficult to draw.Studying the mechanisms of religious belief could lead to a better understanding of what goes on in the minds of people with psychiatric delusion.Many religious beliefs were triggered by a bizarre or "unexplained"religious experience often produced by changes in the brain`s circuitry.eg.post trauma .

AlthoughI hold Buddhist monks in high regard (my son often returns to monastic monastery life despite his medical career) however it is believed that when such ascetics lapse into deep meditation whilst gaining a sense of being "at one with the world " they also experience decreased blood flow to that part of the brain responsible for the concept of the self. Regardless, their aim to disengage from the self resonates with all aspirations that" One man is all men ". Denial or sublimation of self is not a discipline I witness in any of the three major religions .Their adherents all seeming "hell-bent" on priority entry into their kind of "paradise".

Ian Wishart

Nice try, but not quite...

Richard Dawkins, like Crick, has tried to condense the spiritual down to the mere physical and neurobiological.

In reality, it cannot be done. Having discovered that humans are "hardwired for God" by having a portion of the brain dedicated entirely to religious experiences, scientists presumed that by stimulating that area of the brain they could prove that such experiences were natural, not God given.

In so doing, they missed the point: the fact that God has designed humans with a "doorbell" to hear from him doesn't prevent other layabouts from coming around and ringing the doorbell maliciously and causing all sorts of problems for the person concerned.

Having done so, the ultimate irony is that the layabouts arrogantly presume the doorbell is merely a fluke of nature, and because they themselves can't see or hear God, they presume that all God-experiences result from a malfunctioning doorbell.

It makes sense that as natural beings with a spiritual soul, there must be a nexus point somewhere within us to allow the physical to be influenced by the spiritual.

Although Crick and Dawkins try hard, other leading scientists in biology are more than ready to note that "science cannot explain human consciousness", regardless of numerous claims in the popular press.

God may ring our "doorbell" by way of internal biological circuitry. The fact the science can measure some activity along those circuits does not prove that such activity had a natural origin. By the same token, nor does scientific tinkering with those circuits to re-create "religious experiences" prove anything more than the fact that science has found a way to manipulate the wiring on the biological side (rather than spiritual side) of the doorbell.

Christian theology already allows for other supernatural entities to also have access to our doorbells, in the form of demonic entities who enter through trauma, fear, abuse or adherence to false doctrine. I guess our theology will just have to be widened to include atheistic scientists as potential abusers as well.

I'm surprised at your openness towards Buddhism, which has been spiritually, logically and scientifically falsified as a belief system in ways that Christianity never will be.

Nonetheless...hope this helps explain my position somewhat

David

Thank you for the tenor of your reply.I respect your stance/conviction.You express surprise at my openness to Buddhism.I hope I show respect for all people`s persuasions whatever they may be.In this particular case my interest is of a comparative nature only. One of my sons, a doctor ,because he has spent intermittent periods in residency in monasteries, has the greater interest in Buddhism,although he is not of established opinion. Personally I had a traditional Anglican School education.My academic interest in Buddhism was sparked by curiosity when reading a book The Quantum Theory of Life and Buddhism by Dr. Senaka Ranasinghe . I thought ,in my arrogance ,that the topic was perhaps avant garde for what I understood of their belief system. Further ,reading of the Dalai Lama`s own books has convinced me even more of the depth of that arrogance/ignorance.

Ari Emanuel, Second Coming

Please visit www.Ari-Jesus-Second-Coming.com Can you tell other Christians about this site!?! Also, please then enter Devin Madison on Myspace.com "Devin" is near the last entry and he lives in Hillsboro OR, he is 33. Thank You.

I Need Money Desperately

I had enough of these church goers. They seem to be really religious because the go to church everyday and know all the prayers and saints. But when the mass is over ,there they are outside the church talking about their fellow or their neighbor etc sharing gossips. Sigh.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

January 2007

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Blog powered by Typepad

Google