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Post Re: ex-christian.net
So, are you saying we live in "God's" ground school and live life taking our hits and learning our lessons to give us the ability to live in peace in the next life?



Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:51 pm
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
I don't believe in the next life in any descriptive sense. Interestingly, there is modern scholarship that questions whether Jesus thought of an afterlife. It depends on how certain key phrases are translated, including the one for "eternal life". Apparently the term we know as "eternal life" actually refers to life that is timeless in quality rather than endless in extent.

There is some good thinking going on that encourages those of us who are religious to think in terms of such language expressing "telos" or purpose, rather than being descriptive. What is life for? To learn to regard others as being necessary to our sense of self. To learn to give ourselves over to the welfare of another, or others, in the same way parents devote themselves to the welfare of their children. To get lost in this pursuit to an extent that one's own advantage or gain is seen only as a means, not as an end, with the nourishment of souls being the only end that achieves a certain quality of aliveness that leaves the ordinary in the dust.

A non-Christian expressed to his wife "I used to find it incredible that anyone would risk their own life to save another person's child. Now that we have a child, I not only understand it, I can't imagine not taking that risk." If you have been a parent, you probably understand. It just means so much more than ordinary life, than the choice of what to watch on Netflix or which car to buy.



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Lawrence, Robert Tulip
Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:35 pm
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
Then you believe our collective activity should be like the communists claim. All for the good of the party.



Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:38 am
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
Lawrence wrote:
Then you believe our collective activity should be like the communists claim. All for the good of the party.

"Should" is a word freighted with heavy baggage. We should be guided by shoulds when it is a question of not doing damage to others: not stealing, slandering, heedlessly seducing. Our activity to enhance the lives of others, and to foster a collective, community life, is for the sake of the quality of life that can be achieved.

We have been conditioned by our advertising-driven public communications to think in terms of having more toys and more types of excitement as the only way to enhance our life. But most of us have actually experienced that the best things in life are free, and yet we don't set our minds to developing that. We leave it off on the side as an observation about occasional moments of clarity, rather than thinking how to build it into our ways of living. Pretty sad when we are willing to let the advertising industry tell us what makes life better.



Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:28 am
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
Harry Marks wrote:
I don't believe in the next life in any descriptive sense.
The next life is lived by our descendants. As well, the complex energy of the soul is something with durability that we cannot explain in a simple empirical way. The whole bundle of memories and influences and identity surrounding a person can be seen as producing a persistent existence past the physical, even if the simple myths of personal immortality are not accurate.
Harry Marks wrote:
Interestingly, there is modern scholarship that questions whether Jesus thought of an afterlife.
My view is that all the stories of the Gospels are parables, not to be taken literally. The most vivid afterlife stories are the parables of Dives and Lazarus, and the Last Judgement.

Dives is a rich man who goes to hell for being selfish, while Lazarus (modified Osiris) is a poor man who goes to heaven. The meaning is that heaven is all about relationship, and that material possessions do not substitute for care about others.

The Last Judgement has a very simple story, that if you care for other people who are in most need and at the margins of social inclusion you are saved, while if you ignore these most needy people you are damned.

All the stories about going to heaven or hell are just imaginative parables about the type of future society we can create by our choice whether to care or not care about other people and the world.
Harry Marks wrote:
It depends on how certain key phrases are translated, including the one for "eternal life". Apparently the term we know as "eternal life" actually refers to life that is timeless in quality rather than endless in extent.
The meaning of eternal life (αἰώνιον - aionion) can be seen from this verse out of the Last Judgement, seen in the interlinear version that directly compares the original Greek with a literal English translation word by word. “[The careless] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:46)

My view of the meaning of eternity derives from Platonic philosophy. In the original Academy, the three subjects of study were logic, physics and ethics. In logic, eternity is timeless in quality (outside time) in the sense that mathematical relationships do not change as a result of any events. In physics, the idea of eternity as endless in extent does appear, in the sense that laws of physics such as gravity and the structure of the periodic table of the elements are permanent features of our universe. Ethics picks up on the Christian vision of the timeless eternal values of the good, the true and the beautiful. As we move now into Advent, the eternal moral ideas of love, joy, hope and peace celebrate the timeless message of Christ as the symbol of human connection to God and faith in the enduring presence of divinity in our world. True religion is the ‘rebinding’ to eternal unchanging moral values.

My own view on the Biblical idea of eternity reflects the authors' connection seen between the word ‘aionion’ and the visual astronomy of zodiac ages (aions), which form the stable eternal structure of terrestrial cosmology. I am now writing a paper on the astronomy of this topic, which seems to be immensely difficult psychologically for scientists and theologians to engage with due to their irrational hatred of cyclical patterns that remind them of astrology. The paradigm shift here requires analysis of Jesus Christ as the avatar of the zodiac ages of Pisces and Aquarius.
Harry Marks wrote:
There is some good thinking going on that encourages those of us who are religious to think in terms of such language expressing "telos" or purpose, rather than being descriptive.
The word ‘telos’ (purpose) is highly controversial due to the simplistic and stupid restriction of it to the debate about intentional design in creation. The untrue idea from conventional young earth creationists is that God somehow magically designed all creatures with a teleological purpose that operates in some supernatural way, separate to the observed processes of natural biological evolution. That old false metaphysics is a simplistic 'flat earth' model, meaning it extrapolates from naïve experience without taking into account any scientific knowledge. Traditional simple teleology of creation is just a distraction from any genuine philosophical and theological effort to find a sense of purpose in life.
Harry Marks wrote:
What is life for?
The purpose or telos of life can be seen in the moral value of complexity. Complexity is a scientific idea in the theory of evolution that observes how stable evolving systems gradually adapt with ever greater depth to their ecological niche. All the genetic factors of cumulative adaptation constantly push on the doors of available mutation. The doors which open, reflecting natural causal possibility, allow organisms to sustain a more complex genetic code.

The moral implication is that evolutionary complexity is good. This means we should work to enhance complexity, treating biodiversity as an eternal sacred value. In this framework, the meaning of life is the good of the future, and enhancing the flourishing of life on earth is our highest moral purpose.

Looking at the universe as a whole, the earth is the most complex known place, and the human brain and its products are the most complex known things, just in terms of detail of networking.

Most of the universe is near-empty space, and many galaxies have nothing but hydrogen. Our solar system has amazing complexity, serving to provide our fragile and sensitive planet with a stable and durable and fecund home. The flip side of complexity is its fragile susceptibility to destruction, indicating the moral urgency of climate change, and the evil of denial of scientific truth and promotion of false fantasies.
Harry Marks wrote:
To learn to regard others as being necessary to our sense of self.
Care, concern, connection, relationship, these have all been corrupted as the ground of identity and morality by the prevailing attitudes of American Individualism. This pervasive way of thought has infected the whole globe, through its seductive imperial roots in the highly traumatised and ignorant philosophy of British Empiricism.
Harry Marks wrote:
To learn to give ourselves over to the welfare of another, or others, in the same way parents devote themselves to the welfare of their children.
Serving others is an important moral principle, but has to be placed in the context of the good of the whole, which creates highly complex moral dilemmas regarding the consequences and principles of rival actions. For example, the tension between caring for your own children versus other valuable moral actions.
Harry Marks wrote:
To get lost in this pursuit to an extent that one's own advantage or gain is seen only as a means, not as an end, with the nourishment of souls being the only end that achieves a certain quality of aliveness that leaves the ordinary in the dust.
“Nourishment of souls” is certainly a high moral goal. How personal prosperity can be a means to this end is again a challenging vision, putting economics at the focus of morality. Market capitalism can provide the talents and resources needed to create wealth and skills for distribution to those who lack the advantages of others, but only if both government and civil society focus on the enabling environment for this goal, through a combination of moral or spiritual guidance and formal regulation.
Harry Marks wrote:
A non-Christian expressed to his wife "I used to find it incredible that anyone would risk their own life to save another person's child. Now that we have a child, I not only understand it, I can't imagine not taking that risk." If you have been a parent, you probably understand. It just means so much more than ordinary life, than the choice of what to watch on Netflix or which car to buy.
Having a stake in the future through the continuity of our personal genetic code with the river of time touches deep instinctive psychological impulses that have a rational foundation in our moral care for the good of the future.


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Lawrence
Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:26 pm
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
I scrolled through a whole bunch of well meaning shit. Dude...divorce sucks. That is all.



Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:50 am
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
Oh, are we supposed to hug or something now?



Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:51 am
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Post Re: ex-christian.net
We leave it off on the side as an observation about occasional moments of clarity, rather than thinking how to build it into our ways of living. Pretty sad when we are willing to let the advertising industry tell us what makes life better.[/quote]
My point, which obviously has not been made clear is, humans have let their "governments" set the goals of life for their nation. Those goals have been derived from the 7 basic world, mutually exclusive, views. All of the world views must be "believed" to be true but in fact have not one scintilla of fact upon which to base their opinions. Thus, we are meandering around through life trying to figure out the "true" meaning of life and frantically moving from one false promise to the next in desperation and in our pride we claim the view we are holding is the "true and accurate" fact of life and with our mindless arrogance believe we have authority to force our beliefs on all who believe differently.
It seems hopeless we can all come together with a working model of moving toward a common goal but if we realize we are all on this planet and we all have the same destiny, maybe, just maybe, we can.



Last edited by Lawrence on Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:40 pm
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