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What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II

SeanM 20 Jan 01 - 06:21 PM
Zebedee 20 Jan 01 - 06:33 PM
SeanM 20 Jan 01 - 06:44 PM
wysiwyg 20 Jan 01 - 06:59 PM
Zebedee 20 Jan 01 - 07:09 PM
Matt_R 20 Jan 01 - 07:26 PM
Sorcha 20 Jan 01 - 07:28 PM
wysiwyg 20 Jan 01 - 08:01 PM
Lox 20 Jan 01 - 11:00 PM
walkinman 21 Jan 01 - 09:35 AM
Seth 21 Jan 01 - 10:17 PM
walkinman 21 Jan 01 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,yum yum 22 Jan 01 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,micca at work 22 Jan 01 - 06:35 AM
mousethief 22 Jan 01 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,John Hill 22 Jan 01 - 12:22 PM
annamill 23 Jan 01 - 12:25 PM
Allan C. 23 Jan 01 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 23 Jan 01 - 01:12 PM
annamill 23 Jan 01 - 01:12 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jan 01 - 05:08 PM
SeanM 23 Jan 01 - 06:07 PM
mousethief 23 Jan 01 - 06:10 PM
CamiSu 25 Jan 01 - 09:33 AM
Ebbie 21 Jan 07 - 10:29 PM
bubblyrat 21 Jan 07 - 10:40 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 07 - 10:58 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Jan 07 - 11:28 PM
Bill D 21 Jan 07 - 11:38 PM
dianavan 22 Jan 07 - 01:57 AM
Bert 22 Jan 07 - 02:10 AM
Captain Ginger 22 Jan 07 - 03:36 AM
John Hardly 22 Jan 07 - 06:52 AM
Riginslinger 22 Jan 07 - 08:17 AM
The Villan 22 Jan 07 - 08:40 AM
Georgiansilver 22 Jan 07 - 08:43 AM
The Villan 22 Jan 07 - 09:20 AM
*daylia* 22 Jan 07 - 09:36 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Jan 07 - 09:50 AM
Bee 22 Jan 07 - 10:38 AM
John Hardly 22 Jan 07 - 10:51 AM
tarheel 22 Jan 07 - 10:59 AM
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Georgiansilver 22 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM
Captain Ginger 22 Jan 07 - 11:36 AM
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Bill D 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM
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Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM
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Slag 24 Jan 07 - 05:08 PM
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Thomas the Rhymer 24 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Bardan 25 Jan 07 - 01:20 AM
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Subject: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: SeanM
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 06:21 PM

'Cause the first one hit over a hundred, and I inflicted post 106. Parte ye Firste is over at that link.

Let the games continue!

M


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Zebedee
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 06:33 PM

When I started the orignal thread, it was motivated by a genuine curiosity and interest as to the diversity of the beliefs and faiths people here have.

There was no intention to provoke arguement.

Starting a part two with 'let the games continue' possibly suggests a desire for conflict.

I, for one, wish to totally distance myself from that, if that was the intention.

Ed


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: SeanM
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 06:44 PM

Sorry that you're reading that into the post. It was not my intention to do that, only to be silly.

'Games' do not have to be about conflict... only the different views jockeying for position around the great Ideological Scrabble Board in the Sky.

M


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 06:59 PM

In the USA, "Let the Games Begin" is often used to evoke the sense of fair, honorable competition... I think it's what is said to open the Olympics.

Sean, some people will find playfulness on this topic difficult. Please PM me if you want some info on a place where the topic of humor about the holy is more actively explored.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Zebedee
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 07:09 PM

Susan,

As much as I may have misunderstood 'let the games begin...' using the Olympics, where Americans only cheer if Americans are winning is, perhaps, not the best analogy of global understanding

Ed


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Matt_R
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 07:26 PM

S'truth. I always cheer for the Irish and the French--not the Americans.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 07:28 PM

This has nothing to do with God, but I cheer for a good performance and a good attitude, regardless of what country the athlete is from.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 08:01 PM

Ed.... never mind. Having a rough day maybe?

~S~


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Lox
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 11:00 PM

Sometimes I see religion as being a vehicle of faith, where faith is not possible in other things.

Tonight for example I am finding it hard to have faith either in myself or humanity, in the lessons of the past or the possibilities of the future.

The flipside to faith is despair.

You can't move forward when you feel depair.

You need faith in something, whether it's your job, money, your family, the innate goodness of people or God.

I make mistakes, people make mistakes, and material things crumble away. It is difficult for me to have an enduring faith in such things.

When I am in such a state, I look to all possibilities to regain my feeling of faith.

When my despair has reached irreversible levels, I have been known to start praying in my own way to God.

I usually do this silently, but form articulate clear thoughts and sentences in my head.

I ask the room "Are you there, do you exist, please show yourself, because if there is a time that I need you it's now." Sometimes I cry.

Funnily, I usually feel better afterwards. Whether there is a logical psychiatric reason for this or not I don't know. Maybe it's just that in crying I heal myself.

Whatever it is, (and I am not religious - I can count the number of times I have done it on one hand) it gets me through the hardest times. The times when I feel alone and full of desperation.

I then return to my "up" life, and pretend it never happened, and my faith in myself is retored, my faith in the future is restored etc.

When Mahatma Ghandi talks about light, life and truth persisting, I think this is what he is talking about. Somehow, the candle is kept alight.

Somehow, it is allowed to develop back into a flame.

I still don't know if God exists, or what he/she/it is.

I do know though, and I cannot lie about it any more, that it is when I have thought about him/her/it that my faith has been restored in a way that nothing else has ever been able to match.

What keeps your candle lit? what reaffirms your faith when you FEEL like you have nowhere to turn.

I would like to know.

lox


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: walkinman
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 09:35 AM

My religion is very simple and can be described in one word.....kindness.

-The Dalai Lama


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Seth
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 10:17 PM

I'm with the Dalai Lama on that. I'm a Mingusite. Every day I recite the Charles MIngus prayer: "Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop that Atomic Bomb on Me". Also a McDowellist: we follow the credo "when the Lord gets ready, you've got to move" I don't think I believe in God. I hope She believes in me.

Seth from China


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: walkinman
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 10:33 PM


come on people now

smile on your brother

everybody get together

and try to love one another

right now


right now.........


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,yum yum
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 04:57 AM

all very well saying that - - - but over here we have formed two new religions... 'PROD-LICKS' and 'PRESBY-FENIANS' and still no one can agree which one to join.

ps. SeanM this is only a joke. YUM YUM


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,micca at work
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 06:35 AM

True story, a Pagan friend (Gardnerian Wiccan) who lives in Northern Ireland was asked (apparently in seriousness)at a party by a slightly drunk individual, whether he was a "Catholic Pagan" or a "Protestant Pagan" and the questioner couldnt understand why the (mainly Pagan) group laughed loud and a long, and the tale was frequently retold thru the evening.
BTW I've always wondered, what does an Atheist shout at the moment of orgasm???


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 12:19 PM

Ed,

Fart on you! Americans do NOT only cheer if Americans are winning. What a wretched generalization!

alex


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,John Hill
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 12:22 PM

A wise person once said "Faith is believing what you know ain't so"..... I'll drink to that.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: annamill
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 12:25 PM

"BTW I've always wondered, what does an Atheist shout at the moment of orgasm??? "

The name of your lover! He's or she's the one to be grateful to.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Allan C.
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 12:36 PM

Yeah, Anna. Just be certain it is the name of the one you're with!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 01:12 PM

My inner strength, love and kindness ( I know its slushy but you asked!!) It also means music as well

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: annamill
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 01:12 PM

... or just say 'Honey'!! to be sure.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 05:08 PM

Things that atheists shout at the moment of orgasm:

Oh, MONEY!!!

Oh, STOCK OPTIONS!!!

Oh, MORTGAGE RATES GOING DOWN IN THE NEW YEAR!!!

Then, there are the ones who just make inarticulate noises, and frankly I prefer that on the whole, okay? It conveys much more universal meanings.

Not that I'm an atheist, but I have my preferences...

- LH


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: SeanM
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 06:07 PM

Drifting, drifting, over the bounding thread...

Comedy website today had "things least likely to be said during orgasm"...

One of my favorites... "My name is xxxx and I'd like to talk to you about the great deals we can offer you on your long distance rates"

M


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: mousethief
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 06:10 PM

Actually theists might very well enjoy money, lower interest rates, and stock options. But if that's what you're thinking about when you're making love, your lover has every right to be miffed.

alex


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: CamiSu
Date: 25 Jan 01 - 09:33 AM

Serious thread creep! But having been up to my eyes in alligators these last few days, ...weeks...nevermind... I hadn't been able to read this all 'til today. There's been some wonderful stuff said here. I teach Sunday School to the HS and college class and do start with the God is Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle, but it is so much fun to see how S/he is expressed by everyone, in so much variety.

And I do think Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and so many others were/are teachers trying to get us to see we are all God's children and need to do all those wonderful things they did. And I see so many people doing just that, to whatever extent they can. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Tall order, but we can work at it! Some do it as parents (not limited to one's own children, for sure), some as teachers, some as doctors, some as lawyers (believe me some are there to do their best for others!), some as farmers, and some as street cleaners.

I really like Richard Bach's comment in "Illusions" Why are we here? To learn and to have fun. And what I heard from and introduction to the Goddess several years ago. "You want to see the face of the Goddess? Look at the person next to you."

Thank you all. Great IDEAS!

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 10:29 PM

I ran across this thread while I was looking at a different 'traced' thread. This one is Part Two, which is kind of too bad because it is no longer necessary to separate them.

But it is an interesting subject and like most of us I have lots of ideas about it.

I especially like Wesley S's remark that we are told that man is made in the image of God, but that somehow we have made him into an image of us...


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 10:40 PM

Is "GOD" the one who was on vacation during The Holocaust and couldn"t be reached ???


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 10:58 PM

No, I think God was the one whose heart was broken when all those people died. Sometimes, we wish for a God who would write a nicer script for the story of our lives - but maybe we're better off writing our own script.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 11:28 PM

God is the easy explanation for what can't be easily explained.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 11:38 PM

The word means (to me) a reference to a supposed supernatural, all-powerful being who controls and/or made us and all we see. It also brings up a swirl of hard to pin down concepts about how to approach THINKING about my own existence.

Not yer standard answer, but then I studied it formally for many years.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 01:57 AM

The word God is a literary reference to a mythical and all-powerful force or source of energy. His attributes vary according to culture. He forsakes those who are naughty and rewards those who are good.

My God is a Goddess. She's way more interesting.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 02:10 AM

Now lessee! Bible folks claim that we were created in God's image.

And scientists are gradually accepting the mitochondrial Eve theory which claims that the first real human was a woman in Africa.

If they are both right then God is a black woman - which is going to piss off a load of rednecks when they get to heaven.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:36 AM

Oo-er - another thread with the potential for a lot of shouting, but one which seems to have been conducted in a remarkably civilised fashion.
For me the word 'God' is as much a human construct as 'Money' or 'Government'. God is a manifestation of religion, and we invented religion back in the mists of whenever as a security blanket to comfort us in the face of the unknown - darkness, death, disease and life as a whole.
As an atheist, I'm in accord with Bertrand Russell, who commented: "Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes....A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 06:52 AM

If I thought that understanding god was a pursuit of invention rather than a discovery, I would be agnostic.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Riginslinger
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:17 AM

Hard to discover something that isn't there.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:40 AM

God is an excuse for having wars


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:43 AM

God is used as an excuse for many things but generally by NON-Christians.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 09:20 AM

Not so GS. When I was a confirmed C of E I felt just the same about war and religion, and I have no reason what so ever to change my viewpoint.

oh dear what ave I said. I hope we don't have a war at Faldingworth Live GS :-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: *daylia*
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 09:36 AM

God is used as an excuse for many things but generally by NON-Christians.   

I remember when Bush Sr invaded Kuwait a couple decades ago, watching both him and Saddam on the telly, propogandizing. Both used the same tactic -- Bush pontificating about how God supposedly endorsed his plans to blast Saddam off the planet and take the oil for himself, Saddam saying this "Holy War" was the will of Allah. So apparently, both were just obeying the Will of God.

Maybe someday God will learn how to pick sides, and spare us the confusion.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 09:50 AM

The word "God" is so baggage-laden that, while I'm definitely of a spiritual bent, I only use it if I stub my toe. I refer to my perception of the Ultimate as the "Ground of All Being". It is absolutely connotation-free.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 10:38 AM

The word God to me is a concept so bandied about by the good, the bad, and the indifferent that either no or all meaning can be ascribed to it.

I've yet to see any confirmation that such a being exists, or created the world, let alone influences the world. God/Goddess/Gods worshippers tell us often how their lives have been affected by direct supernatural intervention, yet all over the planet I see believers and unbelievers alike living lives of pain and misery, children sick, maimed and killed, animals tortured, landscapes destroyed.

Lucky Westerners like ourselves are likely to ascribe the most meaningless bits of chance to direct intervention of God: a preacher says God sent someone to help load her groceries into her car (true story); she believes that, but does not see the disconnect between this and the people massacred and maimed in their church while praying in Rwanda a few years ago. (This incident was burned into my consciousness by a story a year or more later about a fourteen year old girl who, horribly maimed, survived under the corpses of others, but who lost every single member of her family, down to aunts, uncles and cousins, and must continue to live amongst their murderers.)

I understand that belief systems comfort most humans, and I don't mind this; I am willing to respect the beliefs of others, especially if some good comes of their belief, and I admit that is often true. I am the only member of my family who does not believe; I have no problem with that, and will even on occasion volunteer to help with church activities for their sake.

And a side note: what exactly does 'spirituality' mean to you? People, even agnostics, will often say they or someone else is 'spiritual', but it seems to usually mean 'good', or 'unconcerned with material wealth', or 'likes to commune with nature', or 'is very romantic'.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 10:51 AM

Now where did I leave that Ground of All Being-damn hammer?!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: tarheel
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 10:59 AM

so,it seems,the majority here does not believe in God nor that the Bible is the True Word of God!
so please explain to me,what do you think happens to your soul at the time of death?
I also think that the majority of you know where i stand on this issue,but i'm just curious about the rest of you....just curious,that's all!
Tar...


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 11:11 AM

Tarheel, if we don't believe in God, whyever would you expect us to believe we have a soul?

I would love to believe that 'I' would survive death, but where's the evidence that what the Godly call the soul is anything other than the mind, which appears to be a product of the physical brain and body? The body dies, the mind dies with it: very unfortunate, in my opinion, but sadly uncontested by available facts.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM

Bee...not sure if you have ever seen anyone die but I have seen a few and the life goes out of the body...visually....before the last breaths are taken. Last year, my Mum died of cancer and the breathing carried on for some time after her 'life' had gone from her. I truly believe that our soul...our lifes understanding/learning....goes somewhere. As a Christian I believe in what Jesus promises in John 3 v's 16-17. My Mum believed it too.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 11:36 AM

A part of me does envy those who have a strong faith - at least they can face life's vicissitudes with the thought that they have something to look forward to!
For me, however, this is as good as it gets. Which, as a reasonably affluent Westerner, is a darned sight better than it's been for most of humanity for most of its existence.
But, rich or poor, enlightened or superstitious, when you're dead, you're dead - just as dead as your cat is when it's run over or the pig is which gave you your breakfast bacon. We don't have a soul - but what we have is something amazing, which is consciousness. Unfortunately, with it came an awareness of our mortality, so we invented god as a security blanket.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 11:51 AM

Georgiansilver, I have indeed been present at several deaths, and can't say that I have interpreted what I have seen as you have. How can you 'see' the life go out of someone before breathing stops? I would say I have seen someone lose consciousness before they stopped breathing, or before they were 'allowed' to stop breathing by the removal of intervening medical control, but I have also seen someone lose consciousness while still quite alive and destined to recover, and to me it looked exactly the same (except, of course, the breathing continued).

My own mum is a sincere believer, and I would never try to convince her - or you - otherwise, but I remain entirely unconvinced. And yes, Jesus of the Bible expresses many fine sentiments, and also makes many confusing statements. The entire Bible is full of contradiction and confusion, IMO, as would be expected of any ancient collection of mixed history, patriotism, and mythology. But, outside of venues such as this, where there is a direct invitation to express one's contentions, I rarely even express my own views on the subject, as I have no desire to offend or upset my family or friends.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM

God(s) and souls and spirits and 'hereafters'...etc...It's not something we are going to settle, are we? We all have our reasons and, at least partial explanations, for why we 'believe' or not.

The best we can do is to be true to ourselves and try to respect others trying to do the same.

I can relate jokes about God; I can debate theology when it's relevant; I can study the history and comparison of different religions; I can even explain the details of my own path from believing as a child to wondering as a student to doubting as an adult....but all I can do finally is to shrug and say I'm doing the best I can and hoping I leave this world having done my best to understand & make sense.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM

You say "Jesus of the Bible expresses many fine sentiments, and also makes many confusing statements. The entire Bible is full of contradiction and confusion".
I cannot see it in that way. If the old Testament is read in the context of the history of Gods world and the New Testament as exactly that...a New Testament and a new way of living through Jesus Christ there is for me no confusion or contradiction. I have also read Jesus words many times and can find no confusing statements made by Him.
Hopefully though this thread will not degenerate into attempts to prove or disprove as it often gets personal.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 12:50 PM

OOps sorry Villan..meant to reply to you...War at Faldingworth is out of the question. Too much good music to listen to.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 12:55 PM

There are a number of very intelligent designers working for companies throughout the world busy working on all sorts of wonderful things. There is another group of people who believe the first group to be gods, or have i misunderstood something.

As for what i cry out during orgasm, that's between me and the goddess.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 01:09 PM

To me "God" means that out of which all phenomena arise. All energy. All things. The original intelligence out of which all intelligence is an extension. The Unmanifest out of which arises manifestation. The Infinite.

"God" also means Unity to me...Oneness...as opposed to concepts like separation and duality. There's only one thing that forms a complete Unity and that's the Infinite, because the Infinite comprises absolutely everything.

It's what religions attempt to refer to in various ways when they talk about God, but it would exist even if no religions existed. It would exist if no human beings existed. It would exist if nothing finite and observable whatsoever existed...in which case, there would be no one talking about it. ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 01:40 PM

Georgiansilver - Mike: I don't want to get personal at all, of course, although belief by its nature is personal.

I read plenty of confusion rising from the New Testament (the Old even moreso), from Jesus habit of using parables that are often hard to fathom and very subject to interpretation, such as the cursing of the fig tree; the exhortation to hate one's family to follow him; the bringing of a sword, not peace, and so on, all of which can be interpreted to mean something other than what they sound like (although that poor fig tree, which wasn't even in fruiting season...), but why did he sow seeds of misinterpretation?

But Jesus own words are for the most part (and in my opinion only) not usually so difficult, it is more often the words of those that came before and after. I frequently cannot agree with Paul's doctrines, particularly those regarding women, and the Old Testament is full of references to a deity who is jealous, wrathful, vengeful, merciless, coferring favour on 'his' people regardless of their behaviour, while ordering the wholesale massacre of entire populations based on their being in the way of his plans for 'his' people. Who is not horrified by the orders to kill every male Canaanite including infants, and every female who is not a virgin? Who is not horrified by the casual toying with Job; a bet with Satan no less, during the playing out of which dozens of innocent bystanders (Job's family)are killed?

Who can begin to understand why an omnipotent entity wants or needs to create such a set-up as the Tree in Eden?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 01:42 PM

"An incomprehensibility invented by the unscrupulous to impose on the undiscriminating."


A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 01:46 PM

Oh, now, don't be so uncharitable, Amos! ;-)

How about instead..."a one-syllable attempt to label everything that's beyond our reach and our understanding"


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 01:55 PM

Sorry Bee was not implying that you would get personal..just an observation that some people on here seem to enjoy a nasty battle rather than a sensible discussion.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 02:27 PM

No need to apologise, Georgiansilver! I was just indicating my own good will. ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 02:30 PM

It usually means some eedjit using his belief as an excuse to murder or maim those who don't share those beliefs.
Giok


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 02:32 PM

Is there a Dog?

sal


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 02:36 PM

Hell and Dalmation you mean Mrs L?
G.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: guitar
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM

God means that he is the Father of heaven


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:00 PM

To me, the word God unfortunately means that one or a group of believers are doing something that would otherwise be wrong, or do not feel capable of doing something good without an excuse.

I know this is very negative, but it seems all too true, too often.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:05 PM

Ok, so who's the mother of heaven, and on what side is his favourite auntie? And when's heaven's birthday?
Honestly, it's meaningless stuff like that which puts off many intelligent people from looking twice at the Church. I've lost count of the number of times I've walked past a church or chapel which has a biblical text on a poster outside - "God so loved the world,,," or whatever.
What the religious fail to grasp is that, to the non-religous, such stuff is simply meaningless. Speak to people in their own language, then they'll understand. That's why the vernacular and vulgate bibles were banned!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: guitar
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:05 PM


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM

I don't feel charitable about massive boondoggles that undermine people's faculties and sometimes even ruin their lives, LH. While I know there are many poeple who do good works in the name of this symbol, I am quite sure they good do those same good works for their own sake.

And there are excessively large munbers of people who are willing to pervert the concept in order to justify their orn insanities and crimes.

So I fail to see where being charitable about it will get anyone any fuhthah.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM

Tolerance, Amos, tolerance. Are you asserting that you will defeat the religious intolerance in the world by not tolerating it?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Scoville
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:26 PM

I don't believe in a humanoid God or in souls. I think souls in particular are a nice idea but I've found I just can't accept them in any sense except maybe as a way to describe one's own incorporeal consciousness, meaning that I do not believe in them as a separate spiritual force that animates the body and outlasts us when we die. No, this doesn't bother me. If all that happens when I (my mother, my dog, whoever) die is that I turn to sod, so be it. I had my turn.

I think the nearest I can get to "God", and I still balk at actually calling it that, has something to do with humanity, community, and empathy. It has no human form or emotions and is certainly not limited to any religion in particular. I've been told that this still "counts" as God but I feel it's disrespectful to insist on that terminology when others who do not worship God with a capital "G" may otherwise hold the same view.

I'm trying to learn to be less literal and less cynical so I can better accept my Southern Baptist neighbors. I think I'm making progress. It still frustrates the Hell (oops! I don't believe in that, either!) out of me when they try to legislate their religion but I feel less tempted lately to apply unflattering adjectives to their beliefs and mindsets.


As the bumper stickers says: "Just another soulless atheist in search of world peace & harmony."


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 06:49 PM

I'm sure God will appreciate your bumper sticker.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 07:31 PM

LH:

No, I am not. Religious intolerance is a waste of time, and it typically is born from religious blinding causing the inability to see other points of view.

Someone asked what the word meant.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 07:36 PM

It means anything you think it means. Same as any other word. We should ask Bill Clinton what it means. ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Scoville
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 07:59 PM

He was talking to me. It doesn't matter, though, since there is no God.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:00 PM

You got a chance to talk to Bill? Wow. You're pretty lucky.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:03 PM

God. How about the personification of some aspect of inescapable or immutable human nature? The myth is essentially an etiological story that explains "why" things are the way they are. The fact that it happens on Mt. Olympus removes it from our ability to tamper with it. Also, the gods represent the perfect, i.e. the complete pattern and humankind is a less-than-perfect reflection of the paradigm.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:22 PM

Exactly. "God" is simply the archetype of that which is perfect and whole (thus: "holy"). God is also the archetype of that which is the origin of things. If you want to look at it scientifically, God is whatever caused the Big Bang, and created the Universe as we know it.

People personalize it because it's their nature to personalize things. After all, they often personalize their cars, don't they? I've heard people yelling at their cars and pleading with them... ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 09:50 PM

Yeah. But personalizing your car doesn't lead you to commit mass mayhem on those who drive the other brand!

The two most unfortunate characteristics of our species overall seems to be our proclivity for founding religions, and our proclivity for categorizing and then slaughtering our own kind. Oddly enough, I seem to detect some sort of statistical corrlation between these two things. Would we could abandon them both as grievous errors of mind and heart.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 10:15 PM

Pantheism, God in all things, all things are God.

Polytheism, Many gods, each controlling one or more aspects of the human condition and the interactions of those conditions reflect the interactions of the gods.

Monotheism, (in short) the one uncreated, creator God.

Atheism, disbelief in any god.

Agnosticism, if there is a god, it is unknown and unknowable.

Humanism, that Man is god or as close to the concept of god that we will ever know. Man created god.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 12:44 AM

Can I be a Pantheist-Humanist?

or would that be a Human Pantheist?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bert
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:42 AM

...generally by NON-Christians...

I guess you've never heard of Ireland!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 10:40 AM

Panhumanism: the recognition of humanism in all things

Polyhumanism: The belief that there are multiple humans in the world.

Monohumanism: the belief that there is only one human of importance in the world. Variants include self-worship, mother-worship, and Republicanism.

Ahumanism: The belief that none of the bipeds driving around on Earth are particularly human in nature.

Agnostihumanism: The belief that noone knows what makes humans human.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 11:54 AM

Ignorant cognitive arrogance...Knowing and having an opinion on everything without full understanding.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Scoville
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM

. . . which would make all of us ignorant cognitive arrogants since, from what all the Christians tell me, only their God is omniscient.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 12:50 PM

Whose ignorance or arogance were you, in particular, speaking to there, Robin Goodfellow?


A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM

Is it possible for even a believer to understand god? And opinions don't require understanding - if they did, there are certain posters here who would be struck mute!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 02:31 PM

Oh? By whom or what would such "striking" be performed? The High-Voltage Deity? The Winds and Storms Lord? Maybe the Sudden Falling Blunt Objects Department In Charge? Sheesh. The notion that anything spiritual could be so vengeful is reeedickledockle.





A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 03:28 PM

Har! Har! I like that one, Georgiansilver.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 03:57 PM

No no no, it's 'smiting' that's done by deities. Just as the humans do the begetting.
The striking I mention would be merely the action of irrefutable logic. Or prunes.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:21 PM

Yes, that's right. Deities smite. And people get smitten. I've been smitten myself on a few occasions.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:38 PM

What does the word "God" mean to me?

Well. Hmmm. It means the final arbiter. The one who brings down the hammer at the last trump and settles the score with all them that done wrong, and rewards the righteous. Yup. That's when humans are gonna get brought down a peg or two and us chimps and other primates are gonna get what's owed us! Yeah.

Other than that, it means a realllly long-legged, good-lookin' dame with a lonnng cigarette holder wearin' nothin' but a few bits of lacy negligee and black fishnet stockings and high-heeled shoes. Yeah. Kreegah!

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 05:59 PM

What does the word God mean to me? It means the very means by which I changed from being a heavy smoking, heavy drinking, swearing, womaniser into the person I am now and I quite like me as I am. I hated myself for the things I did before 1991 when I was zapped by God. I am not perfect now and no person who claims they are Christian is! We all fall short of the Glory of the Lord and all say and do wrong things at times but we are working, or should be working on ourselves to become perfect in His sight.
Before becoming Christian I had for years felt an unfulfilled emptiness in my life in spite of a 'full' living lifestyle. That 'gap' has been filled and no-one can convince me that God does not exist or that Jesus does not love me for who I am. Answers to prayer and events that happen in my life could not do less than convince me that there is someone out there much bigger than me.
There is someone out there bigger than all of us even though some of us don't know it yet.
Seek your own truth and believe what you want to believe but at least keep seeking.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: LilyFestre
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 06:10 PM

Reedickledoggle....LOVE IT! LOL!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 06:14 PM

Seek your own truth and believe what you want to believe

The first is the best advice anyone ever got; the second is inevitable.

There is someone out there bigger than all of us even though some of us don't know it yet.

This is logically untenable as a proposition. It is also condescending, but what the hey -- arrogance comes in lots of flavors.

Best of luck with your on going answers, Mike.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 06:19 PM

>>There is someone out there bigger than all of us even though some of us don't know it yet.
<<

Me :-)

My father always told me that you should never talk about Politics, Religion, and I agree with him. They both cause so much conflict.

Mike you don't have to be religious to change your life style, you need to beleive in morality and have the strength to realise when things ain't going right and do something about it.

However if you beleive that is what helped you to change your lifestyle, then who am I to criticise.

We all get bum deals in our life and most get up off the floor and sort our life out. That doesn't need God. Well not in my mind.

You may have had a tough time, but I am pretty sure I can match you, but I have never looked to God to get me out of it.

No offence M8 but I have done the same as you but without some fictitious being up there.

Will you still talk to me :-) Glad you ain't coming Friday LOL Iam only joking - you are a very good M8


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 07:45 PM

Indeed you don't have to be religious to change. I, too, was once a heavy smoking, heavy drinking, swearing, womaniser. God had nothing to do with my changing - it was my own realisation that I was letting people down, pissing them off and playing fast and loose with my health. Selfish reasons, if you like! And I, too, prefer the 'new' me to the old (even if some say I've become boring) - but I can have the pride in a job well done rather than letting a god take the credit! ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 07:46 PM

"This is logically untenable as a proposition."

Only if you give it a literal (physical) interpretation, Amos.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 08:03 PM

Perhaps, Captain Ginger, the better side of you that enabled you to find the strength to change is exactly what other people refer to as "God"...

If so, what does it matter what they call it?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 08:05 PM

Probably not - I don't mind being called 'God'!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 08:08 PM

Excellent! ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 08:08 PM

Sorry, LH, I don't agree. The illogic hinges on the cognitive dissonance inherent in calling the infinite a "someone" .

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 08:12 PM

Yes, I understand, but that's just personalization....like people do with a lot of other things. However, I do get the gist of your objection.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 08:17 PM

One Hundred.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: robomatic
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 10:27 PM

God as embodied in physics is an ideal limit like the speed of light whose symbol is C, which is also a symbol for
100


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 02:26 AM

The main revelation of the Torah is God's name, I AM. Keeping in mind my definition(s) above, God thus enthrones the paradigm of existence. Pretty good for ancient minds, wouldn't you say?

I'm either still having trouble with this ancient machine or someone is hacking my machine. Don't know which yet but I'll break up my responses. I'm getting tired of losing several paragraphs before I can get them posted. Anyone having similar problems??


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:10 AM

In the New Testament, Book of John we read that "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Further revelation! The same theme is in the OT but not so prominently portrayed. There you have such passages as "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you." it is this emphasis upon the Word of God that give the Bible it's authority in things Jewish and with the NT, things Christian.

"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" God's personification of His atributes. Christ said "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." and "I and the Father are One" and I am (I AM) the Way and the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father except by me."

If nothing else it should peak your curiosity to look into just what God HAS promised and the Names He owns, that is to say that He embodies the paradigm of. Some are "God is Love" Prince of Peace. Savior, Redeemer, The Good Shepard.

And in contrast to other human concepts of God which reflect all the short comings of Man, the Judeo-Christian God reflects all the highest aspirations of good men and attributes the evil aspect of human nature to a lesser and twisted being, Satan ( translated "Adversary")


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:18 AM

>>If nothing else it should peak your curiosity to look into just what God HAS promised and the Names He owns,<<

Why?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:39 AM

Sorry, but no. As I see it, god has promised nothing. A collection of storybooks that have been passed down the centuries makes mention of the myths of a near-eastern people, and these are echoed in some interpretations of what may by 1st century rabbinical teachings. The are interesting folk tales concernng a grumpy killer in the OT and a numinous 'father' in the NT, but that's it for me.

And as for names - every culture that has invented the concept of the divine has given its god or gods names. The fact that people here use the Christian convention is largely the happenstance of history. Had it not been for the Roman Empire, we might have very different beliefs. Put it down, alongside aqueducts and being safe to walk the streets at night, as one of the things the Romans did for us.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 AM

All history in fact is a clear line, regardless of our ability to see it. Our future appears as a cone of probablilty bounded by physical and human limitations but as the moment passes this too, becomes part of the sharp edge of factual history. For most the light that guides is what has gone on before, that is, that which we remember, that which we CHOOSE to remember. It's fun and even educational to speculate what might have happened but it didn't. History is like the layers in the Grand Canyon, laid down in time for a time until it too is erased by time.

Had it not been for the Roman Empire, we might have had very different beliefs.

Well, that's fun, but that's not what happened. God as Author and Creator of all must see His story of Man as a complete work with no cone of probablility. He has already penned the last line. Plays havoc with "freewill" doesn't it? In chess, I believe the term is "Zugzwang" where the player has a limited number of moves, all of which lead to checkmate. This is how it must be for an omniscient God but not for limited Man. We keep thinking that WE are the masters of our destinies.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:38 AM

>God as Author and Creator of all must see His story of Man as a complete work with no cone of probablility. He has already penned the last line.<

What a load of garbage. Thats the sort of thing that makes me steer clear of religion.

get real Slag


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:02 AM

One mans garbage is another mans fortune Villan. You have an opinion but perhaps you should consider the possibility that you may be totally wrong instead of sitting in judgement on others opinions or beliefs and suggesting that you have the right answer. Because you do not believe does not make you automatically right.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:27 AM

I don't consider that I am right or wrong Mike, just expressing my opinion.
Its up to you what you beleive.

My father was a devout Christadelphian about 30 years ago. He started to try and convert me. I just told him, that the best he could do, was follow his beleifs, but not to try and influence me as I had no interest whatsoever in his religion. He didn't from then on. I respected his beleifs, but that doesn't mean I agreed with him. Although we never talked about it, I have taken him to meetings and got in touch with his religious brothers and sisters when necessary.
I even got one of his brethren to take the service at his funeral. I didn't agree with most of what this guy talked about, but it was for my father, not me, so I respected that.

I don't go round telling people not to be religious, thats up to them, but do religious people try to get us non faithy people to beleive in what they beleive. I am not interested.

I didn't put this thread up, I am only expressing my opinion, just like you are, and I do not have to agree with what a religious person is telling me.

There is no malice from my point of view. I respect you as a person and its up to you what you do in life, as long as it is peaceful.

Thats probably where we do agree but from different viewpoints.

I don't agree with Slag's opinion - he posted his opinion - not me.

I am not flaming him, just responding to his comments.I also bear no malice to slag.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:34 AM

But Les...'Get real Slag' is like saying you are wrong...what I am saying is maybe you are wrong and Slag has got real.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:37 AM

Thats up to him or her Mike. Not me. I don't agree and thats it.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:47 AM

God has the same meaning as father xmas,it is a made up being to keep us in order.It is simply a way of putting fear into us,be good or else.The politicians of the time were simply playing with our minds.Surely we shouldnt believe this clap trap anymore,science has proved the bible to be nothing more than a fantastic piece of fiction.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:13 PM

And your source please GUEST,ib48 for the scientific proof?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM

I'm afraid I'm with the Villan on this - Slag's dewy-eyed surrender to the will of god is abhorent to me as a human being. S/he should indeed 'get real'.
But if we are to go along with such twaddle, at what point do we abrogate free will then? Do we stand by and allow another Auschwitz because it must be god's will? If all is predetermined down to the last jot and tittle, what scope is there for redemption? If the universe is one great big train set there can be no sinners and no saints because we're all merely cogs in god's plan for this insignificant little planet in this particular galaxy.
I'm sorry, but such a facile attitude is the ultimate cop-out for the feeble-minded and unimaginative.
The historical Jesus would be aghast at what's been done in his name, but attitudes like Slag's would probably have him changing his vocation and disappearing back into carpentry.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM

Consider the possibility that your own entire life is "twaddle" too. It is a possibility, after all.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:38 PM

But, my dear, it patently is! As flies to wanton schoolboys are we. The only thing that matters about me is the DNA message I carry, and that has already been passed onwards. In that sense, I am redundant. But, having the miracle of consciousness, I'm capable of enjoying my pointlessness, and enjoying arguing the pointlessness of theism.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM

Well said. ;-) My point was that if you feel free to simply insult another human being's core beliefs by calling them "twaddle" (and it is an insult), then you should be prepared for responses along the same line...and I see that you are. At least when it comes to this subject, anyway.

To show disprespect is to invite it in return, yes?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM

As I suggested in an earlier post, this thread may turn personal as such threads often do. Slag has a belief which you may call twaddle if it suits you but suggesting that Slag is in 'dewy eyed surrender' or should 'get real' is implying that you know better.....that Slag is wrong. I agree with Little Hawk....Consider the possibility that your own life is entire twaddle too.
Perhaps Slag has something you haven't.........


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:54 PM

I know it's a difficult and sensitive area - but when someone's core beliefs appear to involve a complete abrogation of responsibility and a detachment from reality, then I will disagree.
It's little different to the attitude of the zealot who kills because god wills it, or the schizophrenic who pushes someone under a train because the voices in his head told him to do it.
All of them involve a surrender of the will - it's just a question of culpability. You could argue that the schizophrenic has no choice, and therefore is not culpable, whereas those who say it's god rather than the voices are culpable. Voluntary surrender of the will is something we should all fight against.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 01:02 PM

It is a very different thing to use imaginary playmates to reflect differing viewpoints in one's own thoughts, as a sort of game, than to use them as a justification for things one is unwilling to claim and own responsibility for, as an individual.

Slag's view aside, the use of an external deity (or any other "super-being") to "provide responsibility" where one cannot take it, and to provide "guidance' for courses of action one will not decide on for oneself, is just abrogation of one's own beingness in the world.

It's easy to get confused in the sea of significance and different angles we live in, and it is sometimes hard to sort things out. That doesn't mean one should either hand off the job to a synthetic external entitity, a witch-doctor or a priest, or flinch from doing it on one's own. That's a cheap and lazy use of spirituality, IMHO, and actually serves to degrade the spiritual side of life.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 01:34 PM

I think it can be possible to discuss most religion or absence thereof without getting personal, by responding to the theology or reasoning, and not the individual, and without implying the other is an idiot.

All bets are off when religion starts preaching that some humans have less value than others, as for example the reported belief (which I am not sure is true) in Mormonism that a husband must invite his wife into heaven, or the insistence of some organized religion, such as Roman Catholicism, that women are unworthy of being priests, or Islamic instructions for when and how to beat your wife. Protestant Christian hands are not clean in this regard, particularly in the past, and there are still echos. Paul, IMO, has a lot to answer for in this regard, with his insistance on male heads of households and the silencing of women in churches.

I respect believers who are able to admit the faults of their religions, and are willing to try to remedy them.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM

scientific proof of evolution seems to cast doubts on adam and eve doesnt it.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:29 PM

Yes, unless Adam and Eve were intended as allegorical figures, which I always assumed they were. Symbols, in other words. It was normal in spiritual tales at that time to use individual human characters to symbolize larger events which occurred in Nature.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:50 PM

Bee wrote "I respect believers" and I don't have a problem with that, what I do have a problem with is that I should (by law) respect their religion. In the US they nearly got it right with the "freedom of and freedom from" but then they went and wrote "In god we trust" everywhere. If you want to believe in the supernatural, fine, but it shouldn't impact my life and it does.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:07 PM

How does a slogan that is written on coins and dollar bills impact your life? The slogan's a joke anyway, because the present society doesn't really believe in God, they believe in money, and that's why it's ON the money, in my opinion...because the money IS God, to all intents and purposes.

Advertising bugs me. It's everywhere. So I deal with it. I accept the fact that there will always be some things around that bug me, because I do not control the rest of the world, and I never will.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

Well, there is evidence that there IS a "mitochondrial Eve" from whom we all descended, but this is 'almost' irrelevant to the religious claims....

It is a rather narrow fence I sit upon. While I tend to agree with the basic point Captain Ginger and Amos & The Villan are making...(that really careful reasoning and even common sense would lead an honest man to doubt the myriad tales of religion), I still cannot just grab believers by the collar and shake them, saying.."That's silly...Change your mind!"
It just don't work that way!
There are serious historical and emotional reasons why people cling to religious beliefs.....and I'm not sure I'd care to live in a world where WE suddenly convinced THEM all at once that they were mistaken!....I think it would be chaos beyond belief.

   Personally, I just plod along, explaining some of my thoughts, presenting alternatives, noting the logical and semantic traps folks get into...and hoping that gradually the majority will adopt at least a skeptical "let's think more" attitude....perhaps without totally rejecting all the deeply held beliefs that have guided their lives.
   In the meantime, I would note that we HAVE come a long way from the days when being an admitted non-believer could get you rejection and/or execution. Now we need to eliminate laws that still allow religious doctrine to be foisted on us de facto OR de jure...

We need a policy AND a set of laws AND a public attitude that says "If there are only 14 atheists in the country, they are allowed to go about their business peacefully, without pressure....and the same if there were only 14 Christians...or Muslims...etc."

We cannot force anyone to **SEE** ...but we can set good examples and hope. Force & ridicule never truly converted anyone to a new viwepoint.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:18 PM

I take absolutely no offense and I understand that strong emotion gets included when discussing core values and reality constructs. I welcome all opinion because no one has a complete picture of anything! What a great opprotunity to learn how others think and respond to an idea!

Nor is it my mission to convert anyone. Period. That's something I cannot do! That's God's business and His perogative. I couldn't even change my own attitudes and thinking on the subject. I had to have my nose shoved in it and even then I resisted. Metaphorically, it was only when I heard a door being closed that I realized it might never be opened again that I decided to go through. It changed my life and and gave me new eyes, so to speak. But that's just me. How God may deal with you is not in my knowledge.

All language is metaphor and ultimately the experience of God is ineffable! Makes you wonder why so many people talk so much and use so many metaphors to try to contain it.

Given the name of the thread and trying to stay on topic is difficult with such a broad query. It calls for personal opinion and that is what I have given. I have not sought to denigrate anyone's opinion. I have only hoped to raise awareness and provide some of my personal insights to aspects of the subject. Wouldn't you agree that any decision should be an informed decision? I have studied the great religions of the world and many of the minor one and a few small, esoteric ones. Compared and contrasted. Man's religious nature or anti-religious nature IS a fascinating subject to me. If someone wants to deride me for finding something outside of myself that is real to me, that prioritizes and makes sense (to me) of my world, so be it. I don't decry a blind man for not seeing nor do I criticize a lame man for not running. Christ said that He did not come to call the whole but the lame, the blind and the weak. I was (and still am in many ways) one of those. Not perfect, just forgiven and secure (at peace, that is) with God.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:27 PM

I didn't say that the moto affects my life. But there are many other things that do. Blasphemy laws, their resistance to euthanasia, bishops in the UK's second chamber, church schools brainwashing children, the major religions are sexist, homophoebic, eletist and reactionary. On another thread there was talk of AIDS drugs not being free in the third world where the catholic church tells people not to use condoms, just how many deaths was the last pope responsible for. No, I won't respect religion.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM

I understand your concerns. Likewise, there are a great many harmful effects resulting from our dependence on money, the political system, advertising, marketing of drugs (the legal ones, I mean), and all kinds of other things we take for granted, besides religion. All of those problems are at least as bad as the problems resulting from religion. Agreed?

And yet it is also true that a great deal of good things can be seen happening in the use of money, the political system, advertising, marketing of drugs, and the many beliefs associated with religion. Therefore, to condemn any one of these matters out of hand is to focus only on the negatives, and ignore the positives.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:49 PM

There are many problems, (and many threads); this thread happens to be about religion so that's what I commented on.

The biggest problem (and they all do it) is the brainwashing (that's abuse) of children. We wouldn't dream of allowing children to be indoctrinated with a political ideology so why do we allow this. It's obvious why the religions like it; how many members would they have if you couldn't join until you were eighteen. Give me a child until he's seven etc


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:08 PM

Spot on LH. Power mongerers always tend to grab for the highest flag waving and point to it in the hopes that the marks won't look at him. A lot of evil has been done in the name of many good causes and many good causes have been corrupted by the power hungry and the glory seekers.

I contend that "Religion" is a product of Man and an imposition between Man and the Almighty. The Bible has very little to say about religion and cult practices. Religion (thres-ki'-ah, in the Greek, i.e. ceremonial worship) is defined by the writer of James as in pure form and undefiled, the care and feeding of widows and orphans! That doesn't sound much like what passes for religion in our world today, does it?

How does the monotheist's God create? I don't know. Outside of what physicists can tell us about "Nothing" (no-thing) I know nothing about nothing! And yet something exists! That is the one tangible piece of evidence in the Universe that something exists. If this is the supreme example of begging the question, so be it. We have nothing else to go on. See God's Dicey Cup thread for further discussion. God must create by self limitation! How else could there be shadow and contrast. How can we truly know good without the presence of evil? I know, I know. All the great questions that have haunted Mankind from the beginning of time. However,

if God has limited His visitation upon His creation, the Bible purports that He HAS visited us in various ways at various times, all a faith proposition. Christians hold forth that Jesus Christ was God's ultimate expression of His love for Mankind, the last word on the subject. His death and ressurection denotes a new age that Christians have called the Age of Grace, the Age of God's complete forgivness and the acceptance of all who will accept His Son. Continuing with His Self limitations, He has chosen to work through His followers as they seek to spread His Word to the world. Christ Himself warned of "false christs" that would come and seek to pervert His Word and this has happened repeatedly since Christ and yet His Word stands and The Spirit of God stands ready to enlighten anyone who truly seeks Him (and not some guru or big haired Alabama preacher).


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:16 PM

Amen


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:24 PM

Sorry Slag, you last paragraph has lost me completely (maybe it's to do with the errant caps appearing everywhere). Georgiansilver clearly understands it - any chance of one or other of you rewriting in in plain, vanilla vernacular?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Scoville
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:40 PM

Hey, don't knock the big-haired Alabama preacher. Mormonism started under circumstances that were not so different from that, and they are Christians. Reminds me of "Joan of Arcadia"--you never know how God might appear (if you believe in Him).

I've resolved--again--not to get my shorts in a wad over what my various acquaintances "know" to be true about religion, but I have to confess that I've tired myself out in the past arguing the difference between knowledge and belief. In such a case as religion where there is no empirical method by which to prove or disprove the existence of . . . any of it, really, what we have is belief. I believe (meaning that I think I know) that there is no God. Slag and Georgiansilver obviously believe very literally that there is. Fine. Whatever works for you.

The ancient Greeks "knew" that Zeus would zap them with a lightning bolt if they screwed up. The ancient Egyptians "knew" that that horrible chimaeric monster was waiting to eat their heart at the scales if they had sinned too much in life. Maybe Trekkies "know" that something awful will happen to them if they take the name of Spock in vain; I don't know. The popularity and pervasiveness of Christianity does not make its cast of characters any more literally real than any other mythology or value system. It's belief, it's not knowledge.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:47 PM

Slag you talk about good (as opposed to evil). Why can't you just be good because it's the right thing to do. Christians are told to be good otherwise they'll be punished, is that what we should teach children, it's not what I teach mine.

You talk about "his word"? Has he spoken to you? As far as I know the bible was written by men (and note, they were men not women)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM

Once we get into classic statements like Slag's last paragraph with significant words capitalized in deference, it moves beyond discussion and explanation and into what is a just circular 'statement' that is a personal position that borders on preaching.
Essentially, it says that IF you believe, then you can accept the Bible's version of what to believe and can rationalize that all seeming contradictions are merely misunderstandings of God's purpose and methods. That is, once you just **DECIDE** that you accept a couple of premises, it all falls into place and everything supports everything else in a great interlocking set of rules.
Then, you are free to interpret all arguments and criticisms as extraneous to your position and not applicable, since God's ways are not subject to argument or complete understanding by men.

There is really no way to get at this position...it is like Popeye the Sailor saying "I yam what I yam!" The thing about this kind of belief/statement is that it DOES solve certain dilemmas and provide comfort & solace for many...and of course, that is not all bad. It is VERY, VERY hard to explain precisely why in 'might' not be ultimately correct...especially when you can't provide a more comfy answer.

*shrug*...It is what it is, and we DO need to at least shelve our differences 'most' of the time.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM

Well, ya never know who was whispering into their ears between chapters. It was put down as the words of Gawd, but the way I've seen men work it could just as well have been the whisperings of Jezebel or Mrs. Prophet or some meandering Rebekah. Ya never know how these notions creep into a guys head, especially in the desert.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM

The CAPS signify that it is diety about whom I speak, a way of keeping a clear referent rather than through, perhaps, more proper grammar. I'm lazy. All caps is for emphasis. In KJV scripture all caps LORD or GOD (rare) indicate that the Hebrew word there is the Tetragrammon YHWH which is also transliterated JEHOVAH but more correctly Yahweh, which tranlated is IAM or I AM WHO I WILL BE. This is the revealed name of God to Moses and the core of the Yahwist tradition in the Torah.

"Lord" or "God" is from the Hebrew "Elohim" which means "The Strong One" Which is a more generic title for the Hebrew Monotheistic God. There are other names and titles but that is probably info for another thread. God knows I don't want to be the sower of confusion among the saints or the heathen (look it up!), hence this explanation.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 06:38 PM

Again, Crazy Horse, I understand your point. But you really surprised me when you said, "We wouldn't dream of allowing children to be indoctrinated with a political ideology..."

WHaaaat?????? Come again? Wouldn't we? LOL! I went to school in New York State, my friend, from grade 4 right through to high school graduation, and NEVER have I seen a more blatant example of children being indoctrinated with a political ideology! Yikes!

Oh, there are worse examples out there too. I bet the Khymer Rouge were a lot worse. So too were the Maoists and are the North Koreans. And the Saudis are worse. Probably the Iranians too. Maybe the Israelis. But so what? What I saw in my history courses, my social studies courses, every morning's obligatory reciting of "The Pledge of Allegiance" and all the rest of the incredible barrage of propaganda and social conditioning foisted on us young minds was precisely what you alluded to in your statement. We were being indoctrinated with a very aggressive political ideology. I was a Canadian immigrant, living temporarily in the USA, and I didn't buy it. Everyone else in those classes with me did buy it, except one guy I knew named Larry, and he was a real conconformist. He only bought about half of it. I bought just about none of it.

The kind of indoctrination of children you fear is endemic throughout society. They are indoctrinated to support war, they are indoctrinated to perpetuate phony political parties, and they are indoctrinated to become shopoholics (consumerism). I agree that indoctrinating them in a religion is just one more nasty thing you can do to them...depending on how it's done, and what it's basic assumptions are.

If the basic assumptions are that God is loving and that people should be loving too, I don't see a problem. If the basic assumptions are that God is vengeful and people are sinful then I do see a problem. If the basic assumptions are contradictory, then I see a problem.

Accordingly, I don't judge religion in a blanket way. I consider each religious theory on its own merits, just as I would any political or social theory.

You said, "Why can't you just be good because it's the right thing to do. Christians are told to be good otherwise they'll be punished, is that what we should teach children, it's not what I teach mine."

Exactly! I agree with you. The message I get from religion (meaning from Jesus, from Buddha, from Krishna, etc) is that you should be good because it's the right thing (and the wisest thing) to do. It leads to good results for yourself and others. I do NOT believe that Jesus' message was "be good, otherwise you'll be punished". I do not believe in a God who punishes. I know there are some people who believe that, but I don't. Jesus was not in the habit of punishing people, he was in the habit of healing and forgiving them. He even forgave those who arrested and crucified him. Where is the punishment? I'll tell you who punishes. People punish.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM

Jezebel

Amos refers to Jezebel, and I thought I'd throw out this somewhat different and interesting viewpoint.

Note that when Jehu has her thrown out the window, she is an old lady whose son has just been murdered.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM

The moral being -- emulate the MOABites!!

"Jezebel does not accept Ahab's God, Yahweh. Rather, she leads Ahab to tolerate Baal. This is why she is vilified by the Deuteronomist, whose goal is to stamp out polytheism. She represents a view of womanhood that is the opposite of the one extolled in characters such as Ruth the Moabite, who is also a foreigner. Ruth surrenders her identity and submerges herself in Israelite ways; she adopts the religious and social norms of the Israelites and is universally praised for her conversion to God. Jezebel steadfastly remains true to her own beliefs."

From Bee's link above.


A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM

God means everything to me.
ttr


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 01:20 AM

My personal take is that if there is a god he/she/it is probably uninterested and unable to act if he was interested. I'd be tempted to talk about a nebulous kind of pool of 'spirituality. As an aside, I don't think humans should be trusted with anything as dangerous as organized religion. It's been up there as one of the biggest causes of conflict and atrocity for hundreds even thousands of years. Maybe one of those sort of syncretic "oh! another god! plenty of room for one more!" type religions would be okay. Couldn't agree more with the points about taking responsability for our own behaviour rather than ascribing it to external forces. I like the motto (wiccan I believe) "an it harm none, do what thou wilt". I'd be far more atracted to that than to Moralizing Paul with all his hatred and instructions.
Incidentally did you guys see the south park treatment of the mormons and the scientologists? Priceless!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 01:40 AM

Pauline hatred??? What book do you read, sir?

God uninterested in this work of His? How illogical.

Gloating at the maltreatment of folks exercising their right to freedom of conscience and freedom to worship? How fascist!

Wicca, wisdom, as the Word says, seek wisdom, she is above the price of rubies. Truth is truth, no matter in whose lips it resides.

Organized religion a danger? Why should it not be organized when every other human endeavor benefits from organization?

Would you be showing a little bias?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 03:09 AM

If you are a woman, Slag, these may explain the 'hatred' a bit:
Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.        

I Corinthians 11:8-9 KJV
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.        

I Corinthians 11:4-7
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.        

I Corinthians 14:34-35
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Do you agree with those?
Paul was an odd fish, eh? Probably has 'issues' as we would say today.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:16 AM

What you should maybe consider in context to the New Testament of Christ is that the laws of the Jews were there to be obeyed and those were the laws of the time for them. Many of the things Paul said were concerning the way people lived in the Jewish culture. I believe that we live with a God of Grace who would want us to do His will and live as near as we can to the pattern that Jesus set for us...maybe impossible but Christians are expected to try. Our laws with regard to women differ from the jews...they did then and they do now....as laws evolved women and men have been given a token equality. I say token as we can never be equal...there are things women can do that men can't and vice versa....but in law both have equal rights. I believe that God loves both equally and can accept anything from them that fits into the words Jesus uttered....
Love one another as I have loved you.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 09:28 AM

Yes, Georgiansilver, as you say, Paul mouthed the customs of the time to the early church, but his words have caused women untold grief in the ensuing two millennia. Very few denominations have not followed Paul's stated attitudes, and many have used and still use them as an excuse to deny women a place of importance in both the churches and in broader society. Many women are still manipulated by the preachings of Paul, and told to accept their place or be accused of sin.

With modern Christians, you see endless picking and choosing of what parts of the Bible are deemed inerrant and what parts can be 'safely' ignored, so that the most strict see no harm in wearing cloth made of two fibres, or eating shellfish, but will condemn homosexuality and deny women equality, the moderate will pay lip service to women while still keeping them from the pulpit, while the truly liberal will embrace all.

So how can we know if any of the Bible is anything more than myth, legend, warrior history, proverbs, poetry, philosophy? Read as the preceding, it is an interesting collection with plenty of human wisdom scattered among the wars and romance. Read as a guide to an intervening God, it is all confusion.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM

People who interepreted Paul's sayings in order to disadvantage women are more correctly your boogeymen. The Grecco-Roman cultural stamp was on everything. Judaism gave womankind a legal standing and a degree of autonomy that was not known in most of the ancient world. Under law, women were pretty much property. And too, slavery was a perfectly acceptable way of life, to the owners anyhow.

Paul stated that he would become all things to all people that they might know the liberatoion affordable in Christ. In other words, cultural barriers were not the issue. If they became the issue in a geographical area then the prevailing culture will out as long as the teachings of Christ were allowed to take root. Paul submitted to imprisonment as long as he could continue to preach.

And Christian submission is quite different than just being submissive. The exhortation includes submitting one to another (eliminated pride and self will) in humility.

You stopped short in Ep. 5. Verse 25 goes on to say, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it."

When two people are in love with that type of commitment then such submission elevates the both of them as role models for Christian behavior, the husband ready to lay down his own life for the life of his bride. If I were a lady, I think I'd like that in a husband.

Elsewhere Paul tells slaves that they are free in Christ but to use that freedom to render honorable service to their masters that the masters may be converted and saved. He tells the masters to be benevolent toward his slaves and treat them as family members as in Christ's eyes, that's what they are.

I believe that Paul was highly aware of the transforming nature of the message he bore and he had faith that ultimately justice would come from the loving kindness of a people who dedicated their lives to Christ and His priciples.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM

"People who interepreted Paul's sayings .."

interpreted??? Did Paul say those things or not? Is the bible the literal word of God or not? If God only inspired the bible, why did he not correct and clarify IN the heads of those whose writings make up the bible? If fallible messengers MIS-interpret, why are they not corrected so as not to HAVE a holy book that is inconsistent and contradictory?

Some modern Christians, including those who are posting in this thread DO 'interpret' liberally and try to be just, fair& sensible about those awkward passages....but why are they right? Why are not those who take the strict, hard-line view of a vengeful, punishing God correct? THEY think they are correct!

Why would an infinitely powerful and all-knowing god allow a system in which his followers CAN pick & choose interpretations and stake out a position by simply prefacing it with "I believe that..."???

There is much Gerrymandering and subjective 'qualification' going on....much as there is in politics....but judging by the claims I hear, the stakes are much higher in religion. It is often suggested to me that I'd be better off 'believing', to enhance my chances of a pleasant eternity....but WHICH belief? I see between 12 and 738 to choose from. A "Tower of Babel" to rival anything in the bible.

As always, I realize that my explication of a skeptical position is not likely to change any committed religious beliefs. I am not on a mission to UNsave any souls....I merely hope that folks who remain committed to a religious path, particularly the Christian one we 'mostly' see in this forum, will see why some of us wrinkle our brows in frustration at some of the explanations we hear.

It would be nice if we didn't even need to debate it, and barely realize what other members religious affiliations, if any, are...but now & then someone tosses a claim into the mix, and off we go.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:30 PM

In fairness, from Ephesians 5:

22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Yes, it is a tender passage. Nevertheless, he repeats four times the admonition to wives to submit to their husbands "in all things". I believe, regardless of the time and cultural milieu in which Paul said these things, much harm has come of it.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 09:59 PM

Yes, Paul was a man of his times and, I suppose, he cannot help but reflect his culture. However I reiterate, cultural standards were not his emphasis. A lot of what he did was troubleshoot problems that cropped up in the local churches.

Without getting into theology 101 and treating every point (which I confess, sounds like fun to me) let me just say for now that there is a branch of study known as hermeneutics and it has to do with the internal logic and consistency of the work at hand. Paul was a brilliant and educated man in his day. That his own understanding reflected the culture(s) in which he was immersed (pun intentded) is wholly understandable and at the same time demonstrates the authenticity of the times in which he wrote.

Paul, via his amanuensis(es) wrote to Jews of the Diaspora who were well versed in the Jewish culture and he drew allusions to there understanding of precedence and order as found in the Torah, the male preceeding the female. This wasn't such an issue with many of the gentiles. He said salvation was to the Jew first then the gentile, the order reflecting that Christ came to the Jews first and then was rejected.

Paul's real mind on the subject? For anyone who could get beyond the cultural differences of their day, read Galatians 3:26-29, especially 28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

I'd call that pretty forward looking and transforming. Those ideas helped reshape the world and uplifted the sstatus and role of women everywhere.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM

I'm not so certain of that, Slag. It could as easily be argued that without Paul's church-of-the-times diplomacy, the status of women would have climbed faster in the Christian world than it has. The quote from Galations, though direct, in my experience has always been applied to strictly spiritual spheres (You'll get your reward in heaven, dearie), while the rest has been applied to the worldly reality.

As an aside, referring to hermeneutics and other means of dissecting the texts that make up the present Bible: most ordinary church-attending Christians never so much as hear of such studies. The preacher or the priest interprets the text as he (or she, in the case of a few denominations) sees fit; delving into such esoterica would likely get him fired. In fact, I've seen it happen. When I was a teenager, we had a young and progressive minister, for about a year. He was hounded out of the church by the elders, a group of well-meaning but narrowminded old men, who hardly believed him to be a Christian, let alone a fit minister.

The Bible as we know it (meaning the average congregant) is inscrutable; people grasp at the simplist and easiest understood aspects of the text, and out of that Old Testament morass of warrior god and wild-eyed prophets, and the New Testament combination of ultimate bloody sacrifice and resurrection mystery, they take whatever appeals to them individually and is acceptable within their segment of society.

I am not anti-Christian, though it might seem so. My family are staunch, kind, gentle, well-meaning old-fashioned Christians, and I love them, even when my 82 year old mother makes un-nerving statements about homosexuals or asserts the reality of the Flood while watching prehistoric science shows. But there are Christians like Promise Keepers and various Evangelicals out there with an agenda that I feel threatens many freedoms and fosters hatred, while the 'good' Christians remain largely silent.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:22 AM

I do know what you mean! I fight the "sit-tights" too. "We've never done it like THAT!" People tend to be content with what they've been told their whole lives and I honestly think that it must be painful for some folks to think on their own or to even consider something new. It is real easy to read into scripture something that tends to agree with opinions which own you already!

Just look what Christ was up against! No one in authority wanted to hear what he had to say because it challenged the AUTHORITY which they held so dear: not the love of God! Paul admoninished his young protege' Timothy, to "rightly divide the Word" which I take to mean, "Let the Word speak to you and don't try to impress your own ideas upon it."

I find that the study of history helps me to understand the life-situation and culture in which the ancients interacted. It is kind of like an Edmund Husserl "thought experiment" in phenomenology. You try and step outside of your own thinking and any modern insight and see the questions and problems as the ancients saw and understood them. That's a good- take off point for a more realistic understanding.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:31 AM

Never make the mistake of blaming the church on either God or Jesus! ;-) Or the Bible either, for that matter. (in my opinion, that is)

I'm not a bit surprised that the churches are full of misunderstanding and the Bible is full of contradictions. That's what usually happens with such things for one simple reason: way too many different cooks spoiling the soup. Many people wrote the Bible over many centuries of time. Millions of people built the churches over many centuries of time. Many mistakes were made in the process.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:37 AM

Slag, stemming from Bill's comment, it seems clear that y9ouare quite happy as a 21st Century interpreteive Christian. Yet had you declared those beliefs in the past, the mainstream church would have adminished you at best and had you killed as a dangerous feretic at worst. A church which would have done so in the name of the same god and using the same texts as bases for its actions. And even today there are people using those texts to justify manifest injustice - think of the far right and their views on welfare, back by the bible, or the views of racists and slavery supporters, backed by the bible. Or literal fundies, denying science with the backing of the bible. Thay can't all be right!
The problen is one of hermeneutics, and to those of us outside the church it would appear to be as such to be an exercise in semantics; trying to shoehorn rational, enlightened thought and blind faith into the one mind with a series of increasingly desperate interpretations of what god actually meant.
I'm afraid that, were religion not such a serious threat, the process would be laughable.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:43 AM

Captain Ginger..I am currently eating a very delicious apple....this may seem a very simplistic question but please answer anyway. Can you taste my apple?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:01 AM

I have no doubt that I would have been one to go to the stake and the thin veneer of our enlightened civilization affords me not a lot of comfort that it isn't still a very real possibilty even today. Christians are being persecuted and killed all around the world. In this supposedly "Christian" country Christianity is undeer ceaseless attack in the press, in art, television media, on college campuses. Some of the criticism is warranted, no doubt. And there is room for honest debate. But if you are honest you will see that there is an assualt upon the cause of Christ in general. Christians preach tolerance and so its enemies feel that they can attack with impunity. They are much to cowardly to turn the same vile treatment upon Islam because religious freedom and tolerance is not what immediately comes to mind when one thinks of Islam. Christ is a soft target for bullies and cowards.

One little note: God in His Word states "My Spirit will not always strive with the spirit of Man." His "Age of Grace" will not last forever.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 09:05 AM

Slag, people of all sorts are being persecuted and killed all over the world, Christians among them, but I seriously question whether they are more at risk than any others.

When you say 'this country' I assume you mean the US, where I believe 85% of the population is Christian. The 'constant attack' you speak of is therefore from at the most 15% of the population. Frankly, I think most of the attacking (which does not include much violence, while Muslims in the US are in danger of real violence every day) is from people who are afraid of the prospect of being a minority living under an extreme Christian regime.

You say Christians preach tolerance, but the loudest, and under Bush, most influential, Christian sects preach the reduction of rights for women, the denial of rights to homosexuals, and the stifling of art and literature they disapprove.

Islam is certainly more extreme than modern Christianity, but we are not dealing with Islam in NA, their numbers are too small. In the here and now, a study last year in the US found that the vast majority of people (remember that 85% Christian component) stated that they would trust anyone of faith, regardless of what faith, over an atheist. I worry much more about the US moving politically towards a Christian theocracy than about it falling to secularism.

And by the way, what vile treatment is served up to Christians in the US. Surely you aren't referring to a few artists who've mocked Christianity with their works?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 10:45 AM

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/Bizarro.asp?date=20070126


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 10:46 AM

Let's try that again :

A cartoon


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM

That's better - cleaned some of the crap off my keyboard. I was beginning to read as if I came from Hull...

Gerogiansilver; you've lost me with the apple question, I'm afraid. Way too clever for me. Could you spell out in Janet and John terms for the hard of thinking?

Slag; you would have been persecuted by other Christians for your dangerously unorthodix views. And no-one is remotely suggesting that in the western world anyone who calls himself a Christian is at risk. In the USA it would be political suicide for anyone running for office to call himself an atheist. So, I'm sorry, but you're talking twaddle.
I am unaware of any 'hate campaigns' run by atheists. I am aware of plenty by Christians, some directed at homosexuals, some at Muslims and even some at fellow Christians.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM

We would all have been persecuted and possibly killed somewhere, sometime, by someone for the things we presently believe. So what?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM

Captain Ginger...your answer to my question about my apple would have to be no..you cannot taste the apple I am eating.
By the same token, I am a Christian who has had certain experiences as a result of my faith and belief and answers to prayer. You may profess a certain knowledge of 'religions' but you have not tasted my Jesus...you have not understood or experienced what I have.
You suggest that religion is a serious threat...could you please elaborate on that...how do you see Christianity in particular as a threat? What do you understand of what it takes to be or become a Christian?. If you wanted to become one...how would you go about it?
When you become one, how would you be expected to behave?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM

Captain Ginger...your answer to my question about my apple would have to be no..you cannot taste the apple I am eating.
By the same token, I am a Christian who has had certain experiences as a result of my faith and belief and answers to prayer. You may profess a certain knowledge of 'religions' but you have not tasted my Jesus...you have not understood or experienced what I have.
You suggest that religion is a serious threat...could you please elaborate on that...how do you see Christianity in particular as a threat? What do you understand of what it takes to be or become a Christian?. If you wanted to become one...how would you go about it?
When you become one, how would you be expected to behave?

I can't taste the apple, no. Neither can I hear the voices in your head. I cannot relate to your faith at all, I'm afraid. Full stop. But one does not have to relate to something to have an opinion on it. I'm sure you have strong views on racism, homophobia and anti-semitism, and yet no-one is asking you to experience the point of view of a homophobe, racist or anti-semite.

And yes, I think religion is a serious threat to peace. Across the globe, lines are constantly being drawn up on religious grounds. We seem to be marching deliberately away from reason and the values of the enlightenment, and backwards to a society where it is enough to say 'I believe' and no-one asks for objective proof or scientific demonstration. Where judgements are made on the basis of one's faith. If you think religion is no threat to stability, look at the threads here on Northern Ireland.
For sure there are a lot of people who do good in the name of religion, but I happen to think that religion as an entity is a bad thing, As a species it's something we should have outgrown. It really is time to put away such childish things...


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:54 PM

Georgiansilver- I understood immediately what you meant by the apple analogy...but it proves nothing beyond the tautology "if you knew what I experience, you'd know what I experience."

If I take a drug like is in some 'sacred' mushrooms for certain Indian tribes and have a mystical experience, all I can say is.."I had this internal experience" It does **NOTHING** for those who do not choose to eat mushrooms...and might not give them the same experience if they did!

You are essentially saying, "It is necessary to choose to believe in order to believe" ...but for those of us whose concern is less about 'comfort' and 'enlightenment' and more about practical testability, there is little to be gained by 'deciding' to believe.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:19 PM

Bill, you state.."You are essentially saying, "It is necessary to choose to believe in order to believe" ...but for those of us whose concern is less about 'comfort' and 'enlightenment' and more about practical testability, there is little to be gained by 'deciding' to believe". What I am actually saying is not you have to choose to believe to believe....but you have to believe to understand...


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:22 PM

Let me clarify something..I am aware that I cannot experience what you do...nor do I have the incentive to that you mentioned in an earlier post. In fact, I have a brother who had some of the issues you referred to...he drank, tried drugs and had MUCH trouble sorting out his personal life. He felt he NEEDED something outside himself to help him cope and to validate his very existence. A number of years ago, he also chose a religious path, and whatever the 'truth' of it, it DID provide him a focus for his attempt to improve his life.

For this reason, I cannot argue a lot with those who have found personal benefits from the security and community of religious belief...I wish they had found other ways, but it is what it is.
My only concern is keeping the logic in front of everyone that says "there ARE other ways" and resisting the often immense pressure to allow religious principles to determine the very fabric of society, much as happens in places like Iraq, Iran...etc.

For those who HAVE chosen religion as their personal path, I can only with them the best and the assurance that even as I question the basis, I still will defend the RIGHT to worship as they please...privately.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:35 PM

we cross-posted.... and to me "believing in order to understand" goes against everything I feel about being true to my own personal attitudes concerning values and knowlege. It is asking someone to 'buy a pig in a poke' when we can't look in the poke until after death to see if the pig was real or just a myth....and at that point, you don't get to ask for a refund...*wry smile*

It isn't fair, you know....if I am right, I don't get to say "I told you so!" in the hereafter...whereas, you can shake your head sadly at ME forever.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

Might I mention that there is something very exasperating to unbelievers about the manner in which Christians try to explain why they believe as they do. The number of times I've been told "Jesus came into my heart", "God revealed himself to me", "I had a personal revelation", etc., all seemingly attempts to describe their moment of conversion or point of salvation. They always describe it as sudden, unbidden, unexpected, often after being away from religion for years - which would be fine if they didn't go on to insist, first off, it is my own fault that no such religious experience has yet to electrify my being (no faith, even though they didn't have any before their 'experience'), and then secondly tell me no doubt God will one day announce his presence in me and I'll understand, and until then I should look into having faith.

Well, in that case, why hasn't he long ago announced himself to me in such certain terms? Why go about ignoring me completely for the 25 or so years I had faith of some kind? Some Christians even tell me (sadly, to be sure) that God doesn't reveal himself to everyone.

Christian faith is belief in the supernatural experience of a supreme being (plus baggage), and apparently you have to be chosen. I'm sorry, I got over 'choosies' in elementary school.

Now the above was a rant, a personal rant. In everyday life I treat people as individuals and don't ask for their religious bent, although the JWs and my Gospel Hall cousins don't offer me the same courtesy. The Mormons, bless their little blond hearts, don't come this far out in the woods.

And I, too would defend your right to believe whatever you care to, and will even admire some aspects of Christianity, or Islam, or Hinduism, so long as you don't interfere with my unbelief.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

It does make one wonder if, in the last glimmerings of consciousness before the eternal nothingness, there isn't sometimes in the devout a tiny, internalised and unheard squeak of "Oh crap, did I get that one wrong..." before the lights go out!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM

Bee. You suggest that you have to be 'chosen' but to the contrary, you have to choose...everyone has the choice of their path in life. I just hope everyone seeks their destiny, whatever it is and does not talk themselves out of anything without full knowledge of what they are actually talking themselves out of.
There have been many aspects of my life where I was a non-Christian and in trouble or strife of some sort and when at a very low ebb, I used to pray to God for help...I even tried bargaining..you know the sort of thing...God if you get me out of this I will.....whatever!
I never questioned why I prayed at those times but now I understand why I did. I believe it was an instinct.....no-one had taught me to do it. Have you ever prayed in those circumstances? Who told you to? Why did you?.
I don't see myself as better than others but I do feel privileged to be a part of a Christian family with God as the head. It is not harming anyone else and does me a power of good. After some of the trauma I have suffered in my life, life now seems so much easier and much less problematic.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 05:17 PM

This discussion is certainly far ranging and probably well beyond the scope or intent of the thread title. A lot of the issues raised involve debates that have been going on for literally hundreds of years. Virtually every aspect of well established religions raise questions, debates and divisions. This is true of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, the Democratic Party and Nader's Raiders. And I'm not intentionally ignoring the Republicans. It's just that they are so fractured right now that they don't know what they believe anymore.

I do, however, want to address the points Bee brought up:

"When you say 'this country' I assume you mean the US, where I believe 85% of the population is Christian. The 'constant attack' you speak of is therefore from at the most 15% of the population. Frankly, I think most of the attacking (which does not include much violence, while Muslims in the US are in danger of real violence every day) is from people who are afraid of the prospect of being a minority living under an extreme Christian regime."

Apart from Christians attacking Christians (which certainly does go on) the media, especially the print does have a "bully pulpit" and the anti-Christian rhetoric dominates favorable review. The attacks are mostly ideological but churches and synagogues are sometimes targeted, burned or vandalized. One of the point made on the "Hitler" thread was that a minority that was organized and focused seized control of the majority and control of Germany. The leading cause was the issue of what to do with those evil Jews. In America today, if you say the word "Fundamentalist" it conjures up the notions of wild-eyed radical, militias, etc.: just about anything except what a Christian fundamentalist really is.

"You say Christians preach tolerance, but the loudest, and under Bush, most influential, Christian sects preach the reduction of rights for women, the denial of rights to homosexuals, and the stifling of art and literature they disapprove."

You fail to name that "loudest and most influential sect" either "under Bush" or to which he belongs so I really don't know of which you speak. Southern Baptists? I think Mr. Bush is a Methodist and which version of Methodism? Nor do I recall any but one's (Bill Gothard, certainly NOT mainstream OR influential) religious camp that advocates a reduction in women's rights. See what I mean about getting bad press?? You are reacting to things you have heard about Christianity that are not necessarily true and certainly not true about mainstream Christianity.

And I think most Christians, except for thirty or so from around Kansas or Texas (you know, the ones on the 6 o'clock news all the time) believe in equal rights for everyone including homosexually oriented folks. Most of us understand that if any minority group doesn't have rights, none of us really have any rights.

And as far as "art" goes, there you may have me. I can't cal soaking a Christian cross in a bottle of urine art. I can't accept a depiction of the Virgin Mary covered with cow shit art. So call me an art critic. What do you really suppose the aim of this art was? Was it to beautify? Educate? Enlighten? Or was it to provoke? Was it to literally heap as much shit upon Christians and imagery as they could, to what? Test their tolerance? Consider something or someone YOU hold dear receiving the same treatment. How tolerant are you?


"Islam is certainly more extreme than modern Christianity, but we are not dealing with Islam in NA, their numbers are too small. In the here and now, a study last year in the US found that the vast majority of people (remember that 85% Christian component) stated that they would trust anyone of faith, regardless of what faith, over an atheist. I worry much more about the US moving politically towards a Christian theocracy than about it falling to secularism."

If the US was ever to become a theocracy that would have happened early in its history. A "Christian Nation" was a much more applicable term during the 1800's thatn today. Your 85% figure which I won't dispute covers such a broad spectrum of belief about the person and teachings of Christ that those beliefs vis a vis their proponents are incompatable to each other. I look no farther than denominationalism for proof. If your 85% were organized and in lock-step as you suggest, this nation would have a very different appearance than it does today.

Your points do represent how many people view and think about the Christian religion: prejudicial, biased and very generalized which is to say not a fair characterization at all.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:03 PM

I think a post I wrote earlier got eaten in transit. It said that it is a misapprehension to call this a Christian nation. It was not founded in terms of Christianity, or to promote Christians, but to promote the well-being and self-determination of humans. To color it as one or another brand of Xian or any other religious hue is to ignore what motivated the grand Experiment of 1776 to occur at all.

I would hazard that the number of people that call themselves Christian out of genuine conviction is probably much smaller than the number who allow themselves the label because they have been intimidated into it by social pressure, emotional blackmail, or cognitive abuse.

But in the final analysis the number of citizens of the country who are Christian, Jayne, Buddhist or Zorastrianism has nothing to do with the "country" as a nation. Its politics have been clearly delineated as separate and independent from individual religious persuasions, and the violation of that principle is the biggest insult the present administration has brought to burden the system with, aside from wreaking havoc on foreign nations irresponsibly. Whatever an American citizen thinks about religious matters has NO business in the commons.



A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:18 PM

durn, Slag...I used to live in Kansas, and I'm purty sure there were a few more than thirty...*grin*...and some of 'em followed me!

(as to 'art'...I don't consider that cross business artistic at all, no matter what its intent was...but that's kind of a 'straw man'.

I don't do out of my way to FIND Christians and knock on their doors to UNsave their souls...nor do I stand on street corners and exhort them to give up their beliefs. I'd like the same respect.
I do know Christians with whom the subject almost never comes up except when comparing schedules ..."Can't meet you till after services" "Oh, ok"...I know basically what they think...and they know I don't attend church. No one tries to 'sell' anything. But, please...do not make light of folks like the guy in Washington state who is harassing the school board using religious arguments...or the school boards who are trying to USE (Christian) classroom prayer despite rulings against it and with disdain for the feeling of non-Christians.

I am a member of a group which has NO religious concerns, but is largely made up of Christians, some of whom are determined to "thank Jesus" before every meeting & meal....one Jewish member has learned to head to the restroom at the proper moment.

It is insideous and it is constant and it is intentional,...and it is wrong.....if God cares about prayers, he will hear their prayers if they do it silently and quietly.

We folks of varying opinions CAN respect each other....I reject the nasty, hateful Atheism of the Madeline O'Hairs...I hope moderate Christians will reject the pushy attitudes of the TV evangelists and others.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:28 PM

In this supposedly "Christian" country Christianity is undeer ceaseless attack ...

Absolutely untrue. Bogus.

But mindless intolerant fundagelical proselytizing arseholes POSING as Christians are "undeer attack" - as they should be.

Jalapeño, brother.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:31 PM

Or, as our local minister had it some years back:

"Jesus came to take away our sins, not our brains."


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM

I remember a fellow in our neighborhood who had a sign on his front porch that said "No Solicitors, this includes you Jehova's Witnesses". Sometimes you just have to spell it out for people. I don't know id they still do but at one time the JWs ( who always had someone at the end of the street watching) would walk off a little ways down the street and take off their shoes and beat them together as a sign that God had rejected you for rejecting His messengers. This accrued some sort of spiritual favor for them in their belief system.

I do believe in evangelism. By that I mean making the body of my beliefs available to any and all. I DON"T believe in invading someone's personal space, family home, privacy, etc, and cramming my beliefs or philosophy down their throats. Most folks know which street the church is on, what channel to tune in or who the pastor is. I trust God enough to lead you that far. Then there is always the Yellow Pages!

Just to throw a different slant on these proceedings, try this. Imagine YOU are the Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent. All of Creation (both noun and verb) is Yours. What do you do for fun? How do You cope with Eternal Boredom staring You in the Eye? What story will You write? What responsibilities do You assume? What do You owe Your creation? What does Your creation owe you? How will You manifest Yourself or will You? So, go ahead but be careful. Your creatures are just waiting for the chance to tell You how You got it WRONG! This may be juice for another thread. If so "So be it, Amen!"

Footnote: Thank you for pointing out one typo I missed. Heavy fingers, you know. I knew you had to be a kind soul of great undeeeerstanding.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:09 PM

Hi, Slag'

I really don't want this to get out of hand and cause hurt feelings: I do tend to enjoy arguing.

I am in Canada, and don't see US print media, so you have me there. But I see more than enough American news television, and frankly don't recall seeing any anti-Christian rhetoric. Au contraire, my impression is that news people and commentors frequently mention God, praying, and miracles (which is less likely on any Canadian news). I would really like to see stats on vandalism of churches/synagogues AND mosques: I realize they might be hard to come by. At least can you describe these "ideological attacks"?

Of course it happens, it does here on occasion. Synagogues and sometimes mosques are vandalized by white power/neonazi idiots, who usually self-identify as Christians. Most vandalism of Christian venues is done by thieves and young idiots who think overturning gravestones is funny.

My notion of a Fundamentalist Christian includes the following: believes in Biblical inerrancy, therefore believes among other things: in a 7 day creation including Eve from a rib; in a global Flood; in a young earth; in homosexuality as an abomination; in women submitting to men; and also opposes on moral grounds abortion, same sex marriage, books with 'magical' themes (or homosexual themes, or evolution supporting themes, etc.). Twenty or thirty? You really ought to go read a few of the more gigantic American Christian forums. An eye-opener.

Quote: "You fail to name that "loudest and most influential sect" either "under Bush"

I said 'sects', not 'sect', and Bush's Methodism is secondary to his constant references to God, talking to God, and his obvious early efforts to elicit approval from the Christian Right: if there is no such thing, and has no influence, why seek its votes? Those non-existent people almost got an anti same sex marriage law passed, did they not?

You know better what is going on in your own country, but, media spin or not, people around the world see, or at least their perception is, that a huge percentage of Americans are very religious, don't think evolution is true, still favour use of the death penalty, and as a nation are insular and uneducated about the world.

I knew that was the art you were thinking of - now really, out of the millions of artworks produced that year, one artist's output was disgusting and blasphemous. I hardly see that as a trend. I hardly saw it as art at the time, either, but that's beside the point. Of course it was done to provoke, and was in extremely bad taste, but you know what? I am much more repulsed by graphic televised depictions of rape, murder and mutilation - it literally makes me feel ill. I don't plan to try to ban such depictions, however.

Quote: "Your points do represent how many people view and think about the Christian religion: prejudicial, biased and very generalized which is to say not a fair characterization at all."

Slag, I could as easily accuse you of the same, in that you seem to see no harm in any of it. Perhaps we'd best get back to talkin' music. ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:22 PM

Da-yum, all them posts while I laboriously composed that last one. Regarding the JWs, we have a local Kingdom Hall. Last ones who came around, mother and daughter. She got started: "Have you seen what is going on in the World toda-Ooo, are those ducks!?" We had a great talk about mergansers and goldeneyes.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:40 PM

I've had several friends over the years who were Jehovah's Witnesses. Their religious assumptions puzzled me, but they were fine people in most respects, people of excellent character. I don't indentify with their zeal to go forth and convert, but I do enjoy knowing them simply as other people.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 09:28 PM

God forbid the Mr. Bush should reference his faith in God! Many of our leaders have done the same in the past. It seems that the problem is Mr. Bush's God may be a Republican and, well, we just can't have that!

I love sporting events where one team prays and then the other team prays!!! Wow! Who's God is going to win??? These are great contests and they have the potential to resolve many theological questions! When FDR prayed and ask the nation to pray God must have heard him. Lots of jobs were found and we won the war! And that's odd because Mr. Lincoln was always talking about God and praying and stuff and he won his war and he was a Republican!

Personally I believe marriage is an institution of God between a man and a woman. I also believe between a separation between church and state and I believe the state has NO business being involved in Christian marriage at all. So. If you want a secular or state marriage fine! If you want to marry someone of the same sex and you want the state to sanction it, be my guest. Call it what you want as it has nothing to do with my personal or religious beliefs. If it is a question of "Rights" however then I DO agree. Equal rights for all under the law. I don't get to excited about the marriage question as it has never been clearly defined historically.. Polygamy has been the dominate historical form of marriage. There are no Biblical formulae for marriage. There are some indicaitons of cultural traditions. Sexual intercourse as consummation seems to be the standard. All that is held near and dear today are actually fairly recent developments in the history of the institution of marriage.

How did God Create? I dunno. I wasn't there. I don't know of anyone else who was there. Adam came along at the end of the deal so what would he know? What did he care? Was God's process (which, gasp, certainly included adaptions and flexibility, i.e., evolution) so important that the disposition of my eternal soul hinges upon it? I think NOT. Especially since He didn't include a chapter in His book (the Bible) titled "How I DID It!" Got to leave some bones for the scientists to scrap over. They should have some fun trying to unravel His mysteries.

If you start with the proposition "In the beginning God..." it could ALL be true, just they way it is set forth in Scripture. Why can't God have a little fun? I contend that there are much more important questions to consider.

I think some Christian folks get their focus off onto relatively unimportant things and wind up looking ridiculous. The important things are fair and just and love-centered treatment of our fellow man (which includes you ladies too!). If Christians would only keep that in mind I don't think anyone anywhere would have much negative to say about them as a group.

LH, gotta couple of JW friends myself. Good solid people and I have received some much needed help from one of them in times passed.


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