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TEG last won the day on March 5 2020

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About TEG

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    Photography, coding, ancient philosophy, fretted instruments, Spotify.
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    Ex-fundamentalist, raised in the christian churches/churches of christ.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. Like I said, this is not my understanding of agnosticism. I’m done.
  2. I define agnosticism differently. The “if you do not claim certainty, you are an agnostic” definition is new to me. An agnostic is someone who maintains that we do not, or cannot, have enough knowledge to decide the issue of god’s existence. It refers to the limitations of what knowledge can do, not the quantity of knowledge that we have. I believe that a rational person, looking at the failed arguments for god, and not seeing any evidence for a divine presence or divine intervention, would conclude that there is no god. I have. I do not claim absolute knowledge or certainty but I have enough to justify a (lack of) belief. I am not “agnostic” on the issue; if I were, I would be withholding judgment. Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, of the divine or the supernatural is unknown or unknowable. Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism
  3. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. 1 John 4:1-3
  4. How about, “Rosabelle, believe?” Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It would have to be something pretty specific, that I could personally verify. As florduh said, it doesn’t seem to have happened yet.
  5. I don’t understand this part. I am saying that I see no evidence for the assertion that consciousness is eternal. A spirit arising from a dead body and speaking, or a disembodied hand writing on a wall.
  6. I propose abandoning the word “gnostic” in this context because the concept has turned into something completely misleading which asserts something that most atheists do not assert. To say that one is an atheist does not imply absolute certainty or any special form of knowledge apart from normal human reasoning. When I say that I do not believe that there is an ancient race of humans living beneath the surface of Mars, I am not claiming certainty, I just have no reason to believe it and it is therefore not part of my belief system. And, most importantly, I am willing to go ahead and say that I do not believe it; I am not deferring the question because of lack of knowledge. Now, someone else could come along and say, “We do not really know for sure whether or not that ancient race exists,” and describe himself as an agnostic on the issue. I would answer, “You are technically correct, but the concept is so bizarre, and the likelihood so small, that I am going to make a decision on the issue and say that I do not believe it.” I am not mirroring his position just because he defined a new position on the issue, the agnostic one. And something could come along and change my mind, such as someone waving at the camera of a martian rover.
  7. The assertion was made that consciousness is eternal. I am going to defer the question of how we know anything because that is an entirely different subject. I do not perceive any evidence of consciousness apart from a brain, such as a spirit arising from a dead body and speaking, or a disembodied hand writing on a wall. You can turn someone’s consciousness off by whacking them on the head, or giving them drugs. When someone descends into dementia due to a disease like Alzheimer’s, it is often painfully evident that they are not the person they once were, not recognizing their family members and so forth, because their brain is not what it was. And when someone dies, that’s it; no more consciousness. Hence my statement, I do not see any evidence that consciousness is eternal. If you have evidence, I would be interested. The reincarnation links are interesting, but a lot of it seems sort of vague, and strictly speaking it seems to deal with preservation of memory from one individual to another, not continuous consciousness per se.
  8. I would like to come up with next year’s grass, on a nice hillside somewhere. Getting back to the thread, I do not see any evidence that consciousness is eternal. It is matter-dependent, brain-dependent, is altered when the brain is altered, and ends when the brain dies.
  9. I agree that intuition can sometimes cut through a difficult conundrum, as if your unconscious mind knows something that your conscious one doesn’t. But as part of a reasoned argument, an appeal to intuition is still a logical fallacy. And I would not build my whole life on it.
  10. So if someone insists that you believe in the spaghetti monster because they feel it inside, and you say you don’t because there is no evidence, do you see an equivalence between those two sides of the argument?
  11. The gnostic gospels (and acts, and apocalypses etc.) are a mishmash of writings by all kinds of people; they do not present a unified message. In the gospel of Mary, she was loved more than the other disciples and knew things they did not, and they had to acknowledge it. Just fwiw . . . .
  12. The knee-jerk weasely answer is that the kingdom is the church, the new testament era that was established after Jesus rose from the dead. But christians pay surprisingly little attention to what Jesus really meant by the son of man, the earthly messiah in Daniel 7 who comes with the clouds of heaven, probably because he never came: I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. If you keep reading in Matthew following the prophecy in Matthew 16, the transfiguration occurs in Matthew 17, but afterward Jesus keeps talking about the son of man: Matthew 24: Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 25: When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. Matthew 26: And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” I am sorry but no son of man has come on the clouds in glory, and no angels have come with the sound of a trumpet and gathered the elect. This is surprisingly important because the “son of man” is the way that Jesus referred to himself more often than any other! Jesus’ message was an apocalyptic one that the son of man referred to in Daniel was about to show up and usher in the kingdom of heaven over all the nations; the church then morphed the message into a theologic one about salvation from sins. Go figure . . . .
  13. Thank you for your support; it means a lot to me. What if the Koran is true after all? What if the Bhagavad Gita is true after all? What Odin or Zeus was true after all? Step back and look at planet earth. What in the world would make a person believe in that hideous bible? At some point the blinders will fall off and you will see things differently.
  14. If they go to church, put money in the plate, try to do right, and dutifully tell people that they believe, I would give them the benefit of the doubt. If they really did not believe, they would not do all that stuff. There is even room for doubt; “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” Another agnostic theist is the uneducated person who says, “don’t confuse me with all that theology stuff; I believe, and that’s that.” I would say there is a significant number of those folks (I have known a few), even if some of them are not being honest.
  15. It almost sounds like you want to hold onto christianity in some way. There are other christianities besides the orthodox one that was established by the Roman empire. The gnostics believed that the creator was a flawed, inferior being, jealous and vengeful, and that is why the world, and most of the old testament, are so messed up. People are little sparks of divine stuff trapped in matter, and we do not belong here. Jesus was the incarnate Logos, one of the aeons who emanate from the One, the ultimate being of the universe, and came to earth to break the spell that traps us here and show us the way back to our spiritual existence. It turns the bible on its head; for example, in genesis, god lies to Adam and Eve about the tree, and the serpent (who is described as the cleverest animal, not satan) tells them the truth; god then throws a tantrum and curses mankind, revealing what kind of being he really is. It explains some of Paul’s obscure passages, such as being caught up to the third heaven, the list of powers and principalities, and the reference to “the god of this world.” You can run with this to your heart’s content; for example, was Krishna a similar incarnate being? Note that Jesus left us the holy spirit, which he described as the paraclete or comforter/advocate; is he/she another aeon that stayed behind to help us? Were some of the prophets also messengers from the divine realm? (Enoch was particularly revered.) The gnostics called the established Roman church the false church, and there is evidence that gnosticism goes back to the beginning of christianity. If I wanted to be a christian again, or to incorporate Jesus into my own brand of syncretistic paganism, I would probably go with something like this. (One fly in the ointment: one of the main gnostic books, the gospel of Thomas, ends with a grotesquely misogynistic verse, almost like it was tacked on. There are other gnostic works that describe Mary Magdalene as a favored disciple.)
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