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Lost_more_then_Once

A Christian with a question/concern

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LMTO, did it occur to you that we might feel sad about you and your situation?  And "know" that you are on the brink of being delusional?  This has become redundant, and I don't relish going in circles.   

 

I can't prove there is no God, and believe there may be something "out there" we don't understand, but after 30 years of studying the Bible, and the history of it, and other religions,  I "know" the God of the bible doesn't exist.

 

By the way, did you get any sleep last night?  

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11 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 

Wasting my time?  What do you use to measure the value of a person's time?  Talking about religous maters and things of faith is both enjoyable and intriguing to me.  Even if this conversation holds no fruit, I don't think this is a waste of time.  I just finished a work week with a supervisor that has a very good ability to make me feel worthless.  Worse is she might be right.  Having an enjoyable conversation on and off on my day off isn't a waste of time for me.

 

 

 

Oh I enjoy debating religion. I just consider it a waste of time to sincerely believe in Jesus, read the bible and most especially attend a church with zealous nutjobs trying to keep me fearful , guilty and dependent on their imaginary friend. 

 

 

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On 2/2/2020 at 11:48 AM, Lost_more_then_Once said:

I hope I'm not barging in, or being too disrespectful here for you all, but I have a question.  Really I guess it's a concern more then a question, but it is a question nonetheless.

 

Before any of you guys left Christianity, did you have any experiences of faith?  Or did you know of someone else's experiences?

 

I guess the question comes down to if you ever had a "God moment," where in some big or small way you found Him.  That's the question and the concern all wrapped up in one.

 

Again I'm sorry if this sounds disrespectful or "holier then though" kind of vibe.  That's not my intent.  Finding God's love in the mist of a depression as a kid was part of my realizing that there's no question that God exists or not, but only a question of who God is, and what to do from there.  So this is expecially sad for me to hear people say that they never knew God exists.  More so if it comes from those who used to be Christian.

 

Have any of you guys ever had a "God moment?" Or have you had more then one?  If so what made you want to leave?. If you haven't, would you be open to hearing experiences?

 

It sounds to me like what you're saying but trying to seem like you're not saying is that without the right kind of "experience" it's likely that we aren't "ex-" Christians, but were never really Christians in the first place. There's no way to say that in a way that isn't disrespectful.

 

It's said that the best way to make atheists is to get Christians to read their Bibles. A whole lot of us here had that experience. We believed. We had believed our entire lives. We had things happen in our lives that we were convinced couldn't have happened without the god being behind it. And we had studied our Bibles our entire lives, but it was always with the goal of trying to understand a god that we just assumed was there. Why that assumption? Because our whole lives it was never questioned. But then, perhaps sitting in church listening to a sermon or participating in Bible class, something jumped out at us that made us realize that what we'd believed since we were old enough to believe anything at all was, actually, impossible.

 

Your second-to-last question is important: "... what made you want to leave." While some people had bad experiences that made them start thinking maybe it wasn't real, for most it wasn't that they developed a desire to leave. Instead, we just realized we'd been believing in mythology. We'd believed in "one god" and somehow thought the book we were reading consistently painted a picture of this one god, when, in fact, the Bible reflects changing beliefs about gods over the time-span it covers. It starts out with the "Most High" god and his sons creating the universe, then transitions to a point where one of his sons, named Jehovah, becomes the god of Israel, and is much more powerful than his brothers (read the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32), and eventually the authors (and the people of the time) came to believe that Jehovah and the Most High was one and the same. There's even Psalm 82 where either the Most High or Jehovah (it doesn't say which) takes the other gods' divinity away from them! That's not what anyone believes, but it's what the Bible says.

 

It's not impossible that there are such things as gods, but it's clear that the god/gods in the Bible are the product of people's speculation about what a god would be like, if there were any such things.

 

And that time when my job situation turned out well when I was sure it was going to be bad, and I attributed it to this god? Turns out that some really good people were behind that. That period of months and months, maybe over a year in my life when I was really depressed and never went to a doctor because I was convinced that it was my situation, but I finally got over it? A god didn't fix that, either. Otherwise it would have happened suddenly and sooner instead of gradually over a long period.

 

Job says "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." If there's any reason to disbelieve in this particular god, that's it -- either this god is impulsive and uncaring, or it just simply doesn't exist. The latter seems more reasonable.

 

Nobody simply wanted to leave. We just realized that what we believed was wrong. For many, it felt like a great loss. For others, life suddenly made sense and we never felt any loss at all.

 

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I do not know if this poster is still here, but I advise reading the work or listening to podcasts by Yuval Laor. I am not saying he is totally right, but he does at least offer some important insights and theories about some types of religious experiences. He calls them awe and fervor. Also there is a neuroscientist andrew deikman I believe his name, who coined the term neurotheology in order to answer some questions about the neurogical aspects of religious experience.

        Just as a thing. Prayer, and especially for some people , does produce powerful experiences. No doubt about it. Some things you want come true unexpectedly. No doubt about it. What this means? I do not really know at this moment. But here is test, taken right from the Gospel. Say to a mountain to move and throw itself into the sea. Let me know what happens, with pics. Why do I ask this? Jesus from the Gospels proved his divinity also through numerous miracles unseen before in quality and quantity , in front of thousands of witnesses in the age where technology and even stage magic was primitive.  I never saw a priest or christian with such powers although they are promised in the Gospels.  And such powers could not be just trickery and random events. So this is the standard of evidence for answered prayer, given IN the gospel not by a skeptic. After the mountain thing go in a cancer ward and heal everyone there by a simple touch. And then walk barefoot on a sea in a storm. Then go in Africa and end famine by multiplying bread and fish. I doubt you can do it but I am of too little faith and admit it. So do it. Or at least get bit by poisinous snake and not die like the apostle paul. (.i actually hope you will not do this).

   Plus I concede that you might have had an experience that actually proves God. Ok. That means nothing to me if I do not have the same experience. Do you understand what I am saying? Revelation, mystical revelation is first person. In the end I could only speculate about what you actually felt.

 

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10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

That experience you know better then I do based on the details, your age, or any other factors to suggest that you weren't thinking clearly, or if you had no reason to doubt your observations.  If the conclusions are that what you experienced wasn't from God, but that they still really happened (you weren't delusional, schizophrenic or your mind playing games on you), then I can accept those terms easier.  A difference of conclusion I can accept more then a massive scale of irrationality or a crisis of knowing what's real and what isn't.  The population of people casually concluded as delusional is a bit disturbing in my personal opinion.

 

I think a clarification is in order here: I don't discount that people have experiences - even deluded or schizophrenic people. I question the conclusion that that experience was from God as opposed to simpler naturalistic explanations.

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Drug induced states of mind for example?  Moments of distress from high stress perhaps?  A medical condition of seeing people and symptoms of paronia?  Are these the well documented states the human mind can create, or do you mean exaggerating what you remember instead of experience something that never really happened.

 

Yes, but also moments of high euphoria and feeling part of a group can also bring on these experiences. Listening to certain music, being in certain emotional states can brig on experiences as well. You have a combination of things going on, then relying on flawed memory to recall what happened... then attributing that to God.

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

 I said it just a second ago but it's worth repeating.  The casualness of calling large portions of society as crazy for no merit except that they are religous is a disturbing stance that I see from those defending an atheistic belief.

 

Who is calling a large portion of the population crazy? I wanted to know, as a non professional, how I can tell the difference between two people reporting experiances - Both are reporting that God talks to them. Unbeknownst to me one is a diagnosed schizophrenic. How do we tell the difference? How do we know that this persons experience is from God, but this one is just a mental disorder?

 

(As a further point of clarification I do not think the derogatory term "crazy" should be applied to people with mental health issues. My point wasn't to label people, it was to see if you have some reliable method of determining what is an experience from God, vs the multitude of experiences that supposedly are not from God? Again you have failed to show such a method)

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

I'm not a child, and I doubt you are either.  Having presupposition on any matter comes with living life and coming to your own conclusions. It's not a problem.  Nor should it be considered a problem, least it turn into the hypocrisy within the scope of the idea.  That the standard of having no presumptions should be applied to you instead of just those you disagree with. 

 

Yes, but I think we should have as few presuppositions as possible. Both you and I probably agree that the world we experience is real. We have to presuppose that... as opposed to presupposing we are actually just in a matrix. But you want to add something, something you cannot demonstrate. You want to add God. And you want to attribute things to this God - again with no reliable (at this stage) method of determining if it is actually the god you claim, some other god, or something else.

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

But I get your point.  How do I know?  In one instance God answered a boy's cry to end it all with an intense feeling of love.  In another instance, it was a teen praying to get over a highschool break up and not just get angrier and angrier.  He answered that prayer and fixed the problem when I couldn't myself.  He answered a prayer that led to a physical chance in my wakefulness late one night while driving home. He's also responded to prayers, praises, and a few other moments with a feeling of one kind or another.  The reason I know God is real is because He responds.  He has answered prayers about me personally and a few for others that were prayed for.  This isn't a matter that people can't really know.  I'm telling you people can know with full confidance that God is real.  What ?I don't know is why I can have a few of these moments but others here gave had none.  

 

I don't mean to belittle your experiences, but none of these things are particularly extraordinary, and none of them are particularly unique to you or Christianity. You might want to research cognitive bias - in short you will be counting all the 'hits' and discounting the misses.

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Conversely though most people I know and have talked to have had some spiritual experience or another.  They aren't all Christian, and they might not all believe it's God, but they can at least still hold on to their experiences with the knowledge that there's something more out there.

 

They label the experience as "spiritual". What is spiritual?

 

10 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

I single out Scientology because of what I've found out about it.  As for your views of what I've written those are your views.  I'm not mad though, no matter how casually you would throw that term around.

 

Actually you completely straw manned my views, but no matter.

 

But on this note: Do you think scientologists are deluded? Why or why not?

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To @Crazyguy123.

 

Two thoughts on testimonies.  One is to the question of how do you discern my experience from someone else's (or my own) made up stories.   The second thought is to give some of my testimony. Regardless if you believe it or not, it is what you asked.  Since this is the introduction section, regardless of the opening topic, it's a good place to shine a spotlight on my life.  If it's fine with you though I'll do that last after responding to a lot of other general posts first.  

 

As for considering the reliability of anyone's testimony, I have a general rule of thump.  Watch for the red flags.  Specific things that would caution you to consider what they say skeptically if you consider it at all.  An example of a red flag is if a person has something to gain by you believing them.  Asking for a donation or an election vote, or something else as a result of believing them is one red flag.  It's not enough to dismiss their testimony before hearing it, but it is enough to be skeptical of it before hearing it.  Same kind of red flag goes to someone you know has something against you.  Whether it's a coworker, a neighbor, or anyone else if there's a reason to distrust them out of malicious intent, then there is enough to be very skeptical of what they say and want you to believe.  A third example is madness.  If a person can't distinguish what's real and what isn't (or are often on mind altering drugs) then that too would be a red flag.  

 

On that point though it's my observation that atheists in general are ready to sweep large populations of people as being delusional and crazy, just because they are religious.  I don't see this as much with nonbelievers that identify themselves with something they do believe (as opposed to identifying with a label for what they don't believe in).  It is nonetheless a convenient label to disregard others by with out ever having a psychology degree to measure sanity.  

 

What else counts as a red flag I'll let you fill in.  But basically if there's no reason to doubt a person, then that at least grants their testimony as being possible.  At least the middle ground of neither believe it nor disbelieve it kind of thing.  

 

The watch for red flags rule of thumb regarding what people share about their lives is in my opinion a decent rule to go by without being too skeptical by thinking everyone is crazy or a lier, nor does it lead to being too gullible to believe anything someone says because they said so.  

 

Regarding that you haven't heard people say that they never really believed, I'm glad to hear that, because it means at least the group you've been around took their believes and convictions seriously.  I've met a few people who say they use to be Christian, but then later say they never really believed in it.  Perhaps it was just they were around a Christian environment and consider the Christian culture to be theirs even if the Christian conclusions are not.  

 

One point to correct you in though.  I don't have a low value of myself because of the bible, or because of any religious belief.  I'll get into that later though ...maybe.... In answering the question to tell my story (my testimony, life, experiences, or whatnot).

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To ficino,

 
The bear analogy is reasonable if your talking about an experience where you got something wrong and later realize the mistake.  It however is not a good justification for mass delusion and a general state of unreliability.  To make the point more obvious, this delusion excuse is pasted on any religious experience but not to the experience of hiking and general life activities?  Don't tell me that's not a bit more then convenient as an amateur psychologists to conclude madness based on not believing their religion.
 
To TheRedneckProfessor,
 
You've spent 30+ years looking into and discussing the evidence of God?  I suppose that means you've earned your stripes doesn't it?  To hold in contempt anyone who defiantly doesn't adjust to your standpoint, and to hold the privilege of the snark attitude.  Congratulations, you've " earned" your stripes mate.  Go pat yourself on the back.
 
I don't know why God hasn't let you find Him if you've really looked for Him.  Perhaps He's given you evidence in your life that you've ignored and He decided to move on instead of begging you to believe in Him.  Perhaps the evidence wasn't personal but was something from a close friend or relative has shared with you.  Perhaps none of that happened and all I can say is I don't know why.  That's your life not mine.  Couldn't even guess.
 
To TruthSeeker0
 
I've made the point of the topic clear.  It wasn't to save people, nor to get all of your philosophies of why you left.  But instead to ask if having "God moments" we're so rare that most of you've never had them, and if you have had them, what reasons you have to walk away in spite of them.  So far I've heard a resounding cry to say that each of you who had a god moment suffer end an episode of delusion.  That's been the majority of your answers.  You're answers not mine. Of that many of you have never had a spiritual moment and have wanted one.
 
To clarify, the thought I said to think about it was regarding experience as a worth while consideration, not about religion.  As for considering me presumptuous, that's your judgement call.  But it looks a lot wose for you all if you are more presumptuous then me and complaining about my statements.  You might not want or need my pity, but I won't apologize for having the heart to give it.  Don't be so sensitive to be insulted by someone else's pity.  Having a heart is not a bad thing.
 
To mona.  I've not considered that for that experience no.  It's because I can't just will myself to be energetic when I'm tired.  I have considered it though for other things though.  I would consider my position on on several things to be practical skepticism but not blinding doubt.
 
To Astreja.  We've made strides in technology and in checks and balances for government, but not in people.  If the things about people could be fixed we would have done so by now instead of just try to restrain how much damage people can do by having restrictions on those in power and having laws and police with the training and backing to do their jobs.  There are a lot of good things in the world, make no mistake that I am happy for a lot of it.  But it is still a broken and continually breaking world.  Thank you for the respectful and thoughtful reply.

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To midniterider.  I'm not trying to convince you of anything.  I was asked how do I know.  I answered.  But I also won't agree (in silence or otherwise) to things that are just not true.  Refusing to be silent on a matter that is false is for the most part the only convincing I've been doing.  That and giving some details of my own experiences because, let's face it, I was asked to.  
 
As for the horrors of the world.  Yes logically if God exists and there are horrors in the world, then if nothing else you can say God has allowed that to be.  I don't have an answer for why.  Maybe a testimony I itself of the results of sin, so that throughout eternity this doesn't have to happen again?  That's one of my best theories and it doesn't explain the scope of pain and suffering in the world.  So truthfully my answer if I don't know why.
 
To florduh.  Answered prayer is answered prayer.  The question from there is the scale of the fireworks, how impressive the answer was, and whether it could be considered a coincidence or normal life event.  But if a prayer is answered there's always the possibility that God was involved in that.  Find whatever anecdotes you want to dismiss answered prayers while at the same time ignore the ones that have a more wake up surprised reaction.  Don't worry your bias isn't lost on me.  The bias doesn't mean your wrong, but it is a red flag nonetheless.
 
To Weezer.  You haven't yet had reason to fill sad about me.  But if you do fill sad for me, now or later, thank you.  That wasn't my intent but I appreciate your sympathies.  As I told Crazyguy123, I'll try to say a few things about myself in a little bit.  A proper introduction I guess.  Thanks for asking about last night's sleep.  I work a second shift that affects my habits for going to bed.  I also have bedroom windows that face south and brighten up the bedroom, making it harder to go back to sleep if I wake up.  Some nights I don't get a lot of sleep, but I got enough last night.
 
To Myrkhoos.  Thank you for the names to look up.  If I get the time I'll look for Yuval Laor's podcast, and Andrew Deikman.  Prayer is a personal thing.  And God is not a genie.  That's about the short end of that aspect.
 
To LogicalFallacy.  Sorry but'll have to get back to your response later. Maybe later tonight.maybe later this week.

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To Lerk.

 

No, that's not what I'm saying nor is it what I believe.  I think that experience holds more authority then philosophy, but what I neglected to say in that statement is that our ability to think and reason is still pretty high.  It's amazing what people can conclude by just their wits and their brain power.  Both from scientific discoveries and inventions, as well as crime investigation and sorting out the truth from the crap.  I didn't say that much, so I apologize if it came across that if you had no experiences you have no merit.  But still I think experience holds more authority then philosophy.  We will always need good rational in order to find accurate conclusions or test the merit of anything, but it is by experience that our conclusions are tested by a stronger standard then other people's philosophies. By experience you can say this idea is bunk but that one is still possible, and then from there use your rational to pick up the pieces.

 

No I don't think that Ex-Christians have no validity on their perspectives, no merit in their ideals, or no intellect in their conclusions.  You can have all of that and still be wrong.  

 

In the same way people here have assessed the reliability of experience to be as reliable as a drug induced delusion or a medical condition of schizophrenia, I have similar views of the pitfalls of philosophical thought.  People can get trapped in wrong assumptions, logical errors, bad information, or even without any of that still land on a false conclusion.  Then based on a foundation of that conclusion they can reason farther down a mistaken thought and never get out.  After all how do you out think your own thoughts?  Think hard enough on one thing to convince you of it and it will take experience and evidence to pull you out of it.  Between the two competing ideas to trust a sound rational (whatever counts as sound at that time regardless of bias), or trust experience, trial and error, and even anecdotes that are rare instead of statistically probable I trust more because they can correct us when we are wrong.

 

Sorry for the rant, that wasn't aimed just at you, but is an explanation for several others here as well.  On the note of Deuteronomy 32 and Psalms 82, do you really believe the subject matter in those chapters were about An epic god war in heaven, instead of a rebuke to Israel?

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Because it was asked.  An introduction of myself.

 

My name resembles several points in my life.  Lost more then once.  I'm sure many of you have something to relate to on that matter, or even can say based on your own lives that I have nothing to complain about.  I don't mean this to be a competition of who's gone through worse, so I ask you to not go there.

 

To start my family is split when it comes to religion.  My mom is Christian, as are several of my other relatives, my dad is Baha'i, I don't know the religious beliefs of many of my other relatives their silence might be due to a strain between my grandma and uncle (both on my dad's side) arguing with my dad trying to save him.  I grew up in both the Baha'i community and in Christian communities.  And I am glad for both influences in my life.  Though a stronger foundation in Christianity might have been nice when I decided to become Christian, I think I made it out ok with what I have.

 

As for me.  Earlier I made the statement that the world is broken.  This is both an observation about the world as well as it is about myself.  At the age of two I had a head injury, the physical toll is unfortunately a handicap on my peripheral vision, and a much slower pace in both school and work.  I've dealt with being broken (even if it's just slightly) for most of my life (almost all of it). And this stance might have given me a specific understanding of the brokenness of the world as well.  We all have things we fight, battles to overcome, and issues that we might even be at fault for placing ourselves in or others in.  In other words we all could use a kind word, a symbolic hug, a smile, or even a distraction from worser thoughts.  Everyone everywhere can use the love you have, and that is the state of the world we live in.  Without going further to highlight the specific pains, harms, and suffering that goes on as well.  We are a broken people living in a broken world.  

 

The head injury is one of the many experiences I have about God.  Except this tale is not my own as much as it is my parent's tale.  I trust their experiences, the heartache and the waiting for me to wake up or if I would wake up from a coma.  To you the answer to their prayers might be a casual response of being relieved but saying God wasn't the cause of it.  However it is my life that was on the line here not yours.  So forgive me if I start out with the position that's it's possible that God was involved.  Meaning also that it's possible that God is real.  Went to physical therapy for several years until insurance (not the doctors) said that was enough.  Life goes on.  Probably a fairly normal childhood with the exception of getting extra help in school for more time on tests.

 

As a kid and then as a teen, I held the position of a strong possibility of God being real. I've had friends who didn't believe in God, so if you want a story of being indoctrinated then look elsewhere.  Mine is not that story.  I faced both possibility, doubt and observation with what I have, and I think I have a better standing of the issue then many of you do.  Pardon the arrogance, but what can I say?  I don't know why God would not show Himself to you, but be an obvious observation for me.  Coming to a better conclusion, arrogant or not, is my stance after talking to many of you.  And this conclusion was not seated firmly after 30 years of study, but by the observations of a kid, of a teenager, and later still some instances as an adult.

 

The prayer life is much of my background for God being real.  If any of you are interested I can go into more detail, but for now this introduction is going to be long enough without giving more details.

 

The second part of it though is as a teen I decided to look for God on my own.  Specifically what religions could be from Him is any of them were.  The logic being that sines God is real, and is personable enough to answer prayers and give love, it would only make sense that He would have had a hand in the sacred texts of at least one religion to have a long standing record for future generations to look to and have a foundation from.  So I started to read the bible.  Those of you who've said you've felt a sense of God being there with you as you read the bible, I can relate to that.  For a lot of it it seemed like God was right there reading the bible with me.  The who's who of the matter of it being God, the Holy Spirit, an angel, or whatnot doesn't matter at this point.  It was a confirmation similar to some of the confirmations I've had in my prayer life about God.  Eventually I became Christian, but I rejected Islam.  With also means I rejected Baha'i Faith.

 

I've had my run ins with being lost.  The biggest one as an adult after a break up with a girl I though I might merry, that coincided with a realization that I was not going to have an easy time finding work and staying employed.  In a world of efficiency, who would want to hire someone slower then average and make you behind schedule.  The dark world of depression sucks when you can give those moods a reason to validate them, and this was one very dark time for me of thinking I am worthless, a failure, and a few other labels.  If any of you want to know if I relate to depression because of my faith, I can tell you that I don't.  Depression runs in my family, and I realized I had at least a mild case of it when I was younger.  My faith is the bright spot out of many of those moments, not the cause of the dark moments.  In the days when my depression got hold of me after that breakup, I pushed a lot of people away.  Distancing myself from them on my terms instead of waiting for them to cut ties with me.  In my mind it was easier this way.  That was horrible logic, and I not only pushed away concerned family, close friends but pushed away God as well.  The relationships that had the best chance to pull me out I gave up on preemptively to help me.

 

In the end though after a few years a friend helped me find a job.  It wasn't a job depending on speed or on ability to drive.  Slowly I got into a better position with that depression, until I found my wife and she pulled me the rest of the way out of the darkness.

 

I now work in a manufacturing job (reliable because they need people to stay more then they need the best in efficiency), and am happily married.  The next stage in my life is to do better with my time with the schedule that I have.

 

That's me in a nutshell.  An introduction.

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That's all the time I have for now.  Second day off means there's things that need to be getting done.

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Thread moved to the forum appropriate for the discussion at hand.

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34 minutes ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:
To TheRedneckProfessor,
 
You've spent 30+ years looking into and discussing the evidence of God?  I suppose that means you've earned your stripes doesn't it?  To hold in contempt anyone who defiantly doesn't adjust to your standpoint, and to hold the privilege of the snark attitude.  Congratulations, you've " earned" your stripes mate.  Go pat yourself on the back.

Indeed.  And by my stripes I was healed.

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2 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

On the note of Deuteronomy 32 and Psalms 82, do you really believe the subject matter in those chapters were about An epic god war in heaven, instead of a rebuke to Israel?

 

Oh oh, I just had to hit this, because this gets into interesting stuff where we start to see the old Canaanite polytheistic origins of Judaism come through - right @Joshpantera ?

 

God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment among the “gods”:

“How long will you[a] defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?[b]
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
    you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.

So here we see references to a council of gods, with the big boss at the top. Note the phrase sons of the Most High. Long before Yahweh was considered the Most High, it was El, chief God of the Canaanite pantheon. (El basically meaning God)

Quote

 

In Judges 9:46 we find ’Ēl Bêrît 'God of the Covenant', seemingly the same as the Ba‘al Bêrît 'Lord of the Covenant' whose worship has been condemned a few verses earlier. See Baal for a discussion of this passage.

Psalm 82:1 says:

elōhîm ("god") stands in the council of ’ēl
he judges among the gods (Elohim).

This could mean that Yahweh judges along with many other gods as one of the council of the high god Ēl. However it can also mean that Yahweh stands in the Divine Council (generally known as the Council of Ēl), as Ēl judging among the other members of the Council. The following verses in which the god condemns those whom he says were previously named gods (Elohim) and sons of the Most High suggest the god here is in fact Ēl judging the lesser gods.

 

 

There are also references in Job about El holding council with other gods.

Quote

The satan appears in the Book of Job, a poetic dialogue set within a prose framework,[21] which may have been written around the time of the Babylonian captivity.[21] In the text, Job is a righteous man favored by Yahweh.[21]Job 1:6–8 describes the "sons of God" (bənê hāʼĕlōhîm) presenting themselves before Yahweh.[21] Yahweh asks one of them, "the satan", where he has been, to which he replies that he has been roaming around the earth.[21] Yahweh asks, "Have you considered My servant Job?"[21] The satan replies by urging Yahweh to let him torture Job, promising that Job will abandon his faith at the first tribulation.[22] Yahweh consents; the satan destroys Job's servants and flocks, yet Job refuses to condemn Yahweh.[22] The first scene repeats itself, with the satan presenting himself to Yahweh alongside the other "sons of God".[23] Yahweh points out Job's continued faithfulness, to which the satan insists that more testing is necessary;[23] Yahweh once again gives him permission to test Job.[23] In the end, Job remains faithful and righteous, and it is implied that the satan is shamed in his defeat.[24]

 

So yes, it appears that the ancients were actually writing about what they considered to be a rel council of gods. Of course that doesn't fit the Christian narrative so it becomes that it's about Israel and the people didn't actually believe in a pantheon of Gods.

 

Sorry, off track, you got me excited on that one as early M/E religion is an interest of mine.

 

Also don't panic about replying - you've a lot to respond to and I know that takes time.

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This conversation could go on forever, with no concessions.

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11 minutes ago, Weezer said:

This conversation could go on forever, with no concessions.

 

Perhaps because....

 

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

 

- Mark Twain

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3 hours ago, Lost_more_then_Once said:

To ficino,

 
The bear analogy [snip...] is not a good justification for mass delusion and a general state of unreliability.  To make the point more obvious, this delusion excuse is pasted on any religious experience but not to the experience of hiking and general life activities?  Don't tell me that's not a bit more then convenient as an amateur psychologists to conclude madness based on not believing their religion.
 
 

I am sorry, I do not understand the point you are making. Do you mean, the agreement of large numbers of people in worship settings or the like does not count as mass delusion? If that's what you mean, it doesn't follow from the fact that many people describe the cause of their experience in the same way, that their experience is caused by that purported cause. You are aware, I presume, of the "Angels of Mons"? That was a mass delusion not even in the moment but after the fact. 

 

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2015/12/01/world-war-i-miracle-the-angels-of-mons/

 

The story of the miracle of Fatima is that the sun appeared to many to come very close to the earth. I'm guessing you are Protestant. If you would reject a claimed Catholic miracle like that of the Blessed Virgin Mary's appearance at Fatima - which, if true, entails the falsity of Protestantism - then you would in principle reject other cases when a group claims to have experienced the same occult or extra-sensory phenomenon.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Weezer said:

This conversation could go on forever, with no concessions.

 

Yes... would be nice if we could at least get a reason why person X experience is from God, but person Y is not.

 

Lets say I have a very intense experience of some sort. But I feel very strongly that its from the Loa. I start praying to the Loa and have prayers answered. @Lost_more_then_Once How do we tell which one is true between my experience and yours?

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LMTO, I am going to bow out of this conversation.  I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.  BEST WISHES!

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:25 PM, Lost_more_then_Once said:

Do you have other explanations other then we're here by design, or here by chance?  By all means that's a tangent from the topic of God moments that I'd be intreasted in.  As for non living to living matter, one of the conclusions I've heard on the chance/design dynamic is the idea that "life finds a way."  But so far we've done a lot to find out that no living matter doesn't just turn to living matter.  On the level of chance this is the prerequisite to evolution by chance.  But again is you have thoughts on other explainations I'm interested.

 

I have looked into other explanations. The main hub of it is that we just don't know. Everything on the table is based on speculation. But there are more than just two choices on the table, as far as that goes.

 

Existence itself may well have the capacity for experience. From sub atomic particles forwards. Inner experience. Which translates all the way through to the sort of experience we are experiencing. Something inherent in the physical universe itself. And it could be that there's life abroad. Again, we don't have confirmation that there is or there isn't. But if there is, all of it could boil down an existence where experiences are always taking place at various levels and life coming into fruition where it's possible to do so could be common and probable. Again, that's another option. And we could get into more. 

 

On 2/2/2020 at 9:25 PM, Lost_more_then_Once said:

A few years back I was on my way home late at night from a wedding celebration.  We were in an isolated area so there was a bit of a drive home.  However, I was getting tired and was worried about driving safely.  A quick one or two word prayer asking for help resulted in an immediate wakefulness within me.  Like a shot of coffee.  I was not expecting that, but I got home safe, and had another half hour after before I was able to fall asleep.

 

Moments like that are what I'll call God moments.  And there are enough diversity in them that they challenge any rational that they weren't from God, but some trick of the mind, or a con of religion, or some other reason to say I'm sane and reliable every other moment of life but not reliable during those moments.

 

This is you speaking to yourself within your own mind. Asking for something. Then in like fashion what you were asking yourself within your own inner dialogue, transpired. Not understanding the broad spectrum of explanations involved in such a thing, you divert to taking it as a god granting your prayer.

 

I see it very differently, however. I'm looking at it from a consciousness perspective. I'm going through a book entitled, "Synchronicity," by Kirby Surprise. You may want to read it as well, if you're interested in looking at different perspectives about the very thing you're describing. Synchronicity and syncronistic events. Your description is a standard example. You're calling it "a god moment." 

 

On 2/2/2020 at 9:25 PM, Lost_more_then_Once said:

What I don't understand (and the reason and concern inspiring this topic), is if these God moments are so rare that most people don't have them.  Nor do I understand how people dismiss those God moments if they have them.

 

I don't think they're as rare as you're suggesting, actually. Again the book outlines that general type of phenomenon. Almost everyone experiences these coincidences. And some people tend to experience them a lot more than others. And more consistently than others. 

 

I'll just say this about attributing these sort of things to a god.

 

After decades of non-belief I have looked into a lot of things, like the RP and others. Most of those things tend to lead back to breaking down what it is people mean by god. It's an eternal, infinite, beginning and endless sort of concept. Not just that, but an eternal consciousness of sorts. And the deeper people take it, the more pantheistic the god becomes.

 

Where I'm at with it, is that by the time you keep pursuing this line of thinking the god melts into existence itself. The more you think about that, the more obvious it can become that existence is not a god in any literal sense, it's just the sum total of everything. The beginning and endless sum total of all that is. The totality of everything. And consciousness may well be inherent in all of that. But again, that still doesn't constitute a god. A god is merely a way of trying to visualize and think about the sum totality of all that is. The sum total of all that is couldn't very well be some particular entity, or deity, or any other mythological type of symbol. It's well beyond any of that. Those are finite visualizations (entity, deity, being) of something that is supposed to be beyond finite. 

 

People who make it this far down the truth seeking path, or god seeking path if you will, tend to see past all of the symbolism and mythological oriented word and concept usage. That's why in some eastern traditions they are considered atheistic. Because at these deeper levels of contemplation, one can realize and understand that it's never about any literal deity, or male or female personage up and away in some far off place, or any of that.

 

And what's more, is that when people make it these levels of consideration about god, they are very unlikely to return back to the mentality they were at before getting down to these further understandings of the bigger picture involved in such contemplation. Because they can see through the surface level presentations of mythological symbolism. Where gods are personified and taken literally as concrete facts. 

 

Does any of that make sense to you? 

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3 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment among the “gods”:

“How long will you[a] defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?[b]
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
    you are all sons of the Most High.’
7But you will die like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.

 

I'm not going to reproduce the whole post, but this is a very good example of how mythological the bible is. And how oblivious early christians were to the actual history of judaism.

 

Especially the writer of John, who, quote mined the above passage from Psalms by having the character of Jesus reply to the religious leaders who accuse him of blasphemy, 'is it not written in YOUR law, 'I said you are gods?' This is presented as some sort of "gotcha" moment. But it isn't. The quote isn't about god telling the people of Israel, 'you are gods.' It's about a god (El Elyon) at the top of a pantheon (Elohim) speaking down to the lower gods and telling them that they will, "die like mere mortals." The people of Israel were MORTAL MEN. Why would THEY 'die like mere mortals'? The simple explanation, the verse was never about the people of Israel. It's about the lower gods of the Elohim pantheon being dammed and taken down from their seats of power by the universal god of the pantheon. This is not very different than Greek mythology. 

 

This is all evidence of the bible as mythology.

 

And even misunderstood mythology by those contributing to the NT efforts. We know this all too well - those of us who have studied the issues this far along. And it all tends to jump out at you and becomes very obvious once you start seeing it. This same general trend of misconception happened all over the NT. Especially the gospels. What we understand all too well is that this is obviously and demonstrably human oriented thinking and efforts. This is a far cry from any absolute or divine knowledge being passed along in an infallible book. These writers can hardly even produce anything without contradicting each other somewhere, or blatantly misunderstanding the scriptures that they are lifting quotes from. That's what the NT is! And that's why the jews never fell for any of it. It's a bunch of sloppy written and poorly thought out arguments. Not strong, and not very convincing to anyone who fact checks the claims being made. 

 

Anyways, knowing all of this just lends more reason NOT to jump to assumptions like "god did it," whenever something mysterious or coincidental takes place in life. What god? What would that even amount to? Like I explained earlier, the very concept melts and dissolves the further along you dive into it. 

 

People who don't understand all of the relevant points are understandably subject to passing things off as, "god did it." Without giving it too much thought. 

 

People who do understand all of the relevant points are not so subject to jumping to the same conclusion, however. And with very good reason to boot!

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LMTO, I know I said I was going to bow out, but I am very curious and have one more observation and question.  You have a very interesting picture in your logo.   Would you care to comment on it's symbolism?  And where you got it?  It is similar to one I used to have.

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13 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Trust me people here have "thought about it" and more than a bit. To tell us that we should think about these things just reveals how presumptuous you are. 

 

But he is such a sweet, little christian, I can't even make myself get mad. Lol  He's adorable. :shrug: 

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Say, LMTO, thanks for coming by and thanks for challenging our thinking. While we won't agree, it is worthwhile to have a good discussion. And thanks for maintaining your cool when you could have gone off the rails. Not all of our visitors do as well.

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I just hope you get to be well from all points of view :)

      

       

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