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Okay, EVERYONE, Where IS God?!!?
April 3, 2005
1:14 pm
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Anonymous
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WD,

Do you equate spirituality with a particular set of religious beliefs? There's nothing "wrong" with this if you do. Many people do. I'm just trying to get a better feel for exactly where you are coming from when you say you are "secular" and not as happy as you once were...

Love,

Ren'ai

April 3, 2005
2:36 pm
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gazelle
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Gosh, Ren'ai - life in the USA sounds even worse than I had thought! How horrid! I see your points, if things are as bad as that. It's nowhere near so bad over in old blighty. Thank "the gods"(?! we don't have TV evangelists, firearms, or masses of pharmaceuticals to anywhere near the same degree.
Spirituality (of all persuations & paths) driven by Love, is spreading fast here and taking over from hardline, rule-by-threats-style, judgemental 'Christianity'. Possibly because we are a small country and have recently received a huge influx of people from many more different cultures from all over the world in a relatively short time. Dogmatic religion as social control is losing its oppressive, iron grip.

Good points, anyway.
Blessings of understanding & love - gazelle.

April 3, 2005
4:20 pm
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Gazzelle,

Interesting points you made about the US of A. Perhaps that is part of the price we 'pay' for our "freedom"???

Just a thought.

Sew

April 3, 2005
4:25 pm
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Ren'ai,

Please accept my apologies...I was teasing you, but looking back, it was probably bad timing because you were in the middle of a very serious discussion.

No, I'm not a good person, I have faults and screw-ups just like everyone else.

Peace out?

April 3, 2005
5:18 pm
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CodaMom,

You didn't upset me. I was being a smart ass about the disclosure of your sins being unethical! I guess it was a tongue-in-cheek chide toward the Catholic belief that "sins" must be "confessed" before they can be forgiven...

Peace out, and peace in, love...

Respectfully,

Ren'ai

April 3, 2005
5:22 pm
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Sew,

Do you believe that we are truly "free" here?

I'm not trying to pick a fight. I want to understand.

You know I love you!

Ren'ai

April 3, 2005
5:42 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Ren'ai,

I guess when I say that I have a "secular" outlook, what I mean is that I most of the time don't give any thought at all to the idea that there might be something in this universe beyond atoms and molecules and gears and levers.

See, I "remember" when my ethics was based on the belief in Spirit. But today, I am mainly a secular humanist.

I was happier when I saw the "Spirit" in people.

April 3, 2005
5:45 pm
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Worried_Dad
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I guess it feels kind of like I have lost my faith, and maybe that was part of the "Bad Christian" thread. I haven't been any thing other than esoteric in my Christianity for a long time, and now it seems like I've lost that. It is a kind of Spiritual Poverty.

April 3, 2005
5:57 pm
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sewunique
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Ren'ai,

That word freedom was in quotes. Are we really free anywhere in this world? On any one inch of this planet? I think not.

They say our Country was based upon religious freedom. But I wonder if we lived in the time the Colonists shipped their families and their views to the new America, how 'free' was it then? Perhaps the history books tell it only one way and it really was another way. I think you had to believe as the new colonists did when they settled here. Look at the history that has followed since their settlement.

Shoot, even the air we breathe and the water we drink comes with a pricetag, doesn't it?

No apologies needed for the question or argument!

April 3, 2005
6:05 pm
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mj
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I read something once, an email...that said, can you prove where God isn't?

April 3, 2005
6:18 pm
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sewunique
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WD,

Secular Humanists believe in no spiritual afterlife as well as 'no evil'. The evil as quoted says:

Why Evil?
No concept of “evil.” Reasons for wrongdoing are explored through scientific methods, e.g. through study of sociology, psychology, criminology.

• Salvation
No concept of afterlife or spiritual liberation or salvation. Realizing ones personal potential and working for the betterment of humanity through ethical consciousness and social works are considered paramount, but from a naturalistic rather than supernatural standpoint.

• Undeserved Suffering
No spiritual reasons but rather a matter of human vulnerability to misfortune, illness, and victimization

So, with your scientific based knowlege put into practice, is this wheere you are coming from?

Secondly, with all you are dealing with right now, could this be why you see things just as in atoms, electrons, energy? Could this view also be handicapping your belief system or dealing with the evil that has crossed your path way in life as well as others?

Just a thought.

April 3, 2005
6:26 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Sew,
Well, as a currently practicing secular humanist, I'm not sure that I agree with you about not believing in "evil." I just define it in human terms, not in terms of "disobeying God's will."

I guess I see it as man's inhumanity. So an earthquake or tsunami is tragic, but not evil.

Someone who enages in premarital sex, or homosexual activity even though many religious texts say that's evil--I don't think that's evil.

A child abuser--that's evil.

April 3, 2005
6:29 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Oh one more thing about my secular Humanism.

It's not that I don't believe in God or a spiritual afterlife. I'm just not convinced that "God" wants me to base my morality heavily on such abstract ideas.

April 3, 2005
7:09 pm
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Just a thought: isn't "morality" itself a collection of "abstract ideas"? (Social construsts?)

April 3, 2005
7:27 pm
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gazelle
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If "evil" = human "inhumanity", as you say, WD ... then couldn't "goodness" or "God" = human perfectedness?

I don't see "God" as some external (& therefore finite) being ... but rather as Infinite Being Itself / Amself. (the "I AM", when complete & perfect.)
Spirit immanent and transcendant.

Perfectly natural - rather than 'supernatural' - which would mean necessarily separate.

For me, there is no separation, or we wouldn't be alive.

Inspired = literally, "breathed into" - by "God's" breath in Adam's nostrils, to quote what I see as the great & symbolically / mythopoetically true Genesis Myth.

Re-ligion = to join or bind again (literally).

What will we and our world be like once we have developed further & learned to expand our ideas of little self into Big Selfhood? When self-serving 'little me'evolves into 'Big Me' /Us in Unity? Will not then "the Kingdom of God be amongst us" as my greatest Teacher of all, Jesus, reportedly said?

Blessings - Gazelle.
(No longer a conventional "Christian" - more a mystic and gnostic.)

ps. Most scientific concepts are abstract ideas whose paradigms are always subject to change.

April 3, 2005
7:42 pm
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Sorry, badly put. I've enjoyed far too much wine, meditation & world music here alone, as usual. Drunk again & indulging in idealism in the face of disaster.

I meant to say that we need to grow together. To realise we are all One in Spirit. That our petty fighting etc as separated individuals with conflicting desires needs to be overcome by the growing realisation of our COMMON HUMANITY, within communities and even throughout the world. We ALL have the same physical basic needs, plus the need for acknowledgement, BELONGING, LOVE, Connectedness.

We are destroying each other & our whole ecosystem & planet. Can't we realise our individual & worldwide fragility, interdependency and interconnectedness, and work towards the common Good? "Thy Kingdom come" ...

Oops, here endeth the sermon. 😉
Someone please put a cushion over my head!

April 3, 2005
9:31 pm
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Hi gazelle,

sure morality is a kind of abstraction.

But to me, a morality based on not hurting people, helping when possible is a lot more real than one based on "because you will go to hell if you don't."

April 3, 2005
10:58 pm
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I have been starting to learn more about Judaism. I have come upon a group called Humanistic Judaism. I find this very confusing as it embraces a human-centered philosphy and still celebrates the Jewish culture and identifty.

This seems to me that you either believe one way or another. I am confused how they can blend the two opposing views together. I think this is often the case in other religious beliefs as well and perhaps why thery are so many forms of each religion.

Just trying to sort things out in this new adventure of learning.

April 4, 2005
1:00 am
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I dont believe in God anymore. I used to with a great intensity. At times, He used to be the only thing I believed in. Why dont I believe in God, hmm:
- Whether He exists or not, has no effect on anyone's lives (otherwise athiests would be sitting at the bottom of life, while god fearing people would be at the top) in this World because believers pray and athiests dont. Anyone who says "Oh, my life was saved last year only because of God". Well, athiests also have those kind of "good lucks". It has to be a collective effect, something thats is OBVIOUS. Its clear then, God's existence has no effect in _this_ world because Athiests are just as poor/well-off and sad/happy as believers. Lets see the afterlife then:

- After life eh? I check a dollar for authenticity to make sure its really a dollar. A claim of a note to be a real dollar is a significant claim. The proof exists in a real dollar. A claim of a book to be from God is the most serious claim that can be. The authenticity must be very serious too (if not the most). Where is it, in any of the 'holy' books? Nowhere. Sorry God, if you expect men to believe in your book without an authenticity proof, then I'll write books like that and its unfair if they arent accepted as being from God too. Thats a good write up! See, I didnt need to pray to God to ask him to help me write something good. You think God is upset when people dont believe in Him? Would you be upset if I told you I didnt believe in you? Not if you have a good head on your shoulders.

April 4, 2005
7:07 am
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gazelle
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Well, all that thought fell like a lead balloon.

Ren'ai, WD, Sew, Guest, - or anyone - I would be really, REALLY grateful if you would read my above posts explaining my view of 'God' as not a SEPARATE being, with wants / mood-swings / desires etc. who needs propitiating.

How can 'God' NEED anything???

Rather, for me, infinite Great Spirit / Perfect Life Itself / Creative Energy, order & coherence of the whole universe.

Love, Being ITSELF.

That spark of Life, of Love, of Creativity, of Goodness that animates each one of us. Within us, (however occluded), yet around and beyond us too. Holding our little individuated personalities until we grow fully into Selfhood. Also within us - God's breath in Adam's (our)nostrils that made him (us) a living soul.

I would truly appreciate any response / feedback. Please!

Blessings - Gazelle

- who doesn't believe childishly in some imagined invisible man in the sky either. My 'God' is not a "person"! That would make "him" finite. And very silly at best.

April 4, 2005
7:32 am
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Worried_Dad
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gazelle (great name by the way),

I heard you the first time. My most recent "religion" was basically esoteric-mystic.

I thought I could see the Spirit in everyone and everything.

So your viewpoint is actually more mainstream than you would think these days.

April 4, 2005
7:51 am
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Thanks. I didn't know you had heard me, so ta for telling me.

I'm delighted more & more people are growing up spiritually, out of the old made-up-idol-propitiating state. That is certainly the case in England - I am far from alone here, and belong to a Gnostic Druid Order where we study & share esoteric wisdom in re-ligious (i.e. re-uniting) but non-dogmatic ways.

Cheers for answering 🙂

(I must be doing something wrong to be ignored so often, or only given short shrift.
Probably I speculate & talk too much, with increasing desperation to be heard & to engage in reciprocal discussion, after years & years of depression from the draining, invalidating Silent Husband routine.)

April 4, 2005
9:54 am
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gazelle:
"How can 'God' NEED anything???"

I agree. God doesnt need anything. He doesnt need us to believe in him, obey him and worship him. He doesnt need it. Now to God I say: "let ME decide whether _I_ need you or not". I dont need God. Like I said, simple logic: his existence has no effect on me at all, otherwise athiests would be low in every way and believers high.

April 4, 2005
10:19 am
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gazelle
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Hi, Guest. You say "I don't need God". You are still talking as if 'God' were a separate entity - or at least the concept of one. I don't need such a concept either.

But how about the idea I keep trying to express that 'God' is not A Being, but rather PERFECT BEING ITSELF? A spark within all life?

According to this model, you DO 'need' 'God', simply in order to exist!

Do you see what I mean?

I'll try to subside now. I get quite over-engaged in debates like this, & strongly emotionally affected by my exercise of reason. I must work on my intellectual / emotional 'demandingness'.

It's hard for me to draw the line between respectfully seeking for my needs to be met, and clinging desperately onto the longing for fuller responses than others feel able or willing to give.

Others' boundaries should matter just as much as my own! I MUST learn to accept: "Oh, shut up & go away with your endless questioning". To take "NO!" for an answer.

(It's because first my cold mother, then my ex-husband blotted me out all the time, and put me down or ignored me continuously. No warmth was allowed. Neither was intellectual sharing.

So I have become quite desperate for responses, & for personal growth-opportunities through engaging with others, after my escape from a loveless, flat, empty life - spent reading & studying compulsively, alone. I feel my overflowing mind & heart will just explode & kill me sometimes if not exercised. I'm afraid.)

Thanks - gazelle.

Sorry, Ren'ai. I'll stop now 🙁

April 4, 2005
1:25 pm
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Don't be sorry, Gazelle...

I see a lot of similarities in the way we think. It's true that we can't be separate entities from 'god' because we are all part of the same energy flow, in my opinion.

Do you think there is such a thing as evil?

Before you answer, please know that I have to go out of town, and probably won't have a chance to respond before tomorrow night sometime, if I'm lucky...

I don't want you to feel like I'm not paying attention. I just can't access this site when I'm gone for work until I get a new lap-top...

Love to you!!!

Ren'ai

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