12/06/2007                                                                                       View Comments

There is no one way to God

By Nick @ www.onlymomentsbook.com

Most religions are exclusionary and therefore prejudicial to each other. One would do well to research and go back to the dawn of real civilization and the far Eastern religions that Jesus learned and used in the attempt at the reformation of Judaism. St. Paul borrowed from the pagan religion of Mithras to forge and recreate Judaism into a cult of “The Christ” from the Greek term Christos and Jesus of Nazareth became Jesus Christ. The cult of Mithras predates St. Paul by a least a thousand years. The Roman army first encountered the cult of Mithras in Persia (now Iran) during the reign of the emperor Nero, its origins in India have been traced back to 1400 BC.

There were over 17 different religious cults that spawned from this movement that began by this reformation and the Pauline Christians eventually became the most accepted. Paul broke away from the original teachings of Judaism by allowing dietary laws and circumcision (an integral part of being Jewish) to no longer be a part of this reformation because of the difficulty of gaining converts. Hmm, let’s see, I can’t eat this, this, and this, and I have to do what with my penis?? Pretty tough job gaining conversions hence his actions. James, Jesus’ brother called Paul back to Jerusalem and chastised him for taking such liberties doing this. Nonetheless, Paul was undaunted and history is written by those who succeed or conquer. Jesus was made Divine by humans; transformed to a Diety in 325 AD by the pagan King Constantine and the now “Holy Roman” Catholic Church. This merger created a new Europe, literally, by combining East and West to band together for the first time in history. The New Testament was created at this council by the selection and editing of “holy” scrolls that they now called “gospels” literally meaning good tiding or good news, and combining them together with the Old Testament. This “codex” as it was called was then declared the basis for this merger of Paganism (the worship of Helios, Ra, and the Mithras cult) and Christianity. These are the facts. Fanatics and obstinate believers of “their God only” will always distort, smokescreen, deliniate, obscure, and alter these facts to their advantage. Always.

There is no one way to God. Your consciousness is all that you have in this dimension. Whatever you believe, that is the psychosis that you create. I don’t expect hard line believers to understand this, as no one that is so wrapped up the My God Only contingent ever does. To not address real history and other beliefs such as Shintos, Budhhists (which actually is not a religion but a way of life), Hindus, Bahá’í Faiths, Zoroastrianists, Native American religions, African traditional religions, Taoists, Judaism, Islamics, Gnostics, and hundreds of other both current and ancient makes one just as prejudiced as Ms. Coulter.

Catholics, Protestants, Methodists, Lutherans, LDS Mormoms or any other Christian groups are totally different from one other. Each one’s dogma is substantially different so does that make them less than perfect as well? According to the spiritual leader of Catholics, only Catholic dogma is correct, therefore they are the only real Christians. The Catholic church tolerates those other “cults” in public, but not when it comes to strict doctrine. They are the only “true” Christians within Christianity, that is the only true religion, because they have bishops. Hey Ann, go fight that one out with the Pope. This whole thing makes me want to go see “The Life Of Brian” by Monty Python again. “…..Judean People’s Front? We’re the People’s Front of Judea” “. ….. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the (expletive) Judean People’s Front.” “…Oh! I thought we were the Popular Front. Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?” (points to an old man) “He’s over there.”

Guess what people? No one has a monopoly on the belief of a God, a Divine Being, The Creator. To call it by a name, “do it well to count the angels dancing on pin.”

Unless you study history with an open mind and stop reading the Bible literally, this obliqueness of understanding will always be present. Yes, Ann and others like her; you believe in only your god, on your terms, in your mind. My god is on my terms, in my mind. I’ve died and come back and experienced crossing over. It’s all about what you’ve experienced and I know love and understand that it is all there is, but yet very ignorant and undereducated know-it-alls allow and promote the bloodshed that continues unabated because of such closed minds. And really just to make money. Isn’t that why Jesus threw the moneychangers (the vendors who were making money) out of the sacred Temple of Jerusalem during the high holy days? A great example if I’ve ever seen one. Why don’t you start by following that example? He rejected the making of profit from religion. For him it was about the individual’s devotion to spirituality of man to God, not the act of being saved by someone else. Look to the inside for the salvation of your soul, look to the inside to see the essence of God, of the eternal. You don’t have a choice-your mind perceives all that you are-look inside yourself for answers, they are there. Jesus was a great man, his ideas still hold great promise if people knew what they were through the obscurity of what someone else tells them. Your are the temple of God, you are all that is now. It’s all about love, love of the self, and sacrifice for each other, get it yet? If you don’t, well, that is less than perfect.

105 comments:

Stephen B said...

Interesting! Nick Oliva cites events and literature that are outside my expertise, so I'm not able to fully evaluate his comments. Like many of you I was raised in this American culture and, pehaps not like many of you, in a Southern Baptist subculture. Unlike many, my experience with alcoholism led me to Alcoholics Anonymous, and AA introduced me to my higher power, God. But my efforts to find a spiritual support group in addition to my AA group is frustrated by the hype and rivalries that Oliva describes. One minister, himself something of an exile but a well trained academic in church history, confirms in large part the historical account that Oliva describes. It indeed seems that Christian churches have served themselves better than they've served the people or God. They've more often stood in the stage lights, distracting rather than actually helping people see God. Not surprising though that human beings merely illustrate our preoccupation with Self rather than anything Wholly Other.

Anonymous said...

Nick writes "Most religions are exclusionary and therefore prejudicial to each other."...This may be true but it does not take into account the idea that there is one true religion that separates itself from the rest which are all cults. Christ is the ONE. No attention really needs to be paid to the other "religions" because they are cults.

He also writes "There is no one way to God".

This is not true. The bible states that we are saved not through works but by faith alone. The path to salvation is through believing in Jesus and believing that he died for our sins. We are saved by baptism through the holy water and through the convenant of holy communion. But the point is the one thing is Jesus.

darthwonka said...

Well Praise Jesus that you were all born to the one true religion! How blessed is that!

Sarcasm aside.. You know that Muslims born into Islam feel the same way -- to the death.

Why are you right and they are wrong? How would they answer?

"I contend we are both Atheists, I just believe in one fewer God than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible Gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-- Stephen F. Roberts

Anonymous said...

Judging by the phrases "holy water" and "holy communion" you sound like a catholic. Do keep in mind that there are plenty of people who insist that your kind is going to hell. There are plenty of people who insist that the pope is the anti-christ, and that the number "666" appears on the front of his miter. Among other accusations: catholics believe they can sin all they want and then go to confession and sin again; nuns are concubines for priests and convents have secret nurseries for the nun's babies; the icons--statues and paintings--are idols that are worshipped; the pope is above god; mary is above jesus, and so on and so on.

If you are not a papist, disregard the foregoing. If you are simply a garden-variety fruitcake, then just one more thing: you do not need to be "saved". Saved from what? Saved from who? For what reasons? Like all xristians, you cannot defend your beliefs; all you can do is re-state them.

And what in the name of the gods do you mean by "holy water"? Are you seriously saying that a priest can bless some water and make it holy? And do you seriously say that the wine and crackers become the blood and body of jesus? Do us a favor: do not come in here with your deranged babble. If you want to talk, then for xrist's sake, talk sense.

Ryan, who by the way has been saved from miscreants like you.

stronger now said...

Nick: "Most religions are exclusionary and therefore prejudicial to each other."

Anony:"This may be true but it does not take into account the idea that there is one true religion that separates itself from the rest which are all cults."

Anony, it is the whole point of the statement! You just described a prejudicial religion. It is clear that when you used the word "idea", you meant "belief", when you said:"Christ is the ONE."

As far as credible evidences are concerned, there seems to be no difference between christianity and all the other cult religions, in that they all suffer from a lack of it.

Then, to further your descent into unsubstantiation, you credit the bible as an authority for what is real. Much like muslims use the koran to support what they believe to be real. You fail to distinguish christianity from other cults of religion, in any meaningful, realistic way.

Unless you can provide some credible evidence that the bible is what you think it is, I suggest you rethink your criteria for what is a cult and what is not.

You may need help with this. Don't hesitate to ask.

Anonymous said...

Wow. A lot to respond to. I guess to start off with..Islam. I think it's possible that these other religions have their own perception of God, that is the REAL god, but they got the details wrong. I've never thought about it too much but it could be simply God incarnated himself in different times to reveal his message to different people. CLEARLY the muslims got some of the message wrong because the true God would never call for jihad for it breaks the fifth commandment. I think Islam is a start in worshipping God but they need to see the path that is Jesus to the true salvation.

Someone said "be saved from what?" The answer is plain. Be saved from sin. Be saved from the effects of sin which is ultimately eternal damnation. I think being saved from the fires of hell is worth something to be saved for.

Darkwona...I am most certainly NOT an atheist. I believe in God. An atheist (foolishly) says.."there is NO God. That's what atheism means. But I don't believe there is no god. I believe Christ is Lord over me.

Stronger now asserts that I may need clarification on whether or not Catholicism is a cult. Not true. A wise man, (I think Philip Roth) said once, The difference between a cult and a religion is political power.

Clearly the Catholic religion holds a great deal of political power and when we Christians vote we will decide the election. Mark my words. A republican will take office in 2008.

Heretic Zero said...

What god needs holy water blessed by the lips of a pedophile--and I don't mean Catholics only?

The only thing holy about water is that it keeps most people alive by drinking it either straight or in a good mix with vodka, but I do not like to dilute good hootch with something fish piss in. People claim they are attracted to religion because they want to make a difference in the world but what they really mean is that they want a difference in themselves. Why be born again? Why not just grow up?

whateverlolawants said...

Ooooh, I must remember to mark anonymous poster's words! A Republican will win in 2008? Glad to know!

whateverlolawants said...

PS- Let's see how long it takes for us to get told that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship!

Anonymous said...

The pedophile comment was a low blow. Just because a priest has been a pedophile doesn't mean anything statistically speaking. Probably every profession in the world has had people like this. The point is most priests aren't pedophiles.

And Christianity IS a relationship. But not like a typical one. It's an intimate personal relationship with God. I've been a christian as long as I've been alive and I've felt God's presence my whole life. For me, it's the gift of faith. I don't need to question it. I feel bad for those of you who mock my relationship with God. Why are you so angry and sarcastic always?

A close relationship with God provides you with a more powerful and meaningful means of communication than anything you could ever get through worldly crazes like the i-phone. I can speak to god without the aid of bluetooth or wifi or any contract with AT&T.

xrayman said...

"Someone said "be saved from what?" The answer is plain. Be saved from sin. Be saved from the effects of sin which is ultimately eternal damnation. I think being saved from the fires of hell is worth something to be saved for."


There is no such thing as sin. Sin is a big lie sold to us by religion. It's a self fulfilling prophocey to make us fell like pieces of shit in which religion is it's only cure. To buy into the concept of sin from a theist and turning to his religion, would be like buying a band aid from a man who has just cut you.(Dan Barker Quote).

Anonymous said...

xrayman...What do you think it is when people are murdered? What do you think it is when people lie? Ever been cheated on? Ever had someone steal your personal property? Are you saying all these things are ok?

What you're saying is absurd. These things are clearly sin. There is a reason they are bad. If there were no god at all, and we were all just random atoms than why would anything be "good" or "bad"?

rickyusvi said...

Anonymous #3318050265446598 wrote: “Nick writes 'Most religions are exclusionary and therefore prejudicial to each other.'...This may be true but it does not take into account the idea that there is one true religion that separates itself from the rest which are all cults. Christ is the ONE. No attention really needs to be paid to the other 'religions' because they are cults.”

Listen, Anony, this is exactly what Nick means by hard-line believers not being able to understand. If you would even bother to look up Mithraism, and other gods such as Osiris, Dionysus, and even Krishna, you would be mortified at how unoriginal your “one true religion” is.

You beg the question. Why is Christ the ONE? Why should we believe you and not, say, a Muslim?

Anonymous #3318050265446598 wrote: “He also writes 'There is no one way to God'.

“This is not true. The bible states [
SNIP]”

Stop right there. Ask yourself, Anony, why would you expect a non-Christian to believe the Christian Bible? This is such an obvious matter that it baffles me that anyone can seriously argue this way. All religions have sacred writings, and their adherents believe their writings just as strongly as you believe yours. Why should anyone believe yours and not the others?

Anonymous said...

You have to look at things from my perspective. I've been raised Christian. To me this is the true word of God. When you've been raised with the truth you don't feel the need to go investigate all the lies. Now if you've gotten caught up in the lies I can see why you might question the bible. How do you think the earth exists? Because of big loud bangs? Why do you think there is good and evil? If we are just atoms there is no such thing. You have a spirit. And you might want to ask yourself how you came to post this and end up in this discussion. Maybe God is reaching out to you right now. I'll look for a response later tonight.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go play Guitar Hero Christian Rock version goofball. ROck it out for Jebus.

stronger now said...

Anony:"No attention really needs to be paid to the other "religions" because they are cults."

Then:"Stronger now asserts that I may need clarification on whether or not Catholicism is a cult. Not true. A wise man, (I think Philip Roth) said once, The difference between a cult and a religion is political power."

This was not an answer. If political power were the deciding factor for you, then you would have to agree that islam cannot be considered a cult either. Muslims have significant political sway in certain parts of the world. Thus, you contradict yourself.

I hardly think that it matters at all to you though. You seem like a poser.

Or are you really Marc, Passerby, Yogi bear, unblinded, ect..ect..?

If you are, go away.

If your not... pick a name, and I may continue to show you some of your errors in logic.

rickyusvi said...

Anonymous #4323848363836930435 wrote: “... CLEARLY the muslims got some of the message wrong because the true God would never call for jihad for it breaks the fifth commandment...”

The fifth commandment (sixth for you non-Catholics) from the Jewish scriptures? The same scriptures that have that same God commanding the mass murder of all of Canaan? The same God that threatened to murder the entire nation of Israel to placate His petty jealousy (Exodus 32)? The One who sent a plague on Israel because the 3000 murders ordered by Moses weren’t enough for Him (Exodus 32 again)?

And how does this apply to the Roman Catholic Church, which ordered the murderous crusades and inquisitions?

Anonymous wrote: “I think Islam is a start in worshipping God but they need to see the path that is Jesus to the true salvation.”

Yes, and they are convinced that you blaspheme God by claiming that Jesus is part of a triune godhead. Why should they believe you?

Anonymous wrote: “Someone said "be saved from what?" The answer is plain. Be saved from sin. Be saved from the effects of sin which is ultimately eternal damnation. I think being saved from the fires of hell is worth something to be saved for.”

Begging the question again. How do you know about sin? Who or what defines sin? How do you know that there is a hell? Is it your Bible again?

Anonymous wrote: “Darkwona...I am most certainly NOT an atheist. I believe in God. An atheist (foolishly) says..'there is NO God. That's what atheism means. But I don't believe there is no god. I believe Christ is Lord over me.”

You quote Psalm 14 (or Psalm 53). There you go with that Bible again. Why would an atheist believe what the Bible says??? (An while you’re explaining that, please explain why you didn’t observe Matthew 5:22.)

Lorena said...

Nick,

I appreciate the sentiment of your post. But the problem with believing in a god, any god, is that you give your power away.

Anytime we ascribe supernatural powers to help us to anyone, we are conceding two things: (1) The impossible can be accomplished, and (2)the solution is outside ourselves.

Both concepts interfere with the normal life of a person who should have a realistic view of life--not expecting the impossible--and work hard to fulfill one's needs and dreams.

So, in my view, even if there were a god--which I don't believe it does--we do well in ignoring her.

I don't want to give my personal power and expectations to anyone outside of myself.

Heretic Zero said...

Anonymous said...

You have to look at things from my perspective. I've been raised Christian. To me this is the true word of God. When you've been raised with the truth you don't feel the need to go investigate all the lies. Now if you've gotten caught up in the lies I can see why you might question the bible. How do you think the earth exists? Because of big loud bangs? Why do you think there is good and evil? If we are just atoms there is no such thing. You have a spirit. And you might want to ask yourself how you came to post this and end up in this discussion. Maybe God is reaching out to you right now. I'll look for a response later tonight.

December 06, 2007

Your post shows how dumb you really are:

Your bible has never been proven a true work of anything. In fact, white American history books are closer to the truth than what is presented in your bible. If you had any kind of a mind at all you would understand the big bang made no noise at all or haven't you ever studied anything to do with the universe beyond what you found in Genesis? God is telling you and giving you an opportunity right now to get down on your knees and beg his forgiveness for falling for such stupid drivel you are writing here. He is calling you to repentance for your lack of scientific knowledge. God brought you here to learn the truth that will set you free from the pedophilatic fish-eatin' religion called Christianity. Somebody say 'ramen!'

rickyusvi said...

Anonymous #4050074020167283013 wrote: “xrayman...What do you think it is when people are murdered? What do you think it is when people lie? Ever been cheated on? Ever had someone steal your personal property? Are you saying all these things are ok?

“What you're saying is absurd. These things are clearly sin. There is a reason they are bad...”


What you are implying is absurd; xrayman knows that “bad” and “sin” are not equivalent. Sin is a transgression against religious law, and can apply to capricious, picayune, victimless actions such as eating a hot dog on Ash Wednesday. Bad is something undesirable, harmful, or that has undesirable consequences.

Anonymous wrote: “If there were no god at all, and we were all just random atoms than why would anything be 'good' or 'bad'?”

Non sequitur #1. How would the non-existence of a god imply that we are just random atoms?

Non sequitur #2. Why would the non-existence of a god mean that there is no good or bad?

_________________

@heretic zero: I agree with Anony. The pedophile comment was below the belt.

ABarton said...

Your article was forwarded to me for comment:

#1 Mithra

You seem to have conflated two seperate religions. Mithraism from 1400 B.C.E. India has only tenuous links to Mithraism to the Mithraism of the Roman World. Thus the majority of threads between it and Christianity just cannot be pulled. "Roman" Mithraism has also been subjected to outlandish claims; bordering on deception e.g. the virgin birth story.
For more on the history on Roman Mithraism see The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire
Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun Roger Beck published by Oxford University Press. There also was a conference on Roman Mithraism in the 70's which I believe is online which contains much of what has become the consensus view.

#2 Christ was made divine in 325 C.E.

The deity of Christ outside of the New Testament is established from the very nascent of Christianity(ies). Proto-orthodox writers such as Ignatius (c.a. 110), Tertullian (c.a. 160) Justin Martyr (c.a 160)as all quite explicit in his deity. As are Gnostic writers, Montanists even Arians. To say it was invented in 325 C.E. is lifted straight out of Da Vinci Code speculation. You will find, if you wish to carry on this pursuit of attempting to discredit Christianity, the theories of Bauer and many others more acceptable- that Jesus was made divine with the merging Gentile church around 100-150 A.D. Certainly not 325 C.E. and NOT from Constantine. Constantine to be frank did not care to much for any such theological nuances as this. Even the most speculative biographies on him and Nicaea make that point.

#3 You say that James called Paul back and had a dispute with him- I think you mean Peter. James had nothing to do with this apart from a speech in Acts 15 where he supported Paul(!)

#4 You say Mithraism came into the Roman world with Nero's soldiers in the Parthian (Persian) Empire. Yet Nero's soldiers only entered Parthia in 58C.E. Christianity and its kernel creeds were established by such point. A lot of Pauls letters had been written and the Gospels about to be written. It was only a couple of years after Nero's soldiers entered Parthia that the fire was blamed on the Christian populace of Rome!

#5 You claim that the council of Nicaea created the canon of scripture. The council however had categorically no discussion on the canon. Read any of the reports from it, read histories of the account both primary and secondary scholarship. The only council that did make a pronouncement on the canon was a localized council in Greece around 380 C.E. if I remember correctly.

I hope you will therefore retract your above article and the inflective language/challenge with it; for the benefit of retaining the title 'freethinker' as I know so many ex-christians hold so dear such blatent errors cannot be allowed to go public.

Sincerely,

A. Barton.

Nick Oliva said...

Lorena,
You wrote:
Anytime we ascribe supernatural powers to help us to anyone, we are conceding two things: (1) The impossible can be accomplished, and (2)the solution is outside ourselves.
I wrote:
Your consciousness is all that you have in this dimension. Whatever you believe, that is the psychosis that you create.......Look to the inside for the salvation of your soul, look to the inside to see the essence of God, of the eternal. You don’t have a choice-your mind perceives all that you are-look inside yourself for answers...

I empower no one but what I feel inside and what I have experienced. Is there a God? Surely that question has been pondered since the dawn of man. I harbor no ill will to any who would or would not believe but I will fight for my right to be left to my thoughts, as I would for you as well. "Sacred writings" notwithstanding I don't go into pissing contest with those who look for the smallest details to overthrow and mask what they are subscribing to: An all knowing diety that became a man. There are hundreds of example throughout human history-they are called Myths.

Lorena said...

Nick said:

"Your consciousness is all that you have in this dimension. "

Lorena responds:

I don't completely disagree with you, Nick. The problem is that the word God is so polluted that it doesn't serve the purpose of empowering a person. The mere mention of the G word immediately activates a part of the brain which yearns for outside help.

So, perhaps, what you are trying to convey would be better explained if you eliminated the G word.

But really, when I think about it, any theory which requires me to believe concepts that are beyond my level of perception sends my brain into imagination mode. And such exercise requires much energy that I badly need to lead a fruitful life.

I think it is more advisable to concentrate in the HERE AND NOW than to entertain illusions of other civilizations, as possible as that may be.

Aspentroll said...

Holy crap, did the doors to heaven just open up and dump a bunch of religious radicals onto this site?
You know what I think is happening? The Jebus creeps are becoming so worried that they have sent an army of the living dead (walking bible freaks) to invade us here on this website. Lock the frickin' doors before I barf all over my keyboard.
Some how they think they are going to scare us back to church or something.
To the Anony who said, "The point is most priests aren't pedophiles." you might add "at least not until they bother (butpoke) the wrong kid". The priesthood seems to be melting pot for bung holers.

Happy Winter Solstice everyone.

Nick Oliva said...

abarton,
In regards to early Jewish/Christianity I would refer you to this: Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Yes there are two possibly three different sects of Mithraism, what does that prove? None of what I said changes that.

To all that read this go ahead and type- Christ Council of Nicea divinity -in any search engine and most accounts will plainly show that the the official declaration for Christ's divinity is indeed at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.

You have made a mistake, I do not try to discredit Christianity, I merely point out that all religions are based on chonological myths and then use bits and pieces from the past, Christianity is not immune nor special in this regard.


The Nicene Creed was established in 325 AD at Nicea. The bishops establised procedures, set the date for holidays, and established for certain what had been a rag-tag bunch of holy books, into a cohesive codex, the creation of such that had already occurred, they merely cleaned up the procedural use of such (according to many writings), whatever that means. As a writer cleaning up a book mean editing, but I wasn't there and neither were you.

I appreciate the masked higher order of research you portray (and kindly at that) as if I am a wayward sinner, however I respect your beliefs and do not condemn you for them. It is your religions insistence throughout the last 2000 years that has demanded that I believe your codex, creed, and myths because you have pieces of paper that tell you so. As I respectively decline to look at ancient scibblings as absolute doctrine from a supernatural source I don't expect you to understand why, you can't. If you take one piece of your fundamental building blocks in your beliefs, the entire building implodes. The Pope just announced one of the most divisive papers in the 20th Century-the fact that only the Roman Catholic Church is the true religion of Christ because it has a lineage of bishops that trace back to the apostles. Now there's a reason to kill everyone else, the Church has used that same excuse for 2000 years. History, abarton, is not on your side as far as being the gentle kinder church.
As far as retracting my article I repeat this:
Fanatics and obstinate believers of “their God only” will always distort, smokescreen, deliniate, obscure, and alter these facts to their advantage. Always.

Heretic Zero said...

Somewhere someone cried that calling Christianity a pedophile religion was too harsh. Actually, it is not too harsh and is quite dead on the button. If it were not true, Protestants and Catholics would not spend so much time covering it up. The attacks are not a rare occurrence, otherwise there would not be so many of them reported and perhaps twice as many going unreported.

Heretic Zero said...

Balls, you couldn't trace your religion back to anything. Peter never lived in Rome. His body was stolen from Jerusalem by the Catholic church and entombed in Rome. How does high-jacking a dead body demonstrate a lineage to anything? You could save yourself some embarrassment by reading the Catholic Encyclodpedia for some history about your religion, even a lot of the bad stuff is in it, unless they changed their history again over the last ten years.

Nick Oliva said...

Lorena,

I do read you loud and clear but I think I didn't get the exact meaning I was attempting.

You said:
I don't completely disagree with you, Nick. The problem is that the word God is so polluted that it doesn't serve the purpose of empowering a person.

And I agree, but the line I wrote:
For him (sic Jesus) it was about the individual’s devotion to spirituality of man to God, not the act of being saved by someone else. Look to the inside for the salvation of your soul, look to the inside to see the essence of God, of the eternal. You don’t have a choice-your mind perceives all that you are-look inside yourself for answers, they are there.

I was referring to Jesus' word of time and I should have been more specific. The misinterpretation of his words "look to thyself for thy salvation" has been used by fanatics to mean anything other than looking to oneself. In that context I went on without deliniating what I meant. Sorry.

Let me try again:

We are all that we see, hear, touch, feel, and experience. In my opinion, our soul is divine and perfect and has the "grace" to animate our flesh. The flesh and the soul are one regardless of what mind/body split theories abound. Without one or the other we do not exist. As we are all that is, all we experience and we live by the “grace” of the soul, ergo tear down the third wall. We are God as only “we” can experience that thought, that essence individually. The myths of man do little justice to that true beauty. Time itself is dependent on velocity and point of reference. I for one do not preach of what one should be worshipping, feeling, or quote human authors for relegation to good/evil, light/dark references that abound in every Pre-Christian religion known to man. Who am I? I am all that is, that I now perceive. My morality and ethics to my fellow humans is what defines who I am and I don’t need a Deity crowned by man to know that I will always treat those fellow beings the same way I would want to be treated. That’s a legacy worth keeping, the rest of the rhetoric creates walls and fences and discriminates and causes violence and wars for it’s inherent intent of declaring all others inferior by Divine command.

Wade said...

Anonymous said...

You have to look at things from my perspective. I've been raised Christian. To me this is the true word of God. When you've been raised with the truth you don't feel the need to go investigate all the lies.


So you absorbed the religion of your parents and now you see no reason to question it.

Exactly like the vast majority all other "religious' people.

You don't question yours, they don't question theirs. You are no different.

Quite sad actually.

Wade said...

And this is an ex-Christian site. We have seen things from your "perspective".

alanh said...

Nick, you wrote: "look to the inside for the salvation of your soul..."

What does this (hypothetical) soul need to be saved from? The implication is that there is something inherently wrong with man that needs to be fixed, which is one of the foundations of the scam that is Christianity.

Nick Oliva said...

alanh,

I cleared that bit of confusion up in the last response to lorena...

I didn't make myself clear, sorry.

darthwonka said...

Apologetics is the art of taking a story and trying to make it fit the facts.

That is why we have the 'day/age' theory and other stories that were created to try and make sense of the story that is in such stark contradiction to the natural record.

Paul's Christianity is based on the assumption that the story of original sin is true. That there was the first man and the first woman. That there was a cunning talking snake who convinced the woman to eat of the mystery fruit.

Since we know snakes do not talk, nor have much of a brain, nor eat dirt.. we had to try and explain the story so it is less ridiculous. The snake was then a symbol of satan.

If you read that portion of genesis, you will pretty plainly see that the author was referring to a real snake.. not a fallen angel.

This is just one of hundreds of examples where judeo-christian mythology ceases to be a literal and true thing.

There are lakes on this planet that are millions of years old.. based not only on carbon and other dating techniques, but also by counting the layers.

For those who truly believe that god created the world in 6 literal days, how do you explain the layers?

If a layer of sediment was created every month, that still means the lake is over 500,000 years old!

We have been studying this lake for longer than a few months and it is a fairly accepted notion that it does not take on new layers of sediment on a monthly basis.

We can't prove there is or is not a creator -- but we can certainly observe this world and how it works to at least figure out how it was done.

We CAN test, verify, or invalidate religion based upon the assertions the religion makes.

Christianity fails.


Christians ARE atheists to ALL other gods.. Please re-read the quote I posted earlier. Think about the words.

All truth is god's truth. If it isn't true, it is NOT god's truth.
How many creative apologetics have you had to chew in sermons and in bible studies to explain away all of the contrary information we are presented with on a daily basis?

You no longer have to take the word of someone who also has not read 'The Origin of Species', it is now available for free online!. And I know you will bring it up.. Evolution does NOT explain, nor try to, the beginnings of life on earth. It explains the development of life on earth. We don't know, yet, how life was started. But it was certainly not started by the genesis god because the evidence contradicts those assertions.

Take care all! This was fun.
Good luck to all on the quest for truth. It is out there.. probably awaiting a curious mind.

wonka

boomSLANG said...

Anonymous Christian(from this point on, all of whom will be refered to as "Christonymous", or whatever clever name >>I<< choose for them, since they refuse to adopt pseudonyms with which to distinguish them from one another), said:

You have to look at things from my perspective.

Christonymous, I don't know you from adam. However, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that your "perspective" requires one of two things in order for you to have the very perception that you claim to have. Those would be either, 1) "Faith" in what you believe, or 2) "evidence" for what you believe.

Now, which is it? If it is the latter, I ask you to present that evidence at this time. If it is the former--if it is "Faith" with which you are a believer--then I can tell you, catagorically, that many of us are quite familiar with that "perspective"...i.e..your "perspective". I say that because many of us know perfectly well how to convince ourselves how to believe things that are just not so, this, in order to feel comfortable; in order to not rock the boat. It's called self-delusion.

Christonymous....I've been raised Christian. To me this is the true word of God. When you've been raised with the truth....HALT!

Tell me something, Christonymous, how do you go from having "been raised" a certain way, to said "way" being the undeniable "truth"???? Muslims are "raised" to believe that "Allah is God". It would seem that this fact refutes your notion that the way one is "raised", is mutually inclusive with knowing "truth".

Christonymous...How do you think the earth exists? Because of big loud bangs?

Strawman; caricature; non sequitur; "god of the gaps"....all of which are employed by you in the above statement. You caricature the naturalist position, and then attack that(strawman). You assume that because "things" exist, then God created them, therefore, God exists.(non sequitur) Finally, since the truth is that no one knows for certain how everything came into existence, you still attempt to answer that question with "God"("God of the gaps")....which is just another way to say "I don't know", which is a non-answer.

Christonymous...Why do you think there is good and evil? If we are just atoms there is no such thing. You have a spirit.

'Same thing....strawman; caricature; non sequitur..and this time, bare assertion fallacy...e.g.."you have a spirit". Says who? Prove it.

Christonymous...And you might want to ask yourself how you came to post this and end up in this discussion.

Simple---when I see idiotic and/or fantastic claims, I'm inclined to respond.

Christonymous...Maybe God is reaching out to you right now.

Maybe Satan is tempting you with the incorrect beliefs?

Lorena said...

Nick said:
"We are all that we see, hear, touch, feel, and experience. In my opinion, our soul is divine and perfect and has the "grace" to animate our flesh. The flesh and the soul are one regardless of what mind/body split theories abound."

Lorena responds:

I will jump on the boat with my fellow ex-Christians and tell you that there is no proof that all that is real. None, zip, zero.

But let's just say, for the sake of argument, that I believe that. How does that help me live a better life here and now, today?

That sort of spirituality is to ethereal and surreal that it serves no practical purpose. I, frankly, don't see how helpful it could be for me to hold such ideals.

And you say you meant Jesus. Well, why bother with Jesus? There are mountains of contemporary books out there that can help a person overcome problems and find solutions to just about any issue.

And those solutions are better than those of Jesus because (a) the books contain wisdom accumulated by the human race through the ages, and (b) many make use of science and the findings are, therefore verifiable.

There is no place for a god-belief in the mind of a practical person--even if she exists.

ABarton said...

Thanks for the reply Nick.

On Mithra. Well it does change things quite substantially. Much of the purported similiarities were in this later Roman Mithraism that did not emerge until well after Christianity's nascent- sometimes into the 3rd century C.E. The other strained links were limited to 1400 B.C.E. Persia with no links to 0 C.E. Galilee.

On Eisenman.I have to say I have never heard of Eisenman or his work so I am at a loss to comment. But allow me to raise some skeptisim around it. Judging from the comments I can see on the internet it takes some rather idiosyncratic (to say the least) views. I have never seen it quoted in academic work, it significantly has never been review in any journal- and it has been out for 12 years, this is VERY odd were it taken seriously. I have never, to me knowledge, seen it quoted in any of the plethora of studies, (inc. introductions and overview of research) of the historical Jesus or the New Testament. It seems to have fallen into a blackhole to be picked up only by conspiracy theorists. It is wrong to slander a book from some kind of snubbery I know, but all signs are not promising on the usefulness of this particular book.

Also throughout you seem to assume I am a (conservative) Christian and suggest I'm imposing some sort of obtusenes as a result. You seem to suggest (I hope I am misreading you) Christians can never see history straight! I am, as it happens, a Christian; but that has very little (I will admit it does give me some inclinations to lean certain ways) in my formation of Church history.

As for the council of Nicaea, it did make a pronouncement on a particular aspect of Christ's deity. Not on Christ's deity. There were dozens of councils after Nicaea also on aspects of his deity (e.g. the homoosios argument). Arius did believe Christ was divine- everyone did, as I said even the most unabashed heretics never disputed that (apart from a small group called Ebionites). I gather that some in this community has some sort of grevience against Christianity so here is a quote from Ehrman, who I think many of you will know for his Misquoting Jesus book; so you will be aware the is not a Christian source:
In his book on the Da Vinci Code he says this:
"But this was not a council that met to decide whether or not Jesus was divine, as Teabing indicates. Quote the contrary: everyone at the Council-and in fact, just about every Christian everywhere-already agreed that Jesus was divine, the Son of God. The question being debated was how to understand Jesus' divinity in light of the circumstance that he was also human. Moreover, how could both Jesus and God be God if there is only one God? Those were the issues that were addressed at Nicea, not whether or not Jesus was divine. And there certainly was no vote to determine Jesus' divinity: this was already a matter of common knowledge among Christians, and had been from the early years of the religion"

If I may point you towards two recent books that labour the point Christ's divinity was not decided at the Council, nor did Constantine pressure the decision: "The Nicaean Legacy" and "A Brief History of the Trinity in the Early Church". Both are by two eminent scholars of Nicaea. They don't touch on whether the canon was decided at Nicaea for the simple reason no-one seriously suggests that it did.
I don't know what you mean by cleaning and editing by the Bishops. Could you elaborate further?

I also hope you don't mind my interaction with you and your post.

A. B.

xrayman said...

Alanh said,

"What does this (hypothetical) soul need to be saved from? The implication is that there is something inherently wrong with man that needs to be fixed, which is one of the foundations of the scam that is Christianity."

That was exacly my point way up in the discusion. Sin is a lie sold to us by religion. There is no such thing as sin. Only right and wrong.

For instance it would be wrong for me not to lie in order so save someone from hurt feelings or physical harm. Religion says it's a sin no matter what. Every situation is relative. I would certainly kill if it meant saving the life of one of my children.

And despite the fact that I am a happily married man, I feel no guilt what so ever for lusting after some of my young female coworkers, so long as nothing is acted upon.

.:webmaster:. said...

From Wikipedia:

In the early centuries of Christian history, various groups denied the divinity of Jesus. The Adoptionists taught that Jesus was born fully human, and was adopted as God's Son when John the Baptist baptised him (Mark 1:10) because of the life he lived. Another group, known as the Ebionites, taught that Jesus was not God, but the human Moshiach (messiah, anointed) prophet promised in the Old Testament. Arianism affirmed that Jesus was divine, but taught that he was nevertheless a created being ("there was when he was not"), less divine than God the Father.

Some of these views could be described as Unitarianism (although that is a modern term) in their insistence on the one-ness of God. These views, which directly affected how one understood the Godhead, were declared heresies by the Council of Nicaea. Throughout much of the rest of the ancient history of Christianity, Christologies that denied Christ's divinity ceased to have a major impact on the life of the church.

In the modern era, a number of denominations have rejected the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity, including the Christadelphians and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Mainstream Christian churches usually regard these groups as modern versions of the Arian heresy.

Mandy said...

Lorena Wrote: "And you say you meant Jesus. Well, why bother with Jesus? There are mountains of contemporary books out there that can help a person overcome problems and find solutions to just about any issue.
And those solutions are better than those of Jesus because (a) the books contain wisdom accumulated by the human race through the ages, and (b) many make use of science and the findings are, therefore verifiable."

I fully agree with Lorena. Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I have been able to find a lot more helpful resources outside of the bible that has helped me to overcome my bad situations in life.

I find it sad and quiet disturbing to see people who are afraid to step outside the boundaries of christianity to find help that produces results.

It seems that people who refuse to do so are the one's who are truly living in bondage.

It was suggested one time that I should get rid of my secular therapist and start seeing my christian therapist again, because this same person did not approve of my therapist's methods or beliefs.

The same person told me that it did not matter that I was now achieving success again. He told me that I needed to go back to seeing my christian therapist again, who was unsuccessful in helping me overcome my problems.

That's how delusional a lot of christians are. Instead of moving forward and making progress, some of them would rather go backwards and sabotage their progress. That type of thinking just proves how destructive and damaging all forms of religion can be.

ABarton said...

I suppose Webmaster's wikipedia post was directed to me.

I don't really see the direct purpose; the issue is surrounding Nicaea and the early and uniform belief in the deity of Christ. No-one can dispute that belief in Christ's deity can be found from the earliest records from all over the Empire (including the N.T. texts)not a later Gentile or Imperial creation.

To say these groups aforementioned denied Christ's deity is wrong- they do have nuances within their Christology that don't comport fully with Nicean theology though. Adoptionists believed Jesus was fully divine, they dispute when this happened- for them it occured at his baptism. Jesus was a normal man until he was baptized, at this point the incarnation occured and Jesus became divine, rather than at conception. I have already posted a quote from Ehrman that succintly shows the Arian view that should suffice. The only group that does deny Christ's deity was a marginal heretical group, the Ebionites. Ebionite scholarship is currently in flux. There are a increasingly skepticism of the Father's account of them, with the later Father's account not crediting them with genuine heretical beliefs. See 'Jewish Believers in Jesus'
Skarsaune, Oskar and Reidar Hvalvik (eds.)2007 and 'Jews or Christians?' The Followers of Jesus in Search of their Own Identity.' Jossa, Giorgio 2007 and 'Ebionites and Nazoreans, Petri Luomanen', University of Helsinki also 2007. Luomanen argues the Nazoreans are in particular inventions of Ephiphanius. They are a strange, marginal, group that to be honest we don't know enough about.

Hope that clears that up webmaster.

A.B.

Nick Oliva said...

To address each comment is far too much for one message so I will say this. After all is said and done the only way people change is if they want to. The difficulty of
rejecting Christianity or any ingrained religion is that it leaves a void that is very hard to fill and devout atheists
can be just as bad as devout Christians when it comes to faith or the lack of. Both expound dogmas of absolutes and any scientist, researcher, artist, or person of knowledge will tell you anything they find to be true is always subject to be proven false or further information
makes their findings obsolete. The greatest minds of our human history believed in a higher power but nothing substantiates that entity but human thought. As I said, but apparently has not been understood, we are what we think we are. When I make the statement I made that "We are all that we see, hear, touch, feel, and experience. In my opinion, our soul is divine and perfect and has the 'grace' to animate our flesh," it is opinion not fact, it is a way of life I've chosen that does not bring a a colorful mythical deity, creature, or person into play. The preciousnes and energy of life is what I buy into and I don't have to defend that with countless examples of life being created all over this planet and the species of man not being able to recreate those elements to create life in the lab, regardless of the technology used. Now, I'm not going to expound absolutes and there may come a day when that's possible, but for now I like my ideas they are as good as the idea that "she" doesn't exist, or any other entity either. I don't feel the need to parse words because they "sound" religious I can communicate with abarton without agreeing with him, or abiet pull my sword out and behead him. That's what civilized people try to do, tolerate and foster growth among themselves. That's what I'm all about, not just a decontructive force but a reconstructive one, building on top of what is already there. I don't give much credence to ancient history as to live my life without it is to come to the same conclusions that I have now. It is of a personal belief I neither try to gain conversions for a better place in the afterlife, nor have a self-serving agenda. I live, I laugh, I ponder the days I'm given breath. The rest is just not worth losing lives to proclaim allegiance and absolute devotion.

Religion is not essential to live, it is however a cause for much bloodshed as people
cannot control their emotions and it is precisely that, that has caused a world of sorrow throughout human history.

I leave this thread with the following quote from the Rig Veda, if not the oldest, probably one the oldest texts known to man:
He who knows all things,
He knows.
Or does he know.

Peace and long life to all

ABarton said...

You do make some interesting and notable points Nick. But what about any idealogy that creates fundamentalists? I think its broader than religion. Atheism for example has done so, those killed in the name of fundamentalist atheism has topped religious conflict in the past 100 years.

Is it not a problem of any idealogy that takes over so completely it distorts and become greater than any other natural human intent. As I think about it so patriotism can also be culpable e.g. E.T.A.'s recent bombing campaign.

What do you think? Or have I missed the point?

A.B.

Nick Oliva said...

abarton,

you are precisely correct, that is the "jist" of the last comment. Go to http://onlymoments.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/rah-rah-rah-rabid-fans-john-nash-and-the-human-condition/ to see my blog that centers around this secular phenomena.

There now, what I see is that we have a basis for communication between two intelligent people of two diverse beliefs.......that's progressive.

stronger now said...

"...those killed in the name of fundamentalist atheism has topped religious conflict in the past 100 years."

Fundamentalist atheism? Odd? I think you are mistaken. I think that it wasn't atheism but a type of state/leader worship that caused the conflicts of which you speak.

This has been addressed here many times. Are you useing something the pope wrote about recently as your source? If so see this thred here.

stronger now said...

Better yet try this one.

Jim Arvo said...

A Barton said "No-one can dispute that belief in Christ's deity can be found from the earliest records from all over the Empire (including the N.T. texts)...

As you noted yourself, the Ebionites were indeed an exception to this. They viewed Jesus as being a Messiah in the more traditional Jewish sense--i.e. a divinely inspired human, but not a deity himself. But I think there is a much more important distinction to make. While I believe the majority of Christians did indeed view "Christ" as being divine (at least by the 2nd century), not all of them thought of "Christ" as being incarnate. In fact, that was not the orthodox view until nearly the end of the 2nd century. The case can be made from many sources.

For example, "Octavius" by Minucius Felix (circa 160 CE) is a dialog between a pagan and a Christian. Minucius Felix makes it clear that he (through the voice of the Christian) has no belief in the divinity of the "crucified criminal". While acknowledging that some hold this view, he rejects it as an "indecency". He thought it absurd to suggest that a god could beget a son.

Justin Martyr (circa 130 CE) chronicles the beliefs of other Christians (at about the time of his conversion) who viewed "Christ" as Logos or "wisdom"--a spiritual entity, not a man. This was apparently a very widely-held view throughout much of the 2nd century.

Theophilus (bishop at Antioch, circa 170 CE) never once mentions "Jesus" in his writings, and does not even allude to a human founder. To him "Christ" is a spirit. He explicitly states that the doctrine of Christianity came not from a man, but directly from god.

Of course, there were some who did view Jesus as god incarnate, including Justin. But from their writings we can gain some idea of how their savior compared to others. For example, Tatian's "Apology" (circa 160 CE) compares Jesus to other popular myths. He implicitly acknowledges that there were many such beliefs predating those of the Christians. He said "Take a look at your own records and accept us merely on the grounds that we too tell stories." However, in his own theological writings, Tatian never uses the word "Jesus" or "Christ"; he uses only "Logos". Minucius Felix also acknowledges the more ancient myth of Osiris, who was believed to have died (by dismemberment) and risen again (after being anointed with oil by women).

As for Mithra, it is absolutely true that Mithaism was heavily influenced by Christianity in Rome during the first four centuries of the Common Era. However, it is equally true that Mithaism influenced Christianity. The two religions were essentially rivals. The borrowing of Mithraic artistic motifs is well-documented, although it's much harder to say anything definitive about doctrines. It's also true that the Roman version of Mithrism diverged from the Persian beliefs, as happens whenever a religion gains a foothold in a new culture. However, the notion of Mithra as a savior god-man clearly goes back to the Persian roots.

Numerous other savior god-men were also well-known in the Roman empire at the beginning of the Common Era. For example, Attis and Adonis were honored with lavish annual celebrations in the streets of Rome. They reenacted the slaying and subsequent resurrection of these gods as part of their ritual. St. Augustine himself documents these during the first half of the second century, and he notes the great antiquity of the rituals. Nowhere does he suggest that they borrowed from Christianity (much as he would have liked to).

My point in all of this is that there were undeniably numerous religions predating Christianity that incorporated many of the motifs that now appear in Christianity. To suggest that these more ancient religions borrowed from one another but that Christianity did not borrow anything is special pleading. C. S. Lewis even acknowledged the many great similarities between Christianity and more ancient beliefs, as do some of the very early church fathers. In fact, they had to come up with some very creative explanations for this, such as attributing it to Satan's attempt to confuse by anticipating the events of Christianity.

My secondary point is that Christianity did not begin as a unified religion focused on a human who was believed to be the son of god. That did not become the orthodox view until the 2nd century. Whether the majority thought "Christ" to be divine is overshadowed by the question as to whether they thought of "Christ" as incarnate. Clearly, not all of the early apologists did.

stronger now said...

I posted this on another thred, but it applies here all the same.

From wikipedia:"However, some prominent early Christians, e.g. Irenaeus and Justin Martyr actually acknowledged the existence of parallels, complaining that the earlier religions had copied Christian religion and practices, before Jesus was even born, as some form of diabolically inspired pre-cognitive mockery."

alanh said...

Nick wrote:

"what I see is that we have a basis for communication between two intelligent people of two diverse beliefs..."

I was kind of going along with that but right on cue the "more people have been killed in the name of fundamentalist atheism" canard came up. Lorena's the one on the right track here - the sooner we dispense with nonexistent gods, spirits and "supernatural" beings the better.

SEO said...

And maybe, if we can all agree on the following few and simple affirmations we'd all be better for it.

link

rickyusvi said...

Nick Oliva wrote: “... devout atheists can be just as bad as devout Christians when it comes to faith or the lack of. Both expound dogmas of absolutes and any scientist, researcher, artist, or person of knowledge will tell you anything they find to be true is always subject to be proven false or further information makes their findings obsolete.”

Now you’ve just erected a straw man. Very few, if any, atheists consider the non-existence of god a dogma, and most atheists i’ve seen on the Web agree with you 100% that what they believe is subject to disproof. We disbelieve in God because of lack of evidence, not as a dogma.

_________________

@A. Barton:

“Fundamentalist atheism” in its entirety is “I don’t believe that any gods exist.” That’s all. No more, no less. One needs a lot more than, well, nothing to excuse mass murder. You’re probably confusing atheism with communism as practiced.

boomSLANG said...

Nick...devout atheists can be...(EDIT)

Okay, honestly now, what on earth is a "devout atheist"????? Seriously, how does lacking belief in something make someone "devout"? Christians lack belief in Allah, yes? Does that make, and/or, signify "devoutness"?...or do Christians simply disbelieve in said deity?

Nick...[devout atheists] can be just as bad as devout Christians when it comes to faith or the lack of.

I just went over how lack of belief in something does not require any extra "devotion", or anything else "extra". The same holds true for "Faith", and so, I'll pose the same analogy: Christians don't believe in Allah. Does that non-belief therefore require "Faith", or "hope" of any sort? 'Didn't think so.

But wait, let's just hypothesize for a moment that what you say is true--that non-belief "requires Faith", or makes one "devout".

Okay, any Christian---what do you seek to gain by establishing this seemingly child-like "tit-for-tat" argument? Are you saying that to be "devout" and to have "Faith" is weak and undesirable, therefore, "the Atheist position is weak and undesirable JUST LIKE MINE!!!"? Please clarify, but bear in mind that this is just for hypothetical purposes---the Atheist position requires ZERO "Faith". Moreover, the Atheist position isn't saying "God is disproven"...they are saying that God is unproven.

Nick Oliva said...

Devout=1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle

Dogma=An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.

Both responses are arguing about parsed words and like splitting hairs on scripture, canons, and "holy" writings trying to tear down a postulate and/or opinion with irrelevant posturizations of what the words I used mean. They mean what the above definitions say. Ergo, atheists can be devout atheists, as they can espouse adently, selfless affection and dedication, as to a principle such as atheism

And a dogma or dogmatic athiest has an authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true in that they do not believe or espouse the lack thereof, of a god.

The words have meaning but please try to understand the concepts of what they mean out of your normal context of religion, that which you seem very uncomfortable with, and therefore lend credence to wanting to misunderstand the terms.

Nick Oliva said...

Oh, and one more small minor detail. I am not a Christian and have not been one for over 30 years so before going on a rant that seems to imply that about me, at least get that much straight. I would very much appreciate that. Thanks.

No one is challenging your devotion (I know you love that word) and (non)beliefs of atheism. I only point out that when one takes a stand and defends it rigourously they sometimes negate any and all other possibilities and that can be dangerous on any level.

RT Firefly said...

Where did all of these Jesus/God freaks come from? It makes no difference how many avenues there are to a given deity. The point is that deities do not exist.

Dear freaks, Jaysus if he ever existed is loooong since dead, and God is not awesome, it is imaginary.

If you want to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, there are numerous websites available for this purpose.

Please go back to your caves.

ABarton said...

Nick,

I have certainly met a lot of fundie atheists. I met one the other day in a bookshop when I was looking through Dawkin's latest book. A man sidled up and started talking to me about Dawkins and his conversion to atheist. He made some good valid points but I also felt that I had something to say in response to his claims. But he literally stopped me talking and barged in with his own rhetoric and idiom. I was standing, it gradually became clear to me, in the presence of a Fundamentalist. All the marks were there in his speeches to me – a strong identification with an atheist subculture/group, talk of a strong and definite 'conversion' point, an inability to listen to a questioning of his authority, a total lack of awareness that he was unable to truly dialogue, the immediate and false pigeonholing of his 'opponents' etc.

I must say I have seen this in my brief stay on this board. It is the same experience as I have had when I run into Christian fundies. I tell a KJV onlyist he is wrong and I'm insulted and cast as an idiot, tell a 6 day creationist he is wrong and often you get the same result. Same here, I have been insulted by three different people saying some pretty derogatory things on this board for no reason other than they identified me as a Christian. I am immediately questions, insulted and viewed as obtuse and the reason I do not agree with their views. My response to you was one borne out of an academic concern, that you were saying things that weren't historically verifiable. But you pigeonholed me as saying you were wrong because "
Fanatics and obstinate believers of “their God only” will always distort, smokescreen, deliniate, obscure, and alter these facts to their advantage. Always."

I have been called a liar, told to go to the middle east, that I will get my ass kicked. And why? I don't know........
Fundamentalists can kill and hurt those who do not agree with them. Yes communism killed many for many reasons. One of those was religion. Their communision had a deep attachtment to atheism, even if you were a good loyal comrade of the Russian state but practiced religion you could be killed or deported to Siberia. Any idealogy that becomes fundamental has this potential. Your statement is valid and you (in my opinon) made it very accurately and succintly. But you should include nationalism and atheism.
Largely not though, most I am atheists I am friends with are nice and can deal with me normally (which I would be far more open to a atheist talk on this website were there not so much hate flying around!;) as are most religious people I meet.

Jim Arvo said...

Nick and ABarton, your talk about "devoted atheists" and "fundie atheists" is a red herring. Name any segment of society, and one can find among its members those who are dogmatic and irrational. Such is human nature. If you mean to imply more than that--e.g. that there is a causal link, or some incriminating statistical anomaly among atheists--then let's hear what you have to say. If not, then your terms are merely inflammatory.

Perhaps you can agree with me on this point: To assess a position, one should seek its strongest arguments and its most rational proponents. It's of little value to cast stones at the "fundamentalists" if one's aim is to discredit the position rather than simply the behavior of those individuals.

Nick said "...when one takes a stand and defends it rigourously they sometimes negate any and all other possibilities and that can be dangerous on any level."

Yes, that can be said of any position at all. If you're leveling that accusation at anyone in particular, please be specific. Otherwise, it's in the same category as asserting that some people are foolish.

.:webmaster:. said...

ABarton's writing style is similar to and reminiscent of one of our regular trolls. Some of us know the troll as Emmanuel Goldstein.

Regardless, excellent response, Jim.

ABarton said...

Jim:
Yes I agree entirely. That was my point that I was stumbling around to express- you have put it far more succintly than I ever could!
I'm wasn't making some immature retort "atheists are so bad"
I was trying to labour the point that any ideology has that potential linked with it. Religion, atheism, nationalism....
As I said most atheists and theists are not like this. Any ideaology can be prone to it, again as I said:

"Any ideology that becomes fundamental has this potential. Your statement is valid and you (in my opinon) made it very accurately and succintly. But you should include nationalism and atheism"

Sorry if I gave the impression there was anything inflamatory

Webmaster:
I am not a troll, why have you called me that?
Nor am I, or ever heard of, Emmanuel Goldstein.
I can't see how you can insult me when I make the same point as Jim but then compliment him.

Nick Oliva said...

Jim-you make my point "Name any segment of society, and one can find among its members those who are dogmatic and irrational. Such is human nature." Yes, and that is what I said, stop reading so much hate into what I write. As I said previously in a response to abarton go to http://onlymoments.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/rah-rah-rah-rabid-fans-john-nash-and-the-human-condition/

and read it for yourself.

Jim says:
Perhaps you can agree with me on this point: To assess a position, one should seek its strongest arguments and its most rational proponents.

Yes, and I think that is what abarton is trying to do, but in an argument there has to be two opposing or diffent points of view and the outcome may or may not be desirable to both. This is supposed to be an intellectual forum not a chest-beating rah, rah, rah, opportunity to insult and demean. I do try to not carry on that way and if you do not like my writing language because it makes reference to bibical words purposely, not because they are holy, but because I make use of the same words that Christians use to prove or propagate their arguments in a different way to show the vague meaning of the phrases and how they can be used in a secular way. That is called poetic license.
At least you didn't go off on a personal rant.
Abarton, yes I used that line not to insult but to illustrate that there is always a way to spin any "geniune" historical documents as you did when I quoted the reseach of the man who spent years interpreting the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Catholic Church spent years repressing this man's work and to relegate it to conspiracy is to spin it to your advantage and hence my quote of the original post that "Fanatics and obstinate believers of “their God only” will always distort, smokescreen, deliniate, obscure, and alter these facts to their advantage. Always." I meant nothing personal but for the fact that you refute a scholar that is known, but rely on ancient scripts that have been translated at least 3 times losing much meaning in each. Further, my hypthoses on my beliefs are that in order to come to a reasoning on religion, one must think on the lines of not being able to be influenced by any other source point and to come to an understanding without the advantage or disadvantage of prior experience or books. My own personal beliefs run in line with this and they are not dissimilar with most of the other posts, but because of the sensitivity of language I'm getting hit from both sides. That's okay because I'm secure in my own skin, my own knowledge, and I know what I mean. I'm not looking for a fight but I don't back down to a challenge. Perhaps all of this is a head game but the point of it all is to come away with a different perspective and I have. That's another blog.
Again thank you all pro/con/indifferent for responding to my blog and I will leave this thread as the dangling participle that it should be, a theory, postulate or what have you and I hope that the wonder of life keeps you in tune with the sun rising each day for the next 2 billion years.
Peace and Best Wishes to you all,
I'm outtahere.

Nick

ABarton said...

Thank you Nick I have enjoyed our conversation.

Jim Arvo said...

Nick said "...stop reading so much hate into what I write."

I suggested that your moniker was inflammatory--that it had a negative connotation that was unwarranted. To infer that I am reading "hate" into what you say is a bit hyperbolic, wouldn't you agree?

Nick said "I do try to not carry on that way and if you do not like my writing language..."

Nick, I responded to a very specific portion of your post. I'm not sure how you can surmise anything beyond that (particularly something so convoluted as what you suggested).

Nick: "...but because of the sensitivity of language I'm getting hit from both sides."

Meanings of words and labels get discussed and argued over all the time here, even among those who would normally be philosophical allies. And there are more than two sides. So I'm surprised that you were taken aback by being challenged.

.:webmaster:. said...

Anyone who writes on controversial topics should probably expect a mixed variety of feedback.

In my opinion, feedback of any kind is a good thing. Negative feedback simply means people are reading the material and finding participating in the discussion of some value.

If people are reading what I write, I feel I've succeeded. If no one ever comments at all, I've failed.

.:webmaster:. said...

Nick wrote: "This is supposed to be an intellectual forum not a chest-beating rah, rah, rah, opportunity to insult and demean."

Uhm... not necessarily. This site is intended for the encouragement of ex-Christians. And encouragement generally means a variety of things to different people. If you only want an unemotional, strictly intellectual discussion, I suggest you find another forum. Or, you could always create your own.

.:webmaster:. said...

ABarton quips: "Webmaster: I can't see how you can insult me when I make the same point as Jim but then compliment him."

Perhaps you need better glasses? Your writing style reminds me of one of our frequent visitors who is a troll. Some of your comments and word combinations parallel his to a tee.

If that offends you -- T.S.

alanh said...

"Fundamentalist atheist" is an oxymoron. Fundamentalism refers specifically to religion, atheism is not a religion. A better term would be "zealot," but as Jim correctly points out, complaining about zealots is a waste of time.

A Barton, in your first post you said:

"I hope you will therefore retract your above article and the inflective language/challenge with it; for the benefit of retaining the title 'freethinker' as I know so many ex-christians hold so dear such blatent errors cannot be allowed to go public."

Or in essence, "I'm right and you're wrong, so I hope you retract your article." Why are you surprised that you provoked a negative reaction? And what does "inflective language/challenge" mean?

You also said:

"Yes communism killed many for many reasons. One of those was religion. Their communision had a deep attachtment to atheism,"

Nobody is talking about communism except you. It seems odd that a person claiming to be a student of history would resort to the tired tactic of conflating communism and atheism. It also seems odd that your posts contain so many spelling errors.

Nick Oliva said...

Webmaster- here is one of your TOS
rules: This forum exists for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave religion behind. It is not an open challenge to Christians to avenge what they perceive as an offense against their invisible friend.

Nick wrote: "This is supposed to be an intellectual forum not a chest-beating rah, rah, rah, opportunity to insult and demean."

Uhm... not necessarily. This site is intended for the encouragement of ex-Christians.-webmaster


My response to that is I can't see beratement and emotional excess encouraging anyone.


Anyone who writes on controversial topics should probably expect a mixed variety of feedback.
-webmaster
If you only want an unemotional, strictly intellectual discussion, I suggest you find another forum.-webmaster

My response: Firstly, I think you meant "scholarly" not intellectual as without intelligence in a response it does disintegrate into babble.
Sure I do expect feedback but to state that my posts are unemotional is to not hear the voice behind the stark method of communication of writing. To hear what I'm saying verbally is much more useful but in the world of written words much gets lost in the translation of those abstract thoughts. To that extent I apologize without being an apologist in the atheist sense of the word to Jim as hate was too strong a word and I meant negative but the "emotion" of previous posts lead me to that word of the moment.

As I proceed on this response that I really didn't want to take the time to do, but being called out by the webmaster was indeed the challenge that prodded me (you knew I'd come back didn't you?) I must refer to you to this post again-take the time to read it to understand my meanings.

http://onlymoments.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/rah-rah-rah-rabid-fans-john-nash-and-the-human-condition/

Then look at my sign-off from the last post: Again thank you all pro/con/indifferent for responding to my blog ....Peace and Best Wishes to you all
Now if I was surprised at being challenged I'm not sure how that was conveyed. I expect, I endure, I analyize it, I enviserate it, and I respond to it. I carry no axe to grind, I was a sexually abused Catholic over 40 years ago, I have been an ex-christian for perhaps just as long. My grievances run long and the inhuman experiences I harbor are due directly to the practice of that religion. I don't lecture as much as I endure because that energy is best used to positively promote alternatives, and I live on in that regard ignoring the dark horrid shit that I went through, as an innocent child. The minds of humans can be dark and without conscience (however you want to interpret that word) and it is in that regard that I refer to absolutes and intransigent minds that can lead to demogaugery and twisted rationality that condones the horrors that people see but ignore everyday. For that I stab at the heart of what I perceive to be "The road to hell paved with good intentions." ....but to each his own. We had better focus on Milt Romney and others who may upend the constitution imposing a Church-State upon all of us should they be elected by our Bible-Thumping citizens. That's more controversial that anything I've said.
I have enjoyed the time spent here and thanks to you all again.

-Nick

boomSLANG said...

Nick...Devout=1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.

Yes, I'm fully aware of the definition, Nick, thanks.....BTW, allow me to supply another from Merriam Webster:

Devout adj 1: Devoted to religion or religious duties or exercises 2: Expressing devotion or piety.

Atheism is not a religion, Nick. But regardless, if by "dedication" you mean, to talk about one's non-belief more, I will concede that, obviously, passive Atheists..i.e..those who have not been exposed to the concept of "God"/gods, don't talk about their non-belief in gods as much as active Atheists..i.e..those who have been exposed to the concept of "God"/gods(by Theists, no less) but who lack belief in such things. Furthermore, I find it interesting that Atheism is essentially caused by Theists. How 'bout you?

As for "dogma", thanks for that definition, too. From there, I'll say that my non-believe has nothing to do with the field of "knowledge", and thus, my position has nothing to do with being "absolutely true". One cannot "prove" an invisible semi-dead entity to not exist, similar to how you cannot 'prove" that "Allah" does not exist, absolutely. So, no, I'm sorry....I don't adhere to any "dogma".

alanh said...

Nick, I hope you come back again, it can be a tough crowd here, but (trolls notwithstanding) there's usually something interesting and informative going on. The dialectic has always been tremendously useful, the cost being we occasionally have to don a thicker skin.

stronger now said...

After reading the responses to the "fundie athiest" argument I think I see part of the problem.

Perhaps what some here have concluded to be fundie atheists, are a form of what we would call "lazy atheists". It would make some sense given there most likely are atheists who never put much thought into their non-belief and would ignore any and all arguments to the possible existence of a deity out of stubborness instead of reason.

However, to claim that someone is a fundie atheist because they know the difference between credible evidence for a deity and subjective evidence for a deity, would be erronious. But only because they have never been given any credible evidence. Not because they were ignoring the evidence.

Did anyone understand what I'm getting at?

Just my thoughts, for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

ABarton Said: "Webmaster: I can't see how you can insult me when I make the same point as Jim but then compliment him."

Go someplace else and cry Goldstein.

Jim Arvo said...

For what it's worth, I don't think A Barton is our friend Goldie. Have you ever known Goldie to write more than a paragraph without repeating a certain story, or some variation of it? (The regulars here know what I mean.) Also, A Barton's rhetoric has been exceedingly tame compared to that of Goldie (although I'll grant that Goldie has his moments).

Glenn said...

Isn't Goldie the same one who has posted this same lame joke over and over again on here?:

"ATHEIST SPELLS EAT SHIT!!!! JUST KIDDING!!!"

eel_shepherd said...

The person who most qualifies as an "atheist fundamentalist" is, in my opinion, an infant. Such a person is fully engaged with things as they are, and as such could not properly be classed as what has come to be known on this thread as a "lazy atheist". They are certainly not rejecting theism out of "stubbornness", but are simply walking the walk of free inquiry, before some opportunistic infection of a religionist comes along to gratuitously load the burden of theism onto their unaided immune systems.

ABarton said...

Thanks Nick, I have enjoyed our conversation. You looked past the fact that we disagree and we both remained civil.

Thanks Jim (I think).

Anonymous I am not Goldstein. I have search for his post; this man is nothing at all like me in tone, cordiality or thought.

I need to say this: I am a liberal Christian, and living the U.K. I have a lot of atheist friends. I came here from a atheist friend sending me Nick's post for comment. I consider myself a freethinker- which is why I presume my friend sent me the link. But let me say this entire experience has put me off atheism. I made what I thought were valid points on the history that Nick was making was wrong [I say this as a major in Church History] and I added a point that I agree with Jim's point and made the remark that any ideology has a tendency to produce fundamentalism. A atheist made the same comments and recieved no abuse.

Yet everyone, save Nick, has automatically pigeonholed me as sort of enemy to be attacked, I'm using rhetoric, I'm delusional and suspected to be some foul mouthed ranting person called Goldstein in covert.

I think my time is up here which is a shame and I'm giving some sort of "boo-hoo" story but I think the members here should be aware of just how on edge and aggressive you can be. I'd image out of the enviroment of a webboard I'd rather like some of you.
Anyway thanks,
Andrew.

SpaceMonk said...

Nick said: "...I can't see beratement and emotional excess encouraging anyone."

I see it as a protective effort, to the maintenance of this site as a 'safe place' for ourselves and other ex-christians.
As has been said before, it's like someone walking into an AA meeting tempting you to buy some booze, ie. the christians have to be shown up and shooed away sometimes...

The emotional excesses, well that is venting and can be helpful to get over something.
Resisting indoctrinated beliefs, leaving an entire life, can be stressful in ways that aren't always 'logical', and may even leave triggers that you didn't even realise were there until they get tripped.


Personally, although I'm interested in learning about history (and I appreciate your OP) I don't need to use it to debunk the bible.
Scholarly debates and apologetics on this subject never seem to get anywhere.

I prefer to debunk the bible with it's own internally inconsistent theology. That doesn't require any book learnin', just reasoning and questioning. ;)

boomSLANG said...

Spacemonk...."I prefer to debunk the bible with it's own internally inconsistent theology. That doesn't require any book learnin', just reasoning and questioning."

Agreed. As I just stated in another thread:

"academic study", or no academic study; plagiarized beliefs, or unique belief; historical, or not historical; scholar, or layman......freakish, outlandish, supernatural claims don't all-of-the-sudden become plausible/feasible.

and let me add to that---fundamentalist Christianity, or liberal Christianity.

Steve said...

In response to Anonymous, (6.12.2007), who asked...

“Why are you so angry and sarcastic always?”

Because, whining loon, your insistence that your self-serving decision to follow just one stream of an exclusive, mean-spirited (funny, that), evidence-free myth is worthy and entitled to awed respect, sympathetic consideration and social and financial privilege is , in fact, unreasonable, dangerous, divisive, disingenuous and outrageously arrogant. And, as outrageous arrogance is deeply offensive, it attracts furious mockery, just like decay attracts flies. It’s a force of nature. Grow up and USE YOUR BRAIN, silly.

“The pedophile comment was a low blow.”

You simper and bleat about xtian anger and sarcasm and then demonstrate your own sublime irony. You are certainly not the priests’ friend.

eel_shepherd said...

ABarton wrote:
"...But let me say this entire experience has put me off atheism..."

Please remember that some of us came by our atheism easily, like me for instance, while others at this board had to claw their way to sanity entirely on their own steam, from a deficit position, and often with active resistance from the people and forces in their personal ecosystem. Imagine the sense of loss they must feel. Even an amputee can get a prosthetic limb; but how do the victims of a cult ever get those years back? This isn't some math theorem or a crossword puzzle; this was their _lives_. Sometimes there's some heat along with the light.

On a 2nd, but related matter. Your comment was a glimpse into something we see a lot of here; Xtians who think that the ex-Xtians left because of the other members of the cult, not because of the (lack of) inner logic behind it.

Just my two cents.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

Barton...But let me say this entire experience has put me off atheism.

If we all converted to Islam tomorrow, I have a feeling that you'd still find an axe to grind. And I have "Faith" that I'm right in that feeling. In other words, it's not "Atheists" that are ultimately the problem(your problem); it's those who don't believe in your three-in-one biblegod.

Nick Oliva said...

No, boomslang the post has been gone by the hands of the webmaster not mine and I don't know why?

Nick

Nick Oliva said...

OOPS,

Sorry, I meant my original post on e main page of the ex-christian.net is gone
not the last reply entry.

nick

Nick Oliva said...

Excellent source point reading

http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/theistguide.html

AtheistToothFairy said...

Nick Oliva wrote:
Excellent source point reading
http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/theistguide.html


We are all that we see, hear, touch, feel, and experience. In my opinion, our soul is divine and perfect and has the 'grace' to animate our flesh," it is opinion not fact, it is a way of life I've chosen that does not bring a a colorful mythical deity, creature, or person into play...........
It is of a personal belief I neither try to gain conversions for a better place in the afterlife, nor have a self-serving agenda............
I am not a Christian and have not been one for over 30 years so before going on a rant that seems to imply that about me, at least get that much straight

------
Nick,

I have to say it's been tough to read through all the dialog/comments on your post and come away with a clear understanding of what your position is on a 'soul' and 'god'.

You clearly say here you are not a Christain, and seem to also say that there is no god of any kind as well, but yet you speak of a "soul that animates our flesh".
You also imply you believe in some form of an afterlife, which I would assume you to mean, that this "soul that animates our flesh", is destined to have?

So at this point it SEEMS you are saying your personal opinion is that there is no god but yet there is a soul and afterlife.

Ahh, but then you make a last comment, giving us a link to a cool website.
Alas, you do NOT say why you did that, or what you expected anyone to get out of this website reference?

In exploring other areas of that website you pointed us to, I ran into an interesting article that clearly disputes the idea that a human soul can exist in us, and that the brain is everything etc..
Ref: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/ghost.html

So Nick, if you do believe in not only us having a soul, but one that continues on in some form of an afterlife, what reasoning did you use to form this conclusion?

If there is a soul and yet there is no god who gave us this soul gizmo, then one has to wonder what part of the material universe was responsible for creating such a non-standard thing as a soul?
It surely can't be composed of matter, as we understand matter to be.
If it's some form of esoteric energy, then by what means did it not only take on a life of it's own, but then how did this soul somehow finds a way into each an every material human body.

If this is indeed your opinion about souls, then I'm VERY curious how you reconcile such an assertion in your own mind?


Thanks
ATF (who has to wonder if souls exists, do they always hide, like god does)

Nick Oliva said...

First of all, to put this issue of god, soul, and other metaphysical things I touch on in the right perspective-I write what is opinion on these subjects not fact and acknowlege that fully in each instance. Do I believe in the Christian god or any other god that appears in Pre-Christian Hebrew and Pagan beliefs-no I do not. I hope that is now clear.

When I speak of a power within, the "soul" so to speak it is to try and identify the energy within, what I believe to be an unknown (many people claim it's 21 grams, I do not) I do not reference the Bibical soul or that of a "saved" Christian soul. It is the energy that allows me to do things that are sometimes telepathic, and when I died things occurred that I cannot fully explain just with scientific reasoning. Rather than get into that which I cannot prove on a short website without hungry wolves waiting to decimate my every word (now that a friggin' joke so don't get too silly about it!) I will say this much. My philosphy is based on how I would come to a reasoning of existence if I was not exposed to any past or present religious theology. Like a physics experiment it must hold up in every environment and what is true here must prove true there, and there, and there without any slant or preposture from a established religion or mode of thought. It is very hard to do that, but I have been in this state of mind for over 30 years and it is paramount that I reference the Einstonian precept that matter is neither created or destroyed. This played a large part in my mind when my heart stopped and then I astral projectioned from my body. It happened, I can prove it and will in the future when I document the entire thing for a near-future book. Yes, the empirical evidence was the graph that showed the flatline precisely at the time I experienced the out-of-body experience while in ICU in the hospital two days after a life-saving surgery in a 10% chance of recovery (an abscess spinal infection). Now you can tear at my words and call me names, I don't care because I have experienced what is a very intense but calm and peaceful death, only to come back in very much pain to breathe in this world again. This happened 4 years ago and I still have a hard time talking about the specifics because it was so incredibly intense that only those who believe that it could happen will actually listen instead of trying to explain it away. I myself, tried to explain it away, believe me I am a very skeptical person and not a stupid person. I wanted it to be explained away by the brain dying and hallucination occurring because of the body's "cushion" of dying, and many other things that in the end did not add up. Now, am I saying it is the work of God? No, never said that it was. I used some terms that I now realize I shouldn't have because of the sensitivity of those who are at this site to those particular words. I have learned much here I do admit (thank you Jim by the way for the help with the Council of Nicea support) I do truly believe in my "spirit," "essence," or whatever you want to call it. I must be insane to reveal this personal information in such a forum because I cannot win on either the Christian side that condemns me and the pure atheistic side that rejects me for believing in what I have experienced that seems supernatural, but I don't view it as such. I come from many years of research and understanding outside of religion. My book "Only Moments" is a statement of those ideas bound with and threaded through a story of two musician's lives. Being a musician, a person of vibratory manipulation, I have studied string theory and Einstein; quantum mechanics; and the latest theories that support the Unified Field theories and the Great Singularity. All of these make sense to me in vibratory terms or essence and it is in that mindset that I think we are all part of the melody the determines the dance of life. I don't know how much more pagan and beautiful that theory could be, but if I'm ridiculed for it, so be it. "I'm the one that has to die when it's time for me to die, let me live my life the way I want to"-Jimi Hendrix
By the way the "afterlife" comment was a mockery not a religious statement it was said in sarcasm. Because I believe in myself and the energy within does not make the "god" entity real, it does however give me insight as to why the "god" entity exists.
"I just belive in me"-J. Lennon

Regardless of the reams of writing that I can spew, if no one is going to allow me the space to hold my beliefs for myself without a fight I don't care. I don't fear it, I don't discourage the questioning, but I will fight for that right and let others draw blood in process. I'm at peace with it, "I am what a yam and that's all I yam"-Popeye
In the meantime I enjoy the time and the possiblities of each scientific discovery that bring us even more knowledge of life in our universe.

Nick Oliva said...

CORRECTION:
Before anyone gets on a rant

Because I believe in myself and the energy within does not make the "god" entity real, it does however give me insight as to why the "god" entity exists in those minds that are religious. It is an easy way to externalize to a "Higher" order without taking responsibility for oneself. To me it is like pretending to be relying on advice from a big rabbit named Harvey in the room next to you. You are the source not the hallucination of the rabbit.

boomSLANG said...

I'm not sure, but I don't think I'll touch this one...it's got "Buddy Ferris" written all over it. = )

shaboz said...

Nick

You may have been clinically dead as far as man made machines' ability to alert the unsuspecting doctors, but you were not completely physically dead, you did happen to come back here and are still with us, ya know!

A doctor once told of many of his patient's experiencing NDE's in is facility and many told about rising above the operating table and watching themselves being operated on and he wrote a simple message on the light fixture overhead and no one has come back from an NDE and told him what the message that he wrote, said.

I truely believe anyone that has acutally died as in brain dead and came back to life and and while gone to an experienced metaphysical realm, would come back and tell of things very unbelieveable and unexplained beyond human comprehension, not about ghosts or spirits or virgin births or white lights, although the latter is enough evidence for many people not to question such nonsense.

Relatively, most people that are considered brain dead even for a short while, if they do awake from consciousness, they usually are always physically and mentally impaired.

I also think that if a person actually visited a metaphysical world from NDE's, they would have such a fascinating fantastic tale to tell that, the hole world would stop to listen in awe, not like love letters from god, god is love and god loves us all, which basically say's nothing.

hereticzero said...

About Near Death Experiences: I saw someone write about a doctor writing a message on an overhead light no one ever told him what that message was ...

I know that story is bogus--sounds like the phoney stories Christians use to make a religious point. There is no surgery room that I am aware of that is not cleaned head to toe after every surgery. Would you go to a doctor that never cleaned his operating room? Even light fixtures get cleaned. Give an example that doesn't sound like it came from Dear Abby or Montel will ya?

Nick Oliva said...

"if they do awake from consciousness, they usually are always physically and mentally impaired."
= Yes I am now impaired physically and somewhat mentally as I do not have all of the "sharpness" that I once had.

I speak of no god, no afterlife, just my own personal experience and did have an incredible experience. That's my point, to deny that would make me a bigger liar than a person of religion. Believe what you want, we will all be there someday anyway. I'm no longer afraid of death and that is a good thing for me.

boomSLANG said...

Nick O.....I speak of no god, no afterlife, just my own personal experience and did have an incredible experience.

Forgive me, but IMO, the more information you put forth, the more convoluted your position appears. You're "not a Christian", but you believe in a mind/body duality(I think), this, because "matter cannot be destroyed", and because of your OBE("out of body experience") Yet, you "speak of no afterlife"(until I hear differently, I take it this means you don't believe in one)..but yet, you say you are "no longer afraid of death", which of course, implicitly suggests that prior to your "OBE"/"NDE" you feared death....however, if there's no "afterlife", then I fail to see how your "OBE"/"NDE" has lifted that fear of death. Help me understand.

Nick O....Believe what you want, we will all be there someday anyway.

Yes, dead.

Nick Oliva said...

boomslang
"..but yet, you say you are "no longer afraid of death", which of course, implicitly suggests that prior to your "OBE"/"NDE" you feared death....however, if there's no "afterlife", then I fail to see how your "OBE"/"NDE" has lifted that fear of death. Help me understand."

I have yet to meet anyone that is not afraid to die in my lifetime. I cannot explain in detail why I now longer fear it, perhaps it is because it was so painless and at the time I was in immense pain as they had taken me off of morphine less than 24 hours after the 5 1/2 hour operation that opened my back and removed, cut, sawed, and hacked their way through me. I was without pain and peaceful. I at first didn't want to come back but I did.
The convolution you describe through the time we began this thread is probably a result of my own education on the terms I used and the realization I've come to in this open forum. For that I am thankful. My position is and has been for many many years that the "miracles" that everyone looks for exist in ordinary life. The miracle of the atom with it nucleus and revolving electrons and the binding of such to create all of what is in this universe is to me a miracle of nature, of science. It is empirical and able to be proven. I believe in gravity, but as of yet they have yet to find a graviton but empirical evidence of it's effect on other bodies allows mathmatical formulas that are proven. The fact that we live on globule of mass that spins around the sun and has evolved into what it has is a miracle to me, and the ability of DNA to alter, within one's lifetime" to adapt life to its current environment is amazing at the very least. This force of life is present albiet anyone's denial. Without a "being" there is no life, therefore no perspective on it. "Of Time and Being" by Heddinger shows us to on a graph of time to being, that intersection called the present. That's what I believe in, that force of nature that defines me.

boomSLANG said...

Nick O...I have yet to meet anyone that is not afraid to die in my lifetime.

People aren't really "afraid to die", Nick...as in the act of being deceased. If they are "afraid", it is being afraid to not live. There's a difference between the two. Tell me, were you "afraid" of coming to life at any given time before you were born; at any given time before you existed? If you answer honestly, the answer is "no". Nick, there is no scientific evidence that the void when life ends is any different from the void before life begins.

Nick...at the time I was in immense pain as they had taken me off of morphine less than 24 hours after the 5 1/2 hour operation that opened my back and removed, cut, sawed, and hacked their way through me. I was without pain and peaceful

Let's see, so you had undergone major surgery and were coming down off the influence of morphine(which can last for hours), and likely other drugs. Good grief, is it then so far-fetched to see, not only the possibility, but the likelyhood, of such things altering one's mental cognition?..to the point of hallucination? I don't think so.

Nick...I at first didn't want to come back but I did.

People don't "live" or die" on the operating table based on what they "want". You do realize that, don't you? I mean, do you think that all the people who don't "come back" didn't do so because they "didn't want to"???? Please.

Nick...The miracle of the atom with it nucleus and revolving electrons and the binding of such to create all of what is in this universe is to me a miracle of nature, of science. It is empirical and able to be proven.

Nature = nature. You seem to be suggesting that some aspects of the natural universe--- specifically, the "complex" ones--- are meta-natural, which is rundundant, and somewhat contradicting.

Nick...The fact that we live on globule of mass that spins around the sun and has evolved into what it has is a miracle to me, and the ability of DNA to alter, within one's lifetime" to adapt life to its current environment is amazing at the very least.

How about flaws in the "DNA" coding? Is that a "miracle"?

You seem to be taking a "lookist" position when it comes to naturalism...i.e, taking what is pleasing and palatable to the senses, and attributing it to a meta-natural, purposeful "order", while ignoring the uncaring, impartial aspects of naturalism.

Nick...This force of life is present albiet anyone's denial. Without a "being" there is no life, therefore no perspective on it.

I agree, with no consciousness, or "self-awareness", there is no "perspective" on life. Yet, without that consciousness, does the universe then become devoid of meaning? Remember, aside from human beings, other higher animals certainly have self-awareness, and even a conscience. So?..that all means nothing, just because there's no human "perspective" on things? 'Sounds more and more like the elitist position a Theist would take, IMO.

Nick Oliva said...

boomslang
"People aren't really "afraid to die", Nick..."

That statement is totally false. It is not like being born. Self-awareness, the act of knowing one is mortal is a fact, unlike birth that one can't be aware of yet, they don't exist to have the ability to know. No one I know is not in fear of dying, it is a survival impetus.

"Let's see, so you had undergone major surgery and were coming down off the influence of morphine"
-BS

Wrong. I was not under the influence of morphine it had been stopped almost two days earlier as I said, but nice try to undermine the point.

"People don't "live" or die" on the operating table based on what they "want".-BS

I wasn't on an operating table as I said it was two days later.

"Nature = nature. You seem to be suggesting that some aspects of the natural universe--- specifically, the "complex" ones--- are meta-natural, which is rundundant, and somewhat contradicting."-BS

Those are your words and your interpretation of how I hold nature to be incredible and amazing. Nothing redundant about it except in your mind. I'm not looking for chinks in my armor you are, and doing a good job manufacturing them when there are none to be found. What part of nature and miracle is so offensive to you? Why do you insist on merging terms of religion with every natural thing and then taking offense to it? Do you take for granted that the world around you should be taken for granted? Are we not one comet's hit away from extinction? Why the incessant diatribe over what is the incredibly long odds on our existence and the fact that we are still here and nature itself is an incredible experience to behold? You seem to want everything to be devoid of beauty and harmony as it is against a grain of nothingness that you wish to impose upon the world and the wonderment of it. I can't buy the nihilism in my life, won't buy it. I love my life and the world around me and will squeeze the living shit out of my experience here, in the here and now.

"So?..that all means nothing, just because there's no human "perspective" on things? 'Sounds more and more like the elitist position a Theist would take, IMO"-BS

What are you reading? Where do I say anything like that? Your accusation of elitism has no basis in fact. Your spin on words accomodates what you wish to believe about me. It is obvious the human element has only been on this earth for a very short time in history. I'm not stupid. While you go on about nature and "the uncaring, impartial aspects of naturalism" as if I was some fool who doesn't understand anything about nature, I intend to enjoy the wonders of nature, that includes all aspects of it, as I live my life as happy as I can make it. To call that self-delusional is to merely fight with me about linguistics and semantics. Live you life they way you want to, I don't judge you or anyone else.

boomSLANG said...

boomSLANG..."People aren't really 'afraid to die', Nick..."

That statement is totally false. - NO

Forgive me---let me clarify this for you, even though I think you probably understood my implicit meaning: When I said, "aren't really afraid to die", I meant the act of dying; the split-second tranference from one, to the other. Now, as far as the result of death, which again, is to not be alive, yes, of course...people fear that. People are also "afraid to die" a long drawn-out death due to illness; people are also "afraid to die" from snake bite. But again, neither of which is what I meant. If it's still not clear, I'll attempt it, possibly, one more time.

It is not like being born. Self-awareness, the act of knowing one is mortal is a fact, unlike birth that one can't be aware of yet, they don't exist to have the ability to know. - NO

Good grief, the point I was trying to make is that there is no self-awareness before birth; there is no contemplating anything---life, or death. So---and provided you agree with that much---if there's "no afterlife", which you alluded to with your "not speaking of an afterlife" statement, then the void after life, is the exact same as the void before it. If my reasoning is faulty here, please do elaborate.

No one I know is not in fear of dying, it is a survival impetus. - NO

I attempted to clarify this issue earlier on. Notwithstanding, the innate "survival instinct" that is in all of us, isn't only psychological, it's biological too...and it only helps make my point.

I was not under the influence of morphine it had been stopped almost two days earlier as I said... - NO

I'm sorry, I thought "less than 24 hours" would mean less than one day. My bad.

...but nice try to undermine the point. - NO

And what point would that be, other than you believe you had an out-of-body experience?

boomSLANG: "Nature = nature. You seem to be suggesting that some aspects of the natural universe--- specifically, the 'complex' ones--- are meta-natural, which is rundundant, and somewhat contradicting."

Those are your words and your interpretation of how I hold nature to be incredible and amazing. Nothing redundant about it except in your mind. - NO

In my mind, the words "incredible" and "amazing" don't equate to "miraculous".

Let's be sure, though....

Miracle: 1 An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God. American Heritage[bold added]

I agree with you that when you consider the infinite number of people who "could be here", but yet, never will, due to the finite time that the Earth will support human life...yeah, it's pretty frickin' amazing...bloody MIND-boggling!!.... but supernatural?? Nah.

I'm not looking for chinks in my armor you are, and doing a good job manufacturing them when there are none to be found. - NO

If you came dressed in "armor", then surely you were expecting to get challenged at the very least, yes? Look, you posted; I responded. If you view someone who challenges your philosophies as someone putting "chinks in your armor", then maybe this place isn't right for you.(?)

What part of nature and miracle is so offensive to you? - NO

"Offensive"? Spare me the mellow drama. The word "miracle" suggests, not "nature", but meta-nature..or, beyond nature..i.e.."supernatural". Maybe I should ask you---why is my pointing out an inconsistancy in an argument that's been posted in an open forum so offensive to you? Because it's yours?

Why do you insist on merging terms of religion with every natural thing and then taking offense to it? - NO

I'm following your lead---you introduced "miracle", and "spirit", which are by and large, religious terms. And what on earth(no pun) do you mean by "every natural thing"? Hopefully, not when I use the word "nature".

Do you take for granted that the world around you should be taken for granted? - NO

Of course not; when did you take for granted that I was suggesting something so ridiculous? Who is reading into who, here?

Are we not one comet's hit away from extinction? Why the incessant diatribe over what is the incredibly long odds on our existence and the fact that we are still here and ? - NO

I agree with all of that, except that my response to you was a "diatribe". I simply don't need a "super-experience" to see that "nature itself is an incredible experience to behold"

You seem to want everything to be devoid of beauty and harmony as it is against a grain of nothingness that you wish to impose upon the world and the wonderment of it. - NO

Wow. That's very vivid, but it's from your imagination, not mine.

I can't buy the nihilism in my life, won't buy it. - NO

Then don't buy it. You said the "nihilism" is there---only you could know that.

I love my life and the world around me and will squeeze the living shit out of my experience here, in the here and now. - NO

....'at a boy! me too! And with that attitude...who needs miracles?!?!?...right?

Nick Oliva said...

The license of language creates confusion when read by people of different backgrounds. As an artist of different media I use words as metaphor, alliteration, adverbs, adjectives, etc. to promulgate a vision of what I see or want others to see. Words by definition can be defined in many ways. In science many examples of why we are here use artistic license to explain concepts that are of incredible or great beauty. For example string theory:
from an unkown author
"Think of a guitar string that has been tuned by stretching the string under tension across the guitar. Depending on how the string is plucked and how much tension is in the string, different musical notes will be created by the string. These musical notes could be said to be excitation modes of that guitar string under tension.

In a similar manner, in string theory, the elementary particles we observe in particle accelerators could be thought of as the "musical notes" or excitation modes of elementary strings.

In string theory, as in guitar playing, the string must be stretched under tension in order to become excited. However, the strings in string theory are floating in spacetime, they aren't tied down to a guitar. Nonetheless, they have tension. The string tension in string theory is denoted by the quantity 1/(2 p a'), where a' is pronounced "alpha prime" and is equal to the square of the string length scale.

On holographic theory of life:

The holographic paradigm is joining of two concepts that were developed independently:
That the universe is in some sense a holographic structure — proposed by David Bohm
That consciousness is dependent on holographic structure — proposed by Karl Pribram
This paradigm posits that theories utilizing holographic structures may lead to a unified understanding of consciousness and the universe.

The physicist David Bohm, who died in 1992, developed a sophisticated approach to this concept of the universe, which he termed 'undivided wholeness'. Bohm outlined his approach in the classic 1980 book, 'Wholeness and the Implicate Order'. He used the analogy of the hologram to illustrate the concept of undivided wholeness. A hologram is a special kind of photographic plate produced with the highly coherent light of a laser source, i.e. light which is all of the same frequency and which does not disperse. Whereas an ordinary photographic plate records a flat image of an illuminated object, a hologram provides a three-dimensional reconstruction of the object. If a hologram is illuminated with the same coherent light with which it was produced, then the optical effect is as if the original object were being observed. When the observer moves his/her head around, different perspectives of the object can be seen. A remarkable property of holograms is that even if only a portion of the plate is illuminated the whole of the object is reconstructed, although the resolution of the reconstruction is not as great as when the complete plate is illuminated. One may say that the reconstructed object is embedded in any arbitrary segment of the plate.

On the E-8 theory of everything:
On November 6, 2007, Antony Garrett Lisi, an American-born theoretical physicist, published the paper called "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything", describing a new unified field theory that connects the theories of quantum physics and gravitation using the mathematical shape E8.

Lisi's inspiration lies in this elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says "I think our universe is this beautiful shape."

It is with these and other theories that my construct of a "wave" or "fabric" of life ties all together in the observable universe. Now is that counting unobservable universes? No, I that is an unknown, not a fact that it doesn't exist. I don't have the balls to declare that I know what lies beyond my own comprehension and in that respect when I use the word miracle (if one goes to google and types the words- miracle definition) the very first meaning is "any amazing or wonderful occurrence" and again what you have done is link religion and nature together and spun it to put your words in my text. I will observe any amazing or wonderful occurrence as a miracle by that definition. To go round and round to define life and it's purpose is pointless.

The kernel of of controversy to all of this is not the above hopefullness of relief, it is the after product of expectation from one human to another and the condemnation of things that don’t add up in the god column of reason. Throwing gas onto that fire is the misrepresentation of facts done purposely by those who know better to scare people into making unreasonable decisions such as stem cell therapy bans, to keep the masses in line. It is from that viewpoint that the road to hell is lined with good intentions by those who fall for these control points and deception to form strong opinons that prevent the further evolution of humans through the time we are given (which is short). We look for a light like moths to a flame and use the mysticism of man to keep myths alive as fact, and although colorful, they are detrimental to our ultimate survival. So the quaint becomes dangerous, the innocuous-harmful. Yet we all have a spirit that drives us, an energy that one cannot deny and in the quest to understand the essence of who we are we opens a Pandora’s box that has something for everyone. That box opens the moment we ask why we are here with every breath we take.

boomSLANG said...

Very, very, nice, Nick-O. Very nice interpretations of the natural Universe. Good chattin' wit cha!

Nick Oliva said...

Thanks for the tennis match and the opportunity to engage in debate, I knew I would eventually regurgitate what I knew inside to a very coherent but chaotic premise. God help me....oh no, now I've done it again!!!!!!!!!! Here comes another 80 pages.............LOL

nick oliva
www.onlymomentsbook.com

boomSLANG said...

Hmmm, apparently I wasn't facetious enough in my last post? Gawd...I'm losing my edge. lol

Buh-bye!

Nick Oliva said...

You are an impertinent one.
Post Script-You broke my balls about the word "Miracle" and one of your favorite books according to blogger is "The 5th miracle; God & the New Physics"(Paul Davies)
hmmmmm

boomSLANG said...

You broke my balls about the word "Miracle" - NO

Nice try. If you feel inclinded to review, you'll notice that I didn't take issue because you merely t-y-p-e-d the word "miracle"; I pointed out the inconsistancy in how you applied it; how you "hold nature to be incredible and amazing", and therefore, conclude/imply that "nature" is something other than nature; that it is "miraculous".

Now, before you start frothing at the mouth, I'll be the first to admit that if we're discussing, say, "produce", and you say po-ta-toe, and I say po-tah-toe, it ain't nothin' but a thang. However, when discussing/debating religious philosophy, it's a little more essential to be as clear as possible, don't you think? Is that so unreasonable?(asked, rhetorically)

Oh, and your "balls"?....they're wrapped in "armor"---they should be safe there.

= )

Anonymous said...

Nick, it appears that the experience you think that you had in your mind at that exact moment of time, you assume is a universal truth, and that everyone also will experience the same thing at the moment of death.
If that were the really the case, then everyone would come back and tell of the same experience.

What you envisioned in your own mind could not have existed beyond your own mind, otherwise you would have brought along some piece of evidence back with you. In other words, what you saw was a fabrication by your mind.

Words are cheap and too abundant.

Nick Oliva said...

"Nick, it appears that the experience you think that you had in your mind at that exact moment of time, you assume is a universal truth, and that everyone also will experience the same thing at the moment of death."
-Anonymous

Never wrote that, never implied it.

boomslang-we were bantering about the word miracle and you purposely failed to list the meaning of the word and used the alternate meaning to bolster your argument, thats all. Anyone wondering can merely type miracle definition, in Google and go to the first definition and see for themselves. And as far as my "balls" at least I have them intact and fully functional without an overload of testoserone impeding them. Here comes another juvenile comeback-Your serve.
:=)

boomSLANG said...

boomslang-we were bantering about the word miracle and you purposely failed to list the meaning of the word and used the alternate meaning to bolster your argument, thats all. - NO

"Bantering", or not---I attempted to qualify the word "miracle", a word that YOU introduced into the discussion, BTW, in two different ways: 1) By offering it's more common connotation in circles of theological discussions, and 2) By providing a definition in an attempt to be thorough, NOT as an "alternate meaning".

And just an FYI, I typed in "define miracle", and American Hertitage was the very first result. So, no, Nick-O, I didn't "purposely" do jack-shit. Again, no special pleading on my part. 'You?

Nick-O's closing tag..Here comes another juvenile comeback-Your serve.

preceded by....And as far as my "balls" at least I have them intact and fully functional without an overload of testoserone impeding them.

40/Love, set, match.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Nick Oliva wrote:
When I speak of a power within, the "soul" so to speak it is to try and identify the energy within, what I believe to be an unknown (many people claim it's 21 grams, I do not...
----------
Nick,
I'm not sure if you're still around, but I hope sooner or later you come back to read this.

After quickly reading through your musings about the mysteries of the universe and how they might lend support to a 'soul' within each of us, I didn't see any discussion about some more personal evidence that would boost your life-force assertion here.

You spoke about having this NDE experience, how it was so intense that it changed your opinion in a heartbeat...no pun intended there.
While you do state the experience was empirical enough to convince you of this 'soul', you failed to render any of the metaphysical details that would clearly indicate it wasn't all taking place inside your own brain.

From my reading over the years about NDE's, the descriptions folks give about them (that had them), I don't see any such description in your posts that one surely would think you'd have used to support your case.

While many have spoken about the 'tunnel' (which I've also seen as a child) and some even speak about floating up to the ceiling and/or later recalling details that they shouldn't have known about the room or procedure(s), you fail to even speak about this much.

From what I've seen, not one experience that SEEMS to point to obtaining information that the patient supposedly couldn't have known while unconscious, has ever been validated to show that information couldn't have been known by non-mystical means.

What you're lacking here is the usual evidence that all NDE's seem to be also lacking.
Did you come back from the dead with some piece of information that isn't known by present day humans?
e.g. Did this NDE let you learn some brand new piece of cutting-edge knowledge that would be considered a scientific breakthrough?

Okay, skip the great break-though knowledge stuff then.
Many folks speak of Astral Traveling, far beyond their current location.

Did you perhaps leave the room you were in and venture far outside even the hospital, and then witness some very specific event that you couldn't have gained knowledge about from any earthly source?
For instance, your 'soul' drifted to a minor fender-bender in a location miles from the hospital and which never even made the news of a traffic report, yet you can describe the vehicles, the people involved and perhaps even some of the conversation going on at that moment?

While you insist you were skeptical and needed enough good evidence to overcome that skepticism and then found it, you never showed us what it was that so convinced you this experience had to be what it seemed and not just a brain generated illusion.

Here's some information that might interest you about NDE's, as well as the idea of a soul in general.


http://skepdic.com/nde.html

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html#maria

Here's a good investigative book on the topic of the afterlife........

Mary Roach, author of the book Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

I've read this book and it's EXCELLENT, if one is interested in discovering if there is any scientific evidence for a 'soul'.

Here's part of an interview with Mary Roach that addresses NDE's in operating rooms.
From: http://calitreview.com/2007/04/03/an-interview-with-author-mary-roach/

Question to Mary Roach: The Near Death Experience is something that seems to have happened to many people. How do people describe the experience? Are scientists investigating this? What are the results so far?

Mary's Answer:

There are a few core elements of the NDE, as researchers call it: floating up above yourself, whooshing down a tunnel, moving toward a light, seeing dead loved ones who often tell you “it’s not your time.” The experience is pretty universal, though there’s often a unique cultural overlay: for instance, a man in China was told “there’s been a clerical error,” rather than “it’s not your time.” A truck driver sped down “a tailpipe” rather than a tunnel.A team of cardiologists and psychiatrists at the University of Virginia are taking a simple, rather elegant approach to trying to find out whether people who have these experiences are hallucinating or are actually leaving their bodies. They’ve got a laptop computer taped, flat open, on top of the highest cardiac monitor in an operating room, such that the only way you could see what’s on the screen would be if you were floating up by the ceiling. You can’t see the image (one of several rotating images, randomly chosen) from down below. Patients are interviewed after they leave the OR, to see if they report having seen anything. So far, none of the patients has had an NDE, but the project had only just begun when I was there.



She doesn't mention it here, but in one section of her book she speaks about the studies done that attempted to detect a weight-loss when a living thing dies, which might be evidence that a 'soul' had left the body.
While I didn't see anything pertaining to "21 grams" that you say some believe would be the weight of a soul, one would think that some form of our technology could detect a form of energy (soul) leaving a body upon death.
Of course, I'm sure some will say that the soul isn't made up of 'stuff' from our material universe and thus can't be detected by our human technology.
On the other hand, how many of these ghost-hunters insist that their techy instruments can detect haunting ghosts.

So if this mystical life force energy exists within us and continues on after our physical bodies die, then one has to wonder how we can prove out such a theory.

If we can't weigh the soul, if we can't see it in any wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum, if it has no magnetic field surrounding it, then how can we prove it.
If not a single person ever makes contact with these free souls and who has obtained special information from them, not possible by any other means, then again we have no evidence to buy into such a belief.
If someone who experiences an NDE during surgery and claims to have floated up to the ceiling, but has failed to take notice of the laptop computer screen images, how do we explain that they can see things happening in the room but can't 'see' that computer screen for some odd reason?

All we ever get for evidence for a soul, is the same type of evidence we get for a god and aliens kidnapping folks from their beds etc..
We hear lots of what folks FELT, or what they thought they SAW or HEARD, but it's always a personal experience and never a verifiable shared one.

Given how many folks die for a brief time in hospitals, one would have to assume that surely by now we'd have lots of tales from them that would contain details indicating it wasn't just their own minds at work, but a real supernatural experience.
Where are the verified studies that such experiences are really happening?
Why is it that all we ever get is the usual hearsay evidence and never anything concrete?

So yeah Nick, I'm sure your experience was enough to convince YOU, but until you present enough evidence to convince a skeptic, then why would you desire to push your supernatural belief upon those who might not be astute enough to weigh your experience properly.
That is no different that these xtians pushing their beliefs upon the world, all because they chose to believe such a thing, but at the same time having zero credible evidence to support such beliefs.


Now Nick, I see you are writing a book (or have written?).
Could it be that your post on this site might be serving another purpose, other than the usual.

1. Is it possible you were looking to see how well your theory would hold up in the company of the folks on this site?

2. Could it also be possible that you are trying to get the word out about your upcoming book and thought posting here might help in that self interest?

It's just a bit suspicious that someone trying to write a book about all this, would fail to render the very details to us, that supposedly brought about this mystical new life-changing view, on the very makeup of the human creature.

Also Nick, do you believe that animals would also experience NDE's, or is the human mammal special in that regard and if we are, then what force makes us more special than other mammals?

If you say mammals would also have this life force (soul), then how far down the food chain do we need to go before a life-form wouldn't have this life force inside it?
i.e. would an ameba have this life force and if not, then what about a goldfish etc..



ATF (who thinks the rules of biological life would be universal, and across-the-board for all life forms on this earth; so all life forms have souls, or none do)