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Author Topic: How good exactly were the good old days?  (Read 14825 times)
Alan Klein
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« Reply #100 on: December 30, 2010, 12:24:33 PM »
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I know its currently politically incorrect to talk about God.  But many of the delusions and unhappiness today stem from our distance and lack of connectiveness to something beyond ourselves, something that a belief in God gives us.  As long as we think, I think, that getting more pixels and less noise will make me happier, so long will the unhappiness return.  We, I, have to have a purpose greater than myself and only God can give me that purpose.  Everything else as it's said is vanity and therefore meaningless. 

I think our current society has lost much of this that was understood in the "good old days".  And yet, today, because of this sense of loss, there is a new push from many directions towards returning to this understanding of our fathers.  I think that's a good thing.  Certainly it's helping me.
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bill t.
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« Reply #101 on: December 30, 2010, 01:58:13 PM »
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I eschew classic religion.  In recent history religious belief has too easily been adapted to justify acts of war and terror.  We need something much better, if only to survive.

Religion and other forms of absolute dogmatism is a sort of moral thermostat that can be manipulated by those in power to license good people to do not only good, but also to commit ugly acts totally contrary their innate natures.  A person who can be convinced of the absolute moral authority of religion can be convinced to do anything, which for instance is how suicide bombers are groomed.  And how leaders sometimes justify wars to their followers.  We need something better than unquestioned belief in the archaic God's of old, if we are to survive the abuses of those who use religious faith to capture human minds for their own purposes.

Also, modern religion castes God as a kind of simplistic Santa Claus for grownups, making a list of our good and bad behaviors and checking it twice.  If He She or It actually exists, I hope this type casting is taken as amusing rather than insulting.

When I personally abandoned my early Catholicism, I finally found my self underneath the locks and keys and erasures and overwrites put their by priests and nuns during my formative years.  And you know what?  Substituting enlightened self interest and the desire to be socially accepted proved to be as noble a moral compass for me as the fire and brimstone of religion.  That is my prescription for those who justify religion as source of morality...you really don't need it, and it can sometimes turn ugly and hurt people.

And for those seeking spirituality, close those hoary old books and listen very carefully to what is going on in your mind.  But if you simply subscribe to ordinary religious beliefs, that's like taking a spiritual narcotic.  Oh you'll feel fine...immortality guaranteed and all the questions neatly answered and you can just kick back, it's all very seductive...but you're substituting fantasy for spirituality.  IMHO if their is such a thing as sin, it is surrendering the rational mind, our greatest gift, for the unquestioned tenets of doctrine.  Reason is for humans, faith is for farm animals.  If I believed in Satan, and I were He, I would be working hard to shut down rational human minds with heavy doses of faith.

And doesn't Ava look good!  Thanks, God!
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Rob C
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« Reply #102 on: December 30, 2010, 02:32:04 PM »
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Ava, what have you done?

Organized religion, I think, has a lot for which to answer, but I do think that's more to do with man and his way of trying to gain exclusivity - it's my club you all should join. Like Mick said: can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me...

However, because man eventually fucks most things up doesn't mean that the basic tenet of religion is flawed. As I see it, the ten commandments cover most of the human interfaces, and provide a wonderful template for civilized existence together. Regarding even more basic questions, yes, I do believe in some form of a god because whilst 'science' claimed one origination theory after another, it always failed to come to a satisfactory explanation of the very first factor in the equation that's life: what was it? No use expounding about big bangs, because for them to happen, something has to be there to go bang. That, in turn, leads to the question of whence did it come? I think the reality will always be that it's beyond us to figure it out, that some sort of higher power is at play (or work?) and we simply can't understand or imagine it.

I have no trouble imagining an afterlife as a distinct possibility, probability, even. It makes some sort of logical sense, after all: what would be the point of growth, improvement of the self and the combined knowledge in the world if it were all for nothing? Most things, I note, do have a purpose in nature; we are part of that nature and I think it's a bit rich to hop in and out of the bits that suit the mood, circumstances and surroundings and deny the rest of the whole because it may not suit a personal conviction?

Physical immortality doesn't happen, as we know, but as for the spiritual part of us, why not? The world of dreams, of hopes and inner conflicts, emotions, all chemistry and nada mas? Sorry, can't buy that one, however plausible the arguments may be. We come in many parts.

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 10:45:44 AM by Rob C » Logged

ronkruger
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« Reply #103 on: December 30, 2010, 03:24:18 PM »
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I'm one of those people who had a profound death experience, and what I experienced didn't jive with the dogma of any western religions. I can assure you all wholeheartedly there is an afterlife and a higher power, but not the brutal tyrant people have invented to control other people. It is A Higher Good, which is the title of the book I wrote about it.
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In the end, the only things that matter are the people we help and the people we hurt. Google Ron Kruger and click on any link to Photoshelter
Justinr
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« Reply #104 on: December 31, 2010, 02:45:33 PM »
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I pity those who have somehow lived a life unexposed to experiences which should cause them to question the rather arrogant assumption of science to having, or at least potentially holding, all the answers to life the universe and everything. Patterns within nature repeat themselves over and over again and at least science has the grace to admit this into its revered hall of logical thought and we can thank Benoit Mandelbrot for that. However, one pattern that the good doctors and professors of this world refuse to recognise is that whenever they discover something small it would immediately appear to be made of something smaller still, little fleas have littler fleas upon them and so on and the search for the ultimate truth gets further bogged down in a quagmire of assumptions and well, it must be said, beliefs! The particles and forces that are invented to explain phenomena get ever more esoteric and fantastic and this pattern of creative thinking to justify observed results pretty well matches much religious thought over the centuries. I've no objection to this industry as it keeps many intelligent minds from doing something more harmful still but I for one have lost the innocent wonder and marvel of science that I held in my youth with the accumulation of 'illogical' experiences accelerating the process. As yet it is not enough to cause me to have a total faith in afterlife but it certainly holds the door open to that option and a recent episode concerning a member of my family pushes the door further still.

The thought has not escaped me that should I embrace a new set of spiritual beliefs then I may in fact be happier or more content with life, but that is a huge internal swing and one that I have resisted to date for it suggests a cop out, an abandonment of the belief the we hold our destiny in our own hands.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 02:49:31 PM by Justinr » Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #105 on: December 31, 2010, 03:10:26 PM »
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should I embrace a new set of spiritual beliefs then I may in fact be happier or more content with life..

Hence the saying: "ignorance is bliss"  Wink
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fredjeang
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« Reply #106 on: December 31, 2010, 03:42:56 PM »
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...an abandonment of the belief the we hold our destiny in our own hands.
Well, this IMO would be a great abandon. And as you pointed it is a beleif.

No one has never hold his destiny in his/her own hands.

The only thing that we have is being responsable for our own acts, conscious or unconsious. But our destiny, as being able to direct and control the events of our life, our "choices" etc... has never been in our control.
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Rob C
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« Reply #107 on: January 01, 2011, 05:14:00 AM »
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Indeed we don't control much in our personal destiny. We may certainly make very active choices for ourselves, but the outcome is always beyond us. The most we can do is roll the dice in the direction we think right for us.

Personally, I have no doubts left that there is more after death. I lost a wife but I can tell you I've gained a guardian angel. That's not in any religious, denominational meaning of the two words, but an appreciation based on extraordinary things that have happened in my life since I lost her. It is something coupled with the Scottish belief that what's for you won't go by you, and what isn't you may as well forget.

So easy to mock; so much more easy to experience and then believe. Just like cigarettes: I used to smoke, even in the darkroom where the but would burn down and bring the tears to my eyes as wet fingers couldn't reach up to pull the damned thing out of my mouth. I couldn't stop for long periods: I'd get a sore throat, stop smoking for a while and the throat would go okay, only to be abused with fresh Luckies (always the show-off in those things, but you had to live in the UK to understand). I'd start another cycle of stop/go, and then an uncle of my wife's died of thoat cancer; it became very easy to stop, right there and then.

Sometimes we can't see what's been right under our noses all the time.

Rob C

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ronkruger
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« Reply #108 on: January 01, 2011, 10:35:11 AM »
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From studying religions and people, I have determined people can believe just about anything, but they only know for sure what they have experienced. That's basically why we are here: for the experience.
In this realm, we are subject to the laws of physics and of cause and effect, which are much grander than we can fathom fully, but what we experience is greatly influenced by the choices we make and the attitudes we bring to the view and interpretation of it all. We don't see the spritiual side of things if we refuse to look, and it usually takes a dramatic and obvious experience to divert our gaze from the physical to the spiritual realities.
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In the end, the only things that matter are the people we help and the people we hurt. Google Ron Kruger and click on any link to Photoshelter
fredjeang
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« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2011, 07:39:21 PM »
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...would that flames of hidden and lost in this nocturnal gaining
 ignite clarity in caverns carved of life spent full...
portals open to receive...
Beautifull picture!

It lights my fire.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #110 on: January 02, 2011, 07:45:46 PM »
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From studying religions and people, I have determined people can believe just about anything, but they only know for sure what they have experienced. That's basically why we are here: for the experience.
In this realm, we are subject to the laws of physics and of cause and effect, which are much grander than we can fathom fully, but what we experience is greatly influenced by the choices we make and the attitudes we bring to the view and interpretation of it all. We don't see the spritiual side of things if we refuse to look, and it usually takes a dramatic and obvious experience to divert our gaze from the physical to the spiritual realities.
Absolutly.

And the planet that we are seeing now, complete spoilation of ressources with zero care for nature but profits, people exploitation, mass manipulation to the extreme, etc...is the result of that separation.
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Rob C
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« Reply #111 on: January 03, 2011, 04:00:32 AM »
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Well, at least some of us believe things are getting worse, so by default, they must have been better at some earlier period: QED.

I like my conclusions simple, if only so I can understand them.

More seriously, I think mankind as a whole is in its advancing middle-age; space dreaming, outer or inner, is simply the era where second-childhood begins. Not long to go, so buy and run that '59 Cadillac if you can find/finance it! At worst, it'll make a pretty bomb when the time comes.

Rob C (in happy mode).

EDIT: no idea what vintage this is, but it was shot in '79 on glorious Kodachrome 64 Pro.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 10:54:04 AM by Rob C » Logged

degrub
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« Reply #112 on: January 03, 2011, 09:33:57 AM »
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it's timeless  Grin
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