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#121 Sasun

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 10:47 AM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 16 2004, 12:11 PM)
Yes, I agree. I never said that religion is imposing rules that are alien to humans. How could it since religion is invented by man?

I see a contradiction here. Religion says that one should not hurt others. You say that one should not hurt others. (If I ask you why you will not be able to answer)You seem to agree with religion at least on this question, but you reject religion. How can it be?

You say that religion is invented by man. What about the principle of not hurting others? Did you not invented a mini-religion for yourself? smile.gif Where did this come from?

QUOTE
Well, and I say nothing has to do with God, whether you believe it or not.  smile.gif You're so sure of yourself that you are the one who's biased.


I think I am being reasonable rather than biased, if you follow a simple example you will see what I mean.

Suppose I am standing in a dark room sick of it, without any knowledge. There are two men saying different things and I wish to learn from them if I can. One man (we may call him Toto for convenience) has lived in a dark room all his life and tells me that there is no such a thing as light. The other man (we can call him Bobo) says he lived in a dark room for a long time, but he was looking to get out of there. Finally he found a door and came out of the room to see that there is so much light out there that one cannot even explain it. Toto yells at Bobo and tells me that Bobo is nuts and I should not listen to him. Bobo tells me he knows the truth and there indeed exists a door leading to a place with much light.
At this point I am willing to inquire more to find out which one of them is correct. I request Toto to provide proof that there is not light, Toto tells me that he has not seen any light and that is his proof. I request Bobo to provide me proof that there is light. He says that he has seen the light and that is his own proof. He says he does not know if his proof will serve me a real proof but he can surely tell me where and how to find the door which leads to light. If I do it I will see the light myself and have my own proof. Toto jumps in and tells me not to listen to Bobo because he is nuts. He tells me he doesn't believe in Bobo at all, but even if Bobo is right and there indeed is light then one can get burned in that light, or turn nuts like Bobo did. But anyway he doesn't believe in such light. So Toto tells me I would be better off to stay in the dark like himself.
Well, I have to make a choice because I am really uncomfortable to stay in this dark place, so after some pondering I conclude that Bobo has knowledge and is offering me a reasonable choice, while Toto is ignorant and doesn't really offer anything else than staying in darkness. I would be better off following Bobo and finding that door. Toto tells me I am nuts too smile.gif

#122 THOTH

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 11:36 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 16 2004, 11:47 AM)
I see a contradiction here. Religion says that one should not hurt others. You say that one should not hurt others. (If I ask you why you will not be able to answer)You seem to agree with religion at least on this question, but you reject religion. How can it be?

non argument - does not require religion. If one can come to this conclusion without religion then what is the value added? Rejecting religion has nothing to do with this argument. I believe that Mormans would agree that you shoulnd't hurt others? If you agree - then why aren't you a Morman? Or could it be that there are other facotrs about Mormanism - and what Mormans believe that you disagree with. Some holds true for being Muslim - how can you reject the prophet Mohammed and all that he and his followers claim you muct believe. I can go on...

QUOTE
You say that religion is invented by man. What about the principle of not hurting others? Did you not invented a mini-religion for yourself? smile.gif Where did this come from?


No need for a religion to explain the obvious. Religion might be useful for codefying a set of moral belifs and such and for explaining what might not be known or perhaps even knowable (for those who need such hand holding). Oh and spirituality is not the same thing as religion - though again it is concerned with making sense of the unknown and (perhaps) allows internalizing of concepts - converting them from words to actual feeling etc...and there is nothing wrong with this. The world ia a wonder...

And your Toto/Bobo example - well it doesn't at all exaplin anything in regards to religion. I think we have agreed in past arguments that basically religion relies on faith and is not provable. So a more acurate parable would concern Bobo telling us that if Toto jumps off a cliff - and only believes in the God of anti-gravity that he will not fall. Well I have some advice for Toto....

And Sasun claims that he will follow Bobo's suggestion because it seems a reasonable choice...well there are many possible resonable choices etc - some are perhaps correct and others are not...and what may seem reasonable or acceptable to one person may not be such to another. It may seem resonable to me to believe that Aliens created us by genetically manipulating ape creatures and that we were put on this Earth in order to grow food and mine and stockpile gold (to be left as offerings) - and that if we do these (reasonable) things well then the Aliens will take care of us and give us reward. Well - I may believe this - and certain signs may suggest that indeed this be true - and it does seem resonable to suppose I guess - as good as anyting else...but should I turn this into an entire belief system? - working towards this end - mining and stockpiling gold, berating others for not doing so (how can they not see! etc - and my they are sure to be punished...)...and persecuting others for not believeing in such....well you get the picture i think...

#123 THOTH

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 11:57 AM

Natural Selections from Uncle Ed's Holy Book


With regard to the gods I know not whether they exist or not or what they are like. Many things prevent our knowing; the subject is obscure, and brief is the span of mortal life.
- Protagoras


My philosophy remains Transcendental Agnosticism. There are realities and intelligences greater than conditioned normal consciousness recognizes, but it is premature to dogmatize about them at this primitive stage of our evolution. We've hardly begun to crawl off the surface of the cradle-planet.
- Robert Anton Wilson


The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
- Eric Hoffer


All great religions in order to escape absurdity, have to admit a dilution of agnosticism. It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent [or American T.V. screen], who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely.
- H. L. Mencken


We have infinite trouble in solving [natural and] man-made mysteries; it is only when we set out to discover "the secret of God" that our difficulties disappear.
- Mark Twain (at the top of his sarcastic form)


Every other sect supposes itself in possession of the truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong. Like a man travelling in foggy weather they see those at a distance before them wrapped up in a fog, as well as those behind them, and also people in the fields on each side; but near them, all appears clear, though in truth they are as much in the fog as any of them...
In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it.

- Benjamin Franklin


I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
- Wilson Mizner


An evangelical Christian once told me, "Only Jesus Christ can save Man..." (What about Woman, I wondered? Oh, well, one does not expect semantic sophistication from literalist Bible believers) "... and restore him to his lost state of peace with God, himself and others." Yeah, sure, and only new Pepsi can make you feel really happy, and only our brand is better than the competition, and only our country is the best country. It is truly amazing to me that people can utter such arrogant nonsense with no humor, no sense of how offensive they are to others, no doubt or trepidation, and no suspicion that they sound exactly like advertisers, con-men and other swindlers. It is really hard to understand such child-like prattling. If I were especially conceited about something (a state I try to avoid, but if I fell into it...), if for instance I decided I had the best garden or the handsomest face in Ireland, I would still retain enough common sense to suspect that I would sound like a conceited fool if I went around telling everybody those opinions. I would have enough tact left, I hope, to satisfy my conceit by dreaming that other people would notice on their own that my garden and/or my face were especially lovely. People who go around innocently and blithely announcing that they belong to the Master Race or the Best Country Club or have the One True Religion seem to have never gotten beyond the kindergarten level of ego-display. Do they have no modesty, no tact, no shame, no adult common sense at all? Do they have any suspicion how silly their conceit sounds to the majority of the nonwhite nonChristian men and women of the world? To me, they seem like little children wearing daddy's clothes and going around shouting, "Look how grown-up I am! Look at me, me, me!"
There are more amusing things than ego-games, conceit and one-upmanship. Really, there are. I suspect that people stay on that childish level because they have never discovered how interesting and exciting the adult world is.

If one must play ego-games, I still think it would be more polite, and more adult, to play them in the privacy of one's head. In fact, despite my efforts to be a kind of Buddhist, I do relapse into such ego-games on occasion; but I have enough respect for human intelligence to keep such thoughts to myself. I don't go around announcing that I have painted the greatest painting of our time; I hope that people will notice that by themselves. Why do the people whose ego-games consist of day-dreaming about being part of the Master Race or the One True Religion not keep that precious secret to themselves, also, and wait for the rest of the human race to notice their blinding superiority?

- Robert Anton Wilson


Love can lead to devotion, but the devotion of the lover is unlike that of the True Believer in that it is not militant. I may be surprised - even shocked - to find that you do not feel as I do about a given book or work of art or even person; I may very well attempt to change your mind; but I will finally accept that your tastes, your loves, are your business and not mine. The True Believer knows no such restraints. The True Believer knows that he is simply right, and you are wrong. He will seek to convert you, even by force, and if he cannot he will, at the very least, despise you for your unbelief.
- Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands


People need religion like they need a lift in their shoe. If it makes them feel a little taller and happier about themselves, fine. But if you keep that lift in your shoe all the time, as you walk, jog, play sports, etc., you can wind up sore, or maybe even crippled...And, PLEEEEASE, let's not send folks to other countries to nail lifts onto the natives' feet!
- George Carlin


I'm not offended by Pagan, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, or Atheist viewpoints in fiction. Or in non-fiction, for that matter. I may disagree - but I'm almost certain to disagree with any author at some point. To anyone who equates disagreement with hatred, I say, "Bosnia!"
- Gene Wolfe (award winning Sci-Fi author)


During my life I have made countless friends by arguing - I am a Northerner living in the South, a Jew in the most Gentile community on the continent, an integrationist among white supremacists. I have a lot to argue about. But I have made friends over discussing a difference of opinion because I make my mind up about what I believe, but I do not make my mind up about people.
- Harry Golden, columnist who wrote during the 1940s to 1960s in the Southern U.S.


What is the best book in the world? I'd say that even the best book remains a mere book, and not life itself. Even the best book is one that can eventually bore you, if only through repetition. Be open to the best in every person, every experience and every book, and use your better judgment, built upon a lifetime of your own experiences. Books are not life, and cannot lead your life for you. You must decide. Even Bible believers have to decide which passages in Scripture deserve greater emphasis than others. And if an action commends itself to your conscience you don't need a book to also tell you whether it is "good" or not.
- E. T. Babinski


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
- Groucho Marx


Do you believe that the God who "created your mind" with it's exceeding curiosity (well, maybe not your mind), and its ability to ask the most fascinating questions of nature, art, beauty, science, etc., would also want to absolve us of having to think by giving us a so-called "perfect book" that must never be deeply questioned?
- E. T. Babinski (in an internet discussion with a Bible believer)


Either god should have written a book to fit my brain, or should have made my brain to fit his book. The inspiration of the Bible depends on the credulity of him who reads.
- Robert Ingersoll


Ever notice the way that preachers of "ye olde tyme religion" drag out the pronunciation of the name of their favorite holy book, calling it the "Buy-Bull?" Who buys that bull? Even the Bible tells you not to!
"I will accept no bull..." Psalm 50:9 (NASB)

"I will take no bull[ock]..." Psalm 50:9 (KJV)

"...the rest of the bull - he must take outside..." Leviticus 4:12 (NIV)

- E. T. Babinski


Read the Bible as you would any other book; think of it as you would any other, use your reasoning ability to ask questions as they naturally arise, just as you would if you were reading another book. And it will eventually dawn on you that the books of the Bible, or at least portions of them, were of strictly human and sometimes barbarian, invention.
On the other hand, if you have gazed at the Bible for many years through "theology colored glasses" then you may not be able to detect the many shades and depths of questions visible within the text nor those within your own head and heart as they relate to the text. Because after years of church indoctrination most people don't even realize they have acquired a particular "theological" slant, or that they have been hypnotized by "orthodox" comments made by fellow church goers, and by "orthodox" commentaries on Scripture filled with pious platitudes - commentaries that pass in silence over difficulties, or else that read into the text "orthodox" meanings that are not there.

Not only the Bible, but the Muslim's Koran, the Mormon's Book of Mormon, and the Hindu's Bhagavad-Gita, have pious adherents and countless pious commentaries written about them. In courtrooms in India, people are even "sworn in" with their hands on the Gita, not the Bible.

And isn't it laughable when two "fundamentalist" commentators cannot agree on the meaning of a verse or group of verses, each commentator insisting that his interpretation is the perfectly natural one God intended? Both commentators agree that God wouldn't bother to write a book unless every chapter and verse in it was relevant to believers like themselves, believers who were being "led into all truth" by the "Holy Spirit." God wouldn't let His words and their meaning get lost in hazy translation, or misconstrued over time, especially not by true believers like themselves, would He? Of course, the history of Christian dogma tells a different story. The controversies that revolve around interpreting the books of the Bible have been around since before certain books were even picked to be in "the Bible." There were many competing interpretations before the Nicene Council in 325 A.D. (to which we owe the invention of "The Trinity"), all the way up to the multitude of different Christian denominations today, and God didn't stop plenty of blood being shed over them.

- E. T. Babinski


Try as they might to be humble, to avoid the pitfalls of intellectual pride - largely because the Bible tells them to, perhaps - fundamentalists are dogmatic and doctrinalistic because their doctrine of the text forces them to be. They are reading an "inerrant" text. What they read, and therefore by definition what they interpret, must be inerrant.
- Kathleen C. Boone, The Bible Tells Them So


I don't claim to be inerrant, but I recently received a miraculous vision that showed me exactly how the world will end: It is the year six billion A.D. and our sun is a slowly dying star. But our technology has grown so advanced that we simply move our planet. We head for the Andromeda galaxy and meet another planet headed in the opposite direction. We...play...chicken.
E. T. BABINSKI

#124 Anoushik

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE (THOTH @ Jun 16 2004, 09:36 AM)
No need for a religion to explain the obvious. Religion might be useful for codefying a set of moral belifs and such and for explaining what might not be known or perhaps even knowable (for those who need such hand holding). Oh and spirituality is not the same thing as religion - though again it is concerned with making sense of the unknown and (perhaps) allows internalizing of concepts - converting them from words to actual feeling etc...and there is nothing wrong with this. The world ia a wonder...

Completely agree, Thoth. smile.gif

#125 Anoushik

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 02:57 PM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 16 2004, 08:47 AM)
Well, I have to make a choice because I am really uncomfortable to stay in this dark place, so after some pondering I conclude that Bobo has knowledge and is offering me a reasonable choice, while Toto is ignorant and doesn't really offer anything else than staying in darkness. I would be better off following Bobo and finding that door. Toto tells me I am nuts too smile.gif

Nice story Sasun. smile.gif I think we were discussing religion and not whether God exists or not. However, about God's existence: I don't believe in God. I don't care how many different "light" there may be and how many different ways one can reach those I still wouldn't call the "light" God. In this regard I am comfortable to say that I simply don't know what else might be out there and I'm open to all kinds of possibilities (like multiverse and multiple universe). But I think someone and something only deserves to be called "God" when that being is perfect.

QUOTE
You say that religion is invented by man. What about the principle of not hurting others? Did you not invented a mini-religion for yourself?  Where did this come from?


I don't know where the principle of not hurting others comes from - it might be that both biology and environment affect a person's beliefs. You are aware that some people are shy and some are aggressive and some are musical and some are outgoing, and so on and on. These are all genetic characteristics. So some people might be more concerned about others while some people are just egoists.

And we can go back to the beginning of this argument. You say that the principle of not hurting others comes from religion. Most people are religious, yet people always hurt each other and take advantage of each other. Bush is religious. He justified the war in Iraq by stating that he believes God is on his side.

#126 Sasun

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 03:30 PM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 16 2004, 04:57 PM)
Nice story Sasun. smile.gif I think we were discussing religion and not whether God exists or not.

Thank you, I am glad that my story was not completely wasted smile.gif I realize we were talking about religion, not directly about God. But if God didn't exist religion would be worthless. That's why I brought this example.

QUOTE
However, about God's existence: I don't believe in God. I don't care how many different "light" there may be and how many different ways one can reach those I still wouldn't call the "light" God. In this regard I am comfortable to say that I simply don't know what else might be out there and I'm open to all kinds of possibilities (like multiverse and multiple universe). But I think someone and something only deserves to be called "God" when that being is perfect.


Well, that is your choice of course to not believe. But am I to understand that even if you knew God existed you would choose not to believe because you don't think it is perfect. Perhaps there is a misundertanding, what I call light is an allegory for God.

The thing with perfection is that we don't really know what is perfect. And what is the meaning of perfection in our world? That the sun is shining all the time and people are fortunate all the time? Well, that is not possible due to the nature of the physical world, there is always negative and positive, cycles of low and high, etc. This is a whole philosophy... but God realized people say that once you realize/know God you will see that God is perfect and so is the world. How is it possible? It ispossible once you become free and independent of outside factors such as disaster, sadness, pain, etc. To be happy one needs not see sunshine or be wealthy. This is what the goal of true religions is. So if one can transcend the outside influences everything will be perfect.

QUOTE
I don't know where the principle of not hurting others comes from - it might be that both biology and environment affect a person's beliefs. You are aware that some people are shy and some are aggressive and some are musical and some are outgoing, and so on and on. These are all genetic characteristics. So some people might be more concerned about others while some people are just egoists.


You are making a very good point. And that is exactly why religion must not be rejected. The teachings of the religion are supposed to make one change his/her negative biological trends and negative environmental influences or improve on positive biological trends and positive environmental influences. (acutally there is more than biology and environment involved, but for the simplicity let it not be mentioned). In doing this religion is trying to help the person overcome limitations that were not under his/her control.

QUOTE
And we can go back to the beginning of this argument. You say that the principle of not hurting others comes from religion. Most people are religious, yet people always hurt each other and take advantage of each other. Bush is religious. He justified the war in Iraq by stating that he believes God is on his side.

Most people are bad practitioners of their respective religions if at all they practice. This is a clear case of misuse of religion, what else is new. It has been the case for most of the time.

Edited by Sasun, 16 June 2004 - 03:30 PM.


#127 Anoushik

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 10:32 PM

So, Sasun... As a religious and a spiritual person, what do you think is the point of life? You accept that our physical world both has a negative side and a positive side and amidst all this we cannot possibly know what is perfect, if God is perfect. Yet you believe in God. So, again, can you please tell me if there is a God (if it deserves to be called God) and that being exists and is all good what is the point of life in our physical world and then eternal existence beyond this reality? For what? For whom?

#128 Anoushik

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 10:38 PM

Another question: What kind of a loving and powerful God would create life in a physical world knowing that so many would suffer in that world because it is both negative and positive?

#129 THOTH

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 07:45 AM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 16 2004, 03:36 PM)
Completely agree, Thoth. smile.gif

Yes - thank you...

and its not about God (or gods etc) being perfect...is regarding if they exist. And what makes belief in the existance of Allah (and all that this entails) any more legitimate then belief in the existance of Zeus or what have you?

And then there is the whole Christian concept of Jesus dying to save us from supposed transgressions we have commited against this angry, vain, and nasty fire god form the mountain. First - what right does this being - if indeed he/it exists - have to demand such from us? And then what kind of nastiness (this hell & punishment)...for what - not totally subverting ourselves to his will (yeah some free will). This is not at all the traits of a good god IMO (and it just seems so obvious to me - I don't know)...so no - this Jesus concept (as put foreward by fundementalist believers) offers me nothing...it is not light - it is heat and torture...

Then of course there is the record of Christianity through history. How can one not judge the religion by the behavior of the believers/adherrents...and I could go on and on.

And for the likes of uninformed (and and not too bright) Gevo to suggest that I don't know what I'm talking about - well - that is a laugh. It is only because he and others here (seemingly) can in no way counter what I put forth...yet all the same they will condemn and look down on others...so yes it is very plain - (Christian & otherwise) religion as a crutch for children who need to be reassured of their superiority over others...and who need to make categories where they can see other people as "other" and hate them....(I'm not saying that this is true for all people - as there are a great many very religious people that i totally respect and who - for the most part - focus on the good aspects of the religion [and these people are also capable of having a worthwhile and interesting debate on these issues and can fully understand the legitimacy of the belief/non-belief etc of folks who think otherwise])

Edited by THOTH, 17 June 2004 - 07:46 AM.


#130 Sasun

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 08:57 PM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 17 2004, 12:32 AM)
So, Sasun... As a religious and a spiritual person, what do you think is the point of life? You accept that our physical world both has a negative side and a positive side and amidst all this we cannot possibly know what is perfect, if God is perfect. Yet you believe in God.

We don't know what is perfect, but we can know if we set our mind to it and make real effort.
Perfect is what God is. We can see many things around and be pleased with their beauty, sofistication, etc. If something is very good we may say it is perfect. But what if we find something that is better than this perfect thing? We will say that this new thing is perfect, and the other thing that we regarded perfect is no longer perfect. When we are able to realize God then we will see that it is better than all other things, we willl see that God is the perfection of all perfect, and that is why God is called perfect smile.gif At that time we will realize why God has created this kind of a world, and will realize the truth behind it, understand all the mind boggling mysteries. When we see it we will realize that this world is indeed perfect, but we previously have not seen it in and understood in depth, only the surface.

QUOTE
So, again, can you please tell me if there is a God (if it deserves to be called God) and that being exists and is all good what is the point of life in our physical world and then eternal existence beyond this reality? For what? For whom?


QUOTE
Another question: What kind of a loving and powerful God would create life in a physical world knowing that so many would suffer in that world because it is both negative and positive?


God is manifesting himself through ourselves. All that exists is God's body, we are God's body, everyone and everything around us is God's body. We are manifesting the transcendental God without realizing it, we are unconscious of it. The purpose of this life is to manifest God consciously. It is equivalent to say that the purpose is to be God.
To do that we have to evolve as much as to be able to understand/realize God so we can consciously manifest it. If life was all good and without any trouble we would not have any reason to look for answers and try to evolve. The pain, sorrow, difficulties, and all negativities of life are necessary for our own development. Adversities are necessary for evolution. Note that in Darwin's evolution theory negative natural conditions, aggression between species, rivalry/competition play a significant role for the evolution of the species. But we are not animals to wait for millions of years so we can evolve and become new species. Unlike animals, we can evolve faster if we are willing to work hard. That hard work involves spiritual practices, being unselfish, selfless offerings to the world, worship and perseverance. And the role of negativities in life is to constantly prompt us to search for solutions.

On the other hand, what is suffering for one person is not suffering for another person. And what is happiness for one person is not happiness for another person. So it largely depends on a persons attitude, it is very subjective. This is another argument against the view that this world is a very bad place. If it was bad then everyone would think that it is bad.

In eastern religions there is an important concept of non-attachment. Attachement to the material world and sense-life is what causes suffering. It is not the world that causes suffering, but the way we let ourselves to be. I will give some examples.
One person maybe poor but happy, he has no attachment to matterial riches, therefore he has no desire to get wealthy. He is free and independent of outer reasons for his happiness. Another person has a lot of money, without money he cannot be happy. But he cannot be happy with money either. Why? Because his happiness depends on money, but he thinks that he does not have enough money. Since he desires more money and cannot have more, it is as if his happiness is attached to some other money and stays far from him letting him unhappy and miserable. So a person's attitude to life is very important in determining happiness.

The same attachment exists in sense life. If one cannot be happy without sex life, then he cannot be happy with it either, because there is never enough of it and there is always shortage of it. If one cannot be happy without power, then he cannot be happy with power either, because there is never enough of it and there is always shortage of it. In short, with desire and attachment one is bound to be unhappy and unsatisfied all the time. The world will be a really bad place for such a person.

To be non-attached, to be free of any desires is the secret of happiness. But it takes many years and often many lifetimes to attain to a state when one is permanently free. Once you are there the same world that seemed like hell will seem like a perfect paradise. This is the actual experience of a few liberated souls, and following their advise is highly advisable smile.gif

Edited by Sasun, 17 June 2004 - 09:01 PM.


#131 Anoushik

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 11:04 PM

That's a nice post Sasun and it's fine if you believe that. It's good that you've found happiness with spirituality. Maybe some day I'll think like you do, even though I doubt it... One day I woke up and realized that there is no God and suddenly everything made sense. I didn't need to search for answers anymore. The God whom I'd tried to find and make sense of didn't exist. And to my great surprise I wasn't disappointed. I had gained something instead of losing. Now I have to look for answers at other places than religion. And you can't imagine what a great relief it is... I will stop here. There is no point for me to argue. The God that you're talking about is completely different from the traditional God that the atheists resent. And like I said, if you believe in that God and that makes you happy, then it's great. smile.gif

#132 axel

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 02:27 AM

It may be the case that both Bobo and Toto are crooks.

QUOTE
... is completely different from the traditional God that the atheists resent


Christ?



We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father.

God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten and not made; of the same nature of the Father, by whom all things came into being in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible;

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, took body, became man, was born perfectly of the holy Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.

By whom he took body, soul and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.

He suffered and was crucified and was buried and rose again on the third day and ascended into heaven with the same body and sat at the right hand of the Father.

He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father to judge the living and the dead; of His kingdom there is no end.

We believe also in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated and the perfect; who spoke through the Law and through the Prophets and through the Gospels;

Who came down upon the Jordan, preached through the apostles and dwelled in the saints.

We believe also in only one catholic and apostolic holy Church;

In one baptism with repentance for the remission and forgiveness of sins;

In the resurrection of the dead, in the everlasting judgment of souls and bodies, in the kingdom of heaven and in the life eternal.

#133 Sasun

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 07:40 AM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 18 2004, 01:04 AM)
That's a nice post Sasun and it's fine if you believe that. It's good that you've found happiness with spirituality. Maybe some day I'll think like you do, even though I doubt it... One day I woke up and realized that there is no God and suddenly everything made sense. I didn't need to search for answers anymore. The God whom I'd tried to find and make sense of didn't exist. And to my great surprise I wasn't disappointed. I had gained something instead of losing. Now I have to look for answers at other places than religion. And you can't imagine what a great relief it is... I will stop here. There is no point for me to argue. The God that you're talking about is completely different from the traditional God that the atheists resent. And like I said, if you believe in that God and that makes you happy, then it's great. smile.gif

Anoushik, I wish you good luck in your search and that you don't stop searching until you find it whatever you are looking for smile.gif

#134 Sasun

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 07:41 AM

QUOTE (axel @ Jun 18 2004, 04:27 AM)
It may be the case that both Bobo and Toto are crooks.

With this statement you are not saying much really, many things may be or may not be. You can't accuse people of being crooks unless you know for sure.

#135 THOTH

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 08:05 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 18 2004, 08:41 AM)
With this statement you are not saying much really, many things may be or may not be. You can't accuse people of being crooks unless you know for sure.

But can you claim there is Heaven or reincarnation or what have unless you know for sure?

And my claiming that there are not these things - is essentially based on "knowing for sure" - as the concepts are patently absurd....but of course one never knows - there are many absurdaties in life...and so perhaps I am open to possibilities (lets just say I regard the possibilities as being very very low - and when mixed in with all the hosts of other possibilities well...)..what peeves me are the people who not just believe these things (OK believe what you want) - but who go on about them as if they are really some kind of reality for everyone else - and judge others based on their belief/non-belief and such...and such...

#136 THOTH

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 08:20 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 17 2004, 09:57 PM)
We don't know what is perfect, but we can know if we set our mind to it and make real effort.
Perfect is what God is. We can see many things around and be pleased with their beauty, sofistication, etc. If something is very good we may say it is perfect. But what if we find something that is better than this perfect thing? We will say that this new thing is perfect, and the other thing that we regarded perfect is no longer perfect. When we are able to realize God then we will see that it is better than all other things, we willl see that God is the perfection of all perfect, and that is why God is called perfect smile.gif At that time we will realize why God has created this kind of a world, and will realize the truth behind it, understand all the mind boggling mysteries. When we see it we will realize that this world is indeed perfect, but we previously have not seen it in and understood in depth, only the surface.

God is manifesting himself through ourselves. All that exists is God's body, we are God's body, everyone and everything around us is God's body. We are manifesting the transcendental God without realizing it, we are unconscious of it. The purpose of this life is to manifest God consciously. It is equivalent to say that the purpose is to be God.
To do that we have to evolve as much as to be able to understand/realize God so we can consciously manifest it. If life was all good and without any trouble we would not have any reason to look for answers and try to evolve. The pain, sorrow, difficulties, and all negativities of life are necessary for our own development. Adversities are necessary for evolution. Note that in Darwin's evolution theory negative natural conditions, aggression between species, rivalry/competition play a significant role for the evolution of the species. But we are not animals to wait for millions of years so we can evolve and become new species. Unlike animals, we can evolve faster if we are willing to work hard. That hard work involves spiritual practices, being unselfish, selfless offerings to the world, worship and perseverance. And the role of negativities in life is to constantly prompt us to search for solutions.

On the other hand, what is suffering for one person is not suffering for another person. And what is happiness for one person is not happiness for another person. So it largely depends on a persons attitude, it is very subjective. This is another argument against the view that this world is a very bad place. If it was bad then everyone would think that it is bad.

Well that is just perfect isn't it? What is the point of living - of striving to change things - make them better - if all is already perfect? (and obviously pre-destined and such - because perfect would be a continum throughout time would it not?)...so again - just what is the point? To live out our role in all of this pre-concieved perfection? And I supose the Armenain Genocide was all part of this perfect plan as well...so who are we to bitch and complain? And why bother feeling pain and hurt...etc etc

And your sureness in all of this I find just baffling....

QUOTE
In eastern religions there is an important concept of non-attachment. Attachement to the material world and sense-life is what causes suffering. It is not the world that causes suffering, but the way we let ourselves to be. I will give some examples.
One person maybe poor but happy, he has no attachment to matterial riches, therefore he has no desire to get wealthy. He is free and independent of outer reasons for his happiness. Another person has a lot of money, without money he cannot be happy. But he cannot be happy with money either. Why? Because his happiness depends on money, but he thinks that he does not have enough money. Since he desires more money and cannot have more, it is as if his happiness is attached to some other money and stays far from him letting him unhappy and miserable. So a person's attitude to life is very important in determining happiness.

The same attachment exists in sense life. If one cannot be happy without sex life, then he cannot be happy with it either, because there is never enough of it and there is always shortage of it. If one cannot be happy without power, then he cannot be happy with power either, because there is never enough of it and there is always shortage of it. In short, with desire and attachment one is bound to be unhappy and unsatisfied all the time. The world will be a really bad place for such a person.

To be non-attached, to be free of any desires is the secret of happiness. But it takes many years and often many lifetimes to attain to a state when one is permanently free. Once you are there the same world that seemed like hell will seem like a perfect paradise. This is the actual experience of a few liberated souls, and following their advise is highly advisable smile.gif


OK - so no sex, no money (and/or fun things that can be had through such) - no desire to see your children do well (non-attached = no caring) etc etc

Sounds to me like your advocation a life of heroin intoxication...

And I understand that what you are saying is consistent with most Eastern religious thought - and there is no doubt through meditation and disatachment (to a limited degree) one can gain insights - but to advocate that the world around is illusion and that we must disattach from it - well this is nto a good perscription for sucess, hapiness (unless of an ignorance is bliss type), and furthering of the species. It is an outlook that serves the rich & powerful in control of things to placate the masses - yeah your poor and miserable - but heh - don't worry about it - its not important - you should worry about things in your next life and just accept your lot in this one....well I find all of this sort of thing to be very counterproductive and counterintuitive, unprovable and just plain wrong (and this should be obvious - as people have always strived to better themselves and their lot in this life - and the joy of life is through involvement and experience - not tuning out...). As good as application of some of these concepts may be - taken to the point to which they/you ascribe - well its a great sham if you ask me...

#137 THOTH

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 08:21 AM

And how many poor suffering people are truly happy. I'm not saying you need to be rich to be happy - but it sure helps!

#138 Sasun

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 18 2004, 01:04 AM)
One day I woke up and realized that there is no God and suddenly everything made sense. I didn't need to search for answers anymore. The God whom I'd tried to find and make sense of didn't exist.

If you mean that you realized there is no God that is cruel, unjust, imperfect, unintelligent, and doesn't make sense then you were right. That would be a misunderstanding. I think it is better to be an agnostic/humanist (or even an atheist/humanist) than believe in a false, cruel God (which does not exist). Such belief will only produce mental anguish and irrelevance in ones life. I think I understand why you felt relief.

Edited by Sasun, 18 June 2004 - 10:47 AM.


#139 Sasun

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 01:50 PM

I highly recommend reading this book, it is a small book but explains much http://www.amazon.co...e=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Edited by Sasun, 18 June 2004 - 01:51 PM.


#140 THOTH

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 02:15 PM

I recommend this book -

http://www.amazon.co...3298903-0668118




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