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I believe in honesty.

Tehn I hope that vastu shastra is less riddles with crooks charlatans than, for example, Feng shui.

Edited by John Cuthber

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I'm a skeptical agnostic. :)

 

Used to be that too in my 20's :)

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I strongly believe scrappy doo was a big mistake and not funny and ruined the show completely. Someone needed to kick his ass.

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I like cannabis... When I'm not drinking...

 

The empirical evidence that I have gathered throughout my early life is quite substantial on that subject and it leads me to the conclusion that I understand your logic very well.

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I believe that Donald Trump will never win.

I believe he might win.

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I believe he might win.

 

I believe he will not (unless an accident occurs).....Let's wait for the poll results.

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My belief system is similar to the one described by the OP:

 

Catholic who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

 

My belief system was in large part based on Pascal's Wager when I was younger. However, at one point I decided to seek God partly out of intense curiosity, and partly out of a feeling of "something missing".

 

The result was that prayers were answered etc. that erased any doubt I had had about the existence of God.

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My belief system was in large part based on Pascal's Wager when I was younger. However, at one point I decided to seek God partly out of intense curiosity, and partly out of a feeling of "something missing".

 

The result was that prayers were answered etc. that erased any doubt I had had about the existence of God.

So you initially wanted to play it safe, just in case. Then you wanted confirmation inside your head...or heart...that you were not wasting your time and hallelujah, your prayers got answered and all your doubt about the existence of God vanished. So I am curious as to which God answered, Yahweh, Jesus, Allah or anyone else? You do understand that Muslims have similar "mind" experiences, so too Judaists, Hindu's or any other superstitious bloke. I have a guy who worked for me who believed that the sangoma chased away the tikoloshe that was running over his roof every evening, so his prayers and his payment to the sangoma worked out pretty well. Hence the reason us sceptics consider this to be "mind" games. I am curious though, in what way did your God answer your prayers that it erased any doubt..?

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The God that answered is Jesus Christ.

 

Over the years I have reached the conclusion that God seeks to convince each of us individually of His nature. Thus, the things that happened to me will have less meaning to you, and vice versa, as we have not walked in each others' shoes. Perhaps you are a scholar in some subject about which I know little or nothing. If God were to reach you in that discipline, I could not appreciate your feeling etc.

 

A few of the experiences included:

 

Once a young neighbor who was learning to surf was going to Maui and he was excited to tell me about it. I knew of an easy break near where he was staying and was about to tell him about it. I had this strange premonition of danger that I heeded, and did not tell the lad about the break. That week, a surfer was killed by a tiger shark at the exact break I was about to tell my neighbor about. The kid would have been the least experienced surfer in the water, and the most vulnerable to attack.

 

Once I had a real problem with one aspect of theology involving the coexistence of free will and God's ability to "see the future". At this time I was browsing in a religious bookstore and randomly picked up a novel about religious fiction that I felt I should read. The novel answered the question exactly.

 

Shortly after having several prayers answered, and not knowing much about how we are supposed to interact with God, I decided to "speed up the process". I literally asked by guardian angel to meet me at a restaurant for a chat. I was sitting in the restaurant watching the front door and a person taps me on the shoulder from behind, and asks if I would like to join him and his friend for dinner.

The person was my parish priest who I barely knew and his friend, another priest. I don't recall ever having had dinner with a priest prior to this episode. Nevertheless, the invitation was not ignored. Later, I learned that when people meet angels it is often to strengthen them for something awful. After that, the desire to meet one ebbed.

 

There are scores more examples, most of which involve God letting me know that I never have to face anything alone.

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The God that answered is Jesus Christ.

 

Over the years I have reached the conclusion that God seeks to convince each of us individually of His nature. Thus, the things that happened to me will have less meaning to you, and vice versa, as we have not walked in each others' shoes.

 

 

Why does Jesus need to be God for us to see his/her wisdom?

 

None of us can directly have knowledge of God, nor do we need too; everything you imagine he provides, is within you by definition.

 

I have no desire to destroy your god or the purpose you imagine he/she provides; I simply seek, to find, a method to instill that purpose/certainty in a society that understands why such a being, almost certainly, doesn't exist.

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I believe that wisdom comes from God, so any historical being who exhibits wisdom is inspired by God, regardless of his or her belief system. That is my conjecture. Jesus is different from other wise historical figures in that He is the Son of God, according to the Christian belief system that I follow.

 

I believe that all of us can have knowledge of God; however, there are right ways and wrong ways to seek God. For example, a key ingredient to seeking God is repentance, that removes sin that separates man from God according to my understanding of Christian theology.

 

You don't have to worry about harming my acceptance of God because my personal experience will trump an argument. Nevertheless, you may show some flaw in my belief system that could reveal an area where I am weak.

 

I am also seeking a method to instill the desire to seek God in society. One argument I am looking at is that if God exists, then it is not logical to think that humanity will thrive apart from God individually or collectively. Thus, if you think the world is in trouble, the first step is to seek God, and then serve others according to how you are called.

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I believe that wisdom comes from God, so any historical being who exhibits wisdom is inspired by God, regardless of his or her belief system. That is my conjecture. Jesus is different from other wise historical figures in that He is the Son of God, according to the Christian belief system that I follow.

 

I believe that all of us can have knowledge of God; however, there are right ways and wrong ways to seek God. For example, a key ingredient to seeking God is repentance, that removes sin that separates man from God according to my understanding of Christian theology.

 

You don't have to worry about harming my acceptance of God because my personal experience will trump an argument. Nevertheless, you may show some flaw in my belief system that could reveal an area where I am weak.

 

I am also seeking a method to instill the desire to seek God in society. One argument I am looking at is that if God exists, then it is not logical to think that humanity will thrive apart from God individually or collectively. Thus, if you think the world is in trouble, the first step is to seek God, and then serve others according to how you are called.

 

 

Do you think the communion cracker turns into the blood of Jesus and the wine turns into blood? I am seeking a method to instill rational thought into humanity, belief religion is the very antithesis of this. I notice you say "if god exists" I say the same thing, if god exists then there should be evidence of that existence...

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@ dedo: It will be wrong from me to criticise you religious beliefs because a) this thread was not really intended for that and b) if religion (or superstition) was indeed a product of evolution in the form of an adaptation, a spandrel or a meme, then it is pretty much instinctive in those who are exposed to that genetic/environmental make-up. I find it hard to resist making a few comments though:

 

The God that answered is Jesus Christ.

This is of course a dead give-away. We can safely assume that the gods of all mainstream religions (past and present) were human, or cultural constructs. We just have to rewind back to ancient mythologies and also consider the various world religions in order to detect a pattern. So a Jew would be convinced that Yahweh is answering his prayers, a Muslim believes that it is Allah, a Greek who lived in 500 BCE would have thought that Zeus is the go-to god, etc. So if you would have answered that some previously unknown God has actually made itself known to you, I would have found it slightly more believable. Your answer seems to reflect a subjective conviction of faith. You are convinced it is JC because it has to be him..?

 

As for the rest of the alleged incidents that you have mentioned, it comes across very clearly that you have been searching for divine causes in stead of looking at each of those rationally and ask yourself if there might have existed perfectly natural explanations for each of them. I see no reason why not, but then I do not believe in guardian angels and the likes.

 

Once I had a real problem with one aspect of theology involving the coexistence of free will and God's ability to "see the future". At this time I was browsing in a religious bookstore and randomly picked up a novel about religious fiction that I felt I should read. The novel answered the question exactly.

More pertinent question would be if said God can change the future based on prayers, or if it is all predetermined, part of God's divine plan, regardless..?

 

For example, a key ingredient to seeking God is repentance, that removes sin that separates man from God according to my understanding of Christian theology.

What set our species apart from the rest of (sentient) species? We know that we are a product of evolution, we know our ancient ancestors (hominids) as well as other closely related wild animals exhibit(ed) various degrees of morality. When and how in the process of evolution did we acquire a soul, did we become sinful to the point of having to repent for said sin. Is sin not also just a human construct? The Adam & Eve narrative is essentially flawed, they could not have been the first humans so sin could not have been inherited from them, God never mentioned it in his Genesis punishment and Jesus never made reference to having to die for humanity's sins.

 

I am also seeking a method to instill the desire to seek God in society. One argument I am looking at is that if God exists, then it is not logical to think that humanity will thrive apart from God individually or collectively. Thus, if you think the world is in trouble, the first step is to seek God, and then serve others according to how you are called.

I don't quite follow your logic. Humanity either thrive or don't thrive notwithstanding their belief in whatever God is- or was the flavour of the day in any culture.

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Do you think the communion cracker turns into the blood of Jesus and the wine turns into blood? I am seeking a method to instill rational thought into humanity, belief religion is the very antithesis of this. I notice you say "if god exists" I say the same thing, if god exists then there should be evidence of that existence...

 

 

The conversion of the Eucharist and wine to the body and blood of Jesus Christ is called "Transubstantiation". If you google it, references will come up that explain it better than I can. It is a spiritual transformation, not a physical transformation.

 

The Catholic sacraments are one reason I stayed with Catholicism in contrast to other Christian religions whose services I have attended. You just feel differently, more at peace, and the feeling continues after you leave.

 

As far as scientific evidence, one person who explains the interaction between religion and science better than I can is Bishop Barron. He dresses this a lot on his You Tube channel. Religion is not the only area of life that is not subject to controlled, reproducible studies. For example, there is not a single controlled prospective study that proves that jumping out of an airplane with a parachute is better than jumping without a parachute. Yet we know that parachutes work from anecdotes. That is not an example from Barron's channel, as he has better ones.

 

My conclusion has been that God will reveal Himself to those that seek Him. There are not controlled studies of this, only anecdotes. But the anecdotes include prominent atheist scientists. One other area where the anecdotes are intriguing involve the lives of the Saints. When you study the lives of these people, the stories are consistent with people who have found something much better than anything the physical world can offer. If you ever have a chance to travel to Rome, there are numerous tours of art museums given by graduate students in art history who explain the lives of the Saints in the art they show you. It is quite amazing.

@ dedo: It will be wrong from me to criticise you religious beliefs because a) this thread was not really intended for that and b) if religion (or superstition) was indeed a product of evolution in the form of an adaptation, a spandrel or a meme, then it is pretty much instinctive in those who are exposed to that genetic/environmental make-up. I find it hard to resist making a few comments though:

 

This is of course a dead give-away. We can safely assume that the gods of all mainstream religions (past and present) were human, or cultural constructs. We just have to rewind back to ancient mythologies and also consider the various world religions in order to detect a pattern. So a Jew would be convinced that Yahweh is answering his prayers, a Muslim believes that it is Allah, a Greek who lived in 500 BCE would have thought that Zeus is the go-to god, etc. So if you would have answered that some previously unknown God has actually made itself known to you, I would have found it slightly more believable. Your answer seems to reflect a subjective conviction of faith. You are convinced it is JC because it has to be him..?

 

As for the rest of the alleged incidents that you have mentioned, it comes across very clearly that you have been searching for divine causes in stead of looking at each of those rationally and ask yourself if there might have existed perfectly natural explanations for each of them. I see no reason why not, but then I do not believe in guardian angels and the likes.

 

More pertinent question would be if said God can change the future based on prayers, or if it is all predetermined, part of God's divine plan, regardless..?

 

What set our species apart from the rest of (sentient) species? We know that we are a product of evolution, we know our ancient ancestors (hominids) as well as other closely related wild animals exhibit(ed) various degrees of morality. When and how in the process of evolution did we acquire a soul, did we become sinful to the point of having to repent for said sin. Is sin not also just a human construct? The Adam & Eve narrative is essentially flawed, they could not have been the first humans so sin could not have been inherited from them, God never mentioned it in his Genesis punishment and Jesus never made reference to having to die for humanity's sins.

 

I don't quite follow your logic. Humanity either thrive or don't thrive notwithstanding their belief in whatever God is- or was the flavour of the day in any culture.

 

Sorry, but I have not yet learned how to cut up the text and respond to each point. So I will try and summarize. I believe that God is the source of all love, so He is in all living beings including atheists. Follow your conscience, do something nice, and you are following God. Now some societies will incorrectly describe God as Zeus etc, where I believe that the correct description of God is explained by Catholic theology. However, my understanding of God is far from perfect and is on a continuum, that I hope is improving. For example, my understanding cannot come close to the understanding of God by a Saint.

 

As I said, the incidents I described are contextual, and were meant to convince me. They will not have the same meaning to you. God is fully capable of convincing you, or anyone, individually of His existence in my opinion.

 

As far as humanity, there is a widespread "feeling" among many people that humanity is in danger. If that "feeling" is correct, then it is logical to think that we will do better connected to God, than if we "fall away" from God.

 

I believe that God sees the future, because He sees all possible futures. So the future is not fixed and can be changed by prayer, good deeds, intentional action etc.

Edited by dedo

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As far as humanity, there is a widespread "feeling" among many people that humanity is in danger. If that "feeling" is correct, then it is logical to think that we will do better connected to God, than if we "fall away" from God.

 

 

If humanity is in danger from, say, an killer asteroid or the effects of global warming then I don't see why being connected to God would make any difference. If anything, it might make people less willing to take action - for example, many people in southern Europe don't bother with seat belts because "if your time has come ..."

 

Also, even if being connected to (a) god were an advantage it would be important to cleave to the right one.

 

It is possible that this:

 

 

You just feel differently, more at peace, and the feeling continues after you leave.

is just the anti-god's way of fooling you onto the wrong path.

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The conversion of the Eucharist and wine to the body and blood of Jesus Christ is called "Transubstantiation". If you google it, references will come up that explain it better than I can. It is a spiritual transformation, not a physical transformation.

 

The Catholic sacraments are one reason I stayed with Catholicism in contrast to other Christian religions whose services I have attended. You just feel differently, more at peace, and the feeling continues after you leave.

 

As far as scientific evidence, one person who explains the interaction between religion and science better than I can is Bishop Barron. He dresses this a lot on his You Tube channel. Religion is not the only area of life that is not subject to controlled, reproducible studies. For example, there is not a single controlled prospective study that proves that jumping out of an airplane with a parachute is better than jumping without a parachute. Yet we know that parachutes work from anecdotes. That is not an example from Barron's channel, as he has better ones.

 

My conclusion has been that God will reveal Himself to those that seek Him. There are not controlled studies of this, only anecdotes. But the anecdotes include prominent atheist scientists. One other area where the anecdotes are intriguing involve the lives of the Saints. When you study the lives of these people, the stories are consistent with people who have found something much better than anything the physical world can offer. If you ever have a chance to travel to Rome, there are numerous tours of art museums given by graduate students in art history who explain the lives of the Saints in the art they show you. It is quite amazing.

 

Sorry, but I have not yet learned how to cut up the text and respond to each point. So I will try and summarize. I believe that God is the source of all love, so He is in all living beings including atheists. Follow your conscience, do something nice, and you are following God. Now some societies will incorrectly describe God as Zeus etc, where I believe that the correct description of God is explained by Catholic theology. However, my understanding of God is far from perfect and is on a continuum, that I hope is improving. For example, my understanding cannot come close to the understanding of God by a Saint.

 

As I said, the incidents I described are contextual, and were meant to convince me. They will not have the same meaning to you. God is fully capable of convincing you, or anyone, individually of His existence in my opinion.

 

As far as humanity, there is a widespread "feeling" among many people that humanity is in danger. If that "feeling" is correct, then it is logical to think that we will do better connected to God, than if we "fall away" from God.

 

I believe that God sees the future, because He sees all possible futures. So the future is not fixed and can be changed by prayer, good deeds, intentional action etc.

 

 

People have survived jumping out of air planes with no parachute. The fact that we can indeed see and touch parachutes makes them real. we can observe parachutes inaction, we know they work and can watch them work as well as use them to save lives. No God has ever been detected by any empirical evidence. The default position is not to believe until such evidence becomes available. Do you believe bigfoot exists?

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My conclusion has been that God will reveal Himself to those that seek Him. There are not controlled studies of this, only anecdotes...

...As I said, the incidents I described are contextual, and were meant to convince me. They will not have the same meaning to you. God is fully capable of convincing you, or anyone, individually of His existence in my opinion.

I already made reference to the incident involving a worker of mine and the sangoma who successfully chased away (exorcised) a tikoloshe. Does that prove anything? Yes, it does. It is all in the mind of the seeker.

 

I believe that God is the source of all love, so He is in all living beings including atheists.

That is not the impression that I am getting from the Bible though. The God of the Old Testament was a god of vengeance with lots of blood on his hands in defeating and exterminating the enemies of the Jews...men, women and children. Jesus preached forgiveness and tolerance...to a point...he clearly disliked the opposing Jewish sects of the time and then there was the matter of either accepting his God or eternal hell awaits.

 

Now some societies will incorrectly describe God as Zeus etc, where I believe that the correct description of God is explained by Catholic theology.

And as I wrote before, the Jews believe that the correct description of God is explained by Judaism, the Muslims believe that to be Islam. Then we have the Jehovah's, the Mormons and a long list of different interpretations of various religions and gods. Man made...all of them. The RCC was but one of many Christian inspired churches following the apotheosis of Jesus and Hellenization of Christianity. The RCC turned out to be more successful due to its sometimes violent historical enforcement of its doctrines onto pagans and due to its ever spreading global influence throughout history.

 

I notice you steered away from the issue of religious anthropocentrism...man's unique (and somewhat strange) relationship with God which is centred on the premise of sin and its inherited guilt, the need to repent, all of which is entirely at odds with the evolution of our species other than the result of primitive superstition that rooted itself into our psyche.

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The conversion of the Eucharist and wine to the body and blood of Jesus Christ is called "Transubstantiation". If you google it, references will come up that explain it better than I can. It is a spiritual transformation, not a physical transformation.

No, it is a physical transformation. Perhaps you should Google it. From the first sentence in Wikipedia (and in confirmation of my many years of Catholic schooling...).

 

Transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek μετουσίωσις metousiosis) is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the change of substance by which the bread and the wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus the Christ.%5B1%5D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transubstantiation

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