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Gregg-O
1 of the used-to-haves
11:55 PM on 10/02/2011
What a bunch of fancy, big word's weaving a twisted story. gives some meaning to ;

"History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like opinions, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it."

The posted story is fiddling with it at it's best.
12:59 AM on 10/03/2011
Are you strong enough?
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
08:05 AM on 10/03/2011
Are you?
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Gregg-O
1 of the used-to-haves
06:12 PM on 10/03/2011
I'm still around, have avoided death a couple of time's, have saved a life or 2. I deal with whatever comes my way as best I can. I don't thank anybody unless they play a part, and I don't blame anybody unless they play a part.
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05:33 AM on 10/03/2011
How could God be God if God had to be subject to what you call "rational". Is there any "rational " bases for you to even exist? If you can't find one (and you wont) does that mean you don't exist?
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Gregg-O
1 of the used-to-haves
06:13 PM on 10/03/2011
Us being here is science....and a little lust thrown in...lol.
11:03 PM on 10/02/2011
the shift in perspective on god that this article seems to advocate is a healthy one i think. god is. we are. things happen. nietzsche in particular would add that god is dead, but he means more than that. god is not only dead - he is dead because we killed him.

"If we take the more anthropomorphic descriptions of God in scripture metaphorically, we then have to wrestle with what is left."

when god's anthropomorphic characteristics are reduced to metaphor, we kill him in nietzsche's mind. we didn't need him for morality anymore, and the story of our origin was being rewritten by science. all of the major issues that were resolved previously by the idea of god were starting to be resolved be human beings, so god died. nietzsche's messenger came to proclaim the news, but was disappointed to see that most weren't ready to hear it yet. god was dead by our own hands, but we had decided for whatever reason to preserve his ghost. it was quite a story and is still applicable today i think.
stevesrant
Here I am stevesrant.
12:49 AM on 10/03/2011
For sure. He wrote Zarathustra in such a way as to fully antagonize and mercilessly lampoon Christian European society, but it's full of humor and self mockery. A classic and a great read.
02:05 AM on 10/03/2011
you are no bridge to the ubermensch!
10:11 PM on 10/02/2011
The more Eastern philosophy Christianity becomes aware of the better...the way you speak of god is very close to Hindu notions of the underlying reality Brahman...and this force is in all of his as our true self, the atman. East-West dialogue is fascinating...
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sandalwood
songs of the shamans...
01:19 PM on 10/03/2011
Here is Heinrich Zimmer in "Philosophies of India", making much the same point...

"We of the Occident are about to arrive at a crossroads that was reached by the thinkers of India some seven hundred years before Christ. This is the real reason why we become both vexed and stimulated, uneasy yet interested, when confronted with the concepts and images of Oriental wisdom. This crossing is one to which the people of all civilizations come in the typical course of the development of their capacity and requirement for religious experience, and India’s teachings force us to realize what its problems are. But we cannot take over the Indian solutions. We must enter the new period our own way and solve its questions for ourselves..."

Rest at... http://www.deepyoga.ca/dial_up/pages/meeting_of_east_and_west.html
08:58 PM on 10/02/2011
why do bad things happen to good people in God eyes no one is. so bad things happen to bad people our definition of good is warped. if you could look into a good men's heart you would understand.
11:08 PM on 10/02/2011
in god's eyes no one is good, and the only way we could possibly understand that is to look into some impossible person's impossible good heart?
11:54 PM on 10/02/2011
A very old but good question.
God is a very personal kind of guy. Believe it or not. He does not judge us to the very end of our days. But He LOVES fellowship.
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BurtonDesque
Fear a Blank Planet
08:26 PM on 10/02/2011
"God is."

Prove it.
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GDWhiteman
Christian mystic iconoclast
08:59 PM on 10/02/2011
I take it that means according to criteria acceptable to you? I doubt that I can. It would appear that God doesn't comply with the criteria you're familiar with. Until you're willing to expand your repertoire, you're stuck in the dark.
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BurtonDesque
Fear a Blank Planet
10:02 PM on 10/02/2011
LOL! If you god bots had anything approaching actual proof your deity of choice existed we'd never hear the end of it.

Your millennia of silence speaks volumes.

BTW, it's the religious who are the ones in the dark, with your unwillingness to accept reality and rationality, and what not.
researcher
researcher
12:30 AM on 10/03/2011
to attempt a dialog with burton is the same as trying to have a dialog with an evangel that thinks someone had to die to appease an angry god so they can go to heaven.

burton is to materialism as evangel is to sacrifice.

true believers with cherished beliefs have no room for dialog.

this is why I call the true believers in materialism and religion kissing cousins. ie more alike than different in their approach to reality.

but this does give us insights into the human mind ie our own mind, and this may be helpful in our journey of the discovery of self.
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fairwitness
You can observe a lot by watching.
07:19 PM on 10/02/2011
Tat Tvam Asi - or - There is no he but He - or - I and the Father are One - or - You Are It.

The mind may be limited, but the Spirit is not, the mystics say. One cannot grasp or comprehend the Infinite, but one cannot escape BEING the Infinite. That's the "Good News", the secret of the "gospel". The rest is relative trivia. Interesting trivia, delightful trivia, scary trivia, painful trivia, tragic trivia? Absolutely. Like a play in which the actors happen to be the same person but are so good that, in the intensity of the play, forget and take themselves for their roles. In other words, life as we know it. But sometimes, it is said, in the midst of the play, they wake up and remember who they are.
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ZenSufi
Sisters and Brothers of America!
08:36 PM on 10/02/2011
Soham -- I am He.

Saham -- I am She.
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
08:14 AM on 10/03/2011
neti neti neti
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06:56 PM on 10/02/2011
"There's a fear that, if we don't construct an image of God we can identify with, we will lose our connection."

There's little doubt that this problem - which is the issue of negative theology in a nutshell - is at least as old as the story of Moses and the golden calf. Which is, as is often forgotten, also the age of the story of the Ten Commandments.

People have come up with many solutions, including the mysticism you refer to.

No wonder infinite potentiality scares us. It's like the organ playing. Not the score, not the organ player, not the church, not the preacher, but the instrument. What it can do.

It's not that I am against koans or eastern philosophy or the impermanence of buddhism. It just so happens that there's little that could be more convincing than an organ playing as far as the idea is concerned that if you just "keep on practicing", something hitherto unknown could always be happening.

...but in a way in which we may never lose our connection.

not even 20,000 leagues under the sea, where there aren't any tsunamis, as everybody knows.
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ILoveTheUSofA
BREAKING NEWS: There is no God.
06:05 PM on 10/02/2011
Was God WILLING to stop the tsunami­, but not ABLE?

- Then God is not Almighty.

Was God ABLE to stop the tsunami­­, but not WILLING?

- Then God is not very considerat­­e.

Was God BOTH able and willing to stop the tsunami­?

- Then evidently he was not paying us very much attention.

Was God NEITHER able, nor willing to stop the tsunami­?

- Then God is way over-rated­.
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GDWhiteman
Christian mystic iconoclast
06:24 PM on 10/02/2011
If you put God in your own box (like the religious fundies do), God will disappoint you.
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ILoveTheUSofA
BREAKING NEWS: There is no God.
06:57 PM on 10/02/2011
I take it you were not in attendance at the tsunami.
12:35 PM on 10/03/2011
Gods box is found in the bible. Read it and find freedom
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phal4875
The world is run by cats; we just feed them.
05:49 PM on 10/02/2011
Mr. Piatt makes great sense when he states that not all things happen for some positive reason. It may not be the thing to say to someone who gets through the day by hanging on to that belief, but the belief itself makes little sense. To think that having a cement truck run over a toddler is some part of a loving God's plan is foolish.
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seerickson
09:51 PM on 10/02/2011
In grief or suffering sometimes someone "gets through the day by hanging on to that belief" but with many more that bad theology causes increased suffering, including shame and guilt, and frequently sparks giving up completely on God when it should be a "God like that". For me suffering is "of this world" as Jesus said at one point, the rain falls equally on the just and unjust, stuff happens. What is promised is through suffering we develop compassion and understanding for others who suffer, and we are promised eventual comfort for our tears. With the suffering I have experienced through my life, I can look back retrospectively and see the strength I gained and somehow "all works together for good" but just because one has the free will to make good things come out of injustice and tragedy, such as motivation to help others, I think it is wrongheaded to think there would be any deliberate purpose in "everything happens for a reason". People just don't know what to say when faced with grief, but telling a grieving parent or spouse "there was a reason" is pretty horrible.

Another one that bugs me is the whole "God protected you from that" whether it is a storm or violence or repercussions to a bad decision. OK, so "God protected" than why didn't he protect the other person. I'm not saying this very well.
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BurtonDesque
Fear a Blank Planet
10:04 PM on 10/02/2011
So, your god is an indifferent god, then, eh?
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onlyThis
How do you free a bird from an empty cage?
05:31 PM on 10/02/2011
Good column. Nice to see some examples of non-duality in the Christian tradition
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GDWhiteman
Christian mystic iconoclast
06:29 PM on 10/02/2011
Considering that Jesus was likely the first well-known non-dual thinker in the Abrahamic faiths, this is likely a good thing.
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onlyThis
How do you free a bird from an empty cage?
08:38 PM on 10/02/2011
Yes, "My father and I are one" and "before Abraham was, I am" come to mind.
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ZenSufi
Sisters and Brothers of America!
08:38 PM on 10/02/2011
Non-dualism: how nuns settle their grievances