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Old 7th January 2019, 05:58 AM   #401
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
However, Dostoevsky places the state of blessedness at the end. At least in "Memories of the Dead House". This man was original even in that.
I can't say I've read that one, but other accounts from or about him place it clearly before the actual grand mal. E.g., Strakhov wrote, "Fyodor Mikhailovich often told me that before the onset of an attack there were minutes in which he was in rapture. “For several moments,” he said, “I would experience such joy as would be inconceivable in ordinary life – such joy that no one else could have any notion of. I would feel the most complete harmony in myself and in the whole world and this feeling was so strong and sweet that for a few seconds of such bliss I would give ten or more years of my life, even my whole life perhaps."

The character in The Idiot, who is almost certainly autobiographic, also clearly states that it happens right before an attack.

That said, by the end he was sometimes having two epilepsy attacks in a row, so basically it would go: aura, attack, aura, attack. So he could technically have an aura after an attack, but really it was part of the second attack.
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Old 7th January 2019, 08:22 AM   #402
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I can't say I've read that one, but other accounts from or about him place it clearly before the actual grand mal. E.g., Strakhov wrote, "Fyodor Mikhailovich often told me that before the onset of an attack there were minutes in which he was in rapture. “For several moments,” he said, “I would experience such joy as would be inconceivable in ordinary life – such joy that no one else could have any notion of. I would feel the most complete harmony in myself and in the whole world and this feeling was so strong and sweet that for a few seconds of such bliss I would give ten or more years of my life, even my whole life perhaps."

The character in The Idiot, who is almost certainly autobiographic, also clearly states that it happens right before an attack.

That said, by the end he was sometimes having two epilepsy attacks in a row, so basically it would go: aura, attack, aura, attack. So he could technically have an aura after an attack, but really it was part of the second attack.
You're right. I didn't remember The Idiot when I wrote the comment .

Last edited by David Mo; 7th January 2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 7th January 2019, 02:51 PM   #403
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Normal and weird are relative. Visions and talking in tongues was not part of a Midwest Catholic experience.

Get down into Kentucky and still christians but snakes and dancing during the services can be normal. I cannot participate as it just strays too far into my weird zone.
The ex boss had his local leader bless me which totally creeped me out but made the three others present very happy.

Way too much and pointless to me as I keep my free will sacred, the gave theirs to the church. He once had to ask the religious leader to judge a decision, I had seen that before in my dad. He traded his bike in on a Chrysler van under orders. The bike was too unsafe and he unable to choose his own transport.

Is that weird or am I off my rocker insisting to choose for myself?
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Old 7th January 2019, 04:32 PM   #404
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
No, we are applying "weird" to different things.

People do understand what goes on (at least to a reasonable degree) and think that what goes on is weird. It's weird that you think they don't understand.

Here's ten weird religious practices. These practices are probably completely normal to those that practice them, are they completely normal to you, or are they weird?
Put a trigger warning on that link. We're getting into cultural relativity territory here - are you sure you really want to continue this derail?
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Old 7th January 2019, 04:39 PM   #405
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Put a trigger warning on that link. We're getting into cultural relativity territory here - are you sure you really want to continue this derail?
Or you could debate honestly and answer the question.
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Old 7th January 2019, 04:53 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Or you could debate honestly and answer the question.
Does my subjective opinion really matter? I don't understand why you're so focused on the fact that I don't find weird something that you find weird.

Since you asked so nicely, yeah, I find stuff like you linked to weird. Even more, I find it profoundly disturbing, which is why you should put a trigger warning on it. So what? Do you think I don't recognise that different people have different perspectives? Why then would I have mentioned that I have a different perspective? Do you think I don't believe that you think speaking in tongues is weird? I do believe that. Do I think you are lying? No, I don't. Do you think I am lying? What's your stake in this subject anyway?
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Old 7th January 2019, 05:29 PM   #407
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Does my subjective opinion really matter? I don't understand why you're so focused on the fact that I don't find weird something that you find weird.

Since you asked so nicely, yeah, I find stuff like you linked to weird. Even more, I find it profoundly disturbing, which is why you should put a trigger warning on it. So what? Do you think I don't recognise that different people have different perspectives? Why then would I have mentioned that I have a different perspective? Do you think I don't believe that you think speaking in tongues is weird? I do believe that. Do I think you are lying? No, I don't. Do you think I am lying? What's your stake in this subject anyway?

Weird pair of sentences that.
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Old 7th January 2019, 05:40 PM   #408
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Weird pair of sentences that.
It's a complex thought, but it parses.
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Old 7th January 2019, 06:55 PM   #409
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I don't understand why you're so focused on the fact that I don't find weird something that you find weird.
Well . . .
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's not an extreme cult behaviour. I witnessed and participated in this sort of thing in my suburban Canberra church in the 90s. Why does everyone think this is weird?
It's you that's so focused on - "I don't find it weird so why does everyone think it's weird?".
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Old 7th January 2019, 08:14 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Well . . .

It's you that's so focused on - "I don't find it weird so why does everyone think it's weird?".
I'm not focused on it. I made a remark, which you jumped on and continued to press me about. I'm all for completely dropping the subject, but you won't let me.
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Old 7th January 2019, 08:18 PM   #411
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm not focused on it. I made a remark, which you jumped on and continued to press me about. I'm all for completely dropping the subject, but you won't let me.
And I was questioning/challenging your remark, which is what this forum is all about.

I'm happy to drop it, and even "let you" as well. So it's all done with no baggage then?
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Old 7th January 2019, 08:32 PM   #412
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
And I was questioning/challenging your remark, which is what this forum is all about.

I'm happy to drop it, and even "let you" as well. So it's all done with no baggage then?
Yeah, absolutely. Any longer and I probably would have just stopped responding.
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Old 7th January 2019, 09:06 PM   #413
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
I thought I would voice that in hopes there are others here who have a similar experience and would like to discuss it. Thanks.
I'm not sure if I really qualify. But I was raised in a very liberal (Finnish Pietist) version of Christianity which also has been a tremendously positive experience, lots of kindness, warmth, tolerance and a kind of mystical approach to being in the world. So, I am a Finnish Pietist and a weak atheist at the same time. I don't take religion literally at all and don't believe in the existence of God but at the same time I think that some (very few) versions of religion are extremely relevant and serious approaches to our human experience. I don't really feel that there is much logical contradiction at all. (Of course I realize that most Christians and most sceptics have hard time accepting me being a Christian but that's so not relevant or interesting to me.)
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Old 7th January 2019, 09:15 PM   #414
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I'm not sure if I really qualify. But I was raised in a very liberal (Finnish Pietist) version of Christianity which also has been a tremendously positive experience, lots of kindness, warmth, tolerance and a kind of mystical approach to being in the world. So, I am a Finnish Pietist and a weak atheist at the same time. I don't take religion literally at all and don't believe in the existence of God but at the same time I think that some (very few) versions of religion are extremely relevant and serious approaches to our human experience. I don't really feel that there is much logical contradiction at all. (Of course I realize that most Christians and most sceptics have hard time accepting me being a Christian but that's so not relevant or interesting to me.)

The concept of being a Christian but not believing in God I find difficult to comprehend. Mind you the Anglican Bishop Sponge fits into this category and is an embarrassment to the Church of England.
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Old 7th January 2019, 10:32 PM   #415
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The concept of being a Christian but not believing in God I find difficult to comprehend. Mind you the Anglican Bishop Sponge fits into this category and is an embarrassment to the Church of England.
Well, the Christian God is an idea of perfection. We can aim for that - though of course never absolutely attaining it - even without some mythical empirical creature. I don't find such a being's existence as very central for religion, fundamentally it's more a metaphor than a decription of reality. Obviously most believers (and sceptics) disagree, but they don't own any universal copyright of interpretation.
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Old 8th January 2019, 06:29 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The concept of being a Christian but not believing in God I find difficult to comprehend.
I don't. "Okay but what about if we removed the actual defining characteristic of the thing in questions as it used in literally every real world usage of the term? Would you be okay with it then?" is a time honored tradition in religious debates.

This is like that God that no body actually believes in over in all the God threads that is this vague, vague, vaguey vague nothing doing vaguey vaugue things off in some separate walled off pocket universe we can never and will never interact with that keeps being the version of God we're expected to argue against because it is easier for the other side.
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Old 8th January 2019, 06:37 AM   #417
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The idea of identifying as Christian but not believing in God.... Sort of the “Jesus was a really nice guy” sort of thing.

But we don’t have any evidence of that, really... What we have is an invention of Jesus as put together by his followers long after his death.

The best notion of a historical Jesus is an Apocalyptic preaching the imminent arrival of the Son Of Man who was to restore the Kingdom of Israel, make him king, and kick out the Romans. (Which is why the Romans mocked him as “king of the Jews”.
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Old 8th January 2019, 07:45 AM   #418
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Good religion questions its core beliefs.
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Old 8th January 2019, 11:41 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by mattobrien85 View Post
Good religion questions its core beliefs.
That's why there's no good religions (except dead ones).
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Old 8th January 2019, 12:51 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, the Christian God is an idea of perfection.

Well that's a new one. Have you read any of the stuff written about this god in his special book?

Quote:
We can aim for that - though of course never absolutely attaining it - even without some mythical empirical creature. I don't find such a being's existence as very central for religion, fundamentally it's more a metaphor than a decription of reality. Obviously most believers (and sceptics) disagree, but they don't own any universal copyright of interpretation.

Society as a whole owns the right to describe something or someone, with a term the accurately reflects what that thing or person is. Otherwise you will get people calling a bicycle a bus or a ditch digger a doctor. How useful is that?

This is ground that has been covered many times already. The central theme of Christianity is that Jesus is the son of and part of God. You can't throw that out and call yourself a Christian. Well you can but you can't expect others to recognise you as such.
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Old 8th January 2019, 12:54 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by mattobrien85 View Post
Good religion questions its core beliefs.

Like to see some examples of this. Religion generally just says "this is truth and don't question it".
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Old 8th January 2019, 01:21 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, the Christian God is an idea of perfection. We can aim for that - though of course never absolutely attaining it - even without some mythical empirical creature. I don't find such a being's existence as very central for religion, fundamentally it's more a metaphor than a decription of reality. Obviously most believers (and sceptics) disagree, but they don't own any universal copyright of interpretation.
Thanks for taking the time to respond the OP and share your thoughts llwyd. Both are apprecaited and I'm glad you did. Certainly you qualify to comment and, like the other ideas presented here, yours are unique and (in my opinion at least) interesting and valuable.
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Old 8th January 2019, 01:33 PM   #423
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Like to see some examples of this. Religion generally just says "this is truth and don't question it".
Well, I think there has been a lot of discourse in the christian church about to what degree the bible should be considered literal vs metaphorical, which I think is a pretty core idea. Certainly many of the practices that are more peripheral have been questioned and adapted over time (e.g., printing and circulating translated versions of the bible, the role of clergy vs. laypeople, the roles of women in leadership).
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:05 PM   #424
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Well, I think there has been a lot of discourse in the christian church about to what degree the bible should be considered literal vs metaphorical, which I think is a pretty core idea. Certainly many of the practices that are more peripheral have been questioned and adapted over time (e.g., printing and circulating translated versions of the bible, the role of clergy vs. laypeople, the roles of women in leadership).
Unless a god actually exists all the babble-books in the world are irrelevant. Unless and until it has been established that a god actually exists (or even could or should exist), an adult believing in a god is essentially no different than an adult believing in a Santa or Tooth Fairy.

The only relevant “core” of all religions is that a god or gods actually exist. How many theists actively and honestly question this, and does their hierarchy encourage them to do so?
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:11 PM   #425
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, the Christian God is an idea of perfection. We can aim for that - though of course never absolutely attaining it - even without some mythical empirical creature. I don't find such a being's existence as very central for religion, fundamentally it's more a metaphor than a decription of reality. Obviously most believers (and sceptics) disagree, but they don't own any universal copyright of interpretation.
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to respond the OP and share your thoughts llwyd. Both are apprecaited and I'm glad you did. Certainly you qualify to comment and, like the other ideas presented here, yours are unique and (in my opinion at least) interesting and valuable.
+1 And yes your input is welcome llwyd.

Sorry about my previous aggressive post, I have to remind myself that some relative newcomers here have not been part of the wrangling that has got on previously.
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:18 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
+1 And yes your input is welcome llwyd.

Sorry about my previous aggressive post, I have to remind myself that some relative newcomers here have not been part of the wrangling that has got on previously.
Please provide a link to your "previous aggressive post", I can't find it.

If you mean this post . . .
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well that's a new one. Have you read any of the stuff written about this god in his special book?

Society as a whole owns the right to describe something or someone, with a term the accurately reflects what that thing or person is. Otherwise you will get people calling a bicycle a bus or a ditch digger a doctor. How useful is that?

This is ground that has been covered many times already. The central theme of Christianity is that Jesus is the son of and part of God. You can't throw that out and call yourself a Christian. Well you can but you can't expect others to recognise you as such.
. . . please point out where the aggressive bits are - thanks.
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:19 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Well, I think there has been a lot of discourse in the christian church about to what degree the bible should be considered literal vs metaphorical, which I think is a pretty core idea. Certainly many of the practices that are more peripheral have been questioned and adapted over time (e.g., printing and circulating translated versions of the bible, the role of clergy vs. laypeople, the roles of women in leadership).
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Unless a god actually exists all the babble-books in the world are irrelevant. Unless and until it has been established that a god actually does exist (or even could or should exist), an adult believing in a god is essentially no different than an adult believing in a Santa or Tooth Fairy.

The only relevant ďcoreĒ of all religions is that a god or gods actually exist. How many theists actively and honestly question this, and does their hierarchy encourage them to do so?

Well I agree with ynot here (no great surprise I assume ).

You have to have something to hang the shingle "Christianity" on. A lot of stuff about "Christian values" ect just doesn't cut it. There are lots of other belief structures that have this same stuff and some do it much better than Christianity.
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:23 PM   #428
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Please provide a link to your "previous aggressive post", I can't find it.

If you mean this post . . .

. . . please point out anything that's aggressive - thanks.

Well I suppose the line - "This is ground that has been covered many times already."

Not super aggressive I suppose.
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:29 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well I suppose the line - "This is ground that has been covered many times already."

Not super aggressive I suppose.
Not even mildly aggressive! Hope we're not going to "respect them" so much that we "disrespect us". The slippery slope toward not being able to draw cartoon characters?
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Old 8th January 2019, 02:33 PM   #430
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well I agree with ynot here (no great surprise I assume ).

You have to have something to hang the shingle "Christianity" on. A lot of stuff about "Christian values" ect just doesn't cut it. There are lots of other belief structures that have this same stuff and some do it much better than Christianity.
Phew!!! Though you'd gone soft in the head for a sec.

Yep, you can't have "Son of God" if you don't first have "God".
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Old 8th January 2019, 03:23 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You can't throw that out and call yourself a Christian. Well you can but you can't expect others to recognise you as such.
Again we have an atheist telling a Christian that they're doing Christianity wrong.
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Old 8th January 2019, 04:34 PM   #432
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Again we have an atheist telling a Christian that they're doing Christianity wrong.

Again we have arth deliberately misunderstanding (or pretending to) what I said.

Not telling Christians how to be Christians, but telling those who would adopt the label, what is needed for others to recognise them as one.
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Old 8th January 2019, 04:52 PM   #433
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Again we have arth deliberately misunderstanding (or pretending to) what I said.

Not telling Christians how to be Christians, but telling those who would adopt the label, what is needed for others to recognise them as one.
Why should they care what you, an atheist, think? What makes you think that you, an atheist, can tell them jack about how and why they go about their Christian practice? They don't care whether you recognise their religion as Christianity or not. You're not a Christian. You have no authority.
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Old 8th January 2019, 05:11 PM   #434
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Why should they care what you, an atheist, think? What makes you think that you, an atheist, can tell them jack about how and why they go about their Christian practice? They don't care whether you recognise their religion as Christianity or not. You're not a Christian. You have no authority.

Another change of tack by arth. Nobody cares about my definition of Christian because I aren't one. Quite right of course, you have to be one to know one. Mind you how do you know if you are one if the definition is so vague?

Oh I guess a marine biologist can't define different kinds of fish because, well because he isn't one, a fish that is.
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Old 8th January 2019, 05:21 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The central theme of Christianity is that Jesus is the son of and part of God. You can't throw that out and call yourself a Christian. Well you can but you can't expect others to recognise you as such.
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
They don't care whether you recognise their religion as Christianity or not. You're not a Christian. You have no authority.
The conventional definition of "Christian" as indicating somebody who believes that Jesus was the son of God and thus also partially God himself is not dependent on the approval of people who wish to claim the label for themselves, regardless of whether they actually fit the definition or not. The word just means what it means.
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Old 8th January 2019, 05:53 PM   #436
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I find these exchanges between HansMustermann and David Mo on this thread, about epileptic attacks, very interesting.

Might it be that all 'authentic' prophets and mystics and seers -- that is, those who weren't out-and-out frauds and/or lunatics -- were really no more than epileptics? Just epilepsy, no more, and no less?

Can epilepsy really show you burning bushes that talk, and visions of heaven, and other-wordly cosmic visions, and 'bliss'?

Has there been any focused research on this, that anyone is aware of? On actually correlating epilepsy with mystical visions, especially the specific kinds of visions that triggered away our specific religions?

This could be one way of nailing for good -- and with evidence -- the lie on which religions are based. A proving of the negative, as it were.
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Old 8th January 2019, 06:19 PM   #437
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
The conventional definition of "Christian" as indicating somebody who believes that Jesus was the son of God and thus also partially God himself is not dependent on the approval of people who wish to claim the label for themselves, regardless of whether they actually fit the definition or not. The word just means what it means.
"Conventional" according to whom?
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Old 8th January 2019, 08:25 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Not even mildly aggressive! Hope we're not going to "respect them" so much that we "disrespect us". The slippery slope toward not being able to draw cartoon characters?
Hi ynot. I assume you are providing contrast here between Thor 2's more mild posts, and this clear example of an aggressive post, which seemingly out of the blue invokes combative (us vs. them) language and allusions to violent oppression (not to mention an exclamation point). If so, I'd say you succeeded.
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Old 8th January 2019, 09:02 PM   #439
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Unless a god actually exists all the babble-books in the world are irrelevant. Unless and until it has been established that a god actually exists (or even could or should exist), an adult believing in a god is essentially no different than an adult believing in a Santa or Tooth Fairy.

The only relevant ďcoreĒ of all religions is that a god or gods actually exist. How many theists actively and honestly question this, and does their hierarchy encourage them to do so?
ynot, I appreciate your frankness and our discourses, but I don't find the "mickey mouse" terminology and hyperbole very productive. It seems more designed to "get a rise" out of someone, than to participate in a meaningful discussion. You asked for examples of questioning core beliefs and I gave you what I feel is a pretty significant one, whether you dismiss it as irrelevant or not. God beliefs are demonstrably different than beliefs childhood caricatures simply by the fact that they (very often) endure into adulthood. That may baffle/frustrate/anger you, but the difference is observable and not subject to whether you (or I) like it or can understand why.

In reference to your last (and more reasonably worded point/question). Every theist I have ever known has questioned whether a god or gods actually exist, which is, of course, how they became theists in the first place (i.e., having asked the question and decided to believe the affirmative). And every theist I have ever known has also experienced doubt, often frequently and intensely. And many leaders I have known feel that doubt and questioning is a vital part of exploring faith genuinely. Many christians I know also recognize that they cannot define God effectively and that the words and images they use are just best efforts to articulate something they can't explain. Their core-belief of how they even understand their basic concept of God is frequently revisited. As is mine at present.
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Old 8th January 2019, 10:31 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
+1 And yes your input is welcome llwyd.

Sorry about my previous aggressive post, I have to remind myself that some relative newcomers here have not been part of the wrangling that has got on previously.
Oh, I don't mind and I don't think you were aggressive at all. This is a sceptical forum after all. I don't think I'm far removed from liberal Quakers or many Unitarians for example. I know that many would not classify me (or them) as Christian but I don't much care as I find all that rather irrelevant, like the exceedingly unlikely existence of God. And am not interested in converting anyone to my line of thinking, this is just my personal conviction that there are meaningful non-literal interpretations of religion that are rather invulnerable to science and empirism as nothing they claim contradicts natural science. That's how I classify myself as simultaneously Christian (of an esoteric sort), a weak atheist and - wait for it - a sceptic

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