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Old 01-03-2024, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
They could be people who prayed for but did not receive God's Divine Love. That is what some former Christians keep telling you. They prayed, and they believed, they asked Jesus to come into their heart, but they either were not chosen by God, or they decided that God must not exist because no answer ever came.
Well, I believe we’re all chosen by God… Jesus being the first to possess His Divine Love. What people may not know has to do with death. For instance, my brother who is a devout Christian, doesn’t believe a word I say. He believes that when we die, we go to sleep in the grave and when Jesus comes down from the clouds, all of the faithful will rise up and go to Heaven.

What I have learned from Jesus’ teachings is that when we die, our spirit body (with our soul encased therein) lifts up out of our body and travels to the spirit world. It is here that we begin the next phase of our existence. If we haven’t learned about God, we may go to a place of darkness where we can think about it. Our memories go along for the trip and we will see everything we ever did… the good, bad and the ugly. The memories repeat until we do something to get them removed. The good news is that God’s Divine Love does the cleansing of our memories while we’re here. I know this from having excruciating expiations.

I would say to never give up. Our family members who have passed may also be able to help us if they are in a sphere of light.
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Old 01-04-2024, 10:55 AM
 
29,531 posts, read 9,700,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
Just to clarify few things in my previous post and to address a few of yours:

I think you were basically agreeing with me about the inefficacy of prayer as far as tangible results go. And I agree that prayer is marvelous for comforting someone. But anyone with half a brain should have realized by now based on numerous studies and testimonies that prayer simply doesn't work for getting anything tangible that a person might need to make their life better. But theists believe that prayers really works. That's puts them several rungs down on the IQ ladder from where an educated former Christian is standing who has learned through experience that prayer and a $20 bill will get you a Big Mac meal. So if the $20 gets you the meal then what's the use of the prayer?

Here's a question posed by the British psychological Society:

"Are religious people really less smart, on average, than atheists?"

Response: "Various studies have found that, on average, belief in God is associated with lower scores on IQ tests. Atheists performed better overall than the religious participants, even after controlling for demographic factors like age and education. Agnostics tended to place between atheists and believers on all tasks. In fact, strength of religious conviction correlated with poorer cognitive performance."

https://www.bps.org.uk/research-dige...erage-atheists

So don't shoot the messenger. Christians as a whole score lower on intelligence tests than atheists. And Christians-turned-atheists tend to be of higher intelligence than their counterparts who stick with Christianity into old age. This is not rocket science. Just read any Christian's post. The more "into" belief in God and Jesus and all the baggage that go along with such beliefs, the more bizarre and "way out in left field" their statements are. You never read that kind of outlandishness in atheists' posts because they are grounded in reality and know that such supernatural mumbo-jumbo just isn't possible.

Where am I wrong? Christians DO use certain beliefs as propaganda tools. One example among thousands: "Plant a faith seed of $1000 in our ministry (READ: "Plant the $1000 in my pocket to help me buy a private Lear jet to joy-fly) and you will reap a hundred-fold harvest for you and your family because God will bless you abundantly for your faith." Ever hear that one? Watch this just in case you haven't:

"Money, Commeth to me NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oXhYVm2MW8

Now tell me please that anyone with an ounce of gray matter is going to fall for this scam. But then watch all the people in the congregation run up and throw their hard-earned money on the steps of the altar. Would you catch an atheist behaving in this completely screwball manner?
Have it your way then, but I have a fair amount of knowledge and experience that has helped me better understand how people can believe in the power of prayer, along with a belief in God, that can't always be explained and/or should not be explained by way of I.Q.

Tell me something. Do you not know anyone who you consider rather intelligent if not highly intelligent who believes in God and/or that prayer is actually a form of communication with their God? Even if you don't, anyone "with half a brain" as you might say, who knows anything about psychology and all other ways to explain the myriad of what humans come to think, believe and do, should know better than to distill all this sort of thing down to I.Q. Not that there are some people who can and do "swallow" some pretty whacky things to believe, but I'm not really thinking about those people. There are all the others who don't fit among those nitwits.

If nothing else to be far less insulting, but aside from that, to better understand these dynamics that make us all see things so differently. Even highly intelligent people. Not only when it comes to religion but politics too. There are many other ways to explain our differences along these lines long before we boil it down to a matter of who is smarter than who...

Last edited by LearnMe; 01-04-2024 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:01 AM
 
29,531 posts, read 9,700,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink57 View Post
Did you live a life that was UNsimple, UNhonest and UNcomfortable before becoming an atheist?
In some ways yes. In other ways no, but I keep trying to point out the reasons I am an atheist and/or became an atheist don't have much to do with my personal life experience. This simple fact seems very hard for some people to understand or accept. My being an atheist doesn't have anything to do with my feelings, wants or needs.

Simple or as UNsimple as this may be to others...
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
I don't call people liars when they say "Aspirin doesn't do a thing for me", or "I know when the contestant on Jeopardy has requested the Daily Double, before the sign flips over" just because I don't experience those things.

When I need guidance, and direction, I pray out loud "Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Yahweh, My Savior, Reveal yourself!" and I get answers. I get help. And I really don't care what people say about that, and whether they think it's true or not just because THEY might not get answers when they pray. And the answers come so fast, and so clearly, and sometimes in a truly humorous way, that I really don't care about whether other people don't experience that - I experience it.

Also, the prayer "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, Look Around, Something is Lost and Must be Found", works for me every single time, and I don't care who says it doesn't work for them. That's your life, this is mine, and my truth.
Fair enough, and I hear you. Loud and clear...

Your mention of Jeopardy got me to thinking about how a question can pop up, and I KNOW the answer, but it doesn't come to me for some reason. I don't pray the answer will come to me, but I am definitely asking that the answer reveal itself to me, and then just as suddenly as you explain you "get answers," the answer comes to me. There are other examples of how and when I press for answers to questions I am grappling with. From rather inconsequential Jeopardy questions to the far more consequential. I have gone to bed struggling with issues and found them resolved upon waking up the next morning. Always rather exhilarating to experience "mental breakthroughs" of this kind.

You believe God is doing the revealing, I don't, but I suspect we are not experiencing all that different a mental process. I won't say I don't care what others think, and of course what others think or believe doesn't have much influence on my long-in-the-making conclusions along these lines, but I do believe there are other ways to explain these differences and/or similarities that most people don't really consider all that deeply. Having nothing to do with who is more intelligent than the next person. Human nature is a thing after all. Also not all that commonly or well understood by most people.
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:14 AM
 
29,531 posts, read 9,700,562 times
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Originally Posted by SoCalAngel2009 View Post
One item found! Thank you St. Anthony!
Sometimes when I lose something and can't find it, I "love" when my wife asks me where I last put it...

Asking for divine help to find something is probably something we all do in one form or another. Especially since everyone now owns a smart phone, but to think something like a god is involved in helping us find things makes me wonder. Can you be serious?
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
You do you.

I would be an absolute fool, and stupid to boot, if I didn't believe in the power of Jesus Christ, considering what I've seen and experienced.

In my circumstance, anyone would have my rock solid faith, given what I've experienced.

But again, I do fully realize not everyone has the same experience. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear".

Edited to add: if you've lost your car keys in your house, you will obviously find them, in your house, your car, or between your house and car. Period. I don't bother to pray to St Anthony to help me find my car keys that I've put down on a surface in my house. Have you ever lost your passport in an airport in Mexico, your diamond ring in a grocery store, and your driver license in a very large cemetery? I have, all 3, in the past couple years.
When I was a young Christian, my father used to travel a lot on business. He was a good father, and I missed him a lot when he was traveling. I always used to pray he would come home soon, and it never seemed like soon enough, but he always came back home in any case! Anyone who would have questioned my belief in the power of prayer back then would have met with the same sort of response you provide here. Given what I'd "seen and experienced," I would have replied in exactly the same way. Over time, however, I got to thinking what I had seen or experienced was perhaps not what I thought I had seen or experienced, so I started "testing" the validity of those experiences and feelings. Over the course of a good many years. Completely open to whatever those tests would demonstrate. Ultimately to the point where I had no choice but to change my understanding about what was happening to me along these lines.
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:23 AM
 
29,531 posts, read 9,700,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
There aren't any, even in the bible. All the miracles are open to interpretation.

Lazarus was placed in the tomb freshly dead, and when Jesus called him forth out of the tomb, he was pale and sick and weak. You have to have faith to believe he actually WAS dead when he was placed in there and was called back to life by Jesus - someone without faith would say he wasn't actually dead, he just had an incredibly weak pulse and during those days of lying in the tomb, began to recover. Open to interpretation.

When Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning, and appeared to the women in front of the tomb who had come to wash his body, they didn't recognize him. It wasn't until he spoke, one of the women realized it was in fact Jesus, whom she knew very very well. When he appeared to his Thomas, his disciple, he also didn't recognize him. No one did.

It's faith. You have it, or you don't, and demanding "debate style" proof isn't going to convince you of anything, if you aren't led by the spirit to believe.
Right again!

Faith-definition: "strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof."
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SoCalAngel2009 View Post
I've also been to the Buddhist Self-Realization Fellowship Temple Lake Shire in Pacific Palisades / Lake Shrine, and the Buddhist Self-Realization Fellowship Mediation Gardens in Encinitas, CA Encinitas Temple. Both of these are lovely places and I highly recommend that people of all faiths visit there.
There is another very close to where I grew up...

http://www.hsilai.org/en/

Touted as the largest this side of the Mississippi. I have visited this one many times and like you, I highly recommend the visit to anyone. Not only of all faiths but atheists like me too. Some people of faith, however, consider the appreciation of a Buddhist Temple somewhat contrary to their religious "loyalties."
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:34 AM
 
63,779 posts, read 40,047,381 times
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
In some ways yes. In other ways no, but I keep trying to point out the reasons I am an atheist and/or became an atheist don't have much to do with my personal life experience. This simple fact seems very hard for some people to understand or accept. My being an atheist doesn't have anything to do with my feelings, wants or needs.

Simple or as UNsimple as this may be to others...
Psychologically speaking, the bold is not possible. You may not have any awareness of the factors affecting your decision, but they exist. If you doubt this, you might ask yourself how you can know you used to know something but cannot recall it versus something you never knew. Your current awareness cannot account for that distinction nor the feelings, wants, or needs that affect your current positions on any issue either.
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Old 01-04-2024, 11:40 AM
 
29,531 posts, read 9,700,562 times
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Originally Posted by SoCalAngel2009 View Post
First of all LearnMe, I really enjoy reading your posts. You're one of the sweetest atheists I've ever run across on this forum.

I realize people believe in things that are false. This is the reason why Jesus came down from the Heavens in 1914-1922 to write the hundreds of messages that he did. I know that it may seem ludicrous to think that he would do such a thing, but the fact is that Jesus is a spirit. He can come to the earth any time he feels like it. He is also the Master of the Celestial Heavens, which means that he is the King, as some may say. But God isn't in the same Heaven. For all I know, He may be further away from us than Pluto.

Jesus wrote this message "Who and What is God" on May 25, 1917:

I am here, Jesus;

I have been with you as you prayed, and joined in your prayer to the Father for the inflowing of His Great Love into your soul in great abundance; and I know that His Holy Spirit is present, that His Love is flowing into your soul, and that you are becoming in at-onement with the Father. His Love will always come to you when you pray as you have tonight, and His listening Ear is always open to the earnest aspirations of His children who come to Him with the true longings of the soul. You have the secret of reaching the Father's Love, and on all occasions, when you feel that you need that Love, or desire a nearness to the Father, use the secret and you will not be disappointed...

Then, the question is: "Who and What is God?" In dealing with this question, you must realize that it is not so easy to describe the Essence and Attributes of God in language that mortals can comprehend. And I feel the limitations that I am under in endeavoring to give you a satisfactory description of the only and true God, not because of the paucity of knowledge and conception on my part, but because of the fact that you have not the required soul development to enable me to form the necessary rapport with you, in order that the exact Truth as to Who the Father is may be expressed through your brain.

Well to begin, God is Soul, and Soul is God. Not the soul that is in the created man, but the Soul that is Deity and self-existent, without beginning or ending, and Whose Entity is the one great fact in the universe of being.

God is without form, such as has been conceived of by man in nearly all ages, and especially by those who believe in the Bible of the Hebrews, as well as in that of the Christians. But nevertheless, He is of a Form which only the soul perceptions of the soul of a man who has arrived at a certain degree of development, can discern and realize as an entity.

There is nothing in all nature with which men are acquainted or have knowledge of, that can be used to make a comparison with this Great Soul, even with the spirit perceptions; hence, for men to conceive of God as having a form in any manner resembling that of man is all erroneous. Only those who deny the anthropomorphic God in their beliefs and teachings are correct.

But nevertheless, God is of Form such as to give Him an Entity and Substance and Seat of Habitation, in contradistinction to that God which (in the teachings of some men) is said to be everywhere in this Substance and Entity (in the trees and rocks, in thunder and lightning, in men and beasts, in all created things) and in Whom men are said to live and move and have their being.

No, this concept of God is not in accord with the truth, and it is vital to the knowledge and salvation of men, that such conception of God be not entertained or believed in. To believe that God is without form is to believe that He is a mere force or principle or nebulous power and, as some say, the resultant of laws. However, as a fact, God has established these laws for the controlling of His Universe of Creation, and they are expressed and made manifest to men by these very powers and principles that, to some extent, men can comprehend.

The child has asked: "Who made God?" And because the wise men cannot answer that question, in their "wisdom" they conclude and assert that there can be no real God of Personality or Soul Form; hence only force, principle or evolved laws can be God. In their own conceit they think that they have solved the question. But the child may not be satisfied with the answer, and may ask the wise men: "Who made principle and force and laws that must be accepted as the only God?" And then the wise men cannot answer, unless they answer: "God" - which they do not believe, but which, let me say, is the true and only answer.

God is in back of force and principle and law, which are all only expressions of His Being, and which could not exist without Him. These expressions are only existences; changeable, dependent, and subject to the Will of God, Who only Is Being.

God, then, is Soul. And that Soul has Its Form, perceptible only to Itself, or that soul of man who, by reason of the sufficient possession of the very Substance of the Great Soul, has become like unto God - not in image only, but in very essence. We spirits of the highest soul progression are enabled to see God and His Form by our soul perceptions. But here, I use the words "see" and "form" as being the only words that I can use to give mortals a comparative conception of what I am endeavoring to describe...

Well, in addition to Form, God has a Personality; and this is expressed and made known to man by certain attributes which, to the consciousness of man, are existent in the universe. But to some philosophers and scientists and wise men, these attributes are their impersonal god himself, and to them the only god. They make the created, the creator, not realizing that behind the expression must be the Cause; and that greater than the attribute must be that from which the expression of the attribute is projected, or as they better like to say, evolved.

And here I, who know, desire to say that these manifested attributes or forces and powers and principles and laws and expressions do not, all together, constitute God. His attributes or expressions, manifested to mortals or spirits, are only the results or effects of the workings of His Spirit, which Spirit is only the active energy of His Soul - Himself. And hence, the Form of God is not distributed over the whole universe of creation, where His attributes may be, or simply because these attributes are manifested everywhere.

No, as was said by Moses of old, and as was said by me when on earth, God is in His Heavens. And although it may be surprising and startling to mortals to hear, God has His habitation; and God, the Substance, the Self-Existing Soul Form, has His locality. And men do not live and move and have their existence in God - but they do in His emanations and expressions and spirit.

As you are somewhat exhausted, I think this is a good place to stop. I am pleased that you are in such good condition. So be prepared for an early resumption of the message.

With my love and blessings, I will say good night.

Your brother and friend,
Jesus

This message can be read here.
Ah shucks. Too kind...

You do a good job of explaining what you believe and why, but of course much that you seem to rely upon doesn't have the same value for me. Doesn't work the same way for me. I will be the first to admit I am no better at comprehending language that mortals can't comprehend, but I'm more than a little reluctant to accept what other mere mortals seem to claim about such things. I can't help what my brain has me concluding along these lines anyway. It's the only one I've got. I don't really subscribe to a belief in souls, but if I have one regardless according to you, it's not helping me to think or feel any differently. Not for a very long time now. Open as I have been to any of those possibilities. Believe me.

Good in any case your beliefs are working for you. Helping you to live the life you want to live. I think we share that pleasure. Just in different ways for different reasons. Nothing wrong with that if it's our feelings and how we want to live that is all we care to consider when it comes to matters such as these.

What is the truth of these matters on the other hand? The question for the ages! Something we simply don't answer the same way for a good many variety of reasons. That's all. I am glad we both seem to be in such good condition either way. Though I am fully aware things could "change on a dime" for me at any given time.

Best!
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