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Old 09-04-2018, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALGUY View Post
I can only add, if you, and others fail to take advantage of this book, and learn from it, that would be your loss.

Bob.
I might give it another try since I am curious about it (my grandmother and my brother were into this stuff) -- but last time I tried reading it my eyes kept glazing over. Maybe it's the translation but it's a slog. I won't guarantee I'll learn anything from it that I don't already know, however.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:26 AM
 
4,768 posts, read 1,867,692 times
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To be totally honest, I did not post this, thinking I would challenge or antagonize religious and/or spiritual people. My thinking was that new developments in science should be celebrated because they contribute, if they do, to human happiness. That they sort of sweep out the cobwebs of past thought processes and offer things new and closer to the truth.

If people want to cling to traditional ways of thinking, it's none of my business, frankly, and I'm not about to slog through the tiresome old arguments which have been aired a million times before, and for centuries. It's really pointless.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraZetterberg153 View Post
To be totally honest, I did not post this, thinking I would challenge or antagonize religious and/or spiritual people. My thinking was that new developments in science should be celebrated because they contribute, if they do, to human happiness. That they sort of sweep out the cobwebs of past thought processes and offer things new and closer to the truth.
Which is a value judgement on those of us who don't hold "progressive atheist" beliefs, specifically on the quality of our thought processes and the invalidity of the truths we hold. I don't know how to explain it any more clearly -- or why it can be taken as offensive.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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Many people struggle with the internal, and eternal, battle of spirituality. As a person of science, I have often said that I am an atheist (not capitalized because I don't consider the lack of religion to be a religion, as some might). While this is not exactly true, I think of myself as open-minded and tolerant of others' beliefs, but not personally open to what I consider blind faith. What I see is that virtually all religions have similar themes and, since they've sprung from widely disparate peoples, places and times, must be addressing universal needs or thoughts of all mankind. Joseph Campbell was one of my favorite scholars on worldwide mythologies through the history of mankind. The variety of forms that religion takes is fascinating to me. The more we learn of our scientific reality, the harder it can be to reconcile the literal beliefs of individual religions, or even schools of spirituality which don't define themselves as religion, with the knowledge we have acquired in the modern era. My personal belief is not that god created man, but that man created god to fulfill human needs for greater understanding of the natural world, cause and effect, and to define an organizing principle to allow civilized living (rules, consequences, hope for the future).

Three books that I've read (and reread) over the years speak intelligently (in my opinion) to the dichotomy of thought, religion vs science, and a modern, moral, view toward integrating the positive aspects of religion with critical scientific thought.

The first has the unfortunate title of "Why Christianity Must Change or Die", written by Anglican Bishop John Shelby Spong (Available on Kindle and Amazon). It's an interesting work from a man within a religion, that wants the religion to not continue to lose those of critical thinking due to certain dogma within the literal confines of the bible.

The second, "Hymns to an Unknown God" by Sam Keen, talks about awakening the soul to spirit in everyday life, and draws on the traditions of global religions to find ways to incorporate a sense of greater meaning in life while addressing the larger purpose, in Keen's words "to chronicle the quest for a new organizing myth".

The third takes the scientific view of the world from one of the most eloquent scientists of our time, Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World", subtitled "Science as a Candle in the Darkness". While respectful of religion, he presents the argument for a more reasoned and logical view of what many view as religion or spiritual thought.

I find myself reading some passages of these books over and over, dog-earing the pages, and highlighting things that speak to me.

Last edited by TheShadow; 09-06-2018 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:32 PM
 
4,768 posts, read 1,867,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Many people struggle with the internal, and eternal, battle of spirituality. As a person of science, I have often said that I am an atheist (not capitalized because I don't cpnsider the lack of religion to be a religion, as some might. But I see that virtually all religions have similar themes and, since they sprung from widely disparate peoples, places and times, must be addressing universal needs or thoughts of all mankind. The variety of forms that religion takes is fascinating to me. The more we learn of our scientific reality, the harder it can be to reconcile the literal beliefs of individual religions, or even schools of spirituality which don't define themselves as religion, with the knowledge we have acquired in the modern era.

Three books that I've read (and reread) over the years speak intelligently (in my opinion) to the dichotomy of thought, religion vs science, and a modern, moral, view toward integrating the positive aspects of religion with critical scientific thought.

The first has the unfortunate title of "Why Christianity Must Change or Die", written by Anglican Bishop John Shelby Spong (Available on Kindle and Amazon). It's an interesting work from a man within the religion that wants the religion to not continue to lose those of critical thinking due to certain dogma within the literal confines of the bible.

The second, "Hymns to an Unknown God" by Sam Keen, talks about awakening the soul to spirit in everyday life, and draws on the traditions of global religions to find ways to incorporate a sense of greater meaning in life while addressing the larger purpose, in Keen's words "to chronicle the quest for a new organizing myth".

The third takes the scientific view of the world from one of the most eloquent scientists of our time, Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World", subtitled "Science as a Candle in the Darkness". While respectful of religion he presents the argument for a more reasoned and logical view of what many view as religion or spiritual thought.

I find myself reading some passages of these books over and over, dog-earing the pages, and highlighting things that speak to me.
I like Sagan's book, too. I also like Russell's _Why I am Not a Christian_. Sounds like you might like Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and one of the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism," along with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. Hitch died not too long ago.

Which science?
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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All the earth sciences are my avocation, geology ,biology, botany, etc. I am curious, and therefore everything seems to require me to understand it. My actual vocation was in energy production.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,787 posts, read 4,503,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALGUY View Post
Many passages in the spirit's book were done through automatic writing.
Are you versed in automatic writing?...
So, it is not a case of should we believe the spirits, and Bob?
Mediums in direct contact with the spirits also contributed to the book. ...
Through mediums, and in some cases, automatic writing, the spirit's book came into being.
As for evil spirits entertaining thoughts of participation in the writing of this book, that is highly unlikely.
Without knowledge of spirits, you can only assume you are correct in your contentions.
Had you the knowledge, you would know your contention of evil spirits intervening is at best, improbable.
I've read about 140 pages of the book - that's about all the time I'm willing to put into it at this time, though I appreciate your providing a link and it's a useful reference on 19th century spiritualism. For those who haven't gone through it, it's 450 pages of questions and answers that supposedly came from "spirits" through automatic writing. Bob - the claim that you have to have certain knowledge to understand the authority of the text could come straight from the Gnostic works in the Nag Hammadi library (what Kardec had in his day were the same texts Melville used for the passages on Gnosticism in Moby Dick: writings about the beliefs of the Gnostics from the Church fathers who countered them, like St. Irenaois). For example, the Gnostics had a Secret Gospel of Mark that claimed to provide the real meaning of the Gospel of Mark for those who were indoctrinated into its mysteries.

The whole book is a mix of theology Orthodox Christians likely wouldn't disagree with, folk beliefs, Kaballistic lore, heretical beliefs of one kind or another (including dualism), and Gnosticism that depends on secret information revealed in seances rather than through secret rituals and passwords for the divine ascent as the original Gnostics practiced their religion. Now we get to the heart of the matter:

Quote:
Now one might ask, how do we know the information given by the spirits to these select mediums is what actually appeared in the book?
Do we need to take the author's word for it?
Those with a lack of knowledge concerning spirits might think so.
If you read this book, then compare events, and experiences in your own life, you will find the book is extremely close in line with not only your life, but the lives of all humans.
In other words, you have faith in what the "spirits" told Kardec based on whatever resonances you find with your own life experience. That's the experience of the Christian who encounters the Christ through the gospels. The difference is where you choose to place your faith - but it's still faith.

Kardec has written his book for an elite (or if you prefer, transcribed - funny how you may say the Bible is the work of men, but the claim you're making of inspiration is the same claim people of the Book make for the Bible - the difference is, Orthodox Christians believe their sacred text was inspired through the authors by the Holy Spirit, the followers of Kardec believe it was inspired through mediums by a host of unnamed spirits). The New Testament was written within the context of a community, and (contrary to what a lot of Protestants would claim) documents the traditions that had been handed down orally in the first decades of the Church rather than being a founding document for a church.

Quote:
Unlike the Bible, nothing in this book is left to interpretation.
I can only add, if you, and others fail to take advantage of this book, and learn from it, that would be your loss.
I don't really understand why you find this 200 year old text composed by a schoolteacher compelling, or why it's the place you've chosen to place your heart and your hope. It's not compelling to me, and I find your commitment to it puzzling, to be frank. In the words of our Orthodox liturgy and hymns, I'd rather place my trust in a God who came among us to show us how to be better human beings, a God who dwells it is said in unapproachable light, and who is the only Lover of mankind. What truth there is in the Spirit Book is wrapped in a lot of errors and distortions -- which maybe was the intent of whatever it was who inspired it. I find nothing in it that would help me on the path to holiness - which at the end is the only spiritual path that counts.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:26 PM
 
Location: PRC
4,531 posts, read 4,023,002 times
Reputation: 4035
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraZettyerberg153
My thinking was that new developments in science should be celebrated because they contribute, if they do, to human happiness. That they sort of sweep out the cobwebs of past thought processes and offer things new and closer to the truth.
Haha - Truth? Happiness? I do not see science as contributing much to human happiness, all I see is science developing more dangerous weapons and things which can be used to control us more.

When you get down the rabbit hole a little further you will realise Happiness & Truth are relative not absolute like you want them to be to make up your view of the world. For example, at one time atoms were definitely made of a nucleus, protons, electrons that was a scientific truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraZettyerberg153
If people want to cling to traditional ways of thinking, it's none of my business,
Listen to yourself. As if science is not doing that all the time, yet you 'follow' science like a religion. The breakthroughs have to be fought for with teeth and nails. Scientists are difficult to persuade due to their fear of change and going into the unknown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraZettyerberg153
I'm not about to slog through the tiresome old arguments which have been aired a million times before, and for centuries. It's really pointless.
Classic ! Start a post which you admit are going to get the others going, and then run away saying it is all pointless. ...Just as you were losing your case too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow
What I see is that virtually all religions have similar themes and, since they've sprung from widely disparate peoples, places and times, must be addressing universal needs or thoughts of all mankind. Joseph Campbell was one of my favorite scholars on worldwide mythologies through the history of mankind. The variety of forms that religion takes is fascinating to me. The more we learn of our scientific reality, the harder it can be to reconcile the literal beliefs of individual religions, or even schools of spirituality which don't define themselves as religion, with the knowledge we have acquired in the modern era. My personal belief is not that god created man, but that man created god to fulfill human needs for greater understanding of the natural world, cause and effect, and to define an organizing principle to allow civilized living (rules, consequences, hope for the future).
It is interesting you see differences between religion and science and I see similarities. As science progresses they come closer and closer to acknowledging a consciousness and mind which pervades everything. Isn't that what many religions have been saying about God ?
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
7,934 posts, read 6,303,314 times
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You're going to have to point out to me how science is acknowledging a pervasive consciousness or mind.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:23 PM
 
Location: PRC
4,531 posts, read 4,023,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
You're going to have to point out to me how science is acknowledging a pervasive consciousness or mind.
And if I do, you will say these people/references/papers/institutions/etc are not recognised as 'scientific' or you do not consider this to be proof or one of a thousand other reasons.

I am not going to play this game of proof any more with people here. If you dont currently think that way, then my arguments are not going to persuade you, but I am sure "you would love to be persuaded" just like many others would be.
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