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#848964 - 04/08/05 08:20 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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My life has been a series of goofy, usually embarassing moments strung together to keep me humble...very humble...extraordinarily humble.

I doubt that the universe could have strung these gaffes and awkward moments together via a randomn method.

God has a sense of humor. I am but a pawn...

K

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#848965 - 04/08/05 08:26 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Quote
Originally posted by kluurs:
No one should be brainwashed - but perhaps open to possibilities...

K
Oh I agree. And that is my biggest problem with the religious advocates. It is them that I see not open to possibilites. There is such an infinite realm that obviously exceeds man's capacity to comprehend, yet religions are so stuck on painting these myths onto the unknown that are so obviously of earthly origin, totally undermining the gloriousness of what actually is out there.

The link posted on Kryon's lecture does a great job with this point. No one in the glass of water can see the ocean, so they assume god and the universe is defined within the context of the glass. Myths are about limiting possibilites, not about being open to them.


I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?
#848966 - 04/08/05 08:38 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Anything that man can screw up, he will.

Doctrines are the provence of organized religions.

Christ would not be entirely happy with what has been done in his name any more than Mohammed, Abraham or Buddha.

In fact, some would argue that none of these people wished to found a religion as much as they demonstrated a way to live one's life.

Ken

#848967 - 04/08/05 08:39 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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How does one scientifically prove the existence of God? If one accepts (for the sake of this discussion) that God is indeed omniscient and omnipresent, how can this be demonstrated? Given the apparently hard and fast limit to the rate at which information can be transmitted (light speed), for God to be omniscient would require simultaneous presence in all locations at the same time. How does one then demonstrate the presence of something that is everywhere simultaneously? Given the difficulties in imagining such a presence using standard physical concepts, what would one look for? As a Christian, I have been asked for my proof of God scientifically. I state that I cannot do so, nor would I attempt to do so. It is something I sense. Evolution? There is little doubt that it operates at the micro scale, and although there is more doubt about it at the macro scale, I have never considered the theory of evolution to be in conflict with the possibility of the existence of God, for who am I to place limitations on how God operates?

#848968 - 04/08/05 08:45 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Quote
Originally posted by kluurs:
In fact, some would argue that none of these people wished to found a religion as much as they demonstrated a way to live one's life.

Ken
thumb

#848969 - 04/08/05 08:50 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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How does one scientifically prove the existence of God?
There is no such thing as scientific proof, it's basically an oxymoron. Nothing in science is ever proved except in the sense of proof beyond reasonable doubt (which is just equal to lots of evidence/derived theory).

Strong evidence for God is hypothetically quite straight forward, some physical structure that bore a message no human could possibly know, a mathmatical proof well beyond our current maths, grand unified theory, a future prediction for a large chaotic system etc.

Or perhaps prayer could actually work in a easily observeably manner, to build a plane you use physics, if you could use prayer instead that would be pretty strong evidence for something God-like.

Quote

the apparently hard and fast limit to the rate at which information can be transmitted (light speed), for God to be omniscient would require simultaneous presence in all locations at the same time. How does one then demonstrate the presence of something that is everywhere simultaneously?
With hypothesis, prediction, experiment. But you seem to be limiting your tri-omni God to within the sphere of physics, many would disagree with that.

Quote

Given the difficulties in imagining such a presence using standard physical concepts, what would one look for?
Physical concepts are not as limited by imagination as you might think, that is somewhat irrelevent. But first one would demonstrate that there is something God like, some cosmic style intelligence with great power, then you would further examine it's properties. If suddenly anyone who prayed and believed could make an object float, that would be pretty strong.

Quote

Evolution? There is little doubt that it operates at the micro scale, and although there is more doubt about it at the macro scale
There really really isn't. But that's kind of another topic.


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
#848970 - 04/08/05 08:54 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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I should clarify. Organized religion does provide many good things - from a way to join other like minded individuals in sharing fellowship and gratitude for one's blessings to aid in crises to providing a spiritual family, etc.

Just, wherever man is involved, a mess will follow.

Prayer, meditation, humility, gratitude, empathy, compassion - are tools of a spiritual life.

Companions on the journey can help.

Ken

#848971 - 04/08/05 09:19 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Moonbat:

Very interesting response-thank you!

As for “There is no such thing as scientific proof, it's basically an oxymoron”, I would suggest that mathematical proofs might possibly enter into the realm of science, other wise I agree.

“But you seem to be limiting your tri-omni God to within the sphere of physics, many would disagree with that.”

I had hopefully indicated in my last sentence that I in fact do not apply such limits. However, to provide a proof to humans would, IMHO, require evidence within the realm of observable physics.

“Physical concepts are not as limited by imagination as you might think, that is somewhat irrelevant.”

I am aware that the imagination should have essentially limitless reach (11 dimensional string theory, anyone?). My concern is given such possibilities, which might be taken as proof of God?

“…a future prediction for a large chaotic system etc.”

It is doubtful that a full prediction of a truly chaotic system would ever be possible, given the inherent unpredictability of such a system.

“There really really isn't. But that's kind of another topic.”

Actually, there is doubt, even among those with training in the biological sciences, but as I stated, I don’t see the validity or lack of same to the theory to be an impediment (mind you, I am not a fundamentalist).

Again, thanks for the thoughtful comments.

#848972 - 04/08/05 09:37 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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I would suggest that mathematical proofs might possibly enter into the realm of science, other wise I agree
That's true, but a mathematical proof is only a proof with regard to the maths, not with regards to what the maths says about the world we live in.

Quote

I had hopefully indicated in my last sentence that I in fact do not apply such limits. However, to provide a proof to humans would, IMHO, require evidence within the realm of observable physics
I'm not sure that's true, God could break laws of physics and doing so could constitute strong evidence: like prayer powered planes that defied Bernoulli.

Quote

It is doubtful that a full prediction of a truly chaotic system would ever be possible, given the inherent unpredictability of such a system.
That's kind of my point, we couldn't do it, but God could, which is why it would be strong evidence.

Quote

Actually, there is doubt, even among those with training in the biological sciences.
I think you are mistaken my friend, i live and breathe science, and whenever i speak to biologists they either sit back and laugh hysterically or become irritated when we speak of the public debate regarding common descent.

There are questions regarding the specific form evolution takes, the relevence of neutral mutations, how much of an impact mechanisms for large change like punctuated equilibrium are etc. but the fundamental ideas are rock solid. They are not beyond doubt in the sense that they could be falsified, but they are comparable to say the theory heliocentricity or the germ based theory of disease, that is they are "proved" beyond reasonable doubt.

There are of course individuals who doubt evolution, like Behe, but there are individuals who doubt anything and everything, but when taken as a whole an overwhelming majority of scientists view common descent as fact.

Quote

Again, thanks for the thoughtful comments.
Any time smile .


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
#848973 - 04/08/05 09:56 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Moonbat:

Again, thank you for your response.

“That's true, but a mathematical proof is only a proof with regard to the maths, not with regards to what the maths says about the world we live in.”

But can one claim to understand science unless it can be expressed in the language of mathematics?

“I'm not sure that's true, God could break laws of physics and doing so could constitute strong evidence: like prayer powered planes that defied Bernoulli.”

Perhaps God could do so, but why? To prove something to us?

“That's kind of my point, we couldn't do it, but God could, which is why it would be strong evidence.’

See above.

“I think you are mistaken my friend, i live and breathe science, and whenever i speak to biologists they either sit back and laugh hysterically or become irritated when we speak the public debate regarding common descent.”

I too am a scientist, with a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Zoology—clearly an institution strongly supportive of evolutionary theory. I have not stated that I hold substantial reservations about the theory. My concern is this, however: Peer pressure applies not merely to the “ignorant masses”, but to those who have been inculcated with a particular mindset. It would take enormous personal strength, perhaps to the point of career/graduate degree suicide, to speak out against the dogma (again, the dogma may well be true). The majority opinion may not be correct, but clearly only time will tell. Perhaps those few who do not laugh or get irritated may have a point or two worthy of consideration.

By the way, what are you studying over there in Merry Ol’ England?

#848974 - 04/08/05 09:58 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Quote
Originally posted by Dapper50:
How does one then demonstrate the presence of something that is everywhere simultaneously? Given the difficulties in imagining such a presence using standard physical concepts, what would one look for?
Well, I understand the thought experiment you're engaging in here, but just as a tangent, its not at all inconceivable to be "everywhere" at once. Given the notion of higher dimensions to our universe (the fourth is accepted, string theory predicts eleven), limitations of our 3D world are not considered a constraint. Even in current physics, quarks for instance are known to be in 2 different positions at the same time. I havent quite digested that yet, but its accepted.


I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?
#848975 - 04/08/05 10:09 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Quote
Originally posted by Moonbat:

Strong evidence for God is hypothetically quite straight forward, some physical structure that bore a message no human could possibly know, a mathmatical proof well beyond our current maths, grand unified theory, a future prediction for a large chaotic system etc.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here, but these things would not be strong evidence for God. They would only be strong evidence for intelligence beyond our own. Which is by no means necessarily God.

I LOVED the treatment Star Trek TNG did on this. When they were hiding in a duck blind to observe a primitive proto-vulcan society, and they were discovered. All their technology made them appear like God to the primitive people. Praise the Picard! they said. And then ofcoure started killing each other to try to please the Picard. Well done, TNG. My favorite line, Ryker:"Its worse than we thought, they're starting to believe in a God".


I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?
#848976 - 04/08/05 10:35 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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But can one claim to understand science unless it can be expressed in the language of mathematics?
Well in many instances perhaps not, but the mathematical proof only takes you from a certain number of starting assumptions to a derived result, it does not prove that those starting assumptions are correct. Hence it does not proove that the result actually applies to the real world. That afterall is why we need experiment.

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Perhaps God could do so, but why? To prove something to us?
Well my point was not whether God would choose to do so, merely that it would constitute strong evidence if he chose to do so.

Quote

I too am a scientist, with a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Zoology—clearly an institution strongly supportive of evolutionary theory. I have not stated that I hold substantial reservations about the theory.
Ah you are a scientist, i am merely a student (though i would like to believe a reasonably gifted one). Because i took a lot longer than i should have done (damn my health) many of my undergraduate companions are now finishing PhDs.

Please do not take any offense in my comments i will happily bow to your superior knowledge of many things, i simply am putting forward the way i see things.

Quote

My concern is this, however: Peer pressure applies not merely to the “ignorant masses”, but to those who have been inculcated with a particular mindset. It would take enormous personal strength, perhaps to the point of career/graduate degree suicide, to speak out against the dogma (again, the dogma may well be true). The majority opinion may not be correct, but clearly only time will tell. Perhaps those few who do not laugh or get irritated may have a point or two worthy of consideration.
I agree with you wholeheartedly, they are certainly worthy of consideration one should _never_ discount an idea merely because it is unfashionable but the upside is that if one is going to challenge accepted theory one needs a strong argument. The closest i have seen to a strong argument against evolution is the intelligent design movement specifically the irreducable complexity as championed by Dembski and Behe, but that seems to have been completely refuted, genetic algorithms created electronics that demonstrated examples of irreducable complexity, many of the building blocks of seemingly irreducable complex structures like flagella are seen within other biological systems (like the immune system). Overall the concept that evolution can co-opt systems that are already present seems to knock the irreducable complexity argument to pieces.

Going back to your point regarding peer pressure, science is conservative but if there is a strong argument and good evidence based on a sound method then revolutions happen, revolutionary ideas do penetrate peer review IF they are methodologically sound. And yet the literature appears entirely barren when you look for proposals opposing common descent.

Perhaps it is simply bias in the peer review system but then other revolutionary papers in other subject are published, there are papers questioning the tennents of quantum theory and other highly established theories, there was a paper published in a chemistry journal that claimed that if you extract all the gas from a water then it will mix with oil, that is complete heresy, it suggests that almost all of our understanding of forces in fluids is wrong yet it was published (and then AFAIK refuted).

Even if we accept that for some reason biologists are more biased than other scientists, when we examine the arguments put forward in the creationist literature we don't find anything that has not already been knocked to pieces. There seem to be no new academic arguments, only the old arguments that have been answered.

Like all of science evolution is falsifiable but it just seems to me well beyond reasonable doubt, a view that appears to be echoed within the scientific community.

Quote

By the way, what are you studying over there in Merry Ol’ England?
I graduated from Bristol with a degree in Chemistry last year and next year i do a masters in Nanomaterials at Imperial. After that a PhD though i have no idea what it will be in. I want to know it all, but i must choose a narrow speciality, such a dilemma.


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
#848977 - 04/08/05 10:38 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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I wish Chickgrand were here. I think he would truly enjoy a conversation with you, Moonbat.

#848978 - 04/08/05 10:42 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here, but these things would not be strong evidence for God. They would only be strong evidence for intelligence beyond our own. Which is by no means necessarily God.
Well it depends on how one defines God. Prayer powered planes would be good evidence of a an intelligence capable of reading thoughts and bending the laws of physics to their own whim. That fits some of the definitions of God.

An answer written in the sky in burning flames for grand unified theory, with a few verses from various religious texts, and big booming voice explaining that this was our creator calling to say hi. Would be fairly good to.

Quote

I LOVED the treatment Star Trek TNG did on this. When they were hiding in a duck blind to observe a primitive proto-vulcan society, and they were discovered. All their technology made them appear like God to the primitive people. Praise the Picard! they said. And then ofcoure started killing each other to try to please the Picard. Well done, TNG. My favorite line, Ryker:"Its worse than we thought, they're starting to believe in a God".
That was a good episode smile .

Quote

Even in current physics, quarks for instance are known to be in 2 different positions at the same time. I havent quite digested that yet, but its accepted.
In a sense electrons (and presumably quarks) are in an infinite number of positions at the same time. Two electrons can also be in the same place and the same time. Bizarre things fundamental particles smile .


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
#848979 - 04/08/05 10:56 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Moonbat:

Once again, thank you for your well-considered response.

“Please do not take any offense in my comments i will happily bow to your superior knowledge of many things, i simply am putting forward the way i see things.”

If there is anything I have learned, it is that presuming superiority in any given subject is a sure way to end the learning process. I find it extremely difficult to learn if my mouth is always flapping, and my ears closed! You should bow to no one, especially not to one who pretends to speak from a position of intellectual authority. Frankly, given how long it has been since I was a graduate student, or even a practicing scientist (I am a director of excellent scientists), I highly doubt that my current scientific knowledge is equal to yours. Over the years, I have learned that scientists often have a propensity for putting on blinders to approaches they deem nonscientific. Moreover, aspects now considered to be metaphysical nature at present may enter the realm of the physical later. I believe it is appropriate to always question, even matters considered resolved. For example, elevated serum cholesterol was often considered highly correlated to increased risk of heart disease. Recent evidence is beginning to cast doubt on that notion, perhaps such that the correlation may not be tightly linked to causality (correlation versus regression).

Incidentally, I also took a leisurely route to my Ph.D. I actually spent two years as a public school teacher prior to returning to school. Sometimes I envy those who are still in school, but as I like to indicate to those willing to listen, learning should never stop, nor should humility, for no matter how much we may think we know, it amounts to only a smidgen of the universe of knowledge, and that which we may so believe to be true may over the course of time be shown not to be.

#848980 - 04/08/05 11:40 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Quote
Originally posted by Moonbat:
Well it depends on how one defines God. Prayer powered planes would be good evidence of a an intelligence capable of reading thoughts and bending the laws of physics to their own whim. That fits some of the definitions of God.

An answer written in the sky in burning flames for grand unified theory, with a few verses from various religious texts, and big booming voice explaining that this was our creator calling to say hi. Would be fairly good to.
I still dont agree. These are incidents of superior technology, propogating arbitrary messages contrived at the whim of the perpetrator. Picard could have had Jeordi write such a message in the sky with phasers, fully convincing the pointy eared people. But as he quite clearly insisted, he was not thier god. (I love how he refused to go down there with a set of commandments to get them to stop killing each other in his name)

But anyway, that doesnt show god in the traditional religious sense. However, god as a mythological construct used as an icon for that which the people fear, awe, and dont understand, then yes, that is sufficient evidence for that notion of god.


I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?
#848981 - 04/08/05 11:50 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Over the years, I have learned that scientists often have a propensity for putting on blinders to approaches they deem nonscientific. Moreover, aspects now considered to be metaphysical nature at present may enter the realm of the physical later. I believe it is appropriate to always question, even matters considered resolved.
Quote

learning should never stop, nor should humility, for no matter how much we may think we know, it amounts to only a smidgen of the universe of knowledge, and that which we may so believe to be true may over the course of time be shown not to be.
Thank you for your comments, i think they constitute excellent advice. Thanks for the interesting discussion.


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
#848982 - 04/08/05 11:55 AM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Moonbat:

"Thank you for your comments, i think they constitute excellent advice. Thanks for the interesting discussion."

You are welcome. If I may quote a wise young person:

"Any time"

#848983 - 04/08/05 12:21 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Over the years, I have learned that scientists often have a propensity for putting on blinders to approaches they deem nonscientific. Moreover, aspects now considered to be metaphysical nature at present may enter the realm of the physical later. I believe it is appropriate to always question, even matters considered resolved.
Quote

learning should never stop, nor should humility, for no matter how much we may think we know, it amounts to only a smidgen of the universe of knowledge, and that which we may so believe to be true may over the course of time be shown not to be.
I like these too. I find that the limitations of science are what make life most exciting. What I mean by that is that anything outside of explainable physics always has and always will appear to be magic. And that allows us to experience these phenomena with the wide eyed wonderment of a child. As a kid, I was in love with Big Foot, Nessie, UFOs, etc. As I've grown, my taste for such things has become more sophisticated, but anything that is gonna require an expansion of the box to accomodate is the most exhilirating aspect of the human condition. imho of course.

Edit: let me add, that expanding the box to demystify the phenomena and explain it, is equally as glorious. Its this exploration and discovery of the universe on all levels that allows one to be a perpetual kid.


I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?
#848984 - 04/08/05 01:43 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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I still dont agree. These are incidents of superior technology, propogating arbitrary messages contrived at the whim of the perpetrator. Picard could have had Jeordi write such a message in the sky with phasers, fully convincing the pointy eared people. But as he quite clearly insisted, he was not thier god
Technology can only operate within the laws of physics not outside them. Now granted we have limited knowledge, so you could interpret prayer powered planes (and prayer powered other things) as being somehow operated by an advanced alien race, who can read our thoughts have some kind of magic levitating technology based on physics we don't know, and wish to fool us into believeing there is a diety.

But to me given the above scenario there is a more obvious explanation, that there is some kind of cosmic intelligence capable of changing the laws that govern the universe.

In the fantasy books i often read there are various clerics and who through prayer to their various Gods/Godesses (who also turn up now and again) can do all manner of things, if i lived in such a world i would believe in those Gods/goddesses. One can propose alternative explanations, one can _always_ propose alternative explanations, we could be brains in jars living in a virtual world rather than experiencing reality. It just seems to me that there are scenarios where the most obvious explanations is some kind of cosmic intelligence.


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
#848985 - 04/08/05 02:27 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Originally posted by JBryan:
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Originally posted by Tom--K:
[b] Here's something. I believe in God--he's been good to me. Really, I don't know much about business. I never have and never will. You look at my answers in the "hay you financial geniuses" threads--and mine come across as pretty dufus. I really don't know business.

But, I bet you can roll all the financial geniuses together and I can easily buy and sell them.

I never was much good with girls, No girlfriends in HS, one in college. Then my wife--babe of all time, Yale, Columbia, georgous, and all that. Did pantyhose ads for Hanes stockings. Good Catholic to boot.

The kids--not the time to get into it, but gifts. Two gifts.

All I can say is that as good as I think I am (and I know I think I'm good,)--it ain't me. I'm not that good.

God has blessed me. And I'm thankful.

There is a God.
And why--I don't know. But, I know I'm not that good and he's blessed me.
Tom, you magnificent bastard, you have said it all. Unfortunately, most here will never figure it out because they take themselves far too seriously. [/b]
Allow me to paraphrase:

"God has chosen ME to make a lot of money and have sex with a beautiful woman and have wonderful offspring! I am God's chosen!"

"How refreshing it is to see someone who doesn't take himself seriously!"

#848986 - 04/08/05 02:43 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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I heard TomK say... I am amazed at my blessings and thankful for them. I know that it is not through my doings that I possess these things, but through the hand of another.

Do you still see arrogance?

K

#848987 - 04/08/05 02:46 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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justme Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Horace:
Allow me to paraphrase:

"God has chosen ME to make a lot of money and have sex with a beautiful woman and have wonderful offspring! I am God's chosen!"

"How refreshing it is to see someone who doesn't take himself seriously!"
That's not how I read it at all. Wow!

#848988 - 04/08/05 02:56 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Horace Offline
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Yeah you're right. It's not TomK that takes TomK seriously. It's *God* that takes TomK seriously (in TomK's view). That's *much* better and surely the sign of a centered and humble sense of ego and self. He's just like the rest of us, except for the Divine Intervention that's maximized his worldly pleasure in this life and which will guarantee him eternal salvation in the next.

#848989 - 04/08/05 03:03 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Tom--K Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Horace:
Yeah you're right. It's not TomK that takes TomK seriously. It's *God* that takes TomK seriously (in TomK's view). That's *much* better and surely the sign of a centered and humble sense of ego and self. He's just like the rest of us, except for the Divine Intervention that's maximized his worldly pleasure in this life and which will guarantee him eternal salvation in the next.
I know, I know. God rewards those he loves both in the hither and the yan...And the rest of you you're plan "B". frown

Sigh, I'm a just old line Calvinist at heart. smile

Who says I'm not a Troll? laugh laugh laugh

Seriously, if God isn't being good to me--then I'm utterly FANTASTIC.

It's either one or the other.

#848990 - 04/08/05 03:58 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Horace Offline
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Just own it. You're an egomaniac who's not satisfied with having "everything", you also need to rub everybody else's nose in the fact that you have it. You can try to assuage your guilt over your egomania by attributing everything to God, but you're not gonna fool those of us with an objective view of human nature.

#848991 - 04/08/05 04:05 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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Tom--K Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Horace:
Just own it. You're an egomaniac who's not satisfied with having "everything", you also need to rub everybody else's nose in the fact that you have it. You can try to assuage your guilt over your egomania by attributing everything to God, but you're not gonna fool those of us with an objective view of human nature.
Fine, I'm an egomaniac, everybody knows that. But you haven't answered my question. Am I that good or does God love me that much?

So Horace, what to you think? laugh

#848992 - 04/08/05 04:12 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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I think you have a particular set of skills, desires, and circumstances that have led you to your particular position in life. I think you are very intelligent and creative. It's up to you to consider that as "fantastic", "lucky", "Divinely chosen", or whatever. I'll consider it "inevitable", given the billions of people in the world, all but one of which I am not.

#848993 - 04/08/05 04:27 PM Re: Let Us Pray  
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apple* Offline
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time could tell..... the important thing is how much Tom loves God, not vice versa.

Remember the story of Job? .... the rich man who was blest with camels and sheep and riches and lands...who still loved God after he lost all that he had including his health..


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Ă•un (apple in Estonian)
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