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So much for that 9th commandment

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So much for that 9th commandment
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MatthewLeePosts: 99Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

AronRa wrote: “When David Hume, (and atheist himself) described what he called the problem of induction, he explained that we have no choice but to make the same assumption as a child or a beast would, because we must. Therefore Hume's answer is to favor consistency. That everything we do in life is based on the assumption that we can learn from experience and that the future will conform to the past. We can't even go about our day otherwise.
In the words of Dr Peter Millican, professor of Philosophy at Oxford, "the rational thing to do is accept that we are part of nature and that this assumption is one that we simply cannot live without. So we should systematize what we learn about the world in conformity with our model of an assumption of consistently uniform laws of nature. Hume himself advocates that we must assume this," and "it gives a reliable basis for preferring science to superstition".
In Hume's own words,
"Custom, then, is the great guide of human life. It is that principle alone, which renders our experience useful to us, and makes us expect, for the future, a similar train of events with those which have appeared in the past.
Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact, beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the production of any effect. There would be an end at once of all action, as well as of the chief part of speculation."
He also explains how, by this assumption, we can actually do and know things reliably and without resorting to any logical fallacy.
"But here it may be proper to remark, that though our conclusions from experience carry us beyond our memory and senses, and assure us of matters of fact, which happened in the most distant places and most remote ages; yet some fact must always be present to the senses or memory, from which we may first proceed in drawing these conclusions. A man, who should find in a desert country the remains of pompous buildings, would conclude, that the country had, in ancient times, been cultivated by civilized inhabitants; but did nothing of this nature occur to him, he could never form such an inference. We learn the events of former ages from history; but then we must peruse the volumes, in which this instruction is contained, and thence carry up our inferences from one testimony to another, till we arrive at the eye-witnesses and spectators of these distant events. In a word, if we proceed not upon some fact, present to the memory or senses, our reasonings would be merely hypothetical; and however the particular links might be connected with each other, the whole chain of inferences would have nothing to support it, nor could we ever, by its means, arrive at the knowledge of any real existence."
http://davidhume.org/texts/ehu.html

Another thing Sye ten Bruggencate liked to say was, "how do you know the laws of physics won't change five seconds from now." But of course if we assume that the laws of physics WILL change, that would be irrational, as it is not based on or in accordance with reason, and it violates all experience on which our knowledge is based. Further someone determined not to assume any degree of uniformitarianism would likewise be perceived as insane and incapable, since it would be impossible to get anything done.
So of course I have to side with the pragmatist. Since Hume said we must inevitably and irresistibly assume uniformitarianism, and since it is impossible not to make this assumption and still function, then induction could be considered the only rational position by definition, especially since assuming anything else would be considered irrational.”


Uniformitarianism is an unprovable postulate which cannot be verified using scientific method. I got that from the Wiki but it’s actually really in tune with this discussion. Beyond that flaw, however, a fundamental flaw of uniformitarianism is that we are basing our assumption that the universe has always operated under this set of laws from a quite small amount of time. If the Earth has been here for four billion years we have been here really studying it to any great effect for only about 2000. That means we are basing our assumptions on the universe on a sample of only .0000005% of just the lifespan of the Earth. At even just a round 13 billion years we are basing out impressions of the universe on just .00000015% of all the time that we believe has happened. Would you base any other scientific model on .00000015% of observable data and call it comprehensive?

Sye makes a valid point. We cannot establish a consistent proof that physics has always, or will always work the same even five minutes from now on such a small data set. It is at least true that we must have the assumption that the universe will act consistently to get through the day but we have to realize that for what it is, an entirely unprovable assumption that makes us sleep better at night. With respect, and I mean no offense, but this is the definition of a belief. It is a belief that requires faith because you can’t ever prove it. It is a presupposition and I hear Sye knows something about that.

I am confused as to why a Christian named himself Sye Ten. Generally, I suppose much of what he says confuses me. I recently saw a video of him accosting Penn about his health. I was mortified for Penn, I always liked him.

Beyond him, the existence debate is an interesting problem when seen from a mathematical standpoint.

To go beyond the understood laws of physics doesn’t require much. We have only understood physics as we currently do since about the 1920's. To go beyond the understood laws of physics in 1780 all you had to do was create a basic radio frequency oscillator and receiver. You’d have burned at the stake as a witch. We still don’t fully understand why the electromagnetic force functions but we know that it’s there and that they are a real and interactive part of the universe which can be demonstrably relied upon to function predictably. We can predict them with great accuracy, but that doesn't mean we understand their origin or true cause.

We say the words “space/time” like it’s a real thing made of matter. Space/time is a manifold. It’s a mathematical structure with no reality to it. It’s just a model. Gravity happens because space/time warps. What is actually warping? We have no idea and effects like gravity and electromagnetism, concepts like the quantum foam hint that there must be something we can’t interact with. These effects may not originate in our dimensional reality. They may have their effect grounded in a higher or lower dimensional reality. This may also be the case with magic.

I studied higher math from vector calculus to topology. I enjoyed calculus, but topology was a stretch too far. It’s about the study of closeness and that is the best I can do to describe it. We also got into manifold calculus, the stuff they use for relativity. It’s not something any sane person should attempt. It’s scary. In this study we described dimensionality in some detail and I learned that an ‘alternate dimension’ wasn’t just a concept from a comic book that needed a place for Bizarro Superman to come from.

In learning about what infinity really is and what it really means mathematically, the concept of a multidimensional universe almost seems necessary. The universe is a tiny little pond. I once heard a great metaphor about this from a Chinese friend. I can’t recall who said the story but it was something like this.

 Imagine a sparrow flies into the desert and picks up one grain of sand and flies to the sea and drops it in. When the sparrow finally finishes and the desert is empty an infinite amount of time will not yet have begun.

So an infinite amount of time and and infinite amount of space are inconceivable to us. We, therefore, measure time and space on the metric of what is near our size. We think things like: atoms are small and Jupiter is pretty big, the galaxy is immense, thirteen billion years is a long time… ect. Compared to infinity we are a tiny, muddy little pond and there must be many, many more ponds like this or perhaps completely different. This is true even if there is only one more dimension than ours and forces like electromagnetism and gravity strongly suggest to me that there are.

This is how I look at it (and I may be outright stealing inspiration for these ideas from Michio Kaku without citing him so credit to him but in my own less intelligent paraphrasing):

This is a conceptual exercise so you don't need to debate the reality of it. It's imperfect in the way all metaphors are... but it's still just a metaphor.

In a purely math universe any drawn cube is symbolically made up of an infinite number of tiny slices of two dimensional squares. Imagine we choose a two parsec cube of this universe and in one of the myriad tiny square slices life emerges. This happens because the conditions of the three dimensional universe passing through it have created a situation which has randomly fine-tuned it to allow life to evolve. Perhaps two nebulae have impacted one another at the dimensional boundary and the combining organic molecules and resultant thermal energy reacted in a primordial film which spawned the first self-replicating two dimensional macromolecules. How it started isn't relevant, it started.

So… imagine we have a two dimensional reality now in which there are organisms which have developed to intelligence through some two dimensional Darwinian process. The universe in which these beings exist has length and width but no depth, sort of like a piece of paper.

Imagine that it’s Saturday night in paper land. A man is sitting in his chair drinking two dimensional wine. His bottle of wine sits on a table. I, a three dimensional being, reach into his house and pull the bottle from his dimension into ours. Effectively it would have disappeared magically to him. Then imagine if I decided to take the same bottle of wine and place it back into his world directly behind him. It would look as if the wine magically poofed from one place to the next.
I could do things that would be inexplicable and impossible to prove in his world because they would have no instrument which could perceive or measure them. They could only measure anything meaningful at the places I crossed their plane anyway for the same reason that they also could not interact with me directly. To interact with me outside their plane would require them to gain a third dimension. Their minds, by virtue of the dimensional limitation, would be unable to comprehend or even contain the full truth of my reality and I am only one dimension up the food chain.

Now imagine that they can’t understand what I am.. but they can find a way to interact with me. For example, say I find a way to write in their language or to communicate through whatever they use for speech. I could inject ideas into their universe, and they could communicate back. Now imagine I gave them specific symbols they could use to communicate with me so that I could know what they want done. That would mean that it would seem some people could summon supernatural forces. There is no magic involved, just higher dimensional configurations of intelligent beings interacting with lower dimensional consciousness. Any higher being would know that showing themselves to the general public, however, would be dangerous so they would restrict their displays to those who were ready to accept them without freaking out and breaking mentally. People of faith.

Faith and superstition are different. Superstition makes a fearful and cowering claim that anthropomorphized forces of nature are able to be petitioned and are as capricious as humans. This claim comes from ignorance and powerlessness and it is usually not a method to create long lived theology. It usually results in failed crops and starvation and death from small-pox. Those who study metaphysics, on the other hand, believe that it may be true that higher planes cross this one and the beings there attempt to communicate or otherwise interact with us.

True adherents to spirituality have recognized that the universe we see around us may not be the ultimate level and we diligently seek for accounts and evidence of encounters which would seem to represent higher beings making contact. We are like the multidimensional version of SETI. SEDI, hey, I like that! Shamanism is built on the belief that nature is full of spirits and that you can communicate with them and petition them for favors. The wealth of Shamanic traditions around the world share some other interesting parallels along this line as well. For example, they use mind expanding substances to increase their perceptive abilities so they can catch even a small bit of what the higher dimensional beings are trying to communicate.

Even Wiccan’s petition some gods. Crowley used drugs and rituals to contact these forces but he started out as part of a society called the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was an even older Hermetic society which sought to practice things like Theurgy which sought to contact higher beings through ritual magic. The Golden Dawn wasn’t filled with dilettante social outcasts looking for a place to gather either. It was a well-established spiritual society with adherents like Yeats. I have to think these folks wouldn’t have wasted their time on this stuff if they didn’t see some results. They must have seen something that kept them, the intelligentsia of their day, coming back for more.

Some societies have had reasonably consistent experiences with higher beings over long periods of time and written it down. If we look at the holy books passed down to us we see that most Scripture is essentially an attempt to communicate deeper wisdom that was passed down from higher powers through metaphors over long periods of time. That's why they always seem to transcend their medium. Truly lasting scripture is rigorously preserved documentation of hard to write off experiences with higher beings. The experiences of these Scriptures over time seem to lead in a chain of growing understanding that you can't always trust the voices that come through the veil.

I feel that at the end of this chain of accounts of human interaction with higher dimensionality is the Bible which says, “The universe you live in is a construct. It was intelligently designed. There is one Creator or designer of this sea monkey tank and He and His servants are who you can trust. All the other higher beings you are trying to interact with mean you harm.
They are like disgruntled employees who want to kill the sea monkeys to see the ex-boss fail.” You can contact any intelligence you want but only a fool assumes they don’t mean us harm for some reason.

If the universe was populated with many more levels of intelligence and we didn’t know the landscape or politics of their reality we could find ourselves in trouble right quick. For a crass example:

If we try to interact with higher dimensional beings we are like a visually, partially hearing impaired person walking through New York City at night with a shirt on that says “I am visually and partially hearing impaired, can you lead me?” Would you trust the first voice to talk to you? That could get you killed. You’d need to vet them a bit.

If we believe the sum total of observed phenomena are enough to give us sufficient understanding of the universe I feel that it is denying a fundamental commonality of experience in the thread of spirituality which runs, and has run, through every society to ever exist. Our reality is not the ultimate one, it seems to me. I think that if we believe it is we are neglecting an infinite universe beyond the little pond that we know and that infinite universe may have someone in it who wants to show us something more if we just make ourselves willing to listen.
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:05 am
MatthewLeePosts: 99Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Alright this is the last of the posts I was writing. I just wanted you to know you weren’t wasting your time. I find some interesting threads in these responses like paranormal experiences. I would love to hear about your paranormal experiences. They sound profoundly affecting. If you have time can you please expound, Aron?

AronRa wrote: “Your god is a composite of many, including Shamash and El of course. I changed my surname to Ra as a nod to the Egyptian composite air-god and sun-god, Amen-Re, which I see as a template for your god too. Amun-Ra and Yahweh were once even married to the same woman! Although Yahweh is a sun god only in the New Testament and is more commonly depicted as a volcano in the Old Testament. Although he is still also an air god in both compilations.”


The Bible says in Heaven you are neither married nor given in marriage. :) Aside from that your timeline doesn’t match up. Which incarnation of Amun are you talking about and what characteristics were borrowed? I think Amun changed quite a bit over his tenure in Egypt. Wasn't he worshipped for a thousand years or more? For the Hebrew God to have been a composite of an Egyptian God would mean that they would have had to have been in Egypt during a time when that god was worshipped. If the Bible was written in the fifth century BC as you suggest then why would they choose an Egyptian God and not one in the land they were occupying? Isn’t it possible the similarities are coincidental?

A volcano God is a tough sell. There’s only one instance I can think of that the word ‘volcano’ is even used in the entire Bible and that isn’t even translated as volcano most times. Does this come from the time where God lights on Mt. Sinai and is in a cloud of fire maybe?. First, you have to know where Sinai was to prove it was a volcano. Second, how did the volcano walk through the desert with the Hebrews? I have watched Thunderfoot on this one and it’s a really, really hard needle to thread. Besides, logically, wouldn’t you worship a volcano God at a volcano? When did the Hebrews ever worship at a volcano?

Also, technically my God is a composite of all Gods because He’s the God of everything. To even start to prove this claim wouldn’t we have to have a complete and agreed upon definition of the clear Bible definition of Yahweh? Where do these conclusions you posit come from in the work about Yahweh, the Bible, would seem to me to be the logical place to start.
I think that to establish a claim like this we would have to examine the character and representations of each. Can you establish the ‘El’ claim and lay it out a little more? I have always read ‘El’ is not just a proper name for some specific gods of the time. El is a word that just means God. It’s not a surprise many cultures used this word to describe their concept of the Creator God. You would just use the word “God” when speaking of deity if you were a believer in any monotheistic faith. For example the Muslims still use Allah as their word for God but it’s a general term that has come to refer to a specific deity.

“The word Allah (Arabic: الله) is the Arabic term for God.[1] It usually refers to the Islamic God, but in the Middle East, other religions sometimes use the same term for their God.”
https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah

They state that it is the same God of Abraham but use a different word for Him which incidentally kind of sounds like Elohim. I think that the word choice for El is irrelevant in the same way that two people can be called John but they’re still different people.

AronRa wrote:“There are no supernatural entities, not even higher dimensional entities. All of that is fantasy folklore. However within the stories, I know that people believe in all sorts of spirtual woo that doesn't depend on any god. Throughout my youth, I was essentially a Jedi. I believed exactly what Obiwan described, "the force is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together". In one of the books, he went on to say that you can control the force to a point, but it also controls you like trying to make waves or be moved by waves in the ocean. Had I read the Tao te Ching before seeing and reading Star Wars, I might have called myself a Taoist instead, because the force was based on a combination of Taoism and confucianism.”


If the force controls you, it has intelligence. Purpose indicates intelligence. You control something to make it do things which have a purpose. The force controls Jedi to a higher purpose. They recognize that the Force is wiser than they so they learn to trust it, to hear it, and to follow what it wants. It is a higher dimensional being trying to interact with you. It was caused by micro-organisms anyway.

"Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you."
―Qui-Gon Jinn, to Anakin Skywalker

Speech is associated with intelligence.

AronRa wrote:“Other religions also hold magical/spritual beliefs that--like mine--were based on a bottom-up emergence rather than top-down authority. This is because we know that masses of incremental components will create large scale patterns, but there is no way for a top-down designer to change or arrange that.”


The claim of the Christian belief system is that God designed the world from the ground up. Spirituality evolved as our ability to understand greater abstract concepts evolved. Children see the same phenomena we do but ascribe different significance based on their limited experience and world view. With time they learn and their education starts from the top down. Lets say a child demonstrates ability and desire for engineering. They come to you and say,
“Help me become an engineer.”
There is a curriculum to teach you how to be an engineer made by engineers who know what it takes to become on. They design the curriculum from the top down. For example: If you want to make an engineer, you know he or she needs to learn math and physics first. The formative parts of the ability to understand engineering are known to the professor but perhaps not to the student. A Creator would know what we needed to learn and only give us one lesson at a time. One cannot fly into flying.

AronRa wrote:“I didn't think psionics were against physics. I thought telekenisis and telepathy were simply higher order systems of communication/manipulation using biologically generated energy fields that scientists simply hadn't identified yet. It wasn't until I was in a second level class in biology for science majors before I really understood why there wasn't any necessity for life-force to animate living tissue the way I had previously believed. When I very young and didn't know shit, I couldn't figure out how living flesh was animated, and that left me susceptible to bogus explanations.”


How is living flesh animated? I would be very interested to hear your opinion on the matter. ATP seems like it can’t explain everything that goes in in a body. Mitosis alone would seem to have some components we can’t explain the mechanism of, like the spontaneous assemblage of spindle fibers. That one always amazed me. However, I have never been a good biology student. You have me at a sincere disadvantage in that subject and I would love to learn something. Also,

The brain is a resonant oscillator just like a radio circuit. It uses electromagnetic frequency dynamics therefore telepathy is not impossible. Most frighteningly, it would mean the brain can be hijacked by other humans. If someone could read your thoughts it’s likely they could learn how to put thoughts in, too. The brain is a transmitter and a receiver already in terms of our senses. I would be interested to see more study of it. It is possible that we are capable of doing it but just entirely untrained but I have no proof to support this. None of the peer reviewed kind anyway!

Telekinesis would be impossible. By any law of physics I know you can’t operate the universe with just thoughts. Biological energy fields don’t work like that, even though there are such things they are far more mundane than magic. Animals like platypuses use these same fields to find prey. Some animals use them to stun prey. Electromagnetic manipulation of basic forces is ubiquitous in nature from phosphorescence to photosynthesis to the electron transport chain. Moving objects with the power of pure thought would operate outside this mechanism in a way that I think we both agree would be called magic.

AronRa wrote:“Some other thing moves our ships when we set the sails. Before we knew that air was particulate matter, it was believed that the winds were spirits. Now we know about nuclear forces and tectonic forces, magnetism, gravity and other effects on our reality which we might be able to manipulate. Manipulating magic is as mysterious as it is for the same reason there is such a range of explanations for how to travel backward in time. It's because nobody really knows how to do it, but it must be weird, whatever it is, and we must assume that everything better be aligned just right to make it work.

I used to know a lot of pagans. Animists and Druids I had no problem with. They saw the Dharma as a Democracy of innumerable synapses as I did, but I always made fun of Wiccans, because (1) they believed in gods. If you appeal to their god, their god might do something. But the god didn't have to do anything. Whatever psychic power the god had people had too, if we could just learn how to use it. Earlier in this thread, Leroy posted an article about Adapa, which talked about Adapa using what I would call magic words, saying that he "clearly was in possession of magic power". The same applied to LIlith and a number of others too. That's why the gods are always so worried that we'll learn their secrets and become like they are. That's why they all have issues with man learning forbidden knowledge.”


I started out as a pagan. I practiced Runic Magic and supported the old Norse Pantheon. I got some interesting results but the whole practice led me to general paganism via Wicca. After awhile the arbitrary nature of the practice and the general inability to explain their practice by the people who I met practicing it led me to seek answers elsewhere. It’s one of the reasons I started to systematically study religion. I wanted to know more about the “who”, rather than the “why”.
I sought the “who” because magic as an expression of personal power seemed illogical to me. If we can alter the universe the same way gods do, then we are already gods, we’re just young ones. That would mean no one was a god, if everyone was. Does that make sense? Being a god is being a unique class of superior being. If everyone could be equal in power and wisdom… the word god means nothing.. it would just be a matter of degrees. An assassination instead of a murder.

AronRa wrote:“(2) there was no reason of any kind given for anything. Why does the wand have to be made of dogwood picked at midnight on a full moon? What about different time zones? What does having maximum lunar refraction got to do with anything? What if I picked a twig from a cottonwood tree at midnight on a full moon? What difference does it make? I pissed off a lot of witches in my day.”


Yeah, that’s why I left anyway. It just all seemed so arbitrary. That doesn’t mean some of it doesn’t work. On the other hand, Crowley specifically believed that his higher powers, specifically his guardian angel Aiwass gave him wisdom which he composed into the Book of the Law. Some of the rituals have origins which are specifically dictated to some users of magic, so they say.

Matthew Lee wrote:“To a Christian worldview the man has no such power so all magic is essentially cooperation with evil entities."

AronRa wrote:Why would that be? How do gods do anything that they do? What is the mechanism they use? Why can we not also manipulate those forces and powers that ebb and flow through all things in the supernatural as in the natural?”


Because we weren’t made to. Also it's a matter of definitions. If man could harness supernatural power it would be natural power… these powers would be part of our nature and hence part of nature as a whole. God didn’t give us these powers because you don’t give a toddler a firearm for obvious reasons. The mechanism they use is higher dimensionality as I outlined in my last long post. They pick up the wine bottle and place it behind you. It’s no sweat to them but its magic to us.

AronRa wrote:Why do they have to be entities as opposed to forces? A better question would be how could they be entities mastering these forces? Why not just have the forces with no one to master them? That's how the real world is.”


Forces do not have intelligence, they are moved either randomly, or by intelligence. The behavior of the forces we observe in the supernatural world could indicate intelligence behind their fine tuning. If there was intelligence behind it then it stands to reason it should be contactable and waiting for the call. You don't buy sea monkeys just to set them on the counter and forget them. You want to watch the ants in the ant farm or you wouldn't put it on the desk. That’s why the Golden Dawn existed. To study, refine, and discover the true language by which the higher beings can be communicated with and to gain power from the association.

AronRa wrote:“It is at this point when you should realize that God has failed both of these demonstrations so spectacularly that it would be fair to be atheist just for his failure in either one alone. That's not my problem with believing in a god, but I know a lot of other people have pointed out God's consistent failure in all applications of either power or love dating all the way back to Epicurus. Knowing as you do that (1) every religion claims the same kinds of justification on faith, if you just make-believe hard enough then you'll see it, feel it, whatever: and knowing as you do you can't demonstrate any "power" to your god beyond what others can do for theirs, and you certainly can't justify that comment about showing his love, and knowing that none of this possible, nor would it be logical even if it was possible, then how could you believe in it? You certainly can't demonstrate your god beyond the compelling paranormal experiences I've already had as a pagan. Yet I rejected that as illusory, even though I remember all these things happening. Because I know now how easy it is to fool the mind, especially through faith.”"


All religions don’t claim justification through faith. There are works based religions. That’s actually one of the primary differences between Christianity and most other religions. Religions like Islam are works based in that it is your actions that justify you. Wicca claims no justification at all. Crowley certainly didn’t expect to be exonerated and neither did Buddha. The Tao isn’t about forgiveness either, to my understanding of it.

I would have to imagine Aztec religion wasn’t huge on faith either, just practice. I’ve read how they worshiped. I can’t imagine what they thought a sin was if dancing in flayed skins was a ceremony to honor their gods.

You keep making the statement that you have had paranormal experiences. In this sentence you said that you remember these things happening but you believe that the mind can be easily fooled. If you clearly remember paranormal things happening to you.. perhaps you are fooling yourself that you didn’t see these things because they don’t fit with your worldview? Is not your own experience some kind of proof? You trust your senses… you trust them implicitly. Why would they lie to you about something like that? I have seen such things as well, and I firmly believe that they happened.
You are an intelligent, rational, remarkable intellectual with great attention to research and a good grounding in what you firmly assert as your reality. If something occurs to challenge that you can’t just run away from it by saying…

“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

[qoute="AronRa"] “You can’t make miracles happen by a ritual or a spell… they can only happen when God makes them happen. God can't do it either, because none of this is real. But if I pretend for a moment that it's all real, then why do we need God to control all these mystic energies that effect karma? Why do we need someone to tell the river which way to flow?” [/quote]

Of course you can't MAKE miracles happen, God makes them happen. You can petition for a miracle through prayer but you still didn't make it happen if it does. If God didn't choose to make one then there would be no miracle. Spells are also not the way you ask for a miracle. They are witchcraft which is specifically forbidden in the Bible many times.

If there is a God he did tell the river which way to flow when He created Gravity. It flows down. God controls them because he created them. Why does the programmer control the construct? He wrote it and knows what to change to make things happen.

AronRa wrote: "You know what I got here? This is the mojo hand, a Louisiana voodoo charm, the winning boys' magic. They say there's only one last true mojo left in the world. Take it, Lightin'. Take it and go up there and do your stuff. I'm giving you all the magic I got!"


Great film. Still about a deal with higher powers for supernatural abilities if I recall.

AronRa wrote: “I've never heard of any of these people, other than LeVay and Crowley, and everyone told me LeVay was atheist. I know a few Satanists, all of them atheist. I really admire what the Satanic Temple has done in defense of the first amendment under Lucean Greaves. But I'm not Satanic myself because I'm not young or pretty enough, and I can't afford their clothes. ;-)


It wouldn’t surprise me if Satanists say they are atheists. Satan isn’t a God and they can’t acknowledge God or they are blaspheming their own faith. Besides, they worship one who is uniformly called the father of lies with no truth in him. It’s in their handbook to lie, so to speak, if there was an agreed upon handbook, that is. Even the line that says they use Satan as a symbol is pretty problematic. You use the prince of darkness as your idol? That says a lot. What would you say about someone who used Freddie Kruger as their symbol? You probably wouldn’t let them be alone with your kids because of what the art he appears in says about Freddie.

AronRa wrote: “Once again, miracles are the magic that gods do, much like killing a homeless person would not typically qualify as an assassination, because only VIPs of some sort can be assassinated. It's just a trick of the language.”


I don’t claim gods, I claim a God. Just one. If He has to appeal to a higher power for his power then He isn’t God. If God is evoking powers that are supernatural to him, he is evoking that which is above him therefore he is not God. God does miracles by his very nature. They are part of his nature and hence natural to him. Magic is supernatural hence a step above the nature of the user. God CANT do magic by the definition of the concept of God as Christians use it. Magic is an appeal to supernatural forces. God is using power He owns. Magic is power that’s not yours.

You appeal to nature, not your power. You appeal to demons, not your power. You appeal to anything higher than you and it’s not your power, it’s supernatural. There is no supernatural for God, only His power from which all other power and ability in this universe flows. It’s not a claim it’s a definition. God is the ultimate end of all chains of causality. This discussion can go nowhere unless we understand what the word God means (or is supposed to mean) when a Christian says it. Worldview differences make language interestingly variable.

AronRa wrote: “Faith-healing and exorcism are the only two from your list that are by definition miracles.
So Gandalf drawing Sauroman out of Theodan counts as a miracle? It would if it were a god doing it instead of a wizard.”
Gandalf was drawing on powers he had given to him by the God of the world of Middle Earth. That might count as a miracle."


The God of middle Earth isn’t defined quite the same as Yahweh. Recall that Gandalf was only able to defeat Saruman because he was resurrected as Gandalf the White. Someone from above brought him back to life and promoted him to head of his order. Since his order were angels sent to Middle Earth to defeat Sauron it isn’t hard to figure out who brought him back.

AronRa wrote:"Faith healers advertise that it is actually the power of will that both cures and prevents diseases.”


The Apostles healed by faith because Christ gave them the authority to do so. Benny Hinn and his ilk will all find their place in the lake of fire and that will be televised in Heaven I am sure. Modern Faith healers exploit fear and helplessness for financial gain. They are scum. Jesus healed and the healing was obvious and apparent. The Apostles healed and it was instantly visible like leprosy just disappeared. Faith healers whip a crowd into a frenzy and kick the crutches out from people with serious diseases who then appear to walk until they fall flat on their face off stage. Faith healers are con men and grifters. A man with gold on his fingers is no man of God. Jesus said he would tell people like this He never knew them and they would not share in the Kingdom. They are evil and I hate that Christianity is associated with that kind of evil chicanery.

AronRa wrote:You've got everything backwards. Life is an emergent property. There is no authority at the top. If magic were real, it would be the same way.”


Magic is supernatural. Again, by definition, if we could wield magic from our own power it would be natural so it seems to me that if magic was real there would have to be supernatural forces and higher beings. That would logically imply that there was an authority at the top. Microsoft didn’t spontaneously assemble itself from thousands of workers with similar ideas. It started with one guy who had/stole an idea and built it a piece at a time. Ordered systems with purpose tend to have been created by intelligent beings with a goal for that purpose.

AronRa wrote:“So when you read about King Arthur or Aladdin's Lamp or the Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, you imagine that they're all praying to God? You really can't see how their evocation of supernatural forces doesn't necessarily have to involve any deity, much less yours? If miracles/magic are exclusively God's domain, then why does the Bible say that Pharoah's magi were able to turn their staves into snakes? That wouldn't be possible in the context of that story given your definition.


Matthew Lee wrote:Kings in English lore are chosen by divine right. Kings have their authority appointed to them by God directly. His sword was given special power to help him preserve his rule and unite his people as a divinely chosen King. This divine favor was demonstrated by him being the only one who could pull the sword… the sign of the King’s authority, from the stone. Arthur sent one of his knights in search of the Holy Grail. He sent someone looking for the cup of Christ to heal his land. I can think of no way in which this is not attempting to solicit power from a deity.


Aron Ra wrote:Except that Merlin wasn't Christian. He was supposed to be Druidic, Hence the Gaelic charm of making, "Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha".”


The translation of that is…
“Serpent's breath, charm of death and life, thy omen of making.”
It would seem to be an appeal to higher power. Who is the ‘thee’ the ‘thy’ is referring to? Doesn't he talk about the 'dragon'?

"Merlin: What are you afraid of?

Arthur: I don't know.

Merlin: Shall I tell you what's out there?

Arthur: Yes, please.

Merlin: The Dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and all complete in a single glance, it would burn you to cinders.

Arthur: Where is it?

Merlin: It is everywhere! It is everything! Its scales glisten in the bark of trees, its roar is heard in the wind! And its forked tongue strikes like... like...

[lightning strikes near their feet]

Merlin: Whoa! Like lightning! Yes, that's it.

Arthur: How can I...? What should I...? Must I...?

Merlin: Do nothing. Be still. Sleep. Rest in the arms of the Dragon. Dream."

AronRa wrote:"The djinni were air elementals while the efreet were fire elementals. Their power was their own. Their legend grew out of ignorance of the particulate matter of air. Primitive people thought that air was a spirit. That's why they imagined efreeti in their fire light and that's desert whilrwinds are called dust devils. It wasn't that there is a god who holds all the supernatural currency and only lets some characters borrow some. The supernatural realm is supposed to flow with myriad supernatural energies and effects whether there is a god or not.”

Can you demonstrate your claim about the legend growing out of an ignorance of air molecules? I would be interested to see any resources you have to this end. I am studying Quran at this time and I have not made any connections between Quranic Djinni and earlier writings of legends of elementals. I would be very, very interested to make such a connection. Have you found pre-Quranic sources which outline the etymology of Djinni?

Matthew Lee wrote:“The story of the rod and the snake was meant to illustrate exactly the point we are discussing. The miracles of God were contrasted against the powers of the Pharaoh’s magicians to show which was a miracle and which was magic. The magicians either used power from Satan or sleight of hand and illusions to do their magic.
Wrong. There was no mention nor indication nor even possibility of Satan in this story. These magi were of a different religion with different gods.”


The context of the narrative is essential here. In Christian theology there are God and his servants, and the devil and his servants. If you practice magic, it’s of the Devil by necessity because it isn’t of God. Who else gives that power? If Yahweh is the one True God then there are other entities and they would be able to be petitioned. People still practice Egyptian magic. The tablets of Thoth for example. They even thought Pharaoh was a God which is really why God chose to make an example of him. God used Pharaoh to demonstrate the difference between the power of a true God and the false feats of magic Egyptian religion professed. Even if Satan wasn’t involved… the Egyptians didn’t really have power.
“The power of God demonstrated in the miracles successively hit Egypt harder and harder, climbing in severity asymptotically.

AronRa wrote:Which only happened because God hardened Pharoah's heart, because God plays both sides of the chessboard at once.”


God only hardened Pharaohs heart. He didn’t touch anyone elses heart, as far I recall. He didn’t harden the hearts of the overseers, or the slave traders and soldiers. He just let them have their free will and they used their will to serve a false God… Pharaoh. God doesn't play both sides, he can simply see more moves ahead.. although humans are the pawns on both sides.

AronRa wrote:“Correct. Mind you, I say this as one who has had several paranormal encounters far more impressive than Christians typically tell.”


There is that admission again. I have heard you say this in your videos as well. How can you have had these kind of experiences and just written them off as delusions? It’s one thing to say someone else is delusional for something they say happened that you don’t believe but YOU saw it! You admit you witnessed things you describe as powerfully paranormal but you deny the evidence of your own eyes! What could be more compelling than personal contact with the subject of study!

Matthew Lee wrote:“The logical case for faith is the strongest one and almost every believer I know will attest to having the physical experience of God."


Aron Ra wrote:Yeah, they do. Even the ones who are now atheist clearly remember having made that claim once upon a time.”


If they had the physical experience of God in reality, they wouldn’t be atheists. It’s not something you forget but it is something that you can deny and try and tell yourself didn’t happen.

Matthew Lee wrote:“Your definitions have premises and opinions in them. I hope we get a chance to flesh this one out. The way these are worded is a fascinating study in comparative worldviews. There is so much more information communicated by what is said, how it is said, and what is left out.
For example many of your definitions are based on the concept of ‘fact’ as thus defined
“Fact: A point of data which is either not in dispute, or is indisputable in that it is objectively verifiable.” If it cannot be verified by something that is outside of a human mind then it is not fully objectively verifiable in a philosophical or epistemological sense. If it exists only in mind then it is not objective. If it takes a person to measure it… it is always in the mind of a person even when shared. If only the mind is used to perceive something… even if multiple minds see the same thing it does not make it objective by the very definition of subjective… that is, with an existence which can be verified external to human mind. This would require a non-human mind to validate.


Aron Ra wrote:I think you grossly misread that, or added something into it that was never there. There is no dependence on the human mind. Human minds can't detect gravity waves or see in gamma radiation. Sometimes we depend on devices to confirm what our minds cannot.”


Yes, but those data are perceived by mind. They feed data into an input channel which leads to a human mind for interpretation. When I discuss 'mind' I don't mean 'A' mind, or even many minds but the phenomena of human consciousness. Mind. If it is perceived by one human, or all humans, then it is perceived by mind. Our minds may have blind spots that even devices can’t help us see past. For something to be objectively real it has to have existence outside of mind. It would have to be proven to exist even if we didn’t exist and the only way to do that would be to have an observer who isn’t a person, hence, non-personal.
Objective: 1. (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
‘historians try to be objective and impartial’ Contrasted with subjective
1.1 Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.
‘a matter of objective fact’
-Oxford Dictionary
If it came from a person, it by this definition can’t be objective. Only a non-person can be uninfluenced by personal feelings or opinions. If a thing depends on mind to be perceived it cannot have its existence verified independent of mind.. by mind.”

AronRa wrote:“Once again, it doesn't come from one mind. The definition is that it is NOT dependent on the mind. That means that it's existence, the fact of the matter can be independently corroborated either by a collection of different minds or by devices. For example, I don't have to rely on my own authority to say "trust me I know what it is". Instead I can show a consensus of independent sources showing that that's what it is.”


Those sources have a human mind. You have a human mind. The entire process is perceived by a human mind therefore it is impossible for it to not be dependent on the mind for existence. The number 1 exists nowhere outside the human mind. It has no objective existence. Sure, there can one of something without humans to count it but then if there were no humans, who would be there to perceive there was one of it? For you to know about consensus a human had to record it, measure it, write it down or otherwise transmit the idea to you and others who used their minds to agree. How do we verify objective truth independent of any human observer? You need a non-human mind which is higher than ours by at least one dimension I should think.

AronRa wrote:I wrote four video scripts for this month already, and my wife has had me remodeling our house to the point of exhaustion. I still have to write a presentation for next month, and I have to officiate a wedding tomorrow. So I'm glad that you are still patient with me, because time is always an issue anymore.
I remember decades ago spending days on the couch trying to find something worth watching on TV. I can't have a single day like that anymore.”


Thank you for your time. I enjoy the discussion. I don’t even have cable anymore for just the reason you said. Free time is very, very costly.
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:06 pm
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

I must apologize once again. I've been out of state for a couple things, effectively offline for a whole week there, and am now way behind schedule at least until the end of the month.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:16 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 99Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

AronRa wrote:I must apologize once again. I've been out of state for a couple things, effectively offline for a whole week there, and am now way behind schedule at least until the end of the month.


No worries! Thank you for continuing the discussion when you have time.
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:37 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Thank you for being so patient with me the last couple months. In trying to catch up, please forgive me if I repeat something I've already said before.

MatthewLee wrote:I just wanted to make a quick note... it has occurred to me that the burden of proof for the idea that the Bible is adaptations of older religions requires a serious needle to be threaded.

1. You must assert the source of the myth in it's appropriate Scripture (I.E. Epic of Gilgamesh, Theogony, Avestas, Bhagavad Gita etc) and demonstrate the parallels, text to text, to the Hebrew Scriptures. You must do so from an authoritative translation of this Scripture and with authoritative theological resources respective to the discussed religious traditions. Some of these other Scriptures are books, tablets, and scrolls written in a handful of ancient languages which are not even agreed upon in translation anymore let alone with theological certainty. The Bible has ample resources for this and it is written in two languages which are still alive and spoken. There is also two thousand years of theological interpretation and discussion for the Bible defender to draw upon in defending it.

2. Then, there are two load bearing members to this argument upon which it must be built. You must assert and prove the date of authorship of the Books of the Bible you claim are simply adaptations or thefts of other mythology. You also have to assert and prove the date of authorship of the materials from which the Biblical authors supposedly borrowed to verify that it was not derived from Hebrew sources instead. Your argument can only be as well-established as these dates.

3. You must assert and prove that during this time the myths in question were circulating and known to the literate few in the Hebrew culture. In other words, the myths may have been circulating but can you prove the Hebrews were copying those and not some other common stories of events of the time? Do we have proof the Hebrews were copying from someone else's work and not just reporting a commonly known event passed down like the flood?

4. You have to match your timeline of the authorship to the history of the Hebrew nation in a way that works with Archaeological facts about the nation. For example, there was a temple manned by literate scribes at the time of the Babylonian captivity...circa 600 BC, the one they destroyed. It's why it's generally accepted that the Temple mount is the ruins of the second temple burned down by the Romans. This would make it illogical to assume Hebrew Scriptures... which outline Temple construction and worship practices... were written after the temple was destroyed. They had writing, paper, and literate scribes well before the Babylonian captivity.
http://www.jpost.com/Not-Just-News/Anci ... ago-389864

5. You have to establish a motive. Why did they do it? You can't just suppose it, you have to prove it.

6. You must prove the exact same planks to verify any similarities between other mythos and Christian Scripture from the New Testament about the authors of the Gospels and NT books.
I'm confident that I've met all these criteria.

The Biblical claim is the same as it has been for two thousand or more years. Moses wrote the Torah under direct instruction from God before the first millennium BC. If Rabbinical Judaism didn't still believe this then the oral Torah would make no sense. It was supposedly given to Moses with the written Torah. That would mean that there had to be a Moses, there had to be a written Torah and there had to be someone to write it down and pass it down.

Establishing any claim of Biblical sources being derivative of other traditions and not based on the unique experience of the Hebrew people is fighting a stream of recorded history that is more copious than any other I can think of. This claim is a chicken and egg problem of monumental proportions. Especially when all the original sources say 'chicken' and only modern scholarship has started to cry 'egg!'
Except that as Rabbi David Wolpe himself pointed out in his passover sermon in 2001, "The truth is that virtually every modern archaeologist who has investigated the story of the Exodus, with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all." So even rabbinical scholars are aware that something is definitely wrong with the Bible, being an unreliable source for history.

Some experts now recognize four different sources just for the Pentateuch, the five books of “Moses.” According to the Wellhausen documentary hypothesis, these forgotten contributors are now referred to as the Yahwists (J), from circa 950 BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah, the Elohists (E) c. 850 BCE in the northern Kingdom of Israel, the Deuteronomists (D) c. 600 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform, and the Priestly writers (P) c. 500 BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon. Modern scholarship doesn’t credit Moses as the author of anything. One reason is that Moses couldn’t possibly have posthumously written about his own death and remembrance as detailed in Deuteronomy. Worse, Moses evidently never even existed as described.

Other Biblical scholars, (such as Price and Murdock) report that Moses doesn't appear in any archaeological reference until roughly 250 BCE, along with the Dead Sea Scrolls. His story doesn't exist in any form earlier than that, but strikingly similar stories for almost every part of his tale do appear from earlier sources, both in Egypt and in other neighboring areas.

For example, In their book Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, Lloyd and Elizabeth Graham describe parallels between Moses and the much more serious story of Sargon.

"This myth woven about the legendary Sargon I, 2750 B.C., strikingly resembles the early history of Moses, that is, his infancy. This part is given only by the Elohist, “. . . when she, Moses’ mother, could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bullrushes and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein, and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink” (Exodus 2:3). And on the tablets of Kouyunjik, Sargon tells his story.

4. My mother, the princess, conceived me; in difficulty she brought me forth.
5. She placed me in an ark of rushes with bitumen my exit she sealed up.
6. She launched me in the river which did not drown me.
7. The river carried me to Akki, the water-carrier, it brought me. 8.
Akki, the water-carrier, in tenderness of bowels, lifted me . . .

In appreciation, Sargon named his capital Agadi, called the Semites Akkad, and Akkad was near the city of Sippara. Now note that Moses’ wife was “Zipporah".”


It seems that the character now known as Moses is a compilation of a few different predecessors from elder mythos. Egypt provided another precursor in the form of Djadjamankh, chief ritual priest of the Pharaoh Snefru, from the 4th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom in the twenty-fifth century BCE. One of the five tales included on the Westcar Papyrus details a voyage wherein Snefru took a score of buxom beautiful girls, stripped them all naked, and enjoyed the view of his crew as they each took an oar and rowed his long boat across a lake. One of these girls accidentally dropped a turquoise bauble over the side and got so upset about losing it that the Pharaoh called on his high priest for help. Djadjamankh then chanted an incantation spell that folded half of the water in the lake onto the other half, as though he were looking under a blanket. Thus the Pharaoh could appear a hero to a topless rowing maiden.

Okay, so it’s not quite Cecil B. DeMille, but it does cause one to wonder how the story of Moses parting the Red Sea could be considered original in the same land that had already dreamt this satirical farce up well more than a thousand years earlier.

The most obvious and most important of these predecessors to the Moses story is of course that of Hammurabi, the Babylonian lawgiver. He received the Stele Law Code from the sun-god Shamash some five hundred years before Moses was supposed to have lived, which is generally estimated to be around 1250 BCE. Otherwise the principle difference between these two figures is that the Stele Law Code of Hammurabi is an actual artifact on display at the Louvre, while the Ark of the Covenant is one of those things that only seems to exist in movies.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Wed May 02, 2018 1:31 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

MatthewLee wrote:
AronRa wrote:Another thing Sye ten Bruggencate liked to say was, "how do you know the laws of physics won't change five seconds from now." But of course if we assume that the laws of physics WILL change, that would be irrational, as it is not based on or in accordance with reason, and it violates all experience on which our knowledge is based. Further someone determined not to assume any degree of uniformitarianism would likewise be perceived as insane and incapable, since it would be impossible to get anything done.
So of course I have to side with the pragmatist. Since Hume said we must inevitably and irresistibly assume uniformitarianism, and since it is impossible not to make this assumption and still function, then induction could be considered the only rational position by definition, especially since assuming anything else would be considered irrational.”
Uniformitarianism is an unprovable postulate which cannot be verified using scientific method.
But it is a necessary postulate in order for science to work.

I got that from the Wiki but it’s actually really in tune with this discussion. Beyond that flaw, however, a fundamental flaw of uniformitarianism is that we are basing our assumption that the universe has always operated under this set of laws from a quite small amount of time.
Because it would be irrational to assume anything else.

If the Earth has been here for four billion years we have been here really studying it to any great effect for only about 2000. That means we are basing our assumptions on the universe on a sample of only .0000005% of just the lifespan of the Earth. At even just a round 13 billion years we are basing out impressions of the universe on just .00000015% of all the time that we believe has happened. Would you base any other scientific model on .00000015% of observable data and call it comprehensive?
Is this a more verbose version of Ken Ham's erroneous ploy of asking "were you there"? Why is it that you're so willing to believe a book of obvious fables that can't have any rational truth to them, yet you require infinite data for absolute proof of the only reasonable option?

Sye makes a valid point. We cannot establish a consistent proof that physics has always, or will always work the same even five minutes from now on such a small data set. It is at least true that we must have the assumption that the universe will act consistently to get through the day but we have to realize that for what it is, an entirely unprovable assumption that makes us sleep better at night. With respect, and I mean no offense, but this is the definition of a belief. It is a belief that requires faith because you can’t ever prove it. It is a presupposition and I hear Sye knows something about that.
Sye knows nothing about anything.

Knowledge is a belief, at least a subset of belief, but it is a justifiable belief, meaning that it is demonstrable with measurable accuracy. But if you can't show it, you don't know it. If there is no way to verify your claims to any degree at all by any means whatsoever, then you don't really know what you merely believe.

We either base our beliefs on evidence or we base them on faith. Faith is not simply an synonym of trust. There is a prefix and suffix required. Faith is a COMPLETE "trust" THAT IS NOT BASED ON EVIDENCE. Or to put it another way, "faith is pretending to know what you don't know", and THAT is what Sye does.

To go beyond the understood laws of physics doesn’t require much. We have only understood physics as we currently do since about the 1920's. To go beyond the understood laws of physics in 1780 all you had to do was create a basic radio frequency oscillator and receiver. You’d have burned at the stake as a witch.
That's how religion typically reacts.

Imagine that it’s Saturday night in paper land. A man is sitting in his chair drinking two dimensional wine. His bottle of wine sits on a table. I, a three dimensional being, reach into his house and pull the bottle from his dimension into ours. Effectively it would have disappeared magically to him.
Temporarily inexplicably, not magically.

Then imagine if I decided to take the same bottle of wine and place it back into his world directly behind him. It would look as if the wine magically poofed from one place to the next.
I could do things that would be inexplicable and impossible to prove in his world because they would have no instrument which could perceive or measure them. They could only measure anything meaningful at the places I crossed their plane anyway for the same reason that they also could not interact with me directly. To interact with me outside their plane would require them to gain a third dimension. Their minds, by virtue of the dimensional limitation, would be unable to comprehend or even contain the full truth of my reality and I am only one dimension up the food chain.

Now imagine that they can’t understand what I am.. but they can find a way to interact with me. For example, say I find a way to write in their language or to communicate through whatever they use for speech. I could inject ideas into their universe, and they could communicate back. Now imagine I gave them specific symbols they could use to communicate with me so that I could know what they want done. That would mean that it would seem some people could summon supernatural forces. There is no magic involved, just higher dimensional configurations of intelligent beings interacting with lower dimensional consciousness.
If there are supernatural forces involved, that is magic by definition.


Any higher being would know that showing themselves to the general public, however, would be dangerous so they would restrict their displays to those who were ready to accept them without freaking out and breaking mentally. People of faith.
Nonsense. Your god doesn't show himself because he's imaginary. If he were real, we wouldn't need apologists demanding that we believe impossible absurdities for no good reason. Nor would the clergy evoke the stick and the carrot, promising impossible posthumous rewards for anyone simple enough to believe that, and the threat of a fate worse than death for anyone who doesn't buy the empty promise so easily.

Faith and superstition are different.
Have you looked it up?

su·per·sti·tion
/so͞opərˈstiSH(ə)n/ noun
excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings.

faith
/fāTH/Submit noun
complete trust or confidence in someone or something (a God or in the doctrines of a religion), based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.


Faith and superstition are exactly the same thing.

Some societies have had reasonably consistent experiences with higher beings over long periods of time and written it down.
And they're experiences are consistent no matter what gods they believe in, or whether they believe in godless magic, or the ghosts of their dead ancestors, or remembrance of their past lives, or of extraterrestrial telepaths, because all these things are conjured within the mind.

If we look at the holy books passed down to us we see that most Scripture is essentially an attempt to communicate deeper wisdom that was passed down from higher powers through metaphors over long periods of time.
There is no wisdom in the Bible, except maybe in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21. If you want to be wise, the first thing you should do is distinguish fanciful fables from evident truth.

If we believe the sum total of observed phenomena are enough to give us sufficient understanding of the universe I feel that it is denying a fundamental commonality of experience in the thread of spirituality which runs, and has run, through every society to ever exist. Our reality is not the ultimate one, it seems to me. I think that if we believe it is we are neglecting an infinite universe beyond the little pond that we know and that infinite universe may have someone in it who wants to show us something more if we just make ourselves willing to listen.
So if we know everything that is real, that's not enough unless we believe everything that isn't real too?
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Wed May 02, 2018 2:32 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

MatthewLee wrote:Alright this is the last of the posts I was writing. I just wanted you to know you weren’t wasting your time. I find some interesting threads in these responses like paranormal experiences. I would love to hear about your paranormal experiences. They sound profoundly affecting. If you have time can you please expound, Aron?
I spoke about them only once publicly. I don't often share that link because of the way the sound guy positioned the ear mic, practically in my mouth, so that you can hear every breath.

Your god is a composite of many, including Shamash and El of course. I changed my surname to Ra as a nod to the Egyptian composite air-god and sun-god, Amen-Re, which I see as a template for your god too. Amun-Ra and Yahweh were once even married to the same woman! Although Yahweh is a sun god only in the New Testament and is more commonly depicted as a volcano in the Old Testament. Although he is still also an air god in both compilations.”
The Bible says in Heaven you are neither married nor given in marriage. :)
Tell that to my Mormon family. Of course that wouldn't matter to what I'm talking about now, because we're talking about before any part of the Bible was written.

Aside from that your timeline doesn’t match up. Which incarnation of Amun are you talking about and what characteristics were borrowed?
Yahweh was most often depicted as a volcano god, while Amun was an air god. As a composite character, Amen-Ra, he was also a sun god. Yahweh later became all three. I talk about that here.



I think Amun changed quite a bit over his tenure in Egypt. Wasn't he worshipped for a thousand years or more? For the Hebrew God to have been a composite of an Egyptian God would mean that they would have had to have been in Egypt during a time when that god was worshipped.
No. We've seen elements from every neighboring region, Greek, Persian, Mesopotamian influences as well as Egyptian.

If the Bible was written in the fifth century BC as you suggest then why would they choose an Egyptian God and not one in the land they were occupying?
They didn't choose an Egyptian god. They and their ancestors developed a mythology that was influenced by every other religion they ever heard of.

Isn’t it possible the similarities are coincidental?
Not really, no.

A volcano God is a tough sell. There’s only one instance I can think of that the word ‘volcano’ is even used in the entire Bible and that isn’t even translated as volcano most times. Does this come from the time where God lights on Mt. Sinai and is in a cloud of fire maybe?. First, you have to know where Sinai was to prove it was a volcano.
Not really. One scientist (Prof Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University) insists Mount Sanai was in Saudi Arabia. But these legends could have been adapted from any region in the area.

Second, how did the volcano walk through the desert with the Hebrews?
It didn't. They followed a column of smoke by day and a column of fire at night the same way that sailors follow the stars. It's not like the stars are going anywhere with them.

I have watched Thunderfoot on this one and it’s a really, really hard needle to thread. Besides, logically, wouldn’t you worship a volcano God at a volcano? When did the Hebrews ever worship at a volcano?
Moses' people worshiped at a volcano for the majority of Exodus. What mountain do you think he went up to get those two conflicting sets of commandments? What did you think the burning bush was?

Also, technically my God is a composite of all Gods because He’s the God of everything. To even start to prove this claim wouldn’t we have to have a complete and agreed upon definition of the clear Bible definition of Yahweh? Where do these conclusions you posit come from in the work about Yahweh, the Bible, would seem to me to be the logical place to start.
There's a pretty impressive list of Biblical verses that suggest that Yahweh was a volcano.

I think that to establish a claim like this we would have to examine the character and representations of each. Can you establish the ‘El’ claim and lay it out a little more? I have always read ‘El’ is not just a proper name for some specific gods of the time. El is a word that just means God. It’s not a surprise many cultures used this word to describe their concept of the Creator God. You would just use the word “God” when speaking of deity if you were a believer in any monotheistic faith. For example the Muslims still use Allah as their word for God but it’s a general term that has come to refer to a specific deity.
And importantly, "elohim" is plural.

“The word Allah (Arabic: الله) is the Arabic term for God.[1] It usually refers to the Islamic God, but in the Middle East, other religions sometimes use the same term for their God.”
https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah

They state that it is the same God of Abraham but use a different word for Him which incidentally kind of sounds like Elohim. I think that the word choice for El is irrelevant in the same way that two people can be called John but they’re still different people.
My professor of history of comparative world religions was convinced that Islam was based on a particular branch of Christianity begun by the banishment of Saint Arius of Alexandria to Medina after the Nicene Convention. This would explain why the Muslims regard Jesus as a magically-empowered but created being as Arius himself did. In their stories, Jesus was never crucified but still lives on the earth as a faith healer.

The Muslims believe that the Qur'an was a necessary amendment once the Christian Bible became corrupted by man. Likewise Christians believe their New Testament is a clarification and fulfillment of the old Jewish Tanakh, even though the Jews themselves clearly demonstrate otherwise.

Then we still have Zoroastrians living in the midst of Islam, tolerated by Muslims because Zoroastrians represent a special elite, being an older religion than even Judaism. Paradoxically the Yazidis are also older than any Abrahamic religion but get shit on by Muslims with extreme vengeance. All these people use the word, God, just as the Hindus and the Sikhs do also, even though they're talking about very different concepts and are violently conflicted with each other.

There are no supernatural entities, not even higher dimensional entities. All of that is fantasy folklore. However within the stories, I know that people believe in all sorts of spirtual woo that doesn't depend on any god. Throughout my youth, I was essentially a Jedi. I believed exactly what Obiwan described, "the force is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together". In one of the books, he went on to say that you can control the force to a point, but it also controls you like trying to make waves or be moved by waves in the ocean. Had I read the Tao te Ching before seeing and reading Star Wars, I might have called myself a Taoist instead, because the force was based on a combination of Taoism and confucianism.”
If the force controls you, it has intelligence.
So the waves in the ocean have intelligence?

Purpose indicates intelligence. You control something to make it do things which have a purpose. The force controls Jedi to a higher purpose. They recognize that the Force is wiser than they so they learn to trust it, to hear it, and to follow what it wants. It is a higher dimensional being trying to interact with you. It was caused by micro-organisms anyway.

"Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you."
―Qui-Gon Jinn, to Anakin Skywalker

Speech is associated with intelligence.
I was talking about when Star Wars episode IV came out in 1977, when I was 14. Obviously that midi-chlorian nonsense hadn't been written into the script yet. Though I did consider the force to be a sort of biosphere of communal consciousness, like the Buddhists talk about being "one with everything". Surely that would qualify as an intelligence even if didn't have any intent of purpose.

And thank you for putting the force in the same level and category as your god. :-)

Other religions also hold magical/spritual beliefs that--like mine--were based on a bottom-up emergence rather than top-down authority. This is because we know that masses of incremental components will create large scale patterns, but there is no way for a top-down designer to change or arrange that.”
The claim of the Christian belief system is that God designed the world from the ground up.
As opposed to starting with the cosmos first and then putting planets in it. The Bible was written the way it is because the authors had no understanding of the true state of the earth in relation to everything else. They thought the world was flat.

Spirituality evolved as our ability to understand greater abstract concepts evolved.
Understand? No. Spirituality evolved as men made up additional nonsense to make-believe in, but they could never honestly say they understood any of the stuff they made up.

Children see the same phenomena we do but ascribe different significance based on their limited experience and world view. With time they learn and their education starts from the top down. Lets say a child demonstrates ability and desire for engineering. They come to you and say,
“Help me become an engineer.”
There is a curriculum to teach you how to be an engineer made by engineers who know what it takes to become on. They design the curriculum from the top down. For example: If you want to make an engineer, you know he or she needs to learn math and physics first. The formative parts of the ability to understand engineering are known to the professor but perhaps not to the student. A Creator would know what we needed to learn and only give us one lesson at a time. One cannot fly into flying.
But you got everything here backwards. Teachers teach lessons from the bottom up, because how we know what we know matters to anyone wanting to know anything more, and the way we learned anything was from the bottom up, not the top down.

I didn't think psionics were against physics. I thought telekenisis and telepathy were simply higher order systems of communication/manipulation using biologically generated energy fields that scientists simply hadn't identified yet. It wasn't until I was in a second level class in biology for science majors before I really understood why there wasn't any necessity for life-force to animate living tissue the way I had previously believed. When I very young and didn't know shit, I couldn't figure out how living flesh was animated, and that left me susceptible to bogus explanations.”
How is living flesh animated? I would be very interested to hear your opinion on the matter.
The word, "flesh" implies that we're already dealing with muscle, in which case the answer is electrical impulses from cellular synapses. Other organisms even including primitive animals have no flesh and no organs but are animated by cillia or physical distortions of shape, but I don't remember how that happens.

ATP seems like it can’t explain everything that goes in in a body. Mitosis alone would seem to have some components we can’t explain the mechanism of, like the spontaneous assemblage of spindle fibers. That one always amazed me. However, I have never been a good biology student. You have me at a sincere disadvantage in that subject and I would love to learn something. Also,

The brain is a resonant oscillator just like a radio circuit. It uses electromagnetic frequency dynamics therefore telepathy is not impossible. Most frighteningly, it would mean the brain can be hijacked by other humans. If someone could read your thoughts it’s likely they could learn how to put thoughts in, too. The brain is a transmitter and a receiver already in terms of our senses. I would be interested to see more study of it. It is possible that we are capable of doing it but just entirely untrained but I have no proof to support this. None of the peer reviewed kind anyway!
The worst part of using our brain as an argument for an intelligent designer is that we can shut down a computer, unplug it and even drain the capacitors, but it still knows what it knows. When we turn it on again, it still has all the same functions in the same way. We can store a computer indefinitely with no access to power, but we can't do that with a living brain. Once the capacitors are drained, that's it. You ain't coming back without irreparable brain damage.

We can take all the data in your hard drive, including every program installed therein and transfer all of it to a different system with the same hardware and it will run just as it did in the old one. But you can't do that with a human mind, because we are WHAT we are. Our minds are created and maintained by constant chemistry and damage to the brain can significantly alter who we are, even including our personalities. You and I could both survive blunt force trauma to the skull and change our positions, such that you wouldn't believe in God anymore and I suddenly would. Various other things about who we once were could be severely altered too.

Telekinesis would be impossible. By any law of physics I know you can’t operate the universe with just thoughts. Biological energy fields don’t work like that, even though there are such things they are far more mundane than magic. Animals like platypuses use these same fields to find prey. Some animals use them to stun prey. Electromagnetic manipulation of basic forces is ubiquitous in nature from phosphorescence to photosynthesis to the electron transport chain. Moving objects with the power of pure thought would operate outside this mechanism in a way that I think we both agree would be called magic.
Nope, we would not agree on that. It's not magic unless it's supernaturally miraculous.

AronRa wrote:“Some other thing moves our ships when we set the sails. Before we knew that air was particulate matter, it was believed that the winds were spirits. Now we know about nuclear forces and tectonic forces, magnetism, gravity and other effects on our reality which we might be able to manipulate. Manipulating magic is as mysterious as it is for the same reason there is such a range of explanations for how to travel backward in time. It's because nobody really knows how to do it, but it must be weird, whatever it is, and we must assume that everything better be aligned just right to make it work.

I used to know a lot of pagans. Animists and Druids I had no problem with. They saw the Dharma as a Democracy of innumerable synapses as I did, but I always made fun of Wiccans, because (1) they believed in gods. If you appeal to their god, their god might do something. But the god didn't have to do anything. Whatever psychic power the god had people had too, if we could just learn how to use it. Earlier in this thread, Leroy posted an article about Adapa, which talked about Adapa using what I would call magic words, saying that he "clearly was in possession of magic power". The same applied to LIlith and a number of others too. That's why the gods are always so worried that we'll learn their secrets and become like they are. That's why they all have issues with man learning forbidden knowledge.”
I started out as a pagan. I practiced Runic Magic and supported the old Norse Pantheon.
I don't feel so silly now.

I got some interesting results but the whole practice led me to general paganism via Wicca. After awhile the arbitrary nature of the practice and the general inability to explain their practice by the people who I met practicing it led me to seek answers elsewhere.
Me too!

It’s one of the reasons I started to systematically study religion.
Me too!

I wanted to know more about the “who”, rather than the “why”.
That's where we split off. When I was 16, I read The Science of Self Realization by His Divine Grace, Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and I found it interesting only until he started talking about the gods and their relationships to each other. I wanted to understand the mechanisms; not the mythology.

I sought the “who” because magic as an expression of personal power seemed illogical to me. If we can alter the universe the same way gods do, then we are already gods, we’re just young ones. That would mean no one was a god, if everyone was. Does that make sense?
No. When you realized that your personal magic doesn't have a mechanism, you should've realized that God's magic doesn't have a mechanism either. If magic isn't real, it isn't real for anyone, neither wizards nor djinni.

Being a god is being a unique class of superior being. If everyone could be equal in power and wisdom… the word god means nothing.. it would just be a matter of degrees. An assassination instead of a murder.
I get that, but men are always being confused with gods, becoming gods or becoming "like unto" gods, either by obtaining magic powers or sometimes just by learning the secret of fire. Mythology has always been that way.

AronRa wrote:“(2) there was no reason of any kind given for anything. Why does the wand have to be made of dogwood picked at midnight on a full moon? What about different time zones? What does having maximum lunar refraction got to do with anything? What if I picked a twig from a cottonwood tree at midnight on a full moon? What difference does it make? I pissed off a lot of witches in my day.”
Yeah, that’s why I left anyway. It just all seemed so arbitrary. That doesn’t mean some of it doesn’t work.
The difference between us seems to be that I don't believe in magic, which means I can't believe in a god either, because gods are MADE of magic. You still believe in God because you still believe in magic.

On the other hand, Crowley specifically believed that his higher powers, specifically his guardian angel Aiwass gave him wisdom which he composed into the Book of the Law. Some of the rituals have origins which are specifically dictated to some users of magic, so they say.
So they say, but no one can show, not even hypothetically.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Wed May 02, 2018 4:27 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Matthew Lee wrote:To a Christian worldview the man has no such power so all magic is essentially cooperation with evil entities.
AronRa wrote:Why would that be? How do gods do anything that they do? What is the mechanism they use? Why can we not also manipulate those forces and powers that ebb and flow through all things in the supernatural as in the natural?”
Because we weren’t made to.
That's not an answer.

Also it's a matter of definitions. If man could harness supernatural power it would be natural power… these powers would be part of our nature and hence part of nature as a whole.
Thus negating all our understanding of the supernatural from all our collective folklore down through history.

su·per·nat·u·ral
/so͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/ adjective
1. (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.


God didn’t give us these powers because you don’t give a toddler a firearm for obvious reasons. The mechanism they use is higher dimensionality as I outlined in my last long post. They pick up the wine bottle and place it behind you. It’s no sweat to them but its magic to us.
No. It's inexplicable to us. But someone who knows and understands magic would be able to explain it thus, IF that's what it was.

AronRa wrote:Why do they have to be entities as opposed to forces? A better question would be how could they be entities mastering these forces? Why not just have the forces with no one to master them? That's how the real world is.”
Forces do not have intelligence, they are moved either randomly, or by intelligence. The behavior of the forces we observe in the supernatural world could indicate intelligence behind their fine tuning.[/quote][/quote]Only if we engage in the question begging fallacy. Magic could hypothetically exist without gods, but gods cannot exist without magic.

If there was intelligence behind it then it stands to reason it should be contactable and waiting for the call. You don't buy sea monkeys just to set them on the counter and forget them. You want to watch the ants in the ant farm or you wouldn't put it on the desk. That’s why the Golden Dawn existed. To study, refine, and discover the true language by which the higher beings can be communicated with and to gain power from the association.
But electricity doesn't have intelligence. Yet we can evoke it without having to call it. Otherwise I don't know what you mean by the Golden Dawn, but I know that "higher beings" do not communicate with us.

“It is at this point when you should realize that God has failed both of these demonstrations so spectacularly that it would be fair to be atheist just for his failure in either one alone. That's not my problem with believing in a god, but I know a lot of other people have pointed out God's consistent failure in all applications of either power or love dating all the way back to Epicurus. Knowing as you do that (1) every religion claims the same kinds of justification on faith, if you just make-believe hard enough then you'll see it, feel it, whatever: and knowing as you do you can't demonstrate any "power" to your god beyond what others can do for theirs, and you certainly can't justify that comment about showing his love, and knowing that none of this possible, nor would it be logical even if it was possible, then how could you believe in it? You certainly can't demonstrate your god beyond the compelling paranormal experiences I've already had as a pagan. Yet I rejected that as illusory, even though I remember all these things happening. Because I know now how easy it is to fool the mind, especially through faith.
All religions don’t claim justification through faith. There are works based religions. That’s actually one of the primary differences between Christianity and most other religions.
Except that some variants of Christianity say that we are not saved by faith alone, but also by works.

Note that aside from your assertion being wrong, it also does not address the point I just made.

Religions like Islam are works based in that it is your actions that justify you.
Not according to Muslims.

"Islam teaches that works are a branch of faith. Faith (iman) is not defined as mere inner belief, but rather is the sum of inner belief and works (amal). Thus, Faith and works are not two separate entities, but rather one is a part and component of the other. Therefore, the debate about “faith versus works” is irrelevant to the Islamic discourse, since the latter is a part and component of the former. Muslims believe that faith (iman) is comprised of three parts: (1) belief in the heart (i’tiqad), (2) affirmation by the tongue (qawl), and (3) works (amal)."
--IslamReligion.com

Wicca claims no justification at all.
Of course witches say differently.

"Wicca is not a religion of moral absolutes. We promote ethical behavior in the form of people acting responsibly,"
--Exemplore.com

It's not that witches don't have (what believers consider to be) justificiation; it's that they don't have damnation automatically imposed even against the innocent.

Crowley certainly didn’t expect to be exonerated and neither did Buddha. The Tao isn’t about forgiveness either, to my understanding of it.
If you weren't created defective, there's nothing to beg forgiveness for, until or unless you do something wrong. Don't you remember the Wiccan creed, "Harming none else, do as ye wilt"?

I would have to imagine Aztec religion wasn’t huge on faith either, just practice.
Every religion is huge on faith. Take a look at these lines I found spoken by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

"Those who desire My eternal association precluding all else meditate on Me with exclusive devotion; those persons, I insure the uniting of their individual conciousness with the Ultimate Conciousness perpetually.
--Chapter 9, Confidential Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, verse 22

"One who knows Me as birthless, beginningless, and the supreme controller of all the worlds, he being undeluded among mortals is delivered from all sins."
--Chapter 10, The Infinite Glories of the Ultimate Truth, verse 3

“Of those who are endowed with firm faith of a special kind beyond material conceptions; fixing the minds on Me, always engaged exclusively worshipping Me. They are considered by me the most superior of all. ...Concentrate the mind upon Me, apply spiritual intelligence for Me; verily you will reside with Me after this existence without a doubt.”
--Chapter 12, The Path of Devotion, verses 2 and 8


And this I copied from the Avestas of Zarathustra.

1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! 'What is the only word in which is contained the glorification of all good things, of all the things that are the offspring of the good principle?'
2. Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is the praise of Holiness (Asha: the Ashem Vohu), O Spitama Zarathushtra!
3. 'He who recites the praise of Holiness, in the fullness of faith and with a devoted heart, praises me, Ahura Mazda; he praises the waters, he praises the earth, he praises the cattle, he praises the plants, he praises all good things made by Mazda, all the things that are the offspring of the good principle.
4. 'For the reciting of that word of truth, O Zarathushtra! the pronouncing of that formula, the Ahuna Vairya, increases strength and victory in one's soul and piety.


I’ve read how they worshiped. I can’t imagine what they thought a sin was if dancing in flayed skins was a ceremony to honor their gods.
Having gender equality, Wicca is one of very few religions that don't suffer that weird sexual repression that middle-eastern religions all do.

You keep making the statement that you have had paranormal experiences. In this sentence you said that you remember these things happening but you believe that the mind can be easily fooled. If you clearly remember paranormal things happening to you.. perhaps you are fooling yourself that you didn’t see these things because they don’t fit with your worldview?
No, I had to come to the uncomfortable realization that none of these things were really possible, but that it was possible that I fooled myself into these visions somehow.

Is not your own experience some kind of proof?
No. If it was, then I would have to give equal credence to everyone's religious visions, and many of them can't even be hypothetically true at the same time as some others.

You trust your senses… you trust them implicitly. Why would they lie to you about something like that?
Because they are under the control of my mind, and my mind (at that time) was subject to faith, the most dishonest auto-deceptive delusion-maker there is.

I have seen such things as well, and I firmly believe that they happened.
That's because you haven't yet learned how to think critically or skeptically.

You are an intelligent, rational, remarkable intellectual with great attention to research and a good grounding in what you firmly assert as your reality. If something occurs to challenge that you can’t just run away from it by saying…

“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Of course my explanation is a bit more complex than that.

“You can’t make miracles happen by a ritual or a spell… they can only happen when God makes them happen. God can't do it either, because none of this is real. But if I pretend for a moment that it's all real, then why do we need God to control all these mystic energies that effect karma? Why do we need someone to tell the river which way to flow?”
Of course you can't MAKE miracles happen, God makes them happen.
Because miracles are the word we use to describe the magic that gods do.

You can petition for a miracle through prayer but you still didn't make it happen if it does. If God didn't choose to make one then there would be no miracle. Spells are also not the way you ask for a miracle. They are witchcraft which is specifically forbidden in the Bible many times.
Yeah, one superstition achieving dominance by prohibiting all others.

If there is a God he did tell the river which way to flow when He created Gravity. It flows down. God controls them because he created them. Why does the programmer control the construct? He wrote it and knows what to change to make things happen.
I'll agree that it makes more sense to create a system with just a few simple rules in which everything else is determined. But then, whether the universe was deliberately guided or not, there is definitely a system of design. But there doesn’t actually have to be any apparent intent or intelligence involved, nor any goal to be achieved either, because while our normal intuition might be to imagine one governing body issuing authority from the top down, a new field of science called emergent complexity uses computers to trace numerous patterns in nature that are all “emergent” from the bottom up. These are controlled or constructed by an intricate interrelated array of the lowest components working together in unison, each according to a few relatively simple rules.

AronRa wrote: "You know what I got here? This is the mojo hand, a Louisiana voodoo charm, the winning boys' magic. They say there's only one last true mojo left in the world. Take it, Lightin'. Take it and go up there and do your stuff. I'm giving you all the magic I got!"
Great film. Still about a deal with higher powers for supernatural abilities if I recall.
You missed the point again; that being that magic is most often employed in the form of charms or a form of enchantment called "blessings".

AronRa wrote: “I've never heard of any of these people, other than LeVay and Crowley, and everyone told me LeVay was atheist. I know a few Satanists, all of them atheist. I really admire what the Satanic Temple has done in defense of the first amendment under Lucean Greaves. But I'm not Satanic myself because I'm not young or pretty enough, and I can't afford their clothes. ;-)
It wouldn’t surprise me if Satanists say they are atheists.
Would it surprise you that they in fact ARE atheists?

Satan isn’t a God and they can’t acknowledge God or they are blaspheming their own faith.
Wrong. Satan is a god in that he's magical, anthropomorphic and immortal. But the point here is that the Satanic Temple doesn't believe in Satan and they certainly don't have any faith.

Besides, they worship one who is uniformly called the father of lies with no truth in him.
Except that they don't worship him or anyone else. And Satan isn't the lord of lies either. Remember that the Serpent was the only one in the Garden of Eden story who did NOT lie. Faith is the lord of lies, because it depends on asserting baseless speculation as though it were fact, pretending to know things you don't know, and refusing to ever admit when you're wrong. It is the most dishonest position it is possible to have.

It’s in their handbook to lie, so to speak, if there was an agreed upon handbook, that is.
So what you're saying is that you're lying, because it's NOT in their handbook at all. What it does say is “The most dangerous of all enthroned lies is the holy, the sanctified, the privileged lie- the lie everyone believes to be a model truth. It is the fruitful mother of all other popular errors and delusions. It is a hydra-headed tree of unreason with a thousand roots. it is a social cancer!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible

Of course I'm not talking about LaVeyan Satanism right now. Although he didn't believe in God or Satan either, the Satanic Temple are strictly rationallist atheists. One of their tenets is "Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs." So they discourage lying even to themselves.

Even the line that says they use Satan as a symbol is pretty problematic. You use the prince of darkness as your idol? That says a lot. What would you say about someone who used Freddie Kruger as their symbol? You probably wouldn’t let them be alone with your kids because of what the art he appears in says about Freddie.
What about a group of people who use a bird of prey or a lion as their symbol? Both of those are known to attack and eat children too.

AronRa wrote: “Once again, miracles are the magic that gods do, much like killing a homeless person would not typically qualify as an assassination, because only VIPs of some sort can be assassinated. It's just a trick of the language.”
I don’t claim gods, I claim a God. Just one.
One father, Yahweh, one son, Jesus, a holy ghost, and then this Satan character.

If He has to appeal to a higher power for his power then He isn’t God. If God is evoking powers that are supernatural to him, he is evoking that which is above him therefore he is not God.
How could something be supernatural to a supernatural being? Why should it be "higher" than he is? Why would he have to appeal to supernatural forces? Do you have to appeal to natural powers like solar, wind, or electricity?

God does miracles by his very nature. They are part of his nature and hence natural to him.
As if the words, nature or natural were applicable here.

Magic is supernatural hence a step above the nature of the user.
Are you higher than electricity? That doesn't make any sense. Can Gandalf, Samantha Stevens, or Obiwan use magic? What about the artifacts that Frodo carried? His sword, Sting, his mithril silver maile, and of course the ring of power?

God CANT do magic by the definition of the concept of God as Christians use it. Magic is an appeal to supernatural forces. God is using power He owns. Magic is power that’s not yours.
Magic is not an APPEAL; it's an evocation. I thought that even in your mythology, God can evoke anything he wants to.

You appeal to nature, not your power.
No. I don't appeal to nature at all, not even my power over it.

You appeal to demons, not your power.
No. I don't appeal to demons either. But if I evoked demons at all, I would do so through my power over them, which would depend on my aptitude with the supernatural.

You appeal to anything higher than you and it’s not your power, it’s supernatural.
There is a problem with your notion of higher or lower. Is Hermione Granger higher or lower than the power she manipulates?

There is no supernatural for God, only His power from which all other power and ability in this universe flows.
So there is no supernatural for your god, who is himself superntural in everything that he is and the magic that he does.

It’s not a claim it’s a definition.
Nope, clearly not any sort of definition, just an unsubstantiated and indefensible claim.

God is the ultimate end of all chains of causality.
Except that he's only imaginary and thus not the real cause of anything; just an excuse that believers use.

This discussion can go nowhere unless we understand what the word God means (or is supposed to mean) when a Christian says it. Worldview differences make language interestingly variable.
Yeah, I know that when you talk about the miraculous nature of God, you mean exactly the same thing as I do when I talk about your magic of this anthropomorphic immortal. You just won't admit that that's what it is, and I can't pretend that it isn't.

So Gandalf drawing Sauroman out of Theodan counts as a miracle? It would if it were a god doing it instead of a wizard.
Gandalf was drawing on powers he had given to him by the God of the world of Middle Earth. That might count as a miracle.

The God of middle Earth isn’t defined quite the same as Yahweh. Recall that Gandalf was only able to defeat Saruman because he was resurrected as Gandalf the White. Someone from above brought him back to life and promoted him to head of his order. Since his order were angels sent to Middle Earth to defeat Sauron it isn’t hard to figure out who brought him back.
Can you cite where the book says that "Someone from above" brought him back?

AronRa wrote:"Faith healers advertise that it is actually the power of will that both cures and prevents diseases.
Matthew Lee wrote:The Apostles healed by faith because Christ gave them the authority to do so. Benny Hinn and his ilk will all find their place in the lake of fire and that will be televised in Heaven I am sure.
So how does Benny Hinn and Bobby Tilton and Kenneth Copeland heal people? Because we see that demonstrated on TV all the time.

Modern Faith healers exploit fear and helplessness for financial gain. They are scum. Jesus healed and the healing was obvious and apparent.
You mean as obvious as when the cripples get out of their wheelchairs and throw away their crutches along with their medication on Peter Popov's show? What about all those exorcists who travel around like Jesus did?

The Apostles healed and it was instantly visible like leprosy just disappeared.
Except when not even Jesus could get it to work, because those who knew him since childhood had no faith in him.

Faith healers whip a crowd into a frenzy and kick the crutches out from people with serious diseases who then appear to walk until they fall flat on their face off stage. Faith healers are con men and grifters.
As Jesus was also. The man thought that diseases were caused by demons, after all. So he could hardly have healed anyone. He didn't even know why they were sick.

A man with gold on his fingers is no man of God. Jesus said he would tell people like this He never knew them and they would not share in the Kingdom. They are evil and I hate that Christianity is associated with that kind of evil chicanery.
And always will be.

You've got everything backwards. Life is an emergent property. There is no authority at the top. If magic were real, it would be the same way.
Magic is supernatural.
Finally we agree!

Again, by definition, if we could wield magic from our own power it would be natural
Nope, nevermind. You still don't get it.

so it seems to me that if magic was real there would have to be supernatural forces and higher beings.
Well, if "higher" simply means "supernatural" then Yeah, like ghosts, demons, angels and so on, maybe even gods, depending on your belief system.

That would logically imply that there was an authority at the top.
No, not necessarily. Why would you assume that? Why can't there be a natural plane with natural forces, and a supernatural plane with supernatural forces? If they can manipulate our forces, why can't we manipulate theirs?

Microsoft didn’t spontaneously assemble itself from thousands of workers with similar ideas. It started with one guy who had/stole an idea and built it a piece at a time. Ordered systems with purpose tend to have been created by intelligent beings with a goal for that purpose.
Nature however is exactly the opposite. This fusion of ape chromosomes that all humans share arose from one original carrier, and our species along with a million others was derived from one initial basal animal.

AronRa wrote:“So when you read about King Arthur or Aladdin's Lamp or the Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, you imagine that they're all praying to God? You really can't see how their evocation of supernatural forces doesn't necessarily have to involve any deity, much less yours? If miracles/magic are exclusively God's domain, then why does the Bible say that Pharoah's magi were able to turn their staves into snakes? That wouldn't be possible in the context of that story given your definition.
Kings in English lore are chosen by divine right. Kings have their authority appointed to them by God directly. His sword was given special power to help him preserve his rule and unite his people as a divinely chosen King. This divine favor was demonstrated by him being the only one who could pull the sword… the sign of the King’s authority, from the stone. Arthur sent one of his knights in search of the Holy Grail. He sent someone looking for the cup of Christ to heal his land. I can think of no way in which this is not attempting to solicit power from a deity.
So King Henry VIII and King George III were both appointed by divine right? 'Cuz ya know, that was said of both of them, right?

Aron Ra wrote:Except that Merlin wasn't Christian. He was supposed to be Druidic, Hence the Gaelic charm of making, "Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha".”
The translation of that is…
“Serpent's breath, charm of death and life, thy omen of making.”
It would seem to be an appeal to higher power. Who is the ‘thee’ the ‘thy’ is referring to? Doesn't he talk about the 'dragon'?

"Merlin: What are you afraid of?

Arthur: I don't know.

Merlin: Shall I tell you what's out there?

Arthur: Yes, please.

Merlin: The Dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and all complete in a single glance, it would burn you to cinders.

Arthur: Where is it?

Merlin: It is everywhere! It is everything! Its scales glisten in the bark of trees, its roar is heard in the wind! And its forked tongue strikes like... like...

[lightning strikes near their feet]

Merlin: Whoa! Like lightning! Yes, that's it.

Arthur: How can I...? What should I...? Must I...?

Merlin: Do nothing. Be still. Sleep. Rest in the arms of the Dragon. Dream."
So Merlin's druidic dragon was essentially the same thing as the Wiccan deity?

"The universe and everything in it is a manifestation of the Divine. The philosophy of Wicca therefore carefully balances free will with responsibility; rights with respect. This balance forms the basis of Wiccan belief."
--Wicca-Spirituality.com

Except that his Druidic dragon is not a deity at all, because it has no human attributes such as intelligence.

"The most powerful of all Celtic druid animal symbols, the Dragon represented the whole of creation."
".... ‘The Path of the Dragon’ was the Celtic term for ley lines. And ley lines, for the uninitiated, were the stretches of mystic power which criss-crossed the land. Druids hunted these lines, and made a ley lines map for their people, instructing them to build their temples and homes along the lines in order to harvest the energies."

--url=https://dragondreaming.wordpress.com/dragons-celts-druids/]Dragons, Celts & Druids[/url]

"I was able to tell the young ones the story of the 2000 year old Dragon in Dublin’s hills. Dublin’s Dragon was called Arach by the catholic scribes and this is an old Irish word that actually means Dragon. We are told that Arach was in Glennasmole Valley and he battled with the great warrior Finn McCoole who comes from Rathcoole at the south west side of Dublin. Elsewhere we are told that Finn himself wore a wide belt with many Dragons carved on it. Some parts of the story being told to the children had to be left out because it would be too confusing for their young minds. Finn probably did not fight any Dragons as he honoured them by proudly displaying them on his belt. When the true nature of the Dragon as the lifeforce or subtle energy of the Earth is understood, Finn (as a great warrior chief and a very magical person) would have been a protector of the Dragon. So, we must realize that there is something very wrong with the written history of Dragons in old Ireland. But the thing that is not wrong is that there were Dragons in old Ireland… the thing that is wrong is that the written history is corrupt."
--Celtic Temple Druid

The djinni were air elementals while the efreet were fire elementals. Their power was their own. Their legend grew out of ignorance of the particulate matter of air. Primitive people thought that air was a spirit. That's why they imagined efreeti in their fire light and that's desert whilrwinds are called dust devils. It wasn't that there is a god who holds all the supernatural currency and only lets some characters borrow some. The supernatural realm is supposed to flow with myriad supernatural energies and effects whether there is a god or not.
Can you demonstrate your claim about the legend growing out of an ignorance of air molecules? I would be interested to see any resources you have to this end.
I can't cite where some authority said so. This is according to my own research. I've read some old Arabic fables describing djinni and I realized that what they're describing is how I would describe a dust devil. After that, everything else I read about them fell into place. I talk a bit about this in a video that I've already linked for you this evening.

I am studying Quran at this time and I have not made any connections between Quranic Djinni and earlier writings of legends of elementals. I would be very, very interested to make such a connection. Have you found pre-Quranic sources which outline the etymology of Djinni?
I'm sorry to say I no longer have that book, or I can't find it; which is a pity because it had a few such stories in it. Most of them were just after the Qur'an, but still very telling. One was about Jesus coming out of his house every day to heal people, but that anyone who came to him seeking a prophet, Jesus would refer them to Mohammad.

Another story in that same book was about a Muslim from Medina who went to Constantinople. There he saw an Orthodox Christian who did not tie up her hair in a veil. So he was powerless but to fall in love with her, and changed his religion to Christianity. Later in the story, he changed it back for just as stupid a reason. I think it was that same story where he saw the face of Mohammad in the sky. I had to wonder how he knew what Mohammad was supposed to look like.

The story of the rod and the snake was meant to illustrate exactly the point we are discussing. The miracles of God were contrasted against the powers of the Pharaoh’s magicians to show which was a miracle and which was magic. The magicians either used power from Satan or sleight of hand and illusions to do their magic.
Wrong. There was no mention nor indication nor even possibility of Satan in this story. These magi were of a different religion with different gods.”
The context of the narrative is essential here. In Christian theology there are God and his servants, and the devil and his servants. If you practice magic, it’s of the Devil by necessity because it isn’t of God.
But in pagan mythology, it's not that way.

Who else gives that power?
No one has to "give" that power. It's like practicing with The Force or ritual magick. It is an acquired aptitude that can be taught.

If Yahweh is the one True God then there are other entities and they would be able to be petitioned.
And their mythos has nothing to do with yours. So it isn't your Satan.

People still practice Egyptian magic. The tablets of Thoth for example. They even thought Pharaoh was a God which is really why God chose to make an example of him. God used Pharaoh to demonstrate the difference between the power of a true God and the false feats of magic Egyptian religion professed. Even if Satan wasn’t involved… the Egyptians didn’t really have power.
Then the story makes no sense, because the magi HAD the power to cause transformations. The only difference was Moses' snake ate theirs, implying that both spells were equally real.

The power of God demonstrated in the miracles successively hit Egypt harder and harder, climbing in severity asymptotically.
Which only happened because God hardened Pharoah's heart, because God plays both sides of the chessboard at once.”
God only hardened Pharaohs heart. He didn’t touch anyone elses heart, as far I recall. He didn’t harden the hearts of the overseers, or the slave traders and soldiers. He just let them have their free will and they used their will to serve a false God… Pharaoh. God doesn't play both sides, he can simply see more moves ahead.. although humans are the pawns on both sides.
No, no, no. God could've hardened every heart in Egypt EXCEPT the Pharaoh, and we still wouldn't have a story. God played both sides by hardening the Pharaoh's heart.

AronRa wrote:Mind you, I say this as one who has had several paranormal encounters far more impressive than Christians typically tell.
There is that admission again. I have heard you say this in your videos as well. How can you have had these kind of experiences and just written them off as delusions?
Because I'm skeptical, analytical, and rational enough to realize--after SO much study of this--that ALL religious visions are just delusions.

It’s one thing to say someone else is delusional for something they say happened that you don’t believe but YOU saw it! You admit you witnessed things you describe as powerfully paranormal but you deny the evidence of your own eyes! What could be more compelling than personal contact with the subject of study!
Objective verification. Like in A Beautiful Mind, where a stranger approaches Nash, offering him a Nobel prize; Nash pulls some of his students aside and asks if they can see him too. Only after confirmation of this does he continue.

Matthew Lee wrote:The logical case for faith is the strongest one and almost every believer I know will attest to having the physical experience of God.
Aron Ra wrote:Yeah, they do. Even the ones who are now atheist clearly remember having made that claim once upon a time.”
If they had the physical experience of God in reality, they wouldn’t be atheists. It’s not something you forget but it is something that you can deny and try and tell yourself didn’t happen.
Unless it really didn't happen, and you eventually sober up to that fact.

Matthew Lee wrote:“Your definitions have premises and opinions in them. I hope we get a chance to flesh this one out. The way these are worded is a fascinating study in comparative worldviews. There is so much more information communicated by what is said, how it is said, and what is left out.
For example many of your definitions are based on the concept of ‘fact’ as thus defined
“Fact: A point of data which is either not in dispute, or is indisputable in that it is objectively verifiable.” If it cannot be verified by something that is outside of a human mind then it is not fully objectively verifiable in a philosophical or epistemological sense. If it exists only in mind then it is not objective. If it takes a person to measure it… it is always in the mind of a person even when shared. If only the mind is used to perceive something… even if multiple minds see the same thing it does not make it objective by the very definition of subjective… that is, with an existence which can be verified external to human mind. This would require a non-human mind to validate.
This is not my definition. Look it up.

sub·jec·tive
/səbˈjektiv/ adjective
1. based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

ob·jec·tive
/əbˈjektiv/ adjective
1. (of a person or their judgment) NOT influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.


If it exists only in the mind, but is not in dispute, then we can consider the facts of the story, or any other hypothetical example, limited to entertaining that hypothesis. If it exists outside the mind, then we cannot rely on our own PERSONAL feelings of opinions about it. We must seek objective verification. Either Nash has to ask his students, "Do you see him too?", or in other instances, we can go to the source to examine the data itself.

For example, I'm often in disputes over scripture. The way to prove the point is to open the book and see. Then I notice how quickly "that's not what it says" changes to "that's not what it means".

I think you grossly misread that, or added something into it that was never there. There is no dependence on the human mind. Human minds can't detect gravity waves or see in gamma radiation. Sometimes we depend on devices to confirm what our minds cannot.”
Yes, but those data are perceived by mind. They feed data into an input channel which leads to a human mind for interpretation. When I discuss 'mind' I don't mean 'A' mind, or even many minds but the phenomena of human consciousness. Mind. If it is perceived by one human, or all humans, then it is perceived by mind. Our minds may have blind spots that even devices can’t help us see past. For something to be objectively real it has to have existence outside of mind. It would have to be proven to exist even if we didn’t exist and the only way to do that would be to have an observer who isn’t a person, hence, non-personal.
Objective: 1. (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
‘historians try to be objective and impartial’ Contrasted with subjective
Exactly, not dependent on PERSONAL feelings or opinions. Others with very different feelings or opinions could either confirm or correct.

1.1 Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.
‘a matter of objective fact’
-Oxford Dictionary
Not dependent on THE mind "for existence". Meaning, not imaginary. Yes, got it.

If it came from a person, it by this definition can’t be objective. Only a non-person can be uninfluenced by personal feelings or opinions. If a thing depends on mind to be perceived it cannot have its existence verified independent of mind.. by mind.
What if it didn't "come from" a person? What if it was an observation made BY a person? If we trust--as you do, and I once did--in "personal revelation", we can have all sorts of nonsense qualify as truth. But we know that the eyewitness is the least reliable form of evidence, and we know the reason why is that people tend to remember things incorrectly. We hallucinate, and we colorize things with our biases. Take your false accusation against me regarding my definitions, for example. So what we do then, if we want an OBJECTIVE opinion is we ask others, including those who are not already inclined to agree with us. If they're dishonest, they're lies won't likely match, but if they're honest, then their confirmation will match that of our friends as well.

AronRa wrote:“Once again, it doesn't come from one mind. The definition is that it is NOT dependent on the mind. That means that it's existence, the fact of the matter can be independently corroborated either by a collection of different minds or by devices. For example, I don't have to rely on my own authority to say "trust me I know what it is". Instead I can show a consensus of independent sources showing that that's what it is.”
Matthew Lee wrote:Those sources have a human mind. You have a human mind. The entire process is perceived by a human mind therefore it is impossible for it to not be dependent on the mind for existence.
You don't understand how I could question a hallucination that doesn't match reality, yet you think we're all hallucinating the same thing the same way at the same time?!

I can't tell you how irritating it is every time religious apologists argue that the whole of reality might be an illusion. Apparently the only way y'all can be right is if reality is wrong.

The number 1 exists nowhere outside the human mind. It has no objective existence.
Except that other philosophers disagree, because that’s what philosophers do. 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill held that mathematical truths were discovered through empirical research. The concept of the number one may not exist in a physical sense, but distinguishable single items and entities within many types of multiplicity exist everywhere.

Sure, there can one of something without humans to count it but then if there were no humans, who would be there to perceive there was one of it? For you to know about consensus a human had to record it, measure it, write it down or otherwise transmit the idea to you and others who used their minds to agree. How do we verify objective truth independent of any human observer? You need a non-human mind which is higher than ours by at least one dimension I should think.
No, you don't. If you're SUBjective, then you're OK relying on your own PERSONAL opinion. But if you want an OBjective opinion, you'll ask other people to look over your work, check your math and see if they notice anything wrong with your logic.

Thank you for your time. I enjoy the discussion. I don’t even have cable anymore for just the reason you said. Free time is very, very costly.
Thank you for your patience. This was half a day consumed. I can't do any more absurdly long posts like this.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Wed May 02, 2018 8:26 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3433Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

AronRa wrote:
The djinni were air elementals while the efreet were fire elementals. Their power was their own. Their legend grew out of ignorance of the particulate matter of air. Primitive people thought that air was a spirit. That's why they imagined efreeti in their fire light and that's desert whilrwinds are called dust devils. It wasn't that there is a god who holds all the supernatural currency and only lets some characters borrow some. The supernatural realm is supposed to flow with myriad supernatural energies and effects whether there is a god or not.
I can't cite where some authority said so. This is according to my own research. I've read some old Arabic fables describing djinni and I realized that what they're describing is how I would describe a dust devil. After that, everything else I read about them fell into place. I talk a bit about this in a video that I've already linked for you this evening.

I am studying Quran at this time and I have not made any connections between Quranic Djinni and earlier writings of legends of elementals. I would be very, very interested to make such a connection. Have you found pre-Quranic sources which outline the etymology of Djinni?
I'm sorry to say I no longer have that book, or I can't find it; which is a pity because it had a few such stories in it. Most of them were just after the Qur'an, but still very telling. One was about Jesus coming out of his house every day to heal people, but that anyone who came to him seeking a prophet, Jesus would refer them to Mohammad.


Magical Jinn and where to Find them with Mark Allen Peterson - Episode 88.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about Crowley and the Golden Dawn, THE GREAT BEAST 666.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Wed May 02, 2018 5:35 pm
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MatthewLeePosts: 99Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Aron,

I am going to offer you a compliment but I don’t want you to think I am being patronizing. When a Christian is nice to them a lot of the atheists I talk to call it patronizing. That’s not the point here. That being said, let me offer you my honest compliments on your “Systematic Classification of Life” series. I have started watching them and resolved to ingest the whole playlist. It is really fascinating. I never really was interested in biology until I watched them. I earned almost 160 credits before I applied for a degree and only three were in human biology. It just wasn’t my thing. Your passion for the subject is inspiring. I must admit I have to come out… I am a eukaryote! I have learned more about biology from you than any other figure in my entire education and that’s a lot of teachers.

I respect a dyed in the wool academic and whether I like or dislike your opinion on religion is entirely irrelevant to the fact that if you had a PhD in bio and taught a course on evolution I would pay to take it. I mean that and I state it as an absolute. If you ever get appointed to faculty and teach a course on biology at a university I will do everything I can to be in the first class and I hope you remember I said that.

Instead, I can at least offer you twenty some clicks on your videos in lieu of your tenure at a university. Perhaps twice that. I admit that the reason that I find this discussion so interesting and challenging is not that I think you’re ignorant and that I feel I have to educate you but rather that I feel I have something to learn from someone with a different perspective than mine. I started this discussion from a place of false piety and with the wrong attitude. This has been a very remarkable discussion. This whole forum has been a wonderful departure from my own up-my-ass smugness and a righteous group of people who I have never been so happy to argue with.

I don’t intend to throw out any more threads… you have honestly been more accessible and given more time than any other internet atheist I have ever had the pleasure of debating and discussing the subject with. I appreciate the time you have put in here and I have enjoyed the arguments. Thank you. I will answer to a few of the points you made (although I read and enjoyed your objections) so that I can show respect to your time. I will not attempt to prolong this, therefore, unless you find there are points that you would like to flesh out more for the sake of the discussion. I will always come back here if anyone wants to chat on these points.

I lower my sword because I have learned a lot from fencing you.

In response to your question about someone bringing Gandolf back:

AronRa wrote: “Can you cite where the book says that "Someone from above" brought him back?”


https://www.quora.com/Who-sent-Gandalf- ... ill-of-Eru

“Nadeem Shaikh, Scientist (Cancer Research). Tolkien fan since I was 9 says…

Answered Jun 7, 2017 • Author has 291 answers and 259.3k answer views

It was Eru. Tolkien says that the plan of the valar , to send the Istari to help the races to help themselves but not to fight Sauron directly, was a good one but had ultimately failed. Eru then decided to intervene by enlargening the plan, by sending Gandalf back with enhanced power and wisdom, just enough to tip the balance in favour of Sauron’s defeat (note that Gandalf the White helps out a lot in key moments but he doesn’t single handedly fight everyone himself).

“He was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or governors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the moment of its failure. ‘Naked I was sent back - for a brief time, until my task is done’. Sent back by whom, and whence? Not by the ‘gods' whose business is only with this embodied world and its time; for he passed ‘out of thought and time’”

“That I should say is what the Authority wished, as a set-off to Saruman. The ‘wizards', as such, had failed; or if you like: the crisis had become too grave and needed an enhancement of power. So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. “

(quotes from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkein)

There are other interpretations but this one is the one I see most. Gandalf could not have promoted himself to the head of his order by their very nature. They were sent to do a job by a higher authority.

And I have to concede one thing to you again…

I can understand why someone would think faith was a dishonest position when…

AronRa wrote: “as Rabbi David Wolpe himself pointed out in his passover sermon in 2001, "The truth is that virtually every modern archaeologist who has investigated the story of the Exodus, with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all." So even rabbinical scholars are aware that something is definitely wrong with the Bible, being an unreliable source for history.”


If a Rabbi could question the Exodus at a Passover Sermon then how the hell can he expect us to take anything he says after that seriously? The basis of Judaism (and Christianity) is the existence of Moses. Moses is the author of the Torah according to the majority of Jewish sects and is mentioned almost 80 times in the New Testament, sometimes by Jesus himself. If a person of faith with letters after their name question the entire basis of two world religions in their sermon… How can you believe any words that come after that? If there is no Moses there is no Torah, no Talmud and no New Testament. Still faith persists so there must be other views and I hope you someday think that they might not all be full of it… but I am sure I am not the one to show you this. Even I couldn’t be so vain.

I am no great Bible Scholar but I try to exegete as best I can without judging the text for better or worse.

I disagree with orthodoxy on many points but I will offer this point of respect even if you never take advantage of it…
If you ever want to know what the scholarly opinion is on a point of Scripture or want to know what it means in the original language or even what the commentaries say about it I will be happy to present my opinion and research as it may help you. Even if it is only to help you try and disprove it or attack it… the discussion and challenge to my own beliefs is worth the exercise to me.

I would be happy to save you some time in research as a thank you for the very enjoyable conversation we have had here. If not, then I offer you my sincerest respect and thanks and if you want to continue on any specific point I will… but I don’t want to try and monopolize your time when you have already not only proved the original point of this discussion but returned to honor your statement.

I will keep track of your video library and thoroughly enjoy your biology education videos as much as a Creationist can…

Be well.
Thu May 03, 2018 3:29 am
MatthewLeePosts: 99Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
AronRa wrote:The djinni were air elementals while the efreet were fire elementals. Their power was their own. Their legend grew out of ignorance of the particulate matter of air. Primitive people thought that air was a spirit. That's why they imagined efreeti in their fire light and that's desert whilrwinds are called dust devils. It wasn't that there is a god who holds all the supernatural currency and only lets some characters borrow some. The supernatural realm is supposed to flow with myriad supernatural energies and effects whether there is a god or not.
I can't cite where some authority said so. This is according to my own research. I've read some old Arabic fables describing djinni and I realized that what they're describing is how I would describe a dust devil. After that, everything else I read about them fell into place. I talk a bit about this in a video that I've already linked for you this evening.

I am studying Quran at this time and I have not made any connections between Quranic Djinni and earlier writings of legends of elementals. I would be very, very interested to make such a connection. Have you found pre-Quranic sources which outline the etymology of Djinni?
I'm sorry to say I no longer have that book, or I can't find it; which is a pity because it had a few such stories in it. Most of them were just after the Qur'an, but still very telling. One was about Jesus coming out of his house every day to heal people, but that anyone who came to him seeking a prophet, Jesus would refer them to Mohammad.


Magical Jinn and where to Find them with Mark Allen Peterson - Episode 88.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about Crowley and the Golden Dawn, THE GREAT BEAST 666.[/quote]

The newspaper articles are just wonderful in this link. Thanks!
Thu May 03, 2018 3:38 am
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