This morning as I waited outside for library to open, that remark about what they give us in chapel was still on my mind.
This is a tangent, and a stretch of the forum rules, so if this post isn’t released, I’ll understand.
“The Five Old Guys” present to us two, sometimes three times a month: the third Monday, fourth Wednesday, and fifth Wednesday, if there is one. Some months ago, for the Scripture lesson, Bro. Wayne gave us a highly redacted version of Matthew 25:31ff. I don’t believe this text comes from J., but it’s still one of the focal passages of the GT.
Preston’s critique of the “New Atheism” matches, point for point, my own critique of Jeffrey Tayler.
As an atheist myself, I’ve found these “new atheist” writers to be an embarrassment. First, none of the prominent ones are genuine religious scholars, historians of religion, or cultural anthropologists who can, for instance, examine the cultural, historical, literary, or linguistic contexts in which the varying parts of the Bible were written to provide an explanation of why fundamentalist biblical literalists are, well, mistaken and ignorant. There are plenty of genuine scholars of religion whose work examines religious beliefs and sacred texts within their proper framework, such as Robert Price, John Loftus, Daniel Barker, Hector Avalos, Bart Ehrman, and D.M. Murdoch. These are the skeptics who are worth paying attention to.
Second, they typically conflate atheism with stereotypical liberal or radical left-wing politics when there’s no inherent relationship whatsoever. See Machiavelli, Hobbes, Hume, Nietzsche, and Mencken.
Third, like the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair, they…
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Last Wednesday I copied here a post from Messiah Truth. Here I copy what was the very next post on that same thread, from 2006-12-02, reporting some scientific research strongly suggestive of the existence of an interpersonal or transpersonal, or possibly “spiritual” or affective, “field.”
Some news items of interest …
… reported in latest issue of Edgar Cayce magazine:
(1) Information was transmitted between two atoms at distant locations at speeds greater than that of light; this is also known as “teleportation.” This turns out actually to be “old news”; one’s entree to the articles may best be as follows:
“Quantum physics: Push-button teleportation,” by
H. J. Kimble, and S. J. van Enk. Nature 429, 712 – 713 (17 Jun 2004).
(2) Pairs of romantically involved persons were separated and monitored, once via EEG and once via a different instrument measuring electrical impulses to the gut. When one partner contemplated a photograph of the other, within moments the latter person’s monitors indicated a response. My source provided the following bibliographic info:
Sources: Radin, D. I. Event-related EEG correlations between isolated human subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004, Vol. 10, pp. 315-324. For a copy of this paper, see http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/107555304323062301
Radin, D. I., & Schlitz, M. J. Gut feelings, intuition, and emotions: An exploratory study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2005, Vol. 11 (1), pp. 85-91. To purchase a copy of this study, see http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/acm.2005.11.85
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The Serenity Prayer does not depend on belief in God, but rather expresses basic principles of life:
God, grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
This pertains to where one directs one’s attention, how one chooses to feel, and where one focuses one’s desires. These are acts not of the mind, but of the will.
Jeffrey Tayler says, “Given the possibility that terrorists may acquire weapons of mass destruction and nuclear states with faith-based conflicts may let fly their missiles, religion may be said to endanger humanity as a whole. No one who cares about our future can quietly abide the continuing propagation and influence of apocalyptic fables that large numbers of people take seriously and not raise a loud, persistent, even strident cry of alarm.”
Fact: those who direct Iran’s nuclear program aren’t likely to listen to an atheist American Islamophobe.
A post of 2006-11-04 at Messiah Truth. In the larger discussion from which this is taken, I was asserting that clairvoyance isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. The borderline between what one knows and what one doesn’t know is invisible to anyone.
The limits of competence: The Edgar Cayce story …
… provides many parallels to current questions about information that purportedly comes from “Beyond” and the ways people respond to same.
Edgar Cayce was born in 1877 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He lived for substantial periods of time in Selma, Alabama; Dayton, Ohio; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. He worked as a farmer and photographer. From birth, he displayed considerable clairvoyance aside from the singular mechanism to be described below. Thomas Cayce, his father’s father, is said to have had similar skills, but I know no details. No one else in the family had similar skills or interests, except for Edgar’s mother, who is said to have at times seen the discarnates who were the child Edgar’s playmates.
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Rationalists insist that love doesn’t matter. Neither does hope. Neither does joy.
“Rational” and “rationality” refer to the activity of reason. Well and good.
“Rationalist” and “rationalism” refer instead to the dogma that one’s affect ought not be allowed to inform or influence one’s thinking. This is a problem.