Thursday, December 21, 2006

 

Are the Unitarians a real church?

The question was asked by the state of Texas a few years back, and now it's being asked by Leonard Shumard in a letter to the Eureka Reporter.

I looked up their Web site and couldn’t find any reference to God
I guess that's that.

Comments:
My favorite comment on Unitarians is still by Alfred North Whitehead: "Unitarians believe that there is, at most, one God."
 
Soooo..You have to believe in God to be a church? Shhh. Don't tell the Scientologists. They might sue you....
 
Yes, it is a real church. This is from The Universalsit Meeting House in my hometown of Chatham, MA http://www.uumh.net/

"Ours is an open faith. We believe in freedom of religious expression, the unity of faith and reason, and the importance of a religious community. UUism developed In the 18th century in reaction to Calvinism's strict views on 'the total depravity of man,' We proclaimed the good news that God is love; there would be no punishment in the hereafter. Today there are eight UU congregations on the Cape & Islands and over 1000 in the US. We welcome all people of good will and have consistently led the fight against discrimination and for social justice."
 
I looked up their Web site and couldn’t find any reference to God

Define 'God'.
 
There's an old joke about Unitarian extremists who burn question marks on peoples' lawns. Can't remember how it goes.

Also a Unitarian is defined as someone who prays to whom it may concern.
 
Well, aren't we all holier than thou!
Wait'll the U Church merges with Microsoft, then you'll be sorry.
 
It doesn't take much to form a church-some bloggers seem to be hinting that *Vegetarianism* will be the next New Wave Religion.
 
Unitarian Universalists aren't a religion--they're a fellowship of like-minded people who haven't a clue what God is or isn't except there's something called "Love" which may or may not be "God". It's the old Tower of Babel syndrome of too many voices, too many choices, and none to center one's mind.

I feel sorry for UUs because they haven't experienced death of ego and resulting consciousness of God. Those who have don't have doubts about who or what God is. Their lives are forever changed and their lives guided by God from then on.
 
Steve, I just have to say that I find it amusing and ironic to see you, of all people, pontificating on "the death of ego."
 
I think Steve was trying to be funny.
 
No, I was actually being serious. I wouldn't be a Christian today if I hadn't gone through a three-day "death of ego" religious experience. It changed my life forever because prior to the experience, I was more or less your typical un-spiritual, agnostic-atheist science-oriented social change activist.
I met God for the first time in my life and learned that the spiritual reality underlies all material reality.

For a month afterwards I was pretty much in a super-calm state of mind that I think Buddhists would identify as approaching satori except unlike Budhhism, God was there in spades flooding my mind with all sorts of brand new to me religious concepts. I learned why God had sent Jesus into the world as the supreme example of ego-surrender. It takes that in order to get a man off his high horse and look at other people in need of help.

But a month after that my ego came roaring back, me snarling at my family like some Jack Nicholson The Shining character as I absolutely had to type out what had happened to me before I forgot most of it. I have a natural high dose of egotism, actually suffering the worst sort of "chosen one" syndrome, prophesy-bearing, but that's another story for later on. Knowledge of why we each of us must follow the Jesus example of sacrificing self for love of others, is the only thing mitigating my otherwise propensity to want to wring the bloody necks of those bringing unnecessary violence into the world. I've long since given up worrying about giving up my ego though because my tiny little ego serves me and God in bringing about necessary social change which serves you all. Eventually. Trust me..
 
The Scientologists worship one thing and one thing only. Money. Oh! Also power.
 
Three day delusional experience. Sorry to see your rational mind left in favor of myth and glad-handing spirituality.
 
So, why did God send Jesus into the world, Steve? Don't leave us hanging, especilly on the eve of the eve of the eve of his birth. Quick, go find your notes.
 
Mr. Shumard assures us that Unitarianism is not a religion, because it doesn't appear to be what he thinks of as a legitimate religion. His case against the Unitarians rests with the leftward political tendencies of Unitarians. I'm sure that it never bothered him when large numbers of evangelical churches started openly supporting Ronald Reagan (perhaps the second dumbest President in US history) in the '80s. In recent years, we've seen huge evangelical support for our dim-witted, current President.

What Mr. Shumard really means is that religion is a right-wing undertaking, and he opposes any other arrangement.
 
Steve says, "Trust me."

This phrase is often, and fairly, confused with "bend over."
 
Right-on, carson park ranger. I agree.
 
Oh ye of little faith. Did I not tell ye all will be revealed in good time?

"Thomas said to them, 'If I tell you one of the things which he told me, you will pick up stones and throw them at me; a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up." Gospel of Thomas

If I sacrifice too early you won't get the message. You have to see what has been sacrificed first in order to understand the message.
 
Now where was I..oh yes, ego-city.

Oh Carol, ye of little faith..and much politics. Mr. Shumard has pointed out that UUs do not have a unified belief in deity or non-deity which he considers defines them as not being a "real" religion. I have the same criticism of UU as Mr. Shumard in that I too cannot see UUs as much more than a social club of liberal minded people who talk about religious issues sometimes while talking about social issues most of the time from a liberal point of view. But a "real" fire-breathing religion? Uh-uh. UUs would find that uncomfortably close to religious fervor or worse, zealousness, or God forbid, SURRENDER TO THE WILL OF GOD.
 
Mr. Shumard left the Presbyterian Church in Arcata years ago beause it was not bible-literal enough, and socially too liberal. Even tho the pastor did preach from the Bible every week. Oddly, I left because the congregation is too elderly!! Mr. Shumard is about 75 years old.
 
Well, Steve, I believe that each of us finds our own path to the center and there are many paths to the center. I respect your path even though I may be on a different spiritual path than you. I respect Mr. Schumard's path. I respect the Unitarian Universalist' path. We are all on different paths, all leading to the center, to God. Have a peaceful holiday.
 
Mr. Lewis feels qualified to tell others whether their congregations are "religious" or not. One wonders what he was like before he "...experienced death of ego and resulting consciousness of God."
 
One can tell the difference between social clubs and religious meetings.
 
One can tell the difference between rational thought and feel-good fantasy.
 
Whether one is talking politics, religion or science, the absence of self-doubt is always a dangerous thing.
 
"One can tell the difference between social clubs and religious meetings."

Gee, thanks Mr. Lewis. I'll forward your brilliant distinction to the IRS ao that they can decide who shall be taxed and who shall remain exempt.
 
I guess we have to define religion. Steve believes it is an institution which facilitates the "death of ego" in its members.

Any other thoughts?
 
Religions may facilitate the deaths of lots of things, but it would take someting much more powerful to destroy Steve's ego.
 
hehehe CPR.

From Wiki:
Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that (generally) involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.

In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief —typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.

Nope, don't see god in there anywhere....More of a phenomina of the herding instinct.
 
Do you see cows worshipping God anywhere? But you will see humans worshipping cows. Why would anyone do that? Perhaps because God put a little idea in their animal brains to help lift human beings out of animal behavioral patterns.

I always get a kick out of atheists not being able to explain why any animal would or could imagine a god. But without God human beings would still be animals dealing with each other and the environment in strictly self-serving animal ways--after all, it would only be the rational thing to do, right? No invisible spirits for smart animals who know the score--it's a dog eat dog world, everybody knows that.
 
Well believe it or not the evangelical fundamentalist atheist U*U minister of the so-called Unitarian Church of Montreal, Rev. Ray Drennan, and like-minded "Humanist" Montreal Unitarians tried very hard to change the word "Church" to "Congregation" or "Community". At one point in this atheist "Humanist" U*U campaign to dump the word "church" from the official name of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, Rev. Ray Drennan declared in the UCM's "church" newsletter that it was "false advertising" to call the Unitarian Church of Montreal a "church". In the next edition of the newsletter "church" member Kenneth Howard QC, a Queen's Counsel lawyer, chimed in with a letter to the editor which quite reasonably asserted that it if it was "false advertising" to call the Unitarian Church of Montreal a "church" it was equally "false advertising" to call it "Unitarian". . . considering that the traditional meaning of the word 'Unitarian' clearly implies belief in One Almighty God. Needless to say both of these atheist "Humanist" U*Us had very valid points to make. Of course one needs to ask, if a "religious community" that misleading claims to be a "Unitarian Church" is neither a "church" nor "Unitarian" according to the traditional dictionary definitions of these two words just what is it then?
 
"Do you see cows worshipping God anywhere?"

No, but I do see cows posting on blogs.
 
And jumping over the moon too no doubt.
 
It's not the death of ego. It's the death of individual thought. It's group think. It's the rational side of your brain turned off.
 
"...God put a little idea in their animal brains to help lift human beings out of animal behavioral patterns..."

So, Steve, where's your data to support that conclusion?
 
Steve - I don't see much evidence that we are in fact different from animals, and in fact the science of the last few decades makes it very clear that the difference is a matter of degree not kind. Do animals believe in God? I don't know. Do you?

Emerson - there is also the Universalist faction, which is Christian and believes that salvation will be universal. No Hell. Only Purgatory. When I'm back on a computer that can post links, I'll post access to some interesting discussions on the topic.

The "church" or whatever may actually split up again, along the lines of the merger. The Universalists and theistic Unitarians have indicated a dissatisfaction with the direction of the church in recent years. I'm not taking a position on who's right, but just pointing out that there is some conflict.
 
He's mistaking natural selection for God. He doesn't truly understand the beauty and majesty of natural selection.
 
"...God put a little idea in their animal brains to help lift human beings out of animal behavioral patterns..."

"So, Steve, where's your data to support that conclusion?"

Logical deduction, my dear Watson. Why would animals ever dream up a notion of a spirit world and gods? Animals don't respond to invisible abstract ideas.

"Steve - I don't see much evidence that we are in fact different from animals, and in fact the science of the last few decades makes it very clear that the difference is a matter of degree not kind. Do animals believe in God? I don't know. Do you?"

Do I believe animals believe in God? I think some are getting towards that, e.g., coyotes and wolves relationship with the full moon and I read somewhere long ago about chimps "dancing" in the moonlight. Since I believe God is running the show from top to bottom, I believe we are animals, we are Life learning to become God. That is what Creation is for.

"Emerson - there is also the Universalist faction, which is Christian and believes that salvation will be universal. No Hell. Only Purgatory. When I'm back on a computer that can post links, I'll post access to some interesting discussions on the topic."

That "Hell" is overrated is also my Christian belief but my p.o.v. is based on religious experience and subsequent readings into near-death-experiences, in which n.d.e. encounters with a Hell are much fewer and farther between than encounters with heaven-like places. Our world is our Hell that we each must get through to the other side which means in my Christian belief system preparing ourselves ethically here in this life for life in the world to come-that life a complete a mystery to me and to everyone it seems, so my attention is focused on this world and its problems.

"The "church" or whatever may actually split up again, along the lines of the merger. The Universalists and theistic Unitarians have indicated a dissatisfaction with the direction of the church in recent years. I'm not taking a position on who's right, but just pointing out that there is some conflict."

This conflict was inevitable from the beginning. Either you're for God or agin It. "He who is not with Me is against Me and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad."--Mt 12:30

"He's mistaking natural selection for God. He doesn't truly understand the beauty and majesty of natural selection."

In that you are highly mistaken. I was reading anthropology books as a kid. I majored in Anthropology at U.C.Berkeley. It was a choice between that and paleontology, which I also love. I grew up on Darwin's theory and held it supreme until my religious conversion experience at Easter in 1979. That experience overthrew everything I knew about how this world works.

God works in mysterious ways goes the truism and God is evolving Creation with the mechanics of natural selection. That's why there's "evil" in the world. Our souls are being put to some sort of physical test process to weed out imperfection or make us grow in some hidden ways we can't see because of our physical/mental limitations of being and seeing only a binary world of off/on switching energy flows:
Life/death--me/you--us/them--past/present/pain/pleasure/ etc,. But every once in while somebody comes along who has stepped outside the normal perception of time-space and every once in a while that person hasn't really gone nuts although almost always branded so now in Western societies in which this occurs. With the advancement and importance of science and technology giving the world material wealth, and with religious experience not being "measurable", God and spiritual consciousness therefore doesn't exist as reality for science even though science will grudgingly admit even Western science itself as well as most of the "good" ideals for ethical life in Western society came originally out of spiritual experiences of religious people, not the intellects of atheists.
 
Then again there are the intellectual dislexic atheists who know there is no Dog.
 
Ahh, the death of ego summons the rise of arrogance. Let's hope this delusion doesn't spill over into telling us how to live our own lives in our own homes as most deluded people tend to do.
 
Very FUNNY, 6:59!!!
 
"Logical deduction..." is a concept which Steve Lewis is obviously unfamiliar with.
 
It's always those without a logical argument who resort to slander. Carson, your little smear doesn't get you off the hook of this: "

Logical deduction, my dear Watson. Why would animals ever dream up a notion of a spirit world and gods? Animals don't respond to invisible abstract ideas."

Try answering the above.
 
"Why would animals ever dream up a notion of a spirit world and gods? Animals don't respond to invisible abstract ideas."

What does this have to do with whether Unitarian congregations constitute a religion or not?

It's not incumbent upon me to answer such a completely bizarre question. Are you trying to "prove" the existence of God through some arcane form of logic?
 
Nice footwork there, carson. Now answer try answering the question. It's posted simple enough to understand.
 
Animals don't respond to invisible abstract ideas.

Absolutely false. As Carl Sagan pointed out, Descartes' admonition that "Beasts abstract not" is outdated. Animals do in fact abstract. In fact, the abstract conception is much more complicated than believed even during the famous Koko experiments.
 
"God is evolving Creation with the mechanics of natural selection."

Ahh, so everything we figure out through science is magically explained as having been created that way through god. Uh huh. It's the cop-out of all cop-outs, facilitated to hold onto your god fantasy. Carson, you cannot reason with someone living in a fantasy world. Plain and simple.
 
"Why would animals ever dream up a notion of a spirit world and gods? Animals don't respond to invisible abstract ideas."

This may be "posted," but it's certainly not "simple enough to understand." It's authentic, psuedo-intellectual gibberish. I'm afraid that I must defer to the anonymous comment above, "...you cannot reason with someone living in a fantasy world."
 
Better check your data first, eric.

Animals don't respond to invisible abstract ideas.

"Absolutely false. As Carl Sagan pointed out, Descartes' admonition that "Beasts abstract not" is outdated. Animals do in fact abstract. In fact, the abstract conception is much more complicated than believed even during the famous Koko experiments."

Eric, you find me an experiment in abstract reasoning with an animal, even a chimp or gorilla primate, where the animal has to respond to an abstract idea with no material cues. All the experiments with abstract reasoning in animals involve use non-abstract material objects as cues for problem-solving. Yes, higher primates and dolphins too can "reason" abstractly about possibilities for material reward but I'm not talking about animal problem solving but wholly abstract ideas that never have had any material world associations, e.g. the spirit world, gods and goddesses, etc., none of which animals show any significant signs of understanding.
 
So, I will ask again, where do these abstract ideas of God and the spiritual world come from in human consciousness?

Where did the vision of Christ Josephine come from in my and my daughter's minds and why was She a ringer for the Lakota's prophesy of the return of White Buffalo Calf Woman when neither I or my daughter had any knowledge or involvement with Lakota spiritual concepts?

When atheists come up with answers to why human beings have spiritual consciousness with something a little more plausible than "oh, God is just a fantasy Authority figure", wishful thinking for a great invisible Parent who solves all problems, I will be here to listen to what those who have never experienced spiritual reality have to say. But until that day I trust my own personal spiritual experiences over the opinions of those who have had none.
 
Ideas of god come from the same place in the brain any other thought comes from. If you mean, what is the inspiration? Anyone's guess is as good as anything. I'd say god was a simple model to explain the universe. God was responsible for making the seasons change, causing storms, etc. As our understanding of reality has increased, humans have continuously reinvented their idea of god to fit their current level of understanding of the universe and social norms.

As for "visions," why do you distinguish between visions of a god that inspire a person from other equally vivid visions which are "dark" or "evil" or simply benign? I can eat magic mushrooms and have a vivid experience that is deeply spiritual to me. Or I can sit and do nothing and have a vivid experience that is due to chemical or emotional imbalances. Individual visions are proof of nothing. Even group experiences can be crafted by human hand. But you know, I have an open mind. I'll believe in a god when this god presents one shred of evidence of his/her/its existence. One shred. That's all I ask. And if you want to cite the bible as evidence, boy oh boy, don't make me laugh. I'm beginning to think your belief in god isn't so much a delusion as it is an indicator of your complete lack of rational impartial thought.
 
"When atheists come up with answers to why human beings have spiritual consciousness..."

Why should atheists have to answer any of your questions? I'm not an atheist, but they have every right to believe that there is no God.

As far as I'm concerned, they depend too much upon belief.
 
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
 
No one can tell another how to believe. My religious beliefs stem from personal experience of God and no one who has not gone through what I have experienced can tell me anything about it. They have no idea what goes on in a profound religious conversion experience and can only form opinions from other's second-hand, third-hand, fourth-hand knowledge. It truly is like trying to explain colors to a blind man. But here, the blind men, claim there is no colors to be seen.

Oh, but there are! Merry Christmas, everyone!
 
Oh, no, you're mistaken. I'm quite sure your slip from reality, your "vision," was quite vivid and real to you. I don't question that you think there is a god. I'm just sad that you've turned off the rational side of your brain to critically analyze what you've attributed to some higher power when we see the same thing happen in all sorts of "real" experiences that no one would ever, not even you, attribute to a god or devil. A delusion is a delusion, whether it helps or hurts the individual.
 
Well, my friend, like I say, those who have never had a religious conversion experience do not know what they are talking about. You can't learn about it by reading the opinions of others. This is why atheists keep their blather going because they don't realize their thinking is crippled. They try to second guess other people's spiritual experiences using their dominating left-brains not knowing their right-brain is poorly developed and therefore not registering spiritual phenomena. It makes for atheists opinions about spiritual matters being like those of half-wits with only one side of their brains being fully functional.
But on and on they go, riding on modern ignorance of spiritual reality.

Meanwhile, my "delusions" have made me friends with hundreds of Palestinians who honored one of my major delusions at Easter in Nazareth at the spot where the angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus. These delusional Palestinians want me to return next Easter as we all celebrate our delusional Savior who of course, being a delusion, has had no effect whatsoever on Western Civilization.

Merry Christmas, one and all!
 
Again, you have lost your rational brain. It's like I'm talking to a wall. You haven't understood anything I've written. Your raise arguments which aren't even arguments and then present them as some sort of proof of something. It's like I'm talking to a child.
 
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little child shall lead them."--Isaiah 11:6

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."--Jesus, Mk 10:15

MERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY CHRISTMAS! and a Happy New Year to all!
 
Eric, you find me an experiment in abstract reasoning with an animal, even a chimp or gorilla primate, where the animal has to respond to an abstract idea with no material cues. All the experiments with abstract reasoning in animals involve use non-abstract material objects as cues for problem-solving. Yes, higher primates and dolphins too can "reason" abstractly about possibilities for material reward but I'm not talking about animal problem solving but wholly abstract ideas that never have had any material world associations, e.g. the spirit world, gods and goddesses, etc., none of which animals show any significant signs of understanding.

There may or may not be abstract ideas divorced from the material world, but gods and goddesses do not qualify. It's perfectly natural to assign to some bad material experience an intentional punishment from a power beyond - perfectly consistent with the material world. Your fellow tribe member eats pretty berries that taste sweet and dies of poison, it's perfectly rational and materialistic in the absence of more information to assume that a more powerful being owns those berries and punished the transgressor for trespass. And I have no doubt that some of the higher intelligence order animals draw similar conclusions.

This is not to say that the existence of god or gods is true or not. However, the conclusion of the existence of gods is hardly based upon any transcendent consciousness.

Math is abstract reasoning. And animals are capable of it. As to whether they are capable of perceiving or conceiving metaphysical concepts - we haven't developed the means of communication to confirm or deny. Your assumption that they don't is just that - an assumption.
 
A god that demands I worship it? That's slavery by any other name.
 
"Math is abstract reasoning. And animals are capable of it. As to whether they are capable of perceiving or conceiving metaphysical concepts - we haven't developed the means of communication to confirm or deny. Your assumption that they don't is just that - an assumption."

It's an assumption based on living with animals for most of my life, eric. I just have never seen any of my cats or dogs, snakes, rabbits, or goats or horses in my care ever exhibit signs of recognition of invisible spirits. Basic drives drive them. I bet you don't even know human beings were evolved specifically to scratch those places on a cat where they can't reach with their tongues, do you?

It is a hard question for atheists to answer--where the idea of God and gods comes from in the first place in the human mind. Eric did take a stab at trying to answer but again, all one has to do is check your own memory banks for any memory of any animal, domestic, in the wild, in experiments, showing signs of what humans would call spiritual consciousness.
 
Now, I do think something spiritual may be evolving with the relationship of wolves and coyotes to the moon but again, the moon exerts a real physical force so it's going to be difficult to tell if it's still basic material urges driving them to howl at a full moon, sexual courtship rituals which again are material world based, we don't know, but having experience with animals leads me to believe it's still going to be in the physical, material world realm for them until we, as lead species, show them the way somewhere in the future.
 
White Buffalo Calf Woman won't you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight,
White Buffalo Calf Woman won't you come out tonight,
so we can eat you by the light of the moon.
us metaphysical coyotes and wolves.
aawoooowwwooooo!
 
Your cats don't recognize invisible spirits because spirits don't exist. The simplest, most logical answer eludes you, just like a universe without a god eludes you.

Steve, it's not difficult to respond to your question about where the notion of god comes from in the human brain. In fact, I already responded, but I guess you didn't like my response. It's impossible to know, just like it's impossible to know where the idea of faeries or ghosts or unicorns or dragons come from. We can make educated guesses, but the answer isn't of importance. My guess has two parts. #1 Man fears death, so he conjures up the afterlife to help him cope with the finality of death. #2 Man doesn't understand the universe, so he conjures up a god to explain how and why things happen the way they do. Your question is of no importance, yet you ask it as if the ability to answer or not answer holds some meaning. It's meaningless, except in a psychiatric sense. Not being able to explain where the idea of fantasy figures originate doesn't make them real, or the possibility of them real.

Atheists would believe in god if there was a shred of evidence. A god that hides himself is no god for me. As for the particulars of the specific religious book you think holds your god's words, books written by humans aren't evidence of god. There are literally thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of texts written by people who claim divine inspiration. The only difference between those thousands and your book is that you believe your book and disregard the mountain of conflicting viewpoints out-of-hand. As previously said, we are all atheists here; I just believe in one god less than you.
 
Sam Harris couldn't have put it any better.
 
"I just believe in one god less than you"

Good point.

Why do monotheists feel so smug about believing in one God, as opposed to animists, Hindus and others who believe in many?

According to this minimizing progression, logic would dictate that zero gods are better than One.
 
Right on Anon 9:52!
 
I just have never seen any of my cats or dogs, snakes, rabbits, or goats or horses in my care ever exhibit signs of recognition of invisible spirits.

And what would they exhibit? Use of a Ouija board?
 
"Steve, it's not difficult to respond to your question about where the notion of god comes from in the human brain. In fact, I already responded, but I guess you didn't like my response. It's impossible to know, just like it's impossible to know where the idea of faeries or ghosts or unicorns or dragons come from."

Wrong. It's impossible for you to know because you've never had a religious experience of God and the spiritual world underlying the physical one.

"We can make educated guesses, but the answer isn't of importance."

It is of no importance to you because you haven't experienced God consciousness. What you don't know about, you don't miss.

"My guess has two parts. #1 Man fears death, so he conjures up the afterlife to help him cope with the finality of death. #2 Man doesn't understand the universe, so he conjures up a god to explain how and why things happen the way they do."

You guess, I know. That's what the experience of Gnosis of God does for you.

"Your question is of no importance, yet you ask it as if the ability to answer or not answer holds some meaning. It's meaningless, except in a psychiatric sense. Not being able to explain where the idea of fantasy figures originate doesn't make them real, or the possibility of them real."

I guess you just cannot comprehend that where the idea of invisible spirits come from is anti-material world behavior. There is no earthly reason for animals to conjure up spiritual beings if everything has no spiritual component as atheists "believe", i.e., their unproven belief system held as religiously as deist beliefs.

Atheists would believe in god if there was a shred of evidence. A god that hides himself is no god for me. As for the particulars of the specific religious book you think holds your god's words, books written by humans aren't evidence of god. There are literally thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of texts written by people who claim divine inspiration. The only difference between those thousands and your book is that you believe your book and disregard the mountain of conflicting viewpoints out-of-hand. As previously said, we are all atheists here; I just believe in one god less than you.
 
For those who want to see modern prophesy bearing at its original new religion foundational moment, please stay tuned as I will posting my modern Gnostic Christian theology book online again soon.
 
I guess you just cannot comprehend that where the idea of invisible spirits come from is anti-material world behavior.

I guess I've never encountered any "anti-material world behavior."
 
In fact, I'm not sure if I'd recognise it if I saw it. Prayer certainly doesn't count. That's as material as anything else.
 
It's called "religious experience", eric. And without having experienced such atheists literally are blind as bats to spiritual reality. And they don't know it.
 
Sure, but again, how can you say an animal hasn't had a religious experience. How would it manifest itself for purposes of observation and identification? Does a dog have to spread his arms and recite Godspell on the spot?
 
It would be Dogspell.
 
You guys are funny.
 
Having debated atheists at length on internet religious talkboards, (which atheists love to frequent) I discovered some time ago that one can turn their oft used argument of "no spiritual reality ever being recorded, therefore not real phenomena", back on atheists themselves by reversing the proposition; i.e., "then explain where human beings get the idea of spirits in the first place" to which they, as you have seen here, have no plausible answer. It usually infuriates atheists to have this argument thrown back at them because it uses the logic of their own argument--if it's not rational or logical to believe in a spiritual reality, it is equally not rational to believe there is no spiritual reality when the idea of spiritual reality logically has to come from some place, some stimulus to elicit a response according to physical materialistic worldly consciousness. So where would humans, as animals operating under direct stimulus/response mechanisms, get the idea of spirits controlling physical reality? It's a simple question but one without rational answer from atheists.
 
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