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Time for me to jump into this, because I'm very curious about something for those of you who believe: what is a spiritual experience?

I'm an atheist, but was raised technically Christian. I say "technically" because my dad never opened his Bible and never took us to church. It was easy for me to fall away from religion, and it was unnecessary to my worldview. But I can truly say that I don't think I have ever had a spiritual experience in my life. I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things, but I couldn't say I ever felt anything spiritual in any of this, or anything.

I am genuinely fascinated with religion because I don't really understand it. I get it intellectually for a variety of reasons, but I feel like I completely lack the ability to comprehend what it's like. I think in my own fantasy works, I end up writing about religious characters because I like exploring this, even though I don't really get it myself.

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5 hours ago, Chaos said:

Time for me to jump into this, because I'm very curious about something for those of you who believe: what is a spiritual experience?

I'm an atheist, but was raised technically Christian. I say "technically" because my dad never opened his Bible and never took us to church. It was easy for me to fall away from religion, and it was unnecessary to my worldview. But I can truly say that I don't think I have ever had a spiritual experience in my life. I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things, but I couldn't say I ever felt anything spiritual in any of this, or anything.

I am genuinely fascinated with religion because I don't really understand it. I get it intellectually for a variety of reasons, but I feel like I completely lack the ability to comprehend what it's like. I think in my own fantasy works, I end up writing about religious characters because I like exploring this, even though I don't really get it myself.

 

I can't speak for everyone, and I am in many ways still learning and still gaining more understanding on this topic, as I believe everyone continues to learn as they grow, but I will try to answer. I apologise in advance if this gets a little long and rambly - a large part of this is trying to establish a common frame of reference.

Thinking about this question, I think there are three possible ways to approach it: is the question 1) what is the spirit world / how does it relate to our world, 2) why do you believe in spiritual things, or 3) what spiritual experiences have you had? Reading your question again, I think each is a valid way of interpreting the question, but the first one likely touches on the spirit of your question - and that phrase itself, "spirit of the question," is, I think, a great place to start.

I have a tendency to get bogged down in the weeds in discussions, and to go on semi-relevant tangents, especially on very open ended conversations - a boon or bane of the ADHD mind, I'm afraid - but I think a brief examination of the colloquially understood term for spirit - rather than the more mystically baggaged notions underlying that word that bring to mind ghosts, angels, and the explicitly supernatural - can help us get to a common root and reference frame to answer this question - and reference frame is again a useful term to use in this. Also, again, please bear in mind that I'm by no means an expert or professional theologian, and my understanding on this topic may or may not match what others in my faith and in other faiths would say on this topic, but I believe my view is still a robust one. It also will reference mathematics (so manifolds and complex numbers), phasor diagrams (via complex numbers), simulations, and a brief breakdown on the tripartite breakdown of humanity and the universe.

(Also please note that for the sake of brevity I'm not going to try to justify why the things I describe here are the case, as that would take too long. Rather if there is anything you would like me to elaborate on or justify afterwards I will be happy to do so.)

 

Spirit, like the word faithful, has a colloquial meaning that in many minds seems to be separated from its more esoteric meaning and root, but nevertheless still ties into it - faith in a Biblical sense is to be trustworthy and to trust in another's trustworthiness (hence faith in the Bible is not blind, but each "hero of the faith" is someone who had very good reasons to believe) which is why we get the term faithful; being faithful is to keep faith, to not betray a trust. Similarly with spirit - it is in essence the "breath," the wind, the essence of something - the spirit of a law is the essence of the law, what the law means. So spiritual fundamentally means looking at the foundation or root, something more essential than what is physical even if it, ironically, seems less substantial. Spirit is, fundamentally, the fundamentals, and what underlies more mundane things, yet can also manifest over it.

On the Body, Soul, and Spirit

Spoiler

So, trying to be brief and not make this an entire essay on the supernatural nature of the world, I will begin with a brief overview my understanding of the nature of humanity as both physical and spiritual beings - incomplete as that understanding is - and how this also relates to the world as a physical and spiritual place. Basically you can look at humans as consisting of three sets of three parts, which we could graph on a three-by-three grid: the one breakdown is body (or physical body), soul, and spirit. The second are sensors, "mass," and actuators. Also, again, please note that this is a very crude way of looking at this and I'm trying not to go too into detail, especially in the areas I'm still learning myself. A brief summary on each of the three "bodies":

  • Physical body is obvious, being the physical body a person, what you can see and hear and touch and smell;
  • Soul is what most people refer to as the mind, and is the union of the body and the spirit - it is (to use analogies from the Christian book The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee) like the ink produced when you combine dye (spirit) and water (body), or the light from a bulb (body) once electricity (spirit) flows through it. The soul is contained within the body and is in a sense a part of it, primarily manifesting within the brain as a manifested pattern of activity;
  • The Spirit is the spiritual body, and exists in the spiritual world and within the soul

(Side note, but you may notice some similarities to what Brandon presented with the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realm. This topic is something I knew about before reading Brandon thanks to reading The Spiritual Man, though I do need to give that book a re-read. Either way the fact that Brandon took this approach - and he cited his combination of different philosophical and religious traditions as an inspiration - is one of the things that made me more interested in Brandon as a writer. These topics are also things I try to cover in my own fiction.)

The functional parts in more derail are as follows:

  • Sensors allow a body - physical, soul, spirit - to sense its corresponding environment;
  • "Mass," or "essence," or "flesh" is the substrate where the sensors and actuators are based, and which in a sense "nourishes" them and gives them support, maintaining them, and whose state is a general measure of the health of that body;
  • Actuators allow the body to affect its corresponding environment, or to interact with it

Please note that these are all categories of properties, and not a statement that there is only "one" sensor for the body, as the eyes, ears, tongue, skin, etc. are all separate parts of what makes up your body's inputs. Likewise some parts fit into multiple categories simultaneously, so the tongue can both sense and act, etc.

Example of these parts for the body:

  • Sensors - eyes, ears, tongue, skin, etc.
  • "Mass" - heart, lungs, stomach, etc.
  • Actuators - voluntary muscles

Example of these parts for the soul:

  • Sensors - intellect (and the various types of intellect, as intelligence is a vector, not a scaler)
  • "Mass" - emotions
  • Actuators - will

Example of these parts for the spirit:

  • Sensors - intuition
  • "Mass" - conscience
  • Actuators - communion / worship / relationships

All corresponding parts within one body work together and need each other, and likewise are always active. Note also that there is a feedback loop and interaction between these parts - your will (soul actuators) acts through your muscles (body actuators), information taken in with your eyes (body sensors) becoming information for your mind to process (soul sensors), and your emotional state can impact your overall physical health, i.e. your soul's "mass" affecting your body's "mass", just as your physical health can affect your emotions. As your soul manifests physically as patterns within the brain the link there is obvious.

However the spirit is also important as it too has the same feedback relationship, but within the soul - the spirit is to the soul what the soul is to the body. Intuition feeds into intellect and what you are aware of, your conscience can build up or break down your emotions, and what you worship - as worship is a fundamental part of human nature and everyone worship something in that it is what you direct your life towards and focus your energies on, regardless of whether it is religious or not - or are in relationship with affects your will. Thus your spiritual drives and nature direct the soul, where those drives manifest as thoughts and feelings and intentions, and those thoughts and feelings and intentions influence what you do physically.

Now this all may seem a little tangential to the topic, but it is important to understand for the explanation later what these things are and how they relate so as to better understand the main point later - namely that everything has a spiritual component, though some things are more spiritual without a physical medium, and others are physical and only partially touching the spiritual.

Of course, the above section can be seen entirely to be a physical manifestation of physical patterns - the soul is patterns in the brain, and the spirit as underlying principles to those patterns - no higher worlds are required. However it is when they display traits that go outside of physical principles and probabilities that things become more difficult to explain purely physically - these are entirely anecdotal and so obviously don't constitute the type of evidence that can be scientifically verified, but I've had and been granted insight into situations I couldn't possibly have known and which has left both myself and others stunned that I made certain observations or knew certain things, or said certain things which moved people in ways they didn't think possible (to give one example, when I was about eight I spoke to someone and they later told me that before that point they wanted to die - what I said convinced them to live). Another has been movement in my conscience to take certain actions or undo certain things I'd done before it was too later, feelings deeper in me than my emotions - which fully wanted to do those things or let them persist - that motivated me to act, and those actions turned out to be for the best, as well as a feeling of absolute serenity and calm in some situations when inside I knew what my emotions wanted to do and what would be a normal response (an anecdote from that time was when I was in high school I was slapped twice hard across the face by a fellow student because he felt insulted that I didn't want to enter a Mosque and my reasons when others kept pressing me to do so - and while I felt the slaps I didn't feel any anger towards him, nor was I upset he hit me, I only felt peace and sorry for the anger in him). And another has been answered prayers and things so incredibly unlikely, favour shown when it was not due and things working together so unexpectedly I almost didn't believe them having happened at the time, probabilities shifting and moving. These aren't powers I can call up at will, only experiences that show me - scientifically minded though I am - that there is more going on than purely physical phenomena, if only from the statistical unlikelihood of those evens, all taken together. Most of those events are deeply person experiences, and some I only dimly remember, but they stand as poles of personal experience, along with the intellectual reasoning I have for my faith, that encourage me and still leave me filled with wonder.

Those examples are the more subtle type of spiritual experience, as I feel there are at least three types (the omnipresent "background" level of spirituality that everyone experiences on a daily basis and doesn't notice, the "could just be coincidence" level mentioned above where highly unlikely but still theoretically possible events occur, and the outright miracles - i.e. the only way to explain them physically would be that everyone involved hallucinated). 

 

Now, I promised maths! Or at least how certain mathematical and computer science ideas relate to this topic. As this post is already getting long (and I realised I think my middle section just above here and below the first spoiler box where I recount some of my own experiences might actually have been more in line with what you asked) I'll try to truncate my response, and likewise put it in spoilers.

Spoiler

Basically two related mathematical concepts can come into play to explain the relation between the physical world and the spiritual world, and a third (simulation - though this isn't an argument the physical world is a simulation, only that ideas within the concept of simulations can be helpful) likewise:

  • Manifolds / higher dimensions (the spirit world as coterminous with and a natural part of the physical world even as it also extends above it)
  • Complex numbers / phasor diagrams (the spirit world as necessary component even for entirely physical interactions)
  • and Simulations (a world whose rules underlie our world)

For manifolds, such as the 2d surface of a 3d sphere - and lets assume the sphere is so massive no individual member of some species living on it could ever travel far enough along it to begin to notice its non-Euclidean properties - each point on its surface would appear to its inhabitants as being entirely described as 2d, and each individual member would likewise appear to be 2d, yet to describe that point, to write it down, while you could describe it using only two numbers (assuming we treat the sphere's radius as a constant known value that doesn't need to be recorded, and the sphere is centred on the origin) it still would have some value "away" from the origin - our constant R value - or if we switch from spherical of Cartesian coordinates we would always require three numbers to describe where anyone on the surface is as they move around it, each step they take in any direction potentially changing all three numbers simultaneously, even though to their minds the entire world they live in and everything they know can be described and addressed with two numbers. They themselves might even be 3d creatures but that third dimension in their own anatomy is too small for them to notice (related to the String theory concept of compactification, though not identical). Thus they are in fact 3d creatures living in a 3d world, though there could be other creatures in that world who experience its 3d nature more completely. Of course in this example the dimensions are all of the same type - such is the issue with an analogies, as they can't encapsulate the totality of an idea by themselves, but can help indicate the nature of the idea.

For complex numbers we know the history of these numbers includes debates as to their usefulness and purpose, and how imaginary numbers "don't exist," though that terms itself is loaded as, strictly speaking, negative numbers, or numbers in general, don't exist. Yet they become embraced in the mathematical community because they allow certain equations to be solved that otherwise couldn't be - and there are even equations where the start is entirely real, the solution is entirely real, but in between complex numbers come into play. And to pick just one example within electrical engineering there are phasor diagrams which are useful with AC currents and voltages, with inductors and capacitors, to describe how the voltage and current lead and lag one another - even though the current and voltage aren't a constant value that "spirals," the sine wave they trace can very usefully be mapped to the complex plane. Complex numbers are "real" in a different way than real numbers are "real," yet both still exist in a meaningful way, even if only one can directly map to realspace.

For simulations, the physical world could be compared to a simulation running inside some machine in the "real" world, that real world being the Spirit World. The rules within the simulation are entirely constructs drawn from the real world, and the simulated world entirely dependent on some computing substrate whose nature and programming determines the nature of the world within the simulation. Beings within the simulation - depending on the nature of the simulation and whether it itself is a simulation of the real world or some other more abstract dimension - can't prove that they are or aren't in the simulation, and could argue their world can be fully explained by the equations they determine govern it based on their own experiments - they can never know, unless some sentience in or beyond the software communicates with them - that their world is not and cannot be completely described by their experiments, as none of their experiments can ever determine the nature of the computers hardware, what it is made of or how its part are connected. They're world is a subset of the real world, and the real world enables their world to exist, but they can never know the real world unless they have some part of themselves within that real world, or part of that real world intersects their simulation.

None of these examples are meant to prove this is the case, only to address how such things are valid ways of considering the relation between the physical and spiritual world, and without going into the moral dimension and Hume's Guillotine - I'm hoping later, after the Seven Days of Creation post is completed, to address the evidence for and logic behind the necessity for the Spirit World.

 

Anyhow, I hope this much longer than intended post was helpful! Please let me know if you would like me to elaborate on any point, or if I did successfully manage to answer your question :)

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10 hours ago, Chaos said:

Time for me to jump into this, because I'm very curious about something for those of you who believe: what is a spiritual experience?

I'm an atheist, but was raised technically Christian. I say "technically" because my dad never opened his Bible and never took us to church. It was easy for me to fall away from religion, and it was unnecessary to my worldview. But I can truly say that I don't think I have ever had a spiritual experience in my life. I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things, but I couldn't say I ever felt anything spiritual in any of this, or anything.

I am genuinely fascinated with religion because I don't really understand it. I get it intellectually for a variety of reasons, but I feel like I completely lack the ability to comprehend what it's like. I think in my own fantasy works, I end up writing about religious characters because I like exploring this, even though I don't really get it myself.

The way I have spiritual experiences is very abstract, I think. The best I can explain it is some sort of "feeling" I have in my "heart" - I use quotation marks because it's not entirely a feeling and I know it's not in my heart because it turns out your heart isn't in the center of your chest, yet in my quote unquote heart I'm able to process things differently. 

This feeling is a sort of... warmth, like going outside right in the morning when the air is crisp and clear and the sunshine is right on you. It feels alive, yet not in an adreneline sort of way. Like you just woke up, feeling well rested, after not getting enough sleep for weeks. That feeling of quiet joy and relief and hope. 

There are of course spiritual experiences that are more of an experience. From little tender mercies like a pipe being in exactly the right place to keep my niece from falling off a rock wall (natural) and hitting her head to straight-up miracles like my mother and brother somehow making it home safe from France despite being incredibly sick. There have been things I've seen and experienced that continually convince me that there's someone looking out for me that knows me personally and loves me despite my faults. I'm convinced that there's no way that all of these things I've seen in my life happened by chance. Prayers answered, help given. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a scientific way to explain it, but that wouldn't detract from the spiritual aspect of it. In my opinion, science is just our way to figure out how God made this world work, and a lot of it is way over our heads. XD

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10 hours ago, Chaos said:

Time for me to jump into this, because I'm very curious about something for those of you who believe: what is a spiritual experience?

I'm an atheist, but was raised technically Christian. I say "technically" because my dad never opened his Bible and never took us to church. It was easy for me to fall away from religion, and it was unnecessary to my worldview. But I can truly say that I don't think I have ever had a spiritual experience in my life. I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things, but I couldn't say I ever felt anything spiritual in any of this, or anything.

I am genuinely fascinated with religion because I don't really understand it. I get it intellectually for a variety of reasons, but I feel like I completely lack the ability to comprehend what it's like. I think in my own fantasy works, I end up writing about religious characters because I like exploring this, even though I don't really get it myself.

If I may jump in here and try to address the question I think that I can add an additional perspective. @Ixthos was highly comprehensive as usual. I would like to address a question that is related and may lead to an answer to your question. What is spirituality? My approach will be far less mathematical than the previous response. 

One might say that defining spirituality is easy. You know it when you see it. Yet I'm not so convinced. In many religions this thing called spirituality gets tossed around. To some people it is a metaphysical reality that is sometimes superimposed over our own. To others it's like deja vu totally in the mind. Some people find nature to be utterly spiritual. Wise men would sometimes isolate themselves in the wilds of nature to achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment. There are those who look at art and find it spiritual. One of the great jewish philosophers of the 20th and 21st centuries was said that music was a spiritual force that moved him like nothing else. Others find spirituality in abstinance and asceticism. In short, it is not so easy to reach an answer.

I think that a better answer depends on how one is looking at the question to begin with. This is where your question of "what is a spiritual experience?", becomes significant. Outside of a religious framework one should forget I think about the framework that we have been using. The word "spiritual" or "spirituality" is a vague word that means very little outside of religious bounds. You have said, "I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things." How do these things make you feel? Have you felt a sense of wonder or awe? If so then I think that you have had "Spiritual" experiences,  you simply never called them that. Spirituality is a term that really only works in a single context. To know it you have to look outside of the term and burrow into the passion, feeling of oneness, smallness, and wonder that reach that place where words are not enough.

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5 hours ago, Nathrangking said:

I think that a better answer depends on how one is looking at the question to begin with. This is where your question of "what is a spiritual experience?", becomes significant. Outside of a religious framework one should forget I think about the framework that we have been using. The word "spiritual" or "spirituality" is a vague word that means very little outside of religious bounds. You have said, "I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things." How do these things make you feel? Have you felt a sense of wonder or awe? If so then I think that you have had "Spiritual" experiences,  you simply never called them that. Spirituality is a term that really only works in a single context. To know it you have to look outside of the term and burrow into the passion, feeling of oneness, smallness, and wonder that reach that place where words are not enough.

You have translated my brain-thoughts to language. Or at least close enough to my brain thoughts. Spiritual is a very hard concept to define, but I think you did an excellent job. For me, I feel the spirit through a peace or a gut feeling. I often have to learn what my distractions are and figure out how to filter them out/remove them to be able to find it.

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I appreciate the responses everyone!

14 hours ago, Nathrangking said:

You have said, "I am married to the most incredible woman, I've seen gorgeous views in nature, all sorts of amazing things." How do these things make you feel? Have you felt a sense of wonder or awe? If so then I think that you have had "Spiritual" experiences,  you simply never called them that. Spirituality is a term that really only works in a single context. To know it you have to look outside of the term and burrow into the passion, feeling of oneness, smallness, and wonder that reach that place where words are not enough.

I guess you're right, the word doesn't make sense out of a religious context. I wouldn't call those things a spiritual experience, because those just seem like normal emotions and feelings to me. It never felt divine to me. Special, sure, assuming that there has to be something so much greater like a god seems like a big stretch to me, personally.

It's just interesting how I'd look at these similar emotions and ascribe perfectly mundane reasons to them. It would literally never occur to me to think of them as anything different.

This sort of reminds me of high school health class, when a teacher said there are four different types of health: physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. And I'm just here thinking, isn't spiritual health just a combination of mental health and emotional health that some people ascribe special meaning to? It never felt different from the others. 

@Ixthos I appreciate you writing this up, but I don't know. I certainly wouldn't say souls are a necessary way to think about consciousness and the body. I feel like there's going to be plenty of neuroscience we will eventually discover to find mundane explanations for all it all. But that's just me. And as a math person myself, though I know the math references and well know quantum mechanics and the use of imaginary numbers, I don't know if that's relevant or useful in here. Imaginary numbers were always a terrible name, that Descartes chose to basically mock them; they are just as real any other number. In any case, I think you're sort of going down your own metaphysical rabbit hole of things that may or may not be true. Lots of things could be true, of course, but how does one discern which is actually true? It's perfectly fine for you to believe this, of course, but I'm just saying that isn't a persuasive model to me. Though I don't think you intended to persuade, but merely explain how you see things.

I suppose I'd ascribe a lot of these miraculous coincidences are just random happenstance. That seems implausible, but there's tons of random events that happen all the time. Have enough of them, and crazy things are going to happen to someone in the world all the time, even if it's rare for an individual. Like how the probability of you in particular winning the lottery is basically nothing vs. someone winning the lottery (which is quite high). 

I don't mean to turn this into the "Chaos talks about atheism" hour, of course. I'm happy to answer questions of my beliefs if people are interested. If not, I'll stop talking! I feel like I've already said too much. 

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Posted (edited)

36 minutes ago, Chaos said:

@Ixthos I appreciate you writing this up, but I don't know. I certainly wouldn't say souls are a necessary way to think about consciousness and the body. I feel like there's going to be plenty of neuroscience we will eventually discover to find mundane explanations for all it all. But that's just me. And as a math person myself, though I know the math references and well know quantum mechanics and the use of imaginary numbers, I don't know if that's relevant or useful in here. Imaginary numbers were always a terrible name, that Descartes chose to basically mock them; they are just as real any other number. In any case, I think you're sort of going down your own metaphysical rabbit hole of things that may or may not be true. Lots of things could be true, of course, but how does one discern which is actually true? It's perfectly fine for you to believe this, of course, but I'm just saying that isn't a persuasive model to me. Though I don't think you intended to persuade, but merely explain how you see things.

I suppose I'd ascribe a lot of these miraculous coincidences are just random happenstance. That seems implausible, but there's tons of random events that happen all the time. Have enough of them, and crazy things are going to happen to someone in the world all the time, even if it's rare for an individual. Like how the probability of you in particular winning the lottery is basically nothing vs. someone winning the lottery (which is quite high). 

I don't mean to turn this into the "Chaos talks about atheism" hour, of course. I'm happy to answer questions of my beliefs if people are interested. If not, I'll stop talking! I feel like I've already said too much. 

No worries :) as I said the point of that post wasn't to argue that they do exist, but to help explain my worldview and to hopefully make both the rest of the post - and subsequent discussions - make more sense in how relate to how I view things. These sorts of discussions are a marathon, rather than a sprint - like Paul in Athens as recorded in Acts 17, some said, "we will hear you again on this." Though I wouldn't object to us having a "Chaos talks about atheism" hour :) this thread is just as much for atheists as for theists and deists, gnostics and agnostics, pagans and philosophers and pantheists.

For what its worth I believe there are good, verifiable reasons to believe in religion, and Christianity in particular (I often refer to this as the seven domains of evidence, where each domain is a different type and each is a collection of related pieces of evidence, where some are more compelling to some people while others are less, yet collectively work together to make an argument for Christianity), and there are multiple records - and testimonies online - of former atheists, particularly atheist scientists, who recount their journey to faith and what evidence convinced them. My post was mainly about presenting a framework of how, if taken to be true, the spirit world or worlds and the physical world can interact - later discussions can help add to that framework and show how it is supported.

 

Also, yeah, imaginary numbers are a terrible name - as though numbers in general aren't "imaginary" - though I have always liked complex numbers, as while it can sound a little offputting I like how, in the right context, they refer to a "complex" as in a combination of additional interconnected things, being real and imaginary. I suppose "real" should more accurately be called "realisable" as those numbers can "exist," but still I do agree. Of course, you can always argue that numbers are more real than matter (and there actually is a physicist who believes the universe actually is entirely made up of maths: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_universe_hypothesis) but that is an entirely different discussion :D 

Edited by Ixthos
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2 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

My post was mainly about presenting a framework of how, if taken to be true, the spirit world or worlds and the physical world can interact - later discussions can help add to that framework and show how it is supported.

Sure, makes sense.

Well I'm happy to explain whatever. I think people don't need religion or God to be morally good (or, really, that "morally good" even needs to exist or be useful).

Humans are both incredibly special and incredibly mundane. Like, assuming there is no God--and I'd argue an omnipotent God would have obvious evidence literally everywhere, baked into the foundation of the universe, and that just doesn't seem to be the case--how amazing and special are we that the random chances that we developed in this tiny portion of the colossal universe? It's amazing! No one needs to save us; we have to do our work for ourselves, because there isn't going to be a planet B. But at the same time, eh, we are all just specks of dust compared to the grandeur of galaxies. Our sun will expand and destroy our planet eventually, and the universe's expansion will accelerate so much until no particle can ever interact with each other again. So no pressure; that's going to happen no matter what puny mortal decisions we make. What a fascinating dichotomy of awe and humbleness looking at the universe can give us.

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4 hours ago, Chaos said:

Like, assuming there is no God--and I'd argue an omnipotent God would have obvious evidence literally everywhere, baked into the foundation of the universe

To my eyes, God works through natural ways. He knows them far better than we can currently.

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5 hours ago, Chaos said:

Sure, makes sense.

Well I'm happy to explain whatever. I think people don't need religion or God to be morally good (or, really, that "morally good" even needs to exist or be useful).

Humans are both incredibly special and incredibly mundane. Like, assuming there is no God--and I'd argue an omnipotent God would have obvious evidence literally everywhere, baked into the foundation of the universe, and that just doesn't seem to be the case--how amazing and special are we that the random chances that we developed in this tiny portion of the colossal universe? It's amazing! No one needs to save us; we have to do our work for ourselves, because there isn't going to be a planet B. But at the same time, eh, we are all just specks of dust compared to the grandeur of galaxies. Our sun will expand and destroy our planet eventually, and the universe's expansion will accelerate so much until no particle can ever interact with each other again. So no pressure; that's going to happen no matter what puny mortal decisions we make. What a fascinating dichotomy of awe and humbleness looking at the universe can give us.

There is a lot to unpack in that, as these points in and of themselves are worthy of detailed discussion (particularly on the nature of omnipotence, morality, and the point I fully agree on being how mundane yet awesome humans are), but if - for the moment - I could ask for elaboration on one particular point (though I would like to talk back and forth with you on the rest later and in more derail): what sort of evidence would there be if the universe was created vs if it wasn't and is undirected? A big part of analysing a design is also to ask what the intended function is and what constraints are on the design - with regards to this universe, what traits would you expect to see that aren't there if the universe was designed?

 

(Also, side note, but on us being mundane yet awesome, I am reminded of a few things, such as Pratchett's observation of man being where "the falling angel meeting the rising ape," and scripture's own notes on the dichotomy of man and our importance and unimportance, how we are truly liminal beings.)

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2 hours ago, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

To my eyes, God works through natural ways. He knows them far better than we can currently.

Sure, that's certainly possible, but God doesn't need to exist for that.

1 hour ago, Ixthos said:

There is a lot to unpack in that, as these points in and of themselves are worthy of detailed discussion (particularly on the nature of omnipotence, morality, and the point I fully agree on being how mundane yet awesome humans are), but if - for the moment - I could ask for elaboration on one particular point (though I would like to talk back and forth with you on the rest later and in more derail): what sort of evidence would there be if the universe was created vs if it wasn't and is undirected? A big part of analysing a design is also to ask what the intended function is and what constraints are on the design - with regards to this universe, what traits would you expect to see that aren't there if the universe was designed?

I guess my thought is: if God created everything, then that should literally be a mathematical requirement for physics to work. It should be in all sorts of observations. It should be more than me just needing to feel God is real. It should be as obvious as inherent physics facts like gravity. If God was real, He sure likes hiding His majesty and making things with very physical properties, making Him feel unnecessary. I don't know. I want to write a book series on what I think an intelligent designed planet would be and really dig into it, because I don't think it'd look anything like what we have. 

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1 minute ago, Chaos said:

Sure, that's certainly possible, but God doesn't need to exist for that.

I guess my thought is: if God created everything, then that should literally be a mathematical requirement for physics to work. It should be in all sorts of observations. It should be more than me just needing to feel God is real. It should be as obvious as inherent physics facts like gravity. If God was real, He sure likes hiding His majesty and making things with very physical properties, making Him feel unnecessary. I don't know. I want to write a book series on what I think an intelligent designed planet would be and really dig into it, because I don't think it'd look anything like what we have. 

God hiding Himself yet also making Himself manifest is a point repeatedly mentioned in scripture, and actually ties into one of the (as I see it) design goals in creation, and is a topic I would like to get into (seriously, the list of topics I want to cover is growing enormously). Still, I'm afraid I don't see how the universe is now differs from one that was created - I mean, I could listen to a piece of music and say it was clearly designed, but someone else listening could say it is just natural sounds, the rhythm and beat not requiring an agent, etc. And indeed there are lots of things I could point to which I could argue to be signs of design, and which others could say are not, but I don't want to get too far ahead of this right now - I need to focus on getting the Seven Days of Creation post complete before I go too far down any other rabbit hole. Suffice it to say I believe I can make an argument for evidence for God's existence from observed phenomena as well as purely philosophical reasons tied to the logic of origins, but for now I'm going to try to get that first post done first; I'm letting myself get too distracted right now, though I'm glad this sort of discussion is happening :) 

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Feel free to PM me, if you want, when you get a chance (I don't want this to be the Chaos show). But I will say that many people have tried to make the argument, and it generally doesn't feel convincing to me. 

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1 hour ago, Chaos said:

Feel free to PM me, if you want, when you get a chance (I don't want this to be the Chaos show). But I will say that many people have tried to make the argument, and it generally doesn't feel convincing to me. 

Will do :) it probably will only be in a couple of weeks, but I will endeavour to do that. Have a good one!

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Chaos said:

Humans are both incredibly special and incredibly mundane. Like, assuming there is no God--and I'd argue an omnipotent God would have obvious evidence literally everywhere, baked into the foundation of the universe, and that just doesn't seem to be the case--how amazing and special are we that the random chances that we developed in this tiny portion of the colossal universe? It's amazing! No one needs to save us; we have to do our work for ourselves, because there isn't going to be a planet B. But at the same time, eh, we are all just specks of dust compared to the grandeur of galaxies. Our sun will expand and destroy our planet eventually, and the universe's expansion will accelerate so much until no particle can ever interact with each other again. So no pressure; that's going to happen no matter what puny mortal decisions we make. What a fascinating dichotomy of awe and humbleness looking at the universe can give us.

Underline my own.

You say that there would be obvious signs everywhere, but then say that we are complete random chance. The evidence of creation is that that random chance happened. I think the big thing about evolution and other Atheistic beliefs vs creation is that it's basically replacing God with randomness (and sometimes time). To you, putting God in feels like reaching, but to me and many religious people saying randomness is the reason feels reaching. I honestly believe that everything you have randomness doing is just most people's (mostly subconscious, but sometimes otherwise) way of taking God out of the system. I think there is a case to be made that Atheism is just replacing a loving God with an uncaring completely random deity that Atheists choose to not worship.

Look at your own arguments, what do most people belief about what God has done that you wouldn't put down to chance?

Edited by The Unknown Novel
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There are two points I would like to make.

The first regards the discussion which has come up on the question whether humankind has a non-material aspect. I think that we most definitely do, and the basic proof of that lies in the writings of Descartes. It is easiest to explain through an example, let's say the experience of heat. Now, the materialist would say that the experience of heat is only neurons firing in our brain, but this is simply a misunderstanding - the actual experience of heat is by definition not the firing of neurons. It is an actual event this experience - and where does this event take place? The 'place' where it takes place is what we call the mind, or the consciousness, it could be said the self (BTW this what Descartes meant when he said "I think therefore I am" - by think he meant any mental event) - all of these are terms that refer to a non material entity. The same is true of the experience of pain, of hearing a sound, seeing the color red and so on.

I hope that was in some way clear, these things can be difficult to explain in words. It's the kind of thing you need to spend a lot of time meditating on to fully appreciate and understand (at least in my experience).

The second point regards the creation of the world etc. I think one of the most convincing points is the fine tuning of the laws of physics. At the basis of physics lie a few physical constants that if we were to change them even slightly the world as we know it would never have come to be - and we would not have life, not to mention sentient life, as we know it. The physical constants are fine tuned to bring about the existence of these things, and that seems to me like very good proof that said constants are a result of deliberate design.

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1 hour ago, Trizee said:

The second point regards the creation of the world etc. I think one of the most convincing points is the fine tuning of the laws of physics. At the basis of physics lie a few physical constants that if we were to change them even slightly the world as we know it would never have come to be - and we would not have life, not to mention sentient life, as we know it. The physical constants are fine tuned to bring about the existence of these things, and that seems to me like very good proof that said constants are a result of deliberate design.

To support this, think how weird water is.

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9 hours ago, The Unknown Novel said:

You say that there would be obvious signs everywhere, but then say that we are complete random chance. The evidence of creation is that that random chance happened. I think the big thing about evolution and other Atheistic beliefs vs creation is that it's basically replacing God with randomness (and sometimes time). To you, putting God in feels like reaching, but to me and many religious people saying randomness is the reason feels reaching.

So a few things.

Randomness totally exists. It happens all the time and does lead to some weird, unintuitive effects. Quantum mechanics, insofar as we know, actually requires randomness to match observations in the universe. It's baked in!

I perfectly respect the notion that it does seem crazy for randomness to do so much, but I would just argue that it seems even less likely for there to be an all-powerful super being that is infinite and sees everything. One of these sounds so extraordinary that I need truly, truly extraordinary evidence for that. I guess I'd just say, "at least I know randomness and time definitively exists."

Two, evolution isn't an "atheistic belief." There's so so much packed into that line that it's hard to even start. But I wouldn't even call it a belief, much as I wouldn't call gravity a belief. This phrasing makes it seem like you can't be religious and agree with the premises of evolution. That's definitely is not true. Plenty of religious people do! 

9 hours ago, The Unknown Novel said:

I honestly believe that everything you have randomness doing is just most people's (mostly subconscious, but sometimes otherwise) way of taking God out of the system. I think there is a case to be made that Atheism is just replacing a loving God with an uncaring completely random deity that Atheists choose to not worship.

In my opinion, this is a pretty uncharitable point of view at best. I do not think you meant to offend, but I think you fundamentally misunderstand atheism, and it has kind of been bothering me all day. I can only speak for myself and not all atheists, but from my atheist friends, I think my experience is similar.

Atheism is not about God/gods at all. I'm not "choosing" to not worship. I don't even think there is something to worship, so it's not even a choice, really. It's not replacing: it was never there in the first place for me. It was never in the system. It's not a struggle or anything. It's really easy. God never comes up in my thoughts. I don't feel anything divine, much less divine love. 

I may as well as get into my own personal experiences and opinions, in the hopes of trying to explain how my way of seeing things is pretty different. I do not think in terms of sin, so the standard Christianity pitch that everyone is a sinner just fails, because I don't think sin is a useful construct. I don't have spiritual experiences. I don't think I have a soul, and I'm perfectly content with the fact that my existence will cease (and I don't want to exist forever in an afterlife; no good can come from immortality to me). I don't wonder or look for some deeper meaning of life, and I don't feel the need to. The vast majority of events that happen are completely boring. Why did I go get a drink of water right now? I'm thirsty. There doesn't need to be a fancy metaphysical reason or plan for that. I think most events are exactly like that, and humans just ignore those boring ones to remember the important things. It's easy for me to say, yeah, I don't think there needs to be a deep reason why anything occurs. There doesn't need to be a meaning to it. I realize that might bother people, and that's totally fair, but for me, there doesn't need to be a plan for me. This is just not at all how I see the world. Why am I here at my current job in California? Because I wanted better pay than Montana, and I was sick of snow, and I was a good fit for the job. No metaphysics required for me and that's not a thing I think about.

It fundamentally does not bother me that we are on a tiny planet rotating around one star of one hundred billion in our galaxy, out of two trillion galaxies that exist. We're small and unimportant in so many ways. It... almost feels like supreme hubris to think that everything was designed just for us. There doesn't need to be a greater meaning for us. If you are reading this and you think that's a sad, lonely, and meaningless existence, well that may be true, but it doesn't affect me in the slightest.

I don't feel something is missing from me that I need a deity to fill. I don't need a deity to tell me to be nice to people, or feel guilty when I'm not. I can be perfectly happy without religion. Now, I'm not perfectly happy, but I will say, I was quite soured on religion when I was really depressed and suicidal that someone brought me to church (I can't remember why or how I actually got to church; I was firmly agnostic at the time) and the pastor basically made it sound like Jesus would solve all my problems, and my problems are all because I don't believe. Well, I got through that, and it was because of antidepressants and treatment, not any deity. If God helps and solves your problems, I am happy you found something that worked for you!

I see a lot of bad religion does, and that doesn't endear me to it (I know it's bad people and not really a god's fault, but it's still kind of a rough sell.) I have seen many people who follow religion and Christianity and have needed to rebuild themselves from the abuses they received. There are many things I see that certain don't feel like God's love to me. Frankly, it can seem quite judgmental and hateful from the outside. Of course, plenty of religious people and Christians do genuinely aspire to act like Jesus and preach tolerance. Those people get my deepest respect.

If you have become a better person because of God or any religion, I am sincerely happy for you. That's fantastic. I think the best part of religion is if people are like, "yeah, I am a better person because of this." 

God and spirituality is just completely irrelevant to my life. It's not a dimension to myself. I'm not trying to take it away from anyone, and if that's important to you, fantastic! I read these other experiences here and it's very interesting, but profoundly foreign and bizarre to me. It's kind of hard for me to describe how deeply strange this seems to me.

If God did exist and I meet Him when I die, I am perfectly happy to tell Him that I at least believed in absolute verifiable facts of science and mathematics (important note: there is no element of faith as I think most would define it here), and I have not been fooled by false gods from other religions. At least I didn't choose the "wrong" religion. If He sends me to hell for that, then honestly, He doesn't seem worthy of my devotion anyway. Also, I'll ask him why the universe's expansion is accelerating. (It may show you how differently I think that I wouldn't ask for something like the meaning of life, and instead asking this.)

10 hours ago, The Unknown Novel said:

Look at your own arguments, what do most people belief about what God has done that you wouldn't put down to chance?

I don't understand this question. I don't think anything said here can't be explained with some other, separate non-divine rationalization, no. 

9 hours ago, Trizee said:

The second point regards the creation of the world etc. I think one of the most convincing points is the fine tuning of the laws of physics. At the basis of physics lie a few physical constants that if we were to change them even slightly the world as we know it would never have come to be - and we would not have life, not to mention sentient life, as we know it. The physical constants are fine tuned to bring about the existence of these things, and that seems to me like very good proof that said constants are a result of deliberate design.

Maybe this universe, but who's to say that the rules can only be this way? There could be an infinite amount of universes with different physics governing it. Maybe only a small amount of them have life, but that could still be so so many. The fact that the universe exists certainly doesn't need to imply that a god caused its creation. It's possible, sure! No question. I was an agnostic for a long time by this entirely reasonable idea. But I don't know. I can imagine a lot of other ways to look at this that don't require a creator. Plus a creator existing certainly doesn't mean, "please worship this specific deity." 

Anyway, the physics of it is kind of beside the point. I don't seek out or require a greater meaning, and even if I did, I don't think it exists. 

But hey, that's just me. Thanks for reading. I'll probably remove myself from the thread because I don't want this place to turn into a bunch of people trying to debate my atheism. I'm happy to continue if people would like to learn more about me, perhaps, or have a discussion. 

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4 hours ago, Chaos said:

I'm perfectly content with the fact that my existence will cease

Yea, most people aren't, that's probably why they seek some sort of life after death.

4 hours ago, Chaos said:

If God did exist and I meet Him when I die, I am perfectly happy to tell Him that I at least believed in absolute verifiable facts of science and mathematics (important note: there is no element of faith as I think most would define it here), and I have not been fooled by false gods from other religions. At least I didn't choose the "wrong" religion. If He sends me to hell for that, then honestly, He doesn't seem worthy of my devotion anyway. Also, I'll ask him why the universe's expansion is accelerating. (It may show you how differently I think that I wouldn't ask for something like the meaning of life, and instead asking this.)

I do not believe that there is actually what people commonly call "Hell", I think that it is much more complicated.

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

I do not believe that there is actually what people commonly call "Hell", I think that it is much more complicated.

Yeah, I don’t believe that many people will go to hell (other than the most evil of evil and Satan and his angels) and that most will get to live in some form of heaven with differing degrees dependent on their lives and that it will be perfectly fair with chances for everyone to reach the highest degree.

Edited by Rune
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1 minute ago, Rune said:

Yeah, I don’t believe that many people will go to hell (other than the most evil of evil and Satan and his angels) and that most will get to live in some form of heaven with differing degrees dependent on their lives and that it will be perfectly fair with chances for everyone to teach the highest degree.

*reach

 

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My experience may be unusual, but I took a very systematic approach to spirituality as a child. I'd been taught that if I prayed I could receive an answer from God. So I did, and I tried to learn from a Boolean logic perspective, by asking what was "yes" what was "no". From there I tried to discern if anything changed, regardless of how long I waited, and once I decided on what I thought was "yes" or "no", and then tried to apply it to decision making and looked to see if there was a difference. However, talking with a deity when the only two responses that I could recognize were "yes" and "no" is an incredibly inefficient communication method, and I'm sure I misinterpreted things. I suppose this could be seen as confirmation bias, except to me I was receiving direction to do and say things that I myself would have no way of knowing through conventional means. I know exactly how bad I am with interpersonal relationships and understanding people even when I try my best, and when I try to follow directions from deity things go better. I've since concluded that my approach, while it worked for me because I was earnest and really wanted to know, was perhaps a bit demeaning or limiting in the communication I could understand from God.

My life experiences have led me to believe that there is a Deity that can and will communicate with me. In what areas I get direction and the content of the direction leads me to believe specific things about Deity. First that the end goal is not for me to simply go through life with a spiritual "Google" that I can look answers up without having to make my own decisions, but that I personally need to grow and choose to become a better person. Second, that I very rarely get answers that direct me to disregard another person's ability to choose. Third, is that the answers I get seem to have a vested interest that I become someone who is kind and helps others.

Within the context of a spiritual experience, this may show my bias, but I do think that God is an intelligent being, and as such it is a relationship that a person has with God as another intelligent being. In the same way that my teacher will interact with me differently compared to another student, or how my parents communicate with me differently than my siblings; because I am a different person and have different needs, interests, and struggles from my neighbor, God may interact with me differently. To use an analogy with my best friend who I ended up marrying, when I first met her I did not know much about her, why she did what she did, but she seemed nice. Over the course of 15 years, intentionally and deliberately I have learned more about my wife, and now we can communicate whole concepts with a look, a nudge, a pause, or a word when once we had long conversations or interactions that built the foundation of our relationship and ability to communicate (we still have those longer conversations). To me, a spiritual experience, is just that, an experience with Deity. If we don't work on building up a relationship, focusing on Deity and attempting to retain information on how Deity interacts with us specifically, then it's about the same as having an experience with a commuter on a bus that you have had hundreds of interactions with, but never bothered to remember or take special note. Alternately, it's picking up the free sample at the grocery store every week, enjoying the good food but never stopping to find out who prepared it for you.

I recognize that my worldview and the way that I think will color the way I view God's relationship with humanity and I may be waxing too theoretical or philosophical. With that preamble, I think that God is a being powerful enough to create the universe and consider the lives of every person and that God does love humanity and wants us to be happy and have free will to boot. To me, it's not just that God can create worlds, but that God cares about whether or not I get along with my neighbor and if I'm making their life better or miserable. Perhaps this will get some flak, but I think precisely because God is powerful enough to create a universe and has the attention to hear a prayer, God has to work under specific limitations to get this desired effect of happy humans that treat each other well and retain their ability to choose. I'll ask the teachers and parents - can you force a child to be happy, to learn, or to be nice to their peers? Will they continue to do so without your intervention? At times you have power over their whole environment, who they interact with, where they can go, and what they can do. Do displays of your power and authority help that child choose to do things that will make them happier or learn to be a better person or does it alienate them? What happens if you solve all their problems for them? How does the child behave when you leave the room? Those have potentially negative connotations, but there are students that love being able to go and ask the teacher questions and grow from their knowledge, and there are children who really value being able to ask a parent for advice, get help with something, or play a game. I have a 2-year old that occasionally will decide to start banging her head against the wall repeatedly. At this point, I use my superior size to physically restrain her, but at some point I hope to help her decide that slamming her head against the wall is not good for her. My toddler will not be able to gain autonomy, self-confidence, or grow socially if I have to be present constantly so she doesn't bash her head against something. There is a limit to how much I will normally grow and change in my job if my supervisor is constantly in the room looking over my shoulder. To tie back this analogy, any time Deity overtly and directly uses divine power, I think there is an accompanying ramification of The Teacher or The Parent stepping into the room, at least in terms of the relative power and authority between God and man. If you believe the story of Moses and the plagues sent on Egypt, even overt manifestations of divine power may not make a person choose to change their mind, sometimes the opposite occurs and people become more stubborn when faced with displays of power and authority. Because Deity is powerful and knowing, manifestations of power have a possible intimidation factor involved and that can drastically affect how people respond. In essence, I do think that there are very good reasons for Deity to hide or reveal the evidence of their presence based on the relationship of each individual and how they would really respond to varying levels of divine interaction. This is why I think so often religion and "divine aid" comes through what can be viewed as very normal means if not viewed in the context of spirituality. To me, much of religion is about how to be a happier person and avoid the pitfalls either individually or collectively associated with interacting in a system of intelligent beings with physical objects (something that by the very nature of those prerequisites can include change, possessions, interactions, conflict, settling disputes, and more) but a lot of problems come in based on how people use, distribute, or enforce that information, sometimes violating the very principles they are attempting to uphold. It's complicated trying to help someone be happy not just immediately but in the long term and I screw up all the time. I'm sure that there is more to this and other religious viewpoints that I haven't considered and that I am still short sighted, but it's something that I've thought about over the years. I will say that sometimes it feels distinctly weird to write something like this while feeling as if the person I'm writing about is reading over my shoulder.

I should note that I don't think that the religious have a monopoly on truth, goodness, or happiness. I think that truth, goodness, and happiness can be found quite naturally through normal everyday life and experimentation. What I do think is that there is a distinct benefit of going to the Creator of it all, learning from them, and developing a relationship with the kind, good entity I call God. My life experiences have led me to believe that the entity that responds when I pray is worthy of trust and is of sound character, and to me I have had experiences with more overt displays of divine aid that I consider personal proof beyond confirmation bias, though they are personal and not ones that I would share on a public forum. I recognize that others have had quite different life experiences, perhaps ones where if there was a God then it felt as if it was as an absent parent or maybe as a stranger that others talked about. I'm one point of data and I hope to not discredit or discount others experiences by sharing my own.

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On 03/05/2022 at 6:07 PM, Ixthos said:

(Moshe is either the most important prophet or among the greatest with a unique relationship with G-d that other prophets didn't have, but Deuteronomy 18:15 does talk of a new prophet who will done day come and who will be like Moshe),

Well, I could go over all your replies and explain why I still believe in the principals more or less how I phrased them, but that would just get too much. Perhaps I'll do it one day, but right now I want to talk about this specific one.

I... Actually planned on commenting on it two and a half weeks ago, when the portion of the Torah (Pentateuch) we read in Israel ended with the points about how Moshe differs from the othe prophets, but I didn't find the time until now. Well, I probably could, but it wasn't very comfortable and... You know what? I can't really explain, so I'll go on to explain my point.

In Numbers 12:6-8 G-d goes over all the points of how Moshe is different from other prophets: G-d appears to all prophets in visions and dreams, unlike Moshe, who can speak to G-d "face to face", clearly and without riddles, while awake. He can even see "the form of G-d", though as I mentioned, we believe G-d has no physical form. In addition, in the end of Deutronomy (34:10) it was said that never since then has risen a prophet like Moshe, that G-d spoke to sace to face. But if so, what does the verse in Deutronomy 18:15 mean? the one about a prophet who would be "like [Moshe]"?

Well, it's not much of a satisfying answer, but the whole "like Moshe" part is not interpreted as exactly like him. Rashi, for example, says that the prophet will be like Moshe in that he'll be from among the Israelites, and he will come to take his position - the way Rashi phrases it, I'm inclined to think he interprets it to mean Yehoshua/Joshua, Moshe's successor. It can mean a handful of other things that were in Moshe and every prophet requires, even though Moshe was different. This is a basic belief because it leads to the point that whenever anything is pitted against what Moshe says in the Torah - we follow the Torah. Not even a prophet can tell us to stop doing so permanently, as his connection to G-d isn't as straight and clear as Moshe's. On another note, it is also believed that since the Torah was given to us, what the Jewish court decides is the true interpretation of the Torah, unless it goes against the Torah itself, or against a previous court decision. Not the best way to phrase all that, but hopefully you understood. Court isn't the exact right term here, but I think I'll leave it like that for now.

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Hi! I'm a Christian. I love to argue, but have very little experience with people who believe radically different things from me, so I like that this thread exists. Stop me if I'm being offensive or overly argumentative... I'm a very curious person, so, here goes.

@Trutharchivist, what would you expect the coming of the Messiah to look like, based on what Christians call the Old Testament?

@Chaos, what do you believe about morality? Is it subjective or objective? How would you explain why Hitler was wrong?

@EmulatonStromenkiin

On 5/25/2022 at 6:00 AM, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

I do not believe that there is actually what people commonly call "Hell", I think that it is much more complicated.

I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on that. Ditto @Rune

 

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6 hours ago, Luckspren said:

Hi! I'm a Christian. I love to argue, but have very little experience with people who believe radically different things from me, so I like that this thread exists. Stop me if I'm being offensive or overly argumentative... I'm a very curious person, so, here goes.

@Trutharchivist, what would you expect the coming of the Messiah to look like, based on what Christians call the Old Testament?

@Chaos, what do you believe about morality? Is it subjective or objective? How would you explain why Hitler was wrong?

@EmulatonStromenkiin

I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on that. Ditto @Rune

 

@Luckspren may I join in. 

Your question to @Trutharchivist is a difficult one as there are different trains of thought on this particular topic among tTalmudes of the talmud and medieval sages. Maimonides Rav Moshe ben Maimon went into this topic in depth. In general, he wrote that the world as we know it will not truly change reality would remain as it is. The messiah will arise and restore the house of David to Israel and rebuild the temple. He will also usher in an era where wars will no longer be fought.

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