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mfbukowski

The Pragmatic, Secular Atonement

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20 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Yes!  ;)  But it's not new perhaps- it is the idea of "forgiven after all we can do" - but really forgiven.  Here Hitchens says that we cannot give up the responsibility- and what I am saying is that Christ forgives that.  So in a sense yes you can never correct every bad thing you have ever done, but Christ forgives that IF you have.

You give your honest best and he makes up the rest so we can feel fully forgiven.  In Hitchens view we can never be forgiven of responsibility and that is where I would disagree.  Part of the plan was giving us choice- and we are not responsible for the decision to give us choice.  According to our symbolic stories, it was the plan of Satan to take away our choice. What was taken away - was the absolution of responsibility because we are by our nature able to choose. 

We had no choice to be able to choose or not choose so ultimately we do not have responsibility for that decision.  It was virtually guaranteed that we would sin, not absolutely, but Jesus was the only one who did not sin.

So in the atonement we are forgiven only for all we CAN do- not the responsibility to repent for what we cannot repent for.   That is why murder is the most grievous sin- one cannot repent for it.

It is not like "responsibility" is great cosmic cloud out in the world- it is what we ascribe to people performing acts.  It is the concept of justice.

Hitchens seems to reify "responsibility" as an entity out there that exists on its own, which is not the case.

When we do all we can do, the atonement takes up the rest- but we must do our part.

 

I think LDS scriptures enhance the christian views of atonement by adding more experiential weight to Christ's experience.  In a sense according to Wachowski's Neo in the Matrix, latter-day Saints believe Jesus experienced two levels of experiential cruelty, first in the garden in which the universe plugged a quantum fiber optic bundle into Christ's brain and dumped all feelings, pain, remorse, and loneliness related to iniquity, transgression, infirmities, sicknesses into our Father's child so that he could express a divine love through grace and extend infinite empathy and compassion to us.  Then the second level of cruelty was transitioning from a god-like homeostasis to fully human in which he experienced great physical pain, open surgery without anesthesia, chemotherapy, the feeling of being burned alive etc and then the complete withdrawal of his good friend in the godhead fellowship (the Holy Spirit).  

"having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice." Mosiah15:9

"11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
ALma 7:12

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Go back and look at Spammer's questions- I said Yes to the first question which was NOT like your question and NO to the second question which was, essentially, the same as yours.

The question from Spammer that you answered YES to made it sound like you think an eventual belief in an atonement theology is a necessary part of the equation.  When you answered NO to his second question, it sounds like you don't agree with a practical approach to living a good life that removes appeals to atonement theology.  So, I'm confused because your reply to me said you thought my approaches were fine, and yet, my approaches are very similar to Spammer's question #2 that you said NO to.  I'm just confused here.  

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2 hours ago, Spammer said:

Why should I pray about Jesus? If I can acquire spiritual atonement through my own efforts alone, why do I need Jesus? I ask that because I think your analogy fails for people who believe they can make amends and experience the benefits of atonement through their own efforts alone. Lots of people are like that. Maybe most these days. You asked for opinions and that’s how I see it. 

Then this would not be for you. Simple as that. I had spiritual experiences.  I knew it was real.

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33 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Then this would not be for you. Simple as that. I had spiritual experiences.  I knew it was real.

Ok, so you’re hoping your analogy appeals to secularists who are remorseful, do all they can do to make amends, have satisfied the law courts and their victims that amends truly have been made, but still don’t feel forgiven?  Is that who you think Jesus’s atonement might appeal to? Secularists who did all they can do, and think doing their best is good enough,  likely won’t see a need for Jesus.

I guess I’m still not seeing which secularists you think would find value in your law court analogy. 

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16 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Then this would not be for you. Simple as that. I had spiritual experiences.  I knew it was real.

But neither Spammer or myself are suggesting that you have to change how atonement theology works for you personally.  In your OP, you asked whether your approach would appeal to secular individuals, and I'm trying to give you feedback on how I don't think it works well and suggest to you what I think might work better.  This is independent of what spiritual experiences you've had personally, this is a question about what might work for others.  

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15 hours ago, Spammer said:

Ok, so you’re hoping your analogy appeals to secularists who are remorseful, do all they can do to make amends, have satisfied the law courts and their victims that amends truly have been made, but still don’t feel forgiven?  Is that who you think Jesus’s atonement might appeal to? Secularists who did all they can do, and think doing their best is good enough,  likely won’t see a need for Jesus.

I guess I’m still not seeing which secularists you think would find value in your law court analogy. 

I'm also trying to understand what exactly he is saying as well.  Perhaps there is a subset of secular individuals who experience strong feelings of guilt for how they have lived and who despite not having a belief in God, might be open to that belief at the prospect that their overwhelming sense of guilt could be satisfied. 

It sounds to me like MFB is not interested in converting happy secular people who might be open to some of the positive benefits of religion, but aren't persuaded by atonement theology or other supernatural components of religion.   

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm also trying to understand what exactly he is saying as well.  Perhaps there is a subset of secular individuals who experience strong feelings of guilt for how they have lived and who despite not having a belief in God, might be open to that belief at the prospect that their overwhelming sense of guilt could be satisfied. 

It sounds to me like MFB is not interested in converting happy secular people who might be open to some of the positive benefits of religion, but aren't persuaded by atonement theology or other supernatural components of religion.   

Yeah, MFB’s goal to find ways to share the pragmatic benefits of religion is great, but I don’t think many secularists would find the law court analogy compelling. A savior isn’t required: pay your debts (do the time) and you’re free. You can save yourself through your own efforts.

The Christian religion says you can’t save yourself. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be free from the effects of spiritual and physical death without Jesus’s intervention. 

The law court analogy only works if you receive a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Nothing you do can free you. You need to be broken out of prison by a friend.

I suppose only guilt-ridden secularists would find the law court analogy useful - those who did the time and were freed, but still feel they haven’t fully paid the price. People who wish they could make amends but their victims are no longer alive? Who else would feel the need for a savior to make everything right?

 

 

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Why do we see "serve your time, don't do it again, and you're forgiven" as "just"?

Where did that come from? 

Clue: see Hitchens on conscience thread.

Is God a projection of what we call good, or is goodness a projection of God?

How would we know?

Edited by mfbukowski

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6 minutes ago, Spammer said:

Yeah, MFB’s goal to find ways to share the pragmatic benefits of religion is great, but I don’t think many secularists would find the law court analogy compelling. A savior isn’t required: pay your debts (do the time) and you’re free. You can save yourself through your own efforts.

The Christian religion says you can’t save yourself. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be free from the effects of spiritual and physical death without Jesus’s intervention. 

The law court analogy only works if you receive a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Nothing you do can free you. You need to be broken out of prison by a friend.

I suppose only guilt-ridden secularists would find the law court analogy useful - those who did the time and were freed, but still feel they haven’t fully paid the price. People who wish they could make amends but their victims are no longer alive? Who else would feel the need for a savior to make everything right?

Yes, good comments, I agree.  Also, if there is this segment of guilt ridden secularists, I even question whether they could be effectively persuaded by an atonement theology.  If they don't believe in God and don't have supernatural thinking, then it might also be very hard to get them to believe those things for the prospect of alleviating their guilt.  I can see these guilt ridden secular types more effectively coping with their guilt through other means, like counseling and treatment for depression or other mental illness.  Since those avenues don't require a complete reorientation about the nature of the universe.  

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Why do we see "serve your time, don't do it again, and you're forgiven" as "just"?

Where did that come from? 

Clue: see Hitchens on conscience thread.

Is God a projection of what we call good, or is goodness a projection of God?

How would we know?

I think I see where you’re going. The law court analogy is a precursor to asking where the sense of justice, or morality more broadly, comes from?  If so, that was CS Lewis’s approach in Mere Christianity. That book was one of the catalysts in my conversion away from an atheistic secularist mindset.

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15 minutes ago, Spammer said:

I think I see where you’re going. The law court analogy is a precursor to asking where the sense of justice, or morality more broadly, comes from?  If so, that was CS Lewis’s approach in Mere Christianity. That book was one of the catalysts in my conversion away from an atheistic secularist mindset.

Yup.

Read this. In it he asks "What really happened? " when his answer  Is no better an explanation than "God forgave you."

 There is no evidence for either answer.

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2011/04/21/ask-richard-how-do-atheists-absolve-themselves-of-guilt/

I think Both Hitchens and this guy are unwittingly establishing the conscience as a kind of mini god, and not even aware that they take their answers on faith

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6 hours ago, Spammer said:

I think I see where you’re going. The law court analogy is a precursor to asking where the sense of justice, or morality more broadly, comes from?  If so, that was CS Lewis’s approach in Mere Christianity. That book was one of the catalysts in my conversion away from an atheistic secularist mindset.

 Yes sometimes they say it's evolution. 

Just as non falsifiable as "it was God." 

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10 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Yes, good comments, I agree.  Also, if there is this segment of guilt ridden secularists, I even question whether they could be effectively persuaded by an atonement theology.  If they don't believe in God and don't have supernatural thinking, then it might also be very hard to get them to believe those things for the prospect of alleviating their guilt.  I can see these guilt ridden secular types more effectively coping with their guilt through other means, like counseling and treatment for depression or other mental illness.  Since those avenues don't require a complete reorientation about the nature of the universe.  

LDS beliefs are not supernatural. The worst one might call them is science fiction. 

The views are more "future science" than anything else.  Bring a television to the 8th century and they would  call it witchcraft.

Was Joseph's vision a hologram? 

How do we know it was not?

 That is the difference between transcendent and immanent.

 An immanent God could use technology to produce such a vision, theoretically.

 That is the whole point of Mormon Transhumanism

 Far fetched? There are whole lot of very smart people who believe it.

 There is no logical reason Mormons should believe in the supernatural.

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11 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

LDS beliefs are not supernatural. The worst one might call them is science fiction. 

The views are more "future science" than anything else.  Bring a television to the 8th century and they would  call it witchcraft.

Was Joseph's vision a hologram? 

How do we know it was not?

 That is the difference between transcendent and immanent.

 An immanent God could use technology to produce such a vision, theoretically.

 That is the whole point of Mormon Transhumanism

 Far fetched? There are whole lot of very smart people who believe it.

 There is no logical reason Mormons should believe in the supernatural.

 All you say here necessarily follows from the premise that nothing immaterial exists. 

Personally, I find it impossible to conceive of worshipping a being measured on the same scale that I’m on, however many degrees further up the scale this being is. No matter how advanced, we’re still only talking about another human being. I can respect and be in awe of such a being, ask it for favors, but adore and worship, long to be in its presence and require nothing more because doing so brings ineffable joy and peace? No. The LDS Heavenly Father is a kind of perfectly moral Zeus in such a system.

I guess it’s the ontological gap that counts for me. I can’t conceive of worshipping a being that I can become exactly like. I can become a moral Zeus in my own right. If I can become that, then me and God are in principle equals. Or so it seems to me.

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On 5/17/2019 at 7:30 AM, hope_for_things said:

But neither Spammer or myself are suggesting that you have to change how atonement theology works for you personally.  In your OP, you asked whether your approach would appeal to secular individuals, and I'm trying to give you feedback on how I don't think it works well and suggest to you what I think might work better.  This is independent of what spiritual experiences you've had personally, this is a question about what might work for others.  

Yes the social portion of the gospel works.  In more than one sense.  It IS the work of the Lord! ;)

But the motivation is not there unless there is spirit behind it.  Why are what you call "secular people" motivated by when they worry about compassion and human rights?

Where does that come from?  Why don't we just rid ourselves of these wretched inferior poor people ?  That was the goal of wave after wave of genocidal maniacs.  Why do we rebel at the thought?  Where is the difference between our tribe and "those people"? 

 We have to make it up while they are using the same logic to make up reasons to hate us.

On the other hand what is within people that makes them want to help the poor, save the planet, make this world a "better" place?

What is that little voice within us that tells us when we have been a jerk?  (I hear it often) ;)  Where is the sense that we SHOULD ?

What is the difference between a preacher named Jesus saying that the kingdom of heaven is within and a preacher named Christopher Hitchins saying we should follow our "Conscience" or the "daemon" within?

Or the atheist who says "what you are really doing is forgiving yourself" and therefore we need no "God"?

Where is the practical pragmatic difference between doing your time and then society forgives you, or where is the "self" that lets you forgive your "self" for non-believers, or a God who dwells within forgiving your sins by grace and repentance and doing "all you can do"?

Where is the difference between our meditation on Christ forgiving our sins - verified by the voice within- or the idea that we are "forgiving ourselves" by the voice within ?  Where is the practical phenomenological / pragmatic difference?  Who can say it "feels different" and quantify that "difference"?   I agree it IS different, but the difference escapes language.

In all cases we go within ourselves and find SOMETHING- something deep within ourselves that causes/helps us to do these things.   All of us.  Believers, non-believers, people who call themselves atheists and people who call themselves Christians.

What IS that ineffable unspeakable force which is within all of us, which we reduce to linguistic mumbo-jumbo about being "ourselves" or our "conscience" or even the "light of Christ"?

I say it's all the same for everyone, and we name it what we have constructed it to be named, culturally

Hutchins calls it "conscience"  our church calls it the "Light of Christ" and others call it "our self",  or the "Hoy Ghost" but all are deep within us and that thing- whatever we name it in our human frailties- THAT is what needs to direct our lives in every decision we make

Heaven is within.  Language is ambiguous and causes tribal warfare, us vs them.

What we all need is looking a little less on tribes and words and a lot more looking at the heart.

We have to see all humanity as we see our family, or we are all done for.  And the way we do that, in my humble opinion is to stop looking at slogans and linguistic confusions and start looking at people's hearts.

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1 hour ago, Spammer said:

 All you say here necessarily follows from the premise that nothing immaterial exists. 

Personally, I find it impossible to conceive of worshipping a being measured on the same scale that I’m on, however many degrees further up the scale this being is. No matter how advanced, we’re still only talking about another human being. I can respect and be in awe of such a being, ask it for favors, but adore and worship, long to be in its presence and require nothing more because doing so brings ineffable joy and peace? No. The LDS Heavenly Father is a kind of perfectly moral Zeus in such a system.

I guess it’s the ontological gap that counts for me. I can’t conceive of worshipping a being that I can become exactly like. I can become a moral Zeus in my own right. If I can become that, then me and God are in principle equals. Or so it seems to me.

Well no, we don't say there is an end to progression, which is what would have to happen if we were ever to "catch up" to Heavenly Father.  "AS GOD IS we may become"- but we cannot ever be AS He is - WHEN we get as far as He IS now.   Or we can think about it in an practical human way- you can never be as old as your father!! Yes you can become as old as your father is NOW but he will still be older than you when you reach his present age.

Of course this all imposes earthly linguistic principles which makes it impossible to communicate.  Godly beings do not get old they just get BETTER ;)

He is countless eons ahead of us in progression if you even want to put the concept in a time sense.  But time is an earth life problem I think because we have so little of it, we count every second.

But is Jesus then like Zeus?  Is his immortal body now limited in some way because he has it?

This was one of my big problems with Catholic/Orthodox theology.  Jesus had to become man and retained his full divinity, but we cannot be divine because we are humans?  Is Jesus NOT fully God AND Fully man?? 

We just apply that same principle to Heavenly Father - and Mother for that matter.

In my opinion, this is a huge contradiction for Catholics 

I have discussed it with several Catholic priests and none could answer that question.  Maybe you have a resolution.

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48 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Well no, we don't say there is an end to progression, which is what would have to happen if we were ever to "catch up" to Heavenly Father.  "AS GOD IS we may become"- but we cannot ever be AS He is - WHEN we get as far as He IS now.   Or we can think about it in an practical human way- you can never be as old as your father!! Yes you can become as old as your father is NOW but he will still be older than you when you reach his present age.

Of course this all imposes earthly linguistic principles which makes it impossible to communicate.  Godly beings do not get old they just get BETTER ;)

He is countless eons ahead of us in progression if you even want to put the concept in a time sense.  But time is an earth life problem I think because we have so little of it, we count every second.

But is Jesus then like Zeus?  Is his immortal body now limited in some way because he has it?

This was one of my big problems with Catholic/Orthodox theology.  Jesus had to become man and retained his full divinity, but we cannot be divine because we are humans?  Is Jesus NOT fully God AND Fully man?? 

We just apply that same principle to Heavenly Father - and Mother for that matter.

In my opinion, this is a huge contradiction for Catholics 

I have discussed it with several Catholic priests and none could answer that question.  Maybe you have a resolution.

A resolution is only possible if we begin from the same definition of the divine and definitions are in the eye of the beholder. One man’s contradiction is another’s perfect sense. Which one is ‘true’ or ‘truer’ cannot be proved.

My definition works for me, which is why to me the LDS deity is a kind of Zeus.  He has divine attributes but is not divine. By my definition, divinity is a nature, has no limits, cannot be acquired, and can unite with the limited without it’s own nature being changed.

It’s all in the definition. It’s only contradictory if you adopt a different definition, the truth of which is equally unprovable, by first assuming something else that’s unprovable - nothing immaterial exists (only the material exists, therefore God is material and limited). The converse is also unprovable. Where you begin determines where you end up.

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9 minutes ago, Spammer said:

A resolution is only possible if we begin from the same definition of the divine and definitions are in the eye of the beholder. One man’s contradiction is another’s perfect sense. Which one is ‘true’ or ‘truer’ cannot be proved. My definition works for me, which is why to me the LDS deity is a kind of Zeus.  He has divine attributes but is not divine. By my definition, divinity is a nature and cannot be acquired.

Hence, why orthodoxy rejected any usual sense of the begotten nature of the Son. He cannot be begotten as the Son, because then before that He wouldn't be divine.... just sayin. This is why orthodoxy will fall. 

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22 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Hence, why orthodoxy rejected any usual sense of the begotten nature of the Son. He cannot be begotten as the Son, because then before that He wouldn't be divine.... 

That’s exactly right. The Son is eternally begotten. Not begotten in time. More definitions.

22 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

This is why orthodoxy will fall. 

Maybe, maybe not.  Both are also unprovable assumptions. Time will tell; we’ll only know in hindsight. 1900+ years and counting.

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1 hour ago, Spammer said:

A resolution is only possible if we begin from the same definition of the divine and definitions are in the eye of the beholder. One man’s contradiction is another’s perfect sense. Which one is ‘true’ or ‘truer’ cannot be proved.

My definition works for me, which is why to me the LDS deity is a kind of Zeus.  He has divine attributes but is not divine. By my definition, divinity is a nature, has no limits, cannot be acquired, and can unite with the limited without it’s own nature being changed.

It’s all in the definition. It’s only contradictory if you adopt a different definition, the truth of which is equally unprovable, by first assuming something else that’s unprovable - nothing immaterial exists (only the material exists, therefore God is material and limited). The converse is also unprovable. Where you begin determines where you end up.

Brilliant and I think we are on the same track Bro!

“Facts” are what we put into language and can agree upon, or disagree upon but TRUTH is what we all agree upon. 

It comes from our hearts and what we argue about when we try to put it into words

Facts are the interpretations of all the truths we already know- Quasi Nietzsche 

Facts usually get in the way of truth.  ;)

My buddy, Quasi-Nietzsche ;) said the god of facts is dead, which was right,  but didnt say anything about the God of Truth, the Way and the Life. 

I think he did not know that God. 

He was stuck in the God of Facts

I think most agnostics and atheists are as well and every apologetic discussion from every faith  ;)

We all are protecting our tribe- thanks @Hamba Tuhan for that point! 

Thanks also to my buddy the SP who said to me once- "They confuse facts with the Truth" which at first put me into a philosophical quandary until about 15 minutes ago.  Now I know exactly what he meant.

And that right there is the solution to all apologetics, the BOM, the BOA, and all religious "mysteries"

We confuse the facts for the Truths.  How can the Eucharist be the God of Abraham Issac and Jacob?   That fact is troubling until you realize that the Truth behind it is in a tribal language I do not speak.  

And the God of Progression is in the tribal language you do not speak.  ;)

But both are TRUE in their respective languages.

What is needed is a true and living language capable of changing words and receiving more Truth.   Know where I  can find such a church?  ;)  ;)

One that makes mistakes and then fixes them.  ;)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Hence, why orthodoxy rejected any usual sense of the begotten nature of the Son. He cannot be begotten as the Son, because then before that He wouldn't be divine.... just sayin. This is why orthodoxy will fall. 

Excellent proof of words/facts confusing Truth, on both sides of this debate.  

"Begotten" is a word, but HE is LOGOS itself.

Where did John get that word Logos?

https://www.iep.utm.edu/heraclit/

Quote

 

Heraclitus (fl. c. 500 B.C.E.)

A Greek philosopher of the late 6th century BCE, Heraclitus criticizes his predecessors and contemporaries for their failure to see the unity in experience. He claims to announce an everlasting Word (Logos) according to which all things are one, in some sense. Opposites are necessary for life, but they are unified in a system of balanced exchanges. The world itself consists of a law-like interchange of elements, symbolized by fire. Thus the world is not to be identified with any particular substance, but rather with an ongoing process governed by a law of change. The underlying law of nature also manifests itself as a moral law for human beings. Heraclitus is the first Western philosopher to go beyond physical theory in search of metaphysical foundations and moral applications.

 

If Heraclitus was easier to understand, we would never have had the dualism that started with Plato, went on to Aristotle, then Descartes, and then was dissolved by the Pragmatists and others finally in the 20th century.

We need to get back to LOGOS, the logic and God of progression through "proving contraries" and sticking to real experience and not linguistic riddles.  And religious experience is just as "real experience" as any other.

This whole inner/outer thing is the problem.  The kingdom is within you and goes on without you, as John Lennon might say.  ;)

See also this about the origin of the Greek idea of Logos which influenced John's Greek

https://modernstoicism.com/heraclitus-and-the-birth-of-the-logos/

 

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11 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Yes the social portion of the gospel works.  In more than one sense.  It IS the work of the Lord! ;)

But the motivation is not there unless there is spirit behind it.  Why are what you call "secular people" motivated by when they worry about compassion and human rights?

Where does that come from?  Why don't we just rid ourselves of these wretched inferior poor people ?  That was the goal of wave after wave of genocidal maniacs.  Why do we rebel at the thought?  Where is the difference between our tribe and "those people"? 

 We have to make it up while they are using the same logic to make up reasons to hate us.

On the other hand what is within people that makes them want to help the poor, save the planet, make this world a "better" place?

What is that little voice within us that tells us when we have been a jerk?  (I hear it often) ;)  Where is the sense that we SHOULD ?

What is the difference between a preacher named Jesus saying that the kingdom of heaven is within and a preacher named Christopher Hitchins saying we should follow our "Conscience" or the "daemon" within?

Or the atheist who says "what you are really doing is forgiving yourself" and therefore we need no "God"?

Where is the practical pragmatic difference between doing your time and then society forgives you, or where is the "self" that lets you forgive your "self" for non-believers, or a God who dwells within forgiving your sins by grace and repentance and doing "all you can do"?

Where is the difference between our meditation on Christ forgiving our sins - verified by the voice within- or the idea that we are "forgiving ourselves" by the voice within ?  Where is the practical phenomenological / pragmatic difference?  Who can say it "feels different" and quantify that "difference"?   I agree it IS different, but the difference escapes language.

In all cases we go within ourselves and find SOMETHING- something deep within ourselves that causes/helps us to do these things.   All of us.  Believers, non-believers, people who call themselves atheists and people who call themselves Christians.

What IS that ineffable unspeakable force which is within all of us, which we reduce to linguistic mumbo-jumbo about being "ourselves" or our "conscience" or even the "light of Christ"?

I say it's all the same for everyone, and we name it what we have constructed it to be named, culturally

Hutchins calls it "conscience"  our church calls it the "Light of Christ" and others call it "our self",  or the "Hoy Ghost" but all are deep within us and that thing- whatever we name it in our human frailties- THAT is what needs to direct our lives in every decision we make

Heaven is within.  Language is ambiguous and causes tribal warfare, us vs them.

What we all need is looking a little less on tribes and words and a lot more looking at the heart.

We have to see all humanity as we see our family, or we are all done for.  And the way we do that, in my humble opinion is to stop looking at slogans and linguistic confusions and start looking at people's hearts.

This is an all time favorite for me of your posts.  I’m essentially an agnostic secular humanist Mormon and I’m actively attending and sharing my experiences as authenticity as I can, but also recognizing that I need to describe my experiences to some extent in language that believers can also find value with.  

I’m also a believer in the sense that I have certain constructs that I feel are correct even though I never can have 100% certainty, so I also exercise faith in authorities that I believe have a stronger grasp of things than I do.  There really are a lot of things in common between secular people and religious people in general.  I too am fearful of tribal differences, and I find myself often in between categories and trying to build a bridge between differences and get people to look at things a little differently.  I kind of think that is part of my calling in this life.  

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I too am fearful of tribal differences, and I find myself often in between categories and trying to build a bridge between differences and get people to look at things a little differently.  I kind of think that is part of my calling in this life.  

You and me both!  ;)

 

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On 5/18/2019 at 10:56 AM, Spammer said:

My definition works for me, which is why to me the LDS deity is a kind of Zeus.  He has divine attributes but is not divine. By my definition, divinity is a nature, has no limits, cannot be acquired, and can unite with the limited without it’s own nature being changed.

But, doesn't your definition  put a limit on God's nature in that it lacks the capacity to be acquired? 

Bringing this back to the topic of the thread, doesn't your definition limit God's atonement in that he can't entirely make man at one with him even as he is at one with the Father?

Thanks, -Wade Engund-

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8 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

But, doesn't your definition  put a limit on God's nature in that it lacks the capacity to be acquired

Everything depends on the God you posit, the definition you use.

In my spiritual tradition, by definition, God just is.  "I Am." There is God and then there is everything else in existence that isn't God.  God is uncreated and everything that isn’t God (matter, time, space) is created out of nothing. Only God is uncreated and there can only be one God without God ceasing to be God. That is non-negotiable without changing the definition.

Thus, asking whether God’s nature can be acquired is like asking whether God can make square circles; a rock too big for Him to lift; will to destroy his own works of justice (Alma 42:22); or make something created (human beings) to be uncreated (God); something can’t be simultaneously created and uncreated.  All of these are logical impossibilities.  

God can’t do the logically impossible; nonsense is still nonsense, even if we speak it about God. That’s the only sense in which it can be said that God is ‘limited.’

8 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

Bringing this back to the topic of the thread, doesn't your definition limit God's atonement in that he can't entirely make man at one with him even as he is at one with the Father?

It limits God's atonement in the sense described above: God can't do the logically impossible.  Jesus is one with the Father because Father and Son, along with the Holy Spirit, share the one uncreated divine nature.  We can never be what Jesus is: the uncreated assuming human flesh. Jesus = God.  We are creatures. We are joined to God, we don't become God.  Divinized human  God. Through the Incarnation of Christ, human beings can be made perfectly and entirely at one with God in the manner proper to creatures - by partaking in the divine nature through the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4). All things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26) - except the logically impossible. We can partake of the divine nature, but we remain created beings.  We will acquire divine attributes but will not be divine like Jesus is divine. We will be lower-case ‘gods,’ not God. God cannot make human beings to be what He Himself is: uncreated. See above. 

Edited by Spammer

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