Saturday, August 27, 2016

Are You Able to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn? Do You Need All The Answers?







45 comments:

ED said...

Answers that can't be questioned, that pretty much describes religion. Religion puts us in a neatly packaged box. Those who think outside the box are rejected or condemned.

DennisCDiehl said...
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DennisCDiehl said...


"Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion,follow humbly to wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads you, or you will learn nothing."
Thomas Huxley

It is difficult and mostly impossible for most to come anywhere near this life skill yet all believe that's exactly what they do with everything they come to believe because they wouldn't believe it if they didn't think this is what they do, but they don't really.

The search and wonder of it all as the facts unfold over time should be the stuff of life but it is very threatening and the stuff of war when established and never again to be examined beliefs are threatened. Beliefs are not the truth of any matter. They are just current beliefs held for a plethora of reasons most of which have little or nothing to do with wanting to actually know the who, what, where, when , why and how's of life on this planet and in this universe. No one ever said, "I know I'm in the false church," or "My beliefs are silly I know but I like them." Well, almost no one.

The toughest position I know of is to be in a position where one claims to know the absolute truths of life, such as religion and ministry, and find oneself, through study and maturing believing what you know isn't so. Be lucky enough to be leading a progressive and open minded group. Keep it to yourself and grieve poor choices you had no other information at the time to do otherwise. Or get ready for all hell to break loose and your life to change.

Sitting down before the facts can often provokes to uncritical thinkers, "well, what do you mean facts?" But all discord springs from this tenacious hold on one's unexamined or psychologically necessary beliefs. In my experience...

Great quotes!

Being a little child of heart in this case will get you through.

Anonymous said...

It sounds all modern and progressive when it comes from Alvin Toffler, but this attitude can also be misused by ACOG leaders trying to push "new truth" on their followers.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Please don't drag American politics into the arena

Anonymous said...
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Black Ops Mikey said...

The absolute truth is that Armstrongists reject science making them susceptible to every con man that comes along:

If you don't have the tools to determine what is the truth, you will be left with superstition and magical thinking without any protection from utterly preposterous ideas that 'sound good' on the surface but are delusional.

Those who reject science have no idea how open they are to abuse and damage, and, in fact, believe that they have knowledge superior to those who have professional skills and abilities that could help them, if only they didn't reject the truth.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." —Gene Roddenberry

"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits." —Dan Barker

"All religions have been made by men...Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet." —Napoleon Bonaparte

"If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another." —Epicurus

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
" —Epicurus

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit attrocities." —Voltaire

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfullly as when they do it from a religious conviction." —Blaise Pascale

"The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites." —Thomas Jefferson

"If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?" —Percy Bysshe Shelley

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." —Richard Dawkins

"God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it." —Carl Sagan

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." —Susan B. Anthony

"Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable." —Ambrose Bierce

"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." —Robert Heinlein

DennisCDiehl said...

BOM....excellent!

Gerald Bronkar said...

Speaking of unlearning and relearning, is there anyone on this site (other than Trading Guy) who can read Matthew 24:29-34, and Mark 13:24-30 and tell me Jesus was not a false prophet??

These are not insignificant passages, but when I read them while a member of WWCG, my brain was blurred and not in focus.

I have nothing against Jesus. I don't know if he ever existed. Many bible scholars (which I am not) feel he was invented by the gospel authors and Paul. Who knows?

As usual, my point is that the bible is full of errors, and not meant for people living in the 21st century--even though I recognize that it does have some good advice and kind sayings in various passages. I have read the whole thing, and I feel much of it is awful--but as always, "I could be wrong".

Anonymous said...

Richard P. Feynmann, one of the finest humans to have lived!
The only fact that I need to know, is that there will always be more.

DBP

Black Ops Mikey said...

"I have nothing against Jesus. I don't know if he ever existed. Many bible scholars (which I am not) feel he was invented by the gospel authors and Paul. Who knows?"

Gerald, exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. Historical records of that time are significantly lacking in any mention of Jesus and the mention of him in Josephus seems to be spurious.

Moreover, the gospels were forged. The authors who claim to be the ones who wrote them -- what with their names on the books -- simply aren't. In fact, if we look in Luke 1, we see, " Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus...": The thing is that those wealthy enough to do so would commission someone to write books covering the topic of Jesus and apparently, Theophilus was wealthy enough. With all the lore and myths floating about, a clever writer could put stuff together and 'in order' even if it were made up.

Many of the epistles were forged and it is thought that at least 6 of Paul's epistles were. Anyway, Paul seems to be the very first writer on the topic, several decades after these things were to have occurred. As Dennis Diehl has pointed out, Paul didn't seem to understand anything about the virgin birth. No, a couple more decades roll by and when the gospels were written, then certain salient features that Paul missed were added.

Most of this is irrelevant anyway, because the Catholics (or the precursors thereof) were charged by the emperor to put together the New Testament over two centuries later. There were 40+ gospels to choose from. They created the New Testament as a whole cloth by committee. Who knows what sort of in-fighting occurred as such wondrous pieces as the Gospel of Thomas was tossed and Revelation barely made it in.

I'm not certain that we can put much stock in the New Testament preachments.

Therefore, with this background, I submit that Jesus was not a false prophet because he probably never existed at all.

Anonymous said...

Gerald, those particular passages, plus the parable of the fig tree in Mark 13:28-30 (and which is reproduced in Luke 21 and Matthew 24), are ones that were popularly cited in the COGs with the apologetic that hinges on the interpretation of "this generation." Which generation is he talking about? His own 1st-century generation, or the generation that's around when "all these things begin to happen"? If one assumes that Jesus means his own generation, then Jesus is a false prophet, and that's unacceptable, so obviously, he must mean some distant future generation thousands of years later. Right? Obviously.

I like the new apologetic for Matthew 16:28/Luke 9:27 "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom," with the apologetic that "the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" actually meant Jesus' transfiguration 6-8 days later, and that the "some" Jesus was referring to Peter, James and John. Creative. So, I guess, Jesus' "returned" twice already? Once during the transfiguration, and a second time when he was "received" by "the father" after the resurrection. I'm not sure why anyone would expect him to return now again yet a third time. This apologetic is pretty weak tea if you ask me.

One I have yet to see any apologetic for is Matthew 10:23 "When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." How long does it take to go through all the towns of Israel? It's not that big.

However, clearly the intention behind all these passages is the same. They each express it in different language. If you find a way to weasel around the obvious interpretation of one set of language on a technicality, okay, whatever. But once you've weaseled around the obvious interpretation more than once, each time exploiting a different technicality, all you've actually achieved is the surrendering of your integrity.

Anonymous said...

Gerald Bronkar, all to often it just boils down to the magical mirror.

DBP

Anonymous said...

Here's several other passages that ought to be included in this discussion:

John 14:
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

So, what "works" did Jesus do again? Well, let's see. He turned water into wine (just like the priests of the cult of the Roman god Bacchus did), walked on water (just like the Greek god Orion), fed 5,000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread, raised Lazarus from the dead (just like Asclepius), and more! The last couple of miracles are pretty amazing. I can always rationalize away the fact that I was never able to do any miracles at all. Obviously, I was a deficient christian in some way. It's my fault. I probably did not "believe sufficiently, according to some unstated, heavenly "mustard seed" standard. But if there were anybody on earth doing such "works," and not only those, but ones that are even greater, I think we would probably know about that. Don't you? Who knows, though. Christians keep telling me that people keep raising other people from the dead in places like the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa. Maybe that's the only place on earth where there are true christian? Obviously there's no true christians in the developed world.

Matthew 17:20 "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Moving mountains around, Yoda-style? Wow. This could vastly reduce the expense of mining minerals. But that's not all. Nothing shall be impossible for this person? So, they could just levitate and fly to the moon? Heal all sick people? Feed all hungry people? Remove excessive carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? Perpetual motion machines? Manufacture vehicles fueled by water in their sleep? The possibilities are endless. I am sure that if anyone had faith anywhere on earth, even as small and insignificant as a mustard seed (whatever that means), that we would know about it. Unless they were hiding their light under a bushel or something. But the bible says nobody would do that.

Also Luke 11:11-13 is another patent falsehood:

11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I don't know what blunter demonstration you could ask for that Jesus is a liar. So no christian has ever prayed for bread and then starved? None has ever asked God for a healthy baby and ended up with a stillbirth? Nobody ever begged Jesus to save them in the moments before a car crash, only to be crushed to death?

Anonymous said...

responding to:August 28, 2016 at 8:56 AM

Where's my white-out?
I need to change the title of Hayek's book, The Road to Serfdom, to The Way to Heaven.

DBP

Byker Bob said...

This topic presents such an ideal that I believe everyone who sees it will think, "Yep, that's me! I am constantly learning, relearning, and growing!" But then there's the self we see, the self others see, and the self as he or she really is. And, the rose colored glasses.

A techician is forced to learn, unlearn and relearn, because technology is constantly evolving, and that's ended up spilling into all aspects of my life.

Anybody who has been involved in multiple marriages knows that the things you learn about the opposite sex first time around, in most cases, seem not to apply next time around, and sometimes radically so.

And, from a Bible standpoint, a reading of the complete works of Josephus, or Bart Ehrman's latest can provide a whole new understanding.

That's why I have to laugh when someone posts something like, "But you said five years ago....." as if an opinion then were a constant for all times. We all evolve, and should allow one another to evolve. Often what we think we know at any given moment was simply a snapshot in time.

BB

Anonymous said...

Yes, BB, we do evolve and I've evolved a lot since you apparently knew me in New York, even though I can't place you. I've gone through all the stages from a true believer who spoke the party line to a questioning agnostic and now an outright atheist and anti-theist. I often ask myself why I bother participating in blogs like this, but I can't escape interest in the madness of my past. I know what I write here gets under some people's skin, but they get under mine too, so I just keep plugging away. After all is said and done, I guess it boils down to the fact that I do care and I'm trying to atone for some of what I now consider as evil in my past.

Allen C. Dexter

Byker Bob said...

Allen, we all get under one anothers' skin. That's not a big deal, because in most cases we've all just innocently gone on in our lives, and found different solutions. And probably the reason why you can't place me from the New York days is that I was just a little kid back then busy being seen and not heard. Don't worry. I had a favorable impression of you back then, and I've got a favorable impression of you now. We've just found different solutions to the Armstrong problem.

BB

Anonymous said...

That's good, BB. Everybody has to find peace their own way, and for the most part, I've found mine.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

10:32 AM I didn't say whether a religious spirit is good or bad. The Romans had a religious spirit, so did the French revolution, the Nazis, modern communism, Islam and left wing liberalism. Humans are religious creatures, and it's a religious spirit that drives human history. Is it good or bad? If used in the service of the good, yes then it's a good thing. When used in the service of evil, such as Nazism, it was a bad thing.


Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Gerald, you need to look at the body of evidence (living by every word of God) plus use wisdom to discern bible truth.

Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that thisG3778 generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, ThisG3778 generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Strongs "ThisG3778" generation, can be translated 'this' or 'that.' Looking at the body of evidence, 'that generation' is the correct translation.

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anon 1:10 PM responded to Gerald Bronkar writing: "...Gerald, those particular passages, plus the parable of the fig tree in Mark 13:28-30 (and which is reproduced in Luke 21 and Matthew 24), are ones that were popularly cited in the COGs with the apologetic that hinges on the interpretation of "this generation." Which generation is he talking about? His own 1st-century generation, or the generation that's around when "all these things begin to happen"? If one assumes that Jesus means his own generation, then Jesus is a false prophet, and that's unacceptable, so obviously, he must mean some distant future generation thousands of years later. Right? Obviously..."

As food for thought, some other considerations for a generation may be God's Church for one:

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" 1 Peter 2:9

Another generation example could be Satan and his angels, which are brute beasts made to be destroyed (2 Peter 2:12) someday in the future...i.e., they will die. There is reason to believe they will be the ones experiencing the second death.

But, generation-wise, Jesus spoke to Pharisees who were actually driven by evil spirit beings, but was Jesus speaking solely to the Pharisees? No, He was speaking to a particular generation that still is alive today.

Matthew 23:29 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!..."

The rest of verse 29 through verse 32 Jesus describes the evil works accomplished within the lives of numerous human beings (James 4:5; Eph 2:2; I John 3:8, etc.), but was Jesus blaming the humans?

:33 "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

Was Jesus accusing human beings of being that generation mentioned in :13? Are humans described as serpents? Vipers? We need to continue reading more of the context. Verse 34 describes more evil works amongst human beings.

:35 "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."

Now, which scribe(s) or Pharisee(s) had anything to do with Abel or Zacharias? Not a one of them. Jesus is speaking through the humans to evil spirit beings, who were made to eventually be taken and destroyed. To date, that still has not happened to that generation, but we are another day closer to that event. Finally, next verse:

:36 "Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."

Any still believing that God cannot and will not destroy Satan and his angels were taught some "junk food;" that is not true. If God can make them, He can destroy them. And time will tell...

John




DennisCDiehl said...

BB noted: ' We've just found different solutions to the Armstrong problem."

The Armstrong/WCG problem was merely the catalyst to looking at the much bigger picture of origins and fantastic claims I am sure for those such as Allen and myself. It is not the cause as if we had been anyplace but WCG it would not have occurred. For me, I am sure I would be in the same place of mind had I stayed Presbyterian.

DennisCDiehl said...

Meaning....no religion would have been able to contain my endless love of paleontology and cosmology

nck said...

Interesting take Dennis.
If shackled in any religion, your love for p and c would have delivered you from those shackles.

In my case I was reading my science magazine as a 12 year old, reading about man as a species and how a european could on a protein or blood level differ more from his next door neighbor than the next african 1000 miles away. This "knowledge" was among the first causing cracks in the imposed belief system when as a 13 year old youngster taught at Sep who to dance with and who not because of the obvious perceived differences between people.

Welcoming our local group home from camp our pastor asked to raise hands "Who liked SEP?"
Of course I enjoyed the many varied activities.people and experiences I treasure to this day. But as a 13 year old at that specific time I made a conscious decision to defy the authority of the church and did not raise my hand. I still remember the wondering, startled stare of the pastor.

If it weren't for science.....

nck

Gerald Bronkar said...

It is gratifying for me to read the above comments and discover that there are several who have escaped from the confining clutches of religion. I wish I knew the identity of each of you, but I actually only know Allen and Dennis, from AC days. Especially appreciate the comments of Black Ops Mikey. You have obviously done some reading.

My intention with my posts is not to destroy anyone's happy outlook, but to help you find the ability to learn to be free and think for yourself. Frankly, there is not much of a happy outlook found in the pages of the bible, unless of course, you think you are one of the "special elite" that god has chosen to accompany him in his kingdom. To hell with the rest of us. It is a very divisive and exclusive book, for the most part, and it is used by many to divide humanity.

There will always be a Strong's Concordance or some reference material available to help you find a way to be "RIGHT". "If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?".

BB mentioned Bart Ehrman. I credit his writings for helping me open my eyes. He had his beginnings in Fundamentalism, so I relate to his life experiences.

DennisCDiehl said...

John..count the "when YOU"s and "Then YOU"s in the text. It does not mean "Then THEY". It was them being spoken to and of. Failed prophecy otherwise why bother telling them anything

Anonymous said...

Gerald mentioned the confining clutches of religion, and for the approximate three decades of my life I was embroiled in it, it was truly confining. I worried about what I put in my mouth, what I did on so-called "holy" time, my sex drive and its expression, and just about everything every day and every moment. It was all aimed at keeping me feeling guilty and fearful of divine retribution, not getting to that substitute for Never Never Land called the place of safety, and whatever, as long as it kept you in line.

Looking back on it, I don't know whether to cry or laugh, and it really pains me to see people still going through all that angst.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

"12.04PM the gospels were forged??"

You really need to do some research to understand why there is no reason to think that the bible is what your parents and other religious types have told you it was since birth.

"The problem here is that the holy spirit has communicated to me on several occasions, by putting a certain scripture into my mind. I know it's from God because it has a unique emotional feel. Which proves to me that the bible is Gods inspired word, and that Dennis is mistaken in his 'God doesn't exist, and the bible is a myth' beliefs. Answered pray trumps any intellectualizing"

OMG! This is the same as William Lane Craig's "self-authenticating witness of the holy spirit in my heart" that makes him completely immune from any and all evidence. Craig's position is delusionalism in the extreme. It's the ultimate unfalsifiable assumption. It effectively isolates him from reality.

It's als intellectual suicide. It reveals a profoundly arrogant double standard to assert that my heart provides irrefutable proof of metaphysical truths, while the hearts of everyone who disagrees with me deceives them.

This is a terminal case of preferring answers that cannot be questioned instead of questions that cannot be answered.

Anonymous said...

2.44PM I did say "which proves to me.' I did not say "which proves to you." God is no respecter of persons and will answer the prayers of everyone who choses to live by the ten commandments. This is the proof for "everyone who disagrees."

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

But what if EVERYBODY did what you just did?
OHhh..wait, It's okay for you and you alone to question other people's answers, but how dare anyone question your authentic direct line to God!

Anonymous said...

"2.44PM I did say "which proves to me.' I did not say "which proves to you." God is no respecter of persons and will answer the prayers of everyone who choses to live by the ten commandments. This is the proof for 'everyone who disagrees.'"

Or, as in my case, the disproof, since I followed the biblical recipe and yet, no answered prayer. So we live in different realities, have different standards of proof, different meanings for "respecter of persons," different mathematics, different meanings of "fallacious argument," different goalposts, in fact, different everything!

Anonymous said...

8.50 PM the commies used the concept of polylogic to try to 'explain' the theory and practice (in fact, impractibility) of communism. However, there is only one reality (in the beginning God created the heavens and Earth) and only one logic (you shall know them by their fruits). So I suggest you review your following the 'biblical recipe.' Did you really??

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...
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RSK said...

It seems TG has a little red phone in his house.

Anonymous said...

RSK, everyone has a little red phone in their house. If only they would fulfill the necessary terms and conditions, the phone would be answered at the other end.

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Perhaps TradingGuy will write an article for Banned, about how his experiences dating women didn't go well because the women he dated didn't do "trade" as it should be done.

I'd like to see him write about how, on a date, women can properly 'trade'- and, thus, make the date one which would please God.

Anonymous said...

About "answered prayers"-

One scenario of "IT"S ANSWERED!" is when something is asked for and it comes to pass.

Another scenario of "IT"S ANSWERED!" is when something is asked for and it doesn't come to pass. In this scenario, apparently God answered by saying, "NO!" and having other ideas.

IOW, no matter the result of a prayer request, a Christian can say that the prayer has been answered.

In such a mindset, it's not "result-dependent": Whether or not a person did or didn't find their car keys, or did or didn't get healed of cancer, ANY result is still considered to be a prayer answered.

Anonymous said...

10.24AM a common experience with dating, and not just with me based on observation, is the woman basically ignoring her date. The guy spends time picking up and chauffeuring his date (what's the real cost of running a car), pays the restaurant/movie bill and gets next to nothing in return. The woman seems to think that honouring their date with their presence is a fair trade. Which it isn't, unless the woman is beautiful, which is the exception in the church. A fair trade would involve the women being attentive, expressing interest in her dates life. For instance, asking how's work, what do you do for a living, seen a good movie recently? what was that like? The woman is paying her date with emotional currency since everyone loves to talk about themselves. I have only experienced this once, in the dozens of dates I had in the church.
Then they complain to a bullying daddy minister that they are not being asked out.
You can buy a nice basic android tablet for the price of one of these useless dates.
I'm vocalizing what many guys think but never say. Please, no shooting the messenger.

Cheers TradingGuy