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Gordon Taylor

Retired engineer

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Are people of faith in fact gullible?

Gullibility is the belief in something with no substantiating facts to support that something. I contend that if you believe in something based upon Scripture, whichever religion you belong to then you are gullible. That is not to mean evil or stupid but simply gullible. This also differs somewhat from credulous depending on what actions you take in support of your beliefs or faith.

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        Apr 17 2013: Hi Don,

        we have a sense of being the same person each day by virtue of the continuity of our memory, and the way our being has been shaped.

        As a child I remember reading Mathew Mark Luke and John over and over .. but always returned to the sermon on the mount. My family were secular .. I just wanted to know what all this god stuff was and pestered my father to dig out the old bible.

        I settled on the sermon, which, along with the parables, formed the only part which made any cognitive sense to me. These seemed true, and although I was just a kid, I resolved to keep an eye open for their veracity .. but it turned out to be uncommon knowledge. As a model of peace and the absolute road to a quality of life, yes .. it was so, but few would conflict their immediate comfort for the sake of faith. And it wasn't even faith .. one could see it happen in every moment. Simple advice, small sacrifice and a path of gold opens up where before was just dirt.

        Unfortunately, that is just the start .. the road leads on beyond the mount - and there is no Jesus for that just yet. the valley of shadow looms.

        Be of good heart - our feet carry us out .. that is what they were made for. If we stop and complain and moan to a heartless god, we will stay in shadow .. with all the comfort-bound.

        I can understand Chris' standpoint. He is in a dark place. He will not be there forever.

        I also understand Gordon's stance It is one of frustration. Many a priest used the gullibility he describes .. abuse .. the Decameron is full of dirty priest jokes .. and De Sade lays-out the truth of darkness unadorned .. if you can bare more than half a page of it, you will not wonder at the depth of darkness that can be plumbed .. and Crowley after him.

        There is no end to darkness. Light is defined. Life can only exist in light.

        The greatest of us are the smallest .. the measure of greatness is to be a light .. to be a light is to be infinite. The difference between nothing and everything is 1/infinity
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          Apr 17 2013: Hi mitch , I suggest the bits of the bible that make sense do so not because they are in the bible, but on their own merit. Some of the themes are similar to other teachings in the axial age, from Confucius, to Buddha, to Jesus, to philosophy, to humansim etc.

          Also, it just makes sense independent of the source, independent of authority, that rampant materialism is not the path to happiness etc.

          If you pick and choose wisely their is some good stuff in the bible. Sadly there is genocide, slavery, hell, orders to kill homosexuals and adulterers etc.

          The sermon on the mount is such a small part of the bible, and not even in all four gospels.

          Perhaps the gullible or credulous part is believing it is all from a creator god and to be accepted and followed.
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        Apr 17 2013: Here is another entry point to what I just said:

        The local minimum.

        The computer program who believes in the letter O.

        He sees a Q and insists - hey look - there is an O!
        Then other computer programs around him say .. "No - the little hangy down bit is useful! - We catch fish with that!"

        And there is program #1 catching only fish that snag on the letter J.

        By and by the Q programs eat more - they have both J and Q .. .. program #1 gets slimmer, the J fish are over-exploited because he and his family cause a stress on J fish, which become less as Q fish become more .. the believers in Q are selected, The O believer dies out along with his family ..

        Or perhaps .. he feels his discomfort and observes the complaints of his children and gets over his faith in O.

        What is a human?

        To get this kind of lesson into a family of baboons requires a dumpster full of tuberculosis.

        Are we any better?

        It is noise.

        Noise gets more when we fail to train-in to the moving world - and pace it correctly.

        If the noise is great enough, it bounces us out of our rut .. or kills us.

        that's the choice .. and it is what Darwin and Jesus both said.
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          Apr 18 2013: So Chris, how do you interpret instructions supposedly from yahweh to kill adulterers, homosexuals, sabbath breakers, and disrespectful children?
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          Apr 18 2013: Hi Chris, then Dawkins doesn't have the same issue with you as he would with the millions of Christians in denominations that endorse the literal virgin birth.

          But I get your point that sometimes atheists focus on the miracles and marvels in the bible or Buddhist mythology. But not having a god beliefs doesn't rely only on attacking these straw men literalist beliefs, but they are either unsubstantiated and in many cases conflict with evidence, eg the creation of man and the universe 6 to 10 k ago vs evolution and 13 billion years.

          My understanding is one if the gnostic gospels , Phillip perhaps talks about a spiritual birth not a literal virgin birth.
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      Apr 17 2013: "......be ready for every good work, ....... speak injuriously of no one, don't be belligerent, be reasonable, exhibit all mildness toward all men."Titus 3:2

      Chris, I perceived his words as sincere.
      Why did you get on the defensive?
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      Apr 17 2013: Which scriptures Chris?
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Chris,

      We go in and out of dark places. The process is endless.
      Sometimes we get stuck.
      This is just an observation - not a value judgement.
      It is clear that Gordon has reached a dark place - an observation of the dangers inherent in blind faith. It's almost a tautology, but clearly has brought some angst which Gordon seeks to resolve in conversation.

      Here is a conjecture:
      The denizens of hell have free licence to torture each other without let or hindrance.
      Those in heaven are free to illuminate each other without limit.
      And this is the test of one's spiritual location.
      It is rarely absolute, but this small compass may help us navigate the spiritual topology we traverse.
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          Apr 18 2013: Believe me - I have dark days.
          When there is not even enough light to illuminate my little compass, all I can do is lift my collar and trudge trudge trudge ...
          I suppose that's my version of blind faith.
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        Apr 18 2013: Here is a problem you might be able to help me with:

        "Shadows are cast by what is certain"

        This is a kind of paraphrase from a Buddhist thing .. but it gets me thinking.

        Sure .. we need structure .. there is no freedom without it.

        But the beams of our structures also create these shadows.

        Another wise man mentioned beams and motes .. or so I understand.

        What's your take?

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