Bernard White

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If you were "God" what would you do?

If you were God what would you change?
What would you keep the same?
Or would you destroy yourself?
Would you use your powers for selfless deeds?
Would you use your power for selfish deeds?
Just a few hints.
(Under my definition of God, you have are "all powerful" without logically contradicting yourself!)

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    May 31 2013: We ARE God.. every one of us. What we do every day IS what we would do every day if we were god. Detached from this knowing of who we are and our true power- we walk through life in an illusion that tells us that we are subservient and powerless.

    To "know who you are" is to understand this simple truth. We are fractals, experiencing organic human life through this organism. The same force that created the universe is the same force that is seeing life through our eyes... our true selves- our souls- or spirits- whatever.

    The reversal of this understanding is where most perceive from.. "IF I was god I would act like ______. " So if we would act like who we really are- well.. We would act the same every day, the same as we wish we would act as god.

    Yes, organized religion in all forms is bastardized in many ways.. Look for the commonalities and its very clear that the content of the religion- not its social manifestations, all point to the same universal truth. Choose to follow that trail of crumbs and you'll find what you're looking for. Choose to intellectualize and find fault and details.. thats what youll find.

    This is all to say that if every one of acted like we wish god to act-- since that is truly our role and power here- the world would be exactly the way we envision. Since we choose to act however we like and expect some external persona to fix the world- the world is exactly the way it is. It reflects what we think and do. If we understood that what we think and do is exactly what creates the world we live in- we would:
    1) Understand our power and who we really are.
    2) We would act exactly like we expect god to act.
    3) The world would be as we wish it to be... (because it IS as we wish it to be)

    All we have to do is stop being silly long enough to accept our responsibility. Theres a reason why every spiritual text and elder states clearly "The answer is within you."
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    May 30 2013: If I were God, I would have seen to it that there is no mystery about my being and everyone, particularly human beings can access me to talk to, walk with, make love to and listen to me. No middleman whosoever.
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      May 31 2013: Yet then there are many who might want to kill you, or replace you, or even obey your every command (which would be a negative).
      Excellent reply though!
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    Jun 3 2013: Some of the comments here are evidence that we're better off as humans :D

    Imperfect humans..
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    Jun 4 2013: If I were God...

    1) I would make myself in the image of Maru (that cat that slides through boxes and is all the craze on YouTube, yeah that one!). I would make humans in the image of something else because they don't deserve to be made in the image of my greatness.

    2) I would borrow a lot of ideas from this here comment board. Keep the ones I like, discard the ones I don't. I don't want to have to think of all of this stuff on my own. That would be too much work.

    3) I can't forget to make a Colleen Steen and a Don Wesley so I could be endlessly entertained by their conversations they have with each other. It goes without saying, of course I would be able to understand and speak with them.

    4) The rest I would leave for y'all to figure out on your own! Wii!
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      Jun 4 2013: I respectfully ask you Casey/god, to please leave me out of your plan. Don's ridiculous accusations do not entertain me in any way, shape, or form.......I do not ever feel like I'm having a conversation with him, and I avoid him whenever possible. I feel bad for him, and I cannot do anything about the choices he makes.
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      Jun 3 2013: "it was humour".
      My point exactly. Like I said, It was unnecessary.
      If you really would do what you said : "lock Colleen and Don in a room together", it seems rather cruel (to me) for whatever the reason.
      I'm not talking about "Don", I'm talking about you.
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        Jun 3 2013: I agree Bernard, that the comment was unnecessary, and since it was suggested that I be locked in a room with Don, it felt cruel to me as well!

        It sounded a little like that god of the bible who would punish people for not agreeing with "him"!!!
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          Jun 3 2013: I can only answer for myself Chris.
          You seem to be the one focusing on it, and nobody has taken it out of context.

          If you wanted "Don and Colleen" to work something out "for themselves", why do you continue to participate? Because that apparently IS NOT what you want. I simply replied respectfully to Don's accusations.
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    Jun 3 2013: Hi Bernard,
    If I was a god, which I have no desire to be, I would encourage people to walk their talk, and live life with kindness, compassion and empathy.

    I would keep the golden rules.
    I would change the need to preach and lecture the golden rules without walking the talk.
    I would not contradict myself, as those who preach often do.
    I would seek and encourage peace and harmony in our world and a respect for our environment.

    Thanks for the question Bernard, and I appreciate your exploration of so many topics:>)
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      Jun 3 2013: Seems a bit like "God" at the moment.
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        Jun 3 2013: Well Bernard, the bible says we are all made in the image and likeness of god, so perhaps we all have the opportunity to be god-like?

        I'm out of thumbs for you.......sending you a smile......:>)
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          Jun 3 2013: I sometimes wonder if we are made in the image of God, then doesn't that mean God has all our irrational tenancies as well? Doesn't that mean God has suffers from our optical and cognitive illusions (just like we can)? Doesn't that mean God has emotions just like us?
          This is a "God" I could be convinced of!
          Not the "omnibenevolent omnipotent omniscient" God of the Bible.
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        Jun 3 2013: Since I believe god is a concept, which is accepted by some humans, there is all kinds of speculation Bernard, as we see in every conversation about god/no god......yes?

        Whether or not one believes in a god, is not as important to me as HOW one lives his/her life on this earth......HOW s/he treats other people and our environment. We are HERE....NOW....and to me, it is the life experience that is most important, since that is what I am living in the moment.

        A person can talk and preach about a god all s/he wants, and if s/he is not walking the talk, all the talk is empty, and that is not difficult to perceive in some people.
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        Jun 3 2013: As I said Chris Kelly,
        "If I was a god, which I have no desire to be, I would encourage people to walk their talk, and live life with kindness, compassion and empathy."
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        Jun 3 2013: You are welcome Chris. I responded to Don's accusations with respect, and if you want to call it a "ping-pong match", you are certainly welcome to your own observation and perception.
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        Jun 3 2013: I agree Chris, that our own perceptions are all equally as valid to us as individuals.

        I also agree that we can, or cannot recognize things in others, and often times, what we recognize in others is a matter of our perception of our "self", which, of course colors our perceptions of others:>)

        "Only as high as I reach can I grow,
        Only as far as I seek can I go,
        Only as deep as I look can I see,
        Only as much as I dream can I be..."
        (Karen Ravin)

        Yes indeed....we are each welcome to our own perceptions....each and every one of us.
        Thank you Chris....I am grateful for all those who genuinely offer so much compassion, empathy and kindness:>)
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    Jun 3 2013: I'd quit, too hard.
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    Jun 2 2013: It's tempting to tamper with humanity and earth, but I don't think I would if I could, making the world an instant utopia would only permit humanity to go on doing as we please without regards for the consequences.

    But IF I were to do this here are some of the things I'd do.
    -Give everyone the knowlegde and ability to nurish themselves
    -Bring CO2 levels down to about 300ppm
    -Neutralize the harmful acidity in the oceans
    -Destroy all firearms, missiles, nukes etc
    -Rid the world of organised religion
    -Create peace everywhere
    -Make the whole world ecologically sustainable
    -Stop the possible eruptions of super-volcanoes, deter asteroids and comets heading for earth.
    -Give us contact with E.T
    -Erase all borders

    Well, the list can go on and on and I've probably missed some of the most important things... but still, if I could I wouldn't.
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      Jun 2 2013: Hi Jimmy......nice to see you!
      Perhaps your ideas AND education regarding consequences?

      I truly believe we (humans) are evolving to a point where we realize we can think, feel and make decisions on our own, rather than blindly following those who abuse the earth and each other. So, perhaps we are ready to challenge the beliefs and behaviors of those who abuse our earth and each other?
      I know....always the optimist!!!
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        Jun 2 2013: And it's always nice to see you too Colleen! ^^

        I'm sorry but I don't understand what you mean by "Perhaps your ideas AND education regarding consequences?" it feels like there's something you'd like me to elaborate on, could you elaborate on that? :D

        I know, keep it that way!
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          Jun 2 2013: Jimmy,
          You wrote....."making the world an instant utopia would only permit humanity to go on doing as we please without regards for the consequences."

          I suggested that perhaps we could create more of a utopia, if we were more aware of HOW we were doing it....more awareness and education about consequences.

          So, no, I was not seeking elaboration....I suggest that we can have both an improved world (utopia), AND be mindful about how we create it:>)
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        Jun 2 2013: Ah, I see!

        Yes, agree.
        My perspective is perhaps this one: We can have a utopia and maintain it but only if we learn how to do that, and we won't do that if we're suddenly there and no one understands why and how we did it. Therefore humanity must walk this road together and I would be doing humanity a disservice by magically getting us there.

        (I think we'll get there anyway, eventually)
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          Jun 2 2013: I think/feel that we ARE getting there Jimmy......seems like we agree on that. As evolving, thinking, feeling, multi sensory, multi dimensional humans, I believe we are changing the we evolve, we have been continuing to change.

          It feels like our advanced communication systems are facilitating a huge change right now because we have the opportunity to connect with people around our world....walking the road together as you insightfully point out!

          People have the opportunity to realize that their one little "god belief" may be very different from many other "god beliefs", and perhaps this realization may contribute to us coming more together rather than seperating....acceptance.:>)

          "There", is here, now:>)
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      Jun 2 2013: My only complaint.
      Is I feel that the species would be living a delusion!
      Which I could not bring myself to do.
      Considering nuclear weapons and borders act as deterrents.
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    Jun 1 2013: I think that is a great question-
    It makes me ask myself:
    Why would I expect something outside of me to do things that I am not willing to do?
    That is to ask- Why would I not conduct myself as I would ask anyone else to act?

    My inner landscape is directly reflected in the world around me. This is a power that we exercise whether we choose to understand this or not. We shape our world directly- It simply IS.
    This reality does not require my agreement, acknowledgement, validation or observation- it exists as reality regardless of any false realities and illusions that I might engage and hide behind.

    By shirking this responsibility I contribute any personal discord within myself to what I see around me every day.

    To take this responsibility and cultivate a balanced inner landscape- we cure the world of its sickness.. To walk away from this and expect a deity or personified polarization to clean up my mess while I bask in irresponsibility, is to deny my power as well as my humanity. Further, I would be acting like a spoiled brat.

    As if the world today were a classroom of children that has been unsupervised. Entering the room, an adult finds the room destroyed, the children proclaiming, "We didnt know! No one told us not to destroy the room! It's your fault! Youre an adult and you should clean it up."

    To verify this reality any of us can simply discover who we really are. (not decide which illusion we are most comfortable playing a role in)

    A wise man once said, "Know thyself" and another added "Be The Change You Wish to See in the World"..

    As one of 7 billion human pieces of god.. Ill be inclined to try to follow these wise men's advice rather than expect a religious figure to suddenly appear and fix things.

    Thats what I would do if I was 1/70000000000th of god.
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      Jun 1 2013: You reflect my own thoughts well. :-)
      "Why would I expect something outside of me to do things that I am not willing to do?"
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    May 30 2013: If I were God, I would be love...(respect, care, understand and KNOW)
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    Jun 4 2013: question my paradoxical existence.
  • Jun 4 2013: I would show myself.
    I would destroy anyone who uses my name for their own agenda.
    I would also wonder where i went wrong.
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    . .

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    Jun 4 2013: I would do a software upgrade (on all makes and models) to human OS2013:)
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    Jun 3 2013: I'd redefine human intelligence, such that any form of anthropocentrism would be a distant memory of astonishing stupidity.

    I would keep the natural world exactly in balance, as it should be, as a self sustaining organism. It would include homo sapiens, but as an intelligent benefactor - not as we are now as an ignorant, destructive pathogen, with exactly the wrong level of 'intelligence'.
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      Jun 3 2013: To be honest I think we do have a "natural world exactly in balance". (May be wrong).
      Why does the "balance" have to be "good"?
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        Jun 4 2013: Balance within a diverse system is good because the 'whole' can exist in unbiased harmony - and one system is more likely to be able to perpetuate itself sustainably without compromising (or destroying) others.

        In other words, the whole should take precedence over the particular, if balance is going to be the outcome.

        What makes you think the natural world is in balance right now, given that the particular (ie our own species) is clearly taking precedence over the whole (ie the planet)?
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    Jun 3 2013: @J.Strobl..........Can't you stay out of my conversations ? I am 81 and I can't help it I am childish :P
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      Jun 3 2013: Well no Helen, I'm sorry. when you call I will answer (if I see it).
      It's just the price we pay for hanging around here on TED. I'm not targeting you or anything it's just when I read something I'd like to comment on, well I simply do...

      You are free to be both 81 and childish if you wish. It does however not grant you any kind of immunity or special treatment.
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        Jun 3 2013: JS...That's ok. I will ignore you from now on.
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          Jun 3 2013: And you are free to do so, I however will not necessarily stop commenting on what you write, and again I'm not targeting you in any way.

          In fact I've left some posts that you've made without a comment even though I've wished to say or ask something about it. For the sake of not ruining your day (which I seem to do).

          Until next time then.
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    Jun 2 2013: Oh, what I offer here "Speaking as God" -- I think, comes from a Comedy routine by Bill Maher. I don't have any documentation of that. But if anyone finds it, you are welcome to post the credit here.

    Comparing "God" to Santa is really instructive. Not because I want to diminish "God" in any way. But it does seem that when it comes to Santa, we start doing many of the things that we are supposed to do all the time anyway (as instructed by religion). And NOBODY believes in Santa! (Except me!)
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    Jun 2 2013: What would I do if I were God? I'd retire. I'd take my pension and go visit some more interesting part of the Universe.

    Things are such a mess here these days. And you expect me to fix that for you? You don't feel any responsibility to do anything HARD for Yourself? And I (speaking as God) get so much of the credit for the big mess you make for yourselves! I mean: "God Bless this!" or "God-D*mn that!" How much of that does a regular Deity have to put up with? And don't get me wrong, but I never gave my "consent" for anyone to use my name and my reputation as justification for any of the crap that goes on down there on Earth! People say I told them to do this! Or I told them to do that! Or maybe I promised them something they wanted! Hey, if you're looking for the "Big Chance," Go buy a Lottery Ticket!" The rest of it you can deal with on your own!

    Since I'm God (speaking as God, that is) I really like that Santa Clause guy! I mean when HE comes around people start treating each other really good. They start planning to give each other gifts. They're generous. They're caring. The spend time with family and plan time together. They ring bells and they sing songs all the time. And all the little kids just can't wait to get their one-night-a-year visit from Santa! But it's the Grown Ups who take responsibility for that! That's how it should be!

    And the thing I like best? All the adults think Santa isn't real. That means the Adults have to step up and take responsibility for things for a change! I mean, can't you see that? THAT was the whole plan from the beginning.

    No, when I come back, allegedly they got this Armageddon thing ready to roll. We gotta fight a big battle where I gotta kill all the bad people and all the alleged "deamons" that made them do bad stuff. And then all the survivors line up and expect to be "Judged." Judged? Just look at what people say about you on Facebook! That isn't enough? Forget that! Peace Out
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      Jun 3 2013: This made me smile. :D
      I think this is probably how I would behave!
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        Jun 3 2013: Bernard, does this mean we are beginning to understand one another? If so, I need to work much harder at it than I have been thus far!

        That's how you keep it real! ;>)
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    Jun 2 2013: If I were God, I would have make myself visible to all human beings, and there would be peace in whole of my universe. :)
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      Jun 2 2013: Dear Noveed,
      Can I come to your universe? Or shall we create your plan here and now?
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        Jun 2 2013: Dear Colleen! No you can only visit my universe for a while because this universe you are living in needs you more because you are so great and always so nice to everyone. :) If it is possible to create such a universe then please start from my country.
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          Jun 2 2013: AWWWW.........thank you Noveed:>)

          If I was God, I would make myself known to all people as well, and I would spread the words of love....kindness and respect for our environment, and all of us who occupy this earth....starting with your country Noveed:>)
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    May 31 2013: i would tell everyone that i don't exist and that they shouldn't live their lives hoping that i'll help or that i predestined them to be whatever they think they should be
  • May 31 2013: I am happy not to be God thank you.
    I am a finite being and can never really fully understand the infinite.
  • May 31 2013: If I were'God',I would try to do anything I could do for children to help them growing up.
  • May 30 2013: Look at this piece by Paul Bloom that Fritzie just posted on the evolution conversation:
  • May 30 2013: Ok, using your definition, I think I would visit some churches and suggest corrections to doctrine.
  • May 30 2013: If God does really exists, then there is a extremely good reason for the universe to work as it does, so if I was God I would know it and because of that I would leave everything as it is, otherwise I would be failing to do my job properly.
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      • May 31 2013: Sorry, I prefer not to watch videos from you-tube. But just a comment: Devil is just a myth. Devil's existence would be overridden by God's existence, so if God does exist then Devil simply can not be, but if God does not exist then Devil is just a fantasy, so in either case the existence of the Devil is just not possible.
        • Jun 1 2013: So are you saying that if good exists then there cannot be any bad?
      • Jun 3 2013: Hi Mary M:

        No, I did not say that!!! If you read carefully, what I said was: "Devil is just a myth". I don't understand how the meaning of that could be what you state. The source of all good and bad within us, and we must have this very clear, because the day in which we accept as true that bad an evil comes from the Devil, Satan or whatever, we would be just one step away from justifying crime. "The Devil made me do it" would be enough excuse to commit any crime. The Devil did it not them so they are innocent and because of that they are not responsible so don't punish the innocent. Devil is just a poor excuse for misbehavior.
  • Jun 5 2013: So, Bernard, what have you learned so far?
    Care to share?
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      Jun 3 2013: I did not demand anything from you Don.
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          Jun 3 2013: I wrote.....I did not demand anything from you Don.

          OH clever Don, you changed your wording from demanded to requested!!!

          Lest we forget, the evidence I requested was to support your statement...
          "Are woman more aggressive than Men. The research I've read says yes!"
          (you haven't changed THAT statement in the conversation thread.......yet!)
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          Jun 4 2013: I am not denying anything Don, nor is there anything for me, for which to provide evidence.

          Oh Don, I just noticed your edit.....yes.....changing the wording in your comments is clever in a way, but I think enough people know you do that, so maybe it's not so clever any more.
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      Jun 3 2013: Don Wesley,
      1) I do not perceive Jimmy Strobl to be deceitful in any way, as you have accused.

      2) Jimmy is NOT my "mate", as you call him in the above comment.

      3) My words are meaningful as opposed to what you write, and my words have been a response to YOUR words. So, if you are going to bring my name into a conversation, you can probably expect a response.
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      Jun 3 2013: Don Wesley,
      Regarding your recent comment. I believe it is TED deleting all your comments. I do not have the ability to do so.

      "Don Wesley
      "5 minutes ago: To Colleen,
      Who just deleted what abuse me.
      Just see, Doctor Michael Stone, forensic psychiatrists
      at New York Columbia University. We can view his lessons on this question here - [short-cut @ 10:00 to 14:30 minutes in]
      He has another explanation about so call nice behavior.
      As the Chinese are fond of saying of all to 65 ways to, the best is to run!"
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          Jun 3 2013: Don,
          Many of your comments were recently deleted either by you, or by TED.

          Don, I did not, in any way get your "personal" copies of anything and delete them, OR share them with anyone.

          I believe TED deleted many of your comments, OR you did it yourself.

          I am not harrassing you Don, I am responding to YOUR harrassment.
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    Jun 3 2013: If I were a billion year old god, I'd probably end my existence.
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      Jun 3 2013: If I was God.
      Well I'll leave it a mystery!
      All the more fun for me to see people come up with arguments for (and against) my existence.
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    Jun 3 2013: If I could have another go I would implement many of the ideas in this conversation to make TED better
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    Jun 3 2013: Thank you for that!

    'er, then again -- this thread is trying to be a conversation but you can't get the timeline straight when you have to read it backwards to make sense of it.

    But, thanks anyway!
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      Jun 3 2013: I believe you meant to put this somewhere else. :)
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        Jun 3 2013: Yup, happens all the time. Take words out of the context within which they have meaning, and it all degenerates into the trivia of entropy. Randomness.
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        Jun 3 2013: Been there, done that, wandered away slowly w/my head down & my tail between my legs.
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    Jun 3 2013: To Mary M I believe that Jesus was God's son. I believe that we are all God's sons and daughters.I cannot conceive of a God who sends his beloved son to such a cruel death. Adam and Eve reached a state of consciousness that let them make choices and they did.
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    Jun 2 2013: @Colleen...Thanks Colleen...I guess you don't read every post on here.
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      Jun 3 2013: I have read all the posts Helen. Do you think I am missing something?
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    Jun 2 2013: @ Bernard.....Too many contradictions in your assessment of God.
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      Jun 2 2013: :D
      And what contradictions are those?
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        Jun 2 2013: I don't engage with those who stick their tongue out at me.
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          Jun 2 2013: Okay.
          I was just asking.
          If you don't wish to answer.
          Well, that is fine by me.
          However it won't provide constructive conversation (to enable me to understand my "contradictions in my assessment of God"), and that "(:P)" wasn't really serious (to imply I'm sticking my tongue out at you), it was just a friendly smiley. Like any other : :P :D :O :) ;)
          So I'm not really sure what you are talking about... (I do them all the time, you can ask Colleen Steen).
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          Jun 2 2013: Yup....Bernard does smiley faces all the time, and he's pretty respectfull Helen. I don't think he would stick his tongue out at you. If I was god, I'd vouch for him:>)
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          Jun 2 2013: I've actually never seen anyone "sticking their tongue out" on TED, If we wish to insult here on TED don't we all go for the intellect?

          I must say that it's a very childish interpretation Helen, you should at least give the benefit of the doubt...
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        Jun 2 2013: @Bernard, I notice the (smiley face ) is gone.
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          Jun 3 2013: Wasn't that nice of him removing the thing that offended you even though he meant no offence?

          Anyhow, back to the original question; What contradictions?
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          Jun 3 2013: Yes.
          Because it offended you.
          Now as Jimmy Strobl says :
          "What contradictions?"
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        Jun 3 2013: Bernard.....Thank you. I would just as soon drop the conversation. No offence intended.
        It would be too involved for me to handle at present. (:>)
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      Jun 2 2013: Hello Helen.......haven't seen you for awhile....nice to connect:>)

      There are contradictions in everyone's assessment of God.....are there not?

      I totally agree with your statement in another comment...
      "I believe in at-one-ment with God through living a life of love. God is a lover not a punisher."

      If there is a god, I also believe he/she/it is not a "punisher", and I believe the threats of punishment were created by humans in an attempt to control other humans.

      That being said, if I was God, I would clarify that information:>)
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    Jun 1 2013: he shared: Or would you destroy yourself? I thought really, destroy? ahh,,,,, No.

    I thought about the question again and thought ok if I AM that I AM, God and decided self-destruct, every thing, all of it would follow resulting in what? Purposelessness ? Now it opens up the question ,What happens if God Self-destructs?

    Anyway Mary, sorry for rambling. The destroy part is the only part I felt I had a definitive answer for.

    thanks for the reply Mary!!!

    Mary Ellen
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    Jun 1 2013: Bernard given a choice (which thank goodness of course I do have ), I would not aspire to play the role of God. I would not choose to dabble with the free will of humans. I will share a reply to one comment with much certainty, there would no destruction of anything, of any kind.
    • Jun 1 2013: Mary Ellen hello!

      I do not understand your last sentence...

      "I will share a reply to one comment with much certainty, there would no destruction of anything, of any kind."

      Could you clarify?
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    Jun 1 2013: Tedsters, please keep in mind that Hitchens, et al are talking about the god described in the Bible. This God does not exist for me either, but I am not an atheist.
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        Jun 2 2013: There is much wisdom in the Bible but there is so much human intrusion. I too consider myself a Christian but I am not dogmatic nor doctrinal. I believe that Jesus got it right and that I should follow the new commandments he gave us to ponder. Love God and second, love thy neighbor as thyself. I reject duality and see no evil in anything God has created, but I cannot accept that God demands blood atonement. I believe in at-one-ment with God through living a life of love. God is a lover not a punisher. Take care, friend. (:>)
        • Jun 2 2013: Helen, if I may ask you, and feel free to answer or not,
          Are you saying that you do not believe that Jesus was God's Son and that his death was a ransom sacrifice to atone for Adam and Eve's disobedience?
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    May 31 2013: I may review my decision to continue to run the universe as it is.
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    May 31 2013: If I were God I would continue with my predecessor's original plan. It is awesome, way beyond our understanding.

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      May 31 2013: If it is "way beyond our understanding", how do you know it is "awesome"?
      • Jun 1 2013: I do not want to speak for Peter, Bernard, I'll let him explain himself.

        But, in regards to God's plan being beyond human understanding, think of it this is natural for humans to question the way those in leadership roles act and make decisions.

        Speaking from my own experience in learning about God, it has taken years of study and research and alot of reading to come to a workable understanding of what the scriptures reveal about him.
        And yet, I know I have more to learn.

        Think too of our universe, our planet, humans's all "awesome".......but many aspects of the speed of light, and the way that the planets maintain their orbit around the sun, our magnetic field, and even how one cell can become a human, and how the skin stretches and bones grow......alot of it is beyond understanding (for your average person)....that is, it takes alot of study to fully grasp the accurate knowledge of the inner workings of life around us. And yet, that does not take away our feeling of awe at seeing all that is available for our enjoyment.

        I have stated before in other threads, that humans have lost touch with how small we truly are, and how insignificant we are, in comparison to all that is around us.

        And I have used the example of the night sky. If only all the lights would go out all over the earth for 10 minutes, and we all had the opportunity to look out at the Milky Way on top of us, I think it would take many people's breath away.

        Your question, while whimsical, allows us to stop and think.
        And thinking about BIG questions is good Bernard.
        It is very good.
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        Jun 1 2013: Hi Bernard.
        The stuff we understand is awesome enough. The stuff we don't understand (Most stuff) must be even more awesome.

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          Jun 1 2013: Is this what you meant? :
          You don't know whether God is awesome.
          You just think that God is awesome, because you believe the stuff we don't understand is "even more awesome".
          However we do understand how we "perceive" (and experience) God due to findings in neuroscience and psychology.
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          Jun 1 2013: Read Michael Shermer on "Rupert Sheldrake" :

          I'm afraid it seems like Rupert Sheldrake doesn't have a very good "theory".
          "skeptics dampen the morphic field’s, whereas believers enhance it."
          Seems like a very odd theory to me, if being sceptical of it makes it less true.
          Also even if it was his theory was "true", it wouldn't make it a "fact". Just the best explanation we have...
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          Jun 1 2013: ?
          I'm confused.
          Like I said, I apologize for my aggressive (and patronizing) behaviour, and said that I hoped you could forgive me.
          Yet I am not sure how the "Legal abuse syndrome" has anything to do with what I just said.
          Let me try a more civilized reply :
          "The illusion is that, true scientific facts exist!"
          I agree. If you are accusing Michael Shermer of not knowing this, he admit it (freely) in his book the "Believing Brain". Yet he argues that science is the worst way of knowing, except for all the other methods tried. Then goes onto argue wielding the Null Hypothesis that it is up to the believer provide evidence for his or her beliefs concerning God.
          "Jesus understood emotions better than everyone "
          So a psychologist (or neuroscientist) who studies emotions doesn't understand emotions better than someone who lived around 5BC (Is this date correct?).
          "Michael Shermer is considered "ignorant", in any debate I have seen in him."
          I disagree with this. Considering for one, he has been invited to debates of great recognition. While if he was "ignorant" he wouldn't be able to go to.
          What debate have you seen him in?
          Watch this one :
          "Dr Michael Shermer | The God Debate | Oxford Union"

          "Rupert Sheldrake could make him look like idiot if he wasn't so kind!"
          Again in Michael Shermer's new book he goes about disproving Rupert Sheldrake's claims. I can't cite any-more.
          "Your replies are adding up to appear like rubber stampings.
          Nothing new!"
          Not really sure what this is meant to suggest...
          "Bernard you can't push my buttons to make me flip!"
          I'm not trying to make you "flip". Why would I want this?
          "If you are a Christian that would be deceiving."
          As stated before, I am not a Christian. Why would I want to "deceive" people anyway?

          Basically there is a reason TED banned his talk. Because it was pseudo science...
          That is all there is to it.
    • Jun 1 2013: Peter, your comment made me think of Job 42:1-5
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        Jun 1 2013: Hi Mary.
        Psalm 66v5
        Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

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    May 31 2013: Ever wonder what our situation would be, if the part of an all knowing God that makes the rules, decided no single thought of a human should be kept from another as their own..?

    Is this free will that a lot of people claim to have, "The right to lie to anybody, about anything"..?

    Or is that more like an illness..? And the real free will is a decision to link up with matter, away from the bigger part of God, to deal with this illness..?

    And would a group of people dealing with this together cause each other to feel a little better..?

    With this many people here to prove something... I would bend the rules to let no human keep a single thought from another.
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        Jun 1 2013: Wait.
        Do you (seriously) believe in the Devil?
        Considering that is the ultimate bias, everything which goes bad is the "Devil". Everything which goes good is "God". Or if information comes your way which goes against your beliefs, you can always say that the Devil is trying to tempt you.
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          Jun 3 2013: Bernard,
          Your conversation is the devil! before it was God but now, after your last comment I can clearly see that it's the Devil... Metaphorically speaking that is...

          Which means... that...ehm... I don't like what you're saying and I order you, by my divine right as a God fearing man, to stop this heresy and only speak as I tell you to do.
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        Jun 1 2013: I am not trying to be funny!
        If you believe in the Devil, than I need to know why.
        If we are to have a serious conversation.
        Considering the Bias (I know it may have been unfair) is true with a few religious people I have met. Who argue that when you trying to have a calm rational conversation, it is the devil trying to tempt them in disguise. Do you believe this?
        So let me ask you again.
        Why do you believe in the Devil?
        And do you?
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        Jun 1 2013: I apologize.
        I misunderstood (dramatically!).
        I hope you can forgive me, for my actions towards you.
        I felt they came out more aggressive, and patronizing than I originally intended.
        Suppose I have been reading too much "The End of Faith" (By Sam Harris) and "God is Not Great" (By Christopher Hitchens)...
        When you claimed that it was the Devil, I was assuming something rather similar to God. (A mind responsible for evil). Considering this trail of thought has fuelled much prejudice and discrimination, something Zimbardo would call "Dehumanization", in the world. (I'v read his book! It's amazing).
        However I should make it clear :
        I am NOT (trying to) insult you in anyway.
        Sometimes I do get frustrated by some views, however I always try to have the humility to admit I'm wrong.
        If I am wrong, I'm wrong.
        However I do not find Sheldrake's research very convincing myself, yet I shall try to give it another try.
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        Jun 1 2013: Don,
        Could you please provide evidence of research to support your statement that women are more aggressive than men?

        "Don Wesley
        20 minutes ago: Are woman more aggressive than Men. The research I've read says yes!"

        Could you also please explain how this relates to the topic of this discussion? Thanks.
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    May 30 2013: if i were god i'd have infinite sex forever, except when I was eating gourmet food well i'd just have pleasure forever, conversation when I wanted it, a walk when I wanted it, work when I wanted it, opium dreams when I wanted it,
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    May 30 2013: Maybe I'm not an all powerful god?

    Maybe a small god as big and powerful as a tadpole?

    I would swim around the pond.
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    May 30 2013: As God i will know now why, when , what and how the universe was created and how it is run now. I am so curious to know as human being.

    As God i will asses have i achieved my purpose?

    Nothing will change if as God i am satisfied otherwise i will review my creation.
  • May 30 2013: I don't profess to know how God thinks because I feel it is impossible to do so.
    But just to comment in a human way: If I was God, I would delete the human element.
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    May 30 2013: If I was God would I change stuff, keep stuff the same or kill myself..?
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      May 30 2013: Can an all powerful god will itself into non existence?
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        Jun 2 2013: Maybe.
        Maybe not!
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          Jun 2 2013: AWWW.....come on Bernard.....what the heck is that.....subjective truth??? LOL:>)
  • May 30 2013: Bernard, may I ask, what is this fascination you have with talking about God?

    Are you seeking answers, or do you want to see if others feel the same way you do?

    I notice from other conversations that you have read books about religion.
    Have you ever studied the Bible itself?

    I hope you don't mind my asking you these questions. :D

    Oh, and I am enjoying Kathryn Schulz' book On Being Wrong...wonderful reading...filled with alot of real life examples.
    Thanks for the recommendation.
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      May 30 2013: I'm glad your enjoying the book!
      I suppose my obsession with "God", is partly because I feel it is one of the most important questions in the world.
      However it does upset to me to see the amount of people who are "anti-religious". I probably would say I am seeking answers! I never do this to find people who have similar opinions with me.
      Kind regards,
      Bernard. :-)
      • May 30 2013: If I were God I would....always help people understand each other.

        You state:

        "it does upset me to see the amount of people who are "anti-religious".

        But in another conversation, you stated:

        "(I swear quite a lot of these religious people (not to exclude atheists), bring the "God debate" into almost every TED conversation, if you don't mind me saying. I sometimes get tired of it myself."

        The God issue, like you state is "one of the most important questions in the world".

        So, if an individual has found some sort of truth for them, their heart compels them to share that information with others.

        Sometimes our well-meaning comments can be seen as not so nice by others.

        Remember, new members come on here every day. So while something appears to be a tedious repetition, it is not a repetition to those who are reading it for the first time.

        I myself bring in "education" whenever I can......And other TEDsters bring in their past life experiences. I guess our community is like a family, we tolerate each other. Even though the same comment has been given over and over, we respectfully skip over it, and allow the person to share.

        Please take my writing in the spirit in which it is help you see that God is very very important in the lives of many of us.

        While I may show courtesy and not preach to anyone on here directly, my faith in God, and in His word are the main drive in my life. If I had not studied the Bible, and learned about the good news of God's kingdom, I really don't know where I would be today.

        Now, to your main topic.....why did you choose Those 3 questions in particular?

        Your conversation topics are really wonderful Bernard!!!

        Mary :) did not answer my question.....Have you studied the you have a copy of a Bible?
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          May 30 2013: You raise a good point there.
          I can see how that would be seen as contradiction in my own views (and beliefs).
          However I would argue it isn't. I view religion as a positive within the world, and have no problem with those of religious affiliation. Yet it upsets me that books like "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" (by Christopher Hitchens), and "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" (by Sam Harris) make it seem like religion does far more evil in the world than it actually does. Not to claim that religion has never done anything evil, this would be an absurd claim.
          So I (often) get tired of these sorts of claims (regarding religion as a force for evil in the world).
          However (not to mention any names) I find some religiously affiliated people within the TED Community occasionally bring the "God debate" in conversations which have no relation to God. So I get tired of the "Does God exist?" debate, when it is not needed in that conversation. Unless of-course you have a valid reason as to stating why "God existence" is relevant to that conversation.
          When it is relevant to the conversation at hand I become very interested in people's arguments.
          So I see no direct contradiction within these beliefs...
          However I gladly admit the TED community is one of tolerance! :D
          Did I ever study the Bible? I have studied the Bible indirectly, considering I did "Religious studies" (or theology) at my school (when I was younger). And indeed I do have a copy! (:D) Yet have never found the time to do so.
          Why did I choose those three questions in particular?
          An excellent question!
          Because those are the three most common answers I hear people say, I have only ever really heard three forms of answer :
          1. I would muck around with the laws of nature (the selfish option).
          2. I would try and make the world a better place (the selfless option).
          3. I wouldn't trust myself with the powers of God, thus I would destroy myself (the self-sacrifice option).
      • May 30 2013: I get it.

        Thanks for clarifying......I had to edit my comment to you so much, when I was writing, to get my words just right, that my mouse is complaining.:P I did not want to offend you in any way.

        I love your explanation of the three questions you chose.
        *selfish option
        *selfless option
        *self-sacrifice option

        OK...well, I hope you get good responses on here.

        TEDsters can be very creative. Let's see into which of the three categories your contributors fall into.

        Bernard, in talking to people who are interested in religion and God,I have found that many enjoy reading a variety of books on the subject.

        If I may offer a suggestion?
        Also do reading in the Bible itself.

        The books of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and Psalms are pretty good to start with.
        I have found that in the New Testament, I like to read an entire book gives me a good idea of the author's voice.....(I especially enjoy James and 1 Peter and 2 Peter)

        I hope you have a copy of the Bible that is easy to understand.

        Have you tried participating in any online forums that discuss religion?

        What little I have learned through my reading and study I will share.
        If ever you have a Bible question, I will try to take a stab at it.....let me know.
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          May 30 2013: :-)
          Thanks for the advice.
          I have so much reading to do though! :(
          I shall try though!
          I'm interested (if you don't mind me asking) what is opinion about the books (from the New Atheists (hate to use that label) ), like "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" (by Christopher Hitchens), and "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" (by Sam Harris)? Considering they both give a very negative light towards scripture like the Bible...
          (Sorry! Getting a bit off topic, I hope I am not offending you!)
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          May 30 2013: Yes I know.
          Religion, as I know it, isn't that bad. It is just due to the media (and the availability heuristic), and influential people (like Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins) distorting the core messages of these religions (take Islam as a good example). Ironically Peter Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens brother) often says that he is upset by his brother for creating such an atmosphere.
          Religions are not based on a "desire for power" (where do people get this idea?), if anything they are based on a community wanting to come together in their belief in a higher power. So Buddhism (and Taoism, and even Judaism) from you logic must be built upon a "desire for power"?
          I accept that religion has done many bad things, however it is ignorant (if you can forgive me for saying) it hasn't done any "good" things. Considering it has contributed (positivity) much to society. Look at all the art, music, architecture and literature it has given us.
          To get more where I can coming from watch :
          "Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0"

          Or read his book "Religion for Atheists" (
          "to conflict and wars and death"
          If you study the crusades and holy wars, you realize it was mostly correlation not causation. The wars probably would have happened regardless of religion.
          However this is irrelevant to the topic at hand.
          Please send me an email, or write to me on one of the other conversations.
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        May 30 2013: Hi Bernard,

        Is it anti religious to support freedom of religion (within limits) but think all the conflicting religions are probably wrong?

        Is it anti religious not to mind peaceful religious beliefs, even if I think they are false, but oppose any religions being forced on children or used as an excuse to trample the rights of others?

        I'm not a religious believer. I don't mind discussing, learning, debating, listening and testing ideas. I acknowledge even false beliefs can have utility. But if we are interested in the truth then we should realise at best all but one contradictory religious belief must be false. And good luck guessing which one is, if any.
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          May 31 2013: That is not anti-religious at all (in my view).
          It is anti religious (in my view) to persecute religious people, for whatever the reason!
      • May 30 2013: I have read quite a bit about those two gentlemen. But I have not read their works.

        And for what it's worth, LaMar makes an excellent point.
        Religion should not be confused with God and faith and scripture.

        Religions have hidden behind God to do alot of harm Bernard.
        I am very well aware of that fact.
        Another reason why people turn away from organized religion.