Now I'm Convinced There Probably Is No God
I think one of the reasons that certain people have "created" God, in their minds, is because life and the eventual death, are very hard for certain people to accept.
For example, I believe my Father was drawn to "the truth", because he didn't want to believe that we all just were born, and lived, and loved, and laughed, and cried, and all that life has to offer, to then eventually just DIE, and be forgotten. Its a hard "pill" for some to swallow.
Humans try to rationalize that we are here for a reason, and serve a greater purpose. Its hard to believe its all for nothing. Yes, there is joy in our lives. We have and love our children. We cherish and make lasting friendships. We build, and laugh, and create, and destroy, but some just cannot accept that, then we grow old, and die, making it all, kinda for nothing, in the end.
When you TRULY realize how insignificant we REALLY are, in our little corner, of the corner, of the corner, of the speck of dust we live on, it is quite sobering for some. Some look at it, and say " We are truly NOTHING". Others look at that same picture, and say "We truly must be something special".
All the god's ever envisioned through human imagination were derived from human ignorance of the world in which we live.
The writings in the bible were historical expressions of that imagination from one select ancient civilization, there were many more gods imagined throughout human history as well from different cultural civilizations .
Human intelligence tells us that we are indeed very special within the constraints of natural law.
I see just the opposite in the heavens. I don't for a moment see this earth being just a pale dot in the cosmic scheme of things. In fact, I've always been a big believer in multiverses. I also don't see this world being destroyed by the sun in consequence of entropy. Former JWs are beset by seeing things in light of their former beliefs. It becomes Carl Sagan versus Joseph Rutherford and that's it. But if the earth is graced by the return of the Savior, it will not be left to suffer death any more than we human beings will. Rather, if we humans can be redeemed, why not the world?
Presently we suffer death in our fallen states. Through baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit we're redeemed from the fall. Even as animal sacrifice represented the sacrifice of the Savior, the flood and the ultimate destruction of the wicked by fire represent the Earth's baptism, first by water, then by fire. And as we're redeemed, so Earth is redeemed. As we escape death, so Earth will be glorified, redeemed and sanctified.
It's Christianity versus Sagan, not JW versus Sagan. As I see the prophesies being fulfilled in the Middle East to the letter, I can't believe it's by chance. I see the moon set so exactly in the heavens that it stabilizes Earth, gives it seasons and sustains life and I think it has to be more than chance. Once the combined forces of the Antichrist come down upon Jerusalem, it will either be destroyed or Christ will return. But here's a sign many of you will see in your lifetimes, and that will be the destruction of Damascus as a city. It's prophesied in the scriptures (Isaiah 17) and I believe it will happen in the near future. When you see it, you'll know God is alive and well.
If it fails, boy will I have a red face! But I'll bet my everlasting bippy it will happen. JWs have been given a revisionist version of prophecy, but if you take it literally, you can see it happening. Only time will tell.
If it fails, boy will I have a red face!
We both know that isn't true. Mormons have a long history of casually replacing one failed doctrine for an equally risible one and carrying on as if nothing happened.
The moon does not give Earth its seasons.
I am indirectly influenced by Sagan, but I have never read or watched anything by him or predominantly featuring him.
Yeshuah, if he lived at all, was a cult leader, and this is demonstrated by what he said since that was written before his narrative came along. (I am referring to the Q source.) "Leave the dead to bury their dead" is an expression of undue influence in the hopes of gaining cult followers, and an insult to the poor man's family and responsibilities. If anyone else said it, it'd be at least a little bit rude.
But it's more than that. He was pictured as the Lamb of God... Aries? And he fed the masses with 2 fish? Okay, that's Pisces, and the fish became a signature of Christians.
The woman giving birth to a child? Well, there's Isis and Horus. Armageddon? Okay, that's a battle between Ahriman and Ahura-Mazda... 144,000? Well, if you reduce the digits, it adds up to 9, symbolic of man, the initiate... The Tree of Life? The Tetragrammaton? The Tabernacle? Those are all indicative of the macrocosm, the Grand Man of the Universe...
Before you think that what I'm saying is that Christianity has pagan roots, let me stop you.
What I'm saying is that it should be understood that Christianity has as pagan roots as any other, and I am suggesting that as a religion, it is entirely metaphorical. Not to be taken literally. Jesus is not literally coming back.
But you are in control of your life. You are the innocent infant, who becomes the wandering and reckless adolescent, who becomes the rational adult, who grows old and eventually passes away. You are the Hero, and it's your Journey. It's all on you. If you put your hopes in the predictions of any religious sect, you are bound to be disappointed, but the world will spin on.
And, Cold_Steel, the destruction of Tyre was prophesied too. Laughably.
...the flood and the ultimate destruction of the wicked by fire represent the Earth's baptism, first by water, then by fire. And as we're redeemed, so Earth is redeemed. As we escape death, so Earth will be glorified, redeemed and sanctified.
1. The earth was not baptized. The earth didn't commit a sin and need "saving".
2. Baptism was introduced by John the baptist, not before.
3. The whole earth did not receive fire and brimstone, only Sodom and Gomorrah did.
Baptism actually existed as ritual cleansing all the way back to Moses. And when John baptized, no one questioned what he was doing or even took the time to explain it. If we go to the Bible we learn almost nothing about the ordinance. But Peter explains that the flood was a type of baptism.
While Jesus body lay in the tomb, he said, his spirit went to Paradise, where he "preached to the spirits in prison." He writes that these are the spirits "which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."
Notice they were saved "by water" and not by the ark. He then likened it to baptism, “the like figure where unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
One non-LDS scholar, in addressing baptism before John, writes:
The liturgical use of water was common in the Jewish world. The Law of Moses required ablutions (washings) on the part of priests following certain sacrifices and on certain individuals who were unclean because of an infectious disease (Num. 19:1-22; Lev 14,15, 16:24-28). The natural method of cleansing the body by washing and bathing in water was always customary in Israel. The washing of their clothes was an important means of sanctification imposed on the Israelites even before the law was given a Mt. Sinai (Ex 19:10). The use of water for cleansing was used symbolically as well in such passages as Eze 36:25 where God says, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities...." We do not believe that the practice of baptism for the remission of sins as taught in the New Testament was based in any way on the Old Testament, however the Old Testament washings with or in water that were for the purpose of physical cleansing can be seen as a type or shadow of New Testament baptism, which is for the purpose of spiritual cleansing (1 Peter 3:21).
And Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise write concerning baptism before Jesus as referenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls:
On the heels of this text, we come upon a series of fragments related to baptism. By baptism, of course, the reader should realize that the proponents of this literature did not necessarily mean anything different from traditional Jewish ritual immersion. The terminologies are synonymous, though the emphasis on baptismal procedures at Qumran is extraordinary. This can be seen not only in texts such as the one represented by these fragments and the well-known Community Rule, iii, 1-4, which in describing baptism makes reference to 'the Holy Spirit', but also the sheer number of ritual immersion facilities at the actual ruins of Qumran -- if these can be safely associated with the movement responsible for this literature.
Once again, one is confronted with the vocabulary of 'Glory,' this time in terms of 'a law of Glory' (4.3), as well as, if our reconstruction is correct, 'the purity of Righteousness' or 'Justification' (4.4). There is reference to 'making atonement for us', being 'cleansed from pollution' as one 'enters the water', and the usual 'Laws of your Holiness' and 'Truth of Your Covenant'.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 199.
Heaven » The moon does not give Earth its seasons.
Actually it does. No one really knows where the moon came from, and we've seen nothing like a planet our size with a moon the size of ours. Someone or something brought that monster into our orbit in such a way that it stabilizes Earth precisely. Without it, man could not survive on this world. We would not have seasons but would wobble to and fro with our weather changing radically from week to week.
The museum sounds great. I'm definitely going to visit it.
If there is an intelligence behind the universe iself, it's left a violent creation - from spectacular suns that implode when it's fuel runs out to the cruelty that develops as a result of the evolutionary arms race. There's no doubt, therefore, any creator has no interest in what the human animal does as a result of inbuilt instinct to survive and pass on it's genes. I do not believe in the concept of free will, either. Any so called conscience we have is a result of our need as a species to rely on the society of others of our kind for safety and survival. Cynical, maybe, but it gives me more compassion and understanding when others do that which the herd disapproves of, I find it easier not to judge.