Thread: Learning To Think Spiritually
May 30th 2003, 09:58 PM #61
Factoid: The salvation experience is a hard fact for the saved. You can't argue what you've never experienced. This is the bulk of the problem for the atheist. It's impossible to critique what you don't understand. You can point to math and science and logic but it can't supercede the life experience of the believer.
May 30th 2003, 10:45 PM #62Today @ 07:37 PM post located here
Hired Gun (to Alien):
Lighten up, pal. I was joking. Years ago, I would brag about such a thing and attempt to take credit for it, even though I wasn't directly involved.
Now I'll run to Infidels and brag that I helped get this article the most viewed to date... j/k"That's the problem in believing in a supernatural being; trying to determine what he wants."
-- Deanna Troi, Star Trek: TNG, episode - "Who Watches the Watchers?"
"Now Korihor said unto him: I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe."
-- Alma 30:48, The Book of Mormon.
May 30th 2003, 10:47 PM #63
May 30th 2003, 11:52 PM #64
The following comments were made concerning Korihor's second to last post. The text contained in the quotes are fragments of that post.
Many of the issues that you address have already been presented in this thread. While you may disagree with my reasoning, I feel no need to repeat it. But let's get on with the new questions!
I’d like to ask something. Why is it that someone like me who does not believe in a deity or supernatural, can feel empathy for others in pain and disdain for cruelty? This doesn’t come as a choice to me or simply an ‘opinion.’ I cannot intentionally inflict cruelty on someone for close to the same reason I cannot take a hatchet to my wrist. Most human beings feel this way about cruelty as well. You can find this sometimes in the animal kingdom too. Having a conscience appears to be natural. I think I’m quite justified in considering people who don’t feel this way (e.g. serial killers or psychopaths) as abnormal.
Since you are grown, we can't see what type of a person you would be, had you not had the fortune of a loving family and stable societal influence. But you can intellectually erase the conscience that your parents and culture helped to create, which is exactly what I managed to do for over a decade.
You say that you 'can' feel empathy for others in pain, but that your empathy isn't a choice. Do you ALWAYS feel empathy for others in pain? How much empathy do you feel for them? Is it always an equal amount? Or do you have more empathy for those with whom you are emotionally close?
When we hear of mudslides that kill 10,000 people in a remote village of India, how much empathy do we really have? There is nothing that we can do about it. Does our empathy for others depend on our ability to prevent or lessen their tragedy? I would say that it doesn't, so why can we continue to eat our breakfasts with the morning news that calls our attention to these horrors?
Thousands of people die horribly every day. We only hear about the *special* cases, involving the bizarre or famous. Why don't we express empathy for the unkown dead and dying?
How sincere is our empathy? We know that we could alleviate the pain and suffering of a great many others through monetary donations, yet how much are we willing to sacrifice to do that? If we truly had empathy for the plight of others, we would all die as paupers.
One can become desensitized to the degree where one realizes that they don't have to experience the uncomfortable feeling of empathy. People suffer and die every day. Why should you allow yourself to have an emotional response for one dying child when you know there are a thousand more. How does her death directly affect you? Are you going to feel sad about it all day?
You begin to realize that you [i]do[/do] choose to have empathy. Subject yourself to intense exposure of tragedy every day for a year and you will soon find that your empathy can be conveniently tucked away.
We feel emotional and have empathy when we experience the hurt of a loved one. But we must realize that our loved one is only a statistic to someone else. You have to face the fact that your empathy isn't doing your loved one any good and it is making you emotionally uncomfortable. If you can choose to not have empathy for others, you can also choose to not have empathy for your loved one.
Death is a natural process and sometimes that process is accompanied by pain. Every person who was ever born has to go through it. That is a fact of life. Just keep reminding yourself that one day, you too may have to face the prospect of a tortuous death. When that day comes, eventually, whether it takes months, days, or hours, or seconds, you will feel nothing and you will no longer have to deal with it. When you imagine going through that, do you have empathy for yourself? Strangely, I don't. I realize that would be self pity and I frown upon self pity.
We seem to have an unfounded fear of death. If all parts of our consciousness cease to exist at the point of death, then to die is to experience nothing. This isn't as terrible as it sounds; except for the few dreams that I can recall, I experience nothing for 8 hours every day. If death is natural and it isn't terrible, then why would we choose to have empathy for the dying?
What significance does death have to us as individuals or to societies as a whole? We mourn the loss of our loved ones, but they are experiencing nothing, so our tears are for ourselves, not them. Nazis killed over 6 million Jews. 6 million people wiped off of the earth, yet it is as if they never existed to us now. So how significant is death when it doesn't seem to impact any one society or individual for any length of time? And if our deaths are insignificant, then how significant were our lives in the first place?
Just think about it. All day. Every day. We had a primitive fear of death and injury that could lead to death and we project this fear into our empathy for the dying. But there is nothing to fear. Empathy is an illogical emotion, the same as hate, which is also based on fear.
Once you own this mindset, you discover that you can also reason yourself out of an entire spectrum of emotion. Once you are able to completely control your emotions, you stop having them. The conscience is nothing more than an emotion of guilt.
Viola! No conscience.A.S.A. Jones
I wasn't born again yesterday.
May 31st 2003, 12:48 AM #65Korihor:
But I think the overall goal is objective though –- human survival and making the most of our lives.Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
One should never quote oneself in their signature. It makes one look downright pretentious
May 31st 2003, 09:05 AM #66
Instinct for survival is based on the fear of death. But humans have the ability to reason and can conclude that, logically, this fear is unfounded. And if it be unfounded, then that instinct is something to be overcome. There really can be no logical preference for life over death.
Now if we are to reason to this conclusion, then why do we persist in delusion, pretending that life is preferable to death?
I wasn't born again yesterday.
May 31st 2003, 10:17 AM #67
May 31st 2003, 02:20 PM #68A.S.A. Jones
I wasn't born again yesterday.
May 31st 2003, 02:44 PM #69
I am an Arnie fan.
May 31st 2003, 03:02 PM #70
but, really, what is logic? a couple chemical interactions? Against stronger, older chemical reactions like survival?Meh.
May 31st 2003, 03:24 PM #71
Also, Undomiel, if IO have never had such an experience, how can I be expected to understand, as you pointed out? How can I be blamed for not having an experience like that?Meh.
May 31st 2003, 03:33 PM #72
Typically you find out how and then do it.
Door, walk through door.
Err, that's the best way I can explain it.
May 31st 2003, 04:39 PM #73
May 31st 2003, 07:24 PM #74
It is all a ver intersting outlook/thought on things.Shaun McFall,
May 31st 2003, 11:12 PM #75Today @ 03:02 PM post located here
but, really, what is logic? a couple chemical interactions? Against stronger, older chemical reactions like survival?
If you agree with the argument that I gave, the instinct to survive is based on the fear of death. So, "What is acquired human reasoning when compared to the more primitive and powerful fear of death?" My answer is , "Everything!"
We speak of truth in these forums. It does no good to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the truth that human reason has brought to us. Our primitive fear of death may have been responsible for our will to survive in the past, but with an educated human population, this fear may be erased.
In the absence of this fear, what can motivate us? Logic will provide us with no motivation; in fact, I am confident that it will always discourage us when we attempt to find the answer to this question. If we want to validate our illogical will to survive, we must acknowledge a spiritual reality.A.S.A. Jones
I wasn't born again yesterday.
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