Profile for Synergy


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Ghostly Postlies (Mostly) in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #9
Yes, I see that. It's just my penchant to mangle names and words for my own amusement. No offense intended.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
On Nov 1st, 2005.... in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #30
You know, that makes me think of something else odd about Lucas' Universe...a consideraable lack of female presence. We get the token primary girl in way of Leia or Padme, but after that...it's just a few odd mothers here and there or some alien nasties which •might• be female. This briefly improved when we got the female assassin in the Clone Wars episode.

Lucas is boringly male-centric, kind of like a pre-adolescent boy. And despite VCH's reference to Empire hotties, where do you ever see one?

May the farce be with you.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Avernum 1.. VERY frustrated... in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #8
I doubt I did. I'm a bit vague on how it all happened now. I just remember discovering this orb in a room, which was communicating with some empire mage or commander on the surface and he was surprised to see me (Pippin looks into the Palantir, anyone?)

The more logical choice was to destroy it, so I did. But I was curious, so I went back to a saved game and saw what would happen if I chose the other option. Are we talking about the same orb/sphere encounter here?

EDIT: I'm almost certain this was in the Scimitar Cave though, and later I was given the quest to destroy the orb I had already destroyed just for the heck of it.

[ Friday, October 14, 2005 15:01: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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A4 Item Locations A4 Singleton G4 Items List G4 Forging List The Insidious Infiltrator
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Avernum 4? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #376
This came in the morning (e)mail:
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From: Jeff Vogel
To: "<Recipient List Suppressed:;>"
Date: Friday, October 14, 2005 12:58 AM
Subject: Avernum 4 beta status

If you get this, this means I have your NDA and you'll have an
Avernum 4 beta shortly. I'm just scrambling to come up with something
good enough for general consumption. Thank you for your patience.
--

- Jeff Vogel
Spiderweb Software, Inc.
http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com

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Looks like Jeffy’s burning the midnight oil to get this thing ready for further abuse.

EDIT: Something should not have been shown ...

FOLLOWUP EDIT: Oops, sorry, Drake, I know what you yanked. I won't do that again.

[ Friday, October 14, 2005 14:57: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Avernum 1.. VERY frustrated... in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
Whereas I stumbled onto the orb in the Scimitar cave without looking for it before I had even been told or warned about it. I had no idea it was a challenge or a flukey thing to find.

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A4 Item Locations A4 Singleton G4 Items List G4 Forging List The Insidious Infiltrator
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
On Nov 1st, 2005.... in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #28
The music of John Williams along with some unprecedented special affects is what really took the original Star Wars from mediocre to memorable. Lucas was smart enough to cast some real talent for his older actors: Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing. Since then (Episode IV & V), the franchise quickly went downhill and degenerated into insulting kiddie fare with too many ongoing relational coincidences (everyone seems to be related to Luke) considering the scale of the galaxy.

Has anyone seen the twenty minute satire movie "George Lucas in Love"? Now that's funny stuff.

[ Friday, October 14, 2005 14:50: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
A Hypothetical Conceived Whilst Drunk in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet.

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can't say
People just liked it better that way

And that's all I have to say about that.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
naming a character in Avernum in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #72
Change all the ssss's in any random Slith's name to rrrrrr's, add a few m's and w's, stir well, and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. (Serves four).

[ Thursday, October 13, 2005 12:17: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #140
There is no reason not to be skeptical. Skepticism is very healthy. You don't know me. I could be a pathological liar. I didn't mention the experience as a means of convincing or proof. It was in response to a request for an example of something personally more tangible than blind faith. But as I thought I made amply clear in the same post...it's not for you or anyone else. It was for me. I expect no belief at all based on what I said.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Avernum 4? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #371
Alex—I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't been given access to the beta test yet. I think Jeff may be waiting for the majority of the NDA's to come in and send out access all at once. Not sure though, since I haven't done this before.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #138
Belisarius & Salmon:

I think you're reiterating my own point largely. The basis for faith is by definition unscientific. Here is why—best I can explain it.

The spiritual realm parallels the natural realm (or rather, vice-versa). There are natural faculties/senses which are counterparts of spiritual faculties/senses. The two operate on wholly different levels. There are spiritual faculties of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling, etc. We grow up focused on the physical faculties. When one is spiritually awakened and sensitized, whole new ways of experiencing, sensing, and knowing things come into play. It can't be shown, proven, or validated to or through the lower realm of the physical senses, precisely because it is operating on a completely different plane that doesn't cater to or relate to the physical senses.

When the spiritual realm is experienced, there is a knowing, and vision, and natural faith that arises within the spiritual faculties. You can "know" that God IS. You can sense the nature of love in God. You begin to see many things in new ways. There is also a spiritual mind which thinks differently than our natural mind is inclined to think. It breaks the natural rules frequently. It is impossible for the natural mind alone to know or "see" God. It takes spirit to know spirit, flesh to know flesh.

I am not implying that many who profess faith or belief are doing so out of the spiritual mind. It is more likely that even with a bit of spiritual awakening, we remain mostly in the realm of natural senses, and so all kinds of muddled mixtures of enlightenment and confusion result. The natural mind takes over again and analyzes the spiritual with its own abilities and gets it largely wrong. It requires diligent pursuit and growth to hope to learn to separate the mixture and spiritually see things as they are. It is a lifelong pursuit and well beyond any lifetime.

Of course all this sounds quite loony until one actually has a spiritual experience which confirms to that person of the existence of that realm. That is why I say faith should not ever be based on nothing, not on a hope or a wish or natural imagination of God, but subsequent to the personal, spiritual delivery of that which is compelling to know there is a God, and a spiritual aspect to oneself.

I will offer one outwardly demonstrative experience I had in my childhood which helped to confirm my faith, but it came long after I already possessed it. As a child, I had one leg about 1/2” shorter than the other, and it had caused me some back problems. This is common, in one of four births, as I recall....different leg lengths, usually it’s no big deal, but it will put some kind of stress on the bone structure. A teacher with a healing ministry, in this case, Christian, was in Seattle, and I went with my Dad to hear him.

At the end of the talk, the man asked if anyone needed healing, and my Dad encouraged me to go up on stage and he told the man about my short leg. I was scared to death, not knowing what to expect. I sat down in a chair, and the man held my two legs out, and we could plainly see that the bottoms of my shoes didn’t line up at all...a half inch difference was there (it might have been more than that, but I don’t recall now). So, the man prayed for my leg to be restored. I was afraid because I’d never seen anything “miraculous”, and I was quite certain that my faith wasn’t sufficient, and that nothing was going to happen to me. I thought I would look like the foolish and unfaithful child on stage who wasn’t able to get a healing.

The man prayed and I sat still. He was gently holding my feet by the shoes, legs extended straight out from the chair. Suddenly, my right leg felt incredibly warm and tingly in a wonderful way and I watched as my right leg grew out till it matched the other. I couldn’t believe it. When I went back to my chiropracter in a few days, he confirmed it, as he had been the one to first discover the problem. He wasn’t a believer of anything at that time, but later became one. This kind of healing is actually said to be quite common in healing ministries, fixing legs.

Now, that’s my simple, straightforward account. You can say I’m lying, deluded, that there was a conspiracy, that the psychic power of this man healed me (which in a sense isn’t entirely untrue as I see how the spiritual realm works, but I don’t think those contending against faith here would place any more credence in the existence of psychic abilities which also don’t appear to follow any natural law.) My chiropracter who was entirely agnostic confirmed it had actually occurred.

I consider this was a gracious act of love freely given to me, even despite my own lack of “faith” in the moment. I didn’t earn it. But I didn’t need that personal physical proof to believe in God. I already knew in my spiritual mind. This is how one can say they “know” God. Just as we know a person through personal experiencing of that person, we know God through some degree of spiritual experiencing of Him and His character. There is an endless depth to be known in God. We know a very little, whatever is given to us to know for now, but it increases as we, in faith, pursue that connection and experience. Just like married couples can keep learning new things about each other for their entire lives together.

So, no, it’s not proof to anyone else but me, though it certainly affected others who witnessed it as well as my chiropracter. Is it science? Who cares? It’s not for the world to dissect. Science is of the natural senses and deals with the natural realm and its rules. There is spiritual proof and it operates on a higher level, and it is a uniquely personal experience. When you have one, you will know it, and no one and no thing can take it from you. Only then is it understood, but it can’t be imparted. It is designed to operate this way. It is a gatekeeper. Spiritual knowing is not given to the masses through outer proofs. It is given to the individual through personal inner experience.

[ Thursday, October 13, 2005 10:36: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #130
quote:
Originally written by Belisarius:
.
Faith is the belief in something in spite of any material evidence.
I'd like to offer a slighty different view of faith. What you are describing I would call "blind faith"...faith without merit. Faith operating correctly is actually based upon experience.

For instance, I believe in God and certain qualities of God because of what I have experienced in pursuit of knowing Who God is. He has given me sufficient personal experiences (evidence) to convince me He is worthy of my faith. I believe and trust because of what has already been given me and shown trustworthy to me in the past. Just as with a human being who wishes to establish trust. You have to prove yourself trustworthy. Is my experience something I can give as proof to someone else? Mostly not, or it will not be believed if I tell it. But that's not the point of the evidence or of the faith. It's just for me.

Expecting faith in something or someone who offers no personally compelling or reliable reason to place the faith is foolishness. Even God does not expect that of anyone...blind faith based on hearsay evidence.

[ Wednesday, October 12, 2005 22:06: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Ghostly Postlies (Mostly) in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #4
We aim to please, Ben Ben :D

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Ghostly Postlies (Mostly) in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
I think I'm about burned out on the heavy issues for a while (and there was much rejoicing). I'd like to do something fun and a bit weird..

In keeping with the season, let's talk ghosts! I'm very curious to hear real first hand ghost stories—not made up ones. It's my impression that they are surprisingly common experiences. Also, what do you think ghosts are and why are they here?

[ Wednesday, October 12, 2005 18:49: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Abominable Photo Thread 3.6 in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #48
Ladies, be careful if you go out with Micawber on a date. Something tells me this guy is gonna be all arms.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #150
The salmonator said the "R" word. My interest is spirituality, though many don't distinguish between religion and spirituality. But's that not important. Don't you think there's room here to talk about kissing and metaphysics? How about the metaphysics of kissing? Talk of kissing would be great, except there hasn't been any of that for days now. And come to think of it, it's been a bit too long since I did any of it myself, or I wouldn't be spending so much of my free time typing hammering the keyboard here lately.

Jewels...I don't really want to challenge your faith. If one is seeking to expand her viewpoint of what is in Scriptures and what is possible, then it's fun to talk about. But I have never once found it useful to try to convince someone who is comfortable in her faith that there might be more or other to it. I love trying to expand thinking and to challenge assumptions, because I don't see any danger in it (more the opposite). You're just fine, so please don't let me trouble you further, and do forgive me if my post last night caused any offense to you.

P.S. -Jewels, I tried to send you a reply message, but it is blocked.

[ Wednesday, October 12, 2005 17:41: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #122
Kel, I'm thinking your schooling experience is far from trypical.

EDIT: I was going to fix the typo, but I rather like it.

[ Wednesday, October 12, 2005 09:52: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #145
quote:
Originally written by Jewels:

Synergy - Your descriptions are much like what I have always thought heaven to be like. The reason I say it is too libral is because this is not heaven. Sin runs rampant and while what you describe would be ideal, it would also be misused. In the name of love pedifiles would seduce children, fathers their daughters, mothers their sons. This state of perfect love and selflessness you describe I see as only being possible to achieve after the second coming. As long as the devil is free to tempt us and the sinful nature plagues us there will never be enough trust for this to be a true reality. Something to personally strive for to be sure, though. I agree that there can be no sin in perfect selfless love.
Jewels, you’re sweet. Please don’t be upset if I can’t embrace that grim perspective of us all. I know it’s a largely traditional view of Christian belief at this time. But popular never indicates correct. We have to be more sober investigators than that if we wish to happen upon the truth. I would ask: what if heaven is not someplace out there in space people get some free ticket to as a reward for physical death, but is rather a spiritual state of being that is experienced and grows within you based on spiritual maturation through exercise and connection? You know, the true blossoming of a spirit of Love, Joy, Peace, etc. within. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”--literally, inside you. Right here, right now. So what are we waiting around to die for?

I know it’s another radical shift in thinking from the sort of fairytale-ish visions of literal heavens and hells as physical places, but if you can, think about it, pray about it (one can never go wrong to express the desire to find the truth, at whatever the cost) and poke around in that Bible with an open mind. And be honest, don’t you think the children of the God Who made this fantastical universe have better things to grow up into, and suffering through this process for, than lazing around in a really rather boring celestial valhalla eating grapes? No no no, not for me, that IS hell, to be hamstrung into perpetual idleness. We have so much to do and learn and perfect.

We are made to build, to work, to create, to procreate, to explore, to expand, to love...it’s a big big big universe. Lots to see in do when we grow up. Things to do, places to go, planets to go love and stuff way beyond our imagination right now. How big’s your imagination? How big is your God? Bigger than the universe. That’s pretty big.

Also, curiously, and I might suggest—tellingly—no one will never find the phrase “go to heaven” anywhere in Scriptures, yet Christians use the term perpetually like a mantra. Nor the term “second coming”. These and others are totally extra-biblical phrases made into crushing dogma by slovenly common usage. Don’t believe everything they tell you. Most of them don’t do their homework. There are in fact many “comings” of Christ with many different implications. There are at least six different words in Greek all reduced to the generic “coming” of Christ in English translation. The Greeks had those six or seven words because they all meant something somewhat different. I think so did the writers who used them in the first place. Some meanings are “manifestation”, “appearing” “presence”. At least one of them actually does mean “coming” as in movement. That alone is a huge study, the uses of those words, and it is also quite revealing.

I think the biggest single misfortune of present Christian doctrine is the obsession with and consciousness of sin. Sin only plagues us to the degree we still give it the power of death over us denying the provision for sin given to all the world. Scripture said the price was paid once and for all, exactly in those terms. Once. And for All. It is not held against our account. Debt erased, past, present, and future. Why do we keep resurrecting a dead thing? We don’t believe what God provided or what He invites. And so we continue to die, cut off from Life. Our salvation is secured. But we gotta actualize it to reap its true benefits.

Paul said it is only our minds (our mistaken thinking) that makes us the enemy of God. We have been thinking wrongly about God, and so made ourselves lowly wormlike sinners in our own eyes and distanced from God Who invites us freely to commune with Him right here, right now, just as we are. God does not call us sinners. We do that. We are sin conscious and blind to the fully redeeming and liberating power of the Love of God, Who is after all, the Father of our spirits and we His beloved family.

We removed ourselves from union with the Divine, by choosing to judge things good and evil for ourselves apart from the Mind of God, back in Genesis (symbolized by eating the fruit of a tree, the fruit of which looked good to us, but only brought us to spiritual death). We got conceited for some reason and pulled the plug, losing our connection and Divine vision...suddenly we saw our nakedness and have forever since been building things out of leaves to cover it: religions, cities, governments, schools, weapons, indulgences...provisions, protections, and pleasures. But God makes it clear we are not to judge. Only the Maker and Knower and Seer of all as it truly is is fit to render a right judgement. Sometimes what we would call evil is working a good, and some good works evil. (Known about anyone whose life was ruined by winning the lottery?) God uses all the interplay of good and evil to an ultimate good, because He is sovereign and He is love, and He is certainly purposeful and not negligent with His own creation. It’s all going somewhere, and it requires some painful lessons in the meantime till we grow up some more and believe what He told us and do something about it and quit waiting around.

I also find it significant that the word “sin” is an archery term which means “falling short of the mark” as an arrow missing a bullseye. No more, no less. It means simply not yet having arrived at a perfection, not an imputation of evil or disqualification. Falling short of an ideal and a goal. That we have not yet arrived. Another favorite bludger, the word “repent” translates literally as “Take a new mind”...”change your thinking”. John the Baptist cried in the wilderness, “Repent (be ready to change your thinking) for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (the rulership of God in our hearts is going to be revealed and made accessible to us bringing those who believe and pursue into a new incorruptible life based in the spirit of love). If the enemy of union with God is simply our own minds which condemn us (day and night before the throne of God which is in you) and make us unworthy in our own eyes as we continue to exercise our own judgement of good and evil, then taking a new mind is the remedy...repentance (from errant thinking). We have to let go of our sin-consciousness. You are what you eat. We become like the company we keep. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Take a new vision of yourself and your fellow man and you begin to become something new yourself. I suggest in order to really step into the Fire of God and the Love of God, we have to have adopted a right view of ourselves and others, and His grace. Because most have not really done that, they have not grown into that perfect love, and so it remains elusive. We got some more growing up to do.

I don’t see mankind as wretched, sinful, weak beings. I see us as the divine spiritual family of God whose error is having distanced ourselves from a relationship and connection, which has in actuality never been denied us, if only we knew it. If you have never witnessed in operation the kind of persistent, unconditional agape love I’m talking about, then you might well expect that with full liberty, only perversion and selfishness could result. But where true love does exist, the law of love will not permit one to violate or use or harm another. Love is a more powerful law than the Law of Moses which “killeth.”

The nature-transforming spirit of Love is accessible to us, any of us, all of us, if we only believe it and connect with the freely-offered Source of it in God Who is love. It is in fact a mandate to pursue that “perfection”. Paul urged us to pursue it...because it’s impossible for us? That would be a dirty trick. We should have no waiting around to kick off the mortal body for instant perfection and a lazy eternal reward doing nothing of import. If you’re not doing it now, it’s not a free reward later. It’s that prize, that crown Paul talked about running the race to capture. It’s you as a wholly new creation made anew by plugging in to Love. Having our sin—our falling short, our imperfection—not held against us so that we are able to make connection with God and that kind of love is our free gift many call salvation.

Lastly, there is one simple reason why sexual activity between any adult and any child will forever be UNloving and therefore against the law of love. It is an inequitable relationship. The child is not capable of entering into a willful, mature, lateral relationship of a sexual nature with an adult. It is by defintion of the child’s greatly immature sexuality, exploitive. And love does not exploit for the self or use another for gratification. Love protects, nurtures, and embraces wisdom which knows what is appropriate for what level of maturity. It knows times and seasons, and sexual behavior is not the of the season of childhood. Sexuality is the reward for growing up...the adult replacement for losing the fun of childish play. That’s said with much of my tongue in my cheek, but it really is true in a general sense.

That’s my vision and experience of God Who designed us to derive our true sustenance through spiritual connection, and not just with “Him”, but especially with one another, where God is seen and expressed, and known. As we grow, mature, and expand, we put away childish things and take on greater, bigger, and better things. It always increases and expands as long as we keep growing. No surprise, you can’t raise an infant to maturity on milk. Christianity is largely subsisting on curdled milk. It has a bad case of arrested development. It’s nice to sit around and play and have Mommy change our diapers and Daddy give us gifts, but it’s even better to grow up and start doing something creative and productive and important.

So, I know I threw a bunch of random bits into this mix, but it’s just a little example of the skewing of meanings of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words we have obtained via our sadly errant English translations of Scripture texts. There are many translational errors in the inexplicably worshipped King James Bible.

Sometime later, it might be fun to dig into “hell” and “eternity” too, because what’s there might suprise, the, um, hell out people. Oh, and “satan” and “devils” too (oh my). The Truth takes the fear right out the equations. For too long the supposed ministers of Love have wielded fear on false premises in an attempt to scare the world into the Kingdom of Heaven. But fear is the tool of tyrants, and we are informed that “perfect love casts out fear.” There is no place for fear in love. They are diametrically opposed. If anything about God makes one afraid (I don’t mean revering awe), then one has not yet gotten a true look at the nature of God and of love.

I get angry at how the shepherds tear the hooves off the sheep. People at least deserve to hear the true story, not eternal tortures of billions of one’s own children mockingly called “grace” and “justice” and other true abominations. Passionate about this stuff? Yep, I am. Most of us have never been given a fair shake, because we have been sold a dreadful mixture of pagan superstitions, literalistic nonsensical assumptions, mistranslated terms (some intentionally—don’t think translating Bibles isn’t political), and so on.

I think any of us who loves truth and loves love and loves God does best to go to the Source ourselves and stop believing the words of dead and ignorant men. To do so makes an idol of men. 1700 years of false traditions twisted from original truths does not make them any more true than the first day they fell from heaven.

Which reminds me that “lucifer” is not a name, it’s a Hebrew word which means daystar. And most blatantly, a couple verses later he’s referred as “the man who shook the world”, plainly stated within a prophecy against the king of Babylon. So much for the fallen angel mythology. How do they maintain such ridiculous superstitions?

This is hard to stop, but I will. I’m not attacking you, Jewel. I love you. I love God. I love truth. I despise anything that stands in the way of all three.

[ Tuesday, October 11, 2005 23:26: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Abominable Photo Thread 3.6 in General
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Member # 6292
Profile #38
Muji, use your decoder ring, please:

!1!!one!
l337 h4xX0r

Call me obtuse, but I can't figger dese out.

And...NICE GOIN' Ben! You made the pretty pictures of Marlenny vanish. That's BAD magic.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
On-Call in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
So, Aran, what you are saying is that you are always weirded out when you have to deal with an actual human being???

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #111
Hmmm....Muji's mad at me for trying to outpost him. Muji's mad at me for not posting at all. Mad Muji: The Word Warrior. Coming soon to a theater near you.

...

That's an astute observation, Spidey. We've come a long way since the ideal of the Renaissance Man where education and exploration for their own sake were valued, no? Now we crank out worker drones where all is focused on career and money. We're not taught to critically think or question the authorities of knowledge, though occasionally we pay lip service to it. Schools are socializing institutions as much as anything else. Hello Huxley. Hello Orwell. Bye Bye Brain.

[ Tuesday, October 11, 2005 21:02: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
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Profile #104
Hey Muj, I'll demure and let you litter the boards with lengthy speeches and diatribes for a bit. I think my cup runneth over, and though I do get the writing bug readily enough, I am acutely aware how obnoxious it can be for others to deal with so much dialog. I'm sure a whole lot of people just stop reading after a short while and mutter to themselves, "Obsessive freaks!" It's good exercise and hopefully, good fun to bat ideas around, and it's been a while since I've been able to do it really.

I'm driven by ideas and possibilities, so while some people focus on the practical and purely logical, I'm always thinking about, "What if....?" Everything gets really trippy to me when I am able to peel away all the built up assumptions.

Life on other planets? How would others fit into the present sense of man's spiritual importance and centrality? This kind of thing is intriguing to ponder. It's good to push the envelopes of our comfort, familiarity and assumptions.

I think you described animals in a meaningful way. Consciousness of one's spirituality and being makes a very different experience and set of responsibilities and drives than just doing what you do by "instinct" and fulfilling your basic physical needs.

Anyhow, much to do today, and I'm rather anxious about stuff I have to perform at school today.

The next thread I have in mind to create is more in keeping with the Halloween season.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
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Member # 6292
Profile #123
Yeah, I hear you Jewels. It’s curious to me that you find a thing beautiful, yet too liberal. An interesting conflict. Liberal used to be a dirty word to me, also from a mostly conservative Protestant upbringing (it got a lot more colorful when we went Pentecostal). I have rather grown fond of that word and what it embodies now, however. Liberal : generous, giving, plentiful gracious. Whereas, to conserve is in a sense to hold back and prevent further flow or change. If God never stops moving and doing new things, then if we pitch camp and conserve at some point along the way, we have been left behind in a cozy little coffin of our own building. I think God keeps moving up the mountain and we are invited to follow. I think it gets better all the time and more expansive and unfolding all the time...as long as we are willing to keep up. I’m not much concerned with politics, but in every other way, I desire to be liberal: generous, forgiving, big-hearted and outpouring. It’s not such a bad word, really. I think God’s grace is far more liberal than we’ve been willing to accept, having turned back to mix law with grace.

I esteem physical intimacy as a very special thing, especially on a personal intuitive level. I do think Christian tradition and superstition of a religious sort have made physical affection and union into something so mystical and sacred that it’s long become overwrought and a tool of much fear and manipulation. One example being that concept of giving away part of your soul when you lose your virginity...a part you can never get back or that you have created some magical connection between two people which is dire to break, often treated as a sort of unpardonable sin which ruins something of you forever.

Well, in a way it’s very magical of course, but so can be a good piece of music, chocolate, a dream, or a good conversation with someone you really click with while sitting by the ocean under the stars. The concept that certain very specific kinds of physical interaction are magically binding in ways no degree of emotional and even spiritual connection can approach is not sensible to me. I find emotion and spiritual connection much more meaningful and binding than the physical in and of itself, which for me only becomes magical where those deeper bonds are established.

Infidelity to one’s loved one is wrong under the “new dispensation” not because of the commandment given to Moses, but because it violates the law of love, which the law of Moses reflected in both practical and symbolic ways. That external law in stone is clearly stated by Paul to a be a law no one is any longer subject to. He said it’s only purpose was to bring sin to fullness (to full awareness) and that it was only able to condemn men but not remedy the lawlessness (selfishness) in hearts. It had in it only the power of death and was said to be designed to make us aware of our inability to keep an external set of laws. Mission accomplished. Israel demonstrated that perfectly so the world could then see what the real law is, an internal thing from the heart shown by the power of a spirit of love which comes from union with God.

If it is the spirit of love which is critical, then anything done or shared in love with loving persons fulfils the law of love. There is no need for external constructs and limitations on what relationships may or may not demonstrate and share love. We shouldn’t underestimate the degree to which we are socially (including religiously) trained to anticipate, idealize, and favor one kind of ideal relationship for true love. But there is nothing actually there telling us that has to be the case. That is cultural. That is our choice, our paradigm. Again, the OT was a time of polygamy with no condemnation at all from on high. The magical “one man-one woman” relationship was never ordained as necessary to love or keep the OT Law. It was a practical arrangement with little romanticized notion at all. A few cultures have even been matriarchal and reversed this arrangement.

Why should the NT law, which represents a true liberty from external laws, take a step backwards and set one specific relationship alone as acceptable for love to be expressed? Other possible arrangements are so distasteful and unthinkable, I think, because of powerful lifelong conditioning according to social custom and the persistent, unrealistic romantic ideals handed us from Europe a few centuries back (which our media are steeped in). I think it is especially because most of us, regardless of faith are yet alltogether too practiced in selfishness and mistrust.

When people are sufficiently operating out of the truly selfless spirit of love, there is nothing left to mistrust or fear. Love will not fail the other, and circumstances truly become irrelevant to the course of love. I think we mostly have not come to the experience of love where we can wholly trust and know our concerns are truly foremost in our beloved. So laws, rules and constraints persist to enforce our failing love. Underlying it all is the fear that something out there has the power to diminish or destroy the love given us by another, and so it would betray us.

And so if Paul said, there is nothing that goes into a man which defiles him (nothing external in way of ritual, food, drink,and I would suggest manners of physical love), but that which comes out of him (attitudes of the heart expressed in word and deed). To sum it up, I plainly see the edict from God being, “It’s not what you are doing with your natural body, but by which spirit you are doing it which is of import.” Our hearts, in love, convict and direct us according to time, place, person, and circumstance, what is appropriate and acceptable for us in expressing love. The Spirit within is to teach us that, and not any external physical law. Most of our limitations are practical and self-imposed.

And all of that said, all my heart personally desires is one special woman for whom to pour out my love and devotion for all my days. I could imagine other satisfactory arrangements. The truth is any kind of relationship, just like any kind of government, can work successfully where corrupting self-interest, manipulation, and fear are not present. The problem is simply lawlessness, self-serving, rather than the arrangement. 50% of marriages result in divorce in many nations. Failed governments which resulted in revolution and overthrow. Two were not united in love. Any combination of two or more can conceivably form a government, an arrangement of love and have it work beautifully to the degree all parties involved surrender selfishness at the altar of love. Very very hard to picture or find appealing for most of us, perhaps, but in principle I think it has to be true. Collectively, humankind is not really there yet or ready to take such steps perhaps, but I could see a future with a variety of household arrangements, communes, and relationships which could work just fine.

What is so amazingly cool about Who God really is to me is that He is extremely intimately known and expressed to us, within us, and as us—just as the kind of people we are, and that can look and behave in so many myriad ways suited to any time or culture or custom. It’s all beautiful. It is all potential. It all permits the expression of a God of Love and purpose.

It’s ok if you just can’t agree with that vision. Parts of me still revolt against it. I too have been strongly conditioned toward only one possible arrangement of love and family, but I recognize now where that bias comes from and that all things can be dissolved in the fire of love. A Scripture states that “God is a consuming fire.” That’s a good thing. Fire purifies and liberates the elements, allowing things to freely flow and mix together which were rigid and separate before.

And I have to sleep now.

[ Monday, October 10, 2005 21:34: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #99
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Being difficult to visualize is no bar to being true, especially in modern science.

Agreed.

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Plus there is very little evidence of any of these required intermediate critters.
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Originally written by Kelandon:

This is not entirely true; several (a real biologist can tell you more) have been found.
I’m thinking of the ratio of so many discretely separate kinds of animals we have found in the fossil record compared to all the missing intermediates. It doesn’t add up to me how the fossil record could be so fantastically discriminating, even in the light of a few scattered possible or apparent exceptions. Occam’s Razor, which has become popular to summon around here of late, suggests to me that it is more likely that A didn’t evolve into C in many disparate cases where we have many many different A’s, and many many different C’s, but such a tiny potential representative of B’s which should be roughly equal in number. It’s just common sense to me.

What’s the likely explanation for perfectly absent intermediates between most expected examples? The other problem is we can’t really prove the link of A -> B -> C without DNA or some other means we do not yet possess. A -> B -> C may appear to be a feasible path, but that’s not science, it’s a best guess based on the evidence. The earth-centric working universe was worked out by scientists at one time, so it was thought to be madness to consider any other explanation. We’re good at making things appear to explain things, because we demand explanation according to our present dominant paradigm of explaining things. Once it was more mystical and religious. Now it is dominantly scientific of a certain construction. It could be something yet different tomorrow. It seems each time acts as if it believes it has arrived at the pinnacle of method and perspective.

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I have a strong personal sense and conviction that there is something truly special and "other" about human beings from any animal, and that relates to the spiritual.
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Yes, and this is the lure of ID. But does this make it scientific? It may be emotionally tempting, but should it be taught in a science class?

No, and no. ID is plainly philosophy or religion, but not science. But science is a system of belief of its own, and I am not a devotee to the religion of science any more than I am to all the tenets of my Christian upbringing. I think it is quite possible and likely that there are aspects of this universe with which science as it is now practiced can never intersect. I also must suggest that science is always shaped by the underlying philosophies of the time/people/nations/systems which formulate and implement it. In that sense, the two are also oddly inseparable.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

What about things that don't work very well, like the panda's thumb (and others)? What about vestigial organs, like the vermiform appendix? Why would a creator build these into our systems? Biology is full of these.
The simple answer is I don’t really know, but I can imagine many possible kinds of explanations. My conjectures include the following:

The family of animals in which pandas reside all have had thumbs. For whatever reason the panda’s thumb may have micro-evolved into something we perceive as unuseful presently.

I don’t consider the human appendix to be an unfunctional organ and have heard some good explanations of its function. Tradiational Western medicine may have no explantion for its functional usefulness, but I don’t particuarly subscribe to the allopathic medical theory. I think a good chunk of it is based on an unfortunately faulty premise of disease and treatment.

Granted, either or neither may be correct or one or each could be partially correct. I am willing to accept exceptions to any rule, on either side of the coin (which probably has many more than two sides). It could also be said that the design of something less than wholly effective could also communicate something intended by a Creator’s Mind, or it could represent a subsequent decay of conditions set in motion. There is plenty of evidence of corruption and decay in the system, either by original intent or subsequent change. Either way, I see it as intended and purposeful. Order in disorder.

For me, having an organ or appendage which has ceased to function is greatly removed from imagining the possible slow evolution of a feather from nothing, and which until it is finally complete is quite disadvantageous. Does the feather somehow say to the DNA, “Hold on a few million years and put up with me until I finally actually do something useful for you?” Why would over and over again half-feathered lizards who are encumbered so they can neither walk as well as before nor fly be likely to come out on top over millions of years? I remember a couple years after Jurassic Park came out, I read blurbs in the newspapers about how newer research was showing less likelihood of the lizard->bird link than was so recently enthusiastically embraced, but of course, no noise and excitement is made over the retractions. I smell ego and that always warns me of the fallibilty factor.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

It is extraordinarily unlikely, however, that anything will supplant evolution entirely, unlikely enough that evolution needs to be taught in our bio classes.

It will only be supplanted if something contrary to evolution becomes provable according to the acceptably prove-worthy methodology of the day. Meanwhile, it’s the best explanation for a non-ID universe, and it may be the true explanation for an ID universe as well. Another consideration is that far enough out into the future, systems of thinking and belief—and experience—may have shifted so that the rational thought and scientific method in high vogue today may not closely resemble the dominantly favored methods for ascertaining many things about the universe. I know that’s hard for us to imagine.

If it is a spiritual universe first and foremost as I perceive (and anyone is welcome to question my basis for perception as it is by definition, my solitary un”proveable” experience), then one aspect of that spiritual universe may be an unfolding revelation and access to undeniable awareness of and experience of that reality in ways not yet known or widely known. There are more possible variables and outcomes than we typically entertain in our thinking. We tend to be biased by our history so far and by our times at present.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

we must be honest with our students and teach them what science has actually learned, and evolution is one of those things.

I agree. Science has learned it is the best explanation it has under its own assumptions about the nature of the universe and how a large portion of humankind has chosen to approach it. I’d perhaps like it to be taught with a little more humility and admission of some of its inherent weaknesses, omissions, and present unproveability in many aspects. It’s one fascinating, compelling, and possible explanation for the incomplete data we have on hand to analyze.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Informed questioning in order to understand better is fine. Willfully ignorant doubting in the form of spurious questions is not going to lead anywhere good.[/QB]
If there is no spiritual component to the universe, then there is no spiritual insight or knowledge possible and the scientific approach is perhaps the only possible path to truth. If there is a spiritual component underlying all things, then there are very different ways knowledge and understanding of various truths/facts can possibly be acquired. The questions some ask may or may not actually be spurious in that case, but the two systems of knowledge may appear to be at impossible odds with one another until both are acknowledged for their rightful place.

If I didn’t before, let me make it clear that I have no problem with the possibility that evolution is the genuine mechanism for how things have come to be as they are. That too could be an intelligent design for how things got from A-> B. I’d like to understand at what point man becomes a spiritual being inhabiting a physical body, because that is the most difficult part of full evolution for me to resolve with my limited imagination and faculties. But I can’t rule it out. That would be unnecessarily conceited.

Basically, I’m not sold on what either camp (science or religion) has to sell. I think the evidence and knowledge is very incomplete on both sides and both have their conceit. I know I have mine, and my own ego, even as I seek the diminishment of both in myself over time. I think no one yet can know the actual answers to the big question of the mechanics how we got from Big Bang to 2005 A.D. It’s fun to contemplate and debate and imagine. I’m kind of an equal-opportunity devil’s advocate. In most things in life, I both agree with and disagree with both sides of the argument.

You’re a strikingly brilliant person, Kel, sharp as a tack. You can run circles around me easily and many here no doubt. We each got our role to play in life and I think there is necessity for scientist and philosopher alike. I like it best when the two and others can play together and mix it up over the mysteries of the universe.

Respectfully,

Doug

P.S. Muji...you know, it's kind of my personal take and bias that humans are spirit beings inhabiting human bodies and animals do not house the same kind of spirit. But I have to admit that I also believe all things are of spirit and from One Source ultimately, so I can't really say what the distinction might be. Some suggest animals have a collective animal soul and humans have discrete soul (spirit). I don't know. Western thought has much to learn from east and vice-versa. Your thinking on the matter could entirely be correct without negating my belief that humans have a particular sort of unique role spiritually. I don't know, and I don't know that it matters as much as I have typically been inclined to believe it does.

[ Monday, October 10, 2005 19:54: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Ethical Survey in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #5
1) Gender is a construct, whereas sex is biology. I score pretty highly on both "masculine" and "feminine" traits psychologically--what Sandra Bem called "androgeny" in the 70's. I identify as male, but with the realization that I don't REALLY know what that means apart from societal roles which are largely arbitrary.

2) Not any more. Religion is institutional and limited in what can be, constructed around ritual and tradition and designed to reconcile man with God. I see religion as law but spirituality as passion and exploration and freedom.

3) Tried it once...it didn't work well. I am of all Northern European ancestry and the biology of my ancestry is accumstomed to a certain amount of animal meat for optimal functioning. On principal, I'd like to be. I do eat a lot of vegetables!

4) Yes. I heard this as a story embedded in a sermon in church as as child. It was a story about sacrifice. A trainswitch operator saw his infant child crawling on the gears which moved the track. A train was coming, and the track needed to be moved or the passengers would crash and die. The man crushed his own infant in the gears to save the whole train.

5) Probably I should, but wouldn't. I might somehow hope that at the last moment something unforseen might prevent anyone from dying.

6) Yes. In all three scenarios I can imagine being so mortified that I'd maybe just freeze and do nothing.

[ Monday, October 10, 2005 18:15: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00

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