Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#241  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 2:16 pm

Scar wrote:Quite. Hence: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

Monas, any idea?


Oh, wow, that's a bigee! It's essentially the "why does God allow some, but not others, to suffer?" The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes is in sympathy with all of us who struggle with that question - "Everything is in vain!". I like the writer of that book, I think he (assuming a "he") sums up what we all feel and think at times. The writer of Job nearly goes there as well, but essentially says "you can't judge God, you don't know enough", whereas the writer of Ecclesiastes just says it as it is.

The short answer is "I don't know", though that doesn't necessarily stop me talking about it :)
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#242  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 2:21 pm

Paul wrote:
Monas wrote:Do you not use your own experiences as evidence for or against any particular proposition? I do. Indeed I will often test any particular proposition against the evidence of my own experience. Perhaps I am odd, but that's the way it is with me.


No that works.

Proposition: There is a God
My experience: Nothing in my experience to suggest that this God has ever, in any way, had any effect in any aspect of my life.
My conclusion: Either no God, or if there is, it is wholly irrelevant to my life.


And I can quite understand that position.

The only caveat is that I do wish more people could go on a silent retreat - there is so much "clutter" in today's techno world. I think it's very hard for people to find time, space, and freedom from distraction to be open to something "quieter but deeper". Protracted silence does often affect people in a surprisingly strong way.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#243  Postby Scar » Oct 01, 2013 2:33 pm

Monas wrote:
Paul wrote:
Monas wrote:Do you not use your own experiences as evidence for or against any particular proposition? I do. Indeed I will often test any particular proposition against the evidence of my own experience. Perhaps I am odd, but that's the way it is with me.


No that works.

Proposition: There is a God
My experience: Nothing in my experience to suggest that this God has ever, in any way, had any effect in any aspect of my life.
My conclusion: Either no God, or if there is, it is wholly irrelevant to my life.


And I can quite understand that position.

The only caveat is that I do wish more people could go on a silent retreat - there is so much "clutter" in today's techno world. I think it's very hard for people to find time, space, and freedom from distraction to be open to something "quieter but deeper". Protracted silence does often affect people in a surprisingly strong way.


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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#244  Postby archibald » Oct 01, 2013 2:44 pm

Unfortunately, you can pray to the Lord Elf himself and as long as you actually think he can help, you'll be 'affected', though it doesn't say much about the existence of elves.

Bit like you in that sense.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#245  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 2:46 pm

archibald wrote:Unfortunately, tests show that you can pray to your toaster and as long as you actually think the toaster can help, you'll be 'affected'.


Now I would like to see that study and how they found people who thought their toaster could help them :)

Do you have a link to the study? Is it a good study, do you think?

P.S. I see you changed it to "Lord Elf". Was that a different study, and do you have more details?

P.P.S. Toaster and Lord Elves, methinks perhaps you are taking the proverbial :grin:
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#246  Postby archibald » Oct 01, 2013 2:47 pm

Monas wrote:
archibald wrote:Unfortunately, tests show that you can pray to your toaster and as long as you actually think the toaster can help, you'll be 'affected'.


Now I would like to see that study and how they found people who thought their toaster could help them :)

Do you have a link to the study? Is it a good study, do you think?


No. It was carried out in a monastery.

There are plenty of examples of people who thought their gawd would help them, or somebody else, more to the point, since that's a better test than, 'oh I feel affected'.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#247  Postby trubble76 » Oct 01, 2013 2:47 pm

Monas wrote:
trubble76 wrote:So are you saying that people don't change anyway? You say your god and faith in it changes people slowly, I think people change slowly anyway, faith or no faith, god or no god.

Perhaps is it not necessarily scripture, prayer and the sacraments that change people, perhaps it is simply inevitable that people slowly change over time.


Oh, I'm sure all people change. Each person probably knows, if they reflect, what have been the major influences of change in their lives. For me a significant influence has been time in prayer. So I think at a minimum I would say that my faith has changed me. I would, of course, say that God has done the work there, but I realise many here would not take that view.


It seems to me you are talking about the slow work of you rather than the slow work of your god. To me, when used like this, work seems to be a euphemism for conducting personal apologetics or mental gymnastics if you prefer.

As an aside, why would your god's work be slow? In what way do you consider your god to be constrained by time? Slow improvement seems rather human when compared to the very rapid divinity described in your holy book.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#248  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 01, 2013 2:50 pm

Monas wrote:personal experience is definitely high up in shaping my life.


The narcissistic appeal of this kind of spirituality is well known, here. Everyone who tries to tell us about the power of prayer eventually succumbs to telling us how important personal experience is for them.

Monas wrote:methinks perhaps you are taking the proverbial


You know better than the rest of us what your business is here. How about talking about something besides yourself for awhile.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#249  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 01, 2013 2:53 pm

Monas wrote: I think it's very hard for people to find time, space, and freedom from distraction to be open to something "quieter but deeper". Protracted silence does often affect people in a surprisingly strong way.


Monas wrote:So I think at a minimum I would say that my faith has changed me.


Fallible wrote:You share this ''I think'' stuff with Michael66.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#250  Postby Paul » Oct 01, 2013 2:54 pm

Monas wrote:The only caveat is that I do wish more people could go on a silent retreat - there is so much "clutter" in today's techno world. I think it's very hard for people to find time, space, and freedom from distraction to be open to something "quieter but deeper". Protracted silence does often affect people in a surprisingly strong way.


Well enforced 'retreats', as in solitary confinement, have certainly been shown affect people in a strong way, not always beneficial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solitary_confinement#Psychiatric
The effect of solitary confinement on mental health has been studied and discussed by psychiatrists since the 1930s.[30] According to psychiatrist Stuart Grassian, a specialist in the area, inmates are more likely to under-report than to over-report its effects (i.e., "Some of the guys can't take it—not me"). Grassian has found that common effects of solitary confinement include increased sensitivity to stimuli, hallucinations, and other changes in perception, as well as cognitive problems including memory loss, difficulty thinking, and impulsiveness.[31] These effects may together constitute a unique syndrome, sometimes called "SHU syndrome".[32] Others term it "Social-Sensory Deprivation Syndrome".[33] Grassian's 1983 study of inmates at Walpole State Prison is credited with identifying (duration and degree of) sensory deprivation as an important variable in mental health outcomes.[30]

Craig Haney built upon Grassian's findings and found the following symptoms present among inmates housed in SHUs: anxiety, headaches, chronic tiredness, trouble sleeping, impending nervous breakdown, perspiring hands, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, trembling hands and nightmares.[34] Haney also found that suicidal thoughts, perceptual distortions, chronic depression, emotional flatness, violent fantasies, social withdrawal and ruminations were present among these inmates a short time after admittance into the SHU.

Some have argued that evidence for a unique syndrome is insufficient and accused its proponents of bias because they advocate for prisoners in legal cases relating to solitary confinement.[35] A study conducted by the Colorado Department of Corrections found that solitary confinement did not undermine mental health, and suggested that inmates in isolation often had mental health problems that should not be attributed to the isolation itself.[36]


so I don't find it at all surprising that protracted silence, for people who are positively predisposed to the idea of a 'retreat', might end up convincing them of all sorts of things.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#251  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 2:58 pm

Well, I don't see a strong parallel between voluntary retreats and enforced solitary imprisonment myself Paul. I can quite image my response to being imprisoned alone could be quite different from a retreat where I voluntarily agree not to talk, but am free to go where I want and leave when I want (or even talk when I want).

Do you really think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#252  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 01, 2013 3:00 pm

Monas wrote:Well, I don't see a strong parallel between voluntary retreats and enforced solitary imprisonment myself Paul. I can quite image my response to being imprisoned alone could be quite different from a retreat where I voluntarily agree not to talk, but am free to go where I want and leave when I want (or even talk when I want).

Do you really think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?


That right there calls into question the function of solitude and silence in achieving spiritual insight. You should make up your mind about the way spirituality works.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#253  Postby archibald » Oct 01, 2013 3:01 pm

Monas wrote:

Do you really think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?


And do you really thing that you feeling all affected is a good test for whether prayer has any supernatural connections? No, I don't think so. I think you are just here to get attention. It must, like, make you feel all 'affected'. So I'm going to stop even paying attention to you, not least because it seems you may well be a sock puppet for some other saddo profile.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#254  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 3:03 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:That right there calls into question the values of solitude and silence. You should make up your mind about the way spirituality works.


Well, I haven't at any time recommended imprisoning people, so I don't see that I've got a problem making up my mind. Do you think I should have been more specific when I said "silent retreat" that I didn't mean enforced imprisonment?

Ho hum :coffee:
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#255  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 3:05 pm

archibald wrote:
Monas wrote:

Do you really think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?


And do you really thing that you feeling all affected is a good test for whether prayer has any supernatural connections?


No, and I specifically said earlier I didn't mean "feeling" anything as essential. The "evidence" that prayer is having an affect, I would say, is whether our lives are changed in any way in line with our prayers.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#256  Postby Ian Tattum » Oct 01, 2013 3:06 pm

archibald wrote:
Monas wrote:

Do you really think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?


And do you really thing that you feeling all affected is a good test for whether prayer has any supernatural connections? No, I don't think so. I think you are just here to get attention. It must, like, make you feel all 'affected'. So I'm going to stop even paying attention to you, not least because it seems you may well be a sock puppet for some other saddo profile.

I take it the answer to the question in the thread title is no. :)
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#257  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 01, 2013 3:07 pm

Monas wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:That right there calls into question the values of solitude and silence. You should make up your mind about the way spirituality works.


Well, I haven't at any time recommended imprisoning people, so I don't see that I've got a problem making up my mind. Do you think I should have been more specific when I said "silent retreat" that I didn't mean enforced imprisonment?


Your thought processes are ineffective, Monas. Both solitary imprisonment and solitary silent meditation apparently transform people. Since all we have are their anecdotes, we don't have any basis for thinking that spiritual retreats do not function in exactly the same way as solitary confinements in prison. What's voluntary is what you think about. Try again.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#258  Postby Fallible » Oct 01, 2013 3:07 pm

Isn't it interesting how you continue to avoid responding to the sock puppet issue Monas, to the extent that you deliberatly snip it from posts that you are replying to.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#259  Postby Paul » Oct 01, 2013 3:10 pm

Monas wrote:Well, I don't see a strong parallel between voluntary retreats and enforced solitary imprisonment myself Paul. I can quite image my response to being imprisoned alone could be quite different from a retreat where I voluntarily agree not to talk, but am free to go where I want and leave when I want (or even talk when I want).

Do you really think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?


No I don't. Where did you get the idea that I think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?

I was agreeing that 'protracted silence' can have major effects, but that in some circumstances it is not necessarily a good thing, and pointing out the part that predisposition might play in people finding 'something' when they voluntarily seclude themselves.
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Re: Does anyone actually find Jesus interesting?

#260  Postby Monas » Oct 01, 2013 3:11 pm

Paul wrote:No I don't. Where did you get the idea that I think solitary imprisonment is a good control group for a voluntary silent retreat?

I was agreeing that 'protracted silence' can have major effects, but that in some circumstances it is not necessarily a good thing, and pointing out the part that predisposition might play in people finding 'something' when they voluntarily seclude themselves.


Yes, I'm happy to agree - imprisoning people in solitary confinement is not always good for mental health.
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