Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

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Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #1

Post by A Troubled Man »

We are constantly bombarded with believers telling us their versions of reality in which gods, demons, angels, etc. are constantly swirling around our heads in endless battles of good vs. evil, of invisible gods who intervene in our affairs and all other types of supernatural events taking place right under our noses.

Since there is only one reality and no one has ever shown it to be anything other than what we all experience it to be every day, which never shows those gods, angels or other supernatural events existing and occurring, are believers perceiving that as reality, are they just misunderstanding the terms reality and perception or are they merely wishing reality was the way they want it to be?


Reality - That which exists objectively and in fact.

Perception - to become aware of (something) through the senses, to recognize or observe.

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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #41

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

[Replying to post 40 by JP Cusick]
JP Cusick wrote: I remember when I was very young (I am 61 now) and I remember well when I found out that Santa was a lie, and it hit me then that every person that I trusted had participated in the Santa lies, and then after they see that I knew of their lies then they changed the story over to some miracle baby born in a manger, and they expected me to accept this new set of lies as if the Santa lie did not matter, and I was not going to be fooled again a second time.

What happened is that I understood that Christmas was a fun time with pretty music and we get presents and loved the decorated tree and lights on the houses, so then I learned that I was to just play along with this new lie of Jesus and just keep the lies as our secret.

This was horrible brainwashing for a young child, and so we are taught and trained in the art of lies.

For myself I did not start to connect with God and the truth until I was 25 years old based on a horrific tragedy, and then the old brainwashing fell apart and I had a massive turnaround (repentance) which changed my life ever after.

So yes the Santa lies and the Christmas lies are extremely hurtful to the human mentality especially for the very young, and so that is real baggage that people need to over come.
A lie is only a lie if it is told in the full knowledge that it is not true. A conviction which is wrong is not a lie. It is simply untrue. Since the stories about Jesus are far more detailed in nature than the really pretty vague story of Santa is, my belief in Christianity simply evaporated when I was about 13. Looking back I was a little young to be so certain. But the fact is I WAS certain. And like realizing why the story of Santa is not true, I realized that Christianity, even the entire concept of God, isn't true. It's all make believe. But I was still curious about how the universe works, and how it got to be as it is. And so I kept asking that question. And I am comfortable today that I have a more or less ballpark explanation for much of it.

I love Christmas too by the way. It's a brilliant way to brighten up what is otherwise a pretty dreary month. For non believers though it is a celebration of family.
JP Cusick wrote: People lie about God yes, but the truth about God goes onward.
Nothing held with a deep abiding conviction is a lie. But that does not mean that it is true. I should also point out that the truth about Zeus, or Odin, or Marduk, or any of the various other creator deities of antiquity, once deep abiding convictions to many, went onward for centuries. Until belief in them simply ran its course and they fell into obsolescence. Gods don't really die. People simply stop believing they exist.
Image "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." -- Albert Einstein -- Written in 1954 to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind.

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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #42

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Tired of the Nonsense wrote: A lie is only a lie if it is told in the full knowledge that it is not true. A conviction which is wrong is not a lie. It is simply untrue. Since the stories about Jesus are far more detailed in nature than the really pretty vague story of Santa is, my belief in Christianity simply evaporated when I was about 13. Looking back I was a little young to be so certain. But the fact is I WAS certain. And like realizing why the story of Santa is not true, I realized that Christianity, even the entire concept of God, isn't true. It's all make believe. But I was still curious about how the universe works, and how it got to be as it is. And so I kept asking that question. And I am comfortable today that I have a more or less ballpark explanation for much of it.

I love Christmas too by the way. It's a brilliant way to brighten up what is otherwise a pretty dreary month. For non believers though it is a celebration of family.
That means you never came out of the childhood Christmas brainwashing, LINK my post #40.

You kept celebrating Christmas and keeping the lies.

You turning to science is just sidetracking while the brainwashing holds strong.

I was there too until I got knocked out of it, so I got the blessing and yet I got it in a hard way.

That kind of child brainwashing surely explains why God has pity for simply humanity.
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
JP Cusick wrote: People lie about God yes, but the truth about God goes onward.
Nothing held with a deep abiding conviction is a lie. But that does not mean that it is true. I should also point out that the truth about Zeus, or Odin, or Marduk, or any of the various other creator deities of antiquity, once deep abiding convictions to many, went onward for centuries. Until belief in them simply ran its course and they fell into obsolescence. Gods don't really die. People simply stop believing they exist.
The truth has nothing to do with belief, because belief is shallow and uncertain.

You put way too much value on human involvement as if human belief affects reality which it does not.

The Gods do not stop based on humans stopping their belief.

The truth is not belief, and belief is not the truth.

And having "deep abiding convictions" is a human trait which does not define reality.
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Post #43

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JP Cusick wrote: That means you never came out of the childhood Christmas brainwashing,

You turning to science is just sidetracking while the brainwashing holds strong.
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JP, when someone is tempted to use the word "you" in a sentence here, they should choose their words very carefully after that. Often what follows is a personal attack, or a borderline personal attack.

As in the quotes above.

Best to just stick to the topic without making it personal.

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My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #44

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

[Replying to post 42 by JP Cusick]
JP Cusick wrote: That means you never came out of the childhood Christmas brainwashing, LINK my post #40.

You kept celebrating Christmas and keeping the lies.
December 25th was widely celebrated in pagan times, before Jesus was born and after as well, as representing the rebirth of the sun. Each year as the days became noticeably shorter in November and December, it was a part of traditional pagan belief that the sun was dying. The winter solstice, representing the shortest day of the year, occurs annually around December 21, but not consistently on that date. The solstice is the result of the earth tilting in it's orbit, the northern hemisphere tilting towards the sun for half the year, thereby receiving more direct sunlight, and then the southern hemisphere tilting towards the sun, in which case it receives more sunlight. This process of tilting back and forth results in our four seasons. The shortest day of the year when the northern hemisphere receives the least sunlight can occur anywhere from late on December 20th to early on December 23rd. Consistently however, on December 25th the hours of daylight will have begun to be measurably longer again. This was an important pagan celebration day, since in pagan belief because it represented to uneducated minds the rebirth of the sun. The Romans celebrated the "Feast of the Sol Invictus" (Unconquerable Sun") on December 25 as the rebirth of the unconquerable sun. Luke 2:8 indicates that "shepherds (were) abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night," at the time that Jesus was born. This would not have occurred in the dead of winter. However Pope Julius 1 (337-352) declared December 25th to be the date of the nativity of Jesus by Papal decree, thereby claiming for Christianity a date of celebration already widely celebrated in pagan belief.

I celebrate December 25th largely because I like decorating my house with twinkly lights and brightly colored decorations, getting together with my family for over indulging in food, and exchanging gifts. Doing this at exactly the coldest time of the year means being inside where it is all warm and cozy which seems to increase the sense of well being. And yet I understand perfectly well that the winter solstice is predicated on the tilt of the earth at that time of year. But that is simply happenstance, really. It is not my reason for celebrating, as it once was for pagan people. I do not believe that the sun was dying, or that it has been reborn. I enjoy Christmas because the process makes me and everyone else happy. And that is reason enough.
JP Cusick wrote: You turning to science is just sidetracking while the brainwashing holds strong.
I first became interested in science because no one in my family could explain how a television worked. A television seems to operate on the principle of magic. Especially the old cathode ray tube televisions. But I knew TV wasn't magic. It is the product of years of research into understanding the workings of the natural universe. Technology is the product of science. A tv works on the principles of physics. And understanding even the basics of physics requires work. And curiosity. If I was brainwashed by science it was because I could see very plainly that science is on to something which can be physically understood, and I was curious to understand what it is. Science is responsible for making things which seem to be magical, but which are actually based on solid physical principles. Science is very different from the process of make it up and declare it to be true that our ancient ancestors used. Which largely explains why electronic technology did not exist thousands of years ago. Because the principles of physics were exactly the same in ancient times as they are today. No one had yet figured out the laws and principles of physics back then, however.

The Bible on the other hand, is FILLED with apparent nonsense. Nonsense represents those things which contradict all common experience and observation, and therefore all common sense. Nonsense is essentially useless. I stopped believing in nonsense by the time I was 13. But I didn't lose interest in Biblical nonsense. I also made it my business to study and understand just why this ancient nonsense is still so popular and pervasive in the beliefs of so many people even into modern times, when we now have actual physical scientific explanations for why things work. I have read the entire Bible cover to cover. Actual explanations for why things occur as they do now exists, and we really should have discarded the ancient superstitious nonsense of our ancient superstitious ancestors by now. An alternate explanation for the existence and nature of the universe did not become obvious until the 20th century however. I recognize that centuries of programming are hard to overcome. And a fundamental change in way people view "reality" doesn't occur overnight. This fundamental change IS currently underway, however. When I first became an atheist by default, I didn't know a single other person who was openly atheist. Now most of the people I know have no religious beliefs. You can blame it all on me if you like. But inevitably the fundamental change in the way the universe is viewed was sealed with E=MC^2, the laws of physics and the properties of quantum mechanics. You can cling to your make believe to your dying day. But you cannot stop the inevitable.

Are you brainwashed into believing that your TV and your computer and your smart phone actually work? Or are they physical proof that science is NOT the process of brainwashing?
JP Cusick wrote: I was there too until I got knocked out of it, so I got the blessing and yet I got it in a hard way.

That kind of child brainwashing surely explains why God has pity for simply humanity.
You have been convinced that there exists an invisible Being who dwells in an invisible realm with other invisible beings. You regularly have conversations with some of these invisible beings. And when you die an invisible part of you will go to the invisible realm to be with the invisible beings. What exactly is your definition of brainwashing?
JP Cusick wrote: The truth has nothing to do with belief, because belief is shallow and uncertain.
There is really only one kind of "truth." And that is the accurate description of the cause of any event. Every other kind of "truth" is an opinion.
JP Cusick wrote: You put way too much value on human involvement as if human belief affects reality which it does not.
Then why do you place so much value on ancient make believe? I place value in things that can physically be shown to be true. I also place value in things that serve the common good. In my opinion, ancient ignorance is simply a dead end.
JP Cusick wrote: The Gods do not stop based on humans stopping their belief.
Zeus and Odin and Mardok are still active then? In your opinion? Or has the fact that no one believes in them anymore rendered them back into the state of non existence that they have always been in anyway? Gods are subject to the whims of the humans who made them up in the first place you see, and not the other way around.

Beliefs certainly can be true. But the act of simply believing something is true does not render it true, I agree.
JP Cusick wrote: And having "deep abiding convictions" is a human trait which does not define reality.
Utterly and totally true. The existence of thousands of various "deep abiding convictions" over the centuries that clearly had no relationship to anything valid serves as unmistakable evidence of this particular observation. In old Norse mythology lightning was believed to be caused by sparks made made by Thor's mighty hammer striking down. In truth lightning is a flow of electrons, the natural result of the earth keeping itself balanced. One would be hard pressed to find any Scandinavian people today who hold "deep abiding convictions" that lightning is caused by Thor's hammer. Because once the knowledge had been attained, we should naturally move on from the make believe contrived by our ancient ancestors. Growing up means moving beyond the childlike make believe of our innocent, ignorant youth.

I have considered nothing you have said to me as a personal attack, by the way. But it is best to attempt to stay within the rules of the forum.
Image "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." -- Albert Einstein -- Written in 1954 to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind.

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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #45

Post by JP Cusick »

Tired of the Nonsense wrote: I celebrate December 25th largely because I like decorating my house with twinkly lights and brightly colored decorations, getting together with my family for over indulging in food, and exchanging gifts. Doing this at exactly the coldest time of the year means being inside where it is all warm and cozy which seems to increase the sense of well being. And yet I understand perfectly well that the winter solstice is predicated on the tilt of the earth at that time of year. But that is simply happenstance, really. It is not my reason for celebrating, as it once was for pagan people. I do not believe that the sun was dying, or that it has been reborn. I enjoy Christmas because the process makes me and everyone else happy. And that is reason enough.
Christmas is not about the winter solstice - it is about Christianity.

The fact that people celebrate this event is all that matters - people covering up the lies or pretending that they are above the lies - just continues onward the same old lies of the previous generations into the future.

My own family and parents and my neighbors and community - they all knew about the lies of Christmas and they still play along with it anyway.

The brainwashing = What happens is that we understood that Christmas is a fun time with pretty music and we get presents and loved the decorated tree and lights on the houses, so then as a child we learn that we are just to play along with this new lie of Jesus and just keep the lies as our secret.

This is horrible brainwashing for any young child, and so we are taught and trained in the art of lies starting with Christmas.

I see it as absurd for any person to claim or to pretend that they are keeping Christmas in some other way or some secular way when in fact they are celebrating Christmas.

By playing along with the lies then people play along with that perception of reality.
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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #46

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

[Replying to post 45 by JP Cusick]
JP Cusick wrote: Christmas is not about the winter solstice - it is about Christianity.
For Christians Christmas is the Christ Mass; a celebration of the birth of Jesus as established by the Catholic church many centuries ago. But the Christ Mass could have been established at any time of the year. Modern Christians like to declare that "Jesus is the reason for the season." But the church appropriated what was a pagan celebration day and made it into their own. Because they could. Not being a Christian myself, Jesus is not the reason for the season at my house. Although in a nod to convention I still refer to it as Christmas. And it's not about the winter solstice either. I know perfectly well that the sun has been sitting out there the whole time just as it always is, 88 million miles from earth, neither dying or being reborn. I celebrate "Christmas" as a festive family affair which brightens up what would otherwise be a dark and gloomy month. Because I choose to. At millions of homes across the country, Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. Jesus died 2,000 years ago, and like all dead people everywhere he could hardly care less.
JP Cusick wrote: The fact that people celebrate this event is all that matters - people covering up the lies or pretending that they are above the lies - just continues onward the same old lies of the previous generations into the future.
Yes, it's called brainwashing. People have been programmed for generations by the previous generation to do and believe in exactly the same way they were taught to do and believe. But that is now beginning to fade, and people are now choosing to do and believe in things that makes sense to THEM.
JP Cusick wrote: My own family and parents and my neighbors and community - they all knew about the lies of Christmas and they still play along with it anyway.
The truth is this is a free country and therefore Christmas can mean and be whatever you choose for it to mean and be. I choose to go ahead and enjoy it because it's fun. I don't use any Christian iconography when I decorate my house. I tend to use Santa's and nutcrackers and lights and garland. I don't believe in Santa either of course. But that makes no difference because it's all just in fun.
JP Cusick wrote: The brainwashing = What happens is that we understood that Christmas is a fun time with pretty music and we get presents and loved the decorated tree and lights on the houses, so then as a child we learn that we are just to play along with this new lie of Jesus and just keep the lies as our secret.

This is horrible brainwashing for any young child, and so we are taught and trained in the art of lies starting with Christmas.

I see it as absurd for any person to claim or to pretend that they are keeping Christmas in some other way or some secular way when in fact they are celebrating Christmas.
Brainwashing is being told what is true and what to believe when one is young, to such a degree that one never even considers questioning it. So when one grows up they are able to regurgitate their programming with little or no thought given to whether or not there is any likelihood that what they have been programmed to believe has any actual connection to anything valid. So if one has been taught to believe that the corpse of Jesus came back to life and flew away, or that Muhammad once flew up to heaven on a flying steed named al-Baraq, these are accepted as unquestioned truths. When one has been convinced from birth that there exists an invisible Being who dwells in an invisible realm, that this invisible Being watches your every move, and that the universe couldn't possible simply "just exist," therefore it MUST have been created by this invisible Being who "just exists," THAT is brainwashing. It's the nonsense our ancient ancestors made up because they didn't have a better answer.

Keep what is enjoyable from this ancient make believe and junk the rest. As I already pointed out, the fact that I don't believe in Santa doesn't prevent me from using images of Santa as festive decorations. In medieval Europe people made garlands of red holly berries and green ivy as Christmas decorations, because that's what was available at that time of year. And so red and green have become associated with Christmas. And what's the harm! I never taught my own children that any of the symbolism was real, or that the celebration of Christmas was anything other than a chance to all feel good about being together. Disneyland isn't REALLY a magical kingdom either. But that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.
JP Cusick wrote:
By playing along with the lies then people play along with that perception of reality.
But not you of course. Because you have it all worked out which of these ancient lies are nonsense, and which of these ancient lies are true. I would suggest however, that the recognition that some of the stuff is clearly nonsense, should reasonably put the entire package into question.
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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #47

Post by JP Cusick »

Tired of the Nonsense wrote: Brainwashing is being told what is true and what to believe when one is young, to such a degree that one never even considers questioning it. So when one grows up they are able to regurgitate their programming with little or no thought given to whether or not there is any likelihood that what they have been programmed to believe has any actual connection to anything valid.
I do not see this as an accurate portrait of the brainwashing.

The petty or wrongful beliefs are just not very important, so believing in Jesus or in Santa Claus are just not the point or purpose of the brainwashing.

TITLE = "Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception" it is not belief.

Both reality and perspective is not really based on the belief - they are affected by belief but only very superficially.

The brainwashing was to teach the people to play along with the lies, and teach the people to hide the lies.

Believing in Santa is not really a big deal and believing in Jesus is not really a big deal either - but to have the brainwashing to play along with lies is a lifelong defect and handicap.
Tired of the Nonsense wrote: But not you of course. Because you have it all worked out which of these ancient lies are nonsense, and which of these ancient lies are true. I would suggest however, that the recognition that some of the stuff is clearly nonsense, should reasonably put the entire package into question.
With a little effort the lies are not very hard to figure out and clearly you have seen through lots of the lies, and it is not that big of a deal.

My distinction is that I openly preach against the lies and I do not play along with the lies and that gets me into trouble with the other people who do not resist the lies.

Most people certainly by adulthood (18-20) know about the lies or know many of the lies and they just do not resist.

Doing that (preaching against the lies) is what Jesus did to get His self nailed to a cross.

The Devil is not our true enemy, it is the human people-of-the-lies who threaten us all.

Quote from above = "... some of the stuff is clearly nonsense ... puts the entire package into question" - and that is correct - but to question everything does not mean to throw out the entire package.
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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #48

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

[Replying to post 47 by JP Cusick]

Tired of the Nonsense wrote wrote: Brainwashing is being told what is true and what to believe when one is young, to such a degree that one never even considers questioning it. So when one grows up they are able to regurgitate their programming with little or no thought given to whether or not there is any likelihood that what they have been programmed to believe has any actual connection to anything valid.
JP Cusick wrote: I do not see this as an accurate portrait of the brainwashing.

The petty or wrongful beliefs are just not very important, so believing in Jesus or in Santa Claus are just not the point or purpose of the brainwashing.

TITLE = "Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception" it is not belief.

Both reality and perspective is not really based on the belief - they are affected by belief but only very superficially.

The brainwashing was to teach the people to play along with the lies, and teach the people to hide the lies.

Believing in Santa is not really a big deal and believing in Jesus is not really a big deal either - but to have the brainwashing to play along with lies is a lifelong defect and handicap.
Reality is whatever it is. It is our perception of reality that is subject to variation and therefore error. So the question becomes, "By what method should we attempt to consider and comprehend reality?"

Did anyone simply presuppose that computer they are are sitting at and cause it to not only exist, but to actually work, based on imagination? The computer does not operate by magic you see. It represent centuries of scientific advancement at work. The laws of physics represent the highest state of confidence that we have attained in our attempt to understand the universe we live in. The laws of physics are derived from much observation and experimentation resulting in achieving exactly the same result repeatedly and without fail. The application of these laws have led to working computers, smart phones and all of the other technological marvels of our rapidly changing technological world. If the laws of physics are NOT inviolate as we now believe them to be, we are in the embarrassing position of having no idea why our technology works at all! And if the laws of physics ARE inviolate, then the universe works according to natural principles.

Ancient people worked on a different theory of how the universe works. Since they did not yet possess enough technology to acquire the information needed to explain the natural phenomenon going on around them, lightning, thunder, earthquakes and the like, they made up answers. They presupposed solutions for which they otherwise had no means to answer. I often refer to this technique as "make it up and declare it to be true." Do you not notice the difference between careful observation and experimentation which leads directly to working technology, and presupposing solutions based entirely on assumptions and declarations AT ALL?

Because presupposition is simply another word for make believe. Believers presuppose that humans, and the universe we exist in, MUST have been created by an infinitely powerful Being whom they not only presuppose must exist, but whom they presuppose exists without the need for such a creation Himself. And they made it all up, which is, as I have just pointed out, what presupposition (make believe) is all about. There is another way of looking at the universe however. It's called the empirical method, and it involves investigating and accepting the physical evidence for what the physical evidence has to tell us at face value, WITHOUT presupposition. The empirical method entails close observation, much experimentation and direct experience, resulting in detailed conclusions that allow for the same results to be reached repeatedly. It requires that the results, when discovered, be accepted at face value even to the extent of completely abandoning centuries of make believe. This sort of research has also led us rather inextricably to the conclusion that EVERYTHING THAT OCCURS DOES SO FOR NATURAL REASONS which can be understood and even utilized for our advantage. The general term for this deeper understanding of the basis for how the physical universe operates is called quantum mechanics. Does the empirical method have credibility? Well, does that computer you are sitting at actually work? Do we have operating smart phones and all of the other modern technological marvels of this modern technological age? They are all based on a working understanding of quantum mechanics. They were NOT rendered extant by make believe.

So, where were all of these modern marvels in Jesus' time? The laws of quantum physics are exactly the same today as they were 2,000 years ago... or a billion years ago for that matter. However, by in large the ancients used a different method for reaching conclusions then the empirical method. They made up answers and declared them to be true! What ancient peoples did not understand they simply made up answers too. Gods and goddesses, elves, fairies, devils and demons, and the like. Whatever served to answer questions for which no obvious answer was readily at hand. This was the old "make it up and declare it to be true" method of reaching a conclusion. It really had no practical value, other than to create the illusion of providing an answer, even though that answer had no connection to anything valid and true. Answers which had absolutely nothing to do with what was actually going on. Sadly, many people today still operate this way, applying made up solutions to questions they don't otherwise understand. Which is a shame, because the actual answers are most often readily available now, so make believe is no longer necessary. We have learned, through much trial and error, that the empirical method for accumulating genuine knowledge far surpasses the old "make it up and declare it to be true" presupposition method. In Jesus' day people believed that the earth was the center of the universe, and that all of creation revolves around us. Which makes us very special. Because without the proper tools to see what is actually occurring, that is what seemed apparent. And it gave people succor in their difficult lives to believe that there is a God who made everything and considers us His most special creation.

That was the perspective of reality that once existed. And it had nothing at all to do with what is really occurring. Because reality is whatever it is, and it is up to us to discover the means for understanding it. As it turns out, make it up and declare it to be true is useless. Make it up and declare it to be true produces empty claims and invalid assumptions. The empirical method on the other hand, produces working technology. As a system of perceiving reality, make it up and declare it to be true is dead. It's only as a system of supporting emotional needs that make it up and declare it to be true is effective. Because many people do not want the reality that empirical observation has established. They want a make believe reality that supports their emotional needs and illusions.

But you see, some people, like myself, are not interested in warm fuzzy illusions. We are only interested in what can physically be shown to be true. So, I don't "presuppose" the existence of things. I simply rate the various possibilities in order of how well they correspond to that which can be observed to be true. I see no point in arbitrarily making up the existence of an invisible Being with infinite powers where no such Being is obvious and then declaring the question to be at an end. Religion is by its very nature dogmatic. Religion declares answers to be true, and that is an end to it. Science continues to ask questions and to learn. Make believe is an inevitable casualty of knowledge.

The existence of an infinitely powerful invisible Being that possesses the power to manipulate the laws of physics at will seems to contradict everything we believe that we have learned about how the universe works. This is the inevitable face off between make believe and knowledge you see. Which do you suppose will win out over time, ancient ignorance, or knowledge based on modern technology and science? This depends on how willing people are to take a stand for knowledge over ancient ignorance. Or, more accurately, what people prefer to believe emotionally as opposed to what the mounting evidence seems to show.
JP Cusick wrote: With a little effort the lies are not very hard to figure out and clearly you have seen through lots of the lies, and it is not that big of a deal.

My distinction is that I openly preach against the lies and I do not play along with the lies and that gets me into trouble with the other people who do not resist the lies.
Sometimes invalid assumptions take a great deal of effort to sort through and straighten out. Our understanding of the universe today has very little in common with the view of the universe which was widely held during Jesus' day. And in fact for centuries after Jesus' day. That old perception of reality wasn't a willful lie. It was simply wrong. As the view of the earth-centric universe began to change, the Catholic church also openly preached against the "lie" that the earth was not the center of creation. Books which suggested that the earth was not the center of the universe were banned. Scientists were executed. And the universe went right on being exactly what it has actually always been. Because make believe has no effect on reality. No matter how adamantly someone preaches that it does.
JP Cusick wrote: Most people certainly by adulthood (18-20) know about the lies or know many of the lies and they just do not resist.
Fox News Opinion
CHRISTIANITY
Ten reasons millennials are backing away from God and Christianity

College-aged millennials today are far more likely than the general population to be religiously unaffiliated. This is true when they are compared to previous generations as well.

In fact, the Pew Research Center documents that millennials are the least outwardly religious American generation, where “one in four are unaffiliated with any religion, far more than the share of older adults when they were ages 18 to 29.�
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/04/ ... anity.html

This is Fox News taking notice of the fact that the younger generation is no longer as inclined to subscribe to the make belief of their parents when they reach adulthood. And in fact there are dozens of articles to be found on the internet which take notice of this trend, often written by Christian groups grappling with the question of why. And largely misjudging the reason. Because Christians and Christian groups cannot comprehend the possibility that people are simply no longer buying into these beliefs any more. But the statistics are impossible to ignore. The US has dropped from being 90% Christian twenty years ago, to being 70% Christian today. A twenty percent drop in twenty years represents free fall. And the change is entirely made up of those who no longer subscribe to a religious belief.

I stopped believing in Christianity more than fifty years ago because I saw that Christian claims were too silly to have any real connection to what is true, and also because I saw that scientific explanations provide a much more practical physical explanation for existence. I was simply ahead of the curve. Fifty years later and the rest of modern western society is catching up. And like the pre-renaissance Catholic church, Christians will continue to preach their make believe over scientific observation. And just like at the time of the pre-renaissance Catholic church, the actual truth will continue to be whatever it is. The truth really does seem to win out, eventually.
JP Cusick wrote: Doing that (preaching against the lies) is what Jesus did to get His self nailed to a cross.
Jesus was executed by the Romans on a charge of sedition for allegedly proclaiming himself to be king of the Jews. A charge which, according to the Gospels, he refused to either confirm or deny. And Pilate gave him every opportunity to deny it.
JP Cusick wrote: The Devil is not our true enemy, it is the human people-of-the-lies who threaten us all.
The Devil is not our enemy because the Devil never existed to begin with. The perpetuation of superstition and ignorance have always made us our own worst enemy.
JP Cusick wrote: Quote from above = "... some of the stuff is clearly nonsense ... puts the entire package into question" - and that is correct - but to question everything does not mean to throw out the entire package.
If one has a package of meat crawling with maggots, one does not generally attempt to cut out the maggoty parts looking for whatever good meat remains. One simply throws out the entire package and attempts to acquire fresh new meat.

To put this into better perspective, Bible represents the perspective of ancient superstitious people who had no actual understanding of the workings of the universe. So they made answers up. The Bible contains concepts of wisdom that were common to the various other civilizations and of the era in which the Bible was written. The Bible also contains claims which are just plain silly, and attempts to justify actions which were and are, just plain despicable. We can value the Bible for providing us with the perspective of the people who wrote it. Because it explains how here got to where we are today. But we can do much better.
Image "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." -- Albert Einstein -- Written in 1954 to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind.

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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #49

Post by JP Cusick »

A Troubled Man wrote: [ "Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception" ]

Perception - to become aware of (something) through the senses, to recognize or observe.
One more declaration for this topic - is that perception can affect reality NOT because there is any power or substance in the perspective itself but because every person is a son or daughter of God and as such we give the power to our perspective, and we can (as an individual) access that power in our self and so it is not really the outward perspective but the inward or spiritual which generates the perspective.

It is similar to ESP but more, and yet every person has it inherently.
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Re: Perception of Reality or Reality of Perception

Post #50

Post by Zzyzx »

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[Replying to post 49 by JP Cusick]

Why should people believe this is anything more than wishful thinking and flight of fantasy?
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ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

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