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techstepgenr8tion
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22 Feb 2019, 1:17 pm

Crimadella wrote:
Fnord wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
... give me the mathematics of weather.
I wish I could, but the mathematical models used by NOAA, the NWS, and other governmental agencies would not fit on the average desktop PC.

....and they aren't accurate.

That's exactly my point.

If a clean set of equations resolved 'magic' BMW would have eco-fiendly carbon fiber brooms with heated gel handles and you wouldn't have to load Elon Musk's flamethrowers with anything - they'd just work.


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22 Feb 2019, 2:42 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Crimadella wrote:
Fnord wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
... give me the mathematics of weather.
I wish I could, but the mathematical models used by NOAA, the NWS, and other governmental agencies would not fit on the average desktop PC.
....and they aren't accurate.
That's exactly my point. If a clean set of equations resolved 'magic' BMW would have eco-fiendly carbon fiber brooms with heated gel handles and you wouldn't have to load Elon Musk's flamethrowers with anything - they'd just work.
If a clean set of equations exists for describing how to make a broom and rider fly, then the auto industry, the airline industry, and the drone industry would all go out of business.

But think how carbon-friendly that would be!



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22 Feb 2019, 2:53 pm

AngelRho wrote:
... Wiccans are going to view this as causation no matter what. To everyone else, “where is the evidence???” Setting aside my own views of Wicca, I want to know what the standard of proof is and what methods you’re going to go about measuring supernatural intervention every time a spell calls down the god/goddess and how you intend to observe the deities themselves. If we give Wicca the benefit of the doubt, and HONESTLY do it (*giggle* *snort*), can we be reasonable and can we also take observed results seriously? EVEN IF Wiccan magic was real, I don’t believe current math/science can ever be reasonably applied to it, nor do I think skeptics will ever be convinced even if they had mathematical-logical proof/scientific evidence that seemed to confirm it.
Okay, assuming that there is even a shred of a chance that the Wicca rainmakers are engaging in a genuine causal event (e.g., Ritual --> Rain), then every aspect of the ritual, the tools, and the immediate environment would have to be closely monitored (and I would put Penn & Teller in charge of that). This means broad-spectrum audio and video recordings, E-M field monitor recordings from DC to light, nuclear particle flux, and whatever else can be added to the event that would register a measureable physical change during the ritual and the rain.

Heck, I'd settle for a magic that would produce the old water-to-wine transformation.

But it would be necessary to first demonstrate that someone could change 8 ounces of plain water to 8 ounces of fine wine without going through the entire viticulture process.



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22 Feb 2019, 4:45 pm

Fnord wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
... Wiccans are going to view this as causation no matter what. To everyone else, “where is the evidence???” Setting aside my own views of Wicca, I want to know what the standard of proof is and what methods you’re going to go about measuring supernatural intervention every time a spell calls down the god/goddess and how you intend to observe the deities themselves. If we give Wicca the benefit of the doubt, and HONESTLY do it (*giggle* *snort*), can we be reasonable and can we also take observed results seriously? EVEN IF Wiccan magic was real, I don’t believe current math/science can ever be reasonably applied to it, nor do I think skeptics will ever be convinced even if they had mathematical-logical proof/scientific evidence that seemed to confirm it.
Okay, assuming that there is even a shred of a chance that the Wicca rainmakers are engaging in a genuine causal event (e.g., Ritual --> Rain), then every aspect of the ritual, the tools, and the immediate environment would have to be closely monitored (and I would put Penn & Teller in charge of that). This means broad-spectrum audio and video recordings, E-M field monitor recordings from DC to light, nuclear particle flux, and whatever else can be added to the event that would register a measureable physical change during the ritual and the rain.

Heck, I'd settle for a magic that would produce the old water-to-wine transformation.

But it would be necessary to first demonstrate that someone could change 8 ounces of plain water to 8 ounces of fine wine without going through the entire viticulture process.

Re: water into wine—the purpose of the gospels is to demonstrate a series of experiences people had of the Messiah in order for future readers to decide on their own who Jesus is. The point of that exercise in particular is precisely what we know to be impossible, and thus Jesus HAS to be the Son of God. To reduce that to scientific methodology is to assume (without evidence) that God cannot intervene directly, that there MUST be some natural force at work. While it is UNLIKELY, empirically speaking and half the point, it’s still logically possible if you can reasonably conclude that such a Supreme Being exists.

But you’re not asking for a theistic argument. You’re asking about magic specifically—the manipulation of deities for human purposes.

Ok...so let’s suppose that there are natural forces and explanations for water-into-wine MAGIC, and it’s a Wiccan practitioner rather than the god(dess). You mentioned a number of instruments that could detect a number of phenomena that might be associated with ritual sex and a specific event—we’ll just say water->wine conversion. What if the problem is a matter of technology not having caught up with the mechanics of divine intervention? The priestess has the ability to communicate and command an interdimensional agent who can direct a particle flow into the water in order to change the molecular structure or even atomic structure such that a synthetic wine is produced that tastes superior to the real thing? If it’s a type of particle as yet undiscovered, how can you expect any kind of reading?



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22 Feb 2019, 4:59 pm

Fnord wrote:
If a clean set of equations exists for describing how to make a broom and rider fly, then the auto industry, the airline industry, and the drone industry would all go out of business.

But think how carbon-friendly that would be!

I guess I'd add - if you handle complexity with deflection and you leave whether or not weathermen can sort out what's coming in the next week with any reliable probability to their profession, or outsource how tight or loose climate change estimates are to climate scientists, it's probably better to leave whether or not enough people drumming can bring rain or whether a person or group can loosely 'manifest' something (with way more effort than to just go out and get the thing) to those who spend their time either doing it or processing/analyzing the persuasiveness of the statistics around such things. Either you're willing to get into the nuts and bolts of it and be an egghead or you're not, and if your not there probably isn't good reason to worry about something too much that you'd rather outsource competency on.

The realistic possibility of someone hitting you with a fireball is there these days though, but that's on Elon Musk.


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22 Feb 2019, 5:14 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnkHf069fvA

Ha! So Simple the Math of Magic Now to More Fully iLLusTRaTE;
Magic is the Fruition of Imagination as Magic is Born of
Visualizing What is not Possible Yet And Is Yet to come.
Some Folks Have Imagination And Fruit Original Creativity;
And some Folks Do Not have the Current Mind And Body Tools to Do this now.
Okay; Now as Far as Empirical
Analysis in Measuring how
This works i came
to this 'Wrong
Planet' after
Recovering as
A Shut-in for
66 Months with 19
Medical Disorders and
Provided One measurement
of Physical Strength that Would
Increase Incredibly as such enough
at that Point of Recovery of Life at age 53;
still Documented As Such on this Website now
In the Summer of 2013, then as Leg Pressing 500LBS.
i Visualized in My Imagination then Incredible Increases in
my Human Potential at an age where Science Suggests We
Humans Have long since Peaked out in Physical Strength and
Now Voila i Leg Press 1410 LBS on an Incline Leg Press Machine
that Powers me through 10,781 Miles of Public Dance now where the
Empirical Assessment of the Metro Area Community in Comments from
A Viral Video With Close to 90K Views Bring over 1300 Comments including
'Legend' of the Metro Area and 'Icon' too; True, Now i can and Will Provide Empirical
Data that Provides Direct Evidence of over 2000 Beautiful Women Smiling in the Joy
of Dance i bring to them with me; and Yes, of course over 6.6 Million Words of Long Form Free
Verse Epic 'Bible' Poem Writing as 'SonG oF mY SouL' Also Came to Fruition in the Same 66 Months
it took me to Gain
all that Leg
Strength
and Dance
in Public Now
10,781 Miles of
Dance as Assessed
by Nike GPS Sports
Watch App in Empirical
Analysis too; as i continue
To Get Stronger now Closing
in on age 59 this June 6th as
i will Easily Leg Press 1500 LBS
Tonight as Lord knows i could probably
Do much more but i don't wanna Embarrass any
of the Elite Marines there too much who cannot
Budge the 1020 LBS i used to do on another Leg
Press Machine; not even one inch then. Okay; Fnord,
So What Have You done lately in Your area that no
one else has done
in Recorded
History
through
the Force the
Very Relative Free
Will of Your Imagination
to Bring some Original
Creativity in Real Magic
In Human Expression that
was for all practical intents
And Purposes Invisible Before.
i will be Patiently Waiting for Your
Real World Measurable Results and
if You Like you Can and Will Do it like
me and not make a Single Penny along the
Way while you Generate Your own Happiness
in an Autotelic Way of Generating the Intrinsic
Neurohormones and Neurochemicals that all Naturally
Bring that Magic of Happiness to You as well through
Visualization of Imagination and the Real Magic of Happiness
in Fruition As the 'Red
and Blue and Green
Pill' Become Beyond
'Rainbow Colors' of Magic
Within of the Eternal Now of Nirvana True
While the Transient Hypo-Frontality in Flow
Increases the Creativity of the Magic Fruition
of Imagination as Measured by Science in
increases of 400 to 500 Percent more;
And True, if you can't do this now you
Are Truly Missing out on the
Higher Force Potential
of Your Humanity
as Magic
that
You have
Yet to Unpack
And Release in Epigenetic
Potential To Change the World
of Your Environment Significantly
in Empirical Measure like this too now.
True; if nothing Else, the Younger Folks will appreciate You again.
Trust me or Not; if You Don't Do Hope and Faith and Belief and the
Love that will make
this work
You have
Statistically
Speaking Close
to Zero Chance to
Make this Real Magic Work for You.
And if this is too Much for You To comprehend;
i don't Apologize as it makes close to 'Perfect Sense' to me; but i am always
Improving Growing More Creative and Stronger and making More Young Folks
Inspired who are
Open
Minded
And Bodied
Still Enough to Better
Realize their Human
Potential in the Magic
Fruition of Imagination too.

By the Way; Science Already
Shows that You Can Imagine
Getting Stronger and Bring the
Magic of Increases in Actual Physical
Increases of Strength by Yes, 'You guessed
It; You Can and Will Do that just by Imagining Getting Stronger Now
Bringing the Results as Shown by Empirical Analysis now.
If you don't Believe
it will Work
You
Can
Forget
About the
Imagination and
the Magic Fruition
of Real World Physical
Strength Improvements
that Science Shows Can
And Will Come From
this Magic now;
'That' Doesn't
'Concern' me
So i'll include a Link for that
Now as i would 'hate' (not really) for You
To think that i am Promoting only my Magic Potential Now True, too.

Smiles, 'Horatio'; and this
Only the Tip of the
Iceberg of the
Magic
i do;
but i am only
providing so far
to You what is
Empirically Measurable
that i Can and will Prove
if You Will Like to See all the links now too.

Smiles; I remember at one point, Fnord, where You
Related Nothing of Substantial Empirical Use From the Tool of Philosophizing has come to
Change the World; Perhaps You are not watching A 'TV Channel' of Life i am actually Doing Now.

It is my Practice of Hope and Faith and Belief and Love in/for Life that makes any of this Magic i Bring to Fruition
Now through the Force of Imagination and Creativity Now Real; Without Love I Would Be 'Nothing'; 'Same' as Before.

It's True
Love is the
Greatest
Mathematics Ever of Real Magic Now
as Science also shows that the Love and
Comfort of the Healing Placebo Effect of
Promising Caring Healing Can and Will Bring
Incurable Disease to the Knees of Remission now too.

The Mathematical Proof is simple; 1-1 Life Threatening
Disease in Remission Means Life Now Instead of 0 Now.

And on top of that
i've Proven i have
Fulfilled a Real 'Magic'
World Example of the
Biblical Myth as Prophecy
of John 14:12; that part was
so Simple as the Dude Called Jesus never Wrote even one Word with a Type-Writer;
And it's True i would have Never Completed That Endeavor if Not For the Visualization
of Imagination Of/For All the Folks Who Worked Together to Make the Magic of a TypeWriter come to Fruition
as Path/Avenue as Prepared Before to get that Job Done too. Meanwhile; somewhere, some Folks are Tracing
Hand
Prints
of the
Same Old
Hand in a Cave;
'Somewhere Else' and Just
Writing Twitter Length Comments
too Never Going any Deeper than
the Science Assessed Average of
the Attention Span of a Gold
Fish now and one day
if People Lose
the Ability
to Speak
that will become
Magic again too;
For all the Texting
that one day may
Replace the Voice of Human too.
Magic is Everywhere; Sadly Folks don't
Get Excited Enough about the Old Magic
to Create New Magic Now that is Real And True.
By the Way, in A Fruition of Magic Conclusion Now True In 'Light' at Least;
All the Way, there Was a Flame in me Guiding me all the way through
And that
Flame
my Friend
Was and Still
is the Magic
of God/Love Within
Now Only You Will
Choose in Your Life
to Light that Flicker
Increase that Flame
And Torch that Bonfire to Make Love
CoMe True for You too (That's Part of Another Magic Story True too).
Other than that/
this/ Have a Nice Day
With Smiles; A First Step Up to Love And any Potential for Magic At All.

i Could have Been More Brief
And Concise; but 1-1=0 IS A Most
Open Ended Magic Equation oF All;
Inherent as Such; in what O is or is N0T.

i'M Not Afraid of O For O IS A Face of G0d i T00.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... g-weights/


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22 Feb 2019, 5:23 pm

Well, so far no one has provided any valid mathematical description of any "magical" principle or process.

This may be because: (a) "magic" is a soft science, perhaps much softer than even philosophy; (b) "magic", as it is currently understood, is too weak and sporadic to warrant scientific study; (c) science has yet to advance sufficiently to study "magic"; or (d) "magic" itself does not exist, except in the minds of those who believe in it.



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22 Feb 2019, 6:05 pm

Fnord wrote:
Well, so far no one has provided any valid mathematical description of any "magical" principle or process.

This may be because: (a) "magic" is a soft science, perhaps much softer than even philosophy; (b) "magic", as it is currently understood, is too weak and sporadic to warrant scientific study; (c) science has yet to advance sufficiently to study "magic"; or (d) "magic" itself does not exist, except in the minds of those who believe in it.


Let's Face it Now my
Friend the Sample
Size of Humans
who are 'True
Magicians'
Who Make
'Real Effects'
Happen Now
is Just too
Empirically
Small to Measure
With the Scientific
Method; only if someone
Took 'the Time' and 'Effort' to Document
Real Magic in 'Real Time Now' in Process;
hmm; Just hmm.
Case Studies
May Be An
Only
Way to Do This Now
Until More Folks Become
Proficient in the Art of Magic
Where Some Method to the Magic is Replicated in Mass.


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Gravatar is one of the coolest things ever!! !

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techstepgenr8tion
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22 Feb 2019, 8:44 pm

Fnord wrote:
(b) "magic", as it is currently understood, is too weak and sporadic to warrant scientific study

I know most of this was just garnish for (d) so you probably didn't think (b) through very well before posting it but, in the interest of being pedantic, a lot of our best technology these days is leveraged from very small, subtle, and perhaps on its own in nature unleveraged 'weak' stuff. True, science survived centuries of fundamentalist religious indifference and even persecution, and I doubt any private indifference or scorn here is likely to stop advances in our corpus of knowledge on psi.


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22 Feb 2019, 9:09 pm

Fnord wrote:
Well, so far no one has provided any valid mathematical description of any "magical" principle or process.

This may be because: (a) "magic" is a soft science, perhaps much softer than even philosophy; (b) "magic", as it is currently understood, is too weak and sporadic to warrant scientific study; (c) science has yet to advance sufficiently to study "magic"; or (d) "magic" itself does not exist, except in the minds of those who believe in it.


Sorry, lol. So in conclusion there is no conclusion. :D



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22 Feb 2019, 11:39 pm

Fnord wrote:
Well, so far no one has provided any valid mathematical description of any "magical" principle or process.

This may be because: (a) "magic" is a soft science, perhaps much softer than even philosophy; (b) "magic", as it is currently understood, is too weak and sporadic to warrant scientific study; (c) science has yet to advance sufficiently to study "magic"; or (d) "magic" itself does not exist, except in the minds of those who believe in it.

I already provided two arguments in favor of D, so anything else I have to say is purely speculative.

If I honestly believed magic to be real, I’d go with C. I’ll make this post as short as I can: much of what magic purports to do would best be explained with QM. Apart from particle accelerators, it’s difficult to observe large objects appearing/disappearing the way particles do, although I do think clothes dryers open up a portal to hell, which is why, no matter what you do, you always end up with odd socks. We are far from discovering the ultimate smallest particle, I’m sure, but I don’t doubt they exist. Science and physics are always looking, so maybe they will find them along with real causes of phenomena we tend to write off as wishful thinking and supernatural.



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23 Feb 2019, 11:44 am

AngelRho wrote:
Supernatural magic isn’t possible. Let’s begin with the single assumption that God as the Supreme Being of the universe exists. Supernatural magic presupposes that God can be manipulated into bending reality to suit the whim of the magician. This means man is greater than his creator, which means man, NOT God, is the supreme being. If you can establish that God is, then the creation being greater than its creator is absurd. Magic is the practice of subjecting God to the will of man. Therefore, magic cannot have any basis in reality. The Bible confirms this when, in Exodus, Moses is in a contest against Pharaoh’s magicians. In the original Hebrew, the magicians are described as having matched Moses “by their light,” suggesting they relied on ILLUSION and misdirection rather than some mystical power. Moses possesses no such power but rather acts as an agent or representative of God. Moses can only do what God wants, not produce supernatural stunts at will.

Something I wanted to ask you on this, and it's more out of genuine curiosity, is whether you can think of a non-biblical, ie. rather philosophical/structural orientation of God and man, that has explanatory power that can be run with. What I mean is a heuristic or logical frame rather than isolated points of revelation.

The example of man being less than God and thus not being able to influence his environment raises the question - how do we do much of anything that we need in order to stay alive, for example kill animals for food, let alone how do we strip-mine the planet for all of its resources or fill the oceans with millions of metric tons of plastic? If there's anything that you could call a reified form of black magic it would be the later.

The conclusion I'm somewhat forced to is that on one level the universe has conscious principles that enforce natural order, even to the point of utter anguish and desolation at local levels, and when you think about what a bunch of new agers doing their wish art looks like we can thank these laws for a universe that hasn't been completely buried in tramp-stamps and/or worse high-quantity artifacts than we're leaving in the ocean or building in the way of land fills. At the same time it seems to give us limited wiggle-room for certain kinds of purposes, both on the physical level and the spiritual level.

The outlook I have on ceremonial magic, when people do it, is that it's really a form of religious ceremony (techinically you could call the Catholic and Orthodox masses theurgic rites in this sense), that magic is technically discarded/old religion is something that Joseph Peterson, the prolific translator of renaissance grimoiric and angelic invocation texts as well as Zoroastrian practitioner, has said often. It does seem as well that some approaches to mass, or to ritual, get more direct results whether it's a bunch of Pentacostals getting glossolalia, whether it's a pagan drum-circle, or whether its Elus Cohen or other advanced Martinist sects doing their own sorts of work for both self-transformation and attempts at drawing down spiritual influx and healing for the world or local community. Different groups of people have slightly different analogies for this but it tends to come down to salt, sulfur, and mercury where mercury is also considered the 'permissive' and that permissive zone is perhaps what we might consider not just the playing field of life but also the playing field of active imagination and active participation in spiritual realities.

I did read a book several years back, and maybe it was one of the more formative for me in how I looked at the tarot as well as the relationship between at least Catholic Christianity and the occult/esoteric and that was Meditations on the Tarot - A Journey into Christian Hermeticism which was written by Valentin Tomberg as a Martinist who was squaring the history of Catholic seers, mystics, and theologians like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Hildegard, Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, etc. with the congruent ideas and practices of those in the French occult tradition such as Martinez de Pasqually, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, Jean Baptiste Willermoz, Eliphas Levi, Papus (Gerard Encausse), and Josephin Peladan as well as some of the Russian Orthodox mystics and practitioners. The idea I get both from that book and other similar works I've read, and somewhat through my own practices as well, is that there is a fluid zone between the rigidity of the universes rules and what we can do to tinker and learn. In the physical world obviously that's the ability to invent, engineer, build, study, learn, and in the more subtle places it's ability to get some degree of experiential result - both with novel experiences sometimes resulting and also strange stirrings in the physical world which weren't intended but which seem to show some kind of definite reaction to what you did. He was also one of the first people to have switched me on to the awareness that rapacious industrialism and strip-mining is the same class of activity as black-magic occuring in the physical world. I get that most traditional Christians, or especially the Steve Quayle and Tom Horn types, would say that absolutely all of it is black magic and that short of coming to Jesus and abdicating all such attempts to him and taking queue from the bible for everything there's no getting saved - that also leaves a world of confusion about what to make of engineering, education, invention, art, and anything else we do with it. The answer for the Hebrews a few thousand years ago in this regard was 613 Levitical codes. The answer for a lot of people these days who go whole-hog on their Christianity trying to parse the details often ends up in them discarding Paul, as well as John if they're really serious about wringing out the neoplatonism, and going for Messianic Judaism. That puts things in a difficult place because the design one hoped to live right by and engage to be saved ends up just about crippling the people who chase it all the way down. True, there are admonitions about the dead-letter and all kinds of glancing heuristic tools that you can use to reshape things when they 'feel' off or out of balance but then, with subjective judgment, we're right back to the problem of asking the question - when does human activity cross the line from human activity and into rebellion against God.

The questions I'm still sorting out is probably the question that I think should drive everyone a bit crazy about life in general let alone spiritual topics - ie. what do we do with what we are, how do we best use our faculties in this world, how much of what can we do before we've over-spent our motivational fuel and burned ourselves out on something that we really should have moderated our activities and endeavors in better, and it goes on from there. I think the whole story of religion as a connection point to God, the whole story of everything from meditation to ecstatic rights, right-hand and left-hand path, seems to be about us trying to not only get a handle on what's real in the underpinnings of things but also figuring out what the personality and character of those underpinnings are if we assume that it has some degree of self-aware consciousness. These problems superficially seem to solve themselves for people who go the naive materialist route but then they bounce out the other side and they start doing the same things in politics quite often that they should have been doing in introspection.


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23 Feb 2019, 7:02 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Supernatural magic isn’t possible. Let’s begin with the single assumption that God as the Supreme Being of the universe exists. Supernatural magic presupposes that God can be manipulated into bending reality to suit the whim of the magician. This means man is greater than his creator, which means man, NOT God, is the supreme being. If you can establish that God is, then the creation being greater than its creator is absurd. Magic is the practice of subjecting God to the will of man. Therefore, magic cannot have any basis in reality. The Bible confirms this when, in Exodus, Moses is in a contest against Pharaoh’s magicians. In the original Hebrew, the magicians are described as having matched Moses “by their light,” suggesting they relied on ILLUSION and misdirection rather than some mystical power. Moses possesses no such power but rather acts as an agent or representative of God. Moses can only do what God wants, not produce supernatural stunts at will.

Something I wanted to ask you on this, and it's more out of genuine curiosity, is whether you can think of a non-biblical, ie. rather philosophical/structural orientation of God and man, that has explanatory power that can be run with. What I mean is a heuristic or logical frame rather than isolated points of revelation.

I can't. That's actually a good question! No, I can't because I see the Biblical model as exactly that. The Bible begins with establishing who God is and His role in the universe, the role of the universe itself, and the role of man along with the universe that God created, that is, being part of the universe, man's role and man's fate is tied to that of the universe. Everything, including humanity, was created for God's pleasure and God can dispose of it any way He pleases--even destroying it at will. Humanity is a reflection of his Creator and thus God takes special interest in us. WHY isn't so important as the fact that it just IS. So a relationship between man and God comes right down to what choice man really has in regards to God as an object of man's desire (or not). That is the framework for the remainder of all scripture. You COULD extract just that much from the Bible and leave out all reference to the rest of it, but the Bible is useful in filling in the gaps and painting a clear picture in practice. People tend to be familiar with Biblical references, so it helps in making references to scripture if for no other reason than drawing analogies and reaching conclusions based on them. As such, the opening chapters of Genesis do provide the framework you're asking for. You can't come up with an extra-Biblical heuristic that doesn't borrow from the original. All I do in referencing it is cut to the chase. I can understand how that might offend someone, though.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
The example of man being less than God and thus not being able to influence his environment raises the question - how do we do much of anything that we need in order to stay alive, for example kill animals for food, let alone how do we strip-mine the planet for all of its resources or fill the oceans with millions of metric tons of plastic? If there's anything that you could call a reified form of black magic it would be the later.

Ah, but I never said man is unable to influence his environment. The garden of Eden experience (sorry!) is exactly that, man's attempt to one-up God and introducing death into the environment. God appointed mankind as the steward of creation, shaping his world in such a way God already knew He would approve. What I said was man is unable to supernaturally influence his environment or manipulate God/deities.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
The conclusion I'm somewhat forced to is that on one level the universe has conscious principles that enforce natural order, even to the point of utter anguish and desolation at local levels, and when you think about what a bunch of new agers doing their wish art looks like we can thank these laws for a universe that hasn't been completely buried in tramp-stamps and/or worse high-quantity artifacts than we're leaving in the ocean or building in the way of land fills. At the same time it seems to give us limited wiggle-room for certain kinds of purposes, both on the physical level and the spiritual level.

You were asking me about explanatory power, and I think that's exactly it. The universe was created in just such a way, so I think things like morality and ethics are easily inferred from existence. As an example, there is a fine line between reciprocation and retribution. It's morally wrong to punch someone in the face. Why? Because doing so gives the other person license to seek justice or protect himself and, in turn, cause you harm. You don't want to get hurt, therefore you choose not to hurt others. You wouldn't, say, jump off your roof to deliberately break your own legs, or throw yourself on a rock for cuts and bruises, or rip open your skin with a knife. Nature teaches us hurting ourself is bad--it's painful and can lead to infections and worse. So why engage in behavior that invites harm, even if it's another person you provoked into harming you?

The ability to cure a disease, as another example: A doctor discovers a cure for a rare, incurable, deadly disease. He will never develop that disease himself, so he will never directly benefit from his own work. Why make medicine and cure people? Because a) he is talented and loves his work, and b) he can support his further work on finding cures for more diseases if he can get people to pay him for his medicine. Nature teaches us that diseases can be cured, and helping people results in reward (I cure you, you feed me). It is moral to engage in rewarding behavior after doing good for others. You live for your work, for the enjoyment of what you do and what it does FOR you. Other people may or may not benefit from that. But people will generally reward you if they want what you have. So our natural interactions with others, working to benefit others in the exchange of like benefit, are moral.

In other words, we are created to take pleasure and avoid pain. It is good to do good and not evil (loosely defined as that which may harm others) because that is ultimately how we reap the most benefit from earthly existence.

This is obviously more in line with Objectivism, if you're seeking a non-Biblical heuristic, of course, but if that framework includes a sovereign God then it also follows that since we are a reflection (image) of God, then God must also be selfish and acting in His own interests. I've heard anti-theists remark that God is an @$$hole for His behavior in apparent genocide, but as all of nature is God's property, well...it's their prerogative to lay such a charge at God's feet, but are anti-theists REALLY any different? If God-hating, God-killing not just another form of selfishness? It's worse...it's envy. Because you belong to God, how God chooses to judge you and the rest of nature isn't for you to decide. You ARE right to take it personally, I think, because you don't want to think God could annihilate you the same way. You don't want to think ANYONE could obliterate you and all you know. But you are what you are nonetheless, and presuming to tell God what God can do with God's stuff is outright envy and greed. If you are so concerned with self-preservation in the face of God and God extends God's grace to you, is it not rational to accept His grace? Thus self-preservation is not only moral; it's a virtue. It's divine. And you can go down a long list of things derived from nature and make moral judgments based on that. X happens in nature AND works to my benefit. Nature was created by God. Therefore, X is God's will for humanity. Something like that. Or Y happens in nature AND it causes me pain/harm. Nature was created by God. Therefore, Y is a sin. This isn't exactly thoroughly thought out or sophisticated, but in a nutshell this is right/wrong.

A clean environment is good for me. Therefore, green, renewable energy and minimal pollution is good. I'm not opposed to, say, coal energy or nuclear energy because it's among the best energy sources we have at present time. But if you have something that can harness a vast amount of energy on-demand more efficiently than fossil fuels, why would I oppose it? But I also have a huge problem with putting coal workers out of business when their livelihoods depend on it. A better policy would be NOT to shut down coal but rather make it irrelevant. If you value the coal workers you're putting on the street, hire them and train them with new technology. They're not really in the coal business--that's merely a means to an end. They're in the ENERGY business. So you would want corporate training programs or college courses that give students or apprentices a thorough, comprehensive understanding of energy production, emergent technologies and industries, and how to prepare for what's coming. You should be equally at home in a coal mine, natural gas plant, nuke plant, wind/solar farm, quantumEnergyExtractionUnit (I made that one up), or whatever.

And that's not to make a political statement or to suggest religion somehow has something to do with clean energy--it's just saying taking care of the world we're given to live in is a good thing and recognizing it as such, a God-sanctioned activity, is easily inferred from nature, from creation itself. There's no real limit as to the application of that principle. Rather, that extends to romantic relationships, marriage/family, justice, civil rights, scientific inquiry, economics--pretty much anything.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
The outlook I have on ceremonial magic, when people do it, is that it's really a form of religious ceremony (techinically you could call the Catholic and Orthodox masses theurgic rites in this sense), that magic is technically discarded/old religion is something that Joseph Peterson, the prolific translator of renaissance grimoiric and angelic invocation texts as well as Zoroastrian practitioner, has said often. It does seem as well that some approaches to mass, or to ritual, get more direct results whether it's a bunch of Pentacostals getting glossolalia, whether it's a pagan drum-circle, or whether its Elus Cohen or other advanced Martinist sects doing their own sorts of work for both self-transformation and attempts at drawing down spiritual influx and healing for the world or local community. Different groups of people have slightly different analogies for this but it tends to come down to salt, sulfur, and mercury where mercury is also considered the 'permissive' and that permissive zone is perhaps what we might consider not just the playing field of life but also the playing field of active imagination and active participation in spiritual realities.

I did read a book several years back, and maybe it was one of the more formative for me in how I looked at the tarot as well as the relationship between at least Catholic Christianity and the occult/esoteric and that was Meditations on the Tarot - A Journey into Christian Hermeticism which was written by Valentin Tomberg as a Martinist who was squaring the history of Catholic seers, mystics, and theologians like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Hildegard, Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, etc. with the congruent ideas and practices of those in the French occult tradition such as Martinez de Pasqually, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, Jean Baptiste Willermoz, Eliphas Levi, Papus (Gerard Encausse), and Josephin Peladan as well as some of the Russian Orthodox mystics and practitioners. The idea I get both from that book and other similar works I've read, and somewhat through my own practices as well, is that there is a fluid zone between the rigidity of the universes rules and what we can do to tinker and learn. In the physical world obviously that's the ability to invent, engineer, build, study, learn, and in the more subtle places it's ability to get some degree of experiential result - both with novel experiences sometimes resulting and also strange stirrings in the physical world which weren't intended but which seem to show some kind of definite reaction to what you did. He was also one of the first people to have switched me on to the awareness that rapacious industrialism and strip-mining is the same class of activity as black-magic occuring in the physical world. I get that most traditional Christians, or especially the Steve Quayle and Tom Horn types, would say that absolutely all of it is black magic and that short of coming to Jesus and abdicating all such attempts to him and taking queue from the bible for everything there's no getting saved - that also leaves a world of confusion about what to make of engineering, education, invention, art, and anything else we do with it. The answer for the Hebrews a few thousand years ago in this regard was 613 Levitical codes. The answer for a lot of people these days who go whole-hog on their Christianity trying to parse the details often ends up in them discarding Paul, as well as John if they're really serious about wringing out the neoplatonism, and going for Messianic Judaism. That puts things in a difficult place because the design one hoped to live right by and engage to be saved ends up just about crippling the people who chase it all the way down. True, there are admonitions about the dead-letter and all kinds of glancing heuristic tools that you can use to reshape things when they 'feel' off or out of balance but then, with subjective judgment, we're right back to the problem of asking the question - when does human activity cross the line from human activity and into rebellion against God.

Yeah...I mean, while I'm reading this part, I'm shaking my head the whole time. The problem I have with many fellow Christians is that they treat religion EXACTLY like some kind of black magic. This takes two forms that I've often seen. The obvious is Prosperity Gospel. I have some PG-ish leanings, and I'll explain that momentarily. The other form is focus on guilt, human depravity, sin, hell, etc.

I don't actually BELIEVE in Prosperity Gospel because blab-it-and-grab-it is exactly what I've been saying is wrong with New Age religion, Wicca, idolatry, etc. It's a genie-in-the-lamp approach to God, that rubbing the lamp (just having enough faith) will grant your every desire right out of some cartoonish hammer space. That is, I think, a way of rebelling against God. There are practical means of accumulating and managing wealth that are found in the Bible. The Bible does say that wealth is a sign of God's blessing. One SHOULD work hard. One SHOULD enjoy the fruits of his labor. One isn't less saved if he has less money, though, which is something that comes out in the gospels, but having money is NOT a sin. So I believe seeking wealth and one's own well-being is perfectly within God's will. Charity and evangelism are just two ways of doing just that, and anyone who says otherwise is fooling himself.

On the other hand, how many times do you see Christianity being used as a system of controlling groups of people or even entire nations? Here guilt reigns supreme. Not only is man God's plaything, but man is the ant while God holds a magnifying glass to the sun and laughs and laughs and laughs. No, nobody SAYS that in church, but that is the effect of it. If we dare seek justice, preserve ourselves, work for money and keep our reward, we are selfish and sinners. If God has preserved our souls for Himself and provided a way for salvation, provided we accept grace, then why is guilt and altruism even part of our vocabulary?

So ultimately I reject property gospel as wishful thinking. But I also reject guilt since Jesus already paid the price for my guilt. I can live a life of high expectations for myself and others, I can be happy, I can be safe and comfortable, etc., and if God has blessed me enough that I can return a portion of that to Him, I can do that. And because I value other people and want to see them enjoy the security I have, I can share what I have and tell them what I know in hopes they'll come to understand God the same way I do. Doesn't mean my life will always be easy. Doesn't mean I'll never make mistakes. It just means my life doesn't have to be ruled by a lot of negativity and demands placed on me by anyone else besides myself. The hope, expectation, positivity of prosperity gospel is something ALL Christians should maintain in their lives; genie-in-the-bottle gospel is just another form of idolatry and ultimately brings delusion or disillusion. They may forget their severe headaches on Sunday after they've been "slain in the spirit," but they're right back where they started on Monday. To my knowledge, no televangelist has ever been independently confirmed to have raised the dead.

With that in mind, it's easier to think of rebellion to God as self-harm. There are three ways of looking at it. One might be a literal thumb-the-nose, everything God says I'll do the opposite kind of rebel. That doesn't really make sense, though, because if you don't really believe in God, why rebel? Or how can you say you're really in rebellion? Plus, such a rebellion means acting against nature itself. Suicide would be the ultimate expression of such a rebellion since it's the penultimate destruction of self (I don't believe suicide is a one-way-ticket to hell). So in that sense, very few rational people, even non-believers, anti-theists are living in outright rebellion to God. Another form of rebellion might be thought of as accidental--you might be a victim of circumstance, or your actions were not done with the intention of causing harm to yourself. Neither of those are irredeemable. The third rebellion is a rejection of God--not necessarily disobedience to God, not being a "bad person," not whether you have a Christian conception of God or not, but simply not bothering to accept God's grace at all. That DOES signify a point of no return.

Living within the bounds of the universe and manipulating NATURAL forces to your own will for your own benefit is NOT black magic, despite how it may appear. There are misguided people out there who teach that. And if you're reading their books, chances are these guys are making a boatload of cash. While I reject prosperity gospel, I also reject what I call the gospel of guilt. These men are telling you to reject technology as black magic while THEY THEMSELVES are reaping the rewards of "black magic." They are telling you to reject "magical" snake oil while the very thing they are selling is snake oil. And does the Catholic Church not almost literally do this? What is transubstantiation if not some form of snake oil? The bread LITERALLY becomes human meat. The wine LITERALLY becomes human blood. And THIS is what cleanses your spirit and keeps you right before God. Without it, there is only separation. Is Jesus' atoning work not sufficient for our sins? Then why do we ask the Blessed Virgin and the Saints to intercede for us? What is so different between rosary beads and "prayer shawls"? What is all of that if not Black Magic and rebellion against God?

The 613 laws boil down really to only two, and you probably already know that: Love God; love your neighbor. If human behavior satisfies just those two laws, it satisfies all 613. And, also, what was the exact purpose of those laws? That's a rhetorical question, btw, because that's a whole other discussion, but just think about it. The 613 laws are divided according to purpose, and some of those are irrelevant to non-Jews or impossible for anyone to observe. The whole of it is for the benefit of the believer for his own sake. It's meant to be personal. By loving God and loving your neighbor, you stand to achieve the greatest benefit both in this life AND the next. Do you NEED the Bible to figure all of that out? No. But the Bible is good at narrowing the purpose to one specific event upon which the fate of the human soul rests. If you can't read, don't worry. There SHOULD be a Christian close by who can explain it to you. ;-)


techstepgenr8tion wrote:
The questions I'm still sorting out is probably the question that I think should drive everyone a bit crazy about life in general let alone spiritual topics - ie. what do we do with what we are, how do we best use our faculties in this world, how much of what can we do before we've over-spent our motivational fuel and burned ourselves out on something that we really should have moderated our activities and endeavors in better, and it goes on from there. I think the whole story of religion as a connection point to God, the whole story of everything from meditation to ecstatic rights, right-hand and left-hand path, seems to be about us trying to not only get a handle on what's real in the underpinnings of things but also figuring out what the personality and character of those underpinnings are if we assume that it has some degree of self-aware consciousness. These problems superficially seem to solve themselves for people who go the naive materialist route but then they bounce out the other side and they start doing the same things in politics quite often that they should have been doing in introspection.

Well, the focus of Christianity is the gospel. That's IT. Who are we to God? How do we go about loving God? How do we unite ourself with our God for the sake of eternal reward? Back in the old days, we'd ask "How do we escape the flames of hell?" It's just another way of asking the same "damned" question. People don't talk about hell anymore, and it's frustrating for many in the pulpit. But they shouldn't worry about it or be overly concerned about preaching hellfire and damnation. Why? Well...if we're saved, why worry? And the unsaved population is obviously not so concerned in this day and time. So rather than focus on God "sending people to hell," which He really doesn't, anyway, we tend to focus more on desiring God rather than fearing hell. I think that's as Christianity OUGHT to be. You should be in it for what you WANT, not what you FEAR. You don't expect your fears in life; you expect providence. So why should we approach the afterlife any differently? Nevertheless, it's basically the same thing--what I want out of this life and the next.

Personally, my attitude has become that I don't live for the next world. I know where I'm going, so I'm not all that concerned about heaven. If heaven is this perfect place in the presence of God, then I'll be made right the instant I show up at the gate. That's going to be the least of my worries. But while I'm here on earth, THIS is what I have to concern myself with, and I've only got THIS life in the here and now. I'm not going to be made to feel guilty for seeking pleasure and my own benefit, and the benefit of those I value for my own selfish reasons. What I haven't discussed here yet is that I don't believe in a hedonistic self-seeking, a mindless, animalistic existence, either, and I think rationality is a divine attribute also reflected in creation. But...again, different topic for a different day.



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24 Feb 2019, 10:17 am

AngelRho wrote:
So a relationship between man and God comes right down to what choice man really has in regards to God as an object of man's desire (or not). That is the framework for the remainder of all scripture. You COULD extract just that much from the Bible and leave out all reference to the rest of it, but the Bible is useful in filling in the gaps and painting a clear picture in practice. People tend to be familiar with Biblical references, so it helps in making references to scripture if for no other reason than drawing analogies and reaching conclusions based on them. As such, the opening chapters of Genesis do provide the framework you're asking for. You can't come up with an extra-Biblical heuristic that doesn't borrow from the original. All I do in referencing it is cut to the chase. I can understand how that might offend someone, though.

Part of the reason I ask - there should be some touchstones in nature that we should be able to reference back to. I'm not averse to the content of 'by their fruits ye shall known them' - far from it, just that even that heuristic tends to cast a far wider net of people than the solo scriptura approach.


AngelRho wrote:
Ah, but I never said man is unable to influence his environment. The garden of Eden experience (sorry!) is exactly that, man's attempt to one-up God and introducing death into the environment. God appointed mankind as the steward of creation, shaping his world in such a way God already knew He would approve. What I said was man is unable to supernaturally influence his environment or manipulate God/deities.

You didn't say that, I did. The more I've actually read about magic the more i get the sense that just about anything you do volitionally is somewhere on its gradient. Focused attention, marshalling internal resource, and casting out a plan or blueprint that you've generated in your own imagination into material existence. It seems to cover a wide series of transforms, in the bible it seems to only deal with getting to know or contacting more interior realms but that also takes the assumption that there's very little to be seen there other than a trap set by a highly organized and deliberate pro-perditional force and the trouble there - if that's the case it would follow that all of physical reality would be in that situation as well.

AngelRho wrote:
You were asking me about explanatory power, and I think that's exactly it. The universe was created in just such a way, so I think things like morality and ethics are easily inferred from existence. As an example, there is a fine line between reciprocation and retribution. It's morally wrong to punch someone in the face. Why? Because doing so gives the other person license to seek justice or protect himself and, in turn, cause you harm. You don't want to get hurt, therefore you choose not to hurt others. You wouldn't, say, jump off your roof to deliberately break your own legs, or throw yourself on a rock for cuts and bruises, or rip open your skin with a knife. Nature teaches us hurting ourself is bad--it's painful and can lead to infections and worse. So why engage in behavior that invites harm, even if it's another person you provoked into harming you?

That seems like it would be it's own major launch point into a different conversation but - I think of this one these days in terms of the work world and what kinds of slop, backstabbing, and animalistic machinations get played out in offices, between customer and vendor, anyone whose intimidated by another persons abilities or horrified by another person's differences, etc.. This is one of those areas where while the stuff that goes on within legal or at least gray areas difficult to take to a court of law beyond tort or common pleas having a hard stop on physical violence, and I'm glad to have learned that spitting on someone is legally assault (ie. what can you do once someone does that), that at least confines the rules of human cruelty within a window where even if we completely abuse the intent it takes a lot longer for the wheels to fall off of society.

AngelRho wrote:
The ability to cure a disease, as another example: A doctor discovers a cure for a rare, incurable, deadly disease. He will never develop that disease himself, so he will never directly benefit from his own work. Why make medicine and cure people? Because a) he is talented and loves his work, and b) he can support his further work on finding cures for more diseases if he can get people to pay him for his medicine. Nature teaches us that diseases can be cured, and helping people results in reward (I cure you, you feed me). It is moral to engage in rewarding behavior after doing good for others. You live for your work, for the enjoyment of what you do and what it does FOR you. Other people may or may not benefit from that. But people will generally reward you if they want what you have. So our natural interactions with others, working to benefit others in the exchange of like benefit, are moral.

In other words, we are created to take pleasure and avoid pain. It is good to do good and not evil (loosely defined as that which may harm others) because that is ultimately how we reap the most benefit from earthly existence.

To parse out mysticism and esotericism a bit though in relationship - what it seems to be best geared for is a response to the old Greek injunction 'Know thyself'. I remember Jordan Greenhall having a series of interviews on Rebel Wisdom several months back and there were a series of topics such as ranges of emergent human interactivity and ranges of human behavior in the world that he was trying to catalog in one of the conversations and he said that admittedly he didn't feel like he quit got mysticism, that it wasn't naturally his cup of tea, but to the best he could gather it was about one's relationship to self - I think I'd say he may have done better with that than he had realized. A lot of our worst problems in how we interact with the world have to do with various things that rise up within us as result often of negative external pressures, especially if you've been brutalized for no reason or especially brutalized over long periods of time with no recourse where you have every right to be seeing red. The challenge then is figuring out how to deal with various kinds of internal development, decreasing negative developments to the best of your ability and increasing positive ones to the best of your ability - as far as you can take that without (at least what's needed in my case) bending the truth as that tends to become a bigger liability than anything else. I'd ad to his definition - it's a search for truth internally and when reaching into more interior places past that it's a search to understand how things arise and then what you can do to improve your own architecture at even deeper levels.


AngelRho wrote:
This is obviously more in line with Objectivism, if you're seeking a non-Biblical heuristic, of course, but if that framework includes a sovereign God then it also follows that since we are a reflection (image) of God, then God must also be selfish and acting in His own interests. I've heard anti-theists remark that God is an @$$hole for His behavior in apparent genocide, but as all of nature is God's property, well...it's their prerogative to lay such a charge at God's feet, but are anti-theists REALLY any different? If God-hating, God-killing not just another form of selfishness? It's worse...it's envy. Because you belong to God, how God chooses to judge you and the rest of nature isn't for you to decide. You ARE right to take it personally, I think, because you don't want to think God could annihilate you the same way. You don't want to think ANYONE could obliterate you and all you know. But you are what you are nonetheless, and presuming to tell God what God can do with God's stuff is outright envy and greed. If you are so concerned with self-preservation in the face of God and God extends God's grace to you, is it not rational to accept His grace? Thus self-preservation is not only moral; it's a virtue. It's divine. And you can go down a long list of things derived from nature and make moral judgments based on that. X happens in nature AND works to my benefit. Nature was created by God. Therefore, X is God's will for humanity. Something like that. Or Y happens in nature AND it causes me pain/harm. Nature was created by God. Therefore, Y is a sin. This isn't exactly thoroughly thought out or sophisticated, but in a nutshell this is right/wrong.

I find the God of most NDE's and the God that Valentin Tomberg describes in MOTT to be very similar in character - ie. a force that's quite likely to hug-bomb you at the end of a very difficult life and reconstitute you for the pains and various forms of twisting that occurred in your more unfortunate and tragic interactions with the world, partly in sheer sincerity and a partly, seemingly, to pop you right-side-out again. Most of the time when I hear about hellish experiences or hellish NDE's its places people have taken themselves and it's a panoramic show of their own interiority, although I'd argue as is heaven or Bardo and the line back to God is there as well.

So there's a lot to be said about what gets people twisted to the point of grabbing up rogue utopian ideologies but what seems to me to be jumping out the most lately - whether it's the observations of Jordan Peterson, Bret and Eric Weinstein, or anyone else loosely IDW-affiliated, is that buying a 'one size fits all' stock political prescription not only makes things utterly easy with respect to abdicating one's need to think to a pre-written script but also the war of tearing down others for virtue-slights or engaging in constant virtue signalling is incredibly easy and far easier than actually solving problems. Per Bret some of it's a part of the free-rider problem, ie. that the best deal you can get economically in the face of problems is do absolutely nothing and let someone else put in the hard work of solving it.
I think when you deal with really tone-deaf antitheism you're really looking at that former issue, ie. to borrow one of Gordon White's figures of speech it's grabbing a hammer and thinking everything's a nail.

AngelRho wrote:
A clean environment is good for me. Therefore, green, renewable energy and minimal pollution is good. I'm not opposed to, say, coal energy or nuclear energy because it's among the best energy sources we have at present time. But if you have something that can harness a vast amount of energy on-demand more efficiently than fossil fuels, why would I oppose it? But I also have a huge problem with putting coal workers out of business when their livelihoods depend on it. A better policy would be NOT to shut down coal but rather make it irrelevant. If you value the coal workers you're putting on the street, hire them and train them with new technology. They're not really in the coal business--that's merely a means to an end. They're in the ENERGY business. So you would want corporate training programs or college courses that give students or apprentices a thorough, comprehensive understanding of energy production, emergent technologies and industries, and how to prepare for what's coming. You should be equally at home in a coal mine, natural gas plant, nuke plant, wind/solar farm, quantumEnergyExtractionUnit (I made that one up), or whatever.

Unfortunately my view on this one is a lot darker / more pessimistic right now. Our current system, in the face or rapid advances in innovation, is rigged to either a) kill us or b) force us to start killing each other. When one's right to live as we've conditioned ourselves over the last couple centuries and probably farther back, is predicated on work and then your right to various levels of wealth or comfort is based on how few people can do what you do, and then we give most of human labor to AI, we're stuck with either an acceptance by both liberals and conservatives that some form of universal basic income is required for all of it's blemishes is required to keep western civilization from self-detonating, or the alternative is a Hobbesian sh**show where any office environment becomes more like the Hunger Games, where people are spiking each other's coffee with drugs to get them to fail tests, the whole thing becomes a murder machine where only psychopaths and the most brutal/amoral survive.

I don't think we can just make coal irrelevant because that's the same thing - making it unprofitable thus eliminating the jobs. We have to figure out what we're going to do with and for all of the people who are technological innovations remove from circulation in the workplace. Especially when someone's already in their 50's the odds that they can be trained for much of anything different that what they've done for years really vary on the individual in question and retraining doesn't seem to cast a wide enough net when considering that it's a minority who can make that work that drops off increasingly as the work in question being replaces steers further toward manual labor.


AngelRho wrote:
And that's not to make a political statement or to suggest religion somehow has something to do with clean energy--it's just saying taking care of the world we're given to live in is a good thing and recognizing it as such, a God-sanctioned activity, is easily inferred from nature, from creation itself. There's no real limit as to the application of that principle. Rather, that extends to romantic relationships, marriage/family, justice, civil rights, scientific inquiry, economics--pretty much anything.

I'm forced to map it a little bit differently. The core value of at least what we consider to be the existence of the physical universe (whether it's a material or mental basis ultimately) is that it sustains conscious activity. Apparently in getting here by the rungs of evolution we had to tolerate a lot, like an absolutely murderous template from nature where everything's eating and killing everything and where within species there's an inescapable bellcurve of status and dominance that can't be evaded by any other means than leaving the herd almost entirely. It seems like this is a large part of why pathologies still dominate the human landscape and why the more a pathology can be weaponized the more a person tends to enjoy the power and intimidation of others that pathology provides, ie. they're able to leverage and bully other people on the cheap by showing proclivities to violence or cruelty, and it works like a charm.

To that extent it seems to me like one of our biggest challenge is figuring out what goodness, reason, and yes - spiritual awareness and decency, can bring to the table to regulate and dismantle the incentives that push people in this direction. It's not a problem that I think we can just lip service or say we're in favor of, we actually have to get into the rungs of the social machinery to some degree to figure out what to do with the problem of human evil. While we tend to look on with horror as one bird hatchling pecks the other to death while the mother watches favorably or two hyenas engage in mortal combat while still covered in bits of placenta for which one will survive the other there's also an admonition that animals are part of a system that has no such moral reasoning, and to the extend that such behaviors and proclivities come back on us and those exibiting behavior that's on the range of cannibalism - ie. stepping on heads and backstabbing to get ahead, spending and destroying people's health who one has power over as if they were disposable fuel rods, this is what runs us straight back to the jungle and if we give into it long term, in my best estimation, we'd be forfeiting much of any right to be doing anything more than swinging from trees and eating leaves. This is also sort of the Human Centipede or Tusk revulsion, ie. being forcefully transformed into something deeply inferior to what your current capacities should continue to be developed into.

AngelRho wrote:
Yeah...I mean, while I'm reading this part, I'm shaking my head the whole time. The problem I have with many fellow Christians is that they treat religion EXACTLY like some kind of black magic. This takes two forms that I've often seen. The obvious is Prosperity Gospel. I have some PG-ish leanings, and I'll explain that momentarily. The other form is focus on guilt, human depravity, sin, hell, etc.

Those are both problems, I do see PG as an extension of modern new age and I think it goes back to a sort of bastardization of the already somewhat shaky new-thought movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The guilt game is indeed a rather pathological dominance game and one sees often that the people who dish it up the best quite often have the internal gear missing in their heads that would compel them toward holding themselves up to standards that they hold others up to.

AngelRho wrote:
I don't actually BELIEVE in Prosperity Gospel because blab-it-and-grab-it is exactly what I've been saying is wrong with New Age religion, Wicca, idolatry, etc. It's a genie-in-the-lamp approach to God, that rubbing the lamp (just having enough faith) will grant your every desire right out of some cartoonish hammer space. That is, I think, a way of rebelling against God. There are practical means of accumulating and managing wealth that are found in the Bible. The Bible does say that wealth is a sign of God's blessing. One SHOULD work hard. One SHOULD enjoy the fruits of his labor. One isn't less saved if he has less money, though, which is something that comes out in the gospels, but having money is NOT a sin. So I believe seeking wealth and one's own well-being is perfectly within God's will. Charity and evangelism are just two ways of doing just that, and anyone who says otherwise is fooling himself.

I'd actually say that some degree of Wicca, and definitely most forms of Hermeticism, actually do focus more on noble goals like being able to swim in the presence of what can be called in so many ways the Holy Spirit or Shekinah. Wicca and other pagan traditions tend to take both the more formal as well as ecstatic approaches, templates similar to that of the Hermetic Golden Dawn take a road similar to that of devout Buddhist or Hindu practitioners but work the same core concepts in Judao-Christian as well as Egyptian motifs where the whole goal is reintegration with God (ie. climbing the rungs of the Kabbalistic Tree or Life through the work of self-transformation). This is an area where I think a lot of people have known just enough to be dangerous and believe that anything people would class as 'magic' (OP case in point) if it's not stage illusion consider it to be something universally done for people to 'get things' whereas there's a long history that shows otherwise, ie. something much closer to organized mystical systems in the west that have been more marginal and less pursued across European and commonwealth history because they didn't fit the dominant Abrahamic lens. When we do see 'ways to get things' become popular that tends to have more to do with how base and pragmatic a lot of people are and that they'll glom onto anything they think they can use to advance themselves materially or socially.

AngelRho wrote:
The hope, expectation, positivity of prosperity gospel is something ALL Christians should maintain in their lives; genie-in-the-bottle gospel is just another form of idolatry and ultimately brings delusion or disillusion. They may forget their severe headaches on Sunday after they've been "slain in the spirit," but they're right back where they started on Monday. To my knowledge, no televangelist has ever been independently confirmed to have raised the dead.

The forces and energies they're working with are also, in some respects, as cold as chemistry or electricity in how ambivalent they are to the health of the practitioner. Many yogis and dervishes for example who work on various forms of breathing and various ways to manipulate kundalini and prana, do so with the realization that it's dangerous stuff and you can damage your health with it easily. Valentin quoted Arthur Avalon as having said that someone unschooled taking a run at this stuff is a bit like allowing a 4-year-old to run around behind the counter of a pharmacy unsupervised. Ecstacy is also something that your brain can only take so much of and in short runs.

AngelRho wrote:
With that in mind, it's easier to think of rebellion to God as self-harm. There are three ways of looking at it. One might be a literal thumb-the-nose, everything God says I'll do the opposite kind of rebel. That doesn't really make sense, though, because if you don't really believe in God, why rebel? Or how can you say you're really in rebellion? Plus, such a rebellion means acting against nature itself. Suicide would be the ultimate expression of such a rebellion since it's the penultimate destruction of self (I don't believe suicide is a one-way-ticket to hell). So in that sense, very few rational people, even non-believers, anti-theists are living in outright rebellion to God. Another form of rebellion might be thought of as accidental--you might be a victim of circumstance, or your actions were not done with the intention of causing harm to yourself. Neither of those are irredeemable. The third rebellion is a rejection of God--not necessarily disobedience to God, not being a "bad person," not whether you have a Christian conception of God or not, but simply not bothering to accept God's grace at all. That DOES signify a point of no return.

I agree that there's a degree of natural law that governs most people's behavior and keeps it at least within some finite set of boundaries regarding self-interest. As for the last sin you listed, I think our world is so complicated and abusive, and all things both religious and spiritual so glutted with malpractice, that I don't think the later happens and I don't think it's evidenced much in NDE's either unless the particular atheist in question is such a sour or nasty person that they have a rough experience due to their own character.

The convolutions of reality, the numbers of layers of man-made astroturf one has to scrape away, and just how thick the accretion of both lies for control and lies out of self-deception then offered and codified for others, is so deep that I'm almost forced at times to consider that whatever created this universe or created the world that we live in is - to some degree - stirring the disinformation and stirring the pot. That may not necessarily be the case, it could be that we're still so early in the life of the human race that it looks like chaos because we're still fighting our way out of our own primordial goo, but that's how bad things seem to be right now. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the time to have read the bible six or seven times over or more in many parts and at least twice in every other part and to have then spent another three years reading the best western esoteric works I could get my hands on. Very few people have that opportunity, and I also consider myself overwhelmingly grateful that someone like Jordan Peterson has come to the forefront and started really sharing the best core-deliverables of all of that and I'm really hoping that his work and the work of other people like him takes us a lot farther along the path of understanding what these things are and how to best apply them in the current milieu.

AngelRho wrote:
Living within the bounds of the universe and manipulating NATURAL forces to your own will for your own benefit is NOT black magic, despite how it may appear. There are misguided people out there who teach that. And if you're reading their books, chances are these guys are making a boatload of cash.

Most of them passed decades ago so that part is doubtful. Valentin wrote his book to only be published after his death actually and most of the Golden Dawn diaspora authors wrote more to try to counter what they considered both fraud and complete loss of information to do organizational politics - information which they believed was actually owed to all of humanity (Israel Regardie published the Complete Golden Dawn for those reasons). Most of what was written in the 1920's thru 1960's was for too small of an audience to be profitable and these days most practicing magicians who write books are trying to clarify points where they believed that earlier scholarship of groups like the Golden Dawn may have been sloppy or incomplete. These modern authors are mostly geeks/nerds of a sort who are doing it for the love of what they're doing, it's evidenced in just how little money they make on their books and how unremarkable their lives are financially.

I'd liken most of them to a world-class martial arts instructor who either has a small school or teaches out of his or her garage because it's the belt factories that make the most money, get the most people interested, and in that instructor's sheer interest in the field itself they'd rather make less money and actually focus on quality of content rather than watering it down or dumbing it down to make it commercially viable. That's part of why this stuff just won't be lucrative and people aren't likely to go into it for that reason, ie. the much better model for that is Rhonda Byrnes's The Secret.

AngelRho wrote:
The 613 laws boil down really to only two, and you probably already know that: Love God; love your neighbor. If human behavior satisfies just those two laws, it satisfies all 613. And, also, what was the exact purpose of those laws? That's a rhetorical question, btw, because that's a whole other discussion, but just think about it. The 613 laws are divided according to purpose, and some of those are irrelevant to non-Jews or impossible for anyone to observe. The whole of it is for the benefit of the believer for his own sake. It's meant to be personal. By loving God and loving your neighbor, you stand to achieve the greatest benefit both in this life AND the next. Do you NEED the Bible to figure all of that out? No. But the Bible is good at narrowing the purpose to one specific event upon which the fate of the human soul rests. If you can't read, don't worry. There SHOULD be a Christian close by who can explain it to you. ;-)

They seemed to have gone that way because they didn't want to be mired in endless debate, and I don't necessarily think that even solved that problem. I actually got quite scared by a lot of what was in Paul because as you said, two rules, pretty much sets the stage for us to be rolling the dice and in that way it's an equal and opposite extreme to 613 rules.

AngelRho wrote:
Well, the focus of Christianity is the gospel. That's IT. Who are we to God? How do we go about loving God? How do we unite ourself with our God for the sake of eternal reward? Back in the old days, we'd ask "How do we escape the flames of hell?" It's just another way of asking the same "damned" question. People don't talk about hell anymore, and it's frustrating for many in the pulpit. But they shouldn't worry about it or be overly concerned about preaching hellfire and damnation. Why? Well...if we're saved, why worry? And the unsaved population is obviously not so concerned in this day and time. So rather than focus on God "sending people to hell," which He really doesn't, anyway, we tend to focus more on desiring God rather than fearing hell. I think that's as Christianity OUGHT to be. You should be in it for what you WANT, not what you FEAR. You don't expect your fears in life; you expect providence. So why should we approach the afterlife any differently? Nevertheless, it's basically the same thing--what I want out of this life and the next.

I see it this way perhaps - the question "How do I escape the flames of hell?" is tantamount to saying "How do I do the absolute bare minimum to get into heaven?" whereas the other "How do I please God" is more along the lines of "How do I become better?". They're better questions, one might even consider them progressive in the true sense of the word.

AngelRho wrote:
Personally, my attitude has become that I don't live for the next world. I know where I'm going, so I'm not all that concerned about heaven. If heaven is this perfect place in the presence of God, then I'll be made right the instant I show up at the gate. That's going to be the least of my worries. But while I'm here on earth, THIS is what I have to concern myself with, and I've only got THIS life in the here and now. I'm not going to be made to feel guilty for seeking pleasure and my own benefit, and the benefit of those I value for my own selfish reasons. What I haven't discussed here yet is that I don't believe in a hedonistic self-seeking, a mindless, animalistic existence, either, and I think rationality is a divine attribute also reflected in creation. But...again, different topic for a different day.

My deepest hope is that I don't get destroyed by or twisted into being a worse person by this one and ultimately die a worse person than I came in as. I feel like so many of the external pressures are aiming at me, and many other if not to some degree most people, to become exactly that. Whether it's workplace psychopaths, whether it's the 'devil take the hindmost' form of economics we're stuck in, and adding to this - having a disability, especially a hidden and unprotected disability, means you're stuck internalizing a lot of abuse just to stay alive. I'll do absolutely everything I can to leave this world far better than I came in but if absolute worst comes to worst and I end up increasingly living the trials of Job, my goal in that situation is at least to put every ounce of effort I can into leaving no worse than I came in.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling