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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by che Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:54 pm

aensensen's post reminds me of one of my mother's colleagues who went volunteering in nepal a few years ago and since then he can't stop spouting pseudo-intellectual bullshit about how you have to "open your mind and use your other senses" (actual quote) to understand "what the world is really about"

very few things are worse than condescending hippies...

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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by free_cat Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:43 pm

@Jonathan28 wrote:
@free_cat wrote:
@Jonathan28 wrote:

Woah, woah, woah, hold on there mate, lets not get carried away here. Wooh, you are gonna give every one a scare with this post, some commentary should help here

[INSERT RAMBLING DUBIOUS INTERPRETATIONS]

Nice interpretations. I could, and can interpret those words, they are not that veiled or complicated, thank you. No need for you to quote theologians who will obviously try to make christianism and jesus look god.

@Jonathan28 wrote:
For those who do not understand, Jesus in this passage is not talking about the everyday man on the street, in fact, non-believers are exempt from this all together. this is directly aimed at the people who claim to have been believers their whole lives and have a holier-than-thou mentality when in reality, they are the biggest hypocrites that have ever walked the earth. During Jesus' time the Pharisees were these exact people.

So... the Pharisees don't deserve to be redeemed or saved or be treated nicely? They will just burn in hell forever, etc. A bit of a racist this jesus, like witht he Samaritans:



Dubious? What? When did I say the Pharisees should burn in hell? They were used as an example as what was wrong with the faith at that time, many Pharisees did change their ways, but of course, you wouldn't know this.

Free_cat you may be a fellow Barca fan but you no nothing of what you are talking about. Your ignorance on the subject is shining rhough, just as in the Quran burning thread. You don't liek religion, we get it, but if your gonna critisize it, know what your talking about first, because everything you have said so far displays a level of ineptitude, that borders on the imbecilic.

Luckily, I don't know much about religion. I have not wasted my time deeply reading theologican interpretations etc. But I know enough and I can reason enough to see that it doesn't hold. There are many, many flaws. You can come up with farfetched interpretations like this about the pharisees, that when easily refuted you'll turn to personal insult.

If you are so prone to be told what to think, listen to me Oh Jonathan! I'm the unespecial defender of reason; sent from my town! My son, enlighten yourself with reason and free think! Question your beliefs and scrutinize their rationality and you will find the light and the truth! Very Happy

I think I could be a better preacher than that Jesus, the Fig tree curser and truth teller (how insistent was Jesus saying he was telling the truth! wasn't it just obvious he was just making that stuff up?).
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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by Senor Penguin Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:06 pm

@che wrote:aensensen's post reminds me of one of my mother's colleagues who went volunteering in nepal a few years ago and since then he can't stop spouting pseudo-intellectual bullshit about how you have to "open your mind and use your other senses" (actual quote) to understand "what the world is really about"

very few things are worse than condescending hippies...
I literally just spat my coffee all over the monitor ... Thanks a lot!

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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by Aensensen Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:04 am

@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:What I think about debates I already said in 3rd page of this thread - they're useless.
Debates are never useless regardless the circumstances. I don't know how you can speak so highly of being a scholar but dismiss the value of debate?
I see your point. What I tried to say is that religious debates are useless - I didn't specify it because I was relating to my earlier post in which I stressed the "religious" part (and by religious debates I thought of the usual debates going on all the time since the begining of times, almost everyone is entering such a discussion with an agenda to bring people closer to God, or to prove that scientific data show the story of God cannot be true - or personal agenda against religion for personal reasons and feelings). Far from it that I think debate per se is useless - I'm debating right now.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:My reason for casting aside religion has been on a personal level. I didn't see the possibility of anything holding it together anymore after all the information I've found out against it. I couldn't be a Christian anymore. I started thinking and analyzing religion. I decided it was against my reason and my rational side to continue calling myself a christian. You see what I've done here - I'm stressing that this was my activity, I didn't think about others and their opinions [at least not when reaching my decision to cast aside religion]. What I see a lot here, like anywhere else actually is that most of you have this aversion towards "God" in relation to what others say he is, or how they act. (A*) Point for thinking.
Could it have anything to do with, say, the fact that religions profess that humans and the devotion to God is extremely important? And that an evaluation of religion will inevitably - at one point or the other - include how people think and how they act? Not to mention the fact that religion is actually oriented around man - not God - when one analyses the situation.
Yes, there is a great influence [like a chain reaction] of thought and activity regarding one's beliefs. I see you're talking about the influence religion has on the world today - and is it fair if someone is affected by someone's beliefs which he personally doesn't share? -> This is an issue of consequences and responsibility. My original thoughts were oriented towards more basic understanding of religion and the force that opposes it today. Even while doing that I tried not to get too involved in justification of an institution - no sane man would, I believe.
@Senor Penguin wrote:"God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilizations." - Christopher Hitchens

Regardless, an aversion to God does not need to manifest itself based on what others believe or do not believe. Evaluating the circumstances of the realm that we live in should suffice. Many philosophers make their stance independent of religion.
I see you're stressing again the influence religion has on people of the world. And yet there are so many philosophers that go so deep into the subject that you don't even recognise the religion in it, allbeit called differently. Before you ask why then religion at all if we have philosophy - I say exactly, because they should be one, and I believe they originally were.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:I know that many of you are immersed in this feeling of injustice when it comes to religion. Malleus Maleficarum burns brightly in front of your eyes, and the natural craving for freedom in you developes the feeling of participating in noble fight by refuting religion. Not that seeing irritating "Christians", yapping about things they don't understand, helps in any way.
Malleus Maleficarum? How does the persecution of "witches" relate to people who don't believe in God?
I really think it's logical this one. Many people feel repulsion towards the church [I'm sorry I'm using Catholic church as my subject here, it's what I'm most familiar with] because they think how could the church burn thousands of innocent people. In many minds [since there is only one possibility of God - God of my religion] unjustified religion = no God. And I'm not talking about religion's influence on the world, I'm just saying that this is how many people think.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:::The problem with Religion vs Atheism discussions is that both sides are blind to one simple truth, and that is - The Bible is a book of seals. It is not to be literally understood in it's completeness (a man might go mad trying to accept so many contradictory information). Atheists understand this irrationality so they refute religion overall, "Christians" are lost between personal agendas and how they fill these irrational holes. However Atheists are wrong because of their lack of knowledge in combination with (A*)
I think you'll find that not even fundamentalists understand (or are even able to understand) religious scripture in its completeness. That's because it's nebulous in nature.
It would be quite ignorant to dismiss something you know nothing about. I actually used a precutios term "ordained priestshood" (and rabbis - I've put a more general term "rabbis" here because I don't have enough knowledge to talk extensively about them) in my post. I'm not under illusion that every priest knows the whole thing, but all the higher individuals in the instituion have to have at least some knowledge, and even the common priests can find thing out by research, or through Lectio Divina.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:The real deal, the complete thing that is like water to a rational open mind is "behind the seals" of Bible. And not only bible, other religions too have their texts that need knowledge for understanding, and I'm not talking about your high school education. Without this in mind - you're all wrong. The "faithfull", and the atheists.
So basically it's "my way or the highway"?

That perfectly explains why you consider debates "useless".
I'm sorry but I had to be this strict with this, because it is that practical. You cannot debate something if a huge part of the subject is missing from your debate, it's like trying to unlock a keyhole with the wrong key. It's not my way if it exists as it is in no relation to me whatsoever. As for the debates - by now you'll understand what I meant.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:I understand atheists in some particular points. I understand they fail to see a reason for existance of religion.
I absolutely see a reason for the existence of religion. There are many psychological hypotheses that could fit.
Ok. Call it psychological. That is in not completely wrong.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:Ofcourse, this is nothinge strange since their rational mind relies on their knowledge and 5 senses [even though mostly on sight].
What?
Is there something incorrect in that statement?
I understand that since there is the word "BELIEVE" in religion, religion has failed to battle the modern intellect. It's simply against me to simply believe. I'd rather shoot myself in the foot. I'm not talking about believing, I'm talking about researching. Once you reach atheism your research isn't over. It's a good step. I even encourage it if you continue your research. I've been a "christian" for 17 years of my life, an atheist for 2 years, and now I'm agnostic [who is researching religions] for 5 years. The reason I even bothered to write the original post is because I see how much advertising atheism recieves. I don't really care about saving religion's face - I'm just saying that there IS something more and that people should research even further.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:What lacks is the knowledge of the truths behind those 5 senses. Now even for atheists [at this point] it's hard to confess that it's ignorant to dismiss the possibility of something simply because "I cannot percieve it" - this would be nonchalant and mediocre. We already know there are lots of things in existance which we cannot percieve by our 5 senses yet we've "discovered" them.
And how do you think we discovered them exactly? Was it by using our "sixth" sense? Or was it by using the other 5 in order to construct devices that would "perceive" the "imperceivable"? And did we by using such devices not make use of the five senses again?
We've seen the effects of them. That's what I wrote further. And following that logic I stressed something can exist even if not originally "visible" to our senses. The possibility of something existing is infinite. I also mentioned it's impossible to prove that something does not exist.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:Even though by only putting down their activity in graphic terms like graphs and functions. It's something about our rational mind that grants the sight sense more credibility over the others. Even if you taste, smell something, or hear someone, or feel something with your hands - you still choose to open your eyes to "see for youself".
Not necessarily. If you have auditory hallucinations it simply doesn't matter what you see or cannot see. If you hear a thunder in the distance, will you have to see whether there's lightning or not?

Either way, this talk about senses is quite boring I have to say.
Exactly. Mind is immensely important in percieving. If talking about senses bore you I'm sorry, but I thank you for your indulgence non the less.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:This is our 1st and most important cognition portal, and this is the problem - mind should be our first and most important cognition device, because there is no true cognition without the activity of the mind - thinking [it's not weird then that cogito means "thinking" in latin], Descartes goes lengths about this in his "Meditations on first philosophy". Seeing something [experiencing it through your 5 senses] is not cognition, it's to note something is there. Now i got sidetracked a bit. Back to subject.
You just spoke of the fallaciousness of the senses but seem to suggest that the mind is infallible? The mind does not compute without the senses to guide it and vice versa. The mind can be terribly fallible even when it is utilized.

I'll pull up another Hitchens quote:
"The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks."
Au contraire, to observe is final - to think is infinite. Never did I say that the mind per se is infallible. I absolutely agree on that with Hitchens. And mind can work - think - even if not focusing on his senses.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:Why was I saying this? Because "Religion" deals with things the eye cannot see - like the human spirit. It's important to know the difference between the soul and the spirit because when you understand the mechanics, the law of the Man - then you're on the road to understanding religion.
"The soul" and "the spirit" are merely metaphorical interpretations of sensations, emotions and feelings.
I'm sure you'd think it's inappropriate if I'd say the metafor can work the other way around (if you throw out the spirit since the spirit is not the same thing as the soul.).
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:Religion is trying to balance between the extensive knowledge of human nature and public relations. It is not uncommon to see someone hiding (obscuring) the knowledge from the masses, but with church the thing is not so simple. During it's great history sure there were times, individuals and groups when/who abused the power and knowledge given to them. But hermeticism is not about hiding knowledge so you could abuse it - it's precaution - therefore not all of church's history is rotten eggs. Why precaution? Hermetic science is closed hermetically by hermetic seals because knowledge is power, and power can lead to abuse. Unfortunately, throughout the history, many selfish and wicked people have come to possession of this knowledge - these are the people who abuse their power today for personal gain and hunger for more power. There is no right way to knowledge but through humility and devotion. Rational mind alone is unable to go past the hermetic seals - therefore religion.
Philosophy negates the purpose of religion. Psychology does really well, too.
Specific authors do, specific authors don't. As for psychology - I've already touched that subject with the metaphore before.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:The problem is that this is the only thing they notice about religion.
False.
Well of course I don't think people are atheist just because of this. I was criticising a particular mindset here.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:The feeling of rebelion against such injustice makes people [including the past me] thwart religion, making them feel they fight the noble fight - the one for freedom. But how wrong they are. True, fiery people are needed in this world - the church has done many unjust things in the past, but this is not a motive for atheism. You have to understand this, because this is exactly what's been shoved into people's faces for the past few decades. This is the agenda of an opposing force. (B*)
Are you suggesting atheism has a sinister purpose? That's quite flattering, I must confess. Did you not speak of humility in order to gain knowledge earlier? Or did your devotion for religion get in your way?

@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:Remember, fake sense of freedom = tyranny.
Remember, more religion (read: servility) ergo less tyranny and more freedom.
Nope, never said that. I pointed to something observable.
@Senor Penguin wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:I hope that now you guys understand it's wrong to debate religion based solely on your rational thinking. You lack the knowledge for it.
There goes the humility again ...

Too much sanctimonious drivel to take in. I may or may not read the rest of it after I've taken an aspirin or two.
Humility? I think that comment would have made sense if that quote was everything my post was made of. I actually explained why. You're probably irritated by something else.
By now you probably see I've failed to see the reason for aggressiveness in your post. I fail yet again. What I was trying to do is not simply state something - my post wasn't that short. I tried to point to the things that are not likely to cross your path just like that - that and because I saw how much effort and time is put in this discussion and I felt compelled to point to these acknowledgements I've gained. This was never to be a boasting post, neither did I try to defend any institution, even religion, my main intention wasn't to prove someone wrong - the only reason I took time to respond to your post in detail is because you're the only one that actually read my post and felt the need to answer. I see no reason to fight - I have absolutely no agenda to fulfill. I know there are things that are not in plain sight, this knowledge is not public but is thousands of years old and it's preserved. Religious fathers knew this [at least some of this knowledge] and I already explained why this knowledge wasn't given out just like that. All I'm saying is it's impossible to come to a real conclusion on this theme if the biggest part of it is missing. In this case it's not about lack of one's ability, but the lack of knowledge.

The sideroad I took to answer to your post is because I thought I needed to respond - far from it that I think this alone can do anyone any good. Maybe your agression was pointed towards the lack of options I gave - I left no clues as to where one could start finding out about this. I'm amazed you haven't asked this question anywhere. Even though I partly answered this in my 3rd page post - I can imagine the problem for you would be me mentioning the lectio divina in my latter post. I see how impossible would that seem. Although I did say that through research one can find this out too.
@che wrote:aensensen's post reminds me of one of my mother's colleagues who went volunteering in nepal a few years ago and since then he can't stop spouting pseudo-intellectual bullshit about how you have to "open your mind and use your other senses" (actual quote) to understand "what the world is really about"

very few things are worse than condescending hippies...
I believe my post was more detailed than that. I never talked about how you should use other senses - I pointed to the activity of the mind, and the mistake of dismissing anything you cannot percieve.

I have absolutely nothing to do with hippies, and I wasn't trying to be condescending - I pointed out why.

EDIT:
@free_cat wrote:
LOL, this is actually quite funny [not commenting your post]. I'm already downloading the show - had to check that out.
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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by che Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:49 am

@Aensensen wrote:
I never talked about how you should use other senses - I pointed to the activity of the mind, and the mistake of dismissing anything you cannot percieve.

so if you cannot perceive something now, how exactly are you supposed to perceive it unless employing these alleged "other senses"?

I have absolutely nothing to do with hippies, and I wasn't trying to be condescending - I pointed out why.

of course you do... what you post basically boils down to is "you can't debate religion unless you understand the spiritual concept (or whatever) like i do

hippie part in red, condescending part in blue... we absolutely can and will discuss anything without understanding the spiritual concept, because *gasp* there is no such thing as a spiritual concept... unexplained things are just that, unexplained, and once we get the explanation they by definition cannot be supernatural
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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by Aensensen Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:16 pm

@che wrote:
@Aensensen wrote:
I never talked about how you should use other senses - I pointed to the activity of the mind, and the mistake of dismissing anything you cannot percieve.

so if you cannot perceive something now, how exactly are you supposed to perceive it unless employing these alleged "other senses"?

I have absolutely nothing to do with hippies, and I wasn't trying to be condescending - I pointed out why.

of course you do... what you post basically boils down to is "you can't debate religion unless you understand the spiritual concept (or whatever) like i do

hippie part in red, condescending part in blue... we absolutely can and will discuss anything without understanding the spiritual concept, because *gasp* there is no such thing as a spiritual concept... unexplained things are just that, unexplained, and once we get the explanation they by definition cannot be supernatural
See this is where discussions go into wrong direction - they miss their points. We can make this about one being a hippie and condescending while completely forgetting the rest of the story. The problem is that this should be a thread about Jesus and religion but it is discussed like any other football theme - with loads of tension and impetuosity. This is not about the thread - it's about "you are wrong I am right and I feel good". First of all - twice you have completely ignored the rest of my posts [and I'm not looking for a religious debate, I already pointed out how I think about it. Even this is more of a debate of thinking]. If you want to aggressively discuss how I am wrong, hippie or only parts of my posts without even mentioning their theme - then you are the proof of my opinion that it's a big part of being an atheist [in some cases] to repel religion because of their feelings against christians. Even here you make a mistake because I am not a christian, but you completely ignore that part. You completely ignore the part where I say that this is not about defending an institution or religion per se. Again I stress that I felt compelled to write the original 2 posts because I see how much energy here is put in discussion - because I think that people should know they are missing something. You are dismissing the possibility of this without even knowing what I'm talking about because you've not entered this discussion to talk about something but to attack religion for your own personal emotional agenda. You've failed to notice that [or you've decided not to pay attention to something you haven't come here for].

I am not trying to force my personal opinion here, not trying to say I am better [which is the only thing you see standing out] but that I am simply informing of this fact I found out. And if you think it's impossible for someone to know something you don't already - that's ignorance and denial. Religion is thousands of years old [I'm talking about Judaism and Christianity here] and I already explained why it is completely normal that a rational mind will refute it because it makes no sense, but to think that you know everything there is about religion without serious research is a consequence of not knowing there is more you need to understand about religion. I completely understand if someone based on their rational thinking refute religion, I'm just saying that religion has important parts of it that are not given out to people just like that. What I've said about senses I mentioned in more of a general way not hippie way - I just wanted to point that we cannot be sure something doesn't exist, as for the "other senses" you fail to recognize the mind part I've mentioned. But I suggest you ignore it if you want to make a thread out of something I talked only slightly of, and was not the point of my thread.

I see why you think if something proved wrong cannot become right again, but many things were proven wrong/right only to be proven right/wrong later - so is it really conclusive to say now I know? Again, I'm talking in general here [religious text fail definitely in consistency], just to challenge the conclusive way of thinking - "I've come to know something now and I completely reject any possibility of me being wrong about this subject".

When talking to my religious friends I ask them questions any atheist would, because those questions need to be asked. I encourage them to turn their rational mind on. But with those that are already atheist, I encourage them to search more. It is like being on two fronts but I already explained why both sides miss something - It's not about "my way" ffs, it's about pointing to this.
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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by che Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:21 pm

@Aensensen wrote:

First of all - twice you have completely ignored the rest of my posts [and I'm not looking for a religious debate, I already pointed out how I think about it.

Even here you make a mistake because I am not a christian, but you completely ignore that part. You completely ignore the part where I say that this is not about defending an institution or religion per se.

i didn't ignore your posts, they're just full of crap tbh... you take 500 words to make a simple point, a point i believe i summed up pretty accurately before - "you can't debate religion unless you open your mind, like i did"

Again I stress that I felt compelled to write the original 2 posts because I see how much energy here is put in discussion - because I think that people should know they are missing something. You are dismissing the possibility of this without even knowing what I'm talking about because you've not entered this discussion to talk about something but to attack religion for your own personal emotional agenda. You've failed to notice that [or you've decided not to pay attention to something you haven't come here for].

no

what you're doing here is excluding people from the debate in a very condescending manner because you deem yourself more versed in matters of religion that aren't directly in the religious texts (what?)

this is not how debating works, you can't say "my point of view is X and in order to understand it you must do Y" where you can't even define Y beyond some semi-comprehensible bs about using your mind to perceive things

I am not trying to force my personal opinion here, not trying to say I am better [which is the only thing you see standing out] but that I am simply informing of this fact I found out. And if you think it's impossible for someone to know something you don't already - that's ignorance and denial.

and i'm the one who's not reading posts? i said that things we don't understand right now can, and eventually will be, explained, not that i, or humanity for that matter, know everything

I completely understand if someone based on their rational thinking refute religion, I'm just saying that religion has important parts of it that are not given out to people just like that. What I've said about senses I mentioned in more of a general way not hippie way - I just wanted to point that we cannot be sure something doesn't exist, as for the "other senses" you fail to recognize the mind part I've mentioned.

and this is the part that you're completely pulling out of your ass, which is why i can't take the rest of your posts seriously

how do you know important parts of religion weren't given to everyone? this is something you completely made up to justify your perceived higher position in this debate, where you can look down on everyone saying that you've done research, "seen things", as it were... what if religion is just a bunch of bronze age/medieval principles written down to control people? you're making a claim here and you need to back it up... how does one perceive things with their mind?


I see why you think if something proved wrong cannot become right again, but many things were proven wrong/right only to be proven right/wrong later - so is it really conclusive to say now I know? Again, I'm talking in general here [religious text fail definitely in consistency], just to challenge the conclusive way of thinking - "I've come to know something now and I completely reject any possibility of me being wrong about this subject".

:facepalm:

for the umpteenth time, i never said thinking was supposed to be conclusive, or current knowledge is conclusive... i absolutely believe that the knowledge pool is constantly changing as we prove and disprove theories, doesn't mean it has anything to do with "using your mind" or whatever

again, you're making a completely baseless claim about extra-sensory perception or something, i don't even know what exactly is your point supposed to be

When talking to my religious friends I ask them questions any atheist would, because those questions need to be asked. I encourage them to turn their rational mind on. But with those that are already atheist, I encourage them to search more. It is like being on two fronts but I already explained why both sides miss something - It's not about "my way" ffs, it's about pointing to this.

aaaand again, if your atheist friends aren't complete idiots they will always "search more", doesn't mean you can just make up a concept of perception
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Jesus > Religion - Page 4 Empty Re: Jesus > Religion

Post by Aensensen Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:09 am

@ Che.

Your latest post seemed much more to the point and felt much more true. I enjoyed reading it. You actually pointed to real holes in my post.

Finally someone who at least kind of asked what the hell am I talking about. I'll answer that later.

What you said about debate and about
"my point of view is X and in order to understand it you must do Y" where you can't even define Y beyond some semi-comprehensible bs about using your mind to perceive things
is absolutely right and with that you have totally nailed it, I made a mistake. This is what I had in mind when I said that I don't want to debate religion per se. Because of this I think it is comprehendable that I said I just wanted to point to something missing in discussion. My mistake was to try touch the subject slightly [bad idea] - I thought that would maybe make someone curious enough to want to search for this or ask something, but now I see how it would only irritate pratical people. I thought I could [in this case] by questioning someone's way of thinking just lay the ground for someone to give this a chance, but I forgot I started the post answering to StevieRayVaughan (who said believed in God) and continued talking in a way about things which would make a rational atheist irritated in such a thread - I didn't go to the point immedeately, and atheist is a practical man - therefore I see how my vague comments pissed you off. Actually, they would piss me off too probably.

Because I chose not to openly point to an answer I see how you could think I entered this thread with an apetite for condescending. Again i apologize I didn't think of this - I should have been more practical when talking to/about atheists. I WILL give you an answer at the end of this post with pleasure.

@Senor Penguin wrote:Atheism is actually a very honorable and humble standpoint to have. We do not profess to have the ultimate truth, we simply disbelieve what is irrational and seek the truth based on incontrovertible evidence. We encourage free inquiry within epistemic borders, open mindedness and find suppression of either apprehensive. And although we are arrogant, or some of us are, at least we give you the truth uninhibited. What you see is what you get.

It is clear that if someone takes the time to talk to an atheist, he has to take care to put things rationally and with EVIDENCE to grab their attention. I completely failed there because I waited for someone to ask for evidence - instead we got tangled up in my vaguely put statements and me trying to slightly touch something... I screwed up in the way I tried to present this. In a way I didn't fail completely since you actually asked [in a way].

for the umpteenth time, i never said thinking was supposed to be conclusive, or current knowledge is conclusive... i absolutely believe that the knowledge pool is constantly changing as we prove and disprove theories, doesn't mean it has anything to do with "using your mind" or whatever

again, you're making a completely baseless claim about extra-sensory perception or something, i don't even know what exactly is your point supposed to be
Again, completely true. I didn't specify what I'm talking about as you've pointed out. As for my Lectio Divina - I was actually pointing that towards more religious people, forget that if you want - that cannot work for someone who is searching for something "visible", I didn't go that way either. That's why I was going on about this mind thing, which I tried to touch from more philosophic etymology [I didn't go into the subject enough for it to make sense - only as slightly touching the subject - again my mistake, I thought it would just lay ground for open mindedness] - It was never my intention to leave that as it is - it is jibberish - it doesn't prove anything and I didn't intend for it to prove anything about religion - I see why you would think I'm making hippie claims - it does sound like it because it looked as a full statement (and it isn't).

If I want to point an atheist to what I know I have to point him the same way I went. In my case I've seen a documentary. This documentary talked about things that looked fantastic in nature but I did note some strange coincidences in it. Coincidences were about how there was this scheme that was followed in some minor way. It was enough to make me interested. What I noticed was that a lot of symbols used today, a lot of crests, details in architectural approach in planning of cities somehow shared some strange yet collective themes. Now I know you can dismiss this based on the possibility of accident, probability of simmilarities bound to happen somewhere - but the simmilarities were strange in my opinion and I had a drive to try to research that. The themes these things shared were of some spiritual, religious or astronomical nature - in places you would never imagine seeing them.

This, together with the sense of repulsion towards religion has later created a defiance. I wanted to see what is it that religions are doing behind the scenes - because they were obviously doing something which they didn't want us (the regular Joes) to know about. This is what awakened a state of wanting to know - so I tried to find where could I find about these symbols, I tried to learn about how religons started [I've read tons of contradictory books but I've found amazing books that I never thought existed - now you'll call me an asshole for not sharing but I have my reasons - my final answer is at the end of the post].

Now the inquiry in the history of religion is a must if we're gonna talk about religion. I can talk all day about atheism because I can prove it, it's rational and comprehendable to everyone - but if you're gonna talk about religion [and I know how silly it sounds to divide these two discussions, but I really think these aren't the true opposing sides, I'd rather say rational mind - and emotional belief] I have to know its history and where does it come from. I know atheists are not trying to force their beliefs on someone (at least not in a "believer" kind of way), they rationally come to an easy conclusion that God cannot exist - and that is true, from that point of view. But it is not a debate about religion if you are talking about atheism and believers talk about religion. You have two different things. Now I see that many times atheists DO talk about religion, and I see they talk in the boundaries of their knowledge, they [I'd say rightfully] refute religion based on information that they have - they figure it's not worth inquiring about it any further. I understand that. But it is hard to talk about religion if you cannot talk about things your fellow interlocutor doesn't know yet. I'm not trying to criticize here, just trying to point it would be more fair if the talk about religion could expand to it's full potential. I know this is too much to ask of someone who has absolutely no interest in religion - therefore I wanted to encourage interest in such topicwith saying there is something hidden behind what we call religion that has been obscured from us. I don't know this is how I felt, this feeling of "I wanna find out what this is that's worth hiding" (especially since I was born into strict religious family I felt the need to counter religion as much as I could for my personal development) has made me want to research.

With more information I accumulated about religions I also found out loads of crap, but I also found out things worth mentioning [at the end of this post]. This gradual accumulation has made me have this more open attitude towards religion, more than when I was a strict atheist. I've found out some things that are behind of that what we see in churches, later these church things seemed more of a metaphore for something else - this is why I was saying it is not talking about religion if you don't understand "what you see is not exactly what is ACTUALLY rationally meant" in religion. I used to say how there is tons of Greek mysteries and pagan tradition in church (when I was an atheist), but I wanted to go on with research - I didn't simply want to claim that I know there is SOMETHING. I wanted to know what it really meant. I guess I made it personal, because I lived as a christian for more than 17 years of my life.

Now, I mentioned before how you should research with humility and devotion - because there is tons of weird shit when you start researching, tons of sects, secret orders and freaks waiting for someone to be greedy enough so they could lure them into something for their cause. Brainwashed people exist unfortunately. Many people get sidetracked by their ego and end up doing weird occult bullshit. I pointed the humility and devotion because of this (devotion to research and truth in combination with being down to earth).

Reading one book won't turn the lights on, but it's a great way to start. If your new knowledge awakens interest in you, if you see something that makes you wonder enough to go on researching than you are going for a treat.

This is why I thought it would be stupid to recommend one book, it would mean nothing - it'd be jibberish, but if I can somehow awake interest in you, maybe something in that book could prolong that interest. I didn't think that through enough.

I know that if you have no PERSONAL interest in this, that my info here is useless - so I want to say it again - "There are things/knowledge hidden from you, that can be discovered. It is more than useful to know it because it gives you options you never thought you had - this is the same with all knowledge. But this knowledge is a must for someone who understands religion makes no sense as it is." But if you don't start to see some conections/coincidences that will motivate YOU to research about it - then my post won't do you any good. I hope it motivates you.

Behind religions lies Esotericism. This is the field you need to research to gain more in depth knowledge of religion and what it really wants to say. Anthroposophy (which is a great start if you're already into philosophy), Theosophy (you'll notice these "institutions" are much younger than religions, but they are talking about the knowledge from those times and present), Rosicrucianism... Astrology [not your daily horoscope, you can actually search astrology and church and see where that leads you - or simply search through the "institutions" I already gave you], Alchemy [leave this for now (you're too practical for this one), it will only confuse you with it's "metals to gold" thing]. I recommend reading (for starters) a book by Rudolf Steiner - Theosophy [I'm sorry it won't be a nail bitter this one but it is needed so you can continue] - after this book you can start researching the history of the church [then astrology, the Arcana], and by this you will already have slightly better way of seeing that religion is not so transparent. Now I know you're practical so before this info completely repels you from this author or his book let me point out that Steiner was one of the most practical people ever. He contributed greatly to medicine, agriculture, education, architecture, arts... Just take that into consideration - maybe that will awake some interest in you. After this I think you will have you own fields of interest and you should research them.

I hope this post finally expresses what I wanted to say from the start. I am sorry for some of my straying from subject, I know some of it seemed illogical and like bunch of BS without any backup - I hope I explained myself and I apollogized for my mistake.
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