1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    23 Jan '13 21:42
    Some here believe Christ is a Bad Joke.

    Would those of you who have thoughtfully reached this conclusion please list the primary reasons you feel support your position.

    This conversation should have legs since the topic opinion is held by an overwhelming majority of posters to this forum. Thanks.
    .
  2. Joined
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    23 Jan '13 21:47
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Some here believe Christ is a Bad Joke.

    Would those of you who have thoughtfully reached this conclusion please list the primary reasons you feel support your position.

    This conversation should have legs since the topic opinion is held by an overwhelming majority of posters to this forum. Thanks.
    .[/b]
    This is not the general forum
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    23 Jan '13 22:25
    Originally posted by divegeester
    This is not the general forum
    Subject is Christ. It's hardly a joke thread. Do you jest?
  4. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    23 Jan '13 22:29
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Some here believe Christ is a Bad Joke.

    Would those of you who have thoughtfully reached this conclusion please list the primary reasons you feel support your position.

    This conversation should have legs since the topic opinion is held by an overwhelming majority of posters to this forum. Thanks.
    .[/b]
    You think? The only person I've seen on this forum who has evinced an opinion even approaching that of the OP is Dasa, and he's clearly none too tightly wrapped anyway.
  5. Joined
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    23 Jan '13 22:48
    Originally posted by avalanchethecat
    You think? The only person I've seen on this forum who has evinced an opinion even approaching that of the OP is Dasa, and he's clearly none too tightly wrapped anyway.
    Depends what he means.


    I for one don't think that JC was made up as a joke of any kind.

    I DO think that he was probably made up and not actually based on a real person.
    ( Although this is very much a balance of probabilities and not a beyond reasonable doubt level of certainty. )
    But I think he was made up by people who were serious about their beliefs, and were not consciously trying
    to pull a con or a big practical joke or anything like that.

    Now if GB is aiming at any/all those here who don't think JC ever actually existed...
    Or if he did then that he didn't exist as described in the bible...

    Then there are a number of people here who would fit that description, myself included.

    Perhaps GB could clarify... Although I have little hope of that ever happening.
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    24 Jan '13 03:51
    Confusion of knowledge is worse than ignorance, though some love it because its shadows provide convenient places to hide (in public).
  7. Joined
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    24 Jan '13 10:37
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Confusion of knowledge is worse than ignorance, though some love it because its shadows provide convenient places to hide (in public).
    Talking gibberish is worse than silence, though some people love it because it's shadows provide convenient places to hide (in public).
  8. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    24 Jan '13 12:58
    Originally posted by googlefudge

    Talking gibberish is worse than silence, though some people love it because it's shadows provide convenient places to hide (in public).
    Evidentiary Proof. Rest my case.
  9. Joined
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    24 Jan '13 15:331 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Confusion of knowledge is worse than ignorance.
    No it isn't.

    Some people actively look for and gain knowledge throughout their lives. Sometimes they find it all hard to assimilate and occasionally they become confused as a result.

    Other people rejoice in their lack of knowledge and their lack of desire to enquire after more. As a result, they remain ignorant.

    The difference is that the former is normally temporary, but the latter is always permanent.
  10. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    24 Jan '13 15:552 edits
    Originally posted by Rank outsider

    No it isn't.

    Some people actively look for and gain knowledge throughout their lives. Sometimes they find it all hard to assimilate and occasionally they become confused as a result.

    Other people rejoice in their lack of knowledge and their lack of desire to enquire after more. As a result, they remain ignorant.

    The difference is that the former is normally temporary, but the latter is always permanent.
    Thank you for that. Please allow me to retract an inadequately examined concept.
    The more I look at your second sentence the more I'm taken with its accuracy.

    ...........................

    Edit: First heard the finality of these words from the mouth of one of my favorite university professors in his office around 4:00 PM one winter day. He invited me in and casually asked what was on my mind. The psychology course material was being dished out much too slowly, as far as I was concerned. I spelled out the 'complaint' politely. Dr. Chu smiled and said, "It's important that we try to bring the entire class along together to some degree of understanding. The confusion of knowledge is worse than ignorance. Robert, why don't I give you some projects (that related to an independent research I'm doing) to work on. Maybe we can meet once or twice a week to compare notes." I thanked him. We did as he suggested. The A+ meant less to me than this rare academic friendship. Still think of frail yet happy Dr. Chu with affection. The quote, however, came from the context of a group setting. Clearly, inappropriate to any conversation regarding individual pilgrimages within the spiritual realm. (Thanks, again.)
    .
  11. Standard membersonship
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    24 Jan '13 16:262 edits
    I may have one positive contribution to this thread.

    I do not think Jesus Christ is a bad joke.
    I do not think He is a good joke.

    But humor and joking is bassed on an element of surprise.
    And surprise can make one LAUGH.

    C.S. Lewis wrote about his turning from Atheism to Christian belief in a book entitled "Surprised By Joy".

    Surprise can cause laughing as if one HAD heard a joke.
    Surprise can be so ironic as to cause a chuckle.

    And one might be caused to laugh for joy and surprise upon discovering that God is real - not a good or bad joke but a ironic sense of surprise.

    Thus the title of C.S. Lewis's book - "Surprised By Joy" . As a hardened and intellectual atheist he never knew God could be so real.

    (Alright, I can hear it already - "I was surpised by joy to find that God was not real." )

    Anyway - My experience with laughter and touching the reality of God's corporate expression in the normal church life was like that of the returned Jews from Babylon to the Promise Land -

    "When Jehovah turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. At that time our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with a ringing shout. " (Psalm 126:1 RcV)

    It was too good to be true. It was like a dream. Their mouth was filled with laughter. They broke out shouting and singing. It was too wonderful.

    I had a moment like this when I discovered a lot of other people who were experiencing Christ as I was. My cheeks literally hurt because a grin had not stayed on my face for so long ever in my whole life. The muscles in my face ached.

    It was not a joke to touch the Body of Christ. But it was a great moment of surprise.
  12. Joined
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    24 Jan '13 17:09
    Originally posted by sonship
    I may have one positive contribution to this thread.

    I do not think Jesus Christ is a bad joke.
    I do not think He is a good joke.

    But humor and joking is bassed on an element of [b]surprise.

    And surprise can make one LAUGH.

    C.S. Lewis wrote about his turning from Atheism to Christian belief in a book entitled "Surprised By Joy". ...[text shortened]... It was not a joke to touch the Body of Christ. But it was a great moment of surprise.[/b]
    That sounds fun. (ish)

    Now demonstrate that it was caused by a supernatural being and not your brain doing
    stuff brains have been demonstrated to be able to do.


    See the trouble with experiences like that is that they shouldn't actually be convincing
    even to you let alone anyone else.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2013/01/21/the-argument-from-it-just-makes-sense-to-me/#more-5057

    ...........
    Questioning Our “Reasonable” Assumptions:

    LaBerge is a psychophysiologist who established the phenomena of “lucid dreaming” as a reality that is now part of routine sleep and dream research.

    In a nutshell, LaBerge had the capacity to lucid dream, and it was something that interested him. As part of his field of study, he ended up doing research on the history of the phenomena and discovered many historical accounts of it and references in the writings of some prestigious individuals. He decided to present a paper on the history of lucid dreaming, drafted his idea and submitted it for presentations and publication at symposiums and in professional journals in his field. He was rejected across the board. And the explanation given was that there was no evidence this phenomena was what he interpreted it to be.

    In case anyone is unfamiliar with a lucid dream, it is the phenomena of becoming aware that you are dreaming, while you are dreaming, and continuing on in the dream while conscious of the fact you are dreaming. For people who have had this experience routinely, the response is generally something like “Oh yeah, I’ve done that,” along the lines of “Yes, I’ve had the dream where I’m in a room full of people in my underwear.” For people who have never had this experience, there can sometimes be doubts about this even being possible. And LaBerge encountered this sort of reaction among his peers.

    The criticism was, “How do you know you are conscious while you are dreaming, and not that you are dreaming you are conscious?” In other words, is this simply one more form of dream, such as the “maze” dream, the “underwear” dream, the “unprepared for a test” dream, and the “dreaming I’m awake while I am dreaming” dream?

    LaBerge’s initial reaction was disbelief that people would doubt what was, to him, a very mundane occurrence. But as the rejection letters piled up, he began to understand his critics and reassess his own assumptions. Ultimately he realized no matter how subjectively “real” this phenomena “felt” or “seemed” to him, he honestly did not have any way to know it wasn’t a dream about being conscious, rather than really being conscious. His subjective experience, and the experience of others, did not provide anything to differentiate between those two possible scenarios. And so, “belief” in one or the other scenario was not merited. For LaBerge, it didn’t become a quest to prove he was right. It became a quest to actually determine if he was correct or confused in his interpretation of his personal experience. And it is a perfect example of how all of us should approach such assumptions that are based on “it seems to me,” and not verified or verifiable.

    Why Verification Matters:

    But, how to demonstrate or verify that a person who feels conscious in a dream, really is conscious within that dream, and not only dreaming they are conscious? If I’m honest, I would, personally, probably have thrown my hands up and declared we’ll never know the answer; because how, exactly, one would test for this would not have occurred to me. But LaBerge knew he was obligated to demonstrate this, not only for his peers, but for himself, if he wanted to know what was really happening to him, and if it really was what it “seemed” in the subjective experience. Were his interpretations reliable?

    He chose body parts that do not go into paralysis routinely during sleep, and he focused on the eyes. LaBerge found subjects who claimed to be efficient at entering into lucid dreaming, and controlling the dreams. He also worked with other researchers who study eye movement during sleep to come up with what they would agree were not normal REM eye movement patterns. Then he instructed his subjects to enter a lucid dream, and move their eyes in an agreed-upon, nonrandom pattern, that could be tracked during sleep, to signal they’d entered the conscious dream.

    The research was a success. The subjects were shown to be able to enter dream states and signal the eye patterns, repeatedly. LaBerge did all sorts of testing and signaling for many different reasons, and opened the door to a lot of new information about how similar or different dreams are to the brain than is reality. But the main thing to take away was that he showed that his subjects recalled the instructions given to them while awake, took them into their sleep/dream states, and were able to relay that information back to researchers while sleeping. So, the consciousness the subject experienced was not a dream of consciousness, but the same consciousness experienced while awake.

    When LaBerge began working on lucid dreaming, his work was based on “It seems to me” this is something real. It just “made sense” to him. He felt no need to verify, because it was so obviously true, in his mind. But confronted by critics, although he initially was defensive, he ultimately realized he wasn’t justified in his belief this was what he interpreted it to be. He realized he could be wrong, and the only way to know if his belief was true or not true, was to find some means to verify it—to differentiate between being in a conscious state versus dreaming you are in a conscious state. Without that, he could not say lucid dreaming was what he claimed it to be. He could not call it true. He could not be justified believing it. “It seems to me” is not justification for accepting an idea as true. It was not sufficient justification to expect others to accept it. And it was not even sufficient justification for him to believe it, once he realized that was all he had. No matter how strongly he felt that his consciousness in the dreams was legitimate conscious brain activity—he really could not justify or honestly promote it as correct.

    When he was able to verify his claims, he was congratulated, and his findings accepted—most of all by his critics.

    Carl Sagan’s “Dragon in My Garage” essay, in his book Demon Haunted World, is a wonderful example of the need for verification in order to justify beliefs—ideas we label as true. His summary is quite correct that “If there’s no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I’m asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.”

    LaBerge went from being unable to differentiate between a world where his interpretation was correct, and one where his interpretation was not correct, to being able to differentiate. While you cannot make that differentiation, labeling something as “true” because it “makes sense” to you, is sloppy reasoning that shows an utter lack of concern for the truth value of claims you accept as being true. ...............


    http://www.project-reason.org/archive/item/the_dragon_in_my_garage/
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    24 Jan '13 17:252 edits
    Originally posted by sonship
    I may have one positive contribution to this thread.

    I do not think Jesus Christ is a bad joke.
    I do not think He is a good joke.

    But humor and joking is bassed on an element of [b]surprise.

    And surprise can make one LAUGH.

    C.S. Lewis wrote about his turning from Atheism to Christian belief in a book entitled "Surprised By Joy".
    It was not a joke to touch the Body of Christ. But it was a great moment of surprise.[/b]
    I don't doubt your experience but it is fitting to note that religious ectasy is by no means the sole province of Christianity. And as genuinely felt. So then what is said? Your ecstasy is wrong and mine right? Or visa versa.
    The story of the person Jesus (existent or not) is full of powerful emotional material - guilt - most of it neurotically inappropriate guilt (often of a sexual nature, and quite Freudian) - inculcated by others and their various "holy books"- along with the emotions attached to lostness, and abandonment, 'filthy sinner' needing to be saved, and an all solving Savior, whom by simply acknowledging him (godman), you are "saved" from your lostness, your inner conflicts, your aloneness, your hurt.

    All so very globally human, the root of all stories , including the philosophical ones. From ancient ecstatic shamans up, being reborn somewhat dramatically figures over and over again in history. The Hellenic Gnostics, that greatly influenced the development of the Christ story, had almost the same rituals - they had a version of the Lord's supper,, they had baptism, and dying saviors and sought divine cleansing to be born anew, resurrected like the particular god. Some say the Christianity that eventually emerged, religiously and politically, is really a Pauline version. Paul lived amongst the competing Hellenic religions of the time. It was the local worldview then.

    Ecstasy is not the proof of the actual reality of the mental and emotional focus but only of the story's emotional power and man's inner search for greater meaning and completion.


    taoman.
  14. Joined
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    24 Jan '13 18:15
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Some here believe Christ is a Bad Joke.

    Would those of you who have thoughtfully reached this conclusion please list the primary reasons you feel support your position.

    This conversation should have legs since the topic opinion is held by an overwhelming majority of posters to this forum. Thanks.
    .[/b]
    Time once again to post a humorous story about a divinity. More of a tragicomedy. The humor does not detract from the message. So humor is not in itself, disrespectful of spiritual tradition. IMO.

    It is imaginable that this story could have found its way into the OT, given time and travel. As a sort of Job-ish story.

    "What Took You So Long?"
    From What Took You So Long? An Assortment of Life's Everyday Ironies, Sheldon Kopp, photographs by Claire Flanders, Science and Behavior Books, Palo Alto, CA, 1979.
    Introduction
    We are all tempted to try to understand the seemingly senseless suffering that life provides for each of us. People have always searched for ways to overcome their helplessness. Long before Buddha was enlightened or Christ crucified and resurrected, ordinary men and women already struggled to free themselves from this wheel of sorrows, to reach a place beyond this vale of tears.
    In India, old, old stories still are told of a Hindu holy man named Narada who devoted his life to attaining the spiritual liberation of Nirvana. Tied to the slowly turning wheel of Samsara, he had been trapped too long in the unending cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. He wanted only to free himself from attachment to Maya, the illusion that is life, so that at last he might be released from the bondage of everyday existence.
    In seeking Nirvana, Narada chose Bhakti-Yoga as his personal path. He had set himself a difficult task, but there is no easy way to attain Nirvana. In order to find union with God, Narada went to live simply and alone on a mountaintop where he could devote himself to uninterrupted meditation on the Divine Being. After years of austere and reverent concentration, the holy man had attained so high a level of spiritual liberation that he invited the fond attention of one of the three aspects of the Universal Lord.
    And so it was that one day in that remote and barren hermitage, before the dedicated old man's eyes there appeared the object of his devotion, Vishnu, the Preserver and Sustainer of the Universe. Delighted with Narada's fulfillment of his many vows, Vishnu said to him: “I have come to grant you a boon. Ask of me whatever you wish and it will be yours.”
    Joyfully, Narada replied: “O Lord, if you are so pleased with me, there is one favor I would ask. I would like you to explain to me the secret of the power of Maya, the illusion by which at the same time you both reveal and conceal the nature of the universe.”
    Vishnu responded more gravely: “Good Narada, other holy men before you have asked to be granted that same boon. Believe me, it never works out very well. What would you do with comprehension of my Maya anyway? Why not ask for something else? You can have anything you like.”
    But Narada insisted that nothing would do but that he should come to learn the power of Maya so that he would forever after understand the secret of how attachment to illusion creates needless suffering.
    “Very well, then,” answered Vishnu, “have it your own way.” An ambiguous smile played along his beautifully curved lips. “Come with me to the place where you will learn the power of Maya.”
    Together they left the pleasant coolness of the sheltering hermitage roof, descended the steep wooded slope, and headed out beyond the valley. Under a mercilessly scorching sun, Vishnu led Narada across a barren stretch of desert. It was many hours before they came to a place of shade. Vishnu stretched out on a cool spot on the sand, saying: “It is here that you will learn the power of Maya.”
    Narada was about to sit at the Lord's feet to be instructed when Vishnu said: “I am so thirsty. Before we begin, I would like you to take this cup and go fetch me some cool water.”
    Always ready to serve his master, Narada took the empty cup and went off over a rise in search of water. Just beyond that dune, unexpectedly the holy man came upon a fertile valley. At the near edge of the abundantly cultivated fields was a small tree-shaded cottage. Beside it was a well. Delighted at his good fortune, Narada knocked at the cottage door to ask permission to fill his cup from the well.
    But the door was opened by a maiden so beautiful that the old man immediately became enthralled. Lost in the enchantment of her eyes, he stood there too dazed to remember why he had come to the cottage in the first place.
    But no matter. She seemed as taken with him as he with her. Inviting him to enter with a voice so compelling that he could not refuse, the maiden made him welcome. Introducing him to the rest of her family, she insisted that he stay for dinner. Though he had just arrived as a stranger, Narada soon felt as if he were at home among good and trusted friends. Easily transformed from unbidden visitor to house-guest, he stayed on as one comfortable day followed the next. Inevitably, the holy man and the maiden fell in love and after a time they married.
    Twelve years passed. When his wife's father died, Narada took over the farm. The crops were more abundant each season, and during those years three beautiful children were born to this loving couple. Narada had everything that anyone might want. This was the happiest time of his entire life.
    The twelfth year turned out to be a time of natural disasters. An extraordinarily violent rainy season resulted in flooding that destroyed the crops and swept away the thatched huts. One night the farm-hands fled. The next morning the torrents rose until even the high ground of Narada's own cottage had to be abandoned.
    Their youngest child perched on his shoulder, one hand supporting his wife while with the other he led his two older children, Narada waded out into the swirling thigh-high waters. Losing his footing in the slippery mud, he lurched forward, pitching the smallest child from his shoulder headlong into the swelling stream. In a desperate grab to try to save the baby, Narada released his hold on his wife and their other children. The baby was swept away in the rushing waters, and the others along with him.
    None could be saved. All were gone. How could it be? Narada had been the happiest of men. He had had a lovely wife and three wonderful children. Now all were drowned. He had become the most successful farmer in the whole valley, and now the crops were gone as were his friends and his home.
    Weeping in bewilderment and feeling more sorrow than he had experienced in all of his life, Narada stood dazedly midst the waters swirling up above his knees. Alone and devastated, he knew that everything and everyone he cared about were lost to him forever.
    And then all at once the swirling currents were gone. Looking down at the dry sand beneath his feet, Narada saw that the only water that remained filled a small cup that unaccountably appeared in his hand. He was startled to hear a familiar voice. Looking up, just ahead of him he saw Vishnu stretched out in a shady spot on this barren desert. Smiling serenely, Vishnu asked teasingly: “Sweet Narada, what took you so long?”
  15. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    24 Jan '13 18:42
    Originally posted by JS357

    Time once again to post a humorous story about a divinity. More of a tragicomedy. The humor does not detract from the message. So humor is not in itself, disrespectful of spiritual tradition. IMO.

    It is imaginable that this story could have found its way into the OT, given time and travel. As a sort of Job-ish story.

    "What Took You So Long?"
    From What To ...[text shortened]... ren desert. Smiling serenely, Vishnu asked teasingly: “Sweet Narada, what took you so long?”
    From "In Remembrance..."

    "On that morning of God's choosing, think I already know precisely the words with which my dear wife will greet me:

    "Bob, what in the (bleep) world took you so long?"

    ... and I will say, "Sweetheart, many things have changed but ir sure is nice to see that some things are still the same."

    (Massachusettes, January 19, 2003)
    .
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