How to Search Humancafe
|Posted on Sunday, April 05, 2015 - 07:41 am: |
How to Find things on Humancafe.
As more readers from around the world come to Humancafe.com, there is growing demand for 'search' of text written over the past decade and a half. Per the natural evolution of past discussions of the forum (1998 to 2008, and comments added since to the present), there was no catalogued way to arrange the many posts regarding diverse subjects and ideas; these ideas evolved in an organic fashion over time; except as broad topics of discussion. Instead, there is an internal Search engine for the site (at bottom of each page), which uses a simple algorithm to find words, or phrases, which can locate articles. Though not perfect (especially if phrase is too complex, must select "and" filter), this function works both as a word or time related search. If searching pre-2006 when Humancafe forums changed format (earlier posts were separately archived), writings can be found using external search engines like Google if you add "humancafe.com" in the search bar. This outside search can take you back to earlier posts (pre 2006), with good results. More recent articles can be found in the Postscripts section, where current ideas and post-2008 comments are added, often with links to earlier articles where relevant. We hope these search functions will help readers find topics relevant to them so the evolution of our ideas and personal awareness, the goal of this site, will enhance the Humancafe experience.
Ivan D Alexander, editor in chief
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ivan Demian Alexander was born in Dillingen, Germany, 1948. He lived his childhood in France, at Riom and Lyon, then aged ten, his family moved to New York, U.S.A. Educated in the public school system, and at Brooklyn Technical High School (class of '66), attended university in Boston, he completed his education at Roger Williams university (UWW- '75), Rhode Island, with a BA in Market-Exchange Economics. His work extended from clerking on the Boston Stock Exchange to a career as a Financial Consultant with major Wall Street firms. His later residence, after a year long trip around the world, was Santa Fe, New Mexico, where in the desert 'bad lands' of La Puebla he met his wife Cinzia. They moved to Southern California, residing on a mesa near the Pacific coast. His writings include Man in All that Is (Habeas Mentem) published 1986, and Scriptorium - they wrote the Book of Kells (2009), in addition to number of short stories, and unpublished (unedited) novels; his independent research and writings posted to Human Cafe began 1998, which he co-founded with Wayne B. Hodges, Massachusetts; contributions had been ongoing. He considers himself a 'citizen scientist', self studied, a free thinker. The Alexanders now spend their time between Southern California and Rome, Italy.
|Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 11:00 am: |
Table of Contents Forums/Post Scripts/Photo-log - in descending chronological order, last is first archived- Read Only:
(interactive - click image) to four main topics on Humancafe forums.
THE UNIVERSE IS SIMPLE - an anthology
IVAN'S GREAT WORKS - fiction, science et al
SCRIPTORIUM -They Wrote the Book of Kells
1st September - On Deterrence of War (closed-archived)
On the Failings of Reason (closed-archived)
NEW - Peoples Forums - 2006 - 2008 (closed)
These threads below are old 'archived' discussions due to system change over, so no new topics can begin there. They are permanently mothballed, for reference and 'mining' purposes only. In fact, they were the original HumanCafe forums. (Search function cannot get into them, though they may be accessed through search engines on the net.)
Old Archived Discussions
The Peoples' Book: Archives
- Peoples Book 2000 (Archived, this was the first-original HumanCafe board, 22 December, 1998, to 8 December, 1999)
The pages below will feature such posts judged most pertinent to the directions HumanCafe had taken over the past 10 years.
On the Same Page, below:
|Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2007 - 07:41 pm: |
On a Philosophical Evolution at Humancafe Forum.
Read both upper and lower posts surrounding these below quotes to get a full view. A Forum such as Humancafe is made up of many ideas, of different authors, and together a pattern emerges that shows an evolution of idea. That idea is first philosophical in nature, but in time it begins to find root also in the real world, in terms of how we see the world, and then act in it. What these pages aspire for is that we come away with a clearer image of what are those ideas, and especially if they help form some clear idea of Who it is we are. That is the ultimate philosophical quest, to know Who we are. Below is far from all inclusive, but merely a beginning, touching on some salient posts. There is much more.
I Have a Dream - Martin Luther King, Jr., from Peoples Book 2000:
21 Jun 1999
The following passages are taken from a sermon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached on February 4th, 1968. Two months before his tragic death, Dr. King gave this prophetic and highly personal sermon from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Excerpts from it were played at his nationally televised funeral service held on April 9th, 1968.
"... [T]here is, deep down within all of us, an instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct--a desire to be first.... [T]his quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life-this drum major instinct.
... Jesus [in Mark, 10:35-45] gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important--wonderful. If you want to be recognized--wonderful. If you want to be great--wonderful. But recognize that he who is great among you shall be your servant. That's your new definition of greatness.... [B]y giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve.... You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve.... You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.
... [E]very now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral.... Every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?"...
I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to say that day, that I did try to feed the hungry. And I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness.
...[T]hen my living will not be in vain."
(From _I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World_, edited by James M. Washington, Harper Collins, 1992.)
What is Habeas Mentem? - From New PeoplesBook Forums:
The concept behind Habeas Mentem is multitiered, so often difficult to grasp. To help simply this, to clarify what Habeas Mentem's "isness" is about, I present a six tiered condensed summary as its definition. --Ivan Alexander, author
Definition: Habeas Mentem is how each human being is defined by Who they are in their mind.
This definition is based on the concept that each thing within a whole has an identity within that whole, relative to how and where it is in relation to everything else, in relation to the whole's totality. This concept is called "interrelationship".
From a universal point, each thing is defined in the universe as it is positioned in relation to everything else, and thus has a real definition from that totality, in terms of its place in the totality image of everything else. Thus interrelationship defines each thing in relation to everything else, ad infinitum, which gives it its real identity. This is the "isness" of interrelationship.
For living things, this identity, this "isness", is also expressed in their minds, as well as their bodies, as they had evolved through a continuous chain of living biological reproduction, until they became what and "who" they are. That "whoness" is then an expression of their identity in relation to the whole of existence, to the image that is them in the universe, from the universe's perspective, which made them. This is also true for humans.
For human beings, that expression of identity in the mind, their "Who they are", is best conserved within the universal whole when they are free to associate by agreement, and is damaged when they are prevented from this, and are abused or coerced or oppressed instead. When so coerced, they are disassociated from Who they are and are forced into a dysfunction which leads to unhappiness and other personal and social dysfunctions. Otherwise, when they are free to be Who they are, their personal identity in the mind and that of their universal interrelationship identity match up, so that they are in effect living the life that is in tune with their greater selves, their "whoness" and "isness", as defined by the totality of the universe. Then, their either happiness or unhappiness, success or failure, is truly their own.
That definition of "Who they are", that "isness" of when they are free to be themselves, that merging of being and mind, is Habeas Mentem.
Being, Becoming and Love, New PeoplesBook Forums:
...[B]ut it is also true that the person himself does not know this. So far as the person himself is concerned, all he knows is that he is desperate for love, and thinks he will be forever happy and content if he gets it. He does not know in advance he will strive on after this gratification has come, and that gratification of one basic need opens consciousness to domination by another 'higher' need. So far as he is concerned, the absolute, ultimate value synonomous with life itself, is whichever need in the hierarchy he is dominated by during a particular period.
It is true that human beings strive perpetually toward ultimate humaness, which itself may be a different kind of Being and becoming [growing]. ------------[end quote]
Question: If 'heaven' could be attained on earth, how would our consciousness know this?
A New Philosophic Enlightenment?
THE SUBJECTIVE VS. OBJECTIVE PARADOX
I think it has been overlooked that there is an inherent paradox in the Objective vs. Subjective argument. Objective arguments apply to 'things' only. In your quote, for example: "If the ideas 'work' in reality, then the factors that made the results possible must be objective in nature," you identify this correctly. However, apply this to a person, other than an inanimate object, to living things, then the argument fails. When we reason objectively that we have identified something that 'works', then no matter how detached we may be from this, we 'buy' into it, and internalize it; thus making the objective idea now a subjective. There is no way around this, since we are seeing things only from the perspective of ourselves. Even if everybody in the whole world agrees with you, even if the proof is unassailable, it is still internalized as part of your belief system. The only way around this, in my opinion, is to detach from it and let reality describe itself, since we are in the end only the observers. But that is a philosophical other step into which I won't go into here. Otherwise, to insist instead that our 'objective truth' applies to all reality, then, is to put the Subjective before the Objective by the very nature of the argument. Why should an objective argument have to prove itself, for example, if it exists detached from you? So to present an argument to another person, mind, human being, body of people, etc., is to automatically step from the Objective into the Subjective. And, especially this, when we argue objectively to show the error of someone else's personal belief, then we are truly invalidating the Objective argument with our own opinion, which is then once again Subjective. This is especially sinister when it 'objectively' applies to something like 'Love', because it may be a person's 'sacred cow', and to argue against that person is then to disrespect him or her. So this is the paradox, that we cannot use Objective arguments as they apply to Subjective beings. You can use Subjective arguments, which are opinions, which we are entitled to, but are not binding unless accepted by the other. Now, if the other person's 'Love' for example is binding on you against your desire, then it is a trespass, and the story changes completely. But an unrequited argument when subjective in nature has no objective recourse, or else it simply becomes a trespass. Any such subjective trespass then is simply an error. (Remember 'chaos theory', that this error with time only gets worse; Communism and Fascism come to mind.) So, each person has a right to his or her belief, even if you think it is wrong. Of course, this is my Subjective opinion. But I dare say, that most everyone who agrees with it will fight to protect their sacred cows, either intellectually, verbally, or otherwise. This is the nature of our human love for liberty and why a freedom of choice is so important.
Is Reason a Good Tool?
The Rule of Interconnectivity: Logic
There is an inherent ability of the human mind to connect the dots. This is child's play, but which one of us did not look at stars and see patterns in them, or gaze at clouds to find images? The ancients saw constellations in stars, and we still draw schematics where all the parts are connected into a whole. This is an innate mental logic for us, for we seem to have the ability and desire to assign connections where they seem to fit. We are opportunistic as a species, and if something fits, we find a way to use it.
One such use of our innate ability is our use of reason. What follows what from what? We string along things into groups, compare like with like, seek out cause and effect. This is a natural function for which we pay little attention as to how we did that, so that we are sometimes not aware of the mental process that went into the conclusion. From premises we naturally form meaningful wholes. When I speak a sentence, the grammar that I use to express what I mean to say is a logical arrangement of subject to express what it is I am talking about, a verb to express how this subject will be acted upon or modified, and then the object of what it is that completes my thought. For example: "The cat is on the roof", is a very natural construction any child can do without much thought of the rules employed to express the idea. Only later did we recognize that we were stringing individual ideas together into a whole, logically, so that they would make sense to someone hearing our words. Reason was employed almost unconsciously, though to a thinking person this becomes an object of interest and discovery, that we can think of our thinking. When this is done in an orderly manner, we call it logic. So now if we say "the cat is on the roof and cannot get down", we have taken it to another level, since implied is a logical sequence where the understanding is that the height of the roof is a problem that must be solved, either by the cat or its caretaker. Thus, a natural connection has been made between the cat's dilemma and the height of the roof, though at the time the words were spoken, logic was not on anyone's mind.
The point is that logic is automatic, it is how we see things connected in the world. Once we become aware of this we then become intrigued with what it is we had just done, and it enters into our reasoning consciousness. If something is like something else, is it the same? Or if an event follows from the result of another event, are they the reason why this happened?...
Is Religion 'Illogical"?
I would also like to suggest that we do not explore religion here, which is a personal belief, but look into the reality of things as they are both defined by our minds as well as how they are defined in and of themselves.
Self negations are still negations, and only a leap of faith can make them true. This, it seems, is also the puzzle behind most religious beliefs, that it takes a leap of faith to accept a tenet of the religion, even if it is illogical. However, human nature being what it is, there seems to be room for that.
The connections … have to go beyond the conventional and into a category that may be called illogical. Still, one may accept it as truth, though not for reasons of logic. This can be said of God, or the Resurrection, paradoxes in the scriptures, or the manifestation of jewels out of thin air by Sai Baba.
I have masked out some parts in the above quote just to amplify my concern. On the one end you state that we shall not explore religion as it is a matter of personal belief. However in a subsequent passage you claim that religion is illogical. At least it sounds so to me.
Such a constraint that ‘we do not discuss religion which is illogical’ goes against the free flow of thoughts of a religious person. Don’t you think it would be better to leave religion out, and not concern ourselves whether it is logical or illogical? Let us not comment on religion at all. Do you agree?
Three Reasons: Subjective, Objective, and Universal:
(discussion is also continued in part 2)
THE THREE REASON(S): SUBJECTIVE, OBJECTIVE, AND UNIVERSAL
There are three identifiable levels of reason we can understand. We all have the mental ability to reason at these levels, though the first is virtually universal, the latter are less so. The most enigmatic level of reason is the universal one, of which only a few human beings are already cognizant. But this will change.
The First is 'subjective', what we know of necessity if we are cognizant at any level. We know we are because of this subjective reason, a kind of "I am" identity that we all share. When Descartes said "I think, therefore I am" he was tapping into this level. As cognizant beings, we can think subjectively with any thought we have. Whether or not that thought is a real thought, meaning it can pass some test of reality, is immaterial at the subjective level. If we can think something, believe it, we are operating at the subjective level of reason. Story telling fits this pattern perfectly.
The Second is 'objective' reason, which is already abstracted from our subjective, if this reason is something tested against reality. Objective reason allows us to identify patterns within their own structures, so that they make sense in and of themselves, without necessarily being contingent on whether or not we believe in them. This objective reason is something most associated with our sense of what is reality, as opposed to fiction, and is testable in some falsifiable manner, where the real is identified as separate from the unreal, or fictitious. Scientific thought and theory fits more neatly into this objective reason, as do certain philosophies of what is reality or not, what is truth from falsehood. Objective reason is totally logical, connects to some elements of what is reality, and stands separate from our "I am" subjective reasoning. What we believe to be true, objectively, must pass the test of reality, in that it must be proven to be true. An example of objective reasoning would be, coming from the subjective, as "I am my being". This takes it beyond merely the sense of one's being conscious, but now into the realm of reality, that my "I am" exists separately as a being unto itself.
The Third level of reason is at this point still formative. It is abstraction to the point where we are no longer responsible for these ideas, but they work on a 'universal' level, without our understanding it. It is something that is, on its own terms. We are not yet aware consciously how this works, except in an abstracted objective-subjective manner, that reason exists on its own terms independent of us. This is, for now, still metaphysics, in that we had not yet identified how this truly works. My suspicion, and for now that is all it can be, a speculation, is that the universe works on this third level, what I would call universal reason. This would take us beyond "I am my being", which is a testable and falsifiable idea, but further into the universal context that "I am my being in being." This level of reason already transcends the merely objective, and only connects to the subjective by the fact of our being, and our awareness of it is still formative. We do not yet consciously, most of us, work at this level of reason.
If I were to analyze these three levels of reason, by analogy, I would say that the first, the subjective, is where we weave our stories. We can make up any story we wish, untested against reality, and enjoy the story for what it is, entertaining fiction. The ideas here are totally subjective, in that they are not abstracted from our inner selves, nor from our beliefs. An example would be our ancient beliefs in gods, or mystical magic. We could create a whole pantheon of magical beings, spirits and gods, who operate at some subliminal level of our subjective consciousness. They may reflect for us all the things that bother us, or that we yearn for, and create a whole story of how this pantheon works. In effect, it is magic, or religion, where the beliefs are not testable against reality at any level, except within the context of the story we tell ourselves. Children do this naturally, and in ancient times before the advent of objective reason, most people believed in some sort of magical alter-world that had the power to influence our real world. Voodoo is still part of that pantheon of beliefs. But so are world religions, all carefully built up on theories, or stories, of how the universe works, where we came from, and what we are supposed to be all about in this life....
Is Reason Enough?
This is a great question.
Apparently humans (as a collective) only learn through conflict (often catastrophic), spectacle, or desire. How many people have actually done so for any other reason? It is in our biology and our economics. Evolution made the need to improve, one that is based on conflict and environmental pressure. We adapt because we must. Now we also improve because we want something (interesting how capitalism is successful because it mimics environmental pressure and is thus a form of natural selection).
The big problem is that people who do things out of love for humanity are either ridiculed, assassinated, or canonized and put on the level of statistical outlier (thus beyond the accepted human norm, and thus not of behavior that is expected to be adapted). This too can be an example of natural selection – because the hierarchy it has created has been successful (in terms of human survival) thus far. Why do you think we remember and develop labels like Black Tuesday, for catastrophic economic events? Ingrained cultural pattern as a reminder of what almost caused our demise.
We are retroactive by design. First we need the problem, then we work towards a solution. Only a harsh lesson that ingrains itself into our cultural memory, will push us one and all toward planetary consciousness and improved reason. And even then the unenlightened dregs will remain. But it will be easier to install a new culture of adapting behavior into them.
On Human Evolution:
Given the human race took six million years to evolve to its current form the issue of what it will look like in 10 million years is meaningless sepeculation.
The issue at hand is the survival of this branch of the race with has existed for far less than a million years and has managed in that time to split the atom and move into space, something no other species that lasted for millions of years longer on this planet has done.
As we move forward in technology the issue of material being is becoming questionable. Cybernetics, cloning, genetic manipulation, brain machine interfaces, thought controled computers and finally the complete fusing of man and machine or a transformation into another state of being by being able to open a door into multi-dimentional space that we can move through, giving up this form of existance as we know it, are all possibilities.
To limit yourself to the idea of continued existance in the flesh unchanging from its present form is in my opinion the sign of a limited imagination. Much like the ancient attempts to paint pictures of heaven and hell.
Our greatest minds are wrestling with the concept of multidimentional space and in my exploration of geometry I have imperfectally glimpse a fragment of the hypercube as it interacts with this dimension as depicted by geometry.
This in turn has led me to think of what lays beyound and if other races in the universe have been able to move beyound the flesh to another form of existance and what they could or not do in that form. ...
On the Law of Contradiction, from "Future of Philosophy/ a new ontological reality."
Let's begin with a definition from Websters.
Main Entry: con·tra·dic·tion
Date: 14th century
1 : act or an instance of contradicting
2 a : a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something b : a statement or phrase whose parts contradict each other <a >
3 a : logical incongruity b : a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another.
The whole thread in response to Antony Flew's item on the 'role of non-contradiction' in Philosophy might be seen as an example of definition 3b. Indeed life for all humans on this planet can be, in my humble view, nothing but an example of 3b. Admitting 3b, could be nothing other than the essential tenet of Direct Realism.
I can't speak for other nay-sayers on that thread. For me, the fact that formal logicians place so much emphasis on non-contradiction, and overlook the very real existence of contradiction in the human world is the main source of my whole complaint against formal logic and any kind of academic logic (except possibly phenomenological logic). Indeed for human society to expend so much resource on the education of people so that they simply emerge to 'bite the hand that feeds them' is possibly one of the most sorrowful contradictions of all. By 'bite the hand that feeds them' I mean use any kind of derogatory expression to describe people who believe in the principle that 'education is a good thing and should be funded by government'.
To admit to the contradictions associated with the events of September 11 is to admit to a possibility that positive change can come about. The Chinese probably express it best with their contradictory symbol for crisis, which means at the same time and in the same respect both crisis and opportunity.
We all know, that to engage a person of Islam in logical discussions about their belief in God would be counter-productive, would not bring about positive change, and therefore excludes the law of non-contradiction from any role in the 'existential' mess that the whole world is experiencing.
In terms that formal logicians would not understand, the whole existential mess amounts to the excluded middle where negotiation not argument takes place.
The Philosophy, contrary to Formal logic would have to begin by firstly admitting to contradictions (of the type defined by 3b), a law of contradiction if you like, and allows for the prospect that people could live together by developing an understanding of the nature of those very contradictions. It's like Einstein's observation that human's simply have to admit the fact that we live in a technological world.
Perhaps if environmentalists could admit to technology, they could move ahead. Maybe they could see some of the benefits of technology. If formal logicians could admit to contradictions, they too could contribute, and possibly serve as mediators to the discussions between environmentalists and business leaders.
Wouldn't it be a wonderful gesture, if a group of Formal Logicians held a press conference and stated that they intend to insert, as a core foundation to their beliefs, the existence of contradiction in the world?
On Free Will, Consciousness?
I would submit that as you say it is a mater of choice or in more religous terms free will.
One of the problems I see with the terrorists at GITMO is that in their view of religion, as indoctrinated into them, they see themselves as instruments of God, this is particularly disturbing as the concept of free will is a concept that the people of Islam have not come to fully embrace or understand.
Although I must note that Islamics have long said that by submiting to the will of god they become one with him and that there is no free will involved in the process. Its tied to the whole fatalistic concept of Inshallah and the belief that we are instruments of god's will with no free choice in the matter.
Unlike christianity with its concept of free will which I include a discussion of it below from the following website:
How can we have free will if God has a plan for our lives and knows everything we'll do in advance?
Since God is omniscient, God has foreknowledge, meaning he knows what everyone will do in the future and what any individual would do in any given situation. This foreknowledge enables God to have a plan for everyone's life. For instance, if God wants a particular action to occur, he knows who would choose to do that action, and under what circumstances they would choose it; thus he is able to plan for it to happen. However, God's knowing what choices we will make is simply knowledge - it doesn't remove our free will, for we are still the ones making the choices. ...
On Religion and the 'Law of Contradiction':
Can traditional religious 'dualism' survive the law of contradiction?
This is a continuation of the earlier "Is it time for war against 'political' Islam?", where the paper by Bill Warner, "The Dhimmi Revolution, was referenced. It is also an addendum to Is there 'abrogation' in a personal faith? posted above.
In preface, I should note that I do not like the "dhimmi" word in his title, though there may be a revolution against ancient traditions religious 'dualism' taking place in modern society. To highlight a 'dhimmi' status for anyone in society is to segregate them into some acceptable lower status, which is against the principles of equality and individual freedoms of modern times. In a post modern world, perhaps the multiculturalism sentiments would excuse dhimmitude as being a social artifact of Islam, in particular political Islam, but it serves no purpose in dividing humanity into some artificially conceived, even if religiously conceived, duality of us versus them, or believers versus non-believers, of which the dhimmi status is the latter. So Warner's choice of title may not have been the best, in my opinion, though the premise of his paper, that there is a 'dualism' in ancient religious context, is correct. This is what I would like to examine here.
* * *
Judeo-Christianity and Judeo-Islam both employ 'dualism' extensively, as both stem from the same ancient Hebrew biblical traditions, where two sides of an argument are presented simultaneously. This is the good and evil paradigm, which may predate these traditions in very ancient Egypt, or Persian Zoroastraism, recognizing the universe has such duality throughout. There is dark and light, cold and hot, up and down, north and south, man and woman, etc. When these are stated as a matter of condition, such as in Warner's paper: "Everything about Islam comes in twos starting with its foundational declaration: 1. There is no god but Allah and 2. Mohammed is His prophet", they are simply the two sides of an argument presented as one, a unity indivisible, as stemming from the one God. There is no problem with this, same as their is no problem with the atom as both proton-neutron nucleus and an electron shell. It is a fact accepted a priori, a postulate presented at the beginning. However, when the postulate is presented in a way that is self contradicting, such as in the issue of non-abrogation of the Quran, then something needs to be resolved, because it cannot be both ways without violating the law of contradiction. ...
To Bring Fulfillment to Consciousness:
Who answers to 'who'?
We know science and informational input can answer to the questions of 'what' or 'how', and we know geographers and astronomers can answer to the questions of 'where', and surely philosophy or religion can aspire to answer the big questions of 'why'. But who answers to the question of 'who'? Each one of us as a living being knows who we are inside ourselves. Unless mentally damaged somehow, even a person suffering amnesia, we will still carry inside ourselves that self awareness that we exist, that we all are a 'who'. But who answers to that? Who put that 'who' inside ourselves? By what process of elimination can we narrow down who answers to this question of 'who'? If no other discipline of human knowledge can answer to 'who', nor from our five senses, then the question must default to something much higher than ourselves, and higher still than all the knowledge amassed by us in answer to all other questions. Billions of light years away cannot answer this, nor is the answer in the quantum physics of split atoms. The universe remains silent to our question of a personal identity. We can learn of our outside world ad infinitum, but the question of 'who' remains unsolved, except that we feel it deep inside ourselves. We know 'who' we are profoundly and axiomatically. Yet, no one else can answer that question of 'who' for us, since it exists only in ourselves. All the risks and rewards of life are experienced only by our internal 'who', and not by some external force to ourselves. To seek our 'whoness' outside ourselves, even through the neuro-sciences, is a fruitless exercise. Cut out a portion of a person's brain, and perhaps that 'who' ceases to exist, but undamaged, it does exist of necessity, if that person feels intimately in themselves 'who' they are. So there can be only one answer: God is 'who' in us. Each one of us alive is conscious of a 'who' inside ourselves. And that is from God.
This question came up during a discussion at a Baha'i fireside with friends. I get invited to these, and on rare occasions go to meet with my Baha'i friends, so we talk. Though I am not Baha'i, being essentially not a religious person. (When I first met my friends, some ten years ago, and they wanted to know if I would join them, I answered that I would love to join such a delightful group in a social context, but that I could not confess that Baha'u'llah is a 'manifestation' of God, though his teachings had certainly appealing ideas; they answered that this cannot be, so we remained good friends.) At some point during the discussion, we sometimes go off track in talking about the revelations of 'God's manifestation' and the 10 principles of the faith, and thus we drifted off into the principle of religion's idea of God as being a universal overview of all the things that are true about human existence, morality, proper conduct between human beings, and so on. Another Baha'i, Annie, asked if we can know when someone beneath us, who thinks they are above us, is actually either. But the limiting factor presented was that this idea of 'God' can only be known to us through His representative on Earth, the manifestation of God, in essence God's prophets who revealed themselves as God's manifestation on Earth. This point was not made by my friend Paul, who was guest speaker, but by another Baha'i, Shahid, who grew up in Jordan (and who by the way chanted a beautiful Baha'i prayer in Arabic at the commencement), who said that we are unable to know God directly, but only through His manifestation, such as Baha'u'llah, or Mohammed, or Jesus, or Moses, or even Adam who was the first teacher to humanity of the concept of God (metaphorically, in Paul's view). In effect, it is not for us to seek God personally, to question deep into the universe of existence and philosophy to find God, because He is an unknowable essence beyond human capability to know. A very dear friend of mine, Cinzia, countered that we already have God in ourselves, in every cell of our being, so that God is not something infinitely distant from us, but inside us already. But he persisted that we cannot know God, except through God's chosen manifestation, and that it is actually wrong for us to even question this premise. I had to answer here, because this really was nonsense, so spoke up that perhaps this is an 'eastern' philosophy of acceptance, but that we in the 'western' mindset will of necessity continue to seek and question, because it is our right to do so, no matter how elusive the answer. When the debate got heated, that was when I asked the question: Who answer to 'who'? And to make my point, I said in fact that there is no answer to 'who' except inside each and every one of us, inside ourselves, where God is already manifest with our being. To become conscious of this is then our duty, to find 'who' we are to the best of our ability, even if our ability, as Shahid had said earlier, is likened to a table trying to understand the carpenter who made it. But that is false reasoning, since the table does not have a sense of internal 'whoness' while we humans do. The metaphor of the table and carpenter is misleading, and the idea that God is something remote to us is not the same as God being in us, so the guiding universal principle that only a manifestation of God's chosen prophet is the only proper channel to God is not true. In fact, each one of us is a conduit, through our 'who' of that universal principle of God's guidance for humankind, because in us rests the responsibility of 'who' we are. ...
The Reason of Freedom:
I had said earlier in the Religious Dialogue post, parenthetically, that "fails to show any recognition of human freedom as an 'inalienable right', and rather thinks it is a matter of 'consensus'", which is a statement that may need more reasonable expansion, or explanation. After all, it may be argued that 'consensus' is all we can have in forming human agreements, and that such agreements can be the foundation of freedom. However, there is a deeper issue here: Consensus by whom?
Is it the same to say that a consensus of free men and women is equivalent to a consensus of unfree men and women? Remember we are dealing with human minds here, individuals who are by definition defined as consciously cognizant human beings, defined by their minds Who they are. Are they the same when their cognition is defined by a set of rules established by others? If their right to think is defined by some holy book, or some god, or guru, is it the same as their right to think, and be who they are, as defined by a reality of existence, in effect, an inalienable right to think and be? If we take each conscious mind as a 'point of light' of life extending through time since the dawn of all life, and extending at some quantum level in connection with all of the energies of existence in the universe; then to extinguish that 'point of light' from its full expression is a limiting factor, especially if that limiting factor is man made, in effect, restrictions on the mind made by other minds of men. So a slave, perforce, is not the same thinking mind as is a free individual, since that mind is restricted, or extinguished, from its right to be Who they are. So a consensus of slaves is not the same thing as a consensus of free men and women, since the slaves are restricted in their minds from being themselves. Their definition of themselves is something other than Who they are as living 'points of light' in their mind's existence in the universe. In fact, can slaves even be allowed to form consensus at all? If their holy book, or guru, or 'word of god' tells them what they may or may not think, then by extension, they are not thinking. To apply the word 'consensus' to their reasoning is a misnomer, since they are not allowed to form agreements proscribed by their slavery to their masters. Theirs is only to obey. So a consensus of slaves has no bearing on any definition of freedom, unlike a consensus of free man and women who can form valid agreements, as defined of their own free will.
Another way to see this, reasonably, is to extend the Golden Rule to how free men and women interact with each other by agreement, or consensus. Slaves are of necessity coerced, so they cannot form free agreements. But free men and women, who are protected by the laws of freedom, interact with one another with the underlying principle that they do not coerce one another, but respect the 'Golden Rule' of not doing onto others as they would not have done unto them. This means that there is a general respect for the freedom of another, working both ways, in all their dealings, to not coerce the other. But a slave, even if acting by 'consensus' cannot have this freedom applied to them, since they are of necessity trespassed against by the nature of their being subordinate to their masters, regardless of whether this is to some holy book or guru or so called god. So any agreement a slave makes with another, when they are even allowed to make an agreement, is already in violation of the Golden Rule, since they had already been 'done unto' by another against their will, why they are slaves. In the case of religious rule, this mastering over the slave, even with the slave's permission to be mastered over, that the slave is a 'voluntary' slave, nevertheless negates the right for the slave to be a free person, by definition. So any consensus by slaves, even with their agreement, is of necessity corrupted by this negation, that they were not free in the first place, so all agreements are negatively skewed by their lack of freedom. Slaves can be punished by their masters for even 'thinking' of freedom. If the guru or their holy book forbids them from asking questions or otherwise challenging their authority, unfree individuals are threatened with punishments, because they are not free. So what is the worth of their consensus? Nill.
There is only one condition where consensus applies to human agreements, and that is when the individuals who form these agreements are by definition free minds, free entities Who are able and willing to come together in consensus. So this creates, necessarily, a precondition of freedom to form agreements, or else these agreements are unfree and void. Individual human beings must have freedom as a precondition to their agreements of consensus if they are to be valid, or else the consensus of slaves is invalid, and meaningless. The reason for this is simple: slaves do not have the mind to be free, because they had been trespassed against, coerced, as a condition of their slavery. ...
Can Dogma ever be Objective?
Can 'dogma' ever be rationally objective, or is it of necessity subjective, even if reasonable?
I ask this question in part to respond to Naive's post on the Christian Values thread, where he says: "Should we go so far as to ban cultural transmission of dogmatic ideas, or perhaps even, set up a mandated ethical system that in effect replaces dogma by out competing it in the educational sphere?" Perhaps this is indeed topic for a new thread. But let me answer it this way, here on the Human Reason discussion, if I may, since it is not specifically a Christian problem, but one that would include all Dogma, even scientific 'dogmas'.
Remember that when dogma is presented as a 'first principle', that it is irreducible and beyond doubt, such as the First Principles presented in Opus Rex, then no amount of argument can sway the outcome, since such dogma is then accepted a priori as true. First principles, by their very nature, are beyond question, but merely accepted as true, which may also be called 'postulates'. A postulate does not have to be self evident, but it is the foundation on which all other reasonable logic follows, whether in mathematics or science, or religious dogma. So when the definition for dogma is any idea or statement "thought to be authoritative and not to be disputed or doubted", then there is no other argument that can be made, whether or not it is true, since it must be accepted as 'true' right at the start. But this poses a philosophical problem: is this 'truth' objective? ...
Be sure to read both up and down around each discussion, because many times the peripheral visions around them will yield a deeper understanding, especially as it is presented and discussed from contributors who bring their own points of view. This may be where we got so far, but it is not nearly inclusive of all the discussions on this matter. What started out as a dream of freedom went through its necessary evolutions involving question of 'subjective vs. objective' reason, and then the 'law of contradiction' in support of our freedoms, and culminating into examining whether or not religious dogma can ever be reasonably objective. In the next set, it is hoped this quest for freedom will also apply to our religious freedoms, our freedom of belief, where the substantial differences between a 'personal faith' and one that is 'politicized' can be established, as basic principles of belief in support of our freedoms. However, the above is far from all inclusive, as many other fine discussions were posted in relation to this evolution of idea, and only some bullet points were selected here. To be continued...
This is a quest in search of Who we are. An introspective examination, or inspiration of 'who' inside ourselves may become the next discussion topic, when we reopen September. This will be in counterbalance to the extroverted philosophies of 'ethics' and philosophical systems defining us from outside our internal 'who'. The quest is both within, as well as without.
Post Script: Reaching out across a universe, the meaning of Philosophy.
What is the purpose for Philosophy? Like all human endeavors, it is a reaching out from oneself into a greater world at large to understand something of ourselves in it, and of how to relate to that other world in terms of ourselves. Philosophy tries to give this reaching out a form and structure of ideas, something that can be identified in the future with some constancy. These forms are called principles, or common truths, that when they are proven true and lasting for all conditions of our being, they become universal principles. We tend to work philosophically from first principles, thoughts that are accepted as true axiomatically, to a gradation of approximate truths, until we arrive at the universal truths, what are universal principles. And what might that be? What is the overreaching all inclusive universal principle that ties all of humanity together with its outreaching greater universal reality? The answer is "reaching out." That is the real purpose of all philosophy: to reach out into the universe and better understand ourselves, and with those true principles, reach out to one another.
But this reaching out from oneself is more than merely a postulate of philosophical inquiry. It is a phenomenon that in itself opens a whole world of inquiry into the philosophy of being. Why do we reach out in understanding? Why do we reach out to others? The answer to these can be modeled on the premise that each such person understanding, who is reaching out from inside themselves, is reaching out from his or her entirely personal universe. That reaching out is totally encapsulated by the thoughts and feelings we each have individually inside ourselves, so whatever conclusions or ideas are generated there are truly our own. This is the subjective being at its best, though we seek to identify the world objectively, because only inside ourselves will that identification make sense. It is our universe of being challenged by, or challenging, the whole universe of being outside ourselves. But this is not merely from oneself such inquiry happens, but it is simultaneously happening from every other human being with a thinking and feeling mind. So we are a multitude of personal universes reaching out across reality into the reality of others, whether or not philosophically aware of this, with our being and mind. Imagine each such reaching out is a personal universe reaching out for our personal universe, and the image begins to make sense: that we are a collective body of universes reaching out across the universes of others. We are universes reaching out for each other.
When see this way, that we are all thinking and feeling universes reaching out for each other, then philosophical inquiry and universal principles, such on which human beings operate socially and personally; then it all begins to make sense. This is why we have philosophy, to make sense of it all. But then it is philosophy of what? At one level, of necessity, it is a search for that identity Who we are, our loves, our arts, our dreams; but at another more global level it is a search for how we are to interact amongst one another socially. This latter then takes us into the realms of religion and morality, personal faith versus politicized belief systems. And it is how to inquire truths in the universe that are truly reflective of the universal reality, what is scientifically objectively true, as opposed to personal imaginings, what are subjective beliefs, for our inter human relationships. We reach out from our personal universe into the universes of others how? This gets back to the basics of first principles, such as had been written earlier on Opus Rex:
First Principles: Existence.
• Each one of us is alive in a body with a mind.
• The universe exists in its own right, we have the mental ability to experience it in body and mind.
• We, each one of us, is endowed with reason and sensibility to this existence, in every moment of our experience.
• The world, our existence in it, is final arbiter of either truth or error, in our experience of what is truth.
• Each human being has a right to exist in this world.
And from that personal universe of being, we then reach out with second principles:
Second Principles: Our Beliefs.
• What we have come to understand as true, we believe as true, accepted individually.
• Rules of fairness and justice, as accepted by common understanding, are universal for us.
• Each human being is bound by these rules within common society, equally and justly, and has a right to them.
• Our beliefs (as per posts above) are accountability and reciprocity, innocent until proven guilty, and equality before the law.
• Our inalienable right to reason, to understand, equally for all human beings, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic culture (regardless of gender), is free of dogma.
• Freedom in humility, before all existence, is our right to seek the truth, in ourselves and others (as shown above), and in all things.
To date, in the twenty first century, we as a species have learned to live together in a tenuous social peace, from which come our third principles:
Third Principles: Our Social Reality.
• No human being may own another, man, woman, or child.
• Each human being is deserving of equal respect, provided the rule of reciprocity holds each person equally accountable, as our inalienable right to freedom.
• Agreements between human beings are validated by laws of contract, when acceptable socially, and protected from coercions by law, when legal.
• Justice is validated by free human beings on other free human beings, through dialogue and understanding, as an agreed upon legal democratic right to choose our government and abide by its laws.
• We have a right to love one another, or God, and not be violated in this right to love, by neither laws or coercions, nor fears and threats, where every human being is deserving of love, and free to love another (regardless of gender).
• Freedom of belief, freedom of being, freedom of expression, freedom to love, is what makes our societies successful and prosperous, while coercions of these leaves them base, mean and violent, and impoverished.
• Freedom to give with love for another is a highest good, for it brings God's love into our lives, and all society rejoices with goodwill, and foregiveness.
Add to these above one overriding principle: the freedom to inquire for truth. And what comes of these basic three, if we do not regress back into primitive barbarism (a world of destructive coercions, abuse and violence, malice and malevolent magic, idiotic superstitions, ignorant dogmas, intolerance and slavery) is the foundation from which we can now truly reach out across the universe to other human beings, in the same way they will strive to reach out to us. When that happens, the purpose of philosophy, in all its multifaceted forms, will have come to fruition as the enterprise of mind to identify the universal mind, that which is the Who in each and everyone of us. In the end, this is the ongoing evolution of our better humanity. This is Who we are.
|Posted on Sunday, June 03, 2007 - 04:32 pm: |
On the Principles of our Religious Freedoms.
Again be sure to scroll up and down within each page linked to get a fuller view of the discussion. These discussions were contentious at times and challenging to our core beliefs. The progression is from God's will to personal beliefs, questions of good and evil, to formal organizational beliefs and dogmas. We strove to achieve dialogue without prejudice and with full respect for all religious beliefs, but chasms did appear that may be irreconcilable. If freedom of religion enshrined in our secular laws is to be preserved, our freedom to believe may be our greatest challenge ahead.
God's Will, What is it?
How do we know we do God's Will? It seems all the world's religions have this in common, that it is important, if not the explicit duty, of all devotees to do God's Will. In the predominant great religions of the Far East, in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Jainism, even Sikhism, this will is expressed in right living, right thought, as taught by either the principal gods like Vishnu and Shiva, or by the Buddha and the eight fold path, or Guru Nanak. In those of the Middle East, the great religions of Moses, Christ, and Mohammed, and more recently Baha'u'allah; all have scriptures to which they refer to religiously to fathom what it is that God demands of them, and thus to obey. Christians have taken this to another level, especially after the Reformation, to interpret God's Will in a more direct relationship between man-woman and God. But how do we know we are doing this, that we are in a direct gnosis with God, in a secular way? Can a secular person not part of the world's religious complex also do God's Will? If so, how, since they have no 'Holy Book' to go by?
These are not idle questions, because in the manner of the world's religious beliefs such as they are now, men would persecute, and even kill each other, because of how they perceive another's failing to do God's Will. This is a serious matter, since then it interprets God's Will as inflexible, given to only 'One Holy' interpretation as correct, and all others as fallen. However, if this is so, then would it not also point to a God that is infinitely Intolerant, as opposed to One Being infinitely Merciful? Can anyone really define God, tolerant or intolerant, in what is His Will? What of blasphemy, is it a show of strength or weakness, to be punished or revered? Truly, who can punish in the name of God better than God? And is it possible for a true 'nonbeliever' to do God's Will? What of atheists? Can they do God's Will, even if it is unbeknownst to them? Is the God of all the religions Merciful even unto Atheists and Seculars? That is the challenge to philosophy: Can we know God's Will?
I bring up this subject of God's Will because I believe It is universal to all the world's religions. And the fact that the world has had religion for thousands of years, and that religions have been endemic to all parts of the globe, I think it is a serious question. Human beings want to believe. And when they do believe, are they all believing in the same God? Are all the prayers offered in each temple or church, each worshiping in their own particular manner, are they all praying to the same God? In other words, though we may worship under different banners, are we still all doing God's Will, even though we all do this differently? And then again, can a secular human being believe in God? Is this allowed? How about scientists and philosophers who may see the universe very differently from how described in Holy Books?
Lastly, if we were to achieve in our elusive goal, and we did God's Will, what would happen? What would the world look like? What is the 'Kingdom of God' on Earth about? And would we be better human beings for it, or even happier? Is happiness even a goal? What is it the world's Religions want in their pursuit to have all human beings do God's Will? Who can answer?
Does Evil Exist? Challenge the Evil.
First of all, I would like to clarify that statement “EVIL does not exist”.
If I consider the word evil as an adjective, this will mean an evil action.
If I consider the word evil as a noun, this would refer to an evil force, a cosmic evil force, the devil or Satan.
Let me assume for a while that the word evil is considered as an adjective. In this case my answer is, yes. An evil action can exist and can be performed by an evil person. As a Baha’i, I believe that at birth, each person is created good, in the spiritual image of God. It is only later in life that such a person might become mean and commits evil actions.
If I consider the word EVIL to mean an evil force such as Satan, in this case I will definitely say NO. If such an EVIL force does exist, therefore my simple logic will tell me that God created such an EVIL force.
Personally I do not believe that the devil or Satan does exist, because if they did exist, this means that they were created by God. This will be contrary to my simple logic.
Why would God create Satan?!?
PeoplesBook 2000, Faith or Fear?
09 Jun 1999
"Where there is no faith, there is fear." This was said to me by my friend Mark one evening over dinner... We were discussing what drive the criminal mind. Was it fear and passion, or a lack of faith in something bigger, like religion or God? If microdecisions are reflected in all we do, then when we do from fear rather than love and faith, are we falling away from a higher self into that of a lower self, into crime? Or gambling? Or hurting and destroying things, even ourselves? Or maybe when we pray, our micromind is also affected. Perhaps prayer is the answer, and the criminal mind, in his or her anger and passions, has turned away from the passion of love. If we pray for the criminal, and the criminal prays, do we bring into their lives some sort of redemption, though we are blind to what or how this is, and cause some magic thing to happen to them to bring them back into the good? Away from fear? But then: "What is the microdecision that causes fear?" (see above) Abuse, pain, hand me down fears, lack of trust, lack of faith? I do not know. In our country, United States of America, where we had seen an increase in crime over the years when we had witnessed a decrease in faith, in moral values, then maybe it makes sense: What causes fear is a lack of faith. Can this fear be replaced by compassion, love, prayer?
Christ Awakening the World, God and Idea.
NEW GOD, THE SON...
"The process, which is taking place on Earth, is the process of God's making it fertile for the birth of a New God, God the Son. Therefore, among us, the Universe and its structure arouse interest. In the best instants of life our soul directs by the ideas to stars and further them. The brain and genetic code, were absorbed into our process of perfection from the laws of physics, and furthermore have a kind and all-understanding soul. They are the embryos of the new God, released from the burden of unnecessary memory of the material world."
PeoplesBook 2000, Three Golden Rules.
22 Aug 1999
UNITY OF RELIGION: The Three Golden Rules.
The following are quotes found in the Scared Scriptures of the western world's three main religions: Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism. Their common thread of belief sharing in Love, Peace, and the Golden Rule, are as follows:
GOLDEN RULE: "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you." Matthew 7:12: "Whatever you would have people do for you, do the same for them." Mohammed, the Hadith, 138: "Do unto all men as you wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves."
PEACE: Mishna 1:18: "The world is preserved by three things: truth, justice, and peace." Isaiah 2:4: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Proverbs 24:17: "Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles." Matthew 5:44: "Love your enemies, bless them who curse you, do good to them who hate you. And pray for them who spitefully use you and persecute you." James 3:18: "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by peacemakers." Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Mohammed, Koran, 5:35: "He who slays one human being, it is as if he had slain all mankind; he who saves one human being, it is as if he had saved all mankind." Mohammed, the Hadith, 340: "Shall I tell you what are better acts than fasting, charity, and prayer? Making peace between enemies are such acts; fir enmity and malice tear up the heavenly rewards by the roots."
LOVE AND COMPASSION: Mohammed, Koran, 2:191: "God loves all those who do good." Mohammed, the Hadith, 198: "God is gentle and loves gentleness." Matthew 19:19: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 1 John 4:16: "God is love; and he who dwells in love dwells in God." Leviticus 19:18: "You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Micah 6:8: "O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of your? Only to do justly; to love mercy; and to walk humbly with your God." Christ, John 13:34: "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another."
God's Will 2, Can a Secular Person do God's will?
We can only know God's will if we know ourselves; for we, collectively, are God in our spiritual essence, and physically His body. Yes, the secular can do God's will, and can do it without reference to any 'holy book' but The Book or Tree of Life (a person, also known as a microcosm, or the miniaturized all). To know if one is doing God's will, one only need consult one's Self (individual Atman of the collective Brahman in Eastern religion), if one is in touch with It. This sounds presumptuous, but should be common knowledge. Pythagoras said "Above all, know thyself", but the day that the average person will know themself is far off.
The will of God is inflexible because It is immutable Spiritual Law, such as the great law, The Law of Love. In believing that only they have knowledge of God's will, religious people become deluded fanatics; it is man's will, not God's will in this case, that is inflexible. Only men-women have the ungodly capacity to be 'infinitely intolerant', delusional in their belief that they are separated from and superior to their fellow man. A few conceptualize that we are all one, that there is only one God; and that all religions and their followers should be promoting oneness, unity and tolerance because we are one people and we are God.
Religious organizations become corrupt because their members develop "a pretense of spirituality" based on their belief that their interpretation of the truth is free of error and that they themselves are therefore superior to others. The small-minded members (which are the majority) become hypocrites, and believing that mere membership ensures their "spiritual progress" and "special status", they seek positions of control within the organization. The universally-minded members, seeing the rot set in, suffer until they are ready to leave the organization. In their fear of failing to prove their false "special status" to the world, the remaining body of hypocrites strive to impress and brainwash each other; if they have the power, they go as far as torturing and killing "outsiders" and "nonbelievers". In this state of "divisional insanity" or religious intolerance, people and their organizations only prove they have nothing constructive to offer the world.
All religions have been founded by those who aspire to control others, with the pretense being that they have altruistic intentions; they wish to exploit those who only have the capacity to follow. People who know they are God in their essence do not need the advice of those who merely claim to be God's representatives.
You ask who can say what God's will is. His will is slightly different in all, but basically the same. Who can answer? Well, only one who is detached by a universal spiritual concept from all religious, political, racial or other division of people into groups. In other words, me, perhaps you ... another ... and another.... also known as God. But we have to be an underground, unknown personally to each other, or we might become a division.
Let's not demonize a whole people's belief system, or a whole people, even if there are demons living amongst them.
To rise above this demonic virtual-reality, is a reality worth holding on to, or we risk becoming demons like them. Hold yourselves to a higher standard, focus on their weaknesses and failings, and their irrationality, take measured steps to counter their enraged attacks, and you will defeat them. We who cherish reason are far more powerful, better organized, and far better destroyers than those who rage against us. Keep that in mind, that historically we are far more dangerous than we sometimes wish to admit.
Celtic Christianity, Edward Chesky Papers.
THE SEVENTH SEAL
Oh martyred sons of Islam, what is your gift to humanity? Where is your art, your science, your medicine, your poetry, your industry? What have you given? Where is your beauty, your peace, your humility? In suicide? To kill yourself in sacrifice, to kill others? What is your gift to Allah? Death?
Oh sons of Islam, look into all the holy books in JudeoChristianIslam teachings, to see the hand of Allah. Make no mistake, you are one religion. Where does God command you to kill? Is Allah not All Merciful? Then why are the writings fouled with rage, tales of wars, killings, stonings, harsh punishment by the hand of man? Who wrote this? Go through the texts and remove all the writings of man. Remove all the fears, the hysteria, hatred of your enemies, the vengefulness, all written by cowering fearful men. Read only the truth, the true words of God. You will find truth where it is written with kindness, with courage, humility, goodness, love, togetherness, wisdom, bringing all into unity and peace. Those are the words guided by the hand of God, those are true. Only true words of love and courage must you believe. Allah never said to kill the innocent. To kill the naive, the confused, the mentally deficient, who do not understand the Word of God, those are sins. When you kill yourself, you are killing the innocent.
Oh daughters of Islam, stand up for your right to be equal with men. Teach them from birth how their greatness is your greatness, together as one. You are not their slaves, as they are not slaves to other men. You are servants only to the greatest Love. There is no other way, for your equality as women means freedom for all humanity. Teach them the courage to respect women, to love them, to serve them, so they too can be in freedom, as you serve them. Then serve all humanity in that spirit, love your children, as equal men and women.
Oh sons and daughters of humanity, what are your gifts? Where is your beauty, your poetry, your love? Are these not the greatest gifts to Allah, to God, of the one great universal religion? It was said to Love one another. Can you not do this? Can you not find the beautiful harmonies of your soul? Do not give them the detritus of your lowly fears. Satan does not rule here. Rather give them the power of truth. Rise above your hatreds, your killings, your angers and deceits, for they are all horrors to God. You will still be forgiven in the Pure Love of Paradise, but your soul will cry in horror for what you had done, tears that will fill the seas of eternity. Is this what you wish for? To cry forever in the future Love of God? Would it not be better to seek that Love here, in this world, to be forgiven while you live? ...
Is This the Gospel of Truth? Gospel of Truth.
What you see and hear that cause's divisions among all peoples are words not of GOD, nor are they words inspired by your God; they are words written by men believing themselves higher than GOD and originated within human thought by lovers of deceit. Many deceivers come to you teaching that a man died by crucifixion after suffering the shedding of his blood, and a horrible experience of death to purchase from the Almighty GOD everlasting life for all humanity, by purging all of our sins so enabling us to enter GODS’ rest. Many thousands of books have been written about that man, and many people worship in his name so believing they will receive entry into the kingdom of his father. Most of you entered his kingdom for the first time with honest feelings of sincere enlightenment when taking those first steps for your salvation; you felt tremors, or perhaps chills on the back of your neck, as if electrified by an unexplainable call, with urging by someone to come forth and give your whole life to some all forgiving God. I want to reclaim you from that kingdom by acknowledging the true Creator of all things, who gives the gift of life freely without any conditions in order that each person is allowed the right and privilege by virtue of their birthright, to pursue the truth, and live their life according to what they learn and prove is true.
GOD is the Creator of all things but the truth is, GOD demands nothing from us; instead, each of us are endowed with the ability to reason, a unique gift that separates us from all other creatures, and a gift that allows us to use our freedom to learn from past mistakes. GOD is not what most people presume GOD to be, for if people truly knew what GOD is, they would cease pursuit of religious practice and the ancient beliefs of people who died before them. Humans will not learn the truth about death until after mortal death occurs; then, they will either learn the truth, or there is nothing to learn. GOD will not intervene in human affairs while we are living because GOD does not exist within the same dimension that we do; therefore, GOD is totally independent of all that created, of necessity, for if GOD were not independent of all that created, GOD would then be a part of creation, which is not possible because GOD existed previous to creation. If GOD existed previous to creation, GOD cannot possibly be a part of creation, which in fact denies that GOD intervenes in human affairs. I ask each of you to consider these next questions seriously: Why would GOD intervene in human affairs if each person receives the gift of life without reservation? Does GOD grant the gift of life in order to condemn people who reject the teachings of the uncountable number of religions on earth? What religion can prove its theology is true, and the promises made within the theology of that religion actually occur after mortal death? Truth is where you find it, but most people today will reject the truth more often than not. What religions teach cannot be proven true; therefore, the old saying, "If it is too good to be true, it usually is," is truly exemplified among religions and their teachings, for the purpose of religions is not to serve GOD, but to serve the people who conceived of the religion, and the people who practice them.
Why would an Intelligent Being with the ability to create life, not give existence that never ends without Supreme purposes we can only imagine? Satan, Evil, Devil, it makes no difference what you call it, has no use for dead people, unless they are in fact dead while still living, to bring misery and deceit to others lost in the cause of perverting others. Do you believe our Creator causes the problems in the world? Or do you believe that someone else is doing all the dirty work? Truth is where you find it; few people of any religious faith have it, more religion means additional persecution, which pleases only those lovers of deceit who in the justification for their practices condemn people that reject lies, and live according to truth.
By my own hands I cannot do anything but attempt to warn people by writing, enough evidence exists in bibles of Christianity and the Koran of Islam to prove GOD does not intervene in human affairs. ...
The Essence of Jesus, What is meaning of Saving?
Saving from the troubles and misery is the general sense of the word saving. In spiritual sense saving means cutting all the worldly bonds and establishing real bond with God, Who alone is the truth? God is truth. This means that God is infinite power. The creation is just His imagination and is almost not true. The imagining person is said to be truly existing. The world, which is just His imagination and which is completely not nothing. The world is made of an iota of energy of God. God is like the infinite ocean of energy. Compared to God the world is almost nothing. Thus this entire creation is under the full control of God. Just like the person doing some imagination creates an imaginary world in him, God created this imaginary world in Him. The imagining person can fully control the world. He can transform any item into any other item. He can raise a dead body in His imaginary world. All the miracles of human incarnations can be explained only by this concept.
God who is present in the human incarnation does all these miracles only to establish this concept. If the world is equally true, then the world is equally powerful to God. In such case God cannot do whatever He likes. Since the world is least powerful and God is most powerful, God controls the entire world like a very strong person controlling very weak person. Thus the world truth indicates the omni-potent nature of God. When we say that this world is not true, it indicates the negligible power of the world. Suppose a small ant is on your shirt, will you say that yourself and the ant are present in the house? The ant is negligible and is treated as nothing. Therefore, a person who knows this concept surrenders to God and accepts Him as the saviour. In his eyes the entire world looks like an ant before God. You are a tiny particle in this ant-world. You can understand your position by putting a relative scale.
Assume that this ant is Infinite Ocean of energy. You are an iota of that ocean. This means your power is negligible before the power of this entire nature. The world is like the ocean and you are like a drop in it. God is like the ocean and the world a drop in God. You must understand this simile not in terms of volume but in terms of the intensity of the power. When we utter the word God, we immediately imagine Him as a very large figure with unlimited boundaries. The space is largest but as no power as it is treated has nothing. The atom bomb is very small but it has enormous power. Therefore, our idea about God should not be in terms of the three-dimensional space. When a person imagines a large city, the city is very huge but the person is very small. But that small person has created, maintains and finally dissolves this huge city. He can do anything in this huge city. In fact He is standing outside this huge city. When He wants to enter into this huge imaginary city, He will imagine a small form and He identifies Himself with that form. That small form represents the outside person. This imagined form, which is identified by the outside person, is treated as the outside person directly. This imagined small form is the human incarnation. The outside person is God. The imaginary huge city is this world. ...
Yeshua's Story from Bradley, The Virgin Birth.
The earlier goddess, Earth-based practices celebrated the sexual act as fundamental to life. Obviously so. From two. Come one. Union. There was a certain uninhibited quality to those early fertility practices. As these practices were halted by the early churches and supplanted by other more...stoic rituals, there grew the belief that sex was ungodly. Original Sin. Adam and Eve. The Garden. The Fall. The concept of the Virgin Birth is present in only two of the Gospels. Mark, John, Paul and Peter make no mention of it in their writings. That does seem a bit odd for such an extraordinary event.
Wisdom can never be gained easily. All High Truths come disguised in three cloaks. So, the Virgin Birth must be looked at from three levels. At the level of, shall we say, beginner spiritual awareness, people needed to believe that, because I was the “Son of God,” that my birth had to be “not of woman.” At, shall we say, the slightly-higher-than-beginner level of spiritual belief, the priesthood had already decided that women were the tempters of Adam, the serpents in the Garden. And the male priesthood was certainly not going to share their power. No, my birth from a woman by natural causes was also beyond their level of comprehension. But at the level of the mystic, it was well understood that my very mission was to incarnate and remind each one of you of your inherent Divinity. That you were -- are -- each one of you -- God-in-woman; God-in-man. The very idea of a virgin birth puts each of you at a distance from the Source, and from my teaching.
And let me also offer that all women of that time who were of a certain age, or unmarried, were called virgins, or maidens. It did not necessarily have anything to do with their sexual natures.
I came through the veil as do you all, via the sexual union of a man and a woman. And glory to the Mother/Father for creating such a sublime method of turning Spirit into flesh. For human desire -- not to be confused with loveless addiction -- is the same desire the Divine uses to create universes. Sexual union, when joined in love and honor and joy is a great and wonderful gift. It is not now nor has it ever been in the Eyes of All That Is in any way unholy. Nothing born of the Creator can be unholy or an affront to God, because the Source is Everything. Nothing is outside of the Divine Manifestor.
Mary and Joseph.
How does one describe one’s parents? You do not remember so much physical characteristics as emotional connections. Joseph was often quiet, even dignified, but prone to a generous, one could even say, mischievous, smile. Mary was strong-willed, powerful, even stern, but always out of motherly protection. But then she would sing, or laugh, and the sun shone brighter in the sky and clouds seemed to dance. She conformed to her place in society, but she did not surrender to it. She helped form my political views. She made certain I treated all women with respect.
Joseph was not a direct descendant of the House of David. That lineage was served by an adopted ancestor. Mary, however, did come from an impressive, even regal, line of strong women. Both Joseph and Mary were well educated. Mary was also a skilled weaver, Joseph, of course, a wonderful carpenter.
Both were also guided in matters of the spirit by the Essenes, a stoic, mystic society which lived not far from our home, and which taught the Higher Truths. ...
Dialogue with a Muslim Jihad.
Jihad is to fight the oppressor.
Please see “8. Jihad” in http://spaces.msn.com/deentech/. And if the oppressor could be fought by armed means only, Muslims are bound to engage in armed Jihad. So, until the Day of Judgment, Muslims shall not abandon armed Jihad.
Yes, an oppressor who happens to be a leader of a democracy could be fought by peaceful means also by appealing to the population that is led by the oppressor to dethrone him. Use of peaceful means with the populations does not lead to abandon the armed Jihad. There are some who believe that the 2004 elections were rigged and the verdict of the public was ignored in USA. Under such circumstances, when the appeal to the public fails, there is no option but to fight the oppressor through arms.
Just for the record, I must state that out of two youth uprisings in France, it is not logical to look at one and ignore the other; such selective data collection is not unbiased research and it is bound to lead to wrong conclusions.
What is secularism? Is it Muslims to live as per the desires of non-Muslims or is it for the people of different faiths to live according to their faiths as long as such following of faith does not lead to harm to the people of other faiths? I would like to look at Islam and see whether following Islam per se affects the living of other people as per their own faiths. Is that acceptable?
Dialogue with a Muslim, Islam is not at fault.
Islam is not at fault; it is some of those who call themselves Muslims at fault. In Washington, DC there are a few localities that are crime-infested. In one such locality, the authorities are attempting to remove the tendency to crime by encouraging home builders to buy property cheap, raze the old buildings and erect new colonies where upscale individuals move-in. In a locality I have in mind, 20% of the locality is reclaimed from drug related activity already. We hope that slowly, but surely, the rest of the locality also rids itself of crime.
My proposal to bring Islam to its original state – of purity and peace for all – is to rely on the new members of the community.
Possibly because of the separation of church and state, Muslim schools teaching Islam were denied assistance; they were supported by charities, mainly Zakat; they were renamed as Madrassa and ended up producing students without any productive skill. Such a sorry state of affairs would not have come, if schools teaching religion along with secular education also get funded. This would be one way of increasing the number of peace loving Muslims so that eventually the hot heads are subdued.
How about permitting the teaching of:
and so on in schools with the proviso that every student studies at least 2 and at most three of the religious studies offered.
I have on purpose listed Evolution as a religion as there is no proof to show that mankind indeed evolved from the animal kind.
Once every child knows multiplicity of societal concepts, tolerance becomes the norm than the exception it is today.
Dialogue with a Muslim, Jihad is against Christian teachings.
Just by way of offering some data on comparing the teaching's of Christianity with that of other religions I have attached the following link.
It discusses the teachings of Christ from the earliest known texts.
I think it would be relevent to compare them to the teachings of Islam and see where the divergence in views comes from.
Jihad or a War is clearly against the teachings of Christ and was never part of his philosophy.
Some of the information on the site is very provocative including the following quote from St. Paul relating to the role of women in the early church, a idea that the Celtic Christian's embraced in the early days of Christianity and likely got from Joseph of Aramethia. I offer its view on the role of women as opposed to that of Islam and ask were are the equivelent female figures in Islam.
Rom 16:1-2 (BibleTexts.com translation) - Paul's letter of introduction for Phoebe.
(See also http://www.bibletexts.com/versecom/rom16.htm.)
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, being also a minister [a deacon, not even just a deaconess!] in the church at Cenchreae that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, and help her in whatever she may need from you; for she herself has been a helper to many people and also to me.
Just some more food for thought.
Romans 16:1 tells us of Phoebe. Her name means "Pure" or "Radiant as the moon." Paul addressed her as a servant and helper of the church. In some Bible translations she is called a deaconess and other translations consider her to be a minister. According to many Bible scholars, Phoebe was the one who carried the written book of Romans to the congregation, probably from Corinth to Rome. This would declare a place for women in the sharing of the word of God to the world.
I would submitt that this is a very advanced concept that has taken us much time to come to grips with. It is still not totally embraced within Christianity, however it is coming to be more accepted.
Dialogue..,Who is the "enemy"?
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Islam does not see other faiths as its enemy. It only sees its enemies as its enemies.
Could you perhaps clarify what you mean in your: "It only sees its enemies as its enemies"
Would a secular law, for example, that prohibits loud proclamations five times daily of Islamic prayers be considered action by the "enemy"? Or would legal restrictions on wife beating, something your faith allows, be perceived as an attack on Islam by the "enemy"? We already know what happened after the Mohammed cartoons were published, the riotous rampage that followed, including death fatwahs agains the publishers and cartoons (who were not Muslims). In short, can anyone criticize Islam without retribution from those who feel offended? Does such criticism make them the "enemy"? Does it not seem that when Islamic laws and traditions rub against the freedoms of the West there is a violent reaction, not from the western cultures but from Islam? So does this automatically cast the social laws and cultural criticisms that challenge Islam into branding them the "enemy"? How about if our society does not allow for forced female circumcision, and stops the practice? Does this make us the "enemy"?
I ask these out of genuine curiosity. One of the traditions of the West's freedom of speech and freedom of thought is that we may question anything. This may run the spectrum from intellectual questions, such as I ask here, to humorous cynicism, which is acceptable to our secular culture. Is this forbidden in Islam, so no such cricism is allowed? Does that make us an "enemy" if we exercise that right within our own? Mind, the cartoons were a reaction not to Islam but to terrorism. But the response to these, and they were only cartoons, was a universal violence from every corner of pan-Islam. So were they reacting in "self defense" to the "enemy" in their rioting? I'd be curious to your views on this, not to put you on the spot, but because I am genuinely curious to how Islam can coexist with non-Islamic society without imposing its values on societies which don't share its values. Tolerancde goes both ways, but if this tolerance is demanded only for Muslim sentiments, but not for western sentiments, then "tolerance" becomes an empty word. How much freedom, where human beings are protected from trespass as long as they do not trespass on others, can be tolerated within Islam?
In effect, how can the strict demands of Islam live within the walls of a society that does not recognize them, without becoming the "enemy", where death fatwahs are imposed even on those who are not of the faith? This is a genuine concern from someone outside the faith, if I am allowed to ask these questions. Because you are Muslim, I would value your response, as I believe would other readers also. I ask these in the spirit of dialogue, and not criticism.
Dialogue.., Pacifists into Killers.
Thoughts of Mortality Turn Pacifists into Killers
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 03:06 pm: Anonymous
The URL above has the following:
Young adults in Iran tend to support martyrdom more when they are thinking about their own mortality.
Likewise, Americans are more in favor of extreme military intervention when they are contemplating their own deaths.
The experiment was not conducted with the correct understanding of Islam. Are we really mortals or quasi-immortals? From http://www.searchtruth.com/searchHadith.php?keyword=time+death+livelihood&transl ator=1&search=1&book=&start=0&records_display=10&search_word=all we find:
Narrated Abdullah: Allah's Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, "(as regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for an other forty days, and then a piece of flesh for an other forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into his body. So a man may do deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and so he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise and enters Paradise. Similarly, a person may do deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and he starts doing deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire and enters the (Hell) Fire." (Book #55, Hadith #549) (Sahih Bukhari)
Since the time of death is written for each of us on the 120th day of conception, we cannot be killed before our time and we would not live beyond our time. So we are limited time immortals or in short quasi-immortals. Since we do not influence the time of death, it is immaterial whether we commit suicide or murder someone else. Death occurs only at the specified time. We do kill a murderer – if the heir to the victim so decides – just to avoid chaos in society and to obey God Almighty.
May we hope that the researchers would redo the experiment with a fresh batch and ask them to think about quasi-immortality rather than death? Is it possible that thoughts of ‘quasi-immortality’ turn killers into pacifists?
This is the second part of the discussion on apostasy. We hope to show that a sin for which a legal punishment is prescribed would be erased from the records on the Day of Judgment if the legal punishment was inflicted for that sin in this life.
From http://www.searchtruth.com/searchHadith.php?keyword=+inflicted+forgive&translato r=1&search=1&book=&start=0&records_display=10&search_word=all we find:
Narrated Ubada bin As-Samit: I gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet with a group of people, and he said, "I take your pledge that you will not worship anything besides Allah, will not steal, will not commit infanticide, will not slander others by forging false statements and spreading it, and will not disobey me in anything good. And whoever among you fulfill all these (obligations of the pledge), his reward is with Allah. And whoever commits any of the above crimes and receives his legal punishment in this world, that will be his expiation and purification. But if Allah screens his sin, it will be up to Allah, Who will either punish or forgive him according to His wish." Abu Abdullah said: "If a thief repents after his hand has been cut off, then his witness well be accepted. Similarly, if any person upon whom any legal punishment has been inflicted, repents, his witness will be accepted." (Book #81, Hadith #793) (Sahih Bukhari)
We have already shown that Islam gives paramount importance to the Hereafter compared to this life. The above Tradition lists – worship anything besides Allah – as one of the sins with a legal punishment. For whom does this benefit of expiation apply? It is only for those who pledge to follow all the conditions and thus become Muslims. If one had become a Muslim, and afterwards worships anything besides Allah, that is, commits apostasy for that person inflicting the legal punishment in this life is expiation. It does not apply to a person who had never become a Muslim. If anyone claims so, that person clearly violates Verse 256 of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran quoted below from http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display.php?chapter=2&translator=2&mac=
2:256 Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
Dialogue.., DOING GOD'S WILL
How do we know we are doing God's will?
Only as free and pure human beings can we do God's will, which is how God made us. Once we are polluted, once we are unfree, once we are coerced or coerce another, we fail to do God's will. It is that infinitely simple, so anyone can understand.
So I will say it again:
Once we coerce, we are failing to do God's will.
It is that simple: You may use coercion ONLY to stop coercions. ...
Dialogue.., "Love" in Islam?
Except there is no "love" in the Islam that Mohideen describes.
Even though Mohideen does not preach violence, he's a rigid fundamentalist.Islam in the way he describes is a system of coercions, blind submission and fear, mixed in a fair dose of superstitions, ignorance and paranoia. It is compulsive and obsessive on rituals, forms and false piety.
As Ivan puts it, it is based on a paradigm of slavery.Allah is a tyrant and a cosmic slave master in this model of Islam. No moral person should worship such a "God".
But Islam is not monolithic. It is unfair to tar all Muslims with the same brush based on Mohideen's opinions here. He does not represent "the muslim mind",-- whatever that is,--any more than Jerry Falwell personifies the Christian mind.
There are folks who called themselves progressive Muslims who practise Islam is a more spiritual way. They see the Quran as contextual and reject a large part of the "Islamic canon" which are based on scholar proclamations and traditions.They believe in equal rights for women and non believers; they also support the seperation of state and mosque.
Some liberal muslims go further. They agree Mohamad was a flawed human being and a product of his savage time. He was only a "prophet" in that he conveyed Allah's message in the form of the Quran,but Mohamad should not be held up as a role model for all time.
Mohideen must consider these people heretics.
Dialogue.., Attacking invaders.
The correct response to threats of violence is consultation, dialogue, and the enlistment of a third party judgment. Then we apply force to stop the attack, if no other option works.
Posted on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 08:18 am: Ivan
Jihad is defensive and defensive alone. When the Muslim state is attacked, the leader of the Muslim state calls for Jihad. That Jihad is a duty on every able bodied Muslim.
Today, in the absence of the Muslim State, any attack on a Muslim population is tantamount to attack on the Muslim State. That is why; I state that the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are justified in their attacking the invaders.
Before the US started bombing Afghanistan, didn’t Mullah Omar plead for the evidence against Osama so that Osama could be punished? US did not indulge in any consultation, dialogue, or third party judgment. Why did not the US and her Western allies refer the case to the World Court? The absence of the correct response as suggested by Ivan and the fact that 9/11 is an internal US operation as the Reichstag Fire of Hitler justify the Jihad by the Afghans and the Iraqis.
Dialogue.., Need for reform in Islam.
"There are some clamoring for reforming Islam. Such an approach is a non-starter. No person likes to have his / her religion reformed by an outsider."
Ah, but you do acknowledge the need for reform, even though you insist such reform must come from within. Not a problem for me.But"reformers" within Islam are probably killed as apostates even before they have a chance to broadcast their message.Dr. Mamoud Taha being a better known example. This again illustrates how tolerent Islam is in practise.Under this climate of violence and intimidation what is the propsect of reform within Islam itself?
It is not a choice for Muslims, reform has to come somehow, either from within or as a result of external challenges. Failing that Islam risks being cosigned to the garbage bin of history. A religion ceases to be relevant if it is holding back the people at every turn.
You have a hard time selling Islam here Mohideen.
Take a look at the Muslim world. It is far behind not only in terms of science and technology. It is backward even in the realm of human development, values and ethics. Other than those who has the misfortune to be born into Islam and be indoctrinated into the faith what sane individual with a broad view of history and culture would subscribe to Islam, which is almost a trademark of backwardness, ignorance and barbarity?
Islam had its glorious day but that was long gone. But even then the Muslim world was not unique in its achievements among ancient civilizations. For one thing, the golden age of Islam lasted for only a few centries, roughly the same as the duration of one or two dynasties in really old civilizations such as the Chinese.Scholars have noted that even in its golden age, Islamic civilization was of a derived nature with a handful of notable exceptions.In terms of bold originality it never compared with the ancient Greeks, the Hindus or the Chinese, all of whom were pagans and would have laughed at the crude fabrication of Mohamad claimming to be the message from the almighty.
That being the case what does Islam, as a belief system has to offer mankind? Why would any sane person look at the Quran in any other way than just a relic of history?
Dialogue.., Freedom of Faith.
now you're switching over to G*d given dictates.
Posted on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 11:50 pm: Ivan
I criticize some non-Muslims who invoke the ‘Principle of Abrogation’ and claim that the Verses of the Holy Quran revealed in Medina overrule those revealed in Makkah. Using that device, they say Verse 256 of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran, quoted from http://www.searchtruth.com/search.php?keyword=compulsion+religion&chapter=&trans lator=2&search=1&start=0&records_display=10&search_word=all
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
( Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #256) (Yusuf Ali – English Translation)
Please notice that Verse 256 of Chapter 2 is the only Verse granting ‘Freedom of Faith’ and by knocking out that very Verse through the ‘Principle of Abrogation’ some non-Muslims twist Islam beyond recognition. I have countered this ‘Principle of Abrogation’ in my blog http://spaces.msn.com/deentech/ in topic – 4. Is there abrogation? – posted on February 16, 2006.
I do not desire to assume the details of Judaism (as I am not a Jew) and suggest a solution to the pestering Israel – Palestine problem. I asked the question to hear from a practicing Jew about the nature of the grant of the Holy Land so that I could act on acceptable facts. Nothing more.
Dialogue... Separation of church and state.
Seperation of Chruch and State, in secular democracies, exists to protect the rights of all people to live free from coercions. Religous based laws have a moral componet in them and have over time been incorporated into the laws that guide the secular democracy we live in.
Secular law has suplanted the laws of religion in our society for the simple reason that for centuries in the name of religion we have killed maimed and fought wars based on visions, voices and, "dictates from god".
The state exists to reign in the excesses of the Church in the event such things get out of control. I look at the current Mormon sect leader that the FBI is looking for as one example of that. He claims he is following god's law, but denies the result of his action and trauma that he inflicts on young women to satisfy his god dictated command.
FBI Puts Polygamist on Its 10 Most-Wanted List
From Times Wire Reports
May 7, 2006
While I am a Christian and do believe that god does provide insight and guidence to us from time to time, I believe that such a insight is intended to be a personal one taylored for that individual, a personnal relevation or gestalt moment where all the pieces come together and you are able to glimpse a portion of the whole, or discern a pattern to events, or derive an insight into mathmatics like Einstin did. ...
Dialogue.., Coerced obedience.
If a designer gives the rules and regulations about a design indicating the possible results of potential actions those rules and regulations have to be understood as part of the specification of the design rather than as coercion.
This is self serving reasoning, proving your postulates with your postulates. Coercion is not defined by your 'God' but by the person being coerced, being forced against their agreement. So your axioms of, allegegedly 'God given' rules, coercion are invalid to an outside observer. You may only apply them to yourself, not anyone else. The other will tell you when they are being forced against their agreement, when they are coerced. You may not define that for them. Otherwise, if you define coercion for someone else, you are imposing your rules on them, which in itself is potentially coercive. Why only 'potentially'? Because if the other accepts your conditions, then it is agreement; but if rejected, it is coercion.
Unless that other person surrenders their right to agreement, such as asking to become a slave, or by coercing another, you may not coerce them legally. That's how the 'designer' set up the rules, and this is a universal principle of all just laws. Follow your own self serving version of justice for yourself if you wish, but do not impose them on another. The other will tell you when they are being a victim of coercion. Then if coerced, he or she has the right to appeal for help, of fight back. Youre 'God' will do nothing to help you, as it is merely a construct of your own creation. You are trying to prove your axioms by using those same axioms, which is not only self serving but circular. And that leads to what becomes 'mythology', though this seems to be lost on you at this point.
Dialogue.., Freedom in religion.
Why are non-Muslims lecturing the Muslims that they do not have freedom? Imposing freedom is also coercion.
First of all, non-Muslims are people, so they are not in some sort of separate category from Muslims, who are also people. There is no reason here to make this special distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims when discussing central issues of freedom and coercions. They apply to all people universally, and not as if some people are exempt, from their right to be free of coercions.
Second of all, no one is lecturing here. What is being discussed is how correct or legitimate are certain arguments, so that they do not become circular and absurd. No one has any intent of lecturing Muslims on what they wish to believe. That is entirely within the frameworks of their internal belief systems, as based upon what they consider to be justifiable cause to believe. No one is lecturing Muslims here, and if that is how some see it, then address the actual point of where you think there is lecturing. Exploring ideas, and challenging ideas, is not the same as lecturing. Muslims are as free as other human beings to be who they are, provided they do not trespass on others, who are also free human beings. Humanity does not have distinctions of those who are free and those who are not free, certainly not since slavery had been abolished.
Thirdly, no one is imposing "freedom" on any one else. The very idea that something like human freedom can be imposed on another, by coercion, is self negating and absurd. You cannot force freedom. We are free voluntarily, by nature, and are sensitive to coercions from others of our own free will. Why do you think we are judged "innocent until proven guilty?" Because until we commit some crime against another free human being, we are innocent and cannot be coerced; but once we do coerce another, then we are subject to laws, arrest, trial, and possible punishment, if so proven. That is how it works, but that is not the same as if forcing someone to be free. It's impossible! No one can force another to be free. We are free by definition. Nobody can change that. That is how we are, the reality, and to argue for or against it is pointless: that's how humanity is. Since the abandonment of slavery, are all are equally free.
Fourthly, why is this a complaint, if it is a complaint? If I understand your reasoning correctly, you believe that God gave you commandments on how to behave. Okay, you can believe that, no problem. How do you know God gave these commandments? Because he sent a special messenger, your Prophet, who said so. Okay, we can live with that. So all Muslims must obey these commandments. Right? No one would ever question this. But then comes the point where what Muslims believe to be their commandments from God becomes what all humanity is to believe as commanded. Why? Why should humanity believe something that some members of the people accept as God's word as told by their Prophet? Is this not an internal affair of Islam? But now comes the hard part: God told them that all are supposed to believe this. There's the problem, and where coercion sets in. Why should all humanity believe this? Because God said so? How do we know? Because his messenger said so? How do we know? Because he said so. So!!! There's the complaint! Understand that this is entirely an internal story, self concealed within its own framework, and not necessarily a story that has to be bought by all humanity. Some may choose, but others may not, as they are free to believe. However, once those who choose to believe this are then motivated to force others to believe the same, because God told them to force others, then the otherwise internal affair becomes externalized. Why should they believe what others had chosen to believe, on the word of someone who said that God told him so? There is no justification, as belief cannot be imposed on another, forced against their will, anymore than freedom can be imposed on another, forced against their will. Both notions are absurd. The only way for a belief in God to be valid is if God himself moves that person to believe. Anything else is a human construct to push their own agenda on someone else. Does this make sense? You cannot force belief, nor can you force freedom; because if you do, that is coercive.
Lastly, it does not matter to the rest of the world what Muslims had chosen to believe. But once their actions, based on their beliefs, get externalized into the lives of others, then they are called on it. It then becomes coercion. But you might object, saying that you are only obeying commands from God. Maybe, but who gave these commands? God? No. A man. And then if you object that this man is a holy messenger from God, one must ask the question: how do you know? Did God ever whisper in your ear to tell you this is so? No. It is a matter of internal belief, that you had chosen and accepted this explanation of what is God's will. But once you have done that, it does not translate into the same belief to be accepted by another because you say so. If the other is to accept such belief in God, and his messenger, then it must come entirely from within. You cannot impose your belief into someone else, no matter what the messenger said about it. Such an imposition is a coercion, which is totally against God's law. Remember what I said in big letters above: "Once you coerce, you are failing to do God's will." I hope this is now more understandable to you, since it seemed to evoke no response earlier. Once you believe, as you are free to believe, it is an entirely internal affair, to which you have full right and freedom to believe. But you do not have the right to force this belief on another. That belief is always between the person and God. ...
Dialogue.. ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. RELIGIOUS FANATICISM
Anyone can believe whatever they wish to believe. That is religious freedom. No one can believe for another, same as what another believes cannot be believed for us. That is simply fact. What we believe is entirely an internal thing, a wholly personal thing, between ourselves and our reality, our God; our connection with both the inner and outer divine in us. That is all religious freedom. Where it ceases being religious freedom is when what we believe, something entirely our own, is then believed that it must be believed by another. That is religious trespass. Even if you believe that your religion is from God, from his special messenger, that it is totally true; you must nevertheless realize that your belief is entirely inside you. It is not outside of you for you to impose on antoher, but entirely inside you: You believe this, internally. But once you impose your internal belief on another, either through actions or demands of actions, then you are trespassing into the reality of the other. This belief, when imposed on another, becomes religious fanaticism, which is a trespass.
When we believe in something, and act on that belief, then reality will manifest for us what it is we believe. All our choices, whether or not we understand them intimately, are products of our internal beliefs; and all our actions are products of our choices. Reality will oblige us with manifesting for us reality in response to our choices and actions, with either success or failure. If I truly sincerely believe that I can walk off my roof and walk on air, reality will very quickly correct me in my error, as I fall to the ground. There is penalty for failing to believe correctly, not from another's belief, not from our religipn, but from reality itself. That's how God works through us in our human reality. So we are always free to believe, internally sanctified, but by what we believe we either reap reward or pay a penalty, not from our belief, nor the holy scriptures, since they are silent; the reward or penalty comes directly from reality, from God.
So in our inner belief, we can rail against reality, against the universe, we can blaspheme against all beliefs, we can call everyone else in the world wrong, and truly believe this; and it means nothing. Except in how reality manifest for us our belief in response with the reality of our being, it means nothing. But once we think we can believe with such certitude that everyone else is wrong, or some group is wrong, or even one person is wrong; and then act to force them, to coerce them, into believing what we believe internally: that is trespass. Such belief imposed on another is coercion. And once you impose this coercion on another, though you truly believe in yourself it is right, you have damaged their reality with God. You commit evil, because you are separating a person from God.
Religious fanatics are obsessed with the devil. They see evil everywhere. ...
Islam of Peace? FOR GOD'S SAKE.
Stop worrying so much about going to Hell. You are already in hell on Earth with all this worrying. Fighting each other, when not fighting the outsider 'infidels', to force them to join your generalized unhappiness on Earth, to avoid Hell and go to Paradise; all this fighting is already bringing Hell to Earth. Look at the results! General unhappiness and pain here on Earth for Muslims, as well as for innocent non-Muslims affected by this fighting. Why not be happy? Is it such a sin to feel love and joy, and enjoy the happiness of others and ourselves? Is this happiness only the privilege of the few, while the masses must live in misery, anger, riots, hate, killings, and finally suicide? For God's sake, can't you be happy?
I think if there is one thing I walked away with from all these discussions, it is this by Dr. Mohideen Ibramsha:
"Because I believe in Verse 256 of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran – that there is no compulsion in Islam – I never compelled my daughters to practice any of the rituals of the Muslims. On the strength of Verse 256 of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran I venture to say that there is no compulsion in an adult Muslim woman to cover her hair."
I take this as an extremely rich and beautiful statement, reaching directly into the heart. Non compulsion of rituals. This is what religion, all religion, as a belief in God demands. Take away compulsion, and it is between man and God, same as for woman and God. We are all created equal before God, all have the right to happiness in this world. Or else, what is the point? To suffer? Why?
The answer to this is Fear. We are afraid to be happy. Somehow we feel undeserving of such happiness, and that if we enjoy life in the here and now, we will pay in the afterlife. Why? Because Hell awaits us? So? We already beat hell to the punch with our unhappiness here, and made our world into a hell. Surely God must have an incredible sense of humor to promise keeping you out of Hell by making you create hell on Earth! Or is this the price for Paradise, that you must be miserable on Earth? Then God's sense of humor turns diabolic, if so. Can't you see how absurd this is? God is not diabolical. And the way to Paradise, basking in the beauty of God, is to be beautiful on Earth. The only way to let your God given beauty shine on Earth is to be happy. Be joyful, be loving, be giving, and be forgiving, and you have a shot at Paradise. All else, this compulsion to force everyone else to be unhappy, to be unfree, to be covered with so many restrictions on your life that you can hardly breathe, that is the work of men, not God. Not even intelligent men, but self contradictory men who come from fear. What are they afraid of? Power. They are afraid to lose control, so they need power. That kind of fear comes from fear itself, a cowardly fear, because they are afraid that if anyone else is happy, they will lose control. Fear is our biggest enemy to happiness on Earth: fear of freedom, fear of human self expression, fear of beauty, fear of letting your wife or daughter show her ankles or hair, fear of Hell, fear of being rejected by others, fear of disapproval by those in power over us; fear of love and being loved. So many fears, that we suffer hell on Earth. Did God have this in mind for His creations? To go to Paradise you must suffer so much fear while alive on Earth? What's the point? Can't we see that this is Hell? By being afraid of happiness, we are doing this to ourselves, if we believe in fear?
You want God's rule on Earth? It's simple: Be Happy! Find joy. Find love. Find freedom from fear in your heart. Find tolerance for others. Find peace in yourself and others. Find the strength to laugh. Find the richness of love for others, and they will love you in return. Have the courage to love another! Find that place in your heart where you can do this, and stop being afraid. God does not have Hell in store for you if you find joy in this life, and are happy. In fact, that is the way to Paradise, your happiness spreading to all others on Earth, and your soul will be received by God with his Joy, which is far greater than anything we mortal humans can imagine. Be Happy! For God's sake, be happy, smile, laugh, love, and enjoy the freedom of being alive as a beautiful being in the heart of God. If nothing else, do it for your children, and their children. Stop being afraid of God's Love on Earth. Then you will have Paradise, not only forever, but in the here and now. Write poetry. Make music. Dance! Art is your soul. Enjoy the fullness of your being, without fear. Have the courage of being God's creation, and believe this, for God's sake.
The final sentence in Qur'an: 2: 256, The Cow, says:
"They (unbelievers) are the heirs of Hell and shall abide in it forever."...
Islam of Peace? Islam, the Church and the World.
Islam, the Church and the World
"If the Islamic moderates in the West today cannot control the fanatic elements among them, then this can have devestating consequences for the lands in which they reside..."
" VATICAN CITY - A bishop at a Vatican synod launched a broadside against Islam Wednesday, bluntly accusing Muslims of plotting to dominate Europe and de-Christianize the continent... (Bishop) Bernardini continued in his own words: "One can believe it because the domination has already begun.''
He accused oil-rich Muslim countries of "using petro-dollars not to create jobs in the poor countries of North Africa and the Middle East but to build mosques and cultural centers in Christian countries where Muslims have migrated, including Rome, the center of Christianity.''
He added: "How can one not see in all this a clear program of (Islamic) expansion and re-conquest?''...
Islam has overtaken Judaism as Italy's second-largest religion after Catholicism. Mosques and Islamic prayer centers, most of them small, have sprouted up in a number of cities. A growing number of Italians are also converting to Islam.
Rome got its first mosque in 1995 at a cost of some $50 million dollars borne by 23 Muslim countries. Saudi Arabia provided the lion's share, $35 million.
In his address, Bernardini said Muslims did not share Christian ideas about democracy and human rights.
The archbishop said that "it is a fact that for Muslims terms such as dialogue, justice, reciprocity or concepts such as human rights and democracy have a different meaning than they do for us. By now, I think everyone recognizes and admits this.'
"He said that while it was necessary to distinguish between ''the fanatic and violent minority'' and the "peaceful and honest'' majority in Islam, he believed even peaceful Muslims would, without hesitation, "follow orders given in the name of Allah.'' "
" In order to clear the air of misconceptions and errors, historian Franco Cardini, an expert in Medieval history, wrote an article in the Italian newspaper "Avvenire," entitled "Crusades -- Not Religious Wars."
In his article, Professor Cardini explains that the interpretation of the Crusades as antecedents of religious and ideological wars, was a thesis upheld by Enlightenment circles. It was used as a pretext and was a misunderstanding of the Crusades.
According to Dr. Cardini, "the Crusades were never 'religious wars,' their purpose was not to force conversions or suppress the infidel. The excesses and violence committed in the course of the expeditions (which did occur and must not be forgotten) must be evaluated in the painful but usual context of the phenomenology of military events, keeping in mind that, undoubtedly, some theological reason always justified them."
"The Crusade was an armed pilgrimage that developed slowly over time, between the 11th and 13th centuries, which must be understood by being inserted in the context of the extended relations between Christianity and Islam, which have produced positive cultural and economic results," clarified the scholar. "If this was not the case, how could one explain the frequent friendships, including military alliances, between Christians and Moslems, in the history of the Crusades?" "
"In some Moslem countries, Catholics are not allowed to have a church, but there is a mosque in Rome."
Islam of Peace? Freedom and Equality in Islam.
The issues brought up on these posts, amongst others, were: freedom and equality for women, suicide bombings, death for apostasy, freedom of individual choice, freedom and tolerance of belief, Islamic expansionism in the West, terrorism against those whom you think your 'enemy', intolerance of other religions in Islamic lands, Sharia law for non-Islamic nations, etc.
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 07:45 am: Humancafe
First and foremost the abode in the Hereafter – Hell or Heaven – depends on the last action performed by the individual before the onset of the ‘pain of death.’ A derivative of this statement is that the individual is not under any coercion in Islam until his / her last moment. If requested, I could give evidence from the scriptures. Is that freedom? Is the fact that the last action alone decides the place in the Hereafter accepted as freedom of action all through one’s life?
Islam gives preferential status to women. It is the men who are at a disadvantage. Islam permits – not mandates, but permits – women only educational institutions. However, there is no Tradition – to my limited knowledge – that permits the establishment of men only educational institutions. A child is advised to show respect to the mother in preference to the father. When it comes to the custody of the child under divorce, the mother has more right – as long as she does not marry – to bring up the child than the father. The father must meet the expenses of bringing up the child, and not the mother. Do we really want equality?
Suicide bombings are a tactic used by Muslims and non-Muslims and thus it is not a good topic of discussion. Suicide bombing is a military tactic and nothing more.
It has already been established in this very forum that an apostate is put to death only when so decided by the apostate. There is a difference between a murderer and an apostate. An apostate is given three chances to get away from the Muslims and thus escape death. A murderer gets no chance at all: one eyewitness is enough. The murderer gets reprieve if the heir to the victim decides to forgive the murderer.
Freedom of individual choice in matters of faith is the foundation of Islam: there is no compulsion in religion.
Freedom and tolerance of belief is offered by permitting multiple and varied recitations of the Holy Quran in prayer. In view of Arabic being a phonetic language this variation in recitation ensures tolerance. No single authority could decide that the recitation of one is wrong. Currently there is a schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims: both are Muslims and have to be accepted as such.
Islamic expansionism in the west is a phobia. Which western nation has become a Muslim country? None!
There is only one land – the Arabian Peninsula – in which other religions are not allowed. Anywhere else Muslim must coexist.
Shariah Law is not required for non-Islamic nations. ...
Islam of Peace? Islam and Secularist separation of Church and State.
Is Islam Compatible With Democracy and Human Rights?
This is too important a document to be left out from this discussion, thus we post it here for information purposes, lifted out of: http://www.secularislam.org/Default.htm , Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society. Some quotes:
Separation of Church and State
One of the fundamental principles of Democracy is the separation of church and state (Amendment I of the American Bill of Rights: " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...").We have seen, that in Islam there is no such separation, instead, we have, what Thomas Paine calls, the adulterous connection of church and state. Why is this separation so essential? If Muslims are sincere in espousing the cause of Democracy in their own countries, then they must learn the profound reasons underlying the adoption of this separation. They must then decide whether these underlying principles are at all compatible with Islam, or whether they entail too many compromises with the orthodox tenets of their creed. This is not the time for moral, intellectual and doctrinal evasiveness.
 The idea of a separation of church and state has been formulated by many Western philosophers: Locke, Spinoza and the "philosophes" of the Enlightenment. In his " A Letter Concerning Toleration ", Locke gives three reasons for adopting this principle:
(1) " First, because the care of souls is not committed to the civil magistrate [i.e. the state], any more than to other men. It is not committed unto him, I say, by God; because it appears not that God has ever given any such authority to one man over another, as to compel any one to his religion. Nor can any such power be vested in the magistrate [state] by the consent of the people; because no man can so far abandon the care of his own salvation as blindly to leave it to the choice of any other, whether prince or subject, to prescribe to him what faith or worship he shall embrace. For no man can, if he would, conform his faith to the dictates of another. All the life and power of true religion consists in the inward and full persuasion of the mind; and faith is not faith without believing. "
(2) " In the second place, the care of souls cannot belong to the civil magistrate , because his power consists only in outward force: but true and saving religion consists in the inward persuasion of the mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God. And such is the nature of the understanding, that it cannot be compelled to the belief of anything by outward force.... It may indeed be alleged that the magistrate may make use of arguments... But it is one thing to persuade, another to command; one thing to press with arguments, another with penalties... The magistrate's power extends not to the establishing of any articles of faith, or forms of worship, by the force of his laws."
(3) "... There being but one truth, one way to heaven; what hope is there that more men would be led into it, if they had no other rule to follow but the religion of the court, and were put under a necessity to quit the light of their own reason, to oppose the dictates of their own consciences, and blindly to resign up themselves to the will of their governors, and to the religion, which either ignorance, ambition, or superstition had chanced to establish in the countries where they were born? In the variety and contradiction of opinions in religion, wherein the princes of the world are as much divided as in their secular interests, the narrow way would be much straitened; one country alone would be in the right, and the rest of the world put under an obligation of following their princes in the ways that lead to destruction..."
It is worth emphasizing that the American Bill of Rights is essential for safeguarding the civil and political rights of an individual against the government, as Jefferson put it: "... A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference ". Individuals have rights that no mythical or mystical collective goal or will can justifiably deny. To quote Von Hayek: " individual freedom cannot be reconciled with the supremacy of one single purpose to which the whole society must be entirely and permanently subordinated ".The First Ten Amendments, and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution limit the power of the governments, they protect individuals from unfair actions by the government, they protect individuals' rights of freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and peaceful assembly, and the rights of persons accused of crimes against state abuses. They prevent a state from depriving anyone of civil liberties. Liberal democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom and attaches all possible value to each man or woman. Individualism is not a recognisable feature of Islam, instead the collective will of the Muslim people is constantly emphasised, there is certainly no notion of individual rights which only developed in the West, especially during the 18th century. The constant injunction to obey the Caliph who is God's Shadow on Earth is hardly inducive to creating a rights based individualist philosophy. The hostility to individual rights is manifest in this excerpt from a recent Muslim thinker who has written on human rights from an Islamic perspective, A.K.Brohi, a former Minister of Law and Religious Affairs in Pakistan:
" Human duties and rights have been vigorously defined and their orderly enforcement is the duty of the whole of organized communities and the task is specifically entrusted to the law enforcement organs of the state.The individual if necessary has to be sacrificed in order that the life of the organism be saved. Collectivity has a special sanctity attached to it in Islam.
"[In Islam] there are no "human rights or "freedoms" admissible to man in the sense in which modern man's thought, belief and practice understand them: in essence, the believer owes obligation or duties to God if only because he is called upon to obey the Divine Law and such Human rights as he is made to acknowledge seem to stem from his primary duty to obey God."
The totalitarian nature of this philosophy is evident, and further underlined by the line, " By accepting to live in Bondage to this Divine Law, man learns to be free ", which frighteningly reminds one of Orwell's " Freedom is Slavery ". ...
Let the Religious Dialogues Begin, Respect and Reciprocity.
APOLOGIES AND 'RECIPROCITY' IN POPE BENEDICT'S CALL FOR DIALOGUE.
Has the Pope really apologized for his theological lecture, quoting an obscure Byzantium emperor, at the university in Regensburg?
My assessment is that he did not apologize. What he expressed were regrets for how Muslims took his words, essentially out of context, and exploited them to foment rage against all the things they want to rage about: freedom of expression, equality of the sexes, the war in Iraq, Israel's retaliation against Hezbollah's killing and capture of IDF soldiers within Israel, religious freedom for Christians living in Muslim lands, and whatever grievances Muslims have against the West, mainly that we of the western societies do not take them as seriously as they take themselves. The fading shadows of the Danish cartoon riots are now eclipsed by Papal rage, though anything at all could have set this off. Last Friday at mosques world wide, Immams called for a 'day of rage'. The real complaint is that the West does not take Islam as seriously as it takes itself. So the Pope expressed regrets in his 'apology' that his words were so inflammatory to Muslims as to make them demonstrate en masse with calls for an apology, burn a few Christian churches and intimidate their worshipers, and kill an elderly nun. But to what is His Holiness supposed to apologize? Something said by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, during the times Islam was attacking Byznatium? This was made clear in his statement that the Emperor's words did not reflect his own personal views, which at this point he has not revealed. So an apology as demanded by Muslim leading clerics is unwarranted, on any grounds except that their feelings were hurt. And for this, the Pope did apologize, for hurting their feelings. This was the only rational apology possible if Benedict is to maintain his personal integrity, or else the clerics' demands force him to admit and apologize for something he did not do. He was innocent of the charge, except that he caused hurt. The frustration of this to a reasonable person is grossly unreasonable, the sheer hutzpah of those demands is maddening and absurd, which is how many people perceived them. But it did have a larger consequence in the western world, which I will address later.
As a Christian, following in the footsteps of Christ, Benedict had to apologize. The teachings of Christ do not address political issues of this world, "render on Caesar what is Caesar's", but of the heavenly kingdom of the Father. The logical result is that you forgive your earthly enemy, because Christianity is not about getting involved in earthly squabbles. So if Benedict created a condition of squabbling on Earth, his duty was to apologize. Except, there was no reason to apologize for what he quoted of an ancient emperor, so he apologized for causing Muslim hurt, as he should have. The dialogue is between men, but the apology is of a higher order, between man and God. This is where the apology took place, on that higher plane, to avert causing harm. The Muslims response, with violence proving the Emperor correct, is something else, of earthly affairs. If there was any apology needed here, it would be for Muslims to apologize for their violent acts. However, Benedict chose not to pursue this, and thus claiming implicitly a higher moral ground, by simply apologizing for causing Muslims to become violent.
So Christ taught his followers not to war, which is of this world, but find peace, which is of his Father's world, and for this he is sometimes called the Prince of Peace. Pope Benedict could not challenge Muslims for their violent reactions to his quoting Palaeologus, because his duty to Christ is to be peace, to teach peace, and to resolve the violent issue in a peaceful manner, as Christ would have done. His was not to endorse more violence from Muslims, but to find the means of calming them down. Hence, he calls on representatives of Islam to come to the Vatican. However, also implicit in his message at the Vatican meeting is that of 'reciprocity', where he quotes John Paul II's speech to youth, "As Pope John Paul II said in his memorable speech to young people at Casablanca in Morocco: "Respect and dialogue require reciprocity in all spheres, especially in that which concerns basic freedoms, more particularly religious freedom. They favour peace and agreement between peoples"." Respect and reciprocity are the key words here. Benedict is saying to Muslims that they too must reciprocate in the manner that brings about peace and understanding. However, little of that reciprocity had been evident in the past. And this is the western world's association with Islam, that it does not reciprocate. Of the thousands of mosques around Christian areas, none were burning; but of the few churches within Muslim areas, many burned. Where is the reciprocity here? If Pope Benedict XVI voices an apology for causing harm to Muslims, where is the reciprocity from Muslims for causing harm to Christians? None. And it is this lack of reciprocity that has larger consequences.
So the purpose of this dialogue between religions is to level the playing field between Islam and Christianity, without neglecting all other world religions. This may yet prove to be a monumental challenge, to make Islam live up to its own claim that it is a 'religion of peace' in the same way Pope Benedict exemplified peace with his apology. But the problem is that he had truly nothing to apologize for, and yet he did, out of his Christian grandeur. Understand that these are world shaking events, no matter how subtle they may appear now, but they change the course of history for centuries. If the Pope had simply refused to apologize and held his ground, he would have been a common man; but that he did apologize, and now asks for reciprocity, he is raised to a higher level. What the common people feel in response to this is a greater respect for a great man. The number of worshippers attending Saint Peter Square at the Vatican has doubled, from 20,000 to 40,000 in the past weeks since this Papal row with Islam started. We must understand that these are big events, and the people know them as big events, even if they do not verbalize them as such. Somewhere in their hearts they know. What is missing here, sadly, is that the Muslims do not appear to know. These Papal dialogues with Islam should work to close that gap. ...
Let the Religious Dialogues..., On Religious Tolerance.
God is the infinity which we cannot understand.
Mohideen as an intellectual truly you can see WHY many religions have actually destroyed the spiritual message they are trying to convey. Unfortunately many religions carry intolerance within their teachings. The search for God or truth should be neverending. I don't believe the wellspring (God / Universal consciousness) of all knowledge would put absolutes on anything.
That Mohammed or Jesus or Buddha or any other ancient prophet received a divine message is not the question. Rather how do we know their interpretation was correct or not tainted with their own human inadequacies? Or even that they had received a message for their time but not for ours?
God reaches all of us in unique ways. This is the reason why, in the early stages of Christianity, Bishop Iraneus decided to label Gnosticism heresy. He knew that Christianity would not survive in the face of a branch which said any insight is a communication from God. There is no structure to that kind of religion. Thus no mechanism for controlling the minds of its adherents.
Even in your peaceful interpretation of Islam, you still speak as if the current Islamic interpretation of the Quran is the correct spiritual interpretation. For example: I am a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a believer in many religions, spiritualities, and sciences. I just don't believe as you do! Am I not entitled to interpret the Quran in an entirely different way? I know YOU would say yes, but what about others in Islam? Every time you quote the Quran as being the authority on any subject you are actually planting the seeds of the very tree of violence you despise. You see, others who have been indoctrinated into that way of thinking, and who may not be as educated as yourself, will surely fall victim to those who would exploit their faith for personal gain, or their own subversive veiwpoints.
Thus Mohideen, your education made you a man of peace, because it gave you a better platform from which to interpret your faith!
The best policy for every follower of any religion is to simply live their individual lives according to what they believe without outside interpretation by anyone else! It is the group mentality which gives a religion its power and its inevitable flaws. That you believe the words of Mohammed and interpret them in a peaceful and respectful way towards humanity is awesome. But others do not! Thus true followers of religion would strive to separate religion from societal law, education, and warfare. That the opposite is happening will most likely be the very undoing of Islamic states and perhaps of Islam itself.
Let the Dialogues..., What if Islam Reformed?
WHAT IF ISLAM REFORMED?
This is a re-posting of something written Nov. 1, 2005, on "Is This the Gospel of Truth?" on Humancafe forums: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/70/125.html and also here: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/6/12.html#POST257
If believe this is now as timely as it was nearly a year ago, so leave it here for the record. - Ivan
WHAT IF ISLAM REFORMED? What would it look like, philosophically?
(As cross-posted on the Examined Life Philosophy Discussion: "War on Terror-2, or Pacifying Islam".)
I can only offer my thoughts here, a purely hypothetical idea, of what may possibly issue from Islam's Reform. But this is only one man's idea, and it is not up to me to suggest that this is how it will be, since I do not know the future. And if such Reform was to take place, it would have to come entirely from within Islam, and not from outside, as myself. I only offer this as an idea, in all humility and respect.
If we were to identify God as Everything, that in His (and Her, axiomatic) infinity is both Good and Evil, and if Man (and Woman) were given a mind with which to choose one from the other, that we are endowed with reason and a free will, then doing God's will means that it is for us to separate the two. Of our own free will, we choose. This means that all teachings about God, and from God, are of necessity both sublime and pure, as well as evil and mean. So there is both a True teaching given to the highest achievements of humankind, as well as one mysterious and Kabbalistic given to the darker side of our being human. And if God created us in His image, then both sides reside is us.
What does this mean for a possible future Reformed Islam? This is the great opportunity, to consciously separate the two, the Good from the Evil, and in so doing, to catapult the religion far into the future, as perhaps the most desirable teaching available to Man. To do this, in my mind, would require that there be a separation of God's Word into its True form, as well as its Kabbalistic form, so that all the teachings that elevate humanity in its goodness, in its highest ideals, and in its ability to coexist with one another through tolerance, and love, would be set to one side; while all the teachings that coerce, that force human beings against their will, against their agreement, against the reality of Who they are as created by God in His image, these are the other darker side. Each human being is sublime as an entity of God, created in His image, and thus sacred. But not each human being is aware, nor will make choices in life that are conscious of this. So it is up to the teachings to split in two where God's Word is sublime and beautiful, and where God's word is dark and fallen. This will be the filter of human reason, and human love, that will separate the two halves of infinity into the duality of Truth and Evil.
How to do this? It will take the finest minds, the most elevated and conscious minds of humanity (within Islam) to find the distinction between the two. And that distinction can be cut like with a knife, in the way Alexander of legend solved the riddle of the Gordian knot, by slicing through it with his sword. But the sword here is conscious reason, conscious choice of Good over Evil, and a choice of finding agreement for all humanity as opposed to forcing it into coercion. In the holy book of the Qur'an exists side by side both. And what these minds must do is take a fine comb through the writings to create two parallel worlds, that of Good and that of Evil. It should be expected that the Good will be smaller in size than the Evil, but that is because we as humanity are still young. And in this cutting the knife will fall on Jihad: on the good side will be the 'greater' Jihad, where between each human being and God is the dialogue to bring him (and her) closer to the Truth of God's Will; on the Evil side the knife will fall on the 'lesser' Jihad, the war on human beings which negates their beauty in God. This comb will pass through all the writings, including the suras and the hadith. The first will be the True and Pure Islam, that propels humanity forward into a glorious, beautiful, and peaceful future; while the latter will be remembered as where humanity came from. These will be the two halves, and it will be for each human being to choose, as is their God given right, of their own free will. ...
Let the Dialogues.., Qur'an unchangeable.
It is the same Qur'an, not changed one word; but it is now in two parts.
Posted on Saturday, October 21, 2006 - 11:17 am: Ivan
The very act of dividing the Holy Quran changes it. Please see http://deentech.com/default.aspx for the picture of the Arabic script of Allah without vowels (in green color) and of Muhammad with vowels (in blue color). This picture is computer generated.
This picture has induced the proof of existence of God which is given in http://deentech.com/Allah_Exists.aspx . The sequence of the Verses and their arrangement in different Chapters of the Holy Quran helped in generating the pictures. The Translations of the Holy Quran by non-Muslims have sequenced the chapters differently, some according to length and some according to the period of Revelation. Such arrangements destroy the information that is at the center of the proof.
So the Holy Quran should remain as it is and we should understand it correctly. We need to retain the Holy Quran as it is so that a person that might live after us could infer lot more sublime results. By dividing the Holy Quran we deny the chance of discovery to that future individual.
Let the Dialogues..., No compulsion in Religion.
There Is No Compulsion in Religion, but...
Compulsion is disallowed per Koran 2:256, but 'Coercion' is not disallowed per Koran 9:5 and 9:29, or sura 47:4. This is the 'coercion' that must be fought and resisted totally without exception, that coercion in religion is never allowed.
The four panelists in the "Symposium: Convert or Die" are fully knowledgeable and articulate on Islamic teachings, and together make an excellent case for why such coercion is not allowed: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=24999
All world religions have teachings that claim they are right, or the best of all possible beliefs in God, and that is their theocentric view which is not objectionable; but any religion that insists its theocentric view is so right that it is allowed to coerce others to their view is no longer a religion, but becomes a coercive cult, or a theo-imperialistic cult. This coerciveness itself is what drags down the religion into culthood, though the rest of the teachings may not have fault. As this symposium, one Muslim and three non-Musllims, shows is that no one finds coercion acceptable. In fact, this is the one point on which all four agree. That is the key: there can be no compulsion, but neither can there be coercion. Religion is a personal belief, true to heart to the believer, but it can never be imposed on another by force, for that is coercion of belief. Perhaps such coercion may have been acceptable 1400 years ago in an age of conquest and slavery, but it is no longer valid in the third Millennium, an age of personal freedoms, and freedom of belief. Here are some salient points made by the four panelists:
1. Mustafa Akyol, Turkish Muslim journalist, author
2. David Aikam, Time Magazine, author
3. Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, author
4. Andrew Boston, M.D., M.S., author
Aikman: "It is only in the Islamic world that there is broad sympathy for a point of view that the individual conscience is not a sacred thing at all and does not even belong to the individual, but to the Muslim-controlled community in which the individual is located. This is at odds with the entire direction in which, by overwhelming broad consensus, human civilization as a whole is moving. In effect, Islamic coercion of personal religious conscience is not an example of the "clash of civilizations," but of a war waged by desperate fanatics upon civilization itself."
Bostom: "Thus, there has been utter silence on the Centanni-Wiig forced conversions from Muslim clerical and religio-political elites—Sunni and Shi’ite—across the Muslim world. No denunciations, and no formal fatwas have been issued invalidating the forced conversions, or making clear in advance that any Muslim who attacks Centanni and Wiig for not behaving as Muslims “post-conversion”, i.e., for “apostasy”, will be condemned and prosecuted, with full religious sanction. Contrast this silence from those clerical elites who were so quick to denounce factitious Koran flushings, banal Danish cartoons of Muhammad, and just this past week, Pope Benedict’s honest, reasoned critique of the living, genocidal institution of jihad war." ...
Let the Dialogues.., Bethlehem Christians.
To equate the exodus of christians from Bethlehem can not be logically associated with a decline in the Christian faith but rather circumstances of economics and security. Christians in Bethlehem no longer feel safe or economically secure in the city.
As to the site itself. Christ's message was that he was not of this earth and needed no particular site as a shrine established for him as proof of his divinity.
In pure Christianity we need no Churches or places to find God. In ancient days we built temples and planted sacred groves of trees to define our places of worship. Christ came and proved that such places were not necessary, but being human we continued to build such places for a variety of reasons some of which had little to do with God.
In the great scheme of things who controls or lives in Bethlehem is imaterial to those that follow the faith of Jesus Christ.
As to media that paints Christian's in a negative light and blames them for the problems of the world, I defere to the quote of the Friendly Ghost
"When men, materialized by the growth of wealth and the comforts of civilization, and enlightened by science and new philosophies, could scarce find faith to believe in the pure truths of revealed religion, there could be little room for any belief in the doctrines of demons. The whole thing was now rudely rejected as a dream and a delusion. Learned men marvelled at the credulity of their fathers, with their faith in ghosts, and demons, and black magic, but felt it impossible to take any serious interest in the subject in their age of enlightenment. Yet in fact there was still stranger delusion in the naive faith of the early Rationalists, who fondly fancied that they had found the key to all knowledge and that there were no things in heaven or earth beyond the reach of their science and philosophy. And much of the history of the last hundred years forms a curious comment on these proud pretentions. For far from disappearing from the face of the earth, much of the old occultism has been revived with a new vigour, and has taken new form in modern Spiritism At the same time, philosophers, historians, and men of science have been led to make a serious study of the story of demonology and occultism in past ages or in other lands, in order to understand its true significance."
Let the Dialogues.., On Jesus's Sermon on the Mount.
Much has been said of the Koran but little of the Bible. I have attached a translation of the sermon on the mount as by way of contrast to the Koran.
This sermon serves as the foundation for the ordering of Christian Society. As with many things translation of sections has and is being debated as we speak but the core remains.
In it Jesus speaks of and refers to two kingdoms. One of the earth and one of God. In his references to the earthly Kingdom he defers to temporal authority, but establishes a set of rules for his followers to follow.
Free choice is given as to accept his teachings or not. Acceptance and adherence of his teachings was to be a personal act and needed no public display.
In his dicussion of the law he states that he came to fulfill the law not replace it and leaves open the issue of other paths to god, when he says
"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments (The Mosaic Ten Commandments), and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
The following is a translation of the Sermon of the Mount.
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying...
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Light of the world
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that the ancients were told, "You shall not commit murder" and "Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court."
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, "You good-for-nothing," shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, "You fool," shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, "You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord."
But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
But let your statement be, "Yes, yes" or "No, no." Anything beyond these is of evil.
You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. ...
Let the Dialogues.., Universality and Equality of Religion.
Sociology of religion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_religion
This is something that is universal to all religions equally, and a way to flatten the curves on them all. Here's what it says about "Typology of religious groups", not that it applies to anything we talked about here:
"According to what is one common typology among sociologists, religious groups are classified as ecclesias, denominations, cults or sects. Note that sociologists give these words precise definitions which are different from how they are commonly used. Note especially that the words 'cult' and 'sect' as used by sociologists are free from prejudice, even though the popular use of these words is often pejorative."
The biggest issue, in my mind, is coercive habits of religious dogma, something we of the West had tried to constrain as much as possible. This is why we have a separation of church and state. Religion, as a belief in some Deity greater than our human mind can imagine, has always been with us. The various prophets that came and went seem part of a natural cycle for humanity. I personally think the last prophet was Marx, but his teachings were not particularly helpful, so think of him as a 'failed' prophet, a kind of quasi-sociological-scientific prophet. However, his teachings had disastrous results, if you count the millions of people who died because of them. I would think that the death rate of human beings is one possible way to measure the effectiveness of the prophethood, and if lots of people die, then not such a good idea. But that's my personal view, no judgment on any religion really.
On the other hand, I think the Anthropology of religion, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology_of_religion , is more meaningful as a study of cross cultural aspects of human beliefs in a Deity. I find also this approach more scientific:
"Anthropological approaches to religion reflect a more general tension within anthropology: the discipline defines itself as a science in that all anthropologists base their interpretations and explanations on empirical evidence (and many anthropologists are concerned with developing universal models of human behavior), and the discipline also defines itself in terms of the seriousness with which it takes local beliefs and practices (see cultural relativism), and its commitment to understanding different cultures in their own terms through participant observation."
Look at the links, see how many religious beliefs can exist in the human mind. It does not matter to what religion we belong, as we believe in, but really how they compare to each other. There is always the basic common denominator that all of us who believe in God, and I am one of those, believe this deep in our hearts. What we do with it is then up to us. If we can believe with love in our hearts, as opposed to coercive ill will in our hearts, then I think the belief system is a success. But if it fails this test, at least to me, then the belief is somehow lacking and incomplete. ...
Let the Dialogues..., On the Privacy of Belief.
What about Miracles?
Should one believe in Biblical miracles, or in Divine revelations?
Of course! That is in the domain of privacy of belief. We can believe as we choose to believe, without apology or explanations as to why we believe as we do. The test of belief is not another person's acceptance, since belief is between man and God, but from God. Will God reaffirm our beliefs in divine miracles and revelations? Not likely on a mass scale, though within our hearts, perhaps. The point is that no matter what we choose to believe in our hearts and souls, it is a matter between our human being and the Being of God. And God does not have to keep making miracles to reaffirm a person's belief. Everything else is irrelevant, except for one very important thing: No one may believe that their belief is so superior to another's belief, that they may now go and force the other to believe as they do. This is an abrogation of the law of freedom, to believe, since what we believe is between us and God, and not us and man.
The only belief that is not allowed is that it is valid to take away another's belief, even if this belief may seem absurd to us. Same as it is invalid to believe that it is okay to take away a person's freedom, unless that person is guilty of such towards another, so is it invalid to believe that another may not believe. So even if someone believes in miracles that to a reasonable person make no sense, it is still within that person's right of belief to believe in such miracles, or revelations, if these validates their faith. Then it is between that person's belief in the miracles, or revelations, and God, and no one else.
So if one believes in Biblical miracles, or New Testament's Jesus's miracles, or Mohammed's Divine revelations, let them believe this. As long as they do not trespass on another's belief with their own, they are free to believe as they do, because for them it means something. Their belief is a reaffirmation of their faith, between them and God, and it does not have to answer to anyone else.
Let the Dialogues.., Freedom threatens Religion?
What disturbs me is that, even if a new spirituality replaces the ancient/current modes of thinking, humans will still make the same mistakes: some will exploit in the name of the spiritual, some will be exploited.
You are indeed right: freedom is the threat which frightens those who covet their role as religious authority, because it is the philosophy which can break the cycle of spiritual abuse.
How amazing that people, who put so much faith in the benevolence of their supreme being, do not question why freedom of individuality is not found within their bibles. Surely the wool has remained firmly over their eyes.
I too have read gnosticism. Sounded very independent. Too independent for Bishop Iraneus, who saw the danger inherent in its individual (and personal relationship with God) message.
Freedom equalled anarchy in the ancient world. Unfortunately, it is the cause of anarchy in certain regions today. The ancient mind/societal structure inherently knows its is not equipped for freedom. It grasps onto the power structure for support, for guidance, for instruction. Amazing that in Iraq, people are killing each other for the right to not be free!
Freedom will never free those who don't want to be free, nor will science. Rather, they will find disillusionment in their belief system, through an event of their own making.
Let the Dialogues.., A Private Faith.
Perhaps I should have asked if the union with God should be based upon actions or interpretations of truth?
If a man can convince himself his actions are merciful and performed for God then he will go to heaven? This is the most dangerous idea in the history of humanity! Not because of good believers such as yourself Mohideen, but because of the potential for abuse or misinterpretation (which unfortunately exists right now with some adherents of Islam and other faiths).
You see humans are flawed! They will perform for another. They will perform thinking they are doing right, with no one to check the validity or piousness of their actions! How will any of us survive with this mindset pervading over 1 billion on the planet? Merciful acts in God's name might also, through wrong interpretation, become deadly acts. Clearly Jesus foresaw this problem. He said turn the other cheek, for he knew his disciples might otherwise carry out aggressions and acts of revenge in his name hoping for a deliverance of salvation.
First and foremost amongst all spiritualities should be a total respect and reverence for human life. From there the method and design of your belief and subsequent actions, should be up to you. Its your life. Its your mind. Its your journey that God has put YOU on. You may choose to honor the words of a prophet or messiah as your guide, and I have no problem with that as long as it is:
1. A private choice
2. A choice never forced fed to the young
3. Has no potential to bring harm to any aspect of humanity.
The question still remains (just rephrased):
Would not humanity benefit if the scope and practice of faith was a personal choice, not restricted by ancient obligation and ritual, not restricted by an ancient thought process? Indeed the only real obligation would be reverence for the personal freedoms of another and the advancement of humanity. ...
Let the Dialogues.., Comparison of Intention.
All actions are judged by intentions. The intention is known to the one who acts and to God Almighty. So any mortal observer might help if possible but not pass any judgment. --Mohideen
Fair enough. So if a person had strict dietary restrictions, because intentions are good, they should be respected. The results of such dietary restrictions, whether for religious, scientific, humanitarian, or medical needs, are benign in matters of social affairs, so we can help without judgment, as said above.
Now, let us take it up a notch to where the 'intentions' on which God and man may judge us have 'consequences' that are not benign to society at large:
1. Capital punishment: in progressive western societies, the death penalty has been largely eliminated or severely restricted; in Islamic societies, those that are true to their Book, death by hanging, stoning, beheading, is prescribed by their religion, so it is commonly desired as a social 'good'. What are the 'intentions' for such murder?
2. Universality: in progressive western societies, there is a universality in that all laws apply to everyone equally, which includes all laws of tolerance, such as religious beliefs, or tolerance for freedom of thoughts and expression, hence of compassion for all equally; in the Islamic world there is a preamble to every verse (except one?) that calls on Allah the Merciful and Compassionate, but this is not a universal call: Allah is such for all Believers, but not so for the non-Believers (so called infidels) where for them awaits the damnation of hell-fire, as Allah told them. So the 'western' God, based on an evolved Judeo-Christian ethical philosophy is universal, while Allah-God is not universal, but per force a lesser god. What are the intentions for a lesser god?
3. Violence: Coercions have their intentions as authored by those who coerce. What are the 'intentions' of those who call on coercion, and especially violence, to spread their capitally murderous lesser god? If they are to be judged by God and man, first by the results of their actions, which is death and murder, and then by the intentions of their actions, known only to themselves and God, then us mortals must not pass judgment on the consequences of their actions? Is violence by those who believe in a lesser non-universal god to be tolerated for their coercive violence, because we mortals may not judge?..
Let the Dialogues.., Is Jihad allowed for Peace?
What is Jihad?
See http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display_all.php?chapter=73&from_verse=20&to_v erse=20&mac=&translation_setting=1&show_transliteration=1&show_yusufali=1&show_s hakir=1&show_pickthal=1&show_mkhan=1
All translators mention 'fighting in the cause of Allah.' Could there be anything better than fighting the war-mongers who twist the Holy Quran and claim that 'world conquest' is part of Islam? To fight until worship is due for Allah alone was imposed on Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his companions, Allah be pleased with them. See both the Traditions in the following URL.
Ibn Umar, Allah be pleased with him, has clearly stated that 'worship for Allah alone' was established during the life time of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon, himself. Some refuse to accept the 'time limitation' on certain statements in Islam and are in the wrong claiming that they have a duty to fight every non-Muslim until the non-Muslim becomes a Muslim, or becomes a Dhimmi. So today it is indeed fighting for the cause of Allah to establish that 'Islam is a religion of peace' simply on the fact that there could be no inconsistency in Islam and the fact that Verse 256 of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran declares that there is no compulsion in religion.
What should be the nature of this current 'fight in the cause of Allah?' Are we to take weapons and kill the suspected war-mongers among Muslims? Please see the Traditions in the URL given above. We have no permission to raise our hands against other Muslims. What are we to do?
The fight has to be 'to capture the street' for the peace in Islam. Here is where persons like Dr. Robert Spencer go wrong. Instead of supporting persons like me who show that peace is emphasized in Islam by quoting from my web, he quotes the war-mongers. Giving more popularity to the war-mongers version of Islam - irrespective of whether the intention is to criticize the war-mongers in Islam or to demonize Islam itself - helps the war-mongers. The right approach is to convince the street that 'there is no duty to ensure every non-Muslim becomes a Muslim at the tip of the sword, but by persuation only.' Such an effort would be helped by popularizing the sites like mine that emphasize the peace in Islam. ..
Let the Dialogues.., Universal human Freedom in Religion.
Zeroing in on the dilemma, of a universal Truth from Mohammed: Universal human Freedom.
In the St. Petersburg Declaration, the signatories state:
"We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.
We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.
"We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine;
Before any of us is a member of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must choose for themselves." (italics mine)
Freedom to choose, freedom of conscience, freedom to believe, and freedom to question; freedoms from totalitarianism, and freedom from persecution for what we believe. How is this against the universal values of our innate human freedoms? Why would not all Muslims endorse this declaration? It is a Muslim decleration of freedom, for goodness sake.
Has Mohammed created a world religion that stands against these self-evident truths? Why are the moderate Muslims so silent? Where do we begin dialogue when the only response is silence?
If the moderate Muslims remain silent, then they are committing the gross sin of failing to stand up to tyranny. Some already have called them on it, such as JihadWatch.org's Robert Spencer: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/015663.php
Are these the only voices to be heard, that the silence is self-damning? What part of the struggle between the "free and unfree" don't they understand?
"...to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha’is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens;
and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent."
This is the future of Islam. Why the silence from the 1.2 billion strong silent majority? They should be endorsing this with their full deep voice of the ages! Not for a "political doctrine" of Mohammed, but for a "personal faith" of God.
Let the Dialogues.., Who answers for God in today's religious freedom?
The great leap forward from Zoroaster to Mohammed, to today's religious freedom.
This is a blanket statement, but all religions of today started with ancient Zoroastianism scriptural revelation, and ancient Egyptian ideas of good and evil and the soul, then fed through Judaism into Christianity, and later adopted into Mohammedism. But it was not until modern times, from the Protestant Reformation through the Age of Enlightenment, that religion changed in form from a legalistic politically structured ideology into one of personal faith in God. By the time of the founding of the American nation, Jefferson's and Madison's ideology of personal freedoms under a constitutional republic already incorporated this new thinking, hence why today we have a separation of church and state written into our US Constitution. As have most modern democratic states, the individual is free to believe, and this freedom is protected legally with his or her individual human rights. These were major leaps forward in humanity's religious evolution, what today for us has become religious freedom. We today enjoy a personal faith, a personal relationship with God, and not through the political intermediaries of priests and mullahs who dictate to us what we may or may not believe. That was then, this is now.
This idea will need much more fleshing out, but it is a take off on the earlier post where I asked the Question: Who answers for Mohammed?
Who speaks for Mohammed in Islam?
Bear with me, this is not a criticism, but I do have a valid question for a Muslim here.
Who presumes to speak for Mohammed? If God spoke to Mohammed, and he spoke to his followers, some of whom wrote it down and then compiled it into a holy book of the Quran, then who speaks for God in Mohammed's testimonials in the Quran? Shouldn't God's words go directly to the reader's heart in this case, since God carefully laid out the path of His message through his prophet? Or should the interpreters of the faith then coerce its believers with punishments, threats of punishsments, or death for apostasy and heresy, to make sure God's word is understood as Mohammed dictated it to his followers? Who speaks for Mohammed here? No doubt this is the real question: Who speaks for God here?
If a group of men got together and decided to speak for Mohammed by compiling their collections of his sayings into a holy book, then that should be that, and no more. Any interpretation of the word of God, through Mohammed, then means a group of men have taken upon themselves to speak first for Mohammed, and then for God. That is the ugly truth of it all. And if they then decide that after they had taken this authority for themselves to speak for God that they may now go and punish their own, or war on the infidels, then that group of men had usurped God to act on His behalf, which is an inherent evil.
A true believer reads and understands, and feels in his or her heart. A false believer tells others what to believe. Which is dominant in Mohammed's Islam? False believers cause untold harm to humanity. True consciousness comes from within, not fasle prophets and heretic believers. If God spoke to humanity through a prophet, nothing else need be said or done. All else is in one's heart, directly, and not politicized by false believers.
Who speaks for Mohammed? Nobody. Who speaks for God? Nobody. That was said, period. Now one either reads and accepts or not, as is their free choice.
Free choice, that is a new idea. Not that it did not exist in ancient times of Zoroaster or Moses, but with the scriptures of the Apostles of Jesus, the idea of freedom became institutionalized into our faith with God, that we are each and individually free. What happened in between, from the fall of Rome to the Inquisition, and from the birth of Islam to the end of their 1400 year old religious Jihad wars, is the history we are writing today. The great leap forward will be accomplished by a free humanity when we all, all of us of the planet, are newly conscious of the idea that each and every one of us is a free agent of God. None may take away our divinity as free agents, for only as free human beings are we following the true path of ancient scriptures, to make us better and spiritually enlightened human beings. We of the modern age know that each and every human being has a different path in life, one of discovery of both the self and the wonders of our living universal reality, and that none may take that right to discovery away from us. This is the great debate of the present, and also the source of many of our present conflicts, from toppling Communism's restrictions on freedom of thought to toppling current Islam's restrictions on freedom of belief, not merely for Muslims, but for all humanity. We live in very large times of history.
Let the Dialogues.., Is God Omnibenevolence?
Could you spell out your concept of philosophy in the light of the contents of the above URL? I have not quoted any extract from the URL in the hope that your examination of the URL in full might lead to a better elucidiation of your concept. --Mohideen
From Wiki on the Philosophy of Religion:
Monotheism is the view that only one God exists (as opposed to multiple gods). In Western (Christian) thought, God is traditionally described as a being that possesses at least three necessary properties: omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), and omnibenevolence (supremely good). In other words, God knows everything, has the power to do anything, and is perfectly good.
Mohideen, in answer to your question about what 'philosophy' asks of religious belief, this above might be a key. Is God of necessity "omnibenevolent"? This, at least to me, is a major question at the foundation of most of today's monotheistic beliefs, that God is all good. But this is an assumption, a postulate, without any real evidence upon which to build any question of how good is a Universe of existence that can harbor within itself, for us human beings conscious of this, a reality that exhibits both good and evil. The ancient religious thinkers got around this problem, going back to Zoroaster, with the idea that a priori God represents 'good' while another entity, namely the Devil or Satan, represents the antithesis of this good, what we call evil. How do we know? However, from a philosophical point of view, given that a search for truth must also be verifiable, there is no way to prove this. In fact, God, or the Universe, or an infinity of Mind, may harbor within itself both attributes of good and evil. And if so, then it is up to the individual person, of conscious mind, to select what is good for themselves, or what is evil. What is injurious to oneself and others can then be considered evil. But that may be part of the reality of God as well. Then what is considered good is what God manifests for us from our choices in life that bring about beneficial and desirable results, both for ourselves and others, in that they are not injurious or cause of suffering, but instead are uplifting and joyful for the mind. We, each and everyone of us, knows what that is, since we each either enjoy our life, or suffer in it. Does suffering bring about a good? Sometimes yes, since it stimulates a response to find a way to end suffering. Can someone else feel this for you or anyone else? No, this is intensely personal. You must choose what is a good for you, or an evil, freely of your own volition and awareness. What organized religions, as the ancients handed it down to their progenitors for 'all time', is to define this good and evil for everyone, a kind of template of 'one size fits all'. But this is challenged now, in that some of what they considered good is not, since it causes more injury and suffering than benefit to our lives. The human condition, for those whose awareness allows them to be conscious of their existence and minds, is that the end product of our beliefs, whether originating in our spiritual selves or gained from organized religions, is that we must judge how successful is an idea for our being. Is this a good? Or is this for us an evil? God remains infinitely silent on this issue, since He gave us a mind within which to 'philosophically' decide one from the other. ...
Let the Religious Dialogues Begin, On the 'arrogance' of Religion.
The inherent 'arrogance' of religious power.
I was listening quietly to the discussion at our dear Baha'i friend's house the other night when the talk turned to the 'manifestations of God', which got my attention because in that fundamental idea is the whole Judeo-prophetic-monotheistic idea of the religion of One God. To me this One God is something very real, but to the religions it is not something personal, as it is for me, but a tool of power over the people. So I paid attention and thought to myself... "They mean so well, with a world government based on the good, but they cannot see the inherent weakness of their argument."
Everyone wants good, really deep down inside, at some level, though sometimes confused with self serving good rather than serving good for humankind. The idea of a world government based on the prophetic traditions of One God, going back to Abraham, and the 'laws' given by God to His/Hers manifestations, or teachers of those closest to understanding, is fundamentally a good idea. Why not? Isn't this a desirable thing? Who could argue otherwise? But there is a fatal flaw, one which surprisingly had been ignored for millennia, in this argument. How could one grain of sand on the beach talk as if it understood the whole ocean? How? Because a wave washed over it, and it was now wet with salty water? Did this grain of sand suddenly gain enlightenment of what all the oceans hold, the depths, the warm and cold waters, the sunshine and tempests, all the life in it, the currents carrying protozoa and fishes, the songs of the whales? How could it possibly be a 'spokesgrain' for God? One tiny human being amongst millions on one tiny planet amongst billions or trillions in our galaxy alone, amongst trillions out there; how could one man be the spokesperson for God? And to make it more absurd, that spokesperson then says that his ideas of One God, that infinity of the whole Universe which is beyond comprehension in its very essence of Being, of Love, of Life and ultimately this puny little life of humanity, in one man to become a perfect reflection of God as a 'manifestation' of God is an unbelievable arrogance. How dare any one individual claim such a gross overstatement of himself, that he is a manifestation of God, a projection of God's unknowable essence, or even a reflection like a perfect mirror of God; how could he make such a claim and be believed? I cannot believe it. Matter of fact, the only thing I contributed to the discussion, well attended by about 30 people, was that their manifestations of God had only a very small following while still alive. For example, Jesus only had 12 disciples, with perhaps a few more hangers-on including women, while Mohammed only had about 150 converts; until their religious idea of their 'prophetic' teachings were tabulated by successors, whether Paul's Church or the Caliph's Quran, the numbers of follower were tiny. But once it was politicized into a force of power, a machine to subdue and conquer minds and souls, even by physical force over their bodies, then the numbers of those 'conquered' grew.* Look at the conquered lands of the Americas, now mostly Christian; look at the conquered land of the Arabs, now mostly Muslim, and you can see the after-effect of this power arrogance. The little grain of sand grew into a large body of sand, replicating itself like a large power hungry machine to subdue the minds and souls, the creatures of the One God, into itself. That takes nerve, infinite arrogance, on the part of the teachers, especially if they say that their words are the seal for all time. Who in their right mind could fall for this? They have, for millennia, not really surprisingly.
People are slow to grasp a new idea, this I believe is true. For example, in an oblique way, think how some people can grieve for a lost one immediately, while others will grieve later. I think it true even for animals, such as the brother to our little dog put down last week. He is now, only now, beginning to look for her. He'll smell where she was and pause, or lie down with his nose on her old pillow, or walk to where she used to sleep and stop, like he's trying to remember, and then walk away with a truly sad gait. We humans can grieve instantly, because we understand instantly; while animal understanding is slower, so the grieving may take longer and last longer, a sad sight really. Though the discussion did not go there, there was talk of how animals don't have souls, being of lower intelligence, while humans capable of such great achievements from music to spaceships are obviously endowed with god-like souls. But this too is merely arrogance. Of course animals have souls, but they are slower at it. Grieving is like opening a window into the Love of God, we are temporarily thrown off by the beauty and richness of it all, our chakras open briefly to this infinite Love, and we grieve deeply. But then it closes off again, so our arrogance of the ego once again takes hold, and we ultimately begin to forget. Animals do this too, but slowly, because they are less intelligent and perhaps closer in their little souls to the vastness of that Love, so it lingers. We shut if off pretty quick, because such infinite Love is actually unbearable to us, we are still so little evolved in our human consciousness. So likewise is it for the manifestations of God, that we slowly accept something given of the One God, but not take it as a window into that infinite Love of God, but rather take it over with our egos to think that now we have the key that answers all the mysteries of an unknowable infinite Essence of Being, for all time, and become powerful because of it. That is such an incredible contradiction, though I recognize that it is merely a function of our limitations as conscious beings, because we are not yet able to fully appreciate the richness and beauty that is God, or an infinite Universe of Life. We are simply too slow to understand it, so politicize it instead into a dominant teaching, even with force over others to govern them.
There is the inherent flaw in our arrogance of power. By claiming that we have teachings from the manifestations of God, individuals who went through great pains to get there, whether Jesus or Mohammed or Baha-ullah, by following to the letter what these 'prophets' are supposed to do in their lives to fulfill some ancient Judaic prophecies, which they do gladly and at great expense to themselves with suffering; which in their minds they think they have 'fulfilled' the prophecies and thus making them just and true spokesmen for God. That is nonsense. Why should some ancient prophetic Judaic tradition dictate who can speak for God? Who can speak for God? What grain of sand on the beach can speak for a whole ocean of existence? Nobody. That is pure arrogance of the ego to think so. Where is the humility, the infinite humility before an infinity of God's Love, in such a prophetic tradition? Where is this humility in the politicized grasp for power over the minds and souls of others? Why would a world government built up on such arrogance of power, of saying that one is the spokesperson for God, be any less arrogant than the prophetic tradition template built into itself, from its origin? The monotheistic idea, once it ceases being a personal choice of belief, a personal religion, and becomes instead a politicized power structure of religion, of necessity and instantly self-negates its teachings, because no one grain of sand can claim to know the whole ocean no matter how many other grains of sand say that it does. The whole notion of the Judaic-prophetic traditions of a world government built upon the teachings of a manifestation of God is an unbelievably arrogant religious power of a monopolizing One God. Where this government of a world order for all humanity must fail is that is a personal unknowable and infinitely rich and beautiful essence of Love for each and every human being, and all living things including animals, but it is not made manifest in any power structure made by man. That power structure, religious or otherwise, is not God's but man's. To think such power can somehow give humanity the good because it rules in the name of God, what someone said was the right rule, is merely human egocentrism and has nothing to do with God. In fact, such a world order is inherently oppressive on humanity in that is takes away our freedom to seek God if we must follow some formulations said by someone who claims to be speaking for God. That inherently is a blasphemy against God, no matter how many believe it is their right to power over others in the name of God. The two are inherently contradictory to each other, and false. Any prophet who says he speaks for God is blaspheming God, of necessity.
We the people, each and everyone of us, man or woman or child, or animal, is a projection, a living manifestation of God, no matter how crudely or unconscious we may be; and in that is why Freedom is such a powerful force in our world, when governed by the laws that grant us this freedom. We are inherently free, it is our inalienable right to be free, and no world government that does not recognize our freedom has any legitimacy in God. God is not some arrogant grain of sand of religion, nor a world government based on religion, but the freedom in each and everyone one of our souls and minds. Become conscious of this, and God's 'government' is what rules the world, when Freedom rules. 'One God' is in each and every soul, of each living thing on Earth. And Freedom is the greatest good. ..
Let the Dialogues.., Proof of Religious Freedom.
The PROOF of Religious Freedom.
This had been an issue for this discussion, starting here in the above, where the topic of the 'arrogance' of religious power is brought down, subsequently, to the question of 'separation of church and state' and religious freedom. In asking Mohideen to answer this question, it appears he is either unable to, or he is too uncomfortable with the concepts involved that he instead becomes evasive, and thus avoids answering. I suspect there is a very simple reason why he has failed to answer the question, to choose between 'separation of church and state' and 'government by religion'. In fact, this is a simple 'yes or no' question: Do you believe in separation of church and state. But he could not answer this. Why? Because he is not free to answer it.
If the same question is posed to anyone else, myself, Naive, Ed, others on this board, we can answer it as we will.
Either way, whether or not we believe in 'separation of church and state' is more an academic question for us, since we know that our legal system will protect our religious freedoms, to believe as we will in our personal beliefs. So for us, if I may extrapolate, to answer in the hypothetical that we do not believe in separation but rather in religious government; it would be understood that we believe in the religious government's by-laws of conduct, such as may be experienced in any private organization where there are by-laws, but not that the government would be ruled by religious by-laws, since they are secondary, but by the legal constitutional laws that protect our right to believe as we will. That is because we have religious freedom, so to answer to whether or not we believe in separation of church and state is an easy thing. We usually say 'yes', but do not have to, because we already have religious freedom to believe as we will. For us, with religious freedom, we are free to believe as we wish personally, because religion is personal, protected by our constitutional laws.
However, in Mohideen's case, there is no such freedom. He cannot answer that he believes in a separation of church and state without violating not the 'by-laws' of his religious beliefs, but the actual laws themselves. Because his religious belief system is 'politicized' it must apply not only to his personal beliefs, but even to his conduct, which includes legal conduct. Thus, Mohideen is not free to answer this question, because if he answered 'yes' that he believed in a separation of church and state, he would be violating the politicized aspects of his faith that says the religious and governmental affairs must be combined. So Mohideen's faith is not a personal faith, which we who enjoy religious freedom have, but a politicized faith, which dictates to him what he may say or do, or even think. So the two 'religions' in this respect, between those who have a personal faith and those who have a politicized faith, are of necessity unequal. And therefore, Mohideen cannot answer a simple question that for the rest of us poses no problem. We are free, in our religious beliefs, while he is not.
So a personal religion, such as enjoyed by those who are free is one thing; while a politicized religion, such as practiced and feared by those who are unfree is something altogether different. This is a distinction those who are unfree cannot, or dare not make, because it then forces them to choose between freedom and slavery. And because they are unfree, they cannot make this choice. Slaves are not allowed to choose. So the test for whether or not one has religious freedom is most simple, reduced to its basic elemental substance. Ask this question: Do you believe in the separation of church and state? How they answer will be your proof, of whether or not they are free in their religion, or slave. A free person will answer as they will, while the religious unfree cannot answer that in the affirmative, ever. ...
Let the Dialogues..., Principles of Christian Values.
Opus Rex - the Love of God, and Humanity.
On the First Principles of our Christian Values.
A definition for 'first principles' is:
"In philosophy, first principles are a set of basic, foundational propositions or assumptions that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption."
We start here, with basic propositions or assumptions that cannot be deduced from any other, whether moral values or secularist humanist values; we must start here, on the first principles of our Christian values. Let us list some First Principles common to our understanding, as true a priori:
First Principles: Existence.
• Each one of us is alive in a body with a mind.
• The universe exists in its own right, we have the mental ability to experience it in body and mind.
• We, each one of us, is endowed with reason and sensibility to this existence, in every moment of our experience.
• The world, our existence in it, is final arbiter of either truth or error, in our experience of what is truth.
• Each human being has a right to exist in this world.
Now, let us refer to what we had come to understand from our common experience in existence. It is to treat commonly accepted abstractions as real and true, in effect, ideology. We will call these Second Principles.
Second Principles: Our Beliefs.
• What we have come to understand as true, we believe as true, accepted individually.
• Rules of fairness and justice, as accepted by common understanding, are universal for us.
• Each human being is bound by these rules within common society, equally and justly, and has a right to them.
• Our beliefs (as per posts above) are accountability and reciprocity, innocent until proven guilty, and equality before the law.
• Our inalienable right to reason, to understand, equally for all human beings, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic culture, is free of dogma.
• Freedom in humility, before all existence, is our right to seek the truth, in ourselves and others (as shown above), and in all things.
From these Second Principles then result their application within human societies, as they apply to each individual. These will be called Third Principles, what we in our common experience had come to expect as truisms for society.
Third Principles: Our Social Reality.
• No human being may own another, man, woman, or child.
• Each human being is deserving of equal respect, provided the rule of reciprocity holds each person equally accountable, as our inalienable right to freedom.
• Agreements between human beings are validated by laws of contract, when acceptable socially, and protected from coercions by law, when legal.
• Justice is validated by free human beings on other free human beings, through dialogue and understanding, as an agreed upon legal democratic right to choose our government and abide by its laws.
• We have a right to love one another, or God, and not be violated in this right to love, by neither laws or coercions, nor fears and threats, where every human being is deserving of love, and free to love another (regardless of gender).
• Freedom of belief, freedom of being, freedom of expression, freedom to love, is what makes our societies successful and prosperous, while coercions of these leaves them base, mean and violent, and impoverished.
• Freedom to give with love for another is a highest good, for it brings God's love into our lives, and all society rejoices with goodwill, and foregiveness.
These three Principles are recognizable in our Christian Values, but not exclusive to them, for they also exist universally for all humanity equally. The proof of these principles is in the joy and happiness of the people, where their inner sense of worth is raised up. Each human being, the Who we are, is then treated with respect, and kindness, and with truthfulness towards one another. There is no greater good, than to spread goodwill and joy to others, as well as for ourselves. This is what life is all about. When we spread our love, as free and loving human beings, we raise up the other, not to be abased by their faults, but to lead them into a higher path of discovery, of Who it is they are. That is love from a higher source, which when it enters into the social and personal reality of our world, brings into it something of a higher value, a higher universal value, where each person touched by it is enhanced as a human being. When this happens, society as a whole shows the benefits, for a more beautiful world results. These are our modern humanist values.
These principles in their order become what it is we believe and do. How we then structure our world, based upon our beliefs, is what results in our reality. It shows up in our arts and literature, whether they enlighten and uplift, or demean and confuse. The proofs of our success, besides a harmonious social existence, is mostly evident in how we create our arts. What does our music sound like, our buildings and monuments, our painting and sculptures, our dance? What are they telling us about ourselves? Look around and what do you see? Is our world clean and beautiful, or is it mean and shabby? Cruelties towards one another have no place in the Love of God towards one another. We must believe this. No matter where, or our skin color, or gender, we are all beautiful. This is how we project into our reality Who we are.
The Opus Rex is our struggle, our song to God, how we project our being in relation to the being of all existence. We are alive, each and every one of us, enabled with a mind and soul to reach out towards that which has given us life. How is that difficult? It is not difficult at all, but totally natural for us. To love another human being, with freedom and respect for them, and without fear, is the highest expression we can offer to our lives on Earth. If we do that, in our beliefs inwardly and outwardly, in the social laws that respect the right to be Who we are, our inalienable rights to freedom, and done with humility, we cannot help but make the world better. When we love, this is Who we are. There is no more beautiful song to God than that, to love one another. And that is from our Christian Values as offered to us by Jesus Christ. We must not forget, for we are being severely tried once more, because there will always be those who will try to steal this from us. Do not empower them, do not let them. The test will pass, for God, when we show that we can love, without fear, because this is Who we are. And that we love and respect all Life.
These three basic principles mentioned here are already embodied, though unconsciously so, in the work titled "Habeas Mentem", which I wrote more than two decades ago. At the time, I merely wrote down what I felt levered into my mind, almost involuntarily, or I would not rest. I must admit I did not really understand it, then, though it is making more sense now.
Is there a Devil? No! There is only God's Love and nothing else. What we do to ourselves and each other is either with that love, or without it. Only in our actions towards others can we do ill to them. So stop doing it! Be humble before that great Love of all Existence, and be true to it. That is all what this is all about! When we love one another, we are of necessity doing God's Will. ...
Human Reason Has Limits?!?, Can (Religious) Dogma be Objective?
Can 'dogma' ever be rationally objective, or is it of necessity subjective, even if reasonable?
I ask this question in part to respond to Naive's post on the Christian Values thread, where he says: "Should we go so far as to ban cultural transmission of dogmatic ideas, or perhaps even, set up a mandated ethical system that in effect replaces dogma by out competing it in the educational sphere?" Perhaps this is indeed topic for a new thread. But let me answer it this way, here on the Human Reason discussion, if I may, since it is not specifically a Christian problem, but one that would include all Dogma, even scientific 'dogmas'.
Remember that when dogma is presented as a 'first principle', that it is irreducible and beyond doubt, such as the First Principles presented in Opus Rex, then no amount of argument can sway the outcome, since such dogma is then accepted a priori as true. First principles, by their very nature, are beyond question, but merely accepted as true, which may also be called 'postulates'. A postulate does not have to be self evident, but it is the foundation on which all other reasonable logic follows, whether in mathematics or science, or religious dogma. So when the definition for dogma is any idea or statement "thought to be authoritative and not to be disputed or doubted", then there is no other argument that can be made, whether or not it is true, since it must be accepted as 'true' right at the start. But this poses a philosophical problem: is this 'truth' objective?
If the basis for all dogma is the spoken word, then it of necessity falls into the category of subjective principles. Whether formally revealed by a prophet, or virtually implied by text, it nevertheless comes from a person, a subjective idea, rather than objectively from a known and tested reality. So right from the start, at its very foundation, dogma is already subjective, since the author of such dogma is a person. What follows then, built up logically upon this subjective foundation is entirely in the domain of what was said, without the necessity for objective proofs founded upon reality. For example, in the Catholic Encyclopedia, it says:
As a dogma is a revealed truth, the intellectual character and objective reality of dogma depend on the intellectual character and objective truth of Divine revelation. ... Are dogmas considered merely as truths revealed by God, real objective truths addressed to the human mind? Are we bound to believe them with the mind?
The way this is worded is actually backwards, since it 'assumes' a priori that dogma is based on "truths revealed by God", without considering the source of such 'truths', which is the person who spoke them. So starting from the negation of reality, but insisting that God is the author, already the dogma's objectivity is thrown into doubt. Why should we believe this statement? When did God say it, without the intervention of a human mouth, or mind, saying it? It is simply not true, since God remains silent, except in how reality dictates to us what it is, and no such dogma was ever pronounced independent of the speaker. This makes it subjective of necessity, rather than objective in any manner or form.
The same source then goes on to say, again in a negative style:
Rationalists deny the existence of Divine supernatural revelation, and consequently of religious dogmas.
According to other writers, God has addressed no revelation to the human mind. Revelation, they say, began as a consciousness of right and wrong -- and the evolution or development of revelation was but the progressive development of the religious sense until it reached its highest level, thus far, in the modern liberal and democratic State. Then, according to these writers, the dogmas of faith, considered as dogmas, have no meaning for the mind, we need not believe them mentally; we may reject them -- it is enough if we employ them as guides for our actions.
However, this is putting the cart before the horse! These quotes come under the heading "Objective Characteristics of Dogmatic Truths", while at the same time claiming that 'dogmatic truths' presented by their authors are somehow different from what they claim in the negative, that for (negative) Rationalists "the dogmas of faith, considered as dogmas, have no meaning for the mind", meaning that the opposite is implied, that they 'have meaning in the mind'. This is rather contorted logic, since it is implying that to fail to appreciate the divine authorship of dogma means that any other authorship, such as implied by the Rationalists, is then of equal value, and therefore objective, even the cause for later modern reforms that led to liberal and democratic States. But this is not true! In fact, it was the rejection of dogma as a first principle, that it is not objective, that led to modern reforms. The way this was presented, in the negative, was to mislead reason into accepting that somehow objective truths and dogmatic ideas are of equal worth. They are not, since dogma has no real foundation except what was spoken by somebody who claims prophethood, or the resulting texts by his followers, which makes it of necessity a subjective idea. That same paragraph then goes on to say:
"Over against this doctrine the Church teaches that God has made a revelation to the human mind. There are, no doubt, relative Divine attributes, and some of the dogmas of faith may be expressed under the symbolism of action, but they also convey to the human mind a meaning distinct from action. The fatherhood of God may imply that we should act towards Him as children towards a father -- but it also conveys to the mind definite analogical conceptions of our God and Creator. And there are truths, such as the Trinity, the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension, etc. which are absolute objective facts, and which could be believed even if their practical consequences were ignored or were deemed of little value. The dogmas of the Church, such as the existence of God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection of Christ, the sacraments, a future judgment, etc. have an objective reality and are facts as really and truly as it a fact that Augustus was Emperor of the Romans, and that George Washington was first President of the United States."
This is absurd. Real facts, whether historical figures who actually existed, like George Washington, or real evidence observed empirically, have no comparison to what Church dogma says. Objective reality is not the same as subjective inspired ideas. Whether or not some authority claims they are dogma is irrelevant, since they are merely subjective ideas.
That is the fundamental point here: Objectivity demands real proofs, while subjective ideas are personally chosen as 'true', whether or not there is proof. If Dogma wants to present itself as objective truth, then it must present with it the proof that it is so; while if any person wants to claim that their dogma is truth, they may do so only at the subjective level, that they personally accept it as true, but not as an objective reality. If then we wish to take our subjective ideas and roll them backwards towards real events, whether through Biblical scholarship of the history of those events, or through sociological studies that bring evidence that dogmatic ideology bears the expected fruits as predicted, or through scientific observations that validate the mathematical postulates on which they are based; that is a whole different story, because then at least there is some effort to 'prove' that the ideas are right. But if Dogma is to be accepted prima facie as Truth, there is a problem, because it can only be true for the person believing in it, and not objectively true from a real point of view. This is why as a 'personal faith' no dogma can be contested, if the person believing it truly believes it. But as a 'politicized faith' the test of objectivity is paramount, totally necessary, since now it gives the power of one person, or group, to exercise power over another person, or group. And if this test of objectivity, or reality, is not met, then there is no rational reason for anyone to take precedence over any one else's faith, or life, which would make them superior to them. We are all equals before reality, and only in our minds may we entertain whatever beliefs we wish; but to then act on those beliefs as if they applied to another breaks that equality, of necessity, and it becomes a coercion to the other. And that, dogma or not, cannot be allowed, ever. Faith can only be personal, and never political.
So getting back to Naive's original question: "Should we go so far as to ban cultural transmission of dogmatic ideas, or perhaps even, set up a mandated ethical system that in effect replaces dogma by out competing it in the educational sphere?" From a rational, reasonable point of view, though authored by a person, who is subjective of necessity, the answer to this must be that dogmatic ideas cannot be allowed to compete on the same level as objective ideas, whether in education or government. Dogma is of necessity a subjective idea, one accepted by the believer, but it can never be transplanted onto another human being. To do so is then to force that other person to believe as we do, as if it were an objective belief, which of necessity means us forcing our own personal 'fiction' on another, and thus 'politicizing' it. In fact, all beliefs are always, of necessity, subjective, as are all dogmas, and personal. To be otherwise, if religious dogma is truly from God, would mean that God Himself would have to come down and tell us. That never happened, and with the way the universe is structured, it will not happen. All authorship of Dogma is human, and therefore subjective. That is the limit of our human reason, that we can believe as we will, but we cannot transpose that belief on another, without being unreasonable, and coercive. Religious dogma is always personal, period, or else it becomes redux ad absurdum. ...
What these lengthy and intense debates showed is that religion has gone through change, though not universally, and the trend of this change is towards greater freedom of belief, towards a private faith rather than a politicized faith. To follow up, when we reopen the Forums, we may wish to explore more in the direction of 'Ethics' as opposed to Dogma, for future human spiritual developments. The list above, long as it is, is nevertheless far from all inclusive, so readers may wish to mine deeper into each page of discussion, to get the full peripheral view of what had been said.
To be continued...
|Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 10:55 pm: |
Some Questions on Cosmology and Modern Physics.
These pages explored seminal ideas of how our picture of cosmology and the universe fits together. The questions were more philosophical in nature, a few professional scientists, but mostly contributors inquiring from non scientific professions. The big questions focussed on the expanding universe, dark energy and dark matter, the Big Bang Theory, and the intrinsic nature of gravity, primary on whether or not Newton's G is a universal constant. Could Modern Physics be wrong? The math used is mainly algebraic. The other main interest was in Einstein's Relativity, whether it could be taken beyond merely the constraints of using light, for line of sight observations, which renders it valid as an 'observational science' but not necessarily how the universe works, where time is a mathematical artifact. This further led to question on the Hubble Constant, as to whether the observed line of sight 'expansion of space' is not merely a relativistic artifact, which only appears Doppler, but a gravitational phenomenon of higher deep space gravity; where G is more MONDian, and much greater than observed from Earth, hence the imagined 'dark matter', or observed space expansion 'dark energy'. The Pioneers Anomaly is shown to approximate the results of the Axiomatic Equation, where G grows at the constant rate of 1G per 1 AU.
- 1 'Bread Crumbs' Trail, A Chronological Anthology of posts in Physics and Astrophysics.
- 2 VARIABLE G?, on how the Pioneer Anomaly follows the Equivalence Principle for a variable Newton's G, per Axiomatic Equation. (may need Netscape Navigator to view equations with Greek symbols, l=lambda)
- 3 Axiomatic Equation, how it was derived.
- 4 E = 9E16 J, Hypothetical Mass per variable G, as inferred from Pioneer 10 & 11.
- 5 Outta this world Physics, Einstein et al, a discussion.
- 6 Deep Space Gravity, MOND, may be 5 or 6 orders of magnitude greater. (independent of Axiomatic Eq derived)
- 7 Cut-off frequency for Gravity?, (June 3, 2004 - 12:54 am) 'photoelectric' lambda in Deep space.
- 8 Deep Space Gravity? (Mar.30, 2005) ~G_ds=1.3E-6 N, at 'cut-off' wavelength?
- 9 Deep Space Gravity Redshift, What is deep-space G to redshift at Hubble constant? ~G=0.347E-6 N. (independent of Axiomatic Equation)
- 10 Boltzmann constant times CMB yields deep space ~G=3.389E-6 N, ball-park.
- 11 Some thoughts on Variable G (see post script below)
- 12 Earth's inner core may have a micro-black hole? See follow up notes 1-7 on page, and its future implications for physics.
- 13 Deep Space Science what are we really seeing 'out there'?
- 14 The Modern Universe in G -flat modern cosmology what it is vs. what is could be, future science.
- 15 Countdown to Strangeness, Is it not a strange coincidence that all these improbable factors of how works universal gravity come together, that gravity G may be variable?
- 16 State of the 'Gravity-G' message - work in progress...
[Note numbers 6-10 all point to Newton's G 'constant' being five orders of magnitude greater in deep space than Earth's value, two of which, #6 & 9, are independent of those derived using the Axiomatic Equation. Proof should be forthcoming only when G is measured empirically outside Earth's known region. We're still just gathering evidence at this point.]
Post Script - on deep space gravity having Newton's G 6 orders of magnitude higher than in our solar system - some thoughts on the immense implications.
This is a follow up note on the earlier post, http://www.humancafe.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?tpc=88&post=3497#POST3497 , which shows how Milgrom's Mond a_0 value is 6 orders of magnitude greater at the galaxy edge than within our solar system. The post here above shows a similarity, where deep space gravity calculated as 'gravitational redshift' of cosmic light reaching Earth likewise comes up with a similar order of magnitude. What can this mean?
The implications of this are actually immense. First of all, the fact that Newton's gravity as modified by Einstein's General Relativity should NOT be a universal constant is already damaging to much of current astrophysical theory, both in deep space and for our solar system. Second, the fact that the Pioneer Anomaly approximates the Hubble constant is telling us something more fundamental about how we figured out cosmic light redshift using GR as a model for Doppler space expansion. Einstein's GR may have skewed our thinking that 'space-time' is curved to create a gravitational effect. Or as Wiki on Gravitomagnetism says: "This approximate reformulation of gravitation as described by general relativity makes a "fictitious force" appear in a frame of reference different from a moving, gravitating body." Such a 'fictitious' force is made present by the curvature of space-time into the accelerative effect we know as gravity. But this may be a false model, or at best a parallel model, of what is actually happening in the presence of atomic mass, and instead it may be inherent in the atom's structure (as postulated by the Axiomatic Equation) that the gravity felt is a 'remainder' force of the interaction of electromagnetic (hot) energy and the atom's strong force coupled nucleus; the remainder is a very weak force of gravity; so that farther from such a hot energy, the force remainder is greater. On Earth, close to our hot star, this remainder is exceptionally weak, Newton's G = 6.67E-11, while in deep space it may be a 'constant' about 5-6 orders of magnitude higher. This was also figured out at approximately the same using the 'cut off' wavelength of about 400 nm, similar to photoelectric effect - see: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/70/108.html (June 3, 2004) for how it was worked out at E = 1*c, dimensions adjusted. So something coincidental is happening here, that using three separate methods of examining gravity far from the Sun's hot energy, where energy wavelength is very low, where gravitational redshift for light is very high, and where Milgrom's Modified Newton Dynamics (MOND) shows up at the same proportion, that perhaps Einstein's modeling of a 'fictitious force' due to tension between curvature of space-time and matter is not a correct evaluation.
The fact that Hubble's constant for 'expanding' space shows up at a level that fits the model of Relativity is another coincidence, but one that might have thrown us off the track about why distant cosmic light redshifts. it may not be due to space expansion, but merely an artifact of how using light to measure all distances, limited by light velocity c, gives us readings that approximate Einstein's relativistic modifier, or Lorentz 'relativistic' equation, where the square root (1-v^2/c^2) to adjust for the light speed c limitation gives an 'observational' reading, but not an actual reading of what is being observed only. Light will redshift (or blueshift) observationally in a relativistic manner, but it is not indicative necessarily of Doppler motion, but can be gravitational in nature. If so, the Hubble constant is a 'gravitational' artifact of light passing through the very great distances of space where gravity is 6 orders of magnitude greater than on Earth, and at some point it essentially 'disappears' observationally with visible light, viz. at about 13.7 billion light years. So the coincidence gives us a reading that approximates Hubble and the extrapolations of GR into a Big Bang origin, the BBT, but it does not have to mean that. If light redshifts naturally through the very great gravity of deep space, then Newton's assumption, and Einstein's collaboration, of a universally constant gravity G becomes a monumental error. All models that then come of this error, including BBT, are simply a mistake in our thinking, and it does not reflect upon what is really happening far out there in intergalactic space.
On a closer home front, our solar system, this effect is then much less pronounced than in deep space, but it does seem to show up very weakly in the Pioneer Anomaly. A variable G for gravity inside our solar system may in fact account for this anomalous acceleration towards the Sun, where the Pioneer 10 and 11, both crafts on exit paths out of our solar system in opposite directions are both experiencing nearly identical effects, both slowing at about 5000 miles per year from their expected Newtonian paths. How so? If gravitational-inertial mass, per Equivalence, is growing at a steady rate away from the Sun, per the paper at about 1G per 1AU (still a very weak gravity even at Pluto's 40AU), then this higher gravitational-inertial mass is being pulled towards the Sun at the same increasing steady rate. By the time it reaches 6 orders of magnitude AU, it flattens out to what is G throughout most of intergalactic space, or what is evident at the galaxy edge, into what then redshifts light gravitationally into the Hubble constant. These are all interrelated, but by modeling them with Einstein's GR, we got a false, but workable, reading of what is actually going on. Of course, the BBT is then patently false, if so. And if this is true, then the Axiomatic Equation showing how atomic mass is affected by electromagnetic energy, where less energy means a 'less fully filled' atom, one less filled with EM but exhibiting more of G, then it all begins to make sense, that gravity becomes stronger per atom the farther away we are from a hot energy source. Close to a hot EM source, the G is very low, but in the cold of deep space, it is very high. This whole event takes place at about the Hubble constant, so an illusion was formed when that constant was interpreted as Doppler expansion of space. No such expansion is needed, neither is 'dark matter' or 'dark energy', both as artifacts of this illusionary error in GR's interpretation of what is gravity. It is not a universal constant, but a variable contingent upon the de Broglie-Planck Quantum equation, E = hf, matched with the J.J. Thomson-De Pretto-Einstein equation, E = mc^2, as shown in the Axiomatic Equation first postulated here. And if so, the ramifications are immense.
How did this happen? When Einstein used the Lorentzian equation for his Special Relativity, he did something that was a mistake. Surprisingly, this mistake was called but not taken seriously, and virtually ignored when the Hubble constant was found: what is observed from one reference frame cannot be applied to what is happening in another reference frame. In effect, there IS a preference (the observer's), and his first postulate in SR, that there are no preferential reference frames, is false. There lies the error, and one hundred years later we are discovering, first with the Pioneer Anomaly and later with perhaps other observational anomalies, such as where are the comet far out in the solar system, or why the gas giants have their very large atmospheres, are all telling us something. We did not understand gravity well enough. So in the next hundred years, that is what we need to do. Throw out GR and establish a real gravity theory, or RG, in its place. I suspect this will happen, perhaps soon. Once we understand that gravity is EM related, then by manipulating electromagnetic energy in the ways it affects atomic mass gravity, we will be on a new physics path where gravity will be used as a force. And if so, the implications for this are immense.
Future discussions may focus more on incoming evidence from deep space observations, to either validate or invalidate the hypothesis of a variable G in the universe, as opposed to a 'universal constant' Newton's G. A test for G beyond Earth's known 1G would falsifiably test the hypothesis, as had been presented to date. The above discussions are far from conclusive, so the search for the real science continues. We are mere observers from a small planet, where perhaps the universe is 'homogenous and isoptropic' very differently from how it is here... The real prize is that if gravity and electromagnetic energy are inversely proportional, gravity may be a manipulated force. And if so, then a whole new energy source, one that is continuously accelerative, may be open to us, as well as 'spooky action' at a distance for instant communications. But this is all still in the future, if the Axiomatic Equation is right.
...To be continued... as more data comes in from space exploration and astronomical observations... Below is how the idea of a 'variable G' came together, in descending chronological order.
In Principia Gravitas
Newton wrote in his third edition of his Pincipia Mathematica --"hypotheses non fingo":
It is in the same spirit that I present here ideas that have led up to the concept of a variable G, as opposed to a universal constant Newton's G, that the universe may be 'homogenous and isotropic' at a much higher value of G than the one measured on Earth, 1G at 1 AU. Here is the progression of ideas that led to this conclusion, that we must test for Newton's G, the ratio of attraction between masses, away from Earth's orbit at 1 AU.
I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.
Here are some sample quotes, with links for further reading, from the development of this Principia Gravatica over a period of years:
February 01, 2008: Exactly why kg must be adjusted for G
"Anyway, what kg would we use on Titan for that bucket of ice and snow, if it acts at 10 G 'as if' it were a bucket of rock and sand?"
The answer is straighforward, as your illustration will show. In yours above:
Ok so here's an example. The equation to use is M = rv2 / G where r is the orbital radius of a moon and v is the orbital velocity of that moon (which you can figure out by knowing it’s orbital period and radius). So knowing that Titan has an orbital radius of about 1.22 x 109 and has an orbital velocity of about 5580 m/s and knowing G is 6.67 x 10-11 using Newton then you can plug in the values and figure out Saturn’s mass which is M.
M = 1.22 x 109 x 3.11 x 107 / 6.67 x 10-11 = 5.70 x 1026kg
Ok so now you have your example so how would this work with your hypothesis?
In the original calculations for variable G affecting variable mass, I arrived at Saturn's at 9.5 AU (see #2.6 in paper) as having G=~68.5E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2. This is roughly ~10.27X Earth's G=6.67E-11, so let's call it 10 G for brevity. So on Titan, as per your example, where velocity and orbital radius are known, the M for Saturn works out as known, M_saturn = 5.69E+26 kg. This is very close to the Saturn fact sheet's M=568.46E+24 kg, or ~M=5.685E+26 kg. So what happens if G is 10.27X at Saturn's orbit versus Earth's orbit? Here are the numbers, and why that question I asked you is so important, because it is more than anecdotal.
M = rv^2/G, so that at Saturn's (and Titan's) 10X G' we have M = (1.22E+9*3.11E+7)/ 68.5E-11, which works out to be: M'= 5.54E+25 kg. But is this not an order of magnitude lower than the known mass? Yes, of course it is, when using Earth's kg. So you must use Saturn's kg', which is in this case x10.27 Earth's kg in order to arrive at the correct mass. Multiply 5.54E+25 by 10.27, and you get M=5.69E+26 kg., as a 'local kg' adjusted mass within a 10X G orbit or Saturn and its moons.
What does this mean? It means just as the above 'question' suggests, and as anecdotal evidence from Huygens landing on Titan suggests: that ice and snow on Earth acts 'as if' it is made of sand and rock on Titan. (I don't have reference handy, but scientists were 'puzzled' to find what appeared as granular ice on Titan act upon impact as if it were sand and rock.) This is naturally puzzling in a flat-G universe, but it makes great sense in a variable G universe. The calculations we arrived at using Earth's derived kg and a flat-G for mass of distant bodies works out fine, but only in Earth's derived kg; when measured in local kg' based upon equivalent G, the results must be then refigured in local terms to arrive at same mass for same body.
So taking a bucket of ice and snow from Earth to Titan will make it act 'as if' (at 10X G equivalence) its mass is ten times, more like sand and rock, but it is not ten times when figured in Titan's equivalence kg', since it cannot be a different mass... it's the same mass! And that means only one thing is possible here: Titan's 'kilogram' equivalence at 10 G is 1/10th of Earth's, which means on Titan it is 10X times Earth's kg. And that further means, of necessity, that if you take a 1 Titan-kg bucket of 'sand and rock' from Titan's region, where it appears 'as if' it is granular ice, when it comes back into Earth's 1G region, it is once again a bucket of ice and snow, which in Earth's 1/10th G equivalence, it is once again 1 kilogram, but only in Earth-kg. It's the same mass.
-Please note an updated version of this problem at "Anisotropic kg/kg mass" post (Mar. 2, 2008), where the Axiomatic Equ. is re-written: E' = hc/ (l)(proton m) = [1(kg'/kg) - (g')pi^2] c^2
April 06, 2007: Mining 'deep space' gravity
(from a prior post at - scroll to bottom of page): http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/70/108.html
What it shows is how deep space gravity G must be about 5 or 6 orders of magnitude greater than Earth's known G. Here's is the reprint of the original text (see original for additional links) to review this very interesting phenomenon, also pointing towards why the Pioneers are slowing in the outer solar system:
(Please note this below was derived from the Pound-Rebka Harvard experiment, showing how light redshifts gravitationally.)
By Ivan A. on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 06:10 pm:
LIGHT REDSHIFT DISTANCE TRAVELED AT 1 Z (in intergalactic medium), with implications for deep space gravity.
Question: What is the mass of the deep space "vacuum" at the distance light traveled to redshift 1z; and what is its effective deep space G?
From Answers.com it says one light-year is approximately D_ly = ~9.46E+15 meters. Though the spacevacuum is not entirely empty, let's assume light travels at c = 3E+8 m/s. How far would this light have to have traveled before it redshifted to 1 z? We know 1 + z = ~1 + (v/c) in non-relativistic terms (for v << c).
(1) Question of distance: If 1 z (where light is at 1% of lightspeed) is approximately 129.2 million light-years(*), then what is the distance traveled to reach delta 1 z? Can we multiply 129.2E+6 light years by the distance of one light-year? If so, then the distance is:
129.2E+6 l.y. * 9.46E+15 meters = 1222.2E+21 meters, or D_1z = 1.222E+24 meters.
This is quite a range of distance for light to travel in space to redshift 1 z. I do not know for sure if this is right or not (not sure how correct EvC Forum number is, and hard to find elsewhere), but it may be a useful number to figure something out, where light traveled 1.222E+24 meters at delta 1 z, where light has redshifted to only one percent of lightspeed c. If this is to be measured in AUs, where 1 AU = 1.5E+11 m, dividing gives us a distance for 1z of ~8.15E+12 AU, which is a lot! To put it into billions, it's roughtly 8,000 billion AUs, or 8,000 giga AUs, get redshift z = 1.
(2) Next question, number of atoms: How much space dust and gas, let's say primarily hydrogen, is there per one cubic meter stretched over that distance of D_1z = 1.222E+24 meters? Let's say that it is the conventional one atom per cubic centimeter, of which 99% is gas (of which 92% is hydrogen gas), and convert this to 100 atoms per meter. Now that meter distance for 1 z is 1.222E+24 m long, so the total volume of that long meter is 1.222E+26 atoms of (mostly) hydrogen per the distance of light traveling delta 1 z. Okay, so what does it mean?
(3) Question, mass of deep space atoms: If we have a reading on Earth (in Earth's 1 G gravity) of light "gravitational redshift" as D l/l = gh/c^2 = 1.136E-16 per kg (2.5E-15 divided by 22 meters)**, what would this same "gravitational redshift" be for space, where the volume density of the distance of 1 z is approximately 1.222E+26 hydrogen atoms?
We know hydrogen mass is m_h = 1.67E-27 kg, so multiply this by the interstellar volume of hydrogen, and you get the total mass per 1 z:
1.67E-27 kg * 1.222E+26 * = 2.04E-1 kg, which multiplied by gravitational-lightshift z, 1.136E-16 kg^-1 is:
2.04E-1 kg * 1.136E-16 kg^-1 = 2.318E-17
and we know gravity's G is 6.67E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2. Now dividing, the interstellar volume of hydrogen mass times z, by the known G, and what do you get?
2.318E-17 / (6.67E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2) = 0.347E-6 m^3 kg^-1 s^2. (This is the G for the gross mass of that one cubic centimeter of interstellar medium, over distance of 1 z)
G-deep space, is the "gravitational G" for hydrogen gas over the distance of 1z. In effect, this is the amount of gravitational G needed to make light redshift delta 1 z.
The answer is: G-deep space = 0.347E-6 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2
Note: I had previously separately figured out a "cut-off" gravity in deep space as about 1.3E-6 N.., but this above is the new instellar G to accommodate this cosmic redshift 1 z. (The prior was figured out, where G is about 1.3E-6 N.., which coincided with with "cut-off" wavelength of light, l = ~3.97E-7 m (orange light) as the photo-electric effect for sodium metal. These calculations above, if they are right, seem to fall pretty close in line, where the original, with less than one order of magnitude difference: 0.347E-6 N... vs. 1.3E-6 N., where the difference may be accounted for other factors in space. (See: Axiomatic Equation (above on this thread), posts June 19, 2005; Mar. 30, 2005; and June 3, 2004, for how derived originally.) There may be additional e.m. radiant energy in space to account for the difference, but don't know this.
(5) Taking this one step further, the "interstellar hydrogen" mass (per equivalence), is 1z_M = (1.67E-27 kg) * (0.347E-6 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2) = ~0.58E-33 m^3 s^-2, and divided by Earth's G (to convert back to Earth based units): (0.58E-33 m^3 s^-2) / (6.67E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2) = 0.087E-22 kg, or interstellar m_h = 0.87E-21 kg, which is the interstellar mass equivalent, approximately, for hydrogen in interstellar space (over five orders of magnitude greater than here on Earth). No wonder hydrogen gas clouds, when there is enough volume, fuse together under great pressure to ignite stars!
These are merely rough estimates, but it gives us the idea of how much gravity G is needed in deep space to redshift light to z = 1, and what the hydrogen mass is, per equivalence, for all that interstellar medium, which makes up 99.99% of our universal space "vacuum". If it is found to be so with future observations, or close to it, then Doppler "expansion of space" in our universe becomes irrelevant, if light redshifts naturally due to a very high level of gravity per mass of the intergalactic gases of space. Is this "dark matter"?
(*) [Note: this distance in light-years was derived from EvC Forum, where it says "a delta z (red shift) of about 0.024% (72 km/s or 3.1 million light years) that has been confirmed time and time again..", which if multiplied by the inverse of 0.024 (41.666) we get 129.2 million light years. I thus presume that if I multiply this distance of 129.2 million years by 100 x100 (reciprocal of 1% for z?), I should get the limits of the universe where light "greys out", which should be at about 12.9 billions years, hence the "estimated" beginning, or Big Bang's birthdate? If so, then the number given by VeC is more or less correct. See Wiki's Age of the Universe.]
(**) As derived from Gravitational Redshift, from Wiki.
THE EQUATIONS FOR DEEP SPACE GRAVITY AND MASS:
1) Equation for G value in deep intergalactic space:
[(delta z)* (1z_D * Nh* Mp)] / G-earth = G-space
[(1.136E-16 kg^-1) * (2.04E-1 kg) * (1.67E-27 kg)/ (6.67E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2) = 0.347E-6 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2
In words: "Distance light travels in 1z, times number of atoms (per cubic centimeter) in one linear meter of space, times proton mass on Earth, times redshift on Earth for one meter, all divided by Earth's G, equals gravity G for deep space."
[Note (this is new): I say atoms per meter and "per kilogram" because we are converting distance meters into kilograms equivalent of space-mass per meter, as it applies to gravitational lightshift per meter. So per a linear meter of mass, the gravitational lightshift z is also per the kilograms in that linear meter. If we multiply this linear meter cum kilograms by the basic gravitational lightshift measured (in Earth's 1 G), per meter, we get: delta G-z = 1.136E-16 kg^-1.]
2) Equation for deep intergalactic space Mass of hydrogen molecules:
(h mass * G-space)/ G-earth = proton Mass-space
[(1.67E-27 kg) * (0.347E-6 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2)] / (6.67E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2) = 0.087E-22 kg , or h_M = 0.87E-21 kg in deep space.
In words: "Earth's proton mass times (deep space) gravity G-space, divided by Earth's G, equals deep space Mass for proton, or hydrogen atoms."
February 03, 2007: Is variable G a given, per the Boltzmann Constant?
I keep asking myself this question, because as described in this post on Boltzmann's Constant here, the numbers seem to work out (though one order of magnitude apart) to support the variability of Earth's known G from its calculated orbital Energy, per the Axiomatic. This is a perpetual question for me, can it be right? I don't know. There is always the danger of concidental mathematical results, so what appears right may not be. Another danger is the 'preloading' mathematically of values sought for, so that it becomes a self-fulfilling methodology. In the above referenced post, I might have done what is a pre-destined result, by taking Joules for Kelvin for Earth's black-body 255 K (or 2550 K for Boltzmann equivalent), and then reverse engineering it back to a hypothesized variation in Newton's G for Earth due to its black-body Kelvin temperature. So if this is all that was done, nothing was proved, except that 255 K is the same as ~0.15E+16 Joules for Earth's total mass (vs. 1.5E+16 for Axiomatic Energy equivalent). But if the numbers work out for Earth's gravity to be relative to its orbital Energy, viz. 9E+16 Joules, and by raising that energy, in Joules, by 255 K (times 10) equivalent matches the expected variance in Newton's G, from computed 7.24E-11 down to measured 6.67E-11 G, then perhaps the fact that these two separate calculations for 255 K black-body yield the necessary adjustment to G, i.e., minus ~0.57E-11 G, from its orbital computed G, then is there justification to think that perhaps this is not a mere coincidence? Are these numbers close because we still do not have the right temperatures to work with? Is this study even relevant to how Earth's G is modified by its interior heat, perhaps at a higher level than 255 K? That is the question.
I think what the Boltzmann constant did for me was essentially turn something that was a 'guess' into a calculation supporting that guess. I guessed that the reason why Earth's G is less than the computed G, per orbital energy, was because Earth has its own interior energy source, what I assumed to be its black-body temperature, or that energy that radiates from the Earth into space. But I had no way to confirm this guess. What changed once I saw the Boltzmann constant was that now there was a way to calculate Earth's mass-black-body 255 K into a usuable value for Earth's energy in Joules. Once I could make that connection, the 'guess' turned into something mathematically equivalent, that indeed Earth's 255 K is worth the small Energy difference needed to convert orbital energy into gravitational G for Earth. That small difference, worked out both ways, is about (delta) E = 0.15E+16 J, for Boltzmann's, but 1.5E+16 J for Axiomatic. That is what happened here, though both results are still one order of magnitude apart. Does it 'prove' me right, that gravity is a variable G? Not yet. Once again as it had on all past occasions, that it 'anecdotally' only. Until such time that we can actually measure for Newton's G away from Earth's orbital region, far out into the solar system away from the Sun's radiant hot energy, then can we actually know. Until there is empirical proof, I remain unsatisfied, though teasing as it is that it may be right. We still do not know if G is a variable or not.
December 26, 2006: If Newton's G is variable, then it must have a limit.
Following up on this post on MOND equation for force and gravity: (delta) -a = (GM a_o/ r*AUr)^1/2 ... as derived from Milgrom's F= ma^2/ a_0
which gave the answer when worked out as delta -a = 8.417E-7 m s^-2 + 0.002
there must be of necessity some limiting factor where G stops growing, at it's cut-off 'frequency' per Axiomatic. I had worked this out elsewhere, that maximum G is reached at about 50,000 AU from our Sun (which is about 1/5th way to the next nearest star system, Alpha Centaury, ~270K AU) and where its magnitude reaches at about 10X^-6 (vs. 6.67X10^-11 here on Earth), so that in all intergalactic space G for all molecules and 'dead' matter out there is very high (which is why cosmic light redshifts traveling through that space, at the Hubble constant). So when the 'r' of the modified MOND equation is very very large, while the AUr, the distance of 1 AU, remains constant, the G grows to its maximum of about 10X-6 Nm^2kg^-2 in deep space, and so the F value stabilizes at F = GM/r over very large distances in deep space, such as galaxy outer rims, etc..
More on this as it develops, where MOND's equation for gravity matches (approximately) variable G as postulated by Axiomatic.
Note: This limiting high G is for deep space only, and not for a galactic center where G is at its maximum possible mangitude, and all light ceases to be visible around the black hole. Where all light and energy lambda cancel on a point, such as all ambient light and energy of a galaxy, then that G is no longer modified by this electromagnetic energy, so it reaches its extreme high, G = c. This does not happen in deep space because there is always light energy modifying G down to its limit.
April 02, 2006: VARIABLE G?
(Please note on some system the "lamda" as a greek letter will not show up, so will come out as "(l)" instead, to my regret.)
A VARIABLE MASS PER VARIALBE G HYPOTHESIS, AS A MODEL FOR THE ANOMALOUS ACCELERATION OF PIONEERS 10 AND 11 -- per the Equivalence Principle and the Axiomatic Equation.
By Ivan D. Alexander, California, USA
Abstract: The Pioneers Anomaly as measured shows a constant rate of acceleration towards the Sun at –a = ~8E-8 cm/s^2. This can be interpreted, in reverse order, as a gravitational phenomenon, whereby Newton’s ‘constant’ G is shown to grow at a steady rate to cause this anomalous acceleration; which shows ‘as if’ G is growing at approximately 1 G per AU. This same result can be achieved in a modified Quantum equation, here called the Axiomatic Equation©, where Newton’s G grows in inverse proportion to solar energy received at a distance from the Sun, at about 1 G per AU. The resulting inertial mass acceleration towards the solar system’s largest mass, the Sun, is likewise shown per the Equivalence Principle to approximate the Pioneers Anomaly.
Introduction: The Pioneers Anomaly, measured to be at a constant acceleration of –a = ~8E-8 cm/s^2, as per Anderson et al. , can be worked in reverse order to show it can imply, via the Equivalence Principle , that the inertial mass of the Pioneer probes is gaining ‘gravitational mass’ in the same proportion as the change in G. This may be achieved by calculation for a hypothetical delta G needed to satisfy this condition. The methodology assumed is that, per Equivalence, the mass of the probes in an increasing G would be adjusted proportionally, which (in reverse order) translates as the square of acceleration, delta –a = (~8E-6 m/s^2)^2, to yield numerically delta –a = ~6.4E-11 m/s^2 (as a function of G, which is within range of the implied delta G for our solar system of 1 G per AU, vs. G = ~6.67E-11 Nm^2 kg^-2 at 1 AU).
Separately calculations were made using the Quantum equation posited by Louis de Broglie, E = hf = mc^2, and modified to incorporate a proton gravitational constant, per the Axiomatic Equation (derived in Appendix) . This equation works out as:
E = hc/ (l)(proton m) = [(m) c^2] = ~(1-g) c^2 (where m = 1 kg/kg) in abridged form.
When applied to solar energy per planetary orbit, and converted to Newton’s G, it will be shown to yield a result approximating the noted anomalous Pioneers acceleration. The resulting delta G per AU, as shown below, works out to be approximately = 7.239E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2 per AU. Dividing this delta G by Earth’s known G = 6.67E-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2, we arrive at a ratio of 1.085, which divided by the distance of 1 AU (in meters, 1.5E+11 m), gives the rate of change per meter: delta G = 0.723E-11 per meter. This change further translates into delta G = 0.00723E-11 per centimeter, which is: delta G = 72.3E-15 per centimeter. To convert this delta G into acceleration, one must take its square root, per Equivalence of mass to the gravitational ‘constant’, so we are left with a hypothetical, –a = ~8.5E-7.5 cm/s^2. This delta G driven value is higher (by half an order of magnitude) than the reported Pioneers Anomaly of –a = 8E-8 cm/s^2, yet within range. Other Energy factors may account for why these two values are not exact, which may be due to onboard energy sources. A natural implication results from this hypothesis also pertains to distant cosmic light redshift, and the implications to the Hubble constant (space expansion postulate), with implications for modern cosmology.
1.0: A Variable G cum Variable Mass Hypothesis, per Equivalence Principle.
1.1: Illustration of Hypothetical Variable Mass in a Variable G. Conceptually, if G were greater, then its mass equivalent per Equivalence would also be greater, which means if each molecule gravitationally draws a greater G, its gravitational-inertial-mass would be greater. This can be understood as requiring fewer molecules to achieve the same mass as in a lower G. As illustration, let us suppose that it takes x number of molecules to compose 1 kilogram of mass on Earth. But, by assuming G and mass equivalence, in taking these same molecules in a greater G’ region, it would take G/G’ times x to arrive at the same 1 kilogram mass. This would mean that in a higher G region, 1 kilogram is still the same kilogram as in Earth’s 1 AU gravitational G, but per greater G there are fewer molecules composing this same mass in situ. Because the molecular mass is now greater, per greater G per molecule, its interactive gravitational mass will be acted upon gravitationally as if its inertial-mass were ‘heavier’, or conversely its gravitational force interaction were greater gravitationally; it would be as if it were the square root of G. This can be translated into the Pioneers Anomaly that, given a hypothetically higher G in the regions of outer solar system and beyond, the spacecraft acts ‘as if’ its mass were growing in square proportion to the local G; or conversely, because it is the same mass as having left from Earth, the gravitational attraction from the Sun acts ‘as if’ the greater mass in greater G is an acceleration that is the square root of its delta G. The mass of the Pioneers crafts never changed, it is still the same number of molecules as it had at the gantry, but now as it travels outward from the Sun, the mass translates into its hypothetically greater gravitational-inertial-mass. Consequently, in a greater G region, its gravitational-inertial-mass is drawn back by the Sun’s gravity as if it were gravitationally ‘heavier’ than when it left.
1.2: Translating this Variable Mass cum Variable G Equivalence into the Pioneers Anomaly. Prince Louis de Broglie took the liberty to match Planck’s E = hf with Einstein’s E = mc^2, also called the de Broglie equation. Planck’s can be further broken out as E = hc/(l) (proton m), which matched with de Broglies’s becomes E = hc/(l)(proton m) = mc^2. A hybridization of this equation can also be expressed, per the Axiomatic Equation (see Appendix below, as how derived) to become:
E = hc/(l)(proton m) = (m-g)c^2, where m = 1 kg/kg (always),
and g= proton-to-proton gravitational ‘constant’, here known as g = ~5.9E-39 (dimensionless, though this value per the Axiomatic becomes Volts, to balance the SI units; see Appendix). As will be shown, this proton gravitational constant is in fact a variable, per the radiant electromagnetic energy received, as a function of E.
1.3: The Axiomatic Equation Defined as Energy Received from the Sun:
The term "Energy" here is understood as a dual component of both radiant electromagnetic energy and planetary orbital kinetic energy, as they relate to our Sun, for the planets of our solar system. This is defined as:
E = solar irradiance x 1/2 Rv^2, where
E = total energy received from the Sun
(Solar irradiation is in ‘Watts per meter squared’)
1/2 Rv^2 is KE = 1/2 mv^2, where m = 1 (kg/kg)**
This E is then matched against the Axiomatic Equations (per Appendix) which is:
E' = hc/ (l)(proton m) = f(E'/E) [1 - f(g')pi^2] c^2
(Please note the f(E’/E) is a function to balance both sides of the equation E)
The exercise will be to show, using the Newton G arrived, how E translates into G for the orbital regions of each planet. Calculations are approximate only, to illustrate the principle. Source of data is the NASA Planetary Fact Sheet )
2.0: Calculations showing the Energy to proton mass and Newton’s G relationships:
3.1: Acceleration of the Pioneers towards the Sun:
The acceleration towards the Sun may therefore be calculated from the G variable, using the methodology described above. Taking the delta G divided by Earth's known G, and then divided by one AU in meters yields the expected acceleration pointed towards the Sun:
Delta G = 7.239E-11 Nm^2kg^-2 (m^/s^2)
Earth G = 6.67E-11 Nm^2kg^-2
One AU in meters = 150E+9 meters
(7.239E-11 Nm^2kg^-2) / (6.67E-11) / (150E+9) = Pioneers acceleration anomaly
hypothetical ‘mock’ acceleration = 1.085 / 150E+9 = 0.7235E-11 m/s^2, or in centimeters:
~delta-a = ~72.35E-15 cm/s^2
This is the value satisfying the calculations per the Axiomatic Equation and proton mass gravitational constant converted into Newton’s G, which here works out to be a variable, growing at a constant rate of approximately 1 G per AU. To convert this into the effective acceleration effect on any mass traveling on an escape trajectory out of he solar system will require this value be adjusted for the Equivalence Principle. This is achieved by hypothesizing that for each increase in G, there is a commensurate increase in mass, so that the gravitational-inertial-mass of the spaceprobe is increasing per increased G. The effect of this interaction between inertial mass in a greater G is equivalent to the square root of the above "delta-a" result, so we are left with the actual acceleration, whereby:
-a = ~8.5E-7.5 cm/s^2 (vs. ~8E-8 cm/s^2 as measured)
This is the value of acceleration towards the Sun the Pioneers should be experiencing, as calculated from the steady linear growth of G at a distance from the Sun, where it grows at 1 G per AU. The fact that this computed variable G acceleration is higher than the measured value leads one to consider the possibility that other energy is coming into play, to moderate the pure gravitational effect. For example, the Pioneer probes carry their own onboard energy source, and this energy may act as a moderating influence on the local G gravitational influence, if so. This would mean the onboard heat, acting as Energy shown per the Axiomatic Equation, renders the craft less ‘heavy’ in its region of space. Hence, though beyond the scope of this paper, the probes are accelerating towards the Sun at a slightly lower rate than a pure variable G physics would conclude.
... (read it all)
March 1, 2005: HYPOTHETICAL ATOMIC MASS AS A GRAVITY AND ENERGY FUNCTION
Abstract: Mass is both a function of energy, as per Einstein's famous equation E = mc^2, and also a Quantum function of Planck's constant times c, divided by lambda l times the proton mass, also known as the Planck-DeBroglie equation. It will be shown that in addition to these, mass is also a gravity function, as defined by the Axiomatic Equation, derived here, as an extension of the DeBroglie-Planck-Einstein equation; where the proton mass is a variable, leading to a proton-to-proton gravitational coupling constant variable, which can then be computed into Newton's G gravity 'constant'. This Newton's G becomes a function of the Energy region where it is being measured, where for our solar system its delta G increases linearly at the rate of ~7.24E-11 Nm^2 kg^-2 per astronomical unit from the Sun, one AU = ~150E+9 meters. The hypothesis is that what happens to atomic mass at the quantum level is how it converts into Newton's G gravity at the macro level, per the Energy regions where G is measured. ... (read it all)
September 16, 2003: UNIFIED THEORY of Gravity and Energy: The Axiomatic Equation ©
Conceptually, the Axiomatic Equation says:
Em * c = hc/l = h/l (eomo)^1/2 = (1 - g)c^2= (Bm)c^2 = Eenergy
This in its simplicity and elegance is a pure expression of energy and gravity resulting in mass, where mass equals a unity of one, m = 1. If we use mass as proton mass, 1.67e-27 kg, the resulting E = 1.5e-10 Joules/second, or Watts.
REVISED, work in progress: However, because by convention we use kilograms for mass, where mass here as m = 1, kg/kg, and gravity proportional G has a kilogram component, so it needs to be rewritten as follows, where E = 90 petajoules:
E' = Em * c = hc/l (mproton) = h/l (eomo)^1/2 * (1/mproton) = f(E'/E)(1m- g)c^2 = f(E'/E)[mc^2 - (G^2 m/p^2)] = f(E'/E)(Bm)c^2 = E Energy © = 9e16 m^2.kg.s^-3 = Joules/seconds = Watts, (Earth only) where mass (m) is proton mass 1.67e-27 kg (multiplied by its inverse 5.99e28 to become m = 1, kilogram per kilogram) to result in total E = 90 petajoules, per second.
G^2/pi^2 = [hc/l(proton mass)]- c^2 = -gc^2, where in taking the square root we get Newton's G.
... (read it all)
|Posted on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 12:04 am: |
On Peace and War.
Let us not forget what war is. When we were attacked, the whole world was stunned. Let us not forget, that there will always be those who will wish us harm because we are the free. When we reopen the forums in September, we will explore a new direction of victory against the enemy. There is more to deterrence of war that needs to be understood, because we will be victorious only with forging a lasting peace. This is what we must do.
PeoplesBook 2000, I dreamt of peace.
PeoplesBook2000, On waging peace.
18 Feb 1999
Flags at Half-tone. I had a dream where the whole Earth was like a giant magnet, a ball of energy to which all living things gravitated, filled with so much love that everything literally died to be born here. The whole planet, as only one of many, was filled with this love energy, the more of it there was the more there was life on it, and you could feel it like a distant pull from space. It was beautiful. We hated to die from it, and could not wait to be born into it. It filled me with so much love for my world, but it also made me aware that there were other worlds that envied us, because their love energy there was still weak. In the same dream, I also dreamt that all of our flags were at half-tone, not the brilliant war colors we now sport, but more muted, like in pastel colors of peace. What does it all mean?
Military vs. Spiritual Solution, against terrorism.
10 Sep 1999 WAR AND PEACE "War is unthinkable in a society of autonomous people who have discovered the connectedness of all humanity, who are unafraid of alien ideas and alien cultures, who know that all revolutions begin within and that you cannot impose your brand of enlightenment on anyone else... "In a rich, creative, meaningful environment there is no room for hostility... "If we limit ourselves to the old-paradim concept of averting war, we are trying to overpower darkness rather than switching on the light. If we reframe the problem--if we think of fostering community, health, innovation, self-discovery, purpose--we are already engaged in waging peace." (italics mine)
Military vs. Spiritual solution, Papal Decalogue for Peace (24 january, 2002), a Day of Prayer for Peace.
SPIRITUAL SOLUTION TO TERRORISM Of all the solutions that have been suggested in combating terrorism, the solution that will be the most effective will be the SPIRITUAL SOLUTION. That is to reduce and eliminate fanaticism in all of its forms. Religious leaders of all denominations must SERIOUSLY confront this old and persisting problem. No religion has a monopoly or is immune from fanaticism. Baha’u’llah and Abdul’Baha have continuously warned us of its danger. Failure to seriously tackle this problem will result in the lesser peace, in which the damage will be so great that mankind will have no choice but to live in a shaky world. ...
War or not war? Today war began.
Decalogue of Assisi for Peace: 1. We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion, and, as we condemn every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or of religion, we commit ourselves to doing everything possible to eliminate the root causes of terrorism. 2. We commit ourselves to educating people to mutual respect and esteem, in order to help bring about a peaceful and fraternal coexistence between people of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions. 3. We commit ourselves to fostering the culture of dialogue, so that there will be an increase of understanding and mutual trust between individuals and among peoples, for these are the premise of authentic peace. 4. We commit ourselves to defending the right of everyone to live a decent life in accordance with their own cultural identity, and to form freely a family of his own. 5. We commit ourselves to frank and patient dialogue, refusing to consider our differences as an insurmountable barrier, but recognizing instead that to encounter the diversity of others can become an opportunity for greater reciprocal understanding.6. We commit ourselves to forgiving one another for past and present errors and prejudices, and to supporting one another in a common effort both to overcome selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence, and to learn from the past that peace without justice is no true peace. 7. We commit ourselves to taking the side of the poor and the helpless, to speaking out for those who have no voice and to working effectively to change these situations, out of the conviction that no one can be happy alone. 8. We commit ourselves to taking up the cry of those who refuse to be resigned to violence and evil, and we are desire to make every effort possible to offer the men and women of our time real hope for justice and peace. 9. We commit ourselves to encouraging all efforts to promote friendship between peoples, for we are convinced that, in the absence of solidarity and understanding between peoples, technological progress exposes the world to a growing risk of destruction and death. 10. We commit ourselves to urging leaders of nations to make every effort to create and consolidate, on the national and international levels, a world of solidarity and peace based on justice. http://www.vatican.va/special/assisi_20020124_en.html
War or not War? Lethal Force.
Today the War Began. Today the war began. I couldn't concentrate on work. I needed to give myself an hour or two. Close by to where I live there's a place called Bengali Headland (in Sydney's Northern Beaches). It's a narrow national park that runs along the shoulder of very spectacular cliffs. It's also an aboriginal sacred place that has peaceful energy even on days when the weather is bouncing off the cliff. This is where I go when I need to sit quietly, walk quietly or generally reflect. Today I just sat and watched the ocean knowing that on another shore, innocent people are dying for reasons that I don't really understand. Along with millions of others in this global village of ours I've walked, petitioned, prayed, meditated and written for peace. It's disempowering to see so many voices unheard. And while our voices have echoed against this deafness I sincerely believe the echoes will be heard. Things don't always work out the way we planned. Maybe this echo will vibrate in our hearts to remind us of our social consciences. ...
Peace in War? ..a hypothetical question.
LETHAL FORCE VS WAR AND PEACE When is the use of force necessary, or justified? When we need to arrest criminals, those who had trespassed against others, or who had committed violent crimes, then it is generally acceptable to use force to restrain them, or to remove them from society. In a social order ruled by law, the mechanism for doing this is usually left to the legally authorized police force. But on a world scale, where there is planetary level crime committed, then the police force is inadequate to the task, for it calls for a use of force commensurate with the level of crime. In all cases, such force is lethal, for the crime against which it is moved is also lethal, in that the criminal nation will kill en masse the people of a nation, with or without the use of weapons of mass destruction. Such use of lethal force is escalated on a world scale as a mobilization of military forces, which is called war. That war is undesirable is mostly accepted in this modern age by a great number of people, if not a majority in the civilized world. Nevertheless, such use of lethal force is necessary when faced with an adversary where trespass and violence is commonplace and often on a large scale. There is no peace where such force is used; for war is, as is oppression, of necessity unpeaceful. Yet, for those who desire peace, they remain powerless against such adversarial, lethal forces, of those who would forcibly subdue people into submission, into coercion without their agreement. If they resist, of necessity, such an adversary will kill them. The ones who honor and desire peace, especially those who then express their desired peace through demonstrations or through the expressions of their beliefs, would be the first coerced under such a regime. They would be the first eliminated, their right to speak freely and the right to assemble crushed. In an oppressive regime of tyranny, no freedom of expression can be tolerated. Demonstrations for peace against their own government can only happen in free nations. ...
When is Coercion a Necessity? ..a discussion.
"Peace in war" is a hypothetical question: Can peace come of war? It would appear self evident that victory leads to peace. But does it always? If we look at the first great World War, it was followed by a second great World War, so this did not work. The second World War did lead to a lasting peace between combatants, however it should be noted that with the founding of the United Nations, a new philosophy towards war took root, in that the world did not want another destructive force as experienced by the two World Wars. The Cold War which lasted over four decades never fired a shot, though there were close calls, such as the Cuban missile crisis, and the hostilities ceased through the force of history, the fall of Communism. Though Communism still exists in latent form in China, Cuba, North Korea, it no longer provides the world vision of a communistically unified planet. Some evidence of this failed vision is the Israeli kibbutz system, which is likewise disintegrating through newer generations wanting more than a Utopian communal existence. Each person desires more than to serve, and each reward should honor the intellectual effort and labor contributions more directly in relation to the sacrifice put into the work. We as a human species need to be recognized for the work done, same as we demand to be recognized for who we are individually. This is a basic force in human existence, that we are honored for our right to be freely who we are in all we do, for what we do, as well as for who is doing it. If we take this as a basic premise, that this recognition of each one of our individual contributions to society as a whole, no matter how insignificant, is to validate the individual as free, and protected in this freedom, then each human being will in turn validate the freedom of others. Then, perhaps, a lasting Peace is doable. But how does this translate into a peace from war? ...I suspect it will not lead to peace, since unlike the fall of Communism which was an internal collapse, the war of the minds will continue. And if this is proven true, what mechanisms can be found to bring an end to this war, not the military war, but the war of beliefs? This is the question of Peace in War. Is there some hypothetical strategy, by either side, that could prevent this war of minds from escalating into a war of vast physical conflict, and hundreds of millions of deaths? Remember, this is not a war of decades, but of centuries; and within two decades, Muslims may outnumber Christians. The war is between a personal belief in God, and a public belief in God; between the right of the individual to pursue his or her existence as they will within God, and the necessity of the individual to pursue existence as God dictated. Which will be our planet's future? Which will win the lasting Peace? Can a peace be found before it becomes a new and perhaps greatest of all World Wars? Remember, when both sides are so totally dedicated to their belief, that they have found God, and themselves, in either a secular or religious context, then both will fight to the death: one for their freedom, and the other for their obedience, to be in God. It is not a war of the Bible against the Qu'ran, but a war between beliefs of Who is the individual: Are we Obedient, or are we Free? ...
When is Coercion a Necessity -2? The cost of war.
We all experienced being coerced at some point in our lives, whether spanked or made to feel uncomfortable before some authority, like our boss. From our internal perspective, this coercion is the result of being forced to do something against our will, or an embarrassment, or offensive to us. In our minds, we find coercive anything that is done to us with which we do not agree at some level. Mostly, being coerced is an unpleasant or painful experience, which most of us will seek to avoid. On a grander social scale, coercion is force applied against another with or without their approval, so that an end result is achieved. In our human interactions, some coercions are necessary, since without them there would be social chaos, anarchy. Laws of necessity demand coercion, since to disobey them triggers some sort of penalty. Social laws are made up of, either approved or disapproved, agreements with which all must comply, and those who fail to comply will be punished, or coerced. On a more universal scale, coercion is sometimes a necessity. Dating back to the days of Plato's Republic, there is a greater public good to which all are subject, and must submit, whether or not it is in their will to do so. This subjugation to the greater good had been passed down to us all through history, so that all persons who live within a greater philosophical structure of what it is that is this good, for the good of the nation, the community, a ship at sea, must comply and obey, or face coercion. This is true even if the greater good is defined by philosophical ideas we today find repulsive, such as Fascism or perhaps Communism, where to disobey this greater good could be severely punished by imprisonment, forced labor, or death. And likewise in what we would think of more benign philosophical belief systems, such as a democratic society of equality and liberty, can nevertheless exercise its power to coerce us if we do not comply. So this is a paradox, whereby a social philosophy that is there to protect our individual liberties also has the power to take them away, or of necessity coerce. Therefore, it becomes a philosophical question: When is coercion a necessity? To answer this question, it may serve to list some categories of coercion, to see if any patterns emerge: 1. Coercion by authority, where failure to comply may be punished:
• Parental coercion, children must obey. • Governmental police coercions, subject to imprisonment and prosecution. • Travel limitations, or secured borders, deportation. • Compulsory personal identification. • The draft for compulsory military service. • Summary justice, all must obey authority during times of emergency or war. • Religious coercion, spiritual damnation, or fatwahs of death. • Forced circumcision, for both males and females. • The death penalty.
2. Social coercion, where the pressure of others force us to comply:
• Unacceptable social behavior, nudity, public defecation, loud rudeness. • Acceptable child abuse, corporal punishment, where practiced. • Animal abuses, destruction of natural environment, pollution, where society turns a blind eye. • Shunning. • Racial and social discrimination.
3. Personal coercion, where we feel we are being coerced, may also be illegal:
• Lying, cheating, scamming, or otherwise deceiving. • Theft, trespass, withholding of material facts. • Custody of children, where parents may not be allowed to keep them. • Denouncing others, where presumed innocence is ignored. • Broken promises, default on personal legal contracts. • Any physical or verbal attack, or molestation.
4. Legal coercion, where the law is used to coerce:
• Predatory legal practices, where winning is more important than justice. • Legalized obstructionism or confiscation of property without cause. • Legalized secrecy, when right to know is legally forbidden. • Arrest without warrant, compulsory search. • Land grab from indigienous native peoples. • Hostile corporate takeovers. • Exclusionary laws, where some of the population are not protected from coercions.
5. Practicality coercions, where things must work:
• Building codes, fire prevention, public sanitation. • Medical quarantine, where the public health is endangered. • Traffic regulations, rules of the road. • Any civil code where property may be demolished. • All licensing requirements.
6. Philosophical coercions, where to not follow the commonly accepted theme has coercive consequences:
• Scientific or academic coercions, where going against the mainstream shuts off research funding, or the ability to publish. • Political correctness, where failure leads to ostracism. • Conscientious objectors, where imprisonment may follow. • Implicit obedience to accepted social values and laws. • Trial and conviction in absentia, no habeas corpus. • All cases where presumed innocence is deemed invalid, martial law. • To impose our philosophical values on others, think of Al Qaeda, or Iraq.
7. Criminal Coercion, where a person is brutally attacked:
• Rape, murder. • Kidnapping, for ransom or as hostages, enslavement. • Forced prostitution, child prostitution. • Burglary, forced entry and trespass. • Muggings, aggravated assault, battery. • Suicide bombings to kill others.
For some, looking at this list only illustrates what is necessary; while for others, it is an unbearable burden. This is the philosophical dialogue I would like to see. Which is it? Are these coercions "necessary", or are they symptomatic of a "bigger picture" that needs further understanding? Is this how we wish to run our world, with coercions? Perhaps the luxury of doing things voluntarily, by our own agreement, is something illusory? Or is it a function of society, where we have the right to do things by agreement, provided we do not violate some greater agreements, such as the greater social laws? In the list above, though incomplete and with overlaps, there is a common theme that I think shows through: Coercion seems to be used for self-preservation, whether of society or individuals. This is why coercion is repulsed with coercion, thus exist wars on a mass scale, or personal combat individually, or in gangs. Obviously self defense is not coercion, but it requires coercion to achieve it. Humanity has always know coercions, whether from conquest, or from a lord oppressing his subjects, or from banditry, or social and religious taboos, or parents abusing their children, husbands their wives, etc. Coercion seems to run our affairs almost exclusively, with only an occasional glimmer of freedom for some of us. What made the Anglo-American experiment different from most other nations is that we institutionalized the right to be free from coercions, which are our basic human rights, our presumed innocence until proven guilty. We pride ourselves as a free nation in support of liberty. Yet, in the list above can be seen we are subject to many coercions anyway. So, is Coercion the way of the world, that we cannot live without it? Or is it perhaps a condition that only re-enforces itself: to be coercive is to be powerful, and the powerful coerce, and those who do not coerce are its victims? Can a person be powerful without coercing? Is there a right way to be, virtuous or legally correct, to live with dignity without being coerced, or having to coerce? ...
When is Coercion a Necessity -2? ..some reflections.
Is the price of the War in Iraq worth the cost? Some numbers based on the United States Military’s own calculations. The Iraqi insurgents and Al Qeada already have these numbers and are using them against us. In rough terms we are loosing 900 men and women per year in Iraq We have lost roughly 1800 men and women to date. By the Pentagon’s own estimates we sustain about 9 wounded for each person killed. We currently have about 16,000 wounded from the war. With wounds ranging from minor to severe. The cost to care for the severely wounded is stretching our VA system to the breaking point, with annual costs expected to reach billions for care of the severely disabled wounded over teh course of their lifetimes. This does not count the cost for VA disability benefits such as adaptive housing, or the loss of productivity to our economy or the impact on families and social services stemming from the need to care for traumatized veterans Roughly 1 out of every 6 veterans will suffer some form of mental injury from the stress of combat operations in Iraq. The cost in terms of providing them medication is on average $300.00 per month. At present roughly 30,000 Veterans of the Iraq conflict need treatment for mental injuries. That is a cost of $9,000.000 per year to trat these causulteis, if we project this out over the expected life time of the veteran’s the cost is estimated to be $360 billion dollars just for the current number of mental casualties we have sustained. The Senior United States Military Commander in Iraq stated that history shows that insurgencies tend to last on average, in the modern era, ten years. This is roughly the same amount of time the Soviets were in Afghanistan and we were in Vietnam. If the War lasts 9 additional years and troop levels remain constant we can expect to take roughly 8,100 killed, 72,900 wounded and 270,000 casualties from mental injuries. In terms of dollar costs the mental injuries alone, if troop levels remain constant and the war lasts 9 additional years, we can expect to spend $384 trillion dollars in drug expenses alone to treat the mental casualties for the rest of their lives. I used to do these caculations in my head, while performing nuclear fire planning missions. Now due to a brain injury I have to use a calculator. You tell me if what we have achieved in Iraq is worth this cost. Osama taguht the insurgents how to do these same calculations.
On the Violation of our Human Rights, War on Terror -3- or Pacifying Islam.
MY REFLECTIONS, on the War against Terror. I've been reflecting on why I asked this question about the "War on Terror cum War on a Cult." In examining my motives, in retrospect, I think it was because I wanted to separate the religion from the cult, a whole people's worldwide belief system from a small quasi-religious sect dedicating itself to killing those who disagree with them. If the good people born to Islam are to take back control of their personal beliefs away from a sect that has come to politically and by force dominate their thinking, then this politicized version of Islam must be separated from its spiritual side. This vision of a worldwide jihad to conquer the infidels is some last bold attempt to wrestle back, in the fashion of some mythical past when Islam was glorious, when it conquered many people and forced them into conversion, and recreate that glamorous time in their history when they wielded such power. The world has changed, and same as the politicized Christian Church has been made to drop its influence over our government and laws, so will a secular movement within Islam force it to drop its power over social laws and government. This is the anathema to those who want to bring back those fabulous days of old, when they could ride across the continents and force others into conversion, or die. But this is not the reality of the world today. They do not have the power, even if every Islamic adherent were to join in support, to forcibly turn a world away from a new modus operandi, that we now do things in a new way. As much as possible, within the framework of legitimate agreements protected by law, we now honor human beings as free agents within democratic society, rather than servants, subjects, of some arbitrary power. The old world is gone, even in Islam, though some within it, mainly clerics, are desperately struggling to bring it back. It will not come back. Jihad's only show of success will be to brutally terrorize and kill innocents. There is no turning back for us, since the world will not accept again an oppressive system of government, and inter human exchange, where some lord over others, even if allegedly by God's command. We are each human beings who, if we believe in God, are independent entities willed by God to be who we are. And in this new world identity, faulting that it is, we have realized a power of our new freedom, which manifests into societal progress and well being the world had never seen before. And to once again bow mechanically to some politicized 'God' in the hands of a few clerics is not acceptable to us, since to do so regresses us back to the times when human beings were kept in bondage. For those of the planet who want to believe in God, then it is their privilege to do so, but to be done within the framework of one's personal belief. To make everyone believe the same, in some particular fashion of God, is to limit God to that one vision, which is an unacceptable limitation on the infinity of God, the Universe, Mind, or whatever name we give it. What religion, or any spiritual belief, does is allow us to rise above our small egos, to reach for something bigger than ourselves, to connect with an infinity out there which is so infinitely mysterious; yet some part of us responds to it as we are a part of it. But if that infinite potential of the human mind and soul is so severely restricted by one single line of belief, that the ego once again takes control, then in this battle of egos, one man is once again pitted against the other. Suspicion, terror, fear, oppression, all once again reassert themselves, so the smallest minds of men feel most powerful Religion, as we of the European based cultures discovered, can be as oppressive as any dictator, if it does not allow the human soul to flourish beyond the boundaries proscribed, mainly by the power of an authoritarian Church. So some four hundred years ago, we started to drop this oppressive restriction on our soul, when the Church was stripped of its political power. Unfortunately, none of this made it into the world of Islam, and thus today we are faced with a religious structure that essentially remained unchanged for fourteen centuries to today. In its politicized mode, like in Medieval Europe, all who live within it are forced to live in fear of its power, and within the bounds of strict obedience. This is the power wielded by its clerics, and it is a power they do not want to give up. So the good people born to Islam are trapped within this oppressive, regressive structure, and this is why they cannot find voice to speak out against it. They can try, but then are facing dire retribution from their same clerics, the death fatwahs. Any progressive voice trying to find a way to bring Islam into modernity is immediately threatened and silenced, or killed. How much more power can the ego have than this? This is where the fundamentalist clerics of Islam are now. Where religion fails is where the ego is glorified above God. This is what happened to Paul's Christian Church, where the inherently rather simple teachings of Jesus, that we love one another and honor the Father, was somehow warped into a power structure, mainly to overcome Rome and its whole pantheistic world of Pagan beliefs. So it worked, the Christian Church became powerful, but at a price, that we lost our freedom to pursue God in our individual spiritual faith. Granted, the Protestant movement liberated us from some of this clerical oppression, but the political power of the Church was not really weakened until modern secularism, in its post Enlightenment form in Europe and America. Though not necessarily the same as Jesus's teachings, Mohammedism also evolved into a powerful force against the still Pagan beliefs of the desert Arab tribes. But then it did not stop there, and instead fell to the egotistical ambitions of its followers to force its belief on everyone else through conquest. This is a battle still being fought today, by them. Except that, because the world had changed into a totally different consciousness of what is a human being, this war had become entirely one sided. They are warring on us, and we could not care less about them. This infuriating response by the West's indifference to their efforts at conquest is cause enough to rage against us, and what ultimately gave birth to extremist interpretations of Islamism. So instead of teaching human beings to reach for something greater than themselves, than their egos, for God, they had been subjugated to a strict interpretation of what they may or may not do, in their belief as interpreted for them, by the clerics. So our human freedom to pursue something greater than our ego, to pursue God, is again confined to someone else's ego interpretation of what is God, and the idea of reaching for God spiritually, as a tenet of one's personal beliefs, is thus strictly forbidden: You may believe in God only as his Prophet told you, in total obedience, and anything else is heresy. This was same for our Western Roman Church at one time, where you had to obey the teachings taught in Latin, as interpreted by the priests. However, we of the West were totally oblivious to this, because today it is no longer our affair. We evolved in our social consciousness enough to allow for personal spiritual consciousness, if that is what a person chooses. So if Islamic scholars and clerics wanted to take their religion backwards, it was not our affair. But by being oblivious, and by showing that human beings are successfully enabled by certain freedoms, this so infuriated those who would control the ego, what we are supposed to be, that they turned their hatred and vengeance on us. This is the war within Islam, certain forces fed by egos of men, that had unleashed itself on us. ...
In Violation of our Human Rights, Thomas Jefferson's words.
Let's take your statment, James, as example: Quote: I acknowledge, rather, that this is simply a matter of animal self-preservation - for no one "owes" me anything on the basis of me being a conscious being, UNLESS I make myself vulnerable to him, and in doing so, elicit his choice to make himself vulnerable to me. Your own freedom doesn't began with your reflective and self-conscious demand that others respect it; rather, it begins with others who choose to sacrifice their own freedom for your sake.Why not see it instead that no one "owes" you anything, period. Why would being a "conscious being" different from an "unconscious being" change that statment? Nobody owes you anything, but neither does anyone "own" you. You are a free agent until someone else's actions impinge on yours. Then you have two choices: (1) ignore them, if you can, or (2) address them, if you wish, or must. How you choose to respond to this is entirely within your internal "me", and there is no outside consciousness (other than your own) who can answer to that condition. Now, you may choose to respond without thinking, or somewhat unconsciously, and move away, or push back; or you might use your conscious mind, your reason, to address the other's actions on you. If the other is a communicative human being, endowed with a mind and language skills, then your communications may take one of many forms. But if the other is non-conscious, non-reasoning, in that his or her mind does not respond to your communications, then some other form of response may be required: fight or flight, if threatened, or simply to ignore them. Why would you think you have to make yourself "vulnerable" to them? You either are vulnerable or you are not, not necessarily your choice. In the end, it all boils down to how you choose to respond to any given situation. It ALWAYS comes down to you. And just as you are doing now in this dialogue, your choice is to use words. But if a dumb animal suddenly crossed your path in the forest, you may not have the leisure to "talk" and some other course of action would have to be taken. Not taken by society, nor your culture, nor your church, nor the grand super-Collective of all the knowledge given to our civilization; but it would be YOU who has to choose. You, and you alone, are at risk, if your freedom is threatened. Nobody else can take that risk away from you. The responsibility for your actions really is all yours. Then, whether or not your family or community supports you in your actions is secondary, because you had to act, take choices of your own free will. If not, and if you fail to act of your own will, then you are not a free agent, are totally vulnerable to what others choose for you, and in effect totally dependent on others. But you can choose this too! Of course, if you do, you are no longer a free being, since now you must obey others. In effect, you've chosen to be a slave, and other than what others grant you as (very limited) rights, you have none. That may be you, but it is not me. ...
War Handicaps Reason, What if a major attack?
Thomas Jefferson's words ring strong to this day: "I swear upon the altar of God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Let the tyrants of ignorant religious fanaticism beware, for our God of freedom is stronger and greater than their god of violence and fear. Reason and love are more powerful forces in the world of God than hate and destruction. Let those who hate freedom beware, and tremble.
War Handicaps Reason, on psychological warfare.
I fervently hope there is no more war. One of my intentions of posting about a possible war after the elections was that by airing that idea it might happen that it does not occur. Notice that after 9/11 any potential attack that was mentioned aloud did not take place. In that spirit I hope that there be no new hostilities after the election. Still the following developments are note worthy. http://wholelifetimes.com/2006/11/excerpt0611.html=== Their newest book looks to the role propaganda, PR and marketing played in our nation’s willingness to execute war … Each of these twists and turns in policy has been accompanied by a combination of triumphal rhetoric about America’s lofty aims and dire warnings about the consequences that will follow if America fails to act. … As this book neared completion, American politicians and pundits had begun to talk about attacking Iran, using rhetoric very similar to the arguments that led to the current quagmire in Iraq. … Rather than an expansion of the war, we believe that public disillusionment and the growing civil war in Iraq will eventually force US policymakers to withdraw American troops. === But would that happen? ...
War Handicaps Reason, the face of evil.
Sometimes regions develop dictatorships because that is what is required to cull the masses, to handle the many social intricacies of that culture. Our government destroyed the balance that was the Iraqi society. I won't get into the reasoning or justifications. What I will say is that, invading a country with full knowledge of the long term social and economic chaos it will cause, is in itself a form of global terrorism! Is it any wonder our government is hated abroad? The irresponsibility of this administration with the Iraq situation is outrageous. So too is the American public's apathy. People over there are dying and we are the cause! I will not go so far as Mohideen with the conspiracy theories. But I will say our government has always been opportunistic in its usage of world political affairs in order to affect control mechanisms at home (homeland security). What an oxymoron! They monitor us, but cut spending to schools, keeping our nation's youth and underpriviledged in a perpetual state of ignorance and economic deprivation. We are made to be ignorant consumers who seek and measure happiness through material gain. We are expected to be blindly patriotic and loyal to a government that answers to no one. See how quickly criticism arose over Kerry's remarks. Speak a word against the war effort and you are not a real American! We are so quick to condemn those in the Muslim world for the "backwardness" of their belief system, but look at us. We let our government run wild, pulling whatever wool over our eyes they wish. And we turn a blind eye to an atrocious situation of our creating, because we have let our government tell us it is the right thing to do. Indeed, war handicaps reason! ...
War Handicaps Reason, Gulf War Syndrome.
Ed, Friendly, fighting evil is never easy. In fact, this has been the great quest of humankind from the dawn of our humanity. When those who portray evil, even if they don't know it, by coercing others, such as was witnessed by Nazis, or Communist regimes, imprisoning or murdering thousands if not millions of innocent people; they will fight us as if they were in the right, and we in the wrong. The test of this is whether freedom wins, or coercive powers win. The new war is against Jihad, and all the evils it portrays. The brave students of Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or any of the lands dominated by forces that hate, and fear, our human freedoms is but one continuous battle that has been fought, even by our ancestors; we won since we are here. Freedom will win, of course, as it has slowly and haltingly through the millennia, even against this newest manifestation of anti-freedom forces. It does not matter what they call themselves, or what gods they pray to, the battle is very old, and still the same. When victory finally is received by all men and women who love freedom, and understand their victory over the ages of evil, it will be a new world. Maybe not in our lifetime, most likely not, but in the end, humanity as a gift from God as free human beings will usher in a whole new age for our world. That is the Quest, and when it happens, God will have a whole new face for humanity. ...
War Handicaps Reason, Israeli and Middle East.
The law that provides for the compensation of services members suffering from Gulf War Syndrome expires on 30 September 2011. After that date service members will no longer be eligiable for compensation for service connected exposure to agents that resulted in Gulf War Syndrome. To halt claims for this disease anyone with evidence of expsoure to toxic agents is shuffled off into the corner and buried by the Federal Government. In their defense in order to prevent huge disability payments, the Governments involved in the first Gulf War have done their best to cover up any evidence of chemical exposure while putting out study after study that fails to include those actually confirmed to have been exposed to chemical agents. ...
War Handicaps Reason, Tehran's nuclear threat.
Your mind is turing to dark thoughts Mohideen and I wonder if your wish for an end to your percieved acts of Israeli agression is clouding your asessment of the situation. Israel is the only stable democratic technologically advanced nation in the middle east that provides protection for the minorities living within its borders. They do not have to pay a tax to worship as they will and are offered access to political power. This is despite the acts of terrorism, wars and hatred directed against them by the Islamic Nations of the Middle East. To say there will be a rebellion inside Israel for Olmert's head is a bit much. Egypt which has the largest population in the Middle East, wants Hamas crushed as much as Israel does and is likely working tacitly with the other Sunni States in the region to bring this about. What we are seeing as Ed and Ivan have said is likely the beginning of a Sunni Alliance to crush the Shia movements of Hamas and Hizbolla. A goal I support. ...
War Handicaps Reason, Iraq bloodbath.
Iranian official: If threatened, we will use nuclear weapons http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3348748,00.html - This argument, if true, transcends religious differences, vaults over jihad ambitions, or Tehran's support of anti-Israel Hezbollah and Hamas, etc. This is a serious threat, because it then spills over into nuclear ambitions of other Mid East states, such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc., if true. I do not know it is true, since they speak with 'forked tongue', and it should not be taken at face value as justification for attacks against Iran. Though, it should be taken as an Alert to the potential danger the world will face if Tehran's rulers have the audacity to use their nuclear weapon against the state they vowed to destroy, Israel. Russia is playing a dangerous game by helping Iran develop nuclear energy. If the ayatollah state had not threatened the right of another state to exist, there would be less paranoia, but that is not the case, so we must be mindful and watchful of the potentially horrific coercions posed by them. If the Mid East is a volatile place, which we see it is, and if aircraft carriers tames this volatility, which it may or may not do, and if Iran proves its verbal belligerence with action, expect a strong response. Our men and women are up to the challenge if this should come to pass, though peace between nations is a better way. At this time, it will be how Iran calls it, whether it will be peace or war.
War Handicaps Reason- 2 -War IS Handicapped Reason, Sin-political-religion.
Unexpected Iraq bloodbath raises concerns Accounts of little-known Shiite cult prompt more questions than answers http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16890740/The article posted above raises a number of good questions. Chief among the questions is how a Cult could amass sufficient weapons and develope sufficient military capability in secret that it took the most high tech weapons available to the United States along with U.S. and Iraqi reinforcements to destroy it. We the Alliance of Patriots and our religous associates have renounced violence. We however, have had access to the most advanced technology and medical techniques ever developed by the United States, Soviet Union, Isreal, NATO and Western Civilization. This coupled with a leadership trained in war and religion by the finest minds in the West, along with covert commuications and cryptology techniques by the government of the United States and NATO and access to combined family wealth that runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars in assets is what makes up the Alliance of Patriots. This along with a leadership whose IQ is in the top 10% of the human race is what rebelled and coordinated the operations to destroy the Republican hold on power in the United States without firing a shot in anger. ...
War IS Handicapped Reason, Free will vs. slave.
We are all reasonable beings, to a greater or lesser degree, and if we were only reasonable, one could make the argument that we could always find a way to agreement, and thus avoid war. However, we are not always reasonable, or not reasonable enough to find agreement, so that in the failed reason context, there will be those who will pose to force their will on others, which is war. As had been explored on the predecessor thread, war has many examples of imposed will on others, against their agreement. Coercion demands response, however, so war results when reason fails and coercion is forced. That's war. I would like to propose it one step further, in this discussion on war. That we leave out the political religious aspect of war, or using Spanish preposition for 'without', I call it "Sin-political-religion" approach to war. Religion, as stated many times here, is a personal thing. But when politicized, then it becomes an evil thing. As the founding fathers of this great free nation, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, so wisely concluded, there must be a separation of church and state, or religion and governance, to prevent the tyrannical abuses of dogma in human affairs, if we are to enjoy our newly found freedoms. Any belief system that will force individuals into a political act against other individuals in the name of God is a failed system where it degrades God by making man act for God. This then becomes an admission that God is incapable of running the universe, and human affairs in it, and must default to its lesser species of man to force other men and women to do as He needs. To me this idea is profane, since it belittles God to becoming man's servant in the world, which is an absurdity. So to force political action against others in the name of God is blasphemy against God, even a rape of God's Love for humanity, to serve the intents and ambitions of men. That makes these ambitions and intents of such men evil, by this definition, because it subordinates God to man. And that subordination is failed reason, the cause of so much strife and suffering in the world at the hands of men. So in this discussion, let us turn our attention to 'sin-political-religion' causes for war, those that force human beings into conflict with one another, not involving God but man. As free human beings, we have no business acting for God, because God does not need us to act for Him, but rather we have an obligation to each other to act in ways that are reasonable to enhance our ability to find agreement, as opposed to acting in ways that coerce us into conflict with one another. A prime example is Iraq. Here we imposed, by deposing an evil dictator, a form of democratic government on a people who had not freedom and democratic principles in their cultural history; rather they had only known oppression at the hands of dictators. Granted there are progressively thinking Iraqis who do want freedom and democracy, but they are badly outnumbered by those who are regressive and only understand the use of force, the politicized force of religious dogma of man against man. The results are self evident. Once democracy is introduced, without sufficient force to stop those who coerce for their political ambitions, the process fails. What happens then is what we see, increasingly violent and vile behavior of man against man, killing and suicide bombings, citizens of Iraq turned against each other en masse in a sectarian war. Sin-political-religion, this would not have happened, but we did not foresee the power of religious dogma on the political structures of the region, and thus stepped into a hornets nest from which we will need to withdraw. War is the currency in present day Iraq, to the distress of those who would see a successful nation as a member of the world, and now will be isolated to its religious and regional sectarian conflicts. Such a thing would not have been foreseen by the founding fathers of our nation, though it too forged its freedoms out of war. Can the Iraqi conflicts result in the same freedoms for the Iraqi people, or all the people of the Middle East? That will be left to them, and to God, sin-political-religious meddling on the part of God. The threat of war today, just as posed by political Islamic Jihad, all around the world (about 80% of all world conflicts have Islamic Jihad on either one or both sides of the conflict), and especially as it applies to safeguarding our hard earned freedoms at home, is in large part a conflict against the politically motivated forces of using God to force others against their will, against their freedoms. As failed reason, war is a failure of humanity to respect each other's divinity before God, that each human being is born free to be who God made them to be, and thus use violence to impose political ambitions on others. Iraq is a best case test of such failure, and the violence that results, what had been violence for 1400 years in the imposition of a political dogma on others, is what we have to fight against. We are fighting war itself, and failed reason handicapped by political-religious motivations is what we must overcome. Can it be done? Let us see if there can be a way out of this mess created by ignorant, and ill believing, human beings who do not believe God is powerful enough to run the universe, and our world, but must act politically on His behalf. That sin-political-religion solution to war may be one way to bring a sustainable historical peace to our world. This we must believe, that without political-religious coercions, without politicizing individuals to force others in the name of God, truly a failed reason, we can have peace. ...
Iraqi Quagmire, Palestinian Arabs' right of return.
Do not misunderstand me, Mohideen. Coercion will not be victorious in this world, not anymore. Coercion will be conquered, whether or not with your compliance of old time religions, and their prophets, or not. The age of human universal freedoms will be victorious, whether or not you, or your antiquated old time prophecies political belief system approves. This is the reality you face in this world, as well as on this discussion board. If you disagree with coercion being conquered, then you have no voice here as a free human being. A slave's voice is meaningless, since he doesn't possess his voice and thoughts freely of his own free will. So in yours above:
Thank you, we will enjoy our freedoms, with or without your approval. That is the future of our world as free and conscious human beings. ...
I cannot remain idle when my religion is criticized - directly or indirectly. May be it is time for me to be an observer. Let me try. I might post on other threads as long as my religion does not get attacked. Enjoy your freedom.
Iraqi Quagmire, "Slam dunk" failed in Iraq.
Saudi Columnist on 'The Right to Return' http://memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD154007 Article, Middle East Media Research Institute, April 12, 2007 The refugee problem: "Clearly, the refugee problem is mainly the result of cumulative mistakes made by the countries where [the refugees] live... such as Syria and Lebanon, which have isolated the refugees in poor and shabby camps lacking the most basic conditions for a dignified human existence. Instead of helping them to become fully integrated in their new society, they let them become victims of isolation and suffering... Later, the worst of all happened when Arab intelligence agencies used the Palestinian organizations as a tool for settling scores in internal Arab conflicts that probably have nothing to do with the Palestinians... By contrast: "The Israelis, on the other hand, were civilized and humane in their treatment of the thousands of Jewish refugees who had lost their property, homes and businesses in the Arab countries, and who were forced to emigrate to Israel after the 1948 war. The Israeli government received them, helped them, and provided them with all the conditions [they needed] to become integrated in their new society... The Iraqi problem pales by comparison: "In reality, there is no 'bridge [of return]'... except for the bridge that we now must pass... called the peace process and normalization of relations between the Arabs and Israel. Undoubtedly, the Arabs cannot continue to avoid the implementation [of the peace process], which brooks no further delay. [Any delay] will have a heavy price for the Arab societies in the present and in the future, considering the sharp strategic changes [occurring] in the Middle East. [These changes] demand an immediate and final solution to the Arab-Israeli conflicts, and [require] the two sides to direct their joint energies and efforts towards confronting the Iranian nuclear threat which imperils us all." To perpetuate the Arab propaganda without alleviating the inequities the Palestinian Arabs must live under in their host countries, so unlike any other immigrant group in any other part of the world, is the pain caused by the Arab world on their own. Iraqi misery is but one more on that pile of suffering coming out of the Arab Suni-Shia world. In fact, it is a quagmire of suffering not of our doing, but of theirs.
On the History of Once and Future Wars, Gen. Casey's speech.
=== Mr. Tenet admits that he made his famous “slam dunk” remark about the evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But he argues that the quote was taken out of context and that it had little impact on President Bush’s decision to go to war. ... He also expresses skepticism about whether the increase in troops in Iraq will prove successful. “It may have worked more than three years ago,” he wrote. “My fear is that sectarian violence in Iraq has taken on a life of its own and that U.S. forces are becoming more and more irrelevant to the management of that violence.” Mr. Tenet says he decided to write the memoir in part because the infamous “slam dunk” episode had come to define his tenure at C.I.A. He gives a detailed account of the episode, which occurred during an Oval Office meeting in December 2002 when the administration was preparing to make public its case for war against Iraq. ...
On the History of Once and Future Wars, Reciprocity in accusations.
What better place to start than with today? So here is a speech by General Casey, US Army Chief of Staff. He speaks the Army Family."Soldiers, civilians and families of the United States Army, I am extremely proud to be taking charge of an organization that is rightly regarded as the best in the world. I have watched the men and women of our Army in action for the past several years in the most demanding combat environment. I am proud of the courage, competence and commitment of our Soldiers and civilians both to the ideals that made this country great and to making a difference in our world. You epitomize what is best about America. You and your families carry a heavy burden in today's war, with a hard road ahead. Your willingness to sacrifice to build a better future for others and to preserve our way of life is a great strength of our nation. In every generation, when faced with difficult challenges, Americans have risen to the occasion. Today, such heroes fill the Army's ranks. It is your efforts that will make victory possible. We are locked in a war against a global extremist network that is fixed on defeating the United States and destroying our way of life. This foe will not go away nor will they give up easily, and the next decade will likely be one of persistent conflict. We are engaged in a long war. At stake are the power of our values and our civilization, exemplified by the promise of America, to confront and defeat the menace of extremist terrorists. At stake is whether the authority of those who treasure the rights of free individuals will stand firm against the ruthless and pitiless men who wantonly slay the defenseless. At stake is whether the future will be framed by the individual freedoms we hold so dear or dominated by a demented form of extremism. At stake is whether we will continue to expand freedom, opportunity and decency for those who thirst for it, or let fall the darkness of extremism and terror. We have been at war for over five years, fighting for our freedom, our security and our future as a nation. We have made hard sacrifices. There will be more. Faced with such a long and difficult struggle, it is useful to remind ourselves that the Army exists to field forces for victory. We are in this war to win. We have fought this way since 1775. We always will. As Soldiers, we will lead the nation to victory over this enemy. Our combat veterans know well the meaning of "Army Strong." They have been "baptized in fire and blood, and they have come out as steel." That steel endures. Our Warrior Ethos has it right: - I will always place the mission first. - I will never quit. - I will never accept defeat. - I will never leave a fallen comrade. Seldom in our history have Soldiers faced greater challenges. We serve at a time when the stakes for our nation and our way of life are high, and the demands on our force significant. We will continue to reflect the very best of our nation by defeating the enemies of freedom and the proponents of terror, by defending our homeland and by assisting our nation to build a better future for coming generations. I could not be more proud to be a Soldier today and to stand shoulder to shoulder with you and your families during this time of great danger and uncertainty. Together we are, and always will be, ARMY STRONG." George W. Casey, Jr. General, U.S. Army Chief of Staff
In Confirmation of our Christian Values, How do we slay Dogma?
Reciprocity in accusations of 'Islamophobia'? From WSJ OpEd by Tawfik Hamid, How to End 'Islamophobia' http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010123 Dr. Hamid says:
Worst? Killing innocents is worse, including suicide bombings of children in Israeli pizza parlors, aboard London buses, Marid and Mumbay trains, Bali nightclub, Beslan school... these are much worst. He says further, intelligently:
Islamic organizations regularly accuse non-Muslims of "Islamophobia," a fear and disdain for everything Islamic. On May 17, this accusation bubbled up again as foreign ministers from the Organization of the Islamic Conference called Islamophobia "the worst form of terrorism."
To 'not be punished' by rigid interpretations of religious dogma, that is the key to end 'Islamophobia' for everyone, reciprocally. He ends:
To bring an end to Islamophobia, we must employ a holistic approach that treats the core of the disease. It will not suffice to merely suppress the symptoms. It is imperative to adopt new Islamic teachings that do not allow killing apostates (Redda Law). Islamic authorities must provide mainstream Islamic books that forbid polygamy and beating women. Accepted Islamic doctrine should take a strong stand against slavery and the raping of female war prisoners, as happens in Darfur under the explicit canons of Shariah ("Ma Malakat Aimanikum"). Muslims should teach, everywhere and universally, that a woman's testimony in court counts as much as a man's, that women should not be punished if they marry whom they please or dress as they wish.
The last line should be in bold, that "Sharia law should have no binding legal status in free, democratic societies."
Islamophobia could end when masses of Muslims demonstrate in the streets against videos displaying innocent people being beheaded with the same vigor we employ against airlines, Israel and cartoons of Muhammad. It might cease when Muslims unambiguously and publicly insist that Shariah law should have no binding legal status in free, democratic societies.
This is where we are now. What will the history of future wars look like? We write history today, with our thoughts and actions, and future generations, perhaps hundreds of years from now, will judge us now. What will they say about us? They were civilized? Or were they killers, low primitive barbarians?
How do you slay Dogma? Personal over private faith is a start. Humility, that's good too. But what about the millions trapped on the lease of self-replicating Dogma? They answer with programmed action and rhetoric, in order to defend their way of life. Psychology calls it "cognitive dissonance". In this phenomenon, the mind does whatever it takes to quiet the dissonance created when reason reveals a truth the discoverer cannot or does not want to reconcile. But how do you defeat the "cultural cognitive dissonance" inspired by a lifetime of programmed thought? People will feel like traitors and sinners when faced with accepting realities that contradict their belief system. Cults have been successful with defeating dogma, but unfortunately they simply replace it with another set of dogmatic rules. Cultures have used force with success, unfortunately to the same effect as that mentioned above. How do we defeat Dogma? ...
What are we doing here? There is a reason for everything. But some things can stop. Look at Danka Sekulovic's face above, killed by Jihadis in Kosovo... she was four years old. We must stop this.
"War is, because those who need to change and cannot, do so by force to punish those who have, and become punished themselves, to change. This is true of all violence, until we change."
- PeoplesBook2000, December 8, 1999 - anonymous
Never Again. Also this: UN says Albania 'stalling' Serb human organs inquiry.
Kumeyaay solar calendar?
|Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 01:32 pm: |
Did Kumeyaay Indians of Anza-Borrego have a solar calendar?
This is a followup on a much earlier post: May 26, 2003: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/1/74.html (scroll down to date) where I first discovered the scalloping in large upright boulders at the Morteros site. (The traditional ethnological explanation for this scalloping is regarding birthing rites, where women who wish to beget children scallop the rock, per William Duncan Strong.)
Upper pict shows 'scalloped' patterns on rock, Morteros site
At the time, I wrote here:
As I sat on my rock while the sun began its descent, I noticed that there was a pointed shadow creeping along the desert floor near where I was. Without too much imagination, I realized that it would eventually creep up to where the shallow scalloping in the upright portion of the rock was. This scalloping, each about the size of a small orange, about 30 or so on this particular face of the rock; there were other such scallopings on its opposite face, and also on top of an adjacent rock; were likely made by rotating a rock on the same spot until it was nearly a half inch deep. Their placement were such that the pointed shadow of a nearby rock to the west would have cast its outline on different scallopings at different times of the year. Since it was already late May, the shadow was to fall just outside the scalloping, but earlier it would have fallen exactly where they were on the rock face I was facing. At the adjacent rock, the scalloping would have caught the shadow mid winter. On the opposite side of the big rock, the same would have been caught by the sunrise, though I was not sure what generated the shadow there, whereas these were catching sunset.
This is interesting because when my friend Dr. Anthony S., Ph.D, and I returned to this site (yesterday, after visiting Pictograph rock), we again examined these scalloped formations on the large boulder mentioned above, and indeed there seems to be evidence it may have been a solar calendar. While one was for the sunset from a shadow of a pinnacle rock to the west, the other scalloping (see photo above) would have caught a V-shaped shadow at sunrise made from the cross-section of the mountain and rock to the east.* It made sense to both of us, and it was a nice ending of a fun though arduous day of hiking up in the Little Blair Valley of Anza-Borrego Desert California state park. We had hiked for about 4 1/2 hours, finally climbing down the treacherous old Indian trail (barely visible, though now marked with stones) down the rock-fall below the second pictograph rock (Leaning Tower Rock post). I had written about the climb down here: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/88/446.html?1222829615#POST4922 This time, our descent was made easier by staying on the 'trail' barely visible, thus avoiding clambering over the many boulders on the way down. Though, getting an occasional obligatory stab from agave or cacti there seemed part of the course. Weather was perfect, not too hot, in all a glorious day.
(more photos below)
*(I nearly forgot about this, that I wrote about it 6 years ago, but revisiting the site made sense once again. Anthony found the V-shaped sun ray relationship with the east facing scalloping, it actually makes sense, now that we re-examined it.)