Morality is not determined by the church you attend nor the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey
This is a great posting I have read. I like your article.
We also live on a planet with millions who oppose our sense of reality. and they are noisy and bossy and have made a real frickin mess of things.
I'm finding that atheists have a much more mature attitude toward life. They are more peaceful, more understanding of other cultures and beliefs, more accepting of differences, and far less likely to judge. They want to use their time here to make the world a better place. And I am a Christian, just not the Palin "believe like me or God is gonna getcha" Christian. Atheists won't want to hear this, but I think you are far closer to Christ than any evangelical I see in the GOP (or any dominionist either.)
I speak and write freely about growing up with too much crazy religion around me. That being said, I have sensed the Hand of God several times… bad things were stopped by an unseen force.It does not make me want to convert others. I’m happy with their peace of mind. Live and let live.
We never know when God is using us as His hand to reach out...
Gryphen, i believe that you and i (and all the other people in the world) share the space between our molecules.That space is called "God".God is everywhere.
I do believe in an afterlife. There are so many people who have had near death experiences talk about seeing diseased loved ones who were waiting to guide them into the next life. I've also read that right after death, there is a certain amount of weight loss that scientists can't account for. I think it's a life force of some sort, the soul, if you will, and it leaves the body. But where does it go?
Regarding your final point; this is in fact a myth, which reached its high point when the movie 21 grams became a hit. There's no unaccountable weight loss unfortunately.Regarding the uncanny 'tunnel of light' like descriptions of near death, this too has been accounted for in scientific journals. 1. Tunnel of light easily explained by what you see on operating table and 2. We are now conditioned so that experiments cannot be conducted as we are all familiar with the descriptions given. There are further readings and explanations - science can't answer everything right now that's the nature of science - so do google.I've yet to see the results (but you reminded me to search so thanks) of an experiment that would end the debate on near death experiences forever - they are due this year and are either negative on it or not out yet - we would have heard! The study placed physical objects in the operating rooms that would be visible ONLY if a person had risen out of their physical body somehow at we're looking down at themselves in the manner so often described. Some part of me wants this to be true so badly whilst other parts feel exhaustion at the thought of living forever in a tunnel. Would we suffer our physical pain still? Would we be free? What of ghosts?Think of it this way. Does the year 1880 make you feel dread and fear in your heart? Do you scream at the mere thought of that time period in which you obviously did not exist? (if you did ring the papers ASAP!!!) It doesn't trouble us by nature, so I try to think of it that way. That said; although I loathe what believers have made of the world the fact that they are soooo SURE of what will happen to them can be envious. How are they so sure I always wonder? It's ignorance to be sure, but sometimes I wistfully think how nice it'd be to be ignorant..
And to add to my comments, there are also many nurses, doctors, and hospice workers who have noted that dying people seem to be talking to others who aren't in the room. Also, I've read of people who immediately knew when a loved one died - there are even instances of people who say they received a call or in-person visit from someone they knew, only to find out that person had died before making the call/visit. I know many will dismiss these stories as just that - unverifiable stories. But there are so many instances of them, and many of the people who have recounted them seemed to genuinely believe these experiences happened.
I am pretty much a skeptic and a cynic but I have had dreams that later happened in life exactly as I had dreamed them. Cue the Twilight Zone music. They were certainly disconcerting experiences to say the least. When my father lay dying half the continent away he came to me in a dream to say goodbye. I immediately woke and for some reason noted the time. It turned out that that was the time the hospital called my mom and siblings to come to the hospital if they wanted to say goodbye to Dad. Coincidence? Perhaps. Of course it cannot be proved or disproved. I just know what happened to me.
Like me, Natalie Portman is Jewish. Jews don't believe in an afterlife. Your only life is here on earth and you get one chance at it and you'd better make the most of it. You don't get a second chance in Heaven. The "Heaven" idea was very helpful to the Catholic Church, particularly during the Middle Ages because the idea of however awful your life was "down here", you'd be happy in your next one.About God. I don't believe there's an old guy up there. I think God is in your heart and is your conscience, which forces you to make good decisions. I don't know what Natalie Portman believes about God.
"Whenever I feel alone, or that my life seems inconsequential, I always remind myself that I am the universe, that the universe is me, and that I live on a planet populated with millions of intelligent people who share my sense of reality."I like your sentiment, Gryph. It beats living the lie, and that's all religion is.
Brad Pitt and Geoorge Clooney are great thinkers??? Are you kidding?
Celebrities, Gryphen?They are bigger phonies and better bullshitters than politicians. You have *no idea* who these people are and how they *really* live.I shake my head in sadness that a show like "The View" can exist -that people would actually make a Point to Watch what a bunch of z-list celebrities think about ANYTHING, let alone issues like SANDRA FLUKE??**sigh**
Not real sure I want to get my theology or world view from 3 actors, as much as I admire some of them.I agree with comments made regarding how little we truly do know, and how compelling some of these studies are.Belief in God is every bit as truth-based and valid as any non-belief in God, because no one knows for sure. That's just how it is and there's no getting around it.
Who is the first guy?~physicsmom
I love each quote. I don't understand why or how people can dismiss celebrities views simply because of their profession. Turn on any televangelist program and ask yourself who's a better actor? Any Church and see that one person (Pastor's, Priests, Shamans etc..) is held above the rest as "the authority" simply because of their profession. Can anyone explain the phenomenon known as Tim Tebow, and why no one questions his "celebrity status", because I don't see it.
Don't feed the trolls! It just goes directly to their thighs.