Struggling with God in the Modern Times

This provided some interesting reading on Wikipedia. Thank you.

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Jesus the Christ declared that is is the only way to the Father. He is not a religion or just a belief, He is the Sovereign ruler of heaven and earth. A Christian is not just someone who follows a set of rules, a Christian is someone who has literally been born of God through their reliance upon what Jesus did through His death and resurrection. No union with Jesus in His death and resurrection, then no union with God the Father. Jesus is the only way.

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It is progress to go from being in family to being an orphan on the streets. Just a little bit of a non sequitur.

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Slime molds demonstrate minimal complex behaviour, re-uniting if broken up, the ability to learn and predict periodic unfavourable conditions in laboratory experiments. That’s a very long way from agency. All organisms respond to stimuli, by definition, the factorial complexity of behaviour, cognitive repertoire, being a function of neural correlates; mapping to ever more complex brains. Chemistry became biology extremely rapidly, instantaneously in geological time; as soon as it could rain. Consciousness and intent took well over three billion years of biology. Which shows how complex it is. But that’s all it is.

Well consciousness as we know it took eons but did it spring into being from from something entirely lacking consciousness … or slowly evolve from what - if we knew how to look - would be recognizable as consciousness too. I’m now wondering whether consciousness and matter might be equally basic. It surprises me but i blame McGilchrist who has me enthralled.

I expect to recover but hopefully not too soon. I’m enjoying feeling a little less certain.

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When the family is abusive, yes it is. And when the so called Xtian dogma that has been hammered into all your life is likewise hateful and abusive, then tossing that in the garbage can also be progress.

And just to be clear… This does not describe me in any way at all. But I have known people who this does describe.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

Jesus and the Father are one. So how can you possibly get to the Father without going to Jesus?

Exactly! So just because you believe in Him doesn’t mean you own Him or control who He helps!

None of that is in the Bible. The word “Christian” is in the Bible 3 times and in every case it is a name which was given to some group of people by other people. So I do not accept your redefinition of the word out of your own fantasies. The consensus of those using the English language has the meaning of this word as those of a religion distinguished from other religions. And I find this best accomplished by the creed of Nicea from the ecumenical council of 325 AD.

Absolutely! But the one who says who is united with Jesus is not you but Jesus. Like you said Jesus is not a belief. Jesus is God and a person who speaks for Himself and makes His own choices about what He does. Your assent has no part of it.

Then you need to use another pronoun besides “your”, as well. Have you heard of third person pronouns.

Don’t be pedantic. Second person singular is used as an impersonal pronoun in English all the time. You see it everywhere. (See what I did there?)

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Yes, ma’am. [salute emoji :slightly_smiling_face:] But I did think he was referring to me, because it is ambiguous.

Pro-tip: don’t be so quick to assume that what people tell you about you is necessarily about you.

Thanks. It would have been in character for Mitch, as you know.

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He imagines that He knows me. :roll_eyes: Probably from changing all those second person singular "you"s from impersonal pronouns to himself. Which tells us more about him than about me, doesn’t it?

I deny that consciousness took so long to develop.

The slime mold makes this transition to a moble form ONLY because it is aware of the state of its environment lacking in food. And then transitions to the spore bearing form ONLY because it is aware that the environment is plentiful in food. AND it can only make those transitions in form because it is aware of the state of itself. So it has both awareness and self-awareness. Ok so it doesn’t bother putting those things into words and then imagining it is all superior to other forms of life because it does so… so what?

So am I saying there is no difference? Hardly. The scope, extent, and speed of our awareness of both ourselves and our environment exceeds that of a slime mold by a considerable amount. So, just as the slime mold looks immobile at first glance compared to ourselves, it also looks to be lacking in consciousness compared to ourselves at first glance. But when we look closer, with a microscope, we see that mobility and consciousness are there even if insignificant compared to our own.

The accumulation of consciousness and especially the rocketing forward degree of consciousness which we find in human beings did indeed take billions of years to develop. AND that is another way in which we can see the continued evolution of man as well as our consciousness continues to increase in scope, extent, and speed as our awareness reaches farther and deeper into the universe, and doing so at an accelerated pace.

There is no need to invoke self awareness to explain slime mold behaviour any more than there is to explain murmuration or swarms of utterly minimal robots.

Hey Massam, just wanted to let you know that a lot of the holiest people of all time have doubted the existence of God and have walked the path of belief and the path of unbelief and that being able to ask those questions is often a sign that you’re building a deeper and more complete faith.

I struggled with God’s existence very hard a few years ago and, while I think scientific arguments for how the universe got started are compelling the questions of “Why is there something rather than nothing?” and “If there’s no point to all of this why do we all feel like there’s a point” are strong enough for me to feel my faith is grounded in reason.

Also I’m a skeptic by nature too so one of my favorite prayers to God is “Hey, if you wanted someone with stronger faith you could’ve made them but you didn’t so here we are.” I’d recommend it if you wanted to keep up with your prayer life.

Finally thanks for being brave enough to be a searcher, God honors that search and I hope you honor that in yourself (Unless He doesn’t exist in which case he doesn’t but I believe that he does so he does).

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Getting back to the question at hand some people are cutting close to this so let me try to organize these thoughts a bit.

If you want to experience doubt try the atheists’ dilemma in explaining the origins of all things (full disclosure: I was an atheist and suffered this first hand).

First out of nothing comes matter. Then this matter that somehow came from nothing organizes itself into all of the myriad forms in existence. What inherent quality in matter could explain this? Then somehow organic matter comes from inorganic matter. This doesn’t happen every day. Scientists have been trying to create organic matter in the laboratory for decades without coming close.

I suppose it could be argued that this doesn’t prove the existence of God but our poor atheist is wrestling with mysteries that materialist science has no answers for.

That might be the main difference. The atheist is wrestling, and some theists have quit wrestling.
They both still have mysteries … the theist just isn’t attempting to arrive at any further understanding.

So in all fairness to atheists, there are some questions that just seem un-answerable - especially if one wants them answered only within an empirical framework.

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Oooh I dunno Mervin. This theist likes to wrestle. Like Jacob at Jabbok. I’ve not let go of God yet. Despite the best atheism has to offer. Which is rationally the best there is.

Yabbut we all have a hard time telling who is winning. :wink:

Yep, the jury is still out on lots of questions. If anything my certainty has been losing ground! I don’t know whether to weep or celebrate.

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Och MarkD. God was losing with me. But He’s started to fight back big time. Is He making His presence felt with you too?! Are you doubting your agnosticism?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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