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Re: [sl] Soul and Mortality (was Psychology/Soul)

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  • Alexandre
    Dan wrote, So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors? Well , I m interested in it too
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 26, 2002
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      Dan wrote,

      "So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
      society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?"


      Well , I'm interested in it too , since I've been developing a way (not
      finished yet) to do this.

      Alexandre



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Dan Washburn" <danw@...>
      To: <sacredlandscapelist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 9:47 AM
      Subject: Re: [sl] Soul and Mortality (was Psychology/Soul)


      >
      >
      > 333 wrote:
      > >
      > > 50020624 VII Junesday Lunatix Solstice
      > >
      > > Dan Washburnspeaks to Mike:
      > > > Interesting that you say 'soul' bore the structure that
      > > > in'formed' physical beings.
      > >
      > > sounds neoPlatonist.
      >
      > Yes, it does to me too.
      >
      > >
      > > > I've always thought of it as an energy rather than a
      > > > structure, the breath of life, without which the body dies,
      > > > relying, I guess, on the greek pneuma=breath=soul equation.
      > > >
      > > > psyche = mind
      > > > pneuma = soul
      > >
      > > in the same way that everything is energy, sometimes as matter,
      > > so also is everything soul, sometimes as human beings.
      >
      > So there is soul in everything, just self-realized in human
      > beings?
      > >
      > > > Most of the time when I'm reading and someone mentions 'soul'
      > > > I don't have a clue as to what they are talking about.
      > >
      > > usually they intend some essential spirit in possession of
      > > their body, like a demonic possession or a host-spirit (see
      > > materials on mediums and Hermetic or Chinese spirit-possession,
      > > for examples).
      > >
      > Here i think is an interesting aspect of soul - as the
      > bearer of personality. when there is spirit possession
      > there is a distinct personality that takes over the body.
      > does my soul have a different personality from me?
      > intriguing question!
      >
      > > > Having been raised a catholic, I also think of the soul as
      > > > the immortal part of a human being.
      > >
      > > usually also presumed. it is often advertized as a Free Pass
      > > Beyond Death. arguably, this is magical attempt to transcend
      > > extinction (bodily death no longer concerns those convinced of
      > > this magical effect) strictly on the basis of belief and some
      > > god's powers. typically a hierarchical cosmology is also
      > > believed, with their god's position as Creator-of-All-Things
      > > or Most-Powerful-God-of-This-Age, etc.
      > >
      > > > They don't say much more about it that i remember, though.
      > > > So apart from soul=immortal the slate is blank.
      > >
      > > often the soul is described as overlapping or coincident to
      > > the Godhead. sometimes this equates to Plotinus' Emanation
      > > cosmology (is this heretical to a Roman Catholic?) or maybe
      > > something Gnostic (or neo-Gnostic, see a number of Hermetics,
      > > who seek to 'Enflame the Divine Spark to Emanation ).
      >
      > Hmm, a piece of the godhead, a divine spark. This is soul
      > as atman, rather than soul as an entity created by god.
      > what a difference imagery makes - the process of creation as
      > birth of a child vs the carving of a statue.
      >
      > >
      > > > It struck me just recently that they have to be wrong, as usual.
      > >
      > > most religious are completely inaccurate with respect to their
      > > presumed notions of the Real. perhaps this accounts for the
      > > popularity of mysticism (often including techiques which make
      > > an approach to or communion with the Real).
      >
      > wow - the function of religion is to spur us to transcend it
      > to get back to the Real. I like it a lot
      > >
      > > > The New Testament is always promising life everlasting to the
      > > > saints (all the faithful christians). Which means that the
      > > > unfaithful will not have everlasting life, they will die,
      > > > disappear, be utterly destroyed, rather than be immortal,
      > > > suffering the pains of hell for all eternity.
      > >
      > > nothing new. consider many a Middle-Eastern Creation Story.
      > >
      > > > so take consolation: if we don't make it into heaven, at
      > > > least we have oblivion to fall back on.
      > >
      > > Pascal's Wager. unconvincing to those with sufficient study.
      >
      > what was paschal's wager again? that one slipped by me
      > somehow.
      > >
      > > > But this means I'm wrong and the soul isn't immortal, even
      > > > if everyone is saying, well bless my immortal soul.
      > >
      > > unless saying it makes it appear or condenses it somehow. a good
      > > number of alchemists are quite interested in concentrating their
      > > consciousness, their "fourth-dimensional presence", arguably one
      > > might say their soul, so as to survive the bodily death process.
      > > they believe that one has to take an *active* interest and enact
      > > specific ritual ceremonies. the techniques circulated amongst the
      > > cultists are attempted in secrecy and hinted at in religious tracts.
      > > one's position with respect to the secret society likely will
      > > dictate one's familiarity with those techniques coveted by the cult.
      > >
      > Needleman wrote a book called Lost Christianity in which he
      > argued that the whole doctrine that you have to create your
      > own soul was once big but has since slipped out of christian
      > consciousness. But he doesn't tell how to do it.
      > So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
      > society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?
      > Dan
      >
      > > nigris (333)
      > > nagasiva@...
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
    • Stephen J.
      The LIGHT does not shine behind locked doors. Namaste Stephen
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 26, 2002
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        The LIGHT does not shine behind locked doors.

        Namaste

        Stephen

        Alexandre wrote:

        > Dan wrote,
        >
        > "So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
        > society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?"
        >
        > Well , I'm interested in it too , since I've been developing a way (not
        > finished yet) to do this.
        >
        > Alexandre
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Dan Washburn" <danw@...>
        > To: <sacredlandscapelist@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 9:47 AM
        > Subject: Re: [sl] Soul and Mortality (was Psychology/Soul)
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > 333 wrote:
        > > >
        > > > 50020624 VII Junesday Lunatix Solstice
        > > >
        > > > Dan Washburnspeaks to Mike:
        > > > > Interesting that you say 'soul' bore the structure that
        > > > > in'formed' physical beings.
        > > >
        > > > sounds neoPlatonist.
        > >
        > > Yes, it does to me too.
        > >
        > > >
        > > > > I've always thought of it as an energy rather than a
        > > > > structure, the breath of life, without which the body dies,
        > > > > relying, I guess, on the greek pneuma=breath=soul equation.
        > > > >
        > > > > psyche = mind
        > > > > pneuma = soul
        > > >
        > > > in the same way that everything is energy, sometimes as matter,
        > > > so also is everything soul, sometimes as human beings.
        > >
        > > So there is soul in everything, just self-realized in human
        > > beings?
        > > >
        > > > > Most of the time when I'm reading and someone mentions 'soul'
        > > > > I don't have a clue as to what they are talking about.
        > > >
        > > > usually they intend some essential spirit in possession of
        > > > their body, like a demonic possession or a host-spirit (see
        > > > materials on mediums and Hermetic or Chinese spirit-possession,
        > > > for examples).
        > > >
        > > Here i think is an interesting aspect of soul - as the
        > > bearer of personality. when there is spirit possession
        > > there is a distinct personality that takes over the body.
        > > does my soul have a different personality from me?
        > > intriguing question!
        > >
        > > > > Having been raised a catholic, I also think of the soul as
        > > > > the immortal part of a human being.
        > > >
        > > > usually also presumed. it is often advertized as a Free Pass
        > > > Beyond Death. arguably, this is magical attempt to transcend
        > > > extinction (bodily death no longer concerns those convinced of
        > > > this magical effect) strictly on the basis of belief and some
        > > > god's powers. typically a hierarchical cosmology is also
        > > > believed, with their god's position as Creator-of-All-Things
        > > > or Most-Powerful-God-of-This-Age, etc.
        > > >
        > > > > They don't say much more about it that i remember, though.
        > > > > So apart from soul=immortal the slate is blank.
        > > >
        > > > often the soul is described as overlapping or coincident to
        > > > the Godhead. sometimes this equates to Plotinus' Emanation
        > > > cosmology (is this heretical to a Roman Catholic?) or maybe
        > > > something Gnostic (or neo-Gnostic, see a number of Hermetics,
        > > > who seek to 'Enflame the Divine Spark to Emanation ).
        > >
        > > Hmm, a piece of the godhead, a divine spark. This is soul
        > > as atman, rather than soul as an entity created by god.
        > > what a difference imagery makes - the process of creation as
        > > birth of a child vs the carving of a statue.
        > >
        > > >
        > > > > It struck me just recently that they have to be wrong, as usual.
        > > >
        > > > most religious are completely inaccurate with respect to their
        > > > presumed notions of the Real. perhaps this accounts for the
        > > > popularity of mysticism (often including techiques which make
        > > > an approach to or communion with the Real).
        > >
        > > wow - the function of religion is to spur us to transcend it
        > > to get back to the Real. I like it a lot
        > > >
        > > > > The New Testament is always promising life everlasting to the
        > > > > saints (all the faithful christians). Which means that the
        > > > > unfaithful will not have everlasting life, they will die,
        > > > > disappear, be utterly destroyed, rather than be immortal,
        > > > > suffering the pains of hell for all eternity.
        > > >
        > > > nothing new. consider many a Middle-Eastern Creation Story.
        > > >
        > > > > so take consolation: if we don't make it into heaven, at
        > > > > least we have oblivion to fall back on.
        > > >
        > > > Pascal's Wager. unconvincing to those with sufficient study.
        > >
        > > what was paschal's wager again? that one slipped by me
        > > somehow.
        > > >
        > > > > But this means I'm wrong and the soul isn't immortal, even
        > > > > if everyone is saying, well bless my immortal soul.
        > > >
        > > > unless saying it makes it appear or condenses it somehow. a good
        > > > number of alchemists are quite interested in concentrating their
        > > > consciousness, their "fourth-dimensional presence", arguably one
        > > > might say their soul, so as to survive the bodily death process.
        > > > they believe that one has to take an *active* interest and enact
        > > > specific ritual ceremonies. the techniques circulated amongst the
        > > > cultists are attempted in secrecy and hinted at in religious tracts.
        > > > one's position with respect to the secret society likely will
        > > > dictate one's familiarity with those techniques coveted by the cult.
        > > >
        > > Needleman wrote a book called Lost Christianity in which he
        > > argued that the whole doctrine that you have to create your
        > > own soul was once big but has since slipped out of christian
        > > consciousness. But he doesn't tell how to do it.
        > > So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
        > > society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?
        > > Dan
        > >
        > > > nigris (333)
        > > > nagasiva@...
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • 333
        ... how were you able to determine this? as far as I know there is no repeatable way to verify where the Light (/light/LIGHT/etc.) shines. have you
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 26, 2002
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          > Alexandre wrote:
          > > Dan wrote,
          > > "So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
          > > society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?"

          "Stephen J." <servadei@...>:
          > > Well , I'm interested in it too , since I've been developing a way (not
          > > finished yet) to do this.

          > The LIGHT does not shine behind locked doors.
          > Namaste
          > Stephen

          how were you able to determine this? as far as I know there is no
          repeatable way to 'verify' "where the Light (/light/LIGHT/etc.)
          shines. have you ascertained a reliable way? thanks.

          333
        • Stephen J.
          Greetings, 333, YES! there is a reliable way. The Light shines within you, but due to inherited beliefs and erroneous thought processes, the vast majority of
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 27, 2002
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            Greetings, 333,

            YES! there is a reliable way.

            The Light shines within you, but due to inherited beliefs and erroneous thought processes, the vast majority of people are not aware of it - ("the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness apprehended it not") - located in your heart is the most beautiful, most sublime, beauty, a beauty that words cannot describe. However, a separation exists in consciousness which you must learn to remove (rent the veil).

            This is what ALL scriptures refer to when they discuss 'the light'...

            I know that the light does not shine behind closed doors because the light and truth are one, and the truth is for everyone. The moment you separate yourself from others through supposed knowledge, you cut yourself off from the very source of the light. (there is no division in light, and those that create division have no light). This is exactly what 'secret society's do, they cut themselves off from the light, because their own motives deceive them.

            The light can only shine in open expression of itself, otherwise it is not light.

            The stories called 'Gospels' relate in every detail, how one may manifest the light within themselves, and it is the use of these (Kabbalistic) texts that created the movement from which modern day Christianity has developed. However, the modern christian knows nothing of the light, for if he or she did, they would openly discuss it, for this is the only way for it to increase within oneself.

            Before the light can shine, one must look very carefully at oneself and ascertain ones own motives, for the 'motive provides the reward' - therefore many people that 'say' they want the light are betrayed by their own motives. The light is for the use of all, - "the greatest among you shall be your servant,"  but those that seek to rule over others, thereby removing their freedom create a division and the light can not shine where there is a division.

            Once the motives prove themselves to be pure and sincere, the doors will appear and the WAY will open for that individual to start on the Path to Metamorphosis.

            If you are invited to join a 'secret society' avoid it as you would a very serious infectious disease, for they are blind guides, leading only the blind.

            Strong words I know, but then again, once you have tasted the light and drunk from the well of living water that flows from deep within, there is no man (or women) that can ever deceive you - regardless of what 'title' they use to try to get you to accept their authority. (All authority is erroneous, we are ALL offspring of the Almighty and Everliving God and as soon as someone exhalts themselves and poses as an 'authority over others' you know that the light of life does not shine within them.)

            Namaste,

            Stephen
             
             
             
             

            333 wrote:

            > Alexandre wrote:
            > > Dan wrote,
            > > "So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
            > >  society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?"

            "Stephen J." <servadei@...>:
            > > Well , I'm interested in it too , since I've been developing a way (not
            > > finished yet)  to do this.

            > The LIGHT does not  shine behind locked doors.
            > Namaste
            > Stephen

            how were you able to determine this? as far as I know there is no
            repeatable way to 'verify' "where the Light (/light/LIGHT/etc.)
            shines. have you ascertained a reliable way? thanks.

            333
             
             

            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

          • 333
            50020629 VII ... wonderful. I hope that I can come to understand it. I don t yet understand how what you say below describes such a method. ... so within us
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 29, 2002
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              50020629 VII

              "Stephen J." <servadei@...>:
              >>> The LIGHT does not shine behind locked doors.

              333:
              >> how were you able to determine this? as far as I know there is no
              >> repeatable way to 'verify' "where the Light (/light/LIGHT/etc.)
              >> shines["]. have you ascertained a reliable way? thanks.

              "Stephen J." <servadei@...>:
              > YES! there is a reliable way.

              wonderful. I hope that I can come to understand it. I don't
              yet understand how what you say below describes such a method.

              > The Light shines within you, but due to inherited beliefs
              > and erroneous thought processes, the vast majority of people
              > are not aware of it - ("the light shines in the darkness,
              > but the darkness apprehended it not") - located in your heart
              > is the most beautiful, most sublime, beauty, a beauty that
              > words cannot describe. However, a separation exists in
              > consciousness which you must learn to remove (rent the veil).

              so within us must not be "behind locked doors", ok. I'm still
              not sure what method you're using that we could duplicate to
              discern where this light does and does not shine.

              > I know that the light does not shine behind closed doors

              wait, I thought you said there was a means of determining this.
              here you're just re-stating that you know it. I'm not really
              questioning that part, only whether you can point to a way
              that we can confirm your knowledge with our own senses.
              otherwise, observation of said light is not be REPRODUCED.

              > because the light and truth are one, and the truth is for
              > everyone. The moment you separate yourself from others
              > through supposed knowledge, you cut yourself off from the very
              > source of the light. (there is no division in light, and those
              > that create division have no light).

              oh, I see. you're saying that *by definition* you have ascertained
              it. I thought you'd figured out a way to peek behind all locked
              doors to see if "the light" was shining. :>

              > This is exactly what 'secret society's do, they cut themselves
              > off from the light, because their own motives deceive them.

              the problem with special substances and "light" which may be
              perceivable only by a select few is that it may be used in a
              way to dismiss whom the speaker biasedly opposes merely with
              a contention about "where it shines".

              I'm not saying that you are doing this, only that it is
              subject to abuse, and I'm asking you whether you've
              discovered a method of identifying where this light is
              shining and where it is not that WE can reproduce after
              you, so as to verify your assertions. otherwise how would
              we know whether you're one of those non-light-shining
              folks who is merely posing as an authority?

              > If you are invited to join a 'secret society' avoid it as
              > you would a very serious infectious disease, for they are
              > blind guides, leading only the blind.

              I tend to agree.

              > Strong words I know, but then again, once you have tasted
              > the light and drunk from the well of living water that
              > flows from deep within, there is no man (or women) that
              > can ever deceive you - regardless of what 'title' they use
              > to try to get you to accept their authority.

              so are there 'light-meters' we might use, some kind of
              mechanism like that which works for real visible physical photons?

              > (All authority is erroneous, we are ALL offspring of the
              > Almighty and Everliving God and as soon as someone exhalts
              > themselves and poses as an 'authority over others' you know
              > that the light of life does not shine within them.)

              this sounds too subjective to be used with any regularity.
              I mean, you sound to me like you are posing in your authority,
              so by your standard I should consider that the "light of life"
              does not shine within you. but I'd rather avoid presupposition
              and get to the part where we observe the light ourselves
              instead of just taking other people's word for where it shines.

              I'm asking whether there might be a REPRODUCEABLE means of
              discerning where this light is and is not shining. i.e. a
              method that will work for ANYONE that uses it and will yield
              the correct results.

              thanks.

              333
            • Alexandre
              nigris (333) wrote: have you ascertained a reliable way? thanks. ... No. But I ve been trying, so , any help would be very Kind. As a matter of fact , I m
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 29, 2002
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                nigris (333) wrote:



                have you ascertained a reliable way? thanks.
                >
                > 333


                No. But I've been trying, so , any help would be very Kind. As a matter of
                fact , I'm looking for a simple & elegant way to do this, IMO, it's a kind
                of alchemy & magic.

                On the other hand, I really would like to thanks to Vincent for the
                wonderful link he post

                Vincent wrote:

                "Well, as I have gotten from reading somewhere, the word psyche does mean
                soul in the ancient sense so it would seem that the word psychology can be
                used to mean study of the soul. However, I am most fond of the description
                of the soul as it can be elaborated through Jewish mysticism. Kabbalah seems
                to offer enough attributes for a comprehensive map.

                At this link a physicist, who works at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New
                Mexico, has written a brief paper about evolution of consciousness. His
                paper seems to reveal much more about his own psychology, than it might
                about mysticism, or authentic metaphysics. But, I enjoyed reading it.

                http://www.telp.com/spirituality/tolcon.htm

                Vincent"

                There I found the best collection of links to the "Memory Art" at :


                http://www.randomviolins.org/~dwap/academia/memlinks.htm

                And this other links that,IMO, worth a visit, it's really crazy, but
                fantastic, and in some ways bring to my memory that people of the "Gnosis
                of Princeton", does anybody knows about they?

                http://www.synapse-archive.com/

                "In the Synapse, a system of mnemonics called the Pattern Language channels
                lattice harmonics into a kind of communications relay among worlds. Through
                a cycle of emission and reclamation, Pattern Language circulates among the
                lattices and throughout the Synapse, like strands of RNA delivering messages
                from the nucleus of a cell. Each world emits Pattern Language as an imprint,
                an expression of the deep structure of its world-lattice..."

                Best to all

                Alexandre.
              • J Vincent Beall
                ... Your welcome, Vincent
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 29, 2002
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                  > On the other hand, I really would like to thanks to Vincent for the
                  > wonderful link he post
                  >

                  Your welcome,

                  Vincent
                • 333
                  ... soul is starstuff, we re all it and it is us. some of the soul parts are human beings. the inward thing is for the dualists and anti-flesh types. ...
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 30, 2002
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                    333:
                    > > in the same way that everything is energy, sometimes as matter,
                    > > so also is everything soul, sometimes as human beings.

                    Dan Washburn:
                    > So there is soul in everything, just self-realized in human
                    > beings?

                    soul is starstuff, we're all it and it is us. some of the
                    soul parts are human beings. the 'inward' thing is for the
                    dualists and anti-flesh types.

                    > Here i think is an interesting aspect of soul - as the
                    > bearer of personality. when there is spirit possession
                    > there is a distinct personality that takes over the body.
                    > does my soul have a different personality from me?
                    > intriguing question!

                    depends on who "you" are. if you are a competing ghost in
                    contention for the control over a meat-puppet body, then
                    no, your personality is the personality of your soul,
                    typically.

                    > > often the soul is described as overlapping or coincident to
                    > > the Godhead. sometimes this equates to Plotinus' Emanation
                    > > cosmology (is this heretical to a Roman Catholic?) or maybe
                    > > something Gnostic (or neo-Gnostic, see a number of Hermetics,
                    > > who seek to 'Enflame the Divine Spark to Emanation ).
                    >
                    > Hmm, a piece of the godhead, a divine spark. This is soul
                    > as atman, rather than soul as an entity created by god.

                    right, unless that created entity is 'birthed' by said god.

                    > what a difference imagery makes - the process of creation as
                    > birth of a child vs the carving of a statue.

                    yes, or the fashioning of mud-people or building of an entire
                    complement using a bone from the prototype (early cloning?!).

                    > > most religious are completely inaccurate with respect to their
                    > > presumed notions of the Real. perhaps this accounts for the
                    > > popularity of mysticism (often including techiques which make
                    > > an approach to or communion with the Real).
                    >
                    > wow - the function of religion is to spur us to transcend it
                    > to get back to the Real. I like it a lot

                    or to form a kind of 'transient zone' wherein mystics operate
                    the controls of the universe and the religious do the labour
                    of the lord god almighty when called.

                    > > > so take consolation: if we don't make it into heaven, at
                    > > > least we have oblivion to fall back on.
                    > >
                    > > Pascal's Wager. unconvincing to those with sufficient study.
                    >
                    > what was paschal's wager again? that one slipped by me
                    > somehow.

                    you can find out more about Blaise Pascal's Wager With God at

                    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/#4

                    wherein you'll find the following:

                    Is the Argument Valid?

                    ...Duff 1986 and Hájek 2001 argue that the argument
                    is in fact invalid. Their point is that there are
                    strategies besides wagering for God that also have
                    infinite expectation---namely, mixed strategies,
                    whereby you do not wager for or against God outright,
                    but rather choose which of these actions to perform
                    on the basis of the outcome of some chance device.
                    Consider the mixed strategy: "Toss a fair coin:
                    heads, you wager for God; tails, you wager against
                    God". By Pascal¹s lights, with probability 1/2 your
                    expectation will be infinite, and with probability
                    1/2 it will be finite. The expectation of the entire
                    strategy is:

                    1/2*[infinity] + 1/2{f2*p + f3*(1 - p)} = [infinity]

                    That is, the "coin toss" strategy has the same
                    expectation as outright wagering for God. But the
                    probability 1/2 was incidental to the result. Any mixed
                    strategy that gives positive and finite probability to
                    wagering for God will likewise have infinite expectation:
                    "wager for God iff a fair die lands 6", "wager for God
                    iff your lottery ticket wins", "wager for God iff a
                    meteor quantum tunnels its way through the side of your
                    house", and so on.

                    The problem is still worse than this, though, for there
                    is a sense in which anything that you do might be
                    regarded as a mixed strategy between wagering for God,
                    and wagering against God, with suitable probability
                    weights given to each. Suppose that you choose to
                    ignore the Wager, and to go and have a hamburger instead.
                    Still, you may well assign positive and finite probability
                    to your winding up wagering for God nonetheless; and this
                    probability multiplied by infinity again gives infinity.
                    So ignoring the Wager and having a hamburger has the
                    same expectation as outright wagering for God. Even worse,
                    suppose that you focus all your energy into avoiding belief
                    in God. Still, you may well assign positive and finite
                    probability to your efforts failing, with the result that
                    you wager for God nonetheless. In that case again, your
                    expectation is infinite again. So even if rationality
                    requires you to perform the act of maximum expected utility
                    when there is one, here there isn¹t one. Rather, there is a
                    many-way tie for first place, as it were.

                    [end quote]

                    and no way to decide between them, all of them equally 'necessary'.

                    popular atheist/agnostic expression in a simple form may
                    be found at the following web site:

                    http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/arguments.html#pascal

                    Pascal's Wager (God is a safe bet)

                    "If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect,
                    you have lost nothing -- but if you don't believe
                    in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to
                    hell. Therefore it is foolish to be an atheist."

                    This argument is known as Pascal's Wager. It has
                    several flaws.

                    Firstly, it does not indicate which religion to follow.
                    Indeed, there are many mutually exclusive and
                    contradictory religions out there. This is often
                    described as the "avoiding the wrong hell" problem.
                    If a person is a follower of one religion, he may end
                    up in another religion's version of hell.

                    Even if we assume that there's a God, that doesn't
                    imply that there's one unique God. Which should we
                    believe in? If we believe in all of them, how will we
                    decide which commandments to follow?

                    Secondly, the statement that "If you believe in God
                    and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing"
                    is not true. Suppose you're believing in the wrong God
                    -- the true God might punish you for your foolishness.
                    Consider also the deaths that have resulted from people
                    rejecting medicine in favor of prayer.

                    Another flaw in the argument is that it is based on
                    the assumption that the two possibilities are equally
                    likely -- or at least, that they are of comparable
                    likelihood. If, in fact, the possibility of there being
                    a God is close to zero, the argument becomes much less
                    persuasive. So sadly the argument is only likely to
                    convince those who believe already.

                    Also, many feel that for intellectually honest people,
                    belief is based on evidence, with some amount of
                    intuition. It is not a matter of will or cost-benefit
                    analysis.

                    Formally speaking, the argument consists of four
                    statements:

                    1.One does not know whether God exists.
                    2.Not believing in God is bad for one's
                    eternal soul if God does exist.
                    3.Believing in God is of no consequence
                    if God does not exist.
                    4.Therefore it is in one's interest to believe in God.

                    There are two approaches to the argument. The first is
                    to view Statement 1 as an assumption, and Statement 2
                    as a consequence of it. The problem is that there's
                    really no way to arrive at Statement 2 from Statement 1
                    via simple logical inference. The statements just don't
                    follow on from each other.

                    The alternative approach is to claim that Statements 1
                    and 2 are both assumptions. The problem with this is
                    that Statement 2 is then basically an assumption which
                    states the Christian position, and only a Christian will
                    agree with that assumption. The argument thus collapses
                    to "If you are a Christian, it is in your interests to
                    believe in God" -- a rather vacuous tautology, and not
                    the way Pascal intended the argument to be viewed.

                    Also, if we don't even know that God exists, why should
                    we take Statement 2 over some similar assumption? Isn't
                    it just as likely that God would be angry at people who
                    chose to believe for personal gain? If God is omniscient,
                    he will certainly know who really believes and who
                    believes as a wager. He will spurn the latter... assuming
                    he actually cares at all whether people truly believe in
                    him.

                    Some have suggested that the person who chooses to believe
                    based on Pascal's Wager, can then somehow make the
                    transition to truly believing. Unfortunately, most
                    atheists don't find it possible to make that leap.

                    In addition, this hypothetical God may require more than
                    simple belief; almost all Christians believe that the
                    Christian God requires an element of trust and obedience
                    from his followers. That destroys the assertion that if
                    you believe but are wrong, you lose nothing.

                    Finally, if this God is a fair and just God, surely he
                    will judge people on their actions in life, not on
                    whether they happen to believe in him. A God who sends
                    good and kind people to hell is not one most atheists
                    would be prepared to consider worshipping.

                    [Copyright (c) mathew 1995-2002. All rights reserved.]

                    and an anti-Christian analysis can be found at:

                    Conclusion

                    Pascal's Wager was originally conceived as an argument
                    for the Christian God and that is how this entry has
                    treated it. However, it is worth bearing in mind that it
                    could be seen to apply to a fairly large range of
                    religions. Any religion, in fact, where belief in the
                    religion gets you a large benefit, and non-belief a
                    large penalty - which includes a good number of them.
                    The changes that need to be made to the arguments are
                    fairly obvious, and the same objections can be raised
                    along the way. Christianity, however, is possibly the
                    religion for which Pascal's Wager is most effective,
                    with elements such as 'only way to the Father',
                    'salvation through belief', 'eternal life', and
                    'eternal damnation'.


                    a rather opposite approach to the problem of proof than Stephen's,
                    who recommends believing as a prerequisite for experiencing.

                    > Needleman wrote a book called Lost Christianity in which he
                    > argued that the whole doctrine that you have to create your
                    > own soul was once big but has since slipped out of christian
                    > consciousness. But he doesn't tell how to do it.

                    perhaps he answers that question in "The Heart of Philosophy"
                    -- by continuing to engage what he calls "The Question" --
                    something which I agree strongly with him is valuable, and
                    mystical at once.

                    > So can you slip us a hint or two as to what those secret
                    > society types have been up to behind locked lodge doors?

                    killing things and all the nasty sex stuff they won't
                    let you do at Sunday School. :>

                    not from first-hand experience, but I gather it extends in
                    the occult community from things such as eating one's own,
                    or one's and one's ritual mate's, comingled juices (or as they
                    flow from some forbidden orifice) and regarding these as the
                    Stone of the Philosophers in terms of having some kind of
                    magical effect; to conventional ceremonialism and kinship
                    membership rosters: learning funky dogma and swearing fealty
                    to the new Grand Poobah. some secret societies engage
                    controversial activities or taboo in moderation, intending
                    to titillate, transform, or just push their own thrill
                    boundaries.

                    nigris (333)
                    nagasiva@...
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