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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Mind Blowing Concept


by Allen C. Dexter

Yesterday, my friend, Betty Brogaard, sent me a mind-altering email that I immediately forwarded to several others. The subject of this email is so profound that I am going to reproduce it here. Once you see the video, you will understand the overwhelming effect it had on me. The email:

This video is the simplist explanation I have ever found for all the confusion and violence in the world.  Hard to wrap one's mind around, but it makes sense to me.

Subject: Fundamental truth and the key to world peace are with this quote.....

“Relativity and quantum mechanics have demonstrated clearly that what you find out with instruments is true relative only to the instrument you’re using and where that instrument is located in space-time.

So there is no vantage point from which real reality can be seen. We’re all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnel. When we begin to realiz
e that we are all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels, we find it is much easier to understand where other people are coming from.

Then those who don’t have the same reality tunnel as us don’t seem ignorant; deliberately perverse; lying or hypnotised by some mad ideology. They just have a different reality tunnel and every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world.... if we are willing to listen.”

Robert Anton Wilson (1932 – 2007) – Author & polymath (wide-ranging knowledge).

This is just one of the amazing insights from the Youtube video called “Robert Anton Wilson explains Quantum Physics”. Nevertheless I believe this marvelous video could easily be renamed “Robert Anton Wilson explains the fundamental truth and the key to world peace".


Ralph said...

"MUHAHAHAHAHA! You have played right into my evil and manipulative hands!"

I refer to myself, of course, for the benefit of Purplehymnal, PT Reader, AnonSeven21, because obviously I will be trying to deceive you all if I simply point out that the bible already told us all that.

Simple conclusion: if no viewpoint can be absolute, if we all are not only onbservers but necessary participants of our universe, then it stands to reason that there can be no "absolute" human authority that can represent God or truth in any unquestioned fashion.

That, BTW, is also Godel's theorem.

So, what does that tell us? That the natural mind, in any search for absolute truth or God, is "enmity" against that truth and cannot be subject to it.

And what will it produce? Because, as the video and explanations of quantum mechanics show, a continual speciation and splintering of ideas into infinity, EXACTLY as we see occurring around us today within Christianity. Tada!

And what did Jesus say would be the result of efforts to follow him? Well, I modestly propose Matthew 10:34-38. Tada!

If all of us can only view reality from within a very limited tunnel, then none of us will ever possess a "decision procedure" or algorithm by which we may navigate to any concept of truth. Romans 9:16-22. Tada!

And if none of us possess any "absolute" decision procedure, any such decision procedure that does actually exist, can only exist within an intelligence that is higher than our own. Romans 8:29-30. Tada!

And since we all look at truth through a very limited tunnel, there would be nothing we can do that would ever demonstrate any special relationship with any higer powers of this universe. No works at all. Ephesians 2;8-10. Tada!

What was it I said early on? Oh yes: You can't get "there" from "here". There is no algorithm or decision procedure to do it.

I hate to break it to you non-believers, but Paul told us that about 2000 years ago.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Well, Ralph, I can see that quantum principles back up what you have been saying, but I, for one never had any argument with your points.

Like the stopped clock that is right twice a day, some things written in the Bible square with reality, and quantum theory and mechanics are certainly a part of reality.

As I'm sure you know, that fact does not make the Bible a reliable source of ultimate truth. They are so enmeshed with mythology and nonsense that they go totally over the heads of most people.

Ralph said...

Actually, Allen, it does make the bible a reliable source of truth, since it clearly points out that there exists no decision procedure by which we may ever develop a clear or "special" relationship with God.

What is the truth as you have shown it? That there exists no decision procedure by which we may represent reality?

Then, quite logically, there would be no defined decision by which we can get from "here" to "God". That's what Paul told us, and Jesus allegedly said we should follow no man claiming to represent Christ(Matt 24:23)

Since that corresponds to what you have said, it is a reliable source of truth. Unless, of course, you wish to contradict what you said.

regarding mythology and nonsense going over the heads of the people, based on the simple and logical conclusions of Paul and Jesus in regartd to following any religious leaders, it would be our own fault, would it not, because we seek to follow that which obviously contradicts plain and simple truths?

Whose fault is it if we read plain statements that correspond to observable fact, and choose to ignore it?

You might argue that God is deceiving us. Well, yes, that's what both Paul and Jesus told us, isn't it?

Why do you think we would be given a law that Paul says we can't keep anyway? Look at the logical results. We will be forced, mostly against our will, to question any and all propositions framed within that law, just as Jesus said in Matthew 24;23.

We were told that God is not within human concepts. We were told we cannot keep the law. We were told that people are deliberately deceived.

Faced with that simple fact, faced with the fact that our minds cannot determine truth in any absolute framework, we are left with one, AND ONLY ONE possible conclusion: To folow no man claiming to be Christ or represent god at all, and that's exactly what Jesus told us.

Why would that not be a reliable source of truth?

A my dad used to say, what do you want, eggs in your beer?

Purple Hymnal said...

This is also known in quantum physics as "the observer effect" and also Google Schroedinger's Cat, for the earliest examples of this scientific realization.

The movie The Matrix is an over-the-top example of this, taken to its utmost extreme, but it touches on the idea that we have to "know ourselves" (have gnosis) before we can even begin to attempt to question our subjective realities.

Thing of it is, there is NO objective reality, NO ultimate truth, except what is filtered through our all-too-fallible consciousness. Chasing after "objective reality" or "Ultimate Truth" is a fool's quest and a coward's pastime; you can't get "there" from "here", and those who attempt the journey either go mad, or become so insular to their own id, that they completely depart from any connection with their fellow humans, or even the ethic of reciprocity (the "golden rule" if you like).

Gnostics, both ancient and modern, have been warning against this very mindset, for thousands of years. What has traditionally been their reward, for trying to open people's eyes to the fact that ALL reality is subjective, and ever will be?

In the Ancient Middle East, they were burned at the stake. In modern times, it is their reputations and careers that are put on the line, and the religious would even insist this extends to the "salvation" of their "souls".

Those who wish to speak the truth that there is NO "truth", are often rejected out of hand, by those who wish to remain sleeping dreamers, entranced by the illusions they (or others they trust) have created.

It's a mind-blowing concept when one first comes across it, I agree, but I've been reading up on it for the past five or six years. It's really fascinating, and I have found that it has given me a much, much broader perspective than I had, when I was in the church.

Kudos, Allen, now you're touching on the good stuff! :-)

Allen C. Dexter said...

Purple, I thouhgt it was the good stuff too and must admit I'm having trouble stretching my mind around it all. I'm really indebted to Betty for putting me onto that video and I can see that I have a lot of study ahead of me, but that should be fun.

Purple Hymnal said...

Related topics include E8 theory (this is the latest theory they are examining, now that string theory's popularity is on the way), and I recommend reading the non-canonical books of the Ancient Middle East, as well as any texts you can get your hands on by EA Wallis Budge.

Depending on what your comfort level is with the christological figure, I would also recommend watching the CBC documentary The Pagan Christ (found on Google Video/YouTube), which I strangely much prefer over the book. Also, The Gnostic Bible, translation by Barnstone and Meyer (they cover Christian, Mandaean, Manichaean, and Muslim texts that espoused this idea three thousand years ago) and Misquoting Jesus and Lost Christianities by Bart Ehman. I can provide links, if anyone's interested, but half the fun is in digging up the research on your own. :-)

Happy reading! :-)

Ralph said...

Purple, what was that you wrote? "You can't get 'there' from 'here' "?

How bout that! That's just what Paul told us! I have one problem with your statement, however,"NO ultimate truth". That, unfortunately, becomes a contradiction, since to say there is no ultimate truth must itself be a statement about ultimate truth that is true. IOW "there is NO ultimate truth" must itself qualify as an ultimate truth.

Basically, you've stated Godel's theorem, which says that "ultimate truth" is beyond theoremhood, not that there is no ultimate truth. The fact is, regarding ultimate truth, we will never know within any axiomatic framework. Too many undecidables.

But basically, you have confirmed everything I said earlier, that there is no decision procedure to get from "here" to "there".

Schroedinger's cat is a good example. Put a cat in a box, and a vial of poison with the cat. If atomic pareticles disintegreate in such a way as to release the poison, the cat dies. If not, the cat lives. The problem is, as described in the process of electrons as waves or particles, we can't know whether the cat is alive or dead except by looking.

The universe becomes what we see, and often we determine what we see by the form of the experiment.

If we develop measurements that "see" an electron as a particle, it will be a particle. If we develop experiements to "see" it as a wave, it will be a wave, but it will be iether one or the other, not both. Likewise, Schroedinger's cat will live or die dependening on the disintegrating process of a a certain atom, but we can never know except by looking.

Here's another variation by John Barrow. If we measure light from stars in the universe, light which may be only the remnants of a now dead star, we will see it as particles if we measure it as such. But if we decide to measure it again as waves, it will be waves.

Since "reality" is subject to our mindset, and subject to our decision processes, we can never fully define it in such a way as to represent "ultimate truth".

Therefore, we have no need to follow the authority of any human who claims to represent such a truth, either in terms of church or state.

We are therefore left with the simple truth of Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, 9:16-22, Ephesians 2:8-10, Ephesians 1:4, Matthew 24:23, which tells us exactly what quantum physics is now revealing.

Ralph said...

Here is the main point about Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:4. Reality simply "is". The changes we make in reality are basically illusory. Therefore, assuming the existence of any intelligence that pre-exists reality, any decisions made will not be dependent on our decisions. If "God has chosen us in hom before the foundation of the world", then whatever decisions we make to the contrary will be of no force, just as our decisions about reality are of little force in determining ultimate truth.

Corky said...

Paul may have believed that the natural mind is enmity against God but is that true?

Considering that most of the world claims to worship this God, where is the enmity (hatred against God)?

Paul also believed that "the time is short" concerning the return of Jesus but evidently he was wrong in that belief too.

The "tunnel vision" we all have, including Paul, keeps truth forever as subjective truth, always subject to the point of view of the individual.

"X" has his truth and "Y" has his truth and both think that their truth is the true truth.

That's why everyone is going round and round trying to sway others to their truth.

It would be one hell of a world if everyone was of "one mind", of "one accord" and "likeminded", wouldn't it? Yet, this is what the apostle advocated for the church.

So, this is what the church determined to do, even to the extent of forcing this single mindedness onto the unwilling. There are about 38,000 proofs that this doesn't work.

Ralph said...

Corky, Excellent points. Considering that most of the world claims to worship God, wehere is the enmity against God?

What you seem to imply is that we, by our own beliefs, somehow justify the reality of God. However, if there is a God, then such existence would not be dependent on our beliefs, no more than my existence depends on your beliefs.

So, IF the natural mind is enmity against God, then any attwempt to organize in God's name will result in the 38,000 versions of the christian God we see today.

The reason why this statement is correct is that it squares with Godel's theorem regarding truth. Whether we call it "truth" or "God" as summation of truth, we are forced to use the same process of determining that truth, and it will result in an infinity of undecidable propositions, all of which can lead to mahy different ideas about truth.

This leads logically to Paul's further statements that there cannot exist any decision procedure to get there(Rom 9:16-22), and Paul closed off all argument by saying that God already knows who they are anyway, which would square with an omniscient God.

And, since they were chosen before the "foundation of the world", any human decision would not change that fact.

So, by this recognition, if there is a God, we are free from men. AND if there is NO God, we are STILL equally free in pretty much the same sense.

Ralph said...

We can look at still more parallels in this context. In "Programming the Universe", physicist Seth Lloyd points out that, even assuming we had a computer of sufficient power, we could not create a copy of the universe, simply because we would have to provide information strings that matched the necessary information to re-create the universe. For example, suppose we compe across a string that appeared to all purposes random. We would say "insert random string here". But what if it wasn't random? What if it was actually information necessary to the proper function of the universe? Well, there goes our copy. And, the number of such undecipherable strings would approach infinity.

So, even assuming God existed somewhere in all that, we couldn't get there.

However, there is now a quantum computer in development that uses both "1" and "0" in computation, rather than either "1" or "0" in regular computation.

With quantum computers, however, you can't know the answer until the program has run all options. otherwise, you will not have an answer.
That sounds very similar to Jesus' parable of the wheat and tares, doesn't it?

Purple Hymnal said...

"Paul may have believed that the natural mind is enmity against God but is that true?"

"Paul" didn't even EXIST. Why are we still rehashing this argument, again?

Let's talk about string theory and E8 theory and gnosticism and observer effect, as that's on-topic for the post, thanks. I'm getting sick of reading paeans to "Paul".

Purple Hymnal said...

"It would be one hell of a world if everyone was of "one mind", of "one accord" and "likeminded", wouldn't it? Yet, this is what the apostle advocated for the church."

This is communism's claim to infamy, as well. Little wonder why religion and communism have so much in common.....

Ralph said...

Ah, Purple, Whether Paul existed or not, or whether jesus existed or not, there exists no decision procedure to get from "here" to 'there", as you yourself pointed out. You're just moaning because someone claiming to be Paul told the truth long before you were born.

Ralph said...

This is communism's claim to infamy as well. Little wonder why religion and communism have so much in common".

Precisely, which is why there is factual authority for church or state.

We're free, and all we have to do is choose it.

Ralph said...

Whoops! Should have said there is NO factual authority for church or state.

Ralph said...

Or Purple, if that's your cup of tea, how about Hilbert space, in which all mathematical possibilities given a quantum system exist?

Suppose an electron that exists in a "superposition" that implies all possible mathematical positions that then "collapses" into a reality once we observe it.

Ah, but here's the problem: physicists say there is no collapse into one reality. The electron simply expands into parallel universes that are now the fulfillment of all those possibilities, existing alongside our own! That's known as Many Worlds Theory(MWT).

However, we assume this to be true without actual proof, although the mathematics demand that it be so.

But what if reality itself already does the calculation and actually does colapse the electron into one single reality?

That was Godel's proposition, that the universe is intelligible, that it will give us the correct answers providing we ask it the right questions and define the questions in such a way that the universe can answer it.

But that is also what we generally refer to as "reality", and it is the same reality, just filled with multiple interpretations.

String Theory? That had to divide into five different theories to give strength to the original, again in accordance with Godel's theorem.

Tony said...

It was said: "Actually, Allen, it does make the bible a reliable source of truth"...

Nonsense. Even a stopped clock tells the truth twice a day. The bible is an iron age inaccurate implement being used in a vastly different world.

Free yourself from the shackles and relegate it to where other wisdom of that time has been placed.

Purple Hymnal said...

Tony: This is what's known as faith-based connect-the-dots.

Ralph said...

Tony, calling something nonsense is not to make it so. I can call Einstein a moron, but i would have to prove it. Your statement, having nothing more than opionion, merely proves my point, as well as evetrything Purple Hymnal has stated, since Paul has clearly pointed out that ther exists no deicision procedure by which we can get from "here" to "there" to quote from Purples brilliant phraseology, Paul has told the truth, or even assuming there was no Paul, it is still truth, the same as the fact that Jesus, or somebody, told the truth when s/he said to follow no person claiming to represent Christ.

let us assume, as you say, that this is an example of a broken clock being right twice a day. If these statements are correct, and happen to be the only correct statements, then they clearly show that we need to follow no person claiming to represent Jesus or any person who claims truth.

The "twice a day" fact alter the meaning of the bible as a whole.

Tony, I'll challenge you also to prove me wrong. You will fail.

Ralph said...

Purple, and your comment on faith basede connect-the-dots? Thanks again for proving my point, since, as you brilliantly stated, word for word something i have said repeatedly, that we can't get 'there" from "here", you have demonstrated that Paul's statement regarding decision procedure to get from here to God or from here to truth in an absolute sense is impossible.

As I remember, the statement was that there is no abslute truth. Well, Purple, you have just reduced every decision to "faith based connect the dots".

And again, you have proven my point while trying to argue against me.

C'mon, a little challenge here.

Miguel de la Rodente said...

Is there any point or logical conclusion to all of the pseudo-intellectualism? Or does all of the pretentiousness lead to more angst???

Ralph said...

Miguel, an excellent question.
Here is the main point, and it has to do with LAW. Regardless of whether you want to take the side of myself or Purple, PT Reader, etc, you are forced to make the same conclusion: no one has the answers.

Therefore, there are no legal, lawful authorities in any sense regarding truth, which is the cancellation of ANY human legal authority over you, either of church or state.

What does that mean in terms of "sin(lawbreaking, 1 John 3:4)"?

It means you are equal in every respect to every other person in terms of law, and you have the right to demand proof of your guilt for any reason before the law.

In matters of law, from the biblical perspective, "God" is on the side of the accused(Isaiah 54:17, Isaiah 50:8)
There must be two unbiased witnesses(Deut 19:15). There is the right to settle matters out of court(Matthew 5:25, Matt 18:15-18)
Trial by jury(1 Corinthians 6), all of which come before the authority of "higher powers" in Romans 13.

Here is the point as it applies to LAW: Jesus was an innocent man killed by human authorities for crimes he never committed. As the son of God, his death ensures that we do not have to be punished by human authority without unbiased proof. It's called presumption of innocence and comes from ancient law.

Romans 8:33 "Who can lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"

Since God alone can choose an elect(Rom 8:29-30). There is no way of knowing who that is, and therefore no legitimate authority for punishment.

That is law from ancient times. Pragmatic and quite useful in a court of law. And that is the bible's point.

Corky said...

Ralph said . . .
Since God alone can choose an elect(Rom 8:29-30). There is no way of knowing who that is, and therefore no legitimate authority for punishment.

BUT, is there a god and does this god have an elect? That would need to be established first before the other would apply.

Retired Prof said...

Allen, thanks for posting that video, and kudos to Betty Brogaard for calling your attention to it. For many of us ex-COG people, it’s important to be reminded from time to time how wrong Herbert and his henchmen were in saying, “Truth is SINGULAR! There can be no such thing as multiple truths!”

Hearing Robert Anton Wilson say there is not even a place to stand where singular truth can be perceived and proclaimed to the world is refreshing indeed. When he said we have to try to understand the world-view of those who disagree with us even if we believe the tunnel they are peering through is lined with superstition, I was right there with him.

After a bit of thought, I realized this principle has an odd implication. It doesn’t bother me, but it may make some people uncomfortable.

It does away with the problem of evil.

Things look evil only from a particular viewpoint. What looks bad through one person’s tunnel looks good through another’s. Take a non-threatening example first. My neighbor views coyotes as evil, especially at lambing time. My wife and I don’t own sheep. We see coyotes as allies in keeping the pestiferous rabbits under control, thus minimizing damage to our peas and okra. Besides, sometimes they entertain us with a cantata. Looking through their own tunnel, PETA members see both my neighbor and me as evil: him for exploiting sheep and shooting coyotes, and me for shooting rabbits. There is probably a sociologist or ecologist somewhere who would see an interesting web of relationships here, but nothing identifiably evil in any of us, either quadrupeds or bipeds.

Now consider the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which killed about 3,000 people. Then think about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have killed many multiples of that number. Which faction was attacking the Minions of Evil in service of the Greater Glory of God? Depends entirely on who you are, or whom you ask. Probably everyone on this planet who is aware of the past decade has too much at stake in the conflicts to refrain from seeing at least some of the participants as evil, but I bet an extra-terrestrial sociologist (if one existed), would merely express fascination with the violent interactions.

Ralph said...

Corky, Let's assume that the US decideed that "God's law" would now be the "sputreme law of the land" in all courtrooms. You are accused of breaking God's law, and hauled to court.

Your defnese is simple: "Your honor, Romans 8:7 says the natural mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God's law. Since it is obviouls I have a natural mind by every definition of the word "natural", and since there is no evidence that I possess any other tye of mind, I am not, and canot be subject to the law you would impose on me, since you yourself cannot be subject to it".

Of course they can kill you anyway, but their only defense is their own power, as is every government in time.

BUT, since all 50 states recognize the sovereignty f God in some form, "Due process" must be confined to specific proof by accusation and demonstration of harm done to another.

It is not necessary to prove the existence of God. It is only necessary to show, recognizing the sovereignty of God, that God vindicates the accused(Isaiah 54:17) and we can face our accusers with that same vindication(Isaiah 50:8).
Since all states recognize the sovereignty of God, they are forced, by the authority of their own oath/affirmation, to recogize your presumption of innocence and cannot act to accuse you ont their own(see See Isaiah 29:21 in reference to "gates(courts)". Also jeremiah 5:26-31).

The idea of a government "ensnaring" people "setting a trap" is condemned. The law itself was not permitted to act as its own accuser.

That is the evolution of "due process' if you check your history books.

Ralph said...

Prof, your statements remind me of Howard Bloom's book "The Lucifer Principle", if I remember correctly. Bloom points out that what we call evil is basically "Mother Nature's" alter ego.

Attempts to define evil, especially since there exists no decision procedure to define God, as PurpleHymnal so brilliantly stated with "you can't get 'there' from 'here'", the result will be a continual speciation and splintering concepts of God, in accordance with jesus' predictions of Matthew 10:34-38.

If you combine this uncertainty with the development of telecommunications media, what occurs is a gradual empowerment of the individual against the state, an accweleration of "individuation".

Since all war is merely the cultural extension of technology in its latest form, the collectrive "hot" wars of past centuries transformed into the "Cold War" of the 50s and 60s and now the process of terrorism itself, in which the latest technology, the internet and advance ommunications, allow individuals to affect world governments as if the whole planet was one connected nervous system.

In fact, James 4:1-4 points out that what we define as evil comes equally from within all of us, so it is impossible to separate good from evil by articifical methods such as church or state, which was verified by Paul in Romans 8 and Jesus in Matthew 24:23.

The more individuals are e3mpowered by technology, the greater the tendency toward terorism as a form of warfare, predictable simply by recognizing that there was never a decision procedure by which we could get from "here" to "God".

Ralph said...

Actually, Prof, in regard to your quote of HWA that "there is no such thing as multiple truths". He was partly correct. While there are multiple truths regarding verious limite subjects, truth itself myst be singular. If truth(Big "T") is to be true, it must obviouls yconform to all truth within its sphere. However, it is impossible to proceed toward the proof of such a truth(Godel's theorem) without splintering infinitely in all directions.

However, as the philosopher Mortimer Adler pointed out, in matters of taste, plurality is desireable. In matters of truth and not taste, however, plurality is intolerable.

However, since no one can predictably define it, there are no human authorities in any absolute sense. Aquinas failed in his attempt, and merely proved what Paul and Jesus had already stated: the natural mind is enmity against truth in an absolute sense.

Purple Hymnal said...

"After a bit of thought, I realized this principle has an odd implication. It doesn’t bother me, but it may make some people uncomfortable.

It does away with the problem of evil."

Not uncomfortable, but it definitely does bear some careful thinking about, Prof.

At the heart of it, letting go of theodicy seems highly counter-intuitive, even to myself as an atheist. As string theory (and its more mature descendant, E8 theory) instructs us, what we "know" as this reality, is really anything but; the linear progression of time is found nowhere in quantum mechanics or physics; it exists solely in the human consciousness.

In The Elegant Universe (and his later book The Fabric of the Cosmos), string theorist Brian Greene posits that the math tells us, in reality, there may not even be any such thing as cause and effect! Patently, this is not the case, for if I drop a glass, it will break. As I hit "Publish Comment", the electrons will send out this message to this page, for all to read.

But who's to say I haven't already done this, and I am merely remembering doing it, as I "live" the experience of typing it in my here-and-now? Benjamin Libet's experiments ("A Short Delay") hint at this as well. Some returnees from experiences with illicit substances have indicated similar "insights", which are lost upon returning to "reality".

Without cause-and-effect, there is no longer a need for theodicy. Nor a need for "substitutionary atonement", but that's a small side-benefit. Of course, this does NOT square with what our conscious mind and senses tells us, and therein lies the dualism we must face up to solidly, if we are to question everything at all.

In practical terms (as I'm sure Corky will agree with me), religion itself appears to be arguing the case for theodicy, by providing evil, for it to be a problem. That touches on the heart of the delusion of the Demiurge that Gnostics said organized Christianity fell into.

Given all of the above, I do not see the ethic of reciprocity (the golden/silver/platinum/however it is known amongst other religions rule) rendered extraneous by this mindset. Rather, we, who may have sensed a glimpse that there is more out there than just what we have been told, or just what we, alone, ourselves, believe, we owe it to ourselves to show compassion and those who have not reached that understanding.

So the theory goes. I'm not quite adept at living it out myself, and may never be, in part because of being a child of the church, during what I now realize was its more conservative era.

Ralph said...

Purple, your statements still point directly back to Romans 8. Since there exists no decision procedure, by your own statement, to get from "here" to 'there", then al attempts to organize according to cause and effect will follow human assumptions based on human nature.

DFrom James 4:1-4 we can easily establish a parallel with Dawkins' "selfish gene" that seeks to extend itself by replication.

This will have its social corollary as a meme and manifests in two basic forms:
1.Narcissism, the linear extension of "self' into the environment
2.Proselytizing zeal, which is driven by the same cause, the need for replication.

Consequently, when we see that "war and fightings among you" come from "your lusts that war in your members".

The desire to have, to extend oneself into the environment, nowadays called the meme, driven by the basic replicative needs of the gene.

As a result of that, the "theodicy" created by humans is a purely physical drive shown to be connected to the need for genetic replication.

The result of humans attempting to define "God" within this replicative process, however, would logically result in exactly the speciation we see around us today.

What we learn in ter4ms of physics and science, therefotre would be in contradiction to the basic social drives of our "flesh".

Or, you might say the "flesh" works in opposition to the "spirit".

Corky said...

Purple Hymnal said . . .
In practical terms (as I'm sure Corky will agree with me), religion itself appears to be arguing the case for theodicy, by providing evil, for it to be a problem.

Indeed. That is what the story of Adam and Eve in the garden is all about.

Man was safe and protected from all evils as long as he was obedient and resided in the garden. However, man sinned and got tossed out into the world where hunger, drought, volcanos, earthquakes, diseases etc. etc. existed.

In other words, it was man's own fault that paradise was lost. But, a way of salvation was provided.

It's kind of like a man who cuts you up real bad with a knife but he can save your life with the bandages and other stuff he possesses. All you have to do is obey and beg and plead and grovel to the man's representatives to save yourself from all that evil.

After all, it was your own fault that the man cut you up to start with - by disobeying him.

Some people wake up though, and discover that there was no man with a knife who cut you up to start with but only his representatives telling you a bunch of lies.

All the "evil" in the world pre-existed the so-called sin in paradise. The planet called Earth is quite hostile to the life on it and there was/is no paradise where diseases and death can't reach.

Religion provides both the disease and the cure, the knife wound and the bandage.

If God's reps didn't preach that you were evil, you would never know it unless you invented that notion yourself. Actually, we are only a species of hairless apes with the ability to think and reason doing what comes naturally - with or without religion.

Sin doesn't really exist, sin is merely a religious taboo. Sin can be a crime though, depending on the laws of the country in which you live - or not, depending on the same thing.

Do you know how to tell if you are in the right religion? Your god hates the same people you do.

Ralph said...

Corky, with all due respect, you seem to be building a straw man to attack. I think, from what I've read, that we are actually all of 'one accord' whether we believe in God or not, based on our common background:

None of us accept human authority as representatives of God, and all are "atheist" in that regard.

As for the Garden of Eden myth, anyoe can see that the "original sin" was actually humanity's great leap to freedom, the right to think for themselves.

What is interesting from the myth is that God told them a partial truth, and so did Satan. God dsaid in the day theyt ate, they would die. Satan said they wouldn't, but would become as gods, knowing good and evil. Of course jesus rep4eated this to the Pharisees, quoting from Psalms saying "ye are gods".

After the sin, God confirmed Satan's "lie" by sayng "they are now become as one of us, knowing good and evil".


Assuming that God is omniscient, any action of satan could only result in collaboration, so Adam and Eve were open to free choice, which, as Purple has now told us, shows us it is impossible to get "there".

The Hebrew definition of sin was to "miss the mark". In fact, we can;t help missing the "mark" since, as Godel's theorem tells us, to quote Purple's brilliant statement again, we can't from "here" to "there". The "free will we enjoy, therefore, would appear to us as infinite.

That being so, would there be a decision procedure whatever by which we can ever "hit the mark"?

No, and that's a mathematical fact.

Therefore, the natural mind is enmity against God, and will result in the same infinite speciation and splintering whether there is a God or not, which Jesus confirmed in Matthew 10:34-38.

So, we are again left with only one conclusion: if there is a God, then "he" intended for that to happen, or if there is no God, the result is still the same.

Purple Hymnal said...

"Man was safe and protected from all evils as long as he was obedient and resided in the garden."

And somehow, this infallible god of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims (even though each sect worships three different deities, the Abrahamic religions themselves posit allegiance to one particular god), managed to create humans that specifically fulfilled the task of not obeying it.

The religious would have us believe this is "free will". Where their assertions fall down, is where atheists and agnostics, demonstrating this very free will of which they speak, have better ethics, compassion, and social interactions, than the amoral religionists themselves.

Religion proves its own theodicy by being evil; need I point to the exemplar of the Roman Catholic Church, and its decades of cover-ups and conspiracies of physical and sexual abuse? Not really a cover-up, because anyone outside of the Catholics' sphere of influence have known about the abuses for decades; now it's those trapped within the belly of the Beast, who are finally acknowledging it.

Fortunately for us, however, this also means the RCC has completely invalidated itself as a source for the "One World Religion" of the Church of God false prophecies. Matter of fact, I would be very surprised indeed, if the Roman Catholic Church, manages to persist in its current dictatorial form, beyond the next decade.

How's your Beast Power looking now, CoG false prophets?!

Miguel de la Rodente said...


You've stated several times that Paul didn't exist. You've also expressed preoccupation with the gnostics. ?Did you know that Elaine Pagels, recognized authority on the Gnostics, believes that Paul was in fact a Gnostic Christian?

Also, Irenaeus, Eusebius, and several prolific ones who lived much closer to Paul's era, actually believed that Paul was a real person who does exist, and the Vatican claims to have his tomb! In fact they recently performed a few scientific tests on his alleged remains.

It's a minority held opinion amongst historians that Paul did not exist. Certainly not worthy of being repeated as fact.

Ralph said...

Miguel, Purple's arguments against religion and the idea of all religions being false are already covered within the writings of the very person that Purple repeatedly denies.

People keep repeating the same old line. There are no true religions. I quote Matthew 24:23 and say "duh".

Purple says you can't "there" from "here". I point out Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, and 9:16-22 and say "duh".

The entire argument about the false religions are completely moot points. All you have to do is look at what Jesus plainly said in warning us about deception, and what Paul said about decision procedures by which we may prove any relationship to God(there are none). "Duh".

All religions are false, and this is evident even from Jesus' and Paul's plain teachings.

People then say "yeah, but there's so much paganism and mythology". Again, "duh".

If we are told not to follow anyone claiming to represent christ, and if there exist no decision procedures to prove any relationship, then all the mythology is irrelevant, isn't it?

Purple seems really proud to have independently discovered what Paul told us all nearly two thousand years ago. And even assuming there was no Paul, the statement is STILL correct.

Everybody has built this gigantic straw man to keep knocking down, when there's really no point in it, and never has been.

Retired Prof said...

Ralph says: "Everybody has built this gigantic straw man to keep knocking down, when there's really no point in it, and never has been."

Actually, the point is the same as the point of everything else we do. To fill up a span of time in this dreary interval between birth and death. We eat. We drink. We tell stories. We play games. We sing. We dance. We argue endlessly about nothing. All to take our minds off the aches and frustrations that flesh is heir to as we travel down this vale of tears toward our permanent terminus.

Listen to the way a stave mill hand in Seligman, Missouri, put it: "Life is nothing but misery from one end to the other. Besides that, it's too god damn short."

Read Samuel Beckett: "They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more."

Or Beckett again, without the imagery but with greater brevity: "Birth was the death of him."

Ralph said...

Prof, you make me think I'm in the marines again. I remember when I was court martialed and everyone said "Why? You can't win. It's never been done".

I couldn't think of any better wy to die. And then I won, damn it.

Purple Hymnal said...

"Did you know that Elaine Pagels, recognized authority on the Gnostics, believes that Paul was in fact a Gnostic Christian?"

Hi Miguel (Michael the Rat? Really?), yeah, I am aware she did state that. I don't have the link to hand, but apparently she has since refuted many of her earlier suppositions of "the early church" (namely, she has refuted that there were female leaders in church hierarchy, and she has started presenting a more "orthodox" view of the early Christian cults).

I have not read her latest books (which apparently back off from the untraditional translations she offered in The Gnostic Gospels, which I have read, but took with a huge grain of salt), and so I cannot comment to the fullest extent on what I think of Pagels' current position vis a vis "Paul". I do remember thinking her contentions in The Gnostic Gospels were wish-fulfillment, and nothing more, however.

I will also say I'm more partial to Robert Price's idea, that Saul/Paul might have been Simon Magus, at least in the sense that that was how the character was portrayed in the anti-Pauline gospels. (I had a link to an interview where Price expounds on this idea, but I cannot find it now).

As for "Paul's" gnosticism, that may have been an invention of the early Catholic Councils, when they were trying to ratify/unify everything under a universal system of crowd-control; the issue of which of "Paul's" writings are authentic or not, have long been a thorn in the butts of "biblical" and "Biblical" scholars.

I fall out on the side that none of the stories are true, they are all allegorical; it's just unfortunate that the limited selection which made their way into the Romanized canon, were so hastily slapped-together, and even more poorly-translated. Not to mention all the other works of ancient literature they put to the torch, just because they didn't agree with a literalized, humanized christological figure! (I also recommend watching the documentary The Pagan Christ, although the book of the same name is very dry and not nearly as engaging.)

All that said, I'm not overly-fond of the Christianized (Religious) Gnostics, either; I'm much more partial to both the Manichean and Mandaean texts, although I refer to some of the Sethian and Valentinian stuff, on occasion as well.

Thanks for your response!

Purple Hymnal said...

"the Vatican claims to have his tomb! In fact they recently performed a few scientific tests on his alleged remains."

Forgot to add this to my comment before I hit Publish: That's fascinating! Can you provide a link?

Purple Hymnal said...

Never mind, found it. I will note "the Vatican archaelogist's" (yeah no conflict of interest there, nope, nuh-uh, none whatsoever) had this to say on the matter in 2006:

"Right now we can treat it as a symbol, regardless of its contents," Filippi said."

So even they don't want to commit to the idea that they've "found the real thing" --- all the Catholic "relics" that have been tested have turned out to be hoaxes, anyway. The RCC's response? "Stop testing our relics, yo! You're making the magic god go away!"

Oh, and this: "The 8-foot-long sarcophagus, which dates from at least A.D. 390" suggests it's just another wish-fulfillment "relic".

And note this, again from the 2006 article I have linked:

"These excavations give us the full certainty and knowledge that the sarcophagus is St. Paul's tomb, whether it contains his remains or not," Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, head of the basilica, told the Vatican news conference presenting the findings."

So, they don't really care whether or not they can find actual remains; and this tomb is only "Paul's" tomb because the "infallible" RCC has declared it to be so. Circular reasoning, again. And they can't even admit the remains are there, let alone what the remains are!

They do make a point in the article of saying they installed a glass floor, so obviously this was just a tourism/marketing ploy for Jerusalem visitors....Have you watched The Pagan Christ yet? They've turned that city into a Biblical Disneyland, honestly!

"Our purpose was not to find out what was inside, but to confirm that it was the original sarcophagus," Filippi said.

So, they don't really care about the identity of "Paul", they're just constructing another relic, that the faithful sheep can pay their filthy lucre to visit.

"Paul, along with Peter, are the two main figures known for spreading the Christian faith after the death of Christ."

"Paul", it must be noted, 100 years after the alleged event. "Peter" of course, could have been one of three different "Peters" in the source text (Or the copies of the copies of the copies of the copies of the source text, at least --- where are the autographs, again?) and both "Paul" and "Peter" were duking it out for the papacy, at least according to the internal plot of the stories themselves...both sets of texts presented very different Christianities (Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities is of great help in deciphering this), which was but a small hint of the varying Christian sects that existed in the Middle East around 100AD (the Gnostics among them).

This small hint at the startling diversity and range of theologies of the early Christian cults, is the only thing that survives in the much-interpolated texts that mainstream Christianity uses today. Hardly the "all one body we/one in faith and doctrine/one in unity" that they continue to sing about, oblivious to their own history, or a history outside of the "infallible" KJV.

That article was in 2006, Miguel; I will post a link (if I can find it) on any results of any tests that may have been done since then. But, plainly, they were merely creating another tourist trap in Jerusalem, and they as much as admitted this in the interviews. That's my understanding of the article, at least.

Ralph said...

Purple Hymnal continues to prove my point by ignoring me. I've engaged the same arguments before, from several others. But here is the fact that cannot be disputed, whether "Paul" was Simon Magus or Satan himself(assuming there is a Satan), the statements of Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, and 9:16-22 clearly show that there is no way for Catholic or any other religion to claim authority as the franchised representatives of Christ.

First of all, assuming there was a person such as Jesus who said "my kingdom is not of this world", we would have to assume that there existed no such kingdom of man that can represent it on this world, in truth.

Pilate himself, according to the same scriptural reference, proved this statement by a simple question: "What is truth?"

Was Pilate operating by any principle of truth? By his own admission, he was not. That statement is consistent with Paul(or Simon Magus) by stating that the natural(carnal) mind is enmity against God, and therefore, no decision procedure exists by which we may get there, as Purple has already stated.

What we have, between Purple and myself, is an agreed upon truth, making the author irrelevant, since in either case, from both points of view, the truths stated is the same.

What the Catholics(and all such religions) do is to say "The franchise of the Jews is no more. We now have the official franchise of Christ".

But why would anyone die in protest of such a system developed by human reason, only to erect yet another system built on the same principles of reason, as christianity has repeatedly demonstrated?

That question, in itself, points out the logic of Paul's conclusions in Romans 8 and 9.

And, Purple's arguments regarding quantum physics and uncertainty, are simply stronger verifications of the fact that there exists no such decision procedure to get from "here" to "God".

By ignoring me, Purple continues to verify my statements.

Purple Hymnal said...

So the only link to the tests that I've been able to find is hardly an objective source, and has this to say:

"...tests performed on bone fragments from the tomb demonstrate they could be the remains of the Apostle Paul, because carbon-14 tests concluded the bones belonged to a human being who lived between the first and second century..."

Which is kind of a wide margin of error, one to two hundred years, when you think about it. And again, a hundred years later than the alleged events that were supposed to have taken place.

Also, here's the scientist's reaction (bear in mind this is being "reported" in a biased RCC "news source", which is likely as "reliable" as the Worldwide News was, in its day):

But Ulderico Santamaria, director of the diagnostic laboratory for conservation and restoration at the Vatican Museums, was a bit more cautious, saying the bones could be those of the saint "because the analyses do not contradict it. Personally, I am in line with the Holy Father, but as a person of science, I stop at the objective data, which only give indications."

Conveniently enough, the person who did the tests, is cowed under enough to the religion (hopefully with the abuse scandals being pushed for all they are worth, this will no longer be the automatic response of Catholics), to not able to admit that the tests are, at best, inconclusive, and at worst, a complete hoax. But, inconclusive of what, one wonders? Ah, but the Catholics will never tell us, for they want to make their money on the visits of the faithful to this "relic".

What was that about the 2nd Commandment again? Something about graven images and idols, I can't quite recollect it right now......

The Painful Truth said...

Corkey said...
"Man was safe and protected from all evils as long as he was obedient and resided in the garden. However, man sinned and got tossed out into the world where hunger, drought, volcanos, earthquakes, diseases etc. etc. existed. "

Man created this problem for his fellow man knowing that the solution to this was servitude as a way to resolve the problem which never was a problem to start with. Politicians do this also as a means to a end.

Religion occasionally shows what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion. You should realize, however, that these positive expressions are more feigned than experienced and invariably serve an ulterior motive, such as to shackle us with the chains of pessimism.

Like a verbal magician, the priest knows how to lie without appearing to be lying, how to bury secrets in mountains of garbage-speak. The church (pick one), who is astonishingly adroit at twisting words, has been able to convince scores of people that it is always being misrepresented and/or persecuted. If the truth be known, it is just the opposite. The church persecutes and condemns those who hold opposing views.

Just look at the bill of fare served up in recent movies and television programs and you will hardly be able to deny that the church is like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. Pull back the curtain of demagog-ism and you'll see a jackbooted, ogre hiding behind it, furiously pulling the levers of interdenominational-ism in a nugatory, stinking attempt to enact new social laws forcing anyone who's not one of its allies to live in an environment that can, at best, be described as contemptuously tolerant.

That sort of discovery should make any sane person realize that the religious adages have merged with pyrrhonism in several interesting ways. Both spring from the same kind of reality-denying mentality. Both force us to adopt rigid social roles that compromise our inner code of ethics. And both toy with our opinions. If you think that everything the theologians says is totally and entirely true then you're suffering from very serious nearsightedness. You're focusing too much on what they want you to see and failing to observe many other things of much greater importance such as that I deeply believe that it's within our grasp to exercise all of our basic rights of freedom to the maximum.

Like any other church, the Armstrong churches have produced an army of mindless insects who will obey their every command. In producing such an army, they had to destroy people's minds using a psychological form of lobotomy. Its crotchety faithfuls are now nothing more than subservient blobs of easily controlled protoplasm. From one group to another, what is the difference? There is none.

The Painful Truth said...

Ralph said....
"Purple Hymnal continues to prove my point by ignoring me..."

Let it go Ralph. I don't want contention here. It serves no useful purpose as to the objective.

"X-HWA Rights: A class of rights and freedoms that protects individuals from unwarranted action by an individual(s) and ensures their ability to participate in a civil discourse without discrimination or repression from others for being of different race, religion or opinion."

Ralph said...

I disagree. I have in now way attacked Purple Hymnal. To the contrary, Purple has sought to trestrict my comments.

All I have shown is the flaw in Purple's logic and have sought in now way to insult, restrict or in any way restraint Purple's comments.

If responding to the truth or falsehood of a person's statement becomes anathema, thwen you merely have another variation of religion.

In no way have I attacked the person pf Purple Hymnal. I have merely shown the falw in logic, which I would assume is the goal of truth in any context.

Purple Hymnal said...

"That sort of discovery should make any sane person realize that the religious adages have merged with pyrrhonism in several interesting ways. Both spring from the same kind of reality-denying mentality."

I agree with the rest of the paragraph I've quoted the beginning of here, James, and I want to expand on the phrase "reality-denying mentality". The whole crux of the idea that reality is subjective is, well, reality is subjective. ("Men create gods," as the Gnostics told us.)

There is NO one, great, universal, unifying truth, and wishing as hard as you can, just isn't going to make it so.

There are gradations of this however: We denied reality when we were in the church, because we denied the reality of how harmful and non-compassionate our worldview really was. So, in that way, we denied the reality that we actually believed in, and had faith in, at the time. (Sorry, I know it's a brain-bender.)

Certainly, if one finds oneself amongst a group of people who all share the same (or remarkably similar) subjective views of reality, then you either accept that reality (or a remarkably similar facsimile of it), and you will be accepted as part of the in-group, or you do not, and you become a part of the out-group. (I hardly need to detail what being part of the "out-group" entails, I trust.)

Does that, going back to our fictional group here, make that group's subjective reality any more "true" than any other group's or individual's? No, because it's all subjective.

Look at the example of "the tomb of 'Paul'" that Miguel and I have been discussing; he takes the example to mean that this is objective proof of his subjective reality; I disagree, and see different objective proofs that square with my own subjective reality.

That's not to say that my subjective view of reality is, in any way, better than anyone else's (in most places it patently is not), nor is that to say that anyone else's subjective reality is better than mine, for me.

Poll half-a-dozen believers in any standard mainstream Christian church, and I guarantee you will get answers reflecting half-a-dozen different subjective realities. Which is the point.

So, it's not a matter of our "denying" each others' realities here in these discussions, it's a matter of being willing to dialogue about what our individual subjective realities mean to us, what they have done for us. The "fruits of the spirit" if you like, to borrow that cliched Christian metaphor.

Bottom line? If your subjective reality appears to have a positive effect on your life, and the lives of those around you, people might be interested in what your subjective reality is (this is how Christians trap the non-believers, by the way), or maybe joining the community that shares similar realities.

The real breakthrough comes, I think, when all of us will be able to allow each other to just live in peace with the subjective realities that we each possess unless those realities are harming ourselves or others. That's my only caveat, and unfortunately, it invalidates virtually all organized religion.

Purple Hymnal said...

"I don't want contention here. It serves no useful purpose as to the objective."

Absolutely right, James, and you don't have to worry about it being an issue anymore. My comments are probably getting too long, anyway.

Blog is this way, for anyone interested. Thanks, guys, it's been fun!

The Painful Truth said...

Purple Hymnal quotes the editor:

"I don't want contention here. It serves no useful purpose as to the objective."

Absolutely right, James, and you don't have to worry about it being an issue anymore. My comments are probably getting too long, anyway.

When I wrote that, who was that aimed at? You or Ralph?

If you are going to play victim with me, go ahead.

Happy Trails.

Corky said...

The Painful Truth said...
Corkey said...
"Man was safe and protected from all evils as long as he was obedient and resided in the garden. However, man sinned and got tossed out into the world where hunger, drought, volcanos, earthquakes, diseases etc. etc. existed. "

Man created this problem for his fellow man knowing that the solution to this was servitude as a way to resolve the problem which never was a problem to start with. Politicians do this also as a means to a end.

I agree with your whole message. Historically, it was the Priest/Kings who began the crap we see today.

How else can you pull off a land grab of land you don't own but by saying a lord god gave it to you? If the ancient people weren't so superstitious, they would never have fallen for that line. But, they were that superstitious and if anyone had a problem with it, they disappeared, fast.

If the masses had ever discovered that they had been lied to and duped, the Priest/Kings and their hirelings would have been slaughtered and fed to the dogs.

The ones who continued using this hoax, by inheritance, could never admit to it being a hoax or else their lives would be forfeit.

Hell, today, they would probably have to prove it all was just a hoax, because of people being so brainwashed into being followers of the hoax.

The lord god has given away a lot land in the past 10,000 years, sometimes he has given away the same land several times to other Priest/Kings.

Hey, but the world needs the servant class of "worker bees" so that the Priest/Kings can live in the lap of luxury.

Ralph said...

"There is no one great universal, organizing truth".

That statement in itself would require knowledge of truth such that it would encompass all reality. To say there is no universal truth is a statement of universal truth.

Again, you would be hard put to make such a statement in light of Godel's theorem. The most accurate statement possible is that our knowledge regarding universal truth is incomplete, and there is no way(second part of Godel's theorem) to demonstrate the consistency of any system from within itself.

That, in itself, becomes the limiting factor of your statement, because in order to proclaim there exists no universal truth, you would have to prove that your own conclusions are consistent enough to prove the fact. But then you run head on into the first part of the theorem, that in any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exists an infinity of udecidable propositions.

So, the qualifying statement is "To my knowledge, there exists no universal truth", or "there exists no predictive fashion by which we may ever know a universal truth".

As to the rest of your statements regarding subjective truth, I'm in general agreement, but there dies exist complete systems of truth that are shown to be both complete and consistent. Unfortunately, they are based on mathematical/logical systems that are designed only to proceed to certain conclusions, and lack the complexity necesary exploration of truth.

All truth is not subjective, therefore, but any truth that attempts to define "God" or truth must of necessity be incomplete.

And that, in fact, is exactly what I have been saying. The only difference being I point out that paul made the same statements regarding "God' centuries ago.

I submit that if ciontention exists, it was not caused by e, since I made a point, stated it as a truth, and demonstrated the point consistent with truth.

The only contentious point I have made to anyone in this group is quite simple: prove me wrong.

What I have seen is every possible form of avoidance to do that.

I merely stated a belief, and i was challenged. I answered your challenge. I never sought contention, only the exploration of an idea. I have been willing to discuss it from any angle, and I have seen nothing but a determined, even religious resistance to a point of view, even when other points of view were completely consistent with my own.

You tried simply to drive me away, make me a victim, and I'm still standing. Where are you guys?

Miguel de la Rodente said...


I hope we can both agree that consistency is important as we deconstruct and sort things out. Radio carbon dating is what it is. Christians question its accuracy when it is used to support evolution, particularly the fossil remains of man like creatures which predate the generally accepted lifetimes of Adam and Eve. And, non-believers tend to question its accuracy when it relates to biblical or Christian artifacts.

One thing which fascinates me is the fact that so many archaeological investigations are taking place right now in our lifetime. And, archaeologists have many of the advanced tools which were developed for usage in the petroleum industry, and are using these tools in the Holy Land.
Yet, I've encountered an attitude amongst ex-Armstrongite non believers which seems to equate legitimate research with the hype and showmanship of people such as Michael Rood. The word "discernment" certainly seems relevant here.

~El Raton Miguelito~

Purple Hymnal said...

"When I wrote that, who was that aimed at? You or Ralph?"

What does the phrase MY comments suggest to you, James? How can that possibly have been aimed at Ralph?!

And, just for the record, I wasn't "playing the victim", I was trying to keep a modicum of peace! Pardon me for trying to maintain a non-confrontational environment.

(Oh, and Miguel? I am using discernment. My discernment unfortunately disagrees with what you want to believe. That's just the way it goes sometimes.)

Ralph said...

Purple, you tried to keep a "modicum of peace" by deciding in advance that I can't posibly be right, and telling others to "collapse comment" because I simply challenge their beliefs.

Purple, I challenge you. I continue to challenge you. Here's the problem: I already know your thinking. I'm wel acquainted with it. But you don't know mine. That's what seems to scare you, and perhaps others who would rather attack me than prove me wrong.