Open Question to Theists and non-Theists


#16

Thanks for clarifying that.

You could have been easily misunderstood (especially after some of the things said on this thread by another poster), and I wanted anyone reading along to clearly understand that you weren’t refering to me.

I thank making that plain here.

Would a Franciscan, seminary trained and ordained, Anglican Catholic Priest (who teaches Physics and Theology, and also happens to be a hopeful universalist) meet your criteria?

I’ve been in contact with such a man for five or six years now, and he’s been very helpful.

And he’s never found it necessary to qualify the statement that there are states of existence that are better than non-existence.

Do you mean like Dr. Hilary Greaves, of Somerville College in Oxford, who wrote the paper I’ve been quoting here?

And the sources she cites in her paper (like Holtug, and Fleurbaey, and Voorhoeve)?


#17

Michael:

I always find a big difference between reading an expert, watching them on video, listening to them on audio - and talking to them in person.

For example:

My friend Dora has a PhD from Oxford in biblical Archaeology from Oxford and a masters in counseling, from the University of Chicago. One of her sons is a leading pioneer in genetic modeling and a professor at Harvard. I had many conversations over the years wit them.
I liked to talk with College of Dupage philosophy professors, who have PhD degrees in philosophy - when I took courses there. They have refreshing perspectives on philosophical matters
My favorite professor was a psychiatrist, who used to teach courses in abnormal psychology. He was also an expert in existentialism, phenomenology, and Zen.
Of course, hanging out with Indigenous medicine men and women, over the years - provided me with a wonderful learning experience.

Become friends with the experts and try to experience positive things - like a vision in the Lakota tradition, the satori experience of Zen, or a mystical experience of Christianity. Then come back down to earth and talk with the locals - like the folks on the forum here.

Probably I’ll continue this dialogue tomorrow.

And if you can find them - like the TV and movie A-Team - hang out with folks from the Holy Fools tradition A-Team,.:smiley:

Probably I’ll continue this dialogue tomorrow.


#18

For face to face counselling I have my local parish priest, and for really deep Theological and Philosophical matters, I have my Franciscan friend in Sydney Australia.

Unfortunately, we have to communicate via email because I live on the other side of the world, but he’s a truly outanding Theologian (and Scientist), and I’m fortunate to able to exchange emails with him.

And, of course, there’s God (and the communion of saints.)

I think I asked for prayers for my dad in my opening post here.

Have you prayed for him?

Have you prayed for me?

I have nothing against the prayer rope, the Jesus prayer, the rosary, or a mystical experience of Christianity–but I’m not into yoga, the satori experience of Zen, or sweat lodges.

Didn’t some people out in California (or Arizona) die pursuing mystical experiences in sweat lodges not too long ago?

And don’t such native American practices often involve using peyote (or other mind altering drugs) to induce mystical experiences?

Do you reccomend that?

If yoga, or zen, or these native American practices have any thraputic value, couldn’t the same effects be acheived (much more scientifically, and safely) using biofeedback?

I will grant you one thing though.

I did know a medical doctor back in the eighties (in New Jersey) who’s daughter was a chiropractor, and whenever I threw my back out he could adjust it by using a trick he said he learned from her.

It probably took less than a minute, and worked every time.

It was really amazing.

BTW: You never answered a question I asked you–do you deny the existence of anything that has intrinsic value?

Someone here said “Value is always a personal judgment”–do you share that opinion?

Do you consider all things relative?

Is there (in your opinion) no intrinsic, objective value to existence in a state of beatitude?

How do you feel about vivisection?

Maybe that’s a bad example, because those in favor of it hope it will serve some higher purpose.

But is it true to say that it would be objectively wrong to do it for no purpose but to inflict pain on the animal?

Why?

And if you say it’s wrong, is it wrong simply because that’s your personal judgment, or mine, or God’s–or is it wrong because some things have real, objective, intrinsic value?

Is causing another being to suffer for no purpose not wrong in itself, because existence in a state of suffering (for no purpose) is undesirable?

Or is comparing existence in pain to non-existence meaningless?

Would it be true to tell the owners of the famous race horse who was euthanized after that race with Secretariat

Did these poor misguided humans do what they did only for themselves, when they thought they were doing it for the horse?

That’s clearly what Jason is saying here, and I disagree with him.

Do you believe there would have been nothing wrong with the owners letting Ruffian go on suffering, as long as it didn’t offend human sensibilities (or the angels, or God)?

Is it meaningless to say that a vivisection that served no higher purpose would still be wrong even if it didn’t offend the sensibilities of anyone watching (human or divine)?

Would it be wrong to bring an animal into existence to perform such a vivisection, if you knew in advance that it would serve no higher purpose?

Would it be wrong to bring Ruffian into existence in a permanent state of suffering?

If you say “yes,” and if you think the animal is in no meaningful sense any worse off existing in needless pain than it would be not existing, please explain why it would be wrong to bring it into that kind of existence.

These are philosophical questions, and this part of the forum is supposed to be a place where we can discuss philosophical questions.

Fine.

But it really shouldn’t be about your education and job experience, my mental health (or the lack of it–or my education and job experience either for that matter), or Jason’s mental health, qualification (or lack of qualification) to make psychological diagnosis, or personal failings.

It should be about the philosophical issues raised by the questions asked–and I’d like to know where you stand on some of them.

Do you agree with Richard Hooker, who said

Or do you agree with the poster here, who said

I agree with Hooker, and if we continue this dialogue tomorrow, maybe you can tell me which statement you agree with?

Till then (as my Franciscan friend and priest would say), Pax Et Bonum.


#19

To answer your questions, I always pray for people who request prayers. And I might direct folks to other sources for prayer:

Catholic sources, like Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal or the Shine of Saint Jude
To the new thought source Silent Unity
Or the Protestant site Guideposts

Would you have a surgeon preform surgery on you, who took a correspondence course on surgery and got his approval from someone - like Donald Trump?

The person pouring the lodge you mentioned, was a new age person. They covered the lodge completely with a tarp. Anyone who knows anything about building lodges, knows you keep the bottom portion uncovered - so the lodge can get fresh oxygen and not have a
nitrogen buildup. Lodges should only be poured and supervised by either indigenous people, trained in how to do them. Or folks trained and approved, by the appropriate indigenous people.

As far as what people call peyote and “mind altering drugs”, such things have been around for thousands of years. I neither endorse - nor condemn - such practices. Provided such ceremonies are done by an appropriate indigenous person, trained and approved to conduct such ceremonies. And such ceremonies are in accordance, with the federal laws, of the host country. But I am more familiar with such practices and ceremonies (I would never admit whether I ever participated), then probably anyone here is.

Yes and no.

If scientific gadgets can replace these traditions, then why is there a whole school of psychological therapy, devoted to mindfulness?
And why does the medicine man in the Native Healing video, report so many healings of things like cancer? And a 100% success rate, for those who follow his directions?

For answers to questions like these, go talk to:

Ordained seminary trained theologians, in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions
Academic professors of philosophy and theology, with PhD degrees.
Folks of other religions, like Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Bahais, and Sikhs

In most cases, they will guide you to historical and contemporary philosophical and theological experts to read - if they are the academic type. Or to church teachings, if they are affiliated with a particular church.

In answer to questions like these, I shared this at the beginning:

It reminds me of a famous Zen story at Zen Story: A Cup of Tea - the best answers come from the silence

The key is to find what Zen masters, Holy Fools, indigenous holy and medicine people, and other such folks - find in the silence - that would help sustain them under all circumstances. It’s internal - not external. Then you can sing like Brian does (Note: Monty Python is expressing artistic and historical comedy. It’s NOT necessarily making fun of Christianity and the Crucifixion).


#20

Probably.

But if peyote is a purple powder, I have seen it used.

I remember pulling a shift once with a guy who was using something he said was peyote, and I don’t think he was native american.

I probably should have reported him for using an illegal substance on the job, but I didn’t.

And since you seem to only be interested in talking about native americans, and their practices, when you’re not talking about Buddhists and alternative medicine, I’ll tell you about the only time I was ever traveled outside the United States.

It was when some friends and I were invited to a wedding on a Mohawk reservation in Ontario.

I’ve never seen an American reservation, but I’ve heard a lot of negative things about them, and I was impressed by how well the Canadians seemed to be treating their indigenous population in comparison to the way I had heard we were treating ours.

The Island of Cornwall is a beautiful, green, wooded area dotted with cottages, where the Mohawk enjoy year round hunting and fishing rights (and where their actually is game to hunt, and fish to catch.)

We were staying with the brides brother, and after the wedding reception, where we all probably had a little too much to drink (but no peyote), he wanted to show us a pig he said he was fattening up for some kind of spring fair.

He took us out to the barn, and when he opened the door this huge thing tried to kill us.

As a city boy, I never knew pigs could get so big, or be so angry, and I figured he must have known what our friend was planing to do to him in the spring.

Anyway, I know something about the Mohawk, and the eastern tribes, and I think what Andrew Jackson did to the Cherokee was a national disgrace–especiall when you consider he did it in defiance of the supreme court, was never impeached, and the Cherokee were a peaceful tribe of people living on farms and growing corn.

Davy Crocket was the only one who stood up for them in congress, and he lost re-election and ended up at the Alamo.

But so it goes.

I’ve been a registered Republican since Nancy Pelosi became speaker of the house (and travelled to Syria when the state department asked her not to), but I’m hoping for a brokered convention, because I wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump if he were running for dog catcher.

Some say a brokered convention would be ignoring the voters, but I’ve never understood why Democrats and Independents are allowed to vote in so many of our primaries (and I believe in all the early states that gave Donald Trump his lead in the delegate count), and I see no reason not to ignore the votes of Democrats and Independents who probably wanted us to have a weak candidate in the general election.

But I’m derailing my own thread here, aren’t I?

Or did you do that–I forget.

Anyway, I like the Mohawk and the Cherokee, and I believe “Nvwadohiyadv” is a Cherokee word meanng much the same thing as “Shalom,” or “Pax Et Bonum.”

So I’ll say “Nvwadohiyadv” to you.

And if anyone reading along is actually interested in the correct answers to the questions raised on this thread, I’ll again submit these learned opinions (from trained Philosophers, with PHD’s in Philosophy):

Hilary Greaves.

Fleurbaey and Voorhoeve

Roberts, Holtug


#21

– Shakespeare from Macbeth

When someone wishes to discuss the above soliloquy, along with the ramifications and bearing it has on their own life - a forum is NOT the proper place. The proper place is to defer them to:

Theologians in a Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant church setting
Academic philosophers with PhD degrees
Licensed mental health professionals, with advanced degrees in counseling, psychiatry or psychology
Licensed medical doctors

And if they are “remotely curious” regarding that soliloquy, then they should be directed to read contemporary and historical figures on philosophy, psychology, religion and theology - to find the answers for themselves.


#22

For your information, that soliloquy is from Hamlet–not Macbeth.

And Hilary Greaves et al are contemporary athorites on Philosophy.

I don’t know if you have a Master’s in psychology (as you say you do), but you certainly don’t seem to know much about Shakespeare (or Philosophy), and dating someone who has a PHD in something doesn’t make you an expert in anything.

I’m curious as to why you jumped into the discussion to begin with.

Did someone ask you to?

(If so I would suspect they’re somewhat disapointed in your performance about now, and you probably should have asked them to fight their own battles.)


#23

My Masters in Psychology is from Norwich University. finished in August 1995.

And I had my share of philosophy courses, from Aurora University and the college of Dupage. Considering I usually got A’s in the courses, must mean the professors thought I was learning something regarding philosophy,.

It’s easy for me to make mistakes in things like Macbeth vs Hamlet, as I like to Multitask. And sometimes I multitask in different languages, like French, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

And I don’t date someone with a PhD. I hang around folks with PhD degrees, as well as uneducated, blue collar workers. I often find the blue collar workers, the wiser of the lot.

And I jumped in, because Jason asked if anyone else, had anything to say to you.

And it would appropriate, in accordance with the Holy Fools tradition. And I’m too weird and strange, for anyone to normally upset or rattle me. :exclamation: :laughing:


#24

That speech is one of the most famous in western literature, and it wouldn’t be easy for anyone who’s actually read Shakespeare to somehow confuse Hamlet with Macbeth.

Hamlet strugles with avengering his father’s murder, and MacBeth is himself a murderer.

The plays are entirely different, and in different settings.

One is set in Scotland, and one is set in Denmark.

I’ll have to take your word on that (and, as I believe you’re anonymous here, on your academic and professional credentials too.)

But you should at least recognize an associate Prof. of Philosophy at Somerville College in Oxford University as a contemporary figure in Philosophy.

And recognize the sources she cites in a published paper as contemporary figures.

Sorry.

I misunderstood you here.

My bad.

But why aren’t Greaves, Fleurbaey, Voorhoeve, and Roberts the right people?

I thought so.

Thank you.


#25

hi Michael:

I do recognize the sources in philosophy you cite. Multitasking means you are working on several things - usually complex - at the same time. So simple mistakes can be made, as I don’t have time to review and rectify them all.

Tonight I am watching Super girl, Scorpion and NCIS LA on TV. The only other pressing thing (that can take me away from this forum), is a new episode of the Walking Dead, the Flash or Fear the Walking Dead.

I think the keywords for these shows are Zombies, Superheroes and Geniuses.

So I might not be able to continue until tomorrow. Take care. :smiley:


#26

Thank you for finally doing that–instead of just repeatedly saying “if you have questions about philosophy, you should look to philosophers” (or some other words to that effect.)

I did look to proffesional philosophers when I found my own vocabulary insuffeciant to address Jason’s semantic arguments, and they were helpful.

I’ve cited those philosophers here, and this section of the forum is supposed to be a place where people can discuss philosophy.

So once again, these are the citations that address Jason’s “incoherence argument”:

Hilary Greaves.

Fleurbaey and Voorhoeve

Roberts, Holtug

P.S. One reason I’ve cited Philosophers who I believe offer perfectly sound answers to the “incoherence argument against existence comparativism” is for the benefit of anyone reading along–who may be struggling to hang in here under difficult circumstances (as I have been.)

If you tell yourself (or let someone else tell you) something long enough, you may come to believe it.

And I believe thinking that no state of existence is any better or worse than non-existence is unhealthy (and can effect the way you feel about life.)

The idea that thoughts can cause unhealthy emotions is the very basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, and I suppose I do see some merit in that particular school of Psychotherapy.

I certainly believe that (unless there’s some proven bio/chemical basis to an individual’s depression) that approach is better than the pharmacological approach.

And I suspect that for most people, it would probably be more helpful than zen or sitting in a sweat lodge.

What do you think counselor?


#27

Philosophy is fun to read and study. If you must take that direction, then figure out how folks like Aristotle, Socrates, Buddha, Nietzsche, Laozi, Confucius, Kant and Sartre…would respond to Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Or to put it in musical terms. How would someone with a PhD in music, play a particular Beatles tune, in the style of Mozart, Bach or Beethoven?

But I’m a pragmatic person. In other words, I look for what works - regardless of source.

http://sorcerers-stone.net/uploads/3/2/7/0/3270413/5212516.gif?1385056692

If a person is suffering from depression, I strongly feel that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the best therapeutic approaches. It could be better than psycho-pharmacology. But again, that determination must be made by a licensed mental health professional and/or licensed medical doctor.

And regardless how folks might view it, homeopathy (under the guidance of a licensed medical doctor), has many remedies for treating depression.

And if you find an indigenous person, trained and approved by the right Native people, to conduct a sweat lodge… And if they invite you to join them… it’s one of the best healing moralities around. Considering they have four rounds and the third round is a healing round, what does that tell you? And if you ever did have a chance to experience an authentic Native American ayahuasca or peyote ceremony, you might find many healings take place there.

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID23641/images/sweat-lodge.jpg

And mindfulness is a school of therapy. If someone wants to find out about whether it’s better to exist or not exist, then practicing Zen and mindfulness, is a great way to find the answers.

http://www.joy-of-cartoon-pictures.com/images/zen-quotes.jpg

And you know what? There’s no better philosophical and theological construct then the Zombie, for talking about existence and non-existence. Considering that theological exile is a current alternative to ECT, annihilation and universalism. And philosophers like to talk about philosophical zombies or the P-zombie. Would a P-Zombie really be existing or non-existing, is a very deep, philosophical question.


#28

I’d like to take this oportunity here to thank the only two posters on this forum who’ve ever said anything on this subject that was it all helpful to me (or is at all likely to be helpful to anyone else.)

First, Pilgrim.

Prof. Nils Holtug on the Positive Value of Existence

And now (more recently), Geoffrey.

Comparing Existence & Non-Existence, by Dr Hilary Greaves

The above comments were constructive, on topic, and helpful.

The one below was not.

If I had continued my studies, instead of caring for my parents, I could have been a licensed proffessional by now.

But I would have flunked out on life if I had put my education and career goals ahead of their needs.

And I doubt such a license can provide someone with the temperment, logic, or clearness of thought necessary to really help someone who’s situationally induced depression has been worsened by swallowing the unhealthy thoughts suggested by a published author he’s (wrongly) come to think of as his intellectual superior (as I once thought of Jason.)

It apparently takes something more (maybe common sense, maybe just empathy) to know that talk of zombies, and posting the kind of images you’ve posted here, is in poor tast on a thread started by someone with a loved one in ICU.

Thanks again pilgrim.

And it would seem the only argument against mlogic is a semantic agument that (at least some) “contemporary figures in philosophy” have recognized and exposed (for what it is):

Hilary Greaves

Fleurbaey and Voorhoeve

Roberts, Holtug

Many thanks to Greaves, Fleurbaey, Voorhoeve, Roberts, and Holtug.

No thanks to real or pretended “licensed proffesionals” who use philosophical discussion forums to mock and ridicule those asking philosophical questions (and especially not of they really consider their targets to weak, vulnerable, or mentally ill.)


#29

Let me ask you some questions, Michael:

You cite your own knowledge of psychology and behavior. Tell me. Does a physician normally operate on themselves? Does a lawyer normally represent themselves in court? Does a psychologist try to resolve their own personal problems?
Why do you look to philosophy to resolve the “to be or not to be” dilemma, when the field of psychology teaches us that feelings and emotions - much more so than thoughts, logic, reason and intellect - govern our reaction to Shakespeare’s soliloquy?
Once I talked to a Native American elder, regarding a sun dancer (the sun dance is a sacred Native American ceremony), who killed themselves. His response was they continue their problems in the afterlife. And this person just made their problems 10 times worse for themselves. Do you wish to wager - like the philosopher Pascal (with his wager) - that the Native American elder is wrong?


#30

Freud did.

That actually answers two of your questions, because he was both a psychologist and a medical doctor (and he was treating himself.)

Freudians, Jungians, Adlerians would probably say that feelings and emotions govern our reaction to such things as Shakespeare’s soliloquy, but Aaron Beck would say that faulty thinking creates unhealthy emotions (and I suppose I subscribe more to the cognitive behavioral school of pscychology than the Freudian, or Jungian, or Adlerian.)

I’m not suicidal.

Is it possible you’re projecting here?

Neither Pascal’s wager, or my point recarding meaningful ways of compare states of existence to non-existence, have anything to do with enchoraging anyone to commit suicide–quite the contrary.

Neither Pascal’s wager is the argument that it is in one’s own best interest to behave as if God exists, since the possibility of eternal punishment in hell outweighs any advantage of believing otherwise.

And my point is that there are conceivible states of existence that are better (heaven) and worse (hell) than non-existence.

Denying there are such states of existence robs hell (whether it’s viewed as eternal and punative, or temporal and remedial) of it’s deternt value , and robs heaven of it’s incentive value.

It’s an unhealthy line of thought offered to me when I was greiving, by a man who had complaints about the condition of his own existence I wont share here, to defend an argument in a book he wrote (and recommended to me at the time.)

When I pointed out what I believed was a fauty argument in a poorly wriiten passge, he chose to continuallly re-iterate and defend what Prof. Greaves calls “the incoherence argument” against existence comparativism.

He then chose to first attack, and then ignore me.

And when I brought the issue of existence comparativism up on the philosophy forum here, he chose in continue justifying himself, attacking me, ridiculling the issue, contradicting himself, and to publicly defend what I believe to be an unhealthy line of though likely to cause unhealthy feelings in any depressed persons reading along.

I’ve felt obliged to offer a more healthy line of thought here.

God is good, there are meaningful ways you can legitimately say certain sttes of existence are better of worse than non-existence, and life is a gift.

There is nothing unhealthy or suicidal in that, and all you’ve done is to jump in here (at someone else’s request, I understand) and defend yourself (and your less than orthodox views on sweat lodges, shamanism, peyote, and other mood altering drugs.)

Why do you and Jason keep trying to construct a straw man?


#31

Some more questions for you.

“Orthodox” depends on what statistical group is doing the judging. And upon your “frame of reference”. If you ask indigenous people, sweat lodges are orthodox. To Buddhists, meditation is Orthodox. Even to those in the scientific community, meditation is orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox has a form of meditation called Hesychasm. And Catholics and Anglicans use the Keating’s centering prayer. What is your frame of reference, to determining something is “non-orthodox”?
You cite one professional friends opinion. Does his opinion necessarily represent a majority viewpoint, as determined by statistical polling?
Obviously, I know what Pascal’s wager is. But I was referring to a bet - like Pascal made. Not necessarily the content.
And what “exactly” did i say on “mind altering drugs”? I said I neither endorse - nor object to - authentic Native American peyote and Ayahuasca ceremonies, performed by the appropriate indigenous people. As long as such ceremonies are in accordance with the federal laws, of the host country. After all, these ceremonies have been going on for thousands of years - long before Columbus arrived on the scene. And many healings have been reported. The only other “mind altering drug” I would would feel comfortable with, is medical cannabis. Provided it’s done by a licensed medical doctor, with the blessings of the American Medical Association and the federal government.
You cited Freud and his group of disciples, along with their corresponding theories. But each theorist and follower of Freud - no matter how brilliant (I like Jung the best - by the way), had competing theories. And none were in agreement with each other. But have you done a comprehensive search, on what experimental psychology and statistical analysis, has to say on feelings and how they affect reality?


#32

I’ve studied Freud, Adler, Jung, and Beck (who wasn’t a disciple of Freud BTW), and I know Beck believed that the way we feel is created by the way we think–that thoughts give rise to feelings as often (if not more often) than feelings give rise to thoughts.

It’s been a long time since I did academic classwork, but I also know there’s empirical evidence to support that conclusion.

And I haven’t been considering suicide, or enchoraging anyone else to consider suicide here.

Again, why do you keep trying to construct a straw man?


#33

I take you at your word, that you haven’t contemplated suicide. So my major concern is addressed. However, when people make statements and take them as philosophical, psychological, scientific or theological statements of fact or truth, it is appropriate to ask questions - in order to understand things - like Socrates would in ancient Greece.

And here are my questions and commentary again:

“Orthodox” depends on what statistical group is doing the judging. And upon your “frame of reference”. If you ask indigenous people, sweat lodges are orthodox. To Buddhists, meditation is Orthodox. Even to those in the scientific community, meditation is orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox has a form of meditation called Hesychasm. And Catholics and Anglicans use the Keating’s centering prayer. What is your frame of reference, to determining something is “non-orthodox”?
You cite one professional friends opinion. Does his opinion necessarily represent a majority viewpoint, as determined by statistical polling?
Obviously, I know what Pascal’s wager is. But I was referring to a bet - like Pascal made. Not necessarily the content.
And what “exactly” did i say on “mind altering drugs”? I said I neither endorse - nor object to - authentic Native American peyote and Ayahuasca ceremonies, performed by the appropriate indigenous people. As long as such ceremonies are in accordance with the federal laws, of the host country. After all, these ceremonies have been going on for thousands of years - long before Columbus arrived on the scene. And many healings have been reported. The only other “mind altering drug” I would feel comfortable with, is medical cannabis. Provided it’s done by a licensed medical doctor, with the blessings of the American Medical Association and the federal government.
You cited Freud and his group of disciples, along with their corresponding theories. But each theorist and follower of Freud - no matter how brilliant (I like Jung the best - by the way), had competing theories. And none were in agreement with each other. But have you done a comprehensive search, on what experimental psychology and statistical analysis, has to say on feelings and how they affect reality?

http://www.cartoonwork.com/watermark.php?i=232


#34

I said “I haven’t been” contemplating suicide, and I thank you for taking me at my word.

And I thank you for any prayers you have actually offered for my dad.

He’s pretty sick right now, but there’s at least one doctor who thinks he could recover, and prayers are appreciated.

I just told dad today that I appreciate his hanging in here with me as long as he has, and that I hope he can hang in here with me a little longer.

But I told him that if he has to leave, that’s o’kay too, because I know there’s a better place, and I’ll hang in here as long as I have to.

There being states of existence that are better than non-existence (and that are capable of outweighing the states of existence we may sometimes have to endure in this fallen world) is what this thread is all about, not suicide.

And there’s really nothing funny about an ICU, so please stop trying to be funny by posting cartoons, and snippets from silly t.v. shows (like “the A team,” where people were routinely shot with rapid fire automatic machine guns, but never died.)

I find these attempts at humor in the context of this thread offensive, and I haven’t the time to do “statistical analysis,” or to answer your questions right now.

And especially not when you haven’t answered mine (and when I doubt you remember what those questions were, or even took any notice of them to begin with.)

I asked you if you believe that anything (such as life, or love) has intrinsic value, or whether you see everything as relevant (and dependant on personal judgment.)

You never answered that question, but here’s a Psalm we read in Church today (at the 7:30 a.m. morning prayer service, at Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, in Crownsville Md.)

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”

Psalm 63:3.

I take this to mean that life is good, and love is better.

Do you agree or disagree?

Pax Et Bonum.


#35

I notice you make great leaps in arriving at faulty conclusions. Like - “I’m dating someone with a PhD degree”. If I wish to date anyone at all, it will probably be a Femme fatale. As a literary type of character, the concept would be intriguing. So you are either working with faulty premises, don’t read what is written or are trying to imitate the Jerry Seinfeld and DC Comics Bizarro world. :laughing:

Humor is part of the Holy Fools tradition. Everyone here is supposed to be true to their Christian beliefs and practices. For me, I fully embrace the Holy Fools tradition in Christianity. And the Socratic method in philosophy.

In fact, in Simeon the Holy Fool, we find this:

If you wish to see how I view things, then look though the section marked theology, at the bottom (or any of the other links I provided). Since it is placed in an introduction section, one can only ask clarifying questions there. But it is about 46 pages long and will give you my world view on things. Your questions need complex theological and philosophical responses. I would prefer that you study contemporary and historical philosophers - both Eastern and Western (along with historical and contemporary theologians) - and arrive at these answers yourself. That’s why I have avoided giving answers - like the Zen masters would. But judging how you responded to Jason, you appear to already have preconceived answers - to your questions at hand. So are you here to just “collect opinions”?

If you take any position of Christian faith (Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, universalist, etc.), then you already have a positive spin on life - like I do. Christianity is the main course meal. Anything else (sweat lodges, Buddhist meditation, and philosophy), are there as side dishes. Or they help make the journey in this life smoother. Or they give additional perspective, on the Christian message. In fact, many people in the Native World, would be members of the Roman Catholic Church and also attend their Native American ceremonies. And they also use the white man’s medicine and the spiritual and herbal medicine - of the medicine people. And there are Roman Catholic clergy that practice Zen and open up ashrams in India.

And not everything can be placed in the logical blocks of philosophy. God is a divine mystery, as the Eastern Orthodox correctly point out. And philosophy - a man made discipline - does have its limitations.