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Dark vs Light

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kif kif
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50 posted 07-05-2006 04:02 PM       View Profile for kif kif   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kif kif

Digital; I'll say this. Truth/God does not watch, it just is. God, for want of another word to describe the infinite Form of Being, does not 'see', 'decide' or 'judge' anything called 'morality'.. These are things we apply to It, and use as God's words.

I feel slightly out of order saying this, but it strikes me that you went to the most intolerant preacher you could find...for effect?

It's not personal, and there's no 'us' and 'them'.

"People are people, wherever you go, when you meet a good 'un, then you feel their glow" (Wildflower.)  
Digital_Hell
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51 posted 07-05-2006 05:18 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

"I feel slightly out of order saying this, but it strikes me that you went to the most intolerant preacher you could find...for effect?" No, i actually went to several different ones and got more or less thew same response. While some simply turned away and refused to help. Others heaped scorn on me. That was simply the worst response i got and i quoted it to give an example of how i was treated by the "good" and "light" people.

"does not 'see', 'decide' or 'judge' anything" and yet if you do not follow the bibles way you go to hell... So taking from that he 'sees', 'decides' or 'judges'. Since he has to know if hes right in sending you down or not.

"and there's no 'us' and 'them'." For as long as people continue to judge others on what they believe and stand for there will always be a "us" and a "them". For as long as people consider me different or "evil" etc... there will always be a distinction.

even in this argument and "us" and a "them" has been created. Although luckily none of us believe we are superior to the other side i hope?

hells gate reads Abandon hope all ye that enter here
shall we go?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Will you walk with me?

kif kif
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52 posted 07-06-2006 06:51 AM       View Profile for kif kif   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kif kif

Personally, none of us is more superior, although I do believe certain ways of thinking are (not neccesarily ours, Digital, I'm talking universal, thinking that can be found within many faiths, all over the World). Ways of thinking achievable by everybody, us and we. 'Them' is a creation by those of us who want to sell something, take something, or keep something, to and from somebody else.

I can't really comment on the *Bible, although I was raised a Catholic, I rebelled. I know more about Crowley's 'Magick' than I do 'The Christian Scriptures', but I will say that it's a gamble when you go to any one for help. Most people have their own agenda for helping you, or the agenda of their group. The action of reaching out and communicating with anybody helps yourself. I believe it's what you notice yourself in life that makes a full spirit, not what somebody else notes for you.

Faith is a very personal thing, like emotions-only you know what you're feeling, and nobody can tell you.

I wrote a song...which I'm having trouble linking to...it's called The Art Of Risk, and it's in critical.

*On the Bible; somebody else wrote that...just like the Quoran, and just like Crowley wrote Magick, to name a few. If you read the Purpose thread, here in Philosophy, you'll see different, but similar views on the Idea of God.

Yes, I've been likened to Satan, "but traditionally, The Devil is the God of another people one personally dislikes..."(Crowley). In myself, I believe God to be like an Infinite Vibration, from which all vibrations are produced. A Vibration doesn't love, hate, care or feel happiness or sadness, in It's perfection, it just is.

We humans have got it all wrong, in my opinion, because we've personified Perfection/Truth.

[This message has been edited by kif kif (07-06-2006 11:59 AM).]

Essorant
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53 posted 07-06-2006 02:50 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Kif Kif

It seems strange that you should choose the word "God" at all then.  If what you mean is only perfection or truth, or a "vibration", why not just call it perfection, truth or a vibration.   Or do you just like the connotations and contraversy that may come with using the word "God"?

Stephanos
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54 posted 07-06-2006 10:46 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
But they may say that your opinion or argument is "unreal" too for not being based on the distinction(s) they make. ...  And if they make out individuality to be an "illusion" so do you seem to make out all things being one thing to be an illusion.


Essorant you are missing the point.  Distinctions are themselves a result of individuality.  So it's not a matter of disagreeing about this or that particular distinction ... but a larger question of how real distinctions can even exist within a framework which denies individuality.  


And by the way, I'm not sure I even understand your last sentence.  It is Eastern Philosophy / religion which declares that all things are one ... not me.


quote:
'We of the church of god do not help you hethen heretic sorcerers, your path is your own. For your folly you will burn in hell. May god have mercy on your soul'. Nice hey? thius was more or less the same general response i got from all of them... I tried finding help in the light and i got nothing.


Well I've always felt that it is unloving to tell a man that he will go to hell and unloving to not tell him that he may.  I guess all I can say is, if what you say is true, perhaps this priest was far from the spirit of the God he professed.  In which case, like kif kif, I would say that that's not the best thing to base your opinion of "light" upon.  

On the other hand, some people I know call all moral censure by the Church (or anyone else for that matter) uncharitable, unloving, and mean.  But I disagree with that notion.  Some things are wrong, and sometimes it needs to be told that they are wrong.  And yet ... when and how and what spirit in which such a thing is shared, has a lot to do with whether such a rebuke is right or wrong.  Case by case it has to be when we consider such things.  But one thing for sure, you can't expect the saintly not to preach the reality of sin, or the necessity of repentance.  Though I'll agree with you that they should also be willing to reach out and help those in darkness.  


Chesterton summed it up nicely (forgive me from quoting him so much, but I've been reading him much here lately.


"A sensible pagan would say that there were some people one could forgive, and some one couldn't: a slave who stole wine could be laughed at; a slave who betrayed his benefactor could be killed, and cursed even after he was killed. In so far as the act was pardonable, the man was pardonable. That again is rational, and even refreshing; but it is a dilution. It leaves no place for a pure horror of injustice, such as that which is a great beauty in the innocent. And it leaves no place for a mere tenderness for men as men, such as is the whole fascination of the charitable. Christianity came in here as before. It came in startlingly with a sword, and clove one thing from another. It divided the crime from the criminal. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. The crime we must not forgive at all. It was not enough that slaves who stole wine inspired partly anger and partly kindness. We must be much more angry with theft than before, and yet much kinder to thieves than before." (From Orthodoxy)


quote:
I had contact with them before i was in that hell hole. I only cut all ties afterwords after i saw how uncaring they were.



The light is not limited to what people may have disappointed you, I assure you.  Be open to further possibilities.  


quote:
Ah but i do you see. That is the point. I Feel if a man chooses to murder someone i may not judge him. For in his situation what would i have done? It was his choice and he has to live with the consequences of that. I have no right to tell him what he did was right or wrong. I am no better than he, How can i presume some "Divine" knowledge that allows me to say what is right and wrong? While i may not approve of some things, That is my personal belief and i have no right to force it on another.


Did you know that we can easily confuse "punishment" with merely speaking truth?  To say "I have no right to punish anyone" is true humility.  To say "I have no right to even know what's right and wrong" is a false humility.  For one it's dishonest.  You just plainly declared to me that some religious folk were "cruel" to you.  And I might even agree with you.  But you do hold moral standards, and there's nothing wrong with that.  Don't give in to the relativistic fog of this age, that always resorts to philosophical statements which don't even line up with their own minds and hearts.  Yes, I am urging you to have mercy on that priest who wronged you ... But mercy implies that there was a real moral wrong done.  I'm certainly not asking you to question your own ability to know what cruelty itself is.  Forgiveness is different than exoneration.  


So again, I am not asking you to punish anyone's sins.  But if you hold the philosophical position that morals are arbitrarily imposed by "society", and have no further basis than that, you do end up exonerating more than just ignorant cannibalism.  Because the moral precept to "keep the rules of society" is itself a moral question that cannot be answered by society.  You have to go deeper ... or higher.  Why is a baby torturer really morally wrong ... only because society says so?


quote:
The perfect world is one of complete anarchy. For from a state of complete anarchy a naturally balanced society emerges, from those that survive.
history has proved to us the truth of this statement.



The pattern in history has not been that at all.  Anarchy comes in to tear down one system of government and order.  But they always end up establishing their own government and order.  Anarchy is transition not destination.  No one can camp there for long.  I'm wondering, do you have children?  Is anarchy a good way to manage your own life and household?  Does it work?


quote:
I speak of darkness that stands in the light and fights it as an equal. Of shadows that can push back light. Of the essence of it.  Of a real and true power, not the simple lack of light that science describes But of a palpable tangible darkness with life of its own.



Darkness only uses the usurped tools of the light.  How can it be equal?  Also we are told of the ultimate victory of "light".  Though we are in a civil war (not the war of two Sovereign powers as you suggest), we have already been told the outcome of the war.  


To use Tolkien's parable again for a moment ... Didn't Sauraman lie to Gandalf when he said "We must join with them ... There are none who can contend with the will of Sauron (Darkness)?"  


With tenderness (not in contention), I want to encourage you too, not to give in to such a false propostion.


quote:
Ah but to simply watch a murder take place and not do anything about it makes you almost as guilty... You see my point? Though not directly responsible for it, By creating it he has to take responsibility for it. If i start a war, then turn my back on it while millions get massacred i am still responsible for it.



But the brunt of your argument is in saying "If I start I war, and turn my back on it ...".  God didn't start the war at all.  The Bible doesn't tell us that humanity is innocent, but sinful and rebellious.  Therefore ANY mitigation is mercy on God's part.  It could be alot worse.  I am not minimizing the ugliness or seriousness of evil.  But it's not like our hearts are undeserving of much of the evil we see.  Secondly, God didn't "turn his back".  He sent Christ into the world, as a ransom to buy us out.  There is the promise of a future redemption as well.  What would you think of a King who allowed two sovereign nations to their own war (of their own choosing), and then ressurected the dead bodies in the end, out of love and mercy?  God has chosen to let the results of our sinful paths play out in much earthly sorrow.  But he is exonerated for several reasons.  1) We were warned.  2) He has not treated us as our sins have deserved.  3) He has given us comforts and blessings, in spite of the war.  4) The story isn't over, and there are rumours (and promises) of a great restoration beyond our imagination.    


quote:
i was speaking about absolute truth. And that in itself must be comprehensive and complete to be absolute.



But you were talking about the imperfection of "descriptions", not the absolute truth.  You can't malign absolute truth as a reality, simply because we can only be partially right in our observances / descriptions.  You seem to be playing bait and switch.  Are we talking about absolute truth or descriptions?


quote:
looked into evil to deeply" Very true, i made this self same mistake...



Ever watched "The Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King?  It's a great movie.  There's some terrible violence and language, in the prison setting, but the theme of the movie is awesome.  If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to watch it.


There's a very poignant part in the movie where an old man named "Brooks" was paroled from prison after a long long time.  He couldn't cope with life on the outside and lost hope.  He hung himself in a boarding house.  The story also concludes with a guy named "Red" who gets paroled and goes to the same boarding house.  He nearly succumbs to the same hoplessness, but his friend Andy Dufresne (pronounced Do-Frayne) who suffered innocently in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and had already escaped, helped him regain a sense of hope and destiny.
  

Up on a dusty rafter in the little bedroom of that melancholy boarding house, were the words "Brooks was here" scrawled years ago by Red's friend who committed suicide.  Red mounted the same little table, took a small knife and carved "So Was Red".  


Then he left immediately for a little Mexican town on the Pacific Coast to be with his friend Andy, and help him get a charter fishing business and hotel started.  


Let's just say that there's another person who suffered innocently for crimes he didn't commit, that can give you hope back.  You don't necessarily have to be like Brooks, just because you're in the same drear situation.  Red was too.


kif kif:
quote:
Truth/God does not watch, it just is. God, for want of another word to describe the infinite Form of Being, does not 'see', 'decide' or 'judge' anything called 'morality'.. These are things we apply to It, and use as God's words.


Then how are you assured that there even is a "truth"?  Which brings us right back around to morality, purpose, and all the rest.  How do you avoid the nihilism of Nietzsche (and others) if God (to you) is "dead"?  Your equating of ultimate reality with the words "truth" and "perfection" and "god" is romanticizing something that for all you know, is anything but those quaint and warming qualities you describe.


I'll also bring out the problem of the source of personality ultimately being impersonal.  Even your thoughts about what is right to believe, comes from personal discernment, and individuality.  But you are choosing an ultimate reality which swallows up all individuality into non-personhood.  Why not go as far as the Eastern mystics and judge that all your judgements, beauties, thoughts, discernments, are really meaningless and a part of the disease of existence.  The goal (for Hindu-Buddhist philosophy) is to let go of individuality and get off the wheel, stepping into oblivion.


Of course the other option, after coming to such a conclusion as you have, is to personalize the impersonal ... to dress it in ontological terms like "perfection", or sensational terms like "vibration", or epistemological terms like "truth".  But awareness of being, sensation, and knowledge are all within the realm of personhood.  You're stealing in the backdoor, from a theistic view of things.  


Or maybe they've been put there on purpose by someone bigger than you?             Actually I don't disparage them.  I know they stay the madness that brims under the surface of us all.  I just have to insist that they aren't consistent with the view you're taking.  They are clues for you to follow, despite your philosophy at the moment.  


"Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
       Does he who formed the eye not see?"
(Psalm 94:9)


As Essorant suggested, even your affinity with "God" is based in something very personal ... The heart doesn't always want to let go of what the head has already dismissed.  But there are times when we're "wrongheaded" and our heart is actually the right one steering.  


quote:
In myself, I believe God to be like an Infinite Vibration, from which all vibrations are produced. A Vibration doesn't love, hate, care or feel happiness or sadness, in It's perfection, it just is.

But do you notice that I could just as easily say:

Ultimate truth doesn't distinquish vibration from stillness, perfection from imperfection, or truth from error, it just IS.

You need to either change outlooks or keep on going in the stripping process.


More later,

This is a great thread.

(Oh and Digital H.  ... I want to assure you that I don't think believing one has truth, or is right means that anyone is better than anyone else. This is actually an enjoyable time, and I'm enjoying all of your participation)


Stephen.    
Essorant
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55 posted 07-07-2006 02:42 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Essorant you are missing the point.  Distinctions are themselves a result of individuality. .  So it's not a matter of disagreeing about this or that particular distinction ... but a larger question of how real distinctions can even exist within a framework which denies individuality. "


But there is more individuality than just each individual part Stephanos.  There's the individuality of the whole, as the examples of the each constituent of the holy trinity, of each constituent part of a human body, each constituent of a planet, etc.  If you may accept those, what shall set you against each thing being constituent of the same overall oneness?  Being part of a body doesn't deny the nose its nosehood, being part of the earth doesn't deny a tree its treehood, so why would being part of the the same overall oneness deny anything its individuality and uniqueness?   Trying to set the belief of universal oneness into stationary place against individuality, is mistake, by both the Eastern religions and Christianity.  The two beliefs may truly befriend each other.  And when they do, I think they are much more strong and wholesome.  Why argue and say it is only one or the other, when both universal oneness and individuality of parts of that oneness, may work together in wholesome agreement?  


kif kif
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56 posted 07-07-2006 05:30 AM       View Profile for kif kif   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kif kif

Essorant; I use the word God to describe Perfection and Truth because everybody else does. The Sumerian Gods are not what the Christians would call God, but we do. It's a word that's used to express the ultimate Truth. I enjoyed your description of being part of the whole..."nosehood!" Brilliant.

Stephen, you're putting words in my mouth. I don't believe that Truth, the infinite vibration of Good is a void, or the abyss, or emptiness. It is fullness. Truth is impervious to error, inperfection...and it cannot be added to.

As for personality. Remember I said earlier that I believed free will to be as valid as cause and effect? Some might say that free will is 'a gift from God', and as we understand God is knowledge, perhaps it is this that can offer enlightenment-quite the opposite of what I imagine the faith of 'emptiness' to mean.

God, to me is not dead...it is the infinite vibration. I believe that the Truth is there through the logical communication of Forms, ie; our ability to access abstract knowlege and apply it to our universal understanding.

I believe that my understanding of Good is not just an effect of the decaying universe, but, Like the echo idea, it's warped by it.


Perhaps the biblical rendering of the Truth is just as "warmingly romantic"? A swashbuckling adventure to capture the imagination of the World?  

I don't understand why you (Stephen) think that I am choosing a thinking that swallows up the concept of personhood. I don't believe that God is a dog, but it doesn't make me love them any less. Everything's individually part of the whole.

I can equate the universe to the Wheel (of Fortune), but I don't believe that when our souls achieve 'fullness', we step off into 'oblivion', I believe we step up to the creator. I'm not educated at all, but I think my opinions are Platonic. I'm not into deconstruction, but many faiths, including Christianity are seeded in Platonic thought.

Of couse, my affinity with God is based on something very personal, I've already said to Digital that I liken it to emotions-nobody can tell you what you're feeling, but as for thinking; I plump for a musical logic, not a  day of judgement parable. In personifying God, by default, we create 'others'.

In my logic, I can see Good parallels in all faiths, but unfortunately, society makes the Idea of God political, and although I am a great believer in individual personality (something made up from various elements), I am not a great believer in applying that human condition to the concept of Truth/God. (a thing in itself, the essence).

Which brings me to morality...something made up from various elements gathered universally, constantly changing, added to, and taken away from, throughout time. Not a thing in itself, therefore, not Godlike, but there to direct a love/desire for God (because we believe God to be Good, moral values are constructed in our opinions and knowledge of how to be good in society.)

God Knows!

Which brings me to the quote of the day, from Miles Kington from The Independent(uk), loving those Albanian proverbs!

"God only knows. That's it-that's all He does. He does nothing else. God only knows."

It is us that do things. God is let.  



[This message has been edited by kif kif (07-07-2006 10:57 AM).]

Stephanos
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57 posted 07-07-2006 03:07 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

The doctrine of monism is a statement of oneness beyond which there exists nothing else.  If this "unit" is itself impersonal, it begs the question as to whether our individual personalities are only illusory.  The Judeo-Christian view of the universe is not caught in this dilemma, since the author of the universe is a person ... making personality sacred, and an intrinisic quality in the universe.  If the "all" of monism, is mostly impersonal, and we all die, there is no guarantee that personality is not illusory and temporary ... something which appears for a moment as coherence, then fades away into that system which cares nothing for coherence, personality, beauty, or order.    

quote:
Being part of a body doesn't deny the nose its nosehood, being part of the earth doesn't deny a tree its treehood, so why would being part of the the same overall oneness deny anything its individuality and uniqueness?


Because individuality and uniqueness are observances of personhood.  And the "meaning" of personhood beyond mere mechanics is the very thing we have been questioning.  You "feel" it has purpose, in spite of your impersonal framework, but that is either 1) an appropriate feeling which is smuggled from a very different worldview than metaphysical monism, or 2) irrational and pulled from the realm of non-reason out of sheer will, content to be at odds with its overall framework.  And the whole point I am trying to make, is that those who espouse metaphysical monism, with no God who stands over and above the Cosmos (not a mere part of it), have feelings and assumptions on a daily basis which deny their worldview, because they are "smugglers" of a Christian optimism and idealism.  

I am not in agreement with existential philosophers like Nietzsche.  I say your optimism is correct, and your framework therefore is wrong.  Nietzsche says your framework is right (there is no personal God) therefore your optimism is wrong.    

quote:
Trying to set the belief of universal oneness into stationary place against individuality, is mistake, by both the Eastern religions and Christianity.


How can it be a mistake by Christianity, since the Christian view is not one of metaphysical monism?? Christianity does not make the mistake of the Eastern Philosophers, which is my whole point.  


Of course a secondary point is that non-Christians who were raised in a "culturally Christian" environment, where the warmth and beauty of theistic assumptions are still felt, make the mistake of NOT going as far as the Hindus and post-enlightment philosophers.  They are like the bystanders in Nietzsche's "Madman", who have not yet come to terms with their atheism.   Sure the Christian believes in a wholeness and oneness of "creation".  But that oneness and wholeness is provisional, and contigent upon it's relationship to God who is over and above the created realm.


quote:
Why argue and say it is only one or the other, when both universal oneness and individuality of parts of that oneness, may work together in wholesome agreement?


Your language is that of a theist, not a metaphysical monist .... "work together ... in wholesome agreement".  What happy teleos I see.  No doubt a vestige of the remaining assumptions trailing from the Christian-West.  It's right, well enough.  It just doesn't fit with metaphysical monism.


kif kif:
quote:
Stephen, you're putting words in my mouth. I don't believe that Truth, the infinite vibration of Good is a void, or the abyss, or emptiness. It is fullness. Truth is impervious to error, inperfection...and it cannot be added to.



No, I'm not putting words in your mouth.  Truth, perfection, and goodness are all anthropic words, in antithesis with your view of God as impersonal.  I'm calling to your attention, that this seems inconsistent.  And hoping that you might be open to consider that God may be more personal than your philsophy allows.  I'm just saying that your language belies the position of your heart.  Because YOU are personal, including your values of truth, beauty, etc ..., your view of ultimate reality invariably includes those kinds of things.  

But wouldn't it be awesome to discover that there's a real basis for that tendency?  If I am to take your world view seriously, then even your noble descriptions of truth and perfection, are remaining symptoms of "personifying God".  Might even a doctor may be touched some by the diseases he diagnoses in others?  Or, more wonderful is thought that maybe it's his diagnosis which is wrong.  I wonder how many times pregnancy has been misdiagnosed as gastritis or something else?


quote:
Perhaps the biblical rendering of the Truth is just as "warmingly romantic"? A swashbuckling adventure to capture the imagination of the World?  


Given the worldview I've been describing, then yes it would be.  But I'm saying the romanticism is true, rather than the framework which would make it mere romanticism that has no basis in reality.  Some swashbuckling adventures are real!  


quote:
I am not a great believer in applying that human condition to the concept of Truth/God.

and ...

there to direct a love/desire for God

and ...

God knows!



Truth, love, and knowledge, are all anthropic words, and they make no sense apart from asserting that the ultimate reality is "personal".


One thing which may help you, is the understanding that God is supra-personal, which is a personality not limited to the imperfections and bufooneries of what you norally associate with "human".  I understand, even in the idea of worshiping God as holy and perfect, to shy away from his identification with us.  In this tendency, we make the mistake of imagining that he is sub-personal.  But if we were created in his image rather than us "projecting" our image upward, he may still have qualities, or perfections of qualities, which are worthy of awe and reverence, in spite of real personalilty. God is like your neighbor, in that he is personal.  God is unlike your neighbor, in that he is superlatively better than your neighbor.          


Stephen.
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"The light is not limited to what people may have disappointed you, I assure you.  Be open to further possibilities." I have yet to find a single priest who is open to my side of things. I have been to quite easily a hundred and all of them scorn you. And the faithfull all share their views. Further possibilites? there arnt any.

"To say "I have no right to punish anyone" is true humility.  To say "I have no right to even know what's right and wrong" is a false humility.  For one it's dishonest" Do you honestly feel you have the right say what is right and wrong? Are you so pure of heart that you can tell another that he may not do something? I was not stating that i have "no right to even know" We may know what is right and wrong, but that is our personal opinion and we cannot tell another that one thing is right and another wrong. Who are we too preach to another what is right and wrong?

"Yes, I am urging you to have mercy on that priest who wronged you" But i do, I dont hold antthing against him personally. I dont hate or despise him. In fact i pity him and his brothers, their faith has made them blind. Has made them close minded. I forgive him for condemming me to hell, i forgive them all. its not their fault. They are doing what they believe is right and just. I cant judge them on that since it is their own personal view. However that they are unwilling to help their fellow man in his time of need simply because he is different i can judge. On that i disagree with them and dont like that view of them. I Do not have a grudge agaisnt them, i now simly avoid contact with them.

"Why is a baby torturer really morally wrong" well i could say that he is wrong because he is cruel to his fellow human, That he is being sadistic etc. But on the other hand, i do not know what is going on in his mind, perhaps he is insane. Or he was raised this way and does not know it is wrong. So not knowing this persons mind or past. I do not know if he is doing it deliberately or doing it because of something outside of his control. And because of that fact, i cannot say he is wrong in what he is doing. The act itself might be wrong from personal view, but  By the man doing it, it might not be.

"The pattern in history has not been that at all.  Anarchy comes in to tear down one system of government and order.  But they always end up establishing their own government and order.  Anarchy is transition not destination" But the pattern is there, one needs just to look at the french revolution to see this.
"always end up establishing their own government and order" I am in full agreement. But that is what i was suggesting. That a complete state of anarchy is achieved untill it establishes the new rule of goverment thet is ordered and fair. That the state of complete chaos and moral disregard is used to set up a state of order and moral truth. Anarchy in itself is a contradiction since the only rule of anarchy is, there are no rules...

"Darkness only uses the usurped tools of the light.  How can it be equal?" I am in full disagreement. Please dont take this statement personally, but that is ignorant. The darkness has its own tools, things the light would never think of. They do not only use the lights way though it does play a large part of their arsenal they also have their own devisings. We may have been told the outcome, but i for one do not believe that outcome in the slightest. I see  the two forces not as one huge almighty power and the other a lowly worm using only usurped tools  that is allowed to exist only by the grace of the stronger one but much rather a evenly matched battle in which we can never trully know the outcome untill it occurs.

"God didn't start the war at all" By allowing lucifer to fall ( He surely knew it was coming since he has foresaw the end of the war...) he allowed the war between good and evil to begin. And by casting lucifer down rather than destroying him he again allowed what was to come to happen. And you say he is not responsible?

"Secondly, God didn't "turn his back"" Yes he sent his son, But he could have done so much more. He could end it at any time he wants since by your own words he already knows the outcome.

"What would you think of a King who allowed two sovereign nations to their own war..." That he has great love for allowing them their own choice. But that he is a fool, that he rather should have sat down with them and explained and shown to them their folly and braught them to their senses. That he should have rather brought the two nations to an agreement.
"dead bodies in the end, out of love and mercy?" But by allowing them to die first he  is allowing for great suffering and pain whereas he could have prevented the war in the first place and saved everyone their suffering. Yes i see you refer to god by that but do you see my point?


"You seem to be playing bait and switch" im sorry i agree by my descritions it seems that way. I was talking about absolute truth and how we as humans cannot grasp it.

"if God (to you) is "dead"" I know this is not to me, but i would like to say here that i do believe absolutely in gods existance. But that i disagree with the bible and do not follow God as such. I know he exists as does lucifer, but i do not follow either of them. I prefer the middle ground where i can show both sides the close mindedness of both sides or the side they are on.

"(Oh and Digital H.  ... I want to assure you that I don't think believing one has truth, or is right means that anyone is better than anyone else. This is actually an enjoyable time, and I'm enjoying all of your participation)"   glad to hear it. Im sorry but there is nothing like a good argument. I am enjoying myself so much! and want to thank you all for your involvement and sharing of views!

"can equate the universe to the Wheel (of Fortune), but I don't believe that when our souls achieve 'fullness', we step off into 'oblivion', I believe we step up to the creator" kif kif here hass a point. Once we have achieved fullness, we join the creator. It is where the term enlightment would spring up wouldnt you say?

"Christianity does not make the mistake of the Eastern Philosophers, which is my whole point." Mistake? i take it you do not agree with easter philosophers? But who are you too say they are wrong? Buddist monks etc show a much greater commitment to their faith than westeners do.  

hells gate reads Abandon hope all ye that enter here
shall we go?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Will you walk with me?

kif kif
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59 posted 07-08-2006 04:19 PM       View Profile for kif kif   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kif kif

I'm enjoying this exchange of views, too!

I have to say though, that I believe Truth to be mental, instead of personal. I don't believe love to be a Form. Love is desire, can die, and be reborn. The union of poverty and plenty is not Godlike, but I can see it as a cheeky spirit, the ultimate groupie of Truth/God, camping out at the gate of understanding.

I think our human qualities, like the ability to feel love, compassion, empathy and righteousness rest on our desire to be the 'best' humans we can be, within a society that has a universal understanding of Good. That's not a bad thing, but it doesn't mean that God created us in 'his' image, it just means that we must vibrate our humanness gracefully in order to achieve a unity that will hopefully take all of us, as individuals, to complete understanding.

It's difficult to express without sounding like some sort of bell jangling chantress...I'll be back with some weekday sensibilties later.
I don't think, on 1st musing, that a God that does not feel is sub-personal. Perhaps supra-personal is just another word for getting over yourself?
Essorant
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60 posted 07-08-2006 05:31 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Kif Kif

But the historical and etymological roots of the word God don't support at all your saying that people use it to refer to a nonperson  Foreign words that the word God translates such as Latin Deus and Greek theos refer to a person-being as well, not an object.  Why would you try to set it out that people use the word God/god to refer to a nonperson, when their lore says and means quite otherwise?  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (07-08-2006 06:57 PM).]

Stephanos
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61 posted 07-08-2006 05:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen: "The light is not limited to what people may have disappointed you, I assure you.  Be open to further possibilities."

DH: I have yet to find a single priest who is open to my side of things. I have been to quite easily a hundred and all of them scorn you. And the faithfull all share their views.



You expect a priest to be "open" to your beliefs?  I thought we were talking about whether or not the priest treated YOU respectfully.  If he didn't, then he was wrong in how he related to you.  But I maintain that it's possible to treat someone respectfully, and yet tell them they are wrong.  And despite what you say, there are still other possibilites out there.


quote:
Stephen: To say "I have no right to punish anyone" is true humility.  To say "I have no right to even know what's right and wrong" is a false humility.  For one it's dishonest"

DH: Do you honestly feel you have the right say what is right and wrong? Are you so pure of heart that you can tell another that he may not do something? I was not stating that i have "no right to even know" We may know what is right and wrong, but that is our personal opinion and we cannot tell another that one thing is right and another wrong.



Saying that something is really wrong is not to be confused with telling someone that they may not do something.  


And also, I'm only pointing out that you have told me that these religious people have done you a real wrong.  At least when you said they "scorned" you, and "condemned you to Hell", you didn't sound like you were merely sharing your opinion.  It sounded like you were offended by a real moral trespass.


And if you don't see the contradiction in your estimate of the priests, let me quote you on your view about telling others about moral wrongs: "... we cannot tell another that one thing is right and another wrong."  So, do the wrongs which we can't tell others, include the wrong of telling others?  Because you've just told me that was wrong.  Also does the "WE" in your sentence mean just you, or someone else?  If someone else, you've just done what you are forbidding others to do.  


It's much better to recognize this contradiction.  Once you see it, you can proceed to argue why any particular claim of moral wrong is accurate or not, rather than discrediting ALL claims.  If you don't see this contradiction, you only end up condemning the very thing you keep doing ... even those who say "It's wrong to impose morals on others" are caught in the trap, for they are telling someone else what is wrong.

So now that I'm willing to admit that these priests may not have treated you right (though that doesn't mean that they were doctrinally wrong), why are you trying so hard to convince me that that's only your opinion?


quote:
I forgive him for condemming me to hell, i forgive them all.



Doesn't forgiveness presuppose a real moral wrong?


quote:
I cant judge them on that since it is their own personal view. However that they are unwilling to help their fellow man in his time of need simply because he is different i can judge.



Ah.  So you aren't as much of a moral relativist as I thought.  There are non-negotiables evidently.


quote:
The act itself might be wrong from personal view, but  By the man doing it, it might not be.



But that begs the question.  The very fact that he thinks it is somehow justifiable in spite of his own inner conflict, IS the wrong.  I just watched Schindler's list, and I can't imagine that all those who tortured and killed Jews (including children) were insane and therefore morally unresponsible.


You should read "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoevsky, for an amazing consideration of these kinds of questions.  


quote:
. But that is what i was suggesting. That a complete state of anarchy is achieved untill it establishes the new rule of goverment thet is ordered and fair. That the state of complete chaos and moral disregard is used to set up a state of order and moral truth. Anarchy in itself is a contradiction since the only rule of anarchy is, there are no rules...



Oh, well if that's all you're syaing then I agree that that's how it has been.  But anarchy is never a destination.  It is a transition.  And if the original system of things had been "right" then anarchy has no place.  It is a wasteland traversed to reach the right city.  And in that sense it is only a secondary matter.  There are anarchists who vaunt the concept of anarchy, for its own sake, just because they are rebellious in heart and hate rules and authority of any kind.  That is what I thought you were getting at.  But if you mean that anarchy is like a mud puddle which may sometimes have to be crossed like it or not, to get to greener grass, then I'll accept that.  However, I think rebellious and sinful human nature is all too willing to tread through the mud sometimes, when there may be better ways of getting to the grassy hill.
  
quote:
Stephen: Darkness only uses the usurped tools of the light.  How can it be equal?"

DH:  I am in full disagreement. Please dont take this statement personally, but that is ignorant. The darkness has its own tools, things the light would never think of. They do not only use the lights way though it does play a large part of their arsenal they also have their own devisings.



God made all things.  What "tool" is it which evil uses that is original?  Evil and darkness represents a perversion of lawful things.  Every representation of evil is a twisted and ill-used good.  I challenge you to give me an example.  


quote:
We may have been told the outcome, but i for one do not believe that outcome in the slightest.



But that is part of the darkness.  Truth, in itself, is of the light.  God has told us the truth, knowing the beginning from the end.  If you deny this, how can you claim to be even seeing what is true, if you are upholding "darkness".  By very definition, darkness means the inability to see things right.  


quote:
By allowing lucifer to fall ( He surely knew it was coming since he has foresaw the end of the war...) he allowed the war between good and evil to begin. And by casting lucifer down rather than destroying him he again allowed what was to come to happen. And you say he is not responsible?



I'm not saying that he didn't "take responsibility".  That is evident in the incarnation and suffering of Jesus Christ.  But he is not blameworthy of the evil which has been done, simply for the fact that he didn't do it.  And if he can bring an unimaginably greater good, even out of the fall and devastation caused by sin which was not his own, then he is certainly justified in allowing it.  You're pretending to know that the evil will somehow outweigh the good in the end, which you have no knowledge of.  So God is justified in several things:  1) He didn't directly commit evil, but even warned against it with clarity.  2) He has mitigated the effects of the fall, and mingled much mercy and kindness with judgement.  3) He has taken on the darkness and suffering of humanity upon himself exponentially on the cross (a darkness even you cannot fathom).  4) He has promised to ressurrect the dead, and bring about a situation even greater than the pre-fallen world.  


quote:
"Secondly, God didn't "turn his back"" Yes he sent his son, But he could have done so much more. He could end it at any time he wants since by your own words he already knows the outcome.
  


Someone would be upset, no matter what was chosen by divine authority.  Are you ever glad to be alive, in spite of life's problems?  Then you might be able to understand that there is good to be obtained and realized in the "in between".  There is a redemptive process involved walking through a world where suffering is mingled with comfort.  But don't get me wrong, I'm not making light of the pain of this world.  


quote:
I know he exists as does lucifer, but i do not follow either of them. I prefer the middle ground where i can show both sides the close mindedness of both sides or the side they are on.



Whether the day is dawning, or the deep night is coming for you ... twilight is a transition.  Neutrality as an extended position is an illusion.  I really think that to refuse to worship God, is ultimately to be in league with Satan, regardless of how you feel about him.  But at the same time, it's exciting to think that you are still in a place of possibility where you could walk into more light, glory, wisdom, peace?  It excites me, anyway.  I only want what's best for you.  I'm not trying to belittle your thoughts.  


quote:
Mistake? i take it you do not agree with easter philosophers? But who are you too say they are wrong? Buddist monks etc show a much greater commitment to their faith than westeners do.



But that's only ad hominem.  Should you judge a belief system merely by its abuses or failures?  Or should you necessarily praise a system because of it's admirable traits.  Islamic terrorists are devoted and well disciplined in many ways.  That doesn't make their philosophy right.  I'm not comparing Eastern religions with Islam, but only making a point.  It would be different if I said "Eastern philosophy is wrong, I'm right, and that's that."  But I have been explaining why it is mistaken.  If you want to respond, then respond to those things I've said.  Don't keep telling me that thinking I'm right, is intrinsically wrong.  Dogmatic belief without good reason, is deplorable.  But I don't think I've been guilty of that.  



More later,


Stephen.  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (07-08-2006 08:03 PM).]

Essorant
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62 posted 07-08-2006 06:32 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"If the "all" of monism, is mostly impersonal, and we all die, there is no guarantee that personality is not illusory and temporary ... something which appears for a moment as coherence, then fades away into that system which cares nothing for coherence, personality, beauty, or order. "

But I don't see why that should be a problem.  Many best and truest are rarest things.  The majority of the universe doesn't seem to be "personal".  We seem to be enveloped in many conditions that don't care a whit about us or what we wish or feel.    But I don't think that takes away from our personality.  But rather it further outlines it and shows its uniqueness against that cloudy background.

Digital_Hell
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63 posted 07-08-2006 09:09 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

"You expect a priest to be "open" to your beliefs?" Perhaps open was the wrong word. What i meant was understanding and accepting. To be the way jesus was, to accepth that that person is different and holds beliefs you agree with and love them despite of that.I expected these holy men who devote their lives to gods work to at least try and follow what god set down in the bible. To love your nearest like yourself not just to love your nearest if hes cut from the same cloth.  "priest treated YOU respectfully" No he didnt, but that is despite the point. I do not need his respect or acceptance. Yes it would have been nice to have his respect, but that i dont have it does not make a large difference. What we should be discussing is that this man of god, who  follows the holy book is wholly unwilling to sit with the sinner as jesus did. Wholly unwilling to accept another human being on the for the simple fact that he is diffent.

"But I maintain that it's possible to treat someone respectfully, and yet tell them they are wrong" I would agree, this can be done. But to say "you are a hethen etc..." is not saying you are wrong, it is judgemental and condemming.

"Saying that something is really wrong..." that is my exact point, can we ever trully decide what is wrong over another? Do we have the right to say This is wrong with absolute conviction?

"you didn't sound like you were merely sharing your opinion.  It sounded like you were offended by a real moral trespass." Not offended at a moral trespass but offended at these men of the cloth who dont follow the words of their own god. But i do find judging a person on their beliefs a moral trespass yes, but in this situation i was offended by the lack of compassion in them. To be unwilling to soften your heart and bend down to pick up a broken man simply because his view differs from your is almost unforgivable. The unwillingness to help your fellow man when he is in need is wrong in the extreme.

Well i have to hand it to you, i did horrible contradict myself there (forgive, its a character trait... im most hypocritical and contrary   ) What i was trying to argue is exactly what you said in a way.

"why any particular claim of moral wrong is accurate or not" but id like to ammend that. What i would like to argue is not why a particular moral claim is wrong but why all moral claims are wrong.

"though that doesn't mean that they were doctrinally wrong" no they were not incorrect in what their doctrine states. But the fact that they would ignore the greater message in the bible and rather rest treir morals on a small claim is wrong. They arbitrarily decide to follow one part of their belief but shun a greater part of it. You cannot tell me that a priest who refuses to love his fellow man because he is a sinner is not wrong? Isnt that the whole message behind the bible? To love your fellow man despite his sin and wrongdoings?

"Doesn't forgiveness presuppose a real moral wrong?" Yes but like i have stated, To be unwilling to help your fellow man is wrong. Not morally, but in following with any ounce of humanity in you it is wrong. Simply despising someone because their view is different and they have done what you believe to be wrong is a great wrong.

Before we continue let me ask you this, What would you say is a moral, or what are "moral values"?

Im would say am am i bit of both. While i would say there is no single standard i would say that some things are absolute. There most definately are non-negotiables.

"The very fact that he thinks it is somehow justifiable in spite of his own inner conflict, IS the wrong" If he has inner conflict then yes. But i raise the question, if he believes he is wrong and has NO inner conflict or qualms, is he still wrong then? That is the question i wanted to raise.

I have seen Schindler's list and i would agree. I did not say that all people who commit so called "evil" are innocent and insane. But rather that some of them are, and what of them? I refer to the people that commit evil but are wholly unaware that what they are doing is "evil"

"But anarchy is never a destination.  It is a transition" I am in full agreement here. It is impossible to exist forever in a state of anarchy.
"But if you mean that anarchy is like a mud puddle which may sometimes have to be crossed like it or not, to get to greener grass" That is exactly what i meant. Anarchy for its own sake is silly. However if used for the overall betterment of mankind then it is good and justified.
"I think rebellious and sinful human nature is all too willing to tread through the mud sometimes, when there may be better ways of getting to the grassy hill." Yes but treading through the mud is often the fastest and most effectinve way of getting to the right place. It solves questions of what should be done simply and easily.

Give an example? Let me ask you, have you seen true horror? the horror that paralyses the mind and sears it with nightmares, the horror that never trully heals? Tell me things that bring about such an event are twisted from light and i would yield. I speak of creatures so foul their very existance makes your mind shrink away in fear. What is that twisted from? Not angels etc that fell. But rather whole new beings that are beyond comprehension. Or say making another person kill another out of mercy. Tell me what is that? Yes killing is simply taking away life. But out of mercy a thing good and just? Not simply a corruption of purity, but rather the creation of pure evil. Is that simply a twisting of nature? a corrution?

"If you deny this, how can you claim to be even seeing what is true, if you are upholding "darkness".  By very definition, darkness means the inability to see things right." Yes i simply deny that light will truimph. I do not uphold the darkness, but rather say that it is an even match and that darkness or light might win.

Let me pose you this question. You say darkness is the absence of light. But then by that reasoning by standing in the light you cast a shadow and thus create darkness?

"You're pretending to know that the evil will somehow outweigh the good in the end" No i simply said that either side might win. I did not say that darkness will win, but rather that either side stands a chance and that the outcome is unpredictable.

"Are you ever glad to be alive, in spite of life's problems?" Yes  i am glad to be alive sometimes. At times like these, when i can engage in a though provoking argument, or when i hold the woman i love in my arms and see her safe. When i spend time with her and we in our darkness (Yes its the self same person that saved me out of deepest darkness and despair and took me to comfortable darkness) are happy and content. Fufilled, safe in each others arms. Then yes i am happy. But i would any day give up this life without regrets, I do not fear dying. I know i will see her in the beyond so i am not bothered. If i am to die, so be it.

"There is a redemptive process involved walking through a world where suffering is mingled with comfort" Again i say true horror etc... Is that a redemtive process?

"is ultimately to be in league with Satan" Ah but the question remains, what if you work  harder against satan than you do against god? If you exorcise his demons and save people that serve him?

"where you could walk into more light, glory, wisdom, peace?" Perhaps... who can tell what the future holds? i tried once after my fall, but i had lost my faith. Belief in god does not work if you are in desperate need, beg for help in desperate angst stricken prays with darkness again claiming you and the prayers just hit the ceiling and fall to the ground and are dashed faster that your hope.

"I only want what's best for you.  I'm not trying to belittle your thoughts." Dont worry, im fully aware of that. I get enough bellitling daily to be able to tell the difference between and argument for what is best for me, and an attack on my beliefs.

"Should you judge a belief system merely by its abuses or failures?  Or should you necessarily praise a system because of it's admirable traits." No it should be done on a basis of having examined both. Take the good with the bad and make your judgement based on having seen the best, worst and all in between that it has to offer.

I would agree that because of their fanatacism thay are not right. But i did not say that. What i said is that they are so fannatical in their belief is admirable rahter than the belief itself being admirable. That devotion to the cause is great whereas the cause itself might be wrong.

But by thinking you are right over another is wrong. I say it again. For the simple fact, you can tear something down, expose it as a farse and wholly untrue and show why what it believed was wrong. But that does not make you right. As long as the other person believes in what he follows, he is right in that no matter what reasoning you have. You can disagree wiht him and prove yourself by exposing what is false. But you still are not right in your views, you have simply made that person aware that what he believes is false. I do not accuse you of dogmatic belief since you have very relevant points. But rather that even with your arguments you are not right as the other side can raise as good counter arguments. You are right in yours eyes, but in the eyes of another you are wrong again...

More at another time. Its now 3:15am local time... I will propably be able to respond in 8 hours time. The local time would be around 9pm.

  

hells gate reads Abandon hope all ye that enter here
shall we go?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Will you walk with me?

[This message has been edited by Digital_Hell (07-09-2006 04:12 PM).]

kif kif
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64 posted 07-09-2006 05:45 AM       View Profile for kif kif   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kif kif

Essorant. Will Self has written a short story (I can't remember the title) about a London taxi-driver (with The Knowledge) called Dave. Now Dave is the vilest, most bigotted, racist misanthropist one could ever meet. Dave writes his thoughts down. Years later, AD (After Dave), Dave's writings are found, and taken as Gospel.

Plato hinted that God was not a person, with his sun analogy.

I've not read deeply enough into your discussion about morality, Stephen, but I have to ask why you are placing the words 'love' and 'personality' with Beauty and Order. These words are  not the same, rather conduits to express the Forms.

Digital; I like your question about standing in the light produces shadow. As above, I've said that the Truth/light is warped by the finite. Incindentally, if you stand out at mid-day, the shadow is tiny, and at your feet...but remember, that depends on how close you are to the equator!

[This message has been edited by kif kif (07-09-2006 06:21 AM).]

Stephanos
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65 posted 07-15-2006 09:51 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Sorry this took me so long, guys ...

I'm back.  I hope the momentum of this thread is not gone yet.


DH:
quote:
What we should be discussing is that this man of god, who  follows the holy book is wholly unwilling to sit with the sinner as jesus did. Wholly unwilling to accept another human being on the for the simple fact that he is diffent.


I totally agree.  But don't you think that sometimes people think that Jesus was an "accept you as you are" kind of person, rather than a "love you as you are, yet challenge you to higher things" kind of person?


C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" once wrote:


"Christianity doesn't demand that you be good; it demands that you give your life to Jesus Christ so that He can be good through you. Surrender yourself to Him, and He will replace the selfish sinner with a Son of God. It doesn't happen instantly anymore than a toddler learns to walk in a day, but Christ doesn't stop working on you until you become perfect. As a great Christian writer (George MacDonald) pointed out, every father is pleased at the baby's first attempt to walk: no father would be satisfied with anything less than a firm, free, manly walk in a grown-up son. In the same way, he said, 'God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy.'"


I think that's a good assessment of Jesus.  It's also what "men of cloth" should be following as well.  Do they fail?  Yes.  Do they always fail at this balance between giving acceptance and spiritual challenge?  I don't think so.  


quote:
Do we have the right to say (a particular thing) is wrong with absolute conviction?


Yes.  As you yourself have done.


quote:
What i would like to argue is not why a particular moral claim is wrong but why all moral claims are wrong.


Could you explain why "all" moral claims are wrong?


quote:
"though that doesn't mean that they were doctrinally wrong" no they were not incorrect in what their doctrine states. But the fact that they would ignore the greater message in the bible and rather rest treir morals on a small claim is wrong. They arbitrarily decide to follow one part of their belief but shun a greater part of it. You cannot tell me that a priest who refuses to love his fellow man because he is a sinner is not wrong? Isnt that the whole message behind the bible? To love your fellow man despite his sin and wrongdoings?


Yes that IS the whole message behind the bible.  But the Bible's conception of "love" and the popular conception are at variance.  Does love mean always telling people what they want to hear, almost in a coddling way, or does it mean to sometimes warn them, confront them, or talk about "sin"?  Some people I know who love me the most, have told me painful things sometimes.  But yes, I can tell the difference when there is true love and concern behind the rebuke, or if it's just someone's favorite pasttime.  And I think that's what you're getting at.

quote:
Before we continue let me ask you this, What would you say is a moral, or what are "moral values"?



I think all moral codes of ancient civilizations, right up to our present, do a good job of summarizing what is "moral" and "immoral".  But for the sake of chosing what I believe is the best, both in brevity and clarity, I would say the 10 Commandments is a good place to start.  The decalogue is what I believe to be essentially the plumbline of human morality.  


quote:
While i would say there is no single standard i would say that some things are absolute. There most definately are non-negotiables.



If there is "no single standard" then there can be no absolute, and everything is negotiable.  It sounds to me like you DO believe in a final standard as arbiter of what is moral.  Maybe this conversation is helpful for you to realize something about yourself you've never really seen or considered before.  


I think that such discoveries can be "clues" to lead us on to greater, even liberating truths ... to a whole new way of looking at ourselves, our neighbors, and God.  


quote:
But i raise the question, if he believes he is wrong and has NO inner conflict or qualms, is he still wrong then? That is the question i wanted to raise.



I think that would depend upon whether a person was born with or aquired some condition which rendered him truly incapable of moral judgement ... or if a person merely has a "seared" or "calloused" conscience, where the natural function of conscience has been injured due to repeated violation.  I believe that some people who don't "hear" the moral voice of God-given conscience any more, are in that place after a long time of abuse and transgression.  A serial killer may have felt much different about his first murder, than his fiftieth.  What was once screaming as a voice of concience, may only whimper now, or even sigh in almost inaudible tones.  


I think that distinction has to be made.


quote:
I did not say that all people who commit so called "evil" are innocent and insane. But rather that some of them are, and what of them? I refer to the people that commit evil but are wholly unaware that what they are doing is "evil"



We can talk about those "innocent" ones who "do evil" if you wish.  But you admitted that some are not in that category.  And by conceding that, you've confirmed my original point ... that there IS a real right and wrong, and that people can commit real good or evil actions in this world.  An innocent offender, or a thousand innocent offenders, do not invalidate what I'm saying.  My only question to you was whether men could ever really commit moral or immoral acts.  And you've answered "yes".


quote:
Yes but treading through the mud is often the fastest and most effectinve way of getting to the right place. It solves questions of what should be done simply and easily.




The question of whether you should get your clothes splattered and get to your girlfriend's house quicker or take the longer road and be a little late, is not a simple or easy question.  And neither is the question of anarchy.  And blood rather than mud, complicates the question a little bit more.  No ... Anarchy, even as a means to an end, is not a given.  


quote:
Give an example? Let me ask you, have you seen true horror? the horror that paralyses the mind and sears it with nightmares, the horror that never trully heals? Tell me things that bring about such an event are twisted from light and i would yield.



Horror ... Healthy fear twisted.

Paralysis ... An twisted version of anesthesia physical or psychological.

nightmares ... imagry, memory, mysticism are all good and healthy in their original state.

Such things ARE twisted from light.  Believe me, evil has nothing original.  God who is light created ALL things.


quote:
I speak of creatures so foul their very existance makes your mind shrink away in fear. What is that twisted from? Not angels etc that fell. But rather whole new beings that are beyond comprehension.



I never suggested that "twisted good" is not a horrible thing.  It may be all the more terrible for the very fact that it was once good.  See which mangled face in an auto accident hurts you the most, a stranger, or a loved one?  See which betrayer hurts the most, a mere aquaintance or an old friend, or a spouse?


The Bible says that all non-human dark spiritual beings ARE fallen angels, or demons.  Their terror is no indication of their original state.  By saying that evil is only twisted good, I am not trivializing evil, or euphemizing it.  Rather I am painting it's colors in the worst possible tone, and prophesying that it has nothing which will not be required of its hand.  There is a day of judgement even for angels.  

quote:
Or say making another person kill another out of mercy. Tell me what is that? Yes killing is simply taking away life. But out of mercy a thing good and just? Not simply a corruption of purity, but rather the creation of pure evil. Is that simply a twisting of nature? a corrution?


Absolutely ... Let me tell what "good" things are twisted here: 1) Mercy 2) urging someone to sacrifice something good for something "better".  3) giving one's life in order to accomplish good.  4) A desire to see suffering end.  5) A willingness to deny even social expectations in order to do what is "right" and "just".  

I'm not saying the above descriptions fit assisted suicide or euthanasia at all ... But these ideas are certainly the bait.  This too, is a twisting of good things.  Give me the same ingredients as my wife, and I can make something for you that you wouldn't call a cake even on your worst day!  Give them to my wife, and you'll be a happy camper.  Same ingredients, wrong order, wrong approach, wrong thinking.


quote:
Let me pose you this question. You say darkness is the absence of light. But then by that reasoning by standing in the light you cast a shadow and thus create darkness?


Shutting out the light creates darkness.  But standing in the light usually creates shade.  And sometimes the shade can be nice.  It has to do with heart motives I think.

quote:
when i hold the woman i love in my arms and see her safe. When i spend time with her and we in our darkness (Yes its the self same person that saved me out of deepest darkness and despair and took me to comfortable darkness) are happy and content. Fufilled, safe in each others arms. Then yes i am happy. But i would any day give up this life without regrets, I do not fear dying. I know i will see her in the beyond so i am not bothered. If i am to die, so be it.


Love, safety, salvation, reversal of despair, happiness, contentment, touching, assurance of life beyond the grave.  This is a summary of things mentioned in your description.  Those things are of the light, NOT of the darkness.  That is still light in spite of dark shadows, not the darkness itself.  That's my point.


quote:
Again i say true horror etc... Is that a redemtive process?


It can be, if it causes us to flee to the light for refuge ... to seek the light.  Read the psalms again.  Read psalm 88.  That, believe it or not, is the poetry of a saint not a hopeless soul.


quote:
Ah but the question remains, what if you work  harder against satan than you do against god? If you exorcise his demons and save people that serve him?


If that's true, then you're partial to the light, not neutral as you say.


quote:
Perhaps... who can tell what the future holds? i tried once after my fall, but i had lost my faith. Belief in god does not work if you are in desperate need, beg for help in desperate angst stricken prays with darkness again claiming you and the prayers just hit the ceiling and fall to the ground and are dashed faster that your hope.


But even this has been the experience of many saints.  Psalm 137 talks about hanging harps upon willow trees in Babylon, a place of captivity, of woefully "remembering" Zion.  Many of the other psalms ask God "How long, O Lord?"  "Will you hide your face forever"?  Elsewhere in the Bible it is said "Surely you are a God who hides himself".  Even these dark experiences may be turned to faith.  Don't give up!


C.H. Spurgeon, in his "Treasury of David" commented on Psalm 77 where the psalmist asks "Has God forgotten to be gracious.  Has he in anger shut up his tender mercies?".  Spurgeon writes:

"Are the pipes of goodness choked up so that love can no more flow through them?  Do the bowels of Jehovah no longer yearn towards his own beloved children?  Thus with cord and cord unbelief is smitten and driven out of the soul.  It raises questions and we will meet it with questions;  it makes us think and act ridiculously, and we will heap scorn upon it.  The argument of this passage assumes very much in the form of a reduction ad absurdum."


quote:
But by thinking you are right over another is wrong.



Really, you must quit contradicting yourself like that.     .  You just did the very thing you are speaking against.


quote:
As long as the other person believes in what he follows, he is right in that no matter what reasoning you have.



But you just admitted that a terrorist's devotion may be admirable, and yet his cause still be wrong.  May it not therefore be wrong, even though he believes in it?  Subjective "Belief" is not the determiner of truth.  


quote:
You can disagree wiht him and prove yourself by exposing what is false. But you still are not right in your views, you have simply made that person aware that what he believes is false.



Are you saying that I am not right in my views, or merely that I may not be right?  Of course that possibility exists, but mere possibility doesn't prove or disprove anything.  Why do you think I'm wrong, or why do you think I'm right?  

quote:
I do not accuse you of dogmatic belief since you have very relevant points. But rather that even with your arguments you are not right as the other side can raise as good counter arguments.



Saying that since "the other side can raise as good counter arguments" does not tell us anything except that people may always disagree.  But I maintain that people may disagree even in the face of good logic, or evidence, or even persuasion.  You've told me that I have relevant points.  And you've agreed with me, more often than not whenever I have pressed you.  So, the question still remains, what are those counter arguments?  


Mostly I'm just trying to get you to "think different".  I use a Mac, and I like that slogan.  I am not insulting you here.  And again this interchange has been great.


quote:
You are right in yours eyes, but in the eyes of another you are wrong again...



Again, eyes are instruments of perception.  But truth is more determined by what is oberved by the eyes.  Jesus did not say that the eyes determine truth, but subjected the spiritual "eyes" to truth itself.  "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22).


More later,

Stephen.
Digital_Hell
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66 posted 07-16-2006 03:51 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

""love you as you are, yet challenge you to higher things" kind of person?" Well i would say that Jesus was this kind of person. That he loves you despite your faults and tries to help you on a better path. That is what jesus did.
"Do they always fail at this balance between giving acceptance and spiritual challenge?  I don't think so." Show me a priest that will accept me for who i was back then and i will stand with you. Untill the day however that i meet this man who is willing to lower the prejudiced defences his beliefs have blindly installed in his mind i maintain that the men who serve God are often furthest from him.

"Yes.  As you yourself have done." Yes i say so with conviction, but not quite absolute. Once you accept you are absolutely correct on something you close your mind on it and i cannot do that. I might say This is wrong. But that does not mean i am not open to considering the possibility that i may be mistaken in that belief. While i stand on my points, if i am shown to be extremely mistaken i am more than willing to reconsider my point of view.

"Could you explain why "all" moral claims are wrong?" Because of the fact that we all interpret things differently and as such can all have different moral standards. I say this because i do not feel that any one person can judge another on so called "Morals" and tell him that what he is doing is wrong. By christian morals the practise of sorcery is strictly forbidden and as such i would be commiting against a true believer a moral wrong. However in my eyes it is simply another branch of study that was forbidden because of very good reasons. I do not see conversing with spirits etc... as wrong or sinfull or immoral but simply as a door that can be opened at will if you so wish. So in light of that a moral claim that witchcraft is wrong is right on one side of the coin and wrong on the other. Therefore since what is for some a moral wrong is not for others. Thus any moral claim by a particular group against another of against an act is wrong because a difference of views exist.

"But the Bible's conception of "love" and the popular conception are at variance" Well yes i agree with you. I did not expect them to simply help me and comfort me. I expected rebuke. But too show no love and simply condemn an act...

"I would say the 10 Commandments is a good place to start" Perhaps a good place too start but this is your oppinion. In my eyes while some of the commandments are relative others arnt. So i have a different set of morals from you. So i ask again what exactly is a moral? is it a popular held point of view? a religously enforced principle? Something our conscience warns us against?

"If there is "no single standard" then there can be no absolute, and everything is negotiable" Not nescecarrily. I am simply saying that there is no base line of this is wrong and that is right. But rather that While some things should be taken as absolute, others are negotiable. Not a single standard but that a single act can be "wrong" or "right" while others can be both. And no not a final standard, while i feel some things are absolute while others are negotiable. However i am more that willing to accept that my belief in both of the above can be incorrect and as such i am most willing to change them. Since i dont have a set belief because they may change...

"I think that would depend upon whether a person was born with" Yes this is what i was saying. Not if circumstrances and enviroment effected his mind set but rather if he was born that way. Yes a conscience can be beaten into submission by repeated exposure too some horrible fact. But what if it is natural, inborn not simply some defect?

"that there IS a real right and wrong" Yes in a way i confirmed it. But remember that that is my point of view which rests on morals and beliefs that can change at any time. So while i say now that it might be wrong or right by the time of my next response i can have changed my point of view again. Therefore your point that there is real right and wrong is insubstantial since our ( yes your view might still change as well) view of what right and wrong is might change...

"Horror ... Healthy fear twisted." I disagree here. Horror and fear are two different things completely.  You would say experience horror at seeing a child mercilessly slaughtered for enjoyment but would not have fear in that circumstance. Whereas when faced with a creature from your worst nightmare you will be overcome with fear and not horror. They can become the same thing if the fear is that great but they are very different things. Horror is not fear twisted it is a thing on its own.

"The Bible says that all non-human dark spiritual beings ARE fallen angels, or demons" Not all other beings are dark or fallen angels. What you must take into account here is that the bible takes but a single point of view. the view that there is but one god and the devil his one enemy. It does not account for elemental beings and such. these are not fallen angels but creatures wholly created on their own aside from god.

"giving one's life in order to accomplish good" This is a good thing twisted? Then i assume the sacrifice of christ is included and that this was not a good thing?

"urging someone to sacrifice something good for something "better"" Again you would tell me that say to kill one innocent in order too cure the worlds ills is not acceptable? That you would have billions suffer in order so that one may live?

"It has to do with heart motives I think." Ah but then you agree wiht me. That in order for you too be standing in the light, there has too be a darkness. that good cannot exist without its counterpart evil because then it would not be good because there would be nothing too compare it against.

"...reversal of despair..." You misunderstand. We both still suffer these and take it because we are in the dark. and happiness is not always a good thing neither is love.

"That is still light in spite of dark shadows" No you would not recognise what i call love etc as too what you know it as. It is rather a twisting of these light things so that they fit in the dark rather than that they are light despite the dark.

"If that's true, then you're partial to the light, not neutral as you say." I was using that as an example. If truth be told then i would have too add that i have banished as many angels as demons, and led astray more than a few believers by pointing simple reality out too them...

Quite a loving kind god that leaves us in our hour of need dont you think?

"But by thinking you are right over another is wrong.
Really, you must quit contradicting yourself like that.     .  You just did the very thing you are speaking against." quite shrewd. But no, i must rephrase, not that you are wrong. But rather that the act of believing that you are right over another person is wrong. The idea behind it is wrong.

"May it not therefore be wrong, even though he believes in it?" It may, but only in my eyes. I might feel because of my convictions that he is wrong, while he feels similarly. So Whilst i might believe he is wrong. In his eyes and belief he is right, so in the end, which of us is correct since by both of our standards we are correct?

"or merely that I may not be right?" Yes this is what i was saying, not that you are wrong. But merely that it is entirely possible that you are wrong.

"So, the question still remains, what are those counter arguments?" Unfortunately im not a great follower of what you are arguing against so my arguments would be feeble at best. So hows this, if you will bear with me i will put some time into it and then raise objections? (yes i love a good argument. I am contrary simply because i love engaging in a stimulating argument much rather over any particular belief)

"You are right in yours eyes, but in the eyes of another you are wrong again..." I do not mean eyes literally here. but rather in the sense that they are your point of view. That you are right in you point of view while from another you are wrong.

Essorant
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67 posted 07-17-2006 05:51 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"So i ask again what exactly is a moral?"

Basically a moral is a custom or habit or manner.  But just like the word worth came to imply goodness, the word moral came to be used more to mean a good custom, good habit or good manner; a virtue; a goodness.   Why is a moral good?  Because it includes doing what is better for life, not what is worse.  That helps life and people, not hinders them.  There is a native English word for "moral" as well, That is thew, that was used widely before the word moral became so predominant.  Likewise thew meant "manner" or "virtue"

Walter Poe
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since 10-13-1999
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68 posted 07-18-2006 01:17 PM       View Profile for Walter Poe   Email Walter Poe   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Walter Poe

Well i suppose i started this me and my little question i best throw my suggestion in.

Moral is what you believe at the time of the doing is the right thing of course the right thing is dictated by those in power.

Personal morals although may vary after all during WWII it was perfectly aceptable to stone Jews in the street because they were considered less than human much the same as swatting flys is acceptable to a christian but wouldn't be to a buddhist or a pantheist.  

Personal morals are reached through looking at everthing you have learnt and deciding what boundaries you believe you should not cross.  

Morals are set more by what others think.
Thou shalt not kill is a good one and pretty universal but i have met soldiers who have killed for many, what may be termed, morally acceptable (at least to them) reasons.

Morals are subjective to the person its what  makes life so interesting everything is variable.  

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Stephanos
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69 posted 07-18-2006 06:21 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Personal morals although may vary after all during WWII it was perfectly aceptable to stone Jews in the street because they were considered less than human

Personal "morals" may be mistaken and based on false assumptions.  Just because there existed a certain hateful attitude toward Jews does not make that view "moral" (that view still exists BTW).  Nor does it prove that morals are only subjective.  It rather proves that we may be wrong about them ... or more than likely, that we may act against our real moral knowledge for some other selfish reason proffered as justification.  Did any of the murderers of Jews feel moral guilt for stoning Jews, despite the official dehumanizing policy?  Certainly.  If we really thought they had no inkling it was wrong, then why the war crime trials?


So you cannot argue that it was once "moral" to kill a Jew, and now it isn't.  If that's the case, then morals are no more than what we decide ... which amounts to custom and convention.  But since the question has always been asked whether or not particular customs are moral or not, then the question of morality always transcends practice.  


Stephen.    
Digital_Hell
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Posts 193
Amidst black roses


70 posted 07-19-2006 12:45 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

This is what i was saying earlier, that a moral can be based upon current social and political beliefs and override personal beliefs due o the fact that they are percieved as right.
Although deep down the person might feel that it is wrong this can be repressed.

But do not consider WW2 as so wrong. Though it may sound strange, thanks to the massacre of jews in WW2 we have solid human rights today. So although wrong in what he did, we have Hitler and his NAZI regime to thank for what is now the Geneva convention and solid human rights as well as trials for warlords and dictators.

So although his means were wrong the consequence of them is amazing. Does this mean that evil acts have a greater power for good than good itself?

hells gate reads Abandon hope all ye that enter here
shall we go?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Will you walk with me?

Stephanos
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71 posted 07-20-2006 12:40 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
This is what i was saying earlier, that a moral can be based upon current social and political beliefs and override personal beliefs due o the fact that they are percieved as right.  Although deep down the person might feel that it is wrong this can be repressed.

I think more often than not, your last observation is true.  That would make such standards "immoral" rather than moral.  Though I don't deny that moral ignorance may exist in varying degrees.  


My point remains that this does not point to a variable "morality" ... but a fluctuation in adhering to a common morality already present and generally known.

quote:
So although his means were wrong the consequence of them is amazing. Does this mean that evil acts have a greater power for good than good itself?


That's like saying that since starvation results in feeding programs, that famine must be a desirable state of affairs.  There would be no need for the Geneva Convention or manifestos of human rights if evil were absent.


Really such examples of "good" resulting from evil, only underscore the grace of God.  That he still consoles and rains upon the just and the unjust.  But again, that glorifies the good all the more, that in spite of evil it shines.    


Stephen.
Digital_Hell
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Posts 193
Amidst black roses


72 posted 07-20-2006 10:24 AM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

Evil prevails when good men fail to act. Those words are very true. But it has a deeper meaning. If you think on it, then Good cannot exist without evil because nothing would be evil. If there was nothing too compare good against it couldnt be good.

And the existance of evil drives good men to great things. It forces them to act in a good manner, forces them to be the best they can be.

The presence of evil INSPIRES good men to commit good deeds and not just to sit idle.

"There would be no need for the Geneva Convention or manifestos of human rights if evil were absent."  Then good would not exist. Good is only good because evil exists.

hells gate reads Abandon hope all ye that enter here
shall we go?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Will you walk with me?

Ron
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since 05-19-99
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73 posted 07-20-2006 02:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If there was nothing too compare good against it couldnt be good.

Cool beans. I've always wanted to fly unaided and now that you've proven that gravity can't exist in the absence of anti-gravity, I think I'll go soar through a cloud or two.

I think you're in danger of confusing semantics with reality. If evil did not exist we might not need a word to describe good, but good would still exist (just as gravity still very sadly constrains me to a life on the ground). Similarly, throughout this thread, there seems to be a lot of confusion between metaphor and reality. Light and dark are physical phenomenon that can be measured, manipulated, and even explained. While the scientific concepts might make a nice romantic metaphor for the human condition, any metaphor can be carried to an extreme.

In my opinion, people make good decisions and reap the benefits or they make bad decisions and reap the consequences. You can call one light and the other dark all day long, but that kind of romanticism only masks the responsibility of the individual, it doesn't absolve it.


Digital_Hell
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Posts 193
Amidst black roses


74 posted 07-20-2006 03:47 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

"gravity can't exist in the absence of anti-gravity" but the fact that gravity exists means that its opposite anti gravity exists...
and it also doesnt mean that anti gravity exists right here on earth. But it certainly exists.

"but good would still exist" Ah but then it wouldnt be godd would it? It would simply be the expected norm. Without evil good would simply be the normal way to behave. There wouldnt be a distinction as there exists when evil is present.

"people make good decisions and reap the benefits or they make bad decisions and reap the consequences" Good decisions dont always lead to benefits. Sometimes doing the right thing leads to pain and suffering aswell. Similarly bad decisions dont always lead to horrible consequences. Great things can come from making a bad decisions. But you are fully correct in saying that it does not absolve the person from his responsibility.

hells gate reads Abandon hope all ye that enter here
shall we go?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Will you walk with me?

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