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I recently read in the book Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything by Ervin Laszlo that the chances of hitting on our exact Universe is something like ten billion to the 123 power, which is an astronomically large number. Of course materialist will simply use the many universes theory as an alternative explanation. Like I've said before, for me it's the total aggregate of evidence, not just any one piece of the puzzle, that leads me in the direction that this life is not all there is.

Here are a couple of interviews with Antony Flew:

1)The first one is in 2005, the famous and long interview of Flew with philosopher Gary Habermas:

http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/flew-interview.pdf

2)The second one, is a more recent interview with Flew (2007), after the publication of "there is a God":

http://www.tothesource.org/10_30_2007/10_30_2007.htm

A little girl asked her mother, "How did the human race appear?"

The mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve, and they had children, and so all of mankind was made."

A couple of days later the girl asked her father the same question.

The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."

The confused little girl returned to her mother and said, "Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said we came from monkeys?"

The mother answered, "Well, dear, it's actually quite simple. I told you about my side of the family, and daddy told you about his!"

"the chances of hitting on our exact Universe is something like ten billion to the 123 power, which is an astronomically large number."

I calculated it at ten billion to the 122 power. Maybe Ervin may have had a bigger calculator than me ;-)

I'm reminded of Greg Taylor of the Daily Grail, and his oft-repeated line:

"You monkeys only think you're running things!"

Shakespeare's a bit tough. It only took one monkey to write "The Selfish Gene" ;-)

Nice one, Ross. Got to hand that one to you.

In the above interview with Flew, he said: "I note in my book that..." and "As I said in opening the book, this is my last will and testament"

Obviously, he's refering to that book as "his".

It seems that Flew didn't write (by himself, using his hands) the book because his old age, but the book exactly represent Flew's current views. At least, we could draw this conclusions from the literary agent of Flew and Flew referece of that book as "his":

http://atheismsucks.blogspot.com/2007/11/steve-laube-literary-agent-for-antony.html

Also, a Christian responded to Carrier's version of the story on Flew here:

http://sntjohnny.com/front/in-defense-of-antony-flews-positions-against-richard-carriers-slanderous-chutzpah/223.html

I'm aware if the controversy, having read the NY Times article that started it all. I think the links Tim provided (thanks, Tim!) adequately address the issue. Ghostwriting is very, very common in publishing today. As long as the book represents Flew's opinion, it doesn't much matter if he wrote it himself or if it grew out of discussions he had with his amanuensis.

For example, I've bought two recent books by special effects maestro Ray Harryahusen, who, like Flew, is an octogenarian. I have no doubt that Harryhausen did not actually sit down and type these books into a word processor. (In fact, a friend of mine who knows Ray says he never uses a computer.) But he obviously discussed his life and career with the writer, who then committed his thoughts to paper. Harryhausen, who is still perfectly clear-headed, approved the books, and they represent his thinking, even if they are not in his exact words. Ditto for Flew, or so it would appear.

This is par for the course in the book biz today.

Even if we know that chance is too absurd to take seriously for whatever started everything,we still can't fill the gap.We can name it "God" or Creator or even The Flying Spaghetti Monster(All hail his noodleness) but we still can't even begin to understand objectively,so no chance in hell creationism should be taught in school but the small warm puddle that darwin suspected shouldn't be taught either.

All that could be said philosphically is therefore,it's improbable existence happened by chance,what caused it is a mystery.

Offcourse those studying paranormal phenomena,in particular in regards to spiritualism could have a different perspective,a different belief based on what the spirits convey.But it doesn't have that much more validity then all the other theories.

My personal view is to think of God like one written by in my opinion best medium(ever!)Jozef Rulof from the netherlands in which God is indeed a bit like panentheism explains it.Not a personal God,but a God which is existence itself.All nature.He called it "Wayti".

“Not a personal God, but a God which is existence itself. All nature. He called it "Wayti".

Could another name for existence itself be Isness?

William, that's none of your Isness ;o)

I must confess I'd assumed Mr. Harryhausen had gone on to his *well-earned* reward. What a gift he is to all of us; Michael, if you ever get the chance, please do pass along my thanks for his role in stimulating my imagination as a child.

Could another name for existence itself be Isness? - william
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You trying to start another religion? Back in Ancient Egypt there was a god named Isis? Is she close enough? You could just bring her back into vogue and start worshiping her?

Remember this old one?
Punctuate the following:

that that is is that that is not is not is not that it it is

Answer:

That that Is, Is.
That that Is not, Is not.
Is not that it?
It Is.

Also, I think Bryan A. got it wrong. Instead of "All hail his noodleness", it should be "All hail Is Noodleness. And so is rain, sleet and snow"

. . . in 2004 he announced that he had changed his mind and now believed that the evidence favored some form of God -- not an anthropomorphic deity, but a cosmic mind or intelligence responsible for the order and complexity of life and the universe.

"The God of Pythagoras was the Monad, or the One that is Everything. He described God as the Supreme Mind distributed throughout all parts of the universe--the Cause of all things, the Intelligence of all things, and the Power within all things. He further declared the motion of God to be circular, the body of God to be composed of the substance of light, and the nature of God to be composed of the substance of truth."

The major issue I have with abiogenesis (life arising out of non-living matter) is that it would obviously had to have been a very simple process at it's core, we're talking "incredibly lucky accident" here.

Yet no matter how hard we try, no matter how unrealistically favorable the conditions, we simply cannot replicate by design something that supposedly happened by accident, unaided by an intelligent hand. Yet we can genetically modify food and clone sheep. Hmmmmmmm.

Back in 1999 Craig Venter was making claims they were close to creating artificial life, it subsequently turned out that even the simplest of single-celled organisms are still incredibly complex under the bonnet.

It's essentially religious dogma, we can't scientifically prove that it's even possible, we just have faith that it is and that it indeed happened once, and that that one-in-a-zillion lucky strike yielded a single-celled organism capable of both feeding and reproducing right off the bat.

Speaking of atheists and belief in the afterlife, here's an interesting article I read. It's about A.J. Ayer, another famous atheist who had a near death experience. I always thought it would be humorous when people who spent their whole lives denying life after death wake up after dying and find themselves still alive!

Can there be life after life? Ask the atheist!

http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/18032001/Comment/Letter_From_London.html

"But when Ayer himself was dying two decades later, he wasn't so sure. Having choked on a piece of smoked salmon that stopped his heart for at least four minutes, the famed philosopher saw, and heard things he had spent a lifetime denying."

Here's another URL that might work for A.J. Ayer's NDE: http://tinyurl.com/6q5xm7

The other one got cut off.

"Now the surgeon who attended him has broken a long silence. He told an author who wrote a play about the affair: "Ayer told me he saw the Supreme Being."

Art, you're right, that's so funny! Trouble is, by "the Supreme Being", Ayer must have meant his Higher Self!

“You trying to start another religion? Back in Ancient Egypt there was a god named Isis? Is she close enough? You could just bring her back into vogue and start worshiping her?”

Art I was thinking of starting another religion and having you as my choir director.

“He further declared the motion of God to be circular, the body of God to be composed of the substance of light, and the nature of God to be composed of the substance of truth."

I like this description of God very much. Would the last word be more descriptive if we change truth to love? Also I like the word essence over the word substance. Essence of love? Also like the motion of God to be circular, truly a person that appears to have understood our merging with the sea of God?

“Art, you're right, that's so funny! Trouble is, by "the Supreme Being", Ayer must have meant his Higher Self!”

Let me put another spin on his statement that I suspect will go over like a lead balloon. He saw what he thought he would see and his subconscious really did believe in a supreme being from Sunday school days or the like. Now his doubts forced him to be zealous with his atheism. It appears that often in a near death experience people see what they think they should see. I.e. Christian sees Jesus and a Buddhist sees a Buddha and an atheist sees a random chance.

Before I get very far into celebrating the Creative Something beating the bejabers out of the odds in designing the cosmos I am overtaken by the so-called Epicurean Paradox. For those unacquainted with the Epicurean Paradox, it was the classic statement of the problem of evil, handed down to us from the ancient world. Epicurus was said to have written (his writings were made to disappear) that if God is able to expunge evil from the world but does not will it “He” is malevolent. If God wills to expunge evil but cannot do it, He is weak. Since evil exists, either God is malevolent or weak.
It seems to me that since God was able to fine-tune the universe there is no lack of power. Even puny mankind has been able to remove some evils--diphtheria for example. So it would seem to be a case of malevolence. Or maybe more accurately indifference, not ill-will. This line of thinking leads to the position of some of the Deists of the 17th and 18th century wherein God sets up the world and goes away, leaving the world to run by natural law. This God of the Age of Reason doesn’t care a whit what happens to you or me.

wvogt, I believe that free will is used to defeat this argument. But if you don’t believe we have free will, you could consider the arguments of Sri Aurobindo. He resolves this issue by saying that God is not separate from his creation. He is us:

“all that is, is He. If then evil and suffering exist, it is He that bears the evil and suffering in the creature in whom He has embodied Himself. The problem then changes entirely. The question is no longer how came God to create for His creatures a suffering and evil of which He is Himself incapable and therefore immune, but how came the sole and infinite Existence-Consciousness-Bliss to admit into itself that which is not bliss, that which seems to be its positive negation. Half of the moral difficulty - that difficulty in its one unanswerable form disappears. It no longer arises, can no longer be put. Cruelty to others, I remaining immune or even participating in their sufferings by subsequent repentance or belated pity, is one thing; self-infliction of suffering, I being the sole existence, is quite another.” (LD 102)

He goes on to say that the existence of suffering and evil allow:

“a play of self-concealing and self-finding” which “ is one of the most strenuous joys that conscious being can give to itself, a play of extreme attractiveness. There is no greater pleasure for man himself than a victory which is in its very principle a conquest over difficulties, a victory in knowledge, a victory in power, a victory in creation over the impossibilities of creation, a delight in the conquest over an anguished toil and a hard ordeal of suffering. At the end of separation is the intense joy of union, the joy of a meeting with a self from which we were divided. There is an attraction in ignorance itself because it provides us with the joy of discovery, the surprise of new and unforeseen creation, a great adventure of the soul; there is a joy of the journey and the search and the finding, a joy of the battle and the crown, the labour and the reward of labour. If delight of existence be the secret of creation, this too is one delight of existence; it can be regarded as the reason or at least one reason of this apparently paradoxical and contrary Lila.”

He further says:

“But, apart from this choice of the individual Purusha, there is a deeper truth inherent in the original Existence which finds its expression in the plunge into Inconscience; its result is a new affirmation of Sachchidananda in its apparent opposite.”

And:

“If the Infinite’s right of various self-manifestation is granted, this too as a possibility of [Evil’s] manifestation is intelligible and has its profound significance.” (LD 426–427)

Sounds a bit like William to me.

Epicurus strikes me as one of those that Ramana Maharshi was referring to in this quote:

"They want to determine the state of the Master without realizing the state themselves."

Epicurus clearly assumes that God is external to creation and proceeds to base his argument on that assumption, while the Self-realized of all cultures and religions consistently state that God is immanent. And 'immanent' includes 'us'.

If we want to eliminate evil, we have to let God become us.

And William, I'd suggest that truth and love might be synonymous. As for the rest, take it up with Pythagoras!

;-)

“There is an attraction in ignorance itself because it provides us with the joy of discovery, the surprise of new and unforeseen creation, a great adventure of the soul;”

“Sounds a bit like William to me.”

The great adventure of the soul is god’s adventure. Agree with so much of this man’s words.

Without innocence there is no expression. Stated another way any variation from oneness requires innocence.

In god’s eyes we are innocent, in man’s eyes we are ignorant. In god’s eyes evil people do not exist, to ignorant eyes evil people do exist.

And so it goes. For god to see evil people god would have to be evil and evil always self-destructs (karma) and god is infinite therefore self-destruction is impossible. Or whatever.

If evil self-destructs then why do we still see evil? The evolutionally process of new souls. I.e. ignorant souls. Ok innocent souls.

I don’t want to leave the impression that I agree with Epicureanism. I was just talking about it. Epicurus did indeed put God (“the gods” in his case) outside of the universe. They were completely separate, leading a carefree existence, while the world rolled on, driven and shaped by the unconscious jostling of atoms. This is the origin of the metaphysics that today’s materialists espouse. And Epicurus was decidedly antireligious.
As the Roman Epicurean poet Lucretius put it, the aim of the philosophy was “…to loose from round the mind the tightened coils of dread religion.”
For aught I know the eastern traditions have the answer to the Paradox, but I wouldn’t like to have to present their answer to a child of five with leukemia or any other terminally ill person. I would be a poor explainer anyway because, while I am not hostile to it, I don’t find mysticism congenial. I am, yet, a child of the Enlightenment (a child now well into old age) and my response to the Paradox is much more pedestrian than the one given above. It does require positing free will. It is simply that I think we signed on for this trip to the Bad Lands. As Art always says, we are here to experience separation; but I think we are also here to experience randomness. I don’t mean randomness such as the planets can take off in any direction, but randomness in the sense that the rain fails equally on the just and the unjust. Anything can happen to any of us at any time out here beyond the reach of the law. But we came of our own volition, and I do believe we’ll all be very happy to get home again.

William said;
"In god’s eyes we are innocent, in man’s eyes we are ignorant. In god’s eyes evil people do not exist, to ignorant eyes evil people do exist."

That sounds alot like the medium Jozef Rulof wrote about in his books.Innocence however doesn't really exist,ignorance and unconsious acts do.People killing are they innocent or ignorant of what they're doing?The natural consequences don't change regardless of the moral values of contemporary society.

Time and time again that medium makes sure that "God" has nothing to do with it.He puts personal responsibility in every sense right in your lap.From the smallest ethical dillema to the biggest ethical problems.

In a way this buggs me,It doesn't give u the freedom a materialist has without knowing the consequences of your acts.I try my best to find loopholes in the best evidence for the afterlife but so far no luck,There's no running from personal responsiblity,there's no escaping Evolution.So I guess I should just accept it with all it's consequences.

I wonder what kind of "God" Antony Flew would think of,what kinds of attributes he would give to "It".

What's funny is that Cristians tend to embrace his book "There is a God".For them the gap,what we don't yet know symbolises their biblish god,An active creative god like the genesis book explains existence happened.The fallacies therein is too much to bear.

wvogt said: It is simply that I think we signed on for this trip to the Bad Lands.

This would make us _colonists_ and the task colonists set for themselves is to make the colony as much like the mother country as possible. So our task while here is to make this world as much like heaven as possible. Interesting idea.

I wonder what kind of "God" Antony Flew would think of,what kinds of attributes he would give to "It".

Flew (or his ghostwriter) says he believes in the God of Aristotle, and he credits God with the following traits: immutability, immateriality, omnipotence, omniscience, oneness, perfect goodness, and necessary existence. (He is following the lead of philosopher David Conway, whose book The Recovery of Wisdom influenced Flew.)

“But we came of our own volition, and I do believe we’ll all be very happy to get home again.”

I do think this is true for older souls but newer souls appear to me to come from nature and I think they may just coming crashing onto the scene.

It appears that most people that come through a medium state they are very happy to get ‘home”. Even most who have an NDE appear to want to stay and not come back into their pain filled bodies or the harshest of planet earth.

“I don’t mean randomness such as the planets can take off in any direction, but randomness in the sense that the rain fails equally on the just and the unjust.”

Although I mention Dr. Hora on here often there are many of his teachings that I disagree with him and this is one of them. I think that randomness gives a soul an opportunity but only an opportunity to advance in love, compassion, and divine intelligence. His principle that nothing comes into experience uninvited may need some revisions. Or not.

“It does require positing free will.”

I have a problem with the word free will because free denotes freedom. How can we say we have the freedom to make choices if we all have some level of ignorance? And those that do not think they have some level of ignorance do not understand that the beginning our wisdom is the recognition of our unawareness.

These people have made a choice to respond a certain way but those choices are heavily influenced by a multitude of factors. Not the least being our unawareness of reality.

I would agree we have the perception of free will and I suspect the ego loves the idea of free will. Kind of I am in control of my life thing. The soul’s journey is a closed loop system (oneness) with the appearance of an open system so indeed it does appear that we have free will. We can prolong the journey with our choices but cannot opt out of the journey or its final destination.

Two definitions of free will:
“The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.”
“The question of free will is whether, and in what sense, rational agents exercise control over their actions and decisions”

The soul experiences separation to learn what it means to be separate. It's as simple as that. Period.

The soul experiences pain and pleasure to imprint the parameters of the physical body. It's all about information. Or like a sculptor with a hammer and chisel cutting a body out of marble. Stub your toe, scratch an itch, paper cuts, burns, etc. all imprinting information on the soul about what a body looks and feels like.

The soul will use the information it is imprinted with to create it's own reality after crossing back over into the Spiritual Universe because Heaven is a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality.

The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and the soul learns holistically what it means and how it feels to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe without us having to do anything. The soul learns in the same way a child learns before it starts school. Holistically. The lessons are embedded in life.

William, sometimes I read your posts and wonder if you are doing recreational drugs as you are typing...

William: "Two definitions of free will:
“The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.”
“The question of free will is whether, and in what sense, rational agents exercise control over their actions and decisions”"

I think the question of free will is imbedded in the whole paradox of unity/inifinity and manyness. The individual parts have free will to seek and make choices, these are always made in a certain context so absolute isolated free will is impossible there is always interconnection. But eventually there is no free will at all as everything is already one and there is no seperation.
All depends on what kind of level one is looking at the question in my view.

greets,
Filip

william...what about what one credible medium who says her guides tell her that there is no such thing as new and old souls? would she be wrong? or are the guides wrong?

LOL..maybe i shouldn't have cut that tree in my yard down, it probably was a young soul and now it will have to crash back onto the scene as another tree...instead of an insect, animal or person...damn, i might have interrupted it's evolution. does this mean we shouldn't pull out weeds or cut the grass? or kill mosquitoes? or did they come here knowing we would cut them down, swat them, etc. and chose that to happen as part of their evolution? Wow!

buggs me....have never seen 'bugs' spelled this way before

consequences of your acts....consequences of your 'acts'???

Cristians....have never seen Christians spelled this way before

biblish....is this a word?

fallacies therein is too much to bear....is this grammar?

Bryan A: do you think it seems unusual to be casting judgement or ridiculing anyone else or their feelings, as you have done in your earlier post, when you appear to have difficulty with the english language?

Marki said: This would make us _colonists_ and the task colonists set for themselves is to make the colony as much like the mother country as possible. So our task while here is to make this world as much like heaven as possible.

I will be brief because we’re getting way off topic. I think there is a clear connection here with the Garden of Eden tale and the expectation in Jesus’ time of the establishing of the Kingdom of God--with an end to earth’s pervasive evils--by supernatural means.

...when you appear to have difficulty with the english language?

Oh, come on. If he's said something upsetting, address it directly instead of trying to humiliate him over his spelling. It just looks petty — would you be this dismissive of someone with dyslexia?

"English" should be capitalized, btw.

'the problem of evil' doesn't persuade me much, there are numerous ways to answer it.

1. what most people consider 'Evil' is usually when something goes against their interests or what they think is good for society/the planet, etc. We are all problably evil in someone elses eyes.

2. If reincarnation is true, and our souls are eternal, then the 70 or so years we can expect to live here in our current life is inconsequential. What's 70 years to eternity? nothing! It's like this life is a video game or something our souls engage in to pass eternity.

If you play a videogame and the ghost chomps your pacman right out of the gate, is the game designer evil for allowing that to happen? Is he/she weak? You can't become good at the game without those mistakes, just like in life you can't advance without the negative experiences.

I don't want to sound heartless, but it seems to me that from the perspective of a supreme being, the evils we do to each other are like a parent watching one child knock down another's blocks. Should the parent intervene to prevent it or let it be a learning experience?


"...the evils we do to each other are like a parent watching one child knock down another's blocks. Should the parent intervene to prevent it or let it be a learning experience?"

But this excuses all evils, no matter how horrific. Take the case of someone who tortures and kills children — God hasn't intervened so far, they can reason, therefore what they're doing is right — it's an important learning experience which outweighs the evil of the acts themselves.

Or if you use the "eternity shrinks all evils into insignificance" argument, there's no point in intervening in any case, or of condemning the worst of atrocities — because if we stick to this belief consistently, they're all ultimately just as insignificant as a kid pulling faces out of a car window.

It seems to me that Tony S's view succeeds not in eliminating the problem of evil, but in trivializing the suffering of humans and all other living creatures.

Anonymous said;

do you think it seems unusual to be casting judgement or ridiculing anyone else or their feelings, as you have done in your earlier post, when you appear to have difficulty with the english language?

I don't know how I ridiculed somebody or cast judgement on them,but just for the record my english can be shabby sometimes because english is certainly not my main language.However I do hope my point got across which is what matters most.Would u like to adress my points instead of my grammar?

Tnx

marcos, you are correct in that the line of thinking I used could be used to excuse anything.

> Or if you use the "eternity shrinks all
>evils into insignificance" argument,
>there's no point in intervening in any
>case, or of condemning the worst of
>atrocities — because if we stick to this
>belief consistently, they're all
>ultimately just as insignificant as a kid
>pulling faces out of a car window.

I'm not saying we shouldn't intervene, but I'm just pointing out what it might look like from the POV of a divine being. Not as significant as it seems to us, right now.

It could be that we're supposed to intervene, that might be the lesson we are supposed to learn. I'm just giving reasons why a divine being might not feel compelled to stop it themselves.

> It seems to me that Tony S's view succeeds
> not in eliminating the problem of evil, but
> in trivializing the suffering of humans and
> all other living creatures.

Well what is 'evil'? it's very slippery to define. Most people today would define the Nazis as evil, but at the time, the Nazi's thought their cause was noble, after all, they were 'improving' the human race.

If I was to sit and had to articulate what makes a certain action/event 'bad' or 'evil', the only honest & consistant answer I could give is 'it's bad if it makes me feel angry/sad/bad or goes against what I think is right'. Ultimately that's a very narcisistic answer.

I don't mean to depress anyone, or look like a relativist (I'm not, really), but we are conditioned to look at things from a worldly & cultural perspective. Things that seem wrong or don't make sense from that perspective might make sense if you look at it from another POV

Tony C: “I'm not saying we shouldn't intervene, but I'm just pointing out what it might look like from the POV of a divine being. Not as significant as it seems to us, right now.”

Which brings us back to Epicurus. The gods are far away and not at all concerned with human activity.

I agree. The problem of evil is jusn't something to ponder and examine within the confines of eternity. If we are here for a reason, then every challenge that comes our way has a purpose.

It's that whole 'you may seem evil to other people' routine, as well. I just don't follow it at all. There are some fundamental truths to society no matter whether you are religious or not.

When can unprovoked violence ever be justified? Rape? The torture of children? Bullying to the point of the victim's suicide? Kidnap for financial gain? Fraud?

Sometimes I think if acceptance of survival and psi only brings us this in respect of morality, then maybe it would be best to let the likes of Dawkins etc run it into the ground.

I think sometimes people who look at the ideas considered in the blog need to marry it to a bit of common sense as well.

I might be on a bit of a rant here, but, ah well, hear me out. Sometimes people suggest that it may be a long time until people are ready to explore the 'fundamental realities of truth' such as 'isness' etc.

That may well be true. However, it just seems so far removed from human nature that maybe the glove doesn't fit. Maybe our purpose or sense of being is more practical then everyone accepting the sense of 'all being one' etc.

It reminds me of a pretentious writer speaking in vague terms about creating some great piece of work, when all they need to do is tell a good story.

I think a welcome addition to this blog is Teri. She's asked some interesting questions that cut to the chase. It's all very well coming back with vague comments, but humans are a practical species and I think that is for a reason.

I've never had a great amount of tragedy in my life, so I'm not being defensive for personal reasons in my condemnation of this attitude towards violence. But if God sees those types of acts and renders them meaningless within the grand scheme of things, then I'm not sure that's a God I'd want to be any part of.

I understand my like or dislike of any Supreme Being wouldn't affect its existence, but it still would have relevance.

And breath out...


> Which brings us back to Epicurus. The gods
> are far away and not at all concerned with
> human activity.

far away perhaps, but closer than you can imagine.

what if we are all 'God'? Now there's a scary, scary thought, but the idea keeps cropping up in mysticism, NDEs etc. The idea that 'we are all connected' or 'we are all one'.

God's not just far away watching, but here experiencing life through every person who has ever lived and ever will live?

Since computers are my expertise, I think of it like this: God created this simulation we call the universe, now God wants to play and experience it by creating characters/avatars to play through, and maybe God doesn't to take all the 'fun' of it and make everything right by using the cheat codes!

Major-

"I've never had a great amount of tragedy in my life, so I'm not being defensive for personal reasons in my condemnation of this attitude towards violence. But if God sees those types of acts and renders them meaningless within the grand scheme of things, then I'm not sure that's a God I'd want to be any part of."

One theme that frequently comes through NDEs is the 'life review', where you not only review every moment of your life, but you also experience from the POV of everyone it affected. So if you killed someone, then you experience your action as the victim, and the grieving family/friends, etc.

it isn't that God is necessarily unconcerned with these things, but to him/her they may be important things to experience.

I go back to the child knocking over another's blocks. To the parents it was a 'not nice' act. To the child it was devistating. The child cannot yet fully understand the why the parent doesn't seem more concerned. God/Supreme Being is the ultimate parent, and we aren't likely to fully understand his/her actions/motivations at this point.

ultimately 'The Problem of Evil' argument is stating that a supreme being must think & act exactly like we humans, or else he/she is not benign, weak, or doesn't exist. I don't buy the premise. That's really the only point I'm trying to make.

Evil. It all boils down to whether we really have free will or not. If EVIL exists for a reason and is necessary to learn what it is we are supposed to learn while in the Physical Universe, then arguing about it is a moot point. If the soul learns what it supposed to learn by experiencing what we experience while alive, if it is imprinted holistically and it's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives, and if free will is an illusion, than evil is simply something that we are supposed to experience and no matter how much we might wish it didn't exist, it will continue to exist as long as we do.

Good analogy Tony with the child and the blocks.

“One theme that frequently comes through NDEs is the 'life review', where you not only review every moment of your life”

I know when I went through a life review in a dream “visitation?” it was completely different then when I took the time to review my own life. This entity understood the underlying motivations or reality behind the significant emotional events in my life.

I did not experience to my memory how others felt who were the also the participants of these significant emotional events in my life. Also it was telepathic so there was no miscommunication that I felt. Like a perfect connection in thought. Nothing on earth even comes close to my knowledge.

But the compassion, love, understanding, and acceptance were beyond anything I suspect this world has to offer or at least anything that I have experienced on this earth. My point I believe even advanced spirits see the world differently than we do. More awareness I suspect.

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