Is the Bible simply a book?

A spiritual perspective on phenomenon

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Postby Chorlton » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:23 am

Access Denied wrote:OK folks, I moved this debate out of ScaRZ’s thread since it was off-topic…

ryguy wrote:Look at my first post in this forum:

Considering the sensitive nature of this subject matter, there will be much tighter controls on attacks and insensitive or derogatory remarks toward other members related to their spiritual beliefs within this forum.

If someone comes in HERE, the spirituality and religion forum, and claims that they believe they met an alien, I'd leave them alone.

You know why? Because they're admitting that it's a religious/spiritual belief.

I'm sorry you don't comprehend the difference.

P.S. - read that quote a few times before you click "reply" again.

I think we could all use a little more clarification on this Ryan, are you saying if someone admits something is only a belief (or speculation) then they shouldn’t be questioned?

I just want to make sure we’re not discouraging anyone from engaging others in a healthy and open debate on these topics.


The silence is deafening
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Postby Zep Tepi » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:01 am

That's not very respectful, is it? More so in light of the fact that I have pm'ed you with a clarification of what you can and cannot do in the Spirituality forum. If anyone else had mentioned the "deafening silence", then fair enough - they haven't yet received an answer to Access Denied's excellent question. You, however, already have. What's more, I also shared private details of some of the things that are going on in Ryan's life at the moment, the tip of the iceberg being the life-threatening illness of his sister. Ryan has not yet experienced the awful reality of what it means to lose someone very close to you, and as a result is having a very hard time dealing with it. In addition to that he is also working most of the hours in the day and night just so he can get through the financial mess he finds himself in at the moment. I know he shares that particular predicament with an unhealthy amount of people right now throughout the world, but that and the situation with his sister means his priorities lie elsewhere at this particular moment in time.

The silence is deafening? I would say the silence is defining where Ryan is concerned. He knows he could get through this and come out stronger at the end, but he has to get through it first. Cut the guy a little slack before demanding answers next time, ok? You may well be strong enough to deal with everything life throws at you and carry on as normal, it doesn't mean everyone else is the same.

Anyway, here is the answer to the original question.

Let's look at what was written:
Access Denied wrote:
ryguy wrote:Look at my first post in this forum:

Considering the sensitive nature of this subject matter, there will be much tighter controls on attacks and insensitive or derogatory remarks toward other members related to their spiritual beliefs within this forum.

If someone comes in HERE, the spirituality and religion forum, and claims that they believe they met an alien, I'd leave them alone.

You know why? Because they're admitting that it's a religious/spiritual belief.

I'm sorry you don't comprehend the difference.

P.S. - read that quote a few times before you click "reply" again.

I think we could all use a little more clarification on this Ryan, are you saying if someone admits something is only a belief (or speculation) then they shouldn’t be questioned?

I just want to make sure we’re not discouraging anyone from engaging others in a healthy and open debate on these topics.


The simple answer is that anyone is free to question and debate others, even in this, the Spirituality section of the RU forums. What Ryan was getting at, was this:

Considering the sensitive nature of this subject matter, there will be much tighter controls on attacks and insensitive or derogatory remarks toward other members related to their spiritual beliefs within this forum. {emphasis added}


He posted that particular section for a reason, the following comment being one of them:

Nope I see someone running for an excuse


Ryan has made a number of comments in this thread in an attempt to clarify what is different about spiritual beliefs and the rest of the subject matter disscussed on this site. It appears he hasn't been all that successful in this case, so let me try.

As most people are aware, a spiritual belief is not based on hard evidence or facts, it is based on faith. The following definition of faith from The Free Dictionary really does say it all:

2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.


Yet here you are demanding it! Surely you can see that is never going to work? A person's faith is a deeply personal thing. In essence, when you question a person's faith you are telling them they are not allowed to decide for themselves what works for them. What it all boils down to is no one has yet provided a detailed or proven explanation that answer the most fundamental questions that exist: Where does all of this come from? Where did it start? WHY did it start?

Can you answer those questions? Maybe you are satisfied with one explanation or another, or maybe you are satisified with not knowing. The bottom line is, regardless of what it is you believe to be true, no one actually does know the truth.

Chorlton wrote:Im not the one making the claims about a God existing.
You are, therefore YOU provide the proof he exists or consider your argument destroyed.


As far as I am aware, ScarZ is not the spokesperson for all of the religions in the world and as can be clearly seen from his posts, he has no desire to be either. Telling him "his" argument should be considered destroyed if he can't prove the existence of God is not only arrogant, it is absurd. His faith, and that of everyone else who believes in a higher power is not based on facts, it is based on their interpretation of something that is unknowable. If you feel so strongly about the subject as to why there is no God, offer an alternative. I'd be surprised if you had any evidence to back it up with, mind.

Liking a person's spiritual, faith-based beliefs to the activities in UFology land is quite a stretch, if you ask me ;)

Now, questioning the origins of Christianity and some other religions, that is an entirely different kettle of fish. There is enough material on both sides of the fence to make for a rather interesting discussion, in my opinion...

Cheers,
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Postby ScaRZ » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:55 am

That was a great post Steve and thanks for spelling things out so well.
I feel for Ryan and pray for he and all his family as they live through the heartache. I lost my mother when I was 19 and I understand the hell he is going through. No words can ever fill that empty hole deep inside. The greatest comfort is to know that there are friends and family who are there with you.
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Postby caleban » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:47 am

What ScaRZ said. Double.

I wish I had seen this earlier. But for the moment, now is not the right time
for further comments.
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Postby Chorlton » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:19 am

Zep tepi said:

That's not very respectful, is it? More so in light of the fact that I have pm'ed you with a clarification of what you can and cannot do in the Spirituality forum. If anyone else had mentioned the "deafening silence", then fair enough - they haven't yet received an answer to Access Denied's excellent question. You, however, already have. What's more, I also shared private details of some of the things that are going on in Ryan's life at the moment, the tip of the iceberg being the life-threatening illness of his sister. Ryan has not yet experienced the awful reality of what it means to lose someone very close to you, and as a result is having a very hard time dealing with it. In addition to that he is also working most of the hours in the day and night just so he can get through the financial mess he finds himself in at the moment. I know he shares that particular predicament with an unhealthy amount of people right now throughout the world, but that and the situation with his sister means his priorities lie elsewhere at this particular moment in time. "

Strange then that he took time yesterday to reply to several other threads and it also didnt stop him making his original posts?

I'M having a bad time at present too, I would say a lot more so that than Ry, as you well know. But I dont let that cloud for one moment my grasp or reality.

Reality to me is being able to question everything. I have a right to do that. You may say, "not here", thats your prerogative.

But the self same person who is demanding proof of evidence from one person is giving someone else laissez faire to duck the question.
One could say that John Lear has a deep belief in what he says. Should he be asked for proof OF COURSE HE SHOULD.
One could say the Pope has a deep beleif in what he does, but are you saying he shouldne tbe questioned if given a chance and asking for proof? NO
Scarz has made many references to UFO's and ET's in his posts that to me makes it open season to demand proof on his God. If his posts had been nothing more than quoting scriptures and psalms fair enough I would have backed off. But he didnt. HE chose to bring in UFO's and 'spirits' and 'Angels'
linking them in with God.
Well Im sorry I want proof, If it cant be provided then he shoud treated like Lear or Serpo or the like.
Maybe I seem too hard?.Ive probably been on this earth a bit longer than most and in all that time Ive seen no proof of God, spirits Angels or the like. So will I question the existance of them YOU BETCHA
As I told you, I have a very dear friend of mine laying dying at the moment, a compassionate god would have taken him in the blink of an eye, but no, my friend is left to rot in bed as he lives, watching bits of his body dropping off him
A compassionate GOD ? dont make me laugh.
My mother died very recently, well her body did, but her mind died years ago from Alzheimers and I watched as she slowly became someone else, watched as her brains slowly turned into a lump of lard.
My brother in law laid in agony for months before he died of mesothelioma, and someone out there says we have a compassionat God, a God of love, and denies me the right to demand proof. THAT WONT WORK WITH ME.
Ive seen people in some countries who should have been put down at birth, we do it to animals, why do we let Humans suffer in pain and agony for years? because of a God, dont make me laugh.
The religious people have an answer for every question thrown at them, but the one thing they cant do is show one little piece of evidence for the existence of their evil pain giving god.

Ive got to go out to visit my friend in Hospital now, to do things for him the nurses wont but I repeat, Ill be back in about 4 hours

I repeat:
Reality to me is being able to question everything. I have a right to do that. You may say, "not here", thats your prerogative. Ban me if you wish. I'll still be out there questioning though. I think the last word out of my mouth will be "Why"?

Im sorry if this post comes across as hard, Ive had to be hard in my life for reasons people, not even my sisters , will ever know.

As a final. Ry I feel for you, I know where you are at and where your mind is. Ive been there, Im there now. Im also there with you, behind you.
Remember people as they were, the good times, the fun times, nothing, not even death can take those things from you.
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Postby ryguy » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:27 pm

Access Denied wrote:I think we could all use a little more clarification on this Ryan, are you saying if someone admits something is only a belief (or speculation) then they shouldn’t be questioned?

I just want to make sure we’re not discouraging anyone from engaging others in a healthy and open debate on these topics.


Hi AD,

Just a quickie...I'm sorry I can't write a lot right now - but yes, to clarify that's *sort of* what I'm saying. Although I'm not saying the beliefs shouldn't be discussed in a healthy environment....but I am saying that hollaring and screaming for "proof" to support a faith-based belief is counter-productive and silly.

The difference between when we should demand evidence and when we shouldn't is best displayed by some Scientology claims of scientific "evidence" or "breakthrough technology".

For example - if a Scientologist comes in here and says that they go completely on faith that the E-Meter is capable of doing anything of any significance - I don't think that it's fair to challenge them. People can believe whatever they like if they admit openly that it is not, in any way shape or form, supported by an ounce of physical or scientific evidence.

However - when a person holds a belief that is obviously based 99% on a religious conviction, yet claims that there are "mountains of scientific evidence" to support that conviction - that's when I feel we have every right to take that person to task.

Taking a Catholic, Jew, Scientologist, Muslim, Gnostic, or any other faith-based system to task for beliefs that they openly accept are almost entirely based on faith and belief - is not only inappropriate to begin with - but it's terribly insensitive and rude.

For example - in my conversation with Ray, it really ultimately comes down to belief. On the one hand you can believe the witness' written statements. On the other hand, you can believe the statements are fabrications of past stories or hoaxes. In either case, since no solid veridical evidence proves either side - you are left with two almost completely faith-based opinions.

Hope that makes it clear AD...thanks for asking.

-Ry
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Postby ryguy » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:32 pm

Thanks Steve, Scarz...everyone....

I'm sort of without words at the moment after reading Steve's post. Which for me, as you know, says a lot.

I know I haven't mentioned any of what Steve wrote to anyone, but I've had a hard time telling people about what's going on. Steve has an uncanny ability to understand - of course it stems from the fact that he's been through a lot...and I find myself depending on him lately for a lot of support. He's a very good friend to me.

I guess I don't need to explain why I won't be around much for a little while - but I will be popping in and trying to keep up with things....thanks to everyone for understanding, and for your support - which really means a lot to me at the moment.

-Ryan
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Postby Access Denied » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:01 pm

Thanks for clarification Ryan, now go take care of you and yours!

I hope between that and what Steve said everybody understands the need for sensitivity and respect when it comes to discussing the spiritual beliefs of others… what works for some may not work for others and it’s wrong to impose your spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) on others.

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:48 am

ryguy wrote:For example - in my conversation with Ray, it really ultimately comes down to belief. On the one hand you can believe the witness' written statements. On the other hand, you can believe the statements are fabrications of past stories or hoaxes. In either case, since no solid veridical evidence proves either side - you are left with two almost completely faith-based opinions.


Well, almost but not quite. The act of refusing to believe for lack of evidence is certainly NOT a faith-based opinion. I do not need faith to NOT believe. It is the default position. If I were blind and you told me "the sky is blue", I would not need faith to not believe you. I simply would not believe you to begin with, and open my belief upon presentation of evidence.

In other words, I will believe it when I see evidence to support it. Until then I simply refrain from believing. Faith has nothing to do with it.

With that said...I DO have faith that there is a God. Just not the silly stories that mankind had invented down thru the ages to control people. Those days are coming to a close.

Good luck with your sister and her illness, Ryan. My oldest brother, a former Navy pilot, has been saddled with brain cysts for the last 16 years. He is still with us, but his quality of life has deteriorated quite a bit.

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Postby ryguy » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:03 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Well, almost but not quite. The act of refusing to believe for lack of evidence is certainly NOT a faith-based opinion.


I agree completely. My decision not to believe - for lack of evidence - your proposed hypothesis that the witness accounts of the apostles was a copying of older tales is not at all a faith-based option either.

With that said...I DO have faith that there is a God. Just not the silly stories that mankind had invented down thru the ages to control people. Those days are coming to a close.


I agree...although I'm curious as to what, exactly, you are specifically referring to as "coming to a close"? Could you be more specific?

Good luck with your sister and her illness, Ryan. My oldest brother, a former Navy pilot, has been saddled with brain cysts for the last 16 years. He is still with us, but his quality of life has deteriorated quite a bit.
Ray


Sorry to hear that Ray...one of the most difficult things in life is to understand things that are so impossible to understand. To accept things that are nearly impossible to accept. Times like this are those when faith in the larger pattern of the universe and a creator have been proven to serve as a calming balm on the wounds that are caused when the pattern isn't the one we would like.

I have great days with some time to breathe. Other days I can't remember when the sun last came up. Our family will be okay - and I'm very thankful for friends here who've offered support, thanks for your kind words Ray. And best of luck to you and your family as well - I hope your brother is able to pull through in good form.

Best,
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:57 pm

ryguy wrote:
With that said...I DO have faith that there is a God. Just not the silly stories that mankind had invented down thru the ages to control people. Those days are coming to a close.


I agree...although I'm curious as to what, exactly, you are specifically referring to as "coming to a close"? Could you be more specific?


I can, but this is the point where I mark this next passage as:

The Following Is ONLY Ray's Analytical Opinion (Reading of the Tea Leaves) :)

The state that we find the world in today cannot be totally (or even partially) divorced from the man-made, faith-based institutions we call religions. Specifically, the battles in the "center ring" are focused on (yet another) group of people who wish to use religion as a way to control people (radical Islamists). And one can provide any number of quotes from the Koran that they use to support their jihad. But Christianity and Judaism do not have their hands clean of blood either. Judaism's issues of controlling people and allowing it to justify war are just much MUCH further in the past. Christianity's issues are much closer to the present...close enough for most people to remember the history of the Crusades and Inquisition.

As I have expounded on my "reading" of the technical side of history before, we are living in the age of information (which was preceded by the age of energy). And furthermore I have pointed out that a BIG EVENT has always been the hallmark of the progression from one age to the next. It is my BELIEF (yes, I cannot provide evidence!) :) that we are going to soon begin the age of intention. And that means we will have a "big event" that ushers out the info age and ushers in the intention age. Religions have been (and are) playing a large part in developing that big event.

The Catholic Church is (numerically) in decline. The Papal See has even admitted as much:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080330/ap_ ... an_muslims

VATICAN CITY - Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday.

"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican's yearbook.


But don't get me wrong...I do NOT think Islam or Judaism are going to "win" anything. In fact, by my reading of the tea leaves, they will ALL be "losers" come the age of intention. I say this because one thing that all 3 of these major world religions have kept "under wraps" for all these years has been their real, underlying INTENTIONS. Moreover, we are starting to come to grips with some of the earliest books of the bible (Genesis 1, to be more specific).

What would happen if someone was able to uncover an INTENTION behind Genesis 1 that DID NOT MATCH the stated intentions of the religions that have grown up out of its traditions? Such a find, if documented exhaustively, could possibly put an end to this "trust me, this is what God said you should believe" stage that humanity seems to have become trapped in.

Just my opinions...
Ray

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Postby ryguy » Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:21 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:What would happen if someone was able to uncover an INTENTION behind Genesis 1 that DID NOT MATCH the stated intentions of the religions that have grown up out of its traditions? Such a find, if documented exhaustively, could possibly put an end to this "trust me, this is what God said you should believe" stage that humanity seems to have become trapped in.

Just my opinions...
Ray


Awesome post Ray.

First - a quick note to you and everyone else reading this. I've recently come to really appreciate the value of a person's time. Every second of every day is precious and valuable to each of us. The fact that so many of you have come here and take some of that valuable time out of every day to write content for this website and this forum is amazing. I can't express how much I appreciate every single post (and what fascinating and intelligent posts they are..) that you all write for Reality Uncovered. You get nothing in return except, hopefully, a valuable exchange of information and ideas with others. So thank you to everyone that is making this place such an exciting and constantly growing community....

Also, Ray - to you specifically I just want to note that I hope at some point we can continue our previous debate related to the origins of Christianity. I'm afraid where we left off - people think that science can't be used to debate such philosophical and ancient ideas...but you and I both know that's not true. With enough effort, together, I'm positive that we could dig up and hammer out the truth that lies in the documents and stories from ages ago. We need to have that discussion at some point - so people can see that it's possible to hold such a debate and respect evidence and fact at the same time.

And finally - to your point above...

The Genesis story really appears more as a reflection of a creation story that not only Christians have come to believe, but a number of cultures and people across the world. If you back away and view the themes within the story symbolically - you'll find a huge number of parallels with other ancient cultures.

A great example are the Native American tribes who's spirituality extends for thousands of years before the person known as Christ was ever born. The common thread throughout the Native American shaman spirituality is a very strong belief in a Creator.

It's a common misconception that's distributed by new age followers who think that the ancient shaman believed we were all gods...when in fact they understood that source of the creative forces came from outside of them. Although - additionally as a very positive nod to your "Tree of Life" concept, they also believed just as strongly that we are interconnected with the Creator. It's a difficult concept for many to understand - but it's two seperate points, on the one, the source of the energies of the creator (natural elements, mother earth, wildlife), and on the other hand our interconnectedness with those energies.

Here's a good example from a woman who's mother was part of the Wolf clan of the Eastern Cherokee:

There are some very basic philosophical differences between the New Age belief system and the beliefs of my Grandmothers.

The main one being the belief held by my Grandmothers that we have a Creator, that exists outside of ourselves. We are a small but significant part of the creation and we are accountable to Creator for how we behave toward others, Our Mother Earth and all of her children. As a young person (42) I have to give an account to my Grandmother, the people, and Creator for the way in which I treat my children. I am not my own god. New agers do not want to be held accountable to the Native community for their behavior.

The meanings of our ceremonies are lost on the new agers, they can not see beyond the rituals. When the white race killed their creator and decided that they would teach their children that they evolved from something without intellect, without feeling, without meaning, it left an emptiness in the children. Today those children as adults look around for all sorts of things to fill that void. Our ceremonies are but one thing that these people have grabbed in order to fill that emptiness. But because their basic beliefs will not allow them to be accountable to a Creator, they do not look for the meaning behind the ceremonies, and they only pick and choose portions which serves their own agendas.


One of the things I love about Native American culture (true Native American culture - not the kind you read about in occult bookstores) is the purity of their understanding in regards to the creator.

And getting back to Genesis - the Native American spiritual beliefs that have extended back for thousands of years have their own unique "Creation Story" that mirrors Genesis in symbolism and theme in many, many ways.

Either cultures across the globe, Christians in biblical Jerusalem, and the ancient and as-yet undiscovered Native American tribes - were somehow able to copy messages from eachother...

OR...we might consider the possibility that the spirit that provided these common themes and messages to cultures worlds apart is a spirit that is real, and exists wherever and whenever we do, and talks to us if we are willing to listen.

And that's it for me for today...lol. Catch up with you all tomorrow. Keep up the fantastic writing everyone.

-Ry
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Postby alantree » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:47 pm

.I do NOT think Islam or Judaism are going to "win" anything. In fact, by my reading of the tea leaves, they will ALL be "losers"


Love the tea leave intuition. Very scientific. I'm impressed!
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Postby Shawnna » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:29 pm

The compassionate posts within this thread give me hope.........

To all who are sufferring any kind of loss or other turmoil - my heartfelt ((((hugs)))).

I've kept my signature the same all these years for a reason - it is something I feel passionately about.

None of this matters (to me, anyway) if we can't connect with each other along the way.

:hugsmile:
"The only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable is................... each other."

From the movie "Contact"

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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:01 pm

alantree wrote:
.I do NOT think Islam or Judaism are going to "win" anything. In fact, by my reading of the tea leaves, they will ALL be "losers"


Love the tea leave intuition. Very scientific. I'm impressed!


No, it's not very scientific. But then again, I clearly delineated that it was not scientific. I'm still smelling old, stinky Toon around here!

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