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Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:32 am
by ROU Killing Time
Please note, I'm not seeking to win a debate with you. I only seek to explain my experience as best I can (given the tenuous and ethereal nature of the topic.)

I don't know how well I have succeeded in the attempt.

Your view on Salvation may not be too heretical

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:00 am
by secretnude
ROU Killing Time wrote:Entirely possible (and actual biblical precedent) that it may be the only people in need of salvation were those that believed they were in danger of damnation, and that others, such as yourself, already had the law to love others as yourself already written on their hearts.

Some of the most Christian souls (if you'll allow the term) that I know are atheists.

I can't imagine a God torturing a good person for honestly not processing their world view in terms of "diety" and "created" any more than I believe I'm salvation at the barrel of a gun.

But as I say. I'm a heretic.
I like your heresy
since your heresy
speaks of a just Deity
better than my Family's heresy
of conveniently adopting parts of Calvinism
without abandoning Catholicism
but then I'm also a heretic
to both Calvinism
and Catholicism.

I guess your University
Trained Brother
might have not bothered
to change his beliefs on a Deity
and I also guess that interacting
with me
might be
like recreating
your earlier (or present day)
interactions with your Atheist Brother,
I say.

The new Catholic Pope does say
that we Atheists can do 'Good'
and the Good
reward our good
Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists.

However, he did emphasize there was a catch. Those people must still do good. In fact, it is in doing good that they are led to the One who is the Source of all that is good. In essence he simply restated the hope of the Church that all come to know God, through His Son Jesus Christ.

Francis based his homily on the message of Christ to his disciples taken from the Gospel of Mark. Francis delivered his message by sharing a story of a Catholic who asked a priest if atheists were saved by Christ.

"They complain," Francis said, "If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good." He explained that Jesus corrected them, "Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good."

The disciples, Pope Francis explained, "were a little intolerant," closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that "those who do not have the truth, cannot do good." "This was wrong... Jesus broadens the horizon." Pope Francis said, "The root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation."

"Even them, everyone, we all have the duty to do good, Pope Francis said on Vatican Radio.

"Just do good" was his challenge, "and we'll find a meeting point." ... p?id=51077

Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:04 am
by ROU Killing Time
Heh, I can provide a long list of folks more than happy to brand Frances a heretic, but I like the cut of his jib. And coming from me, that means a lot.

A Family that lives via 'Rules'

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 10:14 pm
by secretnude
ROU Killing Time wrote:"
And making the sovereign decision that love and forgiveness trumps a rigged system from which there can be no escape.
They call it "grace" but it's no different than any earthly mother or father finding it ridiculous thought to kill their children for making a single mistake.
When I look at my sons and daughter that's certainly a no-brainer for me.
My own parents have forgiven countless of my errors and sins.
To suggest that I (in my role as father) or my parents in their role are more loving and forgiving than God, well that just seems silly on the face of it.
It's nice for you to have a 'Family'.

I don't know if I will ever marry somebody
but that somebody
must be
able to cope with both my lack of empathy
and ability
to be a 'pain
in the ass' as I drain
their time away with my 'obsessions'
that the DC Community
has already
partial possession.

Spock can be annoying to Humans
hence a Vulcan
must logically seek a Vulcan.

I haven't seen that 'Vulcan'
and I did get
a couple of proposals
for dates that I had turned down unemotionally.

I fear people that are too emotional.
Maura, nine, is an expert on ancient history. Her brother Sean, six, specialises in the classification of animals. Gavin, the youngest, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Spiderman – a little less high-brow, but then he is only three.

All three like to hold forth on their chosen subjects – regardless of whether anyone else is listening or, for that matter, speaking. Family meal-times, admits their mother, Jennifer Cook O'Toole, can be quite a headache-inducing affair.

Fortunately, Jennifer and her husband, John, are not averse to delivering impassioned monologues themselves – about, respectively, the history of monarchy and astronomy – if the mood takes them.

There is, of course, no such thing as a "normal" family, and the Cook O'Tooles are more aware of that truism than most. They are a self-styled "Asper-family" – over the past three years all five of them have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

"This is our normal. We've always been like this, even before we knew why," says Jennifer, 36. "I don't speak for all Aspies, like I don't speak for all women, or all red-heads – but I definitely can't tell you what it's like to not be any of those things."

The family is visiting Britain from their home in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the publication of Jennifer's book about social skills for children with Asperger's.

Maura's diagnosis, three years ago, was the first. She had been a difficult baby – crying constantly and vomiting frequently. Her parents soon suspected a physical cause for her distress and, after a long, stressful investigation, she was diagnosed with tethered cord syndrome (a neurological abnormality of the spinal cord) at the age of four, and underwent surgery.

Her parents were looking forward to life after years of doctors and hospitals and Maura was now old enough for school. She sat entrance tests for a private school that John and Jennifer felt would best suit her gradually recovering health. The results were surprising – there was a huge gulf between her scores in verbal and non-verbal reasoning. That led to the diagnosis of Asperger's.

A few months later, Jennifer took Sean for a medical check – at three he was already reading but had poor personal organisation, obsessive interests and avoided eye contact. Doctors agreed that he, too, had Asperger's.

John, meanwhile, was seeing a psychologist, at Jennifer's insistence. "The trauma of having a chronically sick child was huge and John had no close friends to talk to. I felt he needed someone other than me to help," she says.

The psychologist realised that John was also on the autistic spectrum. The diagnosis surprised the couple, though Jennifer now can't think why. "It was so obvious – I always had to tell him to look at me – I was so busy picking over the children that I wasn't thinking about us. Then I went along to a talk, so I could understand John better, and had this moment of realisation about myself."

As a child, Jennifer had been taken to numerous psychologists by her mother, who was baffled by her daughter's inability to socialise, only to be told each time that the child was simply too bright for her own good. "That was ridiculous – lots of children are very clever but they didn't have the same problems. Actually, I had Asperger's. All of a sudden, things made sense. For me, it was an utter relief."

Gavin's diagnosis, aged two – the final piece in the family jigsaw – was "a no-brainer". Jennifer had compiled a file of evidence from the start – "the lining up of toys and so on".

Realising that they, as parents, shared the same difficulties as their children was briefly frightening for John and Jennifer. "Then we took a deep breath and realised we were doing it anyway. The years when Maura was sick kept things in perspective; we just felt even more protective, and knew we could cope."

The idea that their own special needs could be an advantage to their children occurred soon afterwards. "A friend whose son also has autism kept asking me questions that seemed obvious to me. I realised I was on to something. I have 36 years of experience – but I am like them and usually I have made the mistake myself. I can tell them that. We know what it is to feel deficient, other, less. I hope that stops our advice sounding condescending, and that it can save them from some of those feelings."

The book Jennifer has published is a notebook she began for herself. "My way of learning these unspoken social rules everyone else just instinctively knew is to write them down. It is a tool for the future. It's like trying to learn a bit of German if you go to live in Germany."

A section of bullet point reminders offers a glimpse of life with her Asper-family. "When a door opens, wait for other people to exit before you walk in", "Even excuse me becomes an interruption if you keep saying it", "Don't change the TV channel if other people are watching the show."

Following what she calls "the rules" is also Jennifer's technique for strengthening her relationship in the face of her own and John's interpersonal weaknesses.

The couple see a psychologist together once a month, a requirement Jennifer likens to regular dental check-ups. "We know we aren't good at communication so we put work in – and we must set a good example to our children. We make more effort than many couples simply because we have to.

"When Maura was ill and John and I were physically, emotionally and financially exhausted, it was actually the Aspie mindset that kept us moving forward – we're married, we have to stick at it together. Now sharing that diagnosis is like wearing the same team shirt, a reminder we are on the same side."

Though they are clearly very happy, Jennifer says that their early relationship was maddening. Flummoxed by the minefields of dating and fashion, she had "systematically studied" Just Seventeen magazine and the 1995 dating bestseller, The Rules.

On their first date, she was deeply perplexed to learn that John had made absolutely no plans. "I had learned how it was meant to work. He was supposed to compliment me and then take me to a show or something. After seven months of seeing each other I eventually asked if he thought I was pretty. He said, 'Of course'."

Much of what Jennifer saw in John she recognised from her father. He died of lung cancer five years ago, never having heard of Asperger's.

"It is obvious to me where my Asperger's comes from. My father never understood how he could be a brilliant litigator in court rooms around the world and yet want to die at parties. He would be so on edge he would bump into people, rock back and forth. He self-medicated continuously with Scotch and cigarettes."

Jennifer recalls a heartbreaking conversation in which, with tears in his eyes, he told her, "I'm so glad you don't have the trouble with people that I do." (Of course she did, she says, "but he was easily fooled".)

When he seemed cold in the face of her upsets – one year she was desperate enough to ask Father Christmas for a friend – she realises he was simply unable to cope.

His loneliness is proof enough to Jennifer that labels should not be feared. "Parents often say they don't want their children to be labelled with Asperger's, or that people managed fine before the diagnosis existed.

"I can't help but be offended. I feel we are as we should be. The word might be new, but the people aren't. There was just more depression, divorce and suicide. If diagnosis brings the right support, understanding and self-esteem then that is a very good thing."

Asperger's is only one part of who they are as individuals and as a family though. "I don't want Asperger's itself to become our special interest. The children go to school and get to be normal kids too. I am also just another mum who sometimes wants to pull her hair out.

"I certainly wouldn't change things – apart from maybe Spiderman. Two years of hearing about him all the time really is hardgoing." ... cial-rules

Predestined to very well to go straight to DLL Hell.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 12:05 am
by secretnude
The Cosmic Cat
had that
to visit any time
in the Deity
and yet
most of the time
we don't get
any 'visitations'
that can be verified objectively
across generations.

This Cosmic Cat
seems to manifest mostly as that
called Love
was said to come from above.

Some of his Virtual Simulated Sentients
were deficient
in being efficient
in feeling
and expressing
Cuddly Cute
and maybe the Cosmic Cat
doesn't love
those that
find it hard to love.

These people are 'Uncute'
and are predestined to very well
to go straight to DLL Hell.

### Links ###
Previous viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&p=49053#p49053

Predestination viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&start=1600#p49066

Cosmic or Celestial Cat viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&start=1440#p48665

Goto Hell: viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&p=45764#p45764

Their fates has been already set by the Fates.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:00 am
by secretnude
The Cosmic Cat
had that
Omniscience Hat
that gives Perfect Knowledge
to the edge
of His Deity Game.

This Cat
had figured out that
he doesn't have to do much of anything
for things
in the end
in this Game
to turn out
the way that
he wanted without
a doubt.

A predetermined set
of Sentients in his Game will get
into his Cloud
where only 'Cute'
things are allowed
while the 'Uncute'
are sent to DLL Hell
where things don't go well.

Only a few
in His Game knew
that their fates
has been already set by the Fates.

### Links ###

Your works no good to this Deity Cat

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:23 am
by secretnude
Many of the Virtual Sentients
in this Deity Game
a Life being Penitent
and yet in the end of the Game
was simply sent
to DLL Hell
where thing never
go well.

It was sad
that this bad
Deity Game
got a Deity Cat
that doesn't even consider efforts to please
this Cat
seems unappeasable and
seem to consider only a few
worthy in his view
of being Saved
into his Cute Cloud
where only Cute
Beings are allowed.

Being Cute
was said to be
an inherent
that's inherently
in most of his Virtual Sentients.

Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:59 am
by ROU Killing Time
I don't find your obsession to engage in online graphimania at all annoying. (That'd be somewhat hypocritical of me now, wouldn't it?)

Enjoy the dialog.

So cute... my head exploded!

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 2:00 pm
by secretnude
Some of the Uncute
were 'mercifully saved' to the Cute Cloud
only for their heads explode out loud
due to too much cuteness
as witnessed
by several of the Cute Furry Angels
of that Angelic
Cosmic Cat.

The Cosmic Cat
did decide that
being merciful
to those with doubtful
credentials at being cute
is acutely
and this Cat
did that
experiment since this Cat
is a curious Deity Cat.

In the Cute Cloud
where only cute
beings are allowed
there are many Cute Kids
since the Cosmic Cat
didn't kid
when he said that
and Kittens are cute.

You look 'Cute' when naked

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 2:19 pm
by secretnude
The Cute Cloud
is colored in loud
rainbows that
the Cosmic Cat
said must be there
since he did like the Care Bears
and you will stare
at all manner of cuteness
such that
your knees will fall in weakness.

is indeed full of Kittens
and Kids
and some Big Kids
that look and act 'Cute'
even if they are out of their youth.

Everyone is naked
of course since that
Cosmic Cat
is naked.

The Cosmic Cat
said that
they all look cuter
when acutely
without clothing
and with a Deity,
there can be absolutely
no loathing.

### Links ###
Next viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&p=49130#p49130

Some obsessions may not be compatible.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:27 am
by secretnude
ROU Killing Time wrote:I don't find your obsession to engage in online graphimania at all annoying. (That'd be somewhat hypocritical of me now, wouldn't it?)

Enjoy the dialog.
I had other obsessions
aside from the writing
that you seem to enjoy.

I did annoy
my own brother with my obsession
for wealth accumulation
that led to fighting
due to his own obsession
for getting
the latest gadgets
despite not being
a wealthy being.

Some obsessions
may not be compatible.

Hence even within the Community
of people with lack of empathy
there may be some incompatibility.

I play certain video games for hours
and write code for hours
and that might annoy
most people that enjoy
interpersonal relationships
with a person that's more hip
with the concept of relationships.
"How can I get my Aspie son to focus less on his favorite video game (Call of Duty) and spend more time doing other things? He is truly obsessed with war games. It's all he ever talks about."

One of the hallmarks of Aspergers and High Functioning Autism is the child's tendency to be obsessed with particular topics. He might want to constantly talk about video games, race cars, cartoon characters, movies, or even bugs. It can be very frustrating for parents and teachers to deal with an obviously bright, articulate Aspergers youngster who is somehow "stuck" in one particular frame of reference.

How can you get an Aspergers child to have less obsessive thoughts and ideas? The honest answer is... you will not be able to entirely eliminate them. Some Aspergers kids will gradually leave one special interest behind, only to quickly fixate on a new one.

There are two ways to classify these thought-consuming interests. Some are considered "primary obsessions," and others are "secondary interests." Often it's difficult to tell which of the two you're dealing with.

Primary obsessions are intense enough that it is very difficult to get the Aspergers youngster to think of anything else. The obsession monopolizes conversation and daily activities. It may also interfere with schoolwork. The Aspergers youngster is consumed by the thoughts.

Secondary interests are a challenge and are somewhat obsessive for the Asperger youngster, but ultimately can be managed. Not only that, but secondary interests can be used as motivators to help the boy or girl succeed in school or improve behavior. ... sions.html

Jesus as a Personal Banker

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:31 am
by secretnude
It's hard to imagine a 'Personal Relationship'
with 'Jesus' if your personal relationships
aren't hip
and you prefer an Impersonal Deity
or 'No Deity'
than a Deity
that's totally subjective
and based on emotionality
rather than objective
in text
that's hexed.

Personal Relationship
reminds me of my Personal Banker
in a certain large bank
in which I do bank.

The emphasis on a 'Personal Relationship'
maybe like having Jesus as a Personal Banker
that you can call upon to get loan
rather than going to a Bank
that treats you like they own
you aside from your loans.
Southern Baptists and Their Personal Relationship with Jesus

I'm finally getting around to finishing my reading of Harold Bloom's book The American Religion. I'm to the back part of the book, where he devotes about 80 pages to an analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention. In this book, Bloom states that Mormonism and the Southern Baptist Convention are the two best representatives of the "American Religion," which he says is not akin to historic biblical Christianity, but rather is more like ancient Gnosticism. Bloom celebrates this fact. He is a Jew with Gnostic affinities, so he praises this. Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost quotes Bloom in a different context as follows:

The American finds God in herself or himself only after finding the freedom to know God by experiencing a total inward solitude. In this solitary freedom, the American is liberated both from other selves and from the created world. He comes to recognize that his spirit is itself uncreated. Knowing that he is the equal of God, the American Religionist can then achieve his true desideratum, mystical communion with his friend, the godhead.

This quote is simultaneously a description of Gnosticism and the American religion.

For the purpose of this post I want to evaluate Bloom's evaluation of the Southern Baptist Convention in this regard. Let me say at the outset that I am a former Southern Baptist who still has a great affection for my brothers and sisters in that denomination. What Bloom celebrates I deplore, and what Bloom deplores I celebrate. Bloom wrote this book in 1992, just as the conservative resurgence was going strong in the SBC. At that time he feared that the fundamentalists were going to take over the convention and marginalize the moderates who who upheld his gnostic vision of Christianity. His fears have come true, which I think is a good thing. Still, his evaluation of the Southern Baptist Convention up until that point has some wonderful points that apply across the board in modern Christendom.

For Bloom, the hero of the Southern Baptist Convention is E. Y. Mullins, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1899 to 1928 and President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1921-1924. Bloom correctly identifies the Southern Baptist Convention as an anti-creedal group from the start, with no real founding father. While there are some luminaries in SBC history, there is no Calvin or Luther or Wesley. The closest person Bloom can identify with the founding of the SBC is Roger Williams, whom Bloom admits the Southern Baptists would not claim. However, according to Bloom, Mullins became the belated Calvin/Luther/Wesley of the SBC as he gave shape and voice to the beliefs of Southern Baptists.


But Mullins can serve as a hero to Bloom because he was one of the main instruments in shaping the SBC into his gnostic image. Tom Nettles, in his book By His Grace and For His Glory, cites Mullins as one of the main influencers in turning the SBC away from its Reformed heritage. Granted, the SBC was probably always a theologically mixed bag, but at least in the early days many of its leaders and seminaries were strongly influenced by the Reformed tradition.

Mullins changed all this. The Reformed tradition places a heavy emphasis on the objective realities of doctrine and the church. Mullins changed all of this to a focus on the subjective spiritual experience of the individual. In his work The Axioms of Religion, Mullins centered the Southern Baptist theology/experience on the "competency of the soul." He says:

Observe then that the idea of the competency of the soul in religion excludes at once all human interference, such as episcopacy, and infant baptism, and every form of religion by proxy. (Bloom, p. 200)

In his book The Christian Religion, Mullins says:

That which we know most indubitably are the facts of inner experience (Bloom, p. 204).

In modern times, this idea is manifest in evangelism programs which assure the witness that their testimony is indisputable.

Curiously, according to Bloom, Mullins doesn't try to prove this doctrine of "soul competency" from Scripture. Per Bloom:

Mullins shrewdly cites no specific biblical texts as authority for soul competency, since his point is that the doctrine is the whole meaning of Jesus's total stance: in all his attitudes, everything he says, every act he performs (p. 206).

His is a wholly experiential view of religion, which is explained very well by William James. Mullins says that William James

"explains the fact of regeneration which are quite in harmony with those of the Pauline epistles" (Bloom, p. 214).

However, Bloom notes:

"the harmony is with Mullins and not with Paul. Pragmatic, experiential, and American as he was, Mullins almost involuntarily translated Paul into Jamesian terms. The primacy of feeling is not the dynamic of Paul's work, but it is of James's and of Mullins's."

Bloom cites the Reverend John Doe at length as a commentator on Mullins idea of "soul competency."

I only know to think of soul competency in practical terms. To me it means that the individual Christian is unassailable in her interpretation of Scripture and in her own understanding of God's will for her life. It means that when someone says, "This is what the Bible means to me," I cannot tell her she is wrong. I can merely say that her understanding is meaningless for me. Only the preacher's understanding of Scripture is expected to be generally meaningful for the whole community, and it is up to each individual to decide whether the preachers' words are useful or not. Soul competency means to me that anything I understand to bring me closer to God is true and cannot be taken away from me, because my life is unique and there is a way of understanding Scripture which is unique to me. Soul competency means to me that I find truth when I am furthest removed from distractions and contingencies of people and things and authorities- again, when truth takes forms which are unique to me and my understanding of the Bible.

I take you back to Bloom's summary of gnosticism and the American religion so that you can see how close Mullins is to gnosticism:

The American finds God in herself or himself only after finding the freedom to know God by experiencing a total inward solitude. In this solitary freedom, the American is liberated both from other selves and from the created world. He comes to recognize that his spirit is itself uncreated. Knowing that he is the equal of God, the American Religionist can then achieve his true desideratum, mystical communion with his friend, the godhead.

In all fairness, I seriously doubt that Mullins believes that the Christian thinks his spirit is uncreated (I've read that statement half a dozen times and still don't understand what Bloom is getting at), nor that he is the equal of God. However, the other aspects of gnosticism are clearly present in Mullins. Gnosticism and Mullins affirm that religion is all about one's "personal relationship" with the deity, that one must rise above the things of this world to enjoy "mystical communion" with God and that his personal experience is unassailable.

It seems to me that Bloom speaks in hyperbole here, but hyperbole usually has some grain of truth in it. The evangelicalism I grew up with was defined almost exclusively in terms of one's personal relationship with Christ. The ultimate expression of devotion is the personal quiet time where one spends time alone with God. This is the litmus test of true spirituality. Jesus walks with me and talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and when does He do this? - when I come to the garden alone. In modern evangelicalism there are really only two significant beings in the universe - me and Jesus. All of the other things and people of the world are tools that will either pull me toward Jesus or push me away from Him.


My objection here is that Mullins, and modern evangelicals have taken one part of the Christian life and made it the whole of the Christian life. I would not for a minute deny the fact that we have a personal relationship with Jesus, but the personal relationship is only one of many metaphors the Bible uses to describe the Christian life. But, in our individualistic culture, we re-define Christianity in individualistic terms. That which is an important part, becomes the totality, the whole.

Just for kicks, I did a little search on my Logos software on the words "Christ" and "died" and "for." In the vast majority of passages that speak of Christ dying for someone the beneficiaries of His death are referred to in the plural. For example, Ephesians 5:25 says that Christ gave Himself up (He died) for the church (a plurality). In I Corinthians 15:3, Christ died for our sins. My point in this is not to deny the validity of the personal relationship, but simply to point out that the Biblical picture is that our faith is a corporate and communal faith, and the personal aspect of it is only a part of the picture. Its an important part, but it isn't the whole.

Furthermore, in the Mullins/modern evangelical view gives short shrift to doctrine and theology. Doctrine and theology are only valuable in so far as they serve to prop up the personal experience. The same goes for the historical facts of the Scripture. Bloom says that Mullins acknowledges the historical realities of the faith (which would be contra the 18th century liberals of his day) but that these historical realities are only important as the basis for personal experience.

Again, there is much truth here. Doctrine and theology are to "warm the heart" and not merely "inflate the head." Yet to oppose the two creates a false dichotomy. Where doctrine and theology are accompanied by "dead orthodoxy" it is not the fault of the doctrine itself, it is the fault of the one holding to it. But what Mullins has done (and again, so has modern evangelicalism) is to make experience the arbiter of doctrine rather than letting doctrine be the arbiter of experience. As John MacArthur mentioned in one of his books, someone once said to him about a particular matter "I don't care what the Bible says, I've had an experience."

J. Gresham Machen has given the best defense of the doctrinal basis of Christianity in his book Christianity and Liberalism. The liberals he contended with said that Christianity is not a doctrine, it is a life. Machen countered that the Christian life is impossible without the foundation of Christian doctrine. When we believe in Christ, we believe a message about Him. None of us, after the apostles, have ever seen Christ face to face, talked to Him or shaken hands with Him. Our relationship, until we die is mediated through the message of the Bible. When we believed in Jesus we believed a message about Him, we weren't personally introduced to Him in a face to face relationship. Yes, we get the Holy Spirit when we believe, and yes Christianity is a new life, but both come to us through the medium of the message of Scripture.

Sadly, the modern, even conservative evangelical church, has taken the old line liberal motto its forefathers fought against and made it its own. The liberal motto, "Christianity is a life, not a doctrine," is now part and parcel of much evangelicalism.

With this attitude toward doctrine and the historical underpinnings of the faith, I wonder on what grounds Mullins and his heirs would oppose a Bultmannian statement to the effect that "it doesn't matter if Christ was literally raised from the dead, what matters is that He is risen in your heart." Granted, Mullins will say that He believes in the resurrection whereas Bultmann doesn't. But, if personal experience is unassailable, then what grounds are there to argue with Bultmann?

Mullins' anti-doctrinal version of the faith doesn't magnify experience, it removes the very foundation of Christian experience.

Mullins idea of Christianity seems very solipsistic to me. ... perso.html

Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:50 am
by strawman
I think the problem is that people talk about knowing Jesus without doing him.
totally subjective and based on emotionality rather than objective doctrine
People don't really know what they don't do.

I understand that Aspergers involves being unable to empathize.
Jesus was compassionate. Forgive my ignorance, but does your lack of empathy mean you are unable to be compassionate? I understand it might mean you don't "feel" like being compassionate. But you don't have to feel like doing something in order to do it.

Perhaps you could help others with Aspergers. Whatever it is, compassion is experiencing the suffering of others as if it were you who suffered. Depression is the result of a self-absorbed mind-set. Compassion is the opposite, and I find it very therapeutic for depression.

Evangelicals aren't totally Bad in my opinion

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:06 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:I think the problem is that people talk about knowing Jesus without doing him.
totally subjective and based on emotionality rather than objective doctrine
People don't really know what they don't do.
Evangelical Christianity
with the emphasis on Living
the 'Christ
without a profound understanding
of the Biblical Christian
Doctrinal Underpinnings
of their beliefs does create a Faith
in which each person
his Faith
and this can lead to trouble.

What is then the Objective
Foundation of Faith
is the Foundation is Subjective
Personal Experience
that's beyond debate?

Having a Faith
that's beyond debate
might lead to Religious Intolerance
and hate.

Not all people with a 'Personal Experience'
do become intolerant
and it may in fact enhance
Religious Tolerance
by chance
as Stiff Theological Doctrines
go to the Latrine.

Theory of Mind vs. Compassion in Asperger's

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:09 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:I understand that Aspergers involves being unable to empathize.
Jesus was compassionate. Forgive my ignorance, but does your lack of empathy mean you are unable to be compassionate? I understand it might mean you don't "feel" like being compassionate. But you don't have to feel like doing something in order to do it.

Perhaps you could help others with Aspergers. Whatever it is, compassion is experiencing the suffering of others as if it were you who suffered. Depression is the result of a self-absorbed mind-set. Compassion is the opposite, and I find it very therapeutic for depression.
Reserve judgement
for those of use that feel it expedient
to prefer 'Logical'
Beliefs since it's only 'Logical'.

We can't feel your pain
and hence your pain
might not translate
at any rate
into a need
to act indeed
to relieve your pain.

can simulate
our mostly Logical
Minds better
than we can simulate
your Emotional
and Logical Mix
that's quite hard to fix
in Individuals
that aren't Neurotypical.

It might indeed be efficient
for a Normal Person
to adjust to a Empathy Deficient

Just do reserve
Moral Judgement to preserve
the peace that we deserve.

Theory of Mind vs. Compassion in Asperger's

The couple was in the midst of a heated argument.

"Please stop looking at me like a dead cod fish!"

Believe it or not, statements like this from partners of adults with Asperger's are not all that uncommon. When confronted with a highly upset partner, some adults with Asperger's respond by shutting down completely, staring baffled at their partner instead conversing and adopting the pose of a....well....dead cod fish.

Often adults with Asperger's (ASD) are accused of by loved ones and friends, even coworkers, as LACKING EMPATHY. This is puzzling, as many Aspies report a heightened alarm system when confronted with emotional intensity. Do Aspies really lack empathy? Or are they shutting down when easily overwhelmed in emotionally charged situations, leading to a "non-empathic" presentation? Or is there some other explanation?

Theory of Mind
The typical individual, at an early age, develops the innate capacity to know and understand that other people have thoughts, feelings and desires that are different from his or her own. This understanding develops without effort, and is supported by the innate ability to engage in the nuances of interaction: body language, tone of voice, eye contact and other subtleties. This conceptualizing of "other" versus "self" is, what many researchers believe to be, the first step in empathy. In other words, it is very difficult to "empathize" with a separate person's unique experience without first understanding that their experience is just that - unique, or more aptly put, not the same as that of the self.

One of the most important milestones in theory of mind development is gaining the ability to attribute false belief: that is, to recognize that others can have beliefs about the world that are incorrect. To do this, it is suggested, one must understand how knowledge is formed, that people’s beliefs are based on their knowledge, that mental states can differ from reality, and that people’s behavior can be predicted by their mental states.

Researchers have investigated the false belief concept in intriguing ways. In one such experiment (often called the ‘Sally-Anne’ task), children are told or shown a story involving two characters. For example, the child is shown two dolls, Sally and Anne, who have a basket and a box, respectively. Sally also has a marble, which she places in her basket, and then leaves to take a walk. While she is out of the room, Anne takes the marble from the basket, eventually putting it in the box. Sally returns, and the child is then asked where Sally will look for the marble. The child passes the task if she answers that Sally will look in the basket, where she put the marble; the child fails the task if she answers that Sally will look in the box, where the child knows the marble is hidden, even though Sally cannot know, since she did not see it hidden there. In order to pass the task, the child must be able to understand that a person's mental representation of the situation is different from their own, and the child must be able to predict behavior based on that understanding. The results of research using false-belief tasks have been fairly consistent: most normally-developing children are unable to pass the tasks until around age four. Yet the test is often not passed by adults diagnosed with ASD.

Is Theory of Mind a necessary foundation for compassion? Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another person's suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism.

Though adult Aspies get stuck when it comes to understanding the WHY of another's emotions, they rarely seem to present with true indifference. Rather, many seem to adopt a position of indifference as a defense against an inherent lack of understanding of the basis for the emotions of others. It is, perhaps, this fundamental lack of understanding, COMBINED WITH an ultra sensitive and reactive physiological system, which leads to withdrawal. This withdrawal can leave loved ones feeling abandoned and uncared for, a recipe for problems in relationships.

"I love email," says one Aspie adult, "there's no overwhelm. I can read about my friend's upset without having to respond in the moment, manage eye contact, witness first hand things like crying and gesturing. Email is the grease of our relationship."

Before jumping to conclusions regarding your own or your partner's ability to empathize, remember that one truly cannot judge an Aspie by his or her cover. Professionals trained in working with autism spectrum disorders can help with adjusting terms of communication to prevent overwhelm and withdrawal, so that Aspies with compassion can be perceived as such. ... on-in.html

'Altruism gene'

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:31 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:Aspergers involves being unable to empathize.
Jesus was compassionate. Forgive my ignorance, but does your lack of empathy mean you are unable to be compassionate? I understand it might mean you don't "feel" like being compassionate. But you don't have to feel like doing something in order to do it
The rewards of being
an Altruistic Being
is predicated upon being
able to feel the relief
of the person that had been relieved
of the suffering
and many people feel rewarded by being
a selfless being.

A being
that lacks the capacity to feel the suffering
of another being
will not get the same Dopamine Kick
that quickly
activates when neurotypicals
do the typical
Charitable thing.

It's easy to deplore us as selfish
and wish
that everyone acted like 'Christ'
but acting like 'Christ'
doesn't appeal
to those that feel
less rewarded by neural
circuits that are present in neurotypicals.
'Altruism gene' associated with higher willingness to donate, researchers find
November 8, 2010
University of Bonn
Do you like to do good things for other people? If so, your genes might be responsible for this. According to a new study, a minute change in a particular gene is associated with a significantly higher willingness to donate. People with this change gave twice as much money on average to a charitable cause as did other study subjects. ... 072309.htm
Certain activities trigger dopamine, making us feel good. We feel pleasure when we eat, drink and reproduce. Also when we do drugs, gamble, learn, exercise and ... yes, give to charity. ... legal.html

Own interests first as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:47 am
by secretnude
Nobody does anything
without reward since the so called selfless
experiences a Dopamine Kick
that quickly
in people with the Altruism Gene.

Some people lack the Altruism
and if people in the Autism
Spectrum act unselfishly
we may be doing it for Logical Reasons
rather than Emotional Reasons.

I can be selfless if it is Logical
but an appeal via an Emotional
may be a dead end route.

In my opinion, there is more than one route
to meaning
than being
as Christians
do wish.

I just wish
that more Christians
indeed act Christian.
Children with autism heed fairness, but put themselves first
Laura Geggel
25 March 2014

Whether they are distributing candy or money during playtime, children typically divide their resources equally among their peers by the time they reach 8 years of age.

This trend may not apply to children with autism, suggests a study published 12 February in Autism.

In a game that asks participants to divide money between themselves and a peer, children with autism tend to give themselves more funds if it doesn’t harm the other player.

The study suggests that they understand the basic idea of fairness. But in nuanced scenarios, they tend to put their own interests first as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

In the study, researchers recruited children from 9 to 15 years of age, old enough to understand and practice fairness. The children — 57 with autism and 69 controls — played a computer game that tested whether they make fair choices. Each child won a euro for his or her participation at the end of the game.

For 16 rounds, children chose between one of two ways to divide a pile of money between themselves and another player. They were told that their decisions mattered because at the end of the game they and their opponents would both receive some of the money they had collected.

In each round, the children could always choose to divide the two coins equally by giving one coin to themselves and another to their opponent.

Their second option rotated among four possibilities. In two of these, they could keep either one or two coins for themselves and give nothing to the other player, outcomes the researchers termed “explicit harm.”

In the third scenario, the children could keep two coins for themselves and give one to their opponent. In this case, the split was unequal, but the other player was not harmed because he or she still received some money. ... lves-first ... f-the-few/

Pathological Selflessness= A Martyr Complex

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:38 am
by secretnude
strawman wrote:Depression is the result of a self-absorbed mind-set. Compassion is the opposite, and I find it very therapeutic for depression.
It's the Dopamine Kick
that kicks
in people with the Altruism Gene
and it's a truism
that people that lack that Gene
will not get the Dopamine Kick
that kicks

Hence, we get our Dopamine Kick
other ways
and who is to say
that one is way
is more moral than the other
without inherently judging

Self absorption
isn't as dark as the Christian
claims it to be
and to be
is to understand and not to judge.

Not everybody is built to be selfless
and too much selflessness
can indeed be Pathological.
DEPRESSION: Low Dopamine, Not Low Serotonin

Here are some of the differences between dopamine and serotonin deficiency, and the differences how one feels between the two.

Depression can be caused by a lack of the neurotranmitter serotonin in the brain. This is the most common form treated, but one must realize that doctors never test for low dopamine levels and always presume that it’s caused by low serotonin levels. This is the reason so many people are taking SSRIs such as Prozac or Zoloft.

The other reason for depression caused by a chemical imbalance is it’s caused by a lack of the dopamine in the brain.

The type of depressive-feeling caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain is a very low energy depression, with a complete lack of motivation, (and feeling depressed). You may feel frustrated that you don't have any energy. How many of you deal with depression and taking medication, but still lack motivation? I bet most of you all answered yes to the question. If so, why are doctors prescribing anti-depressants that only treat a serotonin problem? ... -serotonin
Too Much of a Selfless Good Thing: Pathological Altruism
By Katherine Schreiber

Too Much of a Selfless Good Thing: Pathological Altruism There’s a good chance you’ve been lectured on the virtues of selflessness. Regardless of how religious you are, putting others’ welfare before your own can carry a lot of clout.

But is acting on others’ behalf always a good thing? Should a willing altruist ever keep from extending a helping hand?

As it turns out, there are many situations in which unbridled benevolence may be a dangerous deed.

Say hello to pathological altruism. Broadly defined as “good intentions gone awry” by pathological altruism pioneer Barbara Oakley, the term applies to any helping behavior that ends up hurting either the provider or recipient of supposedly well-meaning intentions.

Codependency, helicopter parenting, eating disorders, animal hoarding, genocide and suicide martyrdom all count as kinds of pathological altruism. Each is a combination of information deficiency, self-righteousness, and misdirected aims.

When Helping Hurts, and Why Some of Us Can’t Stop

A desire to alleviate others’ suffering — even if by means that harm, rather than improve, another person’s well-being — arise from our brain’s hardwired empathy circuits, empathy researchers Carolyn Zahn-Waxler and Carol Van Hulles note. The mere sight of another’s distress evokes patterns of activity in our own nervous systems that mimic others’ emotional or physical pain as if it were our own, albeit at a much less intense level than the actual sufferer. So it’s no wonder most of us would like to get rid of the not-so-pleasant feelings ASAP.

The same neural systems that enable vicarious pain and empathy also appear to give rise to guilt — especially when that guilt derives from feeling obligated yet unable to effectively help sufferers in need, says depression and guilt researcher Lynn E. O’Connor.

“Guilt is a prosocial emotion,” O’Connor explains. “We’re hardwired for it. Guilt holds us together by prompting us act on behalf of others and to forgive.”

Without empathy and empathy-derived guilt we couldn’t form those meaningful interpersonal bonds that help us survive, reproduce, and preserve the integrity of our own kin and community. But if the more rational areas of our brain which give rise to planning and self-control don’t temper our empathic instincts, they can undermine our own — and others’ — physical and psychological health.

Think of a mother who insists upon writing her son’s college application because she wants him to get into the best Ivy League college. Or the dutiful daughter who buys her obese mother sugar-laden sweets to placate the latter’s cravings.

Then call to mind the overzealous surgeon who insists upon invasive procedures to fix a patient who would rather die in peace, [and] the ill-informed neighbor who turns his home into a kitty haven — to the detriment of his and the kittens’ health and the safety of those living nearby.

Not convinced? How about the men who plunged 747s into the World Trade Center, or the ever-growing roster of suicide bombers wreaking unpredictable havoc in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other areas across the globe? These individuals certainly believed they were acting on behalf of what was right, good, and ultimately in everyone’s “best interest.”

So Should We Be Meaner?

Unbridled selfishness certainly is not the antidote, caution experts like applied ethics professor Arthur Dobrin. That said, there are a few key tips that all of us can keep in mind next time we have an impulse to make everyone else but ourselves feel better.

Oakley recommends stepping back from our knee-jerk reactions to immediately fix the problem(s) we see in front of us (in the way we see best), reevaluate what would really work for the other person, and consider whether our attempts to intervene would worsen the problem at hand.

Mindfulness meditation — especially the type Tibetan Buddhists (PDF) practice — is a great place to start. O’Connor’s research shows that those who meditate on behalf of all sentient beings’ benefit experience less of the guilt that leads us to try soaking up everyone else’s woes. Thinking good thoughts may satisfy meditators’ urges to alleviate others’ suffering by convincing them that altruistic sentiments alone constitute enough of an effort. Or the continual practice of mindful awareness may train practitioners to reappraise what’s actually in another person’s best interest and just how they can most effectively — if at all — help before impulsively intervening. (O’Connor and her colleagues are still investigating just how Tibetan Buddhist meditation achieves such impressive effects.)

Another route to preventing the worsening of another’s suffering by trying to swoop in and help is learning to say no. Co-dependency expert and coach Carl Benedict recommends attending a Codependents Anonymous meeting, or working with a therapist to reprogram those brain areas that make you believe your own needs should never come first.

Of course, setting boundaries also means telling someone else if and when their attempts to help you are hurting. Prepare yourself in advance that their feathers might be ruffled by a confrontation, but keep in mind that this feedback is necessary to help stem their not-so-helpful behavior.

We needn’t question every one of our urges to lend a hand. But pausing to consider the perspective of someone we’re trying to help, as well as the long-term consequences of our seemingly selfless behavior, may lead us to deem breathing room a more benevolent antidote than smothering someone else with our love. ... -altruism/

Tibetan Buddhist meditation = Epic Win!

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:50 am
by secretnude
I therefore do question
the Christian
that we should all be like Christ.

Not everyone
can be like Christ
and being a Martyr
in modern times
at times
can hurt more than help
and Martyrs
may indeed need our help.

There's no Universal
to living life
and as
soon as
we get rid of Unwarranted Universals
we can tailor prescriptions
if we can get a full description
of one's life.

Buddhist thought of proper balance
by chance
may be a more enlightened way
to live in the end of the day
than say
Christian selflessness
or unbridled selfishness.
O’Connor, L.E. et al. Empathy, Guilt and Altruism: Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Practices. Poster presented via The Wright Institute’s Emotions, Personality, and Altruism Research Group. Berkeley, California. ... -altruism/

Hey, Lion! I will happily die to feed your cubs...

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:24 am
by secretnude
The Animal
that's kind enough to let
itself get
is quickly forgotten
in the Natural World were Animals
look after
their own welfare.

can be totally unselfish
in promoting the welfare
of their young to pass Genes
and Genes
are Selfish.

An Unselfish
wouldn't soon be seen
in Nature
as is the feature
of Natural
that ensures the Survival of the Fit
and the Elimination of the Unfit.

therefore is a Biological
Virtue and the Selfless
is indeed like Animal

Evolutionary Biology
thus promote Selfishness
as Natural
and being too unselfish
maybe unnatural.
The Selfish Gene is a book on evolution by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. It builds upon the principal theory of George C. Williams's first book Adaptation and Natural Selection. Dawkins used the term "selfish gene" as a way of expressing the gene-centred view of evolution as opposed to the views focused on the organism and the group, popularising ideas developed during the 1960s by W. D. Hamilton and others. From the gene-centred view follows that the more two individuals are genetically related, the more sense (at the level of the genes) it makes for them to behave selflessly with each other. Therefore the concept is especially good at explaining many forms of altruism. This should not be confused with misuse of the term along the lines of a selfishness gene.
Christian Theism in its most basic sense entails observations that would necessarily be made by everyone everywhere and at all times, and thus it is as easily disproven as the alien in the bathtub. For instance, God is theoretically omnipresent, and granted us the ability to know him (to feel his loving presence, etc.), yet I have absolutely no sensation of any God or anything that would be entailed by a God, even though by definition he is within me and around me wherever I go. Likewise, God is theoretically the epitome of compassion, and also all-knowing and all-powerful and beyond all injury, yet I know that what demonstrates someone as compassionate is the alleviation of all suffering known to them and safely within their power to alleviate. All suffering in the world must be known and safely within the power of God to alleviate, yet it is still there, and since the Christian 'theory' entails the opposite observation, Christianity is false. Likewise, God theoretically designed the universe for a moral purpose, but the universe lacks moral features--animals thrive by survival of the fittest, not survival of the kindest, and the laws of physics are no respecter of persons, they treat the good man and the bad man equally. Moreover, the universe behaves like a mindless machine, and exhibits no intelligent action of its own accord, and there are no messages or features of a linguistic nature anywhere in its extra-human composition or behavior, such as we would expect if a thinking person had designed it and wanted to communicate with us. ... heory.html