I fully support the purpose of this group and think it a worthwhile effort, but I'm beginning to think it is futile to have a rational discussion about these things..because we are talking about a fundamentally non-rational phenomena.  What really brought this to my attention was when I browsed the walls of several Jesus/Christianity groups on Facebook.  Have a look for yourself:

 

http://www.facebook.com/PrayingPeople

http://www.facebook.com/Jesus.page

http://www.facebook.com/JesusChrist.Savior

 

No matter when you look at this page, I can virtually guarantee what you see from people every few minutes is a fountain of emotion.  "I love you Jesus!"  "I can't live without you!"  "You give me strength"  "When everyone else is gone, you still love me!!  "I can't do anything without you, my savior!"   These comments pour in constantly..day in..day out.  These people have a deep psychological need for an imaginary friend in Jesus and/or a surrogate parent in God "the father".   It's not rational.  It's emotional, based on a primal desire for comfort and protection. There are some of us who don't have that constant need, but obviously many more who do.  I hate to sound like a downer and feel bad for having no suggestions..but I just wanted to share this.  By all means, we should attack superstition and apologetics on all fronts..but as long as we are engaging in education and rational discussion, we aren't dealing with the real issue for most people (pure emotion).

 

 

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Whew, I just realized how long my previous response had been, so its no wonder it took you a while to respond! Anyway, I'd love to hear more about your upbringing and personal history, it sounds fascinating if not entirely pleasant. My own history was less-than pleasant, but surely in very different ways. My paper is in the discussion topic devoted to it, which is called Thumos something or other. I'll bump it to the top for you so you can find it, though it should already be near the top of the discussion board and it may not stay at the top once someone else responds to one of our two recent discussions... Anyway, I'll get it to you one way or another.

 

Anyway, yes I like the idea that love is like a sense of belonging, its close to my own definition which I won't bore you with here. This was a nice conversation Alice, so thanks! Let's start a new discussion again sometime soon. As of now, I gotta take a break from Nexus and being online entirely, a few weeks maybe. I'll let you and everyone else here know when I'll be able to spend more time here when I have the time! Thanks again, it was fun!

Ruth,

I like the idea of creating stories based in science that we can tell our children. My dad told me the story of creation when I was about 6 years old, and I loved it! It was about a big bang, and swirling masses of gas, and fish swimming up streams and so on… I ended up telling it to my whole class in the play ground as they enacted the story out in theatre, and then was asked to tell it again! I think that some kids got told off at home for the story and I got the message that it wasn’t very nice or true some days later…

All the same, I love stories and I think as parents and guardians generally to children, it’s useful that we think of stories to tell the children that will give them truth and reality to base their lives.

Ruth,

 

I suppose when I talk about meaning being meaningless, I mean to say that we don’t need to be so serious about getting things wrong in life or the consequences of our actions.  We did what we did, and we may feel regret, but the meaning doesn’t have to causes us great pain, unless we think it actually has some great significance, like it is truth!

 

I say that meaning is meaningless because it contributes to my well-being.

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