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Scripture Interprets Itself


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25 minutes ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Thanks for these excellent articles Bolsh and T-Bone.  Much to contemplate here.

Confirmation bias. "Habit patterns." One must be trained, programmed, indoctrinated, "taught" to BELIEVE coincidence is pattern and correlation is causal.

When one can observe freely, free from conditioning, one can see what actually is.

BELIEF is NOT required to see what is true.

 

Sorry . . . I just don't like to miss a chance to bring up spurious correlations

 

https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

 

The Data Interprets Itself

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53 minutes ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Thanks for these excellent articles Bolsh and T-Bone.  Much to contemplate here.

Confirmation bias. "Habit patterns." One must be trained, programmed, indoctrinated, "taught" to BELIEVE coincidence is pattern and correlation is causal.

When one can observe freely, free from conditioning, one can see what actually is.

BELIEF is NOT required to see what is true.

On a more serious note, I believe belief is believable.  

Haven't we conditioned ourselves not to walk into walls?  We believe things to be solid until physics tells us it's mostly not there, and neither are you.  I don't think we are free from conditioning ever.

At some point in time early in life each of us decides we are separate, unique, entities from the rest of the universe.  Can we falsify our consciousness?  Maybe we can.  So what's a belief?

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10 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

On a more serious note, I believe belief is believable.  

Haven't we conditioned ourselves not to walk into walls?  We believe things to be solid until physics tells us it's mostly not there, and neither are you.  I don't think we are free from conditioning ever.

At some point in time early in life each of us decides we are separate, unique, entities from the rest of the universe.  Can we falsify our consciousness?  Maybe we can.  So what's a belief?

Of course, we are all conditioned, but there was a time when we were not. Can you remember back that long ago? Before you decided that you were separate? And even physics tells us that we are not separate - we are all stardust. We are conditioned by culture, by media, by TEACHERS who make great claims for themselves.

(Knowing an observable fact like fire burns or walls can't be walked through is not conditioning. Or it's not what I mean by it. These are observable, actual FACTS.)

Can we observe that we indeed are conditioned? Not judge it, but just look at it, see it for what it is. We can. Contrary to what vic preached, we CAN go beyond what we are taught. This requires rigorously honest self-awareness, self-examination.

Belief is not knowledge. Is it? Belief is not awareness. Is it? I try to pay attention to these questions.

Victor made a HUGE deal about BELIEVING. So, I want to find out why we have to believe something? Why can't we find out for ourselves and KNOW?

I'm comfortable to first admit that I Iknow nothing. Only from this position can I know anything at all.

 



I tried to address this on an another thread where I mentioned Charles Peirce's essay "Fixation of Belief."

It's in the public domain, but Peirce is not pleasurable to read, because he writes like the academic scientist he was 120 years ago. "Fixation of Belief" is his treatment of how and why we come to believe.

He presents four methods we use in ."fixing" our beliefs or resolving doubt. In ascending order, weakest to strongest:

1. Tenacity. If a doubt arises about X, take a particular position on X, constantly reiterate that position to yourself in a way that you begin to believe X, then shut out anything that might cause you to doubt X. [David Agler]

2. Authority. Victor said it, that settles it, I believe it.

3. Agreeable to Reason (a priori). We simply think through whatever doubt we have until we happen upon a belief that seems right to us. [David Agler]

4. Science. The scientific method.

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Posted (edited)

Since this entire forum arose out of religious and spiritual abuse, and we're in Doctrinal: Exploring the Bible, I'll try to illustrate within a biblical context. 

John 20 is about Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room after he was buried. This story is obviously told from John's perspective, and either he or the later scribal editors were trying to make a point about Thomas and how it's better to believe blindly. But that's not the lesson revealed to me.

Only because Thomas doubted was he vouchsafed the truth of the resurrection by Jesus himself. Only Thomas, of all the apostles, touched the incorporeal body of Jesus. Only Thomas went beyond BELIEF to true knowledge. Only Thomas, the DOUBTER, was awarded this astonishing understanding. He didn't have to BELIEVE it, he KNEW it, he found out.

This is what I teach my son. Doubt everything and everyone (especially those claiming to HAVE the Truth.) Endeavor to find out for yourself, and you will.

Maybe the author of John or the later scribal editors didn't like Thomas for some reason, or they were jealous of him, or he was out of fellowship and undeserving of spit. I don't know. But the lesson I get from this story was surely not their intention. It interpreted itself this way in spite of the scribes' intentions.

 

Edited by Nathan_Jr
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Of course, we are all conditioned, but there was a time when we were not. Can you remember back that long ago? Before you decided that you were separate? And even physics tells us that we are not separate - we are all stardust. We are conditioned by culture, by media, by TEACHERS who make great claims for themselves.

(Knowing an observable fact like fire burns or walls can't be walked through is not conditioning. Or it's not what I mean by it. These are observable, actual FACTS.)

Can we observe that we indeed are conditioned? Not judge it, but just look at it, see it for what it is. We can. Contrary to what vic preached, we CAN go beyond what we are taught. This requires rigorously honest self-awareness, self-examination.

Belief is not knowledge. Is it? Belief is not awareness. Is it? I try to pay attention to these questions.

Victor made a HUGE deal about BELIEVING. So, I want to find out why we have to believe something? Why can't we find out for ourselves and KNOW?

I'm comfortable to first admit that I Iknow nothing. Only from this position can I know anything at all.

 



I tried to address this on an another thread where I mentioned Charles Peirce's essay "Fixation of Belief."

It's in the public domain, but Peirce is not pleasurable to read, because he writes like the academic scientist he was 120 years ago. "Fixation of Belief" is his treatment of how and why we come to believe.

He presents four methods we use in ."fixing" our beliefs or resolving doubt. In ascending order, weakest to strongest:

1. Tenacity. If a doubt arises about X, take a particular position on X, constantly reiterate that position to yourself in a way that you begin to believe X, then shut out anything that might cause you to doubt X. [David Agler]

2. Authority. Victor said it, that settles it, I believe it.

3. Agreeable to Reason (a priori). We simply think through whatever doubt we have until we happen upon a belief that seems right to us. [David Agler]

4. Science. The scientific method.

 

2 hours ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Since this entire forum arose out of religious and spiritual abuse, and we're in Doctrinal: Exploring the Bible, I'll try to illustrate within a biblical context. 

John 20 is about Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room after he was buried. This story is obviously told from John's perspective, and either he or the later scribal editors were trying to make a point about Thomas and how it's better to believe blindly. But that's not the lesson revealed to me.

Only because Thomas doubted was he vouchsafed the truth of the resurrection by Jesus himself. Only Thomas, of all the apostles, touched the incorporeal body of Jesus. Only Thomas went beyond BELIEF to true knowledge. Only Thomas, the DOUBTER, was awarded this astonishing understanding. He didn't have to BELIEVE it, he KNEW it, he found out.

This is what I teach my son. Doubt everything and everyone (especially those claiming to HAVE the Truth.) Endeavor to find out for yourself, and you will.

Maybe the author of John or the later scribal editors didn't like Thomas for some reason, or they were jealous of him, or he was out of fellowship and undeserving of spit. I don't know. But the lesson I get from this story was surely not their intention. It interpreted itself this way in spite of the scribes' intentions.

 

Great questions…and I like the bead you draw on doubt – overall great posts, Nathan Jr !  

I’ve had a fulfilling career as a technician and have always had a passion to learn how stuff works. But understanding how the mind works is a whole other mysterious intangible thing to me. So, I like to check out stuff on psychology and philosophy and of course discussions on Grease Spot are indispensable as well. 


Just going to throw my 2 cents on belief – and at the end of my post I left a few hyperlinks where I got some of my 2 cents – some of it might only be worth a penny :rolleyes:  – don’t know what the equivalence would be in cryptocurrency or Krypton-Currency (that’s super-bucks!)…so take the following with a grain of salt – the ideas below are from various articles and books but the wording is my own undoing :biglaugh:   in response to your posts…some of it reflects what I believe now - and some of it continues to evolve …anyway…here goes:


I believe people have an innate desire to make sense of the world. Maybe that has something to do with why we choose a certain path. Since no one has all the answers we occasionally find ourselves making allowances for shortcomings, failures, the mysterious, and the unknown while on our chosen path.


Our beliefs help us make sense of the world. From what I’ve read online, some experts think our beliefs are somewhat like a software program always running in the background as we take in information and examine its source – checking for compatibility or conflicts with our existing beliefs. Our beliefs help form and/or modify a mental model for understanding the world, our self and others. And our beliefs - along with experience, observations, and reason even attempt to predict the future.


Bertrand Russell once said, “believing is the most mental thing we do”. It has also been said that our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions, respond not to the world as it actually is (for we never know reality directly) but to the world as we believe it to be. Our beliefs tell us who we think we are, mark our place in the world and are essentially an ongoing personal narrative that anchors us to various places, situations, and events across our lifetimes…Our brains have no direct contact with the outside world. Our only information about what is going on outside of our bodies comes to us from our five senses.
 
Perception in psychology is defined as the analysis of sensory information within the brain. Through perception we obtain a description of our surroundings and what they mean. Because of that, we can’t always assume that our perceptions are reality – if anything they just might be our own interpretation of reality. That’s why it’s important to respect the perceptions of others – they might be more accurate than ours. It takes real courage to admit we’re wrong and let go of certain perceptions. Sometimes it’s advantageous to seek out validation from experts or at least from other credible people who are outside of our circle of friends or religious group.


We tend to base our beliefs on trusted sources. In 1986 there was a major crisis in my belief system after a series of events which happened to dust off some old red flags. I began to suspect that TWI which I had trusted for 12 years had not been well grounded, accurate or truthful.  I like mystery novels and movies. My slow exit of leaving TWI was like a mystery script. Following up on old leads (red flags), investigating wierwille’s credentials and talking to other disenchanted followers. I was trying to unravel the convoluted mess of not only a cult’s doctrine but also their policies, practice, and control tactics.


Jean Shinoda Bolen's insightful book "The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self" made reference to Agatha Christie's novels about her detective characters often using an intuitive approach asking what is the meaning of this event, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what are the possibilities implicit within the event ? But in order to see the whole picture Bolen  says intuition's counterpart is also necessary - which is a straight forward logical approach of the situation - what details of the circumstances do the five senses take in?

I think the mystery / detective / crime drama trope echoes your mention of Grease Spot arising out of religious and spiritual abuse. 2006 was a great watershed “moment” for me – that’s when I joined Grease Spot – and ran into a whole bunch of witnesses and victims of TWI’s crimes. 


I like what you got into with doubting Thomas in  John 20: 24 – 29  and thought I’d share a relevant note from my Life Application Study Bible  cuz I relate to having lots of questions and doubts   :
“Jesus wasn’t hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his skepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and to Jesus himself. Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, and questions lead to answers, and if the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work.”

End of excerpt

~ ~ ~ 


Theories and ideas are put to the test when our efforts make contact with reality – that’s the acid test. We need a way to distinguish our internal thoughts, feelings, and ideas from external events. In other words, we need the ability to see a situation for what it really is, rather than what we hope - or fear - it might be. This is important because we then can distinguish between what is real and what isn’t. It will allow us to better judge situations. It might even give us a basis for comparison and help us improve how we react to certain situations…The phrase “the acid test” alludes to a chemical test to prove the pureness of gold. This test was developed in the late 18th century and used nitric acid, which dissolves other metals more readily than gold. So, the amount of metal dissolved would prove the pureness of the gold. The acid test was used to distinguish gold from copper or some other metal. The term came to mean a process to prove the value of something, or the standard that something must meet to prove its value, a sure or decisive experiment.


Faith deals with revelation – or some supernatural disclosure which could not be discovered by the unaided powers of human reason. Now reason is the natural ability of the human mind to discover truth. With science, truth is determined by verification – as in the scientific method which you mentioned in your post – which is a lot of observation and experimentation. Flying a plane or launching a rocket into space are doable because scientists found out the truth about gravity – like there are ways to work around it. Science is practical – if it works, it’s true. 


Scientific truth gives us no criteria for metaphysical truth. Therefore, what is needed is another definition of truth for the metaphysical realm. In reading up on philosophy, I lean toward one theory of what truth is – it’s called     the correspondence theory of truth. “In metaphysics and philosophy of language, the correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world. Correspondence theories claim that true beliefs and true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs. This type of theory attempts to posit a relationship between thoughts or statements on one hand, and things or facts on the other.”    From Wikipedia – correspondence theory of truth

      Of course this is just my opinion but as an example of how I look at things using the correspondence theory of truth – I consider the story of the fall of mankind and mankind’s redemption through Jesus Christ seems to corroborate the problem of sin and evil in the world…but that’s just my opinion – I could be wrong. 


~ ~ ~ ~

As promised, here’s a few of my sources:

Psychology Today: We Are Our Beliefs

Psychology Today: What Actually is a Belief and Why Is It So Hard to Change?

the 5 most powerful beliefs that ignite human behavior

The Debunking Handbook by Cook and Lewandowsky

Why We Fall for Conspiracies: How do conspiracies spread, and why do we believe them?

The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self

 

 

 

Edited by T-Bone
I seriously have doubts about my editor
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20 hours ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Of course, we are all conditioned, but there was a time when we were not. Can you remember back that long ago? Before you decided that you were separate? And even physics tells us that we are not separate - we are all stardust. We are conditioned by culture, by media, by TEACHERS who make great claims for themselves.

(Knowing an observable fact like fire burns or walls can't be walked through is not conditioning. Or it's not what I mean by it. These are observable, actual FACTS.)

. . .

To be clear I don't believe we are born blank slates.  Not all behavior is learned.  I cannot remember making that decision of being seperate - and it is interesting that that decision is made before our brains are fully developed.

I do not know of anyone who was born and never interacted with another human and lived a full lifetime.  But it seems part of defining ourselves is in relation to others.

What bothers me about observable facts is - nobody has that kind of time - we cannot rely on mostly observable facts or the scientific method.  

(The atom is mostly empty empty space - 99% maybe more of what we see and touch - is not there)

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20 hours ago, Nathan_Jr said:

. . .

Can we observe that we indeed are conditioned? Not judge it, but just look at it, see it for what it is. We can. Contrary to what vic preached, we CAN go beyond what we are taught. This requires rigorously honest self-awareness, self-examination.

Belief is not knowledge. Is it? Belief is not awareness. Is it? I try to pay attention to these questions.

Victor made a HUGE deal about BELIEVING. So, I want to find out why we have to believe something? Why can't we find out for ourselves and KNOW?

I'm comfortable to first admit that I Iknow nothing. Only from this position can I know anything at 

(Sorry I'm breaking up your post into bite size chunks)

VPW needed to put limits on people to control them.  So "you can't do anything right with VPW" is laced throughout PFAL (nobody goes beyond what they are taught etc.)  I'm sure we go beyond what we are taught without realizing it.

 

Belief sounds like a decision.  The sky is blue because I decided it is blue.  Blue is a color, I decided.  Does the language I speak condition me to believe in blue? (There are videos about that) Has anyone unlearned their first language?  You can modify your language, but can you erase it and start over?

 

VPW's believing was a force that controlled all, god and the universe.  His false ego, like child in the mine phase, enveloped everything.  

I can move things by picking them up with my hand.  But not really, my hand didn't do it my mind did - my mind told my hand what to do.  Isn't that magical thinking?

So VPW and I seem to simply disagree on how much our mind is in control of.  We put boundaries in different places.  We made different decisions.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

Has anyone unlearned their first language?  You can modify your language, but can you erase it and start over?

The answer is yes and no. I have known people who lost their first language, though not by a dedicated  effort to do so, of course. This is the yes part. The no part is that they didn't erase it and start over. It's more like placing a glass of water under a running tap. Eventually the original water is replaced, little by little. There's a metaphor in there if you choose to see it.

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3 hours ago, waysider said:

The answer is yes and no. I have known people who lost their first language, though not by a dedicated  effort to do so, of course. This is the yes part. The no part is that they didn't erase it and start over. It's more like placing a glass of water under a running tap. Eventually the original water is replaced, little by little. There's a metaphor in there if you choose to see it.

LINK

 

Your metaphor reminds me of the "Ship of Theseus" . . . We are back to Disney :biglaugh:

LINK

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to toss in Act of worship here with Belief for another angle on this.

I have read that the only religion that brings belief into the equationas the main requirement for "entry" is Christianity. For example, Jesus told people to believe in Him, or His sayings, for example. "Believe in me", He said. No other religions make believing a core tenet other than Christianity, do they? 

Other religions only have the Act of worship. For example, I know a person who places food at the feet of her idols in her  little Hindu shrine in her home. She doesn't believe in the idol- she is simply doing what she raised to do. This god has powers that other ones don't. Should she need help in another area then she goes to that god and pays homage and obesisance by an Act of worship. She does not love or adore the god. She acts as she needs to to get favor. And she only pays homage a few times a week, and in between the little visits she doen't give that god another thought. She did her part.

Should one decide crop help is needed then they might place Baal on the mantle and feed him, too. Or light candles. These are the acts of worship. No belief for results is needed. Only an Act. You could be hating that god as you place the gift at their feet, but it does not matter as long as the Act is ok because your dirty selfish impure thoughts aren't part of the deal.

There is an element of belief here in the act, I suppose, but Chritianity is the only one that says ALL you must do is simply Believe. In Pagan religions I can freely jump from one god to another as long as I can do an Act of worship.

So belief and acts are a little intertwined, but not like Christianity.

I must say that I am astounded at the things I used to believe while in the way and afterwards. I didn't begin serious  "deconstruction" until 3 years ago, unintentionally as I followed my curiosity, and what a SHOCK!  The Noahic Flood never happened! And what a shock to find a site full of former Fundamentalist and Biblical Literalist PhD's and scientists and academics that have gone through deconstruction and are flipping out over how their belief system was utterly crushed and dismantled all the way back to Genesis and Adam and Eve.

https://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/index.html

Gee whiz and LOL, I suppose. I can relate. How disappointed I was as I learned more.

That's my 2 cents that I wanted throw in here if it wasn't mentioned already. Don't mean to throw thread off. Just wanted to mention Belief vs. Acts.

Good luck all!

 

Edited by engine
typos of course
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15 minutes ago, engine said:

. . . That's my 2 cents that I wanted throw in here if it wasn't mentioned already. Don't mean to throw thread off. Just wanted to mention Belief vs. Acts.       Good luck all!

Thanks that's a good point.

We act out our beliefs.  Acts speak louder than words.  Maybe Christians were influenced by an idea that acts come from within or some other relationship.

I think there's some power in those acts of worship you mention.  At their root these acts express a psychological reality.  Such as sacrifice.  Life is full of sacrifice, one decision means another is sacrificed.  The ritual aspect is acting out some understanding of that.  

(Forcing Thought Words and Actions going in the same way was certain a way for grooming). 

The flood, water is symbolic of emotional turmoil, that happens every day.  Adam and Eve are loaded with symbolism.

The scripture interprets itself . . .

You can look at it as a boring list of actual events, or symbolic representations of everyday psychological realities, or just random ink blots on paper.

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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

You can look at it as a boring list of actual events, or symbolic representations of everyday psychological realities, or just random ink blots on paper

Of these 3 choices, looking at it as a list of actual events would be the most easily proven to be a mistake.

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31 minutes ago, waysider said:

Of these 3 choices, looking at it as a list of actual events would be the most easily proven to be a mistake.

Is it because actual events interpret themselves?

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15 minutes ago, waysider said:

The reliability of eyewitness testimony would suggest this is not the case.

Isaac Newton witnesses an apple fall from a tree.  It meant something to him.

Nobody witnessed him witnessing this.  Some say it hit his head.  

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One day the tree of knowledge of good and evil fell on the tree of life.

Adam: what was all that racket?!?!

Eve: there’s good news and there’s bad news.

Adam: that’s life.
 

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I wood that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied 

 

. . . That's like nonsense interpreting itself . . .  Right???

Babbling interpret by who or what??

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9 hours ago, Bolshevik said:

Nobody witnessed him witnessing this.  Some say it hit his head.

Ah, but it was an observation of a phenomenon that was easily and often scientifically repeated ...

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13 hours ago, Bolshevik said:

You can look at it as a boring list of actual events, or symbolic representations of everyday psychological realities, or just random ink blots on paper.

Thanks Monte, I'll take door number two.

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