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    • If people of all religions can be saved, why do we... (Last post by Cabur Senaar)
    • Quote: Quote: Quote: If people of all religions can be saved, why do we need Jesus Christ?'' My experience has been that various scriptures from around the world are not intended to be presented as A truth, but as THE truth. Many religions promise some manner of salvation, but they stipulate that their own path is the only one that works. The question looks like it has been written from the perspective of a comparative religion student. It implies that all paths work. It suggests that all people of all religions can be saved. Why then would any particular path be necessary if any one of them will do the job? Except that, from the perspective of most any particular religion, their and only their path leads to salvation. You will often find individual practitioners that will allow for multiple paths to salvation, but I cannot think of a religious scripture that allowed for that. If someone knows of one, I'd be interested in giving it a read. The assumptions don't coincide. Thus the confusion. Just to throw my own hat into the ring, I'm not really interetsed in being saved. Beyond the immediate dangers of speeding cars, I see nothing from which I need be saved. Because, if the paths are true, all religions could be a perspective of god. Different cultures would develop different ways to understand the perspectives of religion? So it would be necessary for god to create different religions to give cultures a way to understand the path to be saved at their own level of understanding? A comparative religion student would say that religion is created by people, not by a God. It is a social system. And there are people who would agree with you statement of different messages for different people. But no religous text says so. The basic premises of the question don't line up. A person standing on the outside of a given religion, or religions in general, operates on a different set of assumptions than a person squarely within a particular religion.
    • Your Inner Council: What is it and how to develop ... (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • Hi Madhatter :), Yes - my screen name is an intentional corruption of Lao Tzu. I got online at home at about the same time as I was 'discovering' Taoism (about 15 years ago) and it had a huge impact on my worldview. At the time I was bit of a spiritual butterfly flitting from one paradigm to another (I suspect I still am!) and I guess I wanted to ensure I'd never 'forget' the message the Tao Te Ching had for me. Adopting an online moniker of Loudzoo (for chat rooms, forums etc) has helped remind me of that, along with some other flags. There's also a large dollop of irony in there - I doubt very much that Lao Tzu was 'Loud' or like a 'zoo'. That's more like a description of my 'monkey mind' - it is a zoo in there and the chatter between all the monkey's vying for attention can get loud! As for these people, I don't profess to commune with them directly. They 'speak' to me through their writings and actions, and I take on board what I can. Three of them are alive and well today (Bjorn, Edgar and Vale) so I get to see them in near real time through their output. Two of them were certainly real people (Thomas and George) and I've been able to read about them, what they said and what they did - to try and build-up an idea of what they were like. Lao Tzu is largely a fictional character - we have a couple of enigmatic books, and some folk tales. Lastly, Obiwan is of course completely fictional. There is a progression here that is quite interesting - from real people, alive today, through long dead people who really lived, to those that are entirely fictional. The reality is that as councillors, they are all fictional. I will never know what these people are / were really like. Can we ever know what anyone is really like? Do these people really know themselves? I doubt it - but I have no problem with that. I have idealised them into certain character archetypes that may be far removed from their actual personas. And whether we realise it or not - that's what we do with everyone in our lives, and ourselves. In a sense they form a group that are parts of a personal mythology. One of the stories that I, and we all, create to make sense of our worlds. It's an interesting question that you ask: how do I know that I am getting their perspective and not my own? I don't know for sure. What I have some confidence in is that if I read what, for instance, Bjorn Lomborg has said and I initially disagree with it then that idea / view is his, not mine. If, over time, I adopt that idea / view it becomes incorporated into my perspective. Furthermore, that line of thought begs the question: what part of our perspective is really ours? I can't claim to have ever had an original thought. As far as I can see, my perspective is entirely the result of my environment (society, family, friends, education etc) - its all borrowed from others. What we often think of as intrinsically 'me' - is anything but. What it all boils down to in a practical sense is a broadening of the "WWJD?" (What would Jesus do?) thought process. This group diversifies my influences and they give me inspiration to watch and participate in the world from a different perspective. That perspective may be mine or it maybe someone else's but it is different from what it might have been without that influence.
    • UN says Afghan hospital bombing may be war crime (Last post by Reacher)
    • Edan, You ask some questions based on fair concerns. I will address them as thoroughly as I can, given my experience and limitations inherent to this forum. Quote: Whether or not the USA is more inclined towards bombing their allies I don't know, but incidences like the attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan requires me to ask if military action causes a 'desensitisation' towards people in general. The answer to the first clause is flatly 'no'. The US is not more inclined towards bombing its allies, at least in sentiment. The US military has dropped more airpower on its conflicts by several orders of magnitude than any force in from a sheer volume perspective, I guess it IS more inclined to bomb its allies when it is dropping the most munitions. To the point that DWOB isn't an 'ally' in the traditional sense of the word...that demands a closer look because it has bearing on the second part of your question here. When you really take a look at armed conflict throughout history, one thing you'll notice is that symmetrical warfare is by far a minority. Symmetrical warfare, in this case, is 'like' forces battling 'like' forces - uniformed soldiers with rifles shooting at uniformed soldiers with rifles, tank-on-tank battles, etc. Militaries often find themselves mired in conflicts against a more population-based who works constantly to make that military's strengths irrelevant to the conflict. Hence using schools, hospitals, women and children, and religious temples as places from which to attack. The stronger adversary calls the weaker one a coward for not fighting by its rules (and moralities), and the cycle continues. One thing we have re-learned after nearly a decade and a half of conflict is that wars of this kind are often won or lost not on a traditional battlefield...but in popular opinion. We have dominated the air, sea, and land domains so well for so long that our adversaries naturally gravitated to another with the onset of technology - the human domain. With social media maturing, public opinion often moves faster now than news networks' ability to report it. Considering all that as contextual overlay...bombing one of the most altruistic non-governmental organizations in existence is a really, REALLY bad move if done deliberately. I cannot imagine a scenario short of ending the war in Syria where a commander with release authority would assume that level of risk. On that...risk. Prior to every operation...whether it's a soldier driving home on vacation all the way up to the Bin Laden raid, there is a risk assessment done. A risk assessment does two things: 1. Demonstrates that the executing element has considered the risks associated with their mission, and 2. Provides higher commands with a recommendation as to who can approve the mission and at what level. A low level of risk (To men, mission, population, etc.) may stay within a specific task force commander's purview. The higher the risk, the more likely it will land on a politician's desk. Another consideration as to who can approve is the operating space in which the mission occurs. If it is NOT a declared battle space...The US Department of State often has primacy, which complicates things (appropriately so) for the action element. I write this only to show that there is a process for establishing the authority to release munitions for a mission like this. Part of the reason you see the president apologizing is that, while one can delegate can never delegate responsibility. Is it enough? No...but it's a start. We will see how the investigation pans out. Quote: Why is this happening still? Is it carelessness? Lack of information? I appreciate that friendly fire comes in various different 'guises'... I can't say, in this particular instance. I do know that there is a process of establishing a trigger for releasing munitions...and there are always multiple ones that feed, independent of one another, into a drop order. In most cases, you are assuming unacceptable and ILLEGAL risk if you're dropping a bomb solely because one observer saw the target enter a hut...or on one UAV feed. A lot more goes into it than that. That said, the US does have a habit of relying on technology too heavily to provide certain capabilities. It bit us hard with ODA 574 and again on Roberts Ridge. Unfortunately, the more denied the environment is to us, the more we have to depend on technology as a bridging solution to do the things we want to do. At first glance, it seems we reached too far again. Thing is...someone decided it was worth the risks as they saw them, and operator error is a part of that risk assessment process. All conjecture, on my part. I hold with Avalonslight in that we don't know what happened...and may not ever get the full story. However it shakes out...this is just terrible.
    • Guns in America (Last post by Alethea Thompson)
    • Which is my point. I twisted what you stated. (btw, you were the one that stated initially that you would have a higher chance of getting killed by vehicle than heart disease, I just took what you [accidently] said and proved it to be the bigger concern. I didn't say it would be accurate. I made your statistics state a much different picture by giving context. People look at what someone has to say, and then never look into the work themselves to determine things for themselves. Your heart disease is not that big of a concern when you consider that heart disease on average is something you can easily prevent. You cannot prevent the drivers around you from being idiots- only yourself. So given that only 11.3% of the population is even diagnosed with heart disease, it is not something that people need to worry too terribly much about if they are taking eating habits and exercise seriously. But there is nothing they can do about the road.
    • mind over matter (Last post by Zhaerys)
    • This is where meditation comes in, as well as the idea of practice. meditation allows you to control your mind and thoughts, meditating ( at-least closing your eyes and breath control for 2-3 minutes) before a test or event greatly helps with the nervousness. Practice is what we also fail to do, the more you apply yourself and do, the more you can do, .. a simple example is physics and my math homework, I have never done this before but do have a great interest in it. Its so making me angry right now but as i keep practicing and going over and over, I find myself do so much better. In our studies of the force, I believe what you put in into it and what you want it to do is up to you, mind over matter is up to the user in a way.
    • On War & Religion (Last post by Gisteron)
    • Quote: i dont see any reason to believe that morality developed separate from religion - theres no evidence to suggest it that i know of Well, in this case let me inform you that a number of animals living today (and one can reasonably expect it being similar in the past, with animals of comparable social capacities) do have a morality. This is a claim I make, and while I am no zoologist, I am willing and able to cite sources. Thus, I present to thee, monkeys that understand the concept of fairness and value: And here is a link to the research paper, just so nobody thinks I'm citing YouTube as a source: If, as you say, it was not until the dawn of religion that hominini developed a sense of morality, we should expect to see other animal clades with any so rudimentary grasp of morality to have a rudimentary type of religion to account for that also. Since morality is a frequent result of and condition for social behaviour and can be sufficiently explained and accounted for as such, if you wish to maintain that morality in its beginnings requires religion, it remains to demonstrate that in every instance where morality can be observed, religion - past or present - is observable also. Go ahead.
    • Duty sword advice (Last post by Star Forge)
    • Quote: I'd recommend you get a body camera and take lessons on how to disarm someone. This whole fictional terrorism threat is creating mass delusion and paranoia. Don't add to the police state by becoming a corporate security tyrant. I haven't stepped foot in a mall for over a decade but you're more likely to encounter a teenage gangster wannabe with a knife than a terrorist. [video] By "terror," we mean organized gang activity, though we don't rule out having to deal with Jihadists. We once had a suspicious group of Chechens that we dealt with without causing any alarm. Also, the kids of today are not the kids of yesterday. Kids don't carry chromed .25 auto pistols and flea market switchblades anymore. I've confiscated several sawed-down semi-auto shotguns hidden inside backpacks, a full-auto Ruger 10/22, an endless list of high-capacity semi-auto pistols, a couple Desert Eagles, and even a sawed-down .50 Barrett. Not to mention all the weirdo left-wing kids who do half-assed terrorist acts to be cool. Terrorism is hyped up in the media, but not fictional in the least. I am not contributing to the "police state" in any way. The mall is a private business, and the owners have the right to use whatever security measures they want, just as a US citizen has the right to own a weapon to defend their home or business.
    • Jedi Community Page (Last post by Connor L.)
    • There is a Halloween Party scheduled for Oct. 31 with the Chicago Jedi. The Indy Jedi are heading up. :)
    • Workout Check-In Thread (Last post by Luthien)
    • 3 x 5 Front squat 3 x 5 Overhead press 1 x 5 Deadlift For time: 30 185-lb Deadlifts 45 Sumo-deadlift High-pulls (basically an upright row that starts in the deadlift position) 4 Overhead squats (naked bar; could not do more since my shoulders wouldn't hold out for all 30 Rx'd. Still working on my shoulder mobility.) [7:39.9] 30 Leg lifts Edit: Song that helped me power through some of the rougher parts of this was The Dark Templar Symphony by BERSERKYD (see below) Spoiler:
    • 'Mo'vember (Last post by Kamizu)
    • No shave november (well to fall into regulation it would properly be called Movember lol) was always a big thing at my last squadron. I tried it every year. Never did win any of the awards... :dry: :silly:
    • Uplifting Thoughts & Quotes For The Day (Last post by Janice)
    • Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. ~ Viktor Frankl
    • Jedi Charity (Last post by MadHatter)
    • Quote: we're scattered a good bit as well.... no matter how much i donate, it never feels like many in need... I totally understand the feeling but even if we were Bill Gates we couldnt end poverty. The only thing we can do is take pride and pleasure in knowing that what we do brings joy into the lives of others. So many need so much that we would go mad if we thought of the things we cant or dont do. We instead must focus on what we can and will do.

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