@Thales_BG said in An Open letter to TWS Religious Zealots (especially those who are more "active" around here and are extremely vocal about their beliefs): @pe7erpark3r I just ask you to consider that if something walks like a duck, behaves like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck, The most logical and pragmatic line of thought is to first consider it a duck, then later, giving time and a deeper analysis, determine if it is or not, but for all practical reason, it's a duck. test I know this is logical falacy 101, but let's say that if something's goes through the effort or does naturally to look like a duck, you wouldn't be blamed to consider it one. And the chances of it actually being a duck is far greater then anything else. That's what I tried to say with this "falacious" analogy Quite honestly I think we are dragging this out too long … I should have just simply said thank you for the compliment of calling me reasonable. And you too are quite aware what reasonable can be. So apart from, "don't beat the duck, listen to it, it's a person" there is not much that needs adding to it. The thought is reasonable (e.g. it prolly is a duck), the reaction is what we disagreed on for good reason, and we've each said what was to be said. Yes I should have simply appreciated your viewpoint, period. Smartness unlock the most powerfull trick any men can have. Deceitfullness. A skilled person in the art of deceit can easily make people see Right as Wrong and vice-versa. the world and all it's social, philosofical, moral, religious, traditional, political and Ideological structures are in the hands of Smart individuals. Who is to say they arent being deceitfull? a group of smart people that also could very well be just as deceitfull as the their conterparts? Truth is never easy to achieve, simply because it is buried so deep into the lies that we might never really know. We can Have faith we found truth, but... how would we know? Universal truths doesnt need studies. They simply are undeniable. we might not understand them, we might not like them, we might not agree with them, but regardless of all that, they simply are. Men has been trying to create truth since we first we learned how to be creative. the Smartest people creates the most simple truths, but men can't create truths. They simply are. Morality is a Men-made truth simply by the fact that there are and always have been many iterations of "moralities" often times opposed to each other. Who is capable of decerning the universal one, The undeniable one without being trapped in a nightmarish web of deceit and personal faith? And what give us the right to impose that personal faith onto others? That's what keeps me locked in a state of utter hopelessness toward the future. We are either being herded around by a very smart group of people imposing their own view on us, or in utter blindness. not in between. Deceit, indeed… There certainly is that very smart group. Hehe. However there are lots of very smart groups imposing their views on us. Contradicting views. The christian one being only one of them. But since it is always good to understand other viewpoints, I'll explain to you where I'm coming from in my thinking. I believe in the divine, in God. The God I believe in cares. He really cares. So he keeps whispering His will into your heart… People always want to emancipate themselves from God. But this only seems to make sense because they see Him like a human being, like a parent. But God is not human at all. He literally is Love! Which means that when you emancipate yourself from Him, you emancipate yourself from Love. Ergo you no longer do Love's will. You no longer love. Simple right? And this whispering is what makes any moral choice possible in the first place. Any moral choice is thus listening to this Voice, or not listening. Any moral choice is between loving and not loving. Hence the definition of sin really is nothing other than lack of love. This Voice, that the Holy Spirit is, speaks to each and every one of us, in every moment where we decide. This means, that with every moral choice you either do good, or evil. And if you do good, that draws down good on everyone. And if you do evil, that draws evil down on everyone. And since you will act as long as you are alive you will do either one or the other. Now you might say, that this worldview simply shifts the problem you mentioned, and that it still persits. One thing has already changed though: now the universal truth is tangible by everyone. Still you are right, the second question remains… You and me, we want to get to the universal truth, we want to do good, don't we? Since God's Voice obviously isn't the only voice speaking to us, we now have the difficulty of discerning the truth from the lies. But still, don't forget, you will be making moral choices all the time. The key here is to understand that I believe in a moral reality that is higher than human reason, e.g. that you will do good or bad without knowing in a cognitive sense that you are doing good or bad. Maybe your heart knows... something in you knows – in a way – that an action is good or that it is bad. You must have experienced this also consciously at some point in your life – when you feel that something you're going to do is not good, even though you can't say why... But at many points we just don't know what's right or wrong... And it would be good to know, to understand, to do good, would it not? So how can we do this? This one is hard to accept… and can only be experienced, and only in one way. By doing it. Trust in God to guide you. Trust is the key. For He will guide you, if you trust Him to do so. You personally. I know, for I have experienced just that. Maybe directly, maybe through others, maybe through events. But He will guide you, and if you trust Him, you will begin to recognize His Voice better and better. This is how He acts. He liberates you from evil step by step by step by tiny step. Always guiding you deeper into trust. You might say: Doesn't trust make you naive, make you easily fall for lies? Yes, it does. However I'm not asking you to just trust anybody. I'm asking you to trust God. But yes, still you are right, you don't know Him yet, so you He might not be as trustworthy as I make Him out to be. True, true, this too. You should never believe or trust without reason. Don't listen to people who ask you to trust without reason. In life, you often have to give people, just people, a bit of a trust advance. I mean you cannot ask anybody on the street for directions if you did not give them at least as much trust as to assume they might know. (Funny side note: in india you should not do this. In their culture they loose face if they can't tell you the directions, so they will tell you something even if they have no clue . Here you see another one of the reasons why the west is so strong: because you can trust in a deal and in most of societies members to a certain degree. In all non-christian countries this is not a given...) So… you do have to give God a bit of an advance in trust, but when you have done so, you will very soon have a proper reason to trust, since – let me tell you – He is trustworthy. Why though am I so convinced of this? It is because of a core experience of mine. 10 years ago I read 10% of TLIG and I recognized His Voice. It's a really strange experience because to this day I cannot deny that this is indeed His Voice. So… despite all the lies floating around, especially in christian churches and also in the catholic church sadly, I know that God guides us. At least those who listen, who want to listen to His Voice, who want to give Him a chance. And He would guide anybody else too, if they just tried trusting Him, just looked for Him, just looked for a reason to trust Him. Because He does love us to folly. That's right. He died on the cross for us. If that's not love to folly than I don't know… He will guide us to Himself, if we only give Him the chance. So yeah… if you have any questions or I haven't said something clearly enough, please feel free to ask…