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A Happy Slave Doesn't Require Total Freedom

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Postby frrostedman » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:52 pm

From a believer's point of view, especially a Reformed Christian believer's point of view, the main theme of the bible boils down essentially to this:

God placed Adam and Eve on Earth, in a beautiful place; but a testing ground. Adam and Eve had the full freedom to do anything they chose, but for 2 things. Don't eat from the tree of life, and don't eat from the tree of knowledge. God watched to see if Adam and Eve could live with 99% freedom. The answer is no. Adam and Eve (and as ones who represent mankind perfectly, all of us) could not be satisfied unless they could do anything they wanted. And so it goes... they ate from the tree, commited cosmic treason, and plunged all of creation into sin.

Later, another Adam--the perfect Adam--arrived on the scene; God incarnate; Jesus the Christ. Christ, in a new Covenant with mankind, paid the price for our sins, died on the cross, and offered us a way out.

And Christians since that time, now, and in the future, are reborn and in us, the relationship God intended is reestablished. Christ bought us and paid for us. Just as in the old days a slave was bought and paid for and then obligated to serve its new master; so then are we, the Christian believers. We were purchased for the ultimate price, as slaves to Christ, and we are completely happy with the arrangement. We don't have utter and complete autonomy, nor do we desire it.

The unbelieving don't understand how someone could be a slave, without 100% autonomy, and be satisified. Not meant as demeaning, but, just like Satan in the garden, the unbelieving ceaselessly strive to make us understand that we could be happier, we just don't know it. If only we are freed from our Master to enjoy the benefit of full autonomy, then we would understand how much better it is to live that way.

But I, as one who transformed relatively late in life, have seen the situation from both sides. And I can tell you unequivocally, without any doubt whatsoever, that life is infinitely better as a slave to Christ, with 99% freedom and the assurance of immortality. The alternative, like a shiny red apple, may seem appealling; but we as believers know that the benefits full autonomy has to offer are fleeting and ultimately lead to death.


Your thoughts?
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein
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Postby humphreys » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:23 am

I have an interesting Matrixy red pill/blue pill type question for you.

If I could prove to you beyond a doubt that you were living a total lie (obviously I can't as it's not really possible), would you want me to? Would you rather live in a state of deluded bliss, or know reality for what it really is?

Again, not saying that's the case, don't want to discuss whether you are right or not, but whether you think truth is more important than happiness. As a skeptic and critical thinker I should favour truth over happiness every time, but sometimes it is not so easy.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

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Postby frrostedman » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:07 am

humphreys wrote:I have an interesting Matrixy red pill/blue pill type question for you.

If I could prove to you beyond a doubt that you were living a total lie (obviously I can't as it's not really possible), would you want me to? Would you rather live in a state of deluded bliss, or know reality for what it really is?

That's a great question. But I will not hesitate to answer. YES I would want you to. (Do you feel the same way if the situation were reversed?)

Again, not saying that's the case, don't want to discuss whether you are right or not, but whether you think truth is more important than happiness. As a skeptic and critical thinker I should favour truth over happiness every time, but sometimes it is not so easy.

I'm with you on that all the way. Anyone who desires happiness over truth is willfully living a lie and is a very shallow person. If not stupid.
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein
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Postby humphreys » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:01 am

frrostedman wrote:That's a great question. But I will not hesitate to answer. YES I would want you to. (Do you feel the same way if the situation were reversed?)


Absolutely, but I think it's human nature that we would be hostile to that new truth until we were thoroughly convinced. I think most would want to know the truth, but would still fight it to some extent.

This can happen in religion, and even in science, where old ideas hang around even though convincing evidence against them has been shown, and it can take some work and occasionally even a new generation for the new ideas to be accepted.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby greeney2 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:47 am

Ask the same question about a non-religion subject, like Love, or some other non-tangable entity that science has no test for? Why you enjoyed a book when others thought it was horrible, measuring a level of enjoyment, and they never give up. All the neighbors trap you into a conversation to convince you your love in your wife is untrue, and her love is imaginary. Try telling a teenage girl prince charming is a lowlife bum.
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Postby humphreys » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:01 pm

What the heck are you even talking about?

You don't have to ruin every thread, you know!
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby humphreys » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:14 pm

By the way, science certainly can test for love, by monitoring chemical reactions in the brain and body.

It can also make you move your arm involuntarily, or make you feel like you're out of your body. It can even make you perform an action and have you believe you performed that action voluntarily, when in reality it was forced.

It's all in the brain!
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

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Postby frrostedman » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:11 pm

humphreys wrote:By the way, science certainly can test for love, by monitoring chemical reactions in the brain and body.

It can also make you move your arm involuntarily, or make you feel like you're out of your body. It can even make you perform an action and have you believe you performed that action voluntarily, when in reality it was forced.

It's all in the brain!

I remember being surprised at first, in my deep studies into the teachings of Reformed Theology, that the so-called "mind" please a very important role in our faith. But there was a distinction made between the mind and the brain. It's a very deep subject. Fun to talk about.

For example: Christians are encouraged in the bible and by our leaders and pastors (I'm as guilty as anyone of not going far enough) to memorize Scripture. The idea is, not to show off your knowledge to others (as some do) or win a debate. It's to literally equip your mind to recall the teachings of God's Word when you get into a situation and need an answer.

I remember in my dream that immediately preceded my transformation. A blonde haired man next to me rebuked the Church class for complainging about having to read the book 2 Timothy 2, because truth be told, he could recite it word for word. He was disgusted with the grumbling of the students.

Anyway... interesting subject.. brain, mind, "heart," etc.
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein
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Postby greeney2 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:44 am

Humphreys you discribed a hypnotists act.

Ffrosty, a few years ago we talked about how the heart, or matters of the heart like Love come into play. Things like allowing your heart to guide you, not the brain. The arguement was only the brain guides you, the heart mearly pumps blood. A debate ensued if the heart did or did not affect behavior. We talk all the time about sports people, boxers who fight with "heart", but others would argue its all just a brain function of hand eye corordination, and nothing more.

It is another one of those intangables, like Love Humphreys claims science can measure is just a chemical in the brain. How do you measure to compare all our our levels of Love, more or less??? How much Heart we have? What it means to have "will" to live on your death bed? Humphreys brought up the subject of Luck on the other thread, is there any such thing breed into anyone, or all these things imaginary?
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Postby humphreys » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:13 am

Things created by the brain do not have to be imaginary.

Your whole experience of the real world is a perception generated by the brain, that does not mean the real world is not a real thing.

Interestingly, the book I am reading right now talks about free will, and how it is nothing more than an illusion. Subjects were tested and asked to make certain bodily movements, and to track when they consciously decided to make that movement. The crazy thing is, the brain KNEW the movement was going o happen, and readied itself for it, SIGNIFICANTLY before the will to make that action was registered. So the will itself, or the feeling of will, was just a feeling created by the brain after it had decided to do something anyway.

Thought provoking stuff.
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