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Hi HF;

I guess you would have to give us your definition of "reality" since this seems to be the pivot point of which the discussion has turned. Because of your view of Santa Claus I believe that the definition is limited and does not encompass all that it could.

Although chunking down and trying to isolate something does have it's place, when dealing with things like mythology, your definition does not fit. Although here is something that truely exists.

Some people like myself accept this reality and yet you seem to think we are deluded. The artist who sees something and creates a painting or a sound. Where was this before it hit your reality?

I still think of the Scientist who dissected the Goose who laid golden eggs to find out where they came from. Then they didn't really exist.

I would be inclined to believe that the Scientist who couldn't see Santa Claus is deluded.

Jeff

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Jeff,

If a real scientist had his hands on a goose which laid golden eggs, she
would not dissect it ... rather, she would breed it! In so doing, she
would be able to isolate the golden gene responsible for this ability, and
thus have the means to end poverty once and for all. (You underestimate
scientists!)

Regarding "reality" ... please, by all means, define it however you
choose. Look it up in a dictionary, if that will help.

Also, notice I never accused anyone else of being delusional, and in fact,
I readily acknowledged that everyone has the right to believe whatever
they will. I said that if *** I *** insisted that something to be true
when all the evidence was to the contrary, *** I *** would be delusional.
I find it interesting that you generalized my statement. I intended it
only to describe myself. After all, human beings have an infinite
capacity for deceiving themselves, and I am as human as the next person.

However you interpret reality and my statements, I wish you every
happiness.

HF

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Hi there,
Think I'm siding with Hartreefoch on this one. We keep going on about Santa Claus here, and at the end of the day you can actually look at "beliefs" in this context in a wider sense.
The way that's being promoted here, is how wonderful it is that children believe in Santa Claus and how horrible adults are to control their minds and destroy that belief by introducing them to "reality" after a certain age.
What's a bit one-sided about all of this, is that no one ever questions that a child's belief in Santa IS in fact an indoctrination by adults in the first place - ie. an imposition of fairy tale ideas on a child's mind. Why is this not equally destructive to a child's open-mindedness? Hartreefoch does highlight further on this point, that this kind of indoctrination can then basically be used as a means to control behaviour (be good and you'll get presents etc.) - in fact has this not been what religion has been doing so successfully to society for so long?
With regards the Golden Goose. If a goose exists which lays golden eggs - great. A religious person will be less interested in the goose or its laying of eggs - it will be more interested in the unobservable, undetectable and basically totally conceptual notion of an "intelligent designer" or some such notion who created the goose and what the spiritual meaning for it all is. Science, on the other hand (and I keep highlighting that I am not a scientist), would try and focus on understanding how the goose actually works, how best to nurture it and to breed it. It would look at the patterns of why and how the golden geese are in fact regularly slaughtered by foxes, and the field of social sciences would look at the (to me even more) interesting reasons why humans slaughter EACH OTHER in order to get hold of Golden Geese and claim the geese to be the property of their particular "intelligent designer". The fundamental difference is, religion deals with "out-there" concepts which impose value systems on people (and destroy children's open-mindedness pretty effectively too, it should be added) whilst sciences at least base their work on the world as it is currently functioning and operating in all its complexity.
Don't get me wrong - there's always room for a Eureka moment in science, for thinking out of the box, so to speak. But scientific method is required first as a premise for investigation (and not all science is dissecting and test tubes and Josef Mengele-type experiments funnily enough)
Just a thought from someone who actually thinks that ALL the thoughts and ideas of this world are what actually keep us deluded.
best wishes
Ingrid

but then of course, my thoughts are no doubt just deluding us all further.....!

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Hi Ingrid,

Thanks for your nice summary of things.

I notice that there seems to be two broad categories of people
who have responded to this topic. For lack of better titles, I'll call them:

1. The Super-Naturalists

2. The Naturalists

I place no value judgment on either category, and I think all of us
exhibit a bit of both in our lives. I think that both in balance offers
more power than either alone.

One says, "I want to fly."

The other says, "I'll build you wings."

Together, they have the potential to turn our dreams into reality,
hopefully to the betterment of all.

Best,

HF

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Thank you all for the wonderful discussion. One never truly understands what one believes until s/he tries to communicate it to another....Thank you for allowing me to "see" my beliefs about the world and beyond as you have responded to my words. Feedback is a wonderful thing. Ya'll have a wonderful life-experience. Good night and good bye. =o)

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Shyspook,

I find your beliefs fascinating! And I also share a lot of them or would like to share ;-)

Generally, I would like to believe that all beliefs can be changed (not meant as a paradox). Also I strongly believe that beleifs change the world.

[He].2s2.2p4

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Belief is greatly under-rated by most. In fact, what I have observed as I go about my daily interactions with people is that most are quite unaware of their own beliefs and how they operate to either uplift them, or hold them down. I am aware, but I also want to be part of the world. MY personal beliefs are as transparent to me as other peoples beliefs are. Every inkling of a thought is first couched in belief. Our beliefs are all colored and filtered through the particular world reality that we chose to be born into.

An individuals personal beliefs are programed from the moment of conception by the beliefs of its parents and the beliefs of its ancestors through dna and the beliefs of the culture as a whole to which it is about to be born into. How else could the kids be born today already knowing how to program the dvd or be computer literate by the time they reach about 18 months old? They don't experience culture shock as we older folks are prone to doing. They are already born with certain pre-knowledge...beliefs, if you will...that have been programed.

It is said, for instance, that Mars is a dead planet...a century ago... it had a different topigraphical appearance and there are pictures and drawings by some observers to prove it. Beliefs...like the world is flat, etc...also can extend into the universe or space around the world. WE have not learned how to observe the LIVING planets by shifting our awareness..which is focused through the color of our belief system...so until we can shift our overall channels of awareness...Mars will remain, to us, a dead planet. Belief affects WHAT, HOW, WHEN, WHERE AND WHO. we can see at any given time.

Thanks for the feedback, Oxygen... =o) All beliefs CAN be changed..if one has the courage and enough energy...but then...you can not live comfortably with the reality you have already built, here. Just KNOW what you believe and be aware that the world is as it appears to be because of belief. =o)

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Hi HF;

I understand your point and apologize if I misinterpreted your view. Ones beliefs of reality, I think, are based on ones perceptions. I know of no other way of assimilating the physical universe.

Even though we can touch, see and taste something through our perceptions, how do I , without a doubt, know it's any more real than an idea I have.

All the data we have in our I/O brainbox is based on perceptions we have picked up over a lifetime.

Thanks for a lively discussion. All the best to you.

Jeff

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Congratulations on your belief change.

If my beliefs affect you and yours affect mine, then I'll believe some good beliefs for ya.

This leads me to something that affected me recently with regard to belief and my sense of self.

There have been a lot of situations in which I guess I just abdicated responsibility for my thoughts and feelings. I've been in situations where I thought that other people were thinking things about me and then I'd have thoughts and feelings about that and generally feel like crap.

But, for some reason, I just started looking at all that and went, "You know, that's not what they think. That's what >I< think!" And even if it were, say, what they think, what really matters is my appraisal of that, what I think about what I think other people think.

And, so, whenever I was engaging in being self-conscious, I would look at what I was thinking and said, "Hmmm, so that's what I think, eh?" And even if what I was thinking was judgmental or negative, it wouldn't be so bad. Like, if something happened and I was embarrassed and thought that other people thought I looked like an idiot, I'd think, "Oh, so I am thinking that I look like an idiot." and, generally, it would make me laugh. Whatever I am thinking, I can deal with it.

Somehow, it was a notion that it was the thoughts of others (as if I could read their minds) that bothered me. Really, it was always my appraisals that bothered me. And what really bothered me is that somehow I thought I wasn't thinking these things (crazy, isn't it?), that others were thinking them, and that I had no control over it.

Well, even if others think that stuff, it's not the fact that they think it that bothers me or not, it's what I think about them thinking it that bothers me or not... and that is always up to me. I can certainly handle whatever I might think about myself. And, honestly, I am generally my own best friend. Even when I get down on myself, I do it in ways that are self-glorifying (it is my theory that, most of the time, this is true for everyone).

So, while others have an influence, I am, in some way, always at the helm, even when I think I am not.

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Wonderful post, Babayada.......

That is just soooooo cool of a way of looking at things - thank you, because you've helped me a lot with those words. Light bulbs went off in my head!

Unis

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