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Hello everyone! I was just browsing the Forums today as I haven't done in a while and I noticed my color was green, which I suppose would mean I am a moderator. If that is the case I would surely like to come back, for I feel this is a great community.

Now, onto what I feel is what I've needed to do for a while, which is probably the reason I left for that long interval of time. If you recall that whole "Saruman the White" thread that I started up a while back and all that went on there, I'm sorry for my attitude and my words to fellow members on the Forums :oops: . And what I am mainly asking for in this thread is for your forgiveness and I am also hoping I can better phrase what I am trying to say and perhaps control my anger, if you could call that anger <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

But anyhow, yes, I would feel great to give back to this community, and perhaps have a more recognized voice while having a green name :lol: .

Best Regards,

Durin
Oh Pish Posh Durin, we can handle a little sarcasm now and then <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . All is forgiven. Welcome back to the fold :mrgreen: .

[b:26p4b44m]GB[/b:26p4b44m]
Thanks [b:2iy82vr0]GB[/b:2iy82vr0] <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> . Now, just wondering once more. What were those beliefs of your's you've had? Mine have altered slightly since our last meeting, I believe.

P.S. Though... I don't believe I shall be returning back to Narnia Web anytime soon, I've had much business to attend to around the house lately, that's too much Forum-posting to keep up with for one fellow <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .
Hmmm, a Confucian now Durin? Sweet 8-) . If you mean my Spiritual views, I still call myself a Non-theistic Pagan Agnostic. Which basically means I have a Pagan/Hindu-Zen-Buddhist/Gnostic/Humanist world-view :roll: but won't commit to any one religion or "worship" a Deity <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

I know what you mean about lack of time. I still haunt Narniaweb, but my post count has slowed down. Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia has made an appearance at Aslan's Country forum, so I recently joined that one too just to ask him a few questions. And I have a few posts at Leaky Cauldron. So I guess I'm still relatively active :mrgreen: .

[b:3fi7yuuk]GB[/b:3fi7yuuk]
Well that's the wonderful about Confucianism GB, you're not worshiping anything <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . You're simply reveling in the ethical values of Humans, that's how I see it. And plus, it sounds much less daunting then the term 'atheist'... they've grown quite a reputation for themselves. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> .

With Love To All The Sensible Atheists,

Durin
Yeah, Durin. Confucianism is basically an Ancient Chinese version of Humanism. Like Buddhism it is essentially Agnostic on the concept of a Deity or Deities. One can believe or not. As you say, it is mainly a system of Ethical Practice. And it complemented Buddhism well, which is essentially a system of Philosophical Practice and the discipline of mind, body, and spirit. :mrgreen: .

And I agree, the term Atheist is so Loaded with negative connotations, it's not really worth the trouble. Besides, if I don't know for certain, or can't prove, one way or another whether a God or Gods exist, Agnosticism seems to be the most intellectually honest position to take.

Though I do lean towards a sort of Universal Consciousness that we are all aspects of, which is why I like Hinduism, Gnosticism, and Paganism. And from a Mythological/Jungian/Symbolic perspective, I can appreciate the Hero Myths of which the Christ story is but one of.

[b:2bni87lt]GB[/b:2bni87lt]
You are completely forgiven, Durin. In fact, I believe that I forgave you a long time ago, since I had to actually read the Saruman topic to see what you were talking about <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

I really appreciate your humbleness and willingness to post this. You definitely have some integrity. You said in the Saruman topic that you were a Strong Christian. And now you say your beliefs have altered slightly? May I ask, what do you believe now? If nothing else, I urge you not to move from your Christian beliefs.
[quote="Beren":3dpk9e44]You are completely forgiven, Durin. In fact, I believe that I forgave you a long time ago, since I had to actually read the Saruman topic to see what you were talking about <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

I really appreciate your humbleness and willingness to post this. You definitely have some integrity. You said in the Saruman topic that you were a Strong Christian. And now you say your beliefs have altered slightly? May I ask, what do you believe now? If nothing else, I urge you not to move from your Christian beliefs.[/quote:3dpk9e44]

Well... many things can happen over the course of a few months, if not a year or so. And while I was a 'Christian' I believed in this Doctrine right here:  

"[i:3dpk9e44]Perseverance (or preservation) of the saints is also known as "eternal security." The word saints is used in the Biblical sense to refer to all who are set apart by God, not in the technical sense of one who is exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven (see Saint). The doctrine asserts that, since God is sovereign and his will cannot be frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with or will return.[/i:3dpk9e44]"

So that means that I technically was never a Christian and Christ never accepted me into the Kingdom of God, nor never wrote my book in the Book of Life, according to Calvinists... and that's a saddening thought, and I was a Calvinist. So, according to my [i:3dpk9e44]own[/i:3dpk9e44] doctrine, all that time spent 'praising' the 'Lord' was utterly wasted and the 'Lord Himself' was probably scoffing from His own throne. When you think of it... my name was never in the Book of Life, so I was asking for God to be my savior and believed he was... yet in reality I was murmuring to myself, so would that make myself God? I should think so in my own little world  Wink Smilie .

Anyhow, all above was just hypothetical, that is how my still Christian friends see it. And no, my religion is not "Confucianism" Or anything of the like. Confucianism is really just moral ethics, based on the principles on what today is called Humanism. My beliefs switch on and off from Agnostic and Atheism, but as I said, Atheism has just come to be a nasty term lately   :oops: . So that's that Beren, I neither favor nor dislike any religion, the only thing I [i:3dpk9e44]don't[/i:3dpk9e44] like is Christians, Mormons, Islams, etc. coming up to my door with little pamphlets.

These days I find Religion to merely be a setback to Technology, Science, and ethical values. With Religion your worldview is set and anything that goes against the Bible or whatever may be your religious book, you deny, you close the option that it could be correct. For example, in the 1600's or so, all the Roman Catholics persecuted Galileo for his beliefs, it was only until later they came to their senses. And even today religion can blind you, it can stop you from what you're a truly capable of.

However... this is a biased opinion, most likely... Religion has done much good for the world, such as charities, mission trips, etc. That's just not my part anymore.  
That is the strict sense of Calvinism. It oftentimes leads to despair and hopelessness. I'm not judging those who are strictly Calvinistic, I'm just saying that it almost always lead to legalism.
And that legalism is what dictates that those who wander were never Christians. It is my firm belief that Christians can wander from the truth. There is nothing to stop them. Sometimes God lets it happen so that we will be all the more closer to Him when we come back.

I am saddened that you think of yourself as an Agnostic. It is almost unfathomable to me that someone who was a self-described "strong Christian" could completely forsake all of those beliefs and come to the conclusion that either there is no God, or if there is one, we can't know anything about Him. I think that, in your uttermost being, there is still something that believes the truth. But don't let me rant on. I still want to be your friend. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

But one more thing. I know that many people see Christianity as an inhibitor to technology. I myself try to stick to the Bible and what God says. Many people in the 1600s misinterpreted the Bible, or interpreted it the way they wanted to. They were steeped in their own Catholic traditions, many of which were not Biblical, and if something just contradicted one of those traditions it was heresy.
I think that, in a legalistic sense, religion can blind you. But for me, I try to avoid legalism, and I find that Christianity makes everything in the scientific world make sense.
And about Christianity inhibiting progress: perhaps it should serve as a reality check. There are certain moral ethics that even you subscribe to. If so-called "progress" is being inhibited by this code, do we just throw the code out the window? Do we start killing off our old and young like Sparta so that we can study them? Do we all start lying to each other right and left so that we can see what happens? BY NO MEANS! If science thinks it is being inhibited by morals, the perhaps the scientists need to take their eyes off the microscopes and look around! If we remove our morals, we will very quickly destroy each other. And that wouldn't be progress, would it??
[quote="Beren":3o6v1tl1] There are certain moral ethics that even you subscribe to. If so-called "progress" is being inhibited by this code, do we just throw the code out the window? Do we start killing off our old and young like Sparta so that we can study them? Do we all start lying to each other right and left so that we can see what happens? BY NO MEANS![/quote:3o6v1tl1]

And that, my friend, is where Agnosticism takes it's leave and Confucianism marches in it's splendor.

Here is Confucius' Golden Rule: "Doing things for others that you would want them to do to you in return, as well as not doing things to others that you would not want to experience in return."

For more on Confucianism, for the sake of not taking up this whole page, just hop on the Wikipedia URL for [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucianism:3o6v1tl1]Confucianism[/url:3o6v1tl1].
Really, the Golden Rule is a Universal principle, and it is one of the best things about many of the World's religions and philosophies 8-) . It's all about respecting each others differences, individually and collectively.

[b:13qpwraf]GB[/b:13qpwraf]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":3oea9nxv]It's all about respecting each others differences, individually and collectively.

[b:3oea9nxv]GB[/b:3oea9nxv][/quote:3oea9nxv]

Right you are, GB, only working together as the Human Race can we achieve our goals, working past our differences. *Nods, forming back into his Buddha pose*
Mr Durin,

This post might be a little late (I only just got here), but I must say, this Saruman business you mention sounds interesting. I trust no one was hurt? Sarauman was a bad sort, if you ask me, and I can imagine anything he was involved in causing division. Anyway, I hope all is well now at least.

Regards,
Odo

NB You seem to be very "ín" to Confucius. Funny to say, I feel T was himself an 'English' Confucius in some ways. It seems to me that wisdom is wisdom wherever it comes from.

Cheers.
Hey Odo (I feel like calling myself Quark for some reason <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ). I was just strolling by the forum and thought I'd try to catch you up.

By the way, the whole Saruman thing blew over a while ago, and all it really involved was a little Neener Neener, or Nyah Nyah, and some mild sarcasm. No one was seriously injured :lol: . And if anything it's brought us all closer together :mrgreen: . We're a very chummy lot here, even if some of us... *checks the mirror*...get the urge to pontificate from time to time. In fact, you feel like "family" already.

I like your comparison of Mr T (not the one that fought Rocky) to Confucious. He was a very learned fellow.

[b:155a5b7q]GB[/b:155a5b7q]
Mr Modertor (plain 'Moderator' when addressing you does seem to lack some courtesy),

I joined this forum with the sneaking thought I might come across as being witty, wise and learned. The trouble is, while I've got some idea what a 'Quark' is (it's something to do with Astronomy, I hope!) I just don't get your reference to almost calling yourself 'Quark'. Would it undo the humor if you explain that bit for me.

Regards,
Odo

NB Sadly, I must strike out the 'learned' bit. Eegad! How long will it be before 'witty' and 'wise' go too? I feel they're even harder than being 'learned'! I sincerely hope that the "three Strikes and you're out" rule doesn't apply on this site!!!
You can call me GB, Beard, or even (as a young Scot on the forum likes to call me) Gandy. Or what the heck, you can make up your own nickname :P .

I wasn't certain meself, when I saw your username, if it was your actual name. I thought perhaps it was a reference to Odo, the chief security officer (and a changeling) on the Telly show Star Trek: Deep Space 9. He was constantly annoyed by the Ferengi Quark, the Sace Stations Pub owner, and resident scoundrel. Despite the apparent antagonism, they both were quite attached to each other.

And don't Worry. Witty Wise, and Learned. I think you suit those appellations just fine :mrgreen: . I've really been enjoying your sense of Humour 8-) .

[b:2xffnvv2]GB[/b:2xffnvv2]
Dear Beard,

Sorry for me mixing you up with Moderator. I am getting a little long in the tooth. Unfortunately, I have little knowledge of Star Trek (and wasn't it Star Shrek - or are my synapses not connecting correctly...?)

The fact your parent's called you Gandalf's Beard indicates to me that that's where your own sense of humour comes from. (Forgive me if I seem too inquisitive - but were your parents reading LOTR at Woodstock a certain amount of months before you were born? Great name though. My own kids have far more prosaic names - poor things - I should of done better! Unfortunately At the time of Woodstock my kids were far from even being the vaguest hint of a twinkle in my eye - I think I was about four in fact at a rough guess. When was Woodstock anyway? I think it was the sixties, wasn't it. I was on the wrong side of the world anyway!

Regards
Odo

NB And yes, my real name is Odo Banks (after the Tolkiensian fashion - wink wink nod nod).

NBB I don't want to scare folk off - but this Odo the Security Guy... well...I'm a cop myself...spooky...
Dear Moderator/Gandalf's Beard,

Yes, I am dumb. You are one and the same, the same person! I am an idiot!

Regards,
Odo

NB Strike out 'wise'. One to go.
Odo, I think I am going to send you a private message at some point and give you a bit more of my background. :mrgreen:

[b:2zdorkf8]GB[/b:2zdorkf8]
GB

I hope you're not an Acolyte in some Agnostic Budhist Jehovist Not Jehovist Might Be Jehovist How Can it Be Jehovist Dualist Sect? Had one knock on my door once. My goodness, I was confused by the time he left!

And if you're trying to pick me up - forget it!

Regards!
Odo

NB Actually, I made up the above tale about the man at my door. He wasn't actually a Dualist. In fact, I'm not even sure he was a man. You know, back in my day, you could tell a man from a woman just by the way they dressed - but not in 2009. (Though it might mean I just need new glasses - I have considered that).