Do you believe in angels?

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slofstra
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Do you believe in angels?

Post by slofstra » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:04 pm

This may seem like a strange question but it's one that can be asked across denominational or religious boundaries fairly safely I think, as angels are an element of many belief systems. There's also a strong personal element to belief in them. That is, within a given denomination I've found some people that do believe in them and some that don't.

I believe there was a television show along this line but I have never seen it. I'm told it was fairly awful, but maybe it wasn't, so I hope that doesn't offend anyone. So in posing the question I bring no preconceived idea as to what an angel might be in someone else's imagination; it might well be quite different from the popular conception.

My own answer is that I do believe in them. I may indicate later why I ask the question.

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:07 pm

No.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:54 am

"I, for one, do not believe in angels,"

--Mr. Spock from the episode "The Galileo Seven" when faced with what even he is forced to admit is a hopeless situation. Such a statement even from a scientist on a science fiction series would now actually be more controversial than it was in the 60s; I imagine it would even elicit some hate mail.

No, I don't believe in them or the tooth fairy either, but it is interesting that they remain an article of faith in the Catholic Church. Every time they have tried to publish and "ecumenical catechism" with Protestant denominations, the Catholic powers that be (for many years it was Ratzinger) would insist on an appendix supplying what was "missing" from the others. One clause always included the existence of angels (others were the personal nature of Satan and of course the Marian doctrines).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:15 am

No. And Henry, I would be interested in hearing your reason for believing in them, as you usually seem to be disposed to rational discussions. :?:

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

piston
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Post by piston » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:54 am

Yes, and I try to avoid them.
Image

Agnes Selby
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Angels

Post by Agnes Selby » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:29 am

piston wrote:Yes, and I try to avoid them.
Image
-----------------------

We have them in Australia too. Roaring down the highways the Angels are.

And yes, like Teresa, I would love to know your story, Henry.

Regards,
Agnes.

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Post by keaggy220 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:36 am

Yes.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

TopoGigio

The CastAways

Post by TopoGigio » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:55 am

The "Book" of Enoch is full of them...and its not inane remark.The Scottish
Copy "vanished"...is the best! Popes raging around it...only a slight remark
of Angels "making love" with earthwomen was biblic afterwards.
"Original" ethiope was translated by Francois Martin and many others,
so anybody has excuse!
If you knows the idiom,better :P there is the "original" ethiope in the Net,
i have that...
Only Manicheus saw the humanity as descent of the "evil"Angels and
was exemplary destroyed insitu!

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:15 pm

Teresa B wrote:No. And Henry, I would be interested in hearing your reason for believing in them, as you usually seem to be disposed to rational discussions.
Why the juxtaposition of belief in angels and irrationality? The vast majority of people in the US believe in reincarnation too. Does that make them irrational? Is it impossible to believe in something one can't see or prove, and necessarily be irrational? I would find the world considerably impoverished if I had to limit myself to believing only in things I can see and prove scientifically. That realm is not where the imagination of man lives the totality of its life.
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Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:52 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Teresa B wrote:No. And Henry, I would be interested in hearing your reason for believing in them, as you usually seem to be disposed to rational discussions.
Why the juxtaposition of belief in angels and irrationality? The vast majority of people in the US believe in reincarnation too. Does that make them irrational? Is it impossible to believe in something one can't see or prove, and necessarily be irrational? I would find the world considerably impoverished if I had to limit myself to believing only in things I can see and prove scientifically. That realm is not where the imagination of man lives the totality of its life.
Corlyss, I don't think we should limit our imagination. But I do not believe it is rational to believe in angels, any more than I think it's rational to believe in the devil, or leprechauns. My definition of "rational" involves logical conclusions, and I have never seen any reason to believe there are angels.

I find the universe to be awesome (in the true sense) enough, with its many mysteries yet to be discovered, to feed my imagination.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

keaggy220
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Post by keaggy220 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:10 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Teresa B wrote:No. And Henry, I would be interested in hearing your reason for believing in them, as you usually seem to be disposed to rational discussions.
Why the juxtaposition of belief in angels and irrationality? The vast majority of people in the US believe in reincarnation too. Does that make them irrational? Is it impossible to believe in something one can't see or prove, and necessarily be irrational? I would find the world considerably impoverished if I had to limit myself to believing only in things I can see and prove scientifically. That realm is not where the imagination of man lives the totality of its life.
I am a Christian yet I consider myself to be a highly rational person. I've received regular personal feedback over the years through job performance reviews that state things like "brutally logical" and such... So I do think one can believe in the unseen and be rational.

In fact, from an early age, intellect is rewarded as the most important attributes to have, but I believe faith is a much more desirable quality to possess.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:24 pm

I don't much worry about believing things. I accept that there will be intermediate symbolic (even if they are real!) representations of divinity if one has a religious and spiritual life. If "Pride" is a demon (see Evagrius of Pontus etc) one can vanquish, why not Charity as a virtue one can accept and welcome? Try to imitate?

Once I get the Mass in B Minor going properly, the room is filled with light and angels. Doesn't much matter to me whether they are imaginative constructs culturally predetermined through my interest in the Christian religion and meditation or the Cloud 9 Crew having a dance at my place.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:39 pm

Teresa B wrote:But I do not believe it is rational to believe in angels
So much for my inartful attempts at subtlety. I agree with you. I was hoping to tease out the notion that belief is not a part of the rational-irrational continuum. Belief is non-rational. Irrational has an implication that one is denying provable facts, whereas belief doesn't truck with provable facts.
Corlyss
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Werner
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Post by Werner » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:50 pm

Brendan, I'm not high on theology, but I'm with youi on the B Minor Mass. Let's include the St. Matthew Passion, too. Cloud Nine is accessible without ritual preconditions.
Werner Isler

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:04 pm

I've always felt that music (Mostly Beethoven) can touch a part of my soul that goes beyond music--I agree, that's where the angels can be found

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:15 pm

Werner wrote:Brendan, I'm not high on theology, but I'm with youi on the B Minor Mass. Let's include the St. Matthew Passion, too. Cloud Nine is accessible without ritual preconditions.
Sorry, but not really. Prayer and meditation put one into a prayerful/meditative state that is different from the everyday. Performing ritual is different from not doing so - and different again from putting ritual and meditative states of mind down or dismissing them. Cloud 9 cannot be reached (or even seen) without ritual preconditions. And the symbolism works better for those of faith than those without. I speak from personal experience.

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Post by Teresa B » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:17 pm

Ted wrote:I've always felt that music (Mostly Beethoven) can touch a part of my soul that goes beyond music--I agree, that's where the angels can be found
That's different--our "better angels" can be metaphorical, and to that, I say Hear, Hear! :)

Teresa
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Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:29 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Teresa B wrote:But I do not believe it is rational to believe in angels
So much for my inartful attempts at subtlety. I agree with you. I was hoping to tease out the notion that belief is not a part of the rational-irrational continuum. Belief is non-rational. Irrational has an implication that one is denying provable facts, whereas belief doesn't truck with provable facts.
And so much, I concede, for my grasp of the subtle! :) I see where you're comin' from now--the difference between irrational and non-rational. (You will notice, though, that I unconsciously didn't even address irrationality!--probably because I had "non-rational" in mind anyway.) I might add that it may be possible to have a belief that is not exactly provable, but (perhaps!) rational--e.g., I believe there is a high probability that Obama will win, or the like.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

slofstra
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Post by slofstra » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:00 pm

Sorry, I'm late. Anyway, I consider Teresa's post a compliment. I learned a new buzzword the other day - "belief persistence". I don't have much of that in the face of raw facts so I do believe in, say, evolution, although I'm holding back on the monkey-man common ancestor idea a little.
To me angels are emblematic of any kind of divine intervention or bridge between God (or a superior being) and man. So the black slab at the beginning of 2001 would count.
But this is the kind of question that you ask when you watch 'The World at War', part 20. I've been working my way through the series, and was stuck at that episode for several weeks, and finally had the stomach to get through it on Sunday night.
So to answer, I was raised as a Dutch Reformed person, fell away, and about 25 years ago was converted, baptized and am a practicing Christian - not Dutch Reformed.
I have to believe in God and also that he would send angels to help people at certain points, because otherwise I could not believe that life is worth living. I mean that in a certain way, not at all related to how I feel emotionally or my personal sense of worth or well-being. But to take one example, I cannot believe that God would allow the Holocaust to happen unless he would also provide a heaven and an escape for its victims, for example. With all respect to the feelings you may have, if the event of the Holocaust should lead you to a different conclusion concerning God. But for me, if what I'm saying about God and angels is not true, life would be very difficult. That's it. No particular evidence, but to have faith is to live according to a belief whose truth is real, even though it's not rational.

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Post by Teresa B » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:31 am

Henry, I respect your religious belief, although (unfortunately for me perhaps), I find myself drawing the opposite conclusion from horrific events like the Holocaust--that if there is a God in this vast universe, he is non-interventional. I recall that Martin Gardner wrote that he felt the same way you do.

I do believe (irrationally? :wink: ) that it's possible to maintain optimism and joie de vive alongside agnosticism. (I totally admit, if I were a witness to the Holocaust or other horrors, maybe this would never be possible.)

Now, about your little aside on the monkey-man...if you believe evolution is true (a completely rational belief), just who do you propose as the common ancestor?

All the best,
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:45 am

Teresa writes:
That's different--our "better angels" can be metaphorical, and to that, I say Hear, Hear!

You reminded me Teresa of my favorite use of “better angels”, articulated perhaps by the greatest orator the world has ever known
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it. I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
AL March 4, 1861

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Post by slofstra » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:55 am

Well, whatever we may say or think about angels and what happens in the world around us, there is a comfort in the existence of an animus that moves most of us in concert toward revulsion or joy as the case may be. Perhaps that is a spark from the divine as Honest Abe intimates.

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Post by dulcinea » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:55 am

'tis easy not to believe in angels when you think only of the lolitas in Victoria's Secret's nightgowns that decorate Christmas trees and other forms of blasphemous kitsch. :P If you think of angels as the formidable awe-inspiring agents of God that appear in the Bible, the Qu'ran and the work of mystics such as Milton and Blake, you cannot but believe in such mighty majestic creatures. :shock:
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

TopoGigio

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Post by TopoGigio » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:08 am

----------------------------------
The Enochian Literature,as pre-biblic account, is very revealing.Three ethiopic copies
are known,but the scottish copy is "lost".The "original" hebrew is unknown, but
copies adhoc circulate here-there.The "true" original is sumerian, of course, and
exists as a recopilation with the FIFTY names of the Angels/CastAways in Part II of
the Necronomicon of Simon (The Book of Fifty Names) with details.But later,in the
Enochian literature there are more "TWO HUNDRED" angels ,the Prince and twenty Chiefs (with servants each) are named:
-------------------
1)The Prince is Semyaza.In my opinion, ShemYasha is Servant of the High/God,
Shem is sumerian High' and Yasha exists today as "servant" (via russian peasant,
Yasha is a typical fast-servitor name, even in music of Shostakovich for an animated
cartoon)
The name Semyaza corruptioned to Azazel in many records to our times.
Not confound with Angel Number 10 or 21
------------------------
If we put "k" for "q" we have the twenty chiefs:
2) Arakib / Arstikifa
3) Aramiel / Armen
4) Kokabiel / Kokabel
5) Tamiel (sometimes confounded with 18 and 19)
6) Ramiel / Rumyal (sometimes confounded with 20)
7) Daniel
8) Ezekiel / Nekel
9) Brakiel
10)Asael (Azazel)
11)Armaros
12)Bataryel / Bataryal
13)Basasael
14)Ananiel / Hananel
15)Zakile
16)Samsapeel / Simapisiel
17) Satariel / Yetariel
18)Tumael / Touriel
19)Tariel
20)Yomeyal / Rumael
21)Arazeyal (Azazel)
-----------------------------------------
But those EnochianLiterature Names are so hebrew as the seven Archangels (Uriel, Radael, Raguel, Miguel, Sarakiel, Gabriel and Remeiel ) and is a studied reworking and "total" revision of the sumerian (and presumerian) FIFTY Rebellious CastAways of the Heavens.Its not anti-semitic , its "anti" semitic-reworking !
The FIFTY recopiled in Simon Necronomicon Part II are in Internet in our times,
but all the world are searching for the original Necronomicon/Whispers of Abdul Al
Azhed...the "best"copy was lost at (classic)SanFrancisco Earthquake when the guardian was devoured by rampage lions (!!!)
In account of that,perhaps this post must be post in the thread of the "BigOne"
SanFranciscoEarthquake who cames...
If the heb' Archangel Remeiel (of Resurrections fame) helped then!
-----------------------------------------------
The Angel of Silence (must be one! :twisted: ) passes away...
-Fantastic, My Diner is kaputt ! ,she cried laughly
--------------------------------------------------

greymouse
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Post by greymouse » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:45 am

I believe in angels, but that they aren't very powerful. I interpret them to be facilitators and service workers when they're here, but with no power to do things without permission from the boss. I think there are rebellious angels too, but that they can't really accomplish anything useful without help from people. So I don't see think of them as supernatural as much as extranatural.

Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:51 pm

Teresa B wrote:I see where you're comin' from now--the difference between irrational and non-rational. (You will notice, though, that I unconsciously didn't even address irrationality!--probably because I had "non-rational" in mind anyway.)
I thought you had. I just wanted to make it obvious by getting in the concept of non-rational.
I might add that it may be possible to have a belief that is not exactly provable, but (perhaps!) rational--e.g., I believe there is a high probability that Obama will win, or the like.
I agree. I think the mental mechanism for arriving at conclusions about facts is similar, and when one is talking about the unproven, including those with some basis in fact, all beliefs are gray in the dark.
Corlyss
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TopoGigio

Advocat of Cheshire

Post by TopoGigio » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:02 pm

But Unproven is All !
(From that viewpoint,even the CheshireCat is an Angel !)

Image
Last edited by TopoGigio on Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mild Ed
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Post by Mild Ed » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:42 pm

jbuck919 wrote: No, I don't believe in them or the tooth fairy either, but it is interesting that they remain an article of faith in the Catholic Church. Every time they have tried to publish and "ecumenical catechism" with Protestant denominations, the Catholic powers that be (for many years it was Ratzinger) would insist on an appendix supplying what was "missing" from the others. One clause always included the existence of angels (others were the personal nature of Satan and of course the Marian doctrines).
I don't think any orthodox protestant denomination denies the existence of angels--they are mentioned in the Bible after all, and Martin Luther had that whole Sola Scriptura thing goin' on. The disagreement must be about the nature and function of angels.

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Post by nadej_baptiste » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:54 pm

Oh, surely. But they don't have to be translucent or hovering to be angels.

A list of mine:

-Glenn Gould
-My Cat
-My Grandfather

Etc.
--Kamila

slofstra
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Post by slofstra » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:29 pm

Well, one thing for sure, 'angel' is a very malleable word.

TopoGigio

Angelogy

Post by TopoGigio » Thu May 01, 2008 6:22 am

Angelos, its Greek malleable. Originally,they were "Watchers" and
then "CastAways"... :P

IcedNote
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Post by IcedNote » Thu May 01, 2008 5:56 pm

I don't believe in anything "supernatural" or "superhuman."

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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