I find your analysis of the development of Christian thought refreshing. It surprises me that someone who can think so logically about such things continues to be non-atheist (is this a new term?).
>> I think scientific progress, not religious
>> inspiration from God, will help this along.
> I don't think it is scientific progress that
> moves political and moral issues, it is simply
> evolution of society (of which science is only
> a part of that).
Again, you're right and I'm wrong. I have a bad habit of neglecting to give credit to the other aspects of society. What I think I should be saying is societal factors (including science) unrelated to religious inspiration will motivate society to improve, for example, to greater acceptance of gays and lesbians. "Science" for me is sometimes a code-word meaning secular (non religious) knowledge whether it's natural science, behavioral science, humanities, politics, economics, or whatever. I need to be more correct in what I say.
> As I stated in another post (which you didn't
> know about before you mentioned this question)
> is that I believe in synchronicity and
> the 'miracles' that come about from that. My
> belief in synchronicity is based on my own many
> many experiences.
Can you give some examples? I've had interesting things happen in my life. Here's two that meant a lot to me and have been some of the hardest to explain away.
1. While a freshman physics student at BYU, I was living with my aunt and uncle (Ross Christensen, a well-known LDS archeologist) in Orem, Utah. I was on the bus going south on State Street from the direction of the University Mall while playing with a pen. Just as the bus arrived at my stop I carelessly dropped my pen. I liked to demonstrate my youthful vigor by always being ready to jump off the bus the instant the bus opened its doors. This time it looked like I would fail because I had to find the pen. I grabbed the pen and hurried to get ready for the bus door to open. Because I hurried I made it in time. But, just as I planned to jump out I felt compelled to pause. Something flashed in front of me and then I jumped off. As I looked at what flashed by, it was a Jeep that was passing the bus on the sidewalk! The sidewalk there at the time was not abruptly higher than the street like most are, but was gently sloping, but there was still no reason they should have been passing the bus like that. They could have killed me! At the time I decided God or a guardian angel saved me.
2. Months later, after being called by the LDS church to serve a 2 year mission in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission I was cleaning up my basement room at my grandparents old ranch in Safford, Arizona where my parents lived before I was to go to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah to prepare to go to Argentina. I didn't usually clean up my room. I found an Argentine coin. How did it get there? Was it a sign from God that I was supposed to go to Argentina? It was the only foreign coin I ever found at the ranch. I kept the coin in my pocket (taped so I wouldn't confuse it with any others) throughout my 2 years in Argentina.
I don't know how the Argentine coin got there. I don't want to think my parents planted it there. Maybe it was just a coincidence. The farm had been rented out years before to people who may have collected foreign coins. I don't know. I didn't check this out. Maybe I should now.
I don't know why I felt compelled to stop just before the jeep passed by. The pause saved my life. Maybe it was just a coincidence that I felt a need to pause at a moment it turned out to save my life.
Life is more dangerous than many people realize. Those of us who remain alive may have had one or more near-fatal experiences. The fact that we survived does not mean God lives and saves us for an important mission otherwise we have to make some weak argument that the other good people who died did so because it "was their time to go". It just means that we were better prepared or luckier than those who died. Unfortunately for fairness sake, the unlucky ones can't come back to complain. All we have around us are the ones who survived.
It's like being in a group of winners at Las Vegas. It seems like lady luck is on everyone's side.
What are the most important synchronicities that have happened in your life that cause you to believe in God?