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Old 04-20-2007, 08:09 PM
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winsysan,

HE might be...Check, your move!
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:13 PM
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I think it's the best way, really,when discussing the subject. I have had atheists accuse me of not being...(what? Godless?) enough because I don't try to de-god-ify everyone I meet. These are, of course, the same people who spend endless hours complaining about door-to-door religionists trying to force their beliefs on them. O! The irony! It brings back memories of Chabbad trying to re-kosher my kitchen.

I *do* pipe up if science or politics are being affected by religious intrusion- besides that, and actually trying to (or succeeding in) kill someone, whatever you believe is really up to you and no business of mine.

I am more concerned with actions than beliefs. It is through actions that we build or destroy ourselves.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:28 PM
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Angry

I had a friend, BRIEFLY, who was very involved in her church. She was Catholic. She NEVER once spoke to me of God, only of HER singing in the choir. Her Voice was her God. She was an exibitionist who Loved to be center stage. I'm not saying she was a great singer, she was just O.K. IMO, but Man was she LOUD!! Yeesh!!! Anyway, I was raised Protestant, a fact which she never asked me about. One day she told me I was a "Godless" Person. And you know what I did?? I hung up on her and never spoke to her again. She was SO Full of Herself that she never Once asked me about my beliefs. Then she had the nerve to label me. Needless to say I was P*ssed!!
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:30 PM
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That sort of thing happens in the secular circles as well. Selfish is as selfish does, eh?
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:33 PM
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It is a shame you couldn't have tried to reason with the catholic girl. Maybe get her to be more accepting of other peoples religions or lack there of. After all as her friend you could have had a very positive influence on her.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by divinedesign21 View Post
At least I try to practice tolerance. That's the hallmark of true Christianity...walking in love. It's hard...but I try.
Ya know, respect for others is not exclusive to pious people. Understanding and walking in love are hallmarks of any courteous, respectful person--and so long as we're not feeling superior, these qualities are not hard to summon at all.

(I always stop short of "having tolerance," which implies others' beliefs must be somehow tolerated or forgiven.)

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Old 04-21-2007, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by andshewas View Post
I think it's the best way, really,when discussing the subject. I have had atheists accuse me of not being...(what? Godless?) enough because I don't try to de-god-ify everyone I meet. These are, of course, the same people who spend endless hours complaining about door-to-door religionists trying to force their beliefs on them. O! The irony! It brings back memories of Chabbad trying to re-kosher my kitchen.

I *do* pipe up if science or politics are being affected by religious intrusion- besides that, and actually trying to (or succeeding in) kill someone, whatever you believe is really up to you and no business of mine.

I am more concerned with actions than beliefs. It is through actions that we build or destroy ourselves.
Ah, another one with experience with Chabad. I had run into them as a child, little did I know they were considered a cult at that time. Scary stuff.

As for the athiest/secular people, many of them don't accept me because although I am into secular recovery, I also hold a deist catholic mixed belief, and they don't consider me in their 'in' group. Their loss.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:11 PM
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Alera,
You're right; it IS their loss. Anyone who would reject your friendship, wisdom and concern due to their preconceived notions of you based on your spiritual understandings is Truely the worse off for that rejection! I'm really glad *you* recognize that. At one time, my own self esteem wouldn't have.

But, Alera, Chabad is not a cult. It's part of mainstream Judaism. My Hebrew teacher belongs to a Chabad synogogue. They are far more tolerant, (not in Ten's way), than Othordox Jews. For example, Othordox Jews reject the fact that I'm a Jew completely. I didn't convert into an Orthordox synogogue, so, I'm not a Jew according to them. Chabad does not hold that perspective. However, Chabad would like to see all Jews strive to perform all the possible mitzvot, (both a blessing and a commandment), regularly. They are very accepting of the idea of progress, not perfection.

Andshewas, I cannot remember if you've read the posting about the new atheists. But, you sound like the mainstream atheist -- the type I was at one point. I never saw a need to shove my thoughts down someone's throat. I recognized that behavior only turned people off and away. They would, or would not, come to understand all on their own, just as I did. It's that militancy that the mainstream atheists are against as seen in that article. I agree with them, and sincerely believe that their pushy, condescending behavior will prevent a socio/political acceptance of atheist, and once more, deny a public voice to atheists now, when there's really a chance, based on the numbers of secular/humanist adherents.

And ten, no, it's not any groups perogative to walk in love. I don't think she said that or implied it. Love knows no boundaries, especially artificial ones based in ideologies.

Just my rambling thoughts...

Shalom!
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Old 04-22-2007, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
And ten, no, it's not any groups perogative to walk in love. I don't think she said that or implied it. Love knows no boundaries, especially artificial ones based in ideologies.
Hi, what in the world are you talking about now Teach??

We sure seem to be trading paint a lot but that's ok. Just means we are destined to bump into each other.
Ha!

I said only that being understanding and loving is characteristic of any decent person. Actually, this is consistent with your remark, "Love knows no boundaries, especially artificial ones based in ideologies," so I'll chalk it up to a bizarre misunderstanding. lol Wherever in the world you got "prerogative of groups" is lost on me.

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Old 04-22-2007, 05:20 AM
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It wasn't a cut-down, Ten.
I was AGREEING with you,

Here's where I got it...
Ya know, respect for others is not exclusive to pious people. Understanding and walking in love are hallmarks of any courteous, respectful person--
...straight from the horse's mouth!

Shalom!
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:48 AM
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LOL That paragraph in #108 is confusing!
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:57 AM
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Shalom!
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Old 04-22-2007, 04:53 PM
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....
It is commonsense that science is not the only means by which we can discover truth. What evidence do I have to back up this statement? It’s simple; the idea that science is the only source of truth is an unscientific truth claim itself. No scientific method tested this assumption and therefore it must be false - according to itself! My point here is this, truth can be arrived at via philosophy (an example is the use of logic) as well as science (which itself requires philosophical assumptions in order to discover truth). Science can only discover truth if:
1. We assume that truth is knowable (incidentally, assuming the opposite is self-contradictory).
2. We assume various philosophical precepts such as (the Law of Causality, Logic etc)
• This is a mixing of different definitions of ‘truth,’ which is actually a pretty useless word. Science uses observation, deduction, analysis. There is no such thing as philosophical ‘truth’ – only values and beliefs strongly held.

Philosophical Evidence for God

Moral

Every single human society has operated on the notions of good and bad, right and wrong. While these various societies have not always believed exactly the same thing, what is important is that each did believe in some idea of moral duty. Where is the natural, atheistic explanation for this? Why ought I to behave in one way as opposed to another? Why is a beneficial thing preferable to a detrimental one? Why should I do the right thing and not the wrong thing? Why is there any distinction drawn between good and bad things? Where does the concept of value or worth come from if there isn’t really any objective meaning for anything?

I have read a number of books detailing the copy book atheistic answer to these questions so I am fully aware of the common response to my questions. What do you think are the reasons for, and perimeters constructing, the ideas of good and bad? Allow me to hazard a couple of guesses at what may be ticking through your head right now (if I am wrong correct me).
1. Good is ....
There is no rational basis for morality in atheism. If we weren't the product of a personal, moral God why would we have any concept of good or bad. The logical end of atheism is Nihilism – a belief in the total absence of meaning, value, and worth in everything. However, I wonder if you have ever tried to think nihilistically? It doesn’t work. To ‘convert’ to nihilism one must have decided that nihilism is correct and therefore ‘better’ or ‘preferential’ to non-nihilism. That itself is a value based judgment. Furthermore, the only place to go from nihilism is insanity.
• There are so many absurdities in this argument it is hard to know where to begin. Are you looking for an explanation for altruistic behavior? Just the fact that we have a developed brain, cognition, and capability of abstraction makes it possible for humans to do things which are arbitrary, maladaptive, or purposeless.
The words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are the primary problem with this whole argument. And the whole premise is flawed: “Every single human society has operated on the notions of good and bad, right and wrong.” Not really.
Many would argue that there is no rational basis for morality in a theistic viewpoint, either.

Ontological

This ontological argument for the existence of God goes like this.
1. Various things exist independently or in spite of what we see in the universe.
2. Therefore there must be another place where they are fulfilled and/or exist.
An example of this would be the concept of justice. I’m sure you would agree that the world has a lot of injustice, right? The problem for the atheist arises when one considers that there is no natural explanation for the human idea of (and obsession with) justice. If we have never seen true justice how do we know what it is? How do we know that the universe is unjust if we have no example of justice to judge it by? There must be some source for our objective standard of justice. The theist will say that God, who himself is eternally just, puts this conception into people – it is therefore a priori. Atheists have a very hard time counteracting this argument. Another form of the argument is called the Argument from Perfection. This argument states that in order for us to call things imperfect (a common example would be the universe – wasn’t that the main thrust of your ‘Trinity of Religious Contradiction’ thread?) we must have an idea of what perfect is. How can we call something less than perfect if we don’t know what perfect is? And if we do know what perfection is how exactly did we find out about it? We have never seen it but we daily make judgments that necessitate an understanding of it.
• Just as with ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘just’ and ‘perfect’ are not only subjective human concepts, but don’t exist in an absolute state. If you use ‘better’ or ‘worse’ you are being more accurate, and the whole argument falls apart. Anybody can see that something is better or worse from their perspective.
The tendency of theists to use absolute terms is a big part of the problem with these arguments, not to mention being the source of much misery in the world.

...

What do you think the reason is for your conception of such abstract concepts as justice, perfection, beauty, infinity and eternity (more on this below)?
• Your upbringing, education inculcate such concepts, and (again) your ability to think abstractly and therefore develop your own set of values and beliefs can lead you to modify them. They are learned, considered, and adapted to circumstances.
Such abstract concepts are not shared across any given society, much less between societies. We have values and beliefs in common, but there is certainly no agreement on the nature of the concepts you’ve listed.

Scientific Evidence for God

Cosmological

The Cosmological argument argues that the universe must be the creation of a supernatural creator. I will briefly introduce a few laws and concepts that require the beginning of the universe before I venture into the science.
1. The Principle of Causality. The POC states that every effect must have a cause.
2. The Second Law of Thermodynamics. The SLT states that ‘In a closed, isolated system, the amount of useable energy is decreasing’.
3. The impossibility of an infinite series of events.
If nothing created the universe then the universe must have always existed (in one form or another anyway). If the universe is not the effect of something then it will have no cause, right? If the universe has no cause then it must be eternal, right? But, if the universe started at some point something must have started it, right? As they say, ‘out of nothing, nothing comes’. So, effectively, to disbelieve in God one must believe that there is a natural explanation for nature. One must believe that - at least in some form or another - the universe is eternal.
• So, what caused God? Oh, wait: I’m guessing you’ll tell me God is eternal.

.... . If you don’t believe me check it out. The Big Bang is now a well-established scientific fact. What is also a well-attested fact is the impossibility of any type of cyclic universe model. The idea of a Big Bang/Big Crunch is rampant with flaws (see Alan Gluth’s 1983 Nature article "The Impossibility of a bouncing universe"). In recent years the entire idea of a contracting-then-expanding universe has become even less feasible given the discovery of the Energy Density Effect. It appears that the universe has had one shot at vitality before it dies a heat death (a heat death is the state of something with very high entropy). What is the chance that the universe exploded out of ‘nothingness’ through a natural process? I can tell you it is very slim. As everything natural found its beginning in the Big Bang how can there be anything other than a supernatural explanation for the Big Bang? Perhaps you think that this is a big conclusion to jump to? Perhaps you cannot see the reason for a supernatural explanation?
• A big difference between theists and others is that scientists have no trouble accepting that they don’t know something. The Big Bang is not “a well-established scientific fact.” Various theories are debated, and none can be observed. Scientists will speak of their beliefs in terms of probability. So while they have almost 100% certainty about gravity, it is lower for any theory about origin of the universe for rather obvious reasons.

Robert Jastrow, Astronomer and former head of the NASA Goddard Space Flight institute, said "Astronomers have now painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover….. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact."

Eddington stated, "The beginning seems to present in superable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural."


Teleological

All right, so an objective analysis of the facts indicates that the universe is not eternal and is caused by something supernatural.
• Nope. Misuse of the term ‘supernatural’.

What is this supernatural thing though? What or who started the universe? Was it some supernatural law, some principle, something or someone? This is a major question. A rational person understands that there is no use claiming that a God exists because the universe was started by something supernatural. That type of belief requires further evidence before it becomes valid. This evidence can come from the teleological argument.

The Teleological argument is the argument from a design to a designer. It seeks to show that some things are too complicated to be produced by chance and as such must be the intended products of a creator.

The logic of the teleological argument runs like this:
1. Every Design has a designer.
2. The universe has a highly complicated design.
3. Therefore, the universe had a designer.
• Nope. Misuse of the terms ‘design’ and ‘designer’. The premise is flawed. The fact that something is happening doesn’t mean it has a design. Chemical reactions occur automatically without a designer, which happens to be an important principle as we look at the beginnings of life on earth.

It makes sense to start at the beginning so let’s start with an overview of what scientists call the Anthropic Principle.

The Anthropic Principle is what scientists have named the apparent trend in nature to support the onset of life. It has recently been discovered that there are over 120 ‘constants’ that each contributes to the existence of human beings. Each constant is highly specific as well as highly unlikely. What does this mean? It means that while every combination of numbers is equally as unlikely, all the constants display numbers and ratios that are all highly specified to support life. If just one constant had not supported life none would have arisen.
• This is merely a description of the existing processes, and says nothing about how they happened. It isn’t surprising that there are things about our existence which are crucial to our existence. That proves nothing about a design or a designer.

As Stephen Hawking said "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and electron…. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

Below are ten out of over 120 such anthropic constants. There are no natural laws that require the universe to be this way; the atheist will have to believe that it is a freak accident.
• Nope. Misuse of the terms ‘freak’ and ‘accident’, and it is standard operating procedure for creationists to use value-laden terms of this sort. The atheist or naturalist will simply say ‘that is how it happened’ without characterizing it. That goes for all ten of the examples given.
What follows that is just quote-mining: using selected quotations from noted scientists, usually out of context, to ‘prove’ that even scientists somehow accept the notion of design. This is also standard creationist fare, as is the presentation of the astronomical odds of things happening the way they did. And of course, it all “fits perfectly with Christianity.” Pity the poor Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and members of several hundred other religions that haven’t seen it that way.
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:15 PM
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Thumbs down

I DID accept her. It was when she insulted ME without any knowledge of my beliefs whatsoever. I Just thought at that moment " What a LoudMouth." she is just into making a lot of noise, like an empty barrel rolling down a hill.
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:56 PM
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Hey, Ya'll,

Even the Bible says: Religion is a Personal thing to be worked out between You and God.

The Church can't help. Religions can't help. Denominations can't help...heck', even going to church everytime they open the doors can't help!

Nothing can help, except YOUR OWN relation with YOUR own God.....if you have one.
Means --- YOU have to work it out with YOUR God, and preferably keep a personal back and forth with YOUR God. - Meaning - keep HIM in your life, pray for help insessantly.

ASK FOR HIS HELP.....IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU.

Nobody else can tell you how to do it "correctly!" There is no RIGHT way.

It's is a personal experience......

Good luck, everybody...we are all in this together to do the best we can, from what we think is the best....

One thing for sure ---- Ain't none of us getting out of this world alive!

By the way, AndSheWas, I am impressed by you and your willingness to post your triles and tribulations on here...You go girl...dang', I would would not be able to follow the Kosher rules, even IF I knew them...ha.

NOW, I go back into my FOXHOLE and keep my head down!

LOVE you all....GOOD LUCK or GOOD GRACES!
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:26 PM
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How about Good Work? Because the one thing I do know for sure is that no one gets better without it, god-faith or atheistically.
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:51 AM
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Hi Tex

Hey, hey there. I answered ya about the concept of "beginning." Was wonderin' if'n ya read it?

Originally Posted by TexasDumb View Post
Even the Bible says: Religion is a Personal thing to be worked out between You and God.
Where??

Originally Posted by TexasDumb View Post
ASK FOR HIS HELP.....IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU.
"I DID!!" lol And sheesh the Blessed Invisible Pink Unicorn is more communicative than God is. (Now TD my friend, the rest of this is not directed to you, ok? Lord knows I want us to still be friends at the other end.. lol!)

Ever since I found Her, my life has never been the same. Through my personal relationship with the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be Her hooves), I came to understand... that I only got sober when I quit drinking. Not long after coming to know the Invisible Pink Unicorn and having Her in my heart on a daily basis I started to realize... that I could only STAY sober by not drinking.

Once this Holy Horned Herbivorous Savior came into my life eleven years ago, I had a real spiritual awakening and I have been sober and healthy since. Actually--now, I am even released from the chains of pill-addiction.

Praise Her Pinkness!

Through Her loving guidance I have come to know this: That I remain clean from pills... by not going back to them!


Seriously though: There is a two-stage process of getting free of any substance. First, you go through the gritty process of getting it all out of your system, and this is commonly known as "withdrawal." It's a necessary, ugly part of it. The second stage comes in long-term. Well, you make a commitment and ya just don't pick up again.



How exactly does an HP come into that?? I am stumped. We have ALL seen the most pious, most religious of people trip up disastrously and go back to drinking or drug, after years; after months. It just does not matter.

I'll tell ya right now that for half a dozen LONG years, I struggled with AA. With moral inventories and "faking it till I made. it." Of talking the talk. I was a good talker, y'all!! I was an AA star, let me tell you. I faked it good. Eventually, I came to believe I was no longer faking, but walking the walk. I became an AA veteran, opening meetings, well-liked, sponsored--but I went out every time eventually, and the most I put together was 18 months at one time.

LOL Look at me everyone i brought it back to the subject of recovery! Now farther free from the bonds of religion than ever before in my life, I am more at peace and know a deeper day-to-day serenity that ever. I stand mystified at the relationship of one's beliefs to one's addiction. A different subject, but still on AA & other 12-step groups: I remain mystified as well at the relationship of "character defects" to addiction? That's practically akin to having a cancer and taking "a searching and fearless moral inventory." Not to equate the syndrome of addiction with the bona fide disease of cancer; however, both fall within the medical realm and I just fail to see how confessional rituals can really impact either.

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Old 04-23-2007, 06:55 AM
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TEN,

I am not sure exactly where it says that in the Bible, but it does.

I have one of those big Bibles with the concordance, or whatever you call it, where it helps you look up passages, like an index. I will look for it for you if you want.

I also remember reading many, many places in the Bible, where God said his main goal or want for us as humans is just "To be Happy."
That's what we humans want too, but it's easier said than done, eh?

I did read your post about the beginning of the Universe....man, IT is all a mystery, no doubt.

We'll probably never know for sure until we pass on....bummer.

I also wished we humans lived longer than 70-100 years, heck some big turtles and fish live to be 200! How fair is that?
I used to think, when I was young, that our lifespan was long....'course it doesn't take too long to realize that it goes by so fast now.

Remember how long it seemed to take to get out of the 4 years of High School? Now, it seems, 4 years is a blink.

Each day is still long, but time compresses or something.

Dear 'Ole Dad always told me, "It gets faster and faster." I'd think sure, Dad.

Man, was he right.

Other than all this Religious Philosophical mumbo-jumbo, how the heck are ya'?

Me, plugging along in my NEW single life, wishing I felt like dating again.......wrestling with my 28-year-old Lawn-Boy 2-cycle lawnmower....I should have bought a new one in 2004, though I did not know the GOV. was going to make them quit making 2-cycles.
Nobody else did either, they just kind of snuck it in with no fanfare because of emissions issues.
But mine's muffler is under the deck..It is so quiet and it doesn't even smoke.

If you have ever used one, you'd know that the 2-cycle Lawn-Boy is the baddest mower ever made! My buddy (the Crappie Man) always had them and told me to check his out and get one....duh, I thought I had all the time in the world. Wrong.
These things will mow 2-foot tall wet grass without even a hiccup!
And the self-propel on them will drag you down the neighborhood if you don't watch out.
I bought a 28-year-old one at a Pawn Shop for $40 (they did not know what they had) and the engine still runs strong...like 2-cycle boat motors...some of them run for 40+ years.
But, it has a few minor parts that need fixing, and parts are hard to get for such an old mower that they quit making parts for.

Back in 2004, Lowe's had their last and newest 2-cycle top-of-the-line Lawn-Boys for $300! And I did not buy one, duh.
Now, just this week, I saw a new one of those in the box on eBay, and it was going to go for $1,000!
That might tell you how Bad-Ass they are....

As I go through my world, I glance at used lawnmower places to see if I can spot that "oh-so-familiar" green color of these machines. They make mowing a breeze. They will cut weeds and brush like a shredder on a tractor and just keep on plugging.

Sorry, for rambling about the mower...it's just that yesterday me and that old mower had some issues. I am still sore, ha.

Hey, hey, life goes on!
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasDumb View Post
I have one of those big Bibles with the concordance, or whatever you call it, where it helps you look up passages, like an index. I will look for it for you if you want.
No, sir. It's quite all right. Yes, concordance is the word. Heh, I even took quite the scholarly approach to reading the Bible 20 years ago. I went out and purchased an excellent study Bible which I still have. It contains your concordance, a dictionary, and the "study" part means it is exhaustively cross-referenced by chapter and verse, tying in related passages and so forth.

I read the Bible cover to cover using that edition! lol

Originally Posted by TexasDumb View Post
I did read your post about the beginning of the Universe....man, IT is all a mystery, no doubt.

We'll probably never know for sure until we pass on....bummer.
No, no you misunderstand, then! The promise of our exploring and pushing the envelope of what we know is that we learn more and more! This is what awaits humankind, don'tcha know?? Tex, imagine for a minute one hundred years into the future. It's not so long. We won't be around for it, but imagine...

-Quantum computers on a mass scale by then. (No, quantum computers are not theoretical--they're being developed right now. Google it!)
-Interplanetary travel and commute.
-Different fuels we don't even know about right now.
-Perhaps the eradication of cancer.
-One of the biggest things to come? Our collective shift in thinking. Shifting paradigms of how we and our universe works, how long we have, what its underlying nature is.

Last century we were just--just coming to know the actual nature of reality, anway. E=mc² turned the scientific community on its head. The point being that the future is virtually guaranteed to yield evermore.

Originally Posted by TexasDumb View Post
I used to think, when I was young, that our lifespan was long....'course it doesn't take too long to realize that it goes by so fast now.

Remember how long it seemed to take to get out of the 4 years of High School? Now, it seems, 4 years is a blink.
Oh my goodness. Tell me about it. The scariest thing is remembering how our elders talked of what we are talking now. LOL!! That's ...just, freaky!

Originally Posted by TexasDumb View Post
Other than all this Religious Philosophical mumbo-jumbo, how the heck are ya'?
I'm doing fine, but you are, above all others here, something else. We get caught up in debate, TexasDumb will have none of it, preferring to keep it simple. I like.

Dude. From $40 to $1,000 in 2 years. Yikes! (though I'm almost surprised you didn't buy it!)

Ten
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:37 AM
  # 120 (permalink)  
Reach Out and Touch Faith
 
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Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
Alera,
You're right; it IS their loss. Anyone who would reject your friendship, wisdom and concern due to their preconceived notions of you based on your spiritual understandings is Truely the worse off for that rejection! I'm really glad *you* recognize that. At one time, my own self esteem wouldn't have.

But, Alera, Chabad is not a cult. It's part of mainstream Judaism. My Hebrew teacher belongs to a Chabad synogogue. They are far more tolerant, (not in Ten's way), than Othordox Jews. For example, Othordox Jews reject the fact that I'm a Jew completely. I didn't convert into an Orthordox synogogue, so, I'm not a Jew according to them. Chabad does not hold that perspective. However, Chabad would like to see all Jews strive to perform all the possible mitzvot, (both a blessing and a commandment), regularly. They are very accepting of the idea of progress, not perfection.
Teach, the Chabad I was involved in was a cult. Perhaps not all Chabad is, but this one is considered a cult by most of the cult researchers for a reason (i use the Singer model). They are personality driven, it is their way or the highway, they believed a certain man is the messiah so his words were the truth period. Very scary time for me. They even kicked my mother out and tried to keep me involved while they indoctrinated me.
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