Grace and Spirituality

Recently we heard a Spiritualist minister discuss grace. In the subsequent discussion it became apparent that no one present really knew what grace was or is. In my own mind grace is very similar to consciousness: (a) It is something we all recognize as being real, though we don’t know how to get it, and (b) We don’t know whether conscious animals and living things have it–or even whether they wish for it.
If I built an automaton from parts that replicate a human being and its functions, would the automaton have consciousness? Would the consciousness be built in? If it does not have consciousness, why not? If it had conciousness would it also have grace?
Having consciousness has been compared to knowing the color red (or, for that matter, any other color) if I were to be completely color-blind and could see only in black and white and in shades of gray. Could you describe to me, your bereft friend, what red is–or what seeing red feels like? Does a mouse, who is not color-blind, understand red?, whereas I have no hope of being able to do that. Does a mouse have consciousness–at least more than my replica human being, the automaton?
Are consciousness and grace emergent traits? We know that, for instance, flocking for birds is an emergent trait. As soon as you put a group of birds together they form a flock and act in unison.
Yet a bird and even two birds do not seem to be naturally friendly with one another.
Somewhere in their genome, over ages birds have learned that flocking has advantages. Therefore when a group forms, they flock.
Does consciousness have a survival advantage? If you can dream up an advantage for
consciousness, can you for grace? Obviously in time past, when the Inquisition was rampant, being able to say that you had grace was an advantage: You hopefully wouldn’t be burned. But today?
Blessed be G&Y

  1. Avatar
    Minister Peacefulpoet| January 29, 2015 |

    As I did not hear the sermon you had heard, I cannot comment on the sermon. I can only explain my definition.

    Grace is a feeling a person feels when they are forgiven.

    Why do we all need grace, because we all feel shame.

    You may not realize this because you were born that way and may have never thought of it.

    Animals don't need grace because they don't feel shame like we do.

    We are a strange animal. The book of Genesis explains why we are a strange animal. Some take this book literally, I do not.

    I do not understand the science behind our creation and do not pretend to know. Genesis is simply an attempt to explain.

    First God breathed into us the breath of life and he did not do this with any other animal which set us apart from other animals which could explain why it is we managed to subdue the whole earth.

    Second, we are ashamed of our nakedness. The only animal on this earth who acts like this. Who hides them self from each other out of shame. Not just our nakedness, but even our compassion we are ashamed of. For instance. We will pet a strange dog or cat but we dare not pet a strange person. You may not have thought about this because you have been like this most of your life and it may not seem odd to you. But if you think about it, it is strange behavior.

    Because we carry this shame around with us, we require grace in order to be saved from it.

    This is the Grace that Jesus offers us freely if we choose to accept. Before he died, his last words, "forgive them for they know what they do." and "it is finished." Because of this we are offered grace. I don't exactly know how it works and don't claim to know. There are those who claim they understand, but I don't think they do because they certainly don't act like they understand.

    So there you have it, the meaning of grace.

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