or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › Christians distracted from worship
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Christians distracted from worship - Page 3

post #81 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
mea culpa!

I actually meant to write Dagon!

See I can fuck up too.

Evidently so can I.
post #82 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius

Hades = place we are in all likelihood going

Are you suggesting that to much questioning would get me sent to hell?
post #83 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Are you suggesting that to much questioning would get me sent to hell?

No, rather that hell is something perhaps only perceivable (or experiencable) for those of a more philosophically reflective, sensitive and altogether less 'coarse' disposition - people much like yourself in fact.

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #84 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
No, rather that hell is something perhaps only perceivable (or experiencable) for those of a more philosophically reflective, sensitive and altogether less 'coarse' disposition - people much like yourself in fact.


I think perhaps theres a bit of sarcasm in there, but I cant quite put my finger on it at the moment.
post #85 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Yes, but that hasn't stopped some people describing His nature or issuing instructions on His behalf.

The US fundamentalist evangelical community would be a good example (not all of them - mainly the 'televangelists') of people who follow self-appointed 'prophets' who claim to speak for, or to, God but there are many other cults and sects in all religions that do the same.

In my view, this is the real fault line. It's not even fundamentalism or literalism (though I'm sure they're correlated), it's certainty. There are many people, both religious and non-religious, who are willing to accept uncertainty. I'm willings to trust those people, religious or not. But if people believe they know for certain something as ineffable as religion, there's just something wrong with them.
post #86 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
There are many people, both religious and non-religious, who are willing to accept uncertainty. I'm willings to trust those people, religious or not. But if people believe they know for certain something as ineffable as religion, there's just something wrong with them.

Yes, I agree - kind of the converse of Fitzgerald's famous "the sign of an educated man is one who can hold two contradictory ideas in mind at the same time and continue to function".

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #87 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
That can only happen if humans are the highest form of life in the universe - ie, we can only explain things we have mastered.

surely we dont need to be the highest form of life in the universe to have mastered how our brains work?

Quote:

For example, if, as is very, very likely at some point, we encounter an extra-terrestrial civilization millions of years older than us and utilizing a technology utterly alien (as it would be) then we will not be able to 'reduce' this to anything.



But there would be nothing stopping us from trying to understand it. People would say it was impossible, but we would still try. Thats why we aren't still living in caves.

Quote:

And that is just with other forms of life. 'God' would stand to them as they do to us.



But their understanding of God would be millions of years more advanced than ours. Our concept of God would be primitive - and they would laugh at us for it, just like we laugh at Cuilla. There would be some of us who would get defensive over it, and some of us would try to incorperate the new found wisdom. Im the latter.

Don't you think that theology is a load of BS. Theology is only as good as the person who managed to think up the best explanation so far. No doubt if someone rediscovered polytheism and sat it on a foundation that was theologically more secure than the last best explanation, then we'd all revert back to polytheism.?

Quote:

You put too much faith in science and seem to have caught some of its afflictions We are nothing ion the universe - certainly nothing to be 'reducing' God or many other things.



Havn't you realised that Science is the only 'religion' where 'theologically' unsound theories are abandoned when a better explanation comes along?

This is almost in complete contrast to religion, where it starts off good and ends in fundamentalism.

Face it, Christianity and Islam are dying, because they have run their course. It ends in fundamentalism. For every one person who 'gets it' there are a thousand who dont. I know you get it, but look around, for every one of you, there are millions upon millions who dont. Probably not me either apparently.

Isn't it time to rewrite this chapter - just like it has happened every time throughout history, when a religion dies, because new wisdom has superceeded it.

Christianity and Islam are the old wisdom. Its not that the teachings are wrong, its just that most of the followers just dont get it. And thats because they have not been updated - as happened with this evolution of God and wisdom every other time throughout all history. They are trying to teach an eternal wisdom, but in a context that expired 1500 years ago. This is why it is failing. There is nothing wrong with the wisdom, just the context.

Do Scientists look up at the stars, get that fuzzy feeling of God, and decide that today we must invade another country because they dont call the constellations by the same name? Yet this is where much of religion is today.

Im sorry if I chose Science over religion, but Science doesn't really fail, sure it goes down the wrong path at times, diverts all over the place, but eventually self-rights itself. There are bad people in science, even evil people, but Science corrects itself, because it is only concerned with unravelling the mystery and puts itself right, it doesn't eternally travel down the wrong path till it destroys itself.

Quote:

It's an interesting theoretical construct but nothing more.

Its all about resolution of conflict.

Fellows, dmz, cuilla, obviously have resolved the conflict, by simply ignoring anything that might conflict. Well good luck to 'em, if that makes them happy.

You appear to have mastered whatever it is you do. So perhaps there is no conflict for you. Good luck to you if that makes you happy.

But for me there is a conflict of "God or chemical reaction?" so until I resolve this the journey isn't over.
post #88 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
surely we dont need to be the highest form of life in the universe to have mastered how our brains work?

That wasn't your illustration though - you were talking about explaining 'God'. My point is that if you take 'God' as being the highest principle then nothing lower can understand it.

Quote:
But there would be nothing stopping us from trying to understand it. People would say it was impossible, but we would still try. Thats why we aren't still living in caves.

True. But wisdom surely is to not attempt the impossible and it is wisdom we are talking about in the spiritual sense.

Quote:
But their understanding of God would be millions of years more advanced than ours. Our concept of God would be primitive - and they would laugh at us for it, just like we laugh at Cuilla. There would be some of us who would get defensive over it, and some of us would try to incorperate the new found wisdom. Im the latter.

But I don't 'laugh at Cuilla' though. That would disharmonious. I may not share his religious perspective but I probably do share his sense of 'conscience' for want of a better word.

Re the aliens, that's my point - you may not be able to even try to incorporate the new wisdom. you may not even recognize it as such if it wa that advanced. It may look nothing like wisdom because of it - it may look like foolishness and cause you to reject it.

So it is with God on our everyday level.

Quote:
Don't you think that theology is a load of BS. Theology is only as good as the person who managed to think up the best explanation so far. No doubt if someone rediscovered polytheism and sat it on a foundation that was theologically more secure than the last best explanation, then we'd all revert back to polytheism.?

I think some theology is BS. I think some is the most beautiful, elegant and artistic expression of philosophy. Depends on who is theologizing.

Polytheism can also be a valid expression for people at a certain stage of development (ie in very early human communities). We outgrew it, that's all.

Quote:
Havn't you realised that Science is the only 'religion' where 'theologically' unsound theories are abandoned when a better explanation comes along?

I've heard it often. Seen it much less unfortunately. Science has it's own Inquisitions and it's own dogma. Equally unpleasant and often more so to my mind.

Quote:
This is almost in complete contrast to religion, where it starts off good and ends in fundamentalism.

Not really. Fundamentalists are always with us - science has more than it's share and always has had.

The wars are over reputations and funding generally rather than Holy Writ (although science certainly has enough of that).

Quote:
Face it, Christianity and Islam are dying, because they have run their course. It ends in fundamentalism. For every one person who 'gets it' there are a thousand who dont. I know you get it, but look around, for every one of you, there are millions upon millions who dont. Probably not me either apparently.

I disagree - Christianity and Islam, just like all religions, are manifestations of something else. A higher truth. They are not THE truth in themselves but a certain take on it from different angles for different times and communities.

Of course we may need some other angle at some point. But it would be an aspect of the same truth that these are an aspect of. Truth can never die. They are merely fruits on a tree. The tree is the thing.

Quote:
Isn't it time to rewrite this chapter - just like it has happened every time throughout history, when a religion dies, because new wisdom has superceeded it.

I see no such wisdom - folly, yes but wisdom, no. besides, we are not in a position to do any re-writing of anything and never have been. Things write themselves.

Quote:
Christianity and Islam are the old wisdom. Its not that the teachings are wrong, its just that most of the followers just dont get it. And thats because they have not been updated - as happened with this evolution of God and wisdom every other time throughout all history. They are trying to teach an eternal wisdom, but in a context that expired 1500 years ago. This is why it is failing. There is nothing wrong with the wisdom, just the context.

Hardly anyone ever 'gets it' - Jesus had only 12 disciples though he preached regularly to thousands. Half of them didn't know what he was going on about and the one who did best is probably cursed forever by the Church.

The Children of Israel spent 40 years complaining in a desert to Moses who must have been pretty hacked of and as for Buddha he was hounded from pillar to post and viewed as a lunatic.

Quote:
Do Scientists look up at the stars, get that fuzzy feeling of God, and decide that today we must invade another country because they dont call the constellations by the same name? Yet this is where much of religion is today.

No, they get a fuzzy feeling and invent some weapon of hideous death. It is the scientists who are inventing the weapons that the warheads do the killing with. Without them they would just be angry nutters shouting in the street.

Scientists invent the means to inflict suffering from nuclear bombs to genetic mutations or food additives. Same maniacs working the production line.

Quote:
Im sorry if I chose Science over religion, but Science doesn't really fail, sure it goes down the wrong path at times, diverts all over the place, but eventually self-rights itself. There are bad people in science, even evil people, but Science corrects itself, because it is only concerned with unravelling the mystery and puts itself right, it doesn't eternally travel down the wrong path till it destroys itself.

Well, we don;t know do we? The jury's out and it's a game of two halves which isn't over till the fat lady sings and then the accounts are made up at the end of the day.

Quote:
Its all about resolution of conflict.

What is?

Quote:
Fellows, dmz, cuilla, obviously have resolved the conflict, by simply ignoring anything that might conflict. Well good luck to 'em, if that makes them happy.

Difficult to see inside other people's hearts. Imo, one must be careful about making such claims - things may look a certain way (or may not) but they may only look that way to you.

How do we know how they arrived at their decisions? And if they arrived differently than we would then who's to say our opinion is more valid?

Imo there is only one benchmark: someone has thought about deeper issues (however deeply or otherwise) and made their choice or they haven't. All the people you mention have done this.

That's enough to make us equals until God does the judging imo - and really He is the only one capable of it so the only one who has the right. And if He turns out to not exist then that still doesn't give anyone else the right to judge people till we know for sure.

I also am interested that you refer this to happiness in some way - surely that has little bearing on a spiritual path? Happiness is the motivation of 'the world'.

Quote:
You appear to have mastered whatever it is you do. So perhaps there is no conflict for you. Good luck to you if that makes you happy.

There is no conflict for a lot of people - even those who believe the opposite of what I do. I feel no conflict with them either. It's not about 'being right' - it's about finding one's own harmony.

How can you find harmony or peace if you entertain conflict?

Quote:
But for me there is a conflict of "God or chemical reaction?" so until I resolve this the journey isn't over.

As I meant to imply above - to resolve it by weighing one against the other IS the continuation of conflict. Perhaps you might try to see them both as the same thing?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #89 of 240
Quote:
What happens when this feeling of God, within ourselves, is reduced to a flow-chart of events, described in terms of atoms, and electron interactions. What is God then?

Or, What happens when eating cakes, within ourselves, is reduced to a flow-chart of events, described in terms of atoms, and electron interactions. What is cake-eating then? Ah, the crisis of physical embodiment. It may interest you to know that some people's spiritual experience is linked to temporal lobe epilepsey.


Quote:
That led to the description of the gravitation-force as F=(m1* m2/r�)*(a constant), but nevertheless it didn't help in any way to solve the mystery of gravitation, what it is and how and why it works, it merely describes its effects.

Unfortunately gravitons may be (practically) impossible to detect. Neutrinos and bosons may be detected in kilometre scale machines, but due to their much weaker interactions gravitons would need planet-sized detectors.

Quote:
When Science solves the flagellum, dmz will have lost God.

Don't be daft. An irrefutable refutation of irreducible complexity wouldn't be universally accepted immediately. If the implications obtained general acceptance, it would be a gradual process, almost like watching a theory being reviewed, but much more slowly. Furthermore I don't see anyone who was "converted" throwing their god out with the bathwater, or anyone not convinced caring that they've been marked as theological failure.

Quote:
Yes, I agree - kind of the converse of Fitzgerald's famous "the sign of an educated man is one who can hold two contradictory ideas in mind at the same time and continue to function".

Who would have doublethunk it?
Stoo
Reply
Stoo
Reply
post #90 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Yes, but that hasn't stopped some people describing His nature or issuing instructions on His behalf.

The US fundamentalist evangelical community would be a good example (not all of them - mainly the 'televangelists') of people who follow self-appointed 'prophets' who claim to speak for, or to, God but there are many other cults and sects in all religions that do the same.

Ah, that you mean!

Personally I think preachers, be they rabbis, priests or imams are of great service and inspiration, even those that are wrong in their theological views.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #91 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
Ah, that you mean!

Personally I think preachers, be they rabbis, priests or imams are of great service and inspiration, even those that are wrong in their theological views.

Nightcrawler

Of course you do.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #92 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
So you expect me to accept that everyone who is a Christian has the same idea or feelings of God? Everyone who is a Muslim has the same idea/feeling. Everyone who is a Jew/Zoroastrian. And then you expect me to accept that everyone across all these groups has exactly the same idea or feeling. I dont need to call BS on that, because you already know it.

You are much too quick with your judgments.

The fact that jews, christians and muslims have slightly different ideas and feelings about God doesn't change the fact that is the same one.

God is and has always been the same and one God that created everything, but He has off course different aspects, actually quite a lot of aspects, of which some are more expressed in one religion and others are more expressed in the other religions, but nonetheless they are all God's aspects.



Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
And what 'God' are you talking about, Jehovah, Baal, Al-Ilah, El, Elohim, Asherah, Lucifer, Dogon, Nimrod, Tammuz, Hades, the wise Volcano?

There are what 7 billion of us, that means 7 billion concepts of "God" or "Not God"

There is only one God, but there is also a lot of humans with free will, history, temptations and confusion. It's not very hard to come to the conclusion that the original one God-message/concept split up into polytheism.

The abrahamitic religions merely serve as a back to the roots/truth movement.

Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Why dont you sit down with "Fellowship" and see if you can come up with exactly the same conceptualization of what God is seeing as you both follow an "Abrahamic" religion. Id bet money, you would be scrapping within 3 minutes.

As soon as one of you disagrees then

a) One of you is deluded
b) Both of you are deluded
c) Both of you are right, but too ignorant to realise why.

Incidently, id go for {c}

Lets then sit down with the whole world. If you threw every possibility about the nature of God, would even a single pair out of 7 billion agree on every possibility. Probably Not.

Therefore everyone succumbs to delusion at some point, when their knowledge fails them.

Therefore God as an explanation is ultimately a delusion for everybody "at some point".

It doesn't change anything about God, if we humans have (slightly or not so slightly) different ideas about Him.



Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Well maybe all the other humans came across the universally held belief that God is ultimately unsolvable, and thats why they failed. I call BS on that. Everything has a solution, including the solution that there is no solution yet.

So, There is possibly one true series of events from the instance of Big Bang uptill the second I am sat here typing this. This is the Mystery, "What really happened and why", it would be very very easy at some point of trying to solve this, just to say a God did it, but then I am deluding myself, GIVING UP! - for every single description of God we can find ends at some point in a self-delusion - as shown above.


"As shown above", "I call BS on that"...

See, the point is up until now not even the slightest scintillia of event has been solved by science. It has been only merely described, and considering the schemes science is following there is no way to go beyond a better description.



Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Now, Segovius, You, Fellowship, Me, hardeharhar, everyone on the planet, even the Satanists and Athiests, have all experienced the feeling that Segovius calls "God", and I call "Mystery"- i dont dispute that. It a very real feeling, and something as yet unexplainable.

But this is a "Mystery", because the possiblity still exists that it is "God", or, just a series of Chemical reactions that as yet we dont understand. Or that God IS the series of Chemical Reactions.

To chose to call it "God", suggests to me atleast, that at some point you have "given up" wanting to know.

Now, Segovius claims that the reason for this is that we have been misled about the nature of God, because we are all expecting to find a grey bearded granddaddy in the sky, yet God exists as a feeling within ourselves.

Now, perhaps its stupid and dangerous to ask, and perhaps most, if not everyone, doesn't want to know, if an unknown series of chemical reactions can manifest itself as God. BUT I DO!!!

What happens when this feeling of God, within ourselves, is reduced to a flow-chart of events, described in terms of atoms, and electron interactions. What is God then?

You are making here a big mistake by equating God with our feelings about God. Our feelings about God can well be chemically or biologically induced but it wouldn't change anything about God, cause God is the one that induced these feelings in us chemically and biologically.



Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
I expect very many people are going to have a very bad day. But not me!

Why?

Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Most people, would think that all the magic had gone from the world, Yet they are only in contempt of themselves.

If you cant look at life, the Earth, or the universe, or Evolution, or Chaos theory, and be completely blown away by its' very existance, regardless of God, Jesus, Mohammed - if you need a resurrection, or ascention of an imaginary friend, a heaven, or threat of eternal punishment, to have value in life - then perhaps it is better that you do believe in God, and dont ask these questions, or seek the truth.

You are constructing here contradictions that aren't there. Evolution, chaos-theory... are only human constructs to try to describe God's creation.

Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
It would be better that you do believe in a Jesus resurrecting on a 'wooden' cross, if thats the only thing that can break you out of your self imposed contempt for life and mystery. Because the truth would surely kill you.

As far as I know, christians don't believe that Jesus got ressurected on a cross, but instead days after being crucified raising from his tomb.

But how can truth change anything in that belief? That's hardly possible, unless you build a time-machine, spot Jesus being crucified and smuggle yourself into the place of his body and film how his body is being stolen by his followers and buried elsewhere.


Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
No, I am direct evidence of a mystery that I wish to solve. You are direct evidence of someone who has given up and accepted a delusion to make your life possible.

The point is though there is no way that science can actually explain anything, it's not in its structure and scheme to do so. To believe that it can solve anything is indeed delusion.

For example, science has achieved a better description of matter by discovering the existence of atoms, and protons, electrons, and theoretically quarks...

It has been shown that electrons tend to repel each other and protons to repel each other, while electrons and protons attract each other, thus making the atom possible (although there is a problem with the protons in the nucleus that somehow are restricted to repel each other, so that others, like for example neutrons or other elements must achieve that effect, but ok that would lead too far away).

That's a great improvement in the description of matter, but it merely transports a mystery into the atomic-level, without solving it at all. Why and how do electrons repel each other? Is it a field they create that achieves the effect, or is it smaller particles that do it? If so, what makes these fields and particles do what they do?....

That scheme of progress in science is spotable in every branch and field, but it doesn't lead to an explanation, cause one question answered leads to two others coming up.. indefinitely.

I for one think science is a great way to look into how God has organized the universe, but it doesn't touch at all the question if God has created the universe or not, and can't do so even if it wants.




Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Science and religion WERE the same thing. Religion was the mechanism where scientific discovery was communicated and written down, in parable so that people could understand it on different levels depending on their natural ability. And it evolved over millenia, building on its foundations to incorperate new science, philosophy, and theology. Thats why every religion has the same core teaching, the same core parables, wisdom and characters - thats why every religion is the same, yet different. Thats why Jesus=Joshua=Mithra=Orpheus=Hercules=Osiris=Horus and many many others. He was just a natural progression of mankinds increasing knowledge. Not a God damn real person. If events in Rome had turned out differently, there would be no Jesus. We would have re-written his story a hundred times over by now, incorperating all the new science, philosophy and wisdom that mankind had discovered over the last 2000 years. Evolution would now be part of our Bible.


You seem to have a special grief with Jesus. I sure don't get it, must be an inside-joke of christians or ex-christians.

If you don't believe Jesus to have been a real human, that's fine, that's your cup of tea, then following your way of thinking prophet Muhammad was also non-existing, and likewise Moses, and Napoleon and Gandhi likewise.

We surely must have been tricked..








Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
For the mystery to be solved, both Science and Religion must be reunited. Its entirely obvious. They need each other.

Really is that so obvious, wasn't you just before entertaining the idea that science is enough?

That remembers me of a saying of Albert Einstein: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind".

I somehow agree with that idea. Science is imho a great method to study God's creation, to look in more detail how the universe is organized, which systems are used..., and eventhough it can never explain anything really, it nevertheless is useful in appreciating God's brilliance...

To simply say God created the universe and to leave it at that would be underappreciating God's creation. To see and understand that everything created is made up of atoms, of the same basic elements combined in different ways and put under certain ways of actions and interactions, and to study how God set up these elements to bring about the most diverse phenomenas and to realize that every one of these elements is subject to forces that we ultmately will never fathom entirely means to really appreciate and praise God.





Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Yet there is Science going on right now that will/may answer, or at least provide further leads in how to solve those mysteries, If you've built your "God" around believing that these things will always remain a mystery, then I wouldn't want to be in your shoes over the next decade. You'll be in for a very rough ride.

Hardly, it's not in the scheme and structure of science to solve anything, it merely transports a mystery into a more detailed description that offers for every mystery two others... never solving anything, in fact actually increasing the mysteries.

[/b]

Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
we have the mathematics and the theories, yet all of a sudden there has not a mass unemployment of Scientists, What do you think they're working on now. There working on "How" and "Why".

No, they (or should I say we) are working on more correct mathematical descriptions... But even if they (or we) find the ultimate correct mathematical description, so that no phenomon in the universe runs against our mathematical formulas, it still wouldn't be a solution of any mystery at all.

Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Whats dmz going to do when Science can show how a flagellum came into existance all on its own. He's framed the question as "either its the flagellum or God". When Science solves the flagellum, dmz will have lost God.

I don't know anything about dmz's belief or doctrine, but I will still try to answer:

Science can't show that anything came into existence out of its own, because science is merely describing what happens in God's creation. If science will reach a state to show that the evolution-theory is sound, then it would only mean that God created the species evolutionary, instead of instant-creation...



Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Why build your tower to God in a foundation of Sand?


Marc

Let's just assume God really exists: He created everything and gave us humans a soul, a brain, a free will, and wants to test us, to see who would be thankful regarding all the blessings that He gives us, like this planet, water, meat to eat, vegetables... family, love... security, happiness.. and who would ignore it and be not thankful.

Let's assume that God also inspired messengers to tell us about Him, to remember us to be thankful and to warn us against doing evil and motivates us to do good, since He would ressurect us all to receive judment and either eternal reward or eternal punishment.

Who do you think will have a better foundation?

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #93 of 240
Hey nightcrawler, have you seen Shawn's signature (woo, so nice being quoted, Shawn you rock)? I'll reproduce it for ya here:

Say whatever you want but when you believe in an invisible man who lives in the sky who is omnipotent but acts like a little child and expresses the whole range of imperfect human emotions and if you don't believe in him you will suffer the worst of all torture for eternity but he does this only because he loves you so much and this belief is based on no real evidence just an old moldy tome that provides itself as its only evidence in some twist of circular logic while there have been hundreds if not thousands of other religions claiming the same thing and the only thing supporting those claims are more moldy tomes...sorry, that's fucking delusion. -BR

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #94 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by BR
Hey nightcrawler, have you seen Shawn's signature (woo, so nice being quoted, Shawn you rock)? I'll reproduce it for ya here:

Say whatever you want but when you believe in an invisible man who lives in the sky who is omnipotent but acts like a little child

What's so childish about creating the whole universe and keeping it alive?

Quote:
Originally posted by BR
and expresses the whole range of imperfect human emotions and if you don't believe in him you will suffer the worst of all torture for eternity

Well, considering the fact that He gave you everything, your family, your body and soul, your mind and spirit, your heart and your love, your children... even the very air you breathe, it's the least He can expect from you to acknowledge it and to thank Him for it.

Ultimately what decides who will be punished or who will be rewarded, will be the deeds. The monotheistic religions merely serve as a vehicle and help to reach the point where the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds. By acknowledging God, believing Him, you get the opportunity to repent sins and to ask for forgivance and thus a much better chance than an agnostic.

Quote:
Originally posted by BR
but he does this only because he loves you so much and this belief is based on no real evidence just an old moldy tome that provides itself as its only evidence in some twist of circular logic while there have been hundreds if not thousands of other religions claiming the same thing and the only thing supporting those claims are more moldy tomes...sorry, that's fucking delusion.

The evidence is around us, it's even in us. Everyone is born with a faith in the divine.

The monotheistic religions are only means to counter the deviations that free will and human culture brought about, that diverted that original born-with faith.

Personally I think everyone believes in something, without faith in something we are probably unable to be happy, productive and creative.

But those that have restored their faith in God and the last day/afterlife will have the best guidance in this life and the best opportunities in the next.

Just my 2c.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #95 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
Well, considering the fact that He gave you everything, your family, your body and soul, your mind and spirit, your heart and your love, your children... even the very air you breathe, it's the least He can expect from you to acknowledge it and to thank Him for it.

Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man? did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place
In this delicious garden?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
post #96 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
Well, considering the fact that He gave you everything, your family, your body and soul, your mind and spirit, your heart and your love, your children... even the very air you breathe, it's the least He can expect from you to acknowledge it and to thank Him for it.

That's great, thank Him for it. We should all be a bit more humble and thankful.

What gets me though is the idea that you're going to be tortured for eternity if you don't thank Him for it, and you'll be rewarded for eternity if you do thank Him. That's not a benevolent Creator, that's the Saddam Hussein school of dictatorship. If I did believe this was the way that God worked, I'd consider myself a dissident. But I don't believe that.
post #97 of 240
well, with a heavy heart, I write my reply, because you are the absolute last person I want to fall out with, so when this discussion is over, as far as Im concerned, it was just a discussion, and you're still my mate. I will try to be 'philosophically reflective'

Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
That wasn't your illustration though - you were talking about explaining 'God'. My point is that if you take 'God' as being the highest principle then nothing lower can understand it.

My point was, that Im not sure you can take God as the highest principle, because Mystery IMO is higher. The mystery might reveal God, or not. If the end product of this journey is to discover the truth, then one must ask, if this feeling of God, is God, or an as yet unknown chemical reaction.

For instance if is was shown to be a chemical reaction, it would be possible by intervening in the process, to supress or heighten this feeling of God.

Now I ask, has there been a long history of using certain mind expanding drugs to heighten the sensation of God?

Quote:

True. But wisdom surely is to not attempt the impossible and it is wisdom we are talking about in the spiritual sense.

Why should it be impossible? You seem to have been convinced of it. But is that just what you have been told to accept?

Quote:

But I don't 'laugh at Cuilla' though. That would disharmonious. I may not share his religious perspective but I probably do share his sense of 'conscience' for want of a better word.

I dont laugh at Cuilla either, except when Im drunk and try to figure out exactly what could be going on in his little head. Then Im hysterical. If that makes me disharmonius, well im an ass

Quote:

Re the aliens, that's my point - you may not be able to even try to incorporate the new wisdom. you may not even recognize it as such if it wa that advanced. It may look nothing like wisdom because of it - it may look like foolishness and cause you to reject it.

So it is with God on our everyday level.

Well, if God IS the highest principle, no alien principle of wisdom could be higher, so why would anyone reject it?

Quote:

I think some theology is BS. I think some is the most beautiful, elegant and artistic expression of philosophy. Depends on who is theologizing.

Polytheism can also be a valid expression for people at a certain stage of development (ie in very early human communities). We outgrew it, that's all.

Well, it probably is, but at the end of the matter, all theology is human interpretation, so the best theology is the one who has made the most beautiful interpretation accoring to the readers understanding. A really good theology might be rejected because it is too far above your current level of understanding.

Maybe wanting to become in "Union" with Mystery, is higher than being in "Union" with God, because God is part of the Mystery, not the 'complete' Mystery.

For instance, when you are in union with God, do you know then the absolute mechanisms he used to cause the big bang, do you know how flagellum evolved?

No, so thats why God is part of the mystery, and not the whole mystery. You can become in union with God as much as you like, but there are still other things you just won't know.

SO...somewhere along the line, a part of my understanding must have overtook yours.

I'll be damned if I can work out how, when or why that happened, but it might be the case. Or either I tried too hard and went completely mad.

We difinately KNOW, that there is a mystery, it is a position of faith that the mystery might be God.

Quote:

I've heard it often. Seen it much less unfortunately. Science has it's own Inquisitions and it's own dogma. Equally unpleasant and often more so to my mind.

Not really. Fundamentalists are always with us - science has more than it's share and always has had.

The wars are over reputations and funding generally rather than Holy Writ (although science certainly has enough of that).

Yes all of those thing happen. We all know it. But whatever the evils of the system, science has provided virtualy everything. Dispite these evils, Science works. Look around your room, can you find anything that wasn't provided for by science. How much Science went into providing you with your Quran?

Quote:

I disagree - Christianity and Islam, just like all religions, are manifestations of something else. A higher truth. They are not THE truth in themselves but a certain take on it from different angles for different times and communities.

Of course we may need some other angle at some point. But it would be an aspect of the same truth that these are an aspect of. Truth can never die. They are merely fruits on a tree. The tree is the thing.

Dont you think that when both Christianity and Islam are descending into fundamentalist hell, that NOW, might be a good time to start to search for another angle to reveal this God or Mystery.

I quite agree that it would be an aspect of the same truth. Im not trying to kill God, or reject Jesus. I accept the teaching of Jesus. But I accept it for what it really is, and who Jesus really was. An evolution of an Astrological Meme.

You Know as well as I that this IS the truth, and understanding it for what it really is reveals a higher truth - and we can still have this higher truth however it is rewritten, rediscovered or retaught. But when 99.9% of followers of JC, think he was a real historical person, 99.9% of them will never know what this higher truth was ever meanst to be. Jesus the meme has failed. His time is over.

Quote:

I see no such wisdom - folly, yes but wisdom, no. besides, we are not in a position to do any re-writing of anything and never have been. Things write themselves.

If a load of displaced Jews has not found themselves in the centre of learning in the world at the time, the "pagan" Alexandria, and they had not wanted to take their ancient Jewish scriptures and update it to incorperate the wisdom of a pagan world that had advanced over them by hundreds of years - Had they not wanted to rewrite their out of date wisdom, had they believed the folks who told them that such things were not possible becuase their God was the highest principle - this tale of Jesus would never have happened.

Someone has to decide that the old wisdom IS old. Someone has to decide that new wisdom should be incorperated. So all Im really sugessting, as it is like you say, "truth can never die" - is that a new layer of this truth is exposed for the times or era we live in.

Quote:

Hardly anyone ever 'gets it' - Jesus had only 12 disciples though he preached regularly to thousands. Half of them didn't know what he was going on about and the one who did best is probably cursed forever by the Church.

The Children of Israel spent 40 years complaining in a desert to Moses who must have been pretty hacked of and as for Buddha he was hounded from pillar to post and viewed as a lunatic.

So the people who do get it, then are wiped off the face of the earth by the growing number of people who dont get it. Thats a really dumb way for God to operate.

Quote:

No, they get a fuzzy feeling and invent some weapon of hideous death. It is the scientists who are inventing the weapons that the warheads do the killing with. Without them they would just be angry nutters shouting in the street.

Scientists invent the means to inflict suffering from nuclear bombs to genetic mutations or food additives. Same maniacs working the production line.

Well for someone who wrote a blog on the 'fundamentalism' of Dawkins' thinking and then to write such a completely stupid statement about the nature of Science just takes the biscuit.
Grow up for your own sake.

I've snipped a bit out because I dont have much issue with it.

Quote:

How can you find harmony or peace if you entertain conflict?

Sounds to me like your sugessting that something you are having difficulty in resolving- just ignore it. Thats ok, but it makes fools out of all of us. Especially when one first finds 'religion' and rapidly finds science says it cant be so, yeah, just ignore it. Isn't that the very thinking that gave rise to ignorant fundamentalism?

Hey im too stupid and lazy to figure it out, so I'll just ignore it all, stick my head in the sand and proclaim what I want to be true. Hell NO NO NO!

(Looks like Im loosing my philosohical reflection!...deep breath.)

Look, if you want to become wise or whatever, it is all about seeing, feeling, living and understanding the conflicts until you have amassed enough wisdom and strength of mind to resolve them.

Personally this is what gives me this God feeling in my head. It is amassing all this evidence, living with it day to day, living it out, feeling it and understanding it, becoming 'one' with all the possibilities and calling the best judgement I can on it. Resolving the conflict, it is my God. My God, then is just 'part' of a higher "Mystery".

Quote:

As I meant to imply above - to resolve it by weighing one against the other IS the continuation of conflict. Perhaps you might try to see them both as the same thing?

Perhaps.
post #98 of 240
Nightcrawler

It is stupid and foolish of me to engage in this debate with you. You're completley RIGHT.
post #99 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
What gets me though is the idea that you're going to be tortured for eternity if you don't thank Him for it, and you'll be rewarded for eternity if you do thank Him. That's not a benevolent Creator, that's the Saddam Hussein school of dictatorship. If I did believe this was the way that God worked, I'd consider myself a dissident. But I don't believe that.

Exactly.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #100 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Stoo

Don't be daft. An irrefutable refutation of irreducible complexity wouldn't be universally accepted immediately. If the implications obtained general acceptance, it would be a gradual process, almost like watching a theory being reviewed, but much more slowly. Furthermore I don't see anyone who was "converted" throwing their god out with the bathwater, or anyone not convinced caring that they've been marked as theological failure.

Firstly, I was typing allegorically.

Isn't it is case with all of Intelligent Design, that they are framing the case for God, by disproving Evolutionary theory.

1) Which in itself is completey dumb, because if you feel that you can 'prove' Faith, you have immediately made a case for falsifying it.

2) If it were possible to prove God, you prove God by proving God.

Now take the dmz's flagellum (allegorically), The case is that by apparently 'proving' that flagellum cannot be produced by Evolution, you have proved the existance of God.

HOW STUPID can you get?

For a start, it is faith alone (that cannot be proven) that tells dmz a flagellum cannot be caused be Evolution, Not the cold hard facts of Science, because Science has theories about how irreducibly complex biological systems can evolve into existance.

So in his ignorance dmz has framed the case as "If evolution caused flagellum then there cant be God"

Foolishness indeed!

For when science does show how flagellum evolved, then everyone who listened to dmz, is going to know that all his so called "evidence" was a big lie, and that will 'kill' their trust in him, and his so called 'proof' of God aswell.
dmz's God will have been sunk along with his lies.

Which is all a bit unnecessary.
post #101 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
well, with a heavy heart, I write my reply, because you are the absolute last person I want to fall out with, so when this discussion is over, as far as Im concerned, it was just a discussion, and you're still my mate. I will try to be 'philosophically reflective'

It's ok - we can't fall out - I'm fully under control and have been for some time

Quote:
My point was, that Im not sure you can take God as the highest principle, because Mystery IMO is higher. The mystery might reveal God, or not. If the end product of this journey is to discover the truth, then one must ask, if this feeling of God, is God, or an as yet unknown chemical reaction.

Fair enough - but you do say there IS a highest principle. So do I - I'm just calling it 'God'.

Whenever you unravel one bit you get to another - it's turtles all the way down. I'm just using the term 'God' to signify the totality.

Quote:
For instance if is was shown to be a chemical reaction, it would be possible by intervening in the process, to supress or heighten this feeling of God.

But if you could influence or control it then it wouldn't be God - or you would be God.

God is the highest principle - how can that be manipulated?

Quote:
Now I ask, has there been a long history of using certain mind expanding drugs to heighten the sensation of God?

I would say no to that. I have a degree of experience with various drugs as it happens and I never experienced anything transcendent in that way. I experienced things about myself I would not otherwise have discovered - but that's not 'God', it was just me, my inner state and a barometer of how out of touch I was.

They are valuable in certain instances but in no way spiritual. Imo. Maybe therapeutic.

Quote:
Why should it be impossible? You seem to have been convinced of it. But is that just what you have been told to accept?

Well no-one has told me to accept it so no. I could still be wrong though but it is just my own opinion.

Quote:
I dont laugh at Cuilla either, except when Im drunk and try to figure out exactly what could be going on in his little head. Then Im hysterical. If that makes me disharmonius, well im an ass

Well, it;s not for me to say. Apologies if I cause offense. From my pov, I spent a lot of time hating Christians and resenting things but then I realized I was only harming myself - and more than that, that there was nothing to hate or be angry about. We are all in the same boat and doing our best according to our own understanding. That's just me though - could be wrong and it may be very different for you.


Quote:
Well, if God IS the highest principle, no alien principle of wisdom could be higher, so why would anyone reject it?

It might be so hight they could not understand it and think it is low?

Quote:
Well, it probably is, but at the end of the matter, all theology is human interpretation, so the best theology is the one who has made the most beautiful interpretation accoring to the readers understanding. A really good theology might be rejected because it is too far above your current level of understanding.

Very true. But at least beautiful things give pleasure no?

Quote:
Maybe wanting to become in "Union" with Mystery, is higher than being in "Union" with God, because God is part of the Mystery, not the 'complete' Mystery.

Who knows? It's possible.

Quote:
For instance, when you are in union with God, do you know then the absolute mechanisms he used to cause the big bang, do you know how flagellum evolved?

Can't say. I am not in union with God.

Quote:
No, so thats why God is part of the mystery, and not the whole mystery. You can become in union with God as much as you like, but there are still other things you just won't know.

Ditto

Quote:
SO...somewhere along the line, a part of my understanding must have overtook yours.

Of course - your understanding will always be ahead of mine from your pov because it is yours. Mine has no relevance to you. Why should it? Our lives have been very different.

Quote:
We difinately KNOW, that there is a mystery, it is a position of faith that the mystery might be God.

No, it's just a word to describe so we can talk. Like when we say fire - it is not a fire of course - but it conveys an image (different to each of us) that enables us to have some form of common ground to talk about it.

Quote:
Yes all of those thing happen. We all know it. But whatever the evils of the system, science has provided virtualy everything. Dispite these evils, Science works. Look around your room, can you find anything that wasn't provided for by science. How much Science went into providing you with your Quran?

It depends on your viewpoint. The Sufi Hafiz said the Qur'an was the eyebrow of his mistress. When he was hassled by the literalists of the day they said "how can the Qur'an be the eyebrow of your lover?" and he replied "how can it be marks on a piece of dead tree made with burnt wood?".

Quote:
Dont you think that when both Christianity and Islam are descending into fundamentalist hell, that NOW, might be a good time to start to search for another angle to reveal this God or Mystery.

I don't think either are descending into fundie hell. I think they are finally outgrowing literalism and the literalists and extremists sensing the end is near - like the dinosaurs they now are - feel panic and without being able to intellectually rationalize it, know they are a dying breed and have gone crazy.

In other words: birth pangs. 2000 years is nothing in the broad sweep of history. just a few seconds.

What you see as the decaying end of senility, I see as the end of the struggle of birth and the emergence into life.

Quote:
I quite agree that it would be an aspect of the same truth. Im not trying to kill God, or reject Jesus. I accept the teaching of Jesus. But I accept it for what it really is, and who Jesus really was. An evolution of an Astrological Meme.

But if that is so then it is a meme without the capacity to resolve your quest as you yourself state you are still in conflict. Fair enough - but if I was in that position I would take that as evidence I had not achieved the goal yet. That's all I'm saying.

Quote:
You Know as well as I that this IS the truth, and understanding it for what it really is reveals a higher truth - and we can still have this higher truth however it is rewritten, rediscovered or retaught. But when 99.9% of followers of JC, think he was a real historical person, 99.9% of them will never know what this higher truth was ever meanst to be. Jesus the meme has failed. His time is over.

See above. but I think you should not make the mistake of thinking there is absolute truth - this is what fundies do. You could find truth and I could find truth and the two could be opposite and contradict. That's how it is. You have to find your own - it's unique to you.

Quote:
If a load of displaced Jews has not found themselves in the centre of learning in the world at the time, the "pagan" Alexandria, and they had not wanted to take their ancient Jewish scriptures and update it to incorperate the wisdom of a pagan world that had advanced over them by hundreds of years - Had they not wanted to rewrite their out of date wisdom, had they believed the folks who told them that such things were not possible becuase their God was the highest principle - this tale of Jesus would never have happened.

Except if he was a real person who was what he was. Your statement only holds true if it actually WAS just a tale. And that is your starting point. You cannot prove it - it's juts a belief.

Quote:
Someone has to decide that the old wisdom IS old. Someone has to decide that new wisdom should be incorperated. So all Im really sugessting, as it is like you say, "truth can never die" - is that a new layer of this truth is exposed for the times or era we live in.

Perhaps. But truth is truth. We are the things that change - and our perception. But we are not truth - we are just looking for it.

Quote:
So the people who do get it, then are wiped off the face of the earth by the growing number of people who dont get it. Thats a really dumb way for God to operate.

Maybe when people get it they graduate?

Quote:
Well for someone who wrote a blog on the 'fundamentalism' of Dawkins' thinking and then to write such a completely stupid statement about the nature of Science just takes the biscuit.
Grow up for your own sake.

We all grow at our respective rates. It's a mechanical process and is not affected one way or another by some other party enjoining the process to be conducted faster or slower.

Quote:
I've snipped a bit out because I dont have much issue with it.

Fair enough.

Quote:
Sounds to me like your sugessting that something you are having difficulty in resolving- just ignore it. Thats ok, but it makes fools out of all of us. Especially when one first finds 'religion' and rapidly finds science says it cant be so, yeah, just ignore it. Isn't that the very thinking that gave rise to ignorant fundamentalism?

No.

Quote:
Hey im too stupid and lazy to figure it out, so I'll just ignore it all, stick my head in the sand and proclaim what I want to be true. Hell NO NO NO!



Quote:
(Looks like Im loosing my philosohical reflection!...deep breath.)

Paper bag can work.....

Quote:
Look, if you want to become wise or whatever, it is all about seeing, feeling, living and understanding the conflicts until you have amassed enough wisdom and strength of mind to resolve them.

That's true - but do you really know this?

Quote:
Personally this is what gives me this God feeling in my head. It is amassing all this evidence, living with it day to day, living it out, feeling it and understanding it, becoming 'one' with all the possibilities and calling the best judgement I can on it. Resolving the conflict, it is my God. My God, then is just 'part' of a higher "Mystery".

You feel God in this way. Good. Just realize you felt it in lesser ways before in previous times and in future times you will feel it quite differently again. There may even be a feeling that you are capable of someday that makes you think what you just wrote was foolish.

And we should hope so - there should be for all of us, it's a mark of progress and the absence of it will just prove we have wasted years.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #102 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Stoo
Or, What happens when eating cakes, within ourselves, is reduced to a flow-chart of events, described in terms of atoms, and electron interactions. What is cake-eating then?

Cake eating then, is what cake eating is now, the only difference is that should you wish to ponder over the metaphysical reality of a cake, then you have better knowledge to do so.

I love chocolate cake, yet I know, that it exists of elementary atoms joined together as molecules, in such a way that, the electron interactions on my tongue travel up my nerves as electrical impulses that release chemicals in my brain that tell me chocolate cake is pleasurable.

If I knew exactly - absolutely - in perfect detail what was going on here, chocolate cake would still be pleasurable.

Infact, chocolate cake would be better, becuase not only would I get the pleasure in eating it, i would get pleasure in knowing why I got pleasure in eating it.

And if I knew what made chocolate cake taste so good, I could design a chocolate cake that tasted twice as good. - I could even make chocolate cake that gave me spontaneous orgasm. How about that?

And so it is with God. I don't understand why anyone would not want to understand this God or Mystery in all his glory.
post #103 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
It's ok - we can't fall out - I'm fully under control and have been for some time

Quote:

Fair enough - but you do say there IS a highest principle. So do I - I'm just calling it 'God'.

Whenever you unravel one bit you get to another - it's turtles all the way down. I'm just using the term 'God' to signify the totality.

perhaps all I need to know, is that you understand what it is I am trying to convey here and why I am thinking it.


Quote:

But if you could influence or control it then it wouldn't be God - or you would be God.

God is the highest principle - how can that be manipulated?

thats what I am questioning. Is it really? or is God a stage we progress through before we uncover something higher?

Quote:

I would say no to that. I have a degree of experience with various drugs as it happens and I never experienced anything transcendent in that way. I experienced things about myself I would not otherwise have discovered - but that's not 'God', it was just me, my inner state and a barometer of how out of touch I was.

They are valuable in certain instances but in no way spiritual. Imo. Maybe therapeutic.

well I didn't mean you specifically, but as im sure you're aware, there is a body of evidence that people were consuming psychoactive plants to put them in a more receptive state of being to contemplate God.

Quote:

Well, it;s not for me to say. Apologies if I cause offense.

so subtle, you actually made me laugh, so, no offence taken

Quote:

It might be so high they could not understand it and think it is low?

But, if God is the highest principle, and we have the capacity to attempt to understand God, (for if we don't then the Bible and Quran etc are pretty useless), then no matter how more advanced an alien civilization is, they could not have come up with a better wisdom than that what is found in the Bible or Quran, so we would be able to make the effort to understand this new wisdom?


Quote:

Very true. But at least beautiful things give pleasure no?

Then perhaps the best thing to do is find something more beautiful than the last beautiful thing we thought of. Perhaps my problem, is that I have spent too much time analyzing, and not being beautiful.

But, at the end of the day, beauty still has to fit the evidence, or else you succumb to delusion.

Now something that has bothered me for a bit.

If In the absence of there being a God, is it morally correct for me to even have these arguments/discussions with people who do believe in God and have made something beautiful out of nothing?

Quote:

Of course - your understanding will always be ahead of mine from your pov because it is yours. Mine has no relevance to you. Why should it? Our lives have been very different.

well, thats something you definately are wrong on

I always believed that my understanding was way behind yours, and the task was to achieve parity or more - now that might be impossible, given that you had say 10 years on me and you would still be learning, so I guess you would always be able to explain things, so your knowledge would always be relevant.

And it should be relavent, if we are both on the path of trying to uncover the truth, because there should only be one truth.

But then I had this revelation that God is just part of a higher mystery, yet I found that perhaps you didn't understand what I had found. Which is why were talking..

So, to try to rationalize that, considering the options and resolving the conflict, could it be that I had got it completely wrong. Thats the most obvious. Yet you might wonder if I had somehow created a better "theology" than already existed, or if Segovius had gone as far as he could and had eventually succombed to a delusion, however small and harmless that may be! - trying hard to be philosophically reflective - and was thus trying to defend a position, rather than advance it.

Quote:

No, it's just a word to describe so we can talk. Like when we say fire - it is not a fire of course - but it conveys an image (different to each of us) that enables us to have some form of common ground to talk about it.

But, there is more to a fire than just a concept of it in our head, something exists and is burning, even though we try to find a common ground to discuss it.

Quote:

It depends on your viewpoint. The Sufi Hafiz said the Qur'an was the eyebrow of his mistress. When he was hassled by the literalists of the day they said "how can the Qur'an be the eyebrow of your lover?" and he replied "how can it be marks on a piece of dead tree made with burnt wood?".

sweet! I wish I could make remarks like that at times.

However, you might wonder, even a piece of wood, required someones scientific discovery in order to burn it. Someone made a Quran from this science, someone else could make a hideous weapon - was science the evil, or was there something wrong in the head of the one who had an evil use for science?

Quote:

I don't think either are descending into fundie hell. I think they are finally outgrowing literalism and the literalists and extremists sensing the end is near - like the dinosaurs they now are - feel panic and without being able to intellectually rationalize it, know they are a dying breed and have gone crazy.

In other words: birth pangs. 2000 years is nothing in the broad sweep of history. just a few seconds.

lets hope you're shown to be right, i dont recall many other religions that lasted 2000 years without incorperating new wisdom before they died.

Quote:

What you see as the decaying end of senility, I see as the end of the struggle of birth and the emergence into life.

That might be a beautiful state of mind to be in, but lets hope it not simplistic foolishness.

Quote:

But if that is so then it is a meme without the capacity to resolve your quest as you yourself state you are still in conflict. Fair enough - but if I was in that position I would take that as evidence I had not achieved the goal yet. That's all I'm saying.

Maybe thats why I want it updated, perhaps thats what I must do. Of course I havn't achieved the goal yet. Of course I know that I am not God,- the Bible suggests I am God, I don't believe that, so I keep looking, maybe God, knew what was in my heart, so he tricked me into finding something stupid in his word, or maybe the trick is that I really am God, yet I just cant bring myself to believe it. Who knows?
Maybe you're God, and your just being elusive, perhaps none of this is real, perhaps Jesus was real and every piece of evidence against him was planted by Satan, while he systematically destroyed all the evidence for his existance just to fool me.

But doesn't this whole game smacks of someone who lives in the me me me generation? Perhaps it's not really about finding me at all, perhaps I need to find everyone else.

But how the hell can you ever know?

Quote:

You could find truth and I could find truth and the two could be opposite and contradict. That's how it is. You have to find your own - it's unique to you.

wouldn't one of us be ultimately deluded then. One truth no? because if there isn't, there would be no point to anything, as anything anyone believed would be true. You cant believe that, or you wouldn't be here arguing with dmz.

Quote:

Except if he was a real person who was what he was. Your statement only holds true if it actually WAS just a tale. And that is your starting point. You cannot prove it - it's juts a belief.

Is there any reason I should accept Jesus was a real historical person. I very much doubt you do, though you often talk as if he was, kind of telling everyone what they want to hear, knowing it's right in all contexts, but not actually believing the context in which you make the impression. Thats just the way it has to be right?

Quote:

You feel God in this way. Good. Just realize you felt it in lesser ways before in previous times and in future times you will feel it quite differently again. There may even be a feeling that you are capable of someday that makes you think what you just wrote was foolish.

I was thinking it was a foolish statement when I was writing it, but it is true. I didn't mean there aren't others ways I experience that feeling, it was just the one relavent to the point.

Quote:

And we should hope so - there should be for all of us, it's a mark of progress and the absence of it will just prove we have wasted years.

Does anyone I've ever had a discussion with wonder WHY I wouldn't want there to be an historical Jesus?, and a God in the sky who's looking out for me? Why would I want to be sent to hell?

I mean it's not like you would 'chose' to be genetically related to an ape, or simply decompose into dirt when you die - You wouldn't chose a universe that appeared to randomly pop itself into existance? who's sole purpose is just to equalize itself back into nothingness.

You get what - 3000 weeks of life to solve 15 billion years of history - if you're even interested/crazy enough to want to do it anyway. And according to some, if you fuck up in your quest, even because you want to find the truth, you get eternal pitchforks up the kaiser.

Isn't that proof in itself that God isn't really on our side?
post #104 of 240
Of course, there is one other explanation to everything that I have yet to mention at all.
post #105 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler

The evidence is around us, it's even in us. Everyone is born with a faith in the divine.

That is simply not true.

A child left to their own devices will not have "faith" in the divine -- at best they will come to believe that there are causes beyond their senses for the events in the world around them -- and this strictly speaking is true and provable (we cannot sense atoms etc etc etc). When and if they ever pose the question of why they exist, they certainly will come up with a metaphysical reason because there is NO RATIONAL REASON for existence. The natural curiosity of the human mind is what causes us to look for reasons in everything even though it may not be rational or even necessary to do so. GOD is the result of a social cogitation on these IDIOTIC and UNIMPORTANT METAPHYSICAL questions.
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
Reply
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
Reply
post #106 of 240
Not that this is particularly relevant to this discussion, although on third thought it might be...

I was just reminded of one of the most remarkable examples of human-caused environmental degradation which lead to the collapse of a civilization -- albeit small...

Easter Island is often couched as a warning to humans that they can do incredible and self-destructive acts that propel their society into oblivion.

Unfortunately, no one has had the balls to come out and say that the Islanders RELIGION was to blame -- it was, they used all the natural resources the had to maintain various aspects of their religion which were self-destructive. And while we can see this is the case, in retrospect, they probably had no way of knowing that they were destroying their environment because the were blinded by religious fervor.

This has actually been repeated with so-called more advanced European Religions, aka Christianity, the Christian Viking settlements in Greenland spent their resources on constructing and maintaining the church and their religion prevented them from accepting the superiority of the local way of life.

In other words, worship, if you are going to do it, is best done in small pseudo-rational doses.
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
Reply
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
Reply
post #107 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Not that this is particularly relevant to this discussion, although on third thought it might be...

I was just reminded of one of the most remarkable examples of human-caused environmental degradation which lead to the collapse of a civilization -- albeit small...

Easter Island is often couched as a warning to humans that they can do incredible and self-destructive acts that propel their society into oblivion.

Unfortunately, no one has had the balls to come out and say that the Islanders RELIGION was to blame -- it was, they used all the natural resources the had to maintain various aspects of their religion which were self-destructive. And while we can see this is the case, in retrospect, they probably had no way of knowing that they were destroying their environment because the were blinded by religious fervor.

This has actually been repeated with so-called more advanced European Religions, aka Christianity, the Christian Viking settlements in Greenland spent their resources on constructing and maintaining the church and their religion prevented them from accepting the superiority of the local way of life.

In other words, worship, if you are going to do it, is best done in small pseudo-rational doses.

I think this is very relevant to the thread as it concerns 'worship' which the title also refers to.

For me, I do not in any way accept that 'worship' and 'spirituality' are the same thing. Even worship and religion. In fact, imo they are opposed.

Take this example - in the Zen tradition, the teacher exists to convey the disciple to his own state of enlightenment. Nothing more. Ie, the teacher knows something that most people don't - has achieved a deeper insight. You can call this 'God' if you like but it is really not necessary.

The 'path' or 'religion' is merely this: the journey from not knowing to knowing,

You can see the same in all traditions from the Hasidic Rabbis, Indian Gurus and Jesus and his disciples himself.

None of it is based on worship - not of 'God', not of man. Worship is a corruption of this tradition where weak people need to extol something outside of themselves for their own psychological balance.

It is a very human tendency - not just a religious one. People are worshipping things all the time: celebrity, money, sex, sports stars, performers of all types.

This is what religion calls 'the world' - the true spirituality moves away from this and you can even see this in religions which are less corrupted: Islam and Judaism for example do not see God as someone who demands worship - certain duties yes, but worship, no.

So you Easter Islam analogy is right and wrong (it is also vulnerable to the criticism from orthodox religionists that the Islanders were polytheists and this was God's judgement). In fact it is being played out now with fundie Christians like Bush also presiding over such environmental waste on a global scale.

Is it religious thinking behind it? Certainly. Does that invalidate religion? No.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #108 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
That is simply not true.

A child left to their own devices will not have "faith" in the divine -- at best they will come to believe that there are causes beyond their senses for the events in the world around them

Imagine - when the first human evolved consciousness, before there was any of this religion crap, when no explanation existed for anything, - imagine what he felt when he looked up at the sky at night and wondered what the hell it was.

That must have been one hell of a rush of 'God'.

Perhaps the more we learn, the harder it is to get this rush.
post #109 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
perhaps all I need to know, is that you understand what it is I am trying to convey here and why I am thinking it.

Well, I think I understand but one can never be sure can one? That's the whole problem really - we see everything through a filter and we cannot side-step this. Don't even want to in many cases.

Imo, that's what the journey to God is - destroying the filter - or removing the veils if you prefer an Islamist take

Quote:
thats what I am questioning. Is it really? or is God a stage we progress through before we uncover something higher?

What do you mean by God then?

Personally I mean the highest thing - the highest point that is possible to exist. It is possible that there is no 'end point' and that there is an infinite succession of stages and in this case I would say God is the totality.

What do you mean by God if not this? If you mean a man-made meme (but that might be your 'filter') then I agree - there is higher. But I would not call a man-made meme 'God' as there is necessarily higher, so we are back at square one.

Quote:
well I didn't mean you specifically, but as im sure you're aware, there is a body of evidence that people were consuming psychoactive plants to put them in a more receptive state of being to contemplate God.

Maybe - maybe they were just 'seeking' rather than finding.

Quote:
But, if God is the highest principle, and we have the capacity to attempt to understand God, (for if we don't then the Bible and Quran etc are pretty useless), then no matter how more advanced an alien civilization is, they could not have come up with a better wisdom than that what is found in the Bible or Quran, so we would be able to make the effort to understand this new wisdom?

I wouldn't necessarily say that we can ever understand God. I don't think I've said that. 'Finding' God and understanding oneself in relation to that is something else. Perhaps even being annihilated in God but understanding I don't believe.

Perhaps knowing whether there is or is not a God is all that is possible. That's why we are the same - just two different views but neither of us know for sure.

Quote:
Then perhaps the best thing to do is find something more beautiful than the last beautiful thing we thought of. Perhaps my problem, is that I have spent too much time analyzing, and not being beautiful.

That's one way I guess but many beautiful things are ugly on some level. I had a girlfriend like that once and Caravaggio was a shit too wasn't he?

Quote:
But, at the end of the day, beauty still has to fit the evidence, or else you succumb to delusion.

We are already succumbed to delusion - always have been It is the 'original sin'. Trick is to free oneself not avoid falling into something we are born into anyway.

Quote:
If In the absence of there being a God, is it morally correct for me to even have these arguments/discussions with people who do believe in God and have made something beautiful out of nothing?

You don't know whether there is a God or not. To take a position that there isn't is the same as to take a position that there is. You could even end up as an anti-fundie fundie.

Quote:
And it should be relavent, if we are both on the path of trying to uncover the truth, because there should only be one truth.

Sufi Story:

A long time ago a king complained to Nasrudin, "My people do not always tell me the truth. This bothers me."

Nasrudin answered. "It does not matter whether something is absolutely true or not. What matters is that something is true in relation to other things." The king was not pleased. "This is just one of your tricks. A thing is true or it is not true."

The king thought of a plan to make his people tell him the truth. He had a gallows built just inside the city gates. He told the heralds to announce, "If persons want to enter the city, they must first answer a question asked by the Captain of the King's Guards. If the answer is not truth, the person will be hanged."

Nasrudin came forward. "I want to enter the city."

"Why do you come?" asked the Captain.

"To be hanged," answered Nasrudin.

"This is not true," said the Captain.

"If I am not telling the truth, you must hang me," explained Nasrudin.

"But, this would make it the truth," said the Captain. "I cannot hang you if you tell the truth."

"Then you must decide, which truth is the real truth," replied Nasrudin.

Quote:
But then I had this revelation that God is just part of a higher mystery, yet I found that perhaps you didn't understand what I had found. Which is why were talking.

Not sure. Say more about the revelation if you like.....

Quote:
But, there is more to a fire than just a concept of it in our head, something exists and is burning, even though we try to find a common ground to discuss it.

They are just words though. We never experience fire - in fact we run away from it rather than experience it as it is.

Quote:
However, you might wonder, even a piece of wood, required someones scientific discovery in order to burn it. Someone made a Quran from this science, someone else could make a hideous weapon - was science the evil, or was there something wrong in the head of the one who had an evil use for science?

Well, if you are right about science v religion, you'd have to explain how Islam was the root of so many scientific discoveries that even today are the basis of western science.

I won't list them because I'm sure you know them but they are the root of western civilization in many disciplines from mathematics, chemistry, philosophy to astronomy and medicine.

Quote:
lets hope you're shown to be right, i dont recall many other religions that lasted 2000 years without incorperating new wisdom before they died.

Well there is no new wisdom. Just reframing of the eternal wisdom. Sometimes the reframing looks the opposite of the previous (as in the case of all differing religions) but the inner core is the same.

Quote:
That might be a beautiful state of mind to be in, but lets hope it not simplistic foolishness.

Let's hope.


Quote:
Maybe thats why I want it updated, perhaps thats what I must do. Of course I havn't achieved the goal yet. Of course I know that I am not God,- the Bible suggests I am God, I don't believe that, so I keep looking, maybe God, knew what was in my heart, so he tricked me into finding something stupid in his word, or maybe the trick is that I really am God, yet I just cant bring myself to believe it. Who knows?

Do you have any recollection of crafting entire solar systems, galaxies and sentient beings?

If not, it's probably safe to assume you are not God.

I would be surprised if God were posting on AI but who knows? He is not limited by anything so perhaps it is not so unlikely.

Quote:
But doesn't this whole game smacks of someone who lives in the me me me generation? Perhaps it's not really about finding me at all, perhaps I need to find everyone else.

Or maybe it's about 'losing me'. And everyone else.

Quote:
wouldn't one of us be ultimately deluded then. One truth no? because if there isn't, there would be no point to anything, as anything anyone believed would be true. You cant believe that, or you wouldn't be here arguing with dmz.

We're both deluded - just on a different way

Quote:
Is there any reason I should accept Jesus was a real historical person. I very much doubt you do, though you often talk as if he was, kind of telling everyone what they want to hear, knowing it's right in all contexts, but not actually believing the context in which you make the impression. Thats just the way it has to be right?

I do accept he was historical but even if he was not it is irrelevant. He is an archetype. I do not believe he was the son of God or I need him for personal salvation so I would lose nothing if you were right. i would still have the archetype.

Btw, there is as little evidence for many much later characters ever having existed - Shakespeare for example - but no-one questions this (quite the contrary) because we are closer in time and there is no spiritual aspect. The evidence is still lacking though.

Quote:
I was thinking it was a foolish statement when I was writing it, but it is true. I didn't mean there aren't others ways I experience that feeling, it was just the one relavent to the point.

Fools are often wise.

Quote:
Does anyone I've ever had a discussion with wonder WHY I wouldn't want there to be an historical Jesus?, and a God in the sky who's looking out for me? Why would I want to be sent to hell?

I don't know about anyone else but I wonder why as I know why.

Quote:
I mean it's not like you would 'chose' to be genetically related to an ape, or simply decompose into dirt when you die - You wouldn't chose a universe that appeared to randomly pop itself into existance? who's sole purpose is just to equalize itself back into nothingness.

None of this is known. These are just ideas. I could counter with many others that I might prefer to believe. What's your point?

Quote:
You get what - 3000 weeks of life to solve 15 billion years of history - if you're even interested/crazy enough to want to do it anyway. And according to some, if you fuck up in your quest, even because you want to find the truth, you get eternal pitchforks up the kaiser.

Well, maybe they are just describing their own personal pecadilloes. Perhaps the afterlife is so structured that they may indeed have a interface between a sharp implement and their derriere if they believe it is so or want it badly enough. I think I'll stick to the 72 virgins in case we do actually define things by the power of our minds.

Quote:
Isn't that proof in itself that God isn't really on our side?

I suppose it has occurred to you that God may not be aware of our existence?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #110 of 240
Thanks Sego for talking.

Quote:

I wonder why as I know why.

tell me more.

Quote:

I think I'll stick to the 72 virgins in case we do actually define things by the power of our minds.

but, what are you going to do in the second week?


Quote:

I suppose it has occurred to you that God may not be aware of our existence?

if you're meaning in the sense of demiurge, no it hadn't occurred to me that he might not also be aware of us.
post #111 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Thanks Sego for talking.

Heheh - not often I hear that....

Quote:
tell me more.

Well, I assume you have been subject to fundie condition at a relatively early age. The techniques they use are quite effective if not sophisticated and can be very difficult to rid oneself of.

Even when one has largely freed oneself from indoctrination (as I'm sure you have) the basis of their beliefs can still be present.

For example: one can rid oneself of the idea that their religion is true but because of this it is not so easy to come to the conclusion that it may be based on something true.

Fundies are all or nothing extremists. they can infect us with that too even if we reject their positions.

Quote:
but, what are you going to do in the second week?

Hadn't thought....kill some infidels? Start on the sheep?

I presume that philosophically there can be no sin in heaven as there is no impending judgement so I guess nothing is off limits really....hey, we'd have a free license to do anything at all - maybe that;s what it's all about: 70 years max of bs then an eternity of a blank cheque for any depredation you like.

Quote:
if you're meaning in the sense of demiurge, no it hadn't occurred to me that he might not also be aware of us.

Perhaps it's a question of scale.

I mean, in your body (bit of science - you'll like this) the distance between neighbouring atoms if you could descend to the sub-atomic level is greater than the distance between us and the sun.

On this level, if there was life there - and perhaps there is, perhaps our whole universe itself is a sub-atomic particle in 'something else' - then perhaps it would be thinking very much as we do about it's role in what it perceives as the universe and all such issues.

And even then, perhaps on the microscopic level to them the pattern would repeat. And upwards too - as I said we may well be microscopic particles in the consciousness of God. Or atoms in God's brain. God's brain cells even.

Why would He need to be aware of us?

This is just one way in which your beliefs about religion being bs and the opposite beliefs could both be true.

All you need is the right model
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #112 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
The evidence is around us, it's even in us. Everyone is born with a faith in the divine.

That's a blanket assertion, so a single counterexample is enough.

There was no talk about religion in my family when I grew up. My folks belonged to church, but didn't go to services. At the age of 4, I was put in sunday school (later I've heard the idea was just to enable me to meet and play with other kids who spoke the same language). I thought what they taught there was fairy tales being told as solid truth, grew really agitated ("Why would a grownup lie to us on something like this on purpose?"), didn't go again, and became an atheist at age 4. Did my faith package get sent to the wrong address or what?
post #113 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Nightcrawler

It is stupid and foolish of me to engage in this debate with you. You're completley RIGHT.

MarcUK, what you really mean is that I'm too stupid and too foolish for you to engage in a debate with, RIGHT?

It's always the same, whenever I challenge an atheist in his very beliefs and philosophies, instead of saying a "yes and amen", he caves in and tries to put me into the corner by implicitly claiming I were intolerant or even foolish.


You have made up your mind, God doesn't exist, and anyone believing otherwise must be deluded.

And since I'm in your eyes not able to discuss with you, I will instead quote from Newton, one of the greatest scientists ever:

Quote:
Davis argues that Newton's theological views were neither incidental to his science, nor in contradiction to it. Newton's emphasis on the dominion of a free and powerful God led him to reject the rationalistic approach to natural philosophy advocated by Descartes and Leibniz. Newton wrote in the famous General Scholium to the second edition of the Principia (1713), that God ``is wont to be called `Lord God' PANTOKPRATOR, or `Universal Ruler' ...'' ``The Supreme God,'' Newton continued, ``is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect, but a being, however perfect, without dominion, cannot be said to be `Lord God' ...'' For Newton, God's divine perfection was tantamount with God's dominion. The God that Newton believed in was a God that not only created the world, but remained in dominion over the world, and had a ``propensity to action'' within the world. Newton's scientific writings, as well as his theological writings, reflected these beliefs.

Newton wrote in a private manuscript (source given in Davis 1991; translated from the Latin):

``The highest idea of a perfect entity is that it should be one substance, simple, indivisible, living and lifegiving, always everywhere of necessity existing, in the highest degree understanding all things, freely willing good things; by his will effecting things possible; communicating as far as is possible his own similitude to the more noble effects; containing all things in himself as their principle and location; decreasing and ruling all things by means of his substantial presence (as the thinking part of a man perceives the appearances of things brought into the brain and thence rules its own body); and constantly co-operating with all things according to accurate laws, as being the foundation and caause of the whole of nature, except where it is good to act otherwise."

As Newton wrote in another manuscript: ``The wisest of beings required of us to be celebrated not so much for his essence as for his ACTIONS, the creating, preserving, and governing of all things according to his good will and pleasure'' (Davis 1991 p.106, Manuel 1974, pp. 21-22). (Capitalization is my emphasis.)

Newton's understanding of God's dominion shaped the perspective and content of the science he conducted. He rejected Descartes' and Leibniz's materialism since their views did not allow for God to exercise dominion over creation. Arguing against Descartes, Newton claimed that matter ``does not exist except by divine will'' and that ``it is hardly given to us to know the limits of the divine power, that is to say whether matter could be created in one way only, or whether there are several ways by which different beings similar to bodies could be produced'' (Davis, 1991). Newton thought it was an error to assume that mechanical explanation exhausts the range of natural phenomena. A universe created by the will of God, who governs the world however he wishes, certainly need not be bound by the mechanical explanations of which our human minds conceive.

I would like to interject a few comments, proposing that Newton's arguments are highly relevant to science today. On multiple occasions, I have heard people claim that because they have a mechanistic explanation of something, therefore they have the explanation of how it came to be. If they have a mathematical model of how something works, then they think they know how it works. I have even heard some commit an egregious error, and declare that this mechanism therefore obviates the need for God. Newton saw the fallacy in this thinking. To Newton, and to basic Christian thinking, the existence of simple orderly mechanisms are not only consistent with God's nature, they are a reflection of it. In fact, I've heard it explained that the founding of many great universities (such as our own local Harvard) was done by Christians because of Christianity's beliefs in a God of order and because of its emphasis on obtaining knowledge and wisdom. But, that's straying from my topic of the mechanisms. Not only can mechanisms not be the first causes (for the philosophical problem of ``what mechanism produced the first mechanism?'') but they remain under God's dominion. In a world under God's dominion, who are we to say that mechanisms are ultimate or singular causes?

Today we find incredible scientific short-sightedness in attributing ultimate causes where all we have is mere explanatory mechanisms. Although Newton contributed greatly to modeling natural phenomena, he never mistook models as original causes.

The question of original causes was one that Newton evidently struggled with in his scientific writings. Newton wrote, ``Gravity must be caused by an agent acting constantly according to certain laws, but whether this agent be material or immaterial is a question I have left to ye consideration of my readers.'' ``Readers'' here refers to readers of the Principia, where he had refrained from discussing the actual cause of gravitation, focusing instead on its reality as demonstrated from phenomena.

It is fascinating to see how strongly Newton's theology underwrote even the way in which he chose to go about his science. Newton's philosophy was in essence to adhere to an EXPERIMENTAL philosophy, reducing phenomena to general rules and deciding that rules are general when they hold generally in phenomena.

One of the writings I think interestingly articulates Newton's views is found in Roger Cotes's preface to the second edition of the Principia . Although the words weren't written by Newton, they closely parallel words he wrote elsewhere, and it is believed that Cotes's preface was read by a friend of Newton's---Samuel Clarke---who knew his beliefs well, and who often assisted in Newton's correspondence (Davis, 1991). Cotes wrote that the whole world, with all its diversity, ``could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God directing and presiding over all.'' The laws of nature show ``many traces indeed of the most wise contrivance, but NOT THE LEAST SHADOW OF NECESSITY. These, therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures, but learn them from observations and experiments.'' (Sources in this paragraph are provided in (Davis, 1991). Capitalization for emphasis is mine.)

Newton, like Cotes, argued against the belief that the laws of nature could be learned from pure reason. ``Anyone which such beliefs `must either suppose that the world exists by necessity, and by the same necessity follows the laws proposed; or if the order of Nature was established by the will of God, that himself, a miserable reptile, can tell what was fittest to be done''' (Quoted from Davis (1991).)

The belief that it was by divine will and not by some shadow of necessity that matter existed and possessed its properties, had a direct impact on Newton's science. It was necessary to discover laws and properties by experimental means, and not by rational deduction. As Newton wrote in another unpublished manuscript, ``The world might have been otherwise then it is [because there may be worlds otherwise framed than this] Twas therefore noe necessary but a voluntary & free determination yt it should bee thus.'' Newton argued at the close of Opticks, God is able ``to vary the laws of nature and make worlds of several sorts in several parts of the universe.'' (See Davis, 1991)

Let me say a little about what Newton thought about miracles, as this also reveals his underlying theology. Newton's writing about miracles revealed more of his faith that God is active in ordinary events. In one of his unpublished manuscripts he writes: ``For miracles are so called not because they are the works of God but because they happen seldom & for that reason create wonder. If they should happen constantly according to certain laws imprest upon the nature of things, they would no longer be wonders or miracles, but might be considerd in Philosophy as part of the Phenomena of Nature notwithstanding that the cause of their causes might be unknown to us'' (Davis, 1991)

The word ``miracle'' derives from the Latin verb ``mirari'' to create wonder or astonishment. My understanding (from Davis, 1991) is that Newton believed that God does ALL things in nature, whether usual or unusual. The ones done by God's established laws tend to be usual, and we consider these natural. The ones done seldom, without laws, tend to arouse wonder in us, and thus are termed ``miracles.''

Source: http://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/Newton.html

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #114 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius

Well, I assume you have been subject to fundie condition at a relatively early age. The techniques they use are quite effective if not sophisticated and can be very difficult to rid oneself of.

Even when one has largely freed oneself from indoctrination (as I'm sure you have) the basis of their beliefs can still be present.

For example: one can rid oneself of the idea that their religion is true but because of this it is not so easy to come to the conclusion that it may be based on something true.

Fundies are all or nothing extremists. they can infect us with that too even if we reject their positions.

well, thats not what I was on to, but a valid point nonetheless.

While contemplating our discussion overnight, I found something very bad, perhaps the evil inside of me, maybe inside all of us. I thought you might be on to that.

Perhaps i might have to stop having these discussion, and go away and do something else.

Quote:

Perhaps it's a question of scale.

I mean, in your body (bit of science - you'll like this) the distance between neighbouring atoms if you could descend to the sub-atomic level is greater than the distance between us and the sun.

On this level, if there was life there - and perhaps there is, perhaps our whole universe itself is a sub-atomic particle in 'something else' - then perhaps it would be thinking very much as we do about it's role in what it perceives as the universe and all such issues.

And even then, perhaps on the microscopic level to them the pattern would repeat. And upwards too - as I said we may well be microscopic particles in the consciousness of God. Or atoms in God's brain. God's brain cells even.

Why would He need to be aware of us?

This is just one way in which your beliefs about religion being bs and the opposite beliefs could both be true.

All you need is the right model

Yeah, i've been in that model, at the moment its impossible to resolve, but that doesn't mean one cannot contemplate it.

you know, i just sat in a hot bath, and wondered 'why' as I usually do, perhaps the best way for me to resolve myself, is to keep denying God. Maybe the reason we can have this discussion is because in denying God, I have actually travelled down a path of enlightenment, that I would never have done if I just accepted him.

Maybe these discussions ultimately prove to be more valuable to me than God. So if I keep on denying his existance, we can keep having better discussions. ??? hehe
post #115 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
MarcUK, what you really mean is that I'm too stupid and too foolish for you to engage in a debate with, RIGHT?

Nightcrawler

hehe, perhaps though, as you "believe", - you have created something beautiful out of nothing, and it is stupid and foolish of me to try to destroy that belief. What do any of us gain from that?

Doesn't it all boil down to being in a stupid game, where I try to increase my happiness, by making someone else feel stupid?

Now that I've realised that, maybe I dont want to be part of this game anymore, because it will only end in all of us going to hell. Perhaps I am the evil.

So you're right, you are too stupid and foolish to debate with me, and I am equally stupid and foolish to debate with you.


post #116 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
That's a blanket assertion, so a single counterexample is enough.

There was no talk about religion in my family when I grew up. My folks belonged to church, but didn't go to services. At the age of 4, I was put in sunday school (later I've heard the idea was just to enable me to meet and play with other kids who spoke the same language). I thought what they taught there was fairy tales being told as solid truth, grew really agitated ("Why would a grownup lie to us on something like this on purpose?"), didn't go again, and became an atheist at age 4. Did my faith package get sent to the wrong address or what?

That isn't a good counterexample, cause you lived for four years in a family that was atheistic or at least agnostic, you lived for four years in a culture that is materialistic oriented... and then you were forced to visit a religious meeting, eventhough your own family didn't believe in anything really, only for the purpose of meeting other children.. It's not a surprise that you rejected their message, espescially considering their way of indoctrinating a childish version of God and the world.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #117 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
hehe, perhaps though, as you "believe", - you have created something beautiful out of nothing, and it is stupid and foolish of me to try to destroy that belief. What do any of us gain from that?

Doesn't it all boil down to being in a stupid game, where I try to increase my happiness, by making someone else feel stupid?

Now that I've realised that, maybe I dont want to be part of this game anymore, because it will only end in all of us going to hell. Perhaps I am the evil.

So you're right, you are too stupid and foolish to debate with me, and I am equally stupid and foolish to debate with you.



A very salomonic approach.


Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #118 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
That's great, thank Him for it. We should all be a bit more humble and thankful.

What gets me though is the idea that you're going to be tortured for eternity if you don't thank Him for it, and you'll be rewarded for eternity if you do thank Him. That's not a benevolent Creator, that's the Saddam Hussein school of dictatorship. If I did believe this was the way that God worked, I'd consider myself a dissident. But I don't believe that.

Hardly, I can't remember Saddam Hussein having created anyone, nor having cared for anyone, nor... Saddam asked for obedience without having deserved it nor done anything for it.

On the contrary, God created us as well as all the planets and stars and gives us water and food on this planet, and has induced in every one of us the instinct regarding His existence, and in order to appeal to that instinct sent out messengers, so that we don't forget to treat our world and our neighbours in respectful ways.

On top of that is the promise that He will ressurect us all, and that those that treated the world and the neightbours respectful and committed more good deeds than bad deeds, will receive eternal reward, and those that didn't eternal punishment, so that everyone will reap what he/she sows.

That's hardly unjust.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #119 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
That isn't a good counterexample, cause you lived for four years in a family that was atheistic or at least agnostic, you lived for four years in a culture that is materialistic oriented... and then you were forced to visit a religious meeting, eventhough your own family didn't believe in anything really, only for the purpose of meeting other children.. It's not a surprise that you rejected their message, espescially considering their way of indoctrinating a childish version of God and the world.

Nightcrawler

Oh, so he wasn't brainwashed from birth then, eh? Guaranteed you bring up a child in an environment where they always are told that aliens will come get them and the child will quiver in fear under his bed every night. It doesn't prove a god damn thing.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #120 of 240
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
That isn't a good counterexample, cause you lived for four years in a family that was atheistic or at least agnostic, you lived for four years in a culture that is materialistic oriented... and then you were forced to visit a religious meeting, eventhough your own family didn't believe in anything really, only for the purpose of meeting other children.. It's not a surprise that you rejected their message, espescially considering their way of indoctrinating a childish version of God and the world.

No, it's the perfect counterexample. I was never pushed any religious view (including atheism) until that point, so if everyone has an inbuilt faith, it was undisturbed at that point. I played and read books. I rejected that first "sell" on my own for the bullshit I saw it to be, and in 24 years haven't once felt anything supernatural that would justify believing in something out of the physical world. Obviously I'm not asking for evidence like some misguided folk do, because then it would not be supernatural. But it has to come to me, not the other way around. The reverse doesn't make sense, because in my experience omnipotent pink crocodiles seem just about as likely as Allah and Jehovah and Kali, and if I went searching I could just as well search for the crocodiles. But there's no hole like that in me that I need to fill. If they want me, they'll have to give a hint.

I don't know where you pulled "materialistic" from. I don't think that is what my family and surroundings were like. I'm not from the US. Besides, the belief was supposed to already be on the inside, was your claim. What's culture has to do with it then?

At 10, I had grown up a bit and reconsidered my previous black-white view and said to myself I can't be atheist because that would mean making a metaphysical statement (belief actually) about the non-existance of supernatural things. So from there on I've been an agnostic, which is not any sort of belief, but absence of it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: PoliticalOutsider
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › Christians distracted from worship