Are the bible and science compatible?

It’s very odd, but some Christians insist god created mankind and everything else just as Genesis says, about 6000 years ago. They don’t believe the science that says different.

Other Christians tell us that what science found is just the way god did it. The OT is metaphor, not to be taken literally.

One might think those two polar opposite views can’t be merged. But then comes the idea that the bible lines up with the findings of modern science. That’s what I’m here to explore. Can it be true?

It is true according to at least one Hub Pages Writer who I’ve had many arguments with over the last few months. I’m not naming names in case he doesn’t want me to. But if wants to be known for his words, or correct me on his stand, he is most welcome to comment and introduce himself.

Gen 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

First off, my friend insists that this is literal. The heavens and the planet earth are already created when this story begins. The rest of the story is from the perspective of god on the earth’s surface. So let’s start there.

“It says God was on the surface when He said "let there be light".

Not exactly: “2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.”

So he thinks this was from the surface of earth even though earth was unformed and void of everything. Then what’s the water doing here? When earth was a dust cloud there was no ocean of liquid water around it. And the people who wrote this had a completely wrong, though understandable, idea of the universe. There was no universe, just infinite sea with a patch of land, and a hard dome over it all separating one half of the ocean from the other on top.

What really happened is: an earlier star went nova leaving debris. That debris condensed and when it reached critical mass it became our sun. The action of nuclear activity caused solar winds which blew a great deal of debris away. That’s what eventually formed planets instead of stars because the amounts of debris were too small to reach critical mass. No overlap of reality with the story here at all. Sorry.

The first problem is an ocean of water over a dust cloud which isn’t what this is saying. The second and most pressing problem is there is no surface yet. Earth had no form so how could it have a surface? Then there is the problem that he’s not on something, he’s hovering over the “deep.” He’s above the entire thing.

That’s when he says let there be light. What light? Light in general? He doesn’t create our sun till later. Then he divides day and night. But that’s absurd. Day is sunlight, dark is when the earth rotates away from the sun. But again, no sun yet. So you saying this is where he created photons? Again, he’s talking light which requires a source like a star. But no mention of stars yet.

Next he divides the waters from the waters. He creates a solid dome between the waters. The argument is that this dome is atmosphere, not the universe as every scholar since the book was written and before has assumed. Yet it is here that he places the stars and moon and sun after earth is created, and after heaven is created. Those objects are not in our atmosphere, are they? No. That doesn’t line up at all.

Granted again that these people considered this small space between the land and the ocean above the land which they could see in the daytime because the sky is blue, as being all there is. You can say all you like about them misinterpreting the info they got, but this is what the book says. The one that is supposed to line up with science but obviously doesn’t.

“ So the point of view of the account is from the surface.”

Who was on the surface to see it? Not god, he was fluttering above it all. And again, there was no surface till god created the dry land on day three.

“ If you look at the actual formation of the Earth from the surface it does actually line up quite well with what you would see. For example, the sun/moon/stars on day 4, right after plant life, well after plant life the atmosphere became transparent, so for the first time in Earth's history the sun/moon/stars were visible from the surface.”

Right, lets say that’s perhaps what someone might see. But why would god hovering above the waters see it that way or describe it from that point of view? No one was there 4 billion years ago to see it. What would be the advantage for god to tell this to whoever he told, from a perspective no one ever saw? Why not say: “I created heaven, put stars in it, then created earth and a breathable space, (which isn’t even mentioned) then I spun the earth so you would have night and day. Oh, by the way, as hard as it is to believe you live on a ball.”’ That part would have lined up, and would have been information they couldn’t have guessed.

Instead, here, we see guessing going on. A pre-existing cosmic ocean, and around it? Nothing. God outside of it, sheds light on the subject, divides the water, and creates a bubble. Then he puts stars and the moon and sun in the bubble. They aren’t even guessing, they are describing what they see and understand from their perspective.

“Gen 14: And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so.”

This is day 4, not one. After earth is dredged up from the deep. Yet god said let there be light, light itself, on day one, and called that the first light the first day and night. So this is a second creation of light sources for earth specifically. It shows the minds of these people plainly. But doesn’t look good for a god that doesn’t know how light works. Again, why confuse these people by talking from a perspective they never saw? Day one couldn’t be the first earth day or night because there was no earth yet. He created earth/dry land, not a planet, on the third day, not the first. The so the first and second day and night were in heaven or something with no relation to a rotating planet.

And you can’t say they were already created in the first line where it says In the begging god created heaven and earth, because it’s clear that he creates heaven on the second day by parting the ocean, creating a dome between, that he calls heaven.

Gen 7: And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven.

And he creates dry land on the third day which he calls earth. Dry land, not a planet.

“Gen 9 And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas.”

Clearly, demonstrably, indisputably, the first line tells what he did, and those after tell how he did it. There is no other rational or credible alternative interpretation of the story.

“And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.”

The moon is not a light, and it certainly does not rule the stars, most of which are bigger than our sun. This is at the end of day 4. Nothing here implies or suggests that this is due to our view from earth. This is him creating these things on day 4 in “real time”.

And all of these lights were under a dome, in heaven. No idea. These people had no idea how big the universe is. They thought it consisted of what they could see and above that the dome holds back an ocean from crashing down on us. Well that certainly doesn’t line up with anything.

Right, so day six he creates birds and fish and all things that live in the sea. Cool. Birds came from water? Never mind.

Ok, so the argument is god told things to be fruitful and multiply. So that would take time. Hence evolution. The problem is, day five he creates fish and birds.... not single celled bacteria. He doesn’t tell that to multiply and eventually form cows and sheep, does he? No, he’s telling already formed pigs and goats to multiply.

Sorry, didn’t happen. Lines up with nothing. 3.5 billion years ago RNA cells formed. Bacteria and viruses, which are still RNA based as opposed to DNA based. (viruses that is) It took a long time indeed before anything even resembled a fish, let alone a rabbit.

Why not be straight with these people? Why not say we evolved? No, he forms clay into a human form and breaths into it. That really matches nothing.

You might want to say well sure, we evolved from inanimate matter which he brought to life by putting a bit of himself in us. But a god has no need to make things evolve. He creates people and animals fully formed. That’s what the story says and it didn’t happen that way according to modern science. Doesn’t line up with anything.

So, let’s see... God hovers over some primal ocean, divides it and slips a dome between so the bubble will hold back the other part of the ocean. He then moves the rest of the ocean below to one side bringing up land. He then puts the sun moon and stars in the bubble. Then he creates plants and animals and humans. Don’t know how he created animals, but he created just one male human, who couldn’t find a mate from among all the animals, not surprisingly, and so instead of just forming a clay girl and breathing life into her he creates a woman from his rib? Even though he created all other things with mates of the same kind?

All of it in 6 days.

Or, the universe was once in a compressed state called a singularity. That singularity expanded. Decompressing energy formed quarks and gluons, which formed protons. Electrons are elementary particles like photons but with a small amount of mass. Elementary particles were also a consequence of decompression. Together they formed the first atoms, mostly hydrogen.

These hydrogen clouds grew massive and reached critical mass forming the first giant hydrogen stars. Due to temp and pressure in different strata of the star hydrogen atoms were fused together with neutrons forming more complex atoms and most of the ones we see today. Iron formed near the core.

When these giants went nova, the implosions created the right conditions for the even heavier atoms to be formed, accounting for all the atoms that currently exist.

The dust from these stars started to condense again and again reached a critical mass. This time they blew off some the cloud that was around it. Being much smaller clouds they failed to reach critical mass and became planets, planetoids, moons and asteroids.

All the new atoms, including carbon which is the real star of the show, started interacting with each other creating new things like liquid water as the planet cooled on the outside. Amino acids were formed, proteins were formed from them. Cells formed creating the first plants, blue green alga then transformed the world by creating oxygen from carbon dioxide. That made larger organisms possible, leading to you and me, with appropriate human mates, none of which were fashioned from a rib or bits of clay and dog breath... sorry, god breath..

9 billion years from expansion to Earth. Another 4 billion to mankind.

How in the world do those two stories match up? They simply don’t.

There is obviously a lot more to this hypothesis, but if it already fails after the first line, what’s the point of looking at the rest?

I think it’s obvious we are stuck with our first two choice: The bible is true, science is false, or the idea I favour: bible is metaphor and myth, science is correct. It really can’t be both when it comes to origin.

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Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

The bible was obviously written by men and a couple of women who understood very little about science and math and the vastness of the universe. But they tried, didn't get it right, but still insisted that "god" did it. And basically, it was because, "that's the way we've always done it".

Science is an ongoing study of life and universe, and although, we still don't have all the answers, we continue to study and learn instead of just saying, "god did it".

The future explanations of everything may be quite stranger and even more fantastic than any human can imagine.

So, suffice it to say, today's science is "more" correct than yesterday's religion, but evolution is an ongoing process that may never end.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

You're right in that the authors of the bible had a very limited understanding of the natural world around them, but there is quite a bit they got right. Within the context of the story being told, those earliest books are describing what was described to them when God walked among them, like in how it says Enoch walked and talked with God.

For example, verse two describes the Earth as being covered in oceans and shrouded in darkness. That's right. The oceans did in deed come first. God saying "Let there be light" was not the creation of light, it's 'let there be...'. The incredibly dense atmosphere for a long time didn't allow light through. The first light breaking through was truly a momentous occasion, as everything that happened after, like the formation of the oxygenated atmosphere and planet's water cycle, and the formation of land and the rest, required light as an ingredient.

You're right also in that it's an evolution. Don't be surprised if it turns out that whole 'religious' section of our history isn't deemed at some point totally irrelevant, but actually a piece of the story. We learn one piece, then another, then how the two relate to one another. Evolution.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Hey Slarty,

I assume you're talking about me. If so I don't at all mind you using my name. I stand by my statements completely. I'm going to try to address specific points here, this could get lengthy, and I'm only about six paragraphs in.

Okay, first off, this whole concept you have of unformed dust being what an Earth without form means is your thing. It's telling because it's a very modern-minded way to read it. That's your own imagination filling in the blanks. What it actually describes is a real point in Earth's history, right at the end of the Hadeon Eon as the oceans first formed.

And this really is the right place to then mention light, because when the Earth's surface cooled enough for the incredibly dense atmosphere to finally condense into the first oceans, this really was when the light of the sun was finally able to reach through to the surface.

The sun and the bit about light. Okay, so to you, the right way to read this, is to mean the author means God created light in and of itself, separate from the sun? If there's anything we can maybe give our ancient ancestors the benefit of the doubt on figuring out it's that the light of day comes from the sun. This is not the creation of light. Light was created when the sun was created, in the beginning, when the 'heavens' were created.

What we're reading is what was described to the people of early Genesis who actually walked and talked with God. He described to them, from a human (surface) point of view, as if pointing out to examples like the land, the sea, the trees, etc. I created this, and then this, and then that.

The authors weren't imbued with a god-like level of knowledge of the natural world. They were just recording what was described to them.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

OhKay Headly. There are apologetic web sites galore about how and why the bible says the things it says.

You weren't there, the apologetics weren't there, I wasn't there, Slarty wasn't there. We can only guess what the writers of the bible books actually meant whether it was "real", "conjecture" or as you seem to think, actually came from people and god himself walking around having a brewski and talking about the beginning of the universe over lunch.

Personally, in my humble opinion, if there is a god, he/she/it should have been a lot smarter about communication. Why so ambiguous? If god was dictating stuff, why couldn't the people he was talking to write it down correctly and in a more permanent form?

Surely a god would have the resources to give a factual, accurate record about things. And even if the people couldn't understand it at the time, they still could have written it down verbatim.

But sadly, no. All we have are 66 to 90 "books" that were scribbled down on papyrus, clay tablets, copper scrolls, parchments and allegedly stone tablets. The languages were Greek, Aramaic, Latin, and local dialects.

Then all the hodge podge was assembled by the admittedly biased council of Nicea.

All this makes for a very garbled "bible" that appears to have lots of plagiarized content from earlier religions, myths, legends, and superstitions.

And let's not mention all the translation errors, mistranslation, and deliberate forgeries.

Why do you even consider the "bible" to be anything other than a collection of stories circa 4,000 B. C. to 90 A.D.? (or thereabouts)?

No two people can even come to a consensus about what's real and unreal in the bible.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Slarty, in my opinion you have done a fantastic job here.....promoting skepticism. Do think we should start a new religion? There is already a great number of skeptics in the world, all we need to do is create a Foundationofskepticalpeople.com (maybe call it Foskeps for short), then build some wonderful modern skyscrapers in honour of our god, Slartiskep.

I bet you we will become, very quickly, a scientific force to be reckoned with, and no nonsense doubters if you please.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"I assume you're talking about me. If so I don't at all mind you using my name."

Got it in one. Glad to see you here.

"Okay, first off, this whole concept you have of unformed dust being what an Earth without form means is your thing. It's telling because it's a very modern-minded way to read it. That's your own imagination filling in the blanks. What it actually describes is a real point in Earth's history, right at the end of the Hadeon Eon as the oceans first formed."

No. That's what it means, but that's obviously not how the Hebrews saw it. A formless earth is never the less not earth at all, no matter how you look at it, and you are back claiming that this is talking about something its not talking about. Sorry my friend. I can read. You are just transposing your own meaning on it.

The way the Hebrews probably saw it was that the ocean was the only thing around before god parted it and created dry land, not a planet.

A cosmic sea of sorts. The deep.

"And this really is the right place to then mention light, because when the Earth's surface cooled enough for the incredibly dense atmosphere to finally condense into the first oceans, this really was when the light of the sun was finally able to reach through to the surface."

Before the earth/dirt was formed? Really?

"The sun and the bit about light. Okay, so to you, the right way to read this, is to mean the author means God created light in and of itself, separate from the sun? If there's anything we can maybe give our ancient ancestors the benefit of the doubt on figuring out it's that the light of day comes from the sun. This is not the creation of light. Light was created when the sun was created, in the beginning, when the 'heavens' were created."

Yeah ok. But again I can read and that's not what it says the sequence is. Sorry my friend, not convincing.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

Austinstar 7

Hi; great to see again.

"The future explanations of everything may be quite stranger and even more fantastic than any human can imagine."

Absolutely agree. Particularly considering what we've seen and learned in the last hundred years alone. I'm going on record as saying string theory is a dead end. Relativity, QM, and QED were exceptional break through s. Chaos theory is another milestone. But we have an embarrassing number of interpretations of QM, mostly string theory models that can never be tested; and we're not paying enough attention to Relativity, which has a lot more secrets to give up.

But that's just me. ;)

There is no way to know with certainty what the future will bring. That's the fun of being around in a time where the next breakthrough could actually arrive anytime.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

jonnycomelately

Hi, And thanks for the kind words.

A religion made from skepticism? I don't know. I'm skeptical about it.

A heretic is always a heretic, even about the religions they create themselves, it's their nature. A skeptic would no doubt meet the same fate.

We could be Cynics I suppose, but that's been done.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"Relativity, QM, and QED were exceptional breakthroughs"

Yes! They are definitely Quantum Leaps as far as science and math go. There is so much more to discover in the future. Chaos theory is probably beyond us at this point. We'll need better computers for sure.

It seems as though some people long to dwell in the "biblical good old days", but I'm not one of them. I wish I could live to see the next astounding 100 years of knowledge!

If there was a source of knowledge that I could personally relegate to some musty old bookshelf in a dungeon somewhere it would be the "bible". That collection of early human experimentation is SO first century!


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

"You weren't there, the apologetics weren't there, I wasn't there, Slarty wasn't there. We can only guess what the writers of the bible books actually meant whether it was "real""

That's partially true. See, I could never just dismiss the bible. It originates in the cradle of civilization, it's remained a relevant piece of human history in every age since it's inception, and it's the basis of the world's three largest religions. I know enough about history to know things don't have that kind of staying power for nothing. Time moves on. Like you said earlier, "it's so first century". Yet, here it is, we're still talking about it. I know this is often dismissed under the "appeal to popularity" fallacy, but I find this incredibly relevant. There's something to these texts. A case of mass delusion doesn't account for the obvious impact that's been had on that region of the world. the effects of whatever happened can still be seen and felt. This is no imaginary story. This means something.

So, I figured if there's any truth to any of it, with all the data we have now, I should be able to find it. Find where it happened in history. You're right, these stories, especially those early Genesis stories, they're really vague and open to interpretation. I needed context.

Of course I went into this wondering how many thousands of people have tried the same, wondering what I hoped to find. But there was a twist to what I had to work with. I had a thought regarding the whole Adam as the first human ever thing. That really makes it difficult to find context. But I went back and read it to see if there was something there I missed. And there was. The world was already populated by humans when Adam was created. There's little mentions of them here and there. But what's most incredible considering just how many people have really studied it, is that that population of humans is actually a pivotal element in the overall story.

It all started here ...

Gen6:1-4 - When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Okay, there's a lot going on in those few lines. These are probably the most debated, least understood verses in all the bible. There's a few things of note, for one, it's talking about two different groups that it refers to as the "sons of God" and "daughters of humans", two just one chapter after describing Adam/Eve's descendants as all living centuries, this specifies "mortal" humans in comparison to ... someone ... and that unlike this ... someone ... humans only live to 120 years. Then there's the bit about the Nephilim.

These first few lines are basically explaining why the flood became necessary. So it's pretty important to understand what they're saying. Basically, humanity has had it all wrong for a really long time, and this one misconception makes it nearly impossible to find real historical context in the story.

But once you make this correction, just reading the story makes a lot more sense. And I mean the whole thing, OT and NT. This is an important thing to get. It explains everything.

So, armed with my little theory I went hunting, not expecting to find anything. Because that's silly to think I might find something when some of the greatest minds over the centuries have tried to do the same. But I do have a legup in that I have access to all the information of this modern age at my fingertips.

I couldn't believe what I found. At first I was left with my jaw hanging open as I'd realize things. It was crazy. I actually found the events of Genesis 2-11 and it really clears things up. Because of those breakdowns of who "begat" who when, you can actually build a really specific timeline of those first few chapters. For example, the flood happened exactly 1656 years after Adam was created.

The Genesis story is very different than how most people read it. You know how there's mentions of other gods in the OT? Well that's because there were. This whole region was populated by descendants of Adam and Eve, who began interbreeding with mortal humans (which is what the beginning of Gen6 is talking about). This is why it says the ages progressively got shorter each generation. If you chart them all out, the last of the long living people died out during Abraham's lifetime, who came 20 generations after Adam. So these beings were around for centuries.

This is why the Sumerians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Indus Valley culture, the Hitites, and a good dozen other cultures, who all existed in that same region of the world, they all tell these stories of their ancient history including these male/female immortal gods who interacted with them. The 'official' sciency explanation has always been that myths are the minds way of making sense of things it doesn't understand. But this would mean that dozens of cultures basically came up with the same explanation independently. The much more likely explanation is that what Genesis is describing really happened.

These gods they spoke of, they weren't just explanations of what causes thunder, or whatever. According to the Sumerians (the inventors of civilization), for example, they directly claim these gods taught them the ways of civilization. They say a god just showed up one day, by the name of Enki, who established the first Sumerian city, Eridu. Well, Genesis says Cain built a city right after being banished.

The Sumerians believed they were created by these gods to do their work because that's what they did. These gods taught them how to rotate and coordinate farming activities, and they provided what they grew to the gods, who physically lived in the temple at the center of the city.

I know and understand the frustration people have with organized religion. I share many of those frustrations. But I think some people, in their haste to get rid of religion, are tossing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. The bible shouldn't be dismissed. It should really be reconsidered in light of modern knowledge. In fact, this is something St. Augustine (considered a kind of founding father and important thinker of organized religion) insisted on. He said...

"Interpretation of biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge."

So, long story just a little bit longer, I don't just interpret all willy-nilly. I formed a hypothesis based on the timeline and series of events described and tested it. I tested it by making predictions about what evidence should be found if true. And prediction after prediction proved true. Not only does it clear up the biblical story, but it actually explains the move humanity made to modern civilized culture. It's vitally important, in my opinion, that this be recognized and understood as it deals with a lot of things we still don't yet understand about our human history.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

All 'formless' means is it didn't yet have the form as the original authors knew it. There were no trees, no land, no trees, no form. None of that had formed yet. The first clue that you're not reading it correctly should be verse two. Remember you were pointing out how silly it is that they're talking about 'the deep' when the Earth is a cloud of dust? Well, that's a clue. You're right, that doesn't make sense.

The first verse tells you all you need to know. The 'heavens' and the 'earth' were formed 'in the beginning'. By verse two, this has already happened. The creation depiction actually begins at verse 2 with a description of the Earth at that point. And the Earth really did resemble what's described at one point.

You keep talking about this idea of a "cosmic sea" and this idea of unformed dust floating around. Do you not see this requires an understanding of the Earth's position in space? This is coming from you, this is not how the Hebrews pictured it. They couldn't. This is clearly the interpretation of a modern mind.

Yes, before the earth/dirt formed. The tectonic plates we refer to as "land" formed later. At one point the Earth really was covered in nothing but oceans. After the surface cooled enough to harden and the water vapor trapped in the atmosphere to condense, the oceans formed. The tectonic plates literally formed in the ocean. And that really did happen where it's chronologically described.

When you lay this against the actual history of the Earth, it really is on point. First oceans. True. Then light. True. Then the Earth's water cycle (water above/below) and the oxygenated atmosphere (firmament), then land, then plantlife, then sea life (sauropsids), then life on land (synapsids/mammals), then humans. That's all right.

And I don't think it's a coincidence that it starts talking about the sun/moon/stars when it does. At this point the continents were covered in plant life, and they were moving all across the surface of the planet. This was a significant period in history when the atmosphere became transparent. And notice it's after this that life with eyes evolved. Also, not a coincidence I don't think.

I can't just be interpreting it falsely. All those things I listed that it got right and in the right order, it directly says all of those things. It's not open to interpretation.

If you'd like a more in depth explanation, or if your readers would like a more detailed explanation of my explanation, I've done a hub on it I invite you to check out.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

Sorry, you are wrong. Clearly after it says in the beginning, it goes on to tell us how it was done. This is indisputable as he divides the primordial cosmic ocean creating a space and indisputably calls that heaven. So it can't have already existed before that. Then he creates land which indisputably he calls earth. So it didn't exist before that. What's so hard for you to understand here? It's in black and white in every bible. Is it that it ruins your hypothesis? Is that why you won't see reason?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Do you think we need a new translation of the bible then? Will that solve the historicity and accuracy of Genesis?

Yes, I too have always wondered where all the "other" people came from and the phrase, "let US make man in OUR image". So, of course, there were other people and other 'gods' too. And are you talking about ancient aliens now?

And to tell the truth, the creation stories from all over the earth are basically worthless. They all are basically the same, yet slightly different. For instance, Native Americans believe mankind came from beneath the earth, caves were our origin points. We literally believe that mankind came from earth and is an integral ingredient of life - ALL life. Not just the one superior, "god-touched" creation that "owns" the land. In other words, we are part and parcel of the universe, not put here to rule over it.

The real deal is that when you get down to the basics, everything in the universe is related to and made from the same building blocks.

Who cares how the universe began? All that really matters is how we take care of ourselves and our planet. We cannot change the past, we can only improve the present and plan for the future.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Don't forget you're reading the English translation. Here, you can see the differences here ... http://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/1.htm

"Heavens" in verse 1 is "has-sa-ma-yim"

"Heavens" in verse 10 is "sa-ma-yim"

"Earth" in verse 1 is "ha-a-res"

"Earth", usually translated as "land", in verse 10 is "e-res"

These are not interchangeable like they are in English.

Verse 1 says the heavens and earth were created in the beginning, then immediately begins to describe the state of the Earth. So it was already there. "Formless" doesn't mean it didn't exist. There were, as it says, oceans. The Earth has to be there for the oceans to be there, which you acknowledged.

It should be clear to you you're reading it wrong because in your view the seas somehow existed before there was a surface and light before there was a sun. Can you not give the author just a little bit of credit?

Getting hung up on these couple of words, isn't enough to ignore everything that follows that correctly depicts the sequence of events.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

It matters how the Earth began because if it just happened, then there's no deliberate purpose for us existing, but if we were deliberately created, it was for a reason. Figuring out how and why we exist informs as to why we're here.

No, I don't think we need a new translation. It's clear with the translation we have. As long as you ground it in it's proper context, it makes plenty of sense. In fact, there are a lot of really confusing bits of text that only really make sense when you have the premise right. Once you correct that, the story becomes quite clear.

No, I'm not talking about aliens. I'm talking about the very real possibility that beings were actually created like Adam/Eve are described. All the evidence we should expect to see if true is there. The depiction by other cultures of immortal gods living among them, across numerous independent cultures, as well as the rapid progression of these multiple cultures towards civilization after not much in the way of a progression through thousands of years of farming already being in practice. In a very short span of time the changes began to happen, but only in this one region of the world, showing the influence of these beings being around.

I'm just acknowledging the most likely explanation.

The bit about 'us in our image' I think is talking about how the humans created in Gen1, the mortal humans, were made in the same likeness and image as Adam/Eve. Which is why they began to intermingle. Because Gen6 says the "sons of God" found the "daughters of humans" beautiful.


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

"It matters how the Earth began because if it just happened, then there's no deliberate purpose for us existing, but if we were deliberately created, it was for a reason. Figuring out how and why we exist informs as to why we're here."

Headly, to achieve this we must depend upon good scientific enquiry and study. When you bring in conjecture and belief systems, then the scientific process will not be serious and scholarly.... it will give way to indefinite and continual argument.... not the accumulation of facts.

In our present understanding of this world, everything arises from the microscopic and smaller. The miraculous emergence of any organism, already formed, is the stuff of belief, not science.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

I don't think that's true. Afterall the forefathers of modern science were themselves believers. You can still understand the causal nature of nature with a belief in God as well. It simply acknowledges that chaos becomes order and organized systems by design, and not by accident. There is reason and purpose for why we exist as we do.

There is clearly a driving force behind nature. It's compelled, we're compelled, to live and survive. That's not just the result of matter becoming complex systems. Nothing about what we know about matter and energy in any way suggests how a will could arise.

There are gaps in our understanding through science that this offers an explanation for. Without this side of it, the scientific explanation is a hollow one that just explains the mechanics, but not the driving force, that propels the physical world forward through its progression.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

To all of you - "There is reason and purpose for why we exist as we do."

What if there ISN'T a reason and purpose for why we exist as we do???

Does a flower question whether it came from a seed or from the big bang? No, it simply fulfills its purpose by blooming.

All of this conjecture about how the universe began, how the stars began, how the earth began, how the molecules began. What purpose does that serve? You are chasing answers for questions that don't even need to be asked.

No one or nothing can change the past - not even one second ago. It's gone! Get over it. Live your life by becoming the best human you can be. All we have is the here and now and the ability to help shape the future. We CANNOT alter the past in any way, shape or form. It's a freaking waste of time!

Wondering about it and arguing about it is pointless!


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Yes, you're exactly right, Austinstar, without being deliberately created then there is no meaning or purpose we can now assign to our own existence. We just happened for no reason. There's no reason we exist. No meaning to anything we are or anything we do. We just exist.

But I believe these questions are very much relevant because they inform as to how reality works. First off, whether or not we were created for a deliberate purpose is relevant. Second, it helps fill in the blanks that still exist in science. Like the element of life itself. We still don't know what it is. There's no molecular/structural difference between a living and dead body, yet there's obviously something missing.

The simple fact is not everything in reality is observable. Some of it we'll have to realize through logic and contemplation. Science will never show us the whole picture. There are limitations, as there should be. Our senses only evolved to serve us in the interest of survival in this environment. What are the chances that everything in reality can be somehow revealed to these limited senses?


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

I agree that all this argument and conjecture does not benefit us, except in the area of that Human trait -"I wonder if.....or what.... or why.... or where?"

I tend to sit on the fence somewhat, where the argument is way beyond my thinking energy or desire.

However, my one stand point as far as Headly is concerned, lies in his statement above: " Afterall the forefathers of modern science were themselves believers."

The Believing Forefathers were surely the greatest obstacles to further research and discovery. Scientific research could only advance when courageous individuals were willing to look out and beyond those beliefs and find facts.


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Please excuse me from not replying again for the next few hours. It's 6.30am here in Tasmania, 6 inches of snow have fallen over night, I must get down of the hill before it stops me doing anything but snuggle up indoors for the next 48 hours.

Have a good day/night everyone.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

It was belief that spurred them on. Recall what Galileo did right after discovering the planets orbited the sun. He immediately went to re-read the portions of the bible that had to do with the sun to reinterpret them. This is what got him in dutch with the church. Not his dabbling in science. The pope at that time wanted Galileo to come present his findings because they were interested. Their problem was with him reinterpreting the bible outside of their control.

The forefathers of science were studying God's creation to understand how it worked. The belief that it could all happen without a God came way later.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

" Scientific research could only advance when courageous individuals were willing to look out and beyond those beliefs and find facts."

Galileo wasn't the only one who was persecuted for presenting "new" ideas. He was but ONE person who did that. There are millions that have questioned the church!

If they didn't, we would all still be in the days of slavery, stonings, and superstition for medicine.

Again, I have to ask, "Why do you think you need to prove you have a "purpose" in life. If you do, or if you don't it is totally out of your control.

Focus on what needs to be done rather than argue and piddle over which verse in the bible came first or what every little word in it means.

Get off your butt and be productive and positive and fulfill your place in the universe!


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

How many who claim christianity today are afraid of individuals who can think for themselves and question dogma? Frightening for anyone who is in danger of losing authority.

Galileo and Jesus would be looking down on us and asking, "Will you never learn?"


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

HeadlyvonNoggin

So first of all, the authors didn’t know they lived on a planet. They didn’t know there was a universe. The sky was heaven, it held lights, and birds could reach those lights; and if you got up high enough you could touch them too.

So bible translations often say: In the beginning god created the sky and the land, not the earth and heaven. Nowhere, in any Jewish translation, does it say heaven and earth, and then switch to sky and land.

To them there was nothing but a low sky and land and the sea. They had no idea how large the sea was, to them it might well have been infinite. It doesn’t say god created this sea.

Here’s a direct translation:

In the summit “Elohiym [Powers]”fattened the sky and the land.

What does fatten mean? It doesn’t mean create, it means he manipulated something already there to produce the sky and land. That something was this pre-existing ocean. When you fatten a pig you raise it, manipulate it, to turn it from something small to something much larger ready for market or the table.

“and the land had existed in confusion and was unfilled and darkness was upon the face of the deep sea and the wind of “Elohiym [Powers]” was much fluttering upon the face of the water”

So the land was already there but existed in confusion. It was there in principal but it was not really there yet. You might say the dust cloud that would produce the planet would fit the bill nicely. But they aren’t talking about that. They are talking about land which was deep under this sea, which was all that existed.

“And “Elohiym [Powers]” said, light exist and light existed. And “Elohiym [Powers]” saw the light given that it was functional and “Elohiym [Powers]” made a separation between the light and the darkness.

No he didn’t. You can’t make a separation between light and darkness. But they didn’t know they were on a planet that rotates so they assumed that there was this separation between light and dark.

“nd “Elohiym [Powers]” called out to the light day and to the darkness he called out night and evening existed and morning existed one day”

One day is one rotation of the planet. Here there is no planet, just sea. God creates light with a word, then divides night from day, but this is all done above this sea.

“and “Elohiym [Powers]” said, a sheet will exist in the midst of the water and he existed making a separation between water to water. And “Elohiym [Powers]” made the sheet and he made a separation between the water which is under the sheet and the water which is upon the sheet and he existed so,

Now he puts this sheet between the water, separating water from water. No he is not making an atmosphere as you claim. He is manipulating this ocean that already existed that he never made. No where does it say he made it. The Hebrews thought it was a pre-existing primordial sea of chaos. And now you have an ocean, not some vapour, above the sky, not in the sky. You cannot deny it. Even Psalm 148:4 says: "you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens"

And don’t forget, this is where the water is said to have come from for Noah’s flood. "all the foundations of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened" Unless water was coming out of those windows this wouldn’t make sense. Not that it does anyway, of course.

“And “Elohiym [Powers]” called out to the sheet, sky, and evening existed and morning existed a second day,”

He didn’t call out atmosphere. He calls out sky, because that’s what he created, now, on the second day. Not before all this. Day two. You got that, right?

“And “Elohiym [Powers]” said, the water will be bound up from under the sky to one place and dry ground appeared and he existed so. And “Elohiym [Powers]” called out to the dry ground, land, and the collection of the water he called out, seas, and “Elohiym [Powers]” saw that it was functional”

Day three, he gathers up the water and puts it in one place and dry land appears for the first time. Not before day one as you keep insisting. Plus, now he calls the gathered up water seas. First time he called the waters anything.

Egyptians thought the sky was a roof. Sumerians thought so too. Theirs was made of tin. This is where we get that old fear: the sky is falling. The Egyptian god Nun was said to be the embodiment of the primordial waters, existing in the chaos preceding creation, from which the creator god Atem arose. This idea of water preceding creation is not just a Hebrew idea.

The Hebrews even call the water above earth the oceans of heaven, and they thought the dome they were in was made of congealed water. A few times god threatens to roll up the sky like a scroll.

To the Hebrew the earth floats on the water and was held in place by pillars. I even found this gem where god says to Job: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who determined its measurements or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?"

Clearly this assumes that the land is held in place by pillars.

Hebrew cosmology from top down: Heaven of heavens, oceans of heaven, firmament with all the stars, sun and moon held up by the pillars of heaven and congealed water. Land, the underworld, pillars of earth, the primordial sea, which is still connected to the oceans of heaven. So as I said, the firmament with stars is a bubble more than anything.

This is obviously not scientific and doesn’t in any way line up with science. Sorry the bible doesn’t make sense, I didn’t write it.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

But don't you see, that's where you get into merky territory....

[i]"Focus on what needs to be done rather than argue and piddle over which verse in the bible came first or what every little word in it means.

Get off your butt and be productive and positive and fulfill your place in the universe!"[/i]

By what standard do you determine what "needs to be done"? We have no purpose. Nothing any of us do in this life matters. We're all still doomed to oblivion when the universe collapses on itself. There's no surviving it. If we end hunger, cure cancer, bring and end to all crime, none of it matters. If I live everyday to the best of my ability, it doesn't matter.

You're talking like we're somehow obligated to behave a certain way. Without meaning or purpose, there's really no point. What's the best you can hope for, somehow spend the time you have before you disappear into oblivion doing something to make someone else's life easier for the little bit of time they have before they disappear into oblivion.

I'm sorry, but to even consider we humans self-organized into caring, compassionate, creative, hopeful beings for no reason, who eventually is doomed to disappear from existence like we were just a fart in the wind, that's literally the saddest thing I think I can imagine. But if all of this was for a reason, a reason that involves allowing all the people who ever lived to retain their individual identities well beyond the demise of the universe, that's something meaningful.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

That's organized religion's fault. That's the primary reason why I don't go to church. In a church setting, you're not allowed to discuss anything outside of their established viewpoint. As I'm sure you've deduced, I enjoy discussing this stuff. Picking at it and testing it and challenging established ways of thinking. I am not welcome in most churches.

Organized religion is a man-made entity that is just as fallible and just as in the dark as the rest of us. Yet they place themselves in a place of authority as far as what's "truth" and what isn't. Though they have no way of knowing any better than any of the rest of us.

What I believe, where my viewpoint is, I reached it on my own. It's not based on anything anyone else has said. It's just a logical approach to a problem.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Just use your own experiences. You may have at some point felt compelled to do something, or motivated or inspired, but that doesn't mean you automatically gained any and all insight needed. Just because the authors were repeating things they were told doesn't mean they themselves understood. They still had a Bronze age level of understanding. Which is why it's so incredible that they got so much right. Not just with creation, but with the first 12 chapters. These stories span roughly 2000 years of history that they accurately depict without the benefit of recorded history. Not an easy accomplishment.

You're unfairly expecting the authors to have some sort of heightened level of understanding. They didn't.

Yes, the primordial Earth did have the light of day and dark of night. But with a translucent atmosphere there was no visible sun/moon/stars. Just a lit up dome of the sky. This happened after light began to break through. Before it was all dark all the time, so this bit of creation is very relevant.

Yes, the oxygenated atmosphere did actually cause a separation from the water above and the water below. Not only was there a water cycle established, but an oxygenated atmosphere meant there was a pocket of atmosphere between the 'water above' and the 'water below'. And yes, they didn't know then to call it atmosphere. To them it was the sky.

I never said land happened before day 1. I said the earth was created, which it then begins to speak about the state of, so clearly it existed. The continental tectonic plates really did form after the atmosphere, just like it says.

Yes, the Egypians, like the Sumerians, had access to this information and these beings who had insights. So them knowing about the seas existing first makes sense.

Yes, the Hebrews were told there was water above and below, but they didn't understand the Earth's water cycle. They had this information, just didn't understand it all very well.

Yes, there are foundations of the Earth. They're called 'craytons' and they're what the tectonic plates sit atop of. And they are pillar-like.

Don't expect scientific levels of understanding from this age. What's important here is the fact that they got so much right even with their complete lack of knowledge of the natural world. They still got it right that the oceans were first, then the atmosphere/water cycle, then the land, the plant life, then sea life, then mammals, then humans. All right.

The bible makes sense, but only really makes sense to those of us who have the information to put what's being described in the right context. Those of us who exist in this age are the first in history who can really get it.


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

"The bible makes sense, but only really makes sense to those of us who ........"

How often have we heard these words spoken, when the believer finds him/her self getting no where with an argument? How important it is to get the un-believer over to the believer's side......

As so many have said, "You can't argue religion with science. The two just belong in different camps.... never the twain shall meet."


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

Make no mistake, this isn't about "winning souls" to me, or converting anyone. This is about recognizing the bible for what it is, insight into the beginnings of what makes modern humanity what we are. These are the events that set the modern human world in motion. It's about realizing the real truth about our past.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

See, the problem here is an old one that's being repeated yet again. People's ideals are getting in the way of finding real truth. It's always assumed that it's the ideals of the religious impeding progress, but this time it's the other side of the fence. This time it's the ideals that have to do with disproving God and religion. Those ideals are clouding what should be obvious, making those in the best position to arrive at real truth blind to it.

There are too many determining prematurely what is possible and what isn't. Like Austinstar said earlier, none of us were there. So how can you all be so sure there's no truth to any of this? I've got plenty of evidence to show it is truth. Everything we should expect to see if these things really happened is there. So drop any personal biases for just a moment and take an honest look. I assure you there's enough here to effectively blow your mind.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Headly - you said, "This is about recognizing the bible for what it is, insight into the beginnings of what makes modern humanity what we are."

Ok, so what EXACTLY is this "insight"? What is god's PLAN? Why do you think it is explained in a 2,000 year old collection of musty pieces of paper, parchments, scrolls, and the "authority" of the church?

"So drop any personal biases for just a moment and take an honest look." Why don't you drop YOUR personal biases for a moment and tell us the HONEST "truth". No one in the modern world, or for that matter, in the biblical world, is actually "getting it". If they did, there wouldn't be all this dissent and argument!

If a god had actually EXPLAINED his mission, vision, and plans to humankind, I think it would be a lot more coherent than the vague references to land, sea, and heavens that were magically created by him "blowing" it all into existence.

Your bible does not and never has impressed me or any thinking, logical scientist. It's an extremely vague and unclear attempt by early man to try to understand his local creation myth.

The bible really has nothing whatsoever to do with real science. They are two totally different fields of study. Science is a method of study to determine how things work in the physical world. Religion is a set of beliefs about guesswork put forth by primitive early people who could barely read and write. They are two different things!

Quit trying to prove your god by using science. It just won't work. Your beliefs are your own. Science is a tool for everyone to use to help them in their day to day lives.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Yes, science is a tool that I'm using to nail down what is factually true.

Actuallly, I think the ambiguity itself has a purpose. To start, I should point out that the bible is not an attempt by early man to try to understand. They are recordings of an age when this God actually interacted with humans. I think it explains it quite well once you have all the information.

Science has shown us overwhelmingly that the behavior of matter and energy in the natural world is governed by natural laws. Behavior is consistent, always. That's the whole point of the Genesis story. It begins by explaining that all the natural world is just as God intended. He deems it all "good". It's behavior is consistent with God's will. This includes the humans created on 'day 6'.

But then He creates two beings who are capable of behaving contrary to His will. They have a will of their own. That's the point. To make free will possible. To give us the capability to exist with our own minds and wills.

Think of the universe like the human body. It's trillions of component parts working together as a system, as you pointed out earlier. We're all made of the same stuff. Everything works because each individual part performs as it's supposed to.

Now, imagine each cell if it were able to behave of its own will and in pursuit of it's own individual wants. Before long the system would break down.

This life is to accomplish a couple of things. First and foremost, it's to give us the opportunity to live out life with free will. To see what happens. To try to govern ourselves and basically fail. Second, it's to give each of us the opportunity to, while existing with our own minds and wills, to willfully acknowledge and agree to the terms necessary to move forward.

Eternal life with free will requires order. Like the public road system. We are each free to travel where and when we wish, but for the system to work and be safe and usable for all involved, we must acknowledge the laws and the authority who sets and enforces those laws. We must be licensed.

For eternal life to work, God must be acknowledged as the lone authority. The 'DNA' of existence. We do not have to behave only in accordance to God's will, this was all done to ensure we have wills and minds of our own, but we do have to behave in accordance with the rules of the house. Like matter and energy do naturally, we must do willfully.

That's what the Genesis story is. The event in human history when free will was introduced through Adam and Eve. In Genesis 6, these beings began to intermingle and breed with humans, introducing free will into naturally evolved humans, making them "wicked". Wickedness is only possible through free will. It was a localized event that then warranted a localized flood to try to control the contamination.

The bible is the story of God working with a world dominated by free will, and therefore out of His control. God's interactions with the Israelites was how He created Jesus. Not through immaculate conception, but through controlled breeding. He bred a free willed human capable of behaving in every moment of his life within the will of God. And by simply choosing to believe this willfully, you willfully acknowledge God as the authority because you believe He is capable of this act that seems to defy natural law.

To clearly define to us that He is there, to be less ambiguous, would influence our ability to willfully choose. We have to choose willfully and freely, un-coerced.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

HeadlyvonNoggin

Sorry buddy, they got nothing right and your attempt to say waters above heaven means atmosphere is futile. No one is buying it.

The Sumerians are where the Hebrews stole the stories from and reworked them.

You say sure, there was no light on earth till the atmosphere was formed. I might even accept that. But that's not what the story says, so you can't say that's what it meant. It doesn't come close to saying that.

And give me a break. There are no pillars of earth. Never heard of craytons. Tectonic plates ride the mantel. There is no ocean under the surface. Occasionally you get an underground river, and ground water, but no ocean.There is an ocean of molten lava at the outer core, but that's not what they were talking about.

Bottom line is, you can't say they didn't know what they were talking about and then say they got it right. If they did it was an accident, or obvious.

Can't live without space, light, land, plants and animals for food and byproducts. So all that gets done first. The sequence isn't hard to figure out. But they, like most people of the time thought that chaos was all that existed before the gods brought order. And that chaos was usually represented by an ever existing dark ocean. We can imagine why.

I bet you could go to any creation myth and find places to impose actual scientific discovery. But that doesn't mean the writers got it right, it means we can often see patterns and connections where none exist.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Yes, I'm sure ...

"In fact, the primitive Earth long remained covered in darkness, wrapped in dense burning clouds into which continuously poured water vapor from volcanic emissions." - http://www.palaeos.org/Hadean#Formation_of_the_oce...

What it says matches with what happened. No, you can't get all of that from the text alone. But the text laid along side the actual events proves point by point to be accurate. There really was an age when the Earth was covered in oceans and shrouded in darkness, just as described. And 'where' it's described that way in the context of the progression given is also right, being before the atmosphere, before land, and the rest.

Cratons - A craton (/ˈkreɪtɒn/, /ˈkrætɒn/, or /ˈkreɪtən/;[1][2][3] from Greek: κράτος kratos "strength") is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere. Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates. They are characteristically composed of ancient crystalline basement rock, which may be covered by younger sedimentary rock. They have a thick crust and deep lithospheric roots that extend as much as several hundred kilometres into the Earth's mantle. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craton

The bit you were talking about was something God said, then copied down. God would know.

So, you'll give them credit enough to come up with the sequence of events in Earth's history, something we couldn't even do and didn't have that right until very recently, but you won't give them credit for thinking the sun is required for light? Any way you view it, what you're saying is uneven and inconsistent.

I bet you you can't impose actual discovery on other creation myths. I've checked. There are some that are similar, but you'll notice those most similar were the ones geologically close enough to know the true story.

Yes, the Sumerian tales are very similar. So, it could be as you and many assume, that the Israelites took those stories and made them their own, or it could be they're both talking about the same shared past, since they both existed in the same region, and those stories are true with two different accounts to back it up.

Both the Sumerian and Genesis versions line up with what actually happened. And the Genesis version goes even further by specifying a rather exact timeline that also lines up. The first city that Cain built in this context would be Eridu, the first Sumerian city. Remember Abraham's father was from Ur, another Sumerian city.

It's all there and it all lines up. For the Sumerian stories to be the same is an expected result. They also claim superhuman gods existed and lived among them, just as Genesis also does. They also claim longer lifespans before the flood that gradually decreased after, just as Genesis does. And they also claim a once universal language confused into many, as Genesis does. There's a reason for that. These were the people who lived in the part of the world where these things were going on at the time.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"I think it explains it quite well once you have all the information." And your explanation of it all is that "To clearly define to us that He is there, to be less ambiguous, would influence our ability to willfully choose. We have to choose willfully and freely, un-coerced."

THAT is God's plan? You are insane. You need to re-define EXACTLY what free will means.

According to the Bible, our "free will" means we can either choose between 2, count em', TWO choices. We can choose to "obey" God or not. That's it, that's the only two choices. What a crock.

If you think that is god's plan for mankind, you are just unbelievably beyond my ability to understand.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

It makes the most sense given all we now know. Considering the consistency of behavior of matter and energy, for you and I to have any actual willful control of our lives, and not have all our choices and actions actually determined by our physical brain matter, then there must be a non-physical element at work. Something that doesn't have to adhere to physical law.

Physical law is God's will. If God just wanted everyone to work according to His will all He needed to do is leave us be. That's how we used to work. We didn't have any willful choice. But He went through a whole lot of trouble to ensure we do have our own minds and wills. To think it's all about obeying is missing the point. Yes, we have to obey up to a point so as not to be a destructive element, as we've seen in our life experiences. Eternal life with free individual wills requires order so as not to inhibit anyone's will through conflict.

It's telling, considering all we now know about the natural world, for the central theme of the bible to be about behavior. First it says we were given the ability to choose, then it becomes all about choosing behavior and being responsible for it. That's the single most relevant thing a God of this universe could be interested in. We are the only thing in the known universe whose behavior is determined, not by physical law, but by our willful control. There is nothing more relevant.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

From all that you write, Headly, it seems to me you have concocted your personal religion to suit your own mind. You have said you don't attend church. Presumably because "they" don't accept your versions of biblical interpretation and understanding. I wonder why!

In the same way, I cannot accept your understanding of a God that you say exists. I cannot glean from anything written in the bible, that such a God exists in reality. It is equally impossible for me to accept the existence of "superhuman beings" living amongst other humans. Sure, they might have been more heavily built, more dominant members of a closely allied species to those other inhabitants, and maybe these were mistaken as superhuman.

However, in the context of my rejection of that "God," all of your conjecture about prehuman history has no relevance tor me.

Scientific study is on-going. There will be theories, ideas, hypotheses, research, more ideas, some conclusions......up to the 99.9% certainty. Then someone else will come up with more theory, etc., etc.

Will there be anyone else who can delve deeply into your own theories and come up with a 100% fact?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

And what is the ultimate conclusion to all this "willful control"? What's the end game?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

I hope so. That's what I'm doing. In my insesant search for answers, I looked to make sense of things. The "all natural" explanation just doesn't hold water. The traditional views my church growing up taught me didn't either.

I've always been a science nerd, so I used that approach to solve the problem.

You're right, super humans sounds crazy. It sounds crazy because we've never in our lives witnessed anything like that. But then again, we haven't in our lives witnessed giant reptiles either. Or giant mammals. Doesn't mean it was never true. If we used our own experiences to determine what can and can't be true about our past, then we'd have to reject most of it.

The explanations we have about the single most pivotal piece of our ancient history are seriously lacking. They basically assume that Bronze age people were complete morons who just made up stuff and then treated it as actual history. And it supposes that this same conclusion about immortal gods was reached by multiple independent groups.

My hypothesis has a much more rational explanation that better matches the evidence. If these beings did exist in a populated region, then it's an expected result for being like this to turn up in the written texts of the cultures that existed at the time. Short of finding actual remains, though I'm not sure how we could verify as we generally judge age by bone growth, but someone who lives that long would presumably have a much slower bone growth rate, and who knows what the DNA would look like?

But I think it's a strong enough hypothesis that's been heavily vetted to the best of my ability to maybe steer future investigation. I certainly think it's worth looking into. Especially considering it could resolve a lot of unnecessary conflict as it's at the center of one of the most divisive topics we face. If true, this is a detailed explanation for what modern humanity what it is. It's vitally relevant.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

The end game is companionship. Companions with their own minds and wills and doing their own things. Making music and art having discussions and comradery.

What would be the point of all this matter self-aligning into complex systems capable of thought and dreams and aspirations and hopes, only to fall back to dust in a few short decades?

Eternal life, where beings that we actually determine exist through our choices of procreation, continue to exist as the same individuals they are throughout eternity with no death or disease or limitation. That's the end game.

God had to find a way to imbue us with the wisdom required to wield something as powerful as free will. The entirety of human history is a perfect knowledge base to do just that. Wisdom can't just be given. It must be earned through experience. That's what life is. That and a chance to willfully acknowledge and agree to the terms necessary.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Apparently, we have already attained the end game then. We already have companionship, music, art, convversations, etc. Thank you for your explanation of god's plan. Can we plaese stop arguing about the bible now?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Sure, this isn't exactly what I'd prefer to do with all my free time. If you can convince me it isn't the truth, I'll stop. Until then I feel obligated to share what I whole-heartedly believe is the real truth. Four years going now and not one person has been able to refute it, though they really wanted to shut me up, I'm sure.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Also...

Yes, you're right in that we've already attained part of the end game. The other part is no death or pain or disease through eternity, beyond the eventual demise of the universe. But this part is important.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Ok, Headly, I'll bite. Why doesn't this god just get going on the "no death or pain or disease through eternity" thing? Isn't 14 - 17 Billion years long enough to get this "free will" thing going?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Well, Austinstar, that's the trick. It's up to us because it's our will. God doesn't control what we do. We have to do it. Before He just willed it and it happened. But since free will entered the picture it's been out of God's control. We have to run the ball. We have to live through and experience it ourselves and make our own willful choices.

God isn't going to force eternity on you. It's your choice. If you choose to opt out, you return to the non-existent state you were in before birth. You opt out of existence. You didn't ask to exist, it was the choices of your parents that caused that, so you don't have to continue to exist if you don't agree to the terms necessary to do so.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Wow, that's a sucky plan. I could do better at the free will thing than god apparently. If I were Supreme Commander of the Universe, I would make people choose, like, which house they wanted to live in and what kind of gourmet food to eat as their "free will" choices. Not YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN DEATH AND ETERNITY! as the only free will choices one could make. That really blows.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

That's not the only free willed choice. We get to live however we wish. Persue our own dreams and wants. The alternative is to basically be drones, going through the motions of existing, but with no willful control over what we do.

It's the best the plan could be. Again, it's out of God's hand. God in this case really did create a boulder so large even He can't move it. He created wills totally independent of His.

To live eternally or cease to exist is just one of many choices. Which is fair if you ask me. None of us asked to exist. So we can choose to revert back to that if we wish. It's totally up to us. I'd prefer that over your method which requires that supreme being deciding for me that He/She knows what I want and need best and just forcing whatever He/She deems on me as "right". THAT blows.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I did not imply that getting to CHOOSE my own gourmet meals or where I wanted to live means that God is deciding FOR me!

You don't get it, do you?

God is only giving you TWO choices when you decide to "live for eternity" or just die and go away forever. That is already inherently NOT free will!

That is obey me or die slavery type stuff.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

That is free will. Having free will means there has to be order. Otherwise our free will would be infringing on the wills of others. The only way to avoid it is to live eternity alone. To coexist, there must be order, so there must be laws, and there must be a designated lawmaker.

There have to be rules. We're learning that now. They're simply necessary. It's either this, exist as drones (which is really pointless to exist at all), or don't exist at all. Personally, I think with all life has to offer that it's well worth it. This is simply what's necessary to exist as we do. Like it or not, that's the way it must be. The only way it can be. Go ahead, try to come up with something better. I'll show you how/why it fails.

This means everyone's life, no matter how short or tragic, adds up to something. It all means something. All we do matters. We're not destined to just disappear into oblivion having left no real impression on the universe during our time here. THAT blows.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Honestly Headly, your beliefs seem so, so illogical in my view.

If I cease to exist at the end of my life, will I be in a position of caring about it? Of course not... no existence - no feeling - no desires - no regret - no remorse - nothing.

You, however, when you continue on to exist for ever, will have the job of sweeping up the crap after me and after billions of other people have contributed to pollution and damaged the world we live in.

So, ok. Stay on for eternity for all I care. I will not be around to worry myself. But I bet you a $ that fellow Jesus will not be around either. The infinite world is his playground. Why would he hang back for duffers like ourselves?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"I bet you you can't impose actual discovery on other creation myths. I've checked."

Not very hard. The Hawaiian/Polynesian creation myths even tell of the gods who arrived on earth to preside over evolution, ie, it talks about animals and how they transformed and eventually led to mammals and mankind.

It's a genealogy, like genesis, in song form, and they've been singing it for ever.

I bet they found the right god. At least he told them something unique and absolutely true. Good guess.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

This is the physical world. There will be no pollution or any other remanence that you or anyone else left behind. We are spiritual beings who go on and leave this physical world we're now bound to. We are only tethered to our physical forms here, in this test environment. Our bodies simply allow our spiritual selves to interact with this physical world. This place is just a habitat that limits the level of impact we can really have.

Once there we'll be free to do what we wish, go where we wish.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Actually, if you look into that behavior change I was talking about, I think you'll see it's not strange at all that Hawaiian creation myth bares similarities. That behavior change was so sweeping that it literally traversed the planet, transforming all humans in its wake. And with them came stories and traditions that bled out into the culture already in existence there.

"Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas...."

"Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth..."

"....according to their various kinds"

Isn't that how evolution was accomplished? And this God told them something about the entire history of the planet that was absolutely true. Like starting with sauropsids (fish/birds), then branching out to synapsids (mammals/humans), one from the sea, one happening on the land.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

Isn't it deciding for you? Limiting you to only a choice between gourmet meals? Is it not your right as a willful being to eat junk food, or fast food, or just a bag of chips if you want? But you don't get that choice. Your menu is edited for you. By what someone/thing else thinks you'll want.

Your choosing your own destiny. How is that not free will? Is it only free will if there's an option C? There's either existence or there isn't. If we exist, but not willfully within the allowed behaviors, then we're a cancerous element that endangers the rest of the system. Do you find that unfair? It's just reality.

We have to obey the rules of the road, don't we? If we don't we lose the privilege. Do you find that unfair? Or a broken/flawed system? Or do you think the guy that insists on driving full speed the wrong direction into oncoming traffic stay on the roads?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Head, I think you have a truly warped sense of what free will actually is and I think you have a very warped sense of human morality and behavior. Just my opinion, you know. I also think that when you die, it's just going to be lights out for you, me, and every other human on the planet. So you can spend your time here banging your head against a wall, or you can learn to create a life that doesn't harm others, because that's all the morality and heavy thinking anyone really needs.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Headly, you said:

"This is the physical world. There will be no pollution or any other remanence that you or anyone else left behind. We are spiritual beings who go on and leave this physical world we're now bound to. We are only tethered to our physical forms here, in this test environment. Our bodies simply allow our spiritual selves to interact with this physical world. This place is just a habitat that limits the level of impact we can really have.

Once there we'll be free to do what we wish, go where we wish."

This really sums up, and confirms my previous post:- that you have made up your own religion. Nothing you speak of here can be proven or disproved.

Being, as you say, "spiritual," must mean infinite. You and I will not exist as separate entities. There cannot be any "do as you will," or "go as you will." There will be no notion of space or time in the Infinite, because there is no measurement or dimension to measure.

You have tried to explain your own understanding of things. It is your own story you are telling, not a concept that you can expect anyone else to take on board. You do not have a religion that can be shared, otherwise you would want to do so in a church. Your ideas are just that. No substance, no way of being validated.

Therefore ANY argument is pointless and baseless. We are all wasting our time, except that it can serve as entertainment. Certainly not a serious discussion, from my point of view.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

I'm sorry, but I find that utterly ridiculous. Think about all it took for us to self-organize, over the course of billions of years, into bundles of matter capable of dreams and aspirations and hopes. For all of that to ultimately be for nothing more than to live a handful of decades before that ceases to be forever, that's just ridiculous.

And it's a contradiction to think that way, yet talk about this obligation we're somehow under to live a good life. What does it matter in that reality? Nothing really matter at all. That would just mean that any notion we have of anything we do mattering is just a delusion we put ourselves in. And why this mind of ours would need to be deluded into thinking it's actions matter also doesn't make any sense in that context. It just doesn't make any sense at all that our minds would even be concerned about such things. It just doesn't make sense.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

I don't think that's true. You're right in that we can't objectively/empirically confirm it. Being spiritual, and not physical, that's an expected result.

But we can use our common sense and our intuition to piece things together. It's important to realize that the whole picture will never be brought into focus through material science. There are demonstrably elements of reality that do not conform to empirical investigation. So part of the 'truth' will have to be discussed this way. That's just the nature of things. It's a waste of time to try to limit the discussion to only the empirical.

You're right, in our spiritual form there is no need for dimensions of time or space. Those are only really relevant in a physical space. But we will retain our individuality. We will all be interconnected spiritually, which is how I think life experience will serve us in the next life. We will be able to experience each other's life experiences and choices as if they were our own. All the good and bad for all to see.

But make no mistake. This isn't some ideal concept I've come up with. This is the result of comparing to what's known about reality. It's the most likely explanation and it lines up with all physical evidence where it can be confirmed. It shows deliberate intent in our creation, meaning there's purpose behind all of this. So it's just a matter of figuring out what that ultimate purpose is.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

" Those are only really relevant in a physical space. But we will retain our individuality. "

You earlier in that post spoke of "common sense." Sorry, Headly, but you are contradicting yourself in just one sentence. Infinity means there can be no individuality. You are talking nonsense, not common sense. I don't mean to be unkind, always treated you with respect for the opinions you hold, but.....!

It seems to me that you are trying to hold onto your beliefs and conjuring up all manner of spurious concepts to support those beliefs - in the face of arguments which patently discount the beliefs.

Most if not all of your arguments are summed up, in your own words:

" For all of that to ultimately be for nothing more than to live a handful of decades before that ceases to be forever, that's just ridiculous."

You are unwilling to contemplate a letting-go of your life. You have a desire to let your consciousness continue for ever, eternally.

When you free yourself from this constriction, then your mind might be open and free to fully experience the Here-and-Now. In this there truly is no end. No need to search historical texts. No need to get frustrated trying to tell everyone else they have got it wrong. No need to listen to Austin, and Jonny, and Slarty, with all their argumentative ways.

Just BE in yourself, in your universe, in the NOW. The center of your Universe. Such is the Pure Consciousness.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

You have always been kind and respectful, and I appreciate that. But I don't mind a little spirit in a reply now and then.

But that right there, that 'desire' you say I have that spurs me on to delude myself, or whatever, explain that desire in a material/mechanistic way. It's not just me really wanting there to be meaning. It's me acknowledging the obvious, that there is meaning. The mechanistic offers mechanical explanations for how a lot of things work, good, but it falls on its face as soon as you plunge the human mind. The behavioral sciences are their own branch of science for a reason. That's because the mind doesn't conform in any way to material sciences.

Desire, inspiration, the things that spur us on and make us want to believe this or that is true. That's not the product of a mind evolved to be efficient and solely developed in the interest of survival.

It just doesn't make sense. I'd be fine accepting that that's all it is if that were actual true. It's just blatantly obvious that it's not. I can't ignore that.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

It's 3.00am and I am going back to bed!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Actually, if you look into that behavior change I was talking about, I think you'll see it's not strange at all that Hawaiian creation myth bares similarities. That behavior change was so sweeping that it literally traversed the planet, transforming all humans in its wake. And with them came stories and traditions that bled out into the culture already in existence there."

Oh here we go. first you say I won't find any reality in other myths, I find one and now you claim it's because of this behavioral change you talk about which is actually due to agriculture and the advent of writing as well as other natural factors, but you claim was due to some supernatural nonsense that never happened.

Sorry, but you can't get the first lines of genesis to say what you want them too, why would you think you'd have luck later on?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"The behavioral sciences are their own branch of science for a reason. That's because the mind doesn't conform in any way to material sciences."

That's not why it has it's own branch of science. Neuroscience is very much material science and so are other behavioral sciences and studies. They study behavior which is obviously material. We don't do a damn supernatural thing, it's all nothing but physical systems. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you jump to a supernatural answer. At least not unless you're religious and a want a simple answer right now, be it true or not.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

I'm not just making the lines of Genesis say what I want. I'm showing how the evidence is exactly what's expected if they are true. You say it's impossible, but what do you know? You weren't there. We have countless witnesses testifying to the contrary. We have ancient accounts that match across cultures, we have them claiming to have gained knowledge that we know they gained from these beings. And we see the residual evidence of an impact of this magnitude happening in this region of the world during this time.

It's simply recognizing a progression. Recognizing the evidence for what it is and the patterns that come from that. Like the Hawaiian creation myth. The behavior change made it to the Hawaiian islands too, meaning someone with those traits made it over there. Matching origin stories is further supporting evidence.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Don't confuse things. Neuroscience is in the natural sciences because it's the study of brain activity, not the mind. The mind can't be observed through neuroscience, only brain activity.

What you don't seem to get is that if it's as you say, then all your behavior is determined by the behavior of matter in your brain like a waterfall has no choice in what it does. It just happens. If we actually have willful control, then there is something supernatural to what we do. If there isn't, then we're just passive observers, unable to have any willful say so in anything we do.

That's the rub.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"What you don't seem to get is that if it's as you say, then all your behavior is determined by the behavior of matter"

Yes, working as a unique dynamic individual system. What's your point? We have will. Even a bacteria has will. Does it have a soul?

No soul is required. And if it existed then it would by necessity follow some structural rules, have some sort of mechanics, which you can't know anything about and you'd be no farther ahead.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Don't confuse things. Neuroscience is in the natural sciences because it's the study of brain activity, not the mind. The mind can't be observed through neuroscience, only brain activity."

Its you who are confusing things. Behavioral science studies behavior patterns, because behavior is the only way we can describe anything.

What is an apple? I can tell you taste smell look etc. Then you can ask again, but what is it? I could say it's a fruit; a seed pod a tree grows from. And you can ask again, and I can tell you it is a group of cells. Then if you ask again I can talk about electro-chemical activity and that at it's core (pun intended) it's a group of atoms. You can subdivide all these answers and ask: but what's a cell?

What does a mind do? That's what it is, and you can see it and study it by asking a human questions.

The mind is the brain. There is no separation. The separation you make of it in your own brain is due to your left hemisphere, which is about self identity and consciousness and a stable unified system.

The right brain, instinct and subconscious is where the really interesting stuff happens. Stuff the mind gets fed from.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

" If we actually have willful control, then there is something supernatural to what we do. If there isn't, then we're just passive observers, unable to have any willful say so in anything we do.

That's the rub."

No, that's your rhetoric, and it doesn't follow. We have will, it's a manifestation of our entire being: our predispositions, unique likes and dislikes, our learned points of view, our environmental conditioning, even our physical capabilities and limitations. That's us, not some supernatural ghost that has no relevance to our reality trying to control a worthless hunk of matter and bend it to it's will.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Yes, what about that? Even bacteria has a will. Isn't that interesting. The simplest of organism, even individual cells, have a will. A single cell will repel from danger and react to stimulants. It will protect itself. If it were merely mechanics, don't you think we'd be able to see how it works? We just see it working, but no mechanism that explains its will. That's telling.

"which you can't know anything about and you'd be no farther ahead."

So, even though intuition and logic tells us there's more here to figure out, because it can't be empirically determined and factually known, we should just put it out of our minds? That's not going to happen. So what now?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"The mind is the brain." An assumption. I get it. You just dismiss all the whiz-bang stuff the mind does and the somehow capability of having a will that can steer and alter the behavior of matter to give you willful control of your actions, so you can truly have it all I guess, but you don't know that. In fact, the behavior of the brain, having no commonality at all with the behavior of matter, warrants a whole separate branch of science for a reason.

You're right, we can only describe behavior. Because that's all that's observable. That's telling. The brain is the one bit of matter that we physically/directly experience, and look at all it's capable of. By all outward appearances it's just normal physical activity. Yet there's so much more going on that can't be seen. That can only be seen through observing behavior.

That's why that behavior change I'm talking about is so telling. It's a change to the mind that can't be physically observed, except through an alteration of behavior.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"No, that's your rhetoric, and it doesn't follow. We have will, it's a manifestation of our entire being: our predispositions, unique likes and dislikes, our learned points of view, our environmental conditioning, even our physical capabilities and limitations. That's us, not some supernatural ghost that has no relevance to our reality trying to control a worthless hunk of matter and bend it to it's will."

Right, so you're saying all you do, the commitment you make to your significant other and your friends and family, the choices you make to be charitable or whatever, isn't actually you, and could have totally gone the other way if your life experience had been different. It's not actually 'you' in control, it's the conditions. Exactly. Like the water of a river flowing along in the environment. No control. Just gravity. You or I having any willful control over what happens, and not being totally determined by factors out of our control, is like a river being capable of choosing its path.

The mechanistic explanation you're trying to retrofit over human behavior is clunky and lacking any of the nuance needed to be a true explanation. Mechanics are clunky. A purely mechanical brain wouldn't need to evolve a pleasure center that's primary function is to reward the mind by coaxing desired behaviors out of it. A mechanistic mind would just take the action it needs to take. It wouldn't require one bit of the brain having to persuade another bit of the brain. That's not how mechanical machines work. Mechanical machines aren't compelled by the promise of pleasure.

It just doesn't fit. Your answer is wrong. It's a 'god of the gaps' style dismissal by attributing all the incredible stuff the mind does to the complexities of the brain we don't yet understand. We'll just wait for smarter people than us to confirm what we already assume is true. Even though the behavior in no way resembles anything mechanistic. Nevermind that. I'm sure you're right and it will eventually be proven. Keep the faith, brother.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"The mind is the brain." An assumption. I get it. You just dismiss all the whiz-bang stuff the mind does and the somehow capability of having a will that can steer and alter the behavior of matter to give you willful control of your actions, so you can truly have it all I guess, but you don't know that. "

Well I can only work with what I do know, and that's the most probable answer. If you are going to include the idea of souls, why not also include invisible intelligent microscopic rodents running around in our brains feeding us their will? Just as impossible to disprove, and just as impossible to prove.

Like I said before, if you ever have proof of a soul let me know. Otherwise the model I laid out is the only one we actually have to work on and with.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Well, there is the ancient document that's somehow remained relevant in every human age since it's inception which proves to be true and accurate when tested that testifies to the fact that there's a soul. And given all we've learned, the fact that there's still a big blank spot right there in our knowledge, despite our ability to actually watch a brain as it's working, continues to solidify that. Not to mention the fact that the mind doesn't at all adhere to the behaviors of other material things. It's a highly likely explanation.

Life is something we know exists, yet can't be detected in any way. It's what animates the matter of our bodies. So given all we know, it's consistent with something non-physical existing and playing a role in animating us. That's consistent with how the bible describes the soul.

There is no ancient document relevant throughout the ages that proves true when tested that says anything about microscopic rodents.

It's not like I'm just making this stuff up. It's based on a highly reputable source. A source I first vetted. So, not at all the same.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"which you can't know anything about and you'd be no farther ahead."

"So, even though intuition and logic tells us there's more here to figure out, because it can't be empirically determined and factually known, we should just put it out of our minds? That's not going to happen. So what now?"

False argument. I never said we put it out of our minds. If you ever come up with proof of a soul I'll be happy to include it in a rational model.

We want truth, right? The way to get it is systematic vetting of all information coming in. Facts are included, speculative hypothesis are put aside until evidence for them comes to light.

We wait and see what happens over time and through experiment. You might have a logical hypothesis, but until it's proven it's worthless as truth.

That's why I don't believe anything. Belief negates or at least stifles your ability to recognize truth about that thing because you are invested in it.

If you want truth don't fall to speculation. And sorry, god and souls are just pure speculation.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Right, so you're saying all you do, the commitment you make to your significant other and your friends and family, the choices you make to be charitable or whatever, isn't actually you, "

Well you are making shit up now. No, I'm saying the opposite. They are you. I'm saying no need for a soul for them to be you.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

But you're saying that who you are and what you do is determined by your brain state and the conditions of the environment as you've experienced them. So it's not you, it's outside factors determining 'you'. Like the environment determining the course of a river.

That's what you're saying, whether you realize it or not. That's the opposite of what I'm saying. If you're saying I'm wrong, that's all you have left. That's the reality of an existence without a God.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"The mechanistic explanation you're trying to retrofit over human behavior is clunky and lacking any of the nuance needed to be a true explanation."

At least it's not pure fantasy like souls. It's a work in progress. It's getting fuller all the time as the pieces come in. You are hardly unbias. We all know you are totally invested in there being a soul and you'll say anything to try to convince us one must exist. But it's not a necessity and no one can prove a soul is even possible. You know nothing about it but expect me to take it seriously?

" Mechanics are clunky. A purely mechanical brain wouldn't need to evolve a pleasure center that's primary function is to reward the mind by coaxing desired behaviors out of it. A mechanistic mind would just take the action it needs to take. It wouldn't require one bit of the brain having to persuade another bit of the brain. That's not how mechanical machines work. Mechanical machines aren't compelled by the promise of pleasure."

Well that's your opinion, but it's not the way I see it at all. It's not purely mechanical. It's dynamic.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

But you're saying that who you are and what you do is determined by your brain state and the conditions of the environment as you've experienced them. So it's not you, it's outside factors determining 'you'. Like the environment determining the course of a river."

That's all there is, even with a god. And I'm an individual with will and self determination. Figure that one out. I have.

Just because you can't, don't go believing in fantasy. It's not worth it if you want truth.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Head, do some research on biochemical brain function and also research nanotechnology. Might want to check out noetics and quantum physics while you are at it.

Now where exactly is this "soul" supposed to reside? No one has ever found it, no one has ever measured it, seen it or even felt it, save maybe an unusual biochemical reaction, which btw, is how cellular components react to stimulus and that can be easily proven.

You are speaking the language of "faith", and conjecture, not the language of science. The two subjects are really different. I don't think there is any way known to man to prove supernatural things.

To prove that something exists, it must first, in fact, actually exist.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Well, there is the ancient document that's somehow remained relevant in every human age since it's inception which proves to be true and accurate when tested that testifies to the fact that there's a soul. "

No. It's proven to be nothing of the sort. Not true, not accurate and certainly doesn't prove souls exist.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

I have done plenty of reading on any and all topics that have anything to do with the mind. Matter in general. I'm fascinated. Always have been. I know what I'm talking about and I know there's no knowledge to be gained there that in any way impacts what I'm saying.

What do you look for if you were looking for the soul? Some kind of gland? The soul was described in a book written way before the whole natural/science discussion, the distinction was made between physical and spiritual. Not finding anything is an expected result. We know things exist that can't be detected.

Where exactly is life? Where exactly is the mind? They don't exist spatially, but they certainly do exist. So things that can't be detected can and do have an impact on physical matter.

You too are speaking the language of faith. Faith that you're right that I'm wrong and that some day soon it will all be proven and figured out. Make no mistake, these are competing faiths.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

I've laid out in detail in the hubs I've created exactly how it has proven true and accurate, and you're welcome to try to tear it down all you wish, but just making general statements that it's not true and not accurate, considering I have very specific information to the contrary, isn't going to fly.

I haven't approached this as a typical believer. I approached it entirely skeptical of everything. Not to prove it's true, to find out if it's true. I now base my viewpoint on it, not because I really want it to be true, but because I really believe it's true after researching it heavily. This is the most logical, most likely conclusion. Bottom line.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"That's all there is, even with a god. And I'm an individual with will and self determination. Figure that one out. I have.

Just because you can't, don't go believing in fantasy. It's not worth it if you want truth."

Oh, I know and understand what it is you believe to be true. It just doesn't fly. Trying to layer in complexity and self-organization and enough time together to create something mechanical that doesn't behave in any way mechanical doesn't fly.

All that explanation is is a fabricated baseless rationalization of 'well it does exist, and all there is is matter and energy, so it must be something like this'. That's all it is. There's a logic to it, until you really think about it.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Head - nope, faith is belief of unproven things. I have zero faith that a soul will ever be found. You have that.

Apparently, you have not become an actual scientist or you would never make such a claim as "I know what I'm talking about and I know there's no knowledge to be gained there that in any way impacts what I'm saying" No scientist would ever say such drivel.

Scientists constantly search for new knowledge.

Why can you not answer the question, "Where is the soul?" and you have claimed that it has been "described in a book". So what is that description?

To say that "not finding anything is an expected result" is nonsense. Yes, there are things beyond our ability to sense them, but we find evidence of existence by the effect a thing may have. No one can see or prove that gravity exists, but we can see and prove and mathematically calculate its effects.

So, if you say that a soul has actually been described, I would love to examine that description and find a way to prove it.

BTW, the "mind" is measured by electrical impulses (EEGs), and biochemical processes (measurable), nerve conduction studies (measurable) and by the results of autopsy that can physically show a brain and how different brain characteristics produce different personalities or "mind" disorders.

Where is the physical evidence of a soul or its effects?

Life is not easily defined, but we do have ways to detect organic from inorganic and just plain energy of different kinds.

You are speaking polar opposites when you speak of religion and science. They are not compatible or comparable.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

The soul is described as non-physical. There is definitely something at work that can't be physically/materially detected. So, based on how it's described, and the fact that whatever it is it doesn't conform to being 'observable' like every other material thing in existence, it would seem there's something to that.

I too am in constant search of new knowledge. But I'm not on the front lines doing the digging. I'll leave that to those who know what they're doing. I'll just mine all the information available to me. And I think I've done that. I'm bringing something new, something I've never seen anyone else say. What else do you want from me?

I've done the research, looking to answer those particular questions, and I know the answer's not there. I know what is known. I know where the boundaries are. Where the knowledge stops. I'm not saying further investigating isn't warranted. I mean what is now known. What is established. I know what's what and know the answer isn't there. So you just saying I need to read some more on these topics, isn't going to work in deflecting me off. I am always searching for new information. Anything relevant to these key things of existence. The things that aren't material. The things that make it apparent that there are limits to what science can determine, and that some of the whole picture cannot be revealed by the natural sciences. It's a faith to think it can, since all questions have not yet been answered. Yes, science has a strong track record, it's understandable that you believe in it as 'the answer' that will eventually provide all the answers. But as I've pointed out and it should be apparent, that's not the case.

I want to address your statement about gravity in particular. You know why we can mathematically determine gravity? Because it's behavior is consistent and lends to that. The behavior of the mind, the soul, not consistent. Doesn't conform to equations. It's not physical or mechanistic. It's something else that doesn't have to conform. Something that can make the matter of our bodies do whatever it 'wants'.

Also ... "BTW, the "mind" is measured by electrical impulses (EEGs), and biochemical processes (measurable), nerve conduction studies (measurable) and by the results of autopsy that can physically show a brain and how different brain characteristics produce different personalities or "mind" disorders."

You're confusing brain activity with the mind. Not the same thing. It's assume one causes the other, but observing brain activity is not one and the same as observing the mind. Big difference.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"You're confusing brain activity with the mind." No, I don't think I am.

Once upon a time, religious people thought the "soul" was in the heart. They really believed this. Some still do. But we have pretty much proven that the heart is just a muscle that reacts to electrical impulses from the brain. We can alter those electrical impulses via chemicals and stimulation.

Open brain surgery with you awake and you will be able to think and talk and understand things. This proves that the brain IS the mind. They are the same thing. It can be shut down and boom! no more mind.

Again, you fail to answer the question. What, Where, Why is this "soul"? What are the effects of it?

I think you have just made up your mind to think a certain way and no one or no thing can change your mind. I will no longer bother to try.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Yes, the brain certainly plays a primary role in any and all physical activity in the body. But it's compelled by something unseen. Of course there's brain activity that corresponds with every little thing we experience. It has to be physically realized to be physically experienced.

But as much as we now know about the body, we can peer into the body, into the functioning brain, yet there's no answer to what 'life' even is. We know how to fix the body and keep it in a state where it can retain life. But we still don't know what life is. Everything you're saying about the soul, the same can be said about life. Which in my mind are basically the same thing.

If you'll notice, I've got an answer for everything. That's not just stubbornness and having my mind made up. That's because I've really thought about all of this stuff and the answer I'm giving is why I determined I cannot accept that explanation. If I just made up my mind, I wouldn't have an answer and explanation, that remains consistent and relevant from every angle I might add.


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Then, Headly, having come to your own conclusions in answer to every question, I am sure you will allow each and every other person to arrive at their own answer to each and every question.

If you were to argue the individual answers, implying that your conclusions were the only correct ones, that would not give full respect to the answers of others, even though you disagree.

In the same way I, as having an atheist understanding, can allow you to have your own conclusions whilst being happy to rest with my own.

Is this fair comment, without you adding a "but....?"


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

Yeah, it's fair. But (there it is) I invite people to challenge my views. If they can stand to criticism then they stand. It's not that I'm trying to argue anyone out of their own view, I'm just laying out why I can't accept it. I just try to lay out as plainly as I can why I can't accept that view and why I believe what I believe.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Oh, I know and understand what it is you believe to be true. It just doesn't fly. Trying to layer in complexity and self-organization and enough time together to create something mechanical that doesn't behave in any way mechanical doesn't fly."

Well I think it does fly, and until someone shows me a god or a science based reason it doesn't fly its the only rational game in town.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

Yes, I encourage everyone to reach their own conclusions. I tell people to not take my word for it. To test everything I say. To challenge it.

Yes, think for yourself. But if you publish your thoughts, I'm going to call out logical errors or things maybe not considered or mentioned that are relevant. I'll challenge those ideas. If they fall under challenge they're not worth hanging onto. It doesn't do anyone any good to hang on to things that are wrong. I would be doing you a disservice to not bring your attention to it.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Well I think it does fly, and until someone shows me a god or a science based reason it doesn't fly its the only rational game in town"

If it were rational, I could buy into it. It's a rationalization, the result of an illogical belief system. The science delusion. The delusion that science understands the natural world in principal, leaving only the details to be filled in. Assuming it's one thing, though nothing about it's behavior is at all consistent with that being the case. Pure causal mechanical process, no matter how layered, doesn't and can't become conscious, self-aware, and decide they have a favorite color and a song they like to dance to. The mind evolved to influence something alive, not a mechanistic biological process. The existence of a pleasure center in the brain should be all the evidence you need to poke holes in that little theory. Energy's conservation behaviors don't offer an explanation for how the promise of pleasure can persuade.


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

That's it Headly....precisely the reason I ultimately abandoned the church and it's claims in christianity.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

I'm not sure I follow Jonny. I think I'm being compared to a church, which is beyond troubling.


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jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

"If they fall under challenge they're not worth hanging onto. It doesn't do anyone any good to hang on to things that are wrong......"

This principle applied to my choice as well as yours.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

I guess that's the problem I'm having. I see no choice here. Only facts pointing a particular direction. I'm not telling you my problems with the atheist viewpoint to criticize you or anyone else. I'm laying out exactly what I cannot accept this viewpoint. If I'm wrong about something, please point it out. I talk to people who believe things and think things totally different than I do to challenge what I think. To challenge what they think. Skepticism has nothing but a healthy track record.

I'm not deeming what I say to be the truth. I'm simply laying my thoughts and beliefs out for all to see. I'm an open book. I'll tell you exactly what I believe and why I believe that.

If you find the things I've said troubling, in my experience that usually means something was said that you can't just dismiss. It hangs because there's something to it. You can't just dump it in the BS category because there's just something you can't resolve about it. You might disagree with it. You just can't quite put your finger on what exactly you disagree with, other than the fact that you don't like it.

I find these moments to be exhilarating because this means I'm onto something new that hasn't yet been hashed out. Something that requires more thinking and further contemplation to really get at what it is that really bothers me about these statements or these thoughts. I get really excited in those moments because it's in those moments that I tend to gain the most in knowledge or understanding.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Pure causal mechanical process, no matter how layered, doesn't and can't become conscious, self-aware, and decide they have a favorite color and a song they like to dance to."

But it has. That sticks in your craw. Sorry. And as for the science delusion, that's utter nonsense and you know it. It's a fact. The simple does become the complex following very simple rules. You say you know science but its hard to believe at times.

Science is an ongoing process. No one is under the delusion that it knows everything. I'm the one who told you all any of us, including you, can do is build models. Yours is pure fantasy because you can't even in principal show its even possible. That doesn't make much of a hypothesis.

My model can be falsified. All I have to do is wait. That's all you can do too. Either you will die and the lights will simply go out, or you you'll meet god and prove me wrong. But be careful, you might have the delusion of seeing god as your brain makes its last attempt to beat death, and then the lights might go out.

But you can't say: "Pure causal mechanical process, no matter how layered, doesn't and can't become conscious" because you can't know that, you have no evidence for it, and without a god it's the most likely scenario.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Yes, the simple becomes complex. But consciousness and self-awareness and passion and hope are not the results of mere complexity.

Yeah, your model can be falsified at some point in the future. You could say the same for just about anything.

You're right, I have no evidence. And you have no evidence. All we see is brain activity we don't understand. And you assume there's a mechanical explanation in there somewhere in the layers of complexity. That's a thought process right in line with the science delusion. You're making assumptions that you already get how it works. Now you're just waiting for confirmation.

But this hypothesis fails on every test. Behavior that can be observed in no way reflects the building blocks you claim it came from. Nothing about matter, even at the subatomic level, in any way suggests it capable of these things.

Yes, science is an ongoing process. But it's also a tool that has limits. Because it only deals with the physical/material/observable world, and there's clearly more going on than that. That's why we have explanations about how the mechanics work, but not how it's 'alive'. We just see it's affects on matter, but not 'it' itself. That's what you call an expected result.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

" Energy's conservation behaviors don't offer an explanation for how the promise of pleasure can persuade."

Of course they do. You just don't want it to be true. I've already explained it all to you. It's a systematic progression starting with auto response. And pleasure is only a subjective way to describe it. It's the dynamic of need felt. Thought is felt, before it's verbalized. All of this is based on feeling. Right result, feel accomplishment, need resolved. Need resolved = feelings of pleasure to the human who can define it. Most animals can't, but they still feel. It's part of will.

Your will is a favorable result. A favorable result brings feeling. Why just pick on pleasure?


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Yes, science is an ongoing process. But it's also a tool that has limits. Because it only deals with the physical/material/observable world, "

And until someone proves otherwise that's all there is.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

I pick on pleasure because it doesn't fit what you're descibing. That's not "auto response". That's the opposite, actually. There's nothing auto about it. It's deliberate and self-serving to give oneself sensations that one finds pleasurable.

So auto response, layered atop itself an infinite number of times, somehow becomes 'not' auto response? Deliberate response?

Do you not see what I'm pointing out? Think about the pleasure center of the brain? Just imagine how many years and generations where required for that part of the brain to evolve. Now imagine that the whole time that evolved, the part of the brain it was interacting with was already in place in some form. For this capability to have evolved, it's ability to persuade the willful self to particular actions proved favorable.

What you're describing, auto response, requires way less than a pleasure center. It just requires something to respond to. It doesn't have to be tempted or persuaded. And adding layers of complexity doesn't suddenly make that so. That makes absolutely no sense.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"And until someone proves otherwise that's all there is."

Sometimes that's true. Sometimes it's an inevitability. Like the "observable" universe. Considering there's a set speed that light travels, if the universe is larger than the amount of time the light from stars has had to reach us, this will never be observable. It's just a certainty. Being unable to detect or observe anything beyond the big bang is a certainty.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"So auto response, layered atop itself an infinite number of times, somehow becomes 'not' auto response? Deliberate response?"

No, you're looking at it too simplistically. Atoms are "alive" so to speak. They are active and reactive. They are forced to do things by their nature. Systems like bacteria have needs and are forced to do things by their nature. But already they have a basic will.

By the time you get to "higher" animals they feel their needs and feel when they accomplish goals fulling their needs. Hunger is felt. Eating satisfies. By the time you get to humans we describe positive feelings as good and negative as bad. Of course you want positive feelings.

It's a progression. It's levels of complexity. But it's based in the laws of conservation.

So pleasure is special while hunger or other aren't? I don't agree. Feelings all come from the same place and in fact pleasure and pain can be very close to the same thing. Too hot can feel cold and too cold can feel hot.

Feelings are what biology runs on. Fear is a big feeling. Fight or flight response depends on feeling. At the risk of you ignoring it again: humans have language which changes the game dramatically. We name feelings and categorize them. We call the fulfillment of desire pleasure.

Pleasure is not special.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

Sometimes that's true. Sometimes it's an inevitability. Like the "observable" universe. Considering there's a set speed that light travels, if the universe is larger than the amount of time the light from stars has had to reach us, this will never be observable."

Unless we change the conditions by warping space so we can travel faster than light. Or fold space so we can travel through worm holes. These things are theoretically possible for the future.

" It's just a certainty. Being unable to detect or observe anything beyond the big bang is a certainty."

That may not be certain either according to Penrose.

You can't assume there is anything we can never know. We don't know yet if there are limits, or what they might be. Not me, not you, and not your favorite physicist can know the future with absolute certainty.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Atoms are alive, huh? You speak of an atom's active and reactive tendencies as if there's nothing particularly peculiar about that. See, you can speak about life that way, because of genetic information. Genetic information makes what would otherwise be a totally chaotic random process and makes it progressive/accumulative. All the most beneficial traits being propagated and the less beneficial dying out. Making for better and better versions, adapted to be what they need to be to survive. But atoms don't have that benefit. So these behaviors you say is of their nature is just how they behave. Not something honed over time, but something that right from the get go had the right stuff going on to ultimately become us.

See, this whole explanation is just cobbled together rationalizations. Assumptions. Big sweeping assumptions being treated as "the way" that science has "figured out" how this or that happened. Not really. It's an idea. An attempt to understand. Something that makes others go, "Yeah, I think I can see that."

But when you really stop and think about what you're suggesting realistically, it just doesn't hold up.

And yes, pleasure is special. That means something being able to willfully go for this thing over that thing. There's a preference. It isn't just which is more easily attained, it's which is preferred. This is not a mechanical response. You can't tell blood in the brain to flow whatever direction feels right.

"You can't assume there is anything we can never know. We don't know yet if there are limits, or what they might be. Not me, not you, and not your favorite physicist can know the future with absolute certainty."

And there it is. This is nothing more than a competing faith based belief system. It's what you prefer to believe. Isn't it interesting that our brains seem naturally disposed to establish something to believe?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

What rubbish. I say you can't know the future or what we can know or can't and you think that's faith? You're out of your mind if you think that's faith. I'm saying I don't know. How in hell is that faith?

You are saying that for certain there are limitations. Now that's faith based on nothing but that you wish it was true.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

This is closer to it: Believing/accepting what we wish to be true. Beyond that wish there is nothing substantiated.

Have you both considered that our human desires bring all that we wish into the mind?

There is the desire to banish death. Since death is a finality, a finishing with everything "I" find essential to my life, then I must deny death, fight it, make excuses against the idea of death, pretend it can be conquered.

Further, there is a tendency, generally, to not let go. Hang on. Deny anyone the ability to take away. "What I have is what I love, and I am going to hang onto it forever." Whether it's my young son/daughter, whom I treasure as an extension of my Self, or my unique invention that came from my brain and my hands. Even if it's my youthful appearance and complexion, that would normally and naturally age into ugliness, I refuse to let it happen. Give me Botox!

All of the argument concerning faith and beliefs and logic and concepts about life itself are based in our individual desire to hang on, not let go.

All your study and intellectualism does not hide your psychological make-up, Heady. And Slarty's appealing to logic is still geared to his preconceived ideas; as is mine.

I like to regard myself as a "free-thinker." Yet am I, really? NO...... my mind is coloured with experiences and learned behavior.

The argument is not new. The responses are not new. Yet the personal understanding that comes from discussion can be very new and rich.... if it's viewed from a detached perspective.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

You are right, of course, Jonny. I can't argue or disagree with what you said in the least. My appeal to logic is a method I consciously employ because my life experience taught me that for all the study I've done, for all the facts I've uncovered, I don't know jack shit.

But my consolation and everyone else's is, no one else does either. So nonbelief and logic is a method I've employed so as to not fall to any model, and stay open to new evidence. Hence perhaps uncover more facts along the way.

My preconceived notion, from my life experience, is that my imagination is so good I can talk myself into almost any belief, and I have. I'd like there to be a god, truth be told, but not the christian one. I wouldn't mind living for ever under the right conditions. But I really doubt that's realistic. I can't count on it, and under the wrong conditions I'd rather just die and be done with it.

Yet I've prepared myself for the unlikely event that I wake up dead. I'll say "holy shit I was wrong. Now what?" Or at least that's what I imagine.

I have told Headly several times that all we can do is make models from facts. And as far as I'm concerned that should be understood from the start of any honest debate. No one knows anything with absolute certainty about our origins. We can only build our models.

In a debate, of course, you have to defend your model. It helps you refine find flaws in it and refine it. And so it appears to the viewer that one's stated position is one of personal certainty and belief.

In my case that's not how I operate.

But while I don't allow myself belief, I do have opinions which I like to explore.

Headly seems to have the same determination to prove his model, and for that I applaud him. The difference is, he believes his is true, while I think mine has a higher probability off being true,, but I don't put any faith in that opinion. If its proven wrong I'll dump it. I've dumped models I've created before and I'll do it again if need be/evidence compels.

And that's the other thing you are right about; conversations like this tend to make the participants think harder and often come up with new revelations about their own models. It's not about converting anyone, that almost never happens on forums, though not never.

Headly is great for making you think, because he's always trying his damnedest to counter anything you say, which is why I enjoy our talks so much. Most people have thrown their hands in the air and given up against me by now. Like him I'm a bit of a bulldog when it comes to debate, I'm seldom if ever the first to let it go.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

" So these behaviors you say is of their nature is just how they behave. Not something honed over time, but something that right from the get go had the right stuff going on to ultimately become us."

Honed over time but something that right from the get go had the right stuff going on to ultimately become us. Yes. That stuff being the nature of energy. That's all we can say so far.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"And yes, pleasure is special. That means something being able to willfully go for this thing over that thing. There's a preference."

Right. Preference and pleasure are linked. Many preferences are predispositions.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

" I say you can't know the future or what we can know or can't and you think that's faith? You're out of your mind if you think that's faith. I'm saying I don't know. How in hell is that faith?"

Right, I'm not speaking about that statement. I agree with that statement. It's the one where you then referred to theoretical possibilities. It's true science has a strong track record, and there's things we've been able to determine that just a few years ago many thought impossible. I acknowledge that. But I also acknowledge that there are certain limitations. Hard barricades where we simply can't hope to peer beyond.

Even with the possibility of wormholes and such, which would mean either being capable of tranferring data back to the Earth from the other side, or actually entering a wormhole coming back this direction and ending up near enough Earth that we could communicate, but I won't even begin to get into all of that. But, even with the successful navigation of wormholes, there's still no hope of peering beyond the big bang. All the universe is is the result of it. All that is observable/viewable/detectable, is the result of it.

Our only hope would be to observe another big bang, if we were able to survive it, that is.

This is what I mean by faith. This idea that anything's possible. That no matter what stands before us, someone at some point will figure something out.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

What I cannot let go of or just let pass unchallenged is this mindset that belief in God is just too absurd, as if the alternative explanation is any less absurd. Given what we can actually observe and know to be true, I think it's all but certain that whatever the ultimate explanation turns out to be, it's probably going to be pretty absurd.

You're hitting on many of the very reasons why I get so hung up on this stuff as I do. I am a science nerd. Always have been. I'm astounded by what all can be determined and how it's done, as well as by some of the things we've found out to be true. But it's the things in life that are most central to the human experience, that don't at all conform to the material explanation, that most captures my attention. Science has gone a long way to trace the boarders of the knowable, and they find where the edges are. It's what's just beyond those edges that most intrigues me.

What about any of this, like the idea that some people actually think it's a good idea to have botulism injected into your face to stay off the signs of aging, doesn't scream anomaly? Aging, like death, is a certainty. It's absurd to think you can make it stop. A futile thing to even be concerned with.

Yet we see no contradiction between the brain/mind that science says evolved in the interest of survival and that? This is one of the literally dozens of reasons why I could never just dismiss Genesis. It's something about that story. They became aware of, and actually ashamed of, their nudity. Right off the bat. I find that incredibly interesting. Out of all the ways the author could have chosen to describe the change that overcame these two, to say they realized they were naked. That's an incredibly insightful direction to take. Just think about that for a minute.

That's one of the primary differences between us "civilized" humans and the humans of indigenous cultures. Anyone who's flipped through a National Geographic knows indigenous cultures aren't nearly as hung up on covering themselves as we are. We get into a full blown tizzy about it if a nipple slips. Indigenous humans, and all of the animal kingdom for that matter, have no hang ups about such things. Aren't even really aware or conscious of it. It's just not a concern. Bathing, grooming, relieving ourselves, we're so bashful we have to relicate ourselves to a little water closet designated for such things. We tell ourselves these are just evolved characteristics to keep us from letting our waste be too close and make us sick. But if that's the case it sure manifested really late in the game to really serve that purpose. It's happened so recently, in fact, that examples of humans with and without this trait are still in existence.

You talk about this desire we have to not let go. That desire in and of itself just doesn't fit quite right, does it? The bible says that being ashamed of nudity was something that just happened then. And we still see that change propagating throughout the species like any evolutionary change would.

I think there's a lot of evidence supporting the fact that a pretty significant psychological change happened that then brought about us "civilized" humans. That the story of our entire history. The struggle that 'we' had against those wild 'natives' always in the fringe of the story. Modern humanity's story is how we evolved humans then took over the planet.

What if we humans really did have a say so in such matters? Like how long we want to live? Before long I foresee a problem, because there would be many who simply wouldn't want to stop living. Especially those in power. Anyone born into the world would then be born into a system run by powers limitless in age. You'll be irrelevant before you even start. It's a good thing we can't determine for ourselves such things.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

In response to some of the things you said to Jonny, I would like to specify that I don't think everything I'm saying is the only one right real truth. But I do think it's closer to the truth than what's currently believed. It has proven itself to be more consistent with what's known the any of the standard models, with some of the inconsistencies I've pointed out during these discussions.

But I am totally open to being wrong. That's why I don't just go on thinking what I think and instead ingage in these discussions. Because like you said, these discussions bring about insights and possible corrections. I love when I can be shown to be wrong. That means I'm learning something new I didn't know before. That's the whole reason I have these discussions in the first place.

I too am not interested in converting anyone. In my defense of my viewpoint I can come off as being stubborn or hardheaded. I'm just speaking from this standpoint. I've tried myself to break it and prove it false. I thought for sure it was just a delusion of grandeur on my part to think I had actually found some truth that no one else had. I was trying to check myself. Trying to find the flaws before anyone else pointed them out to me. But I couldn't find a single legitimate reason to dismiss it. I'm still looking.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Headly, this statement is fair enough if you want to stick with it:"But I am totally open to being wrong. That's why I don't just go on thinking what I think and instead ingage in these discussions. Because like you said, these discussions bring about insights and possible corrections. I love when I can be shown to be wrong."

However, I invite you to consider if it's even more powerful when you come to your own, inner conviction that you have been wrong in any assumption.... instead of having to rely upon someone else to say that you are "wrong." I wager that you will be much more interested in the self-enlightenment than being judged by some one else.

I too, as having said before, don't entirely reject the notion of a "God," a "designer/architect" of some kind, but I do utterly dismiss the ideas of fellow humans who try to convince me there's a judgmental god that's going to spank my posterior and banish me from ever entering "Heaven." There is no need or intention for me to convince anyone else of this point of view, but I will defend myself if any one tries to impose their judgment upon me as a sort of proxy for that god.

Pray, let the discussion continue, with great respect.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

I appreciate that and appreciate that we can always have respectful discourse.

That's just it, I did try to find where I was wrong. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. Only when I bounced it off of others did I then realize things I hadn't looked into before. It continued to be accurate, of course. In fact, things I didn't know to be true I'd say that basically if accurate this will be what's found to be true at that point. Then, invariably, I'd look and find exactly what I expected to find. Time and again. That's how you know a model is on point. When it continues to prove accurate in instances not even considered when you first built the model.

As for a judgemental God, that's where I think the Genesis God is most relevant. Especially in light of modern science, given we now realize the level of consistency where behavior is concerned. If we truly are as described, capable of behaving free of the natural world/God, then our behavior is exactly what this God of the universe would be most interested in.

I get what you're saying, but I think there's good reason to think there's something to this.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

No, there is no place for a God in this judgment, as far as I can see it, in relation to the individual "spanking" concept. However, it is most likely that such a God, if he/she/it existed, would be very judgmental of hypocrisy, and the tendency to destroy and deplete the world's resources in an extremely selfish way.

If we continue to act in such a fashion, then we will bring about our own demise, along with hundreds of other living beings, simply because we have acted without care, without Love for the beautiful tapestry in which we live.

Belief in a God might cause some to work for better things and adjust their lives to be more considerate of others. Hopefully so. But what I see coming out of the "New World Order" is in no way self-less, only self-ish. So nothing really has changed in 2000 years.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Yes, I think you're very right. How our selfishness has basically wrecked the planet will be a central theme I think. In fact, the whole of human history I think will serve pretty well as a cautionary tale.

Just look at the commandments themselves. They begin with recognizing God as the one and only authority, then the rest have to do with how we behave and treat one another. When Jesus later summed them up He said to love God and love one another.

I think it will mainly have to do with behaving in a way that's respectful of those around you and the environment you live in.

Basically, you can have your own mind and dreams and wishes and such, just don't be an a-hole.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

"Right. Preference and pleasure are linked. Many preferences are predispositions."

Another baseless assumption. That somehow the way simple life forms act and react, our wants and needs are just more complex versions of that. But that assumes this is all purely mechanical. In humans it's dismissed as complexity we don't yet understand. Yet there's little as simple as a single-celled organism. No complexity to hide behind. Yet we still don't understand how it reacts to stimuli as it does. That's just what it does. Does that mean single celled creatures are actually conscious and aware of what they're doing? We don't see the mechanics there to explain it away as a mechanical reaction. It's an action initiated by the organism.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

"Honed over time but something that right from the get go had the right stuff going on to ultimately become us. Yes. That stuff being the nature of energy. That's all we can say so far."

Well if we can say that then we can also say it's much more likely, given the fact that the natural behavioral tendencies of matter and energy were such, right from the get go, to ultimately end up becoming 'us', is a strong indicator that intelligence was involved in making the natural world.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Yet there's little as simple as a single-celled organism. No complexity to hide behind. Yet we still don't understand how it reacts to stimuli as it does."

By the time you hit biology everything is already complex. And yes I'd say all biology acts out of will in one way or another. Does that mean bacteria have souls?

Have you seen what viruses do? When they invade a cell they replicate themselves. But not whole like humans and most other animals do. They grow parts. As if we grew heads separate from legs and bodies, Then they all assemble. Thousands of them.

Yes there is something amazing going on. Do viruses have souls? When do they enter the body?

My point is, I'm not assuming anything. We are studying life and getting answers. Learning is a progression. Just because it's hard doesn't mean you jump to conclusions like god dun it. You say we're not sure yet and keep looking.

If we knew with certainty that there is a god we'd think differently about it. But right now its speculative. And again, science ignores the question for that reason, and because even just knowing that doesn't tell us anything about how it works anyway, unless god wanted to enlighten us with a faq from heaven. Not going to happen.

So until then or until we've reached a point where we say there had to be intervention for some reason or other, the mechanical veiw will remain the road science explores. So far we haven't found a need for one. Could be one. I don't know. But I don't think that's probable, and if it's true I certainly doubt it's the Christian god.

What does a god need with conscious intelligence? What does it need it for? I think something else is going on, and I don't think intelligence is the be all and end all. But it is for us.

As for me claiming all manner of possibilities for the future, yes. They are all possibilities, but that doesn't mean any will become actual. We not survive the next hundred years as a species. Who knows? Which is the point. We don't and can't know the future so speculation is just that and nothing more, not only when it comes to what we can know, but also when it comes to what we can't know.

That's all I've been saying from the start.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

Speculation: fantasising; fear; exploitation of the fear; fan the flames; nudge the imagination; conjure up a threat; use analogy, example and vivid mind pictures to bolster the threat(s); present a neat, tempting and convenient escape route; watch for the bait to be swallowed hook line and sinker.....got 'em!

Can this scenario sit comfortably beside a careful, meticulous, honest, disciplined, scientific search for relevant facts? With the patience to allow for, even welcoming, the times when you get it wrong and need to start all over again?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

"My point is, I'm not assuming anything. We are studying life and getting answers. Learning is a progression. Just because it's hard doesn't mean you jump to conclusions like god dun it. You say we're not sure yet and keep looking."

In other words, continue to wait even though the lack of answers in these specific places is telling you all you need to know? So when do you simply acknowledge what all the evidence is telling you? What's described is that we are spiritual. As in not material. The fact that we can understand, and actually observe in most cases, the functioning body to the degree that we can, yet still find nothing to be measured or detected where the phenomenon of life is concerned, that's what you call and expected result. The evidence supports what's described. Continually. Science and technology progresses, yet this remains the same. So how long do you continue to hold out, assuming the gap in our ability to detect is just a lack of understanding or technological achievement? When do you simply acknowledge and say, "You know what, you're right. That is exactly what we should see if what's described is true?"

Yes, I think bacteria, and everything else that lives, has souls. Or, rather, I think the phenomenon of life realized is a soul. A soul is only as capable as the physical form it inhabits to emote it's wants and feelings. Our physical forms and brains are much more sophisticated, so we can better emote our feelings and desires than most. And we have the mind that makes us capable of being acutely self-aware.

"And again, science ignores the question for that reason, and because even just knowing that doesn't tell us anything about how it works anyway, unless god wanted to enlighten us with a faq from heaven. Not going to happen."

Yes, that's why the forefathers of the scientific method, most if not all God-believing Christians themselves, understood that. You can't account for miracles and divine manipulation in a controlled experiment.

Science has drawn the boundaries where what's possible to be known can be known and where the material stops and the non-material/spiritual begins. And like St. Augustine once said, there's a lot to learn about God because He reveals His nature to us through the "book of scripture" and the "book of nature". There's plenty of insight to be had once the story is in the correct context. It actually explains quite a lot. Waiting for that point you're speaking of will have no end.

Why would God need to manipulate and alter the natural processes of His own creation? If that's what you're looking for then your image of God is flawed from the start. And no, you're never going to find that version of God anywhere.

I have no problem with you having faith in humanity. I do too. But let's be realistic here regarding what's really possible, and what's conceived by the general populace in a given age as being impossible.

The point you're talking about that we must first reach before considering God doesn't exist. There's no definite location along the process's timeline where you can say where exactly one thing ends and another begins.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

If any one's image of god is flawed, how can you ascertain that when any, I repeat, ANY image of god is only an analogy, a metaphor? You and every person who chooses to "believe" in any god, conjures up an image of god that suits the inner need. Since that need varies infinitely from one person to the next, no two images are exactly the same.

So, how on earth can you state anything precisely and consistently about your own specific god? Answer: you can't.

Why? Because you are talking of the In-finite. As you have said in your final paragraph above, "There's no definite location along the process's timeline where you can say where exactly one thing ends and another begins." Nothing de-finite. You cannot define, so there can be no argument when there is nothing to argue about.

If there is a virtual space where we meet the Infinite it's within our own brain. This is where all the images arise, where they take shape and get put up for consideration. Using them to satisfy your own needs of understanding is fine and totally acceptable. Yet.....to bring those same images out into the open and treating them as real, that everyone else can see and accept, is to then enter into endless debate and argument - which gets you and me no where.

Immediately you say, in a clear unambiguous message, this, that or the other is "how I see it," then I can warm to you and your understanding.

If once you say, "This is how I see it and it's the way I want you to see it," then there becomes discord and disharmony.

In some ways this principle applies to us of an atheist bent. Any theory or hypothesis that any scientist brings up needs to be described in analogous terms.... until it develops and takes physical, tangible shape. Those who accept the analogy as just that, and don't try to take it too literally, will remain on board ready to hear/see/feel more. Experiments can begin. New knowledge and understanding can arise from that. Mistakes can be made and give way to knew learning.

Perhaps this is precisely where concepts of "God" and scientific inquiry can meet in a very useful and uniting manner. In other words, for each party willing to open up his/her mind to other possibilities, put those possibilities on the table, then disown them until every consideration has been explored. Only then presenting a conclusion, but EVEN then keeping a smidgen of opinion back for further information if and when it comes to hand.

Funny! This is what true scientists are supposed to do, surely?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

Endless debate is what I'm looking to resolve because concrete answers can be reached. We cannot have the certainty of empirical evidence, but we can use our logic and reason in considering all that's known and what it suggests.

I give you how I see it and invite you to find flaw in what I'm saying. Yes, we can reach conclusions about God. His nature is revealed to us through both the "book of scripture" and the "book of nature". Reading these two books together gives you everything you need to know.

You're right, the mind is the one place we can find these things. The mind is the one exception we each experience. The mind does not exist spatially. It's a construct, and doesn't conform in the same ways the finite material world does.

I want you to see it as you conclude on your own. I simply back up all I say with the reasons why I say these things. The reasons why I believe as I do.

There is physical tangible evidence at play here because this God interacted with the finite. And these events can be seen in the evidence. If not for this there'd be very little to go on. This is all we really have and should be recognized as such. And this too can steer investigation when the tale and series of events is properly understood, leading to new and further insights. And perhaps most importantly, to rid us of the false conclusion that Bronze age people were given to fantasy and fiction.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 16 months ago from Tasmania

It's not necessary for me to address anything else of your post above, Headly, except for this:

"We cannot have the certainty of empirical evidence, but we can use our logic and reason in considering all that's known and what it suggests."

Amen! Your logic and reason against Slarty's and mine and every other persons version.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"In other words, continue to wait even though the lack of answers in these specific places is telling you all you need to know?"

Would you say that to people trying to find answers to disease like cancer? Oh don't bother looking anymore, you haven't found the answer because god wants us to die from it? Do you know how absurd that sounds?

How many thousands of years did it take before we discovered bacteria was a major cause of infections, not demons. How long did it take to find antibacterials?

Science of the brain is a baby. You expect all the answers now?

Doesn't work that way


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

" The fact that we can understand, and actually observe in most cases, the functioning body to the degree that we can, yet still find nothing to be measured or detected where the phenomenon of life is concerned, that's what you call and expected result. "

Yes. And there are many aspects of life that have been measured and detected. But you want something that's not logical to want. You want to see what people are thinking by observing the brain. Probably not going to happen any time soon.

The mind is not a soul, it's not separate from the brain. Consciousness is found in the left hemisphere. Subconscious instinct and skills are right hemisphere. Separate them and you have two wills, and both find ways to communicate. Together they are integrated and form the feeling of "I" mostly in the left hemisphere.

With meditation techniques you can shut down the chatter and ego of the left side and explore the world and your mind from the subconscious. I'm quite sure you haven't played with your mind like I have. Its an amazing thing. I've probably experienced deeper spiritual insights and states of existence than most people who believe in god and souls.

I've had out of body experience. Could achieve it at will. I should on that basis alone believe in souls, but I don't. I've achieved blissful states of amazing peace and states of just knowing everything. Or at least feeling as if I understood everything. But when I left that state I really knew nothing more than I did before I reached it. But it did make me understand faith and how it works.

I was told by teachers that one must lose the ego. It's a difficult thing to do. But eventually I shut down ego. The problem was I went too far. I had no sense of "I" anymore. I couldn't recognize myself in a mirror. I couldn't put more than a few words together. Instead of finding enlightenment I was finding nothingness. Lots of awareness and feelings but had I continued that would have gone too. Took me a year to come back from that.

I used to be convinced I had a soul. But what happens to it when you are in deep sleep? Or under anesthetic? One would expect that if it is the seat of our mind it would still be aware even if the brain was shut down. But nop. It's no where to be found.

If the soul was the spark of life then why would it matter if you had a bullet in you? The body isn't really alive but for the soul. The body should just heal itself until the soul has had enough or god calls. Or brain disease? You should still be able to think clearly.

I assume a soul thinks? How I couldn't guess. It has no means for it.

And when exactly does it enter a body? Do we choose our hosts and hover over our perspective parents as they have sex? Or does god personally add that bit at his discretion for every birth? Does the soul preexist the body? Or is it created in the conception process?

A soul simply makes no sense, and all of my experience trying to live as a pure soul tells me they probably don't exist.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Jonny,

"Amen! Your logic and reason against Slarty's and mine and every other persons version."

Yes, I realize my 'version' is unique. But this is really the first time in history this can be seen. It's only a matter of time before it's seen by others.

The fact is there are elements to reality that don't fit the material mode and thus require another explanation. It just so happens that people who lived long before we knew all of this provided a potential explanation that fits rather well. I can't ignore this.

It's the first time I've ever come across a cohesive explanation of ancient human civilizations. It's the real cause. We are as we are today because of what happened then. If we can understand that we can better understand ourselves. And actually understand our purpose and why everything is the way it is.

Your's and Slarty's 'version' seem to be willfully ignoring these blindspots. Dismissing them as something not yet understood, but soon will be. And there's that faith thing again. Science has delivered in the past and will continue to do so. You count on it. Depend on it to basically confirm what you somehow already know.

That's why I argue this. I'm not trying to criticize anyone. I just want to do what I want you to do back to me. Challenge these things. Point out the shaky bits and ask 'what's up with that?'.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

In the beginning was "The Word". WTF does that even mean? People give "power" to words and books and mirrors and thunder. But "power" is just your imagination. So, try amending the bible to read, "In the beginning was "imagination".

It comes from our brains. All of the books of the bible were written by people who "imagined" the gods of the sky, the rain, the plagues, the "soul". It's all conjecture.

And now that science is beginning to figure out some things, the imaginative narrations of the bible are seen for just that - imagination.

They imagined pillars that held up the crust of their world from the ocean. They imagined that all humans came from just two people who magically appeared one day. They imagined that the gods walked and talked among them.

They imagined Zeus throwing thunderbolts out of the sky when it rained.

They imagined the "great flood" because they had a big flood one year. They forgot to include animals they had never seen, because they could not imagine animals they had never seen.

The bible is imaginary.

Science is the study of nature, physics, math, astronomy, meteorology, medicine, and all of the other scientific disciplines.

Again, these two things are as far apart in comparison as the weather man on TV versus all the Harry Potter books.

The bible and Science are NOT compatible. It really pains me to see people argue over this.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

I'm not saying to stop looking. I never said that. They're looking is what's defining the boundary lines. Their incessant pushing is what confirms this is literally all that can be found. Depend on it.

And, just as an aside, there is no "answer" to cancer. If it weren't for things that we call 'cancer', there wouldn't be any random mutation that eventually made us what we are. Yes, it's unfortunate when it happens, but in the end nature is going to win. We're all going to die. Cancer or however else.

I don't expect all the answers now. But I do recognize what the answers are making apparent. There really is something to this.

Like Dr. Manhattan said in The Watchmen, "A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there's no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts."

A fictional character, but a very true statement. The evidence supports the spiritual explanation the bible offers. The book itself goes quite a long way to make the distinction between what is physical and what is spiritual.

Don't twist this into some kind of anti-education thing. I'm all about investigating the true and false hypotheses. All has something to learn. Knowledge to gain.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

All that can be detected life-wise, what defines something as "biologically" alive is homeostasis, organization, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli, and reproduction. Everything alive has all of these traits. When it's dead it has none of them. Yet there's nothing physically/structurally different. Just no activity.

I don't want to see what people are thinking. Intellectual property is a big aspect of life. Modern life would implode if that actually happened. I'm pointing out that the mind does not exist in a physical form.

"Consciousness is found in the left hemisphere." There you go again. The science delusion. Let's be honest, all we actually know is that when someone is conscious there's a specific part of the brain that's active. That by no means actually proves that that is what's causing or creating consciousness. Only that it's involved.

Not that I'm claiming it doesn't. I'm just pointing out the flaw in that statement. It's a common mistake, but a potentially detrimental one.

Yes, everything we physically experience, every sensation or thought or whatever that we experience, there is going to be brain activity. That just makes sense. But we cannot actually say that those physical activities is what's 'causing' it. We just know it's involved.

I have done both legal and illegal things to "play with my mind". Trust me, I've been there. Yes, you can consciously control by simply focusing your attention, on what's going on in the brain. You can actually shift and aim your focus and control how the physical matter of your brain is behaving. It's an age-old debate that dates back to ancient Greece known as the 'mind-body problem'. How do non-physical thoughts effect the behavior of the physical body?

Yes, yes, that right there where you're talking about shutting down your ego and losing your sense of "I". That right there is very relevant. Yes, you can control, and with enough discipline, can achieve this. You're consciously reverting yourself to the state that indigenous people have lived in for generations.

Like Aborigines. They don't have a strong sense of "I", or individuality. When "civilized" people tried to assimilate Aborigines, they'd build them houses and give them personal possessions. But they'd never maintain individual space or property. It all became community.

Yes, the ego defines the modern human world. It's what changed that brought about civilization in the first place. A sense of individual self-awareness where we all of the sudden started bending the natural world to our will and treating it like some separate thing from us, rather than living in harmony with it.

No, the brain is what ties the spiritual self to the material world. Allows the spiritual self to interact with the physical world. To see physical light and hear physical sounds. So when the brain is altered in some way, the soul's ability to do anything is inhibited.

How do you know a soul has no means to think? You only know of one "means". Yet here you are assuming that's the only way and deeming the soul unable because it doesn't have that one form of intelligence or thought. We don't even know how thought works by the 'means' we're familiar with. All we know for sure is that intelligence is a natural product of nature. It happened, naturally. It could and probably does exist elsewhere, in other forms.

No, I think birth creates the soul. Before birth you didn't exist. That means that we free willed humans are in control. We're the ones that determine who exists. We're not eternal. We didn't exist before this life.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Austinstar,

The bible happened in the natural world, therefore it's compatible. The things it described either happened for real, or they didn't. And if they did, then they happened right here in the material world. In our history.

I'm sorry, but this idea that bronze age people were just overimaginative dufuses I find damn near insulting. They gave us mathematics, astronomy, written language, civilization. Yet we're so quick to assume their ignorance was so beyond that of us knowledgeable modern folk, that they just attributed things they didn't understand to things they made up and then adopted as factual history.

Yes, the bible is a series of texts. Written by many different writers, living in various ages and various circumstances, yet they all manage to tell these imaginative stories while keeping the God of the story consistent. That's quite a feat. Some of the best writers today struggle to keep that kind of consistency. And these were many different writers.

Yes, I know how most people have dismissed the bible as the first/most successful fiction book of all time, but there's a few problems with that. What it describes really happened. We can see it in our history. All throughout our history in fact, as our history is story after story of "civilized" humans fighting back against the 'natives' in the fringe. That's the free willed humans wiping out the indigenous cultures who came before. It's still happening to this day.

I understand the eagerness to get religion out of our lives. On a lot of those points I will not disagree. But let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater here. Let's be sensible. Do you really have so little faith in humanity that you so freely accept that so many of our ancestors were duped by this greatest and most successful form of propaganda ever written? THAT is far-fetched. THAT is human imagination at work.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"I'm not saying to stop looking. I never said that. They're looking is what's defining the boundary lines. Their incessant pushing is what confirms this is literally all that can be found. Depend on it."

Sorry, I can't depend on anything so absurd. Their incessant pushing is pushing the boundaries. And its getting good results. You don't like that. I can see why.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

" Everything alive has all of these traits. When it's dead it has none of them. Yet there's nothing physically/structurally different. Just no activity."

You still don't get it. That right there is proof that the brain is the controlling factor. The brain requires oxygen and blood. Cut it off from those and it quickly deteriorates and becomes useless. Heart stops, you stop breathing, other major organs fail, a cascade effect happens and they all shut down one after the other.

It's a system that relies on all its parts functioning, and the brain controls their functions. Without a brain the heart doesn't beat for long. Without oxygen from blood a brain can't last long.

Sure all the parts are still there but some are dead. You can still transplant the heart and most other things like eyes, liver, kidney, etc, if they haven't deteriorated. So if they are not diseased parts they are still viable for a short time.

But once the brain has deteriorated you don't even want to be brought back.

There is no mystery here, just the average religious persons lack of understanding basic biology. I see this absurd argument all the time.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"How do you know a soul has no means to think? You only know of one "means". Yet here you are assuming that's the only way and deeming the soul unable because it doesn't have that one form of intelligence or thought. We don't even know how thought works by the 'means' we're familiar with. "

Well that's fine but you certainly don't know for a fact whether it can think or not either so we're both in the same boat. You believe this spiritual thing but you don't know what it is or how it works. all your answers are guesses. And since you say we can't prove this soul exists guessing about it is pointless.

We do know we have a brain and you admit it plays a part, so guesses about that become hypothesis ready to be tested. All you have to do is find a good test. Not always easy to do, so some times it takes a while.

I'm good with waiting.We get new information every other day.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"No, the brain is what ties the spiritual self to the material world. Allows the spiritual self to interact with the physical world. To see physical light and hear physical sounds. So when the brain is altered in some way, the soul's ability to do anything is inhibited."

How convenient. You found a way out you can't prove is true because you have zero idea of what a soul would be or how it works, so you imagine a way to explain its absence, when if it was independent and it was you it would only be logical that would always be present.

See, you make it sound like it's making the choices and controlling the brain. So if I am the soul then why am I not there under anesthetic? Who is it trying and failing to see or hear? When I'm in dreamless sleep, where am I? I'm not consciously trying and failing to function. So who is?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Consciousness is found in the left hemisphere." There you go again. The science delusion. Let's be honest, all we actually know is that when someone is conscious there's a specific part of the brain that's active. That by no means actually proves that that is what's causing or creating consciousness. Only that it's involved."

You have the god delusion. I think I've got the better end of that deal. At least I would if the term applied to me. I'd say odds favor consciousness is an emergent phenomenon of the brain.

For the hundredth time, by now, until you can show that a soul exists there is no reason to entertain the notion. We can only work with what we know.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

"Sorry, I can't depend on anything so absurd. Their incessant pushing is pushing the boundaries. And its getting good results. You don't like that. I can see why."

What are you talking about? I just said I'm all for it.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"You still don't get it. That right there is proof that the brain is the controlling factor."

No, I'm not. Those same characteristics are the same in all forms of life, including life that doesn't have brains. You are the one who still doesn't get it. You acknowledge the brain is doing all of this activity, yet you seem to think it makes logical sense that the brain could actually be the source of it's own power. Yes, the brain controls the functions of the body. The brain is required for the body to work. For homeostasis, yes the brain controls that. But controlling does not mean it's the 'source'. The body has to be physically able to maintain life. That includes the brain. Yet, even though the brain hasn't changed in any physical way, life can and does cease. Even if a perfectly functioning brain.

And please don't give me that lack of understanding basic biology bull shit. I do, so I know that nobody understands it. Don't make it sound like you actually do, and please don't associate 'religious persons' with ignorant. Just because I'm not buying into your hollow and illogical explanation doesn't mean I don't get it.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Well that's fine but you certainly don't know for a fact whether it can think or not either so we're both in the same boat. You believe this spiritual thing but you don't know what it is or how it works. all your answers are guesses. And since you say we can't prove this soul exists guessing about it is pointless."

Not at all pointless. Yes, I do know a soul can think because without that capability free will is impossible. Just because the spiritual self doesn't conform to material science doesn't mean you can't determine things. If you simply first acknowledge that not all brain activity conforms to physical rules, then you have a better chance of coming up with accurate hypotheses to then test. If you leave that part out, and it is indeed part of the picture, then you'll never get it right and you're wasting your time.

Same goes for the existence of God. If you continue to assume there is not God, and it turns out there is, then your hypotheses will always be wrong because you're prematurely answering a question you don't have the information to answer.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"How convenient. You found a way out you can't prove is true because you have zero idea of what a soul would be or how it works, so you imagine a way to explain its absence, when if it was independent and it was you it would only be logical that would always be present.

See, you make it sound like it's making the choices and controlling the brain. So if I am the soul then why am I not there under anesthetic? Who is it trying and failing to see or hear? When I'm in dreamless sleep, where am I? I'm not consciously trying and failing to function. So who is?"

Because under anesthetic the brain is asleep. The brain is what makes sense out of the material information being shown to the soul. If the brain is out of commission then the spirit cannot interact with the material world. It's dormant.

Not at all convenient. Your answer is convenient. You assume matter is capable of all these things we have no reason to think it's capable of doing. You assign everything to the matter of the brain, conveniently.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

"You have the god delusion. I think I've got the better end of that deal. At least I would if the term applied to me. I'd say odds favor consciousness is an emergent phenomenon of the brain.

For the hundredth time, by now, until you can show that a soul exists there is no reason to entertain the notion. We can only work with what we know."

If I could show the soul exists, then it wouldn't be consistent with the characteristics of a soul. It would then be something material and detectable, therefore not spiritual. Just because science can't detect it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Science can't detect the mind either, yet we know that exists. Of course, the only reason we know is because we experience it personally. If not for that, you'd have to dismiss the existence of the mind for the same reason.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Because under anesthetic the brain is asleep. The brain is what makes sense out of the material information being shown to the soul. If the brain is out of commission then the spirit cannot interact with the material world. It's dormant."

The brain is what makes sense of the natural world? So what does it need a soul for? And this so called wonderful free soul is useless when the brain is asleep? I think it's all together just useless.

I mean really, it's supposed to be the real me, controls my brain, and can't interact or even see the material world.

The problem is the brain is material. That means it can't interact with that either. Your hypothesis is dying on the vine.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Not at all useless. The brain is a mechanism. Without a soul you too would simply be a mechanism. You wouldn't be alive. You wouldn't have dreams and aspirations or anything beyond pure instinct. Notice how indigenous cultures aren't consumed with discovering new places or investigating the natural world or building structures or anything like that. That's what free will brings to the table. We build incredible cities and planes and put rovers on Mars and such.

Yes, it interacts with the brain. How do non-material thoughts affect the behavior of the body? It manages somehow. The soul is how. The brain shows it stored information and new information coming in from the outside world. The soul is the one who makes use of that information and acts.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"If I could show the soul exists, then it wouldn't be consistent with the characteristics of a soul. It would then be something material and detectable, therefore not spiritual."

Another unverifiable convenient excuse for why you can't prove your hypothesis. If it is real and interacts with matter/the brain, then it would leave traces of itself. If it's your imagination it won't.

" Just because science can't detect it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Science can't detect the mind either, "

Sure it can. It's called a brain. Just because by looking at brain activity you can't see the process that creates the feeling of "I" doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In fact I'd have been shocked if we could.

Tell me what a computer is doing by looking at the motherboard and measuring activity of inputs and outputs, without relying on the computer to tell you/ give you readouts through software. Just you and a meter. Without the software to spy on what's going on and translating it into a report for you you'll be lost and unable to do it.

Perhaps with a computer/brain interface a lot more will become clear about the "mind" process.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Notice how indigenous cultures aren't consumed with discovering new places or investigating the natural world or building structures or anything like that. That's what free will brings to the table. We build incredible cities and planes and put rovers on Mars and such."

You're completely off your rocker on this one. Those are cultural traditions values and beliefs at play. As soon as their kids grow up in our culture they take on our values. They do well in our schools. Give me a break. There is no difference between them and us in intellectual potential. Native Americans, mostly Canadian, built New York because they weren't afraid of heights. They weren't slaves and did it out of thier will , for money to feed their kids.

Yes, certain cultures dominated and were more aggressive than others. Europe was always at war. That drove innovation as it does now. Conflict breeds creativity. If your tribe has been isolated for thousands of years and life is stable, what more do you want? You going to go out looking for trouble? That would be stupid.

No major conflicts, no need for major innovations. You think you're the only 300 people on the planet, what do you need a skyscraper for? Come on now.

Show me one study that shows that isolated indigenous people are unable to use "free" will. Or that they can't be good contributing citizens in a Western culture. Bet you can't.

This god gave free will to a couple of Hebrews 5000 years ago is absurd and no doubt insulting to a great many people. I'd be careful who you tell this to face to face. lol...


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Yes, it interacts with the brain. How do non-material thoughts affect the behavior of the body? It manages somehow. The soul is how. The brain shows it stored information and new information coming in from the outside world. The soul is the one who makes use of that information and acts."

As far as non material thought goes, I don't think that exists. Thought is a material process. Probably involving the quantum realm in that atoms can be coded with information. Penrose wrote about this several years ago. He sights, I think I recall correctly, wave function collapse over

microtubules in the brain as part of the process, but it's been one of my hypothesis of interest since I discovered physics. Or rather, my study of physics supplied me with that possibility early on.

At any rate, no need to jump to the conclusion there must be a soul when the material answers and questions, haven't been explored yet.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Same goes for the existence of God. If you continue to assume there is not God, and it turns out there is, then your hypotheses will always be wrong because you're prematurely answering a question you don't have the information to answer."

So let me get the "logic" straight: If I continue to assume there are no invisible pink squirrels, if they do exist then my hypotheses will always be wrong because I'm prematurely answering a question I don't have the information to answer.

So what? If I believe they exist and they don't, my hypotheses will always be wrong because I'm prematurely answering a question I don't have the information to answer.

Either way I don't have enough information to answer the question. So why would I opt for belief? Just in case? No thanks. I'm happy with I don't know. I don't hold the belief that it's true, nor the belief that it isn't.

I'll wait for more information. Maybe pink god poop will be discovered? Who knows? Till then it can't form part of truly rational model as far as I'm concerned.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"The body has to be physically able to maintain life. That includes the brain. Yet, even though the brain hasn't changed in any physical way, life can and does cease. Even if a perfectly functioning brain."

Ok. But then death is due to organ failure of some sort. There is often brain activity for quite a while after the heart stops or your liver has poisoned you. But the brain deteriorates quickly once the body is no longer functional. What don't you understand about it being intimately connected system? When one thing goes wrong the entire system suffers and often causes what's known as a cascade effect.

This is basic stuff. No mystery, no soul required and non in sight.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

This isn't at all convenient. It's consistent with what was described. We've consistently found it to be true that something that can't be seen is involved. The mind can't be seen. Life itself can't be seen. Only the physical things they cause.

And yes, they do interact, and yes they do leave "traces". But not physical traces like you seem to be expecting (still?), but traces in the behaviors they cause in matter. The traces I've been futilely trying to point out. Behaviors that aren't consistent with the physical world.

No, science can't detect the mind. Observing brain activity is not the same thing. If we didn't each ourselves experience the mind, then simply observing firing neurons and changes to oxygenated blood flow or chemical levels would in no way suggest the mental experience we assume it's creating. The mental experience itself is completely invisible to us.

Yes, you're right, without a user interface, a way for the computer to display to the user meaningful data, we would have no idea what's going on or what we needed to do. Good analogy. Think about how the brain/mind evolved. It evolved to be able to show "us", the user, data. We can recall it, watch it, listen to it, etc. There is a 'user' in the mind that the mind/brain actually evolved to interact with.

It's all right there, just waiting on you to acknowledge it. All the clues are there to tell you all you need to know.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"As soon as their kids grow up in our culture they take on our values."

Do you not see what you yourself are saying? "Our" values. You acknowledge there's a difference. But you claim it to be cultural.

And don't think I'm saying they're somehow less capable than us. They're every bit as smart and as capable as we are. Which is even moreso to the point. They're entirely capable, just completely disinterested. They're physically exactly the same. Same brains and bodies. Yet didn't evolve the same "values" that we did. Our entire history shows us to be aggressive in our conquering of the entire world. Multiple leaders tried it. Over and over. Always pushing, always striving for something more. But indigenous cultures have remained unchanged in any such way for numerous generations.

"If your tribe has been isolated for thousands of years and life is stable, what more do you want?"

Seriously? You seriously think we, of the culture we're from, would actually be content and not want for more? Seriously? Blaise Pascal once said that all of man's problems stem from his inability to just sit quietly in a room alone.

"You going to go out looking for trouble? That would be stupid."

Seriously? Have you read our history? You think what would be stupid is really an accurate barometer for our actions?

The fact is indigenous cultures, and the entire history of hunter/gatherer humans, were not violent. They interacted plenty. They setup trade routes and such. But no conflict. It wasn't isolation. It's that they were different. Not the conditions. We came from the same conditions, yet we ended up quite different.

Again, a lack of free will doesn't mean they're unable to be contributing members to society. It's not the ability to participate that free will gives you, it's the awareness to create that society in the first place.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"As far as non material thought goes, I don't think that exists. Thought is a material process. Probably involving the quantum realm in that atoms can be coded with information. Penrose wrote about this several years ago. He sights, I think I recall correctly, wave function collapse over"

Forgive me as I roll my eyes all dramatically. The quantum realm? What about the quantum realm suggests matter is capable of consciousness? I'm not talking about the ability to store information in matter. Clearly that's happening. I'm talking about willful control of our actions based on what we 'feel' about the information being stored and presented.

"At any rate, no need to jump to the conclusion there must be a soul when the material answers and questions, haven't been explored yet."

Frustrating. You really think so? You're not going to take all the clues right in your face and realize the truth? You're going to continue to hold out for those physical answers sure to come? Your faith is strong.

This isn't jumping to a conclusion. This is reaching a logical conclusion based on the information available.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

You do realize how completely pointless the "insert made-up cartoon character here" (pink squirrel, or whatever) thing is don't you? Haven't I been presenting, based on actual things in existence, what I'm talking about? There isn't some ancient book written by an early civilization talking about your damn squirrels. If there were, and if it were as consistent with what we now know about the natural world as the bible is, then yes, we could talk about that. Otherwise, though I get the point you're attempting to make, just don't.

Because belief is required. Like now you hold a belief. Your mind needs something to fill in the blanks. You've filled it in with this, apparently without much in the way of consideration. I'm not just believing whatever. I'm reaching the most logical conclusion based on the information. Whether or not you agree, does anything I say sound like something I just believe just to believe it? Does it not sound like something there's a logic to, even if you don't agree? This isn't just 'belief'. That's what we've been talking about for days now. All the reasons why there's a strong case that can be made. Based on concrete data.

Pink God poop? Again, looking for physical data. No wonder you can't see God. Your hypothesized view of Him is so flawed nothing in reality would ever actually resemble that. It's like you're walking around a busy bus terminal with a hand-drawn stick figure on a piece of paper asking everyone, "Have you seen this person?" No, they haven't. Why? Because nobody looks like that drawing. Well, God looks nothing like what you keep expecting to see.

If you're able to look at data and come away with the conclusion that no God is required, or any conclusion where God is concerned, wouldn't you need to know and understand what to look for? Do you? What would evidence of God look like? If you're waiting on pink poo, I think I see the problem.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Ok. But then death is due to organ failure of some sort. There is often brain activity for quite a while after the heart stops or your liver has poisoned you. But the brain deteriorates quickly once the body is no longer functional. What don't you understand about it being intimately connected system? When one thing goes wrong the entire system suffers and often causes what's known as a cascade effect.

This is basic stuff. No mystery, no soul required and non in sight."

Again you have no idea what to look for, yet seem to think you can reach some sort of conclusion on the matter.

Yes, the physical body has to be able to maintain and keep life/the soul. God says, think in Genesis, that life is in the blood. Which would make sense. When the physical body fails, yes it fails. And the brain is a critical part of all of those physical processes. But those physical processes are totally mechanical. That's why we can create prosthetic arms that imitate a real arm by using brain waves and such. It can be mechanically duplicated because it is, in fact, mechanical.

But the brain, we can't even figure out how that works. I mean, we can watch it work, we can watch it process visual information and kind of make sense of how it's proccessing that information. But processing images of physical light and storing physical information in a physical brain is one thing, consciousness is something else entirely. And until you can see past your own belief system that's blinding you to the truth, you're not going to see that.

No God required? Pffft. How do you know? Until you know everything that makes it work and understand it completely, you can't say what it does and doesn't require. Not if we're being intellectually honest.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"And yes, they do interact, and yes they do leave "traces". But not physical traces like you seem to be expecting (still?), but traces in the behaviors they cause in matter. The traces I've been futilely trying to point out. Behaviors that aren't consistent with the physical world."

But there are no behaviors that are inconsistent with the physical world. That's the point. That's why your efforts are f util.

" Good analogy. Think about how the brain/mind evolved. It evolved to be able to show "us", the user, data. We can recall it, watch it, listen to it, etc. There is a 'user' in the mind that the mind/brain actually evolved to interact with."

Good imagination. ;) This is why I think you are wasting your time on a dead end. What will you say about AI when it comes? It may not be that far off. Will it have a soul?

Of course you are building your model again which is great. But there are other models and even though the brain isn't exactly a meat computer the idea of AI is to have the computer become self aware, just as our brains have become self aware.

As opposed it seems, to being run by a parasite.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Again, a lack of free will doesn't mean they're unable to be contributing members to society. It's not the ability to participate that free will gives you, it's the awareness to create that society in the first place."

Then there is no difference. You are describing a subtlety which is clearly cultural. Western cultures have been at war with each other since time immemorial. Why? Because we're so many different cultures all competing for the same resources.

That causes innovation.

China did the same and eventually one culture ruled all and united a large expanse while we were little more than city states. Talk about innovation that came from all that. Then, to keep us out they built a wall around themselves.

Some cultures set their boundaries and get ready to defend them from cultures that still haven't worked out those boundaries.

Natives in North and south America warred for territory too, probably for longer than Europe did, but probably less frequently. More land, more resources and less population.

Tribes that don't interact with other tribes have no reason or desire to do anything different because what they do works. Why? Because there is no tribal competition creating needs, so no need or desire to break tradition.

Religion has a lot to do with it too. Cultures that are more spiritualist/animist are less material driven. Things/possessions don't matter as much unless they are sacred.

Buddhism tells its believers that the desire for material things is a source of our suffering. And of course that's true unless you are able to afford what you want. Or if your wants are minimal.

Western countries love capitalism. The idea of wealth and competition. Yet we have the dominant religion telling us a rich man has as much chance of getting to heaven as a camel has of fitting through the eye of a needle. Odd, isn't it?

Now before get all happy, the middle east is where the western world came from according to you, but look at their cultures compared to ours. No where near the aggression and desire for exploration and fame and fortune and empire as the Europeans.

Vastly different cultures and behavior and values from the same source.

The Mongolians had a good kick at world domination. They nearly had Europe, and then were called back when their leader died. They made important innovation in weapons and riding technique that gave them the edge.

Then there is the US as opposed to Europe. A super power spreading its ideas and goods and culture around the world even though some places don't want it.

Why? Always at war, capitalist consumer mentality, Desire to dominate.

All that create needs which push creativity and innovation.

No stimulus, no need to act. No need to be creative. That's how it works. No soul needed.

But then their dominance was over.

Every tribe around the world made innovations which were stolen by or given to other tribes. That includes religious beliefs.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Again you have no idea what to look for, yet seem to think you can reach some sort of conclusion on the matter."

I know what I'm not looking for.

I've explained why a human body looks functional but is dead. What you are looking for isn't there. I can't see it, can you see it? The explanation is accurate and doesn't require or elude to a soul in any way.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Come on, man. How can you just say "there are no behaviors that are inconsistent with the physical world"? The behavioral sciences, that have to do with the study of the mind, are in their own branch of science, separate from the physical sciences, for a reason. Yes, the behavior of the mind is definitely not consistent with the behaviors of the natural world.

When AI comes? There's that faith again. You've already dismissed the entirety of the mind's workings to be ultimately mechanistic, so like a robotic arm, you think a robotic brain is coming anytime now.

So you actually think that once we mechanistically mimic the mind/brain, that from that will emerge a conscious entity aware of itself? Really? You really think it's that simple?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Yes, I get the whole concept of how many think civilization and such came about. The whole competing over the same resources thing. It's such a simplistic reasoning, and not at all consistent with the data. Yet people just go with it anyway. I get it. It sounds good. Good story. But not consistent with the evidence at all.

[i]"Data collected by the anthropologists Carol and Melvin Ember establishes that 'chronic, ordinary resource shortage is not a significant predicator of war.' Or, in the words of R. Brian Ferguson, 'the data just does not support a direct associattion of increasing [population] density and increasing war." - The Fall

So if this progression is as you say, if that's what caused these things then we should see it repeated where ever circumstances are similar. These basic needs must be something that humans the world over had in common. I mean, by 20,000 BC the world was populated. There must have been quite a bit of interaction with other tribes. Competing for resources and such. Yet the innovation you speak of, only happened in specific places at specific times.

And those specific places and times happen to coincide with the traceable behavior changes that swept throughout the human world.

And yes, that characteristic where material possessions matter, that's part of that change too. Not consistent with the vast majority of human history at all. That's a rather new development. A development that can be shown to have begun in Southern Mesopotamia around 5500 BC and spread from there throughout the world. A change that forever transformed humanity psychologically.

The data says something very different. That's why these more standard views of human development don't stand. They're way too inconsistent and, I think, have a really bad tendency to kind of type-cast humanity as simplistic beasts. And I find it nothing short of ironic, and maybe a little infuriating, that this view lies at the base of the belief system of those who deem themselves "humanists". Everything about this viewpoint robs humanity of all the things that make us most human.

All those things you're speaking of, capitalism, materialism, "always at war", "desire to dominate", this is all a direct result of free will. An enhanced ego. Like the age of the "selfie" we live in now. Has there ever been anything that so directly says 'my head's burried up my own ass' than a selfie? Self-absorbed, self-involved, selfishness. That's what defines humanity now. Our out of control egos. An ego that began roughly 7000 years ago in a very specific place and time and that has transformed the human world since it first appeared in the middle of a growing desert.

We are unlike anything else in the natural world. The animal kingdom we evolved from doesn't in any way behave like we do.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"I know what I'm not looking for.

I've explained why a human body looks functional but is dead. What you are looking for isn't there. I can't see it, can you see it? The explanation is accurate and doesn't require or elude to a soul in any way."

I really don't think you do. What do you not get? If something is alive, whether it be a complex muti-celled being like a human, or a single-celled organism, when it's alive it exhibits homeostasis, organization, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli, reproduction. As long as the body is physically capable of maintaining, "life" continues. Whatever that is.

When a person dies they don't weigh any less. Nothing changes structurally or molecular-ly. But when life is present, those processes are carrying right along. And what's most interesting is they'll self-correct to maintain. Like in maintaining homeostasis. The heart will speed up or slow down as needed, whatever needs to happen happens. There is an unmistakable will behind the body's "want" to survive. Even if a person consciously decides they want to die, they must kill the body. And the body can and will fight them on this. Against their own will the body wants to live. Conflict in the brain I guess. What a peculiar mechanism that thing is. And to think, that all came to be out of a need to survive.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"I really don't think you do. What do you not get?"

Well it looks like we agree. You haven't said a thing I didn't know and that isn't consistent with the brain being all there is. No need for a soul.


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Slarty O'Brian 16 months ago from Canada Author

"Come on, man. How can you just say "there are no behaviors that are inconsistent with the physical world"?"

How can you say there are? No evidence of that what so ever.

"The behavioral sciences, that have to do with the study of the mind, are in their own branch of science, separate from the physical sciences, for a reason."

And if that’s true, which I don’t think it really is unless you are talking psychiatry, which is debatable as to whether it’s science or not, it is not because behaviour is inconsistent with nature. Never seen that in a text book. You're trippin man. Lol... Chemistry isn't physics. I suppose that proves something supernatural for you too?

"Yes, the behavior of the mind is definitely not consistent with the behaviors of the natural world."

Sorry, you can stand on your head and shout it all you like, it's utter bull.

"When AI comes? There's that faith again. You've already dismissed the entirety of the mind's workings to be ultimately mechanistic, so like a robotic arm, you think a robotic brain is coming anytime now."

Well that’s the test, right? If it happens, and there is a good chance it will, your hypothesis is right out the window. If not, well sorry to say, that still wouldn’t prove that anything supernatural was going on. Perhaps our failure will reveal clues as to why we failed.

I’m actually sceptical that current methods will be completely effective. I think we need to give it inherent needs and independent mobility for a start. model it more on biology.

A recent test passed was achieved by Craig Ventner who created DNA from scratch and created a new bacteria. It has its own email address encoded in it. It lives and self replicates. Christians said it couldn’t be done, but it was. No god required.

“So you actually think that once we mechanistically mimic the mind/brain, that from that will emerge a conscious entity aware of itself? Really? You really think it's that simple?”

Yes, and no. I don’t think it’s going to be simple at all, but I do think if we give it all it needs the ball will start rolling toward artificial sentience. I don’t see why not at this point.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Well it looks like we agree. You haven't said a thing I didn't know and that isn't consistent with the brain being all there is. No need for a soul."

You already know the reasons a soul is needed. You're just unable to recognize them and acknowledge them for what they are because of the delusion you've bought into. Like this idea that AI will become conscious and self-aware, as soon as we replicate the brain, because that's just what happens.

Because you think that, you think all the components are there for us to be as we are. But you're wrong. Consciousness isn't just something that comes about through complexity. The simplest or organisms behave in ways that suggest it has some level of conscious awareness to take action to protect itself. You, of course, dismiss that as learned behavior passed down through genetics. Like muscle memory.

You're a believer, and your faith is strong. That's the problem. You have no reason or evidence to confirm what you believe is true, yet you believe without doubt.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 16 months ago from Texas

No evidence? What about the entirety of psychological and psychiatric study? The reason these fields are in a different branch of science is because there's no physical evidence. It's all statistical. That right there is a difference. There's nothing physical to observe and measure. There are no concrete answers. They're more philosophical in nature than science. Because the mind doesn't at all conform to the common practices of the natural sciences. That's how I can say. The lack of evidence in and of itself is proof.

Chemistry isn't physics? How so? It's the study of physical elements and how they act and interact. Everything about chemistry shares commonality with the natural sciences and physics.

Right, your faith is strong that eventually AI will happen, and with it consciousness and self-awareness. Because in your mind that's just another level of complexity that if we can duplicate it those things will happen. Though there's no logic, no reason given all we know about the elements of the mind or matter in general down to the subatomic level, to even suggest that. Somehow, because it happens in our heads, that must be it. Because you know you're right that a soul isn't required and doesn't exist, because all the mind is is a product of a physical brain, you assume, then that must be true. That's faith that you already know something not yet confirmed or achieved.

"A recent test passed was achieved by Craig Ventner who created DNA from scratch and created a new bacteria. It has its own email address encoded in it. It lives and self replicates. Christians said it couldn’t be done, but it was. No god required."

I hope you can feel my eye roll, because it's happening right now. What do you mean no god required? These elements, by simply putting them in the right environment, actually self-aligned and formed I believe it was an RNA compound.

Well, that's because those elements involved were designed to work that way. Let's take abiogenesis as an example. The way it's thought to have happened, nucleotides naturally bond together to form polynucleotides. Lipids naturally bond together and form spherical structures. When in that spherical form, these lipid compounds 'naturally' allow nucleotides to pass through it's walls, but don't allow polynucleotides to pass, meaning nucleotides pass through, bond with one another, but then can't pass back out. This offers protection. All of this happening in a clay that just happens to be the perfect catalyst for this process.

Does that not seem exceedingly convenient to you? These multiple elements, each forming independently of one another, happen to work together in just such a way, and happen to all exist together in this microcosm, that they're able to interact in just such a way as to result in something that's so much greater than the sum of its parts. Assuming that's how abiogenesis happened, that is.

You really just think that's just how the proverbial chips fell? We know intelligence is a natural product of this natural world that formed naturally. Yet it's ridiculous to consider a form of intelligence may have had a hand in this? That's ridiculous. Thinking that's just how the chips fell, that's ridiculous. We have reason and logic and should be capable of recognizing how ridiculous that suggestion is, yet some of the smartest people I know buy into it hook, line, and sinker. It boggles the mind.

I'm going to close here with a quote from Trey Parker, the creator of South Park, who put it in a way that best sums up exactly how I feel about it ...

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories — which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous — the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah, there’s this big, giant universe and it’s expanding and it’s all going to collapse on itself and we’re all just here, just because… That to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever."


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Because you think that, you think all the components are there for us to be as we are. But you're wrong. Consciousness isn't just something that comes about through complexity. "

Says you, the believer in fantasy. We'll see.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories — which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous — the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah, there’s this big, giant universe and it’s expanding and it’s all going to collapse on itself and we’re all just here, just because… That to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever."

He also said all the other stories are ridiculous, including yours. At least mine will eventually be proven true or false. Yours will be fantasy for ever. Unless of course, your god shows up.

Don't hold your breath.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Right. ... the believer in"fantasy" has a much more realistic viewpoint that doesn't assign magical properties to things.

Given what we know to be true, as absurd as the natural world has already proven to be, the answer is going to be ridiculous.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"No evidence? What about the entirety of psychological and psychiatric study? The reason these fields are in a different branch of science is because there's no physical evidence. It's all statistical."

So what? QM deals with statistics. That not a physical science then? Chaos theory deals with statistics. Not a physical science? Yes, we use statistics to do research in many fields. Proves nothing for your side.

"Chemistry isn't physics? How so? It's the study of physical elements and how they act and interact. Everything about chemistry shares commonality with the natural sciences and physics."

One is not the other. Physics is about the atoms that make the chemistry on this level. They don't mix much which is a real pity. I thought you said you were a science geek. You should know this.

"These elements, by simply putting them in the right environment, actually self-aligned and formed I believe it was an RNA compound."

No. DNA.

"Does that not seem exceedingly convenient to you? These multiple elements, each forming independently of one another, happen to work together in just such a way, and happen to all exist together in this microcosm, that they're able to interact in just such a way as to result in something that's so much greater than the sum of its parts. Assuming that's how abiogenesis happened, that is."

No I don't see the problem you insist is there. Like in the Emperors new clothes you are insisting he's dressed, and yet its plain to see he's naked. Till a god shows up or science tells us different, we're looking for natural answers. Too much fantasy out there.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Right. ... the believer in"fantasy" has a much more realistic viewpoint that doesn't assign magical properties to things."

That's a lie. lol. Supernatural souls and gods are magic by any definition and you believe in both. I don't, and I don't assign magic properties to anything. We both know that.

"Given what we know to be true, as absurd as the natural world has already proven to be, the answer is going to be ridiculous."

No doubt, but if its fact what else do you want?


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Yes, I get the whole concept of how many think civilization and such came about. The whole competing over the same resources thing. It's such a simplistic reasoning, and not at all consistent with the data. Yet people just go with it anyway. I get it. It sounds good. Good story. But not consistent with the evidence at all."

Well like anything its never just one factor. Competition is one of them, them against us is another. This "they aren't fully human so we can take them for slaves" is still relevant today. Regarding people who don't think like us as sub human or just "them" is what creates a lot of fear and conflicts. It takes one person to change everything. The Vikings would not have invaded England for its riches but for one man.

There are plenty of tribes that didn't have to compete and so didn't. I've already outlined why. You don't scratch unless you itch. Nothing to do with your bible. It's basic rules of nature played against the current conditions.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

QM deals in statistics? Dealing with statistics, and being wholly based in statistical information, is two very different things. There's something to observe with QM. There 's energy that can be detected and measured.

Physics deals with everything from the atoms all the way up. The way liquids flow, physics. The way chemicals interact based on levels of pressure and such, physics. Yes, I know these things, and you should too. Physics isn't just about atoms. That too. But that and everything else. Everything "physical", which also includes chemicals.

Your absolutely wrong about Craig Venter "created DNA from scratch", but that's to be expected from such a devoted believer. What he actually did was ...

[i]"In May 2010, a team of scientists led by Venter became the first to successfully create what was described as "synthetic life".[39][40] This was done by synthesizing a very long DNA molecule containing an entire bacterium genome, and introducing this into another cell, analogous to the accomplishment of Eckard Wimmer's group, who synthesized and ligated an RNA virus genome and "booted" it in cell lysate.""[/i]

Using a living cell, and combining it with a DNA molecule is hardly creating DNA from scratch. If you know science, you should know this. DNA can't just be "created from scratch". It's created over a very long period of time. What was actually created was one of the four components that lead to DNA. Way different that "creating DNA from scratch".

[i]"Till a god shows up or science tells us different, we're looking for natural answers."[/i]

Do you not see a gigantic logical error in your statement here? It's pretty 'in your face'.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"That's a lie. lol. Supernatural souls and gods are magic by any definition and you believe in both. I don't, and I don't assign magic properties to anything. We both know that."

No, not a lie. Just pointing out what you yourself said with no proof or data of any kind to back up these magical properties you insist rise out of normal "natural" processes. You can't even seem to recognize it. That's delusion caused by a faulty belief system.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"Well like anything its never just one factor. Competition is one of them, them against us is another. This "they aren't fully human so we can take them for slaves" is still relevant today. Regarding people who don't think like us as sub human or just "them" is what creates a lot of fear and conflicts. It takes one person to change everything. The Vikings would not have invaded England for its riches but for one man."

Yes, you're right. One has to be extra careful in cases like this because it can lead to negative things. But then again there's forcibly ignoring the obvious and completely missing what should be exceedingly apparent. To acknowledge and recognize significant differences in behavior between indigenous cultures and "civilized" culture is simply being observant. To let fear derail the search for truth is also a big mistake.

"It's basic rules of nature played against the current conditions."

Yeah, sure, rules of nature. There are rules. We think we understand how they might have come about. Nature, like living things, are compelled by ... something. We don't understand that yet either, but have faith, some smart person somewhere in the future is sure to figure it out and your faith will be rewarded.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Till a god shows up or science tells us different, we're looking for natural answers."

Do you not see a gigantic logical error in your statement here? It's pretty 'in your face'.

No. point it out to me. There is no error in logic here except yours.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"QM deals in statistics? Dealing with statistics, and being wholly based in statistical information, is two very different things. There's something to observe with QM. There 's energy that can be detected and measured."

There is something to observe in behavioral sciences too: Behavior.

Things are how they behave. I've explained this to you before.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"No, not a lie. Just pointing out what you yourself said with no proof or data of any kind to back up these magical properties you insist rise out of normal "natural" processes. You can't even seem to recognize it. That's delusion caused by a faulty belief system."

You are the only one characterizing anything as magical. There are only natural processes as far as I know. You are obsessed with magic, not me.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

You're assuming natural processes with nothing to show these are natural processes or even to show that natural processes are actually capable of this. If they were in fact natural, then we probably would know by now.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"To acknowledge and recognize significant differences in behavior between indigenous cultures and "civilized" culture is simply being observant. To let fear derail the search for truth is also a big mistake."

I have no problem acknowledging differences in behavior. You just go too far in to the supernatural to try to explain them, and it's not required or warranted in any way.

"Nature, like living things, are compelled by ... something. "

Not that complicated. What compels everything are the laws of nature.

"We don't understand that yet either, but have faith, some smart person somewhere in the future is sure to figure it out and your faith will be rewarded."

I don't need faith, I have facts to build a model with, which as you say, will be proven correct or false some day. I don't actually care which. No faith required. Where as you do need faith because you inherited an ancient superstitious model you are determined to prove true but lack the facts to back it up or even really get started.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"You're assuming natural processes with nothing to show these are natural processes or even to show that natural processes are actually capable of this. If they were in fact natural, then we probably would know by now."

Everything shows they are natural processes. You need to prove they aren't but can't because of the same tired excuse: You can't be expected to prove the supernatural. I'm afraid you're beat.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

Physics is a general term, yes. But each branch has its own name, like: cosmology, or nuclear physics. Chemistry is not thought of as physics. They don't call themselves physicists even though they deal with physical material..

These days when we say physics we usually mean Nuclear physics, which is what I'm most interested in. That's where the foundation of everything is. So forgive me if I confused you as to what I was talking about.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Using a living cell, and combining it with a DNA molecule is hardly creating DNA from scratch. If you know science, you should know this. DNA can't just be "created from scratch". It's created over a very long period of time. What was actually created was one of the four components that lead to DNA. Way different that "creating DNA from scratch"."

They wrote an entirely new string of DNA in a computer, removed the DNA from the cell. Then they put in their own DNA and rebooted the cell. It changed from one species to another. Check out his web site.

In the first attempts years earlier the cell didn't work. But Venter overcame the problems and is the first to create DNA from scratch. A cell isn't worth much without it. Eventually we will synthesize the cell itself. The genome was the hard part. Not that building cells is easy, of course. At least not yet.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

How exactly do I go too far into the supernatural? Is there really a too far? Is not even the mere suggestion that something may be supernatural in itself "too far" by your estimation?

But I think it is very much warranted. Because the alternative means we actually don't have willful control but are under the delusion that we do. Having willful control defines humanity down to our most fundamental levels. if it's all 'natural', then there are natural laws that dictate behavior, including the behavior of the elements in our heads. There can be no willful control.

The laws of nature compel everything? Yes, let's consider that one for a moment. Usually, when we're talking about the laws of nature we're talking about something detectable and measurable. Like the way gravity compels matter to behave. But for life it's a bit different. There's nothing detectable, except of course the behavior of living things. But please, feel free to explain that one in more detail, seeing as how it isn't complicated.

But nothing about this particular model is actually built on any sort of known facts. It's nothing more than a rationalization in the mindset of a science delusion. And you clearly have a preference because if you didn't then you'd actually be able to see the inconsistencies in what you're saying.

"Where as you do need faith because you inherited an ancient superstitious model you are determined to prove true but lack the facts to back it up or even really get started."

That statement is way more true of you than it is of me.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"Everything shows they are natural processes. You need to prove they aren't but can't because of the same tired excuse: You can't be expected to prove the supernatural. I'm afraid you're beat."

It's not an excuse. It's a simple matter of fact. To require proof of the supernatural via the natural sciences is illogical. But I can show where the explanation via the natural sciences stops and where there are behaviors and capabilities beyond anything we know to be within the realm of natural processes.

It's all right there for you to see, you just refuse to acknowledge it. You insist on stretching the capabilities of natural processes to also include these capabilities beyond all reason.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

You- "Till a god shows up or science tells us different, we're looking for natural answers."

Me - "Do you not see a gigantic logical error in your statement here? It's pretty 'in your face'."

You - "No. point it out to me. There is no error in logic here except yours."

You're insisting that the natural sciences can actually show us anything other than natural answers. Natural answers is all the natural sciences can detect. Expecting science to tell us anything beyond that is to extend the capabilities of the natural sciences beyond its jurisdiction.

The simple fact is that our senses evolved only to deal with this environment. Do you really think all there is to reality would be conformable or detectable to these senses? Do you really think there's nothing beyond what these senses can detect? The actual chances of that are remote at best.

The natural sciences can't even detect the mind, which we know to be there. That alone should be enough to make you realize, but that's where your delusion takes over. You insist it all must be natural processes, though we already have enough information to know there are things actually happening that can't be detected. But instead of acknowledging that, you instead insist on waiting on the answers you are sure are to come.

How can you actually know that? You can't. That's the delusion. The assumption that we already 'know' how everything works fundamentally, so it's just a waiting game now, waiting for science to confirm what you somehow already know.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Eventually we will synthesize the cell itself."

How can you possibly know that? You may be right, but even still it doesn't prove anything. We know DNA code dictates the physical processes that realize living things. That's the mechanics. That's why we know. Because it's mechanical.

It's the things we don't yet know, that can't be determined even knowing all we do, that's the key. What we can't determine is what's not beholden to the purely mechanical.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

You- "Till a god shows up or science tells us different, we're looking for natural answers."

Me - "Do you not see a gigantic logical error in your statement here? It's pretty 'in your face'."

You - "No. point it out to me. There is no error in logic here except yours."

“You're insisting that the natural sciences can actually show us anything other than natural answers. Natural answers is all the natural sciences can detect. Expecting science to tell us anything beyond that is to extend the capabilities of the natural sciences beyond its jurisdiction.”

I’m saying that if science comes to a point where it becomes obvious that a non-natural answer has to be the right one I’d have to take that into consideration. It’s probably as unlikely as an appearance by your god., but I was saying those would be circumstances under which I would have to entertain the idea of non-natural answers. Right now there’s no point. Science is a method. It has no jurisdiction. It finds what it finds.

“The simple fact is that our senses evolved only to deal with this environment. Do you really think all there is to reality would be conformable or detectable to these senses? Do you really think there's nothing beyond what these senses can detect? The actual chances of that are remote at best.”

Zero. Can you sense atoms? You are fighting a staw man, I’m afraid.

“The natural sciences can't even detect the mind, which we know to be there.”

Which you assume is other than the brain with no evidence to back you up. Just excuses.

“ That alone should be enough to make you realize, but that's where your delusion takes over. You insist it all must be natural processes, though we already have enough information to know there are things actually happening that can't be detected. But instead of acknowledging that, you instead insist on waiting on the answers you are sure are to come.”

Oh stop projecting. You are the only delusional one here. We have no such information and you know it. If something exists it leaves evidence. If not, it doesn’t. You say your god and soul don’t, so they are imagination. Simple as that.

Apparently not everyone thinks souls can’t be detected. Ever hear of ghosts? If they are real, then they are souls, right? So I take it you do not believe in ghosts right? And again your logic utterly falls you when you claim souls can’t interact with mater except through a brain. But a body and brain are matter so it can’t interact with them. Contradiction much?

“How can you actually know that? You can't. That's the delusion. The assumption that we already 'know' how everything works fundamentally, so it's just a waiting game now, waiting for science to confirm what you somehow already know.”

Waiting to see is not a claim of knowing, from what I understand. All I know for a fact is the natural. There is but one substance: energy. Show me another and we’ll talk.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"It's the things we don't yet know, that can't be determined even knowing all we do, that's the key. What we can't determine is what's not beholden to the purely mechanical."

Probably nothing. We'll see. So far there is still so much to learn. We still know next to nothing. How long we been at it in earnest with science? 200 years max? The last hundred really shedding light on things? You want to throw your hands up now and cry its too hard, nothing more to see here. God dune it."

Sorry, no rational person is buying it anymore. It worked for cave people but things are different now. We want real answers and despite attempts to stop us thinking by the churches and the religious who tell us all we have to do to understand life is read the bible or Koran.

No we have come no where near knowing all there is to know. We just getting started.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"How exactly do I go too far into the supernatural? Is there really a too far? Is not even the mere suggestion that something may be supernatural in itself "too far" by your estimation?

Not the suggestion itself. Just the suggestion it should be taken seriously.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Pfft... okay, so in other words it is the suggestion itself.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"I’m saying that if science comes to a point where it becomes obvious that a non-natural answer has to be the right one I’d have to take that into consideration"

Interesting. What point is that? All the supernatural can look like is a hole in our understanding of how something progressed from one form to another. So to you it would always just be something you're holding out for someone to figure out. When exactly do you finally concede the point and open your mind?

"Zero. Can you sense atoms? You are fighting a staw man, I’m afraid."

Yes we can sense atoms. That's how we know they're there. We've observed them. Sure, it has to be aided by technology, but it's still 'seeable' because it's physical.

"Science is a method. It has no jurisdiction."

Yes, it does. 'Super'-natural means beyond natural. Science's jurisdiction begins and ends with 'natural'. Nothing beyond that.

"Which you assume is other than the brain with no evidence to back you up. Just excuses."

What do you mean no evidence? The lack of evidence IS the evidence. It can't be denied. Man has studied the brain since ancient times, we've put it through every bit of technology we've ever devised, yet it's still a complete mystery. Yet another gap in our understanding that you have faith will ultimately be proven to be what you already know it to be.

"If something exists it leaves evidence. If not, it doesn’t. You say your god and soul don’t, so they are imagination. Simple as that."

Yeah, if it's physical then it leaves evidence. But if it's spiritual, all there is is the result. No evidence to leave. No electroplasm or goo of any kind. It's not physical.

"But a body and brain are matter so it can’t interact with them. Contradiction much?"

No, not a contradiction. To be clear in future discussions, when I say the 'body', I'm including the brain in that. It's part of the body. Yes, somehow, someway, immaterial thoughts have an effect on what matter does. Still an 'unknown' scientifically. And it's certainly not for a lack of looking.

"Waiting to see is not a claim of knowing, from what I understand. All I know for a fact is the natural. There is but one substance: energy. Show me another and we’ll talk."

There you go again with this 'show me'. I am showing you, I just can't show your senses. I have to show your mind because your mind is the only thing capable of 'seeing' it. Our senses evolved to serve us in this physical environment, yet our mind evolved to do so much more. Imagination, intuition. Things well beyond what would be needed to simply survive. Capabilities that allowed us to figure out how to land a rover on the moon and actually conceptualize the entirety of the universe's billions of years of history. Maybe there's a reason for that? Because we needed something beyond just the physical senses?

You've been telling me all this time exactly how the mind works. You're telling me it's already figured out, so basically you're just waiting for the evidence to come along and vindicate your beliefs. Because beliefs are all they are. No difference.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"Probably nothing. We'll see. So far there is still so much to learn. We still know next to nothing. How long we been at it in earnest with science? 200 years max? The last hundred really shedding light on things? You want to throw your hands up now and cry its too hard, nothing more to see here. God dune it.""

Sorry, I don't have centuries to live and see what's figured out. I'm utterly fascinated by all of it. I can't help but want to know how it all works. I'm not throwing my hands up. I'm taking all the information available to me to figure out the best explanation.

If at some point information comes to light that reveals an error in what explanation I've reached, I'll re-evaluate.

"Sorry, no rational person is buying it anymore. It worked for cave people but things are different now. We want real answers and despite attempts to stop us thinking by the churches and the religious who tell us all we have to do to understand life is read the bible or Koran."

Rational person? Am I not rational? Cave people? Let me ask you something, if I were to change my tune and go atheist, is it a requirement that I be completely condescending? Because it seems to be a really common thing.

"No we have come no where near knowing all there is to know. We just getting started."

Keep the faith, brother.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Pfft... okay, so in other words it is the suggestion itself."

You can speculate all you like. Just don't try to sell it as fact.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Interesting. What point is that? All the supernatural can look like is a hole in our understanding of how something progressed from one form to another. So to you it would always just be something you're holding out for someone to figure out. When exactly do you finally concede the point and open your mind?"

When evidence warrants. Not till then. Lack of evidence is not evidence of anything but lack of evidence.

"Yes, it does. 'Super'-natural means beyond natural. Science's jurisdiction begins and ends with 'natural'. Nothing beyond that."

Where are the science police? Oh my. There isn't anything but natural as far as I know.

"Yes, somehow, someway, immaterial thoughts have an effect on what matter does. Still an 'unknown' scientifically. And it's certainly not for a lack of looking."

Again, I don't know that immaterial thought is even a real thing. You claim it is but I know of nothing in science that claims immaterial thought exists. I know thought exists but no one but you claims its immaterial.

"There you go again with this 'show me'. I am showing you, I just can't show your senses. I have to show your mind because your mind is the only thing capable of 'seeing' it. "

I have to believe and all will become clear. Been there, dun it, bought the tee shirt and sold it again. I can't believe it. Sorry. Not without evidence; and say it's not possible. So unless you have some game changing logic for me, it ain't happening.

"You've been telling me all this time exactly how the mind works. You're telling me it's already figured out, so basically you're just waiting for the evidence to come along and vindicate your beliefs. Because beliefs are all they are. No difference."

Big difference. I'm giving you a model which is based on facts and has a better than zero chance of being true. Your model hasn't reached the stage of better than zero probability yet.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Sorry, I don't have centuries to live and see what's figured out. I'm utterly fascinated by all of it. I can't help but want to know how it all works. I'm not throwing my hands up. I'm taking all the information available to me to figure out the best explanation."

Which is why you will never find the real answers. You want them now. Doesn't work that way. Patience, my friend. And if we don't know by the time we die, there's no shame in that. The shame is in jumping to easy conclusions.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"You can speculate all you like. Just don't try to sell it as fact."

But that's what you were doing when you were using your speculated explanation as the 'right' answer as opposed to my 'wrong' one.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"When evidence warrants. Not till then."

This is what I mean. If you're going to look at anything and make a determination based on what you're looking at, you kind of need to understand what you're looking for. So what exactly should the evidence look like, do you think, if God were real? What is it that we should see that we don't that leads you to the conclusion that no God is required?

Are you expecting some sort of manipulation of physical processes? If so, what would that look like in the evidence? Nothing really. Just an undetermined gap. Besides, given that God is described as the creator of the natural world, why is it you think He'd need to override and manipulate His own creation to make things happen?

"There isn't anything but natural as far as I know."

As far as you know, huh? Where's this knowledge? Can you show it to me? Can we see it? Can we measure it? Weigh it? Nope. The irony here is the very "know" you refer to as being the entirety of what you know being natural, is in itself a non-physical thing. It's a non-physical constuct created, we assume, by the physical material of the mind. Behaviors and capabilities that the matter our brains are made of is capable of creating, yet is totally undetectable or observable.

"Again, I don't know that immaterial thought is even a real thing. You claim it is but I know of nothing in science that claims immaterial thought exists. I know thought exists but no one but you claims its immaterial."

You don't know it's real because nothing in science claims it exists? Dude. Listen to what you're saying. "immaterial" .... "nothing in science". Do you know why that is? Because it's IMMATERIAL. Not material. So why are you looking to science, which only deals with material? It's like trying to use a screwdriver to loosen a bolt. It's the wrong tool.

"So unless you have some game changing logic for me, it ain't happening."

The logic is there. You've just bought into another belief system and you are devout. Unable to hear reason. Typical of a believer, haven't you found?

"Big difference. I'm giving you a model which is based on facts and has a better than zero chance of being true. Your model hasn't reached the stage of better than zero probability yet."

Oh Slarty. Your belief system is showing again. These two aren't even in the same ballpark, and not in the way you think. The other way around. Mine is verifiable. There is actual evidence to point to. Actual things to check against it. Validate it. Yours is nothing more than rampant speculation. You say it's based on facts, but is it really? No. It's 100% speculation and nothing in the way of fact-based.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Which is why you will never find the real answers. You want them now. Doesn't work that way. Patience, my friend. And if we don't know by the time we die, there's no shame in that. The shame is in jumping to easy conclusions.

There's nothing about this that's easy. It's the world's most complex puzzle. All the world's best minds are trying to piece it together. That's what you're waiting on. Others to figure it out and then explain it to you.

Yet you already have it all figured out, don't you? No data yet to substantiate any of it, yet you know. It seems you do work that way.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"You can speculate all you like. Just don't try to sell it as fact."

"But that's what you were doing when you were using your speculated explanation as the 'right' answer as opposed to my 'wrong' one."

That's because it is the right answer. Differences between humans beliefs and behaviors have historically been cultural.

No, not supernatural.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"There's nothing about this that's easy. It's the world's most complex puzzle. All the world's best minds are trying to piece it together. That's what you're waiting on. Others to figure it out and then explain it to you."

Not at all. I'm waiting for others to verify my findings with proof. I derive my model from the implications I have discovered in what science has already found. I don't have the means to do the testing myself and there is a wide area to cover. But I keep looking for more clues in what others are finding. It's a never ending endeavour.

"Yet you already have it all figured out, don't you? No data yet to substantiate any of it, yet you know. It seems you do work that way."

Again, I deal in models. And yes I have created one I think has a good chance of being correct. But we’ve talked about this before. You seem to forget. It’s my opinion based on facts and their implications. And yes, there is plenty of data, and there are plenty of facts.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

No, there is no data where the mind is concerned. No data, no facts. Just statistically based, subjective data with nothing concrete to base any of it on. Just the subjective process of relating one's own experiences with the mind with that of a subjects in an attempt to understand.

Yes, I work with a model too. The only difference is while everything where the bible is concerned is open to interpretation, except of course specific timelines given, there is something to compare it against. Yours, where the mind is concerned, there's nothing to verify, nothing to measure. It's all conjecture, which is all it can be.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"That's because it is the right answer. Differences between humans beliefs and behaviors have historically been cultural.

No, not supernatural."

You don't know that. You assume that. You buy into this logical progression of how it must have happened as if that is fact. It's only a rationalization. Nothing more.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

And it stands to reason that if this were indeed just a progression of physical processes that there'd be some kind of recognizable behavior in there somewhere. So far all we see is completely alien to all we know.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"When evidence warrants. Not till then."

“This is what I mean. If you're going to look at anything and make a determination based on what you're looking at, you kind of need to understand what you're looking for. So what exactly should the evidence look like, do you think, if God were real? What is it that we should see that we don't that leads you to the conclusion that no God is required?”

You are the one who claims they exist. You tell me what to expect.

“Are you expecting some sort of manipulation of physical processes?”

No. I’m not expecting anything.

“ If so, what would that look like in the evidence? Nothing really. Just an undetermined gap. Besides, given that God is described as the creator of the natural world, why is it you think He'd need to override and manipulate His own creation to make things happen?”

So what?

"There isn't anything but natural as far as I know."

“As far as you know, huh? Where's this knowledge? Can you show it to me? Can we see it? Can we measure it? Weigh it? Nope. The irony here is the very "know" you refer to as being the entirety of what you know being natural, is in itself a non-physical thing. It's a non-physical constuct created, we assume, by the physical material of the mind. Behaviors and capabilities that the matter our brains are made of is capable of creating, yet is totally undetectable or observable.”

Nonsense. Thought is based in the physical. Just because you can’t see the flow of information doesn’t mean it’s not material. You’re guessing. The most reasonable view is that the brain stores information by physical means. We have a physical memory. No evidence whatever of nonphysical thought. Lots for physical process.

"Again, I don't know that immaterial thought is even a real thing. You claim it is but I know of nothing in science that claims immaterial thought exists. I know thought exists but no one but you claims its immaterial."

“You don't know it's real because nothing in science claims it exists? Dude. Listen to what you're saying. "immaterial" .... "nothing in science". Do you know why that is? Because it's IMMATERIAL. Not material. So why are you looking to science, which only deals with material? It's like trying to use a screwdriver to loosen a bolt. It's the wrong tool.”

So I should look to what? Voodoo? Immaterial is another word for imaginary; nothing more.

"So unless you have some game changing logic for me, it ain't happening."

“The logic is there. You've just bought into another belief system and you are devout. Unable to hear reason. Typical of a believer, haven't you found?”

I’m buying in to nothing, including your rhetoric and baseless accusations. That’s the point. I listen to reason, but what you are saying isn’t reasonable.

"Big difference. I'm giving you a model which is based on facts and has a better than zero chance of being true. Your model hasn't reached the stage of better than zero probability yet."

“Oh Slarty. Your belief system is showing again. These two aren't even in the same ballpark, and not in the way you think. The other way around. Mine is verifiable”

Lol... by your own words that’s bull shit.

“ There is actual evidence to point to. Actual things to check against it. Validate it. Yours is nothing more than rampant speculation. You say it's based on facts, but is it really? No. It's 100% speculation and nothing in the way of fact-based.”

Shows you know nothing of science or logic. You are sounding desperate now. Lol... And you’re projecting. Typical.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Yes, I work with a model too. The only difference is while everything where the bible is concerned is open to interpretation, except of course specific timelines given, there is something to compare it against. Yours, where the mind is concerned, there's nothing to verify, nothing to measure. It's all conjecture, which is all it can be."

Sorry, you obviously don't know what you're talking about.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"And it stands to reason that if this were indeed just a progression of physical processes that there'd be some kind of recognizable behavior in there somewhere. So far all we see is completely alien to all we know."

That's what you want to believe, and its understandable.What kind of "recognizable" behavior you talking about? Your talking nonsense again. You have too much invested to see reality. All you want is to prove your myth is real so you can be sure you will live forever. Good luck with that.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Oh no, this has nothing to do with what I want to be true. I would have no issue with ceasing to exist after this life. This is me acknowledging what should be apparent. You're attempting to fit the square peg of humanity in the round hole of materialism.

Given our level of understanding of physics and matter, we should be able to determine the behaviors of the mind by simply determining the behavior of the elements involved. But it doesn't work that way. Something else governs the workings of the mind.

It's not delusion on my part, it's your instance that this fit the mold you insist on that prevents you from acknowledging what I'm saying. Acknowledging the real truth of the matter. We are indeed something more than mere machines.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"You are the one who claims they exist. You tell me what to expect."

You're the one making determinations, based on evidence, as to whether or not they exist or are "required". So I'm asking as an exercise to make you realize how wrong your approach is and how to fix it.

"Nonsense. Thought is based in the physical."

You assume. Not that I disagree. Personally I think anything we physically experience, any sensation of feeling or thought we experience, is physically caused in some way. So I'm not arguing against that.I'm trying to point out where the facts stop and the beliefs begin in your view, because you seem to be blind to it.

"So I should look to what? Voodoo? Immaterial is another word for imaginary; nothing more."

That right there is the problem. You've already closed your mind. You've already predefined what can and can't be true, answering questions prematurely. So you're dictating what you are capable of recognizing and acknowledging. You're close-minded.

Given all we've learned, do you really think everything that exists is the material? That there's nothing in all of existence that actually exists that doesn't exist materially?

The mind doesn't exist materially. It's a construct created by the physical processes of the brain, we assume. But when not being created it doesn't exist. It doesn't exist spatially, it doesn't exist a a material thing, but it does indeed exist, and it does indeed have an impact on material things. That's why psychology and psychiatry are only subjective. We have to account for it and understand it and it's impact on us and the world around us. But it's not material. So, that alone proves your statement false.

"I’m buying in to nothing, including your rhetoric and baseless accusations. That’s the point. I listen to reason, but what you are saying isn’t reasonable."

Right, what I'm saying you've deemed unreasonable based on your demonstrably flawed standards.

"Shows you know nothing of science or logic. You are sounding desperate now. Lol... And you’re projecting. Typical."

There is no evidence. And I know plenty of both science and logic. There is no physical evidence of anything where the mind is concerned. Nothing. We only have subjective assumptions that this or that mental experience is linked to this or that physical brain activity. But the mind is a construct that can't be observed or detected or measured in any way. So there is no evidence. Yes, there's evidence of the behavior of energy, which I'm sure is the evidence you're saying your view is based on, but that's ridiculous. Transposing evidence from one field onto another and then saying that evidence supports what you're saying is intellectually dishonest at the very least. I don't think you're being deliberately dishonest, I think you yourself believe what you're saying. If you really think about it I think you'll find no other choice but to correct your mistake.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"Sorry, you obviously don't know what you're talking about."

Oh no, I most certainly do know what I'm talking about. The mind doesn't spatially exist. There's nothing that can be detected or measured or quantified in any way. So you have no evidence. The evidence you're speaking of is the evidence gathered about the behavior of energy, which you are then projecting onto the mind. Not the same thing. Your projection is nothing more than that. So you can't say you have evidence based on that. You can't. You don't.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“Oh no, I most certainly do know what I'm talking about. The mind doesn't spatially exist.”

Because its the brain, not something separate.

“There's nothing that can be detected or measured or quantified in any way.”

Not if you think mind and brain are different. That mind doesn’t exist. Nothing to quantify.

“So you have no evidence. The evidence you're speaking of is the evidence gathered about the behavior of energy, which you are then projecting onto the mind.”

No, the behaviour of energy is where it starts, for everything, including the development of the brain. But that’s not what I’m talking about here specifically. We know a lot about how the brain works already and we’ve just begun. Do you read stuff about neuroscience? There is plenty of evidence that mind and brain are one, as well as how we think and store information. But its a fledgling field of study so there is a lot yet to learn, no doubt.

What there is zero evidence of is souls or the need for them.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“Given our level of understanding of physics and matter, we should be able to determine the behaviors of the mind by simply determining the behavior of the elements involved. “

Really? Who says? You can’t determine what a computer is doing by simply determining the behavior of the elements involved. Why should a brain be different?


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“You're the one making determinations, based on evidence, as to whether or not they exist or are "required". So I'm asking as an exercise to make you realize how wrong your approach is and how to fix it.”

Exactly. You don’t know. If I were still looking, I’d be looking for a seam. I’ve done at least 40 years of looking. I’ll ask you what you always ask me: How long do I have to look before it becomes obvious it’s not there?

“You assume. Not that I disagree. Personally I think anything we physically experience, any sensation of feeling or thought we experience, is physically caused in some way. So I'm not arguing against that.I'm trying to point out where the facts stop and the beliefs begin in your view, because you seem to be blind to it.”

So far you’ve failed to show anything of the sort. Keep trying.

“That right there is the problem. You've already closed your mind. You've already predefined what can and can't be true, answering questions prematurely. So you're dictating what you are capable of recognizing and acknowledging. You're close-minded”

No. I’ve told you over and over: I’m not even entertaining anything that has no evidence to back it up. Give me evidence and I’ll re-evaluate. I have an open mind, but not so open my brains fall out.

“Given all we've learned, do you really think everything that exists is the material? That there's nothing in all of existence that actually exists that doesn't exist materially?”

Yes. There is nothing but energy. Show me something else. I dare say you can’t.

“The mind doesn't exist materially.”

Nonsense. Mind=brain.

“ It's a construct created by the physical processes of the brain, we assume. But when not being created it doesn't exist. It doesn't exist spatially, it doesn't exist a a material thing, but it does indeed exist,”

Imaginary things do not exist in the real world as the things imagined, but they exist as physical patterns in the brain. Information. So everything we can think of exists physically but not always in reality as imagined. Concepts exist as coded information even if they are wrong, and by wrong we mean they don’t line up with reality. Unless you’re a string theorist. Then everything we can think of is real in some other universe or dimension, which seems insane to me. But then, string theory is dying as we speak.

“ and it does indeed have an impact on material things. That's why psychology and psychiatry are only subjective. We have to account for it and understand it and it's impact on us and the world around us. But it's not material. So, that alone proves your statement false”

Yeah sorry, it does no such thing..

“Right, what I'm saying you've deemed unreasonable based on your demonstrably flawed standards.”

Lol... you wish.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Yes, I read all about neuroscience and I know what's known and what isn't. What you don't seem to get is that there is nothing concrete about the mind. Like your statement....

"There is plenty of evidence that mind and brain are one"

No, and here's why. Because the mind isn't observable. One half of that scenario is completely undetectable. We can only go by what the subject says and then compare that to our own experience, to try to determine what's going on in the mind at any moment. Then you tie that subjective piece of the puzzle to what the brain activity was at the time. But the whole mind side of the equation, invisible. So you can't prove anything.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Really? Who says? You can’t determine what a computer is doing by simply determining the behavior of the elements involved. Why should a brain be different?"

Actually, you can. It would be difficult, for sure, but each tick of the system's processor clock carries out a function. And there's a hierarchy. And these things are achieved by breaking everything down into a digitized system of on/off switches. Just determine what's happening with each cycle through the processor, string them together, and there you go.

It's mechanical. When I write code to automate functional tests, I'm manipulating physical things. I'm tying into the software that works with the processor and memory and disk drive and motherboard to affect physical happenings. It's all physical. I'm just arranging the on/offs in such a way as to carry out a desired sequence of events.

But that's the thing. SomeONE built the computer to work that way. Gave it rules to abide by so there's order. An organized system. Without those rules, without clear and concise parameters to determine hierarchy of importance it would be a mess. The processor can only carry out one job at a time. But it still requires that someone 'drive' it.

All complex systems require a set concise set of rules to allow the system to work. That's what it's all about. Behavior. Following rules to allow a complex system made up of many moving parts to work. A computer can only work the ways it's designed to work. It can't determine for itself what it prefers to do in what order. It doesn't have preferences. And it's not persuaded by the promise of pleasure or relief from pain or discomfort or whatever. It's mechanical, and it works like a machine.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Exactly. You don’t know. If I were still looking, I’d be looking for a seam. I’ve done at least 40 years of looking. I’ll ask you what you always ask me: How long do I have to look before it becomes obvious it’s not there?"

But the gap is still there. There's something missing. Something that connects one thing to the other. To this point, despite all of our technological capability, we still don't 'see' anything. How long are you going to wait for the "right" technology or the "right" perspective to fill this gap? Until that happens, it's faith and faith alone that says it's not what I"m saying, can't be, it can only be what you insist it is. Something we haven't figured out yet. There's your seam.

"So far you’ve failed to show anything of the sort. Keep trying."

There you go again with that "show". Our five senses are only evolved for this one environment. Just common sense wise, what do you think the chances are that absolutely everything that exists can be detected by these senses? I mean, we already know there's a whole spectrum of light and sound beyond our eyes ability to see it. Aided by technology we can, but we had to first wonder if there was anything there. You're basically saying, there's nothing beyond what our eyes can see or we'd see it. If there's something beyond what our eyes can see then show it to me. Do you see how silly that sounds?

"No. I’ve told you over and over: I’m not even entertaining anything that has no evidence to back it up. Give me evidence and I’ll re-evaluate. I have an open mind, but not so open my brains fall out."

Well then I think you might have lost some out of the opening. Let me try it this way. All matter and energy is the result of the big bang. If there is a first cause, then it existed "before" the bang (though technically there's no such thing as 'before' as time didn't yet exist). So, it's undetectable. Science can only detect what resulted from the big bang.

If God is the creator of the universe, then it wouldn't fit that He could be physically detected. How can the maker of the causal chain actually be a detectable/observable link in that chain? It's a paradox that you're suggesting. It's impossible, not because it's convenient, but because it's just a simple logical fact.

That's why I ask what it is you're looking for in the evidence when you make determinations like no God needed. Because you must have some idea of what it should look like if there were a God involved. But because you see only natural/causal happenings, because you don't see these processes being overridden or manipulated in some way, then it just happened like that, no aid required.

So you have a bad hypothesis you're working off of. Genesis 1 explains that the natural world becomes what God wills it to be. So a natural world that by all appearances seems to have formed itself is an expected result. That's exactly what you should expect to see. Only, even though it all 'just happened', somehow a coded DNA system arose that allowed for the evolution of a biological computer capable of some truly astounding things. A feet duplicated, because of DNA, billions and billions of times.

What evidence of God looks like, so you know what to look for, is intelligence in what 'just happens' naturally. Like DNA and the brain and consciousness and self-awareness, etc.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"No, and here's why. Because the mind isn't observable. "

Because it doesn't exist. Its a set of conditions. Remove some of those conditions, damage the brain, and the mind disappears. The brain may even still function enough to keep the body functioning, but you are gone.

You keep assuming the mind is separate but you have no evidence for that at all. And the fact that drugs can alter it shows us its all brain, despite your insistence that it isn't.

Were mind a separate soul, I should still be me no matter what. Sleep wouldn't be possible in the same way.

No, everything is consistent with brain and mind being the same thing. Not consistent with being separate..


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Actually, you can."

Actually, you can't.

But you are right that biology is not an ordinary machine. You assume it should be if its natural, which is dead wrong. Energy is the process, its the rules, it's what everything is made of including biology.

Yes its amazing that energy developed biology and consciousness. But unless you show us a god, its the only plausible answer we currently have.

Energy IS god. Just not the Christian version.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Because it doesn't exist. Its a set of conditions. Remove some of those conditions, damage the brain, and the mind disappears"

Really? That's how you're going with this? So, if something doesn't exist, how does it then disappear? The mind undoubtedly exists. It's there. It's happening. We're experiencing it. But it does not exist spatially. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It does, and it has a real impact on the real world. It has to be accounted for. You can't just act like it isn't there.

I never said anything about the mind being separate. You're clearly still thinking in terms of space, it doesn't exist spatially. I have agreed that it is caused by the brain. But that means the matter in our brains is capable of things we can't see that it's doing, unless we experience it directly. Meaning, there could be much more going on within matter that we can't see or detect. Intelligence could exist, a mind capable of creation and reason ingenuity could exist in forms we don't even know about.

"Were mind a separate soul, I should still be me no matter what. Sleep wouldn't be possible in the same way."

See, you clearly have a very particular concept in mind of what you think a soul is. Explain why sleep wouldn't be possible in the same way. Why? The brain is physical. It has limitations. It needs to be fed, it needs to rest, it needs to repair. If the physical body/brain actually enables a spiritual self to interact with the natural world, then it is limited by the same limitations as a physical body. When the brain is sleeping, the soul can't decect the physical world.

Yes, you're still you. But 'you' is more than just a biological machine or layers of complexity whose behaviors and actions are wholly determined by physical law. You are a conscious willful being. Not a machine. Not possible if it's as you say. You can only be a machine.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"But you are right that biology is not an ordinary machine. You assume it should be if its natural, which is dead wrong. Energy is the process, its the rules, it's what everything is made of including biology.

Yes its amazing that energy developed biology and consciousness. But unless you show us a god, its the only plausible answer we currently have.

Energy IS god. Just not the Christian version."

But it's not a plausible answer. Energy is as it is, not through a process like evolution that allows for the emergence of useful and usable functions. Energy behaved as it behaves since the beginning. This building block became all kinds of fascinating things. That's what God looks like. Intelligent, deliberate intent in natural things. Things that serve a purpose and accomplish amazing things. Just naturally.

You seem so certain that this God isn't the Christian version. Based on what? How'd you reach this conclusion? The God of the bible is the most plausible one there is. The fact that the story focuses in on behavior right from the get go is telling. This is because, as we've determined through science, all things (except humans) behave in very particular ways. "Natural law". The bible says humans deviated by this and explains how. This is the single most relevant thing a God of this natural world could be interested in. I think there's good reason to consider the Christian God the prime candidate for THE God. Yes, the God of energy as well.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“But it's not a plausible answer. Energy is as it is, not through a process like evolution that allows for the emergence of useful and usable functions.”

That’s what gods are too, remember? Does yours evolve?

“ Energy behaved as it behaves since the beginning.”

If there was one. But yes, since that’s all that actually exists in all these forms and others including potential, it’s always behaved according to what it is.

“This building block became all kinds of fascinating things. That's what God looks like. Intelligent, deliberate intent in natural things. Things that serve a purpose and accomplish amazing things. Just naturally.”

So cut out the middle man you can’t prove exists, and you have a perfect model of reality as we know it.

“You seem so certain that this God isn't the Christian version. Based on what? How'd you reach this conclusion?”

Well it’s not possible as described. Simple really. It can’t be omnipotent or perfect or all knowing, it has human flaws in spades. It’s vengeful, egotistical, quick to anger, jealous, cruel, need I go on? It is not all love and forgiveness as one part of the bible says according to other parts. It’s a contradiction.

Why can’t it be perfect? First off because a perfect thing would have no needs, so no need to create anything. Also, the imperfection that it created speaks volumes and, if imperfection exists anything perfect is affected. So perfection can’t happen until everything is perfect. Perfection is thus impossible.

“The God of the bible is the most plausible one there is.”

Don’t make me laugh.

“The fact that the story focuses in on behavior right from the get go is telling. This is because, as we've determined through science, all things (except humans) behave in very particular ways. "Natural law". The bible says humans deviated by this and explains how. This is the single most relevant thing a God of this natural world could be interested in. I think there's good reason to consider the Christian God the prime candidate for THE God. Yes, the God of energy as well.”

Humans think highly of themselves, that’s true. And we do have an edge. But we are a species of ape, and natural as lice. Don’t kid yourself. The bible is just humans thinking they are the greatest thing ever. Wow.. Who didn’t see that coming?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

God exists apart from the universe, therefore outside of time/space, so no He doesn't evolve. An intelligent being setting things up from the start is a much more plausible answer, given that intelligence is actually a natural product of this universe, so energy and matter already behaving as it needs to behave to eventually become all it became is a clue.

A perfect model that worked right from the start exactly as it needed to to ultimately become life and intelligence and all of that. Rather than evolving that way, it started that way.

"Well it’s not possible as described. Simple really. It can’t be omnipotent or perfect or all knowing, it has human flaws in spades. It’s vengeful, egotistical, quick to anger, jealous, cruel, need I go on? It is not all love and forgiveness as one part of the bible says according to other parts. It’s a contradiction."

Why can't God be omnipotent or all knowing? He exists apart from time/space, so from His perspective He can see all time all at once and from our perspective that means He remains the same, unchanged by time, in every moment, everywhere. It's very much possible. And more likely considering His existing before/apart from the universe and space/time.

Anger isn't bad. Cruelty is completely subjective. Nature's cruel, isn't it? So if this God is the embodiment of the natural world, wouldn't it make sense that He shares traits with the natural world?

God didn't create imperfection. God created free will. Without the capability to behave outside of God's will, there is no free will. He created exactly what was intended.

There you go again discounting the entirety of human history as egotistical and ignorant. Horrible. Yet it's the atheists that lay claim to the title "humanist", which I find ironic and a little insulting.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“God exists apart from the universe, therefore outside of time/space, so no He doesn't evolve.”

Neither does energy. And it exists right here. Have you proven there is an outside the universe yet? There probably isn’t.

“An intelligent being setting things up from the start is a much more plausible answer, given that intelligence is actually a natural product of this universe, so energy and matter already behaving as it needs to behave to eventually become all it became is a clue.”

Hardly. There you go again thinking intelligence is the be all end all. It’s not. It’s a biological necessity. It allows us to learn and adapt and survive. Gods don’t need those things, right? Energy doesn’t need to learn. Does your god need to learn? If you can claim your god always existed, that intelligence always existed, and you expect no one to call you on it, then I can do the same.

It’s possible energy always was in one form or other. No, it was not created in the BB, it is the BB. The singularity was the total amount of energy of the universe, compressed. The universe is the singularity expanding. Universe/singularity = energy.

“Why can't God be omnipotent or all knowing?”

You say he isn’t yourself. Do we need to go in to it again? Dozens by now have told you that if god needs to test people he can’t by any means be all knowing. You say its because of free will. Well that clenches it then. No use trying to worm out of it. Your excuses make no sense.

“ He exists apart from time/space,”

So you say.

“so from His perspective He can see all time all at once and from our perspective that means He remains the same, unchanged by time, in every moment, everywhere. It's very much possible. And more likely considering His existing before/apart from the universe and space/time.”

It’s very much a speculative myth.

“Anger isn't bad.”

Really? It’s base. Unworthy of an enlightened human, let alone a higher being.

“ Cruelty is completely subjective.”

No it isn’t.

“Nature's cruel, isn't it?”

No it isn’t. It doesn’t do anything with conscious intent. Only conscious intent can be cruel.

“So if this God is the embodiment of the natural world, wouldn't it make sense that He shares traits with the natural world?”

Then nature created him? I agree, but I think you believe it created nature. Your analogy doesn’t quite work the way you intended.

“God didn't create imperfection. God created free will. Without the capability to behave outside of God's will, there is no free will. He created exactly what was intended.”

Then he is responsible for the consequences far more then we are. But of course will is a manifestation of conditioning, learning and predisposition. Nothing free about it. No god required.

“There you go again discounting the entirety of human history as egotistical and ignorant. Horrible. Yet it's the atheists that lay claim to the title "humanist", which I find ironic and a little insulting.”

Wow. I’ve seen crocodile tears before. That insult you? Come now. It’s pretty darn obvious. The OT is about the first Jews. How they were god’s chosen people. How much more in to themselves could they have gotten? History and origin stories are almost always that pattern.

I’m not a humanist, though it doesn’t offend me.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Because it doesn't exist. Its a set of conditions. Remove some of those conditions, damage the brain, and the mind disappears"

“Really? That's how you're going with this? So, if something doesn't exist, how does it then disappear?”

It doesn’t exist apart from the brain. Mind and brain are the same thing. There really is only brain.

‘”The mind undoubtedly exists. It's there. It's happening. We're experiencing it. But it does not exist spatially “

Right, because it’s a set of conditions. It’s all brain.

“That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It does, and it has a real impact on the real world. It has to be accounted for. You can't just act like it isn't there.”

But it really isn’t. Just like there is no separation between conscious and subconscious. All of it is one system; the brain.

“I never said anything about the mind being separate. You're clearly still thinking in terms of space, it doesn't exist spatially. I have agreed that it is caused by the brain.”

Glad to hear it.

“ But that means the matter in our brains is capable of things we can't see that it's doing, unless we experience it directly. Meaning, there could be much more going on within matter that we can't see or detect.”

I’d say that’s a given.

“Intelligence could exist, a mind capable of creation and reason ingenuity could exist in forms we don't even know about.”

I’d say that’s speculation.

“See, you clearly have a very particular concept in mind of what you think a soul is. Explain why sleep wouldn't be possible in the same way. Why? The brain is physical. It has limitations. It needs to be fed, it needs to rest, it needs to repair. If the physical body/brain actually enables a spiritual self to interact with the natural world, then it is limited by the same limitations as a physical body. When the brain is sleeping, the soul can't decect the physical world.”

You only say that because we do sleep when the brain sleeps. But if the soul is really me, even given that I couldn’t relate to the physical world, which is not a real given at all, I should still exist as a mind capable of thought. Why not? When I’m dead I’ll still be able to think, right? So I should be present at all times if I am a soul. But I’m not.

“Yes, you're still you. But 'you' is more than just a biological machine or layers of complexity whose behaviors and actions are wholly determined by physical law. You are a conscious willful being. Not a machine. Not possible if it's as you say. You can only be a machine.”

Well I disagree, of course. We learn. Machines don’t. We are dynamic systems. So if this is what it’s like to be a natural dynamic system, that’s fine by me. I love it

Again, what do you want for nothing? Your money back?


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Neither does energy. And it exists right here. Have you proven there is an outside the universe yet? There probably isn’t."

Well, considering the universe is finite, ie not infinite, then I'd say it's highly likely. But there you go again asking for proof of something beyond provability. Beyond the big bang is beyond being observed or detected in any way. You might find it convenient, but it's just a fact.

"Hardly. There you go again thinking intelligence is the be all end all."

And there you go again dismissing something clearly significant. Learn, adapt, survive? So which one did we use to put a rover on Mars? It's capability is well beyond just survival needs. That's another one of those primarily imagined explanations. Being able to accurately throw a spear doesn't equate to mathematically understanding the universe.

"It’s possible energy always was in one form or other. No, it was not created in the BB, it is the BB. The singularity was the total amount of energy of the universe, compressed. The universe is the singularity expanding. Universe/singularity = energy."

Right, there right from the beginning, and apparently 'caused' by something supernatural considering it's origin is pre-universe. Where it came from there is no time or space.

Which brings up an interesting point. How did the singularity actually change states to 'begin' without time? Time is required for something to change, isn't it? Or is it that, like tachyons, some energy maybe isn't compliant to time? Can maybe continue to behave outside of time?

"You say he isn’t yourself. Do we need to go in to it again? Dozens by now have told you that if god needs to test people he can’t by any means be all knowing. You say its because of free will. Well that clenches it then. No use trying to worm out of it. Your excuses make no sense."

It's not an excuse. God does know all. All that has happened or will happen. Those tests involved making things happen. If they don't happen then they can't be "known". It makes perfect sense. God is present in every moment everywhere, from the beginning of the universe until the end, so therefore He knows all. It's really simple.

"It’s very much a speculative myth."

A speculative myth that makes more sense now 2000 years later than it did then. It actually matches up with what a creator that existed 'before' the universe would be. Lucky guess I guess.

"Really? It’s base. Unworthy of an enlightened human, let alone a higher being."

Anger is the response to being pushed too far. The breaking point. The point where the fight back begins. It's an important part of the ebb and flow of life. Sometimes running isn't an option, or isn't the best one. That's a very human-centric view of anger.

Yes, cruelty is subjective. It can't be measured. Something you might rate as a 10 on the cruelty scale I might rate a 9. Therefore subjective. Conscious intent means purpose behind it. I can lay out for you clearly how everything God did was for the 'greater good' as far as the priority of the events being described. Life is learning and gaining strength in facing down adversity and obstacles. If it were all good all the time we'd be pathetic. And we'd have no real concept of what good even is. It would just be the normal. With no bad there's no concept of good.

"Then he is responsible for the consequences far more then we are. But of course will is a manifestation of conditioning, learning and predisposition. Nothing free about it. No god required."

Machine then. No actual willful control. Only the illusion of control. Yikes. If that's really what you think.

"Wow. I’ve seen crocodile tears before. That insult you? Come now. It’s pretty darn obvious. The OT is about the first Jews. How they were god’s chosen people. How much more in to themselves could they have gotten? History and origin stories are almost always that pattern."

The book is one long story of the Jews failing in the eyes of this God. Kind of an odd take being that they were tooting their own horns.

Yes, I find it offensive. Think about it this way. Say you walk outside one day and witness something truly magnificent. Something that shouldn't be physically possible. You might feel compelled to somehow record this event as significant. You might feel that others should know it happened. But people like you many generations from now who might dig up and discover your telling of this event will immediately dismiss you as ignorant because what you claim to have seen couldn't possibly have happened.

What might have actually happened might have been much closer to what they were talking about. They may not have had our level of understanding of the natural world, but they weren't morons either. They invented mathematics, astronomy, the written language, philosophy, and a whole ridiculous list of other things.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"It doesn’t exist apart from the brain. Mind and brain are the same thing. There really is only brain."

So why do we bother differentiating mind and brain? Yes, I get what you're saying. The mind is created by the brain. But the mind is clearly more than what can be seen to be happening. All we see is brain activity. But the person experiences something that can't be seen in any way. It's a behavior, a characteristic, a property. It's something that exists and must be accounted for.

"You only say that because we do sleep when the brain sleeps. But if the soul is really me, even given that I couldn’t relate to the physical world, which is not a real given at all, I should still exist as a mind capable of thought. Why not? When I’m dead I’ll still be able to think, right? So I should be present at all times if I am a soul. But I’m not."

You do think when you sleep. You're just not conscious. The brain is sleeping, so the soul's connection to the natural/physical world is disconnected.

"Well I disagree, of course. We learn. Machines don’t. We are dynamic systems. So if this is what it’s like to be a natural dynamic system, that’s fine by me. I love it"

You love it, huh? Did you learn that?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Yes, I get what you're saying. The mind is created by the brain. But the mind is clearly more than what can be seen to be happening."

Seen? sure. So what? What do you expect to see? The content of thoughts? Why would you expect to be able to see that?

"All we see is brain activity."

Which is what we expect to see with current tech.

" But the person experiences something that can't be seen in any way. "

Why would we expect to be able to judge that through seeing brain activity? Want a text readout? I don't get your problem.

"It's a behavior, a characteristic, a property. It's something that exists and must be accounted for."

It is.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"You do think when you sleep. You're just not conscious."

I think when I dream. Not in dreamless sleep. But why would shutting down the body/brain make a soul go to sleep? It shouldn't. So I should understand that the body is sleeping but my soulmind should be active. Its not.

" The brain is sleeping, so the soul's connection to the natural/physical world is disconnected."

To the physical world yes, but is it not connected to the supernatural world? Or even capable of its own consciousness? If not its going to be useless when you die.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"You love it, huh? Did you learn that?"

No, but I didn't choose to love it either. I just do.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Anger is the response to being pushed too far."

To an enlightened individual there may be no point where they can be pushed too far. Anger is a flaw, not a virtue.

"The breaking point. The point where the fight back begins. "

The fight is best fought with cold logic and empathy.

"It's an important part of the ebb and flow of life."

Important to try to get rid of it in ourselves.

" Sometimes running isn't an option, or isn't the best one. That's a very human-centric view of anger."

Yours is a primitive view of anger. One we need to rise above.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"The book is one long story of the Jews failing in the eyes of this God. Kind of an odd take being that they were tooting their own horns."

Well that's how you explain why you are currently in a world where life sucks even though you started as god's chosen. That doesn't diminish how humans see themselves as superior to everything else and in charge of it all. Its all there for us to use as we like by divine right.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Right, there right from the beginning, and apparently 'caused' by something supernatural considering it's origin is pre-universe. Where it came from there is no time or space."

Not apparently caused by anything. It was compressed. Hence no time because no space. Time is distance. Space and time are the same thing.

Expansion of energy caused this space/time.

That doesn't mean energy didn't exist or that there are no laws governing it in that state.

"Which brings up an interesting point. How did the singularity actually change states to 'begin' without time? Time is required for something to change, isn't it? Or is it that, like tachyons, some energy maybe isn't compliant to time? Can maybe continue to behave outside of time?"

Who knows the laws of physics in a singularity? No one I know of. But there are plenty of hypothesis. We may get more insight by studying black holes.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"It's not an excuse. God does know all. All that has happened or will happen. Those tests involved making things happen. If they don't happen then they can't be "known"."

If something can't be known to your god it's not omnipotent. That's the end of story.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Seen? sure. So what? What do you expect to see? The content of thoughts? Why would you expect to be able to see that?"

Because there's a clearly a limitation to science. Something we know exists, but only because we each personally experience it. So .... there are things happening in the natural world totally undetectable. Which blows the whole materialist defense out of the water. This 'well then show me' nonsense is a farce.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"I think when I dream. Not in dreamless sleep. But why would shutting down the body/brain make a soul go to sleep? It shouldn't. So I should understand that the body is sleeping but my soulmind should be active. Its not."

Everything in your mind, your whole concept of reality and existence, is built on physical data collected throughout life. You could very well be actively thinking when you're sleeping, but if the physical brain isn't active to record the information, you can't be consciously aware of it later when you're awake.

"No, but I didn't choose to love it either. I just do."

So you only love what you love due to previous conditioning? Doesn't sound like love to me. Sounds more like a condition.

"To an enlightened individual there may be no point where they can be pushed too far. Anger is a flaw, not a virtue."

If humans throughout our history had been "enlightened" we'd be nature's doormat right now. So, if someone slapped your wife or your mom, the right reaction is to not react? React like you don't really care? Anger is a response because you care. Because it matters. There's nothing wrong with anger, only what you then choose to do in anger. But anger itself, not the problem and not a sign of weakness or whatever.

"The fight is best fought with cold logic and empathy."

What, like a sociopath? That's how they respond. Ask any psychologist or sociologist and they'll tell you, anger is a natural reaction.

"Yours is a primitive view of anger. One we need to rise above."

Primitive. Pfft. Whatever. It's realistic.

"Well that's how you explain why you are currently in a world where life sucks even though you started as god's chosen. That doesn't diminish how humans see themselves as superior to everything else and in charge of it all. Its all there for us to use as we like by divine right."

I find this view to be overly cynical. You're basically suggesting the Jewish people knowingly and deliberately created the world's oldest and most successful form of propaganda. It just isn't realistic.

"Not apparently caused by anything. It was compressed. Hence no time because no space. Time is distance. Space and time are the same thing.

Expansion of energy caused this space/time.

That doesn't mean energy didn't exist or that there are no laws governing it in that state."

But time has to exist for something to be able to change states. The singularity had to be able to change states for time or space to even begin. Whatever started it wasn't beholden to natural law as everything in this universe, including energy, is. Being compressed doesn't matter without time. As long as the compression was held in that moment, there's no time for it to have to maintain that compression or force. It's stagnant, like it's paused.

"If something can't be known to your god it's not omnipotent. That's the end of story."

No. Only what actually happens can be known. It can't be known how you'd handle yourself is stranded on Mars because it never happened. Not knowing that doesn't mean you don't know everything. Everything is only what happened and can be known. God exists in every moment everywhere from the beginning of time to the end, so He therefore knows all that can be known.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Because there's a clearly a limitation to science. "

Nun you'll ever find ;)

"Something we know exists, but only because we each personally experience it. So .... there are things happening in the natural world totally undetectable."

Not undetectable at all. I don't get what you expect to detect.

"Which blows the whole materialist defense out of the water. This 'well then show me' nonsense is a farce."

LOL... you wish.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Everything in your mind, your whole concept of reality and existence, is built on physical data collected throughout life. You could very well be actively thinking when you're sleeping, but if the physical brain isn't active to record the information, you can't be consciously aware of it later when you're awake."

So souls have no memory, no identity? If I'm thinking and not remembering I'm not thinking. Not so it could help me at all. I'm not feeling either.

In other words the soul is useless.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"So you only love what you love due to previous conditioning? Doesn't sound like love to me. Sounds more like a condition."

Love is the desire/act of making something part of self. What you base your acts or desires on are certainly conditions. So what? What else would they be based on? Got any ideas?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"If humans throughout our history had been "enlightened" we'd be nature's doormat right now. So, if someone slapped your wife or your mom, the right reaction is to not react? React like you don't really care?"

Clearly you have no idea what enlightenment means. Turn the other cheek is your game, not mine. React with cool logic and rationality to find solutions. If attacked defend yourself. Kill the attacker if need be. But don't do it in anger, and don't be the attacker.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"What, like a sociopath? That's how they respond. Ask any psychologist or sociologist and they'll tell you, anger is a natural reaction."

Natural, yes. But unnecessary, and something we can rise above. Your god should already be above it. But he's not, apparently. And yes it is weakness of the intellect.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"I find this view to be overly cynical. You're basically suggesting the Jewish people knowingly and deliberately created the world's oldest and most successful form of propaganda. It just isn't realistic."

Oh it's realistic. It's fact. Read the bible some time. lol...


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"But time has to exist for something to be able to change states. The singularity had to be able to change states for time or space to even begin. Whatever started it wasn't beholden to natural law as everything in this universe, including energy, is. Being compressed doesn't matter without time. As long as the compression was held in that moment, there's no time for it to have to maintain that compression or force. It's stagnant, like it's paused."

How do you know? You can't because you can't know the laws of physics in that state. Perhaps we will someday, but not today. And how did it get compressed? Some hypothesis suggest black holes compress universes and spew them out the other end to re-expand. All speculation, of course.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"No. Only what actually happens can be known."

So being all knowing is impossible. You make my case for me. You just won't admit it.

Stop trying to change the meaning of all knowing.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Nun you'll ever find ;)"

We've already found one. Two, actually. But even without that, to think our five senses, which evolved to serve us in this particular environment, would be capable of perceiving everything that exists is incredibly short-cited.

"Not undetectable at all. I don't get what you expect to detect."

The mental experience caused by that brain activity. Think of it this way, if we didn't each experience the mind for ourselves, nothing about the behavior of the brain would give us any sort of inclination of what's actually going on. We don't see information, we recall images and sounds and smells. At will. Nothing about any of that can be seen, but we know it's happening because we experience it.

"So souls have no memory, no identity? If I'm thinking and not remembering I'm not thinking. Not so it could help me at all. I'm not feeling either.

In other words the soul is useless."

You're not getting it. This seems to be yet another case of you forming an idea in your mind of what a soul is, then using that to check against.

For all we know when each of us sleep we could actually be reintroduced to the spiritual side of life. We could be spending that time in heaven. But because the brain/mind isn't operating and taking in physical information, when you wake up, there's nothing to recall.

"Love is the desire/act of making something part of self. What you base your acts or desires on are certainly conditions. So what? What else would they be based on? Got any ideas?"

Uh, love. Think about it in the context of marriage. When you marry you agree to terms throughout life where you promise to do this and that. But according to you it's not really in your control. So how can you make those promises?

"Clearly you have no idea what enlightenment means. Turn the other cheek is your game, not mine. React with cool logic and rationality to find solutions. If attacked defend yourself. Kill the attacker if need be. But don't do it in anger, and don't be the attacker."

Yeah, I do. But if we're going by what you're describing, you're describing a sociopath. You remember Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs? When he was beating that guy to death they noted how his heart rate never increased, he didn't get angry or lose his cool. He was "enlightened".

"Natural, yes. But unnecessary, and something we can rise above. Your god should already be above it. But he's not, apparently. And yes it is weakness of the intellect."

No, it isn't. If enlightenment led you to that conclusion, then there's an obvious flaw in that ideology.

"Oh it's realistic. It's fact. Read the bible some time. lol..."

Clearly I have. None of that is in there. Which means that's coming from you and your cynical inclinations. They're coloring what you read and how you perceive it.

"How do you know? You can't because you can't know the laws of physics in that state. Perhaps we will someday, but not today. And how did it get compressed? Some hypothesis suggest black holes compress universes and spew them out the other end to re-expand. All speculation, of course."

That's the problem. I understand time well enough to be able to hypothesize what it would be like without it. It's really simple. But yet, in light of how clearly flawed this is, you're choosing instead to wait it out for someone to come along and figure it out. Like that's the problem. It's not something that needs to be figured out. It's figured out. It's flawed. How'd it get compressed? Good question. That comes before the universe, so however it happened, it's supernatural and beyond the jurisdiction of science. Another one of those boundary lines.

"So being all knowing is impossible. You make my case for me. You just won't admit it.

Stop trying to change the meaning of all knowing."

What? No. The only thing impossible here is getting you to understand this. It's really simple. What number am I thinking right now? I haven't told anyone, haven't written it down, so it can't be known. There's nothing to know. It never physically happened in any way. Nothing can be known. I'm not changing the meaning of anything.

know- be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.

If Abraham was never put in a situation where he'd had to make that choice, there'd be nothing to observe or inquire about. No information available. Creating the situation made it knowable. Now God knows. Because it happened.

You stop changing the meaning of all knowing.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

More on souls ...

"So souls have no memory, no identity? If I'm thinking and not remembering I'm not thinking. Not so it could help me at all. I'm not feeling either.

In other words the soul is useless."

The soul IS you. Useless makes it sound like it's supposed to be serving you in some way. It is. It is you. You have been created and exist. This physical body allows you to experience existence in a material space. A controlled environment. Where nothing is permanent. It's all temporary. We are not. All of this was created to create us. Individuals with their own minds and wills.

That's why this is such a significant point. Because matter behaves only in the way it can. According to the laws of nature. But we at least think we have freedom of will. We hold people accountable for their actions. Yet we are made of the same stuff as everything else. Everything else is determined by natural law.

If we do truly have freedom of choice, then we are something else. We are physical, yes, but something more than that. We can willfully and deliberately behave and choose our actions and carry out our own plans. We're the only thing in all the known universe, that doesn't behave totally according to natural law, but according to our own wills.

So, basically, we are each given the opportunity to live life and use that freedom of will to choose to willingly do what the rest of nature does 'naturally'. Acknowledge God as the authority. To be able to do that we have to be given the chance to live with our own minds and wills and willingly choose.

That's what this place is for. That's whole point to everything. To create individuals who aren't just working as everything does, according to God's one will, but who each have a mind and a will of their own.

But there's a danger to that. For the will to be free then the alternative must be a real possibility. Evil. A true free will is a will that God does not control or have any say so in what it does. So we are capable of evil. And evil makes us 'unnatural'. The only things in all of existence not adhering to natural law/God's will.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“We've already found one. Two, actually. But even without that, to think our five senses, which evolved to serve us in this particular environment, would be capable of perceiving everything that exists is incredibly short-cited.”

What’s incredibly short sighted is thinking conditions stay the same. We don’t have to rely on our senses anyway. We test and find answers we couldn’t find with our senses. We also have reason and logic and mathematics.

"Not undetectable at all. I don't get what you expect to detect."

“The mental experience caused by that brain activity.”

How absurd. No wonder you’re confused. Tell me the experience of being a car. Should be easy. It’s a machine.

“Think of it this way, if we didn't each experience the mind for ourselves, nothing about the behavior of the brain would give us any sort of inclination of what's actually going on.”

So what?

“We don't see information, we recall images and sounds and smells. At will. Nothing about any of that can be seen, but we know it's happening because we experience it.”

Again, So what? How absurd of you to expect an MRI to give you that information. Hook someone up to a computer with the right software and maybe we could. But it would still prove nothing for your side one way or the other; unless the computer spotted your soul, of course.

“You're not getting it. This seems to be yet another case of you forming an idea in your mind of what a soul is, then using that to check against.”

Like what you are doing? I’m only going by what you claim a soul can do and not do even though you can’t know any of what you claim because you can’t even produce one or give any proof of their existence. Others have other ideas about souls and what they do. No one can prove their claims so who shall I believe? No one.

I have no beliefs about them so I can only critique yours.

“For all we know when each of us sleep we could actually be reintroduced to the spiritual side of life. We could be spending that time in heaven. But because the brain/mind isn't operating and taking in physical information, when you wake up, there's nothing to recall.”

For all we know the universe could be an atom on the top of the C of a coke can in an empty parking lot on a world in a massive universe, which is an atom on a bump on a log in even a bigger one. So much for: for all we know.

"Love is the desire/act of making something part of self. What you base your acts or desires on are certainly conditions. So what? What else would they be based on? Got any ideas?"

“Uh, love. Think about it in the context of marriage. When you marry you agree to terms throughout life where you promise to do this and that. But according to you it's not really in your control. So how can you make those promises?”

According to you it’s not in my control. According to me I want it, I agree to it, I do it, It’s in my control even if the reason I want it isn’t. And I see you have no idea what to base your actions on besides your likes and dislikes/conditions.

"Clearly you have no idea what enlightenment means. Turn the other cheek is your game, not mine. React with cool logic and rationality to find solutions. If attacked defend yourself. Kill the attacker if need be. But don't do it in anger, and don't be the attacker."

“Yeah, I do. But if we're going by what you're describing, you're describing a sociopath. You remember Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs? When he was beating that guy to death they noted how his heart rate never increased, he didn't get angry or lose his cool. He was "enlightened".

Right, you simply don’t understand it at all. That’s ok. I wouldn’t expect you to admit your god is a nut job ego maniac even though its obvious to anyone who can read, but isn’t under the influence of the god meme/virus. You will say black is white to defend your myth.

"Natural, yes. But unnecessary, and something we can rise above. Your god should already be above it. But he's not, apparently. And yes it is weakness of the intellect."

“No, it isn't. If enlightenment led you to that conclusion, then there's an obvious flaw in that ideology.”

Lol.. give it up. Anger is a base primitive emotion you only defend because your god is primitive and base. Wow. What next? Jealousy is a good thing?

"Oh it's realistic. It's fact. Read the bible some time. lol..."

“Clearly I have. None of that is in there. Which means that's coming from you and your cynical inclinations. They're coloring what you read and how you perceive it.”

No, your reading is coloured by your belief in myths.

“That's the problem. I understand time well enough to be able to hypothesize what it would be like without it.”

Sure you do. Not.

“ It's really simple. But yet, in light of how clearly flawed this is, you're choosing instead to wait it out for someone to come along and figure it out. Like that's the problem. It's not something that needs to be figured out. It's figured out. It's flawed. “How'd it get compressed? Good question. That comes before the universe, so however it happened, it's supernatural and beyond the jurisdiction of science. Another one of those boundary lines.”

More silly speculation. That’s your problem. You can’t wait to know, so your quick solution is god dun it. That’s just silly. Don’t you ever want a real answer? I’m beginning to think not.

"So being all knowing is impossible. You make my case for me. You just won't admit it.

Stop trying to change the meaning of all knowing."

“What? No. “

What? Yes.

“The only thing impossible here is getting you to understand this. It's really simple. What number am I thinking right now? I haven't told anyone, haven't written it down, so it can't be known. There's nothing to know. It never physically happened in any way. Nothing can be known. I'm not changing the meaning of anything.”

I don’t claim to know everything. You claim your god does, and then for the sake of your fantasy free will, you claim he can’t know everything. You are contradictory and confused. Either he knows all or not. You can’t have it both ways, and from reading the bible he clearly is not, and being all knowing is a fantasy. Cool were it possible, but it isn’t.

“If Abraham was never put in a situation where he'd had to make that choice, there'd be nothing to observe or inquire about. No information available. Creating the situation made it knowable. Now God knows. Because it happened.”

Right. So god always knows what’s in your heart and mind is bull shit. I’ll call the Vatican. The pope should be clued in. God is not all knowing. He has to test people before he knows things. He doesn’t know the answer to “what if” questions. Yup, he’s limited. That’s the problem with primitive minds. They haven’t got the logic to see the contradictions and pass on primitive contradictory gods. Pity. But funny.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"The soul IS you. Useless makes it sound like it's supposed to be serving you in some way. It is. It is you."

Then where am I in dreamless sleep or under anesthetic?

"That's why this is such a significant point. Because matter behaves only in the way it can. According to the laws of nature. But we at least think we have freedom of will. We hold people accountable for their actions. Yet we are made of the same stuff as everything else. Everything else is determined by natural law."

But you have no idea how energy can behave in a dynamic system. You are the entire system. You have will, you have to make determinations. Everything is determined by natural law, and natural law facilitates boundless creativity. No supernatural required.

And yes, I know what you think this world is for. I really don't.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"What’s incredibly short sighted is thinking conditions stay the same. We don’t have to rely on our senses anyway. We test and find answers we couldn’t find with our senses. We also have reason and logic and mathematics."

Right, and that's my point. You can't dismiss things that can't be detected based solely on the reason that they can't be detected. There are components of the explanation that aren't going to be observable. Either directly, or in some way made observable through whatever means.

"How absurd. No wonder you’re confused. Tell me the experience of being a car. Should be easy. It’s a machine."

But we can observe exactly how a car is a car. When we peer into the mind we find nothing but more questions. You're missing the point. The mental experience is something that is definitely happening, yet can't be observed. If all we had to go on was our ability to physically observe a functioning brain, and didn't experience the mind for ourselves, nothing about brain activity would give us any sort of a clue as to what's actually going on in there.

"Again, So what? How absurd of you to expect an MRI to give you that information. Hook someone up to a computer with the right software and maybe we could. But it would still prove nothing for your side one way or the other; unless the computer spotted your soul, of course."

Yes it does. It's something happening in the natural world that isn't observable. So .... part of the explanation could very likely not be observable or detectable in any way. Logic and reason should indicate the involvement of intelligent intent given the organization and order and such. But that's not allowed because it's not "science". The whole concept is logically broken.

"Like what you are doing? I’m only going by what you claim a soul can do and not do even though you can’t know any of what you claim because you can’t even produce one or give any proof of their existence. Others have other ideas about souls and what they do. No one can prove their claims so who shall I believe? No one."

I'm sorry you can't have the comfort of the verify-ability of physical evidence, but that's just the facts of the case. We're going to have to employ logic and reason to fill in what can't be determined physically. Either that or we'll never have any hope of the whole story. It always be incomplete.

"I have no beliefs about them so I can only critique yours."

Yes, exactly. I welcome it. If there's a flaw, I want to know about it. If it stands up then it stands up.

"For all we know the universe could be an atom on the top of the C of a coke can in an empty parking lot on a world in a massive universe, which is an atom on a bump on a log in even a bigger one. So much for: for all we know."

I'm making the point that if the brain is asleep, then that's why you don't remember "thinking" while sleeping or whatever. I'm trying to make you understand in the context as you've been explaining to me this whole time. It's physical information. Physically stored in a physical brain. Physically recalled at will (somehow, but that's not important) and experienced. But if the mind is asleep, whatever your soul is doing in that time, whether it's actively thinking or wondering or whatever, it's not being stored in the brain to then be recalled or "remembered". I'm pointing out the flaw in your logic in your attempt to dismiss the soul.

"According to you it’s not in my control. According to me I want it, I agree to it, I do it, It’s in my control even if the reason I want it isn’t. And I see you have no idea what to base your actions on besides your likes and dislikes/conditions."

According to me? See, you're still not getting it. This IS the reality of your viewpoint. If it's actually as you say it is, this is the reality. It's cold hard fact. Matter is matter and does what it does. You can only be the product of your conditioning. There is no willful control or choice in anything. Anymore than a river has control over what path it takes through the landscape.

"Right, you simply don’t understand it at all. That’s ok. I wouldn’t expect you to admit your god is a nut job ego maniac even though its obvious to anyone who can read, but isn’t under the influence of the god meme/virus. You will say black is white to defend your myth."

Right, you can say that if you first put God in the place of a human. But as God, the creator of the universe, there's a cold hard reality that must be faced. An "ego maniac" is ridiculous. It's not God's ego. It's necessity. It's reality. It's the fact of the matter. You being God's creation, existing as a part of God's creation, but in an unnatural state, there is a very real problem there. Like cells in your body that behave according to their own wants/needs rather than in adherence to the DNA of the body. They're rogue. Cancerous. Dangerous. I'm sorry you can't believe God has the gall to demand allegiance. It's simply a necessity when you're dealing with the creator of the universe. Not God's ego.

"Lol.. give it up. Anger is a base primitive emotion you only defend because your god is primitive and base. Wow. What next? Jealousy is a good thing?"

They obviously served some sort of service in our survival because they exist. Anger and jealousy both arise because you care what happens to others and whether or not they love you back or respect you. There's nothing wrong with the emotions themselves. It's how you respond. You're telling me it's the actual feelings that are the bad thing. And you're the enlightened one? Not quite. Clearly it's how you react that's the issue. And reacting in a positive way to these emotions isn't enlightenment or some kind of high-minded horseshit, it's maturity. Pure and simple.

"No, your reading is coloured by your belief in myths."

No, my allowance of these things that you've already deemed inadmissible, based on ... well ... nothing really, is the only difference. I don't predefine what can and can't be true ahead of time, and immediately dismiss all the writers and anyone else involved as being less than myself to believe such ridiculous things.

"More silly speculation. That’s your problem. You can’t wait to know, so your quick solution is god dun it. That’s just silly. Don’t you ever want a real answer? I’m beginning to think not."

And that shows the fundamental disrespect you have for me and my view that renders you completely unable to get it. I by far am not just stamping "god dun it" across something explainable. It's a logically and reasonably reached conclusion. Don't cheapen it with your projections.

"I don’t claim to know everything. You claim your god does, and then for the sake of your fantasy free will, you claim he can’t know everything."

Let's just focus in on this one sentence and everything that's wrong with it so you can maybe understand where you're still not getting it right. Like this ...

"... you claim he can’t know everything."

Nope, never claimed that. I quite clearly said He knows everything THAT CAN BE KNOWN. But to be known it has to happen. Has to exist.

No matter how many times you try to twist it up, I've been consistently saying the same thing, and you've been consistently wrong. You think you've got an easy 'get' here to go ahead and dismiss everything I'm saying, but you don't. You're fooling yourself.

"Right. So god always knows what’s in your heart and mind is bull shit. I’ll call the Vatican. The pope should be clued in. God is not all knowing. He has to test people before he knows things."

Uh, it's right there in the book. I'm sure the pope is aware. It's you that seem to be coming around to this realization for the first time. It's not going to be news to the pope, but it certainly is an update to how you think believers think, or the pope thinks in particular.

Free will and everything I'm saying informs the whole story. It's a central thread in the overall story. It's kind of hard to pull out and then still make sense of it. It's an important element, and if you're not reading the story in that context then you're not reading it correctly.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Then where am I in dreamless sleep or under anesthetic?"

Well you're not dead, so you're still in there (though "there" suggests existing spatially). Only your mechanism that grants you access to the outside world is out of commission. So you're not forming memories or anything. So whatever's going on isn't being recorded.

"But you have no idea how energy can behave in a dynamic system. You are the entire system. You have will, you have to make determinations. Everything is determined by natural law, and natural law facilitates boundless creativity. No supernatural required."

I know it can't behave as you say it does. Just because layer after layer of organized systems may have accumulated, that doesn't then equate to conscious willful control. It's not that energy in a larger system is continuing to achieve it's needs in the same fashion. No, these needs are now the realized manifestation of a conscious being. I'm sorry, complexity doesn't even begin to explain it, and suggesting my understanding of energy is just lacking because I disagree is a cop out.

I find myself in the rather fortunate position of having found a flaw in my understanding while discussing it with someone who has a deep understanding of that very same topic. So, please, make me understand. Lay it all out and show me how it works. Show me the way. Don't leave me hanging.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

More on this ...

""Like what you are doing? I’m only going by what you claim a soul can do and not do even though you can’t know any of what you claim because you can’t even produce one or give any proof of their existence. Others have other ideas about souls and what they do. No one can prove their claims so who shall I believe? No one.""

It can be determined. That's what we've been talking about. The inconsistency with the rest of the natural world, the implications about whether or not we truly have conscious willful control, this is all related. It can't be willful control if it's all material matter, no matter your insistence to assign magical properties to energy. If you simply acknowledge the error in that then you have one conclusion left. There's something more at play here. It's a matter of deduction. Take away what can be observed and detected, find where the line of material ends and that's where immaterial begins. There's a whole world beyond the observable unaccounted for. And it's not for a lack of looking. It's because we're dealing with something else. Something more.

All while accusing me of injecting 'god dun it' you're injecting 'energy dun it' in the exact same way. You hold a belief about energy being capable of this, and you reject all rationality for what your beliefs state to be true instead. Holding out, through faith, that what you believe to be true will be one day confirmed scientifically. And that it's not God or anything supernatural at all, it's just a gap in our understanding not yet filled in.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

So, the problem for me is, I know what will is. We want certain things because we like them. We prefer one outcome over another, we choose to act in specific ways for various reasons. But why do we like certain things rather than others? Why do we want specific outcomes? Why do we choose to act one way over another?

These questions are all answered in different ways. We want specific outcomes because they beneficial to us or others . Want electricity? You have to pay the bill. Want to live comfortably you need a job or money from somewhere. These are practical considerations specific to being human. So our human condition provides many of the reasons we want specific outcomes, and why we act in certain specific ways.

There are many other kinds of reasons we act in specific ways. Those center around two factors: environmental conditioning and genetic predisposition. These two factors played against each other determines our actions, and the ability to learn causes us to change as we go along, changing our dynamic.

Why do we like what we like? That entire dynamic again.

We never choose what we like, to us, we just like it And on that basis we act. A desire is like a need. It becomes need, and needs trigger rationality, logic, and creativity to resolve need.

Will is the manifestation of our unique conditioning. Will manifests as desires and wants. And in the actions that correspond to needs.

In every way we make the choices we want out of our own separate will. The only thing we don’t control is what we desire. That’s controlled by our conditioning/predisposition. In every way we make the choices want, even though we may not know why we prefer vanilla ice cream, or steak and potatoes and having a wife and kids.

Now, what value does a soul add? What degree of freedom? Why does a soul like what it likes? What does it base its decisions on? Does it choose what it likes and what it doesn’t? By what criteria?

This is what must be answered for a soul to make sense, and yet I can’t see how it, a supernatural thing, gets its wants if not through some sort of mechanism. Can you logically answer this?

I’ll answer your other posts tomorrow night.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Yes, I get all of that. But the problem I have is you're still assigning human rationality to machinery. What does a mechanism care whether or not there's benefit to one choice over another? Yes, they're practical, to us. Because we have preferences. Because we want to limit discomfort and increase comfort. Because we actually care that we're in discomfort or we actually care that we're inconvenienced in some way. And that didn't happen because of energy. Energy doesn't care either.

What value does a soul add? That right there. You and your preferences. Your loves and likes and dislikes. You like that particular song or that particular movie because of who you are. Not because of the conditioning of your ancestors, but because you are a spiritual living conscious willful being.

It just doesn't work mechanistically. "environmental conditioning and genetic predisposition" ... much like your criticism of my insistence there's a soul, you have the same problem with this. You can explain it all you like, but you have no proof. It's all rampant speculation and nothing more.

You're right in that we don't choose what we like. It's already set. Right from the beginning there are things we like and don't like. As a baby we reject some foods, prefer others, laugh at certain things. It is already set right from the beginning what you like, which of course in your line of thinking means it's conditioning. Must be. Except that that doesn't make any sense at all.

I don't get why you keep asking what value a soul adds. Without it you wouldn't be animated. You wouldn't be an actively conscious being. You wouldn't be anything, really. So the value a soul adds is ... everything.

We like what we like and base our decisions on our individual will. Because we have a soul we experience and actually prefer pleasure. Which is why the brain has a pleasure center. Because whatever is the 'decider' in the brain can be coaxed by the promise of pleasure. Because the brain evolved that way then it only makes sense that this has been true throughout.

What I can logically take from this is that this is definitely not the behavior of energy or material of any kind. It's strange. An anomaly. Completely different in every way and therefore something else.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

Again you talk about energy as if it can only act one way. But you conveniently ignore the fact that a system is many different forms created by energy that together act in unique ways.

Hydrogen acts in a specific way. Oxygen has its own characteristics. Add oxygen to hydrogen and light a match and the combination is explosive. But as the hydrogen burns it mixes with the oxygen to produce something that puts out fire: water.

See how it works? Add different things/substances together and they act differently from all its constituent parts. Its a system, which is what you desperately try not to understand.

Of course electrons don't act like humans. Simple matter doesn't act like humans. Come on man. How can you just say energy/matter doesn't act this way? Of course a photon doesn't. Of course a human system does.

Humans are complex systems made up of trillions of atoms, billions of cells, millions of different compounds, thousands of different systems, all acting as one. That's clearly what everything is: systems within systems.

I see no need for souls. You keep saying I have no proof, but that's not the case. All of science points to the fact that the simple becomes the complex through interaction following simple rules, according to the laws of physics. This is as well established as evolution, which itself is this pattern.

"You're right in that we don't choose what we like. It's already set. Right from the beginning there are things we like and don't like. As a baby we reject some foods, prefer others, laugh at certain things. It is already set right from the beginning what you like, which of course in your line of thinking means it's conditioning. Must be. Except that that doesn't make any sense at all."

It makes perfect sense, and you still fail to enlighten me on when and how it all becomes set if we have a soul. So I'll try again: How does a soul get it's likes and dislikes? Are you avoiding this question?


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Yes, I get all of that. What I don't get is how these layers of systems combine together to become a conscious willful being with a favorite song and favorite color. You see no need for a soul because all the characteristics that do constitute a soul you're assigning to energy. Nothing about anything you said even begins to justify a conscious being.

A soul is immortal. You come into being when you are created by the choices and actions of your parents. That creates a soul. You are you right from the start. A spiritual being doesn't become over time. You learn yourself and what's already there over time.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

So a soul is immortal, but it gets its likes and dislikes how? You still haven't answered that. We know for a fact that we get them from DNA.

A soul gets its likes and dislikes through DNA? After all, you seem to be saying that a supernatural thing is created by natural procreation. That's rather odd, isn't it? How? Where in the DNA code are the genes for a soul? What chemical set of cues create that?

Consciousness comes about by a set of conditions and physical attributes. The most important of which is memory. We have limited sensors that create a world for us. They also isolate us. Memory gives the system continuity. Even though every cell of your body has been replaced several times from birth to old age, and you as a unit are clearly not who you used to be physically, memory serves to anchor our sense of self.

Needs play an enormous part in all this. they force us to act. Souls don't animate people, needs do. You don't even blink unless your eyes need moisture. You would do nothing at all without stimulus. And of course there is plenty of that from both outside and inside the system.

Consciousness starts with awareness of the outside and how it effects you. A single cell has awareness but not full self awareness or consciousness. But as cells join in greater numbers and the form moves from place to place a brain is required. Plants don't have them because they don't need them.

The sea squirt has offspring that are like tadpoles. They have a brain because they actually swim and navigate to their new residence. Once they find a nice place they root themselves, and while they are waiting for that process to be able to feed them, they digest their brain.

Animals developed better brains because they needed to hunt and forage. Lots of moving from place to place. Animals like mammals have a pretty good set of emotional responses to things.

Higher animals like apes have a good sense of self, and of course in humans its very well developed indeed.

In other words the brain and consciousness evolved together.

Humans have voice boxes that make many sounds. An ape doesn't have that capability. Some birds do but they don't have the brain power to develop language. We did. And that one attribute is why humans are so successful. Apes communicate with each other as most animals do, and we can teach them human sign language. But complex language never developed for them because their physiology doesn't facilitate it.

That was the giant leap man kind made. Then writing was next.

I don't see your problem here. The atoms everything is made of are interactive and creative. Those atoms are energy. Energy is animate and so the things made of it are animate and interactive. Souls don't need to do that. Its built in to the human system evolution created, as well as all the other biological systems that exist. Your objections don't make a lot of sense to me.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

A soul has likes and dislikes because it's an individual person. Not a machine. An individual has preferences. They like some things, dislike other things, and really don't care about some things. You insist on understanding this to this degree, wanting to know how it all works, yet you don't even have this level of understanding of your own view. That shows that you as well have a preference.

A physical biological body is created through procreation. But the individual soul that breathes life into that lump of flesh was created as well. Because both physical/spiritual beings are creating physical/spiritual beings. We can only observe/detect the physical side of that, but there's clearly more at play than that.

"Consciousness comes about by a set of conditions and physical attributes. The most important of which is memory."

Woah, woah, there you go, your cart is clearly in front of your horse. How did memory come about if it wasn't in service of an individual being making use of those memories? The way the mind evolved, with the ability to store and recall information, with a pleasure center, these things are telling. They're telling us what was there to begin with that these functions actually aided. You can't have consciousness coming about because of memories. You have to be conscious first to even make use of them. See how backwards that is?

"Souls don't animate people, needs do."

That's ridiculous. A will has to be there driving us to pursue those needs. Again, your logic is backwards.

"A single cell has awareness but not full self awareness or consciousness."

Interesting. Yet a single cell doesn't have the complexity you usually dismiss these characteristics as being the 'how'. Yet you acknowledge individual cells as having some level of awareness? Is that somehow created by the nucleus? Given the simplicity involved, you should be able to clearly illustrate how this mechanistically works.

"Plants don't have them because they don't need them."

Actually if you watch plants, both above ground and below, sped up, you'll see that they actually act quite a bit like animals. They compete for resources, they share with familial relations and don't share with non-related, they move through growth, but still pursue needs. Yet they don't have a brain. Are you acknowledging plants are aware as well? Without a brain? Explain that.

"In other words the brain and consciousness evolved together."

Yet consciousness has to be there to be able to make use of the capabilities the brain evolved. So consciousness had to already be there.

"I don't see your problem here. The atoms everything is made of are interactive and creative. Those atoms are energy. Energy is animate and so the things made of it are animate and interactive. Souls don't need to do that. Its built in to the human system evolution created, as well as all the other biological systems that exist. Your objections don't make a lot of sense to me."

And your explanations, which are much like the standard scientific answers, are clearly lacking. That's what makes it apparent that this is a belief system. The logic isn't there, yet some of the smartest people I know have no problem just going with it.

Like you, clearly an intelligent and well informed individual, yet you'll say without hesitation that a single cell is aware, seemingly unaware of the contradiction you're creating by doing so.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

No contradictions here. I've laid out a logical science based model. You are insisting on voodoo magic supernatural gibberish being the answer. There is no contest.

So now you want us to believe that souls have kids. What, they take a little from mom's soul and a little from dad's soul? Souls mix like DNA? Come on now you must see you are stretching this to the limit? No mechanism, no instructions, no DNA, but souls divide like cells combine like DNA and do all manner of magic tricks all without a way to do it?

And, you can't ever have a hope of proving any of it because you can't even prove a soul exists. You are making this shit up as you go along. I commend your imagination but there's no substance to it.

"Yet consciousness has to be there to be able to make use of the capabilities the brain evolved. So consciousness had to already be there."

Nonsense. It emerged from basic awareness. Consciousness is evolved awareness.

"That's ridiculous. A will has to be there driving us to pursue those needs. Again, your logic is backwards."

Need produces/triggers the will. You don't get it do you? Hungry? What to do? Eat or suffer. Hunger produces the will to find food. Without hunger/need you wouldn't eat and you would die.

Then there is the question of how to get food. Getting food is a need that facilitates creativity. How to get food faster, better, more of it. How to preserve it. All different desires brought on by one need.

Thirst. A need for water. Where to get it, where to get a clean source. Life or death need that forces willful action. No feeling of need and you would die of dehydration.

Controlling body temp is another need. Too hot, you suffer. Too cold, you suffer. That need brings about the need for shelter, clothes, heating, cooling, etc.

And the list goes on.

Your will is genetic predisposition as are your needs. Needs felt triggers will to resolve needs. No needs, you'd sit there like a veg.

Not ridiculous at all. Basic facts you should know and acknowledge.

"Woah, woah, there you go, your cart is clearly in front of your horse. How did memory come about if it wasn't in service of an individual being making use of those memories? The way the mind evolved, with the ability to store and recall information, with a pleasure center, these things are telling."

Yeah, it tells us basic auto response evolved into basic awareness, which evolved to self awareness and consciousness. Awareness is not consciousness or anywhere close. But they are different degrees of the same thing.

Memory is fundamental to most organisms. That's how animals learn. But again, the ability to learn is measured in degrees. A small animal has a limited range of what it can learn. More complex animals have a larger range. Our memory, like our brain, evolved.

It in no way suggests divine aid. I know you wish it did but it doesn't.

" Yet they don't have a brain. Are you acknowledging plants are aware as well? Without a brain? Explain that."

I''d say yes, they are somewhat aware. You suggesting plants have souls?

Plants have an endocrine system. Same as humans. It acts like a nervous system in many ways. An endocrine system is what nervous systems and then brains developed from.

Plants have hormones and other chemical information which gets passed along down the line via their circulatory systems. They can even communicate chemically with other plants, though in a very limited way.

But do they think? I wouldn't think so. Are they conscious? hardly. But are they aware? Certainly. But it's a very rudimentary awareness. All living things have it. Even single cells. That's biology at its most basic, one step up from pure auto response.

That's not a belief. It's an opinion based on science. A model. And It is also my opinion that it is far more likely to be right or in the ball park than super natural answers just because because the details are to hard for some of us to fathom.

You already believe in souls and god on faith alone, because you can't prove either even can exist. So its no wonder you insist beyond reason, and without reason they must have something to do with it all.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Right, so you're unaware of the contradiction. You keep trying to assign all the behaviors of the mind, the consciousness, self-awareness, and such, to the brain's complexity. Yet in a single cell there isn't complexity. There's just a handful of components. That's a contradiction. That cell can't have the same characteristics that are dismissed as being the result of complexity if it doesn't have the complexity to justify it. So whatever causes this behavior, this 'will', these actions that help protect it or help it attain needs, these can't be dismissed as being the result of complexity. I agree the cell is capable of these things, but your material/mechanistic explanation isn't lining up.

I'm simply saying that two spiritual/material beings are capable of creating another spiritual/material being. How exactly that is accomplished I don't know. But what I do know is that there's more to the story than just the material/biological matter at play.

"And, you can't ever have a hope of proving any of it because you can't even prove a soul exists. You are making this shit up as you go along. I commend your imagination but there's no substance to it."

But it's justified because it attempts to explain what's beyond the material, of which there is plenty. And none of it is accounted for.

"Nonsense. It emerged from basic awareness. Consciousness is evolved awareness."

So what exactly is aware other than consciousness?

"Need produces/triggers the will. You don't get it do you? Hungry? What to do? Eat or suffer. Hunger produces the will to find food. Without hunger/need you wouldn't eat and you would die."

Yes, that's how hunger works. So my car has a need for fuel, so why doesn't it's need create the will to go get it itself?

There has to be something there that doesn't enjoy the pains of hunger to be motivated to solve it. That's why we feel discomfort and pain, because it motivates us to solve the problem. But without a willful conscious self who experiences and finds these feelings dis-pleasurable, it serves as a motivator. But not to a machine.

No, no, no. You're just making this up. I mean, I get it. I get the fact that these needs compel us, but it's the actual part where we're compelled that you keep glossing over. The fact that we're motivated by displeasure, or hunger, or pain, or whatever. We actually want to bring these things to an end because we care that we're experiencing it. You're right in that these needs compel us, but compels what exactly?

I don't doubt memory evolved, but unless there was a conscious part of us capable of experiencing and using these memories, then it would serve no purpose and therefore would not have evolved.

"But do they think? I wouldn't think so. Are they conscious? hardly. But are they aware? Certainly. But it's a very rudimentary awareness. All living things have it. Even single cells. That's biology at its most basic, one step up from pure auto response."

See, you speak as if that's a determined fact. It isn't. Whatever awareness or consciousness is, it can't be detected or measured. I agree with you it's there to some level in living things. But the mechanistic explanation that should be there isn't. It can't even be detected. And unlike a human brain, in plants and cells you don't have the complexity to dismiss it as.

"That's not a belief. It's an opinion based on science."

Opinions change when they're shown to be in error. Beliefs, however, have a tendency to stay the same in the face of challenges.

"You already believe in souls and god on faith alone, because you can't prove either even can exist. So its no wonder you insist beyond reason, and without reason they must have something to do with it all."

Not at all beyond reason. Reason is what tells me there's something more than what can be explained mechanistically. What's described in the bible is the best explanation to date, especially given all we now know and the fact that those gaps in our knowledge are right where they ought to be if what the bible describes is true.


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Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

“Right, so you're unaware of the contradiction. You keep trying to assign all the behaviors of the mind, the consciousness, self-awareness, and such, to the brain's complexity. Yet in a single cell there isn't complexity.”

No contradiction there. I’m not and never have said single cells had consciousness nor self awareness. But if you don’t see complexity in single cells you aren’t looking.

“ So whatever causes this behavior, this 'will', these actions that help protect it or help it attain needs, these can't be dismissed as being the result of complexity. I agree the cell is capable of these things, but your material/mechanistic explanation isn't lining up.”

Will is a manifestation of genetics, how you are wired, so to speak. A single cell has DNA. You should know that. It has needs and is set up to meet them. Otherwise it wouldn’t exist. Yet it is one step farther than auto response. And if it is aware and feels needs, it is the most basic awareness.

“I'm simply saying that two spiritual/material beings are capable of creating another spiritual/material being. How exactly that is accomplished I don't know.”

In fact whether or not it is accomplished, you don’t know.

“ But what I do know is that there's more to the story than just the material/biological matter at play.”

No you don’t know that. You assume that because you already believe in souls so you have to try to fit them in.

"And, you can't ever have a hope of proving any of it because you can't even prove a soul exists. You are making this shit up as you go along. I commend your imagination but there's no substance to it."

“But it's justified because it attempts to explain what's beyond the material, of which there is plenty. And none of it is accounted for.”

For all the plenty I bet you can’t name a single thing that can actually be shown to exist. As far as anyone knows there is but one substance: energy. And all is created from it. Show a substance that isn’t. Can’t do it. I know.

"Nonsense. It emerged from basic awareness. Consciousness is evolved awareness."

“So what exactly is aware other than consciousness?

That’s our problem. You don’t know the difference between awareness and consciousness. Conscious thought, for one thing. Simple awareness doesn’t have it. Shut down the chatter in your brain completely and you have awareness. But in humans there is a more powerful subconscious/instinct which can be accessed. We have enhanced awareness even when consciousness is removed.

Remove that or scale it back and you have simple awareness. The farther you scale it back the more basic the awareness becomes, till you end up with auto response. Simple awareness might feel proximity, sense heat and cold, perhaps even feel hunger. In other words feel its needs, but not be able to think. In other words, relying on instinctive or hard wired response.

"Need produces/triggers the will. You don't get it do you? Hungry? What to do? Eat or suffer. Hunger produces the will to find food. Without hunger/need you wouldn't eat and you would die."

“Yes, that's how hunger works. So my car has a need for fuel, so why doesn't it's need create the will to go get it itself?”

Because it has no need to get gas. You do. It has no need to drive anywhere; you do. A car has no needs of its own; hence does nothing on its own. It didn’t form directly from nature as a car. It formed as rubber and metals and sand and the chemicals we make plastics from. Not one of those things need to get themselves gas or drive you around. And as a whole it isn’t a self sustaining system. It’s just a bunch of parts that do not interact with each other naturally in the way we engineered it to when we add the fuel that makes it do what we want it to do; hopefully.

“There has to be something there that doesn't enjoy the pains of hunger to be motivated to solve it. That's why we feel discomfort and pain, because it motivates us to solve the problem. But without a willful conscious self who experiences and finds these feelings dis-pleasurable, it serves as a motivator. But not to a machine.”

No. Not to a simple man made machine. But biology is not manmade.

“I get the fact that these needs compel us, but it's the actual part where we're compelled that you keep glossing over. The fact that we're motivated by displeasure, or hunger, or pain, or whatever. We actually want to bring these things to an end because we care that we're experiencing it. You're right in that these needs compel us, but compels what exactly?”

The system.

“I don't doubt memory evolved, but unless there was a conscious part of us capable of experiencing and using these memories, then it would serve no purpose and therefore would not have evolved.”

An aware part perhaps, but not conscious.

"But do they think? I wouldn't think so. Are they conscious? hardly. But are they aware? Certainly. But it's a very rudimentary awareness. All living things have it. Even single cells. That's biology at its most basic, one step up from pure auto response."

“See, you speak as if that's a determined fact. It isn't.”

It has a very good chance of being right on the money. It also has the virtue of being testable; unlike your model.

“ Whatever awareness or consciousness is, it can't be detected or measured.”

So you keep saying.

“ I agree with you it's there to some level in living things. But the mechanistic explanation that should be there isn't.”

I disagree.

“Opinions change when they're shown to be in error. Beliefs, however, have a tendency to stay the same in the face of challenges.”

Lol. I’ll let you know when you show any of my opinions being in error. It hasn’t happened yet. But feel free to keep trying.

“Not at all beyond reason. Reason is what tells me there's something more than what can be explained mechanistically.”

No, your belief in gods and souls insist on it. They depend on it. You can’t afford for there not to be.

“ What's described in the bible is the best explanation to date, especially given all we now know and the fact that those gaps in our knowledge are right where they ought to be if what the bible describes is true. “

You’ve got to be joking.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

"No contradiction there. I’m not and never have said single cells had consciousness nor self awareness. But if you don’t see complexity in single cells you aren’t looking."

Oh yeah, there's complexity, but all the complexity is in the behavior. There's actually only a dozen or so components. But the way it acts, the way it responds to stimuli, you're right, gives at least the impression that it's aware on some level. It would have to be to react as it does.

But therein lies the problem. You don't have the complexity of layers and layers of components to attribute these actions to. Just the behaviors without the mechanistic explanation as to how exactly that happens. Just that it does.

"Will is a manifestation of genetics, how you are wired, so to speak. A single cell has DNA. You should know that. It has needs and is set up to meet them. Otherwise it wouldn’t exist. Yet it is one step farther than auto response. And if it is aware and feels needs, it is the most basic awareness."

Again, notice how the explanation turns into supposition when you get down into the bits that can't be seen or directly observed or explained. It must just be aware, which must just be an extension of a simple auto response. Or, there's something more to life and living things than just the material that we can see. I don't think it's such a strange thing to consider. I think logic eventually takes you there.

"No you don’t know that. You assume that because you already believe in souls so you have to try to fit them in."

I'm not just making souls up. I'm applying something already described as being there, and already described as something spiritual and not the same as the material natural world. I'm acknowledging that according to all we've seen thus far, the most likely explanation is that this is exactly what we should expect to see if what's described is true.

You, on the other hand, are going the other way. You assume, because you already believe that we already understand the natural world in principle and that we're just waiting on the details to be filled in, you're willing to really stretch the capabilities of energy to make it fit.

I'm checking out the merits of an explanation that seems to be accurate. If considered appropriately.

"For all the plenty I bet you can’t name a single thing that can actually be shown to exist. As far as anyone knows there is but one substance: energy. And all is created from it. Show a substance that isn’t. Can’t do it. I know."

That's the point. It's not material. It's not physical. You're not going to detect it naturally/materially/physically. The lack of evidence, the inability to "show" something exists, is an expected result. It's consistent with what it claims to be. The evidence is the lack of evidence. And yet still a lack of explanation, even with all we now know. There's a gap there, for a reason. Because what fills that gap can't be detected.

"That’s our problem. You don’t know the difference between awareness and consciousness. Conscious thought, for one thing. Simple awareness doesn’t have it. Shut down the chatter in your brain completely and you have awareness. But in humans there is a more powerful subconscious/instinct which can be accessed. We have enhanced awareness even when consciousness is removed."

Yes, I get that, you're not getting me. Something, someone, has to BE aware. Awareness is only awareness when there is one who is aware. A being. An individual. That's the point. 'You' is what I'm talking about. Without a 'you' awareness is nothing. SomeONE has to be aware.

"Because it has no need to get gas. You do. It has no need to drive anywhere; you do. A car has no needs of its own;"

Yes, exactly. Exactly. And why doesn't the car have any needs of it's own? Because it's not "alive". Everything alive is compelled by some unseen force that originates from within to take action and respond to need. There are more components necessary to make this interaction successful. The need alone doesn't do it. It's the 'will' that drives the living thing to pursue those needs that creates the action.

"No. Not to a simple man made machine. But biology is not manmade."

Yes, you're exactly right. It's not man-made, but it's made. It was deliberately determined. I agree.

"The system."

Really? Did you type that with a straight face?

"An aware part perhaps, but not conscious."

Hmm. Perhaps? Again, just like to point out how the "perhaps"s start coming out when you're dealing with these bits that can't be observed. So awareness without being conscious? What is that exactly? Are you really aware if you're not consciously aware of being aware?

But your explanation does bring up an interesting duality going on in the body. The biological body has a mind of it's own, it would seem. You can't willfully stop it from living. You can't hold your breath or it's going to fight back. If you consciously decide you want to die, you actually have to kill the body. And it's going to resist.

"It has a very good chance of being right on the money. It also has the virtue of being testable; unlike your model."

Mine has just as much chance. More, really, considering mine was written about by people who didn't know any of this stuff. It's an established explanation. Yours is just an assumption based on the what's known in extending that out to explain what isn't understood. Mine is testable in that it can't be observed. It'll be action beyond physical explanation. It'll be a gap in the chain of causation.

"No, your belief in gods and souls insist on it. They depend on it. You can’t afford for there not to be."

Why not? If there's no God then there's no afterlife. We just cease to be. What's the harm in that? Why would I need there to be more? I don't. But I can't ignore what I see. It's obvious there's something more. That science can only really define where the physical borders are. It's inability to observe beyond those borders doesn't mean there's nothing out there. It means there are limitations to science. The much more likely scenario.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

Ok, so what happens to the soul of a miscarriage? It’s supposed to experience free will, but never gets a chance. Do they go to heaven to be raised by angels? Does god risk it? What if they turn out evil in heaven? Or do they just die? Your idea that we all come here to learn and use free will in training for heaven, rather than being born there so we don’t mess up heaven has its logistical problems for god. He takes more in miscarriages than abortions by far. What a dick if he just lets them die after killing them.

And you say all animated things have this supernatural soul. So what about a bacteria? If it has a soul, does it go to heaven when it dies? What does it learn while here? I take it it doesn’t have free will, so that suggests it’s doing god’s will? Nice.

Why would a god create bacteria? Why other animals? Why use evolution? He could just magic things in to existence with a word. Why are animals so difficult that he has to use evolution? The bible says exactly that. He magically creates all animals as they are today. No evolution. Yet we know otherwise. Even you believe in evolution, but the bible contradicts you. Evolution is proof of a natural system at work, which is why fundamentalists hate it and wish it would go away.

Yes life is special. Not just a machine. So what does that say about the energy that forms life? To me it says a lot, but all of it is speculation. Is there a cosmic consciousness? Is energy itself inherently aware, or does it inherently create awareness? I don’t know. But something amazing is going on, much more amazing I think than egotistical tyrant gods and supernatural magic souls.

And yes, awareness without consciousness is more than just possible. And a bacteria is an individual, even though it has no concept of that or what it means to be “I”. It just feels needs and tries to fulfill them.

Sorry, no, the version of a god created by primitives is hardly a good place to look for facts. What you do is take facts and try to marry them to myth and fable. Unsuccessfully, I might add, though you do try hard.

There is never a reason to resort to belief in fables just because its easier than sorting out the truth, even if you never find it in your life time.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

In the case of a miscarriage, that's life. It's imperfect and temporary. If there are some who live to 110, there will be some who die before they're born. Life isn't guaranteed. Tomorrow is literally not a guarantee for anyone. It's an important element.

Humanity has a chance to live and make choices. We're all interconnected spiritually. We'll all be able to share in all human experience throughout history as if we lived it all ourselves. Even that baby who was never born is a part of it. He/She played a role and was real for a time. If you're looking for it all being "fair", as my mom used to say to me, "the fair's in October". There is no fair. But, because they never made a willful choice, they never got out sync with God.

Bacteria is life too. When it dies, the life that animates it and compels it to live goes back to source, so to speak. I think what's significant about us is we actually have an individual will. What's significant is that we retain our own individuality and independence beyond death. Bacteria don't. It just dies. It's life force can carry on, but it's not an individual. It's just life.

"Why use evolution? He could just magic things in to existence with a word."

What makes you think that? Why do you think God can just poof and miracle everything into existence instantaneously? That's clearly not how God works. God wills it and the natural world becomes it. It all works exactly as He wills it. All but us. That's significant. There's purpose to all of it.

"The bible says exactly that. He magically creates all animals as they are today."

Does it? From what I can see it says God said (remember, while on the surface) let the waters bring forth this and that. Then, once on land, the land bring forth and then came mammals and eventually us. No, it doesn't say "evolution", but it does "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth", which is of course how evolution is accomplished. So, no, no contradiction.

Just a quick sidenote, there seems to be two instances here where your assumption about something, (it seems God would just make things magically appear, the bible says this), your own flawed interpretation, and this is what you test against to determine whether God's there or not. This is what you think you should see? "Evidence" of magic? Evidence of animals just appearing?

"But something amazing is going on, much more amazing I think than egotistical tyrant gods and supernatural magic souls."

Yes, something amazing is going on, and it's not a "tyrant" god or anything magic. It's spiritual. The distinction was made a long time ago between what is spiritual and what is physical. It's actually a pretty big theme in the story. It is amazing. But if you're reading it as if God's a tyrant then you're missing the amazing part. You're misunderstanding. All complex systems require order. The DNA gives the body order. A queen ant gives a hive order. It's how systems work. If there's going to be free will, where we're capable of acting however we want, it's going to be necessary that there be rules and order. And we're going to have to all willfully acknowledge the one being qualified for the job. It's simply necessary, not the ego of a tyrant.

"And yes, awareness without consciousness is more than just possible."

How do you know? Do you mean to tell me you experienced this? The obvious question is, if you're weren't consciously aware, then how did you form memories to then recall the experience? That doesn't make any sense.

"There is never a reason to resort to belief in fables just because its easier than sorting out the truth, even if you never find it in your life time."

You're committing the cardinal sin of drawing conclusions based solely on unproven opinion. What you have already deemed "fables" I have considered seriously. That's the only difference. You've already defined what is and isn't true. Based quite a lot on a flawed interpretation it would seem. Probably because you deemed it irrelevant nonsense prematurely, so you never gave it due consideration.

I don't let my own whims dictate what the truth can be. I'm open to whatever the truth may be. The evidence leads me here. Logic and reason leads me here.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"What makes you think that? Why do you think God can just poof and miracle everything into existence instantaneously?"

Oh come on, be honest about it at least. He says let there be light and magically there is light. The words on the page, man, not your silly interpretation. You can't put science and the bible together. You are being dishonest.

Light was created by the formation of stars 9 billion years before earth was formed. But in the bible it says he spoke it in to existence. You twisting things to fit the facts in with this obvious fantasy doesn't work no matter how hard you try. The words on the page don't imply what you want them to. Not once does it say or imply he said anything from the surface of the planet. That's all in your imagination. You want it to be there but it very clearly isn't.

I'm not the one trying to twist the words on the page. You've been proven wrong by the book itself at every turn.

Be fruitful and multiply doesn't imply evolution. It suggests the opposite. the directive is given because they were just now created in one day, and had not been fruitful nor had they multiplied. They were created as is, not as single cells evolving into cows. Because by then they had done nothing but to get to where they are.

"You're committing the cardinal sin of drawing conclusions based solely on unproven opinion."

No. stop projecting. that's what you are doing in spades.

"I don't let my own whims dictate what the truth can be. I'm open to whatever the truth may be. The evidence leads me here. Logic and reason leads me here."

You wish. You have no evidence and get upset when asked for it. There is no logic in taking the OT as literal or as truth. You have faith. You couldn't come to any other conclusion if you wanted to.

"And yes, awareness without consciousness is more than just possible."

"How do you know? Do you mean to tell me you experienced this?"

Of course.

" The obvious question is, if you're weren't consciously aware, then how did you form memories to then recall the experience? That doesn't make any sense."

If you shut down the conscious side of the brain you find the subconscious part of the brain. You are aware and awake but not conscious.

Consciousness uses inner dialogue, conscious logic, conscious reasoning. This inner chatter destroys "spiritual" states of being. Once shut down different states can be attained including out of body experience, experiencing a connection to all, a state of just understanding everything. and much more.

All without conscious thought or deliberation. Just from a will felt in the stomach area. A very strong will has to be cultivated.

But what I was actually talking about in that sentence was that a single cell doesn't have a conscious side, or a subconscious. Only very, very, basic awareness through chemical cues. A sense of proximity, a sense of temperature and pressure. That kind of thing.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

Yes, it says "let there be light". There's the words on the page, and then there's what you read into it. So how are you reading that? Are you reading that to mean God created light, separate from the sun? Light by itself?

Recall that the point of view is from the surface. Early on, during the age when the earth actually resembled what's described, the Earth really was shrouded in darkness due to a dense atmosphere. But as the water vapor condensed and formed the oceans, light was able to get through. Again, it's how you're reading it. Don't say I'm being dishonest. I may be wrong about this or that, but I am not being dishonest. I wouldn't waste your time or my own if I knew something to be false. I don't say it unless I full on believe it.

Your version assumes these "ignorant" bronze age people didn't even realize the light of day came from the sun. That should be an indicator that something's wrong with your interpretation, and not the scripture itself.

"I'm not the one trying to twist the words on the page. You've been proven wrong by the book itself at every turn."

No, I haven't. It lines up point by point. The only things not matching are the incorrect ways you're interpreting it.

"Be fruitful and multiply doesn't imply evolution. It suggests the opposite. the directive is given because they were just now created in one day, and had not been fruitful nor had they multiplied. They were created as is, not as single cells evolving into cows. Because by then they had done nothing but to get to where they are."

Where'd you get all of that? Realize how much of this is on the page and how much is coming from you.

"No. stop projecting. that's what you are doing in spades."

I'm not projecting. I'm describing exactly what you are demonstrably doing.

"You wish. You have no evidence and get upset when asked for it."

When did I get upset? I'm just trying to get you to realize that asking for evidence is illogical. If you understand what we're talking about then you understand how counter-intuitive it is to ask for physical evidence.

"If you shut down the conscious side of the brain you find the subconscious part of the brain. You are aware and awake but not conscious."

I'm not sure you understand what consciousness is. If you actually realize and recognize your awareness, then you're conscious. If you're not conscious then you're not forming the memories to later draw on to remember this occurrence. It just doesn't make sense. Stopping the chattering of your inner dialogue is not removing consciousness. It's removing the chattering from your consciousness.

"But what I was actually talking about in that sentence was that a single cell doesn't have a conscious side, or a subconscious. Only very, very, basic awareness through chemical cues. A sense of proximity, a sense of temperature and pressure. That kind of thing."

You assume, again. That must be how it works because you already "know" how it all works, you assume, so this must be all it is. Again, answering questions prematurely.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 15 months ago from Canada Author

"Are you reading that to mean God created light, separate from the sun? Light by itself?"

That's what it says. Read it. Much later he creates a sun. Don't twist the time line to suit your needs. Yes, they obviously thought light was created before stars. That's what it says. Try dealing with it honestly for a change.

"Recall that the point of view is from the surface. "

Bull shit. More reading in to it what isn't there.

"No, I haven't. It lines up point by point. The only things not matching are the incorrect ways you're interpreting it."

Well we are simply never going to agree on who is correctly interpreting the book. So far you haven't convinced me that any of your interpretations match reality because they don't make sense in light of the words on the page nor any scholarly Jewish interpretation. And they wrote the thing.

"Where'd you get all of that? Realize how much of this is on the page and how much is coming from you."

It's obvious from the text. Again, it's even traditional interpretation.

"I'm not projecting. I'm describing exactly what you are demonstrably doing."

No, you were projecting because you were saying I was doing what you yourself were doing. Which I wasn't.

"I'm not sure you understand what consciousness is. If you actually realize and recognize your awareness, then you're conscious. If you're not conscious then you're not forming the memories to later draw on to remember this occurrence. "

I'm quite sure you don't understand consciousness. For one, there is no reason you can't form memories when simply aware. Consciousness is the thinking process. Conscious deliberation. Logic, rationality, language, self awareness, self identity.

In real meditation those things are gone.

"You assume, again. That must be how it works because you already "know" how it all works, you assume, so this must be all it is. Again, answering questions prematurely"

It's the only rational answer at the moment considering there's no god.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 15 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

So you won't even give the authors credit for understanding light comes from the sun. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that, but you're not interested in that. You'd rather read it this totally ridiculous way because it supports your view. And please with the claims of dishonesty. If you're honest you'll acknowledge the explanation I already gave and how it does actually line up chronologically. But I'm not holding my breath.

Me- "Recall that the point of view is from the surface. "

You- "Bull shit. More reading in to it what isn't there."

"... the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

It says this right at the beginning right before He says, "Let there be light". So He said that while being on the surface. The beginning established the point of view. I'm not reading anything more than what's there.

Scholarly Jewish people also did not have the information we have now. They were just as in the dark as everyone else. But when read in the context of what actually happened, whether you're willing to acknowledge it or not, it lines up quite well.

"I'm quite sure you don't understand consciousness. For one, there is no reason you can't form memories when simply aware. Consciousness is the thinking process. Conscious deliberation. Logic, rationality, language, self awareness, self identity."

Right, exactly. I know this because this is something my wife's always getting onto me about. She's always present and conscious in every moment. I'm often lost in my head. She recalls incredible amounts of detail, I don't. That's why. If you're not consciously processing and observing information, if you're not conscious, then you're not going to recall anything you experience. To even be aware, you have to be conscious. If not then you're not consciously aware of being aware.

"In real meditation those things are gone."

Real meditation huh? Right. Quieting your mind is not removing consciousness. It's just quieting chatter. Something you consciously do and are clearly aware of.

Consciousness is more than just the thinking process. Consciousness is also awareness.

"It's the only rational answer at the moment considering there's no god."

Which is in itself an irrational answer.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"It says this right at the beginning right before He says, "Let there be light". So He said that while being on the surface. The beginning established the point of view. I'm not reading anything more than what's there."

Yeah right.

Too bad for you he creates heaven and earth after he hovers over these waters. They pre-exist heaven and earth, and become part of the flat earth and endless oceans after the earth has been made to rise out of them, after he creates the heavens/the universe by separating the ocean and creating a bubble.. He is not on the surface of anything. He is hovering over the "ocean of heaven," as it is known by the Jews who wrote the book.

News flash: The universe is huge, not a dome over the earth. there is no ocean above us. And your attempts to say they are talking about atmosphere is ridiculous. Much later god puts stars in the dome and a sun and moon he says is a light. Moon and sun are not in our atmosphere in case you forgot.

"To even be aware, you have to be conscious. If not then you're not consciously aware of being aware."

You mean awake? Unconscious vs conscious? Lol... that's just a way of talking. Yes, consciousness is a complex form of awareness, I said this from the beginning; and again, in humans it means all the things I talked about. Is a bacteria awake? Does it day dream? Think about that. You're arguing semantics here.

That's what makes it hard to talk about this stuff sometimes. We could spend days arguing about what words mean. When I am talking conscious, I'm talking left brain consciousness, self awareness, personal identity. Vs right brain subconscious awareness.

I'm also talking degrees of awareness from basic to full consciousness.

"Real meditation huh? Right. Quieting your mind is not removing consciousness. It's just quieting chatter. Something you consciously do and are clearly aware of."

What would you know about it? Actually you have to use techniques to achieve this which include not thinking at all. You go into it with left brain conscious thought, but that's what gets shut down. You then move to subconscious awareness.

When out of body, the first thought that creeps in, you are snapped back in to your body rather unceremoniously. Again, this is not basic awareness, it's subconscious awareness. Big difference.

I said:"It's the only rational answer at the moment considering there's no god."

You said: "Which is in itself an irrational answer."

Right. So saying: "It's the only rational answer at the moment considering there's no spaghetti monster god from outer space." is irrational too? No difference. You and I can not prove either exist or don't. Therefore both are excluded from rational models.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

Slarty,

"Too bad for you he creates heaven and earth after he hovers over these waters. "

Uh, heavens and earth verse 1, hovering over the waters verse 2.

"They pre-exist heaven and earth, and become part of the flat earth and endless oceans after the earth has been made to rise out of them, after he creates the heavens/the universe by separating the ocean and creating a bubble.."

That's quite an imagination you've got there. And I don't believe the "Jews who wrote the book" think any of that.

"News flash: The universe is huge, not a dome over the earth. there is no ocean above us. And your attempts to say they are talking about atmosphere is ridiculous. Much later god puts stars in the dome and a sun and moon he says is a light. Moon and sun are not in our atmosphere in case you forgot."

The firmament is not the universe. The firmament is the sky, which actually became a sky as we know humans know it now right where it says chronologically. When the oxygenated atmosphere formed. And no, the sun and moon aren't in the atmosphere, but they are in the sky.

"Yes, consciousness is a complex form of awareness, I said this from the beginning; and again, in humans it means all the things I talked about. Is a bacteria awake? Does it day dream? Think about that. You're arguing semantics here."

No, I'm not. I'm trying to help you realize that what you're claiming is utterly ridiculous. To say you 'quieted' consciousness and were left with nothing but awareness is just nonsensical. You couldn't recall it now to tell me about it if you weren't conscious to experience it. You can't be aware of something, yet unconscious.

"What would you know about it? Actually you have to use techniques to achieve this which include not thinking at all."

Clearly, and the thinking hasn't started yet, apparently. What I'm saying is very simple. You can't have memories of something if you weren't conscious while experiencing it. You have to be conscious to form memories of your experience. Otherwise you're not forming memories, therefore there's nothing to reflect on later and explain.

"Right. So saying: "It's the only rational answer at the moment considering there's no spaghetti monster god from outer space." is irrational too? No difference. You and I can not prove either exist or don't. Therefore both are excluded from rational models."

Wrong. You can't prove it with physical evidence, but you can reach the logical conclusion if you don't delude yourself with thoughts like assigning magical properties to matter or energy. The spaghetti monster thing is a waste of time. I get the point you're trying to make, but it's a bad comparison. One God is written about in ancient texts that have remained relevant in every age since they were written. One God is the basis of the three largest religions, and is at the center of all the chaos that dictates that part of the world. Not the other. No comparison.

But to say they're excluded from rational models is false. Rationality agrees that not all things in existence can be observed or detected, so rationality and logic says at least part of the story is beyond detection. It's irrational to try to say what's detectable is all there is.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"Uh, heavens and earth verse 1, hovering over the waters verse 2."

Utter nonsense. Verse one tells what he did. the rest tells you how. I see you still can't read.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

Seriously? And you followed that up by saying I can't read? Ugh. Okay, let's assess ...

"1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

Notice that line two starts with "Now the Earth...".

That alone should be enough. In fact, I'll just leave it at that and, unlike you who call into question my ability to read, I'm going to give you the benefit of assuming you are capable of understanding. I know you're smart. It just needed to be pointed out, and sometimes that happens to the best of us.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

'"Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth"

" And there was evening and there was morning, a third day."

Third day. Not first day not before first day. Sorry, it's in black and white in every bible. Hence you lose.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"They pre-exist heaven and earth, and become part of the flat earth and endless oceans after the earth has been made to rise out of them, after he creates the heavens/the universe by separating the ocean and creating a bubble.."

“That's quite an imagination you've got there. And I don't believe the "Jews who wrote the book" think any of that.”

Read the Jewish encyclopaedia on the subject. That’s where I got the interpretation.

“The firmament is not the universe. “

According to the bible they are one and the same. You don’t see god creating a separate universe do you? Fact: The writers thought that if you could get high enough on a mountain top you could touch the barrier between the firmament and the ocean above. Birds could fly to the moon and stars, as they were near and small. Sumerians believed similarly;

“The firmament is the sky, which actually became a sky as we know humans know it now right where it says chronologically. When the oxygenated atmosphere formed.”

It never mentions atmosphere. Sorry. God must have forgotten to explain that bit to the writers or originators of the myth.

“ And no, the sun and moon aren't in the atmosphere, but they are in the sky.”

You just said the sky was the atmosphere. What is sky then if not the atmosphere? Where does it end and the rest of the universe begin? Clearly the stars are in the sky and that’s the bubble surrounding earth like a dome separating the oceans here from those of heaven. They didn’t know there was a universe.

"Yes, consciousness is a complex form of awareness, I said this from the beginning; and again, in humans it means all the things I talked about. Is a bacteria awake? Does it day dream? Think about that. You're arguing semantics here."

“No, I'm not. I'm trying to help you realize that what you're claiming is utterly ridiculous. To say you 'quieted' consciousness and were left with nothing but awareness is just nonsensical. You couldn't recall it now to tell me about it if you weren't conscious to experience it. You can't be aware of something, yet unconscious.”

Your assertion that an aware thing can’t remember anything unless it’s got human consciousness is absurd. Let me repeat: I consider consciousness to be the human form of awareness. A high awareness including self awareness and a sense of self identity. There are many levels of awareness, and many of those levels do have memory and use them. Our subconscious awareness is very good at it.

And we can exist as purely aware beings for periods of time, though not for prolonged periods because we rely on human consciousness, reason, etc, to survive.

“What I'm saying is very simple.”

Yes. Simply wrong.

"Right. So saying: "It's the only rational answer at the moment considering there's no spaghetti monster god from outer space." is irrational too? No difference. You and I can not prove either exist or don't. Therefore both are excluded from rational models."

“Wrong. You can't prove it with physical evidence, but you can reach the logical conclusion.”

We have a different definition of logic, I see. You can’t reach any conclusion about a thing you can’t even show is possible, let alone fact. That’s why you religious people rely on faith to make you believe it is real. Hardly logical to me. Any evidence you think you have can be explained in many different ways that don’t include the supernatural.

“The spaghetti monster thing is a waste of time. I get the point you're trying to make, but it's a bad comparison. One God is written about in ancient texts that have remained relevant in every age since they were written. One God is the basis of the three largest religions, and is at the center of all the chaos that dictates that part of the world. Not the other. No comparison.”

Since when did consensus create reality? Sure people have deluded themselves about there being many gods through the ages. What makes yours special? Not a damn thing. Should we include Thor and Zeus then? They were believed in by millions for a long time.

Sorry, your rationalizations don’t work here. The spaghetti monster is as good as any comparison. Sorry you don’t like it.

“But to say they're excluded from rational models is false. Rationality agrees that not all things in existence can be observed or detected, so rationality and logic says at least part of the story is beyond detection. It's irrational to try to say what's detectable is all there is.”

It’s only rational to include what is detectable now and leave absolute conclusions open to new evidence in the future. Including spaghetti monsters doesn’t do you any good, and that’s all the credibility the Christian god has: Without real evidence, zero.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

Ah, I see. Because land is translated as "Earth" then you're juxtaposing the two. So to make this work you adopt a very modern concept of "without form and void" and say these people, though they didn't understand the planet was floating in space, meant that it was actually formless, as in, not in the shape of a planet. You're way overcomplicating it.

What you need to do is stop trying to read into the words, which you have to understand are translated from an ancient language which doesn't translate very eloquently into English.

The key here is that 'Earth' is paired with 'Heaven' here. There's a lot of significance there where Hebrew is concerned. It's speaking in this case of the planet. The oceans, everything we associate with Earth. This is about as close as they could come to referring to Earth as a planet. It's talking about the heavens (sun/moon/stars/night sky) and the rest of creation, the "Earth". Everything that's not "Heavens". It even says in the next line that the "Earth" was without form and void, and that it's covered in ocean. Now I know you take this to mean some floating body of water, which by the way also shows clear signs of being a meaning only someone of this age could dream up. You know Earth floats in space. So in your mind if the Earth doesn't have form yet then it must be dust not yet collected into a planet, or a body of water floating in the ether. That's well beyond what these people knew.

Just simply look at what it says and look at what really happened. It puts it in context and proves itself accurate. Don't get to hung up on the English translation. Remember, you're reading an ancient text written in an ancient language. The English translation isn't exact. In Hebrew the context of the sentence is very important in understanding how the word is being used. Being paired with 'heaven' tells us all we need to know.

[i]"The immediate context is verse 1, specifically the expression "the heavens and the earth" (12). It is a familiar expression (13) that is generally taken as a reference to all — the whole world, on the grounds that heaven and earth are the outer limits intended to include everything in between, i.e., the whole world (14)."[/i] - http://www.grisda.org/origins/08013.htm

So, long story short, you're barking up the wrong tree with this "Earth" argument. It's not going to fly. The fact is, it's right. The heavens and Earth did form first. Created in the same action. Big bang. When the Earth first formed, following the Hadeon eon when the Earth was still molten. It held all the gases squeezed out by accretion in an atmosphere once the planet was large enough to retain one. A lot of volcanic activity that filled the atmosphere with dense cloud cover. So it really was like it describes, covered in oceans and shrouded in darkness.

They were very right, the seas were first, then the land formed within them. That's exactly what happened. And it actually happened when it says chronologically with the other events it describes. First oceans, then oxygenated atmosphere, then land .... then plants, then syropsids (reptiles/fish), then synapsids (mammals), humans at the end. Yep, that how it happened.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

You - "Read the Jewish encyclopaedia on the subject. That’s where I got the interpretation."

Let's also keep in mind that anything in that encyclopedia was probably formed decades, if no centuries, ago. Even though it's their native language, there's still the issue of trying to interpret it without context. The context has only come in the past couple of decades.

Whether you want to admit it or not, the bible is much more on the nose than you're willing to admit. If it were nowhere close then I wouldn't be able to make a case for it. At every turn I can. That's because it simply fits. The difference between you and me is I'm willing to accept it could be true. I took it seriously. Considered it seriously. Didn't rule it out before even investigating. I didn't decide prematurely what it is. I was open to finding out.

You - "It never mentions atmosphere. Sorry. God must have forgotten to explain that bit to the writers or originators of the myth."

Yes, you're right, they didn't know to call it that. And how silly of you to think they should have. But it says water above and below. That's true. The Earth's water cycle formed after the oceans and before land. And part of that was the oxygenated atmosphere created by the cianobacteria (blue/green algae) in the oceans. That layer between the "waters above and below" are kept that way because of that layer.

If you can imagine, the primitive Earth didn't have that pocket of space between the dense atmosphere, clouds, above and the ground. It was like storm clouds that reached all the way down to the ground. A dense, DENSE fog. Then came oxygen. A "a vault between the waters". It doesn't say "atmosphere", but what it does say is true and right.

You - "You just said the sky was the atmosphere. What is sky then if not the atmosphere? Where does it end and the rest of the universe begin? Clearly the stars are in the sky and that’s the bubble surrounding earth like a dome separating the oceans here from those of heaven. They didn’t know there was a universe."

That's exactly what I'm saying. They were told the details, but didn't have an understanding as you and I have. So they didn't get it like we do. They were just naming off all the things that came that they're familiar with and in what order. Told from a human POV, from the surface. And from their point of view, given their lack of knowledge, the sun/moon/stars are in the sky.

You - "Your assertion that an aware thing can’t remember anything unless it’s got human consciousness is absurd. Let me repeat: I consider consciousness to be the human form of awareness. A high awareness including self awareness and a sense of self identity. There are many levels of awareness, and many of those levels do have memory and use them. Our subconscious awareness is very good at it."

Different "levels" have memory? It's getting absurd. It's not complicated. The brain forms memories of what it experiences through the senses. Where you're attention and "awareness" is pointed is relevant. My wife has a way better memory than I do primarily because she's always in the moment, fully engaged in what is going on and what is being said, while I am often in a constant state of brainstorm, like a child who can't focus. If you remember it, then you were consciously experiencing it.

"Since when did consensus create reality? Sure people have deluded themselves about there being many gods through the ages. What makes yours special? Not a damn thing. Should we include Thor and Zeus then? They were believed in by millions for a long time."

That's because there really were beings like that. Who lived hundreds of years and were thus god-like to "mortal" humans, just as Gen6 says. No, people aren't as prone to just making things up to believe in as you insist on thinking. You're dismissing too much, completely disregarding early humans as ignorant fools, and modern believers as the same.

All the cultures that had myths about male/female human in form gods living among them are all from the same region of the world. These are clues. Not overimaginative humans. Consensus shouldn't be so quickly dismissed. People aren't as dumb as you want to make them out to be.

"It’s only rational to include what is detectable now and leave absolute conclusions open to new evidence in the future. Including spaghetti monsters doesn’t do you any good, and that’s all the credibility the Christian god has: Without real evidence, zero."

The fact that anything exist, like the mind, that can't be detected means it's irrational to only include what is detectable. Clearly there are elements that aren't detectable, therefore your whole concept is flawed.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

The text clearly does not say what you imply. Granted you created a great dark sucker, but that’s all it is. Traditional interpretations by Jewish scholars don’t come close to your interpretation and they should know. Saying Hebrew is hard to hard to translate doesn’t work in your favour. If no one else has it right how can you? And saying the Jewish encyclopaedia is a new interpretation is nonsense. It’s decades old on the net, yes, but the interpretations are from tradition spanning back to at least 400 BCE or more. Rabbinical interpretation isn’t new in any way shape or form.

The only ones that try to meld current science and the bible in any way at all is modern Christians like you. And you are seen as heretics by the fundamentalists and young earth creationists. But that’s fine; they’re just a bunch of nuts.

Don’t accuse me of misreading and misinterpreting what the words on the page mean when you are trying to make them say things they clearly don’t say. No one else looking at your hypothesis agrees with you. Why? Not because some may not want to, but because it is clear your explanation is not in the text.

You fudge the time line because you say otherwise it makes no sense. Well that right there tells you something. It makes no sense in parts, period. Not my fault, I didn’t write it.

If creation was done before day one then where is the dry land called earth or soil and rock and such before day three? No, nothing in the text assumes a planet with water covering it. They didn’t have a clue about that. Your argument about the sky/heaven is literally unbelievable in the extreme. Sorry but you’re off in dream land on that one.

There is a clear time line. The book says 7 days which are counted by mornings and evenings just as they are today. Yet you contradict that and essentially say it’s a lie. Others have said god’s days may be a thousand years long.

The trouble is, earth is created on day three and in fact it was created 9 billion years after light was created which was day one.

You are correct. It makes no logical sense as written in today’s terms. But trying to make sense of it by changing the traditional interpretations of the clearly written but nonsensical text is a waste of time as you are just trying to change the meaning of the words on the page. Not going to happen. You can’t make a silk purse from a pig’s ear. It’s just a primitive myth. You can’t magic it into a logical text concerning reality. It never was and never will be.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"The fact that anything exist, like the mind, that can't be detected means it's irrational to only include what is detectable."

Clearly you don't understand what rationality means.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"That's because there really were beings like that. Who lived hundreds of years and were thus god-like to "mortal" humans, just as Gen6 says. "

Tell us another one. Fiction is fun, isn't it? You are very naive to think no one wrote fiction back then. Not always intentionally, of course. They had dreams, they had inspirations and revelations. Not from a god; from thier imagination riffing on the idea of a god.

People do it today. A kid is found ok in a well and it's: We asked god to help us find him and he did. by his grace our son is alive. Glory to god."

In fact they don't know whether a god helped or not. But that's what they believe. No god required. Fiction being written every day by believers.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"Different "levels" have memory? It's getting absurd. "

Yeah. it is absurd that you clearly have no knowledge of this subject but continue to try to argue with me about it. ;)


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

Exactly, Jewish interpretations, like religious doctrines, were formed centuries ago when we knew a lot less. For that reason. You're not supposed to "re-interpret", for that's heresy. Yet, one of the forefathers of the church, St. Augustine, said, "Biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge." It is just a fact that we now know more about what was going on in the age these stories are set than even ancient Jews.

My 'interpretation' isn't really that. It directly says what it says. I'm just putting it in the right context. That if you step through each age of the Earth, from a point of view as from the surface, then it matches right up with what you'd actually see from that perspective. I'm just pointing it out. If it was just my 'interpretation' then you could just pick it apart. But what it's saying is true. I'm just pointing out that if read from that point of view, the one directly stated, it actually does line up.

How am I fudging the timeline exactly?

You - "No, nothing in the text assumes a planet with water covering it."

It says the "heavens and the Earth" were created "in the beginning", then it says when the Earth was "without form a void" that the spirit of God was "on the surface of the waters". What it says is accurate. Before everything else it specifically says, first the Earth was covered in oceans. Between the formation of the heavens/earth, and the atmosphere, light did break through the atmosphere. That just makes sense in the progression as we now understand it. Each thing is accurately described.

Check the Jewish dictionary, the "day" thing refers to a span of time. An age. The evening and morning of an age is basically the same as the evening/morning of a day, just over a long span of time. It's a literary device. That one word translated as "day" literally means many things that refer to a specific span of time.

"Earth" was created in the beginning. Land on day three. It's clearly talking about land, "dry land", which did rise up out of the seas.

The fact is each thing it describes really does describe the major eras of earth's history. Before land, before the atmosphere, any of it, there really were oceans covered in darkness, then light, then the atmosphere/water cycle, then land, then plants, then animals, it's all right. I'm not changing the definitions of anything.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

Me - "The fact that anything exist, like the mind, that can't be detected means it's irrational to only include what is detectable."

You - Clearly you don't understand what rationality means.

Let me try again. The mind can't be observed. There's nothing to detect it. But it is happening. The only reason we know that is because we experience it. So, there's at least part of the story, a rather significant part, that can't be detected. Yet it determines so many physical things that happen. So .... part of the explanation is going to include what can't be observed.

Again, it's broken logic to think all that exists can be somehow detected by the five senses we evolved just to survive this environment. You understand?

There is nothing irrational about that. It's quite logical.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

"Tell us another one. Fiction is fun, isn't it? You are very naive to think no one wrote fiction back then. Not always intentionally, of course. They had dreams, they had inspirations and revelations. Not from a god; from thier imagination riffing on the idea of a god."

Naive huh? Because you've never seen anything like that during your lifetime, it was never true. You weren't there, yet you can determine what is and isn't fiction. Hmm. The problem with that is that multiple cultures, who spoke a wide range of different languages, and who each developed independently, all came up with the same type of characters for their "fiction". And they all did so in the same region of the world. Other cultures not in that region, should have come up with the same kind of thing if what you're saying is true. They didn't.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

You - "Yeah. it is absurd that you clearly have no knowledge of this subject but continue to try to argue with me about it. ;)"

That's typical. I don't agree, I argue, so it's clearly that you're much more informed.

What you don't seem to get is that, because this is the mind we're talking about, there's no evidence. No data. Just interpretations by people like you who think they get it. The fact that you say I have no "knowledge" of this is kind of ironic considering there can be no real "knowledge" of the mind for that very reason.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"Again, it's broken logic to think all that exists can be somehow detected by the five senses we evolved just to survive this environment. You understand?

There is nothing irrational about that. It's quite logical."

Nor did I ever limit our abilities to our senses as you keep saying. That's a bit of a straw man you keep attacking.

You want instant knowledge so god dun it is your only solution. That's not rational at all. Sorry. Just because you don't know doesn't mean it's supernatural. That's not a rational conclusion.

Until some thing is shown to be a fact, it's an invisible pink squirrel; a speculative hypothesis. Not to be taken as fact in any rational model of reality. You take it as fact.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"Naive huh?"

Yup.

"Other cultures not in that region, should have come up with the same kind of thing if what you're saying is true. They didn't."

Yes they did. You clearly haven't read about the gods and myths of other cultures. The Norse thought we were born from the arm pit of a frozen giant, for instance. How likely is that?

Am I to believe you believe every primitive myth is true? I hope not for your sake. Of course yours is no more true than any one else s.

And why in the world would you think all cultures would have the same myths? Not likely is it? But in the same region it's likely they would. So what?


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"The fact that you say I have no "knowledge" of this is kind of ironic considering there can be no real "knowledge" of the mind for that very reason."

The fact is we know a great deal about it already. More than you think, obviously. Yes it is a young science. We don't know everything by far. But you'd have us throw up our hands and quit before we get started so we can say god dun it. No thanks. I'll wait for more real answers. Some of which I've tried to impart to you unsuccessfully.


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Slarty O'Brian 14 months ago from Canada Author

"It says the "heavens and the Earth" were created "in the beginning", then it says when the Earth was "without form a void" that the spirit of God was "on the surface of the waters".

Yes, the waters that already pre-existed in god's heaven. He then divides those waters forming a bubble he calls the sky. From the water under the bubble he raises some dry land. They knew nothing about a planet or water on it or other continents etc. They thought, by their own words, that an ocean is above us. That the lights were close by. They thought the land floated on the water.

Earth in the bible isn't the name of a planet, it just means dry land. God created our sky with stars etc, and out of the sea he brought forth some dry land.

No planet mentioned or implied.

So in the beginning god created some dry land and sky. The dry land was not dry land yet, it was without shape and had nothing on it.

Land under the sea has shape/form. So this isn't talking about that. This land was not yet formed. What does that mean? It was not in the form of land yet. The bottom of the ocean has definite form. We can only guess at what that might mean. That it didn't yet exist but was on god's to do list?

Who knows?

The water he moves to one side he calls the sea. Before this it was just the waters. Now the part on the level with the dry land has a name. Before it was part of the waters.

Your entire hypothesis fails because of the waters above the sky, which you say is a lie and just means h2o in our atmosphere or some nonsense. But that is not what it clearly says, and it's not in any Jewish interpretation, nor does it make sense in the context of the myth.

"What it says is accurate. Before everything else it specifically says, first the Earth was covered in oceans".

It specifically does not say that.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

You - "Nor did I ever limit our abilities to our senses as you keep saying. That's a bit of a straw man you keep attacking."

Here's one of a few examples ....

"If I were still looking, I’d be looking for a seam. I’ve done at least 40 years of looking. I’ll ask you what you always ask me: How long do I have to look before it becomes obvious it’s not there?"

That's what science is. We have to have objective confirmation. Certainty has to be shown to the senses. It must be seen/heard/tasted/felt. Observed. Detected. Confirmed. All throughout this conversation you dismiss anything and everything that can't be "shown" to exist. This isn't a straw man, it's the backbone of your argument.

You - "You want instant knowledge so god dun it is your only solution. That's not rational at all. Sorry. Just because you don't know doesn't mean it's supernatural. That's not a rational conclusion."

It's not "instant knowledge". It's using the information available to me to find the best, or most likely, explanation. Discoveries like DNA should make it apparent that existence is deliberately intended. Intelligently designed. Intelligence and creativity and all the things our minds are capable of are natural products of this natural world. So why it's deemed inadmissible to consider the possibility is beyond me. It's just another case of trying to define prematurely what's what. Putting limitations on what the answer could be.

"Until some thing is shown to be a fact, it's an invisible pink squirrel; a speculative hypothesis. Not to be taken as fact in any rational model of reality. You take it as fact."

I'm just arguing it's merits. The theme of your hub is about the compatibility of the bible and science.

And notice even here, just two paragraphs after stating that you "[n]ever limit our abilities to our senses", you do it again. "Until some thing is 'shown' to be a fact". And how is that done? By finding a way for the senses to be able to 'observe' it.

The whole point is that there's plenty of merit to the idea. Your arguments for why it shouldn't even be considered fall flat on its face. The fact is, it's a perfectly rational and logical thing to consider.

Besides, by your statements you could say the same about dark matter. It's something that hasn't been shown to exist. But isn't that how we ultimately get there. First we imagine what it could be. Then find a way to test. I think Einstein said it best ....

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Exactly Al.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

"Yes they did. You clearly haven't read about the gods and myths of other cultures. The Norse thought we were born from the arm pit of a frozen giant, for instance. How likely is that?'

You're missing the point. Yes, I'm sure the stories got embellished here and there. The primary point is that the antagonists of the mythological stories are the same throughout that region of the world. Male and female, human in form, but immortal. Greece, Rome, Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley, the Norsemen. Your explanation is that this is just how the mind works. Humans making stories up to explain things. But the pattern of similarities suggest something else. If what's described in Genesis actually happened, if beings like Adam and Eve were actually created in a populated region of the world, this is something we should expect to see.

You - "The fact is we know a great deal about it already. More than you think, obviously. Yes it is a young science. We don't know everything by far. But you'd have us throw up our hands and quit before we get started so we can say god dun it. No thanks. I'll wait for more real answers. Some of which I've tried to impart to you unsuccessfully."

A little dramatic, don't you think? I'm simply suggesting that what we've found so far is what should be expected if what I'm saying is true. I never said to stop looking. We need that information to figure out what's what.

But you don't seem to be acknowledging one of the single biggest challenges regarding neuroscience. You just assume there's a lot I don't know and that what we do know is a lot. Wrong on both counts. The whole mental/psychological aspect of brain activity is completely unobserved. We can only really record how it's described by the subject, and we can only really interpret by relating it to our own mental experiences. So, neuroscience is inherently subjective. You don't get the objective certainty.

And please, spare me the "real answers" you've tried to impart. You haven't told me anything I haven't already read and know full well. I'm trying to show you that all you're presenting as "real answers" is nothing more than rampant speculation. You're "real answers" are just as baseless as mine and should be dismissed by you if you consistently applied to yourself what you're applying to what I'm saying.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

You - "Yes, the waters that already pre-existed in god's heaven. He then divides those waters forming a bubble he calls the sky. From the water under the bubble he raises some dry land. They knew nothing about a planet or water on it or other continents etc. They thought, by their own words, that an ocean is above us. That the lights were close by. They thought the land floated on the water."

You see, the difference between you and me is you're not basing your conclusions on anything but what the words on the page inspire in your imagination. The text is subjective that way when you have no context to ground it. I'm using the context of the actual history of the Earth, which is what the text claims to be. And it's lining up. You just twisting the words around to mean whatever you want is all you. And is based on nothing at all really.

"Earth in the bible isn't the name of a planet, it just means dry land. God created our sky with stars etc, and out of the sea he brought forth some dry land."

Yes, and notice how what you just described is exactly what happened. Out of the sea He brought forth some dry land. And that's how dry land came about. In fact, it says the waters of the world were gathered in one place, which is true because the continental crust originally formed into one big supercontinent.

But you're ignoring something really relevant to stick with this "earth" argument. The phrase that's translated as "the heavens and the earth" in verse 1 is a common phrase used to refer to all of existence. While "earth" in the later verses is indeed talking about dry land.

You - "So in the beginning god created some dry land and sky. The dry land was not dry land yet, it was without shape and had nothing on it."

Again, based on nothing but your casual interpretation of the English version of the text. No consideration like you'd give to anything else you're studying. This doesn't deserve your consideration so that's all we get. Something like the above statement.

You - "Land under the sea has shape/form. So this isn't talking about that. This land was not yet formed. What does that mean? It was not in the form of land yet. The bottom of the ocean has definite form. We can only guess at what that might mean. That it didn't yet exist but was on god's to do list?"

You're applying way too much of a modern sense of things to these words. All the "without form and void" is referring to is the world as they know it. The trees, the land, the grass, the hills and mountains, weren't there yet. There was no form, and it was void of all of that. It hadn't all formed yet. Basically, two humans talking to one another, one explains that all of existence before them wasn't like that yet. It was formless and void. You're way overthinking it. And again, based on nothing but what the English translation sounds like to you. No consideration for the way the Hebrew language is used, how it was used by those ancient cultures. None of that. Just a casual read through and here's what it sounds like to me.

"Your entire hypothesis fails because of the waters above the sky, which you say is a lie and just means h2o in our atmosphere or some nonsense. But that is not what it clearly says, and it's not in any Jewish interpretation, nor does it make sense in the context of the myth."

Not at all, in the Earth's actual history, the next significant thing that happened, after the oceans formed from all the water vapor trapped in the atmosphere condensed, which then allowed light to break through to the surface, is the Earth's water cycle formed, and the blue-green algae in the oceans began using that light and manufacturing oxygen, which created the atmosphere, which is what formed the sky (firmament). So, again, based on actual history, the 'waters above' is exactly right. It's an important development that had to happen before plant life would then be able to thrive after the formation of land.

See, it all lines right up.

"It specifically does not say that."

You're right. But what it does say is incredibly on point ....

Gen1:2 - Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep

"In fact, the primitive Earth long remained covered in darkness, wrapped in dense burning clouds into which continuously poured water vapor from volcanic emissions." - http://www.palaeos.org/Hadean#Formation_of_the_oce...


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HeadlyvonNoggin 14 months ago from Texas

One other thing. You've mentioned a couple of times this idea of "Earth", or land, having to exist for the oceans to be there. A surface for the oceans to sit. Actually ....

"When temperatures finally cooled sufficiently, the clouds began to condense into rain, and the primordial atmosphere produced storms of unimaginable proportions, under which the Earth groaned and flowed. At first, falling on incandescent rock, the rain evaporated, but the evaporation gradually cooled the crust until the water could accumulate in the depressed regions of the Earth's surface, forming the first oceans." - http://www.palaeos.org/Hadean#Formation_of_the_oce...

These are two different things. First, you have the crust of the Earth. The outer layer of the once liquified form of the earth that cooled and hardened into the Earth's crust. This is what formed the floor of the sea. Then came the "Earth". The land. The continental plates that we now refer to as "land".

So this whole concept of the 'deep' being water floating, or whatever, pardon the pun, doesn't hold water. Besides, even the word "deep" suggests it's not just freeform and floating, but actually has a base that's "deep", or far below. You know, if we're going to get all technical about the English words chosen in the interpretation.


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Slarty O'Brian 12 months ago from Canada Author

I’ve been taking some time to study this matter a little closer since you seem so adamant I’m missing something. What I’ve discovered is interesting, at least to me. We’ll start at the beginning, shall we?

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”

Your argument is based on the opening of the bible meaning: before day one earth and sky/heaven was already created.

I’ve disagreed with that but I’m somewhat changing my mind, and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, the mechanical translation says: “In the summit “Elohiym [Powers]” fattened the sky and the land,”

Fattened, not created. This says to me he was working with a pre-existing medium. Not that he created the deep, but that it was a pre-existing space, if you will. Not that he created land, but that he exposed and “fattened” it. By fatten they meant filled/added to/processed or manipulated something pre-existing.

What’s interesting is that there is another translation that makes the same point: Young’s literal translation.” In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth:

Preparing. Interesting word, and like fattened, a word that is closer to the meaning of the Hebrew text than the word create, and a word that implies a pre-existent state or situation what was fattened/prepared, not a creation from nothing. Moreover, a manipulation in the same way we combine and manipulate material to produce something new.

And as it turns out according to the writers of the Mechanical version: “In the summit Elohiym fattened.” The Hebrew word tysar reshiyt literally means the head or top of a place or time, what is prominent. The Hebrew word arb bara literally means to fatten but with the extended

idea of filling up. In context, the first chapter of Genesis is about the importance of the filling up of the heavens and the earth.”

They go on to say: “not its creation within a span of time (an abstract idea that is foreign to Hebraic thinking).”

There are many versions or interpretations of these first few words, of course. Some add the idea of creation from nothing. But that’s not implied anywhere as far as I can tell. It’s not faithful to the actual Hebrew.

New Life Version

1 In the beginning God made from nothing the heavens and the earth.

At first glance the Young’s version I mentioned agrees with you. “1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth –

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,”

Notice how 1 and 2 are melded together. No other version does this exactly this way. But it implies that this isn’t about a creation, but a preparation of something pre-existing in a state of limbo, so to speak. And it’s reveal later on tells us it wasn’t created at all but revealed by parting the waters, and then “filled” as it were.

The Message version:

1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

Here we have a version that agrees with my initial reading of what the earth being void and formless means.

The Voice version:

1 In the beginning, God created everything: the heavens above and the earth below. Here’s what happened: 2 At first the earth lacked shape and was totally empty, and a dark fog draped over the deep while God’s spirit-wind hovered over the surface of the empty waters. Then there was the voice of God.

This version also agrees with my original argument in which I said the first line tells us what he did and the rest tells us how. I think they all do, but this one is saying it explicitly.

You contend that everything after this is as seen from earth by god. You picture a water bound planet with god hovering over it’s oceans.

I on the other hand contend, as tradition does, that the opening line tells us what he did, and the rest explains how.

I say, as tradition says, that he hovered, not over the planet’s waters, but over the pre-existing deep. A chaos of sorts. No Jewish scholar has to my knowledge ever said this was an existing planet’s oceans, and even the Christian scholars up till the 20th century would never have held that view.

The Catholic Church tells us that the Old Testament is not to be taken literally. Mainly because they had too many embarrassing run-ins with science over the years trying to take the OT literally, only to be proven wrong. And they’ve had brilliant scholars working for them for two thousand years. But you think it actually lines up with science?

I could almost accept the idea that god hovered over the planet’s waters as you claim, but for the fact that god only later in the story creates the earth/dry land not planet, and the sky/heavens not universe.

First off, the sequence is all wrong. Science says the universe is 13 to14 billion years old and started as a rapid expansion of highly compressed energy. 4 billion years ago earth forms, and mankind arrives as us, in our form, a few hundred thousand years ago.

But god did it all in seven days, to which you reply: god’s days are eons, not 24 hour days.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

“Morning: The time from sunrise to noon. Breaking of daylight. [masc] [AHLB: 2035 (g)] [Strong's: 1242]

So is this an eon then? The first day? Clearly defined by a cycle of day and night. First day, not first eon. Sorry.

“And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”

Not a second eon. Not an uncertain stretch of time like 9 billion years. One day, evening and morning.

“And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.”.... “And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.”

Literal day three. Not 9 billion years later. “And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.”

“And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”

Very important. The lights don’t appear in the sky/heavens until day 4 and yet he made light day one and divided night from day. But not with the stars moon and sun because they weren’t made till day 4. He created light itself day one. More like he invented time and a way to tell it, light and dark, “And there was evening and there was morning”

You could argue that day one he created the big bang, and hence the first light. But being there were no planets yet he couldn’t divide day from night as that is only relevant to large bodies like planets. Space doesn’t experience night and day. And earth isn’t around for the first 9 billion years.

And the bible isn’t talking about eons or thousand year days as some would have it; it is specific: A day consists of morning and evening. One day and one night relative to a body in space. Not eons, days clearly stated no matter what translation. Not light from a source on day one. That happens day 4. He creates things that emit light for his purposes and places them in the newly formed gap between the divided primordial waters.

Primal waters above us, primal ocean below pushed aside to raise dry land which the Jews thought floats on the sea, day 3. Not day one or as you would have it, before day one.

No planet in this story. No. You could have jumped on the idea that the earth being unformed and void meant it was still in cloud form after the formation of the sun.

But obviously there is a problem he


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 12 months ago from Canada Author

But obviously there is a problem here in the timing. According to you it all lines up. But we know our sun formed before the earth. Yet the bible says the sun was formed the day after the earth was formed. And you would say earth was already created before day one. None of that is possible as the earth is the result of the sun reaching critical mass and blowing debris away from itself that would later condense, fail to reach critical mass, and become failed stars/planets. That doesn’t match at all.

The bible presents an accurate picture of what the house of Judah thought things happened according to what they observed and how they interpreted it.

God hovered over the oceans of heaven, divided them creating a space for us to exist in. They and many other tribes, including some native American tribes thought the heavens were an ocean above us because the sky is blue. Simple as that.

God then created some dry land on the ocean below the sky.

It’s days later before the first rain, so claiming as you do that this is referring to water in our atmosphere is obviously embellishing the story to fit your theory, not an enlightened new understanding.

You derive the idea the entire story is viewed from the surface of the earth from the fact that after it says in the beginning god created dirt and sky, it says dirt was void and without form. Which you say just means it had nothing on it yet.

Well that works for void but not for formless. Particularly since he doesn’t create dry dirt till days later. What happens when you are creating something? You go through phases of planning and construction. Till the thing is complete it isn’t fully formed.

What does an un-interpreted translation tell us again? Fattened, not created.

Clearly, to see things the way you see them you have to do a lot of gymnastics with reason, because it makes no sense. No, in no way does the bible line up with science unless you really want it to and change the meaning of the words on the page. It’s not reality. It’s an ancient model created by primitive people, and it shows.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 12 months ago from Texas

Hey Slarty,

First off I'd like to say how much I appreciate you dedicating real effort to this and not just dismissing everything off-hand as many do. Obviously there's a lot to cover here. To tackle it I'll probably just break my replies up in pieces, addressing particular points in each, so we're not both trying to cover the entirety of it in each comment.

The first thing I'd like to address is the bits that have to do with the "heavens", the "earth", and the "sun/moon/stars".

First I'd like to point out how the word "fattened" is quite accurate considering the universe itself inflated, and the Earth 'fattened' through accretion. Maybe a bit of a stretch, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Yes, there are many interpretations and yes abstract spans of time are foreign to Hebraic thinking. It's worded in a way that breaks it up into periods. Ages. The fact that it's interpreted as 'days' confuses things. Clearly, considering the animals were told to 'be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth", even the most ignorant of bronze age people would understand this can't happen in a day.

Your concept of "void and formless" would also be foreign to Hebraic thinking. Concepts like God floating over a not yet formed ocean, where it would later be, this is most decidely not what they meant and not the kind of thinking consistent with people of that age. That's a very modern reading of that description. Formless and void just means, "See all the trees and the grass and the hills and animals, none of that was there yet. There was no form and it was void. Empty. In a state before these things formed.

What I'm trying to make clear is that the actual description of creation starts at verse 3. Verses 1 and 2 simply setup what came before that point... "In the beginning". Verse 2 describing an Earth already there. It's describing the state it's in. Formless and void. Not in the way you mean or there would be no "deep".

The fact remains, what it describes, and the point in the account in which this description is given, are both accurate. There really was a time, before land, before plant life, before the oxygenated atmosphere or the Earth's water cycle, when the Earth really did have oceans that really were covered in darkness. What's important is not only the accurate description, but the accuracy of the sequence of things it describes.

As for the "timing problem", it's not a problem at all. Understand, it's not saying God created the sun and moon during "day 4". It is speaking of the sun and the moon, then in a relevant comment about these two objects, it then states God made these as well.

Again, the sequence of events is important here. After land (day 2)and plantlife on land (day 3), it then speaks about the sun/moon/stars and how God "placed" them in the sky. Sequence-wise, this actually lines up with when Earth's atmosphere became transparent to the point that the sun/moon/stars could then be seen from the surface. Before this the atmosphere was translucent, where the sun would light the dome of the sky, but you wouldn't actually be able to see the sun. There'd still be light of day and dark of night, just as it says, but no sun/moon/stars visible in the sky.

I'll come back and address some other points when I can. Again, I appreciate the time and effort you've put into this.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 12 months ago from Texas

Also, the words translated as day, evening, and morning are translated that way due to assumption. The word used as day can be translated as an in-determined span of time. And the words for evening and morning aren't specific to the beginning and end of a single day either, but rather the beginning and ending of a span of time. They work just as well when speaking of an age.

Again, I point out how the animals were commanded to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the Earth. Something that clearly can't happen in the span of a day. They weren't "miracled" into existence immediately in a single day. They procreated numerous generations.


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HeadlyvonNoggin 12 months ago from Texas

It's easy to get all distracted by the specific wordings of things, but let's not lose sight of the overall sequence. That is where it can't be denied. This text is thousands of years old, yet it lists the things that evolved in the order they evolved, and it does so from the point of view specified in verse 2.

If you re-tread the formation of the Earth, and consider it from a surface point of view, it all lines up incredibly well. And this isn't some vague ancient story. It specifically claims to be an account of the Earth's formation. It's very unique in that way. It's not like other ancient tales that speak of the Earth being sneezed out by some god. It's much more specific than that.

We can't get bogged down by the 'feeling' that this can't possibly be true. The natural tendency is to reject it because it can't possibly be true.

And it's not just the creation account. It's the first six chapters. Not only does it detail the formation of the Earth, but it accurately describes the formation of the modern human world. It accurately sets the stage for what's to come. This goes well beyond just trying to refute it based on the wording of a particular verse.

It's one thing to be able to twist around a vague text to try to make it seem like it's saying something. But six consecutive chapters where one cohesive explanation can be presented, and defended verse by verse? There's no hole here you've been able to find. There's an answer at every turn. This goes well beyond me just being delusional and 'wanting' to make it true. This is something much more than that, and it's time that be recognized.

We all want the same thing here. We want the real truth. We want real answers. I want the same. So let's stop getting in our own way and open our minds to some truly astounding possibilities. Just think about it. How likely is it really that I could take some fictional ancient text and line up six consecutive chapters through wishful thinking? How likely is it really that I could do so and defend it line by line with explanation? I mean, this goes well beyond just the creation account. I can give you a full account, starting from here, and leading all the way up to the modern world we know now. I can show you how it all lines up with the evidence of what's known of our ancient history.

What's the more likely truth here? That I'm just THAT delusional? Or that maybe, just maybe, there really is something to this? Is it really impossible that this could be true?

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