10 good reasons for a benevolent universe.... First one is that if the universe were not benevolent we would not exist . Second is that we would not be able to fulfil our needs and we would no longer exist.
Our existence depends on the universe or nature supplying what we need for survival. No air? No human life. No water? Forget it. No shelter? Too hot too cold? No humans.
I can name perhaps a hundred reasons that there must be a benevolent being out there or at least a benevolent universe.
But is there? Are these really reasons for the benevolence of nature or the universe or a god? Probably not.
True that were all those conditions I mentioned not right we would not exist. So the conditions preceded our existence and facilitated it. No benevolence was required, just the fulfilling of specific conditions.
Science recently found out that life in the form of bacteria and basic life started on this planet much earlier than anyone had guessed possible. Our planet is around 4 billion years old. Life began 3.7 billion years ago. It seems as though it is inevitable under specific conditions.
Can a process be benevolent? Probably not, even if its actions are in your favour. You can certainly see it that way if you choose to, but is it the truth? Not if the process does it all without any conscious deliberation, and of course we don’t usually ascribe cause and effect acts as being the will of nature. It’s just how nature works. The nature of energy/matter, that is.
Everyone says nature without realizing that saying nature implies a something that it is the nature of. From physics we know there is nothing else but energy/matter. That is what all things are made of.
So is it not natural then that being nature ourselves, nature is benevolent toward us? At least in a subjective way?
So in that respect you could say that there are hundreds of ways nature is benevolent to us.
But objectively we probably have to realize that benevolence is, of course, a subjective topic, and that benevolence objectively requires a deliberate conscious act to be benevolence. Being just the way it is because of cause and effect related to the way energy/matter transform probably doesn’t objectively qualify, even if it does subjectively.
I don't think 10 reasons are required for this to be proved. This universe is not under the control of we human beings. Then start thinking who controls it. Nothing in this universe could be changed by us. Then there is no doubt that there is a supernatural power that controls all of us. It is none other than God.
Why does it have to be controlled by someone? Control issues?
Then, God is to blame for all the bad things that happen. It is none other than God.
From the beginning of time, humans have rebelled against God and his teachings. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve rebelled against God and they got themselves thrown out of Paradise. Adam and Eve in my opinion had it made they could have lived forever and everything was provided for them. One act of rebellion allowed evil to enter the world. The "bad things" that happen in world or results of humans rebelling against God. We have turned our back and as a result we must pay the consequences. The devil is to blame for the bad things that happen and now his time of rule is coming to an end soon. Jesus will restore the world to the Paradise that it once was and it will remain that way forever and forever.
Logical Fallacy Spotted: Assuming that something must control the universe.
Can you define "excellent" in this context. What makes a reason excellent?
The reason I ask is because it's so subjective. There may be a reason you consider excellent, but is meaningless to me, and vice versa.
The thing I recognise in people who believe in an omni-benevolent god, is that they take solace from that belief, in ways they don't seem able to from a naturalist world-view. I think that's one of the reasons god-belief is so persistent, the Christian brand in particular. The idea that there is an infinitely powerful, all-knowing, all-loving being that wants to help us; that our worldly existence and all it's suffering isn't the end of our journey but only the beginning; that all suffering will be wiped away someday if we choose it to be etc. Those are powerful sentiments. The naturalist view that we are the arbiters of our own existence; That when we die we cease to exist; That life is simply the accidental by-product of natural processes etc. These views have their own merits, but I'm not sure someone living in material conditions that causes them suffering every day, can take solace from them in the same way. I don't know which set of views is the truth, but I do know that human beings suffer in ways that other animals don't because of our self-awareness.We are aware of our existence, and aware that we are suffering, which creates a whole different layer of suffering on an existential level. So one of the reasons I think a benevolent god exists, is because human beings need one to. Not sure that's an excellent reason, but it is what it is.
Don, now you've gotten down to the meat and bones. Some need a God therefore he exists. The human mind is an amazing thing and when it needs solace to survive it creates that illusion for survival.
Everyone wants a wonderland after death, but just because we want it doesn't mean we get it.
Being self aware can suck if you don't stay in the now. Imagining the future and all the horrors it may bring with life after death is no picnic, so we focus on the now when we catch ourselves drifting.
Further, humans are not the only self aware creatures, while the others may not be as self aware they are still aware. But all animals know they are suffering.
Yes, and I think it's a real possibility that evolutionary biology plays some part in the mechanism of god-belief.
I think the god concept is the distillation of hope (the ability to believe in a positive outcome regardless of material conditions). It is every 'good' thing conceivable in one. Asking why some people have a need for god, is like asking why some people need to hope.
For some people god is their ultimate source of hope, their only source of hope, depending on their circumstances. I see non theists decrying belief in god, but I don't see them offering a source of hope or solace that matches the concept of god.
Hopelessness, commonly known as despair, is not conducive to survival. So the ability to hope could have evolved as a defence mechanism, a form of mental resilience against the psychological trauma of self-awareness (knowledge that we will die). An adaptation that aids our survival.
The Christian concept of god is one of the clearest articulations of unadulterated hope there is: god is perfection. There literally couldn't be anything better. That's why I think god-belief is here to stay, at least for a while. Of course, none of that says anything about whether god exists. It's entirely possible that our ability to conceptualise a perfect being, is some kind of fuzzy perception of a deity. Then again it might not be.
Wether we need it or not is irrelevant. The super-ego can and sometimes does create a simulation of the particular version of God we were either taught or need.
You think your particular version of God is perfect as does the Muslims. Who's to say? We have all kinds of claims of God helping people with both little and big things, but no evidence to support those claims. No evidence that prayer works. No evidence that any God exists at all. It appears the only place he is exists is in the minds of those that are afraid of death and those that want to cheat death.
Have I professed a belief in a particular god? If so, please point out which 'version' of god is supposedly my version.
Yes, human beings tend to be afraid of death, and tend to dislike to suffer. As such belief in an eternal life without suffering is almost inevitable for some people. If the concept of god did not exist, we would have to invent it. Rightly or wrongly, the idea of god brings with it solace for lots of people. You don't like god-belief, okay, what's your alternative? What does your world view offer that brings solace to those who may be anxious about all the things their god-belief addresses for them.
You appear to be comfortable with the illusion, but the problem is people profess that the illusion is something I need as well. No thanks, I choose life. We are here for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time, the sun can't shine everyday.
So what do people that don't believe in God what do you believe? Just look around you there are things that show that some higher intelligence created them. One of them is the human being. There is no way that we just evolved from some monkey.
The same old argument(all complex things need creation, but god is too complex to be created), don't you wonder who made this god thing? At least aren't you ashamed to make a contradictory statement?
Looks like you haven't yet evolved. Leave it man, we are humans now.
You're right we didn't evolve from monkeys. But we do have a common ancestor with chimps and other apes. Every bit of evidence we find points to that, from genetics to the fossil records.
You forgot to finish the sentence.
"Name 10 excellent reasons why there is a God or benevolent universal being... so that a group of Atheists can spend the next month, via this thread, telling you that you're either a liar or a fool."
I meant NOT to finish the sentence. I really DON'T care if atheists disprove me. That is their prerogative. I will not argue as to EACH, his/her own!
I KNOW that THERE is a God, Universal Being, Higher Consciousness or whatever you elect to name the Supreme Being or Consciousness. The goodness in life is EVIDENT that there is a God consciousness permeating our being and essence. All of us co-exist with HIM/HER.
Beth, atheists can ARGUE all THEY want. I will NOT RESPOND. They can ARGUE ad infinitum. Each has a right to his/her opinion. I have NOTHING against atheists. They have a right to their ethical system as traditionalist religionists and spiritually inclined people do their respective ethical systems.
It's smart not to argue the point. It doesn't seem to go anywhere.
"WONDERFUL EVENTS THAT TESTIFY TO GOD'S DIVINE GLORY"
You cannot differentiate between God and those who claim to be followers can you? If your local garage did a poor service on your car would you blame the vehicle manufacturer?
The picture above differentiates them perfectly.
What does that have to do with anything? Could you have created a more irrelevant example?
Stalin didn't believe in god and he had millions killed in the pursuit of his dictatorial dreams. Does that make all non believers dictatorial killers then?
not any more than it makes Catholics with Mustaches (hitler) genocidal supremacists.
Absolutely. So why judge god for what men do?
Belief in god has nothing to do with
with power bestowed by man upon them do.
The early popes ( and even thise today) for instance had nothing to do with glorification of god it was more about their own power and worship by followers.
Sorry, Atheists don't judge any God. We do however sometimes judge people who tell us a God will be angry with us if we don't do and say as they do.
We don't judge god. We see no evidence of god. All we see are people that claim to follow him.
Actually, no I take that back. If we're looking at specific god claims, like the god of the bible for instance, we CAN actually look at the actions claimed by that specific god. It doesn't mean that we accept that they were DONE by god or that they demonstrate that god exists, but we can look at its attributes, actions and behavior and make a determination based on those criteria.
I lost your point on the early popes. Did they glorify themselves or glorify god?
Although sometimes I have to talk about God during discussions with theists, I try not to actually judge Gods action, but judge the ethics of the writers of the bible.
The Bible was a manmade construct explaining events before the benefit of science and other forms of advanced knowledge/technologies. The Bible underwent many interpretations and many translations. There are many books and passages in the Bible that were not included because of the respective social agenda of the day.
When one reads the Bible, he/she must do so with a questioning and inquisitive mind. The Bible is meant to be metaphorical, not to be taken literally. What was the social construct of the time and why? The creation story is a metaphorical story of evolution. The world was NOT created in 7 days, the creation story was a way to symbolically describe the process of evolution, pure and simple. I AM DONE, again, have a lovely day, I KNOW I will!
Sure some (not all) say that now that science has shown that the world is more than 6000 years old, but not long ago most thought all necessary information came from the bible. It wasn't long ago that suggesting the earth is old and not the centre of the universe would have brought heresy charges.
Both of you make a good point regarding formulating an idea of the God of the bible or the writers of the bible, But I have a crazy idea regarding both points.. follow me as I split the two:
JM, you stated that we can judge God' actions based on the bible. If we look solely at the bible as the evidence of who or what God is (Which I know the bible is the only evidence believers provide), then no matter what you see when you look at the bible, you're right. As you both know, the Bible isn't really simply one book. It is a compilation of several different books. These books were written by different people, each with their own ideas of what (or who) God is to them. With this in mind, based on what an individual reader is looking for, they can find specific scriptures to back their idea up. We like to call this cherry picking, but considering that the bible is a collection of books with one book, I question this term because we are looking at different books with different perspectives. This is partly why there are so many different denominations and ideas of the bible.. There are some that see him as forgiving of all (universalists) that can find the books that support their view, some see God as a loving father.. and so on and so forth. On the flip side, each person can look at the other books of the bible and see the extortion side (as Rad loves to point out), the tyrannical, psychotic side (as others point to him as), the vengeful side (evangelicals).. etc. Ultimately, each individual journey is dependent and hinged on which individual writer resonates best with what the reader is looking for and needing.
Regarding the questioning of the ethics of the writers of the bible, we have to remember that not all of the writers are saying the same thing regarding God. With this in mind, it is not as easy to judge the ethics of the writers because we have no way of knowing what their intentions were when they wrote their specific book(s) of the bible.
Ultimately, it is easy to find any specific "truth" (so to speak) when you look for the information you need to support a specific biblical position
You've made some good points and I'd like to add something if I may. If as you say the bible is a collection of what people/the writers think or thought God was a few thousand years ago, why bother with it. It wasn't long ago people, notably even Thomas Aquinas thought that women were just watered down men and the only purpose they serve in reproduction was to incubate the baby. That's why women can't be ordained into the Roman Catholic church. And remarkable it stands today. We no longer entertain that as science anymore why would we listen to people telling us the universe was created in 6 days a few thousand years ago? Sure it's interesting to note what people thought back then but it's absurd to entertain it know. I recently watched a video of a muslim preaching about the science of the Qur'an and was amazed to watch people clap as he explained that only the Qur'an knew the earth was shaped like an egg 1400 years ago and how the sun's orbit is responsible for our day and night.
This is a question that is not easily answered by one person. Everyone has their own reasons as to why they believe and why they still "bother" (to quote your word) with the bible. Maybe you should introduce this as a forum topic.
It appears most here still think the bible is the direct word of God so perhaps there is no point.
They wanted pure, unadulterated power for THEMSELVES. They wanted PURE POWER over their congregants to bend to THEIR wills. God was NEVER in the equation. From the history of its inception, the Roman church's intent was POWER.
That is why the papacy was instituted in addition to implementations such as indulgences and other laws, they wanted preeminence and dominance. Read some history books on the subject. Religions, not only Roman Catholicism, are about power to influence congregants to the respective religions metholodogy. God is beyond that. God and religion are not synonymous but often antonymous.
Religions wants humankind to give power to THEIR methodology. It often prevents people from finding God and inner peace. Religious authorities want to be THE AUTHORS of everyone's lives. Well, NOT going to happen. Religions often separate people from the Godhead or Universal Consciousness. Many people are mired in religionology, instead of spiritology. There is a MARKED difference between the two.
Themselves as they so now.
One of the other posters expressed it very nicely, I don't have to follow a religion to believe in a god.
But without an underlying set of beliefs as defined by a religion, you would have no definition our concept of the god you worship.
/riˈlijən/NounThe belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.Details of belief as taught or discussed.
Synonymsfaith - belief - creed -
I see the "its not a religion, its a relationship" argument all of the time. Its an attempt to distance oneself from the negative stigmas of religion while still maintaining ones faith.
That may very well be true, but you are implying that I am not intelligent enough to make a decision on whether or not there is a god or that I have been indoctrinated with such a belief.
And how on earth have I done that? I don't understand where that assumption came from. It certainly wasn't in my thought processes. I think you're looking for insults where there aren't any. At all.
You implied that I could not understand the bible without instruction from some recognised religious organisation.
Without the interference of organised power seeking religions it may be that peoe would understand better why there is a god.
I am quite sure that "But without an underlying set of beliefs as defined by a religion, you would have no definition our concept of the god you worship" this statement is implying i need a religious organisation to understand how to worship or believe in god.
Its funny how people dont see what they hae implied.
Without your parents or teachers telling you about god, how did you first know about god? I do not think you were born into a society where god is not discussed. If it was so, how come you discuss the christian concept of god and not a muslim's or Masai's?
"i need a religious organisation to understand how to worship or believe in god."
No, you do not need a religion to understand how to worship or believe in god and you can start one, but too know about a(any) "god" you need a religion and to know what god said 'to believe in' god you certainly need a religious text or person to tell you what god said, unless you are hallucinating that someone is talking to you.
You know what's really funny? That you have decided what I did or did not imply and then ran with it to make it sound like I insulted you and called you stupid when I did nothing of the sort. It has nothing to do with your intelligence. Religion is a set of rules and doctrines and definitions that teach and instruct purple about a particular god. In America it is practically impossible to grow up without hearing about christianity. Its everywhere. Christianity is a religion. Therefore, in order to come to a belief about christianity,you had to learn something about the religion.
Nothing I said was the least bit insulting, and there were no secrect, hidden implications. Stop looking for insults where they don't exist, and a productive conversation may be a lot more likely
Isn't that exactly the same as knowing there is no god? So if you are brought up around atheist then you will undoubtedly become an atheist. Is it the same with evolutionists?
Religion was never mentioned when i was growing up (apart from the the few expletives my father uttered now and again) in fact i didn't even know my father or mother believed there was a god until i was about 14 ( i don't remember any reference before that) and we certainly didn't have a bible or Koran in the house although i do seem to remember we had a copy of Darwin's Origin of the Species (not that i read it though). .
I went to a non denominational school where religious education was taught on the basis of all religions and even evolution ( which by definition can also be seen as a religion) and therefor i developed my own beliefs based not on what my family or teachers forced me to believe but the evidence how i see it.
How did you come to the conclusion there isn't a god?
If you look at the top of the page there is a "chronological" and if you click it you will be able to see individual comments and will be able to reply to my comment instead of replying tom your own.
Now to answer your questions.
I said your parents telling about god, that is somebody have to tell you what the term means. Even an atheistic family discuss god, even if just to refute. [Religion is different as you need to be born into or you should have such influential persons that belong to any particular religion to attract you to one.]
How did I came to the conclusion?
Unlike you I was born into a christian family but a pluralistic society(India). I studied my religion and the dominant one(hinduism) and tried to figure out what they says. I found out that they are all using euphemisms for 'death'. Then I tried to understand god. How do you go about, first by knowing what that term means and I found out that the term carry no particular meaning. Everybody has a different idea that suits their psychological needs. And the proposition of a creator is an absurd idea that is contradictory in its conceptual stage itself though people use clever tricks and verbal diarrhea to cover up the inherent contradiction.
Briefly, saying god exists is akin to saying abracadabra exists, meaningless.
And when people say they believe in god, what they really say is that they believe those people who say there is god.
I am just as interested in why people believe there is no god as they are in why i believe there is a god.
You have come to the conclusion that there isn't one and i have come to the conclusion from the same evidence that there is one.
Not evidence Silverspeeder, not evidence but the logic (or illogic) and (ir)rationality of the statements about god. The proposer of a creator contradict himself . If you say universe is god I whole heartedly agree with you but that god do not talk nor "create".
So can you tell me what your God is without contradicting yourself?
I believe everything has a maker therefor i believe everything in the universe has a maker i see no evidence to suggest otherwise.
Ok, let us agree everything has a maker.
God is either 1) a thing, so by your logic he needs a maker or 2) he is the opposite of a thing - nothing, in which case he do not exist.
If god had a maker logically it would be a god so there still would be an existence.
I believe god is infinite, he has always been and always will be.
If he had a maker, he too will have a maker, who too will have a maker..... again a logical contradiction.
Now a maker should have the ability to think and according to you no thinking being can come into existence without the help of other but then you contradict yourself by saying god is eternal (you said infinite but I think you meant eternal).
You have difficulty in accepting that a non-thinking collection of matter, the universe, as eternal but you have no problem in accepting that a complex organism, god, as eternal?
See the contradiction, you say simple things need creation while complex things are self created.
In you second sentence you contradict your first.
Eternal has an infinite number or no number whichever way you look at it.
If something is eternal or infinite does it really need to be created, indeed if it was made/created it wouldn't be eternal or infinite as it would have a beginning.
As most scientist seem to agree that the universe has a beginning and that matter has an end the universe is neither infinite or eternal.
Evolutionists believe all complex things just came into being, so where is the difference? Some who argues that god just couldn't exsist because it needs a maker then states everything came into being because it was a chemical reaction is quite amusing.
You are confusing eternal with infinite with incessant counting.
Naturally, but it is you who said everything needs a creator.
Make up your mind now, is god a thing(which needs creation, as per your argument) or is god eternal(then things do not need creation and as things do not need creation there is no need for god).
As you do not believe the scientists when they say there was nothing behind big bang, why do you want to bring scientists into this discussion. I am not interested in what others say because they cannot come here and debate with me. I am only asking about what you say and according to you everything need creation and everything do not need creation at the same time which is a contradiction. So please clarify.
I believe there is a god
You believe there is not
What is to clarify?
When i said infinite/eternal i meant just that, why then would god need a maker and when would that maker have made god?
Who said i didn't believe in the big bang theory? Maybe it was made to do exactly what it did and is still doing?
You first said you didn't get your god from anybody else, but now yiu you say you "believe", that's, you got your God from somebody else.
Why god want a maker? Because that was your first premise "everything need a maker". If you're saying god is nothing then he doesn't need a maker but I don't think that's what you're saying.
What I said is you don't believe the scientists when they say there was none behind the bang that is you choose what you like. When you quote, quote fully. And we are not discussing big bang, are we? We are discussing about a "god" you say exist.
And you say he doesn't exist yet you have no proof either...............
Please prove to me he categorically god doesn't exist.
You see what you want or don't want to, exactly the same as i do.
Who was gods maker is exactly the same question as how did all life on earth begin, there is as you know no simple answer so i shall answer it like all scientists seem to, maybe it was a chemical reaction!
Okay.. Not sure exactly where you got that specific definition of religion from, But there are other definitions of religion. You do not have to have been in an organized religious setting to have an idea or concept of God. All you have to do is pick up the bible and read it for yourself..
re·li·gion [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA (as defined by Dictionary.com)
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
Looking at the first definition of the word, you can believe in God for yourself without any influence from the second definition. It is easy to try to intertwine the two because it is so common, but ultimately, based on the definitions above you can have a religious experience (or relationship if you will) individually without going through the doctrines and rituals observed in the organized setting..
Just to further make my point, I will also include the definition of religion from another source
Definition of RELIGION (from Merriam webster.com)
a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion>
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
Looking at the second definition, there is a marked distinction between PERSONAL and INSTITUTIONALIZED, which suggests that it is possible to have one without the other..
Even in my personal experience (look at how some other Christians treat me). I have a different idea and set of beliefs that come from the bible that other Christians attack me for (You have jumped in to defend me, so you know this for yourself regarding me)
I said nothing about organized religion vs a personal religion. Like it out not, christianity is a religion. Catholicism is a religion. Islam is a religion. Hinduism is a religion. If you label itself under any of those categories willingly, you are part of a religion. You can practice that religion officially however you choose to, but that doesn't negate the fact that it is a religion, even if you want to fight tooth and nail against the term. If you read the Bible (which was canonized by early church fathers as part of a RELIGION) and you believe the old testament but not the new, you probably consider yourself Jewish (if I convert). If you believe that Jesus saved you and follow the teachings of the new testament, you're probably self-identified as a Christan. Christianity is a religion. I understand that its not a pleasant term, and you don't want to be lumped in with the atrocities that have been committed in its name, but its still a religion. You don't have to go to church. You don't have to belong to any of the 44000 denominations. if you call yourself a Jew our a Christian out a Muslim or any of the other thousands of god claims out there, it cash still be classified as a religious belief, because it pertains to a belief in a god and a set of guides for how to live your life.
+1... But one issue I'm seeing here on HP is that at times it appears that some atheists basically make no distinction between personal versus organized religion. The word indoctrination is thrown out so often that even when some of us try to express a difference regarding our specific belief, we are accused of cherry picking and trying to fit the bible to our needs because we are indoctrinated to the point where we are supposed to believe the whole bible is true. This is why I brought up my point. It's all a religion, but the key is that a lot of Christians see it as a relationship as a means to distance ourselves from the "mob mentality" of Organized Christianity. But there are some believers that call it a relationship because that is the feeling that they have based on some of the books of the bible
I understand your distinction, and your point. I agree that people on both sides are guilty of lumping all Christians together at times, just like all atheists are lumped together by believers. My problem was not with the distinction between organized religion vs unorganized religion. It was about an asserted belief in god while trying tonot call that belief a religion at all. I was responding to the following statement specifically;
I figured as much. I didn't see that statement the same way you did. I simply saw it as silver was stating that one can believe in God without following an Organized religion
The biggest issue is that when the word religion is brought up, it is usually more in reference to Organized religion rather than personal because since we all Believe in God and in Christi we all are classified as Christians which opens it up to more of an organized ideal. For instance, another atheist that I respect actually stated that we are required to all believe the same thing since we are Christians, when the truth is that for the most part, the primary common ground that Christians share is simply the belief in God and Christ. Other than that, some of us are as different as night and day..
The are one and the same, it is not an issue.
And yet, we have no answers that don't contradict the Bible when it comes to what Christians are supposed to believe. Does it say anywhere in the Bible that Christians can just believe whatever they want or does it say specifically what they are supposed to believe?
That's because believers have yet to make and explain that distinction.
Why wouldn't you believe the Bible is true, isn't that what your God commands you to believe? If not, then you are definitely cherry picking. Is that what religion is all about? Cherry picking your beliefs?
That would be hypocritical.
No it isn't, they want to distant themselves from the atrocities committed by church.
But, it is the established religions that indoctrinate folks into believing in gods in the first place. One follows the other, despite your beliefs.
No you do not know that. You believe it. There is a big difference. To say you know there is a god is a lie.
No, you don't know that. You believe it. There is a big difference. To say that person is lying if they consider their experience proof in the existence of God is not only the height of hypocrisy; but it almost makes it appear as if you think you can crawl into their head and examine their thoughts. You were there at every step of their life, from this disembodied vantage point. But, how is that possible? Unless....oh my god, you do exist. Why, oh why, are you denying it?
One simply can't know for certain a God exists as there are too many variables. One can think and hope he exists but the know thing is something they say in the company of fellow believers so they can help persuade themselves that they are correct. All one has to do is ask how they know. It's really no different then someone saying they know bigfoot exists, without ever seeing or touching him.
I'm confused. I thought there was only one God. Are you implying there are two? Both of you can get into other people's heads and know what they think, what they have seen....essentially be omnipresent, omniscient and all that? Are there more out there like you?
Emile, I can tell you one can't know for certain something exists that can't be seen, heard, touched or demonstrated. One can think and hope, but not no.
I, personally, don't feel comfortable telling billions of people they are liars. Nor do I feel comfortable claiming that most of our ancestors are liars. I do feel comfortable saying I don't believe what they believe. But, you and I are both operating within the parameters of belief, just as everyone else is.
I have no problem pointing out to people when they are lying to themselves and to me. Why do you have a problem with it?
Because you put yourself on a pedestal by believing you know their thoughts. You put yourself on a pedestal by believing you know their experiences. Why should I stroke your ego, when you are doing such a good job patting yourself on the back?
I fail to see how pointing out the obvious is knowing their thoughts or stroking my own ego. You don't seem to want to understand this. No one can know either way no matter what their experiences or thoughts are. It is a simple logical fact. It is not my belief or even my opinion. It is an irrefutable deductive fact.
So when you say you do know either way you are lying to yourself. When you tell me and others you know for a fact a god exists or even you say you know for a fact it does not, you are mistaken. You can not know that. You telling an untruth. Perhaps not intentionally but is not an unintentional lie still a lie?
Well if ya want to he honest ? ... All that any of us can honestly say is that "WE" You and I, ... with all certainty "Believe" without any doubt .... that such and such is true... because We have recieved enough proof for "US" to believe with all certainty that "WE" are right in stating our own certain thing as FACT ... You do it and I do it, we all do it ! So lets drink a beer and eat barbacue, and agree to disagree.
No Jerami, you have no proof, you are mistaken without a doubt. If you had proof, we would all see God. Try to be honest, instead.
Very true. That is how most people operate. And that is what I am fighting in a way. It is not logical to believe anything with certainty. It is not required that we believe anything at all.
You do not need to believe in a fact. It's a fact. Everything that is not a fact is speculation. We can only talk about speculative ideas in possibilities, plausibility and probability.
Facts are self evident and repeatable. "I ate an egg" is a provable repeatable fact. "Water boils under the right conditions" is a repeatable provable fact.
So we can get to facts and we can falsify some claims. "Clams can fly" is a falsifiable claim. "The is a god" or "there is no god" is not a falsifiable claim unless a god shows up.
And what I mean when I say god shows up is: his presence becomes falsifiable or self evident.
The human brain can be manipulated to experience all manner of things. Drugs, EM, disease, meditation, can all produce the effects described by the mystics as religious experience. We all know this because most of us have experienced some form of it.
So I will never claim someone did not have an experience. But how they interpret that experience is up for debate. I've had enough spiritual and religious experiences in my life time to convince most people having them that they were real. However, I've come to realize that most if not all were manufactured inside my own head due to specific life circumstances.
It is my opinion, not my belief, that man kind probably should start being more careful about how we interpret things and what conclusions we come to. I think that would be a path that would gain us the most real answers in the end. In other words, using the same method science uses to get answers: inductive reasoning as opposed to emotional reasoning. And the best tool of all: Lack of belief. But only, of course, if you want truth in the end.
Now lets go for that beer and see if we can have a religious experience.
And the best tool of all: Lack of belief. But only, of course, if you want truth in the end.
Not believing in ANYTHING at all, is a difficult thing to do. When I was three I was taught to believe that it is dangerous to cross the street. I don’t believe that as much as I did once and somehow I think it might still be true.
I do agree that the best way to understand what any book is saying is to NOT already have a mindset concerning what it is that we are getting ready to read. Those preconceived ideas/beliefs most often, fall far short of what is actually written.
But for sure … when we have a theory, we should attempt to prove it wrong and if we can’t … well; it might be worth believing.
Certain things are impossible to prove wrong so we have to see if we can prove them right instead.
We don't need to be fixed finged upon either aproach. I would thing it to be easiest and fastest to disprove those things which are easiest to disprove narrowing the field so-to-speak, while at the same time keeping our eyes open for those things which seem to be unshakeable. Examine these things with an open (no preconceptions ) mind from a diffrent prospective than that which has become most commonly attempted.
or something like that. .... Most worthwile discoveries are not found while walking the common path.
I find it to be one of the easiest things to do, especially when there are so many facts in our universe to comprehend, and more and more facts discovered every day. Who has time to believe anything?
No, you were taught to understand a fact. The problem is that you were also being taught religion, which replaced logical thinking with a belief system, hence everything that was taught was being accepted uncritically, even such things as facts about crossing the street.
That is dead on accurate, Jerami. Well said.
But, we don't believe in theories, Jerami, we understand them. There is no need to believe in them.
And, the point you make about attempting to prove the theory wrong is also dead accurate, that is exactly what the Scientific Method demands, that the theory is always open to falsifiability. Usually, all the experiments conducted are tests of that falsifiability.
Einstein came up with Relativity, for example, which not only falsified some previous conclusions about the speed of light and how gravity works, it gave us a working model that is used in every day devices, because if it were not for that model, we could not make GPS satellites work correctly.
In that regard, we need not have to "believe" in the theory, simply because it already gives us a working model that provides real time detailed accurate results right in the palm of our hands. This is not a belief, Jerami, this is an understanding.
" I would thing it to be easiest and fastest to disprove those things which are easiest to disprove narrowing the field so-to-speak, while at the same time keeping our eyes open for those things which seem to be unshakeable. "
Exactly so. And the way to do that is not believe anything. There really is no need and it is simple.
You have been taught that belief is of great value, but it isn't. It is the cause of most of the world's problems.
You have no need to believe a fact. You certainly have no intrinsic reason to believe a speculative idea. So what is left to believe?
There is nothing wrong with waiting to see, waiting for more evidence one way or the other. There is nothing wrong with saying we do not know. But there is something wrong with saying we know when we clearly don't or in some cases can't. There is never a good reason for filling in the blanks with what makes us feel good, just for the sake of feeling good.
What makes me feel good is knowing the truth no matter what it is. Filling in the blanks for the sake of having an answer is not the way I want to live.
There is nothing wrong with speculating on what might be, as long as you know that is what you are doing. There is something wrong with selling speculation as fact.
You can, of course, have opinions based on the evidence at hand. But belief in those opinions is folly. To seek knowledge you have to be willing to drop all opinions at the first sign that they have failed. Otherwise you keep deluding yourself for nothing and getting no where.
No. What is there to believe? It works or does not. It is a formula I developed for finding truth, and the fact that it has worked very well in my life keeps me using it. There is no reason to have faith in something that works. That's redundant.
Were it not to have worked for me I would have dropped it long ago.
You believe that it works for you! ???
But .... you do not believe in believing anything???
And if I agree with you, I can't believe that you believe that it works for you.
If you can't believe it, how can you convince me that it is true?
I choose to not believe you about you not believing anything, In so doing; I believe that you do believe that it works for you.
Thank you very much for helping me to believe that I don't believe anything.
No I do not have to believe it works. It either works or does not. There are only two possibilities. It works for me, that's a fact.You seem unable to accept things without having faith in them. Acceptance of objective fact is not the same as belief or faith. You accept that your tap will give you water until it does not. Then you call a plumber or find the problem yourself. You do not have to believe it will work. If it works you get real results. If not you don't. Simple.
You are having a hard time with this, aren't you? Not surprising.
You seem to be having trouble understanding that when you believe those things which you believe you are doing no diffrently than other people who believe those things which they consider to be fact.
You believe that you look exactly like you do when looking in a mirror.
Your perseption of these facts may not be anything like other people see when they lay their eyes upon you.
Sometimes what you precieve to be a fact is only your belief and not everyone elses.Kinda like ... I believe that last night I dreamed I was a butterfly but maybe ? In fact I am a butterfly who is now dreaming that I am a man. Just because everyone else believes as I do, does not make it a fact in reality. Or does it?
You seem to have trouble understanding that I do not believe anything. Everything is up for scrutiny. I have no belief that I look to others like I do to myself. I am well aware of perception and how it works. I do not believe in facts, I accept them conditionally.
I do not believe in observer driven reality or perspectivism where the perspective creates the reality. It is my opinion, not my belief that there are too many logical problems with it to be taken too seriously.
I have no illusions that what I see or perceive is realty itself. Were you look at the world from the perspective of the atom you would be hard pressed to tell where a human started and ended. The floor is not solid under your feet. It is a swirling mass of energy.
It is my opinion based on evidence that there is one reality and we all perceive it differently due to who we are.
When I say belief I mean faith. Belief can be had with little faith or with a lot of faith. But with belief there is always some level of faith. When you have faith and then you find you were wrong it can be hurtful. Some people kill themselves over it depending what the issue is. The way to avoid that hurt is by not having faith in the first place.
Not allowing yourself to have faith opens the doors to discovery for you. You can consider anything and everything from a new perspective. A rational perspective. If you marry an idea you are stuck there.
You can still have opinions based on facts. You say you think this or that may be the way things work. But if you are wrong, so what? You can instantly change your perspective and there is no loyalty to the previous idea to hold you back. Faith ties you to itself. It binds you. Not having any frees you in a certain sense.
I used to think string theory was probably going to be the answer. I've changed my mind due to new evidence. I am now waiting to see how quantum loop gravity works out.
See, when you are not tied to an idea you can drop it in an instant when it does not work out without feeling stupid or like you should try harder to prove yourself right.
Do I believe in science? No. Science works very well without my belief in it. And that is the issue. Science does get results. But Big Bang? String theory? They are models, not facts. And as models they have their place. But too many people argue as if the BB or any other scientific theory concerning the origins of the universe is fact. That is the wrong way to view these things. Science is waiting for evidence.
You can have a theory which time and time again is tested and seems to hold up. You may want to put it into the category of fact. But all it takes is one test that proves it wrong and you are done. The theory is dead.
What many people do not realize is that you can apply the scientific method to your life.
So you can keep insisting and believing that I must believe something if you like. But I can assure you I have no faith in anything. There is simply no need and life is easier for me without it.
Do you think God is such a reality, a reality which stands even if whole mankind rejects to see this reality? If all of humanity were blind, would the Sun still exist?!
On this subject; all I know as fact is what I, personally, have experienced. I can certainly listen to the testimony of others and judge, for myself, what I think of said testimony. I don't have the full knowledge of their experience. I wasn't there. All I can do is go by their words. Ineffective communication on either side can easily nullify the value of that testimony. Hecklers (this one refers to you, at the moment) can attempt to nullify the value of that testimony. But neither you, or I, can negate the value of their experience. And, I'm still attempting to understand why anyone would feel the need to try.
Emile, do you believe everything anyone tells you? Do you believe the muslims when they tell you in all honesty that the earth is egg shaped? Do you believe the Jews when they tell you they know for a fact that Jesus was not the son of God? Do you believe or question anything or everything anyone tells you. The Jews, Christian, Muslims, Hindus or Atheists can't all be right. Do you take everyones word at face value or just the Christians?
That isn't the point rad man. The argument at hand is, that anyone who says they know God exists is lying. That is the extent of this argument.
What information someone decides to throw on top of that is another question. We can argue many points. We can show enough facts to prove many points. But, a simple statement that God exists because someone has evidence in the existence of God is difficult to argue with any integrity. You don't know what they have experienced. To challenge a lie with a lie serves what point?
Most of what you argue is in opposition to how they attempt to shore up that belief. I will tell you that the argument against the Muslims saying the earth is shaped like an egg is a little difficult to follow. The earth is elliptical. An egg is elliptical. I assume that is the point they are trying to make; not that both look the same.
I don't like anyone using the name of God in order to shore up faulty beliefs. I don't like anyone using the name of God in order to argue against reality. And we have ample facts to argue against that. But, you can't argue against the existence of God anymore than you can argue what conditions are like on a planet in another galaxy. We lack information. That lack may mean a nonexistence of information. That lack may mean that we haven't found information. But, again, I can't consider mankind throughout its history delusional. I can't consider the lion's share of humanity alive today delusional. I can only consider them misinformed; by my understanding of reality.
Yes, we do, because every single time a believer is scrutinized as to their so-called evidence, we find nothing other than feelings and emotions brought on by their indoctrination and what they really, really, really want to believe.
You have made a strong argument in favor of Slarty. Well done.
I realize you really, really, really, want to believe you have made a valid point. I can't fight your need to believe.
That's fine. Slarty can believe whatever he wants to. But, when he calls other people liars it makes him a victim of his belief. He can't prove anything. So, he becomes the liar.
Interesting that you don't like calling Slarty calling anyone a liar, but you call him a liar?
Nor, can you show it to be a belief.
That is one of silliest things you've said in a while, and you've said some pretty silly things.
Slarty does not have a belief, he has an understanding of inductive reasoning and how to employ it. Are you sure you read his post or just didn't understand the reasoning?
I'm not arguing against the lion's share of what Slarty posts. My only point for posting in the first place was that Slarty accused someone of lying because they said they know there is a God. I have no intention of allowing you to drag this down into other areas. The only way you can know, for sure, that someone does not have evidence they define as proof is if you were omnipresent and omniscient. Which, you aren't.
And, although silly is subjective and I might fall into that category; you have never displayed an honesty which would lead me to believe you wouldn't simply say something you didn't believe in order to make a point. So, your statement really isn't worth the time it would take me to first, decide whether you were serious or not and second, determine if I was in agreement.
I would have done exactly the same thing, but Slarty beat me to it.
Nonsense, it wouldn't be evidence if they couldn't produce it.
Yes, I know you don't like hearing about reality.
You really don't grasp this. Do you? I think you are smart enough; you just won't admit you don't have a point here. Personal evidence has nothing to do with proving anything to anyone, but the individual.
Misinformed is fair. The Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews have been misinformed and in many cases this misinformation has resulted in wars and killings. When a muslim kills a British solder and claims he has God permission and direction do we let me go or do we say B.S.
The human mind is an amazing thing, it gives us what we need to survive and sometimes people need a God.
Simple. Institutions are full of people who have "experiences" and many more are on medication.
I'm not trying to negate the value of their experience. I'm trying to make people think twice about what they think that experience's value is.
It's my version of "good news": You don't have to believe anything. If you want the truth, and not biased assumptions, you won't believe anything, you will accept self evident facts as facts without the need for belief, and you will recognize speculative ideas for what they are, and be able to rate them by possibility, plausibility and probability.
You already do that yourself as you indicate in your last post. You can only go by their words. I give the benefit of the doubt that people are not lying about having an experience. It is their interpretation of that experience which is up for debate.
Dr Persinger of Laurentian U has something called the god helmet. Since the 1970s he's been using it to give people life like mental experiences by manipulating parts of the brain with EM.
He has made people see god, demons, angels, aliens, talk to people who are dead, and have conversations with living people not present in the room.
Living people not present in the room. See what the brain can be manipulated to do? Make stuff up. It's really really good at it.. Your dreams should be a clue.
So it is not only difficult, but near impossible to just accept your visions or mystical experiences on face value.
I'm not saying no one has ever had a "real" mystical experience, what ever that might be. But they are all in doubt since the brain can not be trusted.
Therefore, absolute certainty about the interpretation one has of an experience can not be come to rationally. Not even by the person who had it. Most people want their interpretation to be true and they say things like: "I know that there is definitely a god." But they do not know that certainty, they believe it, which manufactures a certainty which is not there.
There are two ways to certainty: Proof, and faith. Proof provides real objective certainty, while faith provides the feeling of certainty.
It is not that mystical experiencses have no value on their own. They usually do because they address a need in a person's life which they are desperate to fulfill or resolve. Dreams can give us answers to problems because they arise from the subconscious mind which does most if not all of the processing of information for us.
But I have had a dream where I was attacked and a knife was stuck in my stomach, only to wake up and find out I had food poisoning. Do you see the disconnect between the experience and the interpretation? That's how the brain works. It manufactures situations for you that relate to what the underlying reality is, but through metaphor.
So the brain is not to be trusted. You need tools to get to the truth. Logic, rationality, deductive and inductive reasoning, and lack of belief are among those tools.
That's right. The point of the matter is that anyone that says they know that with certainty that a god exists is lying because they can not know that with certainty.
This is a logical and philosophical point here. I am informing people they are in effect lying to themselves because they misunderstand how their brain works.
I am informing them that to correct their error in manner of thought they have to realize that when a subject or claim is not falsifiable they can not rationally say they know for a fact that the claim is valid or not.
I have no doubt that our ancestors were delusional in many aspects of their thinking. How could it be otherwise? The human brain depends on information to evolve, and we have been gathering that information and changing the way we think since the beginning. Of course we have been delusional about our beliefs.
Lack of information? You bet. There is still a big lack of information and plenty of room for our brains to fill in the gaps with nonsense and metaphor. It's up to us how much of it we want in our lives and change our way of thinking according. .
Notice I am not telling you how to think, I'm only pointing out a few facts about how we think.
It is simply a word game then. People often choosing the best way they know to express their feelings often use a wrong word which some people understand correctly while others don't.
. I KNOW with all certainty (concerning a few things) some things which are my unshakeable beliefs.
These may someday fall .... most likely; not today.
Their thoughts and experiences are not proof of anything, that is the point. No pedestals required.
Are you saying that your thoughts and experiences have value and theirs don't?
My thoughts and experiences are as valuable as reality can be considered valuable because my thoughts and experiences are based entirely on reality, as are yours and everyone else.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. ~Philip K. Dick
I know you can't be so obtuse as to think everyone perceives reality the same. No one is saying reality is different, they simply attribute real things to different reasons. You say Big Bang, they say God. Prove one or the other, please. It will settle a lot of disagreements. I, personally, accept that I have no evidence to prove anything to you or anyone else. But, I don't have anything to prove. I do have experience that causes me to lean away from the purely atheistic take on reality. I consider it short sighted and egotistical to think anyone has positive evidence which proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is no higher consciousness.
The funny thing is most atheists fall back on science to disprove the spiritual. Science studies the physical world. If there is any truth to anything spiritual, science is not the avenue needed to discover it. It isn't claimed to be part of the physical world. It's like offering to cook dinner, and then looking through a book on string theory for a recipe. It's like looking for evidence by studying the mating habits of goats. Apples and oranges.
For almost the entire history of humanity, almost every culture has had belief. Now, here we stand proudly stating it's all been a lie. Don't let the strides in research and technology go to your head. We are not so smart that we have nothing left to learn.
The same way you would demonstrate God to a blind person.
You provide them with things that can be detected using the other four senses
"God is my reality."
Are you willing to stop believing in it long enough to find out if it persists?
"Are you saying that your thoughts and experiences have value and theirs don't?"
No. I'm saying that their thoughts and experiences may be valuable, but not always in the way they think they are valuable. Just like mine.
I have no doubt about that. What's up with the constant references to blind men, as if they are different from the rest of us?
And according to Christianity, their blindness is the result of their sin, so they're nothing but worthless sinners.
Ah, the fallacy doth reveal itself. It's like the small child who believes you've disappeared upon covering your face with your hands.
"Wheres the baby?"
"They are just like us, but they can't see. "
Try to explain to them how the color green looks like.
Better yet, explain to me, a sighted person, what the colour green looks like.
It's quite like the background of your profile picture
Yes, but I am not blind and if ever I were, I would never forget the color green because the smell of freshly cut grass would always remind me.
If I had been born blind, color would be irrelevant and all I would ever have is the smell of freshly cut grass to imagine it.
Unless of course, I lived in the desert.
Now that we've established that, explain to me the color green?
It's a specific paint with which specific atoms are painted.
Straw man argument. Did I say I thought we all perceive reality the same way? I don't recall doing that.
I also would never say the Big Bang was positively the way things happened. It is a model and as such useful, but no scientist in their right mind would say with certainty that the BB is how it all started.
As for a spiritual world, we don't know that it exists. How do you know that what you consider spiritual is not anchored in the physical? Atoms are physical, energy is physical. We know it exists, but that's all we know exists. The spiritual world is a speculation, like god.
You can't say science can not discover anything about your spiritual world. You do not know that. It may at some point explain it perfectly. I don't know. I don't even know that there is a spiritual world. No one does.
I also never said we have nothing left to learn, that's another straw man argument.. Nor did I say or imply any of what you accuse me of.
I am in effect saying what you are saying when it comes to not being able to prove these things one way or the other, but you don't seem to like it coming from me. Oh well.
You seem to want to believe in something and I am telling you belief is useless.and you don't like that. so you make up straw man arguments to fight. Go ahead and fight them if you like. No skin off my nose.
First, one of those posts was not directed at you. But, it might as well have been, I suppose.
The only thing I want to believe in is that it is possible to live in a world where respect for other beliefs exists. Where we don't call them liars, for not seeing things our way. Because you don't know anymore than I do. You simply like to believe you do. Why? Because it gives you comfort to believe you have a good bead on things, cosmically. Just as it does everyone else.
My entire point is, that without the power to view their lives as they have, to live their lives as they have, you are speculating. You don't have the information necessary to make a judgment call such as the one you have made.
But that is the point. I do not have to know anyone's mind. It is a simple fact that unless this god has personally given them irrefutable evidence of it's existence that they can pass on there is no way for them to be certain that the god exists. Their experiences and thoughts short of that can not make them certain as all such experiences are subjective and could have caused by anything including what they ate for lunch.
So far no one has claimed to have absolute proof. Religion is based on faith alone. Faith gives a false sense of certainty where there really is none.
Therefor from a logical point of view saying you do know with certainty that a god exists, which is what most evangelists do, is selling speculation as the truth. That is a lie.
All they have to do to avoid lying is say they believe a god exists as opposed to that they know a god exists.
Believers do not understand that. So when they make the mistake of saying they know a god exists with certainty I inform them of their mistake.
Believe what you like, but don't lie about knowing something you can not know.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. This might be true if they are attempting to sway your opinion on the sole question of the existence, or non existence of God; but, that does not hold true if they have had an experience which they feel has given ample proof for them to hold a particular opinion on that question, alone. The problem is that many such as yourself appear to think that no one has a right to hold an opinion opposed to your own unless they can convince you of their right to hold it. I'm not certain at what juncture you decided it was your right to be judge and jury; however, only you and a select few believe yourselves to hold that right.
Unlike you, who use your experiences and thoughts in an effort to debunk theirs. Sounds a bit hypocritical from this vantage point.
You seem to continue to want to pull this into waters that were not part of the original post that caused me to comment. I agree that religion is faith. Religion is belief. Religion is an attempt to make sense of something that cannot be made sense of. But, that is not what you were commenting on when you accused the other Hubber of putting forth a lie. Theirs was a simple statement that God exists.
From where I am sitting, the logical point of view is that you can know; for yourself, with certainty, that there is a higher consciousness through personal experience. What you can't know is that any religion is supported by anything outside of our ability to understand it. We have no proof of any support for any particular point of view. Religion does separate people, but religion is a reaction; however misguided and a natural by-product in the journey of the search for understanding.
See, I think all they have to do to avoid lying is stop saying 'God said this' or 'God said that' and, generally, stop attempting to explain what this entity may want people to do. Simply because there is too much conflicting information out there from supposed 'experts' on the subject. If there was an entity which wanted to ensure everyone marched to the same drummer there would be no confusion on the subject.
And, non believers feel the need to point out other mistakes, without taking the time to ponder their own.
My response to this is you, too, can believe what you want; but don't lie to yourself in an attempt to convince yourself that you have the vantage point necessary to know more than the next person.
"From where I am sitting, the logical point of view is that you can know; for yourself, with certainty, that there is a higher consciousness through personal experience."
That is not knowing with certainty. Let me explain why I say that. I spent most of my life looking for god or the answer to everything. I have experienced everything from out of body experience to creating and excising an entity from a room, which other people experienced without my telling them I did the experiment.
I studied every religion I could lay my hands on,
I studied mysticism and reached states of bliss and just knowing. I have had every experience the Hindus talk about when they talk about enlightenment. I did it all both with and without drugs. I can now fly at will in my dreams and have out of body experiences at will. The only thing I can not do is levitate. I wanted too really bad because it would have proven that it was not all mind.
I even talked to who I felt was Jesus.
I started when I was 6 and still a firm believer in god. In fact I wanted to be a priest.
No I do not have a mental illness and I'm not a druggy. I devoted my life to finding answers. I also studied science and logic.
You know what I finally discovered to my astonishment? It was a bit of a disappointment. The brain is an amazing thing. It can give you any experience you want bad enough.
So no. You can not say you know anything for certain concerning spirituality or god or anything of that nature. The brain can not be trusted in those matters.
Well, if there was a time in your life when you thought you created an entity then I would say you are well advised not to trust your own judgment.
Most of us should probably not be judged by this type of behavior.
What I took away from it is that you are an extremist. You are the far end of the spectrum. You are not someone who can trust yourself, obviously. Most people aren't deluded enough to believe most of what you wrote. I'm somewhat shocked you would admit most of it in the first place. Had I imagined the things you have, I'd probably be convinced everyone else does too, just as you do. Fortunately, most of us are grounded a whole lot better.
I'm not surprised you feel that way. But you are wrong on all counts. That's ok. I know I rubbed you the wrong way from the beginning. Since you are so convinced that spiritual experience somehow is a way to certainty I thought I would share some of mine with you and let you judge for yourself if that's true. You seem to have changed your mind, at least about my experiences. You think me an extremist and dare I say sick. You don't seem to have that charity toward my experiences you claim to have toward other peoples. Not so sure anymore that you are right? lol...
Actually I wrote a book about my experiences looking for enlightenment so it doesn't bother me at all to tell you the bare minimum here. I had all those experiences before age 23. I then got married and had three kids and studied science and logic. I now have 7 grand-kids and a "normal" life .But I am still interested in truth.
I can have those experiences at will. It's nothing if you train yourself. But I have not been interested in doing any of it again for about 30 years now.
The point is it's all in the mind. I found that out. You don't like what I discovered. I'm not surprised about that either.
As to the entity. I think I want to tell you about that since it alarms you so much. In the 1960 s at Berkeley they had the idea that the mind itself could manipulate matter. You have heard of people bending spoons with their mind etc. Well this was one step farther. The idea was for a lot of people to get together and see if they could make objects move with their collective mind.
Eventually they decided that they needed a focus. They created an entity. They called it Harold I think. They created a history for him and talked to him as if he was real.
Now here is where I can only say rumor kicks in because I do not know if it actually happened or not. But they say that not only did Harold move the table they wanted to move; he threw it at them.
So, a few years later a friend of mine and I, having heard the story, decided to test it. We were in pretty bad shape mentally as we didn't have much food. We were promised a job if we moved out west but the job never materialized when we got there.
Anyway, we tried the experiment and nothing seemed to be happening, We really expected as much. We did it for about a week and then forgot about it.
One day our neighbors came to visit and all went well until the female neighbor walked in to the room where we did the experiments. She was in tears in a matter of a few seconds saying she needed to get out of there and get some air. We were a little shocked. What had we done? When she calmed down she told us that when she went in to the room it felt light a weight had been on her pushing her down and making it hard to breath. She also felt scared for no reason she could account for.
We were bewildered. But then we thought about the experiment. We didn't mention of course. We then invited other people to come over and passively watched as we just acted as we normally would. We got a lot of reactions from the room. That is to say, 5 out seven people were visibly affected and left the room. I personally never felt anything unusual in that room.
So a few months went by and I moved back east again. I had a lot on my mind, I was a bit depressed. No girl friend, only a part time job and no work to be found etc. The usual teenage stuff.
I lived in a commune of sorts. A house with 12 other people so the rent was dirt cheep. All friends from school etc.
So one day I come home from work to find one of my friends in a panic. He told me had gone downstairs to do his laundry and as he walked down the stairs he began to feel a weight on him increasing with every step. When he got to the bottom his fear was so great he fled upstairs and was afraid to go back down.
Now I never told him about what had happened out west. I still couldn't really believe it had actually happened in the first place. So I went down stairs and sat there for a while. I did feel something now. A familiarity or recognition. I could only think I had brought it with me some how. So I spend a few hours talking to it telling it that I had created it but that it had to go. Eventually I just knew it was gone. My friend reluctantly came down and didn't feel a thing wrong anymore.
So what really happened?
We know that we can record picture and sound on various mediums like iron flakes on a plastic tape. This is dome by creating or coding patterns with EM, and then decoding them when we play the tape.
Well we can also do similar things with rocks. And we know we can encode data onto atoms.
So it is my contention and that of others who actually work to discover valid non-supernatural reasons for some of the hauntings and strange events people report, that it is possible that traumatic events could imprint a pattern in the material of a room itself. If it was recorded by a mind in a depression or in a traumatic experience, it might be possible for another human mind to play that pattern back. Hence the disembodied unclear vision they might get.
I think that there is a good possibility that it was all my mind in a state of teenage depression that did exactly that. I have other possible explanations that add to that one, but this post is long enough.
The point is that I am pretty sure it wasn't a "real" demon or entity. As rumor has it, it wouldn't have left when I asked it to, No... It was all about me and my state of mind.
Hope that helps calm your nerves a little.
I sympathize with people who feel that they have been 'touched' by the spirit. That is about the extent of my charitable nature on this matter. Probably, since I feel I have been touched. But, that is the extent of my willingness to accept anything. Primarily, because if there is a higher consciousness; all I can be sure of is that it is not a respecter of persons. We are all in the same boat. Claims of hearing voices, conjuring spirits, parting traffic and all of that nonsense is just that. Nonsense. If it were possible, it would have been patented and mass produced by now.
Not to be uncharitable, but I must ask. Were there drugs involved? Because, no one in their right mind would believe it happened to them or anyone else. Perhaps, your wife is a grounding influence. Don't let go of that.
Sorry, but I don't believe any of that. You are, as are those who claim to speak for God, deluding yourself.
You haven't discovered anything that the world doesn't already know. We can convince ourselves of many things. What you haven't discovered is that such fantastical claims only make you look foolish. They don't belong in a serious conversation on the question of a higher consciousness.
The rest of your post is nonsensical. Your comment about calming my nerves was a little off base. You haven't flustered me; but I have been highly amused by these ridiculous claims. It's funny how you would call a guy a liar for saying there is a God and then post such foolishness. I suppose, later on down the road, you'll be posting a forum sized comment about how you walked on water as a young man. Trust me on this one Slarty. You are full of it.
"Sorry, but I don't believe any of that. You are, as are those who claim to speak for God, deluding yourself. "
Oh that is so funny. I love it. I agree with you. Were I to believe it was due to the supernatural I would be deluding myself. Why is it so hard for you make the connection here? This is a brain we are talking about. Schizophrenics are certain they hear voices because they have something wrong in the brain.
That is exactly the point I have been making. You can make yourself experience anything you want by triggering your brain the right way. You want to hear voices? There is a way to do it. You want bliss? Sure, it can be accomplished if you work at it. It is not supernatural, it is natural. It is manipulating the brain to get the feelings or the states you want to achieve. And this is mistaken for the supernatural when it happens to people naturally. Diseases can manipulate your brain to have experiences, do you not think then you can do it too? Of course you can. It;s a mind game.
You sympathize with certain mild experiences you yourself have had and think, as you yourself said it, that they can be certain they have proof of "something". (I'm just paraphrasing you here)
No they can not. Even you agree by your own words to me in this post, and you just won't admit it. Or will you? lol...
Are you claiming to be schizophrenic? I'm not sure.
I'm a fan of the power of the brain. But, I also know that some experiences cannot be explained by any means. I don't fear the unknown; I embrace the fact that there are things we don't understand. I look forward to the day we do. But, if you believe you can do all of the things you claim; I say you are easily amused and don't quite understand what you are experiencing. You are making claims that cannot be backed up with anything. Just like the guy you accused of lying.
I don't have a problem with you believing your brain can conjure up 'spirits'. It's cute, in a way, to think an adult who considers themselves a logical thinker would believe such. But, explain to me why you will believe the nonsensical in your own life; and chalk it up to the power of your brain. Be completely unable to prove it (and, if you could prove it we'd have seen you on Oprah) yet demand proof from others? Do you not see the hypocrisy in your posts?
Will you explain? All human experiences are from the brain. You can artificially stimulate your brain to 'experience' all the stuff he mentioned.(It can also occur naturally by intense meditation, chemicals, diseases, hypoxia and trauma.
Sure I can see the hypocrisy in your posts and the extent to which you people go to keep your beliefs intact!
See. At the outset I told you I give everyone the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what they say they have experienced. I have no reason to think that everyone that says they have experienced something is lying. I said that the thing I contest is that they are correctly interpreting what they experience. Like in dreams, experiences can be about something completely different than what the experience seemed to be about. You can't get certainty about the supernatural from experience.
But you are not even willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and then when I tell you the experiences were not what they seemed. but the result of natural causes you don't like that either. You do not like the fact that people with disease and people with supernatural experiences get their visions from the same place: a brain that can be manipulated and effected by as little as a cup of coffee.
Then you insist that this mild natural felling many people have of being "connected to the spirit" is not explainable and you sympathize with it.Then again you insist that certainty for self is certainty. Let me put it in more technical terms: you are saying you think the subjective experience can give you certainty as well or better than an objective experience can.
No wonder you are an agnostic sitting on the fence leaning toward the supernatural. You desperately want to believe something, but you don't know what.
Don't bother. It's all a crock. lol...
Let me reiterate, since you seem to be hard of hearing. None of this is possible. Neither supernaturally, or otherwise. To claim it happened, however it is supposed to have happened, is a sign that the person making the claim was delusional at the time. The fact that one would insist that it did happen, implies they are still delusional. That isn't fear. It's a simple statement of fact.
There is a huge difference between feeling something and doing something. There is a huge difference between seeing something, and doing something. If you can't adequately understand what you do, whose fault is that? Mine? For laughing at delusions of grandeur?
If you see, or feel something that cannot be adequately explained by any other means you have to leave open the possibility that the explanation is beyond the grasp of current knowledge. I think current knowledge adequately explains your claims of the amazing powers of your brain. I believe bunk is the appropriate term.
Let me reiterate, since you seem to be hard of hearing. None of this is possible. Neither supernaturally, or otherwise.
Well now it is you that is delusional. Try reading some neuroscience. There are explanations for most of what I experienced. It is possible and anyone can do the things I did and experience them. Not that I would recommend it though it did give me great insight into how to control my own mind. And that is what it is all about, the mind.
Mystics and shaman have been doing this stuff for centuries. I wanted to know if it was true. It is, but it is not supernatural as they believe.
I do not care whether you think I am delusional. In fact I think it is funny. You obviously have very little experience with all this and it probably frightens you though you won't admit it.
Have yourself a good life. I hope you only experience what you want to and never get any deeper. I don't think you could handle a tour around your own mind.
That's hilarious. Please, point me in the direction of published literature which proves someone can conjure spirits that others can see. Oh, sorry. I forgot you were an atheist. I meant entity. . I'd just love to read it. Oh, but it has to be published in a recognized scientific journal. Not, the literature you are obviously being hoodwinked by. I'm sure The National Enquirer is your Bible, but most of us view it as substandard drivel whose only purpose is to let us exercise our facial muscles while waiting in the check out. Eye rolls keep us very entertained.
I don't fear your fantasies slarty. Nor do I begrudge you them. I cannot, however, join you in them. I like reality. I would say you should try it some time, but your beliefs appear to make that a remote possibility.
You know you are a hypocrite of the highest order.You project your failings on others because you can't face them in yourself. You whine and cry about how you want a place to just talk and share ideas and chastise atheists on this board for their narrow mindedness. For their rudeness, for me telling it like it like it is when I tell you that you can not trust experiences you have regarding the supernatural and that to say you know with certainty that there is a god is an outright lie, which it obviously is.
You then exhibit all the failings you yourself say you dislike in spades.
You make false accusations, take things the wrong way on purpose, twist people's words and meanings, create straw men to attack, and for what? So you can be right? Your as bad as any fundy at trying to shove your beliefs down everyone's throat.
You do a very good job of describing yourself, but you don't know it do you? You have a completely different picture in your head from the reality.
You can not make up your mind whether you want to be an atheist or a believer. From the way you argue it is obvious that if I went to trouble of finding the appropriate studies in neuroscience you wouldn't understand them because according to you the mind can not even have the experiences mine has had. The problem is you are afraid I'm right and that does not sit well with your confused inner state.
You need to do a lot more study in physics and neuroscience before we can even have this conversation rationally.
Now to be fair did I say anyone saw this entity or spirit if you insist? No. Straw man. I said they felt strange and depressed. I also said that studies had been done to suggest that many haunting s might be due to the human mind being able to project emotions and encode them in to atoms of the room itself.
Now another explanation for my entity is that I jumped to conclusions. Could it be a coincidence that so many people experienced something in that room? Yup. Could I have made more of their reactions then there was? Oh yes.
So the entire event may have been in my mind alone? Yup. It is all very possible. There are other normal explanations too as I said yesterday.
And that is my point. We have experiences but we do not know where they actually come from most of the time. But we really do know where they come from: The brain,
Your mild feeling of a higher power which you think is normal, and it is, is the same as my entity experience. It's all in your head. It is a mild form of it but it is the same thing. Yes I know it is delusion I never said otherwise contrary to your straw man. It is mind games. The one your mind plays with you. That's why I am an atheist and not a guru.
Well now I think our talk is at an end unless there are other self projections you want to send my way
If you say so. I thought our talk was at an end when you made those ridiculous claims.
You can (and obviously have) turned this into a conversation about your opinion of me. Which is typical, so not surprising. Both ends make accusations. Both ends make false claims to back up their right to make accusations. Then, when you can't prove your claim you degrade to attempts at psycho analysis to show the person who questioned you is simply afraid to accept the claim. Afraid to take a stand.
I'll still laughing slarty. Just so you know.
Even if that were true in that he was an extremist because he wanted to find out everything, he wanted to learn what he could about a variety of things, is that such a bad thing? Who was he hurting? To whom was he preaching or evangelizing? To what causes did he lobby in the name of some deity? To what particular faith was he being indoctrinated? What lies did he tell?
You see, Emile, these are actually the kind of actions those who are considered extremists at the far end of the spectrum and can't be trusted, undertake and employ.
There is nothing wrong with any of it. He is an extremist because he imagines he did it all. First he attributed it to another realm and now he attributes it to his own powers, while insisting those who imagine the first thing are lying to themselves; but he is not. He is an extremist because he mustbelieve he is special and we,too, can be special if we accept his fantasies as truth.
I tell you what. He claimed he conjured an entity. He then claimed there were studies to back up his experiences. Help him out. Point me in the direction of proof to back up his claims of super powers on the scale of conjuring entities and I'll accept that he did it. Otherwise, I will assume he is attempting to baffle with bs because he doesn't want to accept that he is no different from other people.
You, of all people, should find this troubling AfirstTM. I thought you stood on the side of reality. Not unsupportable claims. Interesting. When an atheist makes them, are they somehow more palatable?
Emile, pay attention for just one minute to what he's saying and what your saying.
We have believers making claims of having conversations directly with God and being healed by him all the time in these forums, you never question them, when we do, you jump in and tell us we shouldn't question others experiences. I've never heard nor remember you calling any of those believers extremists. He's telling you everything he experienced happened in his own mind, that's how powerful the mind is.
You do a fine job of calling theists onto the carpet. But, seriously rad man. I only questioned the ability to determine if God exists, or not. You guys are dragging it into other areas. You can't fairly call someone a liar on that simple point. You don't know what the other person had experienced. You can only go by your experience.
Anyone, slarty included, who makes claims past that simple point, is deluding themselves. Unless you are supporting his claim to have conjured an entity, or having done things outside of the realm of possible, all with his brain power; you and I have no disagreement.
I label him extremist for his hypocrisy. I'd do the same yo an ex atheist who had become a theist, who ignored the same hypocrisy.
You say we can't think someone a liar or think they are deluded because we haven't experienced what they have and yet you don't think Slarty has experienced what he's claimed?
Honestly, do you think that that one come here for debate? She is a deluded one who thinks her cosmic questions are sacred thing to which everyone should bow. She is "believer" in the guise of an agnost. She herself doesn't know what is talking about and put words in others mouth to answer them and mock.
You need to read through the thread. I addressed this already.
I am, but I also have stated many times that if one wants to believe in ridiculous notions, they are to keep them behind closed doors where they belong, which is what Slarty was doing.
Not only that, Slarty may have been just as convinced of his beliefs at one time as any other believer, but eventually came to realize it was all in his head.
ATM commented …Not only that, Slarty may have been just as convinced of his beliefs at one time as any other believer, but eventually came to realize it was all in his head.
= - = -
IT WAS ALL IN HIS HEAD !
In a way everyone is throwing this comment at those on the other side of the issues.
I think that it is possible that everything that we see which we believe to be real is just a product of that which was just in the heads of those which came before us.
That which is “just in our heads” today, does have the capacity to alter that which we believe to be real today and tomorrow. That which is “just in our heads” is as much a part of the world we live in as anything that we can hold in our hands, and see with our eyes.
No Jerami, facts are not just in our heads and they are not altered just because we believe they can be.
And that which you believe, is a product of that which was first a thought of those which came before you.
Or do you believe that you have ever thought anything that has never been thunked before?
Still haven't figured out the fact that I don't believe in things, Jerami?
I regret that you can not see past your own imagination.
I regret that you've turned your imagination into your reality devoid of justifiable evidence.
Most often when people believe that they are thinking outside of the box, we do not see that we have started thinking within the realm of a slightly larger box. And when we get out of that box, we are still within a slightly larger box. And somehow we believe that the box which we are in is somehow much more powerful than any other box. Until we crawl out of that one into another.
The only boxes are the ones you create from beliefs.
Jerami, The problem isn't that anyone has to think outside of one box only to climb into a larger one and so on and so forth.. The real issue is the thinking that goes on inside of the one box that we all share.
Yes that is true .... there are so many truths that the human mind can not consider them all.
The box I was speaking of is "the Norm" which most people think they/we are a part of.
A "NEW" thought can not be found within the normal range that normal people find themselves confortable being.
to be unique within the normal reage of thought. I don't think so.
No Jerami, I have just as vivid an imagination as anyone else, I just don't let it rule my worldview or replace reality with it, like believers do.
If everyone in the world thought the same thing, you would also think that it was the one ond only posible reality.
People do "think" the same things, it is what people "believe" that is ridiculous and conflicting.
Well that's a blatant lie. How do you think we uncover new things?
There probably is only one reality. Subjective interpretation is not very good at finding it. For one thing we do not have the tools to see it as it is. Our sensing tools are limited at best. But our perception does correlate to reality.
And we do have objective needs like eating , finding shelter etc that we all share. We have to work for a living, do objective things to meet our needs. This layer of existence and our perceptions are part of that one reality but because they are subjective they do not always reflect that reality.
Wait, I'll try to imagine an extra million in my account and a Porsche in the drive way. I'll let you know how it goes.
It might work if you had enough assistence and enough people would agree with you. (????)
Unfortunately there are as many people wanting you not to have it.
I have the same problem. I want to be young strong and viral. Unfortunately that isn't what everyone else is looking at. But if we could all agree, maybe I could be.
Give it up jerami. What's in your head just couldn't be as true as what's in their heads. Their beliefs are real. Yours aren't.
Yes I know ,,,,, but sometimes I gotta just shout it out loud just to let it out of my head ... Sometimes stuff don't sound the same when we say it out loud as it does just thinking it. And sometimes it makes more sense.
Um, did you bother to read his claims? I wouldn't consider Hub Pages behind closed doors.
Anyway, he believes he can still do all of it. Sounds like a belief to me. I suppose, since it is considered an atheistic belief that is o-tah.
Have you ever heard of Carl Jung's Red Book? Where he documented his visions while he opened himself up to psychosis.
I think it's fair to say that if a person says he knows God exist we can also say a person can imagine a God exists.
Yeh. We've all heard of the Red Book. Nice spin on it there. We can all imagine many things. We can also know many things. And, we can (most of us) know the difference.
I imagine you are pretty cool. I know you are actively involved in defending a guy who imagines he knows something.
What Jung did was allow is subconscious to come to the front by effectively turning of his consciousness or ego. He was afraid the psychosis would remain permanently. Seeing all kinds of stuff that wasn't there, but every bit real to him at the time. He was under the delusion that his visions were messages from God.
So it appears to me that one can cause psychosis and then understand that while it was real at the time it was only a product of the mind.
I'm not defending anyone.
That is exactly the point. When you experience these things you are producing a kind of psychosis. It is very real to you, but you can figure out that it isn't real. Some people like shaman and gurus live in that psychosis and not only get used to it but get very comfortable there.
And you can go too far and lose yourself in the process.
The objection some people seem to have is that you can actually train yourself to have these experiences. Like riding a bike, once you have done it a few dozen times the ability does not leave you.
But while meditating and finding peace and bliss can be helpful once in a while, most of the rest of it is parlor games of the mind. And once you realize it is not "real" you don't really have much reason to do it anymore, unless you use it for the same reason people use recreational drugs.
I'm not going to get into a discussion as to what was on Jung's mind when he started writing the Red Book.By everything I have read you are, as I stated before, putting a positive spin on it. I do find it interesting, having had previous conversations with you, that you appear to admire the work of a guy who believed in a collective subconscious connected to an eternal consciousness.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you appear to be saying all a believer who claims experience has to do is accept that it was a psychotic moment. If that's what you are saying, my answer is hogwash.
I much prefer Freud to Jung. I didn't say I admired him at all, I just told you what he was doing.
Do I think they are all psychotic. No, certainly not, but I do think their Superego is running a simulation in an effort to make life easier and it's a great way for the superego to get what it wants from the ego. What does the superego want? Strangely is exactly what organized religions want. It's hard for the ego to say no if it thinks a God is giving direction. The problem comes with the ID not getting what it's asking for. We end of with a Televangelists getting caught with a prostitutes.
You didn't tell me what he was doing. You speculated as to what he was doing. Do you understand the difference?
And, really rad. Do you believe the psycho babble you just wrote? Did you lift that opinion off of an atheist website? Do you ever stop to read what you write, before hitting submit? It'sdifficult to converse when you come up with such pointless comments.
Focus!! We were on the topic of a simple statement of belief in God. Can we stick to the topic, or is this an admission that you have no argument to support your stand?
Ha ah ha. You kill me Emily.
I did tell you what he says he was doing.
Read it again it might start to stick.
Tell me if you don't mind, why are you so hard on what Atheists say about reality, but never question any theists in the same manner? Does't sound Agnostic to me?
The simple matter is the human brain can do amazing things that includes the unconscious part of our mind. Have you ever seen the study on split brain patients?
Take it leave it.
I hold atheists to a higher standard. Simply because they claim a higher standard, but it isn't evidenced in their posts.
Both sides claim a higher standard. Let's be honest.
I'm not talking morals here. I'm talking understanding why one thinks what one thinks. Many atheists insist they have no beliefs and then proceed to share their beliefs as if they areuniversal truth. At least the theist admits to belief.
Wow Emile, you seem to be implying Atheists have a belief but won't admit to it. It appears to me that many theists share their beliefs as if they are the Gods truth.
Imply? I don't think I implied that atheists have beliefs. And, you've gotten half the point. No one has truth on that issue. Whether you call it God's truth, universal truth or reality. On that level it is all belief.
I'm sorry Emile but...
As if Atheists won't or refuse to admit to having a belief. I think we are being completely honest about our lack of belief.
I like you rad man. Even if you are sometimes obtuse. I didn't imply it. I said it.
Okay Emile, but why would we pretend to not believe in God? Or, is it you just can't imagine anyone not thinking as you do? You'll take the theists word at face value, but not the Atheists. Typical.
Here is my problem, in a nutshell. In my lifetime I've had to put up with people preaching. I don't have a serious problem with it anymore, but I do suffer the occasional upturned nose for not 'keeping the faith'.
So, having put my foot down to draw the line in the sand and having forcefully insisted that my wishes would be respected; I'm not too keen on watching atheists act like the aholes who thought they could brow beat me into line. I'm not acquiescing to another would be control freak of a philosophy. And it irritates me a little, since one of the things some of you complain about is how the theists attempt to force their beliefs on others. As if that isn't exactly what many atheists are attempting to do by belittling any who won't acquiesce and agree with their beliefs.
Yes, but only from those who operate from belief systems. Not all of us operate that way.
That is a misconception. Believers operate from belief systems and believe everyone else does, too. These are just the results of having been indoctrinate at youth and the lack of any intellectual development. Yes, the theist admits to belief, but believes their beliefs are reality.
"How do you demonstrate reality to a blind person?"
Blind or sighted: If you put your hand in a fire will it not burn whether you believe it will or not?
What reality of god? You believe that a god exists but you can not demonstrate that it does. Real things are demonstrable.
You still did not answer my question. Are you willing to give up your belief in god in order to find out if it is real or not?
Why do you think people commit suicide? Why do you think people commit murder? Did a fire burn them?
You will have to explain what you mean because the relevance of your inquiry escapes me.
You aren't saying god made them do it are you?
Usually they do these things because they believe they are a good idea at the time. Another good reason to abandon belief.
Well, *something* happened inside them. Just as something happens to our eyes and we see the reality around us. Don't we?
Sure. There are causes for actions and causes for senses. But some times the causes for our actions are not what they seem.
A man recently cut the head off a fellow bus rider because he felt he had no choice. He saw this other person as a demon and his voices in his head told him he had to kill it, and the only way was to cut off its head. He was delusional, of course. But he thought it was the right thing to do at the moment.
It was not the right thing to do, obviously.
We can similarly have other erroneous ideas and feelings like being in contact with demons or god.
There is just no way for you to know you really are in contact with them, and it has usually proven to be a mistake to listen to the voices in your head.if you have them.
What you are saying is that if you have experienced god then that is proof that there is one. But that has never been shown to be the case. It could be all wishful thinking and happy fantasy. No way to tell unless you can show the existence of this god is real. And that you can't do, even for yourself.
Well, didn't that person kill someone? If it were a voice, what that voice exactly was?
He has a mental illness. He is apparently fine now that he is on the right medication. Schizophrenics almost always hear voices. Do you not hear people in your dreams? They are not real. They are not demons. They are your own brain. We know that now. This is not the middle ages.
Slarty O'Brian - How do you know that that those voices are the products of brain?
Sometimes, it is absolutely necessary to face up to reality. In the case of religion, the entire population of the planet and it's future are at stake here.
I'm so glad you made this, what I consider to be, ridiculous comment. This is exactly what I am talking about. You either suffer from in inability to articulate well, or you are suffering from a mild case of the Nancy's. Really? The future of the human race depends on it? How so?
If you succeed in this quest; it will only be within the borders of free and secular countries. How, exactly, is that going to help the human race? I would think such an endeavor would cause more strife than we already have. All of us, all puffed up with our self assurance that those within the borders of other countries are simply backward and delusional. They, being told they are backward and delusional would, of course, change their ways, their religion and their governments. It all makes perfect sense.
Faith has not done the British solder who was brutally killed any favours.
I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm a little behind on the news. So, you think without religion there would be no conflict? Very interesting.
No, but there would be a lot less conflict. We can work on the other problems that cause conflict, too.
Or, should we just be defeatists and give up?
Your stance is normally one that is as intractable as the religious stance. I don't see behavior patterns brought on by non belief as being preferable to those of belief. How about we push for acceptance? Freedom of thought? Maybe, tolerance?
Remove your blinders, then.
Uh, you're talking with the wrong guy, you should be talking to the believers whose religions forbid acceptance of non-believers, who have no freedom of thought or allow it, who do not tolerate non-believers, let alone other religions.
There are indeed religious people who REFUSE to accept those who believe and think differently than they do. They believe that they are the only legitimate ones as far as religious belief goes. They feel that they are right and "heaven bound" while others are "sinners", "errant", and "on their way to hell".
In order to "save" others who they deem such, they often attempt to proletyze others to their belief and/or their way of thinking. Many organized religions are no better, they argue that their faith and/or ethical system is THE ONLY one and others are in error. Many wars and other forms of dissension occur because of one religion saying that they are right and better than other religions.
Take your blinders off ATM. And then, we might be able to talk.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013 … meron.html
I never said there would be no conflict without religion. Please don't put words in my mouth.
Are you that naive? Do you honestly believe that religion, alone, motivates what we label religious fervor? If so, please explain why all of the billions of religious throughout the world aren't actively participating in violence? Everyone who claims to be religious throughout the world is guilty, because you think they are. Do you not see the problem with your argument?
Yes, I am not guilty of the atrocities of the second world war even though I worship Hitler and am a full fledged member of the Nazi party who fights and defends it's sacred doctrines of creating the perfect race.
Oh wait, the Nazi party doesn't participate in violence any more.
Again you put words in my mouth? Where did I say religion, alone, motivates what we label religious fervor?
Religious belief systems and religious mindsets, and the results thereof, have been ruling our world, building our societies, telling us how we should live and treat others, teaching us to believe rather than think, breaking us all up into tribes warring with one another. It is only recently we are finally beginning to break the vicious stranglehold religious indoctrination has on every thinking mind on the planet, one way or another.
When you hear of believers who complain about the state of our world, remember it is their own religious organizations that built that world and made it what it is today. The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
Yes, I understand that giving up God is going to be one of the most difficult decisions mankind will have to face. For many, giving up Santa Claus was also devastating.
Good shot, Well, Marie, God and Santa are different things
Ya don't have to give up on the concept of their being a God though we should always be considering our concept of what or who that god is.
We are all more exclusive or exclusive than we should be I THINK.
You personally don't have to, but for some reason you don't mind telling me when I'm full of it.
The rest of us, those who don't mind telling someone they are delusional will gladly take care of that for you.
You can do whatever you want rad man. If you feel comfortable shoving your opinion at others while calling them delusional for having one; I get it. When in Rome.
No. They can not know with certainty. They do not know with certainty. And if they thought about it for a minute they would see that. I'm not saying god is a lie, though it likely is a fiction, I am saying you know there is a god with certainty is a lie, just as saying you know with certainty there is no god is a lie. You can not know either way with certainty. You can only believe one or the other to be true. I don't put faith in either concept.
When is someone entitled to say they know something, rather than believe it?
When they have evidence. I know I have a dog because others can see, hear and feel him.
Should I say, I know there is a unicorn in my back yard?
Did you get another one?? I thought Julie's dragon ate it
Well, that explains why I haven't seen him in while.
Fluffy will be happy to know a new snack is available. Thanks for the tip.
How do you know others can see, hear and feel your dog? By your standard, to know that you need evidence that others can see, hear and feel your dog.
Because when my dog barks everyone in a ear shot jumps. When I'm walking others stop to pet him. I put his dog food in a bowl and it disappears. I pick up his stool a few times a day and I have the evidence in my green bin if you would like to see it.
What evidence do you have that when your dog barks everyone in ear shot jumps, that the the dog eats the food, that you pick up his stools, and that there is something in your green been? By your standard you can't know any of these things unless you have supporting evidence for them.
I could take picture of both my dog and the stool or you could drop by and play with the dog or the stool for a while. It's up you?
Cute Dog.. Then again I still remember your lottery tickets..
I'll tell you what. Send me your address and I'll drop some evidence in the mail for you. LOL.
Better yet look me up on Facebook.
You can keep that evidence, but thanks for offering..LOL
tell ME how to look you up on FAcebook. I'm already friends with Mo, and she's a CATHOLIC. Come on now :-) tehehehehe
yeah, and I'm a recovering Southern Baptist. typing that gave me a headache. ugh.
Incidentally - the pun about closets and catholics is just too obvious to even take advantage of.
Figured....lol And thank you, because I didn't even think about it when I typed it.
LOL seriously? It was the first thing that popped into my head :-)
After I submitted it and saw it, I thought, "Oh crap!" Considered rewording it but decided to just leave it. I figured you guys might take pity on me and leave it alone.
lol do atheists have pity? I've heard multiple times that we're just pitiful.
It's not pity in my case.. I've had my fun for the day with the other thread. But I thought about it pretty quickly as well
Hey, I'm not a closet anything, well perhaps I'm a closet Atheist in that most my friends don't know. I figure I don't like being preached to so I'll give others the same respect I'd like given to me.
Nice dog, but what evidence is there that this is your dog? It's just a picture of a dog. Can you see where I'm going with this?
You said evidence is what makes something knowledge, so by your own standard, none of the evidence you have presented can be considered knowledge unless it has supporting evidence, and none of the supporting evidence can be considered knowledge unless it has further supporting evidence, and so on, ad infinitum. This is known as the problem of infinite regress, and it's why evidentialism (the view you hold) does not work as a criteria for knowledge. According to evidentialism, you are not entitled to say you know you have a dog, only that you believe you have a dog. If you say you know it, then you are a liar, because your 'knowledge' is actually a never ending chain of required evidence.
Drop by and you can meet him. We can walk around back and you can look at the poop in the back yard as well as in the green bin. You can ask my neighbours if that's my dog and I'll have all the vet bills and a receipt of purchase.
I think that would hold up nicely in court. The judge would say "RAD MAN" this is your dog" to which I would reply. I know.
That's not at all like knowing the Christian God exists because it says so in a 2000 year old book.
Rad Man, there is no evidence you can offer that does not itself require evidence, because according to your own standard, nothing (including things presented as evidence) can be 'known' without evidence. So you do not 'know' you have a dog. If you think that suggestion is ridiculous, I agree. Something is amiss.
You say the neighbours have seen your dog. Theoretically I could ask for evidence that you and your neighbours sensory perception is reliable. In practice I wouldn't. Why? Because at some point we stop asking for evidence, and make assumptions. In this case most people would assume that you and your neighbours sensory perception is reliable, unless there was a good reason not to. That assumption is important. Sensory perception is where we draw a line when it comes to evidence. We only doubt our senses when we have very good reason to. That's probably because doubting our senses all the time is not conducive to survival.
So your knowledge that you have a dog is grounded in yours and your neighbours apparent experience of him and the assumption that your senses (through which you experience) are reliable. It is not formed on the basis of evidence, and does not need to be. And it is quite typical for people to express 'knowledge' which is in fact based solely on sense memory. I believe the same mechanisms that cause you to say you 'know' you have a dog, or you 'know' you had toast for breakfast last week, are at work for those people who say they know god exists. Like yours, their belief is grounded in their apparent experience; And like everyone else, they assume their sensory perception is reliable unless they have a good reason not to. Therefore, like you, it is typical for theists to express that 'knowledge' which is based on sense memory. If you are not a liar for saying you know you have a dog, then they are not liars for saying they know they have a god.
So, those 10 reasons you were talking about...?
No, I want YOU to elaborate in YOUR OPINION, NOT MINE, the 10 excellent reasons why THERE is a God or if you like, a Benevolent Universal Force or better yet, a Higher Consciousness? C'mon, I am waiting......waiting......ELABORATE, man!
This is supposed to be a SYLLOGIC DISCOURSE, not an exercise in BANAL RHETORIC. WAITING for YOUR RESPONSE-1,2,3............. You are an intelligent man, I would LOVE to hear YOUR point!
I don't know about 10 excellent reasons; but, I would think one reason it would be nice to have a benevolent universal consciousness would be that there was so much more to find out beyond the reality we are aware of.
Sure, it would be nice. A lot of things would be nice.
That is what is incredibly cool about not making up one's mind without all of the facts.
No. If I were an atheist, then I would believe the facts were in already. I would read more into a fact I did have, in order to pretend it supported my conclusion. And then I'd get on a high horse if others didn't agree with me. Because, only my conclusions would be valid. Because I'm just smarter than anyone who comes to a different conclusion. I just know it.
No. Atheism wouldn't suit me. Agnosticism is the life for me.
Well you could have said that about Christians and you'd have been just as correct.as a general rule. What you are fighting is not atheism, it's stupidity and bad reasoning. I'm with you on that one.
There really isn't much difference between an agnostic and an atheist. Hard atheism is as impossible to defend as fundamentalist theism is. No one knows for certain one way or the other and those that tell you they do are lying to themselves as well as everyone else.
What we are seeing though, and the reason for all this nonsense is this clash between militant fundamentalism in religion and militant atheism which has developed to counter it. Agnostics, atheists and nonmilitant Christians are collateral damage in this war, along with logic and rationality in many cases.
And that is really a shame because moderate Christians have as much to lose in the rise of fundamentalism as we atheists and you agnostics have. That being freedom of thought.
There is a reason we don't want to live in a theocracy where creationism is taught in science class, science is subdued, and government is run by one religious cult or the other. There is a reason for a clear separation between church and state. We atheists and you agnostics were not allowed to exist only a few years ago and in some theocratic countries even today atheism is a crime punishable by jail time or even death.
If we are going to be living together we need to protect each other from each other, and that's what the fundamentalists want to reverse. I'd say we have reason to be at war, and the moderate christian and the agnostic should be joining us. We have no reason to throw logic and rationality out the window, but unfortunately wars tend to bring out the worst in people.
Regardless of whether we all think the other is delusional, the important thing is maintaining the right to think as we like on a personal level without it affecting jobs, causing segregation,and without others forcing their beliefs on us.
The price of freedom is the right to tell others what to think. Fundamentalism does not adhere to that rule. Until it does or until it succeeds in creating a theocracy like those of the middle east our little war of words will rage on in forums like this one and in the real world.
I know it could be said about Christian fundamentalists. Not much difference between the two, judging by behavior patterns. Atheism doesn't offer freedom of thought, or haven't you read through the forums?
Oh but it does. The problem is not everyone in these forums knows what they are talking about from either a philosophical nor a scientific position. Most have poor debating skills and can't articulate what they want to say effectively.
There are assholes even among agnostics. They exist among any segment of the population and are always a let down when one sees one of their own in that light, so to speak.
And as always it seems that people ascribe way to much as being part of atheism.. Atheism is not sciencism, it is not a belief system, it is not materialism, it is not anything but one specific thing: Lack of belief in god or gods. I know atheists that think science is nonsense too, and I know others that are Zen Buddhists.
The baggage each individual brings with their atheism is their own, it is not inherent in the philosophical position itself.
If I didn't know better, I'd think I had just been called an asshole. (Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get an iphone to accept the word asshole?)
It's ok though. I've labeled myself that a few times myself.
You do realize many are here to discuss, not debate? Those whom you accuse of not being able to articulate well are, sometimes, more of a victim of the other party's inability to comprehend that they are simply attempting to participate in a light and friendly discussion, and have no interest in attempting to sway you to their opinion; countering point for point as if philosophy were a competition. It's all simply thought. They have a right to think what they want. You can certainly look down your nose at their thoughts; but isn't that tantamount to attempting to censure their thoughts? Doesn't the very act go against belief in the idea of freedom of thought?
Either way, no one has accused atheism of being sciencism (is that even a word?) although many of the more devoutly antagonistic atheists do appear to worship the words of any scientist who goes out of their way to belittle belief.
Well you were not called an asshole. I certainly don't think you are one. I was talking in generalizations. All philosophical groups have them. That was the point.
And yes there are those who do come just to chat and share ideas as I stated before they usually end up as collateral damage in a war between militant atheism and militant fundamentalism. It is unfortunate but that's the way the dynamic has been working since the beginning of the net and religious vs atheist forums. And yes I have been around since the beginning.
And it isn't the moderates that just want to chat that I meant when I talked about people not knowing what they were talking about or not being articulate, though there are those as well, it was the people who debate science vs religion I was referring to.
I don't look down my nose at anyone, but I really dislike misinformation from either side. If you are going to debate science you better know the science. If you are going to debate religion you better know religion. Otherwise you look like a fool.
Far be it from me to try to impose my views or sensor thoughts. But again in a debate mode one must make their case and doggedly defend it until they themselves realize it has failed.
That is what you see happening here. Conflict makes people work hard to defend their position and that's how it should be. It can get the best out of people.
Love them or hate them the forums are chaotic with everyone trying to get what they want out of them. It is an interesting process. Sorry you don't enjoy the entire experience.
I don't enjoy the experience? Where did you get that idea? stclairjack gave me a cookie, just for posting. Where else can I get free cookies for sharing my thoughts?
I don't back away from conflict. I simply attempt to avoid being the cause of it.
"I don't enjoy the experience? Where did you get that idea?"
From your complaints, naturally. lol... Complaints have a tendency to create conflict. You seem to want these forums to be something they are not. I can only judge by what you write.
Anyway, here's a glass of milk to go with the cookie. Don't say I never gave you anything. lol...
It's okay Emile, if you are in fact an asshole, you my friend are not alone. I am in fact an asshole, and actually I know very few people who are not in someway if they are at all honest, a complete asshole.
You my friend are not alone.
And I thought getting that cookie would be the pinnacle of my participation on this thread. Your post actually made me feel better than chocolate. Being an asshole never felt so good.
Let's start an a-hole support group...LOL
Why would it? Atheism is simply a lack of belief in the supernatural.
Just as theism is simply belief. How your actions are affected by belief, or lack of it, is another thing, entirely. Outspoken atheism when it goes out of its way to search out and belittle those with belief is an attempt to inhibit freedom of thought. No way around it.
1) it seems a handy default setting for things we cannot explain, until we can explain them,.. And since we haven’t explained EVERYTHING yet, then why not keep it, eh?
2) human beings love to insert order into chaos,.. Its what we do,.. Where monkeys see a lot of different fruits to eat,.. Humans give them all names, and assign them a place in the kingdom, phylum, class ORDER,.. Blah blah blah,… if you don’t understand how having a benevolent creator myth/belief does that, refer to rule 1.
3) assuming that you’ve made the intellectual leap to the existence of a benevolent creator,.. Then one wonders why he/she/it needs to be benevolent,.. Well,… we like to have a fighting chance in our short little lives and in our collective if only slightly longer existence,.. We want the big bright shiny Omni-present being to be a good guy,… and we want him to be OUR good guy. (we also want him to hate the same people we do, but that comes later, wait for it)
4) AND,… if you’ve made the leap to the spiritual side of the fence then you probably, most definitely believe there is bad in the world, and you have devised an (almost) equally powerful being responsible for that,.. Lets call him satan,.. Has a nice ring to it… because humans seek balance,.. See rule 5
5) humans seek balance,.. Its part of the order thing,.. So as we experience the bad luck instances of life (or the results of our own stupidity cleverly re-packaged as bad luck),.. We like to pray to a benevolent Omni-present loving god thing to deliver us from the wicked machinations of this evil devil satan that has attacked us through no doing of our own. (I love the word “machination” … it's pretty.. Like a southern baptist sermon with a dictionary hiding under the bible)
6)we like to have excuses for what we do,.. And so its rather handy to have 3000 year old texts that we can tote around in our pockets to justify what we do. Its one of the BEST bi-products of organized belief,.. Text…. So if you want 3 wives,.. Its in the bible,… if you want to stone your wife to death,.. Its in the bible,… if you want to own another human being as your slave,… its in the bible,… if you want to hang your neighbor for having slaves and 3 wives,.. Its in the bible too,… JOLLY GOOD!
7)organized religion, catholic christianity in particular, has given us the hospital system, the college education system, the public works programs that our governments are based on today, the charity system that we know today, the study of medicine, genetics, math, astronomy,… but hey,… who’s counting… did I mention the arts?
8) an organized structured belief system is quite possibly the ONLY reign on human ambition,.. It has given us our collective conscience,… don’t delude yourself into thinking that we all, as humans, have an IN-BORN sense of right and wrong,.. We don’t. else wise our definitions of right and wrong would not be so WILDLY different from continent to continent… I seriously doubt that there is something unique in the water in north America than in Australia than in Italy to explain these differences.
9) Catholics build the prettiest churches,.. But then so do the Buddhists,.. And so do the Muslims,.. And I’ll even give props to a few protestant temples of the WTF ever out there,…. So we like pretty buildings,… hows that bad?
finally, I’m not really arguing 10 reasons for the existence of god,… I’m trying to say that its not a bad thing,… in spite of the hangings and burnings and persecutions on all sides,.. Besides the crusades and holy wars,.. The narrow mindedness and stunningly open mindedness,.. Religion has done more good than harm,…. It has raised cave men to the heights of civilization because it united them,.. All together in a common belief and common goals…. So,….
10)…. Why not?
Because we know better now. Carrying water to your house was a great way of getting water before we had wells. Should we continue carrying it just because it was the best way we had at one time? Hardly.
Religion is dying. It is a slow process but it will eventually be replaced by logic and reason. That's not a bad thing., It's just evolution.
Now you may find yourself having to carry water long distances again someday, but once you are free of religion there is never a rational reason to go back. Fantasy explanations are not explanations at all. I don't see your point in wanting to say they are good enough if we don't have real ones. What is wrong with accepting the fact that there things we do not know yet? Why lie to ourselves?
being the ever crass realist,... i hope to high heaven (pun intended) that your dream of logic and reason becomeing the gold standard of the human thought proscess becomes reality,... however,... my last foray out into the world even on so short a trip at to the village grocery (9 miles from my abode FYI),... yielded little evidence that logic and reason were dominating the world,.. on the contrary,... i think we're being savagely overwelmed by sleep pants and texting,... "common sense" has become a supper power its so uncommon.
i find it puzzling that you think i was promoting the keeping of deep mystical superstitious beliefes,.... on the contrary,... i always tend to ere on the side of logic and reason while defering to others thier right to believe as they wish.
i myself am a former missionery babtis who now goes to mass when i can,... i adore the rich history and traditon of the catholic church,.. it pleases me personaly to associate myself with it,... that does not mean that i insist the world convert or die (we seem to have only two faiths that still require such,.. extreme muslims and the westboro baptists),.. or that i even believe blindly in every tenet of my churches teachings,... but i take her as a whole, both the good and bad parts,... we most all of us wind up chosing one beliefe system or another in life,... weather we call it "religion" or not.
you already posted this artistic rendering of mans idiocy and proof of reason #6,... get a new picture,... I'd like one that illustrates #3 if you would,... perhaps the apostles playing poker (in the spirit of the dogs playing poker tapestry)... see what you can do for me. ;-)
There are so many atrocities to choose from showing the very same "rich history and traditon of the catholic church" you adore. Which do you prefer, pictures of witch burnings, the Crusades, perhaps, or maybe the more recent ones in Rwanda, for example?
ok,... I admitted already to the gross stupidity and cruelty over the years within and in the name of faith,... but I also haven not to throw the baby out with the bath water,... so dig up some pictures of homeless shelters, hospitals, science labs, schools, orphanages,.. please?... just to balance out the pictures of witch burnings,... and while we're at it,.... I was COMPLETELY UN AWARE THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS BUTCHERING PEOPLE IN RAWANDA,.... seriously?.... i'm pretty sure I already pointed out that there are only two well known religious groups that STILL ascribe to the "convert or die" theology,... muslims and westboro retreads,..... a butcher will cherry pick what ever dogma suits his desire to butcher,... and honest butcher will at least say "I did it cause I liked it".... but they are both butchers,.... Joseph Mengele tortured human beings in the NAME of SCIENCE,... colored soldiers were unwitting Guiney pigs for medical experiments in the name of SCIENCE,... shall we post pictures of that as well????
That has never stopped, it continues today and it will continue tomorrow. It is an institution that has well outlived it's usefulness and needs to be dismantled.
Here's a thought. Let's kick out all the clergy and replace them with doctors, nurses and teachers, and take all the wealth and resources the church has accumulated over the years and use it to provide for homeless children.
You've got me baffled. How do science labs and schools balance out witch burnings?
Yes, the church supported the government and clergy members who were committing the genocide. They tried to encourage all of their followers to embrace the new way.
Ah, so active complicity makes not a guilty party?
Yes, that is what he himself professed.
Former Auschwitz prisoner Alex Dekel has said:
"I have never accepted the fact that Mengele himself believed he was doing serious work – not from the slipshod way he went about it. He was only exercising his power."
It would appear that the power given to him by the Nazi party is what stoked him to madness.
Sure. But, the Tuskegee Syphillis experiment, along with Mengeles butcher shops, have led to what is known as the Office for Human Research Protections. In other words, the atrocities you cite have been dismantled and stopped for ethical reasons.
Yet, the Church goes on.
I think his point was that you seem intent on showing images of the witch burning and the atrocities committed by the church. He was asking you to try posting pictures showing the good things the church has done
Getting QUITE off topic here. I was speaking about God or the Universal Force, not the church or other manmade institutions. The church is quite different from God. Churches are totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. Churches are nothing more than manmade and societal constructs, God and/or the Universal Force is beyond any manmade constructs!
but churches and organized religion are mans natural extensions of a belief in a universal force or a god,.... I cant discuss sex without the orgasm,... neither can we discus a universal force or a god with out the belief system that evolves around the belief in such.
p.s..... threads get hijacked,... I think yours just did,... but in so far, the most delightful and diplomatic way,... I mean,... cookies and milk have been involved, lol!
Ah yes, kinda like saying we should put up pictures of Hitler and the Nazi party because they built the Autobahn.
conversely,.. should we bulldoze the autobahn because Hitler and the Nazis built it?
Booting out the clergy and turning the church into schools and hospitals is not even remotely the same thing as bulldozing the autobahn.
your right,... the autobahn is an inanimatte object,... clergy are people who have devoted thier lives to the service of something higher than themselves,.. they are human, they make individual mistakes,.. they can be misslead into darkness, and lead to greatness,... but yes,... your right,... let us not confuse the autobahn with the clergy,... by all means,... bulldoze people because they choose to serve thier fellow man and a higher calling beyond themselves in an organization that YOU happen to find irelevant, even though that VERY rganization INVENTED the hospotals and schools you praise,.... ok
you do realize that the church still runs non-profit hospitals that serve the public in not only far off lands but in the grittiest communities in the US,.... they opporate free or nearly free schools in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the country,... so yea,... lets turn the churches into schools and hospitals,.... oops,.... been there, done that,... bought the t-shirt.
Let's not turn the churches into schools. Too many children get abused by people who don't understand the gravity of their actions. Ask Ireland.
No, the clergy are monsters who prey off the ignorance of good people. They produce nothing and only propagate lies.
They are only interested in gaining more converts, that is the price one must pay, it is not free.
"Here's a thought. Let's kick out all the clergy and replace them with doctors, nurses and teachers, and take all the wealth and resources the church has accumulated over the years and use it to provide for homeless children."......... you do realize that the first doctors nurses and teachers were clergy? yes?....... and you do realize that the church wealth is wrapped up in the possession of art,.. which the church spends millions to preserve so that the world might still have it in the future,... I fail to see how we might auction off centuries old frescoes on ebay,.... and you do realize that catholic charities account for the vast majority of social work in 3rd world countries?... that catholic clergy and religious are killed every day because THEY are on the front lines in the war on poverty disease and genocide world wide?
the WW2 era of genocide was the product of eugenics, a theory that the church officially denounced and has roundly criticized ever since,... the catholic church hid, shuttled and protected more jews within the walls of Vatican city than Oscar schindler saved while profiteering from them,..
but more importantly you seem to be borderline obsessed with tearing things down,... the prized activity of a little boy who has not learned how to build with his Legos,.. so he knocks down the towers of others,...
so rather than accomplish anything yourself you will tear down the accomplishments of others by using their failings as weapons against them,...
Churchill was a drunk,.. but he saved Britain,.. Kennedy was a louse, but he began a march toward freedom and civil rights that Johnson would continue, himself a womanizer and profiteer,... Nixon was a paranoid childish ass,... but he opened up china and got us out of Vietnam,... Clinton was a flawed but lovable guy who gave America back its self image, and made southern cool again,... ......do you wana just GIVE BACK the prosperity of the 90's because your pissed Clinton got a BJ in the oval office?
once again I ask you,.... do you understand the concept behind the old adage re; babies and bathwater?
That is absurdly silly.
That is absurdly funny.
Yes, they're called evangelists and they are spreading the word.
That is absurdly hilarious.
That is absurdly ridiculous.
That is absurdly irrelevant.
Yes, it is used extensively by believers who usually follow it up with pages of the absurd.
ok,.. now is where I get slightly less than diplomatic,... did you buy the word "absurd" as a package deal with the torture picture you've used twice already,... for a dollar???...... you've gotten 5$ worth of use out of them now,.. go shopping for something else.
how many licks does it take to get to the center of an absurd tootsie-pop?.... evidently 6
Well you were promoting keeping religion. Even though you do cherry pick what you like and dislike about it, just because it has been of some benefit to man kind.
I think it may have been beneficial when it was at its worst so to speak. When the Catholic church ruled there was a uniformity. People knew what to expect and what was expected of them.
And that regardless of the fact the underbelly of the church has always been corrupt. Priests fornicating with nuns, producing children found in the 1200s in the walls of a monastery in France during a reno. Child molesters, Nazi collaborators, Womanizers. The Borgia' and other corrupt popes The list is as long as that of any segment of the population over the centuries.
You look out your window and see a lot of stupidity and not much logic. I agree. But that's how evolution works. It is often a very slow progression with a small segment of society slowly changing the masses.
Each of those dumb kids texting etc, know more about logic and technology then at any time in history. They may still be illogical at times, But not in exactly the same way their forefathers were. Each generation is seen by the last as different and taking the wrong path with their new ways..
There is a document often sighted in which the the narrator tells us the kids are all going to hell in a handbasket, It is so relevant to what is said today that it is a shock to find out it was written in 500 BCE.
Religion is part of the evolutionary process. It has served us but it's usefulness is nearing an end. With constantly more atheists being born every day, it stands to reason that all forms of religion are weakened.
Canadian kids were surveyed in the 1960s. 14 percent identified as atheist. in 2011 or 12 the survey said 52 percent of kids in high schools now identify as atheist. Many western countries are seeing the same numbers.
In the 1950s the number would have been close to 99 percent Christian, and a few decades earlier than that there were no atheists to speak of. At least no one would admit it.
I certainly have no issue with you believing what ever you like. I was merely pointing out that what ever good religion has done it is still all a guess or a speculation passed off as the truth. The evidence for that statement is in the fact that each person has to cherry pick what they can stomach and what they can not, what they want the truth to be and what they reject.
You might not like dogma. I can understand that. You might not like: "deep mystical superstitious beliefs." But how do you know those are not part of the truth? You don't.
Where do you get your religious facts when you can accept or reject the ones given to you by your traditions?
In other words, who are you to go against the strict teachings of the truth according to your religious tradition? In the old days the inquisition had the answer to that. Any deviation was heresy. Are you certain they weren't right?
If they were not, what do you really have to base your belief on? What else were they wrong about? Most people don't even take the bible as literal truth. What else is left to base their faith on? Themselves? Their own interpretation? Isn't that a little egotistical and prone o being mistaken?
So religion practiced today seems to be based on nothing but a feeling that there is a god, and your own preferences as to what the truth about that god is or is not.
No wonder the Catholics had inquisitions. No wonder no one was supposed to read the bible. As soon as it began to be translated and distributed by the protestants, it marked the end of a unified religion and indeed the beginning of the end of the religion itself.
Is this a cry to go back to Catholicism and rebuild the religion that ruled the western world in Romes place for almost two thousand years? It's a good argument for it. But no.
Why lie to ourselves that there is anything factual about Christianity or it's god? It's all feeling, predisposition, desire and speculation. Are these really where you expect to get answers?
Is relying on the answer that feels right, always what turns out to be the right answer? No. And I could tell you why that is if you are interested.
Does even deductive reasoning always come to the right conclusion? No. But it has a higher track record if the rules are followed than feeling does.
Deductive reasoning follows rules of logic that force one to say that some conclusions are irrefutable.
However, inductive reasoning in the form of the scientific method can and has refuted and falsified perfect deductive conclusions. QM, for example and the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles have proven to defy common sense, and yet using inductive reasoning we can make perfect predictions about it and make use of it.
What will man kind be in 1000 years? 20 thousand? A million? A billion? Where will our science bring us if we don't destroy ourselves? Can we imagine it? No.
Can you imagine Christianity is still around in 10 thousand years? No.
now THAT was a fantastic read that i just now got back around to catching up on,.... and weather you realize it or not, i suspect you and i agree on more than we dissagree,...
and yes,... i think religion, in one form or another, under what ever name,... will still be around as long as the human race is,... we created it and its the ONE thing that we seem unable to let go of through the millenia,....
religion,... or beliefe system,... code of conduct,... moral code,.. social construct?..... no matter what we call it or re-label it,... it'll be around as long as we are
because its a uniting force,.. and a tool of power,... the single greatest unting force and tool for power in human history,... no other weapon has been developed that can touch it,..... if you drop nuclear weapons and the survivors still pray,. tell me which tool was more powerfull in the long run.
its our favorite toy,... and we, as a race, will more than likely keep it.
jack, you'll find discussions with Slarty incredibly educational, enlightening, and enjoyable. He's well-educated and thinks deeply. He also rarely gets ruffled, even in a discussion with someone with whom he disagrees.
You'll often find yourself nodding in agreement to a lot of what he has to say, and he's never disrespectful.
Since I have an idea of how/what you believe since we've talked before, you'll find him to be a wonderful conversation partner as I have.
In order to know the truth, one has to seek. Only you can seek for yourselves, others cannot seek for you.
Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek YEHOWAH thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to YEHOWAH thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; 31 (For YEHOWAH thy God is a merciful God) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Note: The true Hebrew name of our Creator is YEHOWAH, replaced by the word LORD in most bibles.
You are all disgressing much. Please answer the question at hand: name 10 excellent reasons as to why there is a God or if you will, a Benevolent Universal Presence/ Entity/Energy. Just answer this simple question, please do not go off on tangents here! Thank you ever so kindly. Have a Nice Day!
Sorry can't do it. I could name 10 crapy reasons why I wish there was a benevolent God, would that satisfy you?
can you give a reason for joy.... or a reason for happiness?..... peace?..... god is a concept, a belief,... not a noun as we so often mistake,.... why does love exist?..... I don't know,.... but I believe it does... and I can even believe in it, despite having no proof to point to of its existence at times.
the only good reason I can give you,... because we NEED to think there is something greater than us,.... not because there actually might BE something out there in the cosmos that really is,... but because we NEED TO BELIEVE there is.
humans create things,.... its a "who made who" scenario..... did god make us, or did we make him,..... this co-dependent relationship seems to predate our collective thoughts about it.
However, love is rather an easy one when you see how it works: http://slartyobrian.hubpages.com/hub/Lo … at-exactly
Peace? That's easy too. The laws of conservation tell us that all atoms tend toward their lowest possible output of energy. This causes entropy, and entropy facilitates change. It also causes the atom to merge with others, often different from itself which causes a new substance and a new lowest possible output of energy for the new configuration..
A consequence of this on our level besides our level of existence itself is that all conflicts demand resolution due to entropy. All conflicts therefore result in a new order and consequently a new lowest possible output of energy and peace.
Emotions like joy exist as a signal. They signify a need met or desire fulfilled, in the same way pain signifies an injury to the body. The body has needs that require filling too like procreation, hence our desire for sex.
Of course that ties into why we love and what love is, and it also ties into the laws of conservation. In fact all these things are intimately related.
Now, some people do need to believe in a higher power and others do not. Some start out believing and lose the need. Others acquire it. The need for a higher power is not as simple as it may seem. For some it is the need for purpose, or for what it can do for them, like give them eternal life, or like allowing them to see dead loved ones again, seeing that justice is done to those that hurt you and that they don't get away with it for ever, and that there is something that knows everything, even if we don't, and might be able to pass it on to us.
If these needs are resolved by other means, that make you not need them any more, then they are obviously no longer needs. In other words there are several ways in which a need can be fulfilled or resolved.
We don't really need to believe any of it. But we do want to, which makes it a need in a subjective rather than objective way.
As you point out, I think we asked the wrong question from the beginning: It should not be who created this, it should be something more like: How does all this work? How did it all get here? A god may still be the conclusion for some, but at least it would not be assumed in the question.
I think we did make this mistake in the manner of our inquiry exactly because we are creative and assumed that since we simply manipulate what is handy and we did not create the raw material we manipulate nor ourselves, there must be super human intellects or one superhuman intellect that did,.
But the idea seems to have evolved. A lot of pagans were ancestor worshipers, spirit worshipers, nature worshipers etc. The gods came later.
If God does exist, we really should be doing everything in our power to kill him.
"I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things." - Isaiah 45:7
The origin of all evil? Why shouldn't we kill it?
I've found it! I've found a perfect image representation of our lord, Jesus Christ!
Saying you don't believe anything is like saying there will be no wheather today OR I don't have an attitude. OR I don't have a temprature.
Yes Jerami, we understand (not believe) that you operate entirely from a belief system and have no concept of how to understand things instead of believing in them.
If you only understood half as much as you think you do.
That would be a wonderful thing. But ... to "believe " that to be true is truly a fanatical misconception.
Bur we don't. Tell me. Is it impossible to choose not to believe something? We do it every day. We selectively choose what to believe and what not to believe. Would you not agree?
So what would be so hard to understand about choosing not to believe any idea? And what would be so impossible then to choose not to believe anything? It is just a natural extension of what you do everyday but instead of being selective it is all inclusive,.
I know it is hard for you to understand because we have all been told that faith is valuable. But you have to understand that to an inductive thinker it is poison.
All I'm saying is ... to Not believe there is a God IS BELIEVING that there is No God.
To say that you do NOT believe anything, can not be true. , You know everything that you profess to be true .... The fact is that you believe that you know the things that you think you know.
I guess that when we feel the need to argue, we argue about the silliest of things.
"All I'm saying is ... to Not believe there is a God IS BELIEVING that there is No God."
No it isn't. How can I say there positively is no god? I do not know that and you don't either. I do not have to choose which idea to believe. I lack the belief that you have. You have it I do not. That is not the same as saying I believe there is no god. I do not believe there is no god, I do not know. But neither do I believe that there is one.
I do not hold the belief, as you do, that there is a god. Let me make this clear: I lack something you have: belief. You have it I do not. It really is very simple.
There is more than the option of believing in a positive sense and believing in a negative sense, There is not holding a belief either way. The other would be to believe everything I suppose.
I wouldn't recommend it.
An opinion is not a belief if there is no faith involved. Usually an opinion is based on some evidence or other. But I can have an opinion without being married to it by belief.
Now, would you agree or not that belief and faith are intimately related? If not we aren't even working from the same definition.
I'm not exclusively talking about believing or not in God.
I am speaking in general terms about believing anything about anything.
Was it even you I was first speaking to. Someone said "I do not have any beliefs about anything", "either a thing is true and I know it to be true, or it isn't"
All I ever said was you do have beliefs. There are things you believe to be real and things you believe are not real. When all is said and done ... All we have are beliefs.
I believe that I am real and many other people believe I am real. But for all I know ... I am a figment of my imagination and of those that believe that I am real.
Interesting point. In that you think it supports your position. It basically explains Jerami's also. Simply because faith, in the context you appear to be using, refers to belief without proof; but you have confined proof to strict parameters. You have omitted the possibility of proof in a philosophical sense. You want to limit it to a scientific definition.
Even scientifically, I'm not sure much is done without a degree of faith. No one can follow the chain of evidence back completely enough to verify the veracity of every link that has led us to the level we currently work on. We have faith in the method, which allows us to continue to build on information already agreed to be evidence.
We have to accept some things on faith or, maybe, we accept all things on faith. Because we can't move forward without trust and confidence. And once we have placed that trust and confidence in anything, it is belief. Because, if you follow the train of discovery to its beginning, in any endeavor, everything first began with an assumption. You might consider the evidence overwhelming in support of that assumption, but that still means you were operating on a belief. It doesn't matter how many agree to place confidence in anything. Consensus does not equate to truth. It equates to group acceptance of a belief.
Very reasonably argued. Thank you.
I'll wait until tonight to answer as I don't time this morning.
"Interesting point. In that you think it supports your position. It basically explains Jerami's also. Simply because faith, in the context you appear to be using, refers to belief without proof; but you have confined proof to strict parameters. You have omitted the possibility of proof in a philosophical sense. You want to limit it to a scientific definition. "
I am a philosopher so I do accept both deductive and inductive evidence. But no. You have a it a little wrong here. I'm talking mainly about belief always having degrees of faith. Faith does not require evidence and in fact religious faith is demanded. The religious are not supposed to ask for evidence or proof. You are to have faith. That faith as I said before gives one the illusion of certainty.
Belief can be had without any faith involved but that is rare and the word is loaded so it is best to avoid it if you mean an opinion which has no faith behind it but is a speculative opinion based on evidence.
"Even scientifically, I'm not sure much is done without a degree of faith. No one can follow the chain of evidence back completely enough to verify the veracity of every link that has led us to the level we currently work on. We have faith in the method, which allows us to continue to build on information already agreed to be evidence."
We are all in the same boat, as you once said. Science knows that there is no way to have absolute proof about many hypothesis. They are speculative ideas that are tested and retested. Often other scientists want to prove you wrong, so they do the tests as well and publish their papers.
Peer review is a big part of science. Even today people try to prove Einstein wrong. That's what science does. It has no faith because faith is when you think you already have the answer. Belief in science is not productive. You have to keep trying to disprove your own hypothesis.
If you can't falsify it and no one else can and it makes good solid predictions about the way some aspect of the universe works it might become a working model and be elevated to the status of theory. Some theories become known as facts when the results of experiments that verify the theory just become overwhelming. Like in the case of Relativity, thermodynamics and evolution to name but a few.
But in science as opposed to religion there is no last word. Everything is up for re-examination, even facts.
Truth is relative to conditions. As long as those conditions remain the same the truth of those conditions is absolute. A fact remains a fact until the conditions change which makes it a fact. For some facts to become other than fact the laws of physics would have to change. For facts about humans and their behavior and their relationships conditions change all the time so the facts change.
The truth of the matter changes.
So new evidence coming in may point to a condition not accounted for before. That can have the effect of changing or modifying a fact. Or even prove it wrong.
And once proven wrong that's the end of it. In science you can show validation a million times but you never have absolute certainty. The only time you have certainty is when something is proven wrong, and that only has to happen once and everyone will toss it.
There is a lot of speculation in science. A lot of hope. But faith is guarded against because it blinds you to what may be wrong with your hypothesis. Science talks about probability rather than absolutes.
"We have to accept some things on faith or, maybe, we accept all things on faith. Because we can't move forward without trust and confidence. And once we have placed that trust and confidence in anything, it is belief. Because, if you follow the train of discovery to its beginning, in any endeavor, everything first began with an assumption. You might consider the evidence overwhelming in support of that assumption, but that still means you were operating on a belief. It doesn't matter how many agree to place confidence in anything. Consensus does not equate to truth. It equates to group acceptance of a belief."
Right. Consensus as in philosophical agreement does not guarantee truth. There are even philosophical deductive points that can not be refuted and have to be considered logically true. But it does not mean they are true. It only means that if all of the variables of the argument are fact then the argument must be true. But remember that that the earth being flat was such an argument before we knew that the variables of the argument were not true.
But deductive logic only goes so far. Experience is the best teacher. So natural philosophers, later to be called scientists, started using inductive reasoning. Experience, observe, test. Verify tests and make sure they are repeatable by anyone. Anyone competent of course.
When we sailed around the world we knew it wasn't flat, And when we learned about gravity we found out why we do not fall off. And when we learned about space we discovered that the people on the "underside" of the world were not upside down. Up and down is relative to conditions.as well as perception.
Yes we all have to make choices every day. We are forced to. We try to make the best choice we can, But we do not know the exact outcome of a choice or always even how we came to make that particular choice. Do we have to have faith that our choice is correct? No. It is a hit and miss game every day. Do we think we will be right? Sure, we hope so.
But instead of belief, what we can do, and some of us always try to do, is work out probability and take our best guess. My guess is that paying the electric bill will provide me with the best odds that the electric company will leave my power on. The probability approaches 100 percent, in fact. But even that does not guarantee that my power will remain on in the event of a power outage.
Belief can be turned into assessing probability, for which no faith is required, just a best guess in the tricky parts.
What about conviction? You said we have to have confidence in our choices and that confidence comes the belief that we are right. Right?
Am I confident that I have a lot of answers? Yes. Through faith? No. Through finding formulas through deductive and inductive reasoning. Through using logic. But if I fail to use it correctly then I know I can be wrong. I have been many times. I have had to abandon complete belief systems many times.
It is not easy admitting you were completely wrong to others. But often if you have faith that you are right, it is much harder to admit it to yourself.
So I know that my beliefs never helped me. My faith was always wrong and shattered. So how do you avoid the heartbreak and inner turmoil of shattered faith? Not allow yourself to have any.
The best tool I found for that for myself is inductive as well as deductive reasoning. No faith is required and in fact it is harmful to the process. It colors your results. Hence, believe nothing because very little is absolutely certain. You can only deal in probability when you do not have all the facts.
Tentatively accept facts as long as they remain facts. Drop any idea that you know has been falsified through logical or empirical means. Be open to new evidence.
In other words use everything you can to get information and fall to nothing. Wait and see when you don't know.
None of this requires any degree of faith. It works or it does not. Following this formula does work for me. It may not work for everyone.
Concise is apparently not your forte. I'll read this through tomorrow when I can see it better. Iphones aren't really the thing to use when reading what amounts to a hub. I will probably respond. Since, although you appear to think you are giving yourself a wide berth; it appears to me, after a quick review, you are in the same boat as the rest of us. But, like I said....damn, that's a long post. I could easily have missed the clincher that seals your argument.
"Concise is apparently not your forte."
Actually that is the condensed version. I am, after all, an extremist.
That said: sorry for the length of the post. Unfortunately it will probably happen again.
Condensed? Hm. Well, when in Rome. Eh?
First, again, you place parameters on religious faith. So, as long as everyone agrees to your parameters; you might have a point. But, I don't agree to the parameters. Religion neither demands faith, nor does it imply that the religious person is not supposed to ask for evidence or proof. Most believers on this forum insist that they believe because they have personal evidence of the existence of a Creator. Their faith lies solely in their particular religion's interpretation of what their knowledge implies.
So, there is no faith claimed in the existence of God. Their faith is in their understanding of the God they know to exist. I agree that it is an illusion of certainty. I disagree on where the illusion begins.
Here again, you are attempting to hem in the discussion so that it fits neatly into your opinion. I don't agree that belief can be had without any faith involved. I'm grabbing definitions off of the internet to explain why. I'll leave the definitions which include the words religion, spiritual and/or God out since we are discussing why you, an atheist, do not have faith.
Belief is trust: confidence that somebody or something is good or will be effective.
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing.
These two definitions appear to be, somewhat, synonymous. Yes, I did cherry pick the ones that suited my argument; but I didn't make them up. These are definitions to the two words you are insisting are not inextricably tied. To argue that one means one thing, one means another is, to me, an admission that you find one of the words distasteful and do not want to be associated with it. However, that doesn't negate the fact that the definitions are synonymous.
Here you are attempting to limit the use of the word religion to encompass the mindset of a very small portion of the religious community; while painting the entire religious community with that limited mindset. Even the Catholic church has re-examined opinions and changed them in the light of new evidence. I'm not certain how you came up with that; without a predisposed position of bias.
Science is not atheistic; it is dispassionate. I will grant you that we see a lot of impassioned posts from the theists on this site and there are others off line who conduct themselves in the same manner. However, most believers I know whom you would refer to as religious simply assume that God exists. More of an 'in the beginning' stance. Their views on the existence of God do not stand in the way of any knowledge we have attained, are in the process of attaining, and (most likely) will attain. It is a fluid belief. I know atheists love to insist that the lion's share of the scientific community is comprised of atheists. This is a lie that is easily brought to light with a simple search for information. The scientific community in America appears to have about the same percentage of believers as the general population. These (heaven forbid) believers are actively involved in broadening our knowledge of the reality we exist in. To imply that religion prohibits the search for knowledge is a discredit to their contributions.
I'm afraid I disagree. The laws of physics is simply a breakdown of our understanding of how the universe works. If we find something that shows this breakdown to be wrong nothing changed concerning the conditions within the universe. Our level of knowledge changed.
Truth, I agree, does not change. But, we have no way of knowing the ultimate truth until we discover it. Until then; we have faith (synonymous with belief) that our understanding is accurate.
I would have to say we need to limit that to certain branches of science. It, especially, cannot be assumed in the social sciences, i.e. sociology, psychology, economics, political science, history, or anthropology. There is enough evidence of studies 'proving' what the researchers set out to prove, without evidence that these are 'facts'. And, often times, no evidence that these are probabilities.
That is great. But, not when it comes to conversations on spirituality. Simply because, if there is any truth to the subject, we can't verify that every outcome from every test repeated was initiated by the same experience. You've made some whopper claims. You have said that you can continue to do these things and can show others how to do them. You attribute this to the power of your mind. Can you prove it? If not, then you cannot claim that someone else, doing the same thing, is wrong in attributing the outcome to an alternate source. There is no competent source to turn to in these matters. Pseudo science loves to speculate; but since we have agreed to label it pseudo science I think it is safe to assume none of us considers it to be a competent authority.
Again, I disagree. Simply because you label it belief because you hold it. I, not being you, label it faith because I don't know enough about you to have full confidence. And vice versa. It is belief only within the confines of your personal space. I can't verify it. I can't experience it. I can't test it. I'm not you. So, it does not meet the criteria you have set forth; since for you to choose the 'competent' observer would still mean that I would view it as belief/faith because I wouldn't necessarily trust you to choose an impartial observer.
Being willing to abandon a belief system does not mean that you don't have a belief system. It means that you change them periodically. As does most of humanity. Very, very few people have the same beliefs as they held ten years ago, five years ago, or even yesterday. We are constantly being bombarded with new information through all of our senses. We are constantly filtering through that information in search of the parts that broaden our understanding of the world. We are constantly sloughing off the things we determine to be wrong. We change. Sometimes gradually. Sometimes change erupts like a volcano. However, nothing is stagnant. All things evolve. Especially personal philosophies.
I agree with the first part, not the second. Belief in one's ability to process the information effectively and to use it to broaden one's understanding is, first and foremost, faith in oneself. Faith in
your ability to discern what to believe and what not to. Faith in your method.
All life, since the first human became aware, has been a series of acceptances of belief. I think that is what separates us from the other animals. Our ability to create an intricate web of beliefs and share them. But, we have to have faith in order to hold those beliefs. Nothing that we have created and nothing that we have accomplished has been done without group faith. That faith doesn't mean that any of us accept everything. It doesn't mean that the majority has always had faith in what ultimately became a group belief. It doesn't mean that faith and belief are stagnant. The fact that they aren't has allowed us to continue to grow and develop as a species. But, beliefs can't change without faith. Belief will continue to change until we reach the level where we know, without doubt, the truth. Until that time, we all operate on faith.
"Condensed? Hm. Well, when in Rome. Eh?"
"First, again, you place parameters on religious faith. So, as long as everyone agrees to your parameters; you might have a point. But, I don't agree to the parameters. Religion neither demands faith, nor does it imply that the religious person is not supposed to ask for evidence or proof. Most believers on this forum insist that they believe because they have personal evidence of the existence of a Creator. Their faith lies solely in their particular religion's interpretation of what their knowledge implies."
I know you have probably spoken to many believers who tell you that their faith is due to personal evidence. This is quite so. But if you look at the bible and understand the theology involved with religion you quickly see that the religions based on Christianity themselves demand faith without proof. Some denominations say that faith alone gets you to heaven. Others that faith and good works get you to heaven. When we demand evidence from Christians what do they say? God does not have prove his existence to anyone. If you have faith he will show you in your life that he exists.
Faith without evidence is the corner stone of Christianity. But of course people like evidence. Even Christians like it. So from the perspective of faith all events in their lives are related to this god and how he shows himself to them through their faith. But they are not supposed to want evidence. They are to assume that all events are related to god. So when things happen they assume god is involved. That becomes their evidence. Which is not evidence at all.
So why do they tell us non-believers go to hell? Because faith is demanded by god according to them in order to get to heaven. You must believe Jesus is your savior. Once you accept that your way to heaven is clear. Without that faith you don't stand a change.
Calvinists go farther, of course. They say that unless you are called to be a Calvinist you are doomed because you are already in the book of life or not, and you have been there or not since the beginning of time. You are one of the chosen or not. In that case no amount of faith will get you to heaven unless you also believe what Calvin had to say.
But ask any Christian and they will tell you that faith is paramount.
Theologically there is no faith if there is evidence. Once you have evidence no faith is required, So god does not give evidence unless he feels like it because he wants your faith. In philosophy the same holds true. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence. Once you have proof you no longer have or need faith.
"Here again, you are attempting to hem in the discussion so that it fits neatly into your opinion. I don't agree that belief can be had without any faith involved. I'm grabbing definitions off of the internet to explain why. I'll leave the definitions which include the words religion, spiritual and/or God out since we are discussing why you, an atheist, do not have faith."
Well when I discuss this many people tell me they disagree that belief always has some faith involved in it. I thought perhaps you were one of those people. So I allowed for a belief without faith even I don't think there can be any. But you seem to think the opposite is true. Like me you think belief always has some faith attached. That is why I advocate no belief what so ever if you can accomplish it in your life.
"Belief is trust: confidence that somebody or something is good or will be effective.
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing."
Right. Do I trust that my wife is faithful? No. I hold no belief about that one way or the other. She is or she is not. Nothing I believe can change the facts. I do not believe she is faithful but I also do not believe she is unfaithful.
If I believe she is faithful and she is not then finding that out will cause me no end of inner turmoil because then I have an expectation. If I think she is unfaithful and she is not then jealousy and mistrust will mess up our relationship and may drive her to be unfaithful. So either way belief is not going to help me. And faith sometimes has a way of being a self fulfilling prophecy.
What is the alternative? Trust so as not to mess up the relationship in case she is not unfaithful? I prefer to just not allow the issue to exist for me until it does. I tend not to trust anyone but I also do not distrust them until they give me reason to. Faith is not required. Trust is not even required. And I certainly do not need nonsense like jealousy in my life.
Confidence related to faith is as we both agree, is misplaced confidence without the ability for certainty which is provides as an illusion. Tentative confidence about a tried and true method is a confidence built on history in that the method has always worked before. It may not work someday, but usually that is a low probability.
"These two definitions appear to be, somewhat, synonymous. Yes, I did cherry pick the ones that suited my argument; but I didn't make them up. These are definitions to the two words you are insisting are not inextricably tied."
Well to be fair I don't mind you cherry picking dictionary definitions to make your case. The dictionary gives us common usage of a word. A word has no intrinsic meaning other than what we place on it.
Often we discover new things about a specific issue which do not match common usage. So it does not surprise me that a dictionary ties faith and confidence and trust together. But the people like myself who have tried the method I have described and claim to have no faith have discovered that trust is not required and tentative confidence can come from using tried and true methods for establishing the best choices we can make when we are called upon to make them. We do not need faith even in the method. It will work or it will not. There is no other outcome possible.
" To argue that one means one thing, one means another is, to me, an admission that you find one of the words distasteful and do not want to be associated with it. However, that doesn't negate the fact that the definitions are synonymous."
Well yes. Like you I can't see the word belief not having some faith attached to it. So I do not use it the way some people do which is to say there can be belief without faith. But again I do not have an issue with common usage definitions. We are talking about non-common ideas concerning these words so the dictionary doesn't always apply.
"Here you are attempting to limit the use of the word religion to encompass the mindset of a very small portion of the religious community; while painting the entire religious community with that limited mindset. Even the Catholic church has re-examined opinions and changed them in the light of new evidence. I'm not certain how you came up with that; without a predisposed position of bias."
From studying religions in depth. I agree completely that the participants do not always reflect their own churches stance on things but these ideas have been written about by scholars and philosophers for centuries. The trouble is all I can do is tell you what the religion they claim to be part of says because each and every christian seems to have a unique cherry picked religion of their own within a traditional structure.
The position of the church (catholic) is that the truth does not change. So what god wants does not change. However the Catholic church is unique in that it has had some of the greatest thinkers of all time write for it. It is very careful about appearing to be interested only in truth from a theological perspective. The church has been hit like no other with contradictory scientific evidence. It became apparent that the church had to accept the findings of science if it was going to advocate science as a way to find out how god did all this. How it all really works.
They fought against science for centuries but eventually they embraced it because it was a way to get people back into their seats in church. You have to realize that the church had to change after the reformation or die. But the core ideas unshakable.
Of course like all else religion evolves. That's a fact. But one of the tenets of all the splinter groups is that the truth itself does not change, So religion is never seen to change although it certainly does. .
"Science is not atheistic; it is dispassionate. I will grant you that we see a lot of impassioned posts from the theists on this site and there are others off line who conduct themselves in the same manner. However, most believers I know whom you would refer to as religious simply assume that God exists. More of an 'in the beginning' stance. Their views on the existence of God do not stand in the way of any knowledge we have attained, are in the process of attaining, and (most likely) will attain. It is a fluid belief. I know atheists love to insist that the lion's share of the scientific community is comprised of atheists. This is a lie that is easily brought to light with a simple search for information. The scientific community in America appears to have about the same percentage of believers as the general population. These (heaven forbid) believers are actively involved in broadening our knowledge of the reality we exist in. To imply that religion prohibits the search for knowledge is a discredit to their contributions."
Well exactly so. God can not be falsified so science has nothing to sat about it. Scientists do, from time to time, but that is their interpretation of the data they have gotten through the scientific method. The method is not bias. It produces data. The scientists that interpret the data are engaging in philosophy as soon as they tell us what they found and the implications for us.
As I said, I agree that for the most part scientists throughout history were religious. Isaac Newton was a religious man. They wanted to know how god did it. They realized that just saying god did it didn't tell them anything. But the scientific method, the father of which was a Muslim in 1000 AD is not religious. And it is from the scientific method that I take my lack of belief.
However there is one field in which atheism has become the norm. That being Physics. Cosmology is a close second. I dare say most physicists these days are atheists. You should be able to look that up too as I believe there was recently a survey done among Physicists.
"I'm afraid I disagree. The laws of physics is simply a breakdown of our understanding of how the universe works. If we find something that shows this breakdown to be wrong nothing changed concerning the conditions within the universe. Our level of knowledge changed."
Right. We agree I wasn't implying that. I was saying that for some facts to change, like conservation of energy, so that we see that change in reality, it would mean the laws of physics were broken. Then we would have no certainty at all.
"Truth, I agree, does not change. But, we have no way of knowing the ultimate truth until we discover it. Until then; we have faith (synonymous with belief) that our understanding is accurate."
I agree with the fist part. I would though say that until then, we do not know, and there is no reason to believe the truth is either way unless we have real evidence that it might be. Then we can explore that model until we discover more without the need to fall to faith or belief. You only need faith when you want to know what you can't know and yet insist on forming an uninformed opinion.
Brains love to fill in the gaps for us. We have to aware of that and guard against it.
"I would have to say we need to limit that to certain branches of science. It, especially, cannot be assumed in the social sciences, i.e. sociology, psychology, economics, political science, history, or anthropology. There is enough evidence of studies 'proving' what the researchers set out to prove, without evidence that these are 'facts'. And, often times, no evidence that these are probabilities."
Well I am not so sure all of those qualify as real sciences. But they can all be practiced as a science, of course. I wouldn't call economics, political science, or history real sciences. But that is beside the point I suppose. Actually I am kind of lost as to what you were replying to after looking at my post again so I won't be able to give an answer on this without clarification.
If you are saying that people get ideas and then test them without the slightest evidence that they will pan out, then I most certainly agree with you. The method is what gets results. Like a computer, garbage in, garbage out. But when it is garbage out the scientific community does not take it seriously.
"That is great. But, not when it comes to conversations on spirituality. Simply because, if there is any truth to the subject, we can't verify that every outcome from every test repeated was initiated by the same experience."
I'm not sure I am getting your meaning. Spiritual experiences are of the brain. The question is does a god talk to you through your brain or is your brain making it up? Doctor Persinger has shown with a massive volume of tests that the same stimulus can give people similar experiences. So as a religious person once told me that may mean that god put that ability to have religious experience in us so we could communicate with him.
But all we know for a fact is that we can replicate religious experiences in a lab by applying a little Electro-magnetism to a specific region of someone's brain. The rest is speculation
Even that it really was a spiritual experience is speculative, even though people report it as such, because the "soul or spirit is speculative and not falsifiable, so not the interest of science unless someone finds a way to falsify it.
"You've made some whopper claims. You have said that you can continue to do these things and can show others how to do them. You attribute this to the power of your mind. Can you prove it?"
Sure. I could teach you how to have an out of body experience. It would take some time and practice on your part but it can be done. I could also show you how to mediate to attain states of mind you never dreamed possible.
I can't prove that I can do it unless I was hooked up to a brain imaging device, because it is done with the brain. But plenty of people have done those studies already
Just to let you know, neuroscience has a lot of evidence as to why people have out of body experiences. Some people do it without training because there is something different about their brain. We might even consider it a disease if it bothers them, and it usually does because it is not something were trying to do.
There are illnesses where a person constantly feels like they are standing beside themselves. Neuroscience has figured out why this is.
It has also figured out why some people feel as if their arm or leg is still there when it has been amputated. It has to do with a layer of the brain which holds a kind of itinerary of what is supposed to be there. When it is no longer there the brain still receives messages for it.
There is also the opposite condition. If that layer of the brain that holds the inventory, so to speak, is damaged, then people can view their own limbs as not being their own. Some patients have even amputated their own limbs to get rid of the feeling. When they do that, they are cured.
Gurus and shaman have been teaching people how to train themselves to have "spiritual" experiences for thousands of years. All you need to do is trigger processes in your brain in specific ways and you can have out of body experience as well as a host of other experiences.
View them as instant insanity or spiritual experiences. They have been called both. I just see them as a manipulation of your brain.
I wouldn't call it brain power. I would call it brain training. But for the benefit you might get from it, it isn't worth it for most people unless they think it brings them closer to god or a cosmic consciousness. I personally do not think that's what it does.
"If not, then you cannot claim that someone else, doing the same thing, is wrong in attributing the outcome to an alternate source."
Well right. We can't know a god or spirit or what ever is not talking to them through their brain. But they can't know it either. We can only know the specifics of what went on in the brain while it happened and make correlations between regions of the brain, relationships with other regions, which produce the experience, which can be reproduced by stimulating the same sequence artificially.
So if someone can make you talk to god any time they want to, what is likely happening? God is having a lot to say? Or someone else is pulling the strings? The stimulation of the brain seems enough to cause the experience without an actual god being present all the time.
So which events was god actual present in and in which was he not? Silly question perhaps? I think we could conclude that he was present in none of them and that the brain (subconscious) is capable of giving you almost what ever experience you desire.
There is evidence of this even in the fact that some people experience things others want to experience without the desire to do so, and for many of them the experience is not taken as spiritual, but as something wrong with their mind.
" There is no competent source to turn to in these matters. Pseudo science loves to speculate; but since we have agreed to label it pseudo science I think it is safe to assume none of us considers it to be a competent authority."
Neuroscience is a very competent source for telling us what is happening and why in the brain. It is getting better at it every day. Particularly since we have better imaging devices then ever have had.,
It is not considered pseudo science by anyone of note that I know of.
"Again, I disagree. Simply because you label it belief because you hold it. I, not being you, label it faith because I don't know enough about you to have full confidence. And vice versa. It is belief only within the confines of your personal space. I can't verify it. I can't experience it. I can't test it. I'm not you. So, it does not meet the criteria you have set forth; since for you to choose the 'competent' observer would still mean that I would view it as belief/faith because I wouldn't necessarily trust you to choose an impartial observer."
Well yes. You have summed it up nicely. You view it as my belief because you can not verify that I don't believe anything. I understand that.
So would you believe from your own experience that you can refuse to form a solid opinion on something? Have you never done that? Just decided you were not going to even have an opinion about something you heard until you had more evidence one way or the other?
I would be very surprised if you told me you could not do that if you wanted to.
So could you in theory do it for more than one issue? Sure, right?
But you are saying that no one can decide to forgo a solid opinion on everything on purpose? Of course we can. It takes work because it is easier to have faith. But I assure you it can be done as many people here will attest to.
"Being willing to abandon a belief system does not mean that you don't have a belief system. It means that you change them periodically. As does most of humanity. Very, very few people have the same beliefs as they held ten years ago, five years ago, or even yesterday. We are constantly being bombarded with new information through all of our senses. We are constantly filtering through that information in search of the parts that broaden our understanding of the world. We are constantly sloughing off the things we determine to be wrong. We change. Sometimes gradually. Sometimes change erupts like a volcano. However, nothing is stagnant. All things evolve. Especially personal philosophies."
Well said. But I just abandoned all belief systems in the end. It's easier for me that way. But I will continue to learn and change. Change is a constant.
Now I know that can only recondition yourself and you can never eliminate conditioning entirely. But my experience is that it does not work exactly that way for belief. You can eliminate that because there is no need for it.
"I agree with the first part, not the second. Belief in one's ability to process the information effectively and to use it to broaden one's understanding is, first and foremost, faith in oneself. Faith in
your ability to discern what to believe and what not to. Faith in your method."
Faith through experience is not faith. I do not need faith in the method because it does what it is supposed to do, leave me open to evidence and in a state of not caring what the truth is in the end. The only thing I care about is knowing what that truth is. So there is no reason for me to believe I already know what it is. That would be fruitless.
The method gives me the best tools I have ever had to get at the truth and make informed choices even in the way I view the world. Had it not worked I would have tossed it for something else and tried that. I've tried so many beliefs on for size. Now it is time to drop belief all together.
"All life, since the first human became aware, has been a series of acceptances of belief. I think that is what separates us from the other animals. Our ability to create an intricate web of beliefs and share them."
Yes. I agree. We do share information in astounding ways. I would say that all biological things do but we are very good at at. I'd say it seems to be one of our functions in life. We passed on technology to each other like fire and the wheel, we tried this belief and that. And now we have evolved to the point where some of us are dropping belief all together. But we are not dropping our function of communicating, processing information and passing it on.
" But, we have to have faith in order to hold those beliefs. Nothing that we have created and nothing that we have accomplished has been done without group faith."
I get your point but it has been more like group trial and error. There have always been individuals who had great ideas and carried them out, and then passed on that information. But it was not faith that invented the telephone. It was having all the materials in place as well as certain vital discoveries like electricity and how to harness it.
The phone was invented independently by three people almost at the same time. But no matter what your idea, you can not make it work without the right tech already in place. You can not invent the telephone before you have wire and metal and a knowledge of electricity. But all things are in place inventions who's time has come get invented, and usually by more than one person.
"That faith doesn't mean that any of us accept everything. It doesn't mean that the majority has always had faith in what ultimately became a group belief. It doesn't mean that faith and belief are stagnant. The fact that they aren't has allowed us to continue to grow and develop as a species. But, beliefs can't change without faith. Belief will continue to change until we reach the level where we know, without doubt, the truth. Until that time, we all operate on faith."
Well most of us still do. But I and others will tell you the good news. You don't have to rely on faith anymore. You don't have to believe anything. But it does take work at first.
I have read the Bible. And, I did attend church (though forced) during a period of my life. So, I do have a little experience in this also. And, I'm telling you, you are talking about interpretation of a text. That is where the illusion begins. Nothing in your post addresses the claims of personal experience. It addresses the things they are taught in their attempt to understand that moment.
Some people (to be honest, most) gravitate toward groups.They like the camaraderie of others of like mind. Others who have had similar experiences. Organized religion fulfills some basic need in humanity; to belong. Now, I will grant you that this need to belong will move many people to give false information in order to create the appearance of being a member of a particular group. However, that is indicative of any clique you encounter; religious groups are not exclusive in this phenomenon. I'm not a fan of anything overly organized because the simple attempt to organize demands a need for consensus; and the larger the group the more you lose the purity of the reason you had for organizing. As the organization grows, people vie for control; they calculate what will appeal to the greater number and the reasons for being together change as the power base changes. This is the nature of human interaction. And that is the reason there are so many interpretations of the Bible and so many sects. However, it does not explain the core reason many have for being there in the first place.
Anywhere you look, you will find people within groups whose philosophy makes little sense. The purity of the reason for gathering together in the first place lost in the madness of the crowd. That doesn't change the value of the experience that led them to join that group. It simply shows that the need to belong overrides some things it shouldn't. And the need to belong causes most people to be willing to turn a blind eye to things within that group that do not make sense to them.
Yes, faith in the text. Not faith in the existence of God. Faith in the plan; as laid forth in the text.
So, yes. Those who argue in favor of any organized religion do have faith in that interpretation. They do attempt to find ways to see how that interpretation is still relevant. But, again, that has to do with a book and not the reasons for picking up the book in the first place.
Say I was traveling. I saw a man brutally murdered in the Middle East. My understanding of that act would be determined by the avenue I chose to find information surrounding that act. Who I found to share the details of events that led to that act. I could easily find multiple sources. But, I will eventually accept the information offered by the choice that makes the most sense to me. I could have a jihadist explain, in incredible depth, why that murder was justified. I could have a NATO soldier explain, in depth, why that murder was justified. Several governments could weigh in as to why that murder was justified. Several organizations throughout the world could explain why it wasn't justified. And none of the explanations would match; but it doesn't mean the murder didn't happen. For all I know, it could have been nothing more than a random act of violence unrelated to anything more than one guy thought the other was an ass. All I saw was a man die. Nothing before or after.
One experience can haunt you. That experience can lead you down many roads in an attempt to put it into perspective. Sometimes, we get so frustrated in our attempt to understand something that we settle on an answer. It doesn't explain everything, but it suffices to settle our minds for a time. And, whether the avenue we chose to put the experience into perspective is right or wrong; it does not change the fact that there was an experience that cause us to feel the need to move in some direction. We have no evidence that our choice of explanation is the correct choice. And, as many people who agree with our choice will disagree. But, again, that does not negate the fact that I saw a man murdered.
Probably, for the same reason many non believers call them delusional. For the same reason many non believers call them psychotic. The argument is stagnant and can't be won. It's a giant game of tic tac toe.
I'm afraid we may simply be approaching the question from different angles. I think belief is tied to sapience. If you believed nothing, you could possibly be a turnip or a toad. I do think it is possible to gently embrace a belief, have little faith in the veracity of that belief, always open for more information in order to change that belief to one that better fits the model you are building in your mind; but, each new stance is another belief. Without the ultimate proof we do not currently have access to, we are operating on assumptions. It's like a giant squid at the bottom of the ocean floor expounding on the wonders of Iowa to an anemone. How can he know anything with any certainty?
I agree that the goal of having no inner turmoil and no jealousy create a peaceful marriage. I'm scratching my head at your explanation of how you've thought this one out. One need not worry about such as that if the other party involved has the ability to think through the consequences of actions and have some consideration for how their actions will affect their spouse. I have no fear of my husband being unfaithful and I would suffer no remorse from severing ties were he to prove my trust in him wrong. Yet, I would certainly have to rethink my ability to trust in my own judgment.
But, we are simply two people. I know people whose relationships thrive on jealousy. These people would lose their attraction to their spouses if they saw no attraction to their spouse from others. The world takes all kinds.
Here is where I still think you have created a false sense of security and separation. Everyone has a method. Everyone goes on the premise that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We all have faith. We may define it as anything we want to but, from my angle, it is all still faith. The fact that we are willing to monitor it and are willing to accept that it is broken, thus putting us into a position to change it, does not mean that we don't currently have faith in the current method.
I own a business. We are currently unprofitable. But, I do have faith in the model. I honestly think this will be an incredibly profitable endeavor if we can get past the hump of the start up costs. I will dog this until it either succeeds, or fails, and I do believe if it fails it will be simply due to the fact that we didn't have enough capital to get past that hump. Everyone who has reviewed the business plan agrees with me. But, I still accept that my belief (and theirs) is couched in faith. Some have faith in the model. Some have faith in me. But, we are all operating on the premise of faith. If it succeeds, there is still faith involved. Some will attribute it to the soundness of the business plan, some will attribute it to my business savvy, some will call it blind luck. We have faith that our personal ways of interpreting events is correct.
I know we will never see eye to eye on this issue; but I see life as faith. I see intelligence as faith. I see humanity as separated from all other creatures because of the degree of faith we are willing to put into our own ability to interpret reality. Faith and belief are what makes us unique.
That is due to your need to organize. These people aren't cherry picking. They are pointing to the things within the book that support their philosophy. That support their understanding. You can certainly insist that they march to the same drum; but you don't have the power, or the right, to force people to believe what you do. Nor does any church. The fact that they go to that church shows their need to belong to a group. It doesn't even show that they have chosen a group which most closely resembles their personal philosophy. I've noticed that people will travel long distances to join a congregation whose membership suits their personality. Church dogma is not among the things they consider when choosing a church. And, it shouldn't be (although, joining because of the company shouldn't be either). That is one problem I do have with Christianity. The Acts, or the Epistles, touched on the truth that people think differently. That people's consciences are diverse. That things which eat at the conscience of one are of no consequence to another; and that this is natural and should be accepted. Your need to force everyone to follow your interpretation was pointed out as wrong. So, you can argue the point until the cows come home; but you are operating under a false premise.
I agree, but I don't see this as evidence of the falsehood of the core belief. I see it as a simple truth that everything evolves; as you see it also. Does that mean that God does not exist? I see it more as proof that we love to make assumptions simply because of the number of religions and the number of sects within those religions. It does not address the question as to why anyone believes in the first place. Why they choose to follow a course of attempted understanding. It does not explain the reason why people claim to have had personal experience.
One of the interesting things about the claims of personal experience is that none of them, when reviewed, appear to support any religious dogma, at all; with the exception of the Catholics who are visited by their saints. The appearance of the saint, in itself, appears to support their belief. I know the standard explanation is that they deluded themselves; but I am not comfortable assuming so many are so gullible. I prefer to think that an experience has been misinterpreted. That this experience is used to support their chosen avenue for understanding that experience. Not that they did not have an experience.
Not surprising. However, I'm not sure what this means to me. Am I to believe I should follow the philosophy of a physicist or a cosmologist? If so, why? The value of a philosophy, in my mind, has more to do with how it affects our behavior patterns than anything else. I don't interact with physicists or cosmologists. Their beliefs appear to be benefiting mankind considerably, so they are welcome to them. However, the run of the mill atheism we are exposed to here on hub pages does not appear to be born of knowledge; it appears to be born of contempt. I don't think contempt reflects behavior patterns that are worth exploring, or emulating.
One of the valuable things I see in religion is that it helps people understand that actions matter. That kindness matters. That respect matters. That courteous behavior toward others is a trait worth emulating. These, what I consider to be, valuable assets which drive behavior patterns appear to be lacking in how many atheists interact with others here.
The core premise of belief is that God is Love. Christ's actions were born of love. Now, believers do rationalize why that love is reserved for them. But, that core premise is not a bad place to start when viewing the universe.
Then, you would agree that, until we have discovered everything there is to know about the universe, we are still operating within a degree of uncertainty. We have the illusion of certainty with the laws we have determined to exist.
And, we have to operate with a degree of respect that people know this. I know this and there are still multiple experiences within my lifetime that cannot be explained by any means. After every attempt to strip away every part that could have been added through the process of recollecting the event; the core event remains a mystery. I have to give others the benefit of the doubt; unless their explanation is so overly laden with the ego associated with the need to be special that it can be dismissed as ego.
I have to assume that, not being special, any event which cannot be explained does not make me so. That the explanation has to fit into the parameters of this basic assumption. Primarily because the reality we exist in supports this assumption on this level. I have no reason to believe, if there is a greater reality within this universe, that this other reality would be any different.
And I think a dentist shouldn't call himself a doctor. However, I think people within the professions we are commenting on might be offended by our views.
What I am saying is that some people have a stand they want to find support for and they force results in order to get them. They selectively interpret data to support their initial stand. Climatology being one of them. Studies on the effects of smoking funded by the tobacco industry. Studies of social behavior. Things such as this.
I agree, there is a great deal of speculation. We can manipulate the brain in order to produce some amazing results, through varying means and technology. What does this mean? Nothing, really, from a spiritual viewpoint. You can recreate the feeling of euphoria with drugs. This does not mean anything more than we were able to create a false sense of euphoria. It does not negate the value of the experience which causes euphoria naturally. The same could hold true for a religious experience. Simply because we have found the part of the brain to apply electro-magnetism to in order to recreate the feeling does not tell us what other experience caused the same reaction. It simply means we have found a part of the brain that reacts to that stimuli.
I'm not certain what point would be served by having a fake out of body experience. But, the ability to levitate something would certainly be of some interest.
Although I do believe we have unlimited potential, when talking about the powers of our brains, I don't see this as evidence that all of humanity who claim to have had an experience with a higher power are deluding themselves. This is on the level of a kid who just learned fractions. 'I know math.' they proudly claim, when they are just beginning to move out of simple addition and subtraction. We have a lot to learn. About everything. Claiming that the level we have attained is somehow moving in on the pinnacle of knowledge is a pointless assumption, and a dangerous one. We don't need to think this is the answer to everything. It is a step in the journey of discovery.
An artificial sweetener tastes pretty good. It is sweet. It mimics the flavor of sugar. Does that make it sugar? No. Does that mean sugar has ceased to exist? No. Very few things in life have one possible answer. That is why both sides of this argument can't win. You each insist there is only one possible answer to the question of experiences which have led you to believe what you believe. As an agnostic, I have to accept the fact that neither side has made their case adequately. You both still lack proof.
I don't know of anyone making that claim. Anyone who did would probably need psychiatric help.
I don't come to that conclusion. However, I do think that if someone feels they have had an experience on a spiritual level they would, naturally, crave more of those experiences. It could certainly put one into a position of assuming many things. But, it does not necessarily negate all of the experiences.
We all interpret things differently. That does not make any interpretation right or wrong. It is simply our interpretation of events. I can meet someone in a casual setting and later comment on how I know they didn't like me. That is my interpretation of the event. They can comment on how cordial they were at the meeting. That is their interpretation of the event. Someone watching might have a completely different take on the exchange. Who is right? Who is wrong? No one? Everyone? We all acted. We all reacted. We all perceived all of this differently.
On a tangent here it appears; I say everyone; from their perspective. What is the ultimate truth? Can it be determined? No, simply because we can't view any event from the perspective necessary to understand how it ultimately effects reality; if it does effect reality. If we are imagining or perceiving reality. If we can't know the ultimate truth of something as simple as a human interaction; how in the world are we going to assume a position of knowing the truth of what happens outside of that realm?
Maybe, maybe not. As I said, you can certainly find the parts of the brain that react to stimuli. You cannot verify that you know all of the possible stimuli that will cause that reaction. I can apply jumper cables to my battery and if they are connected to another battery my car will start. I can add a little water to the battery acid and help the car start. I can change the battery and get the car to start. My husband can run a wire from one dohicky to another in the car and make the battery start the car. There are multiple ways to get from point A to point B. If I were to insist that the only way to start a car was to do one of these things any human being would laugh at me.
Neuro science is an important tool in understanding our brain. But, to insist that any findings are the ultimate answer to everything related to the brain is short sighted and prematurely grasping.
No. I accept the fact that all is opinion when it comes to religion or philosophy. Unverifiable on the most basic level. I do have pretty detailed opinions on the subject; obviously. However, that does not make me right or wrong. It means I am not indifferent to the subject. Anyone who has chosen a side of the fence has deemed the evidence presented so far as compelling; just as I did when forming an opinion and using that opinion to attempt to rationalize reality. However, I accept that this evidence is compelling only to me. I don't feel the need to attempt to drag anyone along behind me. So, without compelling evidence which would give us all reason to believe the same things I choose not to support either side of the argument. I, obviously, do chime in when I think one side of the argument has overstepped the boundaries of fact or reason while attempting to support their opinion.
We all have opinions. In my daily life, I attempt to find ways to understand why I hold my opinions and why others hold their opinions. I attempt to resolve conflict by finding where those opinions intersect and bring the similarities to the forefront. And, I strive to ensure that my opinions take as many factors into account, as possible; so that actions which result from my opinions have the least negative effect on the greatest number of people.
I believe rational people can disagree and still be rational. Simply because the process by which we come to conclusions and form opinions is unique to each of us. There are so many factors involved in forming an opinion that it is impossible to understand them all; when it comes to others. And it is a tedious process to understand them in ourselves. We strive to take the blinders off in the journey of self discovery; but we have to always be on guard that we are blinded. Which we always are, in some manner. Without accepting this we will form hard opinions that will not stand up to the light of analysis. And cannot be modified to better reflect our understanding of reality.
So, no. I have no hard opinions. I am always open to more information. I accept that my current opinion is simply belief; and faith that I have used the best data possible in forming that current belief.
Which, I think, reflects your stand also. We simply perceive the same position in a different light.
I believe I have beliefs and faith and I, by my understanding of reality, so do you.
No argument there.
Blinders, I'm thinking here.
But, I don't want to be a turnip.
No. We have formed new beliefs. We have reached an age of technology where we are capable of attempting to instill the same beliefs in a greater number of people. We are attempting to form a greater consensus. Yes, we have developed the means by which to organize the information we are collecting about reality into a very neat package. Yes, we are cross referencing to ensure that the information we are collecting fits together. But, this does not mean that, at some point, we won't find a piece to the puzzle that makes us realize we weren't working on a puzzle. We were working on a house of cards and that piece of information knocks it down. Nor does it mean that we won't find the piece of the puzzle that finishes the puzzle off. It means we are, from the perspective we have access to, doing a very fine job of working on the puzzle.
Well, I suppose you have a point on that one. But, there was still faith in the idea.
Again, blinders; or not. I think you and I see a lot eye to eye; I simply don't see this the moment to come to conclusions on the full extent of reality. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. But, the universe is a great deal more than a duck.
" And, I'm telling you, you are talking about interpretation of a text. That is where the illusion begins. Nothing in your post addresses the claims of personal experience. It addresses the things they are taught in their attempt to understand that moment."
No argument there. I did say I could not speak for individuals because each person's personal belief is different, The only constant when talking about theology is the perspective of the religion they supposedly belong to.
Which is the religion? The church or the people? If you say the people then there is separate religion practiced by every individual who is a believer. The Catholic church knew that, which is why they forced people to stick to one story, and started inquisitions.
According to the Catholic church there are certain things which are to be believed. Any one of those items not believed becomes a problem. The Catholics made sure the religion was kept pure, so to speak, in matters of doctrine. After all, it is the foundation of the religion. The individuals who comprise the church go to the church to be taught how to be a Catholic and how to correct the mistakes they make in doctrine and belief.
As to the individuals numinous feelings, they are common in all humans and all cultures. But what they are attributed to depends on the culture. Everyone expresses more or less the same feelings, but everyone sees it differently and creates a specific and often unique myth or narrative around it.
" This is the nature of human interaction. And that is the reason there are so many interpretations of the Bible and so many sects. However, it does not explain the core reason many have for being there in the first place."
You said it yourself. We like to belong to groups of like minded people. Comfort, protection, you name it. But another reason Christianity and other religions that believe in an after life were good for the evolution of the species is because they release the fear of death, some what..
Humans are perhaps the only species that know that we will die someday. That's a heavy burden for a brain to carry. After all, the brain's job is to stay alive at all costs and keep the organism alive.
On this alone one can see how and why the brain may have decided there had to be a way to cheat death. Thus it invented gods and souls and heaven, in an attempt to beat death for itself as opposed to the entire organism, by leaving the dead body as a soul/mind.
People find others that want everlasting life, and who share other beliefs in common, so they can get to heaven; because that's what the organizations say to do.
"Anywhere you look, you will find people within groups whose philosophy makes little sense. The purity of the reason for gathering together in the first place lost in the madness of the crowd. That doesn't change the value of the experience that led them to join that group. It simply shows that the need to belong overrides some things it shouldn't. And the need to belong causes most people to be willing to turn a blind eye to things within that group that do not make sense to them."
"Yes, faith in the text. Not faith in the existence of God. Faith in the plan; as laid forth in the text."
Well without knowing that god exists there is no faith to be had for the plan. So there has to first exist faith that the god exists, No?
"One experience can haunt you. That experience can lead you down many roads in an attempt to put it into perspective. Sometimes, we get so frustrated in our attempt to understand something that we settle on an answer. It doesn't explain everything, but it suffices to settle our minds for a time. And, whether the avenue we chose to put the experience into perspective is right or wrong; it does not change the fact that there was an experience that cause us to feel the need to move in some direction. We have no evidence that our choice of explanation is the correct choice. And, as many people who agree with our choice will disagree. But, again, that does not negate the fact that I saw a man murdered."
Nothing I see to argue wit here either.
"I advocate no belief what so ever if you can accomplish it in your life.
"I'm afraid we may simply be approaching the question from different angles. I think belief is tied to sapience. If you believed nothing, you could possibly be a turnip or a toad. I do think it is possible to gently embrace a belief, have little faith in the veracity of that belief, always open for more information in order to change that belief to one that better fits the model you are building in your mind; but, each new stance is another belief. Without the ultimate proof we do not currently have access to, we are operating on assumptions. It's like a giant squid at the bottom of the ocean floor expounding on the wonders of Iowa to an anemone. How can he know anything with any certainty?"
I like to think of it as each new stance is another model. I also agree with you about certainty and would love to embellish on it a bit. But I have to end this here for now. I will try to answer the rest of this post before I have to disappear for a while again.
All in all we are not too far off from agreeing from what I can see.
Great post by the way,
I just want to clarify something, from a purely scriptural point of view. Faith without evidence is NOT the cornerstone of Christianity. For many of us, the unquenchable and irrevocable faith that we hold onto IS the evidence of God. Think of it, if 'faith' were a matter of simple reviewing available evidence and making a decision based on that, no one, in reality would have faith. But, "faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen." So, yes, a person's faith may well come from experiences they've had personally. Unfortunately, the strength of the faith they possess then, is the only evidence they have - for themselves or for others.
You've got me thinking. It appears to me that faith is only evidence of your faith. Much like having faith in big foot is not evidence of big foot, but is evidence that I think he exists.
That's where the confusion comes in in a lot of discussions. For the Christian, a faith that they can't shake no matter what is the evidence...for the nonbeliever, it's just faith, and can easily be disproven to the faithful by showing them material evidence. It's sort of a vicious circle, and why the He IS/HE ISN'T argument can never really be won by anyone.
Unfortunately Mo, that is a false statement and only serves to deceive, hence one's worldview would be based entirely on deception, regardless if any of it was true or not.
But it's not a statement meant to convince anyone outside of those who already believe. Like I said to Rad, it's an unshakable faith for the believer, one that stands above and outside the rationality and logic of the material world. It is only used to deceive by those who don't understand that you simply can't discuss faith in the same logical, rational way as other earthly matters. You and I have talked about that before. You can convince a person of facts with material evidence. But you can't convince a person to take up faith with the same tools. I'm only pointing it out to clarify that particular point.
*Edit - it's meant as an instruction to those who experience faith in spite of proven, material fact and wonder why - is what I guess I'm saying.
That wasn't really the point I was making. It's not about believing, it's about embracing deception.
And yet, with all other things in a persons life, they never follow that statement because it only leads to failure when they are forced to deal with the material world, whether they like it or not.
Hmm. I don't know. I don't necessarily think that's true. We are all hopeful about some things, regardless of the how dire the circumstances may appear. And for the Christian, faith is the substance of that hope. If it were as simple as not believing in something because there is no material evidence for it, no one would ever have gone looking for dinosaurs, tried to get to space, etc...
No one believed in dinosaurs before the first one was found.
But reason would have told whoever found the first bone that there was no animal on earth that big. Why go hunting for evidence that that was untrue? Why not just assume it was a hoax. These days, we always assume everything is a hoax unless there's something already in existence to put forth the mere possibility that it isn't. Know what I mean?
I personally know people who think dinosaurs are a hoax put forth by Satan. My point is no one thought dinosaurs existed before they were found. There were no documented Christians before the Gospels were written (other than what's mentioned in the Gospels of course). There were no Muslims before Mohammad. The only evidence for these religions are their holy books because before holy books there was no faith. Faith is only evidence of faith.
I see your point. Faith is only evidence of faith to those without it. I don't say with any sense of superiority, just as a statement of fact. I guess what I'm saying is that those of us who have faith simply accept some things as evidence of God's existence without any sort of hard, material evidence. For us, a faith that we cannot extinguish no matter how hard we try, how much opposition we encounter, or how much searching we do ourselves for hard facts contrary to what we believe is our evidence that what we believe in is real. Irrational? Yup. Illogical? Yup. Deceptive? Not meant to be, but I can see easily how those who do not believe might see it that way.
There you go again being honest and rational. I'm trying to give you a hard time here, now say something stupid so I can tell you how stupid your statement was.
Hmm. Lemme see. OH! We were all projects of a chicken overlord. Why do you think the most oft asked question on earth is, "What came first? The chicken or the egg?" DUH! The chicken of course. We're all eggs.
Not too stupid.. If the chicken never came then the egg couldn't have been formed
The first chicken had to have been hatched. But it didn't take long for someone to come to her rescue.
two birds cross fertilization.. ring species!!!
Look, the question is not what came first the chicken or the chicken egg if it were then you would have been right with your cross fertilization answer. Look I'm trying to give Mo a hard time here.
I was trying to help you because you wanted something stupid...LOL
I just wanted to be in on the conversation
No worries, Deepes. You're welcome anytime. LOL
It was mean't to be light hearted. Your always welcome to join in. Just trying to be the bad guy here and you two nice people make it difficult.
So what came first in that case? The dinosaur or the egg?
That's not changing the subject. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that something comes from nothing - hence the chicken hatched the egg. But the chicken didn't just appear out of some primordial ooze and then begin to create eggs! So, the same question is posed about the dinosaurs - who also hatch from eggs.
The egg. Always the egg, until you get to the first species to develop eggs as a way to reproduce. They would have come about through another type of reproduction until we get to cells that just split in two.
But then again that is pretty much what egg does when it is fertilized, It keeps dividing until it forms a chicken.. or dino, or human.
Not much has changed except the complexity of the pattern.
Leave it to you to come in here trying to make sense. We were having a perfectly good, stupid argument.
Nothing funny about what came first? The Chicken or the egg? It's a very serious question hotly debated for centuries, like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
I have the answer for chickens, but the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin is still beyond me. I always thought an angel was much too big to dance on the head of a pin. There must be some philosophical or theological point that is no longer made in the re-telling of the question.
Can angels take bacteria form if they like? Is that the point? I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in some of those discussions. Which brings me to another point. How many flies can dance on the head of a pin?
But can flies dance?
Your comment is complete nonsense. There are no perfectly stupid good arguments.
Remember, everything came from the primordial soup and evolved into what they later become
Your post is complete garbage. The respect I had is gone. Everyone with half a brain knows the egg came first.
The question then is begged, how many times in ones life do they have faith or hope for something and wind up getting a big disappointment? That happens far more often than not.
For example, I would hope religions would go the way of the dodo so mankind can unite and solve it's problems using logic and reason.
Will that hope ever be achieved in my lifetime, or ever?
I think it's possible - when people of faith understand that concrete, real, material problems need the same kinds of solutions. Prayer isn't about getting what we want/need from God. It's about spending time with Him in an effort to become more like Him. It should fuel us to go out into the world and do good - to and for everyone.
And, sure, people of faith experience disappointment all the time. I could write a book. Most of the time, it's a matter of growth. No children in the world are given everything they ask for indiscriminately. It's not good for them. Neither are God's children given everything they want. It may not be what's best for them.
That's just my take on it. There is almost nothing of importance that happens on earth without a purpose.
+1. The unfortunate thing about it, ATM, is that there is a vocal majority that make prayer and their life about getting whatever they ask for. I understand that this is the most visible behavior that is seen and as such it can spoil things for the rest of us.
A lot of why God's children don't get as much as they are getting is because they sit around and wait for God to give it to them instead of going out and getting it for themselves. Same as how children are taught that they must work to get the things they want, same principle applies to Christians. God does not just wave his hand (so to speak) and give us everything we want. Very good point, Mo
Yes, and we have observed throughout history the result of that vocal majority, the state of our world, the division, the wars, that which faith and hope have caused. Yes, it has been spoiling things ad nauseum, it's time to stop.
I agree with the fact that the vocal majority is responsible for the division and I agree that that majority needs to change, but that has nothing to do with faith and hope in general.Having faith and hope in itself does not cause wars.
That won't ever happen as long as the religion tells them otherwise, that a relationship with God is the most important thing in their lives, nothing else matters, not even their families and friends. This is the legacy of religions causing the slow destruction of our societies. Why anyone would want to follow such a terrible ideology is mind boggling.
Yes, it is also the excuse believers use to do nothing.
That's the point, there is no growth with faith or hope, there can't be, that is impossible.
No one is talking about giving away everything, that isn't what we're talking about at all. We are talking about wishful thinking in light of reality and how it leads to disappointment because it is little more than deception. It has been like that for centuries and will continue unabated, with no growth, no answers, nothing but disappointment.
That is not living.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
That's fine, we are all hopeful of things, but being hopeful means absolutely nothing in regards to things. Hope can not make things pop into existence whether dire or not, whether true or not, whether relevant or not, hope does nothing. It is exactly the same as wishful thinking and it doesn't matter how much one wishes for something, reality will decide if they get it or not.
Hence, hope has no substance whatsoever. Hope was never used to find dinosaurs or put men into space, that was all done with reality, hard work, knowledge, understanding, etc. That's why if one relies on hope, they are only deluding themselves into relying on deception and nothing more.
There may be others reason for believing in gods, but faith as the substance of hope will fail most of the time.
"I just want to clarify something, from a purely scriptural point of view. Faith without evidence is NOT the cornerstone of Christianity. For many of us, the unquenchable and irrevocable faith that we hold onto IS the evidence of God. Think of it, if 'faith' were a matter of simple reviewing available evidence and making a decision based on that, no one, in reality would have faith. But, "faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen." So, yes, a person's faith may well come from experiences they've had personally. Unfortunately, the strength of the faith they possess then, is the only evidence they have - for themselves or for others."
Didn't see this before. Sorry.
Well we agree then that faith is the corner stone of Christianity. We disagree that faith is demanded without evidence.
I see your point in that you feel the reality of god in your life is your evidence for the existence of god, and therefore your faith is based on evidence, though not empirical evidence. Your evidence is experience.
Usually experience is the best evidence we can have. But the problem is that in the case of god it can not be trusted. That is to say, you have these feels. No doubt about it. I have them too, believe it or not.
But what are these feelings about, really?
From a purely materialistic perspective, that which created us is the nature of existence itself. We came about through a natural process, not a conscious god.
Nature has to belong to something. People often say nature without realizing that nature is the nature of something. Since science has discovered that all things are made of energy due the laws under which it operates, nature is the nature of energy at it's most basic root.
What if this feeling of something higher is just a recognition of the connection all things have to each other? The central force being the nature of what we are?
We are certainly made in god's image if god is the very thing we are made of. Our behavior is based on the behavior of what we are made of. So above, so below.
Of course there is something greater out there: The totality, the universe, the process of existence which we are part of..
Could these numinous feelings for the christian god be a metaphor for the natural affinity we have to the totality and the understanding that we are somehow part of it all?
Anyway, god told me to tell you he really doesn't exist. So that's the end of that. If you were a student of Zen you wouldn't have any problem with this statement and accept it as profound. Being you are Catholic, I'm guessing not so much.
Still... there it is.
Yeah, but God told me to tell YOU He does exist.
In all seriousness, though, I had this conversation with a good atheist friend. And it all came down to where we each believe those feelings come from. I'm content to call it God, he leans more toward your idea of a collective consciousness. I'm comfortable with the acknowledgment that we all feel, but I don't necessarily think the nomenclature makes a difference..
Not to be a downer here, but the problem that I have with personal experience being used as evidence is that there's no way to determine where those experiences come from, and they're practically universal. I'll explain.
A christian in South Carolina can handle a poisonous snake and claim that it's gods protection that they don't get bit. A pagan in europe can walk across fire without getting burned, and they attribute it to their goddess. Christians claim that god helps them plan vacations, find their car keys and heal them of their sprained ankles, while Muslims in the middle east claim the same kind of intervention. As far as feeling the holy spirit - hell, I can do that too. I remember some of the experiences that I had when I was a missionary. They seemed inspiring and provoked awe - but I get the exact same feeling every time I listen to one of my favorite songs or see something truly beautiful out in nature. These experiences are human, and they're universal. People all over the world experience them, and they all attribute them to a different source - or simple human experience. When you ask people how they know where those feelings are coming from, they almost universally attribute them to the source that the already believe in, whether it's god or nature or just the universe in general. I know an atheist that used to be a Pentecostal minister, and he can still "speak in tongues" or get "slain in the spirit" at will - as an atheist. But god/nature/whatever doesn't provide a valid ID when these experiences are experienced. They're attributed to a god or a source because that's where the believer wants to attribute them to.
You're not being a downer at all, JM. You mentioned a few things regarding Christians and thanking God for the most mundane and simple things. Please keep in mind that not every mention of God is an actual prayer or thank giving.. Admittedly, there are some that do believe that God has his hand on everything and interferes in everything from the truly miraculous (or unexplainable if you will) to the most mundane. But there are some that use it as a simple figure of speech (similar to an atheist blurting out "oh my God" as an exclamation)
Here's the thing with personal experience and those who claim it as proof of God. Typically, in some situations (Chris' and Mo come to mind), You have some who experience something so extraordinary (even in the midst of so much doubt and anger) that cannot be explained that it can be attributed to God. ( I know this is sorta abstract to you, but hey I tried..LoL)
Does that help a little?
Anyone can handle a poisonous snake if they know what they're doing. Anyone can act - so...yeah, I suppose there are those who tell you they can still speak in tongues or get slain in the spirit, even though they are an atheist. Hell, there are those who say they can speak in tongues or get slain in the spirit who are Christians - and they aren't doing anything but speaking jibberish and pretending to faint (or sometimes, just fainting) in public. The easiest and most valid way to name a Christian without them telling you that's what they are is to watch them. Do they do the things that Christ did? Do they speak the way Christ does? Do they walk according to the ways of Christ and not do one darn thing to draw attention to themselves? Most Christians don't spend a lot of time talking about the personal experiences with God, but you can sure see them change as a result of them.
The ones who do are trying to impress someone - maybe their pastor, their new Christian fiance, etc...
That's what I think anyway, Julie.
I agree with this. Being a Christian is more than simply claiming it and thus trying to elevate yourself above others by claiming you speak to or for God. Being a Christian is about following the example that Christ set by helping others and living the best life you can and to treat others good. This includes sometimes doing things you might not want to do as a sacrifice for others.
I never said anything about a cosmic consciousness. "Don;t try to hang no boogy woogy on the king of rock and roll."
I understand a great deal more than you believe, Jerami. And, I know that's hard to believe when all you have is a belief system to provide you with answers, albeit wrong answers.
He's happy with his long-cherished religious illusions. He likes them over a scientific one.
And you believe your statement although you have no proof.
I do happen to believe in science. However the same thing happens in the scientific community as does in the religious world. Science can prove that a thing does exist while they often disagree upon its cause and/or effect. The evidence can be only what it is. The hypothesis is not always a scientific fact though many might think that it is.
Just like in a jury trial. Just because the evidence appears such that a jury may convict the person on trial, he may in reality be not guilty.
Just like in the O.J Simpson trial. The evidence was what it was. Though he was pronounced Not Guilty; he might well have been. In the world of public opinion, the Jury is still out.
Just because stuff is declared to be evidence it means very little. It requires proper presentation in order to convince a jury to come to the conclusions you desire. The defense presents the same evidence from a different prospective hoping for a different outcome. In reality our decision does not change what the truth is. General consensus does not change the facts though it can alter our perception of it.
Facts do not equal truth. Though many of us often “believe” that it does.
Yes Jerami, that is the problem you "believe" in science, but don't understand anything about science. Huge difference.
That is pure baloney, religion has never shown anything to exist that it claims. Scientist never state a hypothesis is a fact. Where do you get this nonsense?
That is all irrelevant. You are not making a point. Trials and their outcomes have nothing to do with science.
It means the difference between what is real and what is not real, hence it has great meaning.
Science does not work on general consensus nor has it anything to do with trials and juries.
Yes, they do.
No, YOU believe that, we don't.
I see him as incredibly open minded and not prone to attempt to belittle because of a difference of opinion. Not something you find often among the ranks of atheists and theists.
Do you ever wonder why that is so difficult for some to grasp?
That's a very good question. One which you should be asking yourself. Why do some people not belief in God despite the years of childhood indoctrination and the endless threats of eternal hellfire?
The same reason people don't believe in santa clause despite the years of childhood indoctrination and the endless promises of eternal presents.
ARGH rad man. You've substituted one belief for another. I guess once a believer, always a believer. Eh?
Yes I do. Some people who proclame to be the brightest have the most dificulty understanding the simplest of things. Yes we did have some wheather today, and yea i do have an attitude (I think mine is pretty good compared to some) and yes we all have a temprature and we all believe something. To believe we don't believe anything is a belief.
No it isn't. If you have a temperature that's a fact.
No need to believe those things at all.
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