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Is God to Blame for Our Suffering?

  1. Oztinato profile image82
    Oztinatoposted 11 months ago

    People who blame God for suffering are therefore claiming He exists!
    Many atheists do this too which is ironic as they claim He doesn't exist.
    I call it the " Blame God Paradox ".

  2. 59
    b2ksmoothposted 10 months ago

    God only allows us to go through tests and trials so that he can measure our faith and trust in him. He gave us free will which means God gave us the ability to our own decisions, he just wants us to make the right decision.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      ??  God is omniscient - He already knows what the results of His tests will be.  Thus there is no reason for a test - a "tempering" if you will, like tempering steel, maybe, but that then brings into question of just why He made us "i]un[/i]tempered" so that we would require pain and suffering in order to become a finished product.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Wisdom can't just be given. You must live and learn. And God doesn't know the outcome of free will. Thus there'd be no reason to let it all play out if everything just worked according to His will because in that case He would know the outcome. But free will is a will apart from His. Until it happens, until it's part of the timeline, He doesn't know the outcome. That's why He tests.

        Ex. Abraham. If God had not created that situation that caused Abraham to have to make a decision, then that decision would not have existed. God had to create the situation that then allowed Abraham in that moment to create his own choice.

        Whether or not God is omniscient, if something doesn't exist and hasn't been created by a free will, then He cannot know about it.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          Ah, but it can...IF the giver is omnipotent.  Just as He knows the outcome...IF He is omniscient.  And yes, given those two things there is no (acceptable) reason to let it all play out.

          But why did Abraham have to make a decision?  Whatever the results of that decision were to Abraham, the man could have been created with those results already in place.  Or put there later but without traumatizing a child.

          Nope - either He is omniscient or He isn't.  He cannot be both omniscient and ignorant at the same time.  While I realize that fits well with irrational beliefs, it is, after all, irrational.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            Not irrational at all. If something hasn't happened or doesn't exist because it hasn't been made, then it can't be  'known'. It's not yet part of "all" in "all-knowing" until it's happened or it exists. God knows all, past and future, that has happened, but if there's not a will there, apart from His, there to create it, He doesn't "know" it.

            If we're created with results already in place then we're not free. We're determined and our life is not our own. If that were the case then there'd be no point in living or existing. It would all already be determined. No sense just letting it play out if the outcome is known.

            1. BuddiNsense profile image60
              BuddiNsenseposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              You still haven't understood that 'knowing all' and 'doesn't know' is contradictory?
              "God knows all, past and future, that has happened"
              If omniscient he should also know what WILL happen,  what can happen and what are the permutations and combinations that might occur and should occur.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                You're mostly right. God does know what WILL happen, but not the permutations and combinations that might occur. Only what does happen somewhere along the timeline. Only what actually exists.

                That's the whole point to humans existing. Because we have our own minds and wills and behave according to our own wants. Not God's. If all worked according to God's will then there would be harmony and no evil and all that wonderful stuff, but we would not be our own selves. What we do matters. We create things, decisions and actions, that are not 'of God' that we add to this universe. His universe.

                This is not a contradiction. You can't know what doesn't exist or doesn't happen. You can only know what does.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  Can we paraphrase?  "God knows what will happen but not what will happen (the permutations and combinations that might occur)".

                  While statements like this sound great at first glance, and support the belief of omniscience coupled with free will, it takes very little to see that they are, in fact, diametrically opposed and that both cannot be true at the same time.  Such statements are nothing more that an effort to label an obvious falsehood as "truth" in order to support a belief system that doesn't work.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Let me try it another way. Let's say all that happens in the timeline of this universe is written in a book. You can read and memorize every line of the book, know it cover to cover, but doing so doesn't mean you can know what the author thought about including, but ultimately didn't.

                    Decisions and actions we carry out exist. They are a part of the story. Part of this universe. And they can be known. But unless they are carried out, unless they actually occur, they can't be known. You can still know all, without knowing what didn't or might have happened if things played out another way. Those things aren't in the book and can't be known. They are not part of "all".

                2. BuddiNsense profile image60
                  BuddiNsenseposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  If God does know what will happen,  it is asif the story of the world is already written and we are the actors. As the actors we cannot change the script.

                  "This is not a contradiction. You can't know what doesn't exist or doesn't happen. You can only know what does"
                  If I know that you are going to drink coffee tomorrow 5pm, you have no choice but to drink the coffee.  On the other hand if you have a choice and can drink tea, mine is a guess at best not knowledge or omniscience.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    We are not the actors. We are the writers. The whole reason there is a script is because we were there to write it. God's ability to see what we'll do tomorrow does not remove our ability to choose. Observing doesn't remove our ability to act of our own volition.

                3. Trichakra profile image60
                  Trichakraposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                  I am not agree with you. God know everything. He know what is going to happen.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                    Yes, I agree God knows what's going to happen, because from His perspective everything already has. But without our playing an active role in that timeline, He could not know what we would have done. We actually have to exist and live out life of our own free will for Him to then know what will happen.

            2. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              "If we're created with results already in place then we're not free. We're determined and our life is not our own."

              And there is the paradox.  We insist that we are free but our God is omniscient; the two are polar opposites.  The solution is to either accept that we are not free OR that God is not omniscient.  Both go against Christian teachings and make a quandary - the most popular idea seems to be to deny that "omniscient" means knowing the future.  Untrue, of course (as you point out), but it is the easy way out while maintaining the beliefs we wish.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                You're wrong. Free will is the answer. Not a paradox. The bible covers it rather specifically. It's a central theme to the story. If you don't understand it, then you don't properly understand the story being told.

                God can see all of time all at once. If God looks to Monday next week, but you never faced a situation that made you make a specific decision, then that decision wouldn't exist on that date for God to see. God still knows all that happened on that future date, but because your decision never happened, He doesn't know what you would have done had that situation existed.

                It's really pretty simple.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  Yes, it is simple.  Either God knows what I will do Monday or He doesn't.  And if you accept that Monday's decision is of my free choice, and not predestined to happen, then God doesn't know what the decision will be or what the actions taken as a result of that decision will be.

                  Free will or omniscience.  Not both.

                  We can use the analogy of the Big Book of Glenda, the Good Witch in Oz.  Glenda (God) has a Big Book with all the happenings of the future in it.  She (He) can look in the Book and see what will happen Monday - it's right there in black and white.  But.  If we can do something not in the book come Monday, it means the Book was wrong.  It did not know what would happen.  It is not omniscient after all.  Just as God is not omniscient (knows all)...IF we insist on free will.  If we do not, of course He might know after all (might because we cannot determine the truth of his knowledge).

                  Personally, I choose to believe in free will because it makes me happy just as believing in a creature from another universe makes others happy.  It's even somewhat supported by quantum mechanics, where things happen without a cause.

                  But that means God is not omniscient.  OK - so what?  Man has changed the definition, characteristics and attributes of it's gods for millenia; there is nothing to prevent us from doing the same here.  We were wrong, that's all, and it isn't the first time!

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    That's where you have it wrong. Where you said, "It's right there in black and white". God isn't actually looking in a printed book. He's looking at the actual timeline. We exist within that timeline. What we do is our own choice. What we do becomes the story. It's not written until we write it. That's what God sees. If we don't do it, there's nothing to see.

                    Just because God can see ahead and see what you'll do doesn't mean you didn't have a choice in that moment. If you didn't have a choice, there'd be no need for God to look to the future because He'd already know what you would do in any given situation. But He doesn't. Because you're you, and only you can be you and do the things you do.

          2. colorfulone profile image87
            colorfuloneposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            In those days human sacrifices were widely practiced.  Is it probable that Isaac thought it was acceptable because of his leaned environment, ... culture?  It may not have been traumatizing, we don't know that.

            Maybe a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God.

            It was likely a polemic in opposition to the practice / as Light is to darkness.  It formed a covenant with God between Abraham and his family and they became a blessing to the world because of unwavering trust and blind obedience to God's will. .... for both Isaac and Abraham?

  3. cheaptrick profile image63
    cheaptrickposted 10 months ago

    I believe it was in the late 60's that a group of university students proclaimed:god is Dead;Long Live...God!...If you religionists truly understood that statement you would stop this unending attempt at inserting logic into religion;Logic and religion are incompatible.Together,they cause a type of dissonance that is unnamed yet instantly recognizable,which results in the slowly...back...away response.
    Through out humanity's short UN-envious history,everyone with an even mildly recognizable name has attempted to prove or disprove the existence of big 'G' without success.It did however,result in a humanized caricature with gray hair,a beard...and an unhealthy interest in what we do while we're naked....and,to quote George Carlin,"He always Needs Money!" .
    Take a global view and look at the suffering of the Majority of humanity... then ask yourself which of this schizophrenic gods caricatures appears to be most in tune with the world as it is?
    The fire and brimstone(every sick twisted thing you can think of is...OK!) or the I love you so much I gave my son for you(and he cries when we masturbate...said the Nun).
    IF God exists...our tiny human minds will never be able to comprehend it...That's why we have the word 'Ineffable'...we should use it more often rather than the absurdity of using logic to explain the behavior of an imaginary friend."When a lack of proof is proof that a thing is true...you have a serious problem.

    1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      Looking for, or thinking we should be able to find some sort of physical proof of God is the fallacy. If God is as described, the creator of the causal chain, then He cannot also be a detectable link within that chain.

      The error is when you allow yourself to dismiss such a large portion of the population as not as wise as you, and prone to believe nonsense. That should be an indicator that your thought process is off.

      1. cheaptrick profile image63
        cheaptrickposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        To say that god can or cant do a thing destroys the god proclamation.Also,at no point have I or do I believe that I am 'wiser' than most;Wisdom is nothing more than a ghost we chase inside our heads anyway.
        To claim that because such a large portion of the population believe a thing makes their claims somehow correct or true is a complete fallacy.Using pseudo logic by way of nebulous philosophical concepts is entertaining but alas...it is not proof.If you truly wish to make the point that god exists then provide some irrefutable proof that can be repeated and confirmed rather than the 'wisp of smoke' irrational personal testimony and assumptions that religionists offer up as proof.
        Just because we cant at present explain a thing doesn't dial up a default of "God must have done it". Rather than point out the limited scope of my perception,how about offering some sort of empirical evidence for the existence of this god who is,at best incompetent and at worst down right evil,and you will trump the greatest minds in history...who couldn't.
        One thing I have found to be consistent among religionists is to attack the speaker rather than the argument...quick disposal for the weak minded.You say there is a god?...Prove it...just keep in mind that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
          HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          Pointing out what God cannot do simply better defines Him, which leads to better understanding. And it better defines how significant free will is. If you don't understand that element of the story then you don't understand the story being told. Because it's a central element.

          "If you religionists truly understood that statement you would stop this unending attempt at inserting logic into religion;Logic and religion are incompatible.Together,they cause a type of dissonance that is unnamed yet instantly recognizable,which results in the slowly...back...away response."

          In this statement you're basically saying that "religionists" don't understand as well as you do that what they think and believe is illogical.

          I'm not claiming a large portion of the population believing as 'proof of God'.

          You keep speaking of "proof". Demanding someone supply proof. If you understand the scientific method and how proof of something is established, then you'll understand that proof cannot be obtained when you're speaking of something that lives beyond the universe. If God is the creator, He exists apart from the universe. Apart from time and space. There's no 'fingerprint' that can be seen. We can only observe and establish physical proof of something that is physical. And that only includes the matter/energy that's the result of the big bang. To demand physical proof is to not understand the thing for which you're demanding proof of.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            "Pointing out what God cannot do simply better defines Him, which leads to better understanding."

            But that is impossible to do.  Even if God had deigned to describe Himself to us, we would not know if He was lying or not, and we don't have a chance at all of giving a known accurate description of what He cannot do.

            We can't even give a description of some of the things that He can do!  Sure there are millions of people declaring that He did this or that for them, for someone else or against someone else, but not a single claimant has ever been able to prove their claim.  Only that it happened, never that a god, any god, caused it to happen.

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              What proof do you suggest? What would proof of God look like exactly?

              How is it impossible? There are records of God's interactions with humans, and those records pretty clearly describe what I'm talking about. It's a central theme to the whole story being told.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                There are records.  All unverifiable and far more likely to be lies and ignorance than actual truth.  The people that made those records, after all, did not have the knowledge base we have today and did not have the reasoning and logic tools, either. 

                But if you think it is possible to show what God cannot do, have at it.  Just leave the "logic" at home and use actual, verifiable and repeatable tests that anyone else can do as well.

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  Verifiable and repeatable tests are the domain of the physical world. Physical matter and energy. It would be nice to have that kind of verifiable certainty, but that's just not possible in what we're dealing with here.

                  But those records I spoke of, they are not lies, and can be verified as truth. I can show you in history where the events of Genesis 2-11 took place. Unlike a lot of the bible, those chapters in particular give a very specific timeline and series of events that can be matched up with historical and archaeological evidence to help clarify the story being told. Those events did happen, much like what's described.

                  But no, there's no leaving logic at home. Logic is applicable anywhere and everywhere. That's just a silly thing to say.

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    OK - how do you propose to test the statements about a god for truth?  Ignore the question entirely?

                    Your series of events, unfortunately, don't include the god that is claimed to have caused them.  As far as logic; it's fine...right up to the point where it is all you have.  When not even the premises can be checked or tested, when there is nothing BUT logic to work with.  When trying to deduce truth it is necessary to start with truth, and that's something that isn't being done.

                    Or have you found Eden?  You can show Adam was created by a god that breathed into him?  You have proof Eve was made from the rib of Adam?  All events in Genesis 2, that you claim actually happened - can you prove them?

                2. cheaptrick profile image63
                  cheaptrickposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  Thank you wilderness,you've said it much more clearly than I.
                  To say that god cant do a thing is a direct contradiction to the claim that god is all powerful,omniscient, and perfect in every way.If god does exist(according to religious definition)he can do anything he pleases...which would put him on the evil side of the equation given the state of humanity today.

                  Mr noggin...You seem to believe that I don't understand the scientific method...then you turn around and ask what that would look like...?Seems like you're the one who lacks understanding.You religionists are verbally very slippery and arrogant believing you Know the mind of this god you profess and worst of all...you cherry pick what you want from the bible and any other source you can find in your childish magical thinking pursuit of getting the whole world to buy into your delusion...so I'll end this with a little something from your book:when I was a child I thought as a child and spoke as a child...when I became a man I put away childish things...paraphrased but the message is clear enough.
                  So...Headly...how about you do that and help prevent the next religious war so those of us who don't share your zeal can live in peace rather than bury our dead in the name of your...god

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Believe me, I tried to dismiss it. There's just too much there for me to honestly/intellectually dismiss. Like you attempting to dismiss the bible. I couldn't do that. There's clearly something significant about this text that sets it apart from others. So I used the knowledge at our disposal and found the answers. I didn't do as you've done and dismiss such a large part of the human population and human history as gullible fools. I took it seriously and gave it the attention it deserves.

                    I'm doing what I can to educate. That goes for "religionists" as well as atheists.

                    Yes, God is all powerful. In the case of free will He really did create a boulder so large that even He can't move it. He made exactly what He set out to make. Individual wills. Apart from His. What He cannot do is by design. Rather than create a world of drones that all work exactly according to His will, He made a world of individuals, with their own wills.

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago

    Because God secretly wanted us to be independent of Him so he could sit back and watch His Great Reality Show.
    We can stop being his actors any time we want.
    But then what would He do if we all said, " Enough!" …   He would welcome us back!
    The truth is we have been in this play so many times, and we can stop if we so choose.
    God's love is Bliss.

    Maybe.

    ( so confusing.)

    TWISI

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago

    <"The future is just as immutable; God looks "forward" and sees that I will have (in His view of the whole gestalt) pancakes tomorrow.  I can no more have waffles tomorrow than I can have them yesterday - pancakes is the only choice possible.  The future (my view) is no more changeable than the past is.  It has "already" happened in God's view."> 
    VS
    <"God still knows all that happened on that future date, but because your decision never happened, He doesn't know what you would have done had that situation existed.

    It's really pretty simple."> H 

    Not really.
    At all.

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago

    My answer
    NO. We are responsible for our suffering. Because we are at this point in time separated from Causal Consciousness and that is our own doing based on free will.

  7. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago

    Does the existence of human free (self-guided) will disprove the omniscient aspect of a god or what, wilderness?

  8. jacharless profile image81
    jacharlessposted 10 months ago

    The most interesting thing about free will is its many possibilities. Consider that every probable scenario has been designed and calculated to the nth-child, so that you can experience it, as desired. If that scenario did not exist -was not created- you could not experience it entirely.

    Can a potted plant taste the salt from a kiss? Can water feel your fingers combing through it? You can taste the kiss, feel the wet of water -as well as the many effects of either or both even while you experience the air, hear the birds, blink your eyelids and the beads of sweat form on your flesh from the warmth of the light from a star, some millions of miles away and ages old...

    Perhaps we have, for too long, viewed Creator-creation incorrectly. Perhaps we have relied,  for too long, on reason -however expressed- to explain something we should be experiencing.

    Experience is all the proof you'll ever need.

  9. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago

    I haven't found Eden, but I believe it's in northern Mesopotamia, and I believe that in the right hands, what I've found can lead to finding it. I can show that beings much like Adam and Eve are described really did exist. And I can show them to play a significant role in the first formations of civilization.

    I can show three specific events in particular that line up both according to the timeline down to the number of years in between, and line up location wise. Namely the city that Cain built in Gen4, the flood in Gen6-8, and the Babel story from Gen11. There's archaeological evidence for each.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      I'd have to point out that your belief is not proof or even evidence.  Nor is "beings much like Adam and Eve existed" mean they were personally formed by a god as the bible states.  Nor can you show two individuals with that name played a role at all.

      No, you cannot show the worldwide (as stated) flood happened (because it did not), nor the Tower of Babel (unless you have found that tower?)  Plus, the bottom line once more is that you cannot show a god did either one, let alone all the other things attributed to it.  Showing an event happened does NOT prove a god was the causal force behind it.  Only that it happened and that at least some of the people then (or later) decided a god caused it.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Nowhere did I say that my belief was in any way proof. I said I believe Eden is in northern Mesopotamia, but that's an unconfirmed statement based on evidence.

        No, you're right. As I've stated numerous times, including within this conversation, you will find no physical evidence to prove the existence of God. But what I can show is overwhelming evidence that a family of beings who lived incredibly long lives did actually exist. That doesn't prove their products of a God, but it is consistent with what's described.

        Yes, the base of a tower that some archaeologists think may be the tower of Babel is right where this explanation says it should be.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eridu#Pos … r_of_Babel

        A worldwide flood. The bible does not state this. The way it's translated it can sound that way, but common sense should tell you that considering the people who wrote this didn't know about the whole planet, it's highly unlikely they could report on the status of the whole planet. To think their explanation includes the entirety of the planet is just silly.

        What I can show is that history reflects exactly what we should expect to see if the events of Genesis actually happened.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          "Yes, the base of a tower that some archaeologists think may be the tower of Babel...".  But they don't know that a foundation was the Tower intended to reach the heavens, nor is there any evidence that the people were instantly scattered to the ends of the earth.  Or anything else but a foundation.

          "17     And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die." 

          Sorry, but this cannot be interpreted (honestly) to indicate a local flood.  It is inconceivable that the people of the time thought they had seen all the earth, or that they thought that the unexplored lands contained no life.

          But can you show there was a god involved anywhere in Genesis?  Or simply that following events approximated what would have been expected had at least some of the "recorded" events happened? Leave out Eden, A&E, and Noah.  Leave out Cain, the talking serpent and a woman from a rib.  Leave out the tree that instantly imparts knowledge and morality, that the universe took 7 days to create and that a man was created full blown from dust.  Is there anything at all in what's left that requires an omnipotent, omniscient god?

          (I'm sorry, but your link, on Eridu, says only that a single person speculates that the town is the site of the tower, not Babylonia.  No evidence is offered, not even a fallen tower or even a foundation.  If this is typical of your "evidence" that a god existed and instantly scattered mankind throughout the earth, changing languages at the same time, you need to really work on tightening your requirements.)

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            Tower of Babel ...
            "In addition to the similar biblical accounts of God’s creation, the ancient Sumerians’ detailed writings contain The Paradise Myth, The Gardener’s Mortal Sin, and Lord of Eridu’s estrangement of one language (Tower of Babel)." - http://www.allabouthistory.org/ancient-sumerians.htm

            It's not just that one guy. Before you proclaim me wrong you could have maybe looked into it yourself. Rather than basing your entire conclusion on the one reference I gave you. Just search "Babel, Eridu" and you'll find plenty beyond just that one guy.

            You - "nor is there any evidence that the people were instantly scattered to the ends of the earth"

            You're right, that one small snippet I referred you to doesn't say anything about people being scattered. Now, does that mean that there's no evidence? This conclusion you reached with such certainty after reading that one paragraph? I would hope by now, with all the discussions we've had, that you'd give me a bit more credit than that. Here, let me refer you to another reference ...

            "The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene Epoch. It occurred around 3900 BC (5,900 years BP), ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiating the most recent desiccation of the Sahara.

            Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organized, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BC." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.9_kiloyear_event


            This caused many, like the people at Eridu/Babel, to migrate to river valleys, to the west along the Nile, to the north along the Tigris/Euphrates, to the east in the Indus Valley, and elsewhere. And of course, with some ending up along the Nile where they spoke Egyptian, the Tigris/Euphrates where they spoke Sumerian, along the Indus Valley where they had their own language, this actually did confuse their languages.

            The Flood ...
            I know you're an intelligent guy, so I feel almost strange having to point this out, but do you really think that when you read English translated from ancient Hebrew that says "every thing that is in the earth" that they were talking about the whole planet? I mean, really? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Ancient Hebrew even has a word that means the Earth the way you're reading it. They didn't know at the time what the whole Earth was. The word translated as "Earth" is 'artz', which also translates as "land". As in "every thing that is in the land shall die".

            You're reading that from a 21st century perspective. Not how it was written. How in the world do you expect a bronze age Mesopotamian to report on the status of the whole Earth?

            You - "But can you show there was a god involved anywhere in Genesis?"

            I refuse to answer this again. Please see previous posts.

            The point is that the events described happened as described. It matches up with the physical evidence. The text is accurate, and according to the text God was involved. So no, this isn't proof of God. It's proof that Genesis isn't just lies and made up nonsense. That this is actual history it's speaking of. That the events it describes happened as described. So, at this 2000 year span depicted in Genesis 2-11 is really true. The other part of the story is that this God was involved. Is that true too? These are very much the events that led to the emergence of modern civilization. This was indeed the beginning of modern humanity. According to the author, this was the result of their interactions with this God.

            You should know this about me by now, Wilderness, don't accuse me of not providing enough references/evidence. I will INUNDATE you if you're not careful. I'm showing some serious restraint here.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              I didn't say you were wrong (babel); I said the link did not support your statement, and it doesn't.  It lists, just as I said, one person with no evidence beyond his speculation.

              If, as I was taught, the bible is the word of God I expect it to be correct.  And the translations, too, as they were performed under God's eye and with His help.  And yes, I think the writers meant exactly what they said (although that doesn't make it either true or even true in the mind of those writers); the entire earth.  It doesn't make much sense that their God would only destroy them - far more reasonable is that He destroyed everyone.  The story just doesn't carry the right weight when their murderous god only killed a handful.  You talk as if the writers (Noah and/or his family) were honestly trying to report a historical fact, when that hasn't been known to happen in the history of mankind.  There is always a hidden agenda or a preferred "history" to protect. Given that it is a religious tale, describing the heroism of the story teller and the wrath his god would rain upon others, an agenda is pretty plain to see.

              A small part of biblical text is correct, or reasonably so, and from this you wish to extrapolate to the entire thing?  Including physically impossible events?  Thank you, no. 

              Yes, people then attributed events to acts of God and millions alive today will testify on their death bed that God performed acts for and around them, too.  It doesn't make it true, it just indicates wishful thinking and willingness to accept without proof.

              Inundate me?  I doubt that; I've seen your thinking before and reject it.  You pick and choose, ignoring other historical evidence as needed to keep the faith going.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                Again, I invite you to look into this (location of tower of Babel) a bit more beyond the one link I provided before you go making proclamations.

                You - "If, as I was taught, the bible is the word of God I expect it to be correct.  And the translations, too, as they were performed under God's eye and with His help."

                Well that's your own flawed perception. Like I've said many times, if you don't truly understand the free will element of the story then you don't truly understand the story being told. God writing a book through puppeting humans flies right in the face of the central theme. God can't/doesn't control humans. The entirety of the story is God trying to inspire people to do His will, commands, threats, punishments, none of it matters. They still won't do what He wants. So how exactly do you expect Him to author a book through humans? Does that really make sense in the context of the story?

                You - "It doesn't make much sense that their God would only destroy them - far more reasonable is that He destroyed everyone."

                Reasonable? Again, understanding the story in the right context is key. The paragraphs preceding the flood explain exactly why it happened ...

                Gen 6:1-4 - When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

                The sons of God are Adam's descendants. They have free will. The daughters of humans are not and don't have free will....

                Gen6:5-6 - The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

                His free will creation went rogue. He had created humans in the same image/likeness of Adam and his family. The two groups began to interbreed. This introduced free will into naturally evolved humans. Made them "wicked".

                So, long story short, yes it does make sense that God would destroy only them. The contamination was still localized. The world was populated by humans, but humans who were not wicked as they did not have free will. But in this one region free will had gone haywire. Had caused God to "regret" putting humans here. Something He clearly didn't anticipate considering His regret. Didn't know it would happen until He introduced free will into the world. Then it happened. Then He had to do something about it to coarse-correct.

                Yes I'm extrapolating to the whole thing. These first few chapters are what set the stage for the story to come. Once you read it in the right context, it clears up much more well beyond this portion of the bible.

                Define physically impossible events. Not possible because you haven't seen it happen? Would you say it's impossible for reptiles to grow enormous in size? We've never seen it happen. We could pretty safely say it's impossible now. But clearly, at one point, it was very possible. How do you determine what is and isn't physically possible?

                Please, share, what historical evidence have I ignored to "keep the faith going"? I'm interested in the truth. The real truth. I'm not going to get there if I'm making my own truth as I see fit. So, please, I want to be corrected if I'm wrong. Show me.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  But I didn't say God flooded the entire earth - I said that was an impossibility.  I said that the writers said that, and they did.  Even as they knew it didn't happen, they said it.  Which points to a lack of truth in their statements, just as the tale of Eden does, along with all the other stories (living in the belly of a fish, for instance) of things that can't happen.

                  The tower - quite likely existed.  I can certainly see ancient peoples trying to reach heaven via a tower.  I just can't see a god scattering the people to the far corners and changing their language as a result of the action.  While people migrated (people always do) it wasn't by the forced action from a god.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Did you seriously just say, again, that the writers said God flooded the entire earth? And now you're saying that they deliberately lied about it? Am I reading that right? So people who I'm pretty sure we both agree didn't have any knowledge of the entire Earth deliberately lied about the whole Earth being flooded? Do you not see a problem with that line of reasoning?

                    I can see descendants of flood survivors being compelled to build a tower. So how is it I can't say whether or not a God was involved in this or that, but you can say that these people were not forced to migrate by the action from a God? The whole region was transformed into desert. It certainly wasn't the decision of these people to just pick up and move. They were forced to by an 'act of God'.

  10. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago

    The problem with that theory is that humans started making and using tools 2.5 million years ago. Those tools didn't change, didn't adapt, for hundreds of thousands of years. Then, about 4000 BC (2,496 million years later) , they made plows and pots and the wheel and chariots sailboats and time and astronomy/astrology and mathematics and maps and civilization and the written language and on and on and on. Before that, no significant inventions. And yes, when you consider the timespan we're talking about, it was rather sudden.

    Indigenous humans continue through to this day along that same tragectory. But then there's us. Starting in the Middle East about 6000 years ago, we changed drastically and splintered off and began to do our own thing.

    Exactly, the dog wants. We living things want comfort, want security, want warmth, want food, want sex. And we've learned how to get all of these things by assessing the danger in doing so and carefully finding a way.



    The patterns we see in human development don't support that at all. If it were as you say then we'd be able to actually see the physical catalyst that brought about each civilization. The desertification of the Sahara, for example, could maybe account for some of it, but not throughout the world like it did.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      Well now, there's sudden and then there's sudden.  By the timeline back then it was quite sudden, but by the timeline we live in now it took interminable millenia to go from beating nearly pure copper into a bracelet to making bronze and long centuries more to find iron.  In far less time than it them to go from copper and fire to iron we've found a thousand new compounds and brought the sun to earth in the form of atomic energy.  It's as much a matter of the knowledge base as it is environment.  Don't forget that the knowledge that was so important to providing more "inventions" was the advent of agriculture - that made cities possible which made leisure time available which led to relatively quick growth in the technology and the more we learn the more leisure time the species has.

      Yep - we splintered off and went to Europe with the knowledge of agriculture and cities.  Whereupon we encountered the mini ice age and were forced into either rapid development or death.  Things worked and that environmental forced the Europeans to progress far beyond what their ancestors in Africa ever dreamed of.

      Just as you say - all living things want comfort, sex ("there's the reason for populating the earth"), etc.  ALL living things, not just humans, and they all make choices according to their ability to find or create those choices. It's called "free will", whether you want to ascribe it to God's will or not.

      But we often can, just like the ice age.  There was one in the northern America's, too, but the knowledge base was not there to build on it.  The people were just as intelligent, had the free will, but not the base.  When the Europeans showed up and showed them high tech they grabbed it and ran - in just a few hundred years the indigenous of the western hemisphere have caught up with what took Europeans more than a thousand years to develop.  In spite of being nearly wiped out by the Europeans.

      There is a problem, though, in seeing the catalyst.  It is one thing to find it in a desert country with a large population; quite another to find it in a jungle (brazilm maybe) that we never visit and that never did have but a small population to look at.  It's just a little easier to find and understand what happened in the desert of northern Africa than it is 500 miles into the jungles of south America and what we know reflects that.  And, of course, it is more than just the catalyst; the population, the knowledge and the right catalyst have to come together at the same time or simple extermination is the result.  The wrong catalyst apparently came to the mountains of Chile and it certainly did when the Spaniards visited Mexico.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Simply using the brain to make choices is not free will. That's just a function of the brain. And it's not specific to humans. The brain determines choices, weighs options, then decides. That's how it works. But with all those brains out there determining choices, cows still manage to act like cows, monkeys continue to act like monkeys. Only humans show a dramatic change in behavior.

        Free will versus determinism. Determinism says the brain works exactly like that. The only difference is the choice that is ultimately made is the only one that physically could have been made. There was no real choice. Only how the physical brain naturally reacted in that set of circumstances.

        It's not just our mental capability that sets us apart. Just as we see in indigenous cultures. It's not like they haven't known adversity and struggle. Life is adversity and struggle. And they're just as mentally capable as the rest of us. They have the same brains we do.

        In fact, for many indigenous cultures, those humans who went off and became advanced should have been the catalyst to bring about change in them as well because that's the only way they would have survived. But they didn't in most cases. We "civilized" humans have all but wiped indigenous cultures from the face of the Earth.

        1. lovetherain profile image71
          lovetherainposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          Then explain what free will is.

        2. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          "Simply using the brain to make choices is not free will."

          Yes it is.  Plants have none (that we're aware of, anyway).  The vast majority of animals do not either: there is no free will in bacteria, amoeba's and other single cell life that constitutes the majority of life on earth.  Even animals with brains often have none - I can't see an earthworm having free will, but there is insufficient brain to make a decision. 

          The ability to choose means free will.  And the larger animals virtually all have it.  It's kind of interesting to hear you say that a cow is still a cow (even though behavior has changed radically through the years) while humans are not humans any more (with similar behavioral changes).  How does that work?  And how does our ability to predict what animals will do mean that they have none?  Bear in mind the millions of people that will exclaim that "My dog will never bite anyone!" even as it chooses to bite this time.  Think about the need to stay away from hippos because you never know what they so very unpredictable.  Consider how some killer whales beach themselves to catch prey while others absolutely refuse to even enter shallow water. 

          And then think about the thousands/millions of generations necessary to instill instinct - the "instinct" for whales to leave their habitat and risk a bad death just to catch a seal or fish while their brother does not.  Or how some dolphins will herd schools of fish as a group effort while others do not.  This isn't "instinct"; it is learned behavior; actions they have learned from watching others do it and chose to join in the fun.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
            Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            Amoeba are attracted/stimlated by light. Plants are attracted to the sun. Some sort of internal stimulus for its survival is prompting the plant to grow / reach out toward light. It is a nature-driven prompt. Animals have instincts prompting them. Humans have their own selves prompting them. Some say humans are also driven by instincts, but unlike animals we can choose not to follow blindly what we do not approve of for our own happiness, (based on either need for survival or desire pleasure.) Humans have self-guided will. We all know how much FREE will we have.
            Not much when it gets down to it. What does God have to do with all this?
            God (APPARENTLY) stays out of the picture, strangely enough. What if the Bible was never written and no one even / ever mentioned the concept of "God?"
            Why DO we constantly think about God?
            … and why would ANYONE blame GOD for anything?
            Mostly, God is in our imaginations!
            or we see evidence of miraculous happenings which are more than coincidences … and bad things too, seem like more than coincidences sometimes.
            The question is how much control over life do we have? and why don't we have MORE?

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              Are you trying to say that no animal ever behaves outside of it's instincts?  Because I would have to strongly disagree - one has only to look at domesticated animals being trained to see actions that have nothing to do with instinct.  Even actions against instinctual drives; a dog, perhaps, sitting and staring at a bit of food that instinct says to grab and gobble.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                They are limited by their instincts and body manifestations. I agree they do seem have a certain amount of choices. What prompts them to choose what they do?? For instance, I had a dog who loved to fold up his leash in his mouth at the end of a walk. I would drop it and he literally would fold it up and carry it the rest of the way home. He did it without fail. He really seemed:
                1. to get a sense of satisfaction from this skill.
                2. to know it made me happy (Are they prompted by nature to please the alpha figure?)
                3. to be prompted by routine
                Do any of these possibilities indicate certain amount of sense of SELF?
                I do not.
                Do you?
                I think accidental connections occur in their brains. Humans can train animals based on animal's propensity to build strong memories and connections for behavior. Without prompts for action my dogs do nothing of their own volition or interest but act according to their instincts. They are motivated by food, walks and play. It does seem like they know when you or other animals are sad /distressed and try to comfort , assist, protect. So I don't know.

              2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                On the contrary, the act of training dogs is all about manipulating programmed instinctive behavior. Showing dominance and establishing yourself as the 'alpha' member of the group being an example. There may be things that dogs wants to do that isn't allowed to do, but it's also instinct to resist that urge to protect itself.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  You mean like we do for children.  And the cops do for us.  Right?

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Yeah, actually.

          2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            The ability to choose is not confirmed to be free will. The free will debate is one that has been argued since the times of ancient Greece and still continues on today. Clearly the ability to make choices doesn't close the book on the case.....

            http://www.thegreatdebate.org.uk/determ … ewill.html

            Choices could simply be determined by the physical/chemical happenings of a mechanistic brain. In which case it isn't free will, but rather it's choices determined by the mechanical/physical laws that dictate the behavior of the elements of the brain in the environment they are in at the time. Brain state.

            In each choice you make, could you actually have chosen the other option? Or does the brain's consideration of another option only make it seem as though there was a deliberate choice made, when in actuality you could not have physically chosen differently? Was it an actual choice, or just the illusion of a choice?

            Behaviors are genetically passed on. My dog, for example, has not spent a day with another dog since he left his litter. When he first became aware of pooping it kind of freaked him out. He'd run from it, then run back and sniff it, then run off again. But when he pees he's begun to hike his leg, without having seen other dogs do it. And now he scratches after going, another behavior consistent with other dogs that he started doing on his own without seeing other dogs do it. Same for sniffing around. These are instinctive behaviors. Infants instinctively hold their breath when submerged in water. It's not learned. It's inherent.

            Free will would be a departure from instinctive behavior. Like becoming male-dominant when for hundreds of thousands of years before you weren't.

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
              Kathryn L Hillposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              If a dog were more self-aware he would want more and therefore exhibit more free will ... in other words have more ability / freedom to guide his actions. But, dogs do not exhibit very much free will.
              Perhaps a certain amount based on the spiritual evolution of the dog. Cats on the other hand …
              well what about them! They have noting BUT free-will … of course they are limited by their bodies and the size of their brains. We on the other hand have really big brains complex brains that can do SO MUCH!!!!

              What is your point in all this HVN?

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                Self-awareness is a good indicator. Freee will in the OT is described as Adam/Eve immediately realizing they were naked. Animals aren't concerned about it. Indigenous people are concerned about it. But everyone from Adam/Eve forward are "ashamed" of their nudity. This comes from an acute self-awareness, of being aware of the self in relation to the environment you're in. Animals for the most part don't exhibit this. Show them themselves in the mirror and they do not recognize the reflection as themselves.

                1. lovetherain profile image71
                  lovetherainposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  Free will and self awareness are two separate things. Free will is simply the ability to make choices against instinct.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Yeah, I'm not saying they're one and the same. But level of awareness of self in one's surrounding environment plays heavily into free will. An awareness of self is an indicator that's consistent with free will, but not free will itself.

                    Free will is much more than just decisions against instinct. The choices we make and how we go about making them is played out in the brain. If what we're experiencing is simply something we're observing, but not actually in control of, then there is no free will. We are just passive observers, no more in control of our actions than a river is in charge of choosing it's path.

                    Given all we know about the natural world, it would seem to suggest that actual free will is impossible. Our actions would have to be determined by the elements of the brain. The brain is a physical mechanism. Machines can only act in accordance to their parts. There can't be a deliberate choice.

                2. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  "Freee will in the OT is described as Adam/Eve immediately realizing they were naked."

                  No it isn't.  That was the result of instantaneously being educated, and had nothing to do with free will.  Outside of choosing to eat, which happened before you hypothesize free will existed.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Instantaneously educated? So you're saying that making this choice automatically imbued them with the "knowledge of good and evil"? That's one way to look at it.

                    Committing this "unnatural" act, this act that shouldn't be allowed over even possible, severed their connection to God and to the natural world around them. It separated them from God. Yes, they were capable of acting of their own will, but being capable of it and actually doing it are two separate things. Like knowing how and being able to cut off your leg is different than actually cutting off your leg.

            2. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              "The ability to choose is not confirmed to be free will."

              Well, not if you define the term as meaning you can do something against God's will.  But if you define it as being able to choose then it certainly is.

              "Choices could simply be determined by the physical/chemical happenings of a mechanistic brain."

              True, but then you are back to lacking free will, as everything has a cause and the only thing needed to determine the future is to know everything.  That we can't do that would not mean that the future is not predetermined anyway.  A conclusion I reject because I don't like it; we've already been over this hypothesis.  Which in turn means that the events in the mechanical/electrical brain are not deterministic, for a reason we do not know.

              Instinctive or useful?  That a (male) dog lifts its leg could well mean it is a useful method of directing the stream; useful enough and simple enough that nearly every dog finds it.  Same for the other things as well: dogs sniff, for instance, for the same reason we go around with open eyes.  Because, for a dog, the olfactory sense is a very strong one and gives as much or more information than any other sense.  Even the act of drawing air past the receptors is likely learned and not instinctive as it will absolutely produce more information than not doing it and will thus be learned very early in life.

              But a baby not breathing under water probably is instinct.  It has had no chance to practice or learn about this, yet it is commonly observed.  Unless it is learned somehow in the womb, it would seem to be pre-programmed instinct.  Useful in preventing dead babies and thus something evolution can work with.

  11. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago

    Numbers 1 and 2 are just silly. It's an unnecessary assumption to inject into this for no reason. So, nevermind God specifically stated His will, He might have been lying. He might have been saying one thing while meaning another. Heavens.

    Number 3, the storytellers most likely heard the story from Adam and Eve, considering they were around for centuries. Much like the creation account, there was no one there to witness these events, but there were people that God walked/talked with who could have recited what He described.

    Eve isn't a newborn baby. You're missing the point. Eve, like everything else described in creation, is made of the same elements. Everything else, without any kind of knowledge of good/evil, did exactly as God said. Knowledge of good/evil is irrelevant. The fact is the God of the universe, whose words dictate the behavior of everything in the universe, gave them specific rules that were broken. The capability they had to break them is what's significant. This would be the equivalent of you deciding you're not going to conform to gravity and jumping straight up into the stratosphere. It shouldn't be possible.

    Indigenous cultures clearly feel no shame about nudity. That is something specifically described in Genesis as being a result of what Adam/Eve did. Indigenous cultures don't have this same concern.

    You've gotten all hung up on this thing I mentioned about God arranging situations. You can't seem to get your head around the fact that He does not control your decisions. Sure, He could in some way taint the pancake mix to encourage you to make another choice. That's what He'd have to do because He can't control your choice. He'd have to change things to in some way coax you into changing your choice. He'd have to do it this way because He has no control over your choice. Only you do.

    Well Adam/Eve is where those 'sons of God' came from. A "hybrid" requires that there be two types. Without the offspring of Adam/Eve, there are only humans. What makes it a "hybrid" is that Adam/Eve's kin mixed with mortal/naturally evolved humans. I'm sorry you misunderstood.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      "Numbers 1 and 2 are just silly."

      Absolutely.  Silly, because it kind of throws a monkey wrench into the concept, doesn't it?  Much better to assume that God is what you want it to be - no knowledge or evidence necessary.  Only faith.  It's interesting that these are thrown out; you would never fail to question the motives and actions of a person attempting to control other people, even after a lifetime of observing their actions.  But a God's (reported) observed actions (by 2 extremely naive people) are not to be questioned, because...it must fit into how faith describes the god; as loving, kind, etc. even though the evidence very much says otherwise.

      Well yes, it was from A&E - there were no other people.  Only the two, made from dust and breathed life into, without parents or children.  Which means that one or both passed the story along, with the normal human exaggerations and changes to glorify themselves.

      "Everything else, without any kind of knowledge of good/evil, did exactly as God said. "

      You know this how?  Because their every movement was also reported?  Because you want it to be so? 

      "Indigenous cultures don't have this same concern."

      Of course not, right?  They only had their ancestors (A&E) to listen to, after all.  That they existed before the first people on earth is not something we want to consider as it kind of gives the lie to the whole tale.

      Oh, I understand quite well that God does not force decisions.  But then, I don't find that He is omniscient and knows the future, either, or that He takes any action on earth to force His desires or plan.  You do, but deny that He takes action or that there is a paradox in having a set future with having free will.  You must fight that internal battle alone, and you have done so by simply ignoring the logical conclusions of the theorized actions of God.

      Unfortunately, A&E kin were mortal/naturally evolved humans, just like the rest of mankind.  There has only been one other species at all close to man (in terms of achievement or apparent intelligence), and those died out, albeit with some small amount of mixing of the genes.  That you consider one group to be a different species just isn't borne out by the record.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        So, let me get this straight. You'll allow that this could be a real story. That these events really happened. That there was a real tree of knowledge and all of that. But if so, because you're so determined to make God out to be the bad guy here, you're actually suggesting that God setup this real situation only to then completely mislead the people He created? 

        It's not that I'm assuming God is what I want Him to be. It's that the whole situation would be wholly ridiculous and pointless to do the way you're suggesting. Why choose this backwards way of setting up a scenario and then mislead them into doing the opposite of what He told them to do? So, in your mind, God plays elaborate games? I guess.

        Adam and Eve weren't the only two people. So, in your mind (a truly strange place) Adam and Eve are glorifying themselves with this story? The same story where they fail to do what God says and are then 'punished'? Hmm.

        I know this how? We're reading a story. We're talking about the story in the context as it's written. The story says the natural world became what God willed it to be and then He deemed it "good", so by that we can take from the story that it all behaved as He wished.

        Adam and Eve were not the ancestors of indigenous cultures. The world was fully populated by their ancestors when Adam/Eve were created.

        I deny there's a paradox because there isn't one. I'm sorry you don't understand. Clearly this is something I can do nothing about.

        And yes, it is borne out by the record. That's what caused this behavior change that can be seen in the record. The entirety of the story, and the impact of those events as described, are borne out by the record.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          "But if so, because you're so determined to make God out to be the bad guy here, you're actually suggesting that God setup this real situation only to then completely mislead the people He created?  "

          If you read carefully, I make no such suggestion.  I do question the assumption of goodness that leads to never questioning it, however.  I find no evidence (and neither do you) that God always acts in a goodly manner.  On the contrary, there are many reports that make Him out to be a vicious, cruel, spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum.

          "Why choose this backwards way of setting up a scenario and then mislead them into doing the opposite of what He told them to do? "

          Because we see it happen all the time in real life.  Remember the "Don't throw me in the briar patch!"?  Well, it works in real life, too.

          "Adam and Eve weren't the only two people."

          And yet their construction followed right behind that of the world in a plain attempt to convince us that they were the first two people from which we all came.  How is it that you question this as being untrue while accepting the rest of the tale as being true?  A talking snake is certainly no more impossible that two people without ancestors or evolution!  And a tree that instantly imparts all knowledge of good and evil is even more so, yet never questioned.

          You're reading a story.  A fictional tale.  Agreed, but then why try to make it true? 

          You're right - you will never convince me that God can change the past to force the future to His wishes but cannot change the past to force the future to His wishes.  It won't happen.

          If "the record" is biblical tales, yes it is.  At least if scripture is twisted and interpreted to mean something other than what it says, but then that's a common practice.  The meaning must be what is desired, after all, and that goes all the way back to Nicea.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            No, what you read to be "vicious, cruel, spoiled child" behavior is read in the wrong context. You're not getting that if read correctly, God's motivations and intentions are very clear and consistent. Most of what you read to be vicious is actually in having to deal with humans and free will.

            The point I'm trying to make is that the story we're reading makes absolutely no sense in the context that you're suggesting. It's not that I never question. It's that I recognize a consistency in what's trying to be achieved here. And the goal He is working towards show Him to be a loving, caring God.

            I'm not familiar with the briar patch analogy.

            No, no, no. The idea that Adam/Eve were the first humans ever is a bad misconception. Genesis 1, the creation account, specifically says that humans were created male and female. In Genesis 4, even though Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel should be the only ones that exist, Cain mentions being concerned about what the 'others' will do to him once he's banished out of the land where his family lives.

            The tree instantly imparting knowledge is what you think. Not what I think.

            The meaning I'm pointing out is grounded in the context of what can be verified to be factual and true. Once in the correct context it becomes very clear. I'm not just reading into it what I want. I'm reaching logical conclusions based on the correct context and the impact that can be seen in the evidence as a result of the events that the story describes.

            1. BuddiNsense profile image60
              BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this


              That is called a mistake or contradiction when Cain was worried about 'others' though god only created one man and woman.
              There should be no other man other than Adam and Cain or humans other than those two and Eve.
              You are also reading into when Man is man's (Adam's) descendants in bible but for you they suddenly become god's.


              No, you are not just reading into you are filling in so that you can reach "logical conclusion"!
              Exodus 34: 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
              Bible can't make a single paragraph without contradicting itself and you consistently fail to see it.
              Here
              Rom 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

              Psa 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed
              two among the many passages that deny free will, yet you insist there is..You cintradict your bible yet say bible is true.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                It is a problem isn't it?  But not a new one: cherry picking and "interpreting" scripture to mean whatever we want has been going on since it was written.

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                  The difference is I've used our modern knowledge base to first find the correct context, then interpreted informed by that. And in doing so I've found the correct context. This can be determined because this one change to the context clears up anything that seemed to contradict with traditional interpretations.

                  1. BuddiNsense profile image60
                    BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                    The difference is you have used our modern knowledge base to re interprete and make necessary by that and then argue it fits. You call humans what the bible calls gods.

                2. BuddiNsense profile image60
                  BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                  But picking and reinterpreting to make an entirely new story some what along the scientific lines and then say science fits, I have to admit,  extraordinary.
                  I presume he thinks he got some special sense which his fellow Christians including theologians who deliberately try to make science out of bible missed.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                    Yeah, basically. But it's kind of an easy thing to miss. The idea that Adam was the first human ever is a big misconception that's caused many to overlook some things. It's not so much that I got a "special sense". I got a hunch, and I followed it. I found that in this corrected context it all read much more clearly. I then found that given this alternate interpretation, it also lines up quite nicely with what is known scientifically. It resolves all that seems to contradict.

              2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                Only read as a mistake if read in the wrong context. It might be an inconsistency if it were a limited occurrence. But the fact is if read in the context I'm putting forth, this one change clears up all seeming "mistakes", making it much more likely to be a contextual problem, and not a mistake.

                Read in the context I'm describing, the whole story, well beyond this one bit, is much more consistent and clear.

                Adam and his kin don't "suddenly become gods". It becomes clear when read in the correct context that this is what's being described. Genesis 6:1-4 makes it clear that there are two distinct groups. Gen5 just explained how descendants of Adam lived for centuries. Then, in Gen6, humans are described as "mortal" and it says they only live 120 years. So, to the perspective of a "mortal" human, the descendants of Adam would seem god-like. This is consistent with stories told by cultures all throughout this region of the world. And it's consistent with the rest of the bible.

                Rom 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

                Having mercy and "hardening" is talking about the hardships of the life they lead, not the choices they make in those situations.

                Psa 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed

                Yes, God can see all time all at once. But if 'you' never existed there'd be nothing to see. For that future to be there it has to eventually play out, and when it does whatever 'you' did was determined by the will of 'you'.

                1. BuddiNsense profile image60
                  BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                  Genesis doesn't ant clarity as you imply. Genesis call humans MAN and god god. So when genesis say god's son it means god's sin not man's. It clearly says MAN began to multiply after god created him in previous chapters, otherwise it would gave written god created god instead if god created adam/man.

                  Not at all, it is "hardening of HEART" just like he hardened the Pharaoh mentioned in the previous verse.

                  It doesn't matter whether he see all at once or one by one, it was all written BEFORE any of it happened.  The script is written, only the film had to be shot and is being shot as per the script. If it is written in the script that you go to Africa tomorrow and drink tea at 5.00pm, you will have to do that come tomorrow,  though you are not even dreaming it today. If before my birth, before even the birth of the universe if my entire life is written then I have no choice but to follow it. My parents was a chance meeting,  determined only by circumstances but god knew all the circumstances will happen like that, they were simply following the script. It is only the sudden coming of the bus that made me jump, all of which was written even before I saw or thought about the bus.
                  Please don't say circumstances also have free will.

  12. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    To say "Babel is Babylon" is to grossly oversimplify....

    "Other scholars have discussed at length a number of additional correspondences between the names of "Babylon" and "Eridu". Historical tablets state that Sargon of Akkad (ca. 2300 BC) dug up the original "Babylon" and rebuilt it near Akkad, though some scholars suspect this may in fact refer to the much later Assyrian king Sargon II." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eridu

    It's believed that the later 'Babylon' was actually named after Eridu/Babel. Eridu is also the site where it's believed the base of the original tower of Babel is located.



    Not at all irrelevant. You've got to understand, you keep looking at this as a kind of 'all or nothing' kind of thing. That if anything that even resembles violence or war can be found that that totally disproves what I'm saying. Intention and motivation behind the actions is what defines free will. There can be instances, mostly isolated cases, of behavior outside of the 'norm'. It's where/when these behaviors BECAME the norm that's most relevant.

    1. BuddiNsense profile image60
      BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      Speculation.


      It totally disprove your theory. No one disputes that humans have become war like after 15000. What we have is not a "few exceptions" but systematic war, a"norn". And according to you war is the sign of free will and hence we have to conclude that they had free will or war has nothing to do with free will.

  13. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    It says God created 'humans, male and female' in Genesis 1, then it says God created Adam and Eve. Then in Genesis 6 it says 'humans' began to increase in number in the land, because of the city that Cain built. When this happened the interactions between Adam/Eve/Cain's descendants (gods of mythology) and "mortal" humans.

    The bible goes a long way, in fact, in stressing that there is only one God. That these other gods are false.



    It's not the heart that's hardened. It's the circumstances that makes one "hard".




    It was not written "before" it happened. The script and what's "shot" are not two separate things. The script being read by God at the beginning IS the finished film. And the finished film documents all the choices and actions you and I and everyone else chose of their own free will in each of those moments.

    1. BuddiNsense profile image60
      BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      It doesn't say "because of the city".
      You say "god's of mythology", irrelevant.  It is bible that say god's son not mythology. Bible make no distinction between humans as you imply. It clearly says god 's  sons not even gods' sons.
      Only a few parts in bible stress so, many other including new testaments says many gods. Bible go so far as to say yahweh is son of el.

      However much you deny bible says God hardened Pharoah, and Romans do say god hardenes whomever he will not circumstances.  And that is not the only quotes there are many.


      It is written at the beginning of the universe when earth was not even formed so it was INDEED BEFORE.
      Psa 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
      Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
      Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them
      It is the script was written at the beginning of the universe while events are still being shot, happening.
      The finished film is what has happened to the universe and as it still hasn't finished,  ut is not finished film.
      There is no free will as the script is already written and the film was shot and will be shot exactly as is written.

  14. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    No. I am not ignoring the 'all'. You're overextending all to supersede the meaning of 'knowing'.



    That's why He waits until the absolute last moment before He stops him. To be sure. That's why He setup the whole scenario.

    1. BuddiNsense profile image60
      BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      That is you making up. You ignore "ALL", I read it. And knowing means knowing all information,  information from hypothetical too. There is NO EXCEPT.
      According to you god till I drop the coin god doesn't know what will happen, so not omniscient. God doesn't know whether I will drop the coin not omniscient.
      You can't simply redefine "omni", by that way we can make omnipotent and omnipresence too non oxymoron.
      omniscient
      adjective
      1.having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.

      You limited it, knowing ONLY THAT CAN BE KNOWN, but according to the definition there is NO LIMIT

      If Abraham had guessed that god would prevent and as god prevented him when he took the knife, not when the knife is about to strike, god can't know. Even if the knife strikes god could easily heal Isaac, so god is still not certain for the knife didn't reach Isaac.
      And God DIDN'T know HOW loyal was Abraham.
      So not omniscient.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

        I'm sorry, but this has everything to do with your misunderstanding of what "knowing" actually means. It doesn't include hypothetical. You can't have knowledge of something that never happened.

        1. BuddiNsense profile image60
          BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

          It does include; UNLIMITED knowledge, otherwise you are making a new definition. You are not using the definition from English but your own to suit your purpose.
          If I drop a coin it falls to the ground,  it's a hypothetical situation,  I don't even have a coin now. If I don't know the outcome, I am NOT OMNISCIENT.
          And God didn't know, don't know whether Abraham would kill his child.
          God didn't know how loyal was Abraham.
          Your all knowing omniscience is at least all minus two omni minus two omniscience,  special pleading.
          God do not know whether my child will eat the chocolate, even I can guess that he will, I am more omniscient than god.
          According to you god is just "all seeing", though it should be omnivoyer, you want it call omniscience.
          If I ask god whether you would die if I shoot you in the head poor fellow will have to admit that HE DOESN'T KNOW, so you have no choice but redifine omniscience to knowing what can be known.  Let us redefine omnipotence and say it is doing what xan ve done, why we can redifine the whole language and make anything true.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

            Let me try this again. Really think about what I'm saying here.

            knowledge - awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

            Key phrase here is "gained by experience of a fact or situation".

            A hypothetical is not a fact or a situation, and it hasn't and can't be experienced. This is what you're not getting. You're so hung up on "all" that you're completely overlooking "knowing". "Knowing" is the key here. What can and can't be known. Your hypothetical coin toss can't be known. It hasn't been experienced, it's not a fact or a situation.

            1. BuddiNsense profile image60
              BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

              It is ONE OF THE meanings OF knowledge NOT OMNISCIENCE.
              It is based on experience that we predict a coin or vase will fall to ground if we drop it not by dropping it.
              It is based on hypothetical phenomenon that we try to predict how our friends or relatives behave and adjust ours based on that.. so god has no awareness based on experience with Abraham.
              And you are IGNORING THAT omniscience means
              1 :  having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight
              2 :  possessed of universal or complete knowledge
              Not ONLY knowledge based on fact.
              You are also ignoring that knowledge in omniscience means information
              b (1) :  the fact or condition of being aware of something (2) :  the range of one's information or understanding <answered to the best of my knowledge>
              c :  the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning :  cognition
              d :  the fact or condition of having information or of being learned <a person of unusual knowledge>

              4 a :  the sum of what is known :  the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind

              God lacks two INFORMATION here, what Abraham thinks, how he will behave, so
              Not omniscient.
              You are ignoring the definition of omniscience to use only one meaning of knowledge, to incorporate a special pleading in omniscience.
              All knowing is to have all INFORMATION, under the sun so to speak, not merely awareness gained by experience.
              (god has no awareness of Abraham's behaviour based on his experience either). That is not even the complete meaning of knowledge.
              So you are using a different meaning of knowledge to redefine OMNISCIENCE  than real one to prove your theory.

              Add to that
              And either god can't forsee what he will do, or can't change what he forsaw. So god lacks either free will or omniscience,  which is which?
              If he sees that he is going to have coffee tomorrow, he can change it only if he has free will, and he is not omniscient if he changes it.
              If god doesn't have free will, he is not god. If he has, he is not omniscient.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                I'm sorry you don't understand, but I've made clear my explanation. Reject it if you wish.

                1. BuddiNsense profile image60
                  BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                  I clearly understood what you are doing, ignore the meaning of omniscience, make it as "all knowing" and take only one meaning of knowledge ignoring all the others.
                  We call it reinterpretation or chichanery.
                  You also forgot that your meaning of omniscience contradicted what you earlier said, god is seeing. Here god is predicting based on "experience", so you completely removed freewill.

                  Now answer the questions
                  1) Does god know what he will do?
                  2) Does he have freewill?
                  3) Did god know Abraham was loyal enough to kill his child for god?
                  You are a good fiction writer and is good in twisting meanings but please understand tgat others can see through.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                    I'm sure part of the reason you're struggling to understand is because you've convinced yourself that I'm doing something and that you "see through" what I'm doing. I'm not doing anything. I'm not twisting anything. I've consistently explained all along why God is still "all knowing". You can't "know" hypothetical situations. You can't have knowledge of something that never happened. It's really that simple. Only what happens can be 'known'.

  15. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    A preconceived notion of God is not helpful. What is helpful is observing life and the universe very closely. Jesus came before the discoveries of modern science. They should count for somthing toward our (actual) knowledge of God!

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      What (actual) knowledge of God?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

        Q. What (actual) knowledge of God?
        A. Discoveries of modern science.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

          I am unaware that science has discovered a god, or anything about one.  Can you elucidate?

  16. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    Modern discoveries reveal reality i.e. "God."
    For instance:
    "An electron is a tiny particle with a mass of 9.108 X 10-28g and a negative charge. All neutral atoms contain electrons. The electron was discovered and its properties defined during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The experiments that proved its existence were studies of the properties of matter in gas-discharge or cathode-ray tubes."
    http://www.chem.wisc.edu/deptfiles/genc … /tx41.html

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      God is the dead, uncaring universe that acts in specific, predictable ways and is quite visible?  Or just the mental concept we call "reality"?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

        God is the energy the universe runs on. The rules of the universe infer God. Love infers God. Logic infers God,
          what else?

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

          But science has no indication that the universe "runs" on anything.  Or maybe gravity, depending on what "runs" means, but which is not energy.

          No, just the mind wanting a god infers it from natural events.  Certainly love doesn't, and neither does logic.  Just want.

          So where does science end up with information about a god?  That some people make one up out of desire and say that anything science finds infers a god doesn't show anything about a god - those people that want one is producing that "information".  That's very simple logic, not like we want so it must be so.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
            Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

            what is energy and where did it come from?  its existence infers a god.  a source.
            what is the source of your very being… your essence, your existence?
            ~ that which is even beyond the electrons and protons that make up the illusion of your being.
            ~ the source of them.
            only that source is reality.
            reality = "God"

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

              How does energy infer a god?  Can you provide a logical syllogism, with true premises, logically leading to that conclusion? 

              I don't know the sources of any of that.  But my ignorance does not infer a god - just that I don't know.  Nor does your ignorance, or anyone else's.

              Then the human concept of "real", or maybe "truth" is god?  Just a mental construct, nothing more?  I might go for that, although I think I'd have to change some definitions somewhat.  Of course it might be a little tough describing how a human mental construct was the source of the universe before they existed...

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                "God" as the underlying substance of all that exists is a mental construct until this source of our own being is experienced consciously 

                Utilizing logical syllogism actually hampers the ability to experience the source of one's being.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                  Ah.  God is a construct until man finds him, whereupon it becomes real.  Made by man, then.  Still hard to understand how it made the universe before man made it.

                  But science is based on logic (among other things) and never, ever makes conclusions based on want or emotional needs.  How then does it know about god when god cannot be found through logic?  Besides, you are the one that said god is logical...

                  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                    God made the universe before ...

                    man "made" God.

                    Before man identified God as Creator of everything, you mean.

                    Actually, God MANIFESTS as everything that EXISTS, therefore: love, logic, rainbows, cats, dogs, light, dark, black, white, you, me, etc. … !

  17. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    It is impossible for "God" to be the cause of suffering.

  18. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    Repeating:
    "God" as the underlying substance of all that exists is a mental construct until this source of our own being is experienced consciously. 

    Utilizing logical syllogism actually hampers the ability to experience the source of one's being.

    1. jacharless profile image81
      jacharlessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      True, some -many actually- have not received that memo. smile

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

        never ever lol

  19. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    The cause of existence = God.
    The cause of suffering = ignorance of the essence of one's own existence.

  20. jacharless profile image81
    jacharlessposted 9 months ago

    Life:

    Force:

    Life force


    The replication ability is found in the genetic code. But, the question is where did that code come from and, more so, why did it come from. What is its purpose to begin with? Everything that does not have a purpose is eliminated -deleted- from the system, be it the internal system, ecosystem, solar system, galaxy (star system) -even go in reverse to the smallest nth. Everything with a purpose reproduces, flourishes, grows, expands, continues until it is not longer purposeful.

    If N = Life, and life is the result of said Force, then it is safe to use the term creation. So, if N= Life and F = Force (which enables creation) why can N or F != God? Even better, why can't both? Change the word "God" for "creation" or "Creator". The real trouble then is defining "god" just as it is defining "life". What is life and the purpose of it?

  21. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    So DNA, RNA, replication of copied pairs, the specific actions of hormones, pheromones, chemical reactions which occur in humans and animals have all developed accidentally and are merely the result and product of evolution?
    And evolution itself is not mysterious even though we can agree an unknown force prompted all scientifically observable / natural phenomenon?
    Therefore, let us agree: N, (the unknown,) = God.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      As we know it's possible and does occur it is the most reasonable answer.  Certainly more so than an imaginary creature in another unverse.

      An "unknown force"?  If you refer to mankind not knowing everything to know, yes.  If you are actually proposing a new force, unknown at this time, certainly not!

      Therefore, let us agree: there may or may not be any kind of god at all.  We don't know.  And that there is no reason to change the spelling of g r a v i t y to G o d...or any other force, energy or anything else.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

        But "God" means so much to us!
        God means love, care and protection on earth, and hope for life and consciousness in the afterlife: A design, plan and means to an end .. a peacful blissful end.
        Can we live without the thought of a universal Father/Mother who made us, (and lives in us as in everything) and loves each and every single one of us? Some One Force who will save us from slipping over the edge of some dark abyss
         
                                         INTO  NOTHINGNESS ?!!!!!!!!

        Maybe you can, but you have convinced yerself you can live with that.


        ~ most of the rest of us CANNOT!  AND If we hope for more …
        OH WELL!


        Something wrong with that hope, wilderness?

        Science and evolution proves God. The universe proves God. I prove God.
        I am a small portion of the Vast expanse of G O D Manifesting Manifesting Manifesting.
        God is art, poetry and science.

        Okay, I'll step down now.

        TWISI

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

          I have little doubt that much of this is true.  That millions of people have convinced themselves that living in reality is just too much to bear; it causes them sadness and grief and they don't want to live there.

          But is that a reason to present their make believe reality as real and true, demanding that everyone else live it it with them?  I think not, just as I don't see it as a reason to present their imaginings as true.  Much like the snake oil salesmen that sold "cures" of nasty tasting water for diseases that were never cured, death and grief will remain with us whether one believes they will or not. 

          Just as the statements such as "The universe proves God", or "I prove God", do a great disservice to gullible people.  Like the church that punished Galileo with a life of house arrest, hiding truth very seldom does any long term good for any but the very young.

          1. Damian10 profile image66
            Damian10posted 9 months ago in reply to this

            Wilderness ... that is an interesting perspective.  Perhaps you need to consider  archaeology.  For instance, the Tel Dan Inscription which proves there was a House of David.  The Pilot Stone proves there was such a procurator.  Tacitus, a non Christian, writes about Pilot crucifying a man many claimed to be the Christ.  Many others claimed He was as well.  Way too many coincidences in the Bible.   I am as much of a realist as you are but after doing the research I am more than comfortable with belief and faith.  After all, science does not lie does it?

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

              Yep.  The bible makes a fair to middling historical record.  At least if one ignores the impossibilities such as a world wide flood, people living inside a fish, the sun standing still, etc. and reads it as any other historical text written by the winners.  Some is true, some is exaggeration and much is outright falsehood.

              But as evidence of a god?  Not hardly - it is no better and no worse than any other mythological reference.  That a writer says a man claimed to be a god does NOT indicate that the claim is true; it says only that a claim was made.  There is a whole world of difference between what people claim and what is actually true.  Or we would be worshipping Zeus instead of the johnny-come-lately Jesus.

          2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

            This isn't about hiding the truth. It's about discovering it. It's about the very real chance that there's a lot more to the story than what our measly senses can be shown. It's about finding the reason and the purpose of all of this.

            If you believe only in what can be seen/heard/smelled/felt or in some way verified, then you're dismissing and leaving out a lot. There's a reason why we ponder these things. There's a reason we wonder. We search. The mind is capable of imagining well past the perceived. Well past anything needed in the interest of survival. There's way more to who we are than just a list of capabilities that serve the interest of survival alone. There's purpose and reason in what we do. There's a drive and a will in us to go well past what's needed simply to survive.

            1. Damian10 profile image66
              Damian10posted 9 months ago in reply to this

              Headley .... very well said.  Sometimes the worst thing about being human is just being human.  Stuck in our earthly perspective.  People are always asking for proof.  It is right in front.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                If it is "right in front", then show it.  With something more that "Because I say so".

            2. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

              "It's about finding the reason and the purpose of all of this. "

              And if there is no "reason" or "purpose"?  What then?  Well, the believer will make a reason and purpose whether there was one or not. 

              Ponder all you wish, wonder and imagine the same.  And use that as a starting point to find truth - don't just stop and declare it true.  While you may have a drive, a curiosity, it isn't a reason to imagine something and declare it true without knowing if it is or not. 

              For your (unsubstantiated) claim that there is more than possible to learn is just not a reason to declare that you have learned the unlearnable.  Imagination is a very poor substitute for knowledge.  It may (and does) make an excellent starting point of the road, but it cannot be the final stop, the destination.

              Example: last night I watched a special on an archaeological excavation in Colorado of a lot of Mastodon remains from some 30,000 years ago.  One skeleton was surrounded by rocks, in an area where there were no other stones anywhere.  It included a rib with striations that very much appeared to be from a stone knife, not predators.  The imagination immediately jumps to the conclusion that the rocks were carried there to weigh the corpse down in a lake that used to be there (a common practice to protect a kill from scavengers).  It fits with previous experience and observations of other skeletons and bone marks.

              But it is dated to 20,000 years before man appeared on the continent.  It cannot be true.  Yet it surely looks true; the evidence is all right there before us.

              The answer to the imagined picture of humans killing the animal, "hiding" the carcass and scraping meat from the bones?  Not to say it's true, but to look further.  To find those humans.  To find more similar skeletons.  To find the stone tools used. To find other tool-using animals of the time period.

              But not to simply declare that the imagined event actually took place.  You've used imagination to declare that gods roamed the earth, but have yet to show a single god.  No events that have to be attributed only to a god (like the striations only attributable to stone tools).  To date, only imagination is used to produce a scenario that, while it may be true, is still only imagination and thus cannot be termed "knowledge" at all.

              Those archaeologists may never find the answer to the puzzle, but they refuse to make any claims of truth; they will wait for, and search for, knowledge before they do.  As you should.  If you're at a dead end, present your evidence, present your scenario, and let others look for evidence.  But don't present it as truth because "we can't know things that are not of this world" or "we have a drive to know" and therefore imagination trumps knowledge.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                I did find truth. And I verified it in ways that confirms it for me, but that doesn't make for conclusive evidence for others. I tested the hypothesis.

                For example, after forming the framework of the timeline and series of events, I placed it in a particular time lined up with a suspected point where one of those events happened. I then searched evidence of the region to see if other events along that timeline could have been true. Is the framework and where it's placed accurate. I did numerous tests that all proved true. Like one being the Tower of Babel incident. If my hypothesis was true and accurate, then there should have been an event much like what's described around 3900 BC in that part of the world. That's when I found the 5.9 kiloyear event. This was an event that happened right when and where I was looking that very much lined up with what's described as far as masses of humans heading out and leaving the area.

                This is how I know it's true. So, what do I do with it? Sit on it? Never mention it? Or bounce it off of others, have it challenged?

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                  Nope.  You bounce it off of others for a challenge.  Which you have done.

                  The only problem is that your answers to those challenges is to pretend other evidence doesn't exist and to modify your claims from "always" to "mostly", which pretty much destroys the claim. 

                  But either way, you have still not produced any gods.  You have not produced any events attributable only to a god.  Both of these are possible, but are not done, which leaves you with nothing but imagination.  It takes more than imagination to be considered knowledge, and all the complaining that your imagined scenarios are "unprovable", that only imagination can show the results isn't going to help your case that you are in possession of actual truth.

                  Again, examples:
                  I mentioned the other day about a new species of "homo" found in Asia which mated with people there.  Can you produce one in Mesopotamia that might have been called a god?  Can you show any remains of that species, or it's works beyond anything man could produce anywhere in the world without the species?  Can you provide accepted examples of things that were impossible without a god (world wide flood, perhaps, or the sun standing still for 24 hours)?  Can you produce the Garden, with DNA from that particular tree that is different from any other before or since?  Can you show that all life came about at one specific time?  Or that all life in the area of the proposed "local" flood was destroyed and re-started from a single pair of each species?  Can you even find the ark?  You can't show that man outside the area had no cities before Babel, but can you even show that Babel produced the men that did exist elsewhere?  We know that man throughout the world carries DNA from other species; can you show that only in that specific area did a hybrid occur, and with what other species?  Or are all of these possibilities of providing actual evidence to be forever ignored because none is available (showing none of them happened)?

                  I think you do understand what truth requires, you just don't like the idea because you have none and thus prefer imagination.  So you say things like "there are things man can never know" and "we have a drive to know" in an excuse to use nothing but imagination.  You couple it with a logical sequence of historical facts and assumptions, but at the end of the road can actually prove very little of it and what you can prove is nothing that didn't happen elsewhere and elsewhen.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago in reply to this

                    Please stop with that. I have taken every challenge head on. I haven't pretended it didn't exist. And I haven't modified my claims.

                    And now you're talking about "producing" gods. Have we not covered this ad nauseum? And what exactly do you mean about producing events only attributed to a God? What would that evidence look like, exactly? We can only determine the cause if the cause is 'natural'. If the cause were "attributed to a god", then it would presumably something that doesn't happen 'naturally'. Well, there's a couple of examples that could very well fit that mold, things that we just assume aren't explained 'yet'. The origin of the universe is one. The origin of life is another. The ability life has to replicate is another. Replication, for example, was said by Richard Dawkins to be "exceedingly improbable".

                    But it's not like you're going to accept any of those things as "only attributed to a God". You're going to assume it's something science will suss out eventually.

                    And just to be clear, that tree wasn't necessarily different DNA wise from any other tree. What made that tree significant is the fact that God created a commandment that said not to eat from it. It was forbidden because God forbid it, not because it was in some way different.

                    But no, I'm not in the field. But what I can do is make this theory known. If those in the field are familiar with it then it can steer investigation. It's something else to look for, like DNA evidence. If they knew what to look for then it might yield more results.

                    There is some evidence for giants. There's one burial in particular, that's believed to be the burial site of the biblical king Og. It matches up with the dimensions given in the bible.

                    "Deut. 3:11 declares that his "bedstead" (translated in some texts as "sarcophagus") of iron is "nine cubits in length and four cubits in width", which is 13.5 ft by 6 ft according to the standard cubit of a man. It goes on to say that at the royal city of Rabbah of the Ammonites, his giant bedstead could still be seen as a novelty at the time the narrative was written. If the giant king's bedstead was built in proportion to his size as most beds are, he may have been between 9 to 13 feet in height.
                    .....
                    It is noteworthy that the region north of the river Jabbok, or Bashan, "the land of Rephaim", contains hundreds of megalithic stone tombs (dolmen) dating from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC. In 1918, Gustav Dalman discovered in the neighborhood of Amman Jordan (Amman is built on the ancient city of Rabbah of Ammon) a noteworthy dolmen which matched the approximate dimensions of Og's bed as described in the Bible. Such ancient rock burials are seldom seen west of the Jordan river, and the only other concentration of these megaliths are to be found in the hills of Judah in the vicinity of Hebron, where the giant sons of Anak were said to have lived (Numbers 13:33)."


                    Og's burial site is also described in the bible as being a kind of public viewing place. So there's also the strong possibility that the remains of any of the giants were pillaged.

                    I have plenty of truth. What can be seen in the evidence, what should be expected to be seen if true, is all there.

                    And I'm sorry there are things that can't be verified. That's not something I'm making up. That's just a fact.

              2. Damian10 profile image66
                Damian10posted 9 months ago in reply to this

                Are you not comparing archaeology to mythology?  The Tel Dan Inscription proves the House of David.  There was a King David.  The Pilate Stone. There was a Pontius Pilate.  There was a Roman Historian Tacitus. ( Non Christian ).  What do we do with these historic figures?   Some geologists believe to have the huge valleys we have that at some point there did have to be a great flood.  Isaiah says the earth was circular 2200 years before Columbus make the same claim.   Can there really be that much coincidence?

            3. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
              Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

              +1!

  22. Damian10 profile image66
    Damian10posted 9 months ago

    Great Hub and quite thought provoking.  As a believer I can only attest to personal experience.  Certainly have had sad times in my life.  Very sad for that matter.  God has blessed me with incredible health and even though I have been diagnosed with MS 16 months ago it seems He has used it all for good.  If you had told me that 16 months ago I would have said you were crazy.  Yet, that is exactly what it has done.  Instead of feeling bad for me I pray for and realize that so many others are in much more difficult circumstances.  I have been and continue to be completely blessed.  Jesus has already done the difficult part for all of us.  What is left for us is the easiest part:  Believe and repent. God bless.

  23. 61
    Irishtheunicornposted 9 months ago

    We can't actually blame God but he has plans for us even we suffer really bad.

  24. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago

    take dominant and recessive genes in a developing individual. There is a battle going on between these genes and the dominant ones win. This struggle is part of nature. Why does it happen?
    Every living cell has a determination toward life!  Life is not the same as death. So what about that?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      If you want to know the ins and outs of why dominant genes dominate, study microbiology and chemistry.  Don't just make up claims that there is a struggle between the four chemicals that make up genes on a chromosome because it is pretty or poetic.

      Like Headly, you're making statements you cannot support.  Like "Every living cell has a determination toward life!".  I can just as well say that individual cells have exactly zero "determination towards life" (will to live"?) and it carries just as much weight as I cannot support that, either.  Outside, anyway, of the observation that most cells do nothing but accept proffered "food" and, sometimes, reproduce.  No determination observed, no struggle, nothing but intake of chemicals that are readily available.  And when those chemicals aren't delivered the cell quietly dies, again without a struggle of any kind.

      So what can you offer that shows individual cells have a determination towards life?  The chemistry that allows some chemicals to pass through the cell wall?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 9 months ago in reply to this

        But they SOMEHOW promote LIFE!
        Random?
        Purposeful?
        It seems that life is dependent on the will / INTENT to *L I V E* as it is INFUSED into the very cells.
        Chemical reactions occur with a specific goal.

        What ? makes life the goal?

    2. BuddiNsense profile image60
      BuddiNsenseposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      It doesn't matter whether there is determination or not, but the surroundings determine.
      Most cells that form die, from external caues and humans commit suicide too.

  25. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    Alright, I'm petering out. I'll respond further tomorrow.

  26. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    I want to address this in particular. Let's look at the natural laws. Even the natural laws that are the base of everything we understand, these are things that can't be observed either. And we don't know what creates, or sets these conditions. The only reason we know they're there is because we can tell by observing matter and note that they're all affected in consisent, measurable ways. Are the natural laws "immaterial"? Do they exist spatially? Do they have dimensions? Are they real?

  27. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    You're missing the point. What I'm asking is why use this reward-based approach at all? If the brain and mind are the same, and the brain controls the mind, then why can't the brain just enact whatever desired action? Why must it coax the mind through the promise of reward? A much more direct and certain method would be to just cause those desired actions. But it doesn't work that way. It must coax the mind.




    Right, it's just information. It's a stored image taken in through the ocular nerves. But that image is real. You really see it, can really look at it with your mind's eye.



    The point is the computer takes none of its own actions. It merely processes commands. Those commands are written by users.




    Yes, exactly. But it's these thoughts that are the cause. They are the beginning of the process. A willful action that then enacts these signals. These thoughts are happening in the mind. A thought is a culmination of memories and associations stored in the brain. Then, based on the information observed in that data, an action is incited physically. Not physical cause/effect, but a non-physical cause.




    There are thoughts in the mind during sleep. Dreaming is, at least as far as we understand, the mind processing information. The mind is unconscious, but the senses still work. You can still hear. And sometimes a sound or feeling something can bring the mind back into a state of consciousness. The tool is still just a tool.




    Yes, the mind uses information provided by the senses of the brain. Stimulating or manipulating those physical processes affect the information provided to the mind, which then affects how the mind operates. This doesn't mean the brain is controlling the mind, only that the mind is influenced by this data.



    Yeah, I get what you're saying. Yes, the brain deals in physical information. One part of the brain processes and stores visual information, another stores and processes sounds you hear, another associates those sounds with words and letters and speech. All these things happening in physically separate parts of the brain, but combined into one construct within the mind. But the mind doesn't exist in any one place. Like the information presented to you through your computer. Some of it comes from the video processor, some of it data from the drive, or from memory, some of it created by the sound card, but its presented to the user as one presentation. That combined presentation doesn't exist in any one place either. It's a culmination of many different things. That data exists on the drive, even when the computer isn't running, but that presentation doesn't. It's only when the computer is running and building and presenting that presentation that it exists.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      Pretty much the same answer; because it works, it results in reproduction and the maintenance of the species.  Specific, detailed answers are not available beyond what I gave, and will be the same if the question is why God, when designing each cell of the brain, didn't make it capable of constant pleasure.  We don't know why, and can only speculate on what the results would be if He had made us that way.



      You can look at an image...an image that may or may not have any connection to reality.  You can make an image (information) of a unicorn and look at all you want, but what the image points to (a living animal called a unicorn) does not exist.



      Not if the computer is defined as including the ROM that boots it up.  If it is defined as including that ROM (computerese for DNA) then it is most definitely taking action on it's own.  Just as your DNA defines what actions you may or may not take and in some cases what action you WILL take.




      Propose a non-physical cause all you wish, there is still a requirement for a physical signal, a force, to change the position of the electrons in the brain.  What and where is that force/energy/matter/whatever connecting the non-physical to the physical and causing the electron to move?  And no, you don't get to decide that it is invisible or something we don't know about yet but that definitely exists for no more reason that it is necessary for that invisible mind that is being proposed as well.



      No, a dream is not the unconscious, non-working mind thinking and processing.  It is the brain, working at "half speed" and producing retrieving chaotic fragments of memories.  The mind is not thinking, is not active, is not processing anything at all. 

      An example of this:  long ago I once woke from sleep in a panic.  Not from a dream (I've experienced that, too) but from a real cause.  A short time later the smoke alarm made a CHIRP and stopped and I instantly realized it had been doing that for some time (turned out to be a dying battery, but of course I didn't know that).

      With the mind in a non-functioning state, the "half speed" brain was able to decipher the electrical impulses from the cochlea, correctly assess it as dangerous, set the DANGER label, store the information, give instructions to begin cranking adrenaline and come to full attention.  All functions you attribute only to the (still unconscious) mind.  And then, only then, did another CHIRP bring out the memory and the (now conscious) mind recognize what the danger was.

      The brain performed the functions of what you term the mind; it must BE the mind.  It was slow, in it's sleep state it failed to recognize what the sound was, but it performed mental activities that can only come from the mind, so it IS the mind.



      I have a hard time visualizing a tool that doesn't exert control.  Even if you like the term "influence" better, the fact is indisputable that the brain controls a great deal of the thought process of the mind; what it thinks, what it does, what commands it gives.  The mind can do nothing the brain can't; if the brain can't think, neither can the mind.  The mind can give no commands the brain won't allow.  If the brain is in a state of frenzy (addled by drugs, maybe), so are the thoughts and mind.  Everything the brain does is reflected into the mind, and declaring that it is only because all the senses, all the emotions, all the memory, everything comes through the brain just doesn't cut it. 



      No, they are not "physically separate".  We like to draw imaginary lines around sections of the brain, mostly for discussion purposes, but it is all connected.  The memory isn't a physically separate area, the cortex isn't, the olfactory area isn't, and so one.  They are all intimately connected and our imaginary lines mean absolutely nothing to the brain OR the mind.  Except that if we make them separate through surgery they suddenly don't work any more.  They have been excised from both brain and mind, once more a strong indication that the mind IS the brain.  You like to use those imaginary lines as an indication that that isn't true, but neither brain nor mind is a mathematical point of no dimension: both occupy space, a non-zero volume of space.  The same space, for that matter.

      So we're back in the same place we started, albeit with a little better understand of the other's position.  I say the mind is the brain, including all the cells, nerves, synapses and perhaps most importantly the pattern of those physical things.  You want an immaterial, invisible, undefinable something that simply uses the brain as an I/O device; a tool to get data in and control signals back out to the physical body.  But even as we both recognize that there isn't a single difference in the results of both proposals, that everything happening in one is mirrored in the other (plus a few physical controls only in the brain) you still want to add not one but two more layers of complexity; the system that passes information between the brain and mind and the mind itself.  Both are declared to be invisible to any senses whether artificial or biological, both seem to be but a mental construct depicting real things (that mental "image" - the tree in the picture).  Neither can be shown to exist, and neither can be shown to be necessary as every single thing the brain does or can do is identical to what the mind can do or does, and vice-versa.  You say only the mind can think, for instance, but are then put in the position of denying that the currents observed in the brain when the mind thinks are not the mind in action...but being unable to point to any reason for saying so.  It is only by definition, not fact, that they are not.

      So why add those two levels of complexity, of mental images of something invisible and undetectable, of something unnecessary to explain the workings of the mind at all?  Some do it as a way to "cheat death" - the mind never dies and although we can't see it, it is still there after death.  Some will want the philosophy, the mysticism of the unknown.  Some may desire that immaterial mind as a differentiation from other animals, increasing our importance in the universe.  But none of those are required or necessary, and none are a reason to invent the unknowable as the correct answer to the question.

  28. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    But direct control would work too. In fact, this whole pleasure center layer is a really unnecessary complication in what should work best as a direct action. In fact, it's in evaluating how the brain interacts with the mind that we find reasoning that suggests there's something more to the mind.

    Like the pleasure center, or the fact that the brain seems to be at the disposal of the mind, immediately recalling wanted information. The mind willfully choosing what action to take, and the brain using various methods to coax specific actions, is a big theme. The brain could just make these actions happen, if it were in control, but instead the mind has to be convinced. It would seem the brain evolved around a mind that was always there.




    Yes, the image can be completely fictitious. But the image does exist in your head. You actually can see it. It's an image in some way being created and displayed.



    But it's not the computer's actions. The ROM, just like everything else was setup by a user who setup the boot sequence and series of actions the computer needs to take. The computer itself does not create the actions, it only follows them.




    Why not, unseen forces that affect the behavior of matter were "decided" to exist. Everything has to be accounted for in some way. We know the actions taken by the mind can't be purely material because it's not the actual signals firing or anything physical that's determining the action, it's the non-physical elements of the memory or mental image or thought that are the deciding factors. The physical signals themselves would be very similar to one another, but the information they carry is what's deciding action. So it's not the physical aspect of it that's affecting behavior, it's the mental aspect.



    Then how can you remember a dream? Your conscious mind actually remembers fragments of it. How's that if it wasn't active?




    Your conscious mind slowly came around and became aware of the sound, was able to assess what it was, then came full awakeness. The brain can certainly take over in instances where harm could come, like your lungs forcing you to breathe or your body vomiting, without involvement from the mind.




    Right. "The mind can do nothing the brain can't". This is because the brain is the tool through which the mind interacts with the physical world and our own physical bodies. The brain takes that will and want and turns it into action. I'm not disagreeing. If the brain is in some way adversely affected, then so is the mind's ability to use it.



    Because what's observed in the brain and in mental phenomena suggest another layer. A physical brain made of physical elements can only behave the way the natural laws say they can in the state they're in. If it were just the brain at play, we'd have no more willful control than a river has in choosing its path. It's wholly determined by the elements. But that's not how we work or how the mind/brain works. The brain uses its various methods to serve the mind, to recall information, to sway through the use of emotion or the promise of pleasure or relief from pain. These are not mechanistic behaviors that can suddenly become a reality at the quantum level of matter. These are not the results of complexity. It's not just simply the elements of the brain and how they're arranged that give rise to the conscious self. That makes something alive. There's another layer because what's observed suggests there is.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 months ago in reply to this

      Well, of course it would work.  But that isn't the question; the question (from an evolutionary standpoint) is which method gives the best chance of reproducing?  And my speculation is that requiring action to precede pleasure is that IT does.  Not poking the "pleasure" spot any time you want pleasure.



      No, no.  I stipulate that the image is always very real.  What it represents, what it points to, is often very false.



      Of course it IS the computers action!  If the directions are a part of the computer then the computer is giving itself directions by definition.  You may not like the definition but the logic is unassailable.




      Yep!  We found unseen forces and understand them to be real.  So where's that force again?  The one bridging the gap between an immaterial, invisible and undetectable mind and the physical world? 

      Of course it's the synapses, neurons, etc. firing that are the mind at work.  We SEE it happening.  We observe it.  The computer analogy is appropriate (maybe) here as well: an electron flows down a nerve to a synapse, which opens the pathway to another synapse which opens to a third.  For a hundred repetitions.  While a second similar process with a hundred more synapses is happening.  And the two electrons come together in nerve heading the the biceps: presto! and the arm bends.  And all those synapses and neurons and nerves is what constitutes the mind.  All physical, all real, and events taking place constitute the thought the mind is having.



      ??Dredge it up from the memory banks that are a part of the brain.  You yourself said that!



      No, the conscious mind did not "slowly come around".  It snapped awake in an instant, already in a panic - I thought I made that clear.  The observed actions didn't match what you're trying to force them to.  And if the brain can "take over" the mind's functions then it is far, far more than a mere tool of the mind.  It IS the mind, at least during that "take over".  And if that's the case there is no need for a mind at all as the brain is doing all the work anyway.



      Then the mind still exists when the brain dies, it just can no longer affect the physical world in either input or output.  You have just created the greatest living hell possible, with every mind promptly going mad after death, for an eternity.  Sensory deprivation at it's infinite level and with no hope of ever ending.



      It certainly doesn't "suggest" it to me!  KISS - every thought, every action, every memory comes right out of the brain without need for any more layers.  Sure enough - the brain can only behave as natural laws allow...and the mind is under the exact same limitations.  Even you say that as the mind can do nothing the brain can't.  No suggestion for the need for additional layer after layer of mystery.

      And perhaps it IS wholly determined by the elements. Maybe we're fooling ourselves thinking we actually have free will.  Maybe all of our "choices" are determined by past experiences (memory) current sensory inputs and such.  Certainly we'd never know if we went to the closet to pick out a dress for tonight and chose the green one.  Because we saw a green four leaf clover today and it caused the release of serotonin.  And the red car matching the color of the red dress splashed water on us.  And the florescent light makes the blue one look a little bilious even though we don't consciously notice that.  And the cut on your finger touched the purple one, hurting a small amount.  And the brown one matches the color of the dog poop on the lawn outside, that smelled bad.  And so on and so on.  There could be a hundred or a thousand things all affecting our decision as to which dress to choose, and we aren't aware of a single one of them.  No free will, but it sure feels like it as we feel the green dress, thinking about how nice it would look with those new green shoes and make the choice.  As you indicate, we are being influenced and pushed, not by the brain per se, but by our own experiences, subconscious thoughts and senses that we don't even recognizing as playing a part.  And not necessarily for any particular reason - no evolutionary forces at work, no outside God guiding us, not even to please our husband (that would be me; the dress can be for you) because he likes green.  But just because those things are there, floating around the brain.  Come back tomorrow and the memory of the bad smell is shut away in long term memory instead of being fresh in short term; maybe we'll choose the brown dress instead.  Mechanism and complexity at a level we neither recognize nor understand, and it is controlling our every action. 

      But there's another facet operating here, too.  You complain that the brain, irregardless of the level of complexity, can never have free will (like that AI that can never have a mind) because it is mechanistic.  But you don't know that - you don't know what increasing complexity can produce, you don't understand how or why the brain works or even what all it does.  So when the next question is "how do you know that imagined immaterial mind can have the free will that the brain is lacking, thus suggesting the necessity of having another couple of layers?  And the only possible answer has to be the same as for the brain: "I don't".  And there goes that "suggestion" that there is another level.

  29. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 9 months ago

    No, you've got it backwards. I mean, you're right. We basically do have a pleasure button and we get little else done because of it. But in actual studies done where electrodes were hooked up to the pleasure center (the nucleus accumbens), both mice and men gave up food and hygiene and everything else to keep stimulating the pleasure center. The mice finally just die of exhaustion. The men probably would have too, if allowed to continue.

    What I'm saying is why doesn't the brain just enact whatever desired action it's instead coaxing the mind to choose through the promise of pleasure?

    "... a pleasure center that lets us know when something is enjoyable and reinforces the desire for us to perform the same pleasurable action again."

    So, why not just perform the action again? Why perform this extra step? Why evolve a pleasure center, or a "reward circuit", why instead coax the mind to choose to do it by bribing it?




    That doesn't matter. It's whether or not the undetectable image actually exists or not, and it does.




    Did the computer create the directions? Then it's not the computer's directions. Yes, it's the computer in action, computing. Processing bit by bit, line by line, instructions that were programmed into it.




    See, that's where this breaks down. If it were all physical, then it would be the physical properties of the electric current and the elements their interacting with that would determine the next thing to happen. But it isn't. It's instead a mind capable of observing the information being provided by these neural impulses that's then determining the next action. It's not cause and effect. It's evaluate and decide the next course of action.





    You've got literally a life-time worth of memories stored in that brain, yet the mind recalls specific things that happened during a dream state. The mind isn't the one storing the memory. The brain is. But the mind remembers those particular things because it was (sub)conscious.




    A computer is capable of doing a number of things on its own without the need of its user to do. Much like the body can sneeze, cough, cry, heal, etc. But it can't accomplish much else without a user using it as a tool. The brain would never live up to its potential without a user (mind) using it.




    Your assuming this is a strange condition for it to be in. Not at all. Life/death, there's nothing more natural. We consciously are only really the sum of the memories and data taken in during this material life. It's all we know. But I have a feeling being disembodied will be just as comfortable a condition.





    No additional layer means all of our choices and actions are determined. It means we can't really be held accountable for anything we choose to do because it's really just our natural response to the environment or situation we find ourselves in. In fact, most everything we hold dear as humanity goes out the window. All of humanity's biggest accomplishments and all the best and worst we've ever done, wasn't actually our choice to do. It was just the result of cause/effect. It's the only thing that could have happened.




    Yes, I do know that. Mechanics, no matter the level of complexity, cannot achieve free will because a free will is free from natural law, which mechanics never will be. Complexity is the last bastion of hope for the materialist. That's all it is. A lost hope. The bottom line is that mechanics can't account for all that we are. It