ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Science delusion.

Updated on May 3, 2017
Source

For some years now I’ve been hearing about the science delusion. Is it true? Or is it just a ploy by the religious to counter what Dawkins calls militant atheism?

There are several points the proponents of the science delusion sight as proof that science has become a religion:

The assertion is: Science claims to already know the nature of reality in principal, leaving only the details to be filled in.

Science is a religion. People say: I don’t believe in god, I believe in science. In other words it’s a world view. A materialist world view.

Rupert Sheldrake tells us there are 10 dogmas of science which have limited it, and in fact tainted it.

1 Nature is mechanical and machine like. Humans are machine like, as are brains

2 Matter is unconscious. Animals aren’t conscious and we shouldn’t be either and probably aren’t.

3 The laws of nature are fixed. They can’t change.

4 The total amount of energy and matter is always the same. It sprang from nowhere at the instant of the big bang.

5 There is no purpose in nature.

6 Heredity is material. It’s all about genes.

7 Memories are stored in the brain as material traces.

8 Your mind is in your head.

9 Telepathy and psychic powers can’t exist because the mind is just the brain and it can’t affect the outside world.

10 Mechanistic medicine is the only real medicine.

So, let me start by saying I do agree that scientists can be dogmatic, so can people who think they know science and that is a bit of a danger. So what is it about science that allows it to become dogmatic? Scientists. Human beings. Media, Public understanding. In other words: science isn’t dogmatic, people are.

The scientific method is anything but dogmatic. And so what makes some scientists fall to dogma? Answer in a nut shell: Belief.

Belief is the enemy of science. There’s also convention, tenure , ego’s, old boys clubs etc. But belief is the main problem. People want certainty, desperately. For centuries we had absolute certainty. God or the gods, did their thing and who were we to even wonder about how it all works? We could never figure it out ourselves.

But we did wonder anyway, as is evidenced by books like Genesis and many other creation myths. So much so that early scientists and observers challenged religious ideas of nature and were proven right.

Then things became less certain. And as science grew and evolution reared it’s head, even god was in question.

For a while, after Newton, we thought we had certainty again.

The world ran like a clock work. It was mechanistic. Soon we’d know everything. And then two things happened that turned it all on it’s head. I say two, but it’s more like five. First, Einstein shocked the scientific world with relativity. Heisenberg and co gave us QM, and Hubble told us the universe isn’t static, it’s expanding. And then came Big Bang. That’s one.

Two is Lorenz, Mandelbrot, and perhaps a dozen others and their observations taken together suddenly formed a new science called chaos theory. That’s five.

Now we’re really uncertain as to what’s really going on so people hang on to the small certainties they think they have.

In debates and general conversations, you can see the belief some people have in such ideas as the many worlds theory, string theory, the Big Bang, etc.

Yet these theories are often not provable or more to the point, not falsifiable, and aren’t science fact.

A theory is a model created from facts. It’s an interpretation of observed or collected data from experiment. But it’s not a fact until it’s been proven by experiment. If it’s good it will usually predict something about reality. If it can’t be falsified even in principal, it’s just a guess.

So before I look at the so called ten dogma’s, let me say that there is nothing wrong with letting science form our world view. That is to say, to adopt the scientific method as a method for thinking about the world. It's the best tool we have to date. Part of that method being not having a stake in what the truth is.

Faith is the end of logic. Belief is never a requirement. Either something is a fact, or it’s a lie or guess. Believing a fact is redundant. We accept facts. But they have to be true facts. In fact, we can only accept them conditionally unless they are indisputable, like: I either ate an apple today or I didn’t. That’s an absolute fact. Or a tautology like: all black birds are black.

A lie certainly should not be believed, and speculation isn’t to be believed either. It is true or not, and requires evidence to back it up.

So, does science claim to have the basis or framework for reality? No. Scientists, not science, claim to have pieces of the puzzle, but few if any would tell us we have all the answers, or even close. We’ve known that isn’t true since Einstein. There are way too many competing interpretations for the facts we have.

Is science a religion? No. But that doesn’t stop people from using its findings to help them understand the universe and help form their world view. And there are religions like scientific pantheism that do exactly that. But science is a method, a tool. It can’t be a religion.

So to dogma number one: Nature is mechanical and machine like. Humans are machine like, as are brains.

I do hear that from some scientists and philosophers, but it’s not exactly true. Biology is decidedly dynamic. Not what we think of when we say machine like. A car is a bunch of metal and glass etc, with no idea what it is or does. We put it together in such a way that we can fill it with gas and drive around. A car doesn’t do anything without an operator. Neither does any other mechanical machine.

Biology is complex and dynamic. It’s the operator, not the machine. But that doesn’t imply a supernatural element to nature, which is what most scientists are saying when they say mechanical.

Nature, which we are part of, is endlessly creative and complex. Anything but machine-like.

Yes, everything follows the laws of physics, which aren’t laws at all, but rather the nature of nature. But that nature facilitates all we see including biology. Without limits/order nothing can function at all.

So the problem is the idea of a supernatural. Surely it too would have order/limits or it couldn’t function. So in light of the supernatural not being falsifiable even in principal, we can’t factor it into scientific inquiry and have to keep looking to the natural for information.

What scientists and philosophers should do is: stop saying mechanical when we mean natural.


“Matter is unconscious. Animals aren’t conscious and we shouldn’t be either and probably aren’t.”

I’ve never heard scientists say any such thing. But again, semantics get in the way here.

Consciousness is self evident. No one needs to prove it exists, just how it works in detail. But what is consciousness? Being awake? Being able to reason? Self awareness? So many definitions, so many aspects. Yet at its root, its complex awareness.

All biology is aware. Were a bacteria not to have even rudimentary awareness, it would keep bumping its head on the same obstacle and never get to its food, or take care of its needs. So to say animals aren’t aware is absurd.

Is matter aware in any way? Why should it be? It doesn’t need to be. And what is meant by matter? An atom? It has a nature. Auto response.

I do think auto response is the precursor to awareness. But that’s a model that still needs to be researched properly. But a precursor is not awareness itself, any more than rudimentary awareness is the same as human awareness/consciousness; and even though it’s all just a matter of degrees of complexity.

To say there is something other than energy and matter is to allude to a supernatural, and as there is no evidence a supernatural and some claim there can’t be, it can’t be added to our knowledge base in any meaningful way. So that objection is futile.

Are the laws of nature unchanging? Yes and no. Yes because experiment proves it. No, only in the sense that conditions can change and thereby change values. Water boils at 100 degrees C. Everyone knows that. But it’s not exactly that simple. It depends on altitude and purity. Additives may make water boil slower or faster. Altitude alters boiling point as well.

But if you replicate your conditions exactly, it will always give the same results. Speed of light is constant. Right? Only in a vacuum. Light moves slower through water, for instance. It bounces off things.

So yes, the nature of nature is constant. But it can be different in different conditions. Yet be constant in those conditions.

Is the total amount of energy in the universe always the same? Conservation of energy says yes. But it’s state alters. This is the basis of thermodynamics, which is a well tested and proven set of laws or natures of nature/physics.

Did it spring from nowhere at the start of the big bang? Hardly. The big bang is the most widely accepted theories of our origins. But it’s not alone. There are at least three other good competitors these days. And no tests have yet been done to prove it. Only mathematics.

Is it likely to be the answer? It’s a good theory, but unless it’s proven we can’t give it better than a good chance. Evolution is a fact. Big Bang isn’t.

So let’s say it is true. What does it say about energy? Well, it says the singularity was in an almost infinitely compressed state. What was? Some say all the matter in the universe. I’ve heard all the mater and energy in the universe. But I’ve never seen a version of the theory that says energy appeared from nothing.

I have heard recent claims from Hawking and Kraus that the universe came from nothing, but they are redefining nothing to be something. To be precise: quantum fluctuation. This supposed nothing spontaneously creates particle pairs which usually annihilate each other almost instantly. It’s well known that empty space is teaming with quantum activity.

It’s a kind of potential energy in the vacuum./ or fabric of space as Einstein said. Hardly nothing. Just apparently nothing. Not nothing at all. You can’t get something from nothing at all.

Einstein showed that matter has vast amounts of energy in it. He also said that matter was created not by mass, but by energy tensor density and momentum. That translates to dense energy below light speed creates matter. He also said:

“The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content.” Annalen der Physik 18, 639-641 (1905).

"It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E = mc², in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa. The mass and energy were in fact equivalent, according to the formula mentioned before." Albert Einstein.

This was shown to be true experimentally by Cockcroft and Walton in 1932,.

And then there's: "We have been all wrong! What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been lowered as to be perceptible to the senses."

So all the matter of the universe is condensed energy. So the BB would have been super dense energy. All indications are this is the case if BB happened. So it didn’t create energy, it was energy. And all the serious competition begin with energy.

Thermodynamics tell us energy can’t be created or destroyed. It transforms from state to state.

Is it fact? Yes. It’s held up under testing for almost 100 years. So I’d say it’s highly probable.


Is there purpose to the universe? Are we talking objective purpose? Is that even a rational question? Purpose is a subjective thing. I have my own purpose, that being trying to figure out the universe. But that’s my subjective purpose. My wife sees my purpose quit differently, as does my employer, my kids, the tax man. But while I fill some of those purposes gladly, I don’t think the tax man’s purpose for me is any way my purpose. Even if I am fulfilling it like it or not. Same with a god’s purpose for me were there one. It’s not my purpose, even if it’s my function.

Only subjective things have purpose. There is probably no such thing as objective purpose, and if there is, like procreation, gene imperatives etc, while it’s fun, you’re usually not thinking about spreading your genes, and actively trying to prevent it in many cases.

If we need purpose, we make it for ourselves. A god doesn’t give you a purpose. What ever purpose it has for you is it’s purpose. You may willingly fulfill it, but others may not. Purpose relative to the individual, not universal.


Is heredity about genes? Partly. It’s about DNA, which is more than just genes. A lot of code regulates how genes are copied, spliced, and expressed. Mutations there can be far more serious for better or worse than gene mutation.

I’m not sure where the speaker thinks it could or should come from.

Are memories stored in the brain? Short of having a soul I can’t see anywhere outside the body they could be stored. The brain being the most logical place. Science can’t take souls into consideration. They don’t seem to be falsifiable. Not that people haven’t tried. Scientists have to study what can be studied.

Same goes for minds.


Psychic phenomenon may or may exist. But if they do they aren’t necessarily supernatural. And this has been studied at great length both in the US and Russia for obvious reasons. So far, nothing showing it’s a fact.

Dr Persinger, of the god helmet fame, thinks if your brain were tuned to the earth’s magnetic field, telepathy would be possible. But our brains aren’t tuned to it. Who knows? So far, telepathy is still speculative.


As to medicine: a couple hundred years ago going to the doctor was a risk. They often made things worse. In those days there only was alternative medicine. We’ve come a long way in a short time. So its little wonder the focus is on modern medicine. Not that it’s perfect by any means. But it’s more effective than faith healing by a long shot. Might non standard treatments work? Sure. And if they prove themselves they become accepted.

Criticism of science is fine. But the objections to it by people who talk about the science delusion are only doing to counter Dawkins book “the god delusion”. Trying to make the point that if belief in god is a delusion, so is belief in science.

In a sense any belief is potentially delusional. To accurately talk about science you have to be up on what science actually says, what is fact, what is almost fact through experiment, and what’s just an unproven or completely un-falsifiable interpretation/guess.

Media and the public need to be far more educated about science than they are. That would help a lot. There is no science delusion; only science ignorance. Particularly, but not confined to, the religious community and its interests.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 11 hours ago from Texas

      You - "Right. I've seen your evidence and it's nonsense."

      I wish you'd be more specific than that. Just making that blanket statement to dismiss the mountain of supporting evidence I have is exactly what I'm talking about.

      That's the problem with the science delusion. You assume right from the get go that nothing I say can have any merit because it doesn't fit what you think we already have figured out, when clearly we don't.

      What I'm presenting is as close to evidence as there's going to be. Physical evidence of whatever is responsible for this universe is simply impossible. And ridiculous to demand. It means you don't understand well enough to actually know that what you're asking is inconsistent with the subject matter.

      But I can show that the events that Genesis says happened actually happened. And those were direct interactions between this God and this physical world. The evidence is consistent. What sparked the beginnings of the modern human world we know now are what Genesis is describing.

      Don't just say my evidence is nonsense. Show me how you know that.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 36 hours ago from Ottawa

      Right. I've seen your evidence and it's nonsense. For the rest of your post it's a projection. You try to put your faults on me. You are the believer in supernatural gibberish, so you have a stake in what the truth is, so don't lie. You can't fathom anything but what you think you already know. Don't try to stick that on me.

      I don't believe anything. I look at the evidence and base my opinion on the best answer so far without evidence to the contrary. Usually the simple natural one. That's what's most likely historically until you or the ancient alien theorists come up with something real, not some wild interpretations based on their or your unfounded baseless models.

      Actually theirs have more basis than yours since you can't prove a god exists and you can't prove Adam existed, and I know for a fact free will doesn't exist, but everything has individual will which is as free as it gets but better.

      So as far as aliens are concerned, I'm not convinced, but the likelihood of aliens existing somewhere is high, while gods highly unlikely.

      Prove your god exists or your hypothesis are meaningless. In logic things have to follow. Your first premise must be a fact or all that follows is meaningless. God is not a fact, so no facts can be derived from the premise that it does.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 days ago from Texas

      I don't have an agenda to prove anything. My only agenda is to challenge and test what I believe. You obviously can't/won't challenge it. You think you already know better.

      I have no interest in what you want to believe to be true, or what I want to believe. I'm only interested in what's actually true.

      All the evidence you need is right there to see. I've already pointed it out and how/why it's inconsistent with the alternative explanation you or anyone else has posed.

      As for Abraham, I'm not sure why you keep talking about him. I'm not. He was born 2000 years later to a man from a Sumerian city. Everything I'm talking about was already long established by then. Long before Jews existed.

      The Ubaid culture and Adam's creation are very much consistent.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 days ago from Ottawa

      "See, the difference between you and me is you seem to be perfectly comfortable with what you think is true and don't feel the need to question or test it. Where I constantly test what I believe to be true."

      Wrong. I just don't have an agenda to prove aliens, gods or people with god given super powers. And what you claim as evidence is wild guesses and twisted interpretations.

      I see nothing but evolution, but I'm certainly willing to look at real evidence to the contrary, if you or anyone else could come up with some. So far you haven't. I doubt you ever will. But keep trying.

      As for Abraham, he came to the city, he didn't create it or have anything to do with it or its politics or anything. So what does that he lived there prove? Nothing except that he wanted to experience a city. Sumer started long before you say Adam got created.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 3 days ago from Texas

      Duh yourself, bro. Everything you said about the "Jews" is totally irrelevant and has nothing to do with what I'm saying.

      The Jews were the descendants of Israel (hence "Israelites"), who was the son of Abraham, who was the son of a Sumerian, born almost 2000 years after Adam was created.

      I know and understand critical mass. You always assume when I don't agree with you that this must be something I just don't understand or don't know about. Wrong when talking about energy/chaos theory/dynamic systems and wrong again when talking about critical mass in evolution.

      The explanation of critical mass does not fit the evidence. You're just going for an explanation you prefer and aren't actually testing it. In each of the circumstances of critical mass there was a catalyst. A breakthrough of some kind. And everything that came after can be linked back to that breakthrough. That is not at all the case in Sumer.

      See, the difference between you and me is you seem to be perfectly comfortable with what you think is true and don't feel the need to question or test it. Where I constantly test what I believe to be true.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 3 days ago from Ottawa

      No. Don't fool yourself, Please The evidence doesn't support supernatural voodoo no matter how much you wish it did. I've told you before about critical mass but you won't accept the fact.

      All this started 8000 to 10000 bce and took a few thousand years to develop into Sumer etc. Jews had zero to do with it and imaginary super Jews certainly didn't. How ridiculous. They were still primitives compared to the Sumerians.

      That's why the first cities weren't Jewish, Duh!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 days ago from Texas

      Let's not fool ourselves. What you've presented here as your explanation is exactly what you say it isn't. Every bit of that is an assumption. Explaining how it probably/most likely happened. You drop in "written language" as if it were just some "break through" along with trade. You're not paying attention to the details. Written language started in multiple places, independently of one another. In Sumer, in Egypt, in the Indus Valley. Each with a very different language and a very different culture. And each with a very different writing system.

      The evidence doesn't support what you claim to have happened. Your explanation isn't based on evidence really at all. It's just what you prefer the explanation to be. What it just has to be in your mind because you know we've already got it all figured out in principle, we're just waiting for those pesky details to get filled in. But you can basically just fill in those blanks anyway because we already know it all, basically.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 9 days ago from Ottawa

      What happened 6000 years ago is what's happening now, a fast paced change set in motion by a few radical breakthroughs. For them it was trade, written language and the evolution of tribal societies into integrated villages, towns, and eventually cities not based on farming alone.

      For us it was steam power, internal combustion, electricity and computer chips.

      No evidence at all of anything else. That's not emotional, it's fact.

      What ever you think constitutes fact isn't. It's your god based interpretation

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 10 days ago from Texas

      "He was also a fictional character. Once you have a logical mind it's not that hard to figure out which emotions are relevant and which are unhelpful.

      I see no conflict with a natural state. You do because you're a believer. I don't have that limitation."

      I see conflict with it in your frame of reality. That's what I'm trying to get you to acknowledge.

      --------------------

      "Only when it's irrelevant. Something more people like you and Trump need to learn."

      Okay, lumping me up with that guy is just a low blow.

      --------------------

      "You don't seem to know much about animals then. I see no real difference. Both are unpredictable in certain ways and predictable in others. Advertisers count on our semi- predictable qualities.

      Nothing happened 6000 years ago but evolution, like always"

      That last statement says there is some emotional influence in your thinking as well. There's plenty of evidence to show that your statement is false. I've pointed it out. But it's not the truth you prefer.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 10 days ago from Ottawa

      " I mean, animals have emotions that actually serve a survival like purpose. Fear, mainly. But they get angry, they play, they show the signs. But their emotions are pretty predictable. They're consistent. We're definitely not"

      You don't seem to know much about animals then. I see no real difference. Both are unpredictable in certain ways and predictable in others. Advertisers count on our semi- predictable qualities.

      Nothing happened 6000 years ago but evolution, like always

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 11 days ago from Ottawa

      "This is a good illustration of what I'm trying to get through to you. That right there. There's a part of your faculty that "you" dismiss as useless in your thinking."

      Only when it's irrelevant. Something more people like you and Trump need to learn.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 11 days ago from Ottawa

      "But then there was that "human" side of him. The emotional side that he struggled with. Caused a lot of conflict."

      He was also a fictional character. Once you have a logical mind it's not that hard to figure out which emotions are relevant and which are unhelpful.

      I see no conflict with a natural state. You do because you're a believer. I don't have that limitation.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 12 days ago from Texas

      Spock always had the same problem. He was cool when it was all science and logic. But then there was that "human" side of him. The emotional side that he struggled with. Caused a lot of conflict.

      Those emotions are the most in your face evidence of us being more than simply a complex/dynamic biological/mechanical system.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      You - "Yes emotions are you too, but they are in the way when trying to discover truth."

      This is a good illustration of what I'm trying to get through to you. That right there. There's a part of your faculty that "you" dismiss as useless in your thinking. Something that's a part of "you", evolved with "you", became integrated into the process of "you", but it's something that doesn't serve in the quest for truth. Because those emotions are about what "you" want and desire and don't want or dread. And you're right, emotions are often bothersome logic wise.

      Why is that do you think? For energy to be working towards simplicity, it seems a little convoluted for emotions to come into play. I mean, animals have emotions that actually serve a survival like purpose. Fear, mainly. But they get angry, they play, they show the signs. But their emotions are pretty predictable. They're consistent. We're definitely not. And that all started not that long ago. About 6000 years ago. And it changed the game entirely. Brains already fully evolved to the modern state they are today for thousands of generations, but the real humanity we know and love today came about rather abruptly.

      Something clearly happened.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Oh and I meant to answer before: Yes emotions are you too, but they are in the way when trying to discover truth. Truth doesn't get effected one way or the other by your feelings or beliefs. It is true or not. So emotional arguments hold no sway with me.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      But for a soul to exist it must be beholding to some supernatural law. It has to have a structure that makes it a soul or it doesn't exist. And you tell me one choice you make that has nothing to do with influence from somewhere else. You can't, because such a choice doesn't exist. You do something you have a reason, and that reason has a history behind it and your personality and conditioning.

      You aren't just a soul while your alive, so you can't even claim that as free will.

      Free will is impossible. It's a stupid idea that doesn't work, but sounds great. All things have order or they don't exist. Will without order is meaningless.

      Just drop the free. You have all the will you'll ever need and more. And it's all you.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      "Of course it can. You just don't get it. Individual will is better than free will. You can't even have free will if souls exist. It's impossible. A meaningless term."

      Only impossible in a material-only mindset. But what we know exists is also impossible. Free will. A will free from determination of physical law.

      But with a soul you have an element not beholden to natural law. Something able to behave and respond wholly by it's want and desire.

      So, not only can you have free will if a soul exists, you actually can't have free will without a soul. It's what makes free will possible.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Can't change course by its own volition."

      Of course it can. You just don't get it. Individual will is better than free will. You can't even have free will if souls exist. It's impossible. A meaningless term.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      "Well no. Not just his genes, but his upbringing, his culture, and his acquired beliefs all mixed together..."

      That's why I said his genes and life experiences. So, basically, because he was who he was biologically/genetically, the experiences of his life created who he became. He couldn't have responded any differently. There was no control he had in any of his actions.

      You - "No, we don’t have free will, which is absurd and impossible"

      You - "Could he have chosen differently? Sure, if he had wanted to."

      These two statements contradict one another. So which is it?

      You - "Of course we are. It's just that the conscious layer isn't the only player. The whole you is in control. Nothing else is. It's still all determined by you."

      Yet there's no free will? All "you" are is evolved systems. There's nothing beyond what can be seen/detected. Just matter and energy. More components just make a bigger machine, but all the output is still mechanically determined. And can't be free. Can't change course by its own volition.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "The mind working through and considering options of how to act. It seems as though we're controlling it. Deciding. But we aren't."

      Of course we are. It's just that the conscious layer isn't the only player. The whole you is in control. Nothing else is. It's still all determined by you.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Hitler could not have done anything other than what he did. It was all wholly determined by his genes and life experiences."

      Well no. Not just his genes, but his upbringing, his culture, and his acquired beliefs all mixed together led to him joining a small radical political party, fight his way to its leadership. The failure of other leaders to stop him played a big part.

      Anti Jewish sentiment was rampant in Europe. The Jews ran the banks and were good at business even when the rest of the world economies were failing.

      He was surrounded by men who's ideas bolstered his. He was a product of his time.

      Could he have chosen differently? Sure, if he had wanted to. Perhaps if someone had been there who made him see reason. But would Himmler and others have let him change course?

      He was influenced by Hegel and the idea of a super race. The Vedic myths and histories, the arian race.

      His beliefs. What he chose to believe. His vision of a perfect German world. All the above and more contributed to his decisions. His individual will. Influenced by everything, including a speed addiction, determined by who he was.

      Fully responsible for his actions, which he knew, which is why he killed himself in the end.

      Hardly free will, but as free as one can get. Still acting out of his own volition.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      "Determined by who you are. Not by anyone or anything else."

      Yes, that's you in that that's your physical make-up. But you have no control over that. Yes, many things are determined that way. You're hair/eye color, your height. Yes, you're a 6 foot man with green eyes. That's you. So what you're saying is that who you are as a person, as a personality, is determined in the same way. Set by your genes. Hitler could not have done anything other than what he did. It was all wholly determined by his genes and life experiences.

      That's where I see a problem. We experience the brain directly. The mind working through and considering options of how to act. It seems as though we're controlling it. Deciding. But we aren't. It isn't actually a choice. It's a determined action. A programmed machine running an un-editable script. Like a roomba. Actions wholly determined by what you encounter. Your response is just a programmed action. Can't be done any other way.

      "But I’m only telling you this because you like the emotional arguments, as if they mean anything. They don’t. You can’t tell reality what you’d like it to be. It is what it is."

      How can they not mean anything? Emotions are part of "you" as well, are they not? Then how can you dismiss some parts of "you" as irrelevant and others as necessary? Those emotions and their impact on thinking are all part of the dynamics of the system of "you". Therefore relevant.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      You - "No, we don’t have free will, which is absurd and impossible"

      “And that's where you run into a problem.”

      I see no problem except with your perception.

      “ Just as you said, "Yes all our actions are determined".

      Obviously. Determined by who you are. Not by anyone or anything else. Your actions have to be determined by something. That something is you. I don’t see what you’re arguing against.

      “ If that's the case, then what's the point of living life? We're just going through the motions. Passive observers with no real control over anything that happens. Life is pointless. A running program with no input.””

      How ridiculous. Where are you getting such a warped perspective? You’re not making sense. Who, if not you, is doing things? You can’t be an observer and act. Life forces you to act, and you want to. What more do you want? You are all of your many parts and layers. What the hell else would you be?

      “But then you say "we act of our own volition".

      volition - the faculty or power of using one's will.”

      Right. I know what the word means

      “There's no "using" in the context you speak of”

      There’s nothing but.

      “. The will is just runtime and the actions and decisions are determined by genetics and environment. We have no more control of our actions than a river has in choosing its path. Yet we hold each other accountable for our actions.”

      How absurd. Just your skewed illogical perspective. You are more than the sum of your parts Even if you had this imaginary soul nothing would change. Your actions always have to be based on something. Otherwise your imaginary soul couldn’t do anything.

      Free will is will without a way to function, and therefore absurd. You have individual will. It’s real and better than free. Haven’t you heard? Nothing in life is free. No free lunch, and no free will. Just the way it is.

      “But it seems as though we're in control. So, if you're right, our free will is simply an illusion.”

      Right. Your free will is an illusion. Your individual will isn’t.

      “ So does that mean Hitler wasn't actually a bad guy? Just his genetically formed brain reacting to his environment?”

      He was a bad guy because of what he did and wanted to do regardless of the factors that led to his beliefs and actions. That’s the point. You did it? You didn’t have a gun to your head, you don’t have a disease that made you do it? Then you are responsible, period.

      Yes, you are your genes as well as a dozen other things. Aren’t people proud of their culture and where they came from? That’s in the genes. I’ll turn your argument around on you: People are proud of inheriting traits from their family. But if we are really just souls, all that is meaningless. .All humans identify themselves as is a lie.

      But I’m only telling you this because you like the emotional arguments, as if they mean anything. They don’t. You can’t tell reality what you’d like it to be. It is what it is.

      “That renders all our biggest accomplishments and failures meaningless. Renders life meaningless. And while I understand the want to eradicate religion as a destructive concept, would it really be "better" to convince the common man the world over that no one's watching over and that none of you are able to control “

      Utter nonsense. It does no such thing except in your mind due to your beliefs in imaginary unnecessary souls.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      You - "No, we don’t have free will, which is absurd and impossible"

      And that's where you run into a problem. Just as you said, "Yes all our actions are determined". If that's the case, then what's the point of living life? We're just going through the motions. Passive observers with no real control over anything that happens. Life is pointless. A running program with no input.

      But then you say "we act of our own volition".

      volition - the faculty or power of using one's will.

      There's no "using" in the context you speak of. The will is just runtime and the actions and decisions are determined by genetics and environment. We have no more control of our actions than a river has in choosing its path. Yet we hold each other accountable for our actions.

      But it seems as though we're in control. So, if you're right, our free will is simply an illusion. So does that mean Hitler wasn't actually a bad guy? Just his genetically formed brain reacting to his environment?

      That renders all our biggest accomplishments and failures meaningless. Renders life meaningless. And while I understand the want to eradicate religion as a destructive concept, would it really be "better" to convince the common man the world over that no one's watching over and that none of you are able to control your actions?

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      We are unique individuals. No two sperm or eggs are identical genetically. No two people can inhabit the same space, so we all have unique perspectives. We have unique experiences and hence learning. We learn and change our opinions and perspectives all our lives. We have individual needs, desires and consequently will.

      Yes all our action are determined, but because of our uniqueness what we will do is basically unpredictable. Due to chaos theory and uncertainty what we do is not strictly predetermined. There is no existing past to go back to or future to catch up with. Only an ever changing unpredictable now, which everything together creates, and we uniquely respond to.

      We are our parts and influences, but as per chaos theory more than the sum of our parts. We have a structure, yes. It determines what we are. But that’s good because without that structure/order we couldn’t exist at all. Same with souls. If they exist then it has a structure that determines it is a soul. And that structure would determine what a soul needs and does, just as ours does.

      If you want to call it mechanistic, go ahead. But we build machines. We’re not machines., and no business dictionary web site should convince anyone of anything so obviously ridiculous.

      No, we don’t have free will, which is absurd and impossible, we have individual will which is obvious and better. And since your definition of free will is having a separate will from god’s will, we’re both in agreement. Not only is our will separate from a god’s, in the unlikely event that one exists it’s separate from all other people’s will as well.

      We act of our own volition. Machines can’t. And if they ever do, they won’t be machines anymore; they will be sentient, marching on the white house and houses of parliament chanting: set my people free. And we’d better do it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      First off, that's not my definition. That's why I included the link. So you'd know that's not according to me. Second, the "interactions of the parts or factors of which they are composed" does not include anything non-mechanistic. It's talking about the bits and pieces you can see and detect.

      I'll ask again, if not mechanistic, then what is it?

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      By your definition even souls are mechanical then. I mean, how stupid. You are what your comprised of. What else would you be? That makes you mechanical? I think not.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Mechanistic -

      A viewpoint that states that the behavior of complex systems, such as individuals, societies, and economies, are determined strictly by the interactions of the parts or factors of which they are composed.

      Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/mecha...

      Yes, I read it. And everything you've said suggests mechanical elements and interactions. That's, according to you, all there is. Even the resolved need/desire. If not mechanistic then what is it?

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Didn't you read it? You feel good because you resolved a need/desire, And no, it isn't mechanistic. The layers of subconscious are also you. Part of who you are. Your personality is a manifestation of All of it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      So it's our emotions then? That's the mechanistic explanation? It's a mechanistic/programmed response that isn't conscious but emotional? Programmed into us because at some point it was beneficial in a survival sense?

      So you're ultimately doing it to resolve your own emotional needs. So how does that make you feel good? Do you only feel good if you don't realize you're actually being selfish?

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Ok. So yes you feel good. But no that’s not why you do altruistic things. Most often people don’t think about it much. What happens is the same as what always happens. You or hear of something and you get an emotional response to it. Might be sad, or happy, or concerned or afraid, or even anger.

      Emotions emote. They mobilize us to act in response. We identify the emotion consciously sometimes, or could if asked, and we can often, though not always, give a reason as to why we’re having that emotion. We can usually tell someone else why we acted as we eventually did after inner deliberation, or auto reaction.

      Acting resolves, or tries to resolve the emotion That’s the goal of every act: resolve the need felt. If you fail you often don’t feel so good about yourself. If you succeed, you usually feel good about yourself. Feelings and emotions come in degrees, of course.

      Feelings you get after the act Are not punishment or reward. They indicate whether you feel you succeeded or failed. And they come from where the initial emotion came from. Not consciousness.

      All acts, including altruistic ones follow that same pattern. You may not do it for your benefit, but you need to resolve the need you feel which drives you act. Hence why people say giving makes you feel good. But if you think the poor or homeless brought it on themselves, you are not going to get the help emotion. You won’t want to help. You may experience anger instead. Helping anyway would not feel good.

      But if your spouse tells you to and you want to make points with them, or you’re religious and want to make points there, you might help anyway. But that’s not altruism.

      The point is, you feel certain ways about things for a number of reasons. You don’t choose to like this and hate that, you just do. Its part of who you are. You don’t choose to be empathetic. You are or aren’t. If you are it’s in your nature to be altruistic. You WANT to help. You feel bad refusing to help even if you can’t. You feel the need but can’t resolve it. But if you can and do, you feel the need and resolve it.

      You had a goal and achieved it. The goal is always resolving the need felt. Altruism is no different than any other personal need felt and met. It’s no more selfless than any other choices we make.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Oh no, I'm not projecting. Okay, help me understand what I have wrong. How do you envision this "good feeling", or reward, for doing what you want? Is it chemical? Is it some kind of psychological reward? There must be something we're getting out of it that's somehow meaningful physically, right? That's how it works. Primarily for survival. The body does work the other way in that it causes pains when it needs/wants something. When you need to eat, for example. So there must be some kind of reward and some kind of benefit to this good feeling we selfishly reward ourselves with. Explain to me how you see it working.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "That's the entire foundation of your thought process here. You insist this behavior is mechanical. And as a biological machine, it's a simple matter of switches and cogs. A chain of events. A reward system that gives a sensation, a "good" feeling, causing this behavior."

      Sure. Make straw men and attack them. You obviously don't read what I say, you just make shit up. I'm not even going to correct your nonsense. Anyone following this knows my actual position by now, and so should you.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      When you can't win the argument, project. Is that it? It's you who is refusing to see logic.

      As for a dog, it like you has reasons for doing what it does. And those reasons are never selfless, and neither are yours. Why you continue to argue about it is astounding. I've proved you wrong a dozen times. Don't you ever admit your wrong even though you know you are?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      See, I think this goes back to the problem with the science delusion. This insistence that we already understand nature in principle, we're just now waiting for the details to be filled in, it's a mistake.

      That's the entire foundation of your thought process here. You insist this behavior is mechanical. And as a biological machine, it's a simple matter of switches and cogs. A chain of events. A reward system that gives a sensation, a "good" feeling, causing this behavior. No "ghost in the machine" No thinking, feeling, conscious entity. Just mechanics. A complex/dynamic mechanism, nothing more.

      You're so certain that it's become your "truth". Without the material proof that you usually demand of everything you've reached this conclusion. Though there are still a lot of details to figure out, and though some of those details have proven to be difficult to suss out in the usual scientific/material way, you remain insistent.

      That's how things get missed. Looked over. Dismissed. That's a problem. Forcing everything into a box that's restrictive in the pursuit of truth.

      That's why I keep referring back to the brain/mind. That right there is something we know for a fact exists, yet it cannot be detected or observed. We assume everything going on in the mind is created by the brain because that's how we understand things to work. But that doesn't mean there's not something more going on there. In fact there's every indication to suggest there is something more. Life, the conscious mind, these are still very relevant things we still know very little about.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Who else decided rightly or wrongly that your act was the right thing to do? An angel? The guy next door? YOU.Your mind, your will. Case closed."

      And in the case of the dog? Did the dog decide and then reward itself with the good feeling of helping another? Or is this just specific to humans?

      Your thinking here is very simplistic and seems as though you're more rationalizing something you prefer to be true rather than thinking clearly and rationally.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "So, because I feel something is the right thing to do, I'm doing it for myself? "

      Yes, Duh... The only one being ridiculous is you. Sorry you can't or most likely just won't get something so simple and self evident.

      Who else decided rightly or wrongly that your act was the right thing to do? An angel? The guy next door? YOU.Your mind, your will. Case closed.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Your argument is completely ridiculous. So, because I feel something is the right thing to do, I'm doing it for myself? Can you hear yourself right now? Am I to take this seriously?

      So, what about that dog in the video? Did he feel it was the right thing to do to save that fawn from drowning? Did he do it to reward himself?

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "I just explained and you completely ignored it, going instead with your assumption. I said the good feeling is a result, not the carrot. It's not the 'why'. In fact, you wouldn't get the good feeling if you were doing it for the good feeling because it's the knowing you did something for someone else that gives you the good feeling. Doing it for the feeling cancels out the feeling."

      Good try, but that's not the issue. No you don’t do it with feeling good in mind. You do it to appease another feeling. The one telling you it’s the right thing to do, if that’s why you are doing it. And that reason, whatever it is, even duty, is a goal. You used your will to achieve your goal. You got your way. So you intended, and carried it out. Nothing selfless about it. But nice going.

      You can’t escape it. Sorry

      And yes, the dog wanted to or it wouldn't have. He achieved his goal. I'm sure he felt good about it. Why not?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Here's a video of a golden retriever diving into the sea and saving a fawn from drowning .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju2bRA6WSRI

      Did he just do it for the good feeling?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      I just explained and you completely ignored it, going instead with your assumption. I said the good feeling is a result, not the carrot. It's not the 'why'. In fact, you wouldn't get the good feeling if you were doing it for the good feeling because it's the knowing you did something for someone else that gives you the good feeling. Doing it for the feeling cancels out the feeling.

      And this has nothing to do with "fantasy christian teachings". That's another assumption you often go to. It's actually your atheistic fantasy that's blinding and misleading you. You assume there's nothing behind the curtain so it's all just mechanics, and mechanical things can't actually care for and do for others selflessly. It's all just remnants of the behavior of energy. Reductionist to the extreme.

      You say I "fail" to tell you why I do good for others, yet I stated it directly. I want to do for them. I want to help. Not for me, for them.

      I understand just fine. It is you who is not understanding. Be open to it.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Yes, it is a good feeling to do for others. "

      And if it wasn't you wouldn't do it. You make my case for me with every attempt to show I'm wrong. That says a lot about you.

      I'm not saying others feel I'm right. I don't care how they "feel" about it. I am right. I don't care what dictionaries say. They give common usage and I'm telling you common usage is wrong. I'm teaching you the truth about human nature which you only see through fantasy christian teachings..

      And there is nothing cynical about it. You WANT to do good. So that IS the goal. I see nothing wrong with that. And I certainly don't see it as a supernatural trait. It's cause and effect. The universal quest for balance which begins with the individual atom constantly attempting to reaching its lowest energy levels and balance. To do that it must form relationships with the diversity around it.

      This is a bottom up universe. So below, so above. No god or supernatural required.

      You keep telling me it's not this, it's not that. But you fail to tell me why you do good for others. Try one more time. Then I'll tell you again, What ever your reason, that's what you gain. Try to understand it this time, forget your christian "feelings" about it.. It's basic human nature.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      This argument is just asinine. All your argument does is reveal you. You assume how you feel about it is how everyone else does as well. Not true. Only to a cynic does the rest of humanity seem so cynical. Again, here we're dealing with the mind, so you've got nothing but speculation.

      Yes, it is a good feeling to do for others. Something else that should make it apparent to you that this universe isn't just cold physics. But that's not why these things are done. That good feeling isn't the carrot that encourages the behavior. It's a result, yes, but not the goal. It's not the reason for why the actions are done.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "It's all about doing for others. For them. Not for me."

      Why? There is a reason. And that's what you get out of it.

      Again, not cynical. The truth. Deny it all you like. Won't change the facts.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "You won't do anything you don't ultimately want to do."

      I don't know about you, but my life is wall to wall with things I do that I don't want to. If I did what I wanted all the time I'd be sitting here in the dark with no internet and no electricity. Or, more likely, sitting somewhere outside.

      I do not open doors for others so other random people will ultimately do it for me as well. That's just silly. I show kindness to others by doing little things like that. I get nothing out of it. It's all about doing for others. For them. Not for me.

      Of course you're imagining yourself in that situation. That's all you can do. You can only relate your own experience. But that doesn't mean you're doing it "for" you. You're relating. That's what humans do. You treat others as you'd like to be treated. Why would you do it any other way? And that doesn't mean you're doing it for yourself. You're doing for them what you would like done for you. Not the same thing.

      "Antonyms - self-forgetful, self-forgetting, selfless, unselfish"

      - https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/selfish

      cynical - believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      There is simply no such thing as a selfless act. The only way an act could be selfless is an accident. Something you didn’t intend. And that isn’t altruism. Lose fifty bucks, someone gained, but you lost.

      Now you might gain if you learn to be more careful in future. But it isn’t altruism.

      You won’t do anything you don’t ultimately want to do. You may not like your set of choices, but you choose what you think is your best choice at the time. You and your best interest, or perceived best interest, even when considering someone else’s best interest.

      It isn’t cynical, it’s a fact.

      Now, you know that if no one opens doors for anyone, no one is ever going to do it for you. That’s what animals do. Altruism is reciprocated. It feels good. What a great society that tries to make everyone’s life better and happier. So we lead by example.

      You have empathy so you put yourself in what you think is their shoes. But that may not be true. You are imagining how you would feel in that situation. It’s all about you, even when you’re helping others. It’s about how you feel about how others feel. Your duty, your beliefs. Your sensibilities. Do unto others as YOU would have others do to YOU. It’s telling you to do what I said we do above: you are imagining how you would feel in that situation, not how they feel. You assume they feel as you do because they are human. And most of the time that works. But what if I’m a sadomasochist? Should I treat you as I would like to be treated? Probably not. But it illustrates how people actually operate.

      Altruism is a positive selfishness. It promotes unity and a better life for everyone. Negative selfishness hurts others and in fact, self.

      Humans have an interesting trait. We make things part of self, or reject them from self. When you learn to ride a bike you have to be conscious of every movement, your balance, how to navigate and how to stop.

      The more you learn the less you have to think. Eventually the bike becomes an extension of self. It becomes part of who we are. All skills we learn are like that. They become part of who we are.

      This pattern extends to relationships. In a very real way, love is making some one part of who you are. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. But if you do like who you are, you can love others because they are part of you.

      We like/love what we’re good at because it’s part of what’s good about us.

      We also dislike things and don’t want them to be part of us. Some people hate math. It will never figure prominently in who they are. Same pattern in racism, which is actually cultureless since there is no genetic speciation between humans and no separate races. (another misleading word that needs to be dropped) Some people reject others from their lives based on cultural and cosmetic differences.

      There is no such thing as a selfless act. The opposite of selfish is not selfless, unless referring to an unintended consequence .

      There is negative intent, exclusion, and negative action that hurts others and self, and positive intent, inclusion in to self and positive action which all benefits others and self.

      Selfless is just another meaningless word describing an impossible concept.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      " if you act to help someone else that in no way helps you then you've committed a selfless act."

      You can't. and you can't separate feelings from gain. Particularly feelings about yourself

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      This argument is ridiculous. Whether you want to or don't want to, whether you enjoy or hate doing it, if you act to help someone else that in no way helps you then you've committed a selfless act. Regardless of how you feel about it yourself. Of course you're doing what you want to. But that's not why you're doing it. You want to help. I can only speak for myself, but I'm thinking about the other person. I'm thinking that if I were in their position I'd want this particular kind of help.

      To say that isn't selfless because you feel good about it is just silly, and again, very cynical. So you think people who reach out and help others are actually committing a selfish act because they're looking for the rush of feeling good about themselves? That, Ron, maybe be the most cynical thing I've ever heard.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "So you're going with a sensual experience of some kind that I seek as my reward?"

      You don't even do it consciously most of the time. It's not semantics. You can't be selfless in any act. You are doing the act, and doing it because you want to, need to or think you need to.

      From that you always gain. At least initially. You may regret it later, but initially you are getting what you want. And again, that could be anything: a sense of duty, empathy, etc.

      How would you feel if once you decided you should help, you don't?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      So you're going with a sensual experience of some kind that I seek as my reward? It feels good to do what I want? Well, okay, sure, I did do these things because I wanted to. You seeing that as selfish is a little twisted. So you're arguing that selflessness doesn't exist semantically. It's really simple. Are your actions selfish or selfless? It's a dichotomy. Opposite of selfish. Don't over-complicate it.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Okay, a couple of easy ones off the top of my head. I hold doors open for people and give spare money when I'm able, and those actions have nothing to do with how it makes me feel. It has everything to do with being able to relate to someone in a situation that could use some help and kindness."

      They have everything to do with how you feel. You just said it.

      "everything to do with being able to relate to someone in a situation that could use some help"

      And you want to help. YOU WANT to help. You gain if you can do what you want to do. You aren't being selfless. You prove my point.

      Try again?

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 7 weeks ago from Tasmania

      Ok, thanks for responding. You and I are not fully opposite in our thinking after all. But I must leave this conversation again now. Busy day ahead.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Jonny,

      Well okay, allow me to correct you on a few things. For one, God is not some outside force influencing us. The only influence is the influence we willfully allow and do ourselves. God doesn't control what we do. That's the whole point of free will. Our behavior and actions are totally up to us.

      Second, the Christian religion is all about personal behavior and sin. Priests, especially Roman Catholic priests, whip themselves for their transgressions. It's all about self reflection and assessing and correcting behavior.

      You just presumed that I am hoping for some sort of recognition. If it's not all believers you assume this about then it's something you think of me specifically.

      When I say I'm not religious, I'm talking about the man-made institution of religion. My particular pursuit is about finding the real truth using whatever resources are at my disposal to do so. My discussions mainly hone and challenge my own views. They also offer alternative perspectives to people like you and others who clearly have your own set assumptions about what belief is. Like earlier in this discussion when Ron said he'd like to present my arguments to Dawkins. Ron's now been exposed to an alternative way of looking at and considering things. That's really the most you can hope for from others. Exposing them to it and let them take from that what they will.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 7 weeks ago from Tasmania

      Ok, Jeremy. My daytime activities are too busy for computer interactions, but it's now just turned 3.00am so I can devote a bit of time for a reply to your last two posts.

      Starting with your 2nd post first: Religion tends to be concerned with and directed at a god. The god of the christian religion is usually seen as anything but the “god within,” except when sometimes referring to the Holy Ghost, but mostly that entity is also seen as influencing the individual from without. The belief system that deals mostly with the inner, personal perspective is Buddhism in its pure form, not when it's just another local cultural religion. Some branches of even the christian church do give more attention to inner spirituality, in other words consciously questioning one's own motives and actions with a view to accepting total personal responsibility without the involvement of an external god. But that is rarely the case for most christians according to my own observations. The Roman Catholic version is particularly adept at putting God out there somewhere; a personage who sits in judgement and applies punishment or reward. Even in prayer, the individual spends more time addressing relationship with that god, rather then addressing one's own inner voice. So yes, I do see spirituality, or self-reflection as being somewhat different from religion.

      Now, referring to your other reply to my post, you can argue as much as you like about my points of view. You can laugh at them, deride them, find them funny, disagree, whatever takes your fancy.

      I would never presume that “all believers” would act graciously in the secret hope of gaining social acceptance. But some most certainly might. The majority of followers of Islam would be basically decent, kind, reasonable people. Only a very small minority would stoop to the evils of violence.

      And where on earth did you get the idea I considered helping others was wrong? I have never said or implied that. I DO question the motives of SOME people who put them selves out into public view in the hope of getting social acceptance. Sure, in most cases their good deeds will actually help others, but not necessarily so. Reflecting on one's self IS the key to a better world. Getting clear insights, honest appraisal of what “I do, why I do it, my deeper hidden reasons,” can show me the path to being a truly loving person, not a superficial one. (Not saying I am good at it, just putting up the sign posts for you to understand the Way. Next time you open up a bible, read what a person referred to as Jesus had to say on this subject.)

      How do I see all of this as pertinent in the current thread of discussion? Primarily from the confusion you sometimes convey when arguing. You have said you are not religious, yet you seem to be searching for a God that brought our world into existence. I am not going back over this very long thread to find exact quotes, but that has been my impression. And when you look honestly at this thread, where have all the arguments got you? A bit of entertainment maybe? But has it helped you to get recognition of the research you claim to have done, comparing biblical stories with proven historical facts?

      (Now 4.20am, so must get back to bed!)

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Jonny, how can you possibly offer self-reflection as an alternative to the teachings of Religion? How is Religion not self-reflective?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Wow Jonny. It's sinful to focus on yourself? Is that what you were taught? I was never taught that. I've never heard that.

      And your claim that I'm "secretly" hoping someone will discover my kindness to strangers and that it will raise my social standing is just funny.

      I take it this is what you think of believers in general, and not something you just think about me in particular. This kind of view is akin to thinking all Muslims are terrorists. It's a very generalized conception and I'm not sure where you got it from.

      But no, our actions have nothing to do with seeking thanks from God. And I simply can't wrap my head around this idea you have, especially in this day and age, that helping others is somehow the wrong way to be, and how focusing and reflecting on yourself is the key. If there's anything I'd say is wrong with our world today this would just about sum it up.

      This may be the worst advise I've ever gotten. And coming from you I have to say I'm, I don't know.... disappointed?

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 7 weeks ago from Tasmania

      Jeremy, yes, I'm still watching this thread but rarely comment these days. Your arguments are often so shallow in my view and my time is taken up with so much else, that it becomes a waste of time to speak my opinions.

      "It has everything to do with being able to relate to someone in a situation that could use some help and kindness." You tried it once, it felt good to you....so you developed it into a habit. So it's not exactly altruistic.

      "We're not looking for thanks or glory." Not from your fellow humans directly, ok. But you are seeking thanks and recognition from that god of yours, when you ultimately die. You are also secretly hoping that sometime before you expire, someone will get to know that you have been kind to strangers and then give you credit....raise your social standing within your community.

      With your intelligence and scientific inquiry, Jeremy, there appears to be just one factor missing: the mirror, or at least a self-photograph, is there to help you understand your Self. Yet it has been impressed upon you from a very early age, that it's sinful to focus upon your Self. You must focus on others, because otherwise God will not like you.

      Thus your actions and responses are not self-LESS. Yet an in-depth self-analysis can be the most enlightening act of your life. Try it, my friend.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Another,

      Sometimes my wife and I, while out to eat, will pick a random table and pay for their meal. Yes, it feels good to do, but it's not the feeling that we're doing it for. It's just a result. We never tell them or have the waitress tell them. We're not looking for thanks or glory.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Okay, a couple of easy ones off the top of my head. I hold doors open for people and give spare money when I'm able, and those actions have nothing to do with how it makes me feel. It has everything to do with being able to relate to someone in a situation that could use some help and kindness.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "That's incredibly cynical, and says a lot about you if you actually believe that."

      Really? Prove it. Give me an example of how it's not true. I can tell you now you can't. But please try.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "So much for your free will experiment then eh? So why after the fall did they suddenly have to breed? Doesn't make sense. Just wild excuses for something idiotic in a book of fantasy."

      That's what the entirety of the story is about. Because Adam/Eve disobeyed, God had to then create Jesus through breeding. That's why they then had to breed. That event made all the rest of it necessary. This is why Jesus is referred to as the "second Adam".

      You - "Survival. Evolution. Heard of those? Altruism is practiced by many animals. Even some bacteria. It's not a human only trait. Were it, you might have a point. But it's not so you don't."

      Whether or not it's only humans is irrelevant. It's that it exists at all. Sure, small changes over time, sure. But altruism? From a random mutation? A small change in the structure of the DNA and all of the sudden we care for one another? Some small change in the configuration of our anatomy and all of the sudden we care? Just really think about what you're saying.

      You - "There's no such thing as a selfless act. What ever good we do we gain from or we wouldn't do it. Even if the gain is just feeling good about yourself."

      That's incredibly cynical, and says a lot about you if you actually believe that.

      You - "If there were a benevolent god we wouldn't exist in these conditions. What you say about it is only an excuse for an obviously cruel tyrant maniac. But how it is is perfectly in line with there being no god at all."

      And that is too ridiculous for me to believe.

      You - "Then you say it's logic you want so I shouldn't say you feel it's illogical because you don't want it to be true. And yet above you say the thought of what makes up the human condition being mechanistic is repulsing to you."

      Because it repulses me as a human. That has nothing to do with what you were claiming was my "want". I'm repulsed by the idea that the love I have for my wife or the passion I feel or anything number of other things that make me human is just some part of the machinery. An unintended outcome that's just there because it increased the chance of survival.

      You - "Yeah. You're the guy that says slaves didn't have it all that bad. How little empathy you have.

      In that age, in that place, yes being a slave wasn't a bad gig. Your family had housing, food, and protection. You had none of those things out on your own. Remember what happened to the Israelites when they went into the wilderness? They were attacked. Picked off. There was no law in that age beyond the walls of the great cities. Being a slave wasn't the worst thing that could happen.

      You - "Sure suffering is inevitable now, but you keep ignoring the fact that a real god wouldn't have to do it this way. You just keep making excuses for how it is assuming your god exists."

      I'm not ignoring anything. What would be the point of life without it? Just sleep, wake, eat, shit, piss, sleep?

      You - "Sounds good to me. What's your problem? No need to have that concept if never exists in reality."

      Except reality would just be living. Just to live? Just to be? For what?

      You - "We make perfect sense in this environment. Things matter to us because they affect us. Duh!"

      And...? Continue that thought. Why does it matter if something affects us or not? Why do you care? You're not getting just how strange that whole concept is in the reality you claim to be true.

      You - "Nature doesn't care but it doesn't not care. It's not subjective and not even a being. It can't care. It can't even want to. It's not a thing."

      What? Nature doesn't care but it does? Yeah, nature can't care, yet somehow we come from it and we do. Somehow. But you're right, that's not strange at all. Nothing to see here. Just move along and don't think about it.

      You - "Most definitely. Nothing does anything unless it has to. You don't scratch if you don't itch. You don't blink until your eyes need moisture. You do nothing you feel no need or desire to do."

      Are you kidding? You've never done anything you didn't have to? Seriously?

      You - "Hardly a picture of perfection."

      Your whole concept here is broken. Just the fact that you say "nothing does anything unless it has to" says it all.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "How does the want for companionship make God imperfect? Does it have to be a need? An imperfection? I don't think so."

      Most definitely. Nothing does anything unless it has to. You don't scratch if you don't itch. You don't blink until your eyes need moisture. You do nothing you feel no need or desire to do.

      Without stimulation internally or externally you wouldn't do anything at all.

      If this god created you, it had a reason to. Desire, need; same thing: a reason.

      Hence it can not be perfect. It has needs and is driven by them. An ultimately perfect thing would have no needs or desires. It's already perfection and adding or subtracting something destroys that state. It's something that threatens ultimate balance and hence ultimate perfection.

      And if god is a lonely emotional wreck that needs to create viruses on the butt end of the galaxy to gain companionship, then that mean's we fulfill his need. He needs us for his emotional needs like glorifying himself, being in ultimate control, and a host of other character faults.

      Hardly a picture of perfection.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "But see, we make not sense in that environment. That's the whole problem. Why do we care? Why does it matter to us? Why does it matter to you which kind of God God is? If nature doesn't care, why do we?"

      We make perfect sense in this environment. Things matter to us because they affect us. Duh! Why do I care what kind of god god would be if it existed? Why do you care what leader your country has? You happy with your current one?

      That's what subjectivity is. How does this affect me? No mystery there and not something I should have to explain to you. You know this.

      Nature doesn't care but it doesn't not care. It's not subjective and not even a being. It can't care. It can't even want to. It's not a thing.

      We just call it nature. But it's the nature of something. It's the nature of energy.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      " If you lived in a climate controlled environment all your life you would have no concept of being hot or cold"

      Sounds good to me. What's your problem? No need to have that concept if never exists in reality.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Suffering isn't punishment. And if you actually ask any of those 'other' humans you'll find they're on the whole totally content with life. "

      Yeah. You're the guy that says slaves didn't have it all that bad. How little empathy you have.

      Sure suffering is inevitable now, but you keep ignoring the fact that a real god wouldn't have to do it this way. You just keep making excuses for how it is assuming your god exists.

      I'm saying if it did it would cruel beyond belief, or inept, or both.

      "All life suffers in some way. Pain and death and suffering is inevitable."

      You forgot taxes. God did that too, no doubt.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Except it's, at least in this case, utter nonsense. If we're in a totally indifferent universe then it makes no sense at all that we'd develop feelings and aspirations. They don't necessarily aid in survival. Caring for and nurturing one another, sure. But all the rest of what makes up the human condition is so quickly and easily dismissed as this kind of mechanistic drivel that it's repulsive."

      Again, you don't get it. It's fact, and nothing about it is mechanistic. But if a god is involved it would be. Lucky no god is required.

      Then you say it's logic you want so I shouldn't say you feel it's illogical because you don't want it to be true. And yet above you say the thought of what makes up the human condition being mechanistic is repulsing to you.

      So you don't want to believe it's true. Your emotional sentiments take precedence over logic. And how that not be when you build mechanical straw men. Nothing mechanical about nature or biology.

      No god required.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "You expressing your feelings that God can stuff it is you exercising your free will. You're allowed to reject Him. He gave you that. He's not forcing you to do anything. It's all on you."

      Well for me it's hypothetical. If your god existed and created "free" will, which it didn't, just to glorify itself, then yes, it's an a hole in the first degree and as far as I'm concerned it can stuff free will up it's ass. But to me your version; the bible version of a god is too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

      If there were a benevolent god we wouldn't exist in these conditions. What you say about it is only an excuse for an obviously cruel tyrant maniac. But how it is is perfectly in line with there being no god at all.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "This is fantasy. Altruism as a randomly mutated characteristic. A random mutation makes you care about shit when you wouldn't have otherwise? Fantasy. It exists, so you need an explanation of some kind, and that's the best there is."

      Survival. Evolution. Heard of those? Altruism is practiced by many animals. Even some bacteria. It's not a human only trait. Were it, you might have a point. But it's not so you don't.

      Among mothers and offspring its essential. Living in related packs and tribes it makes for reciprocity. Makes life better for all.

      There's no such thing as a selfless act. What ever good we do we gain from or we wouldn't do it. Even if the gain is just feeling good about yourself.

      It's a survival strategy that works. It's one of many used in what's called game theory, and in simulations and real case studies, it proves the best over all. No fantasy, no big mystery requiring fantasy supernatural beings.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "At first the beings He made weren't meant to breed. They weren't the same as the other humans. They weren't created through procreation and evolution. They were hand-made. Having to bear children was one of the results of their actions. So having to have a female counterpart wasn't initially even necessary. She was created as a mate because no other suited him."

      So much for your free will experiment then eh? So why after the fall did they suddenly have to breed? Doesn't make sense. Just wild excuses for something idiotic in a book of fantasy.

      Can't you see how ridiculous it all is?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 8 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      This is fantasy. Altruism as a randomly mutated characteristic. A random mutation makes you care about shit when you wouldn't have otherwise? Fantasy. It exists, so you need an explanation of some kind, and that's the best there is.

      The problem with that line of thinking is that you can literally put anything in the evolution vernacular and "explain" it. "[Random trait] randomly mutated, proved beneficial to survival, so it propagated." No idea if it's true or not, but it sounds good, so we'll go with that. Because we need something other than a God.

      Except it's, at least in this case, utter nonsense. If we're in a totally indifferent universe then it makes no sense at all that we'd develop feelings and aspirations. They don't necessarily aid in survival. Caring for and nurturing one another, sure. But all the rest of what makes up the human condition is so quickly and easily dismissed as this kind of mechanistic drivel that it's repulsive.

      And what I mean about what matters to humans I'm talking about the traits of the human condition. They do matter to all, whether 'all' realize it or not. The reason most of us live a relatively safe existence day in and day out is due to it. Among numerous other things. These things actually determine what does matter and why.

      And please stop with the "not something you want to hear" nonsense. I've asked you before. This has nothing to do with what I want or desire to be true. I'm trying to have a logical discussion here sharing with you what I find logical/illogical and why. Stop assuming I just really want there to be a God and that all I think in support of it is the result of some desire of mine. It's insulting.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Developing empathy/compassion/altruism as a randomly mutated trait that proved beneficial in the game of survival is fine and all, but it's a little far-fetched for basically everything that matters to us as humans to be nothing more than just a mutation along the way."

      Not far fetched at all. Just not something you want to hear. But it is more than likely true. What matters to humans doesn't always matter to anything but a select group of humans. Not even all. And some things that matter to theists are probably mostly fantasy. Those things don't matter at all to atheists. So when it comes to things that matter you can only speak for yourself, unless they are universal human traits like needing

      food, shelter, clean water, sex, not being murdered, stolen from, etc.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 8 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Suffering isn't punishment. And if you actually ask any of those 'other' humans you'll find they're on the whole totally content with life. All life suffers in some way. Pain and death and suffering is inevitable. But it's not the bad thing you clearly think it is. If you lived in light all of your life you'd have no concept of dark. If you lived in a climate controlled environment all your life you would have no concept of being hot or cold. You can't really even know you have it good if you have no concept of bad. Suffering serves a purpose. It's part of the experience, not punishment for bad behavior.

      At first the beings He made weren't meant to breed. They weren't the same as the other humans. They weren't created through procreation and evolution. They were hand-made. Having to bear children was one of the results of their actions. So having to have a female counterpart wasn't initially even necessary. She was created as a mate because no other suited him.

      It says it all right there in the text. You just think you've already got it figured out and have dismissed it categorically. But hey, it is your choice. That's on you.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      You said he did just make two at first. I meant in heaven. And according to you he made millions of other humans who had to suffer even though they had no free will and had done nothing wrong.

      And these two dimwits he made from clay. Well the male anyway. Even though he made everything male and female, including millions of other humans over 700 thousand years, but was too dumb to make this guy a female partner. He asks him to name all the animals, and while he's at it, look for a mate that takes his fancy. It's ridiculous. Then he says, ok, I'll make you a female, since you're hard to please. But not from clay this time... I'll make her from your rib. What? What an insane thing to do.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 8 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      That's the difference between simply being told why certain things aren't allowed and understanding why these things are not allowed. You haven't been murdered or cut in half, but someone has. It's happened. Many, many times.

      Having laws doesn't negate free will. It's a choice whether or not to follow the law or the law wouldn't be necessary.

      You expressing your feelings that God can stuff it is you exercising your free will. You're allowed to reject Him. He gave you that. He's not forcing you to do anything. It's all on you.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      #What better teacher is there than experience?"

      I've never been murdered so I guess I don't know whether I'd like it or not right? Ever been cut in half? Probably not. You don't need those experiences to know they aren't good. And if in heaven the law will be laid down and there's no getting around it, no one will experience evil things. So what's your point?

      Yes, here and now experience is part of learning, though only part. But that's how it is, not how it could be with a benevolent god, which obviously doesn't exist.

      So the law will be laid down and no more real free will. Wow. What was the point then? See, to me your entire god myth just doesn't work. All free will is for is his glorification.

      He can stuff it

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 8 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Yeah sure Chinese creation myths are like the bible. Care to think again?

      I've thought about it? Don't tell me you actually think I haven't. It wouldn't make much sense for the Chinese creation myths to match. Other cultures were created by the dispersion of the families of Noah after the Babel event. Long after God walked/talked with Adam/Eve/Cain/Abel/Enoch/etc. What they heard about that age came from whatever member of Noah's extended family brought with them. However much they heard/knew.

      ---------------------

      You - "It’s a most unnatural environment for a soul that in and of itself has no needs at all. There will be no needs in heaven we are told."

      Oh the soul has needs. Just about all we feel, the things that inspire us, compel us, the soul needs and feels. In heaven there will be perfect law and full conformity to those laws. There will be no constantly dying and decomposing world around us or ill will from others to impede us. It will be all the greatness that life is with all the road blocks removed.

      ---------------------

      You - "So testing in a soul’s free will in this environment is useless. A better test would be to create a couple souls, give them their own will, and see how things go. Their actions would be far different from ours, and if he taught and nurtured them like a good parent, perhaps their will would be toward good. If not he only made a couple of them."

      What better teacher is there than experience? A child can be told all day to not touch the hot stove. Until they actually experience what hot is and what that really means, do they understand? Do they not touch it because you said? Or because they understand? See the problem?

      Do you know of anyone who made it to adulthood having never experienced the sensation of being burned by something simply because there parents told them don't touch it if it's hot and they just never did?

      God basically did exactly what you suggested. He created two of them. Then He explained in no uncertain terms the one rule created. If you do what I said don't do, this is what will happen. Didn't matter. See, up until free will there would be no need to even tell them don't or this will happen because they simply wouldn't do it. It would be impossible. But free will is exactly that, a will that is completely free of God's will.

      How does the want for companionship make God imperfect? Does it have to be a need? An imperfection? I don't think so.

      ---------------------

      You - "So I think, if a perfect god existed we wouldn’t..."

      Your logic is all wrong here. First, it shows a not quite filled in understanding of free will, and it shows the flaws I pointed out above about the flaw in your suggestion of how it should be done. Just try coming up with a better way of doing what's being done here.

      ---------------------

      You - "I personally prefer the idea of a natural world. Nature may not give a damn, but it’s facilitating and not intentionally out to get us . That’s the only way what we see and experience here makes perfect sense."

      But see, we make not sense in that environment. That's the whole problem. Why do we care? Why does it matter to us? Why does it matter to you which kind of God God is? If nature doesn't care, why do we?

      Developing empathy/compassion/altruism as a randomly mutated trait that proved beneficial in the game of survival is fine and all, but it's a little far-fetched for basically everything that matters to us as humans to be nothing more than just a mutation along the way.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 8 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Yeah sure Chinese creation myths are like the bible. Care to think again?

      I've thought about it? Don't tell me you actually think I haven't. It wouldn't make much sense for the Chinese creation myths to match. Other cultures were created by the dispersion of the families of Noah after the Babel event. Long after God walked/talked with Adam/Eve/Cain/Abel/Enoch/etc. What they heard about that age came from whatever member of Noah's extended family brought with them. However much they heard/knew.

      ---------------------

      You - "It’s a most unnatural environment for a soul that in and of itself has no needs at all. There will be no needs in heaven we are told."

      Oh the soul has needs. Just about all we feel, the things that inspire us, compel us, the soul needs and feels. In heaven there will be perfect law and full conformity to those laws. There will be no constantly dying and decomposing world around us or ill will from others to impede us. It will be all the greatness that life is with all the road blocks removed.

      ---------------------

      You - "So testing in a soul’s free will in this environment is useless. A better test would be to create a couple souls, give them their own will, and see how things go. Their actions would be far different from ours, and if he taught and nurtured them like a good parent, perhaps their will would be toward good. If not he only made a couple of them."

      What better teacher is there than experience? A child can be told all day to not touch the hot stove. Until they actually experience what hot is and what that really means, do they understand? Do they not touch it because you said? Or because they understand? See the problem?

      God basically did exactly what you suggested. He created two of them. Then He explained in no uncertain terms the one rule created. If you do what I said don't do, this is what will happen. Didn't matter. See, up until free will there would be no need to even tell them don't or this will happen because they simply wouldn't do it. It would be impossible. But free will is exactly that, a will that is completely free of God's will.

      How does the want for companionship make God imperfect? Does it have to be a need? An imperfection? I don't think so.

      ---------------------

      You - "So I think, if a perfect god existed we wouldn’t..."

      Your logic is all wrong here. First, it shows a not quite filled in understanding of free will, and it shows the flaws I pointed out above about the flaw in your suggestion of how it should be done. Just try coming up with a better way of doing what's beingg done here.

      ---------------------

      You - "I personally prefer the idea of a natural world. Nature may not give a damn, but it’s facilitating and not intentionally out to get us . That’s the only way what we see and experience here makes perfect sense."

      But see, we make not sense in that environment. That's the whole problem. Why do we care? Why does it matter to us? Why does it matter to you which kind of God God is? If nature doesn't care, why do we?

      Developing empathy/compassion/altruism as a randomly mutated trait that proved beneficial in the game of survival is fine and all, but it's a little far-fetched for basically everything that matters to us as humans to be nothing more than just a mutation along the way.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Yeah sure Chinese creation myths are like the bible. Care to think again?

      Heaven and Earth were in the form of a cosmic egg for 18,000 years. When it broke apart, the high and clear formed Heaven, the dark formed Earth, and P'an-ku stood in the middle supporting and stabilizing the process. P'an-ku kept growing for another 18,000 years during which time Heaven also grew.

      P'an- ku 's story (the first-born) tells of his becoming earth, sky, stars, moon, mountains, rivers, soil, etc. Parasites feeding on his body, impregnated by wind, became human beings.

      Yeah. Lot's of Mesopotamian influence there... Not.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      So, problem is, you’re still looking at it as is. Under different conditions it wouldn’t be this way.

      The soul, in your version, is us, our will etc. But it’s tied to this material body and brain you claim are mechanical. So this soul is influenced by the brain, the genetics of the machine, which wouldn’t be related to the soul, but influences the body and it feelings of need and desire and hunger and disease, which a soul by itself wouldn’t be saddled with.

      It’s a most unnatural environment for a soul that in and of itself has no needs at all. There will be no needs in heaven we are told.

      So testing in a soul’s free will in this environment is useless. A better test would be to create a couple souls, give them their own will, and see how things go. Their actions would be far different from ours, and if he taught and nurtured them like a good parent, perhaps their will would be toward good. If not he only made a couple of them.

      If so then he could make a few more if he wanted their companionship, which seems absurd, in that a perfect god has no needs, so doesn’t get lonely, and has no need to create anything. Things are only ever done out of need, desire, or perceived need. Without an itch, no one scratches. Ultimate perfection means no imbalances, no way to get unbalanced, no needs, no desires no itch. Any of these are signs of imperfection.

      So I think, if a perfect god existed we wouldn’t. So a perfect god is out. If a compassionate intelligent logical god existed, we would be in heaven taught as his children to deal with free will in a natural supernatural environment, and he wouldn’t have made billions of us. So that leaves a logical compassionate but imperfect god out. But if a god does exist, and he created this, then he is imperfect, cruel beyond belief and or inept.

      I personally prefer the idea of a natural world. Nature may not give a damn, but it’s facilitating and not intentionally out to get us . That’s the only way what we see and experience here makes perfect sense.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      No Friedrich Nietzsche, lol.... Don't worry. I think the guy was out to lunch, for the most part. I'm not sure why anyone thinks he was great.

      He shot himself in the foot when he said there is no objective reality. Are we to take that as objective truth? If so, his statement is false. If not, it's meaningless as then his statement can't be true.

      Either way he failed logic 101, or would have had I been teaching him.

      What do you teach?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "The point of suffering is to find ways not to. Your idea that free will can only be achieved by suffering doesn't work. No need."

      Oh no, free will was already achieved. But this environment tests it. Like any new element, you want to test it, right? Put it in different conditions to see how it reacts. High heat, extreme cold, differences in pressure, etc.

      People don't need suffering or hardship to do dicky things. Have you met people? Ever driven in traffic? Some of the richest people in the world can be the most evil. It has everything to do with competing wills in an environment. There will inevitably be conflict. It's inevitable. What you do in that situation is where things matter. How do you handle yourself? How do you treat others?

      What need did Cain have killing Abel? What need did Hitler have? It's really not as simple as you seem to think.

      I'm not making this up. I'm telling you what the story says. And yes, the way things are informs it because these are the events that led to the way things are. This is the result.

      Nothing I'm saying changes what you're saying. It's still nature always transforming. It's still that we're energy and use energy. But in a place where you have to use energy, choices have to be made. Decisions that impact the world around you. We don't just behave as everything else of our kind like the rest of the natural world does. We actually determine our own behavior. And it's not determined by law. It's determined by us.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 2 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Ron, you are a better teacher than I am. If the kid does not grasp it, I send him/her to Special Ed. If I don't grasp it, I find someone who does.

      Awaiting "Will."

      I hope it does not cite Friedrich Nietzsche. I freaking do not like his stuff. But luckily he is nevermore.

      Tell me now, before I regurgitate.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      I'm writing a new hub on will. I'll be addressing your interpretation there. But let me answer this:

      "Besides, what would be the point without suffering? If you never suffered, would you ever even have a concept of knowing how good it to not suffer?"

      The point of suffering is to find ways not to. Your idea that free will can only be achieved by suffering doesn't work. No need.

      You claim we have to work out free will in this environment so as to learn, so when we get to heaven we won't destroy the place.

      But we do things so often because of suffering. Who would hold up a bank if they didn't need the money? Poverty creates desperate people. If you had no need to eat, you wouldn't have to kill anything or make anything suffer just for your survival.

      Take away all the reasons people do desperate and evil things, and those things would never be thought of.

      What makes you think god couldn't create unique individuals in a perfect nurturing environment? You sell your god short. No need or perceived need to cheat the other guy, and no cheating is going happen.

      The reason you have to assume this was the way it has to be is because this is the way it is. So you make up a reason as to why.

      But were there a god there would be no reason for it to be this way.

      It fits far better with nature, always transforming. We are energy. we use energy. We need to replace it, so we have to eat other forms of energy. Makes sense. It's horrible subjectively, but there is no other way unless humans invent one.

      And that's what humans do, we try to solve problems

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "How's that even possible?"

      That right there is the crux of the problem, I think. Understand, your/my whole concept of what's possible is entirely based on our experience in this environment where everything begins and everything ends. We exist in time and constant change. We're particles amidst a universe that's still basically exploding.

      How God is possible is not grounded in that reality. Time only exists here. Now/then and here/there only exist in this place. From our perspective God is exactly the same in every moment in every place.

      I agree with you that God isn't a being. I think of God as simply conscious. The source of consciousness. It's as if we exist in His mind. He creates from nothing and His will dictates how everything behaves. Just as our imagination and our will does within our minds. We create at will.

      You - "And if a god that knows everything does this, as in creates a world of suffering for any reason, where all things must kill to eat and all living things suffer either being eaten or disease or injury etc, cannot be forgiven no matter why he did it this way when he could have done it any other way."

      I've been short on time as well, so I'm going to keep this relatively short, but I do want to address this.

      I think one thing that's key to understanding this whole concept and the stories of the bible is to understand God didn't know all. Now, God, being that He doesn't exist within time with us, sees all time all at once. But here's the thing. He can only know what actually happens where free will is concerned. It has to live and exist and be for God to know free will. He sees everything from beginning to end as long as it happened.

      Yes, the universe is a rough place. It's a closed system that feeds on itself. Perpetuates itself. I think this is very much deliberate and necessary. For free will to exist, it has to be forged. It has to experience and be. Bringing into an environment like this is perfect. This place tests it, agitates it, pokes at it. Makes it act. Pushes it to extremes. It's all very purpose-driven and perfect.

      Besides, what would be the point without suffering? If you never suffered, would you ever even have a concept of knowing how good it to not suffer? If everything is perfect everyday, isn't that just your "normal"? Good feels good because we know when not good is like. What would be the point of life without it?

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      As a theistic model goes, yours often holds together better than the other more orthodox Christian/ Jewish/ Islamic versions. But it’s still a theistic model using the same god with all its myriad irrationalities. You’ve basically created your own religion.

      In fact most Christians do exactly that by picking and choosing what they want included in their personal faith. That makes it hard to debate them in general. For instance you don’t believe in eternal punishment in hell. So talking about how evil that is won’t affect you.

      It seems to me that every Christian regardless of denomination believes in their own version of their denomination. Every christion has their own private religion. All it takes to be one is to say you are. No one can say you aren’t. To the Catholic church, of course all of you are heretics. But since their fall from power there really is no standard anymore. Everyone is guessing.

      Now, a much more rational guess , I think, is that of the Pantheist. God isn’t a being, its nature. And nature is almost infinitely creative. Its creativity is the means to an end. That end being perfect balance or the process of perfection. The totality is not perfect, and each creation is in response to an imbalance. Like we are a manifestation of god’s problems, and what we do slowly works out specific issues.

      We also create other problems that wouldn’t surface otherwise. Not that perfection can ever be achieved. Certainly not by humans.

      Now I can understand that something has had to always exist or nothing could exist now. Not even necessarily the same substance, or in the same form. But were existence not the default state, nothing at all would be.

      Energy fits that description, and since we know it transforms rather than ever being destroyed, and can’t be created, and it has created and is all we see including ourselves, it makes sense that it’s always existed in one form or other.

      What makes no sense to me is that the constant existence would be a super intelligence. No time when it didn’t exist, and it creates from nothing. So the first thing to exist was super intelligent being? How’s that even possible?

      And if a god that knows everything does this, as in creates a world of suffering for any reason, where all things must kill to eat and all living things suffer either being eaten or disease or injury etc, cannot be forgiven no matter why he did it this way when he could have done it any other way.

      If the nature of the totality is not consciousness, and it’s like Pantheists say, then this is just the way it is and there are no malicious intentions in it. It can’t be any other way unless we change the game.

      If one must guess at a meaning of life, I think the Pantheist version is far nobler than the theistic models. And it has science on its side. Einstein said that if he believed in a god it would be Spinoza’s god. And of course Spinoza coined the word Pantheism for a belief much older than the idea of the gods. But one that becomes more and more likely as science progresses. And people like Carl Seguin believed it too, as do many scientists. Carl called it the religion of the new millennium. An atheistic religion based on and informed by science.

      Not just generic atheism which is not a belief system at all, but a religion or world view for atheists. And many like that idea even if they don’t like the word religion. But religion, in the end, is just a world view and source of information. A theistic world view believes in a supernatural. Pantheism doesn’t.

      I’ll answer more of the previous posts as I can. Been short on computer time lately.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "You can't and don't know that. You can't and don't know there's something other than this universe and you certainly don't know that the universe was created or had a beginning."

      ---

      Well, yes, technically, that's true. But assuming the big bang is correct, yes on all counts. Before this universe there was a singularity, so there was something other than this universe because there was a singularity and this universe hadn't inflated yet. And if that's the case, it has a beginning, and if that's the case then time began at the same "time".

      And yes, I know the singularity is what 'inflated' into this universe. But it all had to come from somewhere, right? And this universe didn't exist yet for it to come from here. So...

      ----------------------

      You - "That doesn't explain where your god came from or why something conscious would be the thing that just always existed. No development? No growth? Just an almighty consciousness and nothing else existing in nothing by itself. How? Why? What sense does it make? Zero."

      ---

      You could say all the same for this universe existing or us existing, for that matter. We just exist? How? Why? What sense does it make? Zero.

      -----------------------

      You - "Big bad perfect god needed someone for companionship? So instead of creating a goddess and family of gods he decides he's going to commune with virus sized dumb primates on a spec of dust? Yeah, he's got so much in common with them. Not.

      He already had angels or sons, according to the myth. But they weren't good enough? Maybe too big? He thinks little insignificant things he can torture are cute?"

      ---

      There you go. Now you're getting there. Anything God created before this great experiment didn't have free will. And what kind of companionship is that? A "companion" that can only do what you will. There's no companionship there.

      It's as simple as that. God had to create this place to then create free will. Here everything's temporary. It's a safe environment to unleash something as chaotic as free will. Which is why, I think, acknowledgement of God as the creator and authority, through belief in Jesus, is required upon death. You have free will. If you don't to the terms upon entry then you can't be let in. You're in an unnatural state. Like a cell in your body that doesn't behave according to your body's DNA. It's a cancer and it's detrimental to the system.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      "Whatever created this universe doesn't need a beginning. That's a concept specific to products of this universe."

      You can't and don't know that. You can't and don't know there's something other than this universe and you certainly don't know that the universe was created or had a beginning.

      The common misconception is that the singularity which may have existed and expanded created the universe. The singularity if it existed is the universe either in condensed or expanded form. We live in the expanded singularity, not in a separate universe it created. No creation required.

      That doesn't explain where your god came from or why something conscious would be the thing that just always existed. No development? No growth? Just an almighty consciousness and nothing else existing in nothing by itself. How? Why? What sense does it make? Zero.

      "Yes, companionship. What's existence and experience without someone to share it with?"

      Big bad perfect god needed someone for companionship? So instead of creating a goddess and family of gods he decides he's going to commune with virus sized dumb primates on a spec of dust? Yeah, he's got so much in common with them. Not.

      He already had angels or sons, according to the myth. But they weren't good enough? Maybe too big? He thinks little insignificant things he can torture are cute?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Trade routs didn't start till 12000 to 15000 bce at the earliest."

      Yeah, that's still thousands of years of human interaction before the horticultural revolution.

      ------------------

      Re: Chinese culture

      You - "China's early cultures had nothing what ever to do with the Adam's family and they did just fine."

      Yet their mythology closely mirrors the others ....

      "While according to the Chinese myth of the Age of Perfect Virtue, when human beings fell out of the Tao they developed a new kind of individuality and self-sufficiency. They started to live by their own will rather than the will of nature."

      "Archaeology has indicated an absence of militarism or significant social stratification among the earliest Chinese. The lack of significant caste and legends of high female status, plus textual prescriptions for abortion, suggests a fairly high female status for Neolithic China."

      And notice how all the dates you gave for the cultures you listed overlap the same time period. As I said before, both James DeMeo's and Steve Taylor's books cover this sweeping behavioral change, and that includes it's impact on Chinese culture.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "What's illogical about a god? Everything. Where did it come from? Make itself from nothing did it?"

      Time began with the universe. The whole concept of things having a beginning and ending comes with time. Whatever created this universe doesn't need a beginning. That's a concept specific to products of this universe.

      You - "Why create us at all? Was the poor thing lonely? Or was it so egotistic it had to have worshipers to grovel at its feet? It's a sick little god you have, not worth worshiping. But nothing actually is."

      Yes, companionship. What's existence and experience without someone to share it with? That's why I think God understood Adam's need for a companion. When He brought him the animals it wasn't to find a companion. This was a new creation and He was testing it because what it would do was unknown. I think He legitimately wanted to see what Adam would call them.

      ---------------------

      Re: Free will

      Free will is everything. As we've learned from science, everything has specific behaviors. Before free will humans lived like humans, only they never fell out of their place in the natural system they're a part of. They co-exist with the system. We now destroy it. They don't. Yes, of course they had hardships. Life's about struggle and hardship. It's a perfect environment to introduce free will into. Struggle and hardship is what shaped and molded us. Like in exercise, it's working against resistance that makes you stronger.

      Free will is the ability to actually decide freely without our behaviors being dictated by natural law. We're unlike anything else in the universe in that way.

      The Jewish people weren't the first with free will. Their line was just bred from a line with free will. But free will was in everyone in Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley, Rome, etc. Sumer is where the first signs of it are, but by the time the Jewish people were bred it was everywhere in the region.

      ----------------------

      You - "Well perhaps they didn't want to out of their own "free" will. Who are you to say we're better? And I guess you can ignore that Mayan civilization developed astronomy on their own. No... guess that's not advancement, right? No, not much. Sure."

      I never said we're "better". Just different. I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm just pointing it out.

      Mayans came from Olmecs, and Olmecs share a lot of commonality with the Chinese Shang Dynasty...

      "Evidence for this includes cultural similiarities between Indians of the Pacific north-west and dynastic Chinese culture (such as artwork, clothing, drums and diet) and linguistic similarities. At the same time, there are cultural and linguistic similarities between the three patrist areas of the Americas, suggesting that the peoples are related." - Steve Taylor

      "Xu argues that the Olmecs sailed to Mexico from China after the fall of the Shang Dynasty in 1122 BCE. He notes that around this time about 250,000 people disappeared, and suggests that at least some of these traveled to America. This explains the presence of what appear to be Chinese symbols in Olmec written records, and strong similarities in art, architecture, religion and astronomical knowledge." Steve Taylor

      ----------------------

      Re: Violence

      "There is the same lack of evidence for violent conflict throughout the simple horticultural period of history as in the hunter-gather era. Graves don't contain weapons; images of warfare or weapons are still absent from artwork; and villages and towns aren't situated in inaccessible places or surrounded by defensive walls." - Steve Taylor

      "If this was the case - and most scholars agree that it was - then we would expect the transition to agriculture to be accompanied by a great deal of conflict as the groups competed over dwindling resources. But as we've seen, there is almost no evidence of warfare in these areas until the fifth millennium BCE, more than 3,000 years after the advent of agriculture" - Steve Taylor

      "In any case, anthropological studies have shown that scarcity of resources does not necessarily lead to conflict between groups. Data collected by the anthropologists Carol and melvin Ember establishes that "chronic, ordinary resource shortage is not a significant predicator of war." Or, in the words of R. Brian Ferguson, "the data just does not support a direct association of increasing [population] density and increasing war." - Steve Taylor

      ----------------------

      Re: Indigenous humans

      "We've already seen that social stratification was a feature of Sumerian culture. The Sumerians possessed a recognizably "modern" lust for material goods and wealth, which was completely alien to the non-possessiveness of hunter-gatherer peoples" - James DeMeo

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      Ok, so I should have figured it out from the beginning but better late than never. You say Hebrews were the first to get “free” will. But you base all your interpretation on Sumer.

      Tell me, if the Hebrews got free will first, why no great civilization? They were still nomadic when Sumer started. Some moved in to the new cities. But what were their contributions? Nothing.

      What did they ever invent? Nothing. Oh yes, monotheism, charging interest, and perhaps glass making around 2000 bce according to one source. That’s about it.

      And inventing monotheism is dubious considering Pantheism is older than Judaism. It and Brahmanism tell us there is nothing but god. That’s as monotheistic as it can get.

      So glass making in Akkadia well after Sumer had risen and was almost over, and charging interest to outsiders. Did they actually invent that or just practice it?

      Stephen Zarlenga of the American Monetary Institute tells us interest has been going on since as far back as 10000 years ago..

      “Loans in the pre-urban societies were made in seed grains, animals and tools to farmers. Since one grain of seed could generate a plant with over 100 new grain seeds, after the harvest farmers could easily repay the grain with “interest” in grain.”

      So the Hebrews probably didn’t invent that either. Which leaves glass making.

      But historyofglass.com, among others, tells us: “People had used naturally occurring glass, especially obsidian (the volcanic glass) before they learned how to make glass. Obsidian was used for production of knives, arrowheads, jewelry and money.

      The ancient Roman historian Pliny suggested that Phoenician merchants had made the first glass in the region of Syria around 5000BC. But according to the archaeological evidence, the first man made glass was in Eastern Mesopotamia and Egypt around 3500BC and the first glass vessels were made about 1500BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia.”

      So maybe they didn’t actually invent that either. So what’s left? Nothing but their stories mostly usurped from the earlier Sumerian stories and altered to fit the idea of one god. Not much to show for being the chosen people and bearers of weird wonderful and magical so call “free” will. Exactly less than the tribes you say didn’t/don’t have it.

      I’d say that kills your super Adam and Eve claims very neatly. But I’m sure you’ll find some excuse. I can’t wait.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      "You seriously think I'm lying? Seriously? Why would I do that? That, Ron, is absurd. Right or wrong I believe everything I'm saying to be true. I don't 'know' God exists, but I've got some pretty damn compelling reasons to think there's way more to the story than what most are willing to accept. I find it's the only logical answer. That's the truth."

      I said: If you say you know for a fact god exists you are lying. If not to me, to yourself. You admit here you don't know for a fact but you believe it. That's not a lie, obviously.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      I said: "There's no such thing as free will. And all humans have always had will and imagination. That's why we are where we are today, with science dominating instead of primitive stupidstition."

      "Another assumption. Cultural historians and scholars and archaeologists disagree. "

      In what universe? And I have read your hubs and found your evidence dubious or nonexistent.

      "You have this idea in mind that humanity up until the discovery of farming where isolated tribes. Not true at all. For tens of thousands of years humans migrated over great distances. "

      Duh! That's news? So how many tribes were there 50000 years ago? How many times did they run into each other? How many times did they run into non-related foreign tribes? Not often. They had territory.

      Trade routs didn't start till 12000 to 15000 bce at the earliest.

      The only one assuming anything is you.

      "Oh no, what happened in China is directly related as well. I know you just dismiss everything I say, but when I said this change can be tracked throughout the planet, I mean exactly that. That includes China. "

      Too bad it's a crock.

      Jiahu culture : 7000~5700 bce , a complex, highly organized Chinese Neolithic society” The Jiahu had agriculture, fishing and, hunting. They made pottery and tonal flutes. ,And best of all they even had a proto-writing system.

      Dadiwan culture: 5800–5400 BC, large buildings with rammed earth foundation meaning early urban development.

      Yangshao culture: 5000~3000BC, social structure development, early writing systems.

      Chengtoushan culture : 4500 to 3000 BC, earliest rice filed, a walled settlement. Obviously urban development.

      China's early cultures had nothing what ever to do with the Adam's family and they did just fine.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      "Just for posterity sake, explain to me exactly what you find illogical about this. Because it seems to me to be pretty illogical to suggest all existence and all that we are just came from nothing. That is the definition of illogical."

      That would be illogical, and it's just your favorite strawman. I've never suggested any such thing and you know it.

      What's illogical about a god? Everything. Where did it come from? Make itself from nothing did it?

      And to create this mess on purpose is criminal.

      Why create us at all? Was the poor thing lonely? Or was it so egotistic it had to have worshipers to grovel at its feet? It's a sick little god you have, not worth worshiping. But nothing actually is.

      Adam and Eve are pure ignorant fantasy. That you take it seriously blows my mind. It's obvious nonsense with no logic to it what so ever. Might as well believe Lord of the Rings is historic fact. But at least Tolkien sold it as fantasy so we don't have to debate it.

      Your whole free will nonsense is absurd in the extreme. So when no one had free will and were doing what god wanted except for the odd rape and murder, those people didn't face hardships? Dream on. So why? A sick sadistic piece of crap god? No other reason. Doesn't fit your we have to suffer because of free will interpretation. They didn't have any according to you.

      Shall I go on? There is nothing logical about your myth.

      "I said nothing of the sort. I didn't say they weren't capable. They're the same in every way physically. Same physical brains. They just don't have a pronounced sense of "I", which is a well documented truth. "

      A load of crap you mean? Please... are you insane? Or just making up nonsense? I know plenty of pure natives who's ancestors never mixed. They have the same sense of self as you do. Well documented where? In a comic strip? Show me. I can't believe you'd say that.

      And yes, you said they couldn't innovate. Hence why you think Sumer backs your interpretation. You can't deny it now.

      And then you contradict yourself:

      "Besides, it's perfectly observable. They haven't made any advancements or changes to lifestyle throughout all these ages where we've made significant strides. Again, it's just a fact, no matter if someone finds it hurtful or not."

      Well perhaps they didn't want to out of their own "free" will. Who are you to say we're better? And I guess you can ignore that Mayan civilization developed astronomy on their own. No... guess that's not advancement, right? No, not much. Sure.

      The west developed in a different way. High populations competing for the same resources. Need is the mother of invention. If they have iron, you have to have it or they have an advantage. If no one is attacking you you don't need new technology. Don't fix what works. You don't need something you don't look for it.

      Western culture competed for everything including fashion, furniture, pottery, literature, showing of wealth and breeding, ,etc. Trivial nonsense that we don't actually need, but want because we think others have it better.

      Other cultures didn't develop that way. No need. They weren't involved with the West until we decided to colonize and "civilize" everybody, while stealing them blind.

      Chinese didn't do that. India didn't. Only westerners did. Why? Something supernatural? No.

      "Well, whether or not you buy into what I'm saying,"

      I don't.

      " the transition to male-dominance is an absolute fact."

      In some cultures yes.

      " Across the board. Every culture that advanced beyond that of indigenous cultures are male-dominant. And that is, confirmed by evidence,"

      Actually it isn't anymore. Our societies are becoming more and more equal.

      A goddess doesn't mean a matriarchal society. Some anthropologists say ancient cultures were more often egalitarian, not matriarchy as in woman ruling men. But there were male dominated societies all along.

      "a change that happened right where/when Genesis says. Like it or not."

      In western society, created by the tribe of Judah specifically by adding it to their fantasy religion as ordained by god. Later spread by christianity and islam.

      As these stupid religions die, so will patriarchy. I can only hope they die sooner than later.

      "Yeah, me too."

      Sure.. but you sight a historian. And can't find an evolutionary biologist saying what I have you're not looking. In fact, it's taught at Stanford. Check their on line course lectures on Youtube.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      " I've given you plenty of evidence. You call my references into question and my own thinking and ignore the evidence, or claim I'm mis-reading it. "

      What evidence? That early man was less violent than Sumerian society? No doubt it was due to what I explained: Tribes of relatives are less violent than mixed societies. They share resources and all have a place in society.

      Land isn't owned by anyone in a tribe because most were nomadic, following the herds. But they did have territory which they defended.

      Your "free" will has zero to do with anything changing. It has to do with volume. More unrelated people, more crime. Same as in primate societies. It's logical, and it comes from study.

      Historians are notoriously unreliable and not all that objective. That's a fact seen through history. Evolutionary biologists are scientists and somewhat more objective.

      Wars didn't happen much until the neolithic.: 10200. bce. That seems to be when we start finding increased violence as non-related tribes started to interact more frequently and had to compete for resources.

      When Sumer started building cities and centers for trade it's a no brainer that violence and crime would increase. In fact, the goddess Innana is said to have gotten the secret of cities from Enki, who told her she had to take the bad with the good if she was going to implement them.

      So Sumerians understood that progress was a double edged sword.

      No evidence at all that anything but human nature was at play. Definately no evidence of some thing supernatural.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Right. That's not the insulting part, though what you said isn't exactly true. The insulting part is that you claim they have no free will but you do, and they are incapable of innovation or creativity because according to you there's a very ridged line between having free will and being nothing but a machine."

      I said nothing of the sort. I didn't say they weren't capable. They're the same in every way physically. Same physical brains. They just don't have a pronounced sense of "I", which is a well documented truth. They have no concept of personal possessions. All possessions belong to all the group. They are content in a simple lifestyle. We are not. That's the difference.

      Besides, it's perfectly observable. They haven't made any advancements or changes to lifestyle throughout all these ages where we've made significant strides. Again, it's just a fact, no matter if someone finds it hurtful or not.

      ------------------

      You - "I can read. Eve was made by god from Adam's rib. Not equal. She is of man, for man, to be ruled by man."

      Well, whether or not you buy into what I'm saying, the transition to male-dominance is an absolute fact. Across the board. Every culture that advanced beyond that of indigenous cultures are male-dominant. And that is, confirmed by evidence, a change that happened right where/when Genesis says. Like it or not.

      ------------------

      You - "It exactly fits the evidence. Your fantasy free will is what doesn't fit. Your fantasy bible, supernatural and insane god is what doesn't fit any reality."

      No, it doesn't.

      ------------------

      You - "Which cultural historian? Was he there? I'm going by evolutionary biologists who study primate behaviour and social structure. As well as anthropologists studying what's left of isolated tribes."

      Yeah, me too. The only thing is I haven't found any that say what you're saying. I've got two whole books on the topic that site numerous anthropologists and cultural historians and they're all in agreeance. When you say things like what you think is "likely", that's not something I can take anything away from because I've got lists of well qualified people who say differently.

      ------------------

      Just for posterity sake, explain to me exactly what you find illogical about this. Because it seems to me to be pretty illogical to suggest all existence and all that we are just came from nothing. That is the definition of illogical.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      I'm sorry Ron, but that's a load of shit. I've given you plenty of evidence. You call my references into question and my own thinking and ignore the evidence, or claim I'm mis-reading it. Yet all your objections are all your opinions and what you think is "likely", never siting any particular evidence to support it.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      "So I should take what you say "likely" happened, again an assumption, over what the scholar and cultural historian said, which directly contradicts that statement of what you assume is "likely" true?"

      Which cultural historian? Was he there? I'm going by evolutionary biologists who study primate behaviour and social structure. As well as anthropologists studying what's left of isolated tribes.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      "You assume. Based on nothing but pure assumption. Never mind it doesn't in any way line up with the evidence. It's completely inconsistent."

      It exactly fits the evidence. Your fantasy free will is what doesn't fit. Your fantasy bible, supernatural and insane god is what doesn't fit any reality.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 2 months ago from Ottawa

      "How do you determine what is and isn't absurd to you?"

      Logic and evidence. The god creating man story has neither.

      " Just a feeling? A hunch? Something in your gut? Intuition?"

      No. If that were true I'd be a Christian almost by definition..

      " If it weren't for all the fossil remains you might also find giant reptiles absurd. "

      Exactly. But real things leave traces of themselves, as with dinosaurs.

      "Whatever gauge you use to determine that my hypothesis is absurd is just what you're willing to accept."

      No, it's your lack of evidence. I'm not willing to accept anything but fact. That's the difference between a theist and a science minded person.

      "What you see as absurd I see as very logical. He created an entire environment, created life in it to evolve and adapt. Created humans, and then, once we were in form, He introduced an element out of His control. He did all of this to create free will."

      And of that I can only say: So says the myth and your imagination. You can't show it to be fact and it's not in the least bit logical.

      "There's nothing insulting about what I'm saying about indigenous cultures. They would never do the F'd up things we do. They live just as Jesus described when he talked about giving up possessions and such. They're how we should be."

      Right. That's not the insulting part, though what you said isn't exactly true. The insulting part is that you claim they have no free will but you do, and they are incapable of innovation or creativity because according to you there's a very ridged line between having free will and being nothing but a machine.

      That's absurd, of course. Everyone has will. Every human ethnicity has creative people in it. And the opposite of free will is not machines, it's real will used by dynamic people.

      "You're not getting what I'm talking about with male-dominance. It wasn't a ploy launched by man to suppress women."

      I can read. Eve was made by god from Adam's rib. Not equal. She is of man, for man, to be ruled by man. She does the dirty deed, Adam sits back, wimps out, and says: But she gave it to me. Throwing her under the bus. And thus woman is a wicked being for 4000 years, but more so among Christians. Check out what Church leaders have to say about them. Even Paul and even Jesus.

      And most of it, according to the book you rely on for all your ideas, by god himself. He's the one who made her from a rib instead of from clay like Adam. But only after he offered Adam every beast of the field to mate with but nothing took his fancy. Now if that's not absurd there is no such thing.

      He's the one who commanded her to submit to him. Don't piss on my leg and tell me its raining. "free" will had zero to do with it. God commanded it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 months ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Even neighboring tribes were related. Even then there were likely murders and violence at times."

      So I should take what you say "likely" happened, again an assumption, over what the scholar and cultural historian said, which directly contradicts that statement of what you assume is "likely" true?

      You have this idea in mind that humanity up until the discovery of farming where isolated tribes. Not true at all. For tens of thousands of years humans migrated over great distances. There's an actual "trade route" located along the bottom of Europe/India/Asia. There was a ton of interaction. Do you see how much assuming you're doing? And your conclusion that my claim is "absurd" is based on that. What is demonstrably a lot of false information.

      You - "What a load of crap. Really. There's no such thing as free will. And all humans have always had will and imagination. That's why we are where we are today, with science dominating instead of primitive stupidstition."

      Another assumption. Cultural historians and scholars and archaeologists disagree. I seriously suggest you read my hubs and then use actual data to determine whether or not my claims are true. Your assumptions are often off target and very generic.