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The Science delusion.

Updated on May 3, 2017
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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.

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    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 7 weeks ago from Tasmania

      ...not surprised there are no comments yet - most will be still asleep in your part of the world.

      But a very good read, thank you. Helps me get a few ideas and explanations sorted in my slow ( come-lately! ) mind. And lots of food-for-thought.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
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      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Always good to see your posts in the forums.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      I'm glad to see you're giving this further thought. This is a very real delusion. And I believe you're under it. In our discussions you would not even consider the possibility that the full spectrum of the natural world could possibly extend beyond the scope of science. And when I give the mind as an example of something that we know exists, yet doesn't conform it would seem to scientific inquiry, you insist that while it's still unknown, what's certain is that what isn't yet known will still prove to be basically what it's suspected to be. Nothing remarkable. Just matter and energy again. Same answer. Same assumption that we already understand in principle, we're just waiting for those pesky details to be filled in.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Consciousness is identification and existence is identity. Irreducible primaries we should accept, not as scientists, but as humans with the ability to reason. Self-evident, like you said.

      The is no "supernatural" anything. What is beyond nature? Beyond existence? How does one perceive it? In one's sleep? Nature is nature. A is A.

      As for one's own purpose being "subjective;" this hints at there being no self-defined purpose. I'd say our purposes are "objective."

      As for the one comment about science (reason) being unable to see a natural world beyond itself, I'd say that smacks of either blind belief or irrationality or religion. It is akin to stating just because you can't disprove it, your can't rule it out; and therefore you are wrong. The world is full of these, unfortunately.

      "Argumentum ad ignorantiam."

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
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      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Jeremy. I'm not debating this with you here. We're already debating mind elsewhere. You're a Christian, so you already believe you know mind is supernatural, and you think waiting to see what we actually find is a waste of time.

      I am willing to wait because unlike you I suffer no belief. I suspect mind = brain. I've t old you a thousand times it's an opinion based on fact, not a belief. Fact: When the brain is under anesthetic or in deep dreamless sleep, mind is gone.

      That wouldn't happen if mind wasn't material. And your excuses as to why that is are absurd in my view. Your just clutching at straws.

      I'll wait and see what is discovered thanks very much. And there is no science delusion, but there is a god delusion, and you got it big time.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Consciousness is identification? I'd say ego is identification. Consciousness is just plain awareness. But there's aware, and then there's self-aware. Aware of the around you is thing. Being aware of self in that world around you is a whole other thing.

      "There is no "supernatural" anything". This is exactly what the science delusion is about. The possibility of there being anything in this universe that's not subject to scientific inquiry isn't even worth considering. Yet in that same breath you refer to consciousness as an "irreducible primary". There's nothing supernatural, but there is this one thing we can't detect and have no way of observing or empirically proving through scientific method, which applies to all matter/energy, but it's just a thing. If we didn't each experience it we'd have no way of knowing it's there. What else could be going on in this universe that we don't directly experience, that's invisible in every way? I'm sure your assumption is right. Nothing.

      It's just irreducible. Nothing to see here. Nothing to consider. We already understand all that this universe is in principle. No reason to think that it's anything other than what we already know.

      "Argumentum ad ignorantiam." ... Indeed.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
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      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "This is exactly what the science delusion is about. The possibility of there being anything in this universe that's not subject to scientific inquiry isn't even worth considering."

      Consider what ever you like. Guess as much as you like. But don't try to sell it as fact, which is what religion does.

      Science can't consider wild guesses to be fact, or it wouldn't be science, it would be religion. And it is utterly useless to consider questions that can't even in principal be falsified. So god and other supernatural questions are meaningless to science and general knowledge because nothing can ever be known or discovered about it, and all speculation about the subject is just wild guessing and fantasy, pawned off as truth.

      Sorry, the only delusion is thinking something you can't know anything about exists without a doubt and you know what it wants.

      No thanks. No room for that nonsense in real human knowledge let alone in scientific inquiry.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      In response to JC:

      One must use something to identify the things. That is consciousness. It uses the process of identification to describe the things. The “existence” -- nature.

      Ego is reducible. It has many parts. Self-esteem, self-perception, self-awareness etc., but all of these parts take root at Consciousness. How else do they form? By magic?

      Being aware of self and nature is not a “thing.” Existence is the “thing” (the Identity) which consciousness identifies.

      I equate scientific inquiry, to using one’s consciousness, since we have nothing else, to test that which is real against that which which might be real. Testing, using tools, such as microscopes and math. Until we can test it, validate it, it has no real value, other than fanciful imagination.

      It is not scientific delusion to assert existence exists and consciousness can perceive it. The opposite is true, however. How can one validate that there is something beyond nature...beyond existence? Supernatural. Witches and Warlocks? Do we shake our bone dice? Do we call the Shaman?

      We are not required to create our own existence, it already exists -- that is a primary. A is A. As is your ability to identify existence. The fact that you see green while others see brown, does not change the fact that existence exists.

      How can you -- or are you asserting that all of existence is not subject to scientific inquiry? How can you verify that allegation? Intuition? A gut feeling?

      I am not saying we understand the universe (existence, nature in it’s entirely) -- that’s utter folly. It’ll take a few years longer.

      But to hibernate in the gray fog of oddly plied verbal banter is an utter waste of a sober consciousness.

      Indeed, dear sir, I fear you have traveled wantonly off the bridge to nowhere and plied your cerebrum betwixt the next nothing.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      I'm not debating the mind with you. I'm talking specifically about the subject of the hub. And this isn't belief based. Like what you said, mine is an opinion based on fact. You assume how I think, and you're often wrong. If this were belief I wouldn't make the argument I'm making. It's logically arrived at.

      But the fact remains, there are no facts that support your opinion. It's loosely based on scientific knowledge, but it veers well from that course along the way. For good reason.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      "Consider what ever you like. Guess as much as you like. But don't try to sell it as fact, which is what religion does."

      I'm not selling it as fact. I'm simply making the suggestion. You're the one with the staunch resistance to it, certain we already know basically what it is, however long it takes to confirm. It will be, and it'll be basically what you already thought.

      "Science can't consider wild guesses to be fact, or it wouldn't be science, it would be religion."

      True, but you're not science. You're the one not considering it because science doesn't/can't. That's called the 'science delusion'. If it doesn't conform to physical confirmation then it's not considered. Science has a necessary reason to stay within the naturalist mindset. That's it's jurisdiction.

      "So god and other supernatural questions are meaningless to science and general knowledge because nothing can ever be known or discovered about it, and all speculation about the subject is just wild guessing and fantasy, pawned off as truth."

      Actually, I think we can (and basically have) reached the conclusion that can be reached. We see order in how things work. We see that this place has laws. It's governed. And by all appearances it seems it just did it all by itself. That's what "evidence" of the supernatural would look like. No explanation for how/why things are as they are.

      "Sorry, the only delusion is thinking something you can't know anything about exists without a doubt and you know what it wants.

      No thanks. No room for that nonsense in real human knowledge let alone in scientific inquiry."

      You're talking like I just pulled this whole God idea out of my ass. There's a claim on the table. And so far, despite the truly astounding levels of discovery we've been able to accomplish, this claim can't and hasn't been falsified.

      See, believing for no reason is on thing. Refusing to even consider based on the reasons you give are just plain illogical. Even in the source material, in the bible, it makes a clear distinction between the physical and the spiritual. Not 'seeing' anything is an expected result. It doesn't prove it, but it doesn't disprove it either. In fact, it's exactly what you should expect to see if the claim is valid.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird - "Being aware of self and nature is not a “thing.” Existence is the “thing” (the Identity) which consciousness identifies."

      You're exactly right, it's definitely not a "thing". That's the point. If it were a thing we could just look at it, study it, measure it.

      jgshorebird - "Testing, using tools, such as microscopes and math. Until we can test it, validate it, it has no real value, other than fanciful imagination."

      Yeah, I don't disagree it's inconvenient. It would be nice if we could solidly decide everything empirically. That would be great. But unfortunately, as the mind perfectly illustrates, that's not always going to be true. It may take some fanciful imagination. We can't confirm it in some testable/repeatable way so others can verify for themselves.

      But the mind is a prime example to show us that there are things, elements, phenomena, that fall outside of observable scientific inquiry. If mere matter and energy (the brain) are capable of generating these things, we have no way of determining that. No way to test other elements to see if the same is happening. It's behavior that definitely happens, but that is totally invisible to us.

      jgshorebird - "It is not scientific delusion to assert existence exists and consciousness can perceive it. The opposite is true, however. How can one validate that there is something beyond nature...beyond existence? Supernatural."

      Something existed "before" the universe. Before time and space. Something caused it to exist, right? Energy can't be created. It was already there. That, by definition, is super-natural. All supernatural really means is that it's outside of science's natural jurisdiction. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      "How can you -- or are you asserting that all of existence is not subject to scientific inquiry? How can you verify that allegation? Intuition? A gut feeling?"

      The mind verifies it. Plus, it's just a logical conclusion. What are the chances that everything that exists in this dynamic universe can in some way be verified by these five measly senses we developed in this particular environment? If nature has shown us anything, it's that the answer is usually something much more fantastical than we thought.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Dear JC:

      You are not debating anything discernible. This hub had many facets and you are not being specific, but idly obtuse.

      It is difficult, if not impossible to call you onto the carpet, lay bare your utter feeble explanations, but I have crossed paths with many a good Hubber, who have smoothed out my sharp edges.

      Your opinion is based upon fact? Which allegations, dear sir? I have read your propositions and I see them want of anything reaching a standard of discourse relevant to modern reason, post 18th Century. It is as if you feel your unexplained explanations are just true. All absurd assertions have equal merit? In what existence?

      “But the fact remains, there are no facts that support your opinion.” Such utter twisting of words. How so, dear sir? No answer. Utter silence. Darkness.

      Either have the courage to charge me with abject irrational treason -- and support your beguiling assertions with something beyond accusation -- or quit these spaces, which apparently demand a capacity beyond yours, leaving the serious among us, room for a bit of rational exercise.

      Belief in a God, any God, is blind. One must deny reality. One must replace mind with faith. Reason with prayer. From the first River God to Jesus Christ and beyond.

      Abdication of the mind, dear sir. But you are free to do so.

      Just have the humane ability to substantiate a single arcane sentence with a mustard seed of honesty, as it were.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      I’m going to explain what you are saying and you can again weasel out.

      Since science is not all-knowing, it is wrong and ineffectual when it comes to discovering magic supernatural beings.

      And, dear sir, you are correct! Unfortunately, the only way one can posit nature beyond nature, is to abdicate reason. The mind showing us the miracles, as it were, and ghosts and invisible purple goblins and other delusions.

      An example of not exercising the mind, but masturbating it.

      How can anyone know that something existed, for certain, before the universe began? You are answering the unanswerable question with blind faith and Buddhism. We do not know. Live with it. Work at it, but don’t make it up. Even Big Bang buddies have no idea.

      And here you go with “supernatural” again. Let me be clear. I am saying, simply, that existence, how ever far it goes, is nature. How can something exist beyond that? I don’t know. Nobody can. Not you or Pope Paul. You can imagine it all day, but to use a magical land of love and spirits as your hard core validation that it does...well, it speaks volumes, dear sir. Biblical volumes.

      The mind does not verify that magic exists, dear sir. It only dream and imagines. It is illogical to assume imagination and dreams are real. Consciousness (awake) perceives existence -- that which is real.

      Certainly, the answer to the universe, if such an answer exists, is fantastic. Like the caveman seeing a flashlight for the first time, oh how magical it must be, but it is not a magic. It is real.

      I fear you see magical flashlights.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      @jgshorebird - What you're not aware of is the ongoing discussion between the author and I on this very topic. My opinions, as the author well knows, is informed by facts. I speak at length about what's known and how what I think fits within that. I make sure to first inform myself of what has been confirmed factually and work from that. That's the baseline.

      What you call "absurd allegations" are perfectly legitimate. I mean, we've found out there's actually coded information in our cells. How anybody can look at that and come away with the conclusion that there's not deliberate intent in nature is beyond me. We live in a natural world governed by rules that create order. It's simply illogical to think that all just self-aligned all by itself. That, sir, is absurd.

      "“But the fact remains, there are no facts that support your opinion.” Such utter twisting of words. How so, dear sir? No answer. Utter silence. Darkness."

      No. Plenty of answers. Far from silent. You just weren't privy to the prior discussion. What I'm referring to is the author's assumption that matter/energy is what generates consciousness. There's no factual data to back that up. Or his explanations that propose conditioning is the cause. That's just as speculative that anything I've suggested.

      If I leave room for you intelligent rational folks to 'exercise', it tends to get exceedingly irrational. Belief in a God is simply rational. It's 'self evident'. And the level of rationalization it takes to explain the natural world as we now understand it without a God becomes way more fantastical than any God-based explanation.

      And I may be many things, but I am definitely not dishonest. What would be the point of that? Spending time here misleading others, or misleading myself, would be a complete waste of time. Whatever you think of my ideas, do not once let the idea cross your mind I'm being dishonest.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      @jgshorebird -

      "And, dear sir, you are correct! Unfortunately, the only way one can posit nature beyond nature, is to abdicate reason."

      No, I'm using reason. You have to realize, science is a way to confirm something through the senses. We have to find some way to show it physically. Our senses process physical information. That's all it can work with. As we're learning through our investigation of the mind, not all can be 'seen'. So, using reason, it's probably not the only thing. That just makes sense.

      "How can anyone know that something existed, for certain, before the universe began? You are answering the unanswerable question with blind faith and Buddhism. We do not know. Live with it. Work at it, but don’t make it up. Even Big Bang buddies have no idea."

      Well if we're talking specifically about BB then you understand that began with a singularity. And if science/nature has taught us anything it's that things don't just happen for no reason. Something must have caused it to exist, right? Is that Buddhism? No, that's reason. Again.

      "You can imagine it all day, but to use a magical land of love and spirits as your hard core validation that it does...well, it speaks volumes, dear sir. Biblical volumes."

      You sure make a lot of assumptions. I thought you were all about basing conclusions on factual data? A "magical land of love and spirits"? Are you sure it's me you're talking about? Perhaps you're thinking of someone else.

      "I fear you see magical flashlights."

      Clearly. And true to form, you make a statement right over the plate of the science delusion. Your flashlight analogy, even though you admit to not knowing, you then go ahead and make the assumption we actually do know it's just as you already think it is. It's just a flashlight. It's just a mechanism. Simple. Only, it definitely isn't simple.

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      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      Certainly, I am not privy to the conclusions you and the author of this hub have toiled and tossed about, but kind sir, based upon your continued assertions, they appear quite obvious.

      What is absurd, ad nauseum, is the assertion that codes in cells bespeak magical supernatural entities, because we as humans have not yet discovered the real reason. It is, ultimately -- illogical. A blind leap from reason and rationality to mysticism and fantasy. And that is most deliberate. Like the caveman grunting at the river -- it is God -- since I cannot explain it right this very minute.

      You speak of human evolution and I have seen your hubs about that. I have Dawkins' books. Good stuff. Honest. Evolution has been validated. It is readily apparent, but it cannot explain where and how the universe came to be. Evolution is reality. One must deny reality and his own mind -- to deny that.

      Evolution simply means change. Not how the original “spark” as I will label it, came to be. Even if evolution could one day state, unequivocally, that the “spark” was this energy or that bit of random matter -- from where did they come? From when? So evolution is just, in my mind, a chain of events.

      As to the author stating that matter and energy are what generate(s) consciousness. I would need to ask how so? By what evidence? Again, at present, the answer is fantastically unknown, but this does not stop the theories from rolling in. At least the author is not asserting that magic supernatural Gods created matter. Or is he?

      Blind belief in any magical beast, God or entity, is your absolute right. I will defend that right, in America -- but I will also tear it to shreds -- as is my right. I hope never to slip into the irrational, even in my twilight years, which are fast approaching. This bit of hubbing, I hope, staves off that ultimate destination.

      Belief in one’s own consciousness is reasonable -- to me. The irreducible. From there, we observe and tag existence. Label things with names, based on properties. That one is hard. That one is soft. That thing bites. If we mix these fluids, we can make rocket fuel and search for more answers.

      In the end, the realm of the supernatural is the land of “NOT.” The faithful can never tell you what God is, only what He is NOT. Humans can NOT know God. God is NOT human. Heaven is NOT on earth. The soul is NOT of the body. Nature is NOT nature. Ad infinitum. Irrational. Denial. Although, you tend to reverse that. You charge that reason is fantasy to avoid the NOT. That is not quite honest.

      In that sense, I assert that your ideas are invalid -- dishonest -- but I hope, you as a person, are not.

      “So, using reason, it's probably not the only thing. That just makes sense” you stated.

      I’m fairly sure that we will one day discover other methods of defining our universe, but to assume they exist, ahead of time -- well you know what they say. Never ass-u-me. Then stepping forward from the assumption of magic to a world where anything goes and nothing is certain?

      “Well if we're talking specifically about BB then you understand that [it] began with a singularity.”

      The BB, as you state, is only an unproved theory. You are right, I think, to ask what came before the BB, but wrong to magically assert is must be God. There is no current evidence to validate that God or Powder Monkeys made the universe. We can see that stars are moving, which we then extrapolate that at some point, they may have been “one point” -- a singularity. All rational explanations, based upon current understanding. At least we are trying.

      “And if science/nature has taught us anything it's that things don't just happen for no reason. Something must have caused it to exist, right?”

      Unanswerable question. Live with it. Do not fear the darkness or shine your magical flashlight...and give in. Poof! It must be a miracle! Oh Jesus!

      It is not reasonable to assert magic, when stumped with the great questions. It’s giving up. Learning takes time.

      And kind sir, my “magic flashlight” analogy was simply to show that if we as a species cannot yet understand a thing, we should never abdicate reason -- that’s all we currently have -- and wrongly assume fantasy is reason. This is not an assumption, but a conclusion based upon what you have typed. To assert that logic is fallacy is intellectual dishonesty at best.

      I have never asserted that the universe was a machine. I have no idea what all of is. Nor do you. Nor can you -- even with your God-reason.

      “...I'm using reason. You have to realize, science is a way to confirm something through the senses. We have to find some way to show it physically.”

      So you state.

      This seems to say that you want to know what things really are -- now. The whole of them. We cannot yet know the ultimate “physicality” of a grain of sand. We can magnify it, figure out it’s properties here on earth, but I’m certain there is more to find. That does not negate existence or presuppose a magical creator. It simply means that we do not know everything.

      I like what Karl Marx said "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". But I’m no Marxist. Not even close.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      "The BB, as you state, is only an unproved theory. You are right, I think, to ask what came before the BB, but wrong to magically assert is must be God."

      Didn't say that. Simply making the point that whatever caused the singularity is by definitPion supernatural. You keep juxtaposing supernatural and 'magic'. As if it's absurd to even consider. I'm simply making the point, using what's known, to say it isn't.

      "This seems to say that you want to know what things really are -- now."

      Forgive me, but the hypothesis that I have formed continues to prove accurate in what answers we've found and where the mysteries continue to lie. The exact elements that aren't 'natural', like the self, continue to elude scientific inquiry no matter how deeply we plumb. Forgive me for thinking I may be onto something, but data continues to support it. It's not that I'm in a hurry to know, it's that what I believe is true continues to hold up as expected.

      Plus, unless you've read my hubs, you don't know how deep this goes. The author is aware. I have evidence that shows the events of early Genesis to be accurate and shows those events to be the events that set the modern human world in motion. So, I'm not just latching on to some fantastical imagined thing. This is a heavily researched heavily studied conclusion.

      I am not religious person. I don't go to church and don't claim any specific denomination. This isn't about religion. It is simply a logical conclusion based on what's observed. Science and the natural world explain quite a bit, but fall well short of explaining certain aspects. We humans being free of will and mind is something that definitely does not fit the mechanistic nature of this place. And if we are not actually free of will then we are under the delusion that we are and live are lives and hold each other accountable as if we are.

      And the central theme of those early, or really all of, the biblical stories I find to be more than coincidence. I find an explanation that simply makes sense, not just some one size fits all explanation to fill in gaps.

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      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      “…whatever caused the singularity is by definition supernatural. You keep juxtaposing supernatural and 'magic'. As if it's absurd to even consider. I'm simply making the point, using what's known, to say it isn't.”

      First we have to agree that there was a singularity, right? Could there have been multiple points of BB’s? How about no BB’s at all?

      In any case, what if it is all natural? Not pre-natural or supernatural. Why must one attempt to say what nature is NOT, in order to say what it is? How does one determine that which does not exist or is beyond existence? Would that not be “nothing?”

      If the elements that prove your alleged theory are supernatural, by what natural means have you obtained them -- since you are unable to escape reality?

      Why do you state that “self” is not natural -- not in “reality?” Then where is it? By what means did you measure this non-nature?

      How can real data support the unreal?

      What continues to “hold up as expected?”

      If you really have evidence that early Genesis has more merit than a fairy tale, why is it that you have not enlightened the world? Is it perhaps that no such evidence exists?

      Why do you negate the reasoning world as mechanistic? Pray tell, what secret door of knowledge have you alone unlocked?

      Poop or get off the pot, dear sir.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      "In any case, what if it is all natural? Not pre-natural or supernatural. Why must one attempt to say what nature is NOT, in order to say what it is? How does one determine that which does not exist or is beyond existence? Would that not be “nothing?”"

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

      The fact remains, if supernatural is part of the story, part of the explanation, and you disallow it right from the start, then you have no chance of reaching the real truth because you're not looking at the whole picture. To assume all that exists is only that which can be confirmed is to put limitations on what the answer can possibly be due to fallacious assumption.

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

      "If the elements that prove your alleged theory are supernatural, by what natural means have you obtained them -- since you are unable to escape reality?

      Why do you state that “self” is not natural -- not in “reality?” Then where is it? By what means did you measure this non-nature?

      How can real data support the unreal?"

      What continues to “hold up as expected?”

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

      It's like a puzzle. Put all the pieces together and then you can see the outline that remains, highlighting exactly where the gaps should be if the hypothesis is true. There's what can be seen which better defines what cannot. What holds up as expected is the data. Or lack thereof where expected.

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

      If you really have evidence that early Genesis has more merit than a fairy tale, why is it that you have not enlightened the world? Is it perhaps that no such evidence exists?

      Why do you negate the reasoning world as mechanistic? Pray tell, what secret door of knowledge have you alone unlocked?

      Poop or get off the pot, dear sir.

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

      Well that's what I'm doing now. I've published my findings in a public forum. Not sure what else to do. I can only point it out. I've told you where you can find it. Check it out if you doubt.

      Mechanistic is what nature is. The elements of this universe behave so consistently we are able to define laws around them. The one exception, the one element that doesn't fit this natural world, is humanity. We're the one component of this system we are born from that doesn't play along. The rest of nature creates/destroys, reuses, recycles, cleans up after itself. We just destroy.

      That too fits the model. Genesis says the natural world is the product of God's will/natural law. Then it says God created beings capable of behaving contrary to that. That's us. It fits. Across the board. Historically/scientifically.

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      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      I do not disallow the supernatural, as you state, I only ask that one define it.

      All of “existence is existence” or to put it simply: A is A.

      There is nothing “supernatural,” by its own definition -- which means: beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

      Now follow my reasoning. Think of nature.

      Plenty of things are beyond our scientific knowledge. That’s obvious. This does not mean science and reason are faulty, however.

      On the other hand, nothing is beyond the laws of “nature.”

      Why?

      Because nature is everything. The laws of nature are simply the properties of nature. It is the same as the laws of existence. The primary law or irreducible thing is it does in fact exist.

      Hence, there is no supernatural. There is no “non-existence,” no non-nature, no super-nature. Until these statements can be turned on their head, one who supports a “super-nature” does so on blind faith alone. Blindness. Fantasy. Mental masturbation.

      One cannot reach truth by jettisoning one’s mind, which is what you ask.

      And, kind sir, not a soul on earth can see the “whole picture.” The ends of the universe?

      What assumption do you make? That a magical God exists? Really? Talk about fallacious.

      What puzzle parlor have you come across which can show that the supernatural exists -- outside of existence.

      Again, what data do you have? What clear and concise published hub have you proffered for our consumption?

      Blank out, dear sir. Bank out.

      How could you know all of existence is mechanistic? Are you your own God? A God of the Machines? I say it is so, thus it must be? Is that your contention? Offer a single line of that code.

      Sir, you cannot know. This you must swallow like hard reality or spit it out and suckle instead from the hind tit of fantasy.

      It seems that your conclusions rest most precariously, upon a non-existent premise, but that is quite the norm for mystics.

      Humanity as the equation -- the validation of your God?

      What a ride you are on, mere mortal.

      I have endeavored to make my response, though tardy, less vile. I hope you enjoy the lack of verbosity.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      "Again, what data do you have? What clear and concise published hub have you proffered for our consumption?"

      I have logic. The scientific method is one method. One approach. To assume it applies to all that exists is just short-sited. I'm not criticizing science or saying it's somehow flawed. It isn't.

      This is why I keep bringing up the mind. Life is another one. What's the difference between a living and a dead body? Nothing, structurally. Both have the same number of particles, the same weight. There's no detectable difference other than the lack of heartrate/breathing/etc. Clearly something is gone that was once there, yet there's nothing to measure, nothing to detect.

      So, logic applied, not all that exists can be detected. So, there are things that exist that there is no 'data'. You can only gain data from physical proof.

      Which side do you come down on on the free will vs determinism debate? That's a whole other matter.

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      Alan 7 weeks ago from Tasmania

      Jeremy, to quote from your previous post, "The rest of nature creates/destroys, reuses, recycles, cleans up after itself. We just destroy."

      I find this a very pessimistic view. Sure, there are some who love to destroy. So does the rest of Nature in some caes. There are many humans who work hard to clean up and repair, your's truly included but not perfectly so of course.

      If we all went back to the idea we are sinful and fallen from grace, that mindset would drive us to oblivion.

      There are, apparently, a few greedy and couldn't-care-less individuals who are leading on a downward path to oblivion, but I doubt any of your ideas about biblical reference would sway their minds. Hopefully they will meet their fall before we meet ours.

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      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      ...and finally, I submit, you have nothing.

      As all here have noted.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Alan,

      You're right. There are many who consciously try to do better. The key here is we first have to understand that we're making a mess then consciously adjust. Nature doesn't have to do this. All other things naturally work within the system. We're having to come along later and recognize the mess we're making and adjust. That's the difference. We don't just 'naturally' fall in line. Everything else does. We don't fit into the established system the way everything else does.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      And that is the science delusion. I do have something. But under that delusion that only that which can be empirically/physically shown exists, you're right, by those standards I have nothing. But I have shown that those standards are faulty.

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      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      One single shred of evidence...

      Just one.

      Blank out.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      Oh, sure dude. Just some physical evidence of something that is, by definition, not physical. I've given you evidence. What the other likes to refer to as "self evident". I've pointed out things that we know exists that there's no evidence for. None to be found. Nothing to detect or observe or measure. So, done.

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      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Of course not only can't he give any evidence at all, he gets upset with you for asking for it. Don't you know the supernatural doesn't and apparently can't interact with the material world? So science can never prove it, or falsify it. How dare you ask for proof? It's silly to do so. You should be ashamed of yourself. LOL...

      The mind boggles.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Yeah, you're right. You really should be ashamed of yourself. You're asking for seaside property in Oklahoma. You're asking for something that you should realize, if you comprehend correctly, isn't possible and isn't consistent with the nature of what we're talking about. And yeah, it's frustrating when someone continually asked because that means they still don't understand.

      I'm sorry, it's inconvenient to be sure. It would be nice if we could verify everything with hard evidence. I understand why you want it that way. That way you can just dismiss all this God stuff and anything else that isn't proven.

      But the inconvenient truth is that this is indeed the reality of the situation. Do you or do you not agree 'something' is most definitely missing when someone dies? Something, we call "life", leaves them. What is that? What's it made of? How much does it weigh? Prove it's there beyond it just being "self evident" through vital signs.

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      Ron Hooft 7 weeks ago from Ottawa

      It's also just the most convenient rationalization for believing nonsense I've come across. You are to be congratulated for making the best light sucker argument anywhere.

      But it clearly illustrates why religion and science are incompatible.

      To me your stance is ridiculous. You can't prove god exists which proves god exists. That's what this nonsense means in plain English.

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      jgshorebird 7 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC and Author:

      I respect JC's right to adhere to his beliefs and his bull headed tenacity to not give in. If nothing else, hopefully, it defines his character.

      I just think he is dead wrong.

      He asks the questions, I want answered. Where the hell did we come from and where the heck are we going?

      Life.

      It's cool.

      I just refuse to dump my "God" given mind in the gutter of philosophical fantasy.

      I think He (the creator...creation?) demands thinking and never, never, never -- giving up. Never saying things like...since I can't explain it now, today, this year...it's a magic wonder rainbow.

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      This is not a rationalization. This is logic. Whether you agree or not with the specifics, you agree there are things going on in your mind that no one but you can see. It can't be shown to be happening. We assume, based on our own experience, that something similar is going on in the minds of animals. Can't just look and see. Just have to assume.

      It's as simple as that. That right there is something going on in the natural world we are not privy to. It can't be seen by anyone other than the owner of that mind.

      You want to call it a rationalization. You want to put it on me by way of faulty thinking. But it isn't, is it? What I'm saying is true. You know it. You may come up with whatever rationalization you can to explain how this can be possible of energy/matter, but the end result is the same. It's something definitely happening that can't be observed. What else could be going on that can't be observed? Do trees think? How do you know?

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      Jeremy Christian 7 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      We are not talking about my beliefs. We are talking about the facts of the matter. It's not that I'm bull-headed, though I admit I certainly can be, but I'm not giving in because I'm right.

      And you're making the assumption that I'm just plugging God into the gaps like a spackle. When in actuality it's the other way around. I went looking for answers. Not formulating what I already thought.

      God isn't a one size fits all puzzle piece. He's shaped exactly as the gap it's covering. One consistent answer, across the bible, across history, across science.

      I know you (and the author) just want to dismiss this as a rationalization, but stop making assumptions about me being beneath you intellectually and just consider, just for a moment, what I'm saying.

      My point is really very simple, yet it means something much greater. It simply can't be denied. I'm not going to be the one giving in. Unless, of course, I'm not the only bull-headed one in the conversation.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      You are right to dissuade the personal attack. That is not my intention here, however. Although I admit that I do use full color words.

      It is more of a simple assertion. If one resorts to a God or gods to explain things, then one ought to have the common decency to explain one's God(s).

      Else, the idea that He created anything, aside from mass confusion, is the eternal lie. A fairy tale for weak minds.

      I'm certain those who rationalize that a God exists will dodge this answer...like I explained earlier. The Godly will only be able to tell us what God is NOT. Never what He is. It is unknowable.

      Using this same dodge, I can assume anything. That the Big Bang, God, Satan, or Santa Claus -- created the universe.

      No logic can lead you from here to the source of our existence. Because logic alone is meaningless. It must apply to things and stuff. If I light a match, heat will be produced. That's logic. If I stick my finger in my navel and contemplate the universe -- that's lunacy.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      I wasn't concerned about a personal attack. It takes a lot to offend me. I was more talking about it as a hindrance in the discussion. If one keeps assuming I'm just making a mistake then they're not listening and considering what I'm saying seriously.

      I know that straying off the hardtop of scientific certainty can be a dangerous and confusing place. I recognize that and make sure to check myself at every turn. Half the time that's what these discussions are about. Checking myself.

      I don't just free-form go off on imaginative flights of fancy. I sure my every conclusion is tested against what's known and established. Facts are the floorboard. They're set points. So whatever the truth is, they are going to still be true at the same time.

      Which is why I say my concept of God isn't just some fill in the blank where the question marks are. It's a specific hypothesis and must remain consistent. It can only 'fill a gap' if it fits correctly. If it doesn't then make other things established as true false.

      I've had those conversations with believers. I actually talk to non-believers more often because I get more out of it.

      I get it. When you believe you choose to believe. You don't logically reach that conclusion. It's not thought out and heavily considered. It's just done. I believe. So when questioned the answers aren't rational because they weren't rationally arrived at. The belief is true, start from there, and then explain.

      I, however, while belief came first, arrive at my conclusions logically. I check myself, check my facts. It must remain consistent historically, scientifically, biblically, all of it.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "you agree there are things going on in your mind that no one but you can see"

      So what? Even I can't see what's actually going on in my head or we wouldn't have this debate. You watch and experience but even you don't have a clue about the processes of the brain/mind from first hand knowledge. No one does.

      We can only study the mind through study of the brain.

      It's only logical.

      Now, you say soul is mind and it's in charge. But altering body chemistry alters the way we think and act. Too much dopamine and your a schizophrenic. Too little and you have Parkinson's.

      We know that certain genetic defects make people behave in specific ways. We know a great deal about the brain because we can now study what goes wrong and how it alter's behavior. Where's the soul here? I thought it was in charge?

      So what about the soul of a murderer? How did it get evil? By the temptations of the evil world? Wow.

      So in your view the soul is created in the procreation processes. It's born with the brain. So it is obviously tied to the brain and all its influences. So this poor soul is stuck in this murderers body? Or this soul has become a murderer out of its free will even though it actions are governed by a genetic deficiency that renders people unable to empathize.

      We all have genetic predispositions inherited from parents and grandparents that often influence what we do in life.Even to the point of character traits.

      So this soul of yours would obviously be conditioned, in the same way a mind without a soul would be. No difference.

      If it is influenced by the body it isn't completely" free."

      It has will. Lots of it. But that's because will is a manifestation of genetic predisposition and environmental conditioning such as learning and direct experience played against each other.

      Not being free doesn't mean being completely predetermined. We learn. We experience. And often the world sends us to knowledge and experience we'd never think we'd have.

      Life is not mechanistic, it's dynamic, complex and chaotic, in the sense of chaos theory, not random. We can decide not to do something we otherwise would have done, through thinking and using tools like logic.

      We are unique individuals with unique experiences and learning and even genetic. No two sperm or eggs are identical genetically.

      We all, therefore, have unique personalities and will. And no, not directly tied to any one else's will or any god's will.

      And you told me that's your definition of free will. Well we got that kind of free will with or without a god or soul.

      But you are not free of who you are, which is your history and conditioning, which give you your likes and dislikes. You can't choose them, you just have them. And your personality, etc.

      So no need for souls as mind. No evidence for them, and they are clearly illogical.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "So what?"

      Me - So exactly that. This is something that exists. Something that is really happening. And it cannot be detected in any way. That right there is an important thing to recognize and acknowledge. That means that whatever it is, science can't prove it's there. But it is. You, of course, assume it's some physically realized thing and that science just hasn't pieced it together 'yet'. But the fact remains, it's something that we, to this point, cannot detect.

      If we didn't each experience it ourselves, we'd have no way of knowing it's in there. Yet it's one of the most creative things we know. It's responsible for all humanity does. Yet it's part in the process cannot be measured or observed in any way. We can only look at the behavior of the humans involved and attempt to deduce from that what was going on in the mind.

      So, the next logical conclusion is, if that's true, it's probably not the only thing going on that we cannot see.

      I understand, it's nice to have facts so you can know for sure you're on the right path. And the way God is often described, He's that all the good things combined and none of the bad stuff kind of thing. He's the best case scenario they can imagine. If it's good, it's God. If it's bad, it isn't. And that vague kind of concept can and often is a one size fits all answer to any question kind of thing.

      Like when you said, "Now you say soul is mind and it's in charge", that's not what I said. I'm not making any claims here. I'm just discussing what is and isn't known, and why. Where the line is. Personally I think life is the soul. I think all living things have a soul in that they're alive. And that life wants and reaches out and interacts with the physical world through it's physical self. It's just that most have such small minds and such incapable bodies that soul/life can only be so realized.

      But I don't come here to argue with non-believers why this or that is true. That's what I believe and here is why and here's how that works given what's known.

      Yes, we all have genetic predispositions. And they can and do alter things. The soul/life can only work with what it's given to work with. This place and this body, they are not made to be perfect. It's made to be a challenge. We're all challenged by this life, both within ourselves and within this world. The thing is, how well did you do with what you've been given?

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      "It has will. Lots of it. But that's because will is a manifestation of genetic predisposition and environmental hconditioning such as learning and direct experience played against each other."

      Here's the problem with that. That will, that drive to live, had to be there for the rest of that to happen. That's the driving force behind the process of evolution. A will has to want that food, has to want to survive, has to want to procreate. How does that come along through conditioning when the process of conditioning requires a will? See the issue?

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      I wonder if it is fear that drives people to blindly leap into the lap of faith? A weakness of human-ness, perhaps?

      We hear, see, smell, taste and touch. We think with that organ in our heads.

      We know not the universe, just yet.

      Beware those who have found the one true God. Not religion -- but the Man Himself.

      Marbles are rolling. Crosses do burn.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      "Will" or not. Complicated eyes balls or not. Things evolve.

      It just takes time.

      Why must will have existed from creation or from Genesis, as it were?

      Could not will have evolved, devolved, disappeared and reemerged a thousand-million times?

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      Re: "fear that drives people..."

      In many cases, yes. I think so. Maybe a fear of nothing beyond death? I can only speak for myself, and for me I simply don't see this natural world as possible without a deliberate creator.

      Plus there's all the other things you then have to consider. There is no purpose to our existing. No reason. We're like a bubble that rose up and burst in this cosmic river. And nothing we do in life, nothing we accomplish, whether it be curing cancer or ending world hunger, is going to even register in this universe.

      Yes, humanity uses religion and God just like they use anything else. To get their way. Whatever it takes.

      Re: "Will or not... Things evolve. It takes time."

      But how do things evolve? By surviving and procreating. If that first fish that grew legs didn't have a will to compel it to use those legs to climb up on the land then what use are they? Traits evolve because they're beneficial. They in some way bettered the chance of survival and procreation. Survival, hunting, eating, procreating, this all requires a will. Living things are compelled to act. To survive.

      Evolution doesn't happen without it. So how can it evolve when it's a necessary ingredient for things to evolve?

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      As to will. First, there must be a "will-er."

      And maybe you are off track here. You are only creating the seed -- imagining that it -- the will -- must really exist. In the sense it of it being a disembodied thing.

      Maybe it's much more basic. Life. Consciousness. However it arose, developed a will as it realized it was conscious or wanted to live.

      Where life came from? I've no idea.

      It's all a gift to me. Being such, I'd like to keep it going, not curse the darkness of uncertainty.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Even at the most basic level, for consciousness to be realized through the physical form, the physical form could not have evolved to the point that it could create a consciousness unless there was a will driving life to evolve.

      I'm not talking about a disembodied will. I'm talking about the will we can 'see' in the behavior of living things. Evolution says that life, by being life as we know it, lived and procreated and changed over time. The only way that happens is if that will that compels life to live was there from the beginning. Nothing evolves without it.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      You are arguing for determinism. An all planned or made universe, based upon some type of creator injecting "will" into the system -- soul into the machine.

      Without validation, only supposition.

      We can hold a symposium about how many angels can dance upon the head of pin, but in the end, it's all academic.

      When you say "only," you also rule out every other solution. A one sided, rejection of all other sides, mentality. A close-minded loop.

      Which came first? The "will" or the "egg?" (Egg = existence.)

      It all depends upon what existence is. And that, we do not know. We are working on it, however. Be patient. Understand that one human on planet earth does not have all of the answers. Even 10 billion humans are vastly ignorant to suppose a God, without an iota of evidence, save their own desire for His presence.

      Currently, we are not Gods, as you might say. We do not have all of the answers. We should not suppose a God, when we cannot know He exists. And that's just peachy. It's more fun to figure it out.

      Maybe in a few trillion-trillion years...

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      It's not without validation. Validation can be found in observing behavior. And I'm not just supposing some vague sort of God. I'm validating the presence of a very particular God. A specifically described God.

      The oldest texts of the bible come from the cradle of civilization. They are reported to be accounts of a time when this God interacted with humanity. I have matched up the events described, the specific place it's said to have happened, and the very specific timeline given to events that happened along that timeline in that part of the world.

      Not only those events, but also the impact of those events. Like a dramatic change in human behavior that is consistent with free will being introduced at this time, which is what the story being told claims.

      Through this I've managed to find an explanation that matches across the board and tells one consistent story with one consistent purpose that lines up with all the data involved. More than that this hypothesis, when I formed predictions based on it, proved true time and again. What should be expected to be found in time and place and specific circumstances and details of these events proved to be consistent with the evidence.

      So, while I understand in most cases you are right in that you're dealing with pure speculation, this isn't the same case. There's more to this.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      JC:

      The many, often contradictory bibles, taken at face value or not, offer some history, but to assume they are accurate or allegorical explanations of some hidden creation truth, is far-flung at best.

      You are reading most desperately between the lines of lines -- regarding you own hubs.

      There are older texts, arguably, than all of the Christian Bibles, that are quit different. They span the globe, but did not dominate -- were not as warmongering as Christian and Islam. Not as militant.

      To base your entire premise on a single Bible or derivatives thereof, seems most wanting.

      You are not doing that, are you?

      But your hubs are interesting. I am still perusing them.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Me - So exactly that. This is something that exists. Something that is really happening. And it cannot be detected in any way. "

      So you continue your illogical nonsense? You can't detect it even though it's self evident. Why is it self evident? Because it's obvious which means we detect it.

      Your can't detect it ploy is transparent and rather idiotic. Please try another one. This is absurd. Clearly geared to protecting your unproveable and totally unfounded soul myths.

      Don't get indignant about it. You think you already have the answer, when you can't, because were there a god you couldn't know a darn thing about it.

      And that bible of yours? That bit of primitive myth and nonsense passed down by stone age hunter/gatherers and not written down for thousands of years is useless as the source of any information at all outside anthropology.

      But you should be congratulated for rewriting it. You do a great job solving all the inconsistencies of it. If you had written it it would almost make sense.

      Trouble is, you're 're several thousand years too late and the bible clearly doesn't say what you claim it says and any fool can see that.

      You really should write your own version and start a cult. Lots of money to be made. Lots of gullible people who are looking for your bible. A bible that at least fits together rationally within the myth.

      The JC version of the bible. Where were you in Aquinas's time? You could have taught him a few things.

      jgshorebird

      I honestly do like this guy. He's dogged in debates, like me. He'll never let you have the last word, and neither will I, which is why we've been debating this stuff for a year or more now.

      His talents at problem solving are as amazing as my own. ;) Well almost anyway. Too bad he's wasting them on christianity when he could be solving real philosophical problems.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      Yeah, I'm well aware of the vast differences from this bible to that one. I went back to the source texts. This all centers around Genesis 1-11, which is the oldest piece of all of it. It's unknown exactly how old they are or who wrote them. But I scoured those texts in the original Hebrew, word by word, to ensure I was working off as accurate a source as I could.

      But I assure you this isn't far flung. The thing about that early part of Genesis is because of the lineages given in Gen5 and 10 you can actually piece together a rather specific timeline. For example, you can take from that that the flood happened 1656 years after Adam was created.

      So I'm not assuming this is accurate. I matched up that timeline and the series of described events along it with events in our archaeological record of Mesopotamia. And down to the number of centuries in between each it matches up.

      And not only that but that story happening as described lines up too. Like that drastic change in human behavior I mentioned. It actually started right there in that part of the world at the same time as when this hypothesis predicted it, and it spread from there.

      And it also lines up with the rest of the story. The birth of civilization came from the events of those first stories. Then the story turns to Abraham who interacted with those civilizations (Egypt, Sumer).

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      The mind is self-evident only because you experience a mind yourself that you can then associate with the behaviors you equate to being born of the mind. That isn't an observation of the mind. That's an observation of behavior. The mind still hasn't been observed. The point is there is an experience going on in each of our heads that can't in any way be empirically shown to be happening. This isn't a ploy. It's a simple observation that for whatever reason you refuse to acknowledge, as simple as it is.

      Yeah, I know you and many others think the bible is just useless nonsense. I can't just dismiss it like that. Even before all of this. To think what you're saying is true is to accept that this text, written thousands of years ago by desert dwelling bronze age people, was just something they made up and decided to record. The alternative explanation is, I would say, even more ridiculous than anything I've suggested. It's still around for a reason. It's been a hugely influential document in every age of humanity since the dawn of civilization for a reason. It's folly to just dismiss it as you do.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      RH:

      I am also bewildered.

      JC ignores all other religious texts, much older than the ones he mentions.

      I mean what of the Pyramid Texts and the other much older creation stories?

      What about the non-written religious "sculptures" going back even farther than the relatively young Genesis series he has cited?

      What of Mungo Woman and Göbekli Tepe?

      The Löwenmensch figurine?

      I hear silence. Eons of illogical deafness.

      Would the settlements of Catalhoyuk care if JC paints with his wide brush over all of human history? I think they deserve a little respect.

      And I have not even touched upon the pre-human religious history.

      In any event, a reliance upon texts without evidence is mere conjecture. Not always boring to read, but certainly ingested cum grano salis, without the liberal quantities of applied mysticism aperitif.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Ah, but's exactly observing mind. If we didn't have one we wouldn't be discussing it. It takes a mind to know other minds. You don't have one you can't care.

      Like I said, I still don't get what you expect to see: an organ marked mind? A cloud in the brain? It's absurd. There is only brain and mind is but one of its aspects. What can you expect to observe? Nothing but brain function.

      How does the brain actually think? The mechanics of it. That's what we are looking for.

      And I use the word mechanics as a way to talk about it's structure, not to imply its mechanical.

      As to the bible, I can dismiss it, and do. In my view it's no better than most other religious texts and worse than many.

      Talk about getting it right. Hinduism predicts the big bang. And it assumes a big crunch and rebirth. About every 100 billion years.

      It also says everything is energy. They also talked about evolution of species. Your guys had nothing on them.

      But of course none of what they believed was from science, nor scientific. It was pure philosophy.

      God dreams; and while he's asleep he dreams a cosmic dream. His nights are 100 billion years. When he is close to waking he goes into a dreamless sleep. Universal heat death. Then when he wakes up there's a period of no time or space here.

      When he goes to sleep again the universe is created anew.

      Modern cosmology? No. But it sounds like it except for the sleeping god part.

      And he's not the only god, just our god. All of them dream universal dreams. Multiverse anyone?

      Did aliens tell these guys this five thousand years ago? Not likely. So how do they know all this? And why didn't your guys know it?

      They come from the same region and had the same influences. They were writing before the Hebrews, and we have extensive writing from them from 2500 bce..

      Your guys didn't write it all down or even agree about it till 400 bce, when 10 of the twelve tribes were wiped out.

      You heard of the chain game? Where you get ten or twenty people in line. Then the first in line tells the second a story and tells him to pass it on.

      By the time it gets to the end it's often a completely different story. That's the bible times millions of people over thousands of years.

      Hence why even though eye witness testimony is admissible in court, in science its the lowest form of evidence.

      Oh you saw an alien? Cool. Next time you're abducted grab something from the table when their not looking. Then bring it here to the lab and we'll talk.

      Till then I have no way of knowing whether you're sane or a nut job. And I'm leaning toward nut job. But who knows?

      Same for people who say they saw or experienced a miracle or paranormal. They saw/experienced something, I'll give them that. But what I question is their interpretation of what they saw or experienced. The brain is really good at fooling itself.

      Next time you see god, grab something from his table when he's not looking and bring it back to here to my lab. Then we'll talk.

      Bibles are hear say. Not evidence of anything.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird ,

      I don't ignore other texts or other cultures. In fact, I talk about both Göbekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk in my hubs. But none of those other cultures authored texts that are still relevant to this day and the basis of the world's three largest religions. Again, this hypothesis heavily tracks human behavior and progressions throughout history to establish psychological changes.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You're completely missing the point. Like you said, nothing to be seen but brain function. No way to see or confirm the mental experience going on, we assume, in each of our heads. See, that's the point. Your whole argument about dismissing anything where there's no evidence is shot full of holes by this. That's the point. There are things going on in the natural world that cannot be seen or detected.

      And what's the alternative if not mechanical? It's individual physical elements interacting together in a system. That's mechanical. Biology is mechanistic.

      The bible isn't about explaining how and why the world works. The theme is human behavior. That's its focus. It talks about that on a level that people of that age would understand.

      Yes, I'm aware of what you're saying about Hinduism. And they too, starting as the Indus Valley culture, formed as a result of the events of Genesis. And their not the only culture to do things so impressive. These were the events that sparked humanity and set the stage for the modern human world.

      As for the books of Moses, those first books, their much older. Unknown how old they are, but what we know now was cobbled together from at least four much older versions that all tell very much the same story.

      And while I get your whole chain/telephone game example, the fact that the first 11 chapters line up chronologically with over 2000 years of Mesopotamian history illustrates that this is not the case for at least that portion.

      There are clearly mistakes in the bible. The sister-wife narratives in Genesis 12 and 20, and one other I think, which tell basically the same story but put different people in the roles of each, are clearly stories that did change over time and were then all edited into the text. I have no illusions about the bible. I recognize it as a man-made and flawed piece. But I also so immense importance in the information provided.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      RH:

      As I continue to peruse JC's assumptions, regarding biblical history as a sort of overlay to all of human and earthly history, I am utterly shocked at the assumptive nature, let alone the dependence upon such a small cross section of human biblical history -- as an explanation for mankind and beyond.

      If what I read is true, that JC has had alleged contact with aliens, then, as you mention, maybe there are other issues at play here.

      I don't utterly discount biblical history, but to discount all of pre-history, because it is not neatly written down, leaves one hell of big gap in his speculative effort to redefine our universe. Not to mention his reliance upon mysticism.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Your whole argument about dismissing anything where there's no evidence is shot full of holes by this. That's the point. There are things going on in the natural world that cannot be seen or detected."

      Wrong. There are lots of things we know about indirectly. See a star wobble a bit? That's a body orbiting it. We can see it or directly detect it but we know its there.

      If not mechanical then what? Biological. Biology is not mechanical by definition. Awareness is not mechanical, consciousness is not a mechanism. It works by way of a structure, but it's dynamic.

      "a force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process"

      "a process or system characterized by constant change, activity, and progress"

      A car isn't dynamic. A radio isn't dynamic. Machines aren't dynamic. Biology is.

      It's also a chaotic system:

      "Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focused on the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. 'Chaos' is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions."

      It also shows how the very simple becomes the very complex by following simple rules over and over under varying conditions.

      It means the future is not accurately predictable/certain in principal, and human/biological behavior isn't either.

      The bible isn't about

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Observing the wobble in a star and then deducing what that means isn't the same thing. It's still a direct observation. That star is there. That stars light is effected by something. There's no direct correlation between the behaviors you see as being born of the mind and the mind itself.

      A system being dynamic doesn't mean it's no longer mechanical. Each component just as a range of behaviors that it can do making the system dynamic, but still mechanical.

      Layers of complexity doesn't graduate a mechanical system to something other than. It's still mechanical. Being dynamic or chaotic doesn't mean it's not something other than mechanical. Our inability to predict doesn't mean it isn't mechanical.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Another thought on how your wobble in a star example isn't comparable.

      In that case someone else could come along and using the same procedures reach the same conclusion. Measuring the light spectrum coming from the rays of light from that star they can determine all kinds of observable truths about that star.

      In the case of the mind and the behaviors you associate with the mind, someone else could come along and reach completely different conclusions about those observed behaviors. And there is nothing that can be measured/detected/observed to confirm which of you is right. Because it's a subjective conclusion.

      That's the difference.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Observing the wobble in a star and then deducing what that means isn't the same thing. It's still a direct observation. That star is there. That stars light is effected by something. There's no direct correlation between the behaviors you see as being born of the mind and the mind itself."

      Right. But there is between a wobble and a planet? Horse pucky.

      Same thing. Accept one you have to accept the other. The mind is directly observed through behavior, just as a planet is observed by a wobble.

      And so in your definition everything is mechanical. Sure. Including the supernatural and god then since all things need a structure of some sort to exist and its nature in your opinion makes it mechanical. No problem. Still won't give you free will. That's a delusion.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "In the case of the mind and the behaviors you associate with the mind, someone else could come along and reach completely different conclusions about those observed behaviors."

      Yeah. So what? Got evidence? If not, who cares? That's science. A dozen interpretations of QM. Not one proven. Not one interpretation required to do the math of QM. Yet it exists and works. Why? Who knows? Doesn't matter. It works.

      There are dozens of interpretations of mind. Who cares? One may emerge as fact some day. My money is on natural evolution of brain, which all logic points to. Is that wrong? We'll see.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      jgshorebird

      I should apologize for leading you to believe JC believes in aliens. I was just using it as an example in the context of what were talking about. As far as I know JC doesn't get abducted by them.

      Your arguments against his have been good. Keep it up.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      RH:

      So noted.

      It all boils down to blind faith versus reality.

      JC appears to be trying to connect faith to reality by offering a "logical" line of endless possibilities, not probabilities...and repetition.

      From Genesis re-interpretations, glossing over all off pre-history, all of modern science (geology, astronomy, biology etc.), consigning every atom, all of existence, to some mysterious "will" -- and then oddly attempting to placate by repeating, as if doing so will make it so, endlessly, the mantra: "but it is logically" true.

      Argumentum ad nauseam. A fallacious endeavor at best.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "The mind is directly observed through behavior..." is completely false, and you know it. I can derive completely different conclusions from the same behaviors you observe. Nothing can be concretely concluded from observing behavior. Bugs Bunny had behaviors consistent with a being with a mind.

      So our entire concept of reality, which includes that we each are in control of and held responsible for our actions and decisions, is a delusion? Sure.

      All logic points to natural evolution of brain? Except, of course, all the things I've pointed out. Like will being necessary for evolution to even happen. For a brain to even exist there must have been a will long before. That's just logical.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      My faith is totally aside from the point other than it allows for more as far as what's possible. I don't think I already know better what can and can't be true. You guys both tend to answer questions prematurely based just, apparently, on your intuition.

      This isn't faith versus reality. It's the claim versus reality. The biblical texts makes a rather specific claim about this God. It says He created the universe by just speaking it, or willing it, into place. It says he perceives time differently than we do. It says He exists in all places at once. And it makes a rather strong distinction between what is flesh or 'of this Earth' and what is spiritual or 'unseen'. I'm simply pointing out how this is consistent given what's known. If God did in fact create the universe then He exists apart from it. So He also exists apart from the dimensions of time and space as we perceive them. So from our perspective something that exists apart from this universe and space-time would exist exactly the same in every moment, everywhere.

      I'm making logical conclusions where concrete physical proof isn't available. Please feel free to call me on anything I deem logical that you find is not.

      And also feel free to comment in any one of those hubs what you find that I'm glossing over. I don't feel I am. In the case of pre-history I cover it pretty extensively. And modern science (geology, astronomy, biology, etc), I cover all of that too. So please, give a specific example or two so I can address them if there's something I'm missing.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Jeremy

      None of what you've pointed out is logical. Sorry. Supernatural souls are illogical and not required. Hence, they are probably fantasy like your god.

      That leaves science. It leaves the brain, as far as I know right now. Could consciousness be intrinsic in the quantum as some philosophers and some scientists believe? Who knows? They don't.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Who's talking about souls? The points that I've made that are logical have nothing to do with souls. That's something you're shoehorning in. I'm simply pointing out a fact.

      And you can't say what is and isn't required because you, nor does anyone else as you've admitted, don't know how it works. So how can you say what is or isn't required? But you, running on your science delusion, think you can make blanket statements like that though it's all based on absolutely nothing. All while you continually demand evidence you simultaneously make claims without it.

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      Jeremy Christian 6 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      This is not faith versus reality. My faith may make my consideration for what's possible wider than your views allow. I'll give you that. But what I'm doing is showing how the claim made about this particular God fits well given what's known. The biblical texts describe a rather particular god. For example, God is said to perceive time differently, and it's said that He exists everywhere at once. Being that this God is said to have created the universe, that would mean He exists apart from it and the dimensions of space-time, which would make that description accurate and consistent with whatever created the universe. It also makes a notable destinction between what is "flesh" or "of the Earth" and what is "unseen" or spiritual. Also very relevant, still. And that "mysterious "will"" is also a claim made by these texts. Again, not just pulling something out of my wild imagination. I'm speaking again about a very specific claim.

      I invite you to comment on any one of my hubs. Please speak in particulars about what you feel I'm "glossing over". I don't feel I am. I'm not sure what you have and haven't read, but I speak about human pre-history pretty extensively. And I speak about modern science (geology, astronomy, biology, etc). Each and every topic covered.

      I would like to point out that the period you refer to as "pre-history" is called that for a reason. One of the many effects the events of Genesis led to is the first human cultures to invent writing. And not just once. A good half dozen times or more writing was invented independently in multiple cultures in one small part of the world. Something that hadn't happened once in all of "pre-history" happened a number of times rather suddenly, ending "pre-history" and bringing about "history". So yeah, the progression of humanity throughout pre-history is a very relevant piece to all of this, and not at all glossed over.

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      jgshorebird 6 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Mr. Christian:

      Semantics.

      Faith equals mysticism or believing something blindly. A blind view is, by its own definition, blind -- not wide.

      “This particular God…[?]” Which one? Can you define Him? Or are you from the camp that can only tell me what He is NOT? Where he is NOT. How he hides in His secret-dimension-heaven scolding Satan and planting seeds in mortals via His Son-of-God vassals?

      A question, I might add, that you have repeatedly dodged. Why? Because you are well aware of how it sounds and you cannot stand it. The guilt of believing it, is also choking your ability to respond in a meaningful way.

      That is your starting point: God or the “will.” He or “it” was always there. I can say the same about existence, but I won’t. I cannot tell a lie. I can only imagine and admit that it is imagination.

      You cannot know that a God exists outside of reality or in another dimension. You can only imagine this. On the other hand, I can know existence exists. I can measure it etc.

      It is not a series of logical conclusions when you imagine something, based upon scriptures, extrapolate outcomes, events, and beginnings, absent verification. Any priest, pastor, minister, crack-head or plumber will tell you a million such imaginative theories. None based on reality, I’m afraid, but all “wide” with fantasy and fear. All manner of biblical reinterpretations exist. Yours is nothing new.

      Anyone can imagine a billion other consistent theories (claims) that brought forth this existence, with and without using scriptures, as well.

      Some of us prefer reality, however -- as a starting point. Why? Because, we are here. We can know it. It is not a small existence, but a supremely vast one. I do not feel small in this universe -- this existence -- but large. I am alive. I can think. A rock cannot think. Faith cannot know.

      Reason is my touchstone. Evidence, my knowing. Imagination is both my fantasy and my way of improving reality. Still, I live in reality and know the difference.

      To use various scriptures as rote, thousands of years old at best, from a single planet in this vast cosmos is a very small view indeed. An imagination devoid of imagination.

      You are, Mr. Christian, a mere cog in the wheel of propaganda thousands of years in the making. A type of mysticism likely to suppress our species until it can one day remove this bit of disintegrative thinking by its roots. Like drugs and alcohol, mysticism is a self imposed mental health disorder. Stinking thinking. It has infected most humans on earth I'll posit.

      You have not only glossed over pre-history, the geologic record and science, but the foundation upon which these depend: reason. You have glossed over, Mr. Christian, the Universe.

      If I were your God, I would be ashamed of you. I think if He, she or It really exists, they would ask you to be honest. Have the guts to say: “I just don’t know, but kind sir God, I am willing to stop telling fairy tales and work toward the answer.”

      Another thing your God might tell you is that all of your scriptures have nothing to do with Him. They were at first stories told by cavemen, later written down by men and women trying to control their flocks. Telling stories from time immemorial, about how the stars warred in the skies and how some fell from the sky and mated with mankind. And the children around the campfire were awestruck. Just like you.

      And I chose to respond in this forum for now, because I do not think the author here will edit or delete my posts.

      Good day.

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      Ron Hooft 6 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Jeremy

      No delusion. You're the one with the delusion that the mind is supernatural. No evidence, even that a supernatural exists. Prove that first. You can't, so it's not worth bothering with. Simple as that. Your indignation is irrational and ludicrous. If you can't show it exists you can't know anything about it so when you do, you're fooling yourself. But you can't fool me.

      Brains do exist so that's why we look there. It makes perfect logical sense. And how many times? I said my opinion is that likely it will be proven that mind is brain. I'm not trying to sell it as fact like you are trying to sell god as fact with no evidence what so ever.

      Soul's are fantasy till proven otherwise. So not needed in any rational theory. We'll let you know if that changes.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      No, not semantics. We're not talking about my faith. We're talking about what's factual. What can and cannot be confirmed through the physical sciences.

      Yes, I can define God as much as He's defined through the biblical texts. And I haven't "repeatedly dodged" the why question. I think it's just a few posts up where I said I don't see the natural world as we understand it today being possible without a deliberate creator. That's my why. Our lives matter to us. I don't see that coming from a completely void of care universe. That's my why.

      I'm not imagining this. This is a specifically described God. Not just something I imagined. He, in my mind, is the single best explanation for what's observed. Across the board. He's not just some generic fill in the gaps God. A God as He's explained perfectly explains why the gaps exist and why they exist where they do. He fits perfectly, right across the gaps, again, not generically, but specifically.

      You're right, I can't know that a God exists outside of reality. But I can take that claim and compare to modern knowledge and acknowledge how well it fits. How it's description is accurate given what's known.

      My interpretation was built on the current state of demonstrable knowledge. That's what's different. Facts are the floorboard. The foundation. And yes, imagination begins where the limitations of science come into play.

      You say you live in reality and know the difference. If that were true then you'd have no problem with anything I've said. I'm pointing out reality. It's all stuff we already know. I haven't even begun to tell you what I think is beyond what's known and why I think that is. I'm just pointing out the boundary lines.

      In your context, what you call "mysticism", the mind must have created it for a reason, right? I mean, if it exists and persists as it does, there must be some kind of psychological need that it's fulfilling? Why else would it be created? Anything we create, being that we're a product of this natural world, that's natural too. And here we are with all these "mystic" beliefs. Why is that do you think?

      And I can assure you I am being whole-heartedly honest in everything I say. Why would I not? Why would I waste my time, and yours, just spinning useless meaningless yarns?

      And those scriptures, they're accounts of when this God actually interacted with humanity. And these events happened in this physical world. There were no stars falling from heaven and mating with humans. They were Adam and Eve and their kin. They were the 'sons of God'. They had free will. Their intermingling with humanity introduced free will into humanity. And there's evidence of this happening right where and when the scriptures say it did.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "No evidence, even that a supernatural exists."

      Are we still here? You realize evidence is physical, right? If there were evidence, it wouldn't be 'super'-natural. Still you demand proof. You demand it fit into the confines of the physical sciences. There's nothing that says everything that exists must conform to that one practice. That's the delusion. The fact that you say something with no evidence is "not worth bothering with". That's the science delusion. That we already understand all that exists in principal. That's what you keep trying to shoe-horn everything into. That mold. That's the delusion.

      I'm not selling anything. I'm simply showing that there's a problem with this whole 'only what can be proven exists' mentality. And yes, we do look to the brain. For centuries. With all the technology we can throw at it. Know what we've figured out so far? We don't know shit. You know what 'super-natural' looks like in evidence? A big gap that we don't understand.

      So souls are fantasy until proven otherwise? Well, considering they're not physical, again your demanding evidence is just illogical. You demand we only reach conclusions based on evidence, yet with the same lack of evidence you deem a soul inadmissible.

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      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy Christian:

      So let’s be honest in the sense that we will never convince each other that one way of thinking is better than the other. There’s no shame in that.

      I don’t feel that the religious are bad people. My wife is religious. I’m not. We get along. Or more like, she tolerates my atheism. And I tolerate her faith. I’ve warped my son, however. He thinks. My daughters? One out of three ain’t bad.

      That’s the ticket, in my mind. Argue as we may, no one side ought to be allowed to demand compliance of the other. Each side, nay all sides, should be able, even in the a civil society, to lob uncensored verbal bombs. Label each other idiots and morons, daft and backward.

      When the fists come out. When laws to stop all Jews or Muslims or agnostics or atheists, come out. When Christians demand prayer in government (public) schools -- neutral territory -- come out. When the rules to change the pledge of allegiance to “under God” came out. When we cannot deny making wedding cakes for gay couples (I’d make it and make money) because of our religion or morals. Then...the circus of hell begins.

      Being that as it may, I firmly think you are mistaken. To state that things like “mysticism” exist for a “reason?” I could say the same of baby rapers, murderers and hallucinogenic drugs. But...all are wrong…

      That has always been the problem with many bible thumpers. They are joiners. Groups. Herds. Sheeple. If you don’t comply with God’s laws? Well then...

      I just ask to be left alone. Let me think how I may, so long as I do not harm anyone. So long as I am not forced to advise students in school that Creationism has as much or more merit as reality.

      Did I mention that I now, after retiring as a criminal/internal affairs investigator, where evidence was the “in thing” -- that I am attempting to teach kids to think? I have found that our schools have turned decidedly wanting in my neck of the woods.

      Good Evening

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      Yes, I encourage thought too. And I see arrested development in the viewpoint of atheists, or more accurately, materialists. And it's often times for the wrong reason. It's all about "getting rid" of God and religion. And it's not like I don't get it. Religion has been heavy handed in the lives of many people. It's only natural to rebel.

      Yes, people use religion and God as an excuse to get their way all the time. That's people. That's not God. I have no problem with the laws accurately reflecting the lives of those who live under them. I'm not going to try to force anyone to think as I do or act as I think they should.

      In my mind, God gave us free will. And you and others are using that free will to be who you want and think how you want. That's not for me to try to take away.

      What I have a problem with is science being branded as the opposite of God. It's putting believers in the mindset that they either have to reject one or the other. It's not the right way to go about things. All you're going to end up with is a lot of believers rejecting science and feeling they've overcome sort of test of faith in the process.

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      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy Christian:

      Good Evening from hot Florida...

      For some of us atheists it’s not about rebellion, but thinking. Rational, reasonable thinking -- and yes, rebelling against those who fail to mentally integrate their thinking processes, should they attack said processes as invalid.

      It just irks us to no end how long mankind has wallowed in the swamps of faith and folly.

      What do I mean by integrate? I mean that many of the faithful hold opposing viewpoints in their own heads. Magic is real they say, but so is that rock whistling through the air toward your head.

      I do not allow for a compartmentalization of my thinking. I cannot hold that reality is real, that existence exists, but there are, without a doubt, secret unknowable dimensions in or around it. How did I conclude such a thing? Guessing? What about the testing?

      I integrate my thinking. If reality is real, then I can see and feel it. I can make decisions, feed my family and walk the dog. Maybe some day, I will find a secret dimension in my closet.

      If reality is only part real, or has some weird dimensions, I want to know how anyone can determine that today or 10,000 years ago. If we can only point to writings and no evidence, we are stuck.

      Sure, God may exist, but so might any number of Over Gods, Demon, ghosts, goblins and so on.

      Do you see the problem?

      If you can state, that “A” is true, because someone told you so in a book that you have re-interpreted, but there is no evidence to substantiate, either the book or the new interpretation, where are you? You cannot assert that it is true, because we have the ability to think. That is circular reasoning.

      In my reality, I can never state that any God gave me free will, before I validate that God exists.

      Science has not branded or created a faith versus atheism dichotomy. Science is simply one tool in the tool kit of “reason.” A testing mechanism, if you will. There are plenty of scientists out there who are very religious. They do not integrate their thinking.

      So don’t attack science. That’s just your paper tiger. Your real battle is against men and women of “integrated” minds.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      There's plenty of supporting evidence. It's not concrete evidence of a God, but it supports it. Like DNA. We find out that each of our cells has coded information that allows it to store and pass on this code to reproduce the complex process of creating a multicelled organism billions of times over.

      Then there's free will, which isn't possible in the reality you subscribe to. There's only the mechanics of the elements our brains are made of, who's behavior is bound by the laws of physics. Though it may seem as though we have control of our actions, it isn't actually possible. We have as much control as a river has in choosing it's path.

      Which means all those things you speak of, like making decisions, feeding your family, walking the dog, you didn't actually have a say in any of that happening. You're a passive observer, and nothing more.

      But if there's an element of the self that is not physical/material, then there's something. Then all our lives aren't just one big delusion we're under. We actually can and do choose our actions and decisions.

      One renders life and everything we do or accomplish meaningless. Renders life meaningless. The other is the opposite. The other just plain makes more sense.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Are we still here? You realize evidence is physical, right? If there were evidence, it wouldn't be 'super'-natural. Still you demand proof. You demand it fit into the confines of the physical sciences."

      Yes, because otherwise it's a meaningless claim. There may be a super natural god. But if there isn't any way to know that, you can't know anything at all about it, so anything you say about it is meaningless in terms of knowledge.

      And your bible written by stone age sheep herders doesn't help you in the least. Much as you want it to fit reality any fool can see it doesn't, and you have to change the meaning of the words on the page to make it fit. Such gymnastics shouldn't be needed if it actually said what you claim it says.

      And to me your excuse for why there is no proof of god smacks of a ruse or meme designed to excuse the absence of a nonexistent god who if he actually existed and wanted worshipers, would be happy to prove he exists, like the god of Moses who was only too happy to keep hardening the heart of Pharaoh so he didn't let the people go, so he could glorify himself by visiting plague after plague on the Egyptians to prove he existed.

      In fact, why would a god choose to prove his existence to undeveloped sheep herders without the written word? He could have just revealed himself to all of humanity at once.

      And start with free will nonsense. I only have a choice if I have real things to choose from. If I can't know then it's not a choice. It's a desire that its true.

      I don't care. I neither desire a god exists nor do I desire that it doesn't. (except the OT god. I really hope that immoral tyrant doesn't exist. But I don't for a moment believe that if there is a god it could be that unenlightened.) All I want is the truth/facts. You and your beliefs can't give anyone that, so its a waste of time.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "One renders life and everything we do or accomplish meaningless. Renders life meaningless. The other is the opposite. The other just plain makes more sense."

      No god can give your life meaning. I see zero added meaning to life with a god.

      You make your meaning if you need one. Asking what is the meaning of life is a meaningless question.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "There's plenty of supporting evidence. It's not concrete evidence of a God, but it supports it. Like DNA."

      Sorry, a few chemicals doing their thing isn't evidence of a god. But it is evidence of the simple becoming the complex through evolution of a chaotic system, following simple rules over and over under diverse conditions.

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      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy Christian:

      DNA and/or complex cells only validates that they exist, not who or how they came to be in the original -- at "creation" if you prefer.

      Free will is yet another paper tiger of yours. In a pre-planned existence, our creator could opt for free will or not. As it stands now, we have free will, since we have been unable to show otherwise.

      You appear to set up so many self-imposed limits on others. Mechanistic is your limited label. I don't see it that way. Why, because I would need to be all knowing to determine if it is true and try as I might, I cannot know the mind of God.

      Existence is darned complicated. Big. How would you even begin to know the nature of all of it? Because, on planet earth, you read a few books? Are you serious?

      You need to understand, I admit I do not know all. I think, just for a moment, you need to come down off your high horse and admit that all of your "ideas" are just that: vague hypotheses.

      Join us in the real world. It's God Damned nice. Not meaningless.

      Are you depressed? I suggest a night walk. Look up at the stars. Watch a bird fly over a lake at dawn. Listen to the crickets. Live here. Here exists.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "You demand we only reach conclusions based on evidence, yet with the same lack of evidence you deem a soul inadmissible."

      Duh! Because of lack of evidence it's not admissible as fact. What don't you get about that?

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "Yes, because otherwise it's a meaningless claim. There may be a super natural god. But if there isn't any way to know that, you can't know anything at all about it, so anything you say about it is meaningless in terms of knowledge."

      Wrong. Because whether or not it conforms to the methods of science it's still part of the equation. Whether or not you can confirm something as fact doesn't determine whether or not it's fact. No, we can't confirm through that particular method, but we can recognize the "self-evident" truth that there's a deliberate creator behind what's created. So while it may be inadmissable as a "fact" or "knowledge", it can still be part of the discussion. It's folly to dismiss.

      As for my interpretational "gymnastics", again I suggest you think seriously about what you're saying. You're saying that I, just by twisting the meaning of a word here and there, managed to line up 11 consecutive chapters with 2000 years of Mesopotamian history? All while telling one consistent story? It's foolish to think that's even possible.

      Here I have evidence and you're using every excuse in the world to dismiss it all categorically, instead choosing to believe your prefered "truth", that I'm capable of some impossible interpretational feat.

      I get your thoughts on the exodus. But God's having to work in an environment He has no control over. Humans do what they want, no matter what He does. He was about to take the line He's breeding Jesus through out into the wild. While unfortunate what happened to the Egyptians, they had been the very embodiment of power in the minds of the Jewish people for generations. He, showing His power over them, showed them that they could trust Him to protect them.

      Once Jesus was a reality, then it became a simple choice. Simply believe. So God stepped back. No longer showing Himself. If He did, it would no longer be you willfully choosing whether or not to believe. Simply believing acknowledges God as the authority and as all powerful over life/death and all of the universe. That's the key. Like cells in your body choosing whether or not to adhere to the DNA code of the body. You're either a working part of a cohesive system, or you're a cancer. It's all about free will and you making your own choices.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "No god can give your life meaning. I see zero added meaning to life with a god.

      You make your meaning if you need one. Asking what is the meaning of life is a meaningless question."

      You can't give your life meaning because you had nothing to do with you existing. You deciding after you exist why you exist doesn't work.

      But if you're deliberately created, and not just the result of pure cause/effect, then you exist for a reason.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "Sorry, a few chemicals doing their thing isn't evidence of a god. But it is evidence of the simple becoming the complex through evolution of a chaotic system, following simple rules over and over under diverse conditions."

      Yeah, exactly. In this environment, with the rules as they are, chaos becomes order. It self-aligns and self-organizes. And those laws that make it so, those are constant. There since the beginning. So they didn't self-align or evolve. They were set. And their being set makes this organized system we're a product of. Including DNA. You know, just a few chemicals doing their thing. Self-aligning into a form of information storage. I'm sure you're right. Nothing about that should make you think it's deliberate.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      Yeah, I said it's not concrete evidence of a God. But it's also evidence that supports the idea that creation was deliberate.

      I'd admit my ideas are vague hypotheses if predictions made off of that hypothesis didn't prove true time and again. All the historical events that I tie to this story, I didn't know about them before I formed the hypothesis. The hypothesis predicted that's what I'd find, then I'd go to look, and that's what I found. That's how I know it's not just a "vague hypothesis".

      Just follow the logic on this. It's really simple. How can you determine the meaning of your existence after having exist?

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "Duh! Because of lack of evidence it's not admissible as fact. What don't you get about that?"

      True, inadmissible as fact, but not inadmissible in the conversation.

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      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy Christian:

      I just accept the fact that I exist.

      My meaning is life.

      It is good.

      My law? The preservation of my life and by the corollary, preservation of all life, by all voluntary means possible.

      My rule? Mental integration. Allow no lies to creep into the system. Checks and balances. Reality against fantasy.

      My imagination? Limitless -- I hope. But judged against that which is real, every small step of the way.

      Until I find the ultimate answers of the universe, like you, I will actually demand of myself, evidence -- not a series of logical proposals, based upon assumptions.

      In the meantime, so long as your kind does not impose your "religion" or will upon mine, I'm fine with all of your curious re-interpretations of ancient history. Again, so long as you do not deny that their are many other re-interpretations, just as "logical."

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      While that's all fine and good to say that the preservation of all life is your law, that can't actually be true. For one thing, life feeds on life, every time you eat something died for you to eat it. If your house were infested with termites I'm sure your law would easily be overridden. Or if a loved one was infected with a virus.

      See, we humans are on top of the food chain, not because we're faster or stronger. We don't have venom or claws. We're just better killers. The whole reason we have a niche in the food chain carved out for us is because we're good killers.

      So for you now to adopt this law is kind of against the grain of what the law of your ancestors was. You might even go as far as to say it's a reversal of what comes naturally to all humans. So there's some qualifiers to your "my meaning is life" stance. It's not so cut and dry.

      See, getting visual/physical confirmation of something turns your gaze the wrong direction. This is a spiritual thing. The ghost in the machine that makes the machine work. The ghost in you that chooses to value all life. The connection to this universe, to this existence, is through that. Looking outward for confirmation calibrates your gaze wrongly. Everything you see/hear/feel dies. Ends. This is all temporary.

      What's eternal can't be seen with physical eyes, because it isn't physical, and therefore doesn't have the same limitations inherent in all physical things. It doesn't reflect light back, or create sound waves, or put off particles to smell. I understand not wanting to just buy into all you can imagine. I too tether what I imagine to what I know to be true.

      But the very mind that's capable of imagining all these wild things, the mind's eye you look at the world through, none of that can be shown to exist either. There's no evidence that it's really there. Your own personal experience is enough for you, yet it's an example of an exception to the standards you insist on. It's something you know full well exists, yet there's no evidence for.

      If when you die you cease to exist because the machine that generates all that you are stops working, then you too are a product of that machine.

      It seems to me that if there's even the possibility that there's a reason you exist, that you're obligated to try to figure out what that is while you're alive. All indications point to there being something beyond what can be seen and verified, from the beginning of the universe to whatever animates you and I. And here we have these minds not tethered to just what's material, but able to contemplate so much more.

      "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." - Albert Einstein

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron and jgshorebird,

      See, this is the whole problem with the science delusion. It permeates in everything you guys say. it rules out the possibility of anything beyond what can be scientifically/physically proven.

      If science has shown us anything, it should make clear to you that there's merit to what I'm saying. Everything in the universe, every element, every form of energy, behaves in very particular ways. So consistent that we're able to actually define laws around it's behavior.

      Yet it seems we simply make decisions and choose our own behavior. Unlike anything else in the natural world. Life itself, still to this day, remains a huge gap in our advanced understanding. Whatever this life is that animates us, it has wants and desires. It, though being a non-physical entity experienced in our heads, somehow has the ability to determine the actions and behaviors of this physical body. That shouldn't be possible.

      Machines are organized systems that operate because each component of that system works a specific way. The elements that make up our brains can only behave has the natural laws dictate. No exception. Right?

      So what gives? Are we actually in control, as we think we are, as we assume because we certainly hold each other accountable as if that's the case. The meaning you assign to your life. That you willfully and deliberately work towards. How's that possible? And why does a machine that's only interested in continuing to live care whether or not there's a reason? I suggest there isn't and you guys both object. Of course you have purpose and meaning. Why is that? Where does that come from?

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      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy,

      My apologies. I was talking about the preservation of human life as the the most important. Worms and roaches, not so much.

      Your belief in the spirit world is all well and fine.

      I don’t believe in ghosts. No evidence.

      One cannot know the truth by denial. It cannot be seen. It cannot be heard. Therefore it exists?

      Imagination does not make the real. The real already exists. We just need to find more of it. Step by painstakingly imaginatory step.

      Thoughts (imagination) exist only in the sense that we think them, not in the sense that they take form. Electrical impulses and chemicals and things we have yet to discover, make our brains work.

      If I draw a monster on a chalkboard or inside my mind’s eye, neither are real monsters. Maybe I could then create a monster, however. Since I imagined how to do it.

      I know reality exists by testing it. I use my conscious mind (brain) that I have accepted as real -- it exists -- to pick up a brick and toss it at your window. Guess what happens next? It’s not personal experience. You can do the same, through my window. The evidence is the broken glass and red brick lying at your feet.

      If I die and cease to exist as a thinking being and that is all, no other existential plane, then was I really a machine product? How so? Maybe it is your God’s plan to kill you for his enjoyment. Maybe he is bored.

      I cannot know what happens after bodily death. No one can. I do not know if existence is a machine, an accident, God created -- or something else. My bet is on the “something else.”

      Why do I say this? Simple. You are attempting to answer the unanswerable question. If it makes you happy, keep it up.

      I think you are right about one thing, with an exception. About wanting to know where we came from etc. There is no obligation to find out why we exist, however. It’s completely voluntary.

      I think it’ll take space probes and science, philosophers and reason, historical research (partly like yours) and time. Maybe trillions of eons of time. Probably a lot longer.

      A lot of us will die in the meantime.

      Are there indications that something beyond existence awaits us after our demise? I cannot know this. It cannot be currently verified. I can imagine it, however.

      What “animates” us? I hope I am self-animated. That’s all I can currently verify. Who or whatever began this animation, I have no clue. But hey, “thanks.”

      Are we tethered to this reality? So far I would have to say yes. After this life? Unknown.

      "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." - Albert Einstein...I agree.

      Science does not rule out new discoveries. It’s not a fixed system. It evolves.

      If we cannot know how existence began, how can we know the reason for it? This is not a scientific question, but a base philosophical one.

      All we know is that we are here.

      Please post a sticky note on your head and look into your mirror: “I am here.”

      Good Evening.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      " but we can recognize the "self-evident" truth that there's a deliberate creator behind what's created."

      But that self evident truth doesn't exist. And to say it does is a lie.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      You - "Thoughts (imagination) exist only in the sense that we think them, not in the sense that they take form. Electrical impulses and chemicals and things we have yet to discover, make our brains work."

      And that, my friend, is the science delusion. How can you possibly know that? Something that will be discovered, just hasn't yet? No, the mind and our thoughts do not exist spatially. But they do indeed exist. You keep assuming that whatever does exist can be proven. Anything else should not be taken seriously. Yet the mind can't be proven. You assume, and don't hesitate to assign, these capabilities to electral impulses and chemicals? Based on what? Sounds like you do use your imagination.

      You - "One cannot know the truth by denial. It cannot be seen. It cannot be heard. Therefore it exists?"

      Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

      You - "I know reality exists by testing it. I use my conscious mind (brain) that I have accepted as real -- it exists -- to pick up a brick and toss it at your window. Guess what happens next? It’s not personal experience. You can do the same, through my window. The evidence is the broken glass and red brick lying at your feet."

      But what about the mind that was involved in the process of making that decision. Where's the evidence for it?

      You - "Science does not rule out new discoveries. It’s not a fixed system. It evolves."

      Science doesn't evolve. It's the same methods practiced over and over. Only what we think evolves as more is added to what we know. Now here's a chance to re-calibrate your thinking and open your mind, you know, evolve, but you are reluctant.

      I am showing you how the truth can be found. By using all the data available to us conclusions can be reached. It's an evolution. Using not just strictly science, but science and history and deductive reasoning.

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      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy,

      How I know that the mind exists? That thoughts exist? That electricity and chemicals flow through my brain? Hundreds of years of evidence. Not delusion.

      Sure you can state that this electricity and these chemicals are mere machine reflexes, and not part of an imagined soul, but there is, unfortunately, zero evidence of your soul.

      Would it not be delusional to insist upon something that cannot be validated in the least? Say the soul?

      Why do you insist upon the agency of denial? Our minds do not exist spatially? Denial of space -- i.e., reality, i.e., what we know, without an iota of verification, and believing it -- is the bedrock of delusion.

      It is, but it isn’t, you say. How is that the least bit logical? How is that not the least bit delusional?

      I do not know whatever does exist, can ever be proven by humankind. Existence is fabulously complicated to me. Maybe much too complicated for humans. I have never assumed that we will even know .0000001 % of it.

      I just take existence one day at a time. Never do I leap to conclusions. Always do I explore what others state and jettison the nonsense when others abdicate their God-given minds, in a leap of blind faith. I think God, if He exists, would be rather pissed off if His children used their brains as drugs -- “menatally masturbated” them, as one of my professors was fond of saying.

      The mind can’t be proven? What does that mean exactly? Yet another paper tiger of yours? Targets you seem to set up along the way, to knock down and say “so there?”

      The mind is the brain. The brain is organic for sure. I am conscious in my brain. That is reality. I am aware, with my mind, that you are attempting to deny your very existence. Hey, it’s a free-thought world. Go for it. But prepare to be called onto the carpet of reality.

      But know that, like millions before you, the shamans, the priests, the flock -- they have all done the exact same thing. The denial of rational ideas is nothing new. The Spanish Inquisition, for example. Socrates’ suicide.

      And please do not quote the Bible if you are not willing to state that it is so full of contradictions that even the most learned are confused. The Bible states that there are/were many Gods. Many.

      Which Biblical God is valid? One who states he has “invisible qualities” as you state? Does He have a cloaking shield?

      Have we ended up here? Your last gasp? Quoting scriptures? Cherry-picking only the ones that support your fantasy?

      All I see -- all I read in your world view -- is denial. No ability to integrate facts into your alleged soul-system. If it does not fit, you deny it.

      Example: Science does not evolve. You stated this. Tell that to the cancer patient who is alive today, because of science. Tell it the the millions of humans who survived decades longer with medicines. Tell it to NASA. I could go on.

      You ask not to recalibrate thinking, but to deny it.

      This is not any type of reasoning.

      Not truth.

      This is the philosophy of death. Of the vacuum.

      The best you can do is the cherish the next supposed life or plane of existence, by denying this one.

      I used to interview mental health patients for years. I’ve heard much better stories from them.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      Yes, the mind exists. Yes, there are electrical impulses and chemical flows going on in your brain. Neither can be denied. What I'm calling into question is your assertion that one creates the other. What evidence do you have that electrical impulses or chemical flows are capable of creating thoughts?

      What evidence of a soul do you think there could be? A soul gland? The mind cannot be validated in the least either. Is it delusional to insist it exists?

      I do not insist upon denial. You're the one denying what I'm pointing out. That not everything that exists can be verified. That's not denial. That's acknowledgement. That's not a paper tiger, it's a fact. It's supposed to help you realize that your standard of only accepting what can be verified is flawed. That there's more going on that what we can verify. The mind is merely an example of that.

      You - "The mind is the brain."

      Yeah, we assume. But have no confirmation of.

      Yes, the bible says there were many gods. That's part of the hypothesis. That Adam and Eve were created as described, living centuries. Every culture in that region, including the early books of the bible, speak of these 'other gods'. Male/female gods who lived among them, bred with them. They weren't actually gods, just seemed god-like to mortal humans.

      Speaking of cherry-picking ...

      You - "Example: Science does not evolve. You stated this. Tell that to the cancer patient who is alive today, because of science. Tell it the the millions of humans who survived decades longer with medicines. Tell it to NASA. I could go on."

      What I actually said is that the methods of science do not evolve. But what we learn and what we understand through the practice of science does. The methods used to achieve these advances, still the same.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy,

      Yes, the mind exists.

      Yes, there are electrical impulses and chemicals flowing in our brains.

      Again, you favor the art of denial.

      What other “evidence” do you have that electrical/chemical impulses in our brains are not our brains in action? Thinking -- in action? It’s the best evidence yet.

      Is there a soul gland? The Pineal gland...a third eye? Unknown at present. Again, your reliance upon assertions, without verification. Some call this blind faith.

      It is delusional to state that reality is not real -- that existence does not exist. It is not necessarily delusional to “hope” for a soul.

      I do not deny that existence holds many new surprises. I insist you cannot deny reality in order to discover existence. This is what you do.

      The mind is not an example of what we do not know. It is an organ (brain) with which we discover what we can know. You cannot assert your inability to explain the mind -- mankind’s current lack of ‘mind’ knowledge -- must mean a soul sits in our heads. That is no different that a grunt by a caveman -- his surprise at your flashlight. He thinks it’s magic. It therefore must contain a light-soul.

      Bad reasoning. Youthful fantasy.

      Every new day, doctors -- brain surgeons for example -- discover a little more about our brains. How we think. How we learn. How we grow. Each new day brings us new confirmations. New knowledge about what we are. How we think.

      And the Bible says there are many other Great Gods, not lesser Gods. His direct competition. Your God (Yahweh is it?) just insisted upon complete and utter blind-obedience. Now bow politely and grovel, mere mortal.

      And how dare you smite the other Gods as “lesser.” Yahweh is the small minded one. Always denying the others. He is a (or was) a jealous God -- remember? Kind of an ass. (Did you just hear some thunder?)

      Adam and Eve you say. A creation myth? First, I must verify your God. It’s called “step one.” Until then, His alleged deeds are in question.

      So Dear Jeremy, have you anything new? About the existence of your God? A piece of soul, perhaps? An angel’s feather?

      Oh, and by the way, if you meet up with Him -- you know the Dude, tell Him I said bad things about Him. I mean, at least Satan had the guts tell Him to shove it.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      You - "What other “evidence” do you have that electrical/chemical impulses in our brains are not our brains in action? Thinking -- in action? It’s the best evidence yet."

      Best evidence yet? There's no evidence. Why? Because the actual mental aspect of the equation can't be seen. We can only compare what the subject says is happening in their minds with what brain activity is happening at that time. We assume that brain activity is the cause, but don't know that and can't confirm that.

      You - "Is there a soul gland? The Pineal gland...a third eye? Unknown at present. Again, your reliance upon assertions, without verification. Some call this blind faith."

      Some would say your assertion about the mind/brain is exactly the same thing.

      You - "It is delusional to state that reality is not real -- that existence does not exist. It is not necessarily delusional to “hope” for a soul."

      This isn't hope. It's the single most plausable conclusion based on what's observed and experienced. Big difference.

      You - "I do not deny that existence holds many new surprises. I insist you cannot deny reality in order to discover existence. This is what you do."

      What part of existence or reality have I denied?

      You - "The mind is not an example of what we do not know. It is an organ (brain) with which we discover what we can know. You cannot assert your inability to explain the mind -- mankind’s current lack of ‘mind’ knowledge -- must mean a soul sits in our heads. That is no different that a grunt by a caveman -- his surprise at your flashlight. He thinks it’s magic. It therefore must contain a light-soul."

      The only magical claim is the one where you assert that the physical functions of the brain are capable of generating thought. Might as well be a grunting caveman. There's literally no evidence.

      Again, there is only physical evidence of things physical. Things that are a product of this physical universe. Something doesn't cast a shadow if there's no matter making it up. There's no weight, no sound, no light bouncing off of them. You have five senses that only really serve you in this environment. What makes you think that all exists conforms to those senses. Kind of small-minded, don't you think?

      This God's "deeds" can be seen in the evidence. I've told you where you can find the details of that. There's literally a dozen cultures, all from the same region of the world, who all claimed gods lived among them. And all of those cultures advanced much faster than any human culture before in numerous ways. The events of Genesis are what set the modern human world into motion.

      When did Satan tell God to shove it?

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy,

      Words and stories are not hard evidence. Bibles are not fact.

      I await your evidence.

      Here is my evidence: I exist.

      "The basic metaphysical issue that lies at the root of any system of philosophy [is] the primacy of existence or the primacy of consciousness.

      The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. The epistemological corollary is the axiom that consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists—and that man gains knowledge of reality by looking outward. The rejection of these axioms represents a reversal: the primacy of consciousness—the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both). The epistemological corollary is the notion that man gains knowledge of reality by looking inward (either at his own consciousness or at the revelations it receives from another, superior consciousness)." -- Ayn Rand

      Since we are quoting smart people.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      When those words give a specific timeline and a specific series of events along that timeline that can be lined up with actual events in the history of the specifically given region of the world along the same timeline given, that's when words and stories can be hard evidence. You keep leaving out that crucial bit of information in your attempts to dismiss the bible.

      Both existence and consciousness without a doubt exist. And because we can confirm things objectively then we can confirm that existence does in fact exist apart from consciousness. There. Done. Next.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 5 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy,

      Agreed.

      We are cross-talking.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Jeremy

      Just thought of a way we could prove souls exist. You are always saying mind doesn't conform to the laws of physics. If that's true we can find out.

      Matter and energy follow the nature of nature or laws of physics. If we look at what the atoms of the brain are doing and we find that they all follow the rules, then either your soul doesn't exist or doesn't do anything.

      But if we find atoms, chemicals, processes etc breaking the rules, then you'd have evidence of something added, an agent, so to speak, capable of making atoms and such do unnatural things.

      Science could then study that and eventually tell you a lot about how a soul works.

      I won't hold my breath, but someone, no doubt, will do the experiments. So we'll see.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "When those words give a specific timeline and a specific series of events along that timeline that can be lined up with actual events in the history of the specifically given region of the world along the same timeline given, that's when words and stories can be hard evidence. You keep leaving out that crucial bit of information in your attempts to dismiss the bible."

      But they don't except in your mind.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "True, inadmissible as fact, but not inadmissible in the conversation"

      Well nothing is inadmissible in conversation. Just inadmissible as fact, and therefore inadmissible in any model of reality that only relies on fact.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "As for my interpretational "gymnastics", again I suggest you think seriously about what you're saying. You're saying that I, just by twisting the meaning of a word here and there, managed to line up 11 consecutive chapters with 2000 years of Mesopotamian history? All while telling one consistent story? It's foolish to think that's even possible."

      Yeah. Just by twisting the meaning of a word here and there. That's all it takes. You're smart enough to know that, I'm sure.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "No longer showing Himself. If He did, it would no longer be you willfully choosing whether or not to believe."

      So what? He would be a fact. Now it's just an excuse for believers to keep believing in a nonexistent god. It's just too stupid to be anything else. It's completely irrational.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      I appreciate the continued thought you've put into this, but I'm not suggesting that somehow the material of the brain's natural behavior is in some way being altered or manipulated. The point I was trying to make is that a mechanical brain cannot do what a mind does. You're assuming, still, that the brain is the mind. I'm suggesting that the mind is not entirely mechanical. That what we see happening the brain is the events that cause us to physically experience in the mind. Those memories or imagined outcomes. A result of an active mind, but not necessarily the cause.

      When you decide something after remembering a memory. You remembered something in the context of that memory that then persuaded a specific decision. That memory was recalled from storage in the brain, we assume, as an electric pulse from neurons. So was that specific thing just enough of an alteration to that electric pulse to then cause a decidedly different outcome of action?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "But they don't except in your mind."

      Clearly you haven't actually looked into this. But no, not just in my mind. Like I said before, I had no prior knowledge of the events that show the stories of Genesis accurate. The hypothesis predicted what would be found, when and where, and then I found it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "Yeah. Just by twisting the meaning of a word here and there. That's all it takes. You're smart enough to know that, I'm sure."

      Again, 11 consecutive chapters. 2000 years of history. And, a span of chapters that have included in them a very specific timeline. Flood evidence in southern Mesopotamia about 4000BC? Check. An event about 3900BC involving mass human migration away from southern Mesopotamia? Check. A dramatic change in human behavior starting roughly 5500BC, starting in Mesopotamia and spreading from there? Check.

      Your obvious disinterest in my claim and lack of looking into it is leading you to a counter claim that's seriously not feasible.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "So what? He would be a fact. Now it's just an excuse for believers to keep believing in a nonexistent god. It's just too stupid to be anything else. It's completely irrational."

      Not at all. See, belief is a choice. Doing so acknowledges God as the authority in all the ways required. If God appeared to you, then that's no longer a choice to be made. It's no longer belief. It's, like you said, observable fact.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "I appreciate the continued thought you've put into this, but I'm not suggesting that somehow the material of the brain's natural behavior is in some way being altered or manipulated. The point I was trying to make is that a mechanical brain cannot do what a mind does."

      Well you assume it can't but you can't know that. And I think it can and does. The atomic world is amazing. Photosynthesis has been shown to be a quantum process.

      The activity of atoms/subatomic particles are the fundamentals of life. The switch from inanimate to the animate isn’t a switch. The quantum world is dynamic: introducing variation, injecting fluctuations and mutations in the entire system. You have predictability due to the laws of physics, and thereby stability. At the same time it gives us in-deterministic variation, and the ability to replicate information and spread it. Like evolution.

      The chaos of systems, as in chaos theory, not randomness, is quantum in nature. It shows that quantum strangeness Heisenberg said we'd never see in the macro world but do.

      Quantum biology is a relatively new field, but already it's showing us how how the quantum world doesn't just give us structure, it's also there in every process.

      Now I submit to you that if the mind isn't pushing atoms around to its will, its not doing anything.

      I did guess, though, that you'd try to find a way to keep the soul hidden. But if it interacts with the brain, that's got to be detectable. And you just said it accesses memory. If so, we can know that. Perhaps not today, but in the not too distant future.

      The is already a team of scientists that created a devise that can tell if you're conscious. It's been tested and used on patients in hospitals where no one is sure the patient is conscious or not. And it's been very successful. No consciousness in deep sleep, none under anesthetic, as we thought.

      If there were an add on, we'll find it. But really it's all about patterns here, and in the quantum world.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Not at all. See, belief is a choice. Doing so acknowledges God as the authority in all the ways required. "

      It makes no logical sense. To believe in something you can by definition know nothing about is silly. To say a god that wants you to follow its laws so heaven can remain a nice place and then make you guess as to whether there is a god or a heaven or not, isn't giving you a rational choice. It's absurd in the extreme.

      It's just illogical except as a way to keep people believing in a nonexistent god. Or making an excuse for why he never shows up. It's the kind of thing a scam artist would dream up to seperate you from your money. I see no difference.

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      Ron Hooft 5 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Again, 11 consecutive chapters. 2000 years of history."

      But what you attribute those events to is your interpretation, and no those events didn't happen for the causes you claim, some of which are off the wall.

      Again, for the hundredth time, even if all the regional history is right, it doesn't mean a real god had anything to do with any of it.

      Flood? yes, at the end of the ice age. And lots more after but that would have been the worst. People left Mesopotamian? Sure, but not because of some tower nonsense. That's a fictional story to explain why, not a historic account.

      Same with the rest: plausible, but not as written, and not as interpreted by you. Or anyone else, for that mater.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Well you assume it can't but you can't know that. And I think it can and does. The atomic world is amazing. Photosynthesis has been shown to be a quantum process."

      Yes, and you can know that too. How are the obviously non-material/non-spatial thoughts we experience in our mind capable of altering the behavior of the physical matter that we are?

      What about the "amazing" world at the atomic level or anything we know about quantum processes makes you think that somewhere in that there's a capability to generate a conscious will?

      You - "If there were an add on, we'll find it. But really it's all about patterns here, and in the quantum world."

      Yes, it's an organized system. Every element in the chain has a purpose. Accomplishes something. And there are indeed strange things going on at the quantum level. But that's just that next complex unknown that the consciousness is being forced into. Even if at the quantum level we found how exactly consciousness is generated, that more than anything would show a purpose to how things in this universe work.

      You - "It's just illogical except as a way to keep people believing in a nonexistent god. Or making an excuse for why he never shows up. It's the kind of thing a scam artist would dream up to separate you from your money. I see no difference."

      Sure. It's not so easy. There are a lot of doubts to trip you up. To make you think it's just silly. It's just deception. Whatever. Belief isn't easy. It's only faith if you're able to lose it.

      You - "But what you attribute those events to is your interpretation, and no those events didn't happen for the causes you claim, some of which are off the wall."

      I really wish you'd be more specific. What are speaking about? You talk like you know something I don't. I'd like to know what it is.

      You - "Flood? yes, at the end of the ice age. And lots more after but that would have been the worst. People left Mesopotamian? Sure, but not because of some tower nonsense. That's a fictional story to explain why, not a historic account."

      Yes, the Babel story is due to a dramatic climate change that transformed that area of the world back into desert. That accomplished exactly what it says it did. These people were separated, their languages confused as some went to where Egyptian is spoken, others where Sumerian is spoken, other to whatever language of the Indus Valley culture was.

      And that specific flood, it put a stop to one culture in Sumer and started the next. The flood evidence shows it happening right between Ubaid and Uruk period artifacts. And the Sumerian King's list, along with Genesis, both say the city of Uruk was established not long after the flood. Yes, there were many floods, but not one like this that had such an impact on that culture living in that region at the time.

      Besides, you're overlooking that it's not just these events. Those events help pinpoint the timeframe. But what's more important here is that this would explain why all these cultures in this part of the world spoke of multiple male/female gods living among them unlike any other human culture on the planet. It would also explain the dramatic advances in technology and human capability at this time, as well as the dramatic change in human behavior that started right during that time in that exact place, and spread all throughout the world of humanity from there.

      It's by far not just the series of events. That just sets the timeline.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      "It makes no logical sense. To believe in something you can by definition know nothing about is silly. To say a god that wants you to follow its laws so heaven can remain a nice place and then make you guess as to whether there is a god or a heaven or not, isn't giving you a rational choice. It's absurd in the extreme."

      I disagree. Again, it's all about a free will. Being given a will that is totally separate from God's. We make our own choices and choose our own actions. And as we've seen in any complex system, like the one we're a part of, there's order. There are rules. There has to be one who sets those laws, and because it's a free will, it must be chosen to acknowledge that authority and it's rules. That's the only way this works. To be you, but in an environment where things don't end. Things last forever. Choices and actions echo through eternity.

      Throughout the entirety of human history humans were only given what they could figure out. We live in an amazing age where we can learn practically anything. Belief is a big part of the picture. You can't know everything. We're lucky to live in an age where we know as much as we do.

      There's nothing wrong with using, not just what can be confirmed through your five senses, but to use the entirety of your mind to observe and figure out. Use a little imagination. It's a good thing. You don't have to be so rigid with this "material only" mentality. It doesn't allow for other possibilities.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "I disagree. Again, it's all about a free will. Being given a will that is totally separate from God's. We make our own choices and choose our own actions."

      Right. So all the more reason to make informed choices, not blind ones just in case there's a god and just in case you might or might go to heaven. That's a con game.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Yes, and you can know that too. How are the obviously non-material/non-spatial thoughts we experience in our mind capable of altering the behavior of the physical matter that we are?"

      That's not a rational question. Thoughts and the thought process are not obviously non-material. And non spacial? In what context? And change the behavior of matter in what way? Thoughts don't do that, The laws of physics aren't violated that I know of.

      "What about the "amazing" world at the atomic level or anything we know about quantum processes makes you think that somewhere in that there's a capability to generate a conscious will?"

      Will is conditioning. Consciousness is complex awareness. The will isn't conscious. And again you want me to explain how atoms create consciousness. But that's not the issue. Consciousness is complex awareness. It's an emergent result of several phenomenon. A brain that can process and pass on information, a memory to keep a coherent history of the system, Senses which are not perfect and isolate us, give us a feeling of individuality, and feelings that represent needs.

      If you hurt, it's not a stretch to start seeing yourself as an "I".

      We're set up for it. And yes, a lot of it is at its root quantum mechanical. After all, that's what we are made of. So it's an emergent property of brain as well as all the cells in the system and yes, all the atoms that form them, and their nature, which is anything but inanimate.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Even if at the quantum level we found how exactly consciousness is generated, that more than anything would show a purpose to how things in this universe work."

      How so? A natural process has results, not purpose. Only subjective things have purpose. There is no conscious universal objective purpose as far as I can tell. I can't imagine one.

      Purpose is an idea that plays to emotions, not objective reality.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Yes, the Babel story is due to a dramatic climate change that transformed that area of the world back into desert. "

      Before the tower was finished? Come on now. The bible says none of that. Again, your apologetics vs what's in the book just doesn't wash. Nice try though.

      "And that specific flood, it put a stop to one culture in Sumer and started the next. "

      This is priceless. Your next claim is:

      "King's list, along with Genesis, both say the city of Uruk was established not long after the flood. "

      So since Uruk is a Sumerian city how did the flood end Sumer again? You might want to do a rethink.

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      jgshorebird 4 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Good follow-ups Ron.

      Interesting explanations that actually make sense. The "will" is yet another paper tiger issue of Jeremy's. And the "will" is a product of the consciousness -- as you explained.

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      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Right. So all the more reason to make informed choices, not blind ones just in case there's a god and just in case you might or might go to heaven. That's a con game."

      The decision is informed. You've got all the information you need. You just keep trying to inject magic into the equation to explain away what can't be explained in any other way.

      You - "That's not a rational question. Thoughts and the thought process are not obviously non-material. And non spacial? In what context? And change the behavior of matter in what way? Thoughts don't do that, The laws of physics aren't violated that I know of."

      Of course it is. It only seems irrational to those under the Science Delusion. It's apparent that whatever the mind does decides the actions of the body. And what the mind does is not mechanical. But it's actions are translated into mechanical messages that then put the body into motion.

      The mind/body problem is a philosophical debate that ages back to ancient Greece. There's no doubt non-physical thoughts play a role in the actions of the body. The body is material. Elements. The mind is something else.

      You - "We're set up for it. And yes, a lot of it is at its root quantum mechanical. After all, that's what we are made of. So it's an emergent property of brain as well as all the cells in the system and yes, all the atoms that form them, and their nature, which is anything but inanimate."

      None of which there's any evidence for. It's all just an assumption because the quantum level is the next dark corner you have to stick it into to rationalize a way that it's still just matter and energy and nothing more. You're assuming that we already know the natural world/the mind in principle, just waiting for the details to be filled in. That is exactly what this delusion is talking about. And you, as it says, dismiss anything other as nonsense. Not to be considered.

      You - "How so? A natural process has results, not purpose. Only subjective things have purpose. There is no conscious universal objective purpose as far as I can tell. I can't imagine one.

      Purpose is an idea that plays to emotions, not objective reality."

      Purpose is what makes all the actions taken in reality mean something. A natural process is driven by purpose or it wouldn't do anything.

      You - "So since Uruk is a Sumerian city how did the flood end Sumer again? You might want to do a rethink."

      You might want to read up on what you're talking about. A very well documented interruption happened in Sumer. That's why they're archeologically referred to as two periods, one before the interruption, one after. The Ubaid and the Uruk. The building of the city of Uruk is what gives the second period it's name.

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      jgshorebird 4 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      More twists and turns.

      I think that some here refuse to admit that all of human history (Bibles) does not validate the alleged mind body dichotomy.

      There is only one path for the faithful: blind belief.

      They must tear down the rational in order to assert the unreasonable.

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      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      jgshorebird,

      "More twists and turns."

      What, exactly, have I twisted or turned on? What do you object to?

      Our everyday experience with the mind validates the mind-body dichotomy. You observe images and sounds and other recalled data, that doesn't exist in any kind of way spatially. You then decide the actions physically taken based on this data presented to the 'mind's eye'.

      What I'm describing is anything but blind. My mere suggestion that there may be something beyond what can be observed isn't blind at all, nor is it unreasonable. It's unreasonable to consider this.

      There are recorded documents that claim to be stories about a God who once interacted with humanity. Those interactions were done in this physical world, so it claims. In fact, it's rather specific where exactly. And when I found when, then the story in context makes a whole lot of sense. And the God it claims to be speaking about is incredibly well fit to be what's going on. I'm simply acknowledging that.

      You're simply dismissing the possibility based on flawed ideas.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 4 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Jeremy:

      My mind exists in this space: Earth.

      To state that mind is an ethereal spirit, is conjecture.

      To state that reason (science) is unreasonable to insist that mind is physical, without verification, is not reasonable. Even if some day, it turns out that you are right. In this game, you are marked wrong for guessing.

      To imagine God, spirit minds, etc, is fine.

      Next question: where did your God come from?

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "The decision is informed. You've got all the information you need."

      Like zero? A cave man view of existence. and hear say is all I need? Sorry, that's just not an informed choice. It's a wild guess.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      jgshorebird

      Thank you. :) I try.

      I've certainly enjoyed your contribution and I'm glad you're still here.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Of course it is. It only seems irrational to those under the Science Delusion. It's apparent that whatever the mind does decides the actions of the body. And what the mind does is not mechanical. But it's actions are translated into mechanical messages that then put the body into motion."

      The only delusion here is yours. You have no clue how souls work or if they exist. You just have faith and you're so scared some one is eventually going find the truth and it's going to kill that faith.

      You don't want proof of a soul or god, because that would certainly negate the need for faith so you try to find any excuse why no evidence is possible.

      I'm under no delusion at all. I have no faith and don't want any. It's obviously the end of logic. I don't know for a fact how it all works, and I don't mind admiring it. No one does, and they who claim they do better have proof to back it up.

      I have opinions based on facts. Those opinions might be wrong. They certainly aren't complete. But they are being tested, and we'll see.

      If I'm wrong I lost nothing because I have no skin in the game. I'll be surprised, but unlike you, not devastated.

      That's my method for making sense of this world: Don't believe anything. Belief is never required. It's not a virtue. Things are true or not. If I can't know which, I wait and see. I can't believe guesses no matter how good they sound. So belief is never needed.

      That's as far from having the delusion that scientific interpretations of factual data are always right as you can get.

      The method works, and that's a fact, but it gathers data people have to interpret, and interpretation is philosophy, not science.

      I've looked all my life for truth, and have known for ever that no one has it all.

      I'm content to wait and see, and in the mean time form informed opinions are revise them when needed.

      For you, god does it. There can't be another answer. That's a delusion.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Purpose is what makes all the actions taken in reality mean something."

      Not to me. I don't need it. Reality is what it is regardless of a meaning you can't even define.

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      Ron Hooft 4 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "You might want to read up on what you're talking about."

      I have. Ubaid period 6500 BCE to 3800 BCE based on pottery. Prehistoric people living in Mesopotamia, but perhaps not just one culture or tribe living with many, but many copying the work of the originators of this style of pottery, or one culture supplying pottery to everyone. No one knows for sure.

      Uruk period 4000 to 3000 BC. They overlap. This is when the Sumerian’s, far from being devastated, started evolving their towns to cities unified like a state or country. They started the first written word in Uruk, and hence started recording history. Kings list wasn’t written till the mid 2000s bce,

      From the 1920s till the late 40s archeologists dug the region looking for evidence of the flood. In Ur they found evidence of a rather big flood around 3900 BCE. In Kish they found evidence of a substantial but much smaller flood dating to around 2600 BCE.

      But guess what? Those were the only cities found to have undergone flooding. So not even the entire culture/ region was flooded out, let alone the world.

      Either the flood memory is from an event like the end of the ice age 10000 years ago and rapidly rising sea levels, or it’s a myth, perpetuated from culture to culture. I favour an ice age event adapted to lesser floods by word of mouth over the millennia. .

      For instance Gilgamesh is Noah in the Babylonian version, but he ruled Sumer 600 plus years after the flood at Kish so was never involved in any major flood in his life time.

      The Babylonians conquered Sumer 2200 BCE taking power away as well from Semitic tribes that took over Kish, where the Babylonians then ruled from. They valued and adopted Sumerian culture and their stories, adapting them for themselves. Sumer itself existed till 1800 BCE. No flood wiped them out or changed them in any significant way.

      Their real demise came about by too much salt in the water table due to rising sea levels, leaving the land unable to grow enough food.

      I see no interruption.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 4 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      RH:

      I think God has left the "hub."

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      Jeremy Christian 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      First off, I appreciate the actual effort made. It's rare to encounter.

      "In the south it has a very long duration between about 6500 and 3800 BC when it is replaced by the Uruk period." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period

      Replaced. No overlap.

      Gilgamesh was not Noah. In the story Gilgamesh goes to visit the "flood hero", known as Ziusudra. He visited after becoming aware of mortality after seeing a friend die. He went to visit this man because this man had proven to have "defeated" death because he had lived so long. In fact, in the story, Ziusudra waited until Gilgamesh fell asleep after challenging him to "defeat" sleep. While Gilgamesh slept Ziusudra had his wife bake bread for each day that Gilgamesh slept so he could then show him that he couldn't even "defeat sleep", what makes him think he can "defeat" death.

      "Ziusudra ("found long life" or "life of long days") or Zin-Suddu of Shuruppak is listed in the WB-62 Sumerian king list recension as the last king of Sumer prior to the deluge. He is subsequently recorded as the hero of the Sumerian flood epic." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziusudra

      Then the King's List says "Then the flood swept over... After the flood swept over, kingship descended from heaven; the kingship was in Kish.

      Clearly, according to their historical record, the flood was rather significant.

      "One of the lowest of these deposits was the ‘flood layer,’ about three meters of water-lain silt.... Woolley believed that both groups were Ubaid period, but later analysis indicates that the upper group is probably early Uruk period." - https://www.penn.museum/blog/museum/ur-digitizatio...

      So, basically, there was evidence of a flood right between the Ubaid and Uruk periods. Literally.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Problem is, there is no evidence of wide spread flooding in the time set out in the King’s list. Only one area around Kish had a flood around 2600 BCE. 600 years before the kings list is written. UR had a much greater one 3900 BCE, but no one thinks that’s the great flood, and again, it’s a local, not regional flood that took out even nearly a whole population let alone all but one family.

      And in case you didn’t know, a potential king gained godhood by sleeping with the priestess. Like in the communion where Jesus flesh becomes the wafer and the wine becomes his blood, (damn cannibals) it rubs off on him. Go in as a man, come out a god. We know this from Sumerian writing.

      So no supernatural beings. And some are said to have lived so long as to make Methuselah seem like he died young. As an aside, why would any man want to live that long? No woman’s gonna give it up for a 900 year old man.

      It’s unrealistic and King’s list is just not a reliable source, having been written at the very end of the civilization rather than when writing started over a thousand years earlier. Not to mention 600 years after the flood it talks about but for which there is no geological evidence.

      There was no interruption I can see exept perhaps in how they ruled themselves.

      For thousands of years the Sumerians had stayed there because wild wheat was abundant. They became farmers, lived in small villages and stopped being nomadic. They brought their gods with them in the form of statues/idols.

      They started trading wheat for wood and raw metal etc, since they had neither. They invented irrigation and the wheel. Then they built larger and larger towns.

      The Uruk period is significant because that’s when and where writing was invented. Where laws were first made like “an eye for an eye, which Moses then took for himself. Hammurabi didn’t create the laws first credited to him, after he took over Sumer he adopted their laws, and so did the Hebrews, and later Muslims and Christians. Hammurabi loved their culture. In fact that’s why they were being invaded from all sides. Everyone wanted in on all the new art and tech and culture these people had come up with, They even invented a countries and nationalism. And that was something new and would be emulated and strived for after that by everyone,

      Their religion created many gods and the many myths Christians and Jews and Muslims still believe today, modified. The Greeks renamed all their gods and took them as their own, as did the Romans and even the Babylonians. All pantheons are derived from the Sumerian pantheon.

      Their demise was three fold: one was constant invasion. The next was the invention of iron, which they didn’t have and couldn’t get in any quantity, giving their enemies an advantage. Third was the fact that their irrigation for thousands of years had disturbed the massive salt deposits under ground. Salt actually rising to the surface changing the fields from green to white making wheat and other crops impossible to grow.

      So slowly they disbursed, abandoning their cities for greener pastures in by then, other civilizations that grew from their example. They didn’t disappear. They merged, and their culture, myths, discoveries and contributions live in our cultures, though until the last hundred years they themselves were forgotten.

      But this was clearly an evolution started as early as 15000 BCE when they first set up farming wheat. Any real deluge would have happened 10000 or 11000 years ago, and I suggest that the end of the ice age is responsible for that specific tale. The region flooded often, but never all the cities at once. Just no evidence for it.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 3 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      This hub just keeps on giving.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      It's clear, given what's spoken about in the bible and the Sumerian texts that there was a rather devestating flood. Just as the king's list shows, Sumerian culture continued on past the flood. But it was enough of a flood to be worth noting, obviously. To think that's from the end of the ice age, way before civilizations existed, or writing, is just silly.

      There's little doubt the flood tales come from a real event. There's plenty of evidence that shows flooding in these cities, given they were all right along the banks of the rivers.

      "This period does, however, fit well for the two earliest floods at Kish and a flood level at Shuruppak, and many scholars specializing in the ancient Near East have concluded that the Flood stories of cuneiform literature and the Bible find their ultimate origin in the event attested to by the remains at Kish and Shuruppak" - https://ncse.com/cej/8/2/flood-mesopotamian-archae...

      Kish and Shuruppak are over 100 miles from one another.

      I couldn't find anything that supports what you're saying about kings becoming gods. The Annunaki, the Sumerian gods, were all by blood. They were all related, like all the other mythological gods of the region. And your comparison with communion I just don't get.

      "The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.[14] At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1,000 years, the so-called "Dark Millennium".[15] That might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period

      You - "Everyone wanted in on all the new art and tech and culture these people had come up with"

      Yeah, they were quite different than everyone else around. There's a reason for that. And it wasn't because of farming.

      You - "Their religion created many gods and the many myths Christians and Jews and Muslims still believe today, modified. The Greeks renamed all their gods and took them as their own, as did the Romans and even the Babylonians. All pantheons are derived from the Sumerian pantheon."

      An assumption, based on nothing more that similarity and the fact that the Sumerian versions are the oldest. It's, of course, assumed it's all bullshit, so they must have just copied it all. Or, it all really happened and it's so similar because they're all describing the same events and history. But, you know better than that. You know it's all BS too and just people copying others. Based on nothing and wrong information.

      You - "But this was clearly an evolution started as early as 15000 BCE when they first set up farming wheat."

      Clearly, huh? Odd thing is, farming spread all throughout the world rather quickly. But the emergence of civilizations and all the advancements seen in Sumer did not. How clear is that progression, really? Nonsensical and inconsistent with the evidence.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      It's clear, given what's spoken about in the bible and the Sumerian texts that there was a rather devestating flood. “

      Sure. Dozens. Like the Nile, the Tigress and Euphrates flooded regularly. But not to the extent Kings list or Bible says. Don’t you understand what no geological evidence means? It means it didn’t happen or there would be. And forget the bible, it’s just a rip off of Sumerian myth..

      “obviously. To think that's from the end of the ice age, way before civilizations existed, or writing, is just silly.”

      Obviously not due the fact that it’s the only time large landmasses in that region disappeared under the sea in that region and many others where they remain today. And as for before civilization sure, but the tribe that would become Sumerians started farming 15000 years ago and would have known all about ice age flooding. Seeing vast amounts of land disappear would have left an impression.

      Oral tradition would have molded the events and modified them into the myth we have now. Makes far more sense than insisting it happened when it couldn’t have. It’s either a memory from the end of the ice age or total myth.

      “There's plenty of evidence that shows flooding in these cities, given they were all right along the banks of the rivers.”

      Yeah. Probably dozens of times over the millennia. But not inland and not all cities, and not everyone was killed. That’s a myth. No evidence for it. Thus Noah and all that other nonsense is bull. Never happened.

      “Kish and Shuruppak are over 100 miles from one another.”

      So what? A flood that happened over 100 miles of coast? What else is new? That’s hardly the versions we have today. Your bible version is a complete lie. You can’t defend it. It’s too absurd.

      “And your comparison with communion I just don't get.”

      Really? You aren’t trying. Cannibalism is almost always ritual. You eat small bits of a person to gain their abilities and attributes. Natives ate bear to gain their strength, etc. It’s a common superstition that ingesting something gives you its virtues. Jesus told his followers that only by eating his flesh could they get to heaven. You know the verses. He insisted it wasn’t a metaphor. So since there wasn’t enough of him to give the world a bit, blessing the host and wine turn it into the literal body and blood of Christ. That’s the Catholic myth. Ask one.

      I figure the reason his body was never found, if he existed, is because his followers did what he told them to do, and ate him. Or he walked away like the Muslims say.

      Anyway, all kings were chosen by gods, and thereby the god himself became part of him. And records show this was accomplished by bedding a priestess. I didn’t write the tablet.

      Do more research. You’ll find it.

      That you think real gods came to earth to rule them is laughable. They built statues of their gods and put them in the house of god on top of the ziggurat. They even made clay figures of themselves praying and left them in the temple so they could pray eternally while they were out doing other things.

      They truly believed the gods were in the statues in the same way eating something makes it’s spirit part of who you are. Why do you think idol worship was banned by the Jews? Those statues were gods in their minds. No real god ever had to make an appearance for them to create myths about them.

      And that’s the : our great ideas don’t come from our own mind’s syndrome these primitive people had. Ideas, good ones, innovative ones in particular always seem to come from nowhere, or somewhere outside self. Even now writers and musicians and artists tell you thoughts and images just seem to flow as if from outside, or deep within, automatically. Andy thing these people thought up, was passed on to them by a god. Where else would they have come up with it?

      And as for your wiki nonsense, look it up on another site. I dare you. I haven’t found any evidence from real researchers in the field that verifies it.

      And please don’t tell me your Adam and Eve bull again. It’s utterly unfounded nonsense. I can’t believe you take it seriously. You’re as bad as the people that claim the gods, including yours, were aliens that messed with our genetic code.

      Both unfounded and absurd ideas. But their idea is more plausible than yours. And I’d say theirs has a probability approaching zero. Doesn’t say much for yours.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      jgshorebird

      pleasure to see you're enjoying it. :)

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      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Sure. Dozens. Like the Nile, the Tigress and Euphrates flooded regularly. But not to the extent Kings list or Bible says. Don’t you understand what no geological evidence means? It means it didn’t happen or there would be."

      By no geological evidence you mean you're completely ignoring what I pointed out in my previous post? Sure, I guess the answer is that they just totally made it up. Why not? Sounds good. Reasonably sound, as usual.

      You - "Obviously not due the fact that it’s the only time large landmasses in that region disappeared under the sea in that region and many others where they remain today. And as for before civilization sure, but the tribe that would become Sumerians started farming 15000 years ago and would have known all about ice age flooding."

      Yeah, I'm sure they read about in the paper. Oh, wait, there was no writing for thousands of years. But yeah, memories of a flood from literally 500+ generations prior were still fresh in their mind. They just injected it into the middle of their historical record and completely fabricated a break in their culture due to this vague memory of a flood. Reasonably sound, as usual.

      You - "Yeah. Probably dozens of times over the millennia. But not inland and not all cities, and not everyone was killed. That’s a myth. No evidence for it. Thus Noah and all that other nonsense is bull. Never happened."

      Again, you're basing your conclusions on bad information. The text says all the humans "in the world", which of course was taken from the word "erets", which means 'world' and 'land'. So, all the humans in the world and all the humans in the land is said the same way.

      Remember, according to the hypothesis, the flood was to address the interbreeding of these two groups, which was initially limited to a very small region. It's only translators who assumed the flood was as extensive as it's written.

      You - "Really? You aren’t trying. Cannibalism is almost always ritual. You eat small bits of a person to gain their abilities and attributes. Natives ate bear to gain their strength, etc. It’s a common superstition that ingesting something gives you its virtues. Jesus told his followers that only by eating his flesh could they get to heaven. You know the verses. He insisted it wasn’t a metaphor. So since there wasn’t enough of him to give the world a bit, blessing the host and wine turn it into the literal body and blood of Christ. That’s the Catholic myth. Ask one."

      Eating a cracker isn't cannibalism. Neither is eating a bear.

      You - "Anyway, all kings were chosen by gods, and thereby the god himself became part of him. And records show this was accomplished by bedding a priestess. I didn’t write the tablet."

      "Do more research. You’ll find it."

      So I have to take your word for it? Does it seem to you research is a weakness on my part? When I said I found nothing to support what you're saying that's your opportunity to show me what you're talking about. Why don't you show it? I'm sure there's a reason, but can't imagine what that might be.

      You - "That you think real gods came to earth to rule them is laughable. They built statues of their gods and put them in the house of god on top of the ziggurat."

      Yeah, laughable. Let's, again, ignore all the evidence and just assume what you think, based on nothing, is right. Like the fact that the Sumerians invented astronomy in an attempt to understand the mood swings of these "imagined" gods they were dealing with, but weren't really because they were made up. Again, sound reasoning as usual. Perhaps if you stopped laughing and took a minute to think you'd realize everything you're suggesting as an alternative to what I'm saying is utterly ridiculous.

      You - "And that’s the : our great ideas don’t come from our own mind’s syndrome these primitive people had. Ideas, good ones, innovative ones in particular always seem to come from nowhere, or somewhere outside self."

      Yeah, reasonable as usual. They actually did make these astonishing strides in technological achievments and know how, and then said gods taught them. The thing is, they really did make incredible innovations. Unlike anyone else in the world. But I'm sure you're right that it's just overactive imaginations. Unlike any other human culture on the planet.

      You - "And as for your wiki nonsense, look it up on another site. I dare you. I haven’t found any evidence from real researchers in the field that verifies it."

      So, in other words, you didn't check the reference tied directly to the statement on wiki. Clearly research isn't your strong suit, so it's understandable. You're too busy thinking you know better. Here, let me help you ...

      "Uerpmann, M. (2002). "The Dark Millennium—Remarks on the final Stone Age in the Emirates and Oman". In Potts, D.; al-Naboodah, H.; Hellyer, P. Archaeology of the United Arab Emirates. Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Archaeology of the U.A.E. London: Trident Press. pp. 74–81. ISBN 1-900724-88-X."

      You - "And please don’t tell me your Adam and Eve bull again. It’s utterly unfounded nonsense."

      Yeah, when you ignore the evidence you can reach whatever conclusion you wish.

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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Yeah, when you ignore the evidence you can reach whatever conclusion you wish."

      So you understand that concept? Good, take a long look in the mirror and you will see someone who lives on ignoring evidence and lack of. You're willing to believe any wild fantasy as long as it's about your god.

      You should love this one from the Hindu scriptures: Krishna came from another planet and taught the people all kinds of things.

      He also had a war in heaven where they used what they now think of as nukes, contaminating the earth and wiping out much of the worlds population.

      Gee... wonder if someone like you could find evidence for that? If it was about your myth I'm positive you could. Well, at least you could make up some using goodness knows what questionable facts.

      As for people's memories, you claim your bible is true even though it was spread by oral tradition for hundreds and some stories thousands of years before being written down, and more before they were compiled. And how many common Hebrews of the time could read?

      Plato told us Atlantis sank in great deluge 11000 bce. He must be right because that's exactly when the ocean rose... what was it? 400 feet?

      Some feel that the survivors of that catastrophe were the ones who came to Sumer to start their society again, though it didn't work. And because of their knowledge and tech the Sumerians took them as gods. Because they were human they actually could mate with Sumerian woman.

      Where did Plato get his info? Oral tradition.

      But you can't believe in Atlantis. An advanced culture 15000 years ago? Blows Adam out of the water.

      Yet archaeology seems to be finding them all over the place in the last 50 years... that is if you can believe any of it. Some as old as 30000 years.

      And really, why not? I don't believe they have conclusive evidence of it, but we've been here 700,000 years. It's not unreasonable to wonder if some very advanced civilizations didn't come into being for a few thousand years and then vanish due to climate, asteroids, or any number of other reasons. It would be hard but not impossible to find real evidence for it, if it happened.

      As for research, coming from some one who uses wiki as a primary source.... Well, do I need to say more?

      I think I heard the human transformed to god/king via priestess in a documentary about Mesopotamia. It was narrated by an archaeologist digging in Kish, or Uruk. I'm sure it's on YouTube. I'll find you the link, if you're willing to take the time.

      "They actually did make these astonishing strides in technological achievments and know how, and then said gods taught them. "

      Yeah. Who else would have put those ideas in their heads?

      Your own bible spells this mentality out. Moses protests that god got the wrong guy for the job. God say's: what? Who do you think puts the words in your mouth? Me!. You don't have to be smart, just do as I say.

      Moses probably never existed, but the story tells us a lot about the primitive mind. So just ignore that fact about human psychology, as you always do..

      "So, all the humans in the world and all the humans in the land is said the same way."

      I know that. Not all the humans in either were wiped out. What misinformation? God created land, not a planet, according to your bible. So what's your point again?

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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohXPx_XZ6Y

      I didn't find the one I was thinking of but it references what I said.

      Check the references. lol...

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      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Okay, what you're referring to as far as the intermingling with priestesses and such came much later. According to the story, the last of the long-living beings died out around the time of Abraham. But considering their whole concept of power was established around who had pull with these gods, they idea persisted. Even after the gods were gone. So they had to come up with something else to establish themselves as 'worthy'. I hope you also caught the part about the frequent devestating floods.

      Yes, the stories of the bible are old, and predate writing, but we're talking about a difference of well over 5000 years. Big difference. One comes from stories around the establishment of civilization, the others long before. Oral stories persisting within an established culture and others that you suggest persist many generations beyond that is two very different things.

      Yes, there are many theories about where the people of Sumer came from. Including the suggestion that they must have been aliens. Why? Because they were truly that revolutionary. They were also the first culture to transition from egalitarian to male-dominated societies and class stratification. The first time ever where a culture counted some as more important than others. Including slavery and a ruling class. There's a reason for that. I have extensive evidence to show that this is what the Genesis story is describing. This change in behavior is the direct result of the introduction of free will.

      You - "As for research, coming from some one who uses wiki as a primary source.... Well, do I need to say more?"

      This from a guy who just referred me to a youtube link? There's a reference sited on that wiki site that shows where that info came from. You have some problem with that? Or is that just all you have to fall back on?

      You - "I know that. Not all the humans in either were wiped out. What misinformation? God created land, not a planet, according to your bible. So what's your point again?"

      What the bible describes is what the people of that time understood. They didn't know there was a whole planet. They could only talk about the region they were familiar with. Their "world". My point is to counter your argument that's there's no evidence of a "wide spread" flood.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 3 weeks ago from Southeastern U.S.

      This is one of longest fantasy v. reality debates I've ever watched! Still waiting for that God guy to show himself or let us know where He spawned. Or was He always there? Creepy.

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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "I hope you also caught the part about the frequent devestating floods."

      I think I mentioned that there were dozens of floods in that region. So yeah, not news to me. But the kind they talk about. didn't happen in the time they claim. No evidence for it. But floods are devistating to be sure for the people who lose everything in them.

      If these gods died... how were they gods? Gods are immortal usually except some of the Greek ones. So find a god's burial site and you'll have evidence. Simple.

      Besides, you seem to gloss over the fact that these kings ruled for thousands of years, according to Kings list.. Much much longer than Sumer existed. So how's that work? It doesn't, which shows how unreliable that manuscript is.

      "Oral stories persisting within an established culture and others that you suggest persist many generations beyond that is two very different things."

      No it isn't. Who do you think lived back then? Same ancestral tribes telling the same stories. Even not related peoples, all telling this flood story in different ways about different places. And floods are memorable. But if they are all talking about the same one, it has to be ice age. No other was that wide spread or that devastating A flood in Kish? What else is new? That's not a deluge.

      "This from a guy who just referred me to a youtube link?"

      LOL... Exactly why I told you to check the references of the Youtube link. It's got them too. Wiki is fine, so is youtube. But not by themselves. Lots of shear bull on both. But sometimes not. And how references are interpreted is key Just having them there is useless unless you can look them up and see how accurately they are being used.

      "What the bible describes is what the people of that time understood. They didn't know there was a whole planet. They could only talk about the region they were familiar with. Their "world". My point is to counter your argument that's there's no evidence of a "wide spread" flood."

      Right. If it actually said they were on a planet you'd have something. How could they know that? But you admit they wrote what they thought they knew. In other words no god told them dick.

      And sure there is evidence of a massive flood 9600 to 10000 bce. But none of anywhere near that magnitude since. . We might get one soon ourselves with climate change. But at least now we won't blame the gods

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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "This is one of longest fantasy v. reality debates I've ever watched!"

      I think we should do a tv show. We've been going non-stop for a year or more on different hubs and debate forums. Neither of us will give the other the last word, so this could go for years. I quite enjoy it. Makes both of us think and study. That's a good thing.

      " Still waiting for that God guy to show himself or let us know where He spawned. Or was He always there? Creepy."

      Supposedly just always was. Took long enough for him to decide to make himself useful and do something But we're obviously just a momentary amusement. Must be so boring living for ever knowing everything, having no needs, and never having a real challenge in life. I almost feel sorry for him.

      But if he were perfect, he'd have had no reason to create anything. Which means he can't be perfect. Then again, perhaps Fredrick N was right. God died in the 1900s. We can only hope. lol...

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      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Except that one 4 foot thick silt deposit that was directly in between Ubaid and Uruk artifacts in Ur. And that's exactly where both Genesis and the King's list say it happened, just before the establishment of Uruk. And out of all the evidence of floods nothing left a silt deposit like that one because that one was particularly devastating.

      They weren't gods. They just seemed god-like to mortal humans because they lived for centuries, but they still died. As for evidence I think of Og. He was a giant spoken about in the bible. When he died the bible talks about how his body was publicly viewable. His tomb has been found with a bed with dimensions that suggest the body was over 9 feet tall. So my guess is that remains of gods were probably a hot commodity. Probably why pharaohs had such elaborate tombs built so their graves wouldn't be robbed.

      I haven't glossed over anything. The ages in the king's list are based on their numbering system, which was base-60, which is why all those numbers are divisible by 60. If you convert those same numbers at base-10 they're very much comparable to the ages given in Genesis.

      As for oral traditions, I don't think you're considering that before the establishment of settled farming cultures humans were nomadic and traveled long distances, migrating to where the food was. There was no established group that stayed in one place to keep the stories of the region going.

      I only bring up the youtube link because you're calling my references to wikipedia into question. Both have references sited to back up what they're saying. And these aren't the only places I've found this info, but they're often handy for quoting in discussions like this because they're easy to find and easy to quote. But I've vetted everything I'm talking about. Just because I'm siting these links doesn't mean that's the only place I've verified it.

      What God told those people was in a context they could understand. But they clearly knew something because they got the order of creation right.

      As for the flood you should keep in mind that all these references we site back and forth as far as evidence is from excavations done in the 20's because these sites are in modern day Iraq and aren't exactly open to modern investigation. Most are based on data collected by Arthur Whooley. Hardly comprehensive data for the entirety of the region's history.

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      Ron Hooft 3 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "What God told those people was in a context they could understand."

      So he lied to them so they'd understand? What an absurd excuse. They would have been shocked, perhaps, but it god told them they lived on a ball in space and explained that there was no solid dome over the sphere and they rotated making day and night, and traveled around the sun making a year, they would have understood just fine.

      " But they clearly knew something because they got the order of creation right."

      No they didn't. 7 days isn't 13 billion years, and their numbering system has nothing to do with it. And anything they got right was self evident. Humans can't live without a space to live and breath in. Can't exist without air or water. So all that, including food and light would have to be created before humans.

      Nothing that they said was something they had no way of knowing or figuring out over the millennia.

      And you are dead wrong about there being no one but hunter gatherers. Farming stared in the region 15000 bce by some accounts and 11000 bce by others. They still hunted, still lived in little tribes for a long time. But they stuck around in communities.

      And you have to be kidding about base 60. I know they used it to do complex calculations. We do too to this day. But they knew exactly what a year was. To blame life spans of thousands of years on that makes no sense. They had 24 hour days, seven days in their week, 12 months in a year. Same as us, only every month had 30 days.

      12 months, twelve astrological constellations, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve disciples of Jesus... and that's not the only twelves. Egypt has many more. Coincidence? Perhaps two or three, but it get's harder to say it when they show up everywhere.

      There is a dig sight in Turkey called Gobekli Tepe. The oldest temple complex in the world, dating to 11000 bce. 12 figures in corcle around two taller ones in the center. The god and goddess. No wanderers are going to build that and go

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      Jeremy Christian 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      No, God didn't lie. He simply explained things in a context they'd understand. There was really no reason to give them all that detail. It wasn't relevant to give them a cosmological lesson. He described it as you would when standing outside. Point to the sky, the ground, the sea, the animals, and tell the story.

      The Hebrew word 'yom' doesn't mean just day. It's an indeterminate measure of time. It also means 'age' or 'period'. It's a story-telling device to break up each period. And no, what they got right wasn't self evident. In fact, we didn't know what all was right until very recently. An example of that is knowing the oceans came first. We didn't know that until relatively recently. In fact most of what they got right we couldn't have determined until the last few decades.

      And no, farming started in northern Mesopotamia no earlier than 10000BC. Actually closer to 9000BC in the Fertile Crescent. Before that there wasn't any settling, which is why Gobekli Tepe is such a mystery. It dates back to a pre-farming age when humans were still hunter-gatherers.

      Well I'm sorry you don't like the base-60 explanation, but what you don't seem to get is that it was not the authors that applied base-60 to the numbers. It was the translators who assumed that because they used base-60 then that must be how to translate these cuneiform numbers.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "No, God didn't lie. He simply explained things in a context they'd understand."

      Right. He lied. It's absurd to think they couldn't have understood the facts.

      "The Hebrew word 'yom' doesn't mean just day. It's an indeterminate measure of time."

      Right, more excuses. in a different context it can. But scholars are adamant it means a 24 hour day in this context, so are the Jews. Sorry reality doesn't suit you.

      " knowing the oceans came first. "

      It didn't. Molten rock came first. Anyway, I just told you water has to come before people. That's obvious.

      "And no, farming started in northern Mesopotamia no earlier than 10000BC."

      Well let me fill you in. The people who built the first temple we know of were not following the animals anymore. They built small communities on land rich with wild wheat and oats. They weren't exactly farming yet, but that's where they learned. And they still hunted and probably fished. Evidence has been found for period housing. Stone foundation round houses. Still, if farming started 10000 bce, it messes up your Adam story. And earlier still they built a temple. First one we know of. They were innovating before you claim they could, as were the Ubaid and many others.

      "Well I'm sorry you don't like the base-60 explanation, but what you don't seem to get is that it was not the authors that applied base-60 to the numbers. It was the translators who assumed that because they used base-60 then that must be how to translate these cuneiform numbers."

      Well that would be stupid to assume, wouldn't it? Knowing they invented 24 hour days and 12 month years.

      So how long did the king they said ruled for 3 years actually rule for? 0.05 years?

      Alulim 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 En-men-lu-ana then ruled for 43200 years En-men-gal-ana ruled for 28800 years Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36000 years.then three kings ruled together for 108000 years. Then Bad-tibira fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Larag. In Larag, En-sipad-zid-ana ruled for 28800 years. 1 king; he ruled for 28800 years. Then Larag fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Zimbir. In Zimbir, En-men-dur-ana became king; he ruled for 21000 years. 1 king; he ruled for 21000 years. Then Zimbir fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Curuppag. In Curuppag, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18600 years. 1 king; he ruled for 18600 years. In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241200 years. Then the flood swept over.

      That's the first section. then the next ten kings rule an average of a thousand years each, and there are 20 such paragraphs, some ruling for 34 years, some for 28800.

      So Sumer existed for almost a million years? Let's see. The above alone is 694000 years for the first twelve kingships. Add another 76000 years for all the kings ruling 100 years or less bringing the total to: 770000 years Impossible.

      Tell me again this is an accurate text. It's absurd. And these are years, not years divided by 60. doing that gets Sumer established 13000 bce and your flood at 1200 bce, 800 years after Sumer. Sorry. Do the math.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Oh, and your 9 foot giant probably had a 9 foot bed made for his 5 foot 9 body and 9 foot ego. Find the body, not the bed. I assume you think Egyptian kings were 30 feet tall because their statues are 30 feet tall? No, right? So why assume the size of a bed means anything?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "I assume you think Egyptian kings were 30 feet tall because their statues are 30 feet tall? No, right? So why assume the size of a bed means anything?"

      See, this right here is half the reason why this has gone on for so long. You have such a lack of respect for anything I say or think that you never consider anything I'm saying. You always assume that no matter what I say or reference I site, I'm just taking it out of context. Of course I don't assume Egyptian kings were 30 feet tall. Because of their elaborate tombs their remains remained untouched until recently. We've actually seen their remains.

      Much was made of the remaining rulers of these lands, and their power was often derived from their association to these gods. This wasn't a case of mass delusion like you and so many assume, because the actual existence of beings like this you just know to be out of the question, despite the overwhelming evidence from numerous cultures we know to have been fairly advanced thinkers. The inventors of modern civilization are too often dismissed as over-imaginative morons. As are believers now.

      You - "Still, if farming started 10000 bce, it messes up your Adam story. And earlier still they built a temple. First one we know of. They were innovating before you claim they could, as were the Ubaid and many others."

      Incorrect. Genesis depicts God telling the humans before Adam about breeding things like wheat and seed-barring plants. In fact, this hypothesis puts the Garden of Eden in or near Turkey, which also potentially explains some things. That's where it all began it seems, in Gobekli Tepe as DNA testing of the wheat found in the area proves to be the origin of the practice of cultivating it.

      You - "Right, more excuses. in a different context it can. But scholars are adamant it means a 24 hour day in this context, so are the Jews. Sorry reality doesn't suit you."

      The reality is that the explanations between the 'yoms' match up with what actually happened, and the reality also is that that word is also used to describe the types of ages that would be consistent with the ages described in between. That's all reality, and it suits me just fine.

      You - "It didn't. Molten rock came first. Anyway, I just told you water has to come before people. That's obvious."

      Yeah, Genesis covers that. That molten rock was the formation of the "Earth". And clearly it wasn't obvious that water had to come before people because science didn't realize that until the evidence showed it. And just about everything came before humans, so that doesn't make it apparent what order everything came in. I said the oceans came first, not just before humans. Big difference.

      You - "Well that would be stupid to assume, wouldn't it? Knowing they invented 24 hour days and 12 month years."

      Well I disagree it's stupid since the Sumerians heavily used base-60. Why else do you think days are measured in 24 hours and there are 12 months? Why else do you think there are 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute? Because of the Sumerians.

      You - "So how long did the king they said ruled for 3 years actually rule for? 0.05 years?"

      Clearly not long. Do you find it strange that a king could only have ruled for such a short time? Not exactly a rare occurrence.

      You - "That's the first section. then the next ten kings rule an average of a thousand years each, and there are 20 such paragraphs, some ruling for 34 years, some for 28800."

      Right. Imagine it in the context of roman numerals if they were read as base-60. Each I would be 6 years, X would be 60, C would be 600. It adds up quick. But this is consistent with the ages given before and for a while after the flood, which Genesis also says. And like Genesis, their ages also decrease generation to generation.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Genesis depicts God telling the humans before Adam about breeding things like wheat and seed-barring plants. "

      Really? in what universe and what bible? Please show me. I'm dying to see it and how you've come that idea. I've read the book at least as often as you have and that's massive news to me.

      "You have such a lack of respect for anything I say or think that you never consider anything I'm saying."

      On the contrary, I consider everything you say. It's fascinating to me that you're such a wonderful problem solver. You have a unique and on the surface, very logical answer for any biblical problem.

      I sometimes see Dawkins and Hitchins and Krawss make minced meat out of high ranking theists and I remember your answer, and I wish you could be there to give your take on things. I’d give your apologetics to them for you were I invited to such a debate, just to see their faces when faced with a not stock explanation like some of yours.

      As for the idea that Adam was created after humans, it’s brilliant on so many levels. But doesn’t work at all on others. That his clan became kings of old, long living giants, that bred with the inferior primate humans causing all kinds of advancements, bringing on god’s deluge, and the after it civilization takes off is great apologetics worthy of Aquinas. But it’s not a fact.

      Now another good explanation is that aliens came to earth digging for gold because they messed up their world and were seeding theirs with gold dust to correct the problem. But they didn’t like doing all the manual labor themselves. So they mated with human females and messed with our genes in other ways and created a conscious more advanced work force. The gold or other planet’s problems is irrelevant. That’s just one version I’ve heard. It’s the same as the Sumerian version. The alien giant god’s come down and eventually civilization is born.

      And the Hindus talk about their gods coming from another planet. Same reasoning. Same results. The internet today is full of videos showing monoliths and stones so massive moved miles from where they were cut from, of such weight we couldn’t do it today with current tech. Or stones obviously cut with diamond blades and precision holes only we can do today, but was impossible back then. Yet anyone with modern tools could have altered the site anytime.

      So much, and so little corroboration. They could all be hoaxes or confirmation bias. It could be true, And no supernatural. But it’s not a fact.

      Now another explanation is that a branch of humans created advanced civilizations thousands of years before Sumer. As much as 20 or 30000 years before. At one point they were nearly wiped out by an asteroid that caused the end of the last ice age 10 or 11000 bce or so. They struggle to survive in small groups or a small group., Numbers are dwindling, they see an opportunity to mate with a lower primate like Neanderthal. That way, eventually creating an intelligent workforce, and rebuilding their civilization. They need be no taller than the Zulus, 7 or 8 foot men is not unheard of, but would have been giants among 4 to five foot something people.

      So they would have built the pyramids. Evidence shows that water left it’s mark on the Sphinx, Heavy rain fall over a long time. That didn’t happen there in 2000 bce, 10000 bce is when that would have happened.

      Did that happen? Could have. But it’s not a fact.

      See how many interpretations you can have of the same story? Like QM. At least 12 interpretations as to what it means, and not one of them a fact. It works. That’s all we know. Why is still in progress.

      With all the explainations of all these stories, there is another: They had fertile imaginations, they were obsessed with the heavens, assumed there were gods out there, and created stories around their convictions, and they believed, because humans evolved to want facts, but belief is all there is with lack of facts.

      Well there is my way: don’t believe anything. Facts are all I want. From them I can form conditional opinions without being tied to them. There needs to be a lot more actual evidence before we’ll know for a fact which version is true, if any.

      Oh and, I get the feeling that if I say black, you say white on principal. So don’t worry about it.

      As for water, where you get the idea we didn't know that till recently? Know what exactly? That life started in the sea? We're still not sure of that according to Venter.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Really? in what universe and what bible? Please show me. I'm dying to see it and how you've come that idea. I've read the book at least as often as you have and that's massive news to me."

      Gen 1:29-30 - Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

      Here He's talking to the humans He had created. For animals he says He's given them "every green plant", but for the humans He specifies "seed-bearing" plants and fruits.

      You - "As for the idea that Adam was created after humans, it’s brilliant on so many levels. But doesn’t work at all on others. That his clan became kings of old, long living giants, that bred with the inferior primate humans causing all kinds of advancements, bringing on god’s deluge, and the after it civilization takes off is great apologetics worthy of Aquinas. But it’s not a fact."

      I can't exactly take credit. That's what the story specifically describes. It's just that this whole time it's been assumed Adam was the first human, so that whole part has been missed. But it's clear as day. And yes, by all appearances, it is fact.

      You - " That’s just one version I’ve heard. It’s the same as the Sumerian version. The alien giant god’s come down and eventually civilization is born."

      Yeah, I've heard that and many others as well. And there's a reason the explanations get so elaborate around that period. It's because there truly was incredible advancements that happened in a very short amount of time unlike anywhere else in the world over the course of many thousands of years.

      You - "See how many interpretations you can have of the same story? Like QM. At least 12 interpretations as to what it means, and not one of them a fact. It works. That’s all we know. Why is still in progress."

      You're still talking like I took all the data first and then pulled some imaginative explanation out of my ass. Not true at all. I first formed a hypothetical explanation from the text, then went and found the evidence. And I found it by making predictions off of that hypothesis. That's very different. I didn't know about much of any of the evidence before I pieced together the story.

      You - "With all the explainations of all these stories, there is another: They had fertile imaginations, they were obsessed with the heavens, assumed there were gods out there, and created stories around their convictions, and they believed, because humans evolved to want facts, but belief is all there is with lack of facts."

      See, the problem with that explanation is that numerous cultures came up with basically the same explanation, though they all did it independently of one another. Pure imagination isn't a good explanation for that.

      You - "As for water, where you get the idea we didn't know that till recently? Know what exactly? That life started in the sea? We're still not sure of that according to Venter."

      As I'm sure you're aware, where all the water came from remained a mystery for a while. One of the explanations is that it all came from meteorites during the bombardment period. General relativity and it's explanation of gravity made it apparent how the Earth formed, but an Earth covered in oceans is a different story. It's apparent now, given all the evidence, that the oceans were there before anything else, but that wasn't always the case.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "And the Hindus talk about their gods coming from another planet. Same reasoning. Same results."

      I think this brings up something important to keep in mind. Some of this, I think, is human imagination. Think of it in the context of how these people would have experienced what was going on in this scenario. There's some guy over the hill from where you live, that's been there since your great-great-great grandfather's time. And long before. He's not like you. He's not like anyone or anything else you've ever seen or experienced. I'm sure there was some imagination at play. Some attempts to explain these beings around them.

      Things like this are important to consider in this context. It's very different than the way most think it all happened. But this, I find, to be an explanation that better explains all the pieces and progressions. I find it just plain makes sense, as odd as it may seem initially.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Genesis depicts God telling the humans before Adam"

      Sorry, the passage you sighted isn't talking to people before Adam. Only in your imagination.

      "I can't exactly take credit. That's what the story specifically describes. "

      No. You get full credit. The story doesn't describe that at all. But your interpretation would solve the contradiction concerning Cain and how he gets a wife when he couldn't have. But your explanation isn't implied by the bible itself. Most Jewish scholars assume Adam and Eve were the first humans, and god created others after the fall.

      " in a very short amount of time unlike anywhere else in the world over the course of many thousands of years."

      Right. Something happened. I've told you about critical mass, right? That's how evolution often works. Small cumulative changes that eventually cause large rapid change. Take electricity. Once we refined our knowledge of it, the world changed from horse and buggy and candle light to men on the moon, computers, and cars that drive themselves in less than 100 years. Never mind thousands.

      And don't rule out much older much more advanced civilizations.

      ". Not true at all. I first formed a hypothetical explanation from the text, then went and found the evidence."

      Yeah. That's how all interpretations are formed. Yet they are all contradictory, there are so many, and they can't all be right. But they can all be wrong.

      "See, the problem with that explanation is that numerous cultures came up with basically the same explanation, though they all did it independently of one another. Pure imagination isn't a good explanation for that."

      Yeah. Not independently in the least, they made the pre-existing stories their own. Imagination is as likely as anything else.

      " It's apparent now, given all the evidence, that the oceans were there before anything else,"

      It's not even apparent now. In fact it's not even likely.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "I think this brings up something important to keep in mind. Some of this, I think, is human imagination"

      So now its imagination? But the Jews didn't have one? Double standard much? Problem is, the American Hopi Indians claim the same as the Hindus. You're Adam's family.... yes it's a pun... couldn't have gotten to them. These guys fly in big machines, like Hindu gods. They say they are coming back.

      Imagination? Aliens? Much older more advanced civilization? Which? Not the Adam's family. They didn't fly, did they? Could Adam fly? Was he a giant?

      Anyway, it dawned on me how stupid it is to think Sumerians multiplied every year by 60. For pity sake: Base 60 is how we tell time. 1 minute= 60 seconds. 60 minuets in an hour. THAT's base 60. So when they say a king ruled 28800 years, that's what the book meant. Stupid to assume anything else.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Re: God talking to humans

      Then who's He talking to? It makes a distinction, first he's talking to humans, then animals. Then, in the next chapter, Adam is created. Is it not clear?

      Re: My version being "implied" by the Bible itself

      Yes it does. In every way. Believe me, I've looked for contradictions. I haven't just focused on one passage and gone wild. I tested and double tested. I often went to the original Hebrew to make sure what I'm reading isn't totally contradictory in any way.

      Re: Critical Mass

      Yes, I know. But how does that ultimately happen? By breeding. Same thing. Something, a new characteristic comes about, that like in this case, made it's host very crafty and agressive. This dominant gene then continues to spread and multiply.

      It all starts somewhere from something. So the question really is, was the result of a random mutation, or was it introduced by an outside element? How do you determine that? Something that has a chance of being testable if it were only considered on any real level to be a possibility to test for. It would certainly pinpoint a time and place.

      Re: Invention of electricity

      Certainly there is that to consider, and I certainly have. Any of those major eras (bronze/electricity/etc) showed a boom and a change in direction, not unlike what happened in Sumer. I agree a new element was introduced. But it wasn't a discovery, necessarily, that led to all of it.

      See, farming had been going on for a good number of generations, all throughout much of the continent by that point. And beyond. Up to that point no human in the world advanced anywhere beyond the same old stone tools.

      And there's nothing about the progression found in Sumer, other than things related to farming, that suggests there was something like a discovery that led to a "critical mass". It was clearly a mental/phsychological change. It's the only explanation.

      Re: "ruling out" much older civilizations

      Clearly you haven't read my hubs. I cover all of those civilizations.

      Re: hypothesis/evidence vs. evidence/hypothesis

      Forming the hypothesis first, then testing it by validating it against evidence is how you determine whether or not something is true. That way you know the hypothesis isn't formed around the evidence, which is interpretation.

      Re: mythological stories being independently formed

      Yes, very much independent. The greeks, romans, sumerians, egyptians, indus valley culture, and many others, all spoke different languages and had fully developed cultures totally unique. The only similarity is the gods themselves. They're all very much similar in how their described and the roles they played.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Re: Involvement of imagination

      Some of it I'm sure is certainly imagination. But the inspiration behind what is imagined has some clear consistencies. And those consistencies, just like everything else we've talked about, remain consistent with the hypothesis. What's seen in mythological stories, and where their creators were located and when, is all an expected result if the hypothesis is true.

      Notice no matter what we're talking about how the answer remains the same. It's consistent from end to end, no matter what angle you come at it.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      " But the inspiration behind what is imagined has some clear consistencies. And those consistencies, just like everything else we've talked about, remain consistent with the hypothesis".

      Sure but's also consistent with every other contradictory hypothesis. That's the rub.

      Same evidence or facts are being used to postulate alien involvement, Older civilizations, etc. So I can't say anyone is right. You can't know you're right because out of all of them you can't possibly prove yours on principal. The others at least have a good chance of being proven true or false eventually.

      Again, a dozen interpretations of QM. At least 4 good theories of how the universe developed or began. All using the same factual data.

      Unless you know the answer for a fact, there are always several ways to explain the same set of data. I've been telling you this from the beginning. Models contain facts they want to explain, but they aren't always correct. Few are.

      That's why your say so is nowhere near good enough. You can't prove a god actually exists which is what you base everything on. So how can I take it seriously? Sorry, if I had to bet on it I'd put money on man has a great imagination and we do amazing things before putting it on an earlier civilization I'd go for aliens next and gods last if at all.

      But there is no reason for me to believe any of them. There is no conclusive evidence for any.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Re: Adam/Eve not being first humans

      I wrote a whole hub on this topic I wish you'd check out. I know most everyone, including Jewish scholars, assume Adam was the first human. But the thing is it never says that anywhere. It's just that, an assumption.

      There are multiple reasons to consider this alternative. The first, and most apparent in my mind, is the differences between Adam and the humans created in Gen 1. Think about this. At the end of creation it says God looked on all He made and deemed it "good". With the humans specifically, God gave them all these very specific commands that would take numerous generations to carry out; be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, establish dominance in the animal kingdom. Yet in the Adam and Eve story they proved willing and capable of going against God's commands. So, would He look on all He created, including these humans, and deem them "good"? Could you expect a species that proved in generation 1 to be willing and capable of disobeying the one and only rule they were ever given to carry out such a large multi-generational task? Are they "good" in that regard?

      Then there's the 'others' in chap 4. Cain, when he's banished, when it's still supposedly just Adam/Eve/Cain/Abel, voices a concern about someone finding him and killing him. God, in response, didn't reply, "what people?" He said you're right, and marked him to protect him. Then chap 6, after listing the generations from Adam to Noah, speaks of two different groups. What it refers to as the "sons of God" and the "children of men". And in that piece, it describes as the humans as "mortal" in comparison and speaks of how limited the human lifespan is only to 120 years.

      Because there's nothing throughout the entirety of the bible to support only the idea that Adam was first, then it's much more likely, given the evidence, and given the fact that it resolves a whole host of seemingly contradictory parts of the story, that this is the correct conclusion. It just plain fits better, and makes the story of the entirety of the bible much more clear. It's no longer a collection of stories. It's a series of events realizing a very particular goal.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Then who's He talking to? It makes a distinction, first he's talking to humans, then animals. Then, in the next chapter, Adam is created. Is it not clear?"

      Sure." 2 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, "

      So he rested before going back to make Adam? Really?

      "4 This is the history[a] of the heavens and the earth when they were created, "

      So much for your interpretation. Gen 1 tells you he created humans. Gen two tells it in greater detail. Actually it's a different account of man's creation but made to look like greater detail.

      Just like when the beginning says in the beginning he created heaven and earth, it wasn't created yet because then it goes through the 7 24 hour days in more detail.

      "For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

      "7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

      No man existed to till the ground. Get it? No plants either because he hadn't invented rain yet. And you think this is fact? It's funny, I'll grant you. But all to absurd to be true. You have to see that yourself.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Yes, I know. But how does that ultimately happen? By breeding. Same thing. Something, a new characteristic comes about, that like in this case, made it's host very crafty and agressive. This dominant gene then continues to spread and multiply."

      Sometimes. But I was talking about ideas and their evolution. Genes have been studied a lot in recent years. You have evidence our genetics suddenly altered? First I've heard of it.

      No, what changed was farming, religions, cities evolved. Trade evolved, A guy decided he needed a way to keep track of his sales, so he developed a code for himself. He was asked about it, taght it to a couple guys, and it eventually became writing. 90 percent of Sumerian tablets are about business.

      That's all it would have taken. One guy. We see it in history all the time. Look at the history of the computer or any invention. It builds step by step as new tech comes along. Can't even imagine a phone without wire and electricity, but once all you need is there, it builds itself. That's critical mass.

      No need for gods or aliens. Man kind is fully capable of doing amazing things on our own.

      Everything evolves, cities from villages, trade from need and desire, human minds evolve. Ideas evolve. And part of that evolution is long periods of accumulation, and short rapid periods of radical change.

      Nothing supernatural required.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "That's why your say so is nowhere near good enough. You can't prove a god actually exists which is what you base everything on. So how can I take it seriously? Sorry, if I had to bet on it I'd put money on man has a great imagination and we do amazing things before putting it on an earlier civilization I'd go for aliens next and gods last if at all."

      And we're right back to where we started. Objecting based on no physical evidence is fallacious and here's why. If we're talking about the god or whatever responsible for the creation of the physical universe, then whatever it is, it is not a product of the physical universe. It's really just that simple. When you say you have to have evidence, you're saying I have to have something physical that I can see/hear/feel in some tangible way. There's a problem with that. If it's not the product of the physical universe, then what are you expecting to see/hear/feel exactly?

      As you've pointed out, energy creates everything. Energy becomes matter which becomes everything. The same energy, behaving just as it has from the beginning, can't be created or destroyed, and the best you can consider, the top of that list, is aliens? They're still a product of this universe. Made of the same energy.

      Energy is incredible. I think you'll agree. Given all it's capable of, how can you possibly say that only what we can actually detect is all there is? What are the chances of that actually being true? I think it's pretty apparent in what we can see and detect that there's much more at work here. Energy is just one of many examples.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "there's nothing about the progression found in Sumer, other than things related to farming, that suggests there was something like a discovery that led to a "critical mass".

      Farming isn't the issue. It's staying in one place. That 12000 year old temple complex wasn't about farming, it was about religion. They stayed in one place now, but learned to farm later.

      Trade was starting. Hard to do if no one can find you. Bigger villages start up, then towns. Others want to move in. Laws start, leadership evolves into government. People compete, innovate. Some farm for everyone. Others start making things. An economy emerges. Money is created. Towns become cities and city states with armies. Math and writing become necessary.

      Did religion make them stay put and develop farming? What ever did it, that's the beginning of the accumulation on its way to critical mass.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Re: Gen 1 humans and Adam

      Yes, God rested before Adam. He had finished creating the environment where He was next going to introduce free will. So He rested. Then He created Adam.

      You said it yourself, the account of creation is different than the first chapter. How could that be? They're right beside each other, it's glaringly apparent that the sequence doesn't match, but that's still right? Another contradiction resolved when the context is clear.

      Genesis 2 isn't talking about all the Earth. It's talking about a specific place. A specific region. And that region was at first desolate. So God brought the rain and the life. To this specific place.

      Right, there was no man there in that desolate place. It's talking from that point on about this specific place.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Re: Ideas and their evolution

      This is why I ask you to look at the evidence. An evolution of ideas like you're describing, you should see a progression in the inventions that makes that apparent. If that were the case. The inventions don't reflect some evolution of ideas. It shows an evolution in how ideas are formed. What kind of ideas they begin to have.

      Like the invention of writing. That came from a need to keep track of what belonged to who. It became about possessions. A totally foreign concept to indigenous humans to this day.

      The generic explanations you keep trying to throw in as an alternate take is often just this thin and inconsistent with the evidence. They don't in any way match what's observed. Mine does. Continuously.

      Farming, as I said, had been going on. Please read my hubs. That's why I speak about places like Catul Hayak. There were numerous places that were highly populated organized cultures. None of which evolved like the Sumerian culture. And I mean populations in the tens of thousands. But they behaved completely differently. No one was considered more important than anyone else.

      That's another thing that makes Sumer very different. The social dynamics that had been consistent in humanity since the beginning were completely different. The Roman poet Ovid actually put it very eloquently ...

      "There broke out ... all manner of evil, and shame fled, and truth and faith. In place of these came deceits and trickery and treachery and force and the accursed love of possession ... And the land, hitherto a common possession like the light of the sun and the breezes, the careful surveyor now marked out with long boundary lines."

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      Re: progression

      Nothing about the evidence is consistent with what you're saying. And you know the evidence already. There were numerous cultures that stayed in once place for a very long time.

      Catal Huyuk lasted almost 2000 years. The Lepenski Vir settlement that then became the Vinca-Turdes culture. Between the two, they were in the same place for 2500 years. And they had populations in the thousands in some of the larger sites.

      If it were as you say, if it were just the change to a settled life that then brought about all the rest, then it should have happened at these places as well. It didn't. No laws and no government formed. No inventions. No economy. Nothing of the sort.

      Please read my hubs. All that from above comes directly from one of them. Start with part 2 of "The Evolution of the Human Mind". A lot of what we're speaking about now is covered there.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Yes, God rested before Adam. He had finished creating the environment where He was next going to introduce free will. So He rested. Then He created Adam."

      What a load of self serving rubbish. Again you twist the text to the point of absurdity. Go ahead and ignore where it says there was no man so he had to build him. Ignore what the text clearly says and make shit up to serve your off the wall hypothesis. Sorry, doesn't wash with me. I can read.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "Objecting based on no physical evidence is fallacious"

      Wrong. It's logical and rational. To base your opinion on anything else is stupidity and gullibility.

      "

      If it's not the product of the physical universe, then what are you expecting to see/hear/feel exactly?"

      Nothing. Exactly. Fantasy. That's all I'm hearing.

      "As you've pointed out, energy creates everything. Energy becomes matter which becomes everything. The same energy, behaving just as it has from the beginning, can't be created or destroyed, and the best you can consider, the top of that list, is aliens? "

      You sure you read what I wrote? First was human imagination and ingenuity. Then came older more advanced civilizations. Then came aliens, in order of plausibility.

      But on that note, I was reading last night that the elongated skulls found in Peru from a specific site date to 1000 bce, and their DNA is not human or primate. Is it true? Too early to tell. Wish Vetner would check it out.

      But if it is, we're talking a different species of advance humanoid that couldn't mate with us, either native to this planet or alien. And I know humans can elongate their skulls by binding, so I never thought much of it. I was shocked to find several web pages reporting it. But I'm not convinced it's true. I'll wait for corroboration by reliable sources.

      But if it's true, it makes your claims even more unlikely.

      "how can you possibly say that only what we can actually detect is all there is? What are the chances of that actually being true?"

      Only what we can know can be known to be true. Only things that exist leave traces of itself. Only things that leave traces exist. They leave traces because they interact. Therefore they are detectable. Things that don't interact with anything may as well not exist because they are superfluous.

      I'm fine with knowing there are likely things we can't yet know. But I'm not going to start fantasizing about gods and an undetectable supernatural.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "They don't in any way match what's observed. Mine does. Continuously."

      Yes, in your dreams they do. Not in reality.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "If it were as you say, if it were just the change to a settled life that then brought about all the rest, then it should have happened at these places as well. It didn't. No laws and no government formed."

      That's not an argument. Why should it have happened there too? The ideas evolved from one to another. Small changes that lead to large ones over time. You don't seem to get evolution.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      It's talking about a specific place. What good would it do to create one man to work the ground for the whole planet? Clearly that's not the scope of the story being told. In fact, it says God created a garden "east, in Eden". That's where he put the man he formed. You read that part right? The whole paragraph that specifies the specific land between the rivers?

      Besides, there's debate about whether or not Genesis2:1-4 should be included in chapter 1 or not because the chapters and verses were added later, so it wasn't decided by the authors to split the chapter right there. So the bit that says "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created..." should most likely actually be at the end of the creation account following the seventh day bit at the beginning of the chapter.

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      Ron Hooft 2 weeks ago from Ottawa

      "That's another thing that makes Sumer very different. The social dynamics that had been consistent in humanity since the beginning were completely different. "

      Hog wash. Cities just amplify what's there. More people, more conflict. Particularly different cultures trying to gain control. Monkeys lie to each other. They can be violent. They can also be kind to each other. Nothing changed except volume.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Nothing. Exactly. Fantasy. That's all I'm hearing."

      The problem you have here is, by that reasoning, the mind is fantasy as well. Again, your logic is flawed. This is the exact problem with the science delusion. If it can't be proven then it doesn't exist. That's so small minded and, frankly, delusional. It just closes down any possibility that can extend beyond that realm. It just ignores it completely.

      You - "I'm fine with knowing there are likely things we can't yet know. But I'm not going to start fantasizing about gods and an undetectable supernatural."

      This isn't fantasizing. This is following the evidence. The people these stories are written about, they shaped the world we live in now. They determined so many of the directions that turned into the modern world. That part of the world created the books of the bible, created civilization, and completely changed the course of humanity along the way. Their impact can is still palpable in our world today.

      We're not talking about fantasy. We're talking about something very real.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "That's not an argument. Why should it have happened there too? The ideas evolved from one to another. Small changes that lead to large ones over time. You don't seem to get evolution."

      I get evolution. It's not that the exact same sequence of progressions that happened in Sumer didn't happen elsewhere, it's that nothing of the sort ever happened. It's evolution versus no evolution.

      If it were to have happened as you say, then other cultures also in close proximity to one another in a settled populated culture, also practicing agriculture on a regular basis, and also having similar needs and challenges, did not evolve in any way. They still behaved much the same way as before. All of those other cultures were egalitarian. They weren't male-dominant and they didn't show any signs of class stratification or any sort of a ruling class or group.

      Sumer was different in a lot of ways. This explains what happened. It's not fantasy. Like it or not, I have good reason to believe it's reality.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 weeks ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Hog wash. Cities just amplify what's there. More people, more conflict. Particularly different cultures trying to gain control. Monkeys lie to each other. They can be violent. They can also be kind to each other. Nothing changed except volume."

      You have a very dated grasp of things it seems. A lot of people think of humanity in terms of the movie 2001, where one of the primates picks up a stick and strikes another. Like we're primitive "savages" with an inner animal sometimes bubbling to the surface. That is very wrong.

      "the prevailing view is still that male dominance, along with private property and slavery, were all by-products of the agrarian revolution...despite the evidence that, on the contrary, equality between the sexes - and among all people - was the general norm in the Neolithic." -Riane Eisler, American Scholar, Cultural Historian

      "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, The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New Era

      "The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarised social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period

      The introduction of free will also brought about our more violent and aggressive tendencies. This is why most of the world's history involves far advanced groups of humans overpowering and taking over lands populated by indigenous cultures. Free will washed over the surface of the Earth like a parasite. And it's still going. This explains what happened.

      It would be really helpful if you'd just take the time to read my hubs. All of the above is covered there.

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      Ron Hooft 13 days ago from Ottawa

      "It's talking about a specific place. What good would it do to create one man to work the ground for the whole planet? Clearly that's not the scope of the story being told."

      It clearly is but even you see its absurd so you have to interpret it in a way that makes you ok with it. From the story all other humans come from Adam and Eve trough divine incest. If he did create other humans it would have been after the fall as some Christians seem to think, explaining Cain's wife from another town. Or, since they lived a long time, by the time of the murder there were already other towns created by Cain's full blood sisters. All these stories including yours, that god created humans with no free will 700000 years ago, had them evolve to homo sapien 200000 years and made the Jews 5000 or 6000 years ago with free will are all ridiculous. And as imaginative as it is, yours is the most absurd as far as I'm concerned.

      And even though you don't mean it be, it's insulting to all pure bred natives and other found or unfound tribes who you claim are robots because their minds are locked with gods, as your definition of free will is a will not connected or tied to god's will.

      This is demonstrably untrue. It boggles the mind that you can come up with that, let alone that you are sure its true.

      "Besides, there's debate about whether or not Genesis2:1-4 should be included in chapter 1 or not because the chapters and verses were added later, "

      So what? The debate is actually about whether the first part is to appease another tribe who said man and woman were created equal, against the winning tribe who concocted the Adam and Eve story to oppress woman and make men masters over them.

      Through in the trash for all I care

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      Ron Hooft 13 days ago from Ottawa

      "The problem you have here is, by that reasoning, the mind is fantasy as well. "

      Delusion is believing in things you can't know are there. You can not know your god or supernatural are real. Yet you don't claim they are just a possibility, which no one can argue effectively against. You claim to know it's true. That's delusion when we all know you can't know it. In fact, it's a lie.

      "We're not talking about fantasy. We're talking about something very real."

      Right, your delusions about there being supporting evidence are certainly real delusion. I agree. As for anything you say about god, that's fantasy because you can't know squat about it.

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      Ron Hooft 13 days ago from Ottawa

      "I get evolution."

      Sorry to say it doesn't look like it. Sumer evolved slowly from pre-sumerian peoples and their actions and Ideas which developed cities and eventually writing. No gods required. That's evolution.

      "It's not that the exact same sequence of progressions that happened in Sumer didn't happen elsewhere, it's that nothing of the sort ever happened. It's evolution versus no evolution."

      In you dreams. It happened in China around the same time or possibly earlier.. Doubt the Adams family had anything to do with that.

      It happened in South America around the same time or earlier according to the Mayan who say their culture and some monolithic structures came from an earlier culture.

      It may have happened elsewhere. We didn't know Sumer existed less than 100 years ago. It's perhaps the earliest we've found. But who knows? We can only logically say it's the earliest we know of, not that it definitively is the first.

      That's logic, and reality. You're just guessing, and it suits your beliefs.

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      Ron Hooft 13 days ago from Ottawa

      "You have a very dated grasp of things it seems."

      you have a very unrealistic view. I've seen monkeys do very similar things. Humams aren't and never were much different. We see less violence? Please! There were less people, and most people in a tribe were related, which means there was more familiarity, trust, reciprocity etc going on.

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

      In my city there were 14 murders last year out of over a million people. That's comparable to maybe one every few decades in a related tribe of less than a hundred people. Nothing much has changed except perhaps in Detroit. Are they of freer will? God favours them does he? wouldn't surprise me.

      "The introduction of free will also brought about our more violent and aggressive tendencies."

      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.

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      Jeremy Christian 12 days ago from Texas

      Ron,

      How do you determine what is and isn't absurd to you? Just a feeling? A hunch? Something in your gut? Intuition? If it weren't for all the fossil remains you might also find giant reptiles absurd. Whatever gauge you use to determine that my hypothesis is absurd is just what you're willing to accept.

      Yes, the Jews were ultimately the people that resulted from God's breeding. But he was breeding that specific line to realize Jesus. He worked like any breeder would. He took His first, tested him, found a troublesome characteristic, then began to breed. He evaluated Noah, decided to breed from him and clear the board, then tested Abraham and bred from him.

      He secluded them in Egypt, cut off and protected from the rest of the world. Then He led them through the wild. He gave them very specific rules about who to breed with and what to eat. Kept them from mixing with other bloodlines.

      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. What better environment than this world and this life to learn what it's really like to be creators. For our decisions and actions to have an impact on the world around us. On others.

      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.

      You're not getting what I'm talking about with male-dominance. It wasn't a ploy launched by man to suppress women. It was what happened when free will was introduced. Humans changed. And while it started right there in Sumer, the same change that made humans male-dominant also made them very aggressive. We've all but wiped out indigenous cultures since. They only still exist where we're basically not interested in taking for ourselves. Or we would.

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      Jeremy Christian 12 days ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Delusion is believing in things you can't know are there."

      Or believing there's nothing beyond based on absolutely nothing.

      You - "Yet you don't claim they are just a possibility, which no one can argue effectively against. You claim to know it's true. That's delusion when we all know you can't know it. In fact, it's a lie."

      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.

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      Jeremy Christian 12 days ago from Texas

      Ron,

      You - "Sorry to say it doesn't look like it. Sumer evolved slowly from pre-sumerian peoples and their actions and Ideas which developed cities and eventually writing. No gods required. That's evolution."

      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.

      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. The same goes for South America. And yes, Mayan culture came from an earlier culture. They were called the Olmecs.

      You - "That's logic, and reality. You're just guessing, and it suits your beliefs."

      What's ironic here is that I think you really believe that's true, while I'm not guessing at all. You are. A lot of guessing and assuming. Everything I'm saying is based on evidence.

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      Jeremy Christian 12 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 12 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 12 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 12 days 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.

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      Jeremy Christian 11 days 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.

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      Jeremy Christian 11 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 11 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 11 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 11 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 11 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 10 days 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.

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      Jeremy Christian 10 days 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

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      Jeremy Christian 10 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 10 days 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?

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      Jeremy Christian 10 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 5 days 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.

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      Jeremy Christian 5 days 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?

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      Ron Hooft 4 days 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

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      jgshorebird 4 days 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.

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      Jeremy Christian 4 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 3 days 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?

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      Ron Hooft 2 days 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.

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      Ron Hooft 2 days 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.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 days 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.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 2 days 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.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image
      Author

      Ron Hooft 37 hours 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 37 hours 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 37 hours 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 36 hours 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 13 hours 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 11 hours 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.

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