Is this an appropriate Facebook post? It seems to be to be saying that life for those who don't believe in God has no meaning. Would it be appropriate to direct it to Muslims with the Caption " A Life without Jesus as your saviour has no point"?
Facebook's full of stupid crap like that. I just ignore it and move on.
Absolutely, Muslims would go off their rocker at that and would probably start rioting and persecuting Christians who lived in Muslim states. Christians would be shrieking persecution if it was pointed towards them. It's simply the intolerance and hatred of others taught by those religions that causes believers to behave without morals and ethics.
Probably best to just throw one's shoes at this example of pathetic handwriting and feel pleased that it wasn't found stuck on your car bumper!
If people on Facebook were not allowed to have stupid opinions the site would be a ghost town within a week.
I say who cares? People post a lot of stupid crap on facebook and twitter these days that I honestly don't give a damn about it.
Eh.....it simply makes sense that a person's life isn't fulfilled without knowing about (and having a relationship to/with) his/her Creator. The Creator of the entire universe! I would think anyone would want that information and that chance.
yeah. Maybe not.
My creator lives in a small town about an hour and a half north of me. He's always been there for me and I can have actual conversations with him.
The creator of which you speak of is a figment of your imagination. Too bad.
I'm glad your earthly father is still alive (I assume, anyway, that that's who you're referring to as your creator).
I would love to be able to talk to my father again, but he went to our heavenly Father some years ago.
Yup, to that Creator to whom I refer. I'm very glad I can have conversations with Him!
you have no more proof of your creator than I have proof of my invisible pet purple dragon. I'm sorry, but inventing an invisible sky daddy and talking to him does not make him real. There is no need for a creator, as there is no creation. I don't understand why people keep trying to insist upon creating a creator for themselves, regardless of the lack of evidence that supports their position.
Eh.........you think there's no evidence?
Just the fact that you exist is evidence!
Not to mention the creation of nature even before that.
What has hardened your heart to the possibility of a Creator?
creation is not evidence of a creator any more than crayola is evidence of crayons. It's like saying that the book of mormon is true because it says so - although you'd probably agree with that statement if I used the bible instead.
I am not evidence of a creator. I am evidence that my parents had sex. Nature is not evidence of a creator. There is no watchmaker, no fine-tuning and no evidence at ALL to support the idea of a super-being that had to start the entire process. If you have some, feel fee to present it - but "you exist, therefore god" is not proof. Sorry.
Nothing "hardened my heart" to the possibility of a creator. The time to believe something is AFTER sufficient evidence has been presented - not just because you want something to be true, so you believe it anyway. If you were to go by that standard of evidence, you should also accept every creator claims made in every other religion. There's just as much proof for them as their is for yours.
Brenda Praise God sister. I do not know why I bookmarked this hub for sure. It amazes me that people can not see GOD in the creation. Oh My GOD they are deceived. May our Lord move on their hearts in time. Love you sister just thought to encourage you a bit. Not that you really need it. The Lord in you you are encouraged and enlightened. Anyway keep going and shining the light within. Your sista, Skye
Yet, you will never be able to tell anyone where you see GOD in creation because there is nothing to see.
Go ahead and try, you will fail and you know it.
Which is fine. Not convincing people is actually, pardon my expression, OK. Jesus mentioned of people who just don't have what it takes to accept or understand what is around them, spiritually. I believe the term is "having eyes to see and ears to hear". Some look at the marvels of space and think oh thats pretty. Yet they fail to perceive design. They look at a simple vegetable with seeds inside it and say, "this is very cool and thank goodness we have seeds", yet they fail to notice how intricate and impossible this situation really is, not noticing what the odds must have been that every manner of vegetation and flesh should reproduce after its own kind.
Darwin said that we should see an ever so simple structure to the cell and he was wrong. Theories are not facts and by scientific definition can not be called facts. Our unique yellow sun, gives us the full color spectrum, our nice circular orbit gives us steady seasons, the moon in exactly the right place and being ever so coincidentally comprised of shiny material keeps our axis from wobbling and assists tidal movement, gives light at night, what a brilliant idea! we are so lucky. Yes mankind marvels not at planets hanging as orbs in space, it has become, commonplace.
Ahh yes, there is no design and no significance to the opposable thumb because monkeys have them too, how fortunate - thank you evolution how smart you are.
Sometimes as a christian you just have to shrug your shoulders and move on.
have a nice day
No, it isn't fine at all unless those kinds of beliefs are kept behind closed doors where they belong.
So what? Spirituality have never been shown to exist, hence Jesus was wrong about that.
There is no design to perceive, that is a false premise based on incredulity.
Argument from ignorance.
You made that up.
Gravity, evolution and a host of other theories are considered fact. Yours is merely another argument from ignorance.
Yet, another argument from ignorance.
Yes, in light of facts and evidence, they do move on shrugging their shoulders, clinging to ignorance.
Thanks for demonstrating that.
You consider yourself a prophet? God talks to you? If so tell me something that you should not know about me that your God tells you. I've asked a few people in these forums this question who claim to have conversations with God, but I never get a response. Your all knowing all powerful God should be glad to give you some information to make a believer out of me. Name the street I lived on in 1980? This is your chance.
Eh....every Christian is a prophet in a way. We all prophesy at one time or another.
....Tell you where you lived in 1980!? LOL. I claim to know God; I don't claim to be a psychic. Good thing too, since that's unGodly. I suppose, however, that if there were some good reason that I should know that specific information, God would give it to me or I'd search it out until I found the facts; but indeed I have no good reason to do such a thing; in particular your daring me to do so is rather comical to me!
That's exactly what everyone else said. They have conversations with said God, but can't get any information from him to save a soul. Always the same. All talk no action. Ask your God tonight the name of the street I lived on in 1980 and the answer will surely come to you. That's how conversations work.
Once again, that's not how it works.
God's not a genie in a bottle, and I'm not a fortune teller.
I will, though, converse with Him about your soul, since you asked.
No no no, you need to just tell me the name of the street I live on in 1980. It's a simple task for a loving, all knowing all powerful God. No cope outs now, come on. Prove me wrong.
Are you for some reason wanting to tell me what street you lived on in 1980?
If so, then out with it.
Otherwise, I can't think of any reason that I would know that, or any reason to know it.
I have nothing to prove to you that I know of! ha.
But I do hope that you know that God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ to die for you. Do you believe that?
"But I do hope that you know that God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ to die for you"
Yet he can't tell you the street Rad Man lived in 1980 and save his soul!!!
OK do one thing, it says "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.John 14:13 ", so ask in his name(he has not any other condition attached to it other than asking in his name) which street he lived in, or you can ask him to make Niagara entirely to America, say shift it more south, and save a soul.
If I wake up tomorrow and Niagra is completely in America I'm gonna have a real problem with you Riddle.
You just told me you are a prophet and that has conversations with God and now your saying you can't ask him a simple question. How many times have I heard that?
It wouldn't stop there either brenda, someone else would cry foul! and demand a likewise example.. then another.. it might even go to your head ( i speak frivolously about you for a minute, knowing better of you) and ego may rise pretty soon you are a psychic!
God refuses to work in this way, but one prediction is true of all.
"for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God".
I have a better idea, Let rad man try all the other avenues of getting someone to tell him where he lived in 1980, then when those avenues are all exhausted, let rad man come to God and then let God tell rad man some things rad man never knew before.
i have confidence that this idea will work best.
I love it. Happens every time I ask someone for proof that they are a prophet. All talk until push comes to shove and then it's "the lord doesn't work that way". Well guess what according to the bible he does. It goes so far as to say prayer can move mountains.
I don't see the harm really, It'd make a believer out of me and perhaps others and according to you guys that's what God wants.
Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where are you?
Adam walked with God. Adam had a relationship with God. Moses too and others, but lets get back to Adam and lets take the bible at face value for this time. God told adam things; name the animals, don't eat of the tree etc... Yet we find God asking Adam where are you? Do we think that God did not know physically where Adam was? No. God was talking to adam about his spiritual location which should have been beside God walking in the cool of the day. God gives his reason for asking Adam this question.
Genesis 3:11 And he said, ... Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you that you should not eat from?
And this is why people do not hear from God. Of course is this one aspect of why people do not hear from God, testings are included, stubborn wrongful attitudes that need adjusting, the building of faith etc, but i don't want to make this too long, so i am trying to keep it simple.
The root of not knowing God is a sinful path, its not a sinful activity unless that activity grows into a path or habitual course of action, in essence, a rebellion. Does it make sense that those who inquire of God should not be found by Him? No it does not, if one believes in God of course.
So we notice that it is illogical God would not speak to a person unless there was reason. The bible is full to the brim of Gods words, God speaking to people, Gods promises, his designs, intentions etc.
Inference is where you have spoken from, an inference from outside the bible and outside a walk with God, having not accepted and tried the path or having rebelled previously while in God only to have God ask, "where are you?
So you've got nothing either? And your saying those who claim to talk with God are lying?
lol.. where did i say, "those who claim to talk with God are lying?"
If i said a house on a street with an address that contained a number 4 and a 6 in it what proof do i have that you would even admit that its right. You may even claim this is not exact enough for my all powerful God. Your inference that this would be a good way to establish God is flawed. And if i got it right you could totally lie and use this to discredit me.
I have no faith in this test you provide.
I didn't ask for the number of the street for just the reason you mentioned. You could say stuff like it has a number 4 or 6 in it, giving you about a 22% chance of success.
You are correct in that I could lie and say you got it wrong, but I would know that you got it right wouldn't I and I wouldn't be able to dismiss it. You'd have me convinced. You could do a little research and find my name and current address and this ask people close to me, but I'd find out you were in contact with the few people who new the name of the street I lived on in 1980.
All talk no action. Happens every time.
I'm saying they are lying. They lie to themselves most of all. What they talk to is their subconscious mind, and yup, it answers. Usually it answers in the way it was trained by the environment and by the conscious. Hence it will invariably prove to the believer that they are talking to something outside themselves, because that is what they believe.
But is it a lie if they don't know it is a lie? I think so. But I don't think we can condemn them for it seeing as they are ignorant of the facts.
This is what I've been struggling with of late. I'm beginning to realize perhaps they can't handle reality so there ego does a skewed balancing act to help them cope. Their ego knows there conscious can't cope with reality so it blocks reality from them and lets the sub-conscious invent a nice father figure to help them through.
Perhaps they should be left alone.
Eh? Brenda I'm surrounded daily by people who do not believe in God but they have very fulfilled lives. I've met Christians who's lives are unfulfilled but they daily try to convince themselves that they are fulfilled because the Christian propaganda tells them that unless they are fulfilled they are not true Christians.
i know of no christian propaganda that says fulfilled christians are true christians and i read nowhere that unfulfilled christians are not true christians.
What i do know is that in the christian life there will always be conflict, struggle, adaption, change, blessing, happiness, sadness, joy, separation from family, times of testing, times of approval and disapproval from both god and people and weird things being said to them in forums.
Whatever segment of christianity that says christians have to be fulfilled needs to be investigated. i know christians, myself included, who have gone through times of great sorrow and anguish, surely these are not times of fulfillment? Later on they proved fantastic times, but the time seemed endless before getting there.
As God works on our lives he is like a surgeon, digging deep and extracting infectious material from our very being. God changes our psyche he diminishes our ego and beats self to a pulp. in efforts to produce Gold.
In my eyes Christians who are struggling, going through change, being obedient to the words of God, upon them for their lives, are blessed but to say their lives are not fulfilled seems to me a bit materialistic and not mindful of the spiritual nature of Gods great work in us to be (for Marks sake) better people than WE WERE.
Although your statement seems to be valid. I do not think it is on the mark at all and i would humbly like to suggest you take another look at those christians lives and see what this unfulfillment is all about that you so blithely speak of.
Two thinks really.
1. This forum is about a facebook post that stats life without God is pointless or without meaning, yet as you agree there are those among us both theist and atheist who get lost which was DISAPPEARINGHEAD's point.
2. I see you edited your post to remove your statement about what the OT says about Christians. Good move, I'm glad you noticed how ridiculous that statement was.
That wasn't why i removed it and also a spelling mistake. the OT dispensation was one that endorsed physical prosperity and thus to elaborate becomes more intricate and lengthens the post. Although there are good points in it, it would only have complicated the perception of my post, i was trying to keep it simple.
In mentioning the NT i was a bit off my posts intention because of the tribulation of that period of time.. i speak of the persecution of jesus followers both by state and synagogue, but i still without those references summed it up neatly.
Although i enjoyed DH point, i felt it needed to be scrutinized.
It makes far more sense that those who require a Creator to fulfill their lives have not the capacity or are too lazy to find fulfillment in their lives.
Fulfilling ones life is not a valid reason to be christian. One does not come to Christ because they want a better life and if they do come to God expecting material gain, God will thwart them.
People may come to God initially, because their life sucks and they want to improve it, which is fine on a minimalist level, God has promised to take care of his own but God never promised a smooth ride.
Smooth rides are what the fulfilled person thinks his life is full of, indeed some people seem to walk on golden paths never having known God and this is how it is and should be. A person who doesn't know God can amass lots of money selling cocaine but i digress for some reason.
People not having the capacity to fulfill their own lives is not be ridiculed since we do not know why fulfillment is not realized. Inference need be shelved when just making unfounded assessments of people. Laziness is troublesome, the bible speaks against it. We should never be lazy, it leads to destruction but again, not a reason to deride someone as laziness may be a symptom of fatigue or illness - lack of energy - or frustration.
Although it makes far more sense that troubled people should have problems and therefore require a creator, this is all well and good because it may have been the very vehicle that brought them to God.
Wait for the contradiction...
There it is.
And there it is again. Your first statement says people don't go to Christ for a better life and if they do God will thwart them. Then you say they initially do and then you say it makes perfect sense that they do.
Wait for the elaboration
Here it is.
A better life, in context.. materialism.. God will thwart them
You might try to read it twice before answering.
To further elaborate..
"One does not come to Christ because they want a better life and if they do come to God expecting MATERIAL GAIN, God will thwart them.
People may come to God initially, because their life sucks and they want to improve it, which is fine on a MINIMALIST level, God has promised to take care of his own but God never promised a smooth ride."
Same topic, different slant. Minimalist level pertains again to materialism. How can one have minimalist spirituality and that ever be alright? God promises to take care of his own. I should have put in the scripture about feeding the sparrows and how much more will he take care of his own - again materially. What we could glean from this on a minimalist level is not to expect worldly riches in abundance, although this is not true in every single case, but i dare say, majorly it is the case.
I approached the monetary issue because most people think that money enriches and indeed, fulfills ones life. Its an example i thought relevant since it is such a not good reason to come to God, seeking wealth, and God will surely thwart this because the emphasis is about God and not on what God will allow you to buy.
Hope that helps.
Sure, it helps me see that you don't see your own contradictions spelled out right before your very eyes. You never said anything about material gains the first time you said " their life sucks and they want to improve it". It's not an elaboration when you change the context.
oh i see, you cannot read what is posted. You just don't see the words.. perhaps a cataract - i'd get that looked at. Maybe its just a hugely big MOTE. That sounds more like it.
For one thing it's bull shit. My life is just fine without a god. It;s a lie.
How can a god add meaning to your life? Your life either has meaning to you or not.
Now your life may be meaningless without a god, but that's your problem.
Social networking is a virtual world and there is nothing exist.. so dont take those words in to heart and move on..
People who use those worlds "exist" They are real, they emotions,------- What way should we take it?
Where does fairness come into the scenario. Why are you so interested in fairness as a criteria for what people write.
Everything has a point of contention. If we follow down your road we will be back to book burning and internet will be no more.
I read things everyday in which there is no point to it. I see people doing mundane things that just take up time in their existance. People waste moments of everyday, minutes, hours, weeks of their lives, years and never think twice about what they are doing. Our whole lives are full of doing things that are pointless, i.e, cutting the grass only to do it again and again. Of course we can justify this as having a nice lawn but really, what is the point? Where are we our persons actually benefitted?
Then we spend time worrying about what is fair or why that face book picture was there.
Time to move on.
My question was not wether this ignorant posts should be censored but what should be said in the comments to bring the individual to the understanding of how incredibly ignorant the post was. Some said ignore it, some said to unfriend that person, I chose to give my two in a comment, just as you just did.
Rad Man, how far do you want to take censorship? This is still a free country with freedom of speech. Just sayin.
I take it from your comment that you don't agree, but there's actually some merit to that statement. If there was no deliberate creator of the universe, who created existence for a given purpose, if we are indeed just the result of a series of causes that were not the deliberate intention of any intelligent being, then there really is no real point to life. Any 'meaning' or 'purpose' we assign to life is only really a fabrication of our own making to make us feel better about our own mortality, which these evolved reasoning brains make us recognize and realize. So, any 'point' we may think life has if there truly is no God is just something we convinced ourselves of after the fact as a kind of coping mechanism to make us feel better about the reality of the situation. When the actual reality would be that we're nothing more than an intelligent/self-aware flicker that happened for an instant on the cosmic timeline. An instant where a small fraction of the universe became aware of itself briefly before fizzling back out into nothingness. The equivalent of a fart in the wind, ultimately. No matter how many good deeds you perform, or how well you raise your kids, or how well you stick to your diet, or whatever else motivates you or makes you feel purposeful, makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. So, at least in that context, there's validity to that statement.
What you fail to realize is that it's the same for all of us. The difference is you feel you need a daddy to tell you what to do with your life, while I do not. I am a grown man who doesn't need a father figure to give my life purpose. We are but a blip in time on the edge of galaxy that is just one in billions. Recent evidence has shown that just about every one of the stars has at least one planet and about 10% have planets in the sweet spot which could be planets just like ours. Potential billions of earth like planets in just our galaxy resulting in the popping of the bubble of the illusion that a God made us alone and special.
Tell me Headly what special purpose has your Father figure given you that gives your time here on earth a purpose that my life is lacking? What project are you accomplishing that no other human can accomplish that the universe will be better as a result of your work?
Well, if it's how I see it then you and I are both serving the exact same purpose. Every action, inaction, choice, decision has a purpose and meaning. Because free will is the point. How we behave having our very own individual will matters. What you say and do has a long reaching impact, most times beyond what you realize. Like ripples in the water that go on and on before finally settling.
So whether or not you believe in God, in that context, you're still serving a purpose. You've been given the chance to exist with your own mind. It's a gift. And everything you choose to do, or not do, with that gift has lasting meaning. Whether it's the life of an infant who only lived a day or someone who lived for over a century, whether you were the biggest philanthropist of the biggest maniac, your choices and actions have an impact that matter.
Personally, I see this life as being the perfect knowledge base to allow for truly eternal free willed beings to exist. If we are all actually interconnected spiritually, then once we're free of these physical forms, we'll know each others' life experiences, actions, choices, situations, as if they were our own. Everyone who ever lived. What better way to convey the mammoth amount of knowledge it would take to wield something as truly powerful as free will as to just let us all live out our existence free to behave as we choose?
But that's just speculation on my part.
I'm glad you changed your tune because it was rather offensive. You are however still under the delusion that we get to take our thoughts, memories and knowledge with us upon death. These things are products and functions of the brain and thinking anything different is wishful thinking.
What meaning does a god give your life? Zero unless you place importance on it for some reason. Probably because you think you will live forever if there is a god. But does ever lasting life give meaning to your life? How?
On the contrary, life is only meaningful and valuable if we do not live for eternity. It's fleeting quality is what makes it valuable.
And one thing you can be sure of: No one gets out of here alive.
Perhaps the confusion came from the original quote saying "Life", not "A life" like your example in the OP.
Good point. See what I did there?
Obviously we all know the term life could mean an individuals life or all life, not just humanity. But if it said humanity has no point without a God that would be different. But it still would not answer what the point of humanity is with a God.
Does anyone have an answer to that? Did God create us because he want's worship? Is humanities purpose to just make God feel better. Seems infantile to me.
Thank you, I do see what you did there.
Here's how I see it. Say you're a God capable of creation. You've basically got 3 choices. Choice one, no existence. Choice two, existence with everyone and everything behaving exactly according to your will. Choice three, existence that consists of beings with their own minds and their own individual wills. I don't think the worship thing is for His benefit. That's just what's required. Like in anything else, a company, a country, or a club, there has to be an agreed upon authority, an agreed upon set of rules, goals, parameters. Without a clear chain of command, without clear leadership, it's chaos. Like each cell in your body just behaving however it wants. You wouldn't live very long if that were the case. Our cells need the guidance of a DNA code that's been honed over numerous generations versus each individual cell that only has a lifespan of a handful of days of experience from a very limited perspective to draw from. Humans have shown to be incredible collaborators. We can accomplish great things when we work together towards a common goal or purpose. Apart we're a mess. I just see it as what's necessary if we're going to exist and have our own minds and our own individual wills.
That's all nice and I agree with much of it, but I'm still not seeing your humanities purpose.
I just happened to be listening to this.
Kid Rock - Care
Cuz I cant stop the war
Shelter homeless, feed the poor
I can't walk on water
I can't save your sons and daughters
I can't change the world and make things fair
The least that I can do
The least that I can do
The least that I can do is care
I pray and pray for life's salvation
Faith is tried and true in tribulation
Love is lost and lonely, check the news
And with these open arms I'll wait for you
Cuz I hear screamin on the left
And yelling on the right
Im sitting in the middle trying to live my life
Wouldn't you want us? I mean, yeah, humanity has done a lot of truly hideous things. We don't have the best track record. But we do a lot of really cool things too. It's not all bad. There's a lot to love about humans. We can be pretty great. I don't see it needing to be anything more than just that. He made us because He wanted to. And He wanted us to have our own will. But just like anything else, you learn by doing. You know setting your kid on a bike for the first time that they're most assuredly going to fall at some point and hurt themselves. Or put a hole in the neighbor's garage door at the end of your downhill street like I did because I panicked and forgot how to work the brakes. But that's how you learn.
Here's how I envision it. As soon as we started behaving out of sync with God and the natural world we became separated from Him and it. As well as from each other and even our own selves. Disconnected. The training wheels were off and we immediately became acutely aware of ourselves. It was no longer that zen like state of contentment of being one with nature, guided by instinct and intuition, like being in that zone and present in the moment all the time, but more like we feel about the world now. It's strange to us. Foreign. Our own bodies are strange to us. When those training wheels first came off it was chaos. I mean, within ten generations God was flooding the plains because it got bad quick. But we've come a long way since then. Not that we don't still have a long way to go. There's been some serious growing pains, constant wars, senseless violence. But we've still managed to build nations and find ways of working together. We're slow to learn lessons, for sure, and we're always getting in our own way. We come up with great ideas that look good on paper until that human element seeps in and someone gets greedy or power hungry or arrogant or whatever once the idea's put into practice.
I think we're just learning. And it's going to get rough, but it just wouldn't be the same if there was no harm done and no consequences. What we do matters. People get hurt. People die. The world's a dangerous place with sharp edges. It's the perfect place to learn, don't you think? If we were being prepared for something bigger, something more, can you think of a better means of preparation than life? After all, it's the challenges that make us each who we are.
On a side note, I have to say, I never gave Kid Rock much of a chance, but I have to give him credit for that little bit there. I never pegged him as being very introspective.
His last three albums are fantastic. Everything before that (except for one to two songs) garbage. All he had to do was stop rapping.
The problem is that religions divide us and keep us divided so that we can never work towards any common goals or purpose. That's why the world is such a mess.
And the reason for that is because religions are human institutions owned and operated by humans. The whole point to everything is getting us all on the same page, aligned with the one single creator, so that we can all exist as one in harmony. Like a colony of billions of cells working together to form one human body. The tricky part is that each one of us have our own minds and our own wills. Imagine if each cell in your body had the choice of whether or not to adhere to your DNA code.
Besides, we're humans. Everything divides us. Not just religion. Get a group of people together in one room and before long you'll have two sides. Like one side who insists the temperature of the room is too cold while the other insists the temperature's fine and they're all just being unreasonable.
So what? There are lots of institutions operated by humans. Fallacy.
No, that is what is causing the problems in the first place.
Another silly fallacy.
Yes, Christians on one side and Muslims on the other.
Thanks, ATM, as usual your input has been invaluable.
Whether you like it or not religion is not the specific problem. Humans choose sides. We figure out who's in the 'us' camp and who's in the 'them' camp. That's how we operate. Even in our following of sports teams, it's the same thing. That's how wars operate. It's our M.O. It's never as cut and dry as that, but that's how we treat it. It's just a human thing.
There's a South Park episode where Cartman freezes himself so he doesn't have to wait for the next gaming console to come out, but his plan fails and he doesn't get thawed out until 500 years later. In that future atheism is the norm, but there are 3 different factions of atheists who can't agree with one another and are warring with one another. Funny, but true. That's how it would be. Humans are humans.
Yes, religions are specific problems that do little more than divide humanity into tribes always fighting with one another over their irrational beliefs.
Yes, you operate on dividing mankind.
No, it is not a human thing, it is a religious thing.
If your going to argue this point, then you're not being very honest with yourself. Even now, your statement "Yes, YOU operate on dividing mankind" is divisive. See what you did there?
Wars have been consistent since 4000 BC all the way to present. And a lot of that had nothing to do with religion. Roman wars, Greek wars, Sumerians, Egyptians, Syrians, Mongols, Chinese/Japanese, etc. Religion has a lot of blood on its hands and a lot of blame lying at its feet, true, but humans will always find reason to break up into tribes and fight one another. Religion does not stand alone in that regard.
Your fallacies are not points to argue.
And, a lot of them had everything to do with religion.
No, humans won't always find reason to break up into tribes to fight one another. That's baloney. It is the philosophical garbage such as religions that cause people to do that.
But, at the very least, we can eliminate at least one reason for starting wars and keep working at the others.
Let's say you're right. Let's really think about that. Say we go change the minds of humanity as a whole and convince them that all this God/religion stuff is just non-sense. Let's imagine that world where every human alive goes about life with the understanding that there's no real purpose to us being here, that we're just the result of a series of events, and that there's nothing beyond death. You mean to tell me that you think we'd be moving towards a 'better' humanity? That we'd improve the world by amputating the whole spiritual aspect of humanity's psyche, deeming that whole part of our history as being one big delusional mistake? That we're all actually just biological machines whose actions and choices are nothing more than the product of our biological make-up in relation to our environment, and that there's no meaning to life and no accountability for how we conduct ourselves during this life beyond the veil of death?
I mean, I get that you think it's all nonsense because you see no physical evidence of a spiritual realm, and that in your mind dealing with only what we know for certain as real and going forward from there would have to be a better approach than being distracted and derailed by made-up imaginings, but have you really thought that through from a psychological standpoint? If religion is just a product of our mind in its attempt to reconcile the reality in which it exists as it developed throughout our existence, would a cold-water bath realization on a global scale in an attempt to eradicate what you see to be purely harmful religious aspects of our lives be the right step to take? To jerk the foundation we've been standing on that allowed us to reach the heights we now have from beneath us and let the chips fall where they may? Are you sure humanity, given its history involving a whole slew of things non-religion related, wouldn't just fill that void with some other reasonings to justify going about doing what we've always done to one another?
What if all this indoctrinations are doing damage to the psyche? What if it's changing the ego and producing people who are no longer the way nature intended us to be? What if the ego is no longer able to control the super-ego and thus the super-ego is out of control and inventing and altering what should be reality. Someone may even convince themselves that the internal dialogue of the mind is a conversation with God. A depressed person might kill their entire family to prevent them from feeling the pain the he/she is under thinking they are just bringing them to a better place.
It is a far better human who can stand up to take responsibility and acknowledge our ignorant and delusion past and move on rather than making up lies to defend and continue to support it.
Where do you get the idea we are not accountable or cannot conduct ourselves?
So sorry you have a problem dealing with that reality. Too bad. Deal with it and stop whining.
Neither do you or does anyone else.
Pure nonsense, there is no foundation of any such kind from religions, quite the contrary.
Only if folks wanted to remain ignorant and delusional. Is that what you want?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
- Albert Einstein
It's hilarious when believers quote Einstein without ever knowing what the quote was actually about.
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking." - Albert Einstein
"If everyone thought as ATM does, we'd never learn anything new." - HeadlyvonNoggin
Headly believes he is on par with Einstein.
Chaos is what creates order. That has become very clear through chaos theory. No god required.
Life here is a vetting process of sorts, to see who wants to be on the team. As for what God has in mind beyond this, we may have glimpses, but details are beyond our current paygrade:
1 Cor 2:9 - "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
So you guys got nothing either. Going around telling me that LIFE without God is pointless and you guys have no point yourself.
Nothing? No point? How do you equate taking the necessary steps to allow all of eternity to be populated by countless humans, each having their own individual minds and wills, to 'nothing' or having no point? Do you not think we're worth the trouble?
What purpose does humans populating nothingness have? No bodies, no brains. Why?
Why do you think of it as 'nothingness'? Regardless of whether or not we'll have bodies and brains, do you not see value in humanity or understand why God would want to make us?
I do see the value, but no, I don't see why a God would make us, that's why I'm asking. Technically once we die we are no longer humans.
This is where I think Christians are arrogant. They think they are special and God gave them free will to make decisions as if other animals are not capable. It seems strange to me.
I get what you're saying. That's the thing though, free will isn't so much about decisions as it is about desire. You're right, just about every level of animal makes decisions to some extent. Risk versus reward or fight versus flight. That sort of thing. Desire is a whole other matter. Most decisions in the animal kingdom have to do with survival, feeding, procreating. We have desires that go well beyond that. It enables us to do great things beyond anything else in the animal kingdom, but it also enables us to do horrible things beyond anything else in the animal kingdom. We have our own desires and make decisions from an individual perspective. We're disconnected, with a large individual ego overpowering and drowning out our instincts and intuition. It's a powerful thing, and well worth having, but it'll take a lot of learning by doing before we can wield it responsibly.
See, arrogance. How do you know what goes in the mind of an elephant? They communicate with each other all the time, but we can't hear or understand it.
How is that arrogant? We all come from the same place. We all evolved from the same source. The same phenomenon of life driving us all to survive/thrive/procreate. Just look at behavior. Because the mind is unobservable, that's all we have to go by. You're right, elephants are fascinating creatures. But an elephant is an elephant is an elephant. You know what to expect with them. You're right, we can't see inside the minds of each animal to see what's happening, so we have to look at behavior. So why does it have to be arrogance? It's just an honest observation.
Is it an honest observation that humans alone can make our own decisions or is that something you've been told? No wild animals are predictable. Even pets are unpredictable.
I saw a documentary on chimps a few months back that showed a bunch of male chimps attacking and eventually killing one of there own. One of the elders tried to put a stop to the attack when he felt there was enough punishment.
"It's an honest observation that humans alone can make our own decisions...?"
Not at all what I said. If you're going to 'restate' my argument completely wrong and then just argue against that, then there's no point in having this conversation.
How is the chimp behavioral observation even relevant? Male chimps ganging up and killing one of their own is not at all relevant to what we're talking about. You can see much the same thing across the proverbial board in mammals. And yes, animals are predictable. On an individual basis you may not know the specifics that lead to a particular action (like how hungry and desperate to eat a particular lion is in a given moment), but all in all you know what to expect from chimps and elephants and tigers and anything else.
If you're going to refuse to acknowledge the significant differences between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom then you've just got your eyes closed, and I can't do anything about that. Chimps killing chimps has nothing to do with it. Now, if chimps at any point do what humans have and completely transform how they live on this planet, thereby altering behavior from then on out for all chimps to come across the board, then maybe we've got something. Pack mentality and alpha/beta male behavior isn't new. Civilizations are. If the day comes when we see a plane flying over head and wonder if that's a human plane or a chimp plane, then we can talk. Or if you're looking at a satellite image of all the lights across the Earth's landscape and wonder if those are human or dolphin lights, then maybe that would be relevant.
When you 'observe' chimps or dolphins or any other creature beginning to behave in mass completely differently than their ancestors had for tens of thousands of years, then maybe we can pick this discussion back up. Until then, there's no comparison and your choosing to ignore the most obvious of observable behaviors, for whatever reason, is only really hurting yourself.
And just as a side note, if you want to really commit to the viewpoint you're claiming to be your own, do a little reading on Peter Singer. He's an atheist who attempts to establish morality through reason and logic and without giving any special credence to humanity as being in any way 'special', siting that all living things are equal in their ability to suffer. It all sounds pretty logical and straightforward until he starts talking about how it's justifiable to end the life of babies less than a year old or sexual acts carried out between humans and animals as long as they're not harmed not necessarily being 'wrong'. It's a slippery slope you're on here if you're not going to acknowledge the most basic tenants of humanism. You should really think it through to it's inevitable conclusions before deciding you're committed to this whole thought process.
For example ...
"[The argument that a fetus is not alive] is a resort to a convenient fiction that turns an evidently living being into one that legally is not alive. Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognize that the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being's life."
- Peter Singer ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer
Come on, I didn't say we weren't smarter. I didn't say our ability to share information hasn't changed humanity. We're talking about free will here and I'm trying to stick to that. The ability to make decisions is not unique to humans. There are those in physics who think free will is an illusion anyway. I may be an necessary illusion. The bible confirms this by making prophecies of the future.
Being smarter is a pretty significant difference. But it's not just smarts. Indigenous humans are just as smart. They're genetically the same, with the same physical brain, yet dramatically different behavior. And free will's not just about decisions. You're right, that's not unique to humans. Decision making and action choosing is vital to survival. Like I said before, it's more about desire. Desire that adds choices to the decision making process that are out of the norm where the rest of the living world is concerned. Desires born of a more pronounced ego that feels disconnected from the earth and the trees and the wind and the air and the animals. A more pronounced ego that makes you aware of the fact you're naked where it didn't bother you before. Unlike indigenous humans who feel very much connected to the living world spiritually. Desires that come from a place more interested in "I" than the tribe. I know in the realm of psychology free will is all about whether or not we make our own decisions. This is that, and more. Free will beyond mere determinism, but also a will that's disconnected, thus free, of nature. Free, as in, not connected. Separated.
The bible confirms free will when it says God regretted putting humans on the earth or when God tested Abraham to see what he'd do. Prophesy doesn't mean the bible supports the idea of determinism. Time is a dimension of the universe. God, being the creator of the universe, exists outside of the universe, exists outside of time, where there is no span of time between past and present, beginning and end. There's just what happened and what exists. No before/during/after an event. Just whether or not that event happened. In the case of Abraham, his decision wouldn't have existed if God hadn't tested him. God had to test him so his decision would then exist, so He would then know how Abraham would choose.
Do you actually believe all that? For real? First of all there are no people indigenous to the America's We are all indigenous to Africa. I can tell you however the first nations people of the far north are not content at all.
http://www.naho.ca/blog/2011/06/27/drug … and-inuit/
The believer will make up the most ridiculous and meaningless claims when they attempt to support their gods existence, pretending to sound smart.
What's ridiculous about that? And how could trying to understand who we are and where we come from be meaningless? If it's as you believe, THEN it would be meaningless because there would be no deliberate reason for any of us being here, thus no real meaning. I try to make sense out of the same information that you do. You just allow for the possibility of everything coming into being all on its own. I allow for the possibility of God being real because it makes much more sense to me considering who/what we are now and the meaning and purpose we assign to life. If you're right then there's no real 'meaning' to anything, and if I'm right then everything is meaningful. Both, if you really think about it, could arguably be deemed ridiculous. But existence really does exist, and has to be accounted for in some form or fashion. Either of us deeming the others' viewpoint as 'ridiculous', when neither of us know anything for certain, only hampers potential progress by making assumptions about what's possible in regards to what we do not yet know.
You are not trying to find out who we are or where we came from. You are trying to make sense of the nonsense of the bible.
And how are you so certain its nonsense? It's clearly meant a lot to a lot of people throughout our history, in every imaginable walk of life. And if it's as you say, just a product of our mind, then that to must be what nature intended, because it's all 'of' nature. Our minds, and every product of them, including super egos and indoctrination practices. And, if it's as you say, nature can't actually have an intention. And as far as the 'better place' scenario, you don't see nothingness as a better place than pain and suffering in the mind of a depressed person?
I don't think dramatic trauma to the mind is natural. A victim of child molestation will forever be altered physiologically and physically as a result of the physiological damage. Most children are able to survive, but the damage shows up later in life. What if the indoctrination is causing damage? Wouldn't you say that a person mistaking the minds internal dialogue with conversation and direction from God is having some problems?
But if there's no God, then it's all natural, right? Anything humans do, just natural. Anything. Nothing else behind it.
I can see you're trying to imagine a universe without a God, but you're not yet capable. Not understanding normal physiological development was my first tip.
Seriously? And you think I'm arrogant?
"It's arrogant to think one is special and entitled and that exactly with Christians do." - page 13 (talking to bBerean)
"See, arrogance. How do you know what goes in the mind of an elephant?" - page 12
"This is where I think Christians are arrogant." - page 11
"Your arrogance is becoming overwhelming." - page 9
Oh, I just didn't say that in my last post. I have no idea if you are personally arrogant, but your claims that only some humans were given free will, made in Gods image added with your claims that everything in existence is what God has given us is arrogant to say the least.
How did you conclude that from what I said?
In my view man was purposely created for a relationship with God, but given the choice to accept or reject that relationship. We do that in our life here and now. There is more to it, but even just that is certainly a point and purpose. We can barely comprehend our current existence. Beyond this we are told the Creator of that existence, has in store for us much greater things, which we could not yet even begin to comprehend.
How is that as pointless as our existence being just a curious accidental blip, without design, intent or purpose, manifested on the chart of time?
Lol. Dodging the philosophical issue that is indefensible. Typical conservative strategy.
If you believe in God, you believe you exist as a privilege and you have no rights as a human being outside of what God, in his mercy, bestows upon you. God is in complete control of your future. He set up the rules, and then punishes you for violating them, and you revel in it! I think those are right who say Christianity (or any theistic system with an afterlife that punishes) is mass Stockholm Syndrome.
If you like being the puppet of a celestial dictator, then fine. But be honest and admit it man.
Presenting a ridiculous, presumptive question where the very act of dignifying it with an answer would validate it's false premise, and undoubtedly considering yourself to have won some point by doing so, is a typical liberal tactic. Rather than take the bait, I responded in kind to expose it for what it was.
There is nothing to admit. All you did was express your view of something and then, again, attempt to force validation of it by claiming that not buying into your viewpoint is dishonest. More tricks to attempt to collect foundational pieces to a web of deceit. You'll need to be much more clever to entrap me in your game.
So are you going to respond to my philosophical argument or not? The logic is based on the very Christian idea of "God is not a respecter of persons," which I have seen you quote in forums in the past.
Refusing to engage in my argument is your free choice, but it doesn't help you explain why I am wrong. If my position is so easily refutable, then...refute it.
You have not presented an argument at all. You have given your opinion, and asked loaded, presumptive questions. Try asking a straight forward question, and I will see what I can do for you. I should be able to look back in a little later today.
Okay I will just copy and paste what I already posted if you don't want to scroll up and read it. I already presented an argument.
If you believe in God, you believe you exist as a privilege and you have no rights as a human being outside of what God, in his mercy, bestows upon you. God is in complete control of your future. He set up the rules, and then punishes you for violating them, and you revel in it! I think those are right who say Christianity (or any theistic system with an afterlife that punishes) is mass Stockholm Syndrome.
Okay here is a question. What role does human freedom and independent thought play in God's plan?
Human freedom and independent thought allow most of us to largely dictate what happens in this life, and addressing that would require a large narrative. In the interest of brevity, I will boil it down to the nuggets I think you are seeking, as I suspect I know where you want to go with it. Without delving into unusual or extreme circumstances, as a rule the following applies: We have a choice to believe or not. We have a choice to recognize our condition and need of salvation, or not. We have a choice to accept the provision God has given for this, or not. In so doing, we have the choice to select our destiny.
I agree with you that we have that choice. But that is ignoring the larger point I am getting at.
Can God strike you dead? Can God send you to hell? The answer to both of these is an affirmation of God's supreme authority over the lives of human beings: a resounding and unqualified yes.
It is similar to if I said, I am going to create a world and you with the physical and intellectual limitations I see fit. I am also going to have control over your life. You have free choice as long as I allow it, assuming I don't strike you dead, or my plan doesn't entail that you are born with a genetic disease that kills you at 3.
If your life is of the average type, and you live to be 80, and had the ability to "choose" in certain areas, you don't have the intellectual standing to contradict anything I declare in areas beyond choice, because I am the Supreme creator, the sole judge of truth and error, morality and immorality.
I have also provided you with a divine revelation, which apparently provides you everything I think is essential for you to know before you die, which I designed in my infinite wisdom.
If you do not accept this divine revelation as the truth, that's fine, but you are going to burn in hell if you do not. That is not a limitation imposed on me from above, for that would limit my power. It is a rule I determined is the most just, and since I am the source of all justice, you must simply accept it as fact.
How do you know which divine revelation is the true one? They all make the same types of claims to absolute truth and authority. But, you cannot use independent human judgment to declare me, God of the universe, wrong about anything!
Seems to be a bit of a pickle. Well, the way most people do it is giving away their powers of reason and independent thought to a particular religious tradition. You just better hope it's the right one .
I think you can see that God is still a supreme dictator. You may argue he/she is a benevolent one, but God is still a dictator nonetheless, that is involved in the control of every aspect of your life, from the physical (since God "designed your body), to the intellectual (since in Christianity, there is such a thing as thought crime).
Instead of asking whether the authority in question agrees with experience, reason, or scientific findings, the authority is first accepted, and everything else is filtered through it, thereby creating intellectual slavery that will forever bind its adherents to the dogmas of the religious tradition they happen to belong to.
If it was a truly independent inquiry, you would have the option of declaring christianity to be false, or God to not even exist. However, under religious precepts and dogma, a person who does that is guilty of one of the highest immoralities there is: blasphemy.
Sooner, I do of course, take issue with some of your points. I may have an opportunity to chip away at this over the weekend. I would like to say, based on the foot we got off on originally, I was surprised at your post. You have articulated your perspective well, and it is one I am sure a great many will agree with. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man", and I believe you have done a good job representing it.
Sorry I didn't reply "Sooner". Upon rereading your post a couple things became very clear. First, I believe much of what you post is at it's base accurate, but presented with a pejorative spin. There are a couple points that are just wrong, but consistent with that premise. This isn't someone asking, or desiring input, it is someone telling, which is fine. I am not asking either, and also have no problem with people taking it however they want.
I understand your perspective, and as I stated earlier, I am sure you have much support. In fact I think, for those speaking from the premise there is no God, and even if there were He should somehow be subject to the judgment, approval and understanding of man, it is a very reasonable perspective. "A way that seemeth right unto a man." What our egos do not want to allow for is that if there is a God who created everything, it is all His. We have no right or claim, just as you stated, and as distasteful as that may be to folks who for the most part believe everything is, or should be, for and about them, it still makes perfect sense.
For those who realize God owes us nothing, yet still lovingly provided a way for us to be redeemed, and who are interested in His offer, it is nothing short of amazing. You are offended by the "My way or the highway" perspective, and among men regarding their interactions between themselves, you and I would likely find agreement. This is however, God's game, His rules. How you play is up to you, but you can't justifiably complain when there is no alternative game available. Ultimately that is what it comes down to. God is vetting those who want to be part of His promise, and those who want nothing to do with Him. Both will have their choices honored, and be without excuse for making that choice.
Creation is incredible, as is the sacrifice God provided to restore a right relationship with all that choose to follow Him, and I have no problem putting my love, trust and destiny in His hands. Everyone has the same offer, so it is more than fair, again, considering we are owed nothing. In reality, what opponents view as unfair is not that there is a standard and rules by which this all works. What they see as unfair is that those rules are not what they want them to be, or that they did not get to make and impose their own.
You think our purpose is to make good feel good for making us. Your God sounds needy and high maintenance.
Not exactly universe changing stuff and arrogant to boot. An all knowing all powerful super creating being made us to keep him company.
Do you guys here yourselves?
How is it not more arrogant to assume that rather than us being created ultimately for His purpose, that instead we are entitled to being the center of everything? Is it not selfishness to dismiss any possibility of god if he is not there to serve you? Is it not arrogance to demand that god must be as you imagine he should be, fitting your rational, or that he must not exist at all? Do you hear yourself?
I don't demand anything from God because he does't exist.
It's arrogant to think one is special and entitled and that exactly with Christians do. It's humble to think we are but just another animal inhabiting a planet on the outskirts of one in billions of galaxies and that's what Atheists do.
At least you have conviction and certainty. What about all other things spiritual? Are you equally as certain nothing exists outside the material realm? Are you now convinced the voice you heard was just you? If so, how do you account for your fairly accurate clairvoyance?
To me, being willing to stand humbly before a Creator is less arrogant than the belief that there is no higher being than myself, (even if I allow sea snails to be my peers).
What I am certain of is the gullibility of believers. Everyone one of you takes my word that I heard voices, but questions everything else I say. The only question was who the voices were, not did I hear voices.
You guys are easy marks. And I proved it. I would have sold lottery tickets if taking advantage of the gullible were not against my moral fibre.
Interesting. We question your opinions and beliefs, but believe what you state as an experience. For that we are gullible. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt, unless I know them already to be a liar. If you are telling me you were just lying, fine. You used your one time and I won't fall for it again from you. Others, who have not lied to me, (at least not that I know of), may still have an opportunity to illustrate my perceived "gullibility." Personally, if that is the case, it seems to me it says more about your character than anyone else's gullibility.
You give people the benefit of doubt? If someone tells you they have a purple dragon that gives them powers you just give them the benefit of doubt?
How many people have told me outlandish lies here? One prayer from a stranger cured a severed spine? That you don't question?
Wether I lied or not is irrelevant to this discussion, but it's still something I've been given a lot of thought to.
Unless your answer was that it was all a lie, you still didn't address these questions. Please only do so if you are willing to be honest.
Benefit of the doubt does not mean carte blanche on any claim, it means "benefit of the doubt." In other words, if it isn't clearly a lie, I will consider it as being at least true in the mind of the presenter, unless I have reason not to trust them.
Whether you lied or not is relevant to every discussion. It determines the weight anyone will give to anything you present, and therefore affect their response to you. Dishonesty degrades trust and credibility, and at a certain point it becomes reasonable to avoid the interaction entirely.
"if it isn't clearly a lie" BS. Someone claims a strangers prayers heals a severed spine and not one says BS? Guy knocks on your door and says God told him to collect money and you buy that to? Gullible.
Someone says he doesn't think there is a God and you say BS?
Don't be such an easy mark.
Okay, then where is He? Bring Him on and I'll have that relationship.
No. Their purpose seems to be to collect all the unknown wonderful rewards. that await them. 72 virgins each perhaps? Even they don't know, but man it must be great.
Wish I could come up with a ponzi scheme like this. If the marks all think they get their reward when they are dead, you got it made. No way to get caught.
I've asked this question a hundred times and no one has ever come up with what the value added is when you think there is a god out there. Why is it so hard to answer?
This post is very appropriate... for those who subscribe to it. It is also appropriate for those who agree with free speech as the poster is simply expressing his/her thoughts. It is offensive for those who take offense to it (yes, an obvious statement I know). Is it accurate? depends on who is reading it.
Rad, you weren't wrong for addressing your feelings on it because it was posted on a public forum. so there is no big deal here..
I'd have a couple of comments for this one myself:
Even an unsharpened pencil still has a variety of uses.
Why have a point when the only reason you use it is to stab others with it?
Thanks Deeps, once again well said,
I for one feel my life has a purpose or a point and I find it strange that someone would post a Facebook comment telling me that my life has no point rather than pronouncing what the point of their own life is.
Free to speek, sure, but that doesn't mean free speech has to be appropriate, and is it really appropriate to tell someone else their life has no purpose? Why not just say "white people should all kill themselves because their lives are meaningless"? That wouldn't be appropriate even though you may in many countries get away with it under free speech laws.
All that being said, and I've asked many people the same question without getting any numinous answers. What point to life has God given you directly that that unbelievers don't have? How are you going to change everything?
My answer in itself is not an easy one to explain because of the fact that because I have learned a lot about you and other atheists on here from your responses to various discussions here. As I have tried to explain a couple of times, my chosen belief is more of an optimistic opinion rather than a certainty. As such, The point (so to speak) for me is that if there is something better than this I am working toward that. But at the same time, I still live my life and try to do the right thing more because it is the right thing to do rather than out of fear of any punishments. I just rather have a full life for myself so that whether my optimistic (but admittedly unknown realistically) opinion is correct or not (Which I am open to the idea that I might have been wrong) I am still living a full life for myself..
Now this explanation probably makes no sense to you (and I can accept that based on what I've learned from you) But once again, The way You live your life seems to be fery fulfilled from my point of view so you have no reason to understand, accept, nor subscribe to my opinion. But my way of living is no better than yours.
But the answer I gave you is more of why I choose to believe.. The actual answer to your question is there is nothing about my belief of having God in my life that is lacking in your own life (from my personal point of view). The only difference is your total lack of belief versus my optimistic opinion (but realistic lack of true knowledge)
Not when the post and the poster's intent was to be offensive, which they were. They were not just expressing their thoughts, they were making a statement towards those who don't share their beliefs. The post is entirely irrelevant to those who do share and is not meant for them at all.
As usual though, the intents of such posts usually backfire, and in this case it probably did considering that the statement is completely laughable to those who don't share and does little more than reveal the true nature of intolerance and superiority behind the poster.
That's funny coming from you.
"They were not just expressing their thoughts, they were making a statement towards those who don't share their beliefs."
That's all you do. For a good example, just re-read your last response to me. You don't contribute your knowledge to a discussion. You just make comments about the inability of people who don't share your beliefs to understand as well as you do or criticize their viewpoint as 'nonsense'. For someone who claims such allegiance to facts, you sure spend a lot of time stating baseless opinions with absolutely no reference to facts. Intolerance and superiority are your keywords.
Besides, if you can't see the logic in that statement then you're coming from a place of bias and not thinking about it objectively. If you think about it, that statement is relevant. Life, without God, has no point. Meaning, if life were not deliberately created for a specific purpose, then there is no deliberate point to life. It is just the result of a series of events. It's perfectly logical. What could possibly be the 'point' to life if its as you say? If there was no deliberate effort made on the part of a creator, how could you say life has a 'point'? Any purpose or point you or any other human may assign to life was something manufactured long after life began, therefore it cannot be the 'point' of life. Are you saying life does have a point? Because that kind of flies in the face of what you're usually saying.
And you are doing the same.
Claiming life without God is pointless instead of telling us what your point is. If the best you have is that you are collecting knowledge for the afterlife that seems pointless as your knowledge would be minuscule compared to the knowledge your God would be able to share.
ATM was completely correct when he said "the poster's intent was to be offensive, which they were. They were not just expressing their thoughts, they were making a statement towards those who don't share their beliefs."
If they weren't making a statement towards those who don't share their beliefs it would have been a positive statement, something like "God gives my life meaning by...". I'm still waiting for that sentence to be finished?
It's not a claim. Just think about it, Rad Man. It's a simple straight-forward fact. It's really very simple. And normally, it's something you'd completely agree with because what it's basically saying is that an existence with no God means there's no goal or endgame that life is evolving towards. Which you've actually said in the past, just in a different context.
From my perspective you should already know the point. It's about spirituality. Gaining spiritual wisdom and spiritual maturity. Spiritual connectedness with the creator. There's nothing new here. No great breakthroughs or revelations. And again, it's not like my life, as a believer, has more meaning and purpose than yours. You are alive and here just as I am. If there's a point, then it's equal for the both of us.
Besides, how do you know what the poster's intent was? It's clear that that statement incites a reaction out of you and others because it makes normally logically thinking people touchy and easily offended and completely incapable of comprehending the simplest of concepts. That's how you know emotions are involved and logic is not.
There is nothing mature about wishful thinking based on myths. That is completely childish.
You have yet to show a creator.
Not a chance. Embracing myths and superstitions while remaining ignorant to reality is not equal to understanding and embracing reality.
Well then embrace the reality of that statement. It's something I know you agree with if you just stop and think about it. Wake up. Your so blind to your own bias it's made you completely incapable of recognizing the utterly obvious.
If it's so utterly obvious, why is it so utterly laughable when one puts even an iota of thought to it?
I'm not sure you've done that yet. Let me know how it goes.
You tell me, what is the point of life then? Since you're so staunchly opposed to this statement. Life's just the result of a series of events, right? So then how could it have a point?
From whose perspective? Yours or mine?
Or, is it from the perspective of your imaginary god and the ancient book of myths and superstitions you embrace as reality? Of course, from this perspective, the purpose is enslavement to obedience and worship... a programmed robot.
That does not follow. Even if life was the result of a series of events, it could still have a point depending on from what perspective one observes it.
What is the point of life from your perspective?
Just as I said before with the stick figure analogy, the image of God you use to construct your idea of the believer's perspective is so simplified and thin that it renders you incapable of any chance of actually understanding. Much like a believer who's grasp of science is simplified and thin renders them incapable of actually understanding yours.
Combining our modern knowledge of history via science with that ancient book makes it obvious that you're way off base. Free will is the whole point and is the antithesis of the blind obedience of a 'programmed robot'. He had that before giving us free will.
A 'programmed robot' would be the reality of your viewpoint, not mine.
True, but aren't we all about airing out the delusions that people create for themselves and looking at reality for what it really is around here? And isn't any 'point' we might imagine for ourselves just that? A delusion? From a 'God-less' reality viewpoint?
It's funny that you say my statement doesn't follow. Just last night I ran across the following quote from Richard Dawkins that echoes exactly what I've been saying.
"This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose." - Richard Dawkins
It isn't to worship and obey an imaginary super being.
But, I do understand religious indoctrination.
The believers grasp of science is as non-existent as the gods they worship.
Free will would not demand worship and obedience with severe consequences.
And yet, your posts are rife with little else.
You forgot the opening line to that paragraph...
"Nature is not cruel, pitilessly, indifferent."
Saying you 'understand religious indoctrination' basically says you can only see it from your one perspective. So, in other words, you're incapable of seeing the believer's perspective due to your own self-imposed limitations. It's that same tunnel vision and lack of empathy that's to blame for humanity's worst atrocities. At the hands of religious institutions as well as many others.
To say in such a general way that 'the believers' grasp of science is as non-existent as the gods they worship' is a testament to your ignorance. Ignorance that can be quickly remedied with a bit of looking around. Ken Miller, just one example of many, is a Christian who is also a cell biologist whose grasp of science qualifies him to be a professor of biology at Brown University. Objectively deemed as having a good grasp of science by a respected institution and just one example of many that proves your statement false and your statement limited and closed-minded.
Clearly, your closed mind makes you incapable of grasping free will and the bible, hence your statement about demand for obedience. Maybe try to understand the viewpoint your criticizing if you're going to spend such an obscene amount of time doing so.
Adding that opening line does nothing to change the statement. Nature would have to have intent to be cruel. It is, instead, indifferent, because there is no intent and no purpose. And that extends to each individual who is a product of it. Again, that's from your viewpoint. You should get to know it.
Maybe you should spend less time criticizing the believers you're incapable of understanding anyway, and spend some time pondering your own viewpoint and what it ultimately means. Dawkins has. I have. And even as a believer I can still understand it well enough to reach the same conclusion as a renowned thinker coming from your own self-professed viewpoint. You clearly haven't, and it's sad that a believer has to be the one to explain it to you. You've been too busy telling believers they're wrong. The Spanish Inquisition had much the same MO. Of course, your limited understanding informs you that religion is the problem, rather than recognizing that it's all just humans being humans. Unable to recognize that you're just falling right into the same behaviors, repeating the same mistakes, because you're not coming from a religious perspective so you can't be the problem. Right?
On the contrary, it is a perspective seen by many...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoctrina … ctrination
The believers perspective is under the influence of indoctrination, that should be aptly obvious.
Could you define what you mean by "self-imposed limitations" and what it has to do with me?
Agreed, religions have indeed caused people to carry out some of humanities worst atrocities. Genocide comes to mind.
Wow, you actually found one. Well done.
Would this be the Ken Miller in question...?
"Miller, who is Roman Catholic, is particularly known for his opposition to creationism, including the intelligent design (ID) movement."
Isn't Professor Miller then in opposition of YOUR beliefs in Creationism?
I would say it is you who does not grasp the bible...
http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com … es-quotes/
Nonsense, it refers specifically to nature, that's why you left it out.
re: Religious Indoctrination
Yes, I know what it is and that that's the opinion of many. I believe it to be the case for a good number of believers as well, but it's not absolute. Besides, I didn't mean 'you can only see it from your one perspective' to say you're the only one who thinks that. I'm referring to your inability to see an alternative perspective to your own. Your one perspective.
re: Self-imposed limitations
I'm talking about your absolute certainty (faith) in your beliefs about the natural world where proof lacks and your total lack of regard for any other beliefs to the point that you don't bother to understand them. Self-imposed tunnel vision. A lack of perspective.
re: Ken Miller
First, whether or not he and I agree is irrelevant to the point. The point is it is entirely possible to have a firm grasp on science and believe in God. However, if you had dug just a little deeper you'd find that means he doesn't believe creation happened in a week....
"In the States, the word “creationism” is understood to mean the belief that the earth is 6,000 or 7,000 years old, that all living species were created at pretty much the same time, and that the geological formations of the planet do not reflect the world of the past but are simply artefacts of the worldwide flood. And there is this belief that the mechanism of evolution simply doesn’t work. That is what creationists believe, and on every single one of those central points the creationists are wrong. I think the creationists arguments against evolution are wrong scientifically." - Miller
http://fivebooks.com/interviews/kenneth … reationism
I do not know much about his beliefs, but from what I've read he and I are very much on the same page. Like me, he has found cohesion between science and God. I'm currently reading his book "Finding Darwin's God". I recommend it if you're at all interested in understanding the alternative viewpoint from a perspective that respects science. If you're as militant about it as you seem, think of it as 'knowing your enemy'.
re: Obedience/Grasping the Bible
Dude. If you'll recall, you spoke of enslavement to obedience and referred to it as being a 'programmed robot'. As I'm sure you're aware, God gave commandments. Laws. You obey laws, don't you? Yet I'm sure you still manage to behave freely within the confines of the laws of the land. Laws that are generally meant to ensure your liberties and freedoms don't infringe on the liberties and freedoms of others. You manage to be obedient without being a robot.
re: Dawkin's comment relating to nature
"Nature is not cruel, pitilessly, indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.
And how does that change anything? Are you suggesting humanity and nature are somehow unrelated? Is humanity not a product of nature? The same 'indifferent' process that Dawkins is referring to is the same 'indifferent' process that made us who and what we are.
But I think you know that, and am not sure why you're even trying to argue this point. It's pretty clear what he said.
You're still not listening or you're refusing to listen. Reality is not my perspective, it is the perspective we all share whether we like it or not.
Again, you're not listening. I don't hold beliefs in the natural world, I hold an understanding of it.
Sure, but not you, though. And, his belief in God does not agree with yours, or vice-versa.
Yet, here you are quoting him and attempting to use him as support for your beliefs.
You'll find that he opposes and demolishes your beliefs...
"He begins by systematically demolishing the claims of evolution's most vocal critics, showing that Darwin's great insights continue to be valid, even in the rarefied worlds of biochemistry and molecular biology.As he puts it, evolution "is the real thing, and so are we."
No, I don't follow biblical laws, if that's what you refer.
I don't need the laws of the land to live my life because I'm not a criminal for which those laws are meant. A robot needs programming, just like a believer needs programming.
re: Dawkin's comment relating to nature
The product or result of one thing does not necessarily mean it is under the same guidelines as it's progenitor. That would be a fallacy.
So with this generalized statement, you don't think that a believer can understand science? Wow. I've never seen you make a statement that can be taken as arrogance before.. I disagree with this assessment. I actually have a pretty good grasp on science and how things work. I don't think you are ignorant in this one, but I think your slight (valid though it may be) bias against certain beliefs does somewhat color this statement. Just because a lot of believers Gold tight to a belief in God as an actual certainty or (In my case) even an optimistic opinion doesn't mean they are unable to grasp the simplistic things that reality has presented to them.
Sure, if they gave it a try. We attempt to encourage them to do so at every opportunity, but the pleas often land on deaf ears.
Do you know why you can't see the creator?
Because that's basically what you're looking for. You're like a guy who's been sent to an airport terminal to locate a particular individual, who in reality you have seen many times, who has walked past you and brushed your shoulder, yet you didn't recognize him because you're looking for somebody who looks like that, which of course is nobody.
A ridiculous non-answer. It's hilarious how believers will tell you time and again how their god is right in front of you if you look hard enough... at thin air.
You are completely missing the point. The point is not the meaning of life, whether or not life has meaning to those who believe in God or not.
The post was directed at a particular group with a negative statement and not directed at a positive statement about themselves. Would it be appropriate to make the same comment racial or about sex? How does that same sentence sound then (life without being black or a woman has not point.)?
Isn't it better to make a positive statement and let others find meaning in their own lives?
And no, I'm not at all emotional about it because I understand it's completely pointless and ridiculous.
BTW, there is no such thing as spiritual wisdom and spiritual maturity. A spirit can't become mature if it's inherently a forever child. Moral development is a real term with actual implications of which all people can achieve, but to become morally well developed one needs to begin to understand whats actually right and wrong, and not because it's written in a book by God.
You asked what the point is from my perspective. I told you. Of course you reject it, yet you insist I answer. What was the point of asking?
I'm not sure how to make it any more clear, you are the one missing the point. How is the point not the meaning of life? It just said, "Life without God .... has no point." Point as in purpose. Reason. Your comments about racial or sexual comments makes it clear you're completely missing the point and instead are injecting all kinds of irrelevant information. Where'd you get all of that? Where's that all coming from? I didn't say it. That post didn't say it. That just leaves you.
Look closely at these statement,
A Life without God has no point
A Life with God gives me meaning.
The point is the second statement would have not been a positive statement whereas the first statement would be used only as an insult to those without God regardless of there actually being a God.
Well, I'm sorry you're insulted, but the truth's the truth. For there to be a point, there has to be deliberate purpose that led to us being here. It's just a fact, Rad Man, no matter how its worded. I get that you see this is a believer dissing the non-believer in some way, and that you feel your life has purpose and meaning without a God. I understand. But if we're going to be honest with ourselves here and face the real facts, then one of those is that if there is no God who deliberately created humanity for a purpose, then there is no real point to life. Remove God from the equation and it's just a cold, hard reality that we're basically an accident, that all the things we perceive as purpose, meaning, love, emotion, pride, etc, is nothing more than biproducts of evolution and social development, and that we are basically just advanced, higher evolved biological robots going through the motions, having to delude ourselves into thinking we're in control and that we being here has a point.
This is what you fight and argue for. There is no soul, no non-physical part of the mind, no deliberate purpose in how we evolved, no creator... just a cause and effect world. Well, accept it for what it is then. Wholly and completely. You can't just pick and choose and decide you don't like the whole God thing, but keep the rest.
It's the language you must not understand? As I said I'm not insulted, but the intent was to insult. I get that you don't think life has meaning without a God concept, but that doesn't mean I don't have meaning to my life or Life in general.
It's the phrasing of the post that was intended to be offensive, not the concept of the post.
But that's not necessarily true though, is it? I mean, look at how I'm reading it. In fact, you've said much the same thing to me and others, although worded differently, when you're trying to explain that there was no intent behind how we evolved. Like when we used to argue back and forth about creation and the lineage that eventually became birds. You'd explain that evolution doesn't have an end game in mind. That it was simply random mutation and whether or not those random changes were successful or not.
I can see how it could be taken wrong by someone who does not believe in God, but the fact remains. You have to understand that that statement by itself doesn't necessarily come off as an insult. I didn't see the events that led up to the posting, so you may be right. That might have been the intent of the poster. But it's not a foregone conclusion. In fact, when I initially commented way back when this first started, that's all I was trying to point out. The other way you could look at this where it was not an insult, but rather just pointing out a fact that falls right in line with the very philosophy you uphold and defend.
Further, I do reject you belief that God gives you a purpose by helping you to spiritually maturity because once again the term spiritual maturity is an oxymoron, and irrelevant as it wouldn't get you any closer to God in the afterlife anyway. I reject yours as you reject mine.
Fine, my point was, if you're going to reject it, why ask? Then ask again? Then again?
Why, because you claim it's a valid point and when in fact it makes no sense at all. It's okay for you to tell me my life has no point, but I can't get a coherent point from you?
Its coherent given my viewpoint. Its an individual will, free of the determined certainty of a purely physical world, where we're able to think and act of our own volition. Something that can be both creative and destructive, which means we must learn, and we must by our own will acknowledge the authority of the creator.
This is why I said spiritual maturity is an oxymoron. To be spiritual is to be obedient and to be mature is to think for yourself. This is step 4 out of 6 of moral development. You're talking your self out of making the next step.
Where did you get that spirituality is obedience?
From your own words
" Something that can be both creative and destructive, which means we must learn, and we must by our own will acknowledge the authority of the creator."
You acknowledge the authority of your government and obey the laws of the land, right? Yet you're still free to think for yourself and live and learn and mature. Just within the confines of the laws of the land. Laws that are generally in place simply so your own right to freedom and liberty doesn't infringe upon the freedoms and liberties of others.
Besides, if God wanted strict obedience, why give us free will? He had obedience before that, so why give us free will just to demand strict obedience afterwards?
Facts are irrelevant to you.
There is no logic in that statement and it is completely biased.
It's complete nonsense and utterly laughable.
So, life with an imaginary super being friend is perfectly logical. Hilarious.
Whatever point life may have, it certainly isn't in the pursuit and embracing of medieval myths and superstitions and remaining ignorant.
I can agree with this point too. It does show a marked superiority complex and arrogance
From personal experience, I can relate to this post - and I actually believe in it!
I think the post is Facebook appropriate!
Just my quick 2 cents, but there is really no point (no pun intended) to argue any of this, it is an age old battle that is impossible to change someones opinions on.
I know personally that without my invisible purple pet dragon my life is just meaningless. There would be no reason to get out of bed in the morning if it wasn't for fluffy.
Can you imagine the reaction I'd get if I reposed it with the (out) crossed out?
i can do more than imagine. I've done things like that before, and the response has been outrage and badness. I think the more important question may be why so many people are able to realize that you're criticizing a belief - not a believer. They are not one in the same, yet you're supposed to handle religious beliefs with little kid gloves in the interest of "not offending" someone.
Do you have any evidence of this dragon? Has it changed your life? Does it give you a reason to help people, even strangers? Does it make your life better than your life was before?
Since you know its imagination, because realistically dragons do not exist, everybody knows that, and therefore you would be displaying the same faith in your invisible dragon that christians display in God. I find that kind of ironic, don't you?
Still, i'd be ever so interested to read about how this invisible dragon has contributed to your life being more meaningful.
you don't really understand irony or hyperbole do you?
i think its ironic that you can't believe in God but you can believe in an invisible purple dragon and not in a hyperbolic sense
Sad that people can't get meaning out of life without having to believe in an all-knowing power that is guiding everything.
What's even more sad is that they can't understand anyone else getting meaning without God.
Its sadder that anyone would let this bother them.
Doesn't bother me.
I was commenting on what the OP believed. Stop being so trollish repair guy.
Its not a case of how SAD it is that people CAN"T get more meaning out of life. .. of course we need to define what meaning looks like,.. but to continue... some people for whatever reason or motivation just can't access 'more meaning' in their lives. From alcohol to drug abuse to beatings from an angry parent, to neglect and low self esteem, we need to realize that yes it is sad but in a different and less condescending way than you purport; It is a shame actually. But rather than criticize it is great to know that there is help so very near for all those who actually for solid (and unsolid of course) reasons NEED it.
And we can't just ignore those whose lives were not so sad that they couldn't find any meaning in it and came to God regardless of their good situation. Odds are even they are saying how much MORE meaning their life has now that God is in it along with those other 'sad' lives as well.
Expression...It's what We are, it's what We do. Our reacts to each other's expressing is the only 'control' we truly possess in Our matters, yes? Self control...nice 'virtue'...and my experience thusfar has proved out that 'Nice' does matter. 'Nice' meaning that we can express in a win-win way..."I hope your beliefs serve you well." Period. Self control needs no further 'justification'.
Most religious bases...not interpretations or editions, but their base designs...were meant as guidelines of co-existing vs. outright laws of governance. Guidelines are adaptable, laws not so much. In each of those 'most', there is a theology that defines the stages of 'Self control'...Hope, Belief, Knowing.
Hope is the Little (child)...seeking, searching for meaning of Self...playful & enthusiastic.
Belief is the Big (adult)...the seeking has gone from delight in exploration to "I've found & I'm right"...they simply do not know of the next stage...yet...this is a 'comfort zone', & We all know how difficult it can be to step out of this realm, don't We?
Knowing is Wisdom...Not adult/not child...It is Understanding. Understanding that Life is Life...You are here, you cannot 'fail' it, may as well make the best of it...& Nice is simply a strong part of Personal Best. Others' hopes & beliefs are understood to be as 'stages', and the Wise give them their space to become, just as they needed at their own times.
When one transitions from this physicality, perhaps it wiser to depart as 'good food'...for future thought, for future guidance, for Future's babes. The need to hope leaves so little, one's beliefs & evangelics leave little more than more questions. But Knowers have touched deeper than these 2 combined...they have cared for their bodies, so they are left as good food for babes...they have exampled Good Life, and thus, have left footprints & trails worthy of futures to follow.
idk, Kids...Oh, wait! Yes, I do!!! And the dish of the day...'Amazing'. If one seeks to be no less than Amazing, your Life will reflect the wisdom & knowing that Amazing IS. Just sayin'...
So, it is simply their opinion. Why let their opinion have a negative effect on your life? Will offering an opinion that will have a negative effect on their life make you feel better? Why?
Good point Emile, others are entitled to their opinion, while I'm not.
Your opinions are displayed here every single day, how exactly is your opinion being squelched?
You may notice that Emile suggested I shouldn't respond to the before mentioned Facebook post.
I did notice, how exactly is your opinion being squelched?
Am I not being told to just ignore the post thus squelching my opinion?
Uh no! Do you do everything Emile tells you to do?
I see, you're saying my opinions are only being squelched if I listen to others and don't give my opinion. Not to worry in this case I gave my mind.
Betcha didn't know it was possible to hypnotize people online. Rad man just thinks he doesn't do everything I suggest. I'd write a hub about it, but you don't give this type of information away for free.
Now, if I had said something to the effect of 'just shut up, rad man' I could see reason for complaint. What I said was simply be the bigger person. Who gives a rat's behind what others think? Does it really effect you that much?
No Emily, of course not, but it is about the hundredth post I've seen like this, my question is do I let the person know that they are being ignorant as they not even be aware?
Yes. The most honest approach is the most respected. If they take offense at being told their behavior is perceived as callous then they are doubly obtuse. But, to insult for the purpose of insulting throws you in the position of judging them guilty without benefit of a conversation to clarify.
We are all entitled to opinions. I'm simply questioning your motivation for sharing it. If the person who posted the inconsiderate comment did so naively, what purpose is served by taking offense? What purpose is served offering offense, if none was initially intended?
When someone posts something to Facebook, they post it to their own wall which is a reflection of who they are and what they believe or what they are feeling at the moment. It is also posted to your news feed if you have elected to receive your friends posts. If you don't like what your friend is posting you can always un-friend them, block them, or hide their posts from your news feed. Problem solved. That is the great thing about Facebook, you get to choose the people you want to associate with, it's not an forum open for debate, it's personal reflections that friends choose to share with each other.
That's what I usually do when family members post things I disagree with
I guess they can then elect to unfriend me if they don't like me pointing out the obvious.
Or if it offends you so much you can go ahead an unfriend them. You're the one with the problem with their views.
I don't know how most others choose their Facebook connections but mine consist of old high school and college friends, some old Army buddies and co-workers, and the rest are family. I don't friend random people or people I have never had a face to face conversation with, there are other platforms for that. My point is, if you can't have an honest and meaningful conversation with your Facebook 'friends' then they are not your friends to begin with... get rid of them.
Just a slight correction "you" can post things on other peoples home page if they are your friend...
can you imagine someone in authority saying that? heads would roll ... well... then again ...
I will have it known that I am not the Facebook friend to whom Rad is referring. He's not yet un-friended me for the plethora of insensitive religious humor that I post to my Facebook.
I have no problem people posting stuff about how god loves them or pray for this or that person, but this one seemed different. No?
No, it was different. It's one of those...I'm better than you because I believe in God type things.
Honestly, though, I wouldn't let it get to you. People can be dumb.
I suspect this is one of those times that she's surrounded by like minded people. It's really no big deal to me, but I was just wondering what would have happened if I reversed that post and targeted it towards Muslims or Christians.
I unfriend people for repeated pro-guns and anti-abortion posts. I don't try to change their opinions but I don't want to see their crap on my page. I unfriended my own mother because of it (I accepted her back a year or so later). It's nothing malicious, I just use my fb to relax and don't want to get stressed every time I sign on.
I see no reason to argue, what they believe is on them. Me choosing not to look at it is on me.
I unfriended close family friends during the pre-election period - on both sides. And, I routinely hide posts from some of my friends or family that are over the top. The easiest thing in the world to do is keep them out of my news feed and ask for notifications. If it's something I want to see, I make the decision.
There is only one GOD that died for our sins only one God that rose from the dead and conquered the grave. There is only one that turns water to wine. Only one creator of the universe and heavens. He is Almighty GOD, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. No other gods will save you or died for you. . I pray you come to know Him rad man. Truly I do. He is the prince of peace!! What if us Christians are right radman? In Christ, Skye.
and how do you know that ANY of that is true - or do you just WANT to believe it, so you claim it's absolute fact when, in reality, there is absolutely nothing to back it up.
Pascal's wager is nothing more than an appeal to emotion. What if Zeus is right? He's sure going to be pissed off that you wasted your entire life worshiping some other false god when you could have been praying to him.
Well fools are not common especially among gods and no, god cannot die.
Wine is out of fashion now(It was Dionysus who started it), can he make brandy?
There is no creator .
No he is Thor, Zeus and ninja turtles
If the god cannot save himself from dying how can he save any one? There are god who won't die. And a god should be foolish to die to save human when he can do it just with a word.
What if the Greeks or Muslims or Hindus are right skye? Your plight will be no better than rad mans. And didn't you read bible? "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Gospel of Matthew 10:34)
If the god cannot save himself from dying how can he save any one?
Matthew 26:53 Think you that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Matthew 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
Mark 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
Couldn't save himself from dying..PUHleeese..... this is why you are so negative about the bible; you never understood it and this is why you have so very much (negative and wrong) to say about the bible; because you know nothing about it - as the adage goes.
This is jesus talking about HIS DEATH in gethsemene before the cross.
How am i supposed to believe what you say is true when it is openly unbelievable and completely refutable?
What this irrelevant quotes got to do with anything? I didn't ask anybody to quote a book that is freely available, I asked a question. Either you know the answer or you don't, but why regurgitating a story book?
Since you know too much, that is ,how to cut and paste, you should be able to explain. So tell me who asked jesus to die and why? Is your god a deviant that he can't forgive humans without getting his son killed(or playing that drama)?
"This is jesus talking about HIS DEATH"
As quoted by bbc, or was it cnn?
Who wrote the scriptures and why was it written like that? [was the scriptures too were there from the beginning to dictate god?]
And was Jesus going to commit suicide for fun or was it just a play act and he really didn't die?
" openly unbelievable and completely refutable?"
Based on what? Certainly not logic or reason. Now do I have to quote catch 22 or Münchhausen's narrative to counter and make it believable?
You are a lot of work dude.
The funny thing is that in answer to your question, NOBODY asked Jesus to die. Nobody. Not a person ever. no one. No greater love can anyone have for his friends than he would lay down his life - and this is the God you don't quite grasp.
As to your ridicule of the book well I just plain do not disucs biblical things with people who deride the bible, so i guess we are done and that just saves me a lot of typing. I will mention that if you took some time to think about your questions above you should easily be able to see where you miss the mark by a very long mile.
Nobody asked jesus to die?
So was he committing suicide?
But then why were you quoting about some scriptures being fulfilled?
Yea its very difficult to grasp, god doing a drama of death to save humans from himself. If he had any sense he could simply forgive and save and get rid of the drama.
You might find it very difficult to write without quoting from nonsense, don't worry you will get used to it. You see I was very much tempted to quote from manchausen.
okay one more time, call it the grace of God.
Its not a suicide and it does fulfill scriptures, check out messianic prophesies on google for more information and you will find out these are what Jesus fulfilled.
Its not a drama of death, God killed the body he made. He did not take mary's and joseph's son, he birthed the body He (God) would inhabit to fulfill messianic scripture. God did not die just the body did and if you can't grasp why recall that previously animals were being sacrificed then read:
Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
God can't simply forgive without some sort of action because nobody would know how or what or who the, did anything and Gods people would still be sacrificing animals and living by the law of moses. So God allowed himself to go to the cross as a last and final sacrifice, this is where the phrase comes in he shed his blood for our atonement. In fact God set this whole thing up 2,000+ yrs before arriving as Jesus.
Sorry about the biblical quotes, not really, but this is what you get.
I don't really believe that you believe what you say, its just so silly and shows complete thoughtlessness.
As far as I know, god is not a being to have grace.
Who made the scriptures? Who asked for animal sacrifices?
It is god himself (according to bible) made the rule, and then he himself decided to make a body and kill. But if you look around there are other religions with gods who didn’t do such blunders.
Regarding the prophesies, there are no clear prophesies, other than that which were mis-interpreted to mean what came later. Also as the prophesy is already there, it didn’t take much effort to fit the later story to the prophesy, even then Mathew had to struggle. It is the same as the Nostradamus prophecies.
And why do you suppose I have not read bible?
I have read this and I have 5 bibles in three different languages, if I want to read one, without you quoting.
Who gave the laws of moses? Why didn’t he give more sensible laws instead of animal sacrifices? Why did he set things up a little more sensibly? And why god want to come as a human to get killed, why couldn't he simply change the laws? After all he did all that because he wanted to forgive. So why didn't he at least set a good law about the 'rules for his forgiveness', or at least change it later. As far as I know, except for the animal sacrifice he hadn't published his rules for his forgiveness.
(incidentally, why didn’t he give a cure to the many diseases instead of banishing the people afflicted with them)
Your quoting the bible and inability to think outside it is what I call silly and thoughtless. I bet you use logic and reason in your daily life though you stuff it out when it comes to religion.
Your religion and basic elements of it, like god making a body just to kill, to impress the humans and forgive them, is silly.
And an omniscient god should also realize that a human being’s behavior is totally at the mercy of his anatomy and learning(experience) and in a given situation a particular human can behave only that way which he behaved, hence do not deserve any sort of punishment for behaving the way he is ‘programmed’.
Your first line says it all. You simply don't know God and therefore you cannot even begin to answer your own questions about God. You no more know God than you know the other gods who "didn't make such blunders" although it seems you agree with their books however ancient.
As to the other errors in your post i will just leave them as errors, but
rest assured however that all these questions you struggle with are completely answerable; answered by many christians who seemingly are biologically engineered to understand God in spite of what a silly notion that is seeing as God changes the programming irregardless of the learning experience.
No one is engineered to understand god biologically. If that were the case, are muslims engineered to understand Allah, and how is that possible if there is only one true god, so all of the other god claims are false? Wouldn't everyone be biologically engineered to know the right one? How is there over 30 thousand denominations of christianity alone, if it were truly inherent?
we are, however biologically engineered to trust our parents our other people in authority from a young age. Its a survival instinct. That's why, in large part, most people don't stay far from the religion of their parents as defined geographically. Of course, some do, but the large majority do not. If I were born in the middle east, I would have most likely grown up being taught Islam. In the west, its typically christianity or catholicism. Religion is taught.
"christians who seemingly are biologically engineered" SEEMINGLY... thats sarcasm..... in SPITE of what a SILLY notion that ( biologically engineered ) is. Sarcasm.
No wonder the bible is not understood. Ya can't even understand 12 lines of post.
How could it be you think you KNOW God better then others? We are all given the same information and yet you claim you know him like you know a sibling? This fascinates me to no end. Then a little later on in your post you make the claim that Christians seemingly are biologically engineered to understand God. Does this mean you think you are biologically different then say Muslims? Meaning if you were born to Muslims parents in say Iran you would still be Christian? There is of course no evidence to support such a biased notion, however you may be correct in that there may be biological difference between believers and non-believers and if this were the case it would nullify the believe that God wants all to be believers for if he had then we would all contain the believer genes.
Could the biologically engineered Christians contain the ability that would make them exploitable and or dupable? While the (without the biological engineering) unbelievers more suspecting and or suspicious?
Biological maybe so.
Ya know how christians know God better than you guys.. by doing all the things christian that you guys say are foolish and that you don't do.
lol.... its simple.
I guess everyone completely misunderstood you and it's all our fault. And once again your post makes no sense at all.
Even as a fallacy, that's very poorly thought out.
The Christian god knows so many things like say tuberculosis and leprosy is caused by bacteria, epilepsy is not due to demons.... and Christian god did so many things like abolishing slavery, making all women equal. ....
And did a wise thing too, killed himself, a highly dramatic performance that entertained the whole world. What more one can hope for, from an ancient story?
I simply do not understand the 'nonsense, humanoid god' you are preaching and consider all the religions including yours as s***. It all talk nonsense and it all has followers who try to make some sense out of it and say their book is the last word though it is not even worth the time reading it.
Yes all the questions are answerable if one can throw away logic and reason, but then what value does that answer carry?
"biologically engineered to understand God"
Are usually cretins!!
"God changes the programming irregardless
Head injuries and cancers are not rare, but usually it does not turn anybody to religion. Once the brain anatomy is set, it takes much real learning(or chemicals) to change that and as most religious people understand that they try to catch children before they are 4.
And the question still stands, if god is the one who programs or change programs, a human being is NOT responsible for anything he does.
You're basing your life on a what if? You're hedging your bets, which means your not sure.
Christians have had 2000 years to show they're right, but have only demonstrated one failure after another.
hmmm. well there we have it... no good christian has ever been buried. I am amazed at your lack of wanting to be honest and at the lengths you will go too speak evil. Obviously the great wide brushing over all of 2,000 yrs plus is because of your unending research and godlike powers of knowing.
I have one word for your post
have a nice day
Your original question was is this appropriate to post to Facebook? You have been given various answers which when theology is discussed here or anywhere else may not be what you personally believe. So what. The belief or non-belief in a Christian/Muslim/Buddhist or little ole dragon concept is up to each of us as individuals. Neither side is going to sway the other. Everyone is entitled to think what they think-thought like fingerprints should be unique and different for everyone.
This is someone's post declaring their view to anyone who accepts their posts. Not a personal attack, just a general expression of their perspective. In fact, it doesn't say anything about believing or not. It just comments on the meaninglessness of an existence that is only the result of chance. If there is no God, and our consciousness is just random chemical interactions, it is without purpose or design, so what is the point? Interesting that you took it personally.
Now, these comments by you and UW, (others in this thread could have been included as examples as well), rather than speaking to whether a purposefully designed creation has meaning that random chance lacks, seem to be personal.
Stating as FACT that someone's experience, relationship with, and belief in their God IS just a figment of their imagination, certainly sounds personal. You don't know what their experience is, and likely would not believe it was real even if they shared. How do you know better than them if they should believe it or not, or even if it is real? Just because you haven't been given the facts to satisfy you and they won't make their God do tricks for you, you feel you can conclusively determine this is all in their imagination? Is "too bad", kind of like "no point", only directed personally at someone rather than being a generic Facebook post?
Frankly, I think all of the examples above are people expressing their views, and none got out of hand so nobody should be upset. I know Brenda is confident enough in her beliefs that expressing your views, even in the manner you did, won't bother her. What is interesting is why you were so thin skinned about the post on your page that didn't even mention belief, and went to lots of their friends, not just you. Perhaps it was not about you, just about them expressing themselves.
Show me where I said I took it personally? Show me where I said I was sensitive about it. I'm simply commenting on the fact that it's socially acceptable to take a jab at Atheists by saying that their life has no point. The same comment made towards Christians or Muslims would have been socially unacceptable. Brenda is a big girl, if she dishes it out she can take it as well. It appears to me that you seem to be the sensitive one and are bothered even by my comments that I should be also allowed to voice my opinion. You see, I'm not attacking your faith here, I'm just saying my life can be just as meaningful as yours and to this you find offence?
rad man I am sorry you are so angry. What a waste of time. Why are you so against God? Why are you stomping all over Him. NO need to reply I am not returning to this comment. Just wondered if you ever really looked in the mirror and wondered where it all started. How can you not see God in the creation? Well I move on. I do hope one day soon you trust God and by faithy you accept him as Lord. It is the only way to Heaven through Jesus Christ. Peace, Skye
Bye, I do hope one day soon you will trust yourself to see reality and accept your fait. I am not angry or against any God, I'm sorry your not able to understand, it must be an overly established super-ego trying very hard to become righteous to fit in with your peers.
Lucky for me, I use pens. They always have points and can be replaced for less than a penny!
Why sweat a Facebook post? Get a life . . . one with more meaning.
I'm glad you you have a sense of humor. I know all about you!
Im an atheist and my life has a lot of meaning to me. Pictures like this just show how ignorant and oppressive religious folk can be.
So if I don't believe in God, there is no point to my life, and I should commit suicide? There's a lot of nuance the facebook post is overlooking, unfortunately. I never knew my atheism entailed suicide.
Christians try to use it as a way to say aha atheists, our beliefs our superior. Without God, your life has no ultimate meaning at all. You are a small bit of matter that happens to be conscious of itself, and you will eventually disappear once your matter gets too old. With this, I agree.
But we cannot form our opinions based on our feelings toward a subject. If God does not exist, then no ultimate meaning exists. What does my emotional state have to do with evaluating the truth of this claim? Nothing. Furthermore, the Christian then asserts that ultimate meaning does exist. It's a coy game.
Hey Sooner28 haven't seen U in awhile...why don't you start a forum we can really sink our teeth into. It says a lot when you see all...these...comments. lol
I first saw this on a church marquee. My first thought was of some poor depressed Joe who saw that and just decided to drive off a cliff. I find it offensive to be honest, but then again I am not a Christian.
It is offensive and what's more offensive is that we have guys like Headly telling us our life does have no purpose, but his does because he has an invisible father figure giving him instructions.
That's not at all what I said. What I'm saying is that if you're right none of our lives have real purpose that isn't of our own making, and if I'm right then all of our lives serve the same ultimate purpose. We're all in the same boat regardless.
I would present it this way. No God would mean we are all just a brief happy accident with no eternal significance. If there is a God, at least from the biblical perspective, everyone's life serves as a testimony to Him. We get to decide if we will be a testimony to His justice or mercy.
Again with the father figure thing, do you guys realize you sound like little kids trying to please there absentee dad?
Please take no offense, as none is intended, but do you realize believers aren't (or at least shouldn't be), concerned about impressing others and are not embarrassed to stand with what they believe?
That's offensive, I'm sorry you don't understand. A life can have purpose and meaning without God.
You're clearly missing my point. What I'm saying is that if you're right and there is no God, then you and I being here is just the result of a series of causes with no deliberate purpose or meaning. If that's the case then there is no real point to life. Whether or not you are a believer, an atheist, or anything else. Anything you see as purpose or meaning is just a fabrication of your brain, nothing more. Because the same indifference a god-less universe exhibited in making you will be the same as the indifference involved in unmaking you. Or me. Or anyone/thing else for that matter. Existence, and everything in it, would exist with no purpose or meaning. And anything you or I or anyone else assigns to life as being purposeful or meaningful would be nothing more than the delusion we create for ourselves to convince ourselves what we do is somehow important. You can be offended if you like, but if you just stop and think about it, you'll realize it's just the cold, hard truth. Because everything you are and everything you've learned will die with you. And any memory of you will die with those that knew you. So what does anything you do really matter in that scenario ultimately? Just think about it.
I understand what you are attempting to say and I personally am not offended. I also understand that without your believe in God you feel your life has no meaning, you should understand that I have found enough meaning to continue with life without God.
I don't doubt that. But what I'm saying has nothing to do with my belief in God. It's just a fact. If a God deliberately created us, if that's how we began, then we began by the actions of a creator for a deliberate purpose, which makes our being here have purpose, whether we know it, believe it, or acknowledge it. There's a reason we're here. And if there is no God, we showed up way too late in the process for anything we think to matter in the grand scheme of things. So anything we convince ourselves of as having meaning or purpose is just a fabrication on our part because we have these thinking/reasoning/self-aware brains that make us aware of our own eventual demise.
"Because everything you are and everything you've learned will die with you. And any memory of you will die with those that knew you. So what does anything you do really matter in that scenario ultimately?"
So whatever I do while I am living is negated by my death? What if I discover the cure for cancer? I am having a hard time understanding your point. What about the here and now...does one's life not serve a purpose, it is not meaningful in the raising of children, serving the community, looking out for mankind? When I die, yes that will mean nothing to me because I will no longer exist. But it might mean something to the generations that go on after me.
Understand that I'm talking about the grand scheme of things. Let's take your curing cancer example. Let's say you did that. That would mean that your actions will have given numerous people years they wouldn't have had otherwise. To us, you're right, that has meaning. Just as raising good kids now has meaning to future generations who will one day depend on them in some form or fashion. But what does all of that really mean? Existence has been here for billions of years just fine without us. And when we're gone, again assuming there's no God, it will still be here totally unchanged. Ultimately, nothing we did while alive, no matter how grand or small or good or bad, would make any real difference. What we feel is important to us, regardless of a belief in God or a disbelief in God, is of our own making. So, in that context, that initial statement that inspired this whole discussion has merit. If there is a God who created existence for a deliberate purpose, then us being here means something, and everything we do means something. Because existence was created for a reason. If not, then it wasn't.
If raising good kids has meaning to future generations who will day depend on them, so that centuries from now, existence will do fine because of us.
When I die, I will go back to the nothing from where I came, so therefore what I do in my lifetime is important and does have purpose to me. So back to the initial post, I have never believed in God but my life does have a point. It may be of my own making, but since I do not believe in God, to me it makes perfect sense.
But free will exists with or without a god. We all make our own choices regardless of whether god exists or not. You make your choices in part due to your belief in that god, but that is ultimately irrelevant. V
Think about that. How is that really possible? If there is no God and no spiritual/non-physical soul that makes up a part of the 'self', then everything our mind is is nothing more than the product of our biology. It's matter and energy and it conforms to all the same laws as everything else. So, how can a bundle of biological material have its own free will in that regard? You're right, we can remember our past and imagine possible futures, so that gives us the illusion that we make our own choices. But if all we are is nothing more than the product of a biological/chemical/physical brain, then it is impossible that that matter can have its own will. In reality that would mean that all of our actions are merely determined by our past experience and our biological make-up, and you could not have actually chosen any differently than you did in any given situation.
That's simply untrue, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution.
Can I leave work and shoot someone? Yes. Am I going to? No. Why not? Because I have no desire to, and I'm aware of the consequences should I choose to do it. High minded animals like apes and dolphins make choices. You're not claiming they have free will, are you?
No, what you're saying shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the natural world, matter, and energy. Look at animals. Their behavior is predictable. A bear is a bear and a bird is a bird and a tiger is a tiger. Generation after generation. They can alter behavior, but only when external conditions call for it. Clearly we are different. Even indigenous human cultures are for the most part predictable. You know what to expect because they behave the same way humans have for countless generations with little to no change other than changes that the environment they inhabit call for. Same physical brains, totally different behavior. Those humans who started building cities and roads and wheels and computers and manned missions to the moon, that's different. That's free will. And it's those humans who now populate over 90% of the planet. What other animal do you know that has completely altered their surroundings and their behavior over the course of a few generations? Bees have lived in hives for as long as there have been bees and ants have always behaved as they do. And monkeys and horses and everything else. Humans, on the other hand, lived one way for numerous generations, then we started changing things. And it all started in that same spot that Genesis is talking about.
Think about this, how do genes or proteins or sugars configure themselves in such a way as to allow you to have your own will?
I didn't realize that pic would be so small. If you can't blow your screen up big enough to read it, here's what it says ....
Dog- Do you think the chemistry of the brain controls what people do?
Dilbert- Of course.
Dog- Then how can we blame people for their actions?
Dilbert- Because people have free will to do as they choose.
Dog- Are you saying that 'free will' is not part of the brain?
Dilbert- Of course it is. But it's the part of the brain that's out there just being kind of free.
Dog- So, you're saying the 'free will' part of the brain is exempt from the natural laws of physics?
Dilbert- Obviously, otherwise we wouldn't blame people for anything they do.
Dog- Do you think the 'free will' part of the brain is attached or does it just float nearby?
Dilbert- Shut up.
Your arrogance is becoming overwhelming. I couldn't get through the first few sentences without stoping. Physics indicates that free will is an illusion. Not only do you think humans are the only ones able to make decision, but you think only special humans are able to do it. I feel like I'm trying to explain to the leader of the KKK why racism is wrong.
Rad Man, sometimes I really can't tell, so I'm just going to ask. I know you've said in the past you like to challenge people to see what they'll say, so are you being dramatic here as a means of riling me in some way, or are you being serious? Just a few posts up you were saying I was being offensive, then you said you weren't personally offended, and I believe this is the second time you've insinuated that I'm a racist, which I really don't appreciate.
But I get it. You spend a lot of time in these forums and that can put you in a more argumentative stance than a conversational one. You don't really think about what the other person is saying. You just respond. Believe me, I've spent enough time in these forums to know this is a perfectly understandable situation.
We've talked about this before. I showed you what I was talking about. I gave you references, I referred you to books, I quoted scholars and anthropologists who are speaking of what I'm talking about. I know it's not always the case in these forums, but I promise you that when I speak of indigenous cultures, or ancient cultures and civilizations, any of that, I'm talking about things I've researched. I'm not just making stuff up or talking out of my butt. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't just assume the worst. Look it up. Read about it. Or maybe ask me what I'm talking about or where I got that from.
I think I maybe know where we're getting crossed here and I hope maybe this will help. I understand you see the natural world and 'reality' to be one thing, and all of this God stuff to be some other thing. Like there's this line where reality ends and spiritual fantasy stuff begins. A barrier. If you want to understand where I'm coming from, you have to understand that from my perspective God and science and the natural world and every living thing is all intertwined. There's no separation. God's as absolute as gravity. There's no special humans or special abilities. There's no magic. It's all one and the same.
You know what the primary difference is between indigenous humans and those who came from the civilization boom? Contentment. They're content. We're not. That's the difference. We're not better, or smarter, or any more capable. We have the same physical bodies and the same physical brains. And they have the same living soul within them that we do. The difference is we're discontent. We're separated from nature, from one another. They're not. They don't feel the need take land, or even own land. To them the land belongs to everyone and is as connected to them as the air and the seas and the rocks and the animals. It's not theirs to have. That's us. We believe it is ours to have. Ours to take. We cross the sea, 'discover' land, and stick a flag in it and claim it. Nevermind the others who have lived there for thousands of years. We built cities and civilizations through our discontentment. We're disconnected from nature, and feel the need to study and explore it. To understand it. To manipulate it. We're not content with just being. Just living. We have to ponder existence and debate with one another. We're hung up on stuff. On possessions. It's discontentment caused by a separation from nature. We're walled off, so to speak. Similar to the psychological idea of armoring. We wall ourselves off from nature, from each other, and from our own feelings. It's the ego. That's what free will is. It's a will acting on its own behalf, totally disconnected from the natural world it's a product of. Acting more from a selfish 'me-my-mine' standpoint than as a symbiotic participant in something much bigger than us.
It's not that it's some super power. It's not that the tree of knowledge was magic. The story of Adam and Eve depicts two people making a choice on their own accord that was of their own will. It was an act of selfishness and it separated them from the natural world. From God. If there is one thing indigenous cultures are not, it's selfish. Quite the opposite. It was an ego that wanted knowledge for itself, and wanted the fruit because it looked like it would taste really good. They weren't content with the whole rest of the garden. Everything else is of God's will and is content just being what it is. All living things are just content being who and what they are and having what they have. We're not. We want that fruit. We want that knowledge for ourselves. We can't just trust that it all works together and it all makes sense. We have to KNOW that. Verify it for ourselves.
That's free will. That's us. That's what all the history books describe over and over again. From 4000 BC forward, we began building walls and oppressing women and building armies and making weapons and enslaving the 'natives' and it happened over and over and over again. That's our painful and messy separation from the natural world and from God. Imagine if we all just did what Jesus said and forgave. Imagine if we weren't so eager to be appalled by what people say or think and we weren't so quick to condemn. Don't lie to one another, don't steal each others stuff, don't kill each other, and forgive each other. It's really very simple, it's how everything worked so smoothly before, yet it's just impossible for us to do.
I know this is excruciatingly long, but I hope this maybe helps you see things a little better from my perspective. And I feel it appropriate to include this one more bit that I think a Rush fan can appreciate. These are lyrics from Maynard James Keenan of Tool, my Rush, and I think they're fitting here ....
Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father
give these humans
Now they're all confused.
Don't these talking monkeys
know that Eden has enough
to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden,
Where there's one
you're bound to divide it.
Right in two.
Angels on the sideline,
Baffled and confused.
Father blessed them
all with reason.
And this is what they choose.
Monkey killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And where there's one
they're bound to divide it,
Right in two.
Or if you'd like to hear it, here it is ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjzHZDPrYKg
It was not my intention to imply you're a racist, looking back at my post I can see how it could be read that way.
What you are saying is offensive, but I'm not personally offended.
You: Your life has no meaning.
Me: Sure it does.
You: No it doesn't, mine does but your's doesn't.
Me: What meaning does you life have?
You: Your life has no meaning.
Me: Yes it does, don't tell my I haven't found meaning in my life.
You: Your life has no meaning.
Me: What meaning do you have.
You: Free will, 4000 years ago, indigenous people...
BTW Indigenous people are not all content. That's a sweeping generalization. A few years ago we had a researcher wanting to do research on the intelligence levels of the different races. He wasn't allowed for good reason.
It's only offensive because you're misunderstanding. Take the back and forth you gave as an example... for example. That perfectly illustrates the flaw. It's not that my life has meaning and yours doesn't. We're both occupying the same existence, so whatever applies to me applies to you as well. If your life has no meaning (no God created existence for a purpose), then mine has the same lack of meaning because I still live in the same God-less happenstance existence as you. And if my life DOES have meaning (God DID create existence for a purpose) then yours does too because you also live in the same God-created purposeful existence. Whichever way you go, we're both in the same boat.
And I understand how you could see what I'm saying as a sweeping generalization, but the evidence doesn't lie. For tens of thousands of years, thousands of different cultures all around the world for thousands of generations have always been 'Matrist' cultures, meaning "democratic, egalitarian, sex-positive and possess[ing] very low levels of adult violence". They weren't materialistic, the dead were all buried in the same size graves and never buried with possessions, there were no defensive walls, no ruling/working classes, and no distinction between male/female roles. This applies to ancient cultures in Africa, the Middle East, ancient Europe, Asia, Australia, North/South America... everywhere.
The first sign of 'Patrism' showed up in the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia. That's the first place that there was a ruling class and a working class, with the ruling class serving as a centralized coordinator of labor and the working class working the fields. Before that every culture that ever existed before, the homes were always the same size, just like the graves. Starting there in the Ubaid culture, starting with that first city-state Eridu, there was a temple at the center with homes situated around it. Then it spread out from there. It's well documented. That's why large settlements that predated Eridu, like Catal Huyuk, the Lepenski Vir settlement, the Vinča-Turdaș culture, are not called city-states, or cities, or civilizations. They didn't qualify. You have to have an economy and a class system and a governing body to qualify.
And you're right, it's not ALL indigenous people. It's just ALL of them that haven't come in contact with Patrist cultures. Where their way of life was unimpeded, their lifestyle remained unchanged because they were simply content with their lifestyle. Change comes with discontentment. When you're content, are you motivated to make change? The proof's in the proverbial pudding. In the behavior. And in where/when behavior changed.
I not sure why you can't understand. I'll briefly try again.
My reality has no God. You are telling me my life has no purpose in my reality. Whether or not a God exists is irrelevant to the meaning of my life if I don't see him.
Yeah, I get that. It's not that I don't understand, though that is perpetually your assumption. We don't agree on something so I must not get it, or must not know what I'm talking about. So then you feel you have to explain it yet again, or re-paste a definition again.
I'm just being realistic about your view of reality. Are you? You've told me multiple times that humans aren't special. So which is it? The original post said that without God, life has no point. In your view there isn't a God, so, in your view, what's the point? What's the point of racoons existing? What's the point of humans existing? For their to be a point, wouldn't our existence have to have been purposefully brought to fruition? With no purposeful creation (ie. a creator), how can there be a point? We're just here. There's no point to it. Right?
There you go again telling me that my life without God is meaningless.
I get up everyday with a mission. I recognize that in the grand scheme humanity will come and go and we will most likely not last nearly as long as the dinosaurs did, but that doesn't mean I don't a a purpose. Right now my purpose is to raise three kids that can have a fulfilling life. To do this I've got to partner with my wife to make enough money to provide food, shelter and an education for them.
That's enough for me.
What purpose has God given you that without it life would be pointless?
Uh-huh. And everyday a momma raccoon starts with a mission too, to care and provide for her young, so they can have a fulfilling life. So, what's the point of raccoons?
I'm not telling you anything. I'm just stating facts. According to your view, humans aren't special and serve so purpose. The dominant species could have just as easily been some other species, other than humans, right? So what's the point of humans in your view?
And why is it you can question and criticize the view of others and that's fine, but when I do the same I'm telling you your life has no meaning? You told me humans aren't special. But I didn't come back and say, "There you go again telling me I'm not special". I'm not doing anything different than you. You tell believers all day long why their views don't work. Have you not turned that same critical eye towards your own? Does your view really work? Does it stand all on its own? Or is it just the better choice because you find the alternative unacceptable? Because right now there seems to be a conflict. How can the entirety of humanity not be special, yet your own individual life have meaning?
I just explained that to you and you still refuse to answer one simple question. Like Rosco says I've got work to do.
You think your explanation resolves the apparent conflict in your view? You might want to ponder than one for a while. And I didn't refuse to answer your question. I just refuse to answer it again. When you find the time, go back to the first time you asked and read my reply. I answered it way back then. The answer you so diligently seek has been right there all along. The problem is, if that mock back and forth you provided a few posts back is any indication, you didn't understand the answer. Now don't get all offended. I'm not saying you're not capable of understanding. I'm just saying you're not listening.
I'm not conflicted at all. I don't need a father figure to have a fulfilling life.
This has nothing to do with a father figure. We're talking about your viewpoint, not mine. And having a fulfilling life is not the same as your life having a point, hence the original post. I'm glad you're fulfilled, but that doesn't mean your life has a point. If existence is how you see it, how do you see your life having a point? I'm not talking about your evolved survival and nurturing instincts. I'm talking about your life, or my life, or anyone else's life, having a point in a purely causal universe? If we're here by mere chance, how can there be a point to our lives?
This is really funny. You're trying to convince me my life has no purpose. Never get a job at the suicide hotline.
Sorry my life has meaning and purpose. Humanity will come and go, but that's of no consequence to my life. I'm sorry you can't understand, but that's most likely why you need a father figure.
But it does have consequence on your life because you too are part of humanity. If humanity comes and goes, that includes you and your family and me and my family every other human who has ever lived. How is that of no consequence to your life? Where will you be? Oh, that's right. Gone. Why is that? Oh, that's right, because you're a human. See how it's all related?
Right I'll be gone, but while I'm here my life has meaning. Your catching on, but it must be hard for you because you can't grasp no longer existing. I went through that when I was 12 or 13. I look back when I get a chance to see how you described the meaning of life according to you.
Don't get a job on the suicide hotline. :-)
Right, your life has meaning to you while you're here. Does that mean there's a point to life? Get what I'm saying? Look at it this way. Let's say you drop a handful of rocks on the ground. Is there a point to the way the rocks are laying on the ground? No, because you just dropped them. Now, let's say you took those same rocks, but rather than dropping them you carefully laid them out in such a way as to spell out a message. Now is there a point to the way the rocks are laying? Yes. Because you deliberately laid them out for a specific purpose. If there is a God that deliberately created existence then all of our lives have a purpose whether we know that purpose or not. And if the universe just formed on its own then there's no point to life. Get it? It has nothing to do with how you feel or what you assign meaning or purpose to. You're still just one of many rocks laying in no particular fashion for no particular reason. Hence, no point.
Yet, what a quandary if you believe even a highly complex message written in the rocks does not indicate intelligence was required to cause it. Nothing as complex as DNA mind you, but still complex. In that case, even with the message, you still have no purpose or point because you believe no intent was behind it. Sorry, couldn't pass that up.
This is very simple really, we are talking about the mean to ones life while you are talking about the meaning of humanity. two different things.
I take it by your comment you don't know what the point of humanity or life is. You just assuming that if God put us here he did so for a reason. That's an assumption.
Sorry, my life has meaning and you can't convince me otherwise (funny), humanities existence doesn't, but that's irrelevant.
Yes, bBerean beat me to it. The original post didn't say 'without God Rad Man's life has no point'. It just said life.
I went back three pages and didn't find your explanation as to what purpose god has given you.
Page 8 ... "Well, if it's how I see it then you and I are both serving the exact same purpose."
And I restated everytime I said that if you're right neither of our lives have any real purpose and if I'm right we both serve the same purpose. Yet each time you turned that into your life not having purpose and mine having purpose somehow simultaneously. Though we both occupy the same existence. It's can't be both ways. Either both yes or both no.
You clearly don't understand. My reality and beliefs are different and therefore we need to discuss within our realities. I gather meaning within my reality and you yours, regardless of who is right about this God thing. So, your telling me my life has no purpose because that is my reality. If I'm wrong regarding God it doesn't change my life if I never believed in said God. If your wrong it plays no bearing on how you got through life, while you were alive it was your reality.
From what I can gather the only purpose you described was collecting knowledge to share with the collective in heaven?
Your reality and beliefs and my reality and beliefs have no bearing. Existence has existed for billions of years before us. Just because you came along one day and formed your own beliefs and your own concept of reality had no impact on whether or not there's a point to you being here. Whether or not there was a point to any of us being here was determined long before any of us were actually here. The meaning and purpose we assign to life is of our own making, but doesn't change whether or not our being alive right now has any point to it.
In my mind, the whole point is to make it possible for us to live eternally with our own minds and wills, because we'd have the knowledge base of the entirety of human history to understand the impact of our actions. Because every decision and every action in every imaginable scenario has already been played out. It's a means to an end. A way to convey the wealth of knowledge someone able to behave of their own free will would need to wield it knowingly.
Kind of like how individual cells developed a way to work together so they could form these colonies of cells we call a body that work in such harmony that it appears to be just one single entity. Fortunately, cells don't each have a mind of their own. Right now we're a bunch of individual cells learning how to coexist, and we don't do it very well. We self-destruct. The way we live now is the equivalent of your right arm not being able to get along with your left arm. If all the cells in your body don't acknowledge the authority of the DNA and work together within that uniform way then it's chaos, with a bunch of individuals deciding for themselves how best to behave, without having the knowledge to understand the purpose they serve for the rest of the body to survive that all cells are connected to and live because of.
This topic should be tagged to "Hot topic status" It has produced some good commentary. As most seem to do when it is a "God versus No-God" forum.
I have been following this forum here and there since it was originally posted. Some of the debate has been fascinating and most of it has been academically and logically stated but I must say the most intelligent statement I have seen is your last line in the above post (quote) "Perhaps they should be left alone." (end quote) Although I think this applies to all those who have joined into this forum (including myself) no one is going to change how they feel/think about this.This horse is almost dead.
Actually, Muslims believe in God and wouldn't be offended by this statement. I have heard many devoted Muslims talk about God, some saying "God" and others, "Allah." There would be a bigger issue if the FB post said "Life without Jesus..." I like the post and agree with it. I also get lots of posts about Christians who converted to Muslims (from my Muslim friends) and discussions from Jews. Plus, I get comments from atheist friends. But maybe it should all be taken in the spirit of friendly debate. I take no offense at any of these religious nor atheist FB posts because I know the people who make these statements and they are very, very good people. And they take no offense when I make statements about my beliefs, too.
What lie? What have I said that you know for certain is a lie? Name just one thing you can prove is a lie, or even factually inaccurate.
The brain controls what people do, right? The brain is a physical/biological organ, correct? So at what level can physical matter make a choice? In any given decision you weigh the pros and cons given what you know, your past experience, imagined potential outcomes, etc. In what way could physical matter have responded differently in any given situation than it did? There are laws that govern the behavior of physical matter and energy, with definite, consistent outcomes given the conditions. So, in what way can the behavior of matter be the responsibility of the individual? It's all matter, right? At what level, or in what particular fashion does matter have to be configured, so that it should then be held accountable for how it behaves?
PHYSICAL evidence of a SPIRITUAL realm. It's not like Ghostbusters where Egon can build a hand-held device that can somehow detect ectoplasm. It's spiritual, as in non-physical. Thousands of years ago the writers of the bible made that distinction. In spite of that, based on the findings of the physical sciences, you deem yourself qualified to tell others that there is no spiritual aspect to life and that anyone who thinks so is delusional. See the problem? That's like looking at a picture of a high school dance and saying, "See, there's no music."
The social institutions, technologies, behaviors, mores, and human conditions that make civilization according to the Sumerians, the inventors of civilization and many of the foundational discoveries we still use today, say they did all of this because they were following the decrees of their gods.
Saying someone is 'ignorant' assumes that they lack known knowledge. That there are known facts that they are unaware of. And delusion is a false belief invalidated by evidence. By the same standards in which you use them, the same could be said of you. That your belief that this universe and everything in it could just come about on its own is ignorant or delusional. Neither can prove the others' statements for certain.
Like it or not, acknowledge it or not, you and I are in the same boat, my friend. We just hold different beliefs in regards to what is not yet known.
I think you made a good point, Suzy Crumcakes. To believe that free will may be an illusion would be equivalent to saying we aren't responsible for any choice we make or anything we do.
But I didn't say we aren't responsible for our actions or thoughts, What I did say is that we may make the same decisions every time all the circumstances are the same. That's why I said it may be an illusion. We are responsible, but given the same scenario, same brain chemistry, and circumstances the decision may be the same every time.
How then do we learn from experience? If you make the same decision every time, you may sometimes develop a harmful pattern in life. If you made a wrong decision that hurt you in the past, in a forthcoming similar circumstance you alter your choice because you learned from your past experience. Also, what about regrets? Are there times you look back at previous choices and regret what you did?
Of course you will make a might make a different decision because the next time your brain chemistry will be different because you are both older and have learned from the previous mistakes.
I'm not even sure if I believe it or not, but it's possible that free will is an illusion in that in any given time our decision will be the same. If we were able to make the same decision a million times over without knowing the results we'd make the decision the same each time.
Yes you did, and you're right. It may be. And if that is the case, everything humans have ever done was actually not by choice. Including religion and believing in a spiritual realm. The mind, and everything born of it, was just a series of events determined only by biological machines behaving the way their make-up determines in relation to the environment. It's all natural.
So, in what way do we have control? If the decision was determined by the scenario/brain chemistry/circumstances, how are we responsible? Could we have controlled the scenario, because each decision we made in every moment leading up to that was also the product of the scenario/brain chemistry/circumstances. Chemistry too, because our brain chemistry is also determined by our genetic biology and what we choose in each moment to put into our bodies, which of course were choices mandated by the scenario/brain chemistry/circumstances.
You can't have it both ways. Either we're in control or we aren't. And if we are in fact in control, then that doesn't jive with the laws of physics. Not if there's nothing more to us than physical matter.
Sorry, you're not understanding. I didn't say we were puppets and our decisions are already made. I said it's possible we will make the same decision in every single instance. It's still up to us to make the right or wrong decision, but if given the chance we will make the same decision a million times over.
A few days ago a gentlemen here in Toronto was stabbed in the throat on the subway when coming to the defence of a few people being harassed by a troubled 20 year old moron currently out on bail. That scenario may play out the same no matter how many times it run and everyone would still be responsible for there actions.
See what you did there? You completely miscomprehended what I said, repeated back nonsense as my viewpoint, then argued against that strawman. Then say I'm the one that doesn't understand. In this case your strawman version of my statements is "I didn't say we were puppets and our decisions are already made." That's not at all what I said. 'Puppet' suggests someone else is in control. And I didn't say our decisions are already made. I said exactly what you did. That the decision is determined by the scenario/brain chemistry/circumstances. I'm sorry you feel it necessary to resort to such gimmicks.
You said 'it's still up to us to make the right or wrong decision'. Explain that. You're not making any sense. It's all still just matter and matter behaves the same way every time. There's no deciding whether or not to behave this way or that. Water freezes when the temperature drops below its freezing point. There's no deciding whether or not its going to. If the conditions are different, like the pressure level, that value will change accordingly, but it's always going to behave the same way given the conditions. Having similar past experience that helps inform another similar decision changes the conditions, therefore possibly changing the outcome. But its still matter behaving the way matter behaves.
And if that's the case then every brain that's ever made a decision in a given moment was just matter behaving as matter does. Each and every time. There was no individual in control of whether or not their brain matter was going to behave this way or that. It's going to behave however it behaves given the scenario/brain chemistry/circumstances. So, that means, all things done by humanity, all throughout history, was never in anyone's control. It was just matter behaving as the natural laws dictate given the conditions.. scenario/chemistry/circumstances.
You're almost there, but you're just missing the necessary illusion part.
Looking back "puppets" was not a good choice of words as it does imply someone giving direction and that is not what I meant. I meant someone responsible for our actions.
Look back at the example I gave. Each person would still be responsible for their actions even though they would make the same decision for the same exact event. They are responsible for their brain chemistry whenever possible. If one goes of their meds and commits a crime then they made the choice to go off their meds.
I have to admit this is difficult to articulate. But remember that free will may be a necessary illusion. The illusion is necessary for us to make the correct decision. Without the illusion our decision may be different.
Let's look at what you just said. Let's examine the person who goes off their meds and commits a crime scenario. Just like every other decision, the decision whether or not to take their meds could not have been within their control either, right? That decision, like all others, was the result of how that person's brain responded in that moment given the conditions. If that's the case, then it applies to every decision. Whether that decision be to take or not take the meds, or whether or not to commit the crime. You can't say that a person doesn't have control in a given decision, but then say they did have some sort of control in the conditions in which the decision was made. Because every decision that played a part in establishing the scenario/brain chemistry/circumstances for a given decision would be subject to the same process. It can't be either/or. It's one or it's the other.
No it's not. Just because we would continue to make the same decision doesn't mean we aren't responsible. We are responsible because we should know right from wrong. Once again, it's necessary that we are under the illusion that we are making a decision.
What? If we're not actively making the decision, if free will is just an illusion as you said, then what difference would knowing right from wrong make? The brain is matter. That's it. Matter behaves the way it's going to behave. How does right/wrong even play into it in that regard? Even what you establish as right/wrong, in whatever way you did so, would be subject to the same conditions. No actual control. If your concept of right/wrong plays into a decision, then you didn't have control of it in that moment, nor did you have control in establishing the parameters in the first place. It's like a rock rolling down a hill. It can't consciously change its course. Its course is determined by the conditions of the environment.
You are actively making the decision. A decision is being made based on the current environment. Right and wrong is part of your brain structure and chemistry so it plays a part in your decision. But given the same scenario we will make the same decision every time. The illusion is necessary for us to make the right decision.
Rad Man, think about what you're saying. "The illusion [that we have free will] is necessary for us to make the right decision." So, let's say you're right and that being aware of the determined nature of our decision making process in itself affects the brain's decision making process, being that it is no longer under the illusion that it truly has free will, you're still talking about determined behaviors. Determined decisions. The parameters change, the environment changes, knowledge and information changes, the chemistry of the brain changes, and in this case even whether or not the brain understands that it's under an illusion of having control can change, ultimately we're still talking about actions and behaviors that were not actually within the control of the individual, but were determined by genetic predisposition, history, and environmental conditioning.
I don't know why you keep saying the decisions are not under our control? It is a little difficult to understand. You may want to give it some thought without your preconceived notions about free will.
I'm not saying it is this way, I'm saying perhaps it's this way. It's just one of many theories, but it actually makes sense.
My preconceived notions don't play into what I'm talking about here. This is from a strict materialism standpoint. How can you control how matter behaves? Or, better yet, how can matter control how matter behaves, since you too are matter? You and your brain are made of the same elements that can be found elsewhere in the world. The same atoms and molecules and elements that all behave in very predictable/repeatable ways. That's the whole concept behind the scientific method. That behavior is predictable and repeatable. To say we have control of the outcome is to say that the outcome can be something other than the predictable/repeatable/expected behavior. Like a rock rolling down a hill changing course and rolling up the hill by its own choice, without an external element causing it to do so. That's the equivalent of what you're suggesting.
I am suggesting no such thing. You obviously believe in free will and that you make up your decisions. I'm explaining to you how this is possible without God. I've explained to you the necessary illusion of free will that you're not able to comprehend. You seem like a smart guy who should be able to understand it perhaps I'm not able to explain it well.
I've got a tight deadline and problems with MS word right now (what's new). You may want to do a google search for The necessary illusion of free will. The link below I haven't read and was the first on the google list.
http://beforethelight.forumotion.com/t1 … -free-will
And perhaps your assumptions of me and what I believe and how that affects my ability to comprehend is getting in the way of you realizing I understand exactly what you're saying, but that it doesn't change the point I'm making. For example, here's a quote from the link you just provided ....
"Yet as a (human) subject we must posit this degree of "freedom" counter to the actual total causal determinedness from which we do in fact arise." If it's an illusion, it isn't real. No matter the complexity of a system, no known configuration or level of complexity that has been found makes possible an exception to the rule that enables matter to behave in any way contrary to its nature. If it's all physical matter and energy, and nothing more, then free will beyond mere illusion is not possible.
It's an illusion and it's necessary for it to be an illusion. We are still making decisions because we don't know the outcome. We still have thought. Free will has nothing to do with going against nature, that's your preconceived notion. Humans can't do anything that we haven't evolved to do, we can't fly and we can't swim deep without aid.
You've still made the decision, it's just the same decision you'd make every time in that time and place.
But it's not really a decision if you couldn't have chosen differently, is it? It's just as you said, an illusion. Still not actual. I get that you're saying the feeling of being free is to account for all the alternative potential decisions not acted upon because they're too vast and too minimally understood to account for fully, logically and reasonably. So, as to not feel we're just machines carrying out the only possible determined action or decision, we associate those lesser understood and unrealized possibilities as 'freedom'. But all that really means is that, as you said, free will is an illusion, which makes determinism the real truth.
Sure, there are unknown outcomes. This does not mean we could have chosen differently, which you have said. Which means, it wasn't really a choice. Only if the alternative choices were actually possible, is it truly free will and not determined. To say 'you' made a decision is to be speaking from your place of illusion, because you didn't really make a decision as none of the other options were actually possible.
You've said it often of me, so I know you can understand how this could be one of those things you really want to believe, because you're really reaching here to make it so. Like in previous discussions when I'd try to point out how life cannot have real meaning and purpose beyond the illusion we create for ourselves if there was no deliberate creation that set things in motion that resulted in us, because we showed up too late in the game for the meaning and purpose we assign to life to have any real bearing on our being here.
It's the same thing here. You're able to accept the universe just came about on its own without a father figure in heaven to guide it, and you're able to accept the utter unimportance of humanity as a whole considering our short insignificant fleeting time in existence and our insignificant non-centered miniscule place in the universe. Yet you hold tight to the idea that your life, in spite of all of that, still really does have meaning and purpose. Here too, you're holding tight to the idea that you are really 'you', in spite of your purely physical/material make-up, and not a biological robot passively participating in your life.
It can't be both ways. If existence is as you see it, then a will that is actually free in that reality would not be physically possible.
I don't have time to read all that right now, but it is a decision if you think your making. You've gone threw the thought precess and decided something, it's not important if you'd make the same call every time.
"You've gone through the thought process and decided something". But who is 'you'? 'You' and your mind are one and the same, correct? And your mind is nothing more than the product of your brain, right? And your brain is made of matter, right? And matter behaves in specific, consistent ways. Yes, your brain went through a thought process and reached a 'decision'. But if it was physically impossible for your brain to behave any differently than it did in that situation/environment/condition, then 'you' didn't really have a choice. Therefore, your behavior is determined and not chosen. You yourself are saying free will could be an illusion, meaning not real. If the only two choices are free will and determinism, and if free will is an illusion, then that means determinism is the reality.
Exactly, the illusion that disguises the deterministic reality.
It's just a theory and not mine, it does however make some sense.
You're right, it's an interesting theory. But whether or not there's any truth to it, the fact remains. In a purely material world free will is not possible. The illusion of free will can have an impact on the decision making process, but it's just a condition and the thought process itself is still a determined outcome. There was still not an actual choice willfully made.
I still think the choice is willfully made. It's just the same choice we would have made every time in the same space-time. But because we can't go back to the same space-time we don't see it.
I do too. But that notion works with my worldview, where I'm not sure it computes from your perspective. Tell me, how does a mass of matter have a will in a strictly material reality? At what point does a bundle of neurons become a willful being capable of making willful decisions? In previous discussions you would explain how everything that is the human condition can be equated to lesser developed behaviors seen in the animal kingdom. That everything we know about being a human is actually evolved instincts and physical/chemical characteristics in the brain that translate to feelings and emotions like fear or anger or love. You even acknowledge the inability to have made decisions any differently. So how does any of that equate to a 'willful' being? Is it not just programmed behavior? Genetic traits passed on from previously successful ancestors? That all makes perfect sense from a deterministic standpoint, but doesn't work quite so well where having a true will is concerned. Anything that seems 'willful' in that regard would more than likely just be the illusion of a will, but not an actual will.
To be willful is encoded in our genetics. A small tribe trying to survive will put the tribe first. Once the tribe is established and no longer in danger individuals will become selfish. It's survival really. Ultimately, for males the need to pass on genetics to as many as possible become paramount on a sub-conscious level even if you have to beg and steal to get it. Those with a strong prefrontal lobe will be in better control of these impulses. An impulsive person will not make a good mate.
That's my take anyway.
I understand and agree, with one exception being the bit about individuals becoming selfish once the tribe is established and no longer in danger. Logically it sounds reasonable, and it's basically what I used to subscribe to before learning the evidence, at least in the case of humans, conflicts.
And I'm also not sure about our 'willfulness' being encoded in our genetics. From a strictly material standpoint, that would mean that the 'willful' gene that compels and motivates living things would have had to have been one of the first genetic traits considering it's uniformity in every branch of the animal family tree. And I mean, an early genetic trait, like pre-cambrian, simple, single-celled early. After all, even the simplest of single-celled organisms will retract from potentially harmful chemicals.
Genetics are usually more about long/short legs, red/brown hair, more/less testosterone. In a complex multi-celled creature a genetic trait that gives off-spring more/less hormones, like testosterone, could then be realized in behavior because there's already a brain and a nervous system where more/less hormones would have a dramatic effect on how they function. But for a phenomenon like a 'will' to be stored at the genetic level, established by a specific sequence of amino acids during protein synthesis, I can't see. But hey, I'm no geneticist.
It makes perfect sense in terms of you describe human history and first nation people. Small tribes people look out for and after each other in an unselfish way, but when your in a city the need for selfishness sets in.
I would not have been one of the first traits, but it could have been. It's just what he brain does to survive and procreate. It's certainly a big part of being a child, watch a child with his favourite toy and you'll see selfishness. Looking at the difference between the chimp and the bonobo we can see two almost identical looking species with a completely different set of emotions.
Genetics applies to all of us. Smart people generally have smart children. Identical twins always have similar IQ's.
My wife and I are both artist and guess what, all three kids are artistic in one form or another. Our friends who are a engineer and a mathematician have children who are both gifted in math.
Did I say I was even specifically referring to you?
You're question is meaningless unless you define "level" - what do you refer?
Responded differently how? What given situation? What are you talking about?
I have no idea what you're asking?
What levels? What fashion? What does configure mean? What are you talking about?
Yes, and the non-physical is indistinguishable from the non-existent.
And, they were completely ignorant about the world around them. They knew nothing but myths and superstitions.
That makes no sense whatsoever.
LOL. No, they weren't. Sumerian mythology has many gods, one for each thing. The gods created humans for their servants but set them free to do as they please when they became unmanageable.
That is an argument from incredulity.
So, no then? No, there's not a single thing I've said that you can prove to be a lie or factually inaccurate? You say all the time how obvious it is that I don't understand. If that's the case then there has to be something I've said that you know to be factually wrong that makes it so obvious to you that I don't know what I'm talking about.
What level do I refer? Is it at the cellular level that brain matter is able to behave in a way that's contrary to natural law, thus giving us control and making us accountable? Is it the neurons that actually have control of behavior? Is it at the molecular level? The atomic level? Subatomic? At what point in the process was there an actual decision made that thereby makes the individual responsible for that action? Because it's all just matter and matter behaves according to the laws that govern it, right? Nothing could have happened any differently than it did because matter behaves in predictable ways. Even if we don't yet understand it well enough to predict it. The natural laws are absolute and matter always behaves accordingly.
So, that would mean, in the specific moment when a decision is made, if that exact same moment were able to repeat, the same situation, same conditions, same mental/chemical/emotional state, the same choices to decide between, it would not be possible for the individual to have chosen differently than they did. They would choose the exact same way every time because their actions are actually just a biological result of the brain's function. The choices available to us that we 'choose' from only really give us the illusion that we had a choice and could have chosen differently. When in actuality, the material brain was just behaving as it always does and the resulting choice is just the sum of its make-up. So, if we're able to justifiably hold someone accountable for their actions, at what point in the process did they actually have conscious control? Could they have altered the outcome if the outcome was just matter behaving as it does?
As for the Sumerians, yes, they were decrees by the gods. Each known as a 'me'.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_%28mythology%29. You're right, the Sumerians believed they were created by these gods to serve them, and they were the work force that carried out the labor orchestrated by the ruling class, which was mandated by the 'mes'. They established their system of government, awarding kingship, among other things.
You are making it too complex for yourself. Cause and effect make you responsible. A mad man is responsible for his acts. We do not old them responsible but they did the act. A wild dog bites kids, we take it off the road. Cause and effect. It did an act and is responsible for it. So it is a dumb animal? So what?
The doing of the act makes you responsible for the act and all acts have consequences.
Even if you do not have free will you are still responsible for your actions. How could you not be? You did them.
Why did you do them? Generic predisposition mixed with history and environmental conditioning. Cause and effect. Try living as if you are not responsible and see how fast cause and effect slap you down.
But that's just it. Listen to what you just said at the end. 'Try' living. To say I can 'try' is to say I have control of the situation. That what I do, or try, is not just the result of genetic predisposition mixed with history and environmental conditioning, but something I am in control of. So how is that possible?
Hardly. You have a range of possible choices. You react to stimulus. You reacted to my words by trying to find an example of control. In effect my post demanded a reaction. Cause and effect.
How you react depends on your conditioning. From the range of possible choices your conditioning narrows it down to one. You only potentially had all those other choices. Not actually. Your conditioning makes them unavailable in those particular circumstances.
Processing new information changes out range, (learning) but it takes away as many possible choices as it creates. Example: Before saint Paul had his vision he helped Rome kill Christians. After his conversion that choice was no longer open to him.
See how that works?
You do things because you like to. It looks like free will. You want to do this. You may get excited about it. But you do not choose your likes and dislikes. You like ice cream or you do not. You are conditioned or predisposed to, which ever it is in your case. Just because you want to do something does not mean you have free will. You do not choose the reason you do things.
You have will, to be sure. Lots of it. It is a manifestation of your conditioning.
I understand all of that. It's basic determinism. So then, how do you suggest I 'try' living as if I am not responsible? Isn't it not really up to me?
What is you?
Yes, good question. Exactly. That's the whole point I'm trying to get across. ATM was speaking about religion being this problem that needed to be eradicated. That it's a major cause of a lot of our ills. So, I asked him if he really thought humanity would be 'better' if we were able to convince people on a global scale that all this religion/God stuff is nonsense. If every individual alive was going about life with the understanding that there is no real purpose to life because we're just here due to a series of events, that there's nothing beyond death, and that we're all just the product of our make-up and not actually capable of behaving differently than we do. He asked what I meant by that.
And if that is the case, then it makes one wonder at what point we do have control, if any. What do we hope to accomplish by having these discussions, for example. True, you could increase knowledge and change behavior in that way by, as you say, adding and removing choices. But if it's as you say then even choosing to have these discussions isn't actually in our control either. So, if that's how it's going to play out that's how it's going to play out. We don't actually control any of it.
The point I was driving at is that if it is true that there is no God, no deliberate creator, if we are all no more than the product of a series of causes, then coming to that realization essentially robs us of everything we hold dear in regards to being human and reducing it all down to mechanistic happenings with each of us simply going through the motions as passive participants.
Not passive participants. Functioning participants. Our function is to gather information, process it, and pass it on. Even our DNA is part of that pattern.
So discussions like this, learning, determining fact from fiction, is not only a survival tool, it's part of our function.
Religion is a problem as much as it has been of benefit. I would like to see it replaced by the logical mind. I think then we would have the best of both worlds because logic dictates morality just as religion does.
But It has to die naturally as the logical mind evolves. Taking it away and not replacing it with anything would not be wise.
What value do you think god adds? To me it adds none. If you want to think of yourself just going through the motions without a god, what adds value if there is a god?
I don't see a difference. You give meaning to your life, or you don't. A god can only give it's meaning. That's not your meaning.
So ask yourself what a god really adds. Let me know.
Okay, actively participating, physically, but not actually steering the ship. With any sense of 'freedom' being a coping mechanism we adopted because for some reason we, though we're only really survival machines built as a means for our genes to replicate and carry on which they're inexplicably compelled to do, really care about being in control, and not being determined.
I'd say the value God adds is purpose. It means we were deliberately created for a reason, that the genius that fashioned this incredible world we live in wanted us to exist as well with our own minds and experience all life has to offer, and that everything experienced in life, good or bad, is for a reason. Without that we're just here as a result of a series of events, and this handful of decades we each experience here is nothing more than a moment on an incredibly long timeline when a spec of the universe became aware of itself for a brief instant, like a flash in a pan, before returning back to the recycling bin of nature. Like the free-falling whale in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that became self-aware and experienced wonder for a few moments before plummeting to the ground.
But what is the reason? You keep going on about how it wanted us here etc for a reason. What reason? And is it your reason? No it isn't. You did not ask to be born.
We experience all life has to offer even if there is no god and we were created by the transformation of energy. Life is amazing with or without a god.
You still have not shown me how it adds value? You are just thanking it for what is here, wondering at it's creation, and a god may not have had anything to do with it. So I don't see your problem. Isn't it even more amazing if a god had nothing to do with it? I think so.
Oh yes, and you have the illusion of free will and control because you do not have a clue what comes next and life demands you make choices. You must make choices. Is that not enough?
Look, as I asked someone else: If this is what it is like to live by conditioning then what has changed for you? Nothing but that knowledge, You will still love and you will still make mistakes and you will still be loved. But you will know an interesting fact about existence.
Do you not prefer the truth rather than a lie that makes you feel good?
For me, knowing what the truth is is the only thing I care about. I do not care what the truth is. I have no stock in what it might be or might not be.
But my opinion over the years has become that the highest probability is in the determinism camp. I can't really see a philosophical way out of it.
Can you really see a logical mechanism for free will? No one I have ever spoken to has been able to come up with one.
But that knowledge, if true, means significant changes. For example, on the worst side of the spectrum, that would mean someone like Hitler didn't willingly do all those horrible things, it was just his conditioning. Or, on the flip side, we give credit to Charles Darwin for his theory of evolution. That basically reduces the contributions of Darwin to being nothing more than his conditioning as well. In both cases they were just the being that lived in that time and place and happened to have the genetic predisposition, past experience, and accumulated knowledge that made what each of them did happen. It makes both being held accountable for wrongful actions, as well as giving credit for accomplishments, part of that lie as well. When in actuality nothing they did was by willful choice. Ultimately, it reduces humanity down to a collective organism and not a large population of willful individuals.
I am all about the truth as well. That's why I have these discussions. See, I have always seen cohesion between God and science. It has never been an either/or scenario for me as neither the 'truths' I was taught growing up in church, nor scientific findings, where the natural world is concerned stand on their own. But together they tell a complete story. The problem with a viewpoint of pure materialism is partially what we've been discussing, that it robs humanity of everything we hold dear and reduces it to cold mechanics. But beyond that it also doesn't account for the will in all things that compels them to live/survive/procreate. The phenomenon of life. A God setting that in motion by willing it to be fits nicely with the rest of the story as far as evolution/adaptation is concerned. And so does the idea of a non-physical/spiritual being interacting with a finite world through a finite body where free will is concerned.
There's also the idea of intelligence coming about from an unintelligent causal process. Like its a biproduct. I mean, we each experience the dynamic world of the human mind, yet it is completely undetectable. By all outward appearances it's just firing neurons and oxygenated blood flow and chemical changes. If we did not each experience the mind for ourselves, there'd be no way of knowing all the incredible things going on in that mass of brain matter. What is the likelihood that it's the only thing in all of existence just as capable of reason and creativity, yet is totally undetectable? Plus, you just have to accept that the values of the laws of the natural world just happened to create the exact right conditions for us to be here as we are.
I see free will as the whole point to all of this. A God capable of creation who could either not create existence, create existence with everything and everyone behaving exactly according to His will, or create an existence that includes beings with their own minds and their own wills. Humanity works best when we collaborate. As long as you have a clear mission and a clear chain of command, we can accomplish incredible things. Basically, though this is pure speculation on my part, I see humanity as working towards the next Cambrian explosion, and this life is the means in which God imparts the wisdom needed for us to wield a truly free will. We can exist, with our own minds and wills eternally, we can have a relationship with God, as long as we acknowledge that God is the creator and is the sole being worthy of being the authority where all others fall short. Like the cells in your body and how they 'acknowledge' the body's DNA code as the authority, as it has proven successful over numerous generations of multi-celled beings, where individual cells only have the experience and limited perspective of being a cell and only living a few days. Without the cells of your body all adhering to the authority of the DNA, this body wouldn't work. But with that acknowledgement, chosen freely through our own will, we can collectively be something truly incredible. That's kind of how I see it anyway.
What if I were to tell you that there is nothing but life?
When you have been doing this a long as I have you begin to realize that something very strange and amazing is going on. But before you realize that you have to follow the evidence to the core of the matter. To do that you have to drop everything you thought you knew and start over. The end result is well worth it.
I’m going to give you an alternate purpose for totality. Let’s say this is hypothetical. A model, if you will, taken from science but philosophy of science not science in and of itself.
What do we see from what science has found? First and foremost, we find that all things including you and me, are made of energy. There is nothing but energy. Mass is energy in a different form, like water can be ice, liquid, or vapour. Energy transforms constantly and manifests in almost infinite forms. This part is science fact.
Things constantly evolve and change. Small changes are cumulative leading to large changes. Everything interacts and with interaction comes more change. Sometimes it is violent change and sometimes it is so small it’s hardly noticeable. Chaos breeds order. Entropy is the arrow of time and the governor of chaos.
All these things called laws of physics are the nature of existence. The nature of energy. Our nature. As above, so below. Energy cannot be destroyed and it cannot be created. But boy is it creative. Chaos breeds order because conflict demands resolution because entropy ensures that recourses for continued disorder run out.
Creativity comes out of conflict. A need is felt and a solution must be found. Cause and effect.
Chaos makes the otherwise predictable mechanical world of Newton unpredictable. It brings the uncertainly principle to the macro world. It creates complexity from simplicity. All things are part of a system consisting of systems within systems. Everything is interconnected.
To what end?
Everything above is science fact. It comes from physics and from Chaos theory.
Descartes tried to prove the existence of god through perfection. He claimed that humans can only know what they have experienced in some way. So the fact that we can imagine perfection, and yet could never experience it, it must be something god put in our heads, because we can think of nothing greater than god.
It does not prove the existence of god, of course because we can always think of something better. We wish for a better life. When we have it we can imagine a better one. We can keep imagining a better life until all needs are met and surpassed. But at that point we run up against perfection. We cannot imagine anything better because at that point there can be nothing better. So Descartes opening premise was wrong.
Physicists have marvelled at the universe and noticed that in many ways the universe keeps creating more and more complex replicas of itself. Even natural selection seems to allude to it. The universe seems to be trying to find balance, and perfection. Not that it ever will, but there is that tendency there.
Humans want perfection but know they will never have it. Yet that is what all the conflict is about. What is better? What is perfect? We try for a perfection we will never achieve. Yet like the universe we are made of we try.
So that was philosophy.
Now to philosophy and metaphysics.
Perhaps it is not that a god created us or that perfection exists. And can perfection exist without all things having reached it? If one thing does not agree that all is perfect then there will be conflict and by default imperfection. So if a god existed already it cannot be perfect or all would be perfect.
By god I mean that which created or produced us. It is the most common ground I can come to between atheists and theists. God may be an intelligent being or energy and its nature may be god. Either way, this imperfection suggests that god is in disharmony. For what perfect thing would need to create anything? If it has needs it is not perfect by default.
And if god is nature then we can see that it is not in complete harmony and it is not perfect without needs nor in perfect unity. So in effect all things are god’s problems and we do what we do. We live and we interact and we learn and we resolve problems to balance ourselves. At the same time we do god’s work with everything we do, negative and positive. We can’t help it. We are made out of god/energy/the totality. We are part of it. Individuality is fleeting. When we die, the energy that is us goes on for eternity, merging and transforming, but individuality is lost. We give ourselves up to the whole which we never left.
So perhaps this is not about us having been created by a god, but rather that our existence our lives, our triumphs and our failures are all in aid of creating the god-state? The state of absolute perfection. Not just us, of course, the interactions between all things. No one gets out of here as an individual. That would be selfish. To be an individual for eternity would prevent complete unity and perfection.
So what higher purpose can there be, even if perfection is impossible? What purpose could be more worthwhile? What could instil the idea of morality more within a person? And what more demanding a task master than cause and effect to reinforce the idea of morality? Put your hand in the fire and it will burn.
The above is based on the philosophy of Rational Pantheism which I helped create for atheists who wanted/needed their own world view/atheistic religion. It was created on the internet in the 1990s under the name Scientific Pantheism. This particular line of reasoning was brought about by the fact that some people need a purpose. I do not. Yet I do think that there is a good probability that there is some fundamental truth to it. I take it as metaphor.
To be continued.
Well, it makes sense to me that in the end, we ourselves become cosmically conscious through intuition which actually requires a sense of self. We pull in, so to speak, the consciousness of God and become one with the Causal.
There are definitely some elements we agree on here. One of the biggest distinctions I think it's important to note is that in the context I'm speaking from the intention is not for perfection. Not in this existence as we know it now, in this life. See, from the perspective I'm coming from, free will is the point and everything within this existence is for the purpose of achieving that end. A physical, finite environment of cause and effect, where decisions have consequences, where life is fragile, and death makes it urgent. It's an environment conducive to creating and cultivating 'free will'.
Now, I should note that when I say 'free will' in this context, unlike in previous comments where I was referring more to the philosophical idea of free will/determinism as I was speaking in a materialism/no-God context, here I am speaking of 'free will' as a will apart from God's. In this context, all of existence as we know it is like our bodies, it all conforms to one unified code. God's will/natural law. All things animate or inanimate behave exactly as God wills it to be, just as all the cells in a body are able to behave as one single entity because they too all conform to one unified code, DNA. A free will in this environment is a potentially hazardous element, like a cancerous cell. It's a part of the 'body', but doesn't behave like a part of the 'body'. It's like a foreign element that does not and cannot behave as its supposed to to serve the purpose of the collective, as its perspective is a limited one, determining its behavior based on its own wants and not the needs of the body. It's disconnected, much like we're disconnected from God/nature.
See, that's the story I believe Genesis is describing. We just couldn't really see it or understand before now. Now that our modern knowledge of history and the physical world can be applied to these stories to give it proper context, the story becomes much more clear. Everything God created in Genesis 1, including the humans, behaved according to His will. Animals were imbued with a drive to be fruitful and multiply, become this and that, and fill the earth. Compelled by God's will, and shaped by the environment in which He created them, life became what we see today. Then, humans were given the same, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. They were also told to subdue the earth and establish dominance in the animal kingdom. And that's exactly what homo sapiens did between 200,000 and roughly 20,000 BC. But these humans, unlike Adam as Genesis 2 illustrates, behaved exactly as God's will dictated. What was commanded of them took numerous generations to accomplish, and afterwards, it says God looked on all He created and deemed it 'good'. Adam was different. He was put in an environment that had all he could ever want and where just one rule or commandment applied. Eat from any tree but that one. That's what Genesis 2 is illustrating. That Adam, Eve, and everyone born of them were capable of behaving according to their own will, even if that meant behaving in direct opposition to God's will.
We can actually see this change in human behavior in our history. For tens of thousands of years homo sapiens behaved in much the same way across the board. They were egalitarian. There was no social or class distinction. And they were non-violent. And they, much like indigenous tribal cultures still in existence today, felt a spiritual connection to the natural world around them. They did not own land as land in their eyes belonged to all. They recognize themselves as being part of something larger, spiritually connected to the wind, the seas, the earth, the trees and rocks and animals, and one another. Even after the discovery of farming, for thousands of years, though humans lived in large, highly populated communities, there was still no class distinction. No inequality. No governing or ruling group. And there was little to no violence between humans. Starting in southern Mesopotamia, first with the Ubaid culture, that began to change. It's there, home of the first city-states and eventually the first civilizations, we see a change. We see city-states built around temples where a ruling class governed and a working class who lived all around the temple did the labor. While graves were always of equal size before and rarely contained any kind of material possessions, that began to change as well. And it spread from there, spurred on by climate change that transformed the Sahara to desert. The civilizations that came about along the Nile river and in the Indus Valley first began with the arrival of nomads coming from a growing desert. And where ever they went they brought with them their language and their very different behaviors. Before long we have the emergence of war, the making of weapons that were not for hunting, defensible walls, male-dominated societies, sexual repression, and a very different attitude towards material possessions. And that's the story repeated over and over again throughout human history. 'Civilized' humans overtaking the 'native people', killing, enslaving, and spreading all throughout the world, taking as if it's all theirs to take. Crossing an ocean and sticking a flag in the land they 'discovered', nevermind the people who lived there for thousands of years. Only those indigenous cultures with little to no interaction with 'civilized' humans, who have only bred within their ancestral roots, retain the behavioral traits and spiritual outlook that was prominent in the world not that long ago.
See, I think of free will as a separation from God/nature. A more acute self-awareness that would make you realize you were naked when it didn't bother you before. The emergence of the modern human ego, or the dawn of human selfishness. A stronger sense of "I". An ego that walls us off from the natural world, from one another, and even from our own bodies and emotions. That makes all the world outside of us, and even our own bodies and its functions, foreign and strange to us. Something we feel compelled to study and understand. It's discontentment, really. Where homo sapiens for numerous generations were simply content with living, wanting no more than what they had and no more than they needed. We're different. Our discontentment has built civilizations. Rather than feeling one with the natural world, as a part of it, we look to understand it, then control it. Bend it to our will. In the cell/DNA/body analogy, we're destructive. Potentially cancerous. Not that it's all bad. It's that same 'free will' that makes us capable of such incredible inventions and art and music and architecture. It's well worth having, but it's hazardous. Especially in the context of an eternal existence. We must first learn how to wield it responsibly. Knowledge and wisdom, as what would be required to wield free will responsibly, cannot just be given. It must be earned. Learned by doing. That's what I believe this life is. God's method for imbuing us with the knowledge we'll need beyond this life.
“Hitler had self awareness. He could have stopped himself from being one of the most evil of all men.
He used his free will. And God let him. So, did many others. In the end, he did stop himself... but even then, with ego-only focus and intent.”
This is the entire point. If it were really that simple no one would doubt free will. Self awareness alone does not give free will. Every animal right down to a bacteria has to have awareness or it would keep hitting it’s head on the same rock and never get past to food.
Self awareness comes from having needs. I am hungry, I must eat. The thought does not have be a conscious one. There is a need felt or problem presented and a choice must be made. We are forced to make choices. We do not choose to make them. I don’t go around choosing to be hungry. I will be hungry whether I choose to or not. I am hungry or I am not.
So we are coerced or forced into action by stimulus. In fact, if your eyes did not need to be wet you would never blink. If you did not itch you would never scratch. We do nothing at all without stimulus.
So how do we react? We get stimulus which forced us to act, but then we have to choose how we are going to act. It seems like we have many choices. We can choose not to act at all and take the consequences, or we may choose not to act because we know there will less consequences than if we do.
From those many choices we potentially have we have to choose one. We will choose the one we think is most appropriate for who we are. We have to choose things all day long. We have to decide what to wear. There are many reasons you do not want to wear certain things today that tomorrow you may choose. The red shirt? No. Someone told me I look bad in it. The blue one? Too dressy for work ect, ect.
This may be thought consciously and take time, or it may take a second to sift through in the subconscious. The choice that wins out is the dominant choice. The choice that appeals to you the most. To make another choice another set of variables has to become dominant.
Hitler has self awareness and he had will. But the choices he made were the ones that he thought would achieve his goals. What would have motivated him to change direction? He thought that what he was doing was right for Germany and the world. Just like the insane man who cut off the man’s head on a bus was certain at that moment that what he was doing was right.
Europe hated Jews. They were blamed for the financial problems of every country. Why? Because they were good bankers and had a good head for business. But also because they were not Christians and were blamed for killing Jesus. Hitler thought the idea of the ideal race was a great one. He thought the white race was descended from the Arians of Hindu Sanskrit. They had light skin, blue eyes and blond hair. To the Hindus they were like gods.
He also thought Germany had been slighted by the world in the last war. Particularly in the peace treaty where Germany lost so much.
So his solution shared by his top advisors and others, was to wipe out the problem of the Jews, build a master race to rule the world, and to make Germany the superpower of the world again. What would motivate him to change his mind?
To change your mind you have to suddenly have a revelation, or it can happen slowly over time. Either way it is often a complete turnaround where you can no longer make the choices you made before. Like Saint Paul who helped the Romans find and kill Christians, until he had a conversion of thought and could not longer choose to do what he had been doing.
Your dominant motivation has to change.
Could you right now choose to go out and kill someone? Probably not if you are like most people. But if someone was harming someone you love you might do it. The dominant choice wins out. The choice that makes the most sense to you even if makes no sense anyone else.
There are no choices you can make outside your conditioning, because your conditioning is what determines what makes most sense to you. The history of what you have been taught, what you decided was the truth for yourself, and the attitudes and characteristics handed down to you though all of history. Hitler was conditioned by his society as you are by yours. The opinions you hold do not come out of thin air. They have a history of deliberation behind them as well as your own predisposed likes and dislikes. None of which is for you to choose. All of which are forced on you.
You cannot de-condition yourself, you can only recondition yourself. From the limited choices you have there will always be one dominant choice which will win out. You can learn and change your automatic responses, but then another set of possible choices opens up as the previous one shuts down.
As for ego focused intent, there is no such thing as a selfless act. All choices are ego related. I wrote a hub called exactly that. “No such thing as a selfless act.” You might be interested in reading it.
It is not as simple as saying someone could have just stopped doing what they were doing. They need changing to be a priority for them. Their conditioning has to allow for that. I could say that I could have become a physicist. And I could have. But I really could not have. I didn’t. For me the dominant thing in my life was philosophy and knowing how all this works. I started that quest at 6 years old and it stuck with me. I’m now 58. So the choices I made led me away from becoming a physicist, and they started long before I was 6.
If you cannot bring yourself to make a certain choice, then that choice is not really open to you because of who you are. Who you are is the combination of all your conditioning at that moment under those specific circumstances.
You don’t even know why you choose what you choose. It feels right, but that is not the answer. Why does it feel right to you and not to someone else? The reason is because of your experience and history vs the other person’s history and experiences. But there are so many of them throughout our lives that we can rarely point out exactly why we feel better about one choice than another.
If Hitler were you the war would have never started. If you were Hitler you would have thought you were doing what was right. Your whole life would have led you to that. Your whole physical makeup as well.
That does not excuse anyone of responsibility for their acts. Responsibility does not depend on self awareness or free will. It depends on whether or not you committed the act. Not accepting responsibility comes with consequences. And whether you accept it or not does not change anything.
Yes, we all do things out will. Because we want to. And because we are doing what we want to we have the persistent illusion that our choices are made on the spur of the moment and that they are free choices because we make them without anyone else telling us what to do, or in spite of what others might say. But we make the only choices we personally can make at that time and under those specific circumstances due to all the influence we do not see and do not even fully know about, our history and what that makes us today.
This is free will out of ignorance. Nothing free about it at all. We do not choose to be handed choices. We make our choices not knowing why we make them half the time beyond that it feels right, and once we have made them we have no choice as to how the chain of events they are part of turn out. What is free about our choices? Nothing that I can see.
Saying someone could have chosen this or that is meaningless. They didn’t and there is no way back to the moment.
"But that knowledge, if true, means significant changes. For example, on the worst side of the spectrum, that would mean someone like Hitler didn't willingly do all those horrible things, it was just his conditioning."
The point is he willingly did those things whether his was free or not. I'm not saying will does not exist. I am saying that it is not free in any way shape or form.
A choice made conditioned by history isn't a free choice. But what would a choice made with no history behind it look like? An immaculate choice? No such thing. If you could make one it would no sense because it wouldn't relate to anything. And that is the point to making choices, they relate to something. There is a goal behind them. That goal has a long history behind it.
Hitler was made by his environment and his predisposition. He was a man of his time, made by his time. That explains why he did what he did, but it in no way excuses him.
A man cuts another man's head off in a bus. Why? Because he heard voices telling him this man was a demon and the only way to rid himself of it was to cut off its head.
I don't blame him for doing it if he was that frightened. Were there real demons I'd probably do it myself. But the fact that he was delusional does not excuse his act. He is still responsible for it. We have to get him off the street before he does it to someone else.
Hitler was delusional too. But it was a common delusion. Jews were evil to many Europeans of the time. The idea of a master race was made possible by the philosophers of the time. It was being talked about just as morality and could we dispense with it was being talked about.
Hitler was a monster, but he didn't make himself. And yet that is irrelevant. He was still a monster by our standards.
Again, will and what we do with it is a manifestation of conditioning. What else could it be? But it is not free in any way.
I will have answer in bits and pieces unfortunately. I don't have a lot of time these days. Certainly not as much as I would like.
Hitler had self awareness. He could have stopped himself from being one of the most evil of all men.
He used his free will.
And God let him.
So, did many others.
In the end, he did stop himself... but even then, with ego-only focus and intent.
It's that right there that I'm talking about. That will. That decision of whether or not to carry out willingly these actions. Like there's a choice there. Whether or not to willfully continue. I get what you're saying now as far as 'free' in your context meaning not based on anything. Of course there is influence and determining factors. Memories of past experiences, accumulated knowledge, imagined potential outcomes, weighing of risk versus reward, associations to words and images and feelings and smells and whatever else. These are functions of the brain. This is what the brain does. So the question is, was it possible for someone like Hitler to not do what he did? If it was possible, and he did it anyway, then he can ethically be held accountable for his actions. If those actions were just a result of his conditioning, and there was no 'self' within him who could decide against these things and instead choose differently despite his conditioning, is it then ethical to hold him, or anyone else, accountable?
Think about it like this. Maybe this will help me better understand. Take a situation where two brothers come from the same abusive home life. One grows up, gets a job, gets married, raises a family, and never raises a hand to his kids. The other has addiction problems, turns to crime, etc. You get the picture. I know there will be differences between the two brothers in life experience as far as their history is concerned, but what I'm looking for is this. Are you saying that the only difference between prior life experience and influences of the environment is their genetic predisposition? That we don't each have the power within us to overcome no matter our history, environment, and genes, to be a "good" person in spite of all of that? A human spirit, so to speak? Or are some of us 'predetermined' by our conditioning to be taken off the streets as a danger and a menace?
Every single person born has jurisdiction over his own actions, no matter what the circumstances or conditionings. We are responsible for our actions no matter what. It is a given in life that we have self-guided will due to the fact that we have Self Awareness.
Hitler, despite astrological influence, karma, despite his bitter resentments due his rejection in art school, (Ha) his mean aunt... no matter what, he cared not about the people in the gas chambers. He cared not about the suffering of fellow human beings. His lack of caring was under the jurisdiction of his SELF which influences the choices one CONSCIOUSLY makes. None of us are automatons, EVER!
He might have been under the influence of speed... but even this does not excuse him... at all. Nothing does! Nothing. The soul is always there for us to get in touch with. We are held accountable for all our actions. Including our inability to stay in touch with our own souls. The reality is that man learns to guide himself as a child and continues to guide himself throughout life.
- based on what what I have studied about the matter.
(just wandering by...)
I agree that nothing excuses him. But show me a soul? What is it? As far as I can tell it does not exist.
Of course we learn and what is learning? Conditioning. What else would it be?
Some very interesting comments. But I will have to get to them tomorrow.
Hi HeadlyvonNoggin. I wrote a hub as a reply.
I am really enjoying this discussion. But as I said I have little time these days, and your questions deserve much longer and more detailed responses, and this is not the right venue for that..
I have written extensively about all of this in my hubs, but I wouldn't ask you to read them to get an idea of what responses to your argument are .
You have made me want to do a hub on the idea of god's will and whether we can stray from it or not.
But I will say this. No where in the bible does say you have free will. God did not give it, the knowledge of good and evil was taken. It seems to be a curse rather than a gift.
After all, if straying from god's will is possible then god either made a terrible mistake in his design and is inept, or he couldn't do it in any other way. Either way we pay for it.
If god wants you to obey his will then he is telling you he wants a determined world, not a free will world.
If god knows all in advance then what you will do is written in stone. Not because god knows it and sees it as if it happening now, (as some Christians have described it to me, but because the future can be known. If the future can be known with certainty by anything including a god outside the universe, what you will do can not be otherwise.
So even Christianity seems to rely on determinism if it believes that god is omnipotent. And yet the religious believe there is free will? Isn't that odd?
Free will is not a good thing if it can take you from god. God doesn't really want you to have it, and even if you do, somehow if god is all knowing and all seeing your actions are predetermined even if you have free will, because the future can be known with absolute certainty.
Do you see the contradictions and problems in Christianity's logic?
There is also another issue. No conscious omnipotent god that created this world where everything must suffer and kill just to eat and survive can be forgiven. It is inept, or couldn't do it any other way, which means it is not omnipotent. Or if it is omnipotent it is cruel beyond belief.
But if the nature of existence, a non-conscious process, created it all this way, then this is just the way it is. We have to make the best of it.
Getting late. Sorry again for the brevity of my reply.
I'm enjoying these discussions as well.
The bible doesn't come right out and call it 'free will', but it does describe what I'm describing when I say 'free will'. The problem with calling it that is that 'free will' means about a thousand different things to different people.
The 'knowledge of good and evil' was taken through the capability to behave contrary to God's will. It was a selfish act taken for personal/individual reasons. They were already capable, but it wasn't until they went against God/natural law that 'the eyes of both of them were opened'. That was the result of the cause of contradicting God/nature. Disconnection. Free will isn't all bad. It's simply the capability to behave of our own will. Sometimes our behavior will be contrary to His will, other times it won't. Much like we understand the natural world now, there are rules. And every thing in existence adheres to those rules. We don't. Our physical bodies adhere to the physical laws, of course. But our non-physical mind is capable of breaking the laws of nature/God's will. Much like our history. For tens of thousands of years humans behaved one way, then changed. Other species continue to behave in much the same way, yet humans starting around 5000-4000 BC changed dramatically. We veered from our natural way of being. Our behavior became, in a sense, unnatural. Selfish. Like if all the cells that make up your left hand decided of their own will to be a hand twice as big, not taking into account the resources its robbing from the rest of the body to be what they selfishly/personally want.
Think about it like this. Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit would be the equivalent of a rock falling up. In the body/natural world analogy, it's like a cell being introduced into your body that has it's own unique DNA code. It's living off your body's resources, but its not adhering to your DNA as far as what function to perform, when to divide, when to die. It's disconnected from the system of the body, yet still existing within the body. It's living by its own code, living, functioning, reproducing. And each cell created from it is also functioning by its own unique DNA. And so on. Before long it's going to be a problem.
Free will was the whole purpose, not a mistake. It can be both good and bad. It can be incredibly creative and incredibly destructive. It's powerful and because of that it's also dangerous. The good is worth having, worth creating, but with it also comes the capability of the bad. Nature is a well developed balance. We can and do upset that balance. To have this capability, God created an environment to let us run free with it. Like learning to ride a bike, we're going to crash and we're going to hurt ourselves and probably others in the process. But parents still send their kids off to learn to ride because that's how you do it. And its something worth knowing. It's worth the bumps and scrapes we get along the way learning it. In a God as creator context, what would this existence be without it? It would just be a bunch of animals and humans living according to their nature, being born, eating, surviving, sleeping, procreating, then dying. Over and over again. What would be the use of creating existence if that was all there was to it? But this, free will, an individual will separate from God's, capable of being it's own self, capable of creation, yet learning to operate within the system so as not to upset the balance and mess everything up for everyone else. That's something that must be learned through experience.
As for God knowing the future, you have to look at it from His perspective. Time is a dimension of this universe. But if God is the creator of this universe, then He exists before both time and space. He's outside of it. We see both time and space as having an expanse between past/future / here/there, because we are 'of' this universe. Within it. From God's perspective there is no expanse that separates the beginning and end of time or between one space and another. From here, within this universe, God exists in every moment everywhere exactly the same. Unchanged. To God, there's only what does and does not exist in this universe. And that's the true power of free will. We can create things, decisions/actions/inventions/intentions, that are not 'of' Him. So, we create and add things to existence that are of our own making.
And this is where free will can be recognized in the stories of the bible. For instance, God's 'regret' at putting humans on the earth. It says this right before the flood and right after explaining that the 'sons of God' (Adam's descendants) saw the 'daughters of humans' beautiful and began having children by them. Then it says 'wickedness' was running rampant in humanity. Another well known story is when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, then at the last minute told him not to.
Alright, I know this can get kind of tricky, so follow me on this. Like I said before, from God's perspective on existence, there is only what exists and what does not. No difference concerning time or space. There's what He created, including us with 'free will'. Then there's what we create added to what He created. This is how we can have our own will, yet God still know. Because there is no time. Things played out the way they played out and what you did is what you did. You still had the choice in the moment, but once that choice was created it existed. Therefore God knows it. In the case of the 'regret' at putting humans on the earth, that's what free willed beings did. He created existence, humans, beings with free will, then their willful actions created 'wickedness'. This was not 'of' God, it was of wills apart from His. So then He intervened. Kind of like a computer program. You write the code in a particular order, doing this and that in sequence, but the code is stagnant. But in runtime, it is not. So you run it and you get an undesired result when a user does something you didn't account for. So you then stop the program, add or change a step in the sequence, then re-run to see if you get the desired result when a user does what they did. That's a lot like how God operates here. And it illustrates how our free wills can actually result in things He didn't account for or anticipate. It truly is free. And it caused Him to 'regret'. To fix it He then sent a flood. In fact, the fact that this all took place in a region that's the geographical equivalent of a storm drain is a testament to the volatile nature of free will.
As for Abraham, this story illustrates how God really didn't know what Abraham would do. Now, of course, your first thought is that He can see past and future as the same thing, so how could He not know? That's the thing. God intervened here. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, thus creating the situation that made Abraham make a decision. If He had not, Abraham's decision would not have existed and God would not know what he'd do. God, of course, knows our hearts, knows us better than we know ourselves, but its stories like these that make it clear that even He does not know things that are of our free will because they are not 'of' Him. This is why it's so powerful and at the same time so dangerous.
I'm sorry this goes on as long as it does. I know you're already pressed for time and me carrying on doesn't help. It's just that this is a complex topic. I hope this paints the picture a little more clearly.
Listen. Have you not read Dorian Grey?
No, I have not. But if it speaks of these matters then my interest is piqued and I'll add it to my ever-growing list of books to read when I can find the time. At my current pace, it's going to be a while.
Can you maybe give me the cliff notes as it relates to this?
The picture of Dorian Grey was a novel meant to tell of the horrors of materialism in the industrial age and the scientific revolution. The subject dealt with is what it is like if you live exactly as like without worrying about a god or morality.
I suggested it in reference to your question about one of my statements.
oh yes, your feeling of control. It's your conditioning that is control. But it is very ordered and you have the illusion that it is you that is in control. So what is you? What is in control? What part is you?
I'll answer that. You are your conditioning. That determines your behavior,
Maybe its just true of yourself.
If so, I have way more free will than you do!
Nah. It's you too. lol...
You wish. Must be lonely in your world of conditioning.
Why would it be?? Is it lonely in your world of conditioning? If this is what it is like to live by conditioning then what has changed for you? Nothing but that knowledge,
I don't live in your world. That's why you must feel this need to believe everyone lives in your strange world of conditioning. You must feel threatened to have the knowledge that free will exists and we can make choices and take responsibility for our choices.
There is only one world and one reality. The question is do you have a clue how it all works or do I? We do not live in separate worlds. Either it is all conditioning or it is not.
I do not feel threatened by free will at all. I just don't see a mechanism for it. I know there is will, I have it. But free? From what? Not from conditioning.
Free will does not exist. Will does, and you are responsible for your acts whether you accept responsibility or not.
I know it is all hard to get your head around. But it isn't impossible if you are willing to learn.
Okay Slarty, I respect your opinion, I just don't agree with you. Let's just say cheers and pop a virtual bottle of wine:)
We are dealing with your inaccuracies as we go along through each post, pay attention.
Sorry, but no one made that decision at any of those "levels"
Sure, why not? You're talking apples and oranges and speaking from a position of incredulity.
Dude, you kill me. You should know I see through your tactics. I understand why you keep your responses vague. Getting into specifics opens you up to exposing your true level of knowledge or understanding. It's okay to just admit you don't know, don't get it, or maybe just haven't really thought about it. There's nothing wrong with that, and, while I can't speak for everyone, I certainly won't ridicule you for it. I don't know if it's a pride thing for you, where you find it difficult to admit you don't know or don't understand something, or if you feel you're on some sort of mission here for the 'greater good', but it's clear what you're trying to do. You make vague, pithy statements to cast doubt on the others' credibility in the eyes of anyone else who may be following along without actually proving their statements false with substance. It's a sneaky tactic that you shouldn't have to resort to if your viewpoint is the real truth. What good are you really doing if you have to resort to such antics? What are you hoping to accomplish?
Because your questions are vague.
Specifics allows one to be specific and not vague. You need to be specific.
You are the one who has no idea what they're talking about, that is why your questions are vague.
Hilarious, no one here is destroying your credibility other than YOU.
Let me try again. This is in response to your question, "Where do you get the idea we are not accountable or cannot conduct ourselves?"
At the foundation of science is the fact that matter behaves in consistent/reproducible ways in relation to the conditions of the environment it's in. Our brains are made of matter. While it may seem to us that we have choices and play an active role in what we choose to do, because matter can only really behave according to its nature, it stands to reason that anything we ultimately choose to do was actually the only behavior possible. To say we could have chosen in some other way means our mind is somehow able to alter the behavior of matter. So, how does this make sense? How can we control our conduct and be held accountable for how matter behaves? How can we be 'in control' if 'we' are the product of brain matter?
The flaw in your argument is a fallacy from incredulity and the fact you assume all matter is the same. It isn't. And, whatever form matter takes, it does not violate any physical laws.
I agree matter does not violate physical laws. That's my whole point. If you're right and material existence is all that there is, and all that 'we' are is nothing more than the product of a physical/material brain, then true free will is not possible. Our behavior is determined by our make-up. That's why I say that from your viewpoint we cannot 'conduct' ourselves or ethically be held accountable for what we do. Because without a spiritual/non-physical element at play, we cannot actually be in control. We, being made up of purely physical matter, can only behave as matter behaves, within the confines of the physical laws.
Can you imagine the universe without God? Do you think that it's even possible we are here without a God?
I can imagine it, as I can see it from a strictly scientific perspective and understand it as such, but no, I don't think it's possible. I think the naturalist/materialist mindset of the scientific method is necessary, and in studying the natural world from that perspective it has shown that a majority of existence does not require active creation to come to fruition. But it has also highlighted where the gaps lie. Where/when/how things were initially set in motion. That kind of thing.
I'm not sure I follow. You can imagine it, you think the naturalist/materialist mindset is necessary, but you don't think it's possible because science has not given you all the answers yet?
Did I understand you correctly?
Yes, I can imagine it, and I do think it's a necessary mindset where science is concerned as you can't exactly account for God's involvement in a controlled experiment. Where we do not yet have answers is exactly where I expect the gaps to be from my viewpoint. I don't think it's possible, not due to a lack of answers, but because it does not make logical sense to me.
Our scientific understanding explains quite a bit about the world we see around us, but a strict materialism viewpoint doesn't adequately account for everything. There's a few leaps you have to take to accept it as is. The human mind and all we've been discussing here is part of it. The initial genesis of life is another, requiring that a particular molecule formed on its own that was somehow able to replicate itself. Or, as Dawkins puts it, "At some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident. We will call it the Replicator. It may not necessarily have been the biggest or the most complex molecule around, but it had the extraordinary property of being able to create copies of itself. This may seem a very unlikely sort of accident to happen. So it was. It was exceedingly improbable." His reasoning being that however improbable, given the timeline and the fact that it only really had to happen once, makes it possible. The phenomenon of life is an anomaly in a purely material world, with living things having their own peculiar biological laws, that in many ways resemble a 'will', though those same peculiarities exist in even in the simplest of single-celled organisms. The human mind and the behavior of humans over the past few thousand years even more so. It just doesn't quite fit. Then of course there's the accounting for where matter came from at the beginning of the universe. Those kinds of things.
Science so far as gone a long way towards solidifying that God does in fact exist in my mind. I don't see it as logically possible that existence as we know it now could come about all on its own, especially given all we now know. Science may prove me wrong, and it's really the only thing that could convince me otherwise, but if that were to happen i seriously doubt it would be within my lifetime.
1. How do you account for the fact that experts in many different scientific fields including biology and astrophysics study the very things your looking for without the concept of including God into the equation?
Clearly the more that is learned the closer we get to filling in the "gaps". Only a few decade ago humans thought our galaxy was the entire universe. Look at the work being done in particle physics without relying on God for the answers. If those particle physicists can envision a universe without a God why can't you?
2. Doesn't the concept of a God create more questions of which can't be answered the a universe without a God. Doesn't the concept of a God complicate things? If we can imagine a universe without a God can't we use Occam's Razer to eliminate God from the equation and thus have a more simple equation?
1. Don't confuse the necessary naturalist/materialist approach that scientists take to mean they're all atheists. The majority of science's forefathers, those who developed the methods we still practice today, were themselves theists. I don't know the particular figures, but there are many in today's scientific community who are theists. Ken Miller, for example, is a respected cell biologist who argued in front of congress for evolution to be taught in schools. He's a christian, and here's how he sees it ...
"By any reasonable analysis, evolution does nothing to distance or to weaken the power of God. We already know that we live in a world of natural causes, explicable by the workings of natural law. All that evolution does is to extend the workings of these natural laws to the novelty of life and to its changes over time. A God who presides over an evolutionary process is not an impotent, passive observer. Rather, He is one whose genius fashioned a fruitful world in which the process of continuing creation is woven into the fabric of matter itself."
And you remember those youtube videos I referred you to not long ago called 'Boundaries of the knowable'. That guy is a theist as well, and is in fact a particle physicist who was actually involved in some of our most recent breakthroughs in the field while working at the world's largest supercolider.
2. That's why I do what I do. I'm trying to find a common language between science and God, because they're both closely interrelated, and one can inform of the other in significant ways. For instance, what we've learned about evolution and genetics informs us as to God's methods and modes of operation, which can then maybe be applied to understanding concepts that go beyond the observable. To introduce ideas, steer investigation, that sort of thing.
You can try to eliminate God from the equation, but I think what you'll find, as we've discussed here, is you end up robbing humanity of some things we hold most dear. Like free will, for instance. Trying to pack all that is reality into a material box, kind of like converting an analog recording to an mp3, you can still decipher the song, you can still listen to it and enjoy it, but on closer inspection you realize it's lost a lot of its nuance and texture.
1. I didn't say they were all atheists. I said they do the research and study without the concept of God. None of them are researching how to tie God into the equation, they are all simply looking for answers without God.
2. Sorry, there is no common language between science and God. Science and God need to be separated for science to be true to itself.
This is an interesting series of short slide shows that how thought can change. The first is a little slow, but the next few move a little faster. The guy looks similar to a guy that used to be here on hub pages.
There's a distinction you don't seem to be making here. They're scientists of the physical sciences. The jurisdiction of the physical sciences are the physical world. But, as I pointed out, there are many scientists who study the physical world while simultaneously believing in God. I quoted a cell biologist who illustrated how he equates his understanding of God with what he knows about biology through science. Another, Professor Russell Stannard, who is a contributor to our modern understanding of subatomic particles, yet he and Miller manage to be scientists and theists at the same time because they can make the distinction between applying the scientific method to better understand the cause and effect material world, and a spiritual relationship with God.
The materialist believes the material world is all that there is to existence. Only what's tangible and detectable. Then there are others who think there's more to it than that, and understand that 'more' to be outside the jurisdiction of the physical sciences. Hence the naturalist/materialist approach of science. You can't account for God's influence in a controlled experiment if you cannot detect God. Science is about what's observable and duplicable. But it's not the only tool those of us who do believe in God use in our looking for answers because we believe there's more than just the material world. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Bacon, Pascal, Descartes, Boyle, Newton, Pasteur, Kelvin, they were all Christians who practiced science to study the natural world, which they saw to be God's creation. And they all managed to advance science just fine and actually helped define, and in some cases establish, science's 'true self'.
So your saying you can't understand how we came to be without a God, even though the leading scientist and psychologists in their individual fields (Christian, Muslim or not) can understand or imagine our existence coming to be without a creator?
Here are the hard facts.
In 1998, members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences were polled on their beliefs in human immortality and a personal god. Only 7% of the respondents reported belief in a personal god. This is in direct contrast with the Pew Forum that concluded that 17% of Americans identified as "unaffiliated". Only 1.6% of the population identify as being Atheists. 30% Academic scientists identify with being Atheists, what we can learn from this is becoming a scientist increases you changes of becoming an Atheists while being at the top of your field greatly increases your changes of becoming an Atheist.
Every bit of science and psychology can explain why and what we are. You can't see it because confused by your simulacrum. Our brains are extremely adept at creating simulations for our consciousness. You don't appear to be the type to need a surrogate parent, this is what confuses me about you. When I come across someone who seems to need the concept of God I leave them alone, but you don't appear to fall into this category and this is what confuses me about our conversations.
It's not that I can't understand it. I understand it just fine. I get the reasoning behind it and can think along those lines, just as every scientist who is also a believer can understand it and think along those lines to the point that they still manage to make important contributions to science. And everyone who gets it, no matter what they believe, will acknowledge the incalculable odds against it happening at all.
"Every bit of science and psychology can explain why and what we are."
That right there tells me everything, including why you have such a hard time understanding me. In your mind, science and psychology already adequately explain 'why and what we are', which means that in your mind anyone who believes in God either doesn't know that it's already been figured out, are incapable of understanding, or their beliefs make them incapable of accepting it. That's why I confuse you. Tell me, do you think that cell biologist or that particle physicist are the type that need a surrogate parent? Is that the only possible explanation for you? That anyone who believes in God does so because of a need they have within them for a spiritual father figure?
Sure a few years ago we didn't even know if any star have any planets, we now that almost all stars have planets and many have them in the sweet spot. Some a close a few light years away. With billions of earth like planets in our own galaxy the incalculable odds have changed.
No, many who believe in God have been indoctrinated into thinking that the brains inner dialogue between the super-ego and the ego is a conversation with God or to think otherwise is siding with Satan so they dare to question. The human brain like any brain does what it does to survive and if that means inventing a simulacrum then it will invent a simulacrum much like a good luck charm. A good luck charm can just be a piece of metal, but to the believer it can bring them luck if that what they need.
If you say you can imagine a universe without God, why add God if it's not needed? If you don't need God to be good and you don't need God to understand the universe and there is no way of measuring God, why keep him in your mind?
The number of planets that exist does little to change the odds I'm talking about. Life existing on this particular planet as it does, being in the 'sweet spot', having water, a sustainable atmosphere, etc, barely even factors in, but that too is a factor. I'm more referring to the whole thing. The properties of the laws of nature being to such an exact degree as to shape the universe as it has, so that any stars or planets exist as they do. Maybe there's just an infinite number of universes. Who knows? The point is, for this one to exist as it does roughly equates to the odds you have of winning the lottery times billions.
Besides, you often bring up this 'other planets may have life as well' thing. Who's to say God doesn't have multiple 'crops' of humans? Not really related here, just curious.
So, are you saying all believers have created a simulacrum (a new word you introduced me to - thanks) or are at some level delusional because they think their inner dialogue or thought processes that go on between their egos and super-egos is a link to God? Or do you get that there are some where that applies and other who are perfectly capable of thinking logically, who have not deluded themselves, who can even think in a scientific mindset and be themselves scientists, who at the same time believe in God?
You've been listen to the wrong people who are giving those odds. Plus the odds don't matter because even if it's one in a million then we are that one in a million. Life has evolved to live in the current environment, a couple of hundred million years ago the environment was different and so were the animals.
Recent research on the evolution of bacteria indicates a predictable outcome. The likely hood of anything humanoid would still be low or anything humanoid right now would be low. Imagine if Aliens came to visit a million years ago? Stars come and go as do planets.
I do think all believers and mostly all people develop simulacrums. It's human nature. It seems to me that only some believers think the internal dialogue they are having is with God. This is most disturbing to me because they think they are getting constant direction from God, but it's only their Super-ego trying to become prefect and righteous. I think the rest are more like a lucky charm, inventing something they helps them not think about death and giving them hope, but still giving into the super-ego.
There are certainly those who need to think they are being watched by a parental figure, I get that, but perhaps these people or people in general need to have there moral/ethical IQ's developed and to do this they need conflict and dialogue. People who are surrounded by like minded people tend to not get their ethics challenged and don't develop past the do something wrong and get spanked stage, so they do wrong things in hopes of not getting caught rather then not doing wrong things because others get hurt.
That is merely another argument from incredulity and an appeal to belief.
No, that is a fundamental truth and cornerstone of scientific understanding. How can that be absolute in every regard, yet not apply in the same way to the behaviors or our physical brains? Does the non-physical construct of the mind as created by the brain somehow make it capable of operating outside of the realm of the physical laws? Allowing a physical brain made of physical matter to behave in ways that are not solely determined by its make-up?
You rarely if ever show an understanding of science.
And I guess I just have to take your word for it because, as usual, you refuse to explain what it is that makes you so certain I just don't understand. What makes you think your word carries enough weight that there's no need for you to explain your ruling? That you can just bang your gavel and say, "This guy doesn't get it." Even judges explain the reasoning behind their ruling. You know who doesn't? Rulers of a Monarchy and dictators.
So, this is your reasoning for not addressing the discussion? You just deem me incapable of understanding, so you bow out of discussing it any further and instead just attack my capability to understand?
Of course not, we simply refer to science.
The only one showing capacity for misunderstanding is you.
And again here you are making a statement with no detail as to what determined your ruling. You just seem to think you're the authority here that can make a ruling as to whether or not someone has properly illustrated the capacity for understanding, or misunderstanding, and that that should be enough. Explain your reasoning. Scientists explain their reasoning. Judges explain their reasoning. I explain my reasoning. You don't. You just make vague generalized criticisms about my capability. There must be something in particular I've said that you can refer to to say, "See, this right here is factually wrong because ....". And considering how much I've said, there has to be numerous examples to choose from. So, go ahead. Pick just one and explain.
If you were paying attention, you would have noticed a number of folks doing exactly that, showing you your flaws and fallacies as we go along.
If you're going to talk nonsense, then there's not much to respond other than to say it's pure nonsense.
On the original question, I would say it is not inappropriate only because generally all content on Facebook is all kinds of things--appropriate, inappropriate, funny, not funny, mundane, i.e., "I have a migraine today..."; it is a place of discourse for those who need to be heard, a place for people to share family photos...it is a crowded room of many different types of personalities who believe many things.
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