If the perception of "God" and "Satan" is just in the mind, molded and adapted to the individual's needs, could the acceptance of this change the way we address each other?
Could listening to the other person's understanding/belief; warming to his/her need; trying to see things from her/his perspective; allowing a different point of view and really respecting it: could this bring about a much more friendly community?
I know this would not satisfy those who love a good argument. But.........is it essential that we try to convert/evangelize others to our individual point of view?
Even if it is not in our minds, this is absolutely true. It's what I try to do with all my heart. I see you do it all the time too. Why I love ya, jonny!
But isn't everything that we know exist merely an Idea in our minds,
without which (mind) we can have absolutely no perception of anything at all?
Depends if we want to see it as merely an Idea, or whether we want it to be more than just an idea.... so it would be the intention which carries the day.
An Idea is a concepts of the mind ...
Ideas changes as forms of ideas but not as the fact of the idea itself
An idea having physical attributes is only different because if these attributes
But still not different because it still is an idea but with physical attribute.
You need to understand the origin of the physical attributes associated with Ideas,
Existence itself cannot continue as physical,
This is the reason why death envelops the physical man
it is possible for Life to envelop the physical man also,
but either way his physicality ceases to be.
And this all begins with the IDEA.
If the perception of "God" and "Satan" (or the lack thereof) is just in the mind, molded and adapted to the individual's needs,
I agree with kess ... If that is just the perception of our minds ?? what makes us think that everything else isn't as well?
I have often heard that we are ALL prisoners of our own minds (beliefs)
If it were all a question of perception then the of course it doesn't really matter. But if it's not, then an awful lot rides on which perception is the correct one, maybe even eternity.
Which is not an excuse for beating it to death. People will make up their own minds, no matter what anybody (from whichever viewpoint) wishes.
"Listening..., allowing..., a more friendly community?" A big yes to that, and I think it can happen with a little practice, just like anything else that we really want to make happen. And don't worry, there will probably always be room for some good argumernt. Have a nice day.
Well, I agree, but I'm not going to hug you as Motown did.
Good luck with that, though. The assumption that God and Satan are ideas is pretty firmly at odds with the whole basis of religion.
Well of course God and Satan are "in" our human minds, which is what we're equipped with.
And if we buy into the precepts of the Empirical philosophers, that PERCEPTION is all we can absolutely "know". As soon as we propose "God" and "Satan" actually existing in the world of real space and time, we must base that proposition on Faith, because no one has ever seen these Beings. They are Phantoms. So if they Exist, yes, they exist only in the human mind, the realm of Faith (among other things)..
No let's run that idea past a passionate Christian and see how far we get. . . . .
Not very far, obviously, Moonfroth. Same old rhetoric I would expect.
I don't know, jonny. I'm a fairly passionate Christian, but I acknowledge the possibility that perception is all we really do know. I guess it's a possibility that God is all in my mind - much like the possibility that he may not exist at all. But my belief in His existence and my following of His principles have made me a better person over the years (not better than anyone else, but better than the ME I was before). So, whether simply a perception or an unproven fact, it's been good for me.
Gosh, it's funny. I remember musing over these same thoughts in the chapel while I was a nun.
This is what I most admire about you, Motown.... Personal ownership; Personal commitment; Personal passion; warming to (even) my humour while sharing your own; warming to the perspectives of other.
Thanks for your contribution.
The thing is that Moonfroth makes what is basically a solipsistic argument, that we can only know according to our perceptions. Although scientifically there is certainly some accuracy to that, because some conditions like schizophrenia cause people to lose touch with reality, and there are documented conditions where people hallucinate things that they know in reality aren't there but they see them clearly (even blind people, and I'm not talking dementia, I wish I could remember what it's called but there was a story on NPR about such a condition about a decade ago.) But if you follow Moonfroth's argument out to its logical conclusion, we can't really "know" anything because we must conclude that perception is inherently unreliable. Yet, if millions of people experience something that is there, even if we don't all agree on what it is, then why is that not proof that something exists? "What" may be in question, but the existence of something in the first place I don't think seems to be.
There are definitely transcendent truths independent of the human mind. For example 2+2=4. Or consider more complex mathematical truths and number patterns. These were not created by the human mind but are intrinsic to reality. Such truths are discovered and not invented.
In my view such truth were never created by any God nor by a big bang: they are eternal.
That is not to say though that there is no God. Anyway I just wanted to share my perspective on truth.
Indeed, James. Thanks for that insight.
I have recently looked into "how to find the square root of a number, long-hand." Even just seeing how such a number is arrived at is fascinating to me. (I failed basic maths in my GCE 55 years ago, but have caught up a little since.)
Sure, such phenomena transcend the human mind, yet the human mind seems to be essential in order for such phenomena to be manifest for consideration beyond the reality. (This is likely to bring a sigh of disgust from Moonfroth It sounds too much like intellectual gobble-di-gook)
Chris is quite right--empiricism pushed to its logical end-point does result in solipsism--that is, all we can absolutely "know" is the perception that we're having a perception. Whoof! That postulate is simply too intellectually fragile to be either embraced or "followed", and it can't be followed anyway, because solipsism is the brink of a cliff from which there's no turning back. . .and no possibility of going forward. So, good pragmatists that we are, we abandon it................but turning away from it DOES NOT MEAN IT'S WRONG !
If a tree falls in the forest 100 miles from a human ear, does it make a sound? If we are applying the criteria of PROOF, we have to say "No". But, good grief! we know damn well that huge tree MUST make a noise, because. . .it simply must! Trees always do. And the dog will come when I call, and the light will come on when I throw the switch, and George's left eyelid will twitch whenever he lies, and God created the universe, loves me, and will take care of me. All those "orders of knowing" are based on Faith. And please don't accuse me of trivializing the nature of God and Faith. I am not. I am simply suggesting that faith is faith--we LIVE by faith--hundreds/thousands of times a day we perform acts and/or expect phenomena to behave in particular ways....... solely on Faith. But Faith is not Proof. So I think it's important to understand how Proof works, and to hold it in contradistinction from Faith. Then rational discourse is possible.
I.e., the presumption that something is such and such, or will happen, by a particular pattern because in our experience it has always happened that way, and it's a safe bet that it will happen that way again.
The presumption is the faith you are talking about, right?
"If a tree falls in the forest 100 miles from a human ear, does it make a sound?" - Yes
"But, good grief! we know damn well that huge tree MUST make a noise, because. . .it simply must!" - YES
"And the dog will come when I call, and the light will come on when I throw the switch, and George's left eyelid will twitch whenever he lies" - EXACTLY ...
"and God created the universe, loves me, and will take care of me." - whoa, that escalated quickly ...
In a recent post I explained how I believe in Dumbledore ...
So ... You base your faith in a book, right?
I base my faith in seven books ...
Your faith is kind-a logical ... mine also is ...
Your faith has a lot of followers ... mine also has a lot of followers ...
So from your logic ... from the presumption and the faith I have in Dumbledore's army and Harry Potter's universe ... It must exist?
The tree thing always gets me. What I was taught in school is that sound is the product of the air being moved by an object. Which means, if a tree falls in the forest and there is air, then there is noise. But then my kid comes home and says that school is saying that sound is dependent on a receptor, therefor if nobody heard the noise no noise was made. That's called having it both ways, which is a logical impossibility. You can't both have your cake and smash it into the face of the closest person.
Not meant as a refutation of what you wrote, it's just that the whole "tree in the forest" argument seems almost like the classic double think wrapped in newspeak to me.
What if ...
What if human history is not exactly what we learn in school ...
What if there were civilized humans far before religion tells us and actually all the things we can't explain are not made by aliens or god or whatever .. what if everything is actually made by humans? ... What if we are the oldest civilization in the universe and we just don't know it ...
For example ... with the technology we have, we are able to store so much information on tiny devices ... However a global EMP could destroy everything ... Imagine that there was an earlier civilization ... imagine that our world came to an end and only a few of us survived ... a few that don't understand science as it is and we try to tell it to our generations, but it stretches far out to the point that our generations think that the "big bang" we tried to explain, that created the universe, was a god ... that if we came from our previous home with some sort of space shuttles, our future generations would think that we came from the sky ... what if the civilizations that say "our gods came from the sky and gave us knowledge" were just far less developed natives that saved us ...
It's just thoughts .. but there are a ton of possibilities ... we may be everything, we may have come from anything ... we may be aliens .. we may be a creation of the gods ... our purpose could be greater or simpler ... science could be right ... religion could be right ...
Why constantly fight about it?
Why when both religion and science know how important peace is ... and that we should love the people around us no matter what ... we continue to struggle to understand the "stupidity" and the mistakes of others? ...
Satan is an idea. Its a metaphor. Its certainly not a life form entity.
I have a supremely difficult time equating faith in God with faith that a tree that falls out of earshot makes a sound.
I've pondered this if a tree falls and no one hears it does it make a sound.
My resolve goes something like this:
Sound is Vibration that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.
So when the tree falls it causes these vibrations regardless of whether an ear is around the potential for sound is created. In essence the sound is there scientifically regardless if someone hears it or not.
To equate the falling tree scenario with God would be something like this:
God is always there but do you hear him?
I believe people tend to throw their belief in God in the faces of others, because of the Merit system of the Bible ...
"The more people you bring closer to god, the better place in heaven you get" ...
I don't hate god, but I hate the people who try to make others believe in whatever comes to their mind ...
Could you please quote chapter and verse that says anything like "the more people we bring closer to heaven the better place in heaven we get". Now you may be able to infer this but it would be inference.
Firstly, no one goes to heaven with would be Gods throne room. Abraham and Jesus followers live on a new earth. We were never told to that we would live forever in Heaven.
There are many other reasons why a person would lay the God trip on you, much better reasons actually.
Jesus was revolutionist. Have you ever met a revolutionist. "Man this is gonna change the world", "This is gonna affect peoples lives forever". Revolutionists are excited people, cause driven and with purpose, be it good or bad, zeal pervades! Ever seen someone discover the benefits of whiskey over wine at the party they are advocating whiskey for all!
Much better reasons for declaring the kingdom of God is among you.
JONNY --Yes, the presumptions. The God bit is tricky, because that is totally learned from others or from cultural assumptions. Unlike the sun rising, the hot stove burning me, the icecube cooling me--all of which I learn from DIRECT experience and build my faith-in-reoccurence from those experiences--no one has any direct experience of God. In fact, the Catholic church considers Direct Experience so rare, they usually canonize Believers who can convince the Church that they did indeed have a "Direct Experience", usually called Miracles (interestingly, the Church requires PROOF of a person having a Direct Experience of that which is Ineffable ! Hmmm.).
I'm with you ! The whole bloody argument would be boring as hell, were it not so perversely fascinating. I certainly don't have an answer about why we keep gnawing away at it, beyond noting that human beings are fearful about the unknown, so we want to label and codify and make rules in attempts to hold our fear at bay. And with that fear goes a grim determination to combat anyone who rains on our parade. Hence we mount religious wars, burn heretics at the stake, etc. etc. Something to do on slow afternoons..
These arguments ARE, however, ultimately futile. People who Believe passionately, simply believe. They are not likely to become Atheists. And atheist don't arrive at that position overnight. Usually they adopt that position after long periods of doubt, thought, speculation, etc. They are not likely to become Believers. So the Merry-go-Round goes 'round and 'round. . . . . .
@ THE SUBURBAN POET
You misunderstand--or I wasn't clear. I did not mean to suggest anything should be EQUATED to anything else. We are not talking about QUALITATIVE differences or similarities here. We're talking about Principles of Argument, if you will. I have been taught, and I certainly have experienced, that the sun rises every morning. I have been taught how that all works. I have faith that the sun WILL rise tomorrow. The same PRINCIPLE of argument is used by institutions and individuals to try to persuade me of the efficacy of God.
It's the process of reasoning (or lack thereof, depending on how you approach the issue) that I was getting at.
Ok.... I guess the word faith in the context of a sunrise doesn't seem appropriate. To me it is a fact. I'm not concerned that it won't happen. As for a resurrection, I must have faith because it is not a fact to me. I have no experience with it. Never seen it. Never had anyone prove it. So it is very clear to me the difference.
Point taken. My parallel was less than precise. Perhaps my problem in finding an exact parallel is that......there probably isn't one. Religious faith is unique. It could be argued that over the ages countless billions of people have "had faith" in complete intangibles, absolute phantoms of non-occurrence. I would differ with your point about the sun, however. Its rising TODAY we could regard as a "fact". Asserting that it WILL rise tomorrow is an act of faith.
How many times does the sun have to rise for it to be fact? How many times must you throw a ball in the air for it's descent to become a fact?
I would assert that there is no human being who has witnessed a resurrection to heaven after a human has perished. Is that a statement of fact or just faith on my part that nobody has witnessed such a thing? And if even one person had witnessed this would it then become a fact that humans rise after death? And if so then as it is true that EVERY human knows that the sun has risen EVERY DAY of their life then is that not enough to be fact?
ahhh the resurrection. Pretty simple stuff actually. I get kinda sick of this whole impersonal approach to God. People having "faith in something intangible" is completely an atheist/unbeliever statement because born again christians do not say this. To them God is as tangible as your kitchen table - hopefully you have one if not substitute something else.
Since God is tangible and God is alive (forever and ever) the question then is not, 'is there a resurrection' but rather, 'when is the resurrection'. The resurrection is expected! and not by faith; the resurrection becomes and is, a christian fact.
Yes indeed, Christians have different FACTS than unbelievers, suck it up.
Christians also have different definitions for words, too. For example, a 'fact' for the rest of us would mean something that occurred that can be verified while it appears that for Christians, a fact is equivalent to anything the Bible says.
There is nothing to suck up. You cannot prove the resurrection. And you cannot prove that humans will rise after they die. No matter what you say. And that is the entire crux of the matter. You can believe with absolute certainty in these things. But you cannot prove it to the level that it can be applied to my life by you. You cannot force me to do something solely on the basis of your belief. If you kept it to yourself (though I find you to be a very interesting person) then it would be fine and everyone would get along.
This is on the whole a semantical discussion about faith and fact. The sun rising and balls falling back to earth are merely examples of things we take for granted as fact yet someone tried to equate my expectation that the sun will rise tomorrow as an act of faith on my part. I don't think it qualifies.
And so the aggression starts! Next to your words, "suck it up!" I can SEE your middle finger in the air! Why is it necessary to attack?
"I believe in God" - Great, every person should believe whatever ...
"God EXIST! The proof is all around us .. bla bla " - You BELIEVE that god exists ... that doesn't make him real ...
"I don't believe in God" - Great ... whatever ...
"God doesn't EXIST! Science bla bla bla" - You BELIEVE that god doesn't exist ... even if you throw science all around, you don't know what has happened a mere two thousand years ago, nor you know if there is anything after death ...
So AGAIN ... Why the dialogue can't go sth like ...
"I believe in God" ...
"Great man, I believe in Science" ...
"Sure ... Did you watch the game last night " ...
"Oh, yeah, of course .. let's go drink a beer or sth " ...
We are all human ... stop with the prejudice ... stop with the arguing .. IT IS pointless ...
Yes, we are pursuing the answer to everything in the universe ... but constantly arguing about it won't bring us closer to the understanding of it ... Only trying to understand what we don't believe is possible will get our minds working and will probably unlock the answer to the universe ...
While we believe that "The earth is not round and it does not turn" we will continue 'burning' those who actually can show some valuable knowledge and eventually change humanity ...
Not really sure I follow this. The post seems born of frustration and defeatism on the one hand......but then goes on to assert:
1. pursuing answers to the nature of the universe is good
2 arguing about the pursuit is bad
3. focus on what we do NOT believe in, as a mental stimulant
4. if we persist in believing stuff that has been proven wrong, that's bad
5. we musn't try to destroy our radical thinkers, because they will prove to be change agents for the good.
Some of these isolated points might make sense, but they're presented as a sequential argument, and I just don't see how they work together. Maybe I'm missing something.
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