"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and God said, let there be light, and there was light..."
I am not entirely certain that I am quoting or even paraphrasing the Genesis narration of Creation. In any case, whoever wrote this sentence was admittedly not an empiricist (aka as phycisist), but to refer to Creation and God's intentional role in it metaphorically, is pure genius.
Several centuries later, empiricists came along (armed with experimental data) with their own interpretation, albeit, non-metaphorical of God's role ( among the theistically inclined) or non-role (among the non-theistically inclined) in that Creation.
One non-theistically inclined (aka atheists) self-described scientific philosopher posited on HubPages this rather interesting concept: That if ever there was a cause for creation, it was not sentience-directed, because all it would take is for an eternal (ie could not be created and could not be destroyed) entity he succinctly term Mass/Energy to initiate the expansion of TIME and SPACE, the empirical community called the Big Bang.
Personally,I prefer the idea of God as Metaphorically presented in the Genesis narration because of the element of Intent, thus sentience. The purely naturalistic interpretation lacks the poetry and the beauty, and the cogency of the cosmos we now perceive as existing, existing because we have become the subjective witness to that creation, and as sentience go and free will go, we are unhindered by how we interpret the reality of that existence.
Ok. I’m converted. I just remembered that the bible says god is light. If god is light then that means god is energy. Hence my eyes are open. God is energy. There is nothing but god. We are all made of it.
Glory be. Lol...
@Slarty: I don't think you are into the conversion business but being open- eyed thus being open-minded to ideas that might seem irreconcilable with yours, should be a good start to the path to elucidation , illumination, and enlightenment.
I could say the same about you. That's the problem here. I'm very much into conversation. But I like debating. It makes people think and I sometimes get the best out of them, though not always. But that is the way I learn best.
I like to be challenged so that I'm inspired to think and write.
You and other Christians are much more closed to other ideas. You are certain you already have the truth. Hence other ideas are irrelevant. You have a mandate to spread your beliefs and seem annoyed that we don't all see things your way. .
I just want the truth. I don't care what it turns out to be. I have no beliefs and so can accept new facts and alter my opinion accordingly. Because unlike you due to the requirement of faith, I can admit that I'm not certain of anything related to life. I just have opinions that I think are the most plausible and probable as compared to others.
But in debate I will put forth my ideas as hard as I can. Partially .to see if they stand up, and partially to see if I can get something new from someone. The two go hand in hand.
I haven't been doing this since just yesterday. I've been questioning religion and life since I was six. I'm no spring chicken at almost 60.
I've studied many Christian denominations, Hinduism, Buddhism, which I like certain forms of, as well as have a good working knowledge of a dozen or more other religions, ancient and not so ancient. I also helped create Scientific Pantheism with Paul Harrison in the late 1990's, then left when there were thousands of members because I'm such a heretic.
I've studied classical philosophy, logic, and science, particularly physics, but I'm also partial to neuroscience, behaviorism, etc.
All to try to get at the truth before I die. Doubt I'll make it but never give up, eh?
So I am open to new ideas. I just wish more people would surprise me with them..
Oh and to the point of your forum, to me, the idea that a natural cause is "cold" as compared to a thinking god is irrelevant. Our personal feelings don't change the truth. Just because I might rather it was one way and not the other doesn't make it so, so it's not a rational consideration if you want the truth.
Truth Like beauty is in the eye/mind of the beholder...subject to so much introspection and interpretation.
I vehemently disagree. Something is true or it is not. The fact that we don't always know which is where interpretation and personal views kick in, and they are all too predictably wrong most of the time.
Absolute truth exists, but is found most often in relative truth. That is to say: truth is relative to the conditions which make up that truth, and subject to them remaining the same.
That's a formula.
If I turn on my bathroom faucet and get water out of it, as long as nothing has changed in the system, I will get water out of it again next time I turn it on. That is absolute truth. But if something has changed, the truth about my getting water may change.
Water boils at 100 c. Right? Not exactly. It depends mainly on the purity of the water and your altitude.
But no matter what temp your specific conditions boil at, it will always be the same if the exact same conditions are met.
Some truths have conditions that can't change. No such thing as a square circle. That truth is absolute because a circle is a geometric shape which can only be a circle when it meets specific conditions.
Reality is not observer driven or in the eye of the beholder or different for everyone. But everyone does have their own perspective and interpretation of it.
Those perspectives don't alter what the truth is.
The only truth that materialists and physicaliststy like your self are the ones that are easily and consistently perceived by your 5 physical senses.
Your senses can only do so much. The fact is, the unreality of reality is real, and when truth is applied to that reality, it loses its clarity for truthfulness.
Sorry but that first half is a bit incomprehensible.But I'm fully aware of the limitations of my senses, which is why I want evidence. That way I don't have to rely on them.
They are also partially the reason for the unreal quality of the world you are talking about. The brain can do amazing things and give you amazing experiences. I've had several out of body experiences myself, along with many other visions and religious experiences and feelings and states of mind. Made most happen myself while studying Eastern Mysticism as a young man.
It showed me exactly what you can train your brain to do. Hence why I need real evidence. I'd rather say I don't know than make something up because it feels good.
Sounds/Looks like you've traveled far and long in your search for the truth. In the physical world, the only TRUTH that I care about is that "I think, therefore I am/exist".
The reality of my existence is hinged on the observable fact that I am aware("I think") of my existence, in the same was that you are aware of yours. That awareness is what separate us from the inanimate as well as some animate entities that share the earth>cosmos with us. Existence only becomes reality only because WE are aware or were made aware of it.
The other TRUTH that I care about, reside in the spiritual realm, the full and ultimate VERACITY of which I would not experience until I am not existing (bodily, that is) anymore. I believe that I have a soul, and that existential soul will be the one that will fully and ultimately experience the other TRUTH.
You are seeking the TRUTH but truth that you have to have evidence of. It looks like you would still be going on that travel of yours, farther, and wider and longer..
Yes, our own existence is true, and as long as I’m alive I’ll be concerned with it. But the truth I set out to find was whether there is a god or not.
I did believe for a long time. I was born Catholic. But I was taught a loving forgiving god by my mother. The fist struggle I had was in church. It was fine when mass was in Latin. I didn’t understand a word of it. But when it changed to English I got a shock. I began to realize that this god wasn’t as loving and forgiving as he’d been made out to be.
Then there were all these other religions. One god, one religion, right? Made sense to me at six. What didn’t make sense was: that’s not how it is. Why? There were even people who believed in many gods. WHAAAT?
After questioning adults about it all I found out they didn’t know. One even told me some people didn’t believe there was a god. Made me wonder. How were others around me even sure there was a god? I felt like no one knew and perhaps it was like Santa had turned out. But there had to be an answer somewhere.
I continued to believe for many years. It was like a calling. God wanted me to find him and tell the world the truth. I had him in my heart and mind. I talked to him all the time.
But I had abandoned Catholicism. Protestants weren’t any better. I tried several churches, but they were all lacking something; the ring of truth, which they all claimed to have exclusively. Impossible, of course.
Since then I went looking in Eastern mysticism, looking for enlightenment. I found it. I attained states of mind where you fell you are connected to all. Where you feel as if you understand everything. Like coming home. Pure bliss.
I learned how to leave my body. I can still have an out of body experience almost at will. I can teach others to do it. But I don’t.
I had many other supernatural events happen in my life. I had a visitation from spirits that conversed about me for a long time before deciding to let me live. I heard Jesus tell me it was not my time to die when I was about to let myself go during an out of body experience. I was instantly snapped back in to my body.
There is much more but I don’t want to bore you. Too late? Sorry.
Suffice it to say I discovered that none of what experienced was what it seemed. My brain was now capable of giving almost any experience I wanted through meditation. I even did an experiment where I created a Lord of the rings world for myself, and it seemed as real as normal life.
The only thing I couldn’t accomplish was levitation. Which was the only thing that was a physical act. That told me a lot. I later found out how it was done. They are all fakes as far as I know.
So I learned the brain can’t be trusted. Yes, even though anyone can reach a state of “just knowing” you come away with zero added knowledge. It’s all the brain. So is faith.
Now, after other study like neuroscience and physics I have had a new start and new direction.
I don’t think I have a soul, but who knows? If I wake up dead someday I’ll know what happened.
The quest is never ending, and life is short. I’m enjoying the ride.
I cannot fathom a complex creature such as any human being coming about because of clumsy atoms or whatever that NO thing was. It's like closing the empty refrigerator and opening it a week later to baby kittens to me.
I know that the ideas are not that simplistic but why??? Why can't we break this stuff down so that simple minds may understand? Is there reason why the average person has no idea how to explain the laws of evolution?
Why is it so lofty? Could it be that it is meant to be as obscure as possible? Science wants to hide like God??? Just trust that the numbers and squiggly lines are correct cause "I" checked and he checked too!!! Faith in something else???
Of course. But no one wants to admit that.
Jesus explains about the use of metaphor I think. For purposes of obscurity? I'll look it up.
But you can fathom an adult immortal cat in the refrigerator?
A person of "average" intelligence do understand the "laws" of evolution.
Science is not a person to hide but is simply thinking rationally. People run away from that because then "truth" is revealed and beliefs can't be held.
Faith is something else, its simply believing childhood stories as adults.
Jesus myth explains as good as krishna. And christians are who delibereately want to misunderstand.
You've made me giddy (I only had a little way to go )
Yes, the adult immortal, I get... explains all those baby kittens.
I HATE to toot my horn (I don't really have one. But I am above average intelligence, so that's what all my tests say... however, I wouldn't know an neuron if it kissed me on the lips (or was my lips). The theory of evolution is so technical that the average person cannot read about it... MUCH less, understand.
Science is magic. one minute you see a theory next minute there are two!! Or none...
Krishna??? Who's he??? A myth???
You're mistaken about Jesus. But you're not alone. enjoy your fellowship.
The thing about the theory of evolution, is you have to swallow a very unlikely scenario. I personally don't buy that you can build a perfectly functioning multi-part system through a series of random mutations. Throwing "millions of years" at it doesn't cut it for me. Also, it's obvious that organisms adapt to their surroundings really quickly, or else they wouldn't be able to survive. Luckily, they ALWAYS get just the right "random" mutation needed to fit their environment and survive. Yes, I am incredulous, but for very good reason. The idea is absurd.
Rest easy. You'll never get it all no matter who you listen to. It takes faith in all scenarios. My faith's in Jesus. It's ok that you're shopping for something to grab hold of; or comfortable in a state of quandary. You don't have to answer to me for anything. I'm free to fellowship with you as we are.but I'm staying on the yea side. I know how to yell... lol
You never know, I may be a secret genius, and I'll figure it all out by myself:)
Either way, I ENJOY the mystery and trying to figure things out. It gives my life meaning.
I'm a huge information buff myself!
I love analyzing and finding out about as much as I can... but this one thing I do know... all else must agree.
If you dont stand for something, you fall for anything.
This realm is untouched by human hands. That means that there is no vision of my spirit. But i def have one... we both have brains, but they do vastly different stuff, given the exact same situation. You cannot tell me why. No one can.
The heart/mind (that thing that distinguishes you from me once skin is removed) must decide yea or nay.
The nays find evidence to back up their claims suitable to them, and yeas do too...
You are no secret genius. It's oozing from your fingertips for sure. what you do with that (all your decision to decide) is your responsibility. The only time I'm responsible for your decision is when I lie to you and lead you astray... I'm careful not to do that... so I have no stake in your decision.
It must be great to be sure of things, but that's just not my style. EVERY time I've been sure, I've been dead wrong.
I hear it happens a lot on your side of the street.
I, an idealist, have ideas but no knowledge on them, I have knowledge I have no idea what to do with!
I flub it all the time. Lol...
I laugh because I'm ok anyhow. It's amazing to me.
My decisions are made based off my feelings. Sometimes it's good. But it's often badbadbad. I guess I felt wrong at the moment, or maybe i needed that wrong for the right that's coming. I trust that I won't fall. I trust the Lord is there and I haven't been wrong yet.
The universe has no idea what I need. I trust that God does.
"Luckily, they ALWAYS get just the right "random" mutation needed to fit their environment and survive."
Are you assuming there is only one "right" mutation needed to survive? Or are there dozens or hundreds of possibilities?
If a species always gets the right mutation, why do all of them eventually go extinct? I'd have to say the extinct ones didn't get the right mutation.
If all species get the right mutation, how is it that they continue to evolve over millions of years while inhabiting the same basic environment? How is that each right mutation is followed by another right one, followed by another?
If each species gets the right mutation, how does it happen that one species is replaced by another (not progeny, either)? Seems one got the right mutation while the other did not...
"How is that each right mutation is followed by another right one, followed by another?"
That's what I'd like to know.
Species that go extinct probably weren't able to evolve fast enough.
You misunderstand - if the first one is the right one, why the second? Because there IS no "right" mutation?
If they didn't "evolve fast enough" then it is obvious that they didn't get that "right mutation".
The point is that there IS no right mutation. There are only mutations, some of which are beneficial and some of which are not. Even some (most) that are deadly and result in still birth or early death. Mutations, then, may be pretty random, but the survival rate from it is NOT. You're trying to put the cart before the horse, thinking that only "right" mutations happen because that's what we see. That we don't see the results of "wrong" ones doesn't mean they don't happen; they most definitely do happen.
There are right mutations. Lenses for eyesight, feathers for wings. A cortex in the right place for processing more information. Amazingly we always get just the right thing we need.
How can you tell it is the "right thing we need"? If there is no better possibility, there would be no further evolution, but there always is. We obviously don't get "just the right thing", then.
Just as obviously, we get just the wrong, thing, too - extinction bears that out. Your still thinking that evolution "heads" for, or "aims" for a specific thing, but that isn't true. That wings work for birds means that they work, not that birds "needed" or "wanted" wings.
Consider a simplistic example (that never happened), the pre-bird. As a species it got big ears, tiny eyes, wings, scales and a huge tail (scattered throughout the community). The big ears and tiny eyes were counter-productive and died. The wings became a bird, the scales a lizard and the huge tail individual became a fish, all over great time and with further mutations.
Now - which one was the "right mutation"? The tail because it produced a fish that was viable and survived unseen in the water? The scales because it produced a lizard that lives in the deepest cave and we don't see? Or the wings that flutter in the tree outside our window? Or was the right one the tiny eyes because the competition for blind worms was too great and evolution "killed off" the line - the world didn't need another worm and so it was right to kill that creature?
Or were they all "right" and the environmental pressures made them into something they weren't?
I can tell a thing is right because it works. A lens is right for the eye because it make vision better. A feather is right for a bird because it makes flying easier. An extra tail is right for e.coli because it makes them swim faster.
Aren't "geed" mutations supposed to be much rarer than bad ones? I can see REAL random mutations getting weeded out through natural selection. Something else creates the good mutations we see all around us in well-adapted species.
How is it possible that eye parts randomly mutated in the right order, in the right spot for seeing?
What is it? Luck? And this happened 40 independent times throughout evolution? And it happened fast, eyes have been here since the beginning.
Evolution is not an accident. It isn't God either. It's something else, obviously.
Another example: Two organisms develop eye parts. One gets a lens and one gets photoreceptors. The lens one dies because of additional weight to carry when running from predators while the photoreceptors lives.
They both developed, they were both "right" in that they lead to an eye, but we never knew about the lens one. So we declare that the receptor developed because it was needed to make an eye, forgetting all about the lens one that died out. That because part then is false; the causal effect was not present. The organism survived from the "because" but did not get the mutation "because" of anything.
You guys still never account for the fact that the eye parts are always on the eye. You can't get around that. It's too much of a "coincidence", and you guys just ignore the obvious. How many separate parts of the eye had to evolve, separately? At least five or six for the human type of eye. Those are WHOLE NEW PARTS. So they have to be RANDOM entirely new body parts according to your theory. The OBVIOUS unlikelyhood of this happening by accident is staggering, to say the least. You just say "it took millions of years" but that doesn't account for anything at all.
There's also the fact that every time the eye evolves, it turns out practically the same way every time. How is that possible if it is random? For each type of eye, there are probably a dozen examples of nearly the same order.
And I, choose to speculate on the things of the spirit of God, instead. That's what's real to me.
It is solid. Unwavering.
Judges 9:13 says all days.
"But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?'"
A lot of people do. It's human nature. There's even a gene for that I bet:)
LOL FOUND IT after one minute google....
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200 … 404-8087r/
Explain the adult cat too!!
Did you conduct the test yourself?
Technical only for those who never bothered to read, for an average person can understand. Most students by the time they complete high school can explain what evolution is.
You're mistaken about Krishna. But you're not alone. enjoy your fellowship.
I don't see it as "pure genius", as most mythology does the same thing with their creation myths. The Bible is no different.
A lot of folks would be terribly disappointed that you called their source of Divine Inspiration, "MYTH" . Now we should probably ask the next president when he is sworn into office on January 2017, to not put his right hand on that MYTH of a book, and swear to uphold the constitution. Instead, maybe we should use a similarly popular book, that is more current and definitely not a MYTH... I'm thinking "50 shades of gray"
The Bible is no different that any other mythology book. It is nothing special.
I think at least a couple presidents used the Masonic Bible. But that could just be a rumor.
Or maybe the Koran, so you don't offend American Muslims.
Or the Gita, so you don't offend Hindus?
@janesix: What you are proposing is political correctness gone haywire.
No religious books should be used when it comes to matters of state.
Why is that? Do you think man alone is so virtuous that his word is his bond?
Sure. How does putting your hand on a Bible make you more virtuous?
Since you believe that what are written in the Bible are pure myth, then I am not too surprised that you miss the symbolism of someone putting his hand on the Bible( pure truth to a lot of folks) and pledging to tell, "the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God"; or as is the case of a newly elected president to truthfully and "faithfully protect and defend the Constitution" of the United States.
No, man is probably the least virtuous creature God ever made. However, when one swears by what they believe, they are saying their Creator is "equally" responsible for their actions. (Makes me wonder who "made" politicians.)
For those without a belief system, it is probably hard to fathom. But that does not mean the non-believers are any less virtuous than believers. Non-believers are not held to any benchmark as they really have none in common, so virtue is a social ethic as opposed to a moral standard, ergo, wrong doing (sin) either can be explained away or does not exist.
And that is why God only saves sinners. They are the only ones that find a need in Him.
Why swear them in? Why not pledge allegiance to the people? Religion has no place in the politics of a democracy. Particularly not in a multicultural/ethnic society.
That you like the poetry and beauty of the old tales seems insufficient reason to declare them true. OR believe that they are true.
@wilderness: Again your post is so inconsequential to the topic at hand. Like shooting darts in a darkened room, and the only thing that you are actually hitting is pure air.
You're quoting John 1. Almost close
Yes, Jesus spoke to his own in parables so they only would understand clearly. He used metaphor as well. I think it was brilliant too.
Secret society like... They were up against a lot of persecution.
Mark 4:12 ►
so that, "'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!
It was because he didn't want others to be "saved", sadistic isn’t it?
Christians are good at making stories and distorting facts, aren't they?
"Sadistic" and "good at making stories" and "distorting facts" sounds like the incoherence of an argumentative idiot trying to make a case for his own shadow.
And how are you, on this fine day?
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