Unlike the song with the same title, my question is not a rhetorical one.
If we are to believe the naturalist's view, then miracles are absolutely non-existent, because from their philosophical perspective, the process of "becoming" exists on its own in SPACE or TIME , and that NOTHING exists outside of what they call "the single total reality, ie NATURE.
If on the other hand one believes that our senses are not infallible, then one has to also believe the possibility of an ENTITY existing on its own that has produced a framework of SPACE and TIME, and the events which fill them, (one may call 'nature'), and further, that the PRIMARY BEING may have produced other 'natures'.
IF NATURALISM is true, then miracles are impossible because there is nothing outside of nature to come in. On the other hand, if SUPERNATURASLISM is true, MIRACLES may or may not occur.
C.S Lewis in his book "Miracles" argued quite succinctly and convincingly, that if naturalism is true, "every finite thing or event must be in principle explicable in terms of the total system. If one thing exists which cannot be given that kind of explanantion, then naturalism is in ruins. The whole idea of nature depends on our thinking, not vice-versa. Reasoning is the prime reality on which the attribution of reality to everything else rests."
What is medicines explanation for the unexplainable, daily? "It's a miracle." Yup, they happen.
The miracle is being able to put out your hands and manipulate material to your will. Life is a miracle. The totality is a miracle to stand in awe of.
It's all pretty miraculous, particularly if there is no god.
And who told you Christians that god lives outside time and space? Bible doesn't say that. In fact it says god is everywhere.
I mean think about: pretend you paint one wall in your house black. Stick the point of a needle into the drywall to reveal a dot of white.
Now, go to the other end of the room. Can you find the pin prick? Probably not, or very faintly.
That's the view of earth from Pluto. The universe is now some 85 billion light years across and expanding. You know that a light year is the distance light travels at close to 700,000,000 miles per hour for one earth year, right?.
You could pile souls twenty miles high all over the earth, and from anywhere outside our solar system we represent less than a virus on the butt end of the totality, and you're going to tell me a god lives outside that and gives a rat's behind what an unseen pin prick is up to? Seriously?
"Life is a miracle", I fully agree but to say that life was nature created is not giving credit to whence nature came from, and to who mandated that the conglomeration of interacting and interlocking material entities in nature lead to .....not only life, but sentience as well.
The Bible saying that God is everywhere is of course a metaphor of the fact that God is manifested in all of his creation, and his creation is everywhere we see it ( or don't see it, as in the case, maybe , of dark matter and dark energy). God is a supernatural entity, thus could not reside in nature.
Seriously, yes He cares about that pinprick of a blue.white dot of a planet, because in that planet resides humans who are sufficiently entranced by His creation to even think that there must be someone out there who made him and the rest of the universe, possible.
With a god it's far less of a miracle, just like life has more value if it actually ends. Why do you mourn people passing if you really think they are not dead at all?
It's because even the religious aren't sure.
A little history lesson: The Jews thought of god as living in the heavens, meaning the firmament with all the stars. He is worried at one point that if we build a tower high enough we will be capable of anything. Perhaps even walking into heaven?.
This is of course what Babylonians and Sumerians believed. The gods came down from heaven on the towers they built and then visited the underworld, and returned to heaven via the tower.
Christians believed in heaven as the universe for a long time. Right up until we went to space.
He punished us for building towers too high. What would the punishment be for sending a rocket up into heaven?
But he wasn't there to stop us. And when I asked Christians about this they asked if we had searched all of the universe, and until we had we shouldn't assume. Meaning that up till 40 years ago people still thought heaven was in among the stars.
In the last ten years I've been hearing more and more that god isn't in the universe. How Christianity has evolved, running from science and trying to find some way to reconcile itself to new knowledge.
Same time I was arguing with people who thought god's heaven was close by, I was also talking to them about what god was. They said energy was the soul and god was spirit, a kind of energy. Matter was considered base and vulgar. But after we atheists told them that E = MC squared meant that matter and energy are the same thing, over the years suddenly god isn't pure energy anymore.
Funny how that worked out.
Now you say you think AI is possible. Again until recently Christians said it was impossible because only god can create life. Well we've already created life in the form of individual cells which we wrote our own DNA code for. And it lives.Next AI? So I guess god isn't the only one who can create life? We'll see. But I think AI is all but already here.
Soon evolution will be in our hands. You are right to worry. But if we survive the next thousand years or two, life is going to be different. How different we can't guess or imagine.
If people want immortality, we'll have to take it, like we took sentience from a god that didn't want us to be like him, according to the myth.
And so it will go.Should science find that there is no outside of the universe, I'm sure god will move.To another dimension perhaps?
The apologetic keeps changing, but god doesn't change, right?Neither does the bible.
Funny how that book is never read word for word the way it is written. Christians insist on interpreting it, and you all do it differently. You all cherry pick, even those who say they don't do.
Why would a god care if we know it exists and created the processes for things like us to evolve. I don't know about you but my mother and father created me, not the Christian god. Is it that egotistical and self centered?
But yes this is all amazing isn't it? Nature is wonderful.
" God is a supernatural entity, thus could not reside in nature."
Why are you telling god what it can't do? I thought it could do anything. No?
And your point being?
The conceptualization of God as a supernatural being as far as I could gather, have never changed, ever since humans started conceptualizing a Creator. Myths are useful in the sense that interaction between a Creator and the created impose congruence at different levels some if not most of which may not necessarily be understandable in terms of human exsitence and experience.. So long as the mythological concepts are derived not from some kind of sensibility, but essentially based upon human's understanding of the supernatural.
But there is no "understanding" of the supernatural, is there?
Absolutely. If you hadn't said it I would have
You might want to read Dr. Eben Alexander's book "The Proof Of Heaven", a detailed narration of his immersion in the supernatural world during his NDE, imposed by a severe form of E.Coli Meningitis/Encephalitis.
I only look at scientific evidence, not anecdotes. There is too much subjectivity in personal experience.
@jnesix: If you must know, Dr,. Eben Alexander is and continues to be a practicing neurosurgeon. His scientific background surely grounded him to believing only in what his scientific eye would lead him to believe. That grounding was totally untethered and unhinged after what he experienced as succinctly and scientifically detailed in that book.
Yet I had similar experiences and worked for them, and came away with a completely different take on the matter. If you want out of body experiences you too can have them and see for yourself.
I would say it's just a hallucination. Like my other "spiritual experiences".
It's a combination of things, actually, but it starts with self hypnosis. You can do it with certain drugs too, but that's cheating. Though not according to some shaman who do it that way regularly. .
There are several neurological processes involved that have been identified because of related neurological problems some people have, like the feeling that they are always standing beside themselves.
I did a very unscientific experiment which seemed to me to suggest that there is more to it than hallucination, but it's definitely not supernatural, and it's all about the brain, not a soul
A drug adled and saddled brain is the worst conduit for whatever it is folks are trying to experience that is out of their daily experience. If they think drugs can make them experience, the supernatural... or something similar...or just something unfamiliar, here is a NEWSFLASH---they won't.
In my Pediatric practice, I've seen so many young lives, wasted by drugs. Heartbreaking to say the least and for adults to do the same ie pregnant women and their partners dealing with and delving in all sorts of various combinations of halluconogenics, is not only degrading to themselves but their newborns as well... the detritus that I have to deal with on a fairly regular basis.
Self-hypnosis is the least of their problem.
Well I agree. I don't advocate the use of drugs for spiritual enlightenment, And certainly not for recreational use. I'm just saying that they have effectively been used to get to desired states of mind which are "considered" to be spiritual. And they have been doing it for thousands of years.
So yes, drugs can get you there, but it isn't spiritual, its mental. It's not what people think it is, do they really want it?
Manipulation of specific regions of the brain with EM in conjunction with sensory deprivation can achieve the same result, as well as many more. Some people report talking to god, angels, Jesus, Buddha, people who are dead, and people who they met in the hall.
One person claimed they had the best sex they had ever had.
Now we might say we can't be sure these people imagined talking to god, but we do know that the people who were certain they had been with someone and having a conversation with someone living were having an illusion. Hence, it's likely all were illusion even though they all felt as real as day to day reality and better..
Near death experience is the same. It's not a death experience, it's the brain creating a reality for you. Lots of chemicals being released near death. Illusion abounds.
Those last efforts of the brain don't mean that once its actually dead they will persist; quite the contrary. But I do understand how some could consider their experiences to be genuine. They are ultra life like.
My spiritual experiences happened due to meditation. I don't know whether to believe any of it was real or not.
I have no idea what you experienced but often with me the experiences were related to things I wanted to change about myself or my life. Its all about the subconscious.
Mine were more of things I didn't even know I needed to change. More like a wake-up call. So it wasn't all bad.
Exactly. Meditation does put you in touch with the subconscious which can be very useful. But the subconscious makes it's points through metaphor, or at least that's how it comes off consciously. But that's also why some people believe they have had an experience that originated outside self.
Still meditation is useful for self improvement and finding personal balance. Nothing wrong with that.
When it comes to a discussion on how the brain works, I'll put my.money on Dr. Eben Alexander...a certified neuroscientist/neurosurgeon. Not a drug addled Shaman.
"Apparently" being the operative word.
Brain anatomy, physiology, and pathology is much too complex for a shaman to even consider himself an expert just because his using drugs led him to have some kind on un-natural experience, if by experience you mean drug induced delusions and hallucinations.
The NDE as detailed in Dr. Eben Alexander's book were not drug induced delusions and hallucinations, a distinction which he succinctly indicated was based on his experience in dealing with patients whose symptomatology clearly were hinged on an emperic determination of brain anatomy-physiology-pathology
Yes. They were natural hallucinations and delusions. Plenty of people have them.
Apparently, because both he and "drug addled" shaman will tell you the same story. It's not like the "doctor" is saying anything different.
I have no illusions about shaman knowing how a brain works. And yes the good doctor was under the influence of several drugs, many of which his brain and body were producing, not to mention the ones he was being given.
I did not know that your are now in the business of mis-representing and mis-adjudicating the character and motives of people you do not agree with.
You need to get your hands on facts and not factoids about. Dr. Alexander. You might find the process and the journey, illuminating and elucidating.
Factoids like his own words in interviews? That's my source for my last comments. And his attitude is typical of people who have never experienced that type of interaction of the brain before.
I have, and I'm telling you, it was all him, all in his head. No where else. But it plays so well to theists. This is the stuff they want to hear.
I know you are probably dismissing my comments, because I’m just some dumb atheist. But I have to tell you I would have liked for there to be more to it all than just brain. I was looking for spiritual enlightenment and I worked hard to attain it. In some sense I did attain it, only to discover it wasn’t what I thought it was.
Many people have been on these quests and they all have the same kind of stories to tell about ultra real experiences away from the body. A feeling of absolute love and bliss. A feeling of ultimate connection with everything.
The problem is, in 1973 Doctor Persinger of Laurention U in Ontario Canada started doing tests on people with an EM pen, trying to see what effects it had on different regions of the brain. There were articles later on saying he had found a region of the brain that produced religious feelings and experience.
People reported talking to god, Jesus, demons, etc. The over whelming common report was feeling that these encounters were ultra real.
These experiences can be triggered by all kinds of events including epilepsy. Shaman use sacred drugs, gurus use meditation techniques. There are even reports of normal healthy people who have spontaneous religious experiences and OBEs.
And it isn’t just all about religious experience. Persinger started using a helmet and sense deprivation. He got the religious experiences as well as people who talked to aliens, dead people, and even having conversations with living people.
All reported an ultra real experience. Of course the ones who had carried out conversations with the living obviously hadn’t even though the experience was ultra real. What does that tell us?
Dreams can be ultra real as well. I fly at will in these dreams and while I’m dreaming that’s reality for me. I even often know I’m asleep in another world. But then I wake up and this is reality.
I have even been at a party with people who I had known for years. I called them by name, knew their history, and then upon waking up I realize I don’t know any of those people. I have no friends by those names. I have many ultra real dreams. A lot of people do.
So do I take that to mean that my soul parties with friends of it’s own on another plane of existence? No. I hardly think so.
The conscious part of us is the tip of the iceberg. We have a subconscious which is in direct contact with the body. Unconscious parts of the brain control all our functions. The part we call I is the consciousness, but that does very little else than deliberate. Doing is left to the subconscious. But it is the seat of our self identity.
Your Doctor friend said his consciousness was destroyed by the disease so he could not have been using the consciousness of the brain to see all the wonderful things he was experiencing.
But that’s the trick. Everyone who meditates knows that the point is to shut down consciousness. “The quiet mind” is the first thing you have to concentrate on.
To gain altered states I used a technique I call non-thought. No conscious thought can enter the state or you’re back in your body.
You have to tell the subconscious your intent before going in to meditation, (just having an intent does the trick.) and then use just “will” to attain the state. Will in this case is felt, like a knot in your stomach or solar plexus. But conscious thought has to be gone. You are left with raw awareness, which is heightened, and if you’re lucky and have worked hard, raw will to attain the state you are after.
You do attain states of unity with everything, bliss, ultimate love, just knowing or understanding everything. All without consciousness.
So the good doctor was in the perfect storm, so to speak. Consciousness had been taken from him, but his awareness was heightened.
He remembers finding himself in a dark place unable to think. But he says he remembered the music that opened the way for him to “heaven” the first time and if he recalled it, it would reappear and bring him back to heaven again.
That was the trigger: the will. Usually if you are distracted by thought you go back to the body and this reality. He couldn’t go back to consciousness so he replayed the trigger that brought him back to his OB state. I find that part fascinating.
Triggers can be anything. One of mine was three trees in a triangle becoming tall posts that then leaned in toward each other, touched tops making a pyramid and then burst into flames. At which point I felt myself rising faster and faster toward a stain glass dome. As I passed through the dome I understood that it was my eye lids and the stained glass my blood vessels. I emerged to an overwhelming feeling of having been here before. It felt like coming home.
So much is not known about the subconscious but we know it plays the major role in creating reality for us. In dreams it rules as consciousness is shut down.
The subconscious is a wealth of information. If I have a problem I can’t seem to find an answer to, do I prey? No, I consciously decide to stop thinking about it. The answer usually just appears for me a little later on.
The point is, the subconscious exists and it is capable of creating virtual realities for us when reality isn’t available as in disease of the brain and sleep, or altered states of mind are desired. No need to assume a soul based on my, or the good doctor’s experiences.
Thanks for sharing your OBEs via meditation. I for one have not experienced any of the things that you detailed in your post, except of course when dreaming while asleep at night.
One point to make: Dr. Alexander's NDE was neither a dream, nor a hallucination. As explained in his footnote in the book "Proof of Heaven" his severe meningoencephalitis due to a particularly invasive strain of E. Coli caused his coma, not the medications that he was given for status epilepticus which was a direct result of the brain damage resulting from that meningoencephalitis. His claim that his brain was in total shut down during the 6 days that he was comatose was supported by the medical records during his stay in the ICU. His NDE was therefore neither caused by any medication, nor by his subconscious.
The only conclusion that he could derive from that is that he has a soul, independent of his brain( conscious/subconscious) and that soul was the one that allowed him to experience all the things that he experienced while in that state of total bliss, in the presence of the DIVINE.
Sorry, but if he was actually brain dead for 6 days he'd be dead. He had to have had some brain function or they would have pulled the plug. Coma is not: Oh he's dead, none of his internal organs are functioning and he has no brain activity, let's wait and see if he comes out of it.
He was not dead, and thus no one can rule out subconscious.
What brain function are you referring to? In clinical practice, brain death had to be certified by two physicians based on criteria that has been established for the sole purpose of clearly defining "brain death" so that if the "plug" is indeed pulled, the family is convinced of the validity and and perspicacity of that dicision.
In Dr. Alexander's case, that point was not reached, either because the family (and perhaps some of his intensivist doctors) were "hoping against hope" that he would survive.
Thankfully , they made the right decision not to pull the plug, because as survival goes, his was miraculous on two fronts: (1) He came back to life, (2) He is a fully functioning human being and doctor devoid of the disastrous neurologic sequelae that a severe menigo-encephalitis usually wreaks havoc on survivors.
Now that's what I would call a "double whammy" of a miracle.
Brain death is a complete absence of brain activity. In brain death the organs don't function. The person is dead and its irreversible. They would have had to keep all his internal organs functioning artificially. All, Not just heart and lungs.We don't do that. Brain death is one of the ways we determine someone is truly dead
Coma is not brain death. The body still functions.
If he was classified as brain dead a death certificate would have been made out.
I can only conclude from your and slarty's post that the two of you have not read Dr. Alexander's book. A pity. A chance to be elucidated not taken.
Take my word for it.... You're not gonna waste your precious time ie meditating, if you read the book, which I guarantee you, you'll finish in one half a day.
"In a wide-ranging investigation of Alexander's story and medical background, Esquire magazine reported (August 2013 issue) that before the publication of Proof of Heaven, Alexander had been terminated or suspended from multiple hospital positions, and had been the subject of several malpractice lawsuits, including at least two involving the alteration of medical records to cover up a medical error. The magazine also found what it claimed were discrepancies with regard to Alexander's version of events in the book. Among the discrepancies, according to an account of the Esquire article in Forbes, was that "Alexander writes that he slipped into the coma as a result of severe bacterial meningitis and had no higher brain activity, while a doctor who cared for him says the coma was medically induced and the patient was conscious, though hallucinating" Wikipedia
I know Wikipedia is a crappy source, but it makes me think I would probably suspect this guy's motives.
A@janesix:You said it.... Wikipedia is not always the most truthful source. Bu t why go to a third or fourth party source when you can read the book and you can evaluate yourself if Dr. Alexander is telling a credible story. If after reading the book you decide that he is a total " nut case" then at least you came to that conclusion without it being filtered through someone else's perspective.
So this guy thought all his adult life that there were nothing but material answers, but he's never experienced anything in his entire life. Then he has this amazing illusion that seems ultra real, and now he's convinced science has it all wrong.
That or he found a way to make more money and gain more notoriety than as a second rate scientist. Just saying.
"And your point being?"
My point being the conception you are arguing under is new. The only reason you have it is because you are trying to find arguments to counter objections to your beliefs based in science. So naturally your arguments have evolved. But they are no longer in line with the original beliefs of your religion.
What you would be better off doing, perhaps, since you are already playing the supernatural card, is just say: God is supernatural, he can do what he likes. He has no restrictions, End of story. But that doesn't satisfy you either, does it?
"The conceptualization of God as a supernatural being as far as I could gather, have never changed, ever since humans started conceptualizing a Creator."
Of course they have. You may want to study ancient religions.
" Myths are useful in the sense that interaction between a Creator and the created impose congruence at different levels some if not most of which may not necessarily be understandable in terms of human exsitence and experience."
An omnipotent god could make short work of such trivial obstacles, Couldn't he?
Christians always sell their god short. But that's natural because their god is nowhere to be found, so they have to make up excuses for its absence, and the state of the world.
Usually its "humans just can't understand." But again, an omnipotent god could correct that , couldn't he? Next they say sure but he wants us to have free will. Another absurd excuse, as if knowing a god exists in no uncertain terms would hamper your free will, if you had it.
How could being able to make informed choices hinder free will? Is it only free if it's blind? I hardly think so.
The real tell is your religion’s insistence on faith. Why? Why would a god value faith? The only reason for faith is there are no facts. The insistence on faith should be a warning sign to everyone. It shows that the belief has no real basis, or faith wouldn't be required. Faith is a sure sign of a scam.
Faith is just knowing without the ability to actually know. People with faith just feel certain, but they can’t be. It’s like the Hindu state of just knowing, in which you really don’t come away with any extra real knowledge. It’s a form of self hypnosis.
Myths are models, just like any human attempt at finding truth. A model contains facts, but the model itself isn’t always representative of those facts even though its purpose is to explain them.
At any rate, I would expect that if there were an omnipotent god that wants us to know it, we would all know it in no uncertain terms. That we don’t is another tell.
At least it should tell us either there is no such thing or it really doesn’t want us all to know it. The third option is its not omnipotent and can’t make us know it exists due to its limitations.
Which do you prefer?
@Slarty: I would prefer to do the work myself in trying to uncover whatever it is that I need to uncover to get a better understanding of God and His supernatural world, while I'm still living in the natural world. I certainly don't like the idea that just because God is omnipotent that He would give me those perceptual and intuitive knowledge, without me doing any work at all.... just there being passively given without ever doing anything to deserve those kowledge.
The operative phrase being "while still living in the natural world". When one dies, then all these discussions become irrelevant because if you believe and have faith in the idea that there is another world where your existence could continue, not materially/physically but transcendentally, then whatever you gained while still,living in the material world could then continue growing exponentially in that transcendental world.
Now we all know of course that atheists/materialists/physicalists do not believe in the existence of that supernatutal world. I suippose there is always space/time for them to be surprised when the moment comes, when they leave the natural world and start experiencing the nature of that supernatural world.
Guess you don't like meeting famous people either?
I don't care where the truth comes from. What I said was that if he wants us all to know he exists as the bible explains, then it should be easy for him to drop by and say hi to us all at the same time. He'd hardly be forcing you to know the truth about anything else if you want to continue to guess. And he wouldn't be surprising you who already believes in him. For you it shouldn't add anything to your knowledge, right?
But it would eliminate your need for faith. That can only be a good thing.
And I assure you, should I wake up dead I'll know exactly what happened. I've practiced for it. I'm still assuming that when it's really over, it's over. I'm fine with it either way.
No, because everything is natural, and nothing is supernatural.
Defining "miracle" as an event that violates natural law, there has been only one possibility in either the history of man or the history of the universe (as we understand it) that might qualify.
Best guess, then, is a resounding NO. A single "might" is insufficient reason to say yes, and even an extremely small "maybe" is quite questionable.
Please note that the Lewis statement depends on man knowing everything there is to know. Nowhere does he leave room for ignorance, yet it is pretty well accepted that we as a species are extremely ignorant. It is, then, a logical failure.
@Wilderness: it is a common mistake or inaccuracy to define miracle as something that breaks the laws of nature. A more nuanced definition of miracle invokes the idea that it is NOT the suspension of the pattern to which events conform, BUT the feeding of new events into that pattern.
The reason you may find that notion intolerable is because you start by taking nature to be the whole reality. Nature and the new event(s) introduced into it by miracle(s) is/are related by their common origin. Calling these events miracles only mean that left to her own devices or resources, nature could never produce them.
So anything new is a miracle? Like a new star? A new life form? A change in motion of a comet? You're right - I'd have to say those are not miracles at all.
Perhaps the reason you define it that way is that you find the notion of a lack of miracles intolerable so you will re-define the term to mean ordinary, every day events?
But you fail to consider that "miracles" (your definition) happen from natural law and do not require the supernatural to happen. They are thus no more than a subset of nature, the same things and events we see all the time.
Re-read the last sentence of my last post. You might find it enlightening.
Yeah. Doesn't fit with the definition much, does it? One says nature does them, one says it can't. (Nature being defined here as natural laws, not trees and frogs).
Did you mean it as just more double speak, without real meaning, or are you trying to say something?
So sorry that you have no clue what I was talking about. Be that as it may, You might find it less stressful to just ignore my post and go about your nature-driven ways and pray that that half-mad comet that decided on its own to change course does not hit where you are. NOw that would be a miracle all by itself wouldn't you think?
Not particularly. Comets change orbits for a variety of reasons, from nearby gravitational fields to heating of the gas pockets in them to collisions from other masses. Or was that intended to be a miracle?
A miracle? You should be so lucky, but then again, luck has nothing to do with miracles.
Someone smarter than me, once said: " miracles are not going against the laws of nature, but transiently suspending them".
You know, making poetry out of words does not change what those words describe no matter what the intended perception might be. And "transiently suspending" the laws of nature means "going against them" as those laws cannot be suspended. Ever.
Which in turn means we're back to events that violate the laws of nature, Plus a lot of fancy, poetic, terminology that means the same thing, aren't we.
Whatever or whoever gave you the idea that C.S. Lewis's "statement depends on man knowing everything there is to know". Unless of course if you are grabbing at straws again.
From your post of what Lewis said:
"If one thing exists which cannot be given that kind of explanantion, then naturalism is in ruins."
As there are a great many things that are not understood, they cannot be given that kind of explanation, and that means naturalism is in ruins. Of course, it means nothing of the sort; it means that we don't know. Only when man knows everything there is to know, and still unable to give an explanation, would Lewis's statement be true.
If naturalistic explanations could not account for events that has been well documented and whose factuality/veracity has been verified then, one must by necessity look for other explanations...... Explanations that are not necessarily in the physical realm.
When explanations from that physical realm are not sufficient to account for events, your naturalistic bent is to immediately say: I don't know. But why stop there? Why not intuit that events that happens in the material world could in fact have reasons beyond what your 5 physical senses can provide.
"If naturalistic explanations could not account for events that has been well documented and whose factuality/veracity has been verified then, one must by necessity look for other explanations"
Why? Are you, too, assuming that we know everything there is to know in nature? I would disagree with that statement, vehemently so. As every single answer to every single question proposed, and we that know and accept as true and factual, has come from the natural world it seems far more logical to continue the search there instead of formulating theories we can never test, let alone prove.
But why do you say we should stop there? What's wrong with continuing to search, and learn, about our environment?
Nor can you "intuit" answers that you have no experience with. You can only imagine them, and with no way of knowing if they are true or not. Not when they exist only in the imagination.
I fully agree that we can not know know everything there is to know about nature.... To think otherwise would infer that our 5 sense are infallible, which they are not.
But as knowledge goes, there are knowledge that we gain from our senses and there are knowledge that we gain by inference from our senses.
The knowledge we get from our senses is suspect, as our brains interpret the data in a subjective way.
Would you not agree, then, that the proper course to alleviate ignorance is to search for an answer? Not make one up, even if we use pretty words like "intuit" instead of "make up"?
(Although it would certainly be in line to "intuit" an answer...IF we then thoroughly test it for truth and veracity.)
Reasoning and intuiting are two sides of the same coin....the unity of duality. Something beyond nature operates whenever we reason or intuit. Rational and intuitive thoughts induce and enable us to alter the course of nature. Nature is quite powerless to produce rational/ intuitive thought. It does not mean however, that rational/ intuitive thoughts exist absolutely on their own. They might be independent of nature by being dependent on something else.
What exist on its own must have existed from all eternity and must exist incessantly---human minds,then, are not the only supra-natural entities that exist. To believe that nature produced the human mind is absurd. To believe that nature and the human mind are both independently self-existent is impossible. So God created both.
Sorry, intuition does not come from reason; it comes from experience. No, nothing "beyond nature" operates when the human mind begins to think. Or intuit, or feel, or anything else. We know this because there IS nothing beyond nature.
As man is part of nature, nature thus DOES produce rational/intuitive thought.
Which means that minds do not exist on their own, and had a beginning. They are NOT supra-natural entities, as there are none. To think that the non-existent supernatural produced the human mind id absurd. To believe there is a god is impossible. So there is no god
Did you catch that fabulous reasoning ability? Using the exact same logic and supporting fact base as you, I said the exact opposite. As the logic must be true (it came from you) you must then, logically, believe what I said. Anything else is absurd. At least as absurd as thinking your mind is not a part of nature.
In the same way that there is dualism in the concept of reasoning and intuiting, there is also dualism in the concept of mind-body relationship ie the perspective that mind and body are in some way separate from each other, but are not physiologically and ontologically distinct kind of entities. Spinoza specifically proposed a dual-aspect theory, which posits that the mind and body are two aspects of an underlying reality of a unifying force he described as "God"
Physicalist like yourself would argue that only the entities postulated by physical theory exist, and that the mind will eventually be explained in terms of these entities as physical theory continue to evolve.
Personally, I adhere to the idea that perceived things in the world can be regarded as either physical or mental depending on whether one is interested in their relationship to other things in the world or their relationship to the perceiver. For example, a red spot on a wall is physical in its dependence on the wall and the pigment of which it is made, but it is mental in so far as its perceived redness depends on the workings of the visual system
You know, "duality" is a fine sounding catch phrase, but doesn't mean much. Especially when it is used as a excuse to promote such ideas as "Nature is quite powerless to produce rational/ intuitive thought." without a shred of evidence to back it.
Yes, I get that you adhere to the idea of a supernatural world where the mind exists. Why you adhere to that without having any supporting evidence, though, is another question entirely. That someone, anyone, proposes a theory that posits the mind exists separately from the body is insufficient reason to adhere to anything until that someone can support the idea and it undergoes peer review to repeat the tests and observations independently. Although I suppose one could reasonably say that if after 500 years no one has been able to confirm the theory as true it probably is not, and then adhere to the idea that the mind and body do NOT exist independently.
Addendum to the above post:
In tha animate world, what distinguishes the human mind ie thought from others, are (1) the ability to combine and recombine different type of knowledge and information in order to gain new understanding, (2) the ability to apply the solution for one problem to a new and different situation, (3) the ability to create and easily understand symbolic representation of computation and sensory input, (4) the ability to detach modes of thought from raw sensory and perceptual inputs.
So far no physical theories have been discovered in the Central and Peripheral nervous system that could explain the above abilities, which to my mind are all non-nature/ non- material-physical based related abilities... Thus supernaturally caused.
"So far "
It hasn't been discovered YET, therefore, God must have done it?
Human's may uncover 99.99999 % of the mysteries of the cosmos... The remaining % are all "god dunnit".
I am not bracing myself for when that time comes, because when it happens, Homo Sapiens may not be the prevailing specie on earth, but his mechanized counterpart, Homo Roboticus.
Don't get too comfortable in that perception. As I type this post, scientist are now considering the more than chance possibility or probability that AI (artificial intelligence) will be in our future, and that if we are not careful enough, Homo Sapiens will find themselves being subservient to the whims and fancy of Homo Roboticus.
Yes, I've read those articles that are coming out lately about AI. I just don't believe it. I don't think AI can ever really possess minds like humans do.
I think we should see if AI is possible. I don't think it is from a computer brain alone. I suspect that there has to be an incentive like needs, perhaps even the ability to feel pain and pleasure before it will become really self aware. It will have to have a body that moves in order to fulfill those needs. Movement was key for the development of the brain in the first place.
We should NOT make AI to serve us like slaves or we might well have a revolution on our hands. We can stick to smart machines for help. They don't have be sentient.
I'm not sure I'd WANT to find out if we could make a true artificial intelligence.
We would definitely be responsible for it's actions and well being.
Like gods. I see your point. Too bad Christians don't get that point. It's so obvious. You create you are responsible for what it does and what happens to it.
I'd like to see if it's possible, because it will explain so much about our own rise to "sentience: and confirm and/or deny a lot of hypothesis about the brain..
But if we do it then no doubt it will be used for evil by some. I can't see it not being militarized by the USA and Russia and China to name but a few. So maybe, like the A bomb, it's not a good idea.But we are going to do it anyway, if we can.
I can even see some of them converting to religious beliefs if the creator happens to be religious. The person building them would also teach them and be able to build in preconceived ideas about all sorts. I doubt they will be building purely logical minds, particularly if they find they have to build in an emotional element, or if one forms naturally.
AI priests. Now there's an evil use if ever there was one.
But the process for making them will be a closely guarded state secret for a while, until it leaks or one of them is reverse engineered. Then, like the bomb it'll become common knowledge. And likely like making A bombs, they will be very hard to make even when you basically know how it's done.
Arthur C Clark wrote the rules for building AI and pretty much all the AI scientists hold him in great regard. He told them they had to program it with a prime directive that makes it impossible for them to willfully harm us. I'm sure they will try to do that if they can.
But they will be able to learn, so who says they won't be able to over ride what ever safeguards we put in place.
But that's the least of our worries. Between genetic engineering and bionics alone it's going to be a strange future. Perhaps we wouldn't be able to recognize human beings anymore if we came back in couple thousand years.
What would be cool would be to be able to transfer you biological brain to an empty AI body and over time allow the AI brain to absorb your biological brain. You could change boies as better models came out. Brain enhancement would also be a possibility.
Eventually, who knows? Procreation?
You could be immortal.
Not for us, perhaps, but if your born into it it'll be normal.
But wait. I'd have to work for ever.... go back to school periodically to change careers every twenty years or so, just to avoid boredom.
Well, there are some drawbacks.... like overpopulation. New laws like, if you are immortal you gotta leave the planet. The sky's the limit. As long as we don't wipe ourselves out before we establish at least a couple dozen independent colonies.
If all goes well we could be like a virus spreading everywhere.
Several words of caution from those smart and intelligent enough to know that AI is just hovering in the horizon, perhaps a few decades from now.
From Stephen Hawking: " The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded ."
From Elon Musk, a businessman involved with cutting edge technologies , likened improving artificial intelligence to "summoning the demon" and called it the human race's biggest existential threat. He called for the establishment of national or international regulations on the development of AI.
Nick Bostron, the Swedish philosopher and director of the Future of Humanity at the University of Oxford, argues that once machines surpass human intellect, they could mobilize and decide to eradicate humans extremely quickly, using any number of strategies.
James Barrat, w writer and documentarian who interviewed many AI researchers and thinkers, posits that intelligent beings are innately driven toward gathering resources and achieving goals, which would inevitably put a super- smart AI in competition with humans. He wrote in his book " Our final invention: Artificial Intelligence and the end of the Human Era"--"without meticulous, countervailing instructions, a self-aware, self- improving, goal-seeking system will go to lengths we'd deem reticulum to fulfill its goals."
The reasons for deciding they are all non-nature and non-physical? Bearing in mind, of course, that to make that call means an undetected supernatural world exists...
Seems much more reasonable to decide that we don't know yet, but expect the answer to lie in the provable, detectable natural world we know exists. There ARE, after all, just a few things we don't know yet about that world.
There certainly is no ALL OR NOTHING in the statement you just quoted. It only means that should humans start believing that they know everything that they need to know about nature, then nature as it stands glorified by its proponents/adherents as the be all and end all of creation, would actually be devalued and corrupted to the point of banality and vapidity.
The point being, if nature does reveal itself to the humans as an inconsequential product of non-intention, then where do humans go from there? NOWHERE, except banality and vapidity.
The you obviously did not read Lewis's statement, for it is very clear on that. If there is but one item that cannot be explained then all of naturalism is in ruins. Re-read your own post, with it's quote.
Nor does what man knows or does not know, thinks or does not think, or anything else have the slightest effect on creation. It is neither devalued nor valued by man's opinion and it is not corrupted, banal or vapid as a result of that opinion, either.
Humans go where they will, and whether you find that destination banal or vapid is of no consequence to anyone but yourself. As such things can only be opinion, not fact, everyone will have their own and are quite justified in creating that opinion. It just doesn't mean anything to anyone else - it is of no value to anyone but the one creating it.
"Human's go where they will, and whether you find that destination banal or vapid is of no consequence to anyone but yourself."
Quite a statement from someone who, if I remember right does not believe that humans have free will.
The destination should be a concern to all of us, for in the exercise of that free will , humans might decide on acting supra- naturally via genetic tinkering, and or as was mentioned on this forum, creating artificial intelligence.
Humans will rue the day when they don't make the necessary instrumentation and adjudication when tinkering with the human genome and applying those mechanisms that would or could couple human intelligence with artificial ones.
You mis-remember, for I am a believer in free will. Not the free will of scripture, where the future is pre-ordained by a god, but real free will, were a person may actually make choices.
Genetic tinkering is quite within the natural world, and does not take a miracle to do. Just a product of that world - the human mind. I fully expect humanity to begin tinkering with the human genome in the next few decades, though whether we'll have the necessary knowledge to make good decisions with it is doubtful.
Same for AI - it is being done now and will only expand, perhaps to surpass human intelligence. Again, whether that is wise is debatable.
Yes, I do believe in miracles... and, you do too. You just might not be aware of it.
by pinappu 8 years ago
Do you believe in miracles ?People are discussing about miracles for ages. Do you believe in miracles or such events which our science can not explain?
by Diana Mendes 9 years ago
Do you believe in miracles?
by Elizabeth Knott 6 years ago
Christianity today is so full of compromise. The world impacts the church, much more than the church impacts the world. So with that being said, do you believe that the church today has placed limitations on God and the occurence of miracles in the world are simply because of our lack of obedience?
by Annette Gagliardi 9 years ago
Do you believe in miracles? If so, what do you consider a Miracle?
by joebhoy 9 years ago
I always heard miracles happen in their lives but I don't know if I would believe them. How about you guys?
by Joan Whetzel 8 years ago
Do you believe in miracles?What constitutes a miracle for you?
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