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Leader
17 Oct 03,, 22:44
Battleground God

Can your beliefs about religion make it across our intellectual battleground?

In this activity you値l be asked a series of 17 questions about God and religion. In each case, apart from Question 1, you need to answer True or False. The aim of the activity is not to judge whether these answers are correct or not. Our battleground is that of rational consistency. This means to get across without taking any hits, you値l need to answer in a way which is rationally consistent. What this means is you need to avoid choosing answers which contradict each other. If you answer in a way which is rationally consistent but which has strange or unpalatable implications, you値l be forced to bite a bullet.

Click here for more on the criteria for hits and bullet-biting

Of course, you may go along with thinkers such as Kierkegaard and believe that religious belief does not need to be rationally consistent. But that takes us beyond the scope of this activity, which is about the extent to which your beliefs are rationally consistent, not whether this is a good or a bad thing.

What happens when you don't agree with the analyses!?

Have a look at our FAQ. It'll give you some idea of our thinking, even if we have got things wrong. I'm afraid that we can't reply to email about this activity - we just get way too much and the issues are frequently quite involved. Sorry! This is purely a question of time, nothing else. [Don't look at the FAQ before you play, that'll spoil the game.]

Don't cheat!

We can't stop you resubmitting your answers, but if you do the game will know - and your scores will not be counted. If you're intrigued by the possibility of different answers, just finish the game and then play it through again.

Click here for the Game (http://www.philosophers.co.uk/games/god.htm)


These are my results. (They will be displayed at the end of the test.)

You took zero direct hits and you bit zero bullets. The average player of this activity to date takes 1.38 hits and bites 1.11 bullets. 123700 people have so far undertaken this activity.

You have been awarded the TPM medal of honour! This is our highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity neither being hit nor biting a bullet suggests that your beliefs about God are internally consistent and very well thought out.

A direct hit would have occurred had you answered in a way that implied a logical contradiction. You would have bitten bullets had you responded in ways that required that you held views that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. However, you avoided both these fates - and in doing so qualify for our highest award. A fine achievement!

If you get any wrong you are shown the reasons why.

How did you do compared to other people?

123700 people have completed this activity to date.
You suffered zero direct hits and bit zero bullets.
This compares with the average player of this activity to date who takes 1.38 hits and bites 1.11 bullets.
7.37% of the people who have completed this activity, like you, emerged unscathed with the TPM Medal of Honour.
46.56% of the people who have completed this activity took very little damage and were awarded the TPM Medal of Distinction.

Ironduke
17 Oct 03,, 23:10
Battleground Analysis
Congratulations!
You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting very few bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent.


The direct hit you suffered occurred because one set of your answers implied a logical contradiction. The bitten bullets occurred because you responded in ways that required that you held views that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. At the bottom of this page, we have reproduced the analyses of your direct hit and bitten bullets.


Because you only suffered one direct hit and bit very few bullets, you qualify for our second highest award. A good achievement!

Click here if you want to review the criteria by which hits and bullets are determined.



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

How did you do compared to other people?

123708 people have completed this activity to date.
You suffered 1 direct hit and bit 1 bullet.
This compares with the average player of this activity to date who takes 1.38 hits and bites 1.11 bullets.
46.56% of the people who have completed this activity, like you, took very little damage and were awarded the TPM Medal of Distinction.
7.37% of the people who have completed this activity emerged unscathed with the TPM Medal of Honour.

Praxus
17 Oct 03,, 23:43
I got the Medal of Distinction.

I said that "Evolutionary Theory is essentially true" and they claim it "logicly contradicts" with me believing that it is foolish to believe in God without any irrevocable proof. There is objective evidence of Evolution, they have found bones of primitive man and have tested DNA that proves we have evolved from other animals. This is obviously not the case with a God, there is no objective evidence jhust "faith".

Leader
18 Oct 03,, 00:54
Originally posted by Praxus
I got the Medal of Distinction.

I said that "Evolutionary Theory is essentially true" and they claim it "logicly contradicts" with me believing that it is foolish to believe in God without any irrevocable proof. There is objective evidence of Evolution, they have found bones of primitive man and have tested DNA that proves we have evolved from other animals. This is obviously not the case with a God, there is no objective evidence jhust "faith".

You can't prove evolution beyond any possible doubt. You can just prove it beyond any reasonable doubt. Therefore it is logically inconsistent to say that one must prove the existence of God beyond any doubt.

2DREZQ
18 Oct 03,, 20:04
On the surface it looks like logical questions, but ignores certain stated characteristics of God. There are no inconsistancies in my beliefs. Evolution may be accepted, but it is FAR from indesputable. Any test concerning such things which ignores God desire that we accept His Son as a matter of FREE WILL is inadequate.

There are things that I allowed my children to go through, which I might have prevented, but I did not. I allowed the exercise of free will. This does not demonstrate any lack of love on my part.

Praxus
18 Oct 03,, 20:14
You can't prove evolution beyond any possible doubt. You can just prove it beyond any reasonable doubt. Therefore it is logically inconsistent to say that one must prove the existence of God beyond any doubt.

There is tons more evidence of evolution happening then God exsisting.

Evolution has been proved, the belief in the exsistence of God is based on faith.

There is not a single peice of evidence supporting the exsistence of God.

bigross86
18 Oct 03,, 23:29
Bit 1 bullet, thats all I remember...

Leader
19 Oct 03,, 01:06
Originally posted by Praxus
There is tons more evidence of evolution happening then God exsisting.

Evolution has been proved, the belief in the exsistence of God is based on faith.

There is not a single peice of evidence supporting the exsistence of God.

That's not what the argument is about. You are holding people who believe in god to a higher standard then you hold yourself. It's inconsistent to say that you believe in evolution even though you cannot remove any possible doubt, but you can believe in God unless you have absolute proof.

Praxus
19 Oct 03,, 01:43
I guess, but there is FAR more evidencee that evolution happened and there is NONE that God exsists.

Officer of Engineers
19 Oct 03,, 02:40
I say the Big Bang Theory pretty well confirms the existence of God. What else would you call all that energy, mass, space, time, and thought in a single point?

HorriBelle
19 Oct 03,, 06:30
Congratulations!
You have been awarded the TPM service medal! This is our third highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you have progressed through this activity without suffering many hits suggests that whilst there are inconsistencies in your beliefs about God, on the whole they are well thought-out.

The direct hits you suffered occurred where your answers implied logical contradictions. You did bite a number of bullets. These occurred because you responded in ways that required that you held views that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. At the bottom of this page, we have reproduced the analyses of your direct hits and bitten bullets.

The fact that you did not suffer many hits means that you qualify for our third highest award. Well done!

Ray
19 Oct 03,, 09:25
Oh God!

Leader
21 Oct 03,, 01:42
Originally posted by Praxus
I guess, but there is FAR more evidencee that evolution happened and there is NONE that God exsists.

There is no real knowledge about the existence of God only Notional Knowledge. Such as if the Universe wasn't created it would be the only thing in the Universe with out a cause. It does make since that every thing contained with in a thing has a cause as a rule but the container itself has no cause.

Bill
21 Oct 03,, 03:03
Religion is anything but logical or consistent.

I want to know how churches take it upon themselves to alter 'the words of God'.

What, do they get memos from God????

To be a 'true' christian you must follow the word of the bible(Old Testament) to it's word- not to the latest interpretations that happen to fit more neatly with societies evolving ideals of what is 'acceptable behaviour'.

As moral fibre declines, so to does the entire point of religion.

As science advances, more exposed become the lies of religion.

All religions fall into the same trap.

It's a joke.

Bill
21 Oct 03,, 03:11
BTW, that test has some very poorly worded questions.

Jay
22 Oct 03,, 06:17
I second that. :dontcare

Bill
22 Oct 03,, 08:31
Which part? ;)

Praxus
22 Oct 03,, 13:20
Everything in the Universe just being created, betrays the laws of Physics. Matter can not be created or destroyed. This means it had to exsist as matter or energy for an infinitly long time.

s_qwert63
22 Oct 03,, 14:01
Battleground Analysis
Congratulations!
You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity without being hit and biting only one bullet suggests that your beliefs about God are internally consistent and well thought out.


A direct hit would have occurred had you answered in a way that implied a logical contradiction. The bitten bullet occurred because you responded in a way that required that you held a view that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. However, because you bit only one bullet and avoided direct hits completely you still qualify for our second highest award. A good achievement!

kingfrogger
22 Oct 03,, 16:39
Regarding the "people dying of painful diseases for a higher purpose" question:


You've just bitten a bullet!

Many people cannot accept what you have just accepted; namely, that a loving God - a God who possesses great power and insight - has created the world in such a way that people need to suffer horribly for some higher purpose. There is no logical contradiction in your position, but some would argue that it is obscene. Could you really look someone dying of a horrible flesh-eating disease in the eye, and tell them that their suffering is for the greater good of themselves or the world?
In MY beliefs, if you have faith in (your) God, when you die, HOWEVER you die, it's because that's how it's supposed to happen. That's how cancer, dying babies, etc., can all be rationalized. Their pain/sacrifice was for a purpose. Again, just my belief...

Bill
22 Oct 03,, 20:14
I believe God created the matter of the universe, set into motion the big bang, and then went off to other endeavours.

I also don't believe there is a single person alive that has the first friggin clue what god wants, doesnt want, desires, or abhores.

I believe it is only man's arrogance to profess to know what God desires that has led to religion- the number one cause of war and death throughout history.

I certainly don't belive God gives a damn what i eat, or how i dress...and view those that do as little more than foolish sheep that have bought into the ultimate scam.

If i had to identify what i think God 'is', i would point to mother nature in her entirety.

kingfrogger
22 Oct 03,, 20:55
"And next, kids, we'll have Sniper giving us his haiku on peace, entitled "Hot Lead Headed for You"..."

Jay
22 Oct 03,, 21:00
I second that poorly worded part!

But pretty much my idea of God is very similar as that of Snipe's except i still dont know who/what created the universe. Unless they dont provide a concrete answer I still cannot believe the existance of God. But may be i believe in my conscience and a bigger power , mother nature.

To me any one who helps man kind/me is a God, not that i'm gonna bow aqnd pray in front of them. But there are certain qualities with in ourselves that makes us godly.

Also I dont believe in after life, heaven and hell.

Most of all, I dont even want a religion, I respect your thpughts, but please dont preach me yours.

All in all I guess I'm a Paganist, who believes in nature...Sun, moon etc.

kingfrogger
22 Oct 03,, 21:45
*** The following is not to be misconstrued as "preaching," merely sharing a point of view, so hopefully nobody will be offended. ***

Christianity (like most other religions) is sometimes referred to as a "faith"... 'Christian faith,' 'Jewish faith,' 'Muslim faith,' etc.

The reason for that word choice is simple. You can take the Bible, Talmud, Torah, Quran/Koran, or any other religious texts, and read them cover to cover. Stand-alone, you have stories that amount to nothing more than Aesop's fables or nursery rhymes.

The KEY to any religion which deifies a higher being (God, Jesus Christ, Allah, etc.) is the believers' faith. The writings and the structure of the religion are set up so that you HAVE to simply "believe" without proof of existence, plain and simple. The reason for that? Because your deity says so. Period. It's a frustrating, ironic twist that scholars and laymen have discussed, debated and rebutted for centuries now. People have lost their lives, statuses, jobs, families and probably a few have lost their minds over this conundrum. To believe with no physical, tangible proof, or to disbelieve without anything solid to back the religion on...

I guess for most people it comes down to a gut check of sorts. Either you feel that something's out there, watching over us (the details of this part are individual to the faiths), or you feel that we're all masses of organic compounds that stemmed from monkeys, which stemmed from less-evolved mammals, which stemmed from... ... ...which stemmed from single-celled organisms which were created from a combination of chemicals being given a spark in the ocean during some electrical storm billions of years ago (or, insert your own theory here).

Point is, they're called "faiths" because that's what they require. If you don't have it, then that's your right. If you wanna worship tinfoil hats, that's your prerogative too. Once we're in the ground feeding worms, who truly knows what the real answers are? It's all about what you're comfortable believing.

Jay
22 Oct 03,, 21:48
Once we're in the ground feeding worms, who truly knows what the real answers are? It's all about what you're comfortable believing.

dunno when others wud understand this simple concept :puke

Bill
23 Oct 03,, 01:10
There is proof of God, but it does not extend beyond the proof that matter exists, and that it came from somewhere, and that the explanation for that totally defies science.

Matter cannot have 'always' existed, because time has a starting point.

Before the beginning of time, nothing existed.

So, it was God that started the shot clock.

Anything beyond that is pure conjecture.

Of course, these are just my opinions, and i would not blow myself up over them either.

Praxus
23 Oct 03,, 01:14
Then what created God?

By your same logic God had to have had a starting point.

It is far more plausible that the matter/energy that makes up the universe has always exsisted then a being that has exsisted forever and then one day decided to create something out of nothing.

kingfrogger
23 Oct 03,, 14:15
*** Again, simply my own opinion; not meant to step on others' beliefs. ***

1. God has existed forever, before everything else, before anything else, and is all-powerful.

2. God "got bored" (for lack of a better expression), and decided to create our universe.

3. God created the matter by which our universe has been constructed, produced the 'Big Bang,' and began modeling everything. (I liken this part to coming home wanting to build something, throwing a bag of miscellaneous parts on your garage floor, scattering things all around, and building random stuff.)

In order to accept the belief that God is all-seeing and omnipotent, you have to accept that He has existed forever. He could've just been bored 'til he created our universe... or He could've been busy creating billions of other universes, one after another. The Bible and what current Christian ideas say about God and 'creation theory' only really points to OUR universe and world. God could've been cranking out totally different things in tons of other dimensions. He could have trillions of other universes (or whatever else His infinite imagination could come up with) all co-existing right now, running in different dimensions, that we might never be able to understand or discover.

Again, I point all of this back toward the word "faith". God knows it's hard to believe in something that we human beings with our rational, scientific minds cannot touch, see, smell, taste or hear. If it were easy and there was physical proof enough for everyone, I would assume atheism would lose some of its followers, as would a few other religions. It's for reasons like this that a lot of people choose to follow 'Deism,' whereby their religious beliefs agree with the fact that there is indeed a 'higher power,' but they don't necessarily agree on which form this 'higher power' exists in.

I love religious discussion... took a class a few years ago in college that was all about viewing someone else's religious beliefs through their eyes, and trying to understand them. Not accept them necessarily, but just to see how and why they can believe the way they do. Discussion was awesome, and helped me get some of my "God theories" out in the open. I could go on and on, but I'd probably end up seeming like a "bad Christian" with some of the stuff I've rationalized out...

Stinger
23 Oct 03,, 15:37
Originally posted by Praxus
Then what created God?

By your same logic God had to have had a starting point.

It is far more plausible that the matter/energy that makes up the universe has always exsisted then a being that has exsisted forever and then one day decided to create something out of nothing. you limit said being to "our" laws of time and phsyics.

Edit: to expand on that, consider this. God (or any of His other names) isn't bound by our definition of reality. Past present and future mean nothing because by His very nature he transends all time. Imagine being cognizant of every milisecond of your life from begining to end and being able to operate in any one millisecond that you choose in no particular order..... at some poin the idea of "time" loses its meaning.

kingfrogger
23 Oct 03,, 15:57
My point exactly, Stinger.

If you classify any being or entity as "all-powerful," you have to, by definition, give that being the attributes of being able to do WHATEVER he/she/they/it wants.

Example: the omnipotent being of your choice could, in theory, simultaneously destroy all existence, and recreate it at exactly the same 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000001-th of a second, so that we don't know as humans that we have just been 'blanked out' and brought back at all. Kinda far-fetched, but it could happen. If the entity were, in fact, all-powerful. Which all deities that I know of (God, Allah, etc.) are supposed to be.

Too many times people discussing religion get trapped inside the limits of our own experience and senses. Logic takes over, but that logic is based on our world as WE see it. It's kinda like 'The Matrix.' Things happen the way they do inside the Matrix because the ones that KNOW it's just a program are able to rationalize breaking rules like gravity, flight, etc. The rest of humanity trapped in the Matrix can't do the wicked kung-fu or jump across skyscrapers because they view their world with the rules that we as humans have learned are "matter-of-fact." But in order to have an all-knowing, all-powerful God (or other deity), you have to realize that NONE OF THOSE RULES APPLY TO THEM. Time, age, physical senses, space, gravity, sickness, death, hunger, matter/anti-matter creation... nothing can stick on an all-powerful being... they MADE those rules and laws of physics. You can't constrain them with rules that they made, and that it took us humans thousands of years to understand and finally put into mathematical equations.

Bill
23 Oct 03,, 17:35
Trying to get past the big bang, and look beyond it can only be done by philosophers and nitwits like us. ;)

Stephen Hawking has already stated that science will never get any further than the instant it happened, because there is no means of collecting or observing evidence from then.

So all we will EVER have is faith on that subject.

I am going by the sherlock holmes theory here. "Once you eliminate the impossible, what remains, no matter how improbable, is the answer".

Hmmm, i often wonder though....what if God IS the matter of the big bang and therefore the universe. Fits nicely into my 'God is mother nature' theory, actually.

That would truly make all of us his children, a literal part of the creator.


But again, i wouldn't kill my neighbor cause he disagrees- it is all pretty irrelevant for all practical considerations of our life.

kingfrogger
23 Oct 03,, 18:24
See, I've thought about that 'God is the universe' theory before, and it's an interesting one.

The thing that REALLY amazes me, though, is all the fighting and war that occurs based on religion. From the Crusades to modern-day fighting in the Middle East, it's always stemmed from religious differences. But if you ask anyone fighting "Where's your proof that your deity exists," none of them can answer with absolute proof. Kinda funny, really... and kinda sad at the same time.

Stinger
23 Oct 03,, 19:00
Maybe we're just a bunch of pets... like an ant farm.

kingfrogger
23 Oct 03,, 19:44
Yeah... and 'Armageddon' is nothing more than God shaking it all up to start over... heh...

Crazy...

Jay
23 Oct 03,, 20:11
these are the views of hinduism on God,

Yajur Veda 3:32: "...Of that God you cannot make any images."

Yajur Veda 32:3: "God is formless and bodiless"

Let us hail the God, Who does not have a name or a form or anything like that, by singing thausands of Its names!
- thiruvAcakam

The caveat applies, i'm just posting these scriptures, just FYI!!

and btw this is how i perceive God,

Those who say He resides up in the sky, say so;
Those who say the Lord of divines residing down in the world beneath, say so.
I would say, the Lord of wisdom, Who got His throat brightly adorned with the stain of poison, is residing in my heart !

Jay
23 Oct 03,, 20:18
***NOTE: USUAL CAVEAT APPLIES HERE, JUST FYI****

Another one from those vedas,

Translation :
Without creation how come all these worlds come into existence? If not so, by what means are the worlds created ? The ignorant raise many doubt about your existence.

This is one logical reply for the people who need proof to believe anything. The proofs are required only when a truth is not perceived. Who asks for proof for the existence of the air even when nobody physically sees it? When one can experience that Supreme in the self what other proof is required. It could still be asked that this experience could be an illusion. But it can be boldly said NO. The proof for it? Now we are talking about experience. This is something to be felt, not to be talked or proved. It cannot be done, unless the other party is trying to experience it. Otherwise it would be like telling about romance to a child, which is not grown to experience that feeling.

But that way one can always say all the illusions to be real experience. No, when these experiences are analyzed, it is very easy distinguish in neutrality which is an illusion and which is reality. The experience of God is not something as normal as any other feeling. It is something that is great that corrects us, liberates us, puts us in eternal bliss. Something beyond the reach of words, the greatness in silence. Hail that Absolute.

Jay
23 Oct 03,, 20:19
Looks like the above verse was sung for people just like me, but still i fail to undestand it :)

kingfrogger
23 Oct 03,, 20:32
Man, I could go on forever with this thread...

For those that need proof, I agree with the Hindu passage. You can't see microwaves, but they cook your food (okay, you can see 'em with expensive equipment, but shut up...). You can't see hydrogen, but I dare someone to walk into a room filled with it carrying a lit match.

God doesn't reveal himself to us readily because he wants to test our faith. I can't go back to that word enough... it's the basis for religion IMHO. If you are capable of readily accepting that something exists because it SAYS that it exists, then you can accept the existence of God/Allah/Buddha/whatever. Whether you choose to or not, that's your prerogative. It's the beauty of 'free will'.

bigross86
23 Oct 03,, 20:42
The word of God than said, "Go out of the cave and stand on the mountain before Hashem." And behold, Hashem was passing, and a great powerful wind, smashing mountains and breaking rocks went before Hashem. "Hashem is not in the wind!" Elijah was told. After the wind came an earthquake. "Hashem is not in the earthquake!" After the earthquake came a fire. "Hashem is not in the fire!" After the fire came a still, thin sound.


Don't know the exact relevance to the issue at hand, but it's a cool section, and it shows God's greatness.

Officer of Engineers
23 Oct 03,, 20:53
I guess my revelation came in the form "There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole."

The need to believe was and is strong. The justification is less important but self serving nevertheless.

THL
12 Dec 05,, 15:01
Well, that was stressful. Here I thought I would have a leisurely morning and go through some old posts. How very wrong I was. :rolleyes:

Leader
13 Dec 05,, 04:03
Heh...I don't remember this thread at all.

Julie
13 Dec 05,, 20:48
Heh...I don't remember this thread at all.You started it. :)

Samudra
14 Dec 05,, 03:52
You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity without being hit and biting only one bullet suggests that your beliefs about God are internally consistent and well thought out.


A direct hit would have occurred had you answered in a way that implied a logical contradiction. The bitten bullet occurred because you responded in a way that required that you held a view that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. However, because you bit only one bullet and avoided direct hits completely you still qualify for our second highest award. A good achievement!

:)

Nice find Leader, I'm forwarding the link to a dozen people!

Samudra
14 Dec 05,, 03:57
Okay my idea of a God : Absolute.
Something that cannot be 'related' to anything.

Hmmm, this is the idea upheld in the Upanishads.

Parihaka
14 Dec 05,, 04:22
Battleground Analysis
Congratulations!

You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting no bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent.

The direct hit you suffered occurred because one set of your answers implied a logical contradiction.

Bulgaroctonus
14 Dec 05,, 22:51
I say the Big Bang Theory pretty well confirms the existence of God. What else would you call all that energy, mass, space, time, and thought in a single point?
I call it a singularity. As far as we know, there was no 'thought' during the big bang. Of course, there was probably a large amount of data transfer, and this can be equated to thought in some ways. However, I don't think the big bang was a conscious event, and that does distance it from our common conception of God as a conscious and controlling agent.

The big bang, or whatever event is the correct substitute, was an interesting event. However, it is not necessary to attribute it to divine power.

In your opinion, how does the Big Bang Theory confirm the existence of God?

Bulgaroctonus
14 Dec 05,, 22:54
Everything in the Universe just being created, betrays the laws of Physics. Matter can not be created or destroyed. This means it had to exsist as matter or energy for an infinitly long time.
Yes, in fact it is possible that the universe has always existed and will always exist. Of course, this is not to say that the universe has always had its present form.

Even though the conservation of matter and energy (really the same thing according to Einstein) are essential parts of physics, we must always be prepared for drastic revisions to our laws. However, I do believe that there has always been some form of existence.

Bulgaroctonus
14 Dec 05,, 23:02
I believe God created the matter of the universe, set into motion the big bang, and then went off to other endeavours.
This was a popular belief among the Enlightenment philosophers and scientists. They conceived of a God that had set up the world's machinery in the form of physical laws, and then set the machine running. God has since been asleep, out on leave, or just passively observing.

I do not hold this belief.

Sniper, I am interested in what led you to this belief.

Bulgaroctonus
14 Dec 05,, 23:20
There is proof of God, but it does not extend beyond the proof that matter exists, and that it came from somewhere, and that the explanation for that totally defies science.

Matter cannot have 'always' existed, because time has a starting point.
A trained physicist is far more competent on this issue than I am, but I will offer my rudimentary thoughts.

Of course, as The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene will tell you, the exact nature of time is still being debated. However, time has often been conceived as not actually existing as a separate entity. That is, time is our perception of the change of matter and energy. This perception of time is caused by the change in things. Time does not cause change on its own.

If we hold that time is only a dimension useful for mathematical calculations, but does not have an existence in itself, the real debate centers around the question of whether matter and energy have existed forever.

As Praxus and I have advanced, it is quite possible that matter and energy have always existed.

The idea that everything must have a beginning and end is a common one in humanity. After all, all of our lives must end, just as cities must crumble and centuries close out. However, upon close inspection we see that these endings are not endings. These endings are transformations of matter an energy.

When I die, my form will change. Consciousness will cease forever and my matter decompose. However, this is not an end to my body. The matter and energy of my body will continue for eternity as far as we know. Even when the stars burn out and the universe enters its own eternal sleep, my body's atoms will exist as extremely dissipated subatomic particles.

Thus, it appears that there may be no beginnings or endings at the most fundamental level. The separateness that we perceive is an illusion, and matter and energy simply change shape and form, moving around eternally.

I believe the universe is a continuum of energy and matter, no birth and no death. I do not believe there was any rational agent or God, nor will there ever be one.

Parihaka
14 Dec 05,, 23:39
I believe the universe is a continuum of energy and matter, no birth and no death. I do not believe there was any rational agent or God, nor will there ever be one.
Do you believe that it would be possible that a sentient species such as ourselves becomes so knowledgeable as to affect the basic building blocks of the universe, to create matter or universes?

Bulgaroctonus
15 Dec 05,, 00:28
Do you believe that it would be possible that a sentient species such as ourselves becomes so knowledgeable as to affect the basic building blocks of the universe, to create matter or universes?
No. It is a lofty idea, indeed a god-like one. However, it seems that such powers are not possible. If there was any intelligence that could even dream of such things, only a machine could do it, artificial intelligence far faster and stronger than our own human intellect. The mathematical algorithms and calculations necessary for such a task are beyond the capabilities of a human, at least I think so.

Machines can dream of it, and good dreams they would be.

Parihaka
15 Dec 05,, 00:35
No. It is a lofty idea, indeed a god-like one. However, it seems that such powers are not possible. If there was any intelligence that could even dream of such things, only a machine could do it, artificial intelligence far faster and stronger than our own human intellect. The mathematical algorithms and calculations necessary for such a task are beyond the capabilities of a human, at least I think so.

Machines can dream of it, and good dreams they would be.
Such machines would be a sentient species, if as you seem to think they could do it, doesn't it logically follow that God could be a sentient machine? That in fact God in whatever form you can imagine can exist?

Bulgaroctonus
15 Dec 05,, 01:38
Such machines would be a sentient species, if as you seem to think they could do it, doesn't it logically follow that God could be a sentient machine? That in fact God in whatever form you can imagine can exist?
I only said that machines could think about advanced physics topics. I do not think that intelligence of any kind can create new universes or matter, or any other similar fundamental change. A machine intelligence could approach the intelligence level of a god, but would never reach the power of one.

Speculations about artificial intelligence do not advance the discussion about God. You have misunderstood my position.

Creating new universes is reserved for dreams, and that is all.

Parihaka
15 Dec 05,, 01:47
I only said that machines could think about advanced physics topics. I do not think that intelligence of any kind can create new universes or matter, or any other similar fundamental change. A machine intelligence could approach the intelligence level of a god, but would never reach the power of one.

Speculations about artificial intelligence do not advance the discussion about God. You have misunderstood my position.

Creating new universes is reserved for dreams, and that is all.
So you are postulating that there is a limit to which the universe can be understood? Sounds like simple 'faith' to me, namely faith that a God like intelligence can't exist.

Bulgaroctonus
15 Dec 05,, 02:00
So you are postulating that there is a limit to which the universe can be understood? Sounds like simple 'faith' to me, namely faith that a God like intelligence can't exist.
I think there is a limit to which the universe can be understood, but thats not the central issue. Even if an intelligence could achieve enourmous computing power and speed, it would still lack the ability to fundamentally alter existence (i.e. creating new matter, rewriting the laws of physics).

One thing, in order to make a new universe or something like that, one can imagine it takes a lot of energy. Indeed, this intelligence would probably have to control all the matter in the universe to bring about such sweeping changes. Not only does this pose tremendous physical problems such as energy loss, the vast distances, materials necessary, but we run into a problem.

If there was a such a galactic intelligence, a machine god if you will, than why hasn't it reached Earth? We are at least 14 billion years into the existence of the universe. If a super intelligent machine evolved on another planet, and sought to colonize the universe, it would have already reached Earth, or it has failed in its endeavours. That is, in all of the 14 billion years of galactic history, across the billions of galaxies, no overarching intelligent system has emerged. We surely would have seen it if had.

The notion of a machine intelligence actually rewriting existence is preposterous. Remember that this machine would be composed of the same particles that it is seeking to alter. We would have matter spontaneously altering the fabric of its own existence. This seems impossible to me.

A machine intelligence may be able to grasp the fundamental workings of the universe to a high degree, but it would remain just as impotent as we are in changing those workings. There is a difference between intelligence and ability. Just because one can understand a problem, does not mean that the problem can be fixed.

Bill
15 Dec 05,, 02:35
I rock. :)

"You have reached the end!

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of this activity.

You took 1 direct hit and you have bitten zero bullets. The average player of this activity to date takes 1.39 hits and bites 1.11 bullets. 292625 people have so far undertaken this activity.

Click the link below for further analysis of your performance and to see if you've won an award."
http://www.philosophersnet.com/cgi-bin/god_game18b.cgi?num=17&q1=yes&q2=no&q3=no&q4=no&q5=no&q6=yes&q7=yes&q8=no&q9=yes&q10=yes&q11=no&q12=no&q13=no&q14=no&q15=no&q16=no&q17=yes&bulletcount=0&hitcount=1&hit7=&bullet7=&hit9a=&hit9b=&bullet11=&hit11=&hit12a=&hit12b=&bullet12=&hit13a=&hit13b=&bullet13=&hit14=&bullet14=&hit15a=&hit15b=true&bullet15a=&bullet15b=&bullet16=&hit16a=&miss=true

"Battleground Analysis
Congratulations!

You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting no bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent.

The direct hit you suffered occurred because one set of your answers implied a logical contradiction. At the bottom of this page, we have reproduced the analysis of your direct hit. You would have bitten bullets had you responded in ways that required that you held views that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. However, this did not occur which means that despite the direct hit you qualify for our second highest award. A good achievement!

Click here if you want to review the criteria by which hits and bullets are determined.

How did you do compared to other people?

* 292625 people have completed this activity to date.
* You suffered 1 direct hit and bit zero bullets.
* This compares with the average player of this activity to date who takes 1.39 hits and bites 1.11 bullets.
* 45.77% of the people who have completed this activity, like you, took very little damage and were awarded the TPM Medal of Distinction.
* 7.63% of the people who have completed this activity emerged unscathed with the TPM Medal of Honour."

BTW, there is no correct answer to question 15. I tried to reverse my answer just to see what happened and i took a hit anyway.

LOL....

Parihaka
15 Dec 05,, 03:07
I think there is a limit to which the universe can be understood, but thats not the central issue. Even if an intelligence could achieve enourmous computing power and speed, it would still lack the ability to fundamentally alter existence (i.e. creating new matter, rewriting the laws of physics). The laws of physics are made to be re-written and have been many times.
MIT scientists create new form of matter (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2005/matter.html)
Creating new matter (http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae697.cfm)
and CERN start creating the building blocks for a universe (http://doc.cern.ch/annual_report/1999/vol1/NEWSTATE.html)


The notion of a machine intelligence actually rewriting existence is preposterous. Remember that this machine would be composed of the same particles that it is seeking to alter. We would have matter spontaneously altering the fabric of its own existence. This seems impossible to me.
Remember, we're creating a new universe, not altering this one, although we can of course do just that.
So, you allow yourself to suppose that we or whatever can't achieve a 'god like status' but don't allow us an equal or more provable supposition that a 'god like status' can exist

Samudra
15 Dec 05,, 03:30
Parihaka,


we're creating a new universe

And that new 'universe' exists within the one we live in or outside ?

(And we do it with machines that were made from this universe.. ?)

Parihaka
15 Dec 05,, 03:39
Parihaka,



And that new 'universe' exists within the one we live in or outside ?

(And we do it with machines that were made from this universe.. ?)
When the good people at CERN created Quark-Gluon Plasma they created the matter necessary for the creation of a universe (in tiny form) within their lab and yes they used their sentience and machines to do so. As for outside this universe who knows? Care to try looking through a black hole?

Bulgaroctonus
15 Dec 05,, 03:47
Parihaka,
I will take a long look at the links you have posted and write a reply tommorrow.

Parihaka
15 Dec 05,, 03:49
Parihaka,
I will take a long look at the links you have posted and write a reply tommorrow.
Take your time old boy. I'm glad to hear you don't spend all your time sitting on the mountain

BenRoethig
15 Dec 05,, 11:18
I look at God as primarily an engineer and teacher, not the omnipotent all-powerful control your life so you don't have to being that the masses do.

1. How come only one animal achieved sentience? On top of that, we're an evolutionary mistake. We're slow, have poor senses, weak, and our young are born one at a time and are extremely vulnerable to predators for the time longer than the life span of most animals. Species have become extinct for far less.

2. How did certain ideas came to be? Concepts like beauty, justice, love etc. have no real definition and from an objective situation serve to purpose. How come no other animal cares about such things?

3. Abstract thought. We are the only creature capable of thinking in terms of "what if". Again, to a hunter-gatherer primate what purpose does this serve?

If these are all useful traits, shouldn't have more than one species evolved with them? Evolution is only one part of a large puzzle. To say evolution is the definitive answer and that we already know all the secrets of the universe despite never having a person leave the Earth's gravity field, is arrogant at best.

Praxus
15 Dec 05,, 20:16
I bit one bullet, it claims...

"You've just bitten a bullet! In saying that God has the freedom and power to do that which is logically impossible (like creating square circles), you are saying that any discussion of God and ultimate reality cannot be constrained by basic principles of rationality. This would seem to make rational discourse about God impossible. If rational discourse about God is impossible, there is nothing rational we can say about God and nothing rational we can say to support our belief or disbelief in God. To reject rational constraints on religious discourse in this fashion requires accepting that religious convictions, including your religious convictions, are beyond any debate or rational discussion. This is to bite a bullet."


Look at the bold. God is arbitrary which is exactly why it is not constrained by basic principles of rationality. They then unjustly "package" it with "ultimate reality". As if God and "Ultimate Reality" are equally valid concepts.

Julie
16 Dec 05,, 00:23
I looked at the test, but did not take it. I think it is a joke.....sorry.

If you are a believer in God, you would know that pain/disease are consequences of punishment. It is not that God wishes there be no evil, disease or pain. It's just that man brings all of these things on himself by disobedience. :)

Gabru47
16 Dec 05,, 03:43
If you are a believer in God, you would know that pain/disease are consequences of punishment. It is not that God wishes there be no evil, disease or pain. It's just that man brings all of these things on himself by disobedience.

Disobedience to what?

Parihaka
16 Dec 05,, 03:44
Disobedience to what?
Your wife.

Samudra
16 Dec 05,, 04:12
you would know that pain/disease are consequences of punishment


Any God that 'punishes' is not a God.

THL
16 Dec 05,, 13:50
If you are a believer in God, you would know that pain/disease are consequences of punishment. It is not that God wishes there be no evil, disease or pain. It's just that man brings all of these things on himself by disobedience. :)


Any God that 'punishes' is not a God.
Sam
Maybe Julie meant more of a 'Karmic' response as punishment?

"The shortest explanation of karma that I know is: 'you get what you give'. In other words; whatever you do intentionally to others, a similar thing will happen to yourself in the future.
Our largest obstacle to understanding or even believing in karma may be time. The 're-actions' or results of our actions show up with a time delay, and it becomes extremely hard to tell which action caused which result. Actions done in a previous life can create results in this life, but who can remember their past life? For ordinary humans, the mechanisms of karma can be intellectually understood to some extent, but never completely "seen".

The idea behind karma is not only found in Buddhism and Hinduism; it seems that the Bible certainly conveys the same essence:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A person reaps what he sows.
(Gal. 6:7)

All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you,
do even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 7:12)"
Karma 1 (http://buddhism.kalachakranet.org/karma.html)

"Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done and is currently doing. The effects of those deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life."
Wiki Karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma)

Julie
16 Dec 05,, 14:37
Any God that 'punishes' is not a God.Absurd....that means I'm not being a parent by disciplining my children. :rolleyes:

Look, Buddy, there are rules and consequences to everything we do on a daily basis. If not, there would be no need to have jails because there wouldn't be no such thing as criminals.

God has every right, moreso than we, to judge and punish, since he is the Father. He did not set the rules on paper, or blood.....he set them in stone, mind you, and he did not do it out of boredom, nor were scriptures written for our sole enjoyment. There are reasons for everything, whether we pay attention to them or not, is up to each individual.

Thank you THL. ;)

Samudra
16 Dec 05,, 15:37
THL,

You see, God does not involve itself in Karma.
Which is why so little has been said about God in Buddhism.

Julie asserting that suffering is because of 'disobedience' prompted that response from me.I dont see any place for Karma in this assertion.


Julie,

God need not 'discipline' somebody.
He can always make the perfect things.
Saves effort and time.So why did he not do that?

I have always wondered as to why the little infants, sometimes just days after being born suffer so much pain.Does that count as punishment too? If so, what was the crime of the child and how could it have committed the crime ?

(THL, I would appreciate if you could tell us what you think about this wrt Karma)

If the answer is "Yes", then there could be nothing more cruel than the thing we call God.

If I may ask, is your idea of God deeply influenced by Christianity ?


nor were scriptures written for our sole enjoyment

Which scriptures madam?

You see, if there were was a God and if he were to love us all, like one would love his children, and if he was all powerfull that he could change anything and everything,and if did not like the bad, why create the bad in the first place ? Afterall it is he who created everything.

Samudra
16 Dec 05,, 15:45
it seems that the Bible certainly conveys the same essence:

Sorry for the double post, but I saw this only after I hit the 'Submit' button for the last post.

THL,I think the Bible's idea is entirely different from that propagated by Buddhism.
In the Bible, I talk about the verses you have quoted, the idea of a God that punishes is propagated whereas in Buddhism you cannot find such an idea.

Note that I have not spoken about Hinduism because it would be hard to base my arguments from a single thought derived from Hinduism,because the religion itself has been debating these concepts for centuries in the form of the six major schools of philosophies.

I'm sure you knew about it, I thought it might help Julie understand the differences a little easier. :)

You see, in some schools of Indian thought they view Buddhism(the original ideas propagated by Siddharatha himself) as the logical 'conclusion' of Indian philosophies.

Julie
16 Dec 05,, 16:07
Sweetie, I never mentioned Karma....THL did.

I will not argue the basis of the existence or non-existence of a God. I am a Christian woman, and stand firm with my faith and belief.

We all want everything perfect for our children from their birth....but it just never seems to turn out that way does it? I believe God's original intention was the same for us....and he did things along and along in an attempt to right his plan. Even when he sent Jesus to round up the Jews, his son challenged his father's motives, and God literally hung him out to dry for the sake of people like us. Father, why have you forsaken me? I imagine his father enlightened him after his death, and Jesus came back to tell about it.

Just the belief in the existence of a God is not near enough hon. Think of it like a car in your driveway.....if you do not put gas in it, it will get you nowhere.

Without faith, just the mere belief in God will get you nowhere. :)

Srirangan
16 Dec 05,, 16:10
Pantheism. Nature is god. We are part of this system. We are responsible for ourselves. Call it free will, or call it Karma.

Heaven/hell, believers/non-believers, infidels/kafirs .. all religious propaganda of the middle ages that have to be forgotten. Live a good life.

Srirangan
16 Dec 05,, 16:12
The metaphysical engineers are happy to report that, to the best of their knowledge, the God you conceive is internally consistent and could exist in our universe. But they are less sure that what you have described deserves the name of God. She is not, for example, all-powerful. A God which knows everything or is totally benign may be a wonderful ideal, but is she really a God unless she has ultimate power?

We suspect that your God is not the traditional God of the Christian, Jewish or Muslim faiths.

That's true. I don't believe in an "Abrahamic" God.

Samudra
16 Dec 05,, 16:14
Julie,


Sweetie, I never mentioned Karma....THL did.

Hmm, yeah, I did not make any mention of Karma with regards to your post either.


I will not argue the basis of the existence or non-existence of a God.

Neither do I.


but it just never seems to turn out that way does it?

Is he not the one who makes everything ? Surely, he must be able to make perfect things unlike us humans who do not have any control over what our kids do or get.(disease,failures etc)


Just the belief in the existence of a God is not near enough hon

Since you are so sure about it, pray educate as to what else is needed.


Without faith, just the mere belief in God will get you nowhere.

You see, I dont see people with a lot of faith going anywhere either.Therefore to assert that mere belief in God is not enough is not correct.

Srirangan
16 Dec 05,, 16:15
but is she really a God unless she has ultimate power?
Dear metaphysical engineers,

Your definition of God is that of a string puller controlling life. Mine isn't. Now bpoth you and I know that there will be a counter argument for everything. So let's just leave it at that. Have a nice day.

Srirangan

THL
16 Dec 05,, 16:23
Read slow, my thoughts on this are hard to explain for me.


God need not 'discipline' somebody.
He can always make the perfect things.
Saves effort and time.So why did he not do that?
Being brought up Lutheran, I was taught that it is not God's "way" to "rule" the earth. Everyone has free will, the ability to do as they please. We are not his pawns and God does not use us as such. This is why he does not perfect everything. We were given the gift of choosing our own paths and creating our own destiny. "Tough Love" if you will. God gave us our life and the choice to do with that life what we want.


I have always wondered as to why the little infants, sometimes just days after being born suffer so much pain.Does that count as punishment too? If so, what was the crime of the child and how could it have committed the crime ?
If I remember correctly (and I do not remember exactly why this is, maybe someone else can elaborate) but being born you have inherited sin from the trick Adam decided to pull with Eve and the apple. I never understood this 'inherited sin' and I cannot even be sure that I have it totally correct...can anyone help on this one?

I found this which I think explains what I am trying to say about sin and babies better than I:

"Q: Explain being or getting saved and being born again.
A: Sin came into the world through Adam, the first man whom God created.
All of mankind, and that includes women, have been born into this world
with a sin nature. (Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered
into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned: ) God sent His Son Jesus into the world to redeem
mankind by dying on the cross and taking our sins upon himself so that we
could have our sins forgiven by God. It was Jesus' sinless blood that
was pure enough to pay for your sins and mine. It is through faith that
we believe that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is
sufficient and able to not only cleanse away our sins but is able to keep
us for all eternity.

See the following verses:

Punishment for Sin: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
Just in case you want to read it all (http://www.learnthebible.org/q_a_being_born_again.htm)
Inherited sin:
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men


Now my personal feelings on this are such that the baby is suffering from its own Karma. Something that he had done in a previous life has come back to collect a debt due. Karma does not only affect middle aged or older people, babies and children, too.




(THL, I would appreciate if you could tell us what you think about this wrt Karma)

If the answer is "Yes", then there could be nothing more cruel than the thing we call God.
If I may ask, is your idea of God deeply influenced by Christianity ?
My idea of "god" is very liberal. I have some of my own views as well as some that were taught to me when I was younger. God to me, is not a person or a thing. It can be anything and everything. My personal vision of God in my mind is different than yours, but they are both correct. God is more of the idea of something in my mind rather than an actual person which is how I believe many Christians see him. (again, christians, please correct me if I am wrong. it has been a long time since I have tried to remember this stuff).




You see, if there were was a God and if he were to love us all, like one would love his children, and if he was all powerfull that he could change anything and everything,and if did not like the bad, why create the bad in the first place ? Afterall it is he who created everything.
'God' does not create the bad...we do...humans...through our free will that was given to us.




THL,I think the Bible's idea is entirely different from that propagated by Buddhism.
In the Bible, I talk about the verses you have quoted, the idea of a God that punishes is propagated whereas in Buddhism you cannot find such an idea.
I think that the word "punish" should not really be used here. I think that may be where the misunderstanding started. I don't think (and I don't think it was Julie's intention to imply) that God "punishes" people in the sense that he causes them harm or retaliates against them for their misdeeds. This is why I brought up that I thought she may have meant something closer to Karma. If you owe someone something (not just money) then you are going to owe them until that debt is paid. Even if that does not happen until the next life. If you hurt someone, you can expect that to come back at you, maybe not tomorrow, maybe 5 lives from now, but that person will pay you back so that the debt is paid off and all is level again.

Insomniac
16 Dec 05,, 16:32
I have read only a few of the posts here and some of you are seriously incorrect. Evolution has been tested, but not proven. There came a point in my life when I really wanted to believe in evolution, but I looked at the facts and they just didn't add up. In fact there is heavy evidence that leans against evolution.

The most significant piece of evidence that goes against evolution is the ancient Chinese records of astronomy from 6,000 years ago.

Every credible scientist today has studied the Chinese records and found them to be highly accurate. With modern science and measuring the brightness of the stars from then to the stars of now we have determined how quickly a star ages. According to evolution, which took billions of years the sun should be bigger, bright reddish, and on the brink of a super nova or have gone super nova a long time ago. Several of the present Chinese holidays are based on the ancient astronomy. Today they use a modern calendar and it fits in perfectly.

http://spot.pcc.edu/~mhutson/astronomy/121/projects/ancients2/astronomy2_files/chinese%20astronomy%201.htm

http://www.spacetoday.org/China/ChinaAstronomy.html

http://www.friesian.com/grndhog.htm

Not only that, but the records are of thousands of years back and light from the stars takes several years to reach earth, while the sun is closer and it only takes eight minutes. This means that the star actually goes super nova several years before we can see it. 6,000 years ago the Chinese saw several stars super nova and we are still seeing them super nova today. With all logic and reason the idea of a star lasting longer than 1 billion years is ridiculous.

Also many of you have said that there is no physical evidence that supports religion. This is false for the Bible. In the book of Genesis chapters 6-8 it tells of a world flood and Noah's Ark. There is scientific evidence that this did happen. The ark actually exists.

http://www.adiyamanli.org/agri.html

Is there evidence that a flood actually occurred? Yes there is.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/specex/ur/ur-flood.htm

http://www.bibleandscience.com/bible/books/genesis/global.htm

http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Flood.html

The mere proof that the ark exists and that there was a flood eliminates every possible evolutionary theory since an event like the flood would entirely halt the evolutionary process.

There is also plenty of more evidence from ancient roman records of the excecution of a man named "Jesus" to actual physical proof.

http://www.arkdiscovery.com/sodom_&_gomorrah.htm

http://www.arkdiscovery.com/red_sea_crossing.htm

http://www.arkdiscovery.com/mt__sinai_found.htm

http://www.arkdiscovery.com/ark-cov-index.htm

This is not even half the evidence that supports the Bible. I'm not trying to convince anyone to believe in the Bible, merely presenting evidence that supports it. Believe what you want, I could care less.

Samudra
16 Dec 05,, 16:44
THL,


Lutheran

That idea of God leaving us alone makes a lot of sense.


I never understood this 'inherited sin' and I cannot even be sure that I have it totally correct...can anyone help on this one?

I dont understand it either. :cool:

Personally,no offence towards any Christians, the idea of all men being born sinners does not make much sense.But then it appears that this idea is similar to karma.The differences between the two are significant and fundamental.

You got me confused for a minute!


Now my personal feelings on this are such that the baby is suffering from its own Karma

Trust me, I ask about this to just about every religious/non-religious person I run into.Nobody has been able to convince me. :frown:

Karma compared to debt is quite fascinating.Infact it makes a lot of sense. :)

Gabru47
16 Dec 05,, 18:08
Your wife.
:biggrin: I'm only 16, I don't have to be worried about this right now. Yesterday I had some nightmares because of you. It was horrible. :mad:


There are reasons for everything
About 200 people per year die from coconuts hitting their heads. Don't you think thats entering the realm of senselessness(sp?) and leaving reason? The world is senseless I think. Were all gunna die, its true. I'm not lying. Honestly. Thats all I'm on about.

Neo
16 Dec 05,, 18:37
Any God that 'punishes' is not a God.
Interesting, but I'm not sure if I agree with you here.

Julie
16 Dec 05,, 19:09
Maybe I used the wrong word "punish." Consequences of certain actions is what I mean. THL cited good passages for these.

From the day God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge, maybe he was presumptious to think either would disobey him. Or, that was when mankind was given a choice from day one for his actions. In any event, it damn sure opened up the can of words labeled "sin."

I am not a Christian just because what I have read in the bible, although it is a guide for me. I have had life and death personal experiences one of which I have shared before on this board. I was pregnant with my daughter at age 32, and because of previous surgery, my doctor adamantly advised me to abort her because it would kill me and the baby. The closer the time for the abortion, the more psycho I became and went to a private sanctuary to pray for answers.

As I knelt, I prayed out loud about the situation, and looked up to find Mary looking down at me with that look of, "remember me child?....been there, done that, and all was fine as I kept my faith in the Lord." I looked down shaking my head, feeling like a real idiot, then looked up again at her to ask for forgiveness for even considering such a thing......she seemed to be smiling then, and I walked out, went straight to the doctor's office. I told him that if I aborted the child, I would only live the rest of my life in misery. He allowed me to sign the waiver releasing him of any liability or responsibility for my actions. As I left the office, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The baby never turned, which is what would have complicated things, she was breach, and was born c-section healthy as a horse.....and of course, mom is fine too. ;)

I have had a few other like experience as the one above -- but I do not want to waste band-width and bore you -- you get the picture.

We have choices, we have had since that damn apple was eaten from that tree....whether it is the right choice or not is up to each and every individual. And, if we make the wrong choice....don't go crying to anybody.....it's your own doings.

THL
16 Dec 05,, 19:25
About 200 people per year die from coconuts hitting their heads. Don't you think thats entering the realm of senselessness
Karma
:)

Bill
16 Dec 05,, 19:50
Karma
:)

I don't believe in Karma.

Praxus
16 Dec 05,, 20:39
Dear metaphysical engineers,

Your definition of God is that of a string puller controlling life. Mine isn't. Now bpoth you and I know that there will be a counter argument for everything. So let's just leave it at that. Have a nice day.

Srirangan

Oh? So the concept of God is somehow made valid by his inaction?

THL
16 Dec 05,, 21:09
I don't believe in Karma.
you wouldn't

:rolleyes:

THL
16 Dec 05,, 21:12
Dear metaphysical engineers,

Your definition of God is that of a string puller controlling life. Mine isn't. Now bpoth you and I know that there will be a counter argument for everything. So let's just leave it at that. Have a nice day.

Srirangan


Oh? So the concept of God is somehow made valid by his inaction?
I understood what Srirangan said to mean that there is a god wether he has actions or not, but that his god does not determine our actions for us or use us as puppets (string pulling).

Julie
16 Dec 05,, 22:20
you wouldn't

:rolleyes:He believes in mother nature....the natural order of things.

Praxus
16 Dec 05,, 23:46
I understood what Srirangan said to mean that there is a god wether he has actions or not, but that his god does not determine our actions for us or use us as puppets (string pulling).

I ask against, how does a claim that God does not act make the concept of an invisible being anymore valid?

THL
17 Dec 05,, 02:56
I ask against, how does a claim that God does not act make the concept of an invisible being anymore valid?
Well I don't know if he is an invisible being for sure or not - that's just what I think of when I hear the word 'god'...is more of a thought or idea and not so much a physical person. I am not trying to convince anyone of this...I think we all need to have our own interpretation of god to coincide with our comfort level.

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 04:11
Well I don't know if he is an invisible being for sure or not - that's just what I think of when I hear the word 'god'...is more of a thought or idea and not so much a physical person. I am not trying to convince anyone of this...I think we all need to have our own interpretation of god to coincide with our comfort level.

Or we could declare it arbitrary, leave it at that, then move on with the rest of our lives, here in the real world.

leib10
17 Dec 05,, 04:13
You can do that. I, for one, cannot prove or disprove the existence of a higher being by science. But that's where the power of faith comes in, and that's why people are so devoted to their deity(ies). "Blessed are those who believe and yet have not seen..."

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 04:19
You can do that. I, for one, cannot prove or disprove the existence of a higher being by science.

Making it arbitrary...

Samudra
17 Dec 05,, 04:21
Srirangan,THL and Snipe

Nature worship ?

According to Samkya school of thought,all physical events are considered to be manifestations of the evolution of Prakrti, or primal nature (from which all physical bodies are derived).

It also holds that nothing can really be created from or destroyed into nothingness - all evolution is simply the transformation of primal nature from one form to another.

You will be happy to know that there is no place for 'God' in this school of thought.

There is more to it, I'll dig it up sometime.

Julie,

Morality is relative to ones moral constitution and his knowledge.Therefore who is anybody to define what sin is ?

BTW I'm against abortions too. :)

I will not go into the Bible versus Science debate, because the debate has been raging for so long that you can find so many things to justify ones opinion on the matter by a simple google.

If you notice, the passages quoted by THL try to give an impression that there is a big brother watching and that he will not spare the rod when you go wrong! I'm only contesting the involvement of this big brother.

Samudra
17 Dec 05,, 04:24
Praxus,


What do you think about those who claim that they have had perceptions of God ?

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 04:50
The laws of physics are made to be re-written and have been many times.
MIT scientists create new form of matter (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2005/matter.html)
Creating new matter (http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae697.cfm)
and CERN start creating the building blocks for a universe (http://doc.cern.ch/annual_report/1999/vol1/NEWSTATE.html)
Remember, we're creating a new universe, not altering this one, although we can of course do just that.
So, you allow yourself to suppose that we or whatever can't achieve a 'god like status' but don't allow us an equal or more provable supposition that a 'god like status' can exist
I took a look at the links you gave me. There is very interesting material there. I must admit that I am not an expert on advanced physics. However, there are several things I can comment about.

If anyone reading this knows a quantum mechanical physicist, please have them take a look at this.

The MIT article dealt with superfluidity, a state of matter characterized by a complete lack of viscosity. Superfluids can apparently flow eternally in a closed loop without friction. Superfluidity was discovered by Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, John F. Allen, and Don Misener in 1937. The study of superfluidity is called quantum hydrodynamics.

Obviously, I need to learn more about this, and I am still attempting to understanf all of this.

Anyway, superfluidity can be viewed as a consequence of Bose-Einstein Condensation. This is where atoms collapse into a single quantum state. Such condensates demonstrate very interesting behavior. They do not lose energy to friction. Thus, their kinetic energy and velocity remain constant.

Regardless of the fascinating intricacies of Bose Statistics, a question remains that is central to our debate. Does the creation of a Bose-Einstein Condensate, a 'Superfluid', count as a fundamental rewriting of physical laws? It seems that you think they do, since you posted the links in opposition to my claim that the most basic physical relationships of the universe are unalterable.

I maintain that the creation of a new kind of matter such as a superfluid is not a rewriting of the laws of physics. I believe that the physical framework for superfluidity has always existed. For example, the laws (or perhaps more accurately 'tendencies' or 'dynamics') that allow for the creation of bosons have always been around. That is, the MIT experiment did not create new physical laws, it proceeded in accordance with existent ones that had only rarely been seen.

Therefore, I do not view the MIT experiment as a fundamental departure from the set of physical laws that govern the universe. The men at MIT have discovered a new form of matter at very low energy. However, it's imaginable that Bose Einstein Condensates could exist in other places throughout the universe. The Helium 4 atom, a common Condensate, becomes a superfluid at temperatures lower than 2.17 K (−270.98 ーC). This temperature could be duplicated, and probably is quite often, within the vast coldness of space.

Essentially, I think the most basic workings of the universe cannot be altered. By no means is this set of laws known, and current or future physical theories may prove me wrong. However, it does not seem to me that just because we discover new oddities and forms we are changing the foundation of the universe.

The fact that antimatter can create matter seems to be your stonger evidence that the laws of the universe are modifiable, or that we can create a new universe. Again, I am not an expert at these particle collisions. However, the main problem with creating matter this way is that only antimatter and matter pairs are created. As the article said, this means that the antimatter and matter particles will quickly destroy each other. Therefore, massive and forceful isolation efforts are needed.

We were talking earlier about a machine intelligence orchestrating this new universe. However, even a machine would find it impossible to coordinate the miroscopic isolations of each antimatter particle. Therefore, we can only use this technique on the very small scale.

However, judging from the CERN article, it does seem that revolutionary changes are being discovered, things that cannot be easily brushed aside.

We should also define what we mean by another universe. There are several interpretations of quantum mechanics that state that there are a multitude of universes, created as a consequence of probabalistic outcomes. However, these new universes are completely inaccessible to each other.

The implications of a new universe a large. I doubt my mind is competent to discuss it with truth and discipline. I must think more on this. This post will not be the last on the subject, but hopefully it will move our debate to constructive ends.

In all, Parihaka, good material and a truly stimulating conversation! Let us continue it.

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 04:50
Oh? So the concept of God is somehow made valid by his inaction?
His inaction? His? Why do you assume that God is any different from you and me. The collective consciousness of the entire universe put together is God. Nature is God. God is not some guy sitting in a castle known as heaven far far away pulling strings. The sunshines, the wind, the water, the earth .. they aren't any different from you. You are one of them. Free your mind. I was a protestant not so long ago. Pantheism made more sense though.

Now I'm just replying to your post, not trying to impose my beliefs onto you. Regards.

- Srirangan

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 04:54
Srirangan,THL and Snipe

Nature worship ?

According to Samkya school of thought,all physical events are considered to be manifestations of the evolution of Prakrti, or primal nature (from which all physical bodies are derived).

It also holds that nothing can really be created from or destroyed into nothingness - all evolution is simply the transformation of primal nature from one form to another.

You will be happy to know that there is no place for 'God' in this school of thought.

There is more to it, I'll dig it up sometime.

Sam,
If the term "God" is being narrowed down to mean "a guy runing the earth puppet show", then yes, there is no place for such a God in my beliefs.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 05:22
I looked at the test, but did not take it. I think it is a joke.....sorry.

If you are a believer in God, you would know that pain/disease are consequences of punishment. It is not that God wishes there be no evil, disease or pain. It's just that man brings all of these things on himself by disobedience. :)
From a theological standpoint this might be a tempting view. However, are there not many counterexamples? I shall list some.

Mahatma Gandhi led one of the most morally upright lives of all time, yet he was shot to death. Martin Luther King Jr., a man of similar stature and integrity, was brutally slain. Stephen Hawking, while not an ecclesiastic, has certainly led an eminently useful and productive life, in accordance with most of the monotheistic creeds. However, this man has been paralyzed for much of his life.

The list of good people meeting bad ends is a very long one. How can we reconcile the notion of a perfectly moral God of the Christian sense with the fact that moral people often suffer the most?

The disquieting facts I have laid out above do not necessarily rule out the eixstence of God, but they do make this God's motives inscrutable and hard to decipher.

At least two conclusions can be drawn. First: God is not moral and makes judgements based on other motives (sadism, efficiency, amusement, necessity). This is truly a frightening idea. If God exists, who is to say that God must be moral and compassionate. Might not we be ruled by a tyrant - a psychopathic God? Certainly the long, violent history of our species could corroborate this interpretation.

The other conclusion: God still makes its decisions on moral principles. That is, Gandhi did deserve to get shot and six million Jews did deserve to be exterminated. However, the moral code that God is using must be very obscure and not in accordance with our human ethics. Thus, this conclusion strays close to the first one.

Fortunately, I am an athiest, so I don't need to reconcile God with the horrible realities of the world. However, the disparity between a supposedly moral God and nasty realities needs to be addressed by religious people.

I find that your claim has too many counterexamples to be true.

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 05:49
If you are a believer in God, you would know that pain/disease are consequences of punishment. It is not that God wishes there be no evil, disease or pain. It's just that man brings all of these things on himself by disobedience.

Julie,
That is as bad as saying: Katrina was the wrath of Allah. Regards.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 06:01
I look at God as primarily an engineer and teacher, not the omnipotent all-powerful control your life so you don't have to being that the masses do.



1. How come only one animal achieved sentience?
Science is making some progress on animal psychology, and evidence of senescence is gradually being seen in animals, such as monkeys and dolphins. Still, it is a hotly debated issue.

There is a first time for everything. We happen to be the first ones to achieve 'sentience', which is a poorly defined term that means a high level of intelligence. This intelligence developed because of a few crucial evolutionary events, namely the gradual development of a large brain combine with the development of opposable thumbs.


On top of that, we're an evolutionary mistake. We're slow, have poor senses, weak, and our young are born one at a time and are extremely vulnerable to predators for the time longer than the life span of most animals. Species have become extinct for far less.
There are no evolutionary mistakes, since there is no exterior engineer attempting to fulfill criteria. There are only successes and failures. The human species is probably the most successful large animal in Earth's history. Our greatest peril is from within our own species (i.e. nuclear war).

It is true that we cannot compete in strength, agility, or in general athleticism against the world's great predators. However, our increased intelligence makes up for that tremendously.

Just look at the numbers. Homo Sapiens numbers more than 6.2 billion, while the other great predators hover at the edge of extinction and could be wiped out by humans.



2. How did certain ideas came to be? Concepts like beauty, justice, love etc. have no real definition and from an objective situation serve to purpose. How come no other animal cares about such things?
Abstract ideas like the ones you describe have come about gradually for a variety of reasons. I'll give a brief explanation for each.

Justice evolved as the human society evolved. Justice is essentially a codification of the accepted norms of society. These norms evolved according to what worked best for the society. See Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals.

For example, today we have a idea of justice that tells us we should not kill innocent people. This is also found in many major religions. This sentiment survives because societies that had widespread homicide often died out. Leaders realized that some order and preservation of human life must be upheld in order to get anything done. Thus, following the ideas of natural selection, the societies that kept domestic order prospered and reproduced.

I believe 'love' pertains to a few different but related sub-emotions. For example, there is sexual love. This is basic Darwinian evolution at its finest, the urge to reproduce. Actually, it's the urge to maximize pleasure centers, and reproduction is the by-product. This kind of love can be traced neurologically to things like the limbic system.

Most other organisms share this sexual drive, so they are not so far behind us, nor we so far above them, as you may think.

The second major kind of love is that between friends, siblings, a child and parent. Also included might be love for a leader or public figure, such as the Dalai Lama or John Lennon. Some of these emotions, such as parent-child love, have clear evolutionary foundations. The other kinds of love need a more complex psychoanalysis, but all of their roots can be found.

Anyway, all emotions are ultimately based on neurological functions, hence biochemistry.

The reason many animals do not care about things like Justice is because they are less intelligent than humans (i.e. their brains cannot comprehend advanced ideas), and because they have no use for these advanced ideas. Morality and an artist's conception of beauty do not help a predator bring down its prey. Organisms do not often have useless elements, hence animals do not contain knowledge that is useless to them.


3. Abstract thought. We are the only creature capable of thinking in terms of "what if". Again, to a hunter-gatherer primate what purpose does this serve?
What purpose does abstract thought serve in your own life? It is probably not that different from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Remember, the ancient hunter-gatherers had the same biological brains as we do. Given the right information, they could have come up with modern ideas. Of course, this was not the case.

Strategic thought has always been crucial to humans. It allowed the hunter to decide how to stalk his prey, how to lead his hunting companions, how to lead migrations from the mountains to the pastures.

Once mankind began agricultural food production, some members of society could devote their time to abstract thought. Once the peoples of the Fertile Crescent domesticated grains, their abstract thinkers build irrigations systems, Ziggurats, armies, etc.


If these are all useful traits, shouldn't have more than one species evolved with them?
There is a first time for everything, and humans just happened to be the ones that made the great intelligence leap forward.

Actually, it is not strange that more animals didn't evolve as we did. Prior to the emergence of man, about 4 million years ago, it was not important for animals to be as smart as we are. Before the advent of mankind, organisms did very well by being excellent predators, runners, etc. Intelligence was not a huge determining factor.

Then mankind comes on the stage. In only 4 million years, we go from being upright walking Great Apes into a frightful killing and thinking machine. The other animals have not had time to adapt, they have seriously lost the intelligence competition. One could say, "they didn't see it coming."


Evolution is only one part of a large puzzle.
Evolution has done an exemplary job at explaining the world. It is a pillar of biology and science.


To say evolution is the definitive answer and that we already know all the secrets of the universe despite never having a person leave the Earth's gravity field, is arrogant at best.
Evolution is a biological theory, and does not pretend to offer information about physics. No one says we know the secrets to the universe, the superstring theorists are working on that right now.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 06:06
"God is Dead."

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 06:09
"God is Dead."
Read Avestan?

THL
17 Dec 05,, 06:12
If you notice, the passages quoted by THL try to give an impression that there is a big brother watching and that he will not spare the rod when you go wrong! I'm only contesting the involvement of this big brother.
I am not at all implying that there is some big brother god lurking in the shadows with a billy club waiting to catch people breaking the commandments so he can pop them in the head to teach a lesson. The world has been set on track and consequences now just happen naturally. No one, no god, is standing by causing bad things to happen to people. People create their own bad situations by doing bad things. The Karmic law - What goes around comes around...eventually. In one way or another, bad deeds are reprimanded and good deeds are rewarded.

The Marital Explanation: One has an affair (breaking a commandment or creeating bad karma, whichever - your choice) and this will cause bad things to happen (now he has to deal with the wife and most likely pay alimony - paying a debt or result of the bad karma created). This same guy does not give into temptation (no commandments broken, good karma created) and he gets to watch the game this Sundays in peace (result of a good deed/karma/not breaking commandments).

The Baseball Explanation: Don't all pitchers want to pitch that perfect game? Each game (or lifetime) they learn a little something more to help them better their pitch (good karma/good deeds) and they take that into their next game (re-birth) and apply it there. Sometimes, a pitcher may get in a rut or pick up a bad habit (bad karma/bad deeds) that slows down their game, or worsens their pitch (consequence of bad karma/bad deeds done unto others) and they have to accept that so they can learn to change this "bad" behavior or pitching habit (creating good karma).

THL
17 Dec 05,, 06:24
Julie,
That is as bad as saying: Katrina was the wrath of Allah. Regards.
Allah? I don't think so.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to discuss this very thing with the teacher at the Buddhist temple. This is what I got: Katrina (and all bad situations) ARE caused by Karma (I use the word karma because I am buddhist, please feel free to fill in your own word here for the cause and effect situation I am trying to describe based on your own religion). No one knows when one is going to "reap the consequences" of a past bad karma they created. If the situation should arise (a plane crash, a bus crash, hurricane victims, tsunami victims, etc) that a group of people are set to "reap these consequences" at the same time, this creates disaster. Not as a punishment from any god or god like figure. It causes bad situations because they did something at some time in some lifetime to create a negative checkmark on their clipboard (cause) which needs to be closed out (effect) so that they can continue on their way to enlightenment (or heaven depending on your personal beliefs).

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 06:29
I have read only a few of the posts here and some of you are seriously incorrect. Evolution has been tested, but not proven. There came a point in my life when I really wanted to believe in evolution, but I looked at the facts and they just didn't add up. In fact there is heavy evidence that leans against evolution.
There is little scientific opposition to evolution, it has satisfactorily explained the current array of species, and it can make predictions that can be tested according to the scientific method. Cite some actual failings of evolution.

But first, separate emotions from your thinking.


The most significant piece of evidence that goes against evolution is the ancient Chinese records of astronomy from 6,000 years ago.
None of the astronomical information is relevant to a debate about evolution. Evolution is a biological theory, not an astronomical idea. None of the information that follows is useful for your argument.


Every credible scientist today has studied the Chinese records and found them to be highly accurate. With modern science and measuring the brightness of the stars from then to the stars of now we have determined how quickly a star ages.
That is not true. First, I doubt astronomers waste their time looking at Chinese star charts. Secondly, stars age at different rate according to size. How long they last is dependent on their size and how much hydrogen and helium fuel they have, not on Chinese star charts.

According to evolution, which took billions of years the sun should be bigger, bright reddish, and on the brink of a super nova or have gone super nova a long time ago. Several of the present Chinese holidays are based on the ancient astronomy. Today they use a modern calendar and it fits in perfectly.
You are lying, and you demonstrate a lack of knowledge about basic astronomy. First, evolution makes absolutely no claims about astronomy. Secondly, all astronomers know that the Sun has billions of years of life left in its mainline sequence. It was never postulated that the Sun would be a supernova. If you intent to write unsubstantiated stuff like this, we will call you on it.


Not only that, but the records are of thousands of years back and light from the stars takes several years to reach earth, while the sun is closer and it only takes eight minutes. This means that the star actually goes super nova several years before we can see it. 6,000 years ago the Chinese saw several stars super nova and we are still seeing them super nova today. With all logic and reason the idea of a star lasting longer than 1 billion years is ridiculous.
The Chinese recorded only one supernova event in 1054 AD, its remnants now form the Crab Nebula. Why is a the idea of a star lasting a long time preposterous? The speed of light does not affect the aging of a star.


Also many of you have said that there is no physical evidence that supports religion. This is false for the Bible. In the book of Genesis chapters 6-8 it tells of a world flood and Noah's Ark. There is scientific evidence that this did happen. The ark actually exists.
The flood the Bible, Gilgamesh, and the Greek Myths allude to is the flooding of the Black Sea around 5500 BC. The Black Sea was once a fresh water lake that lay several hundred feet below the Mediterranean Sea. Around 5500 BC, the Bosphorus was breached and the Black Sea was thunderously flooded up to sea level. This event must have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. This geologic event found its way into the various myths of the region. There is no need to ascribe God to it.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/blacksea/

There is little proof that the Ark existed. The Ark is probably the invention of oral storytellers in Mesopotamia and Greece, later passed on to the Jews.


The mere proof that the ark exists and that there was a flood eliminates every possible evolutionary theory since an event like the flood would entirely halt the evolutionary process.
A flood would only provide a evolutionary bottleneck, evolution would start again after the waters receded. Also, the Black Sea flood was local and not catastrophic. The ridiculous flood you are talking about would have to blanket the entire Earth. This is impossible, there is no such supply of water on Earth.


There is also plenty of more evidence from ancient roman records of the excecution of a man named "Jesus" to actual physical proof.
The issue is not Jesus' existence, but whether he was the Son of God.


This is not even half the evidence that supports the Bible. I'm not trying to convince anyone to believe in the Bible, merely presenting evidence that supports it. Believe what you want, I could care less.
You are spreading dangerous lies that fit in with your nonsensical and outdated mode of thinking.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 06:30
Read Avestan?
No, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 06:33
A few weeks ago I had the chance to discuss this very thing with the teacher at the Buddhist temple. This is what I got: Katrina (and all bad situations) ARE caused by Karma.
Katrina was a meteorological event, it was not dependent on the morality of human actions. If anything, the hurricane storm patterns that produced Katrina have been worsening because of human-induced global warming. But again, that is a scientific rational event.

Why does you teacher think it has anything to do with Karma?

I wonder if the Buddha actually thought that. I think maybe not.

Please don't believe your Buddhist teacher, he has given you incorrect information.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 06:39
I don't believe in Karma.
For once we agree. Praise be to Allah.

THL
17 Dec 05,, 07:10
Why does you teacher think it has anything to do with Karma?
I wonder if the Buddha actually thought that. I think maybe not.
Please don't believe your Buddhist teacher, he has given you incorrect information.
Buddhists whole belief system revolves around Karma, Bulgar.

" What is the cause of the inequality that exists among mankind?
Why should one person be brought up in the lap of luxury, endowed with fine mental, moral and physical qualities, and another in absolute poverty, steeped in misery?
Why should one person be a mental prodigy, and another an idiot?
Why should one person be born with saintly characteristics and another with criminal tendencies?
Why should some be linguistic, artistic, mathematically inclined, or musical from the very cradle?
Why should others be congenitally blind, deaf, or deformed?|
Why should some be blessed, and others cursed from their births?

Either this inequality of mankind has a cause, or it is purely accidental. No sensible person would think of attributing this unevenness, this inequality, and this diversity to blind chance or pure accident.

In this world nothing happens to a person that he does not for some reason or other deserve. Usually, men of ordinary intellect cannot comprehend the actual reason or reasons. The definite invisible cause or causes of the visible effect is not necessarily confined to the present life, they may be traced to a proximate or remote past birth.

According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, "nature and nurture", but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate..."
Karma 1 (http://www.buddhanet.net/t_karma.htm)


"Natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or last year's Asian tsunami raise all kinds of questions, including religious ones. For followers of theistic religions this is usually couched in terms of God's agency. This is not an issue in Buddhism, which does not postulate an almighty creator. Instead the question for Buddhists is how to make sense of the law of karma in the face of sudden massive death and suffering...

...There is more than one way to reconcile these teachings. Some Buddhists put little stock in the Abhidhamma, as being a later addition to the Buddha's teaching. These thinkers would allow that some events are just random. A more orthodox position within Theravada Buddhism holds that while karma is one cause of a given experience, it is never the sole cause. External conditions must come together to allow a karmic seed to manifest. In this view, all the beings who die in a flood must have made the karmic seed, possibly by deliberately drowning others, in one of their many past lives. We all have many such unmanifested seeds waiting for external conditions to ripen. In this view, those people who "miraculously" escape would be just those who lack the requisite karma...

...In the event of a calamity like Hurricane Katrina, a practical view would be to focus more on the other aspects of external causality. While the Asian tsunami was caused by a shift of tectonic plates, a natural process completely beyond human agency, the hurricane was a result of climatic forces which have been disturbed by humanity's careless discharge of carbon into the atmosphere. (This careless act by us humans created bad Karma) It is obvious that such storms are increasing in power and frequency. It would be wise to start heeding these warnings, before more and worse disasters befall our coastal cities."
Karma 2 (http://my.tbaytel.net/arfh/torStar/katrina.html)

Samudra
17 Dec 05,, 07:24
THL,

I understand what you are trying to say, but there is no such thing as "bad karma".Its all in the way we percieve things.The karma compared to debt example was quite easy and simple. :)

I might be wrong, so if you havent asked you teacher about this please ask him for my sake.Are there two karmas ? (good and bad)

Bulgar,

There is nothing in this world that is not related to something.Therefore what one does will ultimately come back to himself because nothing is left unrelated to something in this world.

What do you think ?

I also think this thing that is not related to anything in the universe(or anything) is the thing I call God.

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 08:04
Allah? I don't think so.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to discuss this very thing with the teacher at the Buddhist temple. This is what I got: Katrina (and all bad situations) ARE caused by Karma (I use the word karma because I am buddhist, please feel free to fill in your own word here for the cause and effect situation I am trying to describe based on your own religion). No one knows when one is going to "reap the consequences" of a past bad karma they created. If the situation should arise (a plane crash, a bus crash, hurricane victims, tsunami victims, etc) that a group of people are set to "reap these consequences" at the same time, this creates disaster. Not as a punishment from any god or god like figure. It causes bad situations because they did something at some time in some lifetime to create a negative checkmark on their clipboard (cause) which needs to be closed out (effect) so that they can continue on their way to enlightenment (or heaven depending on your personal beliefs).

I'm not too sure that's the way the Karma theory works. It isn't a book of Accounts where the Credits and Debits should balance. Allow me to explain my understanding of the subject.

As you might or might not know, Buddhism was the logical evolution of Hinduism. The Karma Theory first appeared in the Hindu Epic Mahabharata in the sub section Bhagavat Gita. The Sanskrit verse went like this:


Sanskrit:
Karmanye Va Adhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana

Meaning:
Don't bother about the result, do your duty

This is the seed for Buddhism. "Karma" as you know it comes from a Sanskrit term "Karm", which means job. Karma as you describe it to be a Good Deed/Bad Ded account may or may not be true; but the essence of Buddhism is freedom from desire. A person desiring nothing, goes about lives his life, free from the results of desires. No desire, no suffering, spells freedom.

Thus evolved the concept of the Hindu "Moksha" or Buddhist "Nirvana". Buddhist philosophy is much the same as Hindu philosophy. And neither talk of a Good Deed/Bad Deed accounting system.

Regards.

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 08:06
THL,
For your reference:
http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/
http://www.asitis.com/

Mainstream hindusim and buddism have betrayed their pantheistic roots. Hence the rot. Imho. :)

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 14:34
Praxus,


What do you think about those who claim that they have had perceptions of God ?

Their delusional.

BenRoethig
17 Dec 05,, 15:19
"God is Dead."

Nietzsche is dead. -God

Samudra
17 Dec 05,, 16:21
Their delusional.

Why ?

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 18:18
Why ?

Because there is no evidence of it being true. I should have added that they may be lying as well.

THL
17 Dec 05,, 19:01
I understand what you are trying to say, but there is no such thing as "bad karma".Its all in the way we percieve things.The karma compared to debt example was quite easy and simple. :)

Karma as you describe it to be a Good Deed/Bad Ded account may or may not be true

Well Karma is Karma - good or bad there is just one Karma, but I am trying to make it as simple as possible to explain how I think.

However, if someone steals from someone else, the thief is going to "owe" that other person. I see owing someone something as bad and being owed good. tHis is what I mean by bad and good Karma.



What do you think about those who claim that they have had perceptions of God ?

Their delusional

Because there is no evidence of it being true. I should have added that they may be lying as well.
Is there evidence of it being untrue?
So if someone says that God came to them that they would be lying or delusional is what I understand you are saying? Could it be possible that they are not delusional (definition: A false belief or opinion, A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence) but just see things differently that you? If you and I are both looking at a painted wall and I say it is red but you say it is orange, who is correct? Why is it not possible that two people can see the same situation in two different ways? Maybe this other person is seeing something that you don't. Not possible?

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 19:23
Is there evidence of it being untrue?

Is there any evidence of this being untrue: Everything we see, feel, and think is an illusion?

No there isn't. It is arbitrary, just like the claim of God's existence. The arbitrary in this case is unknowable and therefore irrelivent.


So if someone says that God came to them that they would be lying or delusional is what I understand you are saying? Could it be possible that they are not delusional (definition: A false belief or opinion, A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence) but just see things differently that you? If you and I are both looking at a painted wall and I say it is red but you say it is orange, who is correct? Why is it not possible that two people can see the same situation in two different ways? Maybe this other person is seeing something that you don't. Not possible?

The color red is defined as a certain part of the light spectrum. So if it were within this part of the light spectrum and they called it "orange", they would be wrong.

I am not saying "God does not exist". I am saying the assertion of God's existence is arbitrary, and therefore should be rejected out of hand (e.g. not even considered). Just like the assertion that we don't exist, or that this world is nothing but an illusion, and every other mystical/skeptical claim you could ever come up with.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 20:36
Buddhists whole belief system revolves around Karma, Bulgar.
I have many problems with the idea of Karma. The foremost is that Karma, at least as it applied in your situations, implies the existence of past and future lives. There is no way to test whether or not there are lives other than the one we all experience right now. It is arbitrary to say that there are other lives.

In fact, simple observation of the world indicates that we all have only one life. Proponents of reincarnation and the afterlife often believe in the continuation of the 壮oul, which really just means a continuation of consciousness. However, consciousness must end eventually.

Our consciousness, the 僧ind as such, is dependent on the brain. The biochemical workings of the brain are responsible for the mind. Without the brain, there is no mind. We do not look at a rock and say that it has consciousness. Similarly, we do not look a dead body and say that it is conscious. When the brain dies, the mind shuts down forever.

It is useful to think of the mind as a river, and the brain as the river course through which the river flows. The river does not exist without the river course.

Therefore, Karma fails a basic scientific test. It is unlikely that we live on after death, or that we had been alive before out current incarnation. Of course, I guess we will all find out sooner or later if there is an afterlife, but I think belief in an afterlife arises for emotional, not scientific reasons.

Furthermore, even if reincarnation were happening, it presents a curious physical problem. It is related to issues of causality (infinite chain):

If everyone痴 lot in this life is dependent on the actions of their past lives, we soon develop an infinite regression. Let us label this life 創. According to Karma, life n is determined by the preceding life 創-1. It further makes sense that n-1 is determined by the events of n-2. We that this could stretch back ad infinitum, so that each of us has led infinitely many lives (n-infinity).

This is obviously not in keeping with common sense. We know that the universe has not always been capable of sustaining human lives. It is impossible that we all have led infinitely many lives, therefore, proponents of reincarnation are forced to make a choice. You can maintain that we have lived infinitely many lives, but this is not true. Or you can accept that there must have been a cut off point, say 4 billion years ago, beyond which there are no past lives.

However, this introduces a further problem for Karma. This means that there was an arbitrary cut off point for past lives. That is, there is a series of lives far back in time for which there was no antecedent. Thus, those lives had to have been free from supernatural influences. Thus, Karma breaks apart at its very inception, since the our past-life progenitors had to have started out without any Karmic baggage.

Also, how does Karma address the increasing human population of Earth? Since population is increasing, new people being born are unaccounted for in terms of past lives. Say in one year there are 6.2 billion people on Earth. Next year, there are 6.204305123 billion people. Where did the Karma for the extra 4,305,123 people come from? There aren稚 enough humans alive before their birth to account for all of them.

One could say that these extra human lives could have had past animal lives, thus solving the otherwise irresolvable discrepancy between the numbers. However, this doesn稚 seem fair at all to those people, since animals are hardly capable of making virtuous choices and gaining good Karma.

As you can see, Karma in relation to reincarnation does not hold up under investigation, thus it should be stricken from the records.



" What is the cause of the inequality that exists among mankind?
Why should one person be brought up in the lap of luxury, endowed with fine mental, moral and physical qualities, and another in absolute poverty, steeped in misery?
Why should one person be a mental prodigy, and another an idiot?
Why should one person be born with saintly characteristics and another with criminal tendencies?
Why should some be linguistic, artistic, mathematically inclined, or musical from the very cradle?
Why should others be congenitally blind, deaf, or deformed?|
Why should some be blessed, and others cursed from their births?
Either this inequality of mankind has a cause, or it is purely accidental. No sensible person would think of attributing this unevenness, this inequality, and this diversity to blind chance or pure accident.
These events are not accidental, but they have a scientific rather than karmic basis. I値l show just a few examples, but you can apply science to all the scenarios and find a very satisfactory answer.

For example, you asked why some people are congenitally blind, deaf, or deformed. Well, you answered your own question. It is genetics that causes these deformations. Genetics can be understood through chemistry. There isn稚 any morality about it. Deformed people just get the short end of the cosmic stick, and that痴 that.

You also asked why some people are prodigies as children. The answer to this question can also be found scientifically. For example, Albert Einstein had 76% more neuroglia cells than most people have. That means his brain was incredibly faster and stronger than most people. Also, many prodigies have tremendously more blood, sometimes in the order of five to six times as much as normal people, flowing to important areas of their brain. We must also look at their parents intelligence, since IQ is about 80% genetic after adolescence.

I advise you to look to concrete, scientific answers to your questions. I think they may satisfy and inform you more than Buddhist ideas can.


In this world nothing happens to a person that he does not for some reason or other deserve. Usually, men of ordinary intellect cannot comprehend the actual reason or reasons. The definite invisible cause or causes of the visible effect is not necessarily confined to the present life, they may be traced to a proximate or remote past birth.
Again, Karma does not hold up. Your statement is not true.


According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, "nature and nurture", but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate..."
Karma 1 (http://www.buddhanet.net/t_karma.htm)
The Buddhists are right about heredity and environment, but not about Karma. Heredity and environment take care of all human scenarios. I challenge you to think of a situation that cannot be expressed as a combination of these factors.


"Natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or last year's Asian tsunami raise all kinds of questions, including religious ones.
Hurricane Katrina raises religious questions only for religious people. I didn稚 view it religiously at all. Instead, myself and millions of other like minded people were thinking about meteorological patterns, wind speed, levee engineering, and the like.

A religious interpretation of Hurricane Katrina is wrong and unhelpful. Saying that the Hurricane was due to God doesn稚 provide any good way of thinking about the Hurricane, nor does it provide satisfactory ways to predict and cope with storms. Hurricane Katrina was a scientific, natural event that can be understood and dealt with.

To throw up our hands and say 敵od did it! doesn稚 help at all. It is a juvenile mode of thinking that ultimately leads to incompetence and a weak mind.

For followers of theistic religions this is usually couched in terms of God's agency. This is not an issue in Buddhism, which does not postulate an almighty creator. Instead the question for Buddhists is how to make sense of the law of karma in the face of sudden massive death and suffering...
I致e already addressed the immense flaws in Karmic thinking.


...There is more than one way to reconcile these teachings. Some Buddhists put little stock in the Abhidhamma, as being a later addition to the Buddha's teaching. These thinkers would allow that some events are just random. A more orthodox position within Theravada Buddhism holds that while karma is one cause of a given experience, it is never the sole cause. External conditions must come together to allow a karmic seed to manifest. In this view, all the beings who die in a flood must have made the karmic seed, possibly by deliberately drowning others, in one of their many past lives. We all have many such unmanifested seeds waiting for external conditions to ripen. In this view, those people who "miraculously" escape would be just those who lack the requisite karma...
These ideas can never have any proof. It is arbitrary and useless to postulate about someone痴 past life. Scientists will never accept ideas like this because there is no way to test these ideas.


...In the event of a calamity like Hurricane Katrina, a practical view would be to focus more on the other aspects of external causality. While the Asian tsunami was caused by a shift of tectonic plates, a natural process completely beyond human agency,
Exactly! No need to bring in superstition.


the hurricane was a result of climatic forces which have been disturbed by humanity's careless discharge of carbon into the atmosphere. (This careless act by us humans created bad Karma) It is obvious that such storms are increasing in power and frequency. It would be wise to start heeding these warnings, before more and worse disasters befall our coastal cities."
Karma 2 (http://my.tbaytel.net/arfh/torStar/katrina.html)
I agree that there may be a connection between human-induced global warming and the severity of hurricanes. Therefore, in some ways it could be our fault. But this is not based on karma, and a karmic interpretation of the event does not grasp the particulars of the situation. I値l show an example.

If humans are indeed worsening global warming, then it means that people all over the Earth are contributing to the problem. Drivers in New Jersey are as much to blame as drivers in China, since the fumes and carbon dioxide spread rapidly around our little planet. So, that means that people in New Jersey can cause a hurricane that hits people in New Orleans. This is a simplification, of course, but you can see the problem. It is not 素air by most moral standards that people in New Orleans get punished for the emissions all over the world. By Karmic standards, we might expect all the major emissions centers of the world to be hit by catastrophes.

Karma essentially introduces a causal link that does not exist. Things can be explained very well through science and reason. Karma is an illogical and extraneous introduction.

Srirangan
17 Dec 05,, 20:46
There is no way to test whether or not there are lives other than the one we all experience right now. It is arbitrary to say that there are other lives.
Neither is there a test to prove the presence of a Christian god up above.


In fact, simple observation of the world indicates that we all have only one life. Proponents of reincarnation and the afterlife often believe in the continuation of the 壮oul, which really just means a continuation of consciousness. However, consciousness must end eventually.
Why? How? Is there any test?


It is useful to think of the mind as a river, and the brain as the river course through which the river flows. The river does not exist without the river course. Therefore, Karma fails a basic scientific test.
And how did you reach this conclusion? Mind, brain, river .. Karma false?


If everyone痴 lot in this life is dependent on the actions of their past lives, we soon develop an infinite regression. Let us label this life 創. According to Karma, life n is determined by the preceding life 創-1. It further makes sense that n-1 is determined by the events of n-2. We that this could stretch back ad infinitum, so that each of us has led infinitely many lives (n-infinity).
Hence the struggle to achieve mukti (freedom) from this chakra (circle/cycle). Freedom, moksha, nirvana .. call it whatever.


This is obviously not in keeping with common sense. We know that the universe has not always been capable of sustaining human lives.
Our knowledge about the universe is very limited.


Also, how does Karma address the increasing human population of Earth? Since population is increasing, new people being born are unaccounted for in terms of past lives.
How can you be so sure that there weren't 6 billion of us sometime in the past. Also, a soul may evolve from being in an animal's body to being in a humans body and vice versa. A man can be a dog in his next life. So how can you be so sure that there were as many living beings in the past as there are now?


However, this doesn稚 seem fair at all to those people, since animals are hardly capable of making virtuous choices and gaining good Karma.
Unless you could convince me that you have witnessed life in an animal's consciousness, I wouldn't take your word for it. As I said, human knowledge is limited, very limited.


As you can see, Karma in relation to reincarnation does not hold up under investigation, thus it should be stricken from the records.
Beg to differ.

Bulgaroctonus
17 Dec 05,, 21:13
Neither is there a test to prove the presence of a Christian god up above.
Exactly, I'm an athiest.


Why? How? Is there any test?
What are you asking about? How death happens? Clarify your question.



And how did you reach this conclusion? Mind, brain, river .. Karma false?
Karma rests on the existence of previous and future lives of all of us. I have shown that we have only one life, since the body must eventually die. Without the a functioning body, there is no life or consciousness.

My river metaphor was meant to illustrate the causal link between the brain and consciousness, or what we perceive as a 'soul.' The river is the mind, and the river-course is the brain. When the brain or river course vanishes, the mind or river cannot exist.

Since we probably do not have life after death, it is unlikely that Karma exists, since Karma rests on the continuation of the consciousness or soul thorugh several physical bodies.



Hence the struggle to achieve mukti (freedom) from this chakra (circle/cycle). Freedom, moksha, nirvana .. call it whatever.
Yes, but the initial causal problem with Karma remains.


Our knowledge about the universe is very limited.
True, but several things are clear. First, Earth was once a fiery, unihabitable place that was incapable of supporting human life. Even farther back, there was a time when the Sun did not exist. It is illogical to claim that humans have existed forever, even though Earth was a hell-world and the Sun didn't exist.




How can you be so sure that there weren't 6 billion of us sometime in the past.
We would certainly have evidence of six billion people in the past. Are you telling me that there was a civilization as large as ours in the past, and hundreds of years of archaelogy and recorded history just missed it? That is very illogical.

Besides, humans did not have the methods of sustaining that many people before the rise of agriculture around 8500 BC.


Also, a soul may evolve from being in an animal's body to being in a humans body and vice versa. A man can be a dog in his next life. So how can you be so sure that there were as many living beings in the past as there are now?
I do not believe in the existence of a soul, so this question is not of primary importance to me. Of course, if there is such as thing as a soul, it is possible that it could move between species. I really don't know the rules for soul transfer, but I don't think they exist at all.



Unless you could convince me that you have witnessed life in an animal's consciousness, I wouldn't take your word for it. As I said, human knowledge is limited, very limited.
Alright, I can only say it is very likely that most animals do not act in a virtuous way. We have not seen evidence of moral principles or abstract, complex thought within most animals.


Beg to differ.
I'm pleased to continue our conversation.

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 23:36
" What is the cause of the inequality that exists among mankind?
Why should one person be brought up in the lap of luxury, endowed with fine mental, moral and physical qualities, and another in absolute poverty, steeped in misery?
Why should one person be a mental prodigy, and another an idiot?
Why should one person be born with saintly characteristics and another with criminal tendencies?
Why should some be linguistic, artistic, mathematically inclined, or musical from the very cradle?
Why should others be congenitally blind, deaf, or deformed?|
Why should some be blessed, and others cursed from their births?
Either this inequality of mankind has a cause, or it is purely accidental. No sensible person would think of attributing this unevenness, this inequality, and this diversity to blind chance or pure accident.

Causality...

Praxus
17 Dec 05,, 23:45
Beg to differ.

Just because your mystical assertions can not be disproved, does not make them true.

There is no evidence of Karma, there is no evidence of Brahman, there is no evidence of Allah, there is no evidence of the Holy Spirit, there is no evidence of Zeus, or any other such non-sense. It is arbitrary. Despite our disagreements, me and Bulg have been trying to tell you this.

The only semi-rational argument against this is: "Well, maybe we should follow the will of Christ, just in case."

My response is: Why not follow the will of Zues just in case]? Or the will of Allah? Or the will Buddha?

All of these religious beliefs are equally arbitrary. So, by the use of reductio ad absurdum, you find that since you can not follow two (or more) contradicting belief systems, you can not fulfill the purpose of believing any one of them. And no matter how many arbitrary beliefs you manage to follow, you will have an infinite number that you aren't following.

So I repeat, it is UNKNOWABLE, ERGO IRRELIVENT.

THL
18 Dec 05,, 06:00
I am not saying "God does not exist". I am saying the assertion of God's existence is arbitrary, and therefore should be rejected out of hand (e.g. not even considered). Just like the assertion that we don't exist, or that this world is nothing but an illusion, and every other mystical/skeptical claim you could ever come up with.
But what does it hurt letting people believe what they want and what helps them? If someone wants to believe that a pink elephant follows them around helping them through their day - I am for it! If it helps that person be a better human being or helps them get through tough situations, I am not going to be the one to tell them the pachyderm does not exist.

THL
18 Dec 05,, 06:16
I have many problems with the idea of Karma.
That痴 fine. You don稚 have to believeBut it does not make me (or the entire Buddhist population) wrong to have faith in this. It痴 not hurting anyone that this is something we believe in.


Similarly, we do not look a dead body and say that it is conscious. When the brain dies, the mind shuts down forever.
But we believe that the 都oul does not. It goes on to some other form. How do you explain people experiencing deja-vu or past life regression? Do you simply not believe that they are telling the truth?


We know that the universe has not always been capable of sustaining human livesWhere did the Karma for the extra 4,305,123 people come from? There aren稚 enough humans alive before their birth to account for all of them.
Who says we have to reincarnate as humans? I could have been a T-Rex in a past life. Maybe this is all my payback for having taken out a Brontosaurus named Bulgar? Ya Think?


One could say that these extra human lives could have had past animal lives, thus solving the otherwise irresolvable discrepancy between the numbers. However, this doesn稚 seem fair at all to those people, since animals are hardly capable of making virtuous choices and gaining good Karma.
Life is not fair, honey - Or else we壇 only have to go through it once. *smile*


I didn稚 view it religiously at all.
Which is fine, the religious people of the world respect that.


What I am having a hard time understanding is why you are so hung up on convincing the buddhists, christians and whatever else people of the world (or at least of the WAB) that since what we belive and have faith in does not match what you believe and have faith in, that we are wrong. Did you never think that we are all ending up at the same place regardless of what we believe will happen when we die or how we go about getting to that point? Maybe person A needs a different road to take to get to death than person B. Maybe, in order for person A to be happy and fullfilled, they have to believe something different than you and I. Why can that just not be okay? Why do you have such a strong desire to prove others wrong when no one on earth really knows what the truth is?

ZFBoxcar
18 Dec 05,, 06:34
THL, this is a thread about religious beliefs. Atheists have just as much of a right to explain their beliefs as believers have to explain theirs. The snag is that explaining atheism requires explaining why the religious beliefs of others make no sense or are wrong. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to do it. I am a bit biased since I am an agnostic who leans towards atheism. My beliefs are similar to Praxus in that I don't think there is a way to prove the inexistance of God but that since God's existance is not provable, and there is so much contradiction both within religions and between them, that it is, like he said, arbitrary. I have no objection to people believing what they want, but I also have no objection to good, honest, intellectual debate over the issue. Praxus and Bulgar have been making reasonable arguments. If you can, feel free to refute them. If not, it still doesn't mean you have to abandon your beliefs. But you shouldn't try to make them feel bad for pointing out what they see as logical errors. Healthy debate doesn't work too well if you are trying to guilt the other side into giving up. :tongue:

THL
18 Dec 05,, 07:03
THL, this is a thread about religious beliefs.
Actually, it was about a quiz to take or something...waaaayy back in the beginning. ;)


Atheists have just as much of a right to explain their beliefs as believers have to explain theirs.
Absolutely, they do and my arguments would be pretty boring if people like Bulgar and Praxus were not here. I by no means am trying to come across as rude to them or trying to change how they feel. I just ask why Bulgar feels like he feels and why it is impossible that maybe he is believing something that is not fact and the rest of us are believing the "right" thing. None of us will really know in time to share the truth with the others. :)


But you shouldn't try to make them feel bad for pointing out what they see as logical errors. Healthy debate doesn't work too well if you are trying to guilt the other side into giving up. :tongue:
I am not at all trying to make Bulgar feel bad - I don't think I could if I tried. Bulgar should know I am on his side from way back when he 1st showed up. With TopHat not making his appearence this evening, I need someone to mess with. I have not picked on Bulgar and his philosophy in quite a while and since I already have Monk apologizing for not including the girls in his sports forum ( ;) , Monk), I moved on to Bulgar. I'll ease up on him.

But, Bulgar, really - I hope you know I am just giving you a run for your money - everything I am typing is with a smile.

ZFBoxcar
18 Dec 05,, 07:14
I'll ease up on him.

I wasn't really speaking as a mod, I was just voicing the annoyance I occasionally feel when debates about religion bog down because the religious don't like to get their feelings hurt. :biggrin:


just ask why Bulgar feels like he feels and why it is impossible that maybe he is believing something that is not fact and the rest of us are believing the "right" thing. None of us will really know in time to share the truth with the others.

Well sure, that's true, but then again, why would Bulgar believe something if he thought that something wasn't right? I think it is self evident that when you state your opinion you think you are right, otherwise why hold that opinion? Okay, it does make sense to recognize the possibility that one might be mistaken, but all that tells us is to keep an open mind, not abandon our opinions. For example, if I don't believe in God, the possibility that I might be wrong should not be enough to convince me that I'm wrong. There has to be proof that I'm wrong or at least a strong case for me being wrong. The mere possibility, without arguments supporting my wrongness, is insufficient. I don't want to put words in Bulgar's mouth (or his keyboard), but I think that is why he is speaking as he is.

Samudra
18 Dec 05,, 09:03
However, this doesn稚 seem fair at all to those people, since animals are hardly capable of making virtuous choices and gaining good Karma.

There is no 'good karma' or 'bad karma.'
Depeding upon what you did, you recieve.

There is no morality,fairness or numerical calculations here.

Samudra
18 Dec 05,, 09:09
We that this could stretch back ad infinitum, so that each of us has led infinitely many lives (n-infinity).

Yes.
Thanks :) (You have actually helped me understand something I wanted to know)

We have been having infinite lifes.
There never was a time without creation.

BenRoethig
18 Dec 05,, 11:20
Just because your mystical assertions can not be disproved, does not make them true.

And just because you can't test it in a lab doesn't make it untrue. First off ,Scientific theories are educated guesses based on available information and our understanding of that information, they are not facts. They have a tendency to be proven wrong. A couple hundred years we knew that everything was made up of earth, wind, water, and fire. You could prove to the best of our ability that wood had fire in it by setting on fire. When we learned of the elements, we had to reconsider our position. To think that man has learned everything we can that we are now the ultimate authority on everything is arrogant at best and flies in the face of what science stands for. Just because God doesn't descend on UCLA's science lab say tell them to conduct their scientific tests doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

THL
18 Dec 05,, 15:17
There is no 'good karma' or 'bad karma.'
Depeding upon what you did, you recieve.

There is no morality,fairness or numerical calculations here.
This is my fault. I was trying to explain my personal thinkging and used the terms good and bad karma to represent how I keep it straight and judge my own actions in my own mind.



And just because you test it in a lab doesn't make it untrue. First off ,Scientific theories are educated guesses based on available information and our understanding of that information. They have a tendency to be proven wrong. A couple hundred years we knew that everything was made up of earth, wind, water, and fire. You could prove to the best of our ability that wood had fire in it by setting on fire. When we learned of the elements, we had to reconsider our position. To think that man has learned everything we can that we are now the ultimate authority on everything. Just because God doesn't descend on UCLA's science lab say tell them to conduct their scientific tests doesn't mean he doesn't exist.
Thank you, Ben. After the good and bad karma thing I was struggling with how to explain this better - you did it for me.

Samudra
18 Dec 05,, 15:34
Hey actually I argue that both science and religion are looking for the same thing!

Now, I got only one thing to explain my mindset to you.

There is this verse in Mandukya Upanishad which asks, "What is That by knowing which all other things may be known?"

The Upanishad goes on to answer the question, about the qualities of the Absolute knowing which we can know *everything* in the world.

This is quite similar to what Einstein was looking for.He called it the unified field theory.

He was attempting to link all known phenomena to explain the nature and behavior of all matter and energy in existence, work that caused some excitement among nonscientists then and now.

In other words, a single law or theorem or statement which can be applied to anything and everything we percieve(time,energy,matter etc).The one law which can explain all these could be called the Unified Field Theory.

Now go back and read the verse, "What is That by knowing which all other things may be known?"

If we know everything that is salvation.
We are liberated and attain the paradise/nirvana/moksha/72.

Now if you carefully observe Science would cease to be of any use, i.e. it would have fullfilled its objective, when we attain the knowledge of everything.

THL,

Truth be told, we are still attached to the world and we always see things and have a 'good' or 'bad' opinion on them.

Therefore, good and bad Karma exist but only in our minds.
The truth as we know is different. :)

BenRoethig
18 Dec 05,, 15:40
Thank you, Ben. After the good and bad karma thing I was struggling with how to explain this better - you did it for me.

You're welcome. Noticed a couple mistakes I made and have patched up my post a bit.

THL
18 Dec 05,, 15:58
=Sam]Now, I got only one thing to explain my mindset to you...

...In other words, a single law or theorem or statement which can be applied to anything and everything we percieve(time,energy,matter etc).The one law which can explain all these could be called the Unified Field Theory...

...Now if you carefully observe Science would cease to be of any use, i.e. it would have fullfilled its objective, when we attain the knowledge of everything.

I don't know if I understand. You are saying that you agree that the possibility is there for us to know everything there is to know? If this is what you meant, I don't think the world will ever be at that point. How could we? New things are being discovered and explained everyday. We may get to the point where we think we know everything, but will we really?

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
-Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

leib10
18 Dec 05,, 15:59
That痴 fine. You don稚 have to believeBut it does not make me (or the entire Buddhist population) wrong to have faith in this. It痴 not hurting anyone that this is something we believe in.


But we believe that the 都oul does not. It goes on to some other form. How do you explain people experiencing deja-vu or past life regression? Do you simply not believe that they are telling the truth?


Who says we have to reincarnate as humans? I could have been a T-Rex in a past life. Maybe this is all my payback for having taken out a Brontosaurus named Bulgar? Ya Think?


Life is not fair, honey - Or else we壇 only have to go through it once. *smile*


Which is fine, the religious people of the world respect that.


What I am having a hard time understanding is why you are so hung up on convincing the buddhists, christians and whatever else people of the world (or at least of the WAB) that since what we belive and have faith in does not match what you believe and have faith in, that we are wrong. Did you never think that we are all ending up at the same place regardless of what we believe will happen when we die or how we go about getting to that point? Maybe person A needs a different road to take to get to death than person B. Maybe, in order for person A to be happy and fullfilled, they have to believe something different than you and I. Why can that just not be okay? Why do you have such a strong desire to prove others wrong when no one on earth really knows what the truth is?

That's the problem I have with a lot of atheists. They believe that somehow people who have faith in some sort of higher being are somehow harming society as a whole. Religion plays many roles, such as social cohesion, social control, and emotional support for those who are suffering. I see nothing wrong with that. I myself have been helped enormously by my faith in God when the chips are down for me. Granted, I really, really dislike people forcing their beliefs upon me (this includes atheists), but I have absolutely no problem with people who choose to believe in a higher power.

THL
18 Dec 05,, 16:17
That's the problem I have with a lot of atheists. They believe that somehow people who have faith in some sort of higher being are somehow harming society as a whole.
that goes both ways, though. how many christians look at atheists (or other non-christians) as "damning" themselves because they won't get through the christian pearly gates?

I do agree that non-christians at this time of year (and again in late March or early April when Easter rolls around) take it a few steps too far. it is near impossible to pick up a paper and not see some new group upset that they had to see the baby jesus in a nativity scene or that someone had the virgin mary standing atop a christmas tree in their front yard. i dont think it harms anyone to glance in the way of a plastic molded lit up Moses standing over a lamb for a few weeks a year.

Praxus
18 Dec 05,, 17:41
And just because you can't test it in a lab doesn't make it untrue. First off ,Scientific theories are educated guesses based on available information and our understanding of that information, they are not facts. They have a tendency to be proven wrong. A couple hundred years we knew that everything was made up of earth, wind, water, and fire. You could prove to the best of our ability that wood had fire in it by setting on fire. When we learned of the elements, we had to reconsider our position. To think that man has learned everything we can that we are now the ultimate authority on everything is arrogant at best and flies in the face of what science stands for. Just because God doesn't descend on UCLA's science lab say tell them to conduct their scientific tests doesn't mean he doesn't exist.


Where did I say it was "untrue"? I never did. In fact I remember repeatedly saying it is "arbitrary and therefore irrelivent".

Just because we don't know everything, does not mean that every invisible floating abstraction you come up with, is true. I have already reduced your argument to absurdity, so read my posts again.

Praxus
18 Dec 05,, 17:45
But what does it hurt letting people believe what they want and what helps them? If someone wants to believe that a pink elephant follows them around helping them through their day - I am for it! If it helps that person be a better human being or helps them get through tough situations, I am not going to be the one to tell them the pachyderm does not exist.

Could you please demonstrate that delusions could ever be a good or 'helpful'?

THL
18 Dec 05,, 18:30
Could you please demonstrate that delusions could ever be a good or 'helpful'?
Okay. Let's just say that we have a guy named James. James is under stress at work and tends to fly off the handle because he lets that stress build up. James also lives alone in a new city where he does not know anyone. James starts coming home from work, making dinner, and while he is eating goes over the events of the day, expressing his opinions and irritations, not in a conversational way meaning he is not carrying on two sides of a conversation, but just talking out loud.

No one is there. He is not talking "to" anyone except himself and maybe a plant. Is this hurting anyone? Is he delusional? This is helping James keep from holding in built up stress.

So we have James going through a rough time. Decides he is going to kill himself. He sits on his couch, talks to "god", prays, gets everything off his chest, feel a lot better, decides not to go through with it. No one is hurt. Actually, James is fixed. I don't think that for him to talk to his god, who may or may not exist, to save himself is a bad thing. This faith in his own personal higher power saved his life.

Now personally, I don't think that praying to a god is going to fix a situation, but that may only be because I have never experienced that. I feel that if a situation needs fixed, that person needs to get up off their butt and go fix it.


Ever plan out a tough converstion you are about to have before you have it? Go over it in your mind, think about how that person is going to react so you can be prepared with your own reactions? Is this delusional? Is it hurtful? Not at all.

In regards to religion and faith, I say that not everything is going to work for everybody. There cannot possibley be ONE faith that everyone will believe in and follow. Not everyone is on the same mental page, not everyone can understand the same concept. This is a buddhist concept here. There are sutras in buddhism. They all pretty much have the same basic meaning. But they are all different. Why? Because not all of the audiences could understand the same verbiage. They were not all mental equals. They all needed different ways to understand the same basic principle.

Praxus
18 Dec 05,, 21:34
I said prove it. I didn't ask you to make up a story with a plot you can design to make you sound right.

THL
18 Dec 05,, 22:01
I said prove it. I didn't ask you to make up a story with a plot you can design to make you sound right.
ROFL


You asked me to demonstrate, not prove it. So what exactly is it that you want me to prove and I will do my best? Is it that you want me to try and prove that someone can believe in a higher power without being nuts? Most of the world does this.

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 03:20
I don't know if I understand. You are saying that you agree that the possibility is there for us to know everything there is to know? If this is what you meant, I don't think the world will ever be at that point. How could we? New things are being discovered and explained everyday. We may get to the point where we think we know everything, but will we really?

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
-Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

You have understood it perfectly!

Yes, there is a possibility that a individual can know everything there is know.The 'world' might never reach that point but it is quite possible for individuals.

IIRC this is called as Gyana Yoga in Yindoo scriptures and is said to be the best way to salvation.There are four such Yogas(the one Yoga people practise for physical fitness is Hatha Yoga and is part of the one of the four broad classifications) out of which I only know about two.


Gyana means wisdom. By focusing the mind on the nature of the mind, the nature of nature, and the nature of reality, one can achieve highest knowledge. The Yoga Sutras recommend use of viveka (discriminative discernment) to remove ignorance and to provide understanding of the truth of universal oneness. Viveka means distinguishing what is real, permanent, and everlasting from what is temporary, transitory and changing.

Finding out the unchanging reality is what is meant by knowledge here.


We may get to the point where we think we know everything, but will we really?

From the quote given above .... "The Yoga Sutras recommend use of viveka (discriminative discernment)".

Ray
19 Dec 05,, 05:15
The bottom line of any belief or "non belief" is mental peace and being at peace with yourself and your surroundings. Call it nirvana, call it karma, call it scientific disbelief of religions per se.

Now, go an achieve this peace!

THL
19 Dec 05,, 13:02
You have understood it perfectly!

Yes, there is a possibility that a individual can know everything there is know.The 'world' might never reach that point but it is quite possible for individuals.

IIRC this is called as Gyana Yoga in Yindoo scriptures and is said to be the best way to salvation.There are four such Yogas(the one Yoga people practise for physical fitness is Hatha Yoga and is part of the one of the four broad classifications) out of which I only know about two.
Okay, the term Gyana I understand. I was thinking you meant everyone would know everything, not certain individuals being able to learn everything. The knowledge equivalent to nirvana. :)

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 13:45
Okay now I'm waiting for Praxus

I'm in a position to prove it to him that that a belief, which could have been false, greatly helped humanity in the Indian sub-continent.Whats more, it was all because of ONE man.

:)

THL
19 Dec 05,, 14:13
Praxus
I think I may have an example for you.

Let's take Sidhartha Guatama. He claimed he reached enlightenment sitting under a bodhi tree. He went out and tried to teach others how to do the same. Is it proven that he did? Not at all. He said he did and that was enough for his followers. Just him saying he was able to obtain this ultimate peace has been enough for others to have that same goal - no proof needed. The result of his (possible) delusion: Lots of buddhists living better, simpler, more peaceful lives.

The story of the bible. God gave his son, Jesus was hung on a cross. I personally do not know if it is true. Maybe the bible is the result of some raving lunatics delusions. But the idea that so many Christians believe it is true is enough to make them live better, simpler, more peaceful lives.

So in the end, maybe the buddha and Jesus were all figments of someones imagination and they now have the world believing these delusions of theirs - but those possible delusions are not harming anyone, they are, though, helping many many people get through troubled times.

Now if you want an actual example using real, proven to be live people? I personally cannot think of an example using myself, so I will steal one from the board: Julie has shared with us a situation when she was pregnant with her daughter and was helped tremendously by her faith. Was God standing in front of her in the flesh that day - probably not. But does she believe that he was "there" and helped her - probably so. Was this a delusion? I think you may think so - and maybe it was, but who did it hurt even if it was? It gave Julie the answer she needed and helped her with the strength to make the correct decision.

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 15:25
Julie,

Morality is relative to ones moral constitution and his knowledge. Therefore who is anybody to define what sin is ?God did....and it is our obligation to abide by them.

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 15:31
God did....and it is our obligation to abide by them.

How do you know?

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 15:31
Julie,
That is as bad as saying: Katrina was the wrath of Allah. Regards.Not as bad as when it rained for 40 days and 40 nights in an effort to wash away all sin from the face of the earth. God did make a promise not to ever do that again, and sealed his promise with a rainbow. However, weather can still be fatally severe, it just has it's time limits. You have to look for specificity in the words of God, because he can have a wicked sense of humor. ;)

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 15:36
Is it proven that he did?

Yes. :)

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 15:38
Bulgaroctonus,

Why do you say God has a "moral code?" And, why the intense debate on finding the "method to his madness?" :tongue:

For all we know, God is playing a Game with Luther, and we are the pawns. Whatever the case, God gave us directives to follow, and I do not question them, just like I fully expect my children not to question me when I tell them to do something. I have my reasons, and if I want them to know, I will tell them. ;)

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 15:45
JULIE!!!

Tell us where to find Gods 'directives'! PLEASE!
I have asked you this for so many times!

Is it the Bible ? If so why the reluctance to say so?

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 15:49
Julie,

This is your personal choice, but since you are stating it in a discussion forum I think I wont be mistaken for 'telling' you about raising your children.


just like I fully expect my children not to question me when I tell them to do something.

Thats a big mistake.
Mankind will never progress without questioning anything.
Be it the dictates of a mother or imaginary Gods and the books(and stories) attributed to them.

THL
19 Dec 05,, 16:11
JULIE!!!

Tell us where to find Gods 'directives'! PLEASE!
I have asked you this for so many times!

Is it the Bible ? If so why the reluctance to say so?
Exodus 20:1-17
10 Commandments (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2020:1-17&version=9;)

"1And God spake all these words, saying,

2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

THL
19 Dec 05,, 16:17
Thats a big mistake.
Mankind will never progress without questioning anything.
Be it the dictates of a mother or imaginary Gods and the books(and stories) attributed to them.
I am going to go ahead and disagree with you a little here. :tongue:

I don't think kids should always question their parents. Not right off the bat anyway. If there is a situation that the kid is in and the parent tells that child not to do something, it is most likely for the childs best interest.

Example: If a child is across the street and about to run out in front of a car and you tell this child to stop and wait - do you want them to say "why? give me one good reason why I should stop." as they continue out into traffic or do you want to have your child "trained" to listen to you now and maybe ask questions later?

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 16:33
Julie,This is your personal choice, but since you are stating it in a discussion forum I think I wont be mistaken for 'telling' you about raising your children.Good, because at the present time, my children's lines run parallel with mine, which is "workable." I can't expect them to be in my exact location on the grid, but if we're parallel with one another, hey, I'm happy.


Thats a big mistake. Be it the dictates of a mother or imaginary Gods and the books(and stories) attributed to them.Your opinion is noted. :) However, when I feel the time to justify my actions to my children, I will decide that, not them.

As for books and stories, man's wisdom and knowledge come from these items you dismiss with the wave of a hand.

As imaginary Gods, let's take a basic. Santa for example since it is the holiday season. We all know he isn't real in the sense of the word he is made out to be, but where did this Santa myth come from? Further, for Santa to be such a myth, he sure brings alot of joy to people in December. I'm happy with it, even though you and I know he doesn't exist. ;)

As for God....be imaginative just for a moment....put yourself in the shoes of a God which is existent. Where are you?....are you alone or are there other Gods somewhere in the Universe with all of their own little creations undiscovered? And assuming you are existent....well, uh....that makes mankind just a spit in a big bucket doesn't it?

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 16:37
You are talking about day to day activites.

These things have only a little influence on the personality of the child when it grows up.Telling you child to 'stop' while crossing the road are things that happen naturally.

I'm speaking about beliefs and religious issues and the general personality development of the kid.If you are asking your child not to question you about any religious belief of yours(which the kids follows, or made to follow), or any religion for that matter, you are merely making a fundamentalist out of the kid.

The kid will be exploited by religious leaders and fundamentalists.He/She would never look for the Truth but shall give in blindly to the dictates of the Book and leaders.Precisely how suicide bombers are made.

Instead encourage the Kid to look for the Truth, tell your child about the story behind every religion, why it imposes certain conditions on us, the context in which the religion was born.

These things define the way a child looks at the world.

Besides parents always do things that they think are in the best interests of the Child.

BenRoethig
19 Dec 05,, 16:44
Praxus
I think I may have an example for you.


THL, the guy has a preconceived opinion that nothing short of the almighty showing up in his living room is going to change. Trying to prove it to him is a lost cause.

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 17:02
You are talking about day to day activites.which add up to a lifetime. ;)


These things have only a little influence on the personality of the child when it grows up.Telling you child to 'stop' while crossing the road are things that happen naturally.Funny you should say that. I had my step-grand girls over for the weekend, and the 5 year old got her butt tore up for continuing to run back to the bedroom after we called her name for her to stop.


I'm speaking about beliefs and religious issues and the general personality development of the kid.If you are asking your child not to question you about any religious belief of yours(which the kids follows, or made to follow), or any religion for that matter, you are merely making a fundamentalist out of the kid.

The kid will be exploited by religious leaders and fundamentalists.He/She would never look for the Truth but shall give in blindly to the dictates of the Book and leaders.Precisely how suicide bombers are made.

Instead encourage the Kid to look for the Truth, tell your child about the story behind every religion, why it imposes certain conditions on us, the context in which the religion was born.

These things define the way a child looks at the world.Again funny....my son doesn't even attend the same church as I do. He attends First Baptist, I attend a Church of God.


Besides parents always do things that they think are in the best interests of the Child.I personally guide children by my past experiences in life. The rest is up to them.

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 17:03
my children's lines run parallel with mine, which is "workable."

Apologies for talking about your private life again, but the idea is to get the "best" solution and not a "workable" solution.

Every parent would want the BEST and not just a Workable solution!


As for books and stories, man's wisdom and knowledge come from these items you dismiss with the wave of a hand.

No major scientific invention that is helping mankind today has come from religious books and stories.

Infact people claiming to be strictly adhering to these books have been the biggest stumbling blocks in the development of Sciences.


Santa

The Child grows up and gets to know that Santa is a imaginary character and the story behind it etc.

Childs play.
Wrong Example.


As for God....be imaginative just for a moment....put yourself in the shoes of a God which is existent. Where are you?....are you alone or are there other Gods somewhere in the Universe with all of their own little creations undiscovered? And assuming you are existent....well, uh....that makes mankind just a spit in a big bucket doesn't it?

I shall imagine...and these are my answers to your questions.

1. "I" is non-existent.There is no "me", no "you".

Which makes all your remaining questions invalid.

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 17:10
which add up to a lifetime.

Lifetime of what?
Blind obedience ?


I had my step-grand girls over for the weekend, and the 5 year old got her butt tore up for continuing to run back to the bedroom after we called her name for her to stop.

So do you think your step-grand girl will never learn to do things on her own and that you/her parents will never teach her to do things on her own?

The kid grows up and learns by itself.


Again funny....my son doesn't even attend the same church as I do. He attends First Baptist, I attend a Church of God.

So ?
Changes nothing in my assertion that when you inforce a blind belief which is irrational you end up making a fundamentalist out of the child.

If the Child grows up and learns to think better, good for him.


I personally guide children by my past experiences in life. The rest is up to them.

I'm afraid it was you who said you did not want your kid to question you(just like you dont question the words of God)

Here is the quote : " just like I fully expect my children not to question me".

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 17:25
The key word here is respect. If you never instill respect, as well as self-respect, into the child, he or she will never have the inclination to learn a damn thing.

You honestly think I'm going to raise any child without any respect whatsoever in my house? WRONG. Everything a child gets in my home is earned by him/her...whether it be niceties, gifts, candy, etc. That way, the child is taught to treat ones how they wish to be treated.

Another event which occurred yesterday (Sunday). This same granddaughter got the broom and dustpan and wanted to clean-up, and wanted me to assist her. I said, I don't do that on Sundays....it is my day off, but you can if you want. She said, well, all you've done is lay around and watch t.v. all day. :) I just smiled.

Shortly after, I cooked dinner, and ate, then I pulled a chair up to the sink, and told the granddaughter that if she wanted desert she could do the dirty dishes, and I told her that it was only fair because I had washed her breakfast and lunch dishes and did her dirty laundry in between me watching t.v. that day while she was playing with her sisters. She did them and got her piece of cake for desert. :)

Do you have children? My guess would be no. :)

Samudra
19 Dec 05,, 17:39
I dont think we were talking about respect.
We were discussing the merits of you expecting your child to avoid questioning you.

I'm just 20, turning 21 this new year.So no Children. :)

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 18:53
I dont think we were talking about respect.
We were discussing the merits of you expecting your child to avoid questioning you.No, I do not expect my children to undermine or second-guess my decision-making, unless they have a solid argument for doing so.


I'm just 20, turning 21 this new year.So no Children. :)
Well, then, I was right about something. ;)

THL
19 Dec 05,, 19:01
I dont think we were talking about respect.
We were discussing the merits of you expecting your child to avoid questioning you.

I'm just 20, turning 21 this new year.So no Children. :)
LOL
I am glad Julie thought to ask you this.
Come see us when you have one. I'd be interested to know how you viewpoints have changed - because they will...instantly...overnight. :)

So now that I understand you have been asking about if kids should be made to follow a certain religion...

I'm speaking about beliefs and religious issues and the general personality development of the kid.If you are asking your child not to question you about any religious belief of yours(which the kids follows, or made to follow), or any religion for that matter, you are merely making a fundamentalist out of the kid.
then I can answer this differently. I don't care what religion my daughter wants to have. If she can find someone to teach her about some lost Incan religion, she is more than welcome to it. I don't even care if she wants to stay as far away from it all as possible. As long as she is a decent human being with compassion and is able to carry on normal healthy relationships - what she puts her faith in is of little concern to me. I still believe that we are all on different paths to the same place with ultimately the same ending.

Julie
19 Dec 05,, 22:08
LOL
I am glad Julie thought to ask you this.
Come see us when you have one. I'd be interested to know how you viewpoints have changed - because they will...instantly...overnight. :) Duh. :rolleyes:

Bulgaroctonus
19 Dec 05,, 22:55
But what does it hurt letting people believe what they want and what helps them? If someone wants to believe that a pink elephant follows them around helping them through their day - I am for it! If it helps that person be a better human being or helps them get through tough situations, I am not going to be the one to tell them the pachyderm does not exist.
I do extend a certain amount of ideological tolerance. However, there are serious problems when large amounts of people start believing things that don't make a great deal of sense. I'll explain:

What someone believes can not be viewed in isolation because beliefs tend to spread and influence large amounts of people. We have seen this in the cases of Jesus Christ and Mohammed, two men that had powerful ideas that spread and influenced history greatly. Ideas do matter, so I am never apathetic or indifferent to what anyone else is thinking.

What people think is often symptomatic of the greater philosophical outlook of a people. As Praxus will tell you, the philosophical outlook of a people often dictate how successful that race is. Thus, someone's ideas are of great importance because we are all part of a greater world.

Similarly, in the case of Buddhism, when large amounts of people start believing in mystical or otherwise unprovable things, problems develop. These problems are expecially focused on the practitioners of the religion in question (and I will extend this example to Christianity).

I will say again that Buddhism is one of the most useful philosophies out there, if only its mystical and unprovable aspects can be eliminated. Its emphasis on mediation and clear thinking are applicable to everyone, indeed such goals are synonymous with the skills that public education in the West tries to teach its children.

However, the mystical aspects of Buddhism are injurious in many ways. Although many practitioners of Buddhism feel that their philosophical ethic is in their interest, it is actually not in many cases.

For example, many Buddhists are avowed pacifists. This has not helped them in siutations where they face concerted aggression. The Chinese were able to sweep aside Tibetan resistance in 1959. Because the Tibetans had relinquished their ancient warlike ways, the Chinese defeated them. About 1.2 million Tibetans died of violence, torture, and starvation. In addition, many thousands of monasteries were destroyed and Tibetan culture has suffered irreparable damage. In the 46 years since that date, no progress has been made for the Tibetans. This is largely due to the fact that the Dalai Lama thinks the Chinese actually respond to moral arguments. As a result of their simplistic attitudes concerning war, Tibetans have no state. Only now are revolutionaries like Tenzin Tsundue accepting violence as a functional and effective means to achieve ends.

This is a clear case of your idea of passive ideological acceptance not being valid. The Tibetans did use their beliefs in non-violence to better their lives, and it did help them through difficult situations, but only for a while. The problem with Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or many others ideologies, is they become stiff. The Tibetan Buddhists became rigid and did not adapt. For that, they have been almost exterminated.

Of course, some Buddhists are so detached and nihilistic that they have no concern for their own death, or the extinction of their culture. For those people, my above argument is not valid. I imagine that at a certain level of enlightenment, normal concerns such as the continuation of one's society might not hold. However, assume for the above argument that many Tibetan Buddhists did not want to see their country raped.

If I were in Tibet in 1958, I would not allow people to keep their notions. I would ride through the countryside to every monastery and tell the people there to learn to fight. If they do not fight they will die - they will fail. The Chinese care nothing for Tibetan piety and goodness, they will kill them all the same. Mystical beliefs often represent a disastrous disconnect with reality.

So, we can see that people's notions do have a large impact on their destinies. Therefore, it not our duty to allow people to continue with erroneous ideas. This can lead to their own detriment. As I will show in the second half of this thread, it also has grave influences for society, even if it benefits the religious people themselves.

The Hellenic-Roman era before the emergence of Christianity was characterized by rationality and immense scientific progress. Aristarchus (310-230 BC) already knew that the Earth orbited the Sun and that the stars were immensely far away. Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) determined correctly that the Earth was round, and he calculated the circumfrence of the planet to astounding accuracy. It was an age of discovery in mathematics, physics, literature, philosophy and ethics, architecture, medicine, and many other fields.

However, the prevalence of Chrisitianity by at least 395 AD (the death of Emperor Theodosius I), had an negative effect on scientific discovery. Although Christian monks and scholars were responsible for preserving and transcribing much of the ancient world's knowledge, they did not allow any new growth.

This is not to say that religion is inherently at odds with science. The great Arab Muslim scientific advances of the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries AD disprove that notion. However, the fact remains that Christianity was immensely detrimental to the spread and regrowth of knowledge in Europe.

The Pope and his narrow-minded followers adopted the most nonsensical and stale models of ancient philosophy in science, the pillars of which were Ptolemy's incorrect Earth-centered conception of the universe, and Aristotle's mistaken scientific musings (which calcified into something called 'Scholasticism').

It was not until the Renaissance that Europe began to shed its cumbersome religious shroud. Copernicus (1474-1543) reestablished a helio-centric universe, and the experiments of Magellan's crew (1519-1522) proved Eratosthenes ancient ideas of a round Earth.

But why did we have to wait that long? Why was Europe so far behind, when places like China and Arabia had made scientific advances along the way?

There are many answers to the question. One legitimate answer will mention the fact that Europe was in general less developed and economically viable than the East. This is true, however, these economic arguments cannot explain the full 1500 year gap in significant European scientific progress.

One answer can be found in the Christian faith and Church. Indeed, I will lay blame on the Church for retarding European knowledge so long. The damage Christianity did emerges from two things, the basic intellectual weakness of many Christians at the time, and the necessity Rome had for complete ideological control.

The former factor was very important. Christian thought did not stimulate scientific inquiry for various reasons, but a powerful one was that Christianity supposedly provides all the answers. That is, if one is a good Christian, you don't need to question anything, since the Bible already presents all the answers for you. This hampers curiosity, upon which science rests. Christianity is fundamentally inimical to scientific progress. How can a people that believe that the world was made in seven days (cf Book of Genesis) actually make any scientific or rational progress? Furthermore, the willingness of people to believe in something so arbitrary and unsubstantiated demonstrates that rational and constructive thought aren't even being used at all. This means that generations are passing without truly exercising their mind.

The second factor is a result of conscious ideological control from the Roman prelature. The Popes and cardinals were often shrewd enough to realize that there were convincing ideological competitors to Christianity. They further realized that in order to control their European flock, they had to exterminate any competing ideas. This is why they burned the scientist Giordano Bruno at the stake and why they silenced Galileo Galilei, the greatest Italian scientist of all time. This lead to a general backwardness in Italy for a long time, since few scientists recieved patronage, or even safety in Italy. It is even more perverse considering the former scientific prowess of the Romans, an Italian people.

These European Christians all used their beliefs to aid their lives, and they thought their faith helped them lead better lives. However, they didn't realize that their faith was holding them back. Their models of living were unprofitable and uncompetitive.

In fact, we see that when Europe finally entered the full swing of industry and capitalism, the continent dominated the world. Science led to unprecedented advances in health, productivity, industry, and standard of living.

I will say unequivocally that Christianity (and by extension belief in mystical and nonsensical ideas), have very negative effects for the believers and the society that they inhabit. If you feel my treatment of the subject has been incomplete or erroneous, please notify me because I am more than happy to continue discussion on this point.

In summation, I feel that we cannot be apathetic about what people think because everyone influences the world. We are all part of a system, and that system suffers if we all believe in nonsense. This is true even if the people believing in nonsense think that such nonsense improves their lives. This is true even if nonsense makes people happier.

Samudra
20 Dec 05,, 13:35
LOL
I am glad Julie thought to ask you this.
Come see us when you have one. I'd be interested to know how you viewpoints have changed - because they will...instantly...overnight.

huh ?

On second thoughts, I'm always open to changing my beliefs and viewpoints.
Infact my beliefs change three times a day. :rolleyes:


I don't care what religion my daughter wants to have. If she can find someone to teach her about some lost Incan religion, she is more than welcome to it.

So long as you have educated her about the demerits of fundamentalism everything is fine.

Bulgar,

Eastern Religions are radically different from western religions so far as development of sciences are concerned.

A Hindu scholar documented a hell lot about the Universe in the fifth century while the Church reluctantly accepted the heliocentric theory in the second half of twentieth century.

So it is impossible to generalise that religions have obstructed development or anything like that.

THL
20 Dec 05,, 13:53
huh ?

On second thoughts, I'm always open to changing my beliefs and viewpoints.
Infact my beliefs change three times a day. :rolleyes:
What I mean is that before I had my daughter I felt a lot different on a lot of things. Example: I would be VERY irritated in a store if a kid was throwing a tantrum and the parent went about their business as if nothing was going on. I would blame the parent for not being attentive enough. Now, on the rare occassion that Mackenzie throws a tantrum (I have gotten very lucky on how she behaves in public) I know that the quickest way to stop that tantrum is to ignore it. Even one glance from me in her direction can add an additional 3 minutes to any fit. I ignore her, she's done in less than 60 seconds.

How my thoughts have changed are not just on this - all things, really. This is just the 1st example I can come up with.

Raj K Warrior
20 Dec 05,, 14:25
You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity without being hit and biting only one bullet suggests that your beliefs about God are internally consistent and well thought out.

A direct hit would have occurred had you answered in a way that implied a logical contradiction. The bitten bullet occurred because you responded in a way that required that you held a view that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. However, because you bit only one bullet and avoided direct hits completely you still qualify for our second highest award. A good achievement!

Julie
20 Dec 05,, 14:37
The former factor was very important. Christian thought did not stimulate scientific inquiry for various reasons, but a powerful one was that Christianity supposedly provides all the answers. That is, if one is a good Christian, you don't need to question anything, since the Bible already presents all the answers for you. This hampers curiosity, upon which science rests. Christianity is fundamentally inimical to scientific progress. How can a people that believe that the world was made in seven days (cf Book of Genesis) actually make any scientific or rational progress? Furthermore, the willingness of people to believe in something so arbitrary and unsubstantiated demonstrates that rational and constructive thought aren't even being used at all. This means that generations are passing without truly exercising their mind. I disagree. At some point, curiosity will kill the cat.


These European Christians all used their beliefs to aid their lives, and they thought their faith helped them lead better lives. However, they didn't realize that their faith was holding them back. Their models of living were unprofitable and uncompetitive.

In fact, we see that when Europe finally entered the full swing of industry and capitalism, the continent dominated the world. Science led to unprecedented advances in health, productivity, industry, and standard of living.

I will say unequivocally that Christianity (and by extension belief in mystical and nonsensical ideas), have very negative effects for the believers and the society that they inhabit. If you feel my treatment of the subject has been incomplete or erroneous, please notify me because I am more than happy to continue discussion on this point. Do you believe the industrial age led to advances in health? Some scientists would probably confirm that it lead to unprecedented pollution which cause diseases, as well as extreme environmental damage.

From a Christian's point of view, Science is the study of the world around us. God has created this world in a very complex and intricate way. Man investigates this world and can use the results of this investigation to do one of two things: he can use it for his own selfish interests, and ultimately they will become destructive, or he can use the developments of this world as produced by Science to further enhance his relationship with God.

I would like to cite an excellent point Sally Fields told her son, Forest Gump:

"Life is like a box of chocolates....you never know what you are going to get...you just do the best with what God gives you."

If you spend all of your time, out of curiosity, analyzing how and what those chocolates are made of, you will never get the enjoyment of eating them, as it was intended. :)

Samudra
20 Dec 05,, 15:14
Julie,

What do you think about the Church accepting the Heliocentric theory in the 1980s ?
How good was that ?

I'm afraid Christianity has done a lot to stop human development.Ultimately Science has triumphed.

Samudra
20 Dec 05,, 15:15
What I mean is that before I had my daughter I felt a lot different on a lot of things.

I understand.
I'll cross the bridge when I need to. :)

Julie
20 Dec 05,, 16:31
Julie,

What do you think about the Church accepting the Heliocentric theory in the 1980s ?
How good was that ?I don't denounce science Samudra. I only think it irrational to prove that we are the only perfectly structured individuals in this vast universe, for the sake of eliminating a God.


I'm afraid Christianity has done a lot to stop human development.Ultimately Science has triumphed.I believe Christianity has done alot for acts of inhumane treatment, and feel science has endangered human development. :) We only have one earth....we should seek to preserve it, not destroy it.

PS: Have you read where they are injecting human brain cells into mice? :eek:

Samudra
20 Dec 05,, 16:50
I don't denounce science Samudra. I only think it irrational to prove that we are the only perfectly structured individuals in this vast universe, for the sake of eliminating a God.

Nobody is trying to 'eliminate' a God.

I have dozens of ideas of what God could be.
However I'm against anybody telling anybody that God has said this so GO DO IT BLINDLY!

We have no evidence to prove God sent us the Bible/Quran/Gita.
I'm asking for a reason to do what has been said in the books.


I believe Christianity has done alot for acts of inhumane treatment, and feel science has endangered human development

No religion has avoided doing the same.
And that includes Buddhism.


We only have one earth....we should seek to preserve it, not destroy it.


We can neither create nor destory anything.

Basic Science :)

(However this theory is being 'tested' now)

Vaman
20 Dec 05,, 17:22
Sorry I am joining in fairly late and the discussion has moved on since it was initiated. But I took the test right now and I think the test itself is logically inconsistent.
I have been a student of mathematics and anyone who has read Set Theory would have been easily able to point out logical inconsistencies in the way that test is structured.

All was going fine till i got this and decided to go no further:



You've just bitten a bullet!

You say that if there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, then atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality. Therefore, it seems that you do not think that the mere absence of evidence for the existence of God is enough to justify believing that she does not exist. This view is also suggested by your earlier claim that it is not rational to believe that the Loch Ness monster does not exist even if, despite years of trying, no evidence has been presented to suggest that it does exist.

There is no logical inconsistency in your answers. But by denying that the absence of evidence, even where it has been sought, is enough to justify belief in the non-existence of things, you are required to countenance possibilities that most people would find bizarre. For example, do you really want to claim that it is not rationally justified to believe that intelligent aliens do not live on Mars?

Infact it actually admits to saying that there is no logical inconsistency in my answers. But now I am actually supposed to throw logic and reason to the winds because my logical inferences do not conform to "most people" and hence are "bizarre".
I dont think that game was an exercise in pure reason or logic but something that masquarades as being logical to ram the author/writer's point of view.

WRT god, by an exercise of pure reason it is not possible to prove that god doesnt exist. Just because I (or for that matter anyone on the planet) hasnt seen god doesnt imply the non-existence of god. It like saying that because I have never seen blue jays or 6-feet gorillas, they dont exist.

Julie
20 Dec 05,, 18:08
Nobody is trying to 'eliminate' a God.That's the feeling it gives me when reading any life science article.


However I'm against anybody telling anybody that God has said this so GO DO IT BLINDLY!I haven't said that....that is something you have to do on your own. Without understanding it, you would be doing it "blindly."


We have no evidence to prove God sent us the Bible/Quran/Gita.You have testamentary witnesses. Did you know that oral agreements, with present witnesses, hold up in a judicial court of law?


I'm asking for a reason to do what has been said in the books.No one can give you that reason....the reason has to come from you. :)



We can neither create nor destory anything.

Basic Science :)Okay then, smoking doesn't hurt your lungs, and abortions doesn't kill babies. (Basic common sense :) )


(However this theory is being 'tested' now)Of course it is, sweetie. ;)

Samudra
20 Dec 05,, 18:51
You have testamentary witnesses.

People trying to fool ignorants.
Religious Leaders who want to make the best out of miserable people.
Like the Church,Mutt and Sanghas.


No one can give you that reason....the reason has to come from you.

That is not an answer.
Not if you telling me that there is reason in the Book.
Otherwise you admit that there is no reason in the Book.


Okay then, smoking doesn't hurt your lungs, and abortions doesn't kill babies.

Laws of Conservation.

Please read before something like that.
Your replies are not related to what I'm talking about.

Tell me when you create something out of nothing, or destroy something to nothing.


Of course it is, sweetie

Do you know in which place it is happening?
Hint : It is in Europe.

Julie
21 Dec 05,, 17:39
Religious Leaders who want to make the best out of miserable people.Our President is a religious leader. :)




That is not an answer.
Not if you telling me that there is reason in the Book.
Otherwise you admit that there is no reason in the Book.You sound like that poll....absurd. There is only guidance in the book....the reason and faith in it has to come from within yourself.




Tell me when you create something out of nothing, or destroy something to nothing.where do you get the notion God created something from "nothing?"




Do you know in which place it is happening?
Hint : It is in Europe.I know...I was being sarcastic...sorry. :)

Praxus
21 Dec 05,, 19:05
THL, the guy has a preconceived opinion that nothing short of the almighty showing up in his living room is going to change. Trying to prove it to him is a lost cause.

What else is a valid reason to change my mind?

What you ask of men, is blind belief in the unknowable.

Please, do tell.

THL
21 Dec 05,, 19:15
What else is a valid reason to change my mind?

What you ask of men, is blind belief in the unknowable.

Please, do tell.
Which is why I strayed from Christianity - I was not able to just accept someone else's word that if I lived my life in this particular way, the end result would be heaven. There was not enough there to convince me that any of this was really so.

This is also why I was so enticed by Buddhism; first of all, its not really a religion. Buddhsts do not consider buddhism a religion or a philosophy. Secondly; there is no "worshipping" another. We do not hold buddha in the same regard that Christians hold Jesus - he is not considered a "god". Third; there is no promise of heaven. If you live your life well, you are still going to be sent back here for previously created karmas (I hesitated using the term bad karmas again). There is no reciting some hail mary's and getting off the hook. Once the "bad" deed is done, you will suffer the consequences which is more of a detterance for me than being able to pray, ask for forgiveness and have it all be over with.

Praxus
21 Dec 05,, 20:14
Which is why I strayed from Christianity - I was not able to just accept someone else's word that if I lived my life in this particular way, the end result would be heaven. There was not enough there to convince me that any of this was really so.


Then why do you accept someone else's word that when when you die you will be reborn?



This is also why I was so enticed by Buddhism; first of all, its not really a religion. Buddhsts do not consider buddhism a religion or a philosophy. Secondly; there is no "worshipping" another. We do not hold buddha in the same regard that Christians hold Jesus - he is not considered a "god". Third; there is no promise of heaven. If you live your life well, you are still going to be sent back here for previously created karmas (I hesitated using the term bad karmas again). There is no reciting some hail mary's and getting off the hook. Once the "bad" deed is done, you will suffer the consequences which is more of a detterance for me than being able to pray, ask for forgiveness and have it all be over with.

How is a belief in reincarnation anymore rational then a belief in an omnipotent God? Both are equally unfounded in reason and therefore equally invalid.

THL
21 Dec 05,, 20:31
Then why do you accept someone else's word that when when you die you will be reborn?...
How is a belief in reincarnation anymore rational then a belief in an omnipotent God? Both are equally unfounded in reason and therefore equally invalid.
It may not be more rational to someone else, but for me, it is a more logical thought. It makes more sense to me and I found that I was able to accept these ideas easier. I had years and years of being raised Lutheran but never really "getting" it and never having a feeling of complete comfort in it. Buddhism made sense right away. I felt at ease with it and there were no reservations. It was like coming home.

I do not accept all of Buddhism. There are some things I am skeptical about as well, but overall, it more closely aligned with the beliefs I already had.

Praxus
21 Dec 05,, 20:59
It may not be more rational to someone else, but for me, it is a more logical thought. It makes more sense to me and I found that I was able to accept these ideas easier. I had years and years of being raised Lutheran but never really "getting" it and never having a feeling of complete comfort in it. Buddhism made sense right away. I felt at ease with it and there were no reservations. It was like coming home.

In what manner is it "more logical"?

Just because Buddhism is more emotionally appealing to you, doesn't mean it's more rational.

Bulgaroctonus
21 Dec 05,, 23:16
That痴 fine. You don稚 have to believeBut it does not make me (or the entire Buddhist population) wrong to have faith in this. It痴 not hurting anyone that this is something we believe in.
As I have said before, I cannot at this point definitely rule out the existence of God, Karma, or a whole array of supernatural phenomena. However, as I have pointed out repeatedly, the case for Karma is very weak. The case for God is very weak.

It is an argument of probability that God does not exist. I have not seen sufficient, if any evidence to prove that God exists. Furthemore, I find most religions contradictory, hypocritical, and duplicitous.

If believing in Karma does not make one absolutely wrong, it certainly demonstrates poor reasoning skills. Whoever came up with Karma found a relationship between events that does not exist, according to what evidence we can see. The Buddha, although a usually sane man, made a reasoning error when he went along with the idea of reincarnation.

Again, I do think your belief in Karma does have negative side effects. To me, it looks like you are wasting your time by believing in something that does not exist. Furthermore, as per the theme in my larger post, nonsense is not a good policy for societies.




But we believe that the 都oul does not. It goes on to some other form. How do you explain people experiencing deja-vu or past life regression? Do you simply not believe that they are telling the truth?
The word 'soul' is our ancient, superstitious name for integrated neurological functions, such as consciousness. People thought that our consciousness must live on. This was an emotional, not a rational, response to the fear of death. That is, people's inability to accept the finality of death has led to the creation of the soul.

'Soul' is synonymous with 'mind', which is in turn based on biological brain functions. When the brain dies, so does the mind. There is no evidence for a 'soul' or any mental function living on past death.

As to people experiencing past life regression, yes, I do think they are lying. Whether intentionally or not, they are describing something that never happened. There is no evidence of past lives for any of us, much less regressions to those lives.

Deja vu has some other psychological explanations I have heard. That is, not everyone who experiences deja vu thinks it is related to the afterlife. For example, I could experience deja vu typing this post, but that's only because I have made this simple probabalistic argument before.

Anyone claiming that their deja vu experience is a connection to a past life is probably lying.


Who says we have to reincarnate as humans? I could have been a T-Rex in a past life. Maybe this is all my payback for having taken out a Brontosaurus named Bulgar? Ya Think?
I've already addressed the immense problems of Karma, which I think are quite convincing in disproving Karma. So, your particular point about what species we return as is not so important.


Life is not fair, honey - Or else we壇 only have to go through it once. *smile*
I don't expect life to be fair, and I expect we live it only once. However, I pointing out the 'fairness' problem that emerges in trans-species reincarnation Karma.

Karma rests on the fact that meritorious action in one life can elevate us to a better station in another life. However, if one was reincarnated in human form from an animal, one would automatically have a disadvantage, hence a lack of fairness. This is because an animal is much less likely to perform a conscious meritorious action than a human is. Of course, there are exceptions, and some animals have been very noble and dignified.

However, the problem still remains. One person was fortunate to be a doctor that cured cancer in a past life. That person is reincarnated a leader of the world in compensation for his good deeds. However, another person was only a frog in a past life. What can a frog do to elevate itself to a better afterlife?

Again, there is no evidence of a past or future life after this one. It is a simple argument of probability, in which the odds are heavily against supernatural phenomena.


Which is fine, the religious people of the world respect that.



What I am having a hard time understanding is why you are so hung up on convincing the buddhists, christians and whatever else people of the world (or at least of the WAB) that since what we belive and have faith in does not match what you believe and have faith in, that we are wrong.
I am writing that your beliefs do not square with basic observations. I haven't even proposed an elaborate world view to counter yours. I'm objecting to your beliefs from simply reasoned principles. An intelligent sixth grader could do as well. Therefore, I don't see my arguments as coming from a position of 'faith' as if I were proposing another religion or esoteric set of beliefs.

The fact is, there is an extreme dearth of evidence to support any of the major religions. That is why I object to your beliefs - they don't make a whole lot of sense.

For example, you believe in reincarnation. However, has anyone in all the ages of man ever seen clear evidence of reincarnation? That is rhetorical question, the answer to which is a resounding 'No'.

If you want to get into an argument where you try and say that all of science is 'faith' just like any religion, I'll gladly spar with you there, for that is not true.


Did you never think that we are all ending up at the same place regardless of what we believe will happen when we die or how we go about getting to that point?
I do believe we're all going to same place. But before I reach that void, I don't want my life to be clouded by dim reasoning and nonsensical propositions.


Maybe person A needs a different road to take to get to death than person B. Maybe, in order for person A to be happy and fullfilled, they have to believe something different than you and I. Why can that just not be okay?
I've shown why its often not just 'okay' accept everyone's ideas, especially if they don't make sense. See post number 170.


Why do you have such a strong desire to prove others wrong when no one on earth really knows what the truth is?
I'm writing to contest things that are probably not true. I haven't been so presumptuous as to know the secrets of the universe. However, I have been showing why religion probably doesn't know those secrets either. Again, my arguments are disciplined and rational and they use basic logical tools that are accessible to anyone.

I have a strong desire to get rid of nonsense, perversions of reason, lies, half-truths, and all assortment rubbish. They cloud the consciousness and I detest them.

Bulgaroctonus
21 Dec 05,, 23:31
I just ask why Bulgar feels like he feels and why it is impossible that maybe he is believing something that is not fact and the rest of us are believing the "right" thing. None of us will really know in time to share the truth with the others. :)
I do keep the possibility open that I am wrong. However, most of my arguments have been using simple logic. Therefore, I'm not providing you with what I believe. Instead, I am showing you why some of your beliefs have a low probability of accuracy.

I do think there are a few basic truths we can know for sure, and a great deal that we can ascertain with a high degree of probability as being correct. I am not of the opinion that all human ideas are equal in not being provable.

That is, I will advance science and basic reasoning over things that don't make sense. Why would I sit back at let nonsensical things rule the Earth?

It's all about a probability argument, and the implied directive that we should avoid belief in something that has a low probability of being true.



I am not at all trying to make Bulgar feel bad - I don't think I could if I tried.
True.


Bulgar should know I am on his side from way back when he 1st showed up. With TopHat not making his appearence this evening, I need someone to mess with. I have not picked on Bulgar and his philosophy in quite a while and since I already have Monk apologizing for not including the girls in his sports forum ( ;) , Monk), I moved on to Bulgar. I'll ease up on him.
There is no need to ease up. I do not feel overwhelmed nor do I need relief. I am gliding smoothly along in this polemical joust.

But, Bulgar, really - I hope you know I am just giving you a run for your money - everything I am typing is with a smile.
Your arguments are not giving me a run for my money.

Bulgaroctonus
21 Dec 05,, 23:38
There is no 'good karma' or 'bad karma.'
Depeding upon what you did, you recieve.
Well, there must be a basic way of describing if an action is going to lead to a higher state of reincarnation (i.e. good) or a lower, more base state (i.e. bad). If I cannot use the terms good or bad, how is one to describe the dynamics of Karma?
May we use 'positive' and 'negative'?


There is no morality,fairness or numerical calculations here.
If Karma does exist, which I strongly doubt, it can be described mathematically. Find something in the world that can't be described mathematically (barring very advancing ideas of theoretical physics or other developing areas of study).

Bulgaroctonus
21 Dec 05,, 23:54
Yes.
Thanks :) (You have actually helped me understand something I wanted to know)
We have been having infinite lifes.
How could we have been living infinite lives if the universe has not always been capable of supporting human life? I did point out this fallacy before.

Remember, archaelogical evidence has not found any evidence of human habitation on Earth past a certain time (about 7 million years ago human history began).

Furthermore, it is evident that the Sun has not always existed. The Sun caused the creation of the Earth through gravitational accretion. Therefore, the Earth has not always existed. Therefore, human life has not always existed.

It is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, that we have all been living infinitely many past lives.

I am dissapointed that you took my idea, which was meant as an objection to Karma, to support you idea which does not make much sense.


There never was a time without creation.
I too think that there has always been something. That is, there was a kind of existence that preceded the Big Bang. However, this was probably something like a soup of sub-atomic particles or something like that. I do not think human society has always existed.

Bulgaroctonus
22 Dec 05,, 00:22
And just because you can't test it in a lab doesn't make it untrue.
If you can't test a hypothesis with experimental data, there is no reason to treat it as science or as a reputable theory. For instance, one can say that it is impossible to test the existence of God through a lab experiment. But if we cannot find evidence for God, why should we believe in him?

You are fundamentally correct. A lack of evidence does not definitely mean something does not exist. However, something that cannot be tested is something we can never be sure of. So in practice, an untestable thing does not deserve our certain belief.

Scientists even extend this discipline to themselves. String theory is the current attempt to unify all of physics. However, it cannot yet be tested by experiment, although it is supported by mathematics. Therefore, physicists do not yet refer to superstring theory as a scientific theory. Right now, its a mathematical and philosophical idea.

There is a word for untestable hypotheses: metaphysics.


First off ,Scientific theories are educated guesses based on available information and our understanding of that information, they are not facts.
Scientific theories are not educated guesses, they are reasoned and disciplined efforts to explain the natural world.

It's always very tempting for religious people to write off science as not being certainly correct. However, if we want to talk about certainty, religion certainly has less evidence in its favor than scientific theories.

For instance, Newton's mathematical laws that describe the movement of objects are supported by observation. We know that his theories run into problems with the very smallest and fastest objects, but for the most part his theories are valid. We can see that the same force applied to a small and large object will produce a greater acceleration in the smaller object, and this is in accordance with F=ma. Scientific theories of the past 400 years have been overwhelmingly useful and have accorded, for the most part, with our observations of the world.

Science is a self-regulating field of study. It is populated by educated and investigative people that strike down theories if they are not holding up under observation or experiment.

On the other hand, religion has yet to show us any important accordance between its ideas and reality. One can go through the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Koran and say, "Yeah, that didn't happen. Yup, that can't be tested."

Wasn't it the Buddha that advised us not to trust theories if they didn't square with our observations? I'm just carrying out his will and showing all of you the many logical flaws and lack of evidence within religious thought.


They have a tendency to be proven wrong. A couple hundred years we knew that everything was made up of earth, wind, water, and fire.
You're using an example from Ancient Greece, a period when science was still progressing. Obviously scientific thought has advanced past that. Also, notice that that theory has been corrected according to the scientific method.

In addition, the Greeks were very scientifically advanced, they knew the Earth was round and that it went about the Sun, and that the stars were very far away. The idea of the four elements was wrong, but it was not so illogical considering the time period. I'll even say it was a more logical thesis than those of most religions, which make no comment at all on the material substance of the universe.


You could prove to the best of our ability that wood had fire in it by setting on fire. When we learned of the elements, we had to reconsider our position. To think that man has learned everything we can that we are now the ultimate authority on everything is arrogant at best and flies in the face of what science stands for.
Again, I'm not proposing cosmic answers. I'll leave that up to string theorists. However, I have been demonstrating why religion doesn't have those cosmic answers either. I've been trying to prove that religious statements have a low probability of being correct, since we can never test their validity. Religious truths do not help us in our quest to understand the universe since religion cannot be incorporated into rational thought.


Just because God doesn't descend on UCLA's science lab say tell them to conduct their scientific tests doesn't mean he doesn't exist.
Evidence can be collected outside of a lab, that is not the only way of collecting evidence. However, if we cannot detect God through evidence, it means there is a low probability of his existence.

Similarly, I could say that in a past life you were a Roman soldier, one 'Tiberius Felix'. Now, I cannot conclusively proove that you were not a Roman soldier. It is always possible that there is some supernatural, unseen force that connects yuor life to the early centuries of Anno Domini. This force, by virtue of being unseen, will never reveal itself through experimentation.

However, there is no evidence that you were a Roman soldier. There is absolutely no indication that you ever had a past life. So, why would believe in it? There is a low probability that you ever had past lives.

Essentially, it's all about probabilistic arguments and common sense. Which should we believe according to common sense? Should we believe in God, for which there is no evidence? Or should we believe in a scientific theory like evolution, for which there is evidence?

Samudra
22 Dec 05,, 05:09
How could we have been living infinite lives if the universe has not always been capable of supporting human life? I did point out this fallacy before.

Very easy Bulgar.
There could have been different life forms that could have thrived in different conditions.The forms which we see today may not be the only ones- although these are the only ones we are able to see today.


Well, there must be a basic way of describing if an action is going to lead to a higher state of reincarnation (i.e. good) or a lower, more base state (i.e. bad). If I cannot use the terms good or bad, how is one to describe the dynamics of Karma?
May we use 'positive' and 'negative'?

I dont know.
Therefore I'm not qualified to answer.


I too think that there has always been something. That is, there was a kind of existence that preceded the Big Bang. However, this was probably something like a soup of sub-atomic particles or something like that. I do not think human society has always existed.

What we see may not have existed before Big Bang, there could have been different forms of existence.

Its all a matter of perception.

Just because we are yet to be able to percieve what existed before the Big Bang(which might have included forms of life which we are yet to be able to percieve) does not mean they did not exist!

I'm willing to think about things that are out of our perceptions.


There is only guidance in the book

Julie,

THL already posted some "threatening" verses from the book.
Worship this : Be good.
Dont do this : You are going to hell.

That is the essence of the Books.


where do you get the notion God created something from "nothing?"


There was never a time without this thing we call "creation" incase creator and creation were not the same entities.

THL
22 Dec 05,, 13:51
In what manner is it "more logical"?

Just because Buddhism is more emotionally appealing to you, doesn't mean it's more rational.
What seems logical to me may not seem logical to you. However, as I have said, for me the idea of not being able to forget wrong-doings without having to pay for them makes more sense than just being able to bow ones head, pray and be done with it.

THL
22 Dec 05,, 14:10
Again, I do think your belief in Karma does have negative side effects. To me, it looks like you are wasting your time by believing in something that does not exist.
But how am I "wasting" my time? It is not as though I am avoiding doing other things so that I can spend the time I would normally use to do them to sit around and think about Karma. I am doing the same things with my time that I would normally be doing anyway.


As to people experiencing past life regression, yes, I do think they are lying. Whether intentionally or not, they are describing something that never happened. There is no evidence of past lives for any of us, much less regressions to those lives.
But there is also no evidence to the contrary. Again, we do not know for sure and by the time we do know, it does us no good as it is all over.




However, the problem still remains. One person was fortunate to be a doctor that cured cancer in a past life. That person is reincarnated a leader of the world in compensation for his good deeds. However, another person was only a frog in a past life. What can a frog do to elevate itself to a better afterlife?
One is not reincarnated as leader of the world because of good deeds.



For example, you believe in reincarnation. However, has anyone in all the ages of man ever seen clear evidence of reincarnation? That is rhetorical question, the answer to which is a resounding 'No'.
Who's to say what clear evidence is? Besides - religion is not based purely on evidence. Most are FAITH-BASED. If someone has faith that god did what the bible says he did - that is okay and I hope they can use that FAITH to be a better person. I have FAITH that I am going to be back on earth to give life another go after my death.

THL
22 Dec 05,, 14:17
THL already posted some "threatening" verses from the book.
Worship this : Be good.
Dont do this : You are going to hell.

That is the essence of the Books.
Whoa! I was not implying that the bible is threatening anyone. The bible clearly states (please don't ask me where, I don't remember where) that you can ask for forgiveness for any of your sins and be forgiven. Ask to "be saved" and you will be.

If either of the religions that we have been discussing in this thread were more threatening and less forgiving it would be buddhism. There is no apologising and getting off the hook there. Once a bad karma (a bad deed) is created, then you have got it. Apologize until the sun sets, you will still be hanging onto it.

Praxus
22 Dec 05,, 15:25
You're using an example from Ancient Greece, a period when science was still progressing. Obviously scientific thought has advanced past that. Also, notice that that theory has been corrected according to the scientific method.

Actually the Greeks merely through logical inference came to the conclusion that everything was made of atoms :biggrin:

Praxus
22 Dec 05,, 15:40
What seems logical to me may not seem logical to you.

No, that's not how it works. That is an arbitrary assertion, there is no evidence of it. If it were true, it would imply a contradiction. If contradictions exist, then we can not know anything. Therefore we could not know that "What seems logical to me may not seem logical to you".

You are an emotionalist, you think feelings somehow equate with reason, they DON'T!


However, as I have said, for me the idea of not being able to forget wrong-doings without having to pay for them makes more sense than just being able to bow ones head, pray and be done with it.

There is no connection between Buddhism and reality. But please, I would like to see you try to syllogistically prove (based upon perceptual evidence) that Buddhism is true.

Praxus
22 Dec 05,, 15:46
However, there is no evidence that you were a Roman soldier. There is absolutely no indication that you ever had a past life. So, why would believe in it? There is a low probability that you ever had past lives.?

Why are you speaking in terms of probability? Everything that is arbitrary, is equally unproven and therefore equally invalid. There is an infinite number of arbitrary assertions that you could come up with, making the chances of someone being a Roman Soldier in a past life infinitely small.

Julie
22 Dec 05,, 15:48
Julie,

THL already posted some "threatening" verses from the book.
Worship this : Be good.
Dont do this : You are going to hell.

That is the essence of the Books.

There was never a time without this thing we call "creation" incase creator and creation were not the same entities.Do not take things out of contest in the good book....that is the worst you can do. That is like cutting a tree from a forest, only to take it home to die. :)

Believing in a creator is no more illogical than believing we are here, in such perfect form and structure, by some big accident. Like you said Samudra, something can not be created from nothing. Furthermore, whomever, or whatever, created us, used a certain amount of science in doing so.

Samudra
22 Dec 05,, 16:22
Believing in a creator

When did I say I dont believe in a 'creator' ?

However my 'beliefs' about the creator(and the idea behind all that I can percieve ) changes three times a day.I'm only happy about it.

Books are all written by men...not Gods.

Samudra
22 Dec 05,, 16:27
Praxus,Bulgar and THL

I found this site for you all.
http://home.btclick.com/scimah/argumentsagainstbuddhism.htm
http://home.btclick.com/scimah/Quantumphenomena.htm

I'm busy playing Rome : Total War, so I wont indulge in a point by point argument. :)

THL
22 Dec 05,, 16:53
There so many different schools of Buddhism, more than there are sects of Christianity. They can't all be right so most of them must be wrong. Which is the real Buddhism?
One reason there are so many different schools is that Buddhists accept and respect diversity. It is said that there are 84,000 gateways to the Dharma (Buddha's teachings). Buddha presented the same underlying philosophy with different 'user-interfaces' according to the predispositions of the students.

When you think about it, people are so different in character, temperament and experience that it would be surprising if one size did fit all.

Another reason for the great diversity is that, in general, the various schools of Buddhism don't persecute one another. There have been a few local exceptions, but nothing on the scale of the fratricidal sectarian wars which have waged for hundreds of years within Christendom.

So the answer to the question 'which form of Buddhism is right?' - It's the one that's right for you

This sounds strange to someone who is seeing this as Buddhism having different teachings, but that is not the case. It is the same message being delivered in different ways - No different from the bible being translated into different languages or the "teen" version or "childs" version. It is just the wording that is different.

Praxus
22 Dec 05,, 17:40
Praxus,Bulgar and THL

I found this site for you all.
http://home.btclick.com/scimah/argumentsagainstbuddhism.htm
http://home.btclick.com/scimah/Quantumphenomena.htm

I'm busy playing Rome : Total War, so I wont indulge in a point by point argument. :)

"Buddhists seem to think there is something non-material about the mind. But surely the mind is just the brain, or maybe a program running on the brain? Humans are machines - biological computers or automata. The universe does not require our existence - we are accidents of evolution. Our minds cease to exist when the brain dies."

I am not a materialist, nor do I believe the human mind is a determistic machine (like Bulger does), I believe men do have a soul (their consciousness), but the soul exists as a function of the body. That is to say there is no dichotomy between the body and the soul. This means that when the body dies, so does the soul.


'You're referring to the philosophical view known as Materialism or Physicalism, which states that the human mind has no spiritual dimension. Buddhist philosophers reject the computer model of the mind and can produce rational arguments against the mind being any kind of machine. The universe does require our existence. "

The last statement is completely unconnected to the previous two premise's.

The whole site is nothing but a series of non-sequitars, strawmen, and damn near every other form of logical fallacy.

The second site is taking misinterprations of quantum mechanics, botching them up some more, then drawing rediculous conclusions from them.

Bulgaroctonus
22 Dec 05,, 19:56
Actually the Greeks merely through logical inference came to the conclusion that everything was made of atoms :biggrin:
True, Democritus did that.

THL
23 Dec 05,, 01:30
I am exhausted, all. I am throwing in the towel.

I am going to go about my little Buddhist ways and join my family for Christmas this weekend (LOL!!). Hopefully, if I get my wishes to come true this season, TopHat will be joining me (but not for Christmas, the holiday of the Pagans, of course ;) ) on Sunday evening.

I hope all of you (even if this is not your holiday season) have a joyous, safe and loving weekend.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 01:50
From Against Buddhism - Anti-Buddhist Arguments
http://home.btclick.com/scimah/argumentsagainstbuddhism.htm

All religions are just memes - cultural viruses that take over gullible minds.

The belief that all religions are parasites of the mind is known as the 'meme theory' of religion, and has recently been gaining ground among anthropologists and sociologists. The theory states that memes perform two types of actions:

(1) Take control of their victims' minds.
(2) Encourage their victims to spread the meme to others.

Though the meme theory accurately predicts and explains the behavior of the more intolerant and aggressive cults, Buddhism does not seem to possess any of the properties we would expect from a meme. See MEMES for a detailed argument why the meme criticism of religion does not apply to Buddhism.

This is a revelation to me. I had never consciously thought of religion as a virus. I now see that a viral model describes the expansion of a religion very well. This is stirring deep thoughts in my mind.

Gabru47
23 Dec 05,, 03:37
Do not take things out of contest in the good book....that is the worst you can do. That is like cutting a tree from a forest, only to take it home to die.

Believing in a creator is no more illogical than believing we are here, in such perfect form and structure, by some big accident. Like you said Samudra, something can not be created from nothing. Furthermore, whomever, or whatever, created us, used a certain amount of science in doing so.
Is anyone going to mention infinite regression?

Gabru47
23 Dec 05,, 03:49
Someones going to post something real smart like "You just did." :tongue:

THL
23 Dec 05,, 03:58
Is anyone going to mention infinite regression?
You Just Did

;)






(I had to do that gentlemen, he was asking for it - literally! NOW I am going to step out of this debate. Really. No, seriously. I am. For real this time. :) )

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 04:01
Very easy Bulgar.
There could have been different life forms that could have thrived in different conditions.The forms which we see today may not be the only ones- although these are the only ones we are able to see today.
It does not matter. From all evidence, there was a time when the universe was not capable of supporting any life, terrestrial or extraterrestrial. It is extremely unlikely that there has always been life in the universe, just as it is extremely unlikely that there will always be life in the universe.

The Big Bang and the early Universe that followed it were incapable of supporting life, at least as we can imagine it.


I dont know.
Therefore I'm not qualified to answer.
Fair enough.


What we see may not have existed before Big Bang, there could have been different forms of existence.


Its all a matter of perception.
Right, but my perceptions have not given any hint of reincarnation. I don't know what culture you were raised in, but I think your idea of reincarnation is a product of that culture. Consider the following question. If you had never heard of reincarnation, would you still believe in it? Is there actually any evidence outside of religious and cultural texts that reincarnation actually exists?

It is a difficult question to answer, largely because we are all deeply connected to our upbringing. For example, you could say I am biased towards a scientific view since I was raised in a completely atheistic household.

Fortunately, I have found my childhood atheism strengthened by the modern world.


Just because we are yet to be able to percieve what existed before the Big Bang(which might have included forms of life which we are yet to be able to percieve) does not mean they did not exist!
Anything that existed before the Big Bang did not survive the event. Physicists and cosmologists believe that all physical laws broke down at the singularity of the Big Bang. This means that we cannot know anything about what preceded the Big Bang.

That is, even if there was a full-fledged universe before ours, even if there was an infinite regression of expanding and collapsing universes, they remain permanently segmented from each other. No living species could possible survive the cataclysm between universes (i.e. the Big Bang).

The more you investigate this, you will see that it is very difficult to believe in the idea of life extending in both directions of time ad infinitum.


I'm willing to think about things that are out of our perceptions.
As am I, but I don't incorporate the products of such ruminations in my practical thinking. I treat such thoughts as speculation, enlightening and entertaining at time, but without provable or directly useful substance.

Samudra
23 Dec 05,, 04:14
I believe men do have a soul (their consciousness), but the soul exists as a function of the body. That is to say there is no dichotomy between the body and the soul. This means that when the body dies, so does the soul.

Thats fine.
We in India hold that man IS the Soul, not the body.
The belief is that Soul is eternal.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 21:33
That's the problem I have with a lot of atheists. They believe that somehow people who have faith in some sort of higher being are somehow harming society as a whole.
I have pointed out in several posts that religion is at the very best, not helpful, and at the worst, disastrous. I am a staunch opponent of mysticism and faulty thinking. If you want me to continue on this point I will, but you should be able to glean my opinion from the various posts of mine.


Religion plays many roles, such as social cohesion, social control, and emotional support for those who are suffering.
All of these roles can be achieved effectively without religion. In fact, the United States has structured its government to be a secular institution. It has worked quite well. Places where religion take active control often degenerate into tyranny and immense suffering.
Examples:
Iran, Taliban Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia.


I see nothing wrong with that. I myself have been helped enormously by my faith in God when the chips are down for me. Granted, I really, really dislike people forcing their beliefs upon me (this includes atheists), but I have absolutely no problem with people who choose to believe in a higher power.
I won't force my beliefs on you, it would be very difficult to do that through this forum. However, I will not shy from pointing out the many logical errors and unneccessary creations of religion.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 21:38
You have understood it perfectly!

Yes, there is a possibility that a individual can know everything there is know.The 'world' might never reach that point but it is quite possible for individuals.
There are biological limitations on humans that prevent us from knowing everything. I believe there is a certain level of existence beyond which nothing more can be understood.

Strong Artificial Intelligence, if it could be designed, would have a much better shot at achieving the kind of omniscience you are talking about.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 21:44
Not as bad as when it rained for 40 days and 40 nights in an effort to wash away all sin from the face of the earth.
That probably never happened. Noah's flood was probably inspired by the flooding of the Black Sea around 5500 BC. This event influenced the predecessors of Mesopotamian and Greek societies, the former of which passed the oral tale to the ancient Jews.

Think about it: God made a flood that covered the whole earth? That means he would have to top Mount Everest at some 29,000 ft. That is a ridiculous amount of water. No storm system could ever dump that much precipitation.

THL
23 Dec 05,, 21:47
I am going to go about my little Buddhist ways and join my family for Christmas this weekend (LOL!!). Hopefully, if I get my wishes to come true this season, TopHat will be joining me (but not for Christmas, the holiday of the Pagans, of course ) on Sunday evening.
Since plans have changed I feel I can jump back in here. :tongue:
Besides, Bulgar said something that I feel I need to attend to...


I have pointed out in several posts that religion is at the very best, not helpful, and at the worst, disastrous. I am a staunch opponent of mysticism and faulty thinking. If you want me to continue on this point I will, but you should be able to glean my opinion from the various posts of mine.
My question to you about this is this: Where did this thinking come from? Were you raised with a strict religious upbringing? Or perhaps with none at all? Do you parents (or whoever was responsible for molding you) share the same thoughts? These are just questions, Please do not feel as though I am judging you with these. I ask these questions because I feel that my faith has helped me on more than once occasion.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 21:47
Bulgaroctonus,

Why do you say God has a "moral code?" And, why the intense debate on finding the "method to his madness?" :tongue:
I do not believe in any God. However, if the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God does exist, the various holy scriptures of those religions give clear evidence that God has a moral code he wants everyone else to obey. Ten Commandments are a good example of this.


For all we know, God is playing a Game with Luther, and we are the pawns. Whatever the case, God gave us directives to follow, and I do not question them, just like I fully expect my children not to question me when I tell them to do something. I have my reasons, and if I want them to know, I will tell them. ;)
But if God is omnipotent, as most scriptures claim, would not the victory of God over Lucifer be over? Why would God allow evil to persist when he could crush it effortlessly?

THL
23 Dec 05,, 21:49
Think about it: God made a flood that covered the whole earth? That means he would have to top Mount Everest at some 29,000 ft. That is a ridiculous amount of water. No storm system could ever dump that much precipitation.
These are the kinds of questions that caused me to convert. When I would ask for answers to these types of questions I would get the same canned answer: "You just have to have faith" but I never could get my hands around that faith in Christianity.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 21:50
My question to you about this is this: Where did this thinking come from? Were you raised with a strict religious upbringing? Or perhaps with none at all? Do you parents (or whoever was responsible for molding you) share the same thoughts? These are just questions, Please do not feel as though I am judging you with these. I ask these questions because I feel that my faith has helped me on more than once occasion.
What exactly are you asking for, a psychological history? Perhaps my reply will be better if you ask one question at a time.

THL
23 Dec 05,, 21:53
What exactly are you asking for, a psychological history? Perhaps my reply will be better if you ask one question at a time.
I guess I just want to know what happened (if anything) to cause you to feel the way you do. (Let's go for 100 words or less ;) ) Most people have the religious thoughts that they do because that is how their guardians raised them. Some have had some life changing event occur.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 21:57
As imaginary Gods, let's take a basic. Santa for example since it is the holiday season. We all know he isn't real in the sense of the word he is made out to be, but where did this Santa myth come from? Further, for Santa to be such a myth, he sure brings alot of joy to people in December. I'm happy with it, even though you and I know he doesn't exist. ;)
Santa is a bad example, and belief in him should not be used as an example of why we should believe in God. Santa does not demand eternal and unconditional obedience nor can he condemn people to hell at whim. Santa has not commanded the allegiance of armies throughout history, as the God of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism has. I can go on with the large differences between these two mythological figures.

Belief in Santa is lightweight and meaningless. The belief in God has shaped human history tremedously.


As for God....be imaginative just for a moment....put yourself in the shoes of a God which is existent. Where are you?....are you alone or are there other Gods somewhere in the Universe with all of their own little creations undiscovered? And assuming you are existent....well, uh....that makes mankind just a spit in a big bucket doesn't it?
Mankind is a spit in a big bucket even without God around.

Praxus
23 Dec 05,, 21:58
Believing in a creator is no more illogical than believing we are here, in such perfect form and structure, by some big accident. Like you said Samudra, something can not be created from nothing. Furthermore, whomever, or whatever, created us, used a certain amount of science in doing so.

Causality is a function of existence. If nothing existed causality would not exist . This means that the existence of the Universe (effect) does not imply a Creation (cause), because causality does not apply in non-existence.

Praxus
23 Dec 05,, 22:02
My question to you about this is this: Where did this thinking come from? Were you raised with a strict religious upbringing? Or perhaps with none at all? Do you parents (or whoever was responsible for molding you) share the same thoughts? These are just questions, Please do not feel as though I am judging you with these. I ask these questions because I feel that my faith has helped me on more than once occasion.

You "feel" that it has helped you. That is substantially different from knowing it helped. What you feel is moot.

Bulgaroctonus
23 Dec 05,, 22:05
I guess I just want to know what happened (if anything) to cause you to feel the way you do. (Let's go for 100 words or less ;) ) Most people have the religious thoughts that they do because that is how their guardians raised them. Some have had some life changing event occur.
My rejection of God is not the product of one event. What you see here is the product of several years of reading and study, combined with an atheistic upbringing. Nietzsche has exerted a strong influence upon my thoughts and finally cemented my life long suspicion, "God is Dead."

I also view religion as a relic of the past, something that has outlived its usefulness. I would only have use for religion as a child, when my weak mind needed comfort. But now that I am older, I don't need fairy tales.

THL
23 Dec 05,, 22:24
You "feel" that it has helped you. That is substantially different from knowing it helped. What you feel is moot.
Moot to you perhaps. But feeling that I am being helped means that I am indeed being helped.

THL
23 Dec 05,, 22:33
I also view religion as a relic of the past, something that has outlived its usefulness.
This, I think is why religion has changed so much over time. I am divided on if I think that is a good idea or not. The "old time religion" was a lot more strict than now. Now we have priests and nuns who resemble nothing of a priest or a nun, reverends that do not at all resemble a reverend and so on and so forth. While I think that allowing priests to marry would solve a lot of their "problems" that have been so prevalent in the news over the last few years, I also feel that if you are going to be a higher up in a faith, that faith should be what it was at the beginning of its time...Don't bother debating me on this cause I cannot take a side. I am completely torn in the middle as to wether or not religions should be changing to meet the current needs of its followers or if the followers should be changing to meet the older needs of the religion.

Praxus
23 Dec 05,, 22:51
Moot to you perhaps. But feeling that I am being helped means that I am indeed being helped.

If I feel healthy, but I'm five seconds from a heart attack, does that feeling mean, that contrary to reality, I am indeed healthy?

Samudra
24 Dec 05,, 03:52
It does not matter. From all evidence, there was a time when the universe was not capable of supporting any life, terrestrial or extraterrestrial. It is extremely unlikely that there has always been life in the universe, just as it is extremely unlikely that there will always be life in the universe.

The Big Bang and the early Universe that followed it were incapable of supporting life, at least as we can imagine it.


Bulgar,

What I mean to say is that what existed back then - although we may not know anything about it know(that doesnt mean it did not exist!), could have had life forms which needed different conditions etc(Like say a organism that breathes hydrogen).

We confine the definition of "life" to what we see today.But we forget that what we percieve is merely a product of the five senses.Many being on earth cannot see all the colors that we are able to see....so there are things still outside of our understanding - which is only limited by our limited ability to percieve.

"at least as we can imagine it. " - that was the keyword....we imagine something,percieve something and define what qualifies to be life before the Big Bang based on these perceptions.Not fair.


Right, but my perceptions have not given any hint of reincarnation. I don't know what culture you were raised in, but I think your idea of reincarnation is a product of that culture. Consider the following question. If you had never heard of reincarnation, would you still believe in it? Is there actually any evidence outside of religious and cultural texts that reincarnation actually exists?

It is a difficult question to answer, largely because we are all deeply connected to our upbringing. For example, you could say I am biased towards a scientific view since I was raised in a completely atheistic household.

Fortunately, I have found my childhood atheism strengthened by the modern world.


Bulgar,
About my upbringing - I would be thrown out of house in two minutes if I start talking about my beliefs....so, its not about upbringing but more of what I read from childhood.

There are quite a few websites out there claiming that they have "scientific evidence" - I view this need to have "scientific evidence" for religious beliefs as a triumph of science, but a conclusive exhaustive study is a rare find.

So here is this book....that might answer some of your questions.I'll see if I can lay my hands on it.
http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/shroder11793-des-.html


This means that we cannot know anything about what preceded the Big Bang.

Bulgar, again its our inability to percieve.
Perhaps we will be able to find out things in future..who knows?


The more you investigate this, you will see that it is very difficult to believe in the idea of life extending in both directions of time ad infinitum.

See answer above. :)

Again, that depends on what you consider 'life' to be. :)


No living species could possible survive the cataclysm between universes (i.e. the Big Bang).

That depends on how you define "living" as.
If you are to confine the idea of "living" to the way it is happening in the world we percieve then no 'species' could have thrived.


All of these roles can be achieved effectively without religion. In fact, the United States has structured its government to be a secular institution. It has worked quite well. Places where religion take active control often degenerate into tyranny and immense suffering.
Examples:
Iran, Taliban Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia.

Agree!
Religions and their Books have been great stumbling blocks for Humanity.
Which is why I want to be a spiritual chap, not a religious fellow.


There are biological limitations on humans that prevent us from knowing everything. I believe there is a certain level of existence beyond which nothing more can be understood.

Strong Artificial Intelligence, if it could be designed, would have a much better shot at achieving the kind of omniscience you are talking about.

Bulgar,

Enabling the Human Brain and Body to percieve such things has been spoken about in Raja(Kundalini) Yoga - this is a fascinating topic and might require a seperate thread.

All exercises that are taught in the name of Yoga(You are aware of what Yoga is?) are part of this exercise - i.e.enabling the brain and human body - biologically, to percieve what I'm talking about. :)

I just woke up from sleep..so I'm feeling very lazy to tell you more about this.
So, will type more later.

Julie
24 Dec 05,, 13:49
Santa is a bad example, and belief in him should not be used as an example of why we should believe in God. Santa does not demand eternal and unconditional obedience nor can he condemn people to hell at whim. Santa has not commanded the allegiance of armies throughout history, as the God of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism has. I can go on with the large differences between these two mythological figures.

Belief in Santa is lightweight and meaningless. The belief in God has shaped human history tremedously.Santa is not a bad example as to his "imaginary" status, and the joy people allows him to bring. My point in Santa, is how human beings can take anything and use it to shape our ways of life. The belief in God is basically the same way in how this belief makes them feel. Purpose and direction in life, if you will.

God only presents your choices in life....it is up to you, not him, to decide the path you take.

Praxus
25 Dec 05,, 16:20
Santa is not a bad example as to his "imaginary" status, and the joy people allows him to bring. My point in Santa, is how human beings can take anything and use it to shape our ways of life. The belief in God is basically the same way in how this belief makes them feel. Purpose and direction in life, if you will.

God only presents your choices in life....it is up to you, not him, to decide the path you take.

Ok, we can no longer talk with you. You have now admited that the only reason you believe in this floating abstraction called "God" is because you 'feel" it gives you purpose and direction. You have disavowed reason, there is no longer any reason to discuss this.

THL
25 Dec 05,, 19:15
Ok, we can no longer talk with you.
Um..you don't think that's maybe just a little dramatic?


You have now admited that the only reason you believe in this floating abstraction called "God" is because you 'feel" it gives you purpose and direction.
This, I think, is exactly what Julie and I both (me anyway) have been trying to get across to you!! You have gotten it!! Finally!!! :)

FAITH in whatever it is that person has FAITH in is what molds them. If someone is married or in a relationship, they have FAITH that that person will be coming home to them everynight. They don't know for sure. That person could pack up and skip town, but FAITH and trust leads them to believe that won't happen. Before you say that this significant other is a real tangible person and not something or someone that cannot be proven, then let me try this example. Let's say that your parent gives you a family heirloom that belonged to your great-great-grandmother. You never met this GG-Grandmother, you may not have any pictures of her, but you have FAITH that this item belonged to her. Same with religion. It is about having FAITH that these things happened. For people that have this FAITH in their beliefs or religion, don't need tangible proof. They do not need God or Buddha or whoever to come to their bedside and shake their hand. It is alla bout FAITH and that cannot be proven - but it does not mean it does not exist. You do not have to see something or be able to hold it to have FAITH in it. You cannot see air, but we know it is there. We cannot see love, but we know it is there. We cannot see honesty, trust, or FAITH, but we know they are there.

Praxus
25 Dec 05,, 20:00
This, I think, is exactly what Julie and I both (me anyway) have been trying to get across to you!! You have gotten it!! Finally!!! :)


Yeah, I got it, you don't care for the truth. You'd rather sit in your delusions because it makes you 'feel good'. Have fun :rolleyes:


FAITH in whatever it is that person has FAITH in is what molds them. If someone is married or in a relationship, they have FAITH that that person will be coming home to them everynight. They don't know for sure. That person could pack up and skip town, but FAITH and trust leads them to believe that won't happen. Before you say that this significant other is a real tangible person and not something or someone that cannot be proven, then let me try this example. Let's say that your parent gives you a family heirloom that belonged to your great-great-grandmother. You never met this GG-Grandmother, you may not have any pictures of her, but you have FAITH that this item belonged to her. Same with religion. It is about having FAITH that these things happened. For people that have this FAITH in their beliefs or religion, don't need tangible proof. They do not need God or Buddha or whoever to come to their bedside and shake their hand. It is alla bout FAITH and that cannot be proven - but it does not mean it does not exist. You do not have to see something or be able to hold it to have FAITH in it. You cannot see air, but we know it is there. We cannot see love, but we know it is there. We cannot see honesty, trust, or FAITH, but we know they are there.

Your using the word faith inappropriately, to justify your irrational and incoherent beliefs. Faith is belief without perceptual or conceptual evidence.

Bulgaroctonus
25 Dec 05,, 20:09
Bulgar,

What I mean to say is that what existed back then - although we may not know anything about it know(that doesnt mean it did not exist!), could have had life forms which needed different conditions etc(Like say a organism that breathes hydrogen).
I also believe that there may be other biological systems out there, not only the carbon-based one we are familiar with. However, the conditions of the Big Bang were incredibly inimical to any system. From what I've read, the Big Bang could have originated from a singularity, a point of near-infinite density. Even things like distinct atoms would not exist. Any complex biological system could not exist.


We confine the definition of "life" to what we see today.But we forget that what we percieve is merely a product of the five senses.Many being on earth cannot see all the colors that we are able to see....so there are things still outside of our understanding - which is only limited by our limited ability to percieve.
Yes, there are many fantastic things possible throughout the cosmos, but I still think the possibility of perpetual life is a slim one by any standard. Remember than one of the most fundamental theorems of science is that scientific laws hold true for all areas of the universe. Therefore, when human scientists deduce that the universe began about 13.7 billion years ago in the Big Bang, they assume that this holds true for all areas of the universe. Thus, it is not important that we grasp all forms of life, since biology was not possible during the Big Bang.


"at least as we can imagine it. " - that was the keyword....we imagine something,percieve something and define what qualifies to be life before the Big Bang based on these perceptions.Not fair.
Ultimately, neither of us can debate about what we cannot see. You can continue to say that life could progress in unimaginable ways, but I won't have much to say about that.

You should write a science fiction novel if all of this excites your mind.


Bulgar,
About my upbringing - I would be thrown out of house in two minutes if I start talking about my beliefs....so, its not about upbringing but more of what I read from childhood.
Alright, no mention of your culture necessary.


There are quite a few websites out there claiming that they have "scientific evidence" - I view this need to have "scientific evidence" for religious beliefs as a triumph of science, but a conclusive exhaustive study is a rare find.

So here is this book....that might answer some of your questions.I'll see if I can lay my hands on it.
http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/shroder11793-des-.html [/QUOTE]
From what I saw on the site, I remain unimpressed.



Bulgar, again its our inability to percieve.
Perhaps we will be able to find out things in future..who knows?
No matter the multitude of life forms in the cosmos today, they must all be reduced to nonexistence at the singularity 13.7 billion years ago.



See answer above. :)

Again, that depends on what you consider 'life' to be. :)
See my refutation above, any life system would be hard pressed to exist during the harsh conditions of the big bang.

Even assuming that there was some form of life that escaped complete destruction, we would further have to prove that humans were a descendant of that species. Considering as we are carbon-based, it does not seem likely that our ancestors were non-carbonic extraterrestrials.


That depends on how you define "living" as.
If you are to confine the idea of "living" to the way it is happening in the world we percieve then no 'species' could have thrived.
Again, there are basic obstacles to survival that any biological system will encounter.


Bulgar,

Enabling the Human Brain and Body to percieve such things has been spoken about in Raja(Kundalini) Yoga - this is a fascinating topic and might require a seperate thread.

All exercises that are taught in the name of Yoga(You are aware of what Yoga is?) are part of this exercise - i.e.enabling the brain and human body - biologically, to percieve what I'm talking about. :)

I just woke up from sleep..so I'm feeling very lazy to tell you more about this.
So, will type more later.
I'm strictly speaking about the neurological impediments that the human brain faces. All human brains undergo decay and memory loss, have computing errors and slowness, etc. I think a more perfect device may be necessary to correctly comprehend the basis of existence.

Bulgaroctonus
25 Dec 05,, 20:21
Santa is not a bad example as to his "imaginary" status, and the joy people allows him to bring. My point in Santa, is how human beings can take anything and use it to shape our ways of life. The belief in God is basically the same way in how this belief makes them feel. Purpose and direction in life, if you will.

I'll try to take this Santa discussion as seriously as I can.

Belief in Santa is much less important that belief in God is. Santa is temporarily summoned as the symbol of a holiday and is only believed in by children. His existence or non existence is hardly important. Most people don't gain 'purpose and direction in life' from Santa. If anyone does, congratulations to that person because he or she is easily inspired.

Now, belief in God is another matter. God has been invoked for wars, the creation of empires, the destruction of a hemispheric culture (the Native Americans), terrorist assaults (September 11th), etc.

Therefore, it seems to me that a great deal of damage has been done in the name of something that probably doesn't exist. Belief in God is not only an emotional crutch for some people, it is a tool for cultural extinction and unmitigated slaughter.


God only presents your choices in life....it is up to you, not him, to decide the path you take.
Well, I obviously don't believe this is true. However, since you raise the question of choice and God, I'll pose a philosophical problem to you.

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, it logically follows that he knows everything that will ever happen. How can humans have free will if God knows everything we will ever do?

Praxus
25 Dec 05,, 21:39
Well, I obviously don't believe this is true. However, since you raise the question of choice and God, I'll pose a philosophical problem to you.

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, it logically follows that he knows everything that will ever happen. How can humans have free will if God knows everything we will ever do?

This is similar to the questions like: "Can God make a rock so heavy that even he can't lift it?"

Well if he is all powerful, then he can create a rock he can't lift, and also lift it. A god that is omnipotent can know everything that will ever happen without interfering with free will. This "god" is an eternal contradiction.

Samudra
26 Dec 05,, 19:25
I also believe that there may be other biological systems out there, not only the carbon-based one we are familiar with. However, the conditions of the Big Bang were incredibly inimical to any system. From what I've read, the Big Bang could have originated from a singularity, a point of near-infinite density. Even things like distinct atoms would not exist. Any complex biological system could not exist.

Biological system ?
You restrain yourself to a narrow view that 'life' - as we call it, could be only in the forms as we see today.Unless we get to percieve and study a new life form that is outside planet earth we will not be in a position to say if it could have existed before/during the big bang or not.


Remember than one of the most fundamental theorems of science is that scientific laws hold true for all areas of the universe. Therefore, when human scientists deduce that the universe began about 13.7 billion years ago in the Big Bang, they assume that this holds true for all areas of the universe. Thus, it is not important that we grasp all forms of life, since biology was not possible during the Big Bang.


Bulgar,

We are yet to understand a law that holds true when applied to anything, anywhere irrespective of the context and other things like time.The other life forms may not have anything to do with biology at all.Therefore the question of universe being able to support 'life' is not relevant.


Ultimately, neither of us can debate about what we cannot see. You can continue to say that life could progress in unimaginable ways, but I won't have much to say about that.

You should write a science fiction novel if all of this excites your mind.

True, but we cannot hold ourselves hostages to our current beliefs - irrespective of their origins(science or religion).The willingness to think and try to percieve what we are yet to percieve is very important for progress.

To deny everything until somebody delivers the required evidence, in a form we can percieve(while we are aware that our perceptions are quite limited), on a plate with a spoon will not take us anywhere.Therefore we have to experiment,ponder and wonder about things - This is the only way to progress.


From what I saw on the site, I remain unimpressed.

I think I have already admitted that a conclusive,exhaustive study is a rare find. :)


See my refutation above, any life system would be hard pressed to exist during the harsh conditions of the big bang.

Even assuming that there was some form of life that escaped complete destruction, we would further have to prove that humans were a descendant of that species. Considering as we are carbon-based, it does not seem likely that our ancestors were non-carbonic extraterrestrials.

Since we do not know anything about the life systems in the first place it cannot be correct to say that they could not have existed during the Big Bang.I dont see the need to prove that we are the descendants of some other species.They might have 'gone' once for all....


I'm strictly speaking about the neurological impediments that the human brain faces. All human brains undergo decay and memory loss, have computing errors and slowness, etc. I think a more perfect device may be necessary to correctly comprehend the basis of existence.

I'm speaking of the same neurology too! :)
I'm telling you that it is possible(but very hard) to remove these impediments you talk about by Yoga - which has its ultimate end in awakening and raising of the Kundalini to the brain.

This method includes the opening of sushmna canal(canal centralis),transmitting the nervecurrents through canal centralis and utlimately raising the 'coiled up power of evolutionary impluse'(Kundalini) which is seated just near sacral plexus.

Please do read this : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/5208/rajayoga/psychicPrana.html

Right now I'm trying to study the relationship between kundalini and dreams.

I have been dying to tell you more about this , but I'm unable to find the time required to give you a clear idea of what it is all about.The fact that I'm a new reader of this subject does not help things either. :)

Samudra
26 Dec 05,, 19:30
This is similar to the questions like: "Can God make a rock so heavy that even he can't lift it?"

Well if he is all powerful, then he can create a rock he can't lift, and also lift it. A god that is omnipotent can know everything that will ever happen without interfering with free will. This "god" is an eternal contradiction.

Why not a "she" god ? :confused:

I think you restrain your idea of God to a 'being', something that creates something,destroys something, makes this,makes that and include the free will things.

I'm afraid we will never find such a "God".

Julie
26 Dec 05,, 19:56
Praxus - stop putting words in my mouth. There are many (not one) reasons I believe in God. And yes, it gives me purpose, direction, and brings me joy in my life. My belief has never brought me remorse. Whatever I have put my faith and prayer in through life has always brought me to a positive direction.

If I go your way -- what do you have better to offer? Truth? What is the truth? That we are mere accidents of spit on one of many planets floating in space? What is our reason for being here? To bless everyone with our mere presence? Am I a soul-less person now?....devoid of compassion, and only have morals when they fit my situation in life?

I think I'll stay on the road I am now....I get farther and faster that way, with no flats so far. :)

Praxus
26 Dec 05,, 23:17
Praxus - stop putting words in my mouth.

I'm not.


If I go your way -- what do you have better to offer? Truth?

Yes. Do you suggest we should believe in untruth?


That we are mere accidents of spit on one of many planets floating in space?

I have never made such a claim.


What is our reason for being here?

Why do we need a reason to justify our own existence?


To bless everyone with our mere presence?

To live a happy and noble life...


Am I a soul-less person now?

We have souls. I am not a materialist.


...devoid of compassion, and only have morals when they fit my situation in life?


Benevolence is a virtue.

Stop attacking a strawman. I find that when you attack the actual arguments the other person made, it is much more effective.

Praxus
26 Dec 05,, 23:20
Why not a "she" god ? :confused:

Because I don't care what touchy feminist say; no implication intended.


I think you restrain your idea of God to a 'being', something that creates something,destroys something, makes this,makes that and include the free will things.

I'm afraid we will never find such a "God".

So your suggesting that god is something other then a being? That would mean that by definition God does not exist.

Confed999
27 Dec 05,, 01:01
Why not a "she" god ?
Why not? I often refer to God as "she". For me it's a Mother Nature kind of comparison. ;)

So your suggesting that god is something other then a being? That would mean that by definition God does not exist.
Many of us define God as the creator of the universe. We do not pretend to know the nature of God. God could easily be random chance, but it seems pretty unlikely to me, given the complex results of the accident.

Samudra
27 Dec 05,, 02:45
Because I don't care what touchy feminist say; no implication intended.

hahaa...


So your suggesting that god is something other then a being? That would mean that by definition God does not exist.

I'm asserting that God is not the kind of a living being as you have written.
God for all we know may have no form at all!

Whats with this omnipotent buisness and all , dear Praxus ?

Omnipotent is a relative thing, the amount of potential needed to be 'omnipotent' depends on the potential of others over whom you need all "control".

Therefore the term "omnipotent" cannot be applied to God .

Samudra
27 Dec 05,, 02:46
Why not? I often refer to God as "she". For me it's a Mother Nature kind of comparison.

Good. :)

Praxus
27 Dec 05,, 17:35
I'm asserting that God is not the kind of a living being as you have written.
God for all we know may have no form at all!

Why do you accept that as unknowable but not the very existence of God?


Whats with this omnipotent buisness and all , dear Praxus ?

Omnipotent is a relative thing, the amount of potential needed to be 'omnipotent' depends on the potential of others over whom you need all "control".

Therefore the term "omnipotent" cannot be applied to God .

Omnipotent, litterally means "all powerful" in latin. It means that every power, you could ever concieve of, and then some, he is capable of. His power has no limits, in other words.

Your trying to avoid the contradiction by playing word games.

Samudra
28 Dec 05,, 15:42
Why do you accept that as unknowable but not the very existence of God?

I'm only assuming...not accepting anything.
I believe my assumptions will lead me to the Truth.


Omnipotent, litterally means "all powerful" in latin. It means that every power, you could ever concieve of, and then some, he is capable of. His power has no limits, in other words.

Your trying to avoid the contradiction by playing word games.

If we are to assume that a God is there, which created everything that we percieve, out of which power/potential is one, then how would it not be wrong to attribute a creation(potential/power) of his to himself(or her to herself) ?

In other words how can you attribute a quality,that God created, to God himself/herself ?

Therefore a search for "omnipotent" God will always be invain!

Praxus
28 Dec 05,, 17:49
I'm only assuming...not accepting anything.
I believe my assumptions will lead me to the Truth.

"God for all we know may have no form at all!"

You admit your own ignorance about the nature of God, but not about God's existence, why?


If we are to assume that a God is there, which created everything that we perceive, out of which power/potential is one, then how would it not be wrong to attribute a creation(potential/power) of his to himself(or her to herself) ?

In other words how can you attribute a quality,that God created, to God himself/herself ?

Therefore a search for "omnipotent" God will always be in vain!

Lets follow your logic...

p1: God created existence.
p2: Existence is the sum of all that exists.
c1: God created the sum of all that exits.

p1(c1): God created everything that exists.
p2: You can not "attribute a creation of his to himself".
c2: God does not exist.

The assertion of Gods existence is arbitrary, it is completely void of reason. You can not discuss it rationally, because God's existence is unknowable to man, and therefore irrelevant, like I have said innumerable times. All I can do is attack the sophisms used to 'prove' God's existence.

Do you find anything wrong with this chain of thinking?

Samudra
29 Dec 05,, 07:10
You admit your own ignorance about the nature of God, but not about God's existence, why?

Because I'm in search of the God.


Do you find anything wrong with this chain of thinking?

Yes.
Because to say that God's existence is unknowable to man when you have not tried your best to ' know' God is wrong.

Srirangan
29 Dec 05,, 07:12
"Are your religious beliefs logically consistant?"

Is logic/science consistant with itself?

Bah, Score 1:0 (Srirangan)

Praxus
29 Dec 05,, 18:21
Because I'm in search of the God.

Why aren't you in search of Trolls? Or Dragons? Or pots of gold at the end of a rainbow?

They are equally unproven, so why don't you search for these things as well, or any number of other floating abstractions?


Yes.
Because to say that God's existence is unknowable to man when you have not tried your best to ' know' God is wrong.

The assertion of God remains arbitrary, untill there is some real perceptual or conceptual evidence of God's existence.

Samudra
30 Dec 05,, 14:58
Why aren't you in search of Trolls? Or Dragons? Or pots of gold at the end of a rainbow?

They are equally unproven, so why don't you search for these things as well, or any number of other floating abstractions?

Its a personal desire - a desire to challenge my perceptions.


The assertion of God remains arbitrary, untill there is some real perceptual or conceptual evidence of God's existence.

Existence is a relative word - is related to time.
God (the one I'm looking for) is beyond time and space.

To relate God and time(which is a product of consciousness) would not be correct.Therefore your assertion that the question of God remaining arbitary is not valid.