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Forum Name "What Does RL Stand For?"
Topic subjectIs this simple or complicated to you....
Topic URLhttp://forums.carrionfields.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=43&topic_id=2206
2206, Is this simple or complicated to you....
Posted by Moligant on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I told a co-worker that it would take an unarguable miracle for me to be a believer (im agnostic). I then described one possible kind of miracle to him because unlike most, for me something that happens rarely (for example his blind daughter is starting to be able to see shapes, doctors cannot explain why) is not a miracle persay specifically because it is so rare - something being unexplainable in other words doesn't mean that someday it will not BE explained.

A trillion in one chance is still a probability not a miracle.

So I proposed that a truer test of a miracle is having something probable happen so often it becomes improbable to the point of having to be a miracle. Like that one-in a trillon thing happening every day (specifically I mentioned what if you won the million dollar lottery in your state every day for the next two years) .

He said thats not a miracle and no christian would call it a miracle. Looked at me like I was crazy. I don't understand what is so hard to understand about the concept. PErhaps someone can tell me if I am being too complex or something?

Also for extra points try this on...

I also explained that it would be hard for me to accept proof of god NOT because I am dedicated to being agnostic but simply because I have no faith in my or anyone else's ability to IDENTIFY God if they met God.

I gave him an old argument of mine.

Specifically based on the old 'an advanced enough technology becomes indistinguishable from magic' argument, basically for me even if there IS a God (and I truly am open to the possibility - hope for it actually) how would I know God if I met them? I could believe I am speaking with THE God but in actuality be speaking with an advanced technological lifeform (alien) who is able to MY satisfaction 'prove' they are a God by performing 'miracles' which in actuality are not miracles but merely things I or any other human is incapable of doing (yet).

In other words, if God exists and he is everything we say he is then we as humans are not much different than ants in terms of perspective. If an ant looks up at a child standing next to an adult, from the ant's perspective there is very little difference because of the sheer difference in scale from its perspective.

2209, A REAL miracle would be...
Posted by Lyristeon on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Healing an amputee.
2210, Done it.
Posted by Tsunami on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I gave a Tylenol to an amputee. Healed him of his headache.

ALL HAIL MESSIAH MATRIK.
2211, +1 nt
Posted by Artificial on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
nt
2208, "I'm agnostic"
Posted by Artificial on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Directly means "I lack knowledge."

Gnosticism relates to knowledge. Theism to belief. Agnostic doesn't mean "in the middle," It means "lacking knowledge." Ask yourself "Is there a god?" If the answer is anything other than "yes," then congratulations, you're an atheist. "Maybe" is not "yes." You'd be an agnostic atheist.

Anyway, if there was a god, he would know exactly what it would take to make you believe. Until that happens, you don't know for sure what that might be.

Also if you did indeed witness a "miracle," no matter the definition (exceedingly rare event etc), you do not say "I guess (insert the version of god I believe in) did it." Instead, you say "Wow I don't have an explanation for why that happened, lets investigate." So your argument is on the right track.

Also, there's a chapter of Bleach titled Debating Life from God's Viewpoint, which has a fantastic quote: "Only my power is absolute. Everything else is tiny and insignificant. In my cavernous eyes, your lives and those of ants are exactly the same."
2212, Part of the problem is "defining God".
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
All seeing, all knowing dude with a beard who chills in the clouds? Not likely.

But, give how incredibly small scale our species on our planet is contrasted with the billions of stars in billions of galaxies that exist in just this universe (ignoring a multi-verse), I feel like it's almost statistically impossible for there not to be some kind of 'superior being' out there somewhere.

Of course, if you require this/these person(s) to have had direct historical interaction with humans then we're back at not likely again.

So I'll personally stick with "I don't know" and call myself a agnostic, which I still maintain is not "agnostic atheist" but rather...agnostic...as in I don't know ;).

Like, I'm not entirely sure what the practical difference between "so technologically advanced an alien life form that what they do looks like magic" and "God" are. The Spaniards landing in Central America, supposedly, were revered as Gods - probably rightfully so in the context of that situation.
2214, Real Agnosticism
Posted by 1D_rookie on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Exactly,

Being agnostic doesn't only mean "I lack knowledge". It was a term created in the argument of religion that means "I believe that I, and very likely YOU (religious person in question) lack the knowledge to truly determine whether there is evidence of divine presence or merely mind-boggling physics and mechanics"

I exist. This fact is not arguable to any worthwhile degree. We exist. So what. Why do we exist. This is the real question. Chance? Curiosity of the atoms? Divine Spiritual Super Holy Quest of Salvation? You decide. By the way, if you really think about it, random chance is the most absurd option of those three theories. To say that an atom just happened to bond with another atom, which just happened to bond with another atom, which just happened to bond with two other bonded atoms, which just happened to...ON and ON and ON and ON until you get simple bacteria (which would already be extremely unlikely according to the rules of probability) and ON and ON and ON ALL the way to mammals (extremely ridiculously ludicrous according to the rules of probability) and ON and ON and ON and ON until the development of humans, developments of societies, politics, and even down to the very study of ontology, to where said humans are asking themselves how the hell the came to be in the first place. That's like saying all these cities built themselves. Well, in a way, they did, because god built them, and god is everything, capiche? (is that how you spell capiche?) God is an energy that influences matter to behave in ways to achieve enlightenment in this world. Self discovery. God is far beyond our comprehension, other than our ability to comprehend that things can be beyond our comprehension.

If you haven't already, Look up Andrew Cohen on Youtube. He may either seem like a lunatic or a badass spiritualist, depending on your level of spiritual understanding and consciousness studies. I, myself, believe in the concepts of spirits, psychic communication, and collective consciousness, particularly on the level of subconscious connections between all people. In the same way that yes, ants, bees, and birds tend to follow each other in ways beyond normal communication. I believe that god exists, but he is not captured in a holy script or church. Those are the attempts of humans to organize mysteries into facts. I'm not concerned with rules of right and wrong, but rather, facts of behavior and action/reaction developments. A creature is born with an inherent spirit, discovers reasons in the world to be happy, scared, angry, vengeful, lustful, bored, and a myriad of other experiences. It could be said that these experiences are based on the relationship between the subject and his environment, and therefore, be a product of consciousness becoming more aware of itself in the forms of countless perspectives across the world. Some say that God is everything, well, I agree. Everyone of us is a piece of "Totality" or God if you will, and our contributions to this planet ultimately define what this planet is, no matter how miniscule or massive your influence is. (Coffee shop cashier vs Albert Einstein, per say)

If you have difficulty following this, study a flock of birds, and how they all seem to move around as one entity. Surely, it could be considered that one bird leads and the rest follow the subtle changes in direction. This is also true of people, when you think about political memes, catch phrases, clothing styles, what's in, what's out, what's acceptable and so forth. While these behaviors aren't as immediate as watching the birds follow each other, the only real difference is the time scale. If you videotape a group of people entering a stadium for a concert, celebrating, and then exiting the concert, and the watch the tape in 10x the speed of regular time, the people will start to appear as birds or ants, moving and flocking together in large group mentalities and memes.

This probably sounds like religious nonsense to some, but in all due fairness, atheism for the sake of doubt is just as useless. Agnosticism with a healthy dose of consideration has always been my cup of tea. If it helps, don't call it God, that word has been associated with religious zealots. Call it whatever you want. Oneness, the Universal energy, existence defining itself through action, energy manifesting itself in shape and form, in order to escape the eternal strain of chaos, and so forth...

Another consideration for the atheist. Nothing matters eh? So then, allow me to take all your belongings and bury you in the desert. No you say? Whatever for? Exactly what is it that prevents me from doing whatever I want with you for my own benefit? Could it be the same energy that makes me want to defend myself from you? And what, pray tell, does this feeling come from? Why do my molecules remain adamant about maintaining this shape and form, preventing you from damaging the form, as well as all the belongings and social strongholds that this form has walked around and made decisions and sacrifices in order to develop? In other words, why do we care? This question in itself pokes at the substance of consciousness, and points out a key ingredient of evidence that matter is not totally objective, and that the subjective experience itself is what is in question. What makes something subjective? The CONSCIOUS eye. And what is it's origin? Well, I remain agnostic on that one.



2215, Truly Without Knowledge
Posted by Artificial on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
You sound like Deepak Chopra. And yeah, he's an idiot. But lets break some of this verbal diarrhea down.


>Exactly,
>
>Being agnostic doesn't only mean "I lack knowledge". It was a
>term created in the argument of religion that means "I believe
>that I, and very likely YOU (religious person in question)
>lack the knowledge to truly determine whether there is
>evidence of divine presence or merely mind-boggling physics
>and mechanics"

...Do I need to reiterate that gnosticism regards knowledge, and theism with belief? If your answer to "is there a god?" is ANYTHING except "yes" then you're an atheist. From the rest of this, you sound like an agnostic theist.


>
>I exist. This fact is not arguable to any worthwhile degree.
>We exist. So what. Why do we exist. This is the real
>question. Chance? Curiosity of the atoms? Divine Spiritual
>Super Holy Quest of Salvation? You decide. By the way, if you
>really think about it, random chance is the most absurd option
>of those three theories. To say that an atom just happened to
>bond with another atom, which just happened to bond with
>another atom, which just happened to bond with two other
>bonded atoms, which just happened to...ON and ON and ON and ON
>until you get simple bacteria (which would already be
>extremely unlikely according to the rules of probability) and
>ON and ON and ON ALL the way to mammals (extremely
>ridiculously ludicrous according to the rules of probability)
>and ON and ON and ON and ON until the development of humans,
>developments of societies, politics, and even down to the very
>study of ontology, to where said humans are asking themselves
>how the hell the came to be in the first place. That's like
>saying all these cities built themselves. Well, in a way,
>they did, because god built them, and god is everything,
>capiche? (is that how you spell capiche?) God is an energy
>that influences matter to behave in ways to achieve
>enlightenment in this world. Self discovery. God is far
>beyond our comprehension, other than our ability to comprehend
>that things can be beyond our comprehension.

We call this an argument from personal incredulity (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity). You need to better educate yourself regarding abiogenesis, evolution, and the current evidence regarding the origins of the universe.

>
>If you haven't already, Look up Andrew Cohen on Youtube. He
>may either seem like a lunatic or a badass spiritualist,
>depending on your level of spiritual understanding and
>consciousness studies. I, myself, believe in the concepts of
>spirits, psychic communication, and collective consciousness,
>particularly on the level of subconscious connections between
>all people. In the same way that yes, ants, bees, and birds
>tend to follow each other in ways beyond normal communication.

Evidence to support this?

> I believe that god exists, but he is not captured in a holy
>script or church. Those are the attempts of humans to
>organize mysteries into facts. I'm not concerned with rules
>of right and wrong, but rather, facts of behavior and
>action/reaction developments. A creature is born with an
>inherent spirit, discovers reasons in the world to be happy,
>scared, angry, vengeful, lustful, bored, and a myriad of other
>experiences. It could be said that these experiences are
>based on the relationship between the subject and his
>environment, and therefore, be a product of consciousness
>becoming more aware of itself in the forms of countless
>perspectives across the world. Some say that God is
>everything, well, I agree. Everyone of us is a piece of
>"Totality" or God if you will, and our contributions to this
>planet ultimately define what this planet is, no matter how
>miniscule or massive your influence is. (Coffee shop cashier
>vs Albert Einstein, per say)

...We call those "perspectives" empathy, and it is from whence cometh all morality. I think you'd feel more comfortable with this if you listened to a talk that Matt Dillahunty gave regarding the superiority of secular morality.

>
>If you have difficulty following this, study a flock of birds,
>and how they all seem to move around as one entity. Surely,
>it could be considered that one bird leads and the rest follow
>the subtle changes in direction. This is also true of people,
>when you think about political memes, catch phrases, clothing
>styles, what's in, what's out, what's acceptable and so forth.
> While these behaviors aren't as immediate as watching the
>birds follow each other, the only real difference is the time
>scale. If you videotape a group of people entering a stadium
>for a concert, celebrating, and then exiting the concert, and
>the watch the tape in 10x the speed of regular time, the
>people will start to appear as birds or ants, moving and
>flocking together in large group mentalities and memes.

You're mistaking hive mind with general group behavior...

>
>This probably sounds like religious nonsense to some, but in
>all due fairness, atheism for the sake of doubt is just as
>useless. Agnosticism with a healthy dose of consideration has
>always been my cup of tea. If it helps, don't call it God,
>that word has been associated with religious zealots. Call it
>whatever you want. Oneness, the Universal energy, existence
>defining itself through action, energy manifesting itself in
>shape and form, in order to escape the eternal strain of
>chaos, and so forth...

Those words again don't mean what you think they mean. You seem to regard doubt as a bad thing, and give no credence to the burden of proof. Skepticism (doubt) is mental floss. It cleans the unfounded ideas out of your brain. You should go in expecting the null hypothesis until the evidence disproves it.

And then you say how you're a pantheist. Great. If you're going to look at "energy" and call it "god," then great, now why are we calling "energy" something other than that? If I called my coffee cup "god" and explained that it is my coffee cup and it holds my coffee and makes me feel better by giving me coffee, and thats why I call it "god" despite the baggage that word carries, you'd laugh at me.

>
>Another consideration for the atheist. Nothing matters eh?
>So then, allow me to take all your belongings and bury you in
>the desert. No you say? Whatever for? Exactly what is it that
>prevents me from doing whatever I want with you for my own
>benefit? Could it be the same energy that makes me want to
>defend myself from you? And what, pray tell, does this
>feeling come from? Why do my molecules remain adamant about
>maintaining this shape and form, preventing you from damaging
>the form, as well as all the belongings and social strongholds
>that this form has walked around and made decisions and
>sacrifices in order to develop? In other words, why do we
>care? This question in itself pokes at the substance of
>consciousness, and points out a key ingredient of evidence
>that matter is not totally objective, and that the subjective
>experience itself is what is in question. What makes
>something subjective? The CONSCIOUS eye. And what is it's
>origin?

Boy have I heard this nonsense too many times. Atheism isn't nihilism. You have this strange strawman idea of what an atheist is and believes. What prevents you from doing whatever you want is called EMPATHY. You don't want to get punched in the face, robbed, killed, etc, and know that other people don't want to either, so in order to promote a habitat that does not include those things being done to you, you should not do them to others. This is the foundation of morality and collective living. Again, I strongly recommend you listen to Matt Dillahunty's talk regarding secular morality.

Also "energy" doesn't "make" you do anything. You're using the wrong word. Drives? Thought? Reason? Energy doesn't mean what you think it means.

>Well, I remain agnostic on that one.

The word you're looking for is SKEPTICAL. What you said was "I remain ignorant on that one". Great, we know.
>

I wrote this very quickly and right before bed. I feel my brain was damage somewhat by the nonsense that was spouted.

In other news though, I think you have a great CF attitude based on your other posts, and are probably very smart in other aspects of your life, but you're REALLY dumb and ignorant when it comes to philosophy.
2219, RE: Truly Without Knowledge
Posted by 1D_rookie on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Well, you're an empiricist, and that's okay, truly. Most smart people are. As a scientist in a documentary once quoted regarding quantum physics (I could find the name if it even matters). paraphrased "There's nothing inherently wrong with our current model of the universe, it is by far the most advanced system of information we've ever had to study the natural phenomenon of our universe. But with recent discoveries in quantum theory and mechanics, we need to also allow for other interpretations of reality"

>You sound like Deepak Chopra. And yeah, he's an idiot. But
>lets break some of this verbal diarrhea down.

Welllll, uh, ok fine. I assure you, I haven't read anything by Deepak Chopra, though judging by his ability to be somewhat famous by providing spiritual insights, I won't be entirely insulted if you compare my thoughts to some of his teachings. Verbal diarrhea? *sigh* I was hoping to have a debate, but I find this somewhat encouraging as people generally tend to resort to blatant insults when factual arguments cannot be found.

>
>
>>Exactly,
>>
>>Being agnostic doesn't only mean "I lack knowledge". It was
>a
>>term created in the argument of religion that means "I
>believe
>>that I, and very likely YOU (religious person in question)
>>lack the knowledge to truly determine whether there is
>>evidence of divine presence or merely mind-boggling physics
>>and mechanics"
>
>...Do I need to reiterate that gnosticism regards knowledge,
>and theism with belief? If your answer to "is there a god?"
>is ANYTHING except "yes" then you're an atheist. From the
>rest of this, you sound like an agnostic theist.

Ok, ok. You'll have to pardon me here, I am not necessarily having a terminology debate, and perhaps you are entirely correct with those sentences, though it doesn't really hold any bearing on what I was trying to communicate. Sure, theism is based on belief. Got it. So anyways... when asked what my religion is, and I say agnostic, what I'm referring to is, I feel that the answer to the question "Is there a god?" is unanswerable to a 100% degree of certainty, because we, well, lack the knowledge to know for sure. It looks to me as if we're arguing different points so let's skip that part.

>
>
>>
>>I exist. This fact is not arguable to any worthwhile
>degree.
>>We exist. So what. Why do we exist. This is the real
>>question. Chance? Curiosity of the atoms? Divine Spiritual
>>Super Holy Quest of Salvation? You decide. By the way, if
>you
>>really think about it, random chance is the most absurd
>option
>>of those three theories. To say that an atom just happened
>to
>>bond with another atom, which just happened to bond with
>>another atom, which just happened to bond with two other
>>bonded atoms, which just happened to...ON and ON and ON and
>ON
>>until you get simple bacteria (which would already be
>>extremely unlikely according to the rules of probability)
>and
>>ON and ON and ON ALL the way to mammals (extremely
>>ridiculously ludicrous according to the rules of
>probability)
>>and ON and ON and ON and ON until the development of humans,
>>developments of societies, politics, and even down to the
>very
>>study of ontology, to where said humans are asking
>themselves
>>how the hell the came to be in the first place. That's like
>>saying all these cities built themselves. Well, in a way,
>>they did, because god built them, and god is everything,
>>capiche? (is that how you spell capiche?) God is an energy
>>that influences matter to behave in ways to achieve
>>enlightenment in this world. Self discovery. God is far
>>beyond our comprehension, other than our ability to
>comprehend
>>that things can be beyond our comprehension.
>
>We call this an argument from personal incredulity
>(http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity). You
>need to better educate yourself regarding abiogenesis,
>evolution, and the current evidence regarding the origins of
>the universe.

Kudos for that link, as I tend to use this type of argument often, mostly when having a healthy talk on metaphysics, philosophy, or other ontological types of debates. I just never realized that this is what I was doing, and in a way I'm glad you pointed that out because it's almost somewhat manipulative or deceitful (unless the crowd is sharp enough to catch it as you were) and I don't want to effectively be a manipulator, but instead inspire people to adopt other ideas and perspectives.

>
>>
>>If you haven't already, Look up Andrew Cohen on Youtube. He
>>may either seem like a lunatic or a badass spiritualist,
>>depending on your level of spiritual understanding and
>>consciousness studies. I, myself, believe in the concepts
>of
>>spirits, psychic communication, and collective
>consciousness,
>>particularly on the level of subconscious connections
>between
>>all people. In the same way that yes, ants, bees, and birds
>>tend to follow each other in ways beyond normal
>communication.
>
>Evidence to support this?

Well, no tangible evidence per say, but I do work at a Voodoo shop in Louisiana, and we have psychics who work there and give readings for a living. *Pausing, waiting for the generic mockery to subside*. No but seriously, I was not at all religious before working there, and I didn't believe in psychic phenomenon or spirits. I've worked there for 5 years now, and believe in them. For the skeptics, it's not about telling you what you had for dinner last night, or what's gonna happen in the next 12 hours of your life. These people are human, and prone to the same errors that everyone else makes when looking at say, a radar screen, or using a metal detector, or using binoculars to survey an area. Just because your perception is enhanced beyond what is considered normal, doesn't mean you have all the answers. I've had enough "goosebumps" moments with our psychics as they mock me with some of my more inner thoughts, to know that they do have an ability. I've also witnessed things that could be referred to as blessings and curses. Such as having bad luck for a few days after insulting a priest, or having a great night after doing a favor for one. But I know, evidence or it never happened, ok fine. I digress.
Another moment of rhetoric though...Do you think that they burned witches simply because they weren't Christian? I have a slight hunch that these ladies were indeed using the occult arts in the same way many of my coworkers are, and scared the sh*t out of some pious villagers. Doesn't mean they were all powerful, it just means they outed themselves in the wrooong crowd.

>
>> I believe that god exists, but he is not captured in a holy
>>script or church. Those are the attempts of humans to
>>organize mysteries into facts. I'm not concerned with rules
>>of right and wrong, but rather, facts of behavior and
>>action/reaction developments. A creature is born with an
>>inherent spirit, discovers reasons in the world to be happy,
>>scared, angry, vengeful, lustful, bored, and a myriad of
>other
>>experiences. It could be said that these experiences are
>>based on the relationship between the subject and his
>>environment, and therefore, be a product of consciousness
>>becoming more aware of itself in the forms of countless
>>perspectives across the world. Some say that God is
>>everything, well, I agree. Everyone of us is a piece of
>>"Totality" or God if you will, and our contributions to this
>>planet ultimately define what this planet is, no matter how
>>miniscule or massive your influence is. (Coffee shop cashier
>>vs Albert Einstein, per say)
>
>...We call those "perspectives" empathy, and it is from whence
>cometh all morality. I think you'd feel more comfortable with
>this if you listened to a talk that Matt Dillahunty gave
>regarding the superiority of secular morality.

Well, yeah but...I agree with you... Sure, empathy exists and is the main "driving force" behind morality. Aaand,
I believe that there is a more universal influence of these moralities, rather than a voting system among civilians. I was just calling emotions experiences, because...they kinda are. But defining empathy doesn't really negate what I was talking about. I was expanding on some of the potential ideas of why brain matter is capable of empathy in the first place.

>
>>
>>If you have difficulty following this, study a flock of
>birds,
>>and how they all seem to move around as one entity. Surely,
>>it could be considered that one bird leads and the rest
>follow
>>the subtle changes in direction. This is also true of
>people,
>>when you think about political memes, catch phrases,
>clothing
>>styles, what's in, what's out, what's acceptable and so
>forth.
>> While these behaviors aren't as immediate as watching the
>>birds follow each other, the only real difference is the
>time
>>scale. If you videotape a group of people entering a
>stadium
>>for a concert, celebrating, and then exiting the concert,
>and
>>the watch the tape in 10x the speed of regular time, the
>>people will start to appear as birds or ants, moving and
>>flocking together in large group mentalities and memes.
>
>You're mistaking hive mind with general group behavior...

Or am I?

This could be the case, though you could not prove the opposite either. That would be very, omniscient of you to do so. I'm just saying, I believe it is feasible that we are all connected in a way that is not readily apparent, and would describe why many facial expressions and non-verbal vocal expressions (gasps, chuckles, Hey!'s) remain very similar in different cultures and languages. Even prior to the internet age. Please don't confuse this with, "There is only One and the rest are pawns" type of hive mind. More like, we are connected on a mental plane that is hard to describe due to it's intangible nature and the mysteries of the mind, but I've witnessed some things that make me ponder those mysteries. It's hard to determine what is coincidence sometimes.

>
>>
>>This probably sounds like religious nonsense to some, but in
>>all due fairness, atheism for the sake of doubt is just as
>>useless. Agnosticism with a healthy dose of consideration
>has
>>always been my cup of tea. If it helps, don't call it God,
>>that word has been associated with religious zealots. Call
>it
>>whatever you want. Oneness, the Universal energy, existence
>>defining itself through action, energy manifesting itself in
>>shape and form, in order to escape the eternal strain of
>>chaos, and so forth...
>
>Those words again don't mean what you think they mean. You
>seem to regard doubt as a bad thing, and give no credence to
>the burden of proof. Skepticism (doubt) is mental floss. It
>cleans the unfounded ideas out of your brain. You should go
>in expecting the null hypothesis until the evidence disproves
>it.
>
>And then you say how you're a pantheist. Great. If you're
>going to look at "energy" and call it "god," then great, now
>why are we calling "energy" something other than that? If I
>called my coffee cup "god" and explained that it is my coffee
>cup and it holds my coffee and makes me feel better by giving
>me coffee, and thats why I call it "god" despite the baggage
>that word carries, you'd laugh at me.

Fair enough. Skepticism is healthy, yes. And I suppose I was aiming that argument more on the Anti-theists rather than the Atheists. I find that many people hide behind clinical "reality" because it is more comfortable. When we can rely on doctors, politicians, and scientists to define our reality for us, then we don't have to worry as much and have more time for T.V. and video games. Speaking of Scientists, it seems many members of NASA have had experiences with many similarities to some of the things I've noted on. But hey, those friggin astronauts must had gravity-shifts damage their brains or something cause it doesn't match the empirical schematics of logic 4.01 as agreed upon by the richest of universities. Okay, I suppose I tend to use wordings that makes me sound like a smart ass. It's not meant to be offensive, it's just the only way I know how to send a jolt in people's sometimes rigid frames of mind. I could probably use some more education on some things, but who couldn't eh? (Here's the NASA link) http://www.upworthy.com/some-strange-things-are-happening-to-astronauts-returning-to-earth?g=3&c=ufb1
>
>>
>>Another consideration for the atheist. Nothing matters eh?
>>So then, allow me to take all your belongings and bury you
>in
>>the desert. No you say? Whatever for? Exactly what is it
>that
>>prevents me from doing whatever I want with you for my own
>>benefit? Could it be the same energy that makes me want to
>>defend myself from you? And what, pray tell, does this
>>feeling come from? Why do my molecules remain adamant about
>>maintaining this shape and form, preventing you from
>damaging
>>the form, as well as all the belongings and social
>strongholds
>>that this form has walked around and made decisions and
>>sacrifices in order to develop? In other words, why do we
>>care? This question in itself pokes at the substance of
>>consciousness, and points out a key ingredient of evidence
>>that matter is not totally objective, and that the
>subjective
>>experience itself is what is in question. What makes
>>something subjective? The CONSCIOUS eye. And what is it's
>>origin?
>
>Boy have I heard this nonsense too many times. Atheism isn't
>nihilism. You have this strange strawman idea of what an
>atheist is and believes. What prevents you from doing
>whatever you want is called EMPATHY. You don't want to get
>punched in the face, robbed, killed, etc, and know that other
>people don't want to either, so in order to promote a habitat
>that does not include those things being done to you, you
>should not do them to others. This is the foundation of
>morality and collective living. Again, I strongly recommend
>you listen to Matt Dillahunty's talk regarding secular
>morality.

Alright, alright. I use the term Atheist incorrectly, you're right (again). But then, would you agree that I would kick a nihilists ass with this argument? (joke) But seriously, what you are arguing doesn't negate what I was saying. INDEED! Empathy is the reason why we cannot do whatever we want, because what other people want also has weight in what happens between us all. Wait a minute, does that "connect" us in some sense? Now then, what I'm saying is, do we empathize merely on an instinctual level of survival? Can anger or love be traced down to an ionic property of a molecule? Or because we have metaphorical hearts or souls? Do you love your family and friends because you fear a world alone? Or because you actually love them? Also hard to answer with empiricism, but I think that's what the real power of faith is. To love your wife simply because you want to love her, not because of some factual meaning or logic, per say.
>
>Also "energy" doesn't "make" you do anything. You're using
>the wrong word. Drives? Thought? Reason? Energy doesn't
>mean what you think it means.

Ehh...You ARE energy sir! It makes everything do everything! as in E=mc2, where the 2 is smaller and levitates above the c. Energy can make you do a lot of things, for instance, a hot enough blast of energy could make you evaporate! I know, I took you slightly out of context, but that's cause you did to me quite a few times, so, nyah!

>
>>Well, I remain agnostic on that one.
>
>The word you're looking for is SKEPTICAL. What you said was
>"I remain ignorant on that one". Great, we know.

No, no, actually, I do remain ignorant on that one, unless of course, you find some definition or clause in a dictionary that makes that sentence seem illogical. I was referring to the origin of the conscious eye, which is a cooler way of saying consciousness. I do not know the origin of consciousness, and am willing to say that neither do you, and that we both remain agnostic as to what the answer to question is "What is the origin of consciousness". Right? Or would you like to enlighten us?

>>
>
>I wrote this very quickly and right before bed. I feel my
>brain was damage somewhat by the nonsense that was spouted.
>
Obviously, because you did not conjugate the word damage correctly, thus nullifying any significant meaning to the entire statement. (feels good, right?). It's like you're a computer programmer, a guy uses a wrong word and the entire paragraph is SYNTAX ERROR : DESCRIPTOR "Agnostic" returned INVALID VALUE, cannot relate MEANING within CONTEXT PERIMETER

>In other news though, I think you have a great CF attitude
>based on your other posts, and are probably very smart in
>other aspects of your life, but you're REALLY dumb and
>ignorant when it comes to philosophy.

Cheers! And you know, I can tell I'm not as educated as thee, though I get a kick out of kicking the walls of perception and getting reactions. One could say it's slightly trollish, but that's also a matter of opinion. All in all, no hard feelings and you did put me in my place on a few things, so I'm glad! I knew this community would have some thinkers amongst them...
2237, It's been shown
Posted by incognito on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
That birds in a flock fly the way they do for scientific reasons.

In a v reduces energy required to fly, positioned correctly, which they do. In a surging mass wards off predators.

Ants use scent and are genetically branded from birth to behave in certain ways etc. just because you don't understand something doesn't make it mystical. People used to think thunder and lightning were proof of divinity.
2216, And until evidence arrives
Posted by Artificial on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I will continue to live my life as if this "superior being" doesn't exist. And so should you.
2217, Why?
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
"I will continue to live my life as if this "superior being" doesn't exist. And so should you."

Why is that exactly? There's hundreds of benefits to or at least the hope of a religion and I can't think of any benefit at all in believing in nothing. Should you also not believe in love until someone confirms it for you? Such a sad existence.
2218, Ah...Mr. Pascal, I missed you.
Posted by Artificial on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Just listen to this very short clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlIymF6Fx6c

I'll transcribe the 2 most relevant points as well if you're not going to.

"It makes the claim that worshiping, believing, cost you -nothing- when that's not true. If this is the one and only life you have, then every minute you've spent believing, worshiping, every dime you've spent in deference to a god is WASTED. So there is not a no-loss situation at all."

"It presumes that belief is subject to the will, and that by determining that you're in a safe-bet situation you can go ahead and choose to believe."

As I go through my life I want to believe as many true things as possible and as few false things as possible, so that the choices I make are unfettered by nonsense beliefs that might lead me the wrong way.

I have no respect for those who ignore reason and logic for the "hope" that religion offers. If I'm in debt can I choose to believe I have a million dollar bank account, because it offers me hope? If I did choose to believe that, wouldn't I make some REALLY bad decisions as a result?

I can conceive in this huge universe of a superior being, a space walrus, that requires that we undergo as much body modification as possible to become more like a walrus. He will not interfere with our lives in any way, but once we're dead, you don't want to know what kind of punishment he has in store for the people who didn't make an effort to look like a walrus.

The bottom line is that the benefit to not accepting claims without evidence is that you aren't bogged down by nonsense. Skepticism is floss for your brain.

Love is not without evidence, or a better statement is "love without evidence is stalking." Think about things before saying them because you've heard them before or they sound nice.
2220, RE: Ah...Mr. Pascal, I missed you.
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/luhrmann-why-going-to-church-is-good-for-you.html?_r=0

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00035

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOsOb0QRaQs

The reality of it is that religion, like art and music, is an adaption of human society providing a myriad of services. Weekly social gatherings, holidays, rituals for birth and death, an efficient mechanism for teaching a set of unified moral beliefs, coping mechanisms, so on and so forth.

You can still get a lot of these things without religion but you get all of that in a single package from religion, honed and refined over hundreds of years. Religious people are more honest, they steal less, they are more lawful, happier, lower stress...all of that is well documented and researched as you can see in works described by those links.

So yeah you can choose to not believe and not follow all of it, and that's the beauty of a free society that you can do that, but honestly there's not much motivation to for many people. And I'm not referring at all to Pascal's Wager...though the video you're linking completely ignores that Pascal's wager talks about infinite gain compared to finite loss (not zero loss as the person in the video is saying). Pascal's wager was done in a time where we didn't have measurable benefits from religion in the way that we have research supporting now...it focused entirely on heaven vs. nothing. You don't need to be "right" to benefit from religion and you don't even *really need to believe* to benefit from religion...because essentially religion is a social club, meditation technique, moral compass, philosophy and charity all rolled into one convenient package.

As parents my wife and I debated this topic at length, trying to find a benefit to not teaching our child religion. We couldn't find any tangible benefit at all, so ultimately we decided we're going to teach him religion through his childhood and as an adult he can make his own choices. If you can offer a real benefit to abandoning Christianity over something silly like not believing in God personally, let me know but I can't fathom any offhand (and no, the extra hour Sunday mornings isn't sufficient).
2221, Montessori.
Posted by Tsunami on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I seem to remember you posting that Montessori does/could have a negative affect since it teaches kids life is idyllic, then when they go to a real school or graduate to the real world all of that is ripped out from under them. Obvious paraphrasing.

If I'm mistaken about your opinion of Montessori, then ignore the following:

Does this train of thought not also follow the teaching of religion to children? You expect them to find their own answers when older, why not also let them find their own questions as well? Aren't you setting him up for failure if (or when) that worldview is ripped out from under them?

Don't get me wrong. I am firmly in the camp of "religion has been (and still is, but maybe won't always be) a net boon to humanity." All the while being an atheist as well. I think Artificial has a gigantic chip on his shoulder, causing him to forsake logic in his quest for logic. I'm just curious how this aspect of it plays (played) out in your matrimonial discussions.
2222, RE: Montessori.
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I think you misunderstood where I was going with that. A huge environmental transition for a kid of ages 7-12 is different, to me, than a huge environmental change from ages 18-24. The latter is somewhat inevitable, existential crisis is inevitable. Catcher in the Rye and all that, you can't protect kids forever...but you can for a while at least.

It's sort of like not wanting your kids to watch Breaking Bad at 8 years old. There's some subjects they just shouldn't have to internalize until they have the tools to deal with such things.
2223, RE: Ah...Mr. Pascal, I missed you.
Posted by Daevryn on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
> If you can offer a real benefit to abandoning Christianity over something silly like not believing in God personally

I'm a little baffled by the idea that "I don't believe in this particular religion and consider it to be, essentially, a lie on a massive scale" is, to you, a silly reason to not practice that religion.
2226, RE: Ah...Mr. Pascal, I missed you.
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I'm a baffling guy ;). I'd argue though that most people who are Christian's, probably the vast majority, don't *really believe*. For instance, if you told them Jesus talked to you, they'd think you were bat####e crazy just like anyone else.

There's many, many reasons why people engage in some religion (whether it's getting married in a Church), to full-blown every Sunday morning mass, without actually believing the Bible is a factual depiction of history.

For every one person who truly lives a life of dedication and poverty in the name of Christianity there's probably a few thousand who just think its a nifty set of traditions. Same with Judaism and so on and so forth.
2230, I'll also point out...
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
...that I think that people who are rabidly atheist like to point out the schitzotypal people, the religious literalists, the people protesting outside an abortion clinic as if those people are that way *because* of religion. I think, honestly, there's crazy and there's not crazy and attending church isn't going to spontaneously make you write threatening letters to your local clinics.

Instead, I'd suggest you see what it is to me at least, a nice calm time to relax and reflect, a healthy dose of tradition and music, a philosophical standpoint and a social gathering. It fills a variety of roles in society and the one about explaining how the earth was created is clearly outdated and incorrect. The church I belong to openly accepts gays (even as Pastors), it's not in favor of abortion but we believe in not judging others and instead offering support to people in their time of need, so on and so forth. If you read up on the ELCA, the core focus is on compassion, community and support - all great things. We don't throw rocks at anyone's windows, we don't write nasty letters, we don't trash talk people for living together before marriage, we don't disavow Darwin, etc.
2231, RE: I'll also point out...
Posted by Moligant on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Interestingly enough this is one of the reasons I have a problem with religion. In my view when you put forth the existence of an all-knowing all-seeing moral spiritual being then you are advancing a specific view of 'right' and 'wrong'. And this view which we call 'morality' underpins a plethora of social customs and traditions which are also encapsulated in our laws.

Then someone like yourself comes along and says its ok to have religion as something we take as a 'time to relax and reflect' and 'a philosophical standpoint'.

Seriously?

Why do you need to put forth the existence of a God in order to have those things? I understand the whole 'nice package' deal but the problem is that the package you are advancing is a regifting. The original packaging included many things that in today's society are looked down upon for either being sexist, homophobic, child abuse, etc.

Its fine to belong to a church that openly accepts gays as pastors in my opinion because thats 'politically' correct but if hypothetically God does exist and he sent down the bible as His word - is that His will...or the will of some politically correct parishioners who still wish to claim Christianity as their banner?

I'd say the latter. The bible isn't very hard to intepret and most of it is repated again and again just to insure those folks who are in their pews half-asleep understand it.

I do believe in the supportive model you describe however I simply don't see why you need the backing of a church and its belief system when its pretty obvious that you don't agree with the actual fundamental (political) views held traditionally by that organization which are based on a pretty accurate intepretation of God's will as laid down in His bible. In other words, you can't be both politically correct and religiously correct in my opinion.

2232, RE: I'll also point out...
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
I think the short answer is that there's no technical reason why religion needs to be present to have all of those things.

That being said, unless you can point me to an example I don't think one actually exists. I suppose someone could build one but good luck with that.

So you get into the ideal vs the practical and in practical terms, your options are limited.

Many candidate organizations that you'd think of like Lions Club or other community groups don't really fit the mold and are much more limited in scope.

I'll also note that : "The original packaging included many things that in today's society are looked down upon for either being sexist, homophobic, child abuse, etc."

To me, these things didn't originate with religion. They originated with people and were place into the religions of those people. Sexism, child beating and homophobia are widespread cultural things that we humans have had going on for a long time almost universally across the globe.
2225, The more invested you are in this, the harder it is for you to abandon it.
Posted by Vortex Magus on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Basic principle of any religion.

There are a lot of good reasons for you to teach your kid religion and a lot of good reasons for you not to teach your kid religion.

I've known a lot of people who've done really well by their religion - one girl had her church send her to Jamaica on a mission to take care of kids in an orphanage. I've also known a lot of people who are otherwise good human beings, who in my opinion are held back by their religion - a kind-hearted, jovial boss who is openly revolted by gay people, and is firmly convinced they are an abomination against God.

Let me instead make a more basic argument - what if your kid could have cured cancer, but you teaching him religion caused him to invest all his Sunday mornings on prayer rather than genetic research?

I'm discussing it in hyperbole to make a point - its not that I really believe your child's ability to cure cancer will be affected by having 1/14th of his waking life spent on religious indoctrination (that's what Sunday mornings in church are).

Rather, my point is to say there are all sorts of things your kid could be invested in at a young age. Are you absolutely certain you want to make religion one of them, over something like academics, fluency in other languages, musical advancement, athletic ability, or any of the thousands of other possibilities open to him or her?
2227, RE: The more invested you are in this, the harder it is for you to abandon it.
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
What if my kid could've learned to cure cancer but was so riddled with depression from not having any religion that he killed himself?

I mean, if you talk in hyperbole it cuts both ways. I think the point is that I don't view it like my kid's job is to cure cancer. Rather, it's my job to prepare them for the world while giving them useful tools and a good healthy state of mind.
2228, You think lack of religion causes depression?
Posted by Homard on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Or that religion is somehow a cure for depression?

I hope, for your kid's sake, that you figure out how wrong this line of thinking is before you screw up lives and relationships with this notion.

Hopefully your kid will grow up mentally healthy (though with a parent who MUDs, what are the odds?) but if they do develop depression, please don't try to address it as a failure that can be fixed with spirituality.

At best you will merely frustrate both of you, at worst you'll drive a wedge between you.
2229, RE: You think lack of religion causes depression?
Posted by Eskelian on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Think you're missing the point. Read the post I'm responding to. Depression and religion are probably infinitely more linked than not going to church and inventing the cure for a major disease.

Not going to church isn't going to turn you into the next Louis Pasteur, it's probably also not going to be the root cause of a major depression in your life.

You're going way off the deep end in your post assuming I'd try to treat a medical disease with spirituality...*whoosh*. Totally missing my point. There's "religious" and then there's, "I don't take medicine because God will heal me" (aka delusional or at the least schitzotypal). For myself and most of the people I know, attending a Church event has more in common with a yoga class than a history lesson and you guys seem to be caught up on the religious literalists.
2233, I'm not going off the deep end.
Posted by Homard on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
You implied that a person might be depressed because they had not been exposed to religion.

The implication there is that religion would relieve their depression.

This is a screwed up way of thinking, but you seem to be advancing it as something that you actually think.

I'm just giving you a heads up that if you approach your childs' mental issues as spiritual failures you're going to mess them up further.

I'm not looking at the larger picture or curing cancer or anything like that.

I'm just saying that I've met a lot of people in NYC who fled from religious upbringings (and I'm not talking fundamentalist, either, just the level you're on) and have never gone home because their parents tried to address their issues with more church.



2234, You can be communal without religion too.
Posted by DurNominator on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
Humans are pack animals and thus gain such benefits from communality, religious or not.
2207, I think it's in what you termed a "miracle".
Posted by Straklaw on Wed 31-Dec-69 06:00 PM
He's including the value of what happened as part of what makes it a miracle. Blind people being able to see, the hungry becoming fed, all of these are pretty much purely benevolently "good", and hence miracles.

Your example of something miraculous is something that most people would view as having a selfish motive, and doesn't count as a "miracle". Along the same lines of thought would be saying...having a meteor specifically strike a metropolitan city each day would have similar rarity, but people'd be saying it's the apocalypse before they called it miraculous.