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Religion or not

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Postby MickeyV » Sat Nov 15, 2003 12:53 am

I would contend "not". From a rational viewpoint religion seems irrational. Naturally, one is to bear in mind the possible limitation of the rational viewpoint, yet, it being imposed on humans, it is unfeasible to either assess the rational viewpoint, or to abstain from assessing thence. Wherefore, since there seems nothing of rational nature cogent as to accepting the verity of e. g. the Christian truths, a human, considering acceptance of their validity in accordance with his nature to be irrational, rejects to accept them for that reason.

Admittedly, the aforementioned does not per se falsify such truths either. Yet it follows from the above that a human cannot be held culpable for not conlocating faith in Christian thruths. This however does appear to vitiate a particular Christian truth. Notable as well, the distinction between humans and animals also seems contrived and untenable. One might consider that these examples entail implications for the other truths.
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Postby Bert » Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:32 am

Many interesting things in this thread but I'll interact with only a few.
Kasper wrote: I do not believe that just saying you're sorry for a sin makes up for it. However, you need not be sorry, because since Jezus' resurrection you will go to heaven anyway. So why do good, if it's not gonna get you anything that doing bad won't get you? I suppose that's morality.

Being sorry for a sin (and asking for forgiveness) does not make up for it.
God forgives this sin for Christ's sake i.e; because Christ made up for it.
So why do good? Out of love. Do you treat your wife or mother or child properly because it will get you somewhere or because you love him or her?
Emma_85 wrote: The Protestant view is indeed very bleak, because you can only hope for slavation, it's not certain...

I do know of people who live their whole life in uncertainty, even despair because of not knowing whether salvation is for them or not.
This is certainly not a characteristic of a protestant.
Believers should be able to live in certainty of salvation for that is what the Bible promises, and as a result they should live their lives showing their thankfulness.

Emma_85 wrote:I don't know too many Christians, but none of them actually believe the Bible...

If that is the case then you don't know any Christians.
Emma_85 wrote:(a debate with the bishop of Speyer may be interesting, but I doubt he'd want to speak to me :P ).

I don't know the bishop of Speyer, but you may be surprised



kalailan wrote: i am very curious about it as i do not understand how one can live an entire life knowing that we are born in sin and that the heart of man is bad. and i say this with respect to the religion. i just don't understand it.

Most people's problem is to think to highly of them selves, so it can be difficult to view yourself as bad. (In my view, most heresies are caused because of people thinking that they are not all that bad and that they can secure salvation for them selves.)
The Bible says that we are evil and that we need God in order to be renewed. Honest self examination will reveal that our motives are usually not as honourable as we would like to think.
I hope I made my self clear and did not muddy the waters for you.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Nov 15, 2003 2:01 pm

Being sorry for a sin (and asking for forgiveness) does not make up for it.
God forgives this sin for Christ's sake i.e; because Christ made up for it.
So why do good? Out of love. Do you treat your wife or mother or child properly because it will get you somewhere or because you love him or her?


That is the view that the Catholic Church takes, are you Catholic? I thought the Netherlands were mostly protestant. Of course being Protestant doesn't mean you can't believe that, it's just that this is one of the points why Luther and others rejected the Catholic Church.

If that is the case then you don't know any Christians.


None of my close friends are Christian, but those I am talking about are people who were brought up very religiously and call themselves die-hard Christians. They say they believe it all and are very religious and all... but deep down inside all they believe in is that some creature with greater powers exists and in an afterlife.
They probably only believe in an afterlife, because they just want it to be true, not because in their worldview it is true. I ask them, why they believe an afterlife exists, when they don't really believe anything in the Bible. How can they be sure this one information in the Bible is true, when everything else is not?
All they can answer is: ‘Shut up! I don't want to here anymore of this!' and put their hands over their ears and start shouting, or they say that there must be an afterlife of sorts, anything else would just be terrible.
I know religion is not about proof, but originally religion is just a way to try and explain the world, it too searches for truth, not for comfort, but that is all they want it for, which I think is very sad.
Someone I know won't even let you say that religion is a belief, because for him it is truth, he knows. It's sad though, that in order to live the life he lives as and acting student he has to say: 'Yes, but I'm allowed to do all this stuff it says you shouldn’t do in the Bible, because I have a direct link to God and he said it's alright.' He's just kidding himself...

I just think it's strange (and wrong) when people go and 'build' their own religion to fit their life, because then all it is is comforting, but by no means can they then say they believe it because it's true. They also loose any right they may claim to have to go and call atheists immoral or to force their religion on to non-Christians.
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Postby Bert » Sat Nov 15, 2003 5:47 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
Being sorry for a sin (and asking for forgiveness) does not make up for it.
God forgives this sin for Christ's sake i.e; because Christ made up for it.
So why do good? Out of love. Do you treat your wife or mother or child properly because it will get you somewhere or because you love him or her?


That is the view that the Catholic Church takes, are you Catholic? I thought the Netherlands were mostly protestant. Of course being Protestant doesn't mean you can't believe that, it's just that this is one of the points why Luther and others rejected the Catholic Church.

There are actually quite a few Roman Catholics in the Netherlands, especially in the southern provinces, but you are right, I am protestant.
Luther rejected the Catholic Church because the church taught that good works contribute to salvation. (Tetzel selling indulgences probably was the breaking point). Luther came to believe that the righteous will live by faith and not by doing good works (Romans 1:17), good works are done out of love and thankfulness.

Emma_85 wrote:
I just think it's strange (and wrong) when people go and 'build' their own religion to fit their life, because then all it is is comforting, but by no means can they then say they believe it because it's true. They also loose any right they may claim to have to go and call atheists immoral or to force their religion on to non-Christians.

Your are right ( except that "homemade religions" are not even comforting)
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Postby MickeyV » Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:15 pm

Bert de Haan? Verhuisd uit Nederland? :)
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Postby Bert » Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:16 pm

MickeyV wrote:Bert de Haan? Verhuisd uit Nederland? :)

Ja. Dat is alweer 24 jaar geleden.
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Postby MickeyV » Sat Nov 15, 2003 10:26 pm

Bert wrote:
MickeyV wrote:Bert de Haan? Verhuisd uit Nederland? :)

Ja. Dat is alweer 24 jaar geleden.


Ah, maar u bent ons boerendialect niet verleerd. :)
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Postby Bert » Sun Nov 16, 2003 12:18 am

MickeyV wrote:

Ah, maar u bent ons boerendialect niet verleerd. :)

Nee heu. Ai't iemaol eleert hep, blef et oe altied bij.
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Postby Kasper » Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:19 am

Right. (bedankt voor die nutteloze informatie)

Interesting point: "Home-made religions are not even comforting" (Sorry I don't know how to do the quote thing you guys do.)

The question is: what is the purpose of religion?

Is it to seek truth, or is it to give us hope, strength, a purpose to live and accept suffering, to make us happy perhaps? Or, in other words, what is more important, truth or happiness?

Furher, in our modern day of rationalism and science the only way to really stick to the exact wording of the bible is to cover your eyes and ears. Let's face it, the world is not flat, there is no water under it, etc. But these early writings come from the days when such explanations were needed to give order to the world, to give a sense of security. But nowadays religion can no longer have this function, science gives us this sense of order.
So with this need of security fulfilled by science, religion needs a new function. Why not to make us happy? If one's faith, be it home-made, makes him or her happy, can you still say that that faith is wrong? And even if so, would not God want us to be happy? If we can be happy, and even say so in His name, can it really matter whether we believe we are born good or evil? Who created the world and whether evolution is true or not? If we can do good, be moral people, do such trivial things really matter? Home-made religions, did Luther not 'make' his religion at home? Do learned people have a more developed sense of morality perhaps, that makes their words more important? Christian religion is so simple, it says but one thing (much like all major religions in the world): 'be moral.'

Morality is home-made.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Bert » Mon Nov 17, 2003 2:47 am

Kasper wrote:Right. (bedankt voor die nutteloze informatie)

My apologies. Just trying to have a little harmless fun

kasper wrote:(Sorry I don't know how to do the quote thing you guys do.)

Click on the "quote" button at the top of the message you want to take a quote from. If you want to have more than one quote, just duplicate the brackets before and after the quote.

kasper wrote:The question is: what is the purpose of religion?


That is the question indeed. All the options you gave are focussed on us, but the focus should be on God. ( I am not trying to convert you but you asked my opinion. I'll do my best to be clear without turning anyone off)
In Isaiah 43:21 God says that he formed his people for himself so that they may proclaim his praise.
If we see that as our purpose then religion is not replaced by science.
This purpose involves not living for selfish reasons but to be a help to others where ever we can. With this frame of mind, happiness and truth do not exclude each other.
We don't have to close our eyes and ears in order to believe the Bible.
If someone speaks about there not being anything new under the sun, we know that he doesn't mean that the earth is below the sun instead of orbiting around it.

When I wrote 'home made religion' I meant a religion that is not based on the Bible but on what we want to believe. So, Luther did not have a home made religion but he brought religion back to the Bible.
Learned people do not have a better developed sense of morality.
The Bible is clear enough to the simple mind to know how he/she should live (this does not mean that there won't be any questions)
I hope I made myself clear without being obnoxious.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:17 pm

Kasper wrote:Interesting point: "Home-made religions are not even comforting" (Sorry I don't know how to do the quote thing you guys do.)

The question is: what is the purpose of religion?

Is it to seek truth, or is it to give us hope, strength, a purpose to live and accept suffering, to make us happy perhaps? Or, in other words, what is more important, truth or happiness?

Christian religion is so simple, it says but one thing (much like all major religions in the world): 'be moral.'

Morality is home-made.


I wish Christian religion were so simple, it should be, that would be nice at least, but it isn't. It's not just about morality, it's actually about some guy called God and some other guy called Jesus and some other guy called the Devil, but the only one I've heard of is the Devil :wink: .

Anyway, as you already said yourself morality is home-made, not religion made, you don't need religion to tell you what to do, reason can do that (reason does a much better job, too, I think).

Also concerning happiness: I just don't believe that these people, who have a home-made religion are really that happy, because there is nothing really they can rely on except their own wishful thinking.
They will always be nagged by this doubt, whereas very religious people don't just believe God exists, they know. And I know he doesn't exist, I don't believe he doesn't exist.

Now I hate just saying something like that with out anything to prove that those people in the middle are indeed a tiny bit less happy than very religious or very irreligious people, so I looked around and found an article in the New Scientist No. 2415:

Find God (or a belief system)...

Karl Marx was close to the mark when he described religion as an “opiate for the masses”. Of the dozens of studies that have looked at religion and happiness, the vast majority have found a positive link. Harold Koenig at Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina, uncovered 100 papers on the subject, 79 or which showed that people who get involved in a religion are happier or more satisfied with their lives – or have more positive emotions –that others.
But why? Believing in God or an afterlife can give people meaning and purpose and reduce the feeling of being alone in the world, says Koenig, especially as people get older. “You really see the effect in times of stress. Religious belief can be a very powerful way of coping with adversity.”
And it seems you’re better off adhering to some belief system than none at all. Gary Reker at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, says this is the most apparent when it comes to fear of death. Those who are deeply religious and those who are deeply irreligious have described themselves as less fearful of death that others", he says. “The most fearful of death are others, he says. “The most fearful are those who are uncertain, or uncommitted, to any specific belief system.”
[...]

And so on....
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Postby Kalailan » Mon Nov 17, 2003 8:55 pm

mickeyV, as my english isn't good enough to fully understand what you wrote without a dictionary and in the evening, i will not respond to it. :-)

what i was trying to say was that none of us are trully rational.
the decisions we make are usually not rational.

Quote:
bert wrote:
Most people's problem is to think to highly of them selves, so it can be difficult to view yourself as bad. (In my view, most heresies are caused because of people thinking that they are not all that bad and that they can secure salvation for them selves.)
The Bible says that we are evil and that we need God in order to be renewed. Honest self examination will reveal that our motives are usually not as honourable as we would like to think.
I hope I made my self clear and did not muddy the waters for you.

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

i disagree. the commonly interprated sentence "the heart of man is evil since his youth" or whatever the english version of it may be, can be equally be interpreted "the heart of man is bad because of his youth".
that is, if you interupt the child with its (no more he/she. from now on, i will just say 'it' for an indefinet sex) natural development the child grows to be more violent.
and there is another question: what is evil?

and regarding salvation, i don't feel i need salvation. i think life is a good thing, not something that you suffer endlessly from. there bad times and times it seems that the world is a bad place, but most of the time i feel the world is a wonderful and good place, no matter how much 'evil' there is in it.
because what is a murder or a rape from the "eye" of our souls? nothing. it is all nonsense, like cohelet said. that is my thought. that the soul comes into this world to learn something, and not just to wait untill it gets to heaven. it can learn things the bad way or the good way, but nevertheless it does.

well, going to bed,
Ronen.
post scriptum:
when you say bible, do you mean the old testament or the new t. or both?
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Postby Kalailan » Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:55 pm

was what i wrote so convincing as to make everyone wordless? or how else is it that no one has written for over a week?
coincidence i pressume, for i do not trust my writing to explain myself so clearly.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Nov 26, 2003 3:12 pm

Lol, well I don't really know what to say, but I think most people interpret this sentence differently, among them all the great church-'philosophers'. Are really old people really bad then, should we kill them all? :wink:

I am glad you don't see the world as a place that's just there so you can wait for your 'real' life to finally come, but I don't like what you said about all the evils of this world being nothing really, because the soul will live on anyway and all that. It's quite a dangerous thing to say, as then again you say what happens in this world in not that important, but I say it is, as we only have one life and that such thing as a soul does not exist.
It's this that kept people calm and oppressed in the past, telling them not to lean up against their oppressors and to just be content with what they have, as all the wrong that is done to them now is not really that bad, as it can't possibly hurt their immortal soul that will then later live on in heaven (that and telling them that they would spend this eternal life of theirs in hell if they did).
Life is something you have to take seriously and under no circumstances waste.
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Postby Kalailan » Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:36 pm

Thats not what i meant, emma. what i meant is that the fact that there are things like that don't make the world a horrible place. because theoretically, if i wouldn't know this world i could have chosen not to come to it (if was able to choose) because of all the horrors of it. but the truth is that i do not think that there is such a thing as good and bad, but there is bad for me or another being or good for me or another being. i think not that god cares wether we kill someone or not. we do care.
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:58 pm

Kalailan wrote:because what is a murder or a rape from the "eye" of our souls? nothing. it is all nonsense, like cohelet said.


This sentence sort of confused me.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:10 pm

Come on, you promised me you'd debate religion with me again ages ago :D

If a God is the reason, so I do not think that he/she/it could have any interrest that we can find it out, because (as rimon-jad had explained it so nicely) our sense is limited by this God ( is it not a main feature of a God that he/she/it avoids any clear apperance of himself ?)


What do you think God is and why do you think God has any plans or interests that we can never know? Can we know nothing of what he is at all or what he intends? Does he have feelings and thus a changeable state of 'mind' ?
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Postby Kalailan » Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:07 pm

Emma: What do you think god is:

Kalailan: it is incredibly hard to explain.
i will only explain one aspect of my belief in god to make it clearer:
i do not think of god as a being at. i do not think he is angry, happy, loving, and that's because i don't think there is a him. i think the sepration of persons is only in our perception of reality.

Emma: why do you think God has any plans or interests that we can never know?

Kalailan: i don't think he does. i think we just cannot know because of our nature, and because thats not the reason we are here for.

Emma: Can we know nothing of what he is at all or what he intends?

Kalailan: i think we can know. some of it at least.
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Postby Kalailan » Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:15 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Come on, you promised me you'd debate religion with me again ages ago :D


i am most happy to continue this debate. if you read up a bit, i was keen on continuing this then!
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Postby copain » Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:21 pm

Kalailan wrote:
Emma_85 wrote:Come on, you promised me you'd debate religion with me again ages ago :D


    Emma: What do you think god is

    Fist of all I think it is not nesseary if we consider God as a person or something which – like light - infiltrates the space. But it must be something which have or had at least any influence of us (think of religion :) ). And I think we share - in general - common values about what is good or wrong with him. And God is standing beyond the time, he is “Lord of the Time” so to speak. Because he must be there before this universe came into existence and he will be there when this universe is no more.

    Emma: Why do you think God has any plans or interests that we can never know?
    Since this shaggy, monkey like little fellow had tumbled from his tree and gots on his feets to become a human with sense and consciousness he wonder himself if this only was a fancy of nature or the will of a Creator ? (In the hole progression of live such a thing only happens once!)
    This faint feeling of humans which drive them to worship and to write and read holy book´s, is it a litte spark of God within us or only a special social behavior ? And those holy book´s and the explanations of those who where study them are there the true will of a God or only an instrument to control us ? The grave problem is ,that our brain/our mind is constructed to solve earthily problems and God lies beyond its grasp. And so it is rather a matter of faith than wisdom if we see a plan – as explained in those holy Book´s – or not!
    And for that it seems unlikely that we can find reliable informations about God on an objective basis let alone about what he intends. The philosopher Kant therefor introduced his “praktische Postulate” in which he assumed that there is a God but we can not know this for sure
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:43 pm

i do not think of god as a being at. i do not think he is angry, happy, loving, and that's because i don't think there is a him


Yes, God can't be a physical being, because how can something that exists here as part of this universe have created it.
Does that mean you do not think God has a consciousness or a mind? Is he perfect, as in he never changes his mind at all... it's always in one state that never changes? If that is so, then he doesn't have a conscious mind, as the definition of that is that it is something ever changing, that feels emotions and thinks things over. If he is really unchanging, then how can that be called consciousness? You could just as well call it a number or anything else - you could just call it (God) the cause of the universe, in which case you'd reduce God to just being 'the thing at the beginning of the universe'. Or if all he is a 'plan' then you could just as well call him the laws of physics, could you not?

Emma: why do you think God has any plans or interests that we can never know?

Kalailan: i don't think he does. i think we just cannot know because of our nature, and because thats not the reason we are here for.


So he has no plan, or if he does have one we can't know of it. I agree that if he did have a plan we would probably not know it, but if you do believe a God exists wouldn't you be trying to find out what it is God wants you to do, what he thinks is right, and what wrong? How do you know that if a God exists, he didn't want you to look for just this?
If he has no plan, no reason for creating us, then what else is he?

Kalailan: i think we can know. some of it at least.


How can we know any of that? Do you believe God tinkered with the world or with our brains? Sent prophets and such like or made sure we knew what good and evil are?



Fist of all I think it is not necessary if we consider God as a person or something which – like light - infiltrates the space. But it must be something which have or had at least any influence of us (think of religion ). And I think we share - in general - common values about what is good or wrong with him. And God is standing beyond the time, he is “Lord of the Time” so to speak. Because he must be there before this universe came into existence and he will be there when this universe is no more.


So you believe, God made us so that we know what good and evil is? Did he do this through evolution (that is, is everything predetermined - every move of every molecule in space calculated so that 'by chance' we would know the difference between good and evil) or did he change our minds after humans where already there (for I know you believe in evolution)? In that case, why go to the bother of having evolution that creates humans (as you must believe he intended to 'create' humans, as you believe he went to the bother to let us know about good and evil)?
If he calculated everything so that humans would come about through evolution, then why not calculate that bit about good and evil too, why tinker with our minds later on?
What I'm getting at is this: you believe in evolution, so God did not create us, there for he is not responsible for our traits, unless you say that the very beginning of the universe is God, which set all things in motion.

assumed that there is a God


You have to assume a God exists, as there is nothing that can prove he exists, just our wish that something else exists. Why should this wish not be something to do with our human nature that happened to evolve? There are many people now happy to accept that there is no God... and again why this little spark, after that carefully thought out plan that is evolution, why not make it part of evolution?


Now the one thing I don't like is that the idea of freedom might be wrong, because I don't believe it is. You can have probabilities when it comes to human behaviour, but no certainties. We have free will, and until some brain researcher can prove me wrong on this - absolutely wrong - I will probably continue to believe it, as so far humans are still very unpredictable. But this is the problem: how can something like free will originate for something totally causal, and predetermined?
I believe that that is possible, but we just can't say why yet.
The reason I'm saying this is because so far it's the only argument where I can't say that God definitely could not have had any influence (but I think that is only because we can't say why that is, if we can (could) then there would be nothing where you could still claim God might really exist.)
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:50 pm

Glad that finally I can debate religion with you two :) , some others just start shouting and tell me to shut up and put their hands over their ears (like Lisanne :wink: ).
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Postby copain » Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:23 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Glad that finally I can debate religion with you two :)


    So Emma, let me see if I may find a week point in your argumentation thought it is conclusive and well-considered! :)
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Postby Lex » Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:03 pm

Emma_85 wrote:We have free will, and until some brain researcher can prove me wrong on this - absolutely wrong - I will probably continue to believe it, as so far humans are still very unpredictable.


Unfortunately, unpredictability and undeterminism are not the same thing. For one, a chaotic system can be deterministic, and yet be very difficult to predict.

Also, even if a system is not purely deterministic, but instead probabilistically deterministic (which quantum theory says the Universe is), is that what people mean by free will? That our actions are determined in a quasi-deterministic/quasi-random fashion? I don't think so.

Emma_85 wrote:But this is the problem: how can something like free will originate for something totally causal, and predetermined?


It can't. But our Universe is not totally causal and predetermined; at least, that is our current understanding. So, how can something like free will originate from something probalistically determined?
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Feb 06, 2004 2:52 pm

Lex! :D

Do you have any links to any websites on this or can you recommend any books?

At the moment I'm afraid I don't know much about what quantum theory has to say on this, but I'd like to know :D .

One more reason to study quantum theory at uni.
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Postby Kalailan » Fri Feb 06, 2004 4:48 pm

First of all, i am most glad to debate with you on this too.
good dialogue is most productive for both sides.

now to work:

emma_85 wrote:Does that mean you do not think God has a consciousness or a mind? Is he perfect, as in he never changes his mind at all... it's always in one state that never changes?


i think this is still a personification of god. i do not think of him as a person at all.

emma_85 wrote:If that is so, then he doesn't have a conscious mind, as the definition of that is that it is something ever changing, that feels emotions and thinks things over.


i don't think he has a mind.

emma"_85]
If he is really unchanging, then how can that be called consciousness? You could just as well call it a number or anything else - you could just call it (God) the cause of the universe,
[/quote]

i think its not far from my belief.

[quote="emma_85 wrote:
Or if all he is a 'plan' then you could just as well call him the laws of physics, could you not?


yes.
but i extend it from the just laws of physics to how the world behaves.
i know this sounds weird, and it's not exactly what i mean.

i must go now, but i will probably come back later.
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Postby Lex » Fri Feb 06, 2004 5:30 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Do you have any links to any websites on this or can you recommend any books?


This is not a bad layman's introduction. This one tries to reconcile a material worldview with free will. I haven't read it, so I don't know how well it succeeds.
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Postby copain » Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:55 pm

So you believe, God made us so that we know what good and evil is?


    The ability to judge about this world and to think over his own behavior must be the crucial point about the appearance of humans. I think God have had the time to wait until his „tool“ the evolution had formed a living being which seemed to be fit to become aware of himself and this world and therefore the ability for religions behavior and to know about good and evil. (And by the way the question if God had any clear idea about us humans at the very beginning of evolution or if he had just looked around as this process of evolution was going on an then „choose“ his favourite is not very important, what really matters is the fact that he was willing to give this ability to the creature which seems suitable to him). But thinking this all over I have to admit that I have not the faintest idea why he do so. He might only want to have a audience able to admire his hole creation. :)

If he calculated everything so that humans would come about through evolution, then why not calculate that bit about good and evil too, why tinker with our minds later on?


    He must do so, because if the ability to become a complex counsiousness and to know about good and evil were part of the evolution itself than it would have been possible that more than one species would have become this ability through evolution and therefore he had to often to interfere preventing this. And it seems likely that he want only once species with that ability only because there is only one species there – we humans.
    And for a second reason he must later on tinker with our minds.
    If this ability where part of evolution and evolution as part of this material world has to face an end somewhere in the future this ability will have doomed to die also. But as part of the soul it has to return back to it´s source , back to God, so it have to be seperate from evolution.

But this is the problem: how can something like free will originate for something totally causal, and predetermined?


    I do not see any contradiction about free will and the causality of this world ! Because we have no other possibility as to act in the term of cause and effect, and our will have to obey about this. :P
    The problem with the free will is more evident in our struggle with our natural behaviours (like the sexual drive or the our strive about possession (like power, money,food))
    The question is how dominant is the influence from our environment and our genes of this „free“ will. :roll:
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:32 pm

copain wrote:(And by the way the question if God had any clear idea about us humans at the very beginning of evolution or if he had just looked around as this process of evolution was going on an then „choose“ his favourite is not very important, what really matters is the fact that he was willing to give this ability to the creature which seems suitable to him).


If God did not a plan and wanted to specifically create humans, but just started out with some laws of physics and just waited a for a few million years to see what evolved... well he wouldn't be much of a God then. You could and cannot tell the difference then between him and the beginning of the universe. And if you say that, then it makes no sense to believe in anything such as a soul. This is what the universe would be like then:
He just set everything in motion, waited for something to turn up and then thought: 'Oh, there are some things walking around on one of my planets! I wonder what they are...' and then studies them for a bit and decides he'll give them (immortal) souls and send a mess around with a few people's minds so that they believe in some sort of religion. He's not too bothered at first, and so he doesn’t make sure that they believe only in him, he’s content with watching them pray to trees and stones and mountains and animals. Later on he’s bored with these silly little humans, who don’t believe in him, so he changes the minds of a few more people to make sure they tell everyone only one God exists.

Does that sound like a God to you? For one thing he doesn’t know everything then, because if he did he would have known humans were going to evolve on that planet and he would have known everything about them before hand, their past, present and future? Is he not a being who created time? If he did, surely he must have created it outside of time, before this thing existed.
If he cannot look into the future from this vantage point, then he isn’t omnipotent either... in that case he is not a God. God by definition must be omnipotent, or there is no way he could just make souls out of nothing, that are nothing physical, but still for some reason something.

He must do so, because if the ability to become a complex counsiousness and to know about good and evil were part of the evolution itself than it would have been possible that more than one species would have become this ability through evolution and therefore he had to often to interfere preventing this. And it seems likely that he want only once species with that ability only because there is only one species there – we humans.
And for a second reason he must later on tinker with our minds.
If this ability where part of evolution and evolution as part of this material world has to face an end somewhere in the future this ability will have doomed to die also. But as part of the soul it has to return back to it´s source , back to God, so it have to be seperate from evolution.


Again you are saying that God is not omnipotent, for if he was, then he could have devised a plan to make sure that only one species would evolve. Anyway, are you sure only one evolved? It seems like at least two did – the Neanderthals and our own (probably more aggressive species that then wiped out the Neanderthals). And what about the future?
You say his plan is definitely to have just one species, because there is only one. Again, something you cannot say, as for one we don’t know if there is only one in this huge universe, and second because it proves nothing and you are assuming God exists. With the same fact, that only one species exists on this planet, I can say that God doesn’t exist.
You are looking for ways out of this instead of accepting that this is not really an option. You say that everything in this universe will end, because ultimately this universe itself will end. God therefore has to create something not bound to the laws of physics to survive this destruction. You cannot use this argument here though, as then you are assuming that that which you are trying to prove already exists, namely that souls exists, for which you need a God. You can’t say God exists therefore God exists.
You would also have to prove that souls exist. Something you can’t prove, because they have no physical existence (being made with endure the end of time) and they aren't something that has to exist either (the universe does exist, so it is a possibilty that a creator might exist too, but souls don't, so why search for a creator or try to prove their existance?), so all you can do is guess and wish for them to exist, though why they should exist, well... we are back to if there is a God or not, and concerning souls – does he care. If souls exist, then that means God did not use evolution as a tool to create everything, just some things. At one point of time he would have gifted the race of men with souls – but at which point in evolution did he do this – and why do you think such a thing exists in the first place? Because it says so in a books somewhere? Did God help write this book? Couldn’t be just be an uncaring creator who didn’t give us souls?

I do not see any contradiction about free will and the causality of this world ! Because we have no other possibility as to act in the term of cause and effect, and our will have to obey about this. :P
The problem with the free will is more evident in our struggle with our natural behaviours (like the sexual drive or the our strive about possession (like power, money,food))
The question is how dominant is the influence from our environment and our genes of this „free“ will. :roll:


The problem is that if everything is just cause an effect, then you have the problem that everything, not only our outside world, is predetermined. Every electron, every neuron... they all cause thoughts and such... I hope this is not true, and that not everything is quite cause and effect, so I’ll definitely make sure I take a look at quantum theory. If quantum theory is the key to free will though and no God is necessary for free will to work.
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Postby copain » Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:22 pm

If he cannot look into the future from this vantage point, then he isn’t omnipotent either... in that case he is not a God. God by definition must be omnipotent, or there is no way he could just make souls out of nothing, that are nothing physical, but still for some reason something


    At first glance your arguments about my explanations will proof them wrong. And God seems more an experimentator than an omnipotent creator. But this behaviour your consider not a way a God have to react is a evidence of his mighty! Because at the beginning he sets all in motion under the rule of the laws of nature - created by him!. And he knows, that this laws will operate well, that this universe will not tumble into a great chaos, because he needs a sturdy universe for the evolution of live! And he knows that his evolution will produce a being worth to become a soul by God! And he has the mighty to let evolution go on, without disturbing it. Because he needs not to interfere a system that works well ! Only once when he gave the ability to become aware of this world, to know the difference between good an evil to us humans he meddles in. Yes, the way in which humans developed and had interactioned with this world is not as straight as we expect from a being favoured by a God.
    And you are right, he (God) was „ content with watching them pray to trees and stones and mountains and animals“ because he knows that this was a normal behaviour of humans on their way to become a more comprehensive view of this world!

    to be continued :)
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Postby copain » Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:19 pm

Again you are saying that God is not omnipotent, for if he was, then he could have devised a plan to make sure that only one species would evolve. Anyway, are you sure only one evolved?


    In this case I have to specify my comments.
    First, in speaking of once species I related this only of life on earth, because what might has happened in other regions of the universe is for this discussion irrelevant because those events do not influence each other and there are no connections between them.
    Second, with your mentioning the Neanderthals your are – unfortunately :cry: - right, I have had heard it also – but have not remembered on this item when writing my comments :oops: - , that the scientiest are collecting more and more informations which proof, that the Neanderthals and the homo sapiens have nothing to do which each other and there a non remains from the Neanderthals in further generations of homo sapiens. But luckily you have to confess, that the Neanderthals were also humans and so this ability (about soul) remains in the family. :wink: And so the “gift with souls” have to come earlier in time (I´m no anthropologist so able to say when humans were fit for such a gift.)
    Third, I will hold on on my comment, that because of the existens of only one species there is a more likely fact of the influence of God. Otherwise, why there a not more species which very special mental abilities ? Consider how many trials evolution would have had since the apperance of the first live !
    An in terms of souls it is true I can not explain - let alone proof - the existens of souls without assuming the existens of a God and so in this case I can only assume - or better belief it, like you have to belief that the holy book´s where written unter the influence of God – because of the existence of consciousness and the special abilities we humans therefore have.
    But as long as it seems a secret how consciousness work and therefore a soul might exist within us so long you can not definitely rule out the existence of a soul and its specal link to God .
    Yes, and I can imagine about an uncaring God, but this God we talk about is it not, because we are able to talk about him and no dull beings only living because our hearts are beating.

    to be continued :)
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Postby copain » Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:07 pm

The problem is that if everything is just cause an effect, then you have the problem that everything, not only our outside world, is predetermined. Every electron, every neuron... they all cause thoughts and such... I hope this is not true, and that not everything is quite cause and effect, so I’ll definitely make sure I take a look at quantum theory. If quantum theory is the key to free will though and no God is necessary for free will to work.


    You are right about what you say - but consider, if there is a God, quantum theory is part of his creation!.
    Kant also thought about that problem (except quantum theory :) ). He note, that we have two things to consider , first we a beings using our senses (see,hear smell,taste, touch) and in that way we are subjet to cause and effect.
    But also, we are beings using our mind and therefore we can follow our rationality if we let us guide from ethical values and in that way we have a free will.
    But I have to admit that I really do not understand the thoughts from Kant.


    But concerning quantum theory and consciousness here is a link which will give further information
    www.marilia.unesp.br/atividades/extensa ... tigo4.html
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Postby Dillman » Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:52 pm

Lets all just worship the Gods/Godessess Of Greece and/or Rome.....Then we all have lots of cool choices of Gods/Godessess'and everyone will be happy!. Personally i am atheist but man i people worshipped cool Gods like that still i might reconsider :wink: I mean common Zeus/Jupiter, Aries/Mars....They are all so cool and do neat stuff like cheat on each and rage on mortals
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Postby Lex » Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:49 pm

Emma_85 wrote:The problem is that if everything is just cause an effect, then you have the problem that everything, not only our outside world, is predetermined. Every electron, every neuron... they all cause thoughts and such... I hope this is not true, and that not everything is quite cause and effect, so I’ll definitely make sure I take a look at quantum theory. If quantum theory is the key to free will though and no God is necessary for free will to work.


Caveat emptor! QM is not necessarily a way of working free will into a materialistic worldview! (I don't know enough about it to say for sure, and don't know if anyone else does either.) It's just a way of getting rid of strict Newtonian determinism. If you don't like the idea that our thoughts and "choices" are strictly determined, are you any more comfortable with the idea that they are based on quantum rolls of the dice? Is this what you think of as free will?
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Postby Kalailan » Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:20 pm

I am trying to make a coherent argument now, and i will answer emma's questions at the begining of the page.




E:So he has no plan, or if he does have one we can't know of it. I agree that if he did have a plan we would probably not know it, but if you do believe a God exists wouldn't you be trying to find out what it is God wants you to do, what he thinks is right, and what wrong? How do you know that if a God exists, he didn't want you to look for just this?
If he has no plan, no reason for creating us, then what else is he?

K:
i am these days at the process of thinking this out; i disagree with some of the things i previously said.
i will now try to translate a most difficult phrase to translate; yet it is important so i shall try anyway.
"all is forseen and premission is granted".
now, because of it's tricky nature in hebrew it can be translated in various ways, but the one i picked means this: everything is predetermined but the permission to live is granted.

it's like reading a book:
everything there is written down, but the premision is granted to the readers to make whatever they want out of it; they are the ones giving life to the words by creating a tension between themselves and what is written.
by saying tension i do not mean stress; i mean the energy that is created in dialogue between yourself and the book, or in other words yourslef and the outer world.
i do believe that there is a plan; i cannot know where that plan will lead me but i can see it in progress.

E:
Does that mean you do not think God has a consciousness or a mind? Is he perfect, as in he never changes his mind at all... it's always in one state that never changes? If that is so, then he doesn't have a conscious mind, as the definition of that is that it is something ever changing, that feels emotions and thinks things over. If he is really unchanging, then how can that be called consciousness? You could just as well call it a number or anything else - you could just call it (God) the cause of the universe, in which case you'd reduce God to just being 'the thing at the beginning of the universe'. Or if all he is a 'plan' then you could just as well call him the laws of physics, could you not?

K:
after what i just wrote, i can answer this better:
if to speak absolutely, i do not think that god has a consciousness the way we experiance it, and i think we cannot understand it.
but, because we cannot understand it, a personification of him and his consciousness is created for ourselves by our consciousness because thats the way we can percept him.
it's like what i posted about logic in the thread that threewoods14 started.
i think you might agree with what i posted there;
and from that it is obvious that the way we think isn't the way the universe works.
i will now stop cause i am starting to get awkward;
waiting for your replies,
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Postby Dillman » Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:08 pm

I find religon to be very scary....its to subject to interpretation and it scares me how into it some people get to the point of hurting other people. It seems odd to me that people can put some much faith into something that they know almost nothing about, BUT this is mostly the only case of that happening, people have a insatable (spelling?) apitite for being informed....seems to be a stark contrast to believing in ANY deity, be it Christain , Muslem, Buddist, etc......
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:25 pm

i am these days at the process of thinking this out; i disagree with some of the things i previously said.


:D This is the proof that debates on religion aren't useless at all and they do make people think and don't just lead to people flaming each other!

I haven't had time to read the logic thread yet, so I'd better not reply to your post just yet, Ronen. I will do when I've had time to read throught the logic post though :) .
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Postby threewood14 » Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:47 pm

All I can say about religion is how man interprets how the universe works.
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Postby Kalailan » Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:57 am

I have a question for you, Threewood. i ask it here because it doesn't belong in the thread in which i read what leads me to this question.

threewood wrote:
I believe, and only because of my religion, that this neutral thing is god


You wrote it in your 2nd "we know nothing" thread.
you also said that you are a roman catholic. It is probable that i am wrong, but isn't the Christian God supposed to be absolute good rather then neutral?
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Postby threewood14 » Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:21 pm

Well like I also said, the word neutral is a poor choice of vocabulary. The only thing I am implying is that god doesn't have senses like sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch. Otherwise, he would have a preceptive of the universe.

But of course we are talking about a supernatural being...Logic seems to vanish when you talk about a supernatural being...
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