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Belief in god(s) is superstition based 
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Oddly Attracted to Books

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And Ophelia! What happened to being a non-militant atheist that was uninterested in conversations like these?

Caught in flagrante delicto!


I know. :smile:

From time to time I can't resist giving the community the benefit of my viewpoint on this issue: that such debates are unnecessary because atheists and theists are talking about different realms of experience.


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Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:09 am
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Penelope wrote:
Chris - It would be scientific and sensible...to eradicate all 'weak genes' in the human race.

All the kids who are 'Down's Syndrome' (for instance) would have to go.....that would be sensible.

But we LOVE them....they are lovable.....which is not sensible...but it is human.....THAT...is what religion is about....


No...that is what being HUMAN is about. Has nothing to do with religion. I care about and love people of all kinds, not because of religion, but because of the bond we share - being human. Someone with Downs is lovable because they are human, because they did not ask for or do anything to contract Downs is a reason why they draw more love, or some would say pity, from others. It makes them more special because of the possibility we see in them for that to be us with just a minor change in the DNA. It sparks our compassion...not faith.

And you miss the point if your think that eradicating weak genes would mean that all people with Downs "would have to go". (Wow...what a thought). The ability to detect and eradicate the genes would avoid people with Downs from ever being born. The gene would be either fixed or destroyed. We would never miss them because they would turn out to be fully functioning people with no extra hardships placed upon them.

Penelope wrote:
This 'love' thing is a bloody nuisance....but it is the 'God' part of us...and it is not simple to sort.....



Do you really feel it is a nuisance? However you feel, it is not "God" at all...it is something within us...

Mr. P.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:34 am
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Misterpessimistic, this might sound completely crazy, but I swear I can almost make out an image of Jesus in that toast in your avatar. :oops: Maybe I need more sleep.

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No...that is what being HUMAN is about. Has nothing to do with religion. I care about and love people of all kinds, not because of religion, but because of the bond we share - being human. Someone with Downs is lovable because they are human, because they did not ask for or do anything to contract Downs is a reason why they draw more love, or some would say pity, from others. It makes them more special because of the possibility we see in them for that to be us with just a minor change in the DNA. It sparks our compassion...not faith.


VERY well stated.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:12 am
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Ahem!!! It is not pity that I feel for 'Down's Syndrome' people it is love because they are, for the most part, very happy people. I used to visit a special school in our town with many such people. There were no barriers. That is what it was like. They helped and accepted one another within those walls.

I used to feel as though I had been in heaven with the angels.

I am not making this up or being sentimental...because actually, believe it or not, I am not a sentimental person.

There are those (in other schools/care homes) for whom I did feel pity. Until I was engaged to visit these establishments....I didn't know there were people with such profound difficulties. I was absolutely 'shocked' at first.....and that is another reason why I believe in the power of prayer, because, all I could do was pray for help/wisdom/understanding.....it was no use standing around being 'shocked' and no use turning my face away and pretending those people didn't exist.

And, furthermore, the sooner the scientists discover a way to stop such tragedies occuring....the better pleased I will be.....my faith doesn't stop me from believing in science....it causes me to pray for its furtherment.


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Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:19 am
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Mr P said:

Quote:
Do you really feel it is a nuisance? However you feel, it is not "God" at all...it is something within us...


It is something within us is it? But not God? Not Soul?

So What is it? Chemicals? It;s OK Mr. P., God doesn't mind if you call him 'Chemicals'. :D


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Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:26 am
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Penelope wrote:
Mr P said:

Quote:
Do you really feel it is a nuisance? However you feel, it is not "God" at all...it is something within us...


It is something within us is it? But not God? Not Soul?

So What is it? Chemicals? It;s OK Mr. P., God doesn't mind if you call him 'Chemicals'. :D



The way I see it, there is more to back the idea of Chemicals rather than a god.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:39 am
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Chris OConnor wrote:
Misterpessimistic, this might sound completely crazy, but I swear I can almost make out an image of Jesus in that toast in your avatar. :oops: Maybe I need more sleep.



You do need some sleep...that is not Jesus, it is Marilyn Monroe.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:41 am
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As much fun as these side discussions have been I do hope we continue to read through this book and discuss the various reasons people give for believing in a non-existent being.

ROFL Ok, that was a bit biased.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:34 pm
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Lawrence is having computer problems and is not able to make forum posts. He just emailed me this post and I'll add it here to this thread.

Lawrence said:


Quote:
I'm sorry to be late to this party but my computer is being tempermental. What I've tried to say to Stephen in a pm and what my earlier post reviewing 50 reasons tried to say is; when one talks about is there a god or not you are inside the eggshell of dogma and historical and social conditioning. The truth of the question asked cannot be established. So why bother with the time and energy over a discussion about it.

We can certainly have factual discussions about the tyranny perpatrated in the name of god(s) and all of the other elements of social evolvement. But Stephen in his pride as a priest believed what he believed should be believed by all. What Septhen does not seem to realize is that still in his pride he is now saying what he believes about no god should be believed by all. That is what I call tyranny. It is tyranny in any human endeavor, science, education, law, economics, farming, govertment, and religion to elevate a belief to be a fact for others to believe in. Clamity follows when the tyrant uses force to impose his will on the others.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:59 pm
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Penelope, you're very much wanted and appreciated around here. Nick is just frustrated that a good percentage of the more active and intellectual members have wandered away. We did indeed have some great conversations over the years. This recent discussion just hasn't been up to par. And I'm not referring to your contributions. You appear very open-minded and civil and you sure don't come across as a know-it-all. So you are liked and appreciated.



Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:16 pm
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When the crocodiles are biting your arse - it is difficult to remember that the original plan was to drain the swamp.


I just thought this was an apt quote to tag onto the end of this thread. ;-)


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Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:56 pm
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Post God is not an entity
A major problem I have with Harrison's approach is his assumption that to exist God must be an entity, that only entities can exist. This is a natural assumption shared by popular religion and by scientific criteria for evidence, but it breaks down under examination, and is internally inconsistent.

God, for the Abrahamic faiths, is defined as eternal and infinite. This means that God is beyond time and space, and contains our universe. As such, God cannot be an entity within the universe. Martin Heidegger raised this issue in distinguishing between being - the quality of existence - and beings - entities which exist. If we identify God with being, rather than a being, we start to understand Tillich's idea of God as existential ground.

This distinction helps to explain Harrison's problem about the reality of God, and his argument that inconsistencies between Christianity and Islam mean that God and Allah cannot both exist. If God and Allah are both understood as the eternal and infinite ground of being, then the inconsistencies are more in people's minds than within God.



Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:17 pm
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Robert, this is nothing to do with this thread....but I wanted to ask you something....Well actually, I wanted to print out a reply to one of the 'Notes and Queries' which appear weekly in our National Daily Newspaper - The Guardian.

The question was - Which came first - Mind or Matter?

There was such an interesting and accessible reply in today's issue.

When I read it this morning at breakfast, I thought 'I'll ask Robert Tulip to comment on this - but when I have just been to look....it is not up on their website yet. So I will need to type the answer out if I can't copy it tomorrow. But I just wanted to know where to find you on BT. So I will post the reply tomorrow for you to look at, if you don't mind. So please come back and look on this thread....it is just about as apt a thread as I'll find I think and Chris can always move it or delete it if he doesn't like it being here.

Thanks Robert -
Pen


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Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:11 pm
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The question was - Which came first - Mind or Matter?

Matter would have to come first since mind is a product or manifestation of the material brain and the processes of the brain and nervous system. Damage the brain and the mind is effected. Destroy the brain and you destroy the mind.

How could the mind exist without the brain?



Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:06 pm
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No, Chris - if it had been so simple, it would not have been interesting.

It is not a religious question at all, but a scientific one.

If I can't find an internet print out to cut and paste, I will type it all out verbatim myself as I would like to hear Robert's comments.....and yours, of course. It is just that, with Robert, I feel as though I've got my own tame Boffin to consult.....and the thought pleases me.

The Question was:-

What is the fundamental substance of the universe - mind or matter?

The answer

Quote:
What we refere to as 'mind' is not a substance, it is a process (actually the same can be said of what we refer to as 'matter', but that's another thing). If by fundamental one means 'serving as a foundation' then clearly matter is fundamental, since it was goiong on long before there was anything we could refer to as 'mind'.

A philosophical realist would probably say thism though a sopical idealist would probably say that 'matter' becomes just that when 'mind' interacts with it.

An evolutionary point of view would be that by utilising energy form the sun, organic matter was able to achieve a complexity where it became able to respond to energy changes ('sense') its external and internal environment. Because there is a selective advantage in being able to do this, complexity evolved through sexual reproduction. As the complexity of respons to, and eventually representation of, sensory information evolved, so did the process we refer to as mind.

The anthropologist Leslie White suggested we use the term 'minding' rather than 'mind' to avoid the delusion of considering the process as a noun rather than a verb.


What do you think? By the way Chris - this isn't such a bad thread to post this on after all, is it? :smile:


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Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:38 am
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