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Belief in God

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Dissident Heart

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Re: Leaps and Bounds

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amd Quote:Chris has already briefly responded to the issue of god and emotions.Well, he asserted the uselessness and lack of importance, meaning and value of emotions when discussing human experience- because I have argued consistently that we get to God through human experience, which includes emotions. The major thrust of my posts involve connecting the very important place of interpersonal relationships between humans with a possible relationship between humans and the mystery from which, in which, and toward which existence moves. To simply dismiss this core element of my part of this discussion is to either suffer from an inability to read, an irrational bias against human emotion, or a dogmatic assertion that there is only one way to make sense of the God-question.Quote:If I want to be absolutely precise about it, I have to say that it is my body I don't think we can be absolutely precise about such matters, as your first sentence proves. We are forced, by language perhaps, to posit an 'I' that has a 'body'. Already there are two of you....better, a You with an It, and It that belongs to You. The same problem arises when discussing thinking...Am I thinking, or are Thoughts arising of their own accord. Plato, and Nietzsche long after him, described Thoughts as their own Persons- able to grip, persue, tackle, control, trick, seduce, lead, damage, and even copulate with the 'I' that receives, or rejects them. Likewise, both Plato and Nietzsche had a more fluid, shifting, multi-faceted view of "I"...or the Psyche, Seele, the Soul. For Plato the Soul was Tri-Partite: thinking, feeling, and willing. A model embraced by Christian neo-Platonists like Augustine, and Jews like Philo. And some would argue Freud as well with his Super-Ego, Ego, and Id model. Or today's more acceptable Human, Mammalian, and Reptilian components of the Brain.For Nietzsche the Soul was plural, polyphonic, multiiform, and manifold...a living composition of forces and wills that found their sources in mineral, vegetal, familial, political, and cosmic roots...histories were alive and moving through the Soul like characters on a stage. His Psychology, or Soul-talk, saw the Person as a vibrant mix of many characters, voices, identities, roles, wills....and the task of the Philosopher was to Compose this chaotic mass of "Yous" into a masterful chorus of "I". In much the same way that the generative Spirit of God hovered above the watery chaos and "Spoke" the world into existence.But, none of this addresses the key element of what I am bringing to this discussion regarding God and the mysterious abyss from which we all arise and return to, namely:Relating to this great Mystery as a personal You, instead of an impersonal It is an essential first step in making sense of the who-what-where-why-how of God. And that simply pooh-poohing this as 'anthromorphizing, emotional, teary-eyed nonsense' is to misunderstand two key things: 1. The inescapable role of human emotion in structuring our vision of self and other, and the ways in which we relate to other selves; 2. The value of relating to the great mystery of existence as a You, instead of It, as a healthy, sensible, and intelligent way to express our need for relationship, compassion, solidarity, intimacy and love.
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Interbane

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Re: God

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Doc:"God does indeed exist. That is fact."I see that this is an unshakable conviction for you. I have no clue what the numbers are, but I'm sure there are thousands of highly intelligent people who would say the same thing. Yet there are also thousands of highly intelligent people who would say "God does not exist. That is fact." I'm sure some of those people on both sides are both more intelligent and more in touch with their emotions and nature than any of us.Who is to say which of you is correct? The strength of nonbelievers conviction is no less than yours Doc, and one of the two sides must be wrong. To not acknowledge even the potential that you are wrong based on this baffles me. Blind faith I guess...
amd2003

Open Mind

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: To not acknowledge even the potential that you (could be) wrong based on this baffles meWould you insist on a similar open mind for the flat earth theory? Phlogiston? Vis viva? Santa Claus? Tooth fairy? Cold fusion?amd
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Interbane

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Re: Open Mind

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I posted in the Convictions thread a paragraph that is somewhat similar to what I'll put here. Pardon my waste of database space in duplicating some information. Race. Mace.There is an absolute truth to everything in the universe. This truth transcends all of our individual beliefs. I'm sure the collective knowledge base of humanity has a lot of false information. False theories, false opinions, etc. None of this matters though, since I am talking about the absolute truth that exists regardless of individual bias. In almost all cases, there is no way to know the absolute truth, we can only speculate and deduce and assume.Whenever I learn new stuff or hear opinions or supposed facts, I let the information percolate and assign it to a hypothetical true/false spectrum in my head. Some information is more likely to be true, and some is more likely to be false. If I heard that Madonna had quintuplets, I'd place that very near the false end of the spectrum. If I heard that the sun is going to come up tomorrow, I'd place that right at the true end of the spectrum. My placement of both of these is potentially wrong, but the probability is very very small, so I'm confident that I put them in the right place in my head.Pardon my youthful ignorance on this following claim(I'm only 20,) but in all my experience one of the very few things that falls right in the middle of the spectrum is whether or not god exists. Metacognitively, I see no way to justify to you why I think of it like this... perhaps because there is no true supporting evidence either way and the population is so split on the topic. Halfway is not good enough for me to believe, so I do not believe in god. My reasoning there belongs in another thread possibly titled "Belief Traps and Justification." All of your examples below are placed well toward if not on the false end of the spectrum in my head amd. Flat earth theory? Maybe if I've been in a drug induced altered state of reality and have been mislead all my life. Or I'm an experiment similar to what happened to Jim Carrey in that one movie where he was born and raised in a dome. The potential exists that I'm wrong about it, but we both know how much of a stretch that is... improbable to the point of impossible. Many people would say that it's ridiculous not to believe this is %100 wrong. I have another theory on why it is bad to deny that the potential that you are wrong exists, possibly placed in a thread titled "Anchored Truths."You can fly around the earth... enough proof for me to justify my spectral positioning. Phlogiston... isn't that the element of fire in it's precursor form, such as gunpowder or gasoline?
Sakis Totlis

Re: Belief in God

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I believe in god but I do not believe in theology. I believe strongly in god but I do not call him god. I call him ENERGY. This may explain the first two statements. I may further clarify that I prefer Energy to god because energy is a very meaningful and innocent technical term (not abused by billions of theologists of all kind). I believe that all theologists had energy in their minds when they talked of god. When a modern mind substitutes "energy" for "god" it all makes sense. I have rendered the TAO TE CHING into Greek using the (GK) word "Energy" for "TAO" throughout the book and it all made perfect sense. That wasn't my idea either. Timothy Leary first said that "the best translation of TAO is Energy, in a pure natural sense. The "E" in Einstein's equation E=mc2The name of god (or anything we SAY about him) matters very little, god himself is all that matters. ENERGY. In other words, it is good to talk about energy but it is better to use it directly. It is all around us. :-) Edited by: Sakis Totlis at: 10/11/04 9:14 am
God et al

Re: God

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Hello AMD. Just wanted to honor your request./ You are all doing a wonderful job with this discussion...Now...excuse me...I have some errands to run!God et al
Doc Tiessen

Spektrum

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Interbane,I like your metapher of the spektrum of the truth.... I agree with you... we should never say that we are 100% sure.... and we should never deny something for sure...There is always the possibility that we are wrong. When I say that God is a fact, I accept the possibility that I may be wrong. I just wanted to say that I put this at the very far side of the spektrum... possibly 90 or 99% sure.The reason I am so categorical, is because science is usually categorical... we say that gravitational force is a fact, that Newtons F=m*a is a fact... or that Einstein E=mc2 is a fact.... Evolution is a fact...Well, I put the existance of God near that end of the spektrum. Another reason I am categorical, is because I am discussing with people that are themselves categorical... they say that God does not exist as a fact... Jeremy says God equals zero...Well, how can they be so sure? In the tread about agnostic discussion I read a nice definition...The arguments posted here seem to be from gnostic atheists... (They know for sure that God does not exist)I am theist because I believe (yes, with faith)... because I think that is a good mathematical axiome to describe my existance... that Randomness (=God) exists.God is not zero. Diversity is Good!
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Interbane

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Re: Belief in God

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Hmm, is Dark Energy the equivalent of Satan in the Christian sense then?You ideas on energy seem like another religion altogether. Some people believe in Karma, some in Voodoo or Witchcraft, Buddhists believe in cows, Indians believed in Mother Earth and Ancestral Spirits. May Order vs Chaos then take the place of Good vs Evil in the traditional sense?I'm not attacking you Sakis, just wondering about some things.
Doc Tiessen

Determinism

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Sorry if I post too much, but there were so many details in the previous emails to which I wanted to give a comment or to provide an answer... I must say that the responsible for this chat forum should be made accountable for all the waste of time that he is causing ... he should be sued... (Chris, you will go to jail... LOL) I mean, I am getting addicted to this stuff... and who is going to protect me from this kind of posting drug? This site should be prohibited... for the sake of our economy... LOLAnd even worse... are you aware of all the money that this is causing to the german taxpaxers? I mean, I get my salary as researcher somehow from the government... and I admit the crime that I am doing this posting stuff during working hours... I mean, my working hours are 18 hours a day, and 6 days a week... but nevermind... I should be doing experiments and writing papers instead of chatting... LOLBut, well... I guess this kind of high level intelectual dialog is also part that makes us intelligent humans... or stupid scientists...Nia:I will definitely answer your question on the definition of Randomness. I may do it in the other tread (Belief in Randomness)... so check it out there...In regard to one comment to determinism (I guess it was Jeremy?) I totally agree that there are two alternatives... either there is total determinism or there is not... Either there is no randomness or there is randomness...There are these two options for a worldview. One that is fully deterministic and one that is non-deterministic. What I can add is that both views are equally valid. Let me explain them using my words:1)In the deterministic view, all events of the universe have a cause-effect that is defined by mathematical formulas. Even if we do not know all variables and the correct formulas, this worldview assumes that everything is already decided. There are no open choices because every set of causes always leads to the same effects with mathematical accuracy (Newton Actio-Reactio law). This worldview assumes that there is only momentaneous ignorance, because we do not understand everything. In this worldview, an imaginary creature (Laplace Daemon) knows the position and impulse of all atoms and molecules of the universe, and thus is able to predict with complete accuracy which will be the situation at any given date. In this worldview, the arrow of time is rather irrelevant, because the mathematical formulas define everything. You just put the date, and ping you get a result. You can fastforward, reverse and play with time as you like. In the deterministic view, there is a fixed fate.2)In the non-deterministic view, there are also many events that can be accurately predicted, but there is a certain level of uncertainity. The amount of uncertainity is a matter of debate, but there is at least one. This uncertainity is not only a matter of accuracy of measurements or practical limitations, but it is also of theoretical nature. In this view, the uncertainity is not the result of subject-object interaction, but it is the essence of reality. In this worldview, there are still open choices that have to be made. The Laplace daemon can predict many things, but his knowledge is more limited and his accuracy decreases with time. He could tell you the weather forecats of tomorrow, but not the one of next year. In this worldview, the arrow of time has indeed a fundamental importance, because the past has been already decided and is fix, but the future is still open. There is not fixed fate in this view.There are also some variations to the above views. For example, a recent variant of the deterministic worldview (version 1.1) includes a limitation to the prediction capacity. It argues that there are so many variables to take into account for their formulas, than not even a supercomputer would be able to calculate the result for any desired timepoint. The amount of calculations and memory that would be required exceeded the size of the universum. This means that in certain circumstances it is useless to try to calculate or predict, because the result will come faster than the calculation. In other words, to let the universum run is the fastest way to know the outcome. In my opinion, this variant of the deterministic worldview is just a decofeinated version with methaphorical inconsistencies. It says that everything is determined, but not even in theory we can know the result. For me it is as saying that not humans, computers (not even God) will ever know the result, but it is also useless to try to find it because it is better to wait for the outcome. It is like somebody that proudly presumes that he knows the solution, but he will never tell it to you. In this case I prefer the view 2 which admits that the outcome is not fixed.However, both views are in agreement with all experimental results and scientific knowledge currently available. Unfortunately, it seems that it is impossible to carry out an experiment to determine which of both worldviews is correct. The difference between both is of such fundamental nature, that it concerns the axiomes of science itself. Axiomes are statements that cannot be proben, but have to be taken without further questioning. The difference is that in worldview 1 there is no true randomness but only ignorance. In the worldview 2 randomness is the reason that things are uncertain. The non-deterministic world arises because of the open choices that true Randomness can make. Unfortunately it is practically and theoretically impossible to proof or disproof the existance of true Randomness. Therefore, we can choose the axiomes that we like most. Which one do you like? What is your opinion, Jeremy, amd...?Maybe I became to abstract and obscure in my previous explanations... I will try to explain the alternatives of the worldviews using another context. Imagine you are at home watching TV. Your favourite teams are playing the most exciting football game of the season. You are eager to know the outcome. In the worldview 2 you are watching the game live as it evolves. Nobody in the world knows the number of goals that are going to be scored, neither who will be the winner. In the worldview 1 you are watching the game that happened yesterday. You do not know the result of the game, but other people outside your house do. In principle, you could phone a friend to tell you the number of goals before they are shown on your TV. In the worldview 1.1 you are also watching the game that happened yesterday. Other people outside your house do know the outcome, but nobody will tell you. You could read the newpaper, but it will take you so long to gather the pieces from the trashcan and to read it, that when you find the sport section, the game on TV will be already over. By reading the newpaper you miss the actual game.Ok, using this graphical sports example, I possibly have already revealed which is my favourite view. But which is yours? How do you see it? Diversity is Good!Edited by: Doc Tiessen at: 10/11/04 11:15 am
Sakis Totlis

Re: Belief in God

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I did not say anything about "dark" energy or any other KIND of energy. You did. (For me energy has no kinds. Power does. And power is a manifestation of energy. Energy is just a potential. Any good dictionary will define energy likewise).I did not say anything about good and evil,, either. You did. This is totally another discussion. I just meant to go beyond names (and talk) to the real "thing in itself."Your argumentation is an argumentation by intimidation. E.g. only a fool (an evil man, etc.) says what you say (so, you are a fool, an evil person, etc.). This is an easy rhetoric trick, very typical with theologists. They always take the position of the GOOD and they attack the opposite party as EVIL. Ts, ts, ts!... Too easy! It is just a trick. I know it all too well. GOOD is not a vantage position to attack anybody. GOOD is love and acceptance and forgiveness. Isn't it?Here we talk about god philosophically. Which means that we are interested in truth, as far and as deep as our reasoning and out intellect will take us. So, let's stick to arguments, please! Sound, rational arguments!
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