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Old 08-19-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
It seems to me that the essence of deity is incomprehensibility, transcendence, and just a general idea of not being able to fully comprehend it. Without that mystery, the divine quickly becomes mundane...
Indeed. Many people go on about "transcendence", not realizing that what they seek to "transcend" is simply ignorance. That there are some things we are likely to remain ignorant about for a long time or conceivably forever, matters not; there is no more mystery about, say, the origins of the universe than there is anything mystical about how an internal combustion engine works to someone who has no knowledge of them. Both are simply matters of not knowing.

There is actually no way to transcend limitations -- rather, we need to transform our ignorance into knowledge and thereby remove limitations. The only way we've ever done that is via scientific inquiry and experimentation and eventually, applied technology. Our passenger jets do not take us in a matter of hours to the other side of the planet via mystical transcendence of our inability to fly.

The only appropriate and useful response to ignorance is to admit we're ignorant and do our best to correct the situation. I admit that I am ignorant about exactly how the universe came to be, but this needn't be a wound to my pride or a threat to my ego, it just is as it is. I refuse to make things up or subscribe to something that someone else made up and that a lot of other people subscribe to. That is the only real difference between myself and a theist.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:19 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,707,855 times
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There is actually no way to transcend limitations -- rather, we need to transform our ignorance into knowledge and thereby remove limitations. The only way we've ever done that is via scientific inquiry and experimentation and eventually, applied technology. Our passenger jets do not take us in a matter of hours to the other side of the planet via mystical transcendence of our inability to fly.
Do you think it's possible that scientific inquiry can point us in the direction of whether there is a 'higher' intelligence, fill in the blank what you will that 'created' all things? Or for that matter to come to the conclusion that perhaps hey 'nothing' was never technically 'created' at all? You know....there is just an 'eternalness'?
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:00 AM
 
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It seems unlikely now, though it is always possible. After all, we only just found the Higgs -Boson and we are still looking for Dark Matter. And yet I can't help but think that if there was a transcendance that we might be tempted to label 'God' in any justified way (as opposed to just slapping the label on anything that might convert a few dims or sell a thousand extra newspapers ) we should have found it by now, which is why I think in terms, not of an unknown that may be soon discovered, but of a theory as water so long gone under the bridge (in the old analogy) that there really is no way back for it.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,091,096 times
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Originally Posted by travric View Post
Do you think it's possible that scientific inquiry can point us in the direction of whether there is a 'higher' intelligence, fill in the blank what you will that 'created' all things? Or for that matter to come to the conclusion that perhaps hey 'nothing' was never technically 'created' at all? You know....there is just an 'eternalness'?
I think the most likely outcome is that we might to some degree prove that existence itself is timeless / eternal or at least cyclic. Looking for the origins of something that emerges from realms where time doesn't even exist is kind of pointless. My guess is that we are so time-bound that we have trouble conceptualizing timelessness and it seems mystical or transcendent to us, but it's once again just another area of ignorance or inability to conceptualize at all.

As for finding a higher intelligence -- possible but unlikely unless perhaps you're talking about a superior race that might have seeded life here. But as pointed out by the recent movie Prometheus, those wouldn't be gods, and might well be just as flawed and arrogant as us.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:33 PM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,707,855 times
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I
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t seems unlikely now, though it is always possible. After all, we only just found the Higgs -Boson and we are still looking for Dark Matter. And yet I can't help but think that if there was a transcendance that we might be tempted to label 'God' in any justified way (as opposed to just slapping the label on anything that might convert a few dims or sell a thousand extra newspapers ) we should have found it by now, which is why I think in terms, not of an unknown that may be soon discovered, but of a theory as water so long gone under the bridge (in the old analogy) that there really is no way back for it.
You know a variable here is us currently 'in the now'. I guess we're still learning. A new 'now' will exist deep into the future where no doubt we probably will wrestle with the 'big' questions and getting answers or not finding answers. We are in kind of a 'quiet' time in the age of the universe after the Big Bang with eons to go where it will pick up again and according to physicists where we're expected to get a 'colder' universe. Question is where will humanity be on the evolutionary scale at that time? Can the focus then perhaps be less on 'physicality and moreso on pure intellect? Possibly as we view the past evolutionary ladder. We could be in a better position to evaluate the tough questions.


Quote:
As for finding a higher intelligence -- possible but unlikely unless perhaps you're talking about a superior race that might have seeded life here. But as pointed out by the recent movie Prometheus, those wouldn't be gods, and might well be just as flawed and arrogant as us.
I could see that. The interesting there is technically we really don't know what the hell is out there past the observable universe. Who knows if its anything like our neck of the woods? Maybe different physics altogether. Maybe 'God' is hanging out there, you think???...No doubt the old entity might say, 'Thanks for plugging, so what took you guys so long!....;-)....
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