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Old 08-30-2013, 04:19 AM
 
Location: The Help Desk
255 posts, read 543,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post

The advantage that my side of the debate enjoys is that there has yet to be anything (ANYTHING) observable in the universe that cannot be theoretically explained by the laws of physics, or by extensions thereof (chemistry, physiology, biology).

Well, in my mind, science and theory are not one and the same. So, you can have a theory about, say, a black hole, but your science will be lacking if you've never taken measurements inside one.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Help Desk View Post
Well, in my mind, science and theory are not one and the same. So, you can have a theory about, say, a black hole, but your science will be lacking if you've never taken measurements inside one.
That's like saying that a car and a steering wheel are not one and the same. Of course they are not, but one is part of the other.

To the point of the parts of theories that are not directly observable or repeatable, yes, direct observation, preferably repeatable observations, are to be preferred, but in general they are not as much of an impediment to being able to have confidence in the theory as you might think. Indirect observation can be just as powerful as direct observation; for a simplistic example, we can't "see" the wind (with the naked eye anyway) but can observe that it has very predictable effects on movable objects, and this gives us just as much basis to draw conclusions as if air were not transparent. In a sense, we even see the effects more clearly without the distraction of potentially misleading wind visuals.

Similarly we can't see gravity but we can see how it diverts objects and bends light and we can mathematically predict how extreme gravity, as in a black hole, would behave and compare our observations to those predictions. I don't know how much more useful measurements from inside a black hole would be, especially relative to the difficulty of obtaining them.

As a theist, and for awhile after I left theism, I tended to share your apparent skepticism about the limitations of science. To this day, I think it's illusory to think that science has all the answers; some questions it will inherently never fully answer, and a good scientist is able and willing to say "I don't know" without filling gaps in knowledge with god or some other speculation. However, having looked at the claims of science and rationalism for awhile now outside the reality distortion field of fundamentalism, I find it surprisingly capable and have a much higher degree of confidence in it. Right now, science is making substantial inroads even in areas that touch on my field, where I thought progress, if any, was at least decades away.

Science alone, of course, will not save us; it will only provide more and more data and tools for us to (mis)use. Although the trajectory of humanity's story arc passes through some real hazards, I am generally optimistic that our wise use of scientific and technological resources will exceed our unwise use.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: The Help Desk
255 posts, read 543,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post

To the point of the parts of theories th for a simplistic example, we can't "see" the wind (with the naked eye anyway) but can observe that it has very predictable effects on movable objects, and this gives us just as much basis to draw conclusions as if air were not transparent.

My point exactly; we can stand in the wind and measure it. We don't have to see something to measure it. Sound also falls into that category.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:27 PM
 
10,525 posts, read 15,573,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Idealism - it's common to mark a very sharp, definite division between what is 'real' - the objective, material world, and what is imaginary. We're derisively told 'it's just in your head', or young children or reassured by adults that 'it's just a dream' or 'it's just make-believe.' This division has created a rigid dichotomy in the western mind between the incorporeal world of ideas, thoughts, dreams and feelings, and the more 'real' world of objects and matter. And indeed, it fits in well with the scientific materialistic view of the world. There seems little opposition to this basic notion from many in the clergy, or even new age spiritualists, as they can conveniently claim the 'supernatural' as a separate realm which is somehow 'beyond science' and cannot be accessed or experienced via the scientific method.

I believe consciousness ultimate creates our reality, and that the Universe is innately conscious. Some have imagined a giant computer program, a simulation, others have likened it to God or some great giant having a dream...while I think we do create our own realities, there is some essence, some superconsciousness, that links us all and, in some way, to the divine mind or being...we look through the glass dimly though, towards this divine core/heart and towards each other...we're packets of energy marooned. I also believe that we are like radio receivers that pick up consciousness or life itself...

I think the error of materialistic thinking is believing the Universe was controlled by blind, unconscious universal laws and that consciousness was a PRODUCT of that.

What do you think?

You are correct.

EVERYTHING in the two great spheres, on the nature side and on the intelligent side, is conscious.
Consciousness is what determines what everything is, not blind haphazard accident.
Things are conscience in two ways.
Non intelligent objects, or ones on the nature side, are conscious only as they function.
Intelligent objects, or units, are conscious that they are conscious.


You can find it all explained here:

The Word Foundation: Thinking and Destiny
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:50 PM
 
263 posts, read 311,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
.... I think the error of materialistic thinking is believing the Universe was controlled by blind, unconscious universal laws and that consciousness was a PRODUCT of that.

What do you think?
Yes. We haven't yet found the connection between physical and non-physical consciousness with science. My inner knowing tells me not to worry about it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Interesting discussion. I think we do live in a realm that is physical, mortal and subject to GRAVity (a grave place) where we are subject to the elements and death. Of course we are also spiritual beings and the only "escape" from this mortal captivity is through our understanding of higher (spiritual) principles. I believe that a lot of mankinds' troubles stem from the evil within his/her imaginations of what "might be", the fear of loss and the fear of death. Freedom from fear of death is the ultimate freedom. Even with freedom from the fear of death, some, like myself still struggle with the fear of loss and suffering. We can't completely control our "reality" in the sense of being able to control our circumstances, physical condition, et.al. - but hopefully, we will learn to master our perception and live and walk above circumstances. To do so takes deep faith in the ultimate goodness of our Creator (IMO). I have never met an atheist who gave me anything to hope for. It make sense to me that we are suffering for a purpose and to believe that there is no actual purpose to my existence would be a dumb thing believe in even if this life turns out to be "all there is".
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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all sorts of irrational beliefs exist, but if you can't show in reality or with reason that something exists, then it doesn't exist (yet) it MIGHT be manifested in the future, but at present, it's just a construct with no basis for it.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:51 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Interesting discussion. I think we do live in a realm that is physical, mortal and subject to GRAVity (a grave place) where we are subject to the elements and death. Of course we are also spiritual beings and the only "escape" from this mortal captivity is through our understanding of higher (spiritual) principles. I believe that a lot of mankinds' troubles stem from the evil within his/her imaginations of what "might be", the fear of loss and the fear of death. Freedom from fear of death is the ultimate freedom. Even with freedom from the fear of death, some, like myself still struggle with the fear of loss and suffering. We can't completely control our "reality" in the sense of being able to control our circumstances, physical condition, et.al. - but hopefully, we will learn to master our perception and live and walk above circumstances. To do so takes deep faith in the ultimate goodness of our Creator (IMO). I have never met an atheist who gave me anything to hope for. It make sense to me that we are suffering for a purpose and to believe that there is no actual purpose to my existence would be a dumb thing believe in even if this life turns out to be "all there is".
It's common said that all fear stems from the fear of death. The fear of loss might ultimately be a manifestation of that, because we lose everything when we die. That's why some people turn to faith in an afterlife, or invest their time and energy in creating a name for themselves so they'll be remembered forever.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:08 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,758,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
It's common said that all fear stems from the fear of death. The fear of loss might ultimately be a manifestation of that, because we lose everything when we die. That's why some people turn to faith in an afterlife, or invest their time and energy in creating a name for themselves so they'll be remembered forever.
Any thoughts on our fear of suffering? There is plenty of that in this life.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:43 PM
 
6,433 posts, read 9,950,274 times
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You got one thing right. We do create our own realities. By the power of your own words is your life shaped and formed.
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