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Old 08-13-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: S. Wales.
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Originally Posted by kiggy View Post
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I hardly ever play video games, but I do sometimes pick up on current parlance. The 'Game over' remark is, I must concede a little pre- emptive, but I do feel that the falsity of the 'potter analogy' (and I have done potting) once demonstrated should put it to bed. The argument about man being to blame for the way he was made is arguable, I suppose but the potter analogy is simply false. That ought to see that Pauline quote consigned to oblivion, but probably it won't be.

Last edited by june 7th; 08-18-2011 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiggy View Post
Why do atheists, when they can't argue a point, spout "Game Over" or THE END, or other such childish nonsense? Because they insist on the last word? Or is it because of their addictions to video games? I wonder...
Because they have learned (or should have) that you cannot reason with unreasoning credulity willing to countenance ANYTHING as true because God can do ANYTHING. There is no room for discussion, education, logic or reason.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:17 PM
 
Location: S. Wales.
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Because they have learned (or should have) that you cannot reason with unreasoning credulity willing to countenance ANYTHING as true because God can do ANYTHING. There is no room for discussion, education, logic or reason.
Well, thanks, Mystic. That is certainly the case we come up against, but I have to say that in this particular case it was because I thought the point was pretty unarguable.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Whether or not we'd go 'Insane' (a much abused word) by questioning everything, that is irrelevant to the question of whether we should question certain unvalidated and evidentially unsupported beliefs, wouldn't you say? And taking certain unvalidated and evidentially unsupported beliefs as factually true is irrational, wouldn't you say? Not to use the term 'insane'.
Hi Arequipa,
lol Who NEVER takes "unvalidated & evidentally unsupported beliefs as factually true"? We all do, Arequipa!! As I mentioned before, just you sitting in front of this computer, your awareness is limited, yet in your mind, you believe whatever you're focusing on is it, when "it" really is too enormous to even comprehend.

Quote:
Of course and of course not. The important thing is to know when to resuspend your disbelief. Enjoying Star - trek or LOR or Harry Potter is fine and not being too critical about the inconsistencies (though noting them is good practice for the real world) while reading or watching is ok. Even letting it become a major thing in your life and leaning Klingon or attending conventions dressed as wizards or Hobbits is just the right side of obsession, and the Religion of 'The Force' was right on the wire. But when someone starts believing this stuff is real and we should all take it as real, too, then the laughing has to stop, wouldn't you say?
No... that's when the laughing really begins!! lol Like today, I laughed as my son lead a group of kids in playing "Ninjas" - for the time being, they REALLY believed THEY were ninjas - doing all of these martial arts, or tao-bo poses & all.
On a more adult level, we see the placebo effect - what we believe does have influence, even if the belief is based on illusion.

Quote:
I agree with a lot of this but my problem is - and I can't do better than use Mystic Philosopher's telling phrase - using the term as a metaphor to cover our ignorance and then pretending that somehow the questions have been answered. What enables us to think outside the box? Where do we get our morals? Why do we get elevated when looking at a sunset or a Husarya charge or a huge cathedral? What's behind feeling of love, patriotism or reverence?
So, if I understand you correctly, you have a problem with people slapping on a conclusion about God when they have yet to know much... (is that right?)
Imagination enables us to think outside the box.
We get our morals from tradition... our parents, their parents & so on & all those who influenced them & us.
Some people may get elevated when looking at a huge cathedral, some (like those who experienced cathedrals being bombed) may be reminded of terrors.
Behind feelings of love, patriotism or reverence is resonating, which is unique for each person.

Quote:
If we just say label it 'God' not only is there the danger of anthropomorphizing the experiences and feelings, but we risk telling ourselves that we know where it comes from and, when we don't actually yet know, it's wrong to stop asking. And while intuition con come up with some idea that methodical ol' science can't, it is necessary for science to test and validate to find out which ideas are true and which are not. This is vitally important if we are to avoid believing nonsense.
Why label anything? Why use words at all?
Because if it weren't for words, we would not be having this conversation, nor would we be able to have organization in society & relationships, since relationships are only as good as their communication.
Yet, you make a good point, Arequipa - that we should never stop asking. A friend of mine said "God is in the void." I think that means that God is in the asking... in that uncomfortable emptiness we try to fill through TV, internet, music, or addictions.
I absolutely agree with you - that intuition can help further science, but not alone - it needs to also be harmonized with good ol' common sense.

Quote:
The problem here is that this tells us nothing. Ok, for someone who is satisfied with that, fine. I must assume that you see 'God' as a metaphor for the 'spiritual' in humans, all that is best and inspirational and not as something that requires us to attend a place of worship or behave in a particular manner or reject bodies of well - researched evidence because it conflicts with some book of myths and, thus I have got no quarrel with you. But it is nowhere near good enough for the rest of us.

There are unanswered questions about what these feelings and emotions actually are, where they came from and why and what they mean. What are they intended to do and is it really good for us and can we do better? These are very important questions and in view of some recent events, I'd say they are urgent.

Juts labelling it all 'God' and not bothering to question any further is wrong. It's not too bad so long as it doesn't get in the way of questioning, but if it is ever presented as an answer or a reason to not bother asking questions, then it has become something that cannot be ignored or allowed to pass.
I agree, Arequipa! -Especially that it's urgent that we explore this notion of spirituality or intuition further. I believe & I'm sure there are some studies to back it up, that we have much more power than we think... for healing (physically & psychologically) ourselves & others.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:25 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
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Hi. I agree that we all 'suspend disbelief' (1) especially during entertainment. It is knowing when to re- engage it that separates the rational person from the irrational. I utterly agree that fantasy, imagination and speculation can indeed go where mere science cannot reach. That is why speculation and hypotheses are so valuable. However, hypotheses they must remain until we can find ways of validating them.

Yes. I am cautious about attaching labels to unknown areas and then claiming them for some unproven theory. Mystic's point was a good one but I do think that we know a lot about the workings of what we call 'nature' but we know nothing about 'god'.

Words are labels we use to identify concepts. As you say, without doing that we cannot have a conversation. One has to be sensible and aware. Not only can the same word have different meanings in different languages but it can have more than one meaning and can be unwarily or craftily used to make one concept seem to equate to another. We also have to remember that dictionaries record usages (including popular and inaccurate ones) as well as validated accurate definitions.

I also urge that we carefully use words as language indicators to concepts - not to apply a definition and demand that the concept fit the definition. That's why I urge caution in applying the 'god' label to the unknowns of life, the universe and everything. Not only is it risking claiming that we know what we do not but it tends to discourage finding out what it is - because we already 'know'. Sorry for the length, but this is an important point that you raise.

Finally, we agree that these unknowns - NED anecdotes, the reputed cities beneath the sea, the unknown but suspected dark matter and the origins of life and the cosmos, the mystical experience, why we dance or create art, the 'divine instinct', xenophobia, anger and the 'harem instinct' - should be made the subject of further study. The urge to acclaim leaders and flags and join in candlelight vigils. These are things too often taken for granted or passed over or labelled 'property of God' and forgotten. These are the 'unknowns' and often unconsidered questions which should be investigated without prejudice. The labels have to be removed before we can do the study. Indeed, often before we are allowed to do the study.

The study might well show that there is more to us than just the material and may even lead to proving something that we might justifiably label 'god'. And I don't have any deep - seated objecting to that if proved. If I had to give up the 'atheist' label I would cheerfully do so.

(1) three inescapables of life - Death, Taxes and a footnote from Arq. As an old - time skeptic, the suspended disbelief can be shaken when you note that the plot don't stack up.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 08-18-2011 at 06:35 AM..
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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Arequipa,
Thanks for clarifying your perspective.
I agree that "God" should not be an excuse for concluding without continuing the search for more meaning. In fact, I think God IS the search for more meaning. I consider God to be a process of hoping & striving for progress, that is both universal & unique. God is not limited.

Behind my passion for redefining God... is a desire to heal myself, others & even save lives. Suicide kills more than war (& including 2 relatives within the last year & a neighbor) & I read that most mental illnesses (esp. depression) are rooted in misinterpretations of Christian doctrine. So, if we redefined God, I believe we could actually make a positive difference in manys' mental well-being.

Traditional definitions of God describe God in fearful & shameful terms, teaching that "He" kicks us when we're down (that we are not just punished by our sins, but also for them) - which is why we need a scapegoat of Jesus. Yet, it's written that "God is love." Scriptures were picked & chosen from & twisted by many, & Constatine had a big say in boxing up religion to support political power. People (like William Tyndale) were persecuted & killed for translating the bible.

As it is, religion has the power to help or harm, depending on how one defines & interprets it (as this study showed)...
New Study: Can Religion Help You Fight Serious Illness? « Doctor Stu's Blog

Belief is powerful & has REAL influence, whether it's based on illusion or not. Sometimes I worry about shattering others' hope, even when I know it's illusional. We all need hope - & often it is based on illusion, or is "unprovable." Yet, that hope, has real influence, often for good.
I think the goal is to learn to orchestrate our thoughts so we resonate with what is best, both logically & intuitively...To humbly admit we don't know much in comparison with what there is to know... & plenty is unexplainable by traditional scientific methods.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: S. Wales.
42,544 posts, read 12,115,608 times
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That is a good argument and it is very persuasive to use 'God' or some kind of religious belief (since it can instil very strong emotions) for therapeutic purposes. It can also be used to inspire sporting effors and also, regrettably, bigotry and intolerance and hatred.

However, I don't want to get sidetracked into the Atrocity debate. I accept the therapeutic possibilities of religion and there are other emotions equally therapeutic which are not allowed in medicine.

I recognize the value but I have a high regard for truth. I am not convinced that the benefits of a comfy delusion (and I believe that it demonstrably is) justify overlooking the truth. I say the public deserves the truth and I wonder just who is entitled to decree that it would be better for the good of the people that they did not hear but the placebo pill of Faith was handed out instead.

Apart from that, 'God' may be getting in the way of investigation. I have seen a good deal of circumstantial evidence that meditational exercises, shorn of theological trappings, are equally efficacious. A proper, demystified, study of what is actually going on in our heads and bodies might allow us to administer the cichona- bark pill without the medicine man having to mumble incantations along with it.

Without an objective approach - when treating it as 'Religion works - that's good enough - we might never know.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
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if you live in america, it better be apache chief

(superfriends joke? )


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Old 08-20-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Hi Arequipa,
I realize that you want to want the truth, and nothing but the truth.
But the truth is... is that nobody really wants the 100% truth.
Just think back to the last time someone called you on your personal uncomfortable truth.
Like Jack Nicholson said, We "can't handle the truth!"

Yes, it's a worthy goal, but it's like perfection or beauty... truth is in the eye of the beholder. And the fact is, is that many people are not as dedicated to searching for truth as you are... maybe because they are in too much pain to handle any more, or because of tradition. And who's to say what is true or not - scientists - who limit their truth finding to their own established scientific methods?
We know that the subconsious mind is very powerful, yet it's also extremely illogical (the conscious mind is in charge of logic, not the subconsious - just consider some of your dreams). So, it is in our interest to open our minds to exploring this power within us, but it cannot be limited by only exploring it in the scientifically logical way.

As you mentioned, God being defined correctly, can be therapeutic, yet misdefined can lead to bigotry, prejudice & hatred.
For our & others' well being, we need to redefine God: the highest good for all - LOVE.
For atheists or agnostics, it will help bring a deeper awareness of life & their own health & psychology, by combining both intellect & intuition.
For theists, it will help expand their experience of Spirituality by expanding the meaning & experience of God, especially in relation to caring for others as one's self.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Maybe your God needed a new definition..love..but to many of us love doesn't need a new definition...god.
Love is fine all by itself and, believe it or not, we know how to do that and even what benefits experiencing it has without needing to tie it in with any god.
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