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Let’s Have a Dialog—ie., a Conversation, not a debate—About the god-hypothesis
Posted: 18 February 2012 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Greatest I am - 18 February 2012 06:52 AM
Write4U - 17 February 2012 10:17 PM

[
I agree, it appears that even fear is no deterrent to our folly. I view biblical love and fear as akin to the sexual (kinky) extasy of D/s and even BDSM.

Smile.

The main piece of folly that we engage in is not recognizing that we do live in the one ecology and all have impact on each other.

In a world divided the way the earth is, with everyone and all countries doing their own thing, things will not likely improve much.

One world needs one government and man, unless there is emergency or war, will not elect one. Too many chiefs with their little thiefdoms.

The U N is a good start but it is not working well.

Regards
DL

I agree, we are far from a Humanist world.

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Posted: 18 February 2012 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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LG:

If no god created and brought us to this point, what did? Evolution? If so, where can we hope, or want, to evolve from here? Is it best practice to let evolution take it course? Or, now that it seems that we do have a level self-awareness, is it possible to exercise our WILLpower and, from here on, do a better job?

It appears humans have evolved to the point that we can at least partially control our own evolution.  Whether this is to our benefit as a species is yet to be seen. It scares me to think what military funded scientists may be creating as super warriors. We are also creating robots with artificial intelligence.  Perhaps our own replacements.
However the rules of evolutionary theory require change and we all know if something is possible humans someplace are going to attempt it.  How these changes are going to affect the species is always going to be an unknown.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 18 February 2012 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Write4U - 18 February 2012 11:18 AM

[I agree, we are far from a Humanist world.

It is only one organization away but it is to create that organization with sufficent numbers to enact change.

Some are trying. Zeitgeist, Project reason and others but it is fragmentary the same way all our systems are.

The net, the greatest communication tool to date, may help.

Time will tell.
We have till about 2030 or so which is when Muslim demographicks will cause many countries woes. It has already begun in some E U nations.

Regards
DL

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Posted: 18 February 2012 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Charles Collom - 13 February 2012 05:59 PM

OK, then. Let’s begin at the beginning:
1) State your complete hypothesis with all terms clearly defined.
2) Give all your evidence for the hypothesis.
3) Explain how this evidence supports your hypothesis.

  Charles, thanks for your interest. For some time, in the Sciencegogo.com forum—in the Not-Quite-Science section—I have been writing about what I call unitheism http://www.unitheist.org  hosted by a young artist, Warren Farr, and me.

When we got to know one another, Warren and I discovered that, independently, we both had concocted the word, ‘unitheism’.  Also, independently, we chose to use it in such a way so as to get away from the dogmas of monotheism. We also want to avoid confusing pantheism with panentheism—both ideas worthy of respect. All are welcome to the Unitheism Group on Facebook.

ABOUT K. C. F. KRAUSE—originator of panentheism—and Charles Hartshorne
Later, I discovered that in the 19th Century,  pantheism had morphed into panentheism—one of the technical terms used by the Rev. Charles Hartshorne. The term was originally coined by Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, in 1828. Panentheism—all is in God and God is in and through all things. This is in harmony with the what the new physicists call the String Theory of matter, is not to be confused with pantheism (all is God).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Christian_Friedrich_Krause
In keeping with Hartshorne’s theology I will use the acronym, G-0-D, which I concocted: For me, G-0-D is not a supernatural and personal being, or entity, identical with the physical cosmos. But neither is it completely independent from it either. G-0-D is that which generates Good, organizes all that is Opportune and delivers that which Delights. Our role is to be co-creators of that which is G-0-D—good, orderly and desirable.

Think of it this way: Think of the relationship between a mother and a fetus. The mother has her own identity and is different from the unborn. However, mothers are obviously connected—physically, mentally and spiritually—with the unborn child. The unborn is within the womb and attached to the mother via the umbilical cord. Question: How is the father attached?

THE LAST THING I CHOOSE TO BE IS DOGMATIC
Unitheism, is a very flexible term. I use it include what I feel are the best ideas of both theories.

Meanwhile, please feel free to check out the current thread of mine, below, and you will get some idea of what I have in mind:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=42616#Post42616
====================
I have great respect for the work of:
ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD, mathematician
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
Charles Hartshorne, theologian—interpreter of Whitehead’s work
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hartshorne/

ABOUT PANENTHEISM
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panentheism/

[ Edited: 18 February 2012 09:15 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 18 February 2012 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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btw, welcome Diane (The Muddler)

I read your post with great intererest and agree with much of what you said. If only we could seperate the wheat from the chaf in all scripture and fashion a compendium without invoking a spiritual supernatural being, we might be able to reconcile our differences. Unfortunately, it seems we have not yet done enough damage to ourselves to recognize the fact that we are all trying to find an acceptable moral way of living together with a neutral and acceptable philosophy about the greater universe.
This is why I prefer the term Secular Humanist the best because it leaves no doubt about the inclusive nature of the philosophy.

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Posted: 19 February 2012 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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garythehuman - 18 February 2012 11:28 AM

LG:

If no god created and brought us to this point, what did? Evolution? If so, where can we hope, or want, to evolve from here? Is it best practice to let evolution take it course? Or, now that it seems that we do have a level self-awareness, is it possible to exercise our WILLpower and, from here on, do a better job?

It appears humans have evolved to the point that we can at least partially control our own evolution.  Whether this is to our benefit as a species is yet to be seen. It scares me to think what military funded scientists may be creating as super warriors. We are also creating robots with artificial intelligence.  Perhaps our own replacements.
However the rules of evolutionary theory require change and we all know if something is possible humans someplace are going to attempt it.  How these changes are going to affect the species is always going to be an unknown.

To think that, for example, the discovery of antibiotics “partly allows us to control our evolution” would be like saying that the chimps’ discovery of using a wooden stick to hunt for bush babies allows them to control their evolution. There are many evolutionary pressures (in my example bacterial infection being only one of them) and as long as people are having different numbers of surviving descendants, evolution goes on.

Sorry, Gary, I am trying to criticize your post instead of Linds’s, but his ideas are so far away from making sense that they don’t simply deserve a response.

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Posted: 19 February 2012 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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FYI—I’ve been around a little bit (not very long), but I just changed my moniker. (Didn’t mean to confuse anyone—I just couldn’t figure out what to go by when I first signed up. For grins—my family’s reaction was that I needed something less “messy,” but the more I use The Muddler the more I think it’s me.)

About evolution (and folly), it seems to me that humans like to think that we are influencing our own evolution in the same way that we have liked to think that we “have dominion” over creation.  Instead, I think we are using that idea (and the idea that we can control the other effects and consequences that we have let loose upon nature from our use of fossil fuels and radioactive materials, antibiotics and agricultural chemicals, for example), as a form of denial that enables us to continue a lot of bad behaviors. It seems to me that we are fast approaching a point where we will be discovering just how little we are “in control” of nature—and how nature will affect the future of humans just as it affects all species which overpopulate and cannibalize an ecosystem. Antibiotics being a good example—we simply cannot, physically, evolve quickly enough to stay ahead of the pace at which bacteria are able to evolve, and our interventions have aided the evolution of bacteria, not humans. I watch the genetic scientists with bated breath – now there’s an area where we need to be able to discuss ethical decisions using human reasoning, and not allow anyone to try to simplify the conversation by superimposing or resorting to some supposedly a priori and irrelevant “god” rules.

I am looking forward to looking up David Bohm for a “neutral, metaphysical equivalence to the concept of an intentional, emotional, supernatural god.” It seems to me that learning how to articulate alternative understandings to questions about beginnings and morality is vital to the future of human community.  Religion and theology have a great need to pin down an answer to what came before evolution, or the start of everything, because they were where people were originally looking for that answer.  One of the things I particularly like about atheism is the freedom from such a need.  Questions are better left open when the answer cannot be definitively known. 

Perhaps “god” was just a linguistic device that reduced human anxiety about uncertainty – we cannot conceive of existence without beginning, and if there was a beginning it seems there must have been something before that beginning which we cannot scientifically answer, so we name it “mystery/god.”  The “G-0-D” idea that Linds shared may help those who need to find stepping stones from “faith” to reason.  It synthesizes concepts of good and the meaning of existence in a manner that may appeal to someone not ready to “give up” a belief in god, yet wanting to function as a thinking being in a world that has very different scientific knowledge than 2000 or even 200 years ago.

The problem is, it seems to me to perpetuate the idea that “good” is connected with “god,” which risks perpetuating the idea that one needs religion in order to be good. Humanism seems to be promoting the understanding of goodness and moral thinking as an inately human trait, without resorting to external authority.  While I wish I could find a local “community” of secular humanists (there are Unitarians about 15 miles away, but that’s not walking distance and it’s too much “religion”), humanists and atheists seem to be still at a stage where there is hope of avoiding many of the pitfalls of religious organizations.  It has been when organizations have claimed ownership of ideas (e.g. theology) and tried to impose those ideas on the world that evil has been done in the name of “good.”

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Posted: 19 February 2012 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Great post Diane. I agree with your observations.

p.s. I’ll use TM from now…. smile

[ Edited: 19 February 2012 12:45 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 19 February 2012 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I see no reason for identifying natural laws with mythical ideas about any god. Most gods are active gods, agents. Laws of nature aren’t.
The only God I know of (there might be more) that are not personal is Brahman, the ground of all existence. But that is so vague, compared to that the laws of nature seem to have so much more character. smile

I think everybody who want to call some physical principle with ‘G-o-d’, tries to smuggle in some subjective feelings into nature.

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GdB

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Posted: 19 February 2012 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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GdB - 19 February 2012 11:14 AM

I see no reason for identifying natural laws with mythical ideas about any god. Most gods are active gods, agents. Laws of nature aren’t.
The only God I know of (there might be more) that are not personal is Brahman, the ground of all existence. But that is so vague, compared to that the laws of nature seem to have so much more character. smile

I think everybody who want to call some physical principle with ‘G-o-d’, tries to smuggle in some subjective feelings into nature.

i agree.

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 19 February 2012 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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GdB - 19 February 2012 11:14 AM

I see no reason for identifying natural laws with mythical ideas about any god. Most gods are active gods, agents. Laws of nature aren’t.
The only God I know of (there might be more) that are not personal is Brahman, the ground of all existence. But that is so vague, compared to that the laws of nature seem to have so much more character. smile

I think everybody who want to call some physical principle with ‘G-o-d’, tries to smuggle in some subjective feelings into nature.

I agree with this approach in general, though I don’t really think Spinoza or Einstein could be accused of doing so when they used the word “god”.

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Posted: 20 February 2012 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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In reviewing the last couple of pages of this thread:

1) DL, do you consider that the Universal Consciousness that you believe in, has some autonomy, or that it is more like a database that can be tapped into?

2) W4U, in considerations of which will be the dominant species, don’t forget micro-organisms as a candidate.  (Are we not life support systems for microrganisms currently?)

3)  Diane made some good points.

4) Could someone put, in a nutshell, what Einstein’s view of god was.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 February 2012 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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TimB - 20 February 2012 12:21 PM

4) Could someone put, in a nutshell, what Einstein’s view of god was.

AFAIK Einstein never really elaborated on his notion of god except to say that it was (pretty much) the same as Spinoza’s. And that’s a god that’s identical to the laws of nature, NOT a personal god. It’s basically a name for the mechanical coherency and structure of the cosmos.

HERE are some of his quotes on god.

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Posted: 20 February 2012 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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dougsmith - 20 February 2012 12:58 PM
TimB - 20 February 2012 12:21 PM

4) Could someone put, in a nutshell, what Einstein’s view of god was.

AFAIK Einstein never really elaborated on his notion of god except to say that it was (pretty much) the same as Spinoza’s. And that’s a god that’s identical to the laws of nature, NOT a personal god. It’s basically a name for the mechanical coherency and structure of the cosmos.

HERE are some of his quotes on god.

Thanks for the link. 

I like this Einstein quote, in case a fervent atheist were to give me grief about my self identifying as an agnostic: “You may call me an agnostic, but ...  I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

The other quotes pretty clearly suggest, however, that he was sure that there is no such thing as an entity-prayer-answering-personal-god.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 February 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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TimB - 20 February 2012 12:21 PM

In reviewing the last couple of pages of this thread:

1) DL, do you consider that the Universal Consciousness that you believe in, has some autonomy, or that it is more like a database that can be tapped into?

.

It is not autonomous in the sense of being able to move about.

If you mean autonomy of thought, I believe so.

It is a part of nature the same as we are and would have the same inability to transcend nature and physics.
It is also a data base that can be tapped into but it chooses to be tapped or not. We do not open it. It opens to us.

Regards
DL

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