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Still just fine with the term “God”, but….
Posted: 05 June 2013 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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mid atlantic - 04 June 2013 09:22 PM
ufo-buff - 04 June 2013 11:31 AM

I need faith that I’m not dreaming-up the universe.  Also I need faith that God will not meddle with the experiments.  In other words, I need faith that the methods of science will yield knowledge. 

Not really, the universe remains consistent, and most scientists don’t believe in God - or at least an intervening God, so that type of faith is not needed.

(I hope I’m not derailing the thread by continuing to debate this point.)

Here is a wiki quote that hopefully explains better:

Skeptical hypotheses in philosophy suggest that reality is very different from what we think it is; or at least that we cannot prove it is not. Examples include:

  * The “Brain in a vat” hypothesis is cast in scientific terms. It supposes that one might be a disembodied brain kept alive in a vat, and fed false sensory signals, by a mad scientist.
  * The “Dream argument” of Descartes and Zhuangzi supposes reality to be indistinguishable from a dream.
  * Descarte’s Evil demon is a being “as clever and deceitful as he is powerful, who has directed his entire effort to misleading me.”
  * The five minute hypothesis (or omphalos hypothesis or Last Thursdayism) suggests that the world was created recently together with records and traces indicating a greater age.
  * The Matrix hypothesis or Simulated reality hypothesis suggest that we might be inside a computer simulation or virtual reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality#Skeptical_hypotheses

So people who think science doesn’t require faith are overlooking this issue.  And the faith of science is in a model of reality that doesn’t leave room for spirituality.  That doesn’t mean people can’t juggle faith science and spirituality/superstition, but they can’t fit them together into one consistent model of reality IMO.

[ Edited: 05 June 2013 09:35 AM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 05 June 2013 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Write4U - Yet religions claim to know who or what created it all? 
Your view of science is naïve. While each discovery may be minutely finite, when we compile all of our knowledge we and up with a pretty good idea of the evolution of the universe, and behold, that evolution does NOT need a god.

As to the persistence of God in society, that has nothing to do with truth, it is just a belief that won’t go away because it is not connected with physical reality at all. It is an expression of our best (perhaps only) asset, imagination.  Those great works of art and music were not divinely inspired, they were ‘products’ of our imagination and the proof of that is the variety of beliefs in an unknown creative causality.  We can make stuff, so why not a God who made all the stuff in the universe?

But God did not make any stuff in the universe and we know this from science. At best God is that which came before reality, but that does not explain anything.

However we do also employ a word which is eminently suitable for identifying causality. That word is Potential, which is defined as a ‘latent excellence which may become reality’.

We were so much more sympatico when I thought you were TimB (see: #30).

I’ll point out again that I use the term God as shorthand for God.  It is only grudgingly a concept because it is a word.  I have said quite a few times already that my understanding of it’s relation to us, (i.e/ what you are calling “reality”), is not as creator to creation, but as an expression of its (i.e. ‘Universal Wholeness’) own nature. When you say this doesn’t explain anything, I don’t understand.  In the next paragraph you use the same term that I have employed, (with much delight, I might add), “Potential”.  What do you think I have meant by using “Emergent Property of Infinite Potentiality” as my definition of God?

I’m quite pleased by your enhancements by the way. “latent excellence which may become reality”.  Very nice. But I would have to say that the “latent excellence” and “reality” can not be separate.  The paradox is the thing. Why is this a problem for you?

[ Edited: 05 June 2013 12:02 PM by brmckay ]
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Posted: 05 June 2013 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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ufo-buff - So people who think science doesn’t require faith are overlooking this issue.  And the faith of science is in a model of reality that doesn’t leave room for spirituality.  That doesn’t mean people can’t juggle faith science and spirituality/superstition, but they can’t fit them together into one consistent model of reality IMO.

It feels like you’re right about the faith part. But I’m not convinced, an improved version of spirituality will not arise from scientific enquiry. And/Or, an improved science arise from spiritual inquiry.

Getting past the ideas of god/s that are obviously left over from the middle ages, and beyond, would help.  Flat Landian explanations of the mysterious infinite/multidimensional/singularity have become dangerous and stifling.

The sooner the better. We need this planet to remain a viable place to live and learn.

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Posted: 05 June 2013 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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brmckay - 05 June 2013 11:57 AM

Write4U - Yet religions claim to know who or what created it all? 
Your view of science is naïve. While each discovery may be minutely finite, when we compile all of our knowledge we and up with a pretty good idea of the evolution of the universe, and behold, that evolution does NOT need a god.

As to the persistence of God in society, that has nothing to do with truth, it is just a belief that won’t go away because it is not connected with physical reality at all. It is an expression of our best (perhaps only) asset, imagination.  Those great works of art and music were not divinely inspired, they were ‘products’ of our imagination and the proof of that is the variety of beliefs in an unknown creative causality.  We can make stuff, so why not a God who made all the stuff in the universe?

But God did not make any stuff in the universe and we know this from science. At best God is that which came before reality, but that does not explain anything.

However we do also employ a word which is eminently suitable for identifying causality. That word is Potential, which is defined as a ‘latent excellence which may become reality’.

We were so much more sympatico when I thought you were TimB (see: #30).

I think we may have been slightly talking past each other from a different perspective. I think we are in conceptual agreement
Laie_23.gif

I’ll point out again that I use the term God as shorthand for God.  It is only grudgingly a concept because it is a word.  I have said quite a few times already that my understanding of it’s relation to us, (i.e/ what you are calling “reality”), is not as creator to creation, but as an expression of its (i.e. ‘Universal Wholeness’) own nature. When you say this doesn’t explain anything, I don’t understand.  In the next paragraph you use the same term that I have employed, (with much delight, I might add), “Potential”.  What do you think I have meant by using “Emergent Property of Infinite Potentiality” as my definition of God?

We are in total agreement here. I am arguing against the word God because of its historic Implications. You are talking physics and I agree with you secondary choices . My personal favorite term is ‘potential’. IMO, it is a profound concept which in part allows the knowledge how to make use of ‘potentials’ .

I’m quite pleased by your enhancements by the way. “latent excellence which may become reality”.  Very nice. But I would have to say that the “latent excellence” and “reality” can not be separate.  The paradox is the thing. Why is this a problem for you?

The definition of Potential is “That which may become reality”. IOW, a reality is Implied non materially before it becomes reality. The equation E = Mc^2 is an implied universal function. But not all potential becomes reality. Some potentials are never used.

Visualize a navigable river. What are the potentials implied in its properties?  This river can function as tool for drinking water, trade and travel, energy, agriculture.  All these possibilities are Implicate of what is to become reality. But some or all of these potentials may never be used. Like a car with the potential to go 150 mph inside a 30 mph speed zone. 120 mph in potential lies unused, until you leave the city and floor the gas pedal and express the car’s full Potential of it’s soul as a sportscar.

As a non scientist I am deeply impressed with the works of David Bohm. I am able to visualize his narratives, some of which seem quite spiritual at first glance, but in his books he presents the theoretical physics for his arguments.
From wiki,

The holomovement is a key concept in David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics and for his overall wordview. It brings together the holistic principle of “undivided wholeness” with the idea that everything is in a state of process or becoming (or what he calls the “universal flux”). For Bohm, wholeness is not a static oneness, but a dynamic wholeness-in-motion in which everything moves together in an interconnected process. The concept is presented most fully in Wholeness and the Implicate Order, published in 1980.

One of my favorite visuals is his proposition of a “state of pure potential”.

[ Edited: 05 June 2013 03:11 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 05 June 2013 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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brmckay - 05 June 2013 09:14 AM

(Note: A little disconnect on my part. I apologize to Write4U and TimB. The first edition of this cited TimB instead of Write4U for the quotes.  Interesting experience; visualizing the wrong person the whole time I was writing it.)

Well I hope you visualized me as more handsome and erudite. (Though in reality, Write probably is.)

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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: 05 June 2013 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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brmckay - 05 June 2013 01:34 PM

It feels like you’re right about the faith part. But I’m not convinced, an improved version of spirituality will not arise from scientific enquiry. And/Or, an improved science arise from spiritual inquiry.

Getting past the ideas of god/s that are obviously left over from the middle ages, and beyond, would help.  Flat Landian explanations of the mysterious infinite/multidimensional/singularity have become dangerous and stifling.

The sooner the better. We need this planet to remain a viable place to live and learn.

What you say makes sense.  I have a little different perspective due to some psychosis issues.  Intellectually I think spirituality is nonsense, but some spiritual practices might be beneficial - particularly if we can understand them psychologically instead of mystically.  For example, I try to pray regularly because it settles my mind.  I imagine there are all kinds of subconscious irrational programs running in my head, and if my intellectual program is too domineering then they might revolt.

Anyway, enough of my silly ideas. smile

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Posted: 05 June 2013 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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ufo-buff - 05 June 2013 09:22 AM
mid atlantic - 04 June 2013 09:22 PM
ufo-buff - 04 June 2013 11:31 AM

I need faith that I’m not dreaming-up the universe.  Also I need faith that God will not meddle with the experiments.  In other words, I need faith that the methods of science will yield knowledge. 

Not really, the universe remains consistent, and most scientists don’t believe in God - or at least an intervening God, so that type of faith is not needed.

(I hope I’m not derailing the thread by continuing to debate this point.)

Here is a wiki quote that hopefully explains better:

Skeptical hypotheses in philosophy suggest that reality is very different from what we think it is; or at least that we cannot prove it is not. Examples include:

  * The “Brain in a vat” hypothesis is cast in scientific terms. It supposes that one might be a disembodied brain kept alive in a vat, and fed false sensory signals, by a mad scientist.
  * The “Dream argument” of Descartes and Zhuangzi supposes reality to be indistinguishable from a dream.
  * Descarte’s Evil demon is a being “as clever and deceitful as he is powerful, who has directed his entire effort to misleading me.”
  * The five minute hypothesis (or omphalos hypothesis or Last Thursdayism) suggests that the world was created recently together with records and traces indicating a greater age.
  * The Matrix hypothesis or Simulated reality hypothesis suggest that we might be inside a computer simulation or virtual reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality#Skeptical_hypotheses

So people who think science doesn’t require faith are overlooking this issue.  And the faith of science is in a model of reality that doesn’t leave room for spirituality.  That doesn’t mean people can’t juggle faith science and spirituality/superstition, but they can’t fit them together into one consistent model of reality IMO.

UFO, Your point that our Universe may actually be something akin to what is in the movie, The Matrix, could be the case. Who knows? But assuming on the off chance that it is, we are still in this Universe, which for all practical purposes follows natural discoverable laws.  There is plenty of evidence for this, so we don’t need to believe (without evidence) that our Universe does follow natural discoverable laws.  If we are living in The Matrix, perhaps we can one day discover the evidence that this is the case.

Meanwhile, we don’t need to have faith that this is or isn’t the case.  We can be content to know that we don’t know everything, but that we are likely to know more if we base our beliefs on evidence, rather than on just deciding to believe something. This is not to say that we should not be wary of the posibility that our perceptions are not always a true reflection of what is.  (As there is plenty of evidence that our perceptions are limited and sometimes faulty.)

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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: 06 June 2013 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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TimB - 05 June 2013 06:26 PM

UFO, Your point that our Universe may actually be something akin to what is in the movie, The Matrix, could be the case. Who knows? But assuming on the off chance that it is, we are still in this Universe, which for all practical purposes follows natural discoverable laws.  There is plenty of evidence for this, so we don’t need to believe (without evidence) that our Universe does follow natural discoverable laws.  If we are living in The Matrix, perhaps we can one day discover the evidence that this is the case.

Meanwhile, we don’t need to have faith that this is or isn’t the case.  We can be content to know that we don’t know everything, but that we are likely to know more if we base our beliefs on evidence, rather than on just deciding to believe something. This is not to say that we should not be wary of the posibility that our perceptions are not always a true reflection of what is.  (As there is plenty of evidence that our perceptions are limited and sometimes faulty.)

As a practical matter, being told that scientists at CERN have discovered something about physics is not much different from being told that Moses parted the Red Sea.  I personally don’t have the capability to verify or even understand either claim.  A person’s memories can be fabricated to create a false history, so I might think I verified a claim when actually a hypnotist planted that false memory in my mind.

It seems like science has faith that the future can be predicted by understanding the past.  That isn’t so true if we are living in the Matrix with Neo fllying around or an omnipotent God performing miracles.

[ Edited: 06 June 2013 04:21 AM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 06 June 2013 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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I don’t expect any practical applications, (which would be a kind of evidence) anytime soon, from the discovery of the Higgs Boson, but there have been plenty of scientific discoveries in our lifetime that have had accompanying evidence and eventual applications that can be apparent even to us laypersons.

As to whether we live in The Matrix, as I said, we can safely put that possibility aside, as, so far, there is only evidence that we are in a Universe that is operating according to the natural laws that have been or can be discovered (even in the unlikely possibility that we are, in fact, in The Matrix). And so far, there is no confirmed objective evidence of Neo flying around or of an omnipotent God performing miracles.  So far, every day of my life, the sun has risen in the east and set in the west.  I expect that this will be the case tomorrow.

I do recognize, however, and am not discounting, that some can have unique challenges in regard to reality testing.

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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: 06 June 2013 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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ufo-buff - As a practical matter, being told that scientists at CERN have discovered something about physics is not much different from being told that Moses parted the Red Sea.  I personally don’t have the capability to verify or even understand either claim.

I like this point about a wise wariness towards 3rd party speculation or testimony.

Testing against my own experience, intuition and reason is essential.  Practicing non-attachment to non-essentials.  Keeping a steady aim on the target.

In the seventies I came to strong intuition about the possibility of enlightenment.  However, reason made sure that I understood it would be, at the very least, a lifetimes work.  Full of potential for self delusion. Not to be turned over to the authority of another.

When the testimony of respected others confirms what I have already come to myself, I savor their articulation of the Way, and then move on.

This is much like the scientific process as I’ve heard it described in these threads.  The goal is knowledge.  In science you seek the underlying laws governing creation.  In this other quest, one seeks the source of those laws. The two disciplines are not exclusive of each other.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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brmckay - 06 June 2013 12:32 PM

ufo-buff - As a practical matter, being told that scientists at CERN have discovered something about physics is not much different from being told that Moses parted the Red Sea.  I personally don’t have the capability to verify or even understand either claim.

I like this point about a wise wariness towards 3rd party speculation or testimony.

Testing against my own experience, intuition and reason is essential.  Practicing non-attachment to non-essentials.  Keeping a steady aim on the target.

In the seventies I came to strong intuition about the possibility of enlightenment.  However, reason made sure that I understood it would be, at the very least, a lifetimes work.  Full of potential for self delusion. Not to be turned over to the authority of another.

When the testimony of respected others confirms what I have already come to myself, I savor their articulation of the Way, and then move on.

This is much like the scientific process as I’ve heard it described in these threads.  The goal is knowledge.  In science you seek the underlying laws governing creation.  In this other quest, one seeks the source of those laws. The two disciplines are not exclusive of each other.

The problem is that there just is no evidence of motivation being required for the natural law of Cause/Effect to function in physics.

One cannot say that one ‘knows’ without really knowing.  You can ‘feel’ without knowing, but that is subjective and belongs in psychology.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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brmckay - 06 June 2013 12:32 PM

...
This is much like the scientific process as I’ve heard it described in these threads.  The goal is knowledge.  In science you seek the underlying laws governing creation.  In this other quest, one seeks the source of those laws. The two disciplines are not exclusive of each other.

Your post got me thinking: maybe we can define God/religion as the answer to various questions like: “what is my purpose?”, “what happens when we die?”, “how should we live?”, etc.

It seems like you use a deist definition of God, when you seek the source of the laws governing creation.  That would probably explain why you don’t see a conflict between God and science.

I tend to ask “what is my purpose?” and hope God will answer.  Can a deist God answer that question?

[ Edited: 06 June 2013 06:34 PM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 07 June 2013 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Write4U - The problem is that there just is no evidence of motivation being required for the natural law of Cause/Effect to function in physics.

One cannot say that one ‘knows’ without really knowing.  You can ‘feel’ without knowing, but that is subjective and belongs in psychology.

Why is ‘knowing’ less subjective than ‘feeling’?  Who knows, who feels?

In my view the subjective is just as much subject to natural law as say Gravity.  If it doesn’t seem so, that just means our understanding of “natural law” is incomplete (or, artificially restricted in scope). IMO

No one ever really tried to answer my questions about ‘instinct’ and DNA, or about the possible universality of the sense of ‘I’.  (remember the bungled ‘light’ analogy).  The lack of response could be thought of as a clue to an incompleteness of our understanding.

I don’t usually think of ‘motivation’ on the foundational level of Cause/Effect. Potential being infinite. But, Awareness on the other hand, doesn’t seem out of the question. There has to be the potential for self awareness. I usually leave the motivation part to us, as the expression of awareness in the complexities of finite form.  This of course, is only my working model.

Thinking about what I just said, I am tempted to suggest that Awareness may be the first ‘Effect’ of Infinite Potential. Maybe that guy ‘Bohm’ said something like this. I know the Rishis did.

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Posted: 07 June 2013 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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ufo-buff - Your post got me thinking: maybe we can define God/religion as the answer to various questions like: “what is my purpose?”, “what happens when we die?”, “how should we live?”, etc.

It seems like you use a deist definition of God, when you seek the source of the laws governing creation.  That would probably explain why you don’t see a conflict between God and science.

I tend to ask “what is my purpose?” and hope God will answer.  Can a deist God answer that question?

Good question.

Several levels to think about.

What is the ‘purpose’ of evolution?  Without the ‘Awareness’ I’m attributing to the Universe (God);  (Ask the current batch of scientists); Random change rewarded by continuity of form within time, possibly gaining in complexity. Or, some such.  With ‘Awareness’, more like ‘Self discovery’. Discovery of what? The true nature of ‘Self’.  Infinite and Finite. The Great paradox. I don’t want to say more because that is what ‘religions’ do.

On a personal level, what would ones ‘purpose’ be? Assuming the second version of evolution (the one that is shaped by Awareness), I would suggest, aligning one’s consciousness to the natural process of evolution within one’s own life.  Leting the results speak for themselves. Trusting the process the way one trusts Gravity.

How to behave? Whatever works to facilitate the above.

As for death? Who dies?

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Posted: 07 June 2013 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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ufo-buff - 06 June 2013 06:22 PM
brmckay - 06 June 2013 12:32 PM

...
This is much like the scientific process as I’ve heard it described in these threads.  The goal is knowledge.  In science you seek the underlying laws governing creation.  In this other quest, one seeks the source of those laws. The two disciplines are not exclusive of each other.

Your post got me thinking: maybe we can define God/religion as the answer to various questions like: “what is my purpose?”, “what happens when we die?”, “how should we live?”, etc.

It seems like you use a deist definition of God, when you seek the source of the laws governing creation.  That would probably explain why you don’t see a conflict between God and science.

I tend to ask “what is my purpose?” and hope God will answer.  Can a deist God answer that question?

The question is misleading and presupposes that only god can provide answers, but can God answer that question?  Hoping and praying for answers will not give you answers; thinking about a problem will, whatever method you use to focus your attention.

Obviously there are “purposeful” atheist and there are “lost” theists.  If only god can provide there answers, how can that be?

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