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scientifically speaking: there is an afterlife
Posted: 14 August 2008 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:25 PM

let me ask you:  if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it still make noise?

Not a great analogy. Define no one. Birds, deer and even rats have ears and can hear. It would be difficult to make a forest completely devoid of life.
But even so, there is a sound. Whether or not there is anyone to hear it is irrelevant. That’s like saying, if there is a fire and ‘no one’ sees it, did anything burn? Of course it did. Whether ‘anyone’ was there or not is completely irrelevant.

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Posted: 14 August 2008 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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dougsmith - 10 August 2008 08:21 AM

Agreed. An unknowable God is an irrelevant God. It’s also not an omniscient, nor an omnipotent nor a perfectly good God, since if he were, to that extent he would be knowable.

Negative theology is a dead end road.


==================================================
But not irrelevant when two thirds, three-fourths…  whatever of Americans believe in that god and need him to get them through their days!

It is not irrelevant and you folks need to figure out some way to talk to those other people.

Science will gain no meaningful political ground if all you show is contempt for other’s deepest beliefs.

In many ways the future is in the hands of those who convince masses of their correctness.
You can’t start that process with peacock arrogance.

>>>  if the leaders of science and reason can’t accomplish that diplomatic task our slid into a very ugly future will be irrevocable. 


Let me again point out the failure of science to convince the masses of the truth behind evolution -
don’t tell me your communication skills don’t need improving.

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Posted: 14 August 2008 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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asanta - 14 August 2008 08:04 PM

Hmmm, your text is incorrectly captioned. I really can’t see PlaClair say that ‘god touched’ him.

——————————-
your right
I haven’t figured out the captioning yet.

so sometimes I get it sometimes I don’t

sorry for any confusion

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Posted: 14 August 2008 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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asanta - 14 August 2008 08:42 PM
citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:25 PM

let me ask you:  if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it still make noise?

Not a great analogy. Define no one. Birds, deer and even rats have ears and can hear. It would be difficult to make a forest completely devoid of life.
But even so, there is a sound. Whether or not there is anyone to hear it is irrelevant. That’s like saying, if there is a fire and ‘no one’ sees it, did anything burn? Of course it did. Whether ‘anyone’ was there or not is completely irrelevant.

 

—————————————————————————-
i repeat:
=========================================

god help me - no one get’s it…. or me

Of course that tree makes noise, just as much as your life is the product of what cames before and will resonate with what comes after.

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Posted: 14 August 2008 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Chocotacoi8 - 11 August 2008 12:28 PM

citizenschallenge, your acceptance of science and rationality (at least from a practical standpoint) is commendable.  It takes courage to use your head in the face of mounting religious idiocy.  However, there are a number of points I’d like to make.

1) Atheism is by no means an absolutist claim.  It is simply a demotion of the possibility of God to the same level as other irrational appeals to the unknown.  However, I assure you if the proof presented itself an atheist’s views would be among the first to shift.

citizenschallenge - 09 August 2008 11:47 PM

The story ends with a child admitting: “I’m terrified of not existing.”

2) I agree with Occam.  Children are also terrified of the dark and the boogeyman, but there is no reason to believe these fears are justified.  Basing any kind of universal interpretation off of this is neither rational nor scientific.  For example, many adults fear death, which is the one event in our lives that we can be sure will happen.

citizenschallenge - 09 August 2008 11:47 PM

Being a reason oriented seeker after the mysteries of ourselves, the world, its origins & what it all means, one is struck with moments of staggering insights leading to spiritual overtones and implications as rapturous as any church can offer up.

3) I feel the same way, but I don’t need to have a God at the beginning or end of the line to do so.

citizenschallenge - 09 August 2008 11:47 PM

...the Biosphere and even humanity really are stupendous recycling systems.

4) So the afterlife you’re talking about is the non-destruction of the physical matter that make up our bodies?  I think most people feel that an afterlife contains a preservation of conciousness, which isn’t what you are describing.  On this, science is mute.

citizenschallenge - 09 August 2008 11:47 PM

God is too big for our petty human minds to grasp.

5) Yet, you seem to know a lot about him.  According to you God created the universe, has a spirit that you can connect with, doesn’t answer prayers or play any of the games other religious folk would claim, is unknowable, and most importantly exists.  How can you know any of these things?  PC is correct.  You’ve just taken all the contradictions out of our picture of God and left a being which you can somehow selectively justify knowing but which will also, by definition, exist beyond our explanations.  The problem is that the only thing that can exist beyond the known is the unknown.  Your god is merely a synonym of ‘unknown’, but to call this God is disingenuous.  Even if the god you describe exists, your description bares no resemblance to the god or gods of any of our “varied self-serving interpretations of ‘the true God’,” aka religions.  An atheist is someone who recognizes these interpretations as irrational and understands that after this, any appeal to God is merely an appeal to the unknown.

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==========================
#1   whatever

#2   Come on, this fear of non-existence is at the root of most religiosity and it ain’t just kids.

#3   Well, maybe you: “ don’t need to have a God at the beginning or end of the line to do so.”  But, it sure seems like the vast majority of American’s do need that.  You guys sometimes almost sound like the Republicans - dealing in contempt rather than trying to address the real issues.

We need bridges not walls..
And I submit unless some bridges are started real soon, our kid’s future’s are going to be nothing but ugly.

It’s worth a little lightening up on the semantics, in my estimation.

But, please don’t misunderstand me.
I’m not saying science’s process and rules should change - I’m saying the way you communicate and translate your knowledge is what needs a lot of improvement.

Once again let me point out - you correct science folks haven’t even managed to convince half of thinking Americans that evolution is a fact.

Something is wrong with that - and you can’t blame it on everyone else.

#4   Yes a part of this afterlife is the non-destruction of matter (a lot of poetic beauty in that), but much more than that.  We pass on thought, and after effects of actions, and memories and genetics…  (a lot more poetry in that)

I don’t deny anything about the constraints of science - but there is room for poetry in the appreciate of the scientific knowledge we’ve gained.

#5   Sure I deeply believe what’s going on inside of me and the way my perception of the world pageant.  I feel comfortable with my developing conception of God - though mine is nothing like the puppet master so many believe in.  I even feel a need to share it.  But, not as a dogma for others to grab a hold of. 
My interest is in provocation - getting people to consider these thoughts and then doing with them as they will.
My interest is in finding a way to crack that shell of reinforced fear and self-certitude that the religious right propounds.
Because that is a sickness that will bring all of us down if left unopposed.


I passionately love this earth, its biosphere and all science has revealed about her.  To me the earth is a real entity with whom I have a visceral, spiritually tactile relationship (one whose reality has been backed up by all the science I’ve learned).  From there it is easy to embrace God as the poetic summation of it all.

———————————————————————
You wrote -  Even if the god you describe exists, your description bares no resemblance to the god or gods of any of our “varied self-serving interpretations of ‘the true God’,” aka religions.  An atheist is someone who recognizes these interpretations as irrational and understands that after this, any appeal to God is merely an appeal to the unknown.

>>>>>>>>  I believe the thing is that I’m way less interested in God’s “existence,” than I am in our “perception” of God, and how that perception molds our actions to each other and our biosphere.

“merely an appeal to the unknown”...... so what else is new,

Just for argument sake what’s wrong with that?

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Posted: 15 August 2008 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 07:40 PM
traveler - 10 August 2008 06:53 AM

I don’t feel that way. Ok?


you write:  I don’t feel that way. Ok?
but then you sign:
Every reasonable person must strive to promote moderation and a more objective judgement. A.E.


... and I say right-on.


Let me try my last line again:  Isn’t it time we stop obsessing about our varied self interests and start focusing on this incredible earth we are an integral part of. 
To honestly appreciate how deeply we have effected it’s Biosphere and the need for a dynamically different approach - if our progeny is to experience an enjoyable life style.

>>>  start focusing on understanding this fantastic earth, our part in it and how best to nurture it for those generations of life yet to come?  <<<

Wow, thought I’d stay out of trouble with that reply. So, it’s NOT ok that I don’t feel the way you do? You got some big ‘uns! Also, how is it that you tie environmentalism into theism???? Big oil is quite conservative and has really enjoyed our christian president.

Edit: You started out like someone who might be interesting. What a disappointment!

[ Edited: 15 August 2008 07:15 AM by traveler ]
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Posted: 15 August 2008 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:49 PM
dougsmith - 10 August 2008 08:21 AM

Agreed. An unknowable God is an irrelevant God. It’s also not an omniscient, nor an omnipotent nor a perfectly good God, since if he were, to that extent he would be knowable.

Negative theology is a dead end road.


==================================================
But not irrelevant when two thirds, three-fourths…  whatever of Americans believe in that god and need him to get them through their days!

It is not irrelevant and you folks need to figure out some way to talk to those other people.

Science will gain no meaningful political ground if all you show is contempt for other’s deepest beliefs.

In many ways the future is in the hands of those who convince masses of their correctness.
You can’t start that process with peacock arrogance.

>>>  if the leaders of science and reason can’t accomplish that diplomatic task our slid into a very ugly future will be irrevocable. 


Let me again point out the failure of science to convince the masses of the truth behind evolution -
don’t tell me your communication skills don’t need improving.

You’re right, but you’re also criticizing Doug for something he didn’t say - as I read him. I take Doug’s comment to mean that the individual can’t do anything with a god he can’t know. You’re making a completely separate point about the socio-cultural power of theism.

So you’re both right, in my opinion.

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Posted: 15 August 2008 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:49 PM

But not irrelevant when two thirds, three-fourths…  whatever of Americans believe in that god and need him to get them through their days!

You’ve used this sort of rhetoric in several places on this forum and I see you wisely try to stop just short of arguing ad populum.  But tell me, in general, would you believe differently if your beliefs were in the minority?  If not, then why use this technique?  If so, what does that tell you about your beliefs?

PC

[ Edited: 15 August 2008 06:09 AM by the PC apeman ]
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Posted: 15 August 2008 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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PLaClair - 15 August 2008 05:42 AM
citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:49 PM
dougsmith - 10 August 2008 08:21 AM

Agreed. An unknowable God is an irrelevant God. It’s also not an omniscient, nor an omnipotent nor a perfectly good God, since if he were, to that extent he would be knowable.

Negative theology is a dead end road.


==================================================
But not irrelevant when two thirds, three-fourths…  whatever of Americans believe in that god and need him to get them through their days!

It is not irrelevant and you folks need to figure out some way to talk to those other people.

Science will gain no meaningful political ground if all you show is contempt for other’s deepest beliefs.

In many ways the future is in the hands of those who convince masses of their correctness.
You can’t start that process with peacock arrogance.

>>>  if the leaders of science and reason can’t accomplish that diplomatic task our slid into a very ugly future will be irrevocable. 


Let me again point out the failure of science to convince the masses of the truth behind evolution -
don’t tell me your communication skills don’t need improving.

You’re right, but you’re also criticizing Doug for something he didn’t say - as I read him. I take Doug’s comment to mean that the individual can’t do anything with a god he can’t know. You’re making a completely separate point about the socio-cultural power of theism.

So you’re both right, in my opinion.

PLaClair has it right ... You’re criticizing a statement I didn’t make in that post, citizenschallenge.

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Posted: 15 August 2008 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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[ Edited: 19 August 2008 05:06 PM by jholt ]
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Posted: 16 August 2008 12:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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the PC apeman - 11 August 2008 05:48 AM

Einstein’s God is the very opposite of citizenschallenge‘s.  Einstein’s was nature itself.  And it is knowable through rational investigation (also known as science).  citizenschallenge claims his God is too large for us to grasp.  Actually, he relegates it to the most obscure, shrinking, unknowable gaps.

PC


Actually Einstein’s God is something I can definately relate to. 

What I’ve present you folks is my attempt to make that perception more accessible to those many, many, many…. way too many citizen’s who are willfully ignorant - by this I mean the Creationist crowd.

So why the hell am I “wasting” your time?  For the feedback, in my struggle to get these words to actually have some impact.

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Posted: 16 August 2008 01:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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traveler - 15 August 2008 05:09 AM
citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 07:40 PM
traveler - 10 August 2008 06:53 AM

I don’t feel that way. Ok?


how is it that you tie environmentalism into theism????


I have a tough time with that “theism” word, because to be honest my definition of God doesn’t fit within the definition of that label.

Maybe it doesn’t quite make sense, but the actual “existence” of God is less important to me than our “perception” of God.  And given that so many people need God in there lives, I think it foolish just to poo poo them away.

As for how I tie environmentalism in with the “God” concept…....  everything has grown out of our evolutionary history. 
It’s an incredible and inspiring pageant, with incredible spiritual overtones of continuity.
Any respect (or love) for the evolutionary process that has preceded on this planet these past billions of years, I would think, gets translated into an appreciation for today’s biosphere. 
Any appreciation for today’s biosphere coupled with an understanding of how badly humanity has pillaged that biosphere - triggers a guardian’s animosity toward the continued destruction of our biosphere.

———————-
heck all societies couple our earth’s creation with their image of God…..... it seems environmentalism and any particular conception of God go hand in hand.
————————

or… how would you put it?

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Posted: 16 August 2008 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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the PC apeman - 15 August 2008 06:06 AM
citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:49 PM

But not irrelevant when two thirds, three-fourths…  whatever of Americans believe in that god and need him to get them through their days!

You’ve used this sort of rhetoric in several places on this forum and I see you wisely try to stop just short of arguing ad populum.  But tell me, in general, would you believe differently if your beliefs were in the minority?  If not, then why use this technique?  If so, what does that tell you about your beliefs?

PC

My beliefs are in the minority…...... of one, so far as I can tell from what feedback I’ve received.  (not just here)


“If not, then why use this technique?  If so, what does that tell you about your beliefs.?”
                Sorry you lost me.  What are you asking?

also I must admit I don’t know what “ad populum” means… in general or in this particular.

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Posted: 16 August 2008 01:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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here is a definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

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Posted: 16 August 2008 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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citizenschallenge - 16 August 2008 01:19 AM
the PC apeman - 15 August 2008 06:06 AM
citizenschallenge - 14 August 2008 08:49 PM

But not irrelevant when two thirds, three-fourths…  whatever of Americans believe in that god and need him to get them through their days!

You’ve used this sort of rhetoric in several places on this forum and I see you wisely try to stop just short of arguing ad populum.  But tell me, in general, would you believe differently if your beliefs were in the minority?  If not, then why use this technique?  If so, what does that tell you about your beliefs?

PC

My beliefs are in the minority…...... of one, so far as I can tell from what feedback I’ve received.  (not just here)


“If not, then why use this technique?  If so, what does that tell you about your beliefs.?”
                Sorry you lost me.  What are you asking?

also I must admit I don’t know what “ad populum” means… in general or in this particular.

>>> An argumentum ad populum (Latin: “appeal to the people”), in logic, is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it; it alleges that “If many believe so, it is so.” In ethics this argument is stated, “If many find it acceptable, it is acceptable.” <<<

============================================
The fallacious argument is that God is sitting on his throne and created the universe in six day, etc., etc.  And not in anything I’ve shared here.

OK, call me a crank - but I think something needs to be done to counter that act of “willful ignorance” (i.e. willfully ignoring the deluge of data proving evolution, with all its implications), that way too many millions of American’s actively believe in. 
I also believe that this mass deception grew out of a directed strategy motivated more by corporate “profitsuberalles” considerations than any spiritual impulses. 
Therefore, I think these lost souls need to be brought into the realms of reason. 
Furthermore, I believe that can be done without denying the spiritual impulse that is ingrained in humans, nor denying the foundations of the scientific knowledge humanity has gained.

Toward that end I believe scientists, for the sake of enlightened self interest - need to find a way to allow for some of the poetry of spirituality into the translation of their scientific insights for the lay public.

The world has gotten too small to remain sequestered and smug in your ivory towers of self certitude.


ps. all the insults I’ve read about the nonsense of religion, spirituality, god, etc (if I can’t prove it - it’s irrelevant) ring hollow, when you stop and realize love can’t be proven by science either.  I’m not say it’s one way or the other - just stop being so smug, because in the end none of us “know,” even if we are self-certain.

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