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The entire thing, some call it Gaia, is God’s child.
Posted: 27 December 2008 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Occam - 23 December 2008 11:25 AM

Well said, Diogenes99.  It is irrational to posit explanations or concepts that don’t add to the solution of the problem, especially if there is no physical evidence for them.

Occam

I agree with Occam these are some good posts Diogenes99—thanks—

citizenschallenge your idea of finding common ground is okay but I think it might be better to just continually re-emphasize reality rather than a mystical picture of the Earth.

From the structure of DNA and how it enables humans to grow from a single fertilized egg, with characteristics of both parents, to the history of galaxies, supernovas, recycling of ‘star-stuff’ into new stars and planets,  there is plenty of reality.

It’s not “God’s reality”—it’s OUR reality.  It can be OUR reality and still imply that stewardship is appropriate {since it’s the only reality there is and God is NOT there to fix it if we break it}

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Posted: 28 December 2008 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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diogenes99 - 23 December 2008 06:06 AM

  Throwing God in is just muddying the waters, since it is unwarranted or untrue.

come on,
are you talking the “waters” of human perception?

if you are,
then God’s way ahead of you and already permeates the waters!

What good is pretending “God” hasn’t already been forced into the discussion.

reminds me of those old UN newsreels where one group walks out, in order to ignore the speech of another group.

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Posted: 28 December 2008 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Jackson - 27 December 2008 09:47 AM

From the structure of DNA and how it enables humans to grow from a single fertilized egg, with characteristics of both parents, to the history of galaxies, supernovas, recycling of ‘star-stuff’ into new stars and planets,  there is plenty of reality.

{ cc - well don’t you hear me echoing exactly that in some of what I’ve written?}

Jackson - 27 December 2008 09:47 AM

It’s not “God’s reality”—it’s OUR reality.  It can be OUR reality and still imply that stewardship is appropriate {since it’s the only reality there is and God is NOT there to fix it if we break it}

See what your saying?
“it’s OUR reality”  I believe that immediately infuses it with subjectivity.  Who are we to come off so self-certain that this particular “reality” is the “true reality.” - that’s the point I’m trying to make. 
Why not believe that there are layers of complexity beyond what we feel certain about today?
Healthy agnosticism
———————————————————————————————————————-

The God thing is difficult to discuss with you folks because looking at it “through” your perspective, I have no difficulty replacing God with the here and now reality of the flow.  I’m viscerally connected with the knife edge of infinity and the natural world I experience around me.  That’s beyond the image of God most have.  Science and knowing a little about all these folds within folds of complexity that make up this world & myself, has done nothing but enrich my sense of righteousness about the essence of my particular experience. 
But, that’s just me, myself, and I.
HOWEVER, there is the other side of that issue:
> I ask you CFI people:  When dealing with folks who have religion and Lord God in their vains, and not a whole bunch of respect for what they have been duped into seeing as a bunch of bumbling scientists - isn’t your cold, even intolerant, approach a bit counter productive?

=========================================================

Occam - 23 December 2008 11:25 AM

It is irrational to posit explanations or concepts
that don’t add to the solution of the problem,

what do you mean? 
because, this sounds frighteningly stark, almost orwellian.

Occam - 23 December 2008 11:25 AM

especially if there is no physical evidence for them.

I’m not proposing scientific hypothesis,
I’m pursuing communication.

dougsmith - 23 December 2008 05:06 AM

  Where? What does this even mean?
the question is whether there is any reason we have to believe such a thing exists.

I believe it is very important for humanity to appreciate that there are layers of complexity beyond what we feel certain about today.  Our easy self-centered self-assurance has done humanity much more harm than good.  A touch more self-doubt and humility might allow humanity to start developing real solutions rather than continuing our tradition of creating ever bigger problems with every new “solution.”

Nothing about that paragraph is anti-science ~ in fact, science wouldn’t have such a sorted history if more luminaries had retained the ability to doubt themselves and humor the other a bit.
————————————————————————————————————-

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Posted: 28 December 2008 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Jackson - 27 December 2008 09:47 AM

a mystical picture of the Earth.

Guess I don’t understand “mystical”
because I don’t see it in the following.
I guess reverence and gratitude can evolve into mysticism - but that doesn’t need to be…............


Why do I feel so comfortable with the “God” word?
Maybe it just seems a battle not worth fighting

(mind you “Lord god” is something definitely worth fighting against).
No, there’s more to it for me.

I go back to experiences of connection with our earth in a visceral manner.
Appreciating the glory in being here, and being healthy, and being intelligent, and aware of the fantastic infinitely around me along with my connection to it.  And the gratitude I feel.  The unbidded impulse to give thanks.

Maybe God is the vessel for my gratitude and appreciation to flow into.
Don’t know for sure, its like trying to focus on one of the floaties in my field of vision.
What I do know is that I can’t dismiss God out of hand.
And there are other much more immediate problem to focus on.

—————————————————————————————————-

you folks dismiss these unmeasurable feelings and emotional impulses as though they are nothing :-(
Where do gut feelings and emotional impulses & reflexes fit into your world view?

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Posted: 29 December 2008 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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citizenschallenge - 24 December 2008 11:19 AM
faithlessgod - 23 December 2008 11:56 AM
citizenschallenge - 22 December 2008 11:56 PM

In fact, during the course of my conversations with CFI folks, I’ve added a new image to my gallery: That of the musicians who kept playing as the Titanic went down… you gotta do something worthwhile with your time, even if it is hopeless wink

Hopefully that is not true (or is this wishful thinking on my part?). Religion as a supposedly unsinkable ship, and when it sinks it takes us all down with it? Well we did get rid of catholic controlled Europe although not without huge pain and bloodshed. If nothing else we owe it to those who paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy, to defend those freedoms?

Actually, I was thinking of our society as the sinking ship.
It would be nice if it took religion with it.

Then why are you attempting to rehabilitate god - gaia as god’s child? What’s the point? Surely this will only muddy the waters around the titanic?

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Posted: 31 December 2008 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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citizenschallenge - 21 December 2008 10:36 PM

Earth is the only planet that has nurtured life into this fantastic interdependent panorama and humanity is but one self-centered speck in God’s reality.  The entire thing, some call it Gaia, is God’s child.

Only by removing our focus from outdated dogmas and refocusing on the here & now, our Earth and how to nurture it, rather than plundering it, can we hope for brighter days in the future. 

First, let me completely agree with the last sentence quoted above. It simply makes sense.

The other two sentences I have problems with because:

I feel it’s impossible to reasonably assert that Earth is the only planet inhabited by life. Given that we can barely even detect the planets around stars that are relatively close to us, it seems premature for us to be making sweeping assertions like that.

Why is the Earth and it’s ecosystem “God’s child?” I don’t have any rock-solid opinions about possible dieties, but an emergent one seems more reasonable than a creator-style one.

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Posted: 02 January 2009 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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anbhas - 31 December 2008 10:40 AM

I feel it’s impossible to reasonably assert that Earth is the only planet inhabited by life. Given that we can barely even detect the planets around stars that are relatively close to us, it seems premature for us to be making sweeping assertions like that.

Why is the Earth and it’s ecosystem “God’s child?” I don’t have any rock-solid opinions about possible dieties, but an emergent one seems more reasonable than a creator-style one.


True… it is impossible to assert Earth is the only planet inhabited by life - and only slightly less so, to assert complex life has evolved on another planet.  And from what I’ve read, it seems that recognizing interstellar radio signals is only realistic for about a ten light year radius, since the signals degrade - so beyond that point there’s no way of ever hoping to know.

My sentence had to do with what is known - a lifeless universe.  A sloppy attempt to focus on the only relevant life we know.

I used “God’s child” in a metaphorical sense and not God the creator.  I’ll have to read up on what others have to say about Emergentism since from the sound of it, it’s closer to my conception of what ‘god’ might. 

For a long time I have had sort of an “emergentism” attitude about the ‘soul.’  In my little film soul is a reflection of biological complexity, every living thing has it, the degree depends on biological, neural complexity.
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As for how, what God might actually be:
I go back to my experiences of connection with our earth in a visceral manner.
Appreciating the glory in being here, and being healthy, and being intelligent, and aware of the fantastic infinitely around me along with my connection to it.  And the gratitude I feel.  The unbidded impulse to give thanks.

Maybe God is the vessel for my gratitude and appreciation to flow into.
Don’t know for sure, its like trying to focus on one of the floaties in my field of vision.
What I do know is that I can’t dismiss God out of hand.

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Posted: 02 January 2009 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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faithlessgod - 29 December 2008 02:47 AM

Then why are you attempting to rehabilitate god - gaia as god’s child? What’s the point? Surely this will only muddy the waters around the titanic?

Because it’s there! Because a huge majority of citizens totally buy into one, or another, self-serving religion of their choice.  Because connecting with those people and prying their obsession away from heavenly delusion and down toward focusing on this planet (that is less and less able to nurture humanity), can’t be accomplished by stomping on God whoever he/she might be.

Regarding religion, I’ve realized that I don’t think I’ve seen anything in this discussion group about religion and what it does for the person, or how it feels for that person.  Seems to me trying to better understand that might bare more fruit than just wishing it away and bashing all god concepts.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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diogenes99 - 21 December 2008 10:50 PM

My first impression is that pantheism has pretty much been done before. 

Pantheism
Gaia hypothesis

how would you describe these two ideas?

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Posted: 03 January 2009 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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faithlessgod - 22 December 2008 06:10 AM

However too many of us are forced to devote time to prevent regressions and diversions from antiquated, archaic religious believers that add more artificial and harmful problems to the mix.

This seems to overlook the visceral need for a religious experience (in whatever form).
The search for a higher meaning (science is another expression of this).
The need to explain personal metaphysical experiences.
Giving voice to the dream of: love ~ compassion ~ tolerance.

These realities are different from the fact that religions are so easily hijacked by the ‘movers’n shapers.’
.................................................................................................................
The thing that comes back at me time & again when reading different atheist posts and such is that -  although on a certain level I agree with most of it - I keep hearing this refrain: Thou protest-eth too much.
~~ the fact of the objection gives credence to the object ~~

Any thoughts regarding what religion does for so many ~ down on the me/myself/I level?

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Posted: 03 January 2009 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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In a previous post I mentioned how I’d discovered uctv (university of california), well that has lead me to Stanford and the Darwin Legacy lecture series (though I’ve only finished 3/10 so far).

#2 I found very relevant in light of my discussion with you folks:
“September 29, 2008 lecture by Eugenie Scott for the Stanford Continuing Studies course on Darwin’s Legacy (DAR 200). Dr. Scott explores the evolution vs. creationism debate and provides an argument for evolution. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Brent Sockness and Jeff Wine.” (<2hr)

I’d like to share a quote from her quoting someone else:
Many* scientists are atheists or agnostics who want to believe that the natural
world they study is all there is, and being only human, they try to persuade themselves that science gives them grounds for that belief.

It’s an honorable belief. but it isn’t a research finding.
Matt Cartmill, Discover March, 1998

* but not all.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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. . .they try to persuade themselves that science gives them grounds for that belief.  It’s an honorable belief. but it isn’t a research finding.

  The strawman fallacy - putting words in the mouths of others then arguing against them.  Quite possibly some scientists do this, but many recognize that their disbelief in a metaphysical world, while rational, cannot be proved, (that is, is not a research finding) as most negatives cannot.

Occam

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Posted: 03 January 2009 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Occam - 03 January 2009 12:00 PM

. . .they try to persuade themselves that science gives them grounds for that belief.  It’s an honorable belief. but it isn’t a research finding.

  The strawman fallacy - putting words in the mouths of others then arguing against them.  Quite possibly some scientists do this, but many recognize that their disbelief in a metaphysical world, while rational, cannot be proved, (that is, is not a research finding) as most negatives cannot.

Occam


Wow, I’m a little taken aback by your response.

you sound like a pouty guy slamming a door in someone’s face,
rather than giving a moments - non-nonjudgmental consideration to anything that doesn’t fit your particular film/movie.

I would love for you to take the time to listen to the entire lecture I cited.

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stanforduniversity September 29, 2008 lecture by Eugenie Scott for the Stanford Continuing Studies course on Darwin’s Legacy (DAR 200).  Dr. Scott explores the evolution vs. creationism debate and provides an argument for evolution.  The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Brent Sockness and Jeff Wine.
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Then perhaps reread the things I’ve written in this Conversation-thread.
Then come back and tell me something interesting, or insightful.
(because I trust you can do better than those glib slaps of yours)
peterm

[ Edited: 03 January 2009 06:03 PM by citizenschallenge ]
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Posted: 03 January 2009 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Wow, I’m also taken aback.  This is a good example of how hard it is to communicate accurately by short posts. 

First, I’m on dial-up so I can’t listen to podcasts, and can’t listen to her lecture.

Second, I read the quotation as a slam against “many”, which seemed to me to say, “the majority” of scientists.  I wasn’t trying to be particularly critical or argumentive.  I thought I was just pointing out a critical thinking fallacy that appeared to be in the quotation.  She may have clarified her position in her lecture, but it wasn’t available to me.  I was stuck with responding to the short quotation. 

Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my comment.

Occam

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Posted: 03 January 2009 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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fair enough.
As for the dial up ~ I hear you.
My upgrade has been fairly recent and I’m in that “age of discovery” so far as stuff available on the internet.
I’ve finally gotten to the University produced stuff and it is great.

Next time you’re at the library (or some other connected spot ) and have two hours to spend please listen to this lecture.
I may be easy to dismiss as a cosmicboy ~ but here is meat & potatoes science stuff right along the lines of what I’m trying to learn to communicate(a portion of it).  It can’t be dismissed with such ease.

And, I really am interested in what you get out of that lecture, should you ever take the time to listen to it. 
Remember, this lecture is part of an accredited course at Stanford University, it’s not just another homemade Utube production.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEnFJTgr9x4&feature=channel

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