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‘Reality’, it’s not what you think it is.
Posted: 19 August 2010 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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There is a lot that occurs in the world that defies reason.

But these things don’t “defy reason.” They may be inconsistentt with our pre-existing assumptions based on how the everyday world works, or with “simple common sense,” but the only reason we know about them at all is through the actions of reason. The phenomena of quantum mechanics are perfectly “logical” given an understanding of the principles and mathematics involved, even if they seem strange to those of us who don’t have this understanding.

They are at least as logical as concepts of God or the supernatural, and they have the advantage of being demonstrable in tangible, practical ways which stories about the supernatural aren’t. It wouldn’t take much for God to demonstrate his existence in similarly tangible, practical ways. Maybe a 20 million year old stone plaque on the moon engraved in 20th century English saying “If I’d known you were coming I’d have baked a cake,” or a passage in the bible containing the solution to Fermat’s last theorem. But instead we are expected to believe based on faith and intangible, psychological criteria rather than the more concrete evidence for physical reality. Yet you seem to suggest above that physical reality is mere perception or illusion, at some level, while professing to believe in a supernatural reality (but only one out of the myriad such realities described int he history of human culture). This seems illogical and inconsistent and strikes me as mere apologetics, trying to rationalize what you want to believe.

yet there is the experience of eternals, things that don’t die.

This is just your assumption. I don’t experience anything eternal or undying. Faith, hope, love and so on are psychological, emotional experiences that die with us just like reason does. And we are consistently improving our understanding of how they are generated in the brain and what functions they might serve, so while there is much we don’t yet understand about them, there is no good reason to assue they are inherently ineffable, transcendant, or eternal. Again, this is all just taking your wishes and beliefs and stating them as if they were self-evident facts, which isn’t convincing.

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Posted: 19 August 2010 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 18 August 2010 09:24 PM

I don’t negate the rational Brennen, I use the same tools of logic and reason everyone else does to operate in the world.  What I am saying though is that the ‘rational’ is a sub-set of ‘what is’.  There is a lot that occurs in the world that defies reason.  The search for the ‘unifying theory of everything’ is like the search for the holy grail (if you can tolerate the Christian analog).


A lot of what defies reason is done by humans, the natural world operates by a set of rules. We don’t yet know all of those rules, but to say that it defies reason when you are actually describing ignorance (not meant in a derogatory way) on your part, and in some cases, the part of the scientists. But that doesn’t mean we won’t someday discover ‘the unifying theory of everything’. The only way to find it..is to look. Just think of all of the ‘unimaginable’ things we have discovered in just the past few years. Longtime math puzzles have been solved—mostly to create new questions, but man is forever questing further knowledge. There will never be a final answer to everything, that is the nature of reality.

[ Edited: 19 August 2010 10:57 PM by asanta ]
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Posted: 19 August 2010 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 17 August 2010 11:41 PM

..
If you think your conceptualization of ‘reality’, is reality, you are hallucinating. 

Your point is that you are sure of YOUR conceptualization of reality and want to convince us. Go For It!

But perhaps reality is not what YOU think it is… (what does that sentence mean?  I have to think it is false - because it doesn’t make sense for me to agree with it)

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Posted: 19 August 2010 11:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Gnostikosis,

Notice that what I said was “..the direction of God or ‘Good’..”  Careful not to misquote.  Very simply this means that, if you have been raised in any type of Christian tradition, it will have pressed upon you to believe that you are not ‘Good’, that only ‘God’ is good, that the ‘divine’ or eternal is not you, that it is located in a place outside of you, ‘up there’ as ‘God’.  This is a terrible assault made on you by those that wielded authority over you as a child, and virtually attempts to strip away the innocence and ‘natural goodness’ that is everyone’s birthright and certainly that of every child.  The ‘child within’ or “original innocence” is always present, always with you yet the sense of it is virtually destroyed as a young child.  To ‘train’ you, you must be broken, kind of the civilian version of ‘basic training’.  That is why I said originally that it is not so important that ‘God loves you’, but that it is absolutely important that ‘you love you’.

What Adam must reclaim, is just this, what Alec Guinness referred to as “Original Innocence” in the Franco Zeffirelli film “Brother Sun Sister Moon”.  Now please tell me that I am making some sense to you…

DarronS,

Cut me some slack man, I work you know and am not on my computer ‘all day long’.  This in response to your “Good job of ignoring the hard question AR”.  Sheesh!  By the way, why do you presume it to be the “hard question”?

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Posted: 20 August 2010 12:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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And Jackson,

“Reality is not what you (think) it is” simply means that you cannot capture reality by concepts.  As I said in the beginning, what you have is first ‘what is’ or ‘reality’, then you have your perception of experience of it, and finally our valiant attempts to rationalize what we experience and reduce it to concepts - but notice, they are always ‘reductions’ and can never actually reproduce ‘what is’.  Remember as well that our ‘concepts’ are limited by language, whether in the form of words or mathematical expressions and both of these rely on symbols that refer back to experience.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 20 August 2010 12:05 AM

And Jackson,
“Reality is not what you (think) it is” simply means that you cannot capture reality by concepts. 

The idea that we can’t properly conceive reality is itself a concept—right?

I think you are totally off track.

You can indeed “capture reality by concepts” and the proof is that we can predict reality.  Take one example only—our eyes—we can see the world around us, and make consistent predictions about what we see.  You are reading, you are type, you know where the fridge is, you can drive a car to the grocery store and buy some food with money in your pocket. 

So what exactly are you predicting with your picture of reality—I assume it doesn’t really contradict normal life…I think you are trying to define the word to mean something else (some aspect which doesn’t predict anything and can’t be predicted)

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Posted: 20 August 2010 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 19 August 2010 11:53 PM

DarronS,

Cut me some slack man, I work you know and am not on my computer ‘all day long’.  This in response to your “Good job of ignoring the hard question AR”.  Sheesh!  By the way, why do you presume it to be the “hard question”?

You have answered subsequent questions while not engaging mine. From the outside this looks like you were ignoring my question. I presume it is a hard question because in the 50 years since learning my mother was dying of cancer no one has come up with a rational explanation for why an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God would allow this, especially considering how easily curable this form of cancer became 10 years after my mother died. The only answers theists have given me have been trite clichés such as man not knowing God’s Plan and “She’s in a better place.” If you can do better I would like to hear it.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I love it when people fire up their computers, log onto an Internet discussion forum, then proceed to tell us science cannot explain reality. I guess all those satellites bouncing communications signals around the globe are mere fiction.

Answer this one Adam Reclaims. My mother died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1965 when I was 10 years old. Ten years later Hodgkin’s disease was one of the most easily treatable forms of cancer. Did God learn so much in 10 years or is this due to advances in medical science?

You have answered subsequent questions while not engaging mine. From the outside this looks like you were ignoring my question. I presume it is a hard question because in the 50 years since learning my mother was dying of cancer no one has come up with a rational explanation for why an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God would allow this, especially considering how easily curable this form of cancer became 10 years after my mother died. The only answers theists have given me have been trite clichés such as man not knowing God’s Plan and “She’s in a better place.” If you can do better I would like to hear it.

Dear DarronS,

Ah, now I see what you were referring to.  I apologize, I did not mean to appear cold regarding the death of your mother.  I was not sure what you were referring to when you said that I avoided the hard question, now I see.  I lost my father one year ago in June - he did survive esophageal cancer 8 years ago but ultimately died as a result of damage he received from the cancer treatment.  I will not insult you and presume that I have an answer to this or other difficult questions regarding life and death.  We don’t have the ‘bigger picture’.  I know that my dad maintained a positive attitude and never lost his sense of humour during his nearly exactly 40 day stay in the intensive care unit of the hospital.  Ultimately he was not to survive.  It was a very difficult time for me and my family.  I can only say that what I was left with, apart from the tremendous loss of my dad, was the marvel of the strength and invinceablity of the human spirit.  Death and suffering are part of this reality, it is a fact that we can only process over a life-time.  I am quite sure though that your mother would want you to be happy and certainly live a life of love and optimism.  If you have even the slightest belief or hope that in some way your mother’s spirit lives on, then make her happy by deciding that her death will not prevent you from living, loving and sharing your love with others, by making your loved ones happy, by bring cheer and optimism into the world.  The ‘Kingdom of (Good)’ is indeed within.  And you are the light of the world.  I hope this helps you and I do extend my condolences to you.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Adam, I do appreciate your sincerity in acknowledging you do not have an answer for this. Your answer, though, would be the same if the God you believe in does not exist. Disease and death are part of this world. If an all-just, all-knowing and all-caring God did exist these things would not happen. I am living a fulfilling life, but nothing can give back what I have lost, and no amount of Christian platitudes makes dealing with death any easier for me. Quite the opposite, actually. I find those platitudes condescending and offensive. Rather I find some bit of comfort in knowing these things just happen, there is no master plan behind them. No, I have no hope my mother’s spirit lives on. If I had that hope I would be pissed at God for taking her away from me when I was a child. Because I do not believe in God I am not angry any more, just saddened and determined to live as well as I can.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 19 August 2010 11:53 PM

Gnostikosis,

Notice that what I said was “..the direction of God or ‘Good’..”  Careful not to misquote.  Very simply this means that, if you have been raised in any type of Christian tradition, it will have pressed upon you to believe that you are not ‘Good’, that only ‘God’ is good, that the ‘divine’ or eternal is not you, that it is located in a place outside of you, ‘up there’ as ‘God’.  This is a terrible assault made on you by those that wielded authority over you as a child, and virtually attempts to strip away the innocence and ‘natural goodness’ that is everyone’s birthright and certainly that of every child.  The ‘child within’ or “original innocence” is always present, always with you yet the sense of it is virtually destroyed as a young child.  To ‘train’ you, you must be broken, kind of the civilian version of ‘basic training’.  That is why I said originally that it is not so important that ‘God loves you’, but that it is absolutely important that ‘you love you’.

What Adam must reclaim, is just this, what Alec Guinness referred to as “Original Innocence” in the Franco Zeffirelli film “Brother Sun Sister Moon”.  Now please tell me that I am making some sense to you…

I was raised a Christian however was never introduced to this philosophy. Maybe a Catholic understanding? As an adult, yeah when discussing theology with others this is an underlying understanding. I was just never influenced by it.

Sorry I kind of assumed the belief in a god from the way others were responding to your posts. The question really wasn’t an accusation, just something I wonder if someone who believes in the concept of God has anything more to go by then being told there was one.

I saw the film when I was much younger. While I understand the desire to reclaim innocence I don’t think you can close the lid on Pandora’s Box once it’s open. We are the result of everything that’s come before. We can’t change where we have been we can only go forward.

If you’ve watched the movie the Matrix, take the red pill or the blue pill. Adam ate the fruit.  snake

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Posted: 20 August 2010 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 20 August 2010 09:36 AM

I will not insult you and presume that I have an answer to this or other difficult questions regarding life and death.  We don’t have the ‘bigger picture’.

Indeed we have a bigger picture. It’s called science. When cells make copies of themselves, sometimes they mutate and adopt; in the case of cancer the cell goes on average through six mutations before becoming malignant. Now, these cells don’t think too highly of a cooperation and have no sense of altruism towards the rest of the cells within the body. So the race begins. The cancerous cells adopt and spread and eventually kill the body. The ‘Kingdom of Good’ is indeed NOT within us, as virtually all of us will carry some trace of thyroid cancer by the time we die. Your poetic prose explains absolutely nothing about the reality. “Death and suffering are part of this reality” in the case of cancer because of evolution—in the case of cancer it is a somatic evolution, a little different from the organismic evolution—and not because of some unknown divine plan.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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If you ask me, Phillip K. Dick nailed it: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Short and sweet, concise and definitive.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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cmbf117 - 20 August 2010 11:18 AM

If you ask me, Phillip K. Dick nailed it: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Short and sweet, concise and definitive.

Now only if people would stop believing in borders, nations, constitutions and the dollar bill…

Art, music, higher education, religion, science, marriage, taxes, peace, war, love, happiness.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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DarronS - 20 August 2010 10:02 AM

Adam, I do appreciate your sincerity in acknowledging you do not have an answer for this. Your answer, though, would be the same if the God you believe in does not exist. Disease and death are part of this world. If an all-just, all-knowing and all-caring God did exist these things would not happen. I am living a fulfilling life, but nothing can give back what I have lost, and no amount of Christian platitudes makes dealing with death any easier for me. Quite the opposite, actually. I find those platitudes condescending and offensive. Rather I find some bit of comfort in knowing these things just happen, there is no master plan behind them. No, I have no hope my mother’s spirit lives on. If I had that hope I would be pissed at God for taking her away from me when I was a child. Because I do not believe in God I am not angry any more, just saddened and determined to live as well as I can.

DarronS,

And so you have a lifetime excuse not to live, a chip on your shoulder that will carry you safely to the end of your days.  Without being too tough on you what I would like to say is, BE A MAN!  Do you think you are the only one that has suffered loss?  Take a look around.  There’s a big wide world out there, it’s not all ‘good’, but it sure is not all bad, in the end it is what YOU make of it.  Don’t waste another minute of your life wallowing in self pity, start living!  I’m sure you have a lot to give but you won’t be able to if you continue as your own worst enemy.  Now you can either be annoyed at me or sit down and have a serious discussion with yourself.

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Posted: 20 August 2010 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Adam Reclaims - 20 August 2010 02:31 PM
DarronS - 20 August 2010 10:02 AM

Adam, I do appreciate your sincerity in acknowledging you do not have an answer for this. Your answer, though, would be the same if the God you believe in does not exist. Disease and death are part of this world. If an all-just, all-knowing and all-caring God did exist these things would not happen. I am living a fulfilling life, but nothing can give back what I have lost, and no amount of Christian platitudes makes dealing with death any easier for me. Quite the opposite, actually. I find those platitudes condescending and offensive. Rather I find some bit of comfort in knowing these things just happen, there is no master plan behind them. No, I have no hope my mother’s spirit lives on. If I had that hope I would be pissed at God for taking her away from me when I was a child. Because I do not believe in God I am not angry any more, just saddened and determined to live as well as I can.

DarronS,

And so you have a lifetime excuse not to live, a chip on your shoulder that will carry you safely to the end of your days.  Without being too tough on you what I would like to say is, BE A MAN!  Do you think you are the only one that has suffered loss?  Take a look around.  There’s a big wide world out there, it’s not all ‘good’, but it sure is not all bad, in the end it is what YOU make of it.  Don’t waste another minute of your life wallowing in self pity, start living!  I’m sure you have a lot to give but you won’t be able to if you continue as your own worst enemy.  Now you can either be annoyed at me or sit down and have a serious discussion with yourself.

Adam, I think you have completely misunderstood Darron’s post.

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