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  #351  
Old 05-07-2018, 12:36 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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Glad you're doing your best to be respectful.
Do you believe (as you seem to believe) that saying soothing pretty words while completely disregarding what others say, is somehow respectful?
  #352  
Old 05-07-2018, 02:07 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Well, it's good to see you're all getting along so well in my absence.

Oh, and by the way, thanks for answering my post, Biffster. Now, let's have a look...

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I don't believe all human knowledge becomes available to everyone all of the time; I think some of it does, and it may come to us in a dream or a flash of intuition. Being aware of everybody's underwear sizes would probably not be all that helpful in most situations, though are probably some situations where that kind of knowledge could be a lifesaver. I can't think of any though.
As you probably might guess, I don't think that there's evidence that humans occasionally tap into a big database in the sky. I think that such a belief actually sells humans short: humans have ideas in dreams and flashes of intuition because they have the ability to come up with ideas in their own heads, and sometimes their subconscious minds put together things and feed those ideas to the conscious minds via the aforementioned methods.

Honestly that's a consistent theme - two thirds of theology is the practice of taking things that humans do, or that physics and nature do, and stealing the credit for it and claiming a god did it instead.

The other third of theology is making pie-in-the-sky promises that never have to be delivered on.

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I think the influence we have on others in our lives certainly gets passed on, but not genetically. Call it the wisdom of the ages. With the internet today, I suspect we have a far too large and cluttered pool of knowledge to pass on, where the important and not so important ideas kind of get jumbled altogether. Still, our own knowledge gets passed on to whomever we decided to share it with while we are alive.
I dunno about this genetic stuff; I'd say knowledge is passed on verbally and in writing.

And as for it being a large and cluttered pool, it does clearly have some crap floating in it. Like religion - I think we can agree that the one you left behind is clearly garbage that should have been flushed generations ago.

Some people here think your current theory has a certain scent of 'floater' to it too. It's not like there ain't precedent.

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All I can honestly say is I don't know. I'd like to think that we have souls that carry on after our physical death. That could also be fifty years of Catholicism that I'm afraid to completely let go of. I like the idea os a soul, so I'm going to with it for now, even if it's not scientific.
It's actually pretty anti-scientific, for reasons I'll get into shortly. As for how appealing the idea is, I've always found it kind of...not. Mostly because nobody's ever made living forever sound appealing. What would souls do? Spend all their time desperately trying to shove their knowledge into other people as dreams of flashes of intuition, just to feel that their ongoing existence is validated? Yikes.

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Good question. I don't think a soul, if it exists, resides anywhere in the body. Neither does the mind, to my way of thinking. I have no proof of this, but rather just a hunch that our souls inhabit our bodies for as long as we're alive and breathing on this planet. Have you ever wondered what exactly you see when you dream? All you're actually seeing are the insides of your eyelids, yet in a dream, you can see all kinds of places and people and go on all kinds of adventures. Are these things real? They sure can seem real at the time. I believe there are dimensions beyond what is physical and obvious to our senses that are just as real as anything else we might experience in this life and that can affect us in profound ways.
When people talk about the mind not being based in the physical body, I find myself wondering how they've gotten so far in life without having ever heard of alcohol. Alcohol is a chemical that humanity came up with recently that causes temporary alterations to the mind. It effects emotion, perception, memory, and personality - pretty much the whole package. And it's a freaking chemical. It's physical. It exists in the physical realm and does it's business to the physical brain. And it's far from the only chemical that effects the mind this way - besides all the illegal ones, there are medicines specifically designed to alter the way the mind works, to help people with mental illnesses.

If the mind/soul existed floating off somewhere outside of physical reality, then such chemicals working would be like trying to grab stars out of the firmament with a butterfly net. Forget being able to grab the mind and manipulate it, it can't even reach into the same plane of reality as where the mind is.

TL;DR: If the mind didn't exist in the physical plane of reality, I posit that bars wouldn't do near as good of business.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
Again, a good question. I don't know. I can only conjecture, just like you. I think that the consciousness that is inside of me or you or anyone is God. Not the God of the Old or New Testament so much, but rather the life force that created us and created everything in the universe as well. Not the typical notion of God, I know, but it makes sense to me. The life force within me is the same life force within you. Our separateness is the illusion.
Please clarify: when you say that "the life force within me is the same life force within you", do you mean:

1) They're made of the same stuff. Sort of how the ice cream in one carton is the same as the ice cream in the carton next to it, despite the fact that the globs of ice cream are physically distinct and actually have no effect on one another.

2) They're actually literally the same "spirit", who is pretending to be two (billion) separate people, like a child playing with barbie and ken dolls and doing the voices for both of them before bonking them against one another in a mockery of physical interaction? That what I view as my identity and personality is all a sham, a fake, an act that the shared spirit is putting on as part of some game, and when the game ends I'll cease to exist the same way Scrooge ceases to exist when the actor drops character to take his bows?

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That's about all I can come up for one evening. Have a good night.
I had a good weekend, actually!

Oh, and about this nonsense with Life and God being abstract and such - small-l-life (as disctinct from the ice cream Life) is an activity, not an entity. It's a verb, not a noun. So taking a picture of it is like taking a picture of skiing - you can take a picture of people engaging in the act of skiing, but you can't take a picture of 'skiing' alone, without people. Similarly, you can of course take a picture of people who are engaging in the act of living, but not 'living' without all photographing the people or animals or plants doing it.

I distinguish 'life' from 'Life" because it seems you do too. You seem to think that "Life" is a noun, not a verb - something that presumable applies to your definition of "God", too. Is that right?
  #353  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:20 PM
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Is this your way of avoiding responding to the arguments presented? Could you possibly tell us what is wrong with the opposing arguments, instead of just saying that none of it changes your mind? If you don't say why you are not swayed by any of the arguments, then one may assume that you intend to dismiss out of hand any opinions/theories/facts that differ from your own. The fact that you are "polite" when you do so doesn't excuse this.


Well, unless we agree on basic terms, it's going to be difficult for me to persuade you of anything or even to refute your arguments. I am stating that the words God and Life might need to be redefined. If you say no, those words are fine the way they are, how exactly do we debate the issue? If I redefine those terms, then I'll be making a straw man argument. So I'm really not sure where to go from here.
  #354  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
Do you believe (as you seem to believe) that saying soothing pretty words while completely disregarding what others say, is somehow respectful?


No. I believe that not insulting other posters or telling them that their views are idiotic is somehow respectful. You seem to lapse into this bad habit frequently.
  #355  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:27 PM
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Have you ever wondered what exactly you see when you dream? All you're actually seeing are the insides of your eyelids, yet in a dream, you can see all kinds of places and people and go on all kinds of adventures. Are these things real? They sure can seem real at the time. I believe there are dimensions beyond what is physical and obvious to our senses that are just as real as anything else we might experience in this life and that can affect us in profound ways.
I forgot to reply to this bit.

I am one of those rare and unique people that has a rare and unique ability, that I call "an imagination". It allows me to create images and worlds in my head. I'm actually a writer (buy my books! Wait, that's shilling, don't shoot me mods!) and I can actually create entire whole people in my heads and put them in settings and picture entire scenarios playing out! Truly I am a rare and special being.

I can do that while I'm awake. Why should I be surprised if my mind still has the ability to do so while I sleep?

Also, regarding the idea that dreams are examples of us walking through other dimensions, I remember a dream I had as a kid where I was Wilykat, of the Thundercats. (Cat's Lair was invaded by a group of thugs who had nothing to do with the Thundercats franchise. They locked us in a room and repeatedly stopped us from getting out until I woke up. It was an odd dream.)

If dreams are other dimensions, then whichever god is creating the other dimensions is in flagrant violation of copyright. She should be ashamed of herself.

And don't go telling me that the creators of the Thundercats were in fact getting their inspiration by dreaming about some other dimension. As a writer, that's offensive. I mean, it literally makes me angry because it tells me that my creations aren't my own and I have accomplished and done nothing. Sure that's a common theme from religions, as they steal credit from people to give their gods things to do, but it's still infuriating.
  #356  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:39 PM
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And don't go telling me that the creators of the Thundercats were in fact getting their inspiration by dreaming about some other dimension. As a writer, that's offensive. I mean, it literally makes me angry because it tells me that my creations aren't my own and I have accomplished and done nothing. Sure that's a common theme from religions, as they steal credit from people to give their gods things to do, but it's still infuriating.
I thought ideas for writers came from Schenectady?
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People ask me where I get my ideas. I always tell them, “Schenectady.” They look at me with confusion and I say, “Yeah, there's this 'idea service' in Schenectady and every week like clockwork they send me a fresh six-pack of ideas for 25 bucks.
  #357  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:41 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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I thought ideas for writers came from Schenectady?
Dammit, I didn't know about that service!

Probably why the ideas behind my books are so much poorer than the ones I read in books by actual established authors.
  #358  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:57 PM
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I forgot to reply to this bit.



I am one of those rare and unique people that has a rare and unique ability, that I call "an imagination". It allows me to create images and worlds in my head. I'm actually a writer (buy my books! Wait, that's shilling, don't shoot me mods!) and I can actually create entire whole people in my heads and put them in settings and picture entire scenarios playing out! Truly I am a rare and special being.



I can do that while I'm awake. Why should I be surprised if my mind still has the ability to do so while I sleep?



Also, regarding the idea that dreams are examples of us walking through other dimensions, I remember a dream I had as a kid where I was Wilykat, of the Thundercats. (Cat's Lair was invaded by a group of thugs who had nothing to do with the Thundercats franchise. They locked us in a room and repeatedly stopped us from getting out until I woke up. It was an odd dream.)



If dreams are other dimensions, then whichever god is creating the other dimensions is in flagrant violation of copyright. She should be ashamed of herself.



And don't go telling me that the creators of the Thundercats were in fact getting their inspiration by dreaming about some other dimension. As a writer, that's offensive. I mean, it literally makes me angry because it tells me that my creations aren't my own and I have accomplished and done nothing. Sure that's a common theme from religions, as they steal credit from people to give their gods things to do, but it's still infuriating.

Funny. The part I was keying into us the fact that we can see anything at all, even when we close your eyes and imagine something. I'm not saying it has anything to do with God or other dimensions. I just think it's interesting how we see and hear things that aren't there. Kind of like hallucinations or hypnosis.
  #359  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:58 PM
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I thought ideas for writers came from Schenectady?


I think they referenced this place on Bugs Bunny.
  #360  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:11 PM
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Funny. The part I was keying into us the fact that we can see anything at all, even when we close your eyes and imagine something. I'm not saying it has anything to do with God or other dimensions. I just think it's interesting how we see and hear things that aren't there. Kind of like hallucinations or hypnosis.
Have you read much in the way of books about the human brain, written my actual scientists, neurologists and reputable researchers?

I recommend Robert Wright's, "Moral Animal", and Stephen Pinker's, "How the Mind Works", to start.
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  #361  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:17 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Funny. The part I was keying into us the fact that we can see anything at all, even when we close your eyes and imagine something. I'm not saying it has anything to do with God or other dimensions. I just think it's interesting how we see and hear things that aren't there. Kind of like hallucinations or hypnosis.
Like I said: imagination. It's a power of the human brain.

My ability to visualize what my characters look like is mine, and I'm not giving it up to anyone or anything else that wants to steal credit for it.
  #362  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:49 PM
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No. I believe that not insulting other posters or telling them that their views are idiotic is somehow respectful. You seem to lapse into this bad habit frequently.
You posted in Great Debates. As long as people are attacking your ideas, and not you personally, they are well within their boundaries in this forum. Insulting you is not allowed, but your central thesis is fair game.

And for the most part people are attacking your logic, not the basic idea. You have presented something that could be defended with a logical and internally consistent argument, but you have failed to do so.
  #363  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:53 PM
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I think they referenced this place on Bugs Bunny.
I believe that Bugs made frequent references to Albuquerque...but since both Schenectady and Albuquerque are both places, it's possible that there are the same place, right?

Last edited by Czarcasm; 05-07-2018 at 04:53 PM.
  #364  
Old 05-07-2018, 05:04 PM
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You posted in Great Debates. As long as people are attacking your ideas, and not you personally, they are well within their boundaries in this forum. Insulting you is not allowed, but your central thesis is fair game.

And for the most part people are attacking your logic, not the basic idea. You have presented something that could be defended with a logical and internally consistent argument, but you have failed to do so.
To be entirely fair to him, there are parts to his position that probably can't be defended, because they're purely speculative. It's entirely theoretically possible that all of reality is actually occurring in the imagination of a toddler playing with barbies. "God" is "Self" is the toddler - all the minds of Barbie and Ken are just the toddler doing all the voices himself as he talks to himself.

Similarly, you could have a person single-playing a board game. I've done this a couple times, with cooperative games: you have a game that supports two or more players working together towards a goal, but you have no friends, so you just play all the characters yourself. Within the world of the game there are multiple people, but in actuality there is only one person playing all the characters, where each character has its own cards and skills that operate independently of the others, despite there being one mind behind them.

The unifying factor here, of course, is that nobody is real, and reality is way less real than we usually picture it. Our detailed perceptions might be within the imaginations of our single shared 'player' as he jumps from one character to another - in reality we might be text on a page, or a collection of cards. When two people talk the player jumps between roles, playing them all; we don't notice because he wills that we don't. Most people -anybody but yourself- might be an NPC that hasn't been developed at all because there's no reason to, and all of history is really a sketchy backstory printed in a faded manual. And the game could be abruptly ended at any moment when he's called to dinner.

Objectively speaking it's not a less meaningful existence than any other, presuming you assume that no possible existences have any meaning to them at all. Which, to be fair, is not a position I'm sure I can refute.
  #365  
Old 05-07-2018, 07:36 PM
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I thought ideas for writers came from Schenectady?
I believe it was Barry Longyear who put out a collection of short stories under the title It Came from Schenectady. He explained that writers mail a request with a five dollar bill to a PO box in Schenectady and get an idea back a week or two later.

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… It's actually pretty anti-scientific, for reasons I'll get into shortly. As for how appealing the idea is, I've always found it kind of...not. Mostly because nobody's ever made living forever sound appealing. What would souls do? Spend all their time desperately trying to shove their knowledge into other people as dreams of flashes of intuition, just to feel that their ongoing existence is validated? Yikes.
What they do is find another body and glom onto it. They do not become the body's dominant but just crawl around fucking up the dominant and all the other clinging spirit entities that are also crawling around on the body. To deal with this exfestation, one needs to hold onto a pair of empty soup cans attached to an adjustable galvanometer so that your therapist can help you identify and drive off these spiritual parasites.

That was an idea that did not come from Schenectady. Kalispell, most likely.
  #366  
Old 05-07-2018, 08:20 PM
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Have you read much in the way of books about the human brain, written my actual scientists, neurologists and reputable researchers?



I recommend Robert Wright's, "Moral Animal", and Stephen Pinker's, "How the Mind Works", to start.


Thanks for the suggestions.
  #367  
Old 05-07-2018, 08:22 PM
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You posted in Great Debates. As long as people are attacking your ideas, and not you personally, they are well within their boundaries in this forum. Insulting you is not allowed, but your central thesis is fair game.



And for the most part people are attacking your logic, not the basic idea. You have presented something that could be defended with a logical and internally consistent argument, but you have failed to do so.

Well, my purpose was to throw out an idea and see what kind of reaction it got. Maybe there's a place other than the Great Debates that would have been more appropriate, but here we are. At any rate, it's just an idea. Take it or leave it; it don't make no nevermind to me.


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  #368  
Old 05-07-2018, 08:58 PM
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Well, my purpose was to throw out an idea and see what kind of reaction it got. Maybe there's a place other than the Great Debates that would have been more appropriate, but here we are. At any rate, it's just an idea. Take it or leave it; it don't make no nevermind to me.
Yeah, seen this excuse before:
If people agree with you then heavy conversation ensues.
If people disagree with you, you claim that it's no big deal anyway, so it's not worth debating.
Although, for something you aren't that enthusiastic about, you sure are pushing both the idea and it's originator a lot.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:27 PM
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Yeah, seen this excuse before:

If people agree with you then heavy conversation ensues.

If people disagree with you, you claim that it's no big deal anyway, so it's not worth debating.

Although, for something you aren't that enthusiastic about, you sure are pushing both the idea and it's originator a lot.


What exactly do you wish to discuss with me, Czarcasm?
  #370  
Old 05-07-2018, 09:45 PM
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What exactly do you wish to discuss with me, Czarcasm?
What about all the points others have brought up as to how your idea just doesn't fly?
  #371  
Old 05-07-2018, 10:23 PM
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What about all the points others have brought up as to how your idea just doesn't fly?

I believe I have addressed those points as they have come along, apparently not to your satisfaction. Is there a particular point you wish to discuss now, Czarcasm?
  #372  
Old 05-07-2018, 10:28 PM
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I'm too busy wondering if the atoms in my hand are miniature galaxies filled with people staring at their hands and wondering...

To settle this matter, the words "God" and "life" happen not to be interchangeable according to any/every dictionary.

edited to add: And another thank you for the "deepity" link.


Shall we start here? I don't think there is much to discuss, since you want to stick to "standard" definitions of God and Life, and I am proposing to change those definitions to suit what Inwould like to believe. I don't think we're going to find much common ground here on which to debate. If you want to stick with the "standard" definitions, then it's just a flakey theory that has no merit. And yet here you are, some 370 replies later. Go figure.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:31 PM
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What do these things mean?


I believe the intent of the proposition is to re-examine the nature of God as opposed to the nature of Life. Life requires no worship nor sacrifice nor pledge of allegiance. Life simply is. If I understand Neale Donald Walsch's proposition the way he meant it, humans would do well to regard God in much the way we regard Life. I'm not saying I buy into this theory completely, but it makes a lot more sense to me than many other religious ideas.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:33 PM
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If life is God, then a lot of religious people claim that God created God, and that God offers eternal God to those who reach the aftergod.

God, God is confusing. FMG anyway.


Witty. I'm not sure what kind of response you're looking for, but I'll bet you're good at mad libs.
  #375  
Old 05-07-2018, 10:37 PM
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Merrily, merrily, merrily, God is but dream.

You may be more right than you realize.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:38 PM
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God finds a way.


Also very true, from a religious perspective anyway.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:38 PM
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How about that you are very obviously fixated on one very specific god, the Ancient Near Eastern one that somehow became a recent breakout hit from amongst his pantheon? Because the vast majority of all gods, past and present, have nothing whatsoever to do with "connectedness." The vast majority of all gods that have any remaining traces in history are just Big Humans In The Sky with more powers but with mental and physical limitations of their own, not Cosmic Connectness. Thus, your hypothesis that people originally created gods because they felt The Force falls apart on even the most cursory glance at scrutiny.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:39 PM
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Walsh's questions and thoughts, when read much more carefully than he seems to have intended, actually form a pretty nice takedown of all religions in general.

I would tend to agree. Can you elaborate on what you mean by takedown?
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:42 PM
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If I understand Neale Donald Walsch's proposition the way he meant it, humans would do well to regard God in much the way we regard Life.
OK, how so? I regard life in that it's something that exists, can be studied, can have an impact on myself and the people around me. I have no need for a "God" that fulfills that same role; the natural world does all that just fine. It sounds almost like a Deist definition of God, but one that ultimately falls short in the same way the Deism does. It assumes there must be a God because of poor logic, then fills that perceived gap with something we can't detect or interact with.

It really boils down to the question of "How do you regard Life?" Because the way I regard Life is purely scientific and rational. If I regard God the same way, I've reduced God to just empty concepts. The argument is unconvincing to me (an atheist) because I don't see and spiritual meaning in Life. The argument is probably unconvincing to at Theist because they see spiritual meaning in God. Either way, I don't see how this idea makes anyone better off.
  #380  
Old 05-07-2018, 10:42 PM
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You may be more right than you realize.
Um.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
How about that you are very obviously fixated on one very specific god, the Ancient Near Eastern one that somehow became a recent breakout hit from amongst his pantheon? Because the vast majority of all gods, past and present, have nothing whatsoever to do with "connectedness." The vast majority of all gods that have any remaining traces in history are just Big Humans In The Sky with more powers but with mental and physical limitations of their own, not Cosmic Connectness. Thus, your hypothesis that people originally created gods because they felt The Force falls apart on even the most cursory glance at scrutiny.

So why do you think humans invented Gods? I'll agree that my reference has mainly been to the Catholic concept of God that I grew up with, and that are thousands of other Gods one could refer to. However, I have to start somewhere, so I start with my own experience. I don't see how there's anything wrong with that approach, apart from the fact that it's limited. But I knew that when I first posted.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:00 PM
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OK, how so? I regard life in that it's something that exists, can be studied, can have an impact on myself and the people around me. I have no need for a "God" that fulfills that same role; the natural world does all that just fine. It sounds almost like a Deist definition of God, but one that ultimately falls short in the same way the Deism does. It assumes there must be a God because of poor logic, then fills that perceived gap with something we can't detect or interact with.



It really boils down to the question of "How do you regard Life?" Because the way I regard Life is purely scientific and rational. If I regard God the same way, I've reduced God to just empty concepts. The argument is unconvincing to me (an atheist) because I don't see and spiritual meaning in Life. The argument is probably unconvincing to at Theist because they see spiritual meaning in God. Either way, I don't see how this idea makes anyone better off.

You say you regard life as purely scientific and rational. But does life ever throw you a curve ball? Have you ever become emotional about the bookends of life, as in birth or death? I certainly have, and I know many people find comfort in religion when dealing with life's mysteries. I think that's why we invented gods, to be honest—as a way to deal with life's mysteries, especially affairs of the heart. Sometimes the scientific approach just doesn't cut it. I certainly hope there's more Life to live after this Life is over, though I know for atheists, it's kind of irrelevant.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:01 PM
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Sorry. I was jus going back to the beginning and answering everything so as not to miss anything. Point still stands though. God is but a dream.,
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:03 PM
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What is wrong with that approach is that you are choosing a trait of a specific recent god and attempting to project that trait back into gods invented unknown tens of thousands of years ago. It is like saying "My shirt is red. I bet people invented clothing because they like red things."
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:11 PM
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You say you regard life as purely scientific and rational. But does life ever throw you a curve ball? Have you ever become emotional about the bookends of life, as in birth or death?
Wow. More not understanding words. We have been talking about life as in "biological entities", not as in "the set of daily experiences that a human encounters." That the two are described by the same word is true in English but not necessarily other languages. So are you trying to say that God is "living organisms" or that God is "daily experiences?"

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Old 05-07-2018, 11:28 PM
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Wow. More not understanding words. We have been talking about life as in "biological entities", not as in "the set of daily experiences that a human encounters." That the two are described by the same word is true in English but not necessarily other languages. So are you trying to say that God is "living organisms" or that God is "daily experiences?"

I think I'd say both interpretations work, but I think daily experiences comes closest to what I imagine when I think about the word Life. Or the word God. Or the word Love, but let's not make it any more confusing than it already is.

Last edited by Biffster; 05-07-2018 at 11:30 PM.
  #387  
Old 05-07-2018, 11:32 PM
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Sometimes the scientific approach just doesn't cut it. I certainly hope there's more Life to live after this Life is over, though I know for atheists, it's kind of irrelevant.
Do you accept that many people deal with emotions, loss, pain, and joy with a need to invoke spiritualism? The two aren't in conflict. Science isn't the right tool for every problem but I haven't found a situation where God is the right tool.

Bottom line, yeah, it kinda does always cut it.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:33 PM
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What is wrong with that approach is that you are choosing a trait of a specific recent god and attempting to project that trait back into gods invented unknown tens of thousands of years ago. It is like saying "My shirt is red. I bet people invented clothing because they like red things."


A fair criticism. However, it's difficult for me to go back to ancient gods with which I am unfamiliar. That's going to take someone wiser than I am.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:36 PM
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Do you accept that many people deal with emotions, loss, pain, and joy with a need to invoke spiritualism? The two aren't in conflict. Science isn't the right tool for every problem but I haven't found a situation where God is the right tool.



Bottom line, yeah, it kinda does always cut it.


I agree that each discipline has its best uses. Science may not provide much comfort, but it does explain things really well. I regard religion more like literature—stories with a theme that I can learn something from. For that matter, many times literature does a much better job than religion does in providing comfort. In my experience anyway.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:54 AM
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I would tend to agree. Can you elaborate on what you mean by takedown?
Refutation. Arguing against it so effectively that it collapses and vanishes.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:02 AM
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God and Life

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Refutation. Arguing against it so effectively that it collapses and vanishes.


Somehow I don't think religions are going to vanish anytime soon any more than other kinds of literature that have been around for thousands of years. Religions actually reveal a great deal about a society. I don't suggest taking them literally however.

The odd thing about NDW though is that he and isn't religious at the same time. Maybe that's why I find his ideas intriguing.

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  #392  
Old 05-08-2018, 07:48 AM
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Have you read much in the way of books about the human brain, written by actual scientists, neurologists and reputable researchers?

I recommend Robert Wright's, "Moral Animal", and Stephen Pinker's, "How the Mind Works", to start.
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Thanks for the suggestions.

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The odd thing about NDW though is that he and isn't religious at the same time. Maybe that's why I find his ideas intriguing.
With all due respect, you have no intention of reading anything that contradicts your views, do you?
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:24 AM
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I regard religion more like literature—stories with a theme that I can learn something from.
So God is Prose?
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:25 AM
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With all due respect, you have no intention of reading anything that contradicts your views, do you?


Ah contraire, mon ami. I'm not going to read anything TODAY, but it's on my to do list. I have a feeling you won't be reading Neale Donald Walsch though. Perhaps you could link to an excerpt from one of the books you recommend. I'm certainly not going to buy a book that's been recommended by someone who doesn't like what I've shared unless I find it very intriguing, just as I'm sure you wouldn't. A link is a good start.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:27 AM
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So God is Prose?


I think I said religion, not God. I would hope God is more like poetry, to be honest.
  #396  
Old 05-08-2018, 09:47 AM
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Funny. The part I was keying into us the fact that we can see anything at all, even when we close your eyes and imagine something. I'm not saying it has anything to do with God or other dimensions. I just think it's interesting how we see and hear things that aren't there. Kind of like hallucinations or hypnosis.
Hypnosis is my wheelhouse and you have no idea what you're talking about here. The human brain processes different stimuli in a variety of ways, and while we don't have a perfectly clear picture of how things work (I find the "bayesian brain" hypothesis to be very compelling, but I lack the expertise to really judge), there's really no need to invoke anything supernatural. It's interesting. But once you insert a supernatural element, all you've done is make the same mistake people have made since time immemorial when they heard thunder in the sky and thought "god is angry" - inserting a supernatural stopgap which doesn't explain anything, teaches us nothing, and leaves us less well-equipped to find the real answer. And I resent that.

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I agree that each discipline has its best uses. Science may not provide much comfort, but it does explain things really well. I regard religion more like literature—stories with a theme that I can learn something from. For that matter, many times literature does a much better job than religion does in providing comfort. In my experience anyway.
Except these just-so stories do more than simply comfort. When you learn from religion, you're often learning things that aren't true. That are nonsensical. That actively impede our understanding of reality. That teach grossly immoral lessons. Even the very basic, innocuous religious belief of meeting your loved ones in the afterlife teaches us that we don't need to care as much about the one real life we know we have.

I'm firmly of the belief that there's no such thing as a harmless lie when you're lying to yourself, because it's epistemological poison. It teaches you how to think wrong. And leads to muddled, confused beliefs.

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Shall we start here? I don't think there is much to discuss, since you want to stick to "standard" definitions of God and Life, and I am proposing to change those definitions to suit what Inwould like to believe.
Okay, this might be a stupid question.

If you want to change these definitions, why not just make new labels?

Here's a radical suggestion: if you want to create new definitions for words, and are frustrated when people get confused by conflating your new definitions with the old definitions, just make up new words instead. What you insist on calling "god" can be called "bregg" and what you insist on calling "life" can be "clube". These are completely new, unique labels in the english language. They have no baggage attached. Nobody is going to get confused, because the only meaning these words have is the meaning you explicitly attach to them through your definition.

Try it! Go back through this thread, and whenever you're talking about "bregg" or "clube", mentally replace the word, and see if what you're saying makes any sense whatsoever.

If it does, congratulations! You're talking about discrete concepts that make some coherent sense and have some relation to reality. Keep using those terms to reduce confusion, and to keep language nerds like me from shouting obscenities at you.

If it doesn't, congratulations! This entire discussion has been a huge waste of time but we can at least save ourselves the next ten interminable tedious pages of this thread. Keep using those terms anyways, to help make that more clear to others.

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So why do you think humans invented Gods?
See, this is exactly the kind of confusion I'm talking about! By your definition of "Gods", humans have been inventing "Gods" for maybe a couple centuries. By the classical definition, it's completely irrelevant question, because throughout history, almost all "gods" have been, in one form or another, larger-than-life anthropomorphizations of nature created to attach meaning and significance to a world that lacks both. Think back to ancient times - the gods of the mesopotamians, the egyptians, or any other ancient civilization - and you'll find that their gods, traditionally, embodied aspects of nature. The sun god, who carries the burning chariot across the skies. The thunder god, who doles out his vengeance. The god of death. And so on and so forth. From there it's not exactly a huge conceptual leap to get to one god who can just do everything.

Now, if you instead say, "So why do you think humans invented breggs?" the answer becomes obvious - it's a fairly new invention; new-age woo from people who grew up believing in traditional gods, understand that the classical interpretation of "god" doesn't make any sense, but still have emotional attachment to the idea, and so want to salvage it somehow.

These "gods" have approximately fuck-all to do with what you're talking about. This is why I'm so bothered by the shifts in definition - because the entire point seems to be this confusion!

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You say you regard life as purely scientific and rational. But does life ever throw you a curve ball? Have you ever become emotional about the bookends of life, as in birth or death? I certainly have, and I know many people find comfort in religion when dealing with life's mysteries. I think that's why we invented gods, to be honest—as a way to deal with life's mysteries, especially affairs of the heart. Sometimes the scientific approach just doesn't cut it. I certainly hope there's more Life to live after this Life is over, though I know for atheists, it's kind of irrelevant.
Rationality is not simply "examining problems rationally". It's "examining problems rationally from within the framework of the human brain". It's dealing with the fact that we, as humans, aren't beings of cold logic, and trying to reach rational conclusions despite the numerous significant biases we have. We get emotional, sure. It rarely actually helps us to take those emotions and run with them - if my father is dying, and some shady witch doctor offers me a miracle cure for a thousand bucks, my emotional side is going to want to cut them a check right away, regardless of how stupid that actually is. (It would behoove me to not do that.)

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 05-08-2018 at 09:48 AM.
  #397  
Old 05-08-2018, 11:07 AM
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Hypnosis is my wheelhouse and you have no idea what you're talking about here. The human brain processes different stimuli in a variety of ways, and while we don't have a perfectly clear picture of how things work (I find the "bayesian brain" hypothesis to be very compelling, but I lack the expertise to really judge), there's really no need to invoke anything supernatural. It's interesting. But once you insert a supernatural element, all you've done is make the same mistake people have made since time immemorial when they heard thunder in the sky and thought "god is angry" - inserting a supernatural stopgap which doesn't explain anything, teaches us nothing, and leaves us less well-equipped to find the real answer. And I resent that.



Except these just-so stories do more than simply comfort. When you learn from religion, you're often learning things that aren't true. That are nonsensical. That actively impede our understanding of reality. That teach grossly immoral lessons. Even the very basic, innocuous religious belief of meeting your loved ones in the afterlife teaches us that we don't need to care as much about the one real life we know we have.

I'm firmly of the belief that there's no such thing as a harmless lie when you're lying to yourself, because it's epistemological poison. It teaches you how to think wrong. And leads to muddled, confused beliefs.



Okay, this might be a stupid question.

If you want to change these definitions, why not just make new labels?

Here's a radical suggestion: if you want to create new definitions for words, and are frustrated when people get confused by conflating your new definitions with the old definitions, just make up new words instead. What you insist on calling "god" can be called "bregg" and what you insist on calling "life" can be "clube". These are completely new, unique labels in the english language. They have no baggage attached. Nobody is going to get confused, because the only meaning these words have is the meaning you explicitly attach to them through your definition.

Try it! Go back through this thread, and whenever you're talking about "bregg" or "clube", mentally replace the word, and see if what you're saying makes any sense whatsoever.

If it does, congratulations! You're talking about discrete concepts that make some coherent sense and have some relation to reality. Keep using those terms to reduce confusion, and to keep language nerds like me from shouting obscenities at you.

If it doesn't, congratulations! This entire discussion has been a huge waste of time but we can at least save ourselves the next ten interminable tedious pages of this thread. Keep using those terms anyways, to help make that more clear to others.



See, this is exactly the kind of confusion I'm talking about! By your definition of "Gods", humans have been inventing "Gods" for maybe a couple centuries. By the classical definition, it's completely irrelevant question, because throughout history, almost all "gods" have been, in one form or another, larger-than-life anthropomorphizations of nature created to attach meaning and significance to a world that lacks both. Think back to ancient times - the gods of the mesopotamians, the egyptians, or any other ancient civilization - and you'll find that their gods, traditionally, embodied aspects of nature. The sun god, who carries the burning chariot across the skies. The thunder god, who doles out his vengeance. The god of death. And so on and so forth. From there it's not exactly a huge conceptual leap to get to one god who can just do everything.

Now, if you instead say, "So why do you think humans invented breggs?" the answer becomes obvious - it's a fairly new invention; new-age woo from people who grew up believing in traditional gods, understand that the classical interpretation of "god" doesn't make any sense, but still have emotional attachment to the idea, and so want to salvage it somehow.

These "gods" have approximately fuck-all to do with what you're talking about. This is why I'm so bothered by the shifts in definition - because the entire point seems to be this confusion!



Rationality is not simply "examining problems rationally". It's "examining problems rationally from within the framework of the human brain". It's dealing with the fact that we, as humans, aren't beings of cold logic, and trying to reach rational conclusions despite the numerous significant biases we have. We get emotional, sure. It rarely actually helps us to take those emotions and run with them - if my father is dying, and some shady witch doctor offers me a miracle cure for a thousand bucks, my emotional side is going to want to cut them a check right away, regardless of how stupid that actually is. (It would behoove me to not do that.)

You have responded with a great deal to contemplate, not the least of which is whether Bregg is just another word for Clube. I will respond in greater detail once I've had a chance to absorb it.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:31 PM
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I think I'd say both interpretations work, but I think daily experiences comes closest to what I imagine when I think about the word Life. Or the word God. Or the word Love, but let's not make it any more confusing than it already is.
I'd like to second (third? Fifth? Tenth?) the notion that you really, really, really need to decide what you mean by the words "Life" and "God". As you clearly realize, the meanings of those words are quite literally central to your position and this discussion.


If calling them Bregg and Clube helps you separate your definitions from the standard baggage that comes from the words being prepackaged with other definitions, then that would be a good tactic to employ. Because you are seriously stumbling over baggage here. You seem unsure whether bregg is a sentient entity or not - which would seem to be pretty fundamental!
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:04 PM
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Ah contraire, mon ami. I'm not going to read anything TODAY, but it's on my to do list. I have a feeling you won't be reading Neale Donald Walsch though. Perhaps you could link to an excerpt from one of the books you recommend. I'm certainly not going to buy a book that's been recommended by someone who doesn't like what I've shared unless I find it very intriguing, just as I'm sure you wouldn't. A link is a good start.
If I'm honest, I've read all I need to read from Mr. Walsch. I simply do not subscribe to New Age ideas because I've find them to be without merit.

But it that does not turn you off from my suggested reading, then I suggest you start with Robert Wright's blog. I think you'll find his interest in human development and insights on religion and faith to be well thought out. He refers to himself as a Secular Humanist and doesn't entirely exclude the possibility of a grander purpose, though he does not believe in creationism or intelligent design. I think his reasoning is far more cogent and coherent than what you've presented from NDW and your own beliefs. To whatever extent your ideas overlap with his, you may find his views interesting and enlightening. Or not. Entirely up to you.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:00 PM
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I think I'd say both interpretations work, but I think daily experiences comes closest to what I imagine when I think about the word Life. Or the word God. Or the word Love, but let's not make it any more confusing than it already is.
I really life discussing things that interest me. I've done it all my life. The topics of life and life are some of my favourites. However, one-sidedly listening to someone explain how he has lifed life his whole life, and that he believes life and life and life all mean the same thing - I mean, life, life gets tiring sometimes... Oh well. Don't forget that life lifes you - in fact, life IS life. Also keep in mind that you can't legitimately life others unless you life yourself first.

And whatever you do, don't turn to a god of crime. Your godded ones would be lonely and blue for the rest of their gods if you received a god sentence and spent the rest of your god in prison. What kind of a god would that be?

Well, I hope in the future I hear you are off on some tropical island loving the good love. Maybe even that you've fallen in life. Or you may just go swimming for the rest of your love, watch reruns of This Is Your God and The God Boat, and read Love magazine.

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