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  #201  
Old 05-02-2018, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for explaining this a bit, but it seems like the tired argument that you understand the scientific method and we don't therefore you can't know. Then accuse us of a tactic that requires us to know what you just claimed we don't know. It is a illogical statement that leads to a false conclusion.
Religion/faith makes knowledge claims about things it demonstrably does not know. In that way at least (most?), it's consistent in the claims it makes about science.

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What we have here is 2 of the 'greatest' questions of all times, and a conjecture. What is God, What is Life and are they the same. Relating this then dismissing it based on the scientific method and it's understanding does not prove anything, it is a attempt to dismiss the premise without consideration. In this the scientific method is really irrelevant as there is currently no answer provided by it, yet the questions and I'd say even the conjecture is ancient in their nature (therefore countering your claim that this was intentionally just placed outside the reach of science). The workings of it is explored in the field of philosophy, spirituality and if you must religion. As such it is not 'proof' that is the goal, it is understanding of how that applies to the world as we see it from those standpoints.
Every time science has answered life's ancient mysteries, faith/religion has moved the goal posts. I agree with you that some questions have yet to be answered. I submit that we ought to have learned by now to accept, "We don't yet know the answer, but we'll keep looking", as opposed to, "God is inscrutable and he's hiding where we can't find him - but trust us, he's there."

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What can be said of scientific advancements is that they an be used to relate concepts, ideas, to help communicate thoughts better. It is also my believe that science is pattern based, and those patterns repeat across fields for a reason, and that allows concepts to be conveyed. As such, with my former statement, all science is scripture, and to quote the bible, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,..." which pretty much describes science, the scientific method in a universe under God.
Here's the difference: When science gets "scripture" wrong, it throws it out and replaces it with the corrected version. In fact, doing so is encouraged by the scientific method. Religious scripture has often been proven wrong over the years, but it seems resistant, though not entirely immune, to change.

But let's roll with your riff for a bit... If, "All science is scripture", and, "All scripture is inspired by God", may we conclude that God is a poor scientist, but he's getting better?
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  #202  
Old 05-02-2018, 10:07 AM
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God is Skiing: This I would consider Religion, It's expressing an aspect of 'really living' but only for some people, it 'saves' those who really live this way (read the word 'live' here as 'really come alive', not in a biologic sense but in that one finds life is really worth living sense - which I believe puts the OP's conjecture into perspective). As a religion it also tends to force itself onto others who can't 'live' this way (use the same definition of 'live' as above here), it is closed minded because some have found God, the assumption is that is the only way to do it. It is missing that 'really living' is God, and that comes in many forms for each person. This ridged believe, called religion, could cause wars. This is the break between religion and God IMHO. But if one were open to the good aspects of religious teachings, seeing that yes these people have found God, they are living life, one can accept that, but see how skiing is not the universal answer, but just part of a bigger picture.
Do not fuck with Skiing. I am a God of Skiing.

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  #203  
Old 05-02-2018, 11:36 AM
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God is Skiing: This I would consider Religion
We even have schisms (Telemark vs Randonee, Lift vs backcountry), pilgrimages (Tuckerman Ravine, Corbet's Couloir, Chamonix, the Hahnenkamm) and heretics (snowboarders) and holidays (any powder day).
  #204  
Old 05-02-2018, 12:21 PM
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I dunno. I think perhaps it's that life force that gives rise to life, which may well be Life itself. I don't profess to be the expert here. I'm just asking some questions. So far I haven't really heard from anyone, past or present, that totally knows how to answer the question. So I will keep looking.
Oh, I can totally answer the question, that's easy. Life arises from chemicals and such interacting. Simple life arose from chemicals that randomly happened to end up interacting in patterns that caused an ongoing, self-perpetuating series of interactions. Complex life arose from variations on simple life that persisted because they had a greater tendency to self-perpetuate. In a sense all of earthly life is one giant ongoing self-perpetuating interaction - a series of dominoes that sets up more dominoes ahead of it as an incidental side effect of the ones behind them getting knocked down.

People have a hard time believing that such a complex series of self-perpetuating interactions could have come to pass "through chance" (it wasn't pure chance, any more than the fact that things next to something on fire start burning 'at random') so they try to posit an intelligent agent to have done the instigating - an arsonist who goes around starting the grass around a burning tree on fire, if you will.

This incredulity of theirs doesn't change the fact that their posited entity is both unnecessary and problematic. You simply can't explain the initial instigation of life by claiming that something else alive instigated it - all that does is move the goalpost back. The source of the first life had to be in something not alive. Otherwise that first life wasn't the first.
  #205  
Old 05-02-2018, 03:30 PM
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Okay, then define those words.



Oh... Wait...



Look. When we talk about god, we're generally not doing something like looking at an object and saying, "We need a word for this object". We're starting with a concept. "God" is less like "rock" or "stick" and more like "two" or "peace". Can you point to something and call it "peace", or point to something and call it "two", and have that make any sense if those concepts are not already defined? Not really.



So what you're saying here is kinda word salad. It literally makes no sense. "Maybe there's more to <this thing that only exists as a concept we define> in order to examine than the way they're defined". That's nonsense. Without a definition or an object to attribute a label to, the word means nothing. You cannot explore the definition of an object that doesn't actually exist or which we have no information about. You might as well argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin for all the good it does.







What qualities does "god" have? Can you define "god" for me?



There's two options here.



Option A: "god" is equivalent to "life-force". In that case, there's no reason to use the word god. It achieves literally nothing that just saying "life-force" doesn't, except attaching a lot of unnecessary baggage to the term.



Option B: "god" is similar to "life-force" but has some notable differences. In this case, there's no reason to use the word "life-force", beyond saying "it's sorta like a life-force, but...". It's just confusing to call god "life-force" when god clearly isn't life-force, but rather something that means something that is either somewhat or entirely different.



Why do you insist on using the term "god" to describe something that has virtually nothing in common with the way most people use the term? What does that accomplish?

Good question. I want to reconcile that mystery and omnipresence that I grew up with with what my adult sensibilities can handle. Much like growing past believing in Santa, we go on and either teach the same stories to our own kids ( I did), knowing them to be false, but passing on what might be termed the spirit of the Santa story, after all, what harm can it do? Of course, there WAS a real St. Nick that the Santa story is based on, so it's not completely lying. Not completely. More like embellishing.

For me, same goes for Jesus or many of the other Lords and Gods through history. They're based on someone, somewhere, or at the very least, some aspect of human nature that someone wanted to emphasize in story form. For Jesus, all the hallmarks of mythology are there, including the superhuman feats. Gods share a lot of qualities with the superheroes of the Marvel and DC universe, and that's probably by design. Superheroes are the kind of people we look up to and aspire to be like.

I don't think of God as a person so much as the driving force behind the person, a kind of Force if you will. I believe there is a force of some type that does hold all life together. I don't think it's scientifically provable, and I don't really care if it isn't. It gets me through the day and the long nights, which is kind of the point of religion in the first place.

I'd be interested in hearing from others who have beliefs that are a little off the beaten path.
  #206  
Old 05-02-2018, 04:23 PM
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Good question. I want to reconcile that mystery and omnipresence that I grew up with with what my adult sensibilities can handle. Much like growing past believing in Santa, we go on and either teach the same stories to our own kids ( I did), knowing them to be false, but passing on what might be termed the spirit of the Santa story, after all, what harm can it do? Of course, there WAS a real St. Nick that the Santa story is based on, so it's not completely lying. Not completely. More like embellishing.

For me, same goes for Jesus or many of the other Lords and Gods through history. They're based on someone, somewhere, or at the very least, some aspect of human nature that someone wanted to emphasize in story form. For Jesus, all the hallmarks of mythology are there, including the superhuman feats. Gods share a lot of qualities with the superheroes of the Marvel and DC universe, and that's probably by design. Superheroes are the kind of people we look up to and aspire to be like.

I don't think of God as a person so much as the driving force behind the person, a kind of Force if you will. I believe there is a force of some type that does hold all life together. I don't think it's scientifically provable, and I don't really care if it isn't. It gets me through the day and the long nights, which is kind of the point of religion in the first place.

I'd be interested in hearing from others who have beliefs that are a little off the beaten path.
My beliefs are only off the beaten path in that the 'beaten path' in these parts is believing in bearded sky gods.

I don't believe in the Force. I believe people don't need the Force. I believe that people are incredible thinking entities with a capability for awareness and empathy - not psychic empathy, but sympathetic empathy. People can care about others and work with others and join together with others in friendship, family, brotherhood, and community. Not via magic, but by working together and listening to each other and understanding each other.

Compared to that, all religion sounds shallow and hollow to me. Religion posits incomprehensible alien forces and entities which are supposed to fill holes that aren't empty and span gaps that are already crossed. I don't need it.
  #207  
Old 05-02-2018, 04:27 PM
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My beliefs are only off the beaten path in that the 'beaten path' in these parts is believing in bearded sky gods.



I don't believe in the Force. I believe people don't need the Force. I believe that people are incredible thinking entities with a capability for awareness and empathy - not psychic empathy, but sympathetic empathy. People can care about others and work with others and join together with others in friendship, family, brotherhood, and community. Not via magic, but by working together and listening to each other and understanding each other.



Compared to that, all religion sounds shallow and hollow to me. Religion posits incomprehensible alien forces and entities which are supposed to fill holes that aren't empty and span gaps that are already crossed. I don't need it.


I like the way you think.
  #208  
Old 05-02-2018, 05:22 PM
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Religion/faith makes knowledge claims about things it demonstrably does not know. In that way at least (most?), it's consistent in the claims it makes about science.
Perhaps, and I say perhaps, because that does not seem appropriate for this discussion so not worth going into for the point of this discussion. Science really does not enter into this, and it jsut seems dragged into it because it's convenient for some, not because it matters here. Much akin to the widow who looks inside for the coin she lost outside because the light is better.



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Every time science has answered life's ancient mysteries, faith/religion has moved the goal posts.
Again perhaps, and again that does not address the OP's conjecture. It's really irrelevant, but again it may be convenient to bring up but that does not agree with the subject at hand.

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I agree with you that some questions have yet to be answered. I submit that we ought to have learned by now to accept, "We don't yet know the answer, but we'll keep looking", as opposed to, "God is inscrutable and he's hiding where we can't find him - but trust us, he's there."
Again getting on your preaching soapbox. And this is what is meant by atheist preaching or evangelism. And when you boil it down it is mainly Christianity that is this faith, as the claims you make is mostly claims that refer to the religion of Christianity, so that is what you appear to use as your religion.



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Here's the difference: When science gets "scripture" wrong, it throws it out and replaces it with the corrected version. In fact, doing so is encouraged by the scientific method. Religious scripture has often been proven wrong over the years, but it seems resistant, though not entirely immune, to change.But let's roll with your riff for a bit... If, "All science is scripture", and, "All scripture is inspired by God", may we conclude that God is a poor scientist, but he's getting better?
Again your christian religion, not atheism, shows here - though you may consider it Anti-Christianity. Scripture is 'wrong' at times no problem. Paul admits to this, giving commands he admits is not of God. Scriptures are not a 'here it is' type of thing, but each is and has a specific purpose, this includes science, progress and setbacks, discovery and dismissal of the old when it no longer serves.

As I see it God is a master, we are the poor scientists, but with help and guidance we are learning what God wants to reveal.
  #209  
Old 05-02-2018, 05:23 PM
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We even have schisms (Telemark vs Randonee, Lift vs backcountry), pilgrimages (Tuckerman Ravine, Corbet's Couloir, Chamonix, the Hahnenkamm) and heretics (snowboarders) and holidays (any powder day).
I love this
  #210  
Old 05-02-2018, 10:56 PM
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Good question. I want to reconcile that mystery and omnipresence that I grew up with with what my adult sensibilities can handle. Much like growing past believing in Santa, we go on and either teach the same stories to our own kids ( I did), knowing them to be false, but passing on what might be termed the spirit of the Santa story, after all, what harm can it do?
It teaches our children that we aren't to be trusted? It teaches our children that belief in the supernatural isn't a terrible idea? It's fundamentally a lie?

You seem to be clinging to stories from your childhood that you know aren't true. Why? How does this help you in any meaningful way?

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Of course, there WAS a real St. Nick that the Santa story is based on, so it's not completely lying. Not completely. More like embellishing.
This is like saying that there is a real New York, therefore The Avengers was just "embellishing".

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I don't think of God as a person so much as the driving force behind the person, a kind of Force if you will. I believe there is a force of some type that does hold all life together. I don't think it's scientifically provable, and I don't really care if it isn't. It gets me through the day and the long nights, which is kind of the point of religion in the first place.

I'd be interested in hearing from others who have beliefs that are a little off the beaten path.
Now this is a definition of god that sorta makes sense. I'm not sure how you could establish it as a real thing, but it does make some sense.
  #211  
Old 05-02-2018, 11:11 PM
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(To clarify, I mean it's a coherent concept that isn't linguistically offensive. I don't think it's actually a "thing".)
  #212  
Old 05-03-2018, 01:13 AM
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(To clarify, I mean it's a coherent concept that isn't linguistically offensive. I don't think it's actually a "thing".)

Understood.
  #213  
Old 05-03-2018, 12:20 PM
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(To clarify, I mean it's a coherent concept that isn't linguistically offensive. I don't think it's actually a "thing".)
Well, it's a different concept of god, certainly, but I'm still not entirely sure what was actually meant.

Read one way, it seems to imply that there's a nonsentient force connecting all living organisms - something like radio, or the electromagnetic field, or perhaps gravity. Injecting some woo, it would be a strata via which things like telepathy, empathy, or other psychic messages could be conveyed from one person to another. Absent the woo, it's, well, radio, the electromagnetic field, or perhaps gravity. But supernatural maybe!

Read another way it suggests that humans don't have individual minds and we are all puppets of a single hivemind entity that is using us as bizarre people puppets in a horrific puppet show. I suspect this isn't what was meant, but it really comes down to the effect this "force" is supposed to have on is. Does it impact us, control us, communicate with us? Does it have a mind of its own? Is it a hive mind? Does it see us all like neurons, necessary elements of the collective whole but individually unremarkable and replaceable? Or is it just a medium, with no mind of its own, postulated as just giving us another method of communicating and connecting besides the tools we already have: eyes, voice, touch, twitter?

I mean, it's certainly more coherent than the average god conception, but one could clarify it further. Though (full disclosure) I would only be doing so for abstract entertainment, because I don't think people need either psychic shortwave radios or spectral puppetmasters.
  #214  
Old 05-03-2018, 02:32 PM
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Well, it's a different concept of god, certainly, but I'm still not entirely sure what was actually meant.



Read one way, it seems to imply that there's a nonsentient force connecting all living organisms - something like radio, or the electromagnetic field, or perhaps gravity. Injecting some woo, it would be a strata via which things like telepathy, empathy, or other psychic messages could be conveyed from one person to another. Absent the woo, it's, well, radio, the electromagnetic field, or perhaps gravity. But supernatural maybe!



Read another way it suggests that humans don't have individual minds and we are all puppets of a single hivemind entity that is using us as bizarre people puppets in a horrific puppet show. I suspect this isn't what was meant, but it really comes down to the effect this "force" is supposed to have on is. Does it impact us, control us, communicate with us? Does it have a mind of its own? Is it a hive mind? Does it see us all like neurons, necessary elements of the collective whole but individually unremarkable and replaceable? Or is it just a medium, with no mind of its own, postulated as just giving us another method of communicating and connecting besides the tools we already have: eyes, voice, touch, twitter?



I mean, it's certainly more coherent than the average god conception, but one could clarify it further. Though (full disclosure) I would only be doing so for abstract entertainment, because I don't think people need either psychic shortwave radios or spectral puppetmasters.


Have you ever wondered what it is within you that's able to communicate with what it is inside other people? I think it's kind of like that. You know, like the ghost in the machine. The you in your mind. Your actual self. Your essence. And not a hive mentality so much as a collective. Social media is not a bad analogy, where people share their collective wisdom. I think that's more like what God is. Life. We're never not with Life, since we're alive, and so we're never not with God. I know this will be too flakey for some people, but I really believe the concept has merit.
  #215  
Old 05-03-2018, 02:55 PM
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Have you ever wondered what it is within you that's able to communicate with what it is inside other people?
I use something called "words." They are interpreted by organic circuitry in specific areas of my brain.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:01 PM
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Have you ever wondered what it is within you that's able to communicate with what it is inside other people? I think it's kind of like that. You know, like the ghost in the machine. The you in your mind. Your actual self. Your essence. And not a hive mentality so much as a collective. Social media is not a bad analogy, where people share their collective wisdom. I think that's more like what God is. Life. We're never not with Life, since we're alive, and so we're never not with God. I know this will be too flakey for some people, but I really believe the concept has merit.
So we're with God when we're with Life. Does that mean we're not with God when we're not with Life?
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  #217  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:25 PM
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So we're with God when we're with Life. Does that mean we're not with God when we're not with Life?
No, then you are with the worm god. (Worms mostly pray about winning at pinochle.)
  #218  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:42 PM
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Have you ever wondered what it is within you that's able to communicate with what it is inside other people? I think it's kind of like that. You know, like the ghost in the machine. The you in your mind. Your actual self. Your essence. And not a hive mentality so much as a collective. Social media is not a bad analogy, where people share their collective wisdom. I think that's more like what God is. Life. We're never not with Life, since we're alive, and so we're never not with God. I know this will be too flakey for some people, but I really believe the concept has merit.
Actually, I haven't wondered that, because I only communicate with people via ordinary methods - seeing them, hearing them, talking to them, making physical expressions and gestures for them to see. (Others might say "touching them" and "being touched", but I never touch anybody.) I am not not a psychic and do not communicate using telepathy. (And if I was a psychic, I'd rather be a telekinetic. And not a wimp telekinetic either - I wanna toss cars around with my mind.)

Humanity has long dreamed of being wirelessly connected to each other. But we're not. Fortunately we don't need to be - humanity has a lot of skill at communicating with each other. (Though a lot less communicating through text or online. That's not how humanity has developed.)

But in any case it's good that we're clearer on your vision for your redefinition of the word "God" - you envision a telekinetic web of connections, which may/may not also include a persistent store of information (such that I can suddenly just know my great-grandfather's underwear size - no living person remembers, but Life(tm) and Pepperidge Farm do). This telekinetic web is not opt-in; everyone is connected whether they like it or not, and thus no human ever has secrets from one another. Sitting where you are, right now, you know exactly who I am and what I'm thinking of this instant.

Okay, sorry. I have a hard time resisting the temptation to chase down implications of things. But does your idea of god have awareness and sentience? I mean, you liken it to social media, and you just know that Facebook has both achieved self-awareness and is plotting humanity's destruction. Such a thing could theoretically happen to a telekinetic web too, particularly if it had persistent memory.
  #219  
Old 05-03-2018, 04:41 PM
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I use something called "words." They are interpreted by organic circuitry in specific areas of my brain.


That's excellent to hear. Your point being?
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:43 PM
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So we're with God when we're with Life. Does that mean we're not with God when we're not with Life?


You mean when you're dead? No, I think there is still life within you, as your energy changes into something else. In my world view, you are never without life, technically.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:44 PM
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No, then you are with the worm god. (Worms mostly pray about winning at pinochle.)


Followers of the Worm God also pray for large things to die.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:49 PM
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Actually, I haven't wondered that, because I only communicate with people via ordinary methods - seeing them, hearing them, talking to them, making physical expressions and gestures for them to see. (Others might say "touching them" and "being touched", but I never touch anybody.) I am not not a psychic and do not communicate using telepathy. (And if I was a psychic, I'd rather be a telekinetic. And not a wimp telekinetic either - I wanna toss cars around with my mind.)



Humanity has long dreamed of being wirelessly connected to each other. But we're not. Fortunately we don't need to be - humanity has a lot of skill at communicating with each other. (Though a lot less communicating through text or online. That's not how humanity has developed.)



But in any case it's good that we're clearer on your vision for your redefinition of the word "God" - you envision a telekinetic web of connections, which may/may not also include a persistent store of information (such that I can suddenly just know my great-grandfather's underwear size - no living person remembers, but Life(tm) and Pepperidge Farm do). This telekinetic web is not opt-in; everyone is connected whether they like it or not, and thus no human ever has secrets from one another. Sitting where you are, right now, you know exactly who I am and what I'm thinking of this instant.



Okay, sorry. I have a hard time resisting the temptation to chase down implications of things. But does your idea of god have awareness and sentience? I mean, you liken it to social media, and you just know that Facebook has both achieved self-awareness and is plotting humanity's destruction. Such a thing could theoretically happen to a telekinetic web too, particularly if it had persistent memory.


You keep talking about God as though it's something outside yourself. What if it's not? What if it IS yourself? I'm not saying that makes you omnipotent or telekinetic. It just makes you alive. That if that same sense of awareness that is you is the same sense of awareness that is me? What if we are all part of the same vast sense of awareness, even though we think we are separate? Kind of puts life (and God) in a different light.
  #223  
Old 05-03-2018, 05:07 PM
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That's excellent to hear. Your point being?
My point being, "I don't "wonder what it is within me that's able to communicate with what it is inside other people" because I know what it is--a bunch of organic circuits that have evolved and been refined over hundreds of millions of years. I don't know the fine details of how it works (just like I don't know the fine details of how the circuitry of my cell phone works) but I'm confident that it isn't magic, isn't "The Force", and there is no homunculus sitting up there. It is all machine, no ghost.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:34 PM
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You keep talking about God as though it's something outside yourself. What if it's not? What if it IS yourself? I'm not saying that makes you omnipotent or telekinetic. It just makes you alive. That if that same sense of awareness that is you is the same sense of awareness that is me? What if we are all part of the same vast sense of awareness, even though we think we are separate? Kind of puts life (and God) in a different light.
So, the Matrix then. (Script version, not film version.) Some super-intelligence has tapped into the circuitry of our brains to parasitically run part of itself on my mental hardware. None of the people in the pods are aware of these connections - they don't get telepathy from it. It's not about them. It's about creating a massive networked computer to run the "God" intelligence on.

Sounds legit. Who doesn't feel like they're in a slime-filled pod now and then?

The thing is, I have a general idea of how brains work. They're physical entities. They occupy physical space and they react poorly to being bashed to bits by a lead pipe. The minds within them react poorly to the brains being bashed to bits by a lead pipe. This is because the best analogy you've ever seen for how your brain works is the computer you're reading this post on.

Yes your computer is sentient. Also it hates you.

The thing about brains is they don't require magic to run - and that's a good thing. Brains, and minds, are real. However the bad thing about brains is they don't have magic powers - including the capability to connect telepathically to other people. The physical hardware for that isn't there, and despite numerous efforts to claim otherwise, there's no sign that brains have wireless capabilities either. Plus I can't levitate cars with my mind which is just adding insult to injury.

But let it not be said I don't have imagination. I can imagine that rather than being computers, our brains are dummy terminals - computers that don't do much beyond dialing into another computer and letting that computer tell them what to say and do. (Like your browser is asking another computer how to show you this web page.) When you bash in a dummy terminal with a lead pipe, you can log into a different terminal and everything will still be there - reincarnation, baby!

Unfortunately there's evidence against that - people have had their minds modified via application of lead pipes, which doesn't happen with dummy terminals. Plus we've looked around inside peoples' brains and haven't found a wireless network card. Still though, I can imagine it.

But I don't see the appeal. As you say, we think we're separate, and even if our minds are all running side-by-side on the same network server, it doesn't effect our interaction with reality or each other at all. No telepathy. No car-tossing. No fun. No point.

I'll just stick with reality. Everybody has one brain, and it runs until it stops. So install fun apps and have a blast while it lasts.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:05 PM
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My point being, "I don't "wonder what it is within me that's able to communicate with what it is inside other people" because I know what it is--a bunch of organic circuits that have evolved and been refined over hundreds of millions of years. I don't know the fine details of how it works (just like I don't know the fine details of how the circuitry of my cell phone works) but I'm confident that it isn't magic, isn't "The Force", and there is no homunculus sitting up there. It is all machine, no ghost.

I take it there's not a lot of magic or mysticism in your life.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:09 PM
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I take it there's not a lot of magic or mysticism in your life.
Absolutely none whatsoever, and damn proud of it.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:22 PM
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So, the Matrix then. (Script version, not film version.) Some super-intelligence has tapped into the circuitry of our brains to parasitically run part of itself on my mental hardware. None of the people in the pods are aware of these connections - they don't get telepathy from it. It's not about them. It's about creating a massive networked computer to run the "God" intelligence on.



Sounds legit. Who doesn't feel like they're in a slime-filled pod now and then?



The thing is, I have a general idea of how brains work. They're physical entities. They occupy physical space and they react poorly to being bashed to bits by a lead pipe. The minds within them react poorly to the brains being bashed to bits by a lead pipe. This is because the best analogy you've ever seen for how your brain works is the computer you're reading this post on.



Yes your computer is sentient. Also it hates you.



The thing about brains is they don't require magic to run - and that's a good thing. Brains, and minds, are real. However the bad thing about brains is they don't have magic powers - including the capability to connect telepathically to other people. The physical hardware for that isn't there, and despite numerous efforts to claim otherwise, there's no sign that brains have wireless capabilities either. Plus I can't levitate cars with my mind which is just adding insult to injury.



But let it not be said I don't have imagination. I can imagine that rather than being computers, our brains are dummy terminals - computers that don't do much beyond dialing into another computer and letting that computer tell them what to say and do. (Like your browser is asking another computer how to show you this web page.) When you bash in a dummy terminal with a lead pipe, you can log into a different terminal and everything will still be there - reincarnation, baby!



Unfortunately there's evidence against that - people have had their minds modified via application of lead pipes, which doesn't happen with dummy terminals. Plus we've looked around inside peoples' brains and haven't found a wireless network card. Still though, I can imagine it.



But I don't see the appeal. As you say, we think we're separate, and even if our minds are all running side-by-side on the same network server, it doesn't effect our interaction with reality or each other at all. No telepathy. No car-tossing. No fun. No point.



I'll just stick with reality. Everybody has one brain, and it runs until it stops. So install fun apps and have a blast while it lasts.


I enjoy the creativity you put into this response. The fact that I can appreciate your humour and wit indicates there's already something inside me that can recognize that humour that came from within you. Common language? That's part of it. But I think there's more to it.

When I look at my hand, I call it "my hand." I don't call it "me." Same with my eye, my nose, my face, heck, even my brain and my mind. I talk about those things as though they are separate from me, instead of just saying "me." As though my consciousness resides somewhere else. So who is this me within me? Who is this "I" that experiences my hand, my brain, my mind? It's a peculiarity of language, and I don't know if I'm expressing this very well, but I have a hunch that this point of view experience of life that I have is exactly what God is—the ghost in the machine. And to keep it even more interesting, it's the same consciousness that's in you, even if we are unaware of it, and the same consciousness in everyone, even animals, plants and inanimate things. Call it empathy if you want. That's what I think God is.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:45 PM
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I enjoy the creativity you put into this response. The fact that I can appreciate your humour and wit indicates there's already something inside me that can recognize that humour that came from within you. Common language? That's part of it. But I think there's more to it.
If there was more to it than that, you wouldn't have to have bothered reading my post - my wit would have reached out to you across the miles between us before you so much as refreshed the browser.

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When I look at my hand, I call it "my hand." I don't call it "me." Same with my eye, my nose, my face, heck, even my brain and my mind. I talk about those things as though they are separate from me, instead of just saying "me." As though my consciousness resides somewhere else. So who is this me within me? Who is this "I" that experiences my hand, my brain, my mind? It's a peculiarity of language, and I don't know if I'm expressing this very well, but I have a hunch that this point of view experience of life that I have is exactly what God is—the ghost in the machine. And to keep it even more interesting, it's the same consciousness that's in you, even if we are unaware of it, and the same consciousness in everyone, even animals, plants and inanimate things. Call it empathy if you want. That's what I think God is.
The phrase "ghost in the machine" was coined by the philosopher Gilbert Ryle, talking about Descartes's concept of mind-body dualism. You are far from the first person to notice that when we crack open somebody's head we don't find a person in there, just squishy brain mush, and wonder where all the thinking comes form.

In using the term Ryle was mocking the idea that humans are bodies 'haunted' by a controlling spirit. Quite deliberately trying to make it sound stupid. Just thought that should be mentioned.

And regarding where your "you" actually is, it's a computer program running on the hardware called your brain. This is why you only see the things your eyes (which are physically hooked to your brain) see, hear the things your ears (which are physically hooked to your brain) hear, and so on - the brain receives the inputs and your mind, running on the brain, interprets them. Fairly straightforward, really.

Of course, my brain isn't physically hooked to your brain, or that of animals, plants, or cars that stubbornly refuse to levitate when I think at them. So yeah.

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I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
Er, I didn't catch the joke. Maybe your telepathy failed to deliver it?
  #229  
Old 05-03-2018, 08:15 PM
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God and Life

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If there was more to it than that, you wouldn't have to have bothered reading my post - my wit would have reached out to you across the miles between us before you so much as refreshed the browser.



The phrase "ghost in the machine" was coined by the philosopher Gilbert Ryle, talking about Descartes's concept of mind-body dualism. You are far from the first person to notice that when we crack open somebody's head we don't find a person in there, just squishy brain mush, and wonder where all the thinking comes form.



In using the term Ryle was mocking the idea that humans are bodies 'haunted' by a controlling spirit. Quite deliberately trying to make it sound stupid. Just thought that should be mentioned.



And regarding where your "you" actually is, it's a computer program running on the hardware called your brain. This is why you only see the things your eyes (which are physically hooked to your brain) see, hear the things your ears (which are physically hooked to your brain) hear, and so on - the brain receives the inputs and your mind, running on the brain, interprets them. Fairly straightforward, really.



Of course, my brain isn't physically hooked to your brain, or that of animals, plants, or cars that stubbornly refuse to levitate when I think at them. So yeah.



Er, I didn't catch the joke. Maybe your telepathy failed to deliver it?


If you tell a really funny joke to an auditorium full of people and nobody laughs, does that mean the joke wasn't actually funny?

Seems the communication takes place somewhere between the sender's brain and the receiver's brain, and it would seem a lot of it is in the delivery. I'm not by the way suggesting telepathy is even possible—maybe it is, maybe not—but every time we connect as people through language, like on this forum, we share a bit of ourselves. What's the expression? Namaste. The spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you. And yes, it would be very cool to levitate cars. But maybe, say, only certain brands of cars, like KIAs. The power would be useless on Toyotas.

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  #230  
Old 05-03-2018, 11:26 PM
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… Read another way it suggests that humans don't have individual minds and we are all puppets of a single hivemind entity that is using us as bizarre people puppets in a horrific puppet show. …
Eusocial insects do not have a “hive mind”. They respond to events and act in coördinated ways based on pheromones and other signals, but the hive queen is merely the progenitor: all she does is lay eggs and have her needs tended to. As an analogy to some “universal mind”, it does not work, and there is no reason whatsoever to imagine that there is some mystical interconnectedness, that we might be sharing our intelligence or being managed by some kind of Gaianesque entity (or whatever).

Which is not to say that some sort of such a mechanism could not exist. The universe seems to be comprised of one or several substrates that carry the fields and waves that propagate throughout spacetime. There are not a few things we do not understand. But there has not been any consistent evidence to support paranormality, just some localized strangeness here and there, so we mostly discount the idea.

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… Some super-intelligence has tapped into the circuitry of our brains to parasitically run part of itself on my mental hardware. None of the people in the pods are aware of these connections - they don't get telepathy from it. It's not about them. It's about creating a massive networked computer to run the "God" intelligence on.

Sounds legit. …
Yes, but that setup was destroyed by the Vogons to make way for a hyperspace bypass. It was a Thursday.
  #231  
Old 05-04-2018, 01:34 AM
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You keep talking about God as though it's something outside yourself. What if it's not?
"You keep talking about peace as if it involves large groups of people not shooting each other with guns. What if it's not?"

This is what happens when you take terms with tons of baggage and use them in totally non-standard ways without defining them clearly. People get confused, talk past each other, and the whole conversation gets muddled.

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What if we are all part of the same vast sense of awareness, even though we think we are separate? Kind of puts life (and God) in a different light.
This song should never be relevant. Stop making this song relevant.

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When I look at my hand, I call it "my hand." I don't call it "me."
I think you're just bad at language, honestly.

When I say "me", it's a very non-specific, vague response. If a doctor asks you, "What hurts" and you say, "me", that gives the doctor no information to work with - they already know that you're in pain, but they need to specify where. Hence why it is a very useful linguistic shorthand to be able to say things like "my hand" or "my leg" or even odd things like "my mind" (when in fact "you" are nothing but a mind) when talking about things like depression or bipolar.

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I talk about those things as though they are separate from me, instead of just saying "me."
They're separate linguistic handles*. "My hand" means something different than "me". It's a pointer that points to something different, in the same way that "my hand" and "my finger" point to different things, even though one is contained in the other, or the same way "even numbers" and "all numbers" point to different things, even though "all numbers" contains "even numbers". But it being useful and commonplace to talk about them as separate entities does not suddenly make them distinct.

*Note: this might be me being bad at language, there's probably a technical term I'm mangling here.

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I have a hunch that this point of view experience of life that I have is exactly what God is—the ghost in the machine.
The funny thing about this is, we already have another term to describe made-up nonsense like this - it's called a "soul". For the record, I don't believe in those either.

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And to keep it even more interesting, it's the same consciousness that's in you, even if we are unaware of it, and the same consciousness in everyone, even animals, plants and inanimate things.
(Bolding mine)



A rock does not have consciousness!

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I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
Ohhh so this is a standup set, and not an actual description of a worldview. That makes so much more sense! It's not a funny set, but at least it's not incredibly depressing.

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  #232  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:02 AM
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You mean when you're dead? No, I think there is still life within you, as your energy changes into something else. In my world view, you are never without life, technically.
It's Woo all the way down with you, isn't it?

At this point I find it hard to believe you're debating in good faith. Your arguments seems more like gainsaying in opposition to challenge of an ill considered and unsupported belief system. I suppose it must be embarrassing to admit at this point that you've fabricated this entire Life=God thing because it seemed like a good idea at the time. By now though, you must be wondering if this is the right hill to die on, rhetorically speaking.

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I take it there's not a lot of magic or mysticism in your life.
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Absolutely none whatsoever, and damn proud of it.
Believe in magic!... you muggle.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:55 AM
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It's Woo all the way down with you, isn't it?



At this point I find it hard to believe you're debating in good faith. Your arguments seems more like gainsaying in opposition to challenge of an ill considered and unsupported belief system. I suppose it must be embarrassing to admit at this point that you've fabricated this entire Life=God thing because it seemed like a good idea at the time. By now though, you must be wondering if this is the right hill to die on, rhetorically speaking.











Believe in magic!... you muggle.


Well, as I explained in the opening post, it comes from something Neale Donald Walsch wrote, not me. I like the word view and J think it has merit. Nothing to be embarrassed about at all.
  #234  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:07 AM
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Well, as I explained in the opening post, it comes from something Neale Donald Walsch wrote, not me.
You're the one spending all this time trying to twist the meanings of common words in a desperate attempt to make it true in some way, shape or form.
  #235  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:16 AM
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Between this thread and the thread about water coming before the sun I can't tell which I find more fun.
  #236  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:17 AM
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All I get out of this is you defining "god" as the property shared by all existing things - the essence of existence. Since things exist there must be a god which gives them the property of existence.

Sounds a lot like the Ontological argument for god.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:45 AM
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Well, as I explained in the opening post, it comes from something Neale Donald Walsch wrote, not me. I like the word view and J think it has merit. Nothing to be embarrassed about at all.
Fair enough; you believe what you believe because you believe it.

At most, there's internal consistency in that position.
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  #238  
Old 05-04-2018, 10:22 AM
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All I get out of this is you defining "god" as the property shared by all existing things - the essence of existence. Since things exist there must be a god which gives them the property of existence.
If there was no stuff, would that mean there was no god? What good is a god without stuff? And by that logic, did stuff itself create god, since it would not have existed before there was stuff?
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:24 AM
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If there was no stuff, would that mean there was no god? What good is a god without stuff? And by that logic, did stuff itself create god, since it would not have existed before there was stuff?
What does god need with stuff?
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  #240  
Old 05-04-2018, 10:28 AM
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They've run out of places to hide their gods, so now they claim their gods are disguised as emotions and/or states of being. I can't wait for the next volume of Where's WaldoGod?.
  #241  
Old 05-04-2018, 10:34 AM
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If there was no stuff, would that mean there was no god? What good is a god without stuff? And by that logic, did stuff itself create god, since it would not have existed before there was stuff?
Have you seen stuff? It gets everywhere.
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  #242  
Old 05-04-2018, 10:42 AM
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They've run out of places to hide their gods, so now they claim their gods are disguised as emotions and/or states of being. I can't wait for the next volume of Where's WaldoGod?.
But not before they're done with their abuse of popular scientific theories:

Why is there God rather than No God?
God out of nothing.
Is absence of God inherently unstable?
God abhors a vacuum.
The Unified G-Theory.
Fuck you Hitchens! Not so great now, are you?!
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  #243  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:11 AM
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If you tell a really funny joke to an auditorium full of people and nobody laughs, does that mean the joke wasn't actually funny?
Not necessarily - perhaps they just didn't hear you. TAP TAP TAP Is this thing on?

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Seems the communication takes place somewhere between the sender's brain and the receiver's brain, and it would seem a lot of it is in the delivery. I'm not by the way suggesting telepathy is even possible—maybe it is, maybe not—but every time we connect as people through language, like on this forum, we share a bit of ourselves. What's the expression? Namaste. The spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you. And yes, it would be very cool to levitate cars. But maybe, say, only certain brands of cars, like KIAs. The power would be useless on Toyotas.
Communication takes place when one person's mind encodes some information/message in some form, which conveys it to the recipient, whose mind is able to decode that information/message hopefully into a something vaguely resembling what the encoder intended. If the recipient is unable to receive or decode the message for whatever reason --the microphone wasn't on, the speaker was mumbling, mówca mówił w innym języku, the speaker was trying to use the term "God" to mean "a maybe-sentient telepathic force" and everyone else understood the term to mean "Thor"-- then communication will partially or entirely fail.

There is no evidence whatsoever that there is any supplemental connection that conveys meaning above and beyond the encoded/decoded messages. If there was such a connection then this thread probably wouldn't be five pages long.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:24 PM
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All I get out of this is you defining "god" as the property shared by all existing things - the essence of existence. Since things exist there must be a god which gives them the property of existence.

Sounds a lot like the Ontological argument for god.


Good words. Why not.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:25 PM
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Have you seen stuff? It gets everywhere.


Like sand. It gets everywhere. And it is Star Wars day today.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:32 PM
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Not necessarily - perhaps they just didn't hear you. TAP TAP TAP Is this thing on?



Communication takes place when one person's mind encodes some information/message in some form, which conveys it to the recipient, whose mind is able to decode that information/message hopefully into a something vaguely resembling what the encoder intended. If the recipient is unable to receive or decode the message for whatever reason --the microphone wasn't on, the speaker was mumbling, mówca mówi w innym jzyku, the speaker was trying to use the term "God" to mean "a maybe-sentient telepathic force" and everyone else understood the term to mean "Thor"-- then communication will partially or entirely fail.



There is no evidence whatsoever that there is any supplemental connection that conveys meaning above and beyond the encoded/decoded messages. If there was such a connection then this thread probably wouldn't be five pages long.

I'm not saying people don't have their own separate independent experiences. It's just that at some point all of our individual experiences get shared with one another (a great many of them anyway) which becomes the sum total of human experience. We humans are actually pretty sophisticated in our language sharing abilities, and with books, movies and whatnot, a great deal of our human experience gets passed on from one generation to the next. Now that observation proves neither God nor Life, but it is pretty cool when you think about it.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:50 PM
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I'm not saying people don't have their own separate independent experiences. It's just that at some point all of our individual experiences get shared with one another (a great many of them anyway) which becomes the sum total of human experience.
No, they do not. The vast majority of people's experiences effect an extremely small proportion of the Earth's population.
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We humans are actually pretty sophisticated in our language sharing abilities, and with books, movies and whatnot, a great deal of our human experience gets passed on from one generation to the next. Now that observation proves neither God nor Life, but it is pretty cool when you think about it.
you seem to find a lot of things "pretty cool" in this thread. Got anything to say directly about your unsupported proposition that "God" and "Life" are synonymous, now that people have given reasons why it doesn't fly?
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:40 PM
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I'm not saying people don't have their own separate independent experiences. It's just that at some point all of our individual experiences get shared with one another (a great many of them anyway) which becomes the sum total of human experience. We humans are actually pretty sophisticated in our language sharing abilities, and with books, movies and whatnot, a great deal of our human experience gets passed on from one generation to the next. Now that observation proves neither God nor Life, but it is pretty cool when you think about it.
I disagree that there is some supernatural mechanism that shares "a great many" of our personal experiences with other humans - if that were happening then it seems basically inevitable that some small percentage of this knowledge would have found its way into my brain and forced me to be aware of everybody's underwear sizes from all of history. (Yeah, I'd get the underwear sizes. That's how things generally go for me.)

Because I have not been crammed full of underwear size knowledge, I can safely conclude that there's not a supernatural firehose piping the sum total of human knowledge back into individual people.

Which is not to say that all human knowledge vanishes with death; as you note humanity has developed various cultural habits of retaining various kinds of accumulated knowledge, both passing them along directly via speaking to others or indirectly by writing stuff down. There's nothing supernatural about this, though, and the only things retained are the encoded and transferred messages of communication. By all available evidence, no part of a person's actual mind or personal identity persists after death. (Common sense supports this opinion as well - dead people rot. They just break down into generic unremarkable particles and in any individual sense just vanish.)


But in any case that's what reality does - I'm actually curious about your mythos. Despite all the prior posts I still don't understand it. Let me explain, and ask for clarification.

As best I can tell you posit that humans all have souls or something which are composed of some sort of metaphysical matter - a substance which is not destroyed on death. (These souls are presumably stored in the appendix; people who have their appendixes removed are demons.) This substance records and retains something of human experience, and is capable of sharing these recorded experiences with others. It can do this while everybody's still alive, even, through telepathy/connectedness/wireless internet/whatever (ie: just telepathy), but also comes loose when people die to glom onto other soulstuff and transmit the recorded experiences directly. You call this soul substance, or at least the collected set of all such soul substance, capital-L-"Life", or "God".

This is what I've gotten from your posts. Am I close so far?

In any case, questions.

1) You posit that having your Life/God/Soul part removed removes your life (by the identity property of puns, it seems), and thus if you had your soul removed would be immediately fatal. But does soul-stuff do anything for you beyond that? Is it an integral part of consciousness? Emotions? Memories? Sensations? Does your optic nerve require it to function? And of course the flipside of this is, how much work is left for the brain to handle? Does a person need a brain? Could it be charitably donated to the zombie food bank?

TL;DR: Is the soul your mind, or not?

2) Putting aside what Life does for you while it's inside of you, does Life do anything else? Does it store knowledge independent of the knowledge stored in the minds all the individual people? (Like historical underwear sizes?) Does it have feelings independent of individual people's minds? Does it have a mind independent of other people's minds? Is the collective pile of soulstuff have a conscious mind of its own? Is it an actual singular entity of its own?

TL;DR: Is there a God?
  #249  
Old 05-04-2018, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
No, they do not. The vast majority of people's experiences effect an extremely small proportion of the Earth's population. you seem to find a lot of things "pretty cool" in this thread. Got anything to say directly about your unsupported proposition that "God" and "Life" are synonymous, now that people have given reasons why it doesn't fly?


You seem to have a fixation on proving someone wrong. Why? What does it matter if their beliefs are different from yours? I'm pretty comfortable with my beliefs, which I've described to some extent here, whether anyone else shares them or not. And, like I said, if you want to find out more about this God=Life hypothesis, check out Neale Donald Walsch. Why? Because it's pretty cool, that's why.
  #250  
Old 05-04-2018, 03:48 PM
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I disagree that there is some supernatural mechanism that shares "a great many" of our personal experiences with other humans - if that were happening then it seems basically inevitable that some small percentage of this knowledge would have found its way into my brain and forced me to be aware of everybody's underwear sizes from all of history. (Yeah, I'd get the underwear sizes. That's how things generally go for me.)



Because I have not been crammed full of underwear size knowledge, I can safely conclude that there's not a supernatural firehose piping the sum total of human knowledge back into individual people.



Which is not to say that all human knowledge vanishes with death; as you note humanity has developed various cultural habits of retaining various kinds of accumulated knowledge, both passing them along directly via speaking to others or indirectly by writing stuff down. There's nothing supernatural about this, though, and the only things retained are the encoded and transferred messages of communication. By all available evidence, no part of a person's actual mind or personal identity persists after death. (Common sense supports this opinion as well - dead people rot. They just break down into generic unremarkable particles and in any individual sense just vanish.)





But in any case that's what reality does - I'm actually curious about your mythos. Despite all the prior posts I still don't understand it. Let me explain, and ask for clarification.



As best I can tell you posit that humans all have souls or something which are composed of some sort of metaphysical matter - a substance which is not destroyed on death. (These souls are presumably stored in the appendix; people who have their appendixes removed are demons.) This substance records and retains something of human experience, and is capable of sharing these recorded experiences with others. It can do this while everybody's still alive, even, through telepathy/connectedness/wireless internet/whatever (ie: just telepathy), but also comes loose when people die to glom onto other soulstuff and transmit the recorded experiences directly. You call this soul substance, or at least the collected set of all such soul substance, capital-L-"Life", or "God".



This is what I've gotten from your posts. Am I close so far?



In any case, questions.



1) You posit that having your Life/God/Soul part removed removes your life (by the identity property of puns, it seems), and thus if you had your soul removed would be immediately fatal. But does soul-stuff do anything for you beyond that? Is it an integral part of consciousness? Emotions? Memories? Sensations? Does your optic nerve require it to function? And of course the flipside of this is, how much work is left for the brain to handle? Does a person need a brain? Could it be charitably donated to the zombie food bank?



TL;DR: Is the soul your mind, or not?



2) Putting aside what Life does for you while it's inside of you, does Life do anything else? Does it store knowledge independent of the knowledge stored in the minds all the individual people? (Like historical underwear sizes?) Does it have feelings independent of individual people's minds? Does it have a mind independent of other people's minds? Is the collective pile of soulstuff have a conscious mind of its own? Is it an actual singular entity of its own?



TL;DR: Is there a God?


You ask great questions. Short answer: I don't know. Longer answer: let me think about it and get back to you.
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