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  #551  
Old 05-16-2018, 02:01 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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I'm going to chop this up a bit because you seem to be bouncing around and I (being me) like responding to everything.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
I think the idea that God would ever want to bathe the earth in fire to be ridiculous. Why would the supreme creator of all require anything of us at all? What could He/She/It possibly be lacking?
Obviously there are various answers to this, but one of the more internally-consistent ones I've heard regarding Christianity is that sin annoys god and everything else flows from him not being able to handle that too well. He created a bunch of people (for some reason) and discovered that because the people have free will some of them do things he doesn't like, and he just can't take it. It fills him with a frothing rage. So he does various things to try to deal with the problem - sending all the sinners out of his sight, punishing the sinners to make himself feel better, beating on somebody else to let him relieve his stress and help him put up with us. (Like punching a pillow, but with more crosses and death.)

God could really use a good therapist.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
I think the traditional concept of God as something somehow outside ourselves is the problem. If God is within us, is a part of everything we do because HE IS US, then it puts us in a different position. We can think of the cop waiting in hiding to give us a speeding ticket, and we keep checking to see if God happens to be watching, whereas if we just didn't speed because it usually increases the risk of an accident, then we'd be doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do.
So the argument is basically that cops don't speed, so if we were all cops deep down inside, nobody would speed?

And the argument is that we're all God deep down inside, so that nobody at all would ever act like Trump, even Trump? That in your model everybody in the world is nice and godly and nobody is mean?

I know you're here to witness, not debate, but seriously, have you ever heard of disproof by contradiction?

(Also I'm pretty sure some cops speed, but that's neither here nor there.)

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
I'm not saying changing the paradigm of God is going to have much effect on atheists or theists, quite frankly, unless one is looking for a change. Most people seem to find comfort in believing what they've always believed, even if their beliefs are flawed.
Yeah, it's hard to sell to people who aren't buying. And atheists in particular tend to be critical about large obvious disproofs for things they're considering.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
As for what God is manufactured of? I don't believe I've ventured into that territory, unless you mean my reference to God as Life. Again, I find both of those words to be abstract nouns that could refer to a thousand things, which is what makes them malleable and subject to interpretation. Oddly, I don't think anyone else has really gone into much detail with their definitions of god or life either. Maybe because they're both words that are a lot harder to pin down than you'd think.
Oh, I can easily define the terms "god" and "life". And "God" and "Life".

god: something somebody worships or believes is worthy of worship.

life: A systemic process that results in the system in question having some or all of the properties of self-repair, reaction to its environment, reproductive ability, and the production and use of energy from external materials or energy sources - excluding systems with boundaries that we have a hard time defining, and specifically excluding machines and AIs because the idea of those being alive scares us.

God: A specific deity - generally whichever one is most prominent in whichever culture or religion is being discussed. In america is usually some variant of El/Yahweh.

Life: One of several boardgames by Milton Bradley.
  #552  
Old 05-16-2018, 02:40 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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Well, I believe I made a point 500 and some posts ago and I've been defending it ever since. If you don't agree with the point or the defence, that's your right. As I said before, agreement is not necessary. I've just found that in most of the religious discussions I read, theists and atheists couldn't find much common ground to actually have a discussion because they were too focussed on semantics. I was hoping this discussion might be different. Sadly I was mistaken.
It's not always a matter of opinion. Your valiantly-defended idea has actually been demonstrated to be wrong. You just haven't caught up with reality (or the discussion) yet.
  #553  
Old 05-16-2018, 03:13 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Oh, and can I amend my definition of the word "god"? It occurred to me that there are gods that nobody worships or believes is worthy of worship. So, new definition:

god: something somebody calls a god.
  #554  
Old 05-16-2018, 03:20 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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It's not always a matter of opinion. Your valiantly-defended idea has actually been demonstrated to be wrong. You just haven't caught up with reality (or the discussion) yet.
Thanks for the clarification.
  #555  
Old 05-16-2018, 04:04 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I'm going to chop this up a bit because you seem to be bouncing around and I (being me) like responding to everything.

Obviously there are various answers to this, but one of the more internally-consistent ones I've heard regarding Christianity is that sin annoys god and everything else flows from him not being able to handle that too well. He created a bunch of people (for some reason) and discovered that because the people have free will some of them do things he doesn't like, and he just can't take it. It fills him with a frothing rage. So he does various things to try to deal with the problem - sending all the sinners out of his sight, punishing the sinners to make himself feel better, beating on somebody else to let him relieve his stress and help him put up with us. (Like punching a pillow, but with more crosses and death.)
This is a very anthropomorphic view of god (man created god in his own image) and as such, god has all the same faults that man has, such as vanity, jealousy, and anger. To ascribe human faults such as these to god really does not make a lot of sense—and yes, I am saying that the god of the bible often times does not make a lot of sense. This interview excerpt with Neale Donald Walsch attempts to offer a partial explanation for the father figure god we see so often:

Do you think the whole idea of a male “Father God” is a product of our immaturity as a species? In other words, as a child needs a parent, have we created the idea of a “Man in a Robe” God to fill this need?

NDW: I think we came up with a Father God not only for those reasons but because the people who were creating the messages of the world’s great religions happened to be male. Religion emerged as a societal expression of spirituality during a time of enormous male dominance on the planet. So I think there are two reasons for a male Father God. One, because it was men who were writing the stories, and two, as you say, it was realized that the human species being as young and immature as we are, needed a parental figure, someone to whom they felt they could turn in times of difficulty, sorrow, stress and challenge, someone who could bring them assistance and insight and wisdom, and then look to those spiritual leaders like a parental figure.

http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/3824/

It's logical that we would model our concept of god on parent figures, in that it's one of the acts of creation we can identify with. It's also part and parcel of the animal kingdom, parents caring for their offspring. I would say it's a significant characteristic of life, parents caring for offspring. But the model is also flawed. Not all parents are good, and not all parents love their children unconditionally. But it's a start. It's a metaphor to help us understand how the creator of the universe, if there is one, could actually care about us. A promise od damnation and hellfire for all eternity if we should happen to break one of god's rules deems contrary to a being that shows unconditional love. Breaking a commandment is certainly a condition.

Quote:

God could really use a good therapist.
No question, depending on your version of God.
Quote:
So the argument is basically that cops don't speed, so if we were all cops deep down inside, nobody would speed?

And the argument is that we're all God deep down inside, so that nobody at all would ever act like Trump, even Trump? That in your model everybody in the world is nice and godly and nobody is mean?
I think what I'm trying to say is if our fear of getting caught is our prime motivation for doing things, then we're doing it wrong. I know all kinds of cops that speed, and not necessarily just when the flashing lights and siren are on.

Quote:
I know you're here to witness, not debate, but seriously, have you ever heard of disproof by contradiction?

(Also I'm pretty sure some cops speed, but that's neither here nor there.)

Yeah, it's hard to sell to people who aren't buying. And atheists in particular tend to be critical about large obvious disproofs for things they're considering.
Some of my best friends are atheists. Some days I'm an atheist myself. Other days I'm not. I'm not entirely sure why one has to be one or the other.
Quote:
Oh, I can easily define the terms "god" and "life". And "God" and "Life".

god: something somebody worships or believes is worthy of worship.

life: A systemic process that results in the system in question having some or all of the properties of self-repair, reaction to its environment, reproductive ability, and the production and use of energy from external materials or energy sources - excluding systems with boundaries that we have a hard time defining, and specifically excluding machines and AIs because the idea of those being alive scares us.

God: A specific deity - generally whichever one is most prominent in whichever culture or religion is being discussed. In america is usually some variant of El/Yahweh.

Life: One of several boardgames by Milton Bradley.
Those are nice definitions, but I wouldn't necessarily agree with them. As I've tried to explain, I see a lot more in common between god and life than these definitions allow for. Semantics are one way to approach a discussion, but they're not the only way. Let me ask you: have you ever been blown away by the miracle of life? Has it ever blown your socks off just how humans emerge from pretty much nothing, a sperm cell and an egg cell, and incubate for nine months inside a woman's womb without ever taking a breath, until they emerge and take their first breath. Has it ever blown you away how people grow from babies into children and into fully formed adults, learning language and other skills along the way? It blows me away when I look at my own children and all that they've learned thus far, and that these are the same beings that I have known since they were infants. Or technically, every cell in their bodies has been replaced, but they are still the same people.

I don't know that god is necessary for the miracle of life to exist, but I am blown away all the same. When i think of "life" or even "Life" (technically "LIFE"), the board game is not the first thing that comes to mind. Neither is the systematic process definition. I think of my kids, from their beginnings as a heartbeat on an ultrasound at eight weeks, to the marvelous people they are today. One day I'll be gone and it scares me a little, but I hope what comes after this life is at least as good as this one has been. I don't know. Neither do you. Neither does anybody, actually. That's why we have these theories that try to make sense of things. Some find comfort in religion. Some find comfort in science. Some find comfort in philosophy. Some find comfort in family. I find some comfort in all of these things.

Thus endeth today's witness.
  #556  
Old 05-16-2018, 04:49 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
This is a very anthropomorphic view of god (man created god in his own image) and as such, god has all the same faults that man has, such as vanity, jealousy, and anger. To ascribe human faults such as these to god really does not make a lot of sense—and yes, I am saying that the god of the bible often times does not make a lot of sense. This interview excerpt with Neale Donald Walsch attempts to offer a partial explanation for the father figure god we see so often:

Do you think the whole idea of a male “Father God” is a product of our immaturity as a species? In other words, as a child needs a parent, have we created the idea of a “Man in a Robe” God to fill this need?

NDW: I think we came up with a Father God not only for those reasons but because the people who were creating the messages of the world’s great religions happened to be male. Religion emerged as a societal expression of spirituality during a time of enormous male dominance on the planet. So I think there are two reasons for a male Father God. One, because it was men who were writing the stories, and two, as you say, it was realized that the human species being as young and immature as we are, needed a parental figure, someone to whom they felt they could turn in times of difficulty, sorrow, stress and challenge, someone who could bring them assistance and insight and wisdom, and then look to those spiritual leaders like a parental figure.

http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/3824/

It's logical that we would model our concept of god on parent figures, in that it's one of the acts of creation we can identify with. It's also part and parcel of the animal kingdom, parents caring for their offspring. I would say it's a significant characteristic of life, parents caring for offspring. But the model is also flawed. Not all parents are good, and not all parents love their children unconditionally. But it's a start. It's a metaphor to help us understand how the creator of the universe, if there is one, could actually care about us. A promise od damnation and hellfire for all eternity if we should happen to break one of god's rules deems contrary to a being that shows unconditional love. Breaking a commandment is certainly a condition.
I think that all religion is a product of our immaturity as individual people. Not as a species, necessarily - I don't think people are really likely to get much smarter at a species level. The only significant difference is that there are fewer things around for which we have no better explanation - but that doesn't seem to be slowing religion down as much as you'd think.

People in the past, and now, invent and believe in gods because they like knowing more about how things work. And, frankly, because they like things that sound good. Heaven forever? Sign us up! Bad things happen because the shadow government does it, not because of scary random chance? Sign us up! God gave us dominion over the earth and we can stripmine and burn to our hearts' content? Sign us up!

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No question, depending on your version of God.
I can construct a rather simple proof that any extremely powerful god is a serious deviant, actually. (Typhoons? Seriously?)


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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
I think what I'm trying to say is if our fear of getting caught is our prime motivation for doing things, then we're doing it wrong. I know all kinds of cops that speed, and not necessarily just when the flashing lights and siren are on.
Sure.

However, I'm of the opinion that the alternative view that you are God is also a pretty poor reason to be good - and not just because I'd be an unholy tyrant if I were God. (Omnipotence? Me? Better take cover, y'alls - not that it'll help!)

The best reason to be a good person is empathy. Not some shoddy form of empathy that requires a god to do your empathying for you - just plain old empathy.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
Some of my best friends are atheists. Some days I'm an atheist myself. Other days I'm not. I'm not entirely sure why one has to be one or the other.
Atheists don't believe in gods; Theists do. Toggling between requires a person to change whether they believe in something or not.

I'm kind of not of the opinion that that's the sort of thing that toggles, but you do you.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
Those are nice definitions, but I wouldn't necessarily agree with them.
Of course you don't agree with them! This thread wouldn't exist if you agreed with them!

I have however put to bed the odd accusation that you're the only person who's contributed their ideas to this thread. We've all aired our pieces; it's just that yours are the only definitions that actually matter, because your definitions are the ones under discussion.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
As I've tried to explain, I see a lot more in common between god and life than these definitions allow for. Semantics are one way to approach a discussion, but they're not the only way. Let me ask you: have you ever been blown away by the miracle of life? Has it ever blown your socks off just how humans emerge from pretty much nothing, a sperm cell and an egg cell, and incubate for nine months inside a woman's womb without ever taking a breath, until they emerge and take their first breath. Has it ever blown you away how people grow from babies into children and into fully formed adults, learning language and other skills along the way?
Nope. None of this is shocking to me.

Now, if you dig into the science of it, it's all quite complicated from a chemical, biological, and systemic viewpoint, that's true. However I am not the sort of person to be blown away by complicated and intricate systems. That's just me, though - I'm not wired that way.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
It blows me away when I look at my own children and all that they've learned thus far, and that these are the same beings that I have known since they were infants. Or technically, every cell in their bodies has been replaced, but they are still the same people.
Ship of Theseus, yo!

Sorry.

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Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
I don't know that god is necessary for the miracle of life to exist, but I am blown away all the same. When i think of "life" or even "Life" (technically "LIFE"), the board game is not the first thing that comes to mind. Neither is the systematic process definition. I think of my kids, from their beginnings as a heartbeat on an ultrasound at eight weeks, to the marvelous people they are today. One day I'll be gone and it scares me a little, but I hope what comes after this life is at least as good as this one has been. I don't know. Neither do you. Neither does anybody, actually. That's why we have these theories that try to make sense of things. Some find comfort in religion. Some find comfort in science. Some find comfort in philosophy. Some find comfort in family. I find some comfort in all of these things.
I actually do know what happens after you die - you decay. Or we'll burn you first - depends on how you (and/or your family) roll.

Best enjoy things before that point, because you won't be enjoying them after. (You won't be suffering either, so that's a plus.)

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Thus endeth today's witness.
Yo.
  #557  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:53 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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I actually do know what happens after you die - you decay. Or we'll burn you first - depends on how you (and/or your family) roll.

Best enjoy things before that point, because you won't be enjoying them after. (You won't be suffering either, so that's a plus.)

Yo.
You know what happens to you physically after you die, but what happens to your consciousness? Are you of the opinion that no body means no consciousness? I know this is normally a contentious point between religious people and non-religious people.
  #558  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:56 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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You know what happens to you physically after you die, but what happens to your consciousness? Are you of the opinion that no body means no consciousness? I know this is normally a contentious point between religious people and non-religious people.
You become non-conscious...or are you confusing the consciousness with the "soul"?
  #559  
Old 05-17-2018, 02:10 PM
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You know what happens to you physically after you die, but what happens to your consciousness? Are you of the opinion that no body means no consciousness? I know this is normally a contentious point between religious people and non-religious people.
What happened to your consciousness before you were born?
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  #560  
Old 05-17-2018, 03:04 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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You know what happens to you physically after you die, but what happens to your consciousness? Are you of the opinion that no body means no consciousness? I know this is normally a contentious point between religious people and non-religious people.
Like many physicalists, I consider the body to be essentially a juicy machine, and the brain to be a squishy computer. (With the notable difference that once it's turned off once we're not very good at turning it back on - particularly if you wait a while.)

So it's useful to picture a computer that you turn on, let run for a while, and then turn off. (And to match reality, promptly dismantle.) Human minds are not the machine, but rather the software - the operating system and programs that run on it.

So, before you turned on your computer/phone, where was the browser window you're looking at? What happens to it when the computer/phone shuts off?

Answer (and I'm a computer guy - I'd know): It simply doesn't exist.

Last edited by begbert2; 05-17-2018 at 03:05 PM.
  #561  
Old 05-17-2018, 05:27 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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What happened to your consciousness before you were born?


A great answer that my atheist prof once replied with when I asked him if he was worried about what happens to him after he dies.
  #562  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:20 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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You become non-conscious...or are you confusing the consciousness with the "soul"?

Is there a difference?
  #563  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:37 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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I have a question for those who define life in strictly biological terms. How do you account for all the colorations of meaning the word has in everyday use? It seems to me to be a lot closer to the word "experience" than some people are willing to give credit for. Life experience. The tumebof your life. It's my life and I'll do what I want. Real life. FML. None of these phrases suggest anything remotely biological from what I can figure.
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  #564  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:08 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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You are really making an embarrment of yourself by continuing to Weekend At Burnie's this very dead thread. The only one here who has a problem with understanding word definitions is you.
  #565  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:14 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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You are really making an embarrment of yourself by continuing to Weekend At Burnie's this very dead thread. The only one here who has a problem with understanding word definitions is you.


That was pretty ignorant. Who is embarrassing who? If you don't want to respond with some intelligence, than don't respond. Simple.


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Old 05-18-2018, 08:27 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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You are the one who is pounding away on a straw man that says your opponents don't understand that words can have more than one definition. That is something that exists only in your head. We know that. The problem is that you are unwilling to pick one definition and seem incapable of understanding that that is a problem. As for not responding, you may note that almost everyone has settled for that solution hundreds of posts ago. So I'll go for that solution, too. Soon it will be only you giving a sad little "oh yeah?" bump every couple of days withno replies from anyone at all.
  #567  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:29 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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You are the one who is pounding away on a straw man that says your opponents don't understand that words can have more than one definition. That is something that exists only in your head. We know that. The problem is that you are unwilling to pick one definition and seem incapable of understanding that that is a problem. As for not responding, you may note that almost everyone has settled for that solution hundreds of posts ago. So I'll go for that solution, too. Soon it will be only you giving a sad little "oh yeah?" bump every couple of days withno replies from anyone at all.

You seem to have a lot of hostility when you post. Too bad, because you otherwise seem like an intelligent person.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:37 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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You seem to have a lot of hostility when you post. Too bad, because you otherwise seem like an intelligent person.
And you seem to have cornered the market on passive-agressive.
  #569  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:47 PM
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And you seem to have cornered the market on passive-agressive.

Whatever works. Who will get the last word? Beats me.
  #570  
Old 05-18-2018, 09:52 PM
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{...} Who will get the last word? Beats me.
The smart money is on it being tomndebb!

CMC fnord!
  #571  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:12 PM
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The smart money is on it being tomndebb!



CMC fnord!


Boy, that would be a bolt out of the blue. Life does throw curve balls sometimes.
  #572  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:15 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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You all lose.

Enough with the cracks. No more personal cracks or it will go poorly for both of you.
  #573  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:18 PM
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I will get the last word on negative aspertions towards other posters' character. Stop doing it.

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  #574  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:32 PM
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Nice work, JC and Bone!

[/OPing]
  #575  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:37 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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  #576  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:52 PM
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It feels to me like that's sort of the intent of the argument - to handwave the arguability of God away with a 'yes, but what if...'

Which I think it just another way of saying "Except for all the objections you have, what's your objection?"


This is a good point actually.
  #577  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:58 PM
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I sort of subscribe to aspects of God=Life, though That is more of Love (God) creates the matrix for life. We are alive not because of our biological nature, but because we are patterned on the alive Mother Earth, which so on is patterned after the universe, also a living being. Mother Earth is not just the planet, but the planet is akin to just one of her chakras, the being Mother Earth is to us the solar system.



Some faiths consider the Universe as God, or a God figure. The reason that we have biologic life is because of the life 'energy' of our mother (Earth). Her life energy causes, to use new age terms, vibrational patterns which organize matter into patterns, which it is the vibrational energy that groups around matter and sometimes arranges it it to what we consider a biological lifeform is the concentration of this life energy around matter which has grouped itself in a way to create what we consider a life. It is just a energy node of Mother Earth's life energy and pattern. Her pattern is based on, perhaps the galaxy's pattern who would be her parent.



In this different star systems would have slightly different life patterns, as it was from a different child of the common parent.



In this it sort of leads to after our biologic death we return to the source life pattern, never lost but the energy which made and sustain us gets mixed up and redistributed. However it also leads open that this energy in our current state (biological) is not the end point but just one phase and can evolve. This leaves open the possibility of refining. Those who evolve take that energy and go on to a higher form, those who don't fall back into the Mother, reprocessed and are the basis for more life to evolve.

I believe I missed this response from a couple of weeks ago. It seems you get the new age concept that NDW was trying to get across. I'm not saying I totally buy into it, but I certainly believe the Judeo-Christian concept of God I grew up with is antiquated. The idea of Mother Earth or Mother Nature is certainly pretty common, again anthropomorphizing things of the natural world. Why not equate Mother Nature to life itself? There seems to be a lot of overlap.
  #578  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:05 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Like I said in another thread;

The Akkadians/Sumerians had Anu, the supreme god, who wasn't really a 'god' per se originally, but the Universe itself ('who contains all things'). Then there was the Mother Goddess, who was the Earth, which then created the Son (life). This concept was clearly very early and got spread to other cultures (including the Egyptians) in the form of the wife/mother (Earth) and the Son/Husband (life), in which the son died (per the seasons) and was brought back from Sheol (the grave, not an afterlife) by the Mother/Wife. Not as an adult, but as a child (new life).

The Universe gives birth to the world, which gives birth to life. The cycle of descent into the underworld or grave is the cycle of life on Earth, in which crops die in the fall (or hot dry desert summer in Sumeria) and then are reborn with the seasonal rains and river floods.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Zeus (the supreme god) and Demeter, the goddess of grain and fertility, who then ended up spending half the year in the underworld, married to Hades. Same story, more or less, different mythology.

In Egypt, it was Isis and Osiris, with Horus as the child.

And of course, we being Humans, it gets messed up, twisted around and reinterpreted by successive generations and different nations. Under the Hebrews, the Mother stops being a goddess yet remains a virgin mother (as all previous Earth mother goddesses were) and the Son descends himself into the underworld to rescue humans from their own sins and folly, rather than returning life and crops to the world.
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Last edited by Chimera; 05-18-2018 at 11:06 PM.
  #579  
Old 05-19-2018, 12:38 AM
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Like I said in another thread;

The Akkadians/Sumerians had Anu, the supreme god, who wasn't really a 'god' per se originally, but the Universe itself ('who contains all things'). Then there was the Mother Goddess, who was the Earth, which then created the Son (life). This concept was clearly very early and got spread to other cultures (including the Egyptians) in the form of the wife/mother (Earth) and the Son/Husband (life), in which the son died (per the seasons) and was brought back from Sheol (the grave, not an afterlife) by the Mother/Wife. Not as an adult, but as a child (new life).

The Universe gives birth to the world, which gives birth to life. The cycle of descent into the underworld or grave is the cycle of life on Earth, in which crops die in the fall (or hot dry desert summer in Sumeria) and then are reborn with the seasonal rains and river floods.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Zeus (the supreme god) and Demeter, the goddess of grain and fertility, who then ended up spending half the year in the underworld, married to Hades. Same story, more or less, different mythology.

In Egypt, it was Isis and Osiris, with Horus as the child.

And of course, we being Humans, it gets messed up, twisted around and reinterpreted by successive generations and different nations. Under the Hebrews, the Mother stops being a goddess yet remains a virgin mother (as all previous Earth mother goddesses were) and the Son descends himself into the underworld to rescue humans from their own sins and folly, rather than returning life and crops to the world.


Thanks for sharing this, Chimera. There seems to be much that connects human civilizations, including the use of metaphor in mythology. Life is indeed fascinating.
  #580  
Old 05-19-2018, 11:06 AM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Good LIFE, you people. If you don't want to play with this guy, don't play. Nobody's forcing you to so much as open this thread! Life!

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I have a question for those who define life in strictly biological terms. How do you account for all the colorations of meaning the word has in everyday use? It seems to me to be a lot closer to the word "experience" than some people are willing to give credit for. Life experience. The tumebof your life. It's my life and I'll do what I want. Real life. FML. None of these phrases suggest anything remotely biological from what I can figure.
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I'll actually answer this seriously, by directing your attention to the word "drive".

From etymonline.com we learn that the word originated as a verb in Old English: "drifan", which means to push or move something forward. This evolved into a noun - 'cattle drive', as a way to describe or mention a specific act of driving something.

When people invented automobiles, the big huge difference they had from the carriages that preceded them is that they moved themselves. (It's right there in the name - auto-mobile = self move.) They pushed themselves forward, and thus were self-driving; the part that pushes them forward is the drive train - there's a lot of driving going on. So it's unsurprising that when you go get in your horseless carriage and direct it to push itself and you along in particular directions, you are "driving the car" and "going for a drive".

The "pushing things" aspect of the word also became the standard way of describing an other specific kind of push - of golf and baseballs. A "driver" in golf is the hitting-things-stick that you use to make the ball really move, as opposed to just giving them a little shove (Scottish: put). And of course a line drive is when you use that other hitting-things-stick to push that ball really hard so that it moves in nearly a straight line.

Having come to be associated with the kind of pushing motors do due to cars, the term eventually adopted another meaning as well. Drive motors have been used for various things, but one specific usage they've had was to push certain ferromagnetic disks around really really fast, so that all the parts of them could be under a read/write head at basically the same time despite them being two feet across. There are a lot of ways these things could have ended up being named, but those motors were loud enough that you were never going to forget they were there, so the devices were named after their motors. The ones with rigid platters got called "hard drives". The ones with floppy platters (look around in a museum for them) were called "floppy drives". The collective class of them? Drives.


And so a word got a bunch of different meaning, both noun and verb, all deriving from the same general meaning but getting warped and mutated and changed along the way. That's how languages work; that's how they come to exist! (Except for French and certain other manufactured languages, anyway.) Does this mean that you can ride your computer's persistent storage around town, or do better at golf if you try to hit the ball with your car? Yes! It absolutely does! No, wait, that's a total lie. That would be a really dumb way to conflate the various meanings of the word.


Before you ask, the reason I didn't just trace the etymology of the word 'life' itself is because even back in Old English the world already had a ton of meanings - the same ones it has today. The word is just too old to be able to closely examine the fun ways its meaning has changed - about the only modern examples are when it's gets the 'new meaning' of being the trademark label for things. For example there's this one board game, what one was it...

Last edited by begbert2; 05-19-2018 at 11:09 AM. Reason: fixed link
  #581  
Old 05-19-2018, 11:50 AM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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Good LIFE, you people. If you don't want to play with this guy, don't play. Nobody's forcing you to so much as open this thread! Life!

I'll actually answer this seriously, by directing your attention to the word "drive".

From etymonline.com we learn that the word originated as a verb in Old English: "drifan", which means to push or move something forward. This evolved into a noun - 'cattle drive', as a way to describe or mention a specific act of driving something.

When people invented automobiles, the big huge difference they had from the carriages that preceded them is that they moved themselves. (It's right there in the name - auto-mobile = self move.) They pushed themselves forward, and thus were self-driving; the part that pushes them forward is the drive train - there's a lot of driving going on. So it's unsurprising that when you go get in your horseless carriage and direct it to push itself and you along in particular directions, you are "driving the car" and "going for a drive".

The "pushing things" aspect of the word also became the standard way of describing an other specific kind of push - of golf and baseballs. A "driver" in golf is the hitting-things-stick that you use to make the ball really move, as opposed to just giving them a little shove (Scottish: put). And of course a line drive is when you use that other hitting-things-stick to push that ball really hard so that it moves in nearly a straight line.

Having come to be associated with the kind of pushing motors do due to cars, the term eventually adopted another meaning as well. Drive motors have been used for various things, but one specific usage they've had was to push certain ferromagnetic disks around really really fast, so that all the parts of them could be under a read/write head at basically the same time despite them being two feet across. There are a lot of ways these things could have ended up being named, but those motors were loud enough that you were never going to forget they were there, so the devices were named after their motors. The ones with rigid platters got called "hard drives". The ones with floppy platters (look around in a museum for them) were called "floppy drives". The collective class of them? Drives.


And so a word got a bunch of different meaning, both noun and verb, all deriving from the same general meaning but getting warped and mutated and changed along the way. That's how languages work; that's how they come to exist! (Except for French and certain other manufactured languages, anyway.) Does this mean that you can ride your computer's persistent storage around town, or do better at golf if you try to hit the ball with your car? Yes! It absolutely does! No, wait, that's a total lie. That would be a really dumb way to conflate the various meanings of the word.


Before you ask, the reason I didn't just trace the etymology of the word 'life' itself is because even back in Old English the world already had a ton of meanings - the same ones it has today. The word is just too old to be able to closely examine the fun ways its meaning has changed - about the only modern examples are when it's gets the 'new meaning' of being the trademark label for things. For example there's this one board game, what one was it...


So what are you driving at?
  #582  
Old 05-19-2018, 11:52 AM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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So what are you driving at?
Ha Ha funny joke.


(Where's the 'completely neutral flat-line mouth' smiley?)
  #583  
Old 05-19-2018, 01:22 PM
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Ha Ha funny joke.





(Where's the 'completely neutral flat-line mouth' smiley?)

You always find the emoji you're looking for in the last place you look.
  #584  
Old 05-19-2018, 02:05 PM
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Before you ask, the reason I didn't just trace the etymology of the word 'life' itself is because even back in Old English the world already had a ton of meanings - the same ones it has today. The word is just too old to be able to closely examine the fun ways its meaning has changed - about the only modern examples are when it's gets the 'new meaning' of being the trademark label for things. For example there's this one board game, what one was it...

I enjoyed your mini-dissertation on the word "drive." There are certainly many colorations of meaning that a simple word like that can have. I think what you're saying reinforces what I'm saying about a word like "life" having a multitude of meanings and many times misunderstandings arising from two people using two different interpretations of the same word.

I cannot say which meaning is right. I can only say the meaning I associate with the word in a particular context. The point of the memes I posted is to show the more common use of the word life, which seems synonymous to me with "experience" or "circumstance." "F*** My Life" as an everyday expression would not seem to mean "kill me now" so much as "what an unfortunate experience I had." "It's my life and I'll do what I want" would seem to suggest "I'll make my own choices regarding my life experience, thank you very much." "When life hands you lemons" is clearly a personification of an abstract concept, and suggests that an entity like God or Mother Nature sometimes puts you in circumstances that are not in your favour, so do the best you can with it, "make lemonade. "

I believe the personification of life is one of those interpretations of the word that is in keeping with personifications of other abstract concepts like god or Mother Nature. None of these terms are meant to be nailed down precisely (not even at Golgotha) because they are meant to appeal to our sense of poetry and metaphor. In fact, I would suggest that all religion is really meant to appeal to our sense of metaphor—it's not meant to be taken literally (just like blessed are the cheesemakers—it refers to all manufacturers of dairy products).

Taking things literally, which many posters in this thread have also done, creates as many problems for atheists as it does theists. Replacing the word God with the word Life (or vice-versa) obviously leads to some pretty ridiculous statements at times, while in other contexts, makes sense in a rather profound way. Do you believe in life? I certainly have no reason not to. Does life believe in me? Does it matter? Only if I'm trying to remake life in my own image and ascribe to it all of the faults that I ascribe to humans. It is precisely because we tend not to anthropomorphize life too often that we can see it as a nonpartisan objective state in the universe—the same state that might not work so well for religious thinkers if they think of themselves as god's favorites. Life has no favorites. I don't think. I could be wrong.
  #585  
Old 05-19-2018, 02:54 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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I enjoyed your mini-dissertation on the word "drive." There are certainly many colorations of meaning that a simple word like that can have. I think what you're saying reinforces what I'm saying about a word like "life" having a multitude of meanings and many times misunderstandings arising from two people using two different interpretations of the same word.
Everyone agrees that words can (and often do) have multiple meanings. The reason you're pissing so many people off is they believe that you're attempting to play a shell game with the meanings in an attempt to...well, okay, I'm not sure what motives they're ascribing you. Premeditated murder of the language? Being a woo with malicious intent? Something else because lists always have three examples? I dunno. But in any case they think you're messing with them and/or yourself with deliberate semantic games, and it's not doing much for your popularity.

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I cannot say which meaning is right. I can only say the meaning I associate with the word in a particular context. The point of the memes I posted is to show the more common use of the word life, which seems synonymous to me with "experience" or "circumstance." "F*** My Life" as an everyday expression would not seem to mean "kill me now" so much as "what an unfortunate experience I had." "It's my life and I'll do what I want" would seem to suggest "I'll make my own choices regarding my life experience, thank you very much." "When life hands you lemons" is clearly a personification of an abstract concept, and suggests that an entity like God or Mother Nature sometimes puts you in circumstances that are not in your favour, so do the best you can with it, "make lemonade. "

I believe the personification of life is one of those interpretations of the word that is in keeping with personifications of other abstract concepts like god or Mother Nature. None of these terms are meant to be nailed down precisely (not even at Golgotha) because they are meant to appeal to our sense of poetry and metaphor. In fact, I would suggest that all religion is really meant to appeal to our sense of metaphor—it's not meant to be taken literally (just like blessed are the cheesemakers—it refers to all manufacturers of dairy products).

Taking things literally, which many posters in this thread have also done, creates as many problems for atheists as it does theists. Replacing the word God with the word Life (or vice-versa) obviously leads to some pretty ridiculous statements at times, while in other contexts, makes sense in a rather profound way. Do you believe in life? I certainly have no reason not to. Does life believe in me? Does it matter? Only if I'm trying to remake life in my own image and ascribe to it all of the faults that I ascribe to humans. It is precisely because we tend not to anthropomorphize life too often that we can see it as a nonpartisan objective state in the universe—the same state that might not work so well for religious thinkers if they think of themselves as god's favorites. Life has no favorites. I don't think. I could be wrong.
I dunno about life, but traffic lights certainly hate me.

As anthropomophizations go, I don't think that "when life hands you lemons" is much of one. Which is to say it doesn't seem to impart much conscious intent to life - more that life (specifically, the total collection of circumstances you're encountering while alive) is dumping a raw deal on you like a conveyor belt might be dumping trash. Similarly with "fuck my life" - it's a criticism of your circumstances that doesn't really imply that your circumstances are alive.

I honestly don't see life getting anthropomophized too much - people say "I hate life" (or "I hate my life"), but you don't hear "Life hates me" a lot. If Life was a bigger target of anthropomophization you probably wouldn't have be having such a hard time in this thread - people aren't used to thinking of life as coherent entity, so they keep balking when you talk about it like it is without first laying the framework for considering that to be a real idea. Had your OP been "Mother Nature is God", people would probably still have argued with you (se: forum title), but people wouldn't be jumping down your throat for treating Mother Nature as a coherent concept.

Suffice to say, not having heard much about an anthropomophized 'Life', I don't actually believe in it - that would be like believing in theamdukaoil. Do you believe in theamdukaoil? Neither do I - I don't know what it is so there's nothing for me to believe in.

All that said, keeping in mind that this is just your odd way of trying to stay spiritual without having to believe in the typical sort of demon believed in by american theists, pointing your beliefs at a postulated completely neutral and indifferent "Life" entity would seem to be a harmless and potentially effective way of doing that - give or take the overloading of the term making it completely impossible to explain to anybody else.

Well, that and your seeming insistence on asking us to pay attention to poetry and profundities and the like. Some of us have not a whit of poetry in our soul. (I for one traded all mine out for wit - it seems to serve me better during message board discussions.)

Last edited by begbert2; 05-19-2018 at 02:57 PM. Reason: typos, as usual
  #586  
Old 05-19-2018, 04:15 PM
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Everyone agrees that words can (and often do) have multiple meanings. The reason you're pissing so many people off is they believe that you're attempting to play a shell game with the meanings in an attempt to...well, okay, I'm not sure what motives they're ascribing you. Premeditated murder of the language? Being a woo with malicious intent? Something else because lists always have three examples? I dunno. But in any case they think you're messing with them and/or yourself with deliberate semantic games, and it's not doing much for your popularity.

I dunno about life, but traffic lights certainly hate me.

As anthropomophizations go, I don't think that "when life hands you lemons" is much of one. Which is to say it doesn't seem to impart much conscious intent to life - more that life (specifically, the total collection of circumstances you're encountering while alive) is dumping a raw deal on you like a conveyor belt might be dumping trash. Similarly with "fuck my life" - it's a criticism of your circumstances that doesn't really imply that your circumstances are alive.

I honestly don't see life getting anthropomophized too much - people say "I hate life" (or "I hate my life"), but you don't hear "Life hates me" a lot. If Life was a bigger target of anthropomophization you probably wouldn't have be having such a hard time in this thread - people aren't used to thinking of life as coherent entity, so they keep balking when you talk about it like it is without first laying the framework for considering that to be a real idea. Had your OP been "Mother Nature is God", people would probably still have argued with you (se: forum title), but people wouldn't be jumping down your throat for treating Mother Nature as a coherent concept.

Suffice to say, not having heard much about an anthropomophized 'Life', I don't actually believe in it - that would be like believing in theamdukaoil. Do you believe in theamdukaoil? Neither do I - I don't know what it is so there's nothing for me to believe in.

All that said, keeping in mind that this is just your odd way of trying to stay spiritual without having to believe in the typical sort of demon believed in by american theists, pointing your beliefs at a postulated completely neutral and indifferent "Life" entity would seem to be a harmless and potentially effective way of doing that - give or take the overloading of the term making it completely impossible to explain to anybody else.

Well, that and your seeming insistence on asking us to pay attention to poetry and profundities and the like. Some of us have not a whit of poetry in our soul. (I for one traded all mine out for wit - it seems to serve me better during message board discussions.)


There's something you said here that twigged something for me. Perhaps it is not so much about anthropomorphizing life as it is about de-anthropomorphizing god. Why do people seem to insist on giving god human qualities? What if god is as impartial and objective as life itself? What if god demands nothing from us? That's certainly part of the thrust of Neale Donald Walsch's book, "What God Wants," which is where I came to this idea. Perhaps that's the part people aren't getting based on what I've said so far. It's clear enough in my mind, but I may not be expressing it clearly.
  #587  
Old 05-19-2018, 06:24 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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There's something you said here that twigged something for me. Perhaps it is not so much about anthropomorphizing life as it is about de-anthropomorphizing god. Why do people seem to insist on giving god human qualities? What if god is as impartial and objective as life itself? What if god demands nothing from us? That's certainly part of the thrust of Neale Donald Walsch's book, "What God Wants," which is where I came to this idea. Perhaps that's the part people aren't getting based on what I've said so far. It's clear enough in my mind, but I may not be expressing it clearly.
Tradition is one reason. Gods from the very start, back through antiquity, have been anthropomorphized. (I briefly tried to get into why they were anthropomorphized, but it was starting to look long and was basically speculation anyway. So instead I'll just leave it as 'that's the way it's been'.)

Desire for control is another. This one I will try to explain. For the longest times people have sought to exert more and more control over their world, probably because in an out of control world you get eaten by a tiger. Science is one approach for controlling the world - understanding natural law and exploiting it. Religion provides an alternate approach - reasoning with it. Seeing ways to please it or satisfy it to make it more amenable to not loosing the tigers. And of course to reason with something, it has to be intelligent and aware.

Projection is a third. People see humanity in everything. They see humanity in their pets. They see faces in toast. They do some third thing to fill out the list. People are quite literally wired to see and recognize humans, and thus will look for human behavior even in things they imagine up.

Desire for relevancy is a fourth. Humans exist. Things that are not humans exist. Compared to things that aren't human, humans are outnumbered, outmassed, outvolumed, and otherwise outclassed in literally every possible way. So why would any god care about us, or even notice us? God could be an insect and care about the insects - in which case we're boned. That's no appealing, so a god that cares about us - a humanocentric god, is best. And a god that cares about humans is probably like humans, at least a little.

There are doubtlessly more theoretically possible reasons, but I've probably rambled long enough for now.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:59 AM
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There's something you said here that twigged something for me. Perhaps it is not so much about anthropomorphizing life as it is about de-anthropomorphizing god. Why do people seem to insist on giving god human qualities? What if god is as impartial and objective as life itself? What if god demands nothing from us? That's certainly part of the thrust of Neale Donald Walsch's book, "What God Wants," which is where I came to this idea. Perhaps that's the part people aren't getting based on what I've said so far. It's clear enough in my mind, but I may not be expressing it clearly.
Sounds like whatever it is you & NDW are calling "god" current scientific theory calls "quantum foam". Which is how we end up with something, i.e.: life, from nothing. Thus, by using a loaded word like "god" you are doing the anthropomorphisizing. Which is the main reason your hypothesis miserably fails its objectives.

But I frankly don't believe that the use of "god" in NDW's hypothesis is innocent. I think it's quite deliberate. I think he's looking to accomplish two things: 1) Change the meaning of the word for his own means, which are, 2) Sell books and promote his new age indigo bullshit to those gullible enough to pay to attend his mentoring program for a mere $2,300.

Look, even if I grant you the latitude (which I don't) to call life and the physical universe "god", all your work is still ahead of you to explain what role such a thing would play in it, let alone identify the ever illusive god particle in the gaps.

Oh, and may I say again, NDW is a shameless fucking charlatan. I feel dumber is some ways just for googling and reading though his B.S. web site.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-20-2018 at 08:00 AM.
  #589  
Old 05-20-2018, 09:38 AM
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Tradition is one reason. Gods from the very start, back through antiquity, have been anthropomorphized. (I briefly tried to get into why they were anthropomorphized, but it was starting to look long and was basically speculation anyway. So instead I'll just leave it as 'that's the way it's been'.)



Desire for control is another. This one I will try to explain. For the longest times people have sought to exert more and more control over their world, probably because in an out of control world you get eaten by a tiger. Science is one approach for controlling the world - understanding natural law and exploiting it. Religion provides an alternate approach - reasoning with it. Seeing ways to please it or satisfy it to make it more amenable to not loosing the tigers. And of course to reason with something, it has to be intelligent and aware.



Projection is a third. People see humanity in everything. They see humanity in their pets. They see faces in toast. They do some third thing to fill out the list. People are quite literally wired to see and recognize humans, and thus will look for human behavior even in things they imagine up.



Desire for relevancy is a fourth. Humans exist. Things that are not humans exist. Compared to things that aren't human, humans are outnumbered, outmassed, outvolumed, and otherwise outclassed in literally every possible way. So why would any god care about us, or even notice us? God could be an insect and care about the insects - in which case we're boned. That's no appealing, so a god that cares about us - a humanocentric god, is best. And a god that cares about humans is probably like humans, at least a little.



There are doubtlessly more theoretically possible reasons, but I've probably rambled long enough for now.

Tradition, desire for control, projection, desire for relevancy. These are good reasons and you explain them well. The need to anthropomorphize the "creator" is probably also born of the one thing we do know something about—childbirth. But in Judeo-Christian tradition at least we have a male giving birth to humans instead of a female. Eve was born of a rather bizarre type of c-section using one of Adam's ribs, for example. It makes no sense and reflects perhaps man's desire for relevance when only women can actually give birth, the most "godlike" thing humans can do. Why would god care about us unless he made us in his own image? How do dolphins and cats feel about that distinction, I wonder? If there is a god, we may well be made in god's image, but it isn't necessarily a physical image. It could be something as simple as the potential for empathy that makes us created "in god's image." I don't know. Lots to think about, and thank you for a thoughtful post.
  #590  
Old 05-20-2018, 11:33 AM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Tradition, desire for control, projection, desire for relevancy. These are good reasons and you explain them well. The need to anthropomorphize the "creator" is probably also born of the one thing we do know something about—childbirth. But in Judeo-Christian tradition at least we have a male giving birth to humans instead of a female. Eve was born of a rather bizarre type of c-section using one of Adam's ribs, for example. It makes no sense and reflects perhaps man's desire for relevance when only women can actually give birth, the most "godlike" thing humans can do. Why would god care about us unless he made us in his own image? How do dolphins and cats feel about that distinction, I wonder? If there is a god, we may well be made in god's image, but it isn't necessarily a physical image. It could be something as simple as the potential for empathy that makes us created "in god's image." I don't know. Lots to think about, and thank you for a thoughtful post.
In christianity I always got the vibe that it was less like childbirth and more like a craftsman making things, like a potter making pots from dirt. (For example, he made Adam from dirt.) A person can get pretty attached to their creations (I'm very protective of some of mine), but the 'craftsman' angle avoids any implication of equality - in actual childbirth the children eventually grow to equal or even surpass their parents. In christanity, or at least most variants of it: not so much.

Not that I'm getting the impression that we're equals to your 'Life' thing/entity/force either, mind you.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:16 PM
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In christianity I always got the vibe that it was less like childbirth and more like a craftsman making things, like a potter making pots from dirt. (For example, he made Adam from dirt.) A person can get pretty attached to their creations (I'm very protective of some of mine), but the 'craftsman' angle avoids any implication of equality - in actual childbirth the children eventually grow to equal or even surpass their parents. In christanity, or at least most variants of it: not so much.



Not that I'm getting the impression that we're equals to your 'Life' thing/entity/force either, mind you.


In church, they talk often about "eternal life." I'm not sure how that one's supposed to be defined. On the surface, it sounds like life that never ends, but I'm not sure if that's supposed to be for the individual person or more as the thing/entity/force idea. By the biological definition, life definitely would have had to have a beginning—there was a time before life existed even if the planet did and the conditions were ripe for supporting life. And presumably, there could also come a time when life will cease to exist. Anywhere. I have a hard time envisioning that situation.
  #592  
Old 05-21-2018, 12:38 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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In church, they talk often about "eternal life." I'm not sure how that one's supposed to be defined. On the surface, it sounds like life that never ends, but I'm not sure if that's supposed to be for the individual person or more as the thing/entity/force idea. By the biological definition, life definitely would have had to have a beginning—there was a time before life existed even if the planet did and the conditions were ripe for supporting life. And presumably, there could also come a time when life will cease to exist. Anywhere. I have a hard time envisioning that situation.
Er, if you're talking about church, christian church, then I'm 99.99% certain that when they say eternal life they mean individuals living forever as individuals. That remaining 0.01% of slack I only leave because there are probably some sects out there that are completely nuts.

To a materialist, that which we classify as life could indeed cease at some point - it would take a pretty hardcore apocalypse because bacteria are everywhere and pretty resilient, but it could certainly happen. And while some people might be distressed at all life ending (heck, some weirdos might even be bothered by humanity alone being purged) I don't think any of us would deny that it's possible. Death happens.

(And if you're just talking about life on earth ending, that's even easier to imagine - just drop the earth into the sun. Or wait a few billion years and the sun will expand and come to us. Easy.)
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:38 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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I keep on going, guess I'll never know why
Life's been good to me so far.

- J. Walsh


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  #594  
Old 05-22-2018, 08:03 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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"Mitosis"

- var. attrib.
  #595  
Old 05-22-2018, 11:15 AM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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I keep on going, guess I'll never know why
Life's been good to me so far.

- J. Walsh
This would be the "the total collection of circumstances you're encountering while alive" definition of the term, of course.
  #596  
Old 05-22-2018, 12:17 PM
Biffster Biffster is offline
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This would be the "the total collection of circumstances you're encountering while alive" definition of the term, of course.
I think so. And sometimes barely alive, like those parties sometimes until four.
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