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Thread: Off topic discussion from biology

  1. #1 Off topic discussion from biology 
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Creationism, and religion in general, is true in a way that it supports their way of life, and their way of thinking. It doesn't need to be factual to them to be true. If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post

    Why else would mainly (only) primates evolve with bigger cranial capacity? And why would only the human branch continue this?
    My personal explanation is that only the human lineage developed tool use beyond its most basic level. When pre-humans start wielding tools and weapons, and needing the skill to make and use them, brain size will evolve. No other great ape lineage ever developed tools and weapons beyond the most basic form.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Creationism, and religion in general, is true in a way that it supports their way of life, and their way of thinking. It doesn't need to be factual to them to be true. If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?
    You can believe in God without being religious. I personally believe in a "greater power" whatever it may be. As long as you don't let it influence your science you are ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?
    A pre-frontal lobotomy might work.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?
    A pre-frontal lobotomy might work.
    Nah, i'm not interested in becoming more stupid then i already am. I wanted to have faith in an afterlife, something to look forward to, except nothingness. Or being devoured by worms, and intestinal bacteria, followed by being treaded by fungi. Or just being incinerated. I wish i could believe that. Ignorance is bliss, though there is never enough knowledge.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  7. #6  
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    Zwolver

    Death is not to be feared.
    It is simply the long sleep. You close your eyes, and all pain, discomfort, stress, and even boredom fades away. You sleep, and there are no dreams to disturb your rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?
    A pre-frontal lobotomy might work.
    Nah, i'm not interested in becoming more stupid then i already am. I wanted to have faith in an afterlife, something to look forward to, except nothingness. Or being devoured by worms, and intestinal bacteria, followed by being treaded by fungi. Or just being incinerated. I wish i could believe that. Ignorance is bliss, though there is never enough knowledge.
    One thing you can be sure of is that you will never experience "nothingness". You won't be experiencing anything at all in fact.
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    Haha, indeed. Isn't that which is most to be feared. To have no experience of anything whatsoever. To have no impact on the world, other then the remains of your rotting carcas. Sounds pretty grim.

    Ive read a comic yesterday. It was about irony.

    - They WILL eventually find a vaccine to provide clinical immortality. It won't be invented within 80 years from now though.
    - Cars WILL eventually fly around in a few years. You will not be able to fly them, as they are computer controlled.
    - They WILL eventually find an alternative to fossile fuels. They will just be a 20 year gap where there will be to few energy in between.
    - You children WILL eventually grow to like you in every possible way. It will be at your funeral though.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    . I wanted to have faith in an afterlife, something to look forward to, except nothingness. Or being devoured by worms, and intestinal bacteria, followed by being treaded by fungi.

    Even being devoured by Worms and things is not nothingness. For a while you were useful
    Well at least the flesh, Nothing is wasted on planet Earth. Life is everywhere competing for a foothold, in places we thought impossible.
    This whole planet is Alive and then consider, Earth is a spec of sand to the Universe.
    And you have your part to play as every thing else. My advice is don't waste time on Materialistic things or look at others and feel inferior.
    You are what maters, as you have, your foothold on this Earth in this Universe. And even Worms would agree you do have purpose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely
    devoured by worms, and intestinal bacteria, followed by being treaded by fungi.
    Strange irony in that the organisms devouring you exhibit exactly what you deem one of the greatest things.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  12. #11  
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    Belief in things(includes energy and known and unknown forces and potentials) unproven and/or unprovable with our currently used senses and instrumentation;
    would be defined as faith?
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    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    yes
    ok then i got faith
    but
    i don't know what i have faith "in"
    ...............
    i have faith that the subset of things we know is a small portion of the set of all things which may be a subset of the unimagined
    and
    that we are learning every day
    ..............
    ties into another thread about man's purpose and destinations
    .............
    TAO
    how can we know the untrodden way(path) in advance of our traveling it?

    we can believe that the way exists, and maybe that's a good start

    i suspect that we focus on the senses we use, at the expense of, and have, senses which we do not use-------------I have often said that sculptors see with their fingertips--------electrical field sensers like sharks have--29 glands in the fingertips and science doesn't know what most of them do---with practice, we can feel things we are not touching-(so far, needs to be within millimeters) ----and i remember clearer images of faces i have touched clearer than ones i have only seen-------
    .....
    whither hence?
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  15. #14  
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    Faith has no place in science.
    We all realise that there are things unknown. However, that does not make them unknowable. As we refine our sciences, we learn new ways of measuring aspects of the universe, and we discover more and more.

    Mysticism (or any faith based belief) such as you describe is a dead end. Mystics have always existed, making assorted weird claims. Today, we got the same mystics. Guess what? There has been no progress. No new discoveries. No new knowledge from all the efforts of all those thousands of mystics over all those millennia. In other words, mysticism is bullsh!t, and people with a respect for science will reject it.

    Science, though, even with only 400 odd years in its modern form, has won enormous amounts of knowledge, and given humanity the power to do things our ancestors never even dreamed of. The difference between science and mysticism is diametric. Science gives knowledge and power. Mysticism gives me nothing more than a wonder at the essential insanity of so many people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Creationism, and religion in general, is true in a way that it supports their way of life, and their way of thinking. It doesn't need to be factual to them to be true. If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?
    People always say that religion is good and can help people have something to believe in, however I don't share this opinion because trains people to believe and accept things that are totally illogical and messes with their whole thinking process. Religioon is just someone elses idea, if they want to believe in a god then come up with their own idea. At least that way it is likely to be logical with common knowledge and relevant to modern life and values.
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    Thats what ive been struggling with, theres no logic in religion or supernatural stuff, everybody around me believes in them, it's just me who seems not to. People look different at you if you tell them you have no hope of ever getting to heaven, or that you think death is the end. They believe firmly, and also disrespect nonbelievers. I think it's selfish to imagine others in hell, while yourself bathing in paradise. Or those who believe in what you believe, to be the good guys, and for those who don't believe what you believe, to get eternal damnation. I think it's the MOST selfish thing yet.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    You say 'no more feeling useless, unloved or lonely'.... My answer to this is that I don't feel these things and I am not religious. You don't need religion or a belief in a god to feel loved or useful.


    I used to say off the cuff remarks about how I wished certain aspects of religion were true though; mostly an afterlife filled with no problems. Then one day I decided to actually think about it.... what was I saying so easily, and what's the counter argument? What would it really be like?

    Taking out the logic and requiring evidence etc., if you 100% knew that God was real and heaven was waiting for you... (this is mostly based on Christianity I suppose but it could be altered to fit others) Firstly you would have to accept that this God wants you to worship him, and that he is right about everything, and knows what you think (and dream). This is slightly worrying. That honestly doesn't sound like something I'd want. Even taking out specific examples of eating this meat or not, or marrying when or sleeping with which sex, just any set of rules for everybody dictated by one being, is worrying to me.

    Secondly heaven is forever, for eternity.. no end. Surely no matter how great it is, you would get a little bored? Its human nature. I mean, forever. Would there be things to keep you busy? Chess? Video games? Lying next to that waterfall on the lush grass would get old after 150,000,000 years... would there be bugs in the grass that irritated you? Even the 'nicest most religious' people have their flaws and can be disagreeable and annoying, would you forever argue with certain people? Could you run away to a far away area where your annoying mother in law couldn't get to. What about that woman that you used to really have a thing for, but was a bad 'un, stealing etc. you now know that she is in unimaginable pain in hell for eternity, does this cross your mind and upset you, forever? Its all silly I know but what would be perfect rules for everybody?

    I think that fear of death is perfectly natural and in all of us to some extent. You have to remember though that being dead will be just like the millions and billions of years before you were born (or 9,000). You will not know. You won't not like it, you won't hate it, you won't be sad or fear it. Christopher Hitchens said that he thought the real fear that people have is not that the party is ending, but that the party is going on, and they have to leave.

    To end I'd say that once you accept that time is limited, really try to enjoy every moment... the odds of us being here conscious right now, reading, thinking, contemplating, really is just mind-numbing. To think that organic cells arranged themselves in the ways they have, to come together and ultimately to think and wonder about the meaning of life.... Gives me shivers of amazement. Thats you right now, marvel and enjoy.

    Oh and donate your body to science, better than rotting in the ground
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    Got it all wrong diddy.

    God takes your soul and sticks it into a machine that pumps heavenly heroin into it. Bliss!
    Every 12 hours of so, that machine zaps your old soul to destroy it, and recreates it as new, once more naive as to the effects of the paradisical drug, and with no memory of anything that happened earlier. You see? You just live on in a mindless state blissing out for ever. (Apart from that 12 hourly zap).
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Creationism, and religion in general, is true in a way that it supports their way of life, and their way of thinking. It doesn't need to be factual to them to be true. If people find comfort in thinking there is a goal in life, that there is a concious being at work, managing us. Let them believe that. I would love to be able to believe that.... It must be one of the greatest things there is. I mean, no more feeling useless, unloved, or lonely.. Hmm.. I wish i believed, anyone has any tips?
    From what I have learned and experienced so far, faith in God comes from one of two paths:

    1. For whatever reason, a person seeks God and tries to obey His will. This may come from some inner need. It may be just curiosity. It can come from a belief that there is more to life than what we "can see". Then a person who seeks God finds results that he / she believes are evidence of God's presence in life.

    Atheists try to dismiss what the theists interpret as intervention from God as "confirmation bias", even if the event is something with an extremely low probability of being random.

    2. Someone intervenes on behalf of a non-believer by praying for the person etc.

    For whatever reason, God generally will not provide "evidence" of His existence to people who won't seek Him. I think this is because He wants a person to know His nature, not just whether or not he exists.

    Also, faith is not just "belief" from a theological point of view. Christians believe that Faith has power, and faith releases power contained in the Bible. That power is manifested in different ways. One of the easiest ways to see the manifestation of faith is that it becomes much easier to overcome a bad habit when a person spends time with the Bible each day. Other ways are through prayers answered etc.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    For whatever reason, God generally will not provide "evidence" of His existence to people who won't seek Him. I think this is because He wants a person to know His nature, not just whether or not he exists.
    As I said before, this is a cop out.
    it is simply an easy way to avoid a difficult task - actually finding a rational reason for belief.

    Faith has no power, except the power of delusion.
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    It is no cop out. It is perfectly rational to contemplate if there is more to our existence than our mind and body. It is perfectly rational to seek an answer. It is perfectly rational to think that if there is a God, then He would want you to know something about His nature.

    Thus, there should be a way to find out. It is perfectly reasonable that an almighty being would provide information on how to find Him.

    Just because God does not provide the information according to your wishes, does not mean that the information is not there.
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    dedo

    The simpler explanation is no God.

    If evidence for something is lacking, it is logically better to assume the unproven item is not there, rather than enter convoluted thought processes to rationalise your way around it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo
    Atheists try to dismiss what the theists interpret as intervention from God as "confirmation bias", even if the event is something with an extremely low probability of being random.
    To confirmation bias I'd add ignorance of the nature of statistics and probabilities.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    dedo

    The simpler explanation is no God.

    If evidence for something is lacking, it is logically better to assume the unproven item is not there, rather than enter convoluted thought processes to rationalise your way around it.

    How simple would you like it to be? Try this: "Seek." One word.

    Kalster:

    There other explanations for differing point of views. One is dichotomous thinking. If you have ever spent much time with people that are really over weight, you can experience this. Such people may be so passionate about their view that "diet does not work", "exercise does not work" that they barely breath while they try to chain chat their point of view.

    It is fascinating to see someone who is 100 pounds over weight talk this way to someone who is fit.

    You can explain anything away by chain chatting: "confirmation bias", "delusion", "ignorance", etc.

    This does not make it true.
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    dedo

    One of the phenomena of the past couple decades is the wave of "recovered memory syndrome" cases. This usually comes from a counseller (often a Christian counseller) talking to someone who feels emotionally inadequate, and looking for an explanation for that inadequacy. The counseller formulates the theory that it was due to sexual molestation when young, the memory of which was repressed so that the 'victim' no longer believes it. So they set out to force the memory back to the surface, and do that through loaded questions time and time again over many sessions. In time, the person will 'remember' being sexually molested. It is all false of course, and a better name for the condition would be 'invented memory syndrome'. People have been tried and sent to prison for these imaginary crimes.

    Your advice on how to "find God" is just a variation on this load of bullsh!t. Certainly if you go through a self inflicted course of brainwashing, of the kind you call 'seeking', you will end up with the same delusions that other religious people suffer from. Just like those who are convinced of sexual molestation that never really happened, someone can be convinced of religious experiences through repeated suggestion.

    The human mind is weird. Perception and memory are both malleable and changeable, and do not necessarily reflect reality. That is why scientists very properly demand material evidence - not subjective. If those high standards of evidence were universally applied to religion, the whole sorry fiasco would disappear.
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    Fine set of points, Skeptic.

    you will end up with the same delusions that other religious people suffer from
    I big problem for dedo's position indeed. There are countless different religions, many of which have punters who are every bit as convinced of its truth as dedo is of his and with the same kind of reasons.
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    You guys crack me up. You cannot take a clinical condition like: "delusion", or "recovered memory syndrome", that shares one or two characteristics with another thought process like "mainstream religious belief" and say they are the same.

    However, that is a standard technique for stand up comedy, that I have tried and failed to advance in.

    I will concede that in addition to being smart, atheists can be funny.
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    dedo: you probably hold that your religion is the correct one? So if an atheist like me chose to "seek" god, would I not need to seek him within a particular religion? He isn't going to tell me what religion is the right one, is he? Hww other would you explain the variety of religions with people just as sure of their positions as you are?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    You cannot take a clinical condition like: "delusion", or "recovered memory syndrome", that shares one or two characteristics with another thought process like "mainstream religious belief" and say they are the same.
    That is not what we are doing. My example of recovered memory syndrome was merely to illustrate how the human brain can conjure memories and feelings out of nothing.

    You are the one who is urging us to do just that, by telling us to "seek" God. If God is out there and genuinely wants people like Kalster and myself as worshippers, then in his omnipotence, he can show himself. An ultimate being should not be dependent on people talking themselves into a state of self-delusion.
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    From what dedo is saying, that is exactly the kind of people this god seems to want, i.e. People that should believe as children do and who are prone to seeing signs that aren't there, as well as having the kind of disposition that would make a situation where another being is worshiped and absolutely surrendered to a desireable one. In this way god is in the role of an ultimate alpha, with the maximum imaginable levels of such attributes, such as being infinitely wise, strong, good and protective. Because we don't have such needs makes us very poor candidates for belief.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    How simple would you like it to be? Try this: "Seek." One word.
    I tried that intensively for over a decade. Can you tell me why he was hiding?
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    I can't say why some people seek God without seeing a result. For me, it took over 30 years. There may be some reason that could be easily fixed. For example, perhaps someone is "seeking" without joining a church community. That could be a problem.

    I don't think it is an issue of God not responding. I think the issue is our ability to see His presence. That depends on us.

    Re: "Where to start." Of course if you ask me, I would say Christianity. However, you should not be surprised if you feel drawn to a particular church. My wife is Protestant. That works for her.

    Re: "contradictions" I can't explain all the "contradictions" in the Bible. I don't feel the need to. Once when I had a real problem with one particular "contradiction", the answer just appeared. I picked up a book of religious fiction just to try a new author, and the book specifically addressed the "contradiction" I was concerned with.

    Also, I don't go around wondering whether something is God or a random event, unless it is a decision with unclear moral implications. If it is anything that is good, I attribute that to God. That is a completely reasonable thing to do if you believe that God is everywhere, and that all good things come from God.

    Sometimes the "good things" come in such a fashion that it convinces me that God wants to remind me of His presence. That is generally a "low probability" event. Of course you can explain anything away with "selective memory", luck, etc. I used to think that way. Then my perception changed when I changed. It is pretty cool though to say a prayer and see it answered. Also, some things that you would expect from the theology definitely work. Spending time with scripture daily makes self control very easy. Going to church weekly with your spouse makes married life smoother.
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  34. #33  
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    dedo

    We are people who respect science and follow the scientific method. Subjective sensations such as 'feeling God' do not work for people who are into critical and rational thinking. We require and demand objective and empirical and credible evidence.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    dedo

    We are people who respect science and follow the scientific method. Subjective sensations such as 'feeling God' do not work for people who are into critical and rational thinking. We require and demand objective and empirical and credible evidence.
    And apparently that means we deserve to burn in an eternal hell fire. Along with all the poor schlubs who sought god and found someone other than Jesus.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    I don't have a good understanding of hell; however, I believe it exists.

    This is what I do understand from the theology I have read:

    1. Hell is complete separation from God. If you believe that everything good in the world comes from God and you take that away, then you have hell.
    2. People go to hell because of sin, especially sin of indifference to plight of others. Sin is separation from God.
    3. God offers a myriad of chances to avoid hell through forgiveness for anyone who asks for it. Forgiveness requires repentance.
    Repentance is a critical element for those who seek God. Otherwise, a person would be trying to seek God while separated from God. That cannot work.

    A scientific analogy could be from the science of accident prevention in high hazard industry or even high hazard sports. In high hazard industry, there are rules. Not following the rules is the most common path to create the conditions for an accident.

    In religion there are some rules. From study of religion, we learn what the rules are. If a person truly wants to find God, and the person seeks God in humility (with repentance), then the person should expect help along the way (guidance etc.)

    The study of hell is worthwhile. Personally I am interested in two sources:
    1. CS Lewis. Lewis explains hell from the devil's perspective an illuminates "spiritual warfare".
    2. A book written down from the revelation of nun called "The way of divine love".

    I am wondering if hell exists because heaven would not be possible without hell?
    Whatever the reason, it is a good thing to look into because you really do not want to go there.

    Learning about hell, is completely reasonable just as you would want to know the dangers in any high hazard pursuit, so you can avoid the dangers.
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  37. #36  
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    dedo

    If you consider C.S. Lewis as a credible source, bearing in mind that he was a writer of fiction, no more reflecting reality than Lord of the Rings, that makes anything you say very, very suspect.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    dedo
    , no more reflecting reality than Lord of the Rings, .
    Come now! Are you seriously suggesting that the Lord of the Rings is not real.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Come now! Are you seriously suggesting that the Lord of the Rings is not real.
    Well, as a New Zealander I have to be careful here. After all, Hobbiton is only a 5 hour drive from my back door.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    dedo

    If you consider C.S. Lewis as a credible source, bearing in mind that he was a writer of fiction, no more reflecting reality than Lord of the Rings, that makes anything you say very, very suspect.
    Actually Skeptic, you make an important point. In terms of understanding theology, the Bible is the ultimate source followed by approved revelations of the Catholic Church. This is one reason why it is so important to be in a church, so you do not follow the wrong path.

    Lewis is not a credible source for theology.

    However, from what I have seen so far of Lewis' writing, he does a beautiful job of elaborating on parts of the Bible that portray the devil as an intelligent and dangerous foe who is bent on our individual destruction.

    Thus, for me, understanding this "hazard" (devil's methods) gives me a better idea of things to avoid.

    For example, in one of our favorite vacation spots in North Carolina, there have been 3 severe shark attacks in the past 12 years with 2 deaths. In all three cases, the victims were swimming in the evening, when sharks are known to be more active. Apparently, the victims did not know this, or they did not heed / listen if they did know.

    For me, when it comes to extreme hazards, I want to listen, and I want to know.

    Today, our sermon was on one of the most subtle sources of loss of salvation, "procrastination" re: good deeds. Had I not shown up, I would have been more inclined to fall into this trap. At least for me, the myriad concerns of life can cause charitable pursuits or reaching out to others to be put off.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    For example, in one of our favorite vacation spots in North Carolina, there have been 3 severe shark attacks in the past 12 years with 2 deaths. In all three cases, the victims were swimming in the evening, when sharks are known to be more active. Apparently, the victims did not know this, or they did not heed / listen if they did know.
    Did you bother to find out how many people drowned or died from other causes at that vacation spot over 12 years?
    I would be willing to bet that the number of such deaths would be massively greater than the 2 from shark attack.

    The point I am making is that shark attack is very scary, and very dramatic, but not of great importance overall. Not compared to other, much more important factors. The same principle applies to judging religious belief. Lots of gullible people make judgments based on scary and dramatic appeals, with no substance. You can fall for the dramatic and emotional appeal, like getting paranoid about sharks. But the smart person sees through the garbage, to the lack of anything real behind the emotional appeals to the gullible by self-serving evangelists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Lewis is not a credible source for theology.
    Why do you say so? He may have been a layperson, but his scholarly abilities and natural intellect were substantial. His insights carry more weight than most professional theologists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Lewis is not a credible source for theology.
    Why do you say so? He may have been a layperson, but his scholarly abilities and natural intellect were substantial. His insights carry more weight than most professional theologists.
    I probably should have said "approved" source. I am fascinated by Lewis. I consider him to be a genius based on what I have seen so far.

    In general, I try to post more about something I am trying to "put the pieces together" as opposed to supporting a fixed position.

    It may be true that Lewis' insights are more advanced than insights of a theologian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic

    Did you bother to find out how many people drowned or died from other causes at that vacation spot over 12 years?
    I would be willing to bet that the number of such deaths would be massively greater than the 2 from shark attack.

    The point I am making is that shark attack is very scary, and very dramatic, but not of great importance overall. Not compared to other, much more important factors. The same principle applies to judging religious belief. Lots of gullible people make judgments based on scary and dramatic appeals, with no substance. You can fall for the dramatic and emotional appeal, like getting paranoid about sharks. But the smart person sees through the garbage, to the lack of anything real behind the emotional appeals to the gullible by self-serving evangelists.
    This philosophy is a classic way to fall into an injury or worse. In most beach resorts, there really are not that many "rules" that you need to be aware of. Violating any one of the "rules" on any given day has a very low "probability" of producing an injury.

    However, if someone does not take time to learn the rules, or starts on a path of "probabilistically" violating a rule here and there, then the person is on a path to be injured. In high hazard industry breaking rules for efficiency, for convenience, or just because someone is the type that believed he / she can pick and choose which rules to follow is the path to catastrophe.

    However, it is more than just being willing to follow a few rules. About 15 years ago, I was in Hawaii and I got this surfer to give me a lesson. The guy was a superb surfer; however he wanted to teach me more than just "how to surf". He passed on a tip about "peeing in the ocean". The guy said, that he does not pee in the ocean because he respects the ocean. He did not give any other reason (just the most important one).

    Well, I did not listen to him. A few years later, a friend told me that he stopped peeing in the ocean because he read that animal urine may attract sharks. I did not listen to my friend either because it had never been a problem for me, and I thought the "probability" of a problem was low. Then a few years later, after "peeing in the ocean" I got bumped. Whatever bumped me was pretty big in that it shoved me in my back that was under the water, and moved me about a foot. It was like two very fast "shoves". A fisherman later told me that because it was winter, the only animal big enough to do that at that water temp. was a white shark.

    Well I no longer pee in the ocean. However, the reason is not fear of sharks that I rarely think about. The reason is that I want to show respect for the ocean. I also don't enter the water with a fresh cut. Same reason, and I don't want to become a hazard for others. I try and pick up trash when I visit the beach for the same reason--to show respect for the ocean.

    It took me many years to learn what that surfer in Hawaii tried to teach me long ago. However, I would not want to live any other way.
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    Sooner or later we all pee in the ocean.
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    The idea that peeing or bleeding from a cut into the ocean will stimulate a shark attack is pure fallacy. I know quite a bit about sharks and shark behaviour. I am a keen scuba diver and have spent enormous amounts of time trying to photograph the damn things. A few shark species, like the leopard shark below, are docile and easy to photograph. My photo, of which I am quite proud.



    But when I try to photograph so-called "man eaters" I end up frustrated. The beggars will not allow me to get close enough. They are so wary, and frightened. The only such species that permitted me close was a white pointer. I have tried approaching, great hammerheads, tiger sharks, bull sharks, oceanic white tips, bronze whalers, and grey whalers. No luck. Each and every one gets scared and swims off.

    Surfers get attacked more than anyone else. The reason is because they splash the water, and the shark attacks reflexively, seeing just the splash. However, sharks do not attack non prey species. I think this is because so many marine species are poisonous and it is not safe to eat the unknown. For this reason, even though they may be able to detect your pee or your cut, they identify it as alien pee or blood, and want nothing to do with it.
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    Nice picture.

    None of the three attacked were surfing. They were all swimmers.

    It is interesting that the most violent creatures are the most frightened.

    It seems that fear and violence may be two sides of the same coin.
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    To dedo.

    Thanks.

    Swimmers are the second most attacked. Normally this happens in dirty water where the shark cannot see what it is attacking, and strikes at the splash a swimmer makes.

    I do not think you can relate fear and violence. Prey animals are the most frightened, and the least violent.

    There is, however, a relationship between size and fear. A prey animal that is very small is normally not frightened of a very big predator. It knows it is not a target. Ditto a large prey animal and a small predator. However, prey animals usually have a very realistic idea of how big a predator is likely to be be to target them.
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    Sharks don't feel fear as far as ik know. Only higher evolved creatures like some mammals can actually experience fear. Most animals simply feel stress. And as a replacement of fear they feel their instinct telling them to run, or to fight. Fear is an imaginary thing for most of the time.

    Skeptic made a point on why sharks don't eat non prey species, much. As indeed many oceandwellers are poisonous. Still i wonder about the facts. As i thought sharks taste their prey before they eat. They bite, let bleed and then define if it's poisonous.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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