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Thread: Natural Explanations for Religious Experiences

  1. #101  
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    [quote="daytonturner"]Lynn_Fox said:

    I guess if you want to apply completely different standards of reason you can say that. If there were a contract presented to a judge, who's trained to apply reason, he's know that you exist, that I exist and would probably have our signatures which he could examine on the paper. If any of that wasn't true or suspect he's have good reason to doubt the contracts' veracity.

    You bible story doesn't have anything resembling that to affirm it's authenticity--no physical evidence that he existed even--no contemporary records that any of the extraordinary events recorded in the story an attributed as miracle actually happened even though there were people dutifully recording history and walking the very same ground at the time. There's absolutely no credible proof of an afterlife either of anything or anybody.
    So you honest think your contract would be just as valid and likely to collect if you couldn't prove the one who you made the contract with even existed, no independent witnesses saw the contract made, and you couldn't even prove the currency of the deal was even real money?

    --
    So, if you are saying that the evidence which supports the Bible is questionable, are you willing to subject all of ancient literature to that same standard of proof?
    I do apply the same standard. And forgive me for expecting a wee bit higher degree of proof for extraordinary claims than non-extraordinary claims of history. In fact Jesus as a wise man is much more believable than the story as current told by Christians.

    (I find the comparison to Aristotle just more than a bit ironic.)

    So after all this what the natural explanations for the unwillingness to evaluate your understanding of religious ideas and stories with the same degree of critical thinking as other ideas? I think it's the emotional connection and how deeply entwined the belief is with our very personality, often the need to trust our loved elders who share those beliefs etc.
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  2. #102  
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    inow said:

    Except, I'm not the one who wants it. You were. Remember?

    Here... From the last page:

    inow wrote:
    daytonturner wrote:
    You have zero evidence outside your own experience that God does not exist.
    Can you please describe for me how one can obtain objective evidence that something does not exist?
    Classic (if not typically post-modern technique) of pulling something out of context and twisting it to mean something different than the stater intended.

    This was in response to your claim that there is no objective evidence of God's existence. I have provided more objective evidence of His existence than you have of His non-exisgtence. If I posed only one objective piece of evidence (though it was far more than that) it would still be an infinite percentage more evidence than you have presented. And, as I said, perhaps the reason you cannot provide any objective evidence is because you are wrong.

    Like I intimate, if there is an iota of objective evidence for premise A and zero objective evidence of the opposite premise, it is more likely that premise A is true than that it is untrue. You do not trump someone else's premise by merely saying, "I don't agree." This is, in essense, your argument against any evidence proffered in support of God. You label it non-evidence because it does not support your side of the issue.

    The reason you don't agree is because you are in rebellion against God. The reason you do not object to or question anything about Julius Caesar is because you are not in rebellion against him and he has not made a claim on your life which you take seriously. If you did not take the Christian God seriously, you would not be here railing against Him.

    In early Rome, Christians were considered atheists. Polycarp, an old man (86) and an early Christian lumenary, was brought into the Coliseum under the threat of death by being fed to the lions and told all he needed to do to avoid the sentence was to say, "Away with the atheists." Polycarp replied, "Is that all?" He swung his arm around, indicating the crowd and said, "Away with the atheists." He was, unfortunately, later burned at the stake.

    At that time, Roman emperors claimed diety and killed many (including Polycarp) who did not acknowledge them as such. You do not rail against their demands because you know them to be idle. If you thought the claims of the Christian God were equally idle, you would totally ingnore the discussion.
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  3. #103  
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    Lynn _Fox said:

    So you honest think your contract would be just as valid and likely to collect if you couldn't prove the one who you made the contract with even existed, no independent witnesses saw the contract made, and you couldn't even prove the currency of the deal was even real money?
    Where did these conditions come from? I would object to them on the basis of being facts not entered into evidence.

    But, to play along, I think $1,000,000 is indicative of a real currency. Perhaps I could prove that I had a valid contract although I would have a hard time enforcing it if I could not produce the person with whom the contract was made.

    Let's say person A and person B have a contract in which A is suppose to provide a service for which person B is suppose to pay. Person A performs the work and person B does not pay and so person A goes to court to enforce the contract. Even if Person B refused to go to court, person A may get a default judgment and never have to prove that person B exists. In fact, he probably would not even have to prove he did the work, since no one is there to say he didn't. Now then, person A might have difficulty collecting if there is no real person B, but the contract will have been ruled valid and enforceable.

    Fox_Lynx said:

    In fact Jesus as a wise man is much more believable than the story as current told by Christians.
    I have heard many versions of this idea, but it cannot come out that way whatsoever. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah on several occasions, so He either has to be Messiah along with being a wise teacher or he has to be an absolute liar who was a charleton and not so much wise as wiley. All I am saying is that it is incomplete to accept that Jesus was a wise man without also accepting that He was who He said He was.

    Lynx_Fox said:

    So after all this what the natural explanations for the unwillingness to evaluate your understanding of religious ideas and stories with the same degree of critical thinking as other ideas? I think it's the emotional connection and how deeply entwined the belief is with our very personality, often the need to trust our loved elders who share those beliefs etc.
    This paragraph needs a little work before it is clear as to what and who you are talking about.

    However, if I sort of understand what you are saying, it is the old indoctrination claim. That is, that children grow up and adopt the beliefs of their elders. Now that may true of Islam, Hinduism and Buddism, but it is not true of Christianity. I have often cited studies which show that a huge percentage of young people brought up in the church by Christian parents, leave the church when they go out on their own. Although many of them return to the church years later, it is not out of love or trust of their elders, but because they have realized the truth found in their religion versus the foolishness of the world.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  4. #104  
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    Perhaps we should apply the empirical method to this question of god. My signature below suggests an experiment.
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  5. #105  
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    GiantEvil says:

    Spit in one hand, pray in the other. See which one fills up the fastest.
    It is nice to have addressed this idiocy above already.

    I said:

    This is a more subtle version of the idea that God does not exist because He does not heal people with amputated limbs. The argument is that since amputees are not miraculously healed by God, it is proof that He does not exist. God does not make any promises to us other than that if we repent and believe in and trust in Christ we will escape God's wrath.

    The thing is that atheists have this uncanny knack for formulating all sorts of physical circumstantial "proofs" that ostensibly show God does not exist while completly ignoring and discounting similar circumstancial "proofs" of His existence.

    Meanwhile, as I said previously, there is really no issue of "proof of God." There is ample evidence for believers. The issue remains the atheist's rebellion against God. The issue is sin and rejection of the truth.
    The only thing I can add to that is to relate it to GiantEvil's sillyness. How does a prayer answered "No," prove that God does not exist? Or are you one of those spoiled brats whose parents gave him everything he ever wanted no matter what he asked for and so he expects God to do the same for everybody?
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Lynn _Fox said:

    So you honest think your contract would be just as valid and likely to collect if you couldn't prove the one who you made the contract with even existed, no independent witnesses saw the contract made, and you couldn't even prove the currency of the deal was even real money?
    Where did these conditions come from? I would object to them on the basis of being facts not entered into evidence.

    But, to play along, I think $1,000,000 is indicative of a real currency. Perhaps I could prove that I had a valid contract although I would have a hard time enforcing it if I could not produce the person with whom the contract was made.
    Produce? You couldn't even prove he even lived.
    You'd be laughed out of court.
    You're being laughed out of the court of reason. Sadly there's nothing but faith left--I suppose some even take comfort in that somehow as I once did. I certainly don't understand it anymore and never will. All that's left is a bit of curiosity about how some people continue to maintain that faith in spite of nothing to support it and lots of evidence that its ancient explanations of how the world works are irrefutably wrong--(hardly evidence of device knowledge). What as a species makes us so moribund to such foolishness? What was the evolutionary advantage to the strong and undeniable feelings I still experience as I watch a summer squall, knowing with near certainty it's almost the same feeling (minus fear) that my ancestors probably had even when they thought some god was involved rather than the physics I know far better than most people? How come I can still have that feeling of awe even after understanding what's happening? Something undeniably hard wired into us as a species--the spiritual side. A bit of common ground for religious and atheist alike.
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  7. #107  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    This was in response to your claim that there is no objective evidence of God's existence. I have provided more objective evidence of His existence than you have of His non-exisgtence <sic>
    You are correct in that I do challenge the quote unquote evidence you've put forth, however, that is completely irrelevant to the point currently being made.

    You have stated repeatedly that I have not provided objective evidence of the non-existence of your preferred deity. I would love to, but first need your assistance in clarifying how exactly someone might provide objective evidence of nonexistence.

    I've asked you now like 6 or 7 times. If you could simply address the questions and clarify, we might be able to move on.

    How does one provide objective evidence of nonexistence?
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  8. #108  
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    inow asks:

    How does one provide objective evidence of nonexistence?
    Apparently, however one wants to. I don't care how you provide it. It's up to you. You could start by proving a Godless Big Bang and Godless a-biogenesis. those would be good for starters. But I agree it could be problematic. Perhaps you should check with Lynx_Fox who said:

    All that's left is a bit of curiosity about how some people continue to maintain that faith in spite of nothing to support it and lots of evidence that its ancient explanations of how the world works are irrefutably wrong--(hardly evidence of device (sic) knowledge).
    Should device have been devine? Lynx_Fox is developing a habit of not only using the wrong word but also in leaving out at least half of his/her thoughts that lead to his/her conclusion.

    I have no idea how this relates to a discussion about God in that there are few explanations (if any) in the Bible about the physics or chemistry of the physical world. There is much in the Bible relation to how the world works in relation to human conduct.

    The idea that ancienct explanations disprove devine knowledge is rediculous.
    If you look in Wikipedia about elements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element), you will find that nothing in the Bible compares to any of the erroneous thoughts express in other religions and societies. So, I am left to guess that you are saying because the Bible does not erroneously expound on this topic or any other scientific topic, it proves that it lacks devine knowledge.

    I do not know how you make the leap from the fact that ancient explanations generated by non Jewish societies and religions proves the Jewish writings lack devine knowledge.

    I'm sorry, Lynx_Fox, I just can't make any sense out of the rest of your post. You obviously do not understand the law as well as someone with a law degree. And I have no idea how enjoying a summer rain squall is related to a religious experience. Nor does the fact that ancient people did not understand the now known reasons for summer squalls have any relationship with todays believers.
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  9. #109  
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    Well, you've really done nothing other than to continue to evade the question. Let me shift the parameters a bit.

    If you were asked to provide objective evidence of the nonexistence of leprechauns, how would you go about doing it?
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  10. #110  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    And I have no idea how enjoying a summer rain squall is related to a religious experience. Nor does the fact that ancient people did not understand the now known reasons for summer squalls have any relationship with todays believers.
    (shrugs)
    Certainly you've felt what you considered a deeply religious experience?

    I sort of understand your point because I would have once said something similar; everything I experienced and didn't understand was viewed through a religious interpretation. The more profound the emotion, the more I attributed it to something other than me; the default being "god". Thing is the emotion is still there, though I long ago tossed religion aside because it provided so few meaningful answers other than to made up question (e.g. why? were do we go after death etc)--and no answers about how things really work compared to science (e.g there was no global flood, god didn't directly create any new species for at least a half billion years--including us etc). What I used to interpret as religious experiences of the deepest and profound types are now understood and excepted to just part of being human--evolved for whatever reason.

    Awe at natural phenomenon, sometimes music, sudden inspirations and other examples can bring the same emotion that I've always had. That emotional state combined with our species instinctive urge to wonder and ask oneself for some overarching explanation or meaning is what I think makes us susceptible to religion which attempts to satisfy some of those questions. The reality is other than the how, which is best learned by science, most of the questions are not even valid and a residual resistance to simply accept the world as it really is. Even with that and full acceptance and understanding the emotions remain. I love and cherish the feeling of awe most of all even when witnessing something I understand really well.
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  11. #111  
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    In my previous post I offered a suggestion for a legitimate scientific experiment that involves measurable quantities. This is the empirical method which is central to science.

    In response I was offered dogma, and an ungentlemanly comment;
    The issue remains the atheist's rebellion against God. The issue is sin and rejection of the truth.
    Or are you one of those spoiled brats
    Really Mr daytonturner, you should be ashamed of yourself.
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  12. #112  
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    Don't forget that current science can describe to some extent only about 5% of the universe, the rest is completely unknown.
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  13. #113  
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    Don't forget that current science can describe to some extent only about 5% of the universe, the rest is completely unknown.
    The sensitivity of current scientific equipment allows us to "see" about thirteen billion light years into the universe. This may be most of it, or an infinitesimal part of it. 5% is as good a guess as any. 8)
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  14. #114  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Don't forget that current science can describe to some extent only about 5% of the universe, the rest is completely unknown.
    The sensitivity of current scientific equipment allows us to "see" about thirteen billion light years into the universe. This may be most of it, or an infinitesimal part of it. 5% is as good a guess as any. 8)
    No, that is not what I meant. The ordinary matter we can see is only about 5% of the observable universe.
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  15. #115  
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    I notice that the question has come up, "How doe's one provide objective evidence of nonexistence"? Since we are dealing with a (is\is not) condition, in conjunction with a non present object, objective evidence in either case is wholly impossible. However, there are options.

    In mathematics there is a form of proof known as "Reductio Ad Absurdem" or, "Proof By Contradiction". In this form of proof, for whichever condition is being proven, the opposite condition is assumed true. Then a chain of logic is formed based on accepted axioms. If that chain of logic leads to paradox or absurdity, then the original assertion is proven true.

    Good luck to all in this. 8)
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  16. #116  
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    To Mr Wit. Ah, you are speaking of dark matter. Theoretical stuff it is. But if it exists, it could be highly structuralised, and an unknown component of consciousness. Ie, souls are made of it. Really, we are digressing here, and if we want to continue this conversation, we should do so in another thread. 8)
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  17. #117  
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    inow asked:

    If you were asked to provide objective evidence of the nonexistence of leprechauns, how would you go about doing it?
    Well, under those circumstances, I probably would not consider it at all without the prior presentation of some objective evidence that leprechauns exist.

    What you are doing here is tantamount to hauling a suspect into court and demanding that he prove himself innocent without the prosecution presenting any case at all.

    You are merely attemptiong to shift the burden with this silly ploy.

    Believers here, at numerous and sundry times, have presented objective circumstantial evidence which we think testifies to the existence of God. You continue to demand more when you would not accept a million pieces of evidence, including if someone were to return from the dead.

    Present some objective evidence that leprechauns exist and I will consider replying to that.
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  18. #118  
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    I'll just note that you've still evaded and failed to answer the question put to you.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, under those circumstances, I probably would not consider it at all without the prior presentation of some objective evidence that leprechauns exist.
    Fancy that. Double standards and special pleading, much?
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  19. #119  
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    Lynx_Fox said:

    Certainly you've felt what you considered a deeply religious experience?
    Actually, other than the moment I received salvation, I would not say that I have "felt" anything else I consider a deeply religious experience.

    Plus I am somewhat skeptical of those who claim to have had such experiences. I am more likely to suspect they are merely fabricating some experience to make themselves look far more spiritual than they really are. And more often than not, people who have shared these kinds of stories seem to leave the fellowship sooner or later. This, I think, is particularly prevalent in the so called "spirtual" movements.

    Most of the people I know whose Christianity I am confident of do not have such grandiose stories of such experiences. I am not saying these things don't happen, but I would suggest they are far more the exception than the rule.

    While I am basically a Calvinist, I do not attribute everything that happens or has ever happed to the direct causation of God. Some things God does bring about directly; other things are indirect results brought about by natural results of God's laws. People fall not because God trips them, but because of God's law of gravity.

    If you came up in a system that suggested everything which happens is at God's direction, I could understand your rejection of that system.
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  20. #120  
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    inow blithers in desperation:
    I'll just note that you've still evaded and failed to answer the question put to you.

    daytonturner wrote:
    Well, under those circumstances, I probably would not consider it at all without the prior presentation of some objective evidence that leprechauns exist.
    Fancy that. Double standards and special pleading, much?
    You would have to explain how that is a double standard.

    We present objective circumstantial evidence of God's existence. You ask me how you can present objective evidence that God does not exist. I reply however you choose to do so. You then ask how I would present objective evidence that leprechauns do not exist without ever presenting any evidence that leprechauns do exist.

    If there is any double standard being used here, it is by you.

    I will put it back to you: present some evidence that leprechauns exist I will see what I can do to present evidence that they do not. We have presented evidence that God exists, you have presented no evidence that He does not exist. I am under no obligation to prove leprechauns do not exist until you attempt to prove they do.
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  21. #121  
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    Wait, what? You've presented objective evidence for god? Sorry, no. You have done no such thing.
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    inow said:

    Wait, what? You've presented objective evidence for god? Sorry, no. You have done no such thing.
    Giving you credit for not being puposefully dishonest, you obviously missed my previous citation here or on another thread to Alvin Plantinga's speech notes on this topic. http://www.homestead.com/philofrelig...arguments.html

    This is merely a non-conclusive list of many evidences which Christians consider.
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  23. #123  
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    Philosophy objective evidence
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  24. #124  
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    You obvously did not read very much of what was there.

    By the way, where is your evidence of leprechauns?
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  25. #125  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow said:

    Wait, what? You've presented objective evidence for god? Sorry, no. You have done no such thing.
    Giving you credit for not being puposefully dishonest, you obviously missed my previous citation here or on another thread to Alvin Plantinga's speech notes on this topic. http://www.homestead.com/philofrelig...arguments.html

    This is merely a non-conclusive list of many evidences which Christians consider.
    He asked for "objective" evidence. Not the ravings of a theist using multiple logical fallacies (not the least of which is begging the question) to arrive at his conclusions.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Pastor-Alvin...ralism-REFUTED

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Pastor-Plant...eliefs-REFUTED

    http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...d.html#preview

    http://www.talkreason.org/articles/theism.cfm

    http://homepages.wmich.edu/~mcgrew/plantinga.pdf

    http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/u...logical:modern

    http://urbanphilosophy.net/philosoph...odal-argument/
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  26. #126  
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    Skinwalker rides in to the rescue.

    I am not going to even look up one of these because i know ahead of time they are far more bullshit than they are realistic. Would you like a list of 20 or 50 sites similar to Platinga's by other Christian lumenaries?

    Platinga is not a raving theist, but a well respected Christian Theologian. He is considered a raving theist only by raving atheists (such as yourself) who represent only a small portion of the intellectual world. That is, if they are even a part of the intellectual world.
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  27. #127  
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    I am not going to even look up one of these
    Of course you're not. It might require lifting one's head from the sand.
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    Hey Mr daytonturner. When you offer personal insults, you are in direct violation of the teachings of The Christ.
    Matthew 5:33 through 5:37
    Matthew 5:43 through 5:48
    Matthew 7:21 through 7:27
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    Oh, then you agree it is an insult to be associated with the atheistic movement. I called skinwalker an atheist. That, as far as I can see, is the only personal comment I made. But I suppose someone could be insulted by such a comment.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  30. #130  
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    Mr daytonturner.
    Or are you one of those spoiled brats
    You directed that at me. Shame on you.
    bullshit
    Matthew 5:33 through 5:37
    raving atheists (such as yourself) who represent only a small portion of the intellectual world. That is, if they are even a part of the intellectual world.
    Matthew 5:22
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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  31. #131  
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    GiantEvil said:

    Mr daytonturner.
    Quote:
    Or are you one of those spoiled brats
    You directed that at me. Shame on you.
    This was posed as a question as to whether you were one of those spoiled brats. Because you left the question mark off, does not make it a non-question. It appears you put the shoe on and it fit!!!

    Meanwhile, you need to recognize that Jesus often expressed his indignation toward self righteous legalistic pharases and scribes, calling them vipers and serpents and thieves which were very stong insults in that culture -- far worse than suggesting someone could be a spoiled brat in this culture. Jesus was not the model of proper decorum as he cleansed the temple.

    We are allowed to be indignant toward unrighteousness and disrepect for God. Yet you seem willing to molly-coddle these atheists who disrepect God and mock Him. Shame on you. You seem to join them in their rebellion toward God by making up your own religion which features a God who is not the God of the Bible.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  32. #132  
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    To Mr daytonturner.
    Show me some numbers. Give us all here, some actual backup citations. Or go away, and leave this forum to people who have bothered to read their own materials.
    You represent no definable philosophy, there is no self discipline in your system of thought. Or, that is how it appears, from your post's.
    Until you can provide some substance to the conversation, I will be wholly ignoring you.
    Good day Sir.
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  33. #133  
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    GiantEvil said:

    Show me some numbers.
    arabic
    234; 647,226; 1,206749; 11; 76

    roman
    IV; MMX; DCLXXVI

    mayan
    --.; ---...

    greek
    HHHI; HHII

    Unfortunately, I don't think my computer has the capablility of addressing any other kinds of numbers.



    GiantEvil said:

    You represent no definable philosophy
    Hmmm, I think my world view as a relatively conservative Christian has been well established here. If you are unable to recognize that, it may that you have no understanding of Christianity. I don't think you will be accused of being one here anyway.

    GiantEvil said:

    Until you can provide some substance to the conversation, I will be wholly ignoring you.
    If only I could count on that.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  34. #134  
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    I notice that the title of this thread is "Natural Explanation's for Religious Experience".
    I'm probably presenting an idea already mentioned in this thread, but. How about' neurophysiology? Until science actively detects exotic matter's, or energy's, that have complex action's, and or structure's, we are limited to examining conscience experience from a biological perspective. Whether that conscience experience is subjective, or objective.

    Here is a story from Chinese Buddhism. One day, some monk's in the courtyard, were having a discussion, about the movement of a flag. One monk insisted that, the flag is the primary subject of motion. Another monk insisted, that the wind, was the primary subject of motion. A master came along and said, "Neither the flag nor the wind move. It is our mind's which move".
    -Paraphrased from "The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch".-
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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  35. #135  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Here is a story from Chinese Buddhism. One day, some monk's in the courtyard, were having a discussion, about the movement of a flag. One monk insisted that, the flag is the primary subject of motion. Another monk insisted, that the wind, was the primary subject of motion. A master came along and said, "Neither the flag nor the wind move. It is our mind's which move".
    -Paraphrased from "The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch".-
    and yet we know that it was a combination of the first two monks that is the most correct explanation, and not the master's. So I ask, relevance of this anecdote?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  36. #136  
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    and yet we know that it was a combination of the first two monks that is the most correct explanation, and not the master's. So I ask, relevance of this anecdote?
    We know no such thing. It is up to you to provide evidence and citations for your assertions.
    Scientific Relativity, from Galileon to Einsteinian, requires the definition of an observer. Quantum physics has theory's that depend on defining an observer to explain phenomena. The monk's were arguing chicken's and egg's. The master was pointing out the barnyard.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    Cat's Cradle.
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  37. #137  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    and yet we know that it was a combination of the first two monks that is the most correct explanation, and not the master's. So I ask, relevance of this anecdote?
    We know no such thing. It is up to you to provide evidence and citations for your assertions.
    Scientific Relativity, from Galileon to Einsteinian, requires the definition of an observer. Quantum physics has theory's that depend on defining an observer to explain phenomena. The monk's were arguing chicken's and egg's. The master was pointing out the barnyard.
    We do. We know that the flag moves to accommodate the forces upon it by the gravitational field of the earth, and the impact forces of the air particles that are, in order to generate this force, moving.

    Nice philosophical aspect, but it has no objectivity, and your analogy is crap.

    Observers need not be present in the context you assume. The flag is an observer of the air, and responds as such. There is no need for a thinking thing in this situation.

    For special relativity, we have an observer. know your terms before you use them
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  38. #138  
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    To put the wind thing into a religous context for natural explanation:

    The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes . . . John 3:8
    Since we do not know where the wind comes from or where it goes, can we say the same for the flag's waving? Can we predict the size of the next wave or the next shift in direction?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  39. #139  
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    I notice that the title of this thread is "Natural Explanation's for Religious Experience".
    I'm probably presenting an idea already mentioned in this thread, but. How about' neurophysiology?
    It is our mind's which move".
    How are the terms "neurophysiology", and "mind", not relevant to one another?
    Physics? Observers? I give you Schrodinger's cat.
    The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
    John 3:8 (ASV)
    And for a little context.
    That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    John 3:6 (ASV)
    Wind is fascinating stuff. Very complex. Certainly worthy of a conversation all it's own. Definitely an excellent metaphor for what Jesus here calls spirit. Which I consider to be the point of these particular teachings. Jesus was blatantly expounding spirit as an existential absolute.
    A sense of "soul" is definitely a component of religious experience. What if this "soul" doe's exist? If so, might it arise from nature, as opposed to anthropic deity?
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  40. #140  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Physics? Observers? I give you Schrodinger's cat.
    You obviously misunderstand Schrodinger's cat...

    And you probably misunderstand the Double Slit experiment as well as all of the other quantum thought experiments.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  41. #141  
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    In conclusions:
    1. There are natural explanations for religious experiences.
    2. There are religious explanations for religious experiences.
    3. Atheist believe in 1) because there are evidence and experiments that support it. (Please note that I have not said that the experiments are the 'exact replica' of the real situations)
    4. Theist believe in 2) because they have faith and believe that there is something that is beyond the reach of tradition science.
    5. Both sides will never convince the other's because there is no basic agreement of approach to resolution.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
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  42. #142  
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    5. Both sides will never convince the other's because there is no basic agreement of approach to resolution.
    Actually, while it's obviously not 100%, one side has been pretty successful in convincing the other:

    http://richarddawkins.net/letters/converts
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  43. #143  
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    To be fair, there are some alleged converts from atheism to theism -though the most famous actually became a deist in his senility.

    But the thread truly is on the natural explanations for religious experience and the scientific study that has ensued over the years answering the question "why do humans have religion?"

    It's obvious that the answer isn't because there is a god since there have been so many gods invented by humanity throughout history and prehistory. Many of these are contradictory and opposing deities -others are complimentary and cooperative. Some human cultures maintained multiple deities concurrently. From Ptah, Ea, and Enlil to Elohim, Ganesh, and Yahweh.

    One of the more convincing arguments to the invention of gods is the anthropomorphizing of human characters and traits onto the natural world, creating a subsequent deity or abstract, supernatural being that doesn't actually exist outside of human invention. A good text on this is Faces in the Clouds, by anthropologist Stuart Guthrie (via Google Books, where you can read most of it). But a good example of this is the Hohlenstein-Stadel figurine discovered in Europe about 32,000 years ago. It represents a Löwenmensch, a half-lion half-man beast, created by human hands and the human mind at one of the earliest points of this sort of cognition in prehistory.

    What's fascinating about this figurine is that it clearly represents two different ontological categories (I'm borrowing from the descriptions outlined by Pascal Boyer in Religion Explained): that of a man and that of a lion, each with it's own attributes and characteristics. The resulting combination now forms a new, abstract beast -perhaps a deity- which has characters and traits all its own.

    The Hohlenstein-Stadel may or may not represent an early deity. We may never know for sure. But it does give a hint at the sort of cognitive functions that were occurring early in prehistory that ultimately led to the formation of gods and goddesses, which have authority and or dominion over humanity.
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  44. #144  
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    In addition, I'm inclined to split out some of the off-topic discussion into a new thread, which I may do this evening. If there's any opposition to this, please send me a PM.
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  45. #145  
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    In reponse to splitting things off from this thead, allow me to paraphrase my ealier quote:

    The thread blows where it wills, and you read the gist of it, but while you know whence it comes, you know not whither it goes.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  46. #146 EDIT: LOWENMENSCH 
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    the Hohlenstein-Stadel figurine discovered in Europe about 32,000 years ago. It represents a Löwenmensch, a half-lion half-man beast,
    I want to know more about this. What part of Europe? Details on discovery site. What material is it? Is it damaged? What caused the damage? Are there more artifacts of this, or even older, age? Sorry about the question barrage, but the 32,000 year's old is very exciting. I'm bored with the rest of this thread, I want to talk about the Lowenmensch.
    EDIT: In a new thread is a good idea, I think.
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  47. #147  
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    GiantEvil said:
    I'm bored with the rest of this thread, I want to talk about the Lowenmensch.
    You can always start a new thread.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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