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    This link will be a good read for you:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager


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  4. #3 Re: Living in life 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    The main thing is about conduct of life. Now, I have to admit, hand on heart that my conduct would be different if I believed 100% that life is existing, simply through sheer chance and that life is governed by chance and that survival of the fittest was true. My life would be more carnal, as appossed to the view that Life was created by an almighty being who had a purpose for all things and was either viewing or participating in life. Not only that but if there existed an almighty being and he was 'of the spirit' and there was a spirit world existing side-by-side with life now, where all of the dead go( ).
    Your alternatives are so extreme that you are padding the question. Who in the world said that these were the only options. A more honest question would offer a more simple alternative, dealing with a single issue separately. Secondly I am not sure that suppositions of this sort make a whole lot of sense. How can we but suppose that if we were someone else, then we would behave as they do instead as we do. But then what is the point of such a supposition, because if in a supposition we are not ourselves then what would the supposition have to do with us anyway? Furthermore are you really simply asking if others understand the simple fact that if they believed differently then they would behave differently??? I mean like, DUH...

    So lets look at some more sensible questions:

    Is it possible to not believe in God and still be a moral person with a well defined ethical code? Yes and I think this is true of a great many people.

    Is it possible to not believe in God or any spiritual aspect of existence and yet live for something other than the simple physical pleasures of life? Yes and I think this is true of a great many people.

    Is it possible to not believe in God and still live a spiritual life? Yes, I think this is obvious when you consider Buddhism.

    Is it possible to believe that the theory of evolution is a good and valid scientific theory and still be a religious person? Yes, I am such a person.

    Is it possible to believe that life exists through sheer chance and still live a spiritual life or live for something other than physical pleasure? Yes and I think this is true of a great many people.

    Is it possible to believe that survival of the fittest is the ONLY principle of life and yet live for something other than physical pleasure? Sure because one can come to understand the value of reason and social cooperation as being advantageous for survival.

    Is it possible to believe that survival of the fittest is the ONLY principle of life and yet live a spiritual life? This seems pretty bizzare but why not? A spiritual existence based on a principle of survival of the fittest perhaps?



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    My life would be more carnal, as appossed to the view that Life was created by an almighty being who had a purpose for all things and was either viewing or participating in life. Not only that but if there existed an almighty being and he was 'of the spirit' and there was a spirit world existing side-by-side with life now, where all of the dead go( ).
    Ok so let me ask you some questions.

    So if there was no almighty being telling you that you have a purpose then you would see no purpose in your existence except seeking carnal pleasure? So if there was no almighty being threatening dire consequences for your disobedience, then you would live a carnal life? Doesn't this mean that deep down you do not believe that you really have a purpose or that you really have any desire for something other than a carnal life. Are you not in truth basically carnal and just pretending to be something else because it seems to be to your advantage to do so at this time? Do you think God doesn't see through these pretenses to what you really are? Do you think it is what you pretend to be that matters to God and not what you really are?



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    If there was conclusive evidence that when we die there is nothing more and that the life we live now is simply all there is, in all its glory, I would live this life so much more, feeling more free to act.
    If that is what you need to believe in order to be free then, then I would say go ahead and free your self from these imprisoning beliefs in a God or in an afterlife. Your religious convictions sound more like psychological neuroses to me. I don't need any such evidence to feel perfectly free, but then perhaps freedom doesn't mean the same thing to me as it apparently means to you.

    If you believed 100% that you could walk on air then would you not step off the edge of a tall building? Is the knowledge that you will plunge to your death if you do such a thing a blot on your sense of personal freedom? What would life be like if nothing we did had any consequences whatsoever? I say that it would not be life at all but only a dream, and so I would say that if you prefer a dream to reality then why do you bother waking up in the morning?

    I am perfectly free to make my own choices and I do not choose the dream but to live in reality and therefore the knowledge of the consequences of my actions do not take away from my freedom but add to it. Knowing the consequences of what I do expands my ability to control the direction of my life. But I have a very strong sense of ethics and morality and so I would defy any all-powerful and all-knowing God that sought to threaten me into obedience against what I decide is right or wrong. BUT..... I give my life and soul in worship of a God of love expecting nothing in return.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    But if there was conclusive evidence that when we die we join with our family and live in another 'realm', maybe in hell or heaven whatever.
    Personally, if such a thing was true then I don't think conclusive knowlege of it would help you one little bit, because I really don't think the pretenses you make to dodge the reality of what you really are is going to make the sightest bit of difference.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    The idea of a creator who watches over our every move judging us and if we're not doing it right we're going to be punished like as if a child again just makes me feel so restricted. If I had to choose either of the two, I would choose no life after death, no 'spirit realm', no judgement, you just live this gift we call life the way you want and then you die.
    Then I would suggest that you see a psychiatrist to help you to rid yourself of these neurotic beliefs in life after dead and judgement, so that you can be free to live your life as you choose.

    I am a Christian because I choose to be and I do not believe that God has any interest in any unwilling believers. If He did, He would make His existence quite clear to everyone.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    So in respect can someone, anyone offer some kind of stability to my unstable thinking, and help me choose the path I shall walk.
    You can pass that responsibility off to someone else if you like, but you will still have to face the consequences of those decisions yourself. But I would say that these decisions are the essense of your life and by passing them off to someone else you are refusing to live your own life and expecting someone else to live your life for you and I ask you, what in the world is the point of that?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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    al_zaine, you seem to be implying that you are only living the life you are as a consequence of perceived embarrassment and fear of the unknown and not through either belief in a God or the lack of belief. This equates to intellectual cowardice . Happy?
    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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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    Of all the replies i've had.....ever, yours seems completley worthless, as you don't offer anything except disrespect. You clearly didn't get what I was saying so I appreciate you input but am hoping for more 'non-christian' responses.
    Criticism is the usual tenor of responses in this forum.

    I was being quite frank and honest, but I guess you just want the atheists to convince you to think like they do? I suppose that would be a lot cheaper than professional help. I am sure they would be happy to help. I hope that works for you.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    You talk about living a dream and reality and ask why I wake up every morning. I take this as an attack, because can you honestly tell me that you wake yourself every morning, you make the CONSCIOUS decision to wake up?.... I wake up every morning to this thing we call life from a state of unknowing, I wake but I don't know how or why.
    Well some people take drugs to stay pertually in a dream world. Anyway, my point is that reality is about facing the fact that our actions have consequences.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    Reality is what you make it.
    Yes and no. There are definitely aspects of reality that are very much affected by your beliefs but there is also a great deal that does not depend on your beliefs at all. Accepting the realities of life certainly gives you greater power to make something of your life. But a willful approach to life will simply blind you to reality - is that what you are after?



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    What i'm simply asking is if there is maybe some kind of compromise between darwinism and religion/spiritualism and what others feel about if there was a spirit realm where the people we knew who had died may be watching life.
    Of course there is. You can believe in God and no spirituality or in spirituality and no God or both or neither, and you can believe in any one of these combinations with or without evolution. There are numerous theistic evolutionists and evolutionary creationists who have all sorts of ways of reconciling science and religion. But is that what you are looking for?



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    For example, My grandad never knew I smoked, let alone smoke cannibis, so I wonder wether he can see me and is disapointed. heck, man has feelings you know, I feel shame and would rather avoid meeting said family on the 'other-side' than go through the explaining of ones actions.
    It is my observation that people can usually avoid other people and avoid feeling shame or guilt about nearly anything, if they want to pay the price. So exactly what hoops are you willing to jump through and what price are willing to pay to avoid these things?

    The clinical psychiatrist who became a famous writer, Scott Peck, saw evil as psychological disease consisting of telling oneself whatever lies are required to avoid the pain of self-criticism.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    In my opinion, this is what it comes down to. You either live on after you die or you don't, and if you do live on, then do you belive the people you knew who have passed are viewing you.
    So you are really bothered by this idea that people are watching you?


    EDITED to reflect changed perception of person I am responding to.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    This is true, but do you have an answer for the questions I have mentioned, not even answers, just your own views.....on how you see it, not specifically how I see it. I know I am being cowardice, but isn't the fear of the Lord Almighty the first step to wisdom. Your attempt to make me feel pathetic was simply pathetic. Why are there so many people like you on the internet, can't someone just discuss with me instead of trying to put themselves above another with lame attempts of belittlement. And if my spelling isn't fully correct, please, don't feel like you should correct me. Just discuss.
    If you are looking for a safe environment for a discussion, BOY have you come to the wrong place.


    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    Do you believe in Life after death.......
    yes.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    does this effect the way you live?
    Difficult question.... Hmmmm.... No, I don't think so, not really.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    If you knew you wasn't going to be aware of anything after you die, would this change the way you live, ie, living less cautiously or maybe more, because you want to live as long as possible.
    Hmmm.... I think I would perhaps be a little more concerned about what my impact on the world might be. Realizing that intentions alone would be without effect on anything, I might adopt more of an "ends justify the means" sort of philosophy than I do now.


    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    What's so hard about this, I have answered for myself. I want your answer for your self.
    The difficulty is in understanding what it is exactly that you are after.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    mitchellmckain. I apologise for my earlier response. After re-reading your post I can see it isn't a malicious one and I appreciate all those possibilities you offered. And yet, that is all they are, possibilities.
    All I can say to that is that it is possible that they are possible because all is simply possiblities , I believe it goes hand in hand with the laws of uncertainty. Something I read in one of Feynmans books. Before I get into your 'sensible' questions I'd just like to stress the effect it has on me about this uncertainty principle. It basically is saying that its possible that God exists and its possible that he doesn't, as with everything.
    Its possible that I won't wake up tomorrow morning but yet its probable that I will. How can someone be sane in an universe of uncertainty, how can one maintain an ordered and directive lifestyle?
    Well I am sorry but I am going to be a bit of a pain on this one because it is a physicist that you are talking to and that's not what the uncertainty principle is about at all. For one thing, it is a principle that applies to quantum particles and NOT to macroscopic objects like people AND it ESPECIALLY has absolutely NOTHING to do with the existence of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    Getting onto your adaptions of my question, which I have re-asked in a different way in this thread.
    I didn't really understand where they were coming from, they don't sum up my question.
    gotcha

    Yes your restatement of your questions made things a little clearer and I hope my responses above are more useful to you.



    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    I really liked the bit about whether it is what I pretend to be or what I really am that matters to God. and in my aopinion, God said we are all of sin and we are ALL infested with the carnal yet knowing I am of the earth and pretending to be an angel would be seen as good. like the old jazz saying goes......Fake it till you make it.
    Ah... but the idea of fake till you make it, is that you actually want to be different. At least that is the only point that I can see in it. I am just not into the intellectual blackmail interpretation of religion which says you got to believe or else. To me, religion is about helping you become the kind of person you want to become. Otherwise it is completely meaningless to me.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  10. #9  
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al_zaine
    Hey man, I apologised to you and offered more on your first post in the post I made just above your last one. I guess you didn't see it.
    I'm not here to fight.
    Peace.
    Yep I didn't see it till after I completed my second post. Perhaps that second post is a bit off the mark (i.e failing to comprehend where you are coming from). But then perhaps this reflects the fact that your response to mine was a bit off the mark too and thus contributed to futher confusing the issue.

    Unfortunately this forum (under the religion topic) tends to have a little of street gang atmosphere and so a little fighting is almost a requirement.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  12. #11  
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    Your attempt to make me feel pathetic was simply pathetic.
    It was not an attempt to make you feel pathetic, but to try and get you to recognize the fact of your intellectual cowardice, but you seem to have known about it already. That at least shows me a level of honesty in the way you view yourself. Now, I am an atheist. Can you maybe tell me what your idea of an atheist is? Let me tell you something about my philosophy on life. I don’t believe in a god or the need to do good in order to qualify for some kind of paradise after death. I believe in people, I believe in humanity and I believe in the role we all play in each other’s lives. I like to think that I have a level of empathy for other people in a wide variety of areas from the bad to the good and a lot in between. That means that I sometimes force myself into trying to understand other viewpoints from the extremely vulgar, depraved, ignorant and malevolent to different aspects of love, compassion, duty, honour, companionship, etc. etc. I do this by: immersing myself in different genre movies and books: talking to different people about their particular problems, experiences and viewpoints: examining and analysing myself. The result of this is that I cannot willingly and knowingly hurt someone else, either emotionally or physically. I subscribe to the creed of: Do to others and you’d have them do to you, if you were in their shoes. A carnal lifestyle in bound to hurt others as well as yourself and I cannot subscribe to that.
    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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