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Thread: The christian trinity..?

  1. #1 The christian trinity..? 
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    I am having some trouble grasping the trinity thing..
    Is god, jesus and the spirit all the same or not?
    I was led to believe they were..

    But I have some trouble understanding why Jesus would sacrifice himself, to himself to redeem the sins against his own laws... of his own creations against himself !?

    I am baffled


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    that's because you try to apply logic
    logic doesn't even enter the picture when it comes to religion


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    OOOOpppppppssssss....there goes your monotheistic religion. The trinity was basically introduced by the church after 363 a.c.. Before that God did not know about the trinity
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    the trinity has been around since the early christian era (the first century) it was made official doctrine in the western rights in 325, but it had always been there since atleast the time of paul of tarsus, the father, son and holy spirit are one yes similar to hindu monotheism. the Jewish oopose this view of their god which is their main arguement agianst christianity in that it compramises monotheism
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    It does work with logic in the sense that God, Jesus, and the Spirit are only titles applied by man.

    1x1x1 = 1

    A man can be a father to some, a son to two, and an friend of many without being three different people.

    The point of Jesus' sacrifice was that all humans could now speak directly to God through God without a mediator such as a priest.

    Before this, most religious stated that you could not talk to God directly unless someone else with more of a "connection" to God talked to God for you.

    The sin parts come in to show average people that they are inadequate to talk to God because their sins are preventing them from being in the presence of a sinless being.

    The differences between jewish faith and christian faith in regards to the Messiah is that Christians claim a middle step between creation and the end where the messiah comes twice, the Orthodox Jews are looking for the Messiah's coming only once at the end of this world. Christians expect that Jesus will then be revealed to the Jews as the true Messiah, Orthodox Jews expect the Messiah to be a different person than Jesus The Nazarene, but that the Christians will still claim the Messiah that comes at the end is this same Jesus of Nazareth.
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    that's because you try to apply logic
    logic doesn't even enter the picture when it comes to religion
    Logic doesn't apply to science either. Things are particles and waves at the same time -- I mean COME ON -- what complete nonsense! Science is not the product of logic or some persons rational conception of the world. Science consists of the conclusions that scientists were forced to, quite often against their will and fighting against it tooth and nail (and this includes Charles Darwin and his "Origin of the Species"). This is because science is not philosophy studying logical constructs in our own head but is studying something real that is out there and which challenges and even refutes what we think is logical or should be the case.

    The fact that things like this can be found in religion is thus hardly anything that suggests that it is wrong, but quite the opposite.

    Trouble grasping the concept of the Trinity? Frankly I would say... join the club. But compared to quantum mechanics and relativity... it doesn't really seem all that strange at all.

    But lets put out a clear description of what this doctrine says. It says that there is only ONE God but that this one God is known to us in three distinct persons that have always existed who created the universe. They exist in relationships to each other and these relationships are also a part of what God is.

    This doctrine is not all that strange in the context of some of the other characteristics attributed to this God: all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent, self-existent, perfect and infinite. If there is a consistent thread in all these attributes, it is the lack of limitations. And in that context the Trinity only adds the lack of a limitation to singular personhood.

    Of course there are some troubling questions:

    But then why three? It is because it is in three persons that we have experienced God, all of them simultaneously present in the event of the baptism of Jesus for example. Could there be more than three? Christians do not believe that there can be more than three as revealed to human beings, because there is no Biblical support for it. But on the other hand, I don't think it is either logical, Biblical or Christian to think that Christians know all there is to know about God.

    How is it that that Christians affirm there is only one God? Well understand that to be God is to be infinite, and so that there is one God does not mean that God is one in every way. The doctrine of the Trinity only means that God is not one in personhood. But God is one in being God -- one in divinity. These attributes of all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent, self-existent, perfect and infinite, all imply that there can only be one. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct in personhood but not distinct or separate in being God.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Things are particles and waves at the same time -- I mean COME ON -- what complete nonsense!
    you know full well that human beings try to describe the world around them in terms of object they're familiar with, which in the case of subatomic particles fail them

    it is my opinion that subatomic particles are entities in the mass-energy spectrum that defy being classified as either pure matter or pure energy, but should be considered as a combination of mass and energy that is neither the type of matter or energy that we're familiar with - hence they can exhibit properties of either whilst being neither

    this, and similar examples where the scientific method fails us, is more often a consequence of limitations to the human imagination than a failure of logic - it's only common sense logic that fails in those instances

    on the other hand, religion does not require the application of logic, common sense or otherwise, since its topic is in essence unknowable
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    you know full well that human beings try to describe the world around them in terms of object they're familiar with, which in the case of subatomic particles fail them
    That is true. However the same would apply to God as well, for there is no reason to think that God is understandable in a simple manner in terms of the things that we are familiar with either.


    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    on the other hand, religion does not require the application of logic, common sense or otherwise, since its topic is in essence unknowable
    That is not true. IF religion was about the truly unknowable then it would also be about the utterly irrelevant. And indeed I can well understand that you and many others do think that what religion is about is neither knowable nor relevant. However many of those who are religious do not come to this conclusion because what they experience in life points to truths about these things you think are unknowable.

    It is kind of analogous to the mathematical technique of analytic continuation. If you have a function that applies over a limited domain and that function satisfies the differential conditions of being analytic over that domain then then there is one and only one way of continuing that function to cover a larger domain such that the continued function is also analytic. It is like the details of a function in a limited domain also contains the information for how the analytic behaves everywhere else.

    Likewise if we look at our experiences in life we might also see a pattern which also tells us how it is in a larger domain. It requires us to believe that life makes sense. We don't have the equations to test it and be sure to same degree that we can be sure that a function is analytic. We can only make our own judgements in that regard. But the sense we make out of life often also gives us a way of judging what a sensible continuation would be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    That is true. However the same would apply to God as well, for there is no reason to think that God is understandable in a simple manner in terms of the things that we are familiar with either.
    The basis of religious thought through the human lifespan has been specifically to explain that which science hasn't defined yet. In ancient times different civilizations got out to beat their drums when there was an eclipse to scare the devil away. Now we know that an eclipse is when the moon covers the lightrays from the Sun. The same is going on with christianity and whatever other religion you'd like to throw into the mix. The question of 'What happens to life after death?' has been questioned for many generations and will continue to be questioned. People will continue to come up with both crackpot and serious theories as to what occurs. However I'm fairly certain that we will never know what hapens to life after death and religions with this as their basis will continue to show themselves.
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The basis of religious thought through the human lifespan has been specifically to explain that which science hasn't defined yet. In ancient times different civilizations got out to beat their drums when there was an eclipse to scare the devil away. Now we know that an eclipse is when the moon covers the lightrays from the Sun. The same is going on with christianity and whatever other religion you'd like to throw into the mix. The question of 'What happens to life after death?' has been questioned for many generations and will continue to be questioned. People will continue to come up with both crackpot and serious theories as to what occurs. However I'm fairly certain that we will never know what hapens to life after death and religions with this as their basis will continue to show themselves.
    That is only what the atheist/naturalist understands religion to be. One consequence of this however is that the following version of the Ontological argument for the existence of God, is not convincing.
    If there were no God, there would be no concept of God.
    By this role you see for religion in the development of man you can refute this argument. HOWEVER, there have always been and will continue to be religious who are also scientists and who look for scientific explanations only in science and not in religion and so religion serves a completely different purpose in their lives which they think is even more valuable.

    Modern science is a recent development in the history of man that emerged from natural philosophy. This is part of a general process by which the various activities of man have become divided and specialized and in that process each of these activities have had to clarify their role in human civilization. Thus two thousand years before the development of modern science, entertainment, history, law, philosophy, science, education and religion were all one undivided activity usually in the form of oral traditions telling the myths of the origin of mankind and the world.

    Since religions like Christianity are older than the birth of modern science then it is only natural that there are some unresolved entanglements, where that which is now best answered and explained by modern science was once "explained" in its traditions. But you are dead wrong in your proposition that this was the only function of religion. It simply is not true and this is why religion continues to exist despite the clear superiority of science in the type of explanation you are describing. In fact it is the arguement of many religious like myself that religious text like the Bible do not and never did have a function anything like that of science.

    The atheists can continue their prophesies of the end of religion and they will continue to fail to be realized. Frankly the prophesies of religion have a better track record. The atheists/naturalist would do much better to seek understanding of human nature as it is, instead of indulging in this wishful thinking about what they think it should be. I would recommend that they leave the prophesying and talk about the way things should be to the religious who are better at that sort of thing. LOL OR alternatively, come out from behind their self deceiving rhetoric and see how they are just trying to create a new religion of their own.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
    ONE of the troubles in this world is that the although the cocksure are surely stupid, their ideas are easy to grasp and convey to others like newspaper headlines. Meanwhile the intellegent must learn and practice the skill of academic skepticism and the wise must wrestle with the paradox of faith, and both of these in coming to terms with the basic reality of uncertainty in the world, must endeavor to understand things in all their complexity and that takes hard work and patience.
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    Don't try to logically explain religion, its doesn't work. Thats why its called 'faith'.

    God and Jesus and The Holy Spirit are the same thing, the different areas of God. I myself do not understand it, but I believe it.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Don't try to logically explain religion, its doesn't work. Thats why its called 'faith'.

    God and Jesus and The Holy Spirit are the same thing, the different areas of God. I myself do not understand it, but I believe it.
    The trinity originates from a holy formula of the power of the three. It can be found in many different religious texts.

    It is the formula of creation itself.

    You cannot create with 1. You need 2 in order to make 3.

    It's as as simple as that!

    My study of it comes from the Kabbalah, but it is called different names by different belief systems, but it is always the same formula.

    It is a way for Christians to be able to explain how God created everything.

    The story goes that originally God was one and then split himself into two (cells divide all the time in the act of creation) in order to know himself and from that two and the knowing of himself sprung three (the experience of knowing) and from then onwards everything started dividing and multiplying,
    but within this seeming chaos of multiplication and division is always found the Trinity as well as the Dichotomy, the polar opposites, which lead to equilibrium as well as the potential of creation which become the Trinity when the two give birth.

    Have I explained that ok?


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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Don't try to logically explain religion, its doesn't work. Thats why its called 'faith'.

    God and Jesus and The Holy Spirit are the same thing, the different areas of God. I myself do not understand it, but I believe it.
    Well that you don't understand it. That I can quite agree. But if you don't understand it you may want to keep silent on the topic.

    I mean if you have clear ideas and convictions about this topic, then go ahead and elaborate. But if you are a Trinitarian Christian you ought to now that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not different "areas" of God, different "modes" of God, different "aspects" of God, different "functions" of God, different "parts" of God or anything like that -- they are different PERSONS of God. That is the agreement of the 4rth century eccumenical councils, and is part of the largest interdenominational consensus about what defines Christianity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    That is only what the atheist/naturalist understands religion to be. One consequence of this however is that the following version of the Ontological argument for the existence of God, is not convincing.
    If there were no God, there would be no concept of God.
    By this role you see for religion in the development of man you can refute this argument. HOWEVER, there have always been and will continue to be religious who are also scientists and who look for scientific explanations only in science and not in religion and so religion serves a completely different purpose in their lives which they think is even more valuable.

    Modern science is a recent development in the history of man that emerged from natural philosophy. This is part of a general process by which the various activities of man have become divided and specialized and in that process each of these activities have had to clarify their role in human civilization. Thus two thousand years before the development of modern science, entertainment, history, law, philosophy, science, education and religion were all one undivided activity usually in the form of oral traditions telling the myths of the origin of mankind and the world.

    Since religions like Christianity are older than the birth of modern science then it is only natural that there are some unresolved entanglements, where that which is now best answered and explained by modern science was once "explained" in its traditions. But you are dead wrong in your proposition that this was the only function of religion. It simply is not true and this is why religion continues to exist despite the clear superiority of science in the type of explanation you are describing. In fact it is the arguement of many religious like myself that religious text like the Bible do not and never did have a function anything like that of science.

    The atheists can continue their prophesies of the end of religion and they will continue to fail to be realized. Frankly the prophesies of religion have a better track record. The atheists/naturalist would do much better to seek understanding of human nature as it is, instead of indulging in this wishful thinking about what they think it should be. I would recommend that they leave the prophesying and talk about the way things should be to the religious who are better at that sort of thing. LOL OR alternatively, come out from behind their self deceiving rhetoric and see how they are just trying to create a new religion of their own.
    Nothing said in this short blurb convinced me one bit that religion is the be all and end all of reality. If I were to classify religion as anything I would classify it as anti-reality. The quote "if there were no God there would be no concept of God" is completely rediculous. God and the beliefs associated with Him are merely a means of explaining that which is unexplainable by any other means as is religion. Once there is a way to explain these unexplainable occurences relgion will adapt it's beliefs to fit the criteria as it has always done. What Chaotic said about trying to explain religion logically is very true because as he said it's all based on faith. If you want to tell me that some 'miracle' happened to you and that to you that is proof that God exists that is still based on faith alone.

    Do I believe in God? Definately not the biblical God. There is always a possibility that some higher level of understanding is putting us under the microscope or we might be better of some ultimate higher reality but until I recieve some sort of absolute proof that a higher power does exist I will continue to believe that one doesn't.
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    Sigh

    Yet again I waste my breath and fingers and time
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    i know why there's a trinity : at first god was on her own, but started to get fed up just talking to herself, so she started to get broody and finally decided to split a part of herself off, so that's how the son came into being

    but you know how it goes with single mothers and their offspring : after a while the son got too mouthy, which led to a whole series of almighty rows between them + in the end they had to split off a third part just to arbitrate on their disputes

    and that's why there's a trinity
    and they lived happily ever after (or not, as the case may be, because ever after is a mighty long time)
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Sigh

    Yet again I waste my breath and fingers and time
    This suggests that the goal for which your efforts are made, are unreasonable goals.



    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Nothing said in this short blurb convinced me one bit that religion is the be all and end all of reality.
    GOOD!!! I should certainly hope that nothing I EVER say would convince anyone of anything so utterly ridiculous! I simply said that religion has a purpose in many peoples lives that has nothing to do with the goals of science. I argued that it is only natural that the function of science and religion would be historically entangled and so a reduction of the purpose of religion to that of science is unwarranted. But I naturally understand if this is the only meaningful historical purpose that you can see in religion.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    If I were to classify religion as anything I would classify it as anti-reality.
    A denial of the realities of our existence such as this is a sign of willfully deluding oneself. Religion is a reality and so your calling it an anti-reality is rather bizzare. To improve your rhetoric I suggest that what you mean to call it, is delusional. However, I think a rather strong case can be made for the claim that those who structure their understanding of the world in such a way that it requires insisting that most other people in the world are delusional, is another sign of willfully deluding oneself.

    I believe it is quite possible to be an atheist without believing that all the religious delusional, just as it is possible to be a theist or relgious without believing that all atheists are delusional. I believe that those who manage this have a higher sanity than those who do not.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The quote "if there were no God there would be no concept of God" is completely rediculous. God and the beliefs associated with Him are merely a means of explaining that which is unexplainable by any other means as is religion.
    Yes that is what I said. I am glad you comprehend what I was trying to say in that portion of my post at least, even though you have apparently failed to understand that this is what I was saying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Sigh

    Yet again I waste my breath and fingers and time
    This suggests that the goal for which your efforts are made, are unreasonable goals.

    Explain that statement Mckain because it makes no sense.

    You have no idea what my goals are.

    I sigh because it's obvious that people don't understand what I am saying because they can't be bothered to think hard enough and they obviously require such fantasy stories involving mysticism or God in order to muster the enthusiasm to try to understand it.

    My explanation of the trinity is the fundamental idea behind all the embellished religious ideas of what the trinity actually means.

    In fact religion or a belief in God is neither necessary or essential in understanding the formula of the trinity.
    It can be found everywhere where life exists because it is the fundamental building blocks of life itself.

    The idea of a God is unnecessary in the equation.
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    Many people mistake viewing the Trinity mathematically.

    It isn't 1+1+1=3

    It is 1x1x1=1

    Simple, really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    GOOD!!! I should certainly hope that nothing I EVER say would convince anyone of anything so utterly ridiculous! I simply said that religion has a purpose in many peoples lives that has nothing to do with the goals of science. I argued that it is only natural that the function of science and religion would be historically entangled and so a reduction of the purpose of religion to that of science is unwarranted. But I naturally understand if this is the only meaningful historical purpose that you can see in religion.

    A denial of the realities of our existence such as this is a sign of willfully deluding oneself. Religion is a reality and so your calling it an anti-reality is rather bizzare. To improve your rhetoric I suggest that what you mean to call it, is delusional. However, I think a rather strong case can be made for the claim that those who structure their understanding of the world in such a way that it requires insisting that most other people in the world are delusional, is another sign of willfully deluding oneself.

    I believe it is quite possible to be an atheist without believing that all the religious delusional, just as it is possible to be a theist or relgious without believing that all atheists are delusional. I believe that those who manage this have a higher sanity than those who do not.

    Yes that is what I said. I am glad you comprehend what I was trying to say in that portion of my post at least, even though you have apparently failed to understand that this is what I was saying.
    When did we start talking about historical purposes behind religion? I'm well aware of the [b]historical[/] purpose behind religion as I have made aware in my previous posts that it is a way to explain the unexplained. The definition of reality is 'The quality or state of being actual or true'. How are the thoughts behind religion a reality? They are supernatural. Supernatural meaning beyond which we can see and feel in the natural world.

    The basis of atheistic thought is that those who believe in Gods are delusional. How can an atheist think that they aren't delusional as it is the basis of their beliefs?
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    When did we start talking about historical purposes behind religion?
    You introduced the topic when you made the following statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The basis of religious thought through the human lifespan has been specifically to explain that which science hasn't defined yet. In ancient times different civilizations got out to beat their drums when there was an eclipse to scare the devil away.
    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The definition of reality is 'The quality or state of being actual or true'. How are the thoughts behind religion a reality? They are supernatural. Supernatural meaning beyond which we can see and feel in the natural world.
    This is indeed a big improvement over "religion is anti-reality". But perhaps you should attempt a definition of "supernatural". I don't use this term and from discussions with other atheists, all it seems to be is a word that they use for God because they don't think God exists.

    The most natural meaning of the the word "supernatural" would mean outside the laws of nature as we know them now. But then that could be embarassing to atheists/naturalists because then that would by definition apply to the origins of the universe because the big bang being being singularity in space-time and indeed the origin of space-time itself is definitely outside the laws of nature as we understand them and most likely beyond the ability methods of science to investigate.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The definition of reality is 'The quality or state of being actual or true'. How are the thoughts behind religion a reality? They are supernatural. Supernatural meaning beyond which we can see and feel in the natural world.
    But religion is actual and real. You can see it all around you in the world. Whether you agree with what any particular religion teaches is another matter. Unless you are arguing that thoughts are not real then I do not see how religious thoughts are any less real than any other thoughts. Again whether you agree with them or not is another matter.

    This definition of Supernatural is quite inadequate for many reasons. For one thing the use of the term "natural world" in your definition suggests circularity making it boil down to the supernatural being that which is not natural. The religious do indeed see and feel all sorts of things that you may not believe in, but the fact that you do not believe in them only makes them less "real" to you but it does not make them "unreal" or not "natural" in any absolute sense. Furthermore there are many things things that the scientist sees, measures and understands that most people do not.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The basis of atheistic thought is that those who believe in Gods are delusional.
    That may be what atheism is to you, but I think that there are a lot of atheists who would disagree. I would in fact call this anti-theism rather than atheism and would identify this as the source of the worst evils in the world, for this kind of anti-theism is present in relgion as well and it responsible for those cases where religion becomes a force for evil. I could believe in both the God of Christianity and the God of Islam and in thus it is not these beliefs that is going to cause strife with either muslim or Christian. What causes strife is only the anti-theist denial that one or the other of these ideas of God is delusional and thus an identification of one of these groups as something bad in the world that would better be removed.

    Thus it is to anti-theism that we can attribute all the great evils from the Crusades, to the Holocost and to the unparalleled destruction of Communism -- all of which are founded not on positive religious/philosophical beliefs but in negative ones like your statement of what atheism means to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I believe it is quite possible to be an atheist without believing that all the religious are delusional, just as it is possible to be a theist or relgious without believing that all atheists are delusional. I believe that those who manage this have a higher sanity than those who do not.
    How can an atheist think that they aren't delusional as it is the basis of their beliefs?
    Yes I hear the same sort of thing from various religious people as well about their understanding of atheists. I did not say that this is not an intellectual challenge, I only said that it is a challenge that can be met because people do manage it. In addition I said there is good reason for believing that the "sanity quotient" of those who manage this is much higher.

    But let me give you some of the thinking behind this. I believe it is the experience of some psychologists that some types of mental illness can be traced to patterns of thought which are unhelpful and even debilitating in the actual living of ones life. These patterns of thought can be of either atheist or theist varieties. In these cases, conversion to or from religion can provide an enormous liberation for that person and a greatly increased effectiveness in living one's life.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    When did we start talking about historical purposes behind religion?
    You introduced the topic when you made the following statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The basis of religious thought through the human lifespan has been specifically to explain that which science hasn't defined yet. In ancient times different civilizations got out to beat their drums when there was an eclipse to scare the devil away.
    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The definition of reality is 'The quality or state of being actual or true'. How are the thoughts behind religion a reality? They are supernatural. Supernatural meaning beyond which we can see and feel in the natural world.
    This is indeed a big improvement over "religion is anti-reality". But perhaps you should attempt a definition of "supernatural". I don't use this term and from discussions with other atheists, all it seems to be is a word that they use for God because they don't think God exists.

    The most natural meaning of the the word "supernatural" would mean outside the laws of nature as we know them now. But then that could be embarassing to atheists/naturalists because then that would by definition apply to the origins of the universe because the big bang being being singularity in space-time and indeed the origin of space-time itself is definitely outside the laws of nature as we understand them and most likely beyond the ability methods of science to investigate.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The definition of reality is 'The quality or state of being actual or true'. How are the thoughts behind religion a reality? They are supernatural. Supernatural meaning beyond which we can see and feel in the natural world.
    But religion is actual and real. You can see it all around you in the world. Whether you agree with what any particular religion teaches is another matter. Unless you are arguing that thoughts are not real then I do not see how religious thoughts are any less real than any other thoughts. Again whether you agree with them or not is another matter.

    This definition of Supernatural is quite inadequate for many reasons. For one thing the use of the term "natural world" in your definition suggests circularity making it boil down to the supernatural being that which is not natural. The religious do indeed see and feel all sorts of things that you may not believe in, but the fact that you do not believe in them only makes them less "real" to you but it does not make them "unreal" or not "natural" in any absolute sense. Furthermore there are many things things that the scientist sees, measures and understands that most people do not.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The basis of atheistic thought is that those who believe in Gods are delusional.
    That may be what atheism is to you, but I think that there are a lot of atheists who would disagree. I would in fact call this anti-theism rather than atheism and would identify this as the source of the worst evils in the world, for this kind of anti-theism is present in relgion as well and it responsible for those cases where religion becomes a force for evil. I could believe in both the God of Christianity and the God of Islam and in thus it is not these beliefs that is going to cause strife with either muslim or Christian. What causes strife is only the anti-theist denial that one or the other of these ideas of God is delusional and thus an identification of one of these groups as something bad in the world that would better be removed.

    Thus it is to anti-theism that we can attribute all the great evils from the Crusades, to the Holocost and to the unparalleled destruction of Communism -- all of which are founded not on positive religious/philosophical beliefs but in negative ones like your statement of what atheism means to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I believe it is quite possible to be an atheist without believing that all the religious are delusional, just as it is possible to be a theist or relgious without believing that all atheists are delusional. I believe that those who manage this have a higher sanity than those who do not.
    How can an atheist think that they aren't delusional as it is the basis of their beliefs?
    Yes I hear the same sort of thing from various religious people as well about their understanding of atheists. I did not say that this is not an intellectual challenge, I only said that it is a challenge that can be met because people do manage it. In addition I said there is good reason for believing that the "sanity quotient" of those who manage this is much higher.

    But let me give you some of the thinking behind this. I believe it is the experience of some psychologists that some types of mental illness can be traced to patterns of thought which are unhelpful and even debilitating in the actual living of ones life. These patterns of thought can be of either atheist or theist varieties. In these cases, conversion to or from religion can provide an enormous liberation for that person and a greatly increased effectiveness in living one's life.
    I took both the definitions of supernatural and reality from dictionary.com. The meaning of supernatural as given by The Randomhouse Unabridged Dictionary as

    "of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal."

    and by the American Heritage Dictionary as

    "Of or relating to existence outside the natural world."

    The definition of reality is given by Websters Dictionary as follows

    "That which is real; an actual existence; that which is not imagination, fiction, or pretense; that which has objective existence, and is not merely an idea."

    In our discussion about the supernatural aspects of religion you don't seem to be understanding me. You seem to be on the path in explaining to me how Religion is real and I'm on the path of trying to explain to you how the material things behind which religious ideas attempt to show are true are merely make believe. If you want to tear apart the semantics behind my words in this argument by all means continue doing so but that still doesn't take away from the fact that religion, God, whatever you'd like to call it is supernatural. Since you seem to be a devout believer in Christianity perhaps you should share the proofs or facts behind your beliefs in God.

    Pertaining to what you stated concerning the Big Bang being supernatural my argument is that science is an ever changing study. Science attempts to explain observation through study and experiment. The Big Bang isn't understood in a natural sense merely because we have not come up with the theories, which would be tested to find if they hold truth, for the Big Bang. If you would like to come up with theories that can prove, through experimentation, the existence or non-existence of God then by all means go ahead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    I took both the definitions of supernatural and reality from dictionary.com. The meaning of supernatural as given by The Randomhouse Unabridged Dictionary as

    "of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal."

    and by the American Heritage Dictionary as

    "Of or relating to existence outside the natural world."
    But of course this dichotomy is derived from an historical opposition of two philosophies: one that things happen because of divine ordinance and the other because of laws that exist naturally rather than by the dictates of a divine being. But in this context I have a couple observations:

    1) The utter failure of the steady state universe idea has brought a serious challenge to the whole idea of "laws that exist naturally". More and more science is discovering that these laws themselves are things which came into being at some finite time in the past. It is not the end of this idea for we can always imagine that there are some laws beyond the observable that at least limited the possibilities of what came into being. The only problem is that these being unobservable puts them on pretty equal footing with ideas of a divine being.

    God is certainly not to be found in the mathematical space-time relationships of physics and so if you define "the world" in those terms then God is certainly outside of nature defined in this way. But the failure of the steady state universe puts the origins of the universe itself outside of this as well.

    2) The opposition between these two views is not unbridegable for they are not mutually exclusive. I actually believe that there must be natural laws involved in the structuring of reality and that everything cannot be a product divine decision alone. This has been a part of traditional Christian thought (in the scholastic tradition) under the concept that some part of the knowledge of God must be a knowledge of necessary truths. Without this I don't think we can make any meaningful statements about God at all, and reality would have no more substance than a dream.

    Thus since I affirm that reality is a product of both natural law and divine decision I can be said to be a Christian naturalist, and for this reasons many of my posts might seem rather atheistic in the way they challenge traditional religious conceptions. But in any case, if there a higher or pre-big bang natural law, then even if God is outside the natural law operational in the universe of today this does not mean that God it ouside of all natural law and that means that God may be no less natural than anything else in a theory of about how the universe and its natural laws came into being.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    In our discussion about the supernatural aspects of religion you don't seem to be understanding me. You seem to be on the path in explaining to me how Religion is real and I'm on the path of trying to explain to you how the material things behind which religious ideas attempt to show are true are merely make believe. If you want to tear apart the semantics behind my words in this argument by all means continue doing so but that still doesn't take away from the fact that religion, God, whatever you'd like to call it is supernatural. Since you seem to be a devout believer in Christianity perhaps you should share the proofs or facts behind your beliefs in God.
    But I don't believe that proofs for the existence or nature of God is possible, and I think that those who seek proofs have a very poor understanding of science if they imagine that its claims are established by any proofs. Proofs play very little role in our understanding of things outside of mathematics and I think it is very significant that one of the few things we CAN prove is that we CANNOT even prove that mathematics is consistent (Godel's proof).

    Thus your ideas that that religious ideas are merely make believe are on the same unprovable ground as those very religious ideas you are calling delusional. These are in fact YOUR "religious ideas".

    Because you are an atheist and I am a theist (and Christian to boot), the fact that we disagree about a number of things is a given. But the only misunderstanding here is yours about the intentions of my posts for you have consistently responded with this presumption that I am somehow trying to push religion on you. But it is actually my conviction that even God wants you to be an atheist. LOL So you are attributing motives to me that I do not have.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Pertaining to what you stated concerning the Big Bang being supernatural my argument is that science is an ever changing study. Science attempts to explain observation through study and experiment.
    As a scientist myself - a physicist in fact - I am very well aware of what science is. But I am also well aware of its inherent limitations, some of which physicists have been forced to accept by the very discoveries which they have made.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The Big Bang isn't understood in a natural sense merely because we have not come up with the theories, which would be tested to find if they hold truth, for the Big Bang.
    The singular nature of the Big Bang will most likely place any understanding of its origins beyond the reach of science altogether. But whatever clues we may be able to uncover is certainly of very great interest to me as both a physicist and a philosopher/theologian.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    If you would like to come up with theories that can prove, through experimentation, the existence or non-existence of God then by all means go ahead.
    The very effectiveness of the methodology of science is founded upon the mathematical nature of physical reality and I believe this actually defines what the physical consists of. But then that means that if there is anything non-physical or spiritual it would naturally be beyond the ability of these methods to evaluate or explain them.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    I took both the definitions of supernatural and reality from dictionary.com. The meaning of supernatural as given by The Randomhouse Unabridged Dictionary as

    "of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal."

    and by the American Heritage Dictionary as

    "Of or relating to existence outside the natural world."
    But of course this dichotomy is derived from an historical opposition of two philosophies: one that things happen because of divine ordinance and the other because of laws that exist naturally rather than by the dictates of a divine being. But in this context I have a couple observations:

    1) The utter failure of the steady state universe idea has brought a serious challenge to the whole idea of "laws that exist naturally". More and more science is discovering that these laws themselves are things which came into being at some finite time in the past. It is not the end of this idea for we can always imagine that there are some laws beyond the observable that at least limited the possibilities of what came into being. The only problem is that these being unobservable puts them on pretty equal footing with ideas of a divine being.

    God is certainly not to be found in the mathematical space-time relationships of physics and so if you define "the world" in those terms then God is certainly outside of nature defined in this way. But the failure of the steady state universe puts the origins of the universe itself outside of this as well.

    2) The opposition between these two views is not unbridegable for they are not mutually exclusive. I actually believe that there must be natural laws involved in the structuring of reality and that everything cannot be a product divine decision alone. This has been a part of traditional Christian thought (in the scholastic tradition) under the concept that some part of the knowledge of God must be a knowledge of necessary truths. Without this I don't think we can make any meaningful statements about God at all, and reality would have no more substance than a dream.

    Thus since I affirm that reality is a product of both natural law and divine decision I can be said to be a Christian naturalist, and for this reasons many of my posts might seem rather atheistic in the way they challenge traditional religious conceptions. But in any case, if there a higher or pre-big bang natural law, then even if God is outside the natural law operational in the universe of today this does not mean that God it ouside of all natural law and that means that God may be no less natural than anything else in a theory of about how the universe and its natural laws came into being.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    In our discussion about the supernatural aspects of religion you don't seem to be understanding me. You seem to be on the path in explaining to me how Religion is real and I'm on the path of trying to explain to you how the material things behind which religious ideas attempt to show are true are merely make believe. If you want to tear apart the semantics behind my words in this argument by all means continue doing so but that still doesn't take away from the fact that religion, God, whatever you'd like to call it is supernatural. Since you seem to be a devout believer in Christianity perhaps you should share the proofs or facts behind your beliefs in God.
    But I don't believe that proofs for the existence or nature of God is possible, and I think that those who seek proofs have a very poor understanding of science if they imagine that its claims are established by any proofs. Proofs play very little role in our understanding of things outside of mathematics and I think it is very significant that one of the few things we CAN prove is that we CANNOT even prove that mathematics is consistent (Godel's proof).

    Thus your ideas that that religious ideas are merely make believe are on the same unprovable ground as those very religious ideas you are calling delusional. These are in fact YOUR "religious ideas".

    Because you are an atheist and I am a theist (and Christian to boot), the fact that we disagree about a number of things is a given. But the only misunderstanding here is yours about the intentions of my posts for you have consistently responded with this presumption that I am somehow trying to push religion on you. But it is actually my conviction that even God wants you to be an atheist. LOL So you are attributing motives to me that I do not have.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Pertaining to what you stated concerning the Big Bang being supernatural my argument is that science is an ever changing study. Science attempts to explain observation through study and experiment.
    As a scientist myself - a physicist in fact - I am very well aware of what science is. But I am also well aware of its inherent limitations, some of which physicists have been forced to accept by the very discoveries which they have made.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    The Big Bang isn't understood in a natural sense merely because we have not come up with the theories, which would be tested to find if they hold truth, for the Big Bang.
    The singular nature of the Big Bang will most likely place any understanding of its origins beyond the reach of science altogether. But whatever clues we may be able to uncover is certainly of very great interest to me as both a physicist and a philosopher/theologian.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    If you would like to come up with theories that can prove, through experimentation, the existence or non-existence of God then by all means go ahead.
    The very effectiveness of the methodology of science is founded upon the mathematical nature of physical reality and I believe this actually defines what the physical consists of. But then that means that if there is anything non-physical or spiritual it would naturally be beyond the ability of these methods to evaluate or explain them.
    There are many more alternatives to reality in speaking whether the Big Bang occured or not aside from the Big Bang and Steady State theories, a cyclic universe being one of them. I'm curious as to what proofs there have been that lead physicsts and the like to believe that the powers that be in the universe we live in began at a certain period of time. I've read a few books here and there that state that the powers have always been.

    I don't consider myself a complete atheist. A few months ago I considered myself a total agnostic, in the middle of everywhere. However now I consider myself leaning more toward the atheistic side of agnostcism as opposed to the theistic side in that I still consider that there could be a higher power out there but I'm fairly certain that none of the current religious beliefs in the world today are anywhere near what that higher power consists of.

    You stated before that God has proven himself to believers in one way or another. I'm asking you what way did He prove himself to you? What way did he prove himself to the rest of the believers in these forums?
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    This is indeed a big improvement over "religion is anti-reality". But perhaps you should attempt a definition of "supernatural". I don't use this term and from discussions with other atheists, all it seems to be is a word that they use for God because they don't think God exists.
    Hilarious. The term 'supernatural' has a definition, Mitchell, which includes the entire genre of fantasies you theists contrive.

    And, it's not that atheists "don't think God exists," it's that they can't fathom the childish fantasies and fairy tales grown ups claim to be real. Your childish fantasy of gods is no different than any childish fantasy of those who worshiped Thor, Zeus or Ra.

    The most natural meaning of the the word "supernatural" would mean outside the laws of nature as we know them now. But then that could be embarassing to atheists/naturalists because then that would by definition apply to the origins of the universe because the big bang being being singularity in space-time and indeed the origin of space-time itself is definitely outside the laws of nature as we understand them and most likely beyond the ability methods of science to investigate.
    You have conveniently left out (like all theist usually do when they attempt to argue their gods existence) that supernatural includes that which is NOT physical or material. Are you certain that which came before the big bang was indeed not physical or material? As well, you conveniently left out the fact that supernatural includes forces and events collectively purported to occur. How convenient you are.

    But religion is actual and real. You can see it all around you in the world. Whether you agree with what any particular religion teaches is another matter. Unless you are arguing that thoughts are not real then I do not see how religious thoughts are any less real than any other thoughts. Again whether you agree with them or not is another matter.
    Thoughts are real, as are religious thoughts; ie. people thinking about religion as are the thoughts about leprechauns are real, too. However, thinking about it doesn't make it real.

    The religious do indeed see and feel all sorts of things that you may not believe in, but the fact that you do not believe in them only makes them less "real" to you but it does not make them "unreal" or not "natural" in any absolute sense.
    Theists are "special people." :LOL:


    I would in fact call this anti-theism rather than atheism and would identify this as the source of the worst evils in the world, for this kind of anti-theism is present in relgion as well and it responsible for those cases where religion becomes a force for evil. I could believe in both the God of Christianity and the God of Islam and in thus it is not these beliefs that is going to cause strife with either muslim or Christian. What causes strife is only the anti-theist denial that one or the other of these ideas of God is delusional and thus an identification of one of these groups as something bad in the world that would better be removed.

    Thus it is to anti-theism that we can attribute all the great evils from the Crusades, to the Holocost and to the unparalleled destruction of Communism -- all of which are founded not on positive religious/philosophical beliefs but in negative ones like your statement of what atheism means to you.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Fucking hilarious! I didn't think bold-faced lies were your forte. I was wrong in that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I believe it is quite possible to be an atheist without believing that all the religious are delusional, just as it is possible to be a theist or relgious without believing that all atheists are delusional. I believe that those who manage this have a higher sanity than those who do not.
    Many of your beliefs are equally delusional, Mitchell. LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    There are many more alternatives to reality in speaking whether the Big Bang occured or not aside from the Big Bang and Steady State theories, a cyclic universe being one of them.
    The cyclical universe idea is pretty much dead in the water with the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    I'm curious as to what proofs there have been that lead physicsts and the like to believe that the powers that be in the universe we live in began at a certain period of time. I've read a few books here and there that state that the powers have always been.
    Well that is a very long story that covers all the developments in cosmology in the last 50 years, but they have a timeline during which the 4 forces we know of today came from one original force through a series of spontaneous symmetry breakings. But more to the point there is is the proof by Hawking and Penrose that the Universe with all its space-time and physical laws necessarily began in a singularity in which there is no space and time by which these physical laws are defined. Now one can certainly imagine natural laws which gave rise to this event or even that these natural laws somehow exist as Platonic ideas independent of any particular, but I don't think science has any means by which it can actually verifying such things. Nevertheless I believe that there was some sort of natural law before the big bang (I certainly reject Platonic idealism), because I have difficulty with the idea of the universe deriving from the decisions of God alone and nothing else, as I explained before.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    I don't consider myself a complete atheist. A few months ago I considered myself a total agnostic, in the middle of everywhere. However now I consider myself leaning more toward the atheistic side of agnostcism as opposed to the theistic side in that I still consider that there could be a higher power out there but I'm fairly certain that none of the current religious beliefs in the world today are anywhere near what that higher power consists of.
    Well most of those religious people you are talking about believe pretty much the same thing. But there is a difference between being unable to say what that higher power consists of and being unable to saying anything about it all.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    You stated before that God has proven himself to believers in one way or another. I'm asking you what way did He prove himself to you? What way did he prove himself to the rest of the believers in these forums?
    I don't recall saying that but I will say this, that I don't think that God has proven Himself to believers in any way that would be convincing to the skeptic. I think that the one thing that is perfectly obvious is that, if such a God, as the Christians believe in, really existed, then it would be trivial for Him to make His existence perfectly obvious to everyone. Therefore, I am forced to the conclusion that God does not do this for good reason and that He is therefore very careful not to act in a way that would make His existence undeniable. I believe the reason is because He has learned that a belief in His existence is not of universal benefit to all human beings.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Theists are "special people."
    Why thank you, Q. I think atheists are "special people" too. LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The cyclical universe idea is pretty much dead in the water with the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.



    Well that is a very long story that covers all the developments in cosmology in the last 50 years, but they have a timeline during which the 4 forces we know of today came from one original force through a series of spontaneous symmetry breakings. But more to the point there is is the proof by Hawking and Penrose that the Universe with all its space-time and physical laws necessarily began in a singularity in which there is no space and time by which these physical laws are defined. Now one can certainly imagine natural laws which gave rise to this event or even that these natural laws somehow exist as Platonic ideas independent of any particular, but I don't think science has any means by which it can actually verifying such things. Nevertheless I believe that there was some sort of natural law before the big bang (I certainly reject Platonic idealism), because I have difficulty with the idea of the universe deriving from the decisions of God alone and nothing else, as I explained before.



    Well most of those religious people you are talking about believe pretty much the same thing. But there is a difference between being unable to say what that higher power consists of and being unable to saying anything about it all.



    I don't recall saying that but I will say this, that I don't think that God has proven Himself to believers in any way that would be convincing to the skeptic. I think that the one thing that is perfectly obvious is that, if such a God, as the Christians believe in, really existed, then it would be trivial for Him to make His existence perfectly obvious to everyone. Therefore, I am forced to the conclusion that God does not do this for good reason and that He is therefore very careful not to act in a way that would make His existence undeniable. I believe the reason is because He has learned that a belief in His existence is not of universal benefit to all human beings.
    Books I've read on the subject of a cyclic universe definately do not put it out of the range of possibilities. Current beliefs concerning the cyclic universe are that the mysterious dark energy that is making the galaxies actually speed up from a central point will begin to diminish and the universe will begin to collapse.

    There is also the ekpyrotic theory, I'm not sure if I mentioned it before in this thread. It takes several aspects from string theory and states that there are two branes with 3 dimensions in each with another dimension in between. Eventually these branes will come together and the cycle will begin again.

    Dealing with the blackhole origins of the universe: If we didn't have anything more to discover about the nature of the Universe you as well as every other physicst would be out of jobs because we would already know everything there was to know concerning it. My original point was that we are trying to discover what the basic constituents of our reality is, which is an ongoing process. In my opinion it's better to put your faith into the unexplained aspect of reality than to attribute it to some higher power that can never be proven nor disproven.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Books I've read on the subject of a cyclic universe definately do not put it out of the range of possibilities. Current beliefs concerning the cyclic universe are that the mysterious dark energy that is making the galaxies actually speed up from a central point will begin to diminish and the universe will begin to collapse.
    It remains an option only in a philosophical sense, for the question is whether there is any evidence to support it, and the answer to that is no. Imagining that dark energy "diminishes" in violation of every law of physics is no more scientific or any less imaginative than the numerous cosmologies given by ancient religions. At the very least, I would say that if what we are talking about is a time dependent cosmological constant then "dark energy" is NOT an appropriate term for it. Furthermore there is there is the problem with the Second law of thermodynamics explained by Tolman. Thus the scientific consensus sees the expansion as a one way process that ends in entropic death.

    Trying to use String theory to make cosmological conclusions is getting a little too bit ahead of the development of theory. It suggests that atheists can be just as prone to falling into the "gaps" fallacy as the religious.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Dealing with the blackhole origins of the universe: If we didn't have anything more to discover about the nature of the Universe you as well as every other physicst would be out of jobs because we would already know everything there was to know concerning it.
    It is not proper to call this a blackhole origin of the universe. A black hole is a singularity in space but the singularity proven by Hawking and Penrose is a singularity in time. There is a huge difference. For example there is no such thing a Schwarshild radius in this case, unless the high energy vacuum decay can be considered a temportal version of this (interesting thought). The universe at that stage was in a state of high energy vacuum which may be one reason why the conditions giving rise to a black hole do not apply in the usual manner. It was only at a later stage that this vacuum decayed to create all the forms of energy that we are more familiar with.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    My original point was that we are trying to discover what the basic constituents of our reality is, which is an ongoing process. In my opinion it's better to put your faith into the unexplained aspect of reality than to attribute it to some higher power that can never be proven nor disproven.
    I don't see that the point you express here is even coherent. I certainly think that the methods of science are certainly worthy of putting our faith in without any restrictions except those which the discoveries of science themselves impose. But it seems rather clear to me that physics has indeed been discovering some of the limitations of its own methodology. As for the existence of God I don't see any role of this in scientific explanation let alone any reason to put faith in this for the purpose of any scientific explanation, but I do think it is clear that some people have other reasons for putting their faith in God. Life does not begin and end in the one activity of scientific investigation. That is only one aspect of life. Believe in and be a part of whatever aspects of life you choose, while of course, I shall make my own choices in this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    My original point was that we are trying to discover what the basic constituents of our reality is, which is an ongoing process. In my opinion it's better to put your faith into the unexplained aspect of reality than to attribute it to some higher power that can never be proven nor disproven.
    I don't see that the point you express here is even coherent.
    :? I understand it perfectly. Perhaps you just don't understand what I mean by reality?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    My original point was that we are trying to discover what the basic constituents of our reality is, which is an ongoing process. In my opinion it's better to put your faith into the unexplained aspect of reality than to attribute it to some higher power that can never be proven nor disproven.
    I don't see that the point you express here is even coherent.
    :? I understand it perfectly. Perhaps you just don't understand what I mean by reality?
    Perhaps you should explain what you mean by "put your faith into the unexplained aspect of reality". I tried to make some sense of this as putting your faith in the scientific method, but since you made no comment I remain uncertain whether this is what you mean by that phrase.

    Surely you can see that this phrase is a rather strange expression. It sounds like putting your faith in the unknown? Not only is that rather peculiar but the it actually sounds like putting your faith in an unknowable God. But then I don't think the Christian God is unknowable. God's infinite nature may be beyond our comprehension but as a person He is knowable. For to know a person does not require a medical degree (which really only scratches the surface of human biology anyway). You can know a person simply by knowing what they have devoted themselves too - by knowing what is most important to them, for I think it it is what a person chooses to devote himself to that defines a person far more than any incidentals like their appearance, race, gender, nationality, language and so on.
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  32. #31 Re: The christian trinity..? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twixly
    I am having some trouble grasping the trinity thing..
    Is god, jesus and the spirit all the same or not?
    I was led to believe they were..

    But I have some trouble understanding why Jesus would sacrifice himself, to himself to redeem the sins against his own laws... of his own creations against himself !?

    I am baffled
    I refute the concept of The Holy Trinity' because it is 'chauvinist and sexist.

    The mother is left out? This ia an example of the falsehoods of the biblical religions.

    Look to Nature as your reference regarding religion because Nature portrays the females as 'creator' Gods.
    You will notice that Nature protects the females by providing them with camoflaged clothing (birds) and males as servants and protectors.

    The popes have it right with their mother and child concept as a holy duo and the male as a standby protector.

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    As the origin of all femininity as well as all masculinity the absense of female member of the Trinity seems very strange. Perhaps this more than anything else suggests that the Christian understanding of God is far from complete.

    Jesus is certainly male. So, are there more persons in the God head? Is the Father also Mother? Is the Holy Spirit actually female? There is no Biblical evidence for any of this. But something seems wrong, doesn't it?

    Sometimes I have thought that religion (and many of the other features of civilation too) is the creation of men to occupy their time while women have more important things to do -- to puff up their self-importance (fragile male ego), compensating for a natural inferiority complex -- to be creators of something even if it is just yarns and wild tales.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    There is no Biblical evidence for any of this. But something seems wrong, doesn't it?
    What evidence is there for anything "Biblical?"

    Perhaps the Medieval mindset has something to do with it, Mitchell?
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    Back in the day I used to say that God being male is a direct product of mankind trying to understand Him and that God could not be either male or female, demons do not really have snarling teeth, Satan does not have goat feet, etc. I always believed in evolution and the role body shape and such plays, so if God had a body, not to mention a male body, he would have to have evolved somewhere. This would not make Him/Her/It a God. Of course He could simply have revealed himself that way, but I am not aware of anywhere in the Bible He did this. This gave me some trouble, since if God can not be male, what does that say for Jesus and Him being the Son of God?

    Ah, the not-so-good old days....
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Perhaps you should explain what you mean by "put your faith into the unexplained aspect of reality". I tried to make some sense of this as putting your faith in the scientific method, but since you made no comment I remain uncertain whether this is what you mean by that phrase.

    Surely you can see that this phrase is a rather strange expression. It sounds like putting your faith in the unknown? Not only is that rather peculiar but the it actually sounds like putting your faith in an unknowable God. But then I don't think the Christian God is unknowable. God's infinite nature may be beyond our comprehension but as a person He is knowable. For to know a person does not require a medical degree (which really only scratches the surface of human biology anyway). You can know a person simply by knowing what they have devoted themselves too - by knowing what is most important to them, for I think it it is what a person chooses to devote himself to that defines a person far more than any incidentals like their appearance, race, gender, nationality, language and so on.
    What I meant by this is I would much rather put my understanding in the way nature operates in the outcomes that come about as a result of experimentation and the knowledge that there is always something more to discover. Rather than turning a blind eye to it and believing in an all powerful entity that made things the way they are merely because he felt like it.

    If there is a God why would he make us? What was the purpose? I already know what you're going to say. Something similar to "To try and understand why God does things is futile. The human mind can't even begin to grasp such concepts"
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    What I meant by this is I would much rather put my understanding in the way nature operates in the outcomes that come about as a result of experimentation and the knowledge that there is always something more to discover.
    OH!?! I have been expressing exactly the same sentiment in my posts over and over again. So this is something we have in common.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Rather than turning a blind eye to it and believing in an all powerful entity that made things the way they are merely because he felt like it.
    You are setting up a false dichotomy here. There is no opposition between these two. Do not forget that modern science began with the investigations of Christians. Just because modern fundamentalists have chosen to reject science doesn't put Christianity as a whole or theism in opposition to science. Your suggestion that it does actually suggests that you haven't even the first clue as to what science is all about. If you think that your being an atheist makes you a scientist or something, I must inform you that you are sadly mistaken. A scientist is something completely different.

    Yes it is quite true that God has no place in science. This is because science, from the very beginnings of modern science by such as Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, deliberately seeks for explanations for things other than God. But believing in God and believing that He is exists apart from the investigations of science is quite another matter. To say that these are in conflict is to try to make science the basis of a new religion beginning with the metaphysical natrualist declaration that ONLY what science understands and describes is real. But many scientists and physicists in particular, although they find this mathematical description of reality to be immensely useful in understanding things, balk at the idea that reality is reducible to such mathematical contructs.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    If there is a God why would he make us? What was the purpose? I already know what you're going to say. Something similar to "To try and understand why God does things is futile. The human mind can't even begin to grasp such concepts"
    Well your statements here are false. You do not know what I am going to say. You are neither clairavoyant nor psychic obviously, and if you do not believe in such things you should not talk as if you do. You have merely made guesses, based on your own prejudices and stereotypes, and your guesses are way way off.

    Aparently you don't quite get what it means when I say that I am a Christian naturalist. I have already explained that I am physicist and that alone makes me a methodological naturalist. It means that I expect things to have explanations in terms of principles, reasons and natural laws. I am an opponent of quite a few popular Christian conceptions. One of these that I oppose is the concept of design in the creation of living things. Another I oppose is something I like to call divine relativism - which is basically that what is good, true and real are all simply a matter of what God says is good, true and real.

    So anyway, if you are not just sounding off and trying to ridicule, but really want to know what my answer to these questions are then read on. Otherwise don't bother, because other than you actually wanting to know what my answer to these questions are, there is no other reason for you to read on, because I will only give you my opinion and not offer a single shred of proof. I expect you to agree with nothing that I say, of course, because you do not believe that God exists.

    "If there is a God why would he make us? What was the purpose?" God's motivation finds the best analogy and similarity in the motivation of many parents in having children. No, I am not talking about the propagation of the species so if that is the only motivation for this that you can understand then perhaps you should stop reading right now because this will go right over your head. I am talking about the parent's desire to love and give of themselves to another in the raising of a child. It is unlike any other relationship, for the time, effort and teaching you invest starting from practically nothing in a tiny seed helps it grow and become something according to your guidance and love. It is a challenging endeavor because the child is a living thing and makes its own choices including whether to listen to you or not.

    God being infinite and perfect in His own being with absolutely no need of anything is purely motivated by the desire to give of that abundance to another. In us finite beings with the capacity to nevertheless become more than we are by the process of learning, growing and becoming, God finds the perfect recipient. Our infinite potentiality compliments His infinite actuality and makes it possible for us to have an eternal relationship with Him where His giving and our growing and becoming continues for an eternity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    OH!?! I have been expressing exactly the same sentiment in my posts over and over again. So this is something we have in common.

    And I've been alluding to it in every one of my posts as well. I'm glad we finally understand eachother.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    You are setting up a false dichotomy here. There is no opposition between these two. Do not forget that modern science began with the investigations of Christians. Just because modern fundamentalists have chosen to reject science doesn't put Christianity as a whole or theism in opposition to science. Your suggestion that it does actually suggests that you haven't even the first clue as to what science is all about. If you think that your being an atheist makes you a scientist or something, I must inform you that you are sadly mistaken. A scientist is something completely different.
    Where in all my posts did I even once say I was a scientist? I guess we're both putting words in eachothers mouths.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Yes it is quite true that God has no place in science. This is because science, from the very beginnings of modern science by such as Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, deliberately seeks for explanations for things other than God. But believing in God and believing that He is exists apart from the investigations of science is quite another matter. To say that these are in conflict is to try to make science the basis of a new religion beginning with the metaphysical natrualist declaration that ONLY what science understands and describes is real. But many scientists and physicists in particular, although they find this mathematical description of reality to be immensely useful in understanding things, balk at the idea that reality is reducible to such mathematical contructs.
    If you'll read my previous posts you'll see that I mentioned that yes, there could be an all powerful being that made us into what we are today however I go on to say that the Gods of Christianity and every other religion in use today most likely have no idea what that all powerful entity is and religions in use today are merely ways of explaining the unexplained from a human perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    "If there is a God why would he make us? What was the purpose?" God's motivation finds the best analogy and similarity in the motivation of many parents in having children. No, I am not talking about the propagation of the species so if that is the only motivation for this that you can understand then perhaps you should stop reading right now because this will go right over your head. I am talking about the parent's desire to love and give of themselves to another in the raising of a child. It is unlike any other relationship, for the time, effort and teaching you invest starting from practically nothing in a tiny seed helps it grow and become something according to your guidance and love. It is a challenging endeavor because the child is a living thing and makes its own choices including whether to listen to you or not.

    God being infinite and perfect in His own being with absolutely no need of anything is purely motivated by the desire to give of that abundance to another. In us finite beings with the capacity to nevertheless become more than we are by the process of learning, growing and becoming, God finds the perfect recipient. Our infinite potentiality compliments His infinite actuality and makes it possible for us to have an eternal relationship with Him where His giving and our growing and becoming continues for an eternity.
    Interesting philosophy.

    Anyways, regarding what you were saying about how the cyclic universe is dead: There are still quite a few cosmologist who are still pursuing the cyclic universe model. Just today upon reading another one of the forums I frequent I found this link posted

    http://space.newscientist.com/articl...n-the-sky.html

    I'm not too familiar with what loop quantum gravity is but I plan on looking into it in the near future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    Anyways, regarding what you were saying about how the cyclic universe is dead: There are still quite a few cosmologist who are still pursuing the cyclic universe model. Just today upon reading another one of the forums I frequent I found this link posted

    http://space.newscientist.com/articl...n-the-sky.html

    I'm not too familiar with what loop quantum gravity is but I plan on looking into it in the near future.
    Ok. Just to help you understand that article better... these two physicists are basically saying that the proof of Hawking and Penrose did not take quantum physics into account. This is correct. We do not have a quantum theory of gravity and until we do there is no way of evaluating whether quantum mechanics alters the proof of Hawking and Penrose that the big bang had to have begun in a singularity.

    The most interesting thing for me about loop quantum gravity is that it is a canonical quantum gravity, another type of which (base on theories of Barbour-Bertotti) I did some research work for myself. But in any case, it is pretty clear that this is not a main stream of physics research and the opinions of the physics community is against it because of the conviction that it is the unification of all four forces that holds the key to quantizing gravity sucessfully. This is more consistent with the direction of developments in modern physics. But the real kicker is the failure to show that it reproduces GR in the low energy limit, which is a basic requirement for this idea to be taken seriously, for otherwise it is pure fantasy.

    P.S. I find it hilarious that a serious physics discussion can hide out from the babble of William M, here in the religious section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Don't try to logically explain religion, its doesn't work. Thats why its called 'faith'.

    God and Jesus and The Holy Spirit are the same thing, the different areas of God. I myself do not understand it, but I believe it.
    Well that you don't understand it. That I can quite agree. But if you don't understand it you may want to keep silent on the topic.

    I mean if you have clear ideas and convictions about this topic, then go ahead and elaborate. But if you are a Trinitarian Christian you ought to now that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not different "areas" of God, different "modes" of God, different "aspects" of God, different "functions" of God, different "parts" of God or anything like that -- they are different PERSONS of God. That is the agreement of the 4rth century eccumenical councils, and is part of the largest interdenominational consensus about what defines Christianity.

    Mitchell, your arrogance is breathtaking!

    Just because you obviously have the time to study Wikipedia at length doesn't give you the right on a science forum to be so shockingly dismissive of others opinions.

    Not particularly christian behaviour...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    P.S. I find it hilarious that a serious physics discussion can hide out from the babble of William M, here in the religious section.
    Note to self: When wanting to discuss something concerning physics don't do it in the physics forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highball
    Mitchell, your arrogance is breathtaking!

    Just because you obviously have the time to study Wikipedia at length doesn't give you the right on a science forum to be so shockingly dismissive of others opinions.
    Frankly you don't even have a clue what you are talking about.

    When you are discussing what a thing is, then it only makes sense to be accurate. The doctrine of the Trinity is what it is and what it is, is not a matter of opinion at all. It is only whether you agree with the doctrine of the Trinity that is a matter of opinion. Now if you want to say that you use the word "Trinity" in some different manner to mean something completely different from the historical Christian doctrine, then that is of course anyone's perogative and I would have no argument with that. I don't believe that any human being has any more authority than any other about the truth of spiritual matters. But when someone says something about matters of fact where I have some expertise then it is only natural that I correct them. To say that I am arrogant for doing so would be like saying someone is arrorgant for correcting another persons math or spelling, which is absurd for these likewise are not matters of opinion.

    Now perhaps I was inaccurately presuming that 425 CR was a Christian in the traditional sense of the word, and thus was wrong in thinking that he had any interest in the doctrine of the Trinity according to Christian orthodoxy. He is free to correct me in that case. I did after all invite him to explain any clear ideas on the topic that he might have. But frankly I think your reaction sounds a bit like the reaction of the ignorant and uneducated who know so little that they mistakenly think that everything is a matter of opinion. But frankly I think this is a way that such people defend their own pathetic arrogance as well as defend themselves against any possibility of actually learning anything. If you want to identify as arrogant, my impatience with such willful ignorance, you go right ahead, but frankly I think such an identification tells us all more about you than it says anything about me.

    Yes I do use Wikipedia. It is a good information resource. The internet as a whole is the best research tool ever to exist. I wrote my simulator entirely from information I found on internet. Education is not about the memorization of a large number of facts, but about the training of certain skills. My expertise in physics does not come from knowing everything that was ever done in physics but from being able to use physics and make calculations when required. So it is my education which enabled me to understand and use the information aquired on the internet to make that simulator. One of the reasons I "have time to" get the information I need from Wikipedia is because I don't have to study it at length, but can quickly pick out the relevant information. The same goes for religion due to my education there as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Highball
    Not particularly christian behaviour...
    No I am not THAT sort of Christian...

    I am not the sort of Christian that makes ignorance out to be some sort of virtue. I don't think the educated are any better or worse people than the uneducated as long as neither pretend that their education or lack of it is anything other than what it is. Neither can make us holy. Only God can do that.
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