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Thread: Why DO you believe in God?

  1. #1 Why DO you believe in God? 
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    After seeing that other thread about not believing in God, I challenge every single religious person here to explain to me why and only why you believe in God. How you came to and why you so defend that belief so strongly?

    Atheists/agnostics etc are free to give their opinion as to why they think a person believes in God, be it positive or negative.


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  3. #2 Re: Why DO you believe in God? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    After seeing that other thread about not believing in God, I challenge every single religious person here to explain to me why and only why you believe in God. How you came to and why you so defend that belief so strongly?

    Atheists/agnostics etc are free to give their opinion as to why they think a person believes in God, be it positive or negative.
    Awareness of an interfering presence(s) in my life, I call this presence GOD, but as far as I know this is MY GOD, may not relate to anyone else or might relate to everything else, no way of knowing.


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    Ah. Now that is interesting, I agree to that to the most extent. I believe Divine intervention takes place all the time. Being in this quote: "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all". So who is your God?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    may not relate to anyone else or might relate to everything else
    To me this sounds a bit like agnostic theism, where you acknowledge the fact that existence of God is unknown or inherently unknowable but you still choose to believe in God, based on faith alone.

    And this raise the point on faith. IMO faith is the only valid standpoint, at least as of now, that one can argue for their belief in God. In fact faith is a prerequisite for Christian theology to be true:

    1. Christian theology teaches that people are saved by faith in the Christian God (i.e., trust in the empirically unprovable).
    2. But, if the Christian God's existence can be proven, either empirically or logically, to that extent faith becomes unnecessary or irrelevant.
    3. Therefore, if Christian theology is true, no immediate proof of the Christian God's existence is possible.

    So it's really quite a waste of time trying to prove the Christian God exists by logical method (Intelligent Design, YEC, or maybe even information entity, etc), since it undermines the whole sola fide idea of Christianity. You are destroying your God by trying to prove him empirically.
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    Thank you ArkOfNoah for heading that off. I agree. It pains me to see a believer rationalizing God just as it pains me to see one in love dissecting the relationship, as in "everything I do is logical and motivated by self interest" and so forth.

    Faith is more than sufficient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Thank you ArkOfNoah for heading that off. I agree. It pains me to see a believer rationalizing God just as it pains me to see one in love dissecting the relationship, as in "everything I do is logical and motivated by self interest" and so forth.

    Faith is more than sufficient.
    One can recognize the limitations of rationality without this attitude of throwing the baby out with the bathwater - that is what people do with religion and it is really a symptom of childish impatience and immaturity. Just because you cannot think of any immediate way of explaining what you believe does not mean that you have to belittle the efforts of others with plattitudes like "faith is more than sufficient".

    Faith is sufficient FOR YOU. Congratulations. We are all happy for you. If you have no use for reason and rational thinking in your life, well... it is your life to live how you choose. But all I can say is Thank God, everyone in the world is not like you, for I have no wish to live in the dark ages. Is this a personal attack on you? PLEASE! Knowing my own flaws, weaknesses and failures far better than I could possibly know yours, the nightmare that the world would be if everyone was like me, is abundantly clear to me. The point is that we are all different, thank God.

    I would not have bothered to answer the OP's challenge except that your rather insipid response has aggrivated me to the point of where I want to show those who do have a use for reason in their life, how it can be done. So here is my answer to the OP:

    -------------------------------------

    I know that God exists in precisely the same way that I know that any person exists. An atheist who equates human beings to a biological species might find this incomprehensible, but I do not share their rather peculiar prejudices. Persons are not visible things I can point to like bug. I can point to a body, but the person I know and believe exists is not just a variety of meat, but a personality with dreams, desires, ideas and feelings. And these are not things that I can see. They are a matter of the interpretation of my senses. And so I know that these persons exist because like all my knowledge it is a principle by which I make sense of the sensory data that my brain receives from the world. Acting or living as if there really were no persons behind these behaviors of bodies, as the psychopath does, is not an existence that makes any sense to me.

    But my knowledge of God is absolutely no different from this. This knowledge of God may not be to explain the behavior of a body that I can see, but I find that I cannot make sense of all that which I experience in life without this person whom I call God. I can see Him with greatest clarity in a person named Jesus who lived and died as a man 2000 years ago but continues to live in a personal relationship with me as He has lived in a personal relationship with Christians for these last 2000 years. But regardless, God is a person whom I have lived with and He is no less real than my wife and children. To treat them as just so much meat would be no less rational than to think that there is no God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I can see Him with greatest clarity in a person named Jesus who lived and died as a man 2000 years ago but continues to live in a personal relationship with me as He has lived in a personal relationship with Christians for these last 2000 years. But regardless, God is a person whom I have lived with and He is no less real than my wife and children. To treat them as just so much meat would be no less rational than to think that there is no God.
    Jimmy Stewart had a similar relationship with a tall rabbit. He too, believed it 'no less real' than anyone else.

    All you had to say was that you WANT to believe in sky daddies, Mitchell, which has nothing to do with reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Persons are not visible things I can point to like bug. I can point to a body, but the person I know and believe exists is not just a variety of meat, but a personality with dreams, desires, ideas and feelings. And these are not things that I can see...
    From what I understand, you seem to be classifying "dreams, desires, ideas and feelings" to be things that are transcendent from the physical or biological aspects of a person.

    What are your reason for doing so? Do you come to that deduction by logical "rational" means, or are these just based on "faithful" beliefs?

    From a reductionist point of view, which I hold, personality is just a result of the interactions of all the neurological activities in your brain. Consciousness cannot exists without the brain, ie there is neither soul nor spirit. Nothing is extraordinary enough to wow anyone here.

    So yes, every person is just a variety of meat and chemicals, and in time persons will become visible things we can point to like bugs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    All you had to say was that you WANT to believe in sky daddies, Mitchell, which has nothing to do with reality.
    Boo hoo. Q is picking on me! I want my sky daddy...

    Really! It is quite amazing that Q never gets tired of this stupid rhetoric.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    From what I understand, you seem to be classifying "dreams, desires, ideas and feelings" to be things that are transcendent from the physical or biological aspects of a person.
    Transcendant? Not sure what you could possibly mean by that word so I shall simply substitute the word "apart". No I do not understand these things to be apart from the the physical aspect of a person. Yes I do understand these things to be apart from the biological aspect of a person in that these are derived from an inheritance that is nowhere to be found in the biological inheritance of DNA. DNA cannot pass on information that is acquired by the individual organism (no inheritance of acquired characteristics), BUT human beings do pass on an inheritance of information by other means and this is the substance of a non-biological but completely physical form of life called the human mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What are your reason for doing so? Do you come to that deduction by logical "rational" means, or are these just based on "faithful" beliefs?

    From a reductionist point of view, which I hold, personality is just a result of the interactions of all the neurological activities in your brain.
    What are your reasons for believing this? Do you come to that deduction by logical "rational" means, or are these just based on "faithful" beliefs?


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Consciousness cannot exists without the brain, ie there is neither soul nor spirit. Nothing is extraordinary enough to wow anyone here.
    You cannot exist without the earth and sun. You cannot exist without oxygen and water and other biolgical organisms that create and provide the substances that your bodily maintenaince requires. The earth ecosphere is a single interdependent living organism and when we poison it, we poison ourselves because we are a part of it. Yet I am willing to bet that despite of this dependence you still live your life as if you had a distinct identity apart from the earth.

    It could indeed be the case that your life is governed completely by biological functions and that what many people call the mind is in your case simply an function of your body. I certainly cannot deny that you know yourself better than I could. But I most certainly know that this is not the case in my life or the life of many human beings that I have known. I know that myself and these people do things that are not motivated by any biological function but by the reasons of living organisms, which although dependent on the nervous system the way that our bodies are dependent on the earth, nevertheless do things for reasons that cannot be found anywhere in their DNA or biology alone. But this does not mean that the mind is not a physical entity.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    So yes, every person is just a variety of meat and chemicals, and in time persons will become visible things we can point to like bugs.
    If you believe that your are cattle and meat then perhaps you are, but you can be sure that I shall be very careful whenever possible to do what I can to make sure that psychopaths who think like that are not given any responsibilities in the human community.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    may not relate to anyone else or might relate to everything else
    To me this sounds a bit like agnostic theism, where you acknowledge the fact that existence of God is unknown or inherently unknowable but you still choose to believe in God, based on faith alone.

    .
    You lot can be so irritating, you SEE what you want to see. I said nothing about faith. What I said was this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity

    Awareness of an interfering presence(s) in my life, .


    THUS I believe based on my EXPERIENCE/awareness of an interfering force.

    Thus not faith related.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    THUS I believe based on my EXPERIENCE/awareness of an interfering force.

    Thus not faith related.
    99.9% of what we call knowledge is based on faith. No I am not using the word "faith" as a synonym for religion but in regards to the kinds of things we put our faith in. Knowledge is based on faith because when you call something knowledge if you think that means it partakes of certainty in any absolute sense then you are just willfully deluding yourself. Therefore what it really means to call some conclusion, "knowledge" is only that you have chosen to make this conclusion the basis of how you live your life. Science, for example, is based on a faith that the evidence does not lie to us - it presumes that there are no demons running around aranging the evidence to fool us.

    Other than that, there is only the pretenses the people like to make that their "knowledge" is somehow different/better and I think the reason is quite clearly because they feel threatened by claims to knowledge by others that are contrary to their own claims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Thank you ArkOfNoah for heading that off. I agree. It pains me to see a believer rationalizing God just as it pains me to see one in love dissecting the relationship, as in "everything I do is logical and motivated by self interest" and so forth.

    Faith is more than sufficient.
    One can recognize the limitations of rationality without this attitude of throwing the baby out with the bathwater - that is what people do with religion and it is really a symptom of childish impatience and immaturity. Just because you cannot think of any immediate way of explaining what you believe does not mean that you have to belittle the efforts of others with plattitudes like "faith is more than sufficient".

    Faith is sufficient FOR YOU. Congratulations. We are all happy for you. If you have no use for reason and rational thinking in your life, well... it is your life to live how you choose. But all I can say is Thank God, everyone in the world is not like you, for I have no wish to live in the dark ages. Is this a personal attack on you? PLEASE!
    No, that was all in your head, your bad day I suppose, looking for expression. You happened to light on my post.

    I didn't suggest we throw reason aside. However, in love, religion, a few other things as well, rationalizing one's own motives or condition to the point of detached dissection is not healthy, in my opinion. That's all I've said: i.e. don't feel obliged (by typical atheist attack vector) to robotize love of God. Of course it is good to make sense of love too, when that does not detract from loving.
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    I disagree with the idea that if emotions and personhood are the results of biological processes then they are meaningless, illusion, fake. Just because strong parallels can be drawn between the emotional and identity aspects of humans and other animals does NOT make them any less real. Does having an idea of how and for what purpose something exists take away from the reality of it? NO! Love, compassion, understanding, etc. are true and real and beautiful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    No I do not understand these things to be apart from the the physical aspect of a person. Yes I do understand these things to be apart from the biological aspect of a person in that these are derived from an inheritance that is nowhere to be found in the biological inheritance of DNA. DNA cannot pass on information that is acquired by the individual organism (no inheritance of acquired characteristics), BUT human being do pass on an inheritance of information by other means and this is the substance of a non-biological but completely physical form of life called the human mind.
    This says nothing about human mind not being biological. Firstly memory, personality, desires, dreams are not information stored in DNA but rather arrangements of neuron in the brain, so obviously it doesn't get passed down-

    which is still biological.

    Secondly, desires such as lust can be easily explained by changes in hormonal levels (oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, to name a few) from response to stimuli. It is fully grounded in evolutionary theory to explain mate-seeking and child-rearing behavior. Dreams can be explained as reorganization of memory circuits in the brain. Jealousy, anger, depression all has a biological explanation.

    So, really, it says nothing about human mind being non-biological.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What are your reason for doing so? Do you come to that deduction by logical "rational" means, or are these just based on "faithful" beliefs?

    From a reductionist point of view, which I hold, personality is just a result of the interactions of all the neurological activities in your brain.
    What are your reasons for believing this? Do you come to that deduction by logical "rational" means, or are these just based on "faithful" beliefs?
    Simple application of Occam's Razor yields that conclusion.

    My belief is that what we perceive is true. That's my faith, and in fact its prerequisite for logic to be true because it is dependent upon the reliability of human perception and deduction. If you're arguing that Christianity is based on more than just faith, then you must also hold the same faith as I do in this aspect.

    What we cannot perceive is therefore uncertain, and no conclusive deduction should be drawn, as in the case of existence of god. What we can perceive, such as personality being simply the interactions of neurological activities in our brain, is therefore certain.

    We don't need to incur God in the explanation of human mind if we can explain it with science, which incurs the least amount of assumptions.

    You cannot exist without the earth and sun. You cannot exist without oxygen and water and other biolgical organism that create and provide the substances that your bodily maintenaince requires. The earth ecosphere is a single interdependent living organism and when we poison it, we poison ourselves because we are a part of it. Yet I am willing to bet that despite of this dependence you still live your life as if you had a distinct identity apart from the earth.

    It could indeed be the case that your life is governed completely by biological functions and that what many people call the mind is in your case simply an function of your body. I certainly cannot deny that you know yourself better than I could. But I most certainly know that this is not the case in my life or the life of many human being that I have known. I know that myself and these people do things that are not motivated by any biological function but by the reasons of living organisms, which although dependent on the nervous system the way that our bodies are dependent on the earth, nevertheless do things for reasons that cannot be found anywhere in their DNA or biology alone. But this does not mean that the mind is not a physical entity.
    This also says nothing about human mind being a separate entity from the brain. The "people" on the "earth" simply refers to neurons whose interactions collectively form the memory, personality, dreams. Damage to the brain simply disrupts these neurons or the interactions between them.

    And the reason that we do things against our instinct is that often instinct makes us blind mice. We take risks because such risks may well earn us a nice mammoth meal, in spite of it putting us in the danger of being stomped to death alive. It enables us to think out of the box so that we can invent new things, to discover fire, to send man to the moon, to basically ensure our evolutionary advantage. Human minds evolved so that we can handle new situations instead of just dwelling on our past experiences. It is just how we evolved, how we adapt, and this is all coded in our DNA. That's how psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics works because human behavior is not as unpredictable as you think once you look deeper into it.

    If you believe that your are cattle and meat then perhaps you are, but you can be sure that I shall be very careful whenever possible to do what I can to make sure that psychopaths who think like that are not given any responsibilities in the human community.
    Oh wow tell me that "psychopaths who think like that" is not an ad hominem. Funny how you make me sound like I don't have any moral values. The difference between you and I is just that you need a god to tell you what to believe in, while I decide what to belief in myself.

    But dude, I still love you, but not because god tell me to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    This says nothing about human mind not being biological. Firstly memory, personality, desires, dreams are not information stored in DNA but rather arrangements of neuron in the brain, so obviously it doesn't get passed down-

    which is still biological.

    Secondly, desires such as lust can be easily explained by changes in hormonal levels (oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, to name a few) from response to stimuli. It is fully grounded in evolutionary theory to explain mate-seeking and child-rearing behavior. Dreams can be explained as reorganization of memory circuits in the brain. Jealousy, anger, depression all has a biological explanation.

    So, really, it says nothing about human mind being non-biological.
    You are missing the point completely. You can explain things in many different ways. I could explain a book in terms of the molecular structure of ink and paper and the processes by which the paper and ink is made and the process by which the book is printed, but only an idiot would think that this is what the book is about or where its content came from. The human mind is biological only in the sense that a book is paper and ink. But in another sense the the paper and ink has nothing to do with the book at all, for not only does what we read does not come from these things at all but the book can actually be expressed in a different medium.

    You may indeed be nothing more than "ink and paper" (i.e. meat) without which or in a different medium there would be nothing left that could be identified as you, but I know that this is not true in my case or in the case of many acquaintances. As for the rest of your ink and paper explanations of things, I am a scientists and so I expect such explanations but they are really beside the point. No matter how much I may depend upon this biological structure which I inhabit (or in which I am expressed if you prefer), it is not who I am.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Simple application of Occam's Razor yields that conclusion.
    Simple misuse actually. I don't think you really grasp the meaning of "all else being equal". This is why the vastly more complex theories of General Relativity and Quantum Field theory are correct, because they are not all equal to the simpler theories that preceeded them. Different consquences and predicitons of different theories means they are not in the least bit equal and thus cannot be compared using Occam's Razor. I think you confuse the simplicity criterion of Ocaams Razor with forcing a complex multidimensional reality to fit into some simple minded one dimensional ideological characterization. Yours is a metaphysical assumption that you choose to make that what science describes is all that is real, much as the Marxists tried to boil economics, politics and history into a value based on labor alone. Maybe this works for your life at this moment, or at least you imagine that it does, but it does not work for mine. My life does not fit into your simple minded ideology.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    My belief is that what we perceive is true. That's my faith, and in fact its prerequisite for logic to be true because it is dependent upon the reliability of human perception and deduction. If you're arguing that Christianity is based on more than just faith, then you must also hold the same faith as I do in this aspect.
    Boy! That is too simple minded to even work for science, which often concludes that what we percieve to be misleading. With that approach we would be stuck with the physics of Aristotle. Perception is a mental process by which the raw data of our senses is interpreted by means of belief. Science gets around this barrier by only accepting that which is observer independent. It is a very effect of method for discovering unexpected things about the world we live in because it side steps the prejudices/expectations imposed by what we believe. However it is only logical that this results in a blind spot when it comes to understanding the observer himself and to presume that what it sees is all that is real is an a priori assumption that only the objective is real. I reject this presumption along with the metaphycal naturalist faith that only what science describes is real.

    I on the other hand, as a scientist, am only a methodological naturalist putting my faith in the methods of science as an extremely valuable tool in uncovering the truth about things, but that is not the same thing as an irrational philosophical faith that it uncovers the whole truth about everything.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What we cannot perceive is therefore uncertain, and no conclusive deduction should be drawn, as in the case of existence of god. What we can perceive, such as personality being simply the interactions of neurological activities in our brain, is therefore certain.
    Seeing is believing might be a good philosophy for some menial occupations but it is definitely not a viable philosophy for a scientist who learns to uncover the truth about things quite indirectly, using reason to expand their awareness beyond the limitations of the senses.

    As for God, it is rather clear that despite many personal experiences, when pursuing the observer independent methodology of science that there is nothing to make God an appropriate topic of scienctific investigations and thus the determination of the founders of science to seek some explanation for observable phenomena other than God is entirely consistent with this.

    "Simply the interactions of neurological activities in our brain"??? LOL LOL LOL LOL Likewise biological life on this planet is "simply" the interactions of organic chemicals on the planet earth. What is inadequate about this explanation? Hmmm? Could it be that interacting organic chemicals neither implies nor describes life on this planet any more than "interactions of neurological activities" implies or describes personality? An epileptic fit is an interaction of neurological activities but this is not personality. You have to do the work to develop a little more intellectual sophistication than this if you want to understand such things, for this really does not amount to much of an improvement over "Goddidit" type explanations.

    The inheritance of information is a much more fruitful basis for understanding the nature of living things. Biological life passes on an inheritance of information using DNA, but human mental life passes on an inheritance of information using language. It is this difference which distinguishes the human mind as a form of life apart from the biological in a very concrete manner.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    We don't need to incur God in the explanation of human mind if we can explain it with science, which incurs the least amount of assumptions.
    It is only your faith doctrine that the purpose of God and religion is that of some primitive science to explain natural phenonmenon and this is an ideological blindness of yours because whether you can see it or not, that is not the primary role of God and religion in the lives of religious people. The fact is that, despite whatever irrational dogmas you may cling to, religions people created science and there continues to be scientists that are relgious and believe in God, precisely because this faith doctrine of yours about the purpose of God and religion is nonsense.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    ]
    This also says nothing about human mind being a separate entity from the brain. The "people" on the "earth" simply refers to neurons whose interactions collectively form the memory, personality, dreams. Damage to the brain simply disrupts these neurons or the interactions between them.
    huh? You mean like the way damage to the earth (large meteor hit for example) would disrupt the interactions of organic chemicals on the earth that we associate with life?


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    And the reason that we do things against our instinct is that often instinct makes us blind mice. We take risks because such risks may well earn us a nice mammoth meal, in spite of it putting us in the danger of being stomped to death alive.
    Right! As I said such motivations may indeed be a sufficient explanation of your life so that you can indeed conclude that your mind is nothing more than a function of your brain in the service of your biology. Indeed I would say that this is a good explanation of why the evolution of such capabilities in the Bonobo monkeys and our species is entirely consistent with the theory of evolution. And it is quite possible that this is all that is going on in the brains of some members of our species for there is nothing necessary in the formation of life. It spontaneous and self-motivated -- existing and doing things for its own reasons. But whatever may be going on in your brain, my mind is alive forming structures like ideas, reasons, and motivations for its own reasons quite apart from any biological purposes. And thus I know that however I may depend on my body/brain for existence just as depend on the earth and sun, I am not my body/brain.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    It enables us to think out of the box so that we can invent new things, to discover fire, to send man to the moon, to basically ensure our evolutionary advantage. Human minds evolved so that we can handle new situations instead of just dwelling on our past experiences. It is just how we evolved, how we adapt, and this is all coded in our DNA. That's how psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics works because human behavior is not as unpredictable as you think once you look deeper into it.
    What?!? There would be no science of psychology if our behavior were unpredictable in the sense of being random. No what the psychologist/psychiatrist does is uncover the mental structures like beliefs and habits of thought by which the mind works and does explains human behavior. Though to tell the whole story psychology has bifurcated to include biochemical studies because it an increasing understanding of biochemistry has uncovered biochemical causes for some types of disfunction. But to conclude that the fact that biochemistry effects the mind means that the mind is no more than biochemical interactions in the brain, is just as stupid as saying that the fact that earthquates effects living things means that living things must be vibrations of the earths crust.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Oh wow tell me that "psychopaths who think like that" is not an ad hominem. Funny how you make me sound like I don't have any moral values. The difference between you and I is just that you need a god to tell you what to believe in, while I decide what to belief in myself.
    No it is not ad hominem. I do not say that you are a psychopath but only that I am unable to distinguish your claims from those of a psychopath. That you do not see any reality of persons beyond being meat, I quite clearly understand may not be a psychological condition in your case but only your personal choice to adopt the philosophy appropriate to a psychopath.

    What makes you think that a psychopath has no moral values? Ever watch that TV show called "Dexter"?


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    The difference between you and I is just that you need a god to tell you what to believe in, while I decide what to belief in myself.
    Apparently one difference between you and me is that you talk like you believe in psychic powers and that you have these powers and are thus capable of telling me what I need and how I think. It is quite obvious to me however that you don't have any such powers, because these things you claim to know are completely wrong. I decide what to believe myself without a need, as I percieve you to have, to think up reasons why my beliefs are somehow superior to yours.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Boo hoo. Q is picking on me! I want my sky daddy...

    Really! It is quite amazing that Q never gets tired of this stupid rhetoric.
    Mitchell makes the claim it's "stoopit" to NOT believe in the invisible and undetectable, and we should stop using our brains and just believe in the magical and mystical, and keep it that way.
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    Ya know, Mitchell, ole' chap, your beliefs have more of an Islamic slant, are you sure you're not a Muslim? Why not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Boo hoo. Q is picking on me! I want my sky daddy...

    Really! It is quite amazing that Q never gets tired of this stupid rhetoric.
    Mitchell makes the claim it's "stoopit" to NOT believe in the invisible and undetectable, and we should stop using our brains and just believe in the magical and mystical, and keep it that way.
    On the contrary, the indisputable proof that you provide that some atheist can be severely handicaped in the use of reason, does not in the least prove that all atheists are similarly handicapped. In the same way, the fact that you make up things and lies about the people you talk to is in no way any kind of proof that anyone else in these forums is telling any lies.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Ya know, Mitchell, ole' chap, your beliefs have more of an Islamic slant, are you sure you're not a Muslim? Why not?
    Wow! Evidence of non-biological life! Ignorance feeds off itself and replicates. I don't understand the muslims but I have more reason to respect them than I do certain other people I could name by using a single letter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    THUS I believe based on my EXPERIENCE/awareness of an interfering force.

    Thus not faith related.
    99.9% of what we call knowledge is based on faith. No I am not using the word "faith" as a synonym for religion but in regards to the kinds of things we put our faith in. Knowledge is based on faith because when you call something knowledge if you think that means it partakes of certainty in any absolute sense then you are just willfully deluding yourself. Therefore what it really means to call some conclusion, "knowledge" is only that you have chosen to make this conclusion the basis of how you live your life. Science, for example, is based on a faith that the evidence does not lie to us - it presumes that there are no demons running around aranging the evidence to fool us.

    Other than that, there is only the pretenses the people like to make that their "knowledge" is somehow different/better and I think the reason is quite clearly because they feel threatened by claims to knowledge by others that are contrary to their own claims.
    Eh?

    I have 'evidence', science wasn't about to observe it as it occurred as so on and so forth, but I am satisfied with 'the evidence' as I experienced it.

    I presume you take sight for granted as you've always been sighted. Imagine I told you that really you were blind and that your sight was your delussion and based upon faith?

    tsk tsk

    Your experience is not mine and so on, don't assume it's all make believe just because it can't be replicated in a lab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    THUS I believe based on my EXPERIENCE/awareness of an interfering force.

    Thus not faith related.
    99.9% of what we call knowledge is based on faith. No I am not using the word "faith" as a synonym for religion but in regards to the kinds of things we put our faith in. Knowledge is based on faith because when you call something knowledge if you think that means it partakes of certainty in any absolute sense then you are just willfully deluding yourself. Therefore what it really means to call some conclusion, "knowledge" is only that you have chosen to make this conclusion the basis of how you live your life. Science, for example, is based on a faith that the evidence does not lie to us - it presumes that there are no demons running around aranging the evidence to fool us.

    Other than that, there is only the pretenses the people like to make that their "knowledge" is somehow different/better and I think the reason is quite clearly because they feel threatened by claims to knowledge by others that are contrary to their own claims.
    Eh?

    I have 'evidence', science wasn't about to observe it as it occurred as so on and so forth, but I am satisfied with 'the evidence' as I experienced it.

    I presume you take sight for granted as you've always been sighted. Imagine I told you that really you were blind and that your sight was your delussion and based upon faith?

    tsk tsk

    Your experience is not mine and so on, don't assume it's all make believe just because it can't be replicated in a lab.

    There is real magic in this universe and it's absolutely fabulous darling.......
    I think you misunderstand me greatly. My only point was that faith is an unavoidable component of what we call knowledge. I may be a scientist and thus a methodological naturalist but I am NOT a metaphysical naturalist. In other words, I have faith in the efficasy of the scientific method in discovering new and unexpected things about the world, BUT I do NOT accept the premise that what it describes is all that is real. I very much believe that the scientific method has its blind spots - there are things that it cannot see because its methodology filters them out.

    But just because some experiences are subjective does not mean that they are not real. I do in fact believe in the exsitence of spiritual things which are not part of the mathematical laws and structures of the space-time of this universe and that means that they are necessarily experienced in a "subjective" manner and cannot be disentangled from ones personal beliefs which are a part of the process of perception.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    You are missing the point completely. You can explain things in many different ways. I could explain a book in terms of the molecular structure of ink and paper and the processes by which the paper and ink is made and the process by which the book is printed, but only an idiot would think that this is what the book is about or where its content came from. The human mind is biological only in the sense that a book is paper and ink. But in another sense the paper and ink has nothing to do with the book at all, for not only does what we read does not come from these things at all but the book can actually be expressed in a different medium.

    You may indeed be nothing more than "ink and paper" (i.e. meat) without which or in a different medium there would be nothing left that could be identified as you, but I know that this is not true in my case or in the case of many acquaintances. As for the rest of your ink and paper explanations of things, I am a scientists and so I expect such explanations but they are really beside the point. No matter how much I may depend upon this biological structure which I inhabit (or in which I am expressed if you prefer), it is not who I am.
    You are the one not getting the point. You are taking the "ink and paper" to be things that are independent of each other, whereas what I'm trying to say is that they interact and work together to produce words which in turn work in combination to display information. You only look at the composition of a book - ink and paper - and saying how these are irrelevant to the function of a book, whereas I'm talking about how these ink and paper INTERACT to serve a function, in this case - a meaningful book.

    And you still haven't explained how do you logically arrive at the conclusion that there is an immaterial mind.

    Let's assume there is a mind, then how do such an immaterial entity interact with our material brain? Let's say for a person to make the decision to walk across the room, groups of neurons have to fire nervous impulses to the relevant parts of body for the person to move. If this decision is triggered by an immaterial mind, then there is no physical cause to the event. Do you have some "mental energy" to cause the firing of neurons, which in turn somehow generate physical energy. You've just violated the law of conservation of energy in thermodynamics. There are many more problems with a body-mind interaction. There is no science in human "mind".

    Simple misuse actually. I don't think you really grasp the meaning of "all else being equal". This is why the vastly more complex theories of General Relativity and Quantum Field theory are correct, because they are not all equal to the simpler theories that preceeded them. Different consquences and predicitons of different theories means they are not in the least bit equal and thus cannot be compared using Occam's Razor. I think you confuse the simplicity criterion of Ocaams Razor with forcing a complex multidimensional reality to fit into some simple minded one dimensional ideological characterization.
    Who says that Occam's Razor cannot be used to evaluate theories and macro-concepts? Read up on the wikipedia article on Occam's Razor if you're unsure what it means: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%2...r#Applications

    Here's an excerpt of how Occam's Razor is used to disprove the existence of aether in Einstein's Michelson-Morley experiment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    During the 19th century, physicists believed that light required a medium of transmission much as sound waves do. It was hypothesized that a universal aether was such a medium and much effort was expended to detect it. In one of the most famous negative experiments in the history of science, the Michelson-Morley experiment failed to find any evidence of its existence. Then when Einstein constructed his theory of special relativity without any reference to the Aether this subsequently became the accepted view, thus providing another example of a theory chosen in part for its greater ontological simplicity.
    Along with the Caloric theory of heat and Mechanical theory of heat:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    According to the Caloric theory of heat, heat is a weightless substance that can travel from one object to another. This theory arose from the study of cannon boring and the invention of the steam engine. It was while studying cannon boring that Count Rumford made observations that conflicted with the Caloric theory and he formulated his mechanical theory to replace it. The Mechanical theory eliminated the Caloric and was ontologically simpler than its predecessor.
    "Induced fit model" for enzymes is favoured over "Lock and Key model" because it is a more ACCURATE description. Accuracy implies that there is less assumptions, even though the lock and key model is more "simplistic". "Simple" should be used in the sense does not equate to the lack of detail, but rather the one with the least assumption.

    According to Isaac Newton's definition of Occam's Razor,

    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
    By considering just the interaction between neurons, and nothing more, we can explain conscious activities.

    This is Occam's Razor.

    Yours is a metaphysical assumption that you choose to make that what science describes is all that is real, much as the Marxists tried to boil economics, politics and history into a value based on labor alone. Maybe this works for your life at this moment, or at least you imagine that it does, but it does not work for mine. My life does not fit into your simple minded ideology.
    When did I say all that science describes is real? I do not make that assumption since I'm an agnostic. But neither can you make yours that science does not describes all that is real, so that God must exists. As I've said there is no reason to say for sure whether God exists or not.

    Boy! That is too simple minded to even work for science, which often concludes that what we percieve to be misleading. With that approach we would be stuck with the physics of Aristotle. Perception is a mental process by which the raw data of our senses is interpreted by means of belief. Science gets around this barrier by only accepting that which is observer independent. It is a very effect of method for discovering unexpected things about the world we live in because it side steps the prejudices/expectations imposed by what we believe. However it is only logical that this results in a blind spot when it comes to understanding the observer himself and to presume that what it sees is all that is real is an a priori assumption that only the objective is real. I reject this presumption along with the metaphycal naturalist faith that only what science describes is real.
    I am aware of the observer effect, along with thought experiments that demonstrated this effect such as the Schroedinger's Cat thought experiment used in quantum mechanics.

    What I'm saying is that logical reasoning is dependent on perception, and you choosing to believe in logic is tantamount to you making the assumption that perception is reliable (note, the word reliable vs infallible). This is an unsubstantiated assumption which we all must make if logic is to be meaningful.

    On the contrary, if we cannot perceive something, for example God, then no conclusion can be made about its existence. That's what distinguish agnostics and atheists, in which the latter asserts that whatever we cannot perceive, or is inherently imperceivable, does not exist. I do not jump to that conclusion. All that I'm saying is that perception confirms existence (because you must exist to perceive in the first place), and the inability to perceive God, which by definition is supernatural and hence inherently untestable and unknowable, means that you cannot determine the existence of God. There can be only uncertainty.

    I on the other hand, as a scientist, am only a methodological naturalist putting my faith in the methods of science as an extremely valuable tool in uncovering the truth about things, but that is not the same thing as an irrational philosophical faith that it uncovers the whole truth about everything.
    Irrational philosophical faith it is. I do not assume that. But if science can explain it, supernatural causes can be safely excluded because many unnecessary assumptions have to be made to accommodate supernatural causes into the explanation.

    Seeing is believing might be a good philosophy for some menial occupations but it is definitely not a viable philosophy for a scientist who learns to uncover the truth about things quite indirectly, using reason to expand their awareness beyond the limitations of the senses.
    I'm referring perception as "the state of being aware of something", which includes things like logical deduction such as in maths, or indirect inference to explain the existence of quarks and energy. So yes I agree with you.

    Simply the interactions of neurological activities in our brain
    I'm being ironic here to point out that there is most likely nothing more than these "simple" interactions that results in our thoughts. I KNOW how complex and highly organized biological system is, but thanks for pointing out.

    Could it be that interacting organic chemicals neither implies nor describes life on this planet any more than "interactions of neurological activities" implies or describes personality?
    If the interaction of these organic chemicals allows the whole system to exhibit:

    1. homeostasis
    2. organization
    3. metabolism
    4. growth
    5. adaptation
    6. response to stimuli
    7. reproduction

    give or take a few exceptions (virus, mules, ligers, worker ants, etc), these "interactions of organic and non-organic molecules" is called life.

    It is only your faith doctrine that the purpose of God and religion is that of some primitive science to explain natural phenonmenon and this is an ideological blindness of yours because whether you can see it or not, that is not the primary role of God and religion in the lives of religious people. The fact is that, despite whatever irrational dogmas you may cling to, religions people created science and there continues to be scientists that are relgious and believe in God, precisely because this faith doctrine of yours about the purpose of God and religion is nonsense.
    This adds nothing to the argument in my opinion. So people have different opinions. Wow. I'm fine with scientists believing in God and scientists not believing in God. Being an agnostic, I just find taking faith in either side an irrational decision because there is simply no way to find out if God exists or not, since he is by definition empirically untestable, unknowable, or simply unknown.

    huh? You mean like the way damage to the earth (large meteor hit for example) would disrupt the interactions of organic chemicals on the earth that we associate with life?
    Obviously? Deforestation damages the ecosystem. Pollution damages the ecosystem. Drastic change in global climate damages the ecosystem. Meteor impact damages the ecosystem (and kill dinosaurs). What's with all those Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, Permian-Triassic extinction event where there is either supervolcano exploding or an ice age or what not.

    That's not disruptive enough for you?

    Right! As I said such motivations may indeed be a sufficient explanation of your life so that you can indeed conclude that your mind is nothing more than a function of your brain in the service of your biology. Indeed I would say that this is a good explanation of why the evolution of such capabilities in the Bonobo monkeys and our species is entirely consistent with the theory of evolution. And it is quite possible that this is all that is going on in the brains of some members of our species for there is nothing necessary in the formation of life. It spontaneous and self-motivated -- existing and doing things for its own reasons. But whatever may be going on in your brain, my mind is alive forming structures like ideas, reasons, and motivations for its own reasons quite apart from any biological purposes. And thus I know that however I may depend on my body/brain for existence just as depend on the earth and sun, I am not my body/brain.
    What twisted logic is this. You believe that God has a fate for you, and yet you still act in your free will. That's even more nonsensical. What I know is that I have the ability to evaluate and make decision based on my past experience, my upbringing, my belief systems that is shaped as I grow up. Do you know there was once someone who locks their children up in their basement for over a decade and they end up having severe mental retardation, to the point that they do not even have the ability to make coherent decisions? Do you know kids cannot tell that a snake is poisonous unless someone tells them it is? It is not just nature, but also nurture. Our neurological system is not hardcoded from birth. It changes according to our experiences. That's how we learn.

    Being able to make choices, such as suicide, may not be biologically relevant, but it is an inevitable byproduct of our high intelligence which in turn account for our adaptability. But yet, these motivations are not really "spontaneous". They are derived from past experiences.

    Even intelligent cognitive animals like dolphins, dogs and monkeys exhibit this "free-will" to some extent. That's how we learn to make independent "free-will" decisions, not because there's this little spirit in our brain that "spontaneously" and "self-motivatingly" tells us what to do.

    But to conclude that the fact that biochemistry effects the mind means that the mind is no more than biochemical interactions in the brain, is just as stupid as saying that the fact that earthquates effects living things means that living things must be vibrations of the earths crust.
    To conclude otherwise that mind effects the biochemistry of the brain is just as stupid as saying the TV is generating sounds and moving pictures out from nowhere, instead of admitting that it is a combination of plasma crystals in the LCD screen, electricity and actual digital information conveyed to the TV through cables from the broadcasting station which receives input from an external source such as an animator.

    And secondly you never explained how is it stupid in the first place.

    No it is not ad hominem. I do not say that you are a psychopath but only that I am unable to distinguish your claims from those of a psychopath.
    Whatever you say, this comment is highly unnecessary. It adds nothing to your argument.

    That you do not see any reality of persons beyond being meat, I quite clearly understand may not be a psychological condition in your case but only your personal choice to adopt the philosophy appropriate to a psychopath.
    I believe my stand as an agnostic that God may be inherently unknowable and empirically untestable is the one makes the least assumption and therefore the more rational choice, just like you believe that you already felt God. I respect life as it is and not pretend what it is not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    I think you misunderstand me greatly. My only point was that faith is an unavoidable component of what we call knowledge. I may be a scientist and thus a methodological naturalist but I am NOT a metaphysical naturalist. In other words, I have faith in the efficasy of the scientific method in discovering new and unexpected things about the world, BUT I do NOT accept the premise that what it describes is all that is real. I very much believe that the scientific method has its blind spots - there are things that it cannot see because its methodology filters them out.
    Not surprising, coming from you. Complete BS, but not surprising.

    Faith has nothing to do with the scientific method and is a term used primarily for the blind faith theists possess worshiping their cults prophets and gods.

    Mitchell has faith there are fairies at the bottom of his garden pond.

    But just because some experiences are subjective does not mean that they are not real. I do in fact believe in the exsitence of spiritual things which are not part of the mathematical laws and structures of the space-time of this universe and that means that they are necessarily experienced in a "subjective" manner and cannot be disentangled from ones personal beliefs which are a part of the process of perception.
    Mitchell is constantly telling us what he "believes" about his religion. Of course, he filters out what he wants to believe and discards the rest. No different then most theists who only believe what suits their agendas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    And this raise the point on faith. IMO faith is the only valid standpoint, at least as of now, that one can argue for their belief in God. In fact faith is a prerequisite for Christian theology to be true:

    1. Christian theology teaches that people are saved by faith in the Christian God (i.e., trust in the empirically unprovable).
    2. But, if the Christian God's existence can be proven, either empirically or logically, to that extent faith becomes unnecessary or irrelevant.
    3. Therefore, if Christian theology is true, no immediate proof of the Christian God's existence is possible.
    The idea that strong evidence/proof would somehow invalidate faith is NOT a wide-spread teaching in Christian theology. It's mainly just an argument that some individuals use to try to explain why god would demand that we believe in him, the Bible, his son Jesus, etc. but not provide us with any unambiguous evidence beyond a 2000+ year old book that's full of fantastical stories. If you know of any main-stream Christian denominations that have such a teaching, I would be interested to hear about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    And this raise the point on faith. IMO faith is the only valid standpoint, at least as of now, that one can argue for their belief in God. In fact faith is a prerequisite for Christian theology to be true:

    1. Christian theology teaches that people are saved by faith in the Christian God (i.e., trust in the empirically unprovable).
    2. But, if the Christian God's existence can be proven, either empirically or logically, to that extent faith becomes unnecessary or irrelevant.
    3. Therefore, if Christian theology is true, no immediate proof of the Christian God's existence is possible.
    The idea that strong evidence/proof would somehow invalidate faith is NOT a wide-spread teaching in Christian theology. It's mainly just an argument that some individuals use to try to explain why god would demand that we believe in him, the Bible, his son Jesus, etc. but not provide us with any unambiguous evidence beyond a 2000+ year old book that's full of fantastical stories. If you know of any main-stream Christian denominations that have such a teaching, I would be interested to hear about it.
    Frankly speaking that statement is only applicable to those Christians who believes salvation comes through faith.

    For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe... For the foolishness of God is wiser than (the wisdom of) men. (1 Cor. 1:21, 25)
    This is also where some agnostic theist infer that man cannot find God through "wisdom", or science, but rather through faith. Depending on how you interpret it. (Literally or metaphorically or whatnot. I'm quite sick arguing over interpretation and definition now, since there is no end to it, so I suggest you guys out there simply take note of where some people is coming from when they make a certain claim and leave them at it.)

    Faith is defined as:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Faith is a belief in the trustworthiness of an idea that one has not been proven formally and cannot prove formally. In short, it is belief in the absence of evidence.
    Belief in the absence of evidence. In the presence of evidence, faith is not faith anymore. This is debatable, again, based on how you define faith. (And man, I'm so sick of definition issues because all of us knows there couldn't be a consensus when you talk about definition.)

    So in a sense faith and rational reasoning is exclusive of each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    You are the one not getting the point. You are taking the "ink and paper" to be things that are independent of each other, whereas what I'm trying to say is that they interact and work together to produce words which in turn work in combination to display information. You only look at the composition of a book - ink and paper - and saying how these are irrelevant to the function of a book, whereas I'm talking about how these ink and paper INTERACT to serve a function, in this case - a meaningful book.
    That you are not getting my point and I am not getting yours, probably means that we are talking about different things. This is also called "talking past each other."


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    And you still haven't explained how do you logically arrive at the conclusion that there is an immaterial mind.
    And you still haven't explained how do you logically arrive at the conclusion that you were artificially constructed by aliens to invade the planet earth using tomato paste.

    You can ignore this just as I will ignore the comments of yours that are utterly inapplicable to anything I said.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    There are many more problems with a body-mind interaction. There is no science in human "mind".
    That is right. That is why I believe in a 100% physical mind. If the fact that I say this is a surprise to you, then this should indicate to you that you need to work on your reading skills, because I have written this over and over again.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    According to Isaac Newton's definition of Occam's Razor,

    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
    By considering just the interaction between neurons, and nothing more, we can explain conscious activities.
    Therefore we have more complex theories when we want to explain more. Quarks have 1/3 and 2/3 electric charges but this is utterly absurd if all we want to explain are the phenomena of Electrodynamics.

    So the fact is that we do multiply entities to explain things. The question is, therefore, what defines necessity. The theists after all seem quite happy with a single entity, so the question is what makes "Goddidit" entirely inadequate. It is a matter of what you want to explain and what you want your explanation to accomplish. The "Goddidit" explanation works fine if all you want from your explanation is a reason to praise God, but I think none of us want to return to the dark ages where praising God is about all that people did.

    It is all too easy to simply exclude and dismiss various experiences of life in order to make it fit a simple theory with few theoretical entities. Now science has a natural built in restriction of itself to what data is considered significant and which it seeks to explain. That is the restriction to that which is observer independent. This is right and proper for this restriction defines the nature of science, and will fight tooth and nail to defend that definition of science for the last thing I want is the annihilation of science by tearing down the walls between science and things like philosophy and theology.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    When did I say all that science describes is real? I do not make that assumption since I'm an agnostic. But neither can you make yours that science does not describes all that is real, so that God must exists. As I've said there is no reason to say for sure whether God exists or not.
    Of course I can. You cannot tell me what to think and do any more than I can tell you what to think and do. You choose what you are interested in and I choose what I am interested in. You can choose some superficial interest in physics and no interest in religion at all, while I choose a more in depth interest in physics and an interest in religion, philosophy and theology, while I may have no interest in something else that interests you. Perhaps you are more interested in the biological operation of the brain than I am.

    Furthermore, you are perfectly free to say that science describes all that is real. I have no problem with that at all. I only object to assumptions that this must be accepted by everyone else that is implicit in the use of this to claim that this is an objective measure of sanity in others. So I have explained (in other posts) how easy it is to contruct a standard of sanity that is more objective than that which has this sort of thinking coming up short in the sanity department.




    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I am aware of the observer effect, along with thought experiments that demonstrated this effect such as the Schroedinger's Cat thought experiment used in quantum mechanics.
    Uh.... I don't think that is the right example. Furthermore, physicist don't really believe in dead-alive cats I hope you know. That was more of an argument ad-absurdium, to show that it is not a matter of an interaction with human consciousness but that the wave collapes must occur at some earlier point before we are aware of how the wave collapsed.




    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What I'm saying is that logical reasoning is dependent on perception, and you choosing to believe in logic is tantamount to you making the assumption that perception is reliable (note, the word reliable vs infallible). This is an unsubstantiated assumption which we all must make if logic is to be meaningful.
    That perception is dependent on belief is a fact of psychology. Your claim that logical reasoning is dependent on perception is lacks analysis. Logical reasoning does not operate on perceptions but upon propositions. Propositions are not a direct product of perception either. They are a product of choice and creativity that MAY draw upon perceptions. But since perceptions themselves depend upon beliefs, the only verifiable role that reasoning can have is one of justifying those beliefs and exploring the consequences of those beliefs. The consequenses derived from beliefs will provide a selective filter operating on beliefs. But the point here is that there is no unique deterministic process by which sensory data result in beliefs. It is more of an evolutionary process which we know from biology to be a source of incredible diversity as each form of life finds its own answers to the "questions" (challenges) posed by the environment.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    On the contrary, if we cannot perceive something, for example God, then no conclusion can be made about its existence. That's what distinguish agnostics and atheists, in which the latter asserts that whatever we cannot perceive, or is inherently imperceivable, does not exist.
    But the religious believe in God because they do perceive God. God simply does not survive the scientific filter which requires observations to be observer independent. It is your presumption that this filter defines sanity and reality that is the reason why I made the comment I did about you assuming that what science describes is all that is real. I not only accept this filter and restriction in doing science but I would blast any attempt to identify something that does not employ this filter as science. However because I do not accept the assumption that science describes all that is real I do NOT accept this filter as a prerequisite to determining the truth about everything.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I on the other hand, as a scientist, am only a methodological naturalist putting my faith in the methods of science as an extremely valuable tool in uncovering the truth about things, but that is not the same thing as an irrational philosophical faith that it uncovers the whole truth about everything.
    Irrational philosophical faith it is. I do not assume that. But if science can explain it, supernatural causes can be safely excluded because many unnecessary assumptions have to be made to accommodate supernatural causes into the explanation.
    No they cannot for many reasons. One is because no one has appointed you as the judge that decides what explanations are sufficient. Another is that it is a basic fact of reality that things have multiple causes on different levels (for example book factory and author are two causes for a book but there are many other factors in history behind and beyond both author and book, for it is arguable that some kinds of books will eventually be written (details different of course) by some author regardless of what the actual author does.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I'm referring perception as "the state of being aware of something", which includes things like logical deduction such as in maths, or indirect inference to explain the existence of quarks and energy. So yes I agree with you.
    Yes perception includes the operation of the mind and that is why you are wrong to claim that God cannot be perceived. The correct claim is that God cannot be observed in an observer independent manner.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Could it be that interacting organic chemicals neither implies nor describes life on this planet any more than "interactions of neurological activities" implies or describes personality?
    If the interaction of these organic chemicals allows the whole system to exhibit:

    1. homeostasis
    2. organization
    3. metabolism
    4. growth
    5. adaptation
    6. response to stimuli
    7. reproduction

    give or take a few exceptions (virus, mules, ligers, worker ants, etc), these "interactions of organic and non-organic molecules" is called life.
    This is a vast improvement over past definitions of life but simply a list of features like this still leaves something to be desired, for this kind of definition is typical of when we really do not know what something is but can recognize it when we see it. Furthermore there is a question of what these mean precisely. I think we can do better. I think we can mathematically model the process. The main thing acheived by doing so is to make life medium independent for I think that this process is medium independent and can for example occur computer-like environment, though not by current computer technologies. Furthermore, I think the mind is an example of such a process of life in a different medium (the electrochemical interactions and signals in the human brain).


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    This adds nothing to the argument in my opinion. So people have different opinions. Wow. I'm fine with scientists believing in God and scientists not believing in God. Being an agnostic, I just find taking faith in either side an irrational decision because there is simply no way to find out if God exists or not, since he is by definition empirically untestable, unknowable, or simply unknown.
    God has no place in science. On that we can definitely agree.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Right! As I said such motivations may indeed be a sufficient explanation of your life so that you can indeed conclude that your mind is nothing more than a function of your brain in the service of your biology. Indeed I would say that this is a good explanation of why the evolution of such capabilities in the Bonobo monkeys and our species is entirely consistent with the theory of evolution. And it is quite possible that this is all that is going on in the brains of some members of our species for there is nothing necessary in the formation of life. It spontaneous and self-motivated -- existing and doing things for its own reasons. But whatever may be going on in your brain, my mind is alive forming structures like ideas, reasons, and motivations for its own reasons quite apart from any biological purposes. And thus I know that however I may depend on my body/brain for existence just as depend on the earth and sun, I am not my body/brain.
    What twisted logic is this. You believe that God has a fate for you, and yet you still act in your free will. That's even more nonsensical.
    I don't see any relationship between what I said and what you said. If there is any twisting here it is in your mind as you try to tack on things which I did not say as the conclusions you want to say that I am advocating. Again I say you need to keep your psychic claims under control and improve your reading skills.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What I know is that I have the ability to evaluate and make decision based on my past experience, my upbringing, my belief systems that is shaped as I grow up. Do you know there was once someone who locks their children up in their basement for over a decade and they end up having severe mental retardation, to the point that they do not even have the ability to make coherent decisions? Do you know kids cannot tell that a snake is poisonous unless someone tells them it is? It is not just nature, but also nurture. Our neurological system is not hardcoded from birth. It changes according to our experiences. That's how we learn.
    That is correct. The life of the mind does not come from our DNA.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Being able to make choices, such as suicide, may not be biologically relevant, but it is an inevitable byproduct of our high intelligence which in turn account for our adaptability. But yet, these motivations are not really "spontaneous". They are derived from past experiences.

    Even intelligent cognitive animals like dolphins, dogs and monkeys exhibit this "free-will" to some extent. That's how we learn to make independent "free-will" decisions, not because there's this little spirit in our brain that "spontaneously" and "self-motivatingly" tells us what to do.
    Agreed. Free will is not explained by adding a spiritual puppeteer to the equation. Free will is the nature of life itself - part of what it means to be an living organism. But the free will of the human mind exceeds that which can be explained by biological life (based on the learning transimited by DNA inheritance alone) and thus indicates that the human mind is a PHYSICAL non-biological living organism but of course quite dependent upon its own special environment for its existence (the human brain).


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    To conclude otherwise that mind effects the biochemistry of the brain is just as stupid as saying the TV is generating sounds and moving pictures out from nowhere, instead of admitting that it is a combination of plasma crystals in the LCD screen, electricity and actual digital information conveyed to the TV through cables from the broadcasting station which receives input from an external source such as an animator.
    No one is saying that it comes from nowhere. The analogy was not to say that the TV is the same, for after all the TV is not alive. Consider a computer program, which is also not alive, but it does generate its own responses to input to some degree. We cannot explain what the computer does based on the design of the hardware alone. The software does not have free will because it is not alive, therefore it itself is more like a machine which depends upon the hardware, but which has its own designer and can to a large degree be machine independent. Likewise the mind generates responses to imput not based on the biological structures produced by DNA but by its own structures which are formed based on an entirely different inheritance.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Of course I can. You cannot tell me what to think and do any more than I can tell you what to think and do.
    If you really have to put it this way then why are we still arguing on this topic? You have your belief and I have my belief, based different assumptions and ideologies. Truth in this case is relative rather than absolute - what is truth for me might not be truth for you. Neither side is going to convince the other. Arguments end here doesn't it?

    That is right. That is why I believe in a 100% physical mind. If the fact that I say this is a surprise to you, then this should indicate to you that you need to work on your reading skills, because I have written this over and over again.
    Mind explaining to me what exactly is human mind when it's non-biological? What gives it motivation? What is the cause-and-effect in such a mind making motivation if it is physical (ie conform to natural laws of causality). The fact that you make it sound like a mind is an entity that do not operate on the cause-and-effect basis, or as you put it "spontaneous and self-motivated", makes me think that you are saying the human mind is an immaterial "non-physical" indeterministic entity. You need to be less ambiguous in your explanation if you don't want people to misinterpret.

    That perception is dependent on belief is a fact of psychology. Your claim that logical reasoning is dependent oin perception is lacks analysis. Logical reasoning does not operate on perceptions but upon propositions. Propositions are not a direct product of perception either. They are a product of choice and creativity that MAY draw upon perceptions. But since perceptions themselves depend upon beliefs, the only verifiable role that reasoning can have is one of justifying those beliefs and exploring the consequences of those beliefs. The consequenses derived from beliefs will provide a selective filter operating on beliefs. But the point here is that there is no unique deterministic process by which sensory data result in beliefs. It is more of an evolutionary process which we know from biology to be a source of incredible diversity as each form of life finds its own answers to the "questions" (challenges) posed by the environment.
    I'm referring to perception not as the process in which sensory data are collected, but also includes the process of inference. But on the other hand human mind is unable to understand new information without the bias of their previous knowledge. Therefore even logical inference is dependent on the prior knowledge, which ultimately is the result of perception. Moreover, propositions are intended to be truth-bearers, that is, they are either true or false. Without the medium of a intelligence, be it human mind or just anything that is able to "think", propositions will remain as propositions. There will be no logical reasoning because there's nothing to make the link. The truth of any proposition remains indeterminate. Logical reasoning is dependent on an intelligence, and for logic reasoning to work we have to assume that human mind is capable of meaningful analysis and logical deductions.

    But the religious believe in God because they do perceive God. God simply does not survive the scientific filter which requires observations to be observer independent. It is your presumption that this filter defines sanity and reality that is the reason why I made the comment I did about you assuming that what science describes is all that is real. I not only accept this filter and restriction in doing science but I would blast any attempt to identify something that does not employ this filter as science. However because I do not accept the assumption that science describes all that is real I do NOT accept this filter as a prerequisite to determining the truth about everything.
    You too need to work on your reading skill. My presumption is that scientific filter defines the natural realm from the supernatural realm, since supernatural realm is defined as empirically untestable and unknowable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The term supernatural or supranatural (Latin: super, supra "above" + natura "nature") pertains to entities, events or powers regarded as beyond nature, in that they cannot be explained by the laws of the natural world
    Therefore science describes all that is PHYSICAL. Logic in this case is a natural phenomena, if logic exists in the supernatural, it will contradicts its definition that it is untestable and unknowable. You claiming that we can use logic to test and proof something that is by definition untestable and unprovable makes no sense to me, unless you go by another definition of supernatural, which defeats the point of further argument since we will, as you said, "talking past each other".

    God has no place in science. On that we can definitely agree.
    God has no place in logical reasoning either.
    Free will is the nature of life itself - part of what it means to be an living organism
    If you haven't realized, that's a big claim. Bacteria have free will?

    We cannot explain what the computer does based on the design of the hardware alone. The software does not have free will because it is not alive, therefore it itself is more like a machine which depends upon the hardware, but which has its own designer and can to a large degree be machine independent
    I don't see how this example is relevant. Software is the result of the binary combination encoded in the hardware. For example, harddrives encode information by magnetizing magnetic material directionally to form 0 and 1 binary digits. Human mind is the result of neurological interaction present in the brain. You're always missing out the word INTERACTION. Neither the brain nor computer is the static composition of its parts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Of course I can. You cannot tell me what to think and do any more than I can tell you what to think and do.
    If you really have to put it this way then why are we still arguing on this topic? You have your belief and I have my belief, based different assumptions and ideologies. Truth in this case is relative rather than absolute - what is truth for me might not be truth for you. Neither side is going to convince the other. Arguments end here doesn't it?
    Convincing the other person that you are correct as in a debate, is certainly an unreasonable goal when it comes to topics like this. Frankly if your goal here is to convince religious people that they are delusional then you are being idiotic and you are the one who is delusional.

    If you mean to ask why I am here participating in discussions of religion, the answer is the mutual exploration of beliefs and what is accomplished is usually a clarification of ones premises, reasons, rational, and implications. On rare occasions this even allows the person discover things that motivate a large shift in ones point of view, BUT this is only rarely to agree with what the other person is arguing for.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    That is right. That is why I believe in a 100% physical mind. If the fact that I say this is a surprise to you, then this should indicate to you that you need to work on your reading skills, because I have written this over and over again.
    Mind explaining to me what exactly is human mind when it's non-biological?
    Strange question. The obvious answer is mental or psychological. But your question implies a black and white one-dimensional thinking. The mind is biological in the same way that a book is ink and paper, but the biology is not the mind any more than the ink and paper is the book. And before you reply with some exaggerated application of the analogy beyond the use I make of it, I am not of course saying that the mind is exactly like a book. The mind is a living organism. A book is not. The analogy simple illustrates how something can exist in a medium without being identical to the medium. Nor is the content of the book produced or caused by any interactions of ink and paper. That is ridiculous. You can stir paper in a pot of ink all you want and no book will result. The book is a creation of the author.

    But as a living thing the mind has no creator (in the same sense as the book). Living things are produced by growth based on an inheritance. Its individual identity is found in the choices it makes, but our primary identification of life is found in the source of its inheritance.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What gives it motivation? What is the cause-and-effect in such a mind making motivation if it is physical (ie conform to natural laws of causality).
    Life is a self-organizing process. Living organisms generate their own structure as a result of creative learning. Motivation is one of the structures of the mind that are self-organized.

    Reductionism is stupid. Automata demonstrates how complex interactions based on simple rules gives rise to complex behavior. The cause of this behavior is not to be found in the simple rules themselves but in the structures of interaction. This is why we have the science of biology even though biological organisms are composed of organic molecules. It is why we have chemistry even though atoms and molecules are composed of particles. Physics does not explain biological organisms even though they are composed of things which obey all the laws of physics, because reason and cause for biological entities are found in the structural wholes and their dynamics.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    The fact that you make it sound like a mind is an entity that do not operate on the cause-and-effect basis, or as you put it "spontaneous and self-motivated", makes me think that you are saying the human mind is an immaterial "non-physical" indeterministic entity. You need to be less ambiguous in your explanation if you don't want people to misinterpret.
    Wierd, you equate spontaneous and self-motivated with immaterial and "non-physical"? You sound like an idealist converted to a materialist, with convictions of a materialist but the assumptions of an idealist -- I guess.

    The laws of physics are not deterministic, so physical does not mean deterministic. Spontaneous and self-motivated are not my words and so I hesitate to use them, but if you mean creative and self-organizing then along with non-deterministic I would say that is a universal characteristic of all living things. Living things maintain an independence from their environment through structural and dynamic integrity but do so in a responsive manner so that they can remain complete open to environmental influence. It is a balance between opposing poles that would be the end of life (one being unresponsive isolation and the other being absorbtion into the environment).

    I am being quite precise. The problem lies in the limitations of words themselves which people connect to meanings in different ways due variations in personal experience and education. There is no way for me to know how you are making your connections. This makes communication on abstract topics a challenge. For example, consider the word physical. As a physicist this word is inseperable in my mind from that of "physics". But many connect the word physical with tangible and so I encounter people who say that light is not physical, which sounds quite absurd to me.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I'm referring to perception not as the process in which sensory data are collected, but also includes the process of inference.
    Uh huh. And it is this mish mash inclusion and confusion of distinct concepts which makes your words and statement lacking in any kind of precision from my perspective. Perception does not refer to either the collection of sensory data or to inference but the process by which the brain and mind makes sense of sensory data. Perception is the difference between seeing a glossy round red shape and seeing an apple.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    But on the other hand human mind is unable to understand new information without the bias of their previous knowledge. Therefore even logical inference is dependent on the prior knowledge,
    right.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    which ultimately is the result of perception.
    wrong. It is perception that is the result of prior knowledge. You see an apple because you know what an apple looks like. But logical inference does not automatically follow from perception. There is a creative process between the two in which you decide how to use logic. Perhaps you might bring this down to earth a little by giving an example.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Moreover, propositions are intended to be truth-bearers, that is, they are either true or false. Without the medium of a intelligence, be it human mind or just anything that is able to "think", propositions will remain as propositions. There will be no logical reasoning because there's nothing to make the link. The truth of any proposition remains indeterminate. Logical reasoning is dependent on an intelligence, and for logic reasoning to work we have to assume that human mind is capable of meaningful analysis and logical deductions.
    Logical reasoning is a process of going from some propositions called premises to other propositions called conclusions. By this process we can say that if the premises are true then the conclusions are true. This logical process can be written on paper or performed by a computer. So are your concepts like "intellegence" and "meaningful" where your unexamined premises lie?


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    But the religious believe in God because they do perceive God. God simply does not survive the scientific filter which requires observations to be observer independent. It is your presumption that this filter defines sanity and reality that is the reason why I made the comment I did about you assuming that what science describes is all that is real. I not only accept this filter and restriction in doing science but I would blast any attempt to identify something that does not employ this filter as science. However because I do not accept the assumption that science describes all that is real I do NOT accept this filter as a prerequisite to determining the truth about everything.
    My presumption is that scientific filter defines the natural realm from the supernatural realm, since supernatural realm is defined as empirically untestable and unknowable.
    You are only saying the same thing in different words unless you address what I said directly. If you do not presume that the filter of science defines sanity and reality then say so. Do you believe the science describes all that is real?

    Now I will now address your words directly. I find "supernatural" to be a strange word often used by atheist for something they do not even believe exists, which means it is no more than rhetoric to assert their opinion that something does not exist. So what about you. Do you believe that there is any supernatural things or is this just rhetoric on your part too?

    You seem to be making natural a synonym for empirically testable, which I certainly would not. I in fact beleive that there is natural law that is not empirically testable. I presume that you are doing this as an attempt to assert that onnly knowledge obtained by the methodology of science is knowable and that obtained by other methods is not knowable. But this is just rhetoric. Academic philosophers acknowledge that there is no way to justify this. I would maintain that there is in fact no way to distinguish knowledge from not-knowledge except as that which we use and live by. The theories of evolution and relativity are knowledge because these are tools which scientist use in their investigations.

    Use whatever methodology for determing the truth that you choose, say what is knowable and not knowable as you choose, but making your choices the measure of rationality in others is unreasonable and probably delusional.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Therefore science describes all that is PHYSICAL.
    Logic in this case is a natural phenomena, if logic exists in the supernatural, it will contradicts its definition that it is untestable and unknowable. You claiming that we can use logic to test and proof something that is by definition untestable and unprovable makes no sense to me, unless you go by another definition of supernatural, which defeats the point of further argument since we will, as you said, "talking past each other".

    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    God has no place in science. On that we can definitely agree.
    God has no place in logical reasoning either.
    That is such a stupid thing to say, that it suggests that you have no place in a rational discussion because you are incapable of logical reasoning. Your delusions are showing again.

    God is a person.
    Persons have desires.
    God has desires.

    This is perfectly logical, so God has a place in logic reasoning.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Free will is the nature of life itself - part of what it means to be an living organism
    If you haven't realized, that's a big claim. Bacteria have free will?
    Yes of course. Bacteria are alive. But understand that life and free will is not simply an either-or proposition but a quantitative measure. Some living organisms are more alive and have more free will than others, just as some people are more alive and have more free will than others. Life of the mind is measured in part by consciousness. To be more alive is to be more aware of and more engaged with the environment.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    We cannot explain what the computer does based on the design of the hardware alone. The software does not have free will because it is not alive, therefore it itself is more like a machine which depends upon the hardware, but which has its own designer and can to a large degree be machine independent
    I don't see how this example is relevant.
    You compared the mind affecting biochemistry to television pictures coming out of nowhere. Which is just stupid. Computer software can generate patterns and information that does not exist anywhere, and by doing so they create an ordering of bits in memory or on disk. Likewise the mind deduces conclusions or makes choices which affects the biochemistry in the brain. Of course it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Software is the result of the binary combination encoded in the hardware.
    That is ridiculous. Hardware creates software? Is that a joke? Software is written by programmers, possibly in a completely different medium, and usually with a different symbolic representation but there is absolutely no doubt that he is the creator of the software which is loaded into the computer. Since the hardware is designed to simply follow the instructions of the software it is the software that is in control of the hardware and not the other way around. It is foolish to look for the causes for what a computer is doing in the hardware -- like trying to understand the plot of a book by analyzing the molecular structure of the ink.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    For example, harddrives encode information by magnetizing magnetic material directionally to form 0 and 1 binary digits. Human mind is the result of neurological interaction present in the brain. You're always missing out the word INTERACTION. Neither the brain nor computer is the static composition of its parts.
    There is certainly a failure to communicate here. That I can see. Where did this "static composition of its parts" come from? Not from me. But if you think that this phrase can erase the distinction between the software and hardware of a computer, that is plain ridiculous. Likewise your denial of the distinction between mind and brain is without any rational justification.

    I already said that the human mind is composed of the neurological interactions present in the brain. But these neurological interactions are part of a self-organizing entity which creates the structures of the mind we call things like concepts and beliefs. Again the hard facts here is found by looking where the inheritance of information is to be found. Biological structures pass an inheritance of information by means of DNA, but the mind uses something completely differnt to pass on an inheritiance of information.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Convincing the other person that you are correct as in a debate, is certainly an unreasonable goal when it comes to topics like this. Frankly if your goal here is to convince religious people that they are delusional then you are being idiotic and you are the one who is delusional.

    If you mean to ask why I am here participating in discussions of religion, the answer is the mutual exploration of beliefs and what is accomplished is usually a clarification of ones premises, reasons, rational, and implications.
    Right! That's my attitude here too, so stop assuming that I'm trying to prove that my belief is the absolute truth. If I say something you do not agree with, just tell me I'm wrong instead of I'm delusional. You have no right to judge my mental state.

    Strange question. The obvious answer is mental or psychological. But your question implies a black and white one-dimensional thinking.
    Right, now I'm starting to make sense of what you're trying to explain. Yes I agree human mental behaviours can only be meaningfully explained with psychology, because it lies outside the scope of biology. Psychology makes meaningful interpretation of the interactions between neurons. Very true.

    Nonetheless the human mind is grounded in biology, just like how the process of mitosis is grounded in physics and chemistry. Biological explanation is too simplistic to explain human consciousness, but that does not means that it is not biological. Human mind is not "non-biological" as you've put it, like how cellular division is not "non-physical". Your choice of word is ambiguous in the first place.

    So yes, what you said is agreeable.

    Life is a self-organizing process. Motivation is one of the structures of the mind that are self-organized.
    True. If you mean motivation is "spontaneous" in the same way radioactive atoms spontaneously decay without any external agent acting on it, then I stand corrected.

    Read this article:

    The temporal signature in the fly behavior points to a so-called 'unstable nonlinearity' in the fly brain. This in turn means that the brain areas controlling turning behavior must be tuned very precisely to generate unpredictable output and are unlikely to be a by-product of the general complexity of the brain. Unstable nonlinear systems are known from many other natural systems and display a high sensitivity to small perturbations. These sensitive systems provide an evolutionary advantage to animals that possess them not only because they help animals forage, but also for a number of other reasons. For instance, they can lead to unpredictable escape maneuvers when avoiding a predator or to unpredictable moves which confer advantages in almost any competitive social setting (think politics or chess). The biological implementation of this mechanism is currently unknown, but there is evidence from a previous study that a brain area called the ellipsoid body (sometimes called the "fly motor cortex") might be involved.

    http://brembs.net/spontaneous/
    But like what the article suggested, the spontaneity in motivation may arise from some biological mechanism. Saying that motivation is non-biological is in a sense inaccurate.

    Living organisms generate their own structure as a result of creative learning.
    Quite an ambiguous claim. Creative learning implies a conscious effort to organize their structure. Is that what you meant? If that is, then sorry to tell you that this is factually incorrect.

    because reason and cause for biological entities are found in the structural wholes and their dynamics.
    Ok, agreed. While human mind is not explained by biology, it is still a part of the biological entity of an organism, ie. human mind is still the result of biological interactions, like how the biology of an organism is the result of chemical interactions, and how chemical reactions is the result of physical interactions of atoms. I hope you get where I am coming from.

    Wierd, you equate spontaneous and self-motivated with immaterial and "non-physical"?
    I stand corrected then. When you say human mind is "non-biological", you mean that biology alone does not provide meaningful explanation, and not that human mind is independent of the biological aspect of the human brain. That right?

    I am being quite precise. The problem lies in the limitations of words themselves which people connect to meanings in different ways due variations in personal experience and education. There is no way for me to know how you are making your connections. This makes communication on abstract topics a challenge. For example, consider the word physical. As a physicist this word is inseperable in my mind from that of "physics". But many connect the word physical with tangible and so I encounter people who say that light is not physical, which sounds quite absurd to me.
    While you being "precise" is arguable, the fact that definition issues remain a problem in arguments is very true. I connect the word "biology" to the entire physical entity of an organism (eg, the biology of human), whereas you meant it to be the branch of science that studies the organization of life. You telling me that human mind is not biological seems as absurd as people telling you that light is not physical.

    Uh huh. And it is this mish mash inclusion and confusion of distinct concepts which makes your words and statement lacking in any kind of precision from my perspective. Perception does not refer to either the collection of sensory data or to inference but the process by which the brain and mind makes sense of sensory data. Perception is the difference between seeing a glossy round red shape and seeing an apple.
    Fine maybe I'm being ambiguous here by using the word perception, since it implies the need for sensory input. How about we use the word cognition instead, which includes all the information processing of the brain. I rephrase: logical reasoning is dependent on cognition.

    Logical reasoning is a process of going from some propositions called premises to other propositions called conclusions. By this process we can say that if the premises are true then the conclusions are true. This logical process can be written on paper or performed by a computer. So are your concepts like "intellegence" and "meaningful" where your unexamined premises lie?
    Logic is defined as the the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference. I classify it the same as biology, physics, chemistry, etc - a branch of science.

    And obviously, any reasoning, be it in physics, chemistry, biology or logic, requires human cognition. It is ultimately a human concept that is used to investigate something else. That's what I'm trying to say.

    Using logic to explain the supernatural is as absurd as using biology to explain thermodynamics. You can't expect to find galaxies under a microscope.

    You are only saying the same thing in different words unless you address what I said directly. If you do not presume that the filter of science defines sanity and reality then say so. Do you believe the science describes all that is real?
    What is your definition of "real"? Science does not describe all that is real, but it describes all that is natural. Supernatural may be real, if you define real as the presence of existence. But again, can non-physical beings exist, like God? You need to define "existence" again. Limitation of language indeed.

    You seem to be making natural a synonym for empirically testable, which I certainly would not. I in fact beleive that there is natural law that is not empirically testable.
    That's your presumption. We have different presumptions, simple as that.

    I presume that you are doing this as an attempt to assert that onnly knowledge obtained by the methodology of science is knowable and that obtained by other methods is not knowable. But this is just rhetoric. Academic philosophers acknowledge that there is no way to justify this.
    What other methods do you mean?

    For me supernatural is untestable and unknowable, and hence by definition is cannot be proved by science. If you define a triangle to be a shape with three sides, then by definition a triangle can't have two sides. That's just how I define supernatural and natural, and I don't see how your definition s more correct than mine.

    That is such a stupid thing to say, that it suggests that you have no place in a rational discussion because you are incapable of logical reasoning. Your delusions are showing again.

    God is a person.
    Persons have desires.
    God has desires.

    This is perfectly logical, so God has a place in logic reasoning.
    I don't see the logical link between "God is a person".

    Yes of course. Bacteria are alive. But understand that life and free will is not simply an either-or proposition but a quantitative measure. Some living organisms are more alive and have more free will than others, just as some people are more alive and have more free will than others. Life of the mind is measured in part by consciousness. To be more alive is to be more aware of and more engaged with the environment.
    Free-will might be quantitative, but how can you say that about life? Is human more alive than mushrooms? How can mushrooms have free-will?

    Computer software can generate patterns and information that does not exist anywhere, and by doing so they create an ordering of bits in memory or on disk. Likewise the mind deduces conclusions or makes choices which affects the biochemistry in the brain.
    Yes, but there is a biological mechanisms that allows for the spontaneity of the mind to deduce conclusions, and this mechanisms is most likely another type of neurological activity.

    That is ridiculous. Hardware creates software? Is that a joke? Software is written by programmers, possibly in a completely different medium, and usually with a different symbolic representation but there is absolutely no doubt that he is the creator of the software which is loaded into the computer. Since the hardware is designed to simply follow the instructions of the software it is the software that is in control of the hardware and not the other way around. It is foolish to look for the causes for what a computer is doing in the hardware -- like trying to understand the plot of a book by analyzing the molecular structure of the ink.
    Where did you get the idea that hardware creates software? I'm simply saying that if you encode information in a sequence of binary digits in hardware, say DVDs, the end result is a software. Next you shoot lasers at a DVD to read the information off the hardware, so software in a sense is just the result of the encoded information in the hardware.

    I think the main problem lies in what we define information as. You probably define it as a intangible concept, whereas I define information as any form of represented pattern. A book contains represented patterns in the form of words, and hence it contains information. Definition issue again.

    Biological structures pass an inheritance of information by means of DNA, but the mind uses something completely differnt to pass on an inheritiance of information.
    What you mean by inheritance of information? In biology you only talk about inheritance when there is a transmission of information from one generation to another. Memory in the brain for example is said to be preserved rather than inherited.

    Learning and memory in neuroscience is attributed to changes in neuron synapse, and learning and memory in a sense is therefore perfectly biological.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Right! That's my attitude here too, so stop assuming that I'm trying to prove that my belief is the absolute truth. If I say something you do not agree with, just tell me I'm wrong instead of I'm delusional. You have no right to judge my mental state.
    I made no such assumption. I am simply responding to your suggestion that the disscussion is over because neither side is going to convince the other. But as an aside consider a conditional statement C: "if A then B". If you think B is incorrect you can either refute A or C, but if you simply claim that the other person has no right to say B then you are being irrational because saying C is not the same as saying B. For example, if I say "if the sun goes nova, then you will not fulfill your promise to do something tomorrow", can you see how irrational it is to act like I am attacking your integrity by that statement?

    Therefore it was sufficient to say "that's my attitude here too". If you take issue with what I said then address what I said, which was the conditional statement and not that you are delusional.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    But like what the article suggested, the spontaneity in motivation may arise from some biological mechanism. Saying that motivation is non-biological is in a sense inaccurate.
    Yes! To say that a book is not just paper and ink is not accurate, in a sense just as it is accurate in another sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Living organisms generate their own structure as a result of creative learning.
    Quite an ambiguous claim. Creative learning implies a conscious effort to organize their structure. Is that what you meant? If that is, then sorry to tell you that this is factually incorrect.
    No not all living things have a human consciousness. They have "consciousness" that is appropriate to their own sort of life. But just because we anthropocentrically use a special word "consciousness" for how humans are aware and respond to their environment does not mean that we really do anything essentially different. This is perhaps another remnant of idealism and spirit puppeteer thinking. I believe that the process of life whether mental or biological is essentially the same and that the differences are either superficial or quantitative in nature.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    human mind is still the result of biological interactions, like how the biology of an organism is the result of chemical interactions, and how chemical reactions is the result of physical interactions of atoms. I hope you get where I am coming from.
    Yes and life on this planet "is the result of" the flow of energy from the sun. It is correct to acknowledge dependence but it is not correct to make this a reduction of one to the other.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I stand corrected then. When you say human mind is "non-biological", you mean that biology alone does not provide meaningful explanation, and not that human mind is independent of the biological aspect of the human brain. That right?
    Correct. But I am also saying that living things are always dependent upon their environment and upon other living organisms and although we can say that they are part of a larger living organic whole this does not mean that they do not have a life of their own. We have this concept of the mind for precisely this reason, because the behavior of people only makes sense when we see the mind as a living thing in its own right with its own organizational structures and its own reasons for doing things.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I connect the word "biology" to the entire physical entity of an organism (eg, the biology of human), whereas you meant it to be the branch of science that studies the organization of life. You telling me that human mind is not biological seems as absurd as people telling you that light is not physical.
    Understood. This is a natural difficulty that intellegent people who think for themselves are going to encounter. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why some people find thinking for themselves too strenuous. LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Fine maybe I'm being ambiguous here by using the word perception, since it implies the need for sensory input. How about we use the word cognition instead, which includes all the information processing of the brain. I rephrase: logical reasoning is dependent on cognition.

    Logic is defined as the the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference. I classify it the same as biology, physics, chemistry, etc - a branch of science.
    Ahhh... well I think that you are conflating an older understanding of the word "science" with modern science. Logic is not a part of modern science, but more properly classified with philosophy. To be rational is not equivalent to being a scientist and certainly it is not equivalent to believing what scientists tell you.

    There is no doubt that science itself is built upon philosophical foundations. And it is a big mistake to think that science is stand alone or justifies itself because it cannot. Your attempt to include logic as a part of science does not accomplish any such thing. Godel established this with some finality when he demonstrated that you can prove that it is impossible to prove that mathematical systems are consistent.

    In any case you can embrace science as a means of understanding the world as I do (whatever our other differences), but we really have no justification for equating it with rationality itself. Modern science and logic are quite distinct. The methodology of modern science relies upon a method filtering out the subjective by restricting its explanation to objective observer independent observations. Logic is simply about what makes a thinking process self consistent. Thus modern science and rationality are not the same thing. The most we can say of modern science is that its success in revealing new and unexpected things - useful things - about the world is undeniable.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    And obviously, any reasoning, be it in physics, chemistry, biology or logic, requires human cognition. It is ultimately a human concept that is used to investigate something else. That's what I'm trying to say.
    OK.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Using logic to explain the supernatural is as absurd as using biology to explain thermodynamics. You can't expect to find galaxies under a microscope.
    Not OK. Just plain stupid, in fact. Again logic simply goes from premises to conclusions and is useful to anyone who wants to do this. You may have no interest in or use for theology, but in regards to its use of logic, the most you can do not accept its premises in regards to what you call supernatural and not that it does not make proper use of logic. You can call some human activity like stamp collecting or theology stupid and irrational all you like but there is no way of objectively substantiating this and so it is no more rational than what you are ridiculing.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    What is your definition of "real"? Science does not describe all that is real, but it describes all that is natural. Supernatural may be real, if you define real as the presence of existence. But again, can non-physical beings exist, like God? You need to define "existence" again. Limitation of language indeed.
    Yep.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I presume that you are doing this as an attempt to assert that only knowledge obtained by the methodology of science is knowable and that obtained by other methods is not knowable. But this is just rhetoric. Academic philosophers acknowledge that there is no way to justify this.
    What other methods do you mean?

    For me supernatural is untestable and unknowable, and hence by definition is cannot be proved by science. If you define a triangle to be a shape with three sides, then by definition a triangle can't have two sides. That's just how I define supernatural and natural, and I don't see how your definition s more correct than mine.
    Ahh... It seems that you use the words natural and supernatural in much the same way that I use the words physical and spiritual.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I don't see the logical link between "God is a person".
    Logical link??? That makes no sense. the only link is between the first two premises and the conclusion. You can reject the premise, "God is a person", but there is not logical link until a process of inference is made. Please tell me that you are not so naive that you imagine that your thinking is without premises. I suppose you can restrict yourself to premises stated by some set of scientific writers, but that would not be a very good example of a person who thinks for himself.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Yes of course. Bacteria are alive. But understand that life and free will is not simply an either-or proposition but a quantitative measure. Some living organisms are more alive and have more free will than others, just as some people are more alive and have more free will than others. Life of the mind is measured in part by consciousness. To be more alive is to be more aware of and more engaged with the environment.
    Free-will might be quantitative, but how can you say that about life? Is human more alive than mushrooms? How can mushrooms have free-will?
    Life has numerous quantitative measures in the extent of awareness of its environment the range of responses it can make to its environment, and the rate at which it adapts and learns.

    Biological forms of life, especially those without a nervous system learn only as a species exploring possibilities and recording what is learned in the genetic code. Therefore I can answer your question by saying, look at the variety of mushrooms, each has chosen to respond to the environment in its own way.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Computer software can generate patterns and information that does not exist anywhere, and by doing so they create an ordering of bits in memory or on disk. Likewise the mind deduces conclusions or makes choices which affects the biochemistry in the brain.
    Yes, but there is a biological mechanisms that allows for the spontaneity of the mind to deduce conclusions, and this mechanisms is most likely another type of neurological activity.
    There is is a contradiction between the terms "mechanism" and "spontaneity", but all life arises in an environment governed (but not in a perfectly determinsitic manner) by natural law. It is the self-organizing phenomena of life which accomplishes this by amplifying the indeterminstic character of natural law.

    We instinctively recognize life and distinguish it from the patterns of behavior which constitute the environment. What you are calling biological mechanisms that allow for spontaneity for the mind, I am calling the conditions which allow for the spontaneous self-organization of a living organism. But this is not merely terminology alone, because as I have said numerous times before the difference is found in the inheritance of information. The life of the mind does not grow in isolation, from the biological environment alone, but is seeded by information provided via human communication. It the parent, for example, who teaches his child that he is a person and what that means.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Where did you get the idea that hardware creates software? I'm simply saying that if you encode information in a sequence of binary digits in hardware, say DVDs, the end result is a software. Next you shoot lasers at a DVD to read the information off the hardware, so software in a sense is just the result of the encoded information in the hardware.
    You mean where do I see that implication in your words? It was in the phrase, "Software is the result of the binary combination encoded in the hardware", ignoring the point of my analogy by making this "explanation" of software that neglects its actually origns where the causes of its behavior is really to be found. Furthermore this was in the context of my repeated explanation of how the mind has a source other than the biology of the brain. However since you have begun to get what I am saying in regards to the mind, my point is made.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I think the main problem lies in what we define information as. You probably define it as a intangible concept, whereas I define information as any form of represented pattern. A book contains represented patterns in the form of words, and hence it contains information. Definition issue again.
    But you are wrong or at least unclear in the distinctions you are making. I am opposed to the idealist philosophy which sees abstractions as existing apart from their particulars. But that is not the same thing as reductionism which denies that there is any abstraction, which is absurd. Regardless of whether the abstraction only exists in our mind it represents a pattern that makes an identification between particulars. Especially in the case of information which modern technology constantly transforms from one medium and representation to another in the process of transmission. This makes it insane to deny the distinction between the information and it current representation in some medium.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Biological structures pass an inheritance of information by means of DNA, but the mind uses something completely differnt to pass on an inheritiance of information.
    What you mean by inheritance of information? In biology you only talk about inheritance when there is a transmission of information from one generation to another. Memory in the brain for example is said to be preserved rather than inherited.
    Ignoring your use of the word memory, which I never used, I would say, "really???" So were you at Auswitz or are you completely ignorant of what happened there? I may have no first hand memories or observations of those events but I neverthess have all kinds of information including images about what happened there. Human communication transmits information from one generation to another. Before modern media there were still books, and before books there were still stories shared and before these there was still parents showing their children by their own example, how to live.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Learning and memory in neuroscience is attributed to changes in neuron synapse, and learning and memory in a sense is therefore perfectly biological.
    You not only have a real stereotypical "can't see the forest for the trees" thing going for you, but you seem to quickly forget what was already communicated. I can only tiredly repeat: reductionism is stupid.
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    Forum Sophomore arkofnoah's Avatar
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    No not all living things have a human consciousness. They have "consciousness" that is appropriate to their own sort of life. But just because we anthropocentrically use a special word "consciousness" for how humans are aware and respond to their environment does not mean that we really do anything essentially different. This is perhaps another remnant of idealism and spirit puppeteer thinking. I believe that the process of life whether mental or biological is essentially the same and that the differences are either superficial or quantitative in nature.
    Most people would associate consciousness to complex vertebrate life-forms such as human, dolphins and chimpanzees, and not to simpler life-forms such as bacteria. So yes, consciousness is quantitative. But no, not all life-forms have consciousness.

    But are you going by the same definition as me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Consciousness defies definition. It may involve thoughts, sensations, perceptions, moods, emotions, dreams, and an awareness of self, although not necessarily any particular one or combination of these.
    You need to define clearly what you mean when you say an organism is "conscious" or else this argument will be largely meaningless.

    Yes and life on this planet "is the result of" the flow of energy from the sun. It is correct to acknowledge dependence but it is not correct to make this a reduction of one to the other.
    Technically speaking it is CORRECT to make this a reduction, but on the other hand INACCURATE. That's why we look at the mind with a psychological perspective and not a biological one, but this is not the same as saying it is not biological. You see the difference?

    Correct. But I am also saying that living things are always dependent upon their environment and upon other living organisms and although we can say that they are part of a larger living organic whole this does not mean that they do not have a life of their own. We have this concept of the mind for precisely this reason, because the behavior of people only makes sense when we see the mind as a living thing in its own right with its own organizational structures and its own reasons for doing things.
    Ok. Agree.

    Ahhh... well I think that you are conflating an older understanding of the word "science" with modern science. Logic is not a part of modern science, but more properly classified with philosophy. To be rational is not equivalent to being a scientist and certainly it is not equivalent to believing what scientists tell you.
    Logic is the study of the principles of valid inference and demonstration. The word derives from Greek λογική (logike), fem. of λογικός (logikos), "possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative", from λόγος logos, "word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle".

    As a formal science, logic investigates and classifies the structure of statements and arguments, both through the study of formal systems of inference and through the study of arguments in natural language. The field of logic ranges from core topics such as the study of validity, fallacies and paradoxes, to specialized analysis of reasoning using probability and to arguments involving causality. Logic is also commonly used today in argumentation theory.

    Traditionally, logic was considered a branch of philosophy, a part of the classical trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Since the mid-nineteenth century formal logic has been studied in the context of foundations of mathematics, where it was often called symbolic logic.
    This is my definition of logic. Logic is both a philosophy and a science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

    Fields of science are commonly classified along two major lines: natural sciences, which study natural phenomena (including biological life), and social sciences, which study human behavior and societies. These groupings are empirical sciences...

    Mathematics, which is sometimes classified within a third group of science called formal science, has both similarities and differences with the natural and social sciences.... Formal science, which also includes statistics and logic, is vital to the empirical sciences.
    So I'm referring to "science" as the combination of empirical science and formal science. Logic is formal science. You on the other hand connect it more to philosophy (which is not wrong), so oh well.

    Ahh... It seems that you use the words natural and supernatural in much the same way that I use the words physical and spiritual.
    So is spiritual logical?

    Life has numerous quantitative measures in the extent of awareness of its environment the range of responses it can make to its environment, and the rate at which it adapts and learns.
    Molecules have numerous quantitative measures in the extent of the composition of elements, its charges, its molecular mass, its stability. Does that make one molecule more "molecular" than the others?

    I don't know what's your definition of life, but by mine, that "life" is as either-or a description as "molecule" is, what you're saying is absurd. Perhaps going by your definition I'm the one who is absurd. Oh well.

    Biological forms of life, especially those without a nervous system learn only as a species exploring possibilities and recording what is learned in the genetic code. Therefore I can answer your question by saying, look at the variety of mushrooms, each has chosen to respond to the environment in its own way.
    I associate Free-will to self-awareness. Only when you are aware that you can exercise your free-will then is free-will really free-will. Mushrooms doesn't have self-awareness, so how can it be free will. As far as I know mushrooms and bacteria simply response to the environment like automata, with some random mutations somewhere along their development. Perhaps you can enlighten me about how this is not so.

    The life of the mind does not grow in isolation, from the biological environment alone, but is seeded by information provided via human communication. It the parent, for example, who teaches his child that he is a person and what that means.
    Nature and nurture basically.

    Now you're referring to "mind" as collective intelligence of human. Oh well. Then I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    But you are wrong or at least unclear in the distinctions you are making. I am opposed to the idealist philosophy which sees abstractions as existing apart from their particulars. But that is not the same thing as reductionism which denies that there is any abstraction, which is absurd. Regardless of whether the abstraction only exists in our mind it represents a pattern that makes an identification between particulars. Especially in the case of information which modern technology constantly transforms from one medium and representation to another in the process of transmission. This makes it insane to deny the distinction between the information and it current representation in some medium.
    There are many definitions of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information

    In the case when I talk about book and computer, I define information as represented pattern. That's where I base my argument on. Then I realize that you're going by another definition. I guess we need to be more consistent with each other to have a meaningful definition. By your definition that information is distinct from its medium, then I would have to agree with you.

    Ignoring your use of the word memory, which I never used, I would say, "really???" So were you at Auswitz or are you completely ignorant of what happened there? I may have no first hand memories or observations of those events but I neverthess have all kinds of information including images about what happened there. Human communication transmits information from one generation to another. Before modern media there were still books, and before books there were still stories shared and before these there was still parents showing their children by their own example, how to live.
    Memory is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and subsequently retrieve information.
    Any information stored in the brain is memory. Unless you are referring to collective memory which is not what I'm referring to. This is all definition issue here. We are mostly talking about the same thing, just using different definitions. This is getting lame.

    Learning and memory in neuroscience is attributed to changes in neuron synapse, and learning and memory in a sense is therefore perfectly biological.
    You not only have a real stereotypical "can't see the forest for the trees" thing going for you, but you seem to quickly forget what was already communicated. I can only tiredly repeat: reductionism is stupid.
    IN A SENSE perfectly biological. A teacup is IN A SENSE all its atoms and molecules. I'm having a problem with you saying teacup is not made up of atom and molecules. Just because you are using a top-down approach to describe an object, doesn't mean that bottom-up approach is stupid. It is just insufficient to explain when it reaches its limit of explanation.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Most people would associate consciousness to complex vertebrate life-forms such as human, dolphins and chimpanzees, and not to simpler life-forms such as bacteria. So yes, consciousness is quantitative. But no, not all life-forms have consciousness.

    But are you going by the same definition as me?
    Yes they would. But I think the difference is no more that putting the adjective human, mental, or neurological in front of it. Since I am droping this human centered aspect of the defintions, then you could indeed say that I am not going by the same definition.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Consciousness defies definition. It may involve thoughts, sensations, perceptions, moods, emotions, dreams, and an awareness of self, although not necessarily any particular one or combination of these.
    You need to define clearly what you mean when you say an organism is "conscious" or else this argument will be largely meaningless.
    Well part of the problem is the difference between the subjective experience of consciousness and the objective observation of consciousness. There is a fundamental and I think unbridgeable conflict between the subjective experience and methodology of science which filters out the subjective. This claim by Wikipedia that consciousness defies definition merely reflects this problem. However we can stick to the objective observation, in which consciousness is simply a living responsiveness to the state of the self and the environment.

    If we try to explain the subjective experience that is where we leave the methodology of science behind. For this reason, metaphysical naturalist will tend to dismiss the subjective experience of consciousness and free will as an illusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    That's why we look at the mind with a psychological perspective and not a biological one, but this is not the same as saying it is not biological. You see the difference?
    Of course. But again I point you to the question of the inheritance of information which a central process of life and it is the difference in this that makes a fundamental distinction between biological life and mental life. But since your agreed with the following perhaps this is beating a dead horse:

    But I am also saying that living things are always dependent upon their environment and upon other living organisms and although we can say that they are part of a larger living organic whole this does not mean that they do not have a life of their own. We have this concept of the mind for precisely this reason, because the behavior of people only makes sense when we see the mind as a living thing in its own right with its own organizational structures and its own reasons for doing things.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    This is my definition of logic. Logic is both a philosophy and a science.
    I have studied symbolic logic on a graduate level. The problem is that I generally associate the term "modern science" with its empirical methodology which is certainly NOT a part of mathematics and logic. Yet mathematics is impossible to separate from natural science because it provides the language, especially for physics. As interesting side note complication, however, is that empirical observation has provided feedback to the study of logic in the effort to devise a quantum logic that is applicable to quantum physics.

    Anyway classifications are essentially arbitrary. My main point was simply that about the impossiblity of making science+logic self-justifying, which makes equating science+logic to rationality in general unjustifiable.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    So is spiritual logical?
    Not quantifiable, but within limits, yes I think there are natural laws with a logical application. HOWEVER it may not be subject to a classical formulation of logic, but may require modifications just as quantum logic requires some modifications.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Life has numerous quantitative measures in the extent of awareness of its environment the range of responses it can make to its environment, and the rate at which it adapts and learns.
    Molecules have numerous quantitative measures in the extent of the composition of elements, its charges, its molecular mass, its stability. Does that make one molecule more "molecular" than the others?
    Don't be silly. My point is that I do not think that "life" is an adjective that is anything like that of "molecular".


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I don't know what's your definition of life, but by mine, that "life" is as either-or a description as "molecule" is, what you're saying is absurd. Perhaps going by your definition I'm the one who is absurd. Oh well.
    Yeah the traditional understanding of life usually is. However I reject this as incorrect, unhelpful, misleading, prejudicial, xeno-naive, and/or geocentric.

    Life is a particular kind of process of self-organization. Its most basic unit is a cyclical process with a feedback mechanism. In terms of this basic unit, what makes it quantitative is the speed of the process, the number of interacting cycles, and the hierarchy of cycles. By this last I mean that the interaction of component cycles tends to form its own cyclical processes with feedback mechanisms. In the bigger picture, as a process of self-organization, life has a quantitative nature in regards to complexity, adaptablity, awareness and the speed of the learning/development process. To abstract "awareness" from its human/neurological connotations you can substitute "controlled sensitivity", meaning that it can respond to environment without being dominated by the environment.



    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I associate Free-will to self-awareness. Only when you are aware that you can exercise your free-will then is free-will really free-will. Mushrooms doesn't have self-awareness, so how can it be free will. As far as I know mushrooms and bacteria simply response to the environment like automata, with some random mutations somewhere along their development. Perhaps you can enlighten me about how this is not so.
    We human beings tend to anthropomorphically tie words like "awareness" to our own form life and thus tend to associate a word like "awarness" with the mental operation. Well obviously a mushroom is not a mental form of life but a biological one. But I believe that the mushroom does exactly the same kind information process in its chemical reactions that we do in our neurological interactions though admittedly at a lower rate of speed.

    So taking out this antropomorphological bias in the word "aware", I say that all living things are self-aware. They have to be in order to be self-organizing. How can you organize something you are not aware of.

    No mushrooms and bacteria are not like cellular automata. Yes I myself have used the example of cellular automata to show how you can have the beginnings of self organizational structures in cellular automata. But cellular automata is mising various aspects of things that make life possible, though perhaps in some future computing technology with quantum logic this may change and we may actually be able to give birth to machine life of some sort.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Now you're referring to "mind" as collective intelligence of human. Oh well. Then I agree.
    No I do not refer to the mind as "collective intelligence of human". Just the opposite. It is the mind which makes us truly individual forms of life. While biological life forms can only learn and pass on information as a species via DNAwith no inheritance of characteristics acquired by the individual member of the species, the individual mind can and DOES pass on an inheritance of information acquired by the individual mind. This increases the rate of learning and development of humanity in regards to mental life by several orders of magnitude over the biological. This is one of those quantitative measures that makes the life (or consciousness) of the human mind greater than that of any biological life by several orders of magnitude.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    We are mostly talking about the same thing, just using different definitions. This is getting lame.
    "lame"? So overcoming communication barriers does not interest you?


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Just because you are using a top-down approach to describe an object, doesn't mean that bottom-up approach is stupid. It is just insufficient to explain when it reaches its limit of explanation.
    I am a physicist for pete sake, so the bottom up approach is part of my stock and trade so I would hardly call it stupid. But reductionism is NOT simply a bottom up explanation it is the claim that the bottom up approach is the complete explanation. By your recognition here that the bottom up approach has a limitation you have denounced reductionism.... finally! No I am not saying that you capitualated or that you have changed your mind but only that you have finally communicated something that doesn't sound like a reductionist repudiation of what I was trying to explain.
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    I have studied symbolic logic on a graduate level. The problem is that I generally associate the term "modern science" with its empirical methodology which is certainly NOT a part of mathematics and logic. Yet mathematics is impossible to separate from natural science because it provides the language, especially for physics. As interesting side note complication, however, is that empirical observation has provided feedback to the study of logic in the effort to devise a quantum logic that is applicable to quantum physics.

    Anyway classifications are essentially arbitrary. My main point was simply that about the impossiblity of making science+logic self-justifying, which makes equating science+logic to rationality in general unjustifiable.
    I'm still unclear what you define as "rationality".

    Not quantifiable, but within limits, yes I think there are natural laws with a logical application. HOWEVER it may not be subject to a classical formulation of logic, but may require modifications just as quantum logic requires some modifications.
    Maybe. Until then I'm still going to suspend my judgment on whether supernatural entity such as God exists or not. I think you have proven quite well that supernatural may ultimately be explained by logic (or somewhere along the line), but it's still not enough to convince me that supernatural MUST exist. In the first place I define supernatural as something that is untestable or unknowable. Going by the definition you can't prove it otherwise, just like how you cannot prove that "all triangles have three sides" wrong. It is just true by definition. So perhaps if God can be proved in anyway, he is not supernatural at all. Maybe supernatural doesn't exist at all.

    Yeah the traditional understanding of life usually is. However I reject this as incorrect, unhelpful, misleading, prejudicial, xeno-naive, and/or geocentric.

    Life is a particular kind of process of self-organization. Its most basic unit is a cyclical process with a feedback mechanism. In terms of this basic unit, what makes it quantitative is the speed of the process, the number of interacting cycles, and the hierarchy of cycles. By this last I mean that the interaction of component cycles tends to form its own cyclical processes with feedback mechanisms. In the bigger picture, as a process of self-organization, life has a quantitative nature in regards to complexity, adaptablity, awareness and the speed of the learning/development process. To abstract "awareness" from its human/neurological connotations you can substitute "controlled sensitivity", meaning that it can respond to environment without being dominated by the environment.
    I get it. If you define "awareness" as "controlled sensitivity" then I get where you are coming from.

    Read this article: http://science.howstuffworks.com/weird-life.htm

    Long story short, scientists suggest that plasma crystals that is able to self-replicate, store information and respond to environment is a life-form. Do you consider it life then? It is largely dominated by the environment. And in primordial oceans, a metabolic pathway enclosed in phospholipid bilayer can be considered as the first form of life. Do you consider these relatively simple chemical reactions to be life? Do they have awareness?

    In your very first post you said:

    An atheist who equates human beings to a biological species might find this incomprehensible, but I do not share their rather peculiar prejudices. Persons are not visible things I can point to like bug. I can point to a body, but the person I know and believe exists is not just a variety of meat, but a personality with dreams, desires, ideas and feelings.
    You seem to imply that persons have something that bug don't have, namely motivations, dreams, desires, consciousness, etc. A bit contradictory with what you originally said doesn't it, since bug also has this dreams, motivations and desires, just to a lesser extent. So in fact persons are in essence just an improved version of bug. Is that right?

    I am a physicist for pete sake, so the bottom up approach is part of my stock and trade so I would hardly call it stupid. But reductionism is NOT simply a bottom up explanation it is the claim that the bottom up approach is the complete explanation. By your recognition here that the bottom up approach has a limitation you have denounced reductionism.... finally! No I am not saying that you capitualated or that you have changed your mind but only that you have finally communicated something that doesn't sound like a reductionist repudiation of what I was trying to explain.
    Agreeable. You see, the problem here is that I do not agree with you saying that reductionism is "stupid", irrelevant or completely useless in explanation (I know you don't mean it that way now since you clarified). I would call reductionism insufficient, that is has a limit. It can explain phenomena to certain extent. I do get your point.

    So yes, what you've said made me rethink some of my definition such as awareness and consciousness. After clarifying these definitions I have to say I agree with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I'm still unclear what you define as "rationality".
    Easy. I would associate rationality with logical consistency. In a discussion, I am likely to find that the person I am talking to does not accept the same premises that I do, but seeing that he draws his/her conclusions from his/her premises in a consistent manner I would consider that person rational. As far as consistency with the discoveries of science I would make not judgment in regards to rationality but only make this inconsistency with modern science perfectly clear, for I think that largely speaks for itself. But most of the time the cognitive dissonance I encounter in a discussion comes from premises drawn from a more subjective experience of human existence, like for example with Calvinists and determinists who deny the reality of free will. I find their way of thinking utterly alien and incomprehensible, but yet I do not see grounds in this for saying that they are irrational.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I'm still going to suspend my judgment on whether supernatural entity such as God exists or not. I think you have proven quite well that supernatural may ultimately be explained by logic (or somewhere along the line), but it's still not enough to convince me that supernatural MUST exist. In the first place I define supernatural as something that is untestable or unknowable. Going by the definition you can't prove it otherwise, just like how you cannot prove that "all triangles have three sides" wrong. It is just true by definition. So perhaps if God can be proved in anyway, he is not supernatural at all. Maybe supernatural doesn't exist at all.
    Then I would go further than you in this perhaps, to display extreme skepticism towards any claim to objective rational that God must exist. Thus I agree before the start with Dawkins in his rejection of all the proofs of God's existence. I think it is a logical consequence of the way we define the distinction between physical (you read "natural") and spiritual (you read "supernatural") based on the abilities of science to investigate them. The very idea that science could prove the existence of God is anathema to me, for it would imply to me that God is in some way subject to the laws of physics and by this vulnerable to manipulation. I think it would be a denial of the spiritual nature of His existence and would render my belief in Him somewhat pointless -- I might as well believe in and worship quarks and the strong force. LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    I get it. If you define "awareness" as "controlled sensitivity" then I get where you are coming from.

    Read this article: http://science.howstuffworks.com/weird-life.htm

    Long story short, scientists suggest that plasma crystals that is able to self-replicate, store information and respond to environment is a life-form. Do you consider it life then? It is largely dominated by the environment. And in primordial oceans, a metabolic pathway enclosed in phospholipid bilayer can be considered as the first form of life. Do you consider these relatively simple chemical reactions to be life? Do they have awareness?
    Yes and I am aware of many more examples. Even weather phenomena like tornados and hurricanes display some of the basic characteristics of life in metabolic and self-organizational features so I would say that these are to that extent alive/aware. Howevever this only sounds wierd when you leave out the quantitative comparison which would see the human mind as billions of times more aware/alive than a mouse, a mouse as billions of times more aware/alive than a tree, a tree as billions of times more aware/alive than amoeba, an amoeba as many times more aware/alive than a bacterium, a bacterium as billions of times more aware/alive than a virus, and a virus as considerably more aware/alive than the sort of plasma crystals you are talking about which are also considerably more aware/alive than a hurricane.

    Consider the fact that in science, impossibility is pretty much defined by extreme unlikelyhood. In the same way we can say that relative to human life and awareness, a hurricane is an inanimate phenomenon -- and yet we seem to instictively recognise their living characteristics by giving them human names. Not that this proves anything, of course, because people will often give such names to things like boats as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    In your very first post you said:

    An atheist who equates human beings to a biological species might find this incomprehensible, but I do not share their rather peculiar prejudices. Persons are not visible things I can point to like bug. I can point to a body, but the person I know and believe exists is not just a variety of meat, but a personality with dreams, desires, ideas and feelings.
    You seem to imply that persons have something that bug don't have, namely motivations, dreams, desires, consciousness, etc. A bit contradictory with what you originally said doesn't it,
    There is no inconsistency there because in that case we talking about the reality of the human mind - the reality of mental life. In that case the discussion was all about the distinction of mental life from biological life and not about their commonalities. Bugs are a biological form of life and although they have a primitive nervous system that does allow some neurological response to the world there is in no conceivable way, sufficient neurological complexity for their neurological interactions to be considered a form of life in its own right.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    since bug also has this dreams, motivations and desires, just to a lesser extent.
    Dreams are a little too specific to human mental life. But do bugs have motivations and desires? I would say that is obviously the case.


    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    So in fact persons are in essence just an improved version of bug. Is that right?
    Yes and no. Now you must forgive me because I must start by going all religious on you to express my sentiments clearly in this matter.

    I would go so far as to say that life itself is the child of God. It is life itself that has the basic characteristic of infinite potentiality with which God can find an eternal relationship and therefore all life is an object of God's love. However, going back to a slightly more scientific perspective (really more philosophical at this point), human life which is dominantly mental life is life in a whole different medium and it is that difference which I was calling to attention with my comparison with bugs, and which makes human life qualitatively different to some degree. And yet I would also tend say that the difference in mediums is somewhat irrelevant and it is the quantitative differences that are really all that is significant.

    By my view of the mind as a fully physical but distinct living organism I have all the advantages of both physicalism and dualism in dealing with the mind-body problem. That is, my position is basically physicalist, but a lot of dualistic thought and language still makes perfect sense in the context of my position. But I should also say that this is not the whole story, because I do believe in a spiritual aspect to reality. I just do not think the mind is any less physical or more spiritual than the body and I think the involvement of the spirit is something much much more subtle than anything like the role of puppeteer.
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    i'll tell u why i believe in god
    fisrt of all i was bourn a muslim and thanks to god i am
    so now all muslims believe in god why ?
    because u just sit and meditate, look at the things around u and ask ur self who created this marvelous universe, these amazing creatures, the way they live, eat, drink etc. and the way how every thing else works it's really wonderful. u will feel that these things didn't creat them self nothing can create it self their must be a maker and that's god.
    do u even know why we were created?
    i'll tell u
    god ( allah ) made us to honour him and worship him because life is just an axam cus there will be an end where u will have ur certificate that will tell u where u belong hell or heaven.
    u might want to read a book about islam it's very nice you'll like it believe me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    because u just sit and meditate, look at the things around u and ask ur self who created this marvelous universe, these amazing creatures, the way they live, eat, drink etc. and the way how every thing else works it's really wonderful.
    I'm an agnostic. I sat and meditated over my bio textbooks (among many other things obviously) for the past 15 years of my life and I concluded that there is no maker of life. You don't need to incur a supernatural when natural processes is adequate to explain it. You need to prove otherwise. And don't bring up the creationist argument that this and this is not known and therefore it must be created from God. Argumentum ad ignorantiam proves nothing.

    u will feel that these things didn't creat them self nothing can create it self their must be a maker and that's god.
    I certainly don't feel that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    do u even know why we were created?
    i'll tell u
    god ( allah ) made us to honour him and worship him because life is just an axam cus there will be an end where u will have ur certificate that will tell u where u belong hell or heaven.
    u might want to read a book about islam it's very nice you'll like it believe me.
    Some people have children to honour them and worship them and this may last for while but eventually the children grow up, so then the question is what do these parent do then? Will these parent try to prevent these children from growing up? I see evidence all the time that people would try to do this every time I hear, "they are so wonderful at that age", and "its too bad that they have to grow up." I am appalled. Helping them grow up is the WHOLE POINT!

    And so what can we say of a God who has the same motivation in creating us as these type of parents described above? Can we admire such a God? Should we? Would such a God selfishly keep His children from growing up as well? In fact, people cannot help wondering if religions created by this sort of God might be created for the very purpose of keeping us from growing up as well.

    But I think that religion with such an image of God is the creation of human beings not God, and has created a god in their own image with their own self way of thinking. I certainly don't belive in any such religion or any such God. The only God I can believe in would have no such motivation. The only God I can believe in is a God with the motivation of a good parent who wants his children to grow up and realize their highest potential. This therefore is not a God who created us to worship Him, but a God who created us so that He may "worship" us - that He may love and serve us and to help us become what we can become.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkofnoah
    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    because u just sit and meditate, look at the things around u and ask ur self who created this marvelous universe, these amazing creatures, the way they live, eat, drink etc. and the way how every thing else works it's really wonderful.
    I'm an agnostic. I sat and meditated over my bio textbooks (among many other things obviously) for the past 15 years of my life and I concluded that there is no maker of life. You don't need to incur a supernatural when natural processes is adequate to explain it. You need to prove otherwise. And don't bring up the creationist argument that this and this is not known and therefore it must be created from God. Argumentum ad ignorantiam proves nothing.

    u will feel that these things didn't creat them self nothing can create it self their must be a maker and that's god.
    I certainly don't feel that way.
    then u r free in what u feel nobody forced u to feel in that way
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    do u even know why we were created?
    i'll tell u
    god ( allah ) made us to honour him and worship him because life is just an axam cus there will be an end where u will have ur certificate that will tell u where u belong hell or heaven.
    u might want to read a book about islam it's very nice you'll like it believe me.
    Some people have children to honour them and worship them and this may last for while but eventually the children grow up, so then the question is what do these parent do then? Will these parent try to prevent these children from growing up? I see evidence all the time that people would try to do this every time I hear, "they are so wonderful at that age", and "its too bad that they have to grow up." I am appalled. Helping them grow up is the WHOLE POINT!

    And so what can we say of a God who has the same motivation in creating us as these type of parents described above? Can we admire such a God? Should we? Would such a God selfishly keep His children from growing up as well? In fact, people cannot help wondering if religions created by this sort of God might be created for the very purpose of keeping us from growing up as well.

    But I think that religion with such an image of God is the creation of human beings not God, and has created a god in their own image with their own self way of thinking. I certainly don't belive in any such religion or any such God. The only God I can believe in would have no such motivation. The only God I can believe in is a God with the motivation of a good parent who wants his children to grow up and realize their highest potential. This therefore is not a God who created us to worship Him, but a God who created us so that He may "worship" us - that He may love and serve us and to help us become what we can become.
    it's not right to use the expression children of god
    god doesn't have any children and he was never born and will never die
    ur god is my god and there is only one god
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    She's right Mitchell, your only a child of God if you are a peacemaker. According to Jesus which of course limits that statuation to Christian belief, which is why I addressed it to you (seeing as you are a Christian).
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    i'm not a He i'm a She actually
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    Oh sorry.
    "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
    He's right Mitchell, your only a child of God if you are a peacemaker. According to Jesus which of course limits that statuation to Christian belief, which is why I addressed it to you (seeing as you are a Christian).
    But if we are not His children then it is even more true that we are not His servants. The difference between creating servants (or tools) and creating children is that children have a choice. The parent cannot make his children love him, cannot make the child accept Him as a parent, cannot make the child learn what he has to teach. It is the nature of a child as it is the nature of life itself that it chooses the path along which it will grow. Thus the children of God can choose not to be children of God. It is the great sadness of the world that the children of God can choose to be animals or even monsters. This is what it means to be a child - what it means to be alive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    He's right Mitchell, your only a child of God if you are a peacemaker. According to Jesus which of course limits that statuation to Christian belief, which is why I addressed it to you (seeing as you are a Christian).
    But if we are not His children then it is even more true that we are not His servants. The difference between creating servants (or tools) and creating children is that children have a choice. The parent cannot make his children love him, cannot make the child accept Him as a parent, cannot make the child learn what he has to teach. It is the nature of a child as it is the nature of life itself that it chooses the path along which it will grow. Thus the children of God can choose not to be children of God. It is the great sadness of the world that the children of God can choose to be animals or even monsters. This is what it means to be a child - what it means to be alive.
    u said it ur self he didn't force us to be his servents he gave us the choice
    P.S when u make a robot for instence i don't think u would call it ur child.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Oh sorry.
    it's ok no big deal lols :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    u said it ur self he didn't force us to be his servents he gave us the choice
    P.S when u make a robot for instence i don't think u would call it ur child.
    Exactly!

    Creating robots is an example of creating servants. Creating human beings is an example of creating children.

    I wonder if difference between your view of the man-God relationship and mine is that you do not believe that human beings have any potential. I fear this is a reflection of your own society but many people have a difficulty when looking at mankind in seeing our infinite potential. Only God can see it clearly and only God can bring it to fruition. The important difference, however, between these ours views is in what we think God wants of us. The mindset you advocate suggests that God only wants us to live our lives on our knees bowing to God, and that is the view that will keep society in the dark ages.

    I believe that God wants us to accomplish things -- that God wants us to create and that by doing so, this is the highest praise and worship of God. For let me ask you, which pays you the highest compliments, the person who fawns on you with flattery or the person who tries to be like you? The truth is that the first person is either sick or just being manipulative while it is the second that will truly give you joy. I hope this helps you realize and understand the heart of God a little better - namely that He does not want you merely to cling to Him but to grow in Him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I believe that God wants us to accomplish things -- that God wants us to create and that by doing so, this is the highest praise and worship of God. For let me ask you, which pays you the highest compliments, the person who fawns on you with flattery or the person who tries to be like you? The truth is that the first person is either sick or just being manipulative while it is the second that will truly give you joy. I hope this helps you realize and understand the heart of God a little better - namely that He does not want you merely to cling to Him but to grow in Him.
    i agree with u on that god did create us to build earth and to accomplish things but with the pure intention to please him in what we do and to make him proud of us
    what u said is right
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    I don't want to create children though, I would not like to have them. What does that mean?

    OF COURSE! God doesn't make us His children, we become His children!
    "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
    I don't want to create children though, I would not like to have them. What does that mean?
    I would say that it means no more than that. It means what you say it means. But if you would like some ideas, I would suggest that you are still very much focused on the first and most important creative act of your life and that is the creation of yourself. I would suggest that you lack the arrogance of the parent to imagine that you have finished that first task to a sufficient degree that you are ready start on the task of raising up someone else. Most parents have to learn that they were mistaken, and if they do not, it is probably only because they have lost the capacity to learn anything at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    OF COURSE! God doesn't make us His children, we become His children!
    On the contrary, that is irrational. Being a child is a matter of potential and that potential is not something you can create in yourself. That which is not a child cannot become a child. There is only the child that can choose to follow in his parents footsteps or to squander all that he has been given in rebellion.

    Creating something with that potential is to create a child and this is what it means when Genesis says that God created us in His image. Our infinite potentiality is the mirror of His infinite actuality. That is what a parent does - creates in His own image -- not as a copy of self but to see a reflection Himself in the child without that child being the same person at all. Thus does God see an infinite potentiality in us that we cannot.

    The child is a seed that must grow - so there is no guarantee that the seed will ever grow to be like the parent who created it. What makes it a child is the inheritance that is given it, but whether the child makes full use of that inheritance is the child's own choice in the living of his life. That which is created essentially as a servant is a tool and there is no reason for it to have any such choice. To make a hammer that can choose not to do its job is just plain stupid. Is God stupid? We are only confused by the fact that a person can have a job as a servant, but that is not what the person is, but only the job he has. Every human being that has a job as a servant was not created as a servant but created as a child.

    Adam and Eve rejected the parentage of God and thus severed the relationship. But though a child's repudiation of his/her parents may relinquish his right to call himself a son or daughter, that does not change how the parent sees them or mean that the parent will not do what he can to bring them back -- it certainly does not change the parents motivation for having them. Because of the misery that results the parent may indeed regret having children at all. God sure did in Genesis 6 - and by the way I do not believe that ANYTHING can explain that passage EXCEPT that God created us essentially as His children, for anything else would make Him a bumbling incompetent. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son" is not something that God would do for those that He did not continue to think of as His children and for whom He would do anything to save them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    i'll tell u why i believe in god
    fisrt of all i was bourn a muslim and thanks to god i am
    Impossible. No new born, toodler or child has the capacity to decide on what religion they will follow. You were a child born of Muslim parents and were indoctrinated into your religion.

    so now all muslims believe in god why ?
    because u just sit and meditate, look at the things around u and ask ur self who created this marvelous universe, these amazing creatures, the way they live, eat, drink etc. and the way how every thing else works it's really wonderful. u will feel that these things didn't creat them self nothing can create it self their must be a maker and that's god.
    That is the epitome of living in ignorance.

    do u even know why we were created?
    i'll tell u
    god ( allah ) made us to honour him and worship him because life is just an axam cus there will be an end where u will have ur certificate that will tell u where u belong hell or heaven.
    u might want to read a book about islam it's very nice you'll like it believe me.
    Islamic propaganda.
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  51. #50  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Motivation
    i'll tell u why i believe in god
    fisrt of all i was bourn a muslim and thanks to god i am
    Impossible. No new born, toodler or child has the capacity to decide on what religion they will follow. You were a child born of Muslim parents and were indoctrinated into your religion.

    so now all muslims believe in god why ?
    because u just sit and meditate, look at the things around u and ask ur self who created this marvelous universe, these amazing creatures, the way they live, eat, drink etc. and the way how every thing else works it's really wonderful. u will feel that these things didn't creat them self nothing can create it self their must be a maker and that's god.
    That is the epitome of living in ignorance.

    do u even know why we were created?
    i'll tell u
    god ( allah ) made us to honour him and worship him because life is just an axam cus there will be an end where u will have ur certificate that will tell u where u belong hell or heaven.
    u might want to read a book about islam it's very nice you'll like it believe me.
    Islamic propaganda.
    ok i got it
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    Q, you're like a broken record. You've been exactly the same as you were with me, except in this circumstance you substitued the word 'Christian' with 'Islamic'. Please provide some evidence behind your statements when every single person on this planet sees everything differently.

    Oddly Motivation seems to not want to retaliate, interesting....
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Ive read the Quran and it has more answers than science can give, there have been too many coincdences in my life. When im pray and am spirtually at peace my life is great
    Motivation will almost always beat mere talent in the scientific world.
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    425 CR wrote:
    Q, you're like a broken record. You've been exactly the same as you were with me, except in this circumstance you substitued the word 'Christian' with 'Islamic'.
    I like that. Very consistent.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
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  55. #54 Why I believe there is a God 
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    I'll start off by saying that I believe there is a God, but not in any of the religions at all.
    For me there is only one fundamental reason why there is a God.
    And that is, something must have started the Universe and as a result set everything in motion. The Big Bang. The Universe is made up of energy, it's just one Unimaginalbly huge Field of energy, and different forms of energy which interact in many different ways. I believe that God is even more unimaginably huge.
    I think i'm correct in saying that Physics has proved that there are more than one Universe, a Multiverse. I know that there is a paradox, which is who created God?
    Not even religious people entertain that one or Physics, but I think the more we learn about the Universe we will get closer at least, to knowing if there is a God or not. You have more chance of predicting the outcome of the toss of a coin if you know it's either heads or tails, it could be heads or heads, it just depends on how much knowledge you have about the coin or the Universe.
    I think what i've said makes sense.

    I thought I might add the fact that iI am a believer in an after life.
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    I do not believe in God or any religion because I have a high IQ. There is no difference between Santa delivering presents in one night all over the world than a God who listens to everyone at the same time. It is extremely idiotic and I have no time for religion. I wish it to be removed from our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I do not believe in God or any religion because I have a high IQ.
    Some people never stop the games of pretend that they play as children and so they come on the internet claiming all sorts of things for themselves. But their words will tend to reveal the truth. I take the utter idiocy of this claim as evidence that contradicts your claim. However it is possible that we simply have different standards. Perhaps to you any IQ over 100 is what you would call high. Then again, even people with a high IQ sometimes make themselves look stupid by inserting their feet in their mouth. Communicating intellegently with others is a skill like any other and if you do have a high IQ then perhaps you will learn this skill quickly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    There is no difference between Santa delivering presents in one night all over the world than a God who listens to everyone at the same time. It is extremely idiotic and I have no time for religion. I wish it to be removed from our society.
    I on the other hand will patiently endure the ignorance and foolishness of childish people, while taking care that they do not have the power that will turn this ignorance into the misery and destruction of others. Children need to be allowed to grow up rather than be removed by others, who in spite of their willful delusions are actually just as childish.
    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 Molecular
    I do not believe in God or any religion because I have a high IQ.
    Some people never stop the games of pretend that they play as children and so they come on the internet claiming all sorts of things for themselves. But their words will tend to reveal the truth. I take the utter idiocy of this claim as evidence that contradicts your claim. However it is possible that we simply have different standards. Perhaps to you any IQ over 100 is what you would call high. Then again, even people with a high IQ sometimes make themselves look stupid by inserting their feet in their mouth. Communicating intellegently with others is a skill like any other and if you do have a high IQ then perhaps you will learn this skill quickly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    There is no difference between Santa delivering presents in one night all over the world than a God who listens to everyone at the same time. It is extremely idiotic and I have no time for religion. I wish it to be removed from our society.
    I on the other hand will patiently endure the ignorance and foolishness of childish people, while taking care that they do not have the power that will turn this ignorance into the misery and destruction of others. Children need to be allowed to grow up rather than be removed by others, who in spite of their willful delusions are actually just as childish.
    I read a study that correlates IQ with a belief in God. I am in the gifted section and must say that it is a gift not to have to believe in fairy tales. Besides, I was not communicating anything apart from my opinion. You probably believe in God and are therefore deluded. People like you really make me giggle so thank you for your post
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  59. #58 Re: Why I believe there is a God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by quantumintel
    I think i'm correct in saying that Physics has proved that there are more than one Universe, a Multiverse.
    "Multiverses" are strictly hypothetical and tend to explain mathematical models. Can you provide an observation that might suggest Multiverses?


    Not even religious people entertain that one or Physics, but I think the more we learn about the Universe we will get closer at least, to knowing if there is a God or not.
    An excellent point. The more we observe of the universe, the more those observations suggest physics governs all events with NO requirement for a gods intervention whatsoever.

    I thought I might add the fact that iI am a believer in an after life.
    What makes you believe in an afterlife?
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    and must say that it is a gift not to have to believe in fairy tales.
    A gift from who?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I read a study that correlates IQ with a belief in God.
    Do you understand what the word "correlates" means? Here is a is a simple test by which you can demonstrate whether you actually have any of this higher IQ that you claim: does the fact that a disbelief in God correlates with high IQ mean that someone who does not believe in God has a high IQ or someone with a high IQ does not believe in God?


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I am in the gifted section
    If you are in elementary school then you definitely belong in the gifted section. Junior high school? - probably in that case too. Those are the only place where I am aware of the term "gifted section" being used but of course different areas of the world do things differently. But I have certainly never heard of this term being used for college or university anywhere. It is a term used for children not adults.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Besides, I was not communicating anything apart from my opinion.
    Don't worry. There was nothing in your post that I would confuse with facts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    You probably believe in God and are therefore deluded.
    I think that it can be established as an objective observation of psychology that those who need to prop up their self image with a belief that there is something deficient with most of the people in the world because of some difference from them -- those people are the participants in self-delusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    People like you really make me giggle so thank you for your post.
    Giggling I can well believe is something that you can handle. Any child can do that. It is communicating intellegently that you need to work on.

    Your approach to the this topic is quite a bit similar to that of a fan in the stadium of a football game. You cheer your side and hurl abuses at the other side. It is a rather peculiar manifestation of some kind of herd mentality. You comfort yourself with belonging to your herd and enjoy a kind of psychological transference of merit from the other members of your herd. Now that is what I call amusing, even if I don't giggle at it.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    and must say that it is a gift not to have to believe in fairy tales.
    A gift from who?
    A gift from Richard Dawkins and rational thinking in general
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I read a study that correlates IQ with a belief in God.
    Do you understand what the word "correlates" means? Here is a is a simple test by which you can demonstrate whether you actually have any of this higher IQ that you claim: does the fact that a disbelief in God correlates with high IQ mean that someone who does not believe in God has a high IQ or someone with a high IQ does not believe in God?


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I am in the gifted section
    If you are in elementary school then you definitely belong in the gifted section. Junior high school? - probably in that case too. Those are the only place where I am aware of the term "gifted section" being used but of course different areas of the world do things differently. But I have certainly never heard of this term being used for college or university anywhere. It is a term used for children not adults.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Besides, I was not communicating anything apart from my opinion.
    Don't worry. There was nothing in your post that I would confuse with facts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    You probably believe in God and are therefore deluded.
    I think that it can be established as an objective observation of psychology that those who need to prop up their self image with a belief that there is something deficient with most of the people in the world because of some difference from them -- those people are the participants in self-delusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    People like you really make me giggle so thank you for your post.
    Giggling I can well believe is something that you can handle. Any child can do that. It is communicating intellegently that you need to work on.

    Your approach to the this topic is quite a bit similar to that of a fan in the stadium of a football game. You cheer your side and hurl abuses at the other side. It is a rather peculiar manifestation of some kind of herd mentality. You comfort yourself with belonging to your herd and enjoy a kind of psychological transference of merit from the other members of your herd. Now that is what I call amusing, even if I don't giggle at it.
    Only in America.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I read a study that correlates IQ with a belief in God.
    Do you understand what the word "correlates" means? Here is a is a simple test by which you can demonstrate whether you actually have any of this higher IQ that you claim: does the fact that a disbelief in God correlates with high IQ mean that someone who does not believe in God has a high IQ or someone with a high IQ does not believe in God?
    Only in America.
    Incorrect. Just because the correlation may be higher in some countries than others does not mean the answer to these questions are yes in those countries.
    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 Molecular
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I read a study that correlates IQ with a belief in God.
    Do you understand what the word "correlates" means? Here is a is a simple test by which you can demonstrate whether you actually have any of this higher IQ that you claim: does the fact that a disbelief in God correlates with high IQ mean that someone who does not believe in God has a high IQ or someone with a high IQ does not believe in God?
    Only in America.
    Incorrect. Just because the correlation may be higher in some countries than others does not mean make the answer to these questions are yes in those countries.
    'Only in America' was not a response to that question. It was a general response to the whole post. I do understand what correlates means. If you do not understand what I meant by it then I will explain it to you. The higher a persons IQ the less LIKELY they are to believe in God. The lower their IQ the more LIKELY they are to believe in God. Of course someone with a high IQ can believe in God and vice versa.

    It is not very Christian to make judgements about people. Can I ask why DO you believe in God? In short... because I see that you write A LOT in each post. Remember... effective writing is short and simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    'Only in America' was not a response to that question. It was a general response to the whole post. I do understand what correlates means. If you do not understand what I meant by it then I will explain it to you. The higher a persons IQ the less LIKELY they are to believe in God. The lower their IQ the more LIKELY they are to believe in God. Of course someone with a high IQ can believe in God and vice versa.
    This disparity has been decreasing as of late as atheism becomes more popular and numbskulls think they can pass themselves off as more intellegent by joining the atheist crowd. You peg yourself as one of these with your blather about IQ. Those who are intellegent don't need to tell people that they are intellegent. And those who seek to imply that they are intellegent because they belong to some group are just plain pathetic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    It is not very Christian to make judgements about people.
    "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you."

    Thus to those who come here with a judgemental attitude I throw the same right back at them, and it doesn't matter if they are atheist, Christian or whatever.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Can I ask why DO you believe in God? In short... because I see that you write A LOT in each post. Remember... effective writing is short and simple.
    I'll keep it real short: "read my blog"

    Effective for what? Mass media, to be sure. If you don't really have anything to say, but want to write effectively then I quite agree that short and simple is best. That is a standard rule of rhetoric. If you want to communicate to the most people then you need to speak to the lowest common denominator, not very intellegent and low attention spans. But the result of this policy has been to encourage people in the delusion that this rhetoric has effectively communicated anything substantial to them. So people now seek short answers to everything. This problem is called functional illiteracy.
    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 Molecular
    'Only in America' was not a response to that question. It was a general response to the whole post. I do understand what correlates means. If you do not understand what I meant by it then I will explain it to you. The higher a persons IQ the less LIKELY they are to believe in God. The lower their IQ the more LIKELY they are to believe in God. Of course someone with a high IQ can believe in God and vice versa.
    This disparity has been decreasing as of late as atheism becomes more popular and numbskulls think they can pass themselves off as more intellegent by joining the atheist crowd. You peg yourself as one of these with your blather about IQ. Those who are intellegent don't need to tell people that they are intellegent. And those who seek to imply that they are intellegent because they belong to some group are just plain pathetic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    It is not very Christian to make judgements about people.
    "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you."

    Thus to those who come here with a judgemental attitude I throw the same right back at them, and it doesn't matter if they are atheist, Christian or whatever.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Can I ask why DO you believe in God? In short... because I see that you write A LOT in each post. Remember... effective writing is short and simple.
    I'll keep it real short: "read my blog"

    Effective for what? Mass media, to be sure. If you don't really have anything to say, but want to write effectively then I quite agree that short and simple is best. That is a standard rule of rhetoric. If you want to communicate to the most people then you need to speak to the lowest common denominator, not very intellegent and low attention spans. But the result of this policy has been to encourage people in the delusion that this rhetoric has effectively communicated anything substantial to them. So people now seek short answers to everything. This problem is called functional illiteracy.
    My 'blather' was just a light hearted dig at religion. Yes... I am calling you stupid in case you missed it before. I read your blog after the first post... only in America.

    Ask yourself. What would Jesus do? Would he not turn the other cheek?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    I do not believe in God or any religion because I have a high IQ. There is no difference between Santa delivering presents in one night all over the world than a God who listens to everyone at the same time. It is extremely idiotic and I have no time for religion. I wish it to be removed from our society.
    Molecular

    What exactly do you mean by I.Q.?

    If you understood anything about yourself and about human nature, you will realise that you are not mind, and neither are you body or emotion.

    Body's states and sensations fluctuate and change constantly. To say I am tired, when the body is tired is a mistake. To say my body is tired is correct, but to say the whole of you is tired is incorrect. There is a part of you which is not body and does not experience tired. The correct expression would be to state, I have a body but I am not my body.

    Emotions fluctuate and change constantly. To say I am angry is incorrect, because in another moment you might be something else. To say 'There is a feeling of anger welling up inside me' is more correct than to identify your whole self with this experience. To say I experience emotions, but I am not my emotions would be scientifically & philosophically correct.

    Mind constantly fluctuates and changes. Thought could be imagined as an ape leaping from branch to branch. To identify your self with mind and it's ideas would be incorrect, because these ideas constantly change. Therefore to make any statement that you are this or that because of an idea or a thought is a mistake.
    To say I have a mind, but I am not my mind would be correct.

    Here's an experiment to prove this.
    All these things - Body, Emotions and mind can be observed, manipulated, trained and controlled. Agreed?
    So then who is it exactly that is observing, manipulating and controlling all these phenomena?????

    To base the whole surmise of your self on your level of mind or I.Q really does not demonstrate thinking of a high order. You really have not thought this statement through at all.

    Whoever told you that you had a high I.Q has done more harm than good if they failed to also tell you what the true nature of mind is.

    And you are quick to label others as idiotic, when in fact the form of ignorance you demonstrate, which automatically thinks it is correct because it worships and identifies with mind and believes intelligence is the only sum of its parts is highly dangerous thinking.
    It's the type of thinking that makes dictators and tyrants.

    Molecular is a very fitting avatar name for your obvious level of Intelligence
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    only in America.
    So... National as well as religious bigotry? It is a wonderful character you are building for yourself. I think the more intellegent people in the world are trying to get away from these antiquated attitudes of the various delusionally self-important cesspools around the world.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Would he not turn the other cheek?
    He would if He thought it would do any good, but He also warned us not to throw pearls before swine. There are words and actions that prove that Jesus was not the pacifist that many try to portray Him as. He was more of an advocate of smart opposed to stupid, for fighting the Romans was just stupid. He saw the hypocrisy of the self-righteous and He called them on it, just as I call you on yours. If Jesus advocated the unexpected like turning the other cheek it was because He was opposed to the stupidity of the world.


    Quote Originally Posted by Molecular
    Ask yourself. What would Jesus do?
    At the moment I am far more interested in seeing what Absum is saying. The opportunities for you do to demonstrate the extent of your foolishness is increasing.
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    the defintion of faith is believing without proof or without full proof.
    so if there was a God, he should be a wise and all powerful, so to find his true followers and believers then,
    he would give proof that God didnt exist, all the people that still believed in a God even with the proof of non-existence, would be the true believers and would go to heaven, therefore if Sciencetists ever disprove Gods existence, he must exist.

    Jack Thomas Davies
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    this is just a quick note, an incling if you will bout my theory not my full report, i understand at the min. there loads of holes in it please comment of email me with your views
    thanks
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    Get help.

    You think that definitive proof that something does not exist, is that it does not exist?

    And why would god chose to reward someone who is stupid/gullible enough to believe in him for an unknown reason, when presented with much evidence to the contrary?

    Or do you think god is deliberately trying to annoy us by leaving all questions unanswered, but making them answerable by science?

    The way you are depicting your god, I am glad he does not exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by britboy92
    the defintion of faith is believing without proof or without full proof.
    That is your definition of faith. But even according to your definition, you have a lot of faith.


    Quote Originally Posted by britboy92
    so if there was a God, he should be a wise and all powerful, so to find his true followers and believers then, he would give proof that God didnt exist,
    This not only doesn't follow, it is completely nonsensical. You therefore have a very peculiar notion of what is wise. A proof of something that is false must be flawed. Why would God give a flawed proof?

    But what is really funny is the way you change the usual description of God from all-knowing to merely wise because otherwise your notion of God needing to find his true follower would be pretty dumb. An all knowing God would know that already wouldn't He?


    Quote Originally Posted by britboy92
    all the people that still believed in a God even with the proof of non-existence, would be the true believers and would go to heaven, therefore if Sciencetists ever disprove Gods existence, he must exist.
    A statement of the form, if A then B would be true if A is always false and it is only for that reason that your statement can be said to be true, for it never will be the case that science disproves the existence of God. But your conclusion certainly does not follow from your premises. When you consider the Flat Earth society, you realize that people believing something despite the evidence only proves something about the nature of human beings. So all that would prove is how stubbornly ignorant people can be.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    thank you for your comments i see what you are both saying and i agree, but as i said it was just a sudden thought and i thought id put mi first draft on this forum, i thank you for your comments, aslo i never said it was my belief just a quick theory, which i thought was alright for a 16 year old, however you are correct.

    The concise OXFORD dictionary defines faith as full belief without logical proof

    also it is like a philosophical question theory, its like if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it makes a sound?

    i would say, ofcourse it makes a sound, if a tree falls i will make a loud sound science would prove that even with no one to hear, however eventhough this theory is flawed it is a very famous saying and very highly considered, so you should see where my theory is coming from.
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    I have avoided this site since I wrote an article abouit Nature as GOD.

    But to simplify things, I am convinced that there is a 'spiritual worls that I call the Universal Mind and this includes 'both' a good spirit and a evil spirit .

    So this would be the primary reason why people can believe in a god.

    I will resurrect my post on Nature as GOD to the 1st page.

    Cosmo
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  75. #74  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Sorry, I got a little carried away and may have offended.

    I'll make my point more politely now;

    People go to extraordinary lengths to change the personality of their god so that he fits the world; reasons why he does nothing, says nothing and has never been observed. But in the end, there is no reason for any of this, other than:

    1) God does not care about us.
    2) God does not exist.

    I chose the latter, personally.
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