REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

The answer to Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

POSTED BY: BADGERSHAT
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 12:38
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:09 AM

BADGERSHAT


Here's the simplest solution to a rather simple problem:

God is the ultimate engineer. he created us as single cell organisms, knowing we'd eventually evolve into what we are today.

He did it like this because he knew exactly what he wanted us to be, perfections and flaws and all, and knew that the human mind he wanted us to have is beautiful and extremely fragile.

So, had we been created as we are now, from day one, we'd be different, less of the human species we are now.

Therefore, he knew he had to create us one step at a time, to slowly evolve, both physically and mentally, in order to become what we are.

Sure, he could've skipped it all--he IS God, you know--but it would have meant skipping all the changes, all the different ways we were, which, I believe, he found no less beautiful than what we are now. But this model is the one he ultimately was going for.

So, like any good engineer, he designed the prototypes first, and slowly upgraded and improved them, so that we'd have the time to grow into what he wanted us to be.

Simple, huh? Not sure why I'm the only one who sees this...

--Jefé The Hat

***************************
(pretty freakin obvious when I spell it out for you, huh?)

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:12 AM

CITIZEN


Actually it could go further back than that.
Why couldn't God have kicked off the big bang knowing exactly where it would lead?
Who says we're the ultimate end to gods plan?
That if humans are mearly a step?

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:17 AM

BADGERSHAT


Exactly.

I didn't bring the Big Bang in, because the thread I was originally responding to was strictly about Evolution and Intelligen Design.

But your statement goes exactly with what I was saying.

Ever see those nylon things, they're folded up to like a 3 inch box, you pull a string, throw it in the air, and it suddenly goes FHHWUMPH!!!! and expands into a 7 foot tall tent, complete with flaps, doors, windows, etc?

I think God made the Universe in pretty much the exact same way, folded it up REEEEEEEEEEEEAAALLLLYYY tiny, and then made it go FHHWUMPH!!!! and start expanding into the Universe (which is still expanding, the noise people think it quasars and stellar radiation is actually the ongoing FHHWUMPH!!!! of the tent expanding... trust me, I looked it up).



--Jefé The Hat

***************************
Brilliant, no?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:23 AM

CITIZEN


That noise (I assume) is white noise?
It is (so we believe) in fact left over radiation from the big bang, alluding at flucuations in the 'energetic soup' of the early universe.

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:39 AM

SIMONWHO


The trouble with that argument is that it pleases neither side. The theists would point out that it contradicts Genesis which very clearly states six days to create the world and everything on it. The scientists would point out that you're adding a level of complication where none is necessary (i.e. why bring an omniscient being into it when you can explain it all naturally).

The theory of "intelligent design" exists solely for the purpose of getting God into evolution somehow. It's also a very American problem in that most countries are quite happy teaching children evolution in biology classes and Genesis's account in RE. If you believe in God, Genesis supersedes evolution (or you could take it as a metaphor). If you don't, then you have an explanation as to why there's life on earth.

Plus I rather hope that we've still got a few evolutionary steps yet to take. After all, homo sapiens sapiens has only been around for 100,000 years or so, I don't think the story of us is quite finished yet.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 9:43 AM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
The trouble with that argument is that it pleases neither side. The theists would point out that it contradicts Genesis which very clearly states six days to create the world and everything on it. The scientists would point out that you're adding a level of complication where none is necessary (i.e. why bring an omniscient being into it when you can explain it all naturally).



Ah, but we mystics find it perfectly acceptable and slightly more accurate than the either/or of more narrow-minded theorists.

You know, there are a lot of folks who actually know the answers to these questions, folks that don't have to theorize. The trouble is, the information is purely experiential, very difficult to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it for themselves; it's like trying to describe the color blue to someone who's never seen it. But people try--oh, how they try! (That's where all the bibles and sutras and self-help books come in.)

But it's not exactly like trying to explain "blue," because all of us, all us conscious beings here, contain the memory of what we are and where we come from within us. It's just really buried for a lot of folk. When we find a book or a religion that touches these memories, even just a little, we tend to fixate on it and tell the world that we've found "the one true path," etc. But there are at least 6.4 billion ways to awaken these memories, sometimes they even come into awareness seemingly by their own volition.

Yes, science can deny the presence of trans-human consciousness, because science is totally unsuited to measuring or observing it. Science is fundamentally concerned with mechanically repeatable phenomena and consciousness is too willful, moody and mercurial to get down on a petri dish and wait around to be noticed. Nonetheless, modern science is beginning to nibble around the edges of mysticism with all that quantum mechanics and chaos theory the kids are so keen on nowadays.

But you're quite right:
Quote:

The theory of "intelligent design" exists solely for the purpose of getting God into evolution somehow.

The controversy has nothing to do with phenomenology; it's purely a battle of political factions who want to maintain control.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 10:06 AM

DAIKATH


I don't see the problem with putting God in the evolutional theory.

Most arguments I've seen against Intelectual Design is that it involved God.

The dutch minister of education wanted to start a discussion about Intelectual Design but got completely shot off by our parlament.

The politicians talked about it that Christians are just creating it to hide the embarrasment from the evolutionary theory..

Also one favor of the ID theory. In the book of Genesis it also says that Kaïn was fearful poeple would kill him because he had murdered. But if you take the creational story litterally there were no poeple there to kill him. Besides the early world in Genesis seemed to have grown quite fast anyway and often mentions stuff that could't have happened if the story should be taken litterally.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 11:23 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
The theists would point out that it contradicts Genesis which very clearly states six days to create the world and everything on it.

Time was hard to measure back then. Six days could really stand for a million years or whatever. God has a lot of projects he's workin' on, and a million years to him is like a hiccup.
Thing is, a bathroom break is longer than a hiccup, and when he gets off the can and sees how we turned out, well, I just hope he doesn't terminate the experiment...

Blasphemous Chrisisall

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 12:22 PM

SIMONWHO


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:

You know, there are a lot of folks who actually know the answers to these questions, folks that don't have to theorize. The trouble is, the information is purely experiential, very difficult to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it for themselves; it's like trying to describe the color blue to someone who's never seen it. But people try--oh, how they try! (That's where all the bibles and sutras and self-help books come in.)



You're right in that science disregards for the most part non-repeatable, purely perceptional data. It does this for one simple reason: it's not very reliable.

People are stupid animals. We, by and large, believe whatever our brains want us to believe. Feeling "touched by God" could be a genuine theistic event. Or it could just be someone needing to feel special, or having a minor blood clot, or just pure and simple faking it.

Oh, and Quantum Physics has nothing to do with mysticism, it's just been hijacked by certain groups who half read a few of the books and decided that it was "beyond science". It is a science, bound to the same principles as all the other ones; theories backed up by data from repeatable experiments. The fact that it bears no resemblence to physics as we knew it is neither here nor there.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 2:02 PM

CITIZEN


I think there is something beyond us, more than us, like god, and Im really have a problem with understanding why the big bang and evolution precludes such existance...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 2:45 PM

CHRISISALL


Western thinking, citizen. The need to disect and compartmentalize. Even as a teenager, I used to think, why couldn't God have come up with evolution? I mean, people can buy Noah's Arc, but not the notion that God designed all living things from the molocule up?
If there is a God, wouldn't all existence be the manifestation of God itself? Without thinking duelistically, aren't we and everything we see and touch and think, and more than that, God?

And if the Devine exists, who are we to presume to say that God couldn't create a 'Big Bang' to begin each new universe with?

The cells of our skin can repair a cut, do they have to be told how? They know how, just as the Universe (God) knows how to create itself.

Shepard Chrisisall

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 3:20 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


The feeling of "more than us, bigger than us, the unknown, the unity" is mysticism. Not to split hairs, but Christian fundamentalists aren't mystics. They know exactly how everything works because god told them all, exactly.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 3:31 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
You're right in that science disregards for the most part non-repeatable, purely perceptional data. It does this for one simple reason: it's not very reliable.


Is love reliable? Can you rely on your best friend's sense of humor to make you laugh?

Take the most moving scene from a great film. Will everyone in the audience cry? No. Will a whole bunch of 'em cry? Yes. Will most of them feel moved? Yes. How is it that the filmic image of someone suffering can affect us as strongly as a close friend's pain? What's happening there? What is being transmitted from the actor through the film to the viewer? Anything? Something unreliable? Is it simply that we're "stupid animals?" And is love purely perceptional? I don't think so. Human emotion is perfectly real, but it doesn't follow physical laws; and yet we make sense of it every day.
Quote:

People are stupid animals. We, by and large, believe whatever our brains want us to believe. Feeling "touched by God" could be a genuine theistic event. Or it could just be someone needing to feel special, or having a minor blood clot, or just pure and simple faking it.

Wow. One thing that is not reliable is the emotion communicated in posting over the internet. You say, "People are stupid animals." I'm a little taken aback by your sudden...what? Vitriol? My sense is that you're not familiar with the kind of spiritual experience I'm talking about. Have you ever experienced what you would call a "genuine theistic event?" (I'm guessing, no, 'cause you prolly wouldn't call it that if you had)

Belief really isn't an issue with real mystical experience; anyone who tells you it is--they're the ones who are faking, you can bet on it. Nobody has to believe. You don't have to believe in a sun in the sky, or that people tend to have five fingers on each hand. I don't have to believe that I regularly receive the thoughts of other people without them saying anything or that I sometimes know what's going to happen before it does.

Free will is interesting. You can absolutely know what will piss your girlfriend off, as if she were wired with an anger button; but then, one day, you push her button and she just smiles. She's changed; same person, same history, same baggage, but a different result. Not random, not unreal, but willful. She made a choice that changed the way she sees you.

Consciousness does that. Consciousness is real, but it does not produce good lab results.
Quote:

Oh, and Quantum Physics has nothing to do with mysticism, it's just been hijacked by certain groups who half read a few of the books and decided that it was "beyond science". It is a science, bound to the same principles as all the other ones; theories backed up by data from repeatable experiments. The fact that it bears no resemblence to physics as we knew it is neither here nor there.

Well, see, there, you don't know what you're talking about because you don't credit mystical experience. We over here, on the mystical side, have been "beyond science" from the start. We read your quantum physics and your chaos theory with your attractors and such and we say, "Hey, they're actually getting kinda close with that stuff--you know, if you squint." How can you say quantum physics has no bearing on mysticism, when you don't credit mysticism in the first place?

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 3:53 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
The feeling of "more than us, bigger than us, the unknown, the unity" is mysticism. Not to split hairs, but Christian fundamentalists aren't mystics. They know exactly how everything works because god told them all, exactly.


Why SignyM, do we have a non-believer in the fold?
Come with me, son, over to this here river. That's it, now step in with me, I have to hold your head under sos you'll understand The Lord. I know the truth of it. You'll see the light. Or maybe a fish...

Them that tell they know are funny people, no?

Chrisisall Book

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 3:59 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
How can you say quantum physics has no bearing on mysticism, when you don't credit mysticism in the first place?

"Instruments register only that which they were designed to register, [the universe] still contains vast unknowns." - Spock

My earliest Shepard Chrisisall

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 4:16 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Quote:

Why SignyM, do we have a non-believer in the fold?
Come with me, son, over to this here river. That's it, now step in with me, I have to hold your head under sos you'll understand The Lord.

Baptism. Drowning. Near death experience. Understanding the lord. I get it !


Nearly everything I know I learned by the grace of others.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 4:46 PM

DARKJESTER


Has anyone ever paid attention to my tagline? I came up with it almost 20 years ago, trying to describe to a friend how I see the world.

We do not directly perceive the world around us. Arguing about Evolution or Creation (or ID) is not arguing about reality. It's arguing about patterns of comprehension. It's almost like arguing that Greek star constellations are right, and Chinese star constellations are wrong. The stars remain, and don't care one whit how we name them. It's arguing about which pattern of thought we are going to teach our children to use to filter their experiences through.

It's like having a heated debate over which travel guide is better - the Michelin Guide to Vienna or the Vienna Eyewitness Travel Guide, and never going to visit the city!

Yes, I believe one pattern fits better than the others. But that is a lens I choose to use to see the world around me, and it is not the world itself.



MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..."

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 5:07 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


And my tag-line as well.

I believe there is only one universe. And it is not confused, we are. The universe doesn't agonize over wave/particle. Then, now, later. Entropy and work.


It is what it is.

And we know with our senses geared to certain energies and geometries and scales. And so our answers, indeed our questions, must probe into arenas we will never comprehend.

But intellect tells us that if we can use our models to accurately predict features and events, they surely must be related to the workings of the unknowable universe, and in some way are better than those which fail us.


Nearly everything I know I learned by the grace of others.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:23 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by DarkJester:
Has anyone ever paid attention to my tagline? I came up with it almost 20 years ago, trying to describe to a friend how I see the world.

We do not directly perceive the world around us. Arguing about Evolution or Creation (or ID) is not arguing about reality. It's arguing about patterns of comprehension. It's almost like arguing that Greek star constellations are right, and Chinese star constellations are wrong. The stars remain, and don't care one whit how we name them. It's arguing about which pattern of thought we are going to teach our children to use to filter their experiences through.

It's like having a heated debate over which travel guide is better - the Michelin Guide to Vienna or the Vienna Eyewitness Travel Guide, and never going to visit the city!

Yes, I believe one pattern fits better than the others. But that is a lens I choose to use to see the world around me, and it is not the world itself.



MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..."



Very well said.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 11:16 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

originally posted by Chrisisall:
Western thinking, citizen. The need to disect and compartmentalize. Even as a teenager, I used to think, why couldn't God have come up with evolution? I mean, people can buy Noah's Arc, but not the notion that God designed all living things from the molocule up?
If there is a God, wouldn't all existence be the manifestation of God itself? Without thinking duelistically, aren't we and everything we see and touch and think, and more than that, God?

And if the Devine exists, who are we to presume to say that God couldn't create a 'Big Bang' to begin each new universe with?

The cells of our skin can repair a cut, do they have to be told how? They know how, just as the Universe (God) knows how to create itself.

Shepard Chrisisall


Chrisisall, you just said just what I was trying to say, albet in a more verbose and indeed actually understandable way...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 11:42 PM

SIMONWHO


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:

Is love reliable?



Does anyone here think love is reliable? *points to 50% divorce rate*
Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:

Wow. One thing that is not reliable is the emotion communicated in posting over the internet. You say, "People are stupid animals." I'm a little taken aback by your sudden...what? Vitriol? My sense is that you're not familiar with the kind of spiritual experience I'm talking about. Have you ever experienced what you would call a "genuine theistic event?"




People are stupid animals. We demonstrate it again and again and again. Granted, we also demonstrate great feats of intelligence but that's what allows us to see that our stupidity is so commonplace.

I have experienced what you would call "a genuine theistic event", more than once but I can more readily explain them in ordinary mundane terms rather than God deciding to speak to me in a very obscure manner.

Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:

Well, see, there, you don't know what you're talking about because you don't credit mystical experience. We over here, on the mystical side, have been "beyond science" from the start. We read your quantum physics and your chaos theory with your attractors and such and we say, "Hey, they're actually getting kinda close with that stuff--you know, if you squint." How can you say quantum physics has no bearing on mysticism, when you don't credit mysticism in the first place?



What I meant was that quantum physics has no need or place for mysticism. It's another of those "insert God into science here" attitudes. There is no need for an omnipotent deity in any of quantum mechanics.

I have no problem with people of faith claiming to be "beyond science", in fact I welcome it. Just as long as they stay there, well away from science. Unfortunately, that's not the case in America these days.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 11:49 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
Oh, and Quantum Physics has nothing to do with mysticism, it's just been hijacked by certain groups who half read a few of the books and decided that it was "beyond science". It is a science, bound to the same principles as all the other ones; theories backed up by data from repeatable experiments. The fact that it bears no resemblence to physics as we knew it is neither here nor there.


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
Well, see, there, you don't know what you're talking about because you don't credit mystical experience. We over here, on the mystical side, have been "beyond science" from the start. We read your quantum physics and your chaos theory with your attractors and such and we say, "Hey, they're actually getting kinda close with that stuff--you know, if you squint." How can you say quantum physics has no bearing on mysticism, when you don't credit mysticism in the first place?


I'd forward that its virtually impossible to understand these things without experiencing them. I myself would likely have a very different outlook if it werent for the fact that I have had dreams that 'come true' from a very young age...
It doesn't much matter to me whether you or anyone believe me or not, I know it to be true, and it has forced me to think of things in a very different way to the current scientific theories.

I have experienced the future before it has happened (albet I have no control over when where etc...). So I think there has to be some mechanism for casting data of future events back through time, and QM does allow for this...
If a particle had negative mass it would be (as far as I understand from my knowledge of Reletivity) incapable of traveling SLOWER than the speed of light. As such its subjective time would run in the opposite direction to the flow of time in the rest of the universe...
QM has shown, experimentally, that two particles can effect each other instantaneously irrespective of distance or any disernible connection, so why couldn't that explain farseeing, for instance?

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:02 AM

GROUNDED


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
I have no problem with people of faith claiming to be "beyond science", in fact I welcome it. Just as long as they stay there, well away from science. Unfortunately, that's not the case in America these days.



This is roughly what I was going to say. To attempt to 'prove' the necessity of a God is to undermine the entire concept of faith.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:29 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Grounded:
This is roughly what I was going to say. To attempt to 'prove' the necessity of a God is to undermine the entire concept of faith.


Ahh, the old babel fish argument .

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:29 AM

GROUNDED


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Quote:

Originally posted by Grounded:
This is roughly what I was going to say. To attempt to 'prove' the necessity of a God is to undermine the entire concept of faith.


Ahh, the old babel fish argument .



It's not the babel fish argument at all.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:33 AM

CITIZEN


That was kind of a joke Grounded...
But I'd still contest that the Babel Fish Argument in Hitch Hikers is very similar to the point you made...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 4:11 AM

GROUNDED


Sorry, didn't quite pick up on that. And yes I see the similarity, but it's still not relevant. I wasn't arguing one way or the other - I was commenting on the contradictory nature of the arguing itself.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 6:57 AM

IMEARLY


Quote:

Originally posted by BadgersHat:
Here's the simplest solution to a rather simple problem:

God is the ultimate engineer. he created us as single cell organisms, knowing we'd eventually evolve into what we are today.

He did it like this because he knew exactly what he wanted us to be, perfections and flaws and all, and knew that the human mind he wanted us to have is beautiful and extremely fragile.

So, had we been created as we are now, from day one, we'd be different, less of the human species we are now.

Therefore, he knew he had to create us one step at a time, to slowly evolve, both physically and mentally, in order to become what we are.

Sure, he could've skipped it all--he IS God, you know--but it would have meant skipping all the changes, all the different ways we were, which, I believe, he found no less beautiful than what we are now. But this model is the one he ultimately was going for.

So, like any good engineer, he designed the prototypes first, and slowly upgraded and improved them, so that we'd have the time to grow into what he wanted us to be.

Simple, huh? Not sure why I'm the only one who sees this...

--Jefé The Hat

***************************
(pretty freakin obvious when I spell it out for you, huh?)




I realize I'm a little late, but here are my two cents...

This theory is called Theistic evolution, or Evolutionary creationism.

I myself have been preaching this logic for years:

Consider the divine, and let us bypass ignorance, as the divine does consists of separate deities, to separate faiths. The singular absolute truth amongst faiths is that God is absolute, that being omnipotent, omnipresent.

Omnipotence: If God is all powerful, and all knowing, then there is no basis for one of God’s creations to fully understand the greatness of God. If one could know God, then one could understand God, then one could be God. Our existence is Teleological, it exist to satisfy a purpose. I believe that our end goal is to seek perfection, not as individuals but as a species. Perfection will never occur, as we are not God, but it is God that moves us forward, both intellectually and biologically.

Omnipresence: If God was God at the beginning of time, and shall be God at the end of time, God then must exist in all times, at all times, therefore to God there is no time. We think of things completely temporal, yesterday, tomorrow, next year. This is because we are imperfect, and in the shadow of a supreme entity that is not held to the laws of space and time as we understand them. The biggest mistake I feel is the six day argument. Why are we still arguing about this? Before the universe there was no time. You can’t measure time when there is no time. God exist outside of time, therefore if God were to create the Universe in a set number of days (or any measurement for that matter) then it would make him subject to the laws of time, which would make him imperfect.

I have so much more, but I have to take a break, I’ll come back tonight or tomorrow.





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Thursday, August 11, 2005 7:07 AM

BADGERSHAT


Thank you.
You're pretty much saying what I've had in my own chaotic head for a long time, except that you're managing to say it all articulate-like.

--Jefé The Hat

***************************
--Don't bother trying to predict, figure out, second guess, criticize, or suggest anything that comes from the mind of Joss Whedon, for you shall usually be wrong, and shall find out the Truth and Purpose in due time.
(This is the Truth of Whedoning)

"I like smackin 'em"--Jayne

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:07 AM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
I'd forward that its virtually impossible to understand these things without experiencing them. I myself would likely have a very different outlook if it werent for the fact that I have had dreams that 'come true' from a very young age...
It doesn't much matter to me whether you or anyone believe me or not, I know it to be true, and it has forced me to think of things in a very different way to the current scientific theories.



A big problem with communicating this kind of experience to folks who haven't had any of their own, is the false equation of personal experience and subjectivity. If only a small sector of the population experiences a thing, the rest of the community tend to discount it out of hand. Even though most of what we take for granted we have on faith from experts. Ooh, does that drive me nuts!

One thing that my personal experiences has taught me is that belief systems across the board tend to cloud reason. As soon as you say, "That can't be true" you've given up on reality and retreated to something more comfortable. Which is not to say that delusion and wishful thinking do not exist, but we don't safeguard ourselves against them by puting on blinders.

"Belief" itself is such a vague, melancholy force. You don't have to believe what you already know. Implicit in belief is always doubt, evidence to the contrary, wishful thinking. But people find comfort in belief systems. God knows why.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:09 AM

IMEARLY


I think the problem here is that people do not truly understand the logic behind "faith" in God or divinity.

Consider Abraham,

Abraham is told by God that his son will bring about the kingdoms of earth, that through Abraham the kingdoms of earth will become populated with people.

God then commands Abraham to murder his son.

The quandary is how can Abraham kill his child and still foster the kingdoms and peoples of earth.

Abraham does as God commands and takes his son to be killed. God delivers a ram for Abraham to slaughter in stead of his son.

However this is more complicated then it looks at first glance. Why would Abraham kill his son if God said essentially that his son would populate the earth? Wouldn't that mean that God lied to him? Could it be that God was testing his love for his son, or his love for his God?

No on both accounts, you see God was testing Abraham’s faith by reason of the absurd.

That being that Abraham must believe that he WILL kill his son, and that his son WILL populate the kingdoms of the earth simultaneously.

This is basically one of the many philosophies postulated by Kierkegaard:

That there are three stages that all people experience, or categories that they belong to.
The three stages are Aesthetic, Ethical and Religious. For a person in the Aesthetic stage, life is only a series of sensory experiences such as animalistic lust. This individual is enthralled by temporal society, where in television and music may be a lifestyle, regardless of this persons actions, life experiences are to serve the whims of the individual. Life is simply broken down into boring and interesting.

For someone in the Ethical stage all actions are done publicly to serve the common good. All of their actions are for the betterment of the whole, and can be thought of as the highest form of life that can be understood. However a person in this stage may in the face of grand decision, make decisions that serve only the ethical purpose, without faith.

The highest of the three is Religious; this is where the individual has a private relationship with God. This is where Faith can be truly understood by reason of the absurd. That being that two complete opposites can coexist harmoniously through the grace of God.



...Like divinity and science I might add.





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Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:25 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Consider the divine, and let us bypass ignorance, as the divine does consists of separate deities, to separate faiths. The singular absolute truth amongst faiths is that God is absolute that being omnipotent, omnipresent.
This pretty much ignores other religions that are populated by multiple gods (and goddesses) who are powerful but still limited and flawed. Someone needs to do more research on comparative and ancient religions. www.religion.ucsb.edu/faculty/thomas/classes/rgst80a/lectures/lec1.htm
l


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Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:34 AM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
The theists would point out that it contradicts Genesis which very clearly states six days to create the world and everything on it.



I believe that the universe is right around 14 billion years old, that the earth is about 4 billion years old, that life has existed on the planet in some form for about a billion years, and intelligent life for right around 50,000-75,000 years.

I believe that the universe began with a big bang and that the whole thing has been expanding ever since.

I believe that over the course of the last billion years, there's been a dramatic increase in the number and complexity of species.

I believe it all because science has shown it to be true.

And I'm a theist follower of Christ who believes that the Bible is truth. The only point that I quibble with science on is whether the increasing number and complexity of species can be explained naturalistically.

Theology is the interpretation of scripture, and science is the interpretation of nature, but God is the author of both. If theology and science contradict one another at some point or other, then either the interpretation of scripture is faulty, or the interpretation of nature is faulty. The task at that point is to re-evaluate the interpretations critically to find the error and correct it.

I say all this because I'm sick and gorram tired of Christians being portrayed in the light of the strict 24-hour literal day creationists. Not all Christians (or theists for that matter--there is a difference) believe in 24-hour day creationism.

______________________________________________________________
Edited to add: all figures above are approximate--don't feel like digging through my library for all the specifics.



_______________________________________________
I wish I had a magical wish-granting plank.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:39 AM

IMEARLY


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Quote:

Consider the divine, and let us bypass ignorance, as the divine does consists of separate deities, to separate faiths. The singular absolute truth amongst faiths is that God is absolute that being omnipotent, omnipresent.
This pretty much ignores other religions that are populated by multiple gods (and goddesses) who are powerful but still limited and flawed. Someone needs to do more research on comparative and ancient religions. www.religion.ucsb.edu/faculty/thomas/classes/rgst80a/lectures/lec1.htm
l




Let's not be silly, your borderline rude postulation defies the fact that i am speaking about contemporary religion. I must apparently add that those who believe in polythestic religions foster an "absoulte" that each diety comprises an absolute knowlege and power that has been segmanted into varies entities.




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Thursday, August 11, 2005 10:34 AM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by ImEarly:
Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Quote:

Consider the divine, and let us bypass ignorance, as the divine does consists of separate deities, to separate faiths. The singular absolute truth amongst faiths is that God is absolute that being omnipotent, omnipresent.
This pretty much ignores other religions that are populated by multiple gods (and goddesses) who are powerful but still limited and flawed. Someone needs to do more research on comparative and ancient religions. www.religion.ucsb.edu/faculty/thomas/classes/rgst80a/lectures/lec1.htm
l




Let's not be silly, your borderline rude postulation defies the fact that i am speaking about contemporary religion. I must apparently add that those who believe in polythestic religions foster an "absoulte" that each diety comprises an absolute knowlege and power that has been segmanted into varies entities.



Yes, Signy can be pretty harsh about religion (I still haven't gotten over the "universal imaginary friend" line from a month ago--Signy, that was priceless, seriously funny), but Signy's right. Y'know, you can be pretty rude and a little willfully ignorant yourself, ImEarly. Native American spirituality/shamanism does not play this game you're talking about. The omnipotent/omnipresent fixation is distinctly Euro-American and reflects a cosmology that is authoritarian, absolutist and, to my mind, missleading and counter-intuitive. Power is so completely decentralized in Native American thought that it's almost unrecognizable to the western mind. Consider this, and think of it as religious doctine for a minute: Coyote created humans because he was bored. When he saw them fighting and acting nasty to one another, he threw up his hands and walked away. He comes back every now and then to mess with us. See, you prolly consider that to be folklore or even a joke, but it has serious implications religiously. There is a reason why there is no such thing as a fundamentalist shaman.

I'm sorry. I realize that I'm coming way out of left field here; that people prolly aren't all that interested in my excentric views, but, y'know, it irks me when people go mouthing off about what they consider to be "contemporary religion" and ignore the spiritual perspective of well over a million people in this country (myself included).

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 11:59 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
I'm sorry. I realize that I'm coming way out of left field here; that people prolly aren't all that interested in my excentric views,


Don't assume that, HK. While I have no claim to being any kind of expert on Native American culture, I have been to my share of sweat lodges run by Native Americans (thanks to Kathieisall), and I highly respect the faith. (plus, in my last sweat I was one of two, beside the Medicine Man, who stayed for the full-on heat and steam! Maybe he just wanted to see how far we'd go; even the NA dudes bolted at some point!!)

Roasted Buddah-like Chrisisall

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:06 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I wasn't "borderline" rude, I WAS rude. Sorry. But when I consider all of the religions that ever existed and currently still exist.... even from my admittedly meagre knowledge... it seems unhelpfully limiting to paint ALL religions with the characteristics of the few that we're familiar/ comfortable with.

HK alludes to an interesting progression of religions. In decentralized societies, religions have many gods. In centralized ones, there is only one, and in fact the histories of Greek and Egyptian beliefs record increasing centralization. In patriarchal societies, the god(s) are male while in matriarchal ones they are female, and in the link I provided the legend records the transition between the two. In more egalitarian societies (which to this date have been primtive) the gods are natural features, while in more "developed" societies they tend to be anthropomorphised. More than anything, religion seems to trace the rise and fall of various powers in society.

But what I find more fascinating than any religious practice, babarity or belief is the set of cities that occupied the Indus valley about 2500 BC. Unlike most ancient cities, they had no fortifications, temples, palaces, or armories. Funerals were simple. The only evidence of a possible religion was a scattering of clay figurines of unknown significance, most often found in trash pits. These cities existed for 500 years. I'll have to look up the names (I read about them in National Geographic). One of them may be Harappa. It provides an indication that people may not always develop or need religion, and societies may not require them as organizing principles.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:13 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

...that life has existed on the planet in some form for about a billion years, and intelligent life for right around 50,000-75,000 years.
WHOA! I don't see evidence of intelligent life- do you???

Couldn't resist!

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:15 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
I'm sorry. I realize that I'm coming way out of left field here; that people prolly aren't all that interested in my excentric views,


Don't assume that, HK.


I thought for sure I wrote "most." I meant "most." These discussions sure can bring a body down, eh, Chris? all the pessimism and rage people walk around with thinking it's "reality."
Quote:

While I have no claim to being any kind of expert on Native American culture, I have been to my share of sweat lodges run by Native Americans (thanks to Kathieisall), and I highly respect the faith. (plus, in my last sweat I was one of two, beside the Medicine Man, who stayed for the full-on heat and steam! Maybe he just wanted to see how far we'd go; even the NA dudes bolted at some point!!)

Roasted Buddah-like Chrisisall



Ah yes, white man always have something to prove! LOL! Naw, you prolly were carrying more grief than the folks that left before you. Or you had business with the stones nobody knows about but you. How long has it been since your last sweat, my son?

That'll be 3 hail Coyote's and 2 our Grandfather'sHKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:47 PM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Quote:

...that life has existed on the planet in some form for about a billion years, and intelligent life for right around 50,000-75,000 years.
WHOA! I don't see evidence of intelligent life- do you???

Couldn't resist!



Yeah...I wondered if someone might comment on that. I really did expect more comment on the whole "don't paint me as a creationist" thing, but hey--the thread goes where it will.

On an unrelated note--I think we're making progress Signy: we're not screaming at each other any more. My, but does it ever beat the alternatives.

_______________________________________________
I wish I had a magical wish-granting plank.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:10 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
I wasn't "borderline" rude, I WAS rude. Sorry. But when I consider all of the religions that ever existed and currently still exist.... even from my admittedly meagre knowledge... it seems unhelpfully limiting to paint ALL religions with the characteristics of the few that we're familiar/ comfortable with.

HK alludes to an interesting progression of religions. In decentralized societies, religions have many gods. In centralized ones, there is only one, and in fact the histories of Greek and Egyptian beliefs record increasing centralization. In patriarchal societies, the god(s) are male while in matriarchal ones they are female, and in the link I provided the legend records the transition between the two. In more egalitarian societies (which to this date have been primtive) the gods are natural features, while in more "developed" societies they tend to be anthropomorphised. More than anything, religion seems to trace the rise and fall of various powers in society.

But what I find more fascinating than any religious practice, babarity or belief is the set of cities that occupied the Indus valley about 2500 BC. Unlike most ancient cities, they had no fortifications, temples, palaces, or armories. Funerals were simple. The only evidence of a possible religion was a scattering of clay figurines of unknown significance, most often found in trash pits. These cities existed for 500 years. I'll have to look up the names (I read about them in National Geographic). One of them may be Harappa. It provides an indication that people may not always develop or need religion, and societies may not require them as organizing principles.



Now you're talkin' my language, Signy! A good book on these weaponless valley cultures is The Chalice and the Blade.

This really gets to the heart of everything we're dealing with today. How can egalitarianism flourish in a fundamentally hierarchical system like our modern civilization? With Gods like Jehova and Alah running the show, how can we achieve peace?

I find it very interesting that the constitution of the United States was derived in part from the Iroquois Confederacy. A federal system that respected the autonomy of the individual states (clans) and the separation of powers into three branches of government, these ideas are straight out of the Iroquois constitution. If the Prime Minister of England wants to suspend free speech in time of war, there's nothing saying he can't do that, but in America we have that freedom written into the Bill of Rights. Our very American concept of individual freedom is indigenous. United States culture, from the beginning and at it's heart is multicultural. After the civil war and the centralization of power in Washington that followed, our government became much more European in style. By the end of the 19th century most of the Indians were gone. New immigrants from Europe had no contact with our indigenous culture and our government has gotten more centrist and more invasive and more hierarchical ever since. The gods of Europe have eclipsed the gods of this land, or so it would seem.

How's that for hijacking the thread?

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:13 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
Ah yes, white man always have something to prove!

Oh yeah, my Robot can beat your robot!!!

It was probably grief, yeah.
My wife (longtime aquantaince of said MM) told me he respects the ones who last as long as he does.
We were supposed to jump in the cold lake right after, but that kind of a transition smelled like a heart attack for me ( heat I can take; cold is my Kryptonite). Wow, it was a few years ago now.

I wish more western minds could let go of the 'this is exactly' and 'that is precisely' stuff when it comes to religion. Setting any faith in stone makes it a 'dead faith', as far as I see it. We need more 'living faiths', whatever those particular religions might be.


Christ was prolly a very flexable dude Chrisisall

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:26 PM

FIVVER


Huh,

This link was just posted...

http://www.livescience.com/othernews/050811_scientists_god.html

Of course this survey includes "social scientists".

Fivver

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:38 PM

CHRISISALL


Well that was bracing! I would have thought the % of believers to be WAY lower!

But I did expect the non-traditional leanings for those that do grok some God or other...

Stranger in a stranger land Chrisisall

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Friday, August 12, 2005 12:39 PM

NEUTRINOLAD


Science is the study of the natural world.
God or gods or godlings or spirits or ghosts or other such entities are in the realm of the supernatural. Any proposal that is founded on the supernatural is scientifically useless, by definition.
Science exists because the statement, "It's God's will," explains not a gorram thing in the 'Verse.
So we're all done with this foolishness now, right?

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Friday, August 12, 2005 1:08 PM

SPINLAND


Besides, we all know the answer was revealed years ago: 42. Crikey, do people forget important facts quickly around here!

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Friday, August 12, 2005 5:22 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by NeutrinoLad:
Science is the study of the natural world.
God or gods or godlings or spirits or ghosts or other such entities are in the realm of the supernatural. Any proposal that is founded on the supernatural is scientifically useless, by definition.
Science exists because the statement, "It's God's will," explains not a gorram thing in the 'Verse.
So we're all done with this foolishness now, right?



I will never understand why some people are so offended by the mere fact of a discussion that they have to enter into it only to squelch it. You don't like the conversation? Move along.

Furthermore, your logic is . It boils down to this: what is not already acknowledged as scientific fact is therefore unscientific. Same logic the church used to persecute Galileo. Science at its core concerns itself with observable reality. I, personally, have observed most of the items on your list, numerous times and with witnesses. If I am to study the natural world, I must, therefore, include them.

You haven't experienced any of these things. From where I sit, your denial of their reality is a little like a virgin denying the existence of sex.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Friday, August 12, 2005 5:23 PM

FOSTER


I thought that humans "homo sapiens" have been in their current form for around 25,000 years. And mutations are still occuring ; ).

The time has come the walrus said to talk of many things of shoes of ships of sealing wax of cabbages and kings and why the seas are boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

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Friday, August 12, 2005 6:00 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
Science at its core concerns itself with observable reality. I, personally, have observed most of the items on your list, numerous times and with witnesses. If I am to study the natural world, I must, therefore, include them.



For the reasons you cite above, I have to agree with NeutrinoLad, sort of.

What I agree with is that Science in no way addresses, or even admits the existence of, the supernatural. But, it's in many ways a confusion of terms (perhaps on my part?). As you point out, HK, anything observable is part of the natural world and therefore something science must acknowledge.

This is something that's always been a stumbling block for me when it comes the whole concept of the 'supernatural'. If a phenomenon is observable, if it can affect us in any way, then it is part of our natural world. If it can't affect us in any way, direct or indirect, then the reality of its existence is moot. Maybe I'm looking through a very narrow lens, but I see no way for anything 'supernatural' to have any meaningful existence.

This is where mystics always usually lose me. They insist on defining certain phenomenon as supernatural. I really don't know what to do with that unless I recast it to mean, "something we don't yet understand with science", but that's not the same thing.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Friday, August 12, 2005 8:10 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
This is something that's always been a stumbling block for me when it comes the whole concept of the 'supernatural'. If a phenomenon is observable, if it can affect us in any way, then it is part of our natural world. If it can't affect us in any way, direct or indirect, then the reality of its existence is moot. Maybe I'm looking through a very narrow lens, but I see no way for anything 'supernatural' to have any meaningful existence.

This is where mystics always usually lose me. They insist on defining certain phenomenon as supernatural.


Okay, hold it right there. You the one "insisting on defining certain phenomenon as supernatural." I ain't telling you anything is "supernatural."

You say, "If it can't affect us in any way, direct or indirect, then the reality of its existence is moot." What phenomena are you referring to here? I've been in a house where everyone there saw a ghost and heard it scream; an ex-girlfriend of mine was physically attacked by what certainly looked like a demon, suffering three clawed rents above each knee; a group of small humanoid critters with oversized hands and feet and very large ears turned on a sprinkler system under my feet; angelic "guides" have given me information about a client that I had no way of knowing innumerable times.

The trouble is, you haven't experience any of this stuff. None of these kinds of things have affected you. My best explanation is that these phenomena seem to function a lot like emotions. We see people deny emotion all the time. Some people never cry. Some people drink instead of feeling grief. Such people have no idea what they're missing. These emotions happen to people all around them--you'd think they'd be able to extrapolate from the experiences of these other folks, but they don't. In extreme cases people redefine these emotions which they don't experience in very self-serving terms. Some men see tears as an expression of weakness or an indication of homosexuality instead of the psyche's way to balance itself. Some people when they finally allow themselves to experience grief without self-medicating feel exactly as if they were dying.

Sometimes whole cultures agree to these avoidant fantasies. Somehow the thought that so-called "supernatural" creatures may have any existence in the world is totally unacceptable. These beings threaten a whole cosmology for some folks. Does that seem right to you? I gotta wonder: what's the big deal?

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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