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wisp

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Follow the link and you'll find an eloquent illustration of a philosophically and pragmatically important fact: life has no fucking purpose.

With that fact in mind you can do great discoveries, and will come to a much better understanding of the natural world (this normally leads to good predictions).

I give you the world's loneliest species:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/10/one-organism-ec/



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 3:03 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
Fencer27

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It was an interesting read, it helped me from falling asleep in one of my classes. However, I fail to see how it depicts the "life has no purpose" philosophy.

And yes, welcome back!

(Edited by Fencer27 10/15/2009 at 3:51 PM).

(Edited by Fencer27 10/15/2009 at 3:51 PM).


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)
 


Posts: 551 | Posted: 3:49 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
wisp

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Life has no purpose. And that's not a philosophy. It is a philosophically important fact.

What does it mean, exactly, that you don't see it in my example? That you do see purpose in it? If so, explain. If you mean something else, i can't guess.

Either you see purpose (then show me) or you don't (then i showed you).

Purpose is a feature of the human mind. We evolved to see purpose everywhere, because being wrong about it normally didn't carry any important disadvantage. Being right about it carried a GREAT advantage.

Nowadays, more than a feature, it acts as a bug in our system.

Thanks for the welcome! ^_^



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 4:32 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
Fencer27

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I guess it depends on exactly how you use the word "purpose". Coming from an atheistic perspective there is no purpose to life as none was given to me or anyone else through some supernatural force; Nature doesn't seem to have a will, it only follows unbending laws. Meanwhile, coming from a religious perspective there is a purpose to life as it is to attain (inset for whatever religion you wish).

However I am curious as to why the purpose of life can't be life itself. Looking at it from an evolution standpoint, it seems that the purpose of life is to successfully produce fertile offspring that can fend for themselves until they pass on their genes. And this, lonely species just so happened to fulfill its purpose without any other life. Or is this just another example of a chemical reaction?


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)
 


Posts: 551 | Posted: 7:03 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
wisp

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I guess it depends on exactly how you use the word "purpose".
Yes. I meant "in a meaningful way". That is: a way that would allow us to understand and predict.

However I am curious as to why the purpose of life can't be life itself.
I don't mean to be rude, but that would be like saying nothing.

You can't draw anything from such a position. It has nothing to do with facts.

Meanwhile, coming from a religious perspective there is a purpose to life as it is to attain (inset for whatever religion you wish).
Does a cockroach have to "attain"? How can you tell?

Looking at it from an evolution standpoint, it seems that the purpose of life is to successfully produce fertile offspring that can fend for themselves until they pass on their genes.
You're merely describing what life does. Such a position ("Life has to do exactly what it does") doesn't increase your understanding of it. But yeah, i understand that the word "purpose" can be tricky.

However, no Christian believes that such is the purpose of his/her life.



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 8:03 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
Fencer27

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Quote from wisp at 8:03 PM on October 15, 2009 :
Yes. I meant "in a meaningful way". That is: a way that would allow us to understand and predict.


So scientifically we have no purpose? I might agree with that. There is no empirical evidence/proof to suggest that we have a "purpose". Although I might have to disagree with you on that we have no purpose period.

However I am curious as to why the purpose of life can't be life itself.
I don't mean to be rude, but that would be like saying nothing.

You can't draw anything from such a position. It has nothing to do with facts.


That was more of a segway to the evolution thing than anything else.

Does a cockroach have to "attain"? How can you tell?


I meant attain for humans only, other creatures are usually explained by myth as well. Why are they here, what is their function in the ecosystem and so on.

However, no Christian believes that such is the purpose of his/her life.


I agree, it is something else entirely. Yet, one of the Jewish commandments (doubt it is a commandment, but don't know what else to call it) is to go out and reproduce as many children as possible. Either way I was trying to look at this through a secular view and leave religion out of it.


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)
 


Posts: 551 | Posted: 8:56 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
wisp

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Fencer27:
Yes. I meant "in a meaningful way". That is: a way that would allow us to understand and predict.
So scientifically we have no purpose? I might agree with that.
Cool.
There is no empirical evidence/proof to suggest that we have a "purpose". Although I might have to disagree with you on that we have no purpose period.
And i might disagree with me too.

If i want to do anything and still be reasonable i have no choice but to pick something as the "ultimate good" and work towards it. That's pretty much like picking a purpose. Mine is growing consciousness (i wish the same for every human, and for other creatures too, specially our primate brothers). What's yours?

Anyway, i wouldn't say that such a thing is factual, or that that IS the purpose of life. Right?

However I am curious as to why the purpose of life can't be life itself.
I don't mean to be rude, but that would be like saying nothing.

You can't draw anything from such a position. It has nothing to do with facts.
That was more of a segway to the evolution thing than anything else.
Can you rephrase? I don't get it (even after looking up "segway").

Does a cockroach have to "attain"? How can you tell?
I meant attain for humans only, other creatures are usually explained by myth as well. Why are they here, what is their function in the ecosystem and so on.
Oh... I'm sorry... Do you believe that life has a purpose? In humans it does, and in animals it doesn't? What do you think? It's not clear to me. Sorry again.

However, no Christian believes that such is the purpose of his/her life.
I agree, it is something else entirely. Yet, one of the Jewish commandments (doubt it is a commandment, but don't know what else to call it) is to go out and reproduce as many children as possible.
Haha! Yes indeed! The Bible contains a lot of "evolutionary wisdom", even without factual knowledge on the matter.

Religions are like organisms that depend on their hosts. They want as many hosts as possible. No shocker.

Either way I was trying to look at this through a secular view and leave religion out of it.
I appreciate it.



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 10:20 PM on October 15, 2009 | IP
Fencer27

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Sorry for the delay.

Quote from wisp at 10:20 PM on October 15, 2009 :
Fencer27:So scientifically we have no purpose? I might agree with that.
Cool.


Thinking about it some more I might have to disagree with what I said. While I still agree that scientifically there is no proof or positive evidence that we have a purpose, but I think that the same applies to not having a purpose. I think that the idea of us having a purpose is neither supported pro or con scientifically, but is instead indifferent, or perhaps silent on the concept as a whole.

If i want to do anything and still be reasonable i have no choice but to pick something as the "ultimate good" and work towards it. That's pretty much like picking a purpose. Mine is growing consciousness (i wish the same for every human, and for other creatures too, specially our primate brothers). What's yours?


Interesting take on the idea of purpose. What do you mean by "growing consciousness"? In what way does one grow their conscious? Learning, meditating, world experience perhaps?

I don't think that in order to do anything you need to choose a purpose or an ultimate good to work towards. I think it comes from a desire/motivation to do something and then going out and doing it. I doubt someone needs to acknowledge what they do as their purpose or as an ultimate good to do something worth while. While they might be good motivators, they aren't necessary.

For me, I follow the standard Christian response to our purpose, I think I do anyway. For humans it is to have a close relationship with God and fellowship with other Christians as well as with all other people. In addition we must do all the good that we can do to one another, and do it willfully and joyfully. I also think that everyone has certain things God wants them to do with their lives that is person specific, both single events and life style/choices like a career in the ministry or an EMT.

I don't know what my purpose is in life beyond the basics. And I think we do things that is part of our purpose without realizing it, nor do I think that you need to be "Christian" to fulfill your purpose.

Anyway, i wouldn't say that such a thing is factual, or that that IS the purpose of life. Right?


Since there is no scientific or empirical evidence to what the purpose of life is or even if there is one, whatever anyone says is opinion according to me. While I still think my view is correct, I still must understand that it is only my opinion.

Can you rephrase? I don't get it (even after looking up "segway").


Haha, I couldn't find segway online either. I'm pretty sure I didn't make up the word; I could be misspelling it, but I can't find anything close to it though. Anyway, I just meant that I used that sentence to introduce the concept that followed, and it's not the actual concept of of that part of my post.

Does a cockroach have to "attain"? How can you tell?
I meant attain for humans only, other creatures are usually explained by myth as well. Why are they here, what is their function in the ecosystem and so on.
Oh... I'm sorry... Do you believe that life has a purpose? In humans it does, and in animals it doesn't? What do you think? It's not clear to me. Sorry again.


I agree I was ambiguous there. I was talking about religion and purpose. For most religions humans have to attain something. For Christians it is the acceptance of Jesus into your heart, for Buddhists it is obtaining enlightenment and so on. I'm not exactly sure if religions say animals have to attain anything to fulfill their purpose. I think usually it is already built in to what they do naturally.

I think all life has a purpose to a degree, what that purpose is I have no idea. But I suspect it is different for every species, perhaps every population and individual organism has a purpose. That is my guess with the very limited knowledge and understanding I posses right now.

Haha! Yes indeed! The Bible contains a lot of "evolutionary wisdom", even without factual knowledge on the matter.


I haven't read other religious texts, but I suspect they all have some evolutionary wisdom in them. This is probably because evolution selects that which makes a population better fitted to their environment. And as humans with intelligence our ancestors noticed that when they did things that promoted their population, they knew it was a good thing. Like reproducing many children, and over time it was incorporated in various religious texts.

Religions are like organisms that depend on their hosts. They want as many hosts as possible. No shocker.


I too have noticed there is an evolution of sort when it comes to religions. The religions that don't adapt to changing social mores and tenets tend to die out. While those that do adapt, like Christianity, tend to survive. And you even get things like genetic drift into the evolution of religion as well. Like the ancient religion that I can't spell that was very influential in Greek mythology and in Hinduism. The religion split off geographically and adapted to its new environment. And like Islam came out of Judaism and incorporated a little bit of Christianity in it as well and it adapted to create a coherent Islamic state in the middle east and did it very well.

Either way I was trying to look at this through a secular view and leave religion out of it.
I appreciate it.


It appears that religion got in anyway. Still, some parts of my post are fairly secular I think.

(Edited by Fencer27 10/19/2009 at 06:21 AM).


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)  


Posts: 551 | Posted: 06:15 AM on October 19, 2009 | IP
wisp

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Thinking about it some more I might have to disagree with what I said.
:/
While I still agree that scientifically there is no proof or positive evidence that we have a purpose, but I think that the same applies to not having a purpose.
As for proof, that's absolutely right. About anything. Because science does_not_deal_with_proofs.

As for evidence, well... The lack of any positive evidence for a purpose is, in its own right, a compelling evidence against it.
As our scientific knowledge grows, still nothing points towards any scientific concept of purpose of life (other than "Thou shalt copy thyself").

I think that the idea of us having a purpose is neither supported pro or con scientifically, but is instead indifferent, or perhaps silent on the concept as a whole.
That's not really true. You could say the same about the china teapot that orbits the Sun between the orbit of the Earth and that of Mars, and it still wouldn't be true. Science doesn't have much deal with proofs, but there's this probabilistic evidence against it, and no reason to think there would be an orbiting china teapot.

You can assume that life does have a purpose, and ask yourself what predictions can be drawn from such a premise (and you get anti-evolution saying that God could have put fire in the dragon's breath to make it more interesting). You can do the same with the opposite premise, and the predictions tend to be much more accurate.

That's how science deals with things.


If i want to do anything and still be reasonable i have no choice but to pick something as the "ultimate good" and work towards it. That's pretty much like picking a purpose. Mine is growing consciousness (i wish the same for every human, and for other creatures too, specially our primate brothers). What's yours?
Interesting take on the idea of purpose. What do you mean by "growing consciousness"? In what way does one grow their conscious? Learning, meditating, world experience perhaps?
Yeah, pretty much that. I mean, are we more than the rest of the animals? Do we have any more objective value? I think so.
What would be the parameter? I call it "consciousness". Understanding, intelligence, awareness... That sort of thing. I've decided that that is the ultimate objective value (pretty much because i have no other to go by).
I don't think that in order to do anything you need to choose a purpose or an ultimate good to work towards. I think it comes from a desire/motivation to do something and then going out and doing it.
That's true, i reckon. But i don't WANT it to be just that. I want to be able to look at what my biology demands from me, and check if it fits my values.

In some circumstances my biology would exhort me to rape a woman. It also exhorts me to go with the flow and do what the society expects from me (and that would be NOT raping a woman). Setting consciousness as the highest value i can draw this conclusion: a rape causes suffering. Suffering draws energy away from a growth of consciousness. Guilt does that too. I will not rape.

The same goes with killing, stealing, and other sort of hurtful activities.
I doubt someone needs to acknowledge what they do as their purpose or as an ultimate good to do something worth while.
Well, yeah... People tend not to do that, and still have a set of moral values (fortunately), which has nothing to do with God. Biology has a lot to say on the matter.
But the moral values that evolved in our species and societies are far from perfect. They give you patriotism, for instance (which is quite a bad thing in my opinion). Such things can't be drawn from a logical set of principles (that are tributary to a highest value).
While they might be good motivators, they aren't necessary.
Not to be "kinda good", but they are necessary if we want to be better.
For me, I follow the standard Christian response to our purpose, I think I do anyway.
That's ok. It evolved from our biology and culture anyway. But it also has some elements that only tend to make your religion survive, and doesn't deal with any real objective values (rejecting people from other religions, or killing them, for instance).

For humans it is to have a close relationship with God and fellowship with other Christians as well as with all other people.
Whoever denies “that Jesus is the Christ” is a liar and an anti-Christ. 1 John 2:22

Christians are “of God;” everyone else is wicked. 1 John 5:19

The non-Christian is “a deceiver and an anti-Christ” 2 John 1:7

Anyone who doesn’t share Paul’s beliefs has “an evil heart.” Hebrews 3:12

False Jews are members of “the synagogue of Satan.” Revelations 2:9, 3:9

Don’t associate with non-Christians.  Don’t receive them into your house or even exchange greeting with them.  2 John 1:10

Shun those who disagree with your religious views.  Romans 16:17


I have some more, so i beg to disagree.
In addition we must do all the good that we can do to one another, and do it willfully and joyfully.
The thing is that, when you have not decided a highest value, you have nothing to go by to decide whether something is good or not.
I also think that everyone has certain things God wants them to do with their lives that is person specific, both single events and life style/choices like a career in the ministry or an EMT.
He who wants, lacks. If your god lacks, he's not The God.
I don't know what my purpose is in life beyond the basics.
Mine is awesome! You can borrow it till you find yours. =D
And I think we do things that is part of our purpose without realizing it, nor do I think that you need to be "Christian" to fulfill your purpose.
I agree entirely.

When i was a kid i came to this conclusion (after some meditation): If there is a purpose at all, it's false that some achieve it and some don't. Either everyone achieves it or nobody does.

So it's either impossible or inevitable. I went with the second, and asked myself what is achieved by everyone. And i guess that's growth. You have no choice but to grow.

I hope i'm right.

Anyway, i wouldn't say that such a thing is factual, or that that IS the purpose of life. Right?
Since there is no scientific or empirical evidence to what the purpose of life is or even if there is one, whatever anyone says is opinion according to me. While I still think my view is correct, I still must understand that it is only my opinion.
Hold your horses... Don't take it that far. You and me know that some "purposes" don't qualify to even be considered. Money as a purpose for your life is as dumb as it gets (and yet some hold it).

Haha, I couldn't find segway online either.
Oh, but i did find it.
My dictionary (WordWeb, which i highly recommend) defines it as a
1. (trademark) a self-balancing personal transportation device with two wheels; can operate in any level pedestrian environment.

I still didn't get what you meant.
Anyway, I just meant that I used that sentence to introduce the concept that followed, and it's not the actual concept of of that part of my post.
OK, now i do.  ^_^

I agree I was ambiguous there. I was talking about religion and purpose.
Oh, OK, thanks. I thought you did, but i wasn't sure.
For most religions humans have to attain something.
Yeah, that seems to be true.
For Christians it is the acceptance of Jesus into your heart,
Not even leading a good life? Not even loving your neighbor? Then why even mention the ten commandments?
for Buddhists it is obtaining enlightenment and so on.
Yeah... Eliminating suffering first, i think.
I'm not exactly sure if religions say animals have to attain anything to fulfill their purpose. I think usually it is already built in to what they do naturally.
Yeah, something like destiny perhaps. But Hinduism does hold a purpose even for animals, since they believe in reincarnation and stuff.
I think all life has a purpose to a degree, what that purpose is I have no idea. But I suspect it is different for every species, perhaps every population and individual organism has a purpose.
Is that a hypothesis? You kinda make it sound like one. Can it be falsified?
That is my guess with the very limited knowledge and understanding I posses right now.
Yeah, i feel the same... So... Doesn't it sound like the perfect goal (with the very limited knowledge and understanding that we humans possess) to attain more knowledge and understanding? ^_^
You have to admit that it makes sense. At least till we figure out (or invent) some better and higher purpose for ourselves.
However, the purpose i've chosen seems, in its own right, like getting closer to God, in a way. To me "God" means infinite knowledge and intelligence (and Love too).
When i call It God i'm not playing with words (Dawkins would say i do). It's just that the religious god points towards this idea. When consciousness rises the god people invent gets closer and closer to the real deal, in my opinion.

Haha! Yes indeed! The Bible contains a lot of "evolutionary wisdom", even without factual knowledge on the matter.
I haven't read other religious texts, but I suspect they all have some evolutionary wisdom in them.
Some do (the Quran, the Tao Te Ching), some don't (the Upanishads).
Those religious text that are directed to the ignorant masses (Moses' followers) tend to have more of this, i believe.
This is probably because evolution selects that which makes a population better fitted to their environment. And as humans with intelligence our ancestors noticed that when they did things that promoted their population, they knew it was a good thing. Like reproducing many children, and over time it was incorporated in various religious texts.
Yes, that's a good way to see it. Another way to see it is that religions are like organisms, and they do what they have to do to be more successful. A religion that says "Use a condom and be tolerant" would die. Religions want many hosts. So sometimes they want to make you have many children, and sometimes they want to make you have none and focus on spreading the word (it's still evolutionary wisdom, only that it doesn't favor the carrier of that religion but the religion itself).[/color]
Religions are like organisms that depend on their hosts. They want as many hosts as possible. No shocker.
I too have noticed there is an evolution of sort when it comes to religions.
Cool!
The religions that don't adapt to changing social mores and tenets tend to die out. While those that do adapt, like Christianity, tend to survive.
Hum... Some can be very strict, and it works for them, as another strategy. Just like some religions behave like symbionts and other like parasites.

If religions were only transmitted from parents to children, then they would reproduce only when their hosts do. That would force them to behave like symbionts (like our mitochondria).
And you even get things like genetic drift into the evolution of religion as well.
That's exactly right! And a smart thing to point out too.

I don't get what your reason for being a Christian might be, but if you realize these things it must be worthy of some respect.
Like the ancient religion that I can't spell that was very influential in Greek mythology and in Hinduism. The religion split off geographically and adapted to its new environment.
Yeah, i have heard a little about this...
Here's a comparison between Greek and Hindu gods:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Greek_and_Hindu_Gods

And like Islam came out of Judaism and incorporated a little bit of Christianity in it as well and it adapted to create a coherent Islamic state in the middle east and did it very well.
Indeed.

Doesn't it bother you to follow a religion that has evolved only to adapt to the ambient instead of... I don't know... Something else? Something more objective?
Science evolves to give you objectively better results (explanations, predictions, devices, techniques, etc). Religions evolve to survive.
It appears that religion got in anyway. Still, some parts of my post are fairly secular I think.
Haha! Yeah... Well, i find religions very interesting.



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 9:56 PM on October 19, 2009 | IP
Fencer27

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Quote from wisp at 9:56 PM on October 19, 2009 :
As for proof, that's absolutely right. About anything. Because science does_not_deal_with_proofs.


Geometry does! But yes, you are right, science for the most part does not deal with proofs.

As for evidence, well... The lack of any positive evidence for a purpose is, in its own right, a compelling evidence against it.
As our scientific knowledge grows, still nothing points towards any scientific concept of purpose of life (other than "Thou shalt copy thyself").


You can sort of twist things in biology to show that things have a purpose; like bees were selected for certain types of flowers so their purpose for their environment is to sustain the flower population. However, I think that idea represents a problem for modern scientific thinking. Like many analogies for laymen are good to understand certain concepts on a basic level, they fall apart when getting into finer detail. For example, creationists often equate the genetic code with the English language. And while I agree this is a good analogy for people who know very little about the subject, once you get past the fundamental idea you must abandon this analogy for what it is or you will get false ideas or confuse yourself on how it works. I see purpose and function in relation to organisms and their ecosystem in much the same way.

That's not really true. You could say the same about the china teapot that orbits the Sun between the orbit of the Earth and that of Mars, and it still wouldn't be true. Science doesn't have much deal with proofs, but there's this probabilistic evidence against it, and no reason to think there would be an orbiting china teapot.


Perhaps the problem is that the idea of purpose is far more abstract than concrete. How would anyone scientifically support purpose or not? To me anyway, the idea of a purpose is more in the realm of philosophy than in science. Maybe that is why I see science as indifferent to the idea.

You can assume that life does have a purpose, and ask yourself what predictions can be drawn from such a premise (and you get anti-evolution saying that God could have put fire in the dragon's breath to make it more interesting). You can do the same with the opposite premise, and the predictions tend to be much more accurate.


Can you give an example?

Interesting take on the idea of purpose. What do you mean by "growing consciousness"? In what way does one grow their conscious? Learning, meditating, world experience perhaps?
Yeah, pretty much that. I mean, are we more than the rest of the animals? Do we have any more objective value? I think so.
What would be the parameter? I call it "consciousness". Understanding, intelligence, awareness... That sort of thing. I've decided that that is the ultimate objective value (pretty much because i have no other to go by).


Our strive and ability to lean the way we do seems to be the most obvious distinction between us and all other organisms. Through this distinction we have done amazing things throughout history, especially in the last few hundred years. Whether we were given this ability with or without God(s) or a purpose, such strife is clearly beneficial to our society.

I don't think that in order to do anything you need to choose a purpose or an ultimate good to work towards. I think it comes from a desire/motivation to do something and then going out and doing it.
That's true, i reckon. But i don't WANT it to be just that. I want to be able to look at what my biology demands from me, and check if it fits my values.

In some circumstances my biology would exhort me to rape a woman. It also exhorts me to go with the flow and do what the society expects from me (and that would be NOT raping a woman). Setting consciousness as the highest value i can draw this conclusion: a rape causes suffering. Suffering draws energy away from a growth of consciousness. Guilt does that too. I will not rape.


I simply see this as you have a desire to expand consciousness and do good. From that you have concluded that raping will be detrimental to your desire so you will not do it, as well as other activities you've mentioned. At the most basic level that is how I see it.

Well, yeah... People tend not to do that, and still have a set of moral values (fortunately), which has nothing to do with God. Biology has a lot to say on the matter.
But the moral values that evolved in our species and societies are far from perfect. They give you patriotism, for instance (which is quite a bad thing in my opinion). Such things can't be drawn from a logical set of principles (that are tributary to a highest value).


I personally see nothing wrong with patriotism. Perhaps you are referring to nationalism, in which case I'll agree.

Not to be "kinda good", but they are necessary if we want to be better.


How so? I want to make money so I start up a company. In order to make the most prophet I keep my workers happy to increase productivity and to keep a cohesive unit hopefully devoid of needless confrontation. Provide good quality goods or services at an affordable rate to increase customer spending and to be competitive in the market. If I did all that and made a decent business out of it would it not better our society?

For me, I follow the standard Christian response to our purpose, I think I do anyway.
That's ok. It evolved from our biology and culture anyway. But it also has some elements that only tend to make your religion survive, and doesn't deal with any real objective values (rejecting people from other religions, or killing them, for instance).


It is an interesting subject, all the evil that Christianity has done over the two millenniums. What a disgrace and shame it has wrought upon humanity, that some of the most vile instances of our history have been put forth by those claiming to serve a loving God.

For humans it is to have a close relationship with God and fellowship with other Christians as well as with all other people.
Whoever denies “that Jesus is the Christ” is a liar and an anti-Christ. 1 John 2:22

Christians are “of God;” everyone else is wicked. 1 John 5:19...


Yes, the last part is somewhat unbiblical. But there is some biblical bases for it.

Luke 6:32
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?

And Matthew 5:46
"For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"

I think the danger comes in when you start to sin because of your relationship with non-Christians. And even Christians can tempt you into sinning.

In addition we must do all the good that we can do to one another, and do it willfully and joyfully.
The thing is that, when you have not decided a highest value, you have nothing to go by to decide whether something is good or not.


I think everyone has things they would call evil, good, both and neither. While someone may not know exactly how all of it works, or why they think this is evil or good, we all have it. But even if we don't have a highest value, we can still say this is something good so I'm going to devote my time and energy into it.

He who wants, lacks. If your god lacks, he's not The God.


I understand what you are saying. I disagree, but I'm not sure how to verbalize it. God wants a relationship with all of us, as well as to go out and do His work. He also wants that relationship and our works to be genuine so He gave us free will to choose. Because some people choose not to have a relationship or do His works and He wants them to, does that really negate the Godliness of God?

I don't know what my purpose is in life beyond the basics.
Mine is awesome! You can borrow it till you find yours. =D


Thanks for the offer, but I feel "I don't know" is a much more satisfying answer for me right now.

When i was a kid i came to this conclusion (after some meditation): If there is a purpose at all, it's false that some achieve it and some don't. Either everyone achieves it or nobody does.


How did you come to that conclusion? Why can't some people fulfill their purpose while others, for whatever reason, do not? We see that all the time with things we make; we make something for one purpose, and some of those things never do what they were originally intended for. I'm not saying we were created by some supreme being here, although that is what I believe, it is irrelevant to this argument.

So it's either impossible or inevitable. I went with the second, and asked myself what is achieved by everyone. And i guess that's growth. You have no choice but to grow.


That seems an awful lot like what we do because we are alive. In biology 101 my professor put up a slide that showed the things that life does that makes it alive. One of those things is the ability to grow. While the most obvious growth is physical, it is obvious that most animals undergo a mental growth as well, and most humans also undergo a spiritual growth/journey.

Hold your horses... Don't take it that far. You and me know that some "purposes" don't qualify to even be considered. Money as a purpose for your life is as dumb as it gets (and yet some hold it).


I think money would fall into the category of we humans make our own purpose. Wanting money beyond basic needs and comfort is what most people would call unfulfilling. I do however find the idea that it is us, not some supreme being or nature, that gives our lives purpose, meaning, importance and urgency can give us the power and resolve to do anything. I know that probably sounds weird coming from a Christian, but I wouldn't say I'm your average Christian either.

I still didn't get what you meant.
Anyway, I just meant that I used that sentence to introduce the concept that followed, and it's not the actual concept of of that part of my post.
OK, now i do.  ^_^


I used the wrong word :lol: . I wanted to use segue, not segway! I truly cannot spell to save my life, I am so happy there is a spell checker. Although, as we've seen, it doesn't always work with my misspellings.

For Christians it is the acceptance of Jesus into your heart,
Not even leading a good life? Not even loving your neighbor? Then why even mention the ten commandments?


One of the popular false doctrines of Christianity is that faith alone will save you. This is not the case, as evident by the Devil; the Devil believes the Word of God, but obviously he is not saved or in God's grace. When I say someone has accepted Jesus in their heart I assume that person repented from sin and does the most good possible to the best of their abilities. That includes leading a good life, loving your neighbors and obeying things like the ten commandments.

When I'm talking about attaining/our purpose in religion I take the final thing or product that religion speaks of, not how we finally get their. For Christianity it is being close to God in a personal relationship with God claiming you as his own through Jesus Christ. For Buddhism...

for Buddhists it is obtaining enlightenment and so on.
Yeah... Eliminating suffering first, i think.


The final product is obtaining enlightenment through eliminating suffering through adhering to the eight-fold-path among other teachings, like prajna and the four noble truths.

I'm not exactly sure if religions say animals have to attain anything to fulfill their purpose. I think usually it is already built in to what they do naturally.
Yeah, something like destiny perhaps. But Hinduism does hold a purpose even for animals, since they believe in reincarnation and stuff.


You seem to be using the word "purpose" to almost mean function. Hinduism says that through obtaining a net gain in good karma over many reincarnations their soul will eventually infuse back into Brahman and they will be one. And where they are in the food chain so to speak, is how much good karma they have collected so far. So the function of animals is for souls to inhabit them to accumulate good karma, or is this their purpose, or both?

I think all life has a purpose to a degree, what that purpose is I have no idea. But I suspect it is different for every species, perhaps every population and individual organism has a purpose.
Is that a hypothesis? You kinda make it sound like one. Can it be falsified?


I never meant it to be anything scientific. Just my own thought on the issue. I'm not sure how we would observe a clear purpose with either an animal or human, and since observation is fundamental to science I don't see this as a scientific endeavor, but an opinion. At best a religious or philosophical idea.

That is my guess with the very limited knowledge and understanding I posses right now.
Yeah, i feel the same... So... Doesn't it sound like the perfect goal (with the very limited knowledge and understanding that we humans possess) to attain more knowledge and understanding? ^_^
You have to admit that it makes sense. At least till we figure out (or invent) some better and higher purpose for ourselves.


Indeed, intelligence coupled with curiosity is a powerful tool, and one given to humanity. If there is a God than our gift of this mind is evident that we should use it to advance our knowledge. And if there is only a natural world, unaware of humanities plight, such increase in knowledge has done such wonders we would be doing a disservice to all to not continue and preserve the knowledge that makes our modern world modern.

However, the purpose i've chosen seems, in its own right, like getting closer to God, in a way. To me "God" means infinite knowledge and intelligence (and Love too).
When i call It God i'm not playing with words (Dawkins would say i do). It's just that the religious god points towards this idea. When consciousness rises the god people invent gets closer and closer to the real deal, in my opinion.


I think God reveals Himself in to us through steps, when we are ready He reveals Himself in a new way. I think part of it comes through our understanding of the universe itself.

I haven't read other religious texts, but I suspect they all have some evolutionary wisdom in them.
Some do (the Quran, the Tao Te Ching), some don't (the Upanishads).
Those religious text that are directed to the ignorant masses (Moses' followers) tend to have more of this, i believe.


I guess it depends on the purpose of the religious text in how much evolutionary wisdom is in there.

Yes, that's a good way to see it. Another way to see it is that religions are like organisms, and they do what they have to do to be more successful. A religion that says "Use a condom and be tolerant" would die. Religions want many hosts. So sometimes they want to make you have many children, and sometimes they want to make you have none and focus on spreading the word (it's still evolutionary wisdom, only that it doesn't favor the carrier of that religion but the religion itself).


I agree, although I don't know any religion that says don't have children but spread the word. The only thing I can think of right now is Catholic priests and nuns, but only a few people of that sect are those, and the rest are free to create as many children as they want.

The religions that don't adapt to changing social mores and tenets tend to die out. While those that do adapt, like Christianity, tend to survive.
Hum... Some can be very strict, and it works for them, as another strategy. Just like some religions behave like symbionts and other like parasites.

If religions were only transmitted from parents to children, then they would reproduce only when their hosts do. That would force them to behave like symbionts (like our mitochondria).


Judaism comes to mind. They don't marry outside of their religion as a general rule and very few people convert. But for the longest time they did not change to meet the new social norms, and were usually met with hatred and antisemitism. I think it is surprising Judaism is still around because of their reluctance to change in the face of extinction.

And you even get things like genetic drift into the evolution of religion as well.
That's exactly right! And a smart thing to point out too.

I don't get what your reason for being a Christian might be, but if you realize these things it must be worthy of some respect.


My reasons for being Christian is probably a combination of culture, family, and personal experience. I would say the main reason why I'm still Christian is personal experience.

Yeah, i have heard a little about this...
Here's a comparison between Greek and Hindu gods:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Greek_and_Hindu_Gods


I haven't gotten a chance to read the link yet, and probably wouldn't until very late tonight or tomorrow. But I've heard that the stories and gods and goddesses are very similar.

Doesn't it bother you to follow a religion that has evolved only to adapt to the ambient instead of... I don't know... Something else? Something more objective?


To answer this fully will take some time. But to sum it all up; not really. I see Christ's message one of love and compassion. That is the heart of Christianity. Everything else is somewhat just filler. If you have a specific thing you are thinking of I'll do my best to answer it.

Science evolves to give you objectively better results (explanations, predictions, devices, techniques, etc). Religions evolve to survive.


I agree, but I don't see it as an either or choice, although many people do view it that way. Instead I view it as two different ways to view our universe in trying to understand two different aspects of our universe. Science gives us the methodology to understand the natural world around us, while religion gives us the capacity to understand and express the all-mighty God.

It appears that religion got in anyway. Still, some parts of my post are fairly secular I think.
Haha! Yeah... Well, i find religions very interesting.


I find religion very interesting as well. I also find it fascinating how creationists mentally deal with their world view when they go on forums like these and see the evidence for evolution with their own eyes. After engaging evolutionists for years, I wonder what goes on inside their head.


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)
 


Posts: 551 | Posted: 08:42 AM on October 20, 2009 | IP
wisp

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As for proof, that's absolutely right. About anything. Because science does_not_deal_with_proofs.
Geometry does!
Yes indeed. And yet science does not.
Geometry is not a science. =D
But yes, you are right, science for the most part does not deal with proofs.
No part of it does. There is no such a thing as a "scientific proof".
Here's a nice link on the subject:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

As for evidence, well... The lack of any positive evidence for a purpose is, in its own right, a compelling evidence against it.
As our scientific knowledge grows, still nothing points towards any scientific concept of purpose of life (other than "Thou shalt copy thyself").
You can sort of twist things in biology to show that things have a purpose; like bees were selected for certain types of flowers so their purpose for their environment is to sustain the flower population.
You're right.
However, I think that idea represents a problem for modern scientific thinking. Like many analogies for laymen are good to understand certain concepts on a basic level, they fall apart when getting into finer detail. For example, creationists often equate the genetic code with the English language. And while I agree this is a good analogy for people who know very little about the subject, once you get past the fundamental idea you must abandon this analogy for what it is or you will get false ideas or confuse yourself on how it works. I see purpose and function in relation to organisms and their ecosystem in much the same way.
Interesting. And you're right again. Purpose, intention, information, etc, are all concepts from the human world. Their application to objective reality are limited at best.
Nevertheless the claim "life has a purpose" in the way that creationists say it is a scientific claim (wrong, of course, but still a scientific claim). Meaning that we should expect some real world consequences if that was true. "What is it for" should always have some answer, even if partial.

That's not really true. You could say the same about the china teapot that orbits the Sun between the orbit of the Earth and that of Mars, and it still wouldn't be true. Science doesn't have much deal with proofs, but there's this probabilistic evidence against it, and no reason to think there would be an orbiting china teapot.
Perhaps the problem is that the idea of purpose is far more abstract than concrete.
Don't you get tired of being right?
Yes indeed. Right again. That fact makes the concept of "purpose" an easy target of the equivocation fallacy.
Nevertheless my denial is of that part of the concept that has pretensions of concreteness and objectivity (i wouldn't deny the abstract and subjective part of it because that wouldn't make any sense). Creationists take advantage of the obscurity of this concept (as they do with "information") and make believe it's something concrete.
How would anyone scientifically support purpose or not?
The concrete part of it could be supported (for example) by finding an objective trait that is present in ALL life forms and points towards intention and foresight. That would be a good evidence for it.
To me anyway, the idea of a purpose is more in the realm of philosophy than in science. Maybe that is why I see science as indifferent to the idea.
Yes indeed. You pay more attention to the abstract part of that concept (which is the smarter part, actually, and yet perhaps we would be better off dropping it altogether).

You can assume that life does have a purpose, and ask yourself what predictions can be drawn from such a premise (and you get anti-evolution saying that God could have put fire in the dragon's breath to make it more interesting). You can do the same with the opposite premise, and the predictions tend to be much more accurate.
Can you give an example?
Sure. I've done so in the thread about dragons. I'll copypaste it... Wait a second...
Here:
wisp
anti-evolutionist
perhaps they could breath fire. perhaps the such powers where invented to make them more interesting.
Do you see now, Fencer, why i say that knowing that life has no purpose allows for better understanding of the natural world?


Our strive and ability to lean the way we do seems to be the most obvious distinction between us and all other organisms. Through this distinction we have done amazing things throughout history, especially in the last few hundred years. Whether we were given this ability with or without God(s) or a purpose, such strife is clearly beneficial to our society.
And would that be good? Why? Is society your highest value?

I really think that, in order to be able to act reasonably, one has to define his highest value, and everything else must be tributary to it. I don't see any way around this.

Life is like a game where you get to decide the rules. If you don't, no possible gameplay will be reasonable.

Setting consciousness as the highest value i can draw this conclusion: a rape causes suffering. Suffering draws energy away from a growth of consciousness. Guilt does that too. I will not rape.
I simply see this as you have a desire to expand consciousness and do good.
Yes. But you only get to qualify something as "good" or "bad" by figuring out what it does to your highest value. Otherwise "i like it" seems more appropriate than "it's good".
From that you have concluded that raping will be detrimental to your desire so you will not do it, as well as other activities you've mentioned. At the most basic level that is how I see it.
Yeah, that's correct.


(...)But the moral values that evolved in our species and societies are far from perfect. They give you patriotism, for instance (which is quite a bad thing in my opinion). Such things can't be drawn from a logical set of principles (that are tributary to a highest value).
I personally see nothing wrong with patriotism. Perhaps you are referring to nationalism, in which case I'll agree.
Sorry. I don't know the difference.

Let's check my dictionary...
Patriotism:
1 Love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it.

Nationalism:
1 Love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it
2 The doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other

I guess you're talking about the second meaning of "nationalism".

I mean the notion that your country or region deserves more of your effort than the rest of them. That it's ok to want to provide for your own country and not to care about the rest.

Not to be "kinda good", but they are necessary if we want to be better.
How so?
A highest ultimate value is necessary because, without it you don't really work towards anything in particular. You're just going with the flow. And the flow has historically taken us to nasty places.
I want to make money so I start up a company. In order to make the most prophet
*Profit.
Common Christian mistake. Hahahaha! xDD
I keep my workers happy to increase productivity and to keep a cohesive unit hopefully devoid of needless confrontation.
If you do it in order to increase productivity, if, say, tomorrow you find out that unhappiness increases productivity, you'll go with that.
In your nice model what's good for you just happens to be accidentally good for your employees.
Sweatshops are closer to reality in many cases.
Provide good quality goods or services at an affordable rate to increase customer spending and to be competitive in the market. If I did all that and made a decent business out of it would it not better our society?
You're a naive capitalist.

Your interests as a company owner conflicts with those of your society and your employees plenty of times. This is a fact. This will always be a fact as long as there is money.
You always want your employees work harder for less pay.
You always want for society not to get your product for free.

I guess you were tired of being right. :P

For me, I follow the standard Christian response to our purpose, I think I do anyway.
That's ok. It evolved from our biology and culture anyway. But it also has some elements that only tend to make your religion survive, and doesn't deal with any real objective values (rejecting people from other religions, or killing them, for instance).
It is an interesting subject, all the evil that Christianity has done over the two millenniums. What a disgrace and shame it has wrought upon humanity, that some of the most vile instances of our history have been put forth by those claiming to serve a loving God.
It doesn't surprise me. To me even a benign religion can become virulent at any time. It can metastasize (yeah, another analogy). When it spreads in a different way than its host there's always the risk.
Being that a possible prognosis, my medical opinion is "amputate".

For humans it is to have a close relationship with God and fellowship with other Christians as well as with all other people.
Whoever denies “that Jesus is the Christ” is a liar and an anti-Christ. 1 John 2:22

Christians are “of God;” everyone else is wicked. 1 John 5:19...
Yes, the last part is somewhat unbiblical. But there is some biblical bases for it.

Luke 6:32
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?

And Matthew 5:46
"For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know that you can find nice things in the Bible.
I think the danger comes in when you start to sin because of your relationship with non-Christians.
What an empty word... It's not better than when creationists say "information" or "kinds".
If it's disobedience of Yahweh's commands then not stoning people to death is a sin.
And even Christians can tempt you into sinning.
I have indulged in some delicious "sins" (like swinging). I have no reason to repent.
The Bible was written for and by problematic people who would kill each other over sexual issues.

In addition we must do all the good that we can do to one another, and do it willfully and joyfully.
The thing is that, when you have not decided a highest value, you have nothing to go by to decide whether something is good or not.
I think everyone has things they would call evil, good, both and neither.
Yeah, maybe, but i'm not talking about that. I'm not talking about name calling. I'm talking about reason.
While someone may not know exactly how all of it works, or why they think this is evil or good, we all have it.
Yes. And i don't think it's always "good". Sometimes people see as "good" things that are bad to me (like patriotism, once again).
Lots of people see discrimination as a good thing. Even the Bible does from time to time.
But even if we don't have a highest value, we can still say this is something good so I'm going to devote my time and energy into it.
Indeed. Hitler did.

He who wants, lacks. If your god lacks, he's not The God.
I understand what you are saying. I disagree, but I'm not sure how to verbalize it.
Don't you think that your difficulty to verbalize it might implicate that you have no basis for your opinion? I give it a 50% chance. I'm sure you'd give it a lower chance, but would it be zero?
God wants a relationship with all of us, as well as to go out and do His work.
What's your basis?
You probably don't mean it as a scientific claim, but still. If your claim means anything at all you should have some basis.
He also wants that relationship and our works to be genuine so He gave us free will to choose.
Sorry. Just another empty expression, IMO. Many use it, and fill it with whatever they like. Just another human concept, very prone to equivocation.
Because some people choose not to have a relationship or do His works and He wants them to, does that really negate the Godliness of God?
Heck yeah! If your god doesn't get what he wants that sure negates his godliness!

I don't know what my purpose is in life beyond the basics.
Mine is awesome! You can borrow it till you find yours. =D
Thanks for the offer, but I feel "I don't know" is a much more satisfying answer for me right now.
Ok, but bear in mind: nothing you ever do should be seen as reasonable, unless you, at the very least, work out some preliminary list of possible ultimate purposes, with some probabilistic value assigned to them.

When i was a kid i came to this conclusion (after some meditation): If there is a purpose at all, it's false that some achieve it and some don't. Either everyone achieves it or nobody does.
How did you come to that conclusion? Why can't some people fulfill their purpose while others, for whatever reason, do not?
Sorry. I did say "conslusion". It was more like a revelation. Some universal principle of non-discrimination.
I'm pretty sure that, if i think about it long enough, i can work out some logical reasons to believe it.

Oh, i'm begining to remember some parts of the process of that revelation... It comes from a prior revelation: "The Truth deals with absolutes, even if reality is relative".
Everything or nothing. Black and white.

If some people attain and some don't, you need a relative criterion. There's no possible absolute and objective criterion to decide that. If you have some absolute one (people with black eyes attain, and those with blue eyes don't) it must be consensual. So it wouldn't deal with the Truth.

Well, that looks more like a conclusion.

Did any of my craziness get to you? Did you understand any of it?
We see that all the time with things we make; we make something for one purpose, and some of those things never do what they were originally intended for.
Exactly. We weren't intended for anything. That's the issue.
I'm not saying we were created by some supreme being here, although that is what I believe, it is irrelevant to this argument.
I understand why you say that, but i think you're wrong. It's VERY relevant. Without a supreme being you have no reasons to believe in any external purpose for our existence.
Wait... Unless you mean something inferior than "supreme", but still able to create us (and with a purpose in mind).

So it's either impossible or inevitable. I went with the second, and asked myself what is achieved by everyone. And i guess that's growth. You have no choice but to grow.
That seems an awful lot like what we do because we are alive. In biology 101 my professor put up a slide that showed the things that life does that makes it alive. One of those things is the ability to grow. While the most obvious growth is physical, it is obvious that most animals undergo a mental growth as well, and most humans also undergo a spiritual growth/journey.
I'm very glad that you got exactly what i meant. I'd only take out the "most" part.

It's theoretically possible for a "human" not to grow in mental capabilities at any point of its life (which will probably be very short). I don't know what to say about it. Perhaps not to call it "a human".

Since there is no scientific or empirical evidence to what the purpose of life is or even if there is one, whatever anyone
Hold your horses... Don't take it that far. You and me know that some "purposes" don't qualify to even be considered. Money as a purpose for your life is as dumb as it gets (and yet some hold it).
I think money would fall into the category of we humans make our own purpose. Wanting money beyond basic needs and comfort is what most people would call unfulfilling.
I would call it "stupid". Money serves a purpose. So if you take something that serves a purpose as THE purpose, you're being plain stupid.
I do however find the idea that it is us, not some supreme being or nature, that gives our lives purpose, meaning, importance and urgency can give us the power and resolve to do anything. I know that probably sounds weird coming from a Christian, but I wouldn't say I'm your average Christian either.
Indeed. That's too cool for a Christian. But still, money as a purpose is a no-no.
I used the wrong word :lol: . I wanted to use segue, not segway!
Hahaha! Now it all makes sense!
I truly cannot spell to save my life, I am so happy there is a spell checker. Although, as we've seen, it doesn't always work with my misspellings.
Yeah, i have some friends with the same difficulty. Mine is that, not speaking English, i have a hard time realizing what people meant beyond their spelling errors.
But i know that no company produces "prophets". :lol:

One of the popular false doctrines of Christianity is that faith alone will save you.
And they have biblical reasons to believe that.

Galatians 2:16 (King James Version)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:11 (New International Version)
Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 4:2
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.


Of course, you can find passages that state the exact opposite.
This is not the case, as evident by the Devil; the Devil believes the Word of God, but obviously he is not saved or in God's grace.
Yeah, i use the same argument. I didn't think it was well known.
When I say someone has accepted Jesus in their heart I assume that person repented from sin and does the most good possible to the best of their abilities.
I take it that you haven't killed people who work on Saturdays. Do you repent?
That includes leading a good life,
You're saying nothing.
loving your neighbors
That's better.
and obeying things like the ten commandments.
They are contradicted in the Bible. What should you do? What the Bible says, or what the Bible says?
When I'm talking about attaining/our purpose in religion I take the final thing or product that religion speaks of, not how we finally get their.
*There.

If your religion has a "final product", it might promote a stalemate. I don't like it. I think it's always possible to keep growing.
For Christianity it is being close to God in a personal relationship with God claiming you as his own through Jesus Christ.
WTF does that mean? =D

I don't know what "close" is, how God could "claim", or what "Through Jesus Christ" might mean...

But, whatever you mean by that, my intuition tells me that you have no basis.

And yeah, i don't like Buddhism's "final product" either.

You seem to be using the word "purpose" to almost mean function.
I wasn't aware... Let me think...

I think i don't. But now you made me doubt.

Hinduism says that through obtaining a net gain in good karma over many reincarnations their soul will eventually infuse back into Brahman and they will be one.
Yes. In my conception it's a neverending story. Since God (Brahman) is infinite there's an infinitely long way to get to It/Him.

I think God reveals Himself in to us through steps, when we are ready He reveals Himself in a new way. I think part of it comes through our understanding of the universe itself.
I wholeheartedly agree!

However i think you won't agree with me on this: I think the Christian god is at a quite primitive stage (less primitive than the ancient Yahweh though).

I agree, although I don't know any religion that says don't have children but spread the word. The only thing I can think of right now is Catholic priests and nuns, but only a few people of that sect are those, and the rest are free to create as many children as they want.
All they want, and even some more.
Nevertheless, celibacy has been practiced by a wide variety of religious groups across the globe.
You have the Vestal Virgins in Rome, for instance. Buddhist monks too.
Celibacy termed as Brahmacharya in Vedic scripture is the fourth of the yamas and the word literally translated means "dedicated to the Divinity of Life" (from Wiki).

Judaism comes to mind. They don't marry outside of their religion as a general rule and very few people convert.
Indeed. For sects and nomadic people, openness is a killer. Those who were open got diluted into oblivion.
But for the longest time they did not change to meet the new social norms, and were usually met with hatred and antisemitism. I think it is surprising Judaism is still around because of their reluctance to change in the face of extinction.
That's true, and i love it. I don't like evolving religions. I'd love for them to just die. That's why i didn't like the last pope (i mean, i liked the guy, he was a saint, and too open for his function). I like the new one. A strict and narrow minded son of a bitch who can weaken the Catholic Church! =D

My reasons for being Christian is probably a combination of culture, family, and personal experience.
Mentioning the first two is too cool for a Christian.

I honestly think that if you abandoned Christianity not only you would still be a good guy: you'd be BETTER. No longer restricted by outdated principles you could develop your own better ones.

I would say the main reason why I'm still Christian is personal experience.
What makes it "main"?

Doesn't it bother you to follow a religion that has evolved only to adapt to the ambient instead of... I don't know... Something else? Something more objective?
To answer this fully will take some time. But to sum it all up; not really. I see Christ's message one of love and compassion.
You could see it as one of intolerance and bigotry too. You see love and compassion because they are already in you. You don't need Christianity.

That is the heart of Christianity.
And many other religions.
Everything else is somewhat just filler.
Like Jesus.
If you have a specific thing you are thinking of I'll do my best to answer it.
Jesus and his role as a filler.

Science evolves to give you objectively better results (explanations, predictions, devices, techniques, etc). Religions evolve to survive.
I agree, but I don't see it as an either or choice, although many people do view it that way. Instead I view it as two different ways to view our universe in trying to understand two different aspects of our universe.
I get your point, but i disagree because of this: religions are dogmatic.
No dogma is needed in any view of our universe. Religions tend to bee quite poor when it comes to meet the expectations people place on them to make people approach the absolute. You can have a mystic view of the Universe without religion.
Science gives us the methodology to understand the natural world around us,
Correct.
while religion gives us the capacity to understand and express the all-mighty God.
Incorrect.
Religions try, but most of them fail miserably at that. And i don't count Christianity among the most successful ones.

I find religion very interesting as well. I also find it fascinating how creationists mentally deal with their world view when they go on forums like these and see the evidence for evolution with their own eyes. After engaging evolutionists for years, I wonder what goes on inside their head.
Me too. I also have the not-so-secret hope to change their minds. That's my wildest hope.
I wish i could make you drop Christianity as well. ^_^
But i'm aware that some would want to make me drop my concept of God.



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 9:39 PM on October 20, 2009 | IP
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Quote from wisp at 9:39 PM on October 20, 2009 :
Geometry is not a science. =D


Now your just being closed minded and bigoted.  

But yes, you are right, science for the most part does not deal with proofs.
No part of it does. There is no such a thing as a "scientific proof".


I didn't expound on my statement and I walked right into that one. What I meant was that science itself doesn't come up with proofs, but uses math, which has proofs, to acquire quantitative data.

The concrete part of it could be supported (for example) by finding an objective trait that is present in ALL life forms and points towards intention and foresight. That would be a good evidence for it.


The problem with that is when you find a trait present in every single life form, how can you objectively say this is purpose rather than this is what life does? Like adaptation, that trait would seem like a good foresight for every living creature. How can you say adaptation isn't the purpose although it is present in all life?

Is society your highest value?


I don't know what my highest value is, but I don't think it is society.

I really think that, in order to be able to act reasonably, one has to define his highest value, and everything else must be tributary to it. I don't see any way around this.


Maybe it is not that I don't have a highest value, but that I don't know what my highest value is.

Yes. But you only get to qualify something as "good" or "bad" by figuring out what it does to your highest value. Otherwise "i like it" seems more appropriate than "it's good".


You could have several values, each contributing to your "good" and/or "bad" philosophy. I just don't see people with such a concrete, hierarchical system of their values like that. I think it is much more human than that, more emotional if you will. Things look great on paper, but when you are faced with them, I think emotion plays a much greater part than what you give it credit for.

I guess you're talking about the second meaning of "nationalism".

I mean the notion that your country or region deserves more of your effort than the rest of them. That it's ok to want to provide for your own country and not to care about the rest.


Usually nationalism is coupled with 'your country is always right in its actions and policy no matter what'.

The big difference between patriotism and nationalism is that with patriotism you love your country for the good it does, and you hate your country for the evil it does, and you recognize that it does do evil. I think patriotism is healthy for a prosperous country.

You're a naive capitalist.

Your interests as a company owner conflicts with those of your society and your employees plenty of times. This is a fact. This will always be a fact as long as there is money.
You always want your employees work harder for less pay.
You always want for society not to get your product for free.


While you are right, in that if I get more prophets* on my side by being "evil" than I would do that. On the other hand, I think that with a good economy and healthy competition capitalism is the best form of market we have come up with yet.

Are you a capitalist?

I guess you were tired of being right. :P


I'm always right, even when I'm wrong.

And Matthew 5:46
"For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know that you can find nice things in the Bible.


This is more than just a little nice thing. The passage basically says to love your enemies and not to go around and do them harm, so there is biblical evidence to get along with people from other religions.

I think the danger comes in when you start to sin because of your relationship with non-Christians.
What an empty word... It's not better than when creationists say "information" or "kinds".


It may be empty to you, but to a Christian it means a lot. It is not so elastic as "information" or "kinds", for it is much more concrete in its meaning. But I'll agree that it is empty to non-Christians.

If it's disobedience of Yahweh's commands then not stoning people to death is a sin.


As well as wearing cotton with wool, and eating shellfish.

I have indulged in some delicious "sins" (like swinging). I have no reason to repent.
The Bible was written for and by problematic people who would kill each other over sexual issues.


They would also kill you for working on the wrong day.

Many of these laws are outdated and not meant for us. But they were important back then, and some of them really were life dependent, so they included them into their religious texts.

In addition we must do all the good that we can do to one another, and do it willfully and joyfully.
The thing is that, when you have not decided a highest value, you have nothing to go by to decide whether something is good or not.
I think everyone has things they would call evil, good, both and neither.
Yeah, maybe, but i'm not talking about that. I'm not talking about name calling. I'm talking about reason.


So how does one, with reason, objectively say that this is good or evil?

While someone may not know exactly how all of it works, or why they think this is evil or good, we all have it.
Yes. And i don't think it's always "good". Sometimes people see as "good" things that are bad to me (like patriotism, once again).
Lots of people see discrimination as a good thing. Even the Bible does from time to time.


That which is good or evil is very dependent on culture, geography, technology, time period and is quite placid in its parameters. What was right for the Jews 3,000 years ago may not be right for me, you, or anyone else.

But even if we don't have a highest value, we can still say this is something good so I'm going to devote my time and energy into it.
Indeed. Hitler did.


Your point?

[color=teal]He who wants, lacks. If your god lacks, he's not The God.
I understand what you are saying. I disagree, but I'm not sure how to verbalize it.
Don't you think that your difficulty to verbalize it might implicate that you have no basis for your opinion? I give it a 50% chance. I'm sure you'd give it a lower chance, but would it be zero?


What do you give a 50% chance to?

God wants a relationship with all of us, as well as to go out and do His work.
What's your basis?


The Bible, and I don't mean it as a scientific claim.

He also wants that relationship and our works to be genuine so He gave us free will to choose.
Sorry. Just another empty expression, IMO.


How is it empty and prone to equivocation?

Because some people choose not to have a relationship or do His works and He wants them to, does that really negate the Godliness of God?
Heck yeah! If your god doesn't get what he wants that sure negates his godliness!


How does it negate His Godliness? He is God, it is only Godly if it lines up with Him. Just because you feel that God should be like X doesn't mean that God is like X.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

From everything you've said I think you would agree with this Biblical passage, even though you aren't Christian.

I don't know what my purpose is in life beyond the basics.
[color=teal]Mine is awesome! You can borrow it till you find yours. =D
Thanks for the offer, but I feel "I don't know" is a much more satisfying answer for me right now.
Ok, but bear in mind: nothing you ever do should be seen as reasonable, unless you, at the very least, work out some preliminary list of possible ultimate purposes, with some probabilistic value assigned to them.


I think your view on purpose and how it relates to our actions is very rigid, while mine is very loose. At this point I think we both got across our ideas on the issue, so I propose we agree to disagree on this issue. I'll close by saying I think it is more appropriate for me to say I don't know what my ultimate purpose is, nor does it concern me.

Sorry. I did say "conslusion". It was more like a revelation. Some universal principle of non-discrimination.
I'm pretty sure that, if i think about it long enough, i can work out some logical reasons to believe it.

Oh, i'm begining to remember some parts of the process of that revelation... It comes from a prior revelation: "The Truth deals with absolutes, even if reality is relative".
Everything or nothing. Black and white.

If some people attain and some don't, you need a relative criterion. There's no possible absolute and objective criterion to decide that. If you have some absolute one (people with black eyes attain, and those with blue eyes don't) it must be consensual. So it wouldn't deal with the Truth.

Well, that looks more like a conclusion.

Did any of my craziness get to you? Did you understand any of it?


I don't think I understand all of that.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it is correct to take the revelation of 'truth deals with absolutes' and derive that everyone or no one fulfills their purpose from that. You gave the example of eye color, but we can't change that (yet anyway). What if the criterion was something that anyone can achieve, but not everyone does, or wants to?

We see that all the time with things we make; we make something for one purpose, and some of those things never do what they were originally intended for.
Exactly. We weren't intended for anything. That's the issue.
I'm not saying we were created by some supreme being here, although that is what I believe, it is irrelevant to this argument.
I understand why you say that, but i think you're wrong. It's VERY relevant. Without a supreme being you have no reasons to believe in any external purpose for our existence.


It is irrelevant, at least so far, with this specific focus of one can have X purpose but not do X, while someone else with the same purpose can do X. There is no need to input God(s) at this point. If we talk about what our purpose is, I would say the involvement of God(s) is essential to go into any external purposes as you put it.

Wait... Unless you mean something inferior than "supreme", but still able to create us (and with a purpose in mind).


From what I said above, "we were created by some supreme being".  

I'm very glad that you got exactly what i meant. I'd only take out the "most" part.

It's theoretically possible for a "human" not to grow in mental capabilities at any point of its life (which will probably be very short). I don't know what to say about it. Perhaps not to call it "a human".


In psychology there is something called the "forbidden experiment", do you know about it? From what we know about it, would you say that those humans are "humans"?

I would call it "stupid". Money serves a purpose. So if you take something that serves a purpose as THE purpose, you're being plain stupid.


I'm hesitant to say that I agree, because I haven't thought about it long enough, but I think you might be right about this.

I do however find the idea that it is us, not some supreme being or nature, that gives our lives purpose, meaning, importance and urgency can give us the power and resolve to do anything. I know that probably sounds weird coming from a Christian, but I wouldn't say I'm your average Christian either.
Indeed. That's too cool for a Christian.


For about a year now I have been going to a Bible study basically held by a YEC student who has a religious degree and is now a non-denominational minister. All this time I think he thought I was a YEC too! Now that he knows I'm not one he basically said I'm not Christian, I wonder what he's gonna say when I tell him this part of my philosophy. Hehehehehe.

Yeah, i have some friends with the same difficulty. Mine is that, not speaking English, i have a hard time realizing what people meant beyond their spelling errors.


I can easily see that. I think a lot of my misspellings come from the fact that in the U.S. different dialects have certain words with different spellings that sound exactly the same, and you're suppose to find out the spelling from the pronunciation.

But i know that no company produces "prophets". :lol:


That was a really late night, beyond switching things like there and their, I normally don't make those mistakes. Profit and prophet are one of those words that just sound so similar it is hard to distinguish from just hearing it.

One of the popular false doctrines of Christianity is that faith alone will save you.
[color=teal]And they have biblical reasons to believe that.


Galatians 2:16 (King James Version)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:11 (New International Version)
Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 4:2
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.


Of course, you can find passages that state the exact opposite.


The study of salvation is soteriology. While different sects have different beliefs on how someone is saved, most of them follow something like: believe, have faith, repent, get baptized. Like much of the Bible you don't get the whole picture of salvation with just one passage, but you have to synthesize multiple passages to understand Christian doctrine. While having faith is a key component to salvation, according to the Bible, it is only one part of it.

This is not the case, as evident by the Devil; the Devil believes the Word of God, but obviously he is not saved or in God's grace.
Yeah, i use the same argument. I didn't think it was well known.


I don't know how well known it is. I didn't grow up an a typical American community, and things that I think are common knowledge is not to most of America. I can't speak for any other country other than what my friends and family say.

Me: Ten commandments
They are contradicted in the Bible. What should you do? What the Bible says, or what the Bible says?


There are contradictions in the Bible, but you have to look at the Bible as a whole in context to understand what it says. One of the fundamental ideas about the nature of God is that God/Jesus is benevolent and is perfect love. And as Jesus is the example for all humanity, we should do our best to be benevolent and having perfect love as well.  

If your religion has a "final product", it might promote a stalemate. I don't like it. I think it's always possible to keep growing.


By final product I mean getting saved or going to heaven. Once there I think we can still grow mentally and spiritually.

For Christianity it is being close to God in a personal relationship with God claiming you as his own through Jesus Christ.
WTF does that mean? =D

I don't know what "close" is, how God could "claim", or what "Through Jesus Christ" might mean...


I guess it would be easier if you were a native English speaker. By "close", I mean you are connected through a personal relationship, if that makes any sense at all to you.

In Christian theology God is perfect and sinless, thus He cannot be a part of sin. When we sin, it is part of us, and we cannot be in God's presence so to say. When Jesus comes into our hearts, our sin riddled soul is covered by Jesus righteousness. When this happens God is able to claim us as His own and we are saved. Do you understand any of what I said?  

But, whatever you mean by that, my intuition tells me that you have no basis.


No more than any other religion I guess.

Yes. In my conception it's a neverending story. Since God (Brahman) is infinite there's an infinitely long way to get to It/Him.


I don't know enough about Hinduism to say if that is correct, but I don't think it is. I think it explicitly states that eventually your soul will return to Brahman when you eliminate all bad karma.

However i think you won't agree with me on this: I think the Christian god is at a quite primitive stage (less primitive than the ancient Yahweh though).


Primitive, perhaps. But like Judaism, Christianity has changed its doctrine overtime, and I think overall it is getting closer to the real thing. What religion do you think is the least primitive so far?

That's true, and i love it. I don't like evolving religions. I'd love for them to just die.


I think the evolution of religions in necessary to the development to the idea of God. And even Judaism evolved and is evolving, they just tend not to be influenced by its surrounding culture. I would think just about every religion evolves.

That's why i didn't like the last pope (i mean, i liked the guy, he was a saint, and too open for his function). I like the new one. A strict and narrow minded son of a bitch who can weaken the Catholic Church! =D


You really hate Christianity don't you.

I honestly think that if you abandoned Christianity not only you would still be a good guy: you'd be BETTER. No longer restricted by outdated principles you could develop your own better ones.


I don't know about being "better", my theology is already very liberal.

I would say the main reason why I'm still Christian is personal experience.
What makes it "main"?


Because I think without the personal experiences I've had I would definitely be an atheist, possibly an agnostic deist.

[color=teal]You could see it as one of intolerance and bigotry too. You see love and compassion because they are already in you. You don't need Christianity.


I agree that I nor anyone else needs Christianity, or any religion, to be good; to show love, compassion, mercy, kindness. I also agree you can see the Bible as a work of intolerance and bigotry. I think many creationists, whether they realize it or not, see the Bible this way.

That is the heart of Christianity.
And many other religions.


That is part of the reason why I think God is present in many religions and not just in the Judeo-Christian duality.

Everything else is somewhat just filler.
Like Jesus.
If you have a specific thing you are thinking of I'll do my best to answer it.
Jesus and his role as a filler.


Interesting, Jesus as a filler. If you want to look at it through a literary perspective, Jesus is the personification as the ultimate role model for humanity. God is love, and Jesus is God incarnate, so Jesus is love in the flesh. To reiterate; At the heart of Christianity is love, how we are supposed to show that love is shown to us through the actions of Jesus. That being said, I wouldn't say that Jesus is a "filler", but central to Christianity.

I get your point, but i disagree because of this: religions are dogmatic.
No dogma is needed in any view of our universe. Religions tend to bee quite poor when it comes to meet the expectations people place on them to make people approach the absolute. You can have a mystic view of the Universe without religion.


Do you see religions with post hoc interpretations of religious texts?

[quote[Incorrect.
Religions try, but most of them fail miserably at that. And i don't count Christianity among the most successful ones.


Which ones do you count as the more successful ones?

Me too. I also have the not-so-secret hope to change their minds. That's my wildest hope.


I have a hypothesis that you need a dramatic realization to change a YEC who is above the age of 25, or out of college. That is one of the reasons why I'm a strong supporter of good science education in public schools

I wish i could make you drop Christianity as well. ^_^


Good luck with that, but I think you will fail.


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)  


Posts: 551 | Posted: 8:14 PM on October 26, 2009 |
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But yes, you are right, science for the most part does not deal with proofs.
No part of it does. There is no such a thing as a "scientific proof".
I didn't expound on my statement and I walked right into that one.
Sorry. Sometimes people think i like winning arguments by technicalities. I don't.
What I meant was that science itself doesn't come up with proofs, but uses math, which has proofs, to acquire quantitative data.
Yeah... Perhaps then i exaggerated by saying that no part of it deals with proofs... Perhaps it's all just semantics. We know what we're saying, right?

The concrete part of it could be supported (for example) by finding an objective trait that is present in ALL life forms and points towards intention and foresight. That would be a good evidence for it.
The problem with that is when you find a trait present in every single life form, how can you objectively say this is purpose rather than this is what life does?
Re-read the bold text. The 'problem' you mention is non existent.
Like adaptation, that trait would seem like a good foresight for every living creature.
No, it wouldn't. Not all species get to adapt. And even if they did, it doesn't look like foresight at all. No trait emerges out of the blue expecting to be useful some thousands of generations afterwards.
How can you say adaptation isn't the purpose although it is present in all life?
No foresight, and no universality.

(...) Whether we were given this ability with or without God(s) or a purpose, such strife is clearly beneficial to our society.
Is society your highest value?
I don't know what my highest value is, but I don't think it is society.
Then why mention it in the same phrase as 'beneficial'? Do you think societies are good at least, if not the highest good?
Maybe it is not that I don't have a highest value, but that I don't know what my highest value is.
Perhaps that's the same as having none, when it comes to deciding whether you're acting in a reasonable fashion or not.

Yes. But you only get to qualify something as "good" or "bad" by figuring out what it does to your highest value. Otherwise "i like it" seems more appropriate than "it's good".
You could have several values, each contributing to your "good" and/or "bad" philosophy. I just don't see people with such a concrete, hierarchical system of their values like that.
Me neither. But i wasn't describing what i see. I was portraying a model of reasonable behavior.
I think it is much more human than that, more emotional if you will.
Yes, indeed. Just like other apes. And i still think we can be better than that.
Things look great on paper, but when you are faced with them, I think emotion plays a much greater part than what you give it credit for.
You don't know how much credit i give them.

Emotions are a huge part of our existence. Without them we would become extinct. We would find no reason to do anything.
But i'm talking about being reasonable. Ignoring our emotions isn't.

I guess you're talking about the second meaning of "nationalism".

I mean the notion that your country or region deserves more of your effort than the rest of them. That it's ok to want to provide for your own country and not to care about the rest.
Usually nationalism is coupled with 'your country is always right in its actions and policy no matter what'.
Oh. Well, if it's just coupled with My country is very wrong, and it's crap, but i will still defend it unconditionally no matter what it's just as bad.

Lack of objectivity is bad.
Do i need to defend this claim?

The big difference between patriotism and nationalism is that with patriotism you love your country for the good it does, and you hate your country for the evil it does, and you recognize that it does do evil.
I don't think patriotism is about that. But nevermind, a patriot defends his country. A patriot defends the illusory politic lines that divide his country from it's neighbors.

Patriotism is a form of bias. Biases suck.

I think patriotism is healthy for a prosperous country.
Q.E.D.

I prefer a prosperous world.

You're a naive capitalist.

Your interests as a company owner conflicts with those of your society and your employees plenty of times. This is a fact. This will always be a fact as long as there is money.
You always want your employees work harder for less pay.
You always want for society not to get your product for free.
While you are right, in that if I get more prophets* on my side by being "evil" than I would do that.
Good thing you see it.
On the other hand, I think that with a good economy and healthy competition
Calling it 'healthy' doesn't it make it so.
capitalism is the best form of market we have come up with yet.
The best form of market, perhaps. The thing is the market is a bad thing.
Are you a capitalist?
No.

Capitalism was a great invention, once upon a time. In times of real scarcity it makes life better. What's not obvious is that it also promotes scarcity.

With your 'healthy competition' companies register patents and let them sleep, so nobody else can investigate an area that would render a product useless.
Market-free technology would make our lives much better.

Technology is being held back by corporative interests. It sounds conspiranoid, but it's the plain truth.

What you say about 'healthy competition' can be said about predation and parasitism too.
Without them OR competition we would be very stupid. We got to where we are thanks to predation, parasitism and competition. The same goes with war.

And now that we got here, it's time to let it go for good.

War! huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Uh-huh

This is more than just a little nice thing. The passage basically says to love your enemies and not to go around and do them harm,
I know, and i love it. That's not the point.
so there is biblical evidence to get along with people from other religions.
Yeah, and there's biblical evidence on the contrary too.

So we can leave the 'biblical evidence' aside. Can we not? Because the criteria by which you choose the nice one from two contradictory passages is available to anyone without reading the Bible.
So...
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing.

I think the danger comes in when you start to sin because of your relationship with non-Christians.
What an empty word... It's not better than when creationists say "information" or "kinds".
It may be empty to you,
No, it's objective. =D
but to a Christian it means a lot.
It means something different for each Christian. So the term isn't clear. So...
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing.
It is not so elastic as "information" or "kinds", for it is much more concrete in its meaning.
Does it mean anything else than 'to disobey what the Bible says'?
If it does, then it's elastic.
If it doesn't, then it's wicked.
But I'll agree that it is empty to non-Christians.
Make it objective (i.e. define it) and we'll see from there.

If it's disobedience of Yahweh's commands then not stoning people to death is a sin.
As well as wearing cotton with wool, and eating shellfish.
Precisely.
Why are you helping my position?

I have indulged in some delicious "sins" (like swinging). I have no reason to repent.
The Bible was written for and by problematic people who would kill each other over sexual issues.
They would also kill you for working on the wrong day.
Precisely.
Why are you helping my position?
Many of these laws are outdated
Which proves that they had nothing to do with God.
and not meant for us.
Says who?
And who says that the ten commandments were?
But they were important back then,
So?
and some of them really were life dependent, so they included them into their religious texts.
Who's 'they'? And what are you driving at?

In addition we must do all the good that we can do to one another, and do it willfully and joyfully.
The thing is that, when you have not decided a highest value, you have nothing to go by to decide whether something is good or not.
I think everyone has things they would call evil, good, both and neither.
Yeah, maybe, but i'm not talking about that. I'm not talking about name calling. I'm talking about reason.
So how does one, with reason, objectively say that this is good or evil?
That's an excellent question.

The answer i found was God. He's the one that constantly welcomes you as you grow. And growing means getting closer to God. Knowledge makes you grow. You can't know what you don't love. You can't love what you don't know. So knowledge and love are interwoven. And God is infinite knowledge and love.

We have to realize the duality. The infinite and the nothingness. Which way should you go?

What gets you closer to God? That's good.
What prevents you from getting closer to God? That's bad.

Why? Because the other way is nothing. And this is no false dilemma (like 'evolution OR creation'). This is a true one. Just two directions.

But after you made the choice you can still choose the scenic route.

While someone may not know exactly how all of it works, or why they think this is evil or good, we all have it.
Yes. And i don't think it's always "good". Sometimes people see as "good" things that are bad to me (like patriotism, once again).
Lots of people see discrimination as a good thing. Even the Bible does from time to time.
That which is good or evil is very dependent on culture, geography, technology, time period and is quite placid in its parameters.
Yeah, the ordinary concepts of 'good' and 'bad' do depend. But i was talking about the reasonable concept (which must include a highest value).
What was right for the Jews 3,000 years ago may not be right for me, you, or anyone else.
So what is it good for?

But even if we don't have a highest value, we can still say this is something good so I'm going to devote my time and energy into it.
Indeed. Hitler did.
Your point?
My point is that you made no point. My point is to point out an obvious case that demonstrates the uselessness of your point.

Yeah, without a highest value we can still say 'good' or 'bad'. And that's not only meaningless, but it can lead to serious crap.

That was my point.

He who wants, lacks. If your god lacks, he's not The God.
I understand what you are saying. I disagree, but I'm not sure how to verbalize it.
Don't you think that your difficulty to verbalize it might implicate that you have no basis for your opinion? I give it a 50% chance. I'm sure you'd give it a lower chance, but would it be zero?
What do you give a 50% chance to?
To the fact that you don't know how to verbalize a response means that you have no basis for your opinion.

God wants a relationship with all of us, as well as to go out and do His work.
What's your basis?
The Bible, and I don't mean it as a scientific claim.
Is it reasonable to conclude that you don't mean it as a real claim? Or a claim regarding reality?
He also wants that relationship and our works to be genuine so He gave us free will to choose.
Sorry. Just another empty expression, IMO.
How is it empty and prone to equivocation?
Easy: it pretends to describe some aspect of reality, but it can't be defined or falsified.

What do you mean when you say that he gave us free will?

How do you check for free will?

Does a drug addict have it?

Do other animals have it?

Do comatose patients have it?

Do fetuses have it?

Do mentally challenged people have it?

I bet you don't mean anything real or clear (even if you think you do). I hope my questions show you that.

How does it negate His Godliness?
By demonstrating that He's incapable of getting what He wants.
He is God, it is only Godly if it lines up with Him. Just because you feel that God should be like X doesn't mean that God is like X.
I could say 'Just because you feel that God should be good, nice and drug free doesn't mean that He is.

Sorry if it sounds arrogant to you, but i do know aspects of God. He's pure and infinite love, intelligence and knowledge. And He doesn't want anything. 'Wanting' is a human concept that does not apply to God in the least. The other three i listed do (partially). The human love is a tiny representation (or even misrepresentation) of God's love.

If you don't know anything about Him you shouldn't even name Him. What would be the point?

I think your view on purpose and how it relates to our actions is very rigid,
Nopes. As i've said earlier, it's up to you to choose your scenic route. But you need to know where you're headed before deciding if you're getting closer or not.
while mine is very loose.
Hence the scenic route.
At this point I think we both got across our ideas on the issue, so I propose we agree to disagree on this issue.
Well, ok... Too bad, because the issue of good and bad is one of the most important issues ever.

Christians try to make it absolute by recurring to something as relative and mutable as the Bible, instead of recurring to the absolute.
I'll close by saying I think it is more appropriate for me to say I don't know what my ultimate purpose is, nor does it concern me.
You speak about a relationship with God. It sounds like when i say 'getting closer to god' (which i consider good). Would you really say that it doesn't concern you?

In psychology there is something called the "forbidden experiment", do you know about it? From what we know about it, would you say that those humans are "humans"?
Excellent question!
I don't know... They must have grown a little before dying... Just like any animal.

By the way, i recognize a tiny bit of God (and some growth) to animals too.

For about a year now I have been going to a Bible study basically held by a YEC student who has a religious degree and is now a non-denominational minister. All this time I think he thought I was a YEC too! Now that he knows I'm not one he basically said I'm not Christian, I wonder what he's gonna say when I tell him this part of my philosophy. Hehehehehe.
Hahahaha! You must be one of the most interesting Christians ever!

I think a lot of my misspellings come from the fact that in the U.S. different dialects have certain words with different spellings that sound exactly the same, and you're suppose to find out the spelling from the pronunciation.
Yeah, that's true. My advantage is that lots of times an English word has a correlative Spanish word (that come from the same Latin or Greek word), and in Spanish you pretty much can't get them wrong.

Sometimes it looks like i'm good at spelling English words, but the reason is that they are not very English and i knew them from Spanish (and in Spanish they are not hard at all).

One of the popular false doctrines of Christianity is that faith alone will save you.
And they have biblical reasons to believe that.

Galatians 2:16 (King James Version)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


Galatians 3:11 (New International Version)
Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 4:2
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.


Of course, you can find passages that state the exact opposite.
The study of salvation is soteriology.
Didn't know that. Probably won't remember.
While different sects have different beliefs on how someone is saved, most of them follow something like: believe, have faith, repent, get baptized. Like much of the Bible you don't get the whole picture of salvation with just one passage, but you have to synthesize multiple passages to understand Christian doctrine.
To invent it, actually.

There's no synthesis. Just contradictory opinions of people who died long ago.

Me: Ten commandments
They are contradicted in the Bible. What should you do? What the Bible says, or what the Bible says?
There are contradictions in the Bible, but you have to look at the Bible as a whole in context to understand what it says.
Meh, that's crap. There's no whole. If such a thing was possible Christians would agree, and the doctrine would be one.

By final product I mean getting saved or going to heaven. Once there I think we can still grow mentally and spiritually.
Sounds like a silly system.

Why not make us and put us all in Heaven to grow spiritually ad infinitvm? Why the Earth phase?

I don't know what "close" is, how God could "claim", or what "Through Jesus Christ" might mean...
I guess it would be easier if you were a native English speaker. By "close", I mean you are connected through a personal relationship, if that makes any sense at all to you.
We say it the same. But God is infinite. You can't get close.
However, i do think that we should try to get closer, even if we never get close.
If by 'close' and 'relationship' you mean something else, well then perhaps every creature in the Universe is closely related to God (whether they want/know it or not).
In Christian theology God is perfect and sinless, thus He cannot be a part of sin.
Or want things.
When we sin, it is part of us, and we cannot be in God's presence so to say.
I don't know what 'sinning' is. Do you mean 'make mistakes'?  
When Jesus comes into our hearts,
How do you check for that? So that you know what you're talking about.
our sin riddled soul is covered by Jesus righteousness.
Says who? How do you know? Has that been told to you? By whom? Did you figure it out by yourself? What is a soul?
When this happens
'This' thing that 'happens' has lots of elements that seem meaningless.
God is able to claim us as His own and we are saved.
I was tempted to ask 'Was He unable before that?', but i think i'm beginning to understand a little.
I still don't get how can God claim a person.

Anyway, i'd like a good definition of 'sin', for it's so elastic a concept as to be completely devoid of content.

Primitive, perhaps. But like Judaism, Christianity has changed its doctrine overtime,
Indeed. That should make its proponents humbler. It should make them realize that if it wasn't right before, it doesn't have to be right now. Because it's not like a science that learns from its mistakes. It's more like a cockroach bumping into things while trying to hide.
and I think overall it is getting closer to the real thing.
Sigh... That's actually true too. The Christian god is, overall, getting closer to the real deal. But it used to be SO far off that it's not difficult to get closer. And the old god is being forced to evolve so it fits better, when it should be dropped to embrace the real deal without Yahweh as an intermediary.
What religion do you think is the least primitive so far?
I'd say Taoism. The concept of 'Tao' is astounding.
I really wish you'd read this:
http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/godTaoist.html

It deals with free will and sin in an amusing conversation between a mortal and God.

This is exactly my version of God. The author is a taoist, by the way (and a mathematician, and a musician, and a writer obviously, and a genius).

That's true, and i love it. I don't like evolving religions. I'd love for them to just die.
I think the evolution of religions in necessary to the development to the idea of God.
My concept of God evolved without religion.
And even Judaism evolved and is evolving, they just tend not to be influenced by its surrounding culture. I would think just about every religion evolves.
Yeah, pretty much. Like other parasites. But sometimes the change isn't as important as to claim speciation.

That's why i didn't like the last pope (i mean, i liked the guy, he was a saint, and too open for his function). I like the new one. A strict and narrow minded son of a bitch who can weaken the Catholic Church! =D
You really hate Christianity don't you.
I was talking just about the Catholic Church.

I think that, overall, Christianity does more bad than good. It can help drug addicts, and some other people. But still, the fact that a religion that was pretty much invented by the Romans to strengthen the empire can be useful to drug addicts today seems pretty fucked up, in my opinion.

I honestly think that if you abandoned Christianity not only you would still be a good guy: you'd be BETTER. No longer restricted by outdated principles you could develop your own better ones.
I don't know about being "better", my theology is already very liberal.
I think you'd grow smarter first (even though you're already smart), and better afterwards.

The natural progression goes: theism > atheism > deism.

You could see it as one of intolerance and bigotry too. You see love and compassion because they are already in you. You don't need Christianity.
I agree that I nor anyone else needs Christianity, or any religion, to be good; to show love, compassion, mercy, kindness.
Ok... So...
What is it good for?
I also agree you can see the Bible as a work of intolerance and bigotry. I think many creationists, whether they realize it or not, see the Bible this way.
Indeed. I've seen some of them with signs that said "When gays die God laughs".

Everything else is somewhat just filler.
Like Jesus.
If you have a specific thing you are thinking of I'll do my best to answer it.
Jesus and his role as a filler.
Interesting, Jesus as a filler. If you want to look at it through a literary perspective, Jesus is the personification as the ultimate role model for humanity.
Yes. I think Jesus was a cool guy who decided to assume that role. But those who think that he WAS that role must be deluded.
God is love, and Jesus is God incarnate, so Jesus is love in the flesh.
Through a literary perspective, ok... But God is infinite. He can't fit in our finite universe, let alone in a guy.
If you do believe that, i just see idolatry.
To reiterate; At the heart of Christianity is love, how we are supposed to show that love is shown to us through the actions of Jesus. That being said, I wouldn't say that Jesus is a "filler", but central to Christianity.
Ok, so your 'Everything else is somewhat just filler.' was a mistake.



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 06:26 AM on November 1, 2009 | IP
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Quote from wisp at 06:26 AM on November 1, 2009 :
Yeah... Perhaps then i exaggerated by saying that no part of it deals with proofs... Perhaps it's all just semantics. We know what we're saying, right?


I think we know what we're talking about
Just a little entertainment: Over the weekend on another forum I was arguing with a creationist who thought that proofs were abundant in science, and gave the example of water always boiling at a certain temperature at a given atmospheric pressure.

No foresight, and no universality.


Scientifically I agree, and I think it is the greatest point (except possible IC) that debunks the notion of ID.

Then why mention it in the same phrase as 'beneficial'? Do you think societies are good at least, if not the highest good?


I do think improving society is a good thing, and having a strong bond within a society/community is one of the major themes of Christianity.

Maybe it is not that I don't have a highest value, but that I don't know what my highest value is.
Perhaps that's the same as having none, when it comes to deciding whether you're acting in a reasonable fashion or not.


I'm not following you here.

You could have several values, each contributing to your "good" and/or "bad" philosophy. I just don't see people with such a concrete, hierarchical system of their values like that.
Me neither. But i wasn't describing what i see. I was portraying a model of reasonable behavior.


Perhaps, but then you say "Emotions are a huge part of our existence. Without them we would become extinct." If emotion plays such a chief part, how is neglecting it able to produce a model of reasonable behavior? Even if it isn't necessary to our survival as you say, our ability to comprehend complex emotion is part of what makes us human. Understanding these complex emotions can increase our understanding, knowledge and consciousness. Love could indeed be the strongest emotion we humans can feel. And as we both agree God is infinite love, and our beliefs co-inside in that we should do our best to reach that level within ourselves, why leave out emotion in any reasonable model?

I think it is much more human than that, more emotional if you will.
Yes, indeed. Just like other apes. And i still think we can be better than that.


Does your idyllic scenario consist of a dearth of emotion? Or another level of emotion devoid of our comprehension so far?

The big difference between patriotism and nationalism is that with patriotism you love your country for the good it does, and you hate your country for the evil it does, and you recognize that it does do evil.
I don't think patriotism is about that. But nevermind, a patriot defends his country. A patriot defends the illusory politic lines that divide his country from it's neighbors.


With patriotism you can say "my country did and does terrible things that needs to stop." With nationalism you can't say that. I view it as patriotism is holding up the ideas and values the country is based on and wanting/willing to do work to make it a better place in the world; and the ability to recognize when your country fails to do good and does evil instead. While nationalism is blind loyalty to all and everything about the country and the person can't accept that the country did and or does things that are wrong.

Patriotism is a form of bias. Biases suck.


Patriotism can insight bias, and I bet it usually, if not always, does. But here, I say the good outweighs the bad. You can't deny that the stronger the bonds are in a society the stronger that society is. Patriotism can be a very effective mechanism to bring people together, stop in-fighting, build stronger relationships and connect people together.

On the other hand, I think that with a good economy and healthy competition
Calling it 'healthy' doesn't it make it so.


Why can't competition be healthy?

capitalism is the best form of market we have come up with yet.
The best form of market, perhaps. The thing is the market is a bad thing.


How so? What do you mean by "market"?

Capitalism was a great invention, once upon a time. In times of real scarcity it makes life better. What's not obvious is that it also promotes scarcity.


I'm curious as to your reasoning behind this, or what which has been shown to demonstrate this.

With your 'healthy competition' companies register patents and let them sleep, so nobody else can investigate an area that would render a product useless.
Market-free technology would make our lives much better.


I'm not too sure about that. On the surface it sounds great. Increase in technology means an increase in the standard of living, availability of education/learning (just look at the internet and how quick and easy it is to find information), improve communications, transportation ect. ect. ect.

Yet, at the same time you can increase technology too fast. We've already seen it happen a little bit in the U.S. The laws in place are not equipped to deal with those who use the frontier of technology to essentially commit illegal acts, but because the way the law is written there is nothing anyone can do. While it may not seem like a big problem, just pass a new bill saying that it is illegal. However, it takes time to pass such things, and Congress is always pressed for time.
Besides the legal side of technology, there is the consumer. The society itself must be ready to use the new technology. It takes time to teach people how to use technology, if technology comes by too fast than the average consumer will not be able to adequately use it, and even less people will understand how the technology works.
From a government perspective, if technology is growing very rapidly and is out on the open market, it is very possible that people with not so nice intentions can get it, and this can pose serious scenarios for the government.

Technology is being held back by corporative interests. It sounds conspiranoid, but it's the plain truth.


I see it the same way as the economy. Too little inflation stunts growth, while too much is also very devastating. You have to find the right balance, and that balance is subject to change.

What you say about 'healthy competition' can be said about predation and parasitism too.
Without them OR competition we would be very stupid. We got to where we are thanks to predation, parasitism and competition. The same goes with war.


Very true.

And now that we got here, it's time to let it go for good.


In a perfect world we could do away with lots of things that are/were beneficial to where we are today. But we don't live in a perfect world, and we are boxed within the confines of reality.

War! huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Uh-huh


As ugly as war is, it has its uses. It got the world out of a massive depression in WWII.

This is more than just a little nice thing. The passage basically says to love your enemies and not to go around and do them harm,
I know, and i love it. That's not the point.
so there is biblical evidence to get along with people from other religions.
Yeah, and there's biblical evidence on the contrary too.


Indeed, you can use the Bible to support nearly every position imaginable.

So we can leave the 'biblical evidence' aside. Can we not?


I guess so, but it was you who started quoting Bible passages, hahaha. I have to ask, as you always seem to be able to pull up a lot of Bible versus on command, is there some website that lists all the non-nice passages?

It may be empty to you,
[color=teal]No, it's objective. =D
but to a Christian it means a lot.
It means something different for each Christian. So the term isn't clear. So...
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing.


It shouldn't mean something different to each Christian.

It is not so elastic as "information" or "kinds", for it is much more concrete in its meaning.
Does it mean anything else than 'to disobey what the Bible says'?
If it does, then it's elastic.
If it doesn't, then it's wicked.


The definition should be the same for everyone, what people label under it will be different.

But I'll agree that it is empty to non-Christians.
Make it objective (i.e. define it) and we'll see from there.


Sin is what separates us from God. What would separate me might not separate you, in that case it would be a sin for me but not for you.

[color=teal]If it's disobedience of Yahweh's commands then not stoning people to death is a sin.
As well as wearing cotton with wool, and eating shellfish.
Precisely.
Why are you helping my position?


It is not those things that are central, it is not the foundation of Christianity or sin. It is when you fail to love, or do evil, when sin appears.

I have indulged in some delicious "sins" (like swinging). I have no reason to repent.
The Bible was written for and by problematic people who would kill each other over sexual issues.


Interestingly enough, homosexuality in of itself is biblicaly not a sin! However, the lust in a homosexual relationship is, as is the same in a heterosexual relationship.  


Why are you helping my position?


I'm making a point, the laws in the OT are there for a reason, but now many of them, like mixing fabrics and keeping kosher, have no significance beyond a historical perspective.

The greatest law, and the sum of the laws, can be said simply as 'love God with everything you have, and love your neighbor as God has loved you.' There are several examples in Bible where it teaches that when it comes down to breaking a "law" in the Bible versus showing love, showing love is the right thing to do. Perhaps the most famous examples of this is when Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, which is against the law.

Many of these laws are outdated
Which proves that they had nothing to do with God.
and not meant for us.
Says who?


I don't know who first started it. With Jesus came a new covenant, and I know with the preaching of Paul these ideas were already flourishing.

And who says that the ten commandments were?
But they were important back then,
So?
and some of them really were life dependent, so they included them into their religious texts.
Who's 'they'? And what are you driving at?


That God works off of certain truths if you will, one of which is perfect love, and the laws are formed from these truths, but they are not truths in themselves. And over time, and even is different situations, while the application (laws) of these truths change, the core essence remains the same. An easy way to illustrate this is the commandment of not lying. Usually the right thing to do is to tell the truth, but I'm sure we can all come up with scenarios where lying is clearly the better and more loving choice.

So how does one, with reason, objectively say that this is good or evil?
That's an excellent question.

The answer i found was God. He's the one that constantly welcomes you as you grow. And growing means getting closer to God. Knowledge makes you grow. You can't know what you don't love. You can't love what you don't know. So knowledge and love are interwoven. And God is infinite knowledge and love.

We have to realize the duality. The infinite and the nothingness. Which way should you go?


Nice connection, but ultimately subjective, and must be taken on faith. I find your view on God easy to misinterpret as a projection of self, but perhaps that is all the God complex in humanity is, perhaps not.

What prevents you from getting closer to God? That's bad.


It almost has the same meaning as "sin" in Christianity when you replace it with "bad".

Why? Because the other way is nothing. And this is no false dilemma (like 'evolution OR creation'). This is a true one. Just two directions.

But after you made the choice you can still choose the scenic route.


What do you mean by scenic route?

Yeah, the ordinary concepts of 'good' and 'bad' do depend. But i was talking about the reasonable concept (which must include a highest value).


Anything we come up with will be subjective. Even if one day we have all the knowledge of good and evil God does, it will still only be our perception of it and subjective, right or wrong.

But even if we don't have a highest value, we can still say this is something good so I'm going to devote my time and energy into it.
Indeed. Hitler did.
Your point?
My point is that you made no point. My point is to point out an obvious case that demonstrates the uselessness of your point.


Hitler doesn't demonstrate my point at all. Just because his highest value doesn't equate to yours doesn't mean he didn't have one. Hitler states in his autobiography that he believes himself to be on a mission from God. If this is true than I dare say he had a highest value and he believed himself working for that fulfillment. If he just said it for political reasons, I dare say he had a pretty strong conviction to do whatever it took to complete his ultimate goal. Which I would say is synonymous with your idea of highest value, at least in the methodology in obtaining it, making it perhaps almost indistinguishable from a true highest value.

Yeah, without a highest value we can still say 'good' or 'bad'. And that's not only meaningless, but it can lead to serious crap.


I think you put way too much value in having a highest value and doing good. Just because you feel you have found the highest value and it is good, doesn't mean someone else wouldn't have a highest value that is evil, like Hitler.

God wants a relationship with all of us, as well as to go out and do His work.
What's your basis?
The Bible, and I don't mean it as a scientific claim.
Is it reasonable to conclude that you don't mean it as a real claim? Or a claim regarding reality?


Not at all, just that it must be taken on faith.

He also wants that relationship and our works to be genuine so He gave us free will to choose.
Sorry. Just another empty expression, IMO.
How is it empty and prone to equivocation?
Easy: it pretends to describe some aspect of reality, but it can't be defined or falsified.

What do you mean when you say that he gave us free will?


That free will is from God, we have it and God will not take it away.

How do you check for free will?


You ultimately cannot prove or disprove it. But everything points to us having free will, at least that I'm aware of. Even in your 'is God a Taoist' story it states that we have free will, although it also says God didn't have a choice in the matter.

For all intent and purpose there is no evidence to suggest that we do not have free will, and we seem to have a choice in what we do, so on what grounds do we have to stand on that we do not have free will beyond the philosophical argument that anything is possible?  

Does a drug addict have it?

Do other animals have it?


Yes.

Do comatose patients have it?

Do fetuses have it?


I see free will as the ability to make your own decisions due to consciousness through certain brain activity. So if a comatose patient comes back to consciousness or that fetus is born, they will gain free will so to speak. It is not that they don't have it, but they can't exercise it.

Do mentally challenged people have it?


Yes.

I bet you don't mean anything real or clear (even if you think you do). I hope my questions show you that.


I don't think they did. Sorry.

I could say 'Just because you feel that God should be good, nice and drug free doesn't mean that He is.


I agree, for all we know God is a pink unicorn on acid.

Sorry if it sounds arrogant to you, but i do know aspects of God. He's pure and infinite love, intelligence and knowledge. And He doesn't want anything. 'Wanting' is a human concept that does not apply to God in the least. The other three i listed do (partially). The human love is a tiny representation (or even misrepresentation) of God's love.


The problem with theology is that it all must be taken on faith. You claim you know, and even be able to apply it in the real world, but it is still faith based, and in the end it is opinion. Perhaps for the first time on this forum I'm going to pull a Lester. When it comes down to matters of God, we can cite all the religious texts, logic, reasoning, observations, facts and experiences we want. And we may even talk as if we know, but in the end it is truly how we perceive God, whether we are right or wrong, the foundation of our belief is faith.

If you don't know anything about Him you shouldn't even name Him. What would be the point?


I have faith I know Him.

Christians try to make it absolute by recurring to something as relative and mutable as the Bible, instead of recurring to the absolute.


I know many Christians look at the heart of Christianity and the rigidity of morality they perceive as that dictated in the Bible. Personally, I think it is one of the great tragedies of the fundamentalist movement; as was seen on another thread, in many cases they have created an idol: The Bible. I think the absolute truth to Christianity is love, and all perceptions of good and evil should stem from it.  

You speak about a relationship with God. It sounds like when i say 'getting closer to god' (which i consider good). Would you really say that it doesn't concern you?


I would say a relationship with God for me is very similar, if not nearly parallel, with getting closer to God for you. I'm not saying that is doesn't concern me, but perhaps that it is not the ends to get to God, but merely the means to fulfill the ultimate purpose bestowed upon me, or in your case humanity as a whole.

In psychology there is something called the "forbidden experiment", do you know about it? From what we know about it, would you say that those humans are "humans"?
Excellent question!
I don't know... They must have grown a little before dying... Just like any animal.

By the way, i recognize a tiny bit of God (and some growth) to animals too.


While I agree that many organisms go through periods of mental development, most organisms (micro-organisms) do not even have a mental capacity in which to grow on, and I doubt physical growth by itself constitutes a greater connection with God.

For about a year now I have been going to a Bible study basically held by a YEC student who has a religious degree and is now a non-denominational minister. All this time I think he thought I was a YEC too! Now that he knows I'm not one he basically said I'm not Christian, I wonder what he's gonna say when I tell him this part of my philosophy. Hehehehehe.
Hahahaha! You must be one of the most interesting Christians ever!


I like to see myself as an interesting character, and I think I have portrayed that quite well in my life.

Yeah, that's true. My advantage is that lots of times an English word has a correlative Spanish word (that come from the same Latin or Greek word), and in Spanish you pretty much can't get them wrong.

Sometimes it looks like i'm good at spelling English words, but the reason is that they are not very English and i knew them from Spanish (and in Spanish they are not hard at all).


Do you know if modern Spanish was influenced by French? Because modern English is, and some words are similar. Or is it due to its common ancestor, Latin?

While different sects have different beliefs on how someone is saved, most of them follow something like: believe, have faith, repent, get baptized. Like much of the Bible you don't get the whole picture of salvation with just one passage, but you have to synthesize multiple passages to understand Christian doctrine.
To invent it, actually.

There's no synthesis. Just contradictory opinions of people who died long ago.


I don't think so. Although there are a few wacko sects, most of them follow the same path for salvation.

[color=teal]Meh, that's crap. There's no whole. If such a thing was possible Christians would agree, and the doctrine would be one.


I disagree, not surprisingly, because we are human and don't know everything. Our theology is incomplete, and because of this there are disagreements in what X Y and Z means, and if we should include W U or Q. Plus I think God reveals himself in different ways at different times when appropriate, which can lead to confusion, as well as reveal himself differently to different cultures. In terms of Christianity, I think it is a struggle towards the ultimate truth.

By final product I mean getting saved or going to heaven. Once there I think we can still grow mentally and spiritually.
Sounds like a silly system.

Why not make us and put us all in Heaven to grow spiritually ad infinitvm? Why the Earth phase?


I don't know why, but I accept it on faith. I am actually surprised you spelled infinitum with a v, as most use the u despite there is no "u" in the Latin alphabet. I think this is the first time I've seen it spelled like that come to think of it.

I don't know what "close" is, how God could "claim", or what "Through Jesus Christ" might mean...
I guess it would be easier if you were a native English speaker. By "close", I mean you are connected through a personal relationship, if that makes any sense at all to you.
We say it the same. But God is infinite. You can't get close.
However, i do think that we should try to get closer, even if we never get close.
If by 'close' and 'relationship' you mean something else, well then perhaps every creature in the Universe is closely related to God (whether they want/know it or not).


I think we mean it in a very similar manner. Close, as in understanding God as much as we can, and in Christianity often times God is referred to as in a father son relationship. Christianity also implores a listening and doing God's will as a sign of closeness sometimes.

II don't know what 'sinning' is. Do you mean 'make mistakes'?


I would call a sin a mistake, but not all mistakes are sin. Summed up, a sin is when you do evil, or fail to do good when good can be done.

When Jesus comes into our hearts,
How do you check for that? So that you know what you're talking about.


It truly is esoteric, and I'm not sure there is an objective way to know.  

our sin riddled soul is covered by Jesus righteousness.
Says who? How do you know? Has that been told to you? By whom? Did you figure it out by yourself? What is a soul?


Again, it is part of Christian doctrine and as such must be taken on faith. What is a soul? The immaterial part of you that will live forever.

When this happens
'This' thing that 'happens' has lots of elements that seem meaningless.


Let me rephrase. We are not of the same essence as God, and because of this we can never be in his full presence. But because of the infinite love of God, He has taken our imperfect self, and put His holiness on top of it so that when we die we may be in His full presence.  

God is able to claim us as His own and we are saved.
I was tempted to ask 'Was He unable before that?', but i think i'm beginning to understand a little.


Did the rephrasing above help at all?

I still don't get how can God claim a person.


I'm not sure I know enough to answer your questions Maybe my theology is off a little, or I don't know the finer details to expand on it.

Anyway, i'd like a good definition of 'sin', for it's so elastic a concept as to be completely devoid of content.


While it is subjective, as almost everything in religion is, it is that which you do that is evil, or that when you fail to do all the good you can do. I think I phrased it better earlier in the post.

Indeed. That should make its proponents humbler. It should make them realize that if it wasn't right before, it doesn't have to be right now. Because it's not like a science that learns from its mistakes. It's more like a cockroach bumping into things while trying to hide.


How cynical, yet true at the same time.

What religion do you think is the least primitive so far?
I'd say Taoism. The concept of 'Tao' is astounding.
I really wish you'd read this:
http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/godTaoist.html

It deals with free will and sin in an amusing conversation between a mortal and God.

This is exactly my version of God. The author is a taoist, by the way (and a mathematician, and a musician, and a writer obviously, and a genius).


Very interesting read. I liked it a lot, thanks for sharing.

much. Like other parasites. But sometimes the change isn't as important as to claim speciation.


Very true, sometimes you must drop the old completely and embrace the new.

[color=teal]
I think that, overall, Christianity does more bad than good. It can help drug addicts, and some other people. But still, the fact that a religion that was pretty much invented by the Romans to strengthen the empire can be useful to drug addicts today seems pretty fucked up, in my opinion.


Indeed, sometimes religion does a lot more harm than good. Still, one of the reasons why I like Christianity is that one of the teachings basically says if it comes down to obeying the law or doing what is right/good, you should forgo the law and do what's right.

I think you'd grow smarter first (even though you're already smart), and better afterwards.

The natural progression goes: theism > atheism > deism.


Atheism and deism have appealed to me in the past, and in many ways still do. Some of the concepts of Buddhism have also appealed to me. Although I don't know much about Taoism, what little I know is very appealing. Right or wrong, fear or resolve, I'm a theistic Christian.

You could see it as one of intolerance and bigotry too. You see love and compassion because they are already in you. You don't need Christianity.
I agree that I nor anyone else needs Christianity, or any religion, to be good; to show love, compassion, mercy, kindness.
Ok... So...
What is it good for?


Does one need your concept of God to be good? If no, what is it good for?

I believe it not because I think it makes people good, I believe it because I believe it is the truth, or the closest to the truth we have.

Indeed. I've seen some of them with signs that said "When gays die God laughs".
[/color]


Alluding to the Westboro baptist church? They actually came to my university last year. Unfortunately I had class and missed them, a crazy bunch they are.

[color=teal]Yes. I think Jesus was a cool guy who decided to assume that role. But those who think that he WAS that role must be deluded.
Through a literary perspective, ok... But God is infinite. He can't fit in our finite universe, let alone in a guy.
If you do believe that, i just see idolatry.


Jesus is subordinate to God, exactly why that is, I don't know. Perhaps it was done only to better portray how we should live, or perhaps you are right in that God couldn't fit into one person. I actually don't like the latter, although I wouldn't rule it out. I say God's love is so great that He could do that.

Ok, so your 'Everything else is somewhat just filler.' was a mistake.


I guess so, I think it would be more accurate to say everything else builds from that truth (love), and revolves around that truth.


-------
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Jesus (Matthew 7:12)
 


Posts: 551 | Posted: 7:42 PM on November 10, 2009 | IP
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Sorry for the delay, it's kind of a long post.
Yeah... Don't think i forgot about it. I was just summoning courage to face it. =D
If you take a straight copy and paste into word it comes out to be 17 1/2 pages! Enjoy!
We created a monster...

I'll have to focus, and don't dwell in the things we agree upon.

I do think improving society is a good thing,
Why?
and having a strong bond within a society/community is one of the major themes of Christianity.
So, because other Christians say so?

Maybe it is not that I don't have a highest value, but that I don't know what my highest value is.
Perhaps that's the same as having none, when it comes to deciding whether you're acting in a reasonable fashion or not.
I'm not following you here.
I'm saying that, when it's time for you to decide if something is good or not, if you don't know what your highest value is, perhaps it's as good as having none. So i don't know how you could act reasonably...

You could be acting the way you feel, but that's not reasonable unless you've decided that honoring your emotions are your highest value.

You could have several values, each contributing to your "good" and/or "bad" philosophy. I just don't see people with such a concrete, hierarchical system of their values like that.
Me neither. But i wasn't describing what i see. I was portraying a model of reasonable behavior.
Perhaps, but then you say "Emotions are a huge part of our existence. Without them we would become extinct." If emotion plays such a chief part, how is neglecting it able to produce a model of reasonable behavior?
Well, easy answer: It's not.
Even if it isn't necessary to our survival as you say, our ability to comprehend complex emotion is part of what makes us human.
Indeed. And the best boost for our consciousness (which is my highest value). So how could i endorse neglecting it?

You got me wrong.

Understanding these complex emotions can increase our understanding, knowledge and consciousness.
So what? Are you saying those are good? Based on what?

You know i'll like those. But you haven't thought it through. What if you're mistaken, and those are not good things?

Love could indeed be the strongest emotion we humans can feel.
I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but love isn't an emotion.

Emotions are linked to a limited set of responses. For instance: fear > fight/flight.

Love is a feeling, according to the ordinary definition.  

Mine is this: The recognition, in others, of the traits that make them sentient beings.

So, to me, it's more like a form of knowledge.

And as we both agree God is infinite love,
Indeed.
and our beliefs co-inside in that we should do our best to reach that level within ourselves,
You got it!!! So you do have a highest value: all that God represents.

But how did you decide that God was that? Did you take someone's word for it? Did you figure it out somehow?

why leave out emotion in any reasonable model?
Addressed (love isn't an emotion, and i didn't say we should leave emotions out anyway).

The big difference between patriotism and nationalism is that with patriotism you love your country for the good it does, and you hate your country for the evil it does, and you recognize that it does do evil.
I don't think patriotism is about that. But nevermind, a patriot defends his country. A patriot defends the illusory politic lines that divide his country from it's neighbors.
With patriotism you can say "my country did and does terrible things that needs to stop." With nationalism you can't say that.
Ok, let's take that definition.

It's still a baseless limitation.

What's special about "your" country that deserves more of your attention than the rest? Why choose "country" as the right level of patriotism? Why not one step more global? Or one step more local? Why not your state? Why not your neighborhood? Why not your street?

What is a "country" to you, anyway? The land? The people? Both?

What if you find a country that's more in tune with your beliefs and feelings? Would you switch?

The "country" or "nation" is an illusory extension of the evolved notion of "us". It evolved to be applied to the clan (or tribe), and then it was used in quite a whimsical way.

The smartest choice is to apply it to the world. The original choice is to apply it to your family. But you're a fencer in this too.

I view it as patriotism is holding up the ideas and values the country is based on
So if you consider them bullshit, then it's not your country. Right? Or you would choose not to be a patriot. Right?

No atheist should be a patriot in the USA (even if it's not a Christian nation by foundation it's pretty much a Christian nation by current numbers).
and wanting/willing to do work to make it a better place in the world;
So if you just want a better world, you can't be a patriot. Right?
and the ability to recognize when your country fails to do good and does evil instead.
I think your definition needs all this stuff in order to force your concept into something "good" (and it fails anyway). That's exactly what it sounds like (to me).
While nationalism is blind loyalty to all and everything about the country and the person can't accept that the country did and or does things that are wrong.
Ok, so:
Nationalism: Blind loyalty.
Patroitism: Sighted loyalty.

What makes you think that loyalty is good?

Patriotism can insight bias, and I bet it usually, if not always, does.
I'm glad you see it.
But here, I say the good outweighs the bad. You can't deny that the stronger the bonds are in a society the stronger that society is.
I can't deny that.

Can you demonstrate that such a thing is a good thing?

Some people believe that weakening your society is a good thing which will become the starting point for a new one.
Patriotism can be a very effective mechanism to bring people together, stop in-fighting, build stronger relationships and connect people together.
Yeah. Everything within the boundaries. Our instincts were developed to find that reasonable, in spite of it's being pure crap.
It used to be about your clan. Some managed to extend the concept of "us" to our entire species. Others extended it to the whole living world.
Some got stuck at the imaginary "country" level. Those are patriots.
Why can't competition be healthy?
I didn't say it couldn't. I said that calling it that didn't make it so.

In any case we haven't defined "healthy".

We got to where we are thanks to competition, predation, parasitism, xenophobia, selfishness and other forms of violence. Without them we would be nothing.

So perhaps they're "healthy" to you. I don't know. They are healthy for some people. Nietzsche would agree.
To me it's just a matter of semantics.
I sure don't like it. Well, actually sometimes i yield to temptation...

capitalism is the best form of market we have come up with yet.
The best form of market, perhaps. The thing is the market is a bad thing.
How so? What do you mean by "market"?
Commercial activity. Monetary values assigned to products and services.

Capitalism was a great invention, once upon a time. In times of real scarcity it makes life better. What's not obvious is that it also promotes scarcity.
I'm curious as to your reasoning behind this, or what which has been shown to demonstrate this.
Yeah. I've mentioned it before.

Scarcity of some product is what keeps that business viable. If you accidentally overproduce it's better for you to burn the surplus than to give it away for free. This is a fact.
From this simple fact it doesn't take much for us to understand that those who control production usually DON'T overproduce.

Scarcity is what drives the market. Those who control the market struggle to maintain scarcity.

You don't have a market for air.

With your 'healthy competition' companies register patents and let them sleep, so nobody else can investigate an area that would render a product useless.
Market-free technology would make our lives much better.
I'm not too sure about that.
Shall i show you the patents for amazing batteries and motors that will never hit the market?
On the surface it sounds great. Increase in technology means an increase in the standard of living, availability of education/learning (just look at the internet and how quick and easy it is to find information), improve communications, transportation ect. ect. ect.
My point exactly.

The Internet was bad for lots of people. Teleporters would be bad too.
We're ages away from that (if it's even possible). But in a market economy you couldn't research for that.
Yet, at the same time you can increase technology too fast.
Yes, that's true (and i'll skip your excellent exposition because i agree). But the market should not decide when it's best to develop a new technology. Scientists, legislators and technicians should.

Technology is being held back by corporative interests. It sounds conspiranoid, but it's the plain truth.
I see it the same way as the economy. Too little inflation stunts growth, while too much is also very devastating.
Yeah. That's true. Just one of the many things in an market economy that suck.
You have to find the right balance, and that balance is subject to change.
Assuming that you WANT the right balance in a bad system, instead of a good system.

In a perfect world we could do away with lots of things that are/were beneficial to where we are today. But we don't live in a perfect world, and we are boxed within the confines of reality.
Indeed, we don't live in a perfect world, and we're not perfect either. I only want something good. Something better.
Any good system should have to deal with the fact that we're selfish, and find ways to prevent that from having devastating consequences.

The market economy doesn't do the trick.

As ugly as war is, it has its uses. It got the world out of a massive depression in WWII.
Indeed. My point exactly.

A system which finds war productive can't be good.

I have to ask, as you always seem to be able to pull up a lot of Bible versus on command, is there some website that lists all the non-nice passages?
Sure. Let me google...

www.skepticsannotatedbible.com
It has several sections. One including the Good stuff on the Bible (which is lovely).

Another one is www.evilbible.com (i love that one).

About sin you wrote:
It shouldn't mean something different to each Christian.
Let me guess what it should mean to everybody: what it means to YOU.

Did i guess? =D
The definition should be the same for everyone, what people label under it will be different.
Please, define "sin".
Oh, you did...
Sin is what separates us from God. What would separate me might not separate you, in that case it would be a sin for me but not for you.
Now you have to define "separate".

Are you closer to God than, say, a lizard?
If you are, then is the lizard sinful?
If you're not, would a lobotomy get you closer?

You'll probably think that i'm not making the right questions. If that's the case it's because your definition wasn't very informative.

About wearing mixed fabrics and not stoning people to death:
It is not those things that are central, it is not the foundation of Christianity or sin. It is when you fail to love, or do evil, when sin appears.
Locusts fail to love. Are they sinful?

Oh, i know! You'll redefine "fail" to exclude locusts from that possibility! Perhaps you'll exclude autistic people too (nobody likes to call autistic people "sinful"). You'll find some way, like Christians tend to do instead of abandoning their flawed conceptions.

Interestingly enough, homosexuality in of itself is biblicaly not a sin!
I still don't know what a sin is. I don't know what you mean. I'm absolutely clueless.
However, the lust in a homosexual relationship is, as is the same in a heterosexual relationship.
Yes. And? Are you still talking about sin? It's not clear to me.
I'm making a point, the laws in the OT are there for a reason, but now many of them, like mixing fabrics and keeping kosher, have no significance beyond a historical perspective.
Straightforward question: Where those laws the will of God (for that time and place, whatever) or not?
The greatest law, and the sum of the laws, can be said simply as 'love God with everything you have, and love your neighbor as God has loved you.'
Isn't "love your neighbor as you love yourself"? I thought that was it... It makes sense... How could we love as God does?? Doesn't make any sense to me...

Checking... Yeah, it's how i said it... And i agree. It's the greatest of the laws. The best. The perfect law.

It's very difficult to accomplish, but i try. Getting closer to God would imply loving better. Loving better would imply getting closer to God. The perfect consciousness is built upon love.

That being the case... Why waste your time being a Christian?
I got to the same conclusion without any help from the Bible.

Why bother? Why pay any attention to the Christian myths? The whole water-walking wine making zombie demi-god is ridiculous...

Check out this vid.

Anyway, if i could travel back in time i'd want to meet Jesus, Darwin and Da Vinci. Those would be my top picks, i think. They beat Einstein.

There are several examples in Bible where it teaches that when it comes down to breaking a "law" in the Bible versus showing love, showing love is the right thing to do.
They seem highlighted to you, since you're a nice fellow and feel this need to defend the indefensible Bible.

You don't need the Bible or anything from Christianity, Fencer. Seriously.

But they were important back then, and some of them really were life dependent, so they included them into their religious texts.
Who's 'they'? And what are you driving at?
That God works off of certain truths if you will, one of which is perfect love, and the laws are formed from these truths, but they are not truths in themselves. And over time, and even is different situations, while the application (laws) of these truths change, the core essence remains the same. An easy way to illustrate this is the commandment of not lying. Usually the right thing to do is to tell the truth, but I'm sure we can all come up with scenarios where lying is clearly the better and more loving choice.
Indeed (you didn't answer who "they" are though).

So we can agree that the Bible is useless as a guide, right?

From your speech i sense a cognitive dissonance. You're a smart guy, but smart defenses for Christianity aren't easy to come by.

It's not clear to me what you believe, but my guess is that it's not clear to you either. You need obscurity to keep calling yourself a Christian.

Dumb people don't. They can just believe anything their religion tells them to. That option isn't available for you.

Nice connection, but ultimately subjective, and must be taken on faith.
I tried my best to get to something objective. That consciousness is real is something objective. Right?
That some creatures have more of (or more access to) it than others is also objective, is it not?
Growth is also objective. Am i wrong?
Love is a form of knowledge.
God is the (for all purposes virtual) summvm of all knowledge and love (that's how i choose to define it, so it wouldn't be subjective but just consensual).

Sorry, but i see no subjectivity. Can you point it out to me?

I find your view on God easy to misinterpret as a projection of self, but perhaps that is all the God complex in humanity is, perhaps not.
Projection of self? Quite the opposite... I see conscious entities as radio sets that catch catch some wave lengths from an infinite (and virtual, since it's not bounded by our universe) source.

What prevents you from getting closer to God? That's bad.
It almost has the same meaning as "sin" in Christianity when you replace it with "bad".
The difference is that "sin" is an action. And it doesn't seem wise to polarize actions as "good" and "bad" (even if there are some clear "better" and "worse").

If i said that some action is "bad" (not that i would say such a thing) i'd mean "You could do better". But since that is ALWAYS the case, it would be quite a pointless thing to say.

Why? Because the other way is nothing. And this is no false dilemma (like 'evolution OR creation'). This is a true one. Just two directions.

But after you made the choice you can still choose the scenic route.
What do you mean by scenic route?
I mean taking your time. Having fun in the ride. Enjoying the ride.

Perhaps there are some hard ways that get you quicker to your destination.

Yeah, the ordinary concepts of 'good' and 'bad' do depend. But i was talking about the reasonable concept (which must include a highest value).
Anything we come up with will be subjective.
Why are you so sure?
Even if one day we have all the knowledge of good and evil God does, it will still only be our perception of it and subjective, right or wrong.
There are some clear "better" and "worse".

I don't go hugging everybody i meet, but i'm sure it would be better than punching them in the face, and i'm sure you agree.

Do you think that's subjective? Are not those who think otherwise just plain wrong?

But even if we don't have a highest value, we can still say this is something good so I'm going to devote my time and energy into it.
Indeed. Hitler did.
Your point?
My point is that you made no point. My point is to point out an obvious case that demonstrates the uselessness of your point.
Hitler doesn't demonstrate my point at all.
It illustrates mine.
Just because his highest value doesn't equate to yours doesn't mean he didn't have one.
And just because you use the expression "his highest value" doesn't mean he did.

In any case, i wasn't trying to demonstrate that. I thought it was obvious. If it's not (or even if i'm wrong), then my mistake.

Let's assume for a second that he didn't, so my illustration isn't worthless. =P

I truly believe that he didn't have one. I think he never thought about it. Strength, domination, a superior order, a world commanded by a higher form of humans... Just a mix of things he liked.

Hitler states in his autobiography that he believes himself to be on a mission from God. If this is true than I dare say he had a highest value and he believed himself working for that fulfillment.
I don't see why. What would it be?
If he just said it for political reasons,
Quite likely.
I dare say he had a pretty strong conviction to do whatever it took to complete his ultimate goal.
Ultimate goals don't equate ultimate values.

If your ultimate value is consciousness, what would your ultimate goal be? "To conscious"?

Which I would say is synonymous with your idea of highest value, at least in the methodology in obtaining it, making it perhaps almost indistinguishable from a true highest value.
I don't see it.

If you see a highest value, could you name it? I can't.

Yeah, without a highest value we can still say 'good' or 'bad'. And that's not only meaningless, but it can lead to serious crap.
I think you put way too much value in having a highest value and doing good.
And i think you can't put too much value in that.

In my opinion, it's never too much. It's the most important thing.

Just because you feel you have found the highest value and it is good,
That's a tautology. My highest value is that by which i define "good".
doesn't mean someone else wouldn't have a highest value that is evil, like Hitler.
Of course it doesn't mean that.

I don't even believe in "evil".
People do what they can, and we get confused. I think he could have been less confused if he sought his highest value (which i believe he didn't).

God wants a relationship with all of us, as well as to go out and do His work.
What's your basis?
The Bible, and I don't mean it as a scientific claim.
Is it reasonable to conclude that you don't mean it as a real claim? Or a claim regarding reality?
Not at all, just that it must be taken on faith.
So you don't mean it as a reasonable claim?

He also wants that relationship and our works to be genuine so He gave us free will to choose.
Sorry. Just another empty expression, IMO.
How is it empty and prone to equivocation?
Easy: it pretends to describe some aspect of reality, but it can't be defined or falsified.

What do you mean when you say that he gave us free will?
That free will is from God, we have it and God will not take it away.
Before you define it, it's not clear to me at all that we have "it".
[/color]
How do you check for free will?
You ultimately cannot prove or disprove it.
I bet that, on top of that, you can't define it, detect it, measure it, or find a use for that empty expression.

To me it's just a part of the human world of fictions.

Check the following concept. It's close to the aesthetic concept of "rustic".

Wabisabi: The beauty of that which is is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

It's a whimsical thing to define, but it's far more real than your "free will". To me, at least.

But everything points to us having free will, at least that I'm aware of.
It depends on how you define "free will".
Even in your 'is God a Taoist' story it states that we have free will, although it also says God didn't have a choice in the matter.
Yes, i'm glad you read it. ^_^

Smullyan's concept of "free will" is clearer to me than yours, but just as useless. I don't think he'd say that it's useful.

For all intent and purpose there is no evidence to suggest that we do not have free will,
It depends on how you define "free will".

If you define it as "intent", then yeah. But the word "intent" is clear and useful enough.
and we seem to have a choice in what we do, so on what grounds do we have to stand on that we do not have free will beyond the philosophical argument that anything is possible?
If your definition of "free will" is meant to exclude determinism, then it's deluded (possibly useless too). If it doesn't, then it's useless (possibly useless too).

Does a drug addict have it?

Do other animals have it?
Yes.
Nice!

What other animals? All of them?

Do comatose patients have it?

Do fetuses have it?
I see free will as the ability to make your own decisions due to consciousness through certain brain activity.
Now you'll need to define "consciousness" and even "brain"!

If "consciousness" means "self-awareness" then orangutans have it and born babies don't.

So if a comatose patient comes back to consciousness or that fetus is born, they will gain free will so to speak. It is not that they don't have it, but they can't exercise it.
Can't a fetus decide whether to suck it's thumb or not?

I don't really understand what "having it but not being able to exercise it" means.

I bet you wouldn't say that about a dead guy. But if he died recently perhaps he can be revived.

Your concept looks very fictitious and useless.

Do mentally challenged people have it?
Yes.
When they're not aware of themselves too?

What do you mean by "consciousness" if it doesn't include "self awareness"???

I bet you don't mean anything real or clear (even if you think you do). I hope my questions show you that.
I don't think they did. Sorry.
Well i got you new ones. =D

I could say 'Just because you feel that God should be good, nice and drug free doesn't mean that He is.
I agree, for all we know God is a pink unicorn on acid.
But i DON'T agree!

I DO know things about God, since i wouldn't call Him that if they weren't true.

If God is a pink unicorn on acid, He doesn't deserve that title (perhaps "god", in lowercase).

Sorry if it sounds arrogant to you, but i do know aspects of God. He's pure and infinite love, intelligence and knowledge. And He doesn't want anything. 'Wanting' is a human concept that does not apply to God in the least. The other three i listed do (partially). The human love is a tiny representation (or even misrepresentation) of God's love.
The problem with theology is that it all must be taken on faith.
NO!!

No more than it takes faith to know that the angles of a triangle add up to 180º!

Angles in Triangle Add to 180: history and a collection of proofs.

You claim you know, and even be able to apply it in the real world, but it is still faith based, and in the end it is opinion.
Are triangles triangle-shaped? Isn't that opinion, in the end?

Of course not. It's conceptual. If there's no internal inconsistency in your concept, then it can't be wrong.

And even if it's wrong, that doesn't make it an "opinion" but a mistake.

Perhaps for the first time on this forum I'm going to pull a Lester. When it comes down to matters of God, we can cite all the religious texts, logic, reasoning, observations, facts and experiences we want. And we may even talk as if we know, but in the end it is truly how we perceive God, whether we are right or wrong, the foundation of our belief is faith.
But i don't have a belief. My God can't be disproved.

If you don't know anything about Him you shouldn't even name Him. What would be the point?
I have faith I know Him.
Faith? Belief without reason?

Is there a reason to hold a belief without reason?

I'll close by saying I think it is more appropriate for me to say I don't know what my ultimate purpose is, nor does it concern me.
You speak about a relationship with God. It sounds like when i say 'getting closer to god' (which i consider good). Would you really say that it doesn't concern you?
I would say a relationship with God for me is very similar, if not nearly parallel, with getting closer to God for you. I'm not saying that is doesn't concern me, but perhaps that it is not the ends to get to God, but merely the means to fulfill the ultimate purpose bestowed upon me, or in your case humanity as a whole.
Then you take it back?
Otherwise, i'm confused. :^/

And, by the way, i'm concerned with consciousness, love, intelligence, understanding, wherever i find them. "Humanity" was never my focus.

Perhaps i'll live to see the age of conscious machines.

While I agree that many organisms go through periods of mental development, most organisms (micro-organisms) do not even have a mental capacity in which to grow on, and I doubt physical growth by itself constitutes a greater connection with God.
Agreed.

I wouldn't know where to place the limit.

Amoebas? Snails? Eels? Lizards? Pigeons? Mice? Dogs? Dolphins? Chimps? Humans?

I think you can be as strict as you want, which could allow you to exclude humans too.

Do you know if modern Spanish was influenced by French?
It wasn't.

Nothing important, at least.

Everybody knows what "amateur" means, or "chef", or "premiere", or "tour", or "debut", or "elite", or "menu", or "toilette"... Some of those words sound too affected.

Well, i guess it was influenced. Haha! But not as much as English.

While different sects have different beliefs on how someone is saved, most of them follow something like: believe, have faith, repent, get baptized. Like much of the Bible you don't get the whole picture of salvation with just one passage, but you have to synthesize multiple passages to understand Christian doctrine.
To invent it, actually.

There's no synthesis. Just contradictory opinions of people who died long ago.
I don't think so.
I mean those who wrote the Bible.

They died a long time ago, and they had contradictory opinions.

If you accept the evidence, i don't see how you could disagree.

Meh, that's crap. There's no whole. If such a thing was possible Christians would agree, and the doctrine would be one.
I disagree, not surprisingly, because we are human and don't know everything.
But we weren't talking about "everything". We were talking about the Bible.

You said it should be understood "
as a whole", and i still say there's no "whole".

There are blatant contradictions that can't be reconciled, some of which have lead to different doctrines.

Plus I think God reveals himself in different ways at different times when appropriate, which can lead to confusion, as well as reveal himself differently to different cultures.
Just as if He didn't exist, except as a product of our evolved imagination.

I rather say that different people have glimpses at different parts of God.

The "doer" attribute makes God a superstition.

In terms of Christianity, I think it is a struggle towards the ultimate truth.
Yeah, but from us! Not from God!

By final product I mean getting saved or going to heaven. Once there I think we can still grow mentally and spiritually.
Sounds like a silly system.

Why not make us and put us all in Heaven to grow spiritually ad infinitvm? Why the Earth phase?
I don't know why, but I accept it on faith.
What a way to end a conversation!

Faith is the contamination of reason. Faith is something we all have, but should actively seek to part with.

I am actually surprised you spelled infinitum with a v, as most use the u despite there is no "u" in the Latin alphabet. I think this is the first time I've seen it spelled like that come to think of it.
I never use "u" in my Latin phrases, but you probably didn't pay attention. I'm actually surprised you saw it now.

I don't know what "close" is, how God could "claim", or what "Through Jesus Christ" might mean...
I guess it would be easier if you were a native English speaker. By "close", I mean you are connected through a personal relationship, if that makes any sense at all to you.
We say it the same. But God is infinite. You can't get close.
However, i do think that we should try to get closer, even if we never get close.
If by 'close' and 'relationship' you mean something else, well then perhaps every creature in the Universe is closely related to God (whether they want/know it or not).
I think we mean it in a very similar manner. Close, as in understanding God as much as we can,
Ok... But to me it sounds like "almost infinite".
and in Christianity often times God is referred to as in a father son relationship.
I don't understand.
Christianity also implores a listening and doing God's will as a sign of closeness sometimes.
Yeah. Isn't that arrogant?

I don't know what 'sinning' is. Do you mean 'make mistakes'?
I would call a sin a mistake, but not all mistakes are sin.
Ok... So "sin" is a subset of the "mistake" category. I get that much (without knowing what "sin" means).
Summed up, a sin is when you do evil,
Ok. Sin = evil.

I don't believe in evil but, could you define it?

To me it's another empty human concept. It's a reification of an instinctive or cultural notion of "fair", or "just" or "good" (which each person can fill up with whatever they want).
or fail to do good when good can be done.
Ok, you can sin by inaction...

But i still don't know what a sin is (you repeat this down there, but i'm still clueless).

How do you test for it? It sounds binary. It sounds like there are different magnitudes of "sin", but not a "half sin".

When Jesus comes into our hearts,
How do you check for that? So that you know what you're talking about.
It truly is esoteric, and I'm not sure there is an objective way to know.
Is it safe to say that you haven't said something objective then?
our sin riddled soul is covered by Jesus righteousness.
Says who? How do you know? Has that been told to you? By whom? Did you figure it out by yourself? What is a soul?
Again, it is part of Christian doctrine and as such must be taken on faith.
That's ok. Well, no, not ok, but let's continue.

Faith on WHAT?

Faith on a 6k year old Earth, i get.

Faith on a sin riddled soul covered by Jesus righteousness, i don't.

Argument By Gibberish (Bafflement):
   this is the extreme version of Argument By Prestigious Jargon. An invented vocabulary helps the effect, and some net.kooks use lots of CAPitaLIZation. However, perfectly ordinary words can be used to baffle. For example, "Omniscience is greater than omnipotence, and the difference is two. Omnipotence plus two equals omniscience. META = 2." [From R. Buckminster Fuller's No More Secondhand God.]

   Gibberish may come from people who can't find meaning in technical jargon, so they think they should copy style instead of meaning. It can also be a "snow job", AKA "baffle them with BS", by someone actually familiar with the jargon. Or it could be Argument By Poetic Language.

   An example of poetic gibberish: "Each autonomous individual emerges holographically within egoless ontological consciousness as a non-dimensional geometric point within the transcendental thought-wave matrix."


What is a soul? The immaterial part of you that will live forever.
Can you describe it and separate it from the "other parts" (whatever they might be), so i can see you know what you're talking about?
When this happens
'This' thing that 'happens' has lots of elements that seem meaningless.
Let me rephrase. We are not of the same essence as God,
What makes you say this?
and because of this we can never be in his full presence.
I must sound like a prick, but i don't know what you mean by "being in His full presence".
But because of the infinite love of God, He has taken our imperfect self, and put His holiness on top of it so that when we die we may be in His full presence.
Oh... Basically "We're worthless pieces of crap (cool pieces of crap, since God made us), but he loves us so he admits some of before Him...

That's so very clear and obvious... That meme is designed to control you and to accept the religion.

It's the advertisement for a product you don't need.

"Are you tired of being a worthless piece of crap? Call 1-900-Jesus! You'll still be a piece of crap, but it won't matter! =D"

Very disgusting.

It saddens me, what you need to do to to yourself in order to believe those things.

Not that you think you're crap. I bet you don't go through your day thinking about it. What saddens me is that you forfeit reason.

Indeed, sometimes religion does a lot more harm than good. Still, one of the reasons why I like Christianity is that one of the teachings basically says if it comes down to obeying the law or doing what is right/good, you should forgo the law and do what's right.
But where can you find the criteria to decide what's right?

Atheism and deism have appealed to me in the past, and in many ways still do. Some of the concepts of Buddhism have also appealed to me. Although I don't know much about Taoism, what little I know is very appealing. Right or wrong, fear or resolve, I'm a theistic Christian.
You can cease to be. You're already aware that you accept these things by faith. You must know that, if something requires faith, then you have no real reason to believe it.

You could see it as one of intolerance and bigotry too. You see love and compassion because they are already in you. You don't need Christianity.
I agree that I nor anyone else needs Christianity, or any religion, to be good; to show love, compassion, mercy, kindness.
Ok... So...
What is it good for?
Does one need your concept of God to be good?
I don't know what you mean by "good".

A person i would like? Then no, it's not necessary at all.
If no, what is it good for?
To be humbler. To have something to aim to. To have a goal, even if it's virtual and infinitely far.

I believe it not because I think it makes people good, I believe it because I believe it is the truth, or the closest to the truth we have.
By faith?

Then it really doesn't count.

Jesus is subordinate to God, exactly why that is, I don't know.
Because we all are?
Perhaps it was done only to better portray how we should live, or perhaps you are right in that God couldn't fit into one person. I actually don't like the latter, although I wouldn't rule it out.
It's quite like a mathematical proof.

God is bigger than our universe. Ergo, He can't fit in it. Ergo, he can't fit in a tiny fraction of it.

Of course, i'm not talking about space.

I say God's love is so great that He could do that.
That's just meaningless.

Is his love as great as to make it possible that 2 + 2 = 4?

If the answer is "no" (which i hope you see clearly), does that diminish His Love?

Damn... It took me a lot of time to finish... Sorry!



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 09:26 AM on January 8, 2010 | IP
    
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