Show ALL Forums
Posted In Forum:

Home   login   MyForums  
 Author Thread: When do we start to die?
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 23 (view)
When do we start to die?
Posted: 2/4/2015 3:35:01 AM
The words "die" and dying" may be used in many different ways. All that matters is that they should make sense in the context of our language game.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 85 (view)
someone disprove this
Posted: 2/3/2015 2:56:37 AM

You should not beautify Christianity or try to dress it up: it has waged a war to the death against the higher type of person, it has banned all the basic instincts of this type, it has distilled 'evil' and 'the Evil One' out of these instincts - the strong human being as reprehensible, as 'depraved'. Christianity has taken the side o f everything weak, base, failed, it has made an ideal out of whatever contradicts the preservation instincts of a strong life; it has corrupted the reason of even the most spiritual natures by teaching people to see the highest spiritual values as sinful, as deceptive,
as temptations. The most pitiful example - the corruption of Pascal, who believed that his reason was corrupted by original sin when the only thing corrupting it was Christianity itself!

If someone wants to be 'chosen by God' - or a 'temple of God', or a 'judge of angels' -, then any other principle of selection, like one according to honesty, according to spirit, according to masculinity and pride, according to beauty and freedom of the heart, is simply 'worldly', - evil in itself . . . Moral: every word coming from the mouth of a 'first
Christian' is a lie, everything he does is an instinctive falsehood, - all of his values, all of his goals are harmful, but who he hates, what he hates, these have value.

When the natural consequences of an action are not 'natural' any more but instead are attributed to spectral,
superstitious concepts, to 'God', to 'spirit', to the 'soul', as exclusively 'moral' consequences, as reward, punishment, warning, as a lesson, then the presuppositions of knowledge have been destroyed, - and this is the greatest crime against humanity.

Nietzsche - The Anti - Christian.

Make no mistake about it: The advent of Christianity represents the greatest calamity ever to befall mankind. Two thousand years of lies, stupidity, tyranny, and who knows how many more to come.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 83 (view)
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 1/18/2013 3:52:01 PM
The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not anyone have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody".
- Jean Jacques Rousseau
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 18 (view)
Posted: 1/14/2013 9:56:48 AM

It was not long after this debate that a bomb was detonated in Auckland Harbour, killing one person and crippling the Rainbow Warrior. Our 'mates' pffffftt....
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 83 (view)
How important is critical thinking and open-mindedness?
Posted: 1/14/2013 6:44:02 AM

How important is critical thinking and open-mindedness?

Not very. Who has given up their life for such a thing?

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 6 (view)
Tough Muder 2013
Posted: 1/14/2013 2:23:48 AM

I know what your saying mate,,,,but wanted do something a bit more fun than rambling, less running more obstacles
My fittness isnt quite ready for long distance running yet

Fair enoungh. Play league then, they go hard out over here. A bit like rugby union in NZ. There are grades that cater to all levels: I used to play for the Yanco Eagles, and we had a Fijian bloke on our team who was 44, 6'4, fit as all f@ck, and just smashed blokes all over the place. This was back in the day when I ran 40kms per week, gym 4x1.5hr sessions per week, and pylometrics. I got bashed big time, but did alright. Have a go mate!!
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 2 (view)
Tough Muder 2013
Posted: 1/13/2013 11:38:55 PM
Where I come from, this is the sh!t. Do the coast to coast, and you have instant respect..

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 75 (view)
What is your faith journey? What Do You Believe? What are your ponderings? Faith and Affirmation….
Posted: 12/25/2012 5:47:58 AM

6.4312 Not only is there no guarantee of the temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say of its eternal survival after death; but, in any case, this assumption completely fails to accomplish the purpose for which it has always been intended. Or is some riddle solved by my surviving for ever? Is not this eternal life itself as much of a riddle as our present life? The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time.

Tractatus Logico Philosophicus.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 11 (view)
Our Universe; a computer simulation?
Posted: 12/18/2012 1:45:22 AM

If the world had no sense, then whether or not a propostion was true would depend on the truth or falsity of another proposition. In such a case we would not be able to paint any picture of the world at all.

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 33 (view)
Felons vs Society
Posted: 11/13/2012 11:21:09 AM
To the OP Andy, and anyone else for that matter, I should say this: Please read 'Discipline and Punish' by Michel Foucault. It is a masterful work which I think may help you understand what it is that has happened to you. It is important to remember that society does not treat of 'punishment'; only 'correction'. We have all been a subject of this at one point or another, and to different degrees, depending on circumstance. For what it is worth, I break laws on almost a daily basis. I like to have a beer at the park on Eddie Ave across from Sydney Central on my way home from work.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 329 (view)
Creationism in schools
Posted: 11/13/2012 11:00:45 AM
NO decent minded person would send their child to a school that taught poetry as science. You can lock this thread now...............................................................
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 10 (view)
Crocodile Culling
Posted: 9/19/2012 7:06:39 AM
Kill them all. Seriously, what do they do for the economy, apart from being crocodiles? I'm sure we can all agree that crocs have nothing of value to contribute apart from occasional headlines in the NT paper ( whatever that is). I mean, I was walking along George St just the other day, and what do you know: a feckin croc was mugging an elderly woman not more than 20 metres from me. I would have helped, but my hair was really out of sorts.

Anyway -

Crocs = Bad

F@#king the people of the Western Suburbs over so you can mine CSG = Good

Hope that clears things up.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 156 (view)
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/28/2011 9:51:48 AM

Any act which deliberately causes harm to another is fundamentally immoral, and therefore a crime.

In the first instance, all you have really done here is to define your version of 'morality', and I would say that many people would find it highly questionable. Does the passing lawful sentence of criminal acts always imply a certain amount of 'harm' to an individual? I would say yes, and as such your definition would also imply that ANY passing of lawful sentence was immoral. To suggest that rights are 'forfeit' in breach of an "...implied social contract..." is also to say that there should be no basic human rights, to which everyone is entitled, and this is something that I find problematic.

From the implied social contract wherein we agree not to (for instance) kill others in with the expectation that others will agree not to kill us. Put in terms of rights & obligations, it may be said that it is a universal agreement among reasonable people that we have the right to not be harmed by another and the corresponding obligation to grant that right to others. Failure to do so may be considered a breach of the contract in which your right may be forfeit.

As soon as you even start speaking of an implied social contract, your argument is very close to becoming self-refuting. For on the one hand, you admit of an implied social contract: and on the other, seem to be suggesting that the social contract of which you are currently party is neither valid, nor implied. You can't have it both ways. What makes your contract 'valid' where the other is not? Nothing other than your own dissatisfaction, which I share. However there is nothing to be gained by pretending universal authority where there is none.

This only proves that most people don't think. They were programmed to believe the usual politically motivated lies that always precede a war. The fools probably thought they were doing the right thing; who really thinks of himself as a bad guy that would kill & dismember innocent women and children 10,000 miles away? I suspect that the approval ratings would have dropped drastically if the people in favour of the war had to go there themselves and murder innocents.

Be that as it may, your original proposition is successfully refuted. Of course people are 'pliable', this way or that. But... which way is best? Of course, YOUR way.

That comes under another concept you probably never heard of, the obligation to care. An infant is unable to live more than a day or two without the loving care of his parent(s). In such a case, I suppose you could say that rightly or wrongly, they consider themselves qualified to say when the child is able to look after himself. What if the child is born severely retarded and is never able to "function" in our miserable excuse for a society? Should he be left on a rock to die when he turns "of legal age"? I'll admit that there is a slippery slope here, as many people are "borderline functional." I would suggest in those cases that they be given as much independence to govern themselves as is reasonably possible.

Putting aside for the moment the rather blatant appeal to emotion (another glaring inconsistency), I would say that the instance you describe would be more consistent with a libertarian position, not mine.

Setting aside the mythical nature of the story for a moment, are you suggesting that what Cain did to Abel wasn't murder and should not have been punished because a law against murder hadn't been codified yet? Sorry; I have to disagree.

That would be conflating 'justice' with 'legality'.

Why would it be folly? Justice isn't an emotive concept; it is ingrained into our very being. Fairness is learned very young. You can hear it in playgrounds for God's sake! "Hey…No fair!" If little kids know what's fair & what isn't, why shouldn't reasoning adults? Is the problem a codified system? In that case i have to agree with you in many respects. Justice should be reasoned, not codified. That's why I stand against the miserable legal system we have today.

So, in support of your proposition that "justice is not an emotive concept", you offer instances of children in the playground who are upset with one particular act or another? Yes, and when I deprived a six year old of a second helping of ice cream last week, it was an "innate sense of justice" that caused her to protest that "... it's not fair...".

Of course justice is emotive concept, this is what makes it so slippery. We should never become a completely 'rational' society, which is the way we are heading. Rationality has nothing to do with justice, kin, and love for our fellow man. The universe is not mathematical, and there is no human being on Earth who is driven by a 'rational' will.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 143 (view)
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/24/2011 11:55:30 PM

Yes it is, but is is no less a mistake to conflate legality with law, as is done far more often. This is unfortunate because law and morality, while not synonymous, are very closely related.

Whose morality? Yours? Mine? Rupert Murdoch's? From whence does this 'law' spring forth? As far as I can see, there are certain acts which evoke in most of us a certain aesthetic distaste, and these acts we are wont to call 'unjust'. However, it does not follow from this that such distaste is necessarily 'natural', but merely 'normal'. And, as has been shown time and time again, 'norms' are very much dependent on the prevailing social paradigms: i.e, the way in which people have been 'habituated'.

It is no less fair to say that ANY activities causing substantial harm are considered morally reprehensible by the vast majority. We didn't have to wait until somebody "passed a law" to deal with crime. People under natural law (do no harm) have been dealing with such crimes since we came down from the trees, if not before. Legal sanctions were not required.

On the first point, I disagree. One need look no further than the approval ratings for the Iraq War in 2003 to see that this is fallacy, and again I would suggest that habituation played a large part in this. On the second point, it is ludicrous to suggest that one has committed a crime until at least one law 'has been passed' in one form or another. By this I mean to say that laws, at their most basic, are agreements made concerning conduct between individuals, and this does in fact qualify as a codification of sorts.

Until we contract to put ourselves under another's authority, or are incompetent to govern our own affairs, we are our own highest authority by law.

Again I ask, who is it that is qualified to say that one is incompetent to govern themselves? And, to suggest that one is a law unto themselves, as I believe you are doing, is either an extremely dangerous position to take, or one that is most insipid.
We are of course, ALL 'laws unto ourselves', insofar as we can act in a certain way, or not. As for a system governed by 'justice'? Well, we have known for more than 2000 years that this is would be an utmost folly. As I have stated in another thread, one cannot rationalize essentially emotive concepts such as justice into a codified system without destroying many of the things that we as humans hold dear.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 17 (view)
Good bye Hitch! Your voice of reason will be missed.
Posted: 12/23/2011 3:20:51 AM
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. - John Donne

His views were vulgar; he was well read. He seemed to me a gentleman, and this I respect utmost. The world is surely poorer for his passing.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 29 (view)
Posted: 12/22/2011 9:14:46 PM

I think nature has planned it about right, regardless of physical condition, the mind relates to a time when your ethics, morals and ideals were formed. The world changes, but your mind doesn't follow or agree with all the change. At a certain point, it becomes a boring and tiring place to be....unless you are mentally retarded. Time has a way of leaving you behind, no matter how young you look or feel. I don't question the wisdom of nature, every time we think we've made an improvement, we discover we've opened a new can of worms.

Ahhh.... the noble and utterly deluded stoic: what a laughable spectacle he makes. "Nature..." we are to believe, "... has it planned about right". From what Punctum Archimedis can you not only look down over all of nature, but even more fantastically, can also discern a plan and wisdom within it? And what if nature were in fact unwise? How could we possibly know the difference? Are we not a part of nature in any event?

Let us consider nature in its vastness; its power; its utter indifference. Is this what you call 'wisdom'? "Indifference as wisdom", this is the mantra of soul that is most definitely "... boring and tiring", and those who still find it within ourselves; will ALWAYS find it within ourselves; to marvel at the sheer profundity of existence, will reject such feeble mutterings outright
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 27 (view)
A guide to true happiness?
Posted: 12/22/2011 5:01:29 PM

You could have just said, “Happiness is in the eye of the beholder"

Yeah.... nah.... not really.

Also, when I say that I find the pursuit of true happiness to be an "... ultimately empty pursuit," I do not mean this as a slight on the op, and I hope it wasn't taken that way. It's just that it is, and I do.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 25 (view)
A guide to true happiness?
Posted: 12/22/2011 4:26:04 PM
In The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle asserts that 'eudaimonia' (a life well lived), is best achieved through finding the correct balance, or the 'mean', of human character traits. If one is too generous, one is a sap who does not care sufficiently for their own interests. Not generous enough, and one is a detriment to those around them, and hence themselves. So it is, he says, with all things, and I think we may do well to consider this with regards to 'happiness'.

By this I mean to say that happiness is meaningless unless one can compare it to another state of being: as the saying goes "all sunshine makes a desert", and this of course implies that one must have experienced sadness in order to properly appreciate those moments of happiness which do come our way. The two states are intrinsically linked and to a certain extent dependent on each other, which is why I see the modern trend of aspiring for 'true happiness' an utterly ludicrous and ultimately empty pursuit.

I do not know that suffering has made my life any better: I do know that it has made it more profound. - Nietzsche

A person above mentioned The Republic, and this is a very good example of the slippery slope we walk when we try to rationalize and 'manufacture' certain abstract and ultimately emotive conditions (in that particular instance, justice). However, perhaps even more relevant to this discussion is Huxley's 'Brave New World', where he paints out a similar dystopia, only being more more concerned with the 'happy society'. A society in which everyone is 'content'; to be otherwise is 'abnormal'; and there is nothing substantial nor profound to be found therein.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 118 (view)
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/22/2011 3:21:33 PM
Even though it is a mistake to conflate legality with morality (we do not operate under a justice system: but rather, a legal one), it is also a mistake to suggest that there is no relation between the two whatsoever. Even though I adhere to the proposition that morality is entirely subjective, we can also draw parallels between what may be termed 'popular' morality, and law. For example, activities such as murder, rape, robbery, etc are, I think it is fair to say, considered to be morally reprehensible by the vast majority of people, under normal conditions. Hence there are legal sanctions against such activity.

It is also important to remember that, whilst all men may be created equal, this state of affairs ceases to exist the moment one becomes a part of any greater social structure. Power relations are never symmetrical, and any legal system will always operate for the benefit of a certain class of people over others. Perhaps clergy, royalty, ranking members of a certain political party, or in the case of what is popularly called 'The West', the bourgeois.

I guess the crux of the issue is that legality functions as an expression of power, whereas morality most certainly does not.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 54 (view)
New Profile Format: Questions/Problems Go Here
Posted: 12/19/2011 7:04:21 AM
So glad to see that humour has finally been banished from this corner of the net once and for all. To think, there was a time when one may see a caricature as part of a profile, or perhaps some other comical image that one felt may express their character quite succinctly; but now of course we realize that this is a dating site, not a place where people can engage in frivolous, 'jokey' type behaviour. Well done say I.

Of course, images containing little more than asinine phrases written by talentless hacks who consider themselves poets still abound, and this also is a good thing... apparently.

However, is this enough? What about those who may be trying to be humorous concerning other aspects of their profile? For example, I recently viewed one that had "lion tamer" listed as their occupation, and I immediately became suspicious. She did not have the knuckles of a lion tamer, and upon reflection it seemed to me that she was, in fact, no more than a FILTHY GOD DAMNED LAIR!!!

Words cannot describe the indignation I felt at being deceived in this way. Oh, I'm sure she thought it was an absolutely hilarious little prank, but then again she wasn't the one who had literally eight precious seconds of her life stolen from her: seconds that I can NEVER get back.

Therefore, I propose a mandatory condition that all profiles be written according to a very strict, and dare I say, 'correct' form. Perhaps the day will eventually come when they all look exactly the same, and this would no doubt be a most superior outcome. You will know what you are getting before you even sample it, much like a McDonald's cheeseburger, and in this case we should not have to bother as to whether or not we could even stomach the person in question, we could just assume that underneath the blandness there surely lies something that isn't synthetic (again, much like a McDonald's cheeseburger).

So, nice job. I only hope that soon you will just forego this whole 'self-expression' nonsense altogether, and merely limit the profile content to a photo, age, income, location, and perhaps a quote from Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, or some other dimwit equally as skilled in the art of banality. Good luck with that, and god-speed.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 82 (view)
Should we, over 30, continue to wait for the one or adapt to what little is available?
Posted: 10/7/2011 6:17:33 AM
What needs to be understood is that no woman will ever love a man because of who he is. If this is what you mean by "The One", then forget about it. A woman may love how a man looks, the money he earns, how he makes her appear in the eyes of her friends, but she will never appreciate him simply for the unique and unprecedented place he occupies in the universe, nor for traits such as honesty, loyalty, intellect, etc. If there is one thing my female friends have taught me, it is this. A "good person" is someone who is handsome/and or wealthy, and if you have neither of these 'virtues', then you should learn to be content wih yourself.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 139 (view)
Atlas Shrugged - The Movie (Part 1)
Posted: 5/3/2011 9:57:05 PM

Well, you can form your own opinion by seeing it it do the liberal thing and regurgitate the opinions of others as your own...

I really don't know what point, if any, you are trying to make here. Are you suggesting that anyone who does not find the film/book to be brilliant are merely regurgitating the opinions of others? No, I have not read Atlas Shrugged, nor seen the film. I am however quite familiar with Rand's non-fictional work, and it is rubbish.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 138 (view)
Atlas Shrugged - The Movie (Part 1)
Posted: 5/3/2011 9:48:48 PM
For example???

Where do I begin? Well, there is of course the fantastic insights she makes regarding great thinkers such as Kant and Nietzsch: these of course being that she had absolutely no idea what they are talking about. However I would have to say that my favourite example Rand's simple minded vulgarity is her insistence that a meaningless tautology can actually form the basis of a meaningful metaphysics (she claimed herself that her entire 'philosophy' rested on just such a metaphysical foundation).

Rand and her acolytes are nothing more than dogmatists and gluttons who do not wish to be regarded as such. It would be far more noble to display a bearing that acknowledged this state, but then again nobility is about as far removed from Rand as her philosophy is from being worthy of serious study.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 132 (view)
Atlas Shrugged - The Movie (Part 1)
Posted: 5/1/2011 8:32:42 PM
Philosophical themes seem to just go over their heads.

Well quite. Much like Rand herself in fact, however she did at least provided a fair amount of entertainment. Her work has given myself, and many others I'm sure, a fantastic amount of laughter over the years.

I'm also sure the film is positively awful.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 110 (view)
Freakish to be over 30 and never have had a boyfriend?
Posted: 12/27/2010 10:14:37 PM
To the OP -

Frankly I could not care less for the number of past relationships a person may or may not have had. What is important to me is that I enjoy being in the presence of the person I am with; the opinions of others concerning what is 'normal' or 'freakish' are matters of supreme indifference to me. "Is this rare?": so what if it is? What sort of a person only sees value in that which is 'normal' and 'average'?

To be sure, it is only the feckless rabble of mediocrity we call 'the average' that care for such feckless and mediocre value. They are distinguished by their use of the terms "good" and "bad"; "right" and "wrong"; to describe such states of affairs as you have mentioned. You should try being master over your own inclinations, instead of a slave to the inclinations of others.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 92 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/24/2010 12:39:23 AM
How refreshing to see well presented ideas and civilsed discourse, instead of the usual nonsense that such topics invariably seem to disintergrate into. Looking back over the thread, I see all sorts of irrelavent assertions and ideas that really go nowhere. Arguments over whether or not Hitler was a Christian are really neither here nor there (Section B4 of the GESTAPO was responsible for, amongst other things, continuing "the fight against the churches", which was carried out for the most part covertly. This has been documented in various directives issued from GESTAPO leadership, and also from notes taken at GESTAPO conferences. I only mention this for the sake of historical accuracy, you can take it as you please.), likewise such things as 'the problem of evil', morality, etc. I will deal with those issues in a later post, as I would like to address the last three offererings one at a time, starting with lyingcheat.

Perhaps an exploration of the philosophy of spiritual beliefs will yield insight into the human condition but an explanation of the value and meaning of religion can not, by definition, make rational sense since it is a highly personal, even individualised, experience that rests on a foundation of mysticism and superstition.

I don't believe it is possible to partake of a meaningful inquiry into the value and meaning of religion without also examining the human condition at some point. It is true that such statement of value cannot make rational sense, but then again neither do most value statements, and I don't see this as being a necessary problem. Certainly when we engage in science we should say that religion has no worth whatsoever, as far as the pursuit of scientific truth is concerned. However science in itself is not capable of providing existential 'answers' any more that religion is capable of providing scientific ones, and I feel it is foolish to trivialize such concerns. I should also repeat that it has been (Judaic based) religion which has overstepped its bounds in this regard; religious texts should not be read as being scientific propositions, and this is something that very many people (mostly believers) do. However, the experience of believers is based on the same foundation as anybody else - the experience of being human.

One might just as well ask a child why they believe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, or how they can be so sure a bogeyman is in the cupboard. They will give reasons, but the reasons will be more or less impenetrable to rational analysis.
Similarly, they may well derive comfort from believing the fairies are stronger than the bogeyman, since the psychological benefits are obvious.

Children get a lot of comfort from ragged little fluffy blankets too.

There is no doubt much truth in this, however I disagree that such reasons are impenetrable to rational anaylsis. Indeed, you yourself have made a rational analysis of sorts that I tend to agree with, although I think it is far too superficial. It is true that the 'god' worshipped by most devotees is a quite ludicrous 'santa claus' type figure, but I can see no reason why this must necessarily be so, or why such a being must be 'worshipped', or indeed 'not worshipped'.

And here we are using terms that I think it would be wise to examine. What is it to worship something? Or to act religiously? Again, I cannot help but consider these terms as being inexorably linked with the terms such as 'meaning' or 'defintion'; that they symbolize something essential in a person. To worship something is to express that without it one should feel meaningless; to say that '"so and so does this thing religiously" is to say more than "so and so does this thing with regularity"; but that the particular thing helps to define them in some way. I do not say this in order to endorse the major religions, in fact I am highly critical of them, but do so merely to say that 'religion', in the sense that I have described, will never become extinct, and nor should such a thing be sought. If it were merely a case of "fairies at the bottom of the garden", then people would have no trouble at all abandoning such beliefs, much in the same way that children, in general, do not have trouble abandoning a belief in santa claus.

Prayer as meditation is all very well, but motive is important. Meditation has many benefits, some of them scientifically proven, but to pray (to the gods) is to participate in a delusion. It's natural that religious people will claim they benefit from their beliefs. The self deluded often do, including even those who exhibit destructive pathological conditions.
Such as addiction, or entering public places and blowing themselves up, for instance.

Or attending ANZAC day services, or motivational seminars, or belonging to a political party. The belief that organized religion is the source of war is a myth. To be sure, the 'Secular Humanist' speaks out of both sides of his mouth with regards to this issue. For it is well documented that our closest evolutionary cousins also engage in war-like behaviour; the invasion of neighbouring territories; the conquering and vanquishing of 'enemy tribes', etc. I sincerly doubt that any of these conflicts were caused by organized religion, and in truth the invocation of religion is nothing more than a convenience. Basically, if there was no organized religion, it would be something else; we are a war-like species.

Religion is a cheap opiate and an instrument of control.
Religious orthodoxy is a barrier to understanding, not an entry. It sets up divisions and a 'them vs us' dichotomy, it's nationalism without borders and has been (and is) a destructive influence on human relations.

Religion most certainly does function as an instrument of control, although I don't see why it must do so. Buddhism offers a great example of this, and if we say that it is not strictly speaking a religion (it is), this is only because it does not, for the most part, overstep its bounds in the ways that I have spoken of. The Judaic religions would do well to follow such an example.

It is also true that our entire society is set up as a 'means of control'. Education; legality; marketing; psychology; managment; the more vague and insidious (perhaps therefore, more effective) notions of 'freedom' and 'equality'; ALL of them used as a means of shaping an individual and controlling them. This is really nothing to do with the conversation, but just something to think about.

Therefore I disagree that adults with religious beliefs are not, to some degree, unhinged. In any other situation naming (and worshipping/giving reverence to) an invisible superpower friend, and claiming bizarre history as fact in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence, would be grounds for admission to a 'facility'.
Yet one is supposed to 'respect' religious devotion.

If we are to define the symbol 'god' as being synonymous with the term "invisible superpower friend" (I agree that most people do seem to define it in this way, or in some way very similar, and that it is reasonable for the purposes of this discussion to do so), then I agree entirely. However I do not see why this MUST be so, and that the main problem with 'religion' (as you are using the term), is that it has enslaved itself to dogma which has seen it stagnate for millenia. But, as I said before, we accomplish nothing if we simply sweep the existential problems of human experience under the rug. And this is my main charge against most of those who call themselves Secular Humanists; it is a completely INHUMAN doctrine!

Have a jolly festivus all - I'll finsh my rant at some time in the future.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 16 (view)
Guys: long dist relationship: would all guys cheat?
Posted: 12/23/2010 12:31:44 AM
I really fail to see the point of the original question. Suppose you were to receive many replies that insisted he was normal, what then? You would change your opinion about a particular act merely because others view it as 'normal'? Obvously it is false that "all guys cheat", however I doubt this will resonate with the female population, who are for the most part superficial and ignoble creatures who only care about how others view them.

Hence this rather insightful question (insightful in that it speaks to your character); you may as well simply ask "can you show me how I should think?".
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 88 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/21/2010 7:28:12 AM

If there was no need of love, there would be no need of love

This is an utterly pointless statement. Replace the term "need of love", with the term "south of France", and you will see that you are not saying anything at all.

To view that need as a vanity or weakness indicates a need to re evaluate your view of love.

Really? Why is this? Because you said so? To attach a sense of self-worth on how others may feel about you is the very essence of vanity.

Yes I do
I love every one, am only compatible with some.
The love I speak of is the love of empathy (the simple recognition of a fellow human being)
The degree to which you don't recognise another as a fellow human being is the degree to which you devalue yourself

So, if you were to say to someone "I love you", this would mean as much as "You mean no more to me than anyone else"? What manner of 'love' is this? It is nothing more than indifference, and if you consider this to be 'love', then I say your 'love' is nothing in particular.

If I wish to speak of empathy, I will use the word 'empathy'. Often I am moved by the triumphs, hardships and tribulations of humanity; the triumphs, hardships and tribulations of those that I love move me in ways that cannot be compared.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3 (view)
Possible Brisbane event for the young?
Posted: 12/21/2010 5:55:18 AM
As far as I'm aware you can't limit who goes to an event...age group...gender etc, but of course the choice of venue may appeal to younger people but not limited to.

A far more effective strategy would be to stipulate that, whilst the event is open to all ages, those who are of a certain age will be required to adorn a particular garment which will serve to signify their seniority. Perhaps an embarrassing head-band with a rather large phallus protruding from its anterior; a pair of "David Lee-Roth pants" with the butt cheeks cut from the posterior (some oldies will see this as an 'opportunity' of sorts, but this will only add to the evening); you get the idea.

Seriously, what is the problem with young people today? NO IMAGINATION!! I blame those stupid pac-man video games.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 84 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/15/2010 3:33:30 PM

I mean that there are considerable examples of spiritual phenomena, many of which are reported by reasonable, intelligent people that cant be explained away entirely. Health researchers have noted that people heal better when they're happy; that faith affects health even though its not a measurable element.

No doubt much of what you say here is true, the problem is that it is unclear to me what you are talking about when you say "spiritual phenomena". As I alluded to in my last post, many people seem to take the word 'spirit' to mean a platonic form of sorts, something that is the 'essence' of a person, which is indestructable and eternal. This is nothing more than superstition.

But this is not the only way we use the word, and when I say "The spirit of so-and-so lives on", what I am saying is that this particular person still has meaning to me, even though they have passed on. Here I am suggesting that the term 'spirit' is intrinsically tied to the term 'meaning', and this is what I mean when I say that religion should only be concerned with spiritual problems, and that these problems are legitimate. Your faith gives your life meaning, that's a fantastic thing, but at the end of the day it is entirely personal. And, when it starts evangelising (I'm not saying that you personally do this, but only that it is central to Christian doctrine), or oversteps the bounds of what could rightly be considered as 'spiritual concerns', it has ceased to be meaningful. This is just as much to the detriment of believers as it is to others, probably more so.

"Why does life need meaning?". Well, we might just as well ask "Why does life need happiness?"; the truth of the matter is that it doesn't need either of these things, but what is accomplished by such an assertion? - Just an aside.

I would say, at the risk of affecting the alignment of your eyebrows, that I think God can still mess with the space/time continuum if he chooses to, ie something we might think of as a miracle. I think 'time' is a created entity, for instance, and probably (but this is just my opinion) not relevant to heaven.

Cool.... metaphysics . Suppose that such a being did mess with space-time, would we even notice? No, we wouldn't. Imagine that the movie you are watching is actually a whole other universe, and that as you are in charge of the dvd player, you are also in charge of this universe's space-time. You mess with it by rewinding and fast-forwaring it, etc. The people in this universe are very much like us, they are constantly moving from one state of affairs to the next, so that when you 'move time backwards', they still only experience whatever particular state of affairs they are constituents in at any given moment.

In a similar way, if a being existed in higher dimensions than our own, and could know every particular state of affairs that had ever existed at a glance (much like we know the word 'stop' at a glance), it would be impossible for us to know it or to communicate with it. It would not be subject to a higher logic; our logic would not apply; and hence we cannot say anything meaningful with regards to such a being.

"It used to be said that god could do anything within the laws of logic. The truth of the matter is that we cannot imagine what an illogical universe would look like" - My favourite Wittgenstein quote.

I don't see this as at all necessary. Sometimes people in a particular church can hold a particular doctrine so strongly that they teach it as unquestionable. Nothing is unquestionable and each person should arrive at their own conclusions through conscientious study. I would say that sometimes you have to proceed on faith until things become clear, which they do.

Well, no, it isn't necessary. Georges Lemaître is a perfect example of this, and it is why I used the word 'certain'. What I have a problem with is the constant re-affirmation of utter absurdities (creation story, ressurection, etc.) as being necessary articles of factual belief, rather than symbolic truths. There are many truths in Orwells "Animal Farm", and Voltaires "Candide" (actually Candide is symbolic when considered as a whole), however we do not say that these events actually occured. Such dogma has done more to harm the spiritual well-being of those who hold to Christianity than anything else.

Why not? If the question is something along the lines of 'why are we here?' And the belief is 'God put us here', it constitutes an answer. With the emerging post-modern world view that there are many 'truths', I am happy with the explanation for existence that the Christian faith offers.

"Antagonism" was probably not a wise choice of words. I was not meaning to suggset that this was in anyway "your fault" so to speak, but only that it leads to signifcant misunderstandings. You are not using language in the same way, it is noones 'fault'.

yes, insubstantial because its not measurable like temperature or pressure, but nonetheless real and relevant. Its one of the factors affecting depression, which is extremely widespread and expensive for our society. I read something the other day that suggested that the more academic someone is, the less empathy they show. Its probably because understanding what drives us is a completely different type of study and we cant be focusing on both at the same time.

By "insubstantial", I meant something more akin to"weak", or "vain". That article you read sounds interesting, as I have myself read that the opposite is true. It would be inhuman not to feel empathy for others, what I am saying is that these are MY feelings; MY love; MY hate; and I do not care for what others do or do not feel. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." - how much less feelings, or a LACK of feelings? Noone loves me? So what? I live for the things that I love,and not the love of others.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 82 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/15/2010 12:51:52 AM

Coming from you Jan, I strongly suspect a trap for the unwary and wont be surprised if I cop a barrage, however, I think its a reasonable question.

I'm sure I have no idea why you should feel suspicious.

Thank you for replying, and your considered answer certainly reinforces my belief that one should not be considered as being simple-minded merely because they are religious. Don't get me wrong, I still believe that you are making some grievous errors, and it would in a way be dishonest of me if I did not criticize them as such. However I also think that you have in one part 'hit the nail on the head' so to speak, and there is much else you have said that would move such a discussion forward.

The reason I believe in God (in general) is because there are apparently more levels to life than the merely physical, chemical reaction type level.

I have real problems with this. When you say "... there are apparently more levels to life...", I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the term "levels to life". If you are refering to a type of 'emergent property', such as concioussness, then I am inclined to agree. However it is my experience that most religious people do not mean this, but rather they are asserting a 'spirtual realm' of sorts; a superstition. Perhaps you could clarify.

As an aside, I feel we can lay the blame for the widespread nature of this superstition squarely at the feet of Plato, who invented such absurdities as the "good in itself", and the "transcendental realm of forms". Nietzsche famously (and in my opinion, with sustantial justification) called Christianity "Platonism for the masses". The Greek infulence on Christianity is of course extremely significant.

Academia has moved beyond modernism and its purely scientific explanation and I think that Christianity has been, for me, a reasonable explanation of the spiritual.

The statement "Academia has moved beyond modernism and its purely scientific explanation...", is true to a certain extent, in fields that could not properly be called 'science' in any case (i.e - the 'humanities'). However, merely because it has proven advantageous to adopt other types of methodology with regard to certain academic disciplines, it does not follow that there is any reason to doubt scientific statements concerning biology and cosmology because of this.

And this is where the Judaic religions do their followers, and hence humanity as a whole, a HUGE disservice. They do not "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's", and instead prefer to install themselves in positions that have nothing at all to do with spiritual concerns. Here I should perhaps point out that I do feel religion is (or at least can be) the valid expression of a very real and legitimate human existential problem. However one cannot address these problems by engaging in politics or cosmology anymore than one can address a mathematical problem by reading Voltaire.

For me, it makes sense that the complexity of our world, and how it benefits humans, could have a design element. Evolution doesn't negate that. I am aware that many Christians choose to argue over the merits of creationism/evolution and there are many other hot topics but these are side issues and dont worry me enough to lose sight of the main principle.

I wasn't sure if I should address this segment, as I have already done so to a certain extent. But again I think that the terms like "design element"are fatally flawed. What do we mean by it? If I say "My car was badly designed...", what 'element' am I refering to? The term 'design element' contains a misuse of language, for to 'design' a thing is merely to arrange certain elements in a particular way, not to add a whole new element to them. Anyway, as you say, this is a side issue.

If there is a designer then it follows that he might have expectations of us, and the blood sacrifice makes sense when you look deeper.

The idea of sacrifice intrigues me. Indeed, as I mentioned in my last post, it almost seems as if certain religious people have made a sacrifice of reason (and much more besides) in order to gain something they feel more important. Camus notes wryly that scientific beliefs are obviously not as important to people as religious ones, as you will not find many who are willing to sacrifice their very lives rather than deny them. Of course, I find the idea of anyone being killed for their beliefs abhorrent, and we might just as easily say that those who do not opt for death over recantation place a higher value on human life.

All of which gets me to the answer to your question. My belief gives me a confidence that there is a 'plan'. If you have faith its amazing how prayers are apparently answered. These constant 'coincidences' build faith. You dont get any answers UNLESS you have faith and its this oft-repeated statement that makes non believers eyebrows shoot into their hairline and mutter about self delusion. I think I'm a bit of an idealist at heart and it gives me tremendous ....peace? to feel that 'truth' actually exists and can be grasped. It gives meaning to apparently meaningless crap that life presents and strength to go on trying. I like knowing why things work the way they do, or at least, feeling that there is meaning in apparent chaos.

Now we are getting to what I feel is the crux of the issue. Well, the issue that I wanted to get to the crux of in any case. Believe it or not, prayer is something that I in fact see tremendous value in, only not as it is traditionally conceived of. If nothing else, it can be a show of solidarity, and we might see it as being other things besides. It may function as a type of meditation for example, or perhaps it may be important for a person to express certain feelings concering their existence. Perhaps discontentment; worry; sadness; joy; gratitude; or anything for that matter. Of course there are many other ways one may do such a thing, but this in no way means that such a method of doing so is somehow 'invalid'. It is simply that I do not believe that there is exists a 'higher power' which 'takes requests' in the way that most religious devotees seem to think. However, I do not rule out the possibility that there may exist something that could be properly be called a 'higher power' altogether.

When we say "faith", what do we mean? Well, I would say that to have faith is to hold a belief for no other reason than you feel that it is good for you to do so. The truth or falsehood of such a belief is neither here nor there. Rather, it is how it enriches your life that is important, and here you seem to be saying that your faith enriches your life enormously.

A very real cause of antagonism, as I see it, is that when you use words such as "answers" and "truth", you are not using them in the same way as those who are not religious. As Ludwig Wittgenstein would say, you are not playing the same "language-game", and when this happens significant misunderstandings are sure to arise. What you mean when you utter the word 'truth' in the religious language-game, I think, is more akin to the term 'point', or even perhaps 'motive'. And, by the term 'answers', I think you are refering to the feeling that there IS a point to such an absurd and indifferent mortal coil.

When you use these words in the science language-game, where 'truth' is more or less synonymous with 'fact', and 'answer' with 'solution', they represent something completely different, and thus even valid religious concerns are dismissed as nonsense. For it is indeed nonsense to suggest that religion deals in facts (here it should be said that this is no objection to it), and centuries of dogmatic religious hubris, the bedlamite insistence that it does, has done nothing more than to stifle ALL human endeavour, none more so than that of religion itself.

Its one of our basic needs to feel loved and appreciated for ourselves, and while it could be argued that people espouse religion to meet this need, I think it makes sense from the other angle that a God that loves us would want to meet this need.

I disagree entirely. The need "to feel loved and appreciated for ourselves" is nothing more than vanity and weakness. Those of a more noble disposition could not care less for the love and appreciation of others, and realize that it is infinitly more important to love and appreciate those who are precious to them. Could you 'feel loved' by one to whom you felt completely indifferent, or even held in contempt? Of what worth would it be?

It seems to me that the worthless 'need to feel loved' is the source of much distress, and it speaks to the character of our society that most people, regardless of their religious beliefs, so vigorously affirm such an insubstantial 'need'.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 78 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/13/2010 12:37:50 PM
I'm in two minds here, as there really is a few ways this thread could go that would perhaps be quite interesting. Forget about the old "is there a god" chestnut; I've really become quite bored with such discussion as it seems to pop up everywhere I go these days. Far more interesting is what motivates people to affirm beliefs which are so obviously nothing but utter nonsense, as if they had made a sacrifice of reason itself. In exchange for what? Nothing?

I feel it is wrong-headed to attribute such affirmations to sheer simple-mindedness, as I find it hard to believe that such a large group of people would be made up entirely, or even mostly, of idiots. Moreover, I do not believe that cultural factors, or 'social conditioning', play as great a role as some people think. If this were so, then we would expect to see the older, more established sects continuing to flourish; whilst the more radical 'newcomers', such as Hillsong and other such evangalical organizations, would be struggling. Yet we know the opposite is true, and the fact of the matter is that the west, indeed the planet as a whole, is just as religious now as it has ever been.

So? Are we to believe that the practice of religion is nothing more than ancient 'proto-science', invented by morons, and still held to by a large group of feeble-minded individuals who are not capable of grasping the statements and implications of 'authentic science'? This seems to me quite unlikely for many reasons, a few of them I have already stated. So obvious is it that people do not take to religion out of a longing to understand "how the earth came to be", or "how man came to exist", that it baffles me how it can be derided for not explaining these processes. Even more baffling is how anyone can believe that IT DOES!

All this is to say: given that religion and religious texts obviously do not give people a factual (and that is to say, 'scientific') account of the universe, what does it give them that is so important? And here I anticipate answers such as "nothing", and "a non-factual account", etc. But this seems to me quite foolish, as there has been more sacrifice made in the name of religion than in any other pursuit hitherto, and it would be ludicrous to suggest that all this was done for purely fictional concerns.

Perhaps religious people would like to share what it is they feel their belief gives them? How do think your life would be different if you did not have such a belief? What is it that makes it so essential to you?
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 55 (view)
What do you change when you have found the right mate???
Posted: 12/12/2010 3:27:59 AM
Meh... there's too many ambiguities involved in the term "right mate"... right mate?

There is nothing in the term from which we can derive the concept of "changing myself" or "not changing myself". I may say something along the lines of "The right mate for me is one for whom I need make no changes whatsoever"; yet there is no mention of necessity in the original question (which I read as asking "What WOULD you change...", rather than "What DO you change...") . You may not NEED to make changes in order to be with said mate, but make them anyway out of concern for their happiness (and this is to say that your own happiness is linked in some way to theirs). Would it still be fair to say that these changes were made "because you found them"?

Well, it is as you please, however we might just as easily say that one who falls into the category of "the right mate" is so precisely because fundamental changes HAVE been effected. And we might also say that this must certainly be the case, as there would be very little to distinguish the apparently profound experience of "finding the right mate", if there were not profound changes manifest in many aspects of ones life.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3868 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 12/10/2010 2:32:26 AM

They, like nearly off of life but for us, have thrived just fine without religions as far as we know. If people spent less time questing for the unknowable, and less time pretending to know, they might find more time to just live and savor the experience.

The point I am trying to make, is that it is completely unreasonable to suppose that all of the works and sacrifices made in the service of "religion" (I am not here refering to one particular religion or another; but rather I see "religion" as being anything that gives one "meaning"; a neighbour recently told me that the Aboriginal term for "God" is synonymous with the term "Core of the Culture") were done so either as a type of misguided proto-science, or for purely imagined concerns.

Further, I do not see that texts should be deemed as being without value merely because they do not express scientific propositions (and when I say this, I am in no way attempting to de-value the pursuit of science, which has given humanity so much). What is to say that "... questing for the unknowable... " is not a part of "(savoring) ... the experience"?

Personally, I do not bother with creationists and such-like, as they are dogmatists who do not even know how to read the texts they so ferociously 'defend'. I also do not hold that the existential issues which are fundamental to the ancient texts they so terribly misappropriate are "pointless" or "stupid".
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 71 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/9/2010 10:55:30 PM

Ummm...its a dog backwards (So relieved im obviously not a high order cretin!)

But the order of the high cretin is so illustrious! Not only does Russell Crowe (the grand poobah of cretins) pin a medal of custard to your lapel, but you also receive a box set of "2 and 1/2 Men" dvds!! :D

You really should try harder, you don't know what you're missing.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3851 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 12/8/2010 7:02:04 AM
And religion addresses itself to a completely different question: Why do I live? Do we expect this question to be answered by science? Or by math? Of course not. We might as well ask that the cat be fed by the equation, or something equally non-sensical.

"Why do I live?" - Perhaps this is a question you have asked yourself; the mathematical certainty of your demise would surely suggest so. Well?
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 7 (view)
Posted: 12/8/2010 4:09:23 AM
What does happiness consist of?!?!?

Tell me please, if you have wisdom.

A man had fools. And of them you were the lowest. More of your wisdom please.

And of life?!

You shall die soon, perhaps happy forever.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 67 (view)
Atheists are believers who hate god.
Posted: 12/8/2010 3:49:56 AM
Of course Atheists are not "Beleivers Who Hate God". And, anyone who thinks so, is a cretin of the highest order. It amazes me that people would pay such attention to this non-sense, yet worship at the god of ANZAC oh so ready.

Do you know what a god is?
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3848 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 12/8/2010 1:28:53 AM
Firstly let me apologise to krebby, you are of course no fool, and I really should stop posting when I am hung-over.

It should be said that the popular conception of god is of course ludicrous, and anyone who believes that a child was born of a virgin, who later rose from the dead is delusional. Does this do anything to place the term "god" into a particular state of affairs?

And if I am to say that the term "god" denotes an inconceivable entity? What then? It is pure non-sense to say that "One cannot prove a negative" (you are asserting a particular state of affairs by your 'negation').

Perhaps you assert that there is beer in my fridge, yet there is none. All I have to do is to open the fridge and point to the empty space: I have just proven a negative, as much as anyone can prove a positive.

And if you are to say that your beer is undetectable and invisible, I would say that this is absursd, as it is true apriori that all bottles have substance. What does this say of the existence or non-existence of the entity that is denoted by theterm "god"?

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3696 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 11/26/2010 11:44:10 PM

Hmm .... well, potential, that sounds good. But with proof of neither unicorn or deity, well .. hmmm

well, ya might have something with "alien life," ... urrrr ... maybe not ..

Religion is not science ... Bingo! a winner!.

Poetry, art, music are also worthless .. because they have not led to any "discoveries." ... casting the arts as "science," ... clever maneuver, yet go to any university and you'll see the, ah, "separation" ......

This should lead to interesting discussion ... or maybe not ...

Perhaps Krebby you would like to go back and re-read my post, as this really is nothing but absolute nonsense. How could anyone with even a modicum of intellect read what as wrote as being an equation of art and science? Seriously, only an absolute moron could read it in that way, unless of course you are being willfully obtuse, which is probably worse. So, are you actually going to make a point? Judging by the quality (or perhaps I should say a lack there-of) of your other contributions, I'm guessing no.

Again I ask, in what way is the term "god" the same as the term "unicorn"? And this is another way of saying "The concept of god is in no way the same as the concept of a unicorn". "There is no proof for the existence of either!!" I hear it said. So? We are talking here about statements concerning the POTENTIAL for the existence of certain entities. Such empty invocations as "the burden of proof" and "you cannot prove a negative" are utterly fraudulant. All claims require justification, and all claims are affirmations. This really is simple stuff, so I'll give you a week or two to get your head around it kreb. Good luck.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3692 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 11/26/2010 8:55:10 PM
Which is why it's no difference if you substitute "god" with any other entity that has no empirical basis.

You really don't have a clue, do you? What is being denied is the POTENTIAL of there being an existent god. By your feeble reasoning we would also declare alien life as non-existent. You can waffle on about unicorns and such until your hearts content, it does absolutely NOTHING to back up your affirmations.

Understanding the universe through the lens of science has yielded what discoveries?

Understanding the universe through the lens of religion has yielded what discoveries?

Religion is not science, and anyone who believes that religious texts should be read as scientific propositions is a cretin of the utmost degree. I imagine you also hold that poetry, art, and music are also worthless because they have not led to any "discoveries". What a vulgar and pathetic mode of thought.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3691 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 11/26/2010 8:01:25 PM
Oh Oh!!! After this thought experiment, let's do: "In what way would the universe be if purple unicorns existed"?

Well, I imagine that if unicorns existed as physical entities we should see horse like creatures with rather large horns protruding from there heads. We would likely also see other signs such as prints, droppings, etc.

Now, how does this have ANY bearing whatsoever on the existence/non-existence of god? In what way is the symbol "unicorn" equivalent to the symbol "god"? Why is it so that "god" must be a moral agent? Your argument is utterly pathetic. Please try harder as I will not be responding to any more childish assertions that are so easily destroyed.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 3670 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 11/26/2010 6:32:36 AM
Let us suppose, purely for arguments sake, that god did exist. In what way would the universe be different, and how does this picture of a possible universe follow from the term "god exists"?
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 42 (view)
Ethically Speaking, Are We Responsible For What We Fail to Prevent?
Posted: 11/17/2010 6:03:11 AM
As to the OP, I would say that morality is concerned with the well being of ourselves and those around us, and therefore it would not in anyway be unreasonable to portion at least some moral responsibility on the observer. With regard to the thought experiment involving the train and the fat man, I would also point out that there is a degree of certainty involved with 'pulling the lever' that is absent when one 'pushes the fat man'; he may not stop the train, and one more person may be dead as a result.

If we were absolutely certain of every consequence of an action before we acted, then we should have very little need for discussing the moral justification of an action at all. Rather, we would be wholly concerned with defining moral terms in a meta-ethical sense.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 245 (view)
Very High IQ
Posted: 11/8/2010 5:17:57 AM
If we speak of someones 'emotional intelligence', are we not in danger of simply conflating the term 'intelligence' with 'talent'?

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 516 (view)
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 10/29/2010 10:14:47 PM
Its not that science and religion are 'opposed' in any sense, the truth of the matter is that they are two complety different 'games' so to speak. The conflict arises when religious people make scientific propositions (e.g intelligent design) of which they have no right whatsoever to make.

I would also add that whilst science most certainly should NOT be considered as a religion, it certainly CAN be as such to certain individuals. This is true in as much as an individual can find a 'religious meaning' in many things: perhaps a system of economics; perhaps national identity.

I guess what I am saying is that legitimate science can never be in conflict with religion; just as legitimate religion should never be in conflict with science.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 2882 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/29/2010 3:59:27 AM
"We have art in order that we should not die from the truth." - Nietzsche

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 31 (view)
Imagine that you are 6,000,000,000 lightyears tall.
Posted: 9/28/2010 11:50:59 PM
This may be of interest to the OP and others : Betrand Russell - ABC of Relativity

 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 14 (view)
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 3:46:26 PM
At what time was the concept of God a necessary assumption for the pursuit of science? Anyone who conceives of religion as being some type of ancient proto-science is, I feel, completely missing the point. Science is concerned with HOW the universe is, religion is concerned with WHY the universe is. To ask 'why' may be unanswerable and completely wrongheaded, but it appears to be of profound importance to a great many people. So much so, that they are prepared to affirm the most ludicrous claims in order to maintain this 'meaning'.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 2757 (view)
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/4/2010 11:15:42 AM
That's like saying "truth" is subjective. The ideas of "subjective truth" and "subjective existence" utterly undermine the meaning of the respective words.

I understand what you are saying here, and I am in no way endorsing Appreciative's ideas, however I still believe that you are over simplifying. Firstly, we already acknowledge the difference between a priori and a posteriori 'truths', and we say that one is the province of mathematics and logic; the other the province of science. Here we see already that 'truth' is not exactly a rigidly defined entity, although it may well be within the methodology of those disciplines.

However I do believe there is room for other types of 'truth', perhaps 'asthetic truth'. For example, I may be writing a paper on the Battle of Stalingrad: and, in the course of researching this paper, I gather together a plethora of facts regarding the battle. Casualties; tactics; stratagies; major participants (people awarded medals, etc); equipment; basically, everything one could discover by means of historical research. Even with all this information, I cannot bring myself to admit that my understanding of this event is 'true', in the sense that a veteran may be said to have a 'true' understanding: weather he is aware of the factual truth or not. What I mean is that whilst I may be aware of the factual truth of the event, the veteran is aware of an 'asthetic' truth.

“...all mere organizing of the world conceived and represented historiographically in terms of universality remains truthless and without foundation.”
- Martin Heidegger

This really has nothing to do with 'the mind', but with our notion of 'truth' as being something that is NECESSARILY 'immutable' and 'universal' in the understanding. A 'hallucination' may be said to be an event where the asthetic truth and the factual truth are at odds, however the hallucination obviously exists, otherwise it could not be experienced. We may say "What I saw was a ghost, but it was REALLY just a scarecrow"; or perhaps "It was just a scarecrow, but what I REALLY saw was a ghost".

Although I have come to consider the idea of 'objective' and 'subjective' experience as being a type of contradictio in adjecto, I do still use the terms for the sake of description. As I am a part of the world, so to are my experiences. Much the same with with 'dualists', they always seem wont to invoke some type of 'insubstantial substance'. Truth be told we cannot even imagine what an 'insubstantial' entity would look like; sound like; feel like. It would be 'no - thing'. Its like asking 'what does goodness look like?' or 'what does truth look like?': Platonic lunacy indeed.

Similarly with 'God': when I utter the word, I have know idea what it is that I am trying to say.
Show ALL Forums