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BS: One compelling reason for a god?

Fergie 31 Mar 07 - 09:10 PM
Mickey191 31 Mar 07 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Peter Woodruff 31 Mar 07 - 09:17 PM
Amos 31 Mar 07 - 09:17 PM
Bee 31 Mar 07 - 09:39 PM
wysiwyg 31 Mar 07 - 09:45 PM
Peace 31 Mar 07 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,Peter Woodruff 31 Mar 07 - 10:08 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 07 - 10:09 PM
bobad 31 Mar 07 - 10:17 PM
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The Fooles Troupe 31 Mar 07 - 11:09 PM
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Little Hawk 31 Mar 07 - 11:18 PM
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katlaughing 31 Mar 07 - 11:36 PM
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GUEST,meself 01 Apr 07 - 12:09 AM
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Little Hawk 02 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM
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Amos 03 Apr 07 - 10:38 PM
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Peace 04 Apr 07 - 12:38 PM
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GUEST,HimSelf 08 Apr 07 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,HerSelf 08 Apr 07 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,ItSelf 08 Apr 07 - 08:01 AM
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Bee 08 Apr 07 - 05:35 PM
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Amos 08 Apr 07 - 07:57 PM
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*daylia* 09 Apr 07 - 07:59 AM
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Amos 09 Apr 07 - 04:07 PM
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Amos 09 Apr 07 - 08:46 PM
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Subject: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Fergie
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:10 PM

I am starting a new thread so that I don't get lumbered in with or confused with Godless atheists and possibly Godless agognistics.
I would somebody to answer this question.
Why should I believe that there is such a thing as a God?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mickey191
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:15 PM

Because without a God the Benny Hinns & the Crouch Family would have to get a real job.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,Peter Woodruff
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:17 PM

Because you can't do any 12 step program without a God of your own understanding.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:17 PM

No reason at all.

You may end up doing so despite this, but you'd have a hard time trying to find any compelling argument that could be presented in languague or data or debate-worthy propositions.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:39 PM

I kind of like 'agognistics', although I don't think it quite describes my adeific stance. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:45 PM

One compelling reason for a god? The reason ain't up to us. The only being worth having as "God" would necessarily be beyond ourt understanding, or else s/he/it wouldn't be God.

So if God says there is God, you kinda either have to take his/her/its word for it-- or not.

The question is, I think, is there something bigger and more powerful than us, beyond us (or in whom we are)? If so, are we equipped to place where the limit is, on how big or how powerful? How to interact with such a being?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:49 PM

One compelling reason would be too many and a hundred not enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,Peter Woodruff
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 10:08 PM

Peace, sounds like you've been there.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 10:09 PM

"Why should I believe that there is such a thing as a God?"

As far as I'm concerned there is no reason whatsoever why you should believe anything you don't want to, Fergie.

And I say that as a person who does have spiritual beliefs, by the way. One of them is that everyone has a perfect right to his or her own beliefs...while not, however, having a commensurate right to necessarily inflict them on others...

Is there one compelling reason for a god? Who knows? I hardly think I'm in a position to answer that question. (grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: bobad
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 10:17 PM

So that when the hammer hits your thumb instead of the nail you can yell "goddamnit", "freddamnit" or "joedamnit" just don't have the same effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 10:21 PM

That's like the one about the carpenter Joseph whacking his thumb with the hammer ...

Jesus comes running in - "You called, Father?"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 10:23 PM

Twenty years ago, Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 10:25 PM

Here's a reason....so you have someone to blame when a tree falls on your car or an earthquake wrecks your house. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:09 PM

.... and so the Insurance Companies don't have to pay up...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:11 PM

Voltaire said "If God did not exist, man would have to invent Him".


"Religion is the Opiate of the Masses and the Profit Center of the Entrepreneur"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:18 PM

"Marx is hopelessly out of date." ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:18 PM

"The only being worth having as "God" would necessarily be beyond our understanding, or else s/he/it wouldn't be God.

So if God says there is God, you kinda either have to take his/her/its word for it-- or not.
"


well,*wry grin*.. in any area except Theology, that would be called circular reasoning and rejected....except for the "or not".

(I heard an atheist on a radio program the other day talking about the creation of the universe and subsequent evolution and how hard it was to find evidence of what happened...he said (paraphrased) "...so God chose as his preferred method of creation one that operated as if he (God) were not there!"

(hi, Susan..as you see, I have not converted.)

Now, if the heavens opened up, and giant glowing letters in the sky said "Stop That!" and lightning were to strike a selected list of politicians, I might just sing hymns with FEELING!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:20 PM

Oh, that's two, sorry...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:36 PM

BillD, if you haven't seen it, yet, I think you would really enjoy The Man Who Sued God with Billy Connolly. There's a recent thread about it. It's REALLY good.I think you'd enjoy the logic of the legal arguments re' "acts of god" and insurance companies.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mickey191
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:49 PM

Newsweek did a survey on people's beliefs. Some of it, more then a bit surprising to me. Science seems of little import when it comes to HIM. ER...HER?

March 30, 2007 - A belief in God and an identification with an organized religion are widespread throughout the country, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. Nine in 10 (91 percent) of American adults say they believe in God and almost as many (87 percent) say they identify with a specific religion. Christians far outnumber members of any other faith in the country, with 82 percent of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as such.

Another 5 percent say they follow a non-Christian faith, such as Judaism or Islam. Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.
Although one in ten (10 percent) of Americans identify themselves as having "no religion," only six percent said they don’t believe in a God at all.

Just 3 percent of the public self-identifies as atheist, suggesting that the term may carry some stigma. Still, the poll suggests that the public’s tolerance of this small minority has increased in recent years. Nearly half (47 percent) of the respondents felt the country is more accepting of atheists today that it used to be and slightly more (49 percent) reported personally knowing an atheist.

Those numbers are higher among respondents under 30 years old, 62 percent of whom report knowing an atheist (compared to just 43 percent of those 50 and older). Sixty-one percent of the under-30 cohort view society as more accepting of atheists (compared to 40 percent of the Americans 50 and older).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:09 AM

What if it's really only one atheist but he's just one of those guys that everybody knows? (I'm referring to the survey, not to the subject of the thread!).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:12 AM

Well it can't be me - cause "I don't get around much any more"...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:16 AM

Mickey191--THose are sad numbers, indeed.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:24 AM

What if you believe in God but don't identify with any organized religion?

What if you neither believe nor disbelieve the theory of evolution, but regard it as an interesting theory with some supporting evidence, as yet not proven one way or another, while simultaneously regarding the theory of creationism also as intriguing but certainly unproven and with no available evidence, in other words don't necessarily take either one for granted as absolute gospel?

What if you are humble enough to admit you don't know any of these things for sure, and cautious and sceptical enough about the rest of humanity to consider the very strong possibility that no one else does either?

Or is being this non-dogmatic about it against the rules?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:26 AM

No kidding, LH. What if, indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:28 AM

"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever hear!"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:30 AM

"Imagine all the people living for today ... "


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bert
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:35 AM

I know I've said this before, but it seems appropriate to repeat it now.

Many religions insist that man was created in the image of God.

Science is leaning more towards the mitochondrial Eve theory which traces mankind back to a single woman in Africa.

If they are both right then God is a black woman.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:54 AM

Yeah, and the chances that either one of them is right are very   small, in my opinion.

If God is All That Is, then god is both a black woman, a white man, the ocean, an ant, the cosmos, and an eggplant. Sounds much more reasonable and democratic to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:05 AM

Even spinach?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:22 AM

Asbolutely. Spinach for sure. That's where Popeye gets his godlike powers.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mickey191
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:09 AM

Amos-Sad isn't strong enough. A third of college grads. believe in Creationism! The survey must have been taken on the steps of Bob Jones "University." Hell, they found a fingerprint in some cave in N.M. that's been around for 28,000 yrs. So man has been around, in our present bods, for 10,000 yrs. Who can tell me what we looked like 10,001 yrs. ago?

There is a mention of 3% being athiests-Madeline Murray O'Hare probably enlightened 2% herself. I take issue with that figure. Many non-believers do not broadcast their views. I don't. I darn well would tell a pollster the truth though. Generally, it's a good way to get into an argument or hear that old line about no athiests in foxholes. That does bug me.

I've just been on a Catholic Blog Site that has set me on edge-I found such meaness & disdain for the human condition there. Mostly terrible rants against gays who give loving homes to unwanted kids. I'm ticked! CIAO


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:15 AM

Here ya go. Time for a laugh.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 03:58 AM

The person referred to as Saint Thomas of Aquinas, and his writings are a sound, rational foundation to begin your quest from.

Seek, and you will find.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Marion
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:18 AM

It seems to me that you're asking if there's scientific evidence or a logical argument which proves (or strongly suggests) that there's a God.

If such a proof exists, though, I doubt it would matter. My theory is that almost all people are basically irrational (and yes, I'm including myself here). We believe what we believe or prefer what we prefer for a variety of nonrational reasons - then as a result of that premade decision, we find the "rational evidence" for one side or the other to be more credible.

So, what are the compelling reasons that so many people believe in God? I think the number one reason is the goodness in the world: beauty of nature, human love, healing, etc. Other reasons might be:
- the aesthetic appeal of religion (ceremony, music, art, storytelling)
- good things that religious people/institutions have accomplished
- social pressure from some quarters
- chance to feel morally superior to other people

Just so you don't think I'm picking on the religious here, I also think that the most compelling reasons to NOT believe in God are also nonrational... and that the number one reason is the badness in the world: cruelty of nature, human evil, disease and death, etc. Other reasons:
- bad things that religious people/institutions have done
- social pressure from other quarters
- chance to feel intellectually superior to other people

Marion

PS There's a great bit in one of Douglas Adams' books, where they create a computer called "Reason" - you tell it your dilemma, and it tells you the logical solution. But this computer was hugely unpopular, because it the solution it came up with wasn't what people already wanted to do. So they replaced it with a computer called "Rationalization": you tell it your conclusion, and it creates a syllogism proving that you're right.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 07:33 AM

What if you neither believe nor disbelieve the theory of evolution... (Little Hawk)

You have not the slightest idea how the word "theory" is used in scintific parlance, have you?
By using the same word for completely different things you do not make these things equal except perhaps in your own mind.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 08:25 AM

One compelling reason for a god? To have someone to thank for the Dixie Chicks.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Hawker
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 08:25 AM

The question says:

Why should I believe that there is such a thing as a God?

Should is the word that stands out to me, I believe that one makes ones own mind up, and there is no should or shouldn't, If you live your life doing unto others as you would have done unto you and in a thoughtful and peaceable manner I dont think it matters if you believe in God or the Great green man from Mars.

I personally do believe in a god, maybe not the difinitive one in the bible - but that doesnt mean anyone else should!
( I also believe in fairies!)

Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:31 AM

Some people need a god figure to blame for things that go wrong in their lives. It does seem strange however, that in the blame culture which pervades our everyday life,attendance at churches is falling!
Maybe the answer to the empty churches then, is to teach people to be self reliant and take responsibility for their actions?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:24 PM

"Nine in 10 (91 percent) of American adults say they believe in God and almost as many (87 percent) say they identify with a specific religion. Christians far outnumber members of any other faith in the country, with 82 percent of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as such.

...and sadly, many of those treat the issue as a matter of "majority rules". Just get enough folks to vote for YOUR belief, no matter how, and it somehow validates it.
   What has happened to learning how to think, rather than how to rationalize and use rhetoric to gain adherents? Or am I just fantasizing that 'thinking' was EVER popular?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:46 PM

Maybe without a god an addicted person might take the thirteenth step.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:54 PM

LH,

"What if you neither believe nor disbelieve the theory of evolution, but regard it as an interesting theory with some supporting evidence, as yet not proven one way or another, while simultaneously regarding the theory of creationism also as intriguing but certainly unproven and with no available evidence, in other words don't necessarily take either one for granted as absolute gospel?"

I think that if you didn't believe that there was evolution which like the theory of gravity (both scientifically proven), you'd have to be pretty stupid. Goes double for "Creationism".

I don't think one believes in science (it's not a religion) but believes scientific facts which can be empirically proven. Creationism is Crap.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:59 PM

The late Lou Gottleib of the Limelighters tried to convince the IRS that the land he owned was tax exempt because he deeded it to "God". Didn't work.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: heric
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:15 PM

I think (I hope) when most people say they do not believe in "evolution," they are not contesting the obvious truth of evolutionary process, but that they do not believe modern humans are direct descendants of little worm-like things; They can't take their imaginations back to the (imaginary) lightning strike into the primordial soup, or to the formation of those primordial amino acids on planet xenofera before it exploded.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: bobad
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:26 PM

LH

What sort of evidence would you consider definitive in proving the "theory" of evolition?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:26 PM

Marion, your post is the most perceptive and intelligent comment I have seen yet in this thread, and really leaves little more that needs to be said.

Wolfgang, go and engage in some new evolutionary experiments with a jackass. You may succeed in creating a new species in the process.

Strinsinger - I believed implicitly in the theory of evolution all my life until quite recently. I now neither believe nor disbelieve it. I think it's probably partially correct, but probably not the whole story. I have NEVER in my life believed in the theory of creationism. I have ALWAYS believed in gravity (duh!), but I think that we may not yet fully understand the force of gravity and how and why it workds...although some of us certainly think we do, no doubt. There's nothing out there that some self-satisfied prig doesn't think he fully understands. Just ask him.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:40 PM

LH, out of curiousity, what bit of evidence made you start doubting the TOE?

Marion, a fine post!

Something I've noticed is the ability many religiously inclined and otherwise sane people have to hold two (or more) distinctly opposing viewpoints at once. On the one hand they will claim sincerely that god created everything, including Adam and Eve, etc., but they will at the same time seemingly accept and be interested in evolution theory and the descent of humans from primate like ancestors. I've run into this several times in conversation. I find it very interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:52 PM

It was an accumulation of things, Bee. I think the TOE is, as I said, partially correct, but I don't think it goes far enough. I think it just happens to be the latest human orthoxy, that's all. It will eventually by superseded by another. However, I am not about to raise a total firestorm on this forum by saying why I think that. Sorry. ;-)

I consider Adam and Eve to be simply symbolic figures in a symbolic tale, not to be taken literally at all. They represent the male and female halves of the human race in an early time, the earliest that was still in the memory and oral traditions of ancestors of the people who wrote Genesis. That was how people communicated back at the time the Book of Genesis was written...by clothing a concept in a symbolic figure or character. The Greek and Roman Gods, for instance, were all symbolic as well, many of them were personifications of various planets, such as Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn. You take something very, very large or distant...and you characterize it in a single human form and personality. This what Adam and Eve are. They are individualized characterizations of the earliest phase of human development...according to one cultural tradition. To take such a story dead literally is to completely misunderstand it, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:59 PM

This is a question I used to ask all the time. when I was young. If you can keep people talking long enough, the answer always seems to come down to fear; fear of death, mostly. God can be a wonderful prop.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:02 PM

So can money. But no matter how much you have, you're still gonna die.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: bobad
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:03 PM

m/m

That is probably one of the main reasons, the other being gaining control over others, that the concept was created in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:13 PM

"Something I've noticed is the ability many religiously inclined and otherwise sane people have to hold two (or more) distinctly opposing viewpoints at once."

This can (note: CAN) be the difference between an open-minded, empathetic person and a close-minded, unempathetic person. It is a characteristic often attributed to poets, other artists and creative thinkers ...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:44 PM

The first problem would be to determine whether or not God actually exists. Let us assume for sake of argument that we learn that God does indeed exist. Once that is done, the real questions start:   what is the nature of this God? People have made all kinds of assumptions about benevolence. Perhaps this Entity we think of as God is indeed benevolent, but we are not necessarily the objects of that benevolence.

Suppose the cosmos we know is actually a research laboratory. And supposed the earth is a Petri dish. And suppose we are merely bacteria in that Petri dish.

And God is a lab technician.

And as bacteria, we're just not making the cut as expected. The Petri dish is scheduled for sterilization and re-use.

Maybe you really don't want to know. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 04:03 PM

The moon. Just look at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 04:10 PM

Why should the moon be a compelling argument for anything (other than tides)?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 04:13 PM

Look longer.

(yes, I am a I(A)(i) under the Marion classification system.)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 04:43 PM

I think many of us have missed the boat on this question. God and gods exist for many people because many people need them. They can then be slagged for 'needing a crutch' or similar Marxist cutsie-sayings that have little substance. I have friends on both sides of the 'God is/God is not necessary' coin. I expect I will for the rest of my life.

I had a hip replacement years back. A few weeks later I went to see the doctor who'd done the replacement. I was using a cane. His first question was, "Have you hurt yourself?" I said no. He looked at me and continued, "Well, it looked like you had. But since you haven't, LOSE THE CANE!"

Many people go through stages of needing a 'higher power' to speak with. I know I do from time to time. Call it God, a god, id, George--but call it.


"I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand."

Gospel of Bob.


My atheist friends answer simply: I don't need that complication in my life. Fine by me.

I am rambling, but that's the way I am. Hope y'all have a good day regardless your beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:16 PM

There is no question about the higher power thing. But placing it without rather than within
Is the core nature of the most cardinal of sins.
OF all the lifetimes that have ever been You,
The worst are those where you forget that the kingdom is Within you.
And even while numbering the wondrous grain of sand
Remember who You are that guides the numbering hand.

Winsome Metafi Zeeks
Answers Never Requested
Noisome and Brash, New York, 1969


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 07:54 PM

There are no *rational* (ie, data-based, empirical) reasons to believe in anything supernatural, or "greater" or "higher" or anything semantically related to the god domain. That's why it's so much fun when they try things like intelligent design... Show me someone who regards "the theory of" evolution as yet not proven one way or another, and I'll show you someone who does not understand basic science. And there are no data *for* creationism in any guise. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of "just happened" over "was made." Insisting that that isn't the way it actually is is silly, and trying to teach it as science in schools is dangerously foolish.

Of course in science-speak you can't say a "theory" is ever "proven" but evolution, natural selection, and even punctuated equilibrium by now are as firmly established as the "theory" of gravity, the "theory" of plate tectonics, or the "theory" of relativity, or any other model that describes the known world. Which, of course, doesn't mean that god didn't make it that way. You can't disprove god, no arguments there. That is not evidence in favor of their being any, it's just a fact of logic.

We know a great deal about our own species' evolution. What I like best is that mitochondrial Eve is about 150,000 years older than y-chromosomal Adam! Chew on *that* one for a while!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:01 PM

There are no rational reasons to believe in our present political system either. I regard that as a more vital concern than the one you are harping on.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: 282RA
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:21 PM

>>There are no rational reasons to believe in our present political system either.<<

You're merely proving what I've already asserted: If there is no rationale behind believing in something then come up with something else. Sticking to the same worn-out arguments produces the political morass we are in. Continuing to hold the same WRONG beliefs about this god results in a religion that kills and destroys in the name of peace and love and it makes no difference what religion it is. They all do it because they refuse to ditch wrongheaded beliefs because to do so would require brainwork to come up with something workable and that's too hard for their empty heads. Much easier to call the atheists stuck up and arrogant and dismiss their arguments than admit they are right (once again, I am NOT talking about the materialist jerks who think they are atheists but are not so don't use them as an example of what atheism is).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:27 PM

I've been compelled to agree with Gargoyle, something that disturbs me, I admit, but he is on the money--you all need to read St. Tommy--and think about it--don't accept what he says(it wasn't meant to be accepted, it is argumentation) Summa Theologica


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:31 PM

Amos, thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 10:09 PM

Well, our political system does exist, whether you believe in it or not... but unlike the god thing, the existence of our political system can be demonstrated.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 10:22 PM

Again, AR, I am compelled to point out that your ideas are not logical or reasoned, they are more like incoherent rantings--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:16 PM

Bee, although evolution is a theory, it is also a scientific fact as significant as the theory of gravity.

It is not a matter of "belief" but a matter of something that is scientifically observable and provable. Any other view must be based on a complete disregard for scientific findings which seems to be an affliction of those in a theological fog.

It's not a matter of Evolution vrs. Creationism because that controversey has been proven specious by major reputable scientists.

There is a propaganda mechanism in place to devalue scientific findings by relegating them to personal "beliefs". The religious extremists are busy in propagating this view which carries no credibility whatever. They are busy "smashing Galileo's telescope".

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:44 PM

Compelling?

Well, for starters... I believe in God. Not quite compelling around here, to be sure... But it's probably the very best I can do.

Then... there's this 'idea' of evolution. Yeah, right... just some 'theory' called evolution, and it's ALL about Charles Darwin... ;^) ... well, no, not really. A casual study of Geography is all that's needed to get 'on track' about the history of the earth... and it's inhabitants.

What 'makes' evolution happen? One could say that the 'evolution' of the automobile over the last 100 years is just capitalism at work... doing 'that thing it does'... But I'd be likely to point out that it is indeed possible that both 'evolution' and 'the advancement of technology' are not only related... but that they are together part of the 'hidden hand' of God within us... and all around us.

Knock on the door of your average 'crest of the wave' scientist, engineer, musician, artist, teacher, lawyer, politician, social worker, designer, doctor... etc... and I'll bet they'll have to admit that they don't actually know exactly where those 'new ideas' came from...

But then... I believe.

If you don't, my telling you about it would be a bit like trying to describe my latest musical improvisation to a computer... ;^)

For me, science and God are not even remotely mutually exclusive.

More on this later...
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:22 AM

Oops... Ummm... perhaps a casual study of... Geology...

My bad...
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:42 AM

There's no question that our political system exists, Mrzzy. I am simply suggesting that to believe in it is stupider than believing in God. ;-) And look how many people do!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:30 AM

Artist/Band: Williams Don
Lyrics for Song: I Believe in You
Lyrics for Album: Don Williams - 20 Greatest Hits


I don't believe in superstars,
Organic food and foreign cars.
I don't believe the price of gold;
The certainty of growing old.
That right is right and left is wrong,
That north and south can't get along.
That east is east and west is west.
And being first is always best.

But I believe in love.
I believe in babies.
I believe in Mom and Dad.
And I believe in you.

Well, I don't believe that heaven waits,
For only those who congregate.
I like to think of God as love:
He's down below, He's up above.
He's watching people everywhere.
He knows who does and doesn't care.
And I'm an ordinary man,
Sometimes I wonder who I am.

But I believe in love.
I believe in music.
I believe in magic.
And I believe in you.

Well, I know with all my certainty,
What's going on with you and me,
Is a good thing.
It's true, I believe in you.

I don't believe virginity,
Is as common as it used to be.
In working days and sleeping nights,
That black is black and white is white.
That Superman and Robin Hood,
Are still alive in Hollywood.
That gasoline's in short supply,
The rising cost of getting by.

But I believe in love.
I believe in old folks.
I believe in children.
I believe in you.

But I believe in love.
I believe in babies.
I believe in Mom and Dad.
And I believe in you.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,h h rrhj vjfpok
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:36 AM

Haven't read the whole thread, so maybe someone mentioned this. Wasn't it Aquinas who argued the First Cause? If everything is cause and effect, then where did the first cause come from?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:49 AM

Little Hawk... for some reason you just reminded me of a song I dug thirty years ago...

In For The Kill   by Budgie

Living ain't easy it opens your head
Layin' and prayin' you wish you were dead
When I was born I was given a will
That the meaning of life is
I'm in for the kill

Loving knowing giving showing
Love is seeing and ever being
Motor cruising midnight boozing
Altar singing and bells that are ringing

You got a reason to listen to me
For I am a messenger carrying the key
Money is nothing to hold into wills
And the meaning of life is
I'm in for the kill

You see me moving around playing on people's minds
But I won't be for nobody I only have a way of return
Take me make me do what you want
You ain't gonna mock up me
Well I am the tolls and I am the right
And I am the earth and the sea

Hey there you with a lock that is boozed
Gonna say it with a face that's red
It's only the ones who can take the pain
Who can take that golden hat
I'm only trying to help you love in a world
That is hot and rough
It's me and you and a cat named boo
And a woman who has run out of stuff


Now, it's like... ya know... whatever...
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:58 AM

Hmmm. I have to say that is really quite an odd song lyric, Thomas. I don't follow it.

I'm here in this life for a number of things, but I'm definitely not in for the kill. That's the last reason I can think of to be here.

What do you like about that song?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 02:12 AM

Now? Nothing...

It's a 'piece of work' from the seventies... when 'obcure art' was popular... from one of the best 'hard rock' bands ever...

But times have changed, and I'm changing still...

It sure is interesting to look back... One of the pleasures of midlife is not having to actually 'be' back... ;^)
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 02:17 AM

BTW... Not being in for the kill is what the song is all about... Kinda like a dachsund's urge to take on all commers... from behind a closed door... ;^)

Budgies are SO imposing...
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 02:28 AM

"It's not a matter of Evolution vrs. Creationism because that controversey has been proven specious by major reputable scientists."

... and major reputable clerics of many flavours ...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 02:47 AM

Touche... bien cuit, foolstroupe!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 03:20 AM

Yes, Thomas, but among budgies themselves...that's a different story! Budgies can get quite tough with other budgies, you know. :-) Same deal with rabbits. They may not look fierce, but they can get very feisty over issues like mating and territory.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 03:30 AM

Yep - just look what that rabbit did in that movie "Search for the Holy Grail"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:18 AM

compelling reasons for anything are like a a wimpy notion being discussed, tossed about and debated.

Give me a good old fashioned compeling URGE any day.
Spaw knows about urges.
Now then, is there a compelling urge for God?

I think you will agree that certain situations would create an urge for help from the beyond.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:44 AM

Stringsinger, I carefully avoided using the word 'belief' regarding evolution in my post. Otherwise, I mostly agree with you. I was referring to the ability some appear to have to simultaneously believe in biblical style creation and accept the science of evolution.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:03 AM

I believe in an Ultimate, but I refuse to define it, characterize it, or refer to it as "God". My early upbringing saddled the word "God" with so much negative baggage that it's only useful as an expletive.

It's a bit analogous to the artist's idea that one can't draw an accurate depiction of a tree if one thinks "tree". Just thinking the word automatically brings to mind a stereotypical "tree" that interferes with one's ability to truly see the tree one is attempting to draw. But if one draws the shape of the negative space where the background meets the tree, there's no preconceived notion of what it is, no name for it and, thusly, a better chance that the resulting "tree" will look more like a real tree and less like a stick with a ball on top.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:33 AM

Wise words, oh, Potter Extraordinaire.

A.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:37 AM

Hey, guys, someone asked a simple question--"If everything is cause and effect, then where did the first cause come from?"--why are you so slow to post an answer?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:48 AM

One thinks that cause always comes before effect but on the quantum scale effect can come before the cause.

Anyway the assumption that there is "a" god is faulty.

Everyone knows it takes TWO.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:54 AM

Fergie, the best person to decide whether you should adopt a belief or not is yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:01 AM

Oops thought I'd clicked "sort descending". That was in response to Fergie's opening post ie

I would somebody to answer this question.
Why should I believe that there is such a thing as a God?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: 3refs
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:28 AM

I think it was Jerry Garcia(or Wellington, Little Hawk)who said "Religion is for people who don't want to go to hell! Spirituality is for those who have been there!".

GOD! 5 billion views(or there abouts) from humans, and their expectations, or lack there of, of God.

I'd like to suggest that if every living creature looked at the same "thing" and had the ability to express their interpretations so we could all understand each other, I would think that there would be a lot of debate amongst us dwellers of earth(as this forum proves). Many would be passionate, many couldn't care less.

So, in the spirit of debate(and theory)I'll suggest that it is acceptable to say that a wolf who hears the thunder and gazes upon the lightning might not only be scared shit less, he/she just might wonder what that was and where it came from! As would the ant, the fish, the fly, the whale and the ape. How long they ponder the possibilities would be of great importance here. To some, it would be as fleeting as the flash of lightning, to others it may last a lifetime.

Now, theorizing myself, about what they're theorizing about, opens up the universe. The same one we're all in. The same one we're all part of. The same one that is made up of the same "stuff" from it's centre to it's farthest reaches. Sub-atomic molecules all the same, only put together a little differently here and there.

Remembering of course that there are people today who profess to seeing God and talking to God that we don't take too seriously, I'm going to suggest that most people who believe in God from whatever religion, believe in something they have never seen or touched. Nor do they personally know anyone who has, but they believe in the Prophets of the past who professed to having had direct communication with God(the ones who say it today are nuts).

....gotta go take my kid to driving lessons, I'll get back to this later!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:38 AM

Here's another compelling reason for a god: Ef ye want to see Jesus

From the Digitrad:

"Note by Fenner: "My father sang this hymn* and said he knew a time when a great many slaves were allowed to have a revival for two days, while their masters and their families had one; and a great many professed religion. And one poor, ignorant man, professed religion, and praised God, and sang this hymn."

Ef ye want to see Jesus,
Go in de wilderness,
Go in de wilderness,
Go in de wilderness,
Ef ye want to see Jesus,
Go in de wilderness,
Leanin' on de Lord.

Oh, brother, how d'ye feel,
when ye come out de wilderness,
come out de wilderness,
come out de wilderness
Oh, brudder how d'ye feel,
when ye come out de wilderness,
Leanin' on de Lord.

I felt so happy when I come out de wilderness,
come out de wilderness,
come out de wilderness.
I feel so happy when I come out de wilderness,
Leanin' on de Lord....


Anything that lifts the heart, brightens the spirits and gives hope to the desperate and downtrodden has more than enough "reason" for existence, in my book.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:59 AM

One compelling reason for a "God" is that it makes it possible for me to tell you all to "Go to Hell";-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:46 PM

"Hey, guys, someone asked a simple question--"If everything is cause and effect, then where did the first cause come from?"--why are you so slow to post an answer? " - M.Ted

That is why there are agnostics like myself, M.Ted.

But given there are really only two possibilities: something or nothing (or always or never), perhaps 'first cause' is a meaningless phrase.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:53 PM

"...-"If everything is cause and effect, then where did the first cause come from?"--why are you so slow to post an answer?"

Why, because I had to go look it up in Aristotle, of course! ;>)

seriously- for us, it is not necessary to locate or identify a 'first cause'. There is the concept of 'remote cause', which relates to the fartherist back cause necessary to explain or discuss particular phenomena, but since **FIRST** cause is so difficult to even conceive, let alone identify, why bother? There is still debate over whether the 'big bang' was just one in an infinite series of big bangs, and if THAT is hard to take in, just shrug, as I do, and don't worry about it.

   I submit that just saying "there MUST be a First Cause, so I'll just arbitrarily call it 'God'", solves nothing, as I can always ask, "Then why would there BE a God in the...ummmm...first place?"

We have certain tools to slowly investigate the physical laws of the universe, and we sorta think right now that somewhere about 14-15 Billion years ago, 'something' happened that 'caused' all the complexity we see now. We're still looking to see if we can pin it down closer, or revise our notions of what happened....but there's just no way to even grasp any concept of an "ultimate force/spirit" which 'decided' to start things rolling.....and pretending that we can is just imagining that creating a linguistic 'name' somehow endows reality.
   Saying "we can't understand it, therefore God done it" is just circular reasoning disguised as useful logic. (There are some unstated assumptions hidden in the syllogism)

....all of which leaves, as "compelling reasons" for positing a god, "Someone told me there was one, and I like that answer because it makes me feel good"....and isn't THAT how it works?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:12 PM

"First cause" assumes a duality between creator and created, mover and moved, thought and action. There are millions of people, myself included, who believe such dualities are, ultimately, illusory. It's not necessary to have a creator for creation to occur if the creator and created are merely different aspects of the same thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:15 PM

First cause also assumes that (as I said elsewhere) the notion of time and linked cause-and-effect through time is a consistent law both in the physical universe and in other realms or universities or whatever you call them. This is a risky assumption.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 02:04 PM

--"If everything is cause and effect, then where did the first cause come from?"--

There is no first cause. It's all happening at once. It's beyond what we think of as "time". It's simultaneous. But you can't see that when you appear to be stuck at one teeny little spot on the timeline, only because that's where your consciousness is now focusing itself.

You are the central character in the dream you are dreaming. In the dream there appears to be a stream of causes and effects, so naturally you look for the first cause. You aren't ever going to find it.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:07 PM

Wow! Who'd a-thunk it could all be explained so succinctly!

(goes off muttering and wondering why *I* didn't see it!)




















*giggle*


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:13 PM

LOL! Yeah, great isn't it? I knew that would tickle yer fancy, Bill.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:27 PM

I think it was Kris Kristofferson who asked the question, "Are you a figment of my imagination, or am I a figment of your imagination." Depends on how you define "figment"--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:37 PM

What if both people are figments of a grander imagination...like Hamlet and Ophelia in the stage play?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 06:37 PM

The quantum physics of time are, by preference mostly, beyond me.

"If everything is cause and effect" - then by definition there can be no "first" cause, because (odd word here) something would have had to cause that first cause.

Either time and space have always existed, or they began, but time cannot have a before, so they can't have begun... Norman, coordinate!*


*Who gets that reference?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:26 PM

and God said "Que sera, sera" and LO!

and Popeye said "I yam what I yam!" and he was!

and Bing Crosby said "Do be do be do!" and it was!

and I said "See!" and they didn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: bobad
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:34 PM

Amen brother Bill, amen!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Greg B
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:51 PM

Anybody read Descartes' MEDITATIONS ON THE FIRST PHILOSOPHY
lately?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:34 PM

Yea, verily, and forsooth, in the times to come ALL shall prophesy!!! Give heed to brother Bill, for he speaketh the Word of the Lord!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:47 PM

Thanks for the reference to Descartes' Meditations on the first philosophy, Greg... I have not looked at it in a long time... and I should have.

Wiki has a nice synopsis of this work, and I'm wending my way through it bit by bit.

This seems to be relevant:

Meditation III

Argument 1

I have an idea of God (an infinitely perfect substance).
That idea must have a cause.
Nothing comes from nothing.
The cause must have at least as much formal reality as the idea.
I am not infinitely perfect.
I could not be the cause of the idea.
There must be a cause that is infinitely perfect.
God exists.

Argument 2

I exist.
My existence must have a cause.
The cause must be either:
   a) myself
   b) my always having existed
   c) my parents
   d) something less perfect than God
   e) God
Not a. If I had created myself, I would have made myself perfect.
Not b. Continued existence does not follow from present existence.
Not c. This leads to an infinite regress.
Not d. The idea of perfection that exists in me cannot have originated from a non-perfect being.
      e. God exists.

...and this...

I find that I am "intermediate" between God and nothingness, between the supreme entity and nonentity. Insofar as I am the creation of the supreme entity, there's nothing in me to account for my being deceived or led into error, but, inasmuch as I somehow participate in nothing or nonentity - that is, insofar as I am distinct from the supreme entity itself and lack many things - it's not surprising that I go wrong. I thus understand that, in itself, error is a lack, rather than a real thing dependent on God. Hence, I understand that I can err without God's having given me a special ability to do so. Rather, I fall into error because my God-given ability to judge the truth is not infinite. (Descartes, Meditation IV: On Truth and Falsity).

So... have at it!
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM

"We have certain tools to slowly investigate the physical laws of the universe, and we sorta think right now that somewhere about 14-15 Billion years ago, 'something' happened that 'caused' all the complexity we see now. "

So now it's thought that 2 umtpy-umpteen-dimensioned 'membranes' collided, starting off our 'Big Bang... but that way of course leads to madness - 'just what were all (and how many of them?) those 'branes' doing floating around (in what?), and what 'created' them.'...

"They're coming to take me away, Ha ha!"

Sorta ends up like going down that path that leads to serious discussions on just how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:03 PM

Descartes walks into a bar and asks for a whisky; bartender says, want a chaser with that? Descartes considers it, then answers "I think not" ... and *poof!* he disappeared.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:07 PM

And thus... most of my last post.

Bartenders... Hmph!
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:14 PM

I'll take door # 2:
I exist. My existence must have a cause. The cause must be: a) myself, b) my always having existed, c) my parents, d) something less perfect than God, or e) God
OK, I start having issues here. It seems that only d and e cover the entire universe of possibility, so a, b, and c are already spurious.
Not a. If I had created myself, I would have made myself perfect. If he were perfect he'd be god, by his own rationale; if he could have made himself perfect he would be god, so either way, he's contradicting his own presupposition that god exists but isn't him.
Not b. Continued existence does not follow from present existence.
No, but existence can follow from past existence.
Not c. This leads to an infinite regress.
Well, no, it doesn't; it goes back to the beginning and then stops.
Not d. The idea of perfection that exists in me cannot have originated from a non-perfect being.
And here we have the rub: Whyever not? Therefore, it is an incorrect conclusion that e. God exists.

(hope I make it through the italicizing and unitalicizing. Descartes is meant to be in italics, and me, not.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:16 PM

And behind door# 1, we have:
I can imagine perfection
I am not perfect
Therefore something perfect exists that isn't me
Therefore there is god?

Or is it, who am I to imagine god, I imagine him to be so great I can't have imagined him so he must exist?

How is this reasonable?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:20 PM

Monsieur Descartes had real problem with the premises he used for his syllogisms...He failed to mention some ...which he just assumed, and he left out others which would have been necessary to validate his conclusions.
   But we can perhaps forgive him a wee bit, for he already KNEW the answer he had to arrive at, and he simply tailored his arguments to give the best reasoning he could find.

(Even at that, he got in some hot water for even pretending to 'doubt' the existence of God. The church was not amused by, or interested in, logical proof of something that was just...well...obvious! Ren had to do some public recantation of his ideas, just as Copernicus had to do earlier.

Any time you get into a routine of 'proving' God by showing how 'reasonable' the idea is, you end up with either circular logic or fallacious use of premises. Of course, if rhetorical force in order to convince others who don't KNOW logic is all you are after, there are some rather clever ways.

   Kierkegaard dealt with it better...he realized that it WAS simply a matter of 'faith', and he did a pretty good job of showing how faith worked in practice. (24 paragraphs of detailed explanation mercifully left out)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:24 PM

Well that's better, I had to reload this thread, because it got 'recursively tangled - somehow the HTML got garbled, and last few posts turned into a sorta multiframe mess of repeated posts all over the place - took me a few seconds to realise what had happened.... it was actually making sense for a bit....


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:25 PM

I can Imagine perfection
I am not perfect
Therefore my imagination is better than other parts of me.
Or maybe, thus proves that PART of me is perfect...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:27 PM

Okay...this should be fun...

Argument 2

I exist. (Do you? Are you sure? Maybe your existence is illusory, like a dream.)

My existence must have a cause. (Must it? How so? If you have always existed, then no cause was required. How do you know you have not always existed? Are you only your body? If not, then you may have pre-existed the body. Is your body real?)

The cause must be either:
   a) myself (possibly)
   b) my always having existed (as I have suggested already)
   c) my parents (yeah, okay)
   d) something less perfect than God (a thing is either perfect or it isn't...how can you be less perfect?)
   e) God (how do you define "God"?")

Not a. If I had created myself, I would have made myself perfect. (How could you do that if you were not perfect already? Have you considered that maybe you are perfect, in that you are the one and only perfect version of what you are?)

Not b. Continued existence does not follow from present existence. (Why not?)

Not c. This leads to an infinite regress. (Does it?)

Not d. The idea of perfection that exists in me cannot have originated from a non-perfect being. (Ha! I am less than a perfect singer or guitar player, but I DO have an idea of perfection when it comes to both of those activities...as does anyone else who is deeply interested in those activities.)

      e. God exists. (Again, how do you define "God", Mr Decartes?)

Here's what I say: Existence itself exists. God is identical with existence itself, that is to say, God is inclusive of all that is. We debate about because we think we are separate. That thinking is our dream of separate existence, and it is what appears to separate us from one another and from God, which is existence itself. Nothing that exists CAN separate itself from existence itself, but it can imagine that it has done so.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM

"Existence itself exists."

You are all just part of the dream occurring in my mind.


We are all just part of the dream in the mind of a god. Should he wake...

Please don't wake the bastard up!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM

Well, who would wake him up then?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:48 PM

"Well, who would wake him up then? "

ooooooooooooo..... never thought of that...

in the words of that joke.... "That's a hard one!"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:52 PM

Very good point, Little Hawk. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:10 PM

"God is identical with existence itself, that is to say, God is inclusive of all that is."

...and I say again, Little Hawk....if that is true, it is trivial and irrelevant and merely a linguistic construction. It posits a theology that is so vague as to be useless. (sorta like calling all music that is not sung by horses 'folk')


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:18 PM

I will. YO!!! GODBOY!!!! WAKE THE F***K UP!!!!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:35 PM

I think that you would not think so, Bill, were your early acquaintances with the concept of "God" not associated primarily with the very anthropomorphic deities popularized by the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition.

Those dieties are almost astonishingly narrow and primitive-sounding when you compare them to the concepts of the Divine offered in Vedanta. Or in Buddhism. Or in Taoism...which doesn't even posit any form of deity, but does posit a divine "Way" of harmonious and coherent existence which everything is attuned to...although human beings' minds tend to get in the way of keeping that attunement most effectively.

You only say it's vague and useless because you are largely unfamiliar with it, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:35 PM

Please define the term "Folk Music"!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:38 PM

And maybe it pisses you off a bit too. ;-) After all, when I say that I believe in existence itself, and that God IS existence itself, you can't attack or refute that belief in any way whatsoever, can you? It provides no easy target for you to aim an intellectual broadside at.

Aw, shucks! Too bad. It would be so much easier if I just believed in Jehovah or the Second Coming.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:44 PM

The bastard? (crosses himself)... Then your conception of God is as something elses illegitimate conception? Oh my! (crosses himself again).

Okay...this should be fun... THEN YOU ARE NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH

Argument 2

I exist. (Do you? YES, AS DO YOU...Are you sure? YES...Maybe your existence is illusory, like a dream.) AND MAYBE TOMORROW WAS YESTERDAY FOR SEVENTEEN ELEPHANT EARS

My existence must have a cause. (Must it? YES...How so? NOTHING COMES FROM NOTHING...If you have always existed, I HAVE NOT ALWAYS EXISTED, I AM A MORTAL...then no cause was required. How do you know you have not always existed? MY BIRTH WAS RECORDED... Are you only your body? NO...If not, then you may have pre-existed the body. I MAY HAVE BEEN ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING BY THIS CONJECTURE, AND NONE OF IT IS ANYTHING BUT SURMIZABLE...Is your body real? YES, AS IS THE PAIN AND WORK RESULTS CREATED BY MY DAILY LABORS)

The cause must be either:
   a) myself (possibly) NOT EVEN REMOTELY LIKELY
   b) my always having existed (as I have suggested already) PATHETIC SELF DELUSION
   c) my parents (yeah, okay) THANKS
   d) something less perfect than God (a thing is either perfect or it isn't...how can you be less perfect?) GRADATIONS OF PERFECTION, THOUGH THEY BE HARD TO QUANTIFY, DO EXIST
   e) God (how do you define "God"?") THE SUPREME CREATOR OF ALL THAT IS... ALL KNOWING, AND ALL BEING... WITH AN EXALTED LEVEL OF PERFECTION THAT TO US SEEMS LIKE A QUANTUM LEAP ABOVE ANY NOTIONS WE MIGHT EVEN PRETEND TO HAVE OF IT

Not a. If I had created myself, I would have made myself perfect. (How could you do that if you were not perfect already? Have you considered that maybe you are perfect, in that you are the one and only perfect version of what you are?) YES, THAT WAS HIS POINT, AND THEREFORE IMPOSSIBLE. I AM PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.

Not b. Continued existence does not follow from present existence. (Why not?) MORTALITY SUCKS...

Not c. This leads to an infinite regress. (Does it?) YES. IF YOU FOLLOW IT LONG ENOUGH, YOU EVENTUALLY END UP AT THE ORIGINAL QUESTION AGAIN.

Not d. The idea of perfection that exists in me cannot have originated from a non-perfect being. (Ha! I am less than a perfect singer or guitar player, but I DO have an idea of perfection when it comes to both of those activities...as does anyone else who is deeply interested in those activities.) ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE ABLE TO DECIDE THESE THINGS FOR OTHERS? IF YOU ARE NOT PERFECT, THEN YOU OBVIOUSLY NEED TO PRACTICE MORE ;^)

      e. God exists. (Again, how do you define "God", Mr Decartes?) SEE PREVIOUS DESCRIPTION

Here's what I say: YES, WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU 'BELIEVE' YOU ARE DESCARTES' EQUAL IN THESE MATTERS Existence itself exists. IT'S NOT A DREAM AFTER ALL? God is identical with existence itself, SIAMESE TWINS? that is to say, God is inclusive of all that is. WE CAN AGREE AT LAST! We debate about because we think we are separate. WE ARE ALL GOD'S CHILDREN That thinking is our dream of separate existence, WE USE DIFFERENT TOOTHBRUSHES... and it is what appears TO LITTLE HAWK to separate us from one another SO THE SIAMESE TWINS CAN LIVE MORE NORMAL LIVES and from God, LIKE NOT BELIEVING IN GOD DOESN'T SEPERATE US FROM GOD? which is existence itself. EXISTENCE OF WHAT...? Nothing that exists CAN separate itself from existence itself, BUT GOD HAS A PLAN YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND, LITTLE HAWK but it can imagine that it has done so. UNTILL THE RAPTURE

Hope this helps...
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:48 PM

I believe in the Second Coming. and if I'm extra lucky, the third...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:54 PM

There was a band called "The Second Coming" in Jacksonville, Florida in the late '60s. After a couple of personnel changes and a move up I-75 to Macon, Georgia they became The Allman Brothers Band. I believed in them.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:03 AM

Your body is mortal, Thomas. Are you just your body? Is that all you are? If not, perhaps you are not so mortal as you think. Just your body is. I don't think your body is the real you. But I can't really wade through your post, because it gives me a headache looking at all those CAPS and trying to sort out who is saying what...

I think Descartes is a bit out of date and a bit archaic, I think his ideas about God are mired in the Christian tradition, and his line of reasoning does not strike me as particularly helpful, though he does raise some interesting points.

"Perfection" is a mental concept, Thomas. Does it mean that everything must be "the best" as we define "best" or does it mean that everything must be the perfect example of what it is? For instance, what constitutes a perfect Woody Allen? Woody Allen himself, that's what. No one else can get that role exactly right like he can, and that role requires some major apparent flaws in personality traits as well as some great talents and abilities. His "imperfections" are part of what it takes to be perfect as Woody Allen.

I think that the whole Universe is perfect...right now....although it will never seem that way to any particular individual who views his separate role in it through his mortal consciousness. Life here is fraught with what appears to be great imperfection.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:15 AM

Even perfection strives to better itself...
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:16 AM

Or so I'm told... ;^)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:23 AM

Everything is perfect in the universe, even your desire to improve it.

Wayne W Dyer


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:44 AM

Yes, the desire for perfection appears to be universal. No question about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:13 AM

This being a music forum, I suppose I can say one reason for having a God is the music - I spent three hours of sheer musical pleasure at choir practice this evening. I have friends who really don't believe at all - but they stick around for the music. And there IS something transcendent about the music, something beyond us that binds us together in a remarkable way.

The believers you're likely to find in a place like this, aren't the kind who are likely to push their religion in your face. They may not be as vocal as the fundamentalists, but chances are good that their faith is a lot deeper. Marion gave a good description of what means a lot to a number of us.

Another thing is that believing in a God can help us believe that there's still a chance that some day there will be justice in this world, that there still is hope for the poor and oppressed.

But I suppose the basic reason is that we believe, simply because we DO believe, because we have experienced the presence of God one way or another. Any explanation or defense tends to cheapen that belief. If we live lives of integrity that show others that our beliefs make sense, then maybe others will come to share our beliefs - or not. And if they haven't had that experience, that's OK. God will take care of them somehow.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:37 AM

Contemplation of the existence of God, or infinity, or eternity, or a singularity, or what-came-first, is useful anly as an excersise in mental agility. It will not provide any answers. If God does exist, for reasons apparent only to himself, he has decided not to reveal himself to us. An omnipotent omniscient God is clearly clever enough to keep himself hidden if that's what he wants, so I doubt if you are going to find evidence of his existance. Similarly, if he doesn't exist, neither will you find conclusive evidence of his non-existence. Queer, eh?

You, like everyone else, have to supply your own compelling reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:58 AM

"Everything is perfect in the universe"

Yep - perfectly stuffed up!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:02 AM

I look at a flower and see God, the same God I see when a child lives through a horrendous motor vehicle rollover. People who don't know humility in the face of miracles will not see God there.

But proving God to anyone is an exercise in futility. Science can explain many things to the smallest detail, but science has never explained the 'why' of the thing, the thing to which Dylan Thomas referred: "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower." Science can't answer that simple question; God does.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:10 AM

"the same God I see when a child lives through a horrendous motor vehicle rollover"

the same God that exists in the very occurrence of the horrendous motor vehicle rollover - unless the Devil is Responsible for things like that... but then yo have a Duality of Gods, which conflicts with the claim of a single Omnipotent Deity...

I think I need a Bex, a cup of tea, and a good lie down...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:14 AM

"But proving God to anyone is an exercise in futility."

As I said . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:19 AM

Mirror views:

"I look at a flower and see God, the same God I see when a child lives through a horrendous motor vehicle rollover. People who don't know humility in the face of miracles will not see God there." - Peace

I look at a flower and see a beautiful expression of the biological world. I see the child who lived as very fortunate. If I believed in a god, I would hate it for the sake of the child who doesn't live through the accident, and for all the other horribly suffering children in the world for whom no miracle appears. Is this pride, in any other sense than the refusal to believe in a supreme being is considered prideful by those who do so believe?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:26 AM

I don't really care what people believe in relation to God. My statement was not meant to be confrontive. Sorry you took it that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:51 AM

Peace, I did not take your statement to be confrontive. I simply wished to state my different, and I think, equally valid, response to the same items. I would not like to think that offering my contrasting thoughts is enough to be considered combative.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Fergie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:37 AM

Hi all
Thanks you all for your contributions. I have read through all 140 posts. Many of them were thought provoking and interesting, yet within them I did not find an answer to my original question.

My question was

Why should I believe there is such a thing as a God?

Fergus


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM

Did you guess that perhaps none of us could give you such an answer with which you will be satisfied?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:02 AM

Dunno bout you, but I do know why I, personally, should or shouldn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:06 AM

Okay Fergie, since you insist on a reason, here's the Cliff's Notes version of the classic logic-based argument for belief:

To paraphrase Blaise Pascal, you should believe in God because if He does exist and you don't believe in Him you'll be in deep shit when you die. But if you do believe in God and He doesn't exist, you won't have lost anything, and you may wind up living a better life than if you didn't believe.

Think of it as a no-cost insurance policy you may never have to use. It won't hurt you to have it, you may never need it, but you might not want to be caught without it.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:11 AM

"do believe in God and He doesn't exist, you won't have lost anything"

So if we say we are killing 'for the Glory of God' then it's ok either way?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:23 AM

If people couldn't use God to justify their hatred greed killing etc, they'd just use something else. Family traditions, big ambitions, weather conditions, politicians, folk musicians .... or whatever's handy.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:34 AM

Something has to fit into Robert Winston's "God-shaped hole in the centre of the universe".


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:48 AM

No reason,no answers,no point.Just live your life happily and content in your own little way,but dont shout god help me when things go pear shaped


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:05 AM

Science can't answer that simple question; God does. Ummm - no, positing god just avoids the question entirely. It cannot answer any empirical question.
Fergie - there is no compelling reason. There are a lot of compelling feelings.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:15 AM

No, wait! I've got it! The "one compelling reason for a god"! Free donuts! If you believe in God you go to church, and if you go to church you get free donuts after the service!

Okay, so it's not really so compelling, especially if you're on a diet. How about "If you believe in God you will definitely win the lottery!"? Now that's compelling, huh? Too bad it's a lie.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:17 AM

Every time I look in the mirror I see a compelling reasons for a god as in omigod what a miracle!   Or (more often) omigod where did THAT come from ... or omigod go back to bed ...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:21 AM

Bee-dubya-ell,

When I used to go to synagogue, we would have pastries, bagels, cream cheese, lox, and pickled herring afterwards.

You should consider a change in faith. Just donuts????


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,rock chick
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:28 AM

We all need to believe in something better at some point in our lives, if that means believing in 'a God', which ever one it may be, and it gives you the strength you are looking for, or need, then that is a good enough reason.

If you believe when you die that is the complete end and there is nothing else once you die then live life to the full now as you won't be able to improve on it elsewhere, wherever that may, or may not be.


rc


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:57 AM

Fergie:

The only reason you should is your preference to have one.

Lacking that, there is no reason.

Your question has been answered many times here. Be honest.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:04 AM

Beardedbruce, just a change of church would do - my family's church is famous for their strawberry teas and various suppers (I don't need the religion, but the homemade biscuits and baked goods could be described as heavenly).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:06 AM

As good a reason as any.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 11:54 AM

Bee-dubya-ell mentions Pascal.

'Pascal's Wager' suggests that it is simply a safer bet....but as Walter Kaufmann (philosopher at Princeton years ago) pointed out, Pascal had only 4 possibilities in his list of wagers & outcomes.

There are MANY others....maybe 'God' doesn't want to be worshipped and has 'godly contempt' for anyone who would waste their time building shrines. Maybe (quoting Kaufmann) "he reserves a special place in Hell for those who go to Mass". Maybe there ARE multiple, competing gods who take turns running eternity...

The problem with Pascal's Wager is that it limits the wager to a narrow set of possibilities under classical Christian doctrine.

....but it (going to Hell if you don't) IS one reason to believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Fergie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:00 PM

Amos
If you think that the question I posed:
Why should I believe there is such a thing as a God?
has been answered somewhere in the previous 157 or so posts please cut and paste the answer into a further post so that I can see what it is that I have missed.
Fergus


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:13 PM

There is only one reason, Ferg: personal preference.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:34 PM

Okay, Fergie. I, for one, give up. If this is supposed to be some sort of guessing game, you give us the answer! A number of thoughtful, well-educated people have attempted to answer your question to the best of their abilities. Some have attempted to give you direct answers while others have posted thoughts about their own personal beliefs so that you might "read between the lines" and, so, come to your own conclusions.

You've posed a question that greater minds than any who post here have pondered for thousands of years and nobody has ever been able to answer it in a fashion that would convert a non-believer into a believer. Either accept the responses in the spirit in which they are given, or piss off. You're starting to sound very much like a child who simply won't find a parent's explanation adequate and keeps asking, "But why, Mommy, why?"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:08 PM

Actually, there is a deeper answer, which is summed up as 'personal preference'. It is that you should believe such a thing purely and only because you desire to experience what such a reality feels like.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:11 PM

...and maybe the answer is.."there isn't any"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:42 PM

I suppose I get away believing in God because I don't see God the way Its interpreted here (for the most part). God is not some guy named Vinnie who wears a trenchcoat and has a bulge in his armpit. God doesn't give a rat's ass about the daily, weekly , yearly affairs of the human race. God is an ideal to be achieved, not a fait accompli who now exists to worry about my sorry ass. God is not about one-up-manship on a website.

Years ago in a testing I had to break some bricks: fist, elbow, foot. They were about 1 1/4" thick, 12" long and 8" wide and made of some kinda cement. I know many people here could do a few (maybe many) of them without cracking a sweat, but initially it seemed to me that there was a mental barrier to overcome. I mean, they were BRICKS. We build shit outta bricks: houses, driveways, even patios. The added impetus to succeed with the break is that if ya miss the break you will hurt yourself. So you can't miss. We all know about the house of straw, the house of wood, the house of brick and which one was left standing. Anyway, I called on something 'higher' than myself. (This was in the 1980s. If it had been the 1960s, there WAS nothing higher than myself.) That's the thing I call God. I believe God always ansers our prayers--and sometimes the answer is no.

Have a good day all. I am outta here.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:49 PM

Bill, do you mean "... there isn't any ...." answer?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:49 PM

Well, Fergie, I guess if your question is this:
    Why should I believe there is such a thing as a God?
-then you're asking the wrong question. If the question is simply whether or not God exists, then what difference does it make? Perhaps the question should be:
    If God exists, what meaning does God have in my life?
The mere acknowledgment of the existence or lack of existence of something, is more-or-less meaningless. I suppose that believers were drawn to faith by seeing somebody else whose life made profound sense because of their faith. For me, it was my crazy grandmother, who seemed to love and enjoy every person she ever met.

I have to say that for me, faith is something completely different from what the fundamentalists see as faith. And from my perspective, it seems most atheists have the same view of faith the fundamentalists have - and if that's what faith is, then the atheists are right in rejecting it.

What I see as faith is something that resides much deeper inside me, something that really can't (and shouldn't) be rationally defined. It is the experience of a Presence that is both beyond and within me, and all the words in the world can't convey it to you unless you see it for yourself and it makes sense for you. All I can say is that if you see people of faith whom you respect, watch them. If you like what you see, look further. Don't look for explanations and doctrines - real faith is far deeper than words. The doctrines and explanations may be helpful in the primary stages of faith and in the examination of faith, but faith is not doctrine or the acceptance of doctrine. And it's not something you choose - for the most part, it just comes to you, or it doesn't. And I think you'll also find that for people of real faith, they have more questions than answers, and "absolute truth" is a concept that is completely foreign to them. Faith is an exploration, not an answer.

But for those of us who have faith, it adds a wonderful dimension of meaning to life and to the mysteries of life that we encounter.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:15 PM

And I, too, share Joe's sense of faith and what it means to the soul. Imagine that! I may not personify its meaning, or use the same language to talk about it, but I consider that this kind of fully conscious faith is an almost magical spiritual strength, not at all realted to blind acceptance of random authoritarian dictums. I don't hold with faith in dogma. But I have a great faith in life and the universe which I believe is on the same wavelength.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:28 PM

You asked, Fergie, "Why should I believe there is such a thing as a God?"

There IS no reason, in my opinion, why you should, any more than there's a reason why you should like green shirts or fly radio control airplanes. It's optional. You are entirely free to believe or not believe that there is such a thing as a God. No penalties are attached to this matter. It's up to you.

If you meant, "What evidence is there that would convince me that there is a God?", well, that depends on you, not on the evidence. Different people are responsive to different forms of evidence, and we all have our own unique way of dealing with personal experiences. If your unique way convinces you that there is no God, fine!....that, again, is entirely up to you.

This Universe is not a spiritual dictatorship that demands obedience to party line. You can believe whatever the heck you want to, as far as I'm concerned.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:37 PM

But there ARE penalties attached to blindly believing in the supernatural despite all evidence, just as there are penalties to any other delusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:44 PM

Excellent post, Joe.

And I think this point of Little Hawk's is an important addendum: "Different people are responsive to different forms of evidence". What is moving and compelling to me, may leave you cold, and vice versa.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:12 PM

"But there ARE penalties attached to blindly believing in the supernatural despite all evidence, just as there are penalties to any other delusion."

Yes, Mrzzy, like the delusion that being presented with a choice between voting Republican or Democratic is a viable way of maintaining real democracy... ;-) (this one carries really severe penalties!)

Or like the delusion called the "trickle-down" theory...

Or like the delusion that fame and wealth will make you happy....

Or like the delusion that unchecked free market forces will automatically solve all of humanity's problems and make everything better...

It's endless, really.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:41 PM

What's the difference between BLINDLY believing in the supernatural and merely believing in the supernatural?

I have known many people who have believed in some form or another - or many forms - of the supernatural, and I don't see that most of them have paid penalties any worse than most of the rest of us pay bumbling through this life as best we can ...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:45 PM

*daylia*...I meant, in response to the question, "maybe there isn't any compelling reason" TO believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:47 PM

and actually, that is rather self-evident..almost a tautology, if you will. We are NOT 'compelled'.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:49 PM

Ferus,

You shouldn't have to believe in it if you don't want to. No law says you have to.
This is an unaswerable question because it assumes that you are being forced to believe.
You are not.

Now if you had asked the question, "is there such a thing as a god", then you would have had your questions answered, maybe not to your satisfaction but it seems to me that people on this thread have done a pretty good job in answering that from their own perspectives.

One compelling reason for a god is that it might make for interesting fantasy novels or movies or a great Greek play or The Saint Matthew Passion.

Again, there are no compelling reasons if you don't believe. If you do believe, then the compelling reason is that it's a person's decision to believe or not. The compelling reason, therefore, is The Separation of Church and State. In the US, you can believe whatever you like including in the existence of unicorns or flying teapots in the sky. But the right of religious freedom is built into the American Constitution which was founded as an antidote to religious tyranny. And the right not to believe was built in for the same reason.

Frank Hamilton





"Why should I believe there is such a thing as a God?"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:57 PM

The fundamentalists and, I think, the atheists, see faith as buying into an ideology. There's another path, an exploration into what is beyond us. This can be done within a religious context, or a non-religious and perhaps even a non-theistic context; and also within a wide variety of religious contexts. This other path of exploration demands openness, and it is marked by a tolerance and a desire to learn from those who see things differently. It does tend to clash with ideological people, because ideologues can't handle tolerance and questioning and uncertainty.

I call the goal of that path of exploration "God." Others use other names and other methods of exploration, but I think the goal is the same. And those who seek, find a unity with other seekers - a unity in diversity.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Marion
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:03 PM

If you meant, "What evidence is there that would convince me that there is a God?", well, that depends on you, not on the evidence.

That's a great line, Little Hawk, and I may have to borrow it sometime. You've made the point I was trying to make very succinctly.

When I was a devout Christian, back in the day, I hated the idea of Pascal's wager. Two reasons:

1. It seems so cynical; anyone who did feel inspired to adopt a religion by this argument couldn't really be genuine in that religion.

2. It assumes that if you believe in God/religion and it turns out to be false, that's OK cause it didn't cost you anything. But if you're doing Christianity right, it DOES cost you.

Marion


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:04 PM

Because... acceptance of the existence of God is the beginning of the first step towards our global spiritual human renaissance...

Get on... or get out of the way.
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:12 PM

What in the name of....ummmm...whatever....is "a global spiritual human renaissance...? And why would I want to walk toward it if it is anything like the OLD types of spiritualty?

And regarding "get on...or get out of the way"....as with Pascal's wager, there are more options. My option is standing in the road explaining the options.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:47 PM

One other thing I like about these threads is the time zone effect - the americans rant for a while, with reason many agree, then the calm and thoughtful over-the-ponders' ponders get posted (pretty, eh?)... hope I get everybody here that I wanted to answer!

Stringsinger - yes, we are being forced to believe or at least act as if we do, here in the US, especially in the Bible belt but that belt is getting broader by the day.

Guest,meself - the difference between blind and mere is in the blindness to scientific evidence. I agree that there is no scientific evidence for the nonexistence of gods (although there is very strong statistical evidence therefore); what gets my knickers in a twist is when the fundies in these here theoretically Church/State separated Yewnited States say that their religious teachings comprise equally valid [in the jargon sense] data, when they are actually folk tales. Or that those folk tales, since they've been believed in so long, *are* now evidence, as in data, as in empirical. If you have never taken a basic science class nor read any non-fiction, if you are hidden away and illiterate or from an isolated place without common knowledge of reality, then you can *merely* believe. If you are educated and understand science and the nature of data and persist in preferring to ascribe supernatural causes to natural phenomena, then that is blind faith. Of course, that is what the good books say you are supposed to have, but the US fundies seem to have forgotten that. Or that prayer is supposed to be private...

Joe, how do you explore "what is beyond" when we are here, as in, not beyond? Also, if you assume, a priori, that the answer to your exploration is god (I take that from your "I call the goal of that path of exploration 'God.'") then why explore at all, since you've already decided upon the answer? And if your goal isn't an all-powerful creator, why call it god anyway?

I love exploring reality - there is plenty still to find out about it! I *am* open - to actual evidence, data, and other tools we have that are, some would say, limited in their investigative capability to actual demonstrable reality. I would argue that any investigation into non-reality is interesting and fun but doesn't have anything to do with reality. And that is what Fergie is asking about - is there anything real that points to god? And the answer, so far, and we've looked looooooooooooooooooong and haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard, is, well, No.
Take dark matter, for instance, which isn't really "there" - but because of its effect on reality, it was observable anyway, so now we've found it. Way cool. No god.

And Little Hawk - of course! Those are all just as silly!

ttr - I assume you have your tongue firmly in your handsome cheek. Surely we can agree to get along through our intelligence a lot sooner than through our invisible (some would say imaginary) friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:55 PM

TTR:

AU contraire. It is not acceptance of God which will fuel a renaissance. The Shi'ites, Sunnis, Wannabes, Baptists, and Presbyterians are all locked in death grips with each other but are all quite sure there is a God out there.

What will fuel the renaissance is an acceptance of the spiritual nature of the individual human being, with no strings or control attached thereunto.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Nickhere
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:18 PM

WYSIWYG - "The question is, I think, is there something bigger and more powerful than us, beyond us (or in whom we are)? If so, are we equipped to place where the limit is, on how big or how powerful? How to interact with such a being?"

Interesting question! There seems to be a lot of 'God' threads around at the moment! As for knwoing how to interact with such a being, i think i may have an answer to that. The Old Testament (the Bible but excluding the 4 gospels and the Acts of the Apostles) is a text shared by Christian and Jew alike. It chronicles the ups and downs, joys and sorrows of the Jewish people, of the tribe of Israel. My view is that it is not only a historical account of the Jewish people ('history' being the written record) but the interaction of the Jewish people with their God, Yaweh, shows us how we can interact with Him, too. In other woprds, the Old Testament not only is a historical account of the Jews, but can also be seen as a model for each of us personally in our dealings with God.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: dianavan
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:20 PM

When there is no scientific explanation, the only name you can give it is God or Goddess.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Nickhere
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:36 PM

Oh I almost forgot!

Someone told me a funny joke a while back I'd like to repeat here, and I beg that no-one get offended, whatever your beliefs (or none)! It's just a funny story

An atheist is out walking in the countryside. It's a beautiful day and he's enjoying the scenery. "What wonderful woods!" he says "what magnificent mountains, what..." He breaks off as a bear comes crashing out of the undergrowth, looking mean and hungry. He gasps, turns ahead and runs as fast as he can (ignoring all advice about not being able to out-run a bear. Well, what would you do?!) But to no avail - his foot catches in a root and he trips, sprawled on the ground. He turns horrified to see the bear poised above him, paw raised. "God help me!!" he shouts, in spite of himself. Suddenly the bear freezes, time stops, the birds hang motionless in the air....
The clouds roll back and a deep voice booms "all your life you have told people that I do not exist and that prayer is a waste of time. Are you now telling me you have changed your mind and believe in me?"
The man ponders and answers, "well, I suppose it's true...it would be a bit much to say I was a Christian now, after all the times I said you didn't exist. But..." and he thought hard "perhaps you would be good enough to make the bear a Christian?" he added hopefully.

God thought for a moment and said "mmm. OK, I suppose that'd be fair enough" and the clouds rolled back and the birds started flying and the bear came to life once more...

The man flinched as the bear's paw swung down, but then the bear, stopped, a bit puzzled, looked around. The man breathed with relief. The bear folded his paws, hung his head and said quietly "Lord, for the food we are about to receive...." ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:56 PM

I'd say that bear was a compelliing reason.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM

Dianavan - why?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:35 PM

How about, "insufficient data"? Or "unexplained phenomenon"?

As for there being "no other place to go..." I'd have to offer that this is only true when you aren't fixing to go anywhere anyway, a self-fulfilling explanation. It is not inherently true, I reckon.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:01 PM

Bill D... then you are going to be 'out of the way' then..?

Mrrzy... Sorry to disappoint... but I actually believe what I wrote.

Amos... Where did I say anything about religion? A fitting metaphor would be to relate a religious sect to an internet browser... and (crosses himself) for the sake of a severely stretched metaphor, take God to be the internet. The various browsers are all in competition for your usage, so they don't 'get along'... and yet they provide somewhat similar services. We take our pick, and try to stay out of the scuffle...

Eventually, it is each person's honest and personal relationship with God that matters, and that is evident in the course of history, as well as in my personal life... I see it as a major step forward for many, many reasons... insofar as it establishes a common and shared discourse on subjects that touch and effect the welfare of all of us... and is based in conscience and kindness. Without this basis in mutual belief in God... It's quite possible that our revolutionary forefathers would have been hard pressed to create such ground breaking testaments to the saga of the quest for human freedom.

Nickhere... Thanks for the great joke! I loved it!
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:09 PM

When there's no scientific explanation, someone isn't looking in the right place. However, I will concede that the right place just might be in a chronospatial dimension to which we humans, with our three dimensions and one-way time, generally have no access.

If we could transcend our dimensional boundaries, the answer would probably be right before our noses. But, then again, we might not remember why the question was important in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:33 PM

Half-listening again to a re-run of the show about Rumi I mentioned somewhere earlier. The commentator just said, "We are like a school of fish swimming around discussing the possibility of an ocean."


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:38 PM

Well it wouldn't be our noses, probably. Last I checked my nose was pretty committed to staying three-dimensional and proceeding through time, as all good noses should.

A

Except for Heaven Knows.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 11:27 PM

ttr - why not each person's honest relationship with each other, who are visibly here?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 01:17 AM

Well, my goal, the transcendent, That Which Is Beyond, could be called "good" or "beauty" or "honest relationship with each other" or "love" or a number of abstractions - but I have experienced the Beyond as personal, which I call "God," the source and center and unifying element of whatever it is that we are.

Erich Fromm called it "meaning" - I could buy that, too. It's not an explanation of the unknown - it's the meaning of the undefinable.

But the trouble with all of this is, that words cheapen the whole thing. Faith is something to be experienced and enjoyed (and suffered, at times) - defining it just doesn't work.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,h h rrhj vjfpok
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 01:19 AM

First Cause is simple proof of God's existence. The Devil is in the details.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 01:55 AM

Mrrzy... Why not indeed... Honest relationship with people is just one of the many benefits of each person's honest and personal relationship with God... I find that when I make people the main goal, instead of God... that the underlying purpose and source for spiritual intuitiveness can become clouded... occluded... by personal attachments and political maneuvers. By cultivating my 'connection' with God, I become more than I would otherwise be... and also, I find I am better equipped to spot and root out my own 'issues' as they arise, thus, keeping my head in the game becomes more openly process oriented for me and the people I am with.

What is lacking here is any sense of 'loss' of self and potential... the paranoia of my earlier Deusphobic convictions have proven to be quite unfounded.
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 02:39 AM

If you really believe only in cause and effect, there simply cannot BE a first cause. There always had to be something else that came before it. This is why such thinking leads only further on toward an unattainable goal.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 11:19 AM

Right, Little Hawk. And how to even phrase the question of what there was before time... *yikes* again!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 11:48 AM

"Bill D... then you are going to be 'out of the way' then..?"

Thomas...not if your march towards God and "global spiritual human renaissance.." is going to be over my rights to NOT be included.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 11:54 AM

It wouldn't be "before" time...it would have to be completely outside of time. "Before" is a concept that is only valid when you have time.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 12:30 PM

I am torn by this discussion. I dissgree with Mrzzy's ideas about belief in God--but I share the concern about the efforts of some religious groups to impose their ideas on others, and to supress ideas that differ from their own.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 12:38 PM

People have a right to their religious beliefs. They also have the right to shut up about them.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 01:06 PM

"I meant, in response to the question, "maybe there isn't any compelling reason" TO believe...and actually, that is rather self-evident..almost a tautology, if you will. We are NOT 'compelled'."

Wow I feel compelled to agree with you, Bill   whoooo-HOOOOO!   

:-D   

See, there ARE such things as miracles. Thanks for clarifying. The "...there isn't any..." bit just didn't sit right, coming from you....

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,h h rrhj vjfpok
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 01:17 PM

Secular humanism? Is that the answer to the world's religious strife?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 01:29 PM

To the degree that any political or common decision is being made, certainly. The business of all political decisions is secular, and its best interests are humanistic. If we could cleave to those criteria only we'd be miles better off.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 02:47 PM

It is said "Beauty will save the world"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 03:43 PM

While this is NOT an argument in favor of theism, the following is worthy of reflection:

SOUL

For the soul is the beginning of all things.
It is the soul that lends all things movement.

             Plotinus

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 04:56 PM

Are humans hard-wired for faith?
POSTED: 4:27 p.m. EDT, April 4, 2007
Story Highlights Scientist working to track how the human brain processes religion, spirituality
New field called neurotheology
Similar areas of the brain are affected during prayer and meditation

NEW YORK (CNN) -- "I just know God is with me. I can feel Him always," a young Haitian woman once told me.

"I've meditated and gone to another place I can't describe. Hours felt like mere minutes. It was an indescribable feeling of peace," recalled a CNN colleague.

"I've spoken in languages I've never learned. It was God speaking through me," confided a relative.

The accounts of intense religious and spiritual experiences are topics of fascination for people around the world. It's a mere glimpse into someone's faith and belief system. It's a hint at a person's intense connection with God, an omniscient being or higher plane. Most people would agree the experience of faith is immeasurable.

Dr. Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist and author of "Why We Believe What We Believe," wants to change all that. He's working on ways to track how the human brain processes religion and spirituality. It's all part of new field called neurotheology.

After spending his early medical career studying how the brain works in neurological and psychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, depression and anxiety, Newberg took that brain-scanning technology and turned it toward the spiritual: Franciscan nuns, Tibetan Buddhists, and Pentecostal Christians speaking in tongues. His team members at the University of Pennsylvania were surprised by what they found.

"When we think of religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, we see a tremendous similarity across practices and across traditions."

The frontal lobe, the area right behind our foreheads, helps us focus our attention in prayer and meditation.

The parietal lobe, located near the backs of our skulls, is the seat of our sensory information. Newberg says it's involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than oneself.

The limbic system, nestled deep in the center, regulates our emotions and is responsible for feelings of awe and joy.

Newberg calls religion the great equalizer and points out that similar areas of the brain are affected during prayer and meditation. Newberg suggests that these brain scans may provide proof that our brains are built to believe in God. He says there may be universal features of the human mind that actually make it easier for us to believe in a higher power.

Interestingly enough, devout believers and atheists alike point to the brain scans as proof of their own ideas.

Some nuns and other believers champion the brain scans as proof of an innate, physical conduit between human beings and God. According to them, it would only make sense that God would give humans a way to communicate with the Almighty through their brain functions.

Some atheists saw these brain scans as proof that the emotions attached to religion and God are nothing more than manifestations of brain circuitry.

Scott Atran doesn't consider himself an atheist, but he says the brain scans offer little in terms of understanding why humans believe in God. He is an anthropologist and author of "In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion."

Instead of viewing religion and spirituality as an innate quality hardwired by God in the human brain, he sees religion as a mere byproduct of evolution and Darwinian adaptation.

"Just like we're not hardwired for boats, but humans in all cultures make boats in pretty much the same way, Atran explains. "Now, that's a result both of the way the brain works and of the needs of the world, and of trying to traverse a liquid medium and so I think religion is very much like that."

Atran points to the palms of his hands as another example of evolutionary coincidence. He says the creases formed there are a mere byproduct of human beings working with our hands -- stretching back to the ages of striking the first fires, hunting the first prey to building early shelter. Although, the patterns in our palms were coincidentally formed by eons of evolution and survival, he points out that cultures around the world try to find meaning in them through different forms of palm reading.

Anthropologists like Atran say, "Religion is a byproduct of many different evolutionary functions that organized our brains for day-to-day activity."

To be sure, religion has the unparalleled power to bring people into groups. Religion has helped humans survive, adapt and evolve in groups over the ages. It's also helped us learn to cope with death, identify danger and finding mating partners.

Today, scientific images can track our thoughts on God, but it would take a long leap of faith to identify why we think of God in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 05:33 PM

Hmmm. I think -- as I have mentioned before -- that looking for spirit in the prefontal lobe is like trying to find the story-teller in the phone by dissecting the chipset. You can make it complex, but you might well be looking in the wrong place.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 05:58 PM

I think we had god beliefs before we had intelligence; children go through a stage, when they realize that they are doing things, of thinking that anything that happens must have been done. Then they outgrow that particular fallacy (the jargon term in psychology for that stage). I would think that as human intelligence evolved it probably mirrored that (O recapitulating P and all that), so we would have god beliefs thrust upon us by our physiology before that physiology developed the brain we have now. Not a reason for god, but a reason for faith. And faith can be looked for in the brain - there are those cool epileptic nuns too.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM

The business of all political decisions is secular...

Someone needs to explain that principle to some of the people actually making those political decisions.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:52 PM

Belief in many things, including God, is an emergent behaviour of the human brain.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 07:34 PM

'It is said "Beauty will save the world"'

She will?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 07:57 PM

Religion is not genetic. Dawkins says that it's "mimetic" relating to "memes". It mirrors genes in that it has its own built-in replicating device.

There are no Catholic, Christian, Jewish,Islamic, Hindu, Zoroastrian infants. A child has not genetically inherited any religion. It would be a form of child abuse to foist that on a child who should be allowed to make up his/her own mind.

One compelling reason for a god is that we might study the effect of "memes" on society. (Mind you I didn't say there was a god.)

Frrank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Fergie
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 04:28 AM

Frank, I wonder if Antonio Gramsci would have recognised the concept of "memetics"? but I think he would have uses the word "hegemony". Gramsci defined the concept thus

"The term hegemony describes the process whereby ideas, structures, and actions come to be seen by the majority of people as wholly natural, preordained, and working for their own good, when in fact they are constructed and transmitted by powerful minority interests to protect the status quo that serves those interest."

Fergus


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 09:20 AM

Memes are ideas that spread (the way genes spread, through reproduction with change); they don't have to be viewed as natural.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 09:43 AM

The subject of memetics, after Dawkins and the like, is an interesting study. A lot of it is old wine in new bottles, but it has merit anyway. One of its concepts is the "viral" meme -- a concept or belief which, for whatever reason, infects those who are exposed to it and shifts their thinking. Some religious concepts have acted like viral memes, especially when they provide relief from some pre-existing cognitive dissonance. Mohammed's teachings acted like viral memes when they were injected into cultures that had hitherto been Zoroastrian (Zarathustrian) because they provided some answer to a need that the prior religion did not.

Thinking of beliefs, concepts, and words in a memetic sort of way can be useful. It allows you to step back and assess the dynamics of a given idea or datum and evaluate it against whatever criteria you use for such things. I suppose in the final analysis, a meme is as valuable as it is useful to the host thereof.

Religion, for example, has a number of interesting uses. It provides some perspective on quotidien affairs, provides a factor of hope, can be used to make self right and make others wrong, and is valuable in fending off mysteries and unconfrontable issues one is not prepared to deal with by erecting a temporary defense against the confusions around them.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 10:14 AM

Oh, so that explains it all! I may not believe in much, but from this day forward I'll put all my faith in ME(mes)!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 10:16 AM

oops forgot the ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 10:29 AM

PS Most days I harmonize better with this poor deluded soul than with Dawkins. Both may be arrogant, but one at least tempers it all with artistic beauty, humility and love.

It is a great consolation for me to remember that the Lord, to whom I had drawn near in humble and child-like faith, has suffered and died for me, and that He will look on me in love and compassion....

... Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 12:00 PM

Coming back after a few das...

Thanks for offering yourself to experiment, LH, but I don't experiment on humans :)

I come back to theories and what often is not understood in Mudcat discussions, not only by Little Hawk.

There is no theory of evolution, only for historical reasons that term has been preserved since Darwin's time. After 150 years of observation and experiment, evolution is now a fact. Biology only makes sense when looked at with this knowledge. You can always find a PhD who still disagrees same as you can find still one (2?) professors who do not agree that there is global warming (as a fact, not looking at the reasons why) and think warming could be a measuring artifact. But for all others, these are facts.

The interpretation of facts that's what theories are for and for predicting what happens under certain circumstances. There are many different theories of evolution (puntuated equilibrium being one) that do not at all agree with each other. Some are theories only about a small part of evolution, others are broader theories. All of them are most likely wrong in at least one detail. The theories about evolution will be very different 100 years from now. However, they will still try to explain the fact of evolution.

Take planetary motion and gravity as an example. We now consider it as a fact (and not only as a possible theory) that the planets including Earth orbit the sun. This is not a theory but a fact. How that goes, there have been many theories some of which are now only interesting for historians of science.

There has been the original theory by Newton. His theory didn't lead to stable orbits, so he postulated that God interfered from time to time to push a planet back into the correct orbit.

Then there was what we now learn at school as the Newtonian theory though it has never been formulated by him. Laplace's Mécanique céleste improved Newton's math and led to the prediction of stable orbits. God's push was no longer needed. Laplace quipped to Napoleon about God as the "unnecessary hypothesis".

Then there was Einstein who for the first time could what the old theories could not, namely explain the orbit of Mercury. One even could say that Einstein got rid of gravity (some people still believe in it, BTW) and replaced it by the idea that 4-D space-time is curved in the neighbourhood of (large) masses. A completely different theory but the facts (planets orbiting the sun) did not change. The quick acceptance of Einstein's theorie(s) came from this theory making the same predictions as the improved Newtonian for the outer planets but being able to describe Mercury's orbit much better.

Some have tried to explain what gravity is (and not just accept it as given by Newton) and have postulated an exchange of gravitons...

If we'd discover masses that do not curve space-time, we'd need a new theory but it still would have to predict the known facts of the solar system.

The theories in science always come in plural and not in singular. They change and no single theory of today will be taught in 100 years as true. Einstein's theory is the best candidate for this prediction being wrong, BTW. But whatever the improved theories say, if they do not predict/describe the known facts they will not be accepted.

Evolution, to come back to it, is among all biologists with the odd (Christian fringe) exception looked at as a fact. The exact mechanisms are not known yet known in detail though there are some really good guesses. There is no demand or need to "believe" one particular of these many theories. Scientific theories are not there to be believed but to be tested rigorously in the hope they are wrong. For we learn more from being wrong. But all these theories start with evolution as a fact.

Creation Science or Intelligent Design have never even tried to be scientific theories. They make no testable predictions and only prey on those parts of evolution not yet fully understood. These two "theories" (as the authors admit in private communications with people they think are on their side) start with the assumption that the relevants parts of the Bible are literally true. The believers only try to find evidence for this idea, and most of the evidence is negative like "science can not yet fully explain...". That's the futile "God of the gaps" approach that is always on a permanent retreat.

Outside of North America (perhaps only USA) and the Islamic World which is far more literally minded when it comes to the stories in the Koran, only a tiny fringe still doubts evolution.

BTW, one last argument: The fact of evolution is neither a reason for nor against God, except in the minds of the religious fringe. One could easily consider evolution being God's way how to make the Earth (and perhaps many other rocks orbiting stars) seething with life. One particular literalist detail of religious belief, however, is just nonsense. But it may take some more time until that finds acceptance in the USA.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 12:36 PM

Wolf:

Well said!

The notion of mass curving space-time has always intrigued me, because I find it disconcerting to understand what it is being curved "in". Perhaps it is being curved in the mind of God? Or will we someday again find that to be an unnecessary hypothesis? :D

In any case it is a hypothesis that raises many more questions than it answers.

Curved spacetime also raises questions about what "mass" really is, or perhaps more accurately what space actually is. Is mass a densification of space?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 12:41 PM

Wolfgang left a lot to read just above, but he said a lot, also. It bears re-reading, and there are several points which are very often misunderstood.

Read carefully the part about the difference between a 'theory' and a 'fact', and how changes in various details about some facts can lead to the mistaken notion that the fact (for example, evolution) is 'only' a theory. We, and all the other biological entities we see DID evolve...only the details are hazy.

   Other 'beliefs' ARE only theories, as we have no way, so far, to test their claims. If someone wishes to believe, as Wolfgang notes, that evolution IS "God's method", there is very little to say about it...except as I mentioned somewhere else about a program I heard on the radio..(paraphrased)."isn't it interesting that God chose as his method of creation, a process that proceeds as if HE were not there!"

I don't expect my comments...or Wolfgangs, or Mrrzy's, or Amos's, or Frank Hamilton's,...or anyone else's to cause any committed believers to change their basic beliefs....but I do hope they will come a little closer to putting 'beliefs', 'facts', 'theories', and 'truths' into proper perspective regarding many issues.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 12:55 PM

Sonnet 21/3/93                                        CDXLIX



                I seek for faith, but find only fair words

                That promise future bliss: I have not seen

                The hand of God on page. Yet, hearing birds

                In morning song, I search for what they mean.

                I seek for hope, but find only despair

                In all the pain religion brings. What gain,

                To suffer for my God? Can I repair

                The past, or alter others? Is that sane?

                I seek for love, but find I offer more

                Than Heaven sends me. Am I to believe

                That this is fair reward? Must heart ignore

                All passion, and suffer death, to receive?

                 I seek, and do not find: Yet I still search,

                 For what I have not found in any church.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 01:13 PM

BB,

That is a fine and loverly poem, and well-made too.

So here's the story. The Dalai Lama goes up to a hot-dog vendor and says, "Make me one with everything." The hot dog vendor, who has heard this joke before, makes him a hot dog with everything. The Dalai Lama gives him a twenty, and he puts it in his pocket. Surprised, the Dalai Lama says, "Hey, man, where's my change?"
"Ah," says the hot-dog vendor. "All change must come from within."

Thought you'd like it.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 03:33 PM

Um - Creation Science or Intelligent Design have never even tried to be scientific theories. - heard of the Dover, PA case? Kansas? *sigh* sometimes I'm ashamed of my countryfolk.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 05:21 PM

If there were a God...why would that God only be found by going into some church? How could God possibly be so limited?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 07:18 PM

"isn't it interesting that God chose as his method of creation, a process that proceeds as if HE were not there!"

Interesting perhaps, but not really indicative of anything at all.
If he had chosen a system by which he was revealed as creator, what would that do for free will, trust, pretty well all human relationships in fact? There would be no reason to evolve above the level of a slug, would there?

(Of course I am aware that this neither proves or disproves anything either...)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 07:40 PM

Bill D, you studied Whitehead - what if God isn't sort some sort of external controlling force?
What if God is somehow the center, the essence of the process? - whether that process be life, evolution, love, death, or whatever.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 07:54 PM

Amos, interesting thought.


"Religion, for example, has a number of interesting uses. It provides some perspective on quotidien affairs, provides a factor of hope, can be used to make self right and make others wrong, and is valuable in fending off mysteries and unconfrontable issues one is not prepared to deal with by erecting a temporary defense against the confusions around them."

Sounds like a definition for a narcotic.

Daylia, Dawkins is not arrogant. Read his book and find out why.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: bobad
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 08:06 PM

"If there were a God...why would that God only be found by going into some church? How could God possibly be so limited?"

He's probably on the take just like the churches, hell everybody can use a little vigorish.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 11:15 PM

"Bill D, you studied Whitehead - ....."

yep. And Whitehead is not easy to summarize.

You ask the question, Joe.."What if God is somehow the center, the essence of the process? "
For Whitehead, "... the center, the essence of the process.." is a pretty arcane concept called an "actual entity", which seems to be something like the current idea of 'quarks'..only smaller.
The way Whitehead accounts for 'free will' is that at certain points, "actual entities" have options...or can be subject to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle...something like that. Thus, the 'process' (for Whitehead) is not rigidly determined by only physical laws. In several hundred pages, he tries to show how "Reality" is partly determined by a "Process" which has elements of 'freedom' AS part of its fundamental definition.

(gee..its been ages since I tried to write this stuff precisely!)

In any case, although 'the process' seems to have a component which partakes of some sort of 'variable possibility' (my term...not Whitehead's), the problem with your question would be in the formulation. Rather than "What if God is the....", we would have to ask "can we call this component (of reality) 'God'?".
   Of course, 'we' do...but the very language is loaded with imagery and preconceptions...and Whitehead carefully avoids that sort of label. My Master's thesis was to have claimed that only a metaphysics such as in Whitehead could even logically resolve the Free Will/Determinism controversy...but would stop short of claiming that it did actually resolve it.

   For me, just saying "What if God is...X..or Y...or Z" is loaded with assumptions...that there is a god, and that we merely need to figure out how to visualize him/it and refer to him/it.
(remember that judge in Alabama who kept insisting that he ought to be free "to acknowledge God" by putting the 10 Commandments in public
view? No one seemed to be able to explain to him that there were folks who didn't appreciate having 'God' as a given in a society which states that religion is optional.)

so...there I go. Did I came anywhere near answering what you asked?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 11:24 PM

How can what is infinite not "be there"? And how would you go about looking for it? You can't find that which is already everywhere, because it doesn't stand out apart from anything else. You can't find what is not separate (it can't be observed), nor can you define it, nor can you measure it or make any deals with it or appease it in any way...and there would certainly be no use in fearing it. You could deny it with no consequences...after all, what difference would your denial possibly make? If you don't believe in it, why would it care? It would be like a cell in your body not believing that YOU exist. Who really cares if the cell believes you exist or not? Only the cell cares about that! ;-) And maybe some other cells do too.

If the cell in your body theorized that you were there and decided to worship you, it would probably get at loggerheads with other cells in your body that didn't believe you were there, and it would get into even worse fights with other cells who DID believe you were there, but had a rather different way of describing you.

And that, to my way of thinking, pretty well sums up the foolishness of humans arguing with one another over "God" (pro and con).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 11:38 PM

I made a parable not long ago about my worm farm, but I think I edited out the bit about how some of the worms believed in my existance and others didn't, and the ones who didn't believe in me were going into the mulcher next Friday.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 11:56 PM

Heh! A lovely example. But you are evidently a somewhat insecure deity, aren't you? Besides, if you were the worms as well as the one in charge of the larger situation the worms are part of, you woundn't want to hurt them, surely?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 12:55 AM

Goodness me, no. I don't want to hurt the poor little thingy-wingies. All they have to do is worship me, and they'll be sweet, no worries.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 07:03 AM

"isn't it interesting that God chose as his method of creation, a process that proceeds as if HE were not there!"

YEs it is. I think Mozart would have understood this completely. He found his music within, welling up inside his heart and mind; then he used a process of creation (ie committing it to paper) to ensure it would proceed as he intended, even when HE was not there.

As above, so below.

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:20 AM

Daylia, Dawkins is not arrogant. Read his book and find out why.

Frank, I always like to preview authors like Dawkins, before I ingest their work. So, here's a few

Dawkins Quotes and my responses to them.

For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria

If you want to believe that you are bacteria and descended from bacteria, go right ahead and fill your boots, dear Dawkins.

Reminds me of a shamanically-inclined friend who believed his Higher Power was a lizard. He got the same response, from me.

We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we are apes. Our common ancestor with the chimpanzees and gorillas is much more recent than their common ancestor with the Asian apes--the gibbons and orangutans. There is no natural category that includes chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans but excludes humans."

Ditto.

Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators.

And ditto again.

if you want to do evil, science provides the most powerful weapons to do evil; but equally, if you want to do good, science puts into your hands the most powerful tools to do so. The trick is to want the right things, then science will provide you with the most effective methods of achieving them.

Intersting how he neglects to mention that the very same thing can be said of religions.

"I suspect that today if you asked people to justify their belief in God, the dominant reason would be scientific. Most people, I believe, think that you need a God to explain the existence of the world, and especially the existence of life. They are wrong, but our education system is such that many people don't know it. "

Well, Dr Arrogance, I for one will not be waiting breathlessly for your personal explanation of the existence of life! Or waste a single penny of my hard-earned money on any of your best-sellers, or one more minute of my precious time on your rants and ravings.

However, if and when you ever manage to demonstrate said explanation by using it to produce even just ONE simple, viable living cell -- WITHOUT using the genetic blueprint of another living cell in any way!!! -- when that day comes, I might be more inclined to give you the time of day.

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:22 AM

Or rather, the time of daylia    :-D


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:33 AM

Editorial from the Washington Post. I will neither agree nor disagree with it- but KisP.

******************************************************************

Answers To the Atheists

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, April 6, 2007; Page A21

This weekend, many of the world's estimated 2 billion Christians will remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

While some Christians harbor doubts about Christ's actual physical resurrection, hundreds of millions believe devoutly that Jesus died and rose, thus redeeming a fallen world from sin.

Are these people a threat to reason and even freedom?

It's a question that arises from a new vogue for what you might call neo-atheism. The new atheists -- the best known are writers Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins -- insist, as Harris puts it, that "certainty about the next life is simply incompatible with tolerance in this one." That's why they think a belief in salvation through faith in God, no matter the religious tradition, is dangerous to an open society.

The neo-atheists, like their predecessors from a century ago, are given to a sometimes-charming ferociousness in their polemics against those they see as too weak-minded to give up faith in God.

What makes them new is the moment in history in which they are rejoining the old arguments: an era of religiously motivated Islamic suicide bombers. They also protest the apparent power of traditionalist and fundamentalist versions of Christianity.

As a general proposition, I welcome the neo-atheists' challenge. The most serious believers, understanding that they need to ask themselves searching questions, have always engaged in dialogue with atheists. The Catholic writer Michael Novak's book "Belief and Unbelief" is a classic in self-interrogation. "How does one know that one's belief is truly in God," he asks at one point, "not merely in some habitual emotion or pattern of response?"

The problem with the neo-atheists is that they seem as dogmatic as the dogmatists they condemn. They are especially frustrated with religious "moderates" who don't fit their stereotypes.

In his bracing polemic " The End of Faith," Harris is candid in asserting that "religious moderates are themselves the bearers of a terrible dogma: they imagine that the path to peace will be paved once each one of us has learned to respect the unjustified beliefs of others."

Harris goes on: "I hope to show that the very ideal of religious tolerance -- born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God -- is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss. We have been slow to recognize the degree to which religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man."

Argument about faith should not hang on whether religion is socially "useful" or instead promotes "inhumanity." But since the idea that religion is primarily destructive lies at the heart of the neo-atheist argument, its critics have rightly insisted on detailing the sublime acts of humanity and generosity that religion has promoted through the centuries.

It's true that religious Christians were among those who persecuted Jews. It is also true that religious Christians were among those who rescued Jews from these most un-Christian acts. And it is a sad fact that secular forms of dogmatism have been at least as murderous as the religious kind.

What's really bothersome is the suggestion that believers rarely question themselves while atheists ask all the hard questions. But as Novak argued -- in one of the best critiques of neo-atheism -- in the March 19 issue of National Review, "Questions have been the heart and soul of Judaism and Christianity for millennia." (These questions get a fair reading in another powerful commentary on neo-atheism by James Wood, himself an atheist, in the Dec. 18 issue of the New Republic.) "Christianity is not about moral arrogance," Novak insists. "It is about moral realism, and moral humility." Of course Christians in practice often fail to live up to this elevated definition of their creed. But atheists are capable of their own forms of arrogance. Indeed, if arrogance were the only criterion, the contest could well come out a tie.

As for me, Christianity is more a call to rebellion than an insistence on narrow conformity, more a challenge than a set of certainties.

In " The Last Week," their book about Christ's final days on Earth, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, distinguished liberal scriptural scholars, write: "He attracted a following and took his movement to Jerusalem at the season of Passover. There he challenged the authorities with public acts and public debates. All this was his passion, what he was passionate about: God and the Kingdom of God, God and God's passion for justice. Jesus' passion got him killed."

That's why I celebrate Easter and why, despite many questions of my own, I can't join the neo-atheists.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 10:08 AM

Dionne's polemic asserts it is drawing a conclusion from presented data, but I see no bridge between the data and the conclusion. Moral realism, and moral certainty, do not require the election of an external entity to be compelling. They DO require a commitment to ethics; and this requires a certains sense of spirituality, as opposed to the mode ofbeing self-serving meatballs.

Dawkins is as earnest and passionate as anyone, in the service of human rationality. Harris gets a bit into armwaving, but both of them are under the duress of bucking major trends in their times, so I cut them some slack on that score.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 10:28 AM

If you want to believe that you are bacteria and descended from bacteria, go right ahead and fill your boots, dear Dawkins. - this isn't belief. It is fact. All life is descended from the first life forms, which were bacteria, and there are still more bacteria on Earth than any other life form, by far. Not belief.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 10:46 AM

All life is descended from the first life forms, which were bacteria.....

??   please explain how this might be, in any way, a "fact" (as opposed to a theory, hypothesis or simply an article of faith).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 10:51 AM

Main Entry: fact
Pronunciation: 'fakt
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
1 : a thing done: as a obsolete : FEAT b : CRIME c archaic : ACTION
2 archaic : PERFORMANCE, DOING
3 : the quality of being actual : ACTUALITY
4 a : something that has actual existence b : an actual occurrence
5 : a piece of information presented as having objective reality
- in fact : in truth

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/fact


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:03 AM

a piece of information presented as having objective reality

"Presented as". Ah.

Thanks, bb.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:06 AM

As opposed to the existance of God, which has NO objective reality, but is a matter of Faith.

Please note I did NOT deny the existance of God, just that it is NOT subject to objective determination.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:10 AM

BTW, if you can define what YOU mean by the word "God", I can tell you whether I believe in him/her/it/them.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:10 AM

*daylia*...your example of Mozart stretches the metaphor pretty far. The most obvious problem is that musicians can, and often do, interpret the instructions of composers pretty freely. Once a composer releases his 'creation', it either doesn't change at all (which 'God's' creation, the universe does), or it changes from outside influences, which reduces the relevance of the 'creator'.

The real importance of the "...proceeds as though he wasn't there." idea is that, despite no real indication FROM a creator as to how we should behave or think1, we have built a complex set of doctrines...in fact, multiple sets of complex doctrines...all claiming to interpret the 'will' of this creator. The point has been made by others that most of these interpretations seem suspiciously to favor the interpreters.

1.(2000 year old parchment and subjective translation and interpretations of them are hardly clear directions)

We were supposedly given a mind capable of thinking and understanding, 'free will' to use that mind, temptations, and a set of rules to see if we could, in spite of our free will, live within the rules...but we are also, by definition imperfect, so that breaking the rules is almost universal-- thus we ALSO have a set of rules about how to regain favor after our failures...thru confession, prayer, punishment, contrition, etc., etc. And thru all of these complex, often contradictory 'sins' and 'redemptions', we never get direct guidance from the 'rule maker'.

To me, it just gradually became apparent that IF there were rules, and IF I had a mind capable of doubt, it would simply not be fair for a 'creator' to not remind me (us) now & then that he really, really means it!. As it is, my 'free' mind tells me that the absence of reminders casts doubt on the compelling force of the supposed rules.....NO...this does not mean that we are 'free' to do as we please and "do unto your neighbor before he does unto you", because there ARE rational reasons for not doing so. Society needs rules, but the rules need to be designed & adopted by the society, not imposed in awkward configurations from some interpretations of translations of problematical texts in almost forgotten languages from thousands of years ago.





.............(Bill...why don't you just write a complete book and get it all out in an orderly fashion, and quit piling all this on THESE poor folks?)
...............(Oh, I really should, but I needed to start years ago, and I'm torn in too many directions...and besides...they asked!)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:18 AM

D., I presume if you repeat the experimental procedures which revealed the colony nature of cells you would find similar evidence of bacterial colonies aggregated into the composite organsim called a cell.

This has nothing to do with spiritual issues; it is a biological statement of repeatable results.

As to what the organizing principle is behind such strange behavior, that's a theory.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:42 AM

Daylia, unless you are a creationist (are you?), I recommend you get thee to a library and check out a couple modern books about early evolution, and about the processes of evolution. You'll find it enlightening if you are even a little scientifically minded, and if you are firmly on the side of creationism and a 6000 year old earth, at least you'll understand what you're up against.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 12:24 PM

The Washington Post article was interesting and in my opinion full of flaws.

Answers To the Atheists

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, April 6, 2007; Page A21

"While some Christians harbor doubts about Christ's actual physical resurrection, hundreds of millions believe devoutly that Jesus died and rose, thus redeeming a fallen world from sin."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This statement is inconsistent. If Christ didn't exist, how could he redeem a "fallen world"?
If, hypothetically, he did exist, and it is a unproven hypothesis , what sin did he die for?
Which ones?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Are these people a threat to reason and even freedom?"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, they can be. Here is why. If the world is sinful as they claim, their attempt to change those sins can lead to warfare and bloodshed.

I reject the term "neo-athesim" because this position is nothing new.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

" Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins -- insist, as Harris puts it, that "certainty about the next life is simply incompatible with tolerance in this one." That's why they think a belief in salvation through faith in God, no matter the religious tradition, is dangerous to an open society."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
This certainty is what creates the intolerance because it does not allow for an opposing point of view.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The problem with the neo-atheists is that they seem as dogmatic as the dogmatists they condemn. They are especially frustrated with religious "moderates" who don't fit their stereotypes."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

This statement is pure sophistry and nonsense. There is not one atheist that wouldn't change his or her mind if any realistic scientific evidence could be show that a god exists.
Freethinking and dogmatism don't mix. Religious "moderates" are frustrating because they haven't sufficiently addressed the concern of the extremist intolerance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Argument about faith should not hang on whether religion is socially "useful" or instead promotes "inhumanity."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

It certainly should because faith has been the major component in divisiveness, bloodshed and intolerance. Also, a faith in the degradation of men and women as practiced in "the fall of man" is destructive, sick and essentially socially disruptive.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
" But since the idea that religion is primarily destructive lies at the heart of the neo-atheist argument, its critics have rightly insisted on detailing the sublime acts of humanity and generosity that religion has promoted through the centuries."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dawkins and Harris do accept the fact that there are a lot of good religious people who do good works but they do not attribute these good works to their religion.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
" And it is a sad fact that secular forms of dogmatism have been at least as murderous as the religious kind."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Again, this author doesn't understand the notion of Freethought. Stalin was not a Freethinker. A murderous dictator is most certainly dogmatic in a religious manner although they may not subscribe to the current institutional religious dogma.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

"What's really bothersome is the suggestion that believers rarely question themselves while atheists ask all the hard questions."
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The reason for this is clear, they have made up their minds and will admit to no alternative.

Novak has been cited as a critic of atheism. (The man who outed Valerie Plame).
He says that "Questions have been the heart and soul of Judaism and Christianity for millennia." These questions have enabled fanatics to unspeakable acts.

Novak offers no proof for this following assertion. It's merely his own prejudice that allows him to make this statement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Christianity is not about moral arrogance," Novak insists. "It is about moral realism, and moral humility." Of course Christians in practice often fail to live up to this elevated definition of their creed. But atheists are capable of their own forms of arrogance. Indeed, if arrogance were the only criterion, the contest could well come out a tie.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Freethinkers are not arrogant as he maintains. They are critical of irrational thinking. If we follow this argument to a logical conclusion, those who challenge any dogma are "arrogant".
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"As for me, Christianity is more a call to rebellion than an insistence on narrow conformity, more a challenge than a set of certainties."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
And yet it maintains its "certainties" above all other alternative ideas.

The article goes on to state:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In " The Last Week," their book about Christ's final days on Earth, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, distinguished liberal scriptural scholars, write: "He attracted a following and took his movement to Jerusalem at the season of Passover. There he challenged the authorities with public acts and public debates. All this was his passion, what he was passionate about: God and the Kingdom of God, God and God's passion for justice. Jesus' passion got him killed."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I would suggest that there are distinguised biblical scholars who would question this idea.
Bart Ehrman of North Carolina is one of those distinguished scholars who would question Borg, Dominic Crossan and any other self-styled authority on what really, really happened.
No one was around to authoritatively know that this happened or didn't. Borg and Crossan are making it up as they go. Or they are basing their conclusions on a document that has gone through so many tortured changes that no one knows what the original version was like and no one can prove its accuracy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"That's why I celebrate Easter and why, despite many questions of my own, I can't join the neo-atheists."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

It should be mentioned that Easter was originally a Pagan holiday like so many that were appropriated and modified by the Church for its own convenience to convert and control the laity.

This article lacks any kind of real substance that can be taken seriously.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 06:04 PM

The most obvious problem is that musicians can, and often do, interpret the instructions of composers pretty freely ... it changes from outside influences, which reduces the relevance of the 'creator'.

Yes they do. Don't see how this "reduces the relevance" of Mozart himself though. And whether it's a "problem" or not is up to the composer (and/or conservatories, critics, audiences, publishers, editors, teachers, individual performers etc etc etc).

You've described the natural course of events with any type of creation, I suppose. And it does correspond quite nicely, at a musical level, with the natural physical laws of random chance and chaos, with the biological/evolutionary mechanisms of genetic mutations, adaptations etc; and with time-honoured, universal religious/philosophical doctrines of free will.

I agree with most everything you;ve said though, so again wow and WHOOO-HOOOO Bill!   :-)

.............(Bill...why don't you just write a complete book and get it all out in an orderly fashion, and quit piling all this on THESE poor folks?)
...............(Oh, I really should, but I needed to start years ago, and I'm torn in too many directions...and besides...they asked!)


Yes! Go for it, I say!

Amos, ya got me thinkin (as usual!), so thanks ... and Bee, no, I'm not a 'Creationist', if you mean what I think you mean by that word.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 07:27 PM

You agree with most of what I've said? I must be slipping..*grin*

But the issue for this thread & discussion is whether all this 'existence' around us 'compells' us to assume some sort of sentient first cause.

In the case of Mozart, we can't really imagine the scores being created without a human creator because we **KNOW** how music is written.

We have never seen other instances of universes being created (not that we saw this one)....nor can we easily imagine what NOT having a universe might be like. Thus, it is just as hard to imagine what might have been around to create one....spiritual or physical. How can there BE 'something' to create 'something' when there was formerly just nothing? We can't even find language to express it very well. It is really not much help to just say "I cain't unnerstan' it, so God musta done it!" (well, it's not much help to ME, anyway)

There are folks struggling with all the knowlege we get from astronomy and physics & mathematics, and revising theories almost daily. At least they have some 'stuff' to measure and contemplate. Theologians have only imagination and contradictory ideas from former theologians...some of whom claim to have gotten their ideas straight from.....somewhere....

Is it any wonder that we skeptics would rather just stick to "I dunno, so I won't worry over it."?


(I think I have turned Mudcat into my diary/journal, where I muse and refine my own thoughts as I meander thru this microcosm of the ideas of others. This way, I get feedback and ideas and have a 'focus' for a lttle while. I envy those who CAN write books and construct complete analyses on topics.)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:03 PM

I think what you might be missing Bill, is all the circumstantial evidence which, over time may be persuasive, as long as it is not blown off as coincidence and ignored. Although I am not able to itemise each example, (and it would look extremely foolish if I did), I can assure you that my life has been so full of them that if they have all been coincidence, then the word needs to be redefined.

I have previously given the example of my daughter, who was familiar and comfortable in a very particular situation she had no way of ever having experienced before or known about. Alone this example means very little, but multiply it by a thousand or so and you may begin to see a trend.

NB: I do not present this as evidence of the existence of God, merely to show why I believe there is more out there than you can take apart and reassemble with some 8-guage fencing wire and a claw hammer.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:08 PM

That last bit might not read as I intended it. I did not mean to be dismissive. It's an old expression remembered from my youth -"If it can't be fixed with some 8-guage fencing wire and a claw hammer, it can't be fixed."


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:10 PM

The boundary layer between what fits the mechanical model Bill likes to stick with -- because it is repeatable and you can lean on it -- and what lies outside of that model is full of things that slip over into extrasensory, bigger-than-life, out-of-body knowing and such, which are then, usually, hastily sppressed back across the line faster than an illegal immigrant in southern Arizona.

That's unfortunate for many important reasons, but it doesn;t really do anything to disprove the reality of those events.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 09:45 PM

Daylia, perhaps I misread your post of 8:20 a.m. I seemed to me that you were dismissing evolution from single celled organisms, common descent, and human kinship with apes, so I guessed you might hold some form of creationist view, of some cultural tradition.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 10:04 PM

There are a great many possibilities for the origin of life as we know it. Evolution (on this one little planet) and creationism (on this one little planet) are only 2 of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 11:26 PM

And might even be the least probable two!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 12:00 AM

Hard to imagine any less likely, unless it's the two of them combined...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 01:23 AM

Q: Why God?

A: Cause YOU ain't God and I('m willing to admit that I) ain't God and (with apologies to Mel Brooks) it ain't a guy Phil-

Q: Why ONE God?

A: One's enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 07:28 AM

I seemed to me that you were dismissing evolution from single celled organisms, common descent, and human kinship with apes,

I was dismissing Dawkin's treatment of same, not the processes of evolution. My own cells consist of much more than bacteria (or they did as of the last time I studied biology, in 1996). And evolution does not mean that you or I or anyone else is an ape, as Dawkins suggests ie We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we ARE apes... If Dawkins (or anyone else) wants to believe he's an ape, he's most welcome to fill his boots. Looks like he's making a handsome profit from it, at least.

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 07:40 AM

Okay, Daylia.

All the evidence I've read points to all animals having descended from primeval colony forming bacteria like creatures, and almost all scientists agree that humans are members of the Ape family: that we are a species of Ape, closely related to chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos. In fact, you needn't even accept evolutionary theory to agree that we are apes, just as tigers, house cats, cheetahs and lions are species of cats.

This is not to start an argument, just to clarify where I'm coming from. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 07:47 AM

Right on, Bee. I do see where you're coming from, even though I'm about as likely to start calling my cat a tiger as I am to start calling myself an ape.

(not very)

But Dawkins, now, he's a totally different animal ...   :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 08:24 AM

Oops, I've forgotten Bill with all this monkeyin around!

Is it any wonder that we skeptics would rather just stick to "I dunno, so I won't worry over it."?

No it isn't. I come to the same conclusion, over and over, and I'm better at not worrying about it these days too. A Native elder once told me that worry only brings gray hairs, and I've got the scalp to prove it.

The real importance of the "...proceeds as though he wasn't there." idea is that, despite no real indication FROM a creator as to how we should behave or think1, we have built a complex set of doctrines...in fact, multiple sets of complex doctrines...all claiming to interpret the 'will' of this creator. The point has been made by others that most of these interpretations seem suspiciously to favor the interpreters

Yes they do, in the same way that history is always written by the winners. I don't care for so-called divine "instructions" or "rules" much though. I'm naturally a rebel and I NEED my freedom -- and that's one reason why I prefer exploring and practicing personal spirituality to organized religions. Another is I have no use for the politics. Just distracts me from what I need and want to be focussing on.

I think I have turned Mudcat into my diary/journal, where I muse and refine my own thoughts as I meander thru this microcosm of the ideas of others. This way, I get feedback and ideas and have a 'focus' for a lttle while. I envy those who CAN write books and construct complete analyses on topics.)

I do know exactly what you mean about using the Cat as an online journal, a chance to air my thoughts and ideas and get some feedback on them. It has it's ups and downs though -- growing a thick enough skin is required! I learn a lot through posting here, particularly about myself, and about how to handle differences in a productive and friendly manner.

ANd I can relate to what you said about envying those who CAN write books and construct complete analyses -- someday, maybe, I'll be able to organize the reams and REAMS of information, ideas and personal experiences I would love to write about into a coherent, concise, workable format ....

someday .... *sigh*

thanks for your thoughts Bill,

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 12:05 PM

One compelling reason for a God.......mmmmm...let me think now...is it perhaps because there is one?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Fergie
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 01:17 PM

Georgiansilver that was a very trite and meaningless answer to my original question, which was;

Why should I believe that there is such a thing as a God?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 01:27 PM

Sorry if that is how it came across Fergie....will PM you.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 01:45 PM

Wow. Almost 300 insightful, intelligent and thought-provoking posts later, and you're still asking??

Hmm -- maybe it's time for a new question, for instance Why should I believe there is such a thing as an honest question from Fergie?
Or how bout, give me one compelling reason to believe Fergie is not a troll.

Or maybe, just maybe, this thread is living proof that Dawkins is right: we are nothing more than ape-shaped conglomerations of bacteria   

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 04:00 PM

Fergie, why do you want someone to give you an answer to that question?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 05:33 PM

I don't think Dawkins would subscribe to the "nothing more than..." porposition you assert above, Daylia. He must respect human intelligence as he makes his living exercising it, afer all. He is talking about structure.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Fergie
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 09:25 PM

Little Hawk I don't want somebody to give me an answer to the God question, I'm just wondering if anybody can.
Fergie


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 09:31 PM

Why SHOULD anyone? If all the scholars and theologians for thousands of years haven't come up with one where everyone said "Ahh, SURE!", why would this bunch of silly amateurs be able to satisfy you?

... and you know, you have never made it clear which way YOU were leaning & why.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 09:54 PM

But biologically we *are* apes - fact, again. The data are:
-the new world monkeys (who would never be bipedal as they evolved the prehensile tail and have 5 limbs) and old world monkeys diverged
-Later, a line of old world monkeys lost their tails entirely (we call these tailless monkeys "apes"
-Then gibbons diverged from our ancestral ape
-Then orang-utans diverged from our ancestral ape
-Then hominids diverged from the ancestral ape; these went on to split up into several lineages, one of which was ancestor to us
-Then gorillas and chimpanzees diverged from their ancestral ape, who was not ancestor to us; at about this time our ancestral hominid diverged from the rest of the hominids
-Then the chimps diverged into what we call chimps and bonobos or pygmy chimps, who are more like hominids than either chimp chimps or gorillas (frontal sex, female sexual availablity outside of estrus); at about this time our we became the only hominids around. This was about 5 million years ago.
So we are the hominid apes, but it makes no reality-based sense to refer to the other apes as Apes and call us something else.

The gibbons are the lesser apes. All the rest, us included, are the Great Apes. The great apes have interestingly different minds:
Humans watch the others, write down what they do, and write about it:
Leave a screwdriver around, and:
-The gorillas will first be afraid of it, then try to eat it, then ignore it
-The chimps will all fight over it, then whoever wins will play with it, doing everything imaginable with it except drive screws.
-The bonobos will all have sex and then all play with it, doing everything imaginable with it except drive screws.
-The orang-utans will hide it, and then when you're gone, use it to dismantle their cage.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,HimSelf
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 07:08 AM

Nuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,HerSelf
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 07:50 AM

Not.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,ItSelf
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 08:01 AM

Nice!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 11:55 AM

Now you're being silly.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 12:29 PM

Being otherwise pretty quiet... is everybody in church (*BG*)?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 12:41 PM

Daylia,

We are highly evolved "ape-shaped conglomerations of bacteria" which doesn't denegrate our evolution one bit.

Most of what we know of the universe is composed of not just the matter that we see but sub-atomic particles that we can't see.

Dawkins uses a great analogy. We (people) are like the women in burquas. We can only see a limited view above us (macrocosm) and below us (microcosm).

We should celebrate our evolution and do so by caring for human beings in this life and forget about a "private elevator to heaven" or an imaginary "afterlife".

Mudcatters,

Happy hippity hoppity.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 12:54 PM

The deal with Mozart, DaVinci, Michelangelo,and many well-known Renaissance and Classical painters, composers etc. is that they knew which side their bread was buttered on and they didn't want to go against Mother Church because their livelihoods would be terminated by their religious patrons.

If you examine their lives, however, you find that they were probably Freethinkers who played politics. Had to to survive. So they quoted religious stuff a lot and painted religious images to pay the bills.

Even today, you can't be free with certain art forms that run contrary to religious dogma without repercussions from many in the government as well as private sector.

People get really upset over a figure of Jesus in piss at an art museum. So what? I am equally disgusted at the Ten Commandments being displayed in the government buildings
in Dixie Florida and consider that a worse thing because it denegrates every other person who doesn't regard this icon with reverence in a country that's supposed to have religious and intellectual freedom.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 03:35 PM

There has to be somebody's name to take in vain when you hit your thumb with a hammer.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 03:52 PM

Indeed. After all, my father was a complete atheist, but he still liked yelling "GODDAMITT!" when he stubbed his toe or anything like that...

He would also say, "JEE-ZUSS!" (with heavy emphasis) when really surprised or astounded by anything. This, despite the fact that he really had no interest or belief in Jesus whatsoever.

So there you have it. Both God and Jesus turn out to be quite useful for the average atheist, because they give him strong words to use when under great stress...and also they give him something not to believe in, and then he can feel smarter and better informed than people who do believe in things like God and/or Jesus, and everyone wants to have a few things like that, don't they? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 04:35 PM

Jiminy Christmas, Little Hack!! I mean, Jeeze!! Goldangit all, buddy!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 05:35 PM

"So there you have it. Both God and Jesus turn out to be quite useful for the average atheist, because they give him strong words to use when under great stress...and also they give him something not to believe in, and then he can feel smarter and better informed than people who do believe in things like God and/or Jesus, and everyone wants to have a few things like that, don't they? ;-) " - Little Hawk

Okay, LH, there's a huge April snowstorm littering my yard, so my sense of humour's a touch overworked: the first part of that was cute, but let me assure you, I, at least, don't feel any brighter than the average devout Episcopalian, and I rather resent your insinuation. <stomps off with a snow shovel, grumbling...>


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 06:08 PM

L.H. I try not to use any religious reference when swearing. The only thing that slips out once in a while is "holy shit" which still has a religious reference.

I don't like the idea of any person for any reason placing themselves above others. I see Christians who claim they are better than non-believers, however. I don't do this with religionists at all. I think there are plenty of religionists who are intelligent.

I like the idea that the people in Holland have. They have one vulgar word that can apply to everything. It's a thumb-hit-by-hammer word and it has no religious connotations.

There is a strong danger here of generalization. They are this or they are that. It doesn't enlighten anyone and casting any aspersions any where is not productive.

But a legitimate critique of religion itself is not only appropriate but necessary particularly when Separation of Church and State is at stake.

Believers and non-believers are served by a decent dialogue on this subject without pointing fingers or casting aspersions.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 06:58 PM

Well then, I see it much the same way you do, Frank.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 07:57 PM

What I want to know s where these aspersions that are used for casting are grown. It must be a huge industry but you never hear about them on the stock exchanges, or in venture capital circles. Maybe its an underground thing? I think people would pay top dollar for really fresh, well-formed aspersions, especially inside the Beltway where aspersion-casting is a major indoor sport.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 04:28 AM

an anagram for dog

gdo and odg make no sort of sense.

so if you get a clue like 'an upset dog' or a 'mad dog', your mind zeros in on the answer.

sometimes god is the answer to our problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 04:37 AM

Very cryptic, wld. Life is a crossword. But we'll not have a cross word between us I hope, God willing and weather permitting...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 07:59 AM

Frank, there is much controversy over Mozart's religiousity. Born and raised as a Catholic, he was certainly, as you point out, a freethinker who often found himself at odds with his powerful patrons. There is evidence suggesting he joined the Freemasons as a young man, including (some say) the Masonic references and imagery in his opera The Magic Flute.

References to his own spiritual leanings are found in his letters, although some suggest his expressions of faith and piety were only an attempt to appease his omnipotent, disapproving father. However, he did continue to write religious works after his tenure with the Archbishop of Salzburg, including the famous Mass in C Minor. His last work was the unfinished Requiem (or Mass for the Dead).

At any rate, I brought Mozart into the discussion as an example of how a creator might use "a process of creation that proceeds as if HE was not there" -- processes including everything from writing down a musical score, to designing the structure of self-replicating DNA    :-)    It was not my intention to pick apart his personal spirituality!

BUt it is intriguing to ponder just how such undying musical genius, artistic beauty and joie de vivre could be manifested through a mere "ape-shaped conglomeration of bacteria". Makes me feel a little, uh ... reverent ....


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 11:59 AM

Yeah, I am still trying to eliminate god, damn, heaven and hell from my swearing. Leaves me with fuck and shit and not much else, but it's a small price to pay!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 12:23 PM

Why bother eliminating them? There's nothing wrong with referencing mythology, we do it all the time in our language: Thor's day, Saturn's day, Wodin's day, month of Mars, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 12:42 PM

Because I am tired of perpetuating the myth as reality. But it really does cramp one's swearing style - can't have a godawful day, etc. One is reduced to words like Very for emphasis. Booooooooooooring.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 01:32 PM

Perhaps to satisfy this month's issue of Scientific American magazine which has an article on the last back page. It is Bayes Theorum being applied to the possibliity of showing the likelyhood of the existence of God.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 01:37 PM

Oh, Mrrz, surely with a little research you can find a whole palate of rich, rare terms for things you want to condemn or vilify. Execrable, worthless, mind-sucking, weasel-like, fornicating, deathful little so-and-sos don't need to be dignified with divinely inspired hooliganisms. You can draw from a wide array of sexual and digestive metaphors, to start with.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Bee
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 02:19 PM

Hey! Leave the weasel family out of it - they are fine upstanding animals.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 04:07 PM

Hell, use snakes, pigs, roaches, vipers...there's plenty oof investive born from our interactions with other life forms.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 08:14 PM

OOh, Amos, good ones. I've taken to exclaiming Suppurating Pustules! when I need a multisyllabic rackin frackin varmint time of thing...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 08:46 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 07:22 AM

One more post to 300? Holy jumpin jehosophat! Gotta think of something....


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM

Here it is ...

THE APE AND GOD

Son put a poser up to me
That made me scratch my head:
"God made the whole wide world," quoth he;
"That's right, my boy," I said.
Said son: "He mad the mountains soar,
And all the plains lie flat;
But Dad, what did he do before
                               He did all that?

Said I: "Creation was his biz;
He set the stars to shine;
The sun and moon and all that is
Were His unique design.
The Cosmos is his concrete thought,
The Universe his chore..."
Said Son: "I understand, but what
                               Did He before?"

I gave it up; I could not cope
With his enquiring prod,
And must admit I've little hope
Of understanding God.
Indeed I find more to my mind
The monkey in the tree
In whose crude form Nature defined
                               Our human destiny.

Thought I: "Why search for Deity
In visionary shape?
'Twould better be if we could see
The angel in the ape.
Let mystic seek a God above:
Far wiser he who delves,
To find in kindliness and love
                               God in ourselves."

- Robert William Service


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 08:37 AM

Ah, yes! To see the angel in the ape. (or in the worm, or the fish, or the cloud) There would be the moment of dawning wisdom. Everything, not just man, is said to be filled with the presence of the imminent Divine.

(Just ask Chongo about that.) ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 08:57 AM

I respectfully disagree, Little Hawk. Seeing angels in anything is hallucination. The dawning wisdom we are hoping for is when people see that there is no divine, imminent or not, and we're stuck with what we have, and should therefore make the best of it. Or was your tongue in your cheek, as the reference to Chongo might imply?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 09:29 AM

Seeing angels in anything is hallucination

This is not true, Mrzzy, but I doubt any explanation I could give would satisfy anyone here. So, I'll just say I respectfully disagree, and leave it at that.

Cheers,

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 10:05 AM

There's a power of spiritual beauty to be seen in an ape, or for that matter in a clump of dandelions or a rock, if one chooses to shift his view to the right wavelength.

But to label these perspectives as angels is to clutter them up with categorical luggage that is not only additive, but actually spoils the view, IMHO.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 10:38 AM

Daylia, surely you aren't claiming that angels are *real* when one sees them in something?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 12:18 PM

Another good reason for god is to keep insurance companies solvent. When something like Katrina happens, they can just declare that "It was an act of god," not pay anybody, and go on and collect premiums from other people in Detroit and Seattle.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 06:56 PM

Mrrzy, there are stranger things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, as Shakespeare once said. I don't expect you to believe in anything you haven't seen...but neither do I give you the authority to categorically deny the existence of something just because you haven't seen it. You have no such authority.

I was being serious in the first part of my post. The Divine (in my opinion) is in everthing, but that doesn't mean you will necessarily see it there. I was being whimsical when I mentioned Chongo. I like mixing serious comment with a dash of humor.

You'll have to first see an Angel someday yourself, Mrrzy. In person. Then I will leave it entirely up to you to decide whether it's "real" or not. You won't need me or my opinion for that part.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 08:02 PM

Hey, I've never seen Australia, but I don't deny its existence. Nobody has actually ever seen an angel. Nobody. Not one person. Ever. They aren't real.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 08:32 PM

rock chick. I agree.

one reason to believe in God and afterlife, is that it gives people comfort to have a meaning and purpose in life -

of course the pure biological meaning of life is easy.
to make more life.
(having watched two of my babies being born and grow into little people
is quite a miracle and yet - it does not make me believe in God)

make the best of the one life that you have.

historically- religion may have provided the comfort, but it also provided political control and untold suffering -


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 12:16 AM

God is hope. That's what it's about. The universe, as Richard Dawkins sees it, doesn't exist for most people. They're too busy with the petty business of life. He has no answers for them. And neither do you, Mrzzy--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 12:50 AM

"Nobody has actually ever seen an angel. Nobody. Not one person. Ever. They aren't real."

Uh-huh. (smile) Oh, I just love the strength of your faith, Mrrzy. Very impressive. A faith like that is as hard as a rock.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 01:13 AM

Mrzzy hasn't answered that old question that they used to always ask at More Science High School--"What is reality?"


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 02:12 AM

I've never seen an electron without a microscope
I've never seen a person living well but without hope
I've never found true happiness, but Oh... it must exist
I've heard the last temptation's the hardest to resist

I've never seen an angel, though real they seem to me
A transcendent sense of goodness, that speaks eternity
I've never seen the devil, but lo... he's walking sure
undermining righteousness, and sullying the pure

I've never seen a peaceful world, and yet I do my part
I yearn to learn diplomacy, it's not too late to start
I've never seen an angel, with wings and cherub's gaze
And yet when fear does bind me, I'm loosened by their praise
ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: John O'L
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 03:55 AM

"Seeing angels in anything is hallucination. The dawning wisdom we are hoping for is when people see that there is no divine, imminent or not, and we're stuck with what we have, and should therefore make the best of it."

"Nobody has actually ever seen an angel. Nobody. Not one person. Ever. They aren't real."

Such confidence. I wish I could be as certain as that about sonmthing. Especially without any evidnence. But I guess if you really really believe something to be true you don't need evidence do you. Wait a minute, which side am I on?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 07:09 AM

lol John!   MTed, I like your phrasing and interpretation. However I'm just a musician, so I can't resist messin around with your harmony a bit. Like this ...

"Angels, as some see them, don't exist for most people. They're too busy with the petty business of life. Angels have no answers for them. And neither do you ..."   

And I'm responsible for finding my own answers, no one else's (thank god)

Daylia, surely you aren't claiming that angels are *real* when one sees them in something?

Depends on how you define *real* and *angels*.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 08:50 AM

Well, if anybody documents an angel sighting, I'll be perfectly willing to believe in them. There is plenty of evidence for all kinds of things I can't see - but I believe the *evidence*. And M.Ted - I'm not trying to provide answers - just trying to limit the answers that people DO give to something that is actually demonstrable. It isn't faith, Little Hawk, that has me not believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Zeus, or the Christian god, or angels, or devils, or demons, or anything else mythological and/or supernatural. It's a rational conclusion from the evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 09:01 AM

"And I'm responsible for finding my own answers, no one else's"--A critical bit of truth there, Daylia--kind of reminds me of (to take this back to folk music):

"You've got to walk that lonesome valley,
You've got to walk it by yourself.
Nobody else can walk it for you,
You've got to walk it by yourself"--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 09:21 AM

I think many people have perceived angels, all right. But Mrrzy was talking about seeing them in the normal space-time sense of the word, and with that caveat I am inclined to agree. Besides, people perceive the face of Jesus in French toast, for crying out loud. There is an awful lot to know about the realm in which such perceptions occur and the mechanisms of them, but it isn't ordinary 3-D seeing.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 11:44 AM

Mrzzy--so I am not convinced that you came to any of your beliefs or non-beliefs through a disciplined process of reason--you were brought up without religion, never felt the need for it, so it has no meaning to you. That's "habit", not reason. Your arguements against religion are of the "Straw Man" variety, and refute little to nothing of what "believers" believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 12:07 PM

hope - same thing as what I just said..
believing in a scheme of things or order as defined by mythology
just to make you feel better that there is a purpose in life.

yes there is a purpose. it is to live it. to make more of it if possible.

'too busy with the petty business of life'
Cant disagree more. the here and now is what is important.
Rather than hoping for some vague afterlife, and missing out on whats here and now.
Thanks to religion, plenty of people have missed on the here and now
in favor something better at the end..


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 12:31 PM

Perhaps that was their way of enjoying the journey.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 01:01 PM

Are you inspired by the inimitable Conrad Birdie, petr?

Oh, Life's a ball
if only you know it
And it's all just waiting for you
You're alive,
So come on and show it
We got a lot of livin'
Such a lot of livin'
Got a lot of livin' to do!

Or is it Auntie Mame?

"LIFE'S A BANQUET, AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH!"


Or could it be Dr. Norman Vincent Peale?

"Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes up his mind to do. We are capable of greater things than we realize." --

No, I take Dr. Peale back, he's a bit too deep--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 01:35 PM

Abe Lincoln said "Most people are about as happy as they've made up their minds to be."

True. He might just as well have said, "Most people believe pretty much whatever they've made up their minds to believe."   ;-)

They are creatures of rigid mental habit. The only thing that can shock them out of a limiting mental habit is an actual undeniable experience that forces them to at least momentarily remove their blinders. Such an experience can change a person forever, but don't expect anyone else to change his habitual beliefs on account of it! Not a chance. The only experience that most people trust, ultimately, is their own...and that's not surprising. Animals are like that too.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 01:51 PM

Actually, Little Hawk, they can also be shock out of limiting mental habits when their syrupy, self-referencing world starts feeding back on itself, and they are overwhelmed with existential nausea. For most, though, that's only a theoretical possibility--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 01:58 PM

MTed,
so what, its good not to have all the answers, its better to have questions.

So does the mathmatical Baye's theorum reveal the likeyhood of god or not?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 02:04 PM

That is true, M. Ted. One thing I know for sure is this...I don't know much!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 02:23 PM

In this article, Bayes' Theorem , a Mr. Swinburne figures it at 97%. As to the question/answer thing, I am a question person. Ask a question of almost any sort, and people will cheerfully answer. Give an answer, and people generally just stare at you.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 02:59 PM

While his highly technical lectures may not net Christianity many fresh converts, Mr. Swinburne's efforts to bring inductive logic to bear on questions of faith have earned him a considerable reputation in the small but vibrant world of Christian academic philosophy. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Swinburne and a handful of other nimble scholarly mindsincluding Alvin Plantinga at the University of Notre Dame and Nicholas Wolterstorff at Yalereligious belief no longer languishes in a state of philosophical disrepute. Deploying a range of sophisticated logical arguments developed over the last 25 years, Christian philosophers have revived faith as a subject of rigorous academic debate, steadily chipping away at the assumptionall but axiomatic in philosophy since the Enlightenmentthat belief in God is logically indefensible.


The articles carefully avoids identifying the premises and the variables named as combining to provide the 97% probability, which is not assigned to the existence of God, but to the resurrection. One of the variables Swinburne does mention is estimation of witness reliabililty. I'd love to see the logic behind that parameter.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 03:05 PM

I agree but, not specifically inspired by any of them.
what makes you say the Peale quote is too deep?

as for Wesleys 'maybe they enjoyed the journey'
maybe,, but does the suicide bomber ?
or is it simply indoctrination and brainwashing to make one expect paradise..
through most of history one had little choice to decide ones religion,
it was part of life and provided powerful political control for the church. (people can be kept poor and submissive - because paradise awaits them, and if they dont behave, eternal damnation)

no doubt there are good things, and comfort in the beliefs that one is serving ones god

but plenty of kids were sent into monasteries/nunneries or clergy
because their parents were poor - did they choose to live life to their potential..


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 04:56 PM

No - I said "Perhaps that was their way of enjoying the journey. ".

What I know is this - somewhere in the neighborhood of over 80% of the worlds population believe in the existance of some sort of higher power. It could be "God", Budda, Mother Earth, Shiva, or Katsuk the Monkey God. That large a percentage of the earths population is not going to change overnight. So what we're going to have to do is learn how to live with each other and respect each other regardless of beliefs - or lack of beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 05:39 PM

ok by me.
Im a utilitarian..
the golden rule is enough for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 08:23 PM

Peale being deep was a reference to an old Tom Lehrer song, "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier"--

"Now Fred's an intellectual, brings a book to every meal.
He likes the deep philosophers, like Norman Vincent Peale."

Ironic, of course. Beside his extreme conservative political views, Peale was noted for his simplistic "Power of Positive Thinking" views, which some have pointed out, seemed often antithetical to basic Christian moral ideas, and, if they didn't outright deny the existence of evil in the world, seemed unconcerned with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 09:50 PM

Your arguements against religion are of the "Straw Man" variety, and refute little to nothing of what "believers" believe. First, what IS a straw man argument? I've heard the phrase...

And rational arguments are all I have. They cannot refute faith which, by definition, is not rational. What I believe I can do is refute the idea that it makes SENSE to believe in the supernatural.

And I just love Tom Lehrer.

According to census data, the world population is:

About 33% christian
About 25% non-theists of various ilk, including but not limited to atheists
About 18% moslem
About 13% Hindu
About 10% what they call "folk religions" (devout Mudcatters?)
And about 1%Other, including less than .5% jewish.

In the US alone there are about 10:1 atheists/people of no religion to jews. Why aren't we a more viable political force?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 11:50 PM

Because you're so besotted with your verbal reasoning and debating powers that you can't agree on anything long enough to get organized? ;-)

By the way, you don't have to believe in anything religious whatsoever to be a Jew. You just have to have had a Jewish mother.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 11:57 PM

Furthermore, faith is not irrational by definition. It is entirely possible to have faith in something for thoroughly rational reasons, based on direct experience. For instance, I have faith in the snow tires on my car. They have performed well in the past, and I expect they will again. I have faith in certain people, based on their past excellent behaviour. I also have faith, interestingly enough, in the power of prayer, because I've seen dramatic and unexpected things happen on the few occasions in my life when I prayed with genuine, absolute undivided focus and real urgency (those occasions were quite rare, I can tell you...mostly I'm way too busy just being "normal", as you might put it...like most people are).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 01:34 AM

Mrzzy: A Strawman argument--means, basically, that you are arguing against a "straw man"--an opponent that you have actually created yourself.

I think that you overestimate your skills in logic, which is the vehicle of reason--you are overconfident in your own rationality--and, as someone once said, pride goeth before the fall--but I like you, so here is some thing amazing for you to think about--

Up the road from you, only an hour and a half or so, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, every Thurdsay Night at St. Joseph's Parish, not merely an angel, but the Virgin Mary appears to a woman by the name of Gianna Talone Sullivan--and has since 1993--Here is a report, written by a Priest who is both a Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of the Law.Report on Marian Apparitions at EmmitsburgHe believes the apparitions are real. Can you refute him?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 01:43 AM

Oh, did I forget? It is Dr. Gianna Talone Sullivan, she has, I think, a degree in Pharmacology--one of those "Hard" doctorates--


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:28 AM

Of course faith is irrational by definition. If you have thoroughly rational reasons, based on direct experience, then you aren't having faith, you are concluding.
And I'll look into that "documented" virgin mary thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:53 AM

Here's another thing for you to ponder, Mrrzy. You said, "In the US alone there are about 10:1 atheists/people of no religion to jews. Why aren't we a more viable political force?"

LOL! Why aren't you a more viable political force????? I can't believe you're asking that. Look, my friend, the world is basically run by people who don't believe in much of anything but seeking their own gain. Such people are THE political force in this world, and among their ranks are included the vast majority of both atheists and so-called "religious" people. People who genuinely devote their efforts to a higher ideal of any sort are actually quite rare.

Most people seek the following things in life:

1. Survival
2. Pleasure
3. Possessions
4. Wealth
5. Status

Survival normally comes first, quickly followed by the others in no particular order.

And they seek to avoid:

1. Death
2. Suffering
3. Poverty
4. Humiliation

This is true of the vast majority of people whether or not they are atheists or theists, and it IS the primary engine (set of motivations) which runs and sustains all political systems. It IS the political force that prevails.

So your perception that non-theists are not a viable political force is silly, in my opinion. Non-theists AND theists in search of more money and more possessions, pleasure, and status are pretty well running the whole frikkin' WORLD right now!

Here's the reason why you don't see the non-theists as "a viable political force". They're all in it for themselves. Accordingly, they are competing against one another and therefore are at odds with each other. Their basic desires are pretty much identical, but those desires are by their very nature mutually conflicting when it comes to expressing them. This is also, by the way, rather true of the various theists who can't agree with each other on religion.

You see, you might just as well bemoan the fact that all the religious people in the world can't join together in a common political purpose as that all the non-religious ones can't. ;-) It's the same problem in both cases.

I have faith that you will probably not fully appreciate the point I have just made. (grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 11:53 AM

So if a person sees the BVM, it a real experience--Now you tell me!!! then I guess this, in my very own town,God, Mary, and Jesus Scheduled to Appear in Gaithersburg is real, too--You atheists make a big fuss, but when the big guns show, you cave right it;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 12:12 PM

LEedle Hack, I recommend to you a study of the more scientific and less polemic work of Abraham Maslow. He thinks the hierarchy of need is a bit different than you describe it.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM

Well...I've never claimed to be perfect, have I? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 01:31 PM

Not explicitly, anyway... ;>)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 02:14 PM

Hmmm - I always thought it was because organizing atheists is like hearding cats...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 08:47 PM

Idont believe Mrrzy is weak on logic,
but in any case - you cannot prove your Gods existence by logic.
I put about as much credence in Gianna Sullivan as those whove claimed alien abductions.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:09 PM

Well, you're like most people. They give little credence to anyone else's personal experience if it lies outside their usual set of assumptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:25 PM

Jeeze, MT, I've seen a lot of shlock, a lot of insincere and inauthentic bushwah, a lot of hollow, self-serving snake-oil pitches and a lot of pure delusory bullshit in my time, but that link of yours is right up there with the top ten per cent.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: *daylia*
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:52 AM

Hey Amos, you ain't seen nuthin yet ....


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:00 AM

theobromine!


God in the chocolate.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:17 AM

This is discouraging. When I get a face showing up in an omelet or a smoothie or something, it's never Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Uh-uh. I get Jerry Lewis, Chuck Berry, or Henry Kissinger.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:20 AM

LH,

"When I get a face showing up in an omelet or a smoothie or something, it's never Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Uh-uh. I get Jerry Lewis, Chuck Berry, or Henry Kissinger. "

Is Someone trying to tell you something?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Amos
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 01:19 PM

"I shall turn my eyes unto the hidden influence of an ex-Secretary of State with Stalinist leanings, from whence cometh my strength...."



A


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a god?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 02:35 PM

That's exactly what's worrying me, BB. ;-)


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